Tuesday May 24th, 2016

"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

Trump escalates atttack on Bill Clinton
           

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is reviving some of the ugliest political chapters of the 1990s with escalating personal attacks on Bill Clinton’s character, part of a concerted effort to smother Hillary Clinton’s campaign message with the weight of decades of controversy.

Trump’s latest shot came Monday when he released an incendiary Instagram video that includes the voices of two women who accused the former president of sexual assault, underscoring the presumptive Republican nominee’s willingness to go far beyond political norms in his critique of his likely Democratic rival.

The real estate mogul has said in recent interviews that a range of Clinton-related controversies will be at the center of his case against Hillary Clinton.



Sanders: Democratic Convention Could Be 'Messy'
            AP Photo
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and his push to make the party more inclusive could get "messy" but asserts in an interview with The Associated Press: "Democracy is not always nice and quiet and gentle."

The Vermont senator, campaigning Monday ahead of California's primary against Hillary Clinton, said his supporters hope the party will adopt a platform at the summer convention that reflects the needs of working families, the poor and young people, not Wall Street and corporate America.


House launches effort to impeach IRS commissioner
        In this file photo taken Feb. 10, 2016, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

House Republicans kicked off the path to impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Tuesday with a hearing exploring the ways the agency chief, hired to clean up after the tea party targeting scandal, instead bungled the probe and botched his handling of a congressional subpoena.

Mr. Koskinen declined to appear to testify, citing a crowded schedule. And lawmakers blocked his written testimony he submitted defending himself from even being entered into the hearing record, saying he had his chance to defend himself and refused to appear.

But Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee that has pursued the investigation into the tea party targeting, said there’s little question Mr. Koskinen has broken faith with Congress.



Bill Cosby WILL Stand trial on sex assault charges

Bill Cosby is heading to trial on charges he sexually assaulted a woman over a decade ago.

The disgraced comedian, 78, learned the news inside a Norristown, Pennsylvania courtroom on Tuesday after Montgomery County prosecutors spent the morning presenting their case to the judge and laying out why they believe they have enough evidence to send the case to trial.

Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his mansion in January 2004 and is facing three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.



TSA boots head of ssecurity amid furor over long lones

The Transportation Security Administration ousted its head of security this week because the agency is seeking a "different approach," not because of any wrongdoing, TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger said Tuesday.

Kelly Hoggan was removed from his post amid an uproar over long lines at airport security checkpoints and intense scrutiny of bonus payments. Neffenger said he hoped to find another place "for Hoggan's talents" within TSA.



Army officer dealing with terror threats denied concealed carry permit in N.J.?

The state of New Jersey told an Army officer dealing with terror threats at Picatinny Arsenal in Wharton that there is no “justifiable need” for him to have a concealed carry permit.

Lt. Col. Terry S. Russell, the product manager for the Army’s Individual Weapons and Small Arms program, requires a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance for his job. The base where he works was chosen as a terrorist “dry run” for a a Vehicle Borne Improved Explosive Device, and hackers have tried to obtain information on personnel.

Regardless, Oceanport Police Chief Daniel W. Barcus still denied the solider a permit, a decision ultimately backed last month by Superior Court Judge Joseph Oxley.



Illegal immigrant border crossings surge to highest level in hearly two years

The number of illegal immigrants crossing the southwestern border surged in April, reaching the highest point in nearly two years as Central American families and children traveling alone continued to test the Obama administration’s border controls.

More than 38,000 illegal immigrants were caught in April, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in new figures released Monday — the highest since July 2014, which was near the peak of the last surge that exposed massive holes in border and immigration policy.




McAuliffe campaign donations from Chinese mogul raise federal red flags

The FBI and Justice Department reportedly are investigating whether Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe accepted illegal contributions during his 2013 campaign.

Citing officials who had been briefed on the investigation, CNN reported Monday that authorities over the past several months have looked into whether donations made to Mr. McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign violated the law.

Spokespeople from the Justice Department and the FBI’s Washington field office declined to comment Monday.



Obama's plan to reintegrate ex-convicts into society raises crime fears

The Obama administration has gone into overdrive in the last two months, pushing administrative policy changes to make it easier for ex-convicts to rejoin society, but at the same time sparking concern that reforms will increase crime and jeopardize safety.

The federal efforts have been spurred on in part by bipartisan criminal justice reforms enacted at the state level and changing public opinion that has warmed to second chances, experts say.



Planned Parenthood Lawyer Denies Collusion Charge, Admits DA Shared Video Footage


A Texas Planned Parenthood lawyer accused of conspiring with a district attorney against a man who shot a video in which the sale of fetal body parts is purportedly discussed — has denied the charge, but admits the prosecutor gave him a copy of the footage.

"The recent filings by the Harris County District Attorney confirm that the DA shared confidential documents and information with abortion provider Planned Parenthood, colluding with it in the prosecution of David Daleiden." attorney Peter Breen told Breitbart Texas.



North Korea's UK Amabassador Rejects Trump's Offer of Talks

North Korea's ambassador to Britain said Tuesday that his country has no interest in presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's offer to open nuclear talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Ambassador Hyon Hak Bong said that Pyongyang views Trump's offer as an electoral ploy that isn't serious.

Hyon said that "we see it as the dramatics of a popular actor," adding that U.S. presidential candidates say a lot of things during a campaign but once they assume power they always adopt a hostile stance toward North Korea.



Turning Presidente Obama loose in Asia

Barack Obama hasn’t learned much in his seven years (and counting) in the White House, but he might have learned a little. He bowed to his Vietnamese hosts on arrival in Hanoi, but it wasn’t the infamous back-breaking 180-degree bow he gave to the despots of the Islamic world in Cairo.

He followed that with an apology, for what it was never quite clear, perhaps for being an American, a professed Christian or a friend of Israel. Or maybe it was an apology in behalf of the American people for not being as obsequious as he is when addressing Muslims. The president’s constituents cringe every time he goes abroad, for fear of whom he might apologize to next, and for what.



How Reaganomics saved Bill Clinton's presidency

The Gipper’s principled conservatism fundamentally transformed the nation

Should Republicans discard Ronald Reagan as a relevant political figure for today? Columnist Jonah Goldberg speaks for many conservative strategists when he writes: “Ronald Reagan is dead and he’s not coming back.” He was fine for his time, a great president, says Mr. Goldberg, but we have different problems today and shouldn’t keep invoking the Gipper when searching for presidents.

Really? My own view is that Republicans don’t celebrate Reagan nearly enough, largely because they have forgotten the totality of what he accomplished and have, unfortunately, ceded the prosperous 1990s to Bill Clinton, when, in fact, Bill became successful by plagiarizing Reaganomics.

President Reagan’s first two terms produced substantially lower tax rates for individuals and corporations, domestic (non-defense) spending restraint and deregulation, which resulted in the end of Jimmy Carter’s gas lines, a dramatic reduction in inflation, a jobs growth explosion and a major boom period that went 92 months without a recession — from November 1982 to July 1990. At the time, this proved to be the longest peacetime period of sustained economic growth in U.S. history.

   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.

VERSACE, HUMBERT R.
'Rocky'
Rank: Captain
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002
VERSACE, HUMBERT R. Photo
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.



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.