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10 campaign promises Donald Trump kept — or attempted to keep — in his first year


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MEASURING TRUMP AGAINST HIS PROMISES IN FIRST YEAR

TOM LAMPRECHT: Today, specifically, I’d like to take a look back on the first year of Donald Trump’s administration and his presidency – what he promised and then what he accomplished – again, let’s sort of go through this in a bullet point fashion.

However, before we get into the specifics, Harry, can you remember a president who has managed to accomplish as much as Donald Trump has done in his first year?

DR. REEDER: The idea of us doing this program came about in terms of the extraordinary pushback against President Trump when he moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Presidents have been under an order to do this, although they’ve been given the flexibility not to do it for purposes of negotiations and national security decisions, but, every six months, they’d have to say why they hadn’t moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – and he went ahead and did it.

And he said, “Well, it’s time to do it. We’ve had all these presidents who were supposed to do it so it’s time to do it and I’ve done it.” He had promised this in the campaign and now he delivered.

Well, what else has he done? He has made, as I counted, ten basic campaign promises and, those campaign promises, he has responded to either accomplish them or initiate their accomplishment.

Now, let me be very clear: this particular Today in Perspective is not an evaluation of whether we agree with these particular acts that he has done, but we’re looking at the overall dynamic of a president who made campaign promises and then, within the first year, this is what he has done in relationship to those promises.

1. TAX CODE BILL

TOM LAMPRECHT: You’ve mentioned the first one, moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The No. 1 I’ve got on my list was this most recent accomplishment – that’s the tax code bill.

DR. REEDER: He made a promise to simplify and to bring tax reform. Again, we’re not evaluating the tax bill, but he has delivered in his first year of office.

2. SUPREME COURT NOMINATIONS

TOM LAMPRECHT: No. 2, the Neil Gorsuch confirmation.

DR. REEDER: And he made a promise on the Supreme Court which, by the way, probably was the most influential promise that he made that garnered much of the evangelical support, who had a number of issues with him on a number of things that he both said and did during his campaign, but ended up voting for him probably motivated by this issue more than any other. He also, in the first year, has appointed more appellate court justices than any other president in recent history.

3. ROLLBACK OF OBAMA-ERA REGULATIONS

TOM LAMPRECHT: No. 3 on the list is just the basic rollback of regulations that Obama implemented.

DR. REEDER: “For any regulation that we institute, we’re going to cut out three.” Well, he has gone way beyond that in what they would have determined as unnecessary regulations that are paralyzing upon the economy.

4. IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT

TOM LAMPRECHT: No. 4, Trump ran on a platform of tougher immigration enforcement – the travel ban.

DR. REEDER: He has attempted to initiate a vetting process on who is to be allowed in and also immigration reform. This is one where he has not delivered as most people would have thought he would have delivered because included in that was border security – the promise of the building of the wall – but there have been efforts at his immigration reform in terms of who is allowed in and the vetting process of visas in light of national security.

5. WITHDRAWAL FROM PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

TOM LAMPRECHT: Next on the list, Harry, is the withdrawal from the Paris Climate deal.

DR. REEDER: Tom, let’s take a look at two of these agreements that the previous administration had entered into that Candidate Trump campaigned against. One was the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and the other was the Paris Climate Agreement that also affected manufacturing and regulation in the United States and it was declared that that was an unusual duress to what was required of the rest of the world. He said that he would get us out of both of those and he has delivered on both of those promises in his first year.

6. CUBA

TOM LAMPRECHT: The rollback of some of Obama’s Cuban policies.

DR. REEDER: That would fall in under his national security strategy, Sustainable Security Strategy, that he has initiated. When he did the speech, one of the things that he did was reverse the open-door policy with Cuba that had been initiated in the previous administration as well as a commitment to America First. And, by the way, he redefined that for everyone in his security policy, which was, “I am not saying America selfishly but, America First, I was elected to look out for America’s interest. And, by the way, in our negotiations with other nations, I fully expect those elected officials to come to the bargaining table on our various discussions looking out for their nation first.”

7. NET NEUTRALITY REPEAL

TOM LAMPRECHT: In another blow to regulations enacted under Obama, recently, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal its landmark Net Neutrality rules.

