Beltway Insider: Trump/Iran, Impeachment, Ukraine, Economy, Election 2020: Iowa

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President Trump, who has officially been impeached, is beginning the year with his lone wolf style of terrorist hunting against a third world nation so he can show the American people his steel determination to make America great again.

President Trump's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, which tracked for the period ending January 11, 2020, decreased by two percentage points to 41.8% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased one percentage points to 53.5%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated bi-monthly.

Trump/Iran

President Trump returned from his Christmas holiday and immediately went on the offensive sending a drone strike targeting Iranian Quds Force Major General Qassem Suleimani. A war of words erupted following this "victory" as President Trump indicated Soleimani "had four embassies targeted."


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The Iranians promised retaliation and, in their determination, fired upon a Ukrainian commercial airliner, with two Surface to Air missiles, striking the plane sending the fireball hurtling through the morning sky and exploding n impact leaving no survivors.

The Iranians gathered openly for the funeral of Suleimani, who was larger than life, to the people. At the end of the day, more than 35 Iranians were trampled in the crowd and additional protests were cancelled due to public safety.

President Trump maintains he acted on confirmed intelligence. With Secretary of State Pompeo addressing the media and fielding the tough questions on the necessity of the legislative branch and the president responsibility to maintain the rules of government and engagement. The House of Representatives immediately voted to restrain the President's Iran War Powers. With his limited knowledge of the workings of government, someone failed to inform him Congress has the power to declare War.

Imminent threat is defined as defense of the nation and at this current time, much needed reputational rebirth for the president, as he continues his reelection campaign.

Unfortunately, the American troops will shoulder the burden of the President's war on the democrats', as he quickly deployed the 82nd Airborne to the Middle East.

The seven days that followed the drone strike were not quite the Bay of Pigs and didn't immediately produce the large scale expected retaliatory response from the Iranians, which does not rule out increased terrorist activities in the future. It did however, result in short term, missiles attacks on US and allied troops.

Unfortunately, the President's short-sighted heavy-handed approach, will create long term challenges to foreign policy in the region for our allies and troops.

Middle East Policy Erupts

"The president's decision to ratchet up decades of simmering conflict with Iran set off an extraordinary worldwide drama, much of which played out behind the scenes. In capitals from Europe to the Middle East, leaders and diplomats sought to head off a full-fledged new war while at the White House and Pentagon, the president and his advisers ordered more troops to the region. Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler was so alarmed he dispatched his brother to Washington for a clandestine meeting with Mr. Trump. European leaders, incensed at being kept in the dark, scrambled to keep Iran from escalating," The New York Times reported. 

Israel, always the target by the Iranians, and an ally of the United States will be guilty by association, adding fuel to the already smoldering tensions.


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The Arab Spring Nations, more than seventeen primarily located in the Arabian Peninsula, are now on high alert as the idea of war and imminent threat from radical nations, and radicalized terrorists results in movement into these other nations and regions resulting in suicide bombings, targeted attacks, and increased violence and murders.

"The Saudi view was "hitting Suleimani is great, but what is the plan?" said Sir John Jenkins, a former British ambassador to Riyadh. "If there is a plan, we are down with it. If not, we all have to de-escalate," The New York Times reported.

In Washington

While Trump remains the leader of the free world, and technically the Commander in Chief of the Military, he is still facing a Senate impeachment trial, a guaranteed contentious reelection campaign, and as the House exercised its authority to impeach, although House Speaker Pelosi has yet to forward the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate pending the confirmation of a fair and impartial trial and guarantees on witnesses,

The powerhouse punch to Iran can be interpreted as the President's effort to elevate himself to a status of protector of the people, defender of democracy, and as Iran has been increasingly aggressive to its neighbors throughout 2019, disciplinarian.

Trump Responds

President Trump has also announced wide sweeping primary and secondary sanctions against Iran as a result of the retaliatory attack on U.S. and allied Troops. Secretary of Treasury Mike Mnuchin who reiterated the sanctions and stressed the importance of crippling the terrorist regime hidden within the Iranian government.

"First, the President is issuing an executive order authorizing the imposition of additional sanctions against any individual owning, operating, trading with, or assisting sectors of the Iranian economy, including construction, manufacturing, textiles, and mining.  Second, we are announcing 17 specific sanctions against Iran's largest steel and iron manufacturers, including any foreign entity who assist in manufacturing and transportation. Third, we are taking action against eight senior Iranian officials who advanced the regime's destabilizing activity and were involved in Tuesday's ballistic missile strike," according to a White House briefing memo. 

Impeachment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has painstakingly, attempted to remind Trump that even as President he is subject to boundaries and laws intrinsically written into the Constitution, which are in place to maintain a checks and balance system to protect the nation from a President and the inflation of ego and personal belief, as if the Framers understood the blinding seduction of power and ambition.

The Articles of Impeachment, which have not yet been transmitted to the appropriate Senate official in order to leverage a more fair trail, essentially with the belief that her Republican senate colleagues will not simply rubber stamp the process but will respect the process, the Constitution and even has this impeachment has been labeled party politics, will respect the system enough to hold a fair and impartial trial. If the President is to be Impeached by the Republican led senate if it takes a two-thirds majority.

On Friday, January 10, 2020, The New York Times reported, "The trial could begin as soon as Wednesday, based on Ms. Pelosi's timeline. As of today, President Trump and his legal team were still sorting out who would defend him in the trial. And Ms. Pelosi continued to assemble her own team of managers to prosecute him. Once Ms. Pelosi finalizes the list of managers, they will be voted on, along with the sending of the articles. "I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate," Ms. Pelosi wrote today."

