Beltway Insider: Obama Top Ten List Reviewed; Economy/Climate; ObamaCare; Terror; Cuba/Asia; Bob Iger

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President Obama unveiled his Top Ten list of "Reasons to be Optimistic in 2016", as he and his family and most elected officials head home for the holidays, the heart of America is still wounded and shaken.

The President put out his top ten list of 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%.

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a State of Emergency so as to allow all agencies to continue to investigate and gather information on all links associated with San Bernardino attack,

Obama Touts His Top Ten of Historic 2015 Moments and Reasons for Optimism

President Obama set out this last week before Christmas to use his weekly address to speak to Americans with a Top Ten list reminding Americans of the successes and challenges of his administration.

"As a nation, we face big challenges. But in the spirit of 2015 retiree David Letterman, here – in no particular order – are my top 10 things that happened in 2015 that should make every American optimistic about 2016," the President said.

Obama begins his Top Ten Reasons for Optimism with, in the tenth position, The Economy; Nine, Health Coverage; Eight, Climate Change; Seven, Progress in the Americas; Six, Preventing the spread of Nuclear Weapons; Five, Standing Strong Against Terrorism; Four, Trans-Pan Pacific Partnerships; Three, The Federal Budget and Bipartisan Education Bill; Two, Same Sex Marriage became legal in all 50 States and finally in the Number One position, A United America.

Further examination of the President's Top Ten Lists presents a set of different issues, ones that are as factual as the progress report the President has delivered in his hopeful and heartfelt holiday message.

The Economy

Looking closer at the economy revels a little tarnish on the Presidents report. The Federal unemployment rate is at 5% exactly as the reported. The Facts are the federal unemployment number represent an aggregate number of all states.

Granted not one of the 50 States had an Unemployment Number of 7.0% or higher, which is a significant accomplished. However, the 11 states and the District of Columbia had measureable higher rates that the national average of 5.0%.

New Mexico had the highest rate of 6.8% and more importantly demographically or the major worker groups show directly challenge the 5% overall unemployment number. With the highest unemployed demographic group, teenagers at 15.7% (no race/gender breakdown), followed with African Americans at 9.4% and Hispanics following at 6.4% are each still disproportionately underrepresented in the new economy.

Health Coverage

Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, has oddly been a feather in the cap of the Democrats and a throne in the side of Republicans, as the healthcare law faced nearly forty Supreme Court challenges before being upheld in a split with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, concurring joining the majority thus giving the Affordable Care Act a final victory.

In the time since June 28, 2012 the operating system has had its share of glitches, crashes, and system failures. However the President viewpoint of many more Americans having insurance is true. Many more Americans are insured now, today, than at any other time in history. It that a feather?

When Americans feel forced to participate in anything the one rule is perfection; if I am forced to be a part of this system, I now want perfection, every rule spoken and promised must be in place. It is not with the ACA.

Americans across the board complain of astronomical pricing, so clearly not affordable, the chronic patient clearly needs care, the healthy and obsessively pursuing healthy habits are forced to endure the same costs of the unhealthy.

And as all programs, the ACA also, Americans are forced to deal with individuals who could honestly careless about the system. Not properly instructed misinformation is routinely distributed to countless, thousands who are simply trying to comply.

So yes, this is accurate many more Americans are insured.

Also Beltway Insider: Obama Address World Leaders; Paris Climate Agreement; Beijing Red Alert; Jared Fogle

Half of the President's Top Ten List, five mentions, stem from his Foreign Policy Agenda and looking closer the victories are present in word; deeds or action the victories remain tarnished and even questionable.

Climate Change

Coming off the historic global Climate Change Summit in Paris over the past week it is difficult to challenge the motives and results.

The Obama Administration tackled a problem, burning of fossil fuels emissions, which like a contagion effect the world's oceans, air, land, deteriorating polar caps, which contribute to a very precarious and nearly impossible global warming trend that this generation must fix.

Peeling back the layers from years of abuse which includes deforestation of the earth's massive forests, the use dirty energy, strip mining, instructing emerging nations so they profit and bypass energy mistakes made by industrialized nations and then taking this massive and complex issue reducing deeply complicated material translating it into discernable, understandable, language and then translating those results into, at minimum, seven global languages and to have nations such as China, Communist nations who usually have a laissez faire approach, agree in the results, language, need and agree to participate, yes, it is reason for optimism.

Progress in the Americas

A factual statement, President Obama broke from his democratic predecessors, and reached out to Cuba and Castro to repair a 50 year breech in foreign policy.

Invoking the name of the late President John F. Kennedy only in explanation, the President forged ahead lying the groundwork for the upcoming 2016 Presidential race that allows the presumptive democratic candidate former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton to reach across demographics to the deeply underrepresented Cubano population of South Miami and beyond and lean into the Obama Administration's actions to gain political favor and voters.

Reason for optimism? The voters will decide.

Preventing the Spread of Nuclear Weapons

The Nuclear Deal made with Iran has never been in the best interest of America's allies. Explaining to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the reasons why we, his oldest and most loyal ally, are allowing a snake into his backyard has become the most talked about blunder of the Obama Administration.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate cleric, has been very vocal even after the tense negotiation that American media presented as a cowering Iran finally understanding the pressure and caving, they on the other hand, posted messages on the Presidential website that indicated they had stood against the toughest negotiators in the world and stood strong and pronounced victory.

So which is true? The facts are President Rouhani administration has denounced Israel, the ally of the United States and has stated, to effect, "We will annihilate Israel." The generational hatred the two nations, bloodlines, feel is not reason for optimism.

An official statement in support of Islamic State Fighters would destroy any progress toward furthering this deal.

Trans-Pan Pacific Partnerships

The Trans-Pacific Partnership offers, in theory, room for optimism especially in 2016 as this would be the first session of Congress that could vote of the implementation of it. Eleven countries have a signed a deal that will allow U.S. manufactured good, including pharmaceuticals, to be sold in foreign countries without high taxes.

There are many fine details and possibility for Trade Secret issues and agreements which any one of the eleven countries could challenge before the TPP goes into effect.  This may or may not be 2016 and it may or may not create the motherlode of jobs the Obama administration is touting. Reason for optimism? Possibly although more than likely not in 2016.

Standing Strong Against Terrorism

President Obama is so deeply shortsighted on the fight against Terrorism that it is frightening.

Exiting members and sitting members of the Obama administration have described a very different Islamic State scenario. Obama has failed miserably in the fight against the direct ISIS terror threat.

This week, barely one month since the night of terror in Paris, the attack in San Bernardino all falling within the same week as a deranged [i.e. not a terrorist] misfit massacred first and second grade students at Sandy Hook primary school.

Three years this week, Americans were reeling from the news that a grade school in a small town in Connecticut was the newest addition to the lists of mass shootings that have reached epidemic levels in the United States.

On that day, 20 five and six years olds and six dedicated educators, were murdered systematically executed some hiding, some in the arms of their equally brave educators, others running. Horror stories from the day, the shooter using an automatic assault weapon to shoot his way into the very secure and locked building.

The shooter who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wouldn't know that the children's death would be nothing more than pictures in a memorial as government officials still with living in fear would refuse to pass any common sense gun reform laws that would stop these types of massacre from ever happening.

Parents testifying in Congress, holding up pictures of their dead children left congress brutally aware of government as dead children as horrific as that is not enough leverage to persuade the National Rifle Association, the most powerful gun lobby in America to consider assisting senators and lobbyists who readily receive money to vote to keep the Constitution intact without change that would affect the people's right to bear arms.

Without the rise of the Islamic State Fighters and pop-up terror assaults across Europe that has every nation in a continuous high alert stage as the idea that like in the Vietnam War, the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holiday are only an opportunity to launch an offensive against what is perceived to be the enemy.

We, the people, do not need any further proof of whom ISIS believes the enemy is; we are fully aware the Islamic States fighters believe those nations that stand for democracy are the enemy.

Back to Sandy Hook, three years ago, funerals were beginning not unlike today as in San Bernardino California where the first of the 14 state workers killed in a terror attack carried out by a radicalized fringe terrorist and his wife have been buried.

The Obama Administration has a failed record in foreign and domestic policy in the area of terrorism. There is no reason to be optimistic. Americans need to be vigilant and prepared.

 

Same Sex Marriage, The Federal Budget

The other issues on Obama's list ratifying same sex marriage in all 50 states, on the federal level looks as if love does rule the day. States, however, have every right to challenge any implementation of this freedom. Optimistic, Yes. Love will rule the day.

Crafting a budget that works - Sorry. No. No praise for completing a job requirement. Crafting a budget that woks is part and parcel of the employment as House and Senate Politicians. Craft common sense gun reform laws create a system of government that works for the people. Create that more perfect union.

A United America

In 2016, Americans will go to the polls to elect the next president. The pre-primary rhetoric has been contagious, heavy handed, and unifying.

No matter the candidate of preference, democrat or republican, we are a united people, a united republic as we head to the polls to vote, to exercise our free will in a democracy that is both envied and hated throughout the world.

Reason to be optimistic? Resounding, overwhelming yes. Register to vote, primary season is almost upon us. 

Bob Iger and Star Wars

Robert A. Iger, the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company, enjoyed a moment in the sun this week as his multi-billion dollar investment in one of Americans' most beloved franchises, Star Wars, began a new journey.

With early box office receipts coming in the analysts' predictions of a happy holiday in Disneyland are proving true as "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" earned a staggering $238M domestically (this number, released from DISNEY includes the United States and Canada) and $517M worldwide over the first three days of full screenings which arguably included advanced sales, Thursday late showings and other combinations equating to movie goers who enjoyed the film on its opening weekend.

 

The only glitch in the well planned STAR WARS box office invasion would be the final China frontier. The late opening in the Far East will cost the Iger and Company every global box office record ever recorded. The initial numbers and projections of small international takes are holding true. Some records have been broken, others have not.

After a lavish premiere that shut down an astounding four blocks of the famed Hollywood Boulevard, and inviting enough attendees that three theaters were used to house all the invited guests, Iger and company celebrated while waiting for the embargoed reviews, expected to be favorable and if not so as to not affect pre-sales, to hit.

George Lucas, the original creator of the mythical cast of characters at the center a young Harrison Ford, flying by his wits and luck, a type of role that would follow him throughout other equally lucrative franchises, a Warrior Princess in Carrie Fisher, present although futures unknown as The Force Awakens, attended the premiere after speaking over the course of the month on his divorce from Iger and Company.

The divorce came suddenly as script talks arrived and Iger's Billion dollar baby needed fresh blood. To hear Lucas discuss it he was unceremoniously cut and, he continued, as in any relationship when it ends, you don't drive by or make any unnecessary visits or calls. He and DISNEY parted ways. And he was clear they didn't want him involved in the next chapter of the franchise he created.

To ease the separation, Lucas did negotiate a very lucrative $4 Billion dollar sale. The terms of which were not disclosed to which he could have also negotiated a handsome percentage of consumer products or other merchandising or ancillary rights.

Iger, has made a career of massive franchise investments, Marvel, PIXAR and now Star Wars. His golden touch has made him almost as mythical as the characters of this newest acquisition to the DISNEY Family.

Contracted as CEO through June of 2016, Iger may just be lying the groundwork for another extension as spirits are high, stocks have hit record highs under his tenure, shareholders love him, not a whiff of trouble on the horizon, his choices are skilled and pay off handsomely, it seems unlikely that anyone will be rushing to help him move.

For more information on President Barack Obama: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com,

#JeSuisParis

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