Thursday April 18th, 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

In Pennsylvania, Biden deflects culpability for high inflation; courts working class in battleground

                                                          President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event at United Steelworkers Headquarters, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in Pittsburgh, Pa. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Biden jetted across the must-win battleground of Pennsylvania this week to shore up support and take on one of his top liabilities: the economy.

He pitches himself as a native son of Pennsylvania who understands the struggles of working-class voters, especially economically disadvantaged Black voters. Although employment numbers are good, Mr. Biden is saddled with stubborn inflation, high interest rates and high energy and food prices.

Democrats in Pennsylvania, the most populous swing state, are receptive to Mr. Biden’s pitch that billionaires and corporations have taken advantage of working-class people for too long.

“It’s pure and simple greed,” said Joe Kremer, a 19-year-old University of Pittsburgh student from the city’s McKeesport suburb. “Corporations are reporting record profits every quarter. Job growth and wages are up, which is not a sign of an inflationary economy. They are raising prices because they can.”

Gunpowder shortage: GOP prods Biden on supply chain woes, fears of ammo crunch as U.S. arms Ukraine

                                                                   People wait in a line at a gun at store amid merchandise displays, in Arcadia, Calif., on Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu) **FILE**

Worried over the possibility of a gunpowder shortage, members of Congress are announcing legislation Thursday to prod the Biden administration to conduct an inventory of the U.S. supply chain and offer suggestions for how to ensure there will be enough for both the military and the average consumer.

Sen. James E. Risch, Idaho Republican, and Rep. Tom Emmer, Minnesota Republican, are leading the effort, saying they fear law-abiding Americans could struggle to get ammunition amid a global crunch of nitrocellulose, a key ingredient in manufacturing powder.

“This administration creates as many ridiculous hurdles as possible to restrict law-abiding gun owners’ access to affordable guns and ammunition,” Mr. Risch said.

He said the legislation will force transparency on the White House about what’s going on.

Emerson College Poll: Trump Leads Biden by 3 Points

A new Emerson College national poll released Thursday shows former President Donald Trump with the lead over President Joe Biden after the president's polling rate dropped since early April.

The poll put Trump over Biden by 46% to 43%, with Biden's support dropping by 2 percentage points since the last Emerson poll in early April. Trump's numbers remained at 46%, reports The Hill.

The Emerson College Polling survey was conducted from April 16-17 among 1,308 registered voters and carried a 2.6 percent margin of error.

According to the poll, another 12% of voters reported that they were still undecided, but when they were urged to pick a candidate, numbers climbed to 51% for Trump and 48% for Biden, still leaving Trump with a 3-point lead.

However, both Trump and Biden lost numbers with independent candidates being thrown into the equation, with Trump dropping to 44% and Biden to 40%.

Israeli Defense Minister Gallant Vows to Counter Iran's Violence


Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant vowed to fight Iran's ongoing attempts to foment violence in the Jewish state during a visit to the Binyamin region of southern Samaria on Wednesday.

"Also here in Judea and Samaria, Iran's tentacles are trying to bring about terror attacks. Smuggling of weapons, explosives, squads, money, intelligence — all to harm Israeli citizens," said the defense minister.

"It starts in Tehran, reaching Beirut, Damascus, Judea, and Samaria and Gaza. Iran's wicked hand can be seen everywhere," he continued, vowing to "cut off these cruel hands wherever they are."

Gallant spoke after a situational assessment with senior Israel Defense Forces officials near the Malachei Shalom outpost in Samaria, where Benjamin Achimeir, 14, was found murdered over the weekend.

After viewing ‘portion’ of classified docs Biden stashed in his basement, Republican congressman calls for ‘damage assessment’

                                                                                       Special Counsel Robert Hur found that Biden “willfully retained” classified material after his vice presidency. AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) on Wednesday called for a “damage assessment” to be conducted after viewing portions of the classified documents President Biden stored in the basement of his Delaware home.

“I just reviewed a portion of Biden’s classified documents that were taken from his basement by Special Counsel Hur,” the Florida Republican wrote on X.

The material in the documents – which date back to Biden’s long tenure in the Senate and his eight years as vice president – was still pertinent to existing threats, according to Waltz.

“We need an immediate damage assessment from the Intelligence Community,” he added, calling on federal agencies to review the risks to the nation that Biden’s mishandling of the documents posed.

Biden admin hit with lawsuit for deleting emails in case that could have consequences for Trump

FIRST ON FOX: A nonprofit legal organization filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration Wednesday, alleging it has deleted federal employees' emails in violation of existing statute.

In a sweeping complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the America First Legal Foundation (AFL), the group headed by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, accused the Department of Health and Human Services of regularly deleting official emails and violating the Federal Records Act. The group also named the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – which is tasked with overseeing the unlawful destruction of federal records – as a defendant.

"If the National Archives decides not to use the legal authorities it has regarding federal records, it certainly shouldn't make up legal authority that it doesn't have when it comes to presidential records," America First Legal Vice President Dan Epstein said in an interview.

"We expect our government to act in a transparent and accountable way, and exercise equanimity when it decides to investigate certain allegations. We clearly haven't seen that in this case."

Trump Trial Judge Scolds the Press for Reporting Too Much Information About Jurors: Use ‘Common Sense’

                                                                                Judge Juan Merchan and Donald Trump

Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over former president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York City, scolded the press for reporting on identifying information about the jurors in the case on Thursday.

Merchan and the parties are going through the arduous work of constructing a fair jury this week. Seven of 18 jurors had been selected after proceedings on Monday and Tuesday, but one of those seven was dismissed over fairness concerns early on Thursday morning.

After that juror’s dismissal, Merchan addressed the press directly, according to MSNBC contributor Adam Klasfeld, telling them that reporting on too much background information about the jurors “defeats the purpose” of anonymity — which is supposed to insulate them from outside pressures and protect their safety.

“The press is certainly able and permitted to write about anything that’s on the record, because it’s on the record,” said Merchan. “But I’m directing that the press simply applies common sense.”

A number of media outlets have toed the line on the jurors selected so far. On Tuesday, ABC News ran a story headlined “Who are the first 7 jurors of Trump’s historic criminal trial” that went on to reveal information about where the jurors live, what they do for work, and more.

“Here’s everything you need to know about the first seven jurors of Trump’s historic criminal trial,” proclaimed ABC in several tweets promoting the article.

Trump hush money trial loses juror who felt intimidated, judge says
Prosecutors: Trump violated gag order in hush money trial seven more times

Mayorkas says he never read articles of impeachment

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday said he never read the articles of impeachment against him, drawing a rebuke from senators.

Mr. Mayorkas was appearing on Capitol Hill for testimony a day after Senate Democrats voted to dismiss the two charges against him without holding a trial or hearing evidence.

Republican senators, furious at that handling of the matter, confronted Mr. Mayorkas, demanding to know how he let the border spiral out of control.

U.S. slaps sanctions on Iran’s drone industry after barrage against Israel

Less than a week after Iran launched drones and missiles at Israel, the U.S. government on Thursday announced sanctions on more than a dozen Iranian officials and companies linked to the country’s unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Treasury Department is imposing sanctions on 16 unnamed people involved in Iran’s production and testing of UAVs along with the government’s UAV manufacturing agency, Kimia Part Sivan, and five other companies in the drone business.

The U.S. also is sanctioning five companies that provide raw materials for Iran’s Khuzestan Steel Co. — already under sanction — or buy finished steel products from it.

US official laughs off question about President Biden's lack of Iran strategy: Report

A U.S. official reportedly laughed off a Politico columnist's question about what exactly President Biden's strategy for Iran is following its missile and drone attack on Israel.

"You know, a lot of people inside the administration ask that same question. Sometimes they ask it on the first day. Sometimes they ask it six months later," the official reportedly told Politico's foreign affairs correspondent Nahal Toosi after her question was met with laughter.

Toosi included the exchange in a column published Tuesday and asserted that Biden doesn't have a strategy for handling Iran. The Middle Eastern nation on Saturday launched hundreds of missiles and drones against Israel, which was largely protected by its air defense system, along with help from allies including the U.S.

She also said Biden's aides have tried to keep the Iran issue off the president's desk.

Biden’s weakness abroad: A crisis of credibility

Making strenuous demands and failing to enforce them

“Don’t,” President Biden said when asked for his message to the Iranians contemplating an attack upon Israel, so of course the Iranians did. The value of the word and command of the president of the United States showed itself in full as Iranian drones and missiles rained down on Israel by the hundreds. That value is now zero.

Why would it be anything else? As the Biden administration continues into what is hopefully, for the sake of world peace, its final year, the deterrence and credibility of the United States are at lows unmet since the fall of Saigon nearly half a century ago. (That is, we should note, less time than Mr. Biden has been a public figure.) The Biden regime, having hollowed out the American military and American deterrence — through incompetence, ideological fixations, inconstant policy, and chronic underinvestment in the armed forces — has left the United States nearly without credible hard power.

Consequently, since 2021, a major predictor of world events has been whether or not Mr. Biden publicly forbids them. If he does, they will happen. He expressed confidence that the Afghanistan surrender would come off fine, so of course, it was a generational disaster with an American body count. He told the Russians not to invade Ukraine, so they did. He set himself against the Houthi closure of the Red Sea, and so they made it happen. He warned Vladimir Putin against killing Alexei Navalny, so, of course, Navalny died in prison. The cause was “unknown,” but in the traditional Russian style, likely an accidental slip onto a bunch of bullets. Now, Mr. Biden‘s public demand that the Iranians not attack Israel has been met with precisely that.

Joe Biden: A modern day Neville Chamberlain

Iran launched a direct missile and drone attack on Israel on Saturday. Iran claimed it was in retaliation for Israel’s bombing of a facility in Damascus, Syria, that is said to have killed seven Iranian military advisers. Left unsaid is that those advisers are alleged to have been coordinating proxy attacks against Israel.

The Department of Defense says the Iranian attack included more than 150 missiles and drones. Most were shot down or vaporized long before coming anywhere near Israeli soil.

At the time of the attack, President Biden said the U.S. commitment to Israel is “ironclad” and that any such attack will not and cannot be tolerated. It was a great soundbite and show of strength by the U.S. commander in chief during a campaign year in which he is being painted by his political opposition as weak. Unfortunately, it was mere hours later when Mr. Biden walked back the ironclad commitment and told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to retaliate, and if he did, America would have no part in it.

Medal of Honor
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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