Friday, January 11, 2019

Sabbath Music - A Sweet Medley of Songs

graphic from MiYah Music used by permission

Greetings and shabbat shalom, Gail-Friends. Today, I have a special treat for you.

Click on this link to hear my daughter, Amanda Wilson, sing a medley of songs that will bless your socks off.  So perfect for a worship-full Shabbat.  Enjoy!  Amanda Wilson Music

The first song on the video is one I sang to both of my daughters when they were growing up  The song is You Are My Sunshine and is from the 1950's.  I still love that song so much.

Our home was filled with music when my girls were growing up, and we used to sing in the car every time we went somewhere.  Both of my daughters have beautiful voices and were in music classes and groups at church and school for all of their school years.

Melissa, my oldest daughter, while not a lover of being the center of attention on a stage, also enjoyed singing and did a beautiful rendition of I'm Proud To Be An American in one of her  high school choral performances.  She didn't tell me anything about it, and I almost missed her singing.  She said she didn't tell me because she figured I would contact the local TV news to come out to film it.  She knows me for sure!!  I've always been, and still am, proud of her.

Amanda, on the other hand, has always been looking for a stage.  She was born with a song in her heart. and  could sing Jesus Loves Me when she was just six months old.  She couldn't say the words, but she had the tune down pat.
Amanda has recorded two cd's and is working on another.

I would LOVE to have my girls do a cd together.  It would be so beautiful, I know, because Melissa is an alto and Amanda is a soprano.  Maybe they will surprise me and give me a duo recording for Mother's Day.  I would treasure it!  And I would, of course, share it with you, dear Gail-Friends.

Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A Call to Action

Last night President Trump spoke to the nation about the crisis at our southern border,  the need for a border wall, and called for Americans to contact their legislators to fund it. This appeal was followed by a rebuttal by Democrat leaders to tell us why they won't provide funding.

Let me say up front that I'm all for "legal" immigration.  I know that there are people who want to escape hardships in other countries.  However, the assault on our southern border is much more than that.  I believe it is an all-out effort to destroy our country.  The same thing is happening in European countries.  The influx of immigrants has had a devastating effect on those countries and they are standing up and fighting back.  The ultimate goal in this effort is a united, globalist community and economy.  This effort has been tried in Europe and now countries are backing out because of what they see happening to their beloved countries.  An example is Brexit in Great Britain.

It is quite interesting to note that the following list of Democrats supported the wall in the past.  You can find videos and articles online that show their support:

Chuck Schumer
Nancy Pelosi
Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama

President Trump laid out the facts about the effects of illegal immigration - crime, drugs, and child sex trafficking.  The statistics are frightening and heart-breaking.  Here are the arrest numbers during 2017-2018:

 100,000 for assault
      30,000 for sex crimes
    4,000 for homicides

This quote struck me deeply:

 "Some suggested a barrier is immoral. 
Then why do politicians build walls around their homes? 
They don't build walls because  they hate people on the outside,
but because  they love the people on the inside. 
The only thing that's immoral is politicians who do nothing"

He appealed to Americans to call their legislators for the necessary funding for the wall project.  I sent an email to my House representative immediately.  That's the easiest and least time consuming way to contact them. I put the link for contacting your representative below.  If you would like to make a phone call, here is some helpful information.

 Calling your legislator: A step-by-step guide

Call congressional offices directly or through the switchboard. If you do not have the direct number, you can reach US representatives by calling 202-225-3121, and US senators by calling 202-224-3121. Ask the operator to connect you to the individual office. If you do not know the names of your members of Congress or want the direct line to their office, you can find them here:

Contact your House Representative
Contact Your Senator

Ask to speak to the aide who handles the issue about which you are calling. Your call will be more influential if you speak to the correct aide. However, Congressional aides are very busy and this is not always possible. If you cannot speak directly with the aide, leave a message with the receptionist stating your views. Sometimes, you will get an answering machine.  Leave a message.

Let them know that you are a constituent. Elected officials are most interested in your opinions if you are their constituent, so be sure to say the city and state you are from.

Know your facts. Be sure you have the basic information about your topic in front of you when you call. You should be able to specifically describe the topic about which you are calling and state your opinion on what your legislator should do.

