Trump’s Cabinet

By: Chris McManigal

One of the first duties of any new President is to choose the people he wants to work in his Administration. Those people are referred to as his Cabinet and consist of people generally considered to be experts in their respective fields that are expected to serve as advisors to the President during his term. If confirmed by the Senate, they serve as Secretaries of Executive departments.

Trump hasn’t announced his picks for all Cabinet positions yet, but here’s look at who he’s tapped so far.

Trump’s first pick shortly after the election when he announced Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as his choice for Attorney General. Sessions is a long time Trump supporter and is currently serving his 4th term as Senator.

Betsy DeVos was announced as Trump’s choice for Education Secretary shortly after the announcement of Sessions. DeVos is a supporter of charter schools and Common Core.

Outspoken Obamacare critic, Republican Congressman Tom Price from Georgia is up for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Elaine Chao, who served as the Labor Secretary under George W. Bush, is Trump’s pick for Transportation Secretary.

Steven Mnuchin, longtime Chief Information Officer for Goldman Sachs was announced as the pick for the Secretary of Treasury.

Trump’s pick for Commerce Secretary is Wilbur Ross, a fellow billionaire who earned the nickname the “King of Bankruptcy” for his firm’s work in restructuring failing companies.

Trump also tapped retired Marine Corps General James Mathis as Secretary of Defense.

Trump’s only choice that doesn’t need Senate confirmation is that of his selection for his Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, who has already been appointed. Priebus is the former head of the Republican National Committee.

Trump has also announced several non-cabinet level positions.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will become the Ambassador to the United Nations if confirmed by the Senate.

Former Marco Rubio supporter Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo will be the incoming CIA Director if confirmed.

Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn will be Trump’s National Security Advisor. This position does not require Senate confirmation.


Getting to Know Her: Melania Trump

By: Chris McManigal

Before any of us knew her name she was known as Melanija Knavs, born to working-class parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, Yugoslavia on April 26, 1970.

Melanija’s first career began early in her life when she became a model while still a teenager. Her work took her throughout Europe for many year until she ultimately relocated to New York City in 1996 at 26 years of age.

Once in the US, Melanija Knavs Americanized her name to Melania Knauss and eventually got a Green Card and became a permanent resident in 2001.

Melania met her future husband Donald Trump in 1998 at a party in New York City while he was separated from his second wife. They began dating soon after that first meeting and then upon their marriage in 2005 became known by the name we are all now so familiar with, Melania Trump. Their son Barron, her first and only child and Donald’s fifth, was born in 2006, the same year she became a naturalized American citizen. It is said that Melania and Barron have an exceptionally close and happy relationship and that she has taught him to speak fluent Slovene, her native language, on her own.

When Donald Trump is inaugurated on January 20th next year, Melania Trump will become the next First Lady of the United States. She will be only the second foreign-born First Lady in our nation’s history. It remains to be see how much she will remain in the public eye or whether or not she will spearhead any social causes, although she did remark during the recent campaign that bullying was an issue that was important to her. It is currently thought that she will at least for a time remain in the Trump’s New York City home instead of moving to the White House as to not disrupt Barron’s schooling.

Melania speaks 6 languages; Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, English, French, Italian and German.


A Look Back at Michelle Obama

By: Chris McManigal

It was 9 years ago that most of us started getting acquainted with Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama. She was poised, fashionable, outspoken and it didn’t take long to know that she was not simply an extension of her soon-to-be-President husband, Barack.

Since that time as we’ve gotten to know her better some have certainly criticized her, but for the most part she will end her time as the First Lady on a high note, loved by many, respected by most and remembered by all.
Michelle Obama was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois to a working-class family. She graduated High School one year early from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in 1981 then went straight from there to Princeton. She graduated from Princeton with hon
ors with a BA in Sociology in 1985 then completed her education in 1988 when she received her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School.

She initially worked in the area of intellectual property law, but decided to take a different route and focus on public service instead. She worked for the Mayor’s office and then the public planning development department in Chicago. That experience spring boarded her career in community service, which she was still actively involved in even up until shortly before Barack Obama was sworn in as President.

As FLOTUS, unlike many of her predecessors, she was frequently in the public eye. One of her main concerns has been promoting healthy eating which prompted the creation of the first vegetable garden and installation of bee hives at the White House. Michelle has also promoted healthy eating for school-age children by championing healthy school lunches and launching a program called Let’s Move, which encourages children to get engaged in sports instead of being sedentary.

She also authored a book on the subject of healthy eating called American Grown, which was published in 2012.

One thing that Michelle Obama will perhaps be remembered for the most is her outstanding oratory ability, most recently witnessed while campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Given her history of making memorable, compassionate and powerful speeches, many have speculated about whether Michelle has the intention of ever running for public office herself. At 51, she certainly has the time to do so, but she has made no statements regarding that possibility.


Election 2016 Wrap-Up

By: Chris McManigal
Well, one things for sure, it’s over. The debates, the town hall meetings, the Facebook posts, the yard signs, done. Tuesday, November 8, 2016 is now behind us.

Donald J. Trump, billionaire real estate mogul, author and TV personality is the new President Elect of the United States. Come January 20th he will be sworn in and start his term like so many before him and thus the peaceful transition of power we enjoy in this country will continue its tradition.

Many polls had favored Hillary Clinton to win, so Trump’s victory came as quite a surprise. In fact, CNN’s own pollsters predicted that Clinton led Trump 268 to 204 in what they considered to be all but locked-in electoral votes even in the days leading up to election day. 270 electoral votes are the number needed to win.donald-j-trump-1271634_960_720

The reality, of course, turned out to be much different. CNN has reported that the final electoral vote tally is 292 for Trump and 232 for Clinton. Clinton did however win the popular vote 60,213, 641 to Trump’s 59,883,416, but popular votes are not what determines a win in our election system.

One of the most surprising events in the election was the fact that Trump prevailed in states where Clinton was seen to have an edge, particularly in the rust belt of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump won all 3, even toppling Clinton’s early election night lead there. Trump also significantly won Florida and its 29 electoral votes and Virginia, which had been regarded as a firewall for Clinton’s campaign.

Commentators made many remarks throughout the news coverage that night that the entire polling industry was up-ended because all of them predicted almost every aspect of the election wrong.

Despite Hillary Clinton’s loss, women did makes gains during this election, particularly women of color. Kamala Harris of California became only the second black woman elected to the US Senate. She already had the distinction of being the first female Attorney General in that state. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is now the first Latina Senator in the US. Kate Brown became the Governor of Oregon, the first openly LGBT governor in our country. Tammy Duckworth defeated the incumbent Senator from Illinois and will now head to Washington. Ilhan Omar became a Representative of Minnesota, the first Somali-American Muslim elected to office.


Presidential Firsts

By: Chris McManigal

No matter who wins the upcoming election on November 8th, another milestone among our Presidents will be reached. If Hillary Clinton wins, she will be the first woman President in US history and if Donald Trump wins he will be the first billionaire.

But there have been many firsts over the years. Here is a look back at many of them.

The ultimate first is, of course, our first President, George Washington. He became President after being elected by a unanimous Congressional vote in 1789. He was also the first President to appear on a stamp in 1847.

John Adams was the first President to live in the White House when it was completed in 1800.

John Quincy Adams was the first President whose father, John Adams, had also been the President.

Andrew Jackson was the first and only President that killed someone in a duel. Before he became President Jackson shot and killed a man named Charles Dickenson over a horse race bet in 1806.

Martin Van Buren was the first President to have spoken English as a second language. His first being Dutch. Also, he was the first President to have been a born citizen of the US. All Presidents prior to him had been British subjects.

William Henry Harrison was the first President to have his photograph taken while in office in 1841.

James Buchanan was the first President that had never been married.

Abraham Lincoln was the first President to be assassinated when he was shot in the head in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth while watching a play. He was also the first President to appear on a coin in 1909.

James Garfield was the first left-handed President.

There have been many Presidential firsts involving transportation. Andrew Jackson was the first to ride a train in 1833, William McKinley was the first to ride in a car in 1899 and Theodore Roosevelt was the first to fly in an airplane in 1910.

Woodrow Wilson became the first President to address the public over the radio in 1923. He was also the first to have a Doctorate.

Herbert Hoover was the first President to have a telephone at his desk during his term from 1929-1933.

John F. Kennedy was the first would-be President to have televised debates during the build up to the election in 1960. He was also the first and only Catholic President to have held office.

Richard Nixon was the first and thus far the only President to have resigned from office in 1974. He was also the first and only Quaker.

Jimmy Carter was the first President to be born in a hospital in 1924.

Ronald Reagan was the first and only President to have been divorced. Before marrying his second wife Nancy, he was married to fellow actor Jane Wyman.

Bill Clinton was the first President to send an email in 1998.

George W. Bush was the first President to stream his State of the Union address live over the internet in 2002.

Barack Obama became the first African-American President when he was elected in 2008.