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Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Murkowski’

When the POTUS is scheduled to speak to the Boy Scout Jamboree during the week his own administration has designated “American Heroes Week,” you would expect an inspiring speech citing a variety of patriotic historical figures and lessons young people can draw from their examples. It did not go that way. Instead Donald Trump used raw language, talked about yacht parties, and encouraged his teenaged audience to boo Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Most found it unseemly. Many were shocked. That was how the week began.

Then there was shock #2.

Some way to celebrate American heroes!

The blindsided Joint Chiefs and Pentagon, not to mention the rank and file, spent Wednesday and Thursday trying to untangle what those tweets were supposed to mean. Meanwhile, a great many Americans celebrated transgendered troops on the social nets. Protests are planned this weekend.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the Senate was preparing for a vote-a-rama intended by the Republicans to repeal the ACA (Affordable Care Act) also known as “Obamacare.” One by one the proposed Republican “bills” were defeated. The real action began late Thursday night with a defeated Democratic motion to move the bill to committee. When the last bill came up for a vote, it was after 1 a.m. EDT. This one, known as the “skinny repeal,” was simply a hollow shell.

There was high drama on the Senate floor. Pence appeared and conferred with John McCain. Observers speculated about the conversations, body language, gestures as senators milled around on the floor. Shock and awe! In the end, three courageous Republicans, one a veteran the other two women, voted against the bad bill. The Democrats voted against it in lock step.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, closeup

So thank you, John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski!  Thank you also, all the Democrats who voted against this potentially harmful bill. You are American heroes! You saved health insurance for millions.

Let’s be clear on this too: none of this would have happened had it not been for the grassroots. Thank you, everyone who made phone calls, went to town halls, demonstrated at the Capitol and legislators’ offices, sent emails, and signed petitions. Thank you to the Resistance! American heroes!

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton congratulates President Barack Obama on the House vote to pass health care reform, prior to a meeting in the Situation Room of the White House, March 22, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“American Heroes Week” was full of surprises, some awesome, some shocking and confusing.

We lost a four-legged war hero this week too. See the touching story of USMC Corporal Jeff De Young and his  partner, Cena – a bomb sniffing dog.

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Never mind that the melting of the ice cap has a human cause — well mind, but put it aside for the moment.

The Arctic: Source of Conflict or Cooperation?

Tillerson and Lavrov are expected at this week’s meeting of Arctic Council at time of heightened tension

An icebreaker in Russia’s port of Dudinka earlier this month.

An icebreaker in Russia’s port of Dudinka earlier this month. Photo: LEV FEDOSEYEV/TASS/ZUMA PRESS

KITTILA, Finland—In normal times, a meeting of the Arctic Council wouldn’t usually attract much attention.

The intergovernmental forum was established 20 years ago to enable the eight countries with territory inside the Arctic Circle—the U.S., Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland—to discuss how to protect the polar region’s unique environment.

But at a time of heightened geopolitical tension, this week’s meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, carries extra significance. With U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, due to attend, the meeting that begins on Wednesday could have broader strategic consequences—both for the Arctic and the world.

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Speech describes ‘obstacles’ to national security interests, but former official says it shows secretary of state is ‘clueless’

The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said Donald Trump’s “America first” approach to the world means decoupling US foreign policy from values such as human rights and freedom.

Addressing state department diplomats and staff, Tillerson said there were times when insistence that foreign countries abide by US values got in the way of the pursuit of national interests.

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There is probably no statement by a U.S. Secretary of State crazier than what Tillerson said.

It is hard to believe that this is the same State Department Hillary Clinton headed only four plus years ago. Unrecognizable!

Many moons ago I said that Barack Obama should have had Lisa Murkowski over for lunch to congratulate her on her write-in victory.  He did not.  That was a stupid mistake.   A political idiot would have known to do that.  Right.  That includes Trump.  But Hillary would have.

Murkowski is a key figure in our Arctic interests.

I wonder if she will be at Tillerson’s side, as she was at Hillary’s,  at this next Arctic Council event.

Or will they just be ramming through the ice pack to free up the lanes and let Russia drill, baby, drill?

There is common ground. The melting ice caps are an issue.  Protection of the ecosphere is an issue.

We are an Arctic nation. Our values should help form our policies.

Do you still wonder why Russia interfered with our election? Do you think it was for fun?

