Heroin Reprise

Cooking Heroin

Heroin in my opinion is the most insidious drug ever developed and today is commonly available in major cities across the nation.  It’s popular among the younger crowd (14-24), but has begun to addict older people as well.  I’ve been told by my adult children, that buying heroin is easier to buy and cheaper in price than a 6-pack of beer here in Chicago area.  That’s horribly sad.

Heroin has few outcomes.  Sadly one of the outcomes of using heroin without treatment is DEATH.  Yes DEATH.  Death is due to overdosing; and without the drug Narcan when experiencing an overdose death is near. What happens is your respiratory and cardiac functions begin to shutdown leading quickly to brain damage and ultimately death .  Further, even when revived one may experience other physical damage, such as paralysis.  My son overdosed and was paralyzed from the waist down.  After a year miraculously he recovered, but carries the mental scars.

Another outcome is destruction of any and all safety nets such as parents, friends, doctors.  And as the safety nets disappear, you lose everything.  This leads to homelessness where often one must beg for money to get their fix… while they inhabit dangerous dwellings.  This can go on for years, but ultimately one accidentally or on purpose overdoses and dies.  They are often revived, only to repeat the cycle until they die.

Unless heroin addicts get treatment, they are going to die.  There’s no real alternative given the potency of present day heroin.  And if the heroin wasn’t enough, now fentanyl laces increasingly more heroin jabs.  Fentanyl is 50-80 times more potent than heroin thus making it even more deadly than heroin

If you know an addict, do whatever is possible to get them into rehab, otherwise death will come calling… mark my words.    Once they finish rehab NEVER let them back around the people that addicted them in the first place. Change environments even if YOU have to move. I know because my son died twice but for the drug narcan.  He was a mess, but I got him into rehab and he moved away. He has been sober for years.

Trump’s Accomplishments Before the Virus…

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APPROACH:  It’s advisable that you read my summation of President Obama’s accomplishments first before reading Trump’s.

Just as I did with Obama, I have searched the Internet to find lists of accomplishments for President Trump.  My approach was not particularly scientific as I felt that supporters of each President would put their own propaganda on the web to make their President look as accomplished as possible.  Further, as I did my Internet searches, I sought out lists of accomplishments that were as long as possible giving each the benefit of small and large accomplishments. 

TRUMP:  To evaluate Trump’s accomplishments, one must wade through all the results from his accomplishments.  In other words, “cutting taxes” led to lower unemployment.  The accomplishment is not lower unemployment, but rather mustering the political capital to get legislation passed to “cut taxes”.  Unemployment will go up and down.  Cutting taxes stimulated the economy and in turn lowered unemployment.  I will list the consequences of Trump’s accomplishments but will not give him credit for an accomplishment. Nor did I give Obama credit.   In addition to separating Trump’s actions into “accomplishments” and “consequences”, one has to add an additional category for “good judgement”. Good judgement is where I believe he made the right decisions. Admittedly, my opinion is mine and mine only. You as a reader can differ with my opinion, but “accomplishments” and “consequences” should track closely among people that read the list. The same would apply to my list of Obama accomplishments.

GUIDING PRINCIPLE: Unlike any President in my lifetime which spans 60 years, Trump puts America first when he views the world.  He does this just as every other nation in the world does except until recently the United States.  For some reason, this “America first” approach upsets the liberal left.  I cannot begin to fathom why the liberal left seems to disagree with this approach… except that they have a “global citizen” view of the United States.   And since the United States dwarfs every Country in the world in terms of GDP or “gross domestic product”, the liberal left feels a need to share even more of our hard-earned resources than we already do.  That said, the people that espouse this “global citizen” bullshit, don’t follow it in their daily lives. 

In any event, to my way of thinking, we are first Americans and second “global citizens”.  That’s the logical and thoughtful way of viewing the world. 

Below is the tally for Trump based on my view of the world. And let me add accomplishments come in all sizes, some I list might be small but are accomplishments nonetheless. The same would be true of Obama

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 23 – GOOD JUDGEMENT: 11 – CONSEQUENCE: 14

Note: List is in no particular order.

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Trump signs VA accountability act into law promises better care for veterans

President Donald Trump made good on a campaign promise Friday, signing into law legislation that gives leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs more power to fire failed employees and protect those who uncover wrongdoing at the agency.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT.  Obama struggled with this issue and found it difficult to fire failed employees

The United States Liberated All ISIS Controlled Territory

American and coalition forces have had one military victory after another over the last two years against ISIS, including the retaking of both Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. We’ve liberated more than 20,000 square miles of territory.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Trump signs new defense policy bill that rebuilds military boosts troop pay

President Trump signed a $716 billion defense bill Monday that authorizes hundreds of new planes, ships and tanks — and delivers a substantial victory to the administration by watering down penalties on a Chinese telecom company.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT although depending on your political orientation this could be considered a mistake in policy.  Personally, I believe we need to have the most elite and most powerful military in all the world in order to be able to force compliance with international law by rogue nations.

Trump Secures Historic Phase One Trade Agreement with China

We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China. They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more. We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China. They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT and one that will put nearly ½ trillion dollars back into the U.S. economy to create jobs and wealth for American’s.

Trump signs Agriculture and Digital Trade agreements with Japan

Oct. 7 (UPI) — U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday announced the signing of a pair of trade deals with Japan regarding agricultural exports and digital trade.

Trump announced the deals in the Roosevelt Room of the White House describing them as a “very strong and groundbreaking achievement” for the United States and Japan.

