Tuesday October 28th 2014

"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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World & National     

GOP  Vows To Stop Obama's Un-America  Amnest if They Win Senate
            

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), says it’s “un-American" for President Barack Obama to consider implementing an executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens across the country.

“It’s unconstitutional, illegal, and we don’t support it,” Priebus replied when a Tea Party activist asked him about the president’s plans for an executive amnesty on a conference call hosted by TheTeaParty.net on Monday evening.

“I don’t support it. It is wrong,” Priebus said. "It is un-American for a president to try and do such a thing. I want to make it clear: There is no part of me, there is not a molecule in my body that agrees with the president on executive amnesty.”



Lawmaker claims plans may be to bring non-citizens to US for Ebola treatment

A top Republican congressman claims the Obama administration is exploring plans to bring non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to the United States for treatment.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News that his office has received "information from within the administration" that these plans are being developed. So far, only American Ebola patients have been brought back to the U.S. for treatment from the disease epicenter in West Africa.

"Members of the media, my office have received confidential communications saying that those plans are being developed," Goodlatte said Monday night.

"This is simply a matter of common sense that if you are concerned about this problem spreading -- and this is a deadly disease that we're even concerned about the great health care workers when they come back not spreading it -- we certainly shouldn't be bringing in the patients."



Democrats Run From Harry Reid
             

Harry Reid’s caucus is running from him on the campaign trail, but that doesn’t mean a revolt is in the works — yet.

The majority leader has twisted the Senate into a pretzel all year to protect his vulnerable members, but the Nevada Democrat is now facing skepticism on the campaign trail from some of those same Democrats, as well as from some would-be newcomers. And there’s at least one scenario that could force his hand.

Still, there’s that old saying: You can’t beat somebody with nobody, and so far, none of the senators who might have the chops to take on Reid have made any noises about doing so.

That includes No. 3 Senate Democrat Charles E. Schumer of New York, who has long been seen as having the inside track to replace Reid atop the Democratic power structure.



Life under Obama sucks. And these number prove it
Tim Stanley explains why America has fallen out of love with its President

America is so over Obama. In 2008, the media and a majority of the voters were head-over-heels in love with the man who told them that “yes, we can” overcome war and recession.

By 2012, the amour had cooled but they were willing to give four more years to the guy who was – if nothing else – way hotter than Mitt Romney.

But now it’s 2014 and the passion is totally gone. Obama is the withholding boyfriend who knows that he’s probably on the way out and is just sending the odd friendly text message from the golf course. If this relationship-breakdown metaphor seems a little strained consider this: Barack Obama is close to having played more rounds of golf since 2009 than Tiger Woods.



Democrats in blue states sin peril as Republicans ride anti-tax wave

They call it “crushing the middle class” or “the big squeeze” or just plain “irresponsible.”

Regardless of the description they use, Republican candidates for governor in some of the Democratic Party’s most dependable strongholds are finding receptive audiences of voters fed up with too many taxes.

Incumbent Democratic governors in Connecticut and Illinois, which rank among the states with the heaviest tax burdens, find themselves trailing or tied in polls against Republican challengers a week before elections.



House Dems fret debilitating losses
               U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and members of the House Caucus are pictured. | Getty

The political environment continues to deteriorate for House Democrats ahead of a midterm election that’s certain to diminish their ranks.

With President Barack Obama’s unpopularity hindering their candidates and Republican cash flooding into races across the country, Democrats are increasingly worried that the election will push them deep into the minority and diminish their hopes of winning back the majority in 2016 or beyond.



Ebola nurse who was qarantined now in Maine

The nurse who was confined against her will at a New Jersey hospital after treating Ebola patients in West Africa is seeking time to decompress at an undisclosed location in Maine, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Kaci Hickox's partner, a nursing student, has opted to stay away from the University of Maine at Fort Kent to be with her, a university official said. His off-campus home showed no sign of activity Tuesday.

"At this point, he has made a decision he has decided to take a break from campus," said Ray Phinney, associate dean of student life and development. "We don't know exactly when to expect him back," he added.



Ukraine denounces Russian stance on rebel vote in east Ukreaine

Ukraine on Tuesday condemned as "destructive and provocative" Russia's stance towards elections organized by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine next Sunday, saying Moscow's recognition of the vote could wreck chances of bringing peace.

The Nov. 2 vote would be being held in defiance of Ukrainian national elections last Sunday in which pro-Western parties, dedicated to holding the former Soviet republic together and negotiating a settlement to the conflict, triumphed.



