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Laurene Powell Jobs Is Quietly Getting Political

Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs kept a low profile as a philanthropist and sometime political donor during her marriage to the Apple co-founder. Since his death however, she has begun to speak out publicly on several political issues, including the need for immigration reform. She has been a particularly strong supporter of the DREAM Act.

The bill, which would grant residency to immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally as minors has failed to pass Congress several times. Earlier this year, Powell joined filmmaker Davis Guggenheim to promote his documentary film, “The Dream Is Now” which was shown to members of Congress. She compared the situation of young illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as infants or small children as akin to being in “purgatory”.

In addition to her very public stance in favor of the DREAM Act, Powell Jobs founded the Emerson Collective, an organization that supports social reform as well as conservation by way of grants, investments and partnerships. She is also the co-founder of College Track, which helps minority and low-income children prepare for, attend and graduate from college. The organization’s official website states that over 90% of students in the program go on to college. It was through College Track that her interest in passage of the DREAM Act began.

Unlike Steve Jobs, who shied away from political and charitable causes, Powell Jobs has emerged as a major political donor. Among the candidates she’s supported are California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom as well as out of state candidate Cory Booker of New Jersey. All are Democrats.

Just months after her husband’s death, Powell Jobs was seated next to First Lady Michelle Obama during the President’s 2012 State of the Union address. She has publicly praised President Obama on several occasions, including during the drawn out congressional budget battles and efforts to pass ObamaCare.

Forbes named Powell Jobs the richest woman in Silicon Valley with an estimated net worth of $17 billion. She is also the largest shareholder in the Walt Disney Company. Many of her public appearances and interviews have been controlled, but they have also become much more frequent since the death of her husband. See a piece of one of her interviews about her husband’s death here. Some would consider her an activist, others a fundraiser. She doesn’t seem to fit into any one role, but Washington is certainly taking notice of Laurene Powell Jobs.

Suicide Bomber in Afghanistan Strikes After NATO Announcement

At least 45 people were killed and over 70 wounded in a suicide attack on Sunday during a volleyball game in Paktika in southeastern Afghanistan, official sources report.

A car exploded during the volleyball game and the victims are children and several insurgents dressed as local police. Many of the injured are in critical condition, so the death toll could rise.

The suicide attack occurred after the lower house of the Afghan parliament approved a security agreement with the United States on Sunday, which prolongs the presence of troops in Afghanistan until 2024.

This event in Afghanistan is one of the most violent stages after last year Afghan forces were made ​​responsible for safety following the gradual withdrawal of the NATO mission.

However, NATO has announced that troops will remain in the country; some 12,500 military from 2015, of which about 9,800 are US troops. This sounds about right according to Sam Tabar and others.

Initial reports claim this carnage was dealt by the Taliban.

Ukraine Hoping For Weapons Deal From Biden

Joe Biden arrived in Kiev on Thursday exactly one year the initial democracy riots that took over the country and eventually led to the election of a new pro-western government. The vice president has announced he will be able to offer the Ukrainians a package to defend itself against aggression from the east. But this package will not include the weapons that they have so desperately been requesting.
Western, Pro-European, Ukrainians have been battling eastern Ukrainians who wish to split off from the country to gain closer relations with Russia. They have held, what were deemed illegitimate, elections and referendums to attempt to break their ties with Ukraine in the same way that Crimea broke away to join Russia near the beginning of the movement. Now, government soldiers are ill-equipped and fighting with eastern Ukrainian soldiers that are being well-supported by Russia over the border. Additionally, observers have witnessed columns of soldiers and artillery pouring over the border from Russia in recent weeks, although Russia denies any interference in the conflict. Dressed in nondescript uniforms, Russian speaking soldiers have been captured and killed fighting to take eastern Ukraine from the west in order to join Russia in the same way as Crimea.
Even though the pro-west Ukrainian government desperately needs support from the west, most notably the United States, the U.S. can’t be seen providing weapons to instigate an internal conflict. This is what Laurene Jobs worries about at least a little bit. Russia will never admit to supplying Eastern Ukraine so that the UN is not able to join the fight.