“These two deals represent a tremendous victory for both of our nations,” Trump said. “They will create countless jobs, expand investment in commerce, reduce our trade deficit very substantially, promote fairness and reciprocity and unlock the vast opportunities for growth.”

The United States-Japan Trade Agreement will eliminate or reduce tariffs on about $7.2 billion in United States agricultural exports including beef, pork, poultry, wheat, cheese, wine ethanol and more.

Upon implementation, more than 90 percent of U.S. agricultural imports into Japan will be duty-free or receive preferential tariff access.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

African American Unemployment Rate Hits New All Time Lows

A separate household survey released by BLS shows that the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in August, making August the 18th consecutive month at or below 4 percent. All Americans are benefiting from the strong labor market. The African American unemployment rate hit its lowest rate on record since the series began in 1972 at 5.5 percent (figure 2), the African-American adult female unemployment rate dropped to its lowest rate on record at 4.4 percent, and the African-American teen unemployment rate hit a new series low yet again, beating its record low from July. The Hispanic unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, matching its series lows from April and May 2019.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to 50-Year Low; Trump Economy adding over 6.4 million jobs

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly Employment Situation Report, which shows robust employment growth in September. Job gains are particularly noteworthy considering that the United States is in the midst of the longest economic recovery in its history. The Trump Administration’s pro-growth agenda provides job creators with the framework they need to expand their businesses and offer more opportunities for workers. Since the President’s election, the economy has added over 6.4 million jobs—more than the population of Maryland. Steady job growth in combination with sustained year-over-year wage increases are not only positive signs for the economy: They also improve workers’ quality of life and incentivize previously left-behind Americans to join the labor force.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

US job openings rise outnumber the unemployed by 1 million

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers posted nearly 7.6 million open jobs in January, near a record high set in November, evidence that businesses are still hungry for workers despite signs the economy has slowed.

The Labor Department said Friday that hiring also rose and the number of people quitting their jobs picked up. Quits are a sign of a healthy economy, because people typically leave a job for another, usually higher paying, one.

The tally of available jobs now outnumbers the unemployed by roughly 1 million. Openings began to outpace the unemployed last spring, for the first time in the 18 years the data has been tracked.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

LARGEST DECLINE IN DRUG PRICES IN NEARLY 50 YEARS

President Donald Trump touted the “single largest decline” in drug prices in 46 years during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

“Already, as a result of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years,” Trump said according to STAT News. “But we must do more.”

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

RECORD 155,965,000 EMPLOYED

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says a record 155,965,000 people were employed in July, the 11th record-breaker since President Trump took office 19 months ago.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

Middle Class income rises to HIGHEST on record

The middle-class American family is on the rise with the median household income for 2017 reaching a record high, a Census Bureau survey has shown. The median income rose to $61,372, from $60,309 a year earlier, when adjusted for inflation. President Donald Trump celebrated the news on Twitter on Sept. 13, saying middle-class income “will continue to rise (unless the Democrats get in and destroy what we have built)”—alluding to the significance of the upcoming midterm elections that will decide the power balance in Congress.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

America is now the world’s largest oil producer

For the first time since 1973, the United States is the world’s largest producer of crude oil, according to preliminary estimates published on Wednesday by the Energy Department. The feat demonstrates how the US shale oil boom has reshaped the global energy landscape. American oil output has more than doubled over the past decade.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Jobless claims lowest level since 1969

The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out weekly volatility and is considered by many economists to be a more reliable gauge of conditions, fell by 1,500 to 212,250. That is the lowest level since December 1969, according to the Labor Department.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

Consumer Confidence Highest in 18 years

Consumer confidence rose in August to its highest level since October 2000, building on July’s solid result. The Conference Board’s index climbed to 133.4 in August, despite expectations from a survey of Reuters’ economists that it would fall to 126.7. The measure rose slightly last month to 127.4, up from 127.1 in June as consumers reported better feelings toward the economy in the near term but less optimism about long-term growth.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

BLACK UNEMPLOYMENT RECORD LOW

Unemployment among black workers is at its lowest since at least the early 1970s, when the government began tracking the data. The black unemployment rate of 6.8 percent in December was the lowest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking it in 1972, a year in which the rate ranged from 11.2 percent to 9.4 percent. In the 45 years the data has been tracked, the unemployment rate for black or African American workers aged 16 years and older has never fallen below 7 percent.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

Black Business Ownership Under Trump Jumps 400 PERCENT in ONE YEAR

A recent survey has found that black business ownership has skyrocketed over 400 percent in one year. According to a survey conducted by the Lending Club and Guidant Financial, among the 2,600 entrepreneurs surveyed, 45 percent of the small business owners in the country are owned by minority ethnic groups, with the most being owned by African Americans at 19 percent. While 63 percent of the business owners are men, 38 percent are owned by women.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

Worker pay rate hits highest level since 2008

Compensation for workers rose to a nearly 10-year high in the second quarter as inflation pressures continued to percolate in the U.S. economy.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

Black and Hispanic Unemployment rates hit record low in April

The unemployment rate for black workers hit the lowest on record in April, according to the latest jobs figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday. The unemployment rate for black workers dropped to 6.6 percent, beating the previous record low of 6.8 percent set in December. The jobless rate for Hispanics fell to 4.8 percent, tying the record reached last year and in 2006. Meanwhile, unemployment for white Americans stood at 3.6 percent.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

Apple to Invest 350 BILLION in US citing Trump Tax Plan

Apple on Wednesday made a slew of announcements about its investment in and contribution to the U.S. economy in part because of the new tax law. The headline from Apple is that it will make a $350 billion “contribution” to the U.S. economy. The company also promised to create 20,000 new jobs.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

China US reach trade agreement on beef poultry and natural gas

China will finally open its borders to U.S. beef while cooked Chinese poultry is closer to hitting American supermarket shelves as part of a U.S.-China trade agreement.

