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January 30, 2022

SitNews Front Page Photo REX BARBER

Loring Waterfall 
Adding to the interest of the waterfall is the adorable Freckles. He is half cocker spaniel and Australian shepherd
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Alaska: Legislators Express Disappointment at Board of Fisheries Decision to Keep Meeting in Anchorage Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN - Alaska legislators expressed their disappointment Friday following a meeting of the Alaska Board of Fisheries where they upheld their decision to keep the Southeast and Yakutat Finfish and Shellfish meeting in Anchorage, instead of the original location in Ketchikan. The decision will leave Southeast communities reliant on traveling to Anchorage to interface with the board as they make decisions that impact the Southeast.

“I’m deeply disappointed by the Fish Board’s decision to vary from their traditional process in determining their location for their meetings," said Rep. Dan Ortiz (I- Ketchikan). "Based on the board members’ comments before their vote, it seems like their primary concerns with meeting in Ketchikan were based on lack of convenience with their own personal schedules rather than prioritizing the Board’s tradition of being accessible to the Alaskans who are most impacted by their decisions. I would certainly like to thank all the individual residents and entities of Ketchikan who bent over backwards to try and accommodate the needs of the Board in order to encourage them to decide to return their meetings back to the Southeast. While that effort ultimately did not succeed, folks in Ketchikan could not have done more.” 

“Local input from key stakeholders is critical to the Board of Fisheries being able to make reasoned and well-thought out decisions," said Speaker Louise Stutes (R- Kodiak, Yakutat). "I'm frustrated that this wasn't observed in this case and hope it doesn't become a pattern."

“I understand there are many factors influencing the location of a Board of Fisheries meeting. I will always advocate for the Board to have their meetings in the region where the impacts of their decisions will be most heavily felt,” said Rep. Andi Story (D- Juneau).

“The Board of Fisheries decision to have a meeting about Southeast issues in Anchorage is an affront to Southeast residents and stakeholders," added Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka).

The Alaska Board of Fisheries announced last Monday that it would meet Thursday (January 27)  to reconsider the location for its Southeast and Yakutat Finfish and Shellfish meeting. 

The meeting originally was to be held from January 4-15, 2022, in Ketchikan; however, due to the large COVID-19 surge, the meeting was postponed. Given a number of constraints, including facility availability, the board rescheduled the meeting to March 10-22, 2022, in Anchorage.

After the meeting was rescheduled, through the work of Representative Dan Ortiz and managers of the Ted Ferry Civic Center in Ketchikan, the facility was again made available for this board meeting. Based on facility availability and board member schedules, a meeting could occur in Ketchikan from March 10-20, 2022.

The board met on January 27th to vote on reconsidering the meeting location. However, at that meeting the Alaska Board of Fisheries upheld their decision to keep the Southeast and Yakutat Finfish and Shellfish meeting in Anchorage, instead of the original location in Ketchikan leaving residents of Southeast communities reliant on traveling to Anchorage. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022

Alaska: Governor Dunleavy Addresses Alaskans in Fourth State of the State - Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy addressed Alaskans and the Legislature Tuesday (Jan. 25, 2022) in his fourth State of the State speech, expressing a positive vision for Alaska’s future by working together. He delivered his speech before members of the Senate and House, in person, in the House chambers in contrast to the virtual delivery last year because of COVID-19.

With the second half of the 32nd Legislative Session underway, Governor Dunleavy emphasized fiscal restraint alongside a budget surplus. He spoke of crime rates going down and Alaska recovering from economic devastation from the pandemic. He praised Alaska’s firsts in the fight against COVID, while still protecting Alaskans’ medical freedom. He spoke of building our own supply chain for food security, investing in public safety, the health care system, mental health bed capacity and of gaining energy independence, and unlocking opportunity with high-speed broadband in rural areas. He expressed challenging a federal government that is trying to shut down resource development in Alaska and also pledged fighting for Alaskans’ share of the resource wealth through the permanent fund dividend. (View or listen to the State of the State)

In response to the Governor's State of the State address to the Alaska Legislature, Senate Democratic Leader Tom Begich (D-Anchorage) issued the following:

“I’m glad to hear the Governor applaud our need to work together, his acknowledgement of Alaskans who have succeeded against long odds, his championing of renewable energy, education, public safety, and fisheries. But I’m disappointed in his failure to acknowledge the impact of the billions of dollars brought in by the Biden Administration, which has assisted in our ability to address the pandemic, rebuild our infrastructure, and frankly, address our deficit.

