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September 23, 2014

‘Grand Oil Party’ Sues Unity.

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I was having dinner in New York City a few years ago with some media muckety-mucks. They asked me why I wouldn’t move to The City for work. “I’d be bored,” was my answer. This was another interesting week in Alaska politics and proved sticking around Alaska has been worth the price of admission. The legislative ethics adviser, Reggie Drummond, who just took his job a few months ago, has mysteriously resigned. Perhaps someone took a look at his twitter feed, which included such poetic yarns as “Liberal = industrial sized stupid, put that one in your dictionary” and a…

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Pebble Mine is Really Sorry (They Got Caught)

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These past few weeks have been bad ones for the Pebble Partnership and its attorneys. Here’s the statement issued last week by Pebble Limited Partnership, the Pebble Mines Corp. and Jermain, Dunnagan & Owens, their law firm, the defendants, and the Renewable Resources Coalition, the plaintiffs, in a long-running lawsuit. RELATED: AK Beat: Billionaire mining investor says Pebble “will not be built” The “Renewable Resources Coalition and Pebble Limited Partnership have today announced a settlement of their litigation pending in Los Angeles. In that litigation, Renewable Resources Coalition alleged that Pebble had unlawfully purchased its confidential records and information from…

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The Naked Baker Must Go

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If you are a Mudflats reader, you know him as The Naked Baker. Bill Stoltze may have earned his moniker by his unfortunate hobby of baking cookies for charity auctions in the nude, but sadly this is not the most horrifying thing about this Alaska legislator. Stoltze figured heavily into the book I co-authored, “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin” (with Frank Bailey and Ken Morris, Simon & Schuster, 2011), for something worse. He was the force behind the coordination of the 2006 Sarah Palin for Governor campaign, and the Republican Governor’s Association then headed by Mitt Romney. Sounds important, like…

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Parnell Ignored Guard Rape for Years

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“This culture of mistrust and failed leadership in the Guard ends now,” according to Gov. Sean Parnell, the failed commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard for the last four years. Unfortunately, if you’ve been paying attention, you know there isn’t the slightest chance that Parnell will hold himself accountable for ignoring years of guardsmen pleading for his help — in some cases with soldier rape victims and their advocates almost literally banging on the door of his office. Instead he’s in weasel overdrive in an attempt to escape responsibility for his inaction and blatant lack of concern. You…

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Big Brother Feels Bad. Really.

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Remember 1984? The book, not the year. You probably read it in high school. It’s a dystopian novel, published in 1949, that takes place in a world of perpetual manufactured war, state sponsored torture, omnipresent and intrusive government surveillance, and propaganda posing as news, all controlled by an elite and privileged “Inner Party” bent on squashing independent thinking and dissent in order to keep itself in power. The whole shebang is controlled by a powerful, merciless entity called “Big Brother,” who may or may not be just one person. No really, it’s just a novel. The hero of the story,…

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The Oily Facts on Prop 1

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By Peter Blanas Alaskans understand that oil is the economic cornerstone of our state. Alaskans are right to be concerned, that we have a healthy and productive oil and support industry. It’s also understood that the extraction of oil in the Arctic, is very difficult and expensive, and should come with a good return on investment. We want the industry to earn a healthy profit, along with Alaska, the resource owner. First, a look backward: Oil began flowing down the pipeline from the North Slope in 1977. Daily production peaked in 1988, at just over 2 million barrels a day,…

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Judge Confirms Lt. Gov’s Incompetence

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The job of Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor really has only two duties to speak of. 1) Care and maintenance of the state seal. Not the animal – that would be hard, and require lots of work. I’m talking about the little round metal disc that turns stuff official. I don’t really know what care and maintenance that seal requires, but I’m guessing there might be buffing involved, or maybe some kind of chemical paste and a soft lint-free cloth. Perhaps it’s nestled in a velvet-lined wooden box, and needs to be checked on from time to time, to make sure nobody’s…

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Palin: Waterboarding is Baptism for Terrorists

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It was reported a couple weeks ago that Sarah Palin, speculating on the whereabouts of the still-missing Malaysia Airlines plane, said it had “flown straight to heaven.” It turned out she hadn’t said that at all. The quote was part of an article written on one of the infamous news satire websites that continually dupe unsuspecting users of the internets. The good ones hit so close to the mark, it’s hard to tell. A couple days ago, Sarah Palin was quoted speaking on the United States’ CIA torture program saying, “If I was in charge, they’d know that water boarding…

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GOP Elephant Art & the Bigger Picture

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The recent public exhibition of portraits painted by George W Bush, retired President of the United States, has managed to throw a lot of people into a tizzy. Critiques of his work ranged from relatively benign (it’s “simple-minded”), to strangely overwrought (“dangerous”), but every commentator seemed to assume that his paintings were art. As if it was perfectly self-evident that Bush was making art and not, well, merely painting stuff. Which got me thinking: can elephants be artists? By this, I mean not only Republican elephants, but actual elephants. Asian elephants, to be exact. For several years now, a group…

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Show Me Your Budget

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Show me a political flyer in Alaska and I’ll show you a candidate whose only reason for living is supporting the Permanent Fund and education, and fighting “government waste.” There’s an old saying, “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” This week we got to see what the Republican majority in the Alaska Senate values. Rest assured, their budget, written by Sen. Pete Kelly, does not value birth control for irresponsible women. In fact, amendments to accept millions in federal funds for family planning — to actually reduce abortions —…

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