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April Luncheon Meeting on Tuesday, April 26

The Aiken Republican Club will host a State House Forum at the Club’s April Luncheon Meeting on Tuesday, April 26. The meeting will be held at Newberry Hall located at 117 Newberry St. down town Aiken, SC.

The Candidates running for the District 81 SC House Seat are Attorney Chris Austin, Businessman Bart Blackwell, Financial Consultant Jeremy O’Donnell and former Aiken County Party Chairman and Realtor KT Ruthven.

The seat was held by SC House Rep. Don Wells who is not running for re-election.

We as Republicans are well aware what is at stake in the upcoming Presidential Election in 2016. Keep in mind that all our US Congressman and one US Senator are also up for re-election.

Who we elect to represent us in our State House is just as important. The Primary is on June 18.

The Registration/Social time will be from 10 AM to 11:50 AM. Lunch is at 12 Noon.

The cost for Members is $17.00 and $22.00 for Non-Members and includes Lunch.

To make a Reservation or cancel a reservation please use the our web site www.aikenrepublicanclub.com

You have until 4 PM Friday, April 22 to cancel a reservation keeping in mind that you are responsible for reservation.

We look forward seeing all of you on Tuesday, April 26.

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Ted Cruz in Aiken, SC – February 15, 2016

On Monday, February 15 The Aiken Republican Club in conjunction with Ted Cruz for President Campaign
hosted Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Radio and TV Personality Glenn Beck at a rally held at the USC Aiken Convocation Center .
1,500 people attended the rally.
This was the largest undertaking in the 12 year history of the Aiken Republican Club.
All my best,
Tony
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Trump Moves Beyond MARs

Originally Posted in the Aiken Standard, Monday, February 8, 2016

The Republican primaries weren’t supposed start this way.

The planned coronation of Jeb Bush lies shattered beyond repair. An Iowa caucus splitting the vote between Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio was unimaginable last spring.

This was supposed to be an orderly and predictable process. The moderate, mainstream candidate (Bush) was the anointed frontrunner. He would defeat the conservative alternative (Cruz or Ben Carson), with libertarian gadfly (Rand Paul) providing comic relief.

But along came Trump and everything changed. Like a kamikaze diving out of the sun at a crazy angle, Trump disrupted the expected center-right versus hard-right choreography.

Trump remains outside the normal ideological spectrum, and pundits and politicians can’t quite come to grips with his candidacy. Countless articles have tried to explain the Trump phenomenon.

Yet Trump’s appeal, and his constituency, was prophesied 40 years ago in Donald Warren’s “The Radical Center: Middle Americans and the Politics of Alienation.” In essence, Trump is appealing to Middle American Radicals (MARs).

Who are the MARs? What do they stand for?

MARs are alienated working and middle class voters. They feel squeezed economically and believe their horizons are diminishing. Per Warren, they think, “The rich give in to the demands of the poor, and the middle income people have to pay the bill.”

Political theorist Samuel Francis, who championed Warren’s thesis, saw their attitudes pointing “to a sense of resentment and exploitation, mainly economic, but also broader, that is directly upwards as well as downwards…It points also to the frustration of aspirations, to an alienation of loyalties, and to a suspicion of established institutions, authorities, and values.”

Unlike many conservatives and libertarians, MARs have no inherent dislike of the welfare state. Middle class entitlements are fine, but payments to the undeserving poor are anathema.

MARs are leery of both global business elites outsourcing jobs and crusades to “spread democracy” abroad. They’re nationalists and American Firsters.

Pat Buchanan’s and Ross Perot’s 1992 and 1996 Presidential campaigns appealed directly to MARs. Though Buchanan’s campaigns had a rightward hue while Perot’s were more centrist, neither fit along the traditional left-right axis.

Journalist John Judis sees a correlation between the Buchanan and Perot constituencies of the 1990s with Trump’s of today. Middle income voters and those with some college formed the base of their support.

“[They’re] the very voters who were most likely to be feeling squeezed from both above and below,” writes Judis. “Demographically, Trump seems to be attracting the 2015 equivalent of these votes.”

But if MARs form Trump’s base, they aren’t enough to win in November. As Judis points out, they make up roughly 20 percent of the electorate and a third of the Republican vote.

Trump understands this. He’s pursuing constituencies beyond MARs, expanding his outreach beyond Buchanan and Perot.

Trump appeals to MARs with his opposition to illegal immigration, Islamic radicalism and political elites. These issues resonate with conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage and R. Emmett Tyrrell.

Trump’s political incorrectness thrills others.

“When was the last time you stopped yourself from saying something you believed to be true for fear of being punished or criticized for saying it?” asks former “Crossfire” host Tucker Carlson. “If you live in America, it probably hasn’t been long.”

Trump’s flamboyant, unapologetic rhetoric makes him a hero to millions, and according to Carlson it “made Trump’s political career.”

Despite Trump’s wafer thin credentials, he’s gaining support from conservative Christians such as Jerry Falwell, Jr. Tired of serving as electoral cannon fodder for the GOP, they feel shunned by Republican officeholders seeking their votes yet ignoring their issues once elected. From abortion to the defense of the traditional family, they’ve been disappointed repeatedly.

Unquestionably, Trump seeks a deal with disillusioned Christians. He declares that Christians are “under siege,” but promises that once he’s elected president “you’re going to have plenty of power. You don’t need anybody else. You’re going to have somebody representing you very, very well. Remember that.”

Will this consummate deal maker, this atypical Republican, keep his word? After decades of despair, some Christians see Trump as a plausible alternative to devil they know.

If Trump wins the Republican nomination and triumphs in November, he’ll do so riding a wave of middle and working class resentment. He’ll have defied, and perhaps broken, the bi-partisan power structure.

But to achieve his revolution, he must appeal beyond his base. The New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries will demonstrate what progress, if any, he’s made beyond MARs.

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GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL

Aiken Standard, Monday, January 11, 2016

With the November elections ten months away, the situation is fluid and predictions are hazardous.

But the outlines of what may occur – however dim – are faintly visible if two key assumptions hold true: First, the fundamentals approach towards the Presidential election is valid. And second, down-ballot results will generally mirror the Presidential results due to polarization within the electorate.

Based on an analysis of the fundamentals, including Alan Abramowitz’s “Time for Change” model, we should know by mid-summer which party will win the White House.

If second quarter economic growth is running at 3 percent to 4 percent, and President Obama’s net popularity (approval minus disapproval) is plus 5 to 10 percent, then the Democratic candidate will win.

But if the economy is sputtering at 1 percent to 2 percent growth (or worse), and Obama’s popularity is hovering in the net minus 5 to 10 percent range, then a Republican victory is likely.

Only if the fundamentals fall between these ranges will the race come down to the wire.

This assumes nothing regarding the identity of the major party nominees. While pundits agonize over the ins and outs of a Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton matchup, every potential nominee brings unique baggage and opportunities to the contest.

The Republican nomination is currently Trump’s to lose. If he romps through Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, then he’ll be nearly unstoppable.

If Ted Cruz wins Iowa, however, then the race will open up. Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson could break out, and those in the single-digit pack may gain fleeting opportunities.

The Democratic nomination is simpler. Bernie Sanders must upset Clinton in Iowa and crush her in New Hampshire to threaten her coronation.

South Carolina, however, is her electoral firewall. The race will become wide open if she manages to lose here.

The fight will be entertaining, and while Sanders could theoretically win, the smart money remains on Clinton.

The battle for the control of Congress contains risks and opportunities for both parties.

The Republican’s 55-to-45 majority in the U.S. Senate is vulnerable. They’re defending several seats in states that have otherwise voted Democratic in the last three Presidential elections.

This is a key consideration because in 2004, 2008 and 2012 Senatorial elections have correlated roughly 80 percent of the time with the party winning each state’s Presidential vote.

The most vulnerable Republicans are Mark Kirk (Illinois), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania). Republicans have long shot hopes for compensating Senatorial pickups in Colorado and Nevada.

To win the Presidency, Republicans must carry some combination of blue states including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. If they do, then they have reasonable chances to retain those state’s Senate seats. Control of the Senate will hinge on the nationwide Presidential results.

Democrats have little hope, however, of reversing the Republicans’ 247-to-188 margin in the House of Representatives.

There are simply too few flippable seats within the polarized political environment. In 2012, a mere 26 House seats were won by candidates differing from the party carrying their district’s Presidential vote.
A Democratic Presidential win will reduce, but not eliminate, the Republican margin. Likewise, electing a Republican President will increase their existing margin by a few seats.

Among the 12 governorships facing election, eight are held by Democrats and four by Republicans. Few of these will change hands, though the fundamentals present Republicans with pickup opportunities in Missouri and West Virginia.

In the South Carolina House and Senate, Republicans hold majorities of 28-to-18 and 78-to-46, respectively. Given the fundamentals within the state, coupled with Democratic strength in minority-majority districts, only marginal changes will occur.

In Aiken County, the Republicans will contest the County Council District 3 seat (currently held by LaWana McKenzie), the Clerk of Court (Liz Godard), and the Probate Judge (Sue Roe). The Democrats occupying these offices are resilient and experienced incumbents, survivors within an increasingly Republican county.

The fundamentals boost Republicans chances, as will the announced retirements of Godard and McKenzie. In Aiken County, the Republican “brand” is a major asset in open, down ballot races.

If Republicans recruit credible candidates and pull off this trifecta, Democrats will be reduced to their minority-majority district strongholds.

Can local Democrats hold onto these three offices? Will they can take the fight into Republican territory come November? Expect some local drama in this year’s elections.

Is this crystal ball on target? Or will it roll of the table and crack? We’ll know either way on November 8.

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For Conservatives with a sense of humor and a Liberal if you can find one

From the mad hatters

 
With the Obama government’s ability to protect American soil against terrorism in question and the Donald’s urging a pause in Muslim immigration until Homeland Security figures out “what the hell is going on”, which they haven’t, it was at least reassuring to learn that our immigration visa form is doing it’s part not to profile any Muslim, by requiring only a yes or no answer to the question “do you intend to engage in any terrorist activity.” Since results show they all answered no, the question obviously is moot and should be eliminated altogether. It would be more productive to wait until tens of thousands pour in and let Al-Jazeera vet them all at once as a back-up.
 
What’s in a word? The talking heads of the Fourth Estate continually consider Ted Cruz to be a master debater.  While his skills as an incomparable deliberator cannot be denied,  it would be prudent for these pompous practitioners of pontification, when uttering this characterization, not to slur the words together, less a tribute to his oratory skills be confused with a salacious slander.
 
Having created a roaring economy, solved the Syrian refugee crisis, humbled Putin and contained ISIS, it was heartening to see Obama grab some down time from the links to accept a ride with Jerry Seinfeld in his ’63’ Corvette on Jerry’s new reality show. When Obama asked Jer if he could drive the vintage automobile, the comedienne diplomatically reminded his passenger that the last time he drove anything was a bumper car at Michael Jackson’s Neverneverland and managed to get lost. Obama countered in a snarky tone that he’s learned all he needs to know watching his limo driver. Seinfeld changed the subject by asking his passenger if he’d like to take a selfie standing next to the ‘vette’ and tweet that it’s his. That brought a Cheshire Cat’s smile to the future reality show star. Seinfeld ain’t no dummy.
 
Micro aggression may be the latest fantasy of the Don Quixote left, but there’s a surreptitious, insidious movement growing among us I call Adult Regression.  It’s a chronological return to the simpler, happier days of our youth when everything was Barbie and G.I. Joe. First it was adult Gummy Bears vitamins. The problem with Gummies is you just can’t eat one. Now we can wile away the hours with adult coloring books which should provide heavy dark boundaries so we don’t cross over the lines, or attend adult sleepover camps, marshmallows included. (For real) For those who have had a particularly difficult time adjusting to maturity, I plan marketing an adult potty training manual “Dumping for Dummies” with full page illustrations. Rumors are the toy industry intends to jump in on the prepubescent bonanza.
 
Hillary Clinton, campaigner for both anti war candidates Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern has revealed again on the campaign trail that in 1975, in preparation for the 1996 attack “under fire in a hail of bullets in Bosnia”,  tried to join the Marines,EmojiEmojiEmoji but was rejected because at the age of 26, she was deemed to old. Sure. Bill Gates could qualify for welfare before she’d even be driven past a recruiting office. To lend credence to this tale of patriotism, she was recently seen in New Hampshire decked out in a camp pantsuit and combat boots shouting the Marine battle cry “yippity ky yay.”
 

From the mad house

 
As Syrians pour into Great Britain with open arms, many bent on destroying the country, the British Parliament will vote on a proposal banning Donald Trump from entering the country due to his Islamaphobic remarks regarding a pause on Syrian immigration into America. This will get particularly interesting if Trump is elected. Trump immediately stated publicly “that’s fine, too many terrorists over there anyway.” He offered to meet British Prime Minister David Camoron at any Trump resort of his choice around the world provided the PM will agree to an extensive vetting process.
 
During the recent hearings of the Joint Committee on Terrorism,  Kelli Ann Burrriesci, (are your ready?) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Screening and Coordinating Office of Policy for the Department of Homeland Security. Hope I got it all, but who’s counting? When asked myriad questions regarding her responsibility for screening immigrants, she expressed a deer in the headlights look as spacey as Nancy Pelosi’s when asked to name one of Hillary’s accomplishments. Kelli Anne was heard whispering to her council, “I can’t even remember what my title is and am still trying to figure out how to fit it on my business cards.”
 
A monkey in Indonesia pilfered a camera from a wildlife photographer and took a selfie which the photographer posted on the internet. Enter PETA to the rescue by filing a lawsuit claiming Naturo the Macaqua owns the copy rights to the selfie which could very well lead to a reality show and  endorsements for Hillary Clinton in  Political Action Committee ads. Fortunately the judge disagreed with PETA and threw the case out. Immediately, PETA went ape, screeching that the real stars of Planet of the Apes and Cheeta were cheated out of their copyrights and are organizing D.U.M.B.O., Democrats for Unionizing Monkey Business Organizers.

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Attorney General Alan Wilson will be our Guest Speaker – Thursday, January 21

The Aiken Republican Club is delighted to announce that Attorney General Alan Wilson will be our Guest Speaker at our 2016 kick off Luncheon Meeting schedule on Thursday, January 21. The Luncheon Meeting will be held at Newberry Hall located at 117 Newberry Street downtown Aiken, South Carolina.

Alan Wilson was elected South Carolina’s Fifty-First Attorney General on November 2, 2010 and took office on January 12, 2013 and is the youngest serving Attorney General in the United States.

A 2002 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, Wilson began his legal career working for the late Judge Marc. H. Westbrook before prosecuting crimes across South Carolina including violent crimes, white collar crime, public corruption, DUI, domestic violence and child abuse as both an Assistant Solicitor and as an Assistant Attorney General.

The registration /social time will begin at 10:30 AM to 11:50 AM and lunch will be served at 12:00 Noon. The cost of the luncheon for members is $17 and $22 for non-members and includes lunch.

Please log on to our new web site www.aikenrepublican club.com to make your reservation for this Luncheon Meeting.

Once you have made a reservation you will get a confirmation. Bring that with you when you register.

Please contact Nancy Boykin at arc29803@atlanticbb.net or call Nancy at 803-642-9668 or Tony
Coffaro at 803-641-0492 should you encounter any problems making your Reservation.

