Beltway Insider: Obama/Putin; ISIL/Syria/Russia; Turkey; SC Flooding; Dem’s Debate; Pot Sales Brisk

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President Obama and former ostracized Russian President Vladimir Putin have apparently put their differences behind them as the two have teamed together in the common purpose of riding Syria of Islamic State Fighters and Syria's political transition.

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, increased two 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%.

ISIL/ISIS, Syria and Russia: Allies or Enemies

President Obama has apparently welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin back into the fold, at least for the near future, as he appears to be the only person who can talk common sense into Syria's dictatorial leader, Basher al-Assad.

Although Putin has not officially been readmitted into the G7 and his transgressions including violating the territorial sovereignty of neighboring Ukraine and annexing Crimea, and harassing and terrorizing Ukraine with a buildup of troops along its eastern border, have not been forgotten or forgiven, the Presidents need of him at this moment are positive movement.

"Both President Putin and President Obama agreed on the need for a political transition inside of Syria.  There was unanimity of opinion on both sides of that table that there's no military solution that could be imposed on Syria; that at the root of all of its problems was a significant political problem inside of Syria.  And that is something that the two leaders agreed on," said Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary.

The initial reaction to President Putin's involvement with the tyrannical leader has left the Obama administration questioning the validity of Putin's claims to be united in the pursuit of dismantling the Islamic State fighters.

President Obama's Counter ISIL team, Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication, Christine Wormouth, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Brett McGurk, Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, held a conference call this week to discuss recent advances, challenges, definitions and victories.

"While we are countering ISIL, we've made very clear that we see no lasting resolution to the conflict as long as Assad is in power; that the vacuum that ISIL filled was in many ways created by Assad's own brutality against his own people, which caused him not only to lose control of vast amounts of territory, but also to lose any legitimacy with a large majority of his population. We continue to believe very strongly that any political resolution has to involve Assad leaving power as part of a process of transition," Rhodes said.

What has remained clear is that all members of the G7 and the Presidents team believe that the Assad situation cannot be handled militarily. The belief is that Putin will actively assist in a non-combative transition of power.

Ankara Hit with Twin Blasts; Hundreds Dead, Scores Injured

Twin blasts ripped through a peace demonstration in the capital city of Ankara yesterday, where thousands of participants were holding a peace rally against renewed violence between Kurdish Workers Party and the Turkish government.

Initial reports indicated 100 died at the scene, with 500 injured. Reports placed the crowd size at nearly 14,000 residents who gathered in the area at the time of the blasts. Social media has posted videos of the moment the bombs detonated.

No extremist group, including Islamic State fighters, have claimed responsibility for the violence.

Turkey has recently joined President Obama's coalition to stand with the world against ISIS/ISIL and agreed to participate by allowing jet fighters to use airstrips within his nation. The common tendency, currently, is to immediately blame Islamic State fighters for extremist violence.

Turkish government officials have also stated the evidence is unclear at this time who is responsible for the attack. A member of NATO and the coalition, the Turkish government is working to determine the origin of the blasts.

As National Elections are three weeks away, a third theory is parties are attempting to undermine the electoral process through scare tactics.

The Counter ISIS/ISL press call was held before Saturday's terrorist attack in Ankara and while initial reports have moved from retaliatory strike from Islamic State fighters to internal responsibility the U.S. recently secured assistance from the Turks in the fight against ISIS/ISIL.

"We've been consulting extremely closely with the Turks throughout.  And then of course a couple months ago, they opened Incirlik to the coalition for anti-ISIL missions.  Turkey has invited a number of coalition partners to fly out of Incirlik we're going to be working with Turkey to apply as much pressure as we can there," McGurk said.

Kurdish Workers Party

The Kurdish Workers Party, (PKK) are essentially a pro liberation party demanding autonomy from present day Turkey. As part of the Turkish country, the Kurds are looking for separation and the freedom to form an independent Kurdistan.

The long standing conflict, that began more than thirty years ago, in 1984, between the established leadership and the Kurdish people have resulted in decades of fighting and violence. After repeated violence, ceasefire agreements, broken down talks, followed by escalations of violence the latest ending in early 2015 when members of the Kurdish Workers Party killed three Turkish soldiers.

Escalation of violence have kept the tensions heightened between the Turkish government and PKK throughout 2015. Each of the groups are blaming the other for renewed violence, bombings, continued murder of police, soldiers and civilians of which both side deny involvement.

It is not a stretch of the imagination that PKK forces are behind the Ankara twin blasts. Elements, the Mode of Operation, which are usually present in Islamic State fighter attacks are not present at the Ankara attack and conversely elements which usually are present in the ongoing escalation and conflict between PKK and Turkish government are present.

Human Right Watch noted abuses by both sides and filed reports in 2006 detailing Turkish abuses and Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International both reported PKK for the killings and torture of entire families in the remote village of Guciukonak.

South Carolina Flooding Declared Disaster

Flood ravaged South Carolina residents are bracing for another wave of wet weather after Hurricane Joaquin brought historic rain fall that left most of the state underwater, roads washed out pounded by the unprecedented rainfall, and residents unsure of what to expect next.

President Obama declared designated counties in South Carolina, affected the storms and flooding that began October 1, 2015, a disaster making the state, business and residents within the counties eligible for federal assistance and aid.

FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Authority, has urged residents affected in designated areas to begin the process by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, seven days a week until further notice.

The Aid is welcome and needed as residents return to their homes where flood levels not seen in more than 100 years crested at nearly four foot, just above the height of a standard kitchen counter and sink.

Most homeowners saw four foot of water inside their homes, with flood waters cresting 15 to 20 feet at river. Some homeowners are still trapped in their homes. Power is mostly restored to major areas although parts of 1-95, the main interstate on the eastern seaboard, are still closed.

'"Catastrophic flooding continues,"' wrote the National Weather Service's Charleston office in a Monday morning forecast discussion. Making matters worse, a wind advisory has been issued for some parts of the Palmetto State, and with all this saturated ground, there's a big fear that trees will blow over, adding another threat for pedestrians and drivers," as reported on

Residents are urged to be expeditious in any endeavors. Prepare for additional hazardous conditions as waterlogged earth could give way without warning. Heed flood water notices, do not drive through standing water. Be extremely cautious handling electrical appliances and only drink safe water.

Residents have had a small break from the steady and at times torrential rainfall. Precipitation, however, is expected to continue.

Democrats Presidential Debate

Five Democratic Presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Martin O'Mally, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee, will take the stage in the first Presidential debate of the political season.

For Clinton, presently the party's de facto designee, in addition to Senator Sanders and the other candidates, has one challenger, herself. Without tripping over former statements, already publicized apologies, statement or facts she must end the speculation that she is not trustworthy.

Senator Sanders is a worthy opponent with a growing constituency and represents the common man, the disenfranchised and unrecognized voter. The issues will most likely be secondary as the people are looking for candidates they can trust.

The five candidates, a sharp contrast from the very crowded Republican debates, are set to begin the campaign, in earnest, Tuesday, October 13, 2015.

Cannabis Sales Brisk in Newly Legal Oregon

Oregon's Governor Kate Brown (D) is progressive. The first openly bi-sexual politician in history, Brown with the stroke of her pen guaranteed a second term, should she choose, and more importantly to the nearly 4million Oregonians, she completed the legalization process of Cannabis.

No longer only a compassionate, medicinal drug for the dead and dying, Cannabis is as of October 15, 2015, a legally purchased adult recreational drug of choice.

And choose they did. In droves, Oregonians supported their democratic governor and exercised their legal rights to engage and puff.

In six days, a brisk and whopping $11 million dollars in sales was rung up at local dispensaries who agreed they would offer the mood bending and body high producing weed which quickly rolled into first place in legal sales.

First week totals are impressive and welcomed addition to the local economy. Oregonians have an added incentive to buy the weed as current law provides a tax free incentive until January 2016 when a 20% tax will accompany purchases. The tax will add a substantial surplus to state and local budgets.

Liberal Colorado, the forerunner to legalization, began in January 2014 and while initial sales were brisk, with lines out the door at most dispensaries, reception from local government remained chilly, it took nearly 16months to hit the six day total witnessed with their Northwest neighbor.

Oregon's first week sales outpaced Colorado by a 2-to-1 margin, doubling in effect, and five times more than Washington. Alaska is said to be the next state to fully legalize and could come as early as January 2016.

The moratorium on taxation is beneficial to both the retailer and consumer. With three full months of sales retailers expect vigorous sales and a steady stream of habitual tax free purchases. Retailers are also utilizing traditional methods of marketing to lure in the undecided shopper.

California, The last of the Western Wall

Traditionally, Washington, Oregon and California are called the Western Wall. In politics, a solidly constructed, united in both party and opinion with little variation.

Legalization of Marijuana is the first major breech in the unified message of the Western Wall. California has decriminalized and provides compassionate medicinal dispensaries and has stopped short of leading the way in any major marijuana legislation.

With a state budget greater then the country of Brazil, which places it at the seventh largest operating budget in the world, the additional taxation revenue could only benefit hard hit budgetary areas.

No word from Governor Jerry Brown (D) on legalization of Cannabis in the near future although the governor recently signed into law a comprehensive overhaul of the grower's industry.

Titled "Cultivation Laws" the legislation address aspects of legal cultivation including the use of pesticides as well as water usage in time of drought. Cultivation licenses will become necessary for the states already billion dollar industry.

The new laws prep the industry for greater control and monitoring as legalization is on the state horizons. The package should go into effect in January 2018.

Oddly enough, the Marijuana industry is poised to be more strictly controlled and regulated than the gun industry with far reaching law, common sense environmental reforms and regulations and a licensing system that, in triplicate, regulates both growers and consumers.

For more information on President Barack Obama:


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