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Thanks to Lilly and Melusine08, I have some pictures to post of the day in Greenland. Daylife did not have a single picture to offer today. Some of these are from the publication Brugseni and the others are from a Flickr stream.  The big surprise was the military transport.   I do not know, and will not pretend to, what it is since when Greta Van  Susteren accompanied HRC to Haiti in January 2009, and they switched planes in Puerto Rico, both Greta (who was ON the plane) and I identified it as a C130 which created a firestorm among my aviator readers,  some of whom agreed with Greta and me, while others did not.   This could be a C130.  I am not sure.  One of these once flew over my boat on the Hudson River, and it was awesome!  It was like looking at a ship in the air!

Last comment: Mme. Secretary sure is a bright spot in the gray day!  I love this coat!

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Lisa Murkowski  was nice enough to post this picture on her Facebook page along with this comment about an hour ago.

Heading home from the Arctic Council in Nuuk, Greenland. But wanted to share a picture: with the Ministers of the eight Arctic nations in attendance, as well as Secretary Clinton and Secretary Salazar.

Here is a fact sheet released by the State Department about the Arctic Council meeting results.

Secretary Clinton Signs the Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement with Other Arctic Nations

Fact Sheet

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 12, 2011

On May 12, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined representatives of the other seven Member States of the Arctic Council (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, and Sweden) in signing an Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) in the Arctic (Agreement). The Agreement is the first legally-binding instrument negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council. It coordinates life-saving international maritime and aeronautical SAR coverage and response among the Arctic States across an area of about 13 million square miles in the Arctic.

As Arctic sea ice coverage decreases, ship-borne activities are increasing significantly in the Arctic. Flight traffic is also on the rise as new polar aviation routes cross the Arctic air space in several directions. As human presence and activities in the Arctic expand, the potential for accidents increases as well. Limited rescue resources, challenging weather conditions, and the remoteness of the area render SAR operations difficult in the Arctic, making coordination among the Arctic nations imperative. The SAR Agreement will improve search and rescue response in the Arctic by committing all Parties to coordinate appropriate assistance to those in distress and to cooperate with each other in undertaking SAR operations. For each Party, the Agreement defines an area of the Arctic in which it will have lead responsibility in organizing responses to SAR incidents, both large and small. Parties to the Agreement commit to provide SAR assistance regardless of the nationality or status of persons who may need it.

The Arctic Council launched this initiative at its 2009 Ministerial Meeting in Tromso, Norway, establishing a Task Force, co-chaired by the United States and the Russian Federation. The Task Force proceeded in a highly collaborative spirit, meeting five times (in Washington, Moscow, Oslo, Helsinki and Reykjavik).

The signature of the SAR Agreement in Nuuk is a positive step toward building partnerships in the Arctic. In particular, it reflects the commitment of the Arctic Council States to enhance their cooperation and offer responsible assistance to those involved in accidents in one of the harshest environments on Earth.

This Agreement illustrates one of the most successful negotiations to date to address emerging issues in the Arctic. Arctic Council participants approached SAR negotiations with collaboration and dedication to a positive outcome. The United States congratulates its colleagues in this effort and looks forward to further collaboration on the vital issues facing the rich but fragile Arctic region.

Here is another press release.

Department of State Announces Successful Conclusion to Arctic Council Ministerial 

Media Note

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 12, 2011

On May 11 and 12, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton participated in the Seventh Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council, in Nuuk, Greenland. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Kerri-Ann Jones accompanied Secretary Clinton to the meeting.

The United States recognizes and values the Arctic Council as the preeminent forum for international cooperation in the Arctic. Reflecting the importance of Arctic issues, Secretary Clinton’s participation in Nuuk marked the first time that a Secretary of State has attended an Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting.

This historic meeting achieved several important outcomes:

First, Arctic Council members signed a Search and Rescue Agreement, the first legally-binding instrument negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council. A Fact Sheet on the Agreement is forthcoming.

Second, the Arctic Council augmented its organizational structure by forming a standing Secretariat, to be based in Tromsø, Norway, and by establishing criteria for the admission of new observers to the Council.

Third, the Arctic Council announced the results of two important scientific studies: an assessment on Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA), and a report on the warming effects on the Arctic climate of Short-Lived Climate Forcers (SLCFs) like soot (black carbon) and methane. The latter report proposes measures the eight Arctic countries can take to limit their emissions. The United States recognizes that robust polar science cooperation is crucial to our ability to formulate useful policies for the region, and encourages the Arctic countries to take steps commensurate with the gravity of the reports’ findings. Two Fact Sheets on the studies are forthcoming.

Finally, the Council also announced the formation of a new task force that will negotiate measures for oil spill preparedness and response throughout the region. The decision to launch these negotiations is evidence of our commitment to proactively address emerging issues in the region.

The United States’ cooperation through the Arctic Council is a key to responding to the climate, societal and economic changes occurring in the Arctic today.

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