Obama To Veto Keystone XL, Potentially Other Bills

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President Obama is slated to veto the Keystone XL bill passed by Congress Tuesday, among the first of several key potential vetoes in his final years in office.

 

02242015_Veto Tweet_TwitterEven though the House passed the final version of Keystone earlier this month, only today is the lower chamber sending the bill to the White House for consideration. The president has 10 days to act on the legislation (except for Sunday), or else it becomes law. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated Monday the bill will be vetoed.

“I would anticipate, as we’ve been saying for years, that the president will veto that legislation, and he will, so I would not anticipate a lot of drama or fanfare around it,” he said.

Earnest added that Obama will veto the bill because it would conflict with the U.S. State Department’s current review of the TransCanada pipeline, which he says could still be approved later. In a statement on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., encouraged the president to change his mind:

It’s hard to even imagine what a serious justification for a veto might be…I know powerful special interests and political extremists are pressuring the president to veto American jobs. I hope President Obama will join us in standing for the middle class instead.

This would only be the third veto during Obama’s presidency, noted The Detroit News. But the president has signaled he would ban a 20 week abortion ban if it came to his desk as well as any changes to his immigration policy.

“If rather than try to solve the broken immigration system they compound the problem, I’ll veto it,” he said at a retreat for Democratic House members in Philadelphia last month, Politico reported.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said earlier this month that there would be a veto override vote for Keystone XL. “If he vetoes it as we anticipate – I worked at the White House so I know that once a president says something it doesn’t change – yeah, we’ll have a vote.”

h/t: The Washington Post

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Alaska Becomes Third State To Legalize Marijuana

Photo Credit: U.S. National Archives (Creative Commons)

After a ballot measure was passed in November, Alaska officially legalized the recreational use of marijuana Tuesday, becoming the third state in the country to do so. It is still illegal in The Last Frontier to smoke marijuana in public, The Associated Press reported.

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Alaskans voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in November, 53 to 47 percent, The Week reported. NPR pointed out state residents are now allow to harvest up to six plants on private property.

“You can still give people marijuana, but you can’t buy it – or even barter for it,” said Alexandra Gutierrez of Alaska Public Media. “So, it’s a pretty legally awkward spot. That probably won’t stop people from acquiring it though.”

There are no stores yet, but black market sales are still illegal…The state is now crafting regulations for marijuana retailers, and the stores will be licensed and operational by next year.

Gov. Bill Walker, an Independent, proposed legislation Monday that will create a marijuana control board, which would not start operation until 2016. A similar board that regulates alcohol sales exists in the state.

Police officers in Anchorage, the state’s largest city, have queued up tickets for $100 fines for anyone caught smoking in public.

The 49th state joins Washington state and Colorado in legalizing the practice. Oregon will be legalizing marijuana in July. Voters in the District of Columbia legalized marijuana, which has since been blocked by Congress, NPR noted.

h/t: The Blaze

Share this if you are passionate about marijuana use, one way or the other. 

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Scientists Believe ‘Milky Rain’ Caused By Two Different Storms In Pacific Northwest

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Image for representational purposes only.

Two groups of scientists in the Pacific Northwest will be conducting tests on what is being dubbed as “milky rain” by officials. The substance coated several cities across the region last week.

 

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On Friday, the National Weather Service (NWS) had reported ashy debris covering vehicles in more than 15 cities in Washington and Oregon, KING reported. Meteorologist Nic Loyd said the dirty rain, or ‘milky rain’ as it is being dubbed, was due to a convergence of a Nevada dust storm and a Pacific Northwest rain storm.

“It was an unusual convergence of weather factors that set up the event. Drifting ash from a volcanic eruption would have been easier to figure out,” Loyd said, dismissing a theory from the Richland lab that Volcanic ash from an erupting volcano in Japan might have been the cause.

KGW pointed out NWS came to the same conclusion: a dust storm in Nevada with strong winds melded with rain in the Pacific Northwest.

Reuters reported Wednesday that scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Benton Clean Air Agency, both in Washington state, have collected samples to investigate the phenomenon more closely.

Benton Clean Air Executive director Robin Bresley Priddy told Reuters that nothing unusual was detected while the rain was falling. “We don’t have any reason to think there’s anything wrong, but there’s no reason not to be cautions if you’re concerned,” Priddy said. “You may want to wash it off your car with water, rather than with your hands, and avoid touching it and breathing it in.”

h/t: Business Insider

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Conservative Actor Nick Searcy Slams Obama For National Prayer Breakfast Remarks

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A conservative-leaning actor slammed remarks made by President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington last week. The president has been criticized across the spectrum since he made the remarks.

The president made the following comment last week:

Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.

Actor Nick Searcy slammed the president on Twitter Sunday. Searcy currently stars in FX’s Justified, and has appeared several films including Cast Away, One Hour Photo, and Moneyball.

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Conservatives have not been the only ones to admonish Obama for what he said. Andrea Mitchell of NBC News lambasted the president on Meet The Press Sunday.

You don’t use the words Crusades, number one, in any context right now. It’s just it’s too fraught. And the week after a pilot is burned alive, in a video shown, you don’t lean over backwards to be philosophical about the sins of the fathers. You have to deal with the issue that’s in front of you or don’t deal with it at all. Talk about faith.

Speaking Monday on Fox News’ Hannity, Star Parker called the president’s words “verbal rape,” while former Fox News host and former Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas asserted that everything Obama does “is against what Christians stand for, and he’s against the Jews in Israel.”

The one group of people that can know they have his undying, unfailing support would be the Muslim community. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s the radical Muslim community or the more moderate Muslim community.

h/t: TPNN

 

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Second Amendment Group Sues D.C. Over Concealed Carry Permits

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A pro-Second Amendment organization filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia Tuesday. The group contends the jurisdiction’s concealed carry permit application requirement is too restrictive. D.C. mandates that a person must have a “good reason” for such a permit to be issued. Every application, save a few, has been rejected.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a federal lawsuit against the D.C. government along with three private citizens: Brian Wrenn, Joshua Akery, and Tyler Whidby. Wrenn and Akery live in the District, while Whidby lives in Florida, though maintains a residence in Virginia, according to an SAF press release.

“[I]ndividuals cannot be required to prove a ‘good reason’ or ‘other proper reason’ for the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms,” the lawsuit argues.

Both the D.C. government and Kathy Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, are named as defendants in the suit. “The city’s requirements to obtain a carry permit are so restrictive in nature to be prohibitive to virtually all applicants,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.” “It’s like a ‘Catch 22,’ in which you can apply all day long, but no reason is sufficiently good enough for Chief Lanier to issue a permit.” In their research, Gottlieb’s organization found less than 10 concealed carry permits have been issued in D.C.

Because of that, the city has set the bar so high that it relegates a fundamental civil right to the status of a heavily-regulated government privilege.

That is not only wrong, it also does not live up to the previous court rulings. Law-abiding citizens who clear background checks and are allowed to have handguns in their homes are being unnecessarily burdened with the additional requirement of proving some special need.

As reporter Leo Hohmann points out, D.C. is a “may issue” jurisdiction, as are some traditionally Democratic states, like New York. Traditionally red states like Georgia and Texas, on the other hand, are what are known as “shall issue” jurisdictions.

h/t: WND

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom