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Monday February 20th, 2017

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World & National 
"The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people."
-- Justice Hugo L. Black
(1886-1971) US Supreme Court Justice

Terror plots against U.S. planned by foreign nations in seven countries on Trump's ban list

Nationals from seven countries listed on a travel ban issued by President Trump have participated in ongoing terrorist plots against the U.S., according to congressional and law enforcement reports that challenge the widely circulated media criticism that no one from those nations has ever staged an attack on American soil.

A Senate Judiciary Committee report last year found that of the 390 foreign nationals arrested on terrorist-related charges since the Sept. 11 attacks, 67 come from the countries listed in the travel ban.

Joseph Humire, executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society and an analyst on Islamic terrorism, said the Cato Institute study cited repeatedly in the mainstream media is an “oversimplistic and inadequate” assessment of the terrorist threat. Jihadis driven from their strongholds in other countries are using the banned countries as refuges and jumping-off points for their next missions, he said.



Intel officials cleared Trump campaign of contact with Russian spies
             Image result for priebus

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday that high-ranking U.S. intelligence officials have assured the administration that none of President Trump’s campaign aides had contact with Russian spies and that news reports that speculate otherwise are “complete garbage.”

Mr. Priebus made the comments as the Trump administration forcefully pushed back against reports that began with an anonymously sourced story in The New York Times that dominated news coverage for days.

“I’ve been approved to say this. The top levels of the intelligence community have assured me that story is not only inaccurate, but it is grossly overstated and it was wrong and there was nothing to it,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“To accuse an organization of being in constant contact with Russian spies is outrageous. Every day, it’s something different,” Mr. Priebus said. “It’s some other source that is absolutely untrue. Instead of talking about the things that are going on.”



Pence 'disappointed' Flynn misled him
          

Vice President Pence said Monday that he “fully supported” Michael Flynn’s ouster last week as national security adviser, setting himself firmly against the former general, who told untruths about his contacts with Russian officials.

“I was disappointed to learn that the facts that have been conveyed to me by Gen. Flynn were inaccurate,” Pence told reporters during a visit to NATO headquarters in his first public comments about a scandal that has rocked the young Trump administration.



Trump accuses media of downplaying Sweden's refugee problems

President Trump doubled down Monday defending his remarks about refugees in Sweden, accusing the “fake news media” of misreporting the problems in that country.

“Give the public a break - The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!” tweeted Mr. Trump.

The president used the Scandinavian country as an example of the dangers of open-door refugee policies after a report on Fox News about a spike in rape and violence there, and claims that the Swedish government is covering it up.
Over the weekend, the president was mocked and ridiculed for including Sweden in a list European countries he said were suffering problems after accepting large numbers of Middle East refuges.



President's Agenda Is Beset by Opposition on Many Fronts
Scope of opposition so early in his term is remarkable for a new president

President Donald Trump is confronting more opposition than any he faced in his campaign, or anything seen in the first weeks of a modern presidency, with protests, legal challenges, congressional opposition and parts of the federal bureaucracy mobilizing to resist.

After issuing a blizzard of executive orders that fueled expectations he would be a dominant force in Washington, Mr. Trump risks seeming more like Gulliver, the giant tied down by an army of resilient, if smaller, adversaries.

The anti-Trump resistance has helped block his immigration policy, slow his health-care agenda and cabinet nominees, force out a top adviser and a cabinet choice, and make many of his public appearances occasions for raucous protests.




LePen Gains in French Polls as Security Concerns Win Voters
          

Marine Le Pen gained ground on her rivals for the French election as she benefits from concerns about security while other candidates trained their fire on independent front-runner Emmanuel Macron.

Monday’s daily OpinionWay poll showed that first-round support for anti-euro candidate Le Pen rose 1 percentage point to 27 percent, with Macron and Republican Francois Fillon unchanged at 20 percent each. While no surveys so far have shown Le Pen even close to a victory in May’s run-off, she’s quickly narrowing the gap to her rivals. OpinionWay showed Macron would defeat Le Pen by 58 percent to 42 percent in the second round. His advantage has halved in less than two weeks.



Loud Muslim Call to Prayer in Times Square as Muslims Protest Trump, Shout 'Allahu Akbar'
                                 
Muslims and Muslim sympathizers protested Donald Trump today in New York’s Times Square. Chelsea Clinton boasted about being there with her daughter, Charlotte. Hamas darling, Linda Sarsour was also there spreading hysteria and propaganda about President Donald Trump.

