Menendez Pulls No Punches: Takes Shots at Rice, ‘Political Friends,’ Nuclear ‘Mothballing’
The Democratic author of Iran sanctions measures that have drawn ire from the Obama administration took aim at his critics and embraced his allies in a passionate address before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee, also took a dig at National Security Advisor Susan Rice as he rallied the conference crowd in the speaking slot after the administration official.
“I take issue with those who say the prime minister’s visit to the United States is ‘destructive’ to U.S.-Israel relations,” Menendez said. Rice made such comments in an interview with PBS aired last week.
“And tomorrow I will be proud when I escort Prime Minister Netanyahu to the House Chamber to give his speech,” he continued. “To show him the respect he deserves from every American who cares about our relationship with the only true democracy in the Middle East.”
The senator stressed that “when it comes to defending the U.S.-Israel relationship, I am not intimidated by anyone — not Israel’s political enemies, and not by my political friends when I believe they’re wrong.”
Menendez noted the “political timing” of Netanyahu’s speech “may have been unfortunate,” but British Prime Minister David Cameron of Great Britain came to Washington in January to lobby Congress against Iran sanctions.
“It seems to me that if it’s okay for one prime minister to express his views, it should be good for all prime ministers,” he said.
Category: World Stuff
In DC the GOP shoots themselves.
Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was shot to death in central Moscow late Friday.
The head of the Moscow police department is on the scene, according to TASS news agency. Moscow police sources say there were witnesses to the shooting who are now being questioned.
“Today at approximately 11:15 PM Nemtsov was walking with a female companion along the Bolshoy Kamenniy bridge. A car approached, from which several shots were fired. Four shots hit Nemtsov in the back,” Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson Elena Alekseeva said.
…Nemtsov was 55 years old. He was a former deputy prime minister in the Russian government under President Boris Yeltsin. At one point he was considered a likely presidential candidate. After Vladimir Putin became the country’s president, Nemtsov actively criticized the administration and its policies.
Vladimir Putin decried this “random” attack.
A big badda-boom, 6 dead and over a 1000 people injured. Oh, if ONLY these guys had had jobs, right?
The 1993 World Trade Center bombers: Where are they now?
On Feb. 26, 1993, an ugly new phase of terrorism was ushered in when Jordanian Eyad Ismoil drove Kuwaiti Ramzi Yousef and a 1,300-pound nitrate-hydrogen gas enhanced bomb also stuffed with cyanide into the parking garage below the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
Yousef lit a 20-foot fuse, and the two fled quickly enough to evade immediate capture by authorities. The bomb killed six people and injured more than 1,000 that day.
When the bomb went off, their goal of bringing down the Twin Towers failed, but the event was the first in a continuing string of indiscriminate attacks on civilians by terrorists designed solely to kill as many as possible.
I’m kinda sick of these Muslim-terrorism tinged anniversaries anymore, you know? Why can’t WE have at least ONE where we kicked some serious ass and MEANT it?
…The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.
Read “What ISIS Really Wants” and be truly educated.
Our Marines, with Navy, Army and Coast Gaurd elements alongside (including Ebola’s grandfather with the SeaBees) waded ashore on that ghastly, black hellhole.
By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully.
Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.
~ Adm. Chester A. Nimitz
Islam and the West at War
After a Danish movie director at a seminar on “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression” and a Danish Jew guarding a synagogue were shot dead in Copenhagen, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the prime minister of Denmark, uttered a familiar trope:
“We are not in the middle of a battle between Islam and the West. It’s not a battle between Muslims and non-Muslims. It’s a battle between values based on the freedom of the individual and a dark ideology.”
This statement — with its echoes of President Obama’s vague references to “violent extremists” uncoupled from the fundamentalist Islam to which said throat-cutting extremists pledge allegiance — scarcely stands up to scrutiny.
It is empty talk.
…thanks to ISIS butchers and their knives.
But before you get all ‘upset’ and shit, Christians, you’d do well to remember our President’s words of wisdom:
GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE
…there’s quite a set of huevos in the Middle East. Abdullah’s pissed and, as we say in the Corps when things’re fixin’ to blow: ISIS better stand the f*ck by…
After ISIS execution, angry King Abdullah quotes Clint Eastwood to U.S. lawmakers
…”He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn’t seen,” said Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., a Marine Corps veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, who was in the meeting with the king. “He mentioned ‘Unforgiven’ and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.”
Hunter would not say which part of “Unforgiven” the king quoted, but noted it was where Eastwood’s character describes how he is going to deliver his retribution. There is a scene in the picture in which Eastwood’s character, William Munny, says,
“Any man I see out there, I’m gonna kill him. Any son of a bitch takes a shot at me, I’m not only going to kill him, I’m going to kill his wife and all his friends and burn his damn house down.”