Ebola Czar Faces Tough Questions as Confusion Reigns


The Obama administration's Ebola czar, Ron Klain, is facing some tough questions as he tries to cope with the first test of his skill at coordinating the federal response to the disease threat.

"He's supposed to be the Ebola response coordinator," one reporter commented at a White House press briefing Monday, The Hill reports. "It seems that you have a need for some coordinating here."

Klain's first weekend on the job was marked by controversy over the unilateral decisions by New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie to quarantine for 21 days doctors and nurses who had traveled to western Africa to care for Ebola victims.



Obama White House 'Dangerous' for Reporters?

The Obama administration, despite the president's promises of transparency, is "more dangerous" to the media than any other White House in history, USA Today's Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page said this weekend.

Page, speaking Saturday at a White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) seminar, also said the administration is "more restrictive," in reference to the its leak investigations and naming Fox News' James Rosen as a co-conspirator in a violation of the federal Espionage Act, writes The Washington Post's Eric Wemple in an opinion piece Tuesday.



Russian Government in on Hacking Schemes

For the past seven years, the websites used by NATO, Eastern European and Caucasus governments and U.S. contractors with highly sensitive top secret information have been leaking like a sieve, right into the Kremlin's spymasters' hands.

In a shocking report from FireEye Inc., a California security firm with top government connections, and three other reports, the existence of a Russian-based hacker group, which appears to be a joint effort by the Russian government and the Russian Mafia, has been revealed, The Wall Street Journal reports.



The facts behind Obamacare's numbers

“Is the Affordable Care Act Working?” reads a recent headline in The New York Times. The editors then consider a series of questions, the first of which is pretty basic: “Has the percentage of uninsured people been reduced?”

Their answer: yes. So, problem solved, right? Not quite.

The devil, as they say, is in the details. And the details show that it’s not as simple as getting more people insured. A new report from health care expert Ed Haislmaier — one based on actual enrollment data, not surveys — illustrates two facts that should give us pause.

One is that the decline in the number of people who are uninsured isn’t as high as it may seem at first glance. The other is that more than two-thirds of the gain in coverage is a result of an increase in the number of people in Medicaid, the federal government’s health care program for the vulnerable poor.



Liberty or the IRS
Only Congress can save Americans from tax agency abuse

After last week’s ruling wherein a federal court failed to permanently bar the Internal Revenue Service from targeting conservative groups, there can be no doubt that liberty and the IRS are incompatible. The IRS continues to seize bank accounts of individuals and businesses without a court determination of wrongdoing. The IRS is supporting the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) initiative to the automatic exchange of individual and business financial account information in tax matters between governments. The IRS code is now so complex — something like 77,000 pages no one can understand — that everyone is at risk.

Officials of the Obama administration and the IRS have demonstrated time and time again that they are willing to misuse their powers for partisan political purposes. Now, in essence, the court has said it is OK, provided they promise not to do it again. If there are no consequences for bad behavior, one would be naive to believe it will not be repeated.



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.

PETRY, LEROY A. Photo

PETRY, LEROY A.

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Company D
Division: 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Place / Date: 26 May 2008, Paktya Province, Afghanistan

Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the vicinity of Paktya Province, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008. As a Weapons Squad Leader with D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Staff Sergeant Petry moved to clear the courtyard of a house that potentially contained high-value combatants. While crossing the courtyard, Staff Sergeant Petry and another Ranger were engaged and wounded by automatic weapons fire from enemy fighters. Still under enemy fire, and wounded in both legs, Staff Sergeant Petry led the other Ranger to cover. He then reported the situation and engaged the enemy with a hand grenade, providing suppression as another Ranger moved to his position. The enemy quickly responded by maneuvering closer and throwing grenades. The first grenade explosion knocked his two fellow Rangers to the ground and wounded both with shrapnel. A second grenade then landed only a few feet away from them. Instantly realizing the danger, Staff Sergeant Petry, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, deliberately and selflessly moved forward, picked up the grenade, and in an effort to clear the immediate threat, threw the grenade away from his fellow Rangers. As he was releasing the grenade it detonated, amputating his right hand at the wrist and further injuring him with multiple shrapnel wounds. Although picking up and throwing the live grenade grievously wounded Staff Sergeant Petry, his gallant act undeniably saved his fellow Rangers from being severely wounded or killed. Despite the severity of his wounds, Staff Sergeant Petry continued to maintain the presence of mind to place a tourniquet on his right wrist before communicating the situation by radio in order to coordinate support for himself and his fellow wounded Rangers. Staff Sergeant Petry's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, 75th Ranger Regiment, 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 prejudice.

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 good thing.

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 problem.

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 innocents.

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 information.

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 analysis perspective.