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Mr. Gates said it is the duty of all Americans to properly recognize the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families.

“To the veterans of the armed forces, we honor your valor and your exemplary service,” he said. “To current servicemen and women who uphold their legacy, we thank you for your tireless commitment to America’s security.”

Ruling Elite

Angelo M. Codevilla, a former Senate Intelligence Committee-staff-member-turned-professor, has written a book highlighting what he calls the sharp political divide between the “Ruling Elite” and the “Country Party” — the vast majority of Americans who are trying to take back control of government from the minority elitists — mostly Democrats but Republicans, too — who look down on them as unprofessional rubes.

“America’s Country Party is the party of Outs,” Mr. Codevilla states in the book. “But there is one difference: America’s Outs — the two-thirds of Americans who feel that the Ruling Class is demeaning us, impoverishing us and demoralizing us — are people who embody the ideas and habits that made America the world’s envy. And they want the Ruling Class off America’s back.”

Mr. Codevilla notes that the more Ruling Class has supported ideas such as global warming and government-guaranteed health care, “the more the Country Class has turned its back on it.”

“While the Ruling Class thinks that Americans are unfit to run their own lives, most Americans have noticed that our Ruling Class has lost every war it fought, run up unpayable national debt, and generally made life worse,” he says.

The book, “The Ruling Class: How Political Elites Hijacked America,” includes an introduction by commentator Rush Limbaugh, who notes that a key feature of the Ruling Elite is their belief that “the United States is the problem in the world.”

HASC Democrats out

Voters threw out a number of pro-defense Democrats Nov. 2, setting the stage for a more liberal minority on the House’s Pentagon-oversight committee next year.

The election vanquished the House Armed Services Committee’s most senior Democrats, including Chairman Ike Skelton of Missouri, a party icon on defense who represented a sprawling western Missouri district for 34 years.

Also defeated were two committee stalwarts — Reps. John M. Spratt Jr. of South Carolina and Gene Taylor of Mississippi — plus five other committee moderates and conservatives.

A ninth Democrat, 14-term Rep. Soloman P. Ortiz of Texas, who may be in line to become the committee’s ranking Democrat, was still trailing by more 700 votes but has not conceded.

The axing of nearly a third of the committee’s 35 Democrats means the party has lost a big chunk of its center-right bench strength and likely will turn to liberals to fill committee vacancies, reports special correspondent Rowan Scarborough.

“I don’t know if the Democrats are going to be more conciliatory or if they’re going to be even more hardline liberal,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who soon will experience his first committee turnover in his second term.

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