Beltway Insider: Obama Honors Selma Marchers; Netanyahu Addresses Congress; Clinton 2016 Scrutiny

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President Obama honored those who participated in the Selma Voting Rights March during March 1965 with the passage of H.R. 431 which provides for the award of a Congressional Gold Medal of appropriate design on behalf of the Congress.

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, increased three percentage points to 47% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased two percentage points to 49%. 

50th Anniversary of Selma March

President Obama commemorated the 50th Anniversary of Selma, speaking on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, addressing dignitaries, politicians, survivors of Bloody Sunday, a new generation and a nation faced with new race challenges.

The Voting Rights of 1965 was a hard earned victory initiated by the actions of a core group of African-Americans lead by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and solidified on a bridge that spans the cities of Montgomery and Selma Alabama.

Honoring the Foot Soldiers who participated in the series of three Selma-to-Montgomery Marches including Bloody Sunday, Turnaround Tuesday and the final successful Montgomery Voting Rights March, speaking with a genuineness to those who endured the days motivated by a belief of equality in the right to vote.

“The Americans who crossed this bridge, they were not physically imposing.  But they gave courage to millions.  They held no elected office.  But they led a nation.  They marched as Americans who had endured hundreds of years of brutal violence, countless daily indignities –- but they didn’t seek special treatment, just the equal treatment promised to them almost a century before,” the President said.

The Selma marches, a focus of the film of the same name, were especially bloody and came on the wake of a population brutalized for stepping into the freedoms afforded them under them law. 

The 1960’s fight for civil rights, a fight that would lead many to death, was championed by many as the explosion of freedom, the shirking of restraints of the past, gripped a nation forever traumatized by the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The then Vice-President, Lyndon B. Johnson, assumed the Presidency to preside over an unsettling season, which saw America coming of age, the tumultuous 1960’s scholars have argued began not chronologically but on a fateful day in Dallas.  

Dr. King’s message of faith, in God and even in mankind, transported those mired down in the daily existence of viciousness, those who too often saw sons and daughters, which is a tactic of any war, silenced by death, brutalities and an allowed inhumaneness, discriminations, and hate hoping it would beget the same for which the law would swiftly invoke an irrefutable punishment.  

“Back then, they were called Communists, or half-breeds, or outside agitators, sexual and moral degenerates, and worse –- they were called everything but the name their parents gave them.  Their faith was questioned.  Their lives were threatened.  Their patriotism challenged.  And yet, what could be more American than what happened in this place?  What could more profoundly vindicate the idea of America than plain and humble people, the unsung, the downtrodden, the dreamers not of high station, not born to wealth or privilege, not of one religious tradition but many, coming together to shape their country’s course,” the president said.

On that day, Bloody Sunday, the first March saw a level of brutality against a non-violent people which should have so damaged the psyche of the people they would not attempt the march again, just like physical abuse and domestic violence kills the spirit and renders those injured incapacitated, the violence suffered was inflicted with a single motivation: stop this march, and motivation for the purpose of the white elected majority structure.

Turnaround Tuesday, as was depicted in the film SELMA, brought thousands to stand with Dr. King as he and others faced the gauntlet of Alabama State troopers, knelt, prayed and returned. That day was not without violence as two white supporters were attacked and Reverend James Reeb murdered leaving a diner.

On the final March, all within two weeks, the civil rights movement met note for note the violence, not allowing he days victory to stand with punctuated by violence, Viola Liuzzo, a white activist was shot to death five hours after hearing Dr. King speak in Montgomery after realizing the dream, which one week before seemed impossible.

On Saturday, March 7, 2015, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, signed into law H.R. 431 which provides for the award of a Congressional Gold Medal of appropriate design on behalf of the Congress to the Foot Soldiers who participated in Bloody Sunday, Turnaround Tuesday, or the final Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March during March of 1965.

Prime Minister Netanyahu Address Congress

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the invitation of the Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), spoke to Congress primarily addressing the nuclear deal with Iranians, the daily threats of extinction, and the future of U.S. Israeli relationship.

While the United States and the P5+1 partners were willing to enter into a deal with Iran that slowly lifted sanctions, in place in some form since the late 1970’s under then President Jimmy Carter, Iran had to maintain a schedule to dismantle the nuclear program or face additional sanction.

Iran and its nuclear program have fallen in and out of favor over the years from the beginning in the 1950’s when the United States assisted in the creation of the program under the Atoms for Peace Program.

Currently, a more developed and mature Iranian nuclear program has become as great a threat to the existence of Israel, for whom the Iranians have sworn a permanent, and generational, hatred, as the Russians to the independence of Ukraine.

President Obama and senior members of his Administration, as has been explained, is policy chose not to meet with the Prime Minister during his visit to Washington so as to avoid the appearance of interfering in the democratic election of another country.

Iran has possessed the capabilities of building a nuclear weapon for some time, and under the Obama Administration has allowed the Iranian to explore avenues of maintaining the capabilities without assembling the parts.

In November 2014 the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Iran had complied to the steps presented in the U.S. led nuclear deal. To which Netanyahu has sworn they are a deceptive people and are violating the terms and has been dedicated to exposing.

