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  • A New Era: “America First!”

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    At 12 Noon ET, Donald John Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.

    A group hug for the First Family after President Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    A group hug for the First Family after President Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    President Trump was joined by First Lady Melania Trump, their child 10-year-old Barron, and the rest of the First Family, including Ivanka, Donald, Jr., Eric and Tiffany Trump, Mr. Trump’s son and daughters-in-law, and grandchildren.

    Mr. Trump gave a brief, nonpartisan and unideological 1,433 word Inaugural Address to the nation promising a bright future under his Administration in which the President said he would not bend to political influences. Mr. Trump, in a contrast to President Barack Hussein Obama, was concise and direct in laying out his goals of prosperity, strength, peace and unity for the nation. Despite sharp opposition to his Presidency, Trump vowed to return power to the American people, as the framers intended.

    “January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” said President Trump.

    The "Movement" began on June 16, 2015 as Mr. Trump rode down his Trump Tower escalator with his wife Melania. (Courtesy: ABC News)
    The “Movement” began on June 16, 2015 as Mr. Trump rode down his Trump Tower escalator with his wife Melania. (Courtesy: ABC News)

    A new era has begun as the man whom everyone underestimated since he announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015 when Trump famously took a ride down his golden Trump Tower escalator in New York City.

    What elitists didn’t realize was people were sick of establishment politics, the “all talk, no action” games, and the unkept promises. Furthermore, the “blue collar businessman” connected with Americans in the heartland of the country, many of whom have seen their jobs taken from underneath them in favor of globalist policies that Trump has promised to reverse. In fact, he has already created and saved American jobs; companies like Carrier, Sprint, Amazon, Alibaba, Ford and General Motors, among others, have made major economic announcements in a nod to President Trump’s favorable business and pro-growth policies, a stark contrast to the past 8-years of high taxes and restrictive business regulations that have stifled economic growth.

    America currently has the lowest labor participation rate since the 1970s with 95 million Americans out of the labor force, 13 million more Americans on food stamps since 2009 and the lowest home ownership rate in 51 years.


    “I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down. America will start winning again, winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.” – President Donald J. Trump, Friday, January 20, 2017, Inaugural Address at The Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.


    Despite the minuscule amount of violence rioters and anarchists played-up by liberals and the press, President Trump was unifying in message, giving hope and pride to millions of Americans who have felt left out under the Obama Administration and encouragement to those who didn’t vote for the novice politician.

    “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” – President Donald J. Trump, Friday, January 20, 2017, Inaugural Address at The Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

    Personal politics aside in a politically divided nation, today is a wonderful day for the United States of America as the transition of power between 44th President Obama and 45th President Trump occurred when Mr. Trump took the oath of office at high noon. This only happens in a free nation. Former Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and his wife, Trump’s political opponent, former Senator, former First Lady, and former Obama Administration Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy Carter were present as well as the Supreme Court Justices, demonstrating continuity of our government. President George H.W. Bush been in a Houston, Texas hospital since Saturday. Shortly before his hospitalization due to pneumonia, the 92-year-old 41st President regretfully informed Mr. Trump that he would not be in attendance.

    George H.W. Bush wrote a letter to then, President-elect Donald Trump ahead of the inauguration.
    George H.W. Bush wrote a letter to then, President-elect Donald Trump ahead of the inauguration.
    "Donald Trump's Contract with the American Voter," President Trump's ambitious agenda and promise to the American people.
    “Donald Trump’s Contract with the American Voter,” President Trump’s ambitious agenda and promise to the American people.

    This is a time to give President Trump a chance to succeed. Patriotism means rooting for our President and rooting for our country.

    Mr. Trump has published a “Contract with the American Voter,” which includes repealing and replacing The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with a more affordable healthcare program consisting of personal health savings accounts and nationwide competition in the private sector to decrease premiums and deductibles. President Trump’s first executive order upon entering the Oval Office for the first time was titled “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.” 

    President Trump has promised to secure our borders with the wall being a necessary component of the nation’s security. Marine General John Kelly has been nominated and confirmed as Director of Homeland Security on President Trump’s first day in office. President Trump aims to vet refugees to ensure that radical Islamic terrorists and other foreign terrorists do not enter the U.S., deport criminal illegal immigrants, enforce our laws, support law enforcement and restore peace and creating opportunity for inner-city Americans, including supporting education controlled by the states and charter schools. American students are ranked 20th in reading, 19th in science and 31st in math compared to students in 35 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, dropping since 2009 from 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in mathematics.

    President Trump aims to cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent while reducing the amount of personal tax brackets to 3 brackets. The Republican President’s agenda includes getting rid of restrictive regulations, repatriating money for a low 10 percent tax in order to create economic opportunity for Americans who have lost their jobs to outsourcing. Trump is promising to bring back and create more American jobs even more than he already been able to take credit for as a result of his pro-business and pro-growth policies. Trump intends to implement ethics reforms like term limits for members of Congress. Mr. Trump will also be tasked with appointing a Supreme Court Justice to replace Antonin Scalia who passed away last February.

    In terms of foreign policy, President Trump’s has been specific in his action plan to enhance the U.S. Armed Forces, including updating dilapidated military equipment and providing monetary support, leading by “peace through strength,” an ode to the President Ronald Reagan foreign policy mantra. General James Mattis, another Marine, has been confirmed as the Chief Executive’s Defense Secretary. Trump has also been vocal and active in his support for U.S. veterans. He has promised to reform the Veterans Affairs Administration and allow vets to seek medical care in any hospital they choose to be reimbursed by the federal government.

    “We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.” -President Donald J. Trump, Friday, January 20, 2017, Inaugural Address at The Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

    Other items on Trump’s agenda include renegotiating trade deals to ensure Americans have priority in American jobs and are not being “ripped off” by countries like China, which devalues its currency and sees tremendous growth of about 6.8 percent of GDP in the 3rd quarter of 2016 while U.S. growth was 3.5 percent of gross domestic product. Trump has said he will renegotiate or scrap the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed by President Clinton in 1994, in favor of “smart” trade policies with a greater benefit for American citizens. President Trump is also planning on abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal that many argue hurts American workers. Democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also said he would kill NAFTA and TPP if he was elected president.

    Trump also seeks to accomplish energy independence by using our own resources as opposed to dealing with terror sponsored nations like Iran and Saudi Arabia that are rich in oil. President Trump says he will reevaluate our commitments to the United Nations and NATO for which the United States spends the majority of dues without enough reward to the U.S. and its allies, many would argue.

    This is an ambitious agenda, emphasizing “American exceptionalism;” if President Trump can implement these policies, continue to create and save American jobs, restore peace and unity and truly be the President for all Americans, Mr. Trump, and by extension, the country succeeds.

    “When you succeed, the country succeeds.” – President Barack Obama to President-elect Donald Trump, November 10, 2016, The White House

    Let’s pray and support President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the United States. Now it’s time to get to work and “Make America Great Again, greater than ever before!”

    President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump share a dance at the Liberty Ball. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
    President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump share a dance at the Liberty Ball. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

    “We always felt we are going to do it. It’s a movement like they have never seen anywhere, anytime in the world. And now the work begins. There is no games. We are not playing games. The work begins. We love you, we are going to be working for you and we are going to be producing results.” – President Donald J. Trump, Friday, January 20, 2017 Liberty Ball, Walter Washington Convention Centre in Washington, D.C.

    God Bless America!



    Featured Image Courtesy: Associated Press.

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  • Walking in an Army Veteran’s Shoes

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    Rance Mangum enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 15, 1988, proudly serving the United States of America for over 5 years.

    Rance Mangum at 34-years-old.
    Rance Mangum at 34-years-old.

    “People’s lives depended on you,” said Mangum.

    When he returned home to Long Island in 1992 from his tour in Germany, Mangum was homeless, moving in with his grandmother, who raised him since he was 3-years-old. His grandmother, who died in 2012, was his inspiration for dedicating himself to life of service. He spent 14 years as a firefighter, upwards of 30 years in various medical roles, including an EMT, EKG technician and a Certified Nursing Assistant in private Army duty in Florida.


    Mangum holds a picture of him and his grandmother that was taken months before she died in 2012.
    Mangum holds a picture of him and his grandmother that was taken months before she died in 2012.

    “She made sure that I had my principles and know right from wrong,” said Mangum. “My grandmother says that you have to help others to help yourself.”

