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Saturday, July 20, 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of Americans landing on the moon!

Marking this anniversary should have been the buzz (pun intended) of the Western world, right?

Instead, people tweeted a variety of negative remarks:

‘Who cares?’
‘This country stinks.’
‘That’s all in the past.’
‘Did it really happen?’

Even one of the commentators on ITV4 who mentioned it during the Tour de France coverage said:

Allegedly.

That’s a sad state of affairs for such a great achievement, one which I remember clearly as a schoolchild at the time. So does a Fox News correspondent:

Commemoration at the White House

I was delighted to see that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump paid the great heroes their due. As Neil Armstrong has gone to his rest, his family were invited. Good call.

Mrs Trump knocks it out of the park with this one:

I will get to Hollywood and the moon landing further down in the post, but, for now, let us recall one of Astronaut Armstrong’s quotes. Who alive then could forget the ticker tape parade, televised nationwide?

Returning to the White House commemoration, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin was thrilled:

Hollywood’s take: First Man

I have not seen this film, nor do I intend to do so.

First Man made its debut in August 2018.

As China is buying up much of Hollywood, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) asks a pertinent question, given the revisionist nature of the film:

Cotton was not alone.

Conservative columnist Don Surber also made his views known:

Hollywood made a movie about Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin going to the moon. It picked a Canadian actor to play Armstrong …

Then the movie omitted the planting of the AMERICAN FLAG on the moon.

That was the sole purpose of the mission.

This flick shows Hollywood is anti-American.

The House UnAmerican Activities Committee was correct. Communist[s] were taking over Hollywood for propaganda purposes …

This week, John McCain died. I remember that one of the things that kept him alive in Hanoi was the knowledge that we landed on the moon. OK, he thought it was seven months earlier than it was, but Hanoi fed him Fake News but let the truth slip that Apollo 8 made it to the dark side of the moon.

JFK inspired us: “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

He Made America Great Again.

I was 9.

Reagan Made America Great Again.

Trump Made America Great Again.

Hollywood can go to China.

Speaking of Trump, Hollywood and First Man:

As Dinesh D’Souza pointed out, the movie seems to have airbrushed out the Cold War:

Breitbart had more on Gosling on September 1:

Explaining the decision to omit the American flag-planting scene, Canadian actor Ryan Gosling, who stars as astronaut Neil Armstrong, said that the landing “transcended countries and borders” and that it was a “human achievement” rather than an American one.

“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it,” Gosling said. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

On September 3, 2018, Breitbart reported:

Last week, [director Damien] Chazelle dismissed criticism that the omission of the American flag was meant to be a political statement. “To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is no,” the First Man director said in an interview with Variety. “My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon–particularly Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours.”

Buzz Aldrin, the most visible member of the crew today, wasted no time in tweeting the historic photo of the American flag:

He had saluted the flag on the moon (look for his ring finger and pinkie):

The portrayal of Neil Armstrong rankled many Americans. Returning to Breitbart‘s September 1 article, fellow astronauts Aldrin and Chuck Yeager were not happy:

Aldrin indicating disapproval of the film’s anti-American sentiment would provide further embarrassment for its director Damien Chazelle, who has reportedly portrayed frontman Neil Armstrong as a “liberal progressive,” “anti-Trump,” and “non-flag waver.” When asked his opinion about such a portrayal, legendary pilot Chuck Yeager said that it would not reflect the Neil Armstrong he knew.

Yeager tweeted:

What really happened

On the 50th anniversary of the day Apollo 11 launched, Aldrin tweeted:

Even though the text is in French, those who were not alive for the ground-breaking, historic moon landing will enjoy seeing the many photos at L’Internaute, which bring back many fond memories for me.

This 20-minute film by David Woods shows the complete descent that day. Compelling viewing:

A NASA webpage features the video and gives us the following information. Yes, there was drama, too:

Explanation: It had never been done before. But with the words “You’re Go for landing”, 50 years ago this Saturday, Apollo 11 astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong were cleared to make the first try. The next few minutes would contain more than a bit of drama, as an unexpected boulder field and an unacceptably sloping crater loomed below. With fuel dwindling, Armstrong coolly rocketed the lander above the lunar surface as he looked for a clear and flat place to land. With only seconds of fuel remaining, and with the help of Aldrin and mission control calling out data, Armstrong finally found a safe spot — and put the Eagle down. Many people on Earth listening to the live audio felt great relief on hearing “The Eagle has landed”, and great pride knowing that for the first time ever, human beings were on the Moon. Combined in the featured descent video are two audio feeds, a video feed similar to what the astronauts saw, captions of the dialog, and data including the tilt of the Eagle lander. The video concludes with the panorama of the lunar landscape visible outside the Eagle. A few hours later, hundreds of millions of people across planet Earth, drawn together as a single species, watched fellow humans walk on the Moon.

Relive — or find out more about — the moon landing on a special NASA page.

Here are a few front pages. The whole country was buzzing:

If this were fake, would Buzz Aldrin and others be tweeting about it?

Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin

It seems Buzz Aldrin wishes he were younger so that he could fly to Mars:

Here he is making a visit to the pilots on a Delta aircraft:

On a more serious note, Aldrin — a practising Presbyterian — took Communion on the Apollo 11 mission, but the general public did not know.

A 2012 Guardian article has more (emphases mine):

Before Armstrong and Aldrin stepped out of the lunar module on July 20, 1969, Aldrin unstowed a small plastic container of wine and some bread. He had brought them to the moon from Webster Presbyterian church near Houston, where he was an elder. Aldrin had received permission from the Presbyterian church’s general assembly to administer it to himself. In his book Magnificent Desolation he shares the message he then radioed to Nasa: “I would like to request a few moments of silence … and to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

He then ate and drank the elements. The surreal ceremony is described in an article by Aldrin in a 1970 copy of Guideposts magazine: “I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.”

Not only that, Aldrin also read from the Gospel of John.

The public never found out until years later. This was because of Madalyn Murray O’Hair‘s objection to the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis:

Aldrin had originally planned to share the event with the world over the radio. However, at the time Nasa was still reeling from a lawsuit filed by the firebrand atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, resulting in the ceremony never being broadcast. The founder of American Atheists and self-titled “most hated woman in America” had taken on Nasa, as well as many other public organisation[s]. Most famously, she successfully fought mandatory school prayer and bible recitation in US public schools.

After the Apollo 8 crew had read out the Genesis creation account in orbit, O’Hair wanted a ban on Nasa astronauts practising religion on earth, in space or “around and about the moon” while on duty. She believed it violated the constitutional separation between church and state. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin explains how astronaut Deke Slayton, who ran the Apollo 11 flight crew operations, told him to tone down his lunar communiqué. “Go ahead and have communion, but keep your comments more general,” he advised. Looking back Aldrin writes that the communion was his way of thanking God for the success of the mission. Yet, later he hinted that he could have been more inclusive:

“Perhaps, if I had it to do over again, I would not choose to celebrate communion.
Although it was a deeply meaningful experience for me, it was a Christian sacrament, and we had come to the moon in the name of all mankind – be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, agnostics, or atheists.”

O’Hair’s case against Nasa eventually fizzled out, but it dramatically changed the tone of the Apollo 11 landing. Aldrin had originally intended a much more pioneering Christopher Columbus-style ceremony on the moon. That was never to be.

Apollo 8’s Genesis message was delivered on Christmas Day 1968, incidentally.

Back now to Apollo 11. Aldrin’s home church still commemorates his out of this world Holy Communion, which was a beautiful way to give thanks to God for His Son and the successful moon landing mission:

at Webster Presbyterian church – the spiritual home of many astronauts – Aldrin’s communion service is still celebrated every July, known as Lunar Communion Sunday. Pastor Helen DeLeon told me how they replay the tape of Aldrin on the moon and recite Psalm eight, which he had quoted on his return trip to Earth (“… what is man that thou art mindful of him”). The church still holds the chalice that Aldrin brought back with him. Judy Allton, a geologist and historian of Webster Presbyterian church, produced a paper, presented at a Nasa conference, arguing that communion could be an essential part of future manned space travel. She claims that rituals such as Aldrin’s communion “reinforce the homelink”.

In 2002, Aldrin did not appreciate being poked with the Bible by an irreverent moon landing denier. Aldrin punched the man. Perth Now recapped what happened:

On September 9, 2002, Aldrin was accosted by conspiracy theorist Bart Sibrel and a film crew outside a Beverly Hills hotel he was lured to on the pretext of being interviewed for a Japanese children’s TV show.

