Thursday November 20, 2014

"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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World & National     

Obama to announce immigration action
          

In a broad test of his executive powers, President Barack Obama declared Wednesday he will sidestep Congress and order his own federal action on immigration — in measures that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people illegally in the U.S. and set up one of the most pitched partisan confrontations of his presidency.

Obama declared that Washington has allowed America's immigration problem "to fester for too long."

The president will use an 8 p.m. EST address Thursday to announce his measures and will sign the executive actions during a rally in Las Vegas on Friday. In doing so, Obama will be taking an aggressive stand that he had once insisted was beyond his presidential power.
Networks To Snub Speech?
White House didn't request coverage from English-speaking networks...
Will air during Latin Grammys...
Illegals stage watch parties for speech...
WHITE HOUSE LAUGHS: 'It Doesn't Tear Up the Constitution'...
TONIGHT: Dines with Dems to explain; NO REPUBLICANS...
'Slap in face'...
SESSIONS: 'Emperor'...
DHS: Brace for New Surge...
Bachmann: Turning 'illiterate' immigrants into Dem voters...
'Throwing nation into crisis'...
Texas Plans Suit...
CRUZ: Obama Not Monarch...
COBURN WARNING: 'YOU'RE GOING TO SEE ANARCHY... VIOLENCE'
SCHLAFLY: Modern-day 'Fort Sumter'...
Sheriffs: 'Destruction of Democracy'...
McCONNELL: Order will lead to more dead migrants...
TUMULTY: Will pose political challenges for both parties...
National Revolution Day in Mexico...


Parites Push to Sway Public Before Obama's Immigration Speech
              

The fight to sway public opinion about President Obama’s soon-to-be-announced executive action on immigration was intensifying before the president’s scheduled address to the nation on Thursday evening from the East Room of the White House.

Mr. Obama is expected to announce that he will protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation and provide many of them permits to work legally in the United States. Mr. Obama has said he intends to act on his own in the face of Republican opposition to immigration legislation.

Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said on Wednesday that the president was “provoking a constitutional crisis,” and he predicted that Mr. Obama’s actions would make it harder for Congress to ever agree on a more lasting overhaul of the immigration system.



Senate Threatens

Senate to Obama: You are handing Iran a nuclear weapon

The U.S. Senate is warning the Obama administration that it is poised to veto a final nuclear deal with the Iranians and impose harsher sanctions on Tehran, according to a letter sent late Wednesday to President Obama.

Nearly half of the Senate has signed onto a letter promising to reject a “weak and dangerous deal” with Iran as final negotiations in Vienna approach their Nov. 24 deadline.



Iran nuclear talks stuck, deadline may be extended?

A deadline for resolving a 12-year-old dispute over Iran's nuclear program may be extended from Monday until March, because of sharp disagreements between Tehran and Western powers, officials close to the talks said on Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive in Vienna later for what Washington and its allies had hoped would be the culmination of months of difficult diplomacy between Iran and the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.




Secret Service chief: Morale suffering at agency

The acting director of the Secret Service warned lawmakers Wednesday of "potentially dire consequences" from lowered morale and operational security at the agency. He vowed to do better.

Joseph Clancy offered the sobering assessment in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, making his first appearance on Capitol Hill since his appointment last month to lead the embattled agency. The Secret Service has suffered a string of embarrassments, including a fence jumper who made it into the White House, which led to the resignation of its previous director.



Russia warns U.S. against arms to Ukraine as Biden due in Kiev

Russia warned the United States on Thursday against supplying arms to Ukrainian forces fighting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, hours before U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden was due to arrive in Kiev.

Ukraine accused President Vladimir Putin of treating its territory like a "playing field", trying to unleash a full-scale war that would pose a broader threat to NATO countries.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in Moscow that a U.S. official's suggestion Washington should consider sending arms to Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels have been fighting government forces since April, sent a "very serious signal".



Supreme Court won't stop S.C. same-sex marriages

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block gay marriages in South Carolina.

The high court on Thursday denied a request by Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson. He had wanted the marriages blocked while he challenges a judge's recent decision that opened the way for the marriages.

On Wednesday, the first marriage licenses were issued in Charleston and a lesbian couple exchanged vows on the courthouse steps.



Obama's the 'Greatest Builder' of GOP Since Reagan

The backlash against President Barack Obama has borne significant fruit for the GOP, pundit George Will says.

Even as the president is working to shore up his legacy after the difficulties of Obamacare and his unilateral efforts at immigration reform, he has inadvertently boosted his opponents, Will noted, according to Mediaite.com

"He is the greatest builder of the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan," Will said in an appearance on Fox News.



ACA Architect Loses Job as Vermont Healthcare Adviser

Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has lost his job advising Vermont on setting up its state-run healthcare system, Fox News reports.

The MIT economist has been under fire since videos emerged of him early last week acknowledging that the Affordable Care Act was passed because it was written with language to obfuscate the fact that people were being taxed.

That, along with Gruber's saying the crafters relied on "the stupidity of the American voter," has caused a backlash. Five Republican members of the Vermont General Assembly called on Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin to cancel Gruber's contract.

