Beltway Insider: Trump Invites Taliban to Camp David, Pence/Europe, Dorian Devastates, Walmart/Kroger, 2020

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President Trump, on the eve of the 18th Anniversary of September 11, 2001, admitting his intention to bring those directly responsible for fueling American hatred and spawning the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon to attend meetings on U.S. soil.

 

According to Gallup, President Trump's job approval rating, which was tracked for the two week time period ending August 5, 2019, decreased one percentage points to 41% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased one percentage points to 54%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated bi-monthly.


Beltway Insider: Trump/Tariffs, Media Bashing, Sex Abuse Cover Up, Hurricane Dorian, Valerie Harper


Trump Friend of America's Enemies

President Trump has shown throughout his presidency a desire to walk where no man has walked before, into the Lion's den, sitting down with North Korean President, Kim Jong Un, to work with sworn enemies of the United States to build a history. This time, as the eve of the World Trade Center attacks draw near, President Trump has announced he cancelled a meeting schedule with the Taliban leaders.

The secret meeting, scheduled to take place at Camp David, sounds more like the President offering the keys to the kingdom to a leader with his fingers crossed behind his back. Smiling and shaking hands with a snake. Which is which.

Do we need to remind the President of those who we lost on September 11, 2001? The 343 New York Fire Fighters, our bravest, our finest, the NYPD, Port Authority officers. The 2996 who died on that day, the more than 6000 injured, and those who have suffered long and painful deaths since that day that they rushed into the burning buildings, the debris, only to face cancers and illnesses 18 years later.

Never one to concern himself with tarnishing the Oval Office, I must say, Mr. Trump, you have outdone yourself this time. Why not, simply, provide the plane so they can complete the task they left unfinished 18 years ago?


September 11, 2001 - We Remember


Trump Stays Home on Hurricane Watch While Pence Does Europe

President Trump sent his number two, Vice President Mike Pence to attend a series of bilateral meetings with NATO nations while he maintained a careful and watchful eye on Hurricane Dorian, which had grown into a catastrophic monster.


World News: Political Fratricidal Strife in Paris


Vice President Mike Pence, who rarely steps into a position of leadership, met with leaders from the Poland, United Kingdom, Ireland and Iceland.

In Iceland Pence spoke with President Guoni Th. Johannesson, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Thórdarson who also reiterated the deep roots the two nations share as well as Iceland being a founding member of NATO.

In congratulation the Nordic nation on its independence Pence said, "And allow me to express early congratulations on the 75th anniversary of Iceland's independence.  This will be a historic year.  And the United States is proud to have been among the first nations to recognize Iceland's independence.  And in all the years since, to have enjoyed such a strong economic relationship, a security relationship.  Iceland is one of the founding members of NATO; it has an unbreakable bond with the United States of America."

Speaking with UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Pence said, "The President often says that the United States has the biggest economy in the world, and we truly believe that a free trade agreement between the United States and the UK could increase trade between our countries by three or four times.  We're anxious to stand with you and to do everything in our power to strengthen what has been a historic and special relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom.  And it is embodied in the very warm and personal relationship that you have forged with President Trump, with myself and with our administration."

Vice President Pence announced after meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda and agreement on fifth generation wireless communications networks. "Therefore, Poland and the United States endorse the Prague Proposals, the Chair's statement from the Prague 5G Security Conference, as an important step toward developing a common approach to 5G network security and ensuring a secure and vibrant 5G ecosystem.  The Prague Proposals emphasize the need for 5G networks to be constructed based on free and fair competition, transparency, and the rule of law," the Vice-President said in a released statement.

In a released press conference with Ireland's Taoiseach Varadkar Vice-President Pence said, "Let me be clear: The United States supports the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union in Brexit, but we also recognize the unique challenges on your northern border.  And I can assure you we will continue to encourage the United Kingdom and Ireland to ensure that any Brexit deal respects the Good Friday Agreement. But as the deadline for Brexit approaches, we urge Ireland and the European Union, as well, to negotiate in good faith with Prime Minister Johnson. When Brexit is complete, the United States will have a new free trade agreement with the United Kingdom."

Hurricane Dorian Leaves Death, Unprecedented, Destruction in its Wake

Hurricane Dorian, the fourth named hurricane of the 2019 season and the strongest to date, stalled over the northwestern Bahama Island chain, lashing Abaco and Grand Bahama with a ferocious intensity for nearly 48 hours.

With sustained winds at 185mph and gusts greater than 225mph, Abaco and it 70,000 residents, some of whom decided to shelter in place, experienced an apocalyptic and uncontrollable weather phenomenon which left the island totally decimated.

The shock, to the islanders as well as the world, at the complete devastation, is difficult to put into words as one can only liken visuals to the debris field of the largest F5 tornado one can ever remember. Homes imploded, roofs ripped off, vehicles frames looked as if they had been pummeled, some were upended and twisted, overturned, hoods ripped off, the sheer force necessary to create the devastation witnessed is unfathomable.


Hurricane Dorian Obliterates Bahamas; Slightly Weaker Heads to US Coast


In addition to the winds, and projectiles created after trees and light poles were snapped in two and shredded into kindling strips, the storm surge generated 18 to 23 feet of storm surge and more than half of the island experiencing flooding that has yet to receded.

After the cataclysmic storm had passed the initial death toll appeared surprisingly and thankfully low. Unfortunately, as the days have passed the death toll has risen and is expected to continue to grow. Early estimates keep the total relatively low at 50, considering 70,000 have been left homeless.

"While we are still processing the impact that Hurricane Dorian has had on our country, we must stay strong for our friends, loved ones and neighbors on Grand Bahama Island and The Abacos. We appreciate the outpouring of support from citizens around the world and we ask that you continue to donate, continue to send prayers and continue to visit Nassau, Paradise Island and the Out Islands that were not affected," Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Deputy Director General, Ellison 'Tommy' Thompson said.

As the recovery efforts have begun the Nassau, the capital of the Island nation, which felt only a passing glance the Ministry of Tourism has provided updates. Essentially Grand Bahama and The Abacos are closed and will remain closed until further notice. The All other international airports including Nassau and Paradise Island are open.

As the recovery efforts begin in the hardest hit region, with Celebrity Cruise Lines diverting the planned seven day excursion, offering passengers vouchers and announcing to the need for volunteers to assist in food preparation and delivery, to which nearly the entire vessels guest list pitched in preparing more than 10,000 meals.

The cruise industry has announced both funding and rerouting vessels to assist in the recovery efforts.

Hurricane Dorian slowly exited the Caribbean inching forward toward the US eastern coastline. After images of devastation from the category 5 crawler, residents of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and into Virginia, were more inclined to heed the mandatory evacuation orders.

Barely picking up speed, Dorian paused momentarily off the Carolina coast and regenerated into a Category 3 Hurricane. Skirting the eastern seaboard, Floridians were spared a direct hit, and Dorian slowly moved into the Carolinas.

Tornadoes spawned by the now Cat 2 Hurricane touched down in Wilmington. The Port city had expected a more direct hit and residents, some of whom were still recovering from 2018's Hurricane Flo, breathed a sigh of relief as Dorian moved fast, with only minimal damage even as she still packed 100mph winds.

Making landfall on the island of Ocracoke, in North Carolina's Outer Banks, images of infrastructure damage, flat highways, now a ribbon of cracked, separated, and splintered asphalt. The famous Outer Banks wild horses appeared to fare well.

A seven-foot storm surge created what is being described as a tsunami, a wall of water, ripping across island. Many residents rode out the storm, and now, as all land-based access has been destroyed, the only access is by air and sea. All non-relief transportation is being turned away. The airport has been commandeered by military and will not allow landing.

"We are still restricting access to Ocracoke. Any private boats attempting to access the island will be turned away. The Ocracoke Airport is only for authorized government use. Please do not attempt to come unless you have prior authorization from the Hyde County EOC. While we certainly appreciate people trying to help, showing up without coordination actually interferes with the relief efforts," a press release from Hyde County North Carolina stated.

Hurricane Dorian, even at this printing, is lashing Nova Scotia, with Tropical winds, uprooting trees, with residents experiencing widespread power outages.

Walmart and Grocery Giant Kroger Issue New Statements on Open Carry Gun Laws

In the first real tangible benchmark in the effort to create sensible gun laws, major retailor Walmart, the scene of mass shooting in which 22 shoppers were executed point blank, as they begged for their lives, addressed citizens who openly carry weapons in what is called "open carry" states.

The following statement was released from Walmart CEO Doug McMillion. The changes he proposed have meet with widespread acceptance among retailers, with Kroger, CVS and many national chains agreeing with his statements and asking their customer to honor the same principals.


A Different Kind of Force – Policing Mental Illness


Currently, twenty-five states allow residents to carry handguns without license, 20 allow with license, permit or restriction. Thirty-nine states allow open carry for long guns. The NRA denounced the statement as "shameful."

      

"After visiting El Paso on Aug. 6, I mentioned that we would be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses. We're ready to share our next steps.

 

We've been giving a lot of thought to our sale of firearms and ammunition. We've previously made decisions to stop selling handguns or military-style rifles such as the AR-15, to raise the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21, to require a "green light" on a background check while federal law only requires the absence of a "red light," to videotape the point of sale for firearms and to only allow certain trained associates to sell firearms.

 

Today, we're sharing the decisions we've made that go further:

 

We will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons;

 

We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition; and We will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking our complete exit from handguns.

 

We believe these actions will reduce our market share of ammunition from around 20% to a range of approximately 6 to 9%.

 

As it relates to safety in our stores, there have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers.

 

We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond.

 

We are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam's Clubs in states where "open carry" is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.

We will be providing new signage to help communicate this policy in the coming weeks.

 

As an additional step, we commit we will work alongside other retailers to make the overall industry safer, including sharing our best practices.

 

Finally, we encourage our nation's leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger.

 

We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness. We must also do more, as a country, to understand the root causes that lead to this type of violent behavior.

 

In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again. The status quo is unacceptable.

 

2020 - Hopefuls Looking to October Debate; Sanford Announces Intent

With the September Democratic debate stage set, those candidates who did not make the cut have not all decided to end their pursuit of the 2020 Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

Billionaire Democratic challenger Tom Steyer just announced he has qualified for the DNC October debate scheduled to be held in Ohio on October 15, 2019 and October 16, 2019. US Representative Tulsi Gabbard has also continued her efforts to join the October debate.


Op/Ed: Is it Really Our Job to Save the Addict


Candidate hoping to qualify must reach certain threshold with increases in unique contributors and four DNC approved qualifying polls. Meaning candidates must reach the polling threshold in the Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, The Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times, NPR, Quinnipiac, The University of New Hampshire, The Wall Street Journals, USA Today, The Washington Post, Winthrop University.

Former South Carolina Governor Republican Mark Sanford has stepped forward to challenge the current administration and announced his candidacy for the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

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

Sources: whitehouse.gov.

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