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Friday November 21st, 2014
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House GOP File Lawsuit Against Obama
House Republicans on Friday filed a long-awaited lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of overstepping his executive authority when implementing his signature health care law.
And though the suit is centered on the Affordable Care Act, the GOP moved on the legal action the morning after the president announced he will unilaterally grant temporary relief to millions of undocumented immigrants.
"Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and re-write federal law on his own without a vote of Congress. That's not the way our system of government was designed to work,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. “If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action."
Obama spurns GOP with expansive immigration orders
Spurning furious Republicans, President Barack Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration Thursday night to spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. illegally from deportation and refocus enforcement efforts on "felons, not families."
The moves, affecting mostly parents and young people, marked the most sweeping changes to the nation's fractured immigration laws in nearly three decades and set off a fierce fight with Republicans over the limits of presidential powers.
Republicans Leave Town Without A Plan to Fight Obama?
President Obama's announcement tonight may bring a “constitutional crisis,” in the words of Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), but Republicans in Congress haven't the damndest idea what they'll do about it.
As they departed the House floor, many en route to the airport for a Thanksgiving recess, many GOP lawmakers seemed as interested in explaining why options floated by colleagues from their own party wouldn't work as denouncing what they describe as an unprecedented power grab by a president they just decimated at the ballot box.
“That's the hundred million dollar question,” said Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), “How do you stop an inaction? That's the tough question that I don't have the answer to today....Just to go a step further: 'shut the government down.' That doesn't stop this inaction. Don't fund immigration service. That doesn't stop this inaction. How do you stop this inaction?”
Arizona sheriff sues Obama over immigration moves
An Arizona sheriff who has often clashed with the federal government over the enforcement of immigration laws has filed a lawsuit to stop new policies announced by President Barack Obama.
The suit filed Thursday in federal court in Washington on behalf of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio contends Obama acted outside his constitutional authority by not going through Congress.
It asks the court to block the changes that include making an estimated 5 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally eligible for work permits and for protection from deportation.
Arpaio said he went to court on behalf of himself and all Americans.
Holder urges police restraint in Ferguson response?
In advance of a decision by a St. Louis County grand jury weighing the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager by a local police officer, Attorney General Eric Holder Friday urged law enforcement authorities to minimize the potential for confrontations during possible demonstrations.
"It is vital to engage in planning and preparation, from evaluating protocols and training to choosing the appropriate equipment and uniforms,'' Holder said in a video message posted on the Justice Department website. "This is the hard work that is necessary to preserve the peace and maintain the public trust at all times—particularly in moments of heightened community tension."
Kerry and Iran Counterpart Scrambling as Monday Deadline Looms in Nuclear Talks
Iranian news agencies reported Friday that Iran’s foreign minister, the chief negotiator in the nuclear talks here, was returning to Tehran to seek further instructions from his leaders, as negotiators struggled to meet a Monday deadline for an accord.
The State Department announced soon afterward that Secretary of State John Kerry also was leaving. He was expected to stay in Paris until the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, returned to Vienna on Saturday night or Sunday, according to Western diplomats involved in the negotiations.
But their departures were delayed as Mr. Kerry planned to meet Friday night with Mr. Zarif for the third time in two days, a meeting that also was expected to include Catherine Ashton, the envoy to the talks from the European Union.
NSA Chief: Matter of Time Before Enemies Hack US Power Grid
The U.S. power grid and other crucial infrastructures have been penetrated by the Chinese and other governments, posing a serious threat to shut down the systems and create chaos through cyberattacks.
Adm. Michael Rogers, head of both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Cyber Command, a military arm charged with dealing with cyberwarfare, told the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. is vulnerable to such attacks, which could shut down utilities, fuel and water delivery, aviation, banking and other computer-based systems, CNN reports.
Al Sharpton: I Do Not Owe $4.5 Million
The Reverend Al Sharpton said the New York Times wanted to blunt his power as a national civil- rights leader by reporting that he owed millions of dollars in tax liens and penalties incurred several years ago.
Sharpton, 60, said he’s been paying his personal federal income taxes on time in quarterly installments and that his organization, the National Action Network, has paid millions of dollars to bring it up to date on current tax liability. He acknowledged that it still owes millions of dollars in disputed penalties under appeal.
“The story is at best misleading and totally out of context,” Sharpton said today at a news briefing at his Harlem- based headquarters.
Jeb Bush Hits Wall Street in Search of Financial Backing
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is reportedly lining up support on Wall Street and meeting with potential donors for a possible White House bid.
