Donald Trump and the Tenure of Office Act

The Tenure of Office Act of 1867 prohibited the President from firing cabinet officers without Senate approval. President Andrew Johnson took strong exception to the law and deliberately broke it. He fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. 
Mr. Johnson was impeached by the House, but he was not removed by the Senate. He was acquitted by only one vote. However his decision was validated by the US Supreme Court decades after his own death.   

In 1926, Chief Justice (and former President) William Howard Taft, writing for the majority in Myers v. United States, opined that the Tenure of Service Act was unconstitutional because a President has the unmitigated right to fire any subordinate who is confirmed by the Senate. 

Today, President Trump is being investigated for obstruction of justice because he fired the FBI director. Special Counsel Bob Mueller is checking to see if the President violated 18 USC 1505.  

The obstruction of justice statute prohibits anyone from corruptly endeavoring to influence “the due and proper administration” of the law under which any proceeding before an agency like the FBI is being had.  

In the President’s case, Mr. Mueller is checking to see if he fired former FBI Director Comey because the latter would not drop the investigation of General Mike Flynn. The theory is that if Mr. Trump had a corrupt motive for firing Comey, then he would have obstructed justice. 

The problem with this theory is that, as applied to the President, Section 1505 cannot limit his power to fire subordinates; otherwise the statute would be no different than the unconstitutional Tenure of Office Act.   

To say that Mr. Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey was obstruction of justice is to imply that sometimes, at least, the President must get Congressional permission before firing an appointed official. That runs afoul of the holding in Myers.   

Now does this mean that Trump cannot or will not be impeached? No. If Congress can impeach (and almost remove) Andrew Johnson for breaking an unconstitutional law, it can do the same for Donald Trump. But to say that Mr. Trump committed a criminal offense by firing Mr. Comey is absurd. 

Pursuant to the separation of powers doctrine, Congress cannot limit the President’s ability to fire appointed officials. Otherwise Congress would be assuming executive authority in contravention of Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.    

Unfortunately in their haste to burn the President to a stake, liberal and progressive talking heads overlook the sublime truth that the Constitution says what it means and means what it says, to-wit:

“The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”

The Real Constitutional Crisis

It has been leaked to the Washington Post tonight that President Trump is being investigated by Special Counsel Mueller for obstruction of justice.

As best as I can tell from the reporting, the ostensible basis for this allegation of obstruction is Mr. Trump’s firing of James Comey.

If Mr. Comey’s firing truly is the basis for this investigation of the President, then we have a much bigger constitutional crisis than even the liberal media would suggest.

The Constitution vests “[t]he executive power … in a President of the United States of America.” (Art. II, Sec. 1, Cl. 1.)

Notice the use of the definite article “the,” which modifies the phrase “executive power.” Also notice the singular indefinite article “a,” which modifies “President of the United States of America.”

Whatever executive power exists in the federal government, the Constitution vests it in one – and only one – person, to wit: the President of the United States of America.

Because there can only be one President at a time, no person can exercise superior executive power than the President.

Not Bob Mueller. Not James Comey. Not Rod Rosenstein. Not even Jeff Sessions.

Under the Constitution (i.e., the supreme law of the land), nobody can execute a federal law without the direction or the supervision of Donald J. Trump.

Put simply, everyone who enforces federal law reports to the President, not the other way around.

President Trump was not accountable to James Comey. Rather, James Comey was accountable to President Trump.

President Trump is not accountable to Bob Mueller. Rather, Bob Mueller is accountable to President Trump.

With that framework in mind, let’s pretend that one day, in the not-so-distant future, a politically ambitious man is appointed director of the FBI. (Let’s call him “J. Edgar.”)

J. Edgar controls the most powerful investigative agency in the world. The FBI is able to perform wiretaps on just about anybody inside the United States. If a person lies to an FBI agent, it is a felony. Best of all, FBI files are some of the most classified pieces of intelligence in all of government. Basically, if dirt can be found on someone, the FBI is the one agency on earth that can find it.

J. Edgar remembers what happened to President Trump in 2017. He remembers how Donald Trump was accused of firing the FBI director for not stopping a particular investigation. J. Edgar recalls how this was considered obstruction of justice.

