Cheney to Lead Torture-Pride March

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Posted on 19th December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Andy Borowitz

The New Yorker

Credit PHOTOGRAPH BY SAUL LOEB / AFP / GETTY

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” on Sunday, former Vice-President Dick Cheney told host Chuck Todd that he was “sick and tired of Americans being ashamed of our beautiful legacy of torture” and that he was organizing the first “National Torture-Pride March” to take place in Washington in January.

“This is a chance for all of us torturers to say, ‘Look at us, this is who we are,’” Cheney, who will be the Grand Marshall of the parade, said.

The former Vice-President said that he was organizing the march to inspire “the millions of American kids who want to be torturers when they grow up but are afraid they’ll catch hell for it.”

“We’ll be there to say, ‘We’re torturers and we’re damn proud of it—join us,’” Cheney said.

 

TOP DRONES OF 2014

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Posted on 19th December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

MQ-9 Reaper 578-34The unanimous choice for Top Drone Of 2013 had another strong showing, but was unable to recreate the incredible run that set it apart from the pack last year, including its record-breaking 79 percent accuracy rate. However, there’s no doubt that 578-34 remains one of Operation Enduring Freedom’s best UAVs.

MQ-9 Reaper 578-34

The unanimous choice for Top Drone Of 2013 had another strong showing, but was unable to recreate the incredible run that set it apart from the pack last year, including its record-breaking 79 percent accuracy rate. However, there’s no doubt that 578-34 remains one of Operation Enduring Freedom’s best UAVs.

MQ-1 Predator 158-09This super-hot drone, which famously burst onto the scene last year at an Afghan tribal wedding, was back with a vengeance in 2014, racking up over a dozen combatant kills and only a single-digit civilian casualty count in July.

MQ-1 Predator 158-09

This super-hot drone, which famously burst onto the scene last year at an Afghan tribal wedding, was back with a vengeance in 2014, racking up over a dozen combatant kills and only a single-digit civilian casualty count in July.

MQ-1 Predator 142-92Many predicted the legendary 6-year-old 142-92 would be decommissioned in 2014, but the UAV proved to all the doubters that it can still do the job after using Hellfire missiles to destroy a line of trucks as well as the suspected neighborhood of a high-ranking Taliban insurgent.

MQ-1 Predator 142-92

Many predicted the legendary 6-year-old 142-92 would be decommissioned in 2014, but the UAV proved to all the doubters that it can still do the job after using Hellfire missiles to destroy a line of trucks as well as the suspected neighborhood of a high-ranking Taliban insurgent.

MQ-1C Gray Eagle 771-59After a rather unremarkable early few months of the year, 771-59 really came into its own in April and never looked back, killing at least two top ISIS officials and an undisclosed number of civilians. Talk about finishing the year strong!

MQ-1C Gray Eagle 771-59

After a rather unremarkable early few months of the year, 771-59 really came into its own in April and never looked back, killing at least two top ISIS officials and an undisclosed number of civilians. Talk about finishing the year strong!

RQ-4B Global Hawk 49While 49 didn’t receive as many plaudits or the same level of attention as its missile-equipped fleet-mates, it nevertheless had a banner year secretly gathering footage over Syria in November that will soon be used to justify a highly politicized increase in American military activities—paving the way for more armed UAVs in the region! 49 is a truly selfless unsung hero of this year’s drone fleet.

RQ-4B Global Hawk 49

While 49 didn’t receive as many plaudits or the same level of attention as its missile-equipped fleet-mates, it nevertheless had a banner year secretly gathering footage over Syria in November that will soon be used to justify a highly politicized increase in American military activities—paving the way for more armed UAVs in the region! 49 is a truly selfless unsung hero of this year’s drone fleet.

MQ-9 Reaper 323-14323-14 is a drone that the surviving family members of a suspected Yemeni arms trader, his wife, four kids, and two locals who happened to be passing by won’t soon forget!

MQ-9 Reaper 323-14

323-14 is a drone that the surviving family members of a suspected Yemeni arms trader, his wife, four kids, and two locals who happened to be passing by won’t soon forget!

Unnamed Lockheed Martin Weapons ProjectThough not officially acknowledged by Pentagon sources as actually existing, this advanced drone is rumored to have a vastly increased weapons payload and cutting-edge stealth technology. This is definitely a drone that you—and thousands of Middle Eastern civilians—will want to look out for next year!<br />

Unnamed Lockheed Martin Weapons Project

Though not officially acknowledged by Pentagon sources as actually existing, this advanced drone is rumored to have a vastly increased weapons payload and cutting-edge stealth technology. This is definitely a drone that you—and thousands of Middle Eastern civilians—will want to look out for next year!

Via The Onion

REAL OR FAKE?

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Posted on 19th December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

I BET YOU THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE A POST ABOUT BOOBS OR BILL CLINTON, OR BOTH.

 

Despite their great looks and smell, some Americans are starting to associate real Christmas trees with unnecessary work and hassle. Vacuuming all of those loose needles and disposing of the brown behemoth are chores you don’t have to deal with when you buy a fake tree made out of polyvinyl chloride.

More and more people are willing to sacrifice the advantages of the real deal for the one off purchase of something a little less exciting but also a little less stressful. It’s no surprise that 14.7 million fake trees were sold in the United States last year, despite their high price tag of $81 on average. In comparison, 33 million real trees were sold at an average price of $35 each in 2013. Even though more real trees were sold last year, the retail value of fakes was stronger, at $1.19 billion compared to $1.16 billion for real trees.

Infographic: Christmas Trees By The Numbers: Real vs Fake | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

HOME OF THE BRAVE?

