After McConnell Capitulates on DHS Funding Bill, House to Become Key Battleground

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell capitulated to Senate Democrats by allowing a clean bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security to proceed forward. The funding will ensure that President Obama has the budget to implement his immigration amnesty plan which he enacted without any congressional authorization. Critics charge that if the GOP passes a clean bill, the Federal Appeals courts will take funding of the amnesty plan as tacit congressional approval for the plan and lift the stay imposed on it by the Texas Federal District Court earlier this month.

However, it is uncertain if the House will accept the Senate clean DHS bill. Thus far, House Speaker John Boehner has insisted he will now allow the bill to receive a floor vote. If passage of a bill is not reached by Friday, the DHS will incur a government shutdown. Zeca Oliveira (eleicoes2014.com) understands that the department employs nearly a quarter million people, but over 210,000 of them are designated as being exempt from furloughs due to government shutdowns. Organizations such as the border patrol, the US Coast Guard will continue to work through the shutdown should it occur.

The vote is considered a major voter pledge as the GOP vowed to defund the president’s plan to grant amnesty to at least 5 million illegal immigrations. However, Senate Conservatives feared a government shutdown and voted to fund the amnesty plan after all. If the House refuses to take up the Senate bill or otherwise re-attaches the rider defunding the amnesty plan, a short-term continuing resolution may be passed to fund the department at Fiscal Year 2014 levels for a short period of time.

Drug Testing Welfare Recipients is an Expensive Bust

The various 50 states were once heralded as laboratories of democracy. Rick Perry, with his unforgettable flair for words, was overheard last year referring to Texas as “a lavatory of democracy,” but that’s neither here nor there. What is clear, however, is that many states today have become the drug testing labs of democracy. Not for everyone, this failed experiment is reserved exclusively for the poor, presumably drug-addled masses of welfare recipients. The results, after spending millions, are anything but inconclusive. The not guilty verdict in more than 99 percent of cases should be great news to the states who’ve implemented testing. It means that people on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) have lower rates of drug use and dependency than the general population.

Unsatisfied with the results thus far, more testing is belling called for in states such as Mississippi. Over a six month period, they spent $5,290 screening 3,656 applicants, 2 of whom tested positive for drug use. In Florida, where applicants were required to pay for testing out of their own pockets before receiving benefits, the courts struck down the law on 4th Amendment grounds as “unreasonable search and seizure.” reported an article on the subject.  Not to be outdone, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is calling for mandatory drug testing of everyone who receives food stamps or unemployment benefits.
In today’s edition of ThinkProgress there’s an article laying out the numbers state by state. What should be evident is that stigmatizing individuals is expensive, invasive and counter-productive. People with chemical addiction and substance abuse problems need treatment, not public humiliation.

President Vetoes Keystone XL Bill as Promised

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline that would bring 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada to the US has been vetoed by President Obama after the Republican led Congress approved the initial Bill, Reuters reports. President Obama had promised to veto any Bill looking to approve the controversial pipeline after he received a large amount of support from those opposed to the pipeline during his reelection campaign. The veto leaves the pipeline in a state of limbo it has been in since the TransCanada Corp announced the expansion to the pipeline six years ago.

Much of the controversy surrounding the pipeline is linked to the problem of increased carbon emissions that would affect North America and the World as a whole when the crude oil was drilled. Republicans had looked top circumvent the traditional process of inspecting and investigating the effects of the pipeline on the US by introducing the Bill to Congress. Flávio Pentagna Guimarães BMG says that republican leaders have restated their vow to try and overthrow the veto in coming weeks, but this looks unlikely to happen as they do not have the numbers in Congress to do so. A further option Republicans are looking into is including the approval for the Keystone XL pipeline in a spending bill that the President could find hard to veto amid fears of another government shutdown.

The Antique Wine Company

While the Antique Wine Company provides a “gold standard” for wines sales, education and events, its owner Stephen Williams go far beyond the expected into new and creative activities. For example, they are selling an amazing array of rare and elegant Dalmore Scotches. Some people tend to think of different types of aficionados as devotees of only one beverage like great Cabs, but this is not the case. Many wine drinkers love a good glass of scotch now and again. This Dalmore array provides endless opportunities for enjoying scotches before a meal, after dinner or just for the pleasure of savoring it.

