Tuesday February 21st, 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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By Geoffrey M. Metcalf
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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
DHS cancels Obama policies, orders agents to expand deportations
                 In this Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, file photo, suspected illegal immigrants are transferred out of the holding area after being processed at the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly officially ordered federal agents this week to begin arresting and deporting more illegal immigrants, releasing them from the handcuffs the Obama administration had imposed, and making headway on one of President Trump’s chief campaign promises.

While young adult illegal immigrant “Dreamers” are still exempted, agents were told there are no longer any other special classes of people that should be considered off limits for deportation.

Those caught at the border are to be swiftly shipped back, Mr. Kelly said, and he freed agents to target a broader universe of illegal immigrants for deportation from within the interior of the U.S. The secretary said agents are still to give priority to those with criminal rap sheets, but are free to use discretion — taken away from them in the Obama years — to detain anyone they believe to be in the country illegally.

Trump takes off kid gloves, moves to erase Obama's deportation exemptions
FILE - This is a Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 file photo of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as he listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Top world leaders, diplomats and defense officials are getting their first opportunity to meet in person with members of President Donald Trumps new administration, amid a laundry list of concerns including the American commitment to the NATO alliance and Washingtons posture toward Russia. Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are leading the U.S. delegation to the annual Munich Security Conference.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

A huge surge in detention. Illegal immigrants who came up through Mexico being shipped quickly back to Mexico. National Guard troops arresting illegal immigrants across the West.

After years of neglect, immigration enforcement is proving to be a fertile space for action — and for speculation, as draft reports leak out of Homeland Security, frightening immigrant rights groups and thrilling President Trump’s backers who have longed to see this sort of crackdown.

The White House has shot down some of the reports, including a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press that envisioned 100,000 National Guard troops patrolling from Oregon to Louisiana, empowered to arrest illegal immigrants.

Mattis breaks from Trum vow to seize Iraqi oil
Makes surprise Baghdad trip as Mosul battle expands
              Secretary of Defense James Mattis broke from President Trump, who publicly said during his campaign that the U.S. would take over Iraq's oil. He also stood by the press, who lately have been under fire from the president. (U.S. Air Force)

Defense Secretary James Mattis is proving to be his own man.

On a trip to meet allies in Europe and the Middle East, the former Marine general again broke with his boss in public, telling Iraqi officials the U.S. military would not consider seizing the country’s oil, as President Trump has repeatedly suggested.

Mr. Mattis, who challenged Mr. Trump’s contention that the U.S. should resume torturing detainees in the war on terror in his first job interview in December, has broken with Mr. Trump several times on his current trip, denying the administration was in a war with the press, talking tough about Russia and its activities in Ukraine and now rejecting Mr. Trump’s idea of taking Middle East oil as a spoil of war.

Trump's pck for national security adviser wins praise

Moving quickly to fill a critical White House vacancy, President Trump named Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security adviser Monday, one week after ousting Michael Flynn.

Mr. Trump has favored military men for top security and anti-terrorism roles in the administration and turned to a career soldier with a reputation as a cutting-edge strategist for his closest security and foreign policy adviser, the one who controls the flow of information from the national security bureaucracy to Mr. Trump’s desk.

Mr. McMaster, 54, has been serving as director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and deputy commanding general of futures at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
Susan Rice wishes McMaster Luck and urges him to get rid of Bannon Layer

Trump's tweets give public 'unfiltered' look at presidency

The first month of the Twitter Presidency has shown President Trump has no inclination to rein in the freewheeling style that got him elected — while also making him one of the most unpopular candidates ever to reach the White House.

The president is averaging six tweets a day — and four exclamation points daily, perhaps most illustrative of his emphatic and combative style.

Mr. Trump has dedicated no fewer than 19 tweets to attacking “Fake News,” including 10 blasts against The New York Times and another five aimed at CNN, his two favorite targets from the campaign.

Congressional Republicans Flail and Fail
Incompetence hinders party from accomplishing Trump’s agenda
Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan
On February 8, 2017, Matt Drudge tweeted, “No Obamacare repeal, tax cuts!” and “Republican party should be sued for fraud. NO discussion of tax cuts now.” Drudge was spot on.

This week, Sen. Rand Paul (my former boss, it should be pointed out) stormed out of a meeting with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan when he heard talk of keeping Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion intact and creating tax credits. Paul worried these tax credits would be a Republican-created entitlement program.

Unfortunately, the leadership and establishment in the Republican party is incompetent. When you compare the accomplishments of President Barack Obama at the same point in his presidency as President Donald Trump, it shows that Republicans are not doing their job.
Just as... RNC Sets Record With $20 Million January...
Republicans return to town halls...

Milo loses his $250K book deal amid outrage at pedophilia comments
Breitbart workers threateen to quit if he isn't sacked

Milo Yiannopoulos lost his $250,000 book deal on Monday after video was leaked that showed the alt-right poster boy appearing to defend pedophilia.

Publisher Simon & Schuster said: 'After careful consideration, Simon & Schuster and its Threshold Editions imprint have canceled publication of Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos.'

'Dangerous' was set to be published under Threshold Editions, the conservative branch of the publisher according to USA Today.

The book deal received backlash since the announcement in January, with many on social media threatening to boycott the publisher.

White House delivered EU-skeptic message before Pence visit

In the week before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Brussels and pledged America's "steadfast and enduring" commitment to the European Union, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon met with a German diplomat and delivered a different message, according to people familiar with the talks.

Bannon, these people said, signalled to Germany's ambassador to Washington that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favoured conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis.

Three people who were briefed on the meeting spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. The German government and the ambassador, Peter Wittig, declined to comment, citing the confidentiality of the talks.

Nikki Haley: US Won't Tolerate UN's Anti-Israel Bias
Nikki Haley on Monday condemned the United Nations for what she said is its ongoing bias against Israel and vowed that the United States will "push for action" on any threats it faces.

"The Security Council just finished its regular monthly meeting on Middle East issues. It's the first meeting like that that I've attended, and I have to say it was a bit strange," Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN told reporters afterwards.

"The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But at our meeting on the Middle East, the discussion was not about Hezbollah's illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon. It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS.

NKorea: weighing ripple effects of the murder of Kim Jon-un's half brother

The killing last week of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has fueled growing concerns about the country’s rogue regime. Here’s a look at what happened and the potential repercussions.  
How did the killing happen?

Two women are suspected to have killed Kim Jong-nam by wiping a poison-tinged cloth on his face as he was waiting to board a flight in Malaysia. Local authorities said the poison took effect quickly, and that he died on the way to a hospital.

Malaysian authorities have so far arrested four suspects in the case and are hunting for four North Koreans who fled the country on the day of the attack and three others. South Korea's acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, on Monday called the killing “an intolerable crime against humanity and terrorist act” masterminded by the North Korean regime.

An expensive lesson for conservatives

The more the culture bounds out of control, the more the wary have to take care with the company they keep. This applies to media that will print anything in pursuit of “clicks” and “hits,” and to well-meaning organizations about whom they invite to tutor their true believers.

The Conservative Political Action Committee, or CPAC, meets in Washington this week for an important family reunion, pep rally, revival meeting and bazaar for the true believers, activists and the merely curious. Anybody who is anybody among conservatives wants to be there, and this time CPAC gets underway with a bang that it no doubt wishes had gone not bang! but pfffftt! Not all publicity is good publicity.

The bazaar can become the bizarre, like CPAC inviting Milo Yiannopoulos, who goes by the name of Milo for the obvious reason that a public figure likes to have a name that most people can pronounce. Inviting Mr. Milo probably seemed like a good idea to someone at the time, though Mr. Milo, a technology editor at Breitbart, is regarded by many conservatives as a provocateur too far.

No deal for a two-state solution

Palestinians are not prepared to live in peace with Israelis

“The president is committed to peace. That’s as far as I want to go on that,” said President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, on Feb. 3 in answer to a reporter’s inquiry regarding the Trump administration’s position on the “two-state solution” for peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. Will Mr. Trump push the two-state paradigm, like George W. Bush and Barack Obama before him, or will the White House realize that this idea is a dangerous fantasy like the irrational Iran nuclear deal?

History tells us that trading land for peace will not produce conflict resolution. The Palestinians claim all of Israel as their own and have never been prepared to share that land. A 2016 Palestinian Authority op-ed made clear that “all of Israel is occupied Palestine.” Palestinians believe that Jews have no place in the Islamic Middle East.

The Palestinian rejection of an Arab state living side by side with a Jewish state spans decades. They said “no” to a state offered by the British in 1937; “no” to the 1947 U.N. “two-state” resolution; “no” to a state in 2000, and “no” again in 2001 and 2008. The Jews said “yes,” despite military attacks against them in 1948, 1967 and 1973.

"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. 


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.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.”