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Slipped in among the Christmas gifts last year was a sneaky nod for Frankenfish by the FDA. The Food and Drug Administration chose the holidays to release its environmental assessment saying that genetically modified salmon made by a company called AquaBounty won’t have any significant impacts on the human environment and is unlikely to harm wild fish.

Last week’s Alaska Federation of Natives convention featured speeches from all 3 members of Alaska’s Congressional delegation. Senator Mark Begich used his time to talks about a number of issues including supporting tribal courts and making fixes to the new health care law. KDLG’s Mike Mason listened in and filed this report.

here are any number of reasons for this disappearance — partisan gerrymandering and closed primaries being the two most obvious — but the numbers are unbelievably stark, particularly when you consider that roughly 30 percent of the electorate consider themselves political independents. (According to exit polling, 29 percent of people named themselves independents in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.)

The slide above also explains why there will be no grand or even big bargain on debt and spending — or much of anything else — anytime soon. The political incentive to make deals simply does not exist in the House and, in fact, there is almost always a disincentive for members to work across the aisle. (This is less true in the Senate where a centrist coalition — Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Kelly Ayotte, Joe Manchin, Mark Pryor, Mark Begich etc — exists although that coalition has shrunk in recent years too.)

The deal-makers — as we have seen from the last month in the House — are largely gone.