Note your expertise. If you have professional experience on the issue on which you are calling, be sure to mention
it. It will help to establish your credibility on the issue and may event prompt the aide to ask you for some guidance on the issue.

Be brief. Aides receive a high volume of phone calls every day, so keep your call short.

Be timely. Timeliness is especially important when you are phoning. If the vote on your issue is imminent, the aide is much more likely to pay attention to what you say.

Consider calling the local office. Calling the office in your district or state, rather than the Washington office, can sometimes be very effective. If you are calling about a vote or other timely issues, always call the Washington office. But, if you are calling generally about an issue that affects your district or community, calling the local office can be a good way to make them aware of an issue.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

205 Accompishments

This article from the Washington Examiner is a great resource to share with others.  If you only listen to the major news outlets (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, etc.) you will never hear this reported. 
President Trump is working tirelessly to turn America around.  Did you know that he is doing this job without a salary, and that he only rarely takes time off for rest and relaxation?  He even stayed in Washington over the Christmas holidays to work on the current government shutdown, unlike the members of Congress.  
In my lifetime, I've never seen a president so committed to making America great.  He loves this country, and he and his family are making great sacrifices to help the American people.  I am amazed at how much he has accomplished over the past two years.  I hope you will share this information with others.  
I also encourage you to read President Trump's posts on Twitter.  You will learn what's really happening in our country.
I say a big hats-off to Paul Bedford, the author of this article, for compiling this list.

MAGA list: 205 ‘historic results’ help Trump make case for 2020 re-election

At two years into his first term, President Trump and his top White House team are turning to the 2020 re-election campaign with a new focus on the 2016 promises they have kept and the impact they have had around the country and on the world stage.
“Together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America,” said Trump in his new list of “historic results,” provided exclusively to Washington Secrets.
It highlights 14 major issue areas and lists 205 accomplishment points and initiatives all aimed at bolstering the president’s statements and tweets that his has been a successful administration despite the recent stock market volatility, his staff shake-ups and the Russia election probe.
[Also read: Trump’s list: 289 accomplishments in just 20 months, ‘relentless’ promise-keeping]

The document outlines a 2020 platform to run on and is a revision of previous formats. Instead of just listing “accomplishments,” for example, there is more perspective on changes that have helped ordinary Americans.
It also highlights key areas, such as immigration, that he played up in the 2018 congressional midterm elections. While he helped candidates he campaigned for, some analysts have criticized his focus as the reason the GOP lost control of the House.
The administration’s refocus has support among those who believe the campaign criticism is wrong, including GOP pollsters John McLaughlin and Jim McLaughlin.
Armed with new polling that shows Republicans erred in refusing to follow the president’s model, driving away some 12 million 2016 Trump voters, the duo are urging critics in the party to stand down and let Trump dictate the 2020 messaging.

“He understands branding and he understands messaging better than anyone,” said John McLaughlin.

Donald Trump, Melania Trump

First lady Melania Trump, left, and President Donald Trump stand together on stage during a hangar rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. In a surprise trip to Iraq, President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria saying the U.S. had succeeded in its mission there.

While still long, the new list goes to the Trump campaign’s 2020 theme of “Keeping America Great” and McLaughlin’s argument that Republican president win on two issues, peace and prosperity.
If Trump sticks to those key issues, and bumps his approval rating from 48 percent to 51 percent, like former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush did before their re-elections, he “will win,” added the pollster.
The list reinforces the president’s 2016 applause lines of promising to fix broken trade accords, kill costly regulations and boost energy production. “Unleashing American Energy: President Trump is rolling back costly and burdensome regulations to unleash America’s incredible energy resources,” said one category that included 15 highlights, several of which noted moves to reverse Obama-era regulations.
Those topics, along with these others, said a Trump adviser, will become the basis of the 2020 campaign report card: Ending Obamacare, stopping opioid abuse, protecting religious liberty, cutting crime, rebuilding the military and helping vets, and tacking worldwide bullies like North Korea.
The following is the list compiled by the White House:

The Trump Results List

IGNITING A HISTORIC ECONOMIC BOOM: President Trump’s pro-growth policies are unleashing economic growth and providing opportunities to workers across the country.
  • Due to President Trump’s pro-growth policies, real gross domestic product (GDP) growth exceeded 3 percent over the last four quarters.
  • Real GDP grew at annual rates of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018 and 4.2 percent in the second quarter.
  • More than 4.6 million jobs have been created since President Trump’s election and the unemployment rate remains at 3.7 percent, the lowest rate in nearly 50 years.
  • This is the seventh time this year that the unemployment rate has been below 4.0 percent.
  • Prior to this year, the unemployment rate had fallen below 4 percent only five times since 1970.
  • Eighteen States recently reached record-low unemployment rates.
  • The unemployment rate for African Americans in November fell to 5.9 percent, which is the lowest rate on record.
  • Asian and Hispanic-American unemployment rates reached record lows in May and October of this year, respectively.
  • Initial weekly jobless claims have hit a nearly 50-year low under President Trump.
  • Americans are seeing more money in their pockets thanks to the booming economy.
  • In October and November of 2018, workers saw their largest nominal year over year wage growth in nearly a decade.
  • In 2017, real median household income rose to a post-recession high.
  • President Trump’s policies are helping to lift Americans out of poverty.
  • African-American and Hispanic-American poverty rates reached record lows of 21.2 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively, in 2017.
  • Since the election, 4.6 million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps.
  • Consumer confidence has soared under President Trump, recently reaching an 18-year high.

  • President Trump is delivering on his promise to bring back American manufacturing.
  • Casey Mchone, Donald Trump
  • The National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Index had the highest annual average in its history over the past year.
  • 468,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since President Trump’s election.
  • Small Business optimism jumped to a record high under President Trump, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
  • The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index broke a 35-year record in August.
  • President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, ushering in the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history.
  • These tax cuts are delivering real results for American families and workers.
  • More than 6 million workers received tax cut bonuses and benefits.
  • More than 100 utility companies have announced lower rates.
  • President Trump is ensuring American workers receive the training and education they need to compete in today’s economy.
  • President Trump is delivering on his promise to bring back American manufacturing.
  • The National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Index had the highest annual average in its history over the past year.
  • 468,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since President Trump’s election.
  • Small Business optimism jumped to a record high under President Trump, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
  • The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index broke a 35-year record in August.
  • President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, ushering in the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history.
  • These tax cuts are delivering real results for American families and workers.
  • More than 6 million workers received tax cut bonuses and benefits.
  • More than 100 utility companies have announced lower rates.
  • President Trump is ensuring American workers receive the training and education they need to compete in today’s economy.
  • More than 185 companies and associations have signed our “Pledge to America’s Workers,” promising more than 6.4 million training opportunities.
  • The president signed legislation that reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, making more than $1 billion available for career education programs.
  • President Trump has prioritized the economic empowerment of women.
  • The women’s unemployment rate recently reached its lowest rate in 65 years.
  • The Small Business Administration lent approximately $500 million more in capital to women-owned businesses in 2017 compared to 2016.
  • The administration helped launch the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, which could leverage more than $1 billion to support women entrepreneurs.

ROLLING BACK RED TAPE: President Trump is rolling back costly regulations that have burdened hard-working Americans and stifled innovation.
  • President Trump has followed through on and exceeded his promise to roll back two regulations for every new one created.
  • President Trump’s administration surpassed the 2:1 ratio in 2018, eliminating 12 regulations for every new one in 2018.
  • In 2017, the Trump administration eliminated 22 regulations for every new one.
  • Since taking office, President Trump’s deregulation efforts have achieved $33 billion in regulatory savings.
  • In 2018, these efforts alone delivered $23 billion in benefits to American families and business owners.
  • President Trump has signed 16 Congressional Review Act resolutions into law, eliminating burdensome Obama-era rules and regulations.
  • President Trump announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, which would have harmed America’s economy and cost American workers millions of jobs.
  • President Trump signed an executive order to streamline the permitting process for infrastructure projects with a goal of cutting approval time from up to 10 years to an average of 2 years.
  • President Trump signed legislation to roll back burdensome Dodd-Frank regulations that harmed community banks.