“To attack the Biden Administration and say it doesn’t care about us is frankly unfair. The support from the Biden Administration has jumpstarted our economy to overcome our deficit, is driving us to renewable energy, and is helping us to substantially expand broadband. So, if we are going to learn to work together, it has to start with improving the relationship between the Governor and our federal Administration. That’s on the Governor.

“In terms of our future, not acknowledging the need for new revenue in the long-run leaves all Alaskans with uncertainty. Building a budget on the stock market and the volatile price of oil is not a sustainable plan for our next generation. Dictating a vision of a balanced budget, without acknowledging this reality, doesn’t move us forward.

“It was this Governor who attempted to dismantle the University system, cut public education funding, and put the state fiscal burden on local taxpayers in his first budget. We are all encouraged now by a budget that rejects that vision. But if we don’t work toward a sustainable and comprehensive fiscal plan, the Alaska that we all cherish will become even more divided by partisan and election politics. 

“The Governor and I have been able to bridge our own political divide, so I would offer this piece of counsel: Heed your advice, and let’s work together – whether it is with a local government or the Biden Administration. As I stated on the first day of this legislative session, we must come together and put the election and partisan politics aside if we are to be successful. If this is truly what the Governor believes, I am ready to join the Governor in this mission.”

In the Alaska House chambers Tuesday tonight, Governor Dunleavy also recognized five inspiring Alaskans and one stellar Alaskan who could not attend.

“Each of our five guests is an exemplary Alaskan,” said Governor Dunleavy. “My fellow Alaskans constantly impress me with their determination and diversity – through nationwide competition, overcoming addiction, helping out their neighbors, and displaying resilience in their field. These five guests symbolize the spirit of Alaska and I am honored to have them attend the State of the State this year.” - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022

jpg Alaskan Infrastructure Roundtable

Alaskan Infrastructure Roundtable: Congressman Don Young Invites Alaskans to Share Their Ideas for Infrastructure Investments

Alaska: Alaskan Infrastructure Roundtable: Congressman Don Young Invites Alaskans to Share Their Ideas for Infrastructure Investments - Alaska Congressman Don Young recently announced the launch of his Alaskan Infrastructure Roundtablea fully-online platform allowing Alaskans to have a voice in the rollout of funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law). Since its enactment in November, the Alaska Delegation has already announced over $1 billion in funding for Alaska from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Under the law, Alaska is eligible for over $5 billion in funding. As resources continue to arrive in the state, Congressman Young encourages Alaskans to share their ideas for Alaskan infrastructure projects which may be eligible for the bill’s grant programs.

“Building robust and reliable infrastructure for Alaska's future is one of my highest priorities. As Congress drafted the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I worked hard to ensure Alaska was front and center in negotiations. The Alaska Delegation was united in the bill's passage, and in the short time since the bill was signed into law, our state has already received over $1 billion in infrastructure funding,” said Congressman Don Young.- More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022

Fish Factor: Lawmakers getting tough on unfair global trade policies By LAINE WELCH - Seafood is Alaska’s biggest export by far and lawmakers are getting tough on trade policies that unfairly trounce global sales.

Two resolutions (SJR 16 and 17) were advanced last week by the House Fisheries Committee that address Russia’s ban on buying any U.S. foods since 2014, and punitive seafood tariffs by China since 2018. Meanwhile, the U.S. imports increasing amounts of seafood from both countries. 

Both resolutions were introduced by Senator Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) and “urge more attention” by Alaska’s federal team in Congress to restore pathways for fair trade.

“In order to remain competitive in the world seafood market, our Alaska seafood processors need some help from our partners federally. These resolutions would attempt to restore focus on negotiations with China to ease this tariff war that's underway and level the playing field with Russia in favor of Alaska,” said Stevens’ aide Tim Lamkin at the hearing.

The heck with that, said a chorus of Fish Comm members who applauded the intent but said it doesn’t go far enough. 

“Why aren't we asking that we not import any Chinese or Russian fish? Why not turn the tables and put the embargo on them?” asked co-chair Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak).  

“I can tell you it is frustrating when we go into a grocery store here in the U.S. and see Russian seafood products sold at a much lower rate. We hear it from the processors we work with, we hear it from the fishermen,” said Jeremy Woodrow, director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

In any given year, between 75% and 80% of Alaska seafood by volume is exported,” he explained, calling it “vital to the economic health of Alaska's communities and its seafood industry that we can remain competitive in a global marketplace.”

“Think crab, pollock, wild salmon, halibut and cod - Russia competes with Alaska’s commercially harvested seafood across the global market. And their products are imported and sold at a lower cost, and therefore undercut the value of Alaska seafood products in our most valuable market, the United States,” Woodrow continued. “And since 2014, the U.S. has seen Russian seafood imports increased by 173%.”  

Switching to China, the ongoing trade war since 2018 has increased tariffs as high as 37% to 42% on U.S. seafood entering that country. Overall, the U.S. market share of sales is down 63% while Chinese imports to the U.S. have doubled and increased by 91% in value.

“The Alaska seafood industry invested over 20 years developing the China market for reprocessing and domestic consumption and grew that into our number one export market reaching nearly $1 billion in 2017. The retaliatory tariffs in 2018 have dropped exports to China to record lows,” Woodrow said. 

“The challenges have been amplified over the course of the Covid pandemic further stressing the need for fair and balanced foreign trade,” he added. “Alaska has seen its export values decline considerably due to shipping disruptions, escalating costs, border closures and rolling closures of markets. Compared to 2019, exports in 2020 were down $500 million, and approximately $300 million in 2021.” 

One of the hardest hits has been taken by Alaska pollock, the nation’s largest food fishery, which faces a 500% higher tariff rate than competing Russian pollock going to China.

“It is my belief that the economic and social well-being of Alaska's coastal communities and the entire life of our industry rise and fall together,” said Stephanie Madsen, director of the At-Sea Processors Association who called the retaliatory tariffs “crippling” and the nearly 7-year Russia embargo “outrageous.”  

“The Alaska seafood industry is proud to serve American consumers, but the truth is the sheer size and scale of Alaska’s fisheries means our economic survival is heavily dependent on secure and fair access to key export markets,” Madsen said. “Fair international trade, in turn, increases seafood prices, provides greater revenues to harvesters and promotes economic activity and security to communities throughout our state. Unfortunately, changing international trade rules have reduced our competitiveness in some markets and completely cut off our access to others.”

“We're fundamentally looking for a fair and a level playing field,” said Chris Barrows, director of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022


Transboundary Rivers: Resolution of mining threat to Skagit Headwaters,  but the threat of Canadian mines to American rivers remains - Posted & Edited by MARY KAUFFMAN - - U.S.-based conservation groups welcome the Jan. 20 news of a great win resolving the threat of B.C. mining in the so-called "Donut Hole" of the Upper Skagit River, that flows from British Columbia (B.C.) into Washington state. Due to sustained pressure for three years from a robust international coalition of more than 300 organizations, the prospect of mining by Imperial Metals Corp. in the Skagit headwaters is no longer a threat to the river and communities downstream. 

The decision to now surrender all remaining claims recognizes the challenges of obtaining mineral exploration and development permits in this area. Said Brian Kynoch, President of Imperial, ”Our objective as a mining company would have been to proceed with exploration of our claims. But as a company that is responsive to the aspirations of Indigenous communities, government, and neighbours we support this agreement.“

Imperial has held Giant Copper since April 1988. The claim area hosts two mineral deposits containing copper, silver and gold and a recently discovered gold showing. The claim area predates the creation of Manning Park and the Skagit Valley Provincial Park which now surround the claim area.

This announcement that Imperial Metals Corp. has relinquished its Skagit mineral claims signals the B.C. government can do the right thing with enough international pressure and financial support. However, our fight against multiple B.C. mining operations in the headwaters of shared U.S.-B.C. transboundary rivers is far from over. Binding watershed protections are needed to protect many rivers shared by B.C. and Washington, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana from polluting, under-regulated B.C. mines.

"We in Washington regard British Columbia as a great neighbor with which we share a love of nature and prosperous commerce," said Mitch Friedman, executive director of Seattle-based Conservation Northwest. "But B.C. is anything but neighborly in the way they jeopardize our rivers, communities, and fish and wildlife."

Quoting a news release from Salmon Beyond Borders, B.C. has weak, dangerous mining regulations and lacks a process through which downstream jurisdictions can give meaningful input. As a result, communities in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana have long been impacted by active and potential B.C. mine pollution flowing downstream across the international border. Many of these U.S. communities are at continued risk of future catastrophic pollution from B.C. mine tailings dams waste, which B.C.'s own experts have predicted to fail at the rate of two every ten years.

