Beltway Insider: President George H.W. Bush Laid To Rest; Comey Testifies; Paris Riots; El Chapo; Kevin Hart

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President George H.W. Bush was memorialized this week as dignitaries, politicians, heads of state, family and friends gathered at the National Cathedral to pay respects and honor the legacy of the 41st President of the United States.

According to Gallup, President Trump job approval, over the past week, increased by two percentage points to 40% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased by four percentage points to 56%.

Nation Pauses For A Final Farewell

Throughout this past week, the life and legacy of President H.W. Bush was presented across countless media outlets throughout the world. His life of service was well documented. A man of honor, Bush was the last Republican president to win by a landslide. His campaign for President also ended the boundaries of civility in politics.

He was also noted as a man who cared deeply for family and the traditions that kept family together. The death of his daughter, Robin, of childhood leukemia, was a lasting heartache that was rarely spoken of publicly and in death was reveled the depth of this guiding light had on the world leader.


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The political Dynasty Bush 41 and former First lady Barbara Bush created, produced both a president and governor. President George Bush spoke of the man, the leader and the father with anecdotal glimpses of a person few ever had the pleasure of knowing.

The funeral was one befitting the grace and beliefs as well as dignity of a President of the United States. Attended by all five living Presidents, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania, President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, President Bill Clinton and former First Lady and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Roslyn, wasn't without obvious but quiet and clear resentments.

Vice Presidents Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Al Gore at attended. Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito and Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker all attended. Former Senator Alan Simpson, (R-WY) was chosen to eulogize the late President

Former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell, His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwell, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former National Football quarterback Peyton Manning all attended.

During the eulogies, the public was privileged to hear of a man who exemplified living life. A legacy of living, despite the heartache, despite public scrutinizes, despite the loss and the curves that life can bring, George H.W. Bush lived life, in the moment, finding another obstacle, crossing off another bucket list entry.

The eulogy presented by his son, former President George W. Bush, also allowed the public a brief glimpse into the relationship they shared, one that he shared with all his children. The unconditional love, the encouragement of pursuits, the exasperation any parent can relate to as children try and test patience, we heard the former President reveal himself as one who regularly tested his father's patience. Ours also, Mr. President.

And also one who when told of his father's impending death, called and told him "Dad, I love you and you've been a wonderful father and the last words he would ever say on earth we're "I love you too."'

The one-time leader of the free world, who knew that time escapes no one, grabbed life and showed the citizens he once governed that despite age, despite obstacle, living life was part of the path to fulfillment. Having the grand experiences that make headlines didn't compare to those moments when he was most at peace, sitting at Walker's Point, in Kennebunkport Maine, staring out at the ocean.

The sea, even as he was a transplanted Texan, was where he felt most at home.

When word came in that he had died, a code word often seen as an acronym throughout his life, CAVU, "ceiling and visibility unlimited" was sent out. The youngest aviator pilot in military history, who knew the value of clear skies and unlimited visibility had passed. He was 94.

The Long Train Ride Home

Special Air Mission 41, the code given to the Air Force One flight that carried the late President to Washington also carried former President George H.W. Bush home to Texas, for the final leg of his journey.


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After an emotional ceremony in Washington, the former president would be laid to rest on the grounds of his Presidential Library at Texas A&M University. After he arrived in Houston, Bush was carried across the state from Houston to College Station, Texas via a funeral train.

Only the eighth president in history to have a funeral train, the Bush 4141 locomotive is part of a special, customized Union Pacific Railroad presidential funeral train painted to resemble Air Force One. Traveling at 28 mph across the one hundred miles with the boxcar doors, where the former president's casket was resting, open.

Thousands of Texas resident lined the route. The entire student body of Klein community, K through12, some 6500 students gathered and watched each paying homage in their own way to the man whom is held in the highest regard in this state. Small and large flags waved, smartphones, videos and every conceivable camera recorded the historic event.

At College Station, Texas, an arrival ceremony brought the final leg to an end. A private graveside ceremony of nearly 800 ended the emotional day.

President George H. W. Bush was laid to rest, beside his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush and daughter Robin, who died of childhood leukemia, at Texas A&M University, on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library

Former FBI Director James Comey Testifies

Former FBI Director James Comey was summoned to Washington, this week to testify, in a closed door session regarding the current Mueller collusion probe.

After seven grueling hours, Comey emerged. The few statements given were focused on investigators used to determine if the Clinton email scandal smoke screen mertited the attention it recieved or if the fomer Secretary of State should be held responsibile.

"After a full day of questioning, two things are clear to me: One, we could have done this in (an) open setting," said Comey in a news conference with reporters. "And two: When you read the transcript, you will see that we are talking again about Hillary Clinton's emails, for heaven's sakes. So I'm not sure we need to do this at all, but I'm trying to respect the institution and to answer questions in a respectful way,"' reported CNN.

Paris Riots – Yellow Vest Riots Enter Sixth Day in City of Lights

With calls for French President Emmanuel Macron to resign, retailors hoping to salvage the holiday shopping season are cleaning up the extensive debris left behind after clashes between Yellow Vest protestors and police left 71 injured on Saturday alone.


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"This is a catastrophe for commerce, it's a catastrophe for our economy," Bruno Le Maire said Sunday while visiting merchants around the Saint Lazare train station, among areas hit by vandalism as the pre-Christmas shopping season got underway," the Associated Press reported.

