The State of the Union

I look forward to hearing President Trump’s State of the Union Message tomorrow evening. We will hear him focus on how we have advanced as a nation in the past year.

The last President was going around the world apologizing to other nations for America. Contrast that to President Trump who is unapologetically proud of America. The differences are as stark as the dense darkness in the depths of Mammoth Cave to high noon in the Sahara desert.

From his first visit to Saudi Arabia where he confronted Muslim terrorism in its own back yard to Warsaw where he boldly proclaimed Western Judeao-Christian values that are the foundation for freedom.

Just last week in Lavos, he promoted America First and clearly explained that America First does not mean America alone.  He made economics simple by pointing out that a strong American economy is good for the whole world.

The stock market hits new records highs on a weekly basis. When it passed 25,000, President Trump said it looks like 30,000 is our next goal.

I expect him to talk about his plan for investment in infrastructure. He will discuss his plan for Immigration.  He offered a proposal to the Democrats for the Dreamers that is bi-partisan.

He stood firm when Democrats shut down the government to allow some illegal immigrants to stay. His proposal now doubles the number of illegal immigrants who would be allowed to stay and have a path to become citizens.

The mainstream media has focused on matters that don’t matter to the average American. It has become nauseatingly comical. President Trump will address the things that do matter.  It is not just talk. It is action and millions of Americans are seeing it now, even in their own paychecks.

This will be an important address. I will be watching. I hope that you will too.

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Shoehorning to Shutdown

Congress failed to send a bill to the President to continue funding the government. As a result, President Trump directed an orderly shut down process to begin at midnight, January 19, 2018.

Senate rules allow a minority of Senators to block action on a bill. Republicans hold a slim 51 to 49 majority in the Senate. When Democrats filibuster (which they did) Republicans need at least 9 Democrat votes to allow a vote on the bill.

Five Democrats voted to proceed with voting along with 45 Republicans. Five Republicans including McConnell voted NO on the motion to proceed. McConnell voted NO so that he could move to reconsider.

I watched the Senate proceedings. Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell spoke with clear common sense about the failure of the Senate to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government.

There was very little controversy over the content of the resolution. McConnell noted that the shutdown was 100% avoidable and pointedly said, “Democrats chose to filibuster a non-controversial funding bill that contains nothing, not a thing, that they do not support.”

That raises a rather obvious question. What is the problem? The problem is that Democrats decided to insert a completely separate issue into the resolution. McConnell put it best, “There is only one reason we ended up here; the shoehorning of illegal immigration into this debate.”

Cut through all the hype and it comes down to one simple issue. Democrats put the interests of illegal immigrants above the interests of Americans.

The issue they shoehorned into this debate has nothing to do with funding the government. Republicans in the Senate should stand together and refuse to yield to this blatant extortion.

The American people clearly see Schumer’s priorities.They see where they stand in relation to illegal immigrants.

Senator McConnell is to be commended for his leadership thus far. Schumer’s Shutdown does not just put Americans in the back of the bus. Schumer’s Shutdown kicks Americans under the bus.

Democrat Senators need to make the wise decision to put America first. Put an end to this hypocritical smokescreen charade and let the Senate vote on the Continuing Resolution.

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A Community in Prayer

I recently received a letter inviting me to attend a community prayer vigil in my community of Cordele, Georgia.Community praying in Cordele, GA I was familiar with the name of one of the three organizers but not the other two.

It was scheduled for 3:00 pm on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at the Cordele community club house. The letter said that it was a prayer for the community and, in particular, the problem of crime in the city.

I will be transparent.  I did not know what to expect and a few unfounded thoughts ran through my mind. Was this going to be another one of those “unity” gatherings with prayer tacked on to be sure that something religious was included?

I did not want to promote something just because it was framed as a time for prayer.  I decided to go and see for myself. At the very least, I could bow my head and pray silently.

The unfounded thoughts that ran through my mind proved to be just that – unfounded. Not just unfounded, totally false.

The crowd was not very large but it looked to be a fairly good turnout to me. There were maybe three dozen people gathered. There were men and women, boys and girls, black and white.  The racial makeup of the crowd was probably 80% black and 20% white.

The prayers were about the community of Cordele, Georgia.  There was no focus on the West side or East side of town.

The prayers were that crime would be stopped; that families would be strengthened; that there would be jobs for the unemployed; that children would learn and be safe in schools; and that public servants would have wisdom and strength to serve.

What was not talked and prayed about was as significant as what was mentioned. There was no mention of political parties. There was barely a reference to race and that was only in the context of praying for everyone in the community no matter what race. There was no distinction of economic class.

In short, the prayers were about the people of our community. They were prayers that one would hear in churches anywhere in our region. They were heartfelt and humble.

When it was over and I was getting in my car, it dawned on me that something else was never mentioned in that gathering. There would have been nothing wrong had it been mentioned.

On the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, his name was never mentioned.  It was because the focus was not on Dr. King, but on The King of Kings. For one hour on a chilly afternoon in the small Southwest Georgia town of Cordele, three dozen citizens of the community humbly gathered and bowed to pray.

Thank you, Joyce Williams Mitchell, Shannon Penny Nipper, Lavater Hall Bass, and the others who responded to a leading. We need to do this again, soon.

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