Beltway Insider: Trump/CA Wildfires, Pence/Asia, G20; Immigration Caravan; Argentina Sub; CIA/Khashoggi; CNN; Thanksgiving

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President Trump met yesterday with California Governor Jerry Brown, Governor Elect Gavin Newsom and First Responders in Chico, California, at the Incident Command Post, to see firsthand the unimaginable devastation left in the wake of the Camp Fire.

According to Gallup, President Trump job approval, over the past week, decreased by two percentage points to 38% 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 56%.

Trump Visit California Wildfire Site

President Donald Trump, along with local, state and federal leaders, toured Butte County, California and the aftermath of the Camp Fire and appeared as concerned as others over the sheer magnitude and intensity of the still burning deadly inferno.

"I want to thank FEMA, law enforcement, first responders, the firefighters.  They're out there now.  They have a lot of territory to cover. There's a big area of very intense flame right now that's next to a very explosive area. They're fighting and fighting like hell. We've never seen anything like this.  In California, we've never seen anything like this.  It's total devastation. More than 70 people are lost.  We're looking for hundreds of people right now.  Hopefully that's going to be a good conclusion instead of a bad conclusion. We'll know the answer over the next 48 hours," the President said.

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At 60% contained, the Camp Fire has burned more than 149,000 acres obliterating towns. Hard hit Paradise, California, was completely destroyed by the fast moving inferno. The Camp Fire destroyed more than 13,250 structures. At last count 10,000 single family structures, 213 multiple home dwellings, more than 2600 other minor structures, and nearly 500 mixed commercial/residential buildings.

The death toll in the Camp Fire has risen to 76 with 1,276 still missing.

Woolsey Fire

The southern California Woolsey Fire that marched across the Santa Monica mountains into Malibu is 88% contained after burning nearly 100,000 acres. The Woolsey fire destroyed 1130 structures and damaged 300.

Those in Ventura County were provided with sand bags without cost to protect their homes against mudslides. With the land barren, like with the Montecito, California Mudslides of just one year ago, with no vegetation to stop or absorb the onslaught of rain, the runoff, top soil, boulders and anything in its path becomes potentially a debris filled flash flood obliterating structures, and everything in its path.

Although impossible to predict, should the traditional rainy season occur in late December and January, with the land already scorched and barren, any rain increases the chance of devastating mudslides.

VP Represent US at Asia Pacific Meetings

Vice President Mike Pence, was designated to represent President Trump at the annual gathering of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, (ASEAN), and the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation, (APEC), to address the global issued that elevate the economies and standards of living for the member nations.

The 21 nations who comprise the APEC include three G7 member nations, including the United States, Japan, Canada, and the suspended member Russia.

Topics of concern to the 17 remaining nations, who make of 60% of the global GDP, include resolving tensions and drive regional cooperation to life APEC living standards, developing a future ready workforce, fully leveraging the digital age and alleviating concerns over the digital and innovation revolution, and empowering women.

Without addressing these concerns in total the committee concluded the nations will continue to struggle against those nations who are more open to change and diversity inclusive economies.

From the APEC

"We have given a strong message to APEC Economic Leaders in our annual Report about our support for the global rules-based trading system and the value we place on pressing ahead towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. These are fundamental to ensuring that our region will be seamless, dynamic, resilient and sustainable – and a place where everyone can enjoy equally the opportunities and benefits of regional economic integration," said ABAC Chair Mr. David Toua."

Additional points the APEC Chair Toua presented are:

•Embracing the digital economy which offers unprecedented opportunities for advancement if supported by appropriate policy settings and collaboration between governments and the private sector..

•Developing a future-ready workforce and investing in STEM education, investment in effective infrastructure for affordable broadband access, and the right policy settings to ensure data flows, privacy and security, while not leaving some economies behind.

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•It is critical that MSMEs, (Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) including women-led MSMEs, are able to realize their full potential, particularly in the digital economy – whether operating domestically or internationally. That requires greater capacity building, including training and market information, access to finance, e-commerce and the digital economy, and reducing structural impediments and trade barriers such as non-tariff barriers.

The US Response

The United States has agreed to participate in an ambitious Electrification project which will work to connect 70% of Papua New Guinea to electricity by 2030. New Zealand, Australia and Japan were also invited to join the project. Currently only 13% of Papua New Guinea has access to electricity. In an agreement which elevates the lifestyle, and provides key services across previously inaccessible regions, the Electrification project also provides building blocks for small and medium business endeavors.

In other business the nations of New Zealand reiterated the need to leverage pressure against the Kim Jong-Un and the nation of North Korea until the denuclearization agreements has been fulfilled.

"The governments of the United States, Australia, and Japan, sharing a commitment to maintain and promote an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, inclusive, prosperous, and secure, announce important progress in our shared dedication to addressing the infrastructure needs of the region," Vice-President Pence said.

Argentina Prepares for G20

Security is on high alert in advance of the G20 Summit in which leaders of the top 20 economies and leaders of the world's top banking institutions will arrive in Argentina for two days of intense meetings and events.

In response to two foiled bombings over the past week, the US State Department along with the British State Department have each issues travel warnings. Any person attending including journalist should take extreme caution as mass protests are expected at all the event locations. Attendees are also warned to expect long transportation delays.

"The U.S. Embassy in Argentina informs U.S. citizens to exercise increased caution due to expected demonstrations, traffic disruptions, and possible increase in criminal activity during and leading up to the G20 Leaders' Summit from November 30 – December 1.  We remind you that even peaceful, lawful demonstrations have the potential to become confrontational and violent without warning.  Protests are planned by both international and local groups during the two-day event, which will be attended by numerous heads of state from around the world.  Argentine authorities are taking extraordinary measures to ensure a safe and successful Summit." US State Department

British State Department warned citizens "Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Argentina. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Since 2004 there have been a number of small explosions in Buenos Aires and the surrounding provinces which are believed to have been the work of local anti-globalisation groups. The targets have mostly been banks. There's a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria." 

Immigration Caravan Reaches Tijuana

In expectation of the arrival of more than 7,000 illegal immigrants, many who walked from Central America, President Trump has followed his Republican presidential predecessors and enacted a policy that suspend entry for a limited period of time.

Former president Ronal Regan and former President George W. Bush, both enacted similar policy which was upheld at the Supreme Court level when challenged.

"I am similarly acting to suspend, for a limited period, the entry of certain aliens in order to address the problem of large numbers of aliens traveling through Mexico to enter our country unlawfully or without proper documentation.  The suspension will channel these aliens to ports of entry, so that, if they enter the United States, they do so in an orderly and controlled manner.  Aliens entering through the southern border, even those without proper documentation, may, consistent with this proclamation, avail themselves of our asylum system, provided that they properly present themselves for inspection at a port of entry."

The roughly 7,000 illegals have found the border a hostile environment as they have reached Tijuana and met with protests and Homeland security. The suspension of entry remains in effect for three months. The suspension is not intended to act as a deterrent to illegal entry and act as a stress test for the illegals.

Argentina Submarine Found

The Argentinian Submarine San Juan, with 44 crew members on board, was found yesterday at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean, one year and one day after it went missing.

In the days after the sub initially went missing, pings were heard and thought to have come from the sub. No distress signal was sent. The search to find the missing sub has remained active throughout the year.

"The ARA San Juan submarine was discovered by marine tracking contractor Ocean Infinity, 907 meters (2,975 feet) below the ocean surface. The vessel was found in an underwater canyon with its tail partially "imploded," Argentina's Defense Minister Carlos Aguad said. Given the poor visibility at the site, the ministry said it only had preliminary information about the state of the submarine, which was scattered in pieces on the ocean floor. Aguad could neither confirm nor deny if the vessel could be recovered, but said the government did "not have the means to extract the submarine,"' Reuters reported.

Khashoggi Murder

Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post reporter viciously murdered inside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul Turkey, was the victim of an elaborate, well planned, and precise ordered assassination according to the Central Intelligence Agency.

The CIA, who issued the report, also indicated the hit was more than likely ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. President Donald Trump, who has clearly championed the Crown Prince's assessment and supported his protestations of innocence, has called the report "premature."

Khashoggi had often criticized the Trump Administration as well as the Saudi government and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their practices.

His remains have not been found.

Supreme Court Rules For CNN

The Supreme Court handed CNN a victory this week and ordered the White House reinstate the Press privileges of CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta whose privileges had been revoked for poor behavior and not listening.

The incident which sparked a national debate on the rights of the White House and the power of the press, centered on Mr. Acosta refusing to surrender the microphone to Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters.

Mr. Acosta was in a heated exchange with the president when he was told to surrender the microphone. He refused. The President revoked his privileges.

The Trump Administration initially presented Ms. Walters, as an "intern" and talked up the incident as if Ms. Acosta in some way manhandled her. It is her job to be aggressive and pull the microphone from reporters who refuse to surrender the floor.

Thanksgiving - The Season of Giving

With Thanksgiving a mere three days from now, the start of the traditional holiday and shopping season is quickly approaching. Even as the US is enjoying a season of prosperity many are still in need.

Here are eight quotes on world hunger from The Borgen Project complied by Stephanie Lamm.

"We know that a peaceful world cannot long exist, one-third rich and two-thirds hungry." – Jimmy Carter, 39th president of the United States.

"Close to a billion people – one-eighth of the world's population – still live in hunger. Each year 2 million children die through malnutrition. This is happening at a time when doctors in Britain are warning of the spread of obesity. We are eating too much while others starve." – Jonathan Sacks, Jewish scholar.

The British Misunderstanding

"We are a country that prides itself on power and wealth, yet there are millions of children who go hungry every day. It is our responsibility, not only as a nation, but also as individuals, to get involved. So, next time you pass someone on the street who is in need, remember how lucky you are, and don't turn away." – Lesley Boone, actress and social activist.

"When you share your last crust of bread with a beggar, you mustn't behave as if you were throwing a bone to a dog. You must give humbly, and thank him for allowing you to have a part in his hunger." – Giovanni Guareschi, Italian journalist.

"When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, "Now is that political, or social?" He said, "I feed you." Because the good news to a hungry person is bread." – Bishop Desmond Tutu, Anglican bishop and social activist.

"It is important for people to realize that we can make progress against world hunger, that world hunger is not hopeless. The worst enemy is apathy." – Reverend David Beckmann, president of Alliance to End Hunger.

"There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at no time, should go hungry." – Ed Asner, actor and social activist.

"The war against hunger is truly mankind's war of liberation." – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States.

"The first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind. Food is the moral right of all who are born into this world." – Norman Borlaug, biologist and humanitarian.

For more information on President Donald Trump:


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