Beltway Insider: Trump/GOP Rift; Hurricane Harvey; Eclipse; Immigrants/Border Wall; Weed Laws; Barcelona Peace March

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Hurricane Harvey bypassed the unusually sedate President Trump delivering the biggest blow shocking South Texas as the Category Four storm with sustained winds of 130mph made landfall shredding structures and dumping record rainfall throughout the region.

According to Gallup, President Trump's job approval, over the past week, decreased one percentage points to 35% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased one percentage point to 60%.

Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to President Trump, Follows Bannon

Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to President Trump and a member of the newly created inner circle constructed by Steve Bannon and son-in-law-Jared Kushner, received his walking papers this week as the Trump Administration continues to evolve.

Gorka, of Hungarian heritage,  is known to have alt-right leanings and was denied top security clearance and therefore his position was limited in scope. He will follow Bannon to Breitbart News Network.

Hurricane Harvey Pounds South Texas, Houston with Catastrophic Winds, Rain

Hurricane Harvey, a quickly developing Tropical Depression that poised little threat and stunned weather forecasters redeveloping in less than 48 hours, gaining strength and jumping to a Category Four storm, made landfall, battering Rockport, Texas, near the tip of Texas.

Record rainfall is expected throughout the path of the diminishing storm and should last through Wednesday. The rain event, as this monster storm, stopped in the Gulf as a tropical depression and gathered the warm waters, pulling in the moisture before charging the coast.

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The wind element throughout the region caused extensive and catastrophic damage. Pictures coming from the region show heavily damaged building peeled facades, roofs lifted, downed electrical poles, highway overpass signage pulled from its foundation, trees littered the highway. Coastal, pounding waves and a six feet storm surge, 72 inches, is expected to double in southeastern Texas.

A tornado warning has been issued for the hardhit Houston area as the spin of the Hurricane is known to spawn deadly tornadoes. After landfall, Hurricane Harvey was downgraded to a Category Three storm with sustained winds of 125mph. The winds have continued and are expected to be a factor for the area through Wednesday.

Rockport, Texas, a small beach town of about 10,000 residents, took a direct hit, pounded by the eye of the storm. The nearly deserted beach town was battered by damaging, ripping winds, that shredding buildings, peeled the front of homes and buildings away from the structure and caused plexiglass and windows to explode.

Corpus Christi, near the southernmost tip of Texas, also faced devastating winds, storm surge and rising tides and water. If residents take shelter in the highest point in the home, prepare for wind damage to the roof with extra protection, mattresses, blankets or other covering in case the roof is ripped off.

The rain event that is accompanying this storm will continue through Wednesday with rain totals expected to be as high as 40inches causing extensive flooding damage inland and storm surge on the coast. Those residents should be prepared with a 72 hour plan in place if they decide to shelter in place, there is a strong chance emergency first responders will not be able to reach stranded residents for 72 hours.  

Residents are encouraged to heed all warnings, with the flash flood deaths of an entire Arizona family just weeks ago, residents of Texas should take additional precautions. Never drive through standing water, even if the person in front just made it through.

Eclipse Passes Unifies Most Americans

One week ago Eclipse frenzy had taken over and most Americans had already had their viewing plan in place, ordered glasses, traveling if possible or necessary to the center of the pathway of totality and heeded the warnings of refraining from viewing the eclipse without protection.

News media provided timely and frequent warnings to the nearly 270million expected to view the historic 2017 eclipse of the possible dangers and eye damaging associated with viewing, even for seconds, the eclipse in part or in total.

As the numbers of expected viewers ballooned with the orders of viewing glasses one of the indicators had a total of 270 Million Americans united, putting politics and partisan issues behind them or at least to the side for a moment.

As the Eclipse began its historic shading at the White House President Donald Trump, the leader of the free world, stepped out of the Oval office, not wearing protective glasses, and turned, squinting as the moon began to block the sun.

Looking for a few seconds his entire personality was displayed as he failed to heed the warning even if they were exaggerated and showing the people they need not heed the warnings of the simple minded media. See I did it and now you can also. Once again our leader has encouraged the people to anarchy; a complete abandon of rule, warning and law.

Border Wall: Trump Demands Mexican Government to Pay For Border

President Donald Trump has once again taken issue with his proposed border wall and is pushing back at GOP leaders with an ultimatum to shut down government unless funding for the Border Wall is appropriated in this budget.

“The President is committed to making sure this gets done.  We know that the wall and other security measures at the border work.  We’ve seen that take place over the last decade, and we’re committed to making sure the American people are protected.  And we’re going to continue to push forward and make sure that the wall gets built,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Even as Trump has postured the Mexican government will pay for the wall; the facts remain that he has made it very clear to party leaders that he will shut down government if Congress doesn’t agree to his terms.

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The Catch 22 with the Mexican government paying for the Wall they authorize materials, and can deconstruct at wind, whim or will. Mexico will essentially own the wall and with ownership can do with it, in total or in part, as they will at any time.

Without incentive from The Trump Administration the Mexican government has no real incentive to build the wall to specifications which guarantee it will stand again normal wear and against the onslaught of the elements.

Trump Economics and The Border Wall

President Trump has touted his economic successes, which are shockingly dismal, even as the surface seems bright: Over 1million jobs created in nine months and very few that pay over minimum wage or are full time positions. The Unemployment rate still rests at 7million workers out of jobs. 

Over 500,000 Americans are Discouraged Workers, those who believe there is no job available for them. The significance of this number is these workers are the professionals, the CFO, the C level Executives who are unable to find work as no job exists on that level.  