DR. REEDER: And I like the way you have explained it on your own program, Tom, of this being a socialism comes to the internet. What happened was, with what President Obama did in basically level the playing field in the internet research and advancement, it makes everything that someone does available to others.

Well, what happened is what always happens in socialism: It’s a loss of initiative and so people quit doing research on internet improvement and expansion and enhancement because they knew they either had to give it away or they knew that they could get what other people did without having to spend money on it.

He has rolled that back and I think what that means is you’re going to see some amazing advancements in the internet capabilities for our nation and for the world.

8. ISIS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, the final accomplishment I want to talk about today is something that has just sort of disappeared from the headlines of the national news and that is the degrading of Isis.

DR. REEDER: He said he was going to do it – amazingly, it’s been done with a great deal of reliance on Iraq. Their military capabilities on the ground have been fundamentally degraded and removed. That’s another accomplishment.

9. DRAIN THE SWAMP EFFORTS

Now, his drain the swamp promise – this deep-state bureaucracy and the opposition has come up in terms of the FBI and the State Department and other places – he has not made the advancement that he has promised, but it seems to have now been unearthed and exposed. And that may be something that will be dealt with in the coming year in terms of removals and putting people in place that would be serving the country and not serving themselves as if they are a State within the State.

Given the hiring and firing policies in the government and the protections that are put there, it is very difficult to unearth and remove bureaucrats, but I think he’s going to do that and he says that he’s going to do that in an effort to reduce the budget in that there’s going to be a lot of positions that are just going to disappear.

10. OBAMACARE

Finally, we would have to say that his promise to remove Obamacare did not meet with success, the repeal and replace promise, but there was an effort to do it.

And there has been some success in that there has been the reestablishment of the religious freedoms protection in that the requirement to participate in funding of abortions and abortifacients is no longer placed upon individuals and privately held companies that have religious convictions against the destruction of unborn life.

And, secondly, now, the tax package, there was the removal of the mandate for Obamacare, which would be the undoing of Obamacare unless the government decides to fully fund it. The cost of Obamacare is going to come full-force to next year’s Congress.

TRUMP’S PROMISE-KEEPING IS ADMIRABLE

Tom, can I, before we leave, just say one final thing from a Christian world and life view about today’s program? Again, with no evaluation upon the policies and programs, themselves, I do want to speak of one thing that’s commendable in this that I would put before all of our listeners: We ought to be people who, when we make promises, we attempt to fulfill our promises and not to make promises to manipulate people but, “When we make a promise, this is what we’re going to do. Our yes is yes and our no is no.” And that is always admirable in someone.

I would like to commend that, “way of life” that, when we say we’re going to do something, let’s make a commitment to do it. And, as I approach this new year, I rejoice in the fact that the God of glory and grace has made certain promises and definite promises and clear promises for the redemption of His people. And then we have just rejoiced in the coming of Christ in the Christmas season and that Christ would come and all of the promises of God are “Yes” and “Amen” in Him.

May our lives reflect that trustworthiness and that consistency and that integrity. We say what we will do, we do what we will say and, by God’s grace, we are never mean when we say or do what we say.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

10 hours ago

Geneva County Commission strips funding for school resource officer program

The Geneva County Commission has placed the Geneva County School system in a bind after it pulled funds committed to the school resource officer (SRO) program.

Per a Dothan Eagle report, the county commission voted in June to give $15,000 to the SRO program this year, including an additional $60,000 next year.

After commissioners found that the budget would not balance, they realized that the promised funding for the SRO program could not be provided.

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Fred Hamic, chairman of the Geneva County Commission, sent a letter informing Superintendent Becky Birdsong of the decision and included a $15,000 check.

Birdsong said she was “disappointed,” but assured she will work hard to ensure the SRO program remains in place.

“I am disappointed, but I am still committed to doing what’s right for our students,” Birdsong told Dothan Eagle. “We don’t want parents to be concerned that this is going to make our schools less safe. I’m not saying we have the money now, but I am going to work on this and try to secure funding for this.”