Being the smart cat that he is, J. Edgar puts two and two together. He reasons that, in the name of protecting national security, he should find some reason — any ostensible purpose — to investigate the President. If he finds anything, he can use that to blackmail the commander-in-chief (or at the very least, to deter the President from ever firing him.)

But even if he does not find anything, he can keep the investigation open indefinitely. Now that the Trump/Comey/Mueller precedent has been set, J. Edgar knows that if the President fires him for doing an unauthorized investigation, the President may be impeached or removed from office for interfering with the “due and proper administration” of an FBI investigation. (See 18 USC 1505.)

Thus, J. Edgar knows that by simply having an active investigation of the President, he can make the President kowtow to him.

Which brings me back to the present… If President Trump (or any future President) can be investigated — and perhaps even indicted, impeached and/or removed from office — simply because he suggested that the FBI director end an investigation, then the FBI director is now the most powerful person in government.

After all, the FBI director is now the only person in Washington with the de-facto power to blackmail the President of the United States.

Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and the Ghost of Richard Nixon

When I was a student at Mississippi State University back in the 1990’s, I ran for a campus-wide office in the student association.  Since I was not a member of a fraternity, my campaign did not have the natural base of support that my “Greek” opponents enjoyed.  So I needed a way to motivate the non-Greeks on campus to come out in droves to support their fellow independent.

When Washington politicians want to motivate their core supporters, they typically resort to class warfare.  So I reasoned that if class warfare worked in real life, it would also work in a campus-wide campaign where 80 percent of the student body was not involved in a Greek organization.

To achieve my goal, I needed to communicate to the student body, in the most entertaining way possible, that I was not a member of a fraternity.  Of course this was before the advent of Twitter, Facebook or, for that matter, much of the World Wide Web.  So the only means of mass communication at my disposal was the school newspaper.

My “brilliant” idea was to do a half-page ad in the paper.  The ad would start with my picture on the left.  Slight changes would be made to the first picture to make the second picture.  Then the second picture would be altered to make the third picture.  Eventually, these changes would gradually “morph” my original picture into that of President Richard Nixon.  Underneath the set of pictures would be the caption: “I am not a Greek!”

Looking back, I can say that this was one of the dumbest ideas I have ever conceived.  Fortunately, I didn’t have the money to pay for the aforesaid photographic transformation, particularly given the embryonic stage of digital technology in 1997.  I also had a couple of really good friends who talked me out of this.  But unfortunately these friends STILL remind me of my folly to this day, more than twenty years later.

My friends recognized that morphing into Richard Nixon is never a good idea.  That was true in 1997.  It is still true in 2017.

Depending upon which side of the political spectrum one falls, it would appear that Presidents Trump and/or Obama are morphing rapidly into Richard Nixon.

Some would say that Mr. Trump is as paranoid today as Mr. Nixon was in 1972.  Back then, Mr. Nixon believed that the whole world was against him.  This was especially true with the media.  Several reporters were on Mr. Nixon’s “Enemies List.”  (Incidentally, after its existence was revealed during the Watergate Hearings, Daniel Schorr actually read his name from the list while reporting on live television.)

Given Mr. Trump’s unabashed antipathy toward the “fake news” media (and to be fair to the president, he seems to be referring to only a few media outlets), the correlation to Richard Nixon is not completely without merit.  Moreover, his recent tweets describing how Mr. Obama bugged his campaign, if left uncorroborated, would tend to support such an unflattering comparison.

With that being said, what is more Nixonian than bugging a political opponent’s campaign offices?

Although President Trump may be incorrect (or imprecise) as he tweets about his campaign phones having been bugged, news reports indicate that the Justice Department did seek and/or obtain an order from a FISA court to perform electronic surveillance on a computer that was associated with the Trump Organization.  Because FISA courts deal exclusively with intelligence matters, we may never know what was said to the court, or what was ordered by the court (if anything at all).

Incidentally, the FISA courts were created in 1978.  As such, they did not exist when the Watergate hotel was bugged by Nixon surrogates in 1972.  But what if they had been around in Nixon’s day?  Had they been around back then, perhaps Mr. Nixon could have asked Attorney General John Mitchell to petition the FISA court for permission to tap the Democratic National Committee’s phones at the Watergate hotel.

In this hypothetical situation, Messrs. Nixon and Mitchell would have needed to present evidence to the FISA court that Watergate hotel phones were being used by foreign agents.  But would that have been too difficult?  Mr. Mitchell could have alleged in the FISA application that spies were staying at the hotel.  Then, after getting the order to bug the phones, Mr. Mitchell could have used the occasion to tap the DNC phones since they could have been on the same trunks as the phone lines used by the fictitious “spies.”  Then Mr. Nixon could have gotten all the information he wanted from the DNC without having to risk the loss of his presidency to a “third rate burglary.”

Again, FISA courts did not exist during the early 1970’s.  Therefore, to my knowledge, Mr. Nixon did not have a viable legal means of obtaining a warrant to wiretap the DNC’s phones (or any other set of lines at the Watergate hotel for that matter).  But if FISA courts had existed in 1972 – and therefore, if Mr. Nixon had been given a legal means to bug the Democrats – the Watergate scandal might have been avoided altogether.  After all, Mr. Nixon could have achieved his political ends by creating a viable national security cover for his nefarious aims (instead of asking the CIA to stop the FBI from investigating the burglary).

Perhaps this is what Mr. Obama did.  Perhaps he conspired with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to create a pretext for bugging Mr. Trump’s phones and/or computers.  Perhaps the Attorney General signed a FISA application alleging that foreign agents were using a computer at Trump Tower.  Perhaps she obtained an order, and then ordered the hacking of Trump Tower phones and/or computers.  Whether this happened or not, we may never really know.

In the final analysis, Tricky Dick may still be alive in Washington today.  Either his paranoia has consumed President Trump, or his need to perform dirty tricks has consumed President Obama.

Regardless, Congress needs to get to the bottom of these allegations once and for all.  Otherwise, the integrity of our system of government may be placed in jeopardy.

Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and the Era of Not-So Good Feelings

Two hundred years ago today, on March 4, 1817, James Monroe became our nation’s fifth president.  Monroe, the popular secretary of state, had just carried sixteen out of nineteen states in the Electoral College, handily defeating New York Federalist Rufus King.

Monroe’s term is known as the “Era of Good Feelings” because partisan rancor was virtually nonexistent  during his presidency.  Although the nation had several challenges during the Monroe Administration, such as the ongoing question of slavery and an economic depression, President Monroe had little, if any, opposition to his agenda.  In fact, President Monroe was so popular that he stood for reelection unopposed in 1820.

For better or for worse, for right or for wrong, the days of nonpartisan cooperation may be forever lost.  President Donald Trump’s recent tweets clearly evince the vast extent of this acrimonious bifurcation:

As someone who lacks access to the information available to the President, I have no way of knowing if these allegations are completely true, completely false, or somewhere in between.  I simply do not know.

What I do know, however, is that these tweets, when juxtaposed against the news of recent events, clearly demonstrate that a power struggle is underway in Washington, the likes of which we have never seen in our nation’s history.

Case in point.  There has long been a tradition that former presidents wait at least a year before they begin criticizing their successors.  President George W.Bush took this even further, hardly saying anything negative about President Barack Obama during the latter’s term in office.

The same, however, cannot be said about President Obama.

On March 1, 2017, the U.K. Daily Mail — which is not, by any means, a conservative news outlet — reported that Obama-confidante and senior advisor Valerie Jarrett had moved into the Obamas’ new Washington, D.C. residence.   According to the Daily Mail, Jarrett is helping President Obama at “the nerve center of the mounting insurgency against his successor, President Donald J. Trump.”

Although representatives of Obama adamantly deny this charge, this Daily Mail article gives some credence to Trump’s assertions, if only to show that Obama would have possessed the requisite motive to spy on Trump last year.  For if Obama is so bent on seeing his successor fail  that he would move Jarrett into his new home to form an insurgency nerve center, then Obama could have been setting traps for Trump while he was still at the White House.

Granted, these accusations may very well be the paranoid speculations of a sleep-deprived septuagenarian.  On the other hand, these charges may be absolutely true in every single respect.  Either way, President Trump has certainly caused a stir with liberal press.

President Trump has marked the 200th anniversary of the start of the Era of Good Feelings by throwing down the gauntlet and declaring war on President Obama.  Only time will tell which president’s legacy will survive the onslaught that will soon follow.

Either way, the Era of Bad Feelings has just begun.

A Solution to the Health Care Crisis

Imagine that a family of four having a median income and an average amount of debt gets hit with a $100,000 medical bill after Dad is injured in a car accident.  But for this medical bill, the family would otherwise be able to make their credit card payments, car payments, and mortgage payments without any problem.  But now, with a six-figure hospital bill to pay, and with debt collectors hounding them, the family can see only one real option:  bankruptcy.

Under the current bankruptcy law, in order to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (i.e. total liquidation) or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (i.e. individual reorganization), the debtor must list all of his/her creditors.  The practical result of such a policy is that this family will receive a discharge of not only their hospital bills, but of all of their other debt as well (unless reaffirmation agreements are approved by the Court, which generally will not happen with respect to unsecured debts).  Therefore, not only will the hospital who saved Dad’s life see little chance of recovering their losses, so will the credit card companies who otherwise would have been paid had this accident not occurred.

The prodigious number of medical-related bankruptcies are having a detrimental effect on our economy.  Medical service providers are deprived of their rightful compensation whenever a patient files for bankruptcy.  To offset their losses, these medical service providers must pass their uncollected costs to other patients by augmenting the average prices for their services.  This, in turn, places additional financial pressure upon the other patients, increasing the probability that they, too, will file for bankruptcy. Alas, the cycle repeats itself, creating an economic maelstrom for the other creditors of these financially-strapped patients.

As finance companies and banks see their debts discharged as the proximate result of these medical-related bankruptcies, they must raise their finance charges to offset their losses, yielding more bankruptcies across-the-board, for non-medical debt as well.

The solution to this problem lies not in socializing medicine, nor in creating new regulations for health insurance companies, nor in keeping Obamacare in force.  Rather, the solution can be reached by amending the bankruptcy code.

Presently, there are six different types of bankruptcy protection afforded under federal law.  Chapter 7 is a total liquidation for individuals or businesses.  Chapter 9 is for municipalities.  Chapter 11 is for business reorganizations.  Chapter 12 is for farmers and fishermen.  Chapter 13 is for individual reorganizations.  Chapter 15 is for other special circumstances.

This proposal would create a new chapter, hereinafter referred to as “Chapter 10” (Since this chapter presently does not exist, I have italicized and underlined all references thereto to avoid confusion.).

Under the proposed Chapter 10 bankruptcy protection, only medical-related debt will be included in the filing.  Yes, the debtor will still have to file schedules listing all of his current debts to show what his/her current situation is like.  However, no creditor—save for those seeking compensation for medical obligations—will be listed on the creditor’s matrix.  Therefore, as a practical result, the automatic stay from collections, garnishments and litigation will not extend to anyone other than medical-related creditors, and no other debts will be discharged.  In effect, this creates a firewall, bifurcating medical-related debt from other consumer debt, affording a measure of protection to banks and other lenders.

After the Chapter 10 asset and liability schedules are filed and notice is sent to the various medical service providers, each medical service provider will have to file a proof of claim just as he/she/it normally would under a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing.  In turn, the Court will determine what percentage of the medical debt, if any, will be discharged after evaluating the ratio of the debtor’s income to his expenses.  Although the Court will have broad discretion, the new Chapter 10 will set guidelines for such a determination.

From the standpoint of the debtor, the bankruptcy filing will be no different than a Chapter 13 individual reorganization.  The portion of the medical debt that is nondischargeable will be repaid over the course of five (5) years pursuant to the terms of a payment plan, which will be proposed by the debtor’s attorney in accordance with the aforesaid Chapter 10 guidelines. Once the payment plan is approved, the Court will enter a wage withholding order requiring the debtor’s employer to make periodic plan payments to the Chapter 10 trustee.

At first blush, this seems like a miniaturized Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  However, the Chapter 10 trustee will have one additional responsibility.  The new Chapter 10 trustee will act as a claims adjuster for a national insurance pool to reimburse medical service providers for a portion of their losses.

Backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the United States Government, the Chapter 10 insurance pool will be funded with an initial Congressional appropriation.  After Congress makes this initial infusion of capital, the Chapter 10 insurance pool will remain self-supporting as all plan payments collected under Chapter 10, as well as a portion of each Chapter 10 filling fee, will be placed directly into the insurance pool.  Finally, medical service providers will have the option of paying an annual premium to the insurance pool; those who voluntarily pay into this program will be afforded a greater reimbursement of their debts (i.e. a lower deductible) whenever their patients file for bankruptcy protection.

After the deadline for filing claims has passed and once the payment plan is confirmed, the Chapter 10 trustee will advance to the medical service provider a sum equal to the net-present-value of the future plan payments (less administrative fees) using a predetermined discount rate that will be indexed to the consumer price index.  This payment will be offset by the aforementioned deductible.

In exchange for this advance payment to the medical service providers, the Chapter 10 trustee will subrogate the medical service providers’ debt.  In other words, this debt will no longer belong to the medical service provider; it will now belong to the Chapter 10 trustee.  Then, if the debtor fails to make payments on time, the Chapter 10 trustee will be able to begin other collection activities, such as garnishments and attachment, for the full debt, just as if a Chapter 13 plan had “blown-up.”

When families  find themselves at the mercy of a towering hospital bill, they will still be able to seek protection from the bankruptcy court.  However, if they do, they will not perpetuate the present snowball effect we now see with rising health care costs.  Instead, as medical service providers get more of their charged-off bills paid, at a faster rate, average costs for healthcare will stabilize (at the very least) or decrease (at the very best), halting the vicious cycle of medical-related bankruptcies begetting other bankruptcies.

Incidentally, whenever a person files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection under this new system, an evaluation of their medical debt will be conducted.  To the extent that there is any medical debt, it will be governed under Chapter 10.

Each Chapter 10 trustee will be charged with the duty of compiling the number of filings each year grouped by the name of the debtor’s health insurance carrier, reporting the same to the Department of Health and Human Services.  HHS, in turn, will report this information to Congress.  Congress will then be able to evaluate whether private insurers are adequately providing for the needs of their insured.

Granted, this policy will not bring immediate relief to families such as the hypothetical one described above — at least not in the short term.  However, with all things being equal, this proposal will mitigate the rate of growth of aggregate health costs.

As the rate of health costs decrease, health insurance companies will require lower reserves to compensate for future health care outlays.  Eventually, these insurers, needing lower reserves, will have greater difficulty justifying high co-pays, deductibles, and/or premiums to government regulators. As such, new insurance products will be offered to reflect this positive trend.

As co-pays, deductibles, and/or premiums decrease, medical service providers will pass less of their unrecoverable costs to new patients, creating a positive snowball effect where costs are contained without the need for socialization of services.  Thus quality is maintained while accessibility and affordability are enhanced.

Why the Electoral College Matters

When the United States Constitution was ratified in 1787, the Framers were afraid of tyranny. Having recently secured their independence from England, the Framers did not want to trade one dictator for another.  However, as much as they feared the tyranny of the minority, they were also worried about mob rule. After all, one demagogue leading the masses would be no different than a king issuing decrees for all to follow.

To prevent tyranny of any form, the Framers created a four-tier system for the selection of our national leaders, to-wit:

  • The House of Representatives would be elected by the people, directly.  Every two years the people of each State would pick the members of the People’s House.  Thus, the people would be one (1) step removed from the members of the House of Representatives.
  • Members of the Senate, though, would not be picked directly by the people. Although this method has since changed, the people would select the members of their State legislatures; the State legislators, in turn, would appoint the Senators to six-year terms.  Thus, the people would be two (2) steps removed from their Senators.
  •  The President also would not be popularly elected.  The people would select the members of their State legislature; the State legislators, in turn, would appoint electors (i.e., the Electoral College); the electors, in turn, would select the President. Thus, the people would be three (3) steps removed from their President.  (Although every legislature has opted to appoint the electors based upon a popular statewide vote of the people, the Constitution does not mandate this procedure.  In fact, if a State legislature ever wanted to appoint the electors directly, they absolutely could.  So while it appears as if the people are picking the electors, technically they are not.)
  • Finally, the Judges would be selected by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  As such, the people would select their State legislators; the State legislators would appoint the Senators and the electors; the electors would appoint the President; the President and the Senate would pick the Judges.  Thus, the people would be four (4) steps removed from their Judges. 