Iran and Economic Sanctions

Economic analysts have observed that the Iranian economy has taken a substantial hit since the sanctions regime has been put in place.  The current set of sanctions had a broad reach affecting all sectors, devaluing their currency and even upset future economic projections.

“Those who understand these details a lot better than I do have characterized this sanctions regime as one of the most stringent sanctions regime that’s been put in place against any country in history. So what we also know is that Iran has decided to engage in a set of serious negotiations, that previously Iran had just used diplomatic negotiations as cover to try to make progress on their nuclear program.  But in the context of these talks, we’ve actually succeeded in not just halting Iran’s progress as it relates to their nuclear program but actually rolling it back in several key areas, including reducing and eliminating their stockpile of highly enriched uranium. I think the evidence indicates that this sanctions regime has been effective,” Earnest said.

The Nuke Deal

However the deal ends up being handled what all sides envision is a scenario where for each element of the deal that is properly managed, handled and delivered according to the strict and unwavering deadlines a portion of sectorial sanctions will be released.

This smaller, incremental release of sanctions would stop the potential of a deceptive move-counter-move strategy in which Iran would create a scenario enabling a large number of sanctions to end freeing up substantial sums of money to go to Iran. 

The idea and one that most agrees allows for greater and substantial checks and balance is where a series of incremental steps are created, each bearing particular weight, and when each are met, then small amounts of sanctions are released a process that continues until trust, or a continued truthful verification, produces the confidence in Iran’s willingness to live up to their end of the bargain. 

“Regardless of how you interpret it, the fact of the matter is Congress has been an important player in this effort from the beginning.  They put in place the sanctions regime that compelled Iran to the negotiating table.  The administration has, throughout these negotiations, kept members of Congress in both parties informed of exactly the status of the negotiations.  And it’s why as we move forward in this process -- ultimately it’s closer to the end than the beginning -- that we're going to need Congress to weigh in on this.  And again, the reason for that is that the administration does not envision a scenario where substantial sanctions relief is offered right away,” Earnest said.

Israel – U.S. Relationships

The United States has no greater friend or ally then the Israeli people and the Israeli people are safer today as evidence of past assistance with the Iron Dome.

The current strategy of the present administration, which has a history of extending an Olive branch to former enemies of the United States, while remaining soft on other areas of foreign policy, will not be permitted, as Congress, which is Republican led to turn its back on the valued relationship with Israel.

Imploring the congress vote against this deal was the prime motivator for the Prime Minister’s visit. Pressing the people of the United States are faced with terror threats daily his nation is faced with extinction from sworn enemies in the area.

As allies it is the responsibility of each, when the situation or opportunity presents, to stand with the ally. Israel should never wonder where the loyalty of the United States lies.

Clinton ’16 Scrutiny Begins

Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, is formally under scrutiny and the news again after resigning from her post September 2012 after the terrorist attack on Benghazi ended with the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and two other embassy employees.

The emails were obtained as a result of a federal lawsuit and show Clinton’s aides crafting an appropriate and palatable lie to release to the American people who were poised to head to the polls to determine if Barack Obama would be elected to a second term again the GOP challenger on the 2012 Mitt Romney.

As more than twenty congressional hearings have resulted to determine the breeches in security in the Libyan Embassy, which occurred on September 11, 2012, the ten year anniversary of September 11. 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

The attack, of which Secretary of State Clinton took full responsibility, was at the height of Arab Spring and during a mass shut down of embassies across the region. The Libyan ambassador was in reality left without a sufficient security detail or staff and communique forwarded by the Ambassador himself indicating security concerns were ignored.

These are facts and not in question as the newest legal challenges include the use of a personal email account to exchange sensitive and top secret communications.

The background on emails, which may or may not be the crux of the problem includes verifying the emails have been properly and permanently preserved.  Federal employees are held to the Federal Records Acts which differs slightly from the Presidential Records Acts.

“It's important to ensure that those emails that may exist on one’s personal email account are properly maintained.  And again, that is why we saw the State Department take the step of asking all of the former Secretaries of State who have used email as they’ve done their work to review their personal email in search of records that relate to the conduct of official U.S. business.  Secretary Clinton’s team complied with that request by reviewing her personal email, pulling together all of the ones that were related to her official work as a Secretary of State, and forward it to the State Department so that they could preserve and maintain those records and, in fact, use them to respond to legitimate requests from Congress,” said Press Secretary Josh Earnest

The release of information lends to the credibility, loyalty and capabilities of then Secretary of State and quite honestly her staff which immediately resorted to lies, smear campaigns and subversive tactics to cover the facts behind the Benghazi attack.

Mrs. Clinton has yet to make her 2016 presidential intentions public and a transparent response to this latest round of scrutiny will change the momentum of a republican challenge. To her credit Mrs. Clinton has asked the state department to release thousands of emails.

February Jobs Report

The Bureau of Labor Statistic released February Jobs report to great fanfare as the economy added nearly 300,000 new jobs last month edging the national unemployment down to its lowest on nearly a decade.

At 5.5%, the overall unemployment rate clearly doesn’t reflect the higher unemployment ratings of top ten markets, it does, however reflect a steady growth and continual effort to put Americans back to work.

For more information on President Barack Obama:


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