Beltway Insider: Trump Set Backs; Flynn Paid; Columbia; Israel; Assad; Mexico’s Penis Seat; Texting Killer

President Donald Trump continues to face scrutiny over the legitimacy of his presidency, a shadow one doubts will ever depart as each week new information on business relationships, connections, or appointed aides failures to disclose ties to the Kremlin is exposed.

According to Gallup, President Trump's job approval, over the past week, decreased two percentage point to 38% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased three percentage points to 57%. 

Trump/Russia – White House Red Shadow Won't Go Away

President Trump faced two setbacks this week as he attempted to restore his travel ban which was again rejected due to hateful rhetoric, motivations, social media postings, his personal words and written word choices.

Trump who has moved ahead with his plan to "Make America Great Again" is once again facing judicial reprisal over his inciteful rhetoric used during his campaign in which he incited his constituent to physically assault a anti-trump protester.

Even as his team has tried to explain, he really doesn't mean what he says and shouldn't be taken seriously, a point many would argue is correct, Trump's use of social media, an active extension of his voice and his own spoken words are at the crux of two legal challenges in which legal Team Trump is arguing words spoken in passion, or at the height of the moment aren't indicative of the legitimacy of the action or legislation.

During a Pro-Trump rally, Republican Candidate Trump, from the podium spoke was in considered inciteful rhetoric from the podium urging anti-trump protestors to "get um out of here."

The federal judge, David J. Hale, ruled against Trump citing the plausibility of violence for the use of the words.

Trump's second legal challenge came from his controversial Travel Ban in which a federal judge rejected an argument that the travel ban be reevaluated based on Trump's personal word choices and opinion over the past three years, very vocal opposition to Muslim immigration.

Former Trump Aide Denied Immunity

Former Trump Defense Secretary General Michael Flynn, is being compelled to testify under oath to a senate intelligence committee that is simply looking to connect the dots between the current administration, Flynn's former boss, and the Russians.

Having lawyered up, Flynn, who has nothing to hide, allowed his attorney, Robert Kelner, to speak regarding his client's willingness to talk, to answer questions on his ties and possibly President Trump's involvement and ties to the Kremlin. The questioning would also include any member of the trump family.

President Trump took to Twitter to voice his opinion indicating "Mike Flynn should ask for immunity." Which is a direct contradiction or departure from his previous statements on immunity spoken during the height of the "send her to jail" wave when the President he said, "If you aren't guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for?"  

Former General Michael Flynn's request for immunity had been denied. While no person other than Flynn knows the cards he's holding, which may be a fool's hand, immunity would have sent a stringer sign the intelligence committees were interested in full disclosure.

Flynn can effectively involve the Fifth Amendment and face greater scrutiny and possible jail time.

"Here you have a President who is telling Mike Flynn to go up there. And now, we're going to the point where we've encouraged people to go talk to the House and Senate Intelligence Committee and the appropriate investigators so that they can continue to get to the bottom of this and get it aside from us.  I think that's quite the opposite of what you would normally think that somebody who was not trying to get to the bottom would do," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

Flynn, himself has admitted to his failure to disclose payments made to him from the Krelim for his participation in Russia sponsored events and speaking engagements.

Trump Extends National Emergency with Respect to Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities

An Executive Order enacted under former President Barack Obama declaring a national emergency with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities, was set to expire April 1, 2017.

President Trump has sent notice to congress and the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13694 of April 1, 2015, is to continue in effect beyond April 1, 2017.
"Significant malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.  Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13694 with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities," read the statement sent to the Congress of the United States.

Syria and Bashar al Assad

The question of legitimacy of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, a leftover mess from the Obama Administration, was poised during a recent press conference.

Assad who has effectively destroyed his nation in order to drive out a civil uprising that was mounted by United States supported rebels during the Arab Spring uprising in 2010, is showing up in press conference topics.

The questions which allow White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to define the Trump position, especially in the wake of the existent/non-existent Russian relationship, are especially important moving forward.

