Beltway Insider: U.S. Russia Collide on Ukraine; Boston Bomber News; Education Gifts Top 1B; Gas Tax Hike Possible

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President Obama issued a strong warning against Soviet acts of aggression in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's move to violate the "territorial sovereignty" of the politically distressed Ukraine.


According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week dropped five percentage points to 40% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President remained consistent at 50%.

President Issues Strong Warning to Russia

President Obama has issued a strong warning to Russian President Putin admonishing the Soviet leader to respect the "territorial sovereignty" of the Ukraine and warned against invasion that could be interrupted as usurping the free democratic rights of the Ukraine people.

President Vladimir Putin answered the warning with his own message as he won the support of the Russian parliament to invade its Eastern European neighboring which has been interpreted by the international community as an act of war.

"We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine. Any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interest of Ukraine, Russia, or Europe," the president said in a released statement.

The international community remains concerned that Putin will attempt to institute authoritative rule violating international law as Russian tanks advance rolling across the Ukraine borders and armed Russian soldiers have been deployed at Ukraine governmental facilities.

The deterioration of the current political structure, which included the resignation of former Ukraine President Yanukovych, began in November 2013 as its citizens voiced the desire for greater democratic reforms and integration with the expanding European Union and the protections associated with EU rule.

The past three months have seen peaceful protests turn to increasing violent demonstrations and global monitoring.  

The Ukraine, an Eastern European country bordering Russia and the Balkans region, has long been considered an annexation of the Kremlin with strong economic, historical and cultural ties. Declared an independent state in 1991 by then Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev the Ukraine has acted independently and democratically since that time

The United States is monitoring the unstable situation closely as the escalation in violence and the advancement of soviet troops are a high concern to the international community.

The Ukraine Parliament found former Ukraine President Yanukovych, after his resignation, unable to execute his powers and "fulfill his duties." His resignation came immediately after he aligned himself publically with the opposition and left his position and country freely.

"The Ukrainian Parliament acted responsibly to fill that vacuum and elected a new government after Mr. Yanukovych fled the scene.  And I think it's also worth remembering that security forces under Mr. Yanukovych's control used snipers in downtown Kyiv to kill dozens of Ukrainians," said Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary. 

The backlash of Arab spring and the earlier fall of eastern European countries in the late 1980's have clearly resonated with the determined people of the Ukraine who according to President Obama, "have the freedom to determine their own leadership."

The Kremlin, whose borders touch the embattled country, has made it clear they intended to retake the small former soviet bloc nation and establish a working interim government and any form of challenges to leadership will be met with force.

During 1932-1933 under Joseph Stalin, the Ukraine people suffered one of the worst famines in history, brought on in an attempt to undermine the nationalistic pride of the Ukrainian people. Stalin's philosophy was to destroy an accomplished people while the world watched. The famine was designed to control and further oppress the Ukrainian people by denying them what they needed to survive. The Ukrainian Famine is also known as Holodomor, meaning "death by hunger."

Boston Bomber Back In News

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombing, has reportedly made detrimental statements to a family member during a supervised visit at the maximum prison where he is begin held pending trial.

According to the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, a motion filed in court indicated, "in the presence of an FBI agent, Tsarnaev, was unable to control himself and made statements to his determent."

According to federal authorities Tsarnaev, 19, is frequently visited by family members and his defense legal team. The visits remain supervised with an FBI officer present.

Federal prosecutors have agreed to allow Tsarnaev, who along with his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev were the masterminds behind the Boston Marathon Bombing, which killed three and wounded 260 others, unsupervised visitation with his family and legal defense team.

Tsarnaev, who is currently being held in a maximum security prison in Fort Devens Ayer, Massachusetts

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the now deceased brother and suspected mastermind of the Boston Marathon Bombing, has been linked to a September 11, 2011 triple homicide in name the Boston suburb.

Tsarnaev allegedly explained the bombings were retaliation for the US involvement in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He also, allegedly, wrote "when you harm one Muslim you hurt them all" indicting his Muslim religious beliefs bind him with all Muslims throughout the world that are oppressed and believe violence is the answer.

Education Commitments Top 1B

President Obama has continued to unveil aspects of his "Action Year Plan" which includes returning American to the land of opportunity for all, who are willing to work diligently, not simply those born into affluence.

"This is an issue of national importance. It's as important as any issue that I work on.  It's an issue that goes to the very heart of why I ran for President -- because if America stands for anything, it stands for the idea of opportunity for everybody; the notion that no matter who you are, or where you came from, or the circumstances into which you are born, if you work hard, if you take responsibility, then you can make it in this country," the President said.

Focusing on tomorrow's leaders, Obama implemented two new initiatives geared toward equipping America's youth to be competitive in a global workforce by creating greater educational opportunities and personal mentoring programs that focus on handling the challenges through positive coping mechanisms.

President Obama has secured over 400million in private sector educational commitments from Adobe and Prezi which ensures the tools that lead the world will be accessible in American classroom's guaranteeing the most advanced technology and e-learning opportunities will be available. That in addition to the 750million already announced which totals over 1billion in educational commitments.

"And that's the idea behind everything that I'll do this year, and for the rest of my presidency.  Because at a time when the economy is growing, we've got to make sure that every American shares in that growth, not just a few, and that means guaranteeing every child in America has access to a world-class education, "the President said.  

The second initiative the president is heralding is the "Be A Man" (BAM) program, which provides mentoring for inner city youth who show potential and may have strayed a bit. The BAM program is geared to assist finding alternative means to cope with frustrations, handle emotions and peer pressure.

"After all, these boys are a growing segment of our population.  They are our future workforce.  When, generation after generation, they lag behind, our economy suffers.  Our family structure suffers.  Our civic life suffers.  Cycles of hopelessness breed violence and mistrust.  And our country is a little less than what we know it can be.  So we need to change the statistics -- not just for the sake of the young men and boys, but for the sake of America's future," the President said.

Gas Tax Hike Possible

As President Obama continues to unveil his "Action Year Plan," America's infrastructure is getting a serious overhaul and be prepared to pay more at the gas pump.

For the approximately 88% of Americans who drive the potential of a gas tax hike, which is still in the discussion stage according to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, has the potential to generate hundreds of millions in federal revenue.

The Highway Trust Fund, which receives funding directly from gasoline and diesel sales, is bleeding out. Transportation systems around the country are failing miserably. Cities and towns are now choosing between totally demolishing the highway system of their towns as opposed to the cost of repairing the roads.

"By August or September of this year, the Highway Trust Fund will reach into insolvency.  There are some structural problems with the funding in the Highway Trust Fund because it's gas tax dependent and we're seeing less revenue spin off there," said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

Members of congress are still debating the most efficient handling of the drained Highway Trust Fund which designates the funds be exclusively used for maintenance, construction and repairs.

President Obama has stepped up involvement in this issue as it directly affects not only the way of life of millions of Americans but also seasonal construction employment and approximately 700,000 jobs are at stake.


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