Tuesday July 26th, 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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World & National

Holland says France at war with ISIS
Islamist knifemen chanting 'Allahu Akbar' behead French priest, 84, and leave nun fighting for her life after storming Mass - before police shoot them dead

Priest had throat cut while another hostage is fighting for life after knifemen burst into Normandy church at 9am
Reports that one of the attackers shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as they launched attack at Gambetta Church near Rouen
Vatican has condemned the 'barbaric' killing of the 84-year-old priest and an anti-terror investigation is underway
ISIS claim responsibility for the atrocity while Francois Hollande says France is 'at war' with the terror group
One attackers lived locally and had electronic tag having been jailed in France for trying to travel to Syria in 2015
French authorities revealed this afternoon that they have arrested a third man in connection with the attack
Francois Hollande says France is at war with ISIS after two Islamist knifemen butchered a French priest and left a nun fighting for her life before they were both shot dead by police in Normandy.

One of the men who stormed into the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen during mass was a local man, who was being monitored by electronic tag after being jailed for trying to join fanatics in Syria.

Democrats never mentioned terrorism on Day One of DNC

Republicans’ claim that Democrats did not mention terrorism or ISIL on the first night of the Democratic National Convention is correct, Politifact said Tuesday morning.

Following Monday night’s speeches, Republicans blasted the Democrats for a lack of focus on terrorism from the 61 speakers.

“Based on our searches of C-SPAN closed-captioning text, Congressional Quarterly transcripts and other video archiving services, we couldn’t find any speaker who mentioned "ISIS," "Islamic" "terror," "terrorist," or "terrorism" during the first day of the convention,” Politifact wrote.

Sanders: Trump 'worst, least-prepared candidate for president in my lifetime'
Former Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Monday, July 25, 2016. (Sean Simmers/PennLive.com via AP)   

Sen. Bernard Sanders said on Tuesday that Donald Trump is a historically bad presidential candidate and said he’s transitioning his campaign to a new organization that will work to support like-minded candidates in races as far down the ballot as school board elections.

Speaking at a Wisconsin delegation breakfast on the second day of the Democratic National Convention, Mr. Sanders called Mr. Trump “the worst, least-prepared candidate for president in my lifetime.”

Mr. Sanders did his part for Mrs. Clinton by delivering a full-throated endorsement in a speech Monday evening, despite consternation from some of his supporters.

WikiLeaks fouder rejects claims Russians hacked DNC
"This is a diversion that's being pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign. That's a meta-story. The real story is what these emails contain and they show collusion" by top party leaders to rig the presidential-primary process in favor of Mrs. Clinton, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said. (Associated Press)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denounced the Democratic Party’s claims that its emails were published as part of a Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin plot to make their party look bad, calling them both groundless and an attempt to create a distraction.

“This is a diversion that’s being pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign. That’s a meta-story. The real story is what these emails contain and they show collusion” by top party leaders to rig the presidential-primary process in favor of Mrs. Clinton, he said.

Bill Clinton is still Democrats' biggest asset--and highest risk

Eight years after a gaffe-filled performance damaged his wife’s White House hopes, a more disciplined Bill Clinton has emerged on the campaign trail — but analysts say the former president remains the ultimate risk-reward surrogate, a “Shakespearean character” with unmatched political talent who is simultaneously unable to prevent himself from creating political headaches.

For Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, the upside of her husband’s dual political personality soon will be on full display. Mr. Clinton will address the Democratic National Convention this week, four years after his 2012 speech stole the show in what was perhaps the most full-throated endorsement of President Obama during the entire election cycle. He will try to repeat that performance in Philadelphia and is expected to make a forceful case for why his wife must win in November.

Gallup Poll: Hillary's Unfavorable at All-Time High
Hillary Clinton is viewed unfavorably by 57 percent of Americans, an all-time worst in her political career and a precipitous drop from just two years ago, according to the latest Gallup poll.

Just 38 percent view Clinton favorably, compared to 55 percent in 2014, Gallup reported. Further, Clinton's image took a 3-point dive in just one month, down from 41 percent favorable in June.

 Clinton's highest favorable rating was at 67 percent in late 1998.

Terror attacks shake German citizenry anxious about open-door immigration policy

Germans are reeling from a spate of violent attacks that have shaken a country already anxious about its open-door refugee policy and fearful that Islamist terrorist attacks like those in neighboring France could take place here, too.

In a single week, a total of four attacks in Germany — three by recent immigrants and two claimed by the Islamic State — has shaken a citizenry anxious about recurring massacres in France and has resurrected concerns about the country’s ability to deal with the more than 1 million immigrants allowed into the country last year amid unrest in the Middle East.

Politico Reporter Submitted Storry to DNC Before Editors?

A Politico reporter sent a full draft of a story to the Democratic National Committee before submitting it to his editors, DNC emails released by WikiLeaks reveal.

Politico now says its reporter, Ken Vogel, made a mistake, by sending the entire story rather that just certain facts that needed to be checked, The Hill reports.

Murder Rate Up in 29 of Largest Cities
The murder rate in 29 of the largest American cities was up in the first six months of 2016, according to data from the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

 According to the data, reported on by The Wall Street Journal,  homicides were up 15 percent in the 51 large cities that provided information for the survey. More than half of that was attributed to two cities, however: Chicago, which is plagued by gang violence, and Orlando, where 49 people were shot to death at a gay nightclub in June by a man who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during his attack.

In fact, violent crime in nearly every category except rape is on the rise throughout the nation.

A sad tale of two disposable veeps

A governor is always a good choice for a vice president. He (or she) has learned how to run an administration, how to work with a cranky legislature and understands staying close to the people who elected him. There’s no Praetorian guard to keep him separated from the people.

There’s not an excess of pomp and circumstance at a governor’s mansion, and learning to know his place and stay in it is easily done by a governor who becomes a vice president.

The two prospective veeps this year could have been delivered by Central Casting. Mike Pence and Tim Kaine look and sound like vice presidents, standing in the shadows of prospective presidents who have demonstrated they neither need nor want help to cripple themselves. The two veeps look like they can swallow instincts to say something when they see something wrongheaded at hand.

Unconventional Democrats
Some confabs are remembered for their strangeness

It’s Democratic convention time, and while this year’s shindig may not be anything to write home about, the confabs in the old days were knock-down, drag-out affairs. For example, it took nine ballots to nominate James K. Polk in 1844; 49 for Franklin Pierce in 1852, 17 for James Buchanan in 1856, and 22 for Horatio Seymour in 1868. The record for feuding, fussing and fighting was set in 1924, when 103 ballots had to be cast during a 17-day marathon.

By contrast, the Republicans have never gone beyond 36 ballots.

The worst thing the Democrats ever did was to institute the two-thirds rule at their first convention in 1832. That meant that the winning candidate had to get not a simple majority of votes, but two-thirds. That rule didn’t come to an end until 1936. In the interim, the Democrats almost ran out of paper for ballots.

                 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.

Rank: Captain
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002

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.

 "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.

 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.”

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