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May 27, 2022

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Mudflats Chats: Paul Begala on Pebble & Democrats

I sat down with Presidential adviser Paul Begala, and asked him his thoughts about the proposed Pebble Mine project, Senator Mark Begich, blue lawmakers in red states, and what it really means to be a Democrat. One of the lead advisers to President Clinton, Begala and James Carville shaped a moderate campaign agenda that focused on balancing the budget and creating 22 million new jobs. I’d been told that Begala is an avid hunter and fisherman, and has been fishing near Bristol Bay. So, I knew where I wanted our conversation to begin – with an issue that is of…

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Blimps in the Last Frontier!

Thursday, I attended the Cargo Airships for Northern Operations Workshop
.  That’s right, the Blimp Convention! Earlier this year, I reported that a blimp was coming to Alaska this July for the first time since the 1920s. And not just any blimp – we’re talking the 200-foot long Skyship 600. Even though, to my disappointment, it was not coming up to give people rides, I had still planned on trying to blog the event and get some pictures if it came to Anchorage. Sadly, that never happened. But the dream is not dead, my friends. And there are many smart and motivated…

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North Pole Dentist Won’t Go Away

BY SHANNYN MOORE I was hoping the Alaska Republican Party would self-correct. The GOPers have had more than a month to make things right but haven’t yet seen a need. Oh, I know, they’re just as busy as the rest of us, getting ready for guests, looking for the top of the pressure cooker, wondering if sunburned mosquito bites were worth that day at the Slide Hole. (They were.) See, there’s a bad penny that keeps showing up in Alaska politics. I wonder why Republicans don’t get rid of him, because sooner or later someone will write a story or…

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1 Simple Act You Can Do to Save Alaska

On this day when even the most ardent curmudgeon can’t help but feel a little patriotic stirring, even if it’s only for what has been… or what might yet be, you have something to do, Alaskans. Santa says. And so does this guy.   Yes, I am talking to YOU. NOW. This is the last week to sign the petition to repeal the most devastating legislation Alaska has ever seen – Senate Bill 21 (SB21). You don’t have to think of him as Uncle Sam. He can be Uncle Jay (Hammond), or Uncle Wally (Hickel), or Uncle Bob (Bartlett), or…

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15 Things Northern Exposure Got Right

My wife Michelle was born in Anchorage, attending high school at Bartlett High. At about the time I was attending college, when the show “Northern Exposure” started to air, she was splitting her time between Anchorage in the summer and the school year in college in Austin. She doesn’t like “Northern Exposure,” maintaining adamantly that it was an inaccurate depiction of life in Alaska. Her chief complaint? Bagels. She found the notion that Alaskans would not know what a bagel is in 1990 (the year the show began) a bit preposterous. On a very technical level, I can agree with…

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SCOTUS Sticks it to Alaskans

Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court of the United States decided on a 5-4 vote to gut the Voting Rights Act. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has a central provision, Section 5, that requires some state and local governments, mostly in the South, and also in Alaska, to get permission from the Justice Department or a federal court before making changes in their voting laws. Indeed, it was the Voting Rights Act that was at the heart of successful efforts to stop states attempting to cut back on early voting hours and instituting voter identification laws that would have dramatically affected minority…

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“Racist Dentist” is New GOP Vice Chair

The Alaska Republican Party has been trying desperately to get its house in order while undergoing a civil war. And they’ve been doing just about as well as you might expect. The latest brilliant strategy move was voting in the man known as the “racist dentist” to hold the #2 spot in the Republican Party of Alaska. A coup of sorts took place when long time party chair Randy Ruedrich retired. The Ron Paul/Tea Party crowd overtook the convention and installed newcomer Russ Millette as Chair. The old guard panicked and rerouted the treasure chest to a Republican group in…

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When is Fishing a Crime?

  “If I got the means to do it, I will do it,” Phillip said. “Even if you are breaking the law?” asked his lawyer, James Davis Jr. “Well, if it comes down to feeding my family, yes,” Phillip answered. A radio report from KYUK in Bethel made me pull over the Subaru this week. I was listening to the story of Bethel fishermen being prosecuted by the state of Alaska for subsistence fishing during a state-ordered closure. This was Les Misérables, Alaskanized. Last summer these Native fishermen defied a fishery closure to catch salmon to feed their families. The…

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Murky Weighs In, We’ve Moved On

You’d think that a former governor who presided over the most corrupt government in Alaska since statehood would stay home and write his memoirs or something. You’d think a former Governor whose own Chief of Staff served a prison sentence for illegal campaign contributions would thank his lucky stars that Chief of Staff didn’t tell the Feds everything he knew and would keep discretely quiet. You’d think a failed candidate who helped give us Sarah Palin would have the simple decency to maintain an embarrassed silence. You’d think the man who single-handedly killed a national bank and seriously wounded a regional Native corporation would…

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‘Choose Respect’ Fails To Protect Native Women – Diane E Benson

(Diane Benson is a writer and professor of Native studies at the University of Alaska, and is a recent recipient of the national Bonnie Heavy-Runner Advocacy Award in recognition of outstanding service to victims of crime in Indian country.) It’s a method, marches. Historically marches are held to protest (civil rights), to get from one point to another (relocation) and to parade power (military). Generally, the word indicates walking lock-step whether literally or metaphorically. Choose Respect marches for change. But what are we trying to change, a social behavior? The march says Alaska is a violent place and we need…

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