Trump administration officials hailed the deal as a significant advance toward boosting U.S. exports and close America’s trade gap with the world’s second-largest economy.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Trans-Pacific Partnership TPP TERMINATED

President Donald Trump has fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The 12-nation trade deal was a linchpin of former President Barack Obama’s Asia policy.

“Great thing for the American worker what we just did,” said Mr. Trump as he dumped the pact with a stroke of a pen.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT &  GOOD JUDGEMENT

Welfare Participation Hits 17-Year Low

The data shows that WIC participation dropped to 7,283,000 in 2017, its lowest level since 2000 when 7,192,000 participated in the program.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

US Factories Expanding at 13 Year high

A closely watched measure of manufacturing activity in the U.S. reached a 13-year high in September, as strong demand and order growth rode out a severe hurricane season.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

US Job Satisfaction Highest Level Since 2005

Almost 51% of American workers were satisfied with their jobs in 2016, according to new survey results from business research group The Conference Board. That’s a slight uptick from the 49.6% satisfaction rate found by a Conference Board survey for 2015 , and the highest satisfaction rate since 2005.

COMMENT: CONSEQUENCE

Slashing job-killing regulations left and right

 “Any regulation that is outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped.” – Donald J. Trump

On Monday, President Donald J. Trump signed four bills under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), in one of the few times the CRA has been used to cancel Federal regulations. Enacted in 1996, the CRA has been used to cancel a Federal regulation just once. With yesterday’s actions, President Trump will have used this tool six times to eliminate unnecessary, burdensome, and job-killing rules.

COMMENT:  GOOD JUDGEMENT

Trump Signs executive order protecting Medicare

Shortly after Trump’s speech, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the president has “directed HHS to take a number of specific, significant steps that will meaningfully improve the financing of Medicare, advance the care American seniors receive from their doctors, and improve the health they enjoy.”

Azar said those steps including lowering costs in Medicare Advantage, allowing those beneficiaries to create savings accounts and accelerating access to the latest medical technologies after being approved by regulators.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Trump meets Kim Jong Un at DMZ and becomes first sitting US President to enter North Korea

President Trump on Sunday shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as they met at the demilitarized zone that has divided the Korean peninsula for 66 years, in a remarkable, impromptu meeting that appeared to come together in less than 48 hours.

Their 53-minute get-together was more than the “handshake” Trump had planned and ended with both men agreeing to resume talks. But the imagery alone was historic: An American president met Kim on his own literal turf.

Kim, who greeted Trump warmly through an interpreter and made him aware that he was about to be the first sitting U.S. president to enter his country, called it “a historic moment” and “a very courageous and determined act.”

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Trump signs Russia sanctions bill into law

US President Donald Trump has signed into law new sanctions against Russia that were passed overwhelmingly by Congress last week and that run counter to his desire to improve relations with Moscow.

COMMENT:  GOOD JUDGEMENT

Trump signs Space policy directive

President Donald Trump signed his administration’s first space policy directive yesterday (Dec. 11), which formally directs NASA to focus on returning humans to the moon.

President Trump signed the order during a ceremony in the Oval Office, surrounded by members of the recently re-established National Space Council, or NSC (which provides recommendations to the president on space policy), as well as active NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch and Peggy Whitson, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and retired astronaut Jack Schmitt, who flew to the moon on the Apollo 17 mission.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Trump signs First Step Act criminal justice reform into law

Prison and sentencing reform bill will give judges more discretion when sentencing some drug offenders.

US President Donald Trump has signed rare bipartisan legislation addressing concerns with the criminal justice system.

Trump called the bill “an incredible success for our country” and “beyond bipartisan” during an Oval Office signing ceremony on Friday.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Trump signs Historic USMCA trade agreement replacing NAFTA

President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the new U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement — or USMCA — in Buenos Aires Friday, using the backdrop of the G-20 Summit to resolve a trade dispute between America and its closest neighbors.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Justice Kavanaugh SWORN IN to Supreme Court

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and former Justice Anthony Kennedy swore Brett Kavanaugh in as an associate justice to the Supreme Court in a private ceremony Saturday evening only hours after the Senate confirmed him in a 50-48 vote. Kavanaugh was very controversial and was appointed by a slim margin. And just as I said in my review of Obama, Trump was exercising his constitutional right to appoint a justice. Yes Kavanaugh is of Trump’s political persuasion the question you have to ask is whether he was a good candidate considering all other candidates. Personally, I do no believe he was the top candidate, but he was among the top candidates. Therefore I believe good judgement was shown.

COMMENT:  GOOD JUDGEMENT

Trump signs “Right to Try” drug bill

President Trump signed a bill Wednesday allowing terminally ill patients access to experimental medical treatments not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Dubbed “right to try,” the law’s passage was a major priority of Trump and Vice President Pence, as well as congressional Republicans.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Trump secures release of American Prisoners from North Korea

 (JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md.) — Three Korean Americans who were detained in North Korea for more than a year were greeted by President Donald Trump beneath a giant American flag after they returned to the mainland U.S. early Thursday.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Trump Negotiates Peace between North and South Korea

The leaders of North and South Korea have promised after a landmark summit to bring “lasting peace” to the peninsula with a commitment to denuclearization and to ending decades of hostilities.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Individual Mandate of Obamacare REPEALED

Wednesday during a cabinet meeting, President Donald Trump discussed the Republican’s tax bill and said the repeal of individual mandate in the bill meant Obamacare has “essentially” been repealed.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT & GOOD JUDGEMENT

Trump Admin is a Deregulation Machine Eliminating 22:1

The administration has cut 22 regulations for every new rule introduced President Donald Trump announced at the White House Thursday. This took political courage and capital as lawmakers saw some of their prized pieces of regulation removed from the books.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Trump Declares Jerusalem the Capital of Israel

“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” President Trump said in a controversial address from the White House on Wednesday afternoon. He also directed the State Department to “begin preparation to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” The significance of this move is that Jerusalem is split between the Palestinians and Israel. Both lay claim to Jerusalem and therefore Internationally it has not been recognized as a capitol city. By Trump establishing Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol it does 2 things. First the Palestinians now become occupiers and second slowly Countries will move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem cementing Jerusalem’s position in the world. This initiative by Trump admittedly is politically charged and others may disagree with my assessment.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Senate Passes Sweeping Tax Reform – Largest in 31 Years – 20% Corporate rate

Senate Republicans have passed the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax code in three decades, a significant step that moves Donald Trump closer to achieving the first major legislative victory of his presidency. The Senate passed its tax plan in a 51-49 vote early on Saturday morning, with Vice-President Mike Pence presiding over the chamber and after a frantic rewrite. Bob Corker was the sole Republican to vote against the bill.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT

Iran Deal DECERTIFIED

Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump sharply criticized Iran and the international agreement aimed at curbing its nuclear program Friday, refusing to certify Tehran’s compliance and warning the United States could pull out at any time. For details of why this was so important read my discussion in Obama Reprise.

COMMENT:  GOOD JUDGEMENT

800 Obama regulations cut Saved over 200 billion

He may not have drained the swamp, but President Trump sure is slashing some red tape. The Trump administration has canceled more than 800 regulations that were proposed under former president Barack Obama’s regime and is now getting rid of 16 rules for every new rule proffered. In a new White House report, the Trump administration says it has “withdrawn 469 planned actions” that had been part of the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda published last fall. Officials also reconsidered 391 active regulatory proceedings by reclassifying them as long-term or inactive “allowing for further careful review,” Reuters reports.

COMMENT:  GOOD JUDGEMENT

Appointed conservative Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court

President Trump’s nominee, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, was confirmed Friday for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, filling a 14-month vacancy after a dramatic Senate showdown. Judgement on this appointment is in the “eye of the beholder”

COMMENT:  GOOD JUDGEMENT

Report Trump plans to cut foreign aid merge State and USAID

President Trump reportedly plans to merge the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), according to a Monday Foreign Policy report . The White House budget proposal released in March previewed a proposed one-third cut to the U.S. government’s financial assistance to developing countries, without providing many details of what would be slashed.

COMMENT:  GOOD JUDGEMENT

US to make at least $285m cut to UN budget

The US government has announced significant cuts in its United Nations budget obligations for 2018-19 in what will be interpreted as a further ratcheting up of pressure from the Trump administration wanting the organization to pay more of its own expenses.

COMMENT:  GOOD JUDGEMENT

Trump calls out NATO for not paying their agreed share of expenses. 

NATO has begun increasing payments to their own defense and within 5 years will have contributed ½ trillion reducing American contributions. This is not only good for the United State’s budget, but is in keeping with treaties signed decades ago. Each European Country was supposed to contribute 3% of their GDP to the fund, but in recent years some Countries had ceased payments altogether. Trump infuriated Democrats when he made the announcement that NATO was either going to pay their share or the United States would have to rethink it’s almost 70% contribution. Only God knows why the Democrats and the liberal media were so incensed.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT &  GOOD JUDGEMENT

Trump pulls out of Paris Accord on Climate Change

The accord was signed by dozens of nations, but India and China chose not sign the agreements in large part because they are emerging economies and as such are using 3rd world technologies to power their Countries.  These technologies spew large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Given this, without their cooperation and agreement, Trump felt that the United States could not be held to reducing carbon emission standards thus harming our economy while China and India were not required to make similar changes.  And since nearly 3 billion people live in just these 2 Countries, without their participation, the Accord was largely ceremonial.  Further, failure to meet standards by any Country that signed the Accord could trigger an American bailout to those Countries to assist them in meeting standards.

COMMENT:  ACCOMPLISHMENT & GOOD JUDGEMENT

Obama’s Accomplishments Reprise…

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Preamble: I searched the Internet high and low to find lists of Obama’s accomplishments or efforts to improve America. This list is touted as accomplishments and is the longest list I could find. I wanted to find the longest list so that I could give credit for large and small accomplishments. This is what I found. A list of twenty-eight accomplishments. With each listed accomplishment, I give my comments as to whether arguably the effort or activity is an accomplishment. I tried my best to be objective and look at the effort as to whether it benefited the “average American”. Please ponder whether my comments are fair and if not message me. And for those not completed, feel free to send me your comments as well.

The results are 12 serious accomplishments out of 28 listed. I would say this is a pretty poor record for 8 years. But I could not objectively say he accomplished more. Furthermore, the gravity of his accomplishments were minimal except for the auto industry bailout. His response to the financial crisis was predictable and anemic.

