Obama’s defense secretary bows out in unclear circumstances

Just less than two years in office as Defense secretary for President Obama, 68-year old Chuck Hagel bows out of the administration in very unclear circumstances. And this view is made more strong by Obama who while announcing Hagel’s resignation states that “If there’s one thing I know about Chuck, it’s that he does not make this or any other decision lightly.”

With about two dozen senior officials and cabinet secretaries in the State Dining Room of the White House, President Obama with Hagel standing next to him announced the departing Defense secretary had been an asset to his administration in spite of minor differences they experienced along the way. “We come from different parties, but in accepting this position, you sent a powerful message, especially to those in this city, that when it comes to our national security and our military families, our country always comes first.”

Being the first enlisted combat veteran to work as Defense secretary, Obama greatly commended Hagel for his service to the nation most especially as it relates to the US military in foreign missions. “He’s been in the dirt. He’s been in the mud. And that has established a special bond. He sees himself in them. They see themselves in him.” Obama said. “He volunteered for Vietnam and still has the scars and shrapnel from the battled he has fought.”

Joining Obama’s administration in February 2013, Hagel was up against militancy issues facing the US government on all sides. He led the fight against the ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and also confronted Ebola epidemics from West Africa. Having known Hagel since his days in the US senate, Obama single-handedly nominated him for the defense post even though Hagel is a Republican.

And though his Senate confirmation hearings were not without its own problems, even from party men, Sen. John McCain of Arizona states that “Secretary Chuck Hagel and I have had our differences over many years, but I have always considered him a friend, a patriot, and a dedicated public servant who has always put our country first and the needs of our men and women in uniform above his own.”

It is not clear why Hagel is leaving at this time, but White House officials made it clear that Hagel is not being forced down in any way, even though it appears he is not too cool with US’s foreign policies and some other similar things. It also came to the fore that the White House had cancelled a trip he was planning for Asia, with a stopover in Vietnam – and this cancellation seems to have gone wrong with Hagel – although he doesn’t appear to be laying it to heart in any way.

Fear of isolating Latinos gives Obama upper hand in immigration reform

Most Republicans are obviously against US President Obama’s move to legalize the status of illegal immigrants in the United State, and they are set to put machineries in place to have their pound of flesh from Obama; the only problem is that they fear alienating the teeming numbers of the Latino community who would vote in the 2016 elections.

This idea is further strengthened by the polls conducted by Latino Decisions, a public opinion research firm that focuses on the Latino community; its founder, Matt A. Barreto states that the Republicans faces a grim risk by opposing Obama’s immigration efforts and this will reflect in the coming polls. “Their own 2012 post-mortem report highlights that they cannot espouse anti-immigrant rhetoric and win the Latino vote, and they are absolutely right,” he said, citing his firm’s election-eve poll that found nearly two-thirds of Latino voters thought that the Republican Party either did not care about them or was openly hostile to them.

“The issue here is that the president is promoting a policy that tries to keep children and parents together, and stop the detention and deportation of parents who have U.S. citizen children,” Mr. Barreto said. “Can the Republicans honestly face Latino voters and say, ‘We want the federal government to continue deporting parents who have young children?’ That is about the least family-values message I can think of and a sure way to write off the Latino vote in 2016 and beyond.”

A poll conducted by Wall Street Journal/NBC reveals that 48% Americans hated the idea that Obama acted single-handedly in granting immigrants statutory citizenship, and 38% liked that he did so. While 57% Americans like illegal immigrants to adhere to a pathway for legalizing their stay, 74% maintain that it would be fine for immigrants to stay provided they pay fines and any back taxes as well as pass background checks.

Mo Brooks, the Republican representing Alabama hate the idea that illegal Latino children could join the US military, and he has threatened to explore all means to impeach Obama if it comes to this. According to him, “I don’t want American citizens having to compete with illegal immigrants for jobs in our military. These individuals have to be absolutely 100 percent loyal and trustworthy.” But then, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who sponsored the deadened bipartisan immigration bill cautions that “If you overreact, it becomes about us, not President Obama.

David Winston, a Republican pollster believes that the Republicans cannot speak with a unified voice on immigration concerns at the moment because they have not really met to reach a consensus on the matter, and this is what makes some senators speak with various voices on the issue.

Republicans’ efforts pay off, President Obama to reform immigration plan

Although White House officials prefer to keep mute over it, facts have emerged that President Barack Obama might be in Las Vegas on Friday together with his aides to discuss options for transforming the immigration system, and he may even announce this move on Thursday. According to analysts, Obama is invoking executive orders to grant legal status to illegal immigrants within the United States because Republicans in the Congress have failed to pass all bills that address the nation’s damaged immigration system.

