Beltway Insider: Putin/Trump Strengthen Ties; Cyber Security; Election Disruption Eyed; Plane Crash; S.C Shooter; Standing Rock Victory

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President elect Trump, with the inauguration six weeks away, began actively aligning himself with strategic partners of Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking individually with Taiwanese President and Philippines President while continuing to vet potential cabinet positions.

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

Trump-Putin er Pence Debate U.S. Future

President Elect Trump has continued to name diverse, yet staunch Republicans to his cabinet.

While the President elect has no political experience and his only leadership position comes from his personal companies, which he admits have experienced financial troubles landing him in bankruptcy court on several occasions, he seems to be set on creating an effective team of political stalwarts equipped to run a Republican administration even without his direction.

The most controversial pick the President elect is facing to date is the position of Secretary of State. After interviewing former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump has stepped back and started the interviewing process again with John R. Bolton, former ambassador to the United States.

Also included in the search for Secretary of State position are John M. Huntsman, Jr., the former Utah governor and ambassador to China under President Obama; Rex W. Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil and Senator Joe Manchin III, (D-WV).

Two others David Petraeus, former CIA and Retired General and Senator Bob Corker of (R-TN) were his initial picks and still under consideration.

Senator Jeff Sessions, (R-AL), has been chosen for Attorney General. He has had his run-in with senate confirmation hearing in the past. Appointed under President Ronald Reagan for a federal district judgeship he was blocked after his racial proclivities surfaced.

Retired General James Mattis, Secretary of Defense. Mattis, who is nicknamed "Mad Dog" should be confirmed without issue. Although a legal glitch could debunk this easy confirmation, as a 1947 law requires a seven year wait before an active general can head to the Pentagon. Mattis, well versed and acquainted with the global hot spots and players, may be sidelined and Trump's second pick, an easy dunk will miss on technicality.

Representative Tom Price, Secretary of Health, and Human Services (R-GA). An outspoken critic of ObamaCare, Price is Trump's most controversial pick and if at all possible democrats will mount an effective all-out campaign to stop him. He is in favor of drastic alterations to The Affordable Care Act. He is an outspoken advocate of a Woman's Right to Choose, Abortion and Gay Marriage. Odds are he will return to his congressional seat and continue fighting from his home district. He is a leverage card for the new Administration, a quid pro quo, democratic appeasement.

Betsey DeVos, Secretary of Department of Education – A billionaire Philanthropist she is a career school advocate, and for school vouchers. As with most government and tendencies n Republican Administrations the Department of Education will have its work cut out for them and will most likely see little done or accomplished. Not negating Ms. DeVos accomplishments.

She is a perfect choice for corporate focused trump as DeVos is often criticized for corporatizing education. Equal opportunity education, from the most affluent zip code to the least will be history and an idea that would result in shocked silence all around.

Trump has also chosen Governor Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the united Nations, Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation. Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump has also picked a fellow billionaire and a multi- millionaire. Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasure, known in Hollywood as a financier for James Cameron's AVATAR and AMERICAN SNIPER, Mnuchin began his career at financial house Goldman Sachs.

Wilbur Ross Secretary of Commerce. At 79, Ross is the oldest of Trump's cabinet choices and has worked with Trump on other business deal since the 1990's.

Beltway Insider: Fidel Castro Dies; Obama's Cuban Legacy; Trump Blasts Recount; Bird Flu; Medalists

Popular Vote to Date

Democratic Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has retained a 48.1% lead with 65,259,681 million votes to President Elect Donald Trump's 46.2% and 62,692,056 million votes.  Her lead in the popular votes extends to 2,567,625 million votes and continues to grow. Over the course of the last week President Elect Trump has gained 273,264 votes.

Cyber Terrorism Election Disruption

The theory of a Nation State Terror Attack resulting in the disruption of the 2016 Presidential Election was discussed this week in the White House Press briefings.

First reported in the Beltway Insider, the theory of a Nation State or Russian involvement in altering the results of the election for political gains.

Lobbing a soft question to Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz, the White house journalist pressed the question of Russian involvement.

"Right, middle of October, I think, is when this determination was released that Russian officials were trying to interfere with our election.  We also know that, from our Department of Homeland Security and our collaboration with states, that we did not notice any increased intrusions or malicious cyber activity on Election Day.  So in terms of the actual cybersecurity and the actual sort of integrity of those systems where votes are cast and counted, we did not notice any increased malicious cyber activity on November 8," Schultz said.

The Press corps returned to the question of cyber security, this time asking on the increased need to increase defense spending on Cyber Terrorism and creating firewalls to insure Cyber Attacks, individual infrastructure attacks and disruptions such as Air Traffic Controllers, which can in minutes reach devastation levels

"The President has made clear that cybersecurity is one of the greatest challenges we face as a nation.  That's why this administration has consistently made cybersecurity a top national security and economic security priority.  And that's reflected most recently in the fiscal year 2017 budget, which called for a 37 percent increase in cybersecurity resources.  One would think that Congress would act on that budget request; it hasn't to date. So hopefully a lot of the rhetoric we hear from Congress about wanting to make sure our cybersecurity is improved can be translated into some action," Schultz said.

The idea of a cyber disruption perpetrated by Russian President Putin has gelled considerable as Senator Wyden (D-OR) and six others have jointly addressed the issue and forwarded an official letter of inquiry and outline to which the White house will only acknowledge receipt.

