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March 29, 2017

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 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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Purgatory Will Turn You Vegan. Apparently.

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And now this, from the Palin Channel, which clearly has not raised enough money for speech writers. Or teleprompters. Or some guy making cue cards with a Sharpie. Luckily, they’ve been able to scrape up enough for a fake tree, and a pile of leather-bound books which were put in front of her so maybe now she has to read them, a lacquered photograph of a flag, and a ring of keys for a house belonging to a race of giants. Gravitas. That’s what that is. The ex-half-governor must have been feeling confident this day, because she decided to take…

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Minimum Wage Debate!

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Last week’s oil tax debate packed the house at the Loussac Library’s Wilda Marston Theater. This week, the series of debates host ed by Alaska Common Ground continues with Ballot Measure 3. Not as widely discussed as some, this measure is nonetheless important, and will decide if there will be an increase to Alaska’s minimum wage.  This should not only be of interest to those on the left seeking to float all boats, but to those on the right who bemoan Americans’ dependence on government “handouts” in order to survive. This issue affects all Alaskans and all Americans. Be an…

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The Floodgates are Open

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This week I listened to one of the right-wing sock puppets yammer on about what a victory for freedom the most recent campaign finance court decision was. Honestly. The guy was more about “free and dumb” than freedom. The court, in yet another 5-4 decision, basically created eBay for elections. What we didn’t need was more stinking money in our election process but the five say otherwise. Freedom of speech is now equated with how much money you have and are willing to spend. Of course, the reverse doesn’t work. You can’t walk into a store and purchase items with…

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Mudflats’ Top 13 of 2013

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Since it’s two millennia plus a baker’s dozen on the calendar, we thought that it seemed appropriate to give a nod to the top 13 Mudflats stories of 2013. We noticed that six of the top 13 posts are about a certain former half governor who used to steer Alaska’s ship of state.  We’re not quite sure what to make of this. We’re not ones to pat ourselves on the back, but that option is less horrifying to us than thinking that Sarah Palin is still all that important. We prefer instead to believe that she has simply morphed, devolved…

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Donations Needed, Everywhere

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In a season dedicated to gratitude for what we have, please let’s not forget to share our abundance with those who have less. In Anchorage, Bean’s Café, a local non-profit dedicated to helping the hungry and homeless, is in need of donations of food items for Thanksgiving meals.  This year the organization will offer two dinners; The Children’s Lunchbox will sponsor a Community Fall Feast on Thursday, November 21 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Clark Middle School, 150 Bragaw Street; and Bean’s Café will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, November 28 beginning at Noon at the Café, located at 1101…

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Don Young & 22 in GOP Oppose TPP Fast Track

Congressman Don Young (R-AK) at a recent Federal Overreach Summit in Anchorage.

“Fast track.” Sounds productive. Sounds exciting. Sounds all, “Git ‘er dun.” But in reality, what fast track trade authority does is allow a President to sign and enter into a trade agreement before Congress gets to vote on it, have a guaranteed vote within a set number of days, limited debate, and no amendments allowed. Presidents including Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush requested the authority, which has been used 16 times since its inception in the 1970s. And now President Obama would like to have it while negotiating trade agreements via the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). [Here’s a quick…

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