The footage shows Sibrel confronting Aldrin and demanding he swear on the Bible he walked on the Moon, calling the former astronaut out for being a “thief, liar and coward”.

“You’re the one who said you walked on the Moon when you didn’t,” Sibrel says.

Aldrin is also reported to have been aggressively poked with the good book.

The 72-year-old lost his cool and punched the heckler in the jaw.

Pleading self-defence Aldrin was let off by police on the basis of an absence of visible injury and a lack of criminal record.

Believers sided with Aldrin after the regrettable affair, though it could be said his heated response to the heckling provided grist for conspiracy theorists’ mill.

On a lighter note, in 2017, Revolution magazine, which discusses machines of all types, interviewed Aldrin about the watches he and his fellow astronauts wore on the mission. It also covered watches worn by astronauts on other Apollo missions. The brand of choice? Omega:

The Tribute to Apollo 11 45th anniversary limited edition is another phenomenal demonstration of Omega’s ability to thoroughly modernize its design language while retaining a salient link to the past. The watch is configured to evoke the ref. 105.012 Speedmaster worn by Revolution UK14 cover star Buzz Aldrin when he stepped onto the Moon in 1969. While Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon, his Speedmaster was left behind in the Lunar Module whose electronic timer had failed. Meanwhile, according to Aldrin, “It was optional to wear the watch [outside of the spacecraft]. Few things are less necessary when walking around on the Moon than knowing what time it is in Houston, Texas. Nonetheless, being a watch guy, I decided to strap the Speedmaster onto my right wrist around the outside of my bulky spacesuit.”

That’s right, he made a conscious decision to strap his Omega onto his wrist because what kind of Space Cowboy would be complete without his most heroic of timepieces? This made his Speedmaster the first watch on the Moon.

Wow. I never gave the astronauts’ watches a thought, especially with regard to the moon landing.

Conclusion

May we never say the moon landing didn’t take place or that it was an unremarkable achievement.

America’s moon landing was indescribable. People all over the world who were alive at the time remember the excitement and awe they felt that day.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were in England and Normandy for commemorations of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The night before, he hosted Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall for dinner at the US ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park, London. The guests at his table were also in Portsmouth the following morning. Theresa May is on the right in the photo:

On Wednesday, June 5, the Royal Family’s Twitter account summarised D-Day’s importance:

Also:

The Allied landings on the Normandy beaches marked the start of a long and costly campaign to liberate north-west Europe from German occupation.

This was the scene in Portsmouth, on England’s south coast that day:

A short time later, veterans who had been involved 75 years ago began taking their seats:

The Queen, who served as a mechanic during the war, arrived:

This is a photograph for the history books:

Warm exchanges took place beforehand:

The Queen stood between Prince Charles and President Trump to watch the proceedings:

She addressed the crowd, referencing her father, George VI:

President Trump read then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s prayer for the troops:

D-Day veterans appeared on the dais to grateful applause.

Actress Celia Imrie (speaking in the next video) compered (emceed) the various performances:

The following ABC News video has the Portsmouth commemorations in their entirety:

The BBC has a set of photographs covering the day’s events.

Afterwards, the Queen, Prince Charles and the Trumps met with veterans who so bravely served in D-Day operations:

Trump also met with British veterans as well as US Navy personnel based in England:

The Queen then bade farewell to the Trumps, who were leaving for Ireland, where the president met with the prime minister there that afternoon:

The Trumps went to Normandy the following day for D-Day ceremonies before returning to Ireland, then onwards to the United States.

The Q Tree has the Trumps’ schedule after Portsmouth for the rest of June 5 (emphasis in the original):

2:50pm BST / 9:50am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Southsea Commons en route to Southsea Castle Landing Zone, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

2:55pm BST / 9:55am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Southsea Castle Landing Zone, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

3:05pm BST / 10:05am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Portsmouth, United Kingdom, en route to Southampton Airport, Southampton, United Kingdom, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

3:25pm BST / 10:25am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Southampton Airport, Southampton, United Kingdom

3:35pm BST / 10:35am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Southampton Airport en route Shannon Airport, Shannon, Ireland, Southampton, United Kingdom

U.K State Visit Concludes ~

4:50pm IST / 11:50am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Shannon Airport, Shannon, Ireland

5:00pm IST / 12:00pm EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Shannon Airport en route to Shannon Airport Terminal, Shannon, Ireland

5:05pm IST / 12:05pm EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Shannon Airport Terminal, Shannon, Ireland

5:15pm IST / 12:15pm EST THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland, Shannon, Ireland

5:20pm IST / 12:20pm EST THE PRESIDENT participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland, Shannon, Ireland

6:00PM IST / 1:00pm EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Shannon Airport Terminal en route to Shannon Airport, Shannon, Ireland

6:05pm IST / 1:05PM EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Shannon Airport, Shannon, Ireland

6:15pm IST / 1:15pm EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Shannon, Airport, en route to Trump International Doonbeg Landing Zone, Doonbeg, Ireland, Shannon, Ireland

6:35pm IST / 1:35pm EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Trump International Doonbeg Landing Zone, Doonbeg, Ireland

The Clare Champion featured their arrival:

At the end of Tuesday, Trump tweeted:

He and his entourage would fly from Ireland to Colleville-sur-Mer in the département of Calvados of Normandy the following morning.

Speaking of Normandy, two British veterans were preparing to re-enact their jumps from 1944. Here is one of them undergoing a refresher course:

This is what happened on Wednesday, June 6:

This is what the Trumps saw as they landed in France that morning:

The following is an excerpt of President Trump’s speech on Omaha Beach:

The Q Tree has his speech in full on Omaha Beach, excerpted below (emphases mine). More than 60 surviving American D-Day veterans flew to France for this important anniversary. Many more Second World War military survivors also attended:

President Macron, Mrs. Macron, and the people of France; to the First Lady of the United States and members of the United States Congress; to distinguished guests, veterans, and my fellow Americans:

We are gathered here on Freedom’s Altar. On these shores, on these bluffs, on this day 75 years ago, 10,000 men shed their blood, and thousands sacrificed their lives, for their brothers, for their countries, and for the survival of liberty.

Today, we remember those who fell, and we honor all who fought right here in Normandy. They won back this ground for civilization.

To more than 170 veterans of the Second World War who join us today: You are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live. You’re the pride of our nation. You are the glory of our republic. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Here with you are over 60 veterans who landed on D-Day. Our debt to you is everlasting. Today, we express our undying gratitude.

When you were young, these men enlisted their lives in a Great Crusade — one of the greatest of all times. Their mission is the story of an epic battle and the ferocious, eternal struggle between good and evil.

On the 6th of June, 1944, they joined a liberation force of awesome power and breathtaking scale. After months of planning, the Allies had chosen this ancient coastline to mount their campaign to vanquish the wicked tyranny of the Nazi empire from the face of the Earth.

The battle began in the skies above us. In those first tense midnight hours, 1,000 aircraft roared overhead with 17,000 Allied airborne troops preparing to leap into the darkness beyond these trees.

Then came dawn. The enemy who had occupied these heights saw the largest naval armada in the history of the world. Just a few miles offshore were 7,000 vessels bearing 130,000 warriors. They were the citizens of free and independent nations, united by their duty to their compatriots and to millions yet unborn.

There were the British, whose nobility and fortitude saw them through the worst of Dunkirk and the London Blitz. The full violence of Nazi fury was no match for the full grandeur of British pride.

There were the Canadians, whose robust sense of honor and loyalty compelled them to take up arms alongside Britain from the very, very beginning.

There were the fighting Poles, the tough Norwegians, and the intrepid Aussies. There were the gallant French commandos, soon to be met by thousands of their brave countrymen ready to write a new chapter in the long history of French valor.

And, finally, there were the Americans. They came from the farms of a vast heartland, the streets of glowing cities, and the forges of mighty industrial towns. Before the war, many had never ventured beyond their own community. Now they had come to offer their lives half a world from home.

This beach, codenamed Omaha, was defended by the Nazis with monstrous firepower, thousands and thousands of mines and spikes driven into the sand, so deeply. It was here that tens of thousands of the Americans came

One of those men in [Colonel George] Taylor’s 16th Regiment was Army medic Ray Lambert. Ray was only 23, but he had already earned three Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars fighting in North Africa and Sicily, where he and his brother Bill, no longer with us, served side by side.

In the early morning hours, the two brothers stood together on the deck of the USS Henrico, before boarding two separate Higgins landing craft. “If I don’t make it,” Bill said, “please, please take care of my family.” Ray asked his brother to do the same.

