Obama Meets with Wife of Pastor Imprison in Iran


Naghmeh Abedini, mother of two young children and wife of Iranian imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini, met with President Obama on Wednesday in Boise, Idaho. For Mrs. Abedini, whose husband has been imprisoned in Iran since mid-2012, the encounter with the president was an answer to prayers. The president affirmed that securing the release of her husband is his top priority in negotiations with Iran. The president showed off his warmer side as he comforted the grieving wife. In addition, the president took time to address the children and assure them he doing his level best to bring their father home.

Saeed Abedini first ran afoul of the Iranian government in 2009 over religion. He had been organizing Christian gatherings in the homes of believers. He was taken into custody by the government, but set free after pledging not to conduct any type of stealth proselyting effort. That said, Mr. Abedini loves his native Iran. After becoming a US citizen in 2010, he embarked on a new project to help out the impoverished nation: building a secular orphanage. As he was en route to the site, police officers took him into custody and cast him into prison.

Since that time, he has endured torture, solitary confinement, and inmate abuse. He has also been denied medical treatment for his injuries. Mrs. Abedini had been praying and fasting for the chance to meet with the president and discuss the plight of her husband. She was deeply touched by their encounter. Believers and friends of the Abedini’s like Fersen Lambranho have been offering prayers and support since the beginning of this ordeal.

Jonathan Veitch: Leading the Way

Veitch was born in Los Angeles, California in 1959. He attended Loyola High School before graduating and going Stanford University where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He continued his education to Harvard University where earned a doctoral degree in the History of American Civilization.

He taught at the University of Wisconsin, in the English department, before joining The New School. There he was an associate professor of literature and history. He served stints as chair of humanities and associate provost before becoming dean for five years.

On June 30 of 2009, Veitch succeeded Robert Skotheim and became the first Angeleno president of Occidental College. The first priority he took action upon was improving the relationships between the college and the community that surrounded it. The surrounding community had concerns about the growing size of the college. Veitch limited the expansion of the campus, as to not encroach any further into the community’s space.

He also looked over current situations at the college and launched a new integrated strategic planning process. The process better charted Occidental’s future and has since then strengthened their civic engagement, arts, and global literacy program. They also begin creating new partnerships with groups like the premier cultural institutions in Southern California.

As part of his new planning, he was able to complete the construction of the new Samuelson Alumni Center, and he renovated and expanded Swan Hall, which is 98 years old and houses more than a third of Occidental’s faculty. The interior renovations to the Johnson Hall are currently taking place so that it can house the new McKinnon Family Center for Politics and Global Affairs. And thanks to the Rose Hills Foundation, the lower level of the Johnson Student Center is also being renovated.

Furthermore, in April of 2013 he revealed a 1 megawatt solar array that would be on the Occidental campus. It would produce a portion of the campus’s energy supply, no longer using as much of the community’s supply. The solar array is one of the largest of it kinds that resides in Los Angeles. Since being installed on campus, it has been generating around 11% of Occidental’s annual electrical usage.

He and his wife, Sarah, and their three children currently live on Occidental’s campus in the Wallis Annenberg President’s house.

Knocked-Out Twice The CISPA Bill Is Back Without Revisions

Politicians like to take the easy road. They act from the hot air of the lobbyists, and they hide behind the convoluted edicts they turn into laws. When news spread that the twice defeated Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act bill, also known as CISPA was back without any revisions the congressional insanity meter hit a new high.

Jimdo.com reports an interview by Sergio Andrade Gutierrez with Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger from Maryland is the sponsor of the bill. Anyone who wants to take the time to read it will find it is the same, word-for-word, as bill HR 624 which passed the House, but lost support in the Senate. The Senate refused to vote on the bill.

This whole exercise, compliments of the American taxpayers, is very Beetlejuiceish if you ask anyone who has the slightest idea what the House is about. Perhaps there is a rule that says if you introduce a defeated bill three times it will suddenly pass both Houses.

