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July 26, 2017

Alaska’s Two Senators Need To Stand Up To Their Party

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Have you noticed how the most recent crop of mosquitoes have the attack and dodging capabilities that you really only see at a military air show? The swallows have fledged and baby ravens are screaming, “WHAT?” at the top of their lungs. WHAT? WHAT? Well, for starters, could you babies give it a break until at least 6 a.m.? The blueberries have some strange blight and the salmonberries are dragging their heels. After their amazing performance last year, well, it’s fine that they slept in this year. An eagle got laid on his back by a mama sandhill crane. Protective…

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…

Missing Uncle Ted

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I’ve been nostalgic for the great political patron saint of Alaska — Ted Stevens. Lord, how I miss that Incredible Hulk tie and his fearlessness. Oh, it’s not like I’ve forgotten the arguments he and I got into. But we didn’t question each other’s love of country or state. With Russia making bold motions toward the United States this week — planes buzzing our destroyer in the Black Sea, a spy ship patrolling within 30 miles of the coast of Connecticut — and the installation of illegal missiles around their country, I feel nervous. I haven’t dug a bunker yet,…

Sen. Murkowski, Stand True To Your Word

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Many of us are counting the days down for America to be great again. I still haven’t heard an answer to the question of when it stopped being great, but being great sounds, well, great! So let’s do it. First things first. We have got to get rid of that health care disaster that has enslaved millions of Americans by creating access to a doctor. Enough! Because of Obamacare, college-age kids have been rafted up to their parents’ policies like parasites. Those pre-existing conditions — the warning flags to companies that don’t want your sick behind dragging down their profits…

What took you so damn long?

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We all have different breaking points. I realize mine may be very different than yours, and Sens. Lisa Murkowski’s and Dan Sullivan’s, when it comes to our tolerance levels of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Both Murkowski and Sullivan recently came out condemning Trump after a tape came to light with the candidate bragging about sexual assault. He was quite proud of grabbing women in their genitalia and thought it was funny they wouldn’t do anything about it. Not all U.S. senators share the disdain of Trump’s statement. Alabama’s Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions thought the language used by Trump was…

Looking for the Tree of Knowledge in Homer

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Originally published in ADN.com I’m spending a few typical August days with my parents in Homer. There’s lots of catching up to do with old classmates or the random co-worker from my teenage job at the Sourdough Bakery. Lots of fishing and addressing what we refer to as Pop’s “halibut insecurity” when the freezer levels dip below a certain amount. I’m writing this column while mom, a retired primary teacher, is volunteering at the local elementary school to organize backpacks for children who don’t have what they need to start school next week. Pop and I have been discussing what…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska ADN – State pushing feds to allow Western Arctic caribou hunt Alaska’s biggest caribou herd, one that has swelled and crashed over the past four decades, now is stirring conflict between state and federal managers over who should get to hunt the animals. The Federal Subsistence Board decided in April to close federal lands where the Western Arctic caribou herd is hunted — except to locals, those hunters federally qualified for subsistence. The year-long closure to other caribou hunters would begin July 1. Alaska Public Media – Young, Murkowski to do ‘double whammy’ on energy bill Alaska Congressman Don Young will…

UPDATE – Repub ‘Dr.No’ Stops Veteran Suicide Prevention Act

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Updated at 9:30pm est Dr. No has done it. Outgoing Senator Tom Coburn has single handedly managed to prevent the passage of the Clay Hunt SAV Act this Congressional session. IAVA’s Paul Rieckhoff posted this to facebook earlier this evening. Post by Paul Rieckhoff.     In a rare bi-partisan show of support, both Senators Murkowski and Begich co-signed a bill that looks to provide 22 million dollars in funding for suicide prevention among veterans. The bill is called the Clay Hunt SAV Act, and if you watched Rachael Maddow the other night [see above] you’d know that a lone Senator is…

UPDATE: Begich & Murkowski Down in Polling – Begich Office Responds

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UPDATE: A Sen. Begich Office spokesperson got back to TheMudflats with this statement on the PPP polling: “Leading up to the Senate vote, the vast majority of Alaskans who contacted our office were asking Senator Begich to protect Alaskans’ 2nd amendment rights. Hearing their concerns and staying consistent with his long-held position, Senator Begich told Alaskans from the start that while there are things we can do to keep our communities safe, the Manchin-Toomey proposal was not the best approach.” [Below was posted earlier Monday the 29th] While no Alaskan polling firm has come out with data on the effect…

UPDATE: Bloomberg’s Cash Goes after Mark Begich – Doesn’t Sway AK Senators

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UPDATE: Alaskan Senators Mark Begich (D) and Lisa Murkowski (R) both voted no on the Manchin-Toomey Amendment. Senator Begich was one of only 5 Democratic Senators to vote against the amendment – 4 Republicans voted for it. Quoting TPM: The Republicans who voted for the bill were Sens. Pat Toomey (PA), Mark Kirk (IL), Susan Collins (ME) and John McCain (AZ). Democrats who voted against it were Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Max Baucus (MT), Mark Begich (AK) and Mark Pryor (AR) — the latter three are up for reelection in 2014. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) changed his vote to no…