Beltway Insider: Trump Takes Asia; Rekindles Putin Bromance; VA Reform; Alabama; Singles Day; Veterans Remembered; Liz Smith

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President Donald Trump met with world leaders, including an unplanned meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the fifth Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit held in Manila, Philippines capping his ten day, five nation, visit.

According to Gallup, President Trump job approval, over the past week, increased by three percentage points to 38% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased two percentage points to 58%.

Trump Takes Asia Paves Path with Financial Aid

President Trump maneuvered his way through his five nation tour with a specific message that of friendship and peace. With his offer of friendship the newly elected president still in his freshman year is offering, in order to solidify friendship and loyalty an enormous amount of financial aid across the region.

President Trump promised a massive financial aid package to Vietnam, and while it is a gesture in the effort of a continued normalizing of post-Vietnam war relationship effort the President has addressed specific areas of technology and infrastructure and of course a trade agreement.

"We seek robust trade relationships rooted in the principles of fairness and reciprocity. When the United States enters into a trading relationship with other countries or other peoples, we will, from now on, expect that our partners will faithfully follow the rules just like we do. We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides, and that private industry, not government planners, will direct investment," the president said.

His second message of course is directed to North Korean whom he has again entered into a battle of words with a personality, in actuality not unlike his own, as the two men spar through the micro messaging platform Twitter, with Kim Jong Un, the erratic President of North Korean with an itchy trigger finger, engaging in ad hominin name calling and the president responding in kind.

Each as they formally address leaders ion the issue of North Korean explain in definitive statements. President Trump has explained to leaders in the Pacific Rim nations of his determination to stop North Korean from violating any proliferation of life treaties, which all have signed and has not yet explained how that could be accomplished.

"On security issues, we continue to work with our Vietnamese partners and with partners across the region on a range of challenges, including maritime security, counterterrorism, human and drug trafficking, cybercrime, and disease prevention," the president said.  

Trump, Putin Rekindle Bromance

The Presidential bromance is back on as Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet at the APEC CEO summit the international conference on  where the two were pictured, engaged in behavior that would have tongues wagging.

Seduced by the power of the Russian leader, Trump momentarily lost direction stating, he was sure Putin was telling the truth. The two seemed to be engaged in deep conversation as they shook hands with Trump resting his hand on the Russian leaders bicep.

After Trump pulled himself away from the intense persuasive power of the Russian leader he did change his statement, indicating he had faith in the agencies of the united states to determine the extent if any of Russians involvement in the Election scandal.

Announces Sweeping Changes to Veterans Administration

The Veterans Administration, which controls policy and procedures that effect all VA Hospitals and Veterans throughout the United States, has over the past three years faced an ever widening scandal with allegations of corruption and wrongdoing surfacing along with numerous reports of patients dying waiting for medical care.

As far back as May 2014 video have shown deplorable conditions in hospitals with at minimum 40 veterans dying while waiting to be treated in five states with an additional 20 cases from a single facility in Williams Jennings Bryan Dorn facility in Columbia, South Carolina.


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President Trump took a step forward to address the egregious treatment of America's Veterans, those whom have shown incredible courage and dedication to freedom and democracy. In wartime and in peacetime have answered the call of duty and it is the responsible of the government in which they served  to honor their duty.

"The federal government absorbs the cost of care for the more than 6.5million veterans,  currently receiving some type of medical treatment, from mild to catastrophic, as well as staff, supplies and facilities and has a requested 2015 operating budget of 64.8billion, which has steadily increased to ensure vets receive dignified care and treatment. As many as 285,000 Vets visits hospitals across the country every day," reported Haute-Lifetsyle.com "Beltway Insider" May 25, 2014.

President Trump announced this week a comprehensive overhaul of the VA system including Modernizing and expanding choice, expanding choices, an anywhere anytime medical benefit opportunity and honoring our heroes. The program is outlined below.

    

MODERNIZING AND EXPANDING CHOICE: President Trump believes that our veterans deserve the best healthcare in the world, and is working to bring the Department of Veterans Affairs up to modern standards.

