Beltway Insider: Obama/State of the Union, US/Iran, ISIS Strikes; Election 2016, Penn/El Chapo

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

President Barack Obama presented the annual State of the Union Speech highlighting both domestic and international issues that have elevated themselves, through success or catastrophe, to become part of a global conversation, agenda and challenge.

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, remained constant at 47% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President remained constant at 49%.

Obama and The State of the Union

The President spoke candidly and causally to a packed chamber and a televised audience of 33.3 million viewers who remained solidly and staunchly party divided. The issues, of which there are many, for the citizen become those which directly affect the daily existence, the daily life, of which become part of the home, kitchen table conversations.

Three issues seem to rise above the others: The Economy, Healthcare and National Security which has reduced to the security of the individual citizen in the face of rising radicalization of both foreign Islamic State Fighters and sympathizers.


For the majority of viewers, who are already fed up with the political rhetoric and election season sparring, can relate to the facts surrounding the last eight years.

President Obama inherited an economy that had yet to fully collapse. Already tipping toward disaster at his first inauguration, his first administration was filled with stopping the hemorrhage and eventually he and Congress worked together for the people and

The facts remain and is evidenced historically, only when the nation faced the worst economic recession since the Great Depression did the two houses, and both party lay aside divisive party politics and work together furthering the cause of the American people.

Personal agendas had been put aside, for one singular reason, every politician understands they have a job as the luxury of the single citizen, the voter. If in those dark economic days the elected did not lay aside the differences they also would become unemployed.

Obama spoke on the numbers, which most know, unemployment is done. The overall unemployment numbers are misleading. Collectively and averaged the national numbers reflect the overall growth of private sector employment. Demographically there are groups still severely challenged in securing employment. The President was clear; he is also aware, as is his White House that while the job market is good, it can be better. It can include the demographics historically challenged.

The numbers do present greater employment opportunities. There is also no administration in history that has ensured the minimum wage worker is as represented as they are currently. States and cities across America are also ensuring those workers receive compensation that can genuinely make a difference.

The President isn't able to join each family at the Kitchen Table where most handle the budget or start new businesses or contemplate their economic recovery and without interjecting political preference or agenda the single most important piece of advice the president can give is not to fully count on government.

Ultimately the plan for recovery is only aided by government. Families, singles, individuals put together the economic survival, retirements and long term financial goals. It is imperative that every individual put together plan for economic recovery or goal setting.

The economy has continued over the course of eight years to be consistently in the national conversation.


Another issue that effects the majority of the population is Healthcare. If Obamacare works properly, and if the unemployment continues to fall, most of those receiving ACA healthcare benefits will cease to use them and receive benefits from employers.

Obamacare faced another Supreme Court challenge which was thrown out. The possibilities or modification under a new administration continues to exists.

Homeland Security

The issue that has risen dramatically to the forefront of both the international domestic conversations is security: Homeland security, ISIS, and international security of the partners and allies of the United States.

Not since 2001 has national security become such a hotly debated and pivotal issue. The American people want to know that they are safe.

The rising concerns grow not from headlines and news reports but from firsthand accounts in cities we can pronounce, cities that represent suburbia, that represent America. Major metropolitan areas are first to receive the Terror prevention federal dollars and first to have the pools of resources. Cities that make the headlines these days are those off the beaten path.

The Islamic State Terrorist, if they are organized they have terror units, and the displays internationally have shown an increasingly organized militia. The operating units, would have terror groups first working the plans for the larger city attacks and another for smaller cities and a third for recruitment.

Domestically in the last two years the Department of Justice and the FBI have arrested approximately 65 individuals on Islamic State related charges.

The international conversation has steadfastly remained the permanent destruction of the Islamic State Terrorist Organization.

"Over the next six months we will continue to accelerate our counter-ISIL strategy working with Coalition partners to drive out ISIL from the remaining stretch of the Turkish-Syrian border it has seized; clear and stabilize the Euphrates River Valley and cut off the remaining connections between Raqqah and Mosul," said Josh Earnest, Press Secretary

To that end, it appears as a global community we will walk through many dark days before ISIS is annihilated.  

Also Beltway Insider: Obama, Guns and The America People, Charlie Hebdo; Election 2016, El Chapo Captured

ISIS Strikes

The Islamic State has taken credit for additional attacks this week. ISIS led an assault this week in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, killing seven and injuring 24.  The systematic bombing took place in the downtown area near both a movie complex and shopping center. Reports have indicated the attacks were led by five fighters, in the same manner of the November 13, Paris Bombings. The attackers were killed by authorities.

January 12, The Islamic state targeted a central square in Turkey's capital of Istanbul. 10 Foreign tourist died in the attacks. Turkey officials have declared war upon the Islamic state, and killed 200 state fighters who have taken up residency near the Syria and Iraqi borders.

In the Syrian city of Raqqa, an ISIS fighter murdered his mother, dragging her into the streets as she begged him to leave the organization. He charged her with apostasy and shot her at point blank range. He was celebrated.

ISIS, which is also called Daesh, has taken its war, created through a personal power trip of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and skewed interpretation of the Quran to the mass through what is known as a Caliphate or open season on any person who doesn't respect the Quran, who has declared open war on citizen who doesn't interpret religious preferences in the same manner.

As it is not the policy of the United States to assassinate foreign leaders, those nations who have responded to ISIS attacks by declaring the attack is an act of war and members of the coalition should utilize all resources and determine the best source of action o facilitate the long range goals of permanently dismantle ISIS. 

United States Touts Iran's Honor Actions

The State of the Union also brought the recent nuclear deal with Iran to the forefront as once again, the United States government has offered an olive branch of peace to a nation who without cause, took ten American sailors hostage.

The Independently verified compliance of steps implemented of which were determined during the negotiations process which Iran must adhere to in order to be compliant and receive the benefits set in place have been met.

Each step established and honored resulted in a loosening of sanctions that crippled Iran's economy as the nation remained under global sanctions for more than three decades.

The United States has agreed, under this unprecedented nuclear agreement to pay Iran 1.7Billlion in Debt and accrued interest. The Obama administration believes this agreement with Iran is in the best interest of the global proliferation conversation. And most would agree taking the tools and capabilities out of the hands of those who have for generations pledged to employ them against the friends and allies of the United States is a good thing.

The issue becomes trust. With Iranian military seizing the craft carrying ten American sailors and holding them hostage, implementing interrogation techniques without thought or concern for the newly forged friendship with the United States is questionable.  

The Sailors have been released, unharmed.

Election 2016

The Road to The White House begins in earnest in 15 days with the first votes are cast in the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

With the current leaders declaring victory, the most important decisions citizens can make is to vote, to have a say in which leader governs. This election is shaping u to be experienced politicians and seasoned business leaders, which brings on its own set of questions.

Do we want a leader who needs on the job training or one who already knows the way around the beltway? Do we want politics as usual or unusual politics?

The recent GOP Debate reflected the closeness of the voting primaries and the possible, the inevitable and the surprises. Recent revelations indicting Senator Ted Cruz's challenges with natural born citizenship of which he is not if the constitution is interrupted in its exactness negates the Senators opportunity to run for the highest elected office.

El Chapo Capture/Penn Interview Blazes Over the Week

The Sean Penn interview of international Drug lord Joaquin El Chapo Guzman has blazed a trail from Washington to Hollywood with everyone weighing in on the motivation, on both sides, of Penn and Chapo.

Although not widely discussed it has been mentioned that as Penn is an actor and not by trade or admission a journalist, he is not given the privileges of the profession and could face charges. Not one journalist has indicted they would have passed up the opportunity to interview El Chapo, in person or tape, who before his capture was on the FBI Most Wanted list.

Whether or not Penn's motivations were honorable or self-aggrandizing his post revelations statements clearing have taken a different collective tone. A recent interview with Charlie Rose has a contrite Penn discussing the failures of the interview in as much as the end goal, either stated or implied, was not met.

Bringing new attention to the Drug War seems too large a funnel to have impact. The global monopoly operated by El Chapo hasn't experienced a work slowdown or shortage since the capture and imprisonment of the Mexican Kingpin which in reality is the foundation of the Drug Lord causal conversation in the interview.

Penn speaks on the killings in Chicago, the violence associated with the Drug Wars, neighborhoods ripped apart due to the violence of the Drug Wars, here in the United States seem to be the residue that survived the scrutiny of the interview.

Penn is either blind or on some level walks around with rose colored glasses affixed as he hopes for a message that essentially became lost in translation.

In order to end the paralysis the drug crisis has inflicted upon the global population it reduces to numbers as the words "Drug Wars" indicate stopping the opportunities to consume the newly legalized Cannabis which makes no sense.

The Drug Wars have turned. And as admitted by El Chapo, Marijuana is not the target at least anymore, Meth, Cocaine and Heroin are the new suburbia drugs of choice and indulging in them the needy population does with vigor.

Guzman granted Penn the interview which was published in Rolling Stone Magazine. The one time leader of the Sinaloa Cartel shocked the world with persona, actions, ease of mannerisms, especially as he also details his escape that was facilitated by hired tunnel experts from Germany

The candid 17 minute interview, which was brokered by a Mexican actress Kate de Castillo, who appeared on the ShowTime series Weeds. El Chapo emphatically stated at the onset of the taped interview it was for the exclusive right of Miss Castillo to use and distribute and for Mr. Penn.

