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Friday March 1st, 2024

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
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Takeaways from Hunter Biden's combative deposition with Republican lawmakers

                                               Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, with attorney Abbe Lowell, left, leaves after a closed-door deposition in the Republican-led investigation into the Biden family, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
 
The transcript of the congressional deposition of Hunter Biden was released late Thursday, providing a full view of the contentious testimony that took place behind closed doors Wednesday as Republicans aggressively questioned the central figure in their impeachment inquiry.

The nearly 230 pages of questioning laid bare the deep-seated hostility between President Joe Biden's son and the GOP lawmakers who have been investigating his family for the past several years. Arguments were frequent and tempers short, providing a preview of what is sure to come when Republicans hold a public hearing with Hunter Biden in the next several weeks.

He was defiant through the deposition as Republicans flooded him with questions about his former business affairs and his life, his answers veering from heated to emotional as he talked of his long battle with addiction and turmoil in his personal life.

Throughout the nearly seven-hour deposition, Hunter Biden remained adamant on one point, vehemently and repeatedly denying under oath that his father ever financially benefited or participated in any of his business work.



Ilhan Omar, Pramila Jayapal make secret trip to Cuba, drawing outrage from Republicans
                                                     
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks during a news conference by the Congressional Progressive Caucus on the threat of default, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota have come under scrutiny following their visit to Cuba last week, a trip that took place without prior public disclosure.

Their travel to the communist-led island nation has sparked anger from several Republican lawmakers.

“All members of the media should refer to the Progressive Caucus by their more accurate name — the Congressional Communist Sympathizing Caucus,” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York wrote on X. “It’s outrageous that members of Congress would visit a country that jails, abuses and murders their citizens and supports Iran, Russia and communist China against our interests.”

Florida Rep. Carlos Gimenez, a Cuban exile, suggested the trip was aimed at appeasing the communist regime. “The murderous dictatorship in Cuba must be defeated — not appeased,” he posted.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, slammed the trip as well. “Pro-Hamas members of marxist congressional squad just returned from a secret visit with anti-American dictatorship in Cuba,” he wrote on X.



Judge holds reporter Catherine Herridge in civil contempt for refusing to divulge source
                              This image provided by CBS News shows reporter Catherine Herridge. In a case with potentially far-reaching press freedom implications, a federal judge in Washington is weighing whether to hold in contempt Herridge, a veteran journalist who has refused to identify her sources for stories about a Chinese American scientist who was investigated by the FBI but never charged. The judge previously ordered the former Fox News reporter to be interviewed under oath about her sources for a series of stories about Yanping Chen. (John Paul Filo/CBS News via AP) ** FILE **

A federal judge held veteran investigative reporter Catherine Herridge in civil contempt on Thursday for refusing to divulge her source for a series of stories during her time at Fox News about a Chinese American scientist who was investigated by the FBI but never charged.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington imposed a fine of $800 dollars per day until Herridge complies, but the fine will not go into effect immediately to give her time to appeal.

A lawyer for Herridge, Patrick Philbin, declined to comment.

The source is being sought by Yanpin Chen, who has sued the government over the leak of details about the federal probe into statements she made on immigration forms related to work on a Chinese astronaut program.





EPA lawyer handled Ohio train wreck despite her husband’s law firm representing Norfolk Southern
                                                       This photo taken with a drone shows portions of a Norfolk Southern freight train that derailed Feb. 3, in East Palestine, Ohio, are still on fire on Feb. 4, 2023. The major freight railroads all promised safety improvements after the fiery derailment in eastern Ohio one year ago, but they have yet to make a meaningful improvement in the safety statistics and efforts to reform the industry have stalled in Congress. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

A senior Environmental Protection Agency lawyer managed cleanup efforts and congressional oversight of the toxic train derailment last year in East Palestine, Ohio, although her husband’s law firm was defending the company responsible for the wreck.

Documents obtained by The Washington Times reveal that the EPA ethics office allowed Natalia Sorgente, deputy general counsel for environmental programs and oversight, to remain on the case after conflict of interest concerns emerged months into her work.

