Monday April 22nd, 2024

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
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World & Nation

Absolute immunity? Supreme Court to hear arguments in Trump election interference case

Ruling could upend other criminal cases that Trump faces
                                                                     In this June 29, 2020, file photo, the Supreme Court is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) ** FILE **

The Supreme Court will take up former President Donald Trump’s “absolute immunity” defense this week, and if he wins, the result could knock down many of the criminal charges he’s facing.

The case is groundbreaking. No former president has ever found himself in Mr. Trump’s situation or asserted the kind of protection from prosecution for acts taken while in office.

Mr. Trump has asked the justices to dismiss a federal indictment accusing him of a conspiracy to subvert the 2020 election. He faces another federal criminal case over his handling of classified documents, a Georgia case over the 2020 election and a New York case over hush money payments made before the 2016 election.

Experts said the cases dealing with his actions while in the White House could topple, should the justices accept his broad immunity argument.

Columbia Classes Go Virtual Before Passover Amid Protests

                                                                              Columbia University cancels in-person classes after pro-Palestinian protests  | Reuters

Anti-Israel demonstrations have forced Columbia University to announce that all classes Monday, the day Passover begins, will be virtual.

Columbia President Minouche Shafik said in a statement the decision was made to "deescalate the rancor and give us all a chance to consider next steps."

"During the coming days, a working group of Deans, university administrators and faculty members will try to bring this crisis to a resolution," Shafik added.

On-campus demonstrations against Israel entered their sixth day Monday.

Trump arrives for the start of his criminal trial, an American first

                                                                                Former president Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. Opening statements in Donald Trump's historic hush money trial are set to begin. Trump is accused of falsifying internal business records as part of an alleged scheme to bury stories he thought might hurt his presidential campaign in 2016. (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)

Former President Donald Trump entered a drab Manhattan courtroom Monday for the start of a historic criminal trial that will keep him off the campaign trail and could impact his standing with undecided voters ahead of his rematch with President Biden in November.

A jury of seven men and five women, plus six alternates, will hear opening arguments from New York prosecutors and Mr. Trump’s lawyers before the state calls its first witness in the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

Mr. Trump, dressed in a navy suit, took his seat and chatted with his attorneys at the defense table in the courtroom with wood panels along the lower half of the walls and florescent lighting overhead. A throng of Secret Service agents accompanied him and mixed with court officers around the courtroom.

IDF Intel Chief Resigns Over Oct. 7 Failure

                                                                                      Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva - ICT
Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Directorate head Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva on Monday announced his resignation over his failure to prevent Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

Haliva decided to retire months ago following the intelligence failures that contributed to the massacre of some 1,200 people and the kidnapping of more than 253 hostages to Gaza, but asked IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi to postpone the announcement.

Haliva’s announcement comes after the IDF withdrew almost all ground troops from the Strip, leaving only one brigade remaining in the enclave.

Speaker’s win for Ukraine tempts fate, angers House Republicans

Marjorie Taylor Greene vows to take him down: 'Mike Johnson has betrayed America'
                                                                          Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after the House voted to approve $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies, at the Capitol in Washington, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Biden scored another major legislative victory by getting Ukraine war aid through the Republican-run House with the help of Speaker Mike Johnson, who is now in jeopardy of losing his leadership to a revolt on his right flank.

Mr. Johnson pushed a $95 billion foreign aid package through the House on Saturday despite major opposition from fellow Republicans. The package, which Mr. Biden has been pursuing for months, is all but assured final passage when the Democratic-run Senate takes it up on Tuesday.

Mr. Johnson and his Republican detractors will have a weeklong recess to stew about the aid. The House reconvenes on April 29.

FISA extension ends fight over warrantless spying — temporarily

The intelligence community won an expansion of snooping powers from Congress, but opponents cut the authority to two years, meaning Capitol Hill will revisit the fight much sooner than anticipated.

President Biden signed the expansion into law Saturday, capping an intense six-month fight over Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the government to scoop up and search through communications of foreign targets — including communications with Americans and others inside the U.S. — without a warrant.

The bill cleared the Senate on a bipartisan 60-34 vote late Friday, just hours before the former authority expired and after the spying tool’s supporters shot down attempts to add a warrant requirement and roll back the bill’s new reach, which could compel data centers to cooperate in turning over information that crosses their servers.