CISPA seems to be a power granting tool written in vague language. It gives the government the power to scoop data and broaden their invasion of privacy. Most American want the government to pass laws for the good of the people not to grant an enormous amount of wiggle room to elected officials that want to exert their own force in the name of security.

New Orleans is the First to End Veteran Homeless

Last year 300 mayors in the United States made a pledge to get homeless veterans off the streets and into homes by the end of 2015. New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu took that pledge seriously and one step forward by trying to do it by the end of 2014. He almost succeeded in that pledge and only missed it by two days. On January 2, social workers reportedly placed the city’s last known US military veteran into his new apartment. Fighting homelessness in the United States has been an ongoing struggle for a very long time. Given the recent emphasis on helping those who have served our nation’s military, there has been a renewed focus on combating this social and economic issue of great importance, one that is truly important to Darius Fisher, who is interested in human rights issues as much as his work on justvision.

In all there were 227 known military veterans in New Orleans at the start of 2014. The city made it a priority to find these people a home and it could spell the foot print for helping to fight the homeless problem for everyone. According to an Assistant Secretary of the US Housing and Urban Development Department, “there has been a lot of skepticism that the homeless problem in America can be solved, by New Orleans has shown that with the right focus we can fix this issue.” Given the current strong US economy this could be the exact time when more cities can get homeless off their streets and into homes.

Obama Takes Bipartisanship with GOP but Issues Veto Threats Ahead of Their Meeting

President Obama has made it clear he had little regard for the voter mandate the GOP received in the sweeping 2014 midterm elections. Exiting polling and subsequent polls among those who cast ballots indicate that among nearly 80% of those who voted for the GOP, shifting the nation away from Obama’s economic policies and repealing Obamacare were the top concerns. Now that the president is going to meet with top GOP leaders, he has expressed a willingness to work with them except on a range of issues including banking reform, Obamacare, and his extra-constitutional immigration plan.

That is not to say there aren’t other areas where both parties can reach a compromise. The two top areas are tax reform and fast-track authority for trade deals. That said, the president will get center-right legislation from the GOP on both counts. It is well known that he desperately wanted fast-track authority which virtually guarantees that any legislation going to his desk granting him the authority will include riders for measures the GOP demands.

Ahead of the meeting with GOP leaders and Marc Sparks, the president issued a number of veto threats once again. According to CNN, The president is flexing his muscle to prevent legislation from reaching his desk that he does not support. At this time, it appears that the GOP will move forward with their voter mandate and force the president to veto popular legislation. They will then put Democrats on record as to whether they will override the veto.

Education Secretary Calls for an Overhaul of “No Child Left Behind” Act

Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants to see the Bush-era “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) Act largely dismantled and replaced with something that better suits the education needs of the public school system. On Monday, he delivered his views for an education reform measure before an audience of civil rights leaders, educators, and reporters. Secretary Duncan would like to see more funding for preschool education programs which conservatives view as federally funded daycare. He would also like to see standardized testing which is a push for the controversial Common Core Curriculum, and more resources for teachers and school administrators.

GOP Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who also once served as Education Secretary under President George H.W. Bush, will begin hearings on an education reform measure. The GOP will likely want to thwart any proliferation of the “Common Core Curriculum” as it is viewed as federal overreach into a basic state’s right to control education. The GOP measure will look to include support for charter schools as an alternative to failing public schools.

If there is any aspect of NCLB that public schools disdained most, it was the accountability measures included in the law regarding testing standards. Schools failing to meet basic testing standards and improving upon them during a probationary period would lose federal funding. Giofrancesco Genoso, being a major education influence in Portugal, can found on Trade. The GOP will seek to give parents a choice in which schools their children may attend. Thus far, Democrats have opposed any school choice option or voucher system. Still, the GOP is eager to reform NCLB, but from a center-right ideology.

