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December 5, 2016

The Pete Kelly Lisa Murkowski Surreality Show

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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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Alaska’s Dirty Little Secret, and Why Bernie Can Win

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To the disappointment of conspiracy nuts across the U.S. of A, President Barack Obama confirmed this week he won’t run for a third term. Even if he could, he said, his wife wouldn’t let him. And besides, why would he want to get treated like the substitute teacher for another four years? Oh, that’s right. The only people crazier than armed bird refuge squatters are those contending for the GOP nomination for president. I wonder what any one of the GOP candidates thinks about Alaska? Drill? Um, we tried that. The oil companies are going to keep our oil in…

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Big Ideas for a Big State

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By Howard Weaver President Obama’s recent attention to Alaska — especially in Dillingham, Kotzebue and Seward — provides a welcome focus for looking beyond the bleak landscape of oil price collapse and budget cuts toward a brighter, more sustainable future. For perhaps the first time since western contact, Alaskans may be motivated to turn away from the love-em-and-leave-em dynamics of extraction to embrace their genuine treasures: the cultural diversity and frontier spirit of its people; an abundance of renewable resources that can be managed and sustained forever; and indigenous wisdom from the North that can benefit all mankind. Seward, then…

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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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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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The Oath Keepers in Ferguson

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Standing on top of a boarded up beauty shop, silhouetted men look out over the street. I can faintly see the outline of a rifle, an AR-15? M-16? I don’t know guns well enough to make a guess. I walk carefully over to the building, hands half raised. The weather in Ferguson has turned cold, and as I get closer I can see their breath in the night air. I’m trying to think of what to say. There’s lots of stories about these guys. People down the street are connecting them to the rumors that the KKK is in Ferguson. Some…

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Cruz to Wasilla

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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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Obama!

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Me: Hey, Republican! Would you like some delicious ice cream? Republican: Yes, I would. I love delicious ice cream. What kind? Me: What kind would you like? Republican: Hmmm… Do you have Rocky Road? Me: Yes! Would you like some delicious Rocky Road ice cream? Republican: Mmmmm. Yes, please. Me: Hey, did you know that Barack Obama also enjoys a nice bowl of Rocky Road ice cream? (buzzing short-circuit noise) Republican: I… I… I changed my mind and suddenly remembered that ice cream is from the devil! Me: Hmm. I think it’s a little too warm down there to make…

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We All Need a Tweditor – Palin Edition

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Before we begin: WHY must you continue writing about HER, you demand to know. PLEASE stop giving her attention, you insist. As soon as you pretend she’s not there, she will evaporate into the ether, you delude yourself. I plead guilty to a personal, professional, and morbid fascination with the enduring social and political impact of the trainwreck from Wasilla. Some people are really into sports, or photograph their lunch, or amuse themselves by taking Facebook quizzes to find out what color aura of what punk rock band’s totem animal they are, or other ultimately inconsequential hobbies. And as long as…

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