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Irish lesbian makes history as first woman to receive green card after her same sex marriage


Catriona Dowling, holding her son Cian, 6, and Cathy Davis celebrate after learning that DOMA has been struck-down.


An Irish woman has made history as the first lesbian to receive a green card since DOMA, the Defence of Marriage Act, was struck down.

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, Cathy Davis, an emergency room nurse from Dublin,  has been issued with residency documents she is entitled to after her 2012 marriage to Catriona Dowling.

Dowling also from Dublin is a naturalized U.S. citizen. The couple met on a climbing trip in the Himalayas.

Davis is the first immigrant to become a permanent resident in the U.S. through marriage to her same-sex spouse according to the website americablog.com. The couple have three adopted children.

The blog says the couple joined The DOMA Project and filed a green card petition based on their marriage in June of 2012 to prevent their family from being torn apart and to demand equality under the law.

They hit a problem last year when an extension of Cathy’s work visa was denied.

The report says that after filing a green card petition and the application to adjust status to permanent residence, Cathy received an employment authorization card which allowed her to work and contribute financially to support her family.

The couple were scheduled for a green card interview with USCIS in Denver last January when they were told that their case could have been approved that day if they had been a man and a woman.

The interviewing officer however put the case on hold at the request of the couple’s attorney, DOMA Project co-founder, Lavi Soloway.

The first stand alone green-card petition was approved on June 28 for Julian Marsh and Traian Popov in Florida.

The blog outlines how the approval of a green card petition filed by a U.S. citizen is the first of a two-part process through which the spouse obtains status as a ‘lawful permanent resident’ and receives the actual green card.

Marsh and Popov will complete the second part and receive a green card later this year. Cathy and Catriona, who are raising a family together, are the first same-sex couple to have a marriage-based green card issued by USCIS.

via Irish lesbian makes history as first woman to receive green card after her same sex marriage | Irish News | IrishCentral.

Austerity Today- Austerity Won’t Work if the Roof Is Leaking


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 Austerity Won’t Work if the Roof Is Leaking


New York Times
Hasn’t Germany been one of the most outspoken advocates of fiscal austerity after the financial crisis? Yes, and that’s not a contradiction. Fiscally responsible businesses routinely borrow to invest, and so, until recently, did most governments 
See all stories on this topic »

 

Anxious, austerity-minded, but worldly: the young Britons of Generation A
The Guardian
This is Generation Y, born between the 1980s and the millennium, hammered by the recession andausterity. Generation Y faces more years of financial slowdown, but what is to become of the cohort following in its footsteps, arguably moving through an 
See all stories on this topic »

 

Labour and the Tories’ woes show our political system is breaking apart
New Statesman
On the other side of the political aisle, activists from the People’s Assembly Against Austerity don’t think much of Labour either. One of their luminaries, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, spelled out why in his Staggers piece last week, berating 
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Potential Mistakes (Wonkish)
New York Times (blog)
Understating output gaps leads to excessive demands for austerity and excessive complacency at central banks; this perpetuates the depression; and the longer the depression goes on, the more misleading the standard estimates become. So it’s good news 
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Municipal workers protest in Greece over government layoff plans
Press TV
Greece has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and is experiencing its fifth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left about half a million people without jobs.” Greek municipal employees have held demonstrations against 
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Calls for a 5pc rise in welfare cash for our poorest OAPs
Herald.ie
Age Action Ireland says the cumulative impact of a series of austerity budgets is having a devastating impact on our senior citizens. The advocacy group has pleaded with the Government, particularly Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, to include a 
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Bulgaria’s president calls for early elections amid mass anti-government protests
The Province
The government of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski took office after the May 12 early elections following the resignation of his predecessor Boiko Borisov amid antiausterity protests. The appointment of controversial media mogul Delyan Peevski as head 
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Teen ‘lying on the road for an hour’ in wait for ambulance
Irish Independent
AUSTERITY measures are to blame for leaving a 14-year-old girl lying on the road awaiting an ambulance for more than an hour, the union representing HSE ambulance drivers claims. Also in this section. Robinson at festival · Dissident arms haul is 
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Social Justice Ireland wants Govt to increase pension payments
Irish Examiner
Cuts to income and services have left pensioners at breaking point, it was claimed today. Age Action warned Government that the cumulative impact of multiple austerity budgets was having a severely damaging effect on the most vulnerable of older people.
See all stories on this topic »

 

