Tuesday January 17th, 2017

"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
 
"The 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
Ads offer protesters up to $2,500 to agitate at Trump inaugural
Demand Protest ads running seek operatives to “send a strong message” at presidential inauguration
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., left, shows President-elect Donald Trump, his wife Melania and Vice president-elect Mike Pence the view of the inaugural stand that is being built and Pennsylvania Avenue, from the Speaker's Balcony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Donald Trump may have a point about paid protesters: Job ads running in more than 20 cities offer $2,500 per month for agitators to demonstrate at this week’s presidential inauguration events.

Demand Protest, a San Francisco company that bills itself as the “largest private grassroots support organization in the United States,” posted identical ads Jan. 12 in multiple cities on Backpage.com seeking “operatives.”
“Get paid fighting against Trump!” says the ad.

“We pay people already politically motivated to fight for the things they believe. You were going to take action anyways, why not do so with us!” the ad continues. “We are currently seeking operatives to help send a strong message at upcoming inauguration protests.”
Timeless Ritual to Meet Partisan Rancor at Inauguration... 
Unprecedented threats drive Secret Service security...
ALREADY? Maxine Waters calls for impeachment probe...
Trump eyes 20% slash of federal workers...
Angst Simmers in Washington...


Education Secretary-designate to promise makeup of school system
FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump stands with Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos in Bedminster, N.J.  DeVos has spent over two decades advocating for school choice programs, which give students and parents an alternative to traditional public school education. Her confirmation hearing was scheduled for Jan. 17. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Betsy DeVos, the school-choice crusader that President-elect Donald Trump picked for education secretary, will tell a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday that her plans to reform the system doesn’t make her an enemy of public schools, according to her prepared opening statement.

Bracing for tough questions from Senate Democrats, she will try to defuse criticism from the teachers unions that vilify her and liberal groups that warn she’s hostile toward blacks and gays.
“Every child in America deserves to be in a safe environment that is free from discrimination,” says Ms. DeVos, a Michigan billionaire and GOP mega-donor.



Moving van spotted outside Obama family's new home

       
 
A moving van has been spotted outside the Obama family’s new home in Washington, D.C., CBS affiliate WUSA reports.
WUSA reporter Bruce Leshan tweeted a picture that he said shows a moving van outside the Obamas’ new home in the residential neighborhood of Kalorama. The picture also shows boxes on the street.
 
The eight-bedroom home is 8,200 square feet and has nine and a half bathrooms, according to Town & Country, which published pictures of the home’s interior.
The images, taken before the home sold in 2014, show that the house features a living room fireplace, spacious backyard, two-car garage, six-burner stove and wet bar.

In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired on Sunday, his last appearance on network television, President Barack Obama said his family will be happy to be out of the White House.



10 Killed, 29 Wounded In MLK Day Weekend Shootings


At least 39 people have been shot across Chicago over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, leaving 10 dead.

The latest killing happened at 11:36 a.m. Monday in the West Side Austin neighborhood, where a vehicle pulled up to 24-year-old Allante Elmore on a porch near his home in the 4800 block of West Hubbard, and shot him repeatedly, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he died.

About 1:10 a.m., 36-year-old Marlon Pollard was standing outside in the 2200 block of West Chicago in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood when someone in a black SUV opened fire, striking him in the abdomen, face and left leg. The Evanston resident died in less than an hour at Stroger, authorities said.



CBO reports on Obamacare repeal


At least 18 million people would lose health insurance in the first year if Republicans move ahead with plans to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan, estimates a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The number of people without insurance would grow to about 32 million within the first decade if congressional Republicans follow a 2015 plan to repeal the health-care law without an alternative, the new report says.  It also estimates that health insurance premiums for people buying individual non-group coverage would double in a decade, further complicating GOP promises that people will not lose coverage under their plan.



Putin dismisses Trump dossier claims as 'rubbish'

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that a damning dossier on US President-elect Donald Trump was "false" and dismissed allegations that his country's security services had been monitoring Trump as "rubbish."

Putin made clear Tuesday he was familiar with some of the unsubstantiated allegations about Donald Trump in a dossier prepared by a former British intelligence agent. The dossier was published in full by Buzzfeed a week ago. As CNN previously reported, Trump and President Obama were told about the dossier by senior intelligence officials, who warned that Russia may have gathered compromising material on the President-elect.

"These things that have been alleged are clearly false information," Putin said during a joint news conference in Moscow with the Moldovan president.



Chinese warn 'No winner in a trade war'

Chinese leader pushes back against Trump on free trade
 
Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a defense of globalization at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, delivering a strong critique of the protectionist movement endorsed by Western leaders such as President-elect Donald Trump.

