Beltway Insider: Obama Honors Fallen; UK PM Change; Nice Attack; Turkish Coup; JFK

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President Obama spoke this week in Dallas, Texas, at a memorial honoring the slain officers who lost their lives, killed by a deranged ex-Army officer distraught over the recurring violence and use of deadly force against African Americans. 

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, decreased by one percentage point to 49% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased three percentage points to 46%.  

Obama Speaks at Dallas Memorial

President Obama attended the memorial for the victims of the Dallas Peace March Protest, that left five Police Officers killed and six other officers and one civilian wounded.

The Dallas Memorial, the 11th of president Obama's tenure, also brought out former President and Mrs. George and Laura Bush, Vice-President Joseph and Dr. Jill Biden; Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings; DART Police Chief James Spiller, Dallas Police Chief David Brown, Members of Congress and the singer/songwriter and legend Stevie Wonder.

"Scripture tells us that in our sufferings there is glory, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Sometimes the truths of these words are hard to see.  Right now, those words test us.  Because the people of Dallas, people across the country, are suffering. We're here to honor the memory, and mourn the loss, of five fellow Americans -- to grieve with their loved ones, to support this community, to pray for the wounded, and to try and find some meaning amidst our sorrow," President Obama said as he began.

Throughout the message the president took to scripture to remind those listening of the comfort found in the Christian faith. He quoted from the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, from the book of John, from the principals of the teachings of Christ. He spoke of a foundational faith; a faith that stands in the midst of the storm, whipped by winds, pelted with rain, shaken by winds, and in the midst, doing all, stands.

The officers answered the call to duty, knowing as all officers do, they put their lives in harm's way each time they put on the uniform. Last Thursday, no one expected the worse nightmare to unfold.

The Black Lives Matter Peace March, a national call for citizens to take to the streets in peaceable protest over the recurring violence and deadly use of force universally used primarily in the African American community during routine police stops and calls which left two men, in separate cities, over a 48-hour period, dead.

Video, captured both murders which left a nation exasperated again. The words, "I can't breathe" echoed from the grave of Eric Garner, a Staten Island black male killed by police. The injustice is stifling. Today, however, the president spoke of unity, finding the commonalities, what binds us as a people stronger that what separate us.

The President touched on the separateness of the judicial experience across the race lines. Yes. Studies show White and Black males have different experiences. Yes. Black males are more likely to be stopped and searched without cause or with little cause. Yes. Black communities face greater police presence. Yes. Black males are more likely to receive harsher and longer sentences and more likely to receive the death penalty. Does this negate our responsibility as a society to the structure of society? Do years of repeated injustice allow for violence or anarchy?

The law does not afford us the same luxury of those who commit crime. We, the private citizen, are held to a higher standard. We cannot exact retribution, vengeance, revenge or we face the same penalty and scrutiny as a common perpetrator.

The law doesn't care when we, the private citizen stands before the court rationalizing the fairness of our actions. And yes, even times, when those in positions of power and authority, police and others who have the luxury of the law on their side, commit egregious crimes of complete destruction, damage, hate and violence we are left with little options. Take to the streets in peaceable protest; demand change, challenge our government. Build a platform so strong, a global voice, that it cannot be ignored.

President Obama spoke on the realities of the African American community: it is easier for a child to buy a Gluck than a computer; poverty resonates; disparity increases tensions, addiction remains prevalent.

Are we greater separately or stronger unified? Will the battle for racial equality be achieved separately or is there greater chance through unity?

"Can we open our hearts," as President Obama said "and worry less about which side has been wronged, and worry more about joining sides to do right?  Because the vicious killer of these police officers, they won't be the last person who tries to make us turn on one other.  The killer in Orlando wasn't, nor was the killer in Charleston."

It didn't take long for those words to resonate again.

Today marks ten days since Dallas and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the city where Anton Sterling was murdered, three police officers were murdered today and three others wounded, one in critical condition.

The shooter, a black male, Gavin Eugene Long, 29, a Nation of Islam member from Kansas City, MO., was neutralized less than six minutes after the first shots were fired.

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

Theresa May Succeeds David Cameron as British Prime Minister

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron left office this week, tendering his resignation after the Brexit vote declared the people had chosen a path clearly different than his vision for the future of the United Kingdom.

Theresa May, his successor, who won the office by default after her final challenger withdrew from the race became the de factor prime Minister.

President Obama released a statement indicating he telephoned Prime Minister May to congratulate her on her new office.  The statement read President Obama "emphasized that the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom remains strong and will endure. He offered his full support for the Prime Minister's efforts to lead the United Kingdom through a smooth, orderly, and transparent negotiation over its exit from the European Union."

Prime Minister May has had a rough week with ally France experiencing another devastating terror attack in the seaside city of Nice, continued unrest over the referendum, Scotland refusing to compromise on its loyalty to the EU, the EU wanting to hasten the divorce process and a coup with coalition partner Turkey.

ISIS Attacks Nice Bastille Day Celebration

Three Americans are known to be among those killed in the Bastille Day Massacre, that left 84 dead, 50 injured; 18 critically wounded and maimed after a double axle, 25-ton freezer truck barreled down the Promenade de Anglais, and plowed into the celebratory crowd.

 "On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms this horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those killed. We wish a full recovery for the many wounded. We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack. On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that make France an inspiration to the entire world, and we know the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastation," President Obama said.

French President Francois Hollande stated "France is in tears, grieving, but it is strong and will always be stronger than the fanatics who want to attack it today."

The Islamic State, after two days, claimed responsibility for the Bastille Day massacre. The terrorist organization used the double axel trailer truck as its primary weapon droving into the large crowd, in the coastal city of Nice, that had gathered to watch fireworks celebrating Bastille Day.

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the driver was killed in a wild gunfire exchange, and French police have arrested seven additional suspects including a husband and wife, in connection with the attack.

Bouhlel, was known by local authorities for petty crimes. from all reports was radicalized very quickly adopting the Islamic State manifest as life principals. Aware his actions would result in his death, he wired his life savings (£84,000/111,270.00USD) to his parents and possibility payment form the Islamic state for his dedication.

The carnage was everywhere. It has also been reported the driver sped up on impact sending bodies flying, killing as many as possible. He was killed by French police.

Witnesses and media have reported a scene from war; severed limbs, decapitated bodies, children mowed over, crushed. Injuries have also been reported from the stampede that ensued. With the November 13 Parisian terrorist attacks remaining fresh in the hearts and minds, people ran for cover doing whatever they could to find secure shelter.

The Bastille Day devastation won't pass overnight as many of the victims were children, injured, maimed and now parentless. Reports coming from the local hospital indicate at least one dozen of the children remain unidentified. The hopes of finding at least one of their parents among the injured is waning.

A father and son, Sean and Brodie Copeland, on holiday from Texas and Nicolas Leslie, a student from UC Berkeley, were killed in the terrorist attack. Other students injured from Berkeley suffered broken bones. The students, a group of 85, were in Nice on an Entrepreneur Internship program.

In the daylight, the next morning, Nice known for its blue coast, white sand beaches, sparkling warm Mediterranean seas and warm southern breezes remains and we, the citizens of the world, stand unified with the French people determined to live without fear, we stand united against terrorism.  

Turkey Military Attempts to Overthrow Government

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the nearly 6,000 Turkish rebels that participated in an attempted coup, in the capital of Ankara and Istanbul, will pay a heavy price.

In a released statement President Obama reiterated the United States' unwavering support for the democratically-elected, civilian Government of Turkey. Obama maintained his chief concern lay in the Americans diplomats, personal and their dependents.

At the request of President Erdogen, 1800 reserve police arrived to be deployed in Ankara and Istanbul. Of the 6000 coup participants, 2750 were judges and have been removed from office, 1400 have been injured, and 290 dead in the coup that lasted two days.

The President instructed his team to continue to work with their Turkish counterparts to maintain the safety and well-being of diplomatic missions and personnel, U.S. service members, and their dependents.

John F. Kennedy, Jr

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr., the only surviving son of slain President John F. Kennedy, died this day seventeen years ago disappearing over the cold waters of the Atlantic as he neared Martha's Vineyard, where he and his two companions were due to attend his cousins wedding.

Kennedy, 38, a novice pilot, had recently completed the mandatory flight hours to qualify for his pilot's license and was not a skilled for adverse weather conditions, a thickening haze which caused spatial disorientation causing what has been deemed inexperienced error. The Piper Saratoga II went down 7 ½ miles from the shore.

Kennedy, his wife of two years, Carolyn, 33, and her sister Lauren Bessette, 34, were passengers on the ill-fated trip.

The three died instantly and were unaware of the any impending tragedy. Five days after the crash, the plane was found, embedded in the sea floor, the three were still strapped in their seats. Autopsies reported the deaths were instantaneous.

Theories have circulated for years of a possible murder of the late President's son, with even this reporter questioning the possibility of instrument error which has been determined as part of the cause, to have been in some way tampered with pre-flight to draw the instruments off center creating misreading's.

Kennedy was not a skilled nighttime pilot, and sabotage alone may have not brought the plane down.

The sudden change in the weather conditions that went from clear from the time they left late from New Jersey to pitch black and a thickening haze by the time they neared the island, the night sky, the lack of a visible horizon were additional factors in the determination made by the National Transportation and Safety Board which cited Pilot Error has the official cause.


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