visionary

Members
  • Content Count

    7,393
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    25

Posts posted by visionary


  1. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8c883e55c85c4bdaa2d0807990e9dc0e/young-socialist-hardliner-will-lead-venezuelas-economy

    Young socialist hardliner will lead Venezuela's economy

     

    President Nicolas Maduro is doubling down on his existing economic policies with the appointment of a young leftist hardliner to head the country's cratering economy, setting the stage for confrontation between the ruling socialist party and the newly powerful opposition.

     

    Luis Salas, the new 39-year-old vice president for the economy, has scant administrative experience, but champions the same theories of price and currency controls that have defined Venezuela's leftist economic policy for 17 years.

     

    Like Maduro, Salas says the country is suffering from the world's worst recession and triple-digit inflation because business interests are colluding with the U.S. to sabotage the economy.

     

    He even goes further than Maduro in arguing that many of the country's problems are the result of being too capitalist.

     

    A professor at the Bolivarian University, an institution created by the late president Hugo Chavez, Salas was relatively unknown before this week. Now, the country is poring over his large body of pamphlets and letters.

     

    "Inflation doesn't exist in real life," he wrote last year.

     

    He added that prices go up not because of scarcity, but because of "capitalist economies that are driven by the desire for personal gain through the exploitation of others; by selfishness."

     

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKBN0UJ1NE20160106

    Venezuela opposition takes control of Congress in rowdy session

     

    Venezuela's opposition took control of Congress for the first time in 16 years on Tuesday in a rowdy session, setting up a power struggle with President Nicolas Maduro amid a worsening economic crisis.

     

    The Democratic Unity coalition won a two-thirds majority in December's legislative election by capitalizing on anger over a shrinking economy, soaring prices and chronic product shortages reminiscent of Soviet-bloc economies.

     

    Maduro dismissed the new assembly as "right-wing" and filled with "dinosaurs" and said a cabinet change first announced a month ago would take place on Wednesday to shore up the leftist movement founded by late president Hugo Chavez.

     

    Veteran opposition legislator Henry Ramos was elected the new head of Congress in a session in which the two sides chanted slogans at one another and traded charges of corruption and betrayal.

     

    "What did we offer in our campaign? To recover the autonomy of the legislative branch," said Ramos in his opening speech to Congress. "This has been the loudspeaker of the presidential palace, the echo chamber of the executive branch."

     

    Venezuela's frustrated opposition supporters were glued to television and radio sets, delighted as they watched top Socialist Party leaders being publicly accused of corruption and mismanagement.

     

    Ramos flaunted the opposition's newfound control over the legislature by abruptly cutting off one Socialist Party deputy's diatribe against the opposition, saying he had run out of time.

     

    When heckled by another socialist deputy over a procedural complaint, Ramos brushed him aside by saying "Take it easy, congressman, things have changed here."

     

    Reporters interviewed deputies and walked freely on the floor of Congress for the first time in years, a practice that had been prohibited by the socialist leadership.

     

    A portrait of Chavez that hung in the main congressional chamber, a symbol of what critics call illegal politicization of public institutions, was removed.


  2. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/syrian-refugees-find-a-safe-haven-in-amish-country/

    Syrian refugees find a safe haven in Amish country

     

    As people debate allowing Syrian refugees to enter the United States, Farhan Al Qadri and his family are actually doing it.

     

    The Al Qadris — Farhan, his wife Muna, and four of their nine children — moved to the United States in June. Their first glimpse of the U.S. was the inside of JFK Airport in New York, before they were shuttled to the farmlands of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where they now live in a three-bedroom rowhouse in the heart of the city.

     

    They are part of the fallout of a grueling nearly five-year civil war in Syria that has killed more than 200,000 people and forced millions from their homes.

    The Al Qadris fled their hometown of Daraa in southwestern Syria with the few clothes they could carry after their house was caught in the crossfire between government and rebel forces.

     

    Sitting on a flower-patterned sofa one afternoon in December, Farhan Al Qadri scrolled through photos on his phone showing the busted windows of his family’s whitewashed home in Syria, lamenting what they left behind that day in August 2012 when they had to cross the border into Jordan.

