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Senator Sullivan Cosponsors S.477 – 114th Congress (2015-2016): Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act of 2015 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress

via Text – S.477 – 114th Congress (2015-2016): Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act of 2015 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress.

As of 9/13/2015, there have been 269 mass shootings in the United States – just for 2015. And it’s the manufacturers and dealers who need protection?

I also find it interesting that while the text of the bill appears to acknowledge that some other legal activities are on the FDIC’s “high risk” list, neither the bill’s author nor Senator Sullivan appears interested in getting them off the list. Only guns matter. I find that sad. I also find it sad that you can finance a gun shop or factory, but not a legal marijuana business in states like Alaska that allow marijuana.

Veterans Get More Choice in Health Care

Am I Eligible?
If you are already enrolled in VA health care, you may be able to receive care from non-VA facilities, instead of waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.

You are eligible if any of these situations apply to you:

You have been (or will be) waiting more than 30 days for VA medical care You live more than 40 miles away from a VA medical care facility or face one of several excessive travel burdens.

via Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act | About the Program.

If you know a vet whose is more than a 40 mile drive from the nearest VA facility, share this information from the Veterans Administration with them. They MIGHT have other options.

Back-to-School Tools for Military Families | DoDLive

via Back-to-School Tools for Military Families | DoDLive.

If you know military families with school age children, let them know about the resources they have to make school transitions easier. The link about talks about a mix of social and academic resources available for military families.

Military children here in Alaska also have access to the SLED Databases, as does every Alaskan.

Don Young Rejects Slowing Down Iran, Wants to do, what? Iraq II?

Only a few hours after I wrote Representative Don Young asking him to accept the Iran Deal, I received his latest Washington Update e-mail, which quoted from his July 14 2015 press release on the Iran Deal. He’s against it. I’m not too surprised. But what does surprise me is that he acknowledges the Iran Deal will make it harder for Iran to get a bomb (bolding mine):

As the Administration prepares to roll out its dog and pony show in support of this deal, the fact remains that this agreement, if properly enforced, will only delay Iran’s longstanding pursuit of a nuclear weapon, while providing billions of dollars in sanctions relief that support radicalism in the region.

So, by Representative Young’s own admission, this deal will delay any Iranian nuclear weapon. But he doesn’t want to do that. His press release is silent on what he wants to do instead after the deal is disproved.

So what are the options? A better deal is out of the question. This deal was months late and represents the maximum Iran is willing to offer. This offer has already been accepted by the European Union and the UN Security Council. They want to give the deal a chance to work. They’re not going to want to try dragging Iran back to the table to make more concessions. Russia and China will veto any effort at new global sanctions on Iran.

So, if a new deal isn’t in the cards, what then?

1) We do nothing at all, which in Don Young’s view brings Iran closer to a nuclear weapon than accepting the Iran Deal.

2) We take military action. Now Representative Young may want us to believe that a few weeks of air strikes are all we need to erase Iran’s nuclear capability. But that’s not realistic. Proponents of air power have promised to bring nations into compliance since the German Air Force promised Hitler that Britain could be eliminated from World War II by air power alone. It didn’t work then. It didn’t work to neutralize the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. It’s not making much of a dent in ISIS in either Iraq or Syria. I’ve lost count of how often Israel has bombed Gaza without getting Hamas to stop flinging unguided missiles at it. Bombing isn’t going to erase all of Iran’s nuclear sites or eliminate the means to start over.

So we’d need a regime changing ground force. TEN YEARS of occupying Iraq failed to bring us the government we wanted. Why does anyone think we could do better in Iran – a larger country whose citizens are proud of their nuclear power program?

So Don Young doesn’t like the Iran Deal and implies that he’ll vote against it. If he does, he’ll be voting to either do nothing at all or take our country into another pointless “preventive war” that will fracture the region further and send more of our servicemembers home as cripples or in body bags. No thanks. Take the deal.

All Info – S.1383 – 114th Congress (2015-2016): Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Accountability Act of 2015 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress


This bill, co-sponsored by Senator Sullivan, is an effort to politicize the funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A bad idea with no real connection to accountability.

Why I need not be frightened of Santorum, Cruz, Perry or other second tier Republican Candidates

The latest poll from Fox News puts Donald Trump at the top of the Republican field, with 18 percent. Scott Walker is in second at 15 percent, and Jeb Bush is third at 14 percent. No one else reaches double-digits in the national survey: Rand Paul, 8%; Marco Rubio, 7%; Ben Carson, 6%; Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, 4%; Chris Christie, 3%; John Kasich and Rick Santorum, 2%; Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal and George Pataki each received one percent or less. Remember: the top 10, as decided by Fox, get into the first debate next month. Yesterday, Univision released its own poll showing that 7 in 10 Hispanic registered voters have an unfavorable impression of Trump.

via The Daily 202 from PowerPost.

Every day I seem to get some breathless report about some new outrageous thing a Republican presidential primary candidate has said. And I’m not talking about the eye rollers from joint front runners Trump, Walker and Bush. It’s like “Can you believe that Santorum said that?” “Have you heard the latest devilry from Ted Cruz?” “OMG Rick Perry is going to turn the US into a theocracy!”

I’d like to ask everyone to take a deep breath and forget them for the time being. Look at that national poll again. No one besides Trump, Walker and Bush hits the double digits. And they have plenty of in their records to complain about. Let’s not dilute criticism of these records with angst over people who quite likely will be gone from the field next Spring. Don’t give them attention they don’t deserve.

Give Bernie Sanders some attention if you want. He’s polling around 15% among Democrats. That makes him more popular in his party than EVERYONE in the latest Fox poll except The Donald. If you’re a progressive, spreading hopeful stories about Bernie makes more sense than worrying about dead enders like Cruz and Santorum.

If other Republicans can break double digits, I’ll pay attention to them. Or if a Republican emerges who’s not simple a “Me too! But I’m tougher and cut more taxes and bomb more countries than those losers!” I’ll pay attention. Until then I don’t think the scary stories are worth my time or yours. Unless you’re a Republican voter.

Robert Reich (Why Wages Won’t Rise) – I think he’s right

None of these changes has been accidental. The growing use of outsourcing abroad and of labor-replacing technologies, the large reserve of hidden unemployed, the mounting economic insecurities, and the demise of labor unions have been actively pursued by corporations and encouraged by Wall Street. Payrolls are the single biggest cost of business. Lower payrolls mean higher profits.

via Robert Reich (Why Wages Won’t Rise).

For whatever reason lately, Facebook has been showing me items from robertreich.org as “new” even though they’re months old. The piece above is from January, I think it is still true today. I haven’t seen much wage growth in the economy at large. All of the reasons that Reich gives appear intuitive. If you have studies suggesting otherwise, I’d certainly read them. I hope we can agree that unions are pretty much under continuous attack. If you don’t, I don’t believe you’ve been following either the Republican Presidential primary race or the recent to-do’s over employee unions in Alaska, Kansas and Wisconsin.

While the incentives for individual corporations to reduce wages and worker rights as much as possible are enormous, it’s not sustainable. In the United States we live in a consumer driven economy. The economy needs sales in many sectors to grow. The 0.1% just do not have enough needs and wants to spend the same amount of money that the bottom 99% used to spend. So eventually, when all of the high wage jobs in this country have been outsourced or automated, consumer spending will go into free fall and business will fail on an economy wide scale.

It’s a classic tragedy of the commons. A confident middle class with money to spend is important to the economy as a whole. But driving wages to the bottom gives near term profits to any individual company. That’s why I believe in a mandated living wage, limits on working hours without overtime pay and stronger unions.

If you don’t like those ideas what are yours? What market incentives can we give to American business so that sustaining a viable middle class aligns with individual companies as well as the economy as a whole?


US wealth inequality – top 0.1% worth as much as the bottom 90% – http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/13/us-wealth-inequality-top-01-worth-as-much-as-the-bottom-90


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