Beltway Insider: Biden/Merkel, Trump/CPAC, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Military Rape Culture, Nassar/FBI

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President Biden welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House this week, where the allies discussed the immediate effects of the U.S. Troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, and the commitment to continue to support the cause of democracy.

 

The President's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, for the period ending July 18, 2021, decreased by 0.4% to 51.2% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by 0.2% percentage points to 42.5%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.


Beltway Insider: Biden/Afghanistan, Trump, Haiti, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Branson, Tokyo, NYC, Robert Downey Sr.


Biden/Merkel

President Biden welcomed German Chancellor Angel Merkel to the White House as a tribute to her lengthy years of service, as well as a working visit in the wake of devastating flooding in her nation that has left hundreds dead and billions of dollars of damages.

President Biden praised Merkel, the first female to lead German, and the second longest German Chancellor behind Helmut Khol, as a foundation in the G7 Summits, and a stalwart in the European Union Government.

"So today, we're launching a Futures Forum between our two countries, which will bring together top experts across business, academia, civil society, and more to collaborate as we shape our shared future. Madam Chancellor, I know that the partnership between Germany and United States will continue to grow stronger on the foundation that you have helped to build. But on a personal note, I must tell you, I'll miss seeing you at our summits. I truly will," President Biden said.

Trump Wins CPAC Straw Poll

Former President Donald Trump has emerged victorious, securing 98% of the votes, in the Conservative Political Action Conference informal straw poll held this week when attendees of the three-day Republican lovefest were asked to name the political leader, they would like to see run for President in 2024.

"At a gathering branded as "America UnCanceled," election integrity ranked as the top issue facing the country for CPAC attendees when measured by the organization's straw poll. When gauging interest in the potential 2024 White House candidates, organizers asked attendees to answer two questions ranking their top choice. One question included Trump on the list and the other did not," reports CNN.com.

Florida Governor Rick DeSantis also emerged as a strong contender for the 2024 top spot with 68% or the vote. Popular issues were also on the agenda, as Republicans gathered to define the position central to the GOP party. With the mid-terms, one year away, the GOP is looking to flip the balance of the senate with the possibility to ten current senate seats up for grabs.

Four of the ten are seats open due to retirement, including, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). The remaining six, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) are facing reelection challenges.

The expectation of heavy campaigning focused on flipping the senate by one seat returns it to GOP control and will stop the democratic momentum as President Biden is sailing through legislation with a trifecta house and senate behind him.

The mid-terms will be a strong test of his popularity and leadership.

Military Rape Culture

Sexual assault and rape among enlisted military, has become less hidden as victims continue to speak out, understanding the dangers of reporting the assault can lead to aggressive retaliation and even death.

The 2020 annual report issued in May of 2021 included crimes committed during 2020 when the majority of troops were in lockdown.

"Army and Marine Corps saw slight increases in the number of reports, while the Navy and Air Force saw small decreases. It is unclear how much of a role the pandemic played in the small increase in assaults last year, or whether any new programs had an impact," reported The Associated Press.

Sexual assault, which is defined as any type of sexual activity or contact that you do not consent to. Sexual assault can happen through physical force or threats of force or if the attacker gave the victim drugs or alcohol as part of the assault and rape is defined as "The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." 

Justice Failed

Private First-Class Asia Graham was found unresponsive in her Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, barracks on January 1, 2021. She had reported sexual assault against a fellow officer. Her autopsy reported she had ingested a lethal cocktail, spiked with fentanyl. Her assailant was charged and convicted of rape and sexual assault and sentenced to 18 years in a military prison.

Fort Hood military base, located between Austin and Waco, Texas, Specialist Vanessa Guillen, was bludgeoned to death on the base by a fellow solider who, with the help of his girlfriend, dismembered the victim, mixed the remains in concrete, and buried her in the desert.


Justice Watch: A Failed System The Victim X Story (Part I)


"The Fort Hood Independent Review Committee released a report exposing how a fellow Texas base had bred a climate and culture "permissive" of sexual assault and harassment. It included examples of failed expectations and provided 70 recommendations on how to turn things around. Created in response to the killing of Spc. Vanessa Guillen by another soldier at Fort Hood, the committee found that it was often the inaction of leaders or poor implementation at the base that led to lapses in the Army's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, known as SHARP," reported The Stars and Stripes.

In April 2021, the Army's top brass were either "reprimanded or suspended from their duties following another review in December that found sweeping failures. All told, 21 soldiers, including one general and other officers, have been punished or suspended," reported The Washington Post.

Trickle Down Effect

While placated steps are being made, in the wake of the highly publicized case of Specialist Vanessa Guillen, where repeated reports of harassment were ignored, and grossly mishandled allowing a pervasive culture of violence, it is more than policy changes or a military wide campaign of zero tolerance, it is a mental conditioning, a behavioral change which cannot be fixed with a few mandatory meetings.

"In the 2019 survey, about 16% of women and 2% of men at the military colleges reported being sexually assaulted. The increase in incidents in that report stemmed largely from more men and women at the Army's West Point academy reporting unwanted sexual contact," reported USAToday.com.