     

    The family is safe now in Pennsylvania, but face a whole new set of challenges in a foreign land. He shakes his head at a water leak above the window in the kitchen, where his wife is making a huge batch of yogurt and fresh soup with onions and spinach for dinner.

     

    He’s hoping to earn enough at his $10.50 per hour job washing equipment at an egg processing plant to eventually move into a nicer home, something closer to what his family was accustomed to in Syria. There, he owned a grocery store and an olive grove. But they hold no hopes of returning. “In Syria, it’s very bad now, lots of fighting,” he said in halting English.

    Many of his friends have gone to Canada, which has promised to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees. “They help with money, a house and clothes. It’s good for Syrians,” he said. “But here now, it’s difficult, I don’t know about the U.S.A.” because of the current backlash.

     

    “Some think Muslims are not good, and some Muslims aren’t good,” points out his teenage daughter, Maha. “But it’s the same with Americans. Some are good and some aren’t good.”

     

    Maha, 19, who is learning how to drive and is a fan of Adele’s song “Hello,” is looking forward to attending college and possibly becoming a doctor. “Here, there is a future,” she said in the small bedroom she shares with her younger sister.

    The Al Qadris were the first of three families to arrive this year in Lancaster, a city of about 60,000 people.

     

    They underwent two years of security and health screenings. During that time, his 19-year-old son Ahmed turned 21. No longer a dependent, he will have to apply to come to the United States on his own. Four other children are grown and live elsewhere: two sons are in Germany, another in Kuwait and a married daughter lives in the United Arab Emirates.

     

    When families apply for refugee status from the United Nations, they go through a multi-level process to verify their identities, background and the threats they face at home. The United States requires another 13-step process for admission, including security clearances, in-person interviews and FBI fingerprinting.

     

    The Syrian families are high priority because they involve children, said Stephanie Gromek, a community resource coordinator with Church World Service in Lancaster, one of the nonprofits that helps resettle immigrants. Still, the vetting process is long and involved, she said. Each family member undergoes the 13 checks and if any step expires before the process is completed, they must redo that portion.

     

    The approved cases are then brought before nine U.S. resettlement agencies, and they determine which of the 360 U.S. cities that offer resettlement has the capacity to take the families, based on medical needs or other resources the city can provide.

     

    Once the families are accepted somewhere, the International Organization for Migration is notified and coordinates their transportation. The family pays back the travel costs after they are settled and start acquiring income.


  3. Don't **** with vegetarians. They can control plants and trees and ****. You try to square up and out of nowhere some gigantic vine is gonna come out like Jumanji and strangle you. Not even your delts could survive that\

     

    • Like 1

  4. Sad article.

     

    http://www.politico.eu/article/we-caved-barack-obama-america-military-cairo/

    ‘We caved’

     

    What happened when Barack Obama’s idealistic rhetoric collided with the cold realities of war and dictatorship in the Middle East and beyond.

     

    On a late July day this past summer, a roar filled the sky over Cairo. It was the sound of Barack Obama’s capitulation to a dictator.

     

    Eight new American fighter jets, freshly delivered from Washington, swooped low over the city, F-16s flying in formation. As they banked hard over the city’s center, they trailed plumes of red, white and black smoke—the colors of the Egyptian flag.

     

    For Egypt’s brutally repressive president, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the spectacle was a triumph, symbolizing not only his militaristic power at home, but also his victory over an American president who had tried to punish him before surrendering to the cold realities of geopolitics.

     

    Just two years earlier, Sisi had seized power in a military coup, toppling Mohamed Morsi, the democratically elected successor to Hosni Mubarak, himself a strongman of 30 years pushed out in early 2011 by mass protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. In the summer of 2013, Sisi followed his coup with a brutal crackdown that would have done Saddam Hussein proud. His security forces arrested thousands of people, including much of his political opposition, and in one bloody day that summer, they gunned down some 1,000 pro-Morsi protesters (or more) who were staging peaceful sit-ins. The massacre was shocking even by the standards of Egypt’s long-dismal human rights record.