The withering of America’s exception agriculturelle
Financial Times
Lacking the money for a proper stimulus and the time to wait for the healing power of austerity, Europe’s leaders have pinned their economic hopes on trade with the US. Negotiations on the proposed transatlantic trade and investment partnership, which 
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Ipsa: MPs’ role in our democracy ‘should be recognised’
Telegraph.co.uk
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) chairman Sir Ian Kennedy admitted that theausterity being felt by the country made its review of MPs’ salaries and pensions tougher, but said that the role MPs play in a democratic system means they 
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China: luxury dining goes mid market
Financial Times (registration) (blog)
There is plenty of room for skepticism about whether Beijing’s latest austerity drive will have any lasting impact on the per capita consumption of Lamborghinis by government officials. But in one area it clearly has had a marked effect: luxury dining.
See all stories on this topic »
Italian austerity drive forces Vatican to pay more property tax
BusinessGhana
More ». Italian austerity drive forces Vatican to pay more property tax. News Date: 5th July 2013. The Vatican said Thursday it had to pay an extra 5 million euros (6.5 million dollars) in property tax last year as a result of austerity measures 
See all stories on this topic »

Legal Group Launches to Aggressively Challenge US Government Prosecutions of Whistleblowers


A legal group of criminal defense attorneys has formed to combat what they describe as the FBI and Justice Department’s use of harassment and over-prosecution to chill and silence those who engage in journalism, Internet activism or dissent.

The group, the Whistleblower Defense League, will, according to attorney Jason Flores-Williams, defend individuals engaged in investigating the United States government and those who are “in positions to reveal truths about this government and its relationships with other governments and corporations.”

The founding members include Internet rights attorney Jay Leiderman, Dennis Roberts, an attorney who is a veteran of the civil rights movement and  Flores-Williams, who is now involved in representing online activists targeted by the government’s investigation into activist and former self-proclaimed spokesperson for Anonymous, Barrett Brown.

Attorneys in the group come from an “activist tradition,” according to Flores-Williams. They have decided to form this group to defend truth-tellers and dissenters because they identify with these people. They think many of the people being subjected to over-prosecution or prosecutorial abuses of power are heroes. “We’re going to pull out every stop and use every vector available us – media and constitutionally in the courts – to defend them.” And they intend to take on not only whistleblower cases but also the cases of journalists and activists facing prosecution.

Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who is a part of the defense team for WikiLeaks, said in reaction to the formation of this group, “Every effort that focuses on the defense of  whistleblowers, internet free speech activists, publishers and others persecuted by the US government is to be applauded.  This group joins the many other members of the criminal defense bar as well as non-profits such as Electronic Frontier Foundation and Government Accountability Project, who are already defending those accused of shining light on the dark secrets of government and corporations.”

Flores-Williams acknowledges there are other organizations doing necessary work on behalf of whistleblowers and activists, “Everyone who is out [there] trying to defend whistleblowers and activists and those who engage in dissent are heroes and are doing great work.” Yet, he adds this legal group is forming because there is more attention the legal community needs to be giving to what the government is doing to go after these individuals. There needs to be “aggressive forms of litigation.”

For example, he explains that this afternoon he submitted a motion to quash a government subpoena in the Brown investigation. The government subpoenaed content delivery network and domain name server service, CloudFlare, for information about a domain. The group was contacted because the government is using the case to “virally subpoena” information “about online activists around the world by using the Barrett Brown case as justification.” They want details on domain names that used so “people who used the domain names that Barrett Brown was associated with I now represent.”

This is what needs to be done and the type of legal action will he be looking to do. Flores-Williams adds that they intend to get in the middle of this activity by prosecutors to abuse power and go after data and information in ways that violate the First Amendment, violate basic due process rights and fundamentally invade privacy.

With the zealous prosecutions of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in January, and Pfc. Bradley Manning, who recently took responsibility in a military court for disclosing information to WikiLeaks, the government is “sending a message to everyone about stepping into the role of revealing truths about power structure,” Flores declares.

“The Whistleblower Defense League and organizations like it are very important to let potential whistleblowers know they have a support network in case of retribution from the government,” Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation states. “They can help mitigate the chilling effect from the recent increase of prosecutions of whistleblowers who have leaked information to the press. Hopefully, the Whistleblower Defense League can give whistleblowers any added encouragement they need to step forward if they witness wrongdoing or corruption in government.”

Flores-Williams concludes, “The greatest threat to democracy is the unchecked power of prosecutors,” on both the state and federal level. “These people have the mindset that there is always some threat to the United States that they have to be going after. Prosecutors are very simple people: they believe blindly in executing the law. They don’t share that there is a human being on the other side.” In 1850, they would prosecute a slave who escaped from Mississippi so “the law can be on the wrong side” and they do not always represent justice.