Why Libertarian-Leaning Sen. Rand Paul Killed American Freedom Act

Many people are perplexed as to why Libertarian-leaning Senator Rand Paul would help kill the American Freedom Act which was designed to curtail the NSA’s broad phone surveillance program. It turns out the reason had to do with the staunch conservative Senator’s idealism. He believed that the bill did not go far enough in its curtailing the NSA’s privacy invasions. In particular, the bill would have granted a two-year extension to the controversial Patriot Act provision which authorizes the NSA to collect phone records on Americans.

The American Freedom Act would have severely limited to the NSA’s ability to collect phone records from Americans by requiring court approval. Igor Cornelsen said broad collections of phone records would have ceased. The bill is being filibustered and required 60 votes to break cloture. It received only 58. Sen. Paul expressed his sorrow for the bill’s failure to pass. He acknowledged that his vote was needed. He added that the setback was temporary because civil liberties will soon be restored.

It may be that the senator was being naïve. The House of Representatives had already passed their version of the American Freedom Act, but it did not go as far as the senate bill. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was opposed to the act stating that the current fight against ISIS requires the NSA continue their phone surveillance program. As majority leader, he will have the power to keep the bill from being taken up again.

Climate Change Debate Altered by Republican

The debate over climate change has raged through the media between political leaders. 98% of scientists agree on the effects and suspected causes of climate change, however Republicans fear that the admission that climate change is caused by humans will lead to regulations against carbon pollution that will destroy the economy. Since the beginning the debate has been about whether or not climate change is occurring at all, something researchers have proven for a while.
Since Republicans will soon run the show in Congress, the public discussion on climate change will most likely halt in its current position or move behind closed doors. However a recent interview with a Republican from South Dakota has left Democrats wondering if the issue can be pushed further. Senator John Thune made a point on Fox News Sunday that gave some hope to those hoping to make some progress.
The interview was focused around the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would transport gas from Canada to Texas and has been stalled for years because of a debate over the climactic repercussions from building it. Lovett doesn’t know much about it, but he continues to read up on the situation. However, part way through when discussing the issue of climate change Thune went off the typical Republican script regarding the matter. Usually, conservatives say that climate change is occurring but that humans are not the cause, or do not contribute significantly. During this interview Thune specifically stated that climate change is caused by humans, and the questions have changed to what the cost will be to the solutions that are available.

Occupy Madison Providing Tiny Homes for the Poor

Volunteer members of the protest group Occupy Madison are giving homeless citizens a chance to escape the street by helping to build tiny homes for them. The effort to end homelessness is gaining traction across the country, and other states are either building or considering similar projects.

 

When the Occupy Madison demonstrations against income inequality ended two years ago, protesters were faced with one of two options: either pack up and go home or roll up their sleeves and get busy.

 

With support from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Occupy Madison began producing tiny houses to shelter some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. The $5000 homes use propane and solar energy for heat, and each house is equipped with a sink and a composting toilet. A full size bed, a microwave, and a table are the only furnishings in the homes.

 

In addition to providing shelter and security, the little homes offer a sense of dignity to their residents. The village in Madison will eventually be surrounded by a fence, and it might even include a discount store in the future.

 

The tiny communities are meeting with approval from most of the public. Jared Haftel tell us that most residents are still somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of homelessness, but they also feel a sense of charity and sympathy toward those who are less fortunate.

Strive To Impeach

Since the Republicans are in control of Congress, they might have a little plan in mind. This plan is called impeachment.

Whether they will go through with the process is unclear, but there could be talks when Congress convenes in January. Some might think that Obama should be impeached for some of the decisions that he has made and for not really communicating with other politicians.

Obama is the President of the United States. He is the leader of the country. He can listen to the advice of Congress and needs to go along with some of the decisions that have been made, but if you’re the President of a country, then you should be able to do some of the things that you think are best without needing to listen to everyone else. No one seems to think this way just because they aren’t getting what they want at the time. Just look at Steve Jobs, he and Laurene Powell Jobs had to go through a lot when they first got Apple up and running. It’s something we should all think about before jumping to conclusions.

