Beltway Insider: Trump’s State of the Union; Immigration; Border Wall; Gallery; Media Stats on SOTU; Castro’s Son Suicide

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President Donald Trump addressed the nation this week in the annual State of the Union, which was met with great enthusiasm and dismay, as he emphasized key elements that reinforce his often polarizing view of a Great America.

According to Gallup, President Trump job approval, over the past week, decreased by four percentage points to 36% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased by four percentage points to 59%.

Trump Delivers First State of The Union

President Trump, who is often brash, opinionated, dogmatic and irrational, remained true to the script for the State of The Union and delivered remarks that reinforced core ideals that bind Americans before moving into the divisive issues that have traditionally separated the parties.  

"Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve. Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew:  that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans.  If there is a mountain, we climb it.  If there is a frontier, we cross it.  If there is a challenge, we tame it.  If there is an opportunity, we seize it," he said in the State of the Union address.

Americans, not party politics respond in the time of need. Trump reminded the world, even as Alabama had just elected a Democratic senator for the first time in quarter of a century, the response of the Cajun Army volunteers during Hurricane Harvey,

Few remember the response of jaded and often times considered aloof and rude New Yorkers following the hours after September 11, 2001, when New Yorkers from all walks of life answered the call for assistance. Americans then and Americans now respond in times of tragedy.



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The President acknowledged the brave acts of everyday men and women, Americans, who in Natural Disasters or instant emergency times of need rose to action, selflessly rescuing as many as possible. Las Vegas cab drivers who rushed to the scene transporting victims, strangers shielding each other from the rain of bullets; David Dahlberg, a California firefighter who, during the intense unprecedented wildfires rescued sixty children from a threatened summer camp; and Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who after arriving in Houston, battled 18 hours of wind, rain, live power lines and deep water to rescue 40 people.

These examples, of course, were designed to tap the emotions of even the most stoic, angry and disenfranchised American, as he moved into the issues that divide the Democrats and Republicans as they work to craft a nation that benefits its people.

The Issues

Immigration and Border Control remain President Trump's top priority. His hardline pre-election position has evolved as Congress has continuously fought against the authoritarian rule in hopes of saving constituents who were spared under previous administrations.

The president devoted time during the State of the union to outline his new approach

"For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They've allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans," President Trump said.

The steady increase in the flow of unaccompanied children and family units from Central America continues to be a concern as border patrol agents have seen a significant increase after an initial post Trump election abatement.

Family unit apprehensions by Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border grew from 1,118 in April 2017 to 8,121 in December 2017, an increase of more than 600 percent. Unaccompanied minor apprehensions by Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border grew from 997 in April 2017 to 4,083 in December 2017, an increase of more than 300 percent.

If the issues with illegal immigration were only families seeking asylum due to the economic conditions and harsh realities of their homeland or for political persecution then solutions would be easier to find. As it is the human pipeline that provides illegal access across the borders has increased exponentially across the southern United States.

"In FY 2017, U.S. Border Patrol Agents arrested 536 illegal aliens affiliated with a gang, of which 228 were affiliated with MS-13. According to the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration's National Drug Threat Assessment, Mexico is believed to be a major source of heroin and methamphetamine in the U.S. and the main transit point for U.S. bound cocaine. Illegal drug shipment seizures have increased significantly over the past three years. Approximately 1,485 pounds seized by CPB in FY 2017 and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also seized 2,370 pounds of fentanyl in FY 2017," the President said.

In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform. 

 

Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.

Here are the four pillars of our plan:The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration.  Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.

 

The second pillar fully secures the border.  That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe.  Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of "catch and release."

 

The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people.  It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.

 

The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration.  Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. 

 

Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children.  This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

 

In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. 

 

In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.  - From President Trump's State of the Union Address

The Border Wall

The Border Wall, which is under the second pillar has developed from a Republican monstrosity and outrage to the potential of user friendly, full use, building with designated public access.

With renderings already presented at  BuildingtheBorderWall.com, the potential to build this type of Border Wall has both civilian and non-civilian opportunities.

At designated junctures The Border Wall could, on the United States facing side, be a multi-use Federal building with public access. The building could serve as administrative offices for Border agents and other military branches.

In the designated public access space opportunities for  interior design would include sections for the curation of Western Art and Latin American Art displays, a "Hero's Hall" with famous Senators, Presidents or others with signifcant or historical value to the West or the Wall State, and an open roof top space which would provide the opportunity to "walk" on the Border Wall, with view finder telescopes and photo opportunities.

Indoor and outdoor meeting and public access event spaces would allow the working area of the wall, at designated junctures, to be accessible on the United States facing side.

The sub-basement, an underground tunnel stretching the entire length with periodic accessibility for military and designated personnel.

The back of The Wall facing South should be decorated with emblems signifying the United States. 

With all indicators pointing to the approval of some type of Border Wall it nows becomes the choice of a win/win or a win/loss completion.

