Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trump

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Stephen Colbert can’t help himself.

While President Trump works to deliver on his campaign promises, we can all admit that he is . . . at the least . . . entertaining to watch.

Stephen Colbert highlighted the lighter side of serious issues as he followed Trump’s twitter feed over the weekend.

Watch above.

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Turn on the lights and get back to work.

While it is obvious that President Trump has spent the first 45 days of his administration battling both Democrats and the corporate media, the billionaire president’s biggest obstacles are coming from within.

As with everything Trump does, even his conflicts are atypical.

First, President Trump is dealing with the Deep State. It may be better stated that the Deep State is dealing with President Trump.

This is not to be taken lightly as it’s clear that in this case, the Deep State is chockfull of government holdovers and employees from the Obama Administration.

But that is nothing new.

Throughout Grover Cleveland’s two terms in office, he struggled with federal employees and the new Pendleton Act that prevented government employees from being fired by a new president due to party loyalty or affiliation.

Cleveland believed that civil service was a privilege and like Thomas Jefferson, favored rotation of government workers. While it took time, the 22nd (and 24th) President of the United States slowly but surely fired disloyal government workers.

If you dig into the details of recent history, you’ll remember the obstruction of George W. Bush’s first term that seemed chaotic until he displayed the leadership that the nation needed after the attacks of September 11th.

In Trump’s case, his problem with the Deep State may be the worst we’ve seen in the history of our republic.

While it’s acceptable for government workers to hold dissenting views from the President, it is not acceptable or common for federal employees to break law and meddle with the release of state secrets just to embarrass or disrupt a sitting president.

And when it does happen, it has the potential to be devastating to the nation. Just look at Richard Nixon who was forced to resign after the meddling of a top official within the FBI (Deepthroat).

Although the woes of Deep State disruption are beyond concerning, they could be addressed by a functional leadership staff within the White House.

And that’s the second group that is working against Trump . . .

While they have good intentions, the internal conflicts within the Executive Office of the President are only providing fuel to the fire of the media’s ongoing bonfire of the Trump Administration.

Today’s headlines of massive internal chaos, while certainly overblown, do carry some truths.

If you read between the headlines and are familiar with some of the players, you will find two camps within senior leadership of the White House: the Party Players and Mercer’s Mercenaries.

Reince Prebius, Sean Spicer, et al, of course are the Party Players while Conway and Bannon were installed by Rebekah Mercer whose influence comes from her billionaire father’s bank account.

While it’s unlikely the two sides are engaged in an all-out battle, it’s clear that they are constantly jockeying for position and influence to President Trump while Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner play the role of issue-based floaters (and oddly voices of reason despite their inexperience in government and politics).

There is no greater evidence of the discord than in today’s headlines on the Drudge Report.

Mercer’s camp was able to secure the headline of “Knives out for Reince,” while the Party Players placed the headline directly below it about Trump’s “Furious argument with Bannon.”

Neither headline should exist and instead, the nation would be better served with this imaginary headline: “After Mass Firings Across Government, White House Staff Leads Obamacare Repeal and Budget Cuts.”

President Trump is best served by people who place their loyalty to the interests of the nation above their desire to accrue more access and power for themselves.

Make no mistake, Reince, Bannon, Conway and others are quality people. They are incredibly hard workers who are caught up in an environment of uncertainty and reacting to their perception of standing in the White House pecking order.

But if they were to study Trump and his history with executives and employees, he’s a man who favors achievement over anything else. Those who are wasting time attempting to be the one whispering into the President’s ear, would be far better served being the one who gets things done.

Comment below.

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Are Congressional Republicans intentionally stalling on the Trump agenda?

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Former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is stepping up as the only liberal to take on President Trump on the issues, rather then rhetoric.

While congressional leaders of the left continue to ride many false narratives from racism to Russia, Bernie Sanders responded to Trump’s first official speech with an address of his own.