Birdsong said that she is working with parents to increase security on school campuses in the schools she oversees.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

10 hours ago

Steve Marshall talks liberal tech bias, joins select group of national officials tackling the issue

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday joined a select group of state attorneys general for “a productive dialogue” led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other Department of Justice (DOJ) officials regarding perceived discrimination against conservatives by leading tech companies.

Per a DOJ release, “The discussion centered on ways the Department and state governments can most effectively safeguard consumers using online digital platforms. Each state attorney general’s office shared their views of the important issues for federal and state authorities to consider when addressing these evolving technologies. The discussion principally focused on consumer protection and data privacy issues, and the bipartisan group of attendees sought to identify areas of consensus.”

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Marshall – who joined the meeting by teleconference – made it clear that there was a long way to go before reaching a consensus on how to tackle the complicated issues of tech transparency and bias, saying, “To the degree that there was any consensus, it is that we still have a lot to learn about how to best protect consumer interests in this context.”

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“Today I participated in a bipartisan meeting of several state Attorneys General, hosted by Attorney General Sessions, to discuss consumer protection concerns related to the tech industry. The conversation covered many of the same concerns raised in recent Congressional hearings,” Marshall outlined.

He continued, “I appreciated the invitation to participate and was interested to hear the perspectives of the various states represented. To the degree that there was any consensus, it is that we still have a lot to learn about how to best protect consumer interests in this context.”

The DOJ, which was represented at the meeting by Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore and other senior staff, explained, “Many shared the view that it is essential for federal and state law enforcement authorities to work together to ensure that these challenges are addressed responsibly and effectively.”

Sessions’ DOJ will review the information and insights shared by the state attorneys general and expects the constructive dialogue will continue moving forward. Marshall, in an interview earlier Tuesday morning with Talk 99.5’s Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg, made it clear that he prefers a market-based solution as opposed to stifling government regulation.

“It is a field that I think we need to tread very lightly,” Marshall explained. “You look at the ability of government to regulate – I think we do the military well and everything else is a struggle. So I think we need to be very, very careful in how we tread in that regard.”

The argument from some is that social media platforms are like modern-day utilities.

“You hear it coming more from Democratic AG’s across the country … it’s why, I think, you have to be very careful, because the market itself has the ability to regulate and one of the things that we have to do from the government side is do not tread into the world of antitrust lightly,” Marshall outlined.

Alabama’s attorney general used Google as an example, saying consumers have multiple choices in search engines, free online email providers and the web browsers themselves (Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, etc.).

“It is important, however, when you do hear the stories of internally that Google may be directing people for political purposes that otherwise is not disclosed. That is concerning,” Marshall said.

For Marshall, the questions of whether these tech companies should allow their left-leaning biases to affect consumers “need to be asked, whether or not government needs to get involved in that, however, is a different story.”

Marshall summarized that his overall view is the tech services need to be held accountable to being open and honest with what they are doing and then the market can effectively take care of the rest. If consumers do not like what the services are doing, competition, not the government, should be the counterbalance.

“To the extent that there is transparency, I think it’s a good thing. Across the spectrum, whether it be private business or in government, and in this field particularly, if they are able to respond to questions about how it is that they control content and what they do, then I think we all have knowledge and then can make decisions ourselves,” he advised.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

10 hours ago

Strong like Samson, tough like Benaiah and wise like Solomon -Thomas Cox reveals his plan for himself and raising his kids

Finding the time to do everything in a day is tough, but Thomas Cox shared his secrets on “The Ford Faction.”

In this episode, Thomas Cox from Mealfit.co discussed where his parenting techniques come from and how he finds time to execute them. He breaks down the processes he does with each of his children.

First, he teaches them to be strong like Samson. He wants his kids to be strong in many ways: mentally, physically, socially and spiritually.

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Second, Thomas wants his kids to be tough like Benaiah.

He said, “Toughness is one of the biggest parts of our lives we have to get better at so we can adapt to what’s happening around us.”

Finally, you have to be wise like Solomon.

Thomas told host Ford Brown, “I think if you’re not spending a lot of your day on self-development, you are missing the boat.”

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Rep. Byrne: Breaking down Tax Reform 2.0

Since Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year, the American economy is booming, and Alabama families have more money in their pockets. By lowering taxes and simplifying the tax code, we have unlocked our economic potential and made life better for hardworking Americans.

