Beltway Insider: Homeland Showdown; Putin Critic Assassinated;Qatar Concerns; ISIS, Jihad John

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President Obama and Washington's Republicans, led by House majority leader John Boehner (R-OH), waged the first real battle for control as the Department of Homeland Security funding remained in question as the bill full of immigration provisions gained funding for one week.


According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, decreased one percentage point to 44% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased one percentage point to 51%. 

DHS Funding

Neither side could claim victory as the funding for the nation's Homeland Security, an agency created after Al-Qaida Terrorists attacked the World Tarde Center and Pentagons using airliners, was sent to congress with the added border control funding.

Reeling from the arrests of three homegrown ISIS supporters in Brooklyn, the nation's lawmakers remained steadfast, each side blaming the other for the delay.

The blurred lines between Department of Homeland Security and Immigration seemed to be the center of the contention.

Putin Critic Assassinated

Boris Nemtsov, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the old guard rule, was assassinated this week, at point blank range, within view of the Kremlin as he called for withdrawn of Ukraine.

More than a voice of dissent, Nemtsov, was once considered a presidential candidate and served the Kremlin as Deputy Prime Minister. Tens of thousands marched through the streets from Red Square to the Kremlin Sunday speaking about their own concerns for safety.

Nemtsov voiced a premonition, weeks ago, that he believed someone was trying to kill him. It was dismissed as an attention grabbing ploy to gather more sympathizers to hear his message. Those who shook off the chilling warning are now having second thoughts. 

"The United States condemns the brutal murder of Boris Nemtsov, and we call upon the Russian government to conduct a prompt, impartial, and transparent investigation into the circumstances of his murder and ensure that those responsible for this vicious killing are brought to justice. Nemtsov was a tireless advocate for his country, seeking for his fellow Russian citizens the rights to which all people are entitled.  

I admired Nemtsov's courageous dedication to the struggle against corruption in Russia and appreciated his willingness to share his candid views with me when we met in Moscow in 2009.  We offer our sincere condolences to Boris Nemtsov's family, and to the Russian people, who have lost one of the most dedicated and eloquent defenders of their rights," the President said.

Nemtsov, once considered a possible presidential contender had grown increasingly vocal of Putin, the invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. At the time of his death he was organizing a rally against Putin's policies.

The assassination of Boris Nemtsov, which may have been captured on security cameras, is the highest profile murder since the late 1990's.

ISIS/ISIL, Jihad John and the War of White House Words

Jihad John, the knife wielding masked murderer of Americans James Foley, Stephen Sotloff, Peter Kassig, British citizens David Haines, Alan Hennings, and French citizen Herve Gourdel has been positively identified by British authorities as Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti born British raised radicalized terrorist.

The White House has refused to confirm or deny the media accounts presented by the British press, while maintaining the position of determined avenger of those murdered by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry has furthered added insult to injury with his recent testimony on Capitol Hill where he
stated, under oath, "Despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally.  Less deaths.  Less violent deaths."

Japanese citizens Haruna Yukawa, Keni Goto Jogo, as well as 21 Coptic Egyptians, Peshmerga citizen Hujam Surchi, 10 additional Egyptians thought to be spies, 100 foreign fighters who attempted to flee Raqqa and 21 Syrian soldiers have also been barbarically murdered, through beheading, by ISIS terrorists or those proving loyalty to the terror organization.

Other nations including Jordan have seen the face of ISIS evil through the tragic, vicious, brutally as the militant terror group has chosen to murder it prisoners.

The size of ISIS has been grossly and continually under-reported by the White House, resulting in a miscalculation of the size of the threat for all who depend on the transparency of the White House.

Peace Abounds?

"Despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally.  Less deaths.  Less violent deaths," said Secretary of State Kerry said under oath.

Fortunately for Americans, ISIS has murdered all the American citizens in captivity. Unfortunately other nations must now endure the horrors of witnessing their sons and daughters die by the hand of a terror regime who apparently, or seemingly, by choice or design, is unstoppable.

"The United States government continues to aggressively investigate the individuals who are responsible for the murder of American citizens.  And at this point, I'm not in a position to either confirm or deny that the individual named in these reports is the individual that we're searching for.  But I can tell you that the United States' commitment and the President's commitment to ensuring that we find and hold accountable the terrorists who are responsible for the murders of American citizens has never been stronger," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

While Mr. Earnest continues to maintain White House officials are dedicated to ensuring those responsible for the murder of America citizens are brought to justice. The cold, sad facts contradict the dedication postured.

National Security James Clapper Disputes

James Clapper, the President's Director of National Intelligence, gave very direct testimony and said "2014 is shaping up to be the most terror attacks and deaths than the previous 45 years that this data has been collected, and said that in 55 years of his personal involvement in intelligence, he's never seen a bigger threat to the world right now."

