Wednesday October 22nd 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     

Polls: Most expect GOP victory in November

Two weeks before Election Day, most of the nation's likely voters now expect the Republican Party to take control of the U.S. Senate, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. And by a growing margin, they say that's the outcome they'd like to see.

But the survey suggests many will cringe when they cast those ballots. Most likely voters have a negative impression of the Republican Party, and 7 in 10 are dissatisfied by its leaders in Congress.

The Democrats win few accolades themselves. Impressions of the party among likely voters have grown more negative in the past month. In fact, Democrats are more trusted than the GOP on just two of nine top issues, the poll showed.



Canada Parliament Locked Down After Soldier Shot
                     

A Canadian soldier was shot at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa and a shooter was seen running towards the nearby parliament buildings, where more shots were fired, according to media and eyewitness reports on Wednesday.

The buildings were put on lockdown as police and tactical teams converged on the area. The wounded soldier was taken into an ambulance where medical personnel could be seen giving him cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.




Autopsy analysis shows Michael Brown may have gone for Policeman's gun
                 Michael Brown

In protests held in Ferguson, Mo., for more than two months, some said 18-year-old Michael Brown had his hands up when he was killed by police officer Darren Wilson. Hence the clarion call: “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

But a St. Louis Post-Dispatch analysis of Brown’s official county autopsy it has obtained suggests the teenager may not have had his hands raised after all. Experts told the newspaper Brown was shot Aug. 9., at close range — and may have been reaching for Wilson’s weapon. The autopsy found material “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm” in a wound on Brown’s thumb. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, said this “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.”

Melinek, who was not involved in the investigation, said the autopsy did not support those who claim Brown was attempting to flee or surrender.

“If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun,” she said.



US Border Agent says 'We Are Not Ready for Ebola'
                

A U.S. Border Agent is saying that his department has no policy in place to watch the borders for illegals entering who might be infected with Ebola.

Fox 5 San Diego reports that the federal government has confirmed that six percent of people from Africa who enter the U.S. do so illegally through the southern border.

But apparently the U.S. government has no plan to monitor such people from Ebola countries who enter illegally and might be brining in the Ebola virus with them.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection claims that agents have received training for Ebola. But Fox 5 found one local official who disputes that claim.



GOP doctors in House seek travel ban

The Republican Doctors Caucus is calling on the White House to put in place a temporary travel ban for West African countries affected by Ebola.

The letter, sent Tuesday to President Barack Obama, was signed by 16 members of the group, including co-chairs Reps. Phil Gingrey of Georgia and Phil Roe of Tennessee.

“Containment is the key to stopping the spread of this highly contagious and deadly disease,” the letter read, “and we strongly urge your administration to consider implementing a temporary travel ban for individuals who are citizens of, or traveled to, affected countries in West Africa.”



Obama Trying to Avoid Admitting Ebola Travel Ban Would Work

Republicans on Tuesday slammed the latest travel restrictions by the Obama administration during the Ebola crisis, with Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino telling Newsmax that he hoped President Barack Obama was "not using this new half-measure as a way to avoid admitting that a ban would work.

"I am not sure why the implementation of a sensible travel and visa ban is taking so long," said Marino, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee. "It is a reasonable and prudent approach.

"Then again," he added,  "the exact motives and justifications from this administration are all too often makeshift and superficial."



Obama Tax Hikes Drive Fedeal Tax Revenue Above $3-Trillion for First Time
                   

The Treasury Department released this month figures showing that federal tax revenue exceeded $3 trillion in fiscal year 2014—the first time revenue surpassed that mark.

Yet the deficit was still almost $500 billion.

Clearly, the government continues to spend too much. We should tax enough to fund the legitimate functions of government, like national defense, homeland security, public health and others, but no more.

The new record also shows us that, absent policy changes, the amount of revenue the government takes out of the private sector keeps getting bigger. Tax revenue grows as income grows, no matter what kind of tax system is in place. A progressive system like ours, with higher rates on higher levels of income, results in a bigger increase in revenue during economic expansions than a flat rate system would. Alternatively, when the economy enters a recession, a progressive system reduces revenue intake at a faster clip.



