The Third 100 Days (Trump Briefs: Sept. 23-29/Day 247-253) Week 36

By Michael Hernandez


Saturday, Sept. 23 (Day 247):

Trump criticizes NFL for ‘justifying disrespect’

President Donald Trump sharply criticized National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell for “justifying” the “disrespect” that NFL players show to the United States as a result of protests held during the playing of the national anthem.  “Tell them to stand!” tweeted President Trump.

Trump’s early evening tweet came several hours after a statement by the NFL chief who called the president “divisive” and said he failed to “understand the overwhelming force for good” the NFL offers the country.

On Saturday morning, Goodell said, “The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture.” Goodell’s statement came the morning after Trump’s Friday evening rally in Huntsville, Alabama where he called players who protest during the playing of the national anthem “sons of b**ches” and said he hoped NFL owners would “fire” them.

Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first Major League Baseball player to kneel during the pregame playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” when he dropped to a knee prior to Oakland’s game against the Texas Rangers Saturday night.

Former Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant jumped onto the anti-Trump bandwagon Saturday evening, tweeting that President Donald Trump’s very name inspires “division and anger.” “A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger,” Bryant tweeted on September 23. “Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can’t possibly ‘Make America Great Again.’” Kobe Bryant joined such players as LeBron James, who attacked the president for taking the “honor” out of sports teams visiting the White House.


Tea Party Patriots hold Capitol Hill rally; remind legislators of promises

Tea Party Patriots held a Capitol Hill rally on Saturday calling on legislators to keep the promises they made to the American people on issues like repealing Obamacare, enforcing the border and immigration laws and cutting taxes.

Rally attendees enthusiastically held up a myriad of signs, many of which were centered around the theme of the day, calling on GOP members of Congress to keep their promises. Close to 400 people gathered in Upper Senate park for the event.

JennyBeth Martin told the crowd, “We have to hold Congress accountable, We have to hold their feet to the fire. President [Donald] Trump needs us so that he can keep his campaign promises.”

When Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch took the stage he spoke of, “the deep state bureaucrats who oppose him ideologically.” He called out IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, asking why he is still in his position? “Why is the justice department in every day and in every way protecting Hillary Clinton?” said Fitton.

“We don’t need to reform the tax system, we need to reform the IRS,” Fitton went on to say. He called out the Justice Department for not reopening the IRS criminal investigation. “Why? Because they might have to ask someone by the name of Robert Mueller: Why were you collaborating with Lois Lerner to put in jail the very groups Lois Lerner was suppressing at the IRS?” said Fitton.

Fitton told the crowd that members of Congress are getting Obamacare subsidies for themselves “in violation of federal law.” He further assured the crowd that any Obamacare repeal bill won’t repeal the Obamacare subsidies that congressmen are receiving.

Fitton then turned his attention to James Comey, “The real Russia scandal is the Obama surveillance, targeting and illegal classified leaks of, targeting Donald Trump and his team. The real Russia scandal is the FBI director in a fit, leaving the FBI, taking documents with him, authorizing the leak from those documents to the New York Time in order to get a special counsel prosecutor.  End it now, shut it down, fire Mr. Mueller,” said Fitton. He said many of Judicial Watch’s lawsuits are a result of the “deep state” not wanting to “turn over documents that might be hurtful to the Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton gang, and that might be helpful to Donald Trump.”

At one point Ft Wayne, Indiana activist Emory McClendon took the stage and led the crowd in a chant of “Keep Your Promises.” He pointed the crowd to look to God to restore and heal America. He then spoke of meetings between activists and legislators where the legislators listened to their grievances and that they worked together to try and form common sense solutions to the problems the country faces, but the legislators haven’t kept the promises they made. He recalled the hard work to get legislators elected, adding that they knew it was going to be a long process to see improvement.

Minnesota State Representative Cindy Pugh talked about the first time she came to D.C. Before she ran for elected office she heard Michelle Bachman call to Americans to come to the nation’s capitol for a rally. Pugh didn’t know Bachman at the time, but was struck by the call and hopped on a bus that was headed to the rally from her state. After returning home she started to hear calls from those around her asking her to run for elected office. After saying no many times, she finally decided to take up the charge. She ran and now serves in the Minnesota state legislature.

Linda Dorr of California spoke of her fight with breast cancer and warned against the death panels enshrined in Obamacare that may remain if Obamacare is not repealed in its entirety.

Hepatitis A outbreak goes from San Diego to Los Angeles

A deadly outbreak of Hepatitis A that has claimed 18 lives in San Diego County in recent months, mostly among the rapidly-growing homeless population, has spread to Los Angeles.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune: “Los Angeles County health officials declared a hepatitis A outbreak Tuesday, days after a public health emergency was announced in San Diego County, where at least 16 people have died of the highly contagious virus.”