Reservations will be accepted until 4PM on Wednesday, January 20, 2016. Cancellations must be received by 4PM on Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Payment will be expected for any reservations not canceled by the deadline of January 19th.

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, January 21.

All my best,
Tony

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RE-EXAMINING THE ROSS PEROT MYTH

Author – Gary Bunker

Aiken Standard, Monday, December 28, 2015

 

Donald Trump hints that he may run as an independent for President. The same Donald Trump periodically denies that he will bolt the GOP. The resulting confusion is a bonanza for pundits.

This speculation has also resurrected the ill-founded myth that Ross Perot’s independent bid for President in 1992 doomed Bush the Elder’s re-election and inflicted eight years of Bill Clinton on America.

The not so subtle hint is that an independent Trump candidacy will elect Hillary Clinton President. Beware! Trump, like Perot, may play the spoiler!

The belief that Perot caused Bush’s defeat, however, is a frequently stated but largely unexamined assumption. For example, the usually perceptive Caitlin Huey-Burns at RealClearPolitics.com recently wrote that, “Perot went on to win 19 percent of the popular vote in the 1992 election, which benefited Bill Clinton in defeating George H.W. Bush.”

Many Republicans tenaciously subscribe to this myth despite contrary evidence from contemporary polling data. This is because a generation ago Republicans had an apparent “lock” on the Presidency as firm as any “blue wall” that today’s Democrats think they’ve built. Only the perfidious little man from Texas prevented perpetual Republican occupancy of the Oval Office.

But what really happened in 1992?

After President Bush endured a season of bad economic news and fended off Pat Buchanan’s spirited challenge from the right, that spring the Gallup polls indicated that the real race was between Bush and Perot. At one point in early June, Perot led 39 percent to 31 percent. Clinton lagged in third, forlornly playing the blues on the Arsenio Hall Show.

But by mid-July, as the race tightened between Bush and Perot, the Texas billionaire unexpectedly dropped out. If the reigning orthodoxy regarding Perot is correct, then Bush should have surged.

Instead, with Perot out of the race Clinton rocketed from third place to first. By mid-July Clinton was up 56 percent to 34 percent – a massive 22 point margin. Perot’s supporters did not “go home” to the GOP.

Until late September, Clinton consistently held leads in the low to mid 50s while Bush wallowed in the mid to upper 30s. The poor economy and his personal unpopularity took a toll on Bush. With Perot out of the race, Clinton monopolized the growing anti-Bush sentiment.

But then in early October Perot again did the unexpected: he re-entered the race. And as Perot gained traction, Clinton’s numbers sagged. In the campaign’s final weeks Bush, while still mired in the upper 30s, was within striking distance as Perot ate into Clinton’s numbers.

When the dust finally settled on Election Day, Clinton’s margin was much narrower than it had been earlier in the year: 43 percent for Clinton, 37 percent for Bush, and 19 percent for Perot.

In summary: Bush was in a losing position throughout 1992. In hindsight, his only hope lay in splitting the opposition. This Perot did in both segments of his eccentric, disjointed campaign.

Likewise, during the summer after Perot exited of the race, Clinton’s numbers temporarily surged to landslide proportions.

Had Perot finished in the mid 20s, Bush could have won given that Perot and Clinton were dividing the anti-Bush vote.

This election also illustrates the importance of electoral fundamentals.

Alan Abramowitz’s “Time for Change” model uses three variables to predict major party shares of the vote in Presidential elections: economic growth, the incumbent President’s net approval rating, and whether the incumbent is running for re-election.

Applying Abramowitz’s model to the 1992 election, it predicted that Bush would receive 48 percent of the two party share of the vote (after excluding Perot) versus 46.5 percent in actuality.

With Bush’s approval rating dipping to 30 percent in mid-summer 1992 and a sputtering economy, this is unsurprising. The fundamentals matter.

So why do so many Republicans reject this analysis?

In the three preceding Presidential elections (1980, 1984 and 1988), Ronald Reagan and George Bush won both popular vote majorities and Electoral College landslides.