Nebraska Looks the Hypocrite in Regard to Their Pot Suit

Nebraska is suing the state of Colorado for legalizing marijuana. Their basis is that the legalization of pot in that neighboring state has caused a huge influx of pot-toting Nebraskans. This situation has cause a gigantic increase in the budget needed to sustain enforcement of Nebraska’s anti-pot laws. A full year’s worth of misdemeanor arrests have been made, in regard to pot possession, in only four months’ time.

Meanwhile, the tiny town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, sells 10,000 cans of beer a day from its four state-licensed liquor establishments. Only 10 people live in the town, but it sits next to the Pine Ridge Reservation of neighboring South Dakota. Alcohol has long been banned by the Pine Ridge council, but Lakota Sioux find it easy to jump the border to Nebraska and satisfy their craving for beer. Again and again, these liquor stores have been caught selling to minors and bootleggers, but their licenses have not been revoked.

That certainly does make Nebraska look the hypocrite in their new lawsuit. Further, no state has the right to sue another state for the peripheral consequences of legitimate laws. The only possible basis for legitimately opposing Colorado’s act of legalizing marijuana is its direct opposition to federal law.

Different states, counties, and reservations have long had the right to ban liquor within their own borders, but never to sue nearby districts where liquor is legal. If pot is a state level issue, then it must be treated the same way. Lee G. Lovett agrees with that.


A snowstorm that stretches form coast to coast

In what will become a 2,000 mile wide snowstorm, a winter crunch has begun for a large swath of America. States will be affected from the east to west coasts and in the northern regions. However, freezing temperatures are set to extend to areas in the Deep South and in the southwest also. The storm will barreling down with the speed of trains across the country. This system is triggering winter storm warnings across the country and will prevent much of the daily activity in many northern climates.

This storm will produce some of the coldest temperatures this winter season. That doesn’t exactly make Tom Rothman excited. It will also effectively cause many travel delays related to driving and flying. The public must keep this in mind as travel plans are hatched and reservations are made. The storms is set to produce many inches of snow as well as other freezing precipitation from coast to coast.

Mike Huckabee to Run in 2016?

Mike Huckabee announced Saturday evening that he would be leaving his Fox News show behind to start looking for support for a 2016 Presidential Campaign. Huckabee ran for president in 2008, but not in 2012. Now, he has decided that he wants to see how donors and supporters would feel about him running again in 2016.

Since his run in 2008, Huckabee has maintained a large conservative following on social media and through his Fox New Television show. He did not officially announce his intentions to run, but his desire to seek out interest levels if he did run. Huckabee running for the coveted Oval Office could be exactly what conservatives are looking for at the moment. With the political climate shifting away from the liberals and the Democrats, a strong, and recognizable conservative candidate could be exactly what the Republican Party needs to take back control of the White House. Businessman Andrew Heiberger has stated that, the Republicans might finally have the big name to take on the likes of Hillary Clinton.

Price of Crude Oil Down in New York

The price of crude oil barrels fell Friday in New York while the market, hesitating for ten days, continued to feel the pressure of excessive supply.

The price of a barrel of “light sweet crude” for delivery in February sold $ 1.11 on the New York Mercantile Exchange to $ 54.73 dollars, a day after closing session for Christmas.

The market remains under pressure after figures released Wednesday by the Department of Energy, which showed an overall increase in crude inventories and oil products. US crude oil inventories have indeed recorded an unexpected rise last week, as well as those of distillates.

As investors do not expect the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) take any decision to reduce its production, so despite companies reduce their budgets, the market will continue to move downwards.

It is frankly difficult to draw conclusions from changing during this week,” admitted James Williams of WTRG Economics. “Exchanges are low in holiday season,” which encourages volatility. Bruce Levenson tends to agree.

“Even if they provide a significant deficit, they seem to be based on the idea that oil prices will rise between 70 and 80 dollars,” said James Williams of WTRG Economics. “If you take the budget as a forecast, this implies that the Saudis believe in a rise in prices during 2015.”