Over the past three months, including seasonal workers affixed to the job market through summer seasonal employment, has risen 195,000 per month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The 4.3% unemployment touted by Huckabee-Sanders and the Trump White House is accurate and yet to see the seasonal adjustment from marginal workers released after the seasons end. The Unemployment rate has seen a steady decline over the past 49 months, not simply the past nine months since the inauguration of President Trump.

Before that for forty straight months the unemployment rate stayed cemented at 8.0% throughout the first Obama Term and only saw movement in the final month, October 2012, before the November election. After that first push, like a domino the overall unemployment numbers fell steadily and fortunately for this administration have continued to fall to which Trump can tout the lowest numbers in 16 years thanks largely to President Obama and his bi-partisan efforts to stop the uncontrollable economic spiral.

Immigrant Tunnel Found in San Diego

Immigration Enforcement Officials stumbled onto a shocking discovery when they happened on a group of illegals at the San Diego border emerging from a human trafficking tunnel running between the United States and Mexico.

The underground tunnel which allowed free access to the United States from Tijuana, began in a building some 300 feet inside what is called the “safe zone” inside the Mexican Border and ran about just past the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego.  

The Border Agent in Charge, Eduardo Olmos, said “agents had detained about 30 people including Mexican and Chinese nationals.” [Reuters]

This is the 13th tunnel discovered over the past decade so common that Border Patrol and Agents are quick to determine whether the tunnels are for human or Narcotic trafficking. The difference, the drug tunnels, are well equipped with motorized equipment resembling early conveyor belt movement systems and mining tunnels complete with lighting, electricity, ventilation and tend to be deeper with most at 90feet below the earth surface.

Trump Pardon Notorious Arizona Border Sheriff

Former Arizona Maricopa Sherriff Joe Arpaio convicted of immigrant profiling was recently pardoned by President Donald Trump, who has been an ally of America’s toughest sheriff since the days of the Birther Propaganda controversy of which both men agreed was genuine.

Arpaio had been known for his targeting of illegal and would often, similar to Alabama’s Bull Connor, round up immigrants for document review.

He was accused of the litany of police misconduct including sex crimes, failure to investigate sex crimes, conspire to deep six sex assault which is a common tactic in many jurisdictions, improper clearance of cases, unlawful enforcement of immigrant law and election violations.

President Trump has asked Attorney General Sessions to close the case on Arpaio as it was retaliatory for his support of the birther viewpoint.  

Pass the Weed Please - Six States Line up for Legalization

Six states, Vermont, New Jersey, Michigan, Arizona, Rhode Island,  and Connecticut, are now considering legalization of cannabis for recreational use all have already had approved medical marijuana usage.

Each of the six states have a different set of determining criteria for the final hurdle before adults can actively participate without concern for prosecution and with the current encroaching slow green tide, the possibility of these six states signing legislation into law is likely, which would bring the total to thirteen states that allow for recreational usage.

Separating from the jokes of a stoner society and haze days and all the other clichés, the financial facts surrounding the legalization are astronomical. The Green Rush has it has been called will likely be a billion dollar industry by 2020. As in the early Gold Rush, the prospectors that stake the claim first, are seeing returns they couldn’t imagine even during the height of the black market days.

Legalization creates Jobs. Yes. These are actually specific jobs, some highly skilled, horticulturalists, those with fusion skills, the ability to cross pollinate and create potent, powerful hybrid product. As well as essentially as it is a retail business across the board retail hiring’s.

In states, such as California, where the statewide initiative allows for growers, of which if legislation mirrors bills created in first states, all business owners must be growers as well. Product is grown by the store owner. Distribution centers are not retail establishments. They are grow shops. The laws of course may change to allow some freedom for small town Mom and Pop shops to earn back their nest egg by growing the local crop for the young entrepreneur.

Politics, of course, are the killer in the weed wars. New Jersey’s legalization rests on the 2017 Governor’s Race which pits Phil Murphy, a democrat who has pledged to legalize against, republican, Kim Guadagno, who is decidedly against it and equally outspoken.

Vermont legalization has placed multiple hurdles in the pathway to legalization. For a state as small as The Green Mountain state with a population of 624,594 it seems there is a challenge for each one of them tucked in the bill that must be met before the Governor will sign the bill into law.

With four months until the November elections the Weed Wars for Legalization will undoubtedly heat up as these six states are poised to legalize. Also, of course, most states have initiatives on the ballots that in some way move legalization of Marijuana closer to completion.

Eight have legalized recreational and medical usage, 21 States have no marijuana laws in place, the remaining 21 have medical marijuana laws in place.

Barcelona: 500,000 Gather in Peace March as 16th Victim Dies of Injuries  

A resilient and determined people gathered today in the same area where nearly ten days ago, a terrorist plowed into the Las Ramblas, the trendy tourist section of Barcelona, mowing down as many as possible in the first of twin attacks that would kill 14 and injure hundreds.

Since that day two others have died from injuries sustained in the attacks, a German tourist, 51, died today bringing even greater significance to this peace march.

The old and young gathered, parents with children, all faiths, carrying signs of #NoTenimPor, catalan for “I am Not Afraid,” they marched the Las Ramblas, carrying roses, signs of unity and support.

The crowd, a powerful statement against the terrorist much like the statement sent out by the French after the November 13, 2015 coordinated attacks when forty world leaders gathered with two million from around Europe to stand against terrorism and unanimously, with one voice, from Spain to the United States and around the world, we are not afraid.

Muslim women were photographed holding signs that read, “No En Mi Nombre” translated means “Not in my Name” and El Terrorismo No Tiene Religion, “Terrorism Doesn’t have a Religion.” Others signs said “No to Islamaphobia.”

Spanish King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also attended the peace gathering.

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