Of the 31 men on Ray’s landing craft, only Ray and 6 others made it to the beach. There were only a few of them left. They came to the sector right here below us. “Easy Red” it was called. Again and again, Ray ran back into the water. He dragged out one man after another. He was shot through the arm. His leg was ripped open by shrapnel. His back was broken. He nearly drowned.

He had been on the beach for hours, bleeding and saving lives, when he finally lost consciousness. He woke up the next day on a cot beside another badly wounded soldier. He looked over and saw his brother Bill. They made it. They made it. They made it.

At 98 years old, Ray is here with us today, with his fourth Purple Heart and his third Silver Star from Omaha. Ray, the free world salutes you. Thank you, Ray.

Trump related a few more real life stories about what is known as the Longest Day, unimaginably harrowing. God was with the Allied troops.

Trump concluded:

The men behind me will tell you that they are just the lucky ones. As one of them recently put it, “All the heroes are buried here.” But we know what these men did. We knew how brave they were. They came here and saved freedom, and then, they went home and showed us all what freedom is all about.

The American sons and daughters who saw us to victory were no less extraordinary in peace. They built families. They built industries. They built a national culture that inspired the entire world. In the decades that followed, America defeated communism, secured civil rights, revolutionized science, launched a man to the moon, and then kept on pushing to new frontiers. And, today, America is stronger than ever before.

Seven decades ago, the warriors of D-Day fought a sinister enemy who spoke of a thousand-year empire. In defeating that evil, they left a legacy that will last not only for a thousand years, but for all time — for as long as the soul knows of duty and honor; for as long as freedom keeps its hold on the human heart.

To the men who sit behind me, and to the boys who rest in the field before me, your example will never, ever grow old. Your legend will never tire. Your spirit — brave, unyielding, and true — will never die.

The blood that they spilled, the tears that they shed, the lives that they gave, the sacrifice that they made, did not just win a battle. It did not just win a war. Those who fought here won a future for our nation. They won the survival of our civilization. And they showed us the way to love, cherish, and defend our way of life for many centuries to come.

Today, as we stand together upon this sacred Earth, we pledge that our nations will forever be strong and united. We will forever be together. Our people will forever be bold. Our hearts will forever be loyal. And our children, and their children, will forever and always be free.

May God bless our great veterans. May God bless our Allies. May God bless the heroes of D-Day. And may God bless America.

The Q Tree has full coverage, including this 90-minute video of the day’s commemorations:

This is NBC’s video, which begins with an analysis of D-Day:

French president Emmanuel Macron also addressed the American veterans. I was in France at the time and watched part of his speech on BFMTV. It was highly evocative and really captured the idea of Americana. Whoever wrote it should get a pay rise. I was very moved by it. He spoke, as did Trump, of young soldiers from farms in the Midwest mixing with their comrades from Manhattan and New Jersey, writing their girlfriends farewell letters.

Afterwards, Macron shook hands with all the veterans and spoke with each individually. I’m not a Macron fan at all, but I have to give him credit for that.

Trump tweeted a short video recapping his day in Normandy:

This is the view of the Trumps’ departure, returning to Ireland before flying back to Washington:

Reflecting on D-Day, someone online posted this excellent graphic from Gab:

We should be so grateful for everything that God has given us — especially peace and freedom in the Western world.

However, it would also be prudent to look at how we have squandered the opportunities for our young people in peacetime. The safe space generation is not equipped to deal with the horrors of life such as it is.

May the good Lord grant us the wisdom to get us out of a navel-gazing attitude towards one of genuine progress and ingenuity, such as that of the post-war years.

In closing, let us give thanks to the Greatest Generation for their immense courage and bravery.

On Monday, June 3, 2019, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in London for a three-day State Visit:

The Daily Mail has a full itinerary of the trip.

The president’s adult children accompanied them, along with Cabinet members and senior staff.

America’s first couple stayed at the US ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park, Winfield House. The Trump offspring stayed at the Corinthia Hotel in central London.

Monday was packed with events for the Trumps. This video recaps the day, which began by landing at Winfield House, meeting the Queen for lunch at Buckingham Palace, taking tea as guests of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House and being the guests of honour at a State Dinner at the palace:

I was out of the country at the time and wanted to have a record of his trip by posting about it here. I am not sure how much made the media outlets and how it was reported.

One thing that did surprise me — and my better half, who is English — was that the president spoke with the honour guard as he was inspecting them. Both of us were shocked. This is a no-no. Then, Prince Charles did the same. See a brief glimpse at 11:40:

France’s BFMTV showed much more of Trump’s talking to the honour guard. The French commentators were equally surprised.

Meanwhile, the Queen, her daughter-in-law Camilla Duchess of Cornwall and Mrs Trump enjoyed a light moment:

Afterwards, the Queen hosted a private lunch and showed the Trumps various items and documents from the Royal Collection pertaining to the United States.

Then it was time to go to Westminster Abbey. The Duke of York — Prince Andrew — accompanied the Trumps, who received a tour of the Abbey from clergy and placed a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Despite its title, the video below does not include tea with Prince Charles but does have extensive coverage from the visit to Westminster Abbey:

 

The State Banquet took place that evening:

Protests took place outside the palace, but guests were undisturbed:

As one would imagine, much preparation went into this dinner:

This is what the ballroom looked like as the Queen’s guests filed in:

Sarah Sanders, who also accompanied the Trumps on their 2018 visit to Windsor Castle, will have another lovely memory of her time as press secretary:

At the State Banquet, the president remembered the events of D-Day and those who bravely fought for freedom:

He also made another faux pas. Like Michelle Obama, he touched the Queen. Unlike Michelle Obama, he did it twice. The Daily Mail reported (emphases mine):

The Special Relationship between Britain and the United States was reaffirmed last night with moving toasts in the Buckingham Palace ballroom as Donald Trump clinked glasses with the Queen and patted her shoulder having called her a ‘great, great woman’.

Amid the splendour and ceremony of a state banquet for 170 dignitaries and guests, the US President thanked the monarch for her ‘gracious hospitality’ and ‘nearly seven decades’ of personal friendship with the United States.

He spoke of the Blitz and the bombing of Buckingham Palace, saying that ‘in their dark hour the people of this nation showed the world what it means to be British’.

He praised the Queen a ‘great, great woman’ recalling her service on the Home Front during the war, and said ‘the bond between our nations was forever sealed in that great crusade’.

He said the Queen embodied ‘the spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart’.

Raising his glass the 45th President of the United States said: ‘On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of Her Majesty, the Queen.’

Shortly before retaking his seat Mr Trump appeared briefly to breach royal protocol by placing his hand on the Queen’s back in a gesture of personal thanks. By tradition the Queen should not be touched, but the President’s host seemed unperturbed following his warm personal toast.

In her address, the Queen welcomed the Trumps, celebrated the Special Relationship between the UK and the US, and while Brexit was not mentioned she highlighted how the two countries faced ‘new challenges of the 21st century’. 

The article includes a brilliant set of photos, by the way.

Here is another terrific photograph:

The Queen’s remarks followed:

Mr President,

I am delighted to welcome you and Mrs Trump to Buckingham Palace this evening, just twelve months after our first meeting at Windsor Castle. Visits by American Presidents always remind us of the close and longstanding friendship between the United Kingdom and the United States, and I am so glad that we have another opportunity to demonstrate the immense importance that both our countries attach to our relationship.

In the coming days, you will see some of our most treasured historical buildings, speak to the business leaders whose expertise and innovation drive our economies, and meet members of our Armed Services, past and present. You will also travel to Portsmouth and Normandy to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.

On that day – and on many occasions since – the Armed Forces of both our countries fought side-by-side to defend our cherished values of liberty and democracy. Mr President, in your State of the Union Address this year, you paid tribute to some of the American heroes who risked their lives, and we owe an immeasurable debt to the British, American and Allied soldiers who began the liberation of Europe on 6th June 1944.

I paid my first State Visit to your country at the invitation of President Eisenhower. As Supreme Allied Commander, he had ultimate responsibility for the execution of the Normandy landings. In his headquarters in St James’s Square – not far from Buckingham Palace – British and American officers worked closely together to plan the freedom of a continent, and it would be no exaggeration to say that millions of lives depended on their common endeavour.

As we face the new challenges of the Twenty First Century, the anniversary of D-Day reminds us of all that our countries have achieved together. After the shared sacrifices of the Second World War, Britain and the United States worked with other allies to build an assembly of international institutions, to ensure that the horrors of conflict would never be repeated. While the world has changed, we are forever mindful of the original purpose of these structures: nations working together to safeguard a hard won peace

Mr President, as we look to the future, I am confident that our common values and shared interests will continue to unite us. Tonight we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come

The Queen then proposed a toast:

At the end of the day, Trump tweeted:

Protests did take place around the country, but a crowd of well wishers was on hand in front of Buckingham Palace to greet him.