• President Trump and Secretary Shulkin have announced three important initiatives to expand healthcare access for our veterans through technological innovation.

 

o An expansion of the VA's "Anywhere to Anywhere" healthcare, allowing VA providers to use tele-health technology to remotely treat veterans' regardless of geographic location.

 

o Greater adoption of VA Video Connect, an application for mobile phones and computers allowing veterans and healthcare providers to directly connect from anywhere in the country.

 

o A rollout at over 100 VA sites across the nation of the new Online Scheduling Tool, which allows veterans to schedule appointments from their mobile devices or computers. 

 

• President Trump signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, taking action to streamline the appeals process for disability compensation claims within the VA.

 

o More than 470,000 veterans are awaiting pending decisions regarding their appeals.

 

• President Trump has ensured continued access to care in the Veterans Choice Program by signing the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act, authorizing $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program (VCP).

 

o The VCP gives eligible veterans the choice of private care if they live more than 40 miles from the closest eligible VA facility, face wait times over 30 days from the clinically indicated date, or face an excessive burden in accessing VA care.

 

• President Trump announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs will adopt the same Electronic Health Record (EHR) as the Department of Defense (DOD). 

 

o VA's adoption of the same EHR as DOD will ultimately result in all patient data residing in one common system, enabling the immediate availability of service member's medical records and seamless care between the departments.

 

• The VA has launched its "Access and Quality Tool," allowing veterans to see on-line the wait times at VA locations, as well as important quality-of-care data.

 

EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR VETERANS: President Trump is taking action to expand opportunities for veterans after they leave military service.

 

• President Trump signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, an important step in providing our nation's heroes with the support they've earned for risking their lives to ensure the freedoms of all Americans.

 

o The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides educational benefits to eligible veterans, service members, and their family members, including tuition, fees, books, housing, and other additional costs.

 

o A 15-year limit on veterans' access to their educational benefits has been lifted, with additional veterans being added to the list of those who qualify for the program.

 

• Veterans have the lowest unemployment rate since 2000, at 2.7 percent. This is 1.6 percentage points lower than the 4.3 percent experienced in October 2016.

 

o Veterans leaving active service after September 2001 have the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for this group at 3.6 percent.

 

HONORING OUR HEROES: President Trump is working on behalf of a grateful nation to ensure that our veterans are properly recognized for their service and sacrifice.

 

• President Trump has presented the Medal of Honor to Specialist Five James C. McCloughan and Captain Gary M. Rose, two veterans who have demonstrated the highest levels of bravery, heroism, and sacrifice in defense of our nation.

 

• President Trump has signed legislation to remember and recognize America's veterans.

 

o He signed S.J. Res 1 approving the location of a memorial for service during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield.

 

o He signed S.305, the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act.

Alabama Senate Hopeful Roy Moore Refuses Calls to Step Down

Republican Senate hopeful Roy Moore,a former state judge, has refused to heed the sound advice of his party and continue his quest for win a Alabama State Senate seat despite bombshell allegations of sexual predatorial behavior against the senate hopeful.

In a story first published in The Washington Post and widely quoted by media around the world, four women have come forward with very similar stories explaining how he "sought a sexual or romantic relationship with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. One woman, Leigh Corfman, said she was 14 when a 32-year-old Moore took her to his home, undressed her and took of his clothes. Moore touched her over his bra and underpants and guided her ​hand ​to touch him over his underwear," The New York Post reported.

Moore has dismissed the allegations as "Fake news." The beleaguered politician plans to reshape his campaign focusing on Christian Values and conservative values.

Moore who is running against Democrat Doug Jones, has fallen slightly in the polls from where he once held a double digit lead. In a state known for voting red, Jones may win it.

Members of the Alabama statehouse have indicated if he does win the election they are ready to initiate an immediate vote, believing they have the 2/3 majority necessary, to have him expelled.

China's Singles Day Shatters All Records Topping $25billion

China's Single Day, once a day set aside for the lonely hearts and unmarried throughout China, has become the motivation behind the mega shopping day, which begins with appreciation events geared to motivate the Chinese to pre-order.

