Friday February 23rd, 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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World & Nation

Biden announces 500 sanctions against Russia as payback for war, Navalny

                                                 President Joe Biden speaks about his meeting with Alexei Navalny's widow Yulia Navalnaya and daughter Dasha, in San Francisco, Feb. 22, 2024. The U.S. government is hitting Russia with the largest tranche of financial penalties imposed on Moscow since its 2022 invasion of Ukraine. They target roughly 600 people and firms from Russia to China to the United Arab Emirates. The sanctions are timed to the second anniversary of the invasion, and in response to the death of Navalny. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Biden says the U.S. is levying 500 new sanctions against Russia’s military capabilities and the persons responsible for imprisoning Alexei Navalny, a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who died earlier this month.

Mr. Biden said the sanctions are payback for Mr. Navalny’s death in an Arctic prison and designed to coincide with the second anniversary of Mr. Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

“These sanctions will target individuals connected to Navalny’s imprisonment as well as Russia’s financial sector, defense industrial base, procurement networks and sanctions evaders across multiple continents,” Mr. Biden said. “They will ensure Putin pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home.”

Mr. Biden also said he is imposing 100 export restrictions on entities that are providing “backdoor” support for Russia’s war effort.

New York judge denies Trump’s request for delay in paying fraud fines

                                                                 Judge Arthur Engoron attends the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. (Shannon Stapleton/Pool Photo via AP)

New York Judge Arthur Engoron, who ruled on Donald Trump’s civil fraud case, has denied the request to delay the more than $350 million fine the former president owes in damages.

“You have failed to explain, much less justify, any basis for a stay,” Judge Engoron wrote in an email Thursday to Trump attorney Clifford Robert. “I am confident that the Appellate Division will protect your appellate rights.”

Attorneys for Mr. Trump had requested a 30-day delay from Judge Engoron, arguing in a letter sent Wednesday that New York Attorney General Letitia James’ “rush to memorialize a ‘judgment’ violates all accepted practice in New York state court and is intended to prejudice Defendants.”

Trump Moves to Dismiss Classified Documents Case

Former President Donald Trump urged a federal judge in Florida to dismiss the criminal case charging him with illegally retaining classified documents, claiming in part that presidential immunity protects him from prosecution.

In one motion attacking the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith, Trump's lawyers late Thursday echoed arguments that were roundly rejected by a federal appeals court this month in his 2020 election interference case in Washington.

Trump has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in that case as the Republican presidential primary front-runner seeks to delay the trial until after the November election.

Trump's lawyers wrote that the classified documents charges turn on his alleged decision to designate the papers as “personal” records under the Presidential Records Act, and argued that he cannot be prosecuted since that was an “official act” made while he was still in the White House.

CBS fires reporter who probed Biden and 'seizes her personal notes'

                                                             CBS fires reporter who probed Biden and 'seizes her personal notes'

CBS News has fired a high-profile reporter who covered investigations into the Biden family, and the network is accused of seizing her personal notes in a move her union calls 'completely inappropriate' and 'very unusual.' Catherine Herridge, a veteran reporter covering national security and intelligence, was among the hundreds of CBS employees who were laid off by parent company Paramount last week.

In a statement on Thursday, SAG-AFTRA, the union representing CBS employees, said it 'strongly condemns CBS News decision to seize Catherine Herridge's reporter notes and research from her office, including confidential source information.'

'This action is deeply concerning to the union because it sets a dangerous precedent for all media professionals and threatens the very foundation of the First Amendment,' the statement added.

Pew surveys find teachers, adults and students uncomfortable with K-12 gender identity lessons

Public school lessons on transgender identity and racism have sparked conflict in recent years, but a study from the Pew Research Center reveals that most teachers, students and adults agree that race is a more appropriate classroom topic than whether a boy can become a girl.

On Thursday, the nonprofit research firm released a trio of national surveys conducted during the fall semester with thousands of adults, students and public K-12 teachers. They found that most participants in all three groups emphasized the importance of learning about racial inequality, but large numbers balked at the idea of discussing gender identity in class.

Of the teachers surveyed, 64% said students should learn that “the legacy of slavery still affects Black people in American society today,” and 60% opposed letting students opt out of learning about racism or racial inequality.

Israel's Netanyahu Presents First Official Post-Gaza War Plan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has presented a "day after" plan for Gaza, his first official proposal for when the war in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory ends.

According to the document, presented to members of Israel's security cabinet on Thursday and seen by Reuters on Friday, Israel would maintain security control over all land west of Jordan, including the occupied West Bank and Gaza - territories where the Palestinians want to create an independent state.

In the long-term goals listed, Netanayhu rejects the "unilateral recognition" of a Palestinian state. He says a settlement with the Palestinians will only be achieved through direct negotiations between the two sides - but it did not name who the Palestinian party would be.

What caused the AT&T outage? Company's initial review says it wasn't a cyberattack

                                                              AT&T users reporting nationwide outage |

AT&T customers experienced a major outage on Thursday.

Many AT&T customers were left without cellphone service Thursday thanks to a widespread outage that began in the early morning and lasted until roughly 3 p.m. ET, when the company confirmed it had restored service to affected customers.

Following the incident, AT&T and federal organizations are investigating the cause of the disruption, assessing the possibility of a cyberattack. AT&T has since completed an initial review, though it says it will continue to look into the issue to prevent future occurrences.

An initial review by the company found the disruption was caused by the "application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network," or, more simply put, a technical error.

'State actor' to blame...
Prescriptions on hold...
AT&T outage caused by software update, company says

Private lander makes first US moon landing in more than 50 years

A private lander on Thursday made the first U.S. touchdown on the moon in more than 50 years, but managed just a weak signal back until flight controllers scrambled to gain better contact.

Despite the spotty communication, Intuitive Machines, the company that built and managed the craft, confirmed that it had landed upright. But it did not provide additional details, including whether the lander had reached its intended destination near the moon’s south pole. The company ended its live webcast soon after identifying a lone, weak signal from the lander.

This image provided by Intuitive Machines shows its Odysseus lunar lander with the Earth in the background on Feb. 16, 2024. The image was captured shortly after separation from SpaceX's second stage on Intuitive Machines' first journey to the moon. (Intuitive Machines via AP)

“What we can confirm, without a doubt, is our equipment is on the surface of the moon,” mission director Tim Crain reported as tension built in the company’s Houston control center.

Commercial US Spaceship Lands on Moon, a First for Private Industry

Biden's reliance on notecards to answer questions at fundraisers worries some donors: Report

President Biden's reliance on his notes to give detailed answers at private fundraisers has left some donors worried about his viability, according to a new report.

Biden is prone to consulting notecards after calling on pre-selected donors who have questions at the closed-door events, Axios reported on Friday.

"Biden's reliance on notecards to help explain his own policy positions — on questions he knows are coming — is raising concerns among some donors about Biden's age," the article stated.

Ukraine faces bleak future as war with Russia hits third year

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.

Alexei Navalny and other opposition figures who posed threats to Russian President Vladimir Putin are dead.

Ukrainian troops are running perilously low on ammunition. Russian forces are gaining ground in the Donbas. In America, the political fight over the utility of continued financial aid for Ukraine has reached a fever pitch.

Failures in America’s wartime leadership loom over Ukraine anniversary

On Saturday, the Russia-Ukraine war will reach its second anniversary. As America enters a third year of proxy war with Russia, the leadership failures that have defined our engagement in this war cannot persist.

Namely, we cannot accept the consensus that peace talks are a sign of American defeat or that they are impossible while Russian President Vladimir Putin is in power. America needs a drastically different approach to the war in Ukraine. One reminiscent of the America First approach to national security that Presidents Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, and John F. Kennedy demonstrated in perilous times of conflict.

After two years, the war in Ukraine has become the largest land war in Europe since WWII. Combined casualties on both sides are nearing 500,000, and the American people are growing weary of sending endless aid to Ukraine without an accompanying strategy for victory.

Ala. Supreme Court's Embryo Ruling Embodies Legal Heritage

The left has spent much of the past week up in arms about a ruling last Friday from the Alabama Supreme Court.

At first blush, it is curious that a state supreme court case would engender so much vitriol and bellyaching.

But the groaning from the left-wing media and political class can be easily explained: The Alabama case entails a dispute over the destruction of unborn human life, and there is no greater sacrament for the contemporary secular leftist than the destruction of unborn human life.

The secular Left's weeklong meltdown notwithstanding, Americans should be grateful for the Alabama Supreme Court's clarion affirmation of the Anglo-American legal tradition, as well as the inherent dignity and moral worth of unborn life.

Medal of Honor
See the source image




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....

                 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.”

            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



            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.