Beltway Insider: Obama Visits Cuba; Iran Nuke Deal Explained; Hillary Announces; 2016 Stats

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President Obama continuing his foreign policy shift made an historic visit to Cuba, just months after announcing the end of the five decade long embargo against the Latin American nation 90 miles from American shores.

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, decreased two percentage points to 48% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased one percentage points to 48%. 

Obama Attends Latin America Summit

President Obama attended the 2015 Latin American Summit meeting with foreign leaders from across South American and the Caribbean.

Obama continued to build on the stepping stones of his previous visits requesting $1 Billion dollars from Congress for support of the Central American Engagement.

He has prioritized the financial assistance earmarked for the seven nation charter as the northern three countries, Honduras’s, El Salvador and Guatemala with the others receiving some assistance also.

Engagement in issues ranging from Immigration education and reform, criminal prevention and economic growth are among the platforms the President addressed. He also stressed economic growth is more likely when government operates transparently.

Obama Makes Historic Visits to Cuba

President Obama lifting the 50 year old sanction against neighboring Cuba, continued to break new ground, just months after announcing the end of the five decade long embargo against the Latin American nation, he and his Cuban counterpart addressed the media on the future of each nation.

“I think that after 50 years of policy that had not changed on the part of the United States, it was my belief that it was time to try something new, that it was important for us to engage more directly with the Cuban government and the Cuban people.  And as a consequence, I think we are now in a position to move on a path towards the future, and leave behind some of the circumstances of the past that have made it so difficult, I think, for our countries to communicate,” the President said.

Seated with the Raul Castro, President of Cuba, Obama made it clear under the remainder of his term his White House and foreign policy experts will be directed to build on and normalize relations with the island nation most notoriously known for the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was the result of Cuba’s support of Russia and allowing Khrushchev, the then Russian President the freedom to deploy ballistic Missiles in the Western Hemisphere, 90 miles from the United States.  Then President John F. Kennedy, issued a warning to both the Russian and Cubans that further advancement would be considered aggressive and an act of war and the U.S. Military would to take action. 

The thirteen day standoff ended when Russian Submarines initiated return to open water and presumably Russian Shores.

Obama’s meeting with Castro, the brother of the Fidel and former dictator, an historic event came on the heels of the President’s announcement that he will maintain his commitment to lift sanctions, build support and reopen embassies in Havana, the capital of Cuba.

“Some of our immediate tasks include normalizing diplomatic relations and ultimately opening an embassy in Havana, and Cuba open an embassy in Washington, D.C. so that our diplomats are able to interact on a more regular basis. I want to thank President Castro for the spirit of openness and courtesy that he has shown during our interactions.  I think if we can build on this spirit of mutual respect and candidness, that over time we will see not just a transformation in the relationship between our two countries, but a positive impact throughout the hemisphere and the world,” the President said.

Iran Deal Explained

Senior White House Officials have been proclaiming victory as the Iranian Nuclear deal, hammered out in Switzerland, if signed and agreed to in all points by the Iranian government could mark a significant turning point in nuclear balance for the region.

Iranians, Hamas, Syrians and other known terror supporters have also been proclaiming victory. Word from Tehran this week indicate President Rouhani will not sign the deal as is unless all sanctions are lifted. He, in actuality, has just sent the White House a hard turn in a preset plan president Obama had determined.

Secretary of Energy Explains Iran’s Capabilities

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz joined Press Secretary Josh Earnest this week to explain the details of the Iran deal.

Obviously, as both sides have appraised the deal as victorious it is hard to understand which side is in presenting a truthful summary of the intricacies of the nuclear deal which limits Iran’s Nuclear program forever, not a set time frame, but until the two governments cease to exist.

The main concern of the American people and American allies becomes the potential for the Iranians to maintain, either in principal, through deception or simply through covert alliances, the elements necessary to complete a nuclear bomb.

“First of all, we say that there are four pathways to a bomb in Iran.  One is a plutonium pathway through a research reactor, a heavy water reactor.  I’ll come back to these.  Second, there are two pathways to a uranium bomb; that involves the facilities at Natanz and at Fordow.  And the fourth pathway is covert activities.  So let me just walk through those four and what we have nailed down in the understanding for the final agreement,” said Moniz.

Compartmentalizing each of these elements seems to be the easiest to reduce to the lowest and easiest synopsis. If signed the following elements will be active.

The Iranians will be permitted to keep one heavy water nuclear reactor. It must be redesigned to reduce Plutonium output. It cannot create weapons grade plutonium and any plutonium created must be shipped out of the country for the life of the rector.

