Beltway Insider: Syria Erupts; August Peace Deadline; ISIS Kills Soldier; Refugee Camp Hit; Election 2016; Economy

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As the August deadline nears for the transition of power ending the Assad regime, the Syrian Peace Treaty dictating the timeframe is barely intact with fighting erupting around rebel held Aleppo and near the civilian refugee camps located in Idlib.

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, increased one percentage points to 53% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased two percentage points to 43%.

Syria Erupts; Faces August Deadline

The Syrian Peace Treaty is under fire again as fighting has erupted in pockets around rebel held Aleppo and near the civilian refugee camps located in Idlib, near the Turkish border with reported of dozens dead and heavy causalities.

Russia and Syrian spokespersons have denied responsibility for the attack that killed 28 saying their aircraft were nowhere near the area.

"We're not in a position where we can draw clear conclusions about who exactly was responsible. What is true is that regardless of who was responsible, there is never any justification for carrying out a strike that targets innocent civilians that have already fled their homes to escape violence.  Unfortunately, there is a long track record of the Assad regime doing precisely that.  The bloodshed that we have seen inside Syria is astonishing and tragic.  Too much of that is the blood of innocent civilians, and it's on the hands of Bashar al Assad and members of his government," said Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary.

August Deadline

The Syrian Peace Treaty hammered out and agreed to by Assad's government called for the peaceful transition of power allowing for a democratic government to move in place and bring stability to the region.

The deadline for the Assad's removal is August, 2017. With no real action in place to counter a refusal of Assad to adhere to the August deadline, the United States is once again limiting itself to the strongest possible language with force behind the statements.

"I'm not aware of any threats that have been issued.  I think what Secretary Kerry and others have laid out is a framework for carrying out painstaking political talks.  And those political talks have been undermined by the propensity of the Assad regime to carry out attacks against innocent civilians inside of Syria.  Opposition leaders are understandably reluctant to come to the table with people who are, at the very same time, authorizing military assaults against their constituents," Earnest said.

The Syrian Civil War has lasted five long years with the millions of Syrians fleeing hoping to leave the terror behind them and settle into a better life and home.

Is it possible the Obama Administration could, just this once, have a plan in place, a punishment, sanctions, a squeeze play, something to force Assad into compliance? If not for the sake of peace than for retaliation for those who lost their lives fleeing the Assad tyranny? For the dead Syrians, for Aylan, the toddler who drowned when the unsafe craft his parents hoped would carry them to freedom sank.  For the countless Syrians who met the same fate have something more than the strongest possible language.

ISIS Kills U.S. Solider

Charles Keating IV, a U.S. Navy Seal and advisor to Peshmerga Forces in Iraq, became the third fatality, killed by the Islamic State in what was described as intense and heavy firefight.

Keating, grandson of Charles Keating Jr., the Arizona Banker who became caught up in a corruption scandal, in 1987, that eventually resulted in the accusation of five U.S. Senators who became known as The Keating Five.  

President Obama Announces Continued Job Growth

President Obama announced the United States economy added 160,000 jobs in April making it the 74th consecutive month of private sector Job growth as he reflected on seven years ago when the economy lost 700,000 jobs during a White House press briefing.

That was then, a newly elected President Obama inherited an economy that had flat lined; a nation concerned and tired; a world struggling over global financial collapse.  The economy infrastructure for all intents and purposes disintegrated; unemployment hit 10% and Americans were warned it would take conservatively until 2017 to recover from the disastrous recession.

"So the economy/unemployment rate has been growing, unemployment has been falling, and wages have been rising.  The global economy is not growing as fast.  You're still seeing lagging growth in Europe, Japan, and now China.  Here in the United States, there are folks out there who are still hurting.  We've got to do everything we can to strengthen the good trends and to guard against some dangerous trends in the global economy. If the Republican Congress joined us to take steps that are pretty common-sense, then we could put some additional wind at the backs of working Americans," Obama said.

President Obama, possibly due to inexperience or youth or simply a genuine desire to invoke change made the conscience decision to be a president for the people. His ideas to reinvigorate the economy; to reach below the poverty line and provide, if nothing more, health care were met with opposition.  

The economy seven years ago, did one thing that is rare in Washington, it brought the politicians together and everyone regardless of party worked for the constituents as the first class to face election under the great recession saw many long term complacent and career politicians going home.

New American Crisis

The nation is faced with a familiar and similar fork in the road. The candidate, mocked, ridiculed is being chosen by the people, continually, repeatedly. Everything he does is the antithesis of the American Career Politician.

"Clearly there is a debate taking place inside the Republican Party about what they represent. Their standard bearer at the moment is Donald Trump.  I think not just Republican officials, but more importantly, Republican voters will have to make a decision as to whether this guy speaks for them and represents their values.  Republican women voters will have to decide do I feel comfortable with him representing me.  I think folks who, historically, have been concerned about making sure that budgets add up and that we are responsible stewards of government finances have to ask, does Mr. Trump's budgets work, Obama said.

