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May 26, 2017

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”…

Good Grief, Wasilla – Stop Sending These People to Juneau

Photo: David Eastman's Facebook page

The spanking brand new senator from Wasilla, Republican David Wilson, slapped a journalist from this paper, Nat Herz. He seems nice. Apparently Wilson isn’t familiar with the First Amendment he swore to uphold. Part of it is pretty well known to most, but since it comes right before the Second Amendment, it’s easy to see how it gets glossed over in the race to “Yeah, guns!” Along with freedom of religion, used too often to discriminate, there is prohibition on infringing the freedom of the press. Guess what? If lawmakers could hit journalists and columnists in the face for writing things they…

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

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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…

EPA, Pebble and The West Wing

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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…

Calling the Mosquito Fleet

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My darling Alaskans, I am starting to feel like these columns I write are more like letters to the people and place I love. It is blowing sideways on the bay today and the snow, defying gravity and all rules, seems to be traveling upward while accumulating on the ground at the same time. My ermine friend is shrew hunting — which is my favorite thing about him — and has learned to do a trick or two for cheese bits. I’m watching with one eye the mushers vie for position in the Yukon Quest and with the other, the…

Storm on the Horizon

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I said last week I would try to focus more on affairs of the state, you know, because the whole world has seemingly lost their collective minds. I’ve spent some time watching Gavel to Gavel and listening to assembly meetings so you don’t have to. It may seem like a small thing to many of you, but clearly you haven’t spent an hour screaming at your computer because of local political antics. You’re welcome. Pro tip: Be careful if you’re playing a drinking game that requires a shot when the words “body” or “member” are said. In the big square…

Make Alaska Great Again

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Maybe you were too busy this week trying to stay warm to follow the news much. There have been some new developments. I know. They almost got past me, you know with keeping the snow shoveled out of the outhouse and enough water melted to do a few dishes. I’m trying hard to keep up. A major oil discovery was announced this week! Wahoo! “Initial technical estimates indicate the discovery could have recoverable resource potential in excess of 300 million barrels of oil,” ConocoPhillips said. That’s awesome for all of Alaska, right? I mean, jobs, jobs, jobs and we can…

For Good or Bad, Juneau Still Represents You

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Well, my darling Alaskans, we’ve made it through the holiday season and now a real cause for celebration is upon us – the 2017 legislative session! I know, after so many “special sessions” it’s hard to really feel like this one will be special without the title, but we can all hope. I’m encouraged by the newly formed House bipartisan coalition. You know, the grown-ups in Juneau, working together to work for all of us. What a concept. In reading through the prefiled bills, I’m reminded of the old quote about paving roads with good intentions. Truth be told, with…

The Still Before the Electoral Storm

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If you’re paying attention, right before a storm comes, it gets really, really still. The blue herons and kingfishers seem to be the only birds still fishing. I wonder if it’s easier for them to see their tiny silver meals through the surface of the water when it is so quiet. From the porch you can hear whales surfacing and their tails whacking near to the channel. If you wait, you’ll see the wake ripple to the beach from their antics. The air smells like summer died. I have more devil’s club in my flesh than the devil does and…

The Mudflats Endorses Jeff Landfield in the Republican Primary

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It’s last-minute classless attack ad time, and lookie what came in the mail! Craig Johnson quoted us and everything. Because Craig Johnson thinks that even we – the godless, tree-huggin’ bunny-smoochin’ libruls believe that he, Craig Johnson, is the better choice for Senate District L. That would make Craig Johnson WRONG. While our social style is a little less… freewheeling than Mr. Landfield’s, we have found him to be sincere, hard-working, smart, willing to listen to and consider all sides of an issue, and even downright likeable. Craig Johnson on the other hand is a humorless, closed-minded, oil guzzlin’ blowhard….