I remember when we had people that felt like that in charge…
Let us remember Moaz Al-Kasasbeh as he would have wished. Daesh be damned. God Bless you, Sir. As-salamu Alaykum. pic.twitter.com/n4pGcBKXEE
— Chris Keniston (@NoFear3136) February 3, 2015
And never, EVER forget: We are flying combat routes over these assholes.
One lucky shot and that brave young lad could easily be one of our own.
And, yes ~ something with MASSIVE KUDOS for Michelle Obama REALLY did just come out of my computer.
She met the Saudis with her gum-chewing, bow-prone husband yesterday…IN PANTS AND UNCOVERED. About frickin’ damn time SOME AMERICAN woman stood as unswathed instead of looking (as Ebola put it) like “a Sherpa heading upmountain”.
For the first time in my life, I’m actually PROUD of our First Lady.
Michelle Obama navigates limits on women in Saudi Arabia
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — For first lady Michelle Obama, just a few hours in Saudi Arabia were enough to illustrate the stark limitations under which Saudi women live.
Joining President Barack Obama for a condolence visit after the death of the King Abdullah, Mrs. Obama stepped off of Air Force One wearing long pants and a long, brightly colored jacket — but no headscarf.
Proving YET AGAIN that our Fearless Leader and his Le Grande Toadie, the Secretary of State, are as spectacularly tone-deaf as any fence post in America, John Kerry heads over to France to make nice for dissing the millions who marched for freedom and against Islamic murderers…and brings JAMES TAYLOR to warble “You’ve Got a Friend”. GTFO, right? Shameful as it is, it’s true. James. Taylor.
When anybody and EVERYBODY (including Obama, if he’d bother to read the entertainment section of the paper) KNOWS how to musically go STRAIGHT to EVERY Frenchmen’s…EVERY EUROPEAN’S (!!)…heart.
Yeah. The. Hoff.
And the whole of the Continent is eating fromage from your palm.
Mission accompli. DUH.
“Go F**k Yourself You Communist Turd” Senator Says To Anti-Free Speech Democrat
‘Course, he’s NEW and hasn’t been prosecuted yet…
Reports 2 dead, 20 wounded a few miles from CDG.
Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) — Police hunting the suspects in the massacre of journalists at French magazine Charlie Hebdo began an operation in a town northeast of Paris, the interior minister said. Caroline Connan reports on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse” with Francine Lacqua and Guy Johnson. (Source: Bloomberg)
Supposedly they’ve robbed a gas station
The two main suspects in the Islamist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris are said to have robbed a service station in the north of France.
They stole food and petrol, firing shots as they struck at the roadside stop near Villers-Cotterets in the Aisne region, French media report.
France has observed a minute’s silence for the 12 people killed at the office of the satirical magazine.
Earlier in the day, a gunman shot dead a policewoman in southern Paris.
A second person was seriously injured in the attack in the suburb of Montrouge, after which the gunman fled.
It is unclear if the attack is related to the pursuit of prime suspects Cherif and Said Kouachi.
According to the manager of the service station that was robbed on the RN2 road in Aisne at about 10:30 (09:30 GMT), the attackers fit the description of the two men, and were heavily armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
Kalashnikovs and RPGs.
Boy those restrictive Euro gun laws are mighty effective…at disarming the victims.
…should be ridden out of town on the proverbial rail with “COWARD” on their foreheads.
— Journalism Tools (@Journalism2ls) January 7, 2015
THIS sort of SICKNESS takes people of stout hearts to mock and drive from the world…
This horrible little man makes me utterly sick. pic.twitter.com/0SODEO8dlB
— sarah (@SarahDuggers) January 7, 2015
…because, dear lion-hearted liberal friends, they DO KILL PEOPLE when the mocking begins.
Unlike Christians of the past few centuries, may I point out.
Mexico explains that police killing 22 people/43 abducted students and Ferguson are sameys.
Obama seeks help of Mexico’s Pena Nieto on Cuba, immigration
President Barack Obama is hosting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the White House Tuesday, looking to his southern neighbor for help implementing the president’s changing policies on immigration and Cuba.
…Both actions from Obama in recent weeks drew praise from Pena Nieto, who may be hoping his visit to the White House can help give him a boost after a 2014 marked by scandal, violence and corruption. That includes soldiers killing 22 civilians in a questionable “shootout” and revelations that Pena Nieto and his treasury secretary live in luxury homes built and financed by a favorite government contractor.
