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Amanda Peterson Beadle
Number of posts: 8
Email address: email
By Amanda Peterson Beadle:
Since taking office, President Obama has actually expanded gun owners’ rights — the most significant guns legislation he signed was a law allowing people to carry guns in national parks. Nevertheless, the chance that he could win a second term reportedly is pushing gun owners to stockpile guns. “People are terrified he’s going to get re-elected and then he won’t care about getting votes next time. He’ll just pass whatever legislation he wants,” DeWayne Irwin, owner of the Cheaper Than Dirt gun store in north Fort Worth, told Star-Telegram. Irwin’s store set a sales record in February.
In 2011, the FBI received more than 16.3 million inquires from people running background checks on potential gun purchasers. That’s up from 11.4 million in 2007. Over four years, more than 1 million of those requests have come from Texas, the second most in the nation behind Kentucky. And while the number of gun owners grows, gun sellers are seeing fear of an administration crackdown.
In outlining his priorities for Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley (R) vowed to shrink the size of government and oppose tax increases to balance the state’s budget. But to do that, Bentley is asking the federal government to let him lower the number of children who could qualify for ALL Kids, the state’s public health insurance plan for children:
“We don’t have the money,” Bentley said Sunday. […]
ALL Kids this year covers about 84,000 children and of those, about 15,800 are between 200 percent and 300 percent of poverty.
The American Educational Research Association has moved its 2013 annual meeting from Atlanta to San Francisco because of HB 87, Georgia’s harmful immigration law, which is modeled after Arizona’s SB 1070.
“The relocation from Georgia helps to ensure that AERA members and other Annual Meeting participants have equal access to engage in AERA activities free of…intimidation that could occur under this law,” the organization explains. “HB87 seriously compromises the viability of AERA’s holding a conference where all its members will be welcome.”
When Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) and Attorney General Luther Strange (R) both called for changes to the state’s anti-immigrant law last year, it was a hopeful sign that the state might roll back the law’s most harmful effects. According to one projection, the state GDP could decline by $2.3 to $10.8 billion because of HB 56, and the state could lose up to 140,000 jobs.
And state Sen. Gerald Dial (R) agreed with the governor and attorney general and other legislators who called for changes to the law. “It’s just common sense. Let’s step up and say we’ve made some mistakes,” Dial said in November. Now he has filed a bill that proposes some of the broadest changes to HB 56 that, while far from perfect, would address some of the most harmful aspects of HB 56
Doing the Math
Republicans routinely claim that shrinking the government’s involvement in health care would eliminate waste, inefficiency and significantly lower health care costs. But during the debate over the Affordable Care Act, these same politicians lambasted Democrats for cutting $500 billion from Medicare and Medicaid, and specifically argued that the government’s overpayments to private health insurance plans participating in Medicare Advantage (MA) were essential for preserving seniors’ access to services — particularly in rural areas.
A second foreign auto worker has been charged under HB 56, Alabama’s draconian immigration law. The Japanese Honda employee received a ticketat a routine roadblock police had set up, but he was not taken into custody like a German Mercedes executive arrested almost two weeks ago.
The AP reports that the man had a valid Japanese passport and an international driver’s license with him when he was ticketed.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch proposed a plan for Mercedes-Benz’s SUV plant in Alabama after one of the automaker’s German managers, Detlev Hager, was arrested under Alabama’s draconian immigration law — move the factory to Missouri instead. The paper’s editorial board lays out their reasons in Wednesday’s editorial:
Our state has many advantages over Alabama. We are the Show-Me State, not the “Show me your papers” state. Our Legislature is hostile on the immigration issue, but not as hostile as Alabama’s or Arizona’s. […]
Exploiting For Profit
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s largest private prison company, received $74 million of taxpayers’ money to run immigration detention centers. Their largest facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, receives $200 a night for each of the 2,000 detainees it holds, and rakes in yearly profits between $35 million and $50 million.