NEGOTIATING BETTER DEALS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: President Trump is negotiating fair and balanced trade deals that protect American industries and workers.

  • President Trump negotiated a new trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico to replace the disastrous and outdated North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • Once enacted by Congress, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) will better serve the interests of American workers and businesses.
  • USMCA will incentivize billions of dollars in auto and auto parts production in the United States and create a freer and fairer market for American agriculture.
  • USMCA also includes the strongest-ever provisions on labor, environmental, digital, and intellectual property protections to reflect the realities of the 21st century economy.
  • The President renegotiated the United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement to preserve and grow jobs in the American auto industry and increase American exports.
  • The United States and Japan are set to begin negotiations on a United States–Japan Trade Agreement.
  • President Trump is establishing a new trade relationship with the European Union (EU), working toward the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to transatlantic trade.
  • President Trump has established a Trade and Investment Working Group to lay the groundwork for post-Brexit trade with the United Kingdom (UK) and has notified Congress of his intent to negotiate a free trade agreement with the UK.
  • This year, President Trump filed a withdrawal notification with the Universal Postal Union, launching a one-year negotiation to secure fair international postal rates for American mailers.
  • President Trump has expanded market access for American agricultural producers.
  • Argentina has opened to American pork and beef, Brazil to American beef, Japan to lamb and Idaho chipping potatoes, South Korea to American poultry, and more.
  • The administration authorized $12 billion to aid farmers affected by unfair retaliatory tariffs.
  • The Trump Administration has begun the process to expand the sale of E15, or gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol, to year round.
  • Under President Trump, the United States will no longer accept bad trade deals and unfair trade practices that harm American workers and industries.
  • One of the president’s first actions after taking office was withdrawing the United States from the terrible Trans-Pacific Partnership, which incentivized outsourcing.
  • In 2017, the administration oversaw 82 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.
  • President Trump is holding China accountable for its unfair trade practices, such as the theft of intellectual property, by imposing tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods.
  • Following President Trump’s successful meeting with President Xi in Buenos Aires, both agreed to conduct negotiations over 90 days to address the United States concerns.
  • American steel and aluminum jobs are coming back following President Trump’s tariffs to protect domestic industries that are vital to national security.
  • President Trump imposed tariffs to protect American-made washing machines and solar products that were hurt by import surges.

UNLEASHING AMERICAN ENERGY: President Trump is rolling back costly and burdensome regulations to unleash America’s incredible energy resources.

  • After years of stifling regulation under the last administration, President Trump is unleashing America’s energy potential.
  • America is the largest crude oil producer in the world and production has hit a record high.
  • President Trump’s policies are helping to boost American energy exports.
  • The administration has streamlined Liquefied Natural Gas terminal permitting.
  • In 2017, the United States became a net natural gas exporter for the first time in 60 years.
  • American coal exports increased by more than 60 percent in 2017.
  • President Trump is expanding access to our country’s abundant natural resources.
  • The president signed legislation to open up energy exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.
  • In July 2018, the Department of the Interior announced it would hold the largest oil and gas lease sale in history.
  • In 2017, the Administration approved construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and the cross border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • The administration issued permits for the New Burgos Pipeline that will export American petroleum products to Mexico.
  • The president has ended the war on coal, cutting Obama-era regulations such as the “Stream Protection Rule” which was estimated to cost industries $81 million a year.
  • President Trump is replacing the Clean Power Plan, a flawed Obama-era regulation that the Supreme Court ordered halted.
  • President Trump rescinded the hydraulic fracturing rule, which was expected to cost the oil and gas industry $32 million per year.
  • The Trump administration curbed the burdensome Obama-era rule on methane, saving American energy developers hundreds of millions of dollars in regulatory costs.

EXPANDING OPTIONS FOR QUALITY AND AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE: President Trump is expanding access to affordable healthcare choices and taking action to lower drug prices.