Case numbers are still small in L.A. County, with only 10 people infected as part of the outbreak, said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health. By comparison, almost 450 people have contracted the virus in San Diego.  Ferrer said the department is ramping up prevention efforts locally so more people don’t get sick. San Diego’s outbreak has already spread to Santa Cruz, where 69 people have been diagnosed.

Officials say homeless people in California are most at risk, because the virus appears to be moving from person to person within that community. People become infected with hepatitis A, which affects the liver.


Sunday, Sept. 24 (Day 248):

NFL athletes take a knee during National Anthem; more criticism of Trump

Many NFL players on Sunday knelt during the national anthem, while others linked arms with their teammates in shows of solidarity.

On Sunday, Trump ramped up his criticism of NFL players. “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast,” he tweeted. “Fire or suspend!”  He also tweeted Sunday that sports fans shouldn’t “condone players” that don’t stand during the national anthem and called for the NFL to change its policy.

Team owners and players have since spoken out against Trump’s comments, calling them divisive and disappointing.   As the NFL’s Sunday games rolled on, sports announcers, commentators, and reporters began commenting on President Donald Trump’s criticisms of the national anthem protests burning throughout the league.

Fox Sports’ Terry Bradshaw, for instance, attacked the president on Sunday saying that his criticism of the anthem protests showed a lack of understanding about the freedoms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.  “This is America. If our country stands for anything, folks, it’s freedom,” Bradshaw said. “People died for that freedom. I’m not sure if our President understands those rights. That every American has the right to speak out also to protest. Believe me, these athletes do love our this great country of ours.”

Sports Illustrated reporter Sean Gregory chimed in on Trump’s comments saying that he hopes that NFL owners “stand up to Donald Trump on national anthem protests.”  Gregory urged the owners to make a unified statement against the president of the United States. “Now’s our chance to see if NFL owners have a sliver of their mettle,” he said.


Nonprofit group launches Facebook ad campaign urging NFL boycott

A nonprofit group that supports President Donald Trump has launched a Facebook ad campaign to urge Americans to stand with the president in his criticism of the National Football League.

Urging Americans to “Turn Off The NFL,” the group America First Policies has added the hashtag #TakeAStandNotAKnee to push the campaign on social media.

The ad features a photo of President Trump with his hand over his heart: “The right to free speech comes with great responsibility and a duty to honor what is sacred,” said America First Policies spokesperson Erin Montgomery, according to the Washington Post. “We’ve chosen to stand in solidarity with Americans who refuse to allow a select group of hateful individuals to disrespect the American flag — and for the men and women who have given their lives defending that very flag.”

(Editor’s Note:  See editorial written by Citizens Journal co-founder Mike Hernandez:  “Boycott the NFL; give money to disabled veterans and wounded warriors.  See link:


Monday, Sept. 25 (Day 249):

Steve Bannon campaigns for Roy Moore in Alabama

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon will campaign Monday for Roy Moore – the Christian conservative who is running against the candidate endorsed by President Trump in the state’s Republican Senate race.  Joining him is  Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.  Both headline a rally for Moore on Monday night.  Nigel Farage — the man behind Britain’s anti-establishment Brexit vote and an early supporter of President Donald Trump during his campaign for election will also stand behind Alabama  Republican primary candidate Judge Roy Moore.

Trump has endorsed Luther Strange, the appointed incumbent senator, in the runoff, which takes place Tuesday. The president held a rally for Strange on Friday evening. Strange’s campaign has benefited from the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and political organizations tied to him.  Vice President Mike Pence also is set to campaign for Strange on Monday.

Strange, the former attorney general in Alabama, was temporarily appointed to the seat in April after Attorney General Jeff Sessions joined the Trump administration.

Moore, known in Alabama as the “Ten Commandments Judge,” is a Christian conservative who is famous for having been removed twice from his position on Alabama’s Supreme Court.

The winner of the GOP runoff will face Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney under the Clinton administration who was endorsed by former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden has announced plans to campaign for Jones in Alabama in October.


Tuesday, Sept. 26 (Day 250):

Roy Moore Victory Speech:  ‘Together we can make America great’

Judge Roy Moore addressed a room of jubilant supporters in Montgomery, Alabama, with words of thanks and acknowledgment of God in his win shortly after he was declared to be winner in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff election.

“There’s nothing too great for God,” said Moore.  “We are put on earth for a short time and for that time our duty is to serve almighty God and to acknowledge Him in all things.

“Together we can make America great!  We can support the President.  We have to return to knowledge of God and the Constitution of the United States.  I believe we can make America great, but we must make America good, and you cannot make America good without acknowledging the sovereign source of that goodness, the sovereign source of our law, liberty, and government, which is Almighty God.

