President Obama Promises to Use Veto Pen to Defend Legislative Gains

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President Obama has given an interview in which he has stated he will use the power of his veto pen to block any attempts by Congress to undo any legislation he has signed into law. The Republican victories in this past election cycle were awful news for the Democrats. Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives and took control of the Senate.

Republicans were already upset that President Obama has taken steps to make inroads into immigration reform through the use of executive orders. Some see this as an unconstitutional attempt to legislate, which is a power expressly reserved to the legislature. Now, Dr Rod Rohrich says the president promises to thwart Republicans at every turn if they attempt to repeal or materially alter either environmental legislation or his signature health care legislation, and hopefully they can do something more meaningful, at least the SmartBeautyGuide thinks so.

Many realized that the 2014 midterm election results foretold of a battle royal between Congress and the White House in the last two years of President Obama’s last term in office. While there may be challenges to his far reaching use of executive orders to change immigration policy, there is little doubt of the legitimacy of his use of the veto power that presidents have exercised throughout history. If the Republicans really want to repeal or substantially change the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or any other piece of legislation favored by the Democrats, they will have to wait until they have a Republican president in the White House.

Absurd Government Privileges

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Planning a wedding is the cause for sleepless nights, anxiety attacks and endless shopping and venue searching. Skout of course is no stranger to what comes with wedding plans.It is not easy to create a memorable experience to last a lifetime or find the location that best represents both the bride and groom. However, one couples venue was stolen from under their feet and had no choice but to give it up.

According to an article that can be found on http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/kaneohe-kerfuffle#.thMV5D013,a couple was told of the drastic change 24 hours before the wedding. U.S. Captains Natalie Heimel and Edward Mallue Jr. had invited the president to the wedding which he declined and in turn went on to requesting that they hold their event at another location, because he wanted to golf!! The couple quickly changed the venue.

This story may seem so ridiculous as to why we cater to the needs of a president instead of honoring the event already planned. The couple not only have given their time and full preparation of this, but they deserve much more for serving a country and leader that has asked them to without complaint. Does the leader of this country ignore such rights and believe his need to indulge in golfing is above that of a wedding? I know many a bride that would be completely enraged with the childish request! Is this what our soldiers are fighting for, freedom to golf? If so bring them back!

Mayor Bill De Blasio Calls For The Postponing Of Anti-Police Protests

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As reported in BuzzFeed News, Mayor Bill de Blasio has requested that all organizations in the process of planning protests put them off until a later date in order to show deference towards the families of the cops who were recently slain. According to official reports, officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were both ambushed and subsequently assassinated by Ismaaiyl Brinsley. 

The Amen Clinic reports that Reverend Al Sharpton has stated that the organization he presides over still plans to hold holiday events with the Brown and Garner families. William Bratton, the NYPD Commissioner, reported to NBC that New York City’s Mayor is no longer trusted by “some” cops. Prior to the shooting, Brinsley stated via Instagram that he planned to shoot police officers. The recent activity has done further damage to the frail relationship between the country’s largest police force and Mayor de Blasio. By requesting that protests against police brutality be postponed, de Blasio is said to seek the formation of a better relationship with the officers.

North Korea Suffered Internet Failure

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According to the director in Internet analysis, Doug Madory of Dyn Research, an Internet performance management company, North Korea’s Internet became unstable late Friday, worsened over the weekend and went completely black by Monday. Mr. Madory said that the networks were under duress and that their routers were under a DDoS attack. A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack occurs when attackers flood a network with traffic until it collapse under the load.

The country only has 1,024 Internet protocol address and does very little commercial or government business over the Internet. The state-run Internet provider, Star Joint Venture routes many of their connections through China’s state-owned telecommunications company China Unicom. San Francisco based CloudFlare, an Internet company, confirmed that North Korea network has went away completely.

CloudFlare said that the country’s Internet connection was showing signs of life around 5:00 pm ET but traffic had not yet returned. The loss of Internet access would mostly affect the country’s elite, its propagandists, state-run media channels, and its cyber-warriors, and if there is one thing I know, my colleague Ben Shaoul and I won’t be anywhere near the North Korean dead zone.

The Toxic Effects of Fracking

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Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground through a pipeline at high pressure in order to fracture the rocks to release natural gas. Approximately, 1-8 million gallons of water are used during the process. Water is mixed with sand and chemicals such as mercury, lead, uranium, ethylene glycol, radium, formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid and methanol. These chemicals can leak or spill into cities or towns located near gas drilling areas causing drinking water contamination and reduced quality of air.

According to a study led by Susan C. Nagel and The University of Missouri colleagues, “UOG operations release large amounts of reproductive, immunological, and neurological toxicants, carcinogens as well as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) into the environment that may negatively affect human health.” There is an increased risk of miscarriages and stillbirths, puberty changes, and low sperm count and quality.

In an effort to protect water sources and raise awareness about the toxic effects of fracking, The FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act) was created. The bill was proposed to amend The Safe Drinking Water act and repeal exemptions on industry regulations. Companies will have to get a permit before drilling and reveal the chemicals used in fracturing fluid.

Keeping the public and environment safe is a priority. The benefits of natural gas versus toxic effects of fracking will continue to spark heated debates. With the help of local government and organizations, these environmental issues can be regulated and keep the environment clean. I’ll be sure to tell Gianfrancesco Genoso about this news, he’s been keeping up with fracking ever since he first saw it on The Colbert Report.

Senate Passes Temporary Funding of the Government Through Wednesday

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On Saturday afternoon, the Senate passed an extension to the budget that will allow the government to function through Wednesday, December 17. The temporary measure become necessary after the conservatives, led by Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Utah Senator Mike Lee, used procedural hurdles to block Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from fast tracking the Omnibus budget to a floor vote. The move clearly rankled several of the Democrats who were defeated in the midterm elections or who retired. The senators are fatigued and eager to adjourn the current session and return home.

