We celebrate Veterans Day every year, in tribute to Veterans past and present. It’s a chance to salute those who, in Mr. Lincoln’s timeless words, are willing to give, “The last full measure of devotion.” To be clear; it’s devotion to you, to this country and to our way of life. If one takes a minute to think about that the disdain shown by anyone “taking a knee” becomes problematic.

In 2010, then Lt. General John Kelly gave a speech at the Semper Fi society in St. Louis. He did so a few days after his own Marine son was killed in Afghanistan. Kelly currently serves as Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump. In his speech, Kelly described the circumstances of a 2008 suicide bombing in Iraq that claimed the lives of Marine Cpl. Jonathan Yale and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter. Kelly put both Marines in for a Navy Cross. As recounted in the WSJ, this is the story:

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CueTom Dooley by Kingston Trio, and substitute Tom Steyer…” Hang down your head Tom Steyer, hang down your head and cry, hang down your head Tom Steyer, poor boy you’re bound to die.” It is the only inescapable truth, we are all going to die, and nobody can buy their way out of the last act.

Tom Steyer is a progressive billionaire who puts his money where his mouth is on myriad political causes. Rumor has it he is considering a run for Governor of California, a perfect clone to current Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown. Tom Steyer made his money on Wall Street investing in companies like Exxon he now vilifies as an environmental activist.

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In September of 2016, SC Senator Lindsey Graham- along with Sen. Tim Scott and others introduced a bill that became known as “The Taylor Force Act.” In late February, 2017 they reintroduced it in the current session as S-474. If you are looking for a single piece of legislation that you might focus on to lobby your elected officials to pass, the Taylor Force Act is a worthy vehicle for your attentions.

Taylor Force was a 29-year-old American whose all-too-brief life was none-the-less well-lived. A graduate of West Point, Taylor had shown his ambition and dedication to purpose early in life by becoming an Eagle Scout. He ran track and cross country, so he was an athlete as well as a very bright guy. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan fulfilling his commitment to the Army before retiring. Taylor was a graduate student in Vanderbilt University working on his MBA when he took a trip to Israel. The purpose of the trip was to observe global entrepreneurship; Israel is a leader in business start-ups and tech innovations. It was there that Taylor Force, an already accomplished young man full of still greater promise was killed by a Palestinian terrorist.

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Donald John Trump (DJT)  is now the 45th President of the United States (POTUS). Since many people apparently won’t accept that the campaign is over, I allude to election results by calling this column, “The Early Returns are Promising.” We can now make the clear distinction between what DJT said, and what he now does as POTUS.

As I write this, DJT is finishing his first week in office. In a flurry of actions, that included 12 Executive Orders (EO’s), he has rescinded the ACA, approved the XL Pipeline, stopped funding abortions done abroad, rescinded NAFTA and announced there will be an honest DOJ investigation of voter fraud in California.

Many people did not realize that Obama had rescinded a Reagan EO stopping the practice of taxpayer money being used to pay for abortions outside the US…Trump put Reagan’s EO back in place. The North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA), involves Mexico, Canada and the USA. Trump and private sector unions agree it caused American jobs to leave the country. Trump articulated his goal throughout the campaign; he wants to renegotiate a new NAFTA, one that puts “America first.”

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Barack Obama will forever be remembered not just in America, but all over the world. When trying to nail down a single word to describe Obama’s foreign policies, the sure winner is: feckless. It is defined as being “weak; ineffective.” By golly, that is perfect.

Obama himself defined his leadership style as “leading from behind.” That is stunning because it articulates in his own words that he had no clue what it is to be a leader. He certainly didn’t provide any leadership either at home or abroad. Let’s review a few of the more memorable failures in leadership of Barack Obama as President of the United States (POTUS).

Recently Obama put the capstone on his tenure as POTUS by betraying Israel at the United Nations. There is little doubt that Obama sees the resolution he pushed through the UN Security Council denouncing Jewish settlements as a demonstration of his leadership. As his former Professor at Harvard Law Alan Dershowitz said, “Obama deceived me, he said he would have Israel’s back and instead he stuck a knife in it.” The US abstained from the vote that Obama engineered, thus allowing it to pass.