During these three elections they captured 54 percent of the vote on average. The drop to 37 percent in 1992 is rationalized by Perot “stealing” these votes from their rightful Republican home.

But no votes can be “stolen” because no votes necessarily belong to any candidate or party. Electoral coalitions constantly change, voters ultimately remain free agents, and politicians who lose the mandate of heaven – either by their own actions or unfavorable circumstances – will succumb.

Clinton didn’t win in 1992 because of Perot. Instead, Perot nearly pulled Bush’s chestnuts out of the fire.

 

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Is Donald Trump unfit to be President?

Many talking heads brand Donald Trump un-American and unfit to be president, but his poll numbers accurately reflect people’s frustrations and fears over an America they no longer recognize. So, what is “American ” today? Is it a foreign policy that fails to protect ours borders, support our allies and allows tens of thousands of Syrians into our country, ignoring the terrorist threat and forcing them upon the states? My cap says “these colors don’t run”. Is it “American” to withdraw from the international stage, become a feckless spectator while the world descends into chaos, nullify all the blood and treasure lost in Iraq, while Obama preaches to West Point graduates that climate change is their most immediate enemy. Perhaps it’s “American” to allow race relations to devolve and fester with no attempt at healing the growing divide from Obama while the cities burn and a few tragic incidents incite a national war on police, castrating their effectiveness. Maybe it’s “American” to turn our universities into coddling bastions of political correctness where students are encouraged to  imagine insults and aggression in every discourse, snuffing out free speech and creating distrust among one another. Or is it “American” to claim a bogus 5.3% unemployment rate with millions of Americans still suffering while the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows it to be twice that nationally and higher for the inner cities. America has lost its’ morale, identity, purpose and place in the world.The next president must restore them. That’s American.

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Republican Primary Election Dates

Monday, February 1, 2016
Iowa Caucus

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
New Hampshire

Saturday, February 20, 2016
South Carolina GOP

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Nevada Caucus GOP

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Super Tuesday:
Alabama
Arkansas GOP
Colorado Caucuses
Georgia
Massachusetts
Minnesota Caucus
Oklahoma
Texas
Vermont
Virginia

Saturday, March 5, 2015
Kansas Caucus
Kentucky GOP Caucus
Louisiana

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Hawaii Caucus GOP
Idaho GOP
Mississippi
Michigan

Sunday, March 13, 2016
Puerto Rico GOP

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Florida
Illinois
Missouri
North Carolina
Ohio

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Wisconsin

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
New York State

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Connecticut
Delaware
Maryland
Rhode Island

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Indiana

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Nebraska GOP
West Virginia

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Oregon

Tuesday, June 7, 2016
California
Montana
New Jersey
New Mexico
South Dakota

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
District of Columbia

States with No Firm Dates:
North Dakota
Maine
Wyoming
Washington State

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Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dear Members,

I’m pleased to announce that the Aiken Republican Club will hold it’s annual Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 9 PM at Newberry Hall. Newberry Hall is located at 117 Newberry Street downtown Aiken, SC.

Be ready to participate in our Christmas Sweater and Jacket & Tie contest. So look in your closet ladies, check out your sweaters and men your jackets, tie rack and maybe you might win a prize.

At this party we will announce the Officers and Board Members for 2016 and give out a few awards to some very deserving members.

We will have good food, some spirits and a wonderful time with fellow members.

The cost for Members is $30.00 and $35.00 for Non-Members. The dinner is Prime Rib. There will be a cash bar.

This would be a very good time to renew your Membership for 2016.

Please contact Nancy Boykin at arc29803@atlanticbb.net or call (803) 642-9668 no later than Saturday, December 5 at 12:00Noon.

Cancellations must be received no later than Friday, December 4, 2015. You are responsible for your reservation.

Registration will begin at 5:30 PM.

May I be the first to wish you and your Family a Merry Christmas, a healthy, prosperous, and Happy New Year.

I look forward to seeing each and everyone of you there.

God Bless You,

Tony