  • President Trump’s administration is working to provide Americans with affordable alternatives to Obamacare.
  • The Administration expanded short-term, limited duration health insurance plans that are expected to be nearly 50 percent cheaper than unsubsidized Obamacare plans.
  • President Trump has expanded association health plans, allowing more employers to join together across State lines and affordably offer coverage to their employees.
  • The administration proposed a reform to Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) regulations that will give consumers more freedom to purchase benefits that fit their needs.
  • Roughly 800,000 employers are expected to provide HRAs for more than 10 million employees once the rule finalized.
  • Americans have more healthcare freedom thanks to the president signing legislation that ended Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty.
  • While healthcare premiums had been steadily increasing as a result of Obamacare, the average benchmark exchange premium will decline for the first time thanks to President Trump’s policies in 2019.
  • Next year, Americans will benefit from more insurer participation on the exchanges.
  • Medicare Advantage plans offer more benefit options than ever before, and average premiums in 2019 will be 6 percent lower than in 2018.
  • President Trump launched an unprecedented campaign to drive down drug prices, leading more than a dozen drug manufacturers to enact price freezes, reductions, or rollbacks.
  • In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a record number of generic drugs, breaking the previous record set by the Administration in 2017.
  • The FDA’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 generic drug approvals are expected to bring nearly $9 billion in savings in 2017 alone.
  • President Trump signed legislation eliminating contractual gag clauses that stopped pharmacists from informing patients about lower drug prices.
  • The president put forth an initiative to stop global freeloading that drives up prices for American patients.
  • The Administration provided Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans with new negotiating tools to drive down drug costs for American patients.
  • The administration implemented reforms to the amount Medicare pays hospitals for drugs that are purchased under the 340B program, saving seniors $320 million in 2018.
  • President Trump signed “Right to Try” legislation to expand access to experimental treatments for terminally ill patients.

FIGHTING BACK AGAINST THE CRISIS NEXT DOOR: President Trump mobilized his entire administration to combat the opioid crisis that has devastated communities across the country.

  • President Trump launched an Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand, introducing new measures to confront the driving forces behind this crisis.
  • The president signed the landmark SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, the largest and most comprehensive legislative package addressing a single drug crisis in history.
  • The president helped secure a record $6 billion in funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
  • The administration provided more than $2 billion in grants in 2018 to help States, territories, tribes, and local communities prevent and treat opioid abuse.
  • The administration pursued scientific solutions to prevent and treat addiction through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative.

  • The president launched a national public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction and youth opioid usage.
  • Last year, President Trump created a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which recommends ways to tackle the opioid crisis.
  • The administration declared the opioid crisis a nationwide Public Health Emergency in 2017.
  • President Trump is working to cut off the flow of deadly opioids into our country and to disrupt the networks that distribute them to our communities.
  • The administration secured first-ever indictments against Chinese nationals for fentanyl trafficking.
  • The Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a surge to target fentanyl and heroin dealers in the districts with the most severe overdose death rates.
  • The DOJ formed a Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement team and shut down the biggest Darknet distributor of drugs.
  • Last year, the DOJ announced the largest healthcare fraud takedown in history, arresting more than 120 defendants with opioid-related crimes.
  • The president launched a Safer Prescribing Plan that seeks to cut nationwide opioid prescription fills by one-third within three years.
  • The administration has led four National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days, collecting a record-breaking 1,837 tons of expired and unneeded prescription drugs.

STANDING UP FOR THE SANCTITY OF LIFE AND PROTECTING RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: The President is committed to defending the right to life and religious liberty.

  • Shortly after taking office, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy.
  • President Trump defunded a United Nations (UN) agency for colluding with China’s brutal program of forced abortion and sterilization.
  • The administration withdrew guidance that constrained State’s ability to exclude family-planning providers that provide abortion services from the Medicaid program.
  • The Trump administration proposed new regulations to ensure Title X family planning funding does not go to projects that perform, support, or refer patients for abortion.
  • The Trump administration issued regulations establishing new or expanded exemptions from the Obamacare contraceptive mandate based on religious beliefs or moral convictions.
  • In 2017, the president issued an executive order to promote free speech and religious liberty.