Events on Tuesday, June 4 involved talks about trade:

More protests took place in London:

Interestingly, Prime Minister Theresa May and President Trump did not shake hands when he and his wife arrived:

The Trumps received a tour of No. 10:

Mrs Trump was with Mr May during the meeting between the president and our outgoing Prime Minister:

Here are clips from the May-Trump press conference:

Meanwhile, a British woman burst the Trump baby balloon. Great news, even if she was arrested:

The Gateway Pundit reported:

“I’m going in..I’m going,” the woman says as she walked up to the baby Trump blimp.

The woman then stabbed the blimp with a pen and a small popping sound is heard followed by gasps from onlookers.

The woman screamed “It’s a national a disgrace! The President of the United States is the best President ever! Shame on you!” after she popped the balloon.

Police quickly moved in for the arrest as the woman walked away.

“It’s going down baby,” the woman said as police approached her and cuffed her.

The woman, whose hand was bleeding, had a fiery exchange with the police and pleaded for them to stop manhandling her.

That evening, the Trumps hosted a dinner for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Winfield House:

The Daily Caller has more photos.

It should be noted that the Trumps did not experience all the trappings of a full State Visit, which includes staying at a royal residence and addressing either house of Parliament.

The Washington Examiner explained:

… royal watchers said the Trumps will be missing out on many of the trappings of a state visit, such as staying at Buckingham Palace. “Not being invited to speak before Parliament is testament to the fact they know he is going to be rude and there’s going to be massive protests,” said Marlene Koenig, an author and expert on British and European royalty.

“They are doing the bare minimum of what they would do for a state visit of a major ally.”

Several honors afforded visiting American presidents or other heads of state will be missing.

He will not get the usual welcome in Horse Guards Parade, the grand parade ground in central London where visiting heads of state are usually invited to inspect the honor guard with the queen before a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.

Instead, he will follow the example of President George W. Bush, who was given his royal welcome in the garden of Buckingham Palace in 2003 because of fears protesters would line the route through London

Trump will not get to stay at Buckingham Palace with the Queen. Both Bush and Obama, the only two American presidents to have been granted official state visits, stayed at the royal residence, but Trump has been told that renovations to the east wing of the palace meant its guest rooms were out of service

The run-up to this visit featured speculation about whether Trump would be invited to address the British Parliament.

In the end, the speaker — the figure who presides over the House of Commons and who had previously said Trump’s attendance would run counter to Parliament’s longstanding opposition to sexism and racism — said he had not been asked by British officials to host the president. Presidents Obama, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton all addressed Parliament.

A U.K. official said Trump had not requested to address Parliament. “The president not asking to do that is the norm,” he said. On both sides of the Atlantic, a mutually-convenient cover story of Trump not being asked to be invited in order to avoid being told he will not be invited appears to have been adopted

Previous visits have sometimes reflected the warm relations between individual leaders.

In 1982 the queen invited Ronald Reagan to stay with her at Windsor Castle and took him horse riding. A decade late, Bill and Hillary Clinton were treated to a night aboard the royal yacht Britannia.

And in 2011, Obama grilled sausages with David Cameron in the garden of Number 10 during an event for British and American service personnel.

That said, in summing up his stay in the UK, Trump tweeted:

I will cover the president’s attendance at D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth and in Normandy in tomorrow’s post.

President Trump had a busy schedule at the end of May 2019, which included a return trip to Japan.

This time it was a State Visit.

As he and First Lady Melania would be out of the country on Memorial Day weekend, they visited Arlington Cemetery before their departure:

On May 25, the first day of the State Visit to Japan, Trump met with that nation’s business leaders, too many to list here:

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie hosted the Trumps for dinner that night. Abe had not forgotten his guest’s favourite dessert:

Abe was delighted to welcome back his friend:

The next day, the two world leaders played golf:

Their wives toured the Mori Building Digital Art Museum:

The QTree explained the significance of the following day’s welcome by the new Emperor and Empress of Japan — a first for both couples:

… our President and FLOTUS become the first guests of Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako at the Imperial Palace.

There are three components to the state visit: (1) The guest arrival and formal greeting by the Emperor and Empress. (2) The ceremonial anthems of both nations and the presentation of the imperial guard.  (3) A “state call” or discussion of diplomatic matters between the Emperor, Empress and their honored guests.

During the official state call component there is an exchange of gifts.

1) Formal greeting by the Emperor and Empress …

2) The ceremonial anthems of both nations and the presentation of the imperial guard.

The ‘inside palace’ greeting and introduction was not covered by international media. However, due to the significance of the visit (first of imperial era of Reiwa) it was broadcast on local Japanese media (below).

Body language and facial expressions can’t be faked. They are all VERY PLEASED AND HONORED to meet one another. Such a proud moment for both nations.

(3) A “state call” or discussion of diplomatic matters between the Emperor, Empress and their honored guests in video below.

Then, there was the customary exchange of gifts. The Japanese emperor is an accomplished violin and viola player, as evidenced below in this video from 2007:

The accompanying press pool report states (emphases mine):

The President presented the Emperor an American-made viola in a custom case and a signed photo of American composer Aaron Copland. This vintage 1938 viola was handmade in Charleston, West Virginia. The President also presented the Emperor with a signed and framed photo of the President.

The First Lady presented the Empress with a custom White House desk set featuring a pen made of Harvard tree wood. The Empress herself studied Economics at Harvard. This fountain pen was handcrafted from a red oak tree that still stands in Old Harvard Yard. The First Lady also presented the Empress with a signed and framed photo of the First Lady.

The Emperor presented the President with a traditional Japanese pottery and porcelain bowl as well as a signed and framed photo of His Majesty the Emperor.

The Empress presented the First Lady with an ornamental Japanese lacquer box with traditional design as well as a framed and signed photo of Her Majesty the Empress.

Note: It is long-standing custom of the Imperial Palace that their Majesties the Emperor and Empress exchange signed, framed photographs with their guests on the occasion of a State Visit.

Afterwards, Trump and Abe held discussions on trade and security:

Their wives attended a cultural presentation:

Upon his return, Trump tweeted:

While the Trumps were in Japan, on May 25, actor Jon Voight tweeted:

The president faces the same threats as Lincoln did. He is in danger every day from people who desperately want to remove him from office, either by death or by impeachment. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says Trump belongs in prison.

The Mueller Report left the door open to more scheming by Democrats.

The coup is not yet over.

Therefore, on May 30, the Revd Franklin Graham issued a national appeal for prayer for the president on Sunday, June 2:

That day, another friend of the president’s explained to Fox News that this appeal had nothing to do with politics but the real fight of good versus evil:

Other pastors on social media had to remind their detractors that they had prayed for past presidents, too:

On Friday, May 31, a mass shooting took place in Virginia Beach. After golfing on Sunday, June 2, the president visited the Revd David Platt’s McLean Bible Church in Virginia, where he joined congregants in praying silently for the victims of the shooting.

The New York Post reported:

While he did not talk during the service, Trump stood behind pastor David Platt as he offered a prayer for the 12 killed in Friday’s mass shooting.

The president was there to “visit with the Pastor and pray for the victims and community of Virginia Beach,” said Judd Deere, the White House’s deputy press secretary.

Trump arrived at about 2:20 p.m. and his motorcade left a little over 15 minutes later.

DeWayne Craddock, 40, slaughtered 12 at Virginia Beach’s municipal building Friday — just hours after quitting his job as a civil engineer.

In turn, Platt prayed for the president:

I do not know where Platt stands on his stance of private redistribution of wealth he was promoting back in 2012, but I am grateful that he prayed for President Trump.

Considering the prayers, the threats that the president endures daily and Jon Voight’s comparison of him with Lincoln, it was amazing that he and the first lady went to Ford’s Theatre that night for an awards presentation. Ford’s Theatre was the site of Lincoln’s assassination:

I am very glad I was out of the country at the time. Otherwise I would have been worried about his safety.

Yet, thankfully, God continues to watch over President Trump, who flew to London that night with the first lady and his family (apart from Barron).

More on that trip tomorrow.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have issued an invitation to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for tea when they visit the UK next week.

This is a first for any US president, according to the Daily Mail:

Mr Trump will be the first serving American president to meet Prince Charles on such intimate terms.

This is partly because the Queen has been handing over a number of her responsibilities to him, the heir to the throne.