The economic numbers speak for themselves: higher wages, lower unemployment, more jobs, bigger paychecks, employee bonuses and much more. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the average family in Southwest Alabama will see their tax bill decrease by $2,187 a year.

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The good news is that we aren’t stopping here. This week, the House is expected to vote on additional changes and improvements to the tax code, something we are calling Tax Reform 2.0. Working with President Trump, we will continue to make the tax code even fairer and more competitive.

Tax Reform 2.0 includes three major pieces. Here’s a quick overview.

First, we want to make the tax cuts for small businesses and middle-class families permanent. Due to Democrat obstruction and arcane rules in the Senate, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was only able to lower taxes for ten years. Under Tax Reform 2.0, we will make the tax cuts permanent.

The non-partisan Tax Foundation found that making the middle-class and small business tax cuts permanent will create 1.5 million new jobs and increase gross domestic product (GDP) by 2.2%. This further expands our economy and makes life even better for families and small businesses.

Making these changes permanent, will also lock-in the simpler tax filing process. As you may remember, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act simplified the tax code to the point where many Americans are now able to complete their taxes on a postcard-style form. A Tax Foundation study shows that this will save Americans between $3.1 to $5.4 billion in compliance costs. Instead of needing an accountant to navigate the complicated code, most Americans will be able to file on their own.

Second, Tax Reform 2.0 promotes family savings and helps more Americans plan for retirement. Currently, too many Americans have been unable to save for retirement or put money aside to cover unforeseen emergencies.

We want to help small businesses provide retirement plans to their workers by allowing small businesses to join together to create a 401(k) plan more affordable and by giving employers more time to put new retirement plans in place. Just as important, we will help more workers participate in retirement plans by exempting small retirement accounts from mandatory payouts and by eliminating the age limit on IRA contributions.

We don’t stop there. Tax Reform 2.0 will create and expand additional programs to help Americans save. For example, our plan creates a new savings account to offer a fully flexible savings tool that families can use at any time right for them, expands 529 education savings accounts, and creates a new baby savings program to help with the birth of a new child or an adoption.

Finally, Tax Reform 2.0 will help grow the economy by promoting start-up businesses and spurring innovation. We do this by allowing new businesses to write off more of their initial start-up costs and by making it easier for start-ups to bring in new investors. America must lead the way on innovation.

As you can tell, Tax Reform 2.0 builds upon our efforts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to ensure the American economy remains strong. We do that by allowing Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. I fundamentally believe our country is the strongest when money is with the people instead of the government.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope.

11 hours ago

Ivey, Merrill celebrate National Voter Registration Day – ‘Easy to vote and hard to cheat’

Tuesday is recognized as National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), which Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Secretary of State John Merrill celebrated by encouraging all of the state’s eligible voters to register.

The annual occasion is the largest single-day drive to register voters of the year. Merrill joined hundreds of different partners around the nation to observe NVRD, with Merrill specifically encouraging a “voter refresh” effort to update state voter rolls with correct information about Alabama citizens.

“Since I became Secretary of State, we have registered more than a million new voters who have helped us shatter state records for voter registration and participation in our elections,” Merrill said in a release.

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“But we also want our voter rolls to be up-to-date, so we are urging everyone to take a moment to make sure their current address is correct in the state system. We are pleased to participate in this special day that encourages more participation in our electoral process. We continue to work daily to make sure every eligible U.S. citizen in our state is registered to vote and has a photo ID. We want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Merrill continued.

NVRD, held on every fourth Thursday of September since 2012, is endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State and the National Association of State Election Directors. Since 2012, more than 1.4 million people around the nation have registered to vote or update their registration as part of this event alone. This year, libraries, schools and other partners will hold local voter registration drives.

Since Merrill took office, Alabama has registered 1,064,616 new voters, bringing the state’s total to 3,418,839 as of September 7. Yellowhammer State residents can update their voter registration information by downloading the “Vote for Alabama” app on a smartphone or visiting the Secretary of State website here.

“There is no freedom more integral to this Republic than the right to vote and participate in our democratic process,” Merrill emphasized. “I am so proud we are able to work with the partners involved with National Voter Registration Day to help make increased participation a reality here in the state of Alabama.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn