Beltway Insider: Obama Pitches Economic Plan; U.S. Nears War with Syria; Egypt’s Mubarak Released; Violence Continues

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President Obama continued to pitch his economic recovery plan to jaded Americans who are giving the new plan and the President, the lowest approval rating he has received his five years of leadership.

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, rose three percentage points to 49% of those polled approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President dropped two percentage points to 43%

Obama Pitches Economic Recovery Plan

President Obama, as part of his economic recovery plan, pitched college affordability in New York State where he received a rousing welcome.

Although the president is always met enthusiastically only 35% of Americans polled by Gallup approve of his handling of the economy and subsequent plan for recovery.

The soft speeches which began in the Midwest targeting specific areas of the six part plan that includes key economic sectors including Jobs, Education, Health Care, Retirement Security, Housing and Ladders of Opportunity plan aimed at undergirding and re-building a stronger middle class.

Americans are not interested in the seemingly never ending flow of Washington rhetoric. What is important can be condensed to three key areas: Reducing Unemployment, Jobs Creation and Social Security protection.

This week the president pitched affordable college education which he touts as a springboard to middle class security and in his long term vision will assist lower income Americans reach a solid foundation in a 21st Century middle class.

American workers, those who created the middle class and, have suffered the most by this economic recession deserve more than long term vision even if it is based on suggestions from the nation’s best economists.

Over the past decade Americans have watched as manufacturing jobs, those solid earning positions, have been phased out and outsourced to foreign governments with no interest in protecting the middle class worker.

The Manufacturing bubble, like the Tech Bubble, the Housing Bubble, and other swells, burst and in its wake left a good portion of the middle class, across the entire spectrum from the top one-third to the bottom one-third, tumbling in a free fall without as secure safety net.

The manufacturing compression period from the end of World War II to about 1979 created what was thought as an impenetrable middle class with solid employment and continued growth and even now that has disappeared.

And while President Obama has made it a priority of this White House to design an economic recovery plan that will address the issues of staggering unemployment, job creation, affordable housing and keep college costs under control as well as protecting those who defined the middle class and are now reaching retirement age, the vast majority of Americans are going to need more than the long term vision of the White House.

 

U.S. Readies for War with Syria

Syrian Rebels and civilians were targeted in what has been called a chemical weapons attack by global leaders including President Obama who has condemned the attack in the strongest possible language.

According to the White House President Obama has stated there is “little doubt” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons in the ongoing Syrian civil war killing more than 1000.

U.S. Warships are on orders of to head to the Mediterranean Sea within striking range of the embattled nation as they await word from the President.

 U.N. Inspectors who are currently in Syria investigating the claims of Chemical Weapons usage as the world awaits the outcome the White House has essentially stated allowing U.N. Inspectors access to the site is, in essence, too little too late.

While President Obama has stressed repeatedly there will be no “boots on the ground” he is weighing his options in the wake of this, the second, alleged chemical weapons strike.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stated, “the President has asked the Defense Department to prepare options for all contingencies we have done that. We are prepared to exercise any one of those options.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin has also spoken out and urged calm before any aggressive military action is taken in retaliation for the alleged chemical weapon use.

If weapons inspectors find Syria has used chemical weapons, which is a direct violation of the Geneva Convention as banning chemical warfare, Assad who has fought the rebels for over two years will find himself killed in a retaliatory strike.

President Obama has maintained the White House position on Syria aligns with the rebels who are fighting for democracy.  The U.S. has continued throughout the two year civil war to support the rebels in their fight for independence and is adamant that Assad must be removed.

Egypt’s Mubarak Released; Violence Continues

Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president ousted during the 2011 Arab Spring has been granted release pending further court hearings and remains under house arrest.

Mubarak has served two years in Tora Prison for crimes resulting from his failure to stop the deaths of peaceful protestors.

According to the Chief Deputy Press Secretary Josh Ernest, “The legal proceedings against former President Mubarak are something that’s ongoing inside of Egypt.  That is an Egyptian legal matter.  But something that we have weighed in on, something that I’ve said previously but other senior administration officials have also said -- that politically motivated detentions inside Egypt should end, and that certainly would include the politically motivated detention of former President Morsi.”

Mubarak’s release has been taken as a signal to the world, especially as President Morsi, the first democratically elected leader has been overthrown in a military coup, that the region may be returning to the authoritarian government.

Egypt, which has been rocked by widespread violence, post Mubarak, is war weary and with no end in sight for the pro-Morsi Muslim brotherhood democracy fighters, the stability of Mubarak’s governing is seen as welcome.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued the following remarks through Pentagon Press Secretary George Little which were gathered from a meeting the Defense Secretary held with his Egyptian counterpart.

"Egyptian Minister of Defense Al-Sisi called Secretary Hagel in Malaysia to discuss developments in Egypt. Minister Al-Sisi updated Secretary Hagel on the security situation throughout Egypt, as well as progress on the political roadmap.

“Secretary Hagel stressed the importance of an inclusive, transparent political process that includes all Egyptians, and that differences must be resolved without violence. Minister Al-Sisi also updated the Secretary on security developments on the Sinai Peninsula, and Secretary Hagel expressed appreciation for Egypt's efforts to ensure the security of the U.S. Embassy facilities and all U.S. personnel serving in Egypt."

The White House has made its position on unlawful political detention very clear and has moved forward to clarify to the interim Egyptian government the importance of honoring its agreements with the United States.

With Egypt deviating from its agreed upon position the United States has moved ahead with additional political sanctions in addition to those announced from Martha’s Vineyard.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated this week, “There are some things that we have announced that affect the aid and assistance relationship that we have with Egypt.  For example, the administration about a month ago announced that the scheduled delivery of F-16s had been delayed.  The President announced in a statement last week that the joint military operation known as Bright Star had been canceled.  So there have been some steps that this administration has taken.

He went on to state, “But it’s important to understand that providing foreign assistance is not like a spigot.  You don't turn it off and on, or turn it up or down like a faucet.  Assistance is provided episodically, that it’s provided in specific tranches.”

These tranches, or Foreign Aid financial packages, some in the form of loans others, as defined by the White House are “a series of tranches.  And each of those things -- each of those things is evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on the criteria laid out -- for our national interest, our compliance with the law, and the actions of the Egyptian government.  So this is a review that is ongoing, and it is done on a case-by-case basis as we need to evaluate each of these tranches. “

Until the interim Egyptian government restrains the military, stops the widespread violence as well as the unlawful political detainment of civilians and honors the original mandates they will see shrinking aid packages and additional political sanction.

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

Sources: WhiteHouse.gov, Gallup, Wikipedia,

 

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