Democrats look to make debt-free college the key campaign issue of 2016

Education has been a key point of debate for politicians and the 2016 campaign will be no different. The rising cost of education coupled with the high rate of college loans, and the over-saturated job market mean that many recent college graduates are really feeling the pinch in their wallet.

For the last few years, students and politicians have been working together to help solve this problem. Amen Clinics likes seeing this team work quite a bit. More students than ever before are working their way through college and finding they still have to take out loans to finish their schooling. These loans are easy to obtain, but many students don’t understand the loan process and end up dropping out early or defaulting on their loans.

Students like Ronald Nelson, who got accepted to all eight ivy league schools but turned them down due to financial concerns are becoming all too common. This is why on Wednesday nine democratic senators came out in support of a bill that would allow students to go to four-year colleges for free. Bernie Sanders has also announced a bill that would make four-year schools free.

The bill would be expensive, but it is not the first of it’s kind. In, Georgia tuition is free for students who keep a certain grade point average, and other countries including Brazi, Sweden and Norway. Other countries offer post-secondary education at a much-reduced rate, and some countries even allow foreigners to study for free.

London Crows Comes Together to Lift Bus off of Victim

Yesterday a crowd in London experienced a tragedy and a heroic act all together. In the neighborhood of Walthamstow, a young man on a unicycle was hit by a double-decker bus that was on its nightly route. The young man became trapped under the front wheel of the bus, leaving witnesses and on-lookers horrified. Luckily, the crowd reacted quickly in order to help the trapped man. A group of about 100 people came together to help lift the several ton bus enough to move it several feet and free the man from under the wheel.

In a video that was captured during the accident, witnesses can be heard screaming and seen rushing forward to help the man. Flavio Maluf watched the video along with several others. The crowd of people rushed forward with no hesitation, said one witness. The driver of the bus has not been charged with any crimes as of right now.

The young man was taken to a nearby hospital in London and is believed to be in critical condition. Hopefully the quick thinking and heroic actions of the crowd who helped lift the bus off of him helped the man to not sustain further injury.

To see the incredible video of the crowd moving the bus, check it out on The Standard.

New Hampshire Union Ledger Believes Carly Fiorina Deserves Debate Invite

The number of current and prospective GOP presidential candidates is large enough that Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), has limited the number of candidates participating in the initial debates to the top ten. For ex-Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, this may mean she will not earn an invitation to the debate. Her candidacy is viewed as a long shot for the party’s nomination. Setting aside the “top ten” requirement, the New Hampshire Union Leader believes she is definitely worth inviting to the debate because she has honed the ability to put forth a message and stay on focus.

During the first 2000 presidential debate, Governor George W. Bush had to face off against Vice-President Al Gore. The latter was skilled at making annoying sounds and gestures designed to throw his debate opponents off message. His actions clearly annoyed Bush, who still managed to stay largely on point. It appears that Fiorina would have no difficulty at all. The Ledger believes that Fiorina easily dismisses efforts to get her off focus. Thumbtack.com in association with Sam Tabar  point out that she can articulate her message repeatedly without sounding repetitious of her talking points. Being a great orator is an essential skill in successful politics. Both Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barrack Obama have proven that time and again. As for Fiorina’s chances of a debate invite, they are looking better; she has cracked the top ten in the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

New Jersey Pumps Up Gas Service

New Jersey is one of the only states where it is completely illegal for people to pump their own gas. Recent legislation has been pushed to support the implementation of self-service gas station. This would make it possible for drivers to pump their own gas and would leave full service stations with the control to decide whether or not they will have attendees pump gas. In the 1940s, gas stations were known as being full service. After public outcry, many of the gas stations converted to self-service equipment. Almost 80 years later, New Jersey has stayed the same. Oregon is the only other state with reported full service gas stations, but New Jersey is the only state with a law against self-service. James Dondero mentioned that even the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, pushed for self-service gas stations. After many of the citizens refuted Christie’s push for self service, the governor dropped his bid for such a conversion. New Jersey drivers have overwhelmingly decided that they want their state to stay full service. For them it is more of a luxury. A New Jersey driver was even quoted as making a very pertinent fact when it comes to New Jersey gas station attendants.