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Posted on 19th December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Via Lonely Libertarian

AN SSS CHRISTMAS

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Posted on 19th December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Via Lonely Libertarian

POP QUIZ

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Posted on 19th December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Via Cagle Post

QUOTE OF THE DAY

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Posted on 19th December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

“America’s corporate and political elites now form a regime of their own and they’re privatizing democracy. All the benefits — the tax cuts, policies and rewards flow in one direction: up.”

Bill Moyers

United States Of Newspeak – Obama Spins Executive Orders As “Presidential Memoranda” To Avoid Scrutiny

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Posted on 19th December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

If there’s one thing we have learned about Barack Obama, it’s that he is a master of deception and absolutely loves to lie to the public. He seems to enjoy conning the plebs to such a degree, I think he actually receives blasts of dopamine every time he does it. The bigger the lie, the better the rush.

The latest example relates to his issuance of executive orders, or lack thereof, something that Obama Inc. has actively attempted to portray as evidence of his restraint when it comes to executive power. Here are a few examples from a USA Today article published earlier today.

First, from the man himself:

“The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years,” Obama said in a speech in Austin last July. “So it’s not clear how it is that Republicans didn’t seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did.”

Harry Reid also proudly chimed in:

In a Senate floor speech in July, Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “While Republicans accuse President Obama of executive overreach, they neglect the fact that he has issued far fewer executive orders than any two-term president in the last 50 years.”

Finally, the message wouldn’t be complete without some words from Bootlicker in Chief Jay Carney:

“There is no question that this president has been judicious in his use of executive action, executive orders, and I think those numbers thus far have come in below what President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton did,” said Jay Carney, then the White House press secretary, in February.

Nice spin, but what’s the truth? Also from USA Today:

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.

 

Like executive orders, presidential memoranda don’t require action by Congress. They have the same force of law as executive orders and often have consequences just as far-reaching. And some of the most significant actions of the Obama presidency have come not by executive order but by presidential memoranda.

 

The Office of Legal Counsel — which is responsible for advising the president on executive orders and memoranda — says there’s no difference between the two.

With that in mind, how does Obama’s record stand up when you combine his issuance of executive orders and executive memoranda? Well, here you go:

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 11.31.49 AM

Oh, and let’s not forget this guy still has two years left to further separate himself from the pack.

More from USA Today:

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.

 

Obama has issued executive orders to give federal employees the day after Christmas off, to impose economic sanctions and to determine how national secrets are classified. He’s used presidential memoranda to make policy on gun control, immigration and labor regulations. Tuesday, he used a memorandum to declare Bristol Bay, Alaska, off-limits to oil and gas exploration.

 

Like executive orders, presidential memoranda don’t require action by Congress. They have the same force of law as executive orders and often have consequences just as far-reaching. And some of the most significant actions of the Obama presidency have come not by executive order but by presidential memoranda.

 

Obama has made prolific use of memoranda despite his own claims that he’s used his executive power less than other presidents. “The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years,” Obama said in a speech in Austin last July. “So it’s not clear how it is that Republicans didn’t seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did.”

 

Obama has issued 195 executive orders as of Tuesday. Published alongside them in the Federal Register are 198 presidential memoranda — all of which carry the same legal force as executive orders.

He’s already signed 33% more presidential memoranda in less than six years than Bush did in eight. He’s also issued 45% more than the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who assertively used memoranda to signal what kinds of regulations he wanted federal agencies to adopt.

 

Obama is not the first president to use memoranda to accomplish policy aims. But at this point in his presidency, he’s the first to use them more often than executive orders.

 

So even as he’s quietly used memoranda to signal policy changes to federal agencies, Obama and his allies have claimed he’s been more restrained in his use of that power.

 

In a Senate floor speech in July, Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “While Republicans accuse President Obama of executive overreach, they neglect the fact that he has issued far fewer executive orders than any two-term president in the last 50 years.”

 

“There is no question that this president has been judicious in his use of executive action, executive orders, and I think those numbers thus far have come in below what President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton did,” said Jay Carney, then the White House press secretary, in February.

 

Executive orders are numbered — the most recent, Executive Order 13683, modified three previous executive orders. Memoranda are not numbered, not indexed and, until recently, difficult to quantify.

That’s precisely why Obama is utilizing them at a record clip.

Indeed, many of Obama’s memoranda do the kinds of things previous presidents did by executive order.

 

• In 1970, President Nixon issued an executive order on unneeded federal properties. Forty years later, Obama issued a similar policy by memorandum.

 

Presidential scholar Phillip Cooper calls presidential memoranda “executive orders by another name, and yet unique.”

 

The law does not define the difference between an executive order and a memorandum, but it does say that the president should publish in the Federal Register executive orders and other documents that “have general applicability and legal effect.”

 

There are subtle differences. Executive orders are numbered; memoranda are not. Memoranda are always published in the Federal Register after proclamations and executive orders. And under Executive Order 11030, signed by President Kennedy in 1962, an executive order must contain a “citation of authority,” saying what law it’s based on. Memoranda have no such requirement.

 

Whatever they’re called, those executive actions are binding on future administrations unless explicitly revoked by a future president, according to legal opinion from the Justice Department.

 

The Office of Legal Counsel — which is responsible for advising the president on executive orders and memoranda — says there’s no difference between the two.

 

Even the White House sometimes gets tripped up on the distinction. Explaining Obama’s memoranda on immigration last month, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the president would happily “tear up his own executive order” if Congress passes an immigration bill.

 

Obama had issued no such executive order. Earnest later corrected himself. “I must have misspoke. I meant executive actions. So I apologize,” he said.

Not to fear, we just found out that Jeb Bush will be running for President in 2016. There’s always something to look forward to. For example:

Here’s your American “democracy.”

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