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TODAY
Wednesday May 4th, 2016

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metctalf


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World & National

Trump may not have been YOUR choice. He may not have been the best choice. However, he IS the choice you need to get your head around.

The Hillary alternative is too horrific to swallow. The republic has survived worse than the Donald. Instead of bitching and throwing the keys to Clinton (AND the Supreme Court disaster that would cause), the guy needs support, good counsel and guidance.

His weaknesses can be turned to benefits if Republicans pull up their big boy pants and climb out of the swamp of petulance. No matter how bad Trump turns out to be, FOR SURE, he will not be as bad as Hillary. The Constitution provides for 3 co-equal branches of government with protections and advise and consent.


Trump is the GOP nominee
         

As predicted in this space yesterday, Donald Trump rolled to a big win in Indiana and Ted Cruz dropped out of the GOP presidential race. Trump is now on track to hit the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the nomination on the first ballot in Cleveland in July. The focus now shifts to how Republicans will deal with the fact that Trump — who is neither a fiscal nor a social conservative — is their standard bearer. Some began on Tuesday to line up behind the Manhattan-based brand manager. The RNC officially acknowledged Trump as the victor. But there are plenty of big names — including Cruz — who have not lined up behind Trump and may never do so.

How could Cruz possibly back Trump now? The Texas senator just called Trump a “pathological liar,” “utterly amoral,” “a narcissist at a level I don't think this country's ever seen” and “a serial philanderer.” That’s a tough bell to unring. And what of Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio and all the rest? On Wall Street the question now becomes whether Republicans grudgingly get in line or sit the race out and quietly (or perhaps not so quietly) hope Clinton wins.



Trump shifts to new campaign phase, dismisses GOP critics

Donald Trump, the GOP presidential nomination virtually in hand, signaled a new phase of his outsider campaign on Wednesday that includes a search for a running mate with experience governing and outreach to one-time competitors in an effort to heal the fractured Republican Party.

On that, though, there are exceptions.

"I am confident I can unite much of" the GOP Trump said Wednesday on NBC's "Today Show, as several prominent Republicans said they'd prefer Democrat Hillary Clinton over the New York billionaire. In a shot at his critics, Trump added: "Those people can go away and maybe come back in eight years after we served two terms. Honestly, there are some people I really don't want."



Hillary says 'whole world' wants her to beat Trump?
           Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop at Jackie O's Production Brewery and Tap Room in Athens, Ohio, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Talk about raising the stakes: Hillary Clinton says the “whole world” is pulling for her to defeat Donald Trump in November’s election.

In a fundraising email Wednesday morning, after Mr. Trump ousted his final major opponent the night before, Mrs. Clinton’s team said it was “unimaginable” that the maverick businessman would capture the GOP nomination.

“I don’t know how else to say it: The whole world is counting on us to win this thing. And we owe it to them to step up,” wrote Clinton staffer Christine Reynolds.



Navy SEAL killed by ISIS gave up track stardom to fight
 
Charlie Keating IV, the Navy SEAL shot dead by ISIS in Iraq on Tuesday, set aside a promising future in sports to join the terror fight overseas, according to some of his friends.

Keating, 31, died in combat in the town of Tel Askuf, likely from AK-47 fire, officials said. He was the third American serviceman to die in combat in Iraq since the U.S.-led coalition launched its anti-ISIS campaign in the summer of 2014.

The Navy SEAL was a former Phoenix high school star distance runner who went on to run cross country and track at Indiana University before attending the Naval Academy and becoming a SEAL based out of San Diego.



Half of immigrant-led households collect welfare as admission rules go unenforced

Immigrants are supposed to be beneficial to the U.S. — so much so that federal law requires them to prove they won’t end up on the public dole if they are legally admitted.

But it’s a stricture honored more in the breach than in compliance, according to statistics obtained by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which found that of the millions of legal immigrants living in the U.S. and collecting welfare or other public benefits, only a single person was kicked out of the country over the last three years for becoming a public burden.



U.S. military currently unable to handle major crisis?

U.S. military readiness has deteriorated over the past year, according to a study Wednesday by a conservative think-tank that said the four service branches are unable to “meet their day-to-day requirements” and lack the “operational depth required to respond to a major crisis.”

The study by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington homed in on comments made during a series of March congressional hearings by top military commanders, who “painted a somber picture of military readiness.”




John Kasich to drop out

John Kasich is dropping out of the Republican presidential race, two sources familiar with the plan confirmed to CNN.

Kasich's decision came after he improbably became the last challenger to Donald Trump, who emerged as the presumptive GOP nominee Tuesday night when Ted Cruz dropped out.



EU seeks end of visas for Turks


The European Union asked member states on Wednesday to grant visa-free travel to Turks in return for Ankara stopping migrants reaching Europe but it insisted Turkey must still change some laws and said it would get no "free ride".

Lawmakers in the European Parliament, which along with a majority of the 28 EU governments must approve the measure if it is to take effect as Ankara wants within two months, warned that they would not vote it through until Turkey met every condition, including narrowing the scope of crimes it defines as terrorism.