    About 11 percent of the adult homeless population are veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 39,471 vets are homeless on a given night, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Furthermore, homeless vets are younger on average than the total veteran population with 41 percent of homeless vets between the ages of 31 and 50, according to the VA.



    “The transition [from military service to civilian life] depends on the person, their educations, their situations, their past,” said Mangum, adding, “Sometimes all a person needs is a chance, just a chance to start their life over. Just don’t look at them as a homeless person or a street person walking around, you have to look at the person themselves.”

    Mangum, 62, recently signed a rental lease at a home in West Babylon, NY and is seeking employment in the MTA, driving New York City buses after he completes his Class B driver’s license test in December.

    “We had a lot of training, because we didn’t know if we were going to Iraq,” said Mangum, who finds civilian work more difficult due to the lack of respect for military members by some employers.

    “In the military, you’re in charge of millions and millions of dollars worth of equipment, you are, and you come back here to the United States and civilians look at you for a couple of thousands of dollars, because they don’t think you can handle it,” adding that some employers have a condescending attitude towards veterans who say they can handle tasks.

    “Take a couple steps in my shoes.” – Rance Mangum, U.S. Army Veteran

    There are 495,000 unemployed veterans in the United States as of the end of last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Vets over the age of 45, like Rance, account for a 57 percent unemployment rate in their age group. Furthermore, female veterans are more likely to be unemployed than males.

    Mangum also suffers from some medical conditions, including a benign tumor on the side of his head. With much national discussion centered around the treatment of veterans at the VA, Mangum, who lived at the United Veterans Beacon House at the Northport VA on Long Island for a few months until he moved to West Babylon, said he was treated well and views situations in an optimistic manner, a lesson he has learned in his lifetime.

    “Some of these [vets, living and being treated at the VA], you don’t know how intense it was in Iraq [and] Afghanistan,” said Mangum, who added that those veterans who “come back to the United States and don’t have a job, don’t have a place to live, have alcoholic problems, have drug problems and also have symptoms from post-war syndrome” oftentimes just need someone to talk to in order to feel better.

    Carol Klein, co-founder with her husband of “Our Heroes Night Out,” supports homeless veterans by hosting gatherings at the Beacon House in Nortphort.

    “Sometimes it’s just easier for people to say ‘well, I’ll give you a check for 25 dollars’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t want your money, I want your time,’” said Klein to which Mangum nodded in agreement. “I just say, could you please just come and spend a little bit of time with these guys. It’s all they need – share your talent, share your time.”

    Klein’s brother served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam, her son-in-law is a Marines veteran and her nephew is going into the U.S. Navy this month.

    Carol Klein, right, devotes much of her time and energy giving back to those who keep us safe.
    Carol Klein, right, devotes her time and energy giving back to those who keep us safe.

    “Carol is a big part of happiness there,” recalled Mangum. “Everybody loves this lady, they look forward to her.”

    Veterans are overjoyed when they receive visits to the VA and letters from people, expressing their gratitude and talking about subjects unrelated to the military and war. Mangum enjoys talking about sports, especially his favorite NFL team, the New York Jets, and even engage in civil political discussions and debate.

    Rance's first great-grandchild.
    Rance’s first great-grandchild.

    Mangum has family he is close with, including one of his sisters, his two kids and several grandchildren, one who just welcomed in Rance’s first great-grandchild into the world. Many veterans, though, find comfort in their military peers.

    “Military has a family-type situation,” said Mangum, who has befriended vets who he has lived with at the Northport VA and continues to keep in contact with Army veterans who he served with via Facebook. “I don’t care if you’re a Navy, Army, Air Force guy, you have that camaraderie of military person.”

    There are 21,681,000 veterans living in the United States, according to the latest VA data. New York ranks fifth on total veteran population with three-quarters of the Empire State’s vets having served in wartime.


    New York’s veteran population is highly concentrated east of the City, where roughly 20 percent of vets live on Long Island, where Rance has called home for the better part of 50 years, between duty overseas and private duty service in other states.

    “Let them know that you care,” said Mangum about how people can help those who served to protect our nation’s freedom, sovereignty and values. “It gives them inspiration to do better to help themselves. Sometimes people don’t want to take the time to do that.”

