A federal judge in Texas on Monday granted a temporary injunction halting President Obama’s executive-order driven amnesty program.
The ruling from U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ordered the government not to proceed with any portion of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, DAPA.
In his order the federal judge said the court found “that at least one plaintiff has satisfied all the necessary elements to maintain a lawsuit and to obtain a temporary injunction.”
“The United States of America, its departments, agencies, officers, agents and employees and Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of United States customs and Border Protection; Ronald D. Vitiello, deputy chief of United States Border Patrol, United States Customs and Border Protection; Thomas S. Winkowski, acting director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Leon Rodriguez, director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are hereby enjoined from implementing any and all aspects or phases of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents…”
The outline of plans was “set out in the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s memorandum dated November 20, 2014.”
The injunction is until “a final resolution of the merits of this case or until a further order of this court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit or the United States Supreme Court,” the judge ordered.
He cited the Obama administration’s failure to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act.
Hanen also ordered that federal officials and agencies are further enjoined from implementing “any and all aspects or phases of the expansions (including any and all changes) to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.”
That was the program begun several years ago by Obama.
The judge also explained the defendants will be allowed to “reapproach this court for relief from this order, in the time period between the date of this order and the trial on the merits, for good cause, including if Congress passes legislation that authorizes DAPA or at such a time as the defendants have complied with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.”
He scheduled a conference call for counsel following a Feb. 27, 2015, deadline for a schedule for the case to be processed.
In Austin, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, “President Obama abdicated his responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution when he attempted to circumvent the laws passed by Congress via executive fiat, and Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the president’s overreach in its tracks. We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the president’s attempt to by-pass the will of the American people was successfully checked today. The district court’s ruling is very clear – it prevents the president from implementing the policies in ‘any and all aspects.’”
It’s one of two pending cases challenging Obama’s amnesty.
The other actually was developed first, and was thrown out at the district court level.
But it now is on a fast track before an appellate court in Washington, D.C.
It was filed by attorney Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, on behalf of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona.
Klayman told WND he’s waiting now for the government to respond to the appellate court.
“We want the D.C. court to enter a preliminary injunction, stopping everything in its tracks,” he said. “We’re confident that they will agree with us.”
Obama’s amnesty plans are forecast to allow at least another five million illegal aliens in the U.S. to be given a legal status, where they could hold jobs, driver’s licenses – and critics say they would even be allowed to vote.
WND had reported earlier on the significance of the case, which was brought by 26 states against the federal government. It was predicted to go far beyond amnesty and immigration.
The fight will determine whether the United States can be run by a president and his decrees, or by a chief elected official who enforces the laws Congress writes, according to Mark Krikorian, chief of the Center for Immigration Studies, which watches the immigration situation.
“If I were a Republican politician, I wouldn’t even be arguing this on the basis of immigration,” he told WND in an interview. “I would be talking about this as just the latest and most egregious example of a president’s rule by decree.”
He said the coming dispute, which very well may extend into the 2016 presidential election or beyond, is going to decide “the balance of powers, whether Congress actually makes law or is an advisory body like the U.N. General Assembly, which is how Obama sees it.”
Obama already has challenged America’s laws a multitude of times, simply issuing orders to make changes to the Obamacare law, and on a variety of other issues, all without the benefit of a decision by Congress, which originally wrote the laws.
The fight over amnesty is one of two focal points – the other is Obamacare – of a letter-writing campaign to encourage GOP members of the U.S. House to replace Speaker John Boehner.
The “Dump Boehner Now” campaign allows voters to reach every single Republican House member with hard-copy letters asking them to reconsider their choice as speaker. The letter says House members had the chance to stop Obamacare and amnesty, but Boehner failed to take advantage.
Joseph Farah, WND founder and campaign organizer, set up the letters campaign. He said the opposition to Boehner is based on the Obamacare and amnesty program that voters rejected in the 2014 midterm elections.
The letter explains to members of the U.S. House that two issues have “prompted Americans to turn in droves to the Republican Party in November 2014 – Barack Obama’s blatantly unconstitutional executive action to provide amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, and the deliberately deceptive restructuring of America’s health-care system through Obamacare, which threatens to unravel the greatest health delivery system in the world.”
Pointing out that Republicans before the election “solemnly vowed to STOP this lame-duck president,” the letter states: “Now you have the power, right and duty to stop him.