Published on YouTube, the 14 minute talk has already garnered 1.6 million views.

Sanders was known as the outsider candidate for the nomination of the Democrat Party, however, he was thwarted by what many say as corruption of the nomination process by DNC insiders and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Sanders, a self-professed “democratic socialist” still maintains a strong following of (wrong-headed) supporters and as Hillary hides in the woods of Chappaqua, New York, Bernie continues the fight for socialist.

Watch his address above (if you have 14 minutes of your life to waste).

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Forget the couch, you're getting robbed.

The alt-left feigned outrage over Trump advisory Kellyanne Conway putting her shoes on the couch while in the Oval Office and the corporate media fell right in line to blow the gaffe beyond proportion.

But there was a significant story behind that photo.

Gathered behind Conway were the presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s).

An HBCU is an institute of higher learning that existed before 1964 and has always admitted students of all races.

Schools recognized as HBCU’s have received additional federal funds ever since Jimmy Carter signed an executive order in 1980.

If you look carefully, there were large, broad smiles plastered across the faces of the men and women who run various schools of higher learning that cater to black and minority students.

These men and women were not upbeat and bright-eyed because they fell for the charms of President Donald Trump . . . they were thinking of the massive payday that is headed their way.

On the agenda of this meeting with the 45th President of the United States was a request for $25 BILLION in funding for their schools.

Yeah, that’s “billion” as in nine zeros.

The amount is not without precedent.

President Obama provided the hundred or so schools with $4 billion in funding over seven years. That’s around $40 million per school.

That amount is on top of government funding that comes in the form of student loans and grants.

Very few colleges or universities follow the Hillsdale College model of refusing all government funding – Hillsdale won’t even allow students to take loans backed by the government.

Arguably, one of the most recognizable black universities is Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The school operates on a budget of approximately $800 million per year with around $240 million generated through tuition (that includes student loans and grants).

The school also receives around $215 million in “federal appropriations.”

The kicker is that Howard is sitting on a $659 million cash hoard through their endowment.

Yet Howard’s president, Wayne Frederick, was in attendance in the meeting on Monday with the gaggle of other presidents who were requesting funding.

If the HBCU program received another cash injection, Howard University would operate on approximately 56% federal funds – not including federal student loans and grants, which would likely throw that percentage up to over 80%.

But that’s just Howard University that serves a predominately African American student body.

Other schools that are in the HBCU program and receive federal funds actually have black students as a minority.

Bluefield State College is 13% black and West Virginia State University is 17% African American.

Aside from the inherent racism of providing tax payer funds to schools based upon skin color, the HBCU program is nothing more than a sham to get more money pulled from the pockets of hard working American taxpayers.

President Trump should not only refuse to fund the program, he should call out the program for what it is: legal theft.

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Conway

Trump met with the leaders of historically black colleges in the White House in an attempt to bring this country together, but that isn’t what the #NotMyPresident crew focused on.

While Trump worked in the oval office, welcoming the presidents of the nation’s 100-plus black colleges and universities, Trump aide Kellyanne Conway made herself comfortable on one of the couches.

Liberals ignored Trump’s guests and hard work, but focused on the “alternative etiquette” displayed by Kellyanne Conway.

All of this for putting her feet on the couch.

To be completely honest, sitting on the couch in the Oval Office with your shoes on is a little disrespectful, but nobody deserves the attacks that Conway is receiving online.

Some people are coming to the defense of Conway and pointing out the liberal hypocrisy.

It is sad that the Conway’s feet on the couch is getting more attention than Trump inviting the presidents from 100 historically black colleges and universities to the White House to find solutions and common ground.

Thoughts? Comment below.

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Is it good business for companies to make political statements? Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president over a year and a half ago, almost immediately stores started banning his products and making political statements with their businesses. How is it working for them?

Everyone from Macy’s, to the NFL to Starbucks have used their businesses to make a political statement, but is it helping them grow their business?

