Beltway Insider: Trump Acquitted, Initiates Retaliation, SOTU, Afghan Attack, Kirk Douglas, Election 2020

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President Donald J. Trump was acquitted, as expected, of two articles of impeachment after a senate trial marred by party politics and prejudices that only deepened the polarizing divide within our nation as we head into this election year.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website, which tracked for the period ending February 2, 2020, increased by 1.3 percentage points to 43.6% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness decreased by 1.1 percentage points to 51.9%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated bi-monthly.

Beltway Insider: Trump/Impeachment, Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant, Brexit, Election: Gabbard, Clinton, Iowa

President Trump Acquitted, Initiates Retaliation

The Impeachment Trial of Donald J. Trump ended as expected with the Republican controlled senate, even those who publicly announced the case had been made, voting to maintain the status quo. Senator Mitt Romney, (R-UT) become the lone Republican politician to see the President for what he is as the others saw what they would lose with an impeachment.

Unfortunately, this failure on the Democrats part to sway jurors to see beyond the power of a party-controlled senate has created problematic issues for the party.

The removal of the president was a long shot, and all understood and expected he would be acquitted by the Republican controlled senate. He remains impeached. Even those republican senators who voiced their support indicated the best course of action is not to remove the president.

Speaking politician, which takes some time to understand and granted isn't a first language for most, as the voter's at large hope their politicians will speak in a language they understand. Politician, however, is becoming more and more used when delivery messages to the constituents. My interpretation of politician may be a bit rusty and essentially the meaning behind this statement is "Yes. He's guilty and we have the chance to have four more year's so we don't want to give up the power."

Revenge Tactics from Trump Camp

The day after the President was acquitted, he began to terminate those who had stood up, courageously, believing their whistle-blowing would hold some protections instead of singling their own demise.

Those who testified against the president or who presented evidence in a manner that would indicate wrongdoing of any kind in the president's dealing with Ukraine were told their services were no longer needed.

Former United Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Soundland, testified at the impeachment trial of the president. He was terminated Friday, February 7, 2020.

California Representative Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who lead the investigation into the President, used the micro messaging platform Twitter to post his reaction, "President Trump is exacting his retribution, removing those who complied with subpoenas, came forward, and testified about his misconduct These are actions of a man who believes he is above the law. Precisely the kind of conduct Congressional Republicans enables."

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The President also fired Lt. Col Alexander Vindman and for good measure he also terminated Vindman's twin brother. Schiff replied, "Lt. Col. Vindman did his job. As a solider in Iraq, he received a Purple Heart. The he displayed another rare form of bravery – moral courage. He complied with a subpoena and told the truth. He upheld his oath when others would not. Right matter to him, And to us."

State of the Union

With the Impeachment vote still one day away, President Trump delivered the State of Union address on Tuesday, giving the annual report to a full House and Senate and as it is an election year, the mass audience of Americans who are formulating their November Presidential choice.

The lines in Washington are clearly drawn. An early gaff or intentional snub of House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi was interpreted as the president's way of retaliating on national television for her part in pursing an impeachment.

The president followed through, as ousting Ms. Pelosi is impossible as she is an elected official, he began immediately removing what is perceived as enemies of his presidency.

"Over the last two years, my administration has moved with urgency to confront problems neglected by leaders of both parties. In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom.  Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades and growing for blue-collar workers.  Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps. The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office.  Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in over half a century. More people are working now than at any time in the history of our country," President Trump said during his State of the Union Speech which can be read here.

The State of Union is thankfully good. The economy is strong, with a contentious election year ahead the economy has remained buoyant. Even as the President has been impeached and the case was made for abuse of power, fortunately the economy isn't sinking into a recession.

The final moments of the State of the Union had Speaker Pelosi ripping up his speech in prime time.

Democratic Debate

The New Hampshire Democratic debate, hosted by ABC News and moderated by George Stephanopoulos, David Muir and Linsey Davis, was held this week.

At this time, with seven debates held and five more scheduled the candidates have built positions and have not wavered in their presentation. As Iowa offered a slight ripple in the fabric of the expected outcomes, the positions have not changed.

Sanders presents a firebrand message of change, all are united in removing Donald Trump; Warren and Klobuchar both endorsed by the New York Times, are a bit more moderate and still strong in delivery of their leadership messages. Biden remains the strong overall contender. With the level of experience these four candidates possess it is clear the people resonate with the message. The spoiler of course is Pete Buttigieg. Experience is key to any employment opportunity. The President of the United States is not an on the job training position.

Yang and Steyer should be part of the transition team should the democrats win, although nominations or candidacies for either seem doubtful.

The New Hampshire primary is schedule for February 11, 2020. Sanders and Buttigieg will battle in The Granite State with Sanders edging out the upstart even with New Hampshire's record on LGBTQ rights. Warren and Biden will follow; Biden will need to intensify his campaign messaging, and fundraising to move out of fourth place.

Afghanistan Attack

Two U.S. troops were killed, and six others wounded in an attack Saturday in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, a military official said. U.S. and Afghan forces were conducting a joint operation when an individual wearing an Afghan uniform opened fire on the service members.