“But it won’t happen with John Boehner leading you. You know this to be true. The trillion-dollar budget deal is just the latest proof that Boehner is not capable of leading the House to victory during this critical period.”
It’s because during the lame-duck Congress, Boehner agreed to Obama’s plan to continue funding for Obamacare and amnesty into 2015.
MSNBC did a report only days ago speculating on whether Hanen would halt the federal plan. MSNBC called Hanen “a critic of the Obama administration’s immigration policies.”
Worried MSNBC, “If Hanen decides against the Obama administration, he could block the implementation of the executive measures, which are scheduled to kick in Feb. 18. If that were to happen, the Department of Justice would almost certainly appeal the decision, which would then go to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals – yet another conservative-leaning court.”
The fact that more than half the states are participating in the case has alarmed amnesty supporters, but they still hope more and more illegals come out of the shadows and claim a place at the head of the line of those awaiting official recognition in the U.S., or at least it appears that way.
Karen Tumlin of the National Immigration Law Center told MSNBC, “People have been waiting so long for a chance to come forward and be able to work with authorization and not be looking over their shoulder all day long. We’re really trying to send the message that this should be business as usual.”
House Republicans, under Boehner, also have said they are going to take court action, but haven’t yet.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the decision was a victory.
“And a crucial first step in reining in President Obama’s lawlessness,” he added.
Klayman has explained it’s not a case mainly about immigration.
“This is fundamentally about the rule of law and our constitutional system,” he said.
“I know we would prefer, like all conservatives and patriots, to have a clear ruling that executive overreach by any president is a dangerous injury to our Constitution. Lawyers do recognize, however, that courts try to find the easiest way to reach a result. We hope to reach a ruling that the executive branch cannot rewrite the nation’s laws whether they go through the Administrative Procedures Act process or not,” Klayman said.
In an accompanying 123-page memorandum, Hanen wrote about the states’ interest in not allowing “their own resources” to be drained by the “constant influx of illegal immigrants.”
He found “States ultimately bear the brunt of illegal immigration.”
The opinion noted specifically that Washington “maintains that none of the plaintiffs have standing to bring this injunctive action. The states disagree, claiming that the government cannot implement a substantive program and then insulate itself from legal challenges by those who suffer from its negative effects.”
The judge noted the reality of the immigration situation.
“When apprehending illegal aliens, the government often processes and releases them with only the promise that they will return for a hearing if and when the government decides to hold one. In the meantime, the states – with little or no help from the government – are required by law to provide various services to this population.”
He continued, “It is indisputable that the states are harmed to some extent by the government’s action and inaction in the area of immigration.”
The judge said Obama’s program isn’t only a situation where there aren’t enough resources, so program managers pick and choose which cases to handle. Washington’s current program “is an announced program of non-enforcement of the law that contradicts Congress’ statutory goals.”
“The DHS does have discretion in the manner in which it chooses to fulfill the expressed will of Congress. It cannot, however, enact a program whereby it not only ignores the dictates of Congress, but actively acts to thwart them,” the judge said.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) fiercely criticized President Barack Obama on Wednesday for moving to ease US-Cuba relations.
“It’s absurd and it’s part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants that this administration has established,” Rubio said in a Fox News interview.
Rubio, a potential presidential candidate in 2016, was reacting to the White House’s decision to beginning normalizing relations with the Cuban government following a prisoner swap between the two countries. Like Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), who also slammed Obama Wednesday, Rubio warned that the deal will encourage other countries to kidnap Americans.
“It puts a price on every American abroad. Governments now know that if they can take an American hostage, they can get very significant concessions from the United States,” he said.
In a separate interview with the Associated Press, Rubio further said the deal will help the Castro regime in Cuba become “permanent fixtures in Cuba for generations to come.” The US has placed an economic embargo against Cuba since Fidel Castro overthrew the previous government. His brother, Raúl Castro, now leads the country.
“This is going to do absolutely nothing to further human rights and democracy in Cuba,” Rubio said. “But it potentially goes a long way in providing the economic lift that the Castro regime needs to become permanent fixtures in Cuba for generations to come.”
Rubio also released a lengthy statement vowing “to make every effort to block this dangerous and desperate attempt by the President to burnish his legacy at the Cuban people’s expense. ”
View his full statement below:
“Today’s announcement initiating a dramatic change in U.S. policy toward Cuba is just the latest in a long line of failed attempts by President Obama to appease rogue regimes at all cost.
