Beltway Insider: Obama/Poland/EU; Election 2016; Police Murders/Dallas Ambush; Deadly Bull Run; Sydney Schanberg

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President Obama met with European Union leaders this week as he continued his efforts to gird up the United Kingdom's standing as it begins the lengthy two-year exit strategy that will extradite the nation from its partnership with the EU.

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, increased by one percentage point to 51% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased two percentage points to 45%. 

Obama Meets EU Presidents and Dallas Reaction

Presidency Obama meet this week with President Donald Tusk of the European Council, and President Jean Claude Juncker of the European Commission to discuss the short term and long range plans as the United Kingdom has yet to invoke Article 50, which declares its intent to leave the European Union.

As the events in Dallas overshadowed the end of what was considered a positive meeting the Presidents each left the meeting presenting positive opinions on the continued involvement of the Brits and the European Union.

Each of the leaders voiced their deep condolences for the events in Dallas and offered thoughts and prayers for the families and for the nation. The Presidents offered positive beliefs on the future relationships as it has been determined recently and in the event of changes.

"Even after the referendum, the European Union and the United Kingdom share a community of interests, not only in defense and military sector, but in all relevant sectors of international life.  If a country wants free access to the entire market, it has to respect the four basic freedoms, including freedom of movement for workers.  I do think that it's in our interest and in the global interest to keep Britain as a strong ally in NATO and as a strong partner when it comes to the relations of this then third country with the European Union," said President Jean-Claude Junker of the European Commission.

"We know that the geopolitical consequences of Brexit may be very serious.  Maintaining the closest possible relations between the EU and the UK is in European and American interest.  But it is equally important to send today a strong message to the whole world that Brexit, as sad and meaningful as it is, is just an incident and not the beginning of a process.  And to all our opponents, on the inside and out, who are hoping for a sequel to Brexit, I want to say loud and clear, you won't see on the screen the words "To be continued," said President Donald Tusk of the European Council.

"My recent discussions with Prime Minister Cameron, Chancellor Merkel and here today, I am absolutely confident the UK and the European Union will work together in a pragmatic and cooperative fashion to ensure the UK's transition is orderly and smooth.  Given our shared interests, Europe will remain a cornerstone of America's engagement with the world.  European countries are and will remain among our closest allies and friends. Europe is an indispensable partner around the globe.  Indeed, even as we manage the implications of Brexit, our work today shows that we're going to continue to be focused on pressing global challenges," the President said.

America Horrified Over as Dallas Ambush Captured on Live

After two more unarmed African Americans were shot and killed by police, in two separate incidents, protesters took to the streets in most major cities peaceably demonstrating when shots rang out in Dallas, Texas turning peaceful into chaos.

"As I told Mayor Rawlings, I believe that I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified over these events, and that we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas.  According to police, there are multiple suspects.  We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations.  But let's be clear:  There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement. The FBI is already in touch with the Dallas police, and anyone involved in these senseless murders will be held fully accountable.  Justice will be done, " President Obama said.

The ambush stunned the police, the city, the nation and the world as videographers, in the advent of social media, took cover and filmed. Capturing and live streaming the standoff giving the world evidence of the weaponry involved in the nearly five-hour ordeal, as it unfolded from the darkened streets of the West Side of Dallas. Ironically, near Dealey Plaza the same place where John F. Kennedy and then Texas Governor John Connelly were shot and Kennedy murdered in November 1963.

Deadly Day in Dallas Takes Spotlight from Real Cause

Five Dallas Police Officers died and six other officers and one private citizen were injured in an ambush as a protest over the recurring use of excessive and deadly force against unarmed African Americans turned violent.

The violence broke out during a national protest staged to take place in major cities across America. Dallas was one of the many cities whose residents took to the streets once again gasping over the violence and injustice in two separate back to back shootings.

As approximately 8:42pm the crowd which had dwindled down to about 200, from the height of the nearly 800 who took part, when a well-armed suspect began to rain a firestorm of bullets on the unsuspecting crowd.

Targeting police officers the sniper quickly picked off three, as a released video shows bodies lying in the street, and the barrage of gunfire is powerful statement to the violence that broke out. The standoff continued for nearly five hours with Dallas Police attempting to negotiate a peaceful surrender for the single suspect they cornered.

Micah Johnson, the lone gunman, in an ambush that realized the worst fears of a city and nation, a black man, will be remembered bitterly as the man who took the spotlight from the cause and cast it on hate and violence.

The five Dallas Police Officers killed in the line of duty, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, and Lorne Ahrens, change the entire scope of a nation poised on the brink of a silent, deadly, civil war.

Thursday, marked the deadliest day in American history for any police department outside of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.

When news that the peaceful demonstration in Dallas had turned deadly over the deaths of Alton Sterling, 37, who was selling CD's outside a convenience store when confronted by two white Baton Rouge, Louisiana police officers and Philando Castile, 32, murdered for a broken taillight in Minnesota, no one seemed surprised.

Saddened, shocked, brokenhearted, but not surprised as the civil rights movement founded on the principals of non-violent resistance seem lost on a new generation of African Americans who have seen too many, young black men and women killed.

One would suspect not as many as the civil rights leaders before them had seen and not as violent than a church explosion or hung from a tree or beaten on a bridge.

Possibly the burden is understandably too heavy, returning violence in the face of violence is also understandable and now three days later as a nation where is our focus: A deadly day in Dallas where five Police Officers were killed.

Alton Sterling, Philando Castile – Two Men and An Angry Nation

The murder of Alton Sterling was captured on video, from several angles, showing Police officers using aggressive verbal tactics, violently tackling the suspect, and after pinning him to the ground, screaming "He's got a gun" in what appeared to be a staged attempt to cover actions, planned or escalated, after four shots were pumped into the man's chest.

Alton Sterling was bleeding from chest wounds when officers continued to agitate him, patting him down as he dying, on the ground with both hands by his side.

After Sterling was shot, dying and subdued, a weapon, or what appears to be one was pulled from his pocket. While not a thrown down it is as good as one. The officers, name the names were placed on Administrative leave.

The 911 phone call which lead to Alton Sterling's death came from a homeless man who had been harassing Sterling as he sold CD's for cash. Sterling, it has been reported, showed the man, the butt of the gun, and told him to leave. He telephoned Louisiana Police with a report of a Black man with a gun at a convenience store, the combination of which is, in America, a death sentence. 

Sterling who like most have a past. It was however unknown until the damage control spin campaign took over. Alton Sterling was a felon and apparently paid his debt to society.  Unable to find a background friendly employer, Sterling had little choices. Society takes no reasonability for all the mitigating factors that placed him at the convenience store. He was a father, yes, the spin says, with five children from several women. The spin cries don't examine and don't care he was expendable let it alone.

Philando Divall Castile, 32, one can imagine watched the horror of Alton Sterling's death, thinking silently, okay white cops will be on edge, or like a former NYU journalism colleague once said nearly 20 years ago, for her, a well educated (Valedictorian of New York University, Oxford) African American female, dark skinned, extensions, when she and her boyfriend, equally educated, drove south down I-95 they had to figure in at least two extra hours both ways for the police stop and search that always happened.

Today, well Thursday, Philando was thinking about Alton, and others when the lights flashed in his rear view. His girlfriend, Diamond Lavish Reynolds and her daughter were in the car when the officer who has stated he told him "not to go for it" except he also told him to produce his Driver's license and registration, which is the more common directive one receives when one is stopped for a traffic violation.

The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, also placed on Administrative leave shot Philando right through the window, under his ribcage, killing him. Again a video feed documented both the traffic stop and the death, as the bright red blood seeped across his white tee-shirt.

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Election 2016: Clinton and Trump Respond to Excessive Force and Dallas Ambush

Election 2016 and the Hill and Donald show came to a screeching halt this week as like all citizens and potential leaders of the free world they watched in shock as Dallas Police Officers were systematically gunned down by a single well-armed sniper.

Gun Control, as our nation is still reeling over the Pulse Nightclub Massacre, in which 50 died at the hand of a disgruntled lone wolf, ISIS professing, gay Muslim with deeply unresolved religious and sexual orientation issues, has become, for the first time in modern politics the number one issue for Americas.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic Presidential Nominee, made this statement on Dallas "People are crying out for criminal justice reform. People are also crying out for relief from gun violence. The families of the lost are trying to tell us. We need to listen. We need to act. I'm talking about criminal justice reform the day after a horrific attack on police officers. I'm talking about courageous, honorable police officers just a few days after officer-involved killings in Louisiana and Minnesota. I'm bringing up guns in a country where merely talking about comprehensive background checks, limits on assault weapons and the size of ammunition clips gets you demonized."

Donald J. Trump, the Republican Presidential Nominee, made this statement on Dallas, "A brutal attack on our police force is an attack on our country, and an attack on our families. We must stand in solidarity with law enforcement, which we must remember is the force between civilization and total chaos. Every American has the right to live in safety and peace." Trump added the attacks have "Shaken the soul of our nation."

As both parties near the respective parties Conventions which officially award all delegates earned during the primary voting season to the respective candidate. Republicans being holding its expected brokered convention July 18 - 21 in Cleveland, Ohio with the Democratic National Convention (DNC) following July 25 - 28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Trump, in an effort to circumvent any brokered convention or unrest, has vetted several high profile party stalwarts for possible running mates. The idea of a Chris Christie or Newt Gingrich balance out the ticket seems to sooth the horrified party hardliners.

Clinton, conversely, has also raised eyebrows with particular vetting choices. Elizabeth Warren, Democratic senator from Massachusetts, while solid record of achievement will alienate potential pockets of voters especially those who deeply committed to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders see Clinton as the least preferred candidate even over the like of Donald Trump.

Clinton handlers and advisors, one of whom has to be former President Bill Clinton, should revert to analytics on this one and bring out the primary season state totals. For Clinton to satisfy the mass of people who remain faithful to Bernie Sanders is to honor him with the VP choice. He then can make the decision to accept or not.

In order to gain the trust of the undecided voter, Clinton needs to extend an olive branch to the senator, in a conciliatory gesture and whether a backroom deal is already in play, for a cabinet position, she heals the party without risking a loss of the undecided from a wide swath of the democratic party that could swing the pendulum emotionally.

Running With the Bulls - Spain's Deadly Sport Kills Bullfighter on Live TV

Victor Barra, 29, Spain's most experienced bullfighter died from goring injuries suffered during a televised bullfight when the skilled fighter attempted a common move and the timing, depending on split second precision, was slightly off which toppled Barra. He was gored under and died.

Barra, the first bullfighter in over a century to be killed in the highly dangerous sport, suffered a puncture wound under his rib cage which severed his aorta as the 1200Lb beast charged the grounded matador.  The bullfight concluded a deadly week for the annual San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain

Four participants in the annual Running with The Bulls the opening event at the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain, were seriously gored as the festivities began this week with deadly consequences.

A rite of passage for risk takers worldwide and made famous in the writing of "The Sun Also Rises" by the 20th Century American novelist Ernest Hemingway, running with The Bulls attracts thousands of thrill seekers from the four corners of the globe.

During the 2015 Running of the Bulls, ten Americans were injured as the several penned bulls are released behind the thousands of participants who run to escape the charging beasts through the cobblestone and winding streets of Pamplona as the exuberant crowds roar with approval.

Sydney Schanberg, New York Times Reporter, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist, Dies

Sydney Schanberg, New York Times Reporter covering the fall of Phnom Penh during the Vietnam War, and part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team has died this week. He was 82.

Schanberg joined the New York Times in 1959 and became the foreign correspondent covering Southeast Asia, the Vietnam War and after, the fall of Phnom Penh the capital of Cambodia.

The unrest and instability in that region after the long and debilitating war, allowed those nations now self-governed to rule without outside intervention and accountability. The lack of international attention produced one of the worst genocides in Cambodian history. The Khmer Rouge it was discovered had murder thousands of his own citizens.

Schanberg was one of the few journalists to remain in country and was threatened with death. He and his assistant took refuge in the French embassy and escaped the country hidden in a truck.  His coverage won him a 1976 Pulitzer prize for International Reporting.

The experiences were remembered in a 1980 book titled, The Death and Life of Dith Pran. Pran, who was Shanberg's assistant and believed to be killed by the Khmer Rouge was actually held in prison over four years and forced to work in the fields where he frequently saw clusters of corpses and skeletal remains. He was rescued and returned to the United States. He died in 2008.

Schanberg's reports were the inspiration and basis for the academy award winning movie "The Killing Fields," starring Sam Waterston.

Schanberg resigned from the New York Times after his column was cancelled and spent the next ten years writing for The New York Newsday.

For more information on President Barack Obama:


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