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Beltway Insider: Obama Wins; Putin; Greece; Tunisia; Boston Bomber; James Taylor; James Horner

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President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel reacted swiftly in a rare Sunday call to the news of the impending bank failure in Greece and agreed to assist the Eurozone to bring the nation back from the brink of financial failure.

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, increased three percentage point to 47% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased one percentage point to 49%.

Obama Wins the Week as SCOTUS Endorses Domestic Agenda

The Supreme Court of the United States, SCOTUS, handed down a landmark ruling this week, in a 5-4 decision, declared the prevailing view and interpretation of the 14th Amendment allows for persons of same sex to marry whom they choose.

"The Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality.  In doing so, they've reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law.  That all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love," the President said.

The court's opinion heavy in legalese explains the 14th Amendment allows for personal choice on a private and intimate level.

"The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs," the opinion read.

The 5-4 decision encroaches across the States right to autonomous direction and implementation of legal parameters and open's a Pandora's box of legal challenges based on each states own interpretation and implementation of law.

The decision celebrated across American and heralded as a step forwarded in equality, does not necessarily resonate as favorable with the majority of the citizens as most laws do not. It is however, so ordered by the highest court in the land and therefore rendered law.

Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court handed down another landmark decision this week essential cemented President Obama's domestic agenda and created the jumping off point for the next democratic presidential candidate.

ACA has been challenged by the Republican Party more than 50 times, held hostages in budgetary deadlines, endured website failures and foul up's, criticized for lack, for inclusion, deemed destructive and a game changer and changed the way Americans look at Healthcare costs and insurance.

"This morning, the Court upheld a critical part of this law, the part that's made it easier for Americans to afford health insurance regardless of where you live.  If the partisan challenge to this law had succeeded, millions of Americans would have had thousands of dollars' worth of tax credits taken from them.  For many, insurance would have become unaffordable again.  Many would have become uninsured again.  Ultimately, everyone's premiums could have gone up.  America would have gone backwards.  And that's not what we do.  That's not what America does.  We move forward," the President said.

Many of the initial pledged by the Obama Administration dimply were untrue and did not materialize. Many lost their providers and were unable to keep the pre-Obama insurance. For those who had employment carriers, the ACA has little or no bearing on life. The Affordable Care Act has become the middle class incomes Medicaid. It is a failsafe plan for healthcare coverage and, in the off chance healthcare is needed, having it available is a comfort.

Aspects of the ACA are what the Supreme Court had been presented. After arguments and debate the ruling was the ACA stays intact. It is doubtful this will be the last time the court will see a case originating from the ACA.

The public can rest that Hillary will not deviated from what is deemed as a successful domestic agenda.

Cannabis Legislation the Next Supreme Court Frontier

Other personal choices and liberties which will be presented in due time will be brought on behalf of citizens whose states border each other that were sentenced prior to relaxed or legalized cannabis laws.

The harsh Rockefeller laws of New York State which have many men and women still facing very long terms for what is now decriminalized of is legal in others states must be addressed by the court. The freedom of all, the personal and intimate choices defining personal identity which include cannabis consumption has landed some with long term prison and others freedoms and legal monetary gains.

The dictation of the States rights as are now in the hands of the Supreme Court must address the differences that make each state a personal choice for habitation thus creating a uniformity in state's constitution and do away with voter referendum and personal ballot choice which clearly reflects the personal preference and voice of the people.

Cannabis laws throughout Colorado are voted on by individual municipalities and counties. While legal on a state level, Government structure within each country, city and municipality have the right to introduce and enforce legislation and ordinances to regulate the location of the businesses dedicated to this endeavor as well as create a dry county or town which essentially stop any legal sale with the designated boundaries.

Tunisian Massacre

ISIS continued to expand its terror network with a weekend bloody massacre on the beaches of the Sousse luxury resort.

The bloodbath began as Seifeddine Rezgui, 23, pulled an AK47 from his beach umbrella and began walking along the shoreline. Pictures of the former engineering student show a man, calm, without concern or thought for the carnage he prepared.

The shooter began spraying the beachgoers as the automatic weapon produced an all too familiar popping, those accustomed to gunfire knew immediately something horrific was unfolding.

The ISIS devotee, managed to escape the beach and make his way into the hotel where he tossed hand grenades into the lobby continuing his killing spree. Men, women and children who managed to escape the madman’s beach bullet rushed into the hotel lobby only to die during the second phase of the gunman’s mass casualty plan.

By the end of the day, 39 vacationers died as the seas ran red with the blood of the innocent.

ISIS continues its attempts to subjugate the world’s people through fear. Terror organization use the same mental tactics as any typical abuser. Conquer and defeat through repeated violence. ISIS invades every area of existence and destroys all it touches. It is a cancer that must be obliterated.

The loss of a single life, albeit James Foley, the American Journalist beheaded in a grandstanding show of superiority or Jordanian Air Force pilot Lieutenant Moath al-Kasasbeh, to validate to the world the depth of evil and brutality or innocent beachgoers vacationing to reiterate to the world that no land, no place is sacred or off limits to the burgeoning terror group only solidifies the determination of the world to dismantle, deconstruct and annihilated the very core, network and every individual associated with The Islamic State of Syrian and Iraq.

The extermination of ISIS will be the singular focus of every nation throughout the world, the effort will bring former enemies to the table united in stopping the continued expansion.

ISIS, the former organized terrorist network has marked itself for eradication. The faint victories they continue to tout as they trample on a land scarred by war will only be momentary as the world’s people, and armies, the elite military's have determined the end.

