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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
President Signs New Travel Order
Donald Trump on Monday signed a new version of his controversial travel
ban, aiming to withstand court challenges while still barring new visas
for citizens from six Muslim-majority countries and shutting down the
U.S. refugee program.
The revised travel order leaves Iraq off the list of banned countries
but still affects would-be visitors from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan,
Yemen and Libya.
Trump privately signed the new order Monday while Homeland Security
Secretary John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney
General Jeff Sessions formally unveiled the new edict. The low-key
rollout was a contrast to the first version of the order, signed in a
high-profile ceremony at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes as Secretary of
Defense James Mattis stood by Trump's side.
Kellyanne: Donald Trump has info and intelligence the rest of us do not
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Monday that President Trump
has access to information and intelligence others do not and that
“credible news sources” suggested there might be more to look into,
after Mr. Trump accused former President Barack Obama over the weekend
of tapping phones in Trump Tower during last year’s campaign.
Mr. Trump had tweeted over the weekend: “Terrible! Just found out that
Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.
Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
Asked how he knows that happened to him, Ms. Conway said: “He’s the
president of the United States. He has information and intelligence that
the rest of us do not, and that’s the way it should be for presidents.”
Colorado senator facing pressure to back home-state Neil Gorsuch
Sen. Michael Bennet, Colorado Democrat, is facing increasing pressure to
support home-state Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme
Court, as Republicans try to build support for the nomination among
The Colorado Springs Gazette called Mr. Bennet’s confirmation vote on
Judge Gorsuch a “loyalty test” to the state, while the Denver Post urged
the senator not to be tempted to follow fellow Democrats, who want to
block whomever President Trump picks.
Mr. Bennet isn’t tipping his hand, waving off a reporter’s questions
about the judge and the growing sentiment that he would betray his state
by refusing to vote for confirmation.
Border wall cost could run $25-million per mile
The estimates of President Trump’s proposed border wall run anywhere
from $8 million to $25 million a mile, new White House budget director
Mick Mulvaney said in a radio interview Monday — though he said no
decisions have been made on exactly what the wall will look like.
Mr. Mulvaney, speaking on “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” said they will ask for
some money in the next couple of weeks, but the real details on the
cost and construction won’t come until they prepare their 2019 budget,
which won’t happen for another year.
The director also raised the possibility that much of the new barrier
will be fencing, rather than a complete concrete wall stretching the
1,950 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Lawmakers expand Russian probe to include Trump's claim of Obama-sanctioned spying
Republican lawmakers said Sunday that they will include President
Trump’s explosive claim that the Obama administration engaged in
politically driven wiretapping in the congressional probes of Russian
Rep. Devin Nunes, the California Republican who heads the House
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the president’s
allegation would be examined as part of the panel’s investigation.
“One of the focus points of the House intelligence committee’s
investigation is the U.S. government’s response to actions taken by
Russian intelligence agents during the presidential campaign,” Mr. Nunes
said. “As such, the committee will make inquiries into whether the
government was conducting surveillance activities on any political
party’s campaign officials or surrogates, and we will continue to
investigate this issue if the evidence warrants it.”
Republicans fine tune plan to dismantle Obamacare
Republicans are racing to put the finishing touches on a health care
plan that may need sweetening to avert an ugly clash with conservatives
who have blasted the effort as secretive and substandard, as House
leaders enter a three-week sink-or-swim stretch for unifying around a
plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration and
congressional Republican leaders were fine-tuning the plan over the
weekend so they can begin to dismantle the Affordable Care Act in “just a
matter of days.”
“Let me make you a promise: The Obamacare nightmare is about to end,” he
said Friday in an appearance with Health and Human Services Secretary
Tom Price and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Comey Asks DOJ to Reject Trump's Wiretapping Claim
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this
weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President
Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American
officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged
claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has
not released any such statement.
Mr. Comey, who made the request on Saturday after Mr. Trump leveled his
allegation on Twitter, has been working to get the Justice Department to
knock down the claim because it falsely insinuates that the F.B.I.
broke the law, the officials said.
A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment. Sarah Isgur Flores, the
spokeswoman for the Justice Department, also declined to comment.