"It's been several weeks now, maybe over a month, where the United States government's intelligence community did announce that it had determined an intent by Russian officials, senior Russian officials to try and interfere in our elections.  That announcement was made by the intelligence community in conjunction with the FBI and law enforcement.  If Democrats on the Hill are looking for more information along those lines, the process of seeing if we can declassify more information along those lines will follow a similar process and a similar track to when the IC originally decided to make that determination public," Schultz said.

FOX Latin America Loses 13 Journos in Brazilian Soccer Plane Crash that Kills 71

The tragic plane crash the killed 71, including nearly the entire Chapecoense (Chap-e-co-en-s) soccer team this week, could have been avoided as reports are confirmed that plane simple ran out of gas coupled with total electronic failure.

FOX Sports News, Latin American, has also reported 13 of the sports journalists on board were employees of the network along with other smaller local broadcasters, videographers and crew members.

Six on board did survive, including one who managed to telephone his family and before succumbing to his injuries. Three other team members and two crew members survived and were thrown from the crash.

Of the released audio from the last ten minutes of the crash, the pilot clearly identified his emergency and was put into a holding pattern circling the last known coordinates for the Medellin airport. Without instrumentation, he was flying blind. At 9:30pm local time, in an area surrounded by mountains, in heavy darkness, he cried out for directions, with the local Air Traffic Controllers unresponsive.

Moments later the plane, gliding across the nighttime sky was unable to maintain an altitude that would carry it over the mountain top. The tail section hit first and the front section impacted heavily. The fuselage broke apart. There was no explosion as the plane had burned through every drop of its reserves.

The Chapecoense, were heading to the championship game in Columbia. Coming from sub-par level league play, the Brazilians worked hard, practiced, and soon found themselves winning.

The world soccer leagues paused in memory of the upstart team who proved to the world that even in this globally competitive sport determination and desire along with countless hours of practice were the winning combination.

Posted video also show the journalists who were following this Cinderella team. The sports world mourns also as it could be journalist, reporter or correspondent who travels.

The black boxes were recovered at the crash site and have been taken to London where they will be examined. Experts indicate once the data is analyzed it will be known exactly what was happening in the cockpit and what the crew said to each other.

S.C Shooter Granted Right To Self-Representation

Dylann Storm Roof, the accused South Carolina church shooter, has against the advise of Federal Judge Richard Gergel, been granted the right to be his own council in all legal proceedings forward.

Roof, is accused of entering the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and after spending an hour with Reverend Clementa Pinchney and others who devoted their lives to seeking Christ and his Kingdom, while they shared their struggles and prayed, pulled a concealed handgun from behind a fanny pack and methodically murdered nine members of the church leadership.

More than the senseless killings, Roof also made his racial position clear: An admitted racist he shouted racial epithets and phrases. Those words, alone, used during the senseless killings, the mass shooting separate this crime from Aurora, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook. And created a federal inquiry.

The law, with its intricacies and loopholes, and possibilities for exoneration or deadlocked juries unable to find guilt in what appears conclusive is a two-edged sword in most mass shootings. The law won't change however law enforcement has.  Deeming any active situation, where mass casualty or grave injury is imminent officers are given the authority to neutralize the threat with maximum force. Society's answer to public or national imminent threat.

 

Beltway Insider: Charleston; Race Wars; 2016 Smoking Gun; The Duggars; Christianity's Misconception

 

Roof insisted the three-court appointed attorney's representing him file a petition for self-representation. The motivation behind Roof's decision is unclear and while he will be considered lead council, in his defense, Gergel has ordered the Court Appointed team to remain acting as back-up.

Strategically, it is considered a poor choice as the defendant usually lacks the legal experience necessary to secure the best possible defense.

As his own council, Roof must be granted all rights in the proceedings or risk mistrial. This of course includes cross-examination of the witnesses, including an 11 year-old girl, should they take the stand.

Roof, is an admitted White Supremacist, gave a full confession. 

Standing Rock – The Last Stand For Native American

Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, has been the scene as of late widespread protests as the United States moved to create an oil pipeline very near to the trial lands of the Sioux people.

With a long history of acquiring the lands from the Native American, the U.S. Government attempted to take once again what they did not own and, through rationalization build the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

The only lands allotted to the Native America, have been discovered over the last sixty years to be fossil and mineral rich. Those lands have been protected by the Antiquities Act, Oil, would be an interesting argument federally, as the Antiquities Act only appears relevant when the common man or good can be stopped.

The Souix People, risked contamination as the pipeline was to run under the Missouri River, risking contamination should the pipe fail in any way.

The Dakota Pipeline Access Protests have received much attention, as environmentalist, activists, celebrities, and the Nation American nation came together to protest. Government officials responded with violence, calling the protestors to disperse using water cannons, in sub-freezing temperatures, rubber bullets, arrests, and pepper spray canisters.

For the Native America Peoples, some of whom live close to the customs and traditions of their ancestors, remained willing to fight for the limited lands they have left.

Jubilant cries of victory and surprise could be heard when the decision was read bringing an end to the most aggressive attempts to push the people back further, reducing their homelands once again.

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

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com,

Source on 2016 Popular Vote: Cookpolitcal.com

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