Beltway Insider: Obama/Israel; Putin/Trump; Welcome 2017; Istanbul; Queen Elizabeth; Debbie Reynolds/Carrie Fisher

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President Obama has not backed away from his resolution to hold Israel to a two-state solution even as Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has moved to reassess the nation's relationship with the United Nations and the United States.

Per Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, decreased one percentage point to 55% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased by one percentage point to 40%.

Israel, Obama, and Trump

President Elect Trump is shaming the current administrations Israel policy in what appears to be catching on as Britain's Prime minister Teresa May is also breaking from the United States policy and backing, albeit slightly, the notion that a two-state solution may not be the most effective way to maintain peace in the middle east.

The 15 Member Nations of the United Nations Security Council, 14 of whom voted, with the U.S. abstaining and thus allowing the action to continue [the United States holds veto power; and could have ended the voting process], to sanction Israel to adopt policy.

With twenty days remaining in the Obama administration the question arises why the alarming effort to force the Israeli government into policy reform there is little hope of enforcing?

Clearly, binding the next government from creating a cataclysmic nuclear holocaust or effectively damaging what little progress has been made toward a peaceful resolution to the two-state solution?

Essentially Netanyahu has made conciliatory movement in the past to the Palestinian government which has been rejected. Each instance of moving the two-state solution forward has been rejected by the Palestinians.

Granted building settlements, housing developments, on what is tentatively a hostile neighbors boundary is not in the best interest of maintaining peace.

Netanyahu best move is to either hold off from retaliatory action, retaining the small victories, which have been supported by the next government and the pro-Israeli democrats and republicans in congress and let the set-backs go. Or build for lack of a better word The Israeli Wall, a copy of the Berlin Wall, and end the strife.

For the record: Prime Minister Netanyahu has not received an invitation to President Elect trump's inauguration despite repeated statements from the Trump organization that is was "desperately" attempting to secure the Prime Minister attendance.

Obama Responds to Russia's Election Hacking

President Obama, after weeks of waiting, took decisive action against Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government for the intentional Cyber Hacking which interfered with the 2016 Electoral process.

"I have ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian government's aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election. These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior," the President said.

Repeated public warning to the Russian government throughout the electoral process went unheeded. In October, the President voiced publicly a strong warning to the Russian government to stop the deliberate interference of the 2016 Election to support a conclusion which would have Donald J. Trump elected as President.

The stunning defeat of democratic challenger Hillary Rodham Clinton fueled the belief of a foreign entity cyber-attack. The only nation that would benefit from a Donald Trump win was Russia.

The notion of a Nation State, an international country, intentionally interfering with the election process could Terrorist attack, which was watered down to a more palatable, Cyber Intrusion, which gained more media attention.

Major media outlets began demanding a response and investigation to the belief that Russia launched a cyber-attack sending out malware code, which has been proven, to more than 100 Democratic National Committee member's emails and through other vulnerable site including electrical power grids.

The President issued an Executive order to add additional sanctions to the Russia Government.

 "I have issued an executive order that provides additional authority for responding to certain cyber activity that seeks to interfere with or undermine our election processes and institutions, or those of our allies or partners. 

 

Using this new authority, I have sanctioned nine entities and individuals:  the GRU and the FSB, two Russian intelligence services; four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU's cyber operations. 

 

In addition, the Secretary of the Treasury is designating two Russian individuals for using cyber-enabled means to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information. 

 

The State Department is also shutting down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes, and is declaring "persona non grata" 35 Russian intelligence operatives. 

 

Finally, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are releasing declassified technical information on Russian civilian and military intelligence service cyber activity, to help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect, and disrupt Russia's global campaign of malicious cyber activities" the President said.

Putin Promises to Wait For Donald Trump To Take Office

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement in regards to President Obama expulsion of 35 diplomats and persona non-grata and the closure of two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York.

Although  urged by his own Foreign Minter, Sergey V. Lavrov, to match President Obama's action with a similar action has decided he will not engage the sitting president in a retaliatory chess game.

In a statement issued from the President of Russia dated December 30, Putin made the following

"Reserving the right to retaliate, we will not stoop to the level of "kitchen" irresponsible diplomacy and further steps towards the restoration  of Russian-American relations will be build on the basis of the policy, which will carry out the administration of President D.Trump."

He also added, "We will not create problems for American diplomats. We will not send anyone. We will not prohibit their families and children to use for their usual vacation spots in the New Year's holidays. Moreover, all children of American diplomats accredited in Russia, I invite you to New Year's and Christmas tree in the Kremlin."

Trump Praises Putin on Response

President-elect Donald Trump has used his media of choice, Twitter, and praised the Russian leaders refusal to retaliate and delay any action against American diplomats until he take the oath of office, to defend American against all enemies, foreign and domestic, on January 21, 2017.

The outgoing administration's hardline positon against the Russian's for their violation of Ukraine's territorial sovereignty, which is fundamentally what they did against the United States in the form of cyber-hacking, has apparently been lost in the Twitter war the President elect has with anyone who challenges his opinions.

President elect Trump used his twitter account to join his loyalty to V.Putin (assuming he means, Russian President Vladimir Putin, @therealdonald, who introduced his advanced twitter skills by using the pinned feature, "Great move on delay (by V.Putin) -I always knew he was very smart."

Does this account to treason?

His Chief Adviser Kellyanne Conway, has asked "What's the meaning of all this?"

President-elect Trump's blatant loyalty to Russia is of deep concern to the majority of Americans and the world as Trump initiates his global Public Relations campaign embarking on a Global relationship repair campaign for the deeply sanctioned and expelled nation.

Beltway Insider: Obama/Israel Clash; Berlin Suspect Killed; Russian Plane Crash; Inauguration; George Michael

World Welcome 2017 With Brilliant Firework Displays

The cities of the world, large and small, from Sydney, London, Paris to Hong Kong and Dubai, New York, Los Angeles and cities and towns across every village, every country, every nation of the world, welcomed in 2017 with wondrous, wild, amazing pyrotechnic displays.

Watching as crowds around the world, react to the awesome sights and sounds, made one wonder 'are we that different?'

We welcome the New Year with the same celebrations, we live with the same hopes that our children will have a better future, we believe in diversity of peoples and Gods, why can't we in the words of John Lennon, the late singer, and founding member of the Beatles, "Just give peace a chance?"

Istanbul Terror Attack; 39 Dead; Dozens Injured

A New Year's Eve celebration in Istanbul, Turkey, was destroyed as a lone wolf assassin stormed the famed Renia Club, one of the city's most famous and elite night-clubs, and opened fire on the revelers leaving 39 dead, from eight nations, and up to 70 injured.

Media have reported the assailant, who is still at large. entered the club, shouted "Allahu Akbar" which has become the universal symbol of an ISIS terror attack. The gunman pulled out a long-barreled weapon and began shooting.

International Media report he killed two others, on his way to the Club, a police officer, and a limo driver, bringing the total to the Istanbul New Year Eve massacre at 39.

Videos surfacing of the New Year's Eve countdown at Club Renia show an upscale crowd, well dressed in shimmering party hats, popping confetti corks, holding sparklers and counting down, happy, swaying to the sounds of a very hip, cosmopolitan, and western sounding DJ.

One of Istanbul's famed nightspots, the Renia Cub was popular with ex-pats, tourists and international celebrities and the jet set. 

More than 800 party-goers were inside the club about one hour later as the clock reads 1:23AM when the club security cameras show a hooded assailant holding a weapon close to his hip and looking around. Media reports people were jumping into the Bosphorus River, to escape the gunman.

Surveillance footage shows the attacker running down the street, minutes later, firing indiscriminately at automobiles and bystanders. Before he comes into frame, the sound of what could be gunfire is heard, with repeated muffled punctuated tat, tat, tat.

The January 1, 2017 massacre at Club Renia marks the first terror attack of the New Year against the nation that stands united against the continued effort of ISIS and others to break the resolve of the world's government.

The world stands with the people of Istanbul as they face the horrors of terror.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has voiced his condolences, "We mourn with the people of Turkey today and with all countries who lost citizens in this vicious attack.We also grieve the senseless loss of a Canadian citizen and remain steadfast in our determination to work‎ with allies and partners to fight terrorism and hold perpetrators to account."

A lone wolf assassin stormed the Club, mirroring with horrific similarity the attacks at the Bataclan and in Orlando, where survivors are explaining the suddenness, as the first thought wasn't a mass casualty attack.

December has been the bloodiest month for Turkish citizens with four separate terror attacks in Istanbul alone, and the brazen murder of the Russian Ambassador in Ankara.

No group, as Turkey has many factions and divisions, has claimed responsibility although the actions mirrors those of lone Wolf radicalized ISIS sympathizers in San Bernardino, California, at the Pulse Club in Orlando, and the more coordinated attacks at the Bataclan. 

The Kurdistan Worker's party has denied all responsibility for the attack saying, "It is not us," adding "We do not target innocent civilians."

Turkey has created a media blackout with released information cleared through the government.

Queen Elizabeth Continues Recuperating from Heavy Cold

Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip have remained indoors this holiday season with Her Majesty cancelling her attendance at the annual New Year's Day church service.

The Queen, who is head of the Anglican Church, has been battling a fierce and "heavy" cold throughout the holiday season and her cancellation has been noted as a precautionary measure.

Princess Anne, the Queen's daughter, did explain her mother is feeling "better" despite missing both Christmas and New Year's traditions. Media have said she is receiving "red boxes" which contain state documents and other information of national interest.

The Princess did attend New Year's Day services with her father, Prince Philip, who it has said has made a full recovery.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip traveled by helicopter, on December 22, to their Sandringham estate in rural Norfolk England. Over the past eleven days, as the deep winter cold has set in, wet, damp, chilling winter rain has been a constant.  Her family, it has been noted has placed the 90-year-old monarch, under house arrest forcing Her Majesty to rest.

The Queen, has decided as her 90th Birthday year has passed she will step down from such an exhaustive schedule and allow more of the duties to pass to the younger royals. Her husband, Prince Philip did the same after his 90th. The two will continue working under abbreviated schedules after their health has returned.

The world is united is wishing the Queen a speedy recovering. And of course, offering simple cold remedies, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, chicken soup (broth for now), hot tea, keep warm and don't get chilled.

It has been noted the Queen expects to host President elect Trump sometime in June although an official invitation has not been extended or added to the Queen's calendar.

Mother Daughter, Debbie Reynolds/Carrie Fisher, leave Hollywood in Shock at Passing

The entertainment world paused a moment this week as the news of Debbie Reynolds, one of the last Golden Era screen queens, passed away at 84. It wasn't so much her sudden death shocked the world it was that she became the symbol of death by a broken heart.

With her daughter, Carrie Fisher passing away one day before, Ms. Reynolds was going about the duties any parent dreads: planning the funeral of a child, a topic Ms. Reynolds had mentioned would effect her deeply should that ever happen.

With the strength of her son, Todd, who was helping arrange the funeral of his sister actress Carrie Fisher, who suffered a massive heart attack, in flight, while returning from London, and died on December 27.  Ms. Reynolds began to suffer shortness of breath and was rushed to the hospital.

Mr. Fisher, a producer, sat with his mother while medical personal worked to make the 84 year-old matriarch comfortable. Her longing to see her daughter, Carrie, was overwhelming her.

Mr. Fisher has offered the media insight on his mother's last hours and explained she said, she "wanted to be with Carrie." She closed her eyes and "technically" she passed. Her death, quickly took over the news as the timing shocked all.

Ms. Reynolds, the sweetheart of the 1950's who suffered romantic and financial setbacks, roared back with an intensity that made her quietly respected throughout the entertainment community and the world as even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned the pair, "We fondly remember Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher who enriched our lives. What a double tragedy." @netanyahu

The thought that she was unable to endure under the hardship of her daughter's passing revealed to the world the depth of her love, and even those who live what is considered a fairy tale life, basking in the success of Hollywood fame and celebrity, are after the lights fade, simply human.

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

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com,

Russian President Statements - http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53678

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