Beltway Insider: Obama/Syria; Health Crisis/FGM; Trick Job Numbers; Election 2016; Julian Assange

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President Obama has proposed in his current budget a robust humanitarian assistance package for allies carrying the frontlines burden of the continued Syrian Civil War with the five surrounding nations receiving the bulk of the proposed funding.  

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, remained consistent with 48% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased one percentage point to 48%.

Obama and the Syria Problem

President Obama current budget earmarks $601million in additional lifesaving assistance for nations bearing the burden of the humanitarian effort.

"This new funding brings the total humanitarian assistance in response to the Syrian conflict to more than $5.1 billion since the start of the crisis.  This funding provides shelter, water, medical care, food, protection and other necessities to millions of people suffering inside Syria and 4.6 million refugees from Syria in the region," said Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary.

The United States, with the continued coalition building effort, has managed to gather both financial and military support from nearly sixty additional nations.

The EU has pledged more than $3billion in assistance, Germany more than $2billion, in assistance through 2018 and the United Kingdom nearly $2billion in aid to refugees.

The continued rhetoric from the White House is Bashar al-Assad is a failed leader and the root cause of the chaos and the growth of the Islamic State army. He, as most know, has given refuge in the northern Syrian territory to ISIS which they have continue to use.

The Obama Administration has some fault with the refugee situation and Assad's continued presence. With more than one time, a military team in place with the full authority of the every member nation of the United Nations and the Security Council, Assad was allowed to remain in power.

The massive refugee situation which resulted in many tragic lose of life, increased burdens on American allies and the growth of ISIS in what has been now known as a safe region would have been handled either militaristically through assassination, targeted airstrikes that don't miss the intended and understood target, or forced abandonment through destabilization of his government and presidency forcing Assad to flee his homeland. As we are at war, actions in war aren't pretty they are effective.

White House Addresses Global Health Crisis With the Formation of Multiple Task Forces

President Obama declared February 2016 National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month citing shocking statistics of violence in dating relationships, regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status is common and young women most vulnerable.

STOP Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

Coinciding with the 13th Anniversary of International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting President Obama has issued a definitive statement on the position of the United States government in relation to the third world practice of Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting.

"There's no reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation."  Just because this is a tradition in some places does not make it right.  It's time to put an end to this harmful practice, and to allow communities everywhere to meet their full potential by enabling women and girls to meet theirs," the President said.

The president also emphasized the United States government has criminalized the transport of girls to undergo this primitive practice.

Often considered a tradition is some nations, such as Guinea, the belief was this practice was preparing girls for adulthood or marriage. The practice can result in death, infection or disease as the potential for severe loss of blood from improper medical procedures, infection from improperly sterilized surgical instruments, and disease from carriers of other blood borne or infectious diseases.

The nations of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia have joined together to create a global movement that simply says "No" FGM/C has no place in our communities or traditions.

Heroin Abuse/Cancer Moonshot

The Obama Administration made real strides this week to address the issues of Cancer and Heroin Abuse through separate initiatives that are geared to bring much needed governmental dollars and medical assistance as needed.

Vice President Joseph Biden, no stranger to the loss of Cancer, is leading the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force initiative with the goal of make significant milestones over the next five years.

The Vice President emphasized it will take a "whole of government approach to achieve the goal of the moonshot to made a decade of advancements in the next five years."

The Moonshot analogy was part of the John F. Kennedy presidency as he undertook the ambitious goal of sending a man to the moon in a decade. The realization of he did not live to see.

The Opioid Epidemic

Heroin is again spiking in consumption with overdoses increasing in all neighborhoods across America from the suburbs to the ghetto, the epidemic is on the rise.   

With the campaign trail the most unlikely place to raise the issue of the increase in Heroin overdoses the Opioid Epidemic has suddenly been allotted funding and support from both sides of the aisle.

New data from the CDC show that opioids, a drugs that include prescriptions and Heroin, were involved in 26,648 death in 2014.

The president FY2017 budget includes 1billion in new mandatory funding over the next two years to expand access to treatment for prescription, drug abuse and heroin use. This funding will boost efforts to help individuals with opioid use disorder see treatment, successfully complete treatment and sustain recover.

"A portion of this funding is directed specifically to rural areas, where rates of overdose and opioid use are particularly high.  To help further expand access to treatment, the Budget includes an HHS pilot project for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment, where allowed by state law," the press release read.

Also Beltway Insider: Obama/ISIS; Zika Virus; Election 2016; Iowa/NH; NYT Endorses GOP/Dem; Joe Citizen en 

North Korean Missile Launch

Kim Jong-Un, the communist leader of North Korean and often thought of throughout the known world as incompetent to rule, ordered a missile launch using ballistic missile technology, representing a clear destabilizing, provocative and flagrant violation of the United Nations Security Council.

China remains committed, along with the United States to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama have agreed to bring a strong international united response to the actions of King Jong-Un.

Jong-Un's determination to show the world his prowess and ability to dominate the region is clear. He has been compared to the Assad of Asia. He continues to place emphasis on military strength over the concern and welfare of his people and the region.

"The United States is fully committed to the security of our allies in the region, and we will take all necessary steps to defend ourselves and our allies and respond to North Korean provocations. We call upon the international community to stand together and demonstrate to North Korea that its reckless actions must have serious consequences," said National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice.

Trick Job Numbers

President Obama took time from his Friday schedule to hold a press conference announcing to the media the state of the economy and over the past month American business created another 151,000 jobs in January dropping the overall unemployment rate to 4.9%.

Taking it beyond simple the month of January the President used the time to discuss where his presidency began in January 2009 and the strides the economy has made.

The president is the first to acknowledge the first 40 months of his presidency Unemployment was stubbornly cemented at t8.0%. Over 40 months and only a two percentage point drop from the 10.0% he inherited.

"After reaching 10 percent in 2009, the unemployment rate has now fallen to 4.9 percent -- even as more Americans joined the job market last month.  So this is the first time that the unemployment rate has dipped below 5 percent in almost eight years.  Americans are working, "the President said.

Now 71 straight months of job growth and economic development. The continued effort of the Obama Administration to create a working middle class, even one barely above the poverty line, has been the goal of his administration.

"Most importantly, this progress is finally starting to translate into bigger paychecks.  Over the past six months, wages have grown at their fastest rate since the crisis.  And the policies that I'll push this year are designed to give workers even more leverage to earn raises and promotions," Obama said.

And no one can deny the Obama Administration has made great strides. He emphatically maintains Americans are resilient. Politicians are never more dedicated then during a global meltdown. The Great Depression allowed the government to initiate programs that changed America, put Americans back to work and modernized the nation.

The Recession of 2009, often compared to the Great Recession, gave the opportunity for politicians across the aisle to work together to bring back America, a nation that was on the brink.

Obama's Crafty Job Numbers Trick

Among the major work groups teenagers are facing staggering unemployment numbers at 16.0%, Blacks at 8.8%, Hispanics remain at 5.9%, Adult men 4.5%, Whites 4.3%, Adult women 4.5% and Asians 3.7%.

Large swaths of the demographics nearly 7.8million remain unemployed. Long term unemployed those jobless for more than 27 weeks was essentially unchanged at 2.1million. This group accounted for 26.9 percent of the unemployed. 6.0million workers in January are regulated to involuntary part-time employees. 2.1million were marginally attached to the work force, individuals who are looking for work and are unable to find employment.

The Federal Unemployment rate, which is an accomplishment, is the average of all states, with District of Columbia the highest at 6.6 and North Dakota the lowest at 2.7. Each of the 50 states have an individual unemployment rate which is factored into the whole hence the 4.9% overall unemployment rate.

Election 2016: Clinton/Sanders Photo finish; GOP's Three Way

Iowa Caucuses, blew in like a cold wind across the plains, with everyone declaring themselves a winner it becomes important to define winner in political races.

The Democratic returns seem easier to explain as in horseracing the photo finish is probably the more apt term to use.

Democrat Hillary Clinton, once thought invincible, and her Socialist/Democratic challenger Senator Bernie Sanders went head to head, racing toward the finish line, neck and neck down the back stretch it could have been a race called at Churchill Downs and when the the two crossed the finish lines and the votes were tallied, Clinton won the day.

A week later the Iowa Democratic Party updated results after discovering discrepancies in the tallies of five precincts.

The photo finish of the Iowa Caucuses remains unchanged, with Hillary Clinton winning the day. Winning 49.84 percent of the vote the updated totals for Sanders places him at 49.59. With only .25% separating them it is easy to understand why Senator Sanders would call it a winning day.

Hillary Clinton remains the winner of the Iowa Caucuses in a photo finish.

The GOP and The Iowa Separation

The Republicans, with so many more choices, had to settle for smaller and more ambiguous totals and still when the day was over Donald J. Trump, the unlikely and unusually candidate took home second place with 24.3% of the vote. Even that fact remains a record for a non-politician to place and show at the prestigious first definitive voting process of the season.

Marco Rubio, also surprising in third place with 23.1 percent of the vote. Rubio, after a week that saw several GOP contenders abandon their ambitions for this political season and endorse the junior senator, performed well in a predominately white, middle class and evangelical demographic.

Rubio, a stronger candidate than most think, honestly has the staying power to win a place on the ticket. The issue becomes which place? And would he accept a Vice-presidential spot?

And of course the surprise of the day Senator Ted Cruz, who won Iowa with 27.6% of the votes. A clear winner with evangelicals. Iowa has been a tough test for the GOP and over the next two months the final shifting process will determine how the Republican Party decides is the strongest ticket to take on a clearly determined Democrats

Senator Cruz, who is clearly devoted to America and his loyalty has never been questioned, was born in Calgary Canada, and the Constitution of the United States reads only "Natural Born Citizens," not assimilated citizens can hold the Office of the President.

Next up for both parties is the New Hampshire Primary. Clinton has won New Hampshire in 2008 and may possibility win again. Sanders is counting on the win to even the tally.

The second place finish for Donald Trump was quiet possibly the wakeup call he needed to make a determination over his candidacy. And should Cruz lose a Supreme Court battle to change the constitution as all front runners hope to change the rules mid- stream than the GOP is left with Trump and Rubio leading the party.

Not wanting to throw cold water on the party and if Cruz is permitted to remains as a candidate for the office of the President is it possible to modify or assimilate the Second Amendment to include common sense gun control? Since the Constitution is open to interpretation depending on the momentum.

The month rounds out with the Nevada Caucuses on February 20 and South Carolina February 27, 2016.

Julian Assange

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, a political tell all the presents classified documents to the world in hopes of making governments of the world more accountable to the people.

Accountability is clearly a right cause, the method has become under question and has placed Assange in legal trouble in the usually neutral Sweden. He has applied for and received political asylum from the government of Ecuador and from all accounts has remained in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since August of 2012. He has been unable to leave for fear of immediate arrest and extradition to Sweden.

"Assange is not being detained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London; he actually has sought refuge there.  He is facing serious crimes inside of Sweden, and Sweden has made a specific extradition request of British authorities.  But, ultimately, this is something that the British and the Swedes are going to have to work out.  And it's unclear exactly what impact a pronouncement from the United Nations would have on this situation," Josh Earnest, Press Secretary said.

The release of the United Nations report that issued an opinion that essentially said that Assange had been detained against his will and should be compensated has no bearing on either the United Kingdom or Swedish government.

The United States has indicated they are not aware of any pending charges against the WikiLeaks founder in the United States

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

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com,

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