In Sarsour’s speech, she reminded people about the executive order that Democratic President FDR passed which put Japanese Americans in internment camps implying that Muslims and minorities could possibly suffer the same fate under a Trump presidency.

There was also a loud Arab call to prayer during this protest in NYC. In an Islamic call to prayer (adhan), the Muslim is shouting Allahu Akbar which translates to ‘God is greater’ or ‘God is greatest’. They mean that their ‘god’ is greater than your God and or the government. This is a blatant act of Islamic supremacy.



950,000 illegals with 'removal orders' free, raids get just a sliver

Despite media reports of a massive crackdown by President Trump on illegal immigrants, just a tiny percentage of the nearly 1 million on the government's deportation list have been arrested, according to statistics provided to Congress.

The 680 seized in recent sweeps by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agents represent just .07 percent of the 950,062 with deportation orders as of May 21, 2016.

Responses to questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, provided by Thomas D. Homan, currently the acting ICE director, revealed the struggle the agency faces as it moves to deport illegals, many with criminal records and slapped with "final orders of removal" after exhausting their court appeals.

He said that ICE has custody of just 11,006, or 1 percent, of the 950,062 ordered deported.



McCain a 'Pawn for the Media' With Trump Cpmplaints

Sen. John McCain has become a "pawn for the media" with his complaints about President Donald Trump, despite being treated poorly by the media himself while he was a presidential candidate, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino said Monday.

"They beat him up when he was the Republican nominee, despite the fact they loved him before that," Bongino told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "I wish he would see that he is being used here just to destroy Trump. That is his only role here, that [he] be that Republican voice against Trump."



Milo Yiannopoulos disinvited from CPAC

Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was disinvited as an official speaker at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) after being prompted to clarify that he does not support pedophilia following comments in a recently-unearthed interview.

“Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation of Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference,” ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp said in a statement Monday.

CPAC organizers had announced Saturday that Mr. Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart editor, would be speaking at the conference. The ACU acts as the host of the annual gathering of grass-roots conservative activists.



U.S. global arms sales surge
China emerges as top-tier supplier


The sale of American-made weapons to the global community is surging ahead, with the United States controlling nearly one-third of all military-grade arms and equipment fielded by international forces, according to new analysis of the international arms market.

During a four-year period beginning in 2012, American weapons manufacturers increased their overseas sales by 21 percent, compared to sales figures during a previous four-year cycle starting in 2007, analysts at the Sweden-based Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, said Monday.

“The USA supplies major arms to at least 100 countries around the world — significantly more than any other supplier state’, said Dr. Aude Fleurant, director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.



Defeating radical Islam
How a new White House initiative can get the job done

Who is the enemy? It’s been over 15 years since Sept. 11, 2001, and this fundamental question still rattles around. Prominent answers have included evildoers, violent extremists, terrorists, Muslims, and Islamists.

As an example of how not to answer this question, the Obama administration convened a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group in 2010 and included participants who turned up such gems as: “Jihad as holy war is a European invention,” the caliphate’s return is “inevitable,” Shariah (Islamic law) is “misunderstood,” and “Islamic terrorism is a contradiction in terms because terrorism is not Islamic by definition.” The result? The group produced propaganda helpful to the (unnamed) enemy.

In contrast, then-candidate Donald Trump gave a robust speech in August 2016 on how he, as president, would “Make America Safe Again.” In it, he pledged that “one of my first acts as president will be to establish a commission on radical Islam.” Note: he said radical Islam, not some euphemism like violent extremism.



The cyberhacking to come
Spy agencies will be joined by increasingly adept criminals and terrorists

If you thought the 2016 presidential election was an orgy of cyberhacking of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, of the Democratic Party computers being trawled through, and of fake news stories about Donald Trump’s hijinks in Russia, you are right. But you ain’t seen nothing yet.

The bad news is that from now on we are going to see an exponential rise in cybervandalism of all kinds and not just in America but throughout the world. Hacking, it seems, has become a game that anyone can play. The most immediate problem is that the people charged with protecting us are distracted by the wrong threats and are wasting the opportunities to — you should pardon the expression — build a wall designed to keep out the cybervandals.

No fewer than three Senate committees have begun probes into what everyone already knows — that Russian intelligence agencies broke into the fringes of last autumn’s election campaigns. Not a single American’s vote was changed but the idea that foreigners could meddle in our political system the same way our spy services meddle in theirs had our lawmakers harrumphing in outrage.


"It is discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."
-- Noel Coward
     (1899-1973) British playwright


Medal of Honor
Army Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
GeneTrerally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.
The first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to Private JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made September 15, 2011 to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.

