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Month: January 2017

Why millions gather to say ‘no’

By E.J. DIONNE JR.

Within 48 hours, we learned that Donald John Trump intends to govern as the same fiercely angry man who shook the country in 2016. He confirmed that his administration intends to show no regard for norms —or facts.

His opposition has drawn the obvious conclusion. Its only options are to contain the damage Trump can do, to restrain him in his use of power, and, eventually, to defeat him.

In his inaugural address, Trump offered no outreach to his adversaries with a take-no-prisoners message. They heard it, and were ready to return the favor. Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington and its counterparts in cities and towns across the country drew millions who signaled plainly that they would not be cowed into silence or demobilized into a sullen indifference.

There was a jubilance in the Washington gathering because so many were grateful to each other for showing up in such large numbers. Those who had spent January 20th in gloom spent January 21st experiencing a sense of relief: In the face of the political troubles to come, they would have allies and friends ready to act.

If power shifted decisively on Friday to Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, passion switched sides as well. As the marches showed, the political energy in the country is now arrayed against Trump and his agenda.

Republicans no longer have Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to kick around. For years, they were able to direct the country’s discontents toward a president they loathed and then a Democratic nominee they disliked even more.

With control of both elected branches, the GOP, including Trump, is the Establishment. Over time, this will make the faux populist anti-Establishment appeal of Trump’s inaugural address ring empty.

It was a speech that offered a dark and gloomy view that cast the world’s richest nation as a victim of the rest of the world. He spoke of “carnage” in the country and declared: “We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs,”

Trump invoked a radical nationalism not heard from any president of either party in the post-World War II era. His doctrine owes far more to the ideology of European Far Right movements favored by his senior advisor Steve Bannon than to the views of American presidents from Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes and Barack Obama.

“We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world,” Trump said, “but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.” If some might see this as refreshing honesty about how countries actually behave, it was hard to escape the idea that Trump’s “America First” doctrine foreshadowed a willingness to destroy international systems, built in large part by the United States, that have, on the whole, protected us and advanced our values.

And for those who worry about Trump’s devotion to democratic values, there was this disconcerting sentence: “We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.”

Solidarity is wonderful. But the word can look like a threat when used in a way that seems to subordinate free speech and open debate. More disquieting, the nature of this solidarity will be defined by a man who now possesses awesome powers and has shown only disrespect for his foes and for an independent media.

By Saturday, Trump and his press secretary Sean Spicer had ratified these concerns. Expressing rage at the media for pointing out how relatively small Trump’s crowds were—a hint of how shallow his movement’s roots might be—both Spicer and Trump lied outright in exaggerating the numbers of those who attended Trump’s inauguration in comparison with the throngs that celebrated Obama’s.

Challenged Sunday by Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press” as to why Spicer was asked to go to the podium and offer falsehoods, Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s senior counselor, came up with a soundbite that George Orwell might have been embarrassed to include in “1984.” It will go down as a defining phrase of the Trump presidency.

“Sean Spicer, our press secretary,” she replied, “gave alternative facts.”

Alternative facts?” an astonished Todd exclaimed, and then he spoke the truth: “Alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.”

     Fear of a presidency willing to declare that up is down and down is up is why so many rallied to say a very loud no.    

(Washington Post Writers Group)

Why Cabinet nominees should be rejected

Were I ever in a position of power to take action on President Trump’s cabinet nominees, I would veto some of them without any further consideration. Here are thoughts for rejection from Keizer, Oregon:

Steven Mnuchin as Secretary of Treasury.  This is the same guy whose record shows that he ruthlessly foreclosed on thousands of homeowners in the ranks of middle-class Americans.  Thereby, he personally realized multi-million dollar bonuses and made huge deposits of this money to his Caymen Islands’ accounts. He can be counted on to support more wealth for billionaires and big corporations while it’s certain from his past behavior he has little to no care for working Americans and their families.

Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.  She has proven by her record that she wants to take funds from the support of public schools and give those monies to religious and private schools.  Since the early 1800s, public schools in the U.S. have afforded millions upon millions of Americans from homes without the financial means to receive at least a basic education in reading, writing and arithmetic, providing those Americans with foundations for lives of success.

Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.  He has proven himself as standing with big corporations that pollute our air and water more than the fundamentally important health and safety protection of children and families in Oklahoma.  In fact, he has brought suit after suit against the EPA in an ongoing effort to take away federal powers legislated to protect all Americans.  It’s certain from his past that he will only protect the big polluters.

Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy.  This fellow is indisputably ambitious enough to throw integrity away and thereby say and do anything to get into a Washington, D.C. power position. Recently, he said he’d get rid of Energy if elected president but now he’s willing to be in charge of it even though he openly confesses he knows nothing about what the Department of Energy does.

Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.  During his public career, Jeff Sessions is reported to have used racially-charged language. He was already denied a federal judgeship because of his reputation for put downs of people of color.  Americans in majority numbers do not want a person as Attorney General who’s a racist and is believed will try to take us back to the Reconstruction era after the Civil War and thereafter to the 1960s and beyond in some states.

Then there are the other nominees, the billionaires who’ll get much richer at public expense and generals who’ll be afforded authority for more warring overseas.  Then, too, every new president in memory has said he’ll clean up Washington,  meanwhile, the place actually gets more corruptly bloated in every way.  As the adage reads, “When you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s too late to drain the swamp.” With Trump’s nominees, it looks an awful lot like we’re in for an even worse swamp population than has been the case.

(Gene H. McIntyre’s column appears weekly in the Keizertimes.)

Celtics hold off South Salem, win first dual

McNary freshman Noah Gatchet celebrates with teammates after the Celtics defeated South Salem at home on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

With McNary holding on to a four-point lead entering the final match of the night, all Noah Gatchet had to do was not get pinned.

But the Celtic freshman decided to do his team one better, picking up a 11-6 decision over Kelton Bollier as McNary defeated South Salem 43-36 on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Gatchet trailed 4-0 before earning 10 straight points in the second period and holding on for the victory.

“I can’t think of another kid with a bigger heart on our team and he knew his job when he stepped out on that mat,” McNary head coach Jason Ebbs said. “Instead of being satisfied with not getting pinned, he stayed in good position, he scored points, put the guy on his heels and won that match. Hands down one of the most savvy and intelligent wrestling freshmen I’ve seen come through this program in a while. That’s having the right mindset, not being satisfied with a mediocre job but seeking a higher job and a higher purpose and going after it. I will always promote our kids, win, lose, or draw, always wrestle to win and you’ll find yourself in a good place.”

While the Celtics celebrated Gatchet’s performance, even picking up the 106-pounder on their shoulders and chanting, “Noah, Noah,” Ebbs noted the dual victory, McNary’s first of the season, was a team effort.

The Celtics jumped out to a 40-0 lead thanks to a forfeit at 113 pounds, followed by a 14-6 decision by Ryan Mosgrove at 120 pounds and five straight pins from Jerry Martinez (126), Sean Burrows (132), Killian Dato (138), Brayden Ebbs (145) and Wyatt Kesler (152).

But South Salem stormed back with five pins and a forfeit to get within 40-36.

“I knew it was coming,” coach Ebbs said. “We hit them right in the youth of our program. We have all the young kids right in a row. We actually lost some matches we shouldn’t have lost. On the flip side we won some matches we weren’t supposed to win. It all balanced out in the end and just fantastic tonight. I’m just happy to see these kids start standing together. Wrestling is a team sport. I’ll always say that. I’ll always believe that and they did a good job tonight. We always say we’re training to be the best wrestlers we can be come February and today was a big jump.”

McNary has three more league duals—Thursday, Feb. 2 at West Albany, Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Forest Grove and then Thursday, Feb. 9 at home versus Sprague.

The district meet is Feb. 17-18 at West Salem.

SKSB, Salem settle who owns what

By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

Property realignments between the Salem-Keizer School District and the city of Salem were approved by the School Board on Tuesday.

The district and the city have been negotiating ownership transfers involving facilities such as athletic fields and parks so that property lines will eliminate ownerships by the district and the city of only parts of the facilities.

Negotiations with the city have been in progress for several months. Objectives are for the district to own and operate properties it primarily uses and for the city to do the same with what it primarily uses.

Also approved by the board was a resolution for safe and welcoming schools. Its aim is a barrier-free educational experience, the undesirable barriers involving “race, national origin, disability, economic circumstance, mobility, native language, sexual orientation, immigration status, gender identity, or level of proficiency upon entering school.”

It calls for all district staff to be diligent in recognizing and addressing behaviors providing such barriers.

One more board action renewed the charter of Howard Street Charter School, set to expire June 30 after 20 years of operation. The one dissenting vote was by Paul Kyllo, who opposes charter schools on principle.

Only one grant, which was approved, came before the board. It was a $10,000 from the Chalkboard Project for the second phase of a teacher preparation research study.

Also, fewer personnel actions than usual came before the board. The only one specifically involving the McNary High School attendance area was the hiring of Vicki Scott as a temporary full-time teacher at Clear Lake Elementary School. Two others involved John Honey, a former McNary principal. One hired him as the temporary full time principal of the Career Technical Education Center; the other approved his retirement effective March 31.

Reports to the board included an update from Dawne Huckaby of the Oregon Department of Education on the Every Student Succeeds Act. ESSA, the federal program that replaces No Child Left Behind, transfers many controls to states and localities. It requires states to set standards, administer tests, and develop accountability standards.

In the Spotlight on Success portion of the meeting, Steve Sanchez, a retired Claggett Creek Elementary School counsel, was honored for his variety of contributions to the school since retirement.

During board members’ reports on activities, Chuck Lee gave high praise to recent performance by the McNary choir before the Keizer Rotary Club, presented after two postponements due to snow.

Pedestrian flags get another look

KEIZERTIMES Graphic

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

It would be hard to find a Keizer pedestrian or motorist who hasn’t been frustrated by the state of pedestrian crossings on River Road North.

At its meeting Thursday, Jan. 12, the Keizer Traffic Safety, Bikeways and Pedestrian Committee (TBP) revisited the issue.

In early 2016, the committee began investigating the possibility of adding pedestrian flags at strategic points along River Road. With plans to place such flags in downtown Newberg making headlines recently, the possibility got another look.

“It is an idea that has worked in other cities including Seattle and Kirkland, Wash., and Salt Lake City,” said Wayne Frey, a committee member who looked into what other cities had done to improve pedestrian safety.

Frey said the issue as it relates to Keizer is that the spacing of crosswalks becomes inconvenient for pedestrians. Depending on where one wants to cross, it may mean walking past one’s destination to reach a crosswalk and then a lengthy backtrack once they reach the other side of the road.

“Many pedestrians are just walking across the street in an unsafe manner by crossing the street with no crosswalk, signal or method to signal to the motorists their intention to cross the street,” Frey said.

To alleviate the problem, Frey said the city could place pedestrian flags at any legal intersection on River Road North – a legal intersection is any place where two roads intersect regardless of whether crosswalks are in place.

With pedestrian flags, walkers could grab one of the flags from a self-serve repository on one side of the street, use it to get the attention of drivers and then cross when traffic stops. Once the pedestrian reaches the opposite side of the street the flags would then be placed in a repository there for someone going in the opposite direction.

While the committee previously set aside the idea citing the high traffic volume along River Road and not wanting to encourage unsafe behavior, the Newberg program is one the committee plans to watch as it unfolds.

In Newberg, a group of downtown business owners is proposing to put out flags in the downtown core and is seeking sponsorships from local businesses.

TBP committee member John Maurice said he wanted to know what parameters would be used to judge the success of the program before looking at the possibility for pedestrian flags in Keizer again.

“I want to know if they sat down and discussed what success would look like? Also, how many of the flags disappear? Does jaywalking increase or decrease?” Maurice said. “You have to have pre-defined criteria, not just people’s opinions.”

Committee member Pat Fisher suggested that it might work better for an area with one-way streets rather than the two-way traffic of River Road.

In other business, the committee:

• Learned it did not qualify for a Cycle Oregon grant to purchase a bike repair station like the one currently at the Keizer Transit Center. The lack of a grant is a setback, but committee members were not discouraged in their pursuit of the idea.

• Worked on improved signage for the bike/pedestrian path along the Salem-Keizer Parkway.

• Agreed to begin pursuing ways to improve Keizer’s designation as a League of American Bicyclists (LAB) Bike-Friendly City. Keizer currently hold honorable mention status, but received feedback from LAB on what it might do to improve that rating.

Help needed for area homeless count

Community Action Agency is looking for volunteers to help conduct its annual homeless count.

The count will be conducted Wednesday, Jan. 25, and interested volunteers will need to attend a training Monday, Jan. 23, at 5:30 p.m. The training will be hosted by First Nazarene Church on Market Street in Salem. Volunteers are need from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In lieu of volunteering, donations are also needed to distribute to the area’s homeless residents. Socks, coats, gloves and duct tape are suggested. Travel-size toiletries and $5 gift cards to fast food restaurants, coffee shops and convenience stores are also useful. Donated items can be dropped off at the Community Action Agency’s ARCHES Project, 1154 Madison Street N.E. in Salem. Monetary donations can be made at the CAA website, www.mycommunityaction.org.

In 2016, Marion and Polk counties identified 1,537 people experiencing homelessness. The data resulting from the homeless count plays a role in federal, state and local support for homeless services.

Judge: HOA discriminated against resident

The McNary Estates Homeowners Association was found to have discriminated against Khrizma Kuhn pictured in 2015 with a for sale sign in front of her one-time home. (Submitted)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

For the second time in six years, the McNary Estates Home Owners Association (HOA) was found to have discriminated against a disabled resident – this time for refusing to accommodate parking of a RV deemed medically necessary for a woman suffering from a variety of ailments.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken issued a summary judgment on the facts of the case for the plaintiff, Khrizma Kuhn, and her parents, Renee and Gary. The lawsuit named McNary Estates HOA and Teresa Girod, president at the time of the conflict, as defendants.

“The judge found absolute liability against the HOA and the individual defendant. The only issue left to determine is damages,” said Dennis Steinman, the attorney representing the Kuhn family.

The next stage in the process is to convene a jury to determine damages, but Steinman previously said many summary judgment cases are settled prior to reaching that stage.

If the question of damages were to go to the jury, Renee and Gary would be likely to testify about their experience, Steinman said. The jury would also be told that a judge had already found the HOA and Girod to be in violation of the federal and state law and that the HOA had previously been found in violation of similar standards in a 2011 case.

In the 2011 judgment, the HOA was determined to have violated the FHA by not allowing a privacy fence to prevent an 11-year-old developmentally disabled boy from wandering off the property of his mother’s boyfriend.

Lacking options, family leaves

In April 2015, the Kuhn family requested a waiver from the HOA to park an RV in their driveway as an accommodation for their daughter, Khrizma. Khrizma suffers from Down syndrome, autism and other maladies that require access to a bathroom and a shower even on short trips.

Parking the RV in the family’s driveway without a waiver would have violated McNary Estates HOA rules.

The Kuhns presented the HOA board with letters from two doctors citing the medical necessity, but the request was denied and the family later met with hostility from neighbors.

When one neighbor claimed her view of the street was obstructed as she tried to pull out of her driveway, Renee purchased a parabolic mirror for her to install at the edge of her property. The neighbor declined to use it.

Another neighbor allegedly shoved Gary twice outside his home as the situation unraveled. Yet another began sitting outside her home monitoring the family’s activity.

“She had a chair and a notepad and did it for days,” Gary said in an interview last year. “She was trying to log our behavior.”

The HOA did suggest alternatives such as parking the RV offsite or a van with a chemical toilet, but neither fully addressed the situation. The van would have lacked a shower. Parking it offsite would have left Renee without transportation as the Kuhns had to sell one of their vehicles to pay for the RV. Gary used the family’s other car for commuting to and from work.

With no resolution in sight, the family sold their home and moved to Woodburn in the fall of 2015.

In November 2016, Girod resigned as the HOA president to take on a paid role as interim McNary Estates general manager.

“As a longtime resident of McNary Estates, she loves our community and is well versed with our governing documents. Teresa’s qualifications make her the perfect candidate and I feel fortunate that she has agreed to accept this position,” wrote new president Kathie Stevens in a news item posted to the McNary Estates HOA website.

Stevens was the neighbor who allegedly sat in her garage and logged family activity according to the original complaint.

Summary judgment

In making her summary judgment decision, Aiken cited standards of the FHA and reasonableness of the accommodation request as reasons for her decision against the HOA and Girod.

Aiken found that the defendants violated FHA standards because refusing to accommodate the RV negatively impacted the Kuhn family’s “use and enjoyment” of their home.

The HOA board originally contended that accommodating the RV impacted the family’s travels, not housing.

“Any reasonable factfinder looking at the summary judgment record would conclude that if the RV were parked offsite, Khrizma would face ‘injury or pain’ in accessing the mode of transportation deemed best for her by her parents and her doctors,” Aiken wrote.

Representatives of the HOA suggested in filings with the court that the Kuhns might have expanded their garage or purchased a smaller RV. However, Aiken wrote that presenting those alternatives – which would have required their own variances from HOA policy – after-the-fact was a matter of too-little-too-late.

“Under basic principles of fairness and waiver, (the defendants) are not now permitted to avoid liability by faulting plaintiffs for failing to come up with those alternative accommodations,” she wrote.

As to the reasonableness of the request, Aiken found that the Kuhns had attempted to overcome safety concerns with the purchase of the parabolic mirror.

“Plaintiffs submitted uncontradicted evidence that their house was on a short, dead-end street with little traffic. The burden therefore shifts to defendants to show that the requested accommodation was not reasonable under the circumstances,” Aiken wrote. “(The) defendants’ argument that parabolic mirrors are themselves a safety concern due to sun glare is speculative and unsupported by any evidence in the record.”

A landmark decision

While the decision in the case affects the Kuhn family, the HOA and Girod most immediately, Steinman, the family attorney, said the potential impact is far-reaching.

“While this decision is specific, it will set in stone for Oregon that the ability to park a vehicle in front of your home is integral to your enjoyment of your home,” Steinman said.

On an even grander scale, the decision impacts who can decide what an appropriate accommodation is for someone with a disability.

“It’s like having someone choose to wear contacts and then someone who wears glasses coming along and telling them they made the wrong choice and will have to change,” Steinman said. “In this case, the defendants were trying to impose their decision, but the court has decided that it’s the disabled person’s voice that matters most. A landlord or an HOA can make a suggestion, but it is the disabled person who gets to decide what is appropriate.”

McNary nearly upsets Saxons

McNary sophomore Abigail Hawley scored five points in a 58-56 loss at South Salem on Tuesday, Jan. 17. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

SALEM—McNary (9-6, 4-3) went into South Salem and almost knocked off one of the top girls basketball teams in the state.

Kailey Doutt had 20 points and Anita Lao added 17 but the Lady Celts came up just short, 58-56, on Tuesday, Jan. 17 to the defending Greater Valley Conference champions.

McNary fell behind 16-9 after the first quarter but Jaylene Montano made a 3-pointer to get McNary within 26-22 with 2:15 remaining in the second period.

However, the Lady Saxons closed the first half on a 7-0 run.

After the two teams played a back-and-forth third quarter, the Lady Celts outscored South Salem 19-9 in the final period but it wasn’t enough to pull the upset.

Evina Westbrook had 24 points to lead the Saxons, who entered the game as one of the hottest teams in the state with a 5-0 record in league-play, defeating GVC opponents by an average of more than 39 points.

They are ranked fifth in the OSAA power rankings.

McNary returns to action at home against Beaverton on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. The Lady Celts then get back into league-play on Friday, Jan. 27 at Sprague.

Former neighbors say mother’s troubles the result of alcohol, drugs

A large and growing memorial for Caden Berry in front of the apartment where he and his mother lived off Garland Way North. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

When Jason and Katie Lawrence moved into 2660B Edison Street in Eugene in late 2011, they couldn’t help but notice the memorial hanging on the fence of their neighbor’s home in 2660A.

The memorial was for Colby Casto, the older brother of 12-year-old Caden Berry whose mother is charged with Caden’s aggravated murder in a Keizer apartment complex.

The Lawrence’s new neighbor was Amy Robertson, mother to Colby, Caden and the woman’s only remaining child Colton. Robertson’s boyfriend at the time also resided at the house. Colby had committed suicide mere weeks before the Lawrences moved in. He was 12 years old at the time.

The next year of the Lawrences’ lives proved to be tumultuous.

“The boyfriend and I would talk quite a bit, I was cool with him more so than Amy,” Jason said. “They were both abusive and I know there was alcohol and drugs in the house.”

Jason recounted a night not long after they moved in when Amy pulled into their driveway with her high beams on in the middle of the night.

“She came to the door and was asking us if we had any oxycontin,” Jason said.

Robertson was seeking to replace pills she’d taken from her mother, Katie added.

It wasn’t the only odd visit.

“She would come to our house trying to sell us electronics. She cleaned offices and I’m pretty sure she was taking them from the places she cleaned. We reported her to the company she worked for,” Katie said.

While the relationship between the two families was amicable at times, Katie said the biggest dust-up came July 4, 2012.

“Amy was out in our driveway with her sister and mom, yelling and making a lot of noise while our daughter was asleep,” Katie said. “I went out to talk with her and she got right up in my face, nose-to-nose, and threatened to beat me up.”

The situation cooled when Jason and other neighbors intervened.

“Amy ended up getting evicted because she was so loud and always trying to fight with everybody,” Katie said.

Jason said employees from the Oregon Department of Human Services made several visits to the house while the two families were neighbors. Those visits have caused him a considerable amount of heartache in the past couple of days.

“(Caden) should still have more birthdays, but now he never will because the system failed him,” Jason said.

With new president, think local

As you read this the 45th president of the United States has been sworn into office and we are now in unchartered waters. Some say that is a good thing and exactly what the nation needs; others say that life as we know it will change in fundamental ways.

Both sides are right. The Electoral College gave a majority of votes to Republican Donald J. Trump (though he lost the the popular vote by almost 3 million). It is not hard to argue that Trump will be unlike any other president this country has had. If he was a pure ideologue it would be easier to predict what he might do once in office. But Trump is not driven by ideology, he is driven by his own personality, his own peeves, his self image.

Donald Trump has broken the mold of how a president acts, speaks and leads. As his opponent said last fall he can be baited with a tweet. Twitter is his preferred form of communication, which drives presidential scholars and academes—who are used to sober policy statements and speeches—crazy. Trump’s America First stance will reshape this country’s foreign policy that will look unfamiliar to insiders but will be cheered by the Americans who voted to shake up the established order of things.

When a person with no governmental experience at any level is elected to lead the nation people must realize things will be different. President Trump enters office with the lowest approval ratings of any modern president. Many people decry his Cabinet choices. Many people like the timbre of his voice but not the indidivual notes.

When columnists and political pundits go on about what Trump should do or how he should act are titling at windmills. They must realize that the president has no peers. He operates by his own rules—rules that no one else is playing by. It was axiomatic that presidents spoke about the importance of the NATO alliance and our nation’s support of Europe. President Trump says that NATO is obsolete. What was once thought to be impermeable can become quite fluid in a Trump Administration. Thirty years ago most thought the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain were going to be around forever. Nothing lasts forever, that is one constant in history.

There is much to be concerned about regarding the new administration besides foreign policy (including the cozying up to Vladimir Putin) including easing of clear air and water regulations, expansion of vouchers and charter schools at the expense of public education, repeal of the Affordable Care Act—the list goes on and on.

Supporters of President Trump are excited about the changes they expect he will bring to their lives. They feel they have a champion in the White House who will bring jobs back to the United States, jobs he has said were sent overseas. The fact that most job loss has been due to automatic and technological advances doesn’t resonate—bring my job back is paramount.

The president alone has few tools in his quiver other than the bully pulpit. The move earlier this month by the majority Republicans in Congress to gut its own ethics watchdog was shelved after Trump and constituents railed against the move. Whether  they backtracked because of public and media outrage or Trump’s tweets is anyone’s guess, but it did show that the American people will push back.

He must work with Congress to pass any of his programs. Former President Obama used the power of executive order to achieve what he could not get the opposition party to act on. Every president has issued executive orders and there is no reason to think that Trump will be any different.

Supporters are exhilarated about what Trump can accomplish in the next four years. Opponents will stew and protest. But those who do not agree with the new president’s proposals and policies should be the loyal opposition but then look homeward. It has been said that all politics is local. That is true. What matters most to the average American is what happens where they live at the city and county council level as well as state legislatures.

Changing the nation or the world begins at one’s own doorstep. Do good works there first.

  —LAZ