Assad, as the world remembers, has violated all international treaties, the Geneva Convention and used Chemical weapons on his own citizens, and essentially laughed at the international community. His defiance in the wake of the world at large, as the events of the election played out cause concern over pre-knowledge.

Syria's sole supporter throughout the Syrian civil war was Russian President Vladimir Putin who has also supplied the nearly bankrupt nation with military weapons.

Sean Spicer was asked directly where the President stands on whether Bashar Assad is the legitimate President of Syria?

Sadly, the White House Press Secretary refused a direct answer derffering to the "political reality" of missed opportunities.

"But I mean -- I think there is a bit of political reality with respect to where we are now versus where we were the last administration in terms of there being a potential -- there is not the opposition that existed last time and the opportunities that existed last time," Spicer said.

He went on to add "We had an opportunity and we need to focus on now defeating ISIS.  But the United States has profound priorities in Syria and Iraq, and we made it clear that counterterrorism, particularly the defeat of ISIS, is foremost among those priorities.  And that's why our forces in the global coalition are partnering with local forces against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. I think we believe there's a need to deescalate violence and to have a political process through which Syrians will decide their own political future consistent with the principles that have been enshrined in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254."

The missed opportunities of the Obama Administration, the rhetoric in the strongest possible language, the terms, the conditions are pointless and unfortunately part of soft foreign policy that will plague the former president.

The people of Syria, the coalition partners, those who believe that Assad allows the Islamic State territory would have been best served by invoking a final end the reign of Bashar al Assad.

Beltway Insider: Trump Fails to Rally GOP; ObamaCare Holds; London/ISIS; Mosul/Airstrikes; Cincinnati


Ivanka Makes It Official – Tycoon Takes a Job

Ivanka Trump-Kushner, the power-hungry daughter of President Trump, has added a new official title to her expanded role in her father's white house. Her title, Assistant to the President, has yet to be defined and clearly not the traditional "assistant" roles, Ms. Trump-Kushner, will continue to represent her father's interest and take a more active role in government particularly in issues that affect women, working women, families, and global advancement of women.

The Trump family has decided to thwart any hint of impropriety with the decision to officially hire the wife of the president's chief advisor.

Therefore, the former fashionista who has a combined income, with her husband, of more than $700million, has become a United States government employee, complete with all rights and responsibilities of the office she holds.

Ms. Trump-Kushner will now be held to the standard of all federal employees. Additionally, she will be eligible for federal employee benefits.  The first daughter will continue to work without a salary.

Americans were shocked at the recent financial disclosures that revealed the 27 members of President Trumps staff, collectively, had a net worth more than $2.3billion.

Columbia: Rains, Flood Responsible for Massive Mudslides That Kill Hundreds

Mocoa, Columbia, a small impoverished border town in the Putumayo region, has been nearly obliterated by massive mudslides triggered from the heavy March rains, leaving a mile-wide brown swath dividing the municipality in half.

More than 200 hundred residents are known to have died. Rescuers hope to recover all the dead and missing although expectations of total recovery are slim. The Red Cross has reported more manageable numbers with 234 dead and 158 missing. Columbian military reported 254 are dead and 400 injured. Fatalities, injuries, and missing numbers are expected to increase as the situation stabilizes.

Columbia President Juan Manuel Santos said, "We are facing a disaster caused by nature, by climate change. "

Media reports from the area tell shocking stories of residents opening their doors as the rain sounded "heavy" to see boulders rolling unabated down the mountain. Townspeople were running for their lives forced to leave everything in an instant decision as the sludge was moving so fast it was sweeping away anything in its path.

Houses and buildings that absorbed the brunt of the mudslides are barely visible with only the tops of roofs showing. These structures and others in the mudslides epicenter were forced off their foundations, and repositioned, making identification even more difficult.

Stories of unimaginable horror as parents felt children ripped from their arms, families escaping the crushing debris filled landslide only to get caught up in torrents of mud as they attempted to reach safety.

Rescuers are working around the clock with neighboring countries, earthquake teams from Japan, cadaver dogs and other search and rescue operations teams are moving into the region to assist the disaster area.