In order to produce a nuclear bomb utilizing the uranium route three specific elements are necessary. The deal limits each of them separately over time so there will never be a moment when all three elements are present in the necessary totals.

No research and development is permitted during the first ten years.

Covert activities, are the only possible pathway for the Iranians to create a nuclear weapon. The sanctions are swift, permanent and effective if it is determined the deal has been breached or if Iran refuses to allow any part of the nuclear program to be monitored.

The single most important issue is keeping the potential for nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Iranians. This is a beginning.

Hillary Clinton Announces Candidacy for 2016 Presidential Nomination

Hillary Clinton took to the micro-messaging platform Twitter to announce her candidacy for the 2016 Democratic Nomination for president of the United States.

The 140 character message read “I’m running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion. – H hillaryclinton.com”

Capitalizing on social media, the democratic candidate has effectively jumpstarted the use of all messaging platforms to spread her message to the voters of the United States.

Is America ready for a female president? Or is Hillary Clinton so ingrained in American culture that she has surpassed gender identification as a candidate? Time, of course, will tell as Team Clinton takes to the streets, talk shows and social media in a 16 month blitz campaign to make sure every America who can hear will and those who want to vote are able.

2016 Presidential Statistics

Hillary Clinton has announced her intent to seek her party’s nomination and is, even in the early stages, considered the presumptive 2016 democratic candidate for President of the United States.

A total of three viable candidates have announced the intention to run for their party’s nomination for president.

Four Republicans, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) have both announced their candidacies as have Mark Everson, a businessman and former Internal Revenue Service Commissioner from Mississippi. Everson also held the office of President of the American Red cross.  Jack Fellure, a retired engineer has also announced his intent to run under the GOP umbrella for the office of President.

According to media sources, Marco Rubio, a U.S. Senator from Florida, who was very well received during the 2012 Republican National Convention, will announce his candidacy on Monday April 13, 2015.

A Cuban American, Rubio is a lifelong Floridian. He graduated from University of Miami Law School and immediately began a political career. Elected to the House of Representative in 2002, He was elected speaker in 2006. He held the office of Speaker of the House of Representative.

Nine other well-known Republicans have taken official steps by forming an exploratory or Political Action Committees to determine the amount of interest or potential for victory.

The GOP has not produced any women candidates to date and three minorities, Rubio, Cuban American; Ben Carson, African American, and Cruz, Hispanic American are viable and possible contenders for the party’s nomination.

Those include Jeb Bush, the heir apparent to the Bush Dynasty.  Bush, son of President H.W. Bush and brother to George W. Bush, is the former governor of Florida from 1999-2007 and has formed a Political Action Committee.

Ben Carson, Retried Director of Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, has formed a PAC. Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvanian Senator, formed a minor “testing” committee. Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump formed an exploratory committee.

Lindsay Graham, a Senator from South Carolina has formed and filed a “Testing Water” committee with the I.R.S.

Former Governor of New York, George Pataki is formally exploring the possibility of a campaign run, Former Governor of Texas, Rick Perry has also formed a PAC, and Scott Walker, and Governor of Wisconsin has also formed a PAC.

Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, embroiled in Bridgegate the scandal that won’t go away, formed a PAC. For the majority of his second term he has been touted as the man to beat in the GOP. However, with the rumored indictments pending from Bridgegate, his chances may have been derailed.

Democrats

The field of potential democratic presidential candidates is considerably less at seven with Hillary Clinton has been the only democrat to date that has formally announced intention to run for the 2016 Democratic ticket.

The six other candidates include three viable and three hopefuls.  Jeff Boss of New Jersey, Vermin Supreme of Massachusetts and Robby Wells of North Carolina have filed with the Federal Election Commission intent to run for the office of President in 2016.

The three others, two governors and one former Senator, have all moved ahead to form committees to determine the viability of their candidacy. They are Lincoln Chafee, Governor of Rhode Island and Jim Webb former Senator from Virginia both whom have formed exploratory committees. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has formed a Political Action Committee.

The well-known democrats who have expressed interested including that of Vice President Joseph Biden have yet to enter the race or have no intention to do so.

The Ames Straw Poll held August 2015 officially kicks off the 2016 Election Season. Primary season officially begins in Iowa and New Hampshire January 2016 and by Super Tuesday March 1, 2016 the field, for both parties, will dramatically narrow to potential ticket formation. 

2016 marks the first election in eight years that no incumbent is on deck to naturally assume the party’s nomination. Both parties face the primary process beginning January 2016 with early indictors.

For more information on President Barack Obama: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.org, Wikipedia.com

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