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Jose Garcia

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Member since: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 12:17 PM
Number of posts: 1,889

Journal Archives

Trump Finalizes Executive Order To Put ISIS Detainees in Guantnamo

Source: Foreign Policy

The Trump administration is finalizing an executive order that effectively tells allies and Islamic State fighters alike: Guantánamo is open for business.

The imminent directive temporarily bars the transfer of any current detainees, and instructs the U.S. military to bring any new detainees — explicitly including ISIS militants — to Guantánamo, according to a draft of the executive order, which is expected as soon as this week. The draft directive was first released on Wednesday by The New York Times, and Foreign Policy independently confirmed the details with current and former officials.

But in a clear break from Trump’s controversial Jan. 27 executive order barring refugees and travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, which is currently facing court challenges, a number of officials at the Departments of Defense and State have viewed and weighed in on drafts of the Guantánamo directive, as recently as last Friday. Trump’s national security council, while holding the order close, has made changes in response, most notably dropping language ordering a review of whether the U.S. should bring back torture and reopen CIA “black sites.”

The new directive indicates a shift in U.S. counterterrorism strategy, with a renewed emphasis on capturing suspected terrorists for their intelligence value rather than killing them in targeted strikes. Observers and lawmakers say the botched Jan. 29 military raid in Yemen was motivated in part by an eagerness to capture new detainees to put in Cuba.

Read more: http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/02/09/trump-finalizes-executive-order-to-put-isis-detainees-in-guantanamo-terrorism-cuba-war-on-terror-congress/?utm_content=buffercb428&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Top Obama official: Conway broke law by promoting Ivanka's clothing line

Source: The Hill

A former top official under President Obama is accusing White House counselor Kellyanne Conway of breaking the law by telling people to buy President Trump's daughter's clothing line in a TV interview.

Chris Lu, former deputy secretary of labor, on Thursday tweeted a screenshot of the federal ethics law he believes Conway was breaking.

"This is the federal ethics law that @KellyannePolls just violated," Lu tweeted, tagging the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/318668-top-obama-official-accuses-conway-of-breaking-the-law-with-ivanka

GOP senator: House Republicans' ObamaCare replacement plan a 'horrible idea'

Source: The Hill

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is criticizing the House GOP's proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, labeling it as “a horrible idea.”

“If we load down the repeal discussion with what comes next, I think it’s going to make it a lot harder to get either one of them done,” Lee said during a briefing, as reported by Roll Call on Thursday.

“We need to repeal it first before deciding what comes next. I think there is a lot of agreement among Republicans in Congress with regard to the repeal bill. There is a lot less agreement on what comes next,” the lawmaker added.

House Republicans have mentioned several possible ObamaCare replacement policies to include in their repeal legislation.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/318665-gop-senator-house-gops-obamacare-replacement-plan-a-horrible-idea

Dakota Access pipeline restarts construction

Source: The Hill

The company behind the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline has restarted construction in the disputed area around and under a North Dakota lake.

Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Vicki Granado said the developer started the Lake Oahe building immediately after it received the easement it needed for construction late Wednesday from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The 1.5-mile Lake Oahe section is the final portion of the pipeline to be built. Since the middle of last year, Energy Transfer ran into numerous delays, including from the Obama administration, environmental activists and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

The tribe had sued to to stop the project, saying that it violates their treaty rights and threatens the security of their water supply.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/318670-dakota-access-pipeline-restarts-construction

Ex-aide to former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown pleads guilty to fraud conspiracy, theft

Source: The Fliroda-Times Union

Ronnie Simmons, former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown’s longtime chief of staff, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a fraud conspiracy charge that strengthens the legal vise squeezing his indicted ex-boss.

Simmons, who pleaded guilty to just two of 18 charges he faced from a July indictment, also admitted stealing government money by creating a phantom job for an unnamed relative that cost the government more than $700,000 over 15 years.

“If you plead guilty, there will be no trial of any kind,” U.S. Magistrate James Klindt told Simmons before agreeingto recommend a district judge accept Simmons’ plea.

Simmons and Brown had been scheduled to go on trial in April, and Brown is still scheduled to face a federal district judge Thursday to discuss trial preparations.

Read more: http://jacksonville.com/news/2017-02-07/ex-aide-former-us-rep-corrine-brown-pleads-guilty-fraud-conspiracy-theft

Man sentenced to 30 years in Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest plot

Source: The Hill

An American man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for supporting the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria (ISIS) and for aiding two men who planned to attack a contest on drawing the Prophet Muhammad in 2015, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors pursued a life sentence for Arizona resident Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, who officials said supplied the guns his two friends used in the attempted assault.

The two gunmen were killed by a SWAT team before they were able to enter the event in Garland, Texas. A security officer was shot in the ankle, though no attendees were hurt, CNN reported at the time.

One of the gunmen, Elton Simpson, tweeted just before the attack that he and the other attacker pledged allegiance to "Amirul Mu'mineen,” likely a reference to ISIS emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/318532-man-sentenced-to-30-years-in-prophet-muhammad-cartoon-contest-plot

Pence Casts Historic Tie-Breaking Vote to Confirm DeVos

Source: Roll Call

For the first time ever, the vice president was called to Capitol Hill to break the tie on a vote to confirm a member of the Cabinet.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the Senate for the first time since being sworn in just over two weeks ago, and cast the tie-breaking vote, 51-50, to confirm Betsy DeVos as the next Education Secretary. The vice president has never done so before, according to the Senate Historian’s office.

That DeVos could not garner support from the GOP-led Senate underscored her weakness as a nominee, Democrats argued.

“She’d come into the department as a very weak Secretary of Education,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “I think to the extent she thought she was going to get major policy changes passed through Congress, that will be made much more difficult.”

Read more: http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/pence-casts-historic-tie-breaking-vote-confirm-devos

Former AG Eric Holder endorses Tom Perez for DNC chair


With an endorsement from former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder, Tom Perez hopes to distinguish himself on voting rights and redistricting — issues of critical importance inside the Democratic Party — as the race for the next party chair heats up.

Holder, who along with former President Barack Obama is heading a new redistricting reform effort aimed at pumping resources into critical gubernatorial and state legislative races over the next four years, will announce on Tuesday his support for the former U.S. Labor secretary.

“Tom not only knows how to take on big fights; he wins them,” Holder said in a statement. He cited Perez’s having sued former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio for racial profiling, stopping voter ID laws that Democrats say disenfranchise minorities, and confronting Wall Street in the subprime home foreclosure crisis.

“Eric understands that Republican threats to our nation's voting rights and civil rights are far from over, and that's why he's taking on task of holding states accountable for discriminatory redistricting plans in order to ensure that all voters can exercise their basic right to vote free from discrimination," Perez said. "He understands more than anyone that we need a fully funded and fully staffed voter empowerment office at the DNC so that we are responding in real time to the games that Republicans will try to play with our democracy.”

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/07/former-ag-eric-holder-endorses-tom-perez-dnc-chair/97576768/

Embattled mayor of Stuart resigns in aftermath of 'pig' comment about police

Source: WPEC-Ch. 12 News

Under fire for using the word “pig” when referring to police, the mayor of the Treasure Coast city of Stuart, Eula Clarke, has resigned her post.

Despite Clarke’s resignation Wednesday night, Stuart’s saga is not over. City officials voted to launch an investigation into her remarks.

Tom Campenni will step in as the city's new mayor.

“Please accept my apology. Thank you,” said Clarke.

Read more: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/sfl-stuart-mayor-resigns-cop-comment-20170202-story.html

Fifth labor group breaks with AFL-CIO to back Perez for Dem party chairman

Source: The Hill

A fifth AFL-CIO-affiliated group broke with the labor giant on Thursday to back former Labor Secretary Tom Perez over Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) in the race to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC), which counts 80,000 members nationwide, said that as Labor secretary, Perez fought to implement a rule to limit worker exposure to a chemical compound that was causing debilitating and deadly diseases among the union’s members.

“It was Tom Perez who stood up to special interests and did what was right for workers across the nation by seeing this critical rulemaking to fruition,” BAC President James Boland said in a statement. “Tom understands the importance of good jobs, fair wages, and workplace protections that keep our members safe and healthy. Tom has stood beside us for tough fights before and we know he'll continue to do so as DNC chair.”

BAC joins four other AFL-CIO-affiliated groups representing farm workers, food and commercial workers, plumbers and pipefitters, and firefighters in backing Perez.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/317491-fifth-labor-group-breaks-with-afl-cio-to-back-perez-for-dem-party-chairman
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