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October 18, 2017

AAUGHH… Wait. Lisa Did the Right Thing?

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For decades, people have wondered what Charlie Brown would have done if he had ever gotten to kick the ball Lucy had been tricking him with for years. I suddenly feel qualified to answer this question definitively. Charlie did the happy Snoopy dance! His eyes may have been a bit wet and he may have whooped too loud for neighbors at 2 a.m., but his joy was known. OK. Maybe that was me during the vote to defeat the repeal of “Obamacare.” There have been many times I believed Sen. Lisa Murkowski would do the right thing for Alaska and…

Driving To Alaska’s Political Madness

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My parents first came to Alaska in the ’60s, driving a red and white Volkswagen bus. They came from Virginia and like so many Alaskans, they came for one year – that was almost 50 years ago and they never left. I’m happy to report I’m making the trip they did, though by a more northerly route. It’s a bit of a shock to my Alaskan mind to drive through four states in a day without going through a foreign country. There is so much to take in on open road and border crossings. You can drive for days on…

Poll: A Write in For Mark Begich?

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In a classic Alaska election flashback to 2010 we could see another write in candidacy for the US Senate. This time people might have a easier time writing in this candidate, at least when it comes to spelling than they did in 2010. In a statement to The Midnight Sun and in an interview with KTVA former Senator Mark Begich won’t rule out a write-in campaign. Midnight Sun: “I’m getting a lot of calls from people who say they are not satisfied with their choices and they are not interested in seeing another Miller Murkowski fight, I will keep listening to…

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…

Alaskan Reps Weigh In on Syrian Refugees

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Even though state and local officials have no actual power over preventing or allowing refugees to be placed in their state – nearly all of them have decided to weigh in on the issue. The 10,000 or so refugees that were originally planned on being brought to the US for temporary placement would go through “13 separate security screenings – at the international, federal and state level – before they are considered for resettlement,” but that doesn’t seem to be enough for some members of the Alaskan delegation. While not a single one of the terrorists that attacked Paris last…

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…

The Economic Freedom to be Poor

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New kids at my high school were rare. Most of us had been together since what felt like the beginning of time — and that wasn’t always a good thing. Remember the time Eric barfed in the lunch room? Yeah. Remember when the elastic in Kim’s sweatpants surrendered during fourth-grade dodgeball? She froze like a statue. New kids were suspect curiosities. It took a while to figure out if they were going to be one of “us.” I remember one in particular. He complained constantly about how lame Homer was. He was in town to live with his relatives for…

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…

A Sullivan Win Puts Alaska Last

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Poor Dan Sullivan, I think he was born with a pair of silver flip flops on. His Cleveland, Ohio, parents were caught last week by the Center for Public Integrity trying to funnel $300,000 to a super PAC supporting their son. The contribution was originally listed as coming from the Glenmede Trust Company — a wealth management company that manages over $25 billion for rich folks. Unfortunately for the Sullivans, they mistakenly listed their $3 million beachside condo in Florida instead of Glenmede’s Philadelphia address on their filing. Oops. This donation is on top of the other $250,000 that Dan’s…

Quotes of the Week – A Sixpack

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Oh no they di’int! It’s been quite a week for the gum-flappers, the yammerers, and the makers of opinion – some good, some bad, and some that make you just want to slam you head on the desk until they go away. Let’s dig in. Sarah Palin on Race What better way to start the week in which we celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. than with a little race baiting from our ex-half governor? Not sure if judging someone by the content of their character is really where she wants to go. Rush Limbaugh on Chris Christie…