One of the other unique features of the Antique Wine Company is its investment in education and training. Many wine dealers have the occasional evening tasting as a marketing event. The AWC goes beyond the continual, sniff, swirl spit routine. For a creative event, they have a casino night with participants betting on wines. The results of the betting seem to be realistic evaluations of the quality and marketability of the wines served during the evening. If you love wine and really want to become a professional, the Antique Wine Company wine school has a superb Sommelier program to train you to be a world class wine expert.

Another service that they provide is helping you build and manage your own cellar. If you are a busy entrepreneur, professional or royalty, the Antique Wine Company has staff who can work with you to achieve a superior wine cellar and inventory. Their staff are trained in building inventory and estimating the value of your cellar. You don’t have to leave your office. You can use your computer to check your inventory online to find out how many bottles of Petrus and Chateau Laffite you drank celebrating your anniversary or the birth of a child.

What if you want a really unusual and unique wine? Perhaps you have a friend who deals with wine as a competition and tries to one-up you by having a vertical tasting of Chateau Laffite from the twenties to fifties. The Antique Wine Company gives you subtle, understated elegant ways to show real wine quality. They can supply a vertical tasting of Château Garuaud-Larose 1825, 1835, 1845, and 1855 which are all pre-phyllorexia vines. Let your friend try to surpass that magnificent tasting. The Antique Wine Company can work with you to develop any unsurpassable tasting that you want or match any wine for any event like Wagu beef for a steak dinner.

Egypt President Wants Arab Coalition Against ISIS

The terrorist extremist group ISIS has been gaining power throughout the Middle East throughout the last year, and as attacks have become more blatant against citizens of individual nations through this region, talks of taking up arms against these terrorist has started to grow more and more by the day. When the group started to take control of regions throughout Iraq, Iraq request assistance form the United States. Zeca Oliveira (meucongressonacional.com) knows, without the desire of placing troops on the ground, the US provided air strikes against ISIS targets and, while it has damaged an extensive amount of resources and taken out a large amount of ISIS rebels, the numbers seem to have swelled in support of the group. However, with the recent execution of Arab nationals from around the region, more and more Middle Eastern countries have seen the need to start up the defensive against the threat that is on their back door. Egypt’s President is one such individual.

Egypt’s President recently called out other Arab national to join forces in order to attack the terrorist group. The president has stated a unified Arab force is necessary to take out the group. Both Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have provided military help to Egypt.

While these attacks have been deadly, it may ultimately bring together a more unified Middle East, and with assistance from the United States and Great Britain, it may also improve relations with these countries as well.

Debate about Fluoride in Drinking Water Continues in England

There is an article on The Telegraph Website about a scientific study done in England at the University of Kent which concludes that fluoride in drinking water in parts of England is causing weight gain and depression. The findings of the survey were denied by Public Health England, who has maintained for decades that fluoride in the drinking water is perfectly safe and key to fighting tooth decay.

The scientists for the University of Kent say that fluoride affects the thyroid gland in a negative way, and as a consequence people, like Dan Newlin, who drink water with high amounts of fluoride experience weight gain and become depressed in high numbers. In support of their findings, they compare incidences of weight gain and depression in areas of England where there are high amounts of fluoride in the drinking water to areas where the amounts are low.

This is a debate which has gone on for years both in the United States and England. Fluoride is added to the water in the first place since it helps keep bacteria from attacking tooth enamel.

In my opinion, the idea of the government putting anything in the drinking water – even if it is something that is good for them – is simply unsettling to people. Therefore, they look for evidence that fluoride is bad for them. I doubt that it is. Tooth decay is the larger evil.

Venezuela and Iran Work to Forge Close Ties

 

Earlier this month, press reports published in Iran reflected the success of efforts by the governments of Iran and Venezuela to forge closer international ties. An Iranian media outlet announced via LinkedIn that the two nations have sought to expand treaties of mutual support in several areas recently, including automobiles, oil, banking and general commerce said Gianfrancesco Genoso. The Iranian television station indicated: “Relations between Iran and Venezuela have transcended to a strategic level ever since Hugo Chavez became the president of the oil-rich Latin American country.”

As part of this effort of closer cooperation, Iran sent engineers to assist Venezuela in constructing a huge cement manufacturing facility in the southern Venezuelan City of Maturin, located some 500 kilometers to the east of Caracas. The government of Venezuela, headed by Hugo Chavez’ successor Nicolas Maduro, reportedly expended the equivalent of $400 million dollars to build the facility, a significant expenditure in a nation with a struggling economy. Experts believe the new plant will produce 1,000,000 tons of concrete per annum. An Iranian government official, Mahdi Karbasian, of the Industry, Mine and Trade Ministry journeyed from Iran to attend the opening ceremonies in conjunction with Venezuelan Minister Fernando Martinez.