You must see my summary at the end for an assessment of Obama as President.

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1 – Rescued the country from the Great Recession, cutting the unemployment rate from 10% to 4.7% over six years.

COMMENT: One could arguably say this was an accomplishment, but once you know how it was achieved you wonder. On February 17, 2009 (right after Obama was sworn-in in January), an all Democrat Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The $787 billion Economic Stimulus Plan ended the recession. It granted $288 billion in tax cuts, $224 billion in unemployment benefits, and $275 billion for “shovel-ready” public works which ended up being non-existent. Equally arguable is that I could have given them the recipe… it doesn’t take a Phd in economics to know that stimulus whether through tax cuts, cash infusions into the economy or changes in interest rates will cause growth. So is this really an accomplishment? I would have preferred other measures, such as cuts in burdensome regulations, changes in accounting techniques… the very accounting techniques that caused the mess, and other techniques as opposed to throwing cash at the problem. Who couldn’t do that. Reagan didn’t when he came into the Carter quagmire. DEEMED NOT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT

2 – Signed the Affordable Care Act which provided health insurance to over 20 million uninsured Americans.

COMMENT: Clearly not an accomplishment. He lied about his plan so egregiously that this should be stricken from his list of quasi-accomplishments. He said: “You can keep your doctor, your medical plan and save $2500 per year.” He said this 18 times in the press. It was a lie of colossal proportions. I personally lost my doctor, my plan and my deductible went from $250 to $5,000/yr while my premiums barely changed. Overall to this day I am personally worse off. Yes more people are covered but at what cost to the economy. Not an accomplishment… rather a disaster.

3 – Ended the war in Iraq

COMMENT: He ended the war and created a monster within Iraq called ISIS. His leaving abruptly while signaling his departure gave Iran the opportunity to fund ISIS and allow them to takeover Iraq. Complete failure of leadership. Not an accomplishment… rather a disaster.

4 – Ordered for the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden

COMMENT: A true accomplishment and example of leadership rather than cowering to idle threats. Best and only example of leadership in foreign policy.

5 – Passed the $787 billion America Recovery and Reinvestment Act to spur economic growth during the Great Recession

COMMENT: Repeated in 1. above. This act is credited with bringing the US out of 2008 Bush recession. Not an accomplishment.

6 – Supported the LGBT community’s fight for marriage equality

COMMENT: When I think of accomplishments I think of things that impact the Country at large. The LGBT community is estimated to be 3% of the population. Of this group what percent were actually impacted? Not an accomplishment for the Country.

7 – Commuted the sentences of nearly 1200 drug offenders to reverse “unjust and outdated prison sentences”

COMMENT: Much like 6. above… is this an accomplishment? Unless he changed the laws to prevent anyone from being incarcerated for similar crimes this was nothing more than amnesty and not an accomplishment. I will give Obama the benefit of the doubt and call this an accomplishment.

8 – Saved the U.S. auto industry

COMMENT: A very interesting business decision: bankruptcy or bailout. Two of the 3 US owned automakers were bankrupt, but hadn’t filed. Ford staved off bankruptcy due to advantageous advance financing. The thought in 2009 was: “We bailed out the BIG banks, can we allow the BIG auto to fail?” This is a purely political question not an economics questions. The Obama administration felt, and maybe rightfully so, allowing our largest manufacturing industry to fail would be disastrous. So it was decided to loan money to GM and Chrysler to shore up their finances so they could once again start manufacturing. Chrysler was gobbled up by FIAT at a bargain price and is reaping the rewards. FIAT is barely a car company, but had the cash needed. GM went it alone. Both companies transformed themselves dramatically in order to survive. Management was fired, and a new breed took over… one more technologically savvy. Still the fundamental question is: “Was bailouts the right thing to do.” There are plenty of arguments against bailouts. For example, had GM and Chrysler failed there were more than enough foreign owned American made cars on the market. Arguably these companies would have picked up the slack, hired displaced workers and paid their fair share of taxes. And the government would not have had to be involved. In the end the government bailouts were repaid, not sure if tax dollars were lost, but employees kept their jobs in their hometown. But the jury is still out on this accomplishment because had GM and Chrysler gone bankrupt who knows what possible positive impacts might have been gained. But overall I am giving Obama a POSITIVE mark ON THIS AS an accomplishment.

9 – Helped put the U.S. on-track for energy independence by 2020

COMMENT: Obama had nothing whatsoever to do with our energy independence. He fought tooth and nail to stop drilling on all public land, he stopped the Keystone pipeline which was to bring Canadian crude to Louisiana for refining into fuels. He expanded EPA’s efforts to find new and creative ways to crack down on oil & gas. This is blasphemy to give Obama any credit for accomplishing our current energy independence. He accomplished nothing, contributed nothing and fought against independence in favor of renewable energy. Laughable! Not an accomplishment

10 – Began the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan

COMMENT: Once again, like in Iraq Obama exercised pathetically poor judgement in announcing withdrawal. The Taliban resurfaced and now Trump is actually negotiating with this terrorist group, so we can indeed leave. But had Obama stayed the course, the Taliban would not have re-emerged only to cause current day turmoil. Accomplishment not achieved. Merely removing troops with no meaningful outcome is meaningless.

