- Wednesday January 23rd, 2019
"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
'No Cave!': Trump shoulders shutdown blame, bets Democrats will pay in 2020
- World & National
The question for the White House is not who’s to blame for the partial
government shutdown but rather who will voters blame for weak border
security in 2020.
President Trump is convinced that Democrats will pay a hefty price with
voters for opposing his border security plan, and he vowed Tuesday to
never “cave” in the shutdown fight.
Democrats remain just as adamant that they are winning the showdown,
with polls confirming that most Americans pin the blame on Mr. Trump
for the shutdown, now in its fifth week.
Jim McLaughlin, a GOP pollster closely allied with the White House, said congressional Democrats have miscalculated.
With votes scheduled, Washington searches for way out of shutdown
It may look like a typical Washington farce, but a pair of
Senate show votes this week might just be the first, tentative step on
a long road out of the longest government shutdown in history.
The White House, the Democratic House and the Republican Senate are
about to stage a theatrical effort to make it look like they are doing
everything possible to restore the paychecks of 800,000 federal workers.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan enshrines
President Donald Trump's offer to swap temporary protection for some
undocumented immigrants for $5.7 billion in funding for his totemic
Trump to renominate 51 picks whose judicial nominations had expired
President Trump announced Tuesday his intent to renominate 51 of his
judicial nominees, who didn’t see confirmation votes during the last
Congress and whose nominations had expired at the end of last year.
Out of the 51 picks for the federal bench, nine were for federal
circuit court vacancies including Neomi J. Rao, who was tapped to fill
Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s old seat on the D.C. Circuit.
Liberal groups have already vowed to oppose her nomination.
Black Hebrew Israelites leader says MAGA hats are 'no better than Klan hoods'
A New York-based leader of the black protest group that taunted
Covington Catholic students at the Lincoln Memorial said the youths’
Make America Great Again hats are “no better than Klan hoods.”
The leader identifying himself as “General Mahayaman” of the Hebrew
Israelites told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the encounter on the
National Mall last week was “a perfect metaphor for why street speaking
is so important.”
“There was the American Indian demonstrator who attempted to sing in
the face of great hatred,” he told the paper, referring to the
teenagers wearing MAGA hats, which he said “are no different than Klan
Trump tells Sarah Huckabee Sanders 'not to bother' with press briefings
President Trump blamed the media Tuesday as the reason the White House rarely holds press briefings.
Mr. Trump said he told press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders “not to
bother” with conducting press briefings because he believes the press
will be biased and covers her “rudely.”
The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the “podium” much anymore is
that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular
certain members of the press. I told her not to bother, the word gets
out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake
AP Sources: Trump, Others Agitated by Giuliani's Performance
Rudy Giuliani's latest media blitz, which was filled with a dizzying
array of misstatements and hurried clarifications, agitated President
Donald Trump and some of his allies, who have raised the possibility
that the outspoken presidential lawyer be at least temporarily
sidelined from televised interviews.
Trump was frustrated with Giuliani, according to three White House
officials and Republicans close to the White House who were not
authorized to speak publicly about private conversations. The president
told advisers that he felt his lawyer had obscured what he believed was
a public relations victory: the special counsel's rare public statement
disputing portions of a BuzzFeed News story that Trump instructed his
former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie before Congress.
The president told confidants that Giuliani had "changed the headlines"
for the worse and raised the possibility that Giuliani do fewer cable
hits, at least for a while, according to the officials and Republicans.
What is the Irish backstop, and why has it complicated Brexit?
Hardly mentioned during the referendum
campaign in 2016, arrangements for the Irish border have proved
trickier to solve than almost any other issue.
At its heart, Brexit is about untangling more than 40 years of shared
laws and policy. That’s a tall order for any government, especially
given the tight two-year time frame written into the process.
But an issue that was hardly mentioned during the Brexit referendum
campaign in 2016 has proved trickier to solve than any other: how to
handle the border between the Irish Republic, which is in the European
Union, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.
Today, the 310-mile boundary is largely invisible and runs through
schools, farmlands, homes and even a church graveyard. It is also the
only land border that the U.K. shares with an E.U. country.
China is outraged that the US wants to take the arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou off Canada's hands
Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, may soon be in US custody, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The US will look to make a formal extradition request "within a week"
as law-enforcement pursues the top Huawei executive for breaching
American sanctions on Iran.
Meng has been living with her family in Vancouver. Talk of her imminent
extradition comes as the ground rules are being prepared for the
critical two-way trade war talks between Washington and Beijing.
Chicken Little: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the new Al Gore
Almost 13 years ago, former Vice President and amateur climatologist Al Gore released “An Inconvenient Truth.”
The alarmist global warming movie was full of alarming predictions, all
of which Weatherman Gore said would be happening in the next decade.
Sea levels would rise 20 feet. Massive hurricanes and severe tornadoes
would be the new norm. The arctic and Antarctica would melt and polar
bears would disappear.