Feds Getting Ready for Executive Action on Immigration

León Rodríguez, the new head of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), recalled how he was put on the “wait list” and eventually denied admission to Georgetown Law School, where he spoke Tuesday.

He tried to persuade the school’s officials to let him in and was told he was lucky to be on a wait list. The story is a metaphor for immigration policy, he said.

“What we do in immigration policy is decide who we want to admit to the U.S. and who we don’t,” he said.



DNC Chair Dodges Obama's Name

Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined the list of Democrats dodging President Barack Obama by not using his name when asked about the president's policies.

Wasserman Schultz sidestepped questions on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" about whether a vote for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections was a vote for Obama's policies, referring instead to particular Democratic initiatives, such as increasing the minimum wage and strengthening the economy.

After repeated questions by host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Florida congressman, about whether a vote for Democrats was a vote for Obama's policies, Wasserman Schultz instead pivoted away from the president.




Obama's Campaign Efforts Worry Democrats

While some Democratic senatorial candidates are distancing themselves from President Barack Obama, worried that his support on the campaign trail will do them more harm than good, the president is mobilizing his base, especially among African-Americans.

Obama sees the midterm elections as a referendum on his populist economic line, from the Affordable Care Act to raising the minimum wage.
Special: 18.79% Annual Returns . . . for Life?

"I am not on the ballot this fall. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them," The Washington Post reported him saying this month at one stop.



Former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee Dies at 93

Benjamin C. Bradlee, the editor who transformed the Washington Post into a leading U.S. newspaper with the pursuit of the Watergate break-in story, which culminated in the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974, has died. He was 93.

He died yesterday at his home in Washington, the Post reported. He was receiving hospice care at home and had Alzheimer’s disease, his wife, longtime Washington Post writer and contributor Sally Quinn, said in a September 2014 C-Span interview.

After stepping down as executive editor in 1991, Bradlee continued to go to work almost daily as the Post’s vice-president-at-large. His exuberance, blunt speech and passion for news kept him in the public eye into his 80s.




Opening the tap  for crude-oil exports
Lifting antiquated restrictions on sales abroad is in the national interest

Not many years ago, the idea of “peak oil” was all the rage. The concept, first identified in 1956 by M. King Hubbert, a geologist working for Shell Oil, held that there was a finite amount of oil in the ground and that oil production would peak in the 1970s and then decline. Eventually, oil prices would rise astronomically. The answer to the problem of peak oil was to invest in alternative-energy sources.

Oil production did appear to peak in the 1970s just as the “energy crisis” hit the United States. It re-emerged in the early part of this century when flat production rates seemed to augur an endless future of high oil prices. Then a funny thing happened. Oil production soared, rising from about 5 million barrels a day in 2008, when U.S. production was at the lowest level since 1943, to 8.3 million barrels a day in the first part of 2014.



Green cards on the table

President Obama lets slip his scheme for a permanent majority

The White House intended to remain silent about its plans for immigration. Revealing a scheme to open the floodgates of amnesty would be disastrous on the eve of the critical midterm elections. But this is the gang that can’t shoot straight.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Friday threw open the door to as many as 100,000 Haitians, who will now move into the United States without a visa.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, rightly and accurately denounced enabling Haitians awaiting a U.S. visa to enter the country and legally apply for work permits as “an irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority.”



Treating Ebola with politics
Obama’s czar has administered Democratic remedies before, and failed

When the then-spreading Ebola virus threatened our nation last week, President Obama put one man in charge of coordinating the government’s response who had zero experience in handling infectious diseases.

While it appears the Ebola threat may be receding here at home, the longtime Democratic political fixer he chose to oversee the government’s handling of a deadly disease is an outrageous example of the kind of people he has put into key positions in his administration.

This was a high-level job for a prominent, experienced, take-charge medical expert with both administrative and executive credentials. However, the president chose Ron Klain, a loyal Democratic operative whose background has been in legal work and party politics.

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.