Cyber retailers are counting on the sales from Single's day, which has since morphed into a Black Friday/Cyber Monday style, all-out blitz shopping spree, push them past Q4 expectations and like retailers worldwide and especially in the U.S. hope these concentrated experiences carry them into the black.

Alibaba, Asia's largest online retailer used old school marketing, bringing in Superstar global talent Nicole Kidman and Pharrell Williams plus Chinese top talent to attend a fan appreciation launch event, hyping the sales and making this day, a day for celebration.

And it paid off.  Singles Day sales this year exceeded  Black Friday and Cyber Monday and broke nearly every record effort bringing in  $168billion yuen or $25billion USD over the 24 hour period. Sales reportedly reached one billion in three minutes and 10billion in the first hour.


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Veterans Day

From Washington, D.C. to Sutherland Springs, Texas, America paused to honor its Veterans with somber ceremonies of remembrance and parades observing and noting the value of their service, sacrifice and commitment to freedom and democracy.

"One of my great honors is to present the people standing right behind me great, great warriors and veterans of the Vietnam War. Our veterans are a national treasure, and I thank them all for their service, sacrifice, and patriotism. To each of you with me today, you are the heroes who fulfill your duty to our nation.  And each of you, under the most difficult conditions, did what you had to do, and you did it well," Trump said during his Southeast Asia visit.

Led by Vice President Mike Pence, and surrounded by representatives from each of the branches of the Military and members of the veterans of all foreign wars in attendance, the Vice President solemnly laid the wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Solider at Arlington National Cemetery.  The ceremony was followed by the traditional bugle melody Taps, played after military burial and a 21 gun salute.

President Donald Trump, while visiting Vietnam addressed the sensitive issue of those still listed as M.I.A. or Missing in Action from the Vietnam war.

"Our accountability efforts in Vietnam are very, very important to all of us.  We will not rest until all of the 1,253 missing veterans are returned home.  I want to thank the government of Vietnam for their assistance in our efforts," the President said.

Cities large and small followed similar traditions each marking the day with remembrances, somber moments and singular recollections.

New York City hosted its 98th Veterans Day parade held each year, rain or shine, and is the largest Veterans Day event in the United States.

For the tiny town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, reeling from the mass shooting, pausing for a moment to remember the Veterans in the annual Veterans Day celebration was a break from the pall of death, hurt, anger, a collective feeling of helplessness.

Royals Remember Veterans

Citizens of the United Kingdom also paused to honor the brave men and woman who have died to service to their nation in the annual Remembrance Sunday which dates back to 1919. The ceremony, is celebrated on November 11, each year, to mark the end of World War I.

This year was marked by a breaking of tradition or passing of the torch as Queen Elizabeth, the oldest reigning monarch, asked her son, and heir to the throne, Prince Charles to lay the wreath. The Queen stood with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, overlooking the ceremony along with the Duchess of Cornwall.

After the announcement earlier this year that the Prince, who at 93, has decided to relinquish some of his public duties, it has generally been thought that Queen Elizabeth would follow and she has reduced some of her official duties, making way for the next generation and younger royals to carry on the traditions and duties of the monarchy.

Longtime Gossip Columnist Liz Smith has Died

The Dame of the Dish, as she was affectionally known, a longtime New York staple, the gossip columnist Liz Smith as died of natural causes. She was 94.

Smith who began her career in Texas received a degree in Journalism from the University of Texas, in 1949, which for the era was an enormous accomplishment. She began writing immediately and never stopped.

After her move to New York where she took any job in media, including proofreader, producer and typist, she began working for a Hearst newspaper in the 1950's  as a ghost writer for a gossip columnist. She created a niche for herself and became known as a credible and respected "gossip" columnist.

She was a New York staple and worked in the media capital of the world until her the New York Post cut her column in 2009. She was the only New York columnist to have her juicy celebrity and social gossip, sightings and tidbits, to appear in three New York Daily Newspapers simultaneously including the New York Post, Newsday, and New York Daily News, she was the Queen of gossip.

