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September 2, 2014

Begich – “If you’re pro-choice, you’re pro-choice.”

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“There is no middle ground,” says Alaska Democratic Senator Mark Begich when asked about his firm pro-choice stance. “I’ve never run from these issues. I can’t speak for other Democrats, I just know where I’m at. These are not issues that I run from. People know where I stand.” That might not be a controversial position for a Democrat in California, or New York, but in a state that’s voted for a Republican president every cycle since the Johnson administration, it sounds like a risk. Alaska carries a mere 3 electoral votes, and with the notable exception of a certain VP nominee…

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VP Joe Biden Addresses Netroots Nation in Detroit

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Detroit, Michigan – Vice President Joe Biden addressed the progressive activist Netroots Nation convention in the ballroom of the Cobo Center in Detroit on Thursday, explaining that he was 45 minutes late for his scheduled speech because of the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, shot down over Ukraine earlier in the day. “About three hundred souls were lost,” Biden said, acknowledging that some of those may have been American citizens. He described the situation as “grave,” saying, “The families need consolation and our prayers.” The Vice President explained that he had been engaged with a national security team, and on…

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Pruitt – Medicaid Recipients Like “Children” With “Toy”

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You may remember House Republican Majority Leader Lance Pruitt. You may not want to remember him, but there he is anyway. He’s the one who, on the floor of the legislature last session said it was important that we not let the American people believe that the United States Supreme Court was the final word, judicially. (let that sink in) Rep. Max Gruenberg, an attorney and person-who-must-have-taken-a-Government-101-class, gently informed him that YES the United States Supreme Court DOES, in fact, have the last word. Now, Pruitt has once again put his foot in his mouth – this time in an…

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Parnell: Progressive Activist of the Year

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We’re coming to the close of 2013, and top 10 lists are coming out of our ears. Top movies, albums, people (The pope! Time’s Person of the Year!). We seem to feel compelled to wrap up our year in nice little boxes. I have my own list I’d like to trot out. Hang on just a minute. Last week the governor released state revenue projections and his budget. His projections are based on the information oil companies give the state about how much of that sweet oil they plan to send down the pipeline. The administration takes those numbers and…

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Teddy Talks – A Palin Xmas, Pt. 3

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OK, kids. Gather ’round, it’s story time again. The cognac is starting to warm my toes, and numb the part of my brain that gets all twitchy when things don’t make sense. That means I’m ready to dive back into Sarah Palin’s book. Before we get to the random series of words, let’s start off with a picture. Here’s my favorite. It’s little Sarah, and I’m not sure, but this photo of Christmas Past may hold a clue as to what went terribly terribly wrong with our young Sarah. Look deeply. And listen… Teddy: Yes. Yes, that’s it, Little Sarah….

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Parnell Rejects Healthcare Expansion

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I spoke with several folks this week about what they expected Gov. Sean Parnell to do with his opportunity to expand Medicaid for Alaskans. Only one thought he would turn it down. Everyone else seemed to think he’d heed the plea of the chambers of commerce to support an expansion. The chamber isn’t exactly a communist cell, so I thought maybe its voice could reach the ear of our oil lobbyist-turned-oil politician. When Republican Gov. Jan Brewer accepted the expansion for Arizona, she attributed it to her ability to “weigh the evidence and do the math.” Surely, I thought, Parnell…

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Parnell Hides Medicaid Study

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  Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska. We all know that. But there’s a big community here that often gets overlooked. It encompasses 10,000 more people than the populations of either Fairbanks or Juneau. It has 36,000 more people than Homer. Eighty times the population of Aniak. And who populates this would-be second-largest community in Alaska? The 41,500 uninsured Alaskans who would benefit from a state expansion of Medicaid. Contrary to a popular stereotype, these are not people who loaf and live on the dole. For the most part, they are men and women who work hard for not…

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The GOP “Shut that whole thing down”

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It’s official. The federal government has been shut down as of midnight, October 1. House Republicans decided they were so mad at voters, the law of the land, the Supreme Court, and the way the country works that they have thrown a stone in the gears. The Senate passed a clean Continuing Resolution to keep the government open, but the House responded by stomping their feet and passing a Continuing Resolution that guts women’s health care, and adds a special amendment to block contraceptive care. That’s right, it’s all because of lady parts. There are few things quite so scary…

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“Racist Dentist” is New GOP Vice Chair

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The Alaska Republican Party has been trying desperately to get its house in order while undergoing a civil war. And they’ve been doing just about as well as you might expect. The latest brilliant strategy move was voting in the man known as the “racist dentist” to hold the #2 spot in the Republican Party of Alaska. A coup of sorts took place when long time party chair Randy Ruedrich retired. The Ron Paul/Tea Party crowd overtook the convention and installed newcomer Russ Millette as Chair. The old guard panicked and rerouted the treasure chest to a Republican group in…

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Parnell – Dug in Like a Tick

Separated at Birth? Photo by Jeanne Devon, enhanced by OzMud.

Well, I’m surprised. Gov. Sean Parnell announced Friday that he will run for governor again. “Fantastic! I get to vote for Sean Parnell as governor again!” said no one within earshot of me ever. The anticipation of his announcement, and the speculation around it, was fierce. Would he give Mark Begich a run for his money for the U.S. Senate? Would he figure his work was done, having succeeded in passing a bill to give billions to oil companies for no guarantees, and just start picking out wallpaper for a K Street office? He’s dug in like a tick. I…

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