Well then Sony’s capitulation makes sense, doesn’t it?
…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.
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.
If you’ve got a few minutes read this to get an update on how things are going with Germany’s drive to generate only Green EcoPower.
Here’s a hint: not well.
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…
The comments angered cops, with one saying, “Did he tell his son to be wary of his police bodyguards, that he should be afraid of them as they pick him up at school and drive him where he needs to go?”
Reaction to Mayor de Blasio’s remarks from the other night.
I wonder if he “warned his son about the dangers” of the 47 member police security detail that went with him and his family on their vacation to Italy this Summer?
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.
While the events down in Ferguson play out, back in Chicagoland the same old bullshit continues day in and day out with nary a peep. In the 107 days since officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18 year old Michael Brown – 12:03pm, Saturday, August 9th – the following stupidity has taken place in Chicago:
155 homicides (74% black males)
725 shot & wounded
Six (6) 18 year olds killed: Kawantis Montgomery, Kamaal Burton, Tony McIntos, Alexandra Burgos, Rayvon Little, Johnathan Cartwright
59 18 year olds shot & wounded
29 teenagers (13-19) killed
244 teenagers (13-19) shot and wounded
10 shot (5 killed) by the CPD
2 teens – 17yo Laquan McDonald & 19yo Roshad McIntosh – shot & killed by the CPD
9yo Antonio Smith was executed by 4 jagoffs
3yo Donnell Coakley killed by his mother
Brutal, yet incredibly asinine and absurd to say the least.
So what is it about these stats that hasn’t caused people to lose their collective shit?
After all, there have been plenty of opportunities to march, chant, throw shit, break stuff, come up with a hashtag, etc… in the past few months, not only in Chicago, but all over the nation. So where is the national media? The cable news talking heads? The race pimpin’ super duo of Jesse and Al? The professional agitators and social justice warriors? The exploiting politicians? Almost 900 shootings and homicides in the past three months and not one is worthy of their attention.
It’s all about the Narrative, kids, and how that can be turned to their advantage.
No one gives a shit about the bodies.
For some reason I am on Salon.com’s email list. Whilst it is an interesting glimpse into the attitude of the obnoxious, bossy Left, I usually just delete the emails right away because, well, I just can’t be bothered.
But I have to admit that today’s email both annoyed me and made me sad. Here’s what the top story was:
How to win Thanksgiving: Your guide to arguing with relatives
JIM NEWELL It’s going to be especially hard to avoid politics at Thanksgiving this year. Here’s how you can defeat Uncle Dingo
Now, this is always the style with them, these pretentious “Here’s How” articles to help the Enlightened Left exert their proper moral authority over us Cromagnonian rubes and out wit us with their Superior Logic™ (which is, of course, obviously a wasted effort as we can’t understand logic in the first place, being schtupid and all).
But what makes me especially sad is this concept that every conversation, every event, every Holiday is a political contest that needs to be “won” in some way or another, that the very people who so loudly and incessantly decry the lack of “diversity” and “respect for others” are so insistent that their point of view not only is correct but in fact must be assiduously imposed upon every occasion, upon every conversation until complete adherence to the acceptable orthodoxy is obtained.
It’s not actually “especially hard to avoid politics at Thanksgiving this year.” It’s quite simple.
You avoid it.
You shut up.
If someone says some overtly political statement, you say “yes, a pity. Would you like more cranberry sauce?”
When everything becomes a contest, a contested event, we all lose.
…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
What a pathetic joke.
“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?”
You didn’t get pasted in the mid-terms because of Freemasons sharing information on Twitter for god’s sake
Washington (CNN) — Republicans and outside groups used anonymous Twitter accounts to share internal polling data ahead of the midterm elections, CNN has learned, a practice that raises questions about whether they violated campaign finance laws that prohibit coordination.
The Twitter accounts were hidden in plain sight. The profiles were publicly available but meaningless without knowledge of how to find them and decode the information, according to a source with knowledge of the activities.
The practice is the latest effort in the quest by political operatives to exploit the murky world of campaign finance laws at a time when limits on spending in politics are eroding and regulators are being defanged.
I find it so pathetic that the Dems are so up in arms that the polls they commissioned and took ahead of the election were wrong…the polls, mind you, not, say, their awful policies.
But yes, of course, so now the rallying cry will be “Government control of da Interwebz is needed to keep us Free!”
“Obama will still give you free condoms.”
Thanks to Ebola for the find.
So ignore that shit I said about y’all being dumbasses, ’cause I never meant it.
‘Til I said it again…