(You might enjoy playing the video as you read; I’ll post another copy half-way down.)
Good evening; this is Howard HandUpMe with today’s news.
This week the President said that the FBI announced and we can confirm that North Korea engaged in the attack on Sony. He stressed that the US cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.
In doing a year-end wrap up of the epic effectiveness on his foreign policy, the President said: “We are leading the world in our efforts to combat climate change, the coalition of the willing to defeat ISIS, containing the spread of Ebola, and the export of democracy around the globe. He announced that this month will be the end of our 13-year combat mission in Afghanistan.
“We have set the stage for this American moment, and I’m going to spend every minute of my last two years making sure we seize it,” he was quoted as saying on Twitter.
Republicans are seething at his executive orders establishing normalized relations with Cuba, and are busy hatching plans to block them, and remind him that only Congress can lift the blockade. The President says that he will announce more specifics in his plan in the coming weeks.
In related news, due to calls from Gov.Chris Christie demanding that Barack Obama extradite ‘known New Jersey state cop killer Joanne Chesimard, also known as ‘Assatta Shakur’, Cuba’s head of North American affairs, Josefina Vidal, told The Associated Press that “every nation has sovereign and legitimate rights to grant political asylum to people it considers to have been persecuted. … That’s a legitimate right.” Neither Christie nor the White House have responded as of the airing of this broadcast.
In this year’s War on Christmas, news comes from Lansing, Michigan that public religious displays are permitted at the State Capitol during the day, but must be taken down overnight.
Christians and Satanists put up competing displays Sunday as Christmas week got underway.
The Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple set up its “Snaketivity Scene” featuring a snake offering a book called “Revolt of the Angels” as a gift. When word reached State Rick Jones, a Grand Ledge Republican, he erected a Nativity scene on Friday featuring baby Jesus, Joseph and Mary. Jones said he was happy to “represent the light and not the darkness.”
“That’s OK. We’re going to ignore them. I’m not afraid of the snake people. I’m sure that Jesus Christ is not afraid,” he was quoted as saying.
In military news, it was announced by a Navy spokesman that a new Navy laser weapon is aboard a ship in Persian Gulf as of a week ago. Touting it as efficient as well as cost-saving to taxpayers, he said:
“The new Navy Laser Weapon System now ready for action in the Persian Gulf is not only capable of blasting any “threat that comes inbound” into fiery smithereens, it’s cheap as well. With the new leaser weapon, the first “directed energy weapon”, known as LaWS for short, the Navy is not only moving into the future as it protects United States sailors, it’s saving the U.S. taxpayer a few bucks.
While a Navy ship coming under threat from an enemy vessel, a fighter jet or a even drone might normally respond with a missile such as the Standard SM2 which costs about $750,000, the LaWS can blast an attacker for just 59 cents — yes, 59 cents — for each time the laser is fired.”
That should gladden the hearts of tax-paying citizens, always hoping for ‘more bang for the buck’, especially given that the Congressional Research Service just reported that the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 have run to $1.6 trillion.
As more and larger sanctions on Russia have been passed by Congress, the War of Words between Putin and Obama have been heating up. Critics of the sanctions and the President have accused him of being outmaneuvered by Putin on all fronts. He answers critics that ‘he hasn’t been rolled by Putin’, and that ‘Putin is no chess master, and that his actions have the Russian economy ‘on the ropes’. Meanwhile, NATO on Twitter has created a plethora of videos that break propaganda myths about Russia, and demonstrate the ‘Invisible Shield’ vigilant defense-only system by triangulation through land, sea, and air components. In related news, earlier today the Ukrainian parliament renounced the country’s former non-aligned status with the aim of eventually joining NATO, to the anger of Moscow, which views the western alliance’s eastward expansion as a security threat.
The Department of Defense seems satisfied with the $550 billion allocated toward their projects; the Cromnibus totals $1.1 trillion in spending until the end of the fiscal year.
In an apparent answer to new reports showing increased homelessness and poverty rates, the President issued some statements and facts of his own this week. He is quoted as saying:
“The steps we took early on in my administration to rescue our economy…helped make 2014 the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s. Over the past 57 months, our businesses have created nearly 11 million new jobs. Through persistent effort and faith in the American people…the economy’s gotten better. In a hopeful sign for middle-class families, wages are on the rise again. There is no doubt that we can enter the New Year with new confidence that America is making significant strides.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 18,024 today.
Excuse me…wait…this just in:
In a parody of Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies in 1967, a group of Occupy Wall Street anarchists arranged a tour of the New York Stock Exchange, and when they were on the second floor balcony, threw fistfuls of ten dollar bills onto the floor of the exchange. While traders were engaged in scooping them off the floor, trade was suspended for seven minutes. Hold on; there’s more coming through my earwig…yes…
Outside on the street, three more anarchists unfurled a banner showing two cartoon figures, explaining the economy. One asks, “How does modern capitalism work again?”
“First, the 1% get all the money,” the other says.
“What comes next?” the first woman asks.
“Nothing; that’s it.”
Since the murder of two police officers in Brooklyn on Saturday, police chiefs across the nation are issuing warnings to police to be vigilant, safe, and always travel in pairs. In a statement released Saturday by the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association—the union for the NYPD says that: “The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.” Protestors are being blamed for inciting anti-police sentiment, and cheering and chanting “Death to Cops”.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said that ‘the Thin Blue Line’ is all that keeps us from total anarchy’ at a press conference on Sunday.
Tomorrow is the last shopping day before Christmas.
This is Howard HandUpMe signing off.
Good night, and good luck.
(cross-posted at My.Firedoglake.com)