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February 8, 2016

GOP Parasite TransCanada Finally Shed

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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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Obama Comes to Alaska: We Have to Break the Ice, so We Can Save It.

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As I drove, I imagined having to explain to a Secret Service agent that the reason my boots set off the sniffer dog is because the last two places I wore them were a pig farm and a gun show respectively. So, there was a perfectly good explanation why I smelled of gunpowder, and fertilizer. “No really! I swear! I still have the pictures on my phone!” I was glad I had allowed extra time. I had allowed so much extra time, it turns out, that I was the first member of the press at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) and waited in…

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Obama Comes to Alaska: We Have to Save the Ice so We Can Break It

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As I drove, I imagined having to explain to a Secret Service agent that the reason my boots set off the sniffer dog is because the last two places I wore them were a pig farm and a gun show respectively. So, there was a perfectly good explanation why I smelled of gunpowder, and fertilizer. “No really! I swear! I still have the pictures on my phone!” I was glad I had allowed extra time. I had allowed so much extra time, it turns out, that I was the first member of the press at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) and waited in…

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Send in the GOP Clowns

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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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Begich and Parnell Concede

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Mark Begich has officially called to congratulate Dan Sullivan on winning the senate race. I’m thinking maybe a constitutional challenge is in order now that Ohio has three senators. Alaskans didn’t used to fall for the carpetbagger who moved here just for a senate seat. But the times they are a-changing. The following statement was released by Begich, after calling Sullivan today. “Alaska is a place unmatched by any other, and the opportunity to represent Alaskans and all of Alaska’s communities in the U.S. Senate has been a tremendous honor for which I am eternally grateful. Alaska deserves a bright…

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Alaska… You Crazy! Election Recap

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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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Alaska Girls Kick Ass & Midterms Matter

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If you live in Alaska, you’ve seen that bumper sticker a hundred times if you’ve seen it once. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it when I arrived in the Great Land. As the years passed, I did things I’d never have done if I had stayed in east coast suburbia. I camped in bear country, and wolf country; I sailed in high seas in the Gulf of Alaska; traversed mountain passes with a baby on my back; almost tumbled into a gorge on a 3-wheeler; pulled up my share of halibut from the deep sea; had Thanksgiving in…

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Alaska Women, Time to Decide

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My social media feeds are stuffed with my fellow Alaskans sick to death of political ads end-to-end on their televisions, and even the staunchest pro-deforestation people are wondering if we’ll have any trees left after they’ve checked their mailboxes. I get emails from people asking, “Is that true?” about something they’ve seen or read. Here’s the kicker. Political ads, per a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, don’t have to be true. I KNOW! You have to swear on a Bible when you’re elected, but up until that point all bets are off. Did you know Mark Begich hates puppies?…

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A Sullivan Win Puts Alaska Last

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Poor Dan Sullivan, I think he was born with a pair of silver flip flops on. His Cleveland, Ohio, parents were caught last week by the Center for Public Integrity trying to funnel $300,000 to a super PAC supporting their son. The contribution was originally listed as coming from the Glenmede Trust Company — a wealth management company that manages over $25 billion for rich folks. Unfortunately for the Sullivans, they mistakenly listed their $3 million beachside condo in Florida instead of Glenmede’s Philadelphia address on their filing. Oops. This donation is on top of the other $250,000 that Dan’s…

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What Could Go Wrong? This.

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There’s a game most of us play. It’s called “What Could Go Wrong?!” You know, like I’m going to hand my nine year old an automatic weapon – “What Could Go Wrong?!” Or, why not go bare-headed and drive a motorcycle really fast? “What Could Go Wrong?!” Then there is the always present, Why don’t we build a giant mine at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon fishing run in the entire world? “What Could Go Wrong?” Many Alaskans have asked this question over the last decade regarding the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. When the state government…

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