For example, the Copper Mountain Mine is only 50 miles north of the Washington border in the headwaters of the Similkameen River, the next large transboundary watershed to the east of the Skagit. It is the third-largest copper mine in Canada. It features two leaky tailings dams that are already four times the height of Imperial Metals' Mount Polley mine waste dam that collapsed in 2014 and sent 6.6 billion gallons of contaminated mine waste into the Fraser River watershed. 

According to Salmon Beyond Borders, despite its size and protest from those downstream, Copper Mountain Mine plans to expand operations significantly. Communities and salmon fisheries in southeast Alaska, northern Idaho, and northwest Montana are similarly impacted and threatened by massive, poorly regulated mines in B.C. and the lack of binding watershed protections developed by all entities who share and depend on these iconic transboundary rivers.

“This underscores the power of indigenous-led conservation and management. Hopefully, the entire region will revert back to the peoples that have the knowledge and wisdom to pass this on to all future generations," said Rob Sanderson Jr., Chair of the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022

Governor Selects Julie Sande for Commissioner of Commerce, Community and Economic Development

Photo courtesy Office of the Alaska Governor

Alaska: Governor Selects Julie Sande for Commissioner of Commerce, Community and Economic Development - Governor Mike Dunleavy selected Julie Sande as the new commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Sande was most recently executive director of the Pioneer Home in Ketchikan. She currently holds seats on the boards of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and the Alaska Energy Authority. Sande replaces Commissioner Julie Anderson who announced her retirement earlier this month.

 “Julie Sande operated the Pioneer Home in Ketchikan with distinction and has an impeccable record of public service,” said Governor Dunleavy. “I am fully confident her proven leadership abilities and knowledge of Alaska’s business sector will translate into a successful tenure at the commerce department.”

 “I have always  been so proud to have been raised in Alaska, especially remote and rural Alaska,” said incoming Commissioner Julie Sande. “Having spent the majority of my career serving Pioneers and elders of our great state has helped give me an appreciation for our history and an appreciation for how creative and hardworking those folks had to be. Owning small family run businesses during a pandemic gives me a clear understanding of some of the challenges Alaskans are facing. I am very excited to have an opportunity to work with the Governor and the team at DCCED to continue the work they have been doing to serve Alaskans and help build stronger communities.  

Sande earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Montana and a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Southern California. She is also a lifelong Alaskan who was primarily raised in remote logging camps of Southeast Alaska where she still enjoys spending time. She is the proud mother of Shawn Patrick and Campbell Rose.

A lifelong Alaskan, Commissioner Sande grew up in the remote logging camps of Southeast Alaska where she still enjoys spending time. She is the proud mother of Shawn Patrick and Campbell Rose.

She brings extensive experience in both the public and private sectors to the role of Commissioner and is focused on building stronger, more resilient communities and growing Alaska’s economy for the benefit of Alaskans. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022


Alaska: Unfair and Biased Attack on Alaska Salmon Fisheries, Special Interest Hit Piece Says ADF&G Commissioner - A report on interceptions of British Columbia salmon in Southeast Alaska salmon fisheries was publicly released on January 11, 2022 by Canadian environmental groups.

Many Pacific salmon stocks are highly migratory and often travel across state and international borders. Several stocks migrate into Alaska's waters to take advantage of the rich marine environment in coastal Southeast Alaska and the Gulf of Alaska where they feed and grow before starting their journey back to their natal streams to spawn. Our quality habitat allows these salmon to thrive and return healthy to their natal streams to renew their life cycle.

On their return voyage, these highly migratory salmon are subject to a multitude of fisheries which are managed under the auspices of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. The Pacific Salmon Treaty is a conservation-based international agreement between the United States and Canada to carry out their salmon fisheries and enhancement programs so as to "prevent over-fishing and provide for optimum production of salmon resources and to ensure that both countries receive benefits equal to the production of salmon originating in their waters".

It is common knowledge that Alaska harvests salmon that originate from rivers outside the state just as British Columbia harvests salmon that originate in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. This is precisely why there is a Treaty in place. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022

Southeast Alaska: Alaska Power & Telephone SEALink Fiber Optic Project Receives Environmental Approvals and Executes Contracts for 2022 Construction; Project is Proceeding 2 Years Ahead of Schedule - Alaska Power & Telephone Company (AP&T) has achieved key milestones for the SEALink fiber optic project undertaken by its subsidiary AP&T Wireless (APTW).

In December of 2021, US Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Services (RUS) provided the SEALink project with environmental clearance, authorizing construction. Shortly after RUS environmental approvals, APTW executed a contract with Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke, a German subsidiary of the submarine cable manufacturer Prysmian Group, for supply and installation of the submarine fiber optic cable in 2022 – two years ahead of the project’s original schedule.

The SEALink project will create a 214-mile submarine fiber optic cable from Prince of Wales Island to Juneau, with an overland crossing on Mitkof Island through the community of Petersburg. The project also involves terrestrial network build-outs in the communities of Coffman Cove and Kasaan, which currently lack broadband service. The project is funded by a $21.5m grant from USDA Rural Utility Services, and over $7m in matching funds from APTW.

Meanwhile, APTW has been making arrangements to begin constructing SEALink’s terrestrial project features in 2022. It anticipates boring on Mitkof Island will begin in the coming weeks, followed by development of Mitkof-based aerial transport fiber. After that, AP&T will begin fiber-to-the home build-outs in the communities of Kasaan and Coffman Cove. Improved residential service should begin to become available in 2023. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022


Alaska: Secretary of Commerce Determines Alaska Fisheries Eligible for Disaster Relief - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game was informed recently that, in response to the Governor Dunleavy's request, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo found that the following Alaska Fisheries met the requirements for a fishery disaster determination.

  • 2018 Upper Cook Inlet East Side Set Net and 2020 Upper Cook Inlet salmon fisheries
  • 2018 Copper River Chinook and sockeye salmon fisheries, 2020 Prince William Sound salmon fisheries, and 2020 Copper River Chinook, sockeye, and chum salmon fisheries
  • 2019/2020 Eastern Bering Sea Tanner crab
  • 2020 Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska
  • 2020 Alaska Norton Sound, Yukon River, Chignik, Kuskokwim River, and Southeast Alaska Salmon Fisheries 
  • 2021 Yukon River salmon fishery

Positive determinations make these fisheries eligible for disaster assistance from NOAA. It does not provide funding or authorization for payments. The Secretary, working with NOAA Fisheries, evaluates each fishery disaster request based primarily on data submitted by the requesting state. A declared fishery disaster must meet specific requirements under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and/or the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022

Southeast Alaska: 87th Annual Tribal Assembly Moved to Virtual Format - The Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) has announced the 87th Annual Tribal Assembly will be held virtually this year due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

At a special meeting held on January 28, 2022, the decision to move the Tribal Assembly to a virtual format was made by the Executive Council under their constitutional authority. The meeting included a full discussion that considered a range of scenarios and mitigation strategies for Tribal Assembly which was presented by Public Safety Director and Tribal Emergency Operations Center (TEOC) Incident Commander Jason Wilson.

“Although we maintained hope Tribal Assembly could be held in-person, COVID-19 cases are still on the rise from the Omicron variant,” shared President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson. “In everything we do, we must keep the health and well-being of our Delegates, staff and communities at the forefront. I commend our Executive Council for their continued leadership.” - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022

Columns - Commentary



PETER ROFF: FIXING THE POSTAL SERVICE WITHOUT BREAKING IT - The U.S. Postal Service doesn’t say anything about pandemics or lockdowns in its motto. Nonetheless, over the last two years, America’s mail carriers stayed on the job and kept the nation going.

It’s important to keep that in mind as Congress begins once again to wrestle with the thorny issue of postal reform.

To give credit where credit is due, U.S Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has proven himself to be an exceptional administrator. Throughout the lockdown, the Postal Service continued to deliver mail and packages together to the entire country, six days a week. Over the most recent holiday season, despite the pandemic, it delivered more than 13.2 billion letters, cards, and packages, within three days on average. That’s a considerable increase over last year, made possible in no small part because the reforms enacted already under DeJoy’s 10-year operational improvements and strategic investment plan boosted daily processing capacity by 13 million packages. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022


MATT MACKOWIAK: A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK - The 2020 presidential election, and the intense debate that has continued for more than year after its conclusion, have invariably led to new proposals to affect future national elections.

While it any federal “voting rights” legislation is unlikely to pass, in recent weeks several elected officials, including the second-ranking Republican U.S. senator, John Thune of South Dakota, and the House majority whip, Democrat Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, have expressed interest in reforming the Electoral Count Act. This would clarify the role the vice president — in their role as president of the Senate — plays when certifying the vote of the Electoral College.

