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Immigration Fight Could Affect 2016 Elections, Just Not in the Way You Might Think

Every rag in the beltway has opined on how President Obama’s executive actions on immigration will play out in the 2016 elections. But it was Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson on Tuesday that provided the most concrete electoral consequences of the immigration fight. “We’re back in a presidential election cycle. I cannot hire new Secret Service agents, until I get an appropriations bill passed by this Congress,” Johnson told lawmakers during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing. He was reacting to a strategy being laid… Keep Reading

Pentagon Gives Non-Denial Denial on Baghdadi Wife Kidnapping

On Tuesday, Lebanese military intelligence claimed it had detained a wife and child of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after the two tried to enter the country near the Syrian border. According to a Lebanese newspaper, the two are being held at the nation’s defense ministry for interrogation. Lebanese authorities claimed the capture was in coordination with “foreign intelligence services.” Later in the day, DoD Spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby was asked by reporters if the US was involved in the capture, and if… Keep Reading

Kerry Will Only Revoke Passports At Behest of Law Enforcement

Secretary of State John Kerry has the power to revoke Americans’ passports, but one diplomat said that he will only do it on the recommendation of law enforcement officials. Ambassador Robert Bradtke, a State Department adviser on the conflict in Syria, made the remarks Tuesday before a House Foreign Affairs joint subcommittee. He cited the lack of Justice Department appeal as the reason why no US citizen fighting for an Islamist militia in Syria has had the travel document rescinded. “This is something we would only do in relatively… Keep Reading

Senate Approves, State Defends Controversial Donor-Ambassadors

The State Department defended controversial ambassador nominees approved by the Senate on Tuesday, saying that the practice of appointing campaign fundraisers as envoys is par for the course in Washington. Two boosters of President Obama, Noah Mamet and Colleen Bell, will be lead the US embassies in Argentina and Hungary. Mamet, a political consultant, and Bell, a producer of the soap opera “The Bold and The Beautiful”, were panned by Republicans for lacking relevant qualifications, given the countries’ relative significance on the world stage. Mamet was approved… Keep Reading

Expanding Corporate Debt One of “Several Threats to Financial Stability”

The Treasury Department warned Tuesday that corporate borrowing represents one of “several threats to financial stability” to have emerged during the post-2008 economic recovery. The third annual Congressional report published by the department’s Office of Financial Research found that significant corporate loan exposure, the possibility of a liquidity shortage during a downturn, and an increase in activity in “difficult to assess” sectors cast a pall over the US economy. “Assets under management have increased ten-fold over the last five years, driven by a search for… Keep Reading

Unqualified Donor to Take Key South American Ambassadorship

Argentina-US relations have been frostier in recent years due to litigation filed by a vulture fund investor. But despite the heightened sensitivity, Washington is set to send to Buenos Aires an ambassador who admitted last year to barely speaking Spanish. Late Monday, the nomination of Noah Mamet to the position passed a cloture vote. The Senate is expected to approve of his nomination Tuesday. A political consultant, Mamet’s main qualification is that he bundled over $500,000 in donations for President Obama’s re-election campaign. In his… Keep Reading

Feds Failed to Stop Nuclear Weapons Official’s Ten Year Meltdown

An office of inspector general (OIG) report that’s being withheld from the public alleged that a commander of a force that transports the nation’s nuclear arsenal engaged in misconduct over the span of a decade, and that the individual’s superiors failed to stop it. The Department of Energy OIG found seven examples of “problematic behavior” by the National Nuclear Security Administration official. The most recent example took place last year. According to the report, a squad commander for the Office of Secure Transportation (OST) engaged… Keep Reading

President Obama’s Body Cams: Videos Won’t, Haven’t Stopped Police Abuses

The White House on Monday came out with reform proposals to placate anger fueling nationwide demonstrations sparked by a grand jury’s decision to let killer cop Darren Wilson off the hook. Among the initiatives touted by the administration was $263 million in funding for training and federal aid toward community policing. The sum includes $75 million for 50,000 body cameras. It would need to be approved by Congress. But while cameras are often touted by reformers, they might not be enough to save those who… Keep Reading

President Ready to Play Shutdown Chicken Over Immigration

Without a new spending resolution, the government will shut down after December 11th. Republicans in Congress are considering using a new spending bill to defund the president’s recent executive actions on immigration. But in Monday’s press briefing, White House spokesman Josh Earnest made it clear that the president is willing to go to the ledge and over it to protect his immigration reforms. Keep Reading

White House Responds to Ferguson, Stops Short of Disarming Military Equipment

Reacting to the nationwide unrest resulting from events in Ferguson, Mo., the Obama administration on Monday announced measures aimed at fostering trust between communities and their police departments. The President will ask Congress for $263 million to pay for expanded police and training and to provide as many as 50,000 body-worn cameras to local units. The White House is also readying an executive order to add increased oversight to the several federal programs that transfer surplus military equipment to local police authorities, but the administration… Keep Reading

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