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Obama becoming increasingly powerless as world allies fall to populist uprisings
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
The resignation of Italy’s prime minister Monday marked the abrupt
downfall of the third key European partner of President Obama this year,
as the president becomes increasingly powerless to confront a populist
wave sweeping both sides of the Atlantic and challenging traditional
Matteo Renzi’s surrender in Italy came just seven weeks after Mr. Obama
toasted the 41-year-old prime minister at a gilded State Dinner at the
White House for possessing “the vision and the values that can carry
Italy, and Europe, forward.” Mr. Renzi submitted his resignation after
Italian voters resoundingly rejected his proposals for political reform
in a Sunday referendum that became a judgment on Mr. Renzi and his
Less than a week earlier, French President Francois Hollande — another
key partner with Mr. Obama on issues such as fighting the Islamic State —
announced he would not seek re-election. He was battling low approval
ratings, high unemployment and a rising tide of conservative and
Trump Cancels Order for new $4-B Air Force One
Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that he wants to cancel the Pentagon’s
order with Boeing for a new $4 billion Air Force One, as the
president-elect keeps playing hardball with American businesses.
Shares of Boeing stock dropped in premarket trading after the tweet.
“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents,
but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” Mr.
Federal court halts Obamacare appeal, deals setback to president
A federal appeals court put a key Obamacare case on hold Monday as
judges begin to anticipate a President Trump, and move to give his
administration the chance to change the Obama administration’s legal
strategy on everything from immigration to health care.
The latest case is a landmark challenge brought by the U.S. House
against the Health and Human Services, which was sending Obamacare money
to insurance companies despite Congress specifically canceling the
money in the annual appropriations process.
The case is pending in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia, and several sets of briefs are due over the next
two months, but a three-judge panel issued a short order Monday putting
the case in abeyance and asking for updates to be filed a month after
Mr. Trump is sworn in.
Taiwanese president breaks silence on Trump call
No Major policy shift
President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday downplayed her historic recent phone
call with President-elect Donald Trump, stressing that “one phone call
does not mean a policy shift” between Washington and the island nation
that China regards as its territory.
“The phone call was a way for us to express our respect for the U.S.
election as well as to congratulate President-elect Trump on his win,”
Ms. Tsai told a small group of American reporters here in her first
public remarks on Friday’s call that has made headlines around the world
since Mr. Trump tweeted about it over the weekend.
“I do not foresee major policy shifts in the near future because we all
see the value of stability in the region,” Ms. Tsai told the U.S.
reporters in Taipei on a trip sponsored by the U.S.-backed East-West
Trump 'Taking the Time' to Pick Right Secretary of State
President-elect Donald Trump will be interviewing more people for the
vital secretary of State position, but that doesn't mean the initial
four names who had topped the list last week — Rudy Giuliani, Mitt
Romney, Bob Corker, and David Petraeus — are no longer under
consideration, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who heads Trump's
transition team, said Tuesday.
"The decision is obviously getting a considerable amount of time and
attention," Pence told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program. "What I can
tell you the president-elect is doing in all of these cabinet
positions, and critical appointments in the administration, is taking
the time to meet with men and women of extraordinary caliber and
Trump hit for assembling team lacking executive experience
Selects Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development
Forget “Team of Rivals.” President-elect Donald Trump is instead
assembling what critics are calling a team of novices — government
outsiders or politicians who have little executive experience at the
helm of the kinds of massive federal agencies they’ll be running.
Mr. Trump’s pick of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to be secretary of
Housing and Urban Development is the latest to rankle Democrats, who
said the doctor’s skill with a scalpel doesn’t translate into managing
an 8,300-person department that oversees fair lending, subsidized
housing and neighborhood revitalization.
Five reasons why Senate Democrats delaying Trump Cabinet is a bad idea
The Democrats in the Senate are going to try to delay and obstruct
President-Elect Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office by filibustering
his Cabinet picks.
“Senate Democrats are preparing to put Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks
through a grinding confirmation process, weighing delay tactics that
could eat up weeks of the Senate calendar and hamper his first 100
days,” Politico reported.
Here’s five reasons why that’s a stupid idea.
After blowback, NYT public editor walks back criticism of reporters
The public editor of The New York Times says she should have been more
restrained in criticizing some of newspaper's reporters' tweets during a
"In retrospect, I should have held back more, not knowing what the
context was for the tweets. I think that's a fair criticism," Liz Spayd
told Politico in a Tuesday report.
"But I stand by my view that journalists should be careful, sometimes
more careful than they are, with what they say on social media," she
maintained. "That includes how it can be interpreted."
GOP reps to Obama: 'No pardon for Bergdahl'
Republican congressmen are urging President Obama to reject Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's request for a pardon.
“Desertion and misbehavior before the enemy are extremely serious
charges,” Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) wrote in a letter to the president
“A pre-emptive pardon for Bowe Bergdahl would seriously undermine the
military-court martial process and send the wrong message to hundreds of
thousands of men and women in uniform who have served honorably in
The revolt of the peasants gathers steam
The populist saber continues to cut the elites down to size. The
elites, who think they know it all and are uniquely qualified to tell
everyone else how to live, took another pasting Sunday in the Italian
elections. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi felt so humiliated by voter
rejection of his proposals for constitutional reform that he quit on
That’s 3 for 3 for the peasants. Europe hasn’t seen such a sacking fit
in years. David Cameron quit as prime minister in Britain after the
kingdom voted earlier this year to say goodbye to Europe, and then
Francois Hollande, the president of France, looked back and saw
something gaining on him.
The most unpopular president since 1940, when France was about to fall,
said he has had enough, and wouldn’t stand for an election that
everybody said he couldn’t win, next year.
Trump's China challenge
A better deal for U.S. business means tackling Chinese industrial pollution
Donald Trump will reject one concept and embrace another as he
confronts China on trade and pollution. He expressed skepticism for
“the concept of global warming created by and for the Chinese in order
to make U.S. industry noncompetitive.” But he will not overlook Chinese
industry’s subsidized, mammoth coal-fired pollution (5 billion tons of
coal per year, set to double again by 2030). This cheap, toxic energy
poisons the air from China to the Rockies and kills millions of people,
while enabling Chinese manufacturers to kill U.S. industry and jobs.
The tiger Mr.
Trump must tame is smaller than China itself. Sierra Club found that
the factories of just 15 companies controlled by 21 individual Chinese
princelings are responsible for double-digit percentages of China’s
deadly emissions. While the Chinese government struggles to adopt new
technologies and reduce emissions, these 21 tycoons personally amassed
fortunes totaling $70 billion while destroying air, water, farmland,
industries and human life.
"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
Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action
enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving
Armed Services of the United States.
to its recipient by the President of the
United States of America in the name of Congress.
first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to
JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made
September 15, 2011
to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.
then there have been: •
3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the
Medal of Honor.
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
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
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
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
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
"That's what's been lost this year. . . that whole sense of changing how Washington works," Obama said.
"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
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.”