None of that happened.
The age of neo-imperialism
China, Russia and Iran are very different nations in very different
parts of the world, but they have three significant commonalities: All
once were great empires. All are now ruled by men who aspire to build
great empires anew. All regard the United States as their rival and
Al Qaeda and the Islamic State also dream of empire, one that would
replace the Ottoman Empire, which collapsed in 1922, and its affiliated
caliphate, which was abolished two years later.
Important to note: Iran’s rulers are not seeking to build a Persian or
Iranian empire. Like al Qaeda and the Islamic State, they intend to
resurrect a specifically Islamic empire, albeit one dominated by Shia
rather than Sunni Muslims.
"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
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.
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.
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
We Have Met the Enemy…
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
“The American people must be willing to give up a degree of personal privacy in exchange for safety and security.”
the wake of the clamor over the most recent WikiLeaks data dump, ‘Vault
7’, ‘UMBRAGE’, et al, it should be noted this is not really anything
new. What we are seeing here is simply the evolution of something that
goes back to the late 50s (to the incomplete best knowledge I have).
It is kinda cool to finally see even The New York Times
acknowledging material I was writing about in 1998
In April of 1998 I wrote
“Privacy has become an anachronism.” I was commenting on “a massive
system designed to intercept all your e-mail, fax traffic and more.” I
was explaining ‘Echelon’, the illegitimate offspring of a UKUSA Treaty
signed by the United
States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Its purpose
was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster, which
allegedly shares common goals. The system was so “efficient” that
reportedly National Security Agency folk from Fort Meade could work
from Menwith Hill in England to intercept local communications without
either nation having to burden themselves with the formality of seeking
approval (a court order) or disclosing the operation. And this was all
pre-9/11 and pre-the anti-constitutional 'Patriot Act'
illegal (without a Judge’s signed permission) for the United States to
spy on its citizens … kinda. The laws have long been circumvented by a
mutual pact among five nations. Under the terms of UKUSA agreement,
Britain spies on Americans and America spies on British citizens, and
then the two conspirators trade data. A classic technical finesse. It
is legal, but the intent to evade the spirit is inescapable.
often fictionalized the genesis of ‘Echelon’ as an informal meeting of
a group of post war American and British intelligence types drinking in
some remote rustic bar. An imagined CIA type complains to his MI6 buddy
about the hassles of US laws preventing US intelligence from
surveillance of bad guys, and the Brit echoes the same complaint.
“Hey wait a moment mate,” says Nigel, the make-believe MI6 guy, “I can
spy on your guys and you can spy on our bad players…why don’t we just
come up with a mechanism whereby we spy on your villains, you spy on
our villains, and we just ‘share’ the intel?”
This system was
called ECHELON, and has been kicking around in some form longer than
most of you. The result of the UKUSA treaty signed by the United
States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand was, and is,
to have a vast global intelligence monster which allegedly shares
The London Telegraph reported in December of
1997 that the Civil liberties Committee of the European Parliament had
officially confirmed the existence and purpose of ECHELON. “A global
electronic spy network that can eavesdrop on every telephone, e-mail
and telex communication around the world will be officially
acknowledged for the first time in a European Commission report. …”
The report noted: “Within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax
communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National
Security Agency, transferring all target information from the European
mainland via the strategic hub of London, then by satellite to Fort
Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill, in the North
York moors in the UK.
“The ECHELON system forms part of the
UKUSA system but unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed
during the Cold War, ECHELON was designed primarily for non-military
targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every
An interesting sidebar appeared in the International
Herald Tribune under the headline, “Big Corporate Brother: It Knows
More About You Than You Think.” The story details Acxiom Corp, which
was a humongous information service hidden in the Ozark foothills.
Twenty-four hours a day, Acxiom electronically gathered and sorts all
kinds of data about 196 million Americans. Credit card transactions and
magazine subscriptions, telephone numbers, real estate records,
automotive data, hunting, business and fishing licenses, consumer
surveys and demographic detail that would make a marketing department’s
research manager salivate. This relatively new (legal) enterprise was
known as “data warehousing” or “data-mining”, and it underscores the
cruel reality that the fiction of personal privacy has become obsolete.
Technology’s ability to collect and analyze data has made privacy a
quaint albeit interesting dinosaur.
The Tribune reported that
“Axciom can often determine whether an American owns a dog or cat,
enjoys camping or gourmet cooking, reads the Bible or lots of other
books. It can often pinpoint an American’s occupation, car and favorite
vacations. By analyzing the equivalent of billions of pages of data, it
often projects for its customers who should be offered a credit card or
who is likely to buy a computer.”
Most of this information is
from y 1998 piece. Echelon has developed, matured, and morphed
into a much more powerful hybrid. ‘Carnivore’ was software to help
triage the cacophony of data. Vault 7 and ‘Umbrage’ are logical (some
would argue “insidious”) growth.
More to follow…