On Wednesday, Shumlin's spokesman Lawrence Miller said in a prepared statement that Gruber's comments "are offensive, inappropriate and do not reflect the thinking of this administration or how we do things in Vermont . . . As we have also said, we need solid economic modeling in order to move forward with healthcare reform."



Odierno: With Commitments Up, US Must Rethink Cuts to Army End Strength

The US Army’s top general wants to redo a decision to cut end strength from 490,000 to 450,000, saying it was made before Russian aggression towards the Ukraine and Europe, the fight with the Islamic State group in the Mideast and deployments to Africa to fight Ebola.

“We made assumptions that we wouldn’t be using Army forces in Europe the way we used to, we made assumptions that we wouldn’t go back into Iraq — and here we are back in Iraq, here we are worried about Russia again,” said Gen. Raymond Odierno, speaking at the Defense One Summit here Wednesday. He called for a discussion of what the Army will be doing over the next five years.



What Obamacare was really about

The health care engineers always knew it was an epic seizure of freedom

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” — Sir Walter Scott

Last week, we saw the key intellectual and practical architect of Obamacare, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, reminding us on tape that the entire Obamacare house of cards was built on deliberate lies.



Solving immigrtation, one step at a time
‘Comprehensive’ legislation is the favored device of technocrats

Republicans have no shortage of ideas for fixing America’s immigration system and no lack of good will toward those who would come here for opportunity and freedom. What we do need, urgently, is to restore the bonds of trust — between the people and their government, and between the institutions we depend on to maintain the rule of law.

First, the trust of the people in their government. President Obama says he wants Congress to send him a “comprehensive” immigration reform bill. Yet the American people don’t want a “comprehensive” anything. They know what it means: a thousand-page bill no one has read and no one understands, teetering with pet programs and unintended consequences. And Americans recognize that such “comprehensive” legislation is the favored device of technocrats who believe, as Jonathan Gruber said in his now-infamous comments on Obamacare, that a “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” and the “stupidity of the American voter” is “really, really critical” to passing legislation.





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.


BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Rank: Master Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Detachment B-56
Division: 5th Special Forces Group


 
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
 
Citation

Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.




From the Archives

American Fairness to a Fault — a Deadly One
Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009 02:28 PM

American’s tragic flaw is our unbridled fairness, which has been corrupted ever more by the cancer of political correctness to the point we put ourselves at risk rather than create even the perception of prejudice.

Sometime after the VOLAR (all volunteer) Army, the military veered from the “yes sir, yes sir, three bags full” blind adherence to all orders to the concept of refusing “unlawful orders” and that was ostensibly a good thing.

However, the uniformed services do not set or get to pick and choose foreign policy. The civilian leadership sets foreign policy, and the U.S. military enforces it — with a big, honking combined arms stick.

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has been one of the rare pundits with the courage to target the “culture of political correctness” in leadership of the military. In at least two interviews on Fox, Peters (correctly) blamed the culture of political correctness for the Army’s diffidence in taking action against Nidal Malik Hasan in the wake of knowledge of the problem.

Many mechanisms exist for dealing with matters of deep conscience — all without killing those one might think disagree with in principle.

However, it is not prejudice to discriminate based on threat facts in evidence. Refusal to act judiciously for fear of a tainted perception is just plain dumb.

Notwithstanding the articulated fears of the Army chief of staff and the secretary of Homeland Security, officials made an epic mistake in handling suspicions about Hasan. A mistake founded on political correctness and sustained by diffidence that cost the lives of innocents.

Reportedly, U.S. intelligence agencies were aware (months ago) that Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al-Qaida. He spoke openly to too many people about his angst and misdirected sympathies. He was apparently a poster child for suspicion, and the Army failed bigtime to intervene.

“It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al-Qaida figures," the officials said.

But you damnbetcha they SHOULD have done so.

Investigators want to know whether Hasan maintained contact with a radical mosque leader from Virginia, Anwar al Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen and runs a Web site that promotes jihad around the world against the United States.

In a recent blog posting titled "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," Awlaki calls Hasan a "hero" and a "man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people."

Increasingly we are told people who knew or worked with Hasan say he seemed to become gradually more radical in his condemnation of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subordinates and superiors had a responsibility to flag the inappropriate rhetoric, and they apparently did not.

The fear to speak out is a symptom of the PC disease fueled by recriminations and implied threats of discrimination — a fear that indirectly resulted in mayhem.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman said, "If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance," and despite the echo of shutting the barn door after the horse got out, he is right.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr. is concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Hasan could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.” He’s right, but such a backlash would be a direct result of the failure of command — not prejudice.

When confronted about whether he thought the Army “dropped the ball” in not responding to warning signs, Casey replied that the Army needs to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on early tidbits of information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., both of whom are veterans, took pains to say that Muslims have served honorably in the military and at risk to their lives.

“At the end of the day, this is not about his religion — the fact that this man was a Muslim,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

But, hey, it is (kinda/sorta) about religion (when the FBI says 10 percent of American Mosques preach jihad) — at least from a risk analysis perspective.