The questions were forwarded to the diminutive leader and he answered them on tape. The initial question a giveaway asked the notorious leader of the Sinaloa cartel about his childhood.  The responses was honest and not revealing as it is common response even to this day as to why the Cartels can easily recruit children: poverty.

His empire has not taken the hit expected with him removed from leadership. The Sinaloa Cartel, which has become the most notorious and violent Cartel in the evolution of the Cartel crimes families, is dependent on demand. As long as suburbanites continue to use; his organization will grow.

The efforts to have Guzman extricated even to the United States will take at least a year, although the a creative exchange exists allowing El Chapo being released to the United States Justice in an exchange opportunity is also possible.

For more information on President Barack Obama:



Haute Tease

  • Beltway Insider: Obama Announces New Cabinet Nominees

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama announced two additional cabinet nominees, over the past week, to succeed the departing Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

  • Submission Review – Engaging, Captures The Intensity of The Gen X Pursuit

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Submission, from Mighty Engine and Great Point Media, presents the story of angst, desire and hope as the world of two writers collide at a small northeastern college, where life is routine, dull, mundane and full of stoic academics.

  • Dreamscape Immersive Review - Thrilling and Amazing VR Adventure

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Recently, Dreamscape Immersive, located at Century City Westfield Mall, introduced members of the local media to the dynamic world of immersive Virtually Reality which allows guests to be transplanted into the middle of a world that doesn't exist.

  • Beltway Insider: US-Russia Broker Syrian Deal;Obama Addresses Nation; NYT Prints Putin Op-Ed; Nation Remembers 9/11

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The United States and Russia have brokered a deal, in principal, with the government of Basher al-Assad forcing the authoritarian leader to relinquish control of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal or face swift, severe, and effective retaliation.

  • Drunk Driver Sentencing Initiates Holiday Party Season

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Los Angeles women received the maximum sentence of thirty years to life after admitting her culpability in a drunk driving accident that killed her sister, another passenger and a three generations of another family.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama Initiates Action Year; Christie’s Traffic Jam; December Job Report; Iran Sees Aid

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama returned to Washington, from his Hawaiian Christmas holiday, heralding 2014 an “Action Year” and calling on every American to work together to capitalize on the economic gains of the past year.  

  • New York Fashion Week Coverage: Hiromi Asai Debuts Expanded Menswear Collection at the Upcoming IMG New York Fashion Week

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    HIROMI ASAI, a New York-based fashion designer and kimono stylist, is launching men's collection, made by Japanese high-end Kimono textiles, and presents it at the show room in New York during the upcoming New York Fashion Weeks.

  • HL Health, Wellness: VARIDESK Standing Desk Review - A Smart Wellness Solution

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Prolonged sedentary time is also associated with a host of other adverse issues, including weight gain, neck and back pain and even anxiety. It’s no wonder that standing desks have become an increasingly popular way to combat these concerns.

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - An Attention Grabbing Suspense Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, from Columbia Pictures, pits good against evil in David Fincher's fast action, suspense thriller.

  • World News: The Impossible Equation in the Search for Enough

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The free trade agreement signed between the European Union and Mercosur sends a watermark to the issues of food security and environmental protection in a context of continued demographic growth with projected growth far outweighing the ability to produce.

  • Men’s Gift Guide: For the Sophisticated Man

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With Father’s Day right around the corner, we’ve put together a gift guide of men’s specialty ideas from the latest in electronic gadgets to ultra-luxurious grooming and styling products to traditional and lifestyle gifts guaranteed to pay homage to the special man.

  • From CANNES: Wonder Woman And Monster Filmmaker Patty Jenkins To Receive The 2018 Women In Motion Award

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Patty Jenkins is a writer and director, best known for directing Warner Bros. Wonder Woman, her debut Oscar-winning feature Monster and helming the pilot and finale episode of AMC's The Killing. She began her career in painting after studying at Cooper Union.  

  • Celebrity Interview: Talking with Dennis Quaid on the Making of I Can Only Imagine

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Dennis Quaid stars in the faith based I Can Only Imagine, which opens this weekend with the power behind the belief that faith can transform, and captivates from the opening scenes giving a tour de force performance.

  • US Markets Rally in Four Day Week; DOW Sets Record; World Markets Hold Strong

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The red hot Dow Jones Industrial Average sent markets soaring throughout the July 5, 2014 week heating up the New York Stock Exchange as the DOW flirted with a record 17,000 and closed the four day holiday week holding strong setting a new record.

  • Montecito Mudslides Kill 17; More than A Dozen Still Missing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The death toll stands at seventeen as first-responders in this Southern California coastal town continue to search for the sixteen still missing after Tuesday’s massive thunderstorm brought earth, debris, trees, and boulders, rushing down the mountain.