Big hugs and much love to you and yours for a GREAT 2015.
— YCACR (@youngamer4con) December 28, 2014
A whole gallery of pictures here, but it never made any broadcast I was watching or newspaper.
…he sure acts like an emperor when it comes to gathering the photogenic about him at his command.
My head EXPLODED when I read this. He’s already BEEN in Hawaii HOW long? You know what THIS tells me? That this SELF CENTERED prima dona wanted a CONVENIENT podium on HIS vacay, so GUESS WHO PAID THE PRICE?! How happy would any of YOU had been to be told you had a mandatory-dog-and-pony-show, WITH YOUR FAMILIES, on CHRISTMAS DAY? Kaneohe ain’t Afghanistan, Skippy. And I’m sure everyone was thrilled to have THEIR holiday destroyed, or, at the very least, completely up-ended, to make it easy for YOUR “Mission Accomplished” moment. What a worthless, selfish, narcissistic POS.
On Christmas, Obama marks end of Afghan combat
President Barack Obama, with first lady Michelle Obama, speaks to troops and their families on Christmas Day, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014, at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii during the Obama family…
KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii — President Barack Obama marked the end of more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan by paying tribute to America’s military, telling troops on Christmas Day that their sacrifices have allowed for a more peaceful, prosperous world to emerge out of the ashes of 9/11.
At an oceanfront Marine Corps base in Hawaii, Obama told troops that while tough challenges remain for the U.S. military in hotspots like Iraq and West Africa, the world as a whole is better off because American troops put country first and served with distinction. He said Americans and their president could not be more thankful.
…so let me TOTALLY BONE your holiday so I can mouth that platitude, mmkay?
Minuit, Chrétiens, C’est L’heure Solennelle
Où l’Homme Dieu descendit jusqu’à nous
Pour effacer la tache originelle
Et de Son Père arrêter le courroux.
Le monde entier tressaille d’espérance
En cette nuit qui lui donne un Sauveur.
Peuple à genoux, attends ta délivrance.
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur!
May the blessings and love of our Lord fill you and yours with hope this Christmas time.
Peace, true Peace from our home to yours, Dear Friends.
As we ponder that day 100 hundred years ago when the troops facing each other across the scarred and pitted betrenched fields that were absorbing so much blood and decided, against the specific orders of their leaders, to lay down their arms and celebrate the wonder and unknowable mystery of the christian bond which united them at their core, so too let us find the will and strength to put aside the cares and concerns which so constantly assail us, knowing all too well that we, like those brave poor souls shivering in the fields of France, will succumb to the siren call of our strife after too brief an interlude; that does not diminish the achievement but rather shows us what we are truly capable of.
Hey! Let’s Move ALL Those Loser Military Retirees ~ Maybe Even Active Troop Families ~ TO OBAMACARE!!
Budget experts: Move Tricare beneficiaries to Obamacare
The Defense Department could slash its enormous health care budget by requiring Tricare beneficiaries not on active duty to get health care coverage through Affordable Care Act exchanges, according to several current and former congressional budget experts.
AND the money quote from DoucheBag central ~ which is going to be a HUGE SURPRISE to all us military types who completed THEIR “OBLIGATION” with the understanding that the United States of America would fufill what they promised was the country’s “OBLIGATION” to us:
“…And, John Mayer, a military health and energy analyst with Booz Allen Hamilton, added the Pentagon should be under no obligation to continue providing “free health” care to those who have retired from military service and have access to health care either through their employers or the Affordable Care Act.
“Having a program where they can go in and get free health care, and do it as often as they want seems to be a burden that the American public shouldn’t have to bear,” Mayer said, speaking of the military retiree population who uses Tricare.
There is so much WRONG with those two sentences, it’s all I can do not to sit sputtering in a fury.
“As OFTEN as they WANT to”? RATIONED CARE is what that says. Or implying we’re all hypochondriacs. ExCUSE us for going to the doctor. Frankly, you can KMA for this household’s sake, because we rarely use our privilege for other than yearly check-ups (‘Cause you know, beancounting asshat, WELLNESS actually SAVES money!) and emergency things, like my gall bladder, or the skin cancer they’re carving off my gourd in January. Forgive us for seeing a doctor. The NERVE of YOU.
And the idea that somehow we all magically have a person in the household EMPLOYED is LAUGHABLE considering WHO is President and WHAT he’s done (or NOT done, as the case may be) to the economy to foster getting those LOST jobs back. (And they’ve been LOST in this household, as well as many of the other military retirees we know.) Especially EMPLOYED FULL TIME ones WITH employer provided insurance? Surely you jest. I feel like he’s playing Circle Jerk, because everyone knows ObamaCare has pretty much boned employer provided insurance for the majority of Americans, so we’re back to the beginning.
And before you scream about “Democrats”, blahblahblah, please know some Republicans like the sainted Paul Ryan are also BIG proponents of a move very much like this.
That can’t be solved by the Jimmy Castor Bunch
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.
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.
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…
…that make me question the wisdom of allowing my Beloved Bride to use my Amazon account:
Bingley, How Do You Like Your Women’s Tights?
I do not dress in them and hang around in bars.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Not even NJIT’s coach expected his team to win at Michigan. Just ask him.
“Honestly, this wasn’t in my game plan,” Jim Engles said. “Coming into the season, I sort of penciled this one in as an ‘L.’ I have to readjust my whole process here, as to, ‘We just beat Michigan. I don’t know, maybe we should be in the Top 25.’
“I don’t really know what to say.”
How about this: The team that played for the national title less than two years ago just lost to a commuter school whose “arena” doubles as a campus fitness center.
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?