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July 26, 2017

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

4B2G8340

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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The Economic Freedom to be Poor

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New kids at my high school were rare. Most of us had been together since what felt like the beginning of time — and that wasn’t always a good thing. Remember the time Eric barfed in the lunch room? Yeah. Remember when the elastic in Kim’s sweatpants surrendered during fourth-grade dodgeball? She froze like a statue. New kids were suspect curiosities. It took a while to figure out if they were going to be one of “us.” I remember one in particular. He complained constantly about how lame Homer was. He was in town to live with his relatives for…

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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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Gasline Secrets as Parnell Exits

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Alaskans know about airplanes and flying. No other state’s residents fly as much as we do. So we know every plane really ought to have two wings. Same with birds. There are no halibut-style birds, with two wings on one side of their bodies. I find government works best with matching wings, one on the left, one on the right. For the last few years, we’ve been trying to fly the Spirit of Alaska with two right wings. As a result, our captain, co-pilot and the rest of the crew never really got us off the ground. They didn’t kill…

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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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AP Calls Senate Race for Sullivan, but…

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The Associated Press last night called the Alaska Senate race for Republican Dan Sullivan. So, is it over? Well, not quite yet. There are still more than 20,000 votes to count, and overseas ballots still have almost a week to arrive. There are votes yet to come in from villages in which Mark Begich expects a high level of support. The campaign released the following statement even as Begich is back in D.C. for his probable but not definite lame duck months. A statement by a campaign structure that has seen their candidate win several elections by the slimmest of margins…

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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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Notes from Election Central

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Here we go again! 8:30 – No numbers yet. Sitting in a sweet spot with lots of plug-ins and within earshot of the table belonging to Ethan Berkowitz and the Party Planner who are interviewing talk bloviator Dave Stieren who is loudly and intently talking about Mark BAGitch (learn the name!) “Every election is about the next election,” he drops the pearls of wisdom on the floor for us to scramble after. Now something about Joe Miller, and the Democrats sending out flyers for Mark Fish the Libertarian candidate, hoping to split the Republican vote. The Party Planner nods in…

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