My Twitter Feed

June 27, 2017

Alaska Needs a Hostage Negotiator

landscape-1478879153-die-hard

Relationship counselors get a bad rap. Probably because it’s too late by the time one person insists it’s important to do. Oh, you go along, and at some point the therapist looks at you and rolls his eyes and tells you you’re nuts to stick around for more crazy town. OK, maybe that was just my experience, but it’s going to take more than a fancy talker with comfy sofas to help what’s going on in Juneau. They need a hostage negotiator. A terrorism expert. I’m talking Bruce Willis in “Die Hard” caliber. I’m sure some precious snowflake lawmaker is…

Tiny Alaskan Island Has Awesome Amount of Pride

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 12.45.00 AM

Yes, I apologize for the click-baity headline. But it’s rare these days that I can share good news from Alaska… or for that matter anywhere in the US. This news comes from the tiny Alaskan island of Wrangell. For those unfamiliar with the ridiculously huge geography of Alaska – Wrangell is 1,073 miles from the states largest city, Anchorage – that of course includes at least one ferry ride with your car. The population of Wrangell, according to the 2010 census was 2,369. That didn’t stop it’s residents from making a great showing for their Pride this year. Thankfully a Wrangell resident,…

Pink Slips for Alaskans, Green Ones for the Oil Companies

Pipeline

“Stability. Under SB 21, there is certainty that tax rates won’t fluctuate wildly at higher prices like they did under the old tax law.” — Alaska Oil & Gas Association ” ‘A competitive, predictable and durable oil and gas fiscal environment will be required for a project of this unprecedented scale, complexity and cost to compete in global energy markets,’ Exxon said in a statement.” — Business Wire, 2013 “This activity is slowing the production decline with renewed ability to reverse the decline and increase production. This gives Alaska the opportunity for a sustainable, long-term economic future. It also keeps…

Mission Accomplished: War on Energy Over

Screen Shot 2017-06-03 at 6.26.47 PM

Not since Moses, Aaron and Miriam fought the Egyptians for freedom of the Israelites have we found such a beautiful redemption story. Yes, the emancipation of slaves after a bloody civil war came close, but this is so much more inspiring. Our prayers and vigils for the gravely oppressed oil companies in Alaska have at last been answered. I guess tying all those black ribbons in the old spruce trees really helped. Like Moses coming down from Mount Sinai, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke came to Alaska and is going to make this state great for oil companies again….

Oil First, Kids Second

I suppose the saying “dance with the one who brought you” should be changed. “Dance with the one who bought you” is more apropos when watching the Republican Senate majority in Juneau. This week 13 lawmakers voted to drain every single dime out of the statutory budget reserve — also known as our savings account — to pay oil companies more money than the suggested maximum amount. Why? Well, it’s not really a very well-kept secret that come election time their coffers are stuffed from oily folks to make sure our rainy day funds will make the “transfer of wealth”…

Easter in Homer: “Isn’t that how we all should feel?”

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 10.35.49 PM

This is a holy week for many. I like the years when Passover and Easter fall on the same week. For whatever reasons we gather together with family or our friends — who are the family we choose. I thought it was a good time to resurrect one of my favorite Easter stories. I grew up with Easters. The full-meal deals. Flowered hats and new dresses; I remember a particular gray gingham with lace. It was a bit “Little House On The Prairie” but I kind of liked that. The Little House On The Muskeg was where I lived. Easter…

If McConnell wanted Dan Sullivan to have principles, he’d give him some.

HQDanSullivanSenateAnnouncement10-15-14-12

It’s no secret that I hold Alaska’s junior senator, Dan Sullivan, in low esteem. It’s a low esteem he has earned. For one thing, he’s a carpetbagger. Alaska was just a convenient horse for his raging ambition. He’s a political mercenary. I cannot understand the “charm” some Alaskans seem to see in him. If Dan cares about anything, it’s the elevation of Dan. Suffice it to say, my opinion of the junior senator was so low he needed to dig a hole to go lower. But this week, Sullivan, Mitch McConnell’s Mini-Me, broke out his shovel. Turns out he’s a…

From ObamaCare to Trump Don’t Care

copyright Zach D Roberts

Well, it’s a brand new day for my white Alaska friends who have been under the oppressive regime of “Obamacare,” otherwise know as the Affordable Care Act. Finally, after promising for seven years to repeal and replace it, congressional Republicans have introduced Trumpcare as a solution. Included in the pushback is the 10 percent tax on tanning beds. As a person of such blinding whiteness this time of year, I feel liberated. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that just this change will cost $600 million over the next 10 years. For those of us who nerd out and actually read bills,…

ATL Chats w/ Alaskan Photog Carl Johnson

5e505ac24a2e76c2b07e255b6918541f

This week we try something different. This week we’re going to spend out time interviewing just on panelists. This will be the beginning of a new interview series we’re trying out. For the first interview episode we talk to Alaskan nature photographer Carl Johnson. He’s been working on a long term book project Where Water Is Gold about the area would be effected by the creation of the Pebble Mine. A mine that would wipe out a shocking percentage of the worlds pacific salmon. That’s the kind of salmon that you actually want to eat. You can check out Carl’s stunning aurora photos and all his…

EPA, Pebble and The West Wing

11156318_10152763234233021_6163459241028257556_n

I’m sorry to report that watching box sets of “The West Wing” isn’t enough distraction from our real politics. I am tired. I can confirm a fresh batch of baby sea otters, riding on their mama’s bellies, blown in by the latest storm can provide some relief. Their cuteness is enough to make anyone ovulate – I don’t care who you are. Their squeaks and mewing are impossible to ignore. I learned about something called “embryonic diapause.” It’s really fascinating and a little science-y. See, lady sea otters can get pregnant and put a pause on implanting the embryos for…