Tuesday August 9th, 2022

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
 Providing an on line Triage of the news since 1997
  Will
My son has narrated the last book I wrote.
Please consider listening to it and encouraging others to do so too.
(Click on Book Cover)


World & Nation

Democrats hopeful climate and health care bill will mobilize voters in vulnerable election year

                          People walk outside the U.S Capitol building in Washington, June 9, 2022. A Democratic economic package focused on climate and health care faces hurdles but seems headed toward party-line passage by Congress next month. Approval would let President Joe Biden and his party claim a triumph on top priorities just as November’s elections approach. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Democrats hope their sweeping $740 billion tax, climate and health care package will energize their voters in November, while Republicans are predicting the opposite: that an inflation-weary electorate will revolt against more government spending on liberal agenda items that rate low in polls.

Only one side will be right in an election year that almost always favors the party not holding the White House.

The Senate passed President Biden’s domestic priorities along party lines Sunday, three months before the midterm elections. It prompted immediate jockeying by Republicans and Democrats to convince voters that the legislation is either wasteful spending that will exacerbate high inflation in a weak economy or historic legislation tackling climate change, costly health care and tax cheats.



Despite Manchin's spin, the Inflation Reduction Act will devastate the economy


Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and President Joe Biden must think voters are fools.

That’s the only possible explanation for why they thought the “ Inflation Reduction Act ” was an appropriate title for a bill that spends hundreds of billions of dollars, raises more in taxes, and hikes the cost of doing business at a time when people are facing record inflation and a recession. Democratic leaders think voters won’t notice their disastrous policies and will forgive them at the ballot box in November. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Calling this warmed-over version of “Build Back Better” the “Inflation Reduction Act” is deceptive. Biden and co. are telling people that more spending and more taxes on manufacturers will somehow equal lower prices. This is wrong on multiple fronts.



Pelosi to urge House to pass Biden inflation-reduction bill as is

                              U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday she will ask members of the House of Representatives to pass without changes a $430 billion climate and prescription drug bill approved by U.S. Senate over the weekend, calling it a historic piece of legislation.

Asked if she would ask lawmakers to pass the sweeping legislation as is, Pelosi said "yes."

"Our members are very pleased," Pelosi told NBC's "Today" show. "Quite a bit of what is in the bill is what we had worked (on) together - the House and Senate - to do."



Trump: FBI agents ‘raided’ Mar-a-Lago, breached safe

                              Police direct traffic outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump said in a lengthy statement that the FBI was conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and asserted that agents had broken open a safe. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Former President Donald Trump said late Monday that FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, and broke open his safe, an unprecedented search that sources said was related to a probe into whether Mr. Trump took classified government documents from his White House tenure.

In a statement, Mr. Trump claimed the arrival of law enforcement was unannounced and politically motivated.

“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Mr. Trump said in a lengthy statement. “After working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, the unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”

Citing people familiar with the investigation, The Associated Press and The Washington Post reported that agents were conducting a court-authorized search as they probe the potential mishandling of classified documents that were shipped to Mar-a-Lago.

Agent With Machine Gun Outside Of Compound...
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis decries ‘weaponization’ of federal agencies after Mar-a-Lago raid
Republicans speak out against FBI raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate
Under Intense Legal Scrutiny...
Disqualified from holding office ever again? Code on records could bar him...
Bernie Kerik Predicts Assassination...
McCarthy threatens to probe Garland...
Supporters Calling for Civil War...



Russia Says It Destroyed HIMARS Ammunition Depot in Ukraine


Russia's defense ministry said on Tuesday that Russian forces had destroyed an ammunition depot near the central Ukrainian city of Uman storing U.S.-made HIMARS missiles and M777 howitzers.

Reuters was unable to verify the battlefield reports.

In its daily briefing, the ministry said it had destroyed more than 300 rockets in the strike.



Pentagon sends biggest arms package yet to Ukraine amid fears of Russian attack on nuclear reactor


The Biden administration on Monday pledged $1 billion worth of additional military equipment to Ukraine, the largest single drawdown of firepower from U.S. stocks since the start of Russia’s invasion almost six months ago.

The security assistance package includes more warheads for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and almost 100,000 rounds of artillery and mortar ammunition that Ukrainians say have helped turn the tide of battle in fierce fighting in the south and east.

The latest drawdown is the 18th since Russia invaded its neighbor on Feb. 24, Pentagon officials said Monday.



Taiwanese Foreign Minister Says China Drills Part of a Game-Plan for Invasion


Taiwan's foreign minister said on Tuesday that China was using the military drills it launched in protest against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit as a game-plan to prepare for an invasion of the self-ruled island.

Joseph Wu, who offered no time-table for a possible invasion of Taiwan, which is claimed by China as its own, said Taiwan would not be intimidated even as the drills continued with China often breaching the unofficial median line down the Taiwan Strait.

"China has used the drills in its military play-book to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan," Wu said at a press conference in Taipei.



