Beltway Insider: Trump/Mueller, ISIS Defeat, Brexit, NZ Unites, 2020 Election, Census

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Stopping short of total exoneration, Robert S. Mueller, Special Counsel Investigating the possibility of collusion between President Donald Trump and the Russians to secure a victory in the 2016 Presidential election, indicated the evidence was insufficient.

According to Gallup, President Trump's job approval, which was tracked for the month of February ending on March 10, 2019 decreased four percentage points to 39% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased by three percentage points to 57%. Ratings are calculated monthly.

It's Mueller Time

After two years of subpoenas, indictments and investigation Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller submitted his much-anticipated Report to Attorney General William Barr, who said within the boundary of the law it will be made public.

Attorney General William Barr, who received the Mueller Report Friday, March 22, 2019, explained in his opening paragraph, "I am writing today to advise you of the principal conclusions reached by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he prepared."


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Takeaways from the four page letter, which can be read in its entirety here, include the exact title, "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election" as well as the specific focus' of the two year investigation.

 The report explains that the Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegation that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.

Barr continues mentioned the indictments and convictions of individuals in connection to his investigation which has been widely publicized. Barr also explains Mueller's investigation is divided into two parts: Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and Obstruction of Justice.

The following eight paragraphs of William Barr's letter can be condensed to the following:

On Collusion: "The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference."

On Russian Interference: "The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organization and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries including WikiLeaks."

On Obstruction of Justice: "The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as "difficult issues" of law and fact concerning whether the President's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states t hat "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime it also does not exonerate him."

In a final statement Barr notes that in order to quickly make the report public grand jury testimony which can not be disclosed under law will need to be identified. Barr has asked Mueller to assist in "identifying" any information that can not be disclosed under law.

Of course, many will have to wait to read the back story when Mueller parlays the last two years into a seven-figure book deal and a movie.

ISIS Defeated

The Islamic State, after three presidents, twenty years and a sixty-nation coalition, has finally been militaristically defeated, forced from the final parcel of ground in Syria where the Caliphate had held its position.

President Trump has noted repeatedly the defeat of ISIS is in total because of his efforts. Of course, his final push, with new and innovated weaponry, played a role in finally eliminating the Islamic State threat.


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While the Trump Administration congratulates itself over the victory, many remember those who lost their lives in heinous, violent, murderous aggression of the Islamic State.

In analyzing the rise and defeat of the Islamic State both former Presidents Bush and Obama each had eight years in which they dealt with the Caliphate of evil.

Granted President Obama seemed to experience the brunt of the War. The beheadings began in August 2014 and began with captured journalists. Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Edward Kassig, British citizens Alan Henning and David Haines, French citizen Herve Gourdel, Lebanese Army Sergeant Ali al-Sayyed, and hundreds of other middle easterners were systematically murdered by someone partially identified as Jihad John, a British citizen.

Arab Spring, which ushered in the Syrian Civil War, also weakened the Syrian infrastructure and allowed the Islamic State to carve out a corner of the nation and call it home. On the way, the viciousness also crossed over into a destructiveness and ancient cities of Palmyra were razed, artifacts 3000 years old.

Following the capture of Palmrya, on August 23, 2015, it was reported that ISIL had blown up the 1st-century Temple of Baalshamin. On August 30, 2015, ISIL demolished the Temple of Bel with explosives. Satellite imagery of the site taken shortly after showed almost nothing remained.

While the President is in a self-congratulatory mood, the loss of lives, culture and history, are worth a moment to pause and remember. Many have said the war may have ended but the ideology remains, with women as devoted to the cause as they were initially.

Brexit and Theresa May's Eleventh Hour Reprieve

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who has felt the repeated sting as the exit deal that she has negotiated with European Union members has been continuously rejected, in historic and shocking fashion, by Members of Parliament.

Attempting to saddle her with the full blame of failure and pushing no confidence votes immediately after the epic malfunction of the Brexit votes, essentially reveals a strategic game of political chess.

"Max Hastings, the historian and columnist who is a Remainer, laments that it is the Brexiteers who have had all the best tunes and most charismatic leaders. And Philip Collins, who has little sympathy for Mrs. May, says she had a point when she blamed feuding members of parliament for the stalemate," reports Max Hastings, The London Times.


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Weekend protests, calling for a second referendum reached more than one million marchers demanding a second chance to cast the vote which determines their future. These hopeful Remainers believe that the out of control abyss of the unknown can be stopped with a second vote. And that is possible. It is also quite possible, 50% possible, that after a second referendum, the Brexiters will again triumph.