     

    Obama was appalled. “We can’t return to business as usual,” he declared after the slaughter. “We have to be very careful about being seen as aiding and abetting actions that we think run contrary to our values and ideals.”

    But a fierce internal debate soon broke out over whether and how to sanction Egypt further, a fight that many officials told me was one of the most agonizing of the Obama administration’s seven years, as the president’s most powerful advisers spent months engaged in what one called “trench warfare” against each other. It was an excruciating test of how to balance American values with its cold-blooded security interests in an age of terrorism. Some of Obama’s top White House aides, including his deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, and the celebrated human rights champion Samantha Power, now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, urged the president to link further military aid to clear progress by Sisi on human rights and democracy. But Secretary of State John Kerry, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Hagel’s successor, Ash Carter, argued for restoring the aid. Trying to punish Sisi would have little effect on his behavior, they said, while alienating a bulwark against Islamic radicalism in an imploding Middle East. “Egypt was one of the most significant policy divides between the White House and the State Department and the Department of Defense,” says Matthew Spence, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East policy.

     

    For months, Obama tried to split the difference. In meetings and phone calls with the Egyptian ruler, by now paranoid and resentful about America’s intentions, Obama and Kerry urged Sisi to respect human rights, while also seeking his help in countering the the metastisizing Islamic State in nearby Syria and Iraq. Sisi did little of either.

     

    In the end, Obama folded. This past March, he called Sisi once again, this time to explain that he would release the cash transfers and delayed hardware—including the F-16s—and end the administration’s threats to block the larger $1.3 billion annual aid package.

    “The rhetoric got way ahead of the policymaking,” says Michael Posner, who served as Obama’s top State Department official for human rights and democracy in his first term. “It … raised expectations that everything was going to change.”

     

    He’s never quite melded his rhetoric with his policies,” says Dennis Ross, who served as Obama’s top Middle East aide in his first term. Adds Robert Ford, who was Obama’s ambassador to Syria before resigning in frustration over the president’s policy there: “It seems like we are swinging back to the idea that we must make a choice between supporting dictators or being safe.”

     

    Their views were echoed in many of more than two dozen recent interviews with current and former administration officials, members of Congress, experts and activists—interviews that revealed a striking degree of frustration and disillusionment. Many Obama supporters started out believing that the president had grand ambitions for replacing George W. Bush’s militaristic posture with a more enlightened and progressive approach to the world before coming to believe they had misread a president who was not the idealistic internationalist they had thought he was.

     

    In hindsight, it seems clear that Obama came to office far more focused on showing the world that the Bush era was over than on any coherent strategy of his own for advancing human rights or democracy.

     

    But it didn’t seem that way at the time: Obama’s aides entered the White House full of plans for “dignity promotion”—a favorite phrase of Power’s meant to signal a contrast with Bush’s post-9/11 talk of “democracy promotion” and his second-term “Freedom Agenda” that many came to equate not with Bush’s lofty goal of “ending tyranny in our world” but with imposing Western values on countries like Iraq and Afghanistan at gunpoint.

     

    Obama’s early rhetoric as president suggested a real shift, the hopes for which were reflected in his remarkable receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize during his first year in office; in accepting the award, he acknowledged the struggle of protesters and democrats everywhere. When Obama went to Egypt in June 2009, he gave an address to the Muslim world at Cairo University in which many heard an inspiring celebration of universal values. Freedom, justice, honest government: “These are not just American ideas; they are human rights,” Obama said. “And that is why we will support them everywhere.”

     

     

     

     

    https://twitter.com/MahirZeynalov

    Turkey summons Iran ambassador to the Foreign Ministry to protest media reports linking Saudi executions to Erdogan.

    5:24 PM

     

    Turkey strongly condemned the media reports and asked Iran's ambassador to immediately halt the negative news coverage about Erdogan.
    5:26 PM

     

    Turkey also told Iranian ambassador that attacking Saudi diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad is unacceptable.
    5:27 PM

     

    https://twitter.com/Joyce_Karam

    So far diplomatic escalation vs. Iran in Saudi, UAE, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, Djibouti, Bahrain, Somalia, Sudan, Kuwait
    5:28 PM

  5. http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-northkorea-nuclear-idUKKBN0UK0AC20160107

    South Korea seeks U.S. strategic weapons after North's nuclear test

     

    South Korea is in talks with the United States to deploy U.S. strategic weapons on the Korean peninsula, a South Korean military official said on Thursday, a day after North Korea said it successfully tested a hydrogen nuclear device.