11 – Signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allowing as many as 3/4 of a million people living in the U.S. illegally to avoid deportation and receive work permits

COMMENT: How is this an accomplishment. I understand who these people are and I feel mercy for them, but to call this an accomplishment is a stretch. 750,000 illegal aliens are allowed to stay here and enjoy all of the benefits of being an American only stimulates others to come. A work visa would have been a better option once a child was of age. I fail to see how this is an accomplishment. How did this benefit Americans? Granted there and are some very outstanding individuals in this group, but where do we draw the line. Everyone in the world has a sad song… I have one want to hear it? I dare say “no”. Not an accomplishment as I don’t see how this helps the average American. One could argue it helps the Country’s employee asset base, but that is assuming we couldn’t find Americans that could have taken their place.

But let me put on my less conservative hat for a moment. It is true that over 90% are working and 5% own their own businesses. Arguably a very impressive statistic. These would seem and may be, just the type of immigrants we need. But I wonder how much the American tax payer contributed to their success. They came here illegally… brought by their parents by no fault of their own. They went to American schools likely on Uncle Sam, they enjoyed all the rights and privileges of Americans, they enjoyed use of our infrastructure and probably received free college tuition without their parents paying taxes. And if they did file a tax return, they received an “earned income credit” in the form of a cash stipend from the Feds. So it’s great they can be successful, but who paid the price? What about our own American children trying to get ahead. My son has $50,000 student loan debt, I bet few if any DACA residents do. It’s a terrible situation for all involved, but Congress must act and act soon.

12 –Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to re-regulate the financial sector

COMMENT: More research needed as this is a very complicated issue that starts under the Glass Steaggal Act in 1933 which separated investment banking and retail banking to prevent events like the Great Depression from happening again. Playing into the 2008 banking crisis was passage of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) under Carter in ’78 which required banks to make loans in “credit poor” areas creating sub-prime mortgage portfolios that Freddie Mac was to purchase. Then came Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 which repealed Glass Steaggal opening the door for a two-pronged source of the banking debacle in 2008. Banks had sub-prime mortgages on their books of no value and simultaneously were investing in derivatives. The combination resulted in banks… due to “mark to market” accounting as showing “on paper” they were bankrupt and illiquid. Despite the banks only being bankrupt due in large part to “mark to market” accounting requirements of the Federal government, they were bailed out anyway to prevent a meltdown of the banking industry. Freddie Mac was to buy these loans as part of CRA, but Freddie Mac was bankrupt thus forcing banks to keep these loans on their books. Once the bailout was complete, in 2010, the Dodd Frank Act was passed to once and for all, prevent this combination of events from leading to a near melt-down of the banking industry. But many argue it went too far. Without more research to the contrary I am going to award Obama accomplishment for signing Dodd Frank in 2010.

13 – Dropped the veteran homeless rate by 50 percent

COMMENT: I would like to know how this was determined, because politicians have a funny way of counting. But I will give Obama an “accomplishment” for this one.

14 – Reversed Bush-era torture policies

COMMENT: This is not an accomplishment, but rather stupidity. If we know someone has the timing of the Trade Tower disaster, I am sorry some form of increased pain or uncomfort is necessary. End of story. Not an accomplishment as it potetentially could negatively impact the Country.

15 – Began the process of normalizing relations with Cuba

COMMENT: Once again Obama is given credit for an accomplishment that is of little benefit to the average American. To poke fun… does this mean more cigars can come to this Country? The Castro regime, as with Iran duped Obama into thinking if he would just be a “nice American” he would be rewarded with a sea of change. That’s just delusional thinking. I see no benefit from “normalizing” relations with brutal dictators. No accomplishment should be awarded as there was no change in Cuba and Americans really get no benefit. No accomplishment.

16 – Increased Department of Veteran Affairs funding

COMMENT: He did increase funding but it was a pittance. No accomplishment should be awarded.

17 – Signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009

COMMENT: I read the Act and I believe that the provisions are a net positive for the consumer, but the funny and odd thing is that I see today the very activities that were to be prohibited occurring on my credit cards. Like 27% interest rates, overdraft fees, and fees for exceeding credit limit. So I don’t know whether this law has “sunset” or what is going on. I will give Obama an accomplishment even though it would appear the provisions have expired.

18 – Boosted fuel efficiency standards for cars

COMMENT: This was done by executive order and was cancelled by Trump. If Obama was really serious about this he would have had Congress pass legislation. Executive orders are only good for the term of the President that signs them and can be cancelled anytime in the future. No accomplishment should be awarded as he went about boosting fuel standards the wrong way.

19 – Improved school nutrition with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act

COMMENT: Really! This is an accomplishment? From my research I find that this is at best a murky accomplishment. The Obama new food standard while indeed healthier, led to increased “plate waste” or food being thrown out. Trump’s USDA Secretary relaxed the standards to reduce plate waste. I cannot accept this as an accomplishment as it has been so politicized that it failed to make a serious difference in school nutrition.

20 – Repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy

COMMENT: The original policy was sufficient and needed no tinkering. Why Obama decided to change this begs the question: “Why did Obama do anything?” Most of his so-called accomplishments are symbolic and do not improve the Country’s prosperity. I ask you: “What good came from this to the average American?” No accomplishment should be awarded as the significance is so insignificant it does not even warrant mentioning.

21 – Signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, making it a federal crime to assault anyone based on sexual or gender identification.