“Like all Americans, I rejoice at the fact that Alan Gross will be able to return to his family after five years in captivity. Although he is supposedly being released on humanitarian grounds, his inclusion in a swap involving intelligence agents furthers the Cuban narrative about his work in Cuba. In contrast, the Cuban Five were spies operating against our nation on American soil. They were indicted and prosecuted in a court of law for the crimes of espionage and were linked to the murder of the humanitarian pilots of Brothers to the Rescue. There should be no equivalence between the two, and Gross should have been released unconditionally.
“The President’s decision to reward the Castro regime and begin the path toward the normalization of relations with Cuba is inexplicable. Cuba’s record is clear. Just as when President Eisenhower severed diplomatic relations with Cuba, the Castro family still controls the country, the economy and all levers of power. This administration’s attempts to loosen restrictions on travel in recent years have only served to benefit the regime. While business interests seeking to line their pockets, aided by the editorial page of The New York Times, have begun a significant campaign to paper over the facts about the regime in Havana, the reality is clear. Cuba, like Syria, Iran, and Sudan, remains a state sponsor of terrorism. It continues to actively work with regimes like North Korea to illegally traffic weapons in our hemisphere in violation of several United Nations Security Council Resolutions. It colludes with America’s enemies, near and far, to threaten us and everything we hold dear. But most importantly, the regime’s brutal treatment of the Cuban people has continued unabated. Dissidents are harassed, imprisoned and even killed. Access to information is restricted and controlled by the regime. That is why even more than just putting U.S. national security at risk, President Obama is letting down the Cuban people, who still yearn to be free.
“I intend to use my role as incoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Western Hemisphere subcommittee to make every effort to block this dangerous and desperate attempt by the President to burnish his legacy at the Cuban people’s expense. Appeasing the Castro brothers will only cause other tyrants from Caracas to Tehran to Pyongyang to see that they can take advantage of President Obama’s naiveté during his final two years in office. As a result, America will be less safe as a result of the President’s change in policy. When America is unwilling to advocate for individual liberty and freedom of political expression 90 miles from our shores, it represents a terrible setback for the hopes of all oppressed people around the globe.”
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), whose parents immigrated from Cuba and who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a blistering critique Tuesday of the Obama administration’s decision to release Cuban spies as the Castro regime freed American Alan Gross from imprisonment.
“President Obama’s actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government,” Menendez said in a news release. “There is no equivalence between an international aid worker and convicted spies who were found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage against our nation.”
Menendez added, “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.”
Gross was an American contractor who was serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba. He was trying to bring internet service to the country.
dministration officials have said the simultaneous releases were not part of a “swap” but part of a larger agreement. Menendez was not convinced.
“Let’s be clear, this was not a “humanitarian” act by the Castro regime. It was a swap of convicted spies for an innocent American,” Menendez said in his statement.
Menendez, a hard-liner on Cuba policy, will give up the gavel on the foreign relations committee in January. He has butted heads with Obama over several foreign policy flare-ups.
He did call Gross’ return “a moment of profound relief for Alan Gross and his family.”
“He should have been released immediately and unconditionally five years ago,” Menendez said. “He committed no crime and was simply working to provide internet access to Cuba’s small Jewish community. His imprisonment was cruel and arbitrary, but consistent with the behavior of the Cuban regime.”
The political ground shook in South Florida on Wednesday when President Barack Obama announced plans to restore full diplomatic relations with Communist Cuba.
Miami, the heart of the Cuban exile community, reacted with a collective shock. Hardline opponents of the Castro regime lambasted the president for what they called a betrayal.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo, a Republican whose father was a pilot in the 1996 Brothers to the Rescue mission, called the Democratic president a sellout.
“The Cuban exile community that has made a foundation out of standing firm against the Castro government has been, in essence, sold out,” he told the Miami Herald. “Those that have lost themselves to the straits of Florida, that have drowned, I feel that their memory has been sold out. The Brothers to the Rescue pilots – those American citizens – that were blown up, their memory and their families’ misery has been sold out.”
Maggie Khuly, the sister of Armando Alejandre Jr, one of the four Brothers to the Rescue members shot down, said the families of the failed mission’s victims were outraged.
“I was expecting this, but I can’t believe it,” Khuly told the Herald. “No one [in the federal government] had the decency of telling us anything.”
People across the city tuned in to watch Obama address the nation at noon. In Cuba, Raúl Castro spoke at the same time.
Several people gathered around a television set showing CNN at a waiting room at Doctor’s Hospital in Coral Gables to watch reporting from Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana, where a small group of hardliners were protesting. Early on, though, there were more reporters than demonstrators.
Then, Obama spoke.
“Wow. Wow. Wow,” an unidentified woman said when the president finished.
“Maduro is screwed,” said another, referring to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, a Castro ally. The crowd remained as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, appeared on the screen and criticized Obama from Capitol Hill.
The day began with the news that Cuba had freed American political prisoner Alan Gross on humanitarian grounds – and that the U.S. would swap three imprisoned Cuban spies in exchange for a U.S. intelligence officer detained on the island.
“We’re giving them a lot of stuff in payment for the exchange of a hostage,” Khuly told the Miami Herald. “What about human rights? It’s just incredible. I’m extremely disappointed in the president.”
Commissioner Bovo also called the move bad precedent.
“I don’t know what that does for other Americans traveling in Venezuela, in Nicarague – name your country – where now, literally, if want to extract something from the U.S., take a prisoner, trump some charges, and send them to jail,” he said.
County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a Wednesday morning interview with the Herald that he was on his way to a phone briefing by the White House on the upcoming announcement. He said he didn’t know enough to critique the White House plan, but was critical of normalizing relations.
“The Cuban government hasn’t done anything to deserve this,” said Gimenez, who was born in Cuba. “If it’s going to happen, I hope there will be positive results.”
Miami police said it was monitoring local reaction in case Obama’s announcement drew crowds or protests. Police Chief Manuel Orosa said resources would be deployed as needed “to keep everything under control and let people demonstrate peacefully.”
The department placed all personnel on alert but did not activate any special plans. Orosa said police would pay particular attention to Spanish-language talk radio in case calls go out for rallies, either for or against the policy changes.
Despite criticism of the policy overhaul, there was widespread relief over Gross’s release after five years.
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council issued a statement welcoming Gross, a Washington resident, back to the country. Gross was arrested in December 2009 while working as a subcontractor with the United States Agency for International Development to help a small Jewish community in Cuba.
The statement thanked advocates who signed petitions and wrote letters to elected officials to keep them from forgetting about Gross’s imprisonment.
“We wish Alan Gross a full recovery from the ill health that resulted from his unjust and inhumane incarceration and we send our warmest wishes to his family who has suffered such great distress during this terrible ordeal,” the statement said.
“Last night, Jews around the world kindled the first light of Chanukah, celebrating a historical victory. Tonight, as we kindle the second Chanukah candle, we know it will burn that much brighter for us in gratitude for the release of Alan Gross and for all those who championed his cause for so long.”
Local public figures also applauded Gross’s release.
“On the first day of Hanukkah, #AlanGross is released from a Cuban prison. What a great gift for his family,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle, a Cuban-American Democrat, posted to her Twitter account, @KathyFndzRundle.
Annette Taddeo, the former chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, linked to an ABC News story about the release. “Happy #Hannukkah indeed!” wrote Taddeo, who is Jewish, on her account, @Annette_Taddeo.
Miami Herald staff writers Douglas Hanks and Charles Rabin contributed to this report.
Four-star Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, used a speaking engagement at the Brookings Institute on Tuesday to deliver a stinging rebuke of the Obama administration’s handling of Iraq.
“I have a hard time believing that had we been there, and worked with the government, and worked with parliament, and worked with the minister of defense, the minister of interior, I don’t think we’d be in the same shape we’re in today,” Gen. Amos said, the Fiscal Times reported Wednesday.
It is rare for an active-duty serviceman to give such blunt public criticism of a sitting president. While Gen. Amos was careful not to mention the president by name, The Fiscal Times reported that the top general’s upcoming retirement this fall may have played a role in his decision.
“We may think we’re done with all of these nasty, thorny, tacky little things that are going on around the world – and I’d argue that if you’re in that nation, it’s not a tacky, little thing for you. We may think we’re done with them, but they’re not done with us,” the commandant of the Marine Corps added, the paper reported. “We’re probably the only country in the world that has the resources and the capability to be able to do some of this that others can’t.”
The decorated officer added that it is breaking the hearts of Marines to see many of the gains made before U.S. troops pulled out in 2011 squandered. Sunni radicals with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have taken over large swathes of Iraq since June.
Roughly 852 Marines were killed and 8,500 injured during deployments to Iraq, The Fiscal Times reported.
