Tuesday December 6th, 2016

"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
Obama becoming increasingly powerless as world allies fall to populist uprisings
         
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while answers question during his news conference at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The resignation of Italy’s prime minister Monday marked the abrupt downfall of the third key European partner of President Obama this year, as the president becomes increasingly powerless to confront a populist wave sweeping both sides of the Atlantic and challenging traditional U.S. alliances.

Matteo Renzi’s surrender in Italy came just seven weeks after Mr. Obama toasted the 41-year-old prime minister at a gilded State Dinner at the White House for possessing “the vision and the values that can carry Italy, and Europe, forward.” Mr. Renzi submitted his resignation after Italian voters resoundingly rejected his proposals for political reform in a Sunday referendum that became a judgment on Mr. Renzi and his internationalist stance.

Less than a week earlier, French President Francois Hollande — another key partner with Mr. Obama on issues such as fighting the Islamic State — announced he would not seek re-election. He was battling low approval ratings, high unemployment and a rising tide of conservative and populist forces.



Trump Cancels Order for new $4-B Air Force One

          Trump Tweets 'Cancel Order' on Too Expensive New Air Force One

Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that he wants to cancel the Pentagon’s order with Boeing for a new $4 billion Air Force One, as the president-elect keeps playing hardball with American businesses.

Shares of Boeing stock dropped in premarket trading after the tweet.

“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” Mr. Trump tweeted.



Federal court halts Obamacare appeal, deals setback to president


A federal appeals court put a key Obamacare case on hold Monday as judges begin to anticipate a President Trump, and move to give his administration the chance to change the Obama administration’s legal strategy on everything from immigration to health care.

The latest case is a landmark challenge brought by the U.S. House against the Health and Human Services, which was sending Obamacare money to insurance companies despite Congress specifically canceling the money in the annual appropriations process.

The case is pending in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and several sets of briefs are due over the next two months, but a three-judge panel issued a short order Monday putting the case in abeyance and asking for updates to be filed a month after Mr. Trump is sworn in.



Taiwanese president breaks silence on Trump call
No Major policy shift

            This combination of two photos shows U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, left, speaking during a "USA Thank You" tour event in Cincinatti Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, and Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, delivering a speech during National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. Trump spoke Friday, Dec. 2, with Tsai, a move that will be sure to anger China. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Chinag Ying-ying, File)

President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday downplayed her historic recent phone call with President-elect Donald Trump, stressing that “one phone call does not mean a policy shift” between Washington and the island nation that China regards as its territory.

“The phone call was a way for us to express our respect for the U.S. election as well as to congratulate President-elect Trump on his win,” Ms. Tsai told a small group of American reporters here in her first public remarks on Friday’s call that has made headlines around the world since Mr. Trump tweeted about it over the weekend.

“I do not foresee major policy shifts in the near future because we all see the value of stability in the region,” Ms. Tsai told the U.S. reporters in Taipei on a trip sponsored by the U.S.-backed East-West Center.



Trump 'Taking the Time' to Pick Right Secretary of State

President-elect Donald Trump will be interviewing more people for the vital secretary of State position, but that doesn't mean the initial four names who had topped the list last week — Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Bob Corker, and David Petraeus — are no longer under consideration, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who heads Trump's transition team, said Tuesday.

"The decision is obviously getting a considerable amount of time and attention," Pence told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program.  "What I can tell you the president-elect is doing in all of these cabinet positions, and critical appointments in the administration, is taking the time to meet with men and women of extraordinary caliber and background."



Trump hit for assembling team lacking executive experience
Selects Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development

Forget “Team of Rivals.” President-elect Donald Trump is instead assembling what critics are calling a team of novices — government outsiders or politicians who have little executive experience at the helm of the kinds of massive federal agencies they’ll be running.

Mr. Trump’s pick of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the latest to rankle Democrats, who said the doctor’s skill with a scalpel doesn’t translate into managing an 8,300-person department that oversees fair lending, subsidized housing and neighborhood revitalization.



Five reasons why Senate Democrats delaying Trump Cabinet is a bad idea

The Democrats in the Senate are going to try to delay and obstruct President-Elect Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office by filibustering his Cabinet picks.

“Senate Democrats are preparing to put Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks through a grinding confirmation process, weighing delay tactics that could eat up weeks of the Senate calendar and hamper his first 100 days,” Politico reported.

Here’s five reasons why that’s a stupid idea.



After blowback, NYT public editor walks back criticism of reporters

The public editor of The New York Times  says she should have been more restrained in criticizing some of newspaper's reporters' tweets during a recent interview

"In retrospect, I should have held back more, not knowing what the context was for the tweets. I think that's a fair criticism," Liz Spayd told Politico in a Tuesday report.

"But I stand by my view that journalists should be careful, sometimes more careful than they are, with what they say on social media," she maintained. "That includes how it can be interpreted."



GOP reps to Obama: 'No pardon for Bergdahl'

       GOP reps to Obama: No pardon for Bergdahl

Republican congressmen are urging President Obama to reject Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's request for a pardon.

“Desertion and misbehavior before the enemy are extremely serious charges,” Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) wrote in a letter to the president Tuesday.

“A pre-emptive pardon for Bowe Bergdahl would seriously undermine the military-court martial process and send the wrong message to hundreds of thousands of men and women in uniform who have served honorably in combat.”



The revolt of the peasants gathers steam


The populist saber continues to cut the elites down to size. The elites, who think they know it all and are uniquely qualified to tell everyone else how to live, took another pasting Sunday in the Italian elections. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi felt so humiliated by voter rejection of his proposals for constitutional reform that he quit on the spot.

That’s 3 for 3 for the peasants. Europe hasn’t seen such a sacking fit in years. David Cameron quit as prime minister in Britain after the kingdom voted earlier this year to say goodbye to Europe, and then Francois Hollande, the president of France, looked back and saw something gaining on him.

The most unpopular president since 1940, when France was about to fall, said he has had enough, and wouldn’t stand for an election that everybody said he couldn’t win, next year.



Trump's China challenge

A better deal for U.S. business means tackling Chinese industrial pollution

President Donald Trump will reject one concept and embrace another as he confronts China on trade and pollution. He expressed skepticism for “the concept of global warming created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. industry noncompetitive.” But he will not overlook Chinese industry’s subsidized, mammoth coal-fired pollution (5 billion tons of coal per year, set to double again by 2030). This cheap, toxic energy poisons the air from China to the Rockies and kills millions of people, while enabling Chinese manufacturers to kill U.S. industry and jobs.

The tiger Mr. Trump must tame is smaller than China itself. Sierra Club found that the factories of just 15 companies controlled by 21 individual Chinese princelings are responsible for double-digit percentages of China’s deadly emissions. While the Chinese government struggles to adopt new technologies and reduce emissions, these 21 tycoons personally amassed fortunes totaling $70 billion while destroying air, water, farmland, industries and human life.


"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  
 
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.”