…they’re at it again. (Although hoping Cuba will cement your “foreign policy legacy” when you’ve already allowed the WORLD to begin IMPLODING merely seems desperate scrabbling.)
Cuba releases American Alan Gross in prisoner swap
Washington (CNN) — U.S. contractor Alan Gross, held by the Cuban government since 2009, was freed Wednesday as part of a landmark deal with Cuba that paves the way for a major overhaul in U.S. policy toward the island, senior administration officials tell CNN.
President Obama is expected to announce Gross’ release at noon.
Gross’ “humanitarian” release by Cuba was accompanied by a separate spy swap, the officials said. Cuba also freed a U.S. intelligence source who has been jailed in Cuba for more than 20 years, although authorities did not identify that person for security reasons. The U.S. released three Cuban intelligence agents convicted of espionage in 2001.
President Barack Obama is also set to announce a broad range of diplomatic and regulatory measures in what officials called the most sweeping change in U.S. policy toward Cuba since the 1961 embargo was imposed.
For a President who took office promising to engage Cuba, the move could help shape Obama’s foreign policy legacy.
Well and predictably the Right Wing Smear Machine instantly lashes out
Trading Mr. Gross for three convicted criminals sets an extremely dangerous precedent. It invites dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans serving overseas as bargaining chips. I fear that today’s actions will put at risk the thousands of Americans that work overseas to support civil society, advocate for access to information, provide humanitarian services, and promote democratic reforms.
This asymmetrical trade will invite further belligerence toward Cuba’s opposition movement and the hardening of the government’s dictatorial hold on its people.
Oops, my bad; that was actually the statement from my senior Senator Robert Menendez (D) NJ…
You say “executive action”, I say apples and poTAHtoes, yo.
Obama issues ‘executive orders by another name’
By issuing his directives as “memoranda” rather than executive orders, Obama has downplayed the extent of his executive actions.
…Obama has issued executive orders to give federal employees the day after Christmas off, to impose economic sanctions and to determine how national secrets are classified. He’s used presidential memoranda to make policy on gun control, immigration and labor regulations. Tuesday, he used a memorandum to declare Bristol Bay, Alaska, off-limits to oil and gas exploration.
Like executive orders, presidential memoranda don’t require action by Congress. They have the same force of law as executive orders and often have consequences just as far-reaching. And some of the most significant actions of the Obama presidency have come not by executive order but by presidential memoranda.
Obama has made prolific use of memoranda despite his own claims that he’s used his executive power less than other presidents. “The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years,” Obama said in a speech in Austin last July. “So it’s not clear how it is that Republicans didn’t seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did.”
Obama has issued 195 executive orders as of Tuesday. Published alongside them in the Federal Register are 198 presidential memoranda — all of which carry the same legal force as executive orders…
Because we, the PEOPLE, are SO STUPID.
…to leave Afghanistan.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) December 16, 2014
Coming soon to a shore near you?
I’ve been reading that the US is getting ready to accept 7000 Syrian refugees, as the START of that refugee resettlement program.
I’m sure they’ll be as carefully and thoroughly vetted as everything else this administration touches.
EVERYTHING he waves it over ~ from race relations to Olympic bids to healthcare ~ immediately turns to SHIT for somebody who truly deserved to be left out of it. Case in point: his immigration power grab. Great for ILLEGAL FAMILIES in the country, but if you DID THE RIGHT THING/FOLLOWED THE RULES/ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTE A SKILL IMMEDIATELY?
Immigration Policy Reversal Denies Residency to Some Military Spouses
President Obama made his executive order on immigration weeks after a recent reversal of a U.S. immigration policy that will separate some military and Veterans Affairs employees from their spouses.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service reversed a policy whereby it automatically granted legal residency status to spouses of doctors and those with critical language skills who came to the U.S., joined the military and were fast-tracked to citizenship.
The reversal will force spouses to go back to their country of origin, stay there two years, and then apply to come to the U.S., just as any foreign visitor or student in the U.S. would have to do.
“They did just notify an Army doctor in Baltimore and another in Kansas City that their spouses’ green-card applications are going to be denied and the spouses will have to go ‘home’ for two years,” said Margaret Stock, a retired Army Reserve officer who pitched the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program to the Army in 2008.
“This will end up working out to a three-and-a-half year separation because … the spouses will have to re-apply for green cards from overseas after two years, and it is taking [the State Department and Department of Homeland Security] about a year-and-a-half to process [the] applications,” she said.
Citizenship and Immigration Services should be embarrassed by the policy, Stock said.
Oh, I’m sure they’re mortified. NOT.
…I’m starting to think this President really, REALLY doesn’t LIKE most of us.
Obamacare offers firms $3,000 incentive to hire illegals over native-born workers
Under the president’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare.
President Obama’s temporary amnesty, which lasts three years, declares up to 5 million illegal immigrants to be lawfully in the country and eligible for work permits, but it still deems them ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on Obamacare’s health exchanges.
Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover.
If you can get to work through the “understandably angry and resentful” sweet Michael Brown protesters blocking every traffic orifice in the name of that martyred man-child in YOUR city, check it out.
I can’t WAIT to see what the Poison Pen President does next to his chattel milling about in the amber waves of grain.
First off, Chuckie HAS no skills. That’s a drawback.
But, secondly, I have NO IDEA WHERE Obama’s going to dredge up a more malleable mushroom than this guy.
Hagel Said to Be Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises.
…The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.
But now “the next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,” one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He insisted that Mr. Hagel was not fired, saying that he initiated discussions about his future two weeks ago with the president, and that the two men mutually agreed that it was time for him to leave.
ths update: I see people feel as I do…
At this moment, all of DC is shocked to learn of the news out of the Pentagon that Chuck Hagel has been Secretary for the past two years.
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) November 24, 2014
“Some advisor who never worked on our staff”? Right after ~ of COURSE ~ he’d “just heard about this.”
I think we need to have the Prezzle checked out for a bump on the head à la Hilary’s forgetful spells…
— TMZ Politics (@TMZ_Politics) November 18, 2014
Schmaybe he took a tumble doing all that bowing overseas.
…”From ’08 to 2010, [Obama] had the House, the Senate, and the White House,” Gowdy said to several reporters on Capitol Hill on Friday, “and he didn’t do a damn thing about immigration reform, so if he could take two years to do nothing, I would think he could give this new Congress maybe three months? Six months?”
“Obama will still give you free condoms.”
Thanks to Ebola for the find.
Somebody’s pet gets loose near EuroDisney…
Town: Tiger on loose spotted near Disneyland Paris
PARIS (AP) — French police are using a helicopter to search for a young tiger which was said to be on the loose near Disneyland Paris.
…Town authorities said in a statement that police and rescue squads are on the scene and had roped off a security perimeter.
…and then it all goes Medieval.
…In addition to the helicopter, police have drafted in a wolf-catcher to aid in the search, Seine-et-Marne authorities said.
So ignore that shit I said about y’all being dumbasses, ’cause I never meant it.
‘Til I said it again…
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS!
~ Our Gramps
OO-RAH and Semper Fi!
ths update: I thought I’d run the finest commercial EVER made past you all again as well. Brings tears to my eyes EVERY time.
Exactly. How I LOVE my Marine Corps.
Pound and a half of Hershey’s Special dark, here I COME!
Compound in cocoa found to reverse age-related memory loss
In case anyone needed another reason to love chocolate, a new study suggests that a natural compound found in cocoa, tea and some vegetables can reverse age-related memory loss.
The findings suggest that the compound increases connectivity and, subsequently, blood flow in a region of the brain critical to memory, the researchers said.
The study — published online Sunday in Nature Neuroscience and partly financed by a chocolate company — found that flavanols reverse mild memory loss in older adults. Using brain scans and memory tests, the latest study built on previous work showing that flavanols extracted from cocoa beans had improved neuronal connections in mice’s dentate gyrus, a part of the brain involved in memory formation.
Ignore the bit about “gorging backfiring”. I think they’re exaggerating.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Arrested for burglary. Address unknown.