Radio hosts Gregg “Opie” Hughes, Anthony Cumia and comedian Jim Norton, of the popular “Opie and Anthony Show” on SiriusXM, went on a fiery tirade Tuesday against “trigger warnings” and the current culture on college campuses, which they argue is producing childish adults unprepared to deal with the “real world.”
Norton also scolded the progressive left for becoming “exactly what you hated.”
“You have become exactly [like] the conservative, religious book burners of the 40s and the 50s and the 60s. You are it!” he said. “You are the speech repressors, you are the hypersensitive ones, you are the ones who want people fired immediately, you are the ones calling for people’s jobs. You have become what you hated.”
The discussion that preluded his rant got heated after Norton brought up a recent story out of Wellesley College where “hundreds” of outrage college students objected after a lifelike sculpture of a sleepwalking man in his underwear was erected on campus. Students ended up creating a petition to have it removed.
“Oh my god,” Hughes responded. “We are raising a nation of pu***es, we’ve been saying it for years.”
In another example, Oberlin College in Ohio and other colleges have considered putting “trigger warnings” in college reading materials so that students don’t get upset or offended about controversial material. The New York Times recently reported that the warnings have “ideological roots in feminist thought.”
The warnings seek to shield students who may take offense from any racism, sexism, ableism, classism and other forms of potential discrimination or oppression.
“It’s really embarrassing this place the culture is in – there’s just no honesty in it,” Norton said.
“These little f***ing children are so afraid of reading about something unpleasant because it may trigger unpleasant feelings,” the comedian added. “They are coddled, hair-patted little babies.”
Hughes cringed thinking about what would happen when he was a student if he raised his hand and said, “I can’t read this, it’s triggering some emotions.”
“The teacher would tell you to shut your f***ing mouth, sit down and listen – and then you’d get home and get smacked,” Cumia joked.
Listen to the segment via “The Opie and Anthony Show” below ([trigger] Warning! Very strong language):
In an interview with the Daily Beast, living legend and Oscar-winner Robert Duvall blasted the Civil Rights film “The Butler” as “very inaccurate.” The 83 year-old star added, “JFK had one of the worst Civil Rights voting records,” and “All the atrocities in the South were committed by the Democratic Party.”
Duvall, a well-known Republican, also spoke about his growing dissatisfaction with the Republican Party, which he called “a mess.” Duvall describes himself as pro-choice when it comes to abortion and says he’s ready to vote Independent in 2016.
Let me say it this way: my wife’s from Argentina, she’s been here for a while, and she’s very smart. She calls herself a “tree-hugging Republican,” but she might even vote Democrat next time because the Republican Party is a mess. I’ll probably vote Independent next time. I think it was Jack Kerouac who said something like, “Don’t run down my country. My people are immigrants, so I believe in this country with all its faults. To me, it’s a big country that’s made mistakes.” Some of the bleeding-heart left-wing, extreme left-wing, are actually different from liberals. That movie The Butler? It’s very inaccurate. JFK had one of the worst Civil Rights voting records. And the Rockefeller’s were much more liberal with the blacks. All the atrocities in the South were committed by the Democratic Party, but now, everything’s been turned around in a strange way. Some of these very conservative Republicans… I don’t know, man. I believe in a woman’s choice. I believe in certain things. I hear they booed Rick Perry last night on the Jimmy Kimmel show. But it’s a great country. We’ve done bad things. Slavery was terrible. One-third of all Freedmen in New Orleans fought for the South. I can’t figure that out. Those things aren’t told in the history books. There’ve been lots of contradictions and this and that. But I think the country’s okay, and hopefully it will survive.
The full interview is very good and well worth your time.
President Obama and Democrats have been at great pains to insist they knew nothing about IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofits before the 2012 election. They’ve been at even greater pains this week to ensure that the same conservative groups are silenced in the 2014 midterms.
That’s the big, dirty secret of the omnibus negotiations. As one of the only bills destined to pass this year, the omnibus was—behind the scenes—a flurry of horse trading. One of the biggest fights was over GOP efforts to include language to stop the IRS from instituting a new round of 501(c)(4) targeting. The White House is so counting on the tax agency to muzzle its political opponents that it willingly sacrificed any manner of its own priorities to keep the muzzle in place.
And now back to our previously scheduled outrage over the Chris Christie administration’s abuse of traffic cones on the George Washington Bridge.
