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April 25, 2014

Miller Time: My Sunday With Joe

myBFF

Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand? —Jimi Hendrix FAIRBANKS, AK — All three Republican US Senate candidates—Dan Sullivan, Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell—attended the Tea Party-ish Day of Resistance event in Wasilla last Sunday. But only one, Joe Miller, then braved the cold of the interior to attend the rally in Fairbanks. It appears Sullivan and Treadwell would like to peel off a few of the conservative and libertarian activists who are Miller’s base, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience them into having to head north. It was just as well, as candidates of tony…

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Enforcing Civility

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“Michael Grimm’s behavior last night was disgraceful, completely unacceptable, and unbefitting of a United States Congressman. Using threats of physical violence to intimidate the press from doing their jobs is against everything our country—and our government—stands for.” Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. Democratic Congressional candidate (NY-11) We do not have two political parties in this country. We have one—admittedly often feckless, craven or uninspiring, but largely sane—political party, and one scorching case of ‘roid rage. In the case of former Illinois Congressman and accomplished temper tantrum Joe Walsh, renowned for publicly barking at the taxpayers who pay his salary, voters didn’t take…

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Quotes of the Week – A Sixpack

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Oh no they di’int! It’s been quite a week for the gum-flappers, the yammerers, and the makers of opinion – some good, some bad, and some that make you just want to slam you head on the desk until they go away. Let’s dig in. Sarah Palin on Race What better way to start the week in which we celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. than with a little race baiting from our ex-half governor? Not sure if judging someone by the content of their character is really where she wants to go. Rush Limbaugh on Chris Christie…

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Hashtag Mead Treadwell Staff Fail

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It’s one of the most important and highly watched Senate races in the nation. Alaska is one of five states that went for Mitt Romney in 2012, and for which there is a Democratic Senator up for re-election next year. It’s a power seat, with the potential to tip the balance and change the country. Despite that fact, the Republicans who have lined up to take on incumbent Democrat Mark Begich seem a bit lackluster. And the one lacking the most luster seems to be the one who would be most likely to pose a real challenge to Begich in…

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GOP Whines About Consequences

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They pushed too far. This week the U.S. Senate changed its rules. After almost 40 years, the majority now rules. This was a change I’d hoped for. We’re told that elections have consequences, and sometimes they do, but in the Senate the need for a supermajority of 60 votes gave all power to the minority (Sen. Ted Cruz & Co.). To put this in context: In the history of the United States, 168 presidential nominations or appointments have been blocked by filibuster in the Senate. Eighty-two of them were directed at a single president. Can you guess which president that…

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Murkowski Slammed Over Filibuster Vote

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally went nuclear. Using a rare procedural move, Reid and a majority of Senators voted 52-48 to overhaul a filibuster rule which had largely worked for decades, but which Republicans had so abused since the beginning of the Obama administration, that judicial and cabinet appointments that once would have been routine, became dead in the water. The numbers speak for themselves. The vote was largely down party lines, with 3 Democrats breaking ranks. But at least one Republican we know, who had a history of supporting the concept of the up-or-down vote, cast her vote…

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Oyster Roundup – Cool Pope, Crazy Cruz & More

Pope Francis

Gather round little ones! It’s time for a cool half-dozen slurpable newsy bites on the half shell. We Heart the Pope There goes that Pope again, giving Christians a good name. Sarah Palin noted, with some consternation that this Pope is sounding kind of “liberal” and her verdict is still out. While the former half-term governor of Alaska “does her homework” and figures out that Jesus was a liberal, the Pope turned his ire toward corruption. Take heed governments around the world and the Vatican. AwesomePope is not pleased with you, and says “the corrupt should be tied to a…

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Don Young & 22 in GOP Oppose TPP Fast Track

Congressman Don Young (R-AK) at a recent Federal Overreach Summit in Anchorage.

“Fast track.” Sounds productive. Sounds exciting. Sounds all, “Git ‘er dun.” But in reality, what fast track trade authority does is allow a President to sign and enter into a trade agreement before Congress gets to vote on it, have a guaranteed vote within a set number of days, limited debate, and no amendments allowed. Presidents including Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush requested the authority, which has been used 16 times since its inception in the 1970s. And now President Obama would like to have it while negotiating trade agreements via the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). [Here’s a quick…

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NSA Spying, Tax Fraud Join Trade Debacle

US Trade Representative Michael Froman (left), EU Trade Chief Karel de Gucht (right)

Although the horrendous TPP (“Trans Pacific Partnership”) pact is the most pressing global trade story here in the U.S., the current round of the TPP’s European cousin (aka TAFTA) is taking the cake in Belgium for sheer entertainment value. At the core of both pacts are sweeping new corporate rights and privileges, like the investor-state system. That little gem allows corporations to sue governments in foreign tribunals for taxpayer compensation of any domestic policy they claim undermines their “expected future profits.” Take a minute and sit with that last sentence until it really sinks in. Developing nations seeking commercial relationships with the…

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TPP 101 in Less than 4 Minutes. Go.

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You’ve likely heard about the “TPP” in the news lately. You know it has 3 letters. You may even know that they stand for Trans Pacific Partnership. You may know that it’s considered a bad thing by the left, the right, and everyone in between. You may know it has something to do with trade… aaaand you may have gotten overwhelmed. Or you may be frustrated that other fairly engaged people seem not to know what it’s all about and why it matters. Here’s a great primer that takes less than four minutes, featuring Amy Goodman from Democracy Now interviewing…

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