Reporter sounds alarm on 'troubling' polling for President Biden: 'Political liability'

NBC News' Steve Kornacki sounded the alarm on Sunday on some "troubling" poll numbers for President Biden, and noted he was trailing Donald Trump in several key categories.

Voters are losing interest in November election, poll shows

More voters say they are losing interest in the November election, according to a new poll.

An NBC News survey shows 64% of registered voters say they have a high level of interest in November’s election — but that figure is lower at this point in the year than any of the last four presidential cycles.

Interest was 13 points higher in 2020, five points higher in 2016, three points higher in 2012 and 10 points higher in 2008.

North Korea fires suspected short-range missiles into the sea in its latest weapons test, Seoul says
                                                                         A TV screen shows a file image of North Korea's missiles launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, April 22, 2024. North Korea fired multiple suspected short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters on Monday, South Korea's military said, the latest in a recent series of weapons launches by the North. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korea on Monday test-fired suspected short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, the country’s neighbors said, as speculation swirled that it could soon launch a banned satellite into orbit.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the weapons launched from the North’s capital region flew about 300 kilometers (185 miles) before crashing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. The ranges suggest the weapons could likely target sites in South Korea.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff strongly condemned the launches, saying they were a “clear provocation” that threatens peace on the Korean Peninsula. It said it will maintain readiness to “overwhelmingly” respond to North Korean provocations in step with its military alliance with the United States.

Narcissistic NPR rejects objective truth and respectful dissent

In the past few weeks, Uri Berliner, a 25-year veteran of NPR, blew the whistle on the state-funded media giant’s pervasive liberal bias. In response, NPR’s new CEO, Katherine Maher, suspended the senior editor without pay for telling the truth about the company. This ultimately led to Mr. Berliner‘s resignation.

NPR’s heavy-handedness in suppressing truthful dissent should surprise no one. Ms. Maher, after all, has been clear in saying that “truth” is not important to her. Consider her comments in a recent TED Talk:

“Seeking the truth and seeking to convince others of the truth might not be the right place to start. In fact, our reverence for the truth might just be in the way of finding common ground and getting things done. … I am certain the truth exists for you and probably the person sitting next to you. But this may not be the same truth. … [W]e all have different truths.”

The consequences of Ms. Maher’s worldview have had a devastating impact on the media. But it doesn’t stop there. Almost every aspect of our lives has been corrupted by this lie.

Supreme Court exposes Biden’s selective prosecution of political opponents

During oral arguments on Tuesday, Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito exposed the Biden administration’s inexcusable practice of selective prosecution of protesters and rioters.

The case, Fischer v. United States, involved the contention by Pennsylvanian Joseph Fischer that the charges of “obstruct[ion of] … any official proceeding,” based on 18 U.S.C. 1512(c), should not apply to his actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Fischer, who also was charged with assaulting police officers, is hardly a sympathetic figure. His claims that he wasn’t trying to obstruct or “impede” official (and important) congressional business, in the ordinary (nonlegal) sense of those words, are specious, but Gorsuch and Alito were interested in a point broader than Fischer’s particular circumstances.

More than 300, of nearly 1,400 total, other Jan. 6 defendants also have been charged with violating 18 U.S.C. 1512(c). The two justices were puzzled by inconsistencies with which President Joe Biden’s appointees apply the law and with the wide scope they claim for it against disfavored defendants. Contrarily, when people on the Left, even including members of Congress, disrupt government proceedings, including by use of force, Biden and his officials look the other way.

Medal of Honor
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For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a pilot in Fighter Squadron 32, while attempting to rescue a squadron mate whose plane, struck by antiaircraft fire and trailing smoke, was forced down behind enemy lines. Quickly maneuvering to circle the downed pilot and protect him from enemy troops infesting the area, Lt. (j.g.) Hudner risked his life to save the injured flier who was trapped alive in the burning wreckage. Fully aware of the extreme danger in landing on the rough mountainous terrain, and the scant hope of escape or survival in subzero temperature, he put his plane down skillfully in a deliberate wheels-up landing in the presence of enemy troops. With his bare hands, he packed the fuselage with snow to keep the flames away from the pilot and struggled to pull him free. Unsuccessful in this he returned to his crashed aircraft and radioed other airborne planes, requesting that a helicopter be dispatched with an ax and fire extinguisher. He then remained on the spot despite the continuing danger from enemy action and, with the assistance of the rescue pilot, renewed a desperate but unavailing battle against time, cold, and flames. Lt. (j.g.) Hudner's exceptionally valiant action and selfless devotion to a shipmate sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

From the Archive....