Macy’s was the first company to stop selling Trump products after he proposed the wall on the southern border during his campaign announcement speech.

Trump announced his candidacy on the 16th of July and on the 17th of July Macy’s stock was at a high of $72.31 per share. The stock was up since it hit a low of $5.73 in November of 2008.

By December of 2015, Macy’s stock dropped to $34.87 losing over half it’s value in the six months after announcing they will stop selling Trump products. The fifty percent drop in stock prices is not all of Trump’s fanbase refusing to shop at Macy’s. There are many factors that contribute to the fall of the stock, and as much as a Trump loyalists might claim, it wasn’t all about Trump.

Many businesses that have gone political have seen their buzz and viewerships decrease.

The NFL is another company that used Colin Kaepernick’s protest to grab headlines across the country and allowed anti-trump protests outside of the Superbowl. The league has a variety of challenges and they are not all political. The NFL has long game while people tend to have a shorter attention span than ever. The crackdown on safety is limiting some of the heard hitting action fans enjoy. Despite all the problems in the league, it doesn’t matter being political as well. It all leads to lower ratings.

The NFL has also seen a major drop in viewership. The ratings were down almost 8% this year.

Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz said his company would hire 10,000 refugees to combat Trump’s immigration plan. Although numbers have not been released yet to show the drop in sales, but if brand monitors YouGov is correct, Starbucks is taking a hit.

According to the brand perception tracking done by YouGov, Starbuck’s has seen a dramatic drop in the “buzz” category dropping from roughly 12% to below 5%.

The drop is significant since the Starbuck’s brand has maintained an average of around a 10 on the Buzz score for almost two years. Out of the above examples, Starbuck’s decision to oppose Trump’s immigration plan shows a direct decline in the brand’s “buzz”.

There is also a direct example of what happens if you support Trump. If you ask singer and songwriter Joy Villa, wonderful things happen.

The day after she wore a “Make America Great Again” gown to the Grammy awards, she went from virtual obscurity to the number one selling artist on Amazon and iTunes in 24 hours.

The Grammy Awards and the Oscars were two award shows filled with expected attacks on Trump, did that help get viewers?

The Grammy’s viewership was down almost 7% from last year in their target demo. Early numbers have the Oscars down over 4% this year.

As much as some people would like to claim, it isn’t all about Trump. The examples just show that there might be a risk at turning a business brand into a political statement.

Thoughts? Comment below.

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What a difference a year—and a presidential victory—makes. President Donald Trump was persona non grata at last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside Washington D.C. He ended up bailing at the last minute from speaking at the annual event, but had he kept the appointment grass-roots conservatives were planning to walk out during the address.

At the time the bombastic billionaire, a CPAC veteran known for engaging deliveries, was running for president and many conservatives shunned him, asserting that he wasn’t conservative enough. It didn’t help that he blew them off. The former chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), which hosts the annual event said in a news report that Trump’s cancellation was “about as strong a slap in the face as you can get.”

Fast forward to this year’s conference in National Harbor Maryland, outside of Washington D.C. Trump received a rock star ovation and, appropriately, exited the stage to the classic Rolling Stones tune “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” He took the stage to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” Ronald Reagan was the last U.S. president to speak at CPAC in his first year in office and that was more than three and a half decades ago.

Trump came out firing at the media, which occupied about half of the ballroom floor. More than 1,300 credentialed reporters, photographers and camera crew covered the event, some from student outlets and conservative organizations but the traditional mainstream media was also represented in full force. The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and the Los Angeles Times were among those present.

Trump spent a chunk of his speech trashing the establishment, charging that “fake news” outlets are “the enemy of the people.” His delivery was sprinkled with blow after blow directed at the mainstream media. “They’re very smart, they’re very cunning,” Trump said as the crowd cheered loudly.

“There are some terrible dishonest people and they do a tremendous disservice to our country.” Needless to say, the targets were less than thrilled and the media sphere exploded. One mainstream newspaper called it “a declaration of war on the news media.” Another accused the president of being “totally obsessed with the media.” Yet another major paper determined that Trump used CPAC to complain about the media.

The electrified crowd sucked it up and often erupted chanting “U.S.A, U.S.A!” The president spoke about strengthening the military, protecting the southern border, trade and repealing Obamacare. “As part of my pledge to restore safety for the American people, I have also directed the defense community to develop a plan to totally obliterate ISIS,” Trump said. He also revealed that “as we speak today, immigration officers are finding gang members, drug dealers and criminal aliens and throwing them the hell out of our country. And we will not let them back in.

They’re not coming back in folks.” Of interesting note is that small flags resembling Russia’s flag with Trump plastered across them, were waved by a few dozen attendees. It’s not clear if it was a prank, but a young man with a blue CPAC bag was distributing them for free in the hallway outside the ballroom where the president spoke. CPAC staff members were observed confiscating some of the flags.

Genevieve Peters, an educator who works for the Los Angeles public school district, described Trump’s speech as “phenomenal.” Peters made the trek from her home in the bastion of liberalism with a friend, who is Mexican-American, and also a big Trump supporter.

The women let loose at CPAC because they assert that it’s downright dangerous to express conservative ideas where they live in Los Angeles County. “I can’t wear my ‘Make America Great Again’ hat in L.A.,” Peters said. “I’m as bold as they get and I attended campaign events all over the country, but when I got back home, everything went in the drawer.” Her favorite thing about Trump is that he’s “America first.”

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On the second day of CPAC, it was obvious who the crowds came to see and Trump delivered a memorable speech.

Many in the Trump administration also spoke at the convention. The administration was well represented on the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside Washington, D.C. The president’s beleaguered counselor, Kellyanne Conway, kicked off a morning session at the annual political event and a few hours later Education Secretary Betsy DeVos took the stage of the main ballroom of the Gaylord Resort in National Harbor Maryland just south of the capital.

Both women have served as mainstream media punching bags lately and undoubtedly enjoyed a friendlier crowd at the annual powow. Conway ran President Trump’s campaign and spoke about what it’s like to work for the commander-in-chief.

DeVos, who recently endured hostile Senate confirmation hearings, joked; “I’m sure you heard all the wonderful things the media has called me” and reminded the crowd that she was the was the first to tell former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Minutes after DeVos spoke in the main ballroom, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and White House Strategist Steve Bannon took the stage together. Always good for an entertaining soundbite, Bannon referred to the media as the opposition party and said “they’re corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda.”

Reporters from virtually all of the nation’s mainstream media outlets sat in the back area cordoned off for press. Priebus countered rumors that he and Bannon are rivals competing for influence in the White House. Thursday was the day of appetizers, but everyone is really excited for Trump.

The big talk among the thousands of attendees, many of them college students, is the presidents much-anticipated appearance on Friday. Trump has spoken at CPAC many times, but only as a sort of entertainment figure.

Now he’s the leader of the free world. “It’s very exciting to see a president, right here,” said a college junior from Nebraska. A Florida woman who hasn’t missed a CPAC in six years, predicts she won’t sleep tonight. “I thank God he won the election,” she said. “Can you imagine what would become of our country if he didn’t.” A similar feeling of enthusiasm filled the conference.

When Trump took stage the crowd was incredibly enthusiastic, and why shouldn’t they be excited.

See the speech below.

Thoughts? Comment below.

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Since Donald Trump took office the stock market has reached new levels and there is a sense of optimism that many are feeling.

Millions of Americans think we are finally heading down the right road and Trump has even called it a period of optimism.

On the other hand, there are millions of Americans that think Donald Trump is going to destroy our country.

What do you think?

How Optimistic Are You About The Future Of America?

Thoughts? Comment below.

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