COMMENT: I fail to see how a crime against someone based on sexual or gender identification is a “hate crime” and a crime against a regular American is not. Crime regardless of what it is based on has “hate” has hate as an element. If the KKK would attack a black man… that is hateful. If the New Black Panther party would attack a white man… that is hateful. If a MS-13 Hispanic gang member kills a Hispanic man because he agrees to testify against a gang member… that is hateful. So again I fail to see the distinction… in other words hate crimes as defined by Obama’s legislation, is claiming a “difference without a distinction”. This fails to protect ordinary citizens from hateful crimes. In my estimation this is at best a “gimme” accomplishment.

22 – Helped negotiate the landmark Iran Nuclear Deal

COMMENT: Just intuitively you can conclude this was a hallmark disaster of the Obama administration. When I say intuitively I mean giving $150 billion dollars to a rogue regime, a regime that is the well known for being the worlds largest sponsor of terrorism, a regime that despises America and one that took Americans hostage for 444 days cannot and should not be trusted to honor any deal one would enter. But John Kerry and Obama decided to enter a nuclear non-proliferation agreement with Iran regardless of what simple intuition tells you. I have heard all kinds of stories about the protections that were in the legislation, but I read the entire law and saw none. The only inspection detail I found was a 10 day advance notice if inspectors wanted to visit a particular site to verify they were not enriching uranium. That’s it! Furthermore, I saw nothing that prohibited them from developing long-range ballistic missiles. To my reading they could continue to develop ballistic missiles and within 8 years from today begin enriching uranium again to coincide with their missile program. A horrible dumb deal by any measure… a deal that could have jeopardized the safety of the United States had Trump not cancelled it and apply harsh sanctions. No accomplishment, rather an abysmal and frightening effort by Obama JUST to say he got a deal with Iran.

23 – He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to combat pay discrimination against women

COMMENT: This seems straight forward and I award Obama an accomplishment.

24 – Nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, making her the first Hispanic ever to serve as a justice.

COMMENT: Justice Sotomayor received appointments by both Clinton and Bush to various Courts. She has a strong legal background and would certainly be among the small group of people that would be worthy of being on the Supreme Court. I consider this an accomplishment as Obama nominated and got appointed a Hispanic to the Court. Through his appointment the Court became more liberal or “loose constructionist” oriented, but that was Obama’s executive privilege and how our government works. Trump has since shifted the Court to a more conservative demeanor. In plain English that means the Court is comprised of more “strict constructionists” than liberal “loose constructionists” Space and my lack of energy, prevents me from explaining “constructionist”, but this is very very important to all Americans. Again it is an accomplishment ONLY BECAUSE A FEMALE HISPANIC WAS APPOINTED.

25 – Supported veterans through a $78 billion tuition assistance GI bill

COMMENT: This seems straight forward and I award Obama an accomplishment.

26 – Won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”

COMMENT: What exactly did he do when they say: “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples?” I really am not sure what he did. It did nothing for the American people. I see no accomplishment here.

Let me digress a moment and compare and contrast. Trump has changed the dynamics of how the United States interacts with the world. His perspective is the United States should do things that are in the best interest of the United States just as every other Country in the world does. For decades we have let other nations walk all over us… bad trade deals, foreign aid, not paying their share… are just a few things that Trump has changed. So Trump has erased the notion that we should “strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation among peoples”. I believe Obama’s notion of our role in the world is that we are “global citizens” and as such we have to give our precious resources to others thus allowing the United States to be taken advantage of by other nations. Obama didn’t purposely do this, but those were the unintended consequences of his limp-wristed actions. The United States and its citizens are not “global citizens” we are Americans “first” with our own distinct culture and only secondarily are global citizens. It’s chic or cool for Obama to get a Nobel, but what did this do for the average American?… nothing, No accomplishment can be awarded as this had little to no positive impact on the average American. FURTHERMORE THE EXPRESSED PURPOSE FOR HIS NOBEL DID NOTHING FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN OR ANY AMERICANS FOR THAT MATTER.

27 – Launched My Brother’s Keeper, a White House initiative designed to help young minorities achieve their full potential.

COMMENT: I believe this is more of an accomplishment than most of the so-called accomplishments the left purport. I did not research the details, but I believe it is intuitive that this initiative had a positive impact on many young minorities. How many minorities this impacted and to what degree I do not know. This is an accomplishment.

28 – Expanded embryonic stem cell research leading to groundbreaking work in areas including spinal injury treatment and cancer.

COMMENT: ACCOMPLISHMENT

In summation, Obama was a total disaster. His greatest accomplishment is $10 trillion in new debt not even hinted at in the talking points of liberals who wrote these. This is more debt than all his predecessors combined. And what’s so tragic is that Obama’s increase in GDP was just under 1.5% averaged over 8 years. That is the lowest of any President since Truman.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is gdp-by-president-since-truman.jpg

And to those who would argue Obama inherited a failing economy I say this: “If after spending $10 trillion over 8 years averaging barely 1.5% GDP growth one must intuitively conclude he was doing something wrong”. “His policies were wrong-headed and stymied economic growth”. And beyond that all Presidents since Truman have exceeded Obama’s growth numbers yet did not spend $10 trillion with any individual President. In fact all Presidents prior to Obama COMBINED raised $10 trillion in debt. Obama doubled the debt and achieved pathetic results. GW Bush averaged over 2% and he had to deal with 911 which shutdown the economy and crushed consumer confidence. Under Trump GDP was over 3% his first year… of course Obama tried to lay claim, but only fools were fooled.

The Mass Exodus From Illinois Has Begun…

Highway outa Hell…

Every Illinoisan owes $11,000 for pensions with no fix in sight.