The Mail reported (emphases mine):

The unexpected meeting will take place at Clarence House, the heir to the throne’s official residence in London.

It will come on the same day as the Queen’s official state banquet for Mr Trump, which Charles will also attend. The prince did not meet the President on his working visit to Britain last year, which included a meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle amid massive protests in the capital.

His sons, Princes William and Harry did not meet with the president, either:

Reports at the time suggested Charles and his sons William and Harry had refused to have anything to do with the arrangements, which was seen as a snub by the Americans.

However, this year, The Daily Caller says that the Trumps will meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the State Banquet, which the Queen will host:

Kate Middleton and Prince William are also expected to be at the banquet.

The Daily Mail points out:

The Donald Trump Prince Charles met on a visit to New York, soon after his wedding to Camilla in 2005, is a very different figure from the outspoken president he will welcome into his home.

Despite their intrinsic disagreement on climate change and chlorinated chicken, Prince Charles and President Trump will no doubt find subjects on which they do agree.

Camilla is highly regarded as someone who puts everyone at ease. She also has a sparkling wit.

The Trumps are sure to have a delightful afternoon.

Those going into London that day will find increased security measures and road closures in the vicinity around Clarence House, no doubt.

President Trump and First Lady Melania visited the UK in July 2018, which I covered at the time:

When Mr May hosted Mrs Trump in London (July 13)

When Trump met with Britain’s two most powerful women (July 13)

July 13: Piers Morgan’s exclusive interview with President Trump

July 13-15 : Trump’s weekend in Scotland — memorable for the wrong reason

I hope the Trumps have a safe, enjoyable and productive visit.

This Tuesday of Easter Week is St George’s Day — April 23, 2019.

It is time the English reclaimed their patron saint’s feast day. Other countries are proud to celebrate this special day. How wonderful, therefore, to see a trend for St George’s Day on Twitter, which includes these delightful tweets:

On a contemplative note, the following are by two Catholics from the Archdiocese of Southwark in London:

Returning to Easter, conservative commentator Chuck Woolery’s witness for the faith gives pause for thought, as does the video in the first reply he received:

I also liked this reply to America’s First Lady’s Easter greetings (click on image link to see it in full):

On Easter Sunday, the Trumps attended a morning service at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach. The Daily Caller has photos, especially of First Lady Melania Trump.

While the Trumps posed for photo ops outside the church, back in Washington, things went less well for Robert Mueller, who was accosted by a reporter outside of St John’s Episcopal Church in Washington DC after worship.

I’m hardly a Mueller fan, but this is just plain wrong:

On Easter Monday, the Trumps hosted the traditional Easter Egg Roll at the White House:

This video shows the First Couple returning to the White House from Palm Beach on Sunday. The Easter Egg Roll event begins at 12:50:

Mrs Trump read to the children (fashion notes here) …

… as did Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, mother of four:

As ever, the day was packed with activities. On April 19, the White House announced:

First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald J. Trump invite this year’s Easter Egg Roll attendees to enjoy a variety of activities, including the time-honored Egg Roll and the Trump Administration’s Cards for Troops station. New to the Egg Roll this year: musical eggs and Be Best hopscotch. In recognition of the First Lady’s Be Best campaign, children will also have the opportunity to spread kindness by mailing postcards to anyone they choose – friends, family, members of the military – directly through a United States Postal Service mailbox that will be on the South grounds.

Over 30,000 attendees are expected to walk the historic south grounds of the White House, experiencing all the tradition and fun that comes with the White House Easter Egg Roll.

There were also egg hunts, egg and cookie decorating stations, the military bands, tennis court activities, and a chance for the children to meet costumed characters, such as the Easter Bunny:

Reading stations have been a big part of the Trump Easter Egg Rolls, with members of the president’s advisory team as well as the Cabinet. Imagine hearing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. or Surgeon General Jerome Adams reading a book to a group of children. If past readers of previous years are anything to go by, they no doubt did exceptionally well.

Mrs Trump was delighted with the event and her many guests:

I am so pleased this went well and without incident.

Tomorrow’s post concerns a very sad subject: the attacks on Sri Lankan churches at Easter.

On Monday, February 25, 2019, President Donald Trump left for Hanoi, where he is meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea:

The Governors’ Ball was held the evening before at the White House. Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Ambassador Bob Lighthizer, Attorney General Bill Barr and his wife Christine Barr also attended:

President Trump made the following remarks about his trip to Vietnam to broker peace with North Korea:

He began by discussing last week’s highly successful trade talks with China, which resulted in an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). Emphases mine below:

I see Steve Mnuchin’s here and Ambassador Lighthizer, we’ve just had a big meeting with China, we just put out a statement and we’re doing very well with China. It was a long weekend; they decided to stay for two and half more days. They’ll probably be leaving late tonight. They’re going back and if all works well, we’re going to have some very big news over the next week or two. And it’s really been terrific. I tell you that the whole relationship has been outstanding. We’ve put ourselves into a position of strength for the first time in about 35 years, or probably a lot more than that

China is everywhere and I think you’d really amazed with what you see. Maybe. Let’s see what happens. We still have a little ways to go. Would you say that’s correct, Mr Ambassador? We have a little bit. But I want thank you, Bob, you’ve been working 24 hours around the clock and I will say this publicly, when I was able to be lucky enough to win the presidency I called Bob Lighthizer because for years people have known he’s the greatest trader that we have on this type of trade – we have many different types of trade – and I really understand now why. Thank you very much. Fantastic.

Also, I was going to leave very early tomorrow, but now I’m going to do it a little bit later. I had an option to do it at six in the morning or 11 and I chose 11. I can spend a little bit of time with you tomorrow morning because you’re having a breakfast and I’ll come to the breakfast. But literally, I said what kind of an option is that, I can leave at six in the morning or 11? They said you can leave at six or anywhere between 11 and 12. I said I’ll take 11 to 12. But you’re having a breakfast so I’ll be with you at the breakfast.

Then he spoke about North Korea:

But we’ll be leaving for Hanoi, Vietnam, and we’ll be meeting with Kim Jong-un. It’s a very interesting thing to say but I’ve developed a very, very good relationship. We’ll see what that means but he’s never had a relationship with anybody from this country and hasn’t had lots of relationships anywhere.

The media sometimes will say, well, what have they given up? We’ve given up nothing. The sanctions are on, everything’s on, but we have a special feeling and I think it’s going to lead to something very good and maybe now. I think ultimately it will, but maybe not, and I’m not pushing for speed but we’re not removing the sanctions. And we’re going to have, I think, a very interesting two and half days in Vietnam and we have a chance for the total denuclearisation of an area of the world that was very dangerous.

When I first came in, or really more particularly at the end of the last administration, there were rockets going up, there were missiles going up, there were bombs going off, there were massive cannons being tested. If you ever saw the picture of the beach, I’ve never seen anything like it where you had literally thousands of cannons on the beach shooting out into the waters. And there was nuclear testing. In fact, they thought it was earthquakes. They said there are massive earthquakes and then they realised it was North Korea. They said wow, it’s maybe not an earthquake. Now there’s no testing, there’s no rockets, there’s no nuclear testing and we get along well, very well, so it will be very interesting to see.

As I tell Chairman Kim, he has a chance to have a country that is so vibrant economically. Maybe one of the most in the world. He’s got a location that’s unbelievable. As a real estate person, I’ve always done well with location, but he’s right between China, Russia and on the other side South Korea, so they can’t touch each other unless they go through North Korea. And I say, you have one of the greatest locations, they have incredible people, hardworking people, smart, energetic, and I think it could be really one of the great financial and economic countries anywhere in the world. So I tell him that but I said you can’t do that if you’re going to keep nuclear. If you do nuclear, that can’t ever happen.

And we see eye to eye, I believe, but you’ll be seeing it more and more over the next couple of days, one way or the other. What’s going to happen, I can’t tell you. I think eventually it would but I can’t tell you and I’m not in a rush, I don’t want to rush anybody, I just don’t want testing. As long as there’s no testing, we’re happy. So we’ve done really something, I think, very special with respect to North Korea and it’s a long flight and I’ll be back at the end of the week. But we have two very interesting days planned and I think it’s a very important thing.

Prime Minister Abe of Japan said he can’t believe what’s happened in such a short period of time because rockets were being fired over Japan: rockets and missiles both. And now that hasn’t happened in long time, 16 months, 17 months, no more testing, no more rockets, no more checking to see whether or not this stuff works. So you’ll be seeing it and I think it’s going to be very interesting for people but there’s a chance to do something very, very special. It’s very exciting.