“No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war,” Xi said, to applause from the international audience of corporate leaders, heads of state and other dignitaries.



Moscow has complaints about American spies

U.S. spies under diplomatic cover sneaking along Russia's borders with Europe. Ten thousand dollars and a recruitment letter shoved into a Russian diplomat's car.

Those are just some of the sensational allegations that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov leveled against the United States on Tuesday as he laid out Moscow's case against Washington in the hidden intelligence war. Many of the alleged incidents were previously undisclosed. In Washington, the State Department had no immediate response to Lavrov's comments.

For months, Russian officials have seethed at accusations that they hacked the U.S. presidential election and were harassing U.S. diplomats in Russia. In a nationally televised news conference, Lavrov fired back, complaining that U.S. Embassy employees in Moscow were disguising themselves to join in Russian opposition protests and that Russian diplomats in the United States were increasingly being targeted for recruitment.



Planned Parenthood failed to take sex trafficking seriously after sting


The pro-life group that caught on camera several Planned Parenthood employees attempting to help a man posing as a pimp obtain abortions for underage sex workers is accusing Planned Parenthood of deceiving the public and failing to take the issue of sex trafficking seriously.

Live Action released a new video on Tuesday featuring former Planned Parenthood clinic manager Ramona Treviņo, who was still employed by the abortion provider when the compromising videos were released in 2011.

Contrary to what Planned Parenthood told the media at the time, Ms. Treviņo said the abortion provider responded to the undercover videos not by training employees how to spot and report sex trafficking—but by teaching them how not to get caught saying incriminating things to undercover journalists.



Obama rushes to fill dozens of federal jobs before leaving office
 Team Obama keeps laying new land mines for Trump

President Obama rushed to fill nearly 100 federal government vacancies during a frenzy of appointments in his final few weeks in office.

Since the new year, Obama has named 72 people to federal job openings and nominated another 17 for positions requiring Senate confirmation, according to CBS reporter Mark Knoller.

On Monday night, Obama announced appointments for 27 officials to government positions and named two to jobs requiring Senate confirmation.



McCain plans massive boost in defense spending yto restore military dominance
Aligns goals with Trump, who pledges to end sequestration

Sen. John McCain called Monday for a massive boost in defense spending totaling more than $85 billion per year over the next half-decade, saying that is just the beginning of what it will take to restore the U.S. military to a dominant role.

The Senate Armed Services Committee chairman’s plans, detailed in a white paper, are an important marker, laying out defense hawks’ wish list as Congress prepares to debate budget priorities under the Trump administration.

Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, said that after years of bleeding, the Pentagon will struggle to fight the war on terrorism while preparing to engage emerging threats in Russia and China.



Democrats wasting time hating Donald Trump

Democrats who confuse hating Donald Trump with Mom and apple pie as the all-American recipe to win elections are blowing their chances, such as they are, for the 2018 midterm elections. If you’re a Democrat it’s never too soon to fret and stew about the prospects.

But Democrats are having so much fun despising the Donald they’re forgetting duty to party and responsibility to exploit opportunity. The party on the outs nearly always picks up a few seats in the midterms. But sore losers forget the ancient bipartisan admonition that “now is the time for every man to come to the aid of the party.” And that includes the women.

Even if the diehard losers can get their act together soon, the job of making a dent in the Donald’s Republican prospects will be daunting. Thirty-three seats in the Senate will be up for election in 2018, and 25 of those are now held by Democrats. Additionally, two independents who caucus and usually vote with Democratic senators will be completing their six-year terms.



Lobbying in the age of Trump

A ban on soliciting support should not include small businesses

A conservative wit once said that if you want to know who runs Washington, you should look under “association” in the Washington phone book. The line gets a good laugh, but it’s unfair — which may be why it gets the laugh. And it’s particularly unfair to small businesses and companies employing forgotten middle-class workers.

President-elect Donald Trump has required transition team members to deregister as a lobbyists and to terminate any lobbying activity. He says he intends to require his senior appointees to agree not to lobby for five years after they leave his administration, and never to lobby for a foreign government. It’s part of the program to drain the swamp.

“The key thing for this administration is going to be that people going out of government won’t be able to use that service to enrich themselves,” said Sean Spicer, the communications director of the Republican National Committee, who is slated to become Mr. Trump’s White House press secretary. “Enrich” is a rather more loaded term than “make a living.”


"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
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. 

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  
  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/4/when-the-drug-crisis-hits-home/
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.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/20/trump-must-get-tough-with-pakistan/
 "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 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.”