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August 22, 2017

Send in the Clowns, the Circus is in Session

Photo by Zach D Roberts

Photo by Zach D Roberts

Are you still following the news? It’s OK if you’ve glazed over. You’ve got a life and it’s pretty frustrating if you’re trying to live it at the same time you’re following the latest national crisis.

Every few hours feels like opening one of those Russian nesting dolls and a new “are you kidding me?” pops out. Special counsel convening, subpoenas turned down, leaked secrets, you’re fired, who knew and when did they know it, and then you realize it’s almost lunchtime.

When you try to catch up on local news you get the dreary prospect of the state going into another year of special sessions. Here’s a thought — we should stop calling them special sessions. They aren’t special. They happen every year now and it’s because they don’t get their work done.

Why? Per diem. How about our lawmakers pay the state for every day they go over? I digress.

This week Sen. Dan Sullivan announced he would hold a town hall meeting. My goodness, the accolades he was given, the glory and bravery of a senator doing his job — listening to the people of Alaska.

Really? I don’t remember anyone giving out gold stars to Mark Begich for his town halls, but maybe I missed that. Thanks for doing what should be considered the minimum of showing up, Sullivan.

Here’s a few things happening in Washington, D.C. , behind the circus tent flaps that hasn’t been getting the front pages because, well, it’s all a circus.

Sure, you know the U.S. House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Well, they may have to vote again because it hasn’t been sent to the Senate and it doesn’t save money. It’s a problem.

I know it’s awkward because they had that party in the Rose Garden after their vote to take health care from millions of Americans, but they can still use those pictures in their campaign literature.

Nothing like taking people’s doctor visits away to really impress them. Under Trumpcare, pre-existing conditions will keep people from getting insurance.

Think of it this way: if you’ve been assaulted and need ongoing medical care, that’s a reason for insurance companies to say they don’t want to cover you for less than a mortgage payment a month.

The person who assaulted you, if convicted and sent to jail, will have covered medical care. Kind of unfair.

Trump also let his advisers know he wants to end payments of key “Obamacare” subsidies, a move that could send the health law’s insurance markets into a tailspin. Just so we’re all clear, Obama himself will have excellent health care for the rest of his life. People on “Obamacare,” not so much.

Another issue sliding by is net neutrality. It sounds like something too many people have that don’t care about fish farming. It’s not.

Net neutrality is what keeps an even playing field on the internet. If it goes away, the searches you do and stories on top will be the ones paid to be there — not always the best way to get information. It slows down or speeds up some sites.

The net was created as a public utility and at this point it shouldn’t be turned into a slow lane and fast track for monied interests.

And closer to home, the Environmental Protection Agency and Pebble Partnership have come to an agreement to allow less specified permits to be issued.

Alaskans don’t want this. That’s probably the easiest proven statement I could make.

Last fall’s Bristol Bay Protection ballot initiative passed in every single district in the state. Every last one. That had never been done before. Salmon are our legacy and that’s not something we argue about. (We do argue allocation like it’s “Wrestlemania.”)

The EPA has thrown out science in favor of foreign corporations. It should be shocking. It’s not.

Our delegation needs to hear from us on these and other issues we care about. Everyone is over their waders trying to get through the front end Scandalfest, and it’s hard to keep going when your boots are filling up.

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One Response to “Send in the Clowns, the Circus is in Session”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    Sullivan’s townhall will be in Cleveland and Alaskans have to pay their own air fare. It’s the best he could do when he is raising campaign cash. Please give generously and remember if you don’t show he will take that as a sign you aren’t interested.

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