These debates are renewing discussion and momentum for moving to a national popular vote, if not by the 2024 presidential election, then by 2028.

How would it work? - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022


FINANCIAL FOCUS: Should inflation affect your investment moves? - As you know, inflation heated up in 2021, following years of pretty stable – and low – numbers. And now, early in 2022, we’re still seeing elevated prices. As a consumer, you may need to adjust your activities somewhat, but as an investor, how should you respond to inflation?
First, it helps to know the causes of this recent inflationary spike. Essentially, it’s a case of basic economics – strong demand for goods meeting inadequate supply, caused by material and labor shortages, along with shipping and delivery logjams. In other words, too many dollars chasing too few goods. Once the supply chain issues begin to ease and consumer spending moves from goods to services as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, it’s likely that inflation will moderate, but it may still stay above pre-pandemic levels throughout 2022. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022


jpg Political Cartoon: Brain Dead

Political Cartoon: Brain Dead
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Political Cartoon: CDC Groundhog
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Political Cartoon: Canadian Truckers
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jpg Opinion

Biden is the worst president in history and Murkowski supports him By Kelly Tshibaka - Joe Biden is the worst president in the history of the United States. He could not have accomplished this humiliating “achievement,” though, without Senator Lisa Murkowski’s consistent support.

Through his COVID shot mandate, Biden intentionally violated the constitutional and civil rights of millions of Americans, imposing his will on their bodies by threatening their livelihoods.

Biden previously pledged not to issue such a mandate, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki even conceded the federal government did not have that authority. White House chief of staff Ron Klain also publicly promoted the idea that the shot mandate was the “ultimate work-around” of the limitations on Biden’s executive power. Klain’s retweet of an MSNBC anchor was noted by the US Supreme Court in the ruling that struck down the mandate.

Let’s remember that Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Barrett, who joined the majority to block Biden’s tyrannical power grab, would not be on the Court if Murkowski had prevailed in opposing their nominations. Without Kavanaugh and Barrett, the ruling could have gone the other way.

To knowingly violate the Constitution was a breach of Biden’s oath of office, and to oppose the confirmation of justices who went on to block Biden’s shot mandate remains a stain on Murkowski’s record.

What’s more, by his own standards, Biden has been an abject failure in combatting COVID-19. When COVID deaths reached 200,000 during Trump’s presidency, Biden said, “anyone that is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president.” COVID death totals now exceed 850,000. I’ve lost loved ones to COVID this past year—I imagine others reading this are grieving as well.

During his campaign, Biden blasted Trump for the COVID testing program, promising he would do better. In fact, he has promised an improvement in testing availability month after month, but things still have not improved. Americans suffering with COVID are waiting for hours, even days, to get tested and have access to critical treatment. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022
jpg Opinion

China Controls Critical Supplies By Donald Moskowitz - Alan Dowd documents some problems with China in The American Legion Magazine of December 2020, and I liberally quote from the article.

The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the adverse impact on the world attributable to China's domination of the production of medicines, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. Prior to the pandemic China produced " 35.9 percent of America's antibiotics, 49.8 percent of our medical bandages, 71.7 percent of our facemasks and 77.2 percent of our plastic gloves. During the pandemic China " quietly managed to buy up much of the world's N95 masks. "

China, a potential adversary, also controls the production of rare earth elements, which are used in the manufacture of a wide array of products, including " cell phones, televisions, vehicle engines, computers, lasers, industrial magnets, fiber-optics, and superconductors, and they are also used in our military hardware such as " F-35 aircraft and our M1A2 tank. "  - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022
jpg Opinion

Don’t pay too much attention to guesses about how US Supreme Court will vote on abortion rights – experts are often wrong By LAWRENCE STROUT - The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will not be handed down until late spring or early summer 2022, when the court typically issues verdicts.

The potentially historic case challenges a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

This case could overturn or uphold the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which protects women’s right to abortion before the third trimester of pregnancy.

There are other ongoing court challenges to restrict abortions in different states, including Texas. But this Mississippi case is arguably the most important abortion case since 1992, when the court last reaffirmed Roe v. Wade.

Scholars and experts have made various bold predictions about the Dobbs case.

But, as I have told students for more than a decade while teaching mass media law, guesses about Supreme Court rulings are often not correct. - More...
Sunday PM - January 30, 2022

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