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Beltway Insider: Trump/UK; Russian Meddling Confirmed; SCOTUS; WH 2020; Stanford Rape Judge Ousted; Trapped Soccer Team; LeBron James

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President Trump and First Lady Melania, are scheduled to travel to London, for a bi-lateral meeting with Prime Minster Theresa May and is expected to meet Queen Elizabeth II, a privilege usually extended and reciprocated immediately after inauguration.

According to Gallup, President Trump job approval, over the past week, increased by one percentage point to 42% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased by two percentage points to 53%.

President Expected to Visit London Amidst Considerable Protests

President Donald Trump, who has continued to alienate the G7 allies most recently by withdrawing his support and signature from the joint G7 statement, is finally scheduled to visit London, host a town hall meeting at the US Ambassador's residence and get in a round of golf in Scotland.

The initial invitation, delivered by Prime MIinster Theresa May after Trump's shocking and historic upset has long been delayed due to widespread protests by Londoners and citizens of the world. The upcoming Summit with suspended G7 member Russia and the NATO meeting provided a window for the Presidnet to finally accept the Queen's invitation. 

"It has been officially confirmed that the US President will be meeting the Queen. US Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson said the President was "thick-skinned" enough to deal with protests. The Trumps will be invited to watch the Queen's Guard of Honour in a lavish ceremony in the historic courtyard of Windsor Castle. He is expected to hold the Q & A session at Winfield House, the official residence of the US ambassador, Woody Johnson. From the ambassador's residence President Trump will attend a banquet with 150 business leaders on Thursday night at Blenheim Palace," as reported in The Sun.co.uk

Londoners Set To Protest Trump Policies

With recent protests sparking very visual displays of the global populations belief of the president involvement with Russia, his misogynist attitudes, the scandals that have plagued and marred his stolen presidency and his abandonment of key issues such as the Paris Climate Accord have resonated throughout the world in a time when speaking out equates to power and the world is speaking.

"Organizers behind a crowd-funded "Trump Baby" campaign that has raised nearly 20,000 pounds (approximately $26,400 USD) announced July 5 that London Mayor Sadiq Khan had agreed to let the group tether the balloon at Parliament Square Gardens. The balloon will fly between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Friday, July 13, the same time as an unrelated "Stop Trump" march in central London. The balloon will not be able to fly higher than 98 feet, and local law enforcement agencies that regulate airspace could potentially still kill the stunt," according to ABC7, Los Angeles.


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The huge "Baby Trump" blimp is not the only protest balloon the beleaguered leader is facing. A recent float in the Dusseldorf Carnival parade depicted the President on his knees mounted by the Russian Bear. [ibtimes.co.uk]

Trump Expected to Announce SCOTUS Nominee

With the recent announcement by Justice Anthony Kennedy of an impending retirement, President Trump wasted no time in assembling a list of 25 potential replacements. That list has narrowed to four, whom the president calls "excellent, everyone."

"While Trump didn't name the four, top contenders for the role have included federal appeals judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman. The White House has been preparing information materials on all four, who were part of a longer list of 25 names vetted by conservative groups," ABCNews said.

There has been concerns, as the vetting and confirmation hearings begin of past affiliations and decisions.

The Road to The White House 2020

With the mid term elections coming up and all 435 House of Representative seats up for grabs, the changing face of the court, and barring any health issues or retirement, the current SCOTUS structure should remain the same until the next election, the temperament returns to the topic of whom will the democrats draft to run for the presidential position?

Candidate consideration varies from source to source to source. The top five who continue to rise to the surface are former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Democratic Presidential Candidare and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and California Senator Kamala Harris.

Current polls, and a recent Washington Post Poll, have former Vice-President Joe Biden coming in always in the Top 5. His likability factor, ability to govern and service makes him a easy choice. His age, at 75, shouldn't be a factor although the stamina to run a Presidential race and then of course the challenges of governing will play heavily in his own mind and those of the people. His lengthy and dedicated service will supercede other issues. 

Former Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton hasn't fallen off the scales and remains the second most logical pick to run for President. The recent reports indicating the Russians meddle in the election to cost her and influence the results play well for those hard core republicans who see a Red Commie bromance when they think of Putin and Trump.

Notwithstanding her lengthy service to the country, she also knowns the stamina necessary to launch a presidential campaign. Her age has never been the issue as much as the mysterious apparent fainting spells during the last election which were caught on tape.

For Hillary to be taken seriously she would need to make substantive changes in her "team." Huma Abedin would have to be replaced. Clinton would have to also strategically run her own race and not count on the nostalgia of her husband, former POTUS, Bill Clinton to carry a population who doesn't quite remember the Clinton-Gore years.

And of course, Bernie Sanders. 17 million voters and the recent win by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, a self-described Bernie Sanders socialist, who handily ousted 10th Term Democrat, Joseph Crowley, to represent New York's 14thdistrict, give solid ground to the Bernie Sanders socialism.

A name to watch – Gavin Newsom, his polices, passions, vitality and desire to see real change in America all add to his potential to serve in the top spot. His political history includes the mayor of San Francisco, currently the Democratic gubernatorial candidate for California, tackled the homeless problem in San Francisco implementing policy that worked.

Senate Confirms Russian Meddling in 2016 Election

With the majority of Americans having already formed an opinion that remains contrary to the continued White House rhetoric of a "fair and square" win by President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

The Senate has released a report attesting to the same belief.

Findings by the intelligence community that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump win were "accurate and on point," according to an unclassified report and accompanying statement by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released Tuesday.

 

The committee's findings came after a lengthy review of the "sources, tradecraft and analytic work underpinning" a January 2017 intelligence community assessment.

 

The FBI's and CIA's "analytical disagreement" with the NSA over whether Russia sought to bolster the Trump presidential campaign was "reasonable," the report also said.

 

While the FBI and CIA had "high confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin aspired to help Trump's election chances by denigrating opponent Hillary Clinton, the NSA had only "moderate confidence" in that assessment, according to the January 2017 analysis.

 

The disagreement among agencies "was reasonable, transparent, and openly debated among the agencies and analysts, with analysts, managers and agency heads on both sides of the confidence level articulately justifying their positions," the Senate intelligence committee's findings said," reported FoxNews.com

Stanford Rape Judge Ousted

Judge Aaron Persky, the presiding judge who issued a six month sentence to convicted rapist Brock Turner, a freshman at the prestigious university, has been ousted by more than 60% of voters in the June 5, 2018 referendum.

After Persky handed down a ridiculous sentence, six months, with time off for good behavior, after the prosecutor recommended eight years, an immediate pushback began to build like a tsunami through Santa Clara County. First during Stanford graduation,

Then 800,000 signatures calling for Persky's removal were delivered to the Judicial review office in San Francisco. It wasn't long after the judge stopped hearing criminal cases. He could no longer be trusted to render an impartial verdict.

What seemed like a slam dunk, almost like Donald Trump's Presidential win, the people will get used to it, the damage is done, and the winds of dissent will blow over soon enough besides we live in an instant messaging society, disgruntled opinions don't last for long.

In this case, time didn't heal all wounds. And while Brock Turner got off with a slap on the wrist and a rape conviction, Judge Aaron Persky was held accountable for his corruption and in June, the voters of Santa Clara County made their voice heard and in an overwhelming margin voted Persky out. The judge, by the will of the people, is effectively retired.

Thailand Trapped Soccer Team

What began more than two weeks ago as a afternoon excursion into the complex Tham Luang caves located near the Myanmar border for a dozen members of the Wild Boar soccer team and their coach, is close to ending with a dramatic rescue effort already underway.

The team went missing on June 23, 2018 after an exploration into the Tham Luang caves led by the 25 year old coach who apparently walked with the team through a marked snake like trail for at least three miles. A sudden torrential rainstorm flooded parts of the dips in the pathway and pathway they took in impossible to pass.

Warnings are posted indicating the caves are only passable during November through June and will be flooded during he raining season.

With the way in blocked, the team moved to higher ground, sitting cross legged in a cramped dark space, in the dark with only each other, no cell phones, no means of communication, and no provisions.

After nine intense days of search the boys were found. The team sat huddled as a diver broke the surface of the water. Each looked in shock at the other. The initial assessment was echoed from the boys who spoke little English and managed to repeat, "eat, eat, eat." They were healthy, hungry, a little dehydrated, as they did have drinkable water although not enough for nine days, and most importantly alive. Every one of them.

The next phase of course was rescue. Full efforts to empty the flooded section of the caves, or at least reduce the levels making passage easier. Oxygen was carried in as levels in the caves had dropped to below 15%. Soon a international extraction operation was working on two fronts, from deep in the caverns and at command central tent outside the entrance. International media and Navy seals from around the world arrived to assist.

As the team made contact with their families assuring them they were healthy, the task of finding a way to get beyond the rising water and the impending monsoon that was forecasted for the region over the next two weeks. The rains came as predicted. Japan was hit by record rains triggering mudslides leaving with 85 dead. Thailand monsoons are expected.


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After the death of a Thai Navy Seal Major Saman Gunan, extraction plans, which had remained questionable, took on an immediacy. Within days of Gunan's death, of oxygen depravation after delivering tanks to the encampment, the decision to rescue the team on a tandem basis.

The caves, like most, had stalagmites descending from the cave ceiling with piercing points, above the water level. Each rescue is estimated to take up to 11 hours.

Each boy would be accompanied by two divers, not unlike tandem skydiving or buddy diving, and like mountain climbing ropes had been secured from the entrance to the team's perch. Soon, the weakest of the four boys were on their way out of the cave. And from all reports the first phase of the rescue was successful with four boys out, nine to go and the coach.

Media reports from the scene that for Sunday, the rescue effort was complete with the first four out and safe. Thailand officials indicate Monday, a second rescue would bring out others.

LeBron James Moves West

Former Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James is set to head west the day after his free agency allowed him to snap up a 154million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

James, who began his career in Cleveland in 2003, left for the Miami Heat in 2010. Four years later, in 2014 he returned to his hometown of Cleveland and proceeded to delight fans with his winning ways. He signed a letter of intent to play with the Los Angeles Lakers on July 1, 2018 after the Cavaliers lost to the Golden State Warriors.

James, known as King James, has been touted by the media as the most decorated player in history of the sport. With many remembering the stunning plays of former Chicago Bull Michael Jordan who was also called the greatest in the sport, and with the Lakers remembering the golden years with Kobe Bryant, James is expected to add to his already impressive list of awards and collection of hardware with the move.

According to Wikipedia, "James has received four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, three All-Star Games MVP awards, three All-Star Game MVP awards, an NBA scoring title and is the all-time NBA playoffs scoring leader. He has also played un fourteen NBA All-Star Games, twelve All-NBA First Team and five All-Defensive First Team honors."

Those statistics are expected to increase during his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers. If he stays healthy over the next four years, and his knees hold out, he'll be 37 when his contract expires in Los Angeles.

With the golden days of his career possibly coming to an end in eight years, there is no doubt, after what is expected to be a remarkable run in Los Angeles, a return of the LA Lakers Championship heydays, he'll return to Cleveland and finish a record breaking career with an impressive collection of hardware. For now, welcome to L.A.

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

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com

 

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