And likewise, if we can do a great economic deal, it will be the largest trade deal ever made by far if you look at it, our deal with China, and we truly are very close. So those are a couple of very interesting things. But our country’s doing incredibly well economically. We’ve pick up in terms of value worth $18 trillion. Now China – I don’t want this – but China has lost about $44 trillion. So they were catching us, catching us, catching us, and now we’ve zoomed out. And I can say this: as long as I’m president, they’re not going catch us, and they’re going to do well – but I want them to do well, they’re not going to catch us.

So I just want to give a toast to the incredible people in this room and to our unbelievable country. We have a very, very special country. I want to thank our First Lady for having done – this is such a beautiful job. Melania, thank you very much. And I would like to ask Governor Bullock to come up please from a very special place that I like very much for the obvious reason. And perhaps you could give a toast, please. Thank you, governor …

Governor Steve Bullock from Montana gave the toast.

A prayer was then said.

The White House published a statement about the meeting between the two leaders:

  • On February 27 and 28, 2019, President Donald J. Trump will meet with Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Chairman Kim Jong Un for a second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • This summit aims to make further progress on the commitments the two leaders made in Singapore:  transformed relations, a lasting and stable peace, and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  • The President has made clear that should North Korea follow through on its commitment to complete denuclearization, we will work to ensure there are economic development options.
  • The United States and partners are prepared to explore how to mobilize investment, improve infrastructure, enhance food security, and more in the DPRK.
    • Robust economic development under Chairman Kim is at the core of President Trump’s vision for a bright future for United States–DPRK relations.

I hope that Kim has started feeding his starving people in the countryside. Man cannot live on a diet of dirt and dung.

More to follow.

On Thursday, February 21, 2019, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump hosted a reception at the White House in honour of National African American History Month.

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence were among the guests as were members of the Cabinet, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Pastor Darrell Scott, Catherine Toney (released under the First Step Act), former civil rights leader Bob Woodson and Clarence Henderson (who sat at a segregated Woolworth’s counter in 1960).

Look at the marvellous reception President Trump received:

President Trump gave an inspiring talk, inviting his honoured guests to the podium. Excerpts from the transcript follow, emphases mine.

AUDIENCE: Trump! Trump! Trump!

THE PRESIDENT: Wow. Thank you very much. Wow, what a good group this is. This is the future. This is the future. (Applause.) True. That’s true.

The First Lady and I are thrilled to host so many friends, and pastors, and government leaders. And our stage is being filled up with a bunch of winners like you. Because I’ve known you for a long time, Bob, and I want to thank you very much. A special — a special guy, a special friend for a long time. To be at the White House to celebrate African American History Month. (Applause.) Do you like the White House? Right?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah!

THE PRESIDENT: … From the earliest days of this nation, African American leaders, pioneers, and visionaries have uplifted and inspired our country in art, in science, literature, law, film, politics, business, and every arena of national life. The depth and glory of these contributions are beyond measure. You know it. I know it. And everybody knows it.

We especially pay tribute to the African American heroes who have sacrificed in the name of freedom, equality, and dignity for all Americans. (Applause.) Thank you.

Every citizen alive today, and generations yet unborn, are forever in debt of the brave souls who stared down injustice and championed the eternal cause of civil rights. (Applause.)

We’re joined for tonight’s ceremony by many distinguished guests, including Surgeon General Jerome Adams …

Thank you all, as well, to the young African American activists who are here today. You are really and truly the leaders of the future. (Applause.) And get in there and go get them.

Since the beginning of our republic, African Americans have given their heart, their love, and their very lives to the pursuit — and you know this better than anybody; you have worked so hard. I guess when you get right down to it, we’re all working very hard — but the pursuit of liberty and justice for all.

During the Revolutionary War, African American soldiers fought at the battle of Yorktown and helped our nation gain independence.

In the next century, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and countless others risked everything to end the evil of slavery and secure the sacred blessings of freedom. (Applause.)

And here we are, all together in the White House. This is a great thing. Right? This is a great thing. And this is a very, very special place.

A century later, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, and the immortal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged our nation to fulfill its founding promise that we are all created equal by God. (Applause.)

In every moment of our history, African Americans have called our nation to greatness. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jackie Robinson. How good was Jackie Robinson? (Applause.) How good was Jackie? As a baseball fan, Jackie was special. He had to be special because that was not an easy journey for Jackie. He was a special man. His courage on the field and off the field stands as an everlasting monument to the triumph of the human spirit.

African American scientists, artists, musicians, educators, faith leaders, and countless others have lifted our nation to absolutely incredible heights.

Today, we thank God for all of the blessings the African American community continues to give our nation, and we pledge our resolve to expand opportunity for Americans of every race, religion, color, and creed. (Applause.)

Under my administration, the African American poverty rate has fallen to its lowest level. And if you think about that, that’s a special category. The poverty rate for African Americans is the best it’s ever been. The lowest level it’s ever achieved.

Nearly one million additional African Americans have found new jobs. As a — really, and I think this — we can really attribute it to regulatory cuts or as a result of our tax cuts. The largest tax cuts in the history of our country.

More than 8,700 distressed communities are now designated as Opportunity Zones. And Mike Pence was just in South Carolina and he was talking about those incredible achievements, Karen — the incredible achievements that have been made with Tim Scott and everybody on the Opportunity Zones. (Applause.)

We have Pastor Darrell Scott. Will you come up here, Darrell? Darrell. Darrell, get up here. (Applause.) He’s always defending me on television. (Laughter.) And I’ll tell you, if you want somebody to defend you, this is about as good as you can get. I want to — he is brutal. Sometimes I say, “You’re a pastor?” You’re the toughest pastor I’ve ever — (laughter) — thank you, Darrell.

This long-awaited legislation reform — and it’s really the sentencing laws that nobody thought we could get this done. We worked with conservatives and liberals, and those in the middle. We worked with a lot of people and we got it done. Nobody thought this — you know, they’ve been trying to get this done for 25 years, but we got it done — criminal justice reform. The laws are disproportionately — as you know, they harmed African American communities, and far, far greater than anybody else. And it gives former inmates a second chance at life.

We are very proud to be joined tonight by a citizen who transformed her life while in prison and is now the first woman to be released under the FIRST STEP Act, Catherine Toney. Where’s Catherine? (Applause.)

Do you want to say something? Come on.

AUDIENCE: Catherine! Catherine! Catherine!

MS. TONEY: Yes, I just want to thank the President and everybody that worked so hard — Jared — for working so hard on this prison reform FIRST STEP Act. Because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be standing before you all today — (applause) — with my daughter and my granddaughter.

I’ve been incarcerated for 16 years, and it took the President and Jared and the CAN-DO and the Cut Five [sic], and everybody else to free me. And I’m so thankful. (Applause.) I’m so thankful to them. And I’m so thankful to God for the opportunity to be standing before you all. And thank you again, Mr. President. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s so nice. And I’ll tell you, as far as criminal justice reform — and other things — Jared, thank you. What a great job. (Applause.) What a great job. He doesn’t want praise. He doesn’t want praise. But it was so nice to have you come up. And, Jared, thank you. Like, you’re best friends. You probably know him a little bit, huh? (Laughter.)

MS. TONEY: Yes, I do. (Laughs.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s incredible. He’s incredible. Does so much. Thank you, Jared. That was amazing. That was a great tribute to you.

During the State of the Union Address, I also called on Congress to pass school choice. (Applause.) No child should be trapped in a failing school that stands in the way of their dreams. Every citizen, of every background, deserves a government that puts their needs first. (Applause.) …

Here with us today is an incredible leader. Some of you know him well. I do. And I know him, really, more than anything else, as an incredible leader. That’s exactly what he is. It’s Bob Woodson. Do you know Bob Woodson? (Applause.) You will. You will. Because he’s got an incredible story.

Bob joined the Air Force in the 1950s. You don’t look that old, I’ll tell you that. (Laughter.) 1950s? Really? Wow. You’re in good shape. (Laughter.) I want to talk to him later, find out what’s going on. (Laughter.)

While he was stationed in the Deep South, he confronted discrimination firsthand. He then became a Civil Rights leader, met Dr. King, and was jailed for leading a very peaceful protest. As Bob puts it, “Even when defeat was all around us, it was not in us.” That’s beautiful, right? Huh? That was just beautiful.

Over the last 50 years, Bob helped found social enterprise movements and to restore jobs, dignity, and hope within the heart of very, very distressed communities. Bob, I want to thank you very much. You are a very special man. And having you at our place in New Jersey for a little while, and you helped me so much with making a couple of our good choices. We really appreciate you being here. Thank you, Bob. (Applause.)