     

    South Korea also said it would resume propaganda broadcasts by loudspeaker into North Korea from Friday, which is likely to infuriate its isolated rival, in response to its fourth nuclear test.

    The United States and weapons experts voiced doubts the device North Korea tested on Wednesday was a hydrogen bomb, but calls mounted for more sanctions against it for its rogue nuclear programme.

     

    The underground explosion angered China, which was not given prior notice although it is North Korea's main ally, pointing to a strain in their ties.

     

    The test also alarmed Japan. Its prime minister, Shinzo Abe, agreed with U.S. President Barack Obama in a telephone call that a firm global response was needed, the White House said.

    Obama also spoke to President Park Geun-hye of South Korea to discuss options.

     

    A South Korean military official told Reuters the two countries had discussed the deployment of U.S. strategic assets on the divided Korean peninsula, but declined to give further details.


  6. In case anyone was thinking...maybe things were calming down a bit...nah.

     

    https://twitter.com/AFP

    BREAKING Iran bans all products from Saudi Arabia after ties cut
    5:36 AM

     

    https://twitter.com/AmichaiStein1

    BREAKING: Iran says Saudi Arabia has conducted a missile strike on its embassy in Yemen
    5:53 AM

     

     

     

     

    In other news:

    https://twitter.com/SkyNewsBreak

    Reuters: security sources say gunmen have opened fire on a tourist bus at a hotel in Cairo - no deaths have been reported
    4:57 AM

     

    https://twitter.com/SkyNewsBreak

    Update - Reuters: Hospital sources say at least 65 people have been killed in a truck bombing at police training centre in Zliten in Libya
    5:38 AM

  7. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/767643948dc54b0ea9b0708653f67a55/china-firmly-opposes-north-koreas-claimed-bomb-test

    China 'firmly opposes' North Korea's claimed bomb test

     

    North Korea's main ally China said it "firmly opposes" Pyongyang's purported hydrogen bomb test and is monitoring the environment along its border with the North near the test site.

     

    China plans to summon North Korea's ambassador in Beijing to the Foreign Ministry to lodge a strong protest, spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a daily briefing Wednesday. China made a similar protest after the North's last nuclear test in 2013.

     

    Wednesday's reported test was performed in defiance of the international community and in contravention of its earlier denuclearization promises, Hua said.

    "North Korea should stop taking any actions which would worsen the situation on the Korean peninsula," Hua said.

     

    Environment bureau technicians were monitoring conditions near the border but air quality near the bomb site was within the normal range, Hua said.

     

    In the longer term, North Korea should return to long-stalled six-nation denuclearization talks hosted by China, Hua said. North Korea abandoned that process in 2009, saying it would continue its nuclear program to produce a deterrent against alleged threats from the U.S. and other enemies.

     

    While she made no mention of measures to respond to a test, analysts say Pyongyang's proceeding against Beijing's objections would seriously harm a relationship already under considerable strain.

     

    That will likely include agreeing to tougher U.N. sanctions against Kim Jong Un's hard-line communist regime and possibly unilateral trade restrictions that could hurt the North's moribund economy.


  8. https://twitter.com/zaidbenjamin

    SouthKorea FM convenes emergency meeting over N.K. quake - Agency
    9:23 PM

     

    https://twitter.com/AndrewBeatty

    AFP - Chinese officials say North Korea quake a "suspected explosion"
    9:28 PM

     

    https://twitter.com/AFP

    BREAKING: North Korea quake possible 'nuclear test': Japan
    9:34 PM

     

    https://twitter.com/BNONews

    NORTH KOREA SAYS WILL MAKE 'SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT' AT 12:30 P.M.  (11 P.M. ET) http://bit.ly/1PJaLjp
    9:34 PM

  9. http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/endowments-ministry-instructs-imams-prohibit-participation-jan-25-protests

    Endowments Ministry instructs imams to prohibit participation in Jan 25 protests

     

    The Religious Endowments Ministry distributed a leaflet to mosques on Monday that instructs imams to prohibit participation in protests on January 25 during Friday sermons.