“We are one nation under God and we can become one nation unified.   It’s time to rededicate our lives to God and to the Constitution, and to our country, to our families.  Let’s go and make America great.”

Moore was outspent in the runoff race more than 10:1 as his opponent, Luther Strange received more than $30 million.


Wednesday, Sept. 27 (Day 251):

President Trump explains middle-class tax plan:  ‘It’s not good for me’

“I’m doing the right thing, and it’s not good for me, believe me,” President Trump said as he touted his plan to overhaul the nation’s tax system by promising it’s “not good” for wealthy individuals.

According to Trump, the plan will deliver on his promise to help his working-class supporters by lowering their taxes, creating new jobs and boosting wages.   “We are doing everything we can do to reduce the tax burden on you and your family,” he told a crowd of supporters at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

“What’s is good for me is if everything takes off like a rocket ship like it should have for 20 years.  That’s good for everyone and that’s what I think is going to happen.”

Conservative activist groups such as the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks lauded the tax blueprint released by Republicans on Wednesday that seeks to cut taxes on middle-class families and Americans businesses.

The Republican plan for tax reform would collapse the seven individual tax brackets into three and tax Americans at 12, 25, and 35 percent. The tax reform plank would raise the standard income tax deduction for single filers to $12,000, and $24,000 for families. The tax plan would also repeal the estate tax, also known as the death tax, and the alternative minimum tax. Republicans would also cut corporate tax rates to 20 percent, which would be lower than the 22.5 percent average of the industrialized world.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh lauded the Republican plan. McIntosh said in a statement, “Club for Growth is very encouraged and pleased with the long-awaited tax reform outline.

“Fundamental tax reform comes around only once in a generation, and this is our chance.  The outline is both aggressive and very pro-growth with its rate reductions,” said McIntosh.  “Club for Growth will continue to support the pro-growth efforts of the Trump administration and Congress as they seek to make tax reform a reality.  To this end, the Club will also work with Congress to pass a budget in order to get reconciliation tax instructions.”

FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said that Congress needs to design a tax code that would favor the American people over Washington, D.C., special interests. Brandon explained:  “Americans are fed up with the rigged economy. They see a current tax code that benefits politically connected special interests. The framework released today represents a transformation of America’s tax code and would help the middle class. It simplifies a complex system that taxpayers spend billions annually to comply with and will spur economic growth, allowing American businesses to increase wages and create more jobs.”

Heritage Action chief executive Michael Needham charged, “We have a once in a generation opportunity to fundamentally reform our nation’s stagnant and convoluted tax code that suppresses American job creators and workers. Heritage   Action applauds President Trump and congressional leaders for uniting behind a coherent set of reforms and reductions that align with conservative priorities.  If enacted, there is no doubt such a plan would unleash economic growth, create jobs and increase wages.”

California’s presidential primary will be moved from June to March

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that moves the California’s presidential primary from June to March starting in 2020.  SB 568 will push all primary elections in California forward by three months — including all statewide, legislative, congressional and presidential races. That puts California’s primary on March 3rd, 2020 — which will likely be a Super Tuesday, with half a dozen other states holding their primaries on the same day.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Trump is the primary reason for the change, even though helping more liberal and potentially California candidates compete was also on the minds of California Democrats.

Reuters reported:  “California is the beating heart of the national resistance to Trump, and California Democrats are defining the progressive agenda for America,” state Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman said in a press release. “When it comes to deciding the Democratic nominee, our voices need to be heard early in the process.”


Thursday, Sept. 28 (Day 252):

House Majority Whip returns to House with standing ovation

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) returned to the Capitol with a standing ovation for the first time since he was shot at a GOP baseball practice in June.

“You have no idea how great this feels o be back here a work in the people’s House,” Scalise said before a House chamber packed with lawmakers.

Scalise made his way inside on crutches, sill struggling slightly to walk.  He was among four people shot by a gunman on June 14 as GOP lawmakers practiced for the annual charity Congressional Baseball Game.   A member of his Capitol Police security detail, a staffer for Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) and a Tyson Foods lobbyist were also injured.

“It’s so important that as we’re having those political battles, we don’t make them personal,”  Scalise said.


Denver Broncos, Steelers to stand for the anthem this Sunday

The Denver Broncos may be trying to become “America’s team” by announcing that they’re going to stand for the anthem, as a team, from now on.  They released a statement from the team Twitter account on Thursday afternoon.

On Wednesday, John Elway made it clear that while he respected the rights, and empathized with the feelings of a lot of his players when it comes to President Trump and his comments in Alabama. He still wished fervently to get the “politics out of football” after last weekend’s massive NFL protests.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have also released a statement saying they will end their protests and stand beginning on Sunday.