MR. WOODSON: (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, please.

MR. WOODSON: I just want to thank God and also President Trump for turning the tables over in the temples — (laughter) — and attacking the status quo that is hostile to the interest of poor people. And I also want to bless you for your administration and the policies of Opportunity Zones and to giving low-income people an opportunity to help themselves. That’s all they want; they want an opportunity to achieve. And your administration is working with us to make that happen. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks, Bob. So nice.

MR. WOODSON: Thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Great guy.

We’re also very proud to be joined by Clarence Henderson, who was among the first students to begin the Greensboro sit-in. You know what that is, right? In 1960, on the second day of the sit-in, Clarence was one of four students who sat at the long-segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter — very, very famous event — in Greensboro, North Carolina. He helped spark a national movement. In cities and towns all across America, students joined in the protest, and really, it was an incredible moment in the history of our country. The grave injustice of segregation was really spelled out loud and clear.

After more than 170 days of protest, the Woolworth lunch counter finally integrated. That was — doesn’t sound like such a big deal, Bob, but it was a big, big deal, right? As Clarence has said, “It doesn’t take many people to make a change. It just takes courage.” And, Clarence, you have incredible courage, and I want to thank you very much for being here. (Applause.)

MR. HENDERSON: I am delighted to be here with the President. You know, Nehemiah was told by God to build a wall. And that’s what you’re doing. (Applause.) Amen.

It is indeed a pleasure to be here with you this evening and to share this great hour and great time. I can tell you right now, with the Frederick Douglass Foundation, with the state of North Carolina, and the President, and we’re still moving forward to change America and make America great again. Thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thanks, Clarence. So nice.

As we commemorate African American History Month, we remember the words of Dr. King. In 1964, he said, “When years have rolled past…children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization — because these humble children of God were willing to suffer [for] righteousness’ sake.”

And, you know, nobody said it better than Dr. Martin Luther King. And few people had words so beautiful as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Don’t you agree? Don’t you agree, Bob? (Applause.) He made us all look maybe not quite as good. Great man.

Today, we remember the heroic legacy of African Americans who bravely battled oppression to usher in a bright new dawn of freedom. It’s exactly what you’re doing. And you are at the forefront. You know, this is a new age. This is a very exciting time. It’s very exciting time for our country …

So we pledge, in the honor of our great African American community, to build a future when every American child can live in safety, dignity, liberty, and peace.

As Americans, we all share the same dreams, the same hopes, and the same magnificent destiny. We are now, and will forever be, one people, one family, and one glorious nation under God. (Applause.)

I just want to say God bless you all and God bless America. Thank you for being at the White House. (Applause.) Thank you.

Here are four photos of this part of the evening:

And the video:

Then, it was time for a buffet and refreshments.

Young Trump supporter Joelpatrick videoed the table as best he could:

High schooler CJ Pearson, wise beyond his years, was also there. He is pictured below with Candace Owens, founder of the Blexit movement, which encourages blacks to leave the Democratic Party:

There were many other young guests who are actively engaged in politics and working to Make America Great Again:

Many of us feel badly that actor and comedian Terrence K Williams was unable to attend the White House event. He had looked forward to being there:

And he was so close to getting there, too.

He was on his way to Washington DC, when he was in a serious accident. The weather was bad, and he had taken Lyft:

Fortunately, he has been able to update his fans via Twitter. These were his first three tweets from hospital:

I hope he will make a full and swift recovery. It seemed to be taking an awfully long time for him to get a hospital room.

He had been following the Jussie Smollett hoax closely. No doubt, Terrence K Williams will make the doctors and nurses laugh with one-liners such as this one:

UPDATE — On Febraury 25, Terrence was being discharged from hospital:

Get well soon, Terrence!

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, President Donald Trump gave his second State of the Union (SOTU) address.

His theme was ‘choose greatness’.

His able speechwriter and adviser, Stephen Miller, wrote an inspiring, fact-filled address.

Special guests

The president had an incredibly varied group of special guests, all of whom were mentioned in his speech and who sat with First Lady Melania Trump:

– a retired astronaut (Buzz Aldrin),

– three Second World War veterans (Herman Zeitchik, Joseph Reilly and Irving Locker),

– two law enforcement officers (DHS investigator Elvin Hernandez and Pittsburgh SWAT team member Timothy Matson),

– a survivor of the Holocaust as well as the Pittsburgh synagogue attack last year (Judah Samet, whose birthday it was),

– a concentration camp survivor (Joshua Kaufman),

– the father of a Navy Seaman who was killed on the USS Cole (Tom Wibberley),

– an Angel Family whose elders were murdered in their home by an illegal immigrant (Debra Bissell, Heather Armstrong, and Madison Armstrong),

– two reformed ex-convicts (Alice Johnson and Matthew Charles),

– a lumber mill manager (Roy James),

– a young mother who overcame drug addiction (Ashley Evans),

– two children (cancer survivor Grace Eline and a boy bullied for his name [no relation] Joshua Trump [please pray for this lad]).

On February 4, Big League Politics said that the guest list was Trump’s way of sending a clear message to Democrats about his priorities.

Everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Judah Samet, the Holocaust survivor. What a treat that must have been for him:

Meanwhile, some of the Democrats invited illegal immigrants.

Here is the video. The speech is very long: 1 hour and 22 minutes:

That said, I highly recommend watching the video, because in urging Congress and the American people to ‘choose greatness’, President Trump showed himself to be a unifier. As one viewer at home put it:

Before I go into the speech, it is worth pointing out that not everyone attends, in the event the worst case scenario occurs. This year’s designated survivor was Energy secretary Rick Perry:

Truth v speculation

So many people expected fireworks. Some expected Trump to declare a state of emergency. Others wanted revelations on FISA:

Think about it. The greatest US president in living memory wants to be re-elected in 2020. He’s going to play the long game.

There was also speculation as to whether Trump prepared two different speeches.

Some people think that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) got the wrong speech. She did spend a lot of time perusing whatever she received during Trump’s SOTU delivery.

Recall that Pelosi did not want Trump to deliver his SOTU at all, under spurious grounds of security, when the Secret Service and Homeland Security were already well prepared, as this event is an annual one.

Interestingly, the House of Representatives, which Pelosi heads, has been historically known as ‘the People’s House’, and is not defined by political party. The leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-California), wanted the SOTU to go ahead on January 29.

Technically, Trump could have forced both the House of Representatives and the Senate to convene for the SOTU:

https://media.8ch.net/file_store/ec761245326e36b6ddee5d279cfe656c5e239ea73b1a05cb3d169f1b3ff53063.jpg

Some think that Pelosi might be ill or duly influenced by an outsider.

Nonetheless, Trump remained undeterred, despite Pelosi’s attempts to control the date of the SOTU, which should have taken place on January 29.

On January 28, Pelosi wrote Trump to say that the rescheduled date was Tuesday, February 5. The US president duly accepted in writing that same day.

In the end, she won. But, was it a Pyrrhic victory?

Let us not forget that another shutdown could start on February 15.

Meanwhile, in the Republican-controlled Senate, on the morning of the SOTU, to be delivered that evening, Trump tweeted about Chuck Schumer (D-New York):

Departure for the Capitol

First Lady Melania Trump left the White House separately, as she did in 2018. Up to that time, the first ladies accompanied their husbands:

Meanwhile, the president’s limousine was waiting:

The Trump children, except for Barron, were in attendance.

Note the CIA director’s fabric pattern:

Along with a few other Supreme Court members, Justice Kavanaugh arrived:

As people took their places, Dem presidential hopeful Senator Kamala Harris (California) took it upon herself to give a ‘pre-buttal’ SOTU message on Facebook, which Dem voters did not like one bit.

Democrat identity politics

There was no rerun of last year’s kente cloth and black clothing.

This year, many of the female Democrats wore all white, in tribute to the Suffragettes.

The address

As is customary at SOTUs, the Vice President sits behind the President to his right and the Speaker of the House to his left. Mike Pence had a simple glass of water in front of him whilst Nancy Pelosi had an ornate water display:

Normally, the Speaker introduces the President, but Trump took no chances and immediately began his speech, excerpted below, emphases mine.

Trump received many standing ovations. Townhall has an article with tweets stating when the Dems did not stand, some of which are below. They definitely do not want American greatness, that’s for sure.

He was careful to introduce political and national unity at the beginning:

The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda. It is the agenda of the American people …

There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it. Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country.