With the fourth weekend of violent protests coming to an end, the grassroots movements has grown each week with solidarity protests occurring on areas outside of the nations capital. The growth and concern for safety forced the closure of traditional tourist destination including the cities main attractions, The Eiffel Tower.

The Arc de Triumph, and Champs de Elysee, lined with shops, outdoor café and great for people watching and enjoying the beauty of Paris, usually bustling with holiday shoppers and tourists were nearly empty as the Saturday riots protesting the rich squeezed those who are employed and not the corporation who employee them.

"France deployed around 89,000 police but still failed to deter the determined protesters. More than 125,000 "yellow vests" took to the streets Saturday around France with a bevy of demands related to high living costs and a sense that Macron favors the elite and is trying to modernize the French economy too fast," reported the AP.

Salvaging one day from the weekend, The Eiffel Tower reopened Sunday and was again the center of Parisian attention even as tourists and visitors remained on alert for any signs of potential uprisings or pop up protests.

Macron has withdrawn his controversial fuel tax which had been scheduled to take effect beginning January 1, 2019 hoping to calm the increasing violent protests as many indicated the fuel tax was the motivation behind the violent protests that have already cost the City of Lights coveted Christmas dollars.

The Trial of Sinaloa Cartel Kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Enters Week 4

Week four of the trial of Sinaloa Cartel Kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo" Guzman brought shocking revelations of violence that even the most jaded judicial and Brooklynites used to details of the John Gotti heyday, were shocked by the revelations.

"Judge Brian M. Cogan, who is presiding over the trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, has kept a tight leash on the gore, attempting to balance what is necessary to convey the stark realities of Latin American drug cartels and what is — literally — overkill. Judge Cogan seems to have taken the Goldilocks approach, looking for the spot between too much and not enough," the New York Times reported.


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Other media outlets have reported the methodology, motivations and means the man nicknamed "shorty" used to further his rule and reign over what has been considered the most notorious of the Mexican drug cartels.

With El Chapo incarcerated, highly guarded, it was thought the violence that he is reportedly single handedly responsible for initiating and maintaining would come to an end. Federal officials, have noted a rise in the violent crimes across Mexico and even the United States.

The dismemberments, which seem to have become a common form of disposal of the murdered, were used to shock and incapacitate citizens were also understood to be messages for anyone who may be thinking of talking or reporting him.

Police, also in fear of becoming a statistic, often covered their faces when investigating the nearly 25,000 annual murders in Juarez, Mexico, just five short miles from the US border as the war between the Sinaloa and the Juarez Cartels escalated.

The violence is so graphic and while Hollywood has desensitized the public to the ways of the Cartels, the facts remain that these details are real. The chain saw decapitations real, the immolations, the dismemberments real, the body parts hanging upside down on freeways real, the body parts strew in the streets all real.

And they haven't even began to admit the evidence of drug smuggling and money laundering.

El Chapo on trial for smuggling more than 440,000 lbs. of cocaine into the United States was captured and extradited nearly two years ago.

In a deal with the Mexican government, the United States promised they would not seek the death penalty and if convicted Guzman would be given life in prison, that of course, was before the revelation of more than 150 murders that his cocaine supplier Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, a Columbian Kingpin, testified the two men performed.

Kevin Hart

Comedian Kevin Hart, with a lifetime gross of more than $1billion dollars, was recently offered the coveted position of host at the 91st Oscars, viewed by more than 70billion people worldwide, it is the entertainment industries biggest night.

Within 48 hours of the offer, the comedian resigned with a polite announcement. During those two days, comments, allegedly more than a decade old, targeting the gay community were found on his twitter account. The academy demanded, or firmly suggested, he apologize for his offensive words.

While not spelling out the offer would be rescinded, the veiled threat was clear. Hart, to his credit, passed on the pressure of the powerful, and chose to resign. In his resignation he also offered a short apology that should suffice anyone in his life that he may have offended with his alleged comments.

The undercurrent of course is clear, should a major gig be offered at any point in one's career the chances are that every posting ever made on social media, any statements overheard, and in the age of smartphones and in your face quasi-journalism any comments made while bum-rushed at any moment of indiscretion will become a foundation for termination.

It is likely that every person on the earth has at some point in life said something that was hurtful or perceived as hurtful to an audience. Poor choices and bad decisions in word and deed happen, people evolve, and some grow, others don't, for any person to profess to being exactly the same as they were 10 or 20 years ago is probably fooling themselves and attempting to fool others.

As society has evolved so have its inhabitants, some have grown more tolerant, accepting and sympathetic, other have not and sense the need to hide opinions, beliefs and behaviors, that have been deemed offensive and worthy of termination.

Holding people to offensive printed words decade ago, border on censorship. Not unlike the Red Scare under Senator Joseph McCarthy during the early 1950s. The results of his hate campaign are eerily similar to the punishment faced by creative today, "many of the accused were blacklisted or lost their jobs, although most didn't in fact belong to the Communist Party."

Even as most don't subscribe to the offensive flavor of the week, they are forced into admitting poor choices and bad decisions or lose. The creative space needs to be free from societal boundaries or we are reduced to state sponsored creativity and collectively we lose.

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

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com

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