Beltway Insider: Russia Stands Alone; Ukraine Violence Escalates; April Job Numbers; Stopping Sexual Assault

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President Barack Obama and members of the seven top industrialized nations have announced another round of economic sanctions and suspended Russian President Vladimir Putin, who remains unwavering in his annexation pursuits, from any further participation in global summits.

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week dropped two percentage points to 43% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President rose one percentage point to 51%. 

Russia Stands Alone; Faces Global Fall Out

President Barack Obama and leaders of the G7 announced this week the G8 Summit originally scheduled for June in Sochi, Russia was cancelled as leaders of the G7 will be meeting in Brussels.

 "The President will travel to Brussels for the June G-7 Leaders' Summit, which was moved to Brussels after the G-7 Leaders agreed to cancel the G-8 Summit in Sochi due to Russia's illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea," said Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, apparently oblivious to the global fall out, has yet to release a statement on the G7 sanction and has continued to increase troop buildup along the Eastern Ukraine border.

With each sanction announced, Putin answers by moving his plan of illegal annexation and occupation closer. Russia has maintained its territorial violations of Ukraine sovereignty, despite the G7 announcement indicating they, and the United Nations, recognize the Ukraine borders in total, and are moving forward with economic sanctions.

"We have made clear with our partners that there will be costs, and that the impact on the Russian economy will be significant.  If Russia continues to refuse to engage in an effort to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, to deescalate the tensions, there will be costs to that decision.  Some have already been imposed.  We have substantial authorities under the executive order signed by the President to increase those costs, and we are working directly with our partners in Europe and with Japan to coordinate our response to Russia's provocations," Carney said.

Soviet Troops have also positioned themselves along the Belarus border, located north of the Ukraine and directly bordering the Soviet Union.

The United States and NATO has continued to build a strong presence in the Black Sea, with as many as six Navy Battleships, and three submarines stationed, along with G7 allies aiding the international coalition support, in international waters just off the coast.

Ukraine Violence Escalates

The Ukraine, after two months of restraint, moved this week against Russian separatists disbanding unlawful gatherings and the takeover of public building along the eastern Ukraine-Russian border.

The clashes, which pictured protestors fighting armed Ukrainian military, ended as Ukraine officials dispersing the separatists. In a separate incident, Odessa, located north-east of Soviet occupied Crimea, erupted with internal, and presumably soviet backed protestors, who set fire to an apartment building killing 31.

"The Russian army is obviously a substantial force, and the only way to resolve this is not through military conflict; it's through organizing, as the United States has, an international coalition to put pressure on Russia to make sure that Russia is paying a high price for the actions that it's taking,' said Carney.

As the May 25Presidential elections near, civil unrest will escalate creating intimidation, hindering turn out. The global community stands with the Ukraine and continues to admonish Russia for its illegal annexation of Crimea.

 "Now, we have provided substantial assistance to Ukraine, and we will obviously continue to look at the kinds of assistance we will provide.  And that assistance includes loan guarantees for the Ukrainian government so that it can stabilize its economy in advance of these very important May 25th elections.  It seems clear that there is an effort underway to destabilize Ukraine, and therefore -- and thereby threaten the elections that have been called," Carney said.

April Job Numbers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the U.S. economy added a robust 288,000 jobs in April dropping the overall unemployment rate from 6.7% to 6.3%, the first single month significant drop in the past fifty months.

The .04% decline in unemployment was a big win for Obama as he continued to evangelize his Action Year Plan and minimum wage hike to a nation weary of the longest recession since the aftermath of the great depression.

The vigorous April employment numbers were enough to generate the noteworthy decline in the total numbers of persons unemployed.

The pendulum swings across the nations with North Dakota at 2.6% the lowest to eleven states falling into the 5.0% to 5.9% to the highest with four states, Rhode Island at 8.7% Nevada at 8.5%, Illinois at 8.4% and California with 8.1%.

Employment is not running seasonally or demographically. Highly populated states such as quad state region of New York at 6.9% and New Jersey 7.2%, Connecticut at 7.0% and Pennsylvania at 6% all face minimal unemployment differences.

Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States is also facing unbearably high unemployment at 14. 7%.

Employment continued to grow across the sectors that remained steady producers throughout the past 12 months, adding additional growth over the past month.

Business and professional services added an additional a total of 75,000 jobs in April; a 25,000 increase from the 50,000 monthly average over the past 12 months.

Health Care remained steady adding 19,000 jobs just over the past year average of 17,000 per month.

Civil Engineering Construction added 32,000 jobs in April indicating a overall confidence that the economy is actually turning around enough to proceed with investments in construction.

In a separate note, President Obama's home state of Hawaii became the name the number state to increase the minimum wage to 10.00 per hour.

Big Data Collection Changes

President Obama, in the wake of Edward Snowden's mass revelations of National Security Agency Data Collection techniques, commissioned a special committee to examine the methods used to collect information as real time collection becomes more commonplace and concerning.

Lead by Senior White House Officials including Commerce Secretary Pritzker, Energy Secretary Moniz, the President's Science Advisor John Holdren, the President's Economic Advisor Jeff Zients, and other Senior Administration Officials as well as members of the academic communities, thinkers, privacy advocates, regulators, the technology industry, advertisers and civil rights groups.

The findings were presented to the president this week and as expected the information gathering techniques were found to be favorable, lifesaving and protective.

The downside to these conclusions, of course, remains the violations of privacy and spying allegations that are clearly part of the modus opertius of these agencies.

Real time collections of Big Data, geospatial gathering techniques, simply the process of gathering storing and processing large amounts of data, sensors, and the myriad of systems which process and record every movement of most citizens on a daily basis, were analyzed.

After the 90 day think tank, the president received six different recommendations included in that package included revisions to current laws, enacting boundaries in the academic community,

The committee concluded consumers deserve clear, understandable, reasonable standards for how their personal information is used in the big data era and upholding privacy as worldwide value.

Cybersecurity remains a major concern and creating a uniformed, defined, singular, breach standard that holds up across all agencies is priority.

Advance the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, Pass National Data Breach Legislation, Extend Privacy Protections to non-U.S. Persons, Ensure Data Collected on Students in School is used for Educational Purposes to drive better learning outcomes, Expand Technical Expertise to Stop Discrimination, Amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Stopping Sexual Assaults Becomes White House Priority

President Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel have each moved forward placing high priority on stopping Sexual Assaults in the military, on College campus and creating an accountability system for these organizations which include fines, punishment and swift military tribunal justice.

Violence, according to the Center for Disease Control, in all its forms has reached epidemic levels in the United States with more than 5000 victims per month per states committing suicide stemming from a traceable sexual assault.

Without any high profile interest, PSA or funding, Violence with become a plague without a known vaccine or cure.

While the White House has reported attempts at "creating an environment in which victims feel comfortable reporting" sexual assaults victims still face career assassination, additional violence, including stalking, menacing, harassment, snide comments, and other references which are meant to demean, humiliate and shame.

As welcome as the statements are from the White House, they are so dramatically out of touch that it is frightening.

Vice President Biden also spoke this week on College Campus assaults vehemently pressing the law: "No means No, even if a woman said yes and changes her mind to No. No means No."

Victim X, the female whose story was originally reported in the 2007 submitted for Pulitzer Prize consideration articles "Cops Conspire to Deep Six Sex Assaults," continues to fight for justice against a corrupt New Jersey judicial system.

 

Sources: Whitehouse.org, Wikipedia.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

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