Because the Constitution incorporates the Separation of Powers Doctrine — by delegating Legislative power to the House of Representatives and the Senate, Executive power to the President, and Judicial power to the Judges — no single person or group could make all of the decisions in our federal government.

However, even if one faction could control all federal power, the Constitution utilizes other safeguards to liberty–by restricting federal power and by reserving all other rights to the States and to the people.

Per the Framers, every election put before the people would be on a State-by-State basis.  This is because our Framers recognized the need for compartmentalization of power.  As long as the States remained sovereign — and as long as the people voted as States — our nation would remain a free people.  But as soon as we concentrated power in the hands of a central government, by limiting the role of the States, liberty would be placed in peril.

Since the recent defeat of Hillary Clinton, liberals have lamented about the Electoral College, lambasting its archaic nature.  They are absolutely wrong.  Put simply, we are a free people because we are the United STATES of America.  Any change to the Constitution that would marginalize the critical and sovereign role of the States would signal the very demise of our way of life.  Creating a national referendum for the most important position in the federal government would do just that.

The Electoral College forces the President to look at the needs of fifty sovereign States (and the District of Columbia).  However, if the President is elected by a national popular vote, the State lines will blur quite rapidly.  And if this happens, the delicate balance created by the Framers — and the liberty that it protects — will be gone forever.

Personal Salvation

For centuries, December 25 has been the chosen day to commemorate the birth of Christ.  I say the “chosen day” because there really is no absolute record of when, exactly, Jesus was born.  After all, Bethlehem didn’t exactly dole out birth certificates two millennia ago; even if it did, those ancient texts probably would no longer exist after all the turmoil the Holy Land has witnessed in the centuries hence.  So for reasons that are irrelevant to this discussion, the early Catholic church picked today to be the anniversary of Jesus’ birth.  As such, today marks the most auspicious time of the year to discuss the advent of Christ.

Matthew chapter 1, verses 20-21, describe how Joseph, the soon-to-be-husband of Mary, learned the reason for her unplanned pregnancy.  In a dream, an angel told him of God’s plan for this Child:

Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

In verses 22-23, Matthew explains a bit more, by citing to the prophet Isaiah:

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Notice that in this one passage Matthew identifies two names for Christ, viz.:  Jesus and Emmanuel.  This is peculiar to say the least. Although the Child is named Jesus,  Matthew quotes the passage from the Book of Isaiah where the Child is named Emmanuel. 

At first glance this would appear to be a big non sequitur–almost as if one were to say, “Because he should be named Tom, let’s name the child Steve.”  The only way this passage makes sense is if we somehow equate the name Jesus with the name Emmanuel.

When we compare the meanings of the two names, while adopting the implied premise that both names are interchangeable (not unlike James is with Jim, or Robert is with Bob), we can ascertain the true meaning of Christmas, or more precisely, the birth of Christ (whenever it was).

In the Greek, Jesus (Iēsous) means “Jehovah is salvation.”  Likewise, the Greek word for Emmanuel (Emmanouēl) means “God with us.”  By equating the two definitions, we find that the salvation of Jehovah (which is one of many Biblical names for God) equates to the very presence of God.

In other words, if God is with us, then God will save us.

Or put another way, if God saves us, then God is with us.

This implies that whenever God saves someone — be it from sin, or hell, or death, or an unhealthy relationship, or pending bankruptcy, or a strange illness — it is always done personally.

In other words, your salvation is something that God simply will not delegate to someone else.  He will not pass the buck to one of His angels.  He will not ask someone to do Him a solid and bail out his BFF (i.e., you).  No, when He saves you, He does it Himself.  Thus, when it comes to your salvation, He will do it personally, for you.

That is the true meaning of Christmas.  Not the gifts, or the visits with family, or the days off from work.  The true meaning of Christmas is that God loves you so much that He personally wants to solve your problems.  Therefore, if you will allow Him into your life, if you will seek His Presence, you will find the salvation that you need for the problems that you face.  Because no problem can survive the manifest Presence of God.