Wednesday, January 31, 2018
A Great State of the Union Address, and a Great Time to Be American
PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FIRST STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS. “Americans are dreamers, too.” That is what President Trump said in his State of the Union Address. It brought the assembled audience in the Capitol's House chamber to their feet -- one of 100 times they rose to applaud and cheer the President's statements, a record, according to those who keep tabs on such things. • "Divisive and misleading" (Washington Post) / "Uniquely depressing" (Dana Milbank, WP) / "I don’t know what the hell happened" (Michael Steele, former RNC Chairman). These misfits aren't talking about ISIS or the border sieve Obama left Trump or the opioid epidemic Obama's border policies helped create. They aren't even talking about Nancy Pelosi's bizarre and rather unhinged recent comments as the GOP takes control of the Nation's business. NO. They were talking about a President who in one year has actually snatched America from the jaws of its tormenter Progressive Democrats and made it great again. Trump's remarks were put into focus by the genuine tributes he paid to gallery guests, which helped drive his points home on a very personal level -- as evident in the high marks he received from viewers. And, it was astounding that, in moments when the whole house should have risen in applause, Democrats sat on their hands, scoffing, booing, groaning and glowering at Trump. Okay -- Republicans don't applaud Democrat Presidents when they propose statist policies, and Democrats don't applaud Republicans when they propose policies that promote Liberty and free enterprise. But when President Trump noted economic improvements that have, in the words of JFK, "lifted all boats," Democrats did not budge. • • • LEWANDOWSKI NOTES ON THE FIRST TRUMP SOTU. • Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski blasted mainstream media pundits who panned President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday, saying they “still don’t love the fact that we’ve got a President who’s now proud to call America the greatest country in the world again.” Lewandowski spoke to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, calling the State of the Union address a “very good, positive, forward-looking speech.” Lewandowski praised Trump for focusing “on reminding the American people where we were just a year ago, where the economy was, and where it is today -- with job creation and with unemployment for the Hispanic and black communities at record lows, with consumer confidence at record highs” • • • FOX NEWS CALLED IT A 'NEW AMERICAN MOMENT' UNDER TRUMP. "President Trump appealed for common ground in the immigration debate at his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, while holding firm on his demands for border security and using the grand setting to tout his economic accomplishments and declare, "there's never been a better time to start living the American dream." At a critical time when the political divide over immigration has held up essential government funding, Fox News said the President called for putting politics aside and "get the job done," saying : "Tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties -- Democrats and Republicans -- to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed." Fox added : "It remains unclear whether Democrats are ready to make a deal on immigration, but the issue could hang over a looming February 8 deadline to pass a new spending bill. • • • SHAMEFUL DEMOCRAT BEHAVIOR. Fox News noted that : "Democrats on Tuesday night took their 'resistance' to President Trump to new depths, with many refusing to even applaud or stand during his State of the Union address to acknowledge economic gains or to honor veterans....This included during Trump's reference to record-low African-American unemployment and a promise to fix the country’s crippled infrastructure. Donald Trump Jr., appearing on Hannity, said : "It was amazing to watch," saying it looked like Democrats wanted to stand but felt obligated to oppose his father. Several pundits pointed out the striking response on Twitter, noting these are the kind of non-controversial items that usually merit applause. • Doug Schoen wrote that Trump's State of the Union was optimistic and a nod toward compromise : "Now both parties must man up..." • • • HOLLYWOOD, EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT. That's how Liz Peek put it in an Opinion piece for Fox News : "Hollywood, eat your hearts out. President Trump’s first-ever State of the Union Address delivered more drama, passion and feel-good patriotism than his critics in Tinseltown delivered all year. My guess -- his ratings will top the Oscars and the Grammys, combined." Peek pointed out that : "Pundits expected to hear from a kinder, gentler President Trump who would reach across the aisle to enlist the aid of Democrats in pursuing his agenda. While the tone of the President’s address was surely more positive and upbeat than his dark and combative inaugural address, he did not stoop to conquer. He asked for Congress to come together, to serve the people of the nation, but on his terms. He did not attempt to topple the Resistance by backing away from his campaign promises; instead, he reaffirmed his dedication to border security, to a strong military, to religious freedom, to protecting the second amendment and to upholding our veterans and our law enforcement, seemingly challenging Democrats to deny the reasonableness and popularity of these bedrock commitments." • And, Liz Peek saw what we all are seeing every day : "The sour faces of his critics suggested this: they fear his success." As Trump reviewed his administration’s accomplishments of the past year -- tax cuts that will save families thousands of dollars; bonuses and raises being handed out by corporations because of the GOP tax bill; new investments by Apple and others encouraged by the tax reforms; wages have started to rise, Democrats looked like angry students at a session where the teacher was telling them why they failed their final exams. As Peek put it : "As Trump proudly ticked off the data points on the strong economy, including unemployment among African-Americans falling to the lowest level ever recorded. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus failed to stand and applaud; how foolish does that look?" • • • THE TRUMP SCORE CARD FOR AMERICA. There are many analyses of the President's remarks on Tuesday evening. I like Liz Peek's because she hits on the right note for real Americans in each point the President made. Here are her comments : "Emphasizing that the government serves the people, and not the other way around, he touted moves to make agencies more responsive to the needs of our citizens. He said he would ask Congress to pass legislation making it easier to fire government employees, and noted that because of the VA Accountability Act that he signed into law, his administration had been able to remove 1,500 employees who 'failed to give vets the care they deserve.' He did not pledge to drain the swamp, but you could just tell he wanted to. He celebrated his numerous efforts to protect and help American workers. Trump tiptoed past the graveyard of climate change, saying he had 'ended the war on American energy and the war on beautiful clean coal.' He touted the revving up of car manufacturing in the US, and also the accelerated approval of drugs flowing from the FDA. He claimed to have turned the page on 'unfair trade deals,' reiterating that future pacts must be fair and reciprocal and that his government will work to protect workers as well as our intellectual property. He asked Democrats to partner with his administration in delivering an infrastructure program, asking Congress to create a bill designed to unlock $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure investment, leveraging federal funds with money from state governments and private funding. In particular, he demanded that the permitting process be streamlined. Getting the required permissions to build a 'simple road' can take up to ten years; he wants that cut down to two. And then there was immigration. The President has already proposed a four-part compromise on immigration reform, and in particular on resolving the fate of the Dreamers. He offered no new concessions, and instead took a hard stand on the security aspect of immigration policy. He personalized the real threat from gang members in the country illegally by introducing two Long Island families grieving for their daughters who were murdered by members of MS-13. Senator Cory Booker looked like he was sucking on a prune. The President also reviewed his America First foreign policy, and suggested he would ask Congress to ensure that our foreign aid will be increasingly handed out only to America’s friends. He celebrated the success in taking back nearly all the lands so recently held by ISIS, and vowed to continue the fight, declaring that terrorists will be treated as enemy combatants, and not criminals. Lest anyone misunderstand that distinction, he vowed to keep Guantanamo open. And he talked about the dangers of North Korea, recounting the horrible imprisonment and death of Otto Wambier, a college student who was released to his family shortly before he died, presumably succumbing to months of torture and hardship at the hands of Kim Jong-un. Wambier’s parents made a tearful salute to the assembled crowd." • President Trump’s speech, said Peek : "will likely not have won over any Democrats, only 11% of whom approve of him, according to the latest Fox News poll. But he may have shored up his support amongst independents, some of whom have moved away from him in recent months. His strong, clear-eyed message of American empowerment appeals. It is hard to deny that our government should put our people first. It is tough to argue that the bureaucracy functions as well as it should, or that security should not be the uppermost concern of our leaders. Most important, Trump has a good story to tell. A story of accomplishment, of lower taxes, better jobs and higher wages. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke earlier in the day, attempting to deny Mr. Trump credit for the improving economy and instead arguing that President Obama was responsible for the brightening picture. Sorry Charlie; the experts say this is Trump’s economy, and come the fall voters may well agree." • • • FACTS CANNOT BE DENIED. Who can argue in good faith with the Trump first year accomplishments? Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, the US trade association representing more than 2,200 consumer technology companies, listed some of those accomplishments for Fox News -- deregulatory executive orders that have led 20 Consumer Technology Association (CTA) member companies to announce plans to create 250,000 US jobs, including Apple’s announcement to invest $350 billion in the US economy over the next five years and hire 20,000 new workers; the new tax bill that will end filing under the old broken system, and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting in February; a path to citizenship for DACA recipients -- those brought to the US illegally as children -- if it is combined with an end to the visa lottery program, in favor of a merit-based system that “admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country”; a merit-based immigration system would be welcome news for the tech industry, where immigrants drive the startup economy and develop the game-changing platforms and systems that give our nation its global edge in innovation; a commitment to invest in and update America’s infrastructure, calling on both parties “to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.” • Shapiro said : "Overall, President Trump’s first State of the Union address spoke to America’s innovative, entrepreneurial spirit. He told the American people : “'If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve absolutely anything.' Let’s seize this opportunity to work together as a more unified nation, providing our children a better, brighter future." • • • HIGHLIGHTS FROM TRUMP'S FIRST STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS. The Speech as President Trump spoke it : "Less than one year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People -- and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams. That night, our new Administration had already taken very swift action. A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land. Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission -- to make America great again for all Americans. Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined....we have seen the beauty of America's soul, and the steel in America's spine. Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be. We saw the volunteers of the “Cajun Navy,” racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a totally devastating hurricane. We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the LasVegas Strip....With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House -- a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later : the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise. We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who saved his life, and the lives of many others some in this room, in the aftermath....Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people. This is really the key. These are the people we were elected to serve....Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew: That no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans. If there is a mountain, we climb it. If there is a frontier, we cross it. If there is a challenge, we tame it. If there is an opportunity, we seize it. So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong. And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America....This in fact is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream. So to every citizen watching at home tonight -- no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve absolutely anything. Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family can do anything....Together, we are rediscovering the American way. In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life. The motto is “in God we trust.” And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support...For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their government. Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country. We are totally defending our Second Amendment, and are taking historic actions to protect religious liberty. And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their health-care decisions. Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve -- and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do....In Detroit, I halted government mandates that crippled America's great, beautiful autoworkers -- so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again. And that's what's happening. Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States -- something we haven't seen for decades....But now they are roaring back...to be where the action is in the United States of America....To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our country's history. We also believe that patients with terminal conditions, terminal illness, should have access to experimental treatments immediately that could potentially save their lives....It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful incredible Americans the “right to try.”....I have directed my administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of my top priorities for the year. And prices will come down substantially, watch. America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our wealth. Our nation has lost its wealth, and we're getting it back. The era of economic surrender is totally over. From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and very importantly to be reciprocal....As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. America is a nation of builders....I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure that our economy needs and our people deserve. Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs. Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment -- to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit. And we can do it....And we will do it with American heart, American hands and American grit. We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day's work. We want every child to be safe in their home at night. And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we all love so much. We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity. As tax cuts create new jobs, let's invest in workforce development and let's invest in job training....open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave....This year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance at life. Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families. For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives....Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals gangs, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, these are great people. These are great great people. Who work amidst great danger, so that this can ever happen again. The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country anywhere in the world to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world. But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America's children, America's struggling workers, and America's forgotten communities. I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor to have their chance to rise. So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties -- Democrats and Republicans -- to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans -- to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers, too....Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package....For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen....So let us come together, set politics aside and finally get the job done....As we rebuild America's strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad. Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy and our values. In confronting these horrible dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means to our true and great defense. For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military. As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and so powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone else. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet, sadly. Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated very close to 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria and other locations as well. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated....In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds and hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield -- including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi, who we captured, who we had, who we released. So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed while walking in an order directing Secretary Mattis, who is doing a great job, to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay. I am asking Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists -- wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them. And in many cases for them it will be Guantanamo Bay. And at the same time, as of a few months ago, our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement....our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans. Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the Senate just months before : I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America's sovereign right to make this decision. In 2016, American taxpayers generously send those same countries more than $20 billion in aid every year. That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America. As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries....America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom. I am asking Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal. My administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela. But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea. North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening....Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime. His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho. In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food, which was very hard to get. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain or the hurt. His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves -- permanently stunting their own growth. Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians. He had -- and he resolved after that to be free....Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most -- the truth. Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those old crutches as a reminder of how far you have come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all....to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom. It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America. It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness. But it was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea : that they could rule themselves. That they could chart their own destiny. And that, together, they could light up the entire world. That is what our country has always been about. That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for and always done. Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom. She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought and lived and died to protect her. Monuments to Washington and Jefferson -- and Lincoln and King. Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga -- to young Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy, and the fields beyond. And others, who went down in the waters of the Pacific and the skies all over Asia. And freedom stands tall over one more monument : this one. This Capitol. This living monument. This is the monument to the American people. We're a people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us -- defending hope, pride, and defending the American way. They work in every trade. They sacrifice to raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our flag abroad. They are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, and police officers, and border agents, medics, and Marines. But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, and this nation, belong entirely to them. Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them. Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never ever forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it's the people who are making America great again. As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will never fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free. Thank you, and God bless America." • • • DEAR READERS, sitting beside First Lady Melania Trump was Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California. The President explained that Preston "noticed that veterans' graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day. He decided all by himself to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes. Preston : a job well done. Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. And I met Preston a little while ago, and he has a great future. Preston's reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem. Americans love their country. And they deserve a government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return." Melania Trump gave him a beaming smile and put her arm around him. C-SPAN called it "a sweet moment -- and aren't we still permitted to say that in America, no matter how much controversy, chaos and challenge we face on so many fronts? It was human, real, and lovely." Mrs. Trump was given a roaring welcome as she entered the chamber of the House of Representatives on Tuesday night just ahead of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. Several hours before the event, Mrs. Trump had tweeted to her followers : “I will be joined tonight by an honorable group of Americans. Sitting with me are heroes who have served our nation in times of need, families who have suffered at the hands of evil, and citizens who have embraced the American dream.” She rode to the venue “with her guests. This was a nice gesture to make them feel more welcome and comfortable,” noted Andrew Och, author of “Unusual for Their Time: On the Road with America’s First Ladies.” Och said : “Some people have already jumped to the conclusion that this means she didn’t want to ride with her husband, but I challenge that -- she was being a good hostess to her guests -- and they rode home together.” • And, while the night was clearly a triumph for President Trump and a GOP congressional contingent obviously energized by his words, the Democrat response was given by Representative Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), the great-nephew of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. It says mountains about the malaise and defeat of the Democrat Party that it had to look to a Kennedy to save the evening for them. Joe didn't do it, but it should remind us that the GOP rejected the past in 2016, choosing the future with Donald Trump. It is a lesson the Democrat Party has not yet learned -- the past is over; the 21st century demands new leadership, new ideas, and a new awakening for an America that was for too long trapped in the web of the 1930s New Deal dished out in various formats for 80 years by Democrats. • President Trump gave a great speech and Congress was on its feet more often than seated, giving us all hope that the GOP is not dead. The President never said the word Obama. In fact, he never mentioned another President -- except for the Founders. The Democrats were very subdued and sulking. Many black Dems avoiuded the only President who has not only promised them jobs but actually succeeded. • Nearly half of those who watched President Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday reacted "very" positively to the speech, according to a snap CNN/SSRS poll -- 48% of respondents said they had a "very positive" reaction to the speech, 22% said they had a "somewhat positive" reaction to the speech, and a mere 29% reacted negatively, while 62% said that the policies outlined by the President on Tuesday would move the country in the right direction, while only 35% said they would move it in the wrong direction. • The day before the State of the Union address, even The Washington Post's Charles Lane conceded : "The approval rating polls on Donald Trump are causing a lot of us...to rethink how we read that particular indicator of American politics because...with all this tumult, with the tremendous controversy around him, a lot negative press...and so on...he seems not to just have a base but a bedrock of 42% of the American people behind him....That's pretty darn high [given the bad press]." • The ProgDems are losing the war, and they know it. That makes them very dangerous. BUT, you could feel Tuesday night that President Trump has the bit between his teeth and he is not going to be stopped. A GREAT evening. A GREAT time to be American.