Japan says North Korean missile launch represents 'new level of threat'
North Korea demonstrated its growing military capabilities with the
launch of four ballistic missiles Monday, three of which fell into the
Sea of Japan, in what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe characterized as “a new
level of threat.”
Officials said the North fired the barrage at around 7:34 a.m. Japan
time from near North Korea’s Donchang-ri long-range missile site.
The Defense Ministry said they flew about 1,000 km and reached a height
of about 260 km, with three of the missiles falling within Japan’s
exclusive economic zone, 300 km to 350 km west of the Oga Peninsula in
Akita Prefecture. The fourth missile fell near the EEZ, which extends 200 nautical miles (370 km) from Japan’s coastline.
Can US shoot down?
Japan moves to highest alert level
Kremlin worried about NKorean missile drills
NY Post: Obama Allies Out to Destroy Trump
President Donald Trump's foes have "waged a by-any-means-necessary
campaign" to throw out the election results, the New York Post charged
in an editorial.
"President Trump's claim that his predecessor bugged Trump Tower during
the election has sent the media into fits, wondering where on earth he
could've gotten such an idea. an editorial in the Post said. "But it's
all-too-obvious why Trump would be suspicious."
And the newspaper added: "Officials (likely Obama-era holdovers) have
broken the law and leaked what they hoped would be damaging info. Groups
tied to Obama have stirred up angry protests against Trump and other
Supreme Court Scraps Case on Transgender Bathroom Rights
The Supreme Court is returning a transgender teen's case to a lower court without reaching a decision.
The justices said Monday they have opted not to decide whether federal
anti-discrimination law gives high school senior Gavin Grimm the right
to use the boys' bathroom in his Virginia school.
The case had been scheduled for argument in late March. Instead, a lower
court in Virginia will be tasked with evaluating the federal law known
as title IX and the extent to which it applies to transgender students.
Forging a new approach to Iran
As Tehran tests the water, America must stand for regional stability
Even as the Trump administration seeks to designate the Revolutionary
Guard as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, Iran continues its blatant
defiance of international norms. Promising “roaring missiles” if
threatened, Tehran has test fired several ballistic weapons capable of
delivering nuclear material in just the past month. A fundamentally weak
regime with dated military capabilities, Iran is attempting to call the
United States’ bluff, perhaps to gain leverage in any subsequent
re-evaluations of the nuclear deal Tehran struck with the Obama
administration. Several blistering statements from the White House
backed by a round of sanctions presage the administration’s muscular new
approach. But if it hopes to secure the region, it must systematically
target the core destabilizing activities of the regime.
In a steady stream of denunciations, the White House pledged tougher
U.S. action if the mullahs continue to violate international norms
through illicit missile tests, making clear that the Obama era of
appeasement is over. “Instead of being thankful to the United States for
these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened,” an official White
House statement read. “We are officially putting Iran on notice.” While
many Iranian officials dismissed President Trump’s tough talk on the
nuclear deal as empty campaign rhetoric, the president’s appointment of
fellow anti-regime hardliner Gen. James Mattis demonstrates his
intention to deliver.
Value pools and valued patients
Such pools will make health insurance look like what it was before Obamacare
Having just left private practice as an OB/GYN, and fresh off the
campaign trail, I have talked to thousands of people about healthcare
issues. For more-than 25 years, the most common concern I’ve heard, and
have tried to help solve, is from folks who have a preexisting health
condition, and must get their health insurance outside of an employer.
These folks are worried about losing the coverage they have, if they
have any, and fear they won’t be able to replace it in the future.
As we in Congress work to deliver true 21st-century healthcare to the
American people, I wanted to address the issue of coverage for folks
with preexisting conditions; also called “guaranteed issue,” which
ensures that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable
healthcare. Many of us in Congress, and our President, have agreed we
must ensure this coverage, and have accepted it as our challenge.
"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
Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action
enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving
Armed Services of the United States.
to its recipient by the President of the
United States of America in the name of Congress.
first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to
JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made
September 15, 2011
to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.
then there have been: •
3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the
Medal of Honor.
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
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
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
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
"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
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.”