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December 17, 2017

Alaska Needs a Hostage Negotiator

Relationship counselors get a bad rap. Probably because it’s too late by the time one person insists it’s important to do. Oh, you go along, and at some point the therapist looks at you and rolls his eyes and tells you you’re nuts to stick around for more crazy town. OK, maybe that was just my experience, but it’s going to take more than a fancy talker with comfy sofas to help what’s going on in Juneau. They need a hostage negotiator. A terrorism expert. I’m talking Bruce Willis in “Die Hard” caliber. I’m sure some precious snowflake lawmaker is…

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The Pete Kelly Lisa Murkowski Surreality Show

State Sen. Pete Kelly, a Republican from Fairbanks, has introduced a bill to allow University of Alaska students to carry guns on campuses and into dorms. That’s public policy even more harebrained than putting pregnancy tests into bar bathrooms. Did Pete go to college? Did he live in a dorm? If so, he apparently didn’t notice that dorms aren’t exactly hothouses of good judgment. Adding firearms just increases the opportunity for adolescent bad judgment to become truly tragic. I sure wouldn’t send my kid to live in a dorm populated with gun-toting teenagers. I haven’t figured out what Kelly does…

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Alaskan Reps Weigh In on Syrian Refugees

Even though state and local officials have no actual power over preventing or allowing refugees to be placed in their state – nearly all of them have decided to weigh in on the issue. The 10,000 or so refugees that were originally planned on being brought to the US for temporary placement would go through “13 separate security screenings – at the international, federal and state level – before they are considered for resettlement,” but that doesn’t seem to be enough for some members of the Alaskan delegation. While not a single one of the terrorists that attacked Paris last…

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GOP Parasite TransCanada Finally Shed

The divorce between Alaska and TransCanada became final this week. The Legislature voted to buy TransCanada’s share of a prospective natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. How the state ended up in that shotgun marriage is a lesson in corporate power and Republican legislators’ willingness to kowtow to it. Our story begins with Gov. Sarah Palin’s attempt to encourage a natural gas pipeline. It wasn’t a terrible idea to try to get an independent pipeline company directly involved in the project. When the Legislature passed the Alaska Natural Gasline Inducement Act in 2007, the idea was to incentivize a…

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Alaska Lemming Caucus Over the Edge

This has been a difficult week for many Alaskans. So much uncertainty as 10,000 pink slips go to our friends and neighbors working for the state. Fairbanks Sen. Pete Kelly argues they aren’t pink slips, because there’s an “if” in them, as in “You’re not laid off if a handful of senators get their poop together.” Of course, we know there’s no chance Pete and his collaborators will get their poop together. Instead of pink slips, people online are calling them “Pete slips.” Our current legislative crisis is the handiwork of a small cabal of senators who refuse to compromise their misguided ideology. The…

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Speedo Sinks Alaska Gov’s Appointee

Amid a firestorm of gasps, giggles, and moral outrage, Alaska’s Governor Bill Walker (I) has withdrawn from consideration an appointee to the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct. Jeff Landfield’s own conduct came under scrutiny after several Facebook photos came to light, which the governor’s spokesperson Grace Jang said were “disrespectful” and “misogynistic,” a characterization Landfield disputes. No specific images were cited, but Landfield’s personal Facebook page is a cornucopia of party pics, poolside Las Vegas romps, and boozy musings. The position Landfield hoped to take for the Walker administration handles complaints filed against state judges – an unpaid appointment which…

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Send in the GOP Clowns

It’s politics as usual in Juneau. As Alaska burns, Alaska Republicans bloviate. We’re staring down the barrel of multibillion-dollar state budget deficits as far into the future as we can see. Are the Republicans majorities in the Legislature acknowledging that their misguided spending and tax policies got us into this fix? Are they prepared to set a new course? Not bloody likely. Rather than rolling up their sleeves, trying to come up with constructive solutions, they’re trotting out the usual gimmicks to divert public attention from their failures. So, by the lights of legislative leaders, what’s the big problem in…

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Click Bishop Takes a Page from Palin – Reads Dr. Seuss

Republican Senator Click Bishop, whose district covers land from Fairbanks to Valdez took a page from Sarah Palin and read a story by Dr. Seuss to the Alaska State Senate. Well, it wasn’t quite a Dr. Seuss original – more of a revision of Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham seen through the filter of government overreach. Unlike Half-Term Palin’s teleprompter read at CPAC last year (when she held the book as a prop), Click seems to have actually written the words down in a copy of Green Eggs and Ham. I’m hoping that he bought a new copy and didn’t ruin one of from his grandkids….

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Alaska… You Crazy! Election Recap

On election night, one state in the nation voted to legalize marijuana, raise the minimum wage, and add an extra level of environmental protection for sensitive ecosystems facing development. It’s largest city also voted to overturn an anti-labor ordinance which was the brain child of a Mayor (running as a Republican for Lt. Governor) who appears to be about to go down in flames to a non-partisan gubernatorial ticket. That’s like a cool, edgy progressive place to live, right? What if I told you that this very same state has elected by a comfortable margin, a majority in the legislature…

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Cruz to Wasilla

Fueled by Jitters coffee and a sugar cookie the size of a frisbee, I was as ready as I was ever going to be. I and two companions were on a political road trip north to the Valley. As we arrived in Wasilla, a small plane flew laps over the AT&T sports center, towing a sign that read “Sullivan for Senate.” In a media market filled to capacity with political ads, this apparently was the only air time left. Inside, Toby Keith, Neil Diamond, Eminem, Corey Hart, and an unlikely play list of songs presumably chosen for themes of freedom, America,…

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