The GOP have one choice embrace the candidate of choice, as Washington is not a private sector employment opportunity. The people will rise up and collectively send the same message until the career politicians, the parents of the people realize the kids are grown and making their own decisions.

Beltway Insider: ISIS Attacks Iraq; Syria Escalation; Election 2016; Ohio Execution Funerals; Jeffrey Katzenberg

Election 2016: Trump Secures De Facto Title; Cruz, Kasich Drop Bids; Sanders Wins Indiana

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump is taking his party by storm as he continues to secure the confidence and votes of the people winning decisive majorities in each primary state.

With 169 awarded delegates away from an historic win, the New York Real Estate Developer, cum, Presidential hopeful has chipped away at the party stalwarts until mathematically they had no chance of winning the nomination and dropped out.

Trump mobilized his platform utilizing every tactic and tool a candidate who wants to win uses. No tweet barb was too low for the star of NBC's hit reality show, "The Apprentice." As he started from Day one taking out the weaker candidates, fighting against a pack of seasoned politicians the business and industry leader utilized tactics meant for business warfare. Slowly, one by one, he immobilized the effectiveness of each of the candidates.

His strongest and most alienating strategy, when down denigrate, has served him well against the politeness of most candidates. Trump is not polite in politics; Trump is out for the win. To win in this game is to take no prisoners. An all-out political bloodbath.

Washington Republicans who are sitting scratching their well-coiffured heads are forgetting the first rule of politics: The job they hold is by the grace of the people who elect them.

The Republican party has splintered into factions of bullying Donald Trump haters. They hate him as much and as vocally as they hate Obama. Granted he is not the party slick, GOP resurrection of Ronald Reagan, and he is the choice of the people, thus far.

Career politicians like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan who has made a platform of his opinion not to accept Trump into his fraternity has forgotten he wins his seat and maintains his position by the authority of his constituents, the same people who voted for this candidate.

President Obama, other GOP Party leaders, and Democratic challenger Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have denounced a Trump Presidency as an insult to the American public's intelligence.

Granted Donald Trump as a politician is politically incorrect; he is rough around the edges, a fixer-upper. He is not a politician and still he is the leader of choice in a government that prides itself on "of the people and by the people." Those are the same people who are tired of politics as usual and are looking for a rough around the edges leader, apparently.


With last week's Indiana Primary, the Hail Mary of the GOP stalwart, began with the endorsement of Indiana Governor Mike Pence endorsing GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz for the Presidency.

This followed the alliance made between the remaining hopefuls, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich and the modernizing choice of Ted Cruz to name former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his Vice Presidential running mate.

The efforts were seen as last ditch, anything to upset the momentum of the Trump machine which resonated with the voters who were able to see past the signals from a sinking candidate and not fall for the sympathetic and clear manipulations of a Party expecting to dictate to the constituents their choice.

When the day was finished, Indiana, in a winner take more, state the delegates went to Trump. Senator Cruz announced the suspension of his campaign; Kasich followed.

By Wednesday morning, Donald J. Trump best known for his two-word phrase "You're fired" had effectively terminated the hopes of the two remaining candidates.

Republican Primaries

With only a single candidate, the remaining Republican primaries will clearly be less interesting.

Cruz and Kasich who have both suspended their campaigns remain on the ballots in the upcoming primary states and has in the past the future should be decisive wins for Donald J. Trump, the man who could be president because he didn't give a damn about what anyone thought and had the resources to go it alone if needed.

Upcoming Nebraska primary is a winner-take-all contest which should add 36 delegates to the Trump totals. West Virginia also this week, is a hybrid contest.  To clinch outright Donald Trump will have to wait.

Sanders Win Indiana; Clinton Marches On

Democratic Presidential challenger Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took the victory from the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton in what turned out to be a stronger win that pollsters, predictors and tea leaf readers initially expected.

The 5% margin of victory resulted 44 awarded delegates for Sanders and 39 for Clinton. Awarded delegate totals for Sanders stand at 1,415 with 39 Super delegates pledged for a total of 1,454. 

Clinton enters the second week of May with 1,705 awarded delegates and 523 Super delegates for a total of 2,228 total.  Clinton is 155 awarded delegates from clinching the nomination outright.

This week a single primary is being held in West Virginia. Clinton should win; she holds strong ties and connects well with southern voters. Although the margin of victory at this point forward, throughout the remainder of May with only one other race, Kentucky, will be slim. Sanders will win big in Oregon.

Even as Mrs. Clinton would prefer to win the states she is awarded delegates proportionally and remains on track to clinch the Democratic Presidential nomination by June 7, 2016.

Sanders Threatens Convention Fight

In an uncharacteristically Donald Trump mirror moment, Vermont Senator Sanders has declared he will stage a Floor Fight at the Democratic National Convention if Clinton does not win the nomination with awarded delegates only.

DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring he convention is conducted fairly and serves the best interests of all Democrats.

"There are rules and regulations that sort of govern the conduct of the convention.  And there's a whole apparatus at the Democratic National Committee that can follow the guidelines and ensure that our party hosts a convention that's consistent with the rules but also reflects the preferences of those who participated in primaries and caucuses across the country'" said, Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary.

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