If the Border Wall is going to be built; then let's do it right and move away from the police state Berlin type cement slab in the desert design to a more efficient and multi-use facility.

To a Border Wall that is a leader in design, in modern efficent energy sources, potentailly entirely powered on solar and wind utilizing the desert region to maximize its benefits; with traditional electric sources as a backup; in public access as a domestic and international tourism destination.

The possibility of economic revival for dried up ghost towns along the Wall's proposed 2300 or more miles is astronomical. If the Border Wall is to be built let it be "Of the people; For the people; By the people.

Gallery of Guests

President Trump, as with every president, sought to punctuate his major points with a human face allowing the nation to see within the group those whom citizens can relate their own struggle or situation.

The following families, singles and one child, all exceptional answered when duty called, or stood firm under the burden of unbearable hardship or acted selflessly in a manner that they believed defined their mission.

Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas are the parents of Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, who had been close friends since elementary school, but in September 2016, the two girls were chased down and brutally murdered by MS-13.

Corey Adams, a skilled welder at Staub Manufacturing Solutions in Ohio, and his wife, were able to become first-time homeowners in 2017.

In 2007, Cpl (Ret.) Matthew Bradford stepped on an IED in Iraq, causing shrapnel to immediately enter both of his eyes and blind him. He also lost both of his legs. After multiple surgeries and therapy, Matthew reenlisted in the Marine Corps – the first blind double amputee to do so.

Jon Bridgers founded the Cajun Navy 2016, a non-profit rescue and recovery organization that responded to the 2016 flooding in south Louisiana and 2017's Hurricane Harvey in Texas, helping thousands of people across the South.

David Dahlberg is a fire prevention technician in southern California. He saved 62 children and staff members in July 2017 from a raging wildfire that encircled their camp.

Police Officer Ryan Holets and his wife adopted a baby from parents who suffered from opioid addiction, breaking down walls between drug addicts and police officers to help save lives.

As an aviation electronics technician in the United States Coast Guard, Ashlee Leppert rescued dozens of Americans during the devastating hurricane season, including lifting a woman and four children to safety in a basket.

Agent CJ Martinez has spent much of his 15-year tenure working with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations to dismantle criminal organizations, resulting in more than 100 arrests of MS-13 gang members who were prosecuted for crimes including homicide, assault, and narcotics and weapons trafficking.

Preston Sharp was visiting his veteran grandfather's grave in 2015 when he noticed that other local veterans were not being honored with American flags or flowers. Today, Preston has organized the placement of more than 40,000 American flags and red carnations on soldiers' graves.

Siblings Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger started Staub Manufacturing Solutions, and thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, they have grown their team from 23 to 37 employees over the last year, 

Fred and Cindy Warmbier's son, Otto, was a University of Virginia student when he was detained in the Pyongyang airport in North Korea. Otto spent 17 months in captivity before being released in severe condition and passing away four days after his return to the United States.


Otto Warmbier, the UVA Student Imprisoned in North Korea, Dies


Ji Seong-ho is a North Korean defector who grew up during the country's grueling famine in the 1990s. In 2006, he escaped to South Korea, where he is now a law student at Dongguk University and the president of Now Action and Unity for Human Rights.

The Media Acknowledges Trump's Moment

The White House pulled nine different media reaction statements and surprisingly included columnists from CNN and FOX News and The Washington Post, The Washington Examiner and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio.

"Opinion writers and editorial boards are lauding President Trump's first State of the Union Address as "a bravura performance," "uplifting," and "a strong call for unity," the White House Press Office said.

Other News agencies were not as favorable with a CBS poll indicating 43% of Democrats approved of Trumps speech" as opposed to a whopping 97% of Republicans.

Statistically with 45.6million people tuning in to hear the President on Television, across twelve different networks, it is two million short of the all time record. It is unclear if the networks reported the viewers who accessed the address through online portals.

The most watched State of the Union in modern history would be President Bill Clinton's 1993 address with 66.9million viewers.

The Nielsen Company, who provides global information and statistics of what the world watches, purchases, and listens to, provided the data breakdown on television viewers:

"Perhaps unsurprisingly, Fox News led coverage on Tuesday, with 11.5 million viewers tuning in. On broadcast, 7.1 million people watched on NBC, 7 million on CBS, 5.4 million on ABC, and 3.6 million on Fox. On cable beyond Fox News, 3.1 million people watched on CNN, and 2.7 on MSNBC," as reported in Vox.com.

Castro Son Suicide

Fidel Angel Castro Diaz-Balart, 69, the son of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, has committed suicide, Cuban media reported.

"One neighbor said Castro Díaz-Balart locked himself in a fourth-floor room at the clinic and wouldn't let doctors enter, before throwing himself through a window and landing in front of the building not far from the Cuban flag, which remained at full staff Friday," the Miami Herald reported.

The 69 year-old physicist was battling depression for months before taking his own life.

For more information on President Donald Trump: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com,

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