Since then there have been:  • 3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
    • Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the Medal of Honor. 

Citation

Captain Humbert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965, while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight, Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers, scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the United States Army.


Archives: Geoff Metcalf/NewsMax January 14, 2010

Plunging Approval Shouldn't Surprise Democratic Bullies  
 By Geoff Metcalf  

Reasonable people can disagree (or should be able to) reasonably when they honestly consider facts that may contradict their preconceived opinions and prejudices.

 However, unfortunately, especially in the partisan environment of politics, reason, honest analysis, and fairness too quickly become victims of the “us-vs.-them” thing. Politics has become a blood sport in which the only golden rule is “the team with the gold makes the rules.”

 Politicians who were elected to represent the best interests, wants, and desires of their constituents morph into petty, agenda-driven competitors quick to eschew reason for partisanship. Sadly, this axiomatic reality is universal and not exclusive to any one party.

 Politics is supposed to be the art of compromise. However, it increasingly has become a blood sport personifying the absolute worse elements of abuse of power under the color of authority.

President Barack Obama, a year after promising "change" and a kumbaya tsunami of bipartisan cooperation, now reluctantly admits that he has not succeeded in bringing the country together. In a recent People magazine interview, the president begrudgingly acknowledged an atmosphere of divisiveness that has washed away the lofty national feeling surrounding his inauguration a year ago.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/28/philadelphia-denies-sanctuary-city-status-but-just/

 "That's what's been lost this year. . . that whole sense of changing how Washington works," Obama said.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/20/trump-must-get-tough-with-pakistan/
 "What I haven't been able to do in the midst of this crisis is bring the country together in a way that we had done in the inauguration," he said, referring to last Jan. 20, when hundreds of thousands flooded into Washington to see him sworn in as America's first black president. . . before reality and buyer's remorse.

 The simple reality is that Obama has failed because he and his party's leadership (or, critics will argue, LACK of leadership) have failed — failed to do what they said they would do, and failed to do anything the "way" they promised.

 Notwithstanding lofty eloquence, consensus, and "unity" cannot be mandated by imperial decree. Partisan acrimony is not and cannot be bridled by harangue, bullying, or bludgeon. Politics is the art of compromise, and the facts in evidence demonstrate that this administration and this Democrat-led Congress have not been disposed to engage in compromise.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/2/have-hillary-clintons-scandals-topped-richard-nixo/

 Rather, the Democrats have embraced a ham-fisted, "our-way-or-the-highway" forced imposition of their will.

Now, in the wake of spelunking poll numbers, rampant buyer's remorse, and a previously unimagined nostalgia for the Carter administration, Democrats seem shocked, amazed, and confused that more than half the country not only does not approve of what they are trying to do but also dislikes how they are doing it.

 Blaming the dark sky and coming ice age on Bush (or Reagan or Nixon or Eisenhower or Lincoln) is a worn-out dog that flat-out ain't gonna hunt.

 When Mr. Cool was promising "change," little did anyone assume that change might result in a Republican's winning Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat. (But that could happen, and soon.)

 It is a sad reality that, at the same time our military significantly has improved the quality of the U.S. troops who serve, the civilian leadership and politicians have regressed to a level reminiscent of uneducated feudal bullies.

 The military is smarter, more fit, better equipped, and as committed as any generation from Valley Forge to Iwo Jima or Pleiku to Bosnia. We have an all-volunteer military that is dedicated to protecting you. Conversely, the political arena is littered with disingenuous, duplicitous partisans who long since have abandoned their constituents for the next political victory (and/or pork-laden earmark).

 I recently re-read Robert Humphrey's "Living Values for a New Millennium" in preparation for a seminar entitled "Clarifying American Core Values" in February.

 In a 1997 speech before professor Humphrey passed away, he said that top leadership, in both our civilian or military government, is afraid even to discuss this apparent decisive need for new thinking both at home and overseas. Thirteen years ago, he observed that the news media and public opinion polls advise, "The people sense a moral bankruptcy in Washington" with a bickering inability in government to face these deeper problems.

Wherever you go, you are little bit safer because of the military and yet more at risk because of the coat-room shenanigans of Congress. Wherever the military sets a boot, everyone has a friend, a defender, and a champion. However, politicians seem more concerned about the next PAC contribution than the wants, needs, or well-being of the very people they were elected to represent.

 Ambrose Evans-Pritchard once wrote, “Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush — sophistry washed down with Chardonnay.”


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