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Yesterday Senator Mark Begich joined with Republicans to filibuster the the background check bill.  It was a cowardly vote, see Gabby Giffords, and many around here think we should primary the Cowardly 5 Democratic Senators who helped pave the way for terrorists, criminals, and mentally ill people to obtain weapons.  When the next massacre comes, and no doubt there will be one, the blood will also be on his hands.    

Alaska’s senators both rejected a bill that would have expanded gun background checks on Wednesday, instead lining up behind a failed substitute that would have focused instead on bolstering the system with more mental health data.

Both Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted against the controversial bill, which was billed as a bipartisan compromise. The bill, offered by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and supported by President Obama, fell by a 54-46 margin, six votes short of the number needed to overcome a filibuster.

Daily News-Miner

Fucking coward rolling over to the NRA.  We should primary his ass.

But wait, the very same senator is the author of the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act that we love around here.  Here's what the act does:

Increases Benefits for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities. Currently, Social Security benefits are adjusted by the Consumer Price Index for workers. However, costs and spending patterns for seniors do not mirror those of the workforce. That is why Sen. Begich’s bill calls for adjusting cost-of-living increases with a Consumer Price Index specifically for the elderly which was created to more accurately measure the costs of goods and services seniors actually buy.

Lifts the Cap on High-Income Contributions. Current law sets a cap based on income at $113,700 for paying into Social Security. If an individual’s wages hit that total for the year, they no longer pay into the program. Sen. Begich’s bill lifts the cap and asks higher income earners to pay Social Security on all their earnings in order to increase the program’s revenue stream and extend the overall solvency of the program.

Extends Social Security for approximately 75 years through modest revenue increases gradually implemented over the course of seven years. - Alaska Native News, 11//14/12

Daily Kos: AK-Sen: My Interview With Senator Mark Begich (D) About Social Security (SSD Blogathon)

Yes, rather than a chained cpi that reduces benefits (at least to those not in poverty), this bill would INCREASE the benefits to all!

Senator Begich on the senate floor last December:
 

Social Security has not contributed, is not part of and never will contribute to the deficit.  So those who like to meddle in it and try to combine it into this deficit talk are just playing games with our seniors and disabled in this country." - U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D. AK), 12/7/12
Daily Kos: AK-Sen: My Interview With Senator Mark Begich (D) About Social Security (SSD Blogathon)

Answers from a staffer in the interview by poopdogcomedy for Social Security Defenders.

Q: Your plan calls for adjusting cost-of-living increases with a Consumer Price Index specifically for the elderly which was created to more accurately measure the costs of goods and services seniors actually buy.  What if one isn't elderly? What if one is a relatively young vet?  The chained plan is very destructive to VA benefits if they are included because it compounds over a longer period of time (a very bad thing if one is disabled at 18 in Afghanistan).

A: You shouldn’t confuse CPI-E for Chained CPI. Sen. Begich and Rep. Deutch’s bills both use the CPI-E which recalculates the market basket of goods which would ultimately help an injured veteran since CPI-E gives extra weight to health expenses, which impact both the elderly and the disabled more than the rest of the population. The CPI-E would provide an appropriate added benefit for all disabled veterans, regardless of the age.

Q:  Senator Begich stated on the Senate floor in late 2012 that Social Security does not contribute to the deficit.  Does he still stand by that statement?

A:  Senator Begich still stands firmly by the statement that Social Security does not contribute to the deficit. It has a dedicated revenue stream and its own trust fund, which are solvent for decades.

Daily Kos: AK-Sen: My Interview With Senator Mark Begich (D) About Social Security (SSD Blogathon)

Coward we should primary on one isssue and hero we should contribute to and support on another issue.  This shit ain't easy.  Politics is complex, and trying to make things better often can be complex also.

With you on one issue, against you on another.

I'm reminded of a statement by Bill Clay, a founder of the Congressional Black Caucus.  I'm sure he did not originate it, but I think it's good:

You must start with the premise that you have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests.— Congressman William Clay, Sr.
Labor Quotes

I find it hard to say that gun safety is more or less important than defeating chained cpi, or vice versa.  I leave that to each of you to decide.  

For those of us who don't have a whole lot to donate, maybe this is just a wash and we neither work to defeat in a primary nor work to elect.  I'm not in Alaska so I don't get to vote.  

What do you think?

 

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