Tuesday September 20th, 2016

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World & National

Obama slams Putin, Trump's wall in final U.N. speech
        President Barack Obama addresses the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. The president warned that the forces of globalization have exposed "deep fault lines" across the globe, calling for a "course correction" to ensure that nations and their peoples don't retreat into a more sharply divided world. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In his final address to the United Nations, President Obama took swipes at Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for embracing authoritarianism and seeking to reverse international cooperation.

Without mentioning Mr. Trump by name, Mr. Obama decried “strongmen” and the rise of “a crude populism, sometimes from the far left but more often from the far right.”

“Today a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself,” the president said in a clear reference to Mr. Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. “The answer cannot be a simple rejection of global integration. Instead, we must work to ensure that the benefits of global integration are broadly shared.”



George H.W. Bush to vote for Hillary?
A Kennedy outs a Bush who favors a Clinton.
             160919-George-H-W-Bush-Sr-GettyImages-76562115.jpg

Former President George H.W. Bush is bucking his party's presidential nominee and plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to a member of another famous political family, the Kennedys.

Bush, 92, had intended to stay silent on the White House race between Clinton and Donald Trump, a sign in and of itself of his distaste for the GOP nominee. But his preference for the wife of his own successor, President Bill Clinton, nonetheless became known to a wider audience thanks to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy.

On Monday, Townsend posted a picture on her Facebook page shaking hands next to the former president and this caption: "The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”



70% of European Jews won't attend services
           French soldiers patrol the street in a Jewish neighbourhood near a religious school and a synagogue

Seventy percent of European Jews will not go to synagogue on Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur this year, according to a poll released Tuesday. The survey was conducted last week by the European Jewish Association (EJA) and the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) among a representative sample of 700 capital cities and communities in the periphery throughout Europe - from Britain in the west to Ukraine in the east.  

Respondents --which numbered 78-- included rabbis as well as Jewish community leaders, both religious and secular. The margin of error was 4.9%. The pollsters explained that while the number of respondents is far lower than the number of communities represented, each respondent speaks for multiple communities as within certain cities and areas, many communities share similar characteristics.



Judge blasts State Department for slow-walking Hillary's emails

A federal judge blasted the Obama administration for slow-walking the release of some of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, saying in court Monday that the government appears to be withholding information from voters ahead of the election.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the State Department in not “being all that cooperative,” and told the Justice Department lawyers to get the State Department to shape up and do its duty.

Judge Leon, who has earned a reputation as a funny but caustic jurist, particularly when he finds government bungling, said the Justice Department, by not forcing the State Department to cooperate better, is risking its own storied reputation.



Emails reveal collusion between EPA and green groups on crafting climate-change rules


A newly released cache of government emails offers more evidence of behind-the-scenes collusion between the Environmental Protection Agency and green groups in crafting greenhouse-gas regulations, including an effort by one green lobbyist to enlist the EPA in fundraising.

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute issued a report Tuesday based on 492 communications obtained last week through open-records requests, one week before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear a challenge to the Obama administration’s sweeping Clean Power Plan.

The documents include EPA associate policy administrator Michael Goo’s use of a private Yahoo account for what he described as a “channel” for “offline chats” with environmental advocacy groups, including the Clean Air Task Force, as well as then-EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s description of the Clean Energy Group as an “industry validator” for climate-change regulations.



Harry Reid bad mouths Trump


Stunned that Hillary Clinton is struggling against a man with no political experience and a checkered business record, Sen. Harry Reid accused Donald Trump Tuesday of being “a fraud” who’s not worth anywhere near his claims.

The Nevada Democrat said the billionaire businessman has abused other people’s money, and in particular misused money given to his charity for his own personal purposes. Mr. Reid said that’s against the law.

“Other people’s money, put in his charity, and he spends it on himself. So this is who Republicans want to be president,” said Mr. Reid.



Ten Times in Past Two Years Terrorists Slipped Through Process into U.S.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Minnesota during the weekend, the focus of the national debate has again shifted back to America’s enemies exploiting weaknesses in U.S. immigration screening processes to get into the country to attack the United States.

While President Barack Obama’s administration, and his would-be successor, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, have promised to increase the amount of people they bring into the United States through immigration, refugee, and asylum programs, the Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has promised to put the brakes on allowing potential terrorists into the United States.




DHS granted citizenship to hundreds of illegal immigrants from terrorist countries


They should have been deported, but hundreds of illegal immigrants from dangerous countries were instead granted citizenship by Homeland Security because officials never checked their fingerprints to find out their real identities, the department’s inspector general said in a staggering report Monday.

At least two of those who got citizenship have since been investigated for ties to terrorism, and two others managed to gain jobs in secure areas of airports.

Perhaps most stunning is that Homeland Security and federal prosecutors have let the illegal immigrants turned citizens get away with their potential fraud. Charges were brought in just two of the more than 800 cases identified.



Off-duty officer who killed mall attacker is firearms trainer
The off-duty cop who shot the attacker is being hailed for his actions.

The off-duty police officer who confronted and fatally shot the man suspected of stabbing nine people in a St. Cloud mall was roundly praised for split-second heroics that likely saved others from harm.

As a onetime police chief early this decade in nearby Albany, Jason F. Falconer was careful Sunday afternoon not to impede the nascent investigation into the attack Saturday night at Crossroads Center, violence that federal authorities are treating as a potential act of terrorism.

“I’ve been trying to stay away from it all, for the time being,” said Falconer, a medal-winning marksman who operates a firearms training business in neighboring Waite Park.



CNN Falsely Reports Trump Wants 'Racial Profiling'

Donald Trump unwittingly was tagged as advocating "racial profiling" on Monday when CNN falsely stated he does, The Hill reports.

The Hill says CNN ran headlines reporting the Republican presidential nominee advocated "racial profiling" based on remarks he made about terrorism and immigration following two bomb blasts in New York and New Jersey over the weekend.

But a review of the transcript of Trump's comments to Fox News which CNN cited shows Trump, while mentioning "profiling," never put the word "racial" in front of it, according to The Hill.



The Myth of Hillary's Ground Game

"Guilty as Sin: Uncovering New Evidence of Corruption and How Hillary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation," is hot off the press just as Donald Trump is surging in the polls.

Faced with this terrifying prospect, Democrats try to console themselves with the mantra that Hillary has a better ground game — polling data and grassroots organization — than Donald.

This mantra is a myth.

We spoke to an election expert who has visited many of Hillary's campaign offices, where he interviewed staffers and found that the Clinton operation is "chaotic."



Rolling out the red tape

New Treasury rules will punish America’s manufacturers

Here’s one thing everyone can agree on: Federal regulatory and international tax policy implications can be as exciting as, well, watching paint dry.

But for job creators — like America’s paint and coatings industry, which contributes $22 billion each year in economic activity — costly, burdensome and unnecessary regulations are hurting employers and making it even more challenging to make things here and hire more hardworking men and women who are seeking rewarding opportunities. At a high level, leaders in Washington from across the political spectrum support American manufacturing, and the countless families and entire communities that depend on this thriving industry for their livelihoods. And as President Obama has said, domestic manufacturing supports the “quintessential middle-class job.”

Indeed, America’s paint and coatings manufacturers play an important role in creating and driving middle-class job growth. Supporting more than a quarter-million jobs nationwide, with nearly $12 billion in payroll, America’s paint and coatings manufacturers are a modern, advanced industry that produces essential products that better everyday life.



Wrecking the economics of Medicare drugs
Cutting reimbursements too deeply means patients won’t get treated

Washington bean counters don’t set the prices of houses or vehicles. Buyers and sellers settle on mutually agreeable prices. That’s why there isn’t a nationwide shortage of duplexes or jeeps.

Evidently, our unelected officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services slept through Economics 101. They’re about to set Medicare drug reimbursements so low that hundreds of local clinics — the “sellers” of medical services — will have little choice but to refuse to treat their patients or risk going out of business altogether. Patients with Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other serious diseases will struggle to find centers that can treat them.



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.


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 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.

 "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.

 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.”