The New York Daily News reports Bush visited a downtown Manhattan bank earlier this week to secure financial backing, but that it wasn't his first financial foray.
"He's been having these secret visits with guys who can write six and seven-figure checks," one finance industry official told the News.
All the meetings have included 10 to 16 Wall Street executives, some of them major donors to the party, the industry official told the newspaper.
Obama puts the cat among the pigeons
Barack Obama put the cat among the pigeons Thursday night, but he may be surprised by how big that cat could get, and with it a big cat’s appetite for more than pigeons.
His “executive orders” demanding a stop to deportations is no doubt good news for millions of illegal immigrants — 5 million at last count — he wants to preserve and protect for Democrats looking to replenish a depleted constituency. But it’s not such good news for anyone who appreciates law and order on the border. Amnesties can be good, but they must be written carefully lest they invite more of the same misery that led to amnesty. The president’s invitation to the millions south of the border — “Come on in, I’ll find a way to make you legal later” — guarantees that hell on the border will continue, and probably get worse. The hell on the Potomac will get a lot worse.
Obama's Lawlessness demands accountability
Time and time again, President Obama demonstrates his contempt for the Constitution and for the American people, whose integrity and will must be subordinated to his personal prerogative and hijacked sovereignty.
Obama has admitted on several occasions that he had no authority to act unilaterally, via executive order, to grant amnesty to millions of immigrants who came here illegally, so his doing so is, in his own opinion, flagrantly illegal.
Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
GeneTrerally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.
The first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to Private JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made September 15, 2011 to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.
Since then there have been: • 3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
• Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the Medal of Honor.
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Rank: Master Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Detachment B-56
Division: 5th Special Forces Group
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.
From the Archives
American Fairness to a Fault — a Deadly One
Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009 02:28 PM
American’s tragic flaw is our unbridled fairness, which has been corrupted ever more by the cancer of political correctness to the point we put ourselves at risk rather than create even the perception of prejudice.
Sometime after the VOLAR (all volunteer) Army, the military veered from the “yes sir, yes sir, three bags full” blind adherence to all orders to the concept of refusing “unlawful orders” and that was ostensibly a good thing.
However, the uniformed services do not set or get to pick and choose foreign policy. The civilian leadership sets foreign policy, and the U.S. military enforces it — with a big, honking combined arms stick.
Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has been one of the rare pundits with the courage to target the “culture of political correctness” in leadership of the military. In at least two interviews on Fox, Peters (correctly) blamed the culture of political correctness for the Army’s diffidence in taking action against Nidal Malik Hasan in the wake of knowledge of the problem.
Many mechanisms exist for dealing with matters of deep conscience — all without killing those one might think disagree with in principle.
However, it is not prejudice to discriminate based on threat facts in evidence. Refusal to act judiciously for fear of a tainted perception is just plain dumb.
Notwithstanding the articulated fears of the Army chief of staff and the secretary of Homeland Security, officials made an epic mistake in handling suspicions about Hasan. A mistake founded on political correctness and sustained by diffidence that cost the lives of innocents.
Reportedly, U.S. intelligence agencies were aware (months ago) that Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al-Qaida. He spoke openly to too many people about his angst and misdirected sympathies. He was apparently a poster child for suspicion, and the Army failed bigtime to intervene.
“It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al-Qaida figures," the officials said.
But you damnbetcha they SHOULD have done so.
Investigators want to know whether Hasan maintained contact with a radical mosque leader from Virginia, Anwar al Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen and runs a Web site that promotes jihad around the world against the United States.
In a recent blog posting titled "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," Awlaki calls Hasan a "hero" and a "man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people."
Increasingly we are told people who knew or worked with Hasan say he seemed to become gradually more radical in his condemnation of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subordinates and superiors had a responsibility to flag the inappropriate rhetoric, and they apparently did not.
The fear to speak out is a symptom of the PC disease fueled by recriminations and implied threats of discrimination — a fear that indirectly resulted in mayhem.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman said, "If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance," and despite the echo of shutting the barn door after the horse got out, he is right.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr. is concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Hasan could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.” He’s right, but such a backlash would be a direct result of the failure of command — not prejudice.
When confronted about whether he thought the Army “dropped the ball” in not responding to warning signs, Casey replied that the Army needs to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on early tidbits of information.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., both of whom are veterans, took pains to say that Muslims have served honorably in the military and at risk to their lives.
“At the end of the day, this is not about his religion — the fact that this man was a Muslim,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
But, hey, it is (kinda/sorta) about religion (when the FBI says 10 percent of American Mosques preach jihad) — at least from a risk analysis perspective.