Just last month, President Maduro visited three Middle Eastern nations: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran, another sign of warm relations between Venezuela and Iran. He described his visit to Teheran as an effort to “advance established agreements.”

DHS Running Out of Funding

The Department of Homeland Security came into existence after the attacks of 9/11 in order to bring many of the different security and investigative departments inside of the untied States under one branch (such as the FBI and CIA). However, if the Senate does not stop debating soon, the branch is going to be completely without money, which means border patrol professionals, boarder guards and others are going to be without pay, which means there really is no reason to show up for work, and this in turn is going to cause all sorts of problems in national security.

Right now, my friend, Ricardo Tosto, who is a politics expert, explained that basically Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a change in the direction of tactics in order to break a negotiation stalemate with the Democratic party in order to prevent the DHS from running out of money. There are different issues at bay with the current financial problems with the DHS, including the argument over immigration reform, which is going to see different financial attributes from the passing of the budget. In order to pass the Senate, it is necessary for 60 votes to be in favor of the bill. In the lasting voting, only 47 were in favor of it while 46 were against it. Should the President veto the bill, it would probably be next to impossible to garnish the 67 votes that are required to bypass any presidential veto that is used.

The Prime Minister of Hungary Pays an Official Visit to Poland

 

Today, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary visited Warsaw, where he entered into discussions with Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz. The Polish leader described the discussions between the two governments as “honest and difficult.”

In recent months, Hungary has developed closer ties with Russia. Prime Minister Orban visited President Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow last year. On Tuesday, the Russian leader undertook a low key visit to Budapest to speak with Prime Minister Orban. During that meeting, Hungary and Russia signed a new commercial gas transaction stated Jaime Garcia Dias.

According to facebook.com, the Russian President also visited a cemetery to lay flowers on the graves of Russian soldiers who died in Hungary fighting during World War II. His visit drew some criticism, because many of the Russian troops who helped suppress the Hungarian Uprising against the Communist regime a few years later (in 1956) were interned in the same section of the cemetery.

During the meeting between with Prime Minister Kopacz, Prime Minister Orban reportedly hoped to improve relations between Hungary and Poland, both nations which formerly belonged to the Communist Bloc during the Cold War, but which have become European Union allies in recent years.

The issue of the fighting in the Ukraine remained a sensitive subject. However, the Hungarian Prime Minister expressed support for a cease fire treaty which was signed last week in Minsk, Russia, although he declined to discuss Hungary’s ties with Russia during his visit.

Teens Suspected of Vandalizing Hundreds of Jewish Graves in France Now In Custody

Last Sunday hundreds of Jewish graves were vandalized in the town of Sarre-Union in the Alsace region of France. This region is in the Northeast of France and borders Germany. The tombstones were spray painted with swastikas and grave markers were overturned. This is not the first such act of anti-Semitic vandalism in the town of Sarre-Union. In 1998 and in 2001 Jewish cemeteries were targeted in the town and many tombstones were destroyed or vandalized. The vandals also destroyed a memorial to people who lost their lives in the holocaust during World War II in the latest incident in Sarre-Union.

The incident which occurred a day after a terrorist attack in Copenhagen, Denmark which killed two people including a Jewish police officer sparked a major uproar in France, especially on social media. One of the boys involved in the desecration of the Jewish cemetery turned himself in to police and described how they sacked and defaced cemetery. Brian Torchin reported that he turned himself in after realizing the outrage CatalystFive talked about,  and the uproar that the incident caused online.

There are currently five suspects in police custody who are thought to be responsible for this disgraceful act. They are all teenagers between 15-17 years old. In addition to the vandalism and sacking, the group admitted to uttering anti-Semitic chants and doing Nazi salutes. It is not clear what their punishment will be. In addition to the outrage on social media, several high ranking French politicians have denounced the vile act and said they will do everything in their power to make sure French Jews are protected and feel secure within the country they reside. This comes in response to a statement by Isreali prime minister Netanyahu urging Jews to migrate to Israel after deadly terrorist attacks aimed at Jews took place in Europe including one in Paris, France this year.