Beltway Insider: Obama Fails Handling Belgium Attack; Brussels; ISIS, Taliban Strike Three Cities; Election 2016

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Two separate terror organizations, Islamic State and the Taliban, initiated an active, multi-national, campaign this week, sending out three teams of suicide bombers, killing at least 141 and injuring more than 500 in the attacks in Belgium, Iraq and Pakistan.

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, increased three percentage points to 53% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased one percentage point to 44%.

Real Unemployment numbers appeared on the Gallup Daily indicating the actual unemployment figures, released from the Department of Labor, stand at 9.7%.

Obama Remains Soft on Foreign Policy; Fails Handling Belgium Attack

President Obama, on an official state visit to Cuba and Argentina, chose to maintain scheduling and continue his planned events and meetings with the Argentinian President Mauricio Macri without opting to scale back social activities or alter his itinerary.

Addressing The Belgium Attacks

In a joint press conference President's Obama and Macri voiced immediate concern, support and solidarity with the people of Belgium and agreed to work together to disrupt terrorism and to cut off the financing in place.

"I would like to take a minute to share with you this grief all of us around the world have felt in the face of this new cruel and devastating attack.  I would like to convey my solidarity to the families of the victims.  And once again, it's a good opportunity to reflect with you on the fact that fanaticism brings intolerance, aggression and violence, which leads to nowhere.  So Argentina once again condemns this kind of terrorist attack, which we deeply regret," President Macri said.

President Obama also addressed the Belgian Attack:

"My top priority is to defeat ISIL and to eliminate the scourge of this barbaric terrorism that's been taking place around the world.  And we see high-profile attacks in Europe, but they're also killing Muslims throughout the Middle East -- people who are innocent, guilty only of worshipping Islam in a different way than this organization.  They are poisoning the minds of young people everywhere.  Not just in Europe, but in the United States and undoubtedly in Argentina, people are looking on these websites.  So there's no more important item on my agenda than going after them and defeating them," he said.

The bi-laterals solidified the Argentinian government's support for President Obama global priorities including the Syrian refugees, dismantling and destroying the Islamic State Organization and Climate Control. The President praised Macri's support of the Paris Agreement. U.S. federal agencies will lend their support to Argentina's counterterrorism efforts.

Cultural Misstep for the President

Participation in Argentine culture events, which can be intoxicating and lead to momentary missteps, were also part of the First Family's visit.

The President, one night after the Brussels bombing, attended a dinner where he was coaxed into dancing the seductive Argentine Tango. While he appeared reluctant, he obviously had lessons and his movements, clearly not as crisp or sharp, did denote limited training.   

As His Majesty Philippe, King of Belgium and Her Majesty Queen Mathilde through Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and members of Parliament announced three days of National Mourning, in a show of solidarity, President Obama should have abstained from the sultry seductions and inconsiderate appearance of the Tango.

Obama Misses The Mark on World Unity

President Obama's actions, which speak louder than his continual reiterations, have often ignored the devastations the European Allies are suffering.

He chose not to attend The Unity March, in January 2015, the largest gathering of world leaders to Europe since World War II, a demonstration to the world the solidarity of every nation, of every leader, to stand united against terrorism.

Missing, even over the protestations of security issues, as 40 world Presidents and Prime Minister's risked their lives to stand with three million Parisians and millions more in global solidarity, against ISIS and the encroaching tide of Terror.

The President of the United States remained missing in action which conveyed the message to the terror networks the U.S. will not be involved in European terror fights. American does not stand united in the ground war that plays out in the streets of cities throughout the world every day.

President Obama continues to make empty promises of solidarity. His absence is interpreted as tolerance. Even as he promises full available resources and may very well deliver, those promises and the fulfillment of them cannot be seen by the people. His continued absence creates the appearance of friction, dissension and conflict within the goal.

If the Paris Climate Summit wasn't planned immediately following November 13, 2015, it's doubtful the leader of the free world, the one person the world needed to know stood with them, literally, would have shown up to pay respects and to extend personal sympathies and support to the nations and people.

Obama Speaks with Belgian Prime Minister

President Obama spoke by phone with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel to offer his condolences on behalf of the American people following Tuesday's horrific terrorist attacks in Brussels. He reaffirmed the steadfast support of the United States and offered any assistance necessary in investigating these attacks and bringing those responsible to justice. The President reiterated that the United States stands together with the people of Belgium, as well as NATO and the European Union, and once again pledged full cooperation and support in our shared commitment to defeat the scourge of terrorism.

ISIS, Taliban Strike in Separate Attacks; Brussels Remains Strong; EU on High Alert

Islamic State fighters initiated, this week, a multi-nation terror campaign striking Brussels, Belgium, with a series of three successive blasts during the morning commute, a Football Awards Ceremony in Al-Asriya, Iraq Friday and an open Park in Lehore, Pakistan on a leisurely Sunday Afternoon.

Brussels Remains Strong; EU on High Alert

Zaventem International Airport was the first target. Images from Airport security cameras show three of the suspected bombers. Two dressed in black each wearing one glove, authorities have said the glove was worn to hide the denotation device on the suicide bomb belts.

The third man, wearing white, was also pushing a luggage cart and exited the facility before the detonation. He is currently at large and while it is believed he is still in Belgium the search in extensive. The possibility remains the man in white was gathering information possibly in preparation for the next team and additional international airport strikes.

An alert taxi driver notified Brussels police upon hearing of the bombing and identified the men. Police found alarming evidence of a planned mass casualty attacks as baggage left at the pickup address and unable to fit in the cab contained additional bombs. A computer hard drive, smashed, and not cleaned, was recovered with description of future plans.

Within an hour of the initial Airport blast Belgium residents were attempting to follow a normal routine, much like the World Trade Center September 11, 2001 bombing, activities ceased and continued.

Belgium residents have been on high alert since November 13, 2015, since the Paris Attacks and as many have said through social media "had become accustomed to it."

Tuesday was no different, the morning came and along with it responsibilities. Commuters, similar to the daily routine in every major city in the world were taking the subway. In Brussels those taking the heavily traveled Number 1 and 5 lines, were headed to the financial and business districts.

The Maalbeek/Maelbeek metro station runs under the Ruse de la Loi/Wetstraat which is known as the majority of Belgian, Parliament, European Union and other government buildings are located on the street. The subway exits form a ring around the district.

The targeted train, a three car standard subway car, was hit approximately one hour after the initial Airport blast. Unlike the Airport blast, the train detonation occurred in tight quarters. The projectile nail bomb, reminiscent of bombs created in the early days of the Palestine Liberation Organization, contained nails and other sharp projectile objects designed to inflict mass casualty.

The subway metal was ripped apart die to the force. The bombings, which ISIS has since claimed responsibility, killed 28 civilians and three Islamic State suicide bombers, and injured over 300.

Many of the airport causalities were citizens of the world. Two Americans have been confirmed murdered in the airport blast.

Justin Shults, of Tennessee, and his wife Stephanie, of Kentucky, living in Brussels were killed during Tuesday's Airport blast. The Shults were inside the Airport terminal waving goodbye to her mother, who had begun boarding at the time of the detonation was not injured.

Two Dutch Nationals, Sascha and Alexander Pinczowski, living in New York City were also reported killed in the blast.

Also Beltway Insider: Obama Travels to Cuba; New Ebola Cases; Election 2016; Paris Terrorist Arrested; SCOTUS Nominee

ISIS Attacks Soccer Ceremony; Kills 32 Including Iraqi Mayor

The Islamic State continued to show the world the extent of its cowardice attacking a football awards ceremony, Thursday, killing 41 and injuring 84, 12 critically. Nearly half of those killed were boys between the ages of 10 and 16.

Media have reported the suicide bomber cut through the crowd and waited until a name had been called and then detonated the bomb.

The Mayor of the Al-Asriya, Ahmed Shaker, had been presenting the award trophies when the blast occurred. He and several of his bodyguards were among the dead.

Media from the region indicates Islamic State has been losing territory as the coalition drives the caliphate to extinction. Even as the people rejoice over the death of one terror regime the fear is that another will rise in its place and the remaining Islamic State fighters will simple revert to an intensified targeting of civilians.

Easter Sunday Massacre Leaves 70 Dead and 193 Injured

The Lehore Valley region in Pakistan was the scene of the third Suicide bombing this week, as a faction group, Pakistani Taliban, have claimed responsibility for the East Sunday Massacre at a popular local park that killed 70 and injured 193.

Reports from the region indicate the blasts sent flames shooting thirty feet in the air and bodies flying. Others have reported the intensity of the blast was strong enough that many walking or on their way the amusement park rides when the blast detonated knocked them to the ground.

Many of the victims are women and children who were at the park enjoying Easter Sunday. The blast, was at the main gate of Gulshan-e-lqbal park, allegedly detonated near the children's swings.

Officials have confirmed it was a suicide bomber.

Election 2016 – Sanders Wins Three; Hillary Maintains Lead; Republican Primaries Pick Up April 5

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has swept the Saturday March 26 democratic primaries winning three Western states leaving only former Secretary Clinton surprised as the socialist senator's message of political reform resonates with the progressive cultures of Washington, Hawaii and Alaska.

Sanders, with 1004 delegates after Saturday's big win, still trails Clinton who remains the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Clinton, with 1712 delegates, is marching toward the biggest primary days in April. The first three weeks are punctuated with single state primaries: Wisconsin on April 5, 86 delegates; Wyoming, April 9 with 14, and New York States on April 19 with 247 delegates.

The upcoming New York State primary is not the first time Mrs. Clinton has faced the voting public of New York. The former Secretary of State was serving as senator for the state of New York when President Obama tapped her for the Secretary of State position.

The Washington Factor

Washington State is believing in Bernie Sanders, at least for now. The calculation of delegates in the Evergreen State is somewhat murky and takes an expert to explain why only one-third of the 101 delegates have been awarded.

After Saturday's win Sanders, who handily won with 72.7% of the vote, was awarded 25 delegates. Clinton who secured only 27.1% of the vote received 9 delegates leaving 67 delegates yet to be awarded.

