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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Medicare Turns 50/ Highway Bill

President Johnson Signing the Medicare Act. Image from the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. Is that Mike Mansfield in the back?

Missoulian: Then & Now: Medicare and Medicaid turn 50
Medicare 50th Anniversary Facebook Page
Medicare History
Remarks With President Truman at the Signing in Independence of the Medicare Bill. July 30, 1965
“Many men can make many proposals. Many men can draft many laws. But few have the piercing and humane eye which can see beyond the words to the people that they touch. Few can see past the speeches and the political battles to the doctor over there that is tending the infirm, and to the hospital that is receiving those in anguish, or feel in their heart painful wrath at the injustice which denies the miracle of healing to the old and to the poor. And fewer still have the courage to stake reputation, and position, and the effort of a lifetime upon such a cause when there are so few that share it.”


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Flathead Forest Plan/ Spaceship Crash

Missoulian: 20,000 comments boil down to 4 main issues in Flathead Forest plan revision
Amendment Proposed Action
“Over 20,000 public comments were received during the 70-day comment period that ended May 15 on the proposed action for both the Flathead NF revised forest plan and the proposal to amend the Helena, Kootenai, Lewis and Clark, and Lolo National Forest plans to integrate the NCDE GBCS. The Forest Service is preparing a single environmental impact statement for both the Flathead NF revised forest plan and the amendments.”


Missoulian: Federal officials examine probable cause of spaceship crash
NTSB Investigates Virgin Galactic Test Flight Crash
investigators said the resulting aerodynamic forces caused the brakes to actually be applied without any further action by the crew. Investigators said no safeguards were built into system to overcome the error of the co-pilot.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tongue River Railroad/ IBM Apartheid Case



Missoulian: US appeals court rejects apartheid cases against Ford, IBM
Balintulo v. Ford Motor Co.
“This appeal presents the question of whether plaintiffs, victims of South African apartheid, have plausibly alleged relevant conduct committed within the United States that is sufficient to rebut the Alien Tort Statute’s presumption against extraterritoriality.”

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Montana Fires/ GMO Labeling

Missoulian: Evacuations begin in St. Mary as Glacier Park fire marches across 4,000 acres
Closures Due to Wildland Fire
The Going-to-the-Sun Road from Big Bend to St. Mary, Logan Pass & Logan Pass Visitor Center, Rising Sun Campground & all Rising Sun facilities, St. Mary Campground & Visitor Center, & The Highline Trail from Granite Park Chalet to Logan Pass
Montana Incidents


Missoulian: 5 things: House bill would prevent mandatory GMO labeling
H.R.1599 - Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015
“A food label can only claim that a food is non-GMO if the ingredients are subject to certain supply chain process controls. No food label can suggest that non-GMO foods are safer than GMO foods. A food can be labeled as non-GMO even if it is produced with a GMO processing aid or enzyme or derived from animals fed GMO feed or given GMO drugs.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Glacier Fire/ North Dakota Abortion Law/ Social Security Funds



Missoulian: Glacier Park fire at 2,000 acres; more evacuations underway
Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire
“Firefighters and fire-fighting resources continue to respond to the Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire on the east side of Glacier National Park. At this time, the fire is estimated to be approximately 2,000 acres.  The fire management priorities are safety of public and fire-fighting personnel, protection of property and values at risk, and containment of the fire.”

“Widespread showers with scattered thunderstorms will develop and grow stronger across southwest Montana and Lemhi County Wednesday afternoon. Some thunderstorms will continue overnight, though these storms will likely be weaker and more isolated in coverage. A secondary push of moisture will shift the focus for convection farther north on Thursday, likely impacting the Missoula and southern Mission Valleys. But most all these storms will be concluded by late Thursday evening. The key threats with all storms will be brief heavy rain with localized torrential downpours, frequent cloud-to-ground lightning and gusty winds to around 40 mph.”

Missoulian: Appeals court OKs tossing strict North Dakota abortion law
142128P.pdf  07/22/2015  MKB Management Corp.  v.  Wayne Stenehjem
“North Dakota statute banning abortion when the  unborn child possesses a detectable heartbeat is unconstitutional; there is no genuine dispute that H.B. 1456 generally prohibits abortions before     viability - as the Supreme Court has defined that concept - and because this court is bound by Supreme Court precedents holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, the district court's grant of summary judgment is affirmed.”
  

Missoulian: Government says Social Security disability benefits face big cut in 2016 unless Congress acts
Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs
“Social Security’s Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund now faces an urgent threat of reserve depletion, requiring prompt corrective action by lawmakers if sudden reductions or interruptions in benefit payments are to be avoided. Beyond DI, Social Security as a whole as well as Medicare cannot sustain projected long-run program costs under currently scheduled financing.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Montana internet/ Unemployment/ Tax Provisions

Missoulian:  USDA commits $30 million to rural Montana internet service
USDA Announces $349 Million in Funding for Rural Electric Infrastructure Projects including $17 Million in Smart Grid Technology
“Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $349 million in funding for 15 rural electric infrastructure projects to build or improve more than 1,844 miles of transmission and distribution lines for rural electric cooperatives and utilities in 13 states.”

Montana’s Unemployment Rate drops to 3.9 Percent
“Montana’s unemployment rate declined to 3.9 percent in May, down 0.1 percentage points from April.  Employment levels in Montana are now over the half million threshold for the first time ever.  The U.S. unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 5.5 percent.  New data from the Montana Department of Labor & Industry also showed that the state’s average annual wage increased to $38,875 in 2014, a 3.5% increase over last year.”


Missoulian: Senate panel votes to renew dozens of expired tax breaks
Description Of The Chairman’s Modification To The Chairman’s Mark Of A Bill To Extend Certain Expired Tax Provisions“The Senate Committee on Finance has scheduled a markup on July 21, 2015 of the extension of certain expired tax provisions. This document, prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, provides a description of the Chairman’s modification to the Chairman’s mark of a bill to extend certain expired tax provisions.”