Wednesday November 30th, 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
House Democrats re-elect Pelosi as leader
         FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2016, file photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pelosi faces a challenge to her job as frustrated House Democrats meet to select a new slate of leaders. Pelosi is likely to be re-elected easily Nov. 30 despite disenchantment among the Democratic caucus she has led since 2002. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, file)    

Nancy Pelosi defended her spot as the top Democrat in the House, overcoming a challenge from disgruntled rank-and-file lawmakers that demanded a leadership shakeup after the party failed to put a serious dent in the Republican majority in the 2016 election.

Mrs. Pelosi defeated Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio by a 134 to 63 vote margin, marking the stiffest challenge to date.

“This is a time, I think, that we need someone who is battle tested and there is no stronger battle tested person than Nancy Pelosi,” Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland said before the final tally was announced.
Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts said Mrs. Pelosi is going to have to figure out how to bolster the party’s image with working class voters.



Trump says he'll leave his business to focus on presidency

          In this Oct. 19, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the third presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)              

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said he’s planning to leave his business “in total” to focus on running the country.

“I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my … great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Mr. Trump tweeted Wednesday.

“While I am not mandated to … do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses..” he tweeted.



Carrier Reaches Deal with Trump to Keep About 1,000 US Jobs

United Technologies Corp has reached a deal with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to keep close to 1,000 jobs at its Carrier Corp air conditioner plant in Indianapolis, roughly halving the number of U.S. jobs it planned to move to Mexico.

The deal, announced by Carrier on Twitter late on Tuesday, is a victory for Trump, who campaigned hard on keeping jobs in the United States and specifically criticized Carrier for shipping jobs overseas, messages which appealed to blue-collar workers in the Midwest.



OPEC Agrees to Cut Production

Group to reduce supply to 32.5 million barrels a day
Benchmark Brent crude prices climb in London to top $50
       

OPEC clinched a deal to curtail oil supply, confounding skeptics as the need to clear a record global crude glut -- and prove the group’s credibility -- brought its first cuts in eight years. Crude rose as much as 8.8 percent in London.

OPEC will reduce output to 32.5 million barrels a day, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters in Vienna Wednesday. The breakthrough deal showed an apparent acceptance by Saudi Arabia that Iran, as a special case, can still raise production.



Federal Debt Tops $19,900,000,000,000


The federal debt moved above 19,900,000,000,000 for the first time as of the close of business, Nov. 22, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, according to data released by the Treasury.

On that day, it rose from $19,899,004,081,493.50 to $19,907,540,739,514.52.

However, on Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving, the debt dropped back to $19,897,994,347,700,50, according to the Treasury.



Trump Presidency Will Benefit Stocks in Almost Every Sector

After years of slowing earnings growth and little in the way of excitement for many Wall Street analysts, many are now hopeful that President-elect Donald Trump will finally make things interesting.

When collating data for the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Analyst Index — a proprietary measure of growth across different sectors of the S&P 500 — the firm included a question this month on what the election of Donald Trump will mean for the industries covered by those surveyed. Turns out, they are rather optimistic.

"This month, we asked analysts to comment on how the results of the U.S. election will affect companies in their respective sectors," the team led by Avisha Thakkar writes in the new note. "While their responses suggest that there is still uncertainty about the sector-level impact, the majority of sectors are anticipating favorable effects," they say, adding that expectations of lower tax rates and economic stimulus are among key reasons for the favorable outlook.



White House Says Obama won't pardon illegals


Pardoning illegal immigrants isn’t a viable option for President Obama in his final weeks in office, his top domestic policy adviser said in an interview released Tuesday that dashes the hopes of activists who demanded that he use his powers to shield Dreamers from deportation.

White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz, in a podcast interview with the Center for Migration Studies, said advisers have concluded that a pardon wouldn’t apply to immigration cases — and wouldn’t be a permanent solution anyway.



The Democrats Face Catastrophe


This was to be the beginning of a new Democratic era.

The first African-American president was to be followed by the first women president, who just won the popular vote by more than 2 million votes nationally.

Democrats have won the popular vote in every president election since 1992, with the exception of 2004 when George W. Bush squeaked by for re-election.



The Real Reason Hillary Asked for a Recount
 

Why did Hillary Clinton join Jill Stein, the Green Party's oddball presidential nominee, in asking for a recount of the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, when everyone knows that such a recount won't change the outcome of the 2016 election?

Part of the answer is that people close to Hillary — Huma Abedin, Chelsea Clinton, and Sidney Blumenthal — encouraged her to ask for a recount as a way of lifting her spirits.

"She is weepy, looks 10 years older and is very whiny," said one of Hillary's closest friends. "She has been drinking wine pretty heavily, much more than usual.



'The man with the bushy moustache'
America needs John Bolton as secretary of state

President-elect Donald Trump would be best served by selecting a secretary of State who understands the national security challenges our country faces, can literally “hit the ground running,” has a proven track record of successful negotiations, and most importantly, not only protects but projects the greatest attributes about America’s ideals of freedom and democracy. Remember that President Obama spent the first part of his administration on an apology tour. His disdain for American leadership in the world was communicated aboard and broadly.

We have seen the results. As a human rights activist who has advocated for the world’s most persecuted people, I have worked closely with both Democrats and Republicans. We accept two strong bipartisan truisms: First, America may not want to be the world’s leader, but if America does not lead, the countries who step into that role absolutely do not have the best interests of the citizens of this world, and second, we can best avoid war and achieve peace in the world when America is strong. While rebuilding America’s defense will be the job of the secretary of Defense, the secretary of State must rekindle that role of American leadership. I strongly believe that John Bolton would be the best choice to do that.



The canary in the free speech coal mine
The Wilders trial tests whether political correctness has snuffed thoughtful and honest debate

A safety practice used in the early days of coal mining involved the use of canaries. Since these birds were susceptible to the ill effects of deadly toxic gas exposure before humans, caged canaries brought into the mines were closely monitored as an early warning system of lurking danger.

A criminal trial, recently completed in the Netherlands for which judgment is pending, will become the canary in the coal mine for freedom of speech in Europe.

Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament and founder of its Freedom Party (PVV), has been charged with expressing national security views deemed unacceptable to be publicly expressed. Mr. Wilders is charged with making comments that “targeted a specific race, which is considered a crime.”


"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.”