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Sen. Harry Reid is retiring effective this January. So along with the celebration that Barack Obama’s term as POTUS is over, we can be thankful that the grandson of a horse thief is also gone from public life.

Harry Reid was a pauper when elected to Congress and retires as a multi-millionaire. His financial improvement was not due to his sparkling personality, even in Washington, Harry Reid had a well-deserved reputation as being prickly. But he was a formidable foe, and both his financial upgrade and his power in DC was owing to his ability to be obstinate. Harry Reid usually got his way, and that tells you at least as much about the other Senators as it does him. Suffice it to say, SC’s Lindsey Graham did not have the backbone to defy Harry Reid.

The rules of the Senate are what governs their procedures; they don’t conduct business under Mason’s Rules of Order. The Senate of the US has its own rules, and that is what most folks do not understand. We hear how the Senate blocked some measure by the filibuster, which always required 60 votes to overcome. It is rare when the Senate can get 60 members to agree on something, so that was a high bar, and Harry Reid used it to obstruct all manner of policy. Their hidebound ways were often criticized as counter-productive, few measures cleared the Senate. But there was always an ace in the hole, so draconian they called it the “nuclear option.” The fact is nobody from either party was willing to invoke a change in the rules to make it easier to approve a bill.

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In my experience, one usually hears advice when its application would be least appreciated and mostly useless. Thus we come to know the truth in the saying that, “Nothing goes so unheeded as unsolicited advice,” and yet here I go.

My Mother was not just wise; she was given to me as an Angel from God. Please accept that I am not being flippant or a smart aleck at the moment; fact is, Mom’s analytical skills relative to her children were so astonishingly accurate it was, well, scary. Like when she told me at age 10 that my penchant for being reckless was going to hinder my life if not reformed. Her words have come back to haunt me many times since.

One can certainly make a case that wanting to join the Marines at age 19 because they said they needed “A few good men,” was motivated by all the right stuff. Then again, my sisters would tell you even today that such a decision during the Vietnam War falls into the reckless x 10 category. Who knew my sisters would also get the analytical gene…nah, just kidding, those two knuckleheads don’t know anything.

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Peggy Noonan said in the WSJ, “Trust America.” Apparently that is her response to people upset with an election that will put Donald Trump in the White House. While I want to share Ms. Noonan’s faith in the USA, it is less clear after 8 years of Obama that we can or should do so. Certainly we should not without strong “rules of engagement.”

There is much wiggle room under the First Amendment (1A), in fact, we allow for the expression of all sorts of nonsense. Where the line should be drawn, however, is when evil people among us utilize the American instinct for fair play and tolerance against us – then my pragmatic side says, “Wake up, America.”

ISIS, for example, has used the Internet for all sorts of nefarious purposes, including sending messages, recruiting and demonstrating just how evil human beings can be. Jihad is not a passing fancy: it has been around for 1400 years. We ignore radical Islamic terrorism, as Obama has tried to do, only at our peril.

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My Dad used to say it, “Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.” And I admit, among the things that progressives are doing lately that make me laugh are those signs that say, “Not my President.”

There are so many real and imagined grievances between and among us that one of the takeaways from the elections of 2016 is the indisputable fact that Obama succeeded. Oh, he lost an election alright; indeed, he lost in epic fashion. But his larger quest was to “fundamentally transform” this country and, by golly, he did so. As readers of this column know, my spin on his legacy will be anything but generous. Then again, even we amateur historians take a stab at “fair and balanced” now and again.

We used to be able to carry the weight, to shoulder without complaint the burdens of being a citizen in this land, the greatest country in history. No more; the MSM now carps about most everything and those masses who once “yearned to be free,” are now merely “useful idiots.” Obama succeeded in getting re-elected in 2012 and some would say in a larger sense as well, because he utilized a divide and conquer strategy. Military folks know one never splits the troops up, and yet there are examples…with names such as Chancellorsville.

