Beltway Insider: Obama Faces Paris Criticism;Funerals Begin; European Terror Sweep; State of the Union

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President Obama, in the wake of the Paris Terrorist attacks at Charlie Hebdo, has yet to explain to the American people his apparent snub and lack of leadership during the largest anti-terrorism gathering in post World War II Europe.

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, increased two percentage points to 46% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President remained at 50%. 

Obama Faces Paris Criticism

President Obama, in absenteeism, faced scrutiny as members of the White House press corps grilled his Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, over the lack of representation by the United States at the solidarity and unity march in Paris one week ago.

As more details are revealed of outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who was in Paris making the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows, waiting for the word from the president and never received it, there is an obligation of the White House to inform the public as to why and a mounting determination from members of the media to investigate the gapping absence.  

“There were also a number of other world leaders who were there to participate and show their support as well.  And some have asked whether or not the United States should have sent someone with a higher profile than the ambassador to France, and I think it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there,” said Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary.

For whatever reason, as the President’s press secretary, Josh Earnest who so eloquently delivered prepared remarks, admitting error and full support, without offering any reason behind the president’s failure is in reality an attempt to put this huge miscalculation behind them with a plan that calls for a refusal to address it, create a disturbance and move on, without skipping a beat, into the planned agenda.

The French people,  a longtime ally, and the American people deserves to know why the President, who created the coalition dedicated to the eradication of terrorism that has gathered support from a majority of countries represented in the Paris march, refused to stand with the almost four dozen world leaders.

Almost four dozen world leaders, some sworn enemies, some understanding they were placing themselves in front of terror’s target and still, united against terrorism and the attempts to silence freedom of expression, they stood.

“I’m not going to sort of unpack all of the planning and discussions that went into this.  But I think suffice it to say there should not be, and there is not any doubt in the minds of the people in France or people around the world, and certainly not among our enemies, about how committed to a strong relationship that the United States is with France, and committed to the same kinds of values that they are,” said Josh Earnest White House Press Secretary.

With no less than a dozen members of the White House press corps attempting to secure  straight answers as to why the President chose not to attend after citing security issues that did not stay the questioning which continued by recalling the recent funeral of Nelson Mandela where as many if not more world leaders attended.

The short term notice, large scale, multi world leader contingency security plan is apparently not a staple in the play book of White House security and event procedures, as the plan that allowed more than 75 world leaders  to attend the Mandela funeral were developed as he lie dying and scrapped once the former South African president passed.

Assessing blame on the F.B.I. or Secret Service is simply an attempt to pass the blame to deter the heat from the president himself.

President Obama had promised a transparent government. Much to the dismay of the people White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest failed to receive those same instructions. 

His refusals to reveal any information as to why the president refused to attend, refused to send anyone or “unpack the decision making process” leaves the interpretation up to the media. His silence is not controlling the media it is only fueling them toward their own findings.  

Two issues have come out of the intensive media questioning

Concerned over positioning in a global show of strength, the fact that President Obama may have had to march anywhere between third and sixth on either side is fast becoming the supported motivation for the President’s refusal to attend.

The President is also hosting a global terror summit in February and while no mention of events upstaging his plan, the possibility the recent terrorist attacks in Europe did, in fact, upstage the summit leaving the White House in a secondary position to those countries in the middle of a terror outbreak.

There is stubbornness at the White House a desire to direct every aspect of every detail and is a real issue, and granted America is a Super Power,

As every media agency, every reporter, every nation in the world when addressing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, the White House press secretary has continued to attempt to direct all to use the name ISIL or the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. Being held up on semantics, is a deterrent to motivation of global control and ultimately end for the terror group who is gaining ground.

As an interconnected Europe, history, too, plays a part in the determination of Europe to remain free. Not many years ago as the Berlin Wall fell, communism toppled like dominos throughout Europe, Germany becomes one and the borders and boundaries of freedom enlarged and a unified Europe became free.

World War II and Nazism, Hitler’s SS that roared across European with alarming speed was born of a belief not so different than ISIS or al-Qaeda. No one stopped terror then, all will stop it now.

Funerals Begin

Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb, the former publisher of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, who was assassinated in the office along with eleven members of his staff, was buried this week.

The funeral which has garnered as much global attention as the initial terrorist attack that brought Paris momentarily to their knees in grief only to galvanize the world with an historic show of strength not seen since World War II as 4.5million French citizens marched silently through the streets.