    One can get involved in supporting our veterans through “Our Heroes Night Out” by contacting Klein via her website.

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  • Independence Day 2: Donald Trump Elected President Against All Odds, Vows to Return Power to the American People

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    In an unprecedented upset, Republican nominee, businessman Donald J. Trump won the 2016 presidential election, his first political campaign, over Hillary Clinton, being elected the 45th President of the United States of America by the American voters.

    President-elect Trump shakes hands with Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R-IN) at the New York Hilton Midtown as they declared victory. (Getty Images)
    President-elect Trump shakes hands with Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R-IN) at the New York Hilton Midtown as they declared victory. (Getty Images)

    Most political pundits didn’t give Mr. Trump a chance to win in the primaries in which he had to overcome 16 GOP candidates in a hard-fought, contentious campaign in which Trump tapped into the anti-establishment wave with a successful nationalist, populist message of making America strong, safe, wealthy and great again. Trump was given little to no chance to defeat Mrs. Clinton in the general election, but the real estate mogul did so decidedly with a “silent majority” of enthusiastic Trump supporters, who voted to “take back our country” from a big government, political establishment which has teetered on corruption optics.

    The President-elect received big wins in swing states such as Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. Trump shockingly won traditional blue states Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and was competitive in Michigan, which is still too close to call as of Wednesday afternoon. Trump also won in Maine’s 2nd congressional district, Utah, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s home state of Indiana. Alaska’s 3 electoral votes, announced in the 3 AM ET hour, put the Trump/Pence Republican ticket over the top to clinch the presidency with the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win.

    This reporter covered election night outside Mr. Trump’s election headquarters at the New York Hilton Midtown, surrounded by enthusiastic Trump supporters of all races, ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds. As the night progressed and states like Florida, Ohio and North Carolina were called, Trump supporters cheered with hope for the non-establishment candidate, given little to no shot of defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton. The live reports are below, in a playlist, including interviews with supporters and the group “Blacks for Trump,” discussing substantive issues and their reasons for supporting the political outsider from Queens, and capturing the surreal atmosphere in the heart of New York City.

    Featured image courtesy of VOA News.

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  • How Millennials Could Determine the Next President

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    As Seen on Eyewitness News  header-small header-large

    Millennials, people born after 1980, have already surpassed baby boomers as the largest living generation in the United States, and they are now essentially tied for 31 percent of the nation’s electorate, according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. There is an estimated 69.2 million voter-age millennials in the U.S. and approximately 69.7 million baby boomers. Millennials will overtake boomers by 2020.

    The first presidential debate will be held on the campus of Hofstra University where there is excitement, enthusiasm and a plethora of opinions from millennial students, who can determine the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, like America’s youth did in 2008 when 48.5 percent of young voters turned out in a year when the first black president, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), was elected over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

    Hofstra student Shannon Spada proudly wears her Trump/Pence t-shirt.
    Hofstra student Shannon Spada proudly wears her DonaldTrump/Mike Pence t-shirt.

    “I hate Hillary Clinton,” said Shannon Spada, a senior political science major at Hofstra, who is also a member of the Hofstra chapter of College Republicans. “She has blood on her hands from Benghazi, she’s untrustworthy, she has 30 years of experience that doesn’t prove she’s been successful in anything.”

    Fifty-five percent of Americans see Hillary Clinton unfavorably to Donald Trump’s 55% unfavorable rating, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

    “Both candidates aren’t the best that we’ve chosen,” said Hofstra student Solangie Diaz, who is voting for Mrs. Clinton despite “agreeing” with Mr. Trump and the GOP on some issues, namely conservatives’ pro-life stance on abortion.

    “I was hoping we’d have a third party candidate, but it’s not going to happen,” added student Mirjavolon Kurbonov, a Gary Johnson supporter.

    Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee, slipped from 9 percent to 5 percent, among likely voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, conducted from September 19-22. Jill Stein of the Green Party is polling at 1 percent.

    While a dead heat between Clinton and Trump, percentages within the poll’s margin of error, the Republican nominee is winning with enthusiasm. Fifty-five percent of Trump supporters are “very enthusiastic” about his candidacy to 46 percent of enthused Clinton supporters.

    “It’s hard for me to trust [Clinton], but I rather her than Trump,” remarked Chris Virsner, a junior at Hofstra.