Yet my sources say that throughout the negotiations Democrats went all in on keeping the IRS rule, even though it meant losing their own priorities. In the final hours before the omnibus was introduced Monday night, the administration made a last push for IMF money. Asked to negotiate that demand in the context of new IRS language, it refused.
That’s a lot to sacrifice for a rule that the administration has barely noted in public, and that then-acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel claimed last fall when it was introduced is simply about providing “clarity” to nonprofits. It only makes sense in a purely political context. The president’s approval ratings are in the toilet, the economy is in idle, the ObamaCare debate rages on, and the White House has a Senate majority to preserve. With one little IRS rule it can shut up hundreds of groups that pose a direct threat by restricting their ability to speak freely in an election season about spending or ObamaCare or jobs. And it gets away with it by positioning this new targeting as a fix for the first round.
This week’s Democratic rally-round further highlights the intensely political nature of their IRS rule. It was quietly dropped in the runup to the holiday season, to minimize the likelihood of an organized protest during its comment period. That 90-day comment period meantime ends on Feb. 27, positioning the administration to shut down conservative groups early in this election cycle.
The deal being worked out between the world powers and Iran is a very bad deal that Israel is not obliged by, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday.
The two met just prior to Kerry flying to Geneva to take part in negotiations of a deal in the works that would have the international community relieve sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran freezing its nuclear activity for six months.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle were also asked to arrive at the Swiss city, making the signing of the deal on Friday all the more probable.
“I reminded him of his own words, that it is better not to reach a deal then to reach a bad deal,” Netanyahu said after the meeting. “The proposal being discussed now is a bad deal, a very bad deal. Iran is not asked to dismantle even one centrifuge, but the international community is easing sanctions on Iran for the first time in many years.”
According to Netanyahu Iran is getting everything it wants at this stage, and not giving anything in return, and this at a time when Iran is under intense pressure.
“I call on Secretary Kerry not to be in a hurry to sign, to wait and reconsider,” Netanyahu said. Repeating comments he said Thursday night, Netanyahu called this the “deal of the century” for Iran, but a bad and dangerous deal for the world.
Before meeting Kerry, Netanyahu said that he understands that the Iranians are “walking around very satisfied in Geneva, as well they should be, because they got everything, and paid nothing.”
“They wanted relief from sanctions after years of a grueling sanctions regime. They got that. They are paying nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability,” he said.
Netanyahu, in his harshest comments to date on the matter, said Israel “utterly rejects” the deal, “and what I am saying is shared by many, many in the region whether or not they express it publicly. Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to defend itself, to defend the security of its people.”
A senior State Department official said on Friday morning that Kerry was committed to doing “anything he can” to narrow differences with Iran over its nuclear program.
“This is a complex process. As a member of the P5+1, he is committed to doing anything he can [to] help narrow these differences,” the official said.
“First step agreement”
The Islamic Republic and the Western allies were working on a draft agreement during talks in Geneva that started on Thursday, ahead of a likely announcement, The Wall Street Journal cited Iranian and Western sources as saying.
Negotiators in Geneva cautioned, however, that work remained to be done in the coming hours in very complex negotiations and that a successful outcome was not guaranteed. Iran rejects Western accusations that it is seeking the capability to make nuclear weapons.
According to the proposed short-term deal, Iran would freeze its nuclear activities for the next six months, allowing for more time to reach a permanent agreement.
The Guardian reported that the “first-step agreement” is understood to include four key points:
* Iran would stop weapons-grade 20 percent uranium enrichment and turn its existing stockpile into oxide, a harmless material.
* Iran would be allowed to continue 3.5% enrichment needed for power stations, but limit the number of centrifuges being used. The deal would, however, not include any demand to remove or disable any other centrifuges.
* While still being allowed to work on its plutonium reactor at Arak, Iran would agree not to activate it for the durations of the six months. The plutonium reactor could provide for another route to nuclear weapon capability.
* Iran would not use its IR-2 centrifuges that are more advanced and capable of enriching uranium three-to-five times faster than the older model.
In exchange for these steps, the US would agree to ease some “reversible” economic sanctions, the Guardian reported, possibly by releasing some Iranian funds frozen in overseas accounts. In addition, the US could possibly relax restrictions on Iran’s petrochemical, motor and precious metals industries.
US President Barack Obama told NBC News on Thursday that while the United States was willing to provide Tehran with “very modest [sanctions] relief,” the sanctions architecture would be kept in place.