This is a continuing story.

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Kirk Douglas, Revolutionary Actor, Humanitarian Dies

Kirk Douglas, actor, author, philanthropist, legend, and widely considered the last of the leading men from the Golden Age of Hollywood passed away this week. He was 103.

With a career spanning seven decades, narrowing his life to a wrap up is challenging. Professionally, he earned three Oscar nominations and received an honorary Oscar in 1996 which was noted "for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community." He also won two Golden Globes, including the Cecile B. DeMille Award, an BAFTA in 2009, a lifetime achievement award in 1991 from the American Film Institute, and numerous other lifetime achievement awards from every major filmmaking community in the world.

His screen moments, dimpled chin and piercing blue eyes made many during his 1950s leading man days rethink their marriage vows. He was a man of moral and ethical courage.

He singlehandedly ended the blacklist of writer Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten, who went to prison for contempt of Congress in 1950 during the Communist Red Scare, when Douglas approached the award winning screenwriter with a more than six hundred page script for "Spartacus." Douglas has been lauded throughout his career for this moment which has been called "an act of courage." Trumbo said, "he gave me my name back."

He answered the call of duty and served his country. After the surprise attack on Peral Harbor Douglas joined the United State Navy and earned the rank of Lieutenant JG. He served as a Communication officer and was medically discharged in 1944 for injuries.

He returned to his initial plan of treading the boards in New York, until Lauren Bacall, helped him secure his first film role. The rest they say is history.

Described as "as a dashing figure, a golden-haired hunk with chiseled facial features, steely blue eyes, a distinctive low guttural voice and pearly white teeth that gleamed behind a disarming smile" the screen was never the same.

Douglas is survived by his wife of 65 years, Anne and three sons, Michael and his wife, Catherine Zeta Jones, Joel and Peter and his wife, Lisa Schroeder, and numerous grandchildren. He is predeceased by his son, Eric, who died in 2004.

Robert Conrad

Robert Conrad was an American film and television actor, singer, and stuntman. He is best known for his role in the 1965–69 television series The Wild Wild West, playing the sophisticated Secret Service agent James T. West.

Election 2020: Democrats Head to the Granite State

With the 2020 Election officially underway, the shocking results from the Iowa caucuses have many wondering if the entire process of caucusing which seems somewhat like traders hawking their wares at the local fairground before a stock auction should be replaced, or revamped at minimum, by a traditional primary.

Iowa – We Never Knew Ya'

After what is considered a widespread debacle, the dust has settled and allegedly the Iowa Caucuses have resulted in a virtual dead heat between the long shot former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and front runner Senator Bernie Sanders, with Buttigieg declared the winner by a hair's breadth or two votes. The percentages are Buttigieg at 26.1% and Sanders at 26.2% respectively.

It's a campaign redux and for Senator Sanders to feel the heat so early must seem somewhat reminiscent of his 2016 campaign.

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Elizabeth Warren finished third with 18% and Biden who was expected to score a conquering victory took a hit and came in fourth with 15.8% of the vote. Senator Amy Klobuchar with 264 votes secured 12.3% of the vote coming in fifth. Andrew Yang received 22 votes or 1% of the votes and Tom Steyer received seven votes or 0.3%.

President Trump received 97.1% of the Republican vote in the Iowa Caucuses.

Long Shot Pete Buttigieg Scores a Shocking Victory

Coming out, no pun intended, of Iowa the surprising support of former mayor of South Bend Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, who topped front runner Bernie Sanders by two votes. Many caucus voters, like Brexit, had little idea of the candidate.

A video surfaced of an caucus voter attempting to take back her vote for Buttigieg after learning he is in a same sex marriage and is openly gay.

He was profiled in the New York Times, "Pete Buttigieg's Life in the Closet," July 2019, which provides an in-depth profile of the democratic presidential candidate. For those who are considering investing a vote in one of the democratic candidates being informed becomes the responsibility of the voter.

Spouses are also part of the ticket, and for Buttigieg, his husband, will face the same scrutiny as the sitting president's spouse and frankly as former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's husband faced. The press and others will vilify, malign, denigrate and that's the beginning.

Mayor of a city of 102,000 with only 14, 883 of the residents voting, is a far cry from managing a nation as diverse as the United States. Granted his accordion file of credentials has all the right markers, and his wall of degrees rival many of his colleagues. Well educated, Harvard, Oxford, he is well acquainted with political campaigns having worked on John Kerry's Presidential campaign and former President Obama's senatorial campaign.

He is rubber stamped ready. His debate performance is flawless, he is never caught off guard without a response, he deflects well and is composed enough to divert the topic back to a subject which he can deliver with strength and finish on a strong point.

Politics being what they are, there is only room for one lead on the ticket. With that the other candidates will eventually stop tap dancing on eggshells for fear of alienating the LGBTQ community around Buttigieg and his relationship or gayness or homosexuality especially as the New York Times article glossed over a small fact that Buttigieg dated, heterosexually, which many will see that as common, especially for closeted individuals in corporate America, but also as one who will switch his allegiances (not sexual orientation) when it benefits or feels right.

For more information on President Donald Trump

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection.

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