Her husband’s firm, WilmerHale, represented the Norfolk Southern railroad.

Critics say the documents raise further questions about the federal government’s handling of the environmental disaster. The EPA produced the documents in response to a public records request from the Functional Government Initiative (FGI), a government watchdog.



Race to Replace McConnell Exposes Trump Divisions

                                                              Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, answers a question from a reporter, Tuesday, April 26, 2022, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. With McConnell are Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., center. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ** FILE **

Replacing Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who announced this week he will step down from his leadership role this fall, is exposing the divisions in the party's lawmakers over former President Donald Trump, the clear front-runner in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

While some Senate Republicans are calling for the next party leader to be aligned with Trump, others want McConnell's successor to remain distant, reports The Hill.

McConnell, R-Ky., and Trump reportedly have not spoken since just after the 2020 presidential election, and many GOP senators say they want to end the party's tensions when replacing their longtime party leader.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., said it is "imperative" for the next leader to work closely with Trump.



US Blocks UN Resolution Condemning Israel


The U.S. blocked a U.N. Security Council (UNSC) statement blaming Israel for the over 100 alleged deaths in a stampede around an aid convoy in northern Gaza on Thursday morning.

The U.S. was the only country of the 15 council members that didn't support the statement put forward by Algeria in an emergency closed meeting, Palestinian U.N. ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters.

The American deputy ambassador Robert Wood said that discussions about amending the language of the statement would continue, but added, "The problem is that we don't have all the facts here."

President Joe Biden told reporters that the U.S. was checking "competing versions" of the incident that led to over 100 deaths and hundreds of injured, according to sources in the Gaza Strip.



Germany sees possible Russian raid on its territory


Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to attack Germany as part of an invasion that could last years and trigger full-scale conflict with NATO, according to a just-released government report delivered to German lawmakers in the Bundestag.

The “Civil Defense Risk Analysis” outlines scenarios between an unnamed aggressor and NATO and is based on lessons learned from Russia’s war against Ukraine, now in its third year.

The 14-page report comes after German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius warned that Russia could attack NATO in five to eight years and as the allies take part in the biggest joint military drills in eastern Europe since the Cold War.

“An aggressor attack — hybrid and/or using the full arsenal of modern armed forces in all dimensions (land, air/space, sea, cyber and information) on NATO territory — is, therefore, a likely scenario,” the report says, according to the Daily Mail.

The multistage war could begin with a combination of espionage activity along with cyberattacks and sabotage against defense facilities and critical infrastructure.




‘Breathtaking’: Stratcom general warns of China’s expansion of nuclear weapons

Nuclear war dangers seen growing from military links between China, Russia, North Korea and Iran

A version of this story appeared in the daily Threat Status newsletter from The Washington Times. Click here to receive Threat Status delivered directly to your inbox each weekday.

China is showing no signs of slowing the furious pace of its program to develop nuclear weapons delivery systems, a sign that Beijing is shifting away from a strategy of minimum deterrence, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command told Congress on Thursday.

Air Force Gen. Anthony J. Cotton told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the speed of China’s nuclear force buildup in recent years is a major worry that keeps him awake at night.

Chinese military leaders are speeding up the deployment of nuclear forces, including sharp increases in land-based missiles, missile-firing submarines and a new bomber capable of launching a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile, he said.



A wildfire spreading across the Texas Panhandle has become the largest in state history.

Authorities say the Smokehouse Creek fire grew Thursday to nearly 1,700 square miles of scorched rural ranchlands and destroyed homes.
 
As the largest wildfire in Texas history engulfed his town, Danny Phillips was left helpless.

“We had to watch from a few miles away as our neighborhood burned,” he said, his voice trembling with emotion.

In his hard-hit town of Stinnett, population roughly 1,600, families like his who evacuated from the Smokehouse Creek fire returned Thursday to devastating scenes: melted street signs and charred frames of cars and trucks. Homes reduced to piles of ash and rubble. An American flag propped up outside a destroyed house.




Bud Light Boycott Cost Anheuser-Busch $1.4B in Lost Sales


Anheuser-Busch lost $1.4 billion in sales due to the Bud Light boycott, with its market share only very slowly inching back up, CNN reports.

The world’s largest brewer — and the purveyor of Bud Light, which had been America’s No. 1 beer for two decades — faced a customer firestorm over its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The company’s tepid response to the backlash also angered the LGBTQ+ community.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) reported record revenue Thursday but said its “full growth potential was constrained” by its U.S. business.

In North America, A-B InBev’s organic revenue plunged by $1.4 billion, since beer makes up most of the company’s revenue.



How the Biden administration is quietly punishing Israel


Unable to persuade Israel to subordinate its national security policy to the dictates of the U.S. government and its allies in the European Union, Qatar and the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the Biden administration has initiated sanctions and pressures of varying sorts against Israel and Israeli entities. Each has the potential for escalation, and each should be seen as an opening gambit.

The most recent move is an American investigation of the Israeli company Finkelstein Metals, accusing it of receiving what the U.S. considers illegal subsidies from the Israeli government because it is in a government development zone. What is Finkelstein Metals, and why is it important?

It is, according to The Jerusalem Post, the only Israeli company that produces brass, bronze, and copper alloy products, and it is the sole supplier of metal bars for producing ammunition for the Iron Dome. Ron Tomer, president of the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel, warned: “This is an unfounded lawsuit, which may lead to the closure of the factory. If this case is successful, it may harm other Israeli companies and is contrary to existing trade agreements.”



Biden’s media allies shield him from ramifications of his border policy


If President Biden is talking about illegal immigration, it means he’s losing the argument.

In politics, you play on your home turf when you can, and the fact that Mr. Biden scheduled a trip to the border this week — on the same day as former President Donald Trump — means his handlers know he’s got a political problem he needs to address. The media know it, too, and many are trying to help the president out of this jam.

For three years, everyone in the Biden administration claimed that the border was as secure as ever. Reporters were expected to echo that message, and many did. For example, Axios came in with an “Axios Explains” piece last October, saying that the idea of an open border was a myth.


Medal of Honor
See the source image
THOMAS JEROME HUDNER JR.

RANK: LIEUTENANT, J.G.
CONFLICT/ERA: KOREAN WAR

MILITARY SERVICE BRANCH: U.S. NAVY
MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION DATE: DECEMBER 4, 1950

MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION PLACE: CHOSIN RESERVOIR, KOREA
CITATION

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a pilot in Fighter Squadron 32, while attempting to rescue a squadron mate whose plane, struck by antiaircraft fire and trailing smoke, was forced down behind enemy lines. Quickly maneuvering to circle the downed pilot and protect him from enemy troops infesting the area, Lt. (j.g.) Hudner risked his life to save the injured flier who was trapped alive in the burning wreckage. Fully aware of the extreme danger in landing on the rough mountainous terrain, and the scant hope of escape or survival in subzero temperature, he put his plane down skillfully in a deliberate wheels-up landing in the presence of enemy troops. With his bare hands, he packed the fuselage with snow to keep the flames away from the pilot and struggled to pull him free. Unsuccessful in this he returned to his crashed aircraft and radioed other airborne planes, requesting that a helicopter be dispatched with an ax and fire extinguisher. He then remained on the spot despite the continuing danger from enemy action and, with the assistance of the rescue pilot, renewed a desperate but unavailing battle against time, cold, and flames. Lt. (j.g.) Hudner's exceptionally valiant action and selfless devotion to a shipmate sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


From the Archive....

            TO KILL OR FEED A MOCKINGBIRD
                 By Geoff Metcalf
                 July 29, 2002

            Two mutually exclusive and under reported stories have been troubling me.

               *   The apparent penchant for political operatives to leak classified information that jeopardizes national security.
               *   The generational control of information dissemination by powerful controllers.

            So we have another ‘Catch-22’.

