Friday January 13th, 2017

"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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Values for a New Millennium: Activating the Natural Law to Reduce Violence, Revitalize Our Schools, and Promote Cross-Cultural Harmony | [Robert Humphrey]


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World & National
 
"The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people."
-- Justice Hugo L. Black
(1886-1971) US Supreme Court Justice
Obama 'screwed' us, angry Cuban migrants say
           President Barack Obama listens as Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, where Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“Obama has screwed all Cubans,” Yadiel Cruz, a Cuban in Panama bitterly told Agence France-Presse on Thursday upon learning the US president has suddenly made it tougher for migrants like him to get into America.

The 33-year-old summed up what many compatriots were feeling as they digested the news in a Catholic shelter in Panama’s capital, a waypoint on their overland trek to the United States.

But, he declared, “for me, I’m not going back.”

Around him, dozens of other Cubans expressed sadness or anger.
Havana hails end to special US immigration policy...
Cubans distraught...


Democrats hunker dowen for 'permanent opposition' to Trump presidency
                Protesters dressed as Ku Klux Klan members disrupt the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate Sen. Jeff Sessions on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

For those stunned to see Tuesday’s Senate confirmation hearing disrupted by shouts, chants and protesters dressed as Ku Klux Klan members: Get used to it.

President-elect Donald Trump won’t take office for another week, but Democrats and left-wing groups have already laid the groundwork for a relentless four-year assault on his presidency, vowing to disrupt and discredit his administration long before he signs his first bill.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have a name for it: the permanent opposition.

“You’re going to have a permanent opposition, sort of a combination of the news media and the Elizabeth Warren hard left, and they’re going to attack every single day and they’re going to find something to attack all the time,” Mr. Gingrich said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”



Trump: Hillary 'Guilty as Hell,' Should Not Have Been 'Allowed to Run'
           Image: Trump: Hillary 'Guilty as Hell,' Should Not Have Been 'Allowed to Run'

President-elect Donald Trump says Democrats shouldn't be "complaining" about the FBI's handling of Hillary Clinton because she is "guilty as hell" and shouldn't have been allowed to run for president in the first place.

In fact, Trump opined Friday in a pair of early-morning tweets, that the FBI was "very nice to her."

Trump's comments on Twitter Friday morning come in the wake of Thursday's announcement that the Department of Justice inspector general is launching an investigation into the department's and FBI Director James Comey's handling of the long-running probe into the matter.

Comey announced findings of his probe on July 5, publicly stating that Clinton and her top aides were "extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information" but recommending no charges.



Passing Motorist Kills Arizona State Trooper's Attacker

A passing motorist who was armed killed a man he saw slamming an Arizona state trooper’s head against the ground after having shot the officer from ambush on the side a highway.

The motorist, whose identity is being withheld, is credited with saving the life of Trooper Edward Anderson after he had been shot in the right shoulder and chest on Thursday morning, said The Associated Press.

The life-saving Samaritan was traveling to California with his wife when he saw Anderson being attacked on Interstate 10 about 40 miles west of Phoenix. (See news video below.)



Hiring Eric Holder to fight Donald Trump violates state consistution, California Republican says

A California GOP lawmaker is challenging the hiring of former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to fight the Trump administration, saying it may violate the California Constitution.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley has asked the California Attorney General’s office to investigate whether legislative Democrats ran afoul of the law by retaining Mr. Holder and his law firm, Covington & Burling, for $25,000 per month to do a job that can be performed by state employees.



Obama Surprises Biden With Presidential Medal of Freedom

A teary-eyed Biden accepted the medal, the highest civilian honor, at a ceremony at the White House Thursday.

Obama says he is bestowing the honor on Biden for "faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and a lifetime of service that will endure through the generations."



Paul Ryan to launch 'rescue mission' to simultaneously repeal and replace Obamacare

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Friday will launch a self-described “rescue mission” to save America from rising premiums and dwindling choices under Obamacare, hoping he can rally enough Republicans to back the simultaneous “repeal and replace” approach carved out by President-elect Donald Trump.

His first test will be a vote to approve a 2017 budget that paves the way for a speedy repeal — even though a replacement plan is not in hand.

The Senate passed the budget on a 51-48 vote early Thursday, earning support from all but one Republican in the chamber. The House, however, could be tricker, with perhaps several dozen Republicans signaling that they are not sold on the outline of the repeal-and-replace their leaders have in mind.



Defense Secretary-nominee Mattis breaks with Trump on Russia, torture

Defense Secretary-nominee James Mattis became the latest of President-elect Donald Trump’s picks to break with his boss’ campaign rhetoric, saying at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday that he believed Russia was trying to break the NATO alliance and rejecting the use of torture on terrorist suspects.

But the retired Marine general and former head of U.S. Central Command did signal that he favored a tougher line on Iran than the outgoing Obama administration and cleared a major hurdle to his nomination when the Senate overwhelmingly approved a waiver to a law that prohibits recently retired military officers from leading the Pentagon.

The 81-17 Senate vote capped what appeared to be a highly successful day on Capitol Hill for the former four-star general. Questioning from Democrats and Republicans suggested he faced a relatively easy path to confirmation.



Justice Department rreleases scathing report on abuses by Chicago police

Institutional problems within the Chicago Police Department have led to serious civil rights violations for years, including racial bias against blacks and a tendency to use excessive force, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report released Friday.

The Justice Department launched its investigation of the 12,000-officer force — one of the nation’s largest — in December 2015 following the release of dashcam video showing a white police officer shoot a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, 16 times as he walked away holding a small, folded knife. The video of the 2014 shooting, which the city fought to keep from being released, inspired large protests and cost the city’s police commissioner his job.