KEEPING AMERICAN COMMUNITIES SAFE: President Trump has made clear that his first responsibility is to protect the safety and security of Americans.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation data shows violent crime decreased under President Trump’s watch in 2017, following two consecutive years of increases.
  • United States Attorneys indicted the most violent criminals on record last year.
  • Last year, the DOJ announced nearly $100 million in grant funding to hire hundreds of additional law enforcement officers.
  • President Trump is cracking down on the vile MS-13 gang that has brought violence to communities across the country.
  • In 2017, the DOJ worked with international partners to arrest and charge approximately 4,000 MS-13 members.
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations arrested nearly 800 MS-13 members and associates in FY 2017, an 83 percent increase from the prior year.
  • President Trump signed an executive order to restore State and local law enforcement’s access to surplus equipment that can be used to help keep our communities safe.
  • President Trump enhanced and updated the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.
  • The DOJ announced the creation of the National Public Safety Partnership in 2017, launching a cooperative initiative with cities to reduce violent crime.
  • President Trump signed legislation to improve the Federal firearm background check system and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals.
ENFORCING OUR LAWS AND SECURING OUR BORDERS: From the first day of his administration, President Trump has worked to uphold the rule of law and secure our borders.

  • President Trump released an immigration framework that would fix our broken immigration system through merit-based reform and provide the resources needed to secure our border.
  • This includes closing the legal loopholes that enable illegal immigration, ending chain migration, and eliminating the visa lottery.
  • President Trump secured funding to begin building the wall and construction has already begun in areas along the southern border.
  • President Trump deployed the military to assist in securing the southern border.
  • President Trump and his administration took action to require aliens seeking asylum to go to a port of entry to make their claim.
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 17,256 criminals and 1,019 gang members in FY 2018.
  • ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 158,581 aliens in FY 2018, an 11 percent increase from FY 2017.
  • 90 percent of those arrested had criminal convictions, pending charges, or had been issued final orders of removal.
  • ICE ERO increased removals by 13 percent in FY 2018 to 256,086, the majority of whom were convicted criminals.
  • Removals of convicted criminal aliens increased by 14 percent from FY 2017.
  • Nearly 6,000 known or suspected gang members were removed in FY 2018, a 9 percent increase from FY 2017.
  • The Department of Justice prosecuted a record number of criminal immigration offenses in FY 2018, and increased the number of prosecutions for illegal entry by 84 percent over FY 2017.
  • Immigration courts are now completing more cases than at any point since 2011
  • President Trump kept his promise by launching the office of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) within the Department of Homeland Security.
  • The Administration has more than doubled the number of jurisdictions participating in the 287(g) program, which enables State and local law enforcement to aid immigration enforcement.
  • President Trump has made our country safer by ordering the enhanced vetting of individuals entering from countries that do not meet our security standards.
  • These procedures were upheld in a June 2018 Supreme Court ruling.

REBUILDING AMERICA’S MILITARY FORCE: President Trump is rebuilding our military and defending America’s interests across the world.

  • President Trump ended the devastating defense cuts of the past Administration and has secured historic investments to rebuild our military.
  • President Trump signed legislation providing $700 billion for defense in FY 2018 and $716 billion in FY 2019.
  • President Trump is supporting America’s men and women in uniform, securing the largest military pay raise in nearly a decade.
  • The president issued a new National Security Strategy to keep America safe from all threats.
  • The administration has also released new strategies specific to cybersecurity, biodefense, counterterrorism, and weapons of mass destruction terrorism.
  • President Trump directed the first whole-of-government assessment of United States manufacturing and defense supply chains since the Eisenhower administration.
  • President Trump initiated the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, improving United States deterrence policy and existing capabilities to counter nuclear threats.
  • President Trump empowered our military commanders with broad authority in order to take the fight to ISIS, and the results are clear.
  • ISIS has lost nearly all of its territory, more than half of which has been liberated since President Trump took office.
  • All of ISIS’ territory in Iraq was successfully liberated.
  • ISIS’ self-proclaimed capital city Raqqah has been recaptured.
  • President Trump announced a new Iran strategy to confront all of Iran’s malign activities and withdrew from the horrible, one-sided Iran nuclear deal.
  • All sanctions that had been lifted or waived under the Iran deal have been reimposed.
  • The administration has sanctioned more than 160 individuals tied to the regime’s support of terrorism, ballistic missile program, human rights abuses, and more.
  • President Trump took decisive military action to respond to the barbaric use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.
  • President Trump directed strikes in response to the regime’s chemical weapons attacks in April 2017 and April 2018.
  • The Trump administration has also rolled out sanctions targeting those tied to Syria’s chemical weapons program.
  • President Trump is strengthening America’s cyber defense and directed the elevation of the United States Cyber Command into a major warfighting command.
  • The president announced that the Department of Defense will work to create a Space Force to serve as an independent branch of the United States military.