Governments anxious to allay fears of a wave of immigrants from Turkey itself secured a new emergency brake to apply to all countries with visa-free travel to Europe's 26-nation Schengen zone.



Britain to Take In More Syrian Children From Elsewhere in Europe

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain would resettle more Syrian children from Europe, amid mounting domestic pressure for him to do more to help young people fleeing the conflict.

Mr. Cameron, who has been facing a potential parliamentary rebellion next week from some lawmakers in his Conservative Party over the issue, had previously focused mostly on taking vulnerable children from the Middle East and North Africa.



Observations along the road to ruin
Forgetting what made the nation strong has crushed America’s great expectations

People think early European immigrants to America were seeking religious freedom. In fact, they sought escape from religious persecution. Not quite the same thing.

The policy not to molest or hinder those practicing even what were seen as false religions took time to crystallize. Gradually, however, tolerance came to seem sensible — or at least preferable to other options. Eventually, the children of the Enlightenment who designed the American system of government proclaimed freedom of religion a right — a right endowed not by those wielding political power but by the Creator. This was a revolutionary idea. In most of the world, it’s still a revolutionary idea.



Obama's slow-drip Iraq strtegy
The president’s anti-surge means his successor will have to finish the job

”I have never been more proud of a president than when Bush announced the Iraq surge on Jan. 10, 2007.” That’s the honest sentiment of an Iraq war veteran recently returned from that trying battlefield. I served in Iraq from 2005 to 2006 and witnessed some of the worst moments of the war, including the bombing of the Samarra golden mosque — an event that unleashed sectarian violence across the country.

But I left Iraq with a gnawing sense that with a new strategy, the right leadership and more troops, the war could still be won. I had seen the seeds of success during my time in Iraq, and knew that America could succeed if we changed course and showed resolve. George W. Bush did both in 2007 — and a year later, when I returned to Iraq twice to assess conditions on the ground, the war had been “fundamentally transformed.” By the time Mr. Bush left office, al Qaeda in Iraq was defeated and the country was stable.


                 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.

VERSACE, HUMBERT R.
'Rocky'
Rank: Captain
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002
VERSACE, HUMBERT R. Photo
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.



From the Archives

American Fairness to a Fault — a Deadly One
Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009 02:28 PM

American’s tragic flaw is our unbridled fairness, which has been corrupted ever more by the cancer of political correctness to the point we put ourselves at risk rather than create even the perception of prejudice.

Sometime after the VOLAR (all volunteer) Army, the military veered from the “yes sir, yes sir, three bags full” blind adherence to all orders to the concept of refusing “unlawful orders” and that was ostensibly a good thing.

However, the uniformed services do not set or get to pick and choose foreign policy. The civilian leadership sets foreign policy, and the U.S. military enforces it — with a big, honking combined arms stick.

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has been one of the rare pundits with the courage to target the “culture of political correctness” in leadership of the military. In at least two interviews on Fox, Peters (correctly) blamed the culture of political correctness for the Army’s diffidence in taking action against Nidal Malik Hasan in the wake of knowledge of the problem.

Many mechanisms exist for dealing with matters of deep conscience — all without killing those one might think disagree with in principle.

However, it is not prejudice to discriminate based on threat facts in evidence. Refusal to act judiciously for fear of a tainted perception is just plain dumb.

Notwithstanding the articulated fears of the Army chief of staff and the secretary of Homeland Security, officials made an epic mistake in handling suspicions about Hasan. A mistake founded on political correctness and sustained by diffidence that cost the lives of innocents.

Reportedly, U.S. intelligence agencies were aware (months ago) that Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al-Qaida. He spoke openly to too many people about his angst and misdirected sympathies. He was apparently a poster child for suspicion, and the Army failed bigtime to intervene.

“It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al-Qaida figures," the officials said.

But you damnbetcha they SHOULD have done so.

Investigators want to know whether Hasan maintained contact with a radical mosque leader from Virginia, Anwar al Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen and runs a Web site that promotes jihad around the world against the United States.

In a recent blog posting titled "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," Awlaki calls Hasan a "hero" and a "man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people."

Increasingly we are told people who knew or worked with Hasan say he seemed to become gradually more radical in his condemnation of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subordinates and superiors had a responsibility to flag the inappropriate rhetoric, and they apparently did not.

The fear to speak out is a symptom of the PC disease fueled by recriminations and implied threats of discrimination — a fear that indirectly resulted in mayhem.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman said, "If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance," and despite the echo of shutting the barn door after the horse got out, he is right.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr. is concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Hasan could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.” He’s right, but such a backlash would be a direct result of the failure of command — not prejudice.

When confronted about whether he thought the Army “dropped the ball” in not responding to warning signs, Casey replied that the Army needs to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on early tidbits of information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., both of whom are veterans, took pains to say that Muslims have served honorably in the military and at risk to their lives.

“At the end of the day, this is not about his religion — the fact that this man was a Muslim,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

But, hey, it is (kinda/sorta) about religion (when the FBI says 10 percent of American Mosques preach jihad) — at least from a risk analysis perspective.


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