It is speculated that President Obama will announce his immigration plans in a speech Thursday, followed by a rally in Las Vegas on Friday. It is thought that Obama chose Las Vegas because he made a strong immigration speech there in January 2013, and also because Harry Reid, the Senate’s top democrat came from Nevada. Obama is even expected to speak at Del Sol High School, where he made his popular 2013 immigration speech.

Many Republicans in the House obviously go ahead Obama’s plans to legalize the status of illegal immigrants, and a particular individual even regarded him as “Emperor Obama.” The spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Michael Steel says that “If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his Constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for Congressional action on this issue — and many others.”

Nevada is home to the highest number of undocumented populations, and this runs to about 210,000 undocumented immigrants, totaling about 10.2% of the entire population of Nevada, Las Vegas. Obama believes the Republican-dominated Congress is frustrating his plans to consider citizenship for thousands of undocumented immigrants applying to citizenship after 13 years of legalization process, but House Speaker John Boehner had frustrated the plans and killed the moves in 2013. Obama now believes it is high time he acted without any recourse to the Congress, and he could invoke executive powers to do that, mostly in the face of over 60,000 Central American children that flooded the southwest border – under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

President Obama says ISIS beheading of Americans is pure evil

In a statement released from aboard Air Force One and read to the news media in Washington, President Barack Obama as described the ISIS killing of its latest victim, aid worker Peter Kassig, as “pure evil.” The Islamic State had released a short video clip showing the severed head of Peter Kassig and then made a mockery of the US government’s efforts at fighting them in Iraq and Syria.

Peter Kassig was a former Army Ranger with the US Army, but turned to the supplies and delivery of medical aids to wounded soldiers and civilians in Syria when the war was over. He was taken from a checkpoint in northeastern Syria when delivering humanitarian medical supplies and has since then disappeared, but the release of the ISIS video showing his decapitated head confirms that he has actually been killed – making him the fifth Western national to be killed – three Americans and two UK citizens, by the Islamic terrorist group.

President Obama stated that Kassig “was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group…today we offer our prayers and condolences to the parents and family of Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known to us as Peter.” The president appeared to have intentionally used Kassig’s adopted Muslim name following his capture to indicate to the killers that they have indeed killed a fellow Muslim. He goes ahead to identify with the “anguish at this painful time” that the Kassig’s family must be going through.

In the short video clip proving Kassig’s death, a man in black robe with a British accent, who has been identified by the UK government as Jihadi John was seen holding the beheaded head of Peter Kassig up for display.

The robed exectutioner, Jihadi John, said “This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen of your country. Peter, who fought against the Muslims in Iraq while serving as a soldier under the American Army, doesn’t have much to say. His previous cellmates have already spoken on his behalf. You claim to have withdrawn from Iraq four years ago. We said to you then that you are liars.”

Peter Kassig who appeared to have a premonition of his death wrote a smuggled out letter to his parents this summer, “I am obviously pretty scared to die but the hardest part is not knowing, wondering, hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all,” he writes. “Just know I’m with you. Every stream, every lake, every field and river. In the woods and in the hills, in all the places you showed me. I love you.”

US intelligence agents believe the video clip to be genuine even though it seemed different from the previous four executions that had been seen. In Kassig’s case, only the part showing the severed head is shown but in other executions, video events leading up to the actual slashing of knife to decapitate the victim had always been shown. Analysts believe that something must have gone awry with the ISIS when beheading Kassig – and this made them to show only his severed head without showing the actual killing act in itself.

Cell phone unlocking now legalized by the US President

This can undoubtedly be declared as cheerful news for the cell phone holders as the US President Barack Obama has legalized cell phone unlocking by signing in a new cell phone law. Millions of mobile phone users who have always wanted to unlock their phone in order to make it compatible with other services and application will now be relaxed and more benefitted.

The cell phone law, as termed by the White House, is named, “A rare trifecta: A win for American consumers, a win for wireless competition, and an example of democracy at its best – bipartisan congressional action in direct response to a call to action from the American people.”

Sealing his approval for the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act passed by the Congress last month, Barack Obama went in favor of some more than 120,000 people. These people, taking part in a mass movement in demand of legalization of cell phone unlocking signed in a petition named “We the People”. The petition was filed by technology activist and entrepreneur Sina Khanifar. As a petition need to gather a signature of at least 100,000 people in order to get a response from the White House, this turned out to be a successful venture in attracting the attention of the President.

Before this, unlocking of the cell p[hones was made illegal according to the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act and violating it meant violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

As a majority of the US carriers provide cell phones to its customers with a software lock which prevents one from availing the services provided by other service providers so this is a kind of issue for the users while being roaming or while moving to other places. Now making unlocking legal has opened the door to use several service providers at the will of the users and this makes it natural for the cell phone users to cheer up.