At the height of her career she reported the same for local NBC Live at Five. She won numerous awards and was reportedly the highest paid journalist in the United States She was married, divorced and "came out" as bisexual later in life. After years of dishing on society and celebrities smith was unusually reserved about her own life and offered very little on her personal life.  

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

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com,

 

Haute Tease

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    Ivanka Trump, the power-hungry daughter of President-elect Trump, flew commercial this week, along with husband Jared Kushner and their three children only to be heckled, harassed and lambasted by fellow passengers still angry over the election.

     
  • OSCAR® HOST SETH MACFARLANE JOINS EMMA STONE

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    BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Nominations for the 85th Academy Awards® will be announced by the show's host, Seth MacFarlane, and actress Emma Stone on Thursday, January 10. This will be the first time since 1972 that an Oscar show host has participated in the nominations announcement.

     
  • DJ Caruso Talks Standing Up

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    DJ Caruso, director of the “Standing Up” from ARC Entertainment, recently took time from his busy schedule to sit down for an interview to discuss the challenges of making the coming of age family film.

     
  • Tribeca Film Festival Review – The Top Ten, an Honorable Mention and Heated Controversy

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    WALT DISNEY ANIMATION Studios unveiled its upcoming slate staying close to the tried and true and keeping with tradition presented stories with heart, captivating audiences by voicing innate objects and maintaining the family theme. 

     

Crime

  • Kayaker Body Found Identified as Missing Fiance

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    Murdered kayaker Vincent Viafore, reported missing by Angelika Graswald, his fiancee, has been found in the murky waters of the Hudson River where he was last seen in early April as the two enjoyed a recreational boating trip.

     
  • Hannah Anderson Sheds Little Light on Mental State of James DiMaggio

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    Hannah Anderson, the teen abducted by James L. DiMaggio, has shed little light on his mental condition witnessed throughout the six day ordeal that began when the family friend tricked her mother into coming to his aid.

     
  • Theater Shooter Arraigned; Gag Order Issued

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    Accused theater Shooter, James Holmes, was arraigned this week in Aurora, Colorado for the killing rampage that began during the opening screening of the Warner Bros film, "The Dark Knight Rises."

     
  • Manhunt for Murder Suspect, Kidnapper James Lee DiMaggio Extends To Canadian Border

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    The manhunt for murder suspect James Lee DiMaggio has extended to the entire west coast and the Canadian and Mexican borders, as the child kidnapper has eluded police and capture for three days.

     
  • Organized Crime Boss James “Whitey” Bulger Convicted

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    James “Whitey” Bulger, the organized crime boss who fled Boston and lived 16 years as a fugitive, was convicted of murder, extortion, money laundering, drug dealing and gun possession.

Theatre, Music, Books

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  • Ten Top Gourmet Food Shops and Eating Establishments in the Latin Quarter Revealed

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    Stepping into a Paris restaurant can be a formidable experience for any traveler. Not only do you have to make your wishes understood by a waiter who may or may not speak your language, but you must quickly learn how to adapt to local dining customs as well.

     
  • A California Closing Review – The Perfect Set of Characters for A Summertime Read

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    Ready for a digital detox? Looking for the perfect summer read, a purely fun, page turner, turned down corners, smudged pages, a no app necessary, trashy, romance novel or high brow biography; soft or hard a genuine book?

     
  • The Art Of Discovery - Photographs By WireImage Co-Founder Jeff Vespa

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    LOS ANGELES, Ca. USA -  Jeff Vespa, co-founder of the largest entertainment photo agency in the world, WireImage and founder of Verge, will release his first monograph, The Art of Discovery, this October on Rizzoli International Publications.

     
  • HL A&E Presents The Best Summer 2016 Music Festivals, by the Numbers

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    Every year, thousands of people flock to church. The devotees pray in flower crowns and straw hats, fringe-laden vests and neon body paint. They are the congregation of music lovers, gathering from many different corners of the world to worship at the summer’s many music festivals.