            The complicity of the mainstream media to spin, cover, and obfuscate government abuse of power under the color of authority was not unique to the Clinton administration.  It may have been more ubiquitous, and at times even clumsy, but it was not unique.

            It has been reported that in June 1991 David Rockefeller allegedly told a Bilderberg meeting in Baden Baden German, "We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years." He went on to explain: "It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries."

            Some argue that quote is apocryphal urban legend.  However, although I have never been able to find three corroborating independent sources for it, it IS consistent in content and tone with other Bilderberg quotes I HAVE been able to confirm.

            “If we had been subjected to the light of publicity….” Indicates the one world, globalist, wannabe controllers were/are successful in managing the message.

            Operation ‘Mockingbird’ was a program supposedly conceived by a brilliant Machiavellian State Department official, Frank Wisner.  Wisner selected Philip Graham, then publisher of the Washington Post to manage the program.  According to Deborah Davis, author of ‘Katharine the Great’, "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles, plus stringers, four to six hundred in all, according to a former CIA analyst."

            Over twenty five major newspapers and wire services became willing house organs for the CIA media manipulation.

            Investigators digging into MOCKINGBIRD have been flabbergasted to discover FOIA documents in which agents boast (in CIA office memos) of  pride in having placed "important assets" inside every major news publication in the country.

            I know, this is the stuff of Ludlum novels conspiracy wackos, but not until 1982 did the ‘Company’ finally concede that reporters on the CIA payroll have been case officers to field agents.

            I have too often observed, “Some people don’t like to be confused with facts that contradict their preconceived opinions.”  I have also noted (and struggle to maintain) “It is not WHO is right or wrong…but WHAT is right or wrong.”

            Anyone with almost ‘any’ military experience has no doubt seen the once ubiquitous posters cautioning “Loose Lips Sink Ships”.  It is a left over phrase from WWII and among “lessons learned”.

            In the complex world of intelligence loose lips can and have cost lives.

            Once upon a time, not so long ago, Senator Patrick Leahy (currently the Senate Judiciary committee’s lead obstructionist) used to be the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the mid 80s.  Leahy allegedly ‘inadvertently’ exposed a top-secret intercept of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak that led to the capture of the Achille Lauro terrorists.  That supposed slip of the tongue “cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative.” http://www.newsmax.com/showinside.shtml?a=2001/1/31/85757

            Loose Lip Leahy was forced to resign in disgrace 14 years ago in the wake of having to acknowledge he leaked secret intelligence to the press.   However today he lords his power over the Senate Judiciary committee.  Congress’ institutional memory must be as short as some of Jennifer Flowers former paramours.

            In our contemporary environment in which whistleblowers have become in many cases heroes it is important to make the distinctions between the appropriateness of corporate and political whistleblowers and the idiot or miscreant who leaks information with genuine national security implications.

            Currently the FBI is investigating national security leaks from specifically the House and Senate Select Intelligence committees.  This is serious stuff.

            Defenders of the indefensible will argue it is a political witch-hunt by politicians in a heavy C.Y.A. mode.  That is not true but a convenient political spin job.

            Sure it is true the white house is p.o.-ed over media reports that the National Security Agency had received but not acted on two early warning messages to 9/11.  Dick Cheney reportedly went ballistic and ripped congressional leaders.  Both House and Senate Select Intelligence committees asked the Attorney General to conduct an investigation (and no doubt quietly prayed it would be botched).

            Justice said in a statement, “…the appropriate department officials will expeditiously review this matter and take any appropriate action.”  Not if congress has anything to say about it.  Don’t expect anything fast.  Remember Leahy resigned in disgrace 14 years ago and today has the chutzpah to pontificate ad nauseum to the Judiciary committee and stall any and all Bush judicial appointments.

            More on Operation Mockingbird http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/

            MOCK/mockingbird.html 

            http://www.grandconspiracy.com/library.html#operation

            2002 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

            Geoff is a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers.  A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Metcalf has hosted his radio talk show on the ABC/Disney owned and operated KSFO and in worldwide syndication. www.geoffmetcalf.com


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