Global warming, heavy deforestation, unprecedented rains, informal housing, and dense human populations can leave valley communities vulnerable to land and mud slides.

Israel: Netanyahu Offending the World – Again

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has again sent the Palestinian neighbors to the United nations to have the Jewish State sanctioned for building the first West Bank Settlement in 20 years compensating those who were relocated from Amona.

Netanyahu, who for all appearances, refuses to acknowledge the statehood of the Palestinians, or comply with any demands from any nation to include or defer his nations plans

Even during a press conference with President Trump, Netanyahu was asked to hold back on the settlements. Like any good statesman, Netanyahu agreed and went home back to the duties of his nation.

The United Nations have indicated the settlements are totally acceptable, a violation of international law and will quite possible cause Israel to face military action.

And again, Netanyahu could essentially be testing the boundaries of global action and commitments to a two-state solution, to Israel and to the Palestinians.

Mexico: Government Takes Drastic Measure to Combat Sexual Harassment

In an effort to combat the epidemic of sexual harassment Mexico City officials have created a unique campaign installing seats on the nations subway systems that are anatomically correct mold of the male body . . .complete with male genitals.

Hidden camera captured the reactions as the seats often remain empty, even as passengers attempt to place coats or other cushioning between themselves and the seat. Visibly uncomfortable, most passengers look, take pictures, and go on their way, attempting to disengage from the real message: Sexual Harassment.

Sexual Harassment on Mexico City's Metro system, with nearly 65% of all female passengers reporting incidents of unwanted touching, verbal comments, lewd gestures has reached one of the highest statistics in the world.

Commuters are getting a wake-up call as the "Penis Seat" is not the only element of the campaign. Cameras on platforms are panning the male patrons and highlighting male buttocks on the overhead transits televisions that line the train platforms.

With some men appearing upset, women watching the television for transit updates are looking for the owners of the curved bottoms.

The campaign, only two days active, has received global attention. It is too early to determine if the "Penis Seat" and other elements of the campaign are effective deterrents.

Texas: Texting Killer

Thirteen senior citizens on their way home from a three-day retreat near San Antonio, Texas, were killed instantly when the mini-bus they were in was slammed into by a Dodge pick-up, who minutes before had been clocked at 80mph.

The 20-year-old driver, operating a double axle power truck, was driving so erratically, swerving from left to right, crossing the median, pulling the "dodge dually" back to his lane, kicking gravel and dirt on the shoulder that a concerned motorist, Jody Kuchler began to record the truck. He telephoned the local sheriff, to report the driver explaining something needs to be done or he's going to kill someone or himself. 

Typically, the Uvlade dispatch Sheriff remained non-emotional, trained for little or no response, and failing to recognize the gravity of the situation the sheriff explained the stretch of U.S. 83 where he was calling from was too close to the next county to really involve the Uvalde Sheriff. To his credit, the dispatch operator did follow through and call the Concan Country Sheriff office who had already been notified.

Kulcher tried again to have officers pull the impaired driver from the road before a tragedy; too close to the next jurisdiction, he was told. Kulcher rounded a corner and his worst fears were played out in front of him as he watched the truck slam head on into a mini-bus.

He placed another call to gather assistance for those dying at the scene, the dispatch sheriff again disengaged himself and reported the information to the next county.

Thirteen senior citizens, all members of the First Baptist New Braunfels church, on the way home from a three-day church sponsored retreat, died at the scene. A single survivor is in serious but stable condition.

The victims were Howard Allen, 81; Rhonda Allen, 61; Avis Banks, 83; Harold Barber, 87; Margaret Barber, 82; Donna Hawkins, 69; Cristie Moore, 68; Mildred Rosamond, 87; Addie Schmeltekopf, 84; Sue Tysdal, 76; Dorothy Vulliet, 84; and Martha Walker, 84.

The texting 20-year-old, Jack Dillion Young, apologized.

The dispatch sheriff's attitude leaves the most citizens shaking their heads over the failure by local law enforcement who had ample time to prevent this tragedy and didn't.

For more information on President Donald Trump:


Haute Tease