Beltway Insider: Biden Transition, Trump Pardons, Iran, COVID Surge, Dinkins, Black Friday

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President-elect Joe Biden has been given the official greenlight by the General Services Administration to begin the transition of power freeing up government funding and more importantly providing the president elect with the President's daily security briefings.


The President's job approval rating, according to the website, for the period ending November 29, 2020, decreased by .02 percentage points to 44.0% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by .03% percentage points to 52.7%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.

Beltway Insider: Biden Transition, Trump/GSA, Electoral, COVID Surge, Mossimo, JFK Assassinated

Biden Transition Approved

President Elect Joe Biden has continued to name members of his cabinet. Following the appointment of long-time aide, Antony Blinken, to Chief of Staff, he also named Jake Sullivan, a long-time aide of Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State.

He has also appointed Alejandro Mayoraks to the position as Secretary of Homeland Security. It is the first appointment of an immigrant to the position. President Biden has also Avril Haines, as Director of National Security.

"Blinken and Sullivan are expected to take the lead on several of Biden's top priorities in his first 100 days in office: Rejoining and strengthening the Paris Climate Agreement, rejoining and reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal with Iran and rejoining the World Health Organization," reported.

Biden also appoint former Secretary of State John Kerry as Special Envoy to Climate, a clear indication the President-elect sees the Paris Accord and combating climate change issues as apriority for his administration.

Iran Nuclear Program

Although Kerry has been given a newly appointed title, his expertise in the Iranian Nuclear Deal, which was hammered out between Iran and The United States in the last year of the Obama Administration, could become useful to president elect Biden given the recent assassination of the head of the Iranian nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

With Iran blaming Israel for the assassination, the United States will be forced to move quickly to stop the expected terror attacks as Iranians vow revenge.

The Iranian Nuclear Program has long been the target of global sanctions forcing restraint, as they continue to attempt to arm themselves with nuclear weaponry with Israel as the primary target.

The generational differences between the two nations have long been the subject of negotiations.

The Non-Proliferation of Life Treaty, which means, "the prevention of an increase or spread of something, especially the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons," bans nations other than the P5, the United Nations, Britain, China, Russia, and France, from developing a nuclear arsenal. The signatories have all agreed to honor the treaty and only develop nuclear energy.

The recent assassination causes alarm as the Israel Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyhu, announced in a national broadcast to his nation, Fakhrizadeh, had become the architect of Iran's new push to develop nuclear weapons.

"Iran had previously threatened to withdraw from the NPT. "The Islamic Republic's choices are numerous, and the country's authorities are considering them ... and leaving NPT is one of them," Zarif told state media in April 2019, after the United States tightened sanctions on Iran. "There is not much time left until the end of the 60 days ultimatum given by Iran to the Europeans to save the (2015) deal. After that Iran will suspend implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty," said Mojtaba Zolnour, the head Parliament's nuclear committee, in June 2019," Iran Primer reported. 

The Trump Administration withdrew from the Iranian Nuclear deal on May 8, 2018 "unraveling the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor Barack Obama, isolating the United States from its Western allies," the New York Times reported in May 2018.

World News: The Impossible Defeat As Trump Joins The One-Termers

Trump Hits Dems Back on Russia Investigation

President Trump, who has yet to concede his re-election defeat, is clearly committed to setting the record straight, utilizing the disinformation campaign strategy with the pardon of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany wrote in a released statement, "President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency granting a Full Pardon to General Michael T. Flynn.  The President has pardoned General Flynn because he should never have been prosecuted.  An independent review of General Flynn's case by the Department of Justice—conducted by respected career professionals—supports this conclusion.  In fact, the Department of Justice has firmly concluded that the charges against General Flynn should be dropped.  This Full Pardon achieves that objective, finally bringing to an end the relentless, partisan pursuit of an innocent man."

The Russian investigation, which the president has continue to denounce as a hoax, even as the investigation, led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, eventually led to thirteen indictments supported by an independent empaneled Grand Jury resulted, in essentially political wrangling, book deals, an opportunity for many attorneys to earn a substantial fee.

General Michael Flynn, Political operative Roger Stone, has both received presidential pardons. Former Campaign Director Paul Manafort and Trump's Fixer Michael Cohen were each sentenced to prison and released early due to Coronavirus concerns. George Papadopoulos, who served as a member of President Trump's foreign policy advisory panel, served his 14-day sentence for making false statement to the FBI.

Coronavirus Totals

The infection rates of the coronavirus have alarmingly increased around the world. The weekly account confirms that a second wave is building with European nations enforcing shutdowns for, at minimum, one month. The importance of maintaining personal protective practices is imperative to controlling the spread.