Among other findings, the report found city police used excessive and that “this pattern is largely attributable to systemic deficiencies within CPD and the City.” It also cited insufficient training and a failure to hold bad officers accountable.



At bat against Trump nominees: No hits, no runs, no errors

None down, with thanks to Harry Reid.

The senators haven’t voted yet, but shmear thick enough for a sesame bagel is turning out to be less than promised. None of Donald Trump’s Cabinet choices looks in danger, or even damaged by the week’s confirmation hearings.

Cory Booker, the New Jersey senator, infuriated some of his colleagues by breaking precedent — precedent being very important to senators of all persuasions — to testify against Jeff Sessions, and in the event he fired blanks, all of them wet. He repeated 30-year-old sentiments that in the unlikely event Mr. Sessions is not a bigot or a racist, he’s certainly not a nice guy.

Other senators clearly didn’t like that. The elfin Jeff Sessions is one of the most popular members of the Senate. Even the harshest of the Yankees forgive him his Alabama birth, some of the time. They envy the polite and courtly manner that does not come easily to those who are not Southern by the grace of God.



A petulant attack against Rex Tillerson

Marco Rubio’s line of questioning carried the whiff of political vendetta

Sen. Marco Rubio took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to grandstand against President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of State, former Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson.

It was a petulant, childish affair.

Mr. Rubio questioned Mr. Tillerson’s integrity, his moral fiber, and lectured him on his measured, yet completely forthright, responses.


"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
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. 

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.


Archives: Geoff Metcalf/NewsMax January 14, 2010

Plunging Approval Shouldn't Surprise Democratic Bullies  
 By Geoff Metcalf  
  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/4/when-the-drug-crisis-hits-home/
Reasonable people can disagree (or should be able to) reasonably when they honestly consider facts that may contradict their preconceived opinions and prejudices.

 However, unfortunately, especially in the partisan environment of politics, reason, honest analysis, and fairness too quickly become victims of the “us-vs.-them” thing. Politics has become a blood sport in which the only golden rule is “the team with the gold makes the rules.”

 Politicians who were elected to represent the best interests, wants, and desires of their constituents morph into petty, agenda-driven competitors quick to eschew reason for partisanship. Sadly, this axiomatic reality is universal and not exclusive to any one party.

 Politics is supposed to be the art of compromise. However, it increasingly has become a blood sport personifying the absolute worse elements of abuse of power under the color of authority.

President Barack Obama, a year after promising "change" and a kumbaya tsunami of bipartisan cooperation, now reluctantly admits that he has not succeeded in bringing the country together. In a recent People magazine interview, the president begrudgingly acknowledged an atmosphere of divisiveness that has washed away the lofty national feeling surrounding his inauguration a year ago.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/28/philadelphia-denies-sanctuary-city-status-but-just/

 "That's what's been lost this year. . . that whole sense of changing how Washington works," Obama said.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/20/trump-must-get-tough-with-pakistan/
 "What I haven't been able to do in the midst of this crisis is bring the country together in a way that we had done in the inauguration," he said, referring to last Jan. 20, when hundreds of thousands flooded into Washington to see him sworn in as America's first black president. . . before reality and buyer's remorse.

 The simple reality is that Obama has failed because he and his party's leadership (or, critics will argue, LACK of leadership) have failed — failed to do what they said they would do, and failed to do anything the "way" they promised.

 Notwithstanding lofty eloquence, consensus, and "unity" cannot be mandated by imperial decree. Partisan acrimony is not and cannot be bridled by harangue, bullying, or bludgeon. Politics is the art of compromise, and the facts in evidence demonstrate that this administration and this Democrat-led Congress have not been disposed to engage in compromise.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/2/have-hillary-clintons-scandals-topped-richard-nixo/

 Rather, the Democrats have embraced a ham-fisted, "our-way-or-the-highway" forced imposition of their will.

Now, in the wake of spelunking poll numbers, rampant buyer's remorse, and a previously unimagined nostalgia for the Carter administration, Democrats seem shocked, amazed, and confused that more than half the country not only does not approve of what they are trying to do but also dislikes how they are doing it.

 Blaming the dark sky and coming ice age on Bush (or Reagan or Nixon or Eisenhower or Lincoln) is a worn-out dog that flat-out ain't gonna hunt.

 When Mr. Cool was promising "change," little did anyone assume that change might result in a Republican's winning Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat. (But that could happen, and soon.)

 It is a sad reality that, at the same time our military significantly has improved the quality of the U.S. troops who serve, the civilian leadership and politicians have regressed to a level reminiscent of uneducated feudal bullies.

 The military is smarter, more fit, better equipped, and as committed as any generation from Valley Forge to Iwo Jima or Pleiku to Bosnia. We have an all-volunteer military that is dedicated to protecting you. Conversely, the political arena is littered with disingenuous, duplicitous partisans who long since have abandoned their constituents for the next political victory (and/or pork-laden earmark).

 I recently re-read Robert Humphrey's "Living Values for a New Millennium" in preparation for a seminar entitled "Clarifying American Core Values" in February.

 In a 1997 speech before professor Humphrey passed away, he said that top leadership, in both our civilian or military government, is afraid even to discuss this apparent decisive need for new thinking both at home and overseas. Thirteen years ago, he observed that the news media and public opinion polls advise, "The people sense a moral bankruptcy in Washington" with a bickering inability in government to face these deeper problems.

Wherever you go, you are little bit safer because of the military and yet more at risk because of the coat-room shenanigans of Congress. Wherever the military sets a boot, everyone has a friend, a defender, and a champion. However, politicians seem more concerned about the next PAC contribution than the wants, needs, or well-being of the very people they were elected to represent.

 Ambrose Evans-Pritchard once wrote, “Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush — sophistry washed down with Chardonnay.”