Friday December 6th, 2013
"It Is Not A
Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong
Updated 1039 PST
Kerry says prospects good for Israeli-Palestinian peace
Secretary of State John F. Kerry claimed Friday that chances for a
lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians are better now than at
any time in years, despite widespread skepticism that the peace talks
he fostered are making little headway.
Kerry likened the long effort to bring peace to the Middle East to
Nelson Mandela’s decades-long struggle to end apartheid in South Africa.
Both struggles seemed impossible but are not, Kerry told reporters
during a press conference at Ben Gurion Airport.
Kerry also reassured Israelis that tough sanctions on Iran will remain
in place during negotiations toward an international deal to limit
Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes.
Whoops...Obama reversal, says he lived with uncle
President Obama acknowledged Thursday that he lived with his Kenyan
uncle for a brief period in the 1980s while preparing to attend Harvard
Law School, contradicting a statement more than two years ago that the
White House had no record of the two ever meeting.
Their relationship came into question Tuesday at the deportation hearing
of the president’s uncle, Onyango Obama, in Boston immigration court.
His uncle had lived in the United States illegally since the 1970s and
revealed for the first time in testimony that his famous nephew had
stayed at his Cambridge apartment for about three weeks. At the time,
Onyango Obama was here illegally and fighting deportation.
On Thursday, a White House official said the press office had not fully
researched the relationship between the president and his uncle before
telling the Globe in 2011 that it had no record of the two meeting. This
time, press office staff members asked the president directly, which
they said they had not done in 2011.
Obamacare Intended to Burden the Young
The Affordable Care Act is "intentionally designed to screw over young
people" who are being forced to pay higher premiums, Republican National
Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says.
"It wasn't a mistake. This thing was not an accident," Priebus told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV on Thursday.
"Obamacare was intentionally designed to screw over young people so that young people pay for everyone else's stuff.
Supporters Push Obama to Bypass Congress Even More
Congressional Democrats and activists, frustrated with the gridlock in
Washington, are pressing President Barack Obama to bypass Congress and
use his executive authority to achieve progress on a number of top
According to The Washington Times, the president has already invoked his
powers to change laws on issues ranging from immigration and healthcare
to welfare and education laws, and supporters want him to go further.
"In light of Republican obstructionism, it should be no surprise to
anyone that the administration is moving more and more toward executive
action," Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist, told the Times.
"The problem, however, is you can do a lot more via the legislative process than you can do through executive orders."
Obama's "Become The Very Danger The Constitution Was Designed To Avoid"
REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R-VA): Professor Turley, the constitution, the
system of separated powers is not simply about stopping one branch of
government from usurping another. It's about protecting the liberty of
Americans from the dangers of concentrated government power. How does
the president's unilateral modification of act of Congress affect both
the balance of power between the political branches and the liberty
interests of the American people?
JONATHAN TURLEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The danger is quite severe.
The problem with what the president is doing is that he's not simply
posing a danger to the constitutional system. He's becoming the very
danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration
of power in every single branch.
L.A. County social workers strike over salary increases caseloads
More than 1,000 social workers stay off the job in L.A. County on Thursday in an effort to further contract agreements.
In the first strike by Los Angeles County employees since 2000, more
than 1,000 social workers took to the picket lines Thursday in a major
escalation of a labor dispute over salary increases and caseloads.
The timing of a 6% raise is among the main sticking points in contract
negotiations. But union leaders focused the public face of the dispute
on social workers' caseloads, which protesters said were so high that
they jeopardized the safety of the county's most vulnerable children.
U.S. Plans to Neutralize Syrian Chemical Weapons at Sea
The Pentagon is outfitting a Navy auxiliary ship with mobile units
capable of neutralizing Syria’s poison gas and chemicals used to make
nerve gas 45 to 90 days after receiving them, two U.S. defense officials
The equipment is being installed on the MV Cape Ray, a cargo ship
operated by the U.S. Maritime Administration, and will be ready to sail
by early January to a port yet to be chosen, the officials told
reporters yesterday at the Pentagon, asking not to be identified
discussing operational matters.
Rep. Sensenbrenner: Clapper Must Be Prosecuted for Lying to Congress
Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the architect of the Patriot Act, has
urged authorities to prosecute Director of National Intelligence James
Clapper for lying to Congress.
The Wisconsin Republican told The Hill that the Justice Department
should bring charges against Clapper for his false testimony during a
Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March.
"Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired
and prosecuted for it," he said. "The only way laws are effective is if
they're enforced. If it's a criminal offense — and I believe Mr. Clapper
has committed a criminal offense — then the Justice Department ought to
do its job."
The call for Clapper's prosecution came as President Barack Obama
revealed in an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthews” that
he plans to introduce curbs on the National Security Agency to guard
against unwarranted snooping in Americans’ private affairs.
Shades of Vietnam: Spike in U.S. troop deaths tied to stricter rules of engagement
The number of U.S. battlefield fatalities exceeded the rate at which
troop strength surged in 2009 and 2010, prompting national security
analysts to assert that coinciding stricter rules of engagement led to
A connection between the sharp increase in American deaths and
restrictive rules of engagement is difficult to confirm. More deaths
surely stemmed from ramped-up counterterrorism raids and the Taliban’s
response with more homemade bombs, the No. 1 killer of NATO forces in
But it is clear that the rules of engagement, which restrain troops from
firing in order to spare civilian casualties, cut back on airstrikes
and artillery strikes — the types of support that protect troops during
raids and ambushes.
British press horrified as Londpn's new mayor dares teo proclaim the truth
Free speech is good, but sometimes dangerous in practice. Saying what
you think can get you sacked in America even if it’s something that most
people think. Practicing free speech here in the old country is risky,
too, but saying the wrong thing appears to be a misdemeanor, not yet a
Boris Johnson, the irrepressible mayor of London, said some provocative
things the other day to a private think tank, the Centre for Policy
Studies, and political London — mostly the scribblers, anyway — has been
in a tizzy since.
Column: The rise of secretarial journalism
It was a sunny day in Beijing on Thursday—refreshingly sunny, to be more
precise—when Vice President Joe Biden met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. I
know this because I have read the pool report of the occasion, a pithy
and practically content-free piece of journalism that is nevertheless
one of the more entertaining things to enter my inbox in recent days.
The pool report confirms the lingering suspicion—if it hasn’t been
confirmed a million times already—that the line between journalism and
Democratic Party cheerleading has more than faded. It has become
Pool reports are summaries of official events distributed to reporters,
who then use the information to write articles or produce news packages.
The building blocks of journalism, involving basic details such as
names, places, and local color, pool reports are typically written by
members of the periodical press. But the Internet has thrown open the
question of what the periodical press is. And in the case of Vice
President Biden’s visit with the Chinese collective oligarchy at the
Zhongnanhao Leadership Compound, the pool report was composed and issued
by someone who is not a member of the periodical press, someone who is
not really “a journalist,” as the term is broadly understood, at all.
His name is Steve Clemons.
Apple's Star Chamber
An abusive judge and her prosecutor friend besiege the tech maker.
Impossible as it sounds, Judge Denise Cote has found a way to make the
Justice Department's antitrust assault on Apple AAPL -1.11% even more
abusive. Because it presumed to enter the e-books market, the court is
forcing the company to pay for a special prosecutor to investigate
itself—and shredding the separation of constitutional powers too.
In July, Judge Cote of the New York federal district court convicted the
iPad of being a conspiracy to increase digital book prices, though the
tablet's 2010 introduction increased competition and consumer choice
and, er, lowered digital book prices. She then appointed her friend
Michael Bromwich as an external monitor to review antitrust at Apple,
which he has interpreted as carte blanche to act as the inquisitor of
all things Cupertino.
The Christmas Pageant as a GapKids Ad
'Silent Night' has been silenced. There's no room for religion at the school 'winter concert.'
'Tis the season for "the war on Christmas" stories, with widely reported
fights over the placement of manger scenes on public property and legal
wrangling over other aspects of the national holiday that dares not
speak its name. Less attention will be paid to one of the war's major
casualties: what used to be known as the school Christmas concert.
Parents, though, are all too familiar with the silencing of "Silent
Over the past 20 years as my children have progressed through the local
New Jersey public-school system, my wife and I have attended our share
of such concerts. We've watched as these performances have slowly
declined, arriving at the current phase: denial. It has now been several
years since the word "Christmas" has even been spoken, let alone sung,
at any of these school events.
Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action
enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving
Armed Services of the United States.
to its recipient by the President of the
United States of America in the name of Congress.
first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to
JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made
September 15, 2011
to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.
then there have been: •
3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the
Medal of Honor.
CSM Jon R. Caviani
UNITED STATES ARMY
CAVAIANI, JON R.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Vietnam
Advisory Group, Republic of Vietnam. Place and date: Republic of
Vietnam, 4 and 5 June 1971. Entered service at: Fresno, Calif.
August 1943, Royston, England. Citation: S/Sergeant.
Cavaiani distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and
at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action
Republic of Vietnam on 4 and 5 June 1971 while serving as a
leader to a security platoon providing security for an isolated
relay site located within enemy-held territory. On the morning
June 1971, the entire camp came under an intense barrage of
arms, automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenade and mortar
a superior size enemy force. S/Sergeant. Cavaiani acted with
disregard for his personal safety as he repeatedly exposed
heavy enemy fire in order to move about the camp's perimeter
the platoon's fire and rallying the platoon in a desperate fight
survival. S/Sergeant. Cavaiani also returned heavy suppressive
upon the assaulting enemy force during this period with a
weapons. When the entire platoon was to be evacuated,
Cavaiani unhesitatingly volunteered to remain on the ground and
the helicopters into the landing zone. S/Sergeant. Cavaiani was
direct the first 3 helicopters in evacuating a major portion of
platoon. Due to intense increase in enemy fire, S/Sergeant.
was forced to remain at the camp overnight where he calmly
remaining platoon members in strengthening their defenses. On
morning of S June, a heavy ground fog restricted visibility. The
superior size enemy force launched a major ground attack in an
to completely annihilate the remaining small force. The enemy
advanced in 2 ranks, first firing a heavy volume of small arms
automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade fire while the
rank continuously threw a steady barrage of hand grenades at the
beleaguered force. S/Sergeant. Cavaiani returned a heavy barrage
small arms and hand grenade fire on the assaulting enemy force
unable to slow them down. He ordered the remaining platoon
attempt to escape while he provided them with cover fire. With 1
courageous exertion, S/Sergeant. Cavaiani recovered a machine
stood up, completely exposing himself to the heavy enemy fire
at him, and began firing the machine gun in a sweeping motion
2 ranks of advancing enemy soldiers. Through S/Sergeant.
valiant efforts with complete disregard for his safety, the
the remaining platoon members were able to escape. While
severe losses on the advancing enemy force, S/Sergeant. Cavaiani
wounded numerous times. S/Sergeant. Cavaiani's conspicuous
extraordinary heroism and intrepidity at the risk of his life,
and beyond the call of duty, were in keeping with the highest
traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon
himself and the U.S. Army.