The French have taken these attacks on freedom of expression very seriously. They are wounded. The Post Traumatic Stress associated with the attacks is setting in as the funeral of these relatively unknown journalists who would have laughed at their new found fame with jokes of obscurity to infamy it only took death, and caricatures of the embalmed sitting up to the applause, those affected have yet to walk back to life as it was.

Prime Ministers, French political leaders who would have scoffed a few days before now revere those who they eulogize. The name is more than the sum of the dead; the attack struck a chord as the boundaries of terror edge closer to the cosmopolitan center with pockets of ISIS and al-Qaeda able incite and indoctrinate the disenfranchised.

Today, Charb, the man with a wicked sense of humor and a sharp pen was laid to rest. His funeral attended by those he knew and others, most he did not. Prime Ministers, once lampooned, were now lauding the bravery and courage of a small group who dedicated to freedom paid the price.

French Culture Minster Fleur Pellerin, Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader of the French far left parti de Gauche,  attended. The overflowing crowd, men and women; old enough to be jaded to the violence, young enough to be concerned, were seen in solidarity watching the big screens which televised the funeral.

Pens aloft, those normal citizens, everyday Parisians, moved into solidarity, unity for peace and more for the freedom to live and remain free.

European Terror Sweep

In the wake of the recent terror attacks that left twenty dead, including three terrorists, an unprecedented inter-agency and government cooperation has resulted in terror sweeps across three different countries.

Elite Squads of anti-terror military have staged raids in Paris, ten days ago, Belgium, and Germany with military across Europe responding to the recent wave with heightened alerts.

As many as five ISIS/al-Qaeda terror cells have been detected and  more than 20 individuals have been arrested. Caches of weapons, assault rifles, grenades and rocket launchers have been confiscated. Greece has assisted Belgium in the pursuit of detaining terror suspects as they cross the borders.

State of the Union

President Obama will present his sixth State of the Union address to the nation Tuesday, January 20, where his guests will be shining examples of his policies in action and members of the military who have overcome grave injuries to live fully.

The President has yet been able to distance himself from the recent glaring international failure which put him on the defense and quite honestly presented him has a stubborn and pretentious child who could not get his own way and therefore decided to use passive aggressive tactics to send a strong message.

The reverberations of the president’s action have been felt throughout the world as even the White House press corps could not get a straight answer in multiple press conferences.

The Press Secretary refused to account for the President’s whereabouts on Sunday (January 11) and  only admitted a higher level representative should have been sent.

The President will use The State of Union to touch all areas with the special notices to areas which are his shining moments and include the Executive Orders actions including immigration policy, the continued economic recovery which has, over the last 58 months seen a slow and steady decline, the creation of jobs with a greater intensity, faster than expected.

The United States as an advanced economy is well positioned globally, and still the number of well paying jobs smaller than the pool of applicants available to fill them.

New minimum wages increases have gone into effect across several states and many more will follow. Obama will touch on government doing its part while the people must also do commit to improvement. As the republicans have taken control of the house and senate, President Obama is clear and will make the nation aware than some of what is touted as advancements for the people, will be reversed as the Republican congress will step in to make changes. The truth is a small fraction, of polices enacted by the Obama white house will see immediate changes.

The Affordable Care Act, ACA, is the most comprehensive challenge the GOP is attempting to reverse. While Obama, and subsequently, any democrat are in office it will not be repealed.

While portions of the bill may change, the fact remains that while many citizens have complied with the law many others have not. And many still do not have the healthcare coverage mandated. For those covered under the ACA I is highly unlikely they will notice any changes to the bill even if parts of it are and will be reversed.

Area of global concern will be and the state of the Americas relationships with our allies will be discussed. The gaping absence of the President from the solidarity march in Paris will not be the focal point in Tuesday speech although the solidarity of the United States and its global allies in the destruction so ISIS and al-Qaeda will be.

The President will outline his plan to address the National deficit and the need for all citizens to pay their fair share. As the disparity between the wealthy and those impoverished increase the need for services to combat the poor will be addressed by adding higher taxes on the individual who earnings place him in the one percent and corporation who through a variety of skillful accounting have been able to circumvent the federal tax system.

The State of the Union will be broadcast live at 8:00pm EST and will be carried on all major networks.

For more information on President Barack Obama:


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