Beltway Insider: Obama Evaluates His Admin; Aleppo; EgyptAir Terror; Jordan; Holiday High Alerts; Road Rage

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

President Barack Obama hosted the White House Press Corps for his final, no holds barred, end of the year administration evaluation taking questions without any buffer, the President spoke candidly on the success and failures of his tenure.

Per Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, decreased by two percentage points to to 56% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased by four percentage points to 40%.

Obama Tackles White House Press Corp in End of Year Tradition

President Obama, with four week left in his term, lead the recent end of year press conference with an overview of the successes and his main trouble spot and many feel glaring failure from his last eight years.

With the president transiting from political life to private life he stepped forward and spoke candidly regarding the deficit his administration began with nearly eight years ago,

The majority of his assertions are factual and have assisted the majority of Americans in a bi-partisan attempt to leave this nation in a better place then it received it. And, honestly, it wouldn't be difficult. Remembering where we were eight years ago, in 2008, when President Barack Obama took the oath of office, the economy was nearing the brink of global collapse. Unemployment in the United States, federally was nearly 10% and in some major metropolitan areas, New York City for one, it was at 10%. For the next forty months, throughout the presidents first term, unemployment would stay, stuck, cemented at 8%. It wasn't moving and politicians understood their constituency wanted answers and action.

During the last eight years, the president's team, and throughout his first term, more than this second, he focused on domestic issues and he was a man of action. Empty talk, hollow words had no place in his administration. He rolled up his sleeves and worked on the economy. And it shows. More Americans are back at work.

The president does gloss at bit on the brass tacks of the jobs situations. Yes, factually the economy has added jobs over the past forty months, slowly putting people back to work. And are the jobs equal to those that were obliterated during the greatest recession since the great depression? No. And some of those jobs will never return.

Throughout the shifting change of the recession, certain sectors continued to grow, evolve, and expand, technology and innovation.

Innovation may not be considered a sector and during the darks days of the recession, families, singles, folks, had to take a good hard look at the future and decide if they would build their own boat to recovery or wait for the possibility of one coming along. Innovation has become a bedrock foundation of the American entrepreneur. The evolution of technology sector makes it equally easier for those innovators to maximizes the power of the internet and create global companies

Employment and wages are equal partners for the American worker. The President worked diligently during the recession to secure state commitments that would raise minimum wage to livable wages. Some states took the initiative California, Washington State.

Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, has assisted in millions of previously uninsured Americans to gain insurance benefits. To have medical coverage, to gain the opportunity to have medical benefits and care. Having universal healthcare is a right of the people and the sworn enemy of the next administration.

It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court responds to the next challenges. After 41 legal challenges, a supreme court case that Chief Justice John Roberts, has maintained a conservative record in his voting, cast the deciding vote and wrote the opinion that preserved President Obama's crown jewel.

Also - Beltway Insider: Obama Orders Review on Russian Hack; Turkey/Egypt; Pearl Harbor; John Glenn; Kirk Douglas

Clinton Holds Holiday Party – Big Donors Ask for Explanation; Hollywood Stays Home

Hillary Rodman Clinton, former Democratic Presidential candidate, recently held her Holiday Party in New York City attended by enough big money donors who had only one question for the former Secretary of State.

Donors, who invested heavily into her campaign wanted the unfortunate answer as to why the loss. Clinton was clear she believes as do many that the cyber-attack perpetrated by the Russians were under the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The action was directly due to a personal vendetta, which may be true. It is however more probably the action was purely for selfish reasons. Its doubtful Putin cared about Mrs. Clinton, or how her presidency would have affected his nation. Her conclusion toward his nations were clear and known. Her actions and attitude wouldn't have changed.

Putin's actions were based upon the needs of his nation. His nation is crippled under the sanctions of the current Administration, Clinton would have continued those sanctions and possibly moved toward additional actions determined to have Putin return Crimea to the Ukraine. Donald Trump doesn't really care about the invasion of Crimea or Russia's intimidation tactics along the eastern border. Not an issue for the elected government.

Under a Clinton-Kaine administration Russian would have remained suspended from the G8. Under Trump-Pence, the possibility of a United States backed measure to have the suspended nation returned reconciled with the world economic leaders.

As difficult as it is to say it wasn't personal it was business. Understandably, of all the business transacted in the United States, most of which are dealt with honestly, the fact remains that hostile takeovers, of which this was, are not handled honorably. Hostile takeovers are hostile of which this was, underhanded, of which this was, full of deceit, duplicity, treachery, and splintered factions, of which this was and also actions those donors would understand some of which have plotted hostile takeovers.

While Mrs. Clinton may believe, it is ultimately an attack on her; factually it is for the restoration of Russia and Putin's ultimate counter move and humiliation of Obama who has aligned the world leaders and effectively created a coalition of nations willing to stand up unified and maintain the policies which crippled his nation.  

Popular Vote to Date

Democratic Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has continued to amass a popular vote margin as the ballots continue to be counted. As of December 15, 2016, Mrs. Clinton leads the President elect with a 48.2% lead and 65,844,594 million votes to President Elect Donald Trump's 46.1% and 62,979,616 million votes.  Her lead in the popular votes extends to 2,864,978 million votes and continues to grow. Over the course of the last week President Elect Trump has gained 74,934 votes.

Aleppo Meltdown

The President also spoke on Aleppo. The devastation is a burden the world leaders must collectively shoulder. From the United Nations to each member of the coalition that has allowed Bashar al Assad to continue to reign without seeking a more aggressive solution.

"The world, is united in horror at the savage assault by the Syrian regime and its Russian and Iranian allies on the city of Aleppo.  We have seen a deliberate strategy of surrounding, besieging, and starving innocent civilians.  We've seen relentless targeting of humanitarian workers and medical personnel; entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble and dust.  There are continuing reports of civilians being executed.  These are all horrific violations of international law.  Responsibility for this brutality lies with the Assad regime and its allies Russia and Iran.  And this blood and these atrocities are on their hands," President Obama said.

Praising the president's weak foreign policy implementation out of nostalgia is not only unfair, it mocks those citizens who have died at the hands of the enemy.

Throughout the Obama Administration we have seen the Islamic State rise from an unknown faction to a brutal, violent, fearless terror organization willing to further its name at any and all costs. Its ability to radicalize disgruntled citizens from around the world creates the possibility of terror cells growing in any nation.

The Obama Administration, while smart in creating a coalition, failed miserably in the handling of ISIS as prisoners such as James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, Herve Gourdel, Alan Henning, Peter Kassig, Tomislav Salopek and an Unnamed 4 year-old girl and many others would still be alive.

The fact that the Navy Seals were not sent in and massive global terror manhunt for Jihad John deeply and irrevocably damaged the President foreign policy reputation.

Now Assad has gained the assistance of the Russian Military, the Iranian government and are raining down a murderous rage of violence, bombs, sniper warfare, chemical weapons, starvation, brutal tactics utilized by history's most violent dictators and the leaders disgusted the long-term plan didn't go quiet the way they planned scratch their heads and basically wait for the transition.

"I felt responsible when kids were being shot by snipers.  I felt responsible when millions of people had been displaced.  I feel responsible for murder and slaughter that's taken place in South Sudan that's not being reported on partly because there's not as much social media being generated from there. There are places around the world where horrible things are happening, and because of my office, because I'm President of the United States, I feel responsible," the President said.

It's Christmas and while we hope for peace on earth the one thing we can count on will be a barrage of violence, of bombings, of sniper's positions to kill the innocent ones, of starvation.

To the citizens of Aleppo, run. Escape with medical personal, flee in the night, if not you will surely die.

EgyptAir Terror

Egypt Air Flight 804, on May 19, 2016 departed Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris France headed for Cairo International Airport with 66 passengers and crew members on board. With ten minutes left in the flight evidence shows a fire broke out. Flight 804 crashed seconds later in the Mediterranean Sea.

"The central directorate of aircraft accident investigation received reports from the forensic medicine authority indicating traces of explosive materials found in some of the remains of the victims' bodies," read the official statement from Egyptair.

Terrorism had been suspected from the beginning although throughout the investigation no conclusive evidence had been presented or uncovered. A single witness reported seeing the plane on fire and falling from the sky. It was dismissed.

The final moments the flight was controlled by the pilot indicated sharp, almost maneuvering, jerks movement that would cause a standing person to fall. The quick left than sharp right for a full 360 degree were the final controlled moments of the flight before it fell from the sky.

The flight data recorders were also inconclusive of the cause although it indicated smoke had been in the cockpit and soot damage from extremely high temperatures had been found on some of the recovered pieces.

That, apparently, all changed on December 17, 2017 when traces of explosives were found on the bodies. Investigators have now called the downing of Egypt Air Flight 804 terrorism.

No explanation on how the bomb ended up on board and more importantly how did it get past the French officials at Charles de Gaulle? Was the bombing detonated by a suicide bomber or luggage? With officials in agreement over the cause, French officials can finally begin to find the terrorist who perpetrated the bombing.

ISIS Strikes Jordan; West Braces for Increased Terror Attempts as Holidays Near

Terrorist stormed an historic Castle, a popular Jordanian tourist destination, in Karak, a city south of Amman, killing 14 and injuring 34 after a stand-off that ended after several hours.

The stand-off began with a police involved shooting. Two police were injured and the gunmen escaped toward Karak, 25 miles away. The gunmen were targeting security forces and were shooting random inly at police without a real plan.

The gunmen reached the Castle and took cover and control of the structure. Tourists, including two Canadians were trapped inside.

Jordanian officials have announced military have regained control of the fortified structure and after an intensive search found additional automatic weapons. Information at the scene led authorities to a home where an arsenal including suicide belts, explosive and automatic weapons were discovered.

No group has claimed responsibility. Jordan is a key ally to the United States and has remained steadfastly opposed to the uprising of factions. They are a member of the coalition and have publically announced its intent to the ultimate effort to degrade and destroy the Islamic State.

