Politico: Price of US-Cuba Deal Is Releasing A Murderer

From the Politico:

Price of U.S.-Cuba deal: Releasing a murderer

By JOSH GERSTEIN | December 17, 2014

The deal President Barack Obama announced Wednesday setting in motion the most significant warming in U.S.-Cuba relations in half a century comes with an American concession that may be a tough sell for the White House: releasing from a U.S. prison a Cuban spy serving a life term for murder.

Except that most of the MSM, perhaps apart from the Washington Post and some Florida based outlets, are dancing in the streets.

One of the three Cubans whose sentences Obama commuted Wednesday as part of the groundbreaking  agreement between Washington and Havana is Gerardo Hernández, who was convicted in 2001 of conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the shootdown of two Brothers to the Rescue planes over Cuba in 1996, in which four Cuban émigrés aboard the aircraft were killed…

White House officials declined to answer questions Wednesday morning about the release of Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero or whether Obama granted them formal commutations.

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Meet The Cuban Five: Castro’s KGB-Trained Terrorists

From an article back in February by Humberto Fontova, via Discover The Networks:

The Cuban Five

By Humberto Fontova | February 3, 2014

Here’s what Castro’s KGB-trained terrorists (“The Cuban Five”)—convicted by U.S. Federal jury and upheld all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court—are actually guilty of…

On September 14, 1998, the FBI uncovered a Castro spy ring in Miami and arrested ten of them. Four others managed to scoot back to Cuba. These became known as the “Wasp Network,” or “The Cuban Five” in Castroite parlance. According to the FBI’s affidavit, the 26 charges against the convicted Castro-spies…

• Gathering intelligence against the Boca Chica Air Naval Station in Key West, the McDill Air Force Base in Tampa and the headquarters of the U.S.

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Obama Seeks To Reward Cuban Spying, Hostage Taking

From a cheering Associated Press:

AP sources: US, Cuba seek to normalize relations

December 17, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and Cuba will start talks on normalizing full diplomatic relations, marking the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades, American officials said Wednesday. The announcement comes amid a series of new confidence-building measures between the longtime foes, including the release of American Alan Gross and the freeing of three Cubans jailed in the U.S…

Confidence building measures like Cuba sending five spies to the US to kill anti-Castro protesters, and Cuba taking an American hostage for five years.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said the U.S. and Cuba were moving toward normalized banking and trade ties. He also said the U.S.

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Obama Releases Cuban Spies In Exchange For Alan Gross

From a cheering Associated Press:

AP sources: Cuba releases US prisoner Alan Gross

By JULIE PACE and MATTHEW LEE | December 17, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — American Alan Gross has been released from a Cuban prison after five years, as part of an agreement that also includes the release of three Cubans jailed in the United States, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday…

Obama administration officials have considered Gross’ imprisonment an impediment to improving relations with Cuba, but the surprise deal could help clear the way for broader discussions on strengthening ties and perhaps ending the decades-long U.S. economic embargo against its long-time communist foe…

This is another consequence of the midterms being over. Obama no longer needs to care about the Cuban vote. So he is doing what he has always wanted to do — make nice with the dictator Castro brothers.

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Sony Hackers Vow Terror Attacks, NYC Premier Cancelled

From Variety:

Sony Hackers Threaten 9/11 Attack on Movie Theaters That Screen ‘The Interview’

Brent Lang | December 16, 2014

The Sony hackers have threatened a 9/11-like attack on movie theaters that screen Seth Rogen and James Franco’s North Korean comedy “The Interview,” substantially escalating the stakes surrounding the release of the movie…

Here is the full message:

Warning

We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.

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CA Union Pensions Unfunded By $72B, Could Divest Coal

First there is this from a suddenly concerned Reuters:

California controller warns of $72 billion unfunded retiree benefits

By Robin Respaut | December 16, 2014

(Reuters) – California State Controller John Chiang warned on Tuesday of a growing $71.8 billion unfunded liability to cover the state’s retiree health and dental benefits…

How is that possible? We’ve been told that California is flush since they raised taxes on their residents with their blessing. Were we lied to?

The retiree healthcare liability has been a priority for Chiang, who began writing about the issue in 2007 when the unfunded cost was $47.8 billion.

So it’s almost doubled in seven short years.

"We remain dangerously complacent about a liability that has grown by a stunning $24 billion in just the past eight years.

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HSS Memo Kills Program For Enforcing Immigration Laws

From CNS News:

Obama’s Amnesty Plan Also Ends Program for Enforcing Immigration Laws

By Penny Starr | December 16, 2014

(CNSNews.com) – Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a series of memorandums on the same day the President Barack Obama announced he would take executive action to protect millions of illegal aliens from being deported[.]

So even Cabinet Secretaries can do executive orders via ‘memoranda’? Who needs Congress or silly laws?

[I]ncluding ending Secure Communities, the partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement to facilitate the enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. “The Secure Communities program, as we know it, will be discontinued,” the first line of Johnson’s Nov. 20 memo reads.

‘Stroke of a pen, law of the land. Cool.’ And never mind how much it cost to establish such a program.

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WH Panel Wants To Remove Cop Cases From Grand Juries

From The Hill:

WH task force to review grand juries’ handling of police killings

By Justin Sink | December 16, 2014

A White House panel is examining whether grand juries are the best way to review the use of deadly force by law enforcement in the aftermath of controversial decisions not to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men.

"One of the things that we will be looking at as a task force is independent review of these kinds of cases and how should that take place," Philadelphia police chief Charles Ramsey, who is co-chairing the panel, told NPR’s "Morning Edition" on Tuesday… "Is a grand jury, for an example, the proper way of doing it, with the district attorney’s involvement and that so forth?" [Ramsey] asked.

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Family Allowed To Come To US – After Donating To Dems

From the New York Times (of all places):

Ecuador Family Wins Favors After Donations to Democrats

By FRANCES ROBLES | December 16, 2014

MIAMI — The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.

Actually hundreds of thousands of dollars, as the article soon goes on to say.

The woman, Estefanía Isaías, had been barred from coming to the United States after being caught fraudulently obtaining visas for her maids. But the ban was lifted at the request of the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton so that Ms. Isaías could work for an Obama fund-raiser with close ties to the administration.

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New ICE Chief: Some Illegals Have A ‘Right’ To Citizenship

From Breitbart:

Senate Confirms New ICE Chief Who Believes Some Illegals Have a ‘Right’ to Citizenship

By Tony Lee | December 16, 2014

On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Sarah Saldana, who has said she would implement President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty and believes that illegal immigrants who qualify for it have a "right" to citizenship, to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency tasked with enforcing the country’s immigration laws.

A right based on what exactly? 

She was confirmed by a 55-39 vote.

Thank goodness the Republican leadership is letting such nominees get through before they could stop them next month.

When Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ted Cruz (R-TX), all of whom subsequently opposed her nomination, asked Saldana, the current U.S.

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Polls Show GOP ‘Leaders’ Are Ignoring Base On Amnesty

From the Daily Caller:

GOP Leaders Stomp GOP Voters on Amnesty

By Neil Munro | December 16, 2014

Polls show the GOP’s base is overwhelmingly opposed to President Barack Obama’s amnesty, yet the GOP’s business-backed leadership ruthlessly stomped on GOP legislators who opposed funding the amnesty in the 2015 government budget…

Polls show most Americans and many Democrats oppose the Obama amnesty. The opposition is particularly strong among Republicans.

What does the Republican leadership care? They are just as eager to bypass their base as Obama is to bypass Congress.

A Pew survey released Dec. 11 showed that 82 percent of Republicans oppose Obama’s plan, which was announced Nov. 20. Only 15 percent of Republicans approve of the plan. Strong opinions were even more lopsided, 71 percent very strongly against, 7 percent very strongly for.

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Hillary, Winner Of Sanger Award, Says ‘Black Lives Matter’

From an irony proof Associated Press:

Clinton rips use of torture, says ‘black lives matter’

December 17, 2014

NEW YORK –  Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she’s proud to have been part of an administration that "banned illegal renditions and brutal interrogations" and said the U.S. should never be involved in torture anywhere in the world.

If they were already illegal, why would they need to be banned? Of course, the fact is these practices were not illegal because they are not torture. Or Obama and Holder would have found someone to indict, as they had promised.

Besides, is sprinkling water up someone’s nose really worse than killing them and their family and friends with a drone?

Clinton spoke about the importance of the nation acting in accordance with its values after receiving an award from The Robert F.

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NBC Reporters Reject Own Poll Showing Support For CIA

From the Media Research Center:

NBC Reporters Reject Own Poll Showing Americans Support CIA Interrogations

By Kyle Drennen | December 16, 2014

On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell could barely conceal her disgust while reporting on a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing a majority of Americans supported the enhanced interrogation tactics used by the CIA after September 11th: "51% said that the procedures used, the interrogation enhanced tactics, which have been defined as torture, 51% said that they were acceptable under the circumstances. Only 28% said that they went too far."

Turning to NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, Mitchell cautioned that "polling is always an imprecise measure because of the way questions are asked."

Funny, but they never mention that when they get the results they wanted.

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Taliban Not Mentioned In WH Statement On School Attack

From the Associated Press:

Obama condemns ‘heinous’ terrorist shooting attack on Pakistani school that killed children

By Nedra Pickler | December 16, 2014

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Tuesday condemned a "horrific attack" on a Pakistani school that killed more than 100 children, as U.S. officials offered assistance in responding to the terrorist shooting…

Actually, the number of deaths is now over 140, including 132 children. But whose counting?

"By targeting students and teachers in this heinous attack, terrorists have once again shown their depravity," Obama said in a brief written statement. "We stand with the people of Pakistan, and reiterate the commitment of the United States to support the government of Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and stability in the region." …

In fact here is Obama’s statement in full, via From the White House website:

Statement by the President on the Terrorist Attack on the Army Public School in Pakistan

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s horrific attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan.  Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims, their families, and loved ones.  By targeting students and teachers in this heinous attack, terrorists have once again shown their depravity.  We stand with the people of Pakistan, and reiterate the commitment of the United States to support the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and stability in the region.

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Obama Disguises His Record Number Of ‘Executive Actions’

From USA Today:

Obama issues ‘executive orders by another name’

By Gregory Korte | December 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history — using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders. When these two forms of directives are taken together, Obama is on track to take more high-level executive actions than any president since Harry Truman battled the "Do Nothing Congress" almost seven decades ago, according to a USA TODAY review of presidential documents.

So we have been lied to by Obama and the Democrats and their media, who tell us that he’s done fewer executive orders than any other President in history?

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