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at the IX Center, in Cleveland, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.

RESTORING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP ABROAD: President Trump is restoring American leadership on the world stage and advancing an America first agenda.
  • President Trump held an historic summit with Chairman Kim Jong-Un, bringing beginnings of peace and denuclearization to the Korean Peninsula.
  • Since the summit, the leaders have exchanged letters and high-level officials from both countries have met.
  • Because of the President’s actions, North Korea has halted nuclear and missile tests.
  • The remains of POW/MIA service members from the Korean War are being returned to the United States.
  • Prior to the summit, President Trump’s leadership helped secure the passage of historic UN sanctions on North Korea.
  • President Trump followed through on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the American embassy there.
  • President Trump withdrew the United States from the UN Human Rights Council due to its bias against Israel.
  • The administration made clear that it does not accept the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over Americans and will continue to protect our sovereignty.
  • President Trump has successfully advocated for cutting waste at the UN.
  • Changes made to the organization’s structure allowed the UN to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from their budget, while making the organization more efficient.
  • The President’s leadership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has encouraged members to increase their defense spending and realign the Alliance’s priorities.
  • In 2017 alone, there was an increase of more than 4.8 percent in defense spending among NATO allies.
  • President Trump convinced the Alliance to strengthen counterterrorism activities, and NATO formally joined the coalition to defeat ISIS.
  • President Trump’s administration is working to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific through investments and partnerships.
  • President Trump has imposed tough sanctions on the corrupt regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
  • President Trump has taken tough action to combat Russia’s malign activities, including Russia’s efforts to undermine United States elections.
  • The administration has imposed sanctions on more than 200 individuals and entities related to Russia’s destabilizing activities.
  • The Trump administration has enhanced support for Ukraine’s defense by stepping up sales of weapons to its military.
  • The Trump administration has secured the release of numerous American citizens held abroad, including Andrew Brunson from Turkey, Josh Holt from Venezuela, and more.
  • President Trump attended G20 summits in Argentina and Germany, where he promoted American First policies and encouraged closer cooperation.
  • In 2017, President Trump conducted tours through Asia to promote America’s interests.

HONORING AMERICA’S COMMITMENT TO OUR VETERANS: President Trump is honoring America’s commitment to our veterans by ensuring they receive the quality care they have earned.
  • President Trump secured a record $73.1 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide quality medical care for our veterans.
  • This funding included $8.6 billion for mental health services, $400 million for opioid abuse prevention, $206 million for suicide prevention, and more.
  • The president signed the VA MISSION Act, revolutionizing that VA healthcare system and reforming numerous services for our veterans.
  • This legislation will consolidate and reform existing programs to give eligible veterans better access to healthcare providers in their communities.
  • Thanks to this legislation, eligible veterans will have access to walk-in community clinics that offer immediate, local care.
  • President Trump and his administration have expanded access to telehealth services for veterans, including through the “Anywhere to Anywhere” VA health care initiative.
  • President Trump issued an executive order requiring the administration to improve access to mental health treatment and suicide prevention resources for veterans.
  • President Trump signed the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, making it easier to fire failing employees and protect whistleblowers.
  • Under President Trump, the VA has removed, demoted, or suspended more than 4,300 employees for poor performance.
  • President Trump signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, streamlining the process used by veterans when appealing benefits claims.
  • President Trump fulfilled his promise to create a new White House VA Hotline to provide veterans with 24/7 support.
  • The VA is providing veterans with online access to wait time and quality of care data.
  • The president signed the Forever GI Bill, providing veterans, service members, and their families with enhanced education benefits.
  • Last year, programs at the VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development helped more than 51,000 veterans find permanent housing and access supportive services.