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The election of 2016 is finally over. As I write this prior to Election Day, I have no knowledge of who will be the next POTUS. Regardless who won, however, can we all agree to make some changes so we never again find ourselves with such a lousy choice in candidates?

Political parties have become the antithesis of democracy. The Democrats were uncovered by WikiLeaks, emails clearly showed that Bernie Sanders did not have a prayer of winning the nomination. That Hillary Clinton engaged in corruption should surprise nobody. That the Democrat National Committee (DNC) did so will only be an issue if you are not a progressive ideologue, the sort that has taken control of the DNC. And because Hillary successfully colluded with the DNC to rig the primary system in her favor, it reinforced her belief that she was entitled to be POTUS. She tried to wrestle the nomination from Obama in 2008 also, but there were too many Democrats then who refused to go along.

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Donald Trump nailed the queen, in public and to her face. At the second debate held on Oct. 9th Donald Trump did what we have been waiting for, for 30 years to happen, he confronted Hillary Clinton about her illegal and shameless behavior. Bravo, Mr. Trump…well done.

Hillary Clinton has been allowed to get away with all sorts of conduct that would have put anybody else in prison. The most recent example of such was her using a private email server for official business while she was Secretary of State, and destroying thousands of emails which are public property. That the FBI/DOJ allowed this to happen and chose not to indict her is proof of how Obama has made the government into a completely political institution. Obama has destroyed the rule of law, but the fact is, he has been allowed to do that by a compliant Congress. Progressivism is a disease and most of those currently involved in government have been infected by it.

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Having survived my first POTUS primary election cycle in SC, let me share a few observations. “Take-aways” from anything are only useful if one identifies those worth remembering because they offer some valuable lessons.

Most stunning even for those of us who are unapologetic political junkies is that South Carolina really does go bonkers for a few weeks. I attended myriad events, including five political events in the last week, from the SC debates in Greenville through the last Rubio event in Clemson the night before the GOP primary…wow. It is wonderful to be able to do so, to participate in the democratic process up close and personal in a state where one’s vote actually matters.

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Do great people make history or does history make great people? Is it the larger than life character that molds and shapes events that determines the course of human existence? Or, more often than not, do events place a common person in a time and circumstances that give rise to uncommon human behavior?

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There are some astonishing things happening in America as we speak, not least important of them is the fact that the minority is having its way with the majority. Obama’s actions are and should be a concern and the fact is, the majority of Americans do not agree with POTUS. And the question of how that could happen is answered by the progressives having adopted Obama’s “Chicago style.” That means shut down the opposition by whatever means necessary. The truth is that under the false pretense of being liberal, the progressives have exposed their true nature…they are fascist at heart.

What liberals can’t stand is being called out, having their nonsense confronted by facts. Liberals operate on one level only, a purely emotional consciousness. Really, all kidding aside, liberals live a facts-free existence. What issue would you like to discuss, for example, “global warming?”

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Barack Obama has been President of the United States (POTUS) for seven years this month (1/16)…the most unsettling epoch in the history of the American presidency. What is even more bracing is the knowledge that the earthquake is not done yet. And the aftershocks will continue to alter American history long after Obama no longer lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Having Obama as POTUS would constitute cruel and unusual punishment, save for the fact that he didn’t just appear out of the mist. Obama was created out of whole cloth but mystery or not, he was elected twice. And if nothing else, Obama’s legacy will always serve as a reminder that “we get the government we deserve.” If Americans remain asleep at the switch and unwilling to fulfill their duty as citizens, we will continue to decline as a nation

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About ten years ago, on the occasion of my 60th birthday, I made a comment to the group my wife had assembled. To honor what I knew was a terrific bunch of people I said that, “Everybody in this room is a good human being.” Little did they know they were also shortly to become an endangered species. Without dwelling on the obvious fact that I reserved then and still count now on my place among the “good guys,” let’s talk about the larger premise.

From where I sit, the President of the United States (POTUS) has targeted the good people of America. There is really too much evidence to ignore what Obama is doing. The list of crimes against the honor and integrity of America and its people is, frankly, too long to list here. If you don’t agree with that, well, you simply aren’t paying attention.

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