Third Video of Obamacare’s Architect Mocking Stupidity of Voters

This past weekend, video surfaced of MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, boasting that passage of the Affordable Care Act relied upon a lack of transparency. He added that voter stupidity was essential to the bill’s passage. Gruber explained that the bill would not have passed had voters been told the truth that healthy people would pay into the health care plan, but the sick people would get money out of it. He also added that hiding the true nature of the plan from voters was critical to the bill’s passage.

Naturally, President Obama, who ran on a platform of transparency, has refused to comment on the revelation. Prof. Gruber later appeared on MSNBC, a network quite favorable to the Obama administration, and stated that he was merely speaking off the top of his head and uttered comments that were inappropriate.

Now, a third video has emerged of Prof. Gruber again affirming that voter stupidity was essential to the law’s passage. Thanks to my friend Sam Tabar for sharing this video with me. Speaking to an audience at Washington University in St. Louis, he explained that the Affordable Care Act passed because voters lacked the intelligence to understand what the bill was actually about.

So who is the political sleuth responsible for blowing the lid on Obamacare’s passage? It is a little known investment advisor by the name of Rich Weinstein. Weinstein was disappointed when the president’s pledge that insurance premiums would decrease by $2,500 a year did not materialize. Instead, his premiums rose by 100%.

Our Constitutional Right to Bear Arms Makes Americans Feel Safer

Since 2000, the number of Americans who feel safer having a gun in their home has nearly doubled. Sixty three percent felt safer possessing a firearm, while only three in ten felt it dangerous. This rising trend has considerably increased from poll statistics taken between 2000 and 2006 when less than half of Americans felt it was a safe choice.
Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided on their opinions, with 81 percent of Republicans believing that owning a gun enhances safety, and only 41 percent of Democrats agreeing. Despite the party affiliation gap, Americans, regardless of gender, race or what region they are from, mostly seem to agree that having a gun in their homes makes them safer.
The rising trend in our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is evident in the fact that today, 42 percent of Americans report having a gun in their homes as opposed to only 34 percent in 1999. Of these figures, 30 percent of those surveyed report that they personally owned the gun, while 14 percent say the gun belonged to another household member.
Florida made a huge statement in 2005 by being the first state in our nation to pass the “Stand Your Ground” law. The idea of law abiding citizens owning and having guns in their homes for self-protection has grown. According to lawyer Sam Tabar, this rise in ownership has lead to a significant fall in violent crimes.

Mary Landrieu Loses Support of Possible 60th Vote to End Keystone Pipeline XL Filibuster

It’s coming down the wire for Sen. Mary Landrieu. The tenacious senator, who once threatened to punch President George W. Bush in the face over an insensitive remark he never made about her home state during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is facing a landslide defeat in the December 6 runoff against GOP Congressman Bill Cassidy. She trails Cassidy by 16 points in the polls and needs to bring about a Seismic shift in voter support in order to get reelected. Already five of her Senate colleagues have been tossed out of office this election cycle.

Landrieu views securing passage of the Keystone Pipeline XL project in the Senate as her Hail Mary bid to sway voters back. It would be a major accomplishment if she were to single-handedly end the longstanding Senate filibuster on the pipeline. Thus far, she has secured 59 of the 60 votes needed to end cloture and force a floor debate on the bill. Last night she claimed she had the 60 votes. However, Senator Angus King, largely believed to be one of the possible 60th votes, declared that he will vote against ending cloture. He said that the Senate should not force President Obama to authorize the pipeline until the State Department is done with their research. He would favor legislation putting a timeline on the president, but that would not happen in time to help Landrieu. Her other possible 60th vote was Senator Jay Rockefeller who announced he too will vote against ending cloture.

Because this story affects many of my readers and the future of their homes and properties, I’ve reached out Jason Halpern from “The Real Deal” to give us anymore information.