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July 22, 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…

Obamacare VS. Trumpcare

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Maybe you didn’t follow the day-in and day-out of the Affordable Care Act legislation. It was presented in July 2009 when the silvers were just showing up. It took months of amendments and rewrites and hearings for it to be signed into law. Actually, it wasn’t passed until March 23, 2010. That was what stood for “cramming it down our throats” back then. I didn’t like “Obamacare.” That’s what the Republicans started calling it before they voted to repeal it more than 50 times. I got quite a few lectures from Democrats in high office about compromise. What’s the point…

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

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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….

Losing Memorial Day

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This is the weekend that officially starts summer for most of us. Cussing out the back ends of RV’s that don’t understand what a pull-off is for or that it’s illegal to back up more than five cars’ worth of traffic. Ever see a giant motor home pulled over or ticketed for 27 cars behind it? Me neither. People are breaking the barnacles off their barbecue grills and trying to remember if it’s the recipe for St. Louis ribs or molasses and mustard rub that got their version of Uncle Leo so excited last year. From the fold-outs in the…

Send in the Clowns, the Circus is in Session

Photo by Zach D Roberts

Are you still following the news? It’s OK if you’ve glazed over. You’ve got a life and it’s pretty frustrating if you’re trying to live it at the same time you’re following the latest national crisis. Every few hours feels like opening one of those Russian nesting dolls and a new “are you kidding me?” pops out. Special counsel convening, subpoenas turned down, leaked secrets, you’re fired, who knew and when did they know it, and then you realize it’s almost lunchtime. When you try to catch up on local news you get the dreary prospect of the state going into…

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…

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

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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…

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,…