"Saturday's caucuses were the first step in picking the state's 101 pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The meetings were to elect more than 27,000 delegates, proportionally allocated to Sanders and Clinton based on precinct results. Those delegates will move on to county conventions and legislative district caucuses, where a smaller group will advance to the congressional district caucuses at the end of May. That's when 67 delegates will be elected to the national convention," as reported in the Seattle Times.

So while the momentum is clearly with Senator Sanders the race in Washington State hasn't been called just yet. Upcoming race predictions: Senator Sanders should win Wisconsin and Wyoming; Hillary will take New York.

For more information on President Barack Obama:



Haute Tease

  • Money News: DOW, US Markets Strong; World Markets Close UP

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The four major US Markets stayed strong throughout the week, as the world markets rallied on the news of the G20 summit, and consumer confidence remained high heading into the make or break holiday shopping season.

  • Pacific Opera Project takes on Shakespeare and Verdi in a Cemetery with Falstaf

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    This September, Pacific Opera Project (POP) continues its successful run of presenting engaging productions in unique venues across Los Angeles with Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff, presented outdoors at the top of Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Museum Plaza) in Glendale.  

  • Warning Signs from An Early Bird Drops late January 2018

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    An Early Bird's new single 'Warning Signs' has an almost naive, etheral beauty. Featuring vocals from Georgiana Craciun, it's the first introduction to Stefano De Stefano's debut album in his new incarnation as An Early Bird.  

  • Business News: Emir Bahadir, Turkish Playboy, Mogul, Graces The Cover Of Social Life Magazine’s September Issue

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In an exclusive interview with Social Life magazine, the premiere luxury publication for the Hamptons, Entrepreneur and Bahadiring Realty Founder and Principal Emir Bahadir opens up about his professional journey, life's lessons, perseverance and inspirations.

  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: A Sony Pictures Animation Christopher Miller/Phil Lord Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the animated version of the classic children’s book previewed recently for select media and followed with a press junket at the world famous Dylan’s Candy Store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

  • ISIS Claims Responsibility For Berlin Terror Attack that Killed 12 and Injured Dozens

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A familiar and disconcerting pall hangs over Western Europe, the day after a lorry truck jumped the sidewalk and plowed through a Berlin Christmas Market, smashing wooden vendor stalls, and careening into holiday shoppers killing 12 and injuring 48.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama Commutes Sentences; Colombian President; Assad/Aleppo; Trump Debacle; Hurricane Matthew; Oldchella

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama, who has spoken of his upcoming pardons, commuted the sentences of 102 drug offenders, primarily convicted of possession and distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, with the release dates for the felons beginning February 2017 and continuing over the next eighteen months.

  • Celebrity Interview: Glenn Close, and Cast of The Wife, Stirs Up the OSCAR Race

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Glenn Close, the star of the recently released The Wife, has been nominated for an Oscar six times, more than any other actress without a win, and as time escapes no one, the meaty performances that woo Academy voters are slower in arriving.

  • France Attacked: Terrorist Hit Coastal City of Nice, 80 Dead; Dozens Injured

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A truck bomb terrorist drove into a large crowd, in the French coastal city of Nice, gathered to watch fireworks celebrating Bastille Day, a national holiday, killing at least 80 and leaving another 50 injured, 18 critically.

  • Celebrity Real Estate: Fashion Designer Pierre Cardin Lists South of France Retreat; Asking Tops All European Markets

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Pierre Cardin, the French fashion designer, known for his unusual designs, geometric shapes and a departure from feminine couture, was considered avant-garde inventing a bubble dress which he introduced in 1954, a decade before the modern cultural revolution.

  • Former Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin and Former New York AG Robert Abrams Head Stroock Internal Investigations Unit

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the business, entertainment and political worlds continue to be rocked by revelations of sexual harassment and misconduct, Stroock has formed a special unit focused on helping organizations conduct internal investigations into alleged sexual misconduct in the workplace.

  • Girl, 16, Dead After Vicious Attack

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amy Inita Francis-Joyner, 16, a sophomore at Howard High School of Technology, in Wilmington, Delaware, died Thursday morning after she was jumped in the girl’s restroom by two other sixteen year olds and beaten to near death over a boy.

  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Tariffs, Gun Control, Cops Shot, Plastics Ban, Customs Glitch, Kabul Blast, Peter Fonda

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump announced he is delaying the implementation of tariff's on specific consumer goods imported from China until December 15, 2019, to allow retailers and consumers equal footing over the upcoming Christmas shopping season.

  • Borg vs McEnroe Review - Serves Up Solid Entertainment

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Borg vs McEnroe, from SF Productions and Neon, presents a story played out on Wimbledon’s Center Court, 1980, and the back story of the hard won victory’s that brought each of the men to this pivotal and historical moment.

  • Money News: North American Markets, London, Hong Kong Close Down; Nikkei, Shanghai, France, Rally

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, the S&P 500, unable to shake the Bear possibilities, announced by industry analysts, coupled with the continuing concern over an ever growing ISIS threat has marked a down turn in investment confidence.