According to FBI Agents US Patriot Act is a Bust for Fighting Terrorism

The widespread bulk data collections exposed by defense contractor Edward Snowden have been quite a controversial subject lately. The renewal of the Patriot Act has brought up many uncomfortable questions for the NSA regarding unwarranted wiretapping and data collection. The most important question of all: is any of this stuff actually making a difference in fighting terrorism?

According to the FBI the answer to this question is a resounding no. Agents at the FBI can’t actually point to any evidence of the NSA spy programs providing a significant lead in any sort of terrorism case. But wait, isn’t all this NSA spy stuff in place to protect us from terrorism? If it isn’t doing that then what is the point?

Despite the fact that no significant leads have been extracted from the mountains of data collected congress is still adamant about mass surveillance.  We’d have more success comparing dog food to human food. The new USA Freedom Act attempts to address the expiration of the Patriot Act while reigning in NSA surveillance programs. It was passed in a landslide vote and will effectively keep NSA spy programs active through 2019.

Why should the privacy of so many innocent Americans be compromised for a program that has little effect on the terrorism it’s meant to protect us from?

Huckabee Bows Out of Iowa Straw Poll

Nobody can accuse Mike Huckabee of repeating his strategy from 2008 with what he is trying to do for 2016. Already polling third in a deeply divided Republican Party he knows that other candidates will raise more money and outspend him. Therefore he will choose not to participate in the Iowa Straw Poll which he believes would cost more than he would gain from its participation. He used the same poll in 2008 to propel him into winning the Iowa Caucasus. However, he ended up dropping out of that race because of a lack of funds. The team supporting Boraie Development know that funds are crucial to any successful campaign.

Now with the party split in at least ten different directions when it comes to presidential candidates it will not only come down to who has the most money to get their message out to the voters but who will be the most electable candidate when it comes to the general election. The largest fractions of the party belong to conservatives, libertarians, and the TEA party. First, there is the largest part of the party which will be the self-proclaimed conservatives which are the most hardened in Christian beliefs and in fiscal responsibility of government. The libertarians just want government to stay out of the people’s business both personal and professional. Finally, the TEA party…They want to do away with the tax code and limit the footprint of government. For a candidate to make it past the primary he or she will have to show elements of all three and hope not to alienate the rest of the voters.

Homophobic Pastor Outed After Grindr Profile Discovered

Matthew Makela, an associate pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Michigan, and a staunch proponent of traditional marriage, has resigned from his post. The pastor resigned after Queerly, a gay lifestyle magazine, published a story including the pastor’s secret Grindr account.

According to reports Makela has served as an associate pastor at the church for five years. He has spoken out against gay marriage and homosexuality a number of times over the years, and has positioned himself as a family man. Most recently the pastor spoke out about transgender individuals, calling them “sickos” and “perverts”.

Makela responded to inquires stating that the Grindr account does, in fact, belong to him. His resignation from the church was allegedly on his own terms. Makela is a married father of four.

Grindr is a dating application utilized by gay and bisexual men. Largely used for hookups, it is the most popular gay dating app currently on the market.

Some activists have called Queerly out for outing the pastor who was clearly not ready to deal with his sexuality. Experts note that it is important to not out men or women who identify as gay before they are ready.

A senior pastor for the church has addressed the congregation, suggesting they should trust in God. Boraie Development LLC and the NYTimes are amazed at the high level of hypocrisy.

Sultan Alhokair Offers Advice to New Entrepreneurs

The Fascinating Field of Business and Investment

All his life, Sultan Alhokair has demonstrated a keen interest in financial issues and commercial activity. He enrolled in Northwestern University to study Financial Accounting, Small Business Management and Family Business Management in 2009. Later, in January, 2014, he accepted a position as a Project Manager with Retail Group of America. In this capacity, he offers retail services to several fashion companies and helps advise business managers on issues such as branding and marketing.