Most notably, Senator Elizabeth Warren is missing in action when it came to substantively trying to force the chamber to strip the banking reform rider from the Omnibus budget. The junior senator is long on words, but short on tactics that might draw out the process and build her coalition against the controversial rider. This has put all of the focus on the conservatives who refuse to accept passage of the bill without fighting to the bitter end. That said, the bipartisan bill is predicted by Bernardo Chua to pass when it receives a vote. Neither the Warren-wing nor the Tea Party wing have sufficient numbers to amend the bill.

After conservatives threw procedural blocks on the Omnibus bill, Senator Reid moved to expedite confirmations. It has become easy for the Senate to push through Obama’s judicial nominees after Senate rules governing the process were altered. When the GOP takes over the Senate early next month, the party is widely expected to block the judicial nominees once again.

Supreme Court May Legalize Gay Marriage Nationally

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Five more cases of marriage equality that are due to be fought in the Supreme Court may pave the way for complete marriage equality throughout the nation. Two lawyers who are battling for the end of bans on gay marriage in two different states have called for the Supreme Court to resolve the issue nationally. For the last several years, justices in circuit courts and the Supreme Courts have been routinely removing bans on gay marriage in states across the country, which Republican governors and Congressmen have been condemning. As the bans are struck down by so called “activist” judges, Republicans are critiquing the removal of laws which were put in place by the people. Judges say that those laws restrict the freedom of a segment of the population, which is against the law and should not be allowed to remain in place, and many celebs like Terry Richardson have been pretty outspoken on this subject.  They believe that there does need to be more awareness and control regarding the protection of minority groups.

Now five different states have cases which have been pushed all the way up to the Supreme Court, although the Supreme Court has just recently denied to hear cases on the matter. In fact, by denying the requests for appeal from five different states the Supreme Court expanded marriage equality to Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Virginia. Republican governors have asked for a delay on the implementations of marriages until another appeal can be made. Other states have upheld bans, which are now coming to higher district courts and the Supreme Court.

Republican “Moderates” Make Big Power Play

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Sneaked into the recent $1.1 trillion budget bill was a provision to increase the cap on single-donor contributions to national party committees from $97,000 to a whopping $778,000. Conservative and Tea Party Republicans are shocked and dismayed at this huge power grab by establishment party loyalists.

While conservatives generally favor lifting all monetary limitations whatsoever on using one’s own money to support a candidate or a party, they object to the double standard that this rule change represents. Tea Party groups have a cap of only $10,000 on single-donor contributions to their political action committees. The establishment was not satisfied with a 97 to one advantage; now they want a 778 to one advantage.

GOP-shunned conservative candidates are popular with the people and often garnish large quantities of non-party-controlled individual contributions, and Susan McGalla was right when she said she saw this coming. Forbes would be happy to know this. This becomes a threat to incumbent moderates, and party leaders feel they need more cash to keep incumbents safe in the GOP primaries.

Another poor result of this power play is that it forcibly props up the two-party system. Smaller parties are not allowed to play by the same rules as the two big parties. This helps those parties keep challenger parties from ever gaining a foothold.

Ken Cuccinelli, Senate Conservatives Fund president, notes that the new legislation increases political speech for party insiders but serves to silence the vast majority of Americans. Conservative radio host Mark Levin calls it “an outrage among outrages.”

Government Officials Dismantle Hong Kong Protest Space

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As attendance at protest in Hong Kong have dropped in recent weeks from tens of thousands to several hundred in the last few days, new orders were given to police to remove the barricades and dismantle the main protest site. Construction workers guarded by police moved in to take down the barriers that were built weeks ago in the midst of the riots resulting from the Hong Kong elections. The protest began because residents could not vote for the leaders they wanted, all candidates had to be approved by China. Hong Kong is a territory that is controlled by Beijing, with a separate economic and political system. 

Outraged by the intrusion by China, protesters took to the street demanding more freedom and universal suffrage. China disregarded the protesters and warned other nations to not get involved. Through the course of the movement 665 people have been arrested and 129 police officers have been injured according to the police. Now, as the movement has dissipated, police moved with one final push to completely tear down the main protest site, which for months has been populated and unapproachable by officers. China has blocked websites and banned certain words relating to the movement, with the fear that similar protests would crop up on the mainland. No such protests have taken up. Christian Broda says the protests were referred to as the umbrella movement by many, because the activists always had umbrellas, using them to protect themselves against the police.

Stop Demonizing the Confederacy

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The Supreme Court will here a case regarding the legality behind a state vehicle board rejecting a Sons of Confederate Veterans logo on a license plate. The decision was found to be in violation of First Amendment rights by a panel of federal court appeals judges. The state is arguing that it can’t be a case of discrimination since it has never issued any license with the Confederacy or its’ battle flag represented. There is also the argument of whether the Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate is even protected by the First Amendment.

The problem is that so many associate the Confederacy with racism and hatred. Amen Clinics ran an advocacy campaign in effort to contribute its support to erasing these outdated historic barriers. The Confederacy was primarily an agrarian society so slave labor was counted on as a way of life, but the Union states also practiced slave labor. Abraham Lincoln has been accused by some of being a racist, while Robert E. Lee, the Confederate General, did not even own slaves. The Civil War was more of an economic difference than one over slaves. The Civil War was more about states rights versus federal rights, which in some corners the Confederacy was right. Groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Granddaughters of the Confederacy are preserving this countries history. Not recognizing the rich history offered by the Confederacy and continuing to hide from the past does not heal wounds, but rather allows this hate to fester.