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May 16, 2021

Oil? Bloated. You? Shrinkage.

The numbers have been crunched. The “Big Five” oil companies – BP, Exxon-Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell, and Chevron saw a combined profit of $93 billion last year. Profit. Billion with a B. That’s $177,000 every single minute, of every day last year. Profit. Outrageous! The poor babies… Despite what any reasonable person might think about the money pouring in to the most profitable companies ever to have existed on the face of the earth, they would still like to keep their tax breaks, please. And in Alaska, their best buddy in the governor’s office would like Alaskans to keep subsidizing this…

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Parnell Goes ‘Christie’ – Shakedown in Ketchikan

“Gov. Sean Parnell’s warning that he might shut off Ketchikan’s access to state construction funds in retaliation for its lawsuit challenging state education funding reverberated Friday as a kind of ‘Chris Christie’ moment.” That’s not me saying that. That’s Richard Mauer in the Anchorage Daily News. What makes Parnell’s Christie moment even more remarkable than even Chris Christie’s “Christie moment,” is that the statement you’re about to read didn’t come cloaked in speculation. Nobody wondered if Parnell knew about the shakedown. There are no subpoenas, or investigations. There is no in-depth political analysis or speculation about what the governor knew…

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Alaska is More Progressive Than You Think

OK, can we just stop for a minute, and revel in something? First let me start by saying that I have long tried to convince the unconvinceable that Alaska is bluer than its current slate of lawmakers would lead one to believe. Now I’ve got backup. Public Policy Polling came out with some numbers that reflect a change on The Last Frontier. It’s the kind of change that says, “You know, we’ve been thinking about it, and maybe we don’t really want to be a backward, redneck, socially intolerant oil colony after all.” Here are some highlights: -For the first…

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Parnell to Choose New Dem Rep.

Beth Kerttula, Democratic House Minority Leader from Juneau, has stepped down to accepted a position as a visiting fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford, which began Feb. 3, leaving a hole in the legislature. Last time something like this happened, it was Sen. Kim Elton of Juneau who departed to take a new job in Washington D.C. That move set off a Kavalcade of Krazy™ in which then Governor Sarah Palin attempted to install a Republican who “didnt realize he was a Republican” ‘to fill the Democratic seat. Then a Democrat who’d just become a Democrat weeks before…

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Pruitt – Medicaid Recipients Like “Children” With “Toy”

You may remember House Republican Majority Leader Lance Pruitt. You may not want to remember him, but there he is anyway. He’s the one who, on the floor of the legislature last session said it was important that we not let the American people believe that the United States Supreme Court was the final word, judicially. (let that sink in) Rep. Max Gruenberg, an attorney and person-who-must-have-taken-a-Government-101-class, gently informed him that YES the United States Supreme Court DOES, in fact, have the last word. Now, Pruitt has once again put his foot in his mouth – this time in an…

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Heeeere’s the Kickoff! Let the Session Begin!

They’re back! Those wacky kids at Alaska Robotics are in Juneau to call the legislative session play by play. Grab a bag of peanuts and a beer, and enjoy. Also, be sure to “like” Alaska Robotics on Facebook! And mind the drones!

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Quotes of the Week – A Sixpack

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…

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Bill Seeks to Silence Constituents (My Testimony)

Saturday at 9:00 am, members of the public stood in long lines to sign up to testify at the Loussac Library. It was the first public meeting of the year for the Anchorage Legislative Caucus. The meeting was called so the legislators could hear from their constituents before they headed off to Juneau in two weeks for the start of the legislative session. It was clear that the main issue on the minds of the majority of the approximately 150 people who showed up, was education. Teachers, parents, students from the Service High Seminar Program, professors, doctors and other members…

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Parnell Should Choose Support for Youth

In 2011 the state conceded that its protection system to discover child abuse and neglect, and lead foster youth to greater success, was in need of improvement. It came up with a cost-effective request: What if they filled the massive staffing gaps at the Office of Children’s Services (OCS), which investigates these cases, with lower-cost support staff rather than Masters-level social workers? That would free social workers to do their fieldwork, and let lower-cost employees do their paper and administrative work. The governor needs to govern and find efficiencies, rather than excuses to ignore our child protection system or his…

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Thursday Night!

  Us: So, what are you doing Thursday night? You: Heck, I dunno, Mudflats. I’ll probably come home, throw a Hungry Man dinner in the oven, and watch something infuriating and/or inane on TV that makes me feel angry and powerless. >>>>>HOCKEY BUZZER<<<<<<<   WRONG ANSWER! THIS is what you are doing Thursday night. After work, you make a little detour. You head for H Street in Anchorage, which is easy to find because you, my friend, know your alphabet. You arrive at house number 1134, the windows aglow in the twilight, the sound of good cheer floating over the frosty…

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