    “I definitely think we need to secure the borders,” Spada said. “One of the main things that drew me to [Trump] is that we need a wall and we need a way to prevent people from coming in at their will.”

    The first presidential debate at Hofstra University on Long Island begins at 9 PM ET. Eyewitness News’ pre-debate special, “The Countdown: The Hofstra Debate” is live at 8 PM on and on Facebook.







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  • Hurting America’s Future? The Effect Immigration Has on the Long Island Economy

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    Immigration has been a forefront issue in the presidential campaign with Republican nominee Donald Trump vowing to build a wall along the Southern border and enforcing current immigration laws to ensure people enter the United States through the legal process instead of gaining sanctuary in the U.S. with many overstaying visas.

    There are 526,000 immigrants living on Long Island, the site of the first presidential debate, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute’s analysis of the most recent data available from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2013. Throughout the election season, immigration has been discussed extensively as it has been a focal point of Donald Trump’s campaign. Of the more than half a million immigrants in the area, 98,000 people are living in the United States illegally.

    “Other than refugees, people are choosing to come here and they’re certainly doing something good for them. It’s good for the overall economy of Long Island as well,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, a senior fellow at FPI and the director of its immigration research initiative. FPI is a 25-year-old independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization with the mission to improve the economic and social conditions of all New Yorkers.

    Immigration labor contributes 20 percent of Long Island’s economic output. Immigrants are 18 percent of the region’s population.

    While the national debates are dominated by discussion of immigrants from Mexico, who make up 28 percent of immigrants in the U.S. as a whole, people born in El Salvador constitute 14 percent of the Island’s immigration population.

    “If you come from Guatemala or El Salvador and make it to a family [that makes the median income of $80,000], that is the American Dream,” Kallick said.

    While there is an upside to the overall economy, American workers are being hurt on a micro level when competing with illegal immigrants.

    “It does really impact everyone,” said Hofstra University junior Sarah Paquette, continuing, “I think it is important for everyone to truly understand what’s really going on.”

    “Eventually, it does put a strain on the economy,” said Hofstra senior and student government president Damian Gallagher. “I think you could overpopulate certain schools where other children could become disadvantaged. I think in the work force when you have more bodies then, yes, it could affect the average Joe looking for a job.”

    Hofstra will play host to the first presidential debate on Monday evening. It hosted a presidential debate in 2008 and 2012. The Long Island University was originally billed as an alternate in 2016 before Ohio’s Wright University withdrew from the debate, citing security concerns.

    Millennials are fleeing Long Island, a long-term trend, due to high cost of living expenses and higher-level, more skilled jobs elsewhere.

    “Competition…that’s life,” said Paquette, adding that she uses it as a “motivating factor.”

    “There’s no way to have effective enforcement of immigration laws unless you have a point where everybody’s in compliance.” – David Dyssegaard Kallick, Fiscal Policy Institute

    “There’s very little labor regulation, very little enforcement so people are able to pay lower wages is part of the problem,” Kallick said, noting other economic problems when illegal immigrants are employed such as “employers paying people without workers compensation, without paying unemployment insurance, without sort of being part of the regular system.”

    David Dyssegaard Kallick (left) and reporter Neil A. Carousso
    David Dyssegaard Kallick (left) and reporter Neil A. Carousso

    The illegal nature of undocumented immigration, Kallick points out, means lower wages for young American workers. Young black men with a high school degree or less suffer the most.

    “There’s no way to have effective enforcement of immigration laws unless you have a point where everybody’s in compliance,” said Kallick, who has been with FPI since the summer of 2001.

    It is estimated that there are 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, which Kallick believes is accurate within 20 percent, according to his research.

    Evidently, legal immigration significantly benefits the American economy, whereas illegal immigration has pitfalls for a nation’s economy and security.

    “I think there needs to be a system where you first of all say, how do you make sure everybody’s in compliance – employers and employees? How do you make sure that people who come here, do come here legally? Because, you don’t want to come here illegally across the borders or even legally, which is in fact 40 percent of undocumented immigrants come and overstay visas,” said Kallick, adding, “How do you stop that from happening? And, I think there are good ways to think about it, but again, it has to be in a context where you can think about enforcement.”

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