Inside Politics: Death Star construction now a matter for Obama

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The Death Star petition on the White House website has gained enough signatures to merit a response from President Obama’s administration.

The petition, which calls for the administration to “begin construction of a Death Star by 2016, crossed the mark Thursday for 25,000 signatures, which is the level the White House requires before it will respond.”

“By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense,” the petition reads.

Natalie M. from Minneapolis was the 25,000th signature, and it came just one day before the Dec. 14 cutoff for the petition.

SENATE

Bill would cover fertility treatments for some vets

Wounded veterans and their spouses who want to have children could get the government to pay for fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization under legislation beginning to move through Congress in the waning days of the session.

By voice vote, the Senate passed a bill Thursday to update the Veterans Affairs Department’s medical coverage for one of the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: trauma to a serviceman’s reproductive organs.

Nearly 2,000 service members suffered such wounds between 2003 and 2011. But when wounded veterans went to the VA for medical help in starting a family, they were told the VA doesn’t provide that kind of care.

A similar bill is pending in the House. Supporters said the Senate’s action increases its chances of becoming law before Congress adjourns.

The chief sponsor, Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, said she has heard from veterans whose marriages have dissolved because of the stress of infertility, in combination with the stresses of readjusting to civilian life after severe injury.

“Any service member who sustains this type of serious injury deserves so much more,” she said.

FLORIDA

Ex-Gov. Crist makes party switch official

ST. PETERSBURG — Former Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist is now officially a Democrat.

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