                 By Geoff Metcalf
                 July 29, 2002

            Two mutually exclusive and under reported stories have been troubling me.

               *   The apparent penchant for political operatives to leak classified information that jeopardizes national security.
               *   The generational control of information dissemination by powerful controllers.

            So we have another ‘Catch-22’.

            The complicity of the mainstream media to spin, cover, and obfuscate government abuse of power under the color of authority was not unique to the Clinton administration.  It may have been more ubiquitous, and at times even clumsy, but it was not unique.

            It has been reported that in June 1991 David Rockefeller allegedly told a Bilderberg meeting in Baden Baden German, "We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years." He went on to explain: "It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries."

            Some argue that quote is apocryphal urban legend.  However, although I have never been able to find three corroborating independent sources for it, it IS consistent in content and tone with other Bilderberg quotes I HAVE been able to confirm.

            “If we had been subjected to the light of publicity….” Indicates the one world, globalist, wannabe controllers were/are successful in managing the message.

            Operation ‘Mockingbird’ was a program supposedly conceived by a brilliant Machiavellian State Department official, Frank Wisner.  Wisner selected Philip Graham, then publisher of the Washington Post to manage the program.  According to Deborah Davis, author of ‘Katharine the Great’, "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles, plus stringers, four to six hundred in all, according to a former CIA analyst."

            Over twenty five major newspapers and wire services became willing house organs for the CIA media manipulation.

            Investigators digging into MOCKINGBIRD have been flabbergasted to discover FOIA documents in which agents boast (in CIA office memos) of  pride in having placed "important assets" inside every major news publication in the country.

            I know, this is the stuff of Ludlum novels conspiracy wackos, but not until 1982 did the ‘Company’ finally concede that reporters on the CIA payroll have been case officers to field agents.

            I have too often observed, “Some people don’t like to be confused with facts that contradict their preconceived opinions.”  I have also noted (and struggle to maintain) “It is not WHO is right or wrong…but WHAT is right or wrong.”

            Anyone with almost ‘any’ military experience has no doubt seen the once ubiquitous posters cautioning “Loose Lips Sink Ships”.  It is a left over phrase from WWII and among “lessons learned”.

            In the complex world of intelligence loose lips can and have cost lives.

            Once upon a time, not so long ago, Senator Patrick Leahy (currently the Senate Judiciary committee’s lead obstructionist) used to be the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the mid 80s.  Leahy allegedly ‘inadvertently’ exposed a top-secret intercept of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak that led to the capture of the Achille Lauro terrorists.  That supposed slip of the tongue “cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative.” http://www.newsmax.com/showinside.shtml?a=2001/1/31/85757

            Loose Lip Leahy was forced to resign in disgrace 14 years ago in the wake of having to acknowledge he leaked secret intelligence to the press.   However today he lords his power over the Senate Judiciary committee.  Congress’ institutional memory must be as short as some of Jennifer Flowers former paramours.

            In our contemporary environment in which whistleblowers have become in many cases heroes it is important to make the distinctions between the appropriateness of corporate and political whistleblowers and the idiot or miscreant who leaks information with genuine national security implications.

            Currently the FBI is investigating national security leaks from specifically the House and Senate Select Intelligence committees.  This is serious stuff.

            Defenders of the indefensible will argue it is a political witch-hunt by politicians in a heavy C.Y.A. mode.  That is not true but a convenient political spin job.

            Sure it is true the white house is p.o.-ed over media reports that the National Security Agency had received but not acted on two early warning messages to 9/11.  Dick Cheney reportedly went ballistic and ripped congressional leaders.  Both House and Senate Select Intelligence committees asked the Attorney General to conduct an investigation (and no doubt quietly prayed it would be botched).

            Justice said in a statement, “…the appropriate department officials will expeditiously review this matter and take any appropriate action.”  Not if congress has anything to say about it.  Don’t expect anything fast.  Remember Leahy resigned in disgrace 14 years ago and today has the chutzpah to pontificate ad nauseum to the Judiciary committee and stall any and all Bush judicial appointments.

            More on Operation Mockingbird http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/

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