The pervasive culture across military institutes and colleges, including West Point and Virginia Military Institute, Military Institutions and Colleges, who annually commission thousands of officers, across all branches of the military do not escape from the harsh realities of sexual violence among ranks.

"Complaining about the atmosphere often feels futile, the women say. The female cadet who decided not to report her rape in January said she did register her concerns about the college's misogynistic culture to VMI's commandant staff. "But when I did, one official questioned whether I belonged here," she said. "The person said, 'If we keep changing the rules here to make people feel comfortable, this school isn't going to be what it is anymore,'" reported The Washington Post.

The boys will be boys attitude, a hidden culture of sexual assault permissiveness, which has been ingrained in some cultures and clearly in the military culture enables the belief that this type of behavior from the top down, beginning with sexual harassment of any kind, uncomfortable language and joking, sexual comments, body shaming, harassment, any unwanted touching, ambiguous statements, the problem becomes when forced into hiding the predator and aggressors become more treacherous in their attempts to create an demeaning atmosphere.

The idea is not to change the rules, creating a water-downed version of the physical toughness and mental conditioning, the idea is to stop sexual assault, rape, period.

Vaccine Totals

Bloomberg.com has built a vaccine tracker which can be seen here. "In the U.S., 337 million doses have been given so far. In the last week, an average of 524,863 doses per day were administered," Bloomberg.com reported.

Coronavirus Totals

While the infection rates of the coronavirus have continued to decline around the world. A new strain, a mutation, has created global concern for leaders around the world are determining the best direction for the protection of the population. The importance of maintaining personal protective practices is imperative to controlling the spread.

For the week ending July 18, 2021, coronavirus cases globally increased by 3,536,356 new confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 189,977,719 people with a total worldwide death toll of 4,081,632 deaths, a weekly death rate increase of 57,452. (Data from The New York Times).

COVID US Totals

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending July 18, 2021, the total confirmed cases rose to 34,032,403 people with new confirmed cases increasing by 219,011 with a 7-day average of 31,287 cases per days of confirmed new cases. The coronavirus has claimed 608,152 total deaths, adding 1,863 more deaths to the total of lives lost due to the coronavirus. (Data from The New York Times).

Delta Variant Strikes SoCal

The Delta Variant has hit the southern California region particularly hard, so much so, that confirmed coronavirus cases have increased by 3.5 percent up from 2 percent over the past week. The mask mandate will remain in effect until the confirmed weekly cases return to the previous level. Vaccination remains the most effective preventive measure to protect against the coronavirus.

As long the coronavirus ranges anywhere in the world, no one is safe. Get vaccinated.

USA Gymnasts Disregarded by FBI

Convicted serial pedophile Jerry Nassar, who for thirty years worked for the USA Gymnastics team and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, almost escaped as a report this week was released detailing the shocking FBI mishandling of the original complaints and then lied to cover up the original mishandling.

Nassar, who has been convicted of assaulting at least 500 victims, received a "pass" as is common when assault charges are brought against degreed or positioned or powerful individuals.

Jurisdictional failures, which facilitated the Indiana FBI field office's failure to contact federal officials in Nassar's state of residence, Michigan, and even question if they had jurisdictional authority, as the USA Gymnastic Organization is located in Indiana, the gymnasts trained in Texas, and Nassar's home base was Michigan. The ability of the powered to move their crimes into multiple jurisdictions created a bottleneck in the judicial process and highlights the failures of law enforcement to work on behalf of the victim's, which often leaves victims once again victimized by the system.


 

Justice Watch: Jealousy, Greed, and The Seven Deadly Sins – The Victim X Story Pt.3


Special Agent Jay Abbot, in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office "made materially false statements during his OIG interviews to minimize errors made by the Indianapolis Field Office in connection with the handling of the Nassar allegations," according to the inspector general's report," reported The Wall Street Journal.

This type of gross negligence and failure on the side of law enforcement is evidence of the ever-widening chasm between agencies that fail victims. Even across state lines in jurisdictions such as New York and New Jersey, where pre-pandemic up to 80% of New Jersey residents commuted into Manhattan, across state lines. Crimes in either state hit a bottleneck and law enforcement routinely fails to cross jurisdictional boundaries.

Local law enforcement is the first outreach for many victims and reports of sexual assault are routinely dropped as in the case of Nassar, where SSA Abbot failed to transfer the allegations to Michigan.

The more common practice is to simply step over any case where there are complexities and involve money, powered, or positioned individuals who interpret this as collaboration, a buy, a pass, a perk, professional courtesy, and continue to commit not only sexual violence but a myriad of other crimes.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) were briefed by the Inspector General on the report and commented and called for congressional hearings on the case.


Justice Watch: And They Got Away With It (Part 4)


"This report is absolutely chilling, truly a gut punch to anyone who cares about effective law enforcement," said Blumenthal, after the release of the report. He wondered why there were no criminal charges brought against the Indianapolis agents for making false statements. "There has to be a measure of accountability." Moran said he had developed the sense that something was "significantly wrong" in the Indianapolis office. "This a sad day to once again learn that a system designed to protect individuals failed. "Someone who lies in an official capacity ought to pay the consequence for doing so," reported The Wall Street Journal.

 

For more information on President Joe Biden www.whitehouse.gov.

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection

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