Warren Mass

The Senate Intelligence Committee on December 9 released its report on the torture — including “waterboarding” — of prisoners held by the Central Intelligence Agency during the George W. Bush administration. The report was ordered released by the Intelligence Committee chairman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) and a copy was posted on the committee’s webpage.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) Joint Command lowered its flag today and formally ended its military deployment in Afghanistan on December 8. While 48 nations had contributed troops to ISAF, the United States provided 24,050 out of the total 34,512 (as of October) — more than all other nations combined. Far behind were the United Kingdom with 2,830 troops and Italy with 1,400.

On a 219-197 vote that was mostly along party lines, the House of Representatives passed the Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5759) on December 4. The largely symbolic measure was passed in response to President Obama’s November 20 announcement that he would use executive action to remove the “fear of deportation” and provide three-year work permits for up to five million illegal aliens currently living in the United States.

As Republicans try to figure out the best response to President Obama’s November 20 announcement that he would use executive action to grant protection from deportation to millions of illegal immigrants, editorial writers have called the presidents’ plan unprecedented and even unconstitutional.

When asked on December 1 by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl if President Obama would veto a funding bill that did not provide funds for him to carry out his executive action to grant amnesty from deportation to millions of illegal immigrants, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest replied, simply: “Yes.”

A researcher from the influential Heritage Foundation estimates that the cost to U.S. taxpayers of President Obama’s pending grant of amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants will be “around $2 trillion.”

Since President Obama delivered his plan on TV on November 20 to use executive actions to grant protection from deportation to millions of illegal immigrants, Republicans in Congress have considered the best way to respond legislatively. Among the options that GOP legislators have proposed are removing funding from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a Senate filibuster of immigration-related funding bills, and a government shutdown.

Viewers who watched President Obama’s November 20 speech outlining his plan to grant amnesty (though he denied it is amnesty) to illegal immigrants may have wondered if his plan would enable those immigrants to collect Social Security benefits. There is good reason to believe that these newly legalized illegals might very well be eligible for Social Security and other federal benefits such as Medicare.

The combination of ObamaCare rules and President Obama’s recently announced decision to use executive actions to grant amnesty from deportation many illegal immigrants means that employers can avoid a $3,000 fine by hiring illegal immigrants.

Soon after President Obama delivered his plan on November 20 to use executive actions to grant protection from deportation to millions of illegal immigrants, Republicans and other Americans offered their reactions. Under the Obama plan, two groups of illegal immigrants would qualify for executive amnesty — those who have been in the United States for more than five years, and those who have children who are American citizens or legal residents.