As someone who regularly covers cases of activists, whistleblowers and even journalists whom the Justice Department is targeting, it is refreshing to see a group form that is willing to inject some more spirit into the struggle to defend those who exercise their rights, challenge government policies, expose misconduct or wrongdoing and then wind up being subjected to the politics of personal destruction, which so many US prosecutors appear to be embracing these days.

The Justice Department seems to have plenty of zeal and commitment to go after activists like Swartz or Brown, to target whistleblowers like CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou or NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake or to even attempt to go after someone engaged in journalism, as in the case of Matthew Keys, who worked on social media for Reuters and was recently indicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act over past work he did on Anonymous.

However, the Department does not have much zeal at all when it comes after going after criminals in government who authorize and engage in torture, a war crime, and attempt to cover up their involvement by destroying evidence. They aren’t interested in making examples out of individuals contractors like Blackwater who violate weapons laws and smuggle arms, engage in obstruction of justice when under investigation or murder innocent civilians in Iraq. They certainly seem to have trouble cobbling together a case—trouble they wouldn’t have if they pursue an activist or whistleblower—when bank executives commit financial fraud at “too big to fail” corporations and face no criminal penalty.

The work of defense attorneys to combat the trend in law enforcement to use the surveillance state to investigate activists and whistleblowers and then pass information on to the Justice Department for targeting is more important than ever. And the more groups there are out there vigorously defending victims of prosecutorial misconduct and abuses of government power, the better off citizens in this society will be.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, WHISTLEBLOWERS, SURVEILLANCE STATE, MICHAEL RATNER, TREVOR TIMM, MATTHEW KEYS, JAY LEIDERMAN, BARRETT BROWN, WHISTLEBLOWER DEFENSE LEAGUE

via Legal Group Launches to Aggressively Challenge US Government Prosecutions of Whistleblowers | The Dissenter.

via Legal Group Launches to Aggressively Challenge US Government Prosecutions of Whistleblowers | The Dissenter.

The Justice System


I guess the above cartoon sums up not just the justice system in the US but Europe as well.

Ask yourself the question how many Banking criminals are being jailed?

Santa Claus dies of a Sudden Heart Attack


images

The news has just broken that Santa Claus passed away in the early hours of this morning.
Santa was the beloved and well-known operator of North Pole Toys a company that was set up with seed capital from the renowned financial firm Goldi Sucks.
Santa leaves behind a loving family and a host of adoring fans. Also left behind are his legions of unpaid workers.
The funeral will take place in the North Pole Cemetery. Sponsorship for this event has gone out to tender. A date for the funeral has not yet been set.
Because of the death of Santa, Government officials around the world have declared Christmas will no longer take place. Serious rioting by Children has broken out in many cities. Authorities worldwide are trying to control the situation.
Sam Richchild the Vice President of Goldi Sucks and illegitimate son of Santa in a press released issued just two hours ago revealed that the Sucks backed, “Money Hoovers Incorporated” might step into the breach to fill the Christmas void. Governments welcomed this intervention across the globe.

A visiting Shell Oil executive who was present at the death of Santa claimed his last words were, Arctic Oil is my Gift To “Royal Dutch Shell”.
In a separate comment, the Vatican advised that they would pray for the repose of the soul of Santa but urged the faithful to understand that Mr Claus had usurped the true spirit of Christmas. The Vatican now urged the faithful to seize this opportunity to revert to the true meaning of Christmas and donate all their seasonal monies as a Christmas gift to the Vatican
Meanwhile childish riots continue to break out. The Dali Lama says children in Tibet must be armed to save the undeclared Buddhist Christmas holiday from Chinese persecution. Despite contravening international law the USA and its allies will consider giving aid to the Dali Lula and his followers.

Obama Wants Mandatory Homosexuality and Abortions For Every American  


President Obama shows his support at a Gay parade in San Francisco

WASHINGTON DCUSA – The victorious Obama administration are putting into place their latest policies for the American people after winning a second term in the U.S election.

Speaking from the White House, President Obama said that economic well-being in the United States was only a minor concern for the Democratic administration, which recently won a second term after the U.S. elections.