What we're talking about here is their capacity.  Their capacity has been limited because of our efforts in Iraq and in Syria, because of our efforts to shut down their financing, because of our efforts to use military air-power to take out ISIL targets, because of our efforts to arm and equip fighters on the ground to take the fight to them.


We are seeing the ISIL leadership is not operating comfortably in that area of the world, and they're under extensive and extreme pressure.  That does not mean that the threat that they pose has been eliminated.  There is significant work that remains to be done.  And it's important for us to be vigilant.  It's why we're going to continue to pursue this multifaceted strategy to shut down their financing, to try to shut down the flow of foreign fighters, to try to counter their messaging that radicalizes people around the globe.


And we're going to continue to train and equip even more fighters to take the fight to them on the ground.  And we're going to continue this airstrike campaign against them.  And that has allowed us to make progress against them.  But the effort to degrade and ultimately destroy them is one that's going to continue. Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary

ISIS continues to be the most concerning terror organization currently in operation. The continued effective recruitment tactics have increased its numbers by nearly 20,000.

Even the United States is not immune from the recruitment as three suspects were arrested this week in Brooklyn, NY for loyalties to the terrorist group.

The White House press secretary has made the position of news-gathering somewhat more difficult as he has effectively shut down the release of information. His extremely factual and lack of transparency, a second term promises from the President's campaign trail, responses, leave up to the reporters which in this case point to a white house shut down of information which equate to trouble in the oval office.

Obama Meets Qatar Emir

President Obama meet this week with His Royal Highness, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 34, the Emir of Qatar who expressed his deep concern over the advancements of ISIS, Syria and the nuclear uncertainty of Iran as well as balancing the relationship with ally Israel.

"We both are deeply concerned about the situation in Syria.  We'll continue to support the moderate opposition there, and continue to believe that it will not be possible to fully stabilize that country until Mr. Assad, who has lost legitimacy in the country, is transitioned out.  How we get there obviously is a source of extraordinary challenge, and we shared ideas in terms of how that can be accomplished," the president said.

Qatar, Syria and Growing Concerns

Basher Al-Assad, the embattled leader Syrian president and friend of terror group ISIS, has once again catapulted himself into President Obama's sites.

President Obama appears to be backing away from the strongest language possible used for some time to describe the horrors of the al-Assad regime. The use of chemical weapons, a violation of the Geneva Convention, that through social media escaped the borders and horrified the world and brought swift condemnation throughout the world but did not result in air strikes.

Syrian rebels, fighting from the beginning of Arab Spring in December 2010 have yet to see similar results as in the majority of Arab nations effected by the uprisings. Congress did approve funding for first response needs and stopped short for some time to approve weapons. Once Congress fully invested in funding Syrian rebels both sides expected a more effective resolution.

The longevity of the fight has left the rebels disheartened and have recently resorted to some groups joining the Islamist groups' threatening to overtake Syrian. Independent the Syrian rebels will be funded, married to ISIS or any other Syrian Islamist group all U.S. funding will, in all, likelihood, cease as it has been dramatically increased.

Qatar Emir Tamim

Groomed for power, Emir Tamim was educated at the elite Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, of which both Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales attended and graduated.

Known as the elite military training Sandhurst is the British Army's initial training center and accepts both men and women into its ranks.

King Hussein of Jordan, and twelve other Jordanian royals, both men and women, also attended. The list of alumni would include leaders of more than 25 nations, those in power and groomed for global leadership, aristocracy, government, authors and poets, artists, sportsmen, Olympians, archaeologists, clergy and explorers.

Qatar, located in the southern most Arab Peninsula, borders Saudi Arabia by land and the Persian Gulf by sea. Qatar is a sovereign state and is the world's richest country per capita and has the most developed and advanced people in the Arab world.

A monarchy, Qatar is ruled by Emir Al Thani and strengthening ally to the United States and considered a safe zone in the region with many United States corporations

Spock Bids Us Farewell – Live Long and Prosper

President Obama paid tribute to American actor Leonard Nimoy, who is forever and indelibly known to his legions of fans as the cool, unfeeling and highly analytic Spock from the long running television series Star Trek. His iconic capturing of the Vulcan has inspired trekkies from around the world to take pride in their Vulcan heritage and, for one day or many, stand and be counted for who they are.

"Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy.  Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time.  And of course, Leonard was Spock.  Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek's optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity's future. I loved Spock.

In 2007, I had the chance to meet Leonard in person.  It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for "Live Long and Prosper."  And after 83 years on this planet – and on his visits to many others – it's clear Leonard Nimoy did just that.  Michelle and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today," President Obama said in tribute to the fallen intergalactic hero.

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