    The leaflet quoted a fatwa issued by Dar al-Iftaa that says protesting on that day violates Islam and is forbidden in accordance with Islamic teachings.

    The leaflet described the call for protests on January 25 as a "full crime, and poisoned ominous calls that aim at sabotage, murder and destruction in the country". The fatwa also accused calls for protests as a desire to "get Egyptians implicated in violence and terrorism to serve the enemies of the homeland".

    The leaflet said imams should ask people to learn a lesson from other countries in the region that have been destroyed by chaos, and to appreciate the blessings of security and stability. The leaflet also encouraged imams to call on people to unite and build the country rather than destroy it.

    Maintaining the security of the homeland and defending it is a sacred duty and harming public property is prohibited by Islam, the leaflet stated.

    Informed sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Endowments Mohamed Minister Mokhtar Gomaa has instructed Endowments departments nationwide to send the names of imams who will not abide by the instructions stated in the leaflet so that they may be deprived of a LE 10,000 bonus disbursed to imams at the end of January and to include them in the ministry's blacklisted employees.


  10. I just started to watch it, I give it a thumbs up, quite original.

    Storyline: After the attempted suicide of his only son, judge Pernell Harris believes to hear the voice of God. He told him to discover and bring to justice the criminals. He is ncouraged by pastor of questionable morals, and helped with a former violent fanatical prisoner to fulfill his vendetta.

    Throughout the first episode I was kind of waffling on the show, thinking "ok, this is pretty weird."  But I'm hooked and on episode 5 now.  Might not get any sleep tonight, lol.

     

     

    Just noticed there's a War And Peace Miniseries airing on Lifetime/HistoryA&E soon.  Could be interesting. 

    http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/war-and-peace?cmpid=CM_Amazon_MYL_WarAndPeace_20152112

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3910804/?ref_=nv_sr_1

    • Like 1

  11. http://www.reuters.com/article/uk-venezuela-economy-idUKKBN0UJ03320160105

    Venezuela's Maduro limits congressional oversight of central bank

     

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday eliminated the National Assembly's control over nomination and removal of central bank directors through a legal reform that the opposition slammed as aimed at curtailing its power a day before it takes leadership of the legislature.

     

    Venezuela's opposition trounced the ruling Socialist Party and its allies in legislative elections in December, winning two-thirds of the Congress, in large part due to voter fury over a brutal economic crisis.

     

    In a televised speech Monday night, Maduro said he may ask the National Assembly to approve an "economic emergency."

     

    One of the opposition's key economic aims was to try to overhaul the central bank amid triple-digit inflation, recession and widespread shortages. Opposition lawmakers-elect had vowed to pressure the bank into revealing data on inflation and gross domestic product, neither of which has been published for more than a year.

     

    "The reform is a legal monstrosity to protect a highly questioned president. It goes against the constitution," Jose Guerra, a newly elected opposition lawmaker and a former director of the central bank, wrote on Twitter.

     

    Maduro, in his televised speech, said: "I'm evaluating the strengthening of a strategic plan. ... We are going to activate an emergency plan and reconstruct our economy." He provided no further details.

     

    The law previously required the president to seek the approval of Congress when naming or firing central bank directors. This power now rests in the hands of the president following the change to the law, which was signed on Wednesday.

     

    The outgoing Congress had granted Maduro special powers to legislate by decree until Dec. 31.

     

    The last-minute change also allows the bank to classify data if it is considered a threat to national security or economic stability, and allows it to allocate financing to the state and its institutions without legislative approval.

     

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-usa-idUSKBN0UI1Y520160105?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

    U.S. says Venezuelan government interfering in new National Assembly

     

    The United States expressed concern on Monday that the Venezuelan government is trying to obstruct the actions of the country's National Assembly, which convenes on Tuesday for its first session with an opposition majority in more than 16 years.