As recent as December 4, 2018, the Advocate General to the European Court of Justice "published his preliminary opinion that a country could unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the EU should it wish to do so, by simple notice, prior to actual departure. While not being a formal ECJ judgement, it was seen as a good indication of the court's eventual decision. On 10 December the ECJ decided that a notice of withdrawal can be revoked unilaterally, i.e. without approval by the other EU members, provided that the decision to revoke is made according to the country's constitutionally established procedures," stated Wikipedia.

New Zealand Unites Against Gun Violence

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has emerged from the carnage of the New Zealand Mosques mass shooting earning strong global assessments as she has led her nation through one of its "darkest days."

From the beginning she stood steely, determined to calm the rising fear of difference between the nations people, lead them in grief, and provide transparency, provide direction for media in its descriptions of the suspect, as she moved forward to begin an immediate effort to change gun laws.

With the suspect flashing the White Power sign as he stood in the High Court, his helmet cam video live-streamed, his need for recognition which was apparent would never be spoken by Ardern.

The Prime Minister made good on her statements of covering burial costs, her example was copied by citizens who donned a hijab, the traditional headscarf Muslim females wear, to join the nations in supporting the rights of the nations Muslims.

Ardern, who showed her grief through unyielding, unwavering determination, united others who are may be considered on the fringe, New Zealand's Hell's Angeles, Mongrel Mob, Black Power and King Cobra street bikers, and motorcycle clubs usually on the other side of the law, showed up at Friday prayers to guard the mosques and provide security.

Finally, Prime Minister Ardern announced she is banning all assault rifles, high capacity magazines and military style semi-automatic rifles. She is asking for voluntary adherence. Parliament she has said will vote in April.

She has been honored around the world for her resolve, grace, aplomb and acceptance.


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"On March 15, the nation witnessed a terrorist attack that demonstrated the weakness of New Zealand's gun laws," Ardern said. "The guns used in this attack had the power to shoot continuously. The times for the easy availability of these weapons must end. And today, they will," USA Today reported.

2020 Election

The 2020 Presidential election is drawing early campaigning across the field as front runners Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and undeclared candidate former Vice-President Joe Biden have pulled ahead from the very crowded pack of democratic hopefuls.

California Senator Kamala Harris is also drawing crowds as she reaches out to African Americans during Church services. With Harris on the east coast, Sanders arrived in California for a three city campaign rally.

Arriving in San Diego he told the crowd, "it's not just economic justice we are fighting for. It is political justice. Together, we are going to create a political system which is based on the democratic principles of one person - one vote - and end a corrupt system which allows billionaires to buy elections. Yes. We are going to overturn Citizens United, move to public funding of elections and end racist voter suppression. We will make it easier for people to vote, not harder."

In less than one year, all except two will come out of the Iowa Caucuses bruised, e very next day, February 4, voters in New York will head to the polls to vote in the democratic primaries. New Hampshire follows, Nevada and South Carolina. By March 1, 2019 the ticket choice will be clear.

Monday, February 3 - Iowa caucuses, Tuesday, February 4 – New York, Tuesday, February 11 - New Hampshire, Saturday, February 22 - Nevada Democratic caucuses, Saturday, February 29 - South Carolina primary (Democrats only).

The Lion's Share, the make or break point is Super Tuesday, scheduled early on March 3, 2020, by March 4, the bloated field with fall dramatically to a handful.

Senator Cory Booker and California Senator Kamala Harris are fighting for the Vice President position. Either complement the ticket and one misstep, one off-handed comment, a far left or slightly right slip and they become yesterday's news.

It is a two-man race at this point with undeclared former Vice President Joe Biden and declared candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders taking the top two spots with comfortable and recognition, understanding of government and politics and able to right the listing ship of political leadership.

While the first two democratic debates will have space for up to 20 candidates on back to back nights the debate sin the fall and winter of 2019 could have room for just 10. Six expected attendees are Biden, Sanders, Beto, Kamala Harria, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar. Cory Booker should secure on eof the next four slots, three remaining are difficult to determine, especially as not one primary or caucus will have been held by fall 2019. Which means the three slots remaining will be determined by media presence, independent poll and the sponsoring network or platform.

Census 2020

2020 also marks the year of the census, the numerical count of the population that occurs every ten years in America. The census provides information that effects every area of life in the United States, it determines the redistricting of neighborhoods, it adds or subtracts representation in Washington, and determines funding.

Over the next year additional messaging from #Census2020 will be seen throughout the United States as the agency gears up for its largest count in history of Census taking.

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

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com

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