He mentioned the 75th anniversary of D Day and mentioned his aforementioned special guests who were there on the Normandy beaches:

Here with us tonight are three of those heroes: Private First Class Joseph Reilly, Staff Sergeant Irving Locker, and Sergeant Herman Zeitchik. Gentlemen, we salute you.

He also mentioned the 50th anniversary of the moon landing:

Half a century later, we are joined by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who planted that flag: Buzz Aldrin. This year, American astronauts will go back to space on American rockets.

The retired astronaut immediately rose to his feet to salute his Commander In Chief:

It’s obvious that Trump really wants national unity:

Together, we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.

We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction.

Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) — AOC — remained seated:

He went on to discuss his administration’s economic success — an incredible feat, considering where the US was in January 2017:

In just over 2 years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before. We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs — something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started.

Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue collar workers, who I promised to fight for, faster than anyone else. Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps. The United States economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world. Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in half a century. African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low. More people are working now than at any time in our history –- 157 million.

But someone broke rank. Uh oh:

Trump went on to describe tax cuts, removal of the Obamacare mandate as well as regulatory cuts.

Then he discussed energy production:

We have unleashed a revolution in American energy — the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) was practically the only Dem who applauded:

He spoke about criminal justice reform — the First Step Act — and discussed Alice Johnson:

Alice’s story underscores the disparities and unfairness that can exist in criminal sentencing — and the need to remedy this injustice. She served almost 22 years and had expected to be in prison for the rest of her life.

In June, I commuted Alice’s sentence — and she is here with us tonight. Alice, thank you for reminding us that we always have the power to shape our own destiny …

Inspired by stories like Alice’s, my Administration worked closely with members of both parties to sign the First Step Act into law.

Matthew Charles followed:

We are also joined tonight by Matthew Charles from Tennessee. In 1996, at age 30, Matthew was sentenced to 35 years for selling drugs and related offenses. Over the next two decades, he completed more than 30 Bible studies, became a law clerk, and mentored fellow inmates. Now, Matthew is the very first person to be released from prison under the First Step Act. Matthew, on behalf of all Americans: welcome home.

Immigration and border security came next:

Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country.

The Dems booed.

Trump continued:

No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.

Meanwhile, working class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal migration — reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools and hospitals, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net.

Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate — it is cruel. One in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north. Smugglers use migrant children as human pawns to exploit our laws and gain access to our country.

Human traffickers and sex traffickers take advantage of the wide open areas between our ports of entry to smuggle thousands of young girls and women into the United States and to sell them into prostitution and modern-day slavery.

Here’s the aforementioned Kamala Harris:

Trump then mentioned the Bissell family:

Here tonight is Debra Bissell. Just three weeks ago, Debra’s parents, Gerald and Sharon, were burglarized and shot to death in their Reno, Nevada, home by an illegal alien. They were in their eighties and are survived by four children, 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. Also here tonight are Gerald and Sharon’s granddaughter, Heather, and great‑granddaughter, Madison.

Afterwards, he introduced ICE Special Agent Elvin Hernandez:

When Elvin was a boy, he and his family legally immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. At the age of eight, Elvin told his dad he wanted to become a Special Agent. Today, he leads investigations into the scourge of international sex trafficking. Elvin says: “If I can make sure these young girls get their justice, I’ve done my job.” Thanks to his work and that of his colleagues, more than 300 women and girls have been rescued from horror and more than 1,500 sadistic traffickers have been put behind bars in the last year.

The Dems stood to applaud, although AOC remained seated:

The Dem women did get on their feet for three standing ovations when Trump mentioned females in the workforce and Congress:

No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the new jobs created in the last year. All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before — and exactly one century after the Congress passed the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than ever before.

He discussed trade then healthcare, introducing young Grace Eline:

Last year, Grace was diagnosed with brain cancer. Immediately, she began radiation treatment. At the same time, she rallied her community and raised more than $40,000 for the fight against cancer. When Grace completed treatment last fall, her doctors and nurses cheered with tears in their eyes as she hung up a poster that read: “Last Day of Chemo.” Grace — you are an inspiration to us all.

He briefly discussed his support of school choice, then moved on to the dignity of human life, particularly that of the unborn:

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth.

To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.

Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.

Two days later, on February 7, Congress once again — twice now — defeated that legislation.

Trump discussed the great progress being made internationally.

In talking about Venezuela, he attacked socialism:

We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.

Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence –- not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.

Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders (who has returned to being an Independent), was the most furious. Many years ago, during the Cold War, he and his wife spent their honeymoon in Russia:

He mentioned Tom Wibberley:

Eighteen years ago, terrorists attacked the USS Cole — and last month American forces killed one of the leaders of the attack.

We are honored to be joined tonight by Tom Wibberley, whose son, Navy Seaman Craig Wibberley, was one of the 17 sailors we tragically lost. Tom: we vow to always remember the heroes of the USS Cole.

He discussed anti-Semitism and introduced Timothy Matson, Judah Samet, Joshua Kaufman and Herman Zeitchik:

Just months ago, 11 Jewish-Americans were viciously murdered in an anti-semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. SWAT Officer Timothy Matson raced into the gunfire and was shot seven times chasing down the killer. Timothy has just had his 12th surgery — but he made the trip to be here with us tonight. Officer Matson: we are forever grateful for your courage in the face of evil.

Tonight, we are also joined by Pittsburgh survivor Judah Samet. He arrived at the synagogue as the massacre began. But not only did Judah narrowly escape death last fall — more than seven decades ago, he narrowly survived the Nazi concentration camps. Today is Judah’s 81st birthday. Judah says he can still remember the exact moment, nearly 75 years ago, after 10 months in a concentration camp, when he and his family were put on a train, and told they were going to another camp. Suddenly the train screeched to a halt. A soldier appeared. Judah’s family braced for the worst. Then, his father cried out with joy: “It’s the Americans.”

A second Holocaust survivor who is here tonight, Joshua Kaufman, was a prisoner at Dachau Concentration Camp. He remembers watching through a hole in the wall of a cattle car as American soldiers rolled in with tanks. “To me,” Joshua recalls, “the American soldiers were proof that God exists, and they came down from the sky.”

I began this evening by honoring three soldiers who fought on D-Day in the Second World War. One of them was Herman Zeitchik. But there is more to Herman’s story. A year after he stormed the beaches of Normandy, Herman was one of those American soldiers who helped liberate Dachau. He was one of the Americans who helped rescue Joshua from that hell on earth. Almost 75 years later, Herman and Joshua are both together in the gallery tonight — seated side-by-side, here in the home of American freedom. Herman and Joshua: your presence this evening honors and uplifts our entire Nation.

Democrat reality

The Democrats, by and large, looked sombre. It could be because of this — from over a year ago:

The Trumps say thank you

The US president tweeted a full video of his speech, then followed up with this:

I have much more to follow on this, but will continue next week.

Congratulations to President Trump on his second anniversary in the White House.

Sunday, January 20, 2019 was the big day.

The pictures in the following video are good, but I would encourage everyone to listen to what the American president said during his 2016 campaign and in his inauguration address on January 20, 2017 — ‘The American people will no longer be forgotten’:

The chairwoman of the GOP (Republican Party) tweeted a brief list of Trump’s promises kept:

There is so much more. The White House has elaborated on those promises kept in ‘The Historic Results of President Donald J. Trump’s First Two Years in Office’, which includes (emphases mine):

More than 5 million jobs have been created since President Trump’s election and the unemployment rate remains below 4 percent.

  • This is the eighth time this year that the unemployment rate has been below 4 percent.
  • Prior to this year, the unemployment rate had fallen below 4 percent only five times since 1970.
  • The unemployment rate for African Americans in May fell to 5.9 percent, which is the lowest rate on record.
  • Asian and Hispanic-American unemployment rates have reached record lows this year
  • Americans are seeing more money in their pockets thanks to the booming economy.
    • In recent months, workers have seen 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
  • 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

The under-rated and under-appreciated First Lady Melania Trump, who is a beautiful person inside and out, had this to say:

Vice President Mike Pence summarised the past two years as follows:

Last Thursday, January 17, all three — and who knows how many more hundreds — dodged a highly serious domestic terror threat. The alleged perpetrator, who is from the state of Georgia, was arrested on January 16 after a year’s work between the FBI and local law enforcement.

Please continue to pray for President Trump, his family and his administration:

Yes, that hatred is pointed at ordinary Americans every day in so many ways, from harassment of Trump supporters to law enforcement officers being murdered in cold blood.

In closing, January 21 is Martin Luther King Day in the United States:

Let us pray that we may more closely emulate Dr King’s ideals of valuing personal character over identity politics.

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