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May 18, 2021

Parnell: Progressive Activist of the Year

We’re coming to the close of 2013, and top 10 lists are coming out of our ears. Top movies, albums, people (The pope! Time’s Person of the Year!). We seem to feel compelled to wrap up our year in nice little boxes. I have my own list I’d like to trot out. Hang on just a minute. Last week the governor released state revenue projections and his budget. His projections are based on the information oil companies give the state about how much of that sweