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Deal-killer phrases you should never use

If sales is about people, then sales is about language. Think about it: you literally have no other means of communicating and conveying your ideas, concepts and arguments to another human being than through, well, language.

Yet, we often underestimate the true power of words – whether in the positive or negative.  And over time, some well-intentioned, often-used sales phrases have crept into the sales profession that – if you use them today – will virtually instantly kill your sale.

In many cases, the problem isn’t the sentiment or idea that’s conveyed. It’s the way in which the phrase or expression is constructed.

All of the examples below are, I’m ashamed to say, things I’ve  personally used in the past when reaching out to prospects and clients. Especially when selling to business buyers, senior executives and high-value prospects, I would highly recommend you steer clear of these canned sales phrases.

“How may I help you?”
As innocent as this first example sounds, it’s a dead giveaway that either you are a very inexperienced salesperson, the company receptionist, or you are about to try and sell someone something. Every single call center in the world,  from Chicago to Calcutta, uses this standard phrase as a way of greeting customers.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the intention behind this phrase – after all, we should all be positioning ourselves as helpful resources to our customers as often as possible. The problem is in the phrasing itself – is become so commonplace, and has such a strong association to call center language that it’s lost all its effectiveness.

“How are you today, (sir/ma’am)?”
If I had a way of empirically measuring the first phrase coming out of the mouth of that nice young man or woman serving your burgers in your local fast food joint, I would bet money on this one. To me, it’s associated with nametags, drive-through restaurants, call centers and perhaps your local phone shop.

Again, the problem is in the word construction, specifically « today » and « sir/ma’am ». Where there is nothing wrong with asking a prospect how they are doing, I would caution against using this specific phrase.

“I’d like to touch base.”
Even though it’s a commonly used expression, I have a problem with this one for three distinct reasons. First, it’s essentially self-serving. You’re offering no value whatsoever to the potential client or customer, but instead are purely focused on pursuing your own agenda.

Second, the language itself is fluffy. What does « touching base » even mean? Unless you are coaching your local softball league, it has no meaning beyond « I want to check up on my deal ».

Finally, the language is culturally biased. Even though in many cultures (especially the US), people are likely to understand what you mean, you should never assume that that is always the case. 

Many people are unfamiliar with customs, pastimes and sports from outside their own culture – meaning that « touching base » could be interpreted as something very different than you think it would.

“Would <this DATE> or <that DATE> work best for you?” 
Early on in my career, I was actually encouraged to use these types of sales phrases in cold prospecting emails. The idea was to present a prospect with a choice around when to meet, thereby somehow « forcing » them to accept one of either options.

Unless you’re  simply trying to work out a time to meet (and your prospect has already agreed to the meeting), this phrase is a deal killer. I’ve never understood how giving someone a choice when they have not even agreed to meet could be a good thing.

As a former buyer, if you’d sent me an email like this, you would have just earned yourself a spot in prospecting jail. Do yourself a favor, and never, ever use this tactic. It’s sleazy, manipulative and counterproductive.

“Please do not hesitate to contact me.”
(OK, fine, I’ll admit it. I use this phrase sometimes. I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes it just slips in. Can’t seem to help myself). I get it. You want your prospect to feel comfortable reaching out to you, lower the barriers and you want to encourage them to do so as  soon as possible.

But think about it: don’t you think that, if they really wanted to reach out, they would? When I read this phrase nowadays, it makes me smile. I mean, hesitate? 

I somehow picture a prospect writing a lengthy, well-crafted email, only to spend several minutes with their finger hovering over the send key wondering whether or not to hit send. When does that ever happen?

“I trust you are well.”
Even though this is a courtesy phrase, it’s always sounded a little too much like an order to me. Like I’m supposed to be well or something. It’s too authoritative, too sure of itself.

You have no idea of what’s going on in your prospect’s life, and no right to make assumptions (or « trust ») about any of it.


Willpower... giving more than you think you can

This is the best motivational speech ever!! Giving our best and never quitting should be an expectation for all of us.

Watch the video:



In case you haven't heard, or you are oblivious to the news of the day... America's 'Debt Limit' is now again the latest fabricated crisis in Washington.

Today is January 13th... and your taxes are still going up... and our country is virtually bankrupt. The U.S. government spends $10.5 billion dollars per day - of which $4.5 billion dollars is borrowed! That means we are going $4.5 billion dollars deeper in the hole - each and every day. Yet Obama pretends all is well. Obama's debt comes right out of your pocket... 

Our nation-state is no model of fiscal responsibility. When Barack Obama took office, the national debt was already an impressive $10 trillion. Today it is $18.5 trillion. The national debt is still growing at a rate of more than $50 million an hour. 

Here's Obama's "bull crap" for the week... 01/13/2017


Blowhard Biden throws Democrats under the bus

Before Joe Biden rebranded himself as a kooky, lovable, middle of the road vice president, he was one of America's foremost political hacks. So it is rather surprising to see the outgoing VP throw Senate Democrats under the bus, but that's exactly what he's doing:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to fight any Supreme Court nominee President-elect Trump selects who isn’t mainstream.

In other words, if they’re not liberal, prepare for battle. As Democrats rally around this position, which I’m sure made their progressive base happy, outgoing Vice President Joe Biden told PBS’ Judy Woodruff last week that Democrats should give Trump’s nominee a hearing and a vote:

JUDY WOODRUFF: “Once the President-Elect, then President Trump chooses someone, should the Democrats do the same thing and oppose and refuse to go along?” VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: “No.”

WOODRUFF: “Or should they be thinking, we need to fill that vacancy on the court?”

BIDEN: “I think... look, the Constitution says the president shall nominate, not maybe could maybe can. He shall nominate. Implicit in the constitution is that the Senate will act on its constitutional responsibility, will give his advice and consent. No one is required to vote for the nominee, but they, in my view, are required to give the nominee a hearing and a vote.”

Biden is probably the only semi-popular Democrat left in America, and Schumer's road to blocking a Trump nominee now looks even more grim. The Free Beacon's Matthew Continetti painted the picture last week:

Smarting from the failed nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, the Senate minority leader pledged to oppose Donald Trump’s nominee weeks before inauguration day.

“If they don’t appoint somebody good,” he said on MSNBC, “we’re going to oppose them tooth and nail.” That would “absolutely” include keeping the seat held by the late Antonin Scalia empty, he said. “We are not going to make it easy for them to pick a Supreme Court justice.”

I suppose it’s too much to expect a graduate of Harvard Law School to grasp the difference between majority and minority. Mitch McConnell was able to block Garland’s appointment because the Republicans controlled the Senate. The Democrats do not.

And McConnell was able to hold his caucus together because he was on solid historical ground. Lyndon Johnson’s nomination of Abe Fortas as chief justice failed in the election year 1968, and the so-called “Biden Rule” of 1992 stipulated no Supreme Court replacements during the last year of a presidency.

Schumer himself, in a 2007 speech, expanded waiting period to final 18 months of a president’s term. Now, despite a record of calling on Senate to confirm the president’s nominees - as long as the president is a Democrat - Schumer has adopted strategy of no Supreme Court confirmations at all. How does he think President Trump will respond? By caving?

The goofballs who rammed through Obamacare are about to get a lesson in partisan politics, and they've provided conservatives with the blueprint, and their VP provided an endorsement.

That's gotta sting!


Desperate DC Democrats being displaced by Trump people

Democrats finding out there’s no jobs for ex-Obama an ex-Clinton liberals, with no skills outside of phony liberal politics. Obama inflated DC government with tens of thousands of unnecessary jobs, for the past eight years. Trump will be popping that bloated government bubble.

Hillary Clinton campaigned on continuing Barack Obama's "UN-successful legacy." Every time Donald Trump said "Make America great again!" liberals crowed about how great America was. Liberal memes touting the Obama economy polluted Facebook for months.

Just about the only person on the left who admitted that Americans were struggling anywhere was Bernie Sanders.  Regular Americans knew better, and now Democrats are learning it's hard out there. Via Politico:

The job market is about to get even more crowded for Washington Democrats, as thousands of Obama appointees join the hundreds of Clinton campaign staffers looking for employment. There’s rarely been less demand for their services.

Tens of thousands DC Democrat sycophants, losing their cushy, over-paid, unnecessary jobs

The Trump tornado is tearing up post-election planning around the Beltway. It’s not just that those 4,000 administration jobs are no longer available to Hillary for America alumni, or that failed Senate candidates like Russ Feingold and Katie McGinty won’t be able to hire their staff on the Hill.

There are also the lobbying firms, trade associations and corporate government affairs offices that are pitching senior Obama aides’ resumes into the round file while scrambling to hire operatives with Republican connections.

It’s insult to injury for a generation of young operatives who are still managing their shock and grief from Hillary Clinton’s loss. And for those who want to fight to keep President Barack Obama’s legacy from being erased, there aren’t a lot of places ready to pay them to do it.

It's like the economy isn't as good in the rest of America, as it is in Washington D.C. Who knew?


Lame alt-left liberal media fabricates threat to America... Democrats try to suggest, veterans and active-duty soldiers more dangerous than Islamic terrorists and unvetted refugees?

NBC has identified the greatest terror threat in America. This might surprise you, but it's NOT radical Islam. Because that would obviously be racist or something.

As Mediaite's Alex Griswold reports: Let’s get the obvious point out of the way: no, NBC New York has never made a timeline listing every mass shooting carried out by those who follow a certain ideology.

When people of those ideology commit those shootings, we are buffeted with assurances that is is wrong and immoral to stigmatize millions based on the actions of a few. That courtesy evidently does not extend to our men and women in uniform.

The list itself is a bit odd, since there’s a fourteen-year gap between 1996 and 2010 where not a single veteran or serviceman carried out a mass-shooting. Now usually, that’s a pretty good indication that your trend is nonexistent.

But NBC dug up three shootings from two decades ago, and if you’re going to smear America’s veterans, why not go the full mile? ...

The implication that military service somehow causes mass shootings is even worse considering most of the veterans listed had known motivations entirely devoid of their military background. 

Micah Johnson was a black militant who believed in race war, Wade Michael Page was a white supremacist who wanted the same. Nidal Hassan… hmm, the timeline forgot to list his motive. Guess it was workplace violence.

You don't have to be a dyed in the wool conservative to understand why Americans are turning away from the mainstream media in droves. The press has become so ideological that they're literally erecting straw men to avoid confronting the obvious: that there are clear ties between radical Islam, and terrorism. 

Should we be worried about mentally ill veterans? Absolutely. We need to do everything in our power to help those who have sacrificed so much for us, so that they avoid harming themselves or others.

But to pretend that they are our number one domestic security concern is pure folly.



Cool Photos

Competitors riding a traditional horn sled speed down the mountain during the 48th annual horn sled race (Hornschlittenrennen) on January 6, 2017, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

The horn sleds are made of wood, are built to prescribed specifications for the race and are based on sleds once used for transporting wood in the German Alps. Race teams compete on a track 1,000 meters long and reach top speeds of up to 100km per hour.

Emirati men walk with their camels across the Liwa desert, some 250 kilometers west of the Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi, during the Liwa 2017 Moreeb Dune Festival on January 6, 2017.

Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight on January 1, 2017 in London, England.

People watch the first sunrise on New Year's Day in Yuriage district where an area was damaged by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, in Natori, Miyagi prefecture, Japan.

Bulgarian men jump to catch a wooden crucifix during Epiphany day celebrations in Sofia, Bulgaria, on January 6, 2017.

Revellers gather on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, during New Year celebrations, late December 31, 2016.

People celebrate New Year at Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam with a firework show on January 1, 2017.

A woman walks on a snowy path by a life size model of a dinosaur during a snow fall in Bucharest, Romania, on January 6, 2017.





Some people are like clouds. When they go away, it's a brighter day.

"Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground." -- Teddy Roosevelt

I would like to apologize to anyone whom I haven't offended yet. Please be patient, I will get to you shortly.

If you can't remember my name, just say "Chocolate" and I'll turn around.

Every word of God is pure. He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. -- Proverbs 30:5


Trump economic boom has already begun!

The election of Donald Trump, and the expectation that his administration may pursue vigorous pro-growth policies may already be ushering in a small business boom in America. As Bloomberg reports:

Optimism among America’s small businesses soared in December by the most since 1980 as expectations about the economy’s prospects improved dramatically in the aftermath of the presidential election.

The National Federation of Independent Business’s index jumped 7.4 points last month to 105.8, the highest since the end of 2004, from 98.4. While seven of the 10 components increased in December, 73 percent of the monthly advance was due to more upbeat views about the outlook for sales and the economy, the Washington-based group said.

The share of business owners who say now is a good time to expand is three times the average of the current expansion, according to the NFIB’s data.

More companies also said they plan to increase investment and keep hiring, which reflects optimism surrounding President-elect Donald Trump’s plans of spurring the economy through deregulation, tax reform and infrastructure spending.

“Rising confidence adds to the economy’s upward momentum,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York, said in a note.

At the same time, the “NFIB membership appears to be disproportionately Republican, so it is possible that the data will start overstating strength, opposite the pattern during the Obama administration.”

This isn't rocket science. Liberals, even in some context recognize this. Andrew Cuomo's failed "Start Up New York" program was built on the notion that low taxes or no taxes are necessary for growth. But merely getting out of the way, and allowing businesses to prosper in such an environment just won't fly with them.

They need to be the gatekeeper, they need to pick the winners and losers, and they need to take credit, so they craft byzantine economic policies that weigh down businesses with millions of dollars in compliance and legal fees. 

In Donald Trump, a successful business owner who's tussled with regulators his entire adult life, American small businesses may have finally found an ally. Let's hope the growth continues. 


Judicial Watch goes after corrupt Eric Holder

The state of California hired corrupt former attorney general Eric Holder to help them "resist" Donald Trump. It's viewed by many as nothing more than a high dollar taxpayer handout to a loyal Democratic lackey, and Judicial Watch is going to get to the bottom of it:

Judicial Watch’s filing targets “all contracts between California Legislature and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. or Covington and Burling,” in addition to “all communications between California Legislature and former U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. or Covington and Burling about Legislature’s retention of Holder and/or Covington and Burling.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called Monday’s “records request” an effort to “expose how California state legislators are wasting tax dollars to take care of another corrupt politician – Eric Holder – under the guise of resisting the rule of law on immigration and other matters.”

“His record at the Clinton and Obama Justice Departments demonstrates a willingness to bend the law in order to protect his political patrons.”

Corrupt racist Eric Holder - served as corrupt attorney general from 2009-2015 - under Corrupt racist President Obama.



The economic difference between wants and needs

The main difference between needs and wants is that needs are boring and wants are fun, right? Wrong. But good guess. Financial experts say the best way to get in control of your money is to separate needs from wants. But what really qualifies as a need and what qualifies as a want?

Have you ever really paused to think about it? Understanding the real differences between needs and wants will open your eyes and help you see why certain purchases are not beneficial to your financial health or your budget. This concept of needs and wants may seem cut and dry, but it isn’t.

When you break down the true meaning of needs and wants, each time you make a purchase you’ll consider how that purchase impacts your financial future. This simple, yet overlooked concept will change the way you approach money forever.

Attaining financial freedom will require you to make small, yet significant decisions with your money each day. If you feel you’ve lost your way, making one mindless spending choice after another, it’s time to pause and go back to the basics. Take a moment to understand the real difference between needs and wants.

When deciding whether something is a need or a want, start with the basic definitions outlined in economics. A need is something necessary to survive. Without meeting a need, you would be in grave danger or even die. Your safety and health depend on it.

If you can survive without something, then it’s not a need. On the other hand, a want is simply something you desire but can live without. The key thing to remember in making a wise money choice is not only about your comfort in the here and now, but also about your future survival and quality of life.

A series of thoughtless money moves will slowly but surely deliver you to the doorstep of financial lack — or even financial ruin. 

Think of this example. A leaky pipe might only be a minor annoyance for now (maybe some noisy dripping here and there), but if you don’t take care of it, one day it will burst and cause a flood that could ruin your home.

Your financial life works the same way. A thoughtless purchase or a declined credit card here and there might not phase you now, but years later you’ll be struggling to pay off high-interest debt... when you could be enjoying a comfortable retirement or using that money to buy a home.




"Playing With Fire' ... BlackPink

BLACKPINK is a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment and the first girl group to debut under the same entertainment seven years after 2NE1. The group consists of four members: Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa. They officially debuted on August 8, 2016 with the single album Square One.

Watch the video:



Norway to create first floating underwater tunnels

The Norwegian coast may be beautiful but with more than a thousand fjords cutting into it, getting from one place to another often requires lengthy journeys.

Norway’s Public Roads Administration (NPRA) has an ambitious plan to solve the problem by building the world’s first floating submerged tunnel system about 30 meters (100ft) underwater. The $25 billion project will allow vehicles to travel under the Norwegian Sea avoiding a 21-hour drive along the coastline.

The route from the southern city of Kristiansand to Trondheim in the north currently includes seven ferry crossings. As most of the waterways are wide with the largest a mile deep, it is not feasible to construct a traditional bridge. The tunnel would shorten the trip to just over 10 hours.

The first-of-its kind structure will be made up of two 1,200 meter (4,000ft) curved concrete tubes, floating up to 30 meters (100ft) below the surface. The tubes will be supported by pontoons on the surface and kept stable with connecting trusses. For extra stability, the construction might be bolted to the bedrock as well.

On the surface, there would be wide gaps between the pontoons to allow ferries to pass through. The first underwater tunnel will connect Oppedal and Lavik, passing through the 1,300 meter (4,300ft) deep, 1,000 meter (3,300ft) wide Sognefjord.

Traveling along the new route would feel like driving through any other tunnel, according to Arianna Minoretti, a senior engineer with the NPRA.

The submerged construction will be able to cope with rough weather that is typical for the country, according to NPRA. It will also allow easier access to rural communities. “Having this connection means that people there do not have to wait for a helicopter to go to the hospital,” Minoretti says.

The project is planned to be completed by 2035, and will preserve the landscape for those who still want to take the scenic route, the agency says.

Watch the video:


The Power of Being a Good Example

There was a man who had been out of work for a long time and decided to inquire at the local zoo. He told the zookeeper, "I would like a job. I will clean cages. I will do whatever you need."

The zookeeper said, "I'm sorry. We would love to hire you, but there just aren't any openings right now." Noticing how big and burly the man was, the zookeeper suddenly had an idea.

He said, "This is crazy, and you don't have to agree to it, but would you be willing to put on a costume and pretend to be a gorilla? Our gorilla died last week. He was our most popular exhibit. If you will be the gorilla, we will have a suit custom-made for you. We'll pay you really well."

Desperate for work, the man took the job. Feeling a little apprehensive on his first day, he put on the gorilla suit and climbed into the cage. He made a few gorilla moves and beat his chest a little. The people loved it.

The next day, he tried shaking the bars, screaming, and running around. The crowds started growing. By the third day, he was really enjoying his job and began swinging on the vines. But he swung too far, went over the wall, and landed in the middle of the lion’s cage.

The lion turned and walked toward him rather quickly. The man knew that if he called for help, people would discover he wasn't really a gorilla. But if he kept quiet, he would be the lion's lunch. So he screamed, "Help!"

"Shut up, stupid!" the lion whispered back. "You'll get us both fired!"

There are a lot of people like this in the church today. They are putting on a show. They are pretending to be something they are really not.

You may be a good representative of Jesus Christ, or you may be a bad one. Either way, you are His representative.

Some people may never open the Bible and read John 3:16. They may never look to see what the Scriptures say to them. But they will watch you. They will take note of the way you live, the way you treat your family, how you do your job, and the way you function as a follower of Jesus Christ. And they will make their evaluation about God accordingly.

Philippians 2 presents a powerful portion of Scripture that shows us how important a good example really is:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (verses 12-13 NKJV)

There was a special bond between Paul and the believers in Philippi. They were in great agony over the fact that Paul was in prison and could not be with them. So Paul was saying, "I don't want you to lower your guard spiritually, even if I am not around. I don't want you go into some kind of a spiritual cruise control and not continue to move forward."

Paul wanted the believers to stand on their own two feet spiritually. How were they to do this? We see the answer in verse 12: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

This doesn't say to work for your own salvation. It says to work out your own salvation. This phrase, "work out," means "to carry it to the goal and fully complete it." In the original language, the phrase also could be translated to mean working a mine, as in mining for gold.

God wants us to carry on to the goal and fully complete our own salvation. In recognition of what God has done for us, we have to realize that He has placed the mother lode of His grace and forgiveness in our lives. We need to mine it. We need to discover it. We need to appropriate it. We need to carry it to the goal.

That may seem like a tall order. It is. But let's not forget verse 13: "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

Remember, the calling of God is the enabling of God. If God asks you to do something, then He will give you the power to do it.


Funny One Liners

• I used to like my neighbors, until they put a password on their Wi-Fi.

• I send flowers “From Steve” to my neighbors wife every Friday night, then watch them fight from my living room window while eating popcorn.

• My mom never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.


President Obama gave his farewell address tonight in Chicago and thousands of people waited outside in freezing temperatures to get tickets. Now those people have a week to get over their pneumonia because they can't afford their health insurance. -- Jimmy Fallon

Rumors are circulating that Hillary Clinton could run for mayor of New York City later this year. While Bill could run to be the next “Naked Cowboy” in Times Square. -- Jimmy Fallon

Hillary and Bill Clinton announced that they are going to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration next Friday. Trump was really excited when he heard because they’re the first celebrities that said they’ll actually go. -- Jimmy Fallon

It’s being reported Yahoo might be changing its name to Altaba. The announcement was made so people could get a jump start on saying, “You’re still using Altaba?” -- Conan O’Brien

A man has finally been arrested for changing the famous Hollywood sign to read “Hollyweed.” In other words, we’re punishing the first stoner in the world to actually show some initiative. -- Conan O’Brien

Congratulations are in order for the Clemson Tigers, who won the college championship last night. They upset Alabama 35-31. Which was also the blood-alcohol content of most Clemson fans after that game. -- Jimmy Kimmel

Tonight on all the channels President Obama gave his farewell speech. It’s the Obama speech that Republicans have been looking forward to. -- Jimmy Kimmel

Sixty-three billion messages were sent this New Year’s Eve on the messaging service WhatsApp. And most of them read, “Are you watching Mariah Carey?” -- Seth Meyers

Music streaming app Spotify today offered President Obama a job as “President of Playlists.” And they say America isn’t racist – white ex-presidents get offered jobs as corporate lobbyists and they ask the black guy if he wants to be a DJ. -- Seth Meyers

Donald Trump appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as White House senior adviser. I bet when they first met, Trump was like, “What are your intentions with my daughter?” Kushner was like, “I’ll be honest. I’m just sleeping with her to get close to you.” And Trump was like, “Nice.” -- James Corden


Trump lays out schedule to "Make America Great Again!"

Donald Trump is ready to start making America great again, and today he laid out a bit of a rough timetable for doing so. As the Washington Times reports:

Republicans will have a replacement for Obamacare ready to go at the same time they repeal the massive health law, President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday, raising expectations for the GOP and its top priority in the new Congress.

At his first press conference in nearly six months Mr. Trump said he thought about ignoring Obamacare this year, predicting it would collapse on its own and be a major political problem for Democrats. But he said the GOP will push ahead anyway. He also said:

• Vice President-elect Mike Pence is working on plans for the border wall.

• He government will start doing a better job of controlling spending by making companies bid on contracts, including negotiating better prices for prescription drugs bought through government health programs.

• And he repeated his vow that companies who move operations outside the U.S. will pay a “border tax.”

The president-elect also said he’ll have a Supreme Court nominee within two weeks of being inaugurated. This is incredibly encouraging. Here's hoping President Trump can follow through on these promises. America is counting on him.


TRUMP INAUGURATION DAY Shirts are a Must-Have in the approaching "National DRAIN THE SWAMP DAY!"

January 20, 2017 will go down in history as The Day The Swamp Was Drained. After years of festering corruption, veniality and heartless disregard for the American people, Washington, D.C. will be liberated from its sleazy operators who peddle influence and claim to wield power.

President-elect Donald J. Trump promised as much on the campaign trail, and the Swamp-Draining will officially begin when he takes office on Inauguration Day. (In a way, it has already commenced, as Democratic politicos find themselves unable to find work).



OBAMA OBLIVION: "Race relations have gotten better?" Completely contradicted by what Americans say in polls

President Barack Obama responded to the video of a mentally disabled white man being tortured and racially abused by four black kidnappers by claiming that race relations in America have “gotten better”.

“I don’t think it’s accurate to say race relations are getting worse,” Obama told ABC News’ Jay Levine. “I promise you, for the most part, race relations have gotten better,” he added.

The president went on to assert that racial tensions only appear to be getting worse, because of “smart phones and the Internet”.

Obama’s claim is completely contradicted by the views of the American people.

• A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted in July last year found that “more than 6 in 10 adults (63%) say race relations are generally bad, and a majority say they are getting worse.”

• A CNN/ORC poll released in October found that 54% of Americans think race relations between blacks and whites have become worse, an 11% increase on a similar poll conducted in June the previous year. Just 16% said they had gotten better.

• A Gallup poll released in November found that 77% of Americans see the country as divided, with just 21% feeling America is united.

Racist Obama’s Goal: Take race relation back to the riots of the 1960’s

And he has! Now it is okay for liberals to kill cops performing their duties. It's okay for liberal media to portray an attack on a disabled white teenager by four black people two men and two women - as if it was 4 white people attacking a black teenager.

It's okay for liberals to rush to judgment and defend black criminals and thugs. It's okay for the corrupt Obama DOJ to take over a police department because they accepted federal aid and grants.

This corrupt political arm of the Obama DOJ via Holder and Lynch - has been a outride disgrace to the U.S. Constitution. Those many police departments capitulated to the DOJ to keep from having to spend millions to defend actions required to protect the public.

The corrupt Obama DOJ destroyed the Chicago PD and what do we have now?... Blacks killing and injuring 1000’s of blacks in the greater Chicago area yearly. Yup… guess Obama has changed race relations… for the worse!


Twelve ways to set up your dream garden... so you spend less time working on it and more time relaxing and enjoying it

How to design a low-maintenance garden. The most common request that I, as a garden designer, receive from clients is for a low-maintenance garden. While I may be quick to point out that no garden is no-maintenance, there are indeed some strategies for cutting down on garden chores.

Here are 12 ideas to set up your garden to spend less time weeding, mowing and mulching, and more time enjoying the space itself.

1) Create outdoor living areas. Extend your living space and options for entertaining in warm weather with outdoor dining areas, lounges and seating nooks around fire pits. Patios, decks and terraces cut down on planting space and lawns to maintain.

Not only do these gathering spaces tempt you to be outside enjoying your garden more often, but they also generally require less maintenance than garden beds.

2) Lose the lawn or reduce its size. Having fewer grassy areas to care for means less time mowing, fertilizing, weeding and reseeding. If you’re not interested in getting rid of your lawn entirely, consider decreasing its size.

In this front yard in upstate New York, the designer reduced the lawn size and carved out space for a satellite patio with a pair of inviting Adirondack chairs.

3) Limit planting space. While I’m not advocating wall-to-wall hardscape from a design perspective, there’s no denying that it would cut down on the time spent mowing, mulching and general garden bed maintenance. 

Look at the ratio of planting space to patio in this backyard in Wiltshire, England. Despite its small square footage, the narrow planting bed bordering the seating area has big impact in the design by being lifted to waist-height in an L-shaped raised bed.

The dwarf trees, trained to a standard form, and the mix of culinary herbs and perennial mourning bride flowers (Scabiosa atropurpurea) don’t require too much care to look good.

This planting bed in San Francisco features rosette-forming Echeveria ‘Perle von Nürnberg’, Breeze mat rush (Lomandra longifolia ‘LM300’), silver ‘Big Ears’ lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Big Ears’) and ‘Elijah Blue’ blue fescue (Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’).

4) Choose unfussy plants well-suited to your area. Getting the right plant in the right place may take a bit of effort upfront, but it can be a major time and money saver in the long run. Don’t insist on growing citrus in slow-draining soil or rhododendrons in a dry, windswept area.

Likewise, if you don’t have the time for pruning, it’s probably best to skip climbing roses, ficus or wisteria, which can easily get out of hand without proper maintenance. Instead, choose plants that naturally grow in your area or similar climate regions and that need little care to thrive.

5) Swap a flower border for shrubs. Seasonal flower beds are maintenance time-sucks — requiring a good deal of planting, staking, watering and deadheading for their fleeting display of blooms.

While you may not want to get rid of them entirely, consider replacing some of the planting space with easy-care shrubs. This landscape in Sydney, made up almost entirely of shrubs, provides a beautiful example of how enticing a garden without blooms can be.

6) Go for a modern, minimalist look. Skip fussy, labor-intensive flower beds and opt for easy-care shrubs paired with sleek hardscape. In this contemporary garden in Southern California, the elements of the hardscape are just as diverse and interesting as the plants in the border, and they take little effort to maintain.

7) Let some areas go wild. Take a step back and let go of maintaining some areas of the garden, allowing nature to take the helm. While it can be difficult to give up order in areas close to the house, spaces such as the property’s back border and shady areas under mature trees can be good options to let go wild.

Sit back and observe as fallen leaves form a natural mulch on the ground, native plants take root, and wild birds return to feed.

8) Opt for a simple water feature. As anyone who has mucked out a pond can attest, maintaining large water features can be a lot of work — messy and unpleasant.

For the benefits of adding a water element to your landscape without the hassle, choose a simple design that’s easy to clean. For example, consider filling a stone basin with water and watching the birds enjoy a drink, or invest in a simple recirculating fountain for the relaxing sound of water.

9) Choose perennials for color. Ditch the annual bedding plants that fade after a season and turn to hardy perennials for color year after year.

Stalwarts like English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and spurge (Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii) bloom for months and need only an annual trim to keep from getting too woody. Plus, most perennials offer more for pollinators in terms of pollen and nectar than bedding plants bred for color.

10) Organize your tools. Hunting for the shovel or a missing part for the lawn mower can take up even more time than the garden job itself. Set yourself up to be organized — and stay organized — with a storage system that works for you.

This could be a garden shed, area of the garage for garden tools, or just pegs on the side of the house under the eaves. The trick is to designate a specific place where each tool can be found and put away easily.

11) Spread mulch on beds. Mulch is one of the best garden maintenance timesavers. It suppresses weed growth, cuts down on water loss, and breaks down to help improve soil texture. Plus, spreading a few bags of wood-chip or bark mulch over planting beds instantly gives your garden a well-maintained look with minimal effort.

12) Create a spot to relax. If the real goal is to spend more time enjoying your garden, don’t forget to make it an inviting place to be. Set up a hammock, pull a pair of chairs under a shade tree, or spread a cheerful outdoor rug down on the patio. Then sit back and relax.

Adding a small garden water feature is a great way to add a nice touch to your garden for little maintenance. We have many outdoor garden water fountains that are very popular for those looking to take up some space in their garden areas.



Massive security underway for inauguration... amid divisive Democrats protest threats to 'paralyze' DC

The stage is set for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration – not just the traditional swearing-in platform on Capitol Hill, but a massive security presence amid protest plans to “shut down” the nation’s capital.

Most crowd estimates for the Jan. 20 festivities are far short of the record-setting 1.8 million visitors for President Obama’s historic 2009 inauguration. But the throngs of spectators and protesters alike are enough to create transit, security and hospitality challenges.

“Security is my greatest concern,” Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blunt, chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, recently said. “No question that on inaugural day, this would be the most appealing target in the world.”

He suggested the city could have as many as 750,000 demonstrators alone. More than three-dozen law enforcement agencies are working together on security and safety plans in anticipation, including the Capitol Police, FBI, Secret Service and National Guard.

Roughly 7,500 Guardsmen from across the country will come to Washington, along with about 3,000 police officers from various states, with the Secret Service taking the lead on security.

Essentially everybody involved already is rehearsing for the big weekend, which kicks off next Friday morning with the swearings-in on the Capitol’s West Front, followed by official events including the traditional parade on Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House and the inaugural balls.

The Joint Task Force -- National Capital Region -- 58th Presidential Inauguration has held several “table top” sessions in which agencies plot strategy over a large-scale, three-dimensional map.

“It’s a rehearsal, but in the military we call it a drill,” Navy Cmdr. Jonathan Blyth, the group’s spokesman, told on Wednesday. “We’ve been preparing for this since the last inauguration. We’re focused to protecting and honoring a new commander in chief.”

The task force and its Capitol Hill counterpart are holding a “dress rehearsal” this weekend for the swearings-in, the Presidential Review of troops and the parade along the roughly 2.5-mile stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Several protest groups planning large-scale demonstrations have permits in place and have already held organizational meetings, among them the collaborative DisruptJ20.

“We’re planning a series of massive, direct actions that will shut down the inauguration ceremonies and any related celebrations,” the group says. “We’re also planning to paralyze the city.” Organizers say they are targeting everything from the parade to the balls and plan to use blockades and protesters to stop traffic, public transit and parties.

The extremist liberal group is planning a small-scale protest Saturday in the city’s McPherson Square, just blocks from the White House, that organizers hope will grow into larger inauguration-weekend protests.

The group burned U.S. flags this summer at the Democratic and Republican national conventions and this week tried to disrupt the Senate confirmation hearing for Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions to become Trump’s attorney general.

“I wouldn’t want to meet with Trump, but I would say to him, ‘You’re a fascist. Your regime is illegitimate.’ And it must not be allowed to take power,” the group’s Carl Dix told Fox on Wednesday on Capitol Hill. Dix acknowledged the group doesn’t have a federal or city permit to protest but still intends to “stop the regime.”

The two major groups with permits are a pro-Trump organization and the ANSWER Coalition, which turned out the largest anti-war protests during the Bush years and next weekend has a permit for a mass protest at Freedom Plaza, near the parade route. 

The other group is Bikers for Trump, a familiar presence on last year’s campaign trail and visitors to both 2016 major-party conventions. The group’s permit shows members at John Marshall Park, near the Canadian Embassy and close to the parade route.

The biggest protest is expected to take place the following day -- the Women’s March on Washington. Organizers have finally received a permit and estimate 200,000 attendees, with celebrities such as Amy Schumer and Scarlett Johansson reportedly among them.

Blyth said the big variable next weekend, as usual, will be the weather. Eight inches of snow fell the night before John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. “The weather is always the biggest challenge,” Blyth said. “We’re reading the Farmer’s Almanac and always checking forecasts.”

The 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee will hold at least two official - or “sanctioned” - balls. Among the other balls that week will be the Deplorables Inaugural Ball, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, and the Salute to the Heroes Inaugural Ball, at the Renaissance hotel downtown.

Trump boasted this week that so many people are attending balls and other events that dress shops are sold out. However, Calypso St. Barts women’s shop, in Georgetown, said Wednesday it has plenty of options still available.

“We still have many nice pieces, including some cocktail dresses,” store manager Briona Jackson said. “We have items on sale and can get gowns from our other stores.”


Fishing for sailfish in the Florida Keys

Live bait trolling for sailfish in Islamorda, FL with Capt. Dave Jones, Capt. Jimmy Nelson & Fishing with Luiza. What an amazing catch, you rock girl!

Watch the video:


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Thought for the day...

Obamacare repeal is underway

Senate Republicans took the first step towards repealing Obamacare. As Townhall's Matt Vespa notes: In the early morning hours, while most of the country was asleep, Senate Republicans took the first step in repealing Obamacare, with a budget resolution that passed on a 51-48 party-line vote.

A simple majority was all that was required for it to pass since Republicans will be using the reconciliation process to avoid a Democratic filibuster. The House is set to take up the resolution on Friday (via Associated Press):

The Senate early Thursday passed a measure to take the first step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law, responding to pressure to move quickly, even as Republicans and President-elect Trump grapple with what to replace it with.

The nearly party-line 51-48 vote came on a non-binding Republican-backed budget measure that eases the way for action on subsequent repeal legislation as soon as next month.

"We must act quickly to bring relief to the American people," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. This is a good start, but as we mentioned, Republicans need to tread lightly.

As Freedomworks Jason Pye and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul note, the budget resolution is prohibitively and unnecessarily expensive: While the spending levels in the FY 2017 budget resolution are non-binding, they do send a message to fiscal conservatives about whether or not congressional Republicans are serious about tackling spending.

As Sen. Paul said, Republicans aren't exactly guardians of taxpayers' dollars, as evidenced by the spending spree under the Bush administration.

The FY 2017 budget resolution sets revenue levels at $32.351 trillion between FY 2017 and FY 2026. Outlays are set at $40.271 trillion over the ten-year window. This means the budget resolution adds $7.9 trillion to the budget deficit.

Congress has been through this process before. In May 2015, the House and Senate passed the FY 2016 budget resolution, S.Con.Res. 11, which directed committees in both chambers to begin the process of repealing ObamaCare through reconciliation. The spending levels, budget deficits, and the increase in publicly-held debt were noticeably less.

The FY 2016 budget resolution set revenue levels at $32.237 trillion and outlays at $32.602 trillion between FY 2016 and FY 2025. The budget was actually brought into balance and, indeed, began to run a surplus in FY 2023. Overall, only $365.4 billion would have been added to the budget deficit under this budget resolution.

It's important that conservatives understand the difference in price tag, and commit to a solution that doesn't bankrupt the country.

A bloated, unaffordable budget is a bloated, unaffordable budget, whether it comes from Republicans or Democrats.

Republicans must not waste their majority position by betraying American voters and adding trillions in new debt.

Still, the opportunity is there. If Republicans can sort this out and come together on a reasonable, sensible budget resolution, Obamacare is toast.




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