Tuesday February 2nd, 2015
"It Is Not A
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Ted Cruz wins Iowa caucuses
Sen. Ted Cruz
halted Donald Trump’s GOP presidential coronation, defeating the
billionaire businessman in Iowa’s caucuses Monday night in a vote that
showed just how dissatisfied rank-and-file Republicans are with their
Mr. Cruz held an insurmountable lead with 28 percent of the vote, with
99 percent of precincts reporting. Mr. Trump was in second place with
24 percent with Sen. Marco Rubio nipping at his heels at an impressive
23 percent, boosting the first-term Florida senator into the top tier
of the Republican field.
Hillary claims victory; Bernie lauds 'virtual tie' in Iowea
claimed a victory in the Iowa caucuses Monday night, but so did Sen.
Bernard Sanders, who outperformed expectations and reset the Democratic
presidential primary, putting a serious dent in Mrs. Clinton’s aura of
held a slim lead of 49.8 percent of delegates awarded to Mr. Sanders‘
49.6 percent, with 99.9 percent of Iowa precincts reporting as of 8:30
a.m. East Coast time. There was still one precinct left to count.
Obama presidency now effectively over
In the past
week he has delivered a major speech to fellow Democrats, announced a
new retirement savings plan and computer science initiative — heck, he
has even vowed a billion-dollar push to cure cancer. But President
Obama just can’t catch a break.
Welcome to the
end of the Obama presidency, when the most powerful man on earth is now
a sideshow for the performers in the Republican and Democratic
primaries, which began in earnest Monday with Iowa’s caucuses.
Donald Trump receives Nobel Peace Prize nomination
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is reportedly in the running to receive the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. Trump, who
has attracted international backlash over his controversial rhetoric
and call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., has reportedly earned a
nod for the award thanks to his tough talk on terrorism and other
security threats from around the world, according to Nobel watcher
Kristian Berg Harpviken, the director of the Peace Research Institute
nomination letter Mr. Harpviken said he had received, supporters said
Mr. Trump deserved the prize for “his vigorous peace through strength
ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam,
ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China,” Agence France-Presse reported.
FBI Joins Flint, Michigan Water Contamination Probe
The FBI is
joining a U.S. criminal investigation into Flint, Michigan's water
contamination crisis, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in
Detroit said on Tuesday.
Gina Balaya, a
spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit, said in an email
that federal prosecutors in Michigan are "working with a multi-agency
investigation team on the Flint water contamination matter, including
the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the EPA's Office of
Inspector General ... and the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division."
Pentagon to Reshape Spending Amid Chaniging Security Environment
Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday the Pentagon would seek a $582.7
billion defense budget next year and reshape its spending priorities to
reflect a new strategic environment marked by Russian assertiveness and
the rise of Islamic State.
speaking to the Economic Club of Washington, said the Pentagon's
funding request would be in line with last year's congressional budget
deal but spending would be refocused to address five big challenges
facing the U.S. military: Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and Islamic
U.S. -led coalition aims to recapture ISIS 'caliphate' in Iraq, Syria
coalition fighting Islamic State aims this year to recapture Iraq’s
second city Mosul, working with Iraqi government forces, and drive the
jihadis out of Raqqa, their stronghold in northeast Syria, Arab and
Western officials say.
If it succeeds,
the coalition will have struck a crippling blow against Islamic State's
self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
And now, here comes New Hampshire
The wind and
snow of Iowa gives way to the ice and slush of New Hampshire, and the
long, long trail to sunny South Carolina has never looked so inviting
to so many. No one could have survived these last weeks but for the
ample supply of hot air from the candidates to raise the temperature to
But now Iowa
fades to the past, yesterday’s news, not to be heard from again for
another four years. The caravan, with its noisy trumpets and yapping
dogs, moves on to make noise somewhere else. Round and round the
spinning goes and where it stops nobody knows, but there are a couple
of reassuring reminders that life goes on. The wise men of the
Republican establishment will continue to try to make Donald Trump a
non-person, unworthy of the company of Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt
Romney in the pantheon of worthy Republican candidates of the past.
Wounded Warrior waste
Beware of charities that spend donations on themselves
In 2014, the
New York attorney general obtained a $25 million settlement from two
fundraising companies that raised money for veterans charities — only
for much of that money to go into the pockets of the fundraisers, not
to the vets.
What then should we make of the prospects for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)?
Last week, CBS
News and The New York Times reported on scandalous profligacy at the
well-known WWP. According to one report, the organization spent more
than $26 million on conferences, conventions and meetings in 2014 — or
“about the same amount the group spends on combat stress recovery — its
top program,” according to CBS. A lavish expenditure highlighted in the
reports is WWP flying about 500 employees to a five-star resort in
Colorado. The watchdog CharityWatch reports that WWP spends as little
as 54 percent of its budget on programs.
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.
VERSACE, HUMBERT R.
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002
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
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
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
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
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
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