Top Stories for Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Charles Barkley Calls Ferguson Looters ‘Scumbags’

Black Congressmen Take “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” Gesture to House Floor

From Politico, “Lawmakers make ‘hands up’ gesture on House floor”: “Several lawmakers took to the House floor Monday evening to make the “Hands up, don’t shoot,” gesture to protest the police shooting of the unarmed Ferguson teen, Michael Brown.

“Hands up, don’t shoot. It’s a rallying cry of people all across America who are fed up with police violence,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said as he took the floor. “In community, after community, after community, fed up with police violence in Ferguson, in Brooklyn, in Cleveland, in Oakland, in cities and counties and rural communities all across America.”
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Jeffries added that people are fed up with injustice, a broken criminal justice system and “continuing to see young, unarmed African-American men killed as a result of a gunshot fired by a law enforcement officer.”

“Now this is a problem that Congress can’t run away from and the [Congressional Black Caucus] stands here today to make sure that Congress runs toward the problem,” Jeffries said. “That we come up with constructive solutions to breaking this cycle, this epidemic, this scourge of police violence all across America.”
Joining Jeffries were Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Al Green (D-Texas), who praised the handful of St. Louis Rams’ players for also making the “hands up” gesture as they entered the field for their game on Sunday.”

Ashton Carter Likely Secretary of Defense Nominee

From CNN, “Meet Chuck Hagel’s expected replacement as Defense Secretary”: “Ashton Carter, the former second-in-command at the Pentagon, appears to be the top choice to replace outgoing Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Barring any last minute complications, Ash Carter will be President Barack Obama’s choice as the new Secretary of Defense, several U.S. administration officials told CNN…

Carter, who served as Deputy Defense Secretary under both Leon Panetta and Hagel, would bring a wide range of experience to a department confronting multiple crises in the Middle East and preparing to enter a new phase in Afghanistan as the NATO combat mission ends.

Carter’s ability to hit the ground running from his past experience at the Pentagon, in addition to the respect many senior military leaders have for him are seen as major benefits to winning confirmation should Obama nominate him.

“His career has sort of prepared him perfectly for this kind of a moment,” says Michael O’Hanlon, a defense industry analyst at the Brookings Institution.

In addition to a broad understanding of the Pentagon bureaucracy, Carter is seen as a master of managing large budgets, a premium in the present era of continued belt tightening on Capitol Hill, as well as an expert on weapons acquisitions.”

Republicans Back Off on Threats to Undermine Executive Amnesty

From National Review, “Sessions: House GOP Is On the Verge Of Breaking 2014 Campaign Promises“: ““The executive amnesty language is substantially weaker than the language the House adopted this summer, and does not reject the central tenets of the President’s plan: work permits, Social Security and Medicare to 5 million illegal immigrants — reducing wages, jobs and benefits for Americans,” Sessions said in the statement expressing his dissatisfaction with the results of a House Republican conference meeting today.

In the meeting, “the lawmakers began coalescing around a two-part plan that would allow a symbolic vote to show their frustration with President Obama’s executive action on immigration, before funding the government ahead of a Dec. 11 deadline,” according to the New York Times.

Sessions wants Congress to attach a rider to the government-funding bill that prohibits Obama from implementing the orders; his office released a list yesterday, compiled with the assistance the Congressional Research Service, of instances in which Congress did just that on a variety of issues last year.”

From National Review, Source: Senate GOP Refuses to Strategize Against Obama“: “

Senate Republicans had no appetite for discussing how to thwart President Obama’s executive orders on immigration during the conference’s weekly lunch, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah) and Senator David Vitter (R., La.) tried to broach the topic, but they were ignored, according to the first source.

“At different times, Lee and Vitter stood up and tried to begin a discussion about what the plan was and asked leadership about what their strategy was to deal with the spending bill and respond to Obama executive amnesty, and the reply was always an effort to try to change the subject to the ozone rule from the EPA or some other issue, and it was just bizarre,” said a second source in corroboration of that account.”