Supreme Court to hear major free speech case against unions

The Supreme Court will hear Janus v. AFSCME—a case to determine whether forced union dues from public-sector unions to pay for political activity which almost always supports liberal political candidates and priorities violates the First Amendment.

In a 1977 case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education the Supreme Court had taken a position that the Constitution allows forcing union members to pay for political speech they disagree with.  But in recent years the Court has changed course.

The Supreme Court has now accepted 39 cases for the upcoming annual term that begins Oct. 2nd and is expected to take over 75 cases.


Friday, Sept. 29 (Day 253):

Half of Americans support military action against North Korea

Half of Americans support military action against North Korea according to a poll from YouGov and The Economist.  Seventy nine percent of poll respondents said they were concerned about the possibility of war with North Korea.  Forty-four percent said eliminating North Korea’s nuclear weapons was more important than avoiding war.

A Fox News poll showed 70 percent said President Trump talk about North Korea was “not helpful” and 61 percent said diplomacy and sanctions were the best way to stop North Korea’s nuclear program.  Some 46 percent said they supported “tough talk” on North Korea.


Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigns

The Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigns after a series of reports uncovered expensive private flights billed to taxpayers for travel.

The investigation spearheaded by Politico uncovered about $1 million in taxpayer-funded private, charter, and military planes during the eight months of his time in office.  Price tried to apologize for the flights, vowing not to do it again and even offering to refund taxpayers for some of the cost, but it was apparently not enough for the White House.

“I’m not happy, I can tell you,” Trump said as he told reporters that the White House would be putting a stop to cabinet officials traveling on private flights.  “We put in an order … no more planes,” Trump said, pointing out that the Obama administration spent a lot of time and money on airplane flights.


Puerto Rico Governor praises Trump for his response to Hurricane Maria;

Criticism to U.S. response mounts

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló praised President Donald Trump for his response to the island after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. “The president and the administration, every time we’ve asked them to execute, they’ve executed quickly,” Rosselló told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo in an interview on Friday morning.

The governor said that aid was currently being distributed around the island and that it would be more effective as more personnel arrived.  He said that the island was in “emergency mode” but called on members of Congress to act quickly with a long-term rebuilding package.

“We need to take this very seriously. Right now, we’re in emergency mode, but certainly, I call upon Congress to enact an aid bill for Puerto Rico that is consistent with the damage that has been suffered,” he said. He urged Congress to include access to financing from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury as part of the deal.

“We need to treat Puerto Rico equally to Texas or Florida or any other state,” he said.

Trump said that “big decisions will have to be made” about the future of Puerto Rico in upcoming days.  The president told reporters that next Tuesday will be the earliest he can visit, due to the extensive storm damage. “We don’t want to disrupt the relief efforts,” Trump said.

President Trump praised the Puerto Rico response from FEMA and other emergency aid groups, asserting that food, water, and supplies are landing on the island hourly.  “We’ve worked very, very hard in Puerto Rico,” said Trump, noting that it was more difficult to send aid to an island.

“The island is devastated. … I read this morning, literally destroyed,” he said, recalling that the Category 5 storm hit the island “dead center.”

He thanked officials in Puerto Rico for their response to the storm. “These are great people, wonderful people. They’re hardy people,” he said. “They’ll be back, but we’re helping them.”

Criticism has been mounting over the Trump administration’s response to what is being called an unfolding humanitarian crisis, with some likening the situation to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Maria knocked out power to most of Puerto Rico when it struck as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 20. The storm came on the heels of Hurricane Irma, which skirted past the island but still knocked out power to more than 1 million.

Some 18 people have been confirmed dead in Puerto Rico in the wake of the storm, while 16 died on the island of Dominica and one on the French territory of Guadeloupe.

Initially, the Trump administration named a one-star general to run U.S. military operations, then upgraded the command to three-star Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, who headed to Puerto Rico on Thursday.

An Army spokesperson said that as of 4 p.m. ET Friday the Army has more than 4,900 soldiers and Army Corps of Engineers civilian personnel in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were also hit by the hurricane. Thirty aircraft and more than 500 trucks are committed to relief efforts, the spokesperson said. The National Guard said it projects 1,400 guard forces will be sent to Puerto Rico over the next four days.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said this week that Puerto Rico has received 4.4 million meal kits, 6.5 million liters of water.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long said on MSNBC Friday that progress is being made. He said airport and port capacity is increasing. “We are making progress, every day capacity is coming open,” he said. “We’ve worked to clear 11 highways, we’re continuing to push forward and open up those arteries to be able to pump more in,” Long said. “The bottom line is that the capacity will continue to increase.”

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in West Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 23 years as a middle school teacher.  Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email: [email protected]

Mr. Hernandez is dedicating himself to advance the 13 spheres –as a “City Upon A Hill”; developing an interactive California citizens news platform as an alternative to mainstream media; while building local school-community partnerships.

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