TRANSFORMING GOVERNMENT: President Trump has followed through on his pledge to transform the Federal Government and increase accountability and transparency.
  • President Trump’s administration submitted a plan to reorganize the executive branch in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • In a historic show of transparency and accountability, the Trump Administration completed the Department of Defense’s first ever audit.
  • The president implemented a five-year ban on lobbying for White House employees and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign countries.
  • Each quarter since taking office, President Trump has donated his salary, fulfilling a promise he made to the American people.
  • President Trump is reshaping our Federal judiciary, appointing judges who will follow the Constitution as written.
  • The President has appointed Circuit Court judges at a record pace.
  • President Trump has appointed Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

 Again, this is great information to share with others.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sabbath Music - God Be With You Till We Meet Again

Greetings, Gail-Friends, and Shabbat Shalom to Y'all.

This week, I've been playing the piano . . . something I haven't done in a long time.  Since I have my own office now, I set up my keyboard as well as my harp, dulcimer, and lap harp in what I call the music area.** That way, I can play every day to hone my skills which have grown very rusty lately.  Amazing, though, how it all comes back to me when I sit down to play.

I've been using an old hymnal with songs I grew up singing in the Baptist church.  Here is one I loved back then as well as now.  The congregation would sing this song at the end of the Sunday evening service as we parted for the week.  It brings back so many sweet memories. This video has the lyrics of all of the verses, which are all beauty-full  -   God Be With You Till We Meet Again.Performed by the Ely Cathedral Choir.

There is a short, interesting intro at the beginning of the video.  Did you know that "Good-Bye" means God Be With You?  I'm happy to learn that.

I pray you've had a good week and that you have a worship-full Sabbath, Gail-Friends.

** I promise to show you pics of my new office / creative space soon. This has been a huge project and I'm still working on it.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Thankful Thursday - Mountain Trip

My map man

I'm really thankful for our holidays in December -- both Hanukkah and Christmas.  And we had a quiet party for two on New Year's Eve.  We even stayed up till midnight and had a champagne toast.  The next day, we watched the UCF - LSU game and were sad when UCF lost.  They had a two-year winning streak.  We are so proud of those guys.

I'm very late in sharing posts about our trip to the mountains, so I'll try to catch up this week and next.

After our visit to Hiawassee, we headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Would you believe I thought it was an expressway? Absolutely not, Gail-Friends!  It's a two-lane highway through the Great Smoky Mountains.  And it was here that we saw the most beautiful fall color.  Here are a few photos:

In the photo above it looks like snow or ice, but what you see is smoke or perhaps fog.  It was beautiful.

As we drove north, we saw more colorful trees:

The Parkway is a long and winding two-lane road that winds around the mountains.  The views were gorgeous and I took lots of photos that just don't do them justice.  Here are just a few:

I see why they call it the "blue" ridge parkway.

This was the highest point and it was very misty as you can see.  We were in the clouds, Gail-Friends.

We went through several tunnels.  These fascinated me since we don't have tunnels in Florida.

We saw several cyclists.  You have to admire them because there were some challenging heights to conquer.

As we drove close to the Great Smoky Mountain visitor center, we saw this:

A big elk and his female.  And closer up we saw this young one.

After we visited the center, we drove back by the field and saw a huge herd of them.  We also saw deer and a few turkeys along the way.

 The herd was pretty close to the road and people were stopping to take photos.

 After our ride on the parkway, we headed east and drove through Maggie Valley, N.C.  This brought back sweet memories for me as this is where my family vacationed every summer during my childhood.

Our next stop was Flat Rock, North Carolina to visit the St. Johns in the Wilderness Episcopal Church.  I'll write about that next week because this post is getting long.  We went there to do research for the book Rabbi Jem is writing.  I'm looking forward to sharing our interesting discoveries with Y'all.

Who knew you could actually have a good time in a graveyard?  I'm so thankful for a husband who makes everything fun.

I'll be sharing about our visit to the Cradle of Forestry, Chimney Rock, Charleston, and our visit with our dear, old friends Carlleen and Eddy.  Seeing them was one of the best parts of our trip and I'm so thankful we had that good visit.

What are you thankful for this week, Gail-Friends?