For the week ending November 22, 2020, coronavirus cases increased globally by 4,082,100 confirmed cases, brings the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 62,557,400, with 1,456,200 deaths, an increase of 72,000 over the week.

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending November 22, 2020, the total confirmed cases rose to 13,383,300 with new confirmed cases rising by more than one million this week alone with an average by 170,000 cases per day. The coronavirus has claimed 266,300 total deaths, a weekly increase for 9,458 deaths. (Data from The New York Times).

Supreme Court Strikes Down Religious Restrictions

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been recognized for his leadership in slowly the spread of the coronavirus within his state which has been considered the epicenter in the United States is now facing increased pressure to relax his stronghold on his states restrictions.

The latest setback came this week, as the U.S Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision, against New York his plan to reimpose coronavirus-related attendance limits on religious services.

"Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court's liberals in the dissenting opinion. Justice Neil Gorsuch, in the concurring opinion, said Cuomo had treated religious activities less favorably than nonreligious ones, according to the New York Times.  "It is time — past time — to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques," wrote Gorsuch, who was also named to the court by Trump," reported.

France, Germany Announce Second National Quarantine

Post-Holiday Surge

The expected post-holiday surge in confirmed coronavirus cases has many states confronting what they had hoped would eventually be held to densely populated metropolitan areas and not become a stark reality for the entire nation.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus does not discrimination and is not held to only densely populated areas. As the eastern seaboard manages to stay outside of the depth of infections seen earlier this year, the rest of the nation is in the death grip, with cases increasing exponentially.

Many will explain with the rate of testing increasing the rate of positive results will naturally increase and this positive result is not a sign of immediate sickness or symptomatic. Although individuals who do receive a positive test result should be concerned for any person in their immediate orbit and quarantine.

Second-hand smoke may be the most common analogy all Americans will understand in combating the freedoms many believe they are losing with the restrictions governors are placing upon their states. It is genuinely a challenge to tolerate many of the restrictions which Americans, each of us, are expected to endure.

The flip side of sidelined holiday plans are much worse as no one wants to plan a funeral.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, each offer what many consider a holiday buzz kill as they each explain the realities of the potential for cluster spread through simple holiday gatherings.

"Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment). This can include family members, as well as roommates or people who are unrelated to you. People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk," The CDC posted on its website.

As the advice reverberates across the nation, many are reacting in the same manner they would when a parent or guardian imposed what they believed were unnecessary restrictions. Ignore and face the consequences if they arise later.

This failure to understand the enemy in which we, as a nation face, could result in loss of life. Use any analogies, driving drunk, no seatbelt, secondhand smoke, the risk increases and while one may be without symptoms, a relative could contract the virus.

"American life has been fundamentally reordered because of the virus. Concerts, parades, and high school basketball games continue to be called off. Countless people have found themselves jobless and struggling to afford housing. Many schools and colleges have held few or no in-person classes this fall. More than 321,000 cases have been linked to colleges and universities over the course of the pandemic. Thousands more cases have been identified in elementary, middle and high schools," The New York Times reported.

Los Angeles County, the largest in the nation with more than 22million residents, even larger than many states, has again imposed stay at home orders. The challenges and impositions Angelenos face are nothing compared to the a single death of a loved one.

"Los Angeles County announced a new stay-home order Friday as coronavirus cases surged out of control in the nation's most populous county, banning most gatherings but stopping short of a full shutdown on retail stores and other non-essential businesses. The three-week "safer at home" order takes effect Monday. It came as the county of 10 million residents confirmed 24 new deaths and 4,544 new confirmed cases of COVID-19," The Associated Press reported.

Medical Science: Got My Shot, Can I Go Out Now?

Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins Dies

David Dinkins, who served as New York City's first and only Black mayor during the 1990s, has died. He was 93. His wife of 67 years, Joyce Dinkins, died a few weeks ago.

Black Friday

Black Friday, usually the busiest shopping day of the year and for most retailors a make or break day for the entire year, felt a bit slimmer this year while online sales skyrocketed.

Retailors who increased their online capabilities, throughout the year, had a greater chance to compete against online giant Amazon and others for the expected more than $1 trillion dollars expected to be spent over the four-week period from November 27, through December 27, 2020.

"According to Deloitte, holiday retail sales this year are forecast to rise between 1% and 1.5%, amounting to between $1.147 trillion and $1.152 trillion during the November-to-January time frame. That's compared with growth of 4.1% in 2019, when sales were nearly $1.14 trillion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau," reported.


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