Navy to continue operating in Taiwan Strait amid tensions with China

                                  In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) conduct a passing honors ceremony with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Murasame-class destroyer JS Ikazuchi (DD 107) and the Kongo-class guided-missile destroyer JS Chokai (DDG 176) in the Pacific Ocean, Sept. 19, 2021. A spate of recent Chinese military flights off Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, and naval maneuvers by the United States and its allies to reinforce maritime routes challenged by China are fueling increasing tensions in a region already on edge. (Haydn N. Smith/U.S. Navy via AP)

Navy warships will make another passage through the disputed Taiwan Strait in the coming weeks despite recent Chinese naval exercises in the region following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, top Pentagon officials said.

On Monday, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl accused Beijing of manufacturing the current crisis, saying Mrs. Pelosi’s trip wasn’t the first for a leader of Congress.

“Congressmen and women from the United States regularly go to Taiwan. Legislatures from around the world go to Taiwan,” Mr. Kahl told reporters at the Pentagon. “Our Congress is an independent body of government.”

He said China’s reaction was “completely unnecessary.”


More Top News

Inside job: State, federal workers bilked millions in pandemic relief money

ACLU tells feds not to work with Texas on arrest of illegal immigrants

GOP candidate focuses on economy in bid to flip Calif. House seat back from Democrat Katie Porter

Trump's pick overtakes GOP House member who voted to impeach



Republicans pursuing ‘bipartisanship’ are useless to the cause

Democrats seek total control, aided and abetted by GOP enablers

Over the weekend, Senate Democrats jammed through a $700 billion-plus tax and climate bill in the midst of a recession and record-high inflation. The bill passed, with no Republican votes, after Vice President Kamala Harris broke the 50-50 tie in the chamber.

It was the 26th time Ms. Harris has done so in the split Senate since Joe Biden won the presidency about a year and a half ago. That’s the most times a vice president has cast the deciding vote in nearly 200 years, with John Calhoun holding the record of 31 times in the early 1800s.

There is no “bipartisanship” in Washington, with Democrats in control of Congress and the White House. They get what they want — all the time — sometimes, with RINO support. There is no middle ground with the left; they will take what they want inch by inch. As the right preens about “bipartisanship” and caves on gun control and massive infrastructure spending, the left’s only “compromise” is to make the package a bit smaller than what they asked for in the first place.



Trump’s triumphant endorsements

His influence over the GOP is stunning and historically unprecedented

The primary results from Arizona, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan and Missouri raise a fascinating question about the gap between the propaganda media analysis of former President Donald Trump and the scale of his achievement as a national Republican leader.

To understand Mr. Trump’s impact on the Republican Party, consider the most famous political purge attempt in modern times — former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s effort to topple three conservative senators from his own party in the 1938 elections.

Roosevelt was at the peak of his popularity. He had won reelection with a then-record 60.8% of the popular vote and a 523-8 margin in the electoral college.


" 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
Bill Conveys Special Honor to Last WWII Medal of Honor Recipient ...
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.


From the Archives

We Have Met the Enemy…

      
Geoff Metcalf
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
              
--Benjamin Franklin
“The American people must be willing to give up a degree of personal privacy in exchange for safety and security.”
              
--Louis Freeh
In the wake of the clamor over the most recent WikiLeaks data dump, ‘Vault 7’, ‘UMBRAGE’, et al, it should be noted this is not really anything new. What we are seeing here is simply the evolution of something that goes back to the late 50s (to the incomplete best knowledge I have).

It is kinda cool to finally see even The New York Times acknowledging material I was writing about in 1998.

In April of 1998 I wrote “Privacy has become an anachronism.” I was commenting on “a massive system designed to intercept all your e-mail, fax traffic and more.” I was explaining ‘Echelon’, the illegitimate offspring of a UKUSA Treaty signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Its purpose was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster, which allegedly shares common goals. The system was so “efficient” that reportedly National Security Agency folk from Fort Meade could work from Menwith Hill in England to intercept local communications without either nation having to burden themselves with the formality of seeking approval (a court order) or disclosing the operation. And this was all pre-9/11 and pre-the anti-constitutional  'Patriot Act'.

It is illegal (without a Judge’s signed permission) for the United States to spy on its citizens … kinda. The laws have long been circumvented by a mutual pact among five nations. Under the terms of UKUSA agreement, Britain spies on Americans and America spies on British citizens, and then the two conspirators trade data. A classic technical finesse. It is legal, but the intent to evade the spirit is inescapable.

I often fictionalized the genesis of ‘Echelon’ as an informal meeting of a group of post war American and British intelligence types drinking in some remote rustic bar. An imagined CIA type complains to his MI6 buddy about the hassles of US laws preventing US intelligence from surveillance of bad guys, and the Brit echoes the same complaint.

“Hey wait a moment mate,” says Nigel, the make-believe MI6 guy, “I can spy on your guys and you can spy on our bad players…why don’t we just come up with a mechanism whereby we spy on your villains, you spy on our villains, and we just ‘share’ the intel?”

This system was called ECHELON, and has been kicking around in some form longer than most of you. The result of the UKUSA treaty signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster which allegedly shares common goals.

The report noted: “Within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency, transferring ll target information from the Eurv opean mainland via the strategic hub of London, then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill, in the North York moors in th UK.

“The ECHELON system forms part of the UKUSA system but unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the Cold War, ECHELON was designed primarily for non-military targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country.”