While the article below is a little dated, it still gives good perspective on this issue. Given the article was written in 2016, I have updated my information through 2019. The Tribune article takes you back to 2010 and brings you forward as to the exodus, tax implications, pension debacle, demographics of who’s moving, and of all the things the impact of red light cameras. So I recommend reading the entire article.

UPDATE

Go to website: https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-saw-nations-worst-population-loss-during-the-decade/.

Read the following article it takes you back to 2010 and looks at the net loss. It actually was greater loss pre-2014.
This part of article is inconsistent with Census graph above. And has a glaring typographical error. If you’ll notice in the highlighted area it references 2015 twice when it should have referenced 2014 then 2015. Either way, the only way I can explain the 100,000 exodus in 2015 with the graph above showing 25,000 is that one is “gross” exodus and the other is “net” exodus. In other words when you subtract the new babies and new residents from the number of people that are leaving it nets out to only 25,000 total loss in population even though 100,000 people left the State. That would mean 75,000 new residents and babies arrived in Illinois to offset the 100,000 that left.
The loss of people over the last 20 years amounts to $50 billion in lost taxable income per year or about $8 billion a year in lost taxes. Enough money to balance the budget sadly enough.

Just Another Example of Illinois’ Confiscatory Practices – Red Light Cameras

Sadly when you apply “generally accepted accounting practices” GAAP to the State of Illinois’ budget it is to put it bluntly “bankrupt”. And you can apply GAAP to Chicago, and many other municipalities and they too are bankrupt.

That being said, long about 2008, a friend of mine representing a “Red Light Camera” company used his expansive network of friends, relations and neighbors… many of whom were politicians to entice local government into buying hundreds of these cameras for so-called “safety” reasons. The cameras would act as a watchdog when police couldn’t be around. Using what seemed at the time to be space-age electronics, the cameras would snap a picture of your license plate if you went through a stale yellow or maybe strolled through a right on red intersection. With that picture your plates would be looked up and you got a nice little $100 fine in the mail. It should be noted the fine doubling to $200 in 30 days. The politicians pitched it as a safety measure. If you violated the law and got a ticket maybe next time you would pay more attention. It was supposed to reduce accidents too… not just tickets as one would expect. Bottom-line, these red light cameras were a bonanza. And in a cash poor state like Illinois, they were being put up everywhere… I mean everywhere. My friend the camera man, was making a small fortune because his company and he took a percentage of proceeds rather than a flat fee. With all the money rolling in every politician was smiling from ear to ear as their budgets were balancing.

But it wasn’t long before the public became sick and tired of getting fines everywhere they went and a public outcry could be heard from Chicago to Springfield. People were getting multiple tickets in their own neighborhood at intersections that rarely had accidents. The public mobilized and began attending City Council meetings protesting the cameras. In the mind of a greedy politician this seemed like a victim-less fine. It was done all electronically. No police. But the public was outraged and after getting both ears full of screaming City Councilmen and Mayors began taking down the more egregious cameras… ones that clearly had no safety concerns but probably were high volume intersections that made lots of money.

But Chicago was not as fast to take down cameras. They were bankrupt and needed a source of revenue and so they claimed as they always do that “out-of-towners would pay the brunt of the tickets not residents. Most residents don’t have cars. So that allowed Chicago to keep ripping off the public. And so years passed and millions flowed into the city’s bank account.

Chicago and much of Illinois being corrupt, not only didn’t take down cameras… they played a dirty little trick on the public. They reduced the amount of time that a yellow light would last. So instead of maybe 3 seconds they reduced all the red light camera intersections to maybe 2.5 seconds. My time might be inexact but my example is 100% correct. By reducing the time, they could get more tickets. What a sinister thing to do in my opinion. Anyway, this went on for years and more cash flowed into Chicago’s bank account until one day, the local newspaper got wind of the story and went and stop-watched intersections and discovered this outrageous example of government corruption was not a rumor but was true. I have to say a city’s leadership that would allow this to happen regardless of their knowledge should be grounds for impeaching the Mayor. In the end all the money that was collected as of some date in the past was mandated by the Courts to be returned. Thousands of tickets were thrown out and money returned.

Despite all the turmoil and bad feeling towards these cameras they still exist in many cities. And here is the true crime against residents. SINCE 2008 THE GOVERNMENT HAS COLLECTED 1 BILLION DOLLARS IN RED LIGHT REVENUE. YES I SAID 1 BILLION. Imagine what the 1 billion could have done for the economy, for the poor, for needy… Well if you doubt me here is the article. https://www.illinoispolicy.org/reports/illinois-red-light-cameras-have-collected-more-than-1b-from-drivers-since-2008/. please.

Biden is simply an IDIOT!!!

Seems I was prescient when I called Biden an idiot back in 2009. See May 2009 post or read the following:

Chuck Tyson's Texas Tea

First I have no idea why Biden ever ran for President as he is simply dilusional about his experience and judgment. He has shown to be an embellisher of facts, events, conversations… you name it. The guy is just a train wreck. So Biden runs for President in 2008 and got zero traction for his candidacy just as he has in past efforts. God only knows how he stays in Congress, as I would think Lancelot Link the chimp detective from the 70’s TV sitcom could beat Biden in a head-to-head contest, yet somehow Biden comes up a winner despite his ineptness. But despite Biden’s serious lack of tact, common-sense… yada yada yada, Obama picks him as VP. UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Anyway, Biden in his usual fashion yesterday blurted out that there was a top secret bunker built on the VP Mansion’s property to protect the VP. Oops!!! Of course, Biden having…

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