Perhaps most notably, tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to protest the Sept. 26 abduction and presumed murder of 43 college students, allegedly at the hands of local officials and police in league with a drug cartel.
Pena Nieto told the country it was time to “move beyond” the case just weeks after their abduction, and he took a month to meet with their families.
…Sergio Alcocer, Mexican undersecretary for North America affairs, said he didn’t expect the student abduction specifically to come up between the two presidents. Alcocer pointed out that the United States has had its own scandal and protests over the shooting of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
A BIG “get over it” and then a month before he meets with parents?
Sheesh. That’s almost like hustling back to your golf cart right after saying two perfunctory words about a tragedy.
But no one does that.
…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…
…the “EJECT!” button?
Russia risks Soviet-style collapse as rouble defence fails
Russia has lost control of its economy and may be forced to impose Soviet-style exchange controls after “shock and awe” action by the central bank failed to stem the collapse of the rouble.
“The situation is critical,” said the central bank’s vice-chairman, Sergei Shvetsov. “What is happening is a nightmare that we could not even have imagined a year ago.”
…Michal Dybula, from BNP Paribas, said the rouble’s plunge risks setting off a systemic bank run. “A large-scale run on deposits, once under way, would make capital controls pretty much unavoidable,” he said, adding that the authorities may start by forcing state-controlled companies to sell foreign assets and repatriate funds.
In Washington, the White House said it had no intention of easing pressure on Russia to halt the freefall. “It is president Vladimir Putin’s decision to make. The aim is to sharpen the choice that he faces,” it said.
President Barack Obama will not veto a law passed by Congress imposing a raft of new sanctions against Russia, even though he warned previously that it goes too far for European leaders and risks splitting the trans-Atlantic front. The measures include $350m of military assistance to Ukraine, and authorize Mr Obama to impose curbs on energy companies investing in Russia, as well as to prohibit credit to Gazprom.
…After years of bluster and suggestions by Mr Putin that the US is a paper tiger, the Kremlin is now coming face to face with the cataclysmic consequences of what it has done by invading Ukraine and changing Europe’s borders by force. By the same token, Washington needs to move with care since it would be a geostrategic miscalculation of the first order to push a nuclear-armed Russia too far into a corner, or to perpetuatue a cycle of grievance.
Anthony Peters, from SwissInvest, said Russia’s leaders had misled their own people and have until now been in denial about the crisis engulfing them. “Not since Soviet times have we seen such steadfast refusal by the Kremlin to acknowledge the presence of severe political and economic problems while sacrificing the people in the name of orthodoxy. The Russian people are legendarily stoic in the face of hardships but beware if, and when, their patience runs out,” he said.
The rouble crash has doubled the cost of servicing nearly $700bn of external debt owed by Russian banks, companies and state bodies, mostly in dollars. They must repay $30bn this month and a further $100bn next year. Oil giant Rosneft has requested $49bn of state aid to weather the crisis.
I have complete confidence that our Super Geniuses in DC will manage to engender the worst possible outcome.
That’s the Gift they have.
These are dangerous times, and we are ruled by petulant children.
…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.
132 children peacefully slaughtered in Pakistan.
Taliban militants killed dozens of children in an attack on an army-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar that left 132 people dead so far, the country’s deadliest terrorist attack since at least 2007.
Two attackers are still holding 40 teachers and 20 students hostage, Mushtaq Ghani, information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said by phone. Four attackers blew themselves up and another was shot dead by soldiers, he said.
…Terrorism has killed more than 50,000 people in Pakistan since 2001 and complicated efforts to revive South Asia’s second-biggest economy.
Yeah, that’s one word for it.
When the Scots were all ready to use that Sweet Sweet North Sea oil money to finance their independent dreams in September, Brent crude was at $96 per barrel.
Right now it’s $64.00
Much like Russia, Norway is hosed
The governor of Norway’s central bank says western Europe’s biggest oil producer is facing a major economic slowdown as crude prices continue to plunge.
“Our job now is that we need to prevent a severe downturn in the economy,” Oeystein Olsen said today in an interview after a press conference in Oslo. “Overall, that is presently the major concern of the board. That explains why we have reduced the rate.”
…Oil prices have plunged 44 percent from a June high, the worst decline since the financial crisis erupted in 2008. Norges Bank estimates oil investments will decline by 15 percent next year, with the risk of “spillover” effects on the rest of the economy and rising unemployment.
Norway depends on the oil industry for almost a quarter of its economic output and has built an $860 billion wealth fund from its offshore revenue.
I laugh every time I see a Prius.
And I wish I had bought that bigger SUV…