Sanctions could be tightened if Iran failed to follow through on commitments, he said.
On July 24, radio talk-host Michael Savage interviewed Charles Strange, the father of Michael Strange, one of the 22 SEAL Team Six members who died in that Chinook helicopter crash in August of 2011. This was a momentous, blockbuster interview that seems to have gone unnoticed by most of the internet.
After listening to this interview, I’ve concluded Benghazi isn’t the biggest Regime scandal. EXTORTION 17 is.
Among the claims made by Mr. Strange:
– His son and his fellow SEALS knew “something was going on with the team”, and “somebody’s leaking things out”… (besides Former CIA Director Leon Panetta and Vice President Joe Biden?) They knew “something was going on” and were putting their affairs in order.
– According to Mr. Strange, Michael along with 8 other SEALS made it out of the Chinook and were fighting on the ground.
– Mr. Strange stated that he was “100% sure” that the Regime had executed his son and the others on purpose.
– Mr. Strange was told “Michael knew what only 4 people in the world knew.”
– The chopper’s black box was never recovered because it was supposedly “washed away in a flash flood.”
– At Dover Airforce Base, after Obama told Mr Strange his son “changed the way Americans live” he embraced the weeping father, who proceeded to wipe his nose on the president’s jacket (a story Mr. Strange loves to tell, according to his wife.)
– Imam at ceremony at Bagram Air Force base condemned the men as “white devils” and “infidels”.
– All the bodies were cremated.
– According to Mr. Strange, some of the families are not speaking out because they are getting “threatened by the command”: “The checks could stop – or the kid who doesn’t have a father now, might not get a scholarship for college.”
– Mr. Strange believes his phones are tapped.
– Recently Michael Strange was awarded the Silver Star for valor. His parents were not invited to the White House for the Ceremony.
After Vice President Joe Biden revealed that SEAL Team 6 carried out the operation that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011, Strange said the members of his son’s team gave startling indications to their families they were about to meet their demise.
Charles Strange, the father of slain SEAL Michael Strange, told Savage Wednesday night that in June 2011, on at least three separate occasions his son grabbed him by the bicep and announced that he had prepared his will.
The bewildered father finally was able to find out what it all meant.
Michael Strange, his father recalled, said, “Something’s going on with the team. Somebody’s leaking things out. Something’s going on.”
Savage, reacting with emotion, asked: “Your son knew he was being sent to his death?”
Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is leading the Congressional investigation into the helicopter crash.
Did the Obama administration put a target on the backs of members of Navy SEAL Team 6? This is the question that parents of slain SEALs are now asking – and rightly so. Forget Benghazi, the IRS, Eric H. Holder Jr. and the National Security Agency spying on U.S. citizens. Important as these scandals are, what happened to SEAL Team 6 could very well dwarf them. Our government betrayed America’s finest warriors.
As if Weiner wasn’t toast enough.
A top aide to New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner had harsh words for a former intern on Tuesday, calling the woman who wrote about her experience working on the former congressman’s campaign a “slutbag” who “sucked” at her job.
In an interview with Talking Points Memo, Weiner communications director Barbara Morgan attacked Olivia Nuzzi, the former intern whose story on the campaign was published by the Daily News Tuesday. In the story, Nuzzi accuses Weiner of incorrectly calling several female interns by the name “Monica,” and claims that many interns joined the campaign with hopes of landing in the good graces of Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton.
In the interview with TPM’s Hunter Walker, Morgan lashed out at Nuzzi for taking her story to the press.
“Fucking slutbag,” she said. “Nice fucking glamour shot on the cover of the Daily News. Man, see if you ever get a job in this town again.”
Morgan denied many of Nuzzi’s claims in her Daily News piece, as well as additional accounts she published on the site NSFWCORP, including a story on multiple departures from the Weiner campaign.
According to Morgan, Nuzzi stopped interning for the campaign “like four weeks ago.” Nuzzi’s story on NSFWCORP described her as having spent “four weeks” as a Weiner intern. When asked whether the claims in Nuzzi’s stories were true, Morgan suggested many of them were “bullshit.” […]
Morgan also expressed disbelief that Nuzzi criticized her credentials.
“And then like she had the fucking balls to like trash me in the paper. And be like, ‘His communications director was last the press secretary of the Department of Education in New Jersey,” Morgan said. “You know what? Fuck you, you little cunt. I’m not joking, I am going to sue her.”
H/T Right Scoop