Fiscal Stiff

“The economy to me is not a serious concern. As long as Michelle and I can have multi-million dollar taxpayer funded vacations we do not care what is happening to the economy out there amongst ordinary people. Our main concern is how there should be more abortions and mandatory homosexuality for everyone in America. This is our goal, for every American and is a serious pledge from the Democratic party. We urge you all to embrace our ideals and we will implement a five-point-plan to put these serious pledges into force by next month.”

Obama and the Democrat party are determined to make the new pledges stick even if the Republicans oppose the new laws.

“If we cannot have bipartisan endorsements of our new laws we will simply veto the Republicans and force our hands up their butts with the new legislation. We won the election so get over it, for the next four years homosexuality and abortions will be mandatory. Forget food stamps, we want lube stamps. Don’t bother having kids either, that is unless you want a government endorsed session with a coat hanger,” an Obama worker told the Capitol Hill Post.

via Obama Wants Mandatory Homosexuality and Abortions For Every American �.

via Obama Wants Mandatory Homosexuality and Abortions For Every American  .

Trump wins trademark law suit, The Donald claims “Bloviating Ignoramus”


New York:New York) Ucs News : This week it was revealed that Donald Trump has added the words Bloviating Ignoramus to the more than 200 trademark applications that contain his own name. The 200-plus number is held up as an example of his greed; his need to increase the value of his name (claimed to be $3 billion) by attaching it to “every kind of product imaginable, from hotels to perfume to a vanity beer label.”

A search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website shows the good, the bad, and the ugly:

Trump Bloviating Ignoramus

Trumps Bad Hair

Trump…..Jerk!

Idiot Trump

Egomaniacal Trump

Oysters Trump

The Trump Art Collection

The Trump Follies

Trump Birther Moron

Douche Trump

Trump University

Trump Vodka

Trump’s American Pale Ale

Trumptini

Tumpthetic

Tumpidiot

Trump Airlines

Trump Institute

Trump Steaks

via Unconfirmedsources.com.

via Unconfirmedsources.com.

 

Trump Pad Tablet set to take on Apple iPad


York:New York) Ucs News : Donald Trump is hoping to chip away at Apple’s dominance in the tablet market with the launch of its Bloviating Ignoramus A500, set to hit Best Buy shelves on July 24. The eloquently named tablet will under cut the iPad‘s price with a starting price of US$449.99, and will run Google’s Android 3.0 operating system.

Trump’s tablet will sport a 10.1-inch display, NVIDIA‘s Tegra 250 1GHz dual core processor, is just over half an inch thick and weighs 1.69 pounds. It includes 16GB of storage, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, HDMI-out, an SD card reader, a 5 megapixel and a 2 megapixel camera, GPS, and Trump claims it has a 10-hour battery life.

In comparison, Apple’s 16GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 costs $499, includes a 9.7-inch display, Apple’s own A5 1GHz dual core processor, is .34-inches thick, and weighs 1.33 pounds. The entry-level iPad includes 16GB storage, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a dock connector that supports HDMI-out, front and rear-facing cameras that support less than 1 megapixel resolution, and a 10-hour battery life.

The Bloviating Ignoramus A500 can take advantage of the Android Marketplace for third party apps, but it doesn’t support Apple’s App Store or the iTunes Store, nor does it offer the same overall user experience Apple offers with its iOS ecosystem.

While Trump may have a few more features in his tablet, it doesn’t offer the same user-friendly experience Apple has created for the iPad, and that may be harder to overcome than Trump anticipates.

via Unconfirmedsources.com.

via Unconfirmedsources.com.

Donald Trump has never seen a shrink


Since he called for “revolution” after President Obama’s reelection, Donald Trump has seemed a little chastened on Twitter. His feed has become a dull litany of inspirational quotes from old generals and presidents, mixed with plugs for his hotels during the holidays and occasional concerns about the fiscal cliff and Paula Broadwell’s marriage.

But if you’ve stopped following him, well, a little of the crazy is back. In recent days, Trump has picked fights with Cher, Rosie O’Donnell and Chelsea Handler, and even gone after the Red Cross. And sometimes he just randomly defends himself from all the people who are disgusted by him. Here’s a taste:

Attacking Rosie:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I was nice to loser @Rosie and she attacked me–it just shows never let up with a bully. They only fade when you hit them hard!

21 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I am going to give @Rosie a pass. @Rosie is desperate to get back on TV so she can be on yet another show that can be quickly canceled.

21 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Baiting the Huffington Post:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

It’s Monday. How many people got fired from @HuffingtonPost today?

20 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Picking on Cher:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

All because of me- people don’t care about you Cher. “@cher My week on twitter 1k retweets , 29 new listings 15k new followers 2k mentions.”