California Representative and House Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee "is almost certain to be one of the impeachment managers presenting the case against Trump during the Senate trial, though Pelosi has not named the House's emissaries. "I certainly think it makes sense to force the Senate to vote on whether they're going to deprive the American people of these witnesses and tell the American people they're not interested in seeing the documentary evidence," Schiff said. "They just want to sweep this under the rug. If that's McConnell's position, then the members of his conference should have to vote on it and be held accountable," The Washington Post reported.

The Impeachment Trial, with all the political wrangling associated with maintaining the impartiality for the process is expected to methodically move forward with each party representative offering strong media soundbites as to the strength of their position and the guilt or innocence of the president.

Expected over the week will be a meticulous and precise adherence, an exactness, to the laws set forth in the Constitution as to each step of the procedure.

For the American people, the non-Washington insiders, will they interpret the process as a political posturing, a logjam or a respect of the process.

Economy

Falling short of the projected 165,000, the US economy remained motivated and added 145,000 jobs in December 2019 according to the employment numbers recently released by Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Trump Presidency has maintained the economy is the best that it has been in more than five decades, with unemployment down and wages and job creation up.


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Even as he touts the numbers of economic boom during his watch, the facts remain, the economy was moving under the previous administration also and will continue to move under the next administration.

Ukraine

For the Ukraine the beginning of the new decade has ushered in national tragedy and an undesirable position of a vice grip squeeze as President Trump, who it is alleged used Russian intelligence to spy on his 2016 rival, Hillary R. Clinton, used his position to secure a similar type of arrangement with the emerging government of Ukraine, in exchange for military assistance and funding.

Earlier this week, Iran admitted "its military "unintentionally" shot down a Ukrainian jetliner this week, killing all 176 people aboard. The announcement, which cited "human error" for the strike, came Saturday via Iranian state television and referred to a statement from the military, according to The Associated Press. Iran had previously denied involvement in the crash, contrary to claims from the U.S. and Canada that pointed to Iran," according to FOX news.

The flight, which was headed toward Kiev, with 176 on board, many, 63, were Canadian citizens which has prompted the response of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which will also bring into the mix the possibility of retaliatory strikes for the downing of the civilian airliner.

Remorse of Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace division of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, who admitted his unit issued the kill order, isn't expected to suffice.

Ukraine, has been moving toward full admission to the European Union, and is currently in a European Union Association Agreement, which "establishes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the parties. The agreement commits Ukraine to economic, judicial, and financial reforms to converge its policies and legislation to those of the European Union. Ukraine commits to gradually conform to EU technical and consumer standards. The EU agrees to provide Ukraine with political and financial support, access to research and knowledge, and preferential access to EU markets. The agreement commits both parties to promote a gradual convergence toward the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy and European Defence Agency policies," according to Wikipedia.

The agreement which was on track before Russian Troops violated the territorial sovereignty of the Crimean Peninsula, after amassing invasion scale readiness military during the Sochi Olympics under the guise of protection of the World's athletes.

The move cost Russia its standing with the International intergovernmental economic organization commonly known as the G7, and prior to the invasion, G8.

"In March 2014 Russia was suspended indefinitely following the annexation of Crimea, whereupon the political forum name reverted to G7. In 2017 Russia announced its permanent withdrawal from the G8."

Crimea has remained a permanent state, annexed by Russia. The proximity allows provides Russian Troops a staging area to amass military readiness for intimidation or action.

Election 2020: And Then There were Six; Steyer Reaches Threshold for January 14 Debate

January has arrived and Presidential politics have become increasingly contentious and divisive as the front runners persuade the public on the legitimacy of investing their vote into the democratic candidate, they believe represents the best possible chance for defeating President Donald Trump.

January also puts the first early decision primary at three weeks, with the first the Iowa Caucasus, scheduled for February 3,2020.

The Des Monies Register, an official DNC acceptable poll, has released a new results with three weeks before the February 3rd, 2020 first primary, which indicates Bernie Sanders with 20% has a slight lead, for the first time, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 17%, South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 16% and former Vice President Joe Biden at 15%.

The high dollar investment into advertising has resulted in an upsurge by both former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Hedge Fund manager Tom Steyer.


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Steyer who was slow in gathering supporters and getting his message out past the frontline traditional politicians have resonated with voters in early decision states, South Carolina and Nevada, which should result in his appearance in the January 14, 2020 debate.

"Thursday Fox News polls conducted in South Carolina and Nevada showed Steyer at 15% in South Carolina and 12% in Nevada, putting him in second and third place, respectively. These poll numbers officially qualified Steyer for the January 14 DNC debate in Iowa, following news last week that the campaign had surpassed the DNC's 225,000 unique donor threshold," according to a Press Release provided by the Steyer Campaign.

Bloomberg, who refuses any campaign contributions, is unable to qualify for the debate. A maximum $1.00 donation from supporters, even if the donations were forwarded to a Climate Change fund at the end of the campaign or returned to the donor, would qualify the candidate for the debate.

Bloomberg and President Trump has each purchased a 60 second Superbowl commercial spot at $10 million each.

The next democratic debate is scheduled for January 14, 2020 in Des Monies Iowa at Drake University moderated by Wolf Blitzer, Abby Phillip and Brianne Pfannenstiel and is sponsored by CNN and The Des Monies Register.

 

For more information on President Donald Trump www.whitehouse.gov.

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection.

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