Jordan has accepted many Syrian refugees and have housed them in model villages.

West Braces for Increased Terror Attempts as Holidays Near

German, France, London, Belgium are among the western European nations bracing for an increase in terror attempts as the traditional holiday season gears up with additional police presence in tactical and strategic locations while encouraging citizens to enjoy.

Road Rage

A horrific road rage confrontation in Little Rock, Arkansas has left a three-year-old dead shot to death when the attacker exited his car to confront the driver, the boy's grandmother for driving to slowly.

Still at large, the man allegedly fire multiple shots at the women. She was not hit and did not realize her grandson was hit until they pulled into a local shopping plaza. The boy was transported to a local hospital where he died. It was the second road rage murder in Little Rock in the past month.

The violence has come to symbolize the mood of the nation, as tempers flare and gun violence increases.

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

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com,

Source on 2016 Popular Vote: Cookpolitcal.com

Haute Tease

  • A United Kingdom Review - Beautiful, Four Stars, A Must See Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A United Kingdom, from Pathe and Fox Searchlight Pictures, brings to the screen the true story of Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana and his wife, Ruth Williams, who together took a chance and changed a nation.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Budget Deadlock; Obama Hosts Netanyahu; Phone Meet with Iranian President; Diplomats Expelled From Venezuela

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama continued to push his foreign policy agenda as the government prepared for a financial showdown with House Republicans refusing to pass a budget that would include implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act.

     
  • Money News: DOW Steady in Abbreviated Trading Week, European Asian Markets Split

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The US Markets continued to show strong signs of steady growth even with an abbreviated trading week, consumer confidence and investor confidence remained strong as retailers introduced the 2014 traditional shopping season with consumer friendly incentives.

     
  • Stanford Rape Case Addresses Frat Party Culture, Tolerance of Violence

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A rape at Stanford University has become the focal point for the national conversation on sexual assault, after former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner received a sentence of six months jail time for a unanimous guilty verdict on three felony counts related to his assault of an unconscious woman outside a frat party.  

  • The White Crow Review - Captivating, Breathtaking, Magnificent, A Must See

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The White Crow, from Sony Picture Classics and BBC Films, presents the story of Rudolf Nureyev, weaving his early childhood, dedicated and all-consuming training, his triumphant debut at the Palais Garnier, and his defection to the West.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Hurricane Recovery; HHS Resigns/Homeland Still Vacant; Fake News; S.I. Newhouse

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump took on Puerto Rico's Mayor Carmen Yulin accusing the politician who is seeking financial assistance from the United States to assist in the recovery efforts of the obliterated island nation of poor leadership.

     
  • Op/Ed: Our Proud Flag – An Opinion From The Hilltop Doc

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    I’ve recently read in newspapers and seen on news reports that protesters, justifiably unhappy with racial bias in our country, are expressing their concerns by disrespecting our American flag and national anthem. This display of anger and frustration is misdirected. 

     
  • Sir Ken Adam: The Man Who Designed James Bond

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As a production designer, Sir Ken Adam consistently pushed his imagination to the limits, creating movie sets, each different, as thrilling to look at as the action unfolding up on the screen. His work on seven James Bond films—including the first of the series, DR. NO—set the tone for what became the Bond franchise.

     
  • Getting Up: A Story of Hope, Cutting Edge Technology and Survival Against Insurmountable Circumstances

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Getting Up: The Tempt One Story documents the against all odds story and indomitable spirit of internationally known ALS paralyzed street artist Tony "Tempt One" Quan.

     
  • The Shape of Water Review – A Wild, Fantastical, Journey

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Shape of Water, from Fox Searchlight Pictures, brings to the screen a fantastical story of awakenings, of emotional stirrings, unbridled passions and unrestrained power, of the improbable becoming probable, of fantasy becoming reality, of hopeless becoming hopeful.

     
  • Pope Francis Begins His Historic Visit; Defines Edicts For the 1.2Billion Roman Catholics

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Pope Francis arrived yesterday in Washington D.C. greeted by President Obama and First Lady Michelle, His Excellency opted for a more conservative Italian manufactured Fiat, as he began his six day visit in America.

     
  • The Artist, Hugo Win Big at 84th Academy Awards

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius’ silent film homage to early Hollywood, won big at Sunday’s 84th Academy Awards taking home three of the top six coveted statuettes.

     
  • Wartime Presidents: Who Presided Over the Most Years of War

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Often, in times of war, a leader is judged on his ability to rally the nation think President Franklin Delano Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor or President Ronald Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” speech in West Berlin during the Cold War.  

  • Wilmington, North Carolina, Begins the Slow Process of Recovery

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Tropical Storm Florence, who came ashore as a Category 1, left in its wake unprecedented rainfall, catastrophic flooding, extensive uprooted trees, widespread power outages, alarming toxic spillage, and the shocking deaths of millions of farm raised animals.

     
  • Tribute and Damage - Have We Lost Sight of the Lessons of History

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The end of the celebrations of the centenary of the First World War have passed and does not leave without questioning the relations, the interactions, of the French to History. And if they had simply changed?