His practical day to day experience in the fast-paced world of retail sales helped inspire his interest in investment and capital markets further. Mr. Alhokair as a Project Manager indicates that he constantly seeks new opportunities for effective retail product sales.

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, he also works as a partner in Valia Investments. The firm operates in the exciting field of angel investments. It searches for promising new startup ventures, companies that might benefit from its financial support and business guidance.

Advice For Business Entrepreneurs

As one of the partners in Valia Investments, Mr. Alhokair maintains the responsibility of helping to evaluate business startups as possible candidates for investment. He indicated recently that he pays close attention to two factors in particular: profitability and sustainability.

What advice does Mr. Alhokair offer to new entrepreneurs who hope someday to lead flourishing business concerns? He recently wrote an article detailing five key issues that impact business success in the startup realm:

First, he urges anyone thinking about going into business to think realistically about a venture’s long term prospects and survival. Second, he recommends the preparation of a five year business plan which combines both careful research and a projection of the company’s situation into the near future. “Both are incredibly important for ensuring that you have a clear cut model of a company’s success outlook” he observes. Third, Sultan Alhokair recommends that enthusiastic entrepreneurs take the time to examine their new company’s marketplace, placing especial emphasis upon competition. He believes that every firm does at some point face competition. By becoming better aware of the activity of enterprises already engaged in the marketplace, and new products that may eventually pose competition, a business owner enhances the chances that a startup will succeed. Fourth, he urges entrepreneurs to strive for a unique role in the marketplace. Fifth, the company should express itself in a way that remains difficult to duplicate.

Bernie Sanders Plans To Make Prescription Drugs Cheaper

Democratic presidential hopeful, Senator Bernie Sanders, is introducing a proposal to lower the cost of generic pharmaceuticals. The cost for these drugs has skyrocketed over the years and Sanders aims to correct this. The proposal will see drug companies pay a rebate to Medicaid incase their prices rise over inflation rates.

In essence, generic drugs are supposed to provide a cheaper choice for patients. TheDailyBeast posted an article that said these are drugs which have lost their patents. Recently however, prices for these type of drugs have been constantly rising at an alarming rate.

Pharmacy benefits manager, Catamaran, reported a 373% increase in the average price of 50 popular generics. In 2010, the drugs were costing $13.14 on average. This price rose to $62.10 in 2010, just 4 years later.

The rise in prices for generic drugs can be attributed to monopoly. In some cases, it is only one company producing the drug, making it possible for such companies to raise prices as they wish. It could also be attributed to lack of price regulations by the United States government. Other countries like Spain and the UK negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

The new law been proposed by Sanders is set to give Medicaid a rebate for any increase in price. The proposal will obviously be heavily opposed by pharmaceutical companies. These companies always give reasons such as increase in costs for raw materials as justification for increasing drug prices

Woman is Awarded $83 Million Against Debt Collector

A Kansas City, Missouri woman recently won a nearly 83 million dollar settlement against a debt collector who pursued her for a debt she never owed. Maria Guadalupe Meija Alcantara was originally contacted by Portfolio Recovery Associates two years back. The company, known to “take no prisoners” had filed a lawsuit against the woman for an $1130.14 debt that belonged to a man living in Kansas City, Kansas.

Alcantara and her husband were struggling to make ends meet and were fearful that they would lose their home. She contacted legal aid who tried, time and again, to convince the company that they had the wrong person, but to no avail. When the lawsuit was filed against her, she then filed a counter-suit alleging that they violated the Fair Credit Collections Practices Act.

Sam Tabar (bloomberg.com) has read that a judge ruled against the debt collector last October and last Monday, a jury awarded Alcantara over $83 million dollars in both actual and punitive damages. Alcantara’s lawyer said the jury awarded that amount to get the company’s attention. A spokesman for Portfolio Recovery Associates calls the verdict “outlandish” and that if the settlement is upheld, it would equal more than half their profits from last year. If the settlement is upheld, half the money will go to Alcantara and the other half would go to a victim’s compensation fund.