     

    "We are concerned by the Venezuelan government's efforts to interfere with the newly elected National Assembly exercising its constitutionally mandated duties," State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters, without giving details.

     

    President Nicolas Maduro responded saying that Venezuela would "not accept imperialism."

     

    "Why does the State Department and the U.S. government care about the installation of the National Assembly?" Maduro said during a television address on Monday evening.

     

    In a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, Senator Robert Menendez, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he was deeply troubled by attempts by Maduro's government to "reverse the results" of the National Assembly elections.

     

    Menendez, who sponsored a bill that imposed sanctions against Venezuela in 2014 after a crackdown on political opponents, urged the White House to take further measures to stop Maduro's government from trying to undermine a meaningful political transition in Venezuela.


  12. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/05/us/politics/obama-says-he-will-act-on-gun-control-in-coming-days.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

    Obama to Expand Gun Background Checks and Tighten Enforcement

     

    President Obama will announce executive actions on Tuesday intended to expand background checks for some firearm purchases and step up federal enforcement of the nation’s gun laws, White House officials said Monday, once again trying to sidestep a gridlocked Congress on a politically divisive issue.

     

    But faced with clear legal limitations on his authority, Mr. Obama will take modest steps that stop well short of the kind of large-scale changes to the gun trade that he unsuccessfully sought from Congress three years ago. That legislation would have closed loopholes that allow millions of guns to be sold without background checks at gun shows or in online firearm exchanges.

     

    Instead, Mr. Obama will clarify that existing laws require anyone making a living by selling guns to register as a licensed gun dealer and conduct background checks. White House officials said the president would note that criminal penalties already exist for violating those laws.

     

    “We have to be very clear that this is not going to solve every violent crime in this country,” Mr. Obama said on Monday, ahead of a formal announcement on Tuesday. “It’s not going to prevent every mass shooting; it’s not going to keep every gun out of the hands of a criminal.”

    A spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association said on Monday that the organization’s lawyers would look at the president’s proposals more closely to determine if there was anything they might go to court to challenge. But she said at first glance the plan seemed surprisingly thin.

     

    “This is it, really?” asked Jennifer Baker, an official with the N.R.A.’s Washington lobbying arm. “This is what they’ve been hyping for how long now? This is the proposal they’ve spent seven years putting together? They’re not really doing anything.”

     

    Representative Mike Thompson, Democrat of California and the chairman of the gun control caucus in the House, praised the president for taking action but said it would not be enough to solve the problem of mass shootings and gun violence.

     

    “I think he’s done all that he can do under his authority,” Mr. Thompson said. “What really needs to be done is the laws need to be changed. There needs to be a law that says you buy a gun, you get a background check.”


  13. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ff-militia-oregon-20160103-story.html

    As Oregon occupation grows, rancher and his son quietly surrender

     

    As activists continued an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge, the Oregon rancher and his son who helped inspire the protest quietly surrendered to prison authorities Monday in Southern California.

     

    Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son Steven Hammond, 46, were ordered back to prison when a judge decided they had not spent enough time behind bars for setting a pair of fires they said was intended to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires.

     

    Karyn Gallen, niece of Dwight Hammond, was on hand when her relatives surrendered.

     

    Gallen said the two had flown down from Oregon and spent time with relatives in Southern California before turning themselves in at the Terminal Island federal correctional facility in San Pedro.

    But what they are looking for is still unclear.

     

    At a Monday news conference, Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward pleaded with the activists to leave the area. He leaned into a bank of microphones and said he was addressing the activists themselves.

     

    "The Hammonds have turned themselves in,” Ward said. “It’s time to go home, return to your families."

     

    Ammon Bundy, another leader in the armed occupation, said the group is now seeking to “unwind” federal ownership of lands in Harney County.

    What were less clear were their immediate goals.

     

    Bundy agreed with a reporter who asked whether the group had sent the message it desired by occupying the facility, but was cagey about the activists’ plans. Bundy mentioned “teams” of activists “working the land,” but did not clarify what he meant, or whether there would be occupations of more land.

     

    “We have teams that are going to be doing that,” Bundy said.


  14. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/obama-family-deportation-raids-217329

    Obama administration kicks off family deportation raids

     

    The Obama administration confirmed Monday that it began a new wave of arrests of Central American immigrant families over the weekend, moving forward with deportations of mothers and children despite an outcry from immigrant rights groups and potential political fallout for Democrats.

     

    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement that 121 people were taken into custody in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina in recent days and will soon face deportation.

     

    "This past weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) engaged in concerted, nationwide enforcement operations to take into custody and return at a greater rate adults who entered this country illegally with children," Johnson said. "This should come as no surprise. I have said publicly for months that individuals who constitute enforcement priorities, including families and unaccompanied children, will be removed."

     

    White House press secretary Josh Earnest acknowledged "some discussions" between the White House and DHS over policy matters related to the raids, but did not get into specifics. He said President Barack Obama supports deportation of those who recently entered the U.S. illegally.

     

    "Some operations have taken place that have been focused on individuals, deporting individuals that have recently crossed the border. That is consistent with the kinds of enforcement priorities that the president and the secretary of homeland security discussed more than a year ago," Earnest said at the daily briefing for reporters. "Certainly, people should take from this the understanding that the administration is quite serious about enforcing our immigration laws."

     

    Johnson said the batch of deportees were among immigrants who crossed the southern U.S. border illegally since May 2014. That's when the U.S. began experiencing a surge of families and unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Officials say such crossings decreased by early last year, but began to pick up again in recent months.

    The disclosure kast month of the planned raids drew immediate criticism from Democratic presidential candidates. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley condemned the planned actions, while frontrunner Hillary Clinton issued a more muted statement through a spokeswoman, who said Clinton had "real concerns" about the plans. Word of the planned raids also highlight a political predicament for Clinton, who endorsed quick return of illegal immigrant children in 2014 but is also trying to court Latino voters.

     

    On Monday, Clinton's camp seemed uncomfortable with the scope of the enforcement drive the Obama administration has embarked on.

     

    "Hillary Clinton believes the United States should give refuge to people fleeing persecution, and should be especially attentive to the needs of children," spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said. "Families who arrive here should be guaranteed due process on their asylum petitions, including a full and fair opportunity to tell their stories. She believes we should not be conducting large-scale raids and roundups that sow fear and division in our communities."


  15. I don't know, he was pretty terrible and hasn't been a good coach for a couple years now. Hopefully the Giants hire another Fassel-like donkey.

    Well, they did get to a Superbowl with Fassel in 2000.


  16. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000617019/article/chargers-keep-mike-mccoy-as-head-coach

    Chargers keep Mike McCoy as head coach

     

    The San Diego Chargers are one of the few losing teams that will not be pushing the panic button this offseason.

     

    Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the team will not fire head coach Mike McCoy. The news was first reported by the San Diego Union Tribune.

     

    John Spanos, the team's president of football operations, issued a statement on Monday afternoon seeming to confirm the news, and reiterate his confidence in both McCoy and general manager Tom Telesco.

    "As the 2015 season has now concluded, we are disappointed with the outcome as our expectations have not been met," Spanos said in the statement. "I have the utmost confidence in our leadership. Tom Telesco, Mike McCoy and I have already begun evaluating every aspect of the team to take the essential steps to put a winning product back on the field. We will waste no time in making the necessary changes.

     

    "Throughout a trying season, our players never wavered in their dedication or commitment to the team. I firmly believe the decisions made today and moving forward will get us back on track in 2016. Thank you for your unwavering support and passion."

     

    McCoy went 9-7 in each of his first two years with the Chargers before a 4-12 campaign in 2015. The last-place finish was tough to stomach for an organization that does not know where it will be playing football a year from now. At least they can now take solace in knowing that Philip Rivers will be under center and McCoy will be on the sidelines.

     

    The warm feelings will probably not last in San Diego for long. Per Rapoport, the concession to keep McCoy will likely mean that staff changes are on the way. Rapoport mentioned defensive coordinator John Pagano, brother of Indianapolis head coach Chuck, as one of the potential changes.


    https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter

    Tom Coughlin has informed his coaching staff that the Giants are making a head coaching change, source tells ESPN.
    2:13 PM