Putin and Obama Reconcile

President Obama released the transcript of a phone call from Russian president Vladimir Putin as the two begin to find common ground and attempt to work out the differences which rest squarely on the shoulders of the Russian government.

"The two discussed the necessity of countering ISIL and developments in the Middle East, as well as the situation in Ukraine.  President Obama reiterated the need for Russia to fulfill its commitments under the Minsk agreements, including the removal of all Russian troops and equipment from Ukrainian territory.  The leaders discussed the increasingly dangerous situation in Syria, and underscored the importance of continued P5+1 unity in ongoing negotiations to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," the statement read.

Boston Bomber Sentenced

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, the Boston Bomber, sentenced to death for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing which killed three and injured 264.

The words of Judge George A. O'Toole resonated: "You tried to justify it to yourself by redefining what it is to be an innocent person so that you could convince yourself that Martin Richard was not innocent, that Lingzi Lu was not innocent, and the same for Krystle Campbell and Sean Collier and, therefore, they could be, should be killed. It was a monstrous self-deception. To accomplish it, you had to redefine yourself as well. You had to forget your own humanity, the common humanity that you shared with your brother Martin and your sister Lingzi. It appears that you and your brother both did so under the influence of the preaching of Anwar al-Awlaki and others like him. It is tragic, for your victims and now for you, that you succumbed to that diabolical siren song. Such men are not leaders but misleaders. They induced you not to a path to glory but to a judgment of condemnation."

With that Tsarnaev was sentenced to die under the laws of Indiana. He will eventually be transferred to the Super-Maximum Federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana where he will serve his sentence and face death.

For now he will remain in Colorado, in solitary confinement, serving his sentence until his transfer. Although he will never have any contact with those compatriots housed in the Super-Max facility he will join Unibomber Ted Kaczynski, and double murderer Scott Peterson, sentenced for the gruesome grisly murder of his wife Laci and unborn child Connor.

James Taylor Hits Number 1

James Taylor, at 67 and nearly a half a century in the industry, has finally accomplished an honor that has eluded him throughout his four decade career: Debuting at Number 1 on Billboard's Top 200 Chart.

Fighting the likes of every known name in the music industry, Sweet Baby James has continued to make music seeing the tide ebb and flow, and music names come and go.

His longevity can be credited to his roots in a 1960's generation movement that brings him full circle along with the largest population group known as the baby boomers who are suddenly and thankfully nostalgic for a sweeter season, not ready for the frost of winter, the boomers are enjoying an Indian summer resurgence.

Taylor, Mud Slide Slim, is right there with them maintaining his brand of insightful, poetic lyrics, warm reflections of genuine emotional upheavals, peaceful feelings, longings, hopes and belief in love.

Known for his trusted acoustic guitar, he has embraced the internet and used social media, inviting fans into his life through his Facebook page and postings, to maintain his public persona.

It wasn't until recently, this past week that he accomplished a debut at Number 1 moving 97,000 units into the hands of the faithful and a new generation that hopes to bypass the techies and return to a simpler less complicated life. Taylor has bridged both.

For the thrice married Taylor, love may be a difficulty hard to define. His private demons and public life are well documented with loves, present and past, fame and fortune, children, and family all played out in the public realm.

The inner demons which he freely discusses includes his heroin addiction, an alcoholic father and stints in psychiatric facilities. Having the wherewithal to use those situation and seasons, no small feat, to conquer, even more difficult, and thrive, the ultimate payback to the evil to steal a life.

The early days of James Taylor included duets, back-ups and acoustic guitar accompaniments with solo rock-pop artist Carole King, and is featured on still the top ten all time biggest selling album Tapestry. Taylor went on to a solo career, a Grammy and has rode the wave of the music industry moving freely from his blended pop and soft southern folk rock appeal adding duets along the way with many leading ladies and recently with country songstress Alison Krause.

It has been his devotion to the guitar, and his resonating, expressive and affecting lyrics that have kept a generation interested and moved his name and style into a new one.  

Before This World, Taylor's first studio album in some time and all original work, features a collection of reflective material special to him and ambiguous enough to speak to everyone who has been there, through the years with him, holding onto his words, tunes serenading from the radio defining a special moment or season and wonder also how they survived.

Before This World, proves somethings are worth the wait and Taylor,  I'm sure, would agree.

Titanic Composer, James Horner, dead

James Horner, the Academy Award winning composer of such memorable scores as Titanic, AVATAR, Braveheart, and Aliens, was killed this week when the plane that he was piloting crashed.

The single engine Short Tucano turboprop was reported down near the Los Padres National Forest near Ventucopa, California. The fuselage was so badly damaged, and broken into sections, the remains had to be confirmed through DNA and multiple visual sightings during refueling stops.

Director James Cameron, whom Horner worked with on two of the highest grossing films of all-time AVATAR and Titanic, described him as a rare composer in which the "Orchestra's loved him."

Horner's assistant, Sylvia Patrycja, confirmed his death the next day with a brief statement on Facebook, "We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart, and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved.

He also skirted the edge of legal troubles by borrowing his own previously composed work and simple selections from other composers, reintroducing the themes into new scores just enough to warrant a hint of controversy and cause upset.

A lover of music, what I remember of meeting James Horner, during the AVATAR Home Entertainment Junket at James Cameron's Beatrice Studios, is his sensitive spirit. A soft spoken, kind, gentle and genuinely nice man. His love of music was obvious, he entertained, seduced, made a devotee with only two notes. He will be missed.

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

Sources: Whitehouse.org, Wikipedia.com

 

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