20 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

.@cher–I don’t wear a “rug”—it’s mine. And I promise not to talk about your massive plastic surgeries that didn’t work.

14 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Bringing the crazy to Chelsea Handler:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump�

.@chelseahandler–stop calling my office for me to do your rather “gross” show–I have less interest in you than Andre.

19 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

�Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump�

.@chelseahandler—stop trying to get your hotelier boyfriend back—a lost cause—he can do much better!

19 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Misleading people about the Red Cross:

�Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump�

.@RedCross CEO’s salary in 2011 was $951,957. Where is the outrage?

20 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Watching MSNBC promos:

�Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump�

.@maddow Standing in front of wind turbines is sad. Rachel, windmills are terrible for the environment—

13 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Deluding himself:

�Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump�

It makes me feel so good to hit “sleazebags” back — much better than seeing a psychiatrist (which I never have!)

19 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorit

via Donald Trump has never seen a shrink – Salon.com.

via Donald Trump has never seen a shrink.

MSPs dismiss Donald Trump green tourism claims


There is no “robust” evidence that renewable energy developments are hurting Scotland‘s tourism industry, a parliamentary inquiry has said.

The finding came despite claims from US tycoon Donald Trump that Scotland was committing “financial suicide” by building wind farms.

Holyrood’s economy committee also said the Scottish government’s ambitious green energy targets could be met.

But MSPs warned they were being put at risk because of a lack of finance.

Ministers want to see the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity needs generated from renewable sources by 2020, as part of its drive to make the country Europe’s green “capital”.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

Global investors – be warned”

Trump Organisation statement

Mr Trump, who gave evidence in person to the inquiry, is opposing plans to build an offshore wind farm near his £1bn golf resort in Menie, Aberdeenshire.

He said Scotland was committing “financial suicide” by wanting to create a “wind farm landscape”.

The businessman told the inquiry wind farms were inefficient, could not operate without big subsides, “killed massive amounts of wildlife” and would damage tourism.

When challenged to provide statistical evidence for his arguments, Mr Trump told the committee in April: “I am the evidence”, adding: “I am considered a world-class expert in tourism, so when you say, ‘where is the expert and where is the evidence’, I’m the evidence.”

‘White wash’

In its inquiry report, the committee said: “No witness has provided the committee with robust, empirical evidence, as opposed to anecdotal comment and opinion, that tourism is being negatively affected by the development of renewable projects.”

Responding to the committee’s findings, the Trump Organisation suggested the inquiry was a “white wash”, adding: “The report, with findings like these, does not inspire confidence – it fails entirely to address the costs to the public and the impact on tourism, communities and the lives of ordinary people.

“This government cannot be trusted, they will say and do anything, including lie, to support their political goals.

“The Scottish economy is condemned to suffer a downward spiral, if this thinking continues – global investors be warned.”

Elsewhere, the economy committee report warned the green energy targets were at risk because companies were struggling to get finance, and said the planning system and investment in industry skills must be looked at.

Elsewhere, the committee said:

Significant investment in infrastructure is needed to grow the renewables industry amid a “reluctance” of some banks to invest, particularly in small and medium sized projects;

Renewable energy skill shortages means there is a risk the target will not be met without investment in science, technology, engineering and maths at school, college and universities.

Under-pressure councils need help due to high volumes of planning applications.

Greater consideration of the economic benefits of community renewable projects should be considered under the planning system.

The UK government should “end industry uncertainty” by finalising their Renewables Obligation Certificate levels.

The Scottish islands are still disadvantaged by the electricity transmission and charging system, making many projects “uneconomic”.

The target to generate 11% of heat demand from renewable sources by 2020 is at risk because of issues surrounding local and domestic heating schemes.

Economy committee convener Murdo Fraser said: “The electricity target can be achieved, but only if the issues outlined in this report are acted upon.

MSPs on the committee said action was needed for Scotland to meet its green energy targets

“Our recommendations are crucial to the success of the renewables industry in Scotland, and focus on issues such as access to finance, the planning system, infrastructure development and investment in skills.”

The Tory MSP said the Scottish and UK governments would have to work together to meet some of the aims in the report.

Mr Fraser added: “The overwhelming message from investors was that strong leadership, and a robust and reliable investment climate and subsidy regime is critical for the targets to be met.

“The committee regrets the reluctance of some banks to invest and in the current financial environment, is concerned that the renewables industry will not have access to the finance it needs to grow, which will ultimately put the targets at risk.”

Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the report’s conclusion that the renewable energy target could be met.

He added: “We welcome the committee’s acknowledgement that renewable energy is a ‘safe bet’ to provide energy security for the people of Scotland and protect us all from energy price shock.

“The positive tone of this report reflects the widespread belief across the industry, the government and its agencies and key stakeholders that renewable energy can deliver huge benefits for Scotland’s people.”

The government welcomed the report.

via BBC News – MSPs dismiss Donald Trump green tourism claims.

via BBC News – MSPs dismiss Donald Trump green tourism claims.

Donald Trump Praises…President Obama?


Real estate mogul Donald Trump is a notoriously outspoken critic of President Barack Obama and his policies. But on Wednesday, the Donald had nothing but kind words for the commander-in-chief.

Trump, via his official Twitter account, said Obama did a “good job” handling the ongoing crisis between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and helped “stop the war” after the two spent days exchanging fire.

DonaldTrump – Tweet

Pres. Obama’s steady support of @Israel throughout this crisis helped stop the war. He did a good job’.

A cease-fire agreement between Israel and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers took effect Wednesday night, bringing an end to eight days of the fiercest fighting in years. The agreement was sponsored by Egypt.

Trump was apparently in a particularly good mood on Wednesday, he even wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving — including his “many enemies.”

via Donald Trump Praises…President Obama? | TheBlaze.com.

via Donald Trump Praises…President Obama? | TheBlaze.com.

Barring of writer Tim Pat Coogan from U.S. is an absolute disgrace


The barring of Tim Pat Coogan from coming to America for a book tour is disgraceful. He was refused a visa when he applied for one for his new book tour.

It is one in a clear pattern of a number of recent clueless decisions at the American Embassy in Dublin at the consular level that defy logic.

Ambassador Dan Rooney is clearly unable or unwilling to use his own discretion in some of these cases.

Ever since Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith played a stellar role in the Irish peace process by running her embassy with an iron fist, the functionaries have done their very best to keep incoming ambassadors powerless.

Never mind that Kennedy’s role stand suit like a beacon in the annals of American diplomacy in Ireland. An ambassador the bureaucrats cannot control is a dangerous person indeed it seems.

They did not succeed in the Bush era where excellent appointments ensured that many political issues were retained at the ambassadorial level.

That does not seem to be the case today. The Tim Pat Coogan case is a travesty but senior Irish government officials have told me it is by no means the only strange decision emanating from the embassy in recent times.

There seems to be a hardening attitude there to make it as difficult as possible for people to come to the U.S. from changes in how the J1 one year visa program is being administered to several high profile turndowns.

Blink and you might think you were back in the McCarthy era.

Put simply, there was no greater defender of America in Ireland for the past few decades than Tim Pat Coogan, especially at times when the anti-American sentiment there was at its highest.

His pro-American stances, both in his Irish Press newspaper and his writing about the power of the Irish Diaspora were major factors in keeping the American flag flying in Ireland.

He played a key behind the scenes role in the Irish peace process, especially in the early days when his contacts with Father Alex Reid, the unsung hero of the entire process, were vital.

He was deeply trusted by the Kennedy family and it was a famous meal in Dublin he had with Senator Edward Kennedy convincing him of the need for a visa for Gerry Adams that swayed the Massachusetts senator as well as helping bring President Clinton into the loop.

Visiting Irish Americans are always assured of a hearty welcome from Tim Pat and his backing for America and stance against the anti-American rhetoric so often spouted in Ireland made him this country’s prime defender.

Yet this is the 77-year-old man who the American Embassy just refused a visa to come to America too and humiliated him in the process?

Is there no institutional memory whatever at the embassy that can separate and remember a friend? No one who was able to realize the deep insult they had just inflicted on America’s greatest journalistic ally there?

Where was Ambassador Rooney in all this, as we know he was personally aware of the case?

There are so many questions but one undeniable fact. It will be a blot forever on the Dublin embassy that it humiliated one of its greatest supporters and Ireland’s leading historian by refusing a visa to launch his new book on the Irish famine.

Disgraceful is the word for it.

via Barring of writer Tim Pat Coogan from U.S. is an absolute disgrace – America’s greatest friend in Ireland insulted by the U.S. Embassy | Periscope Niall O’Dowd | IrishCentral.

via Barring of writer Tim Pat Coogan from U.S. is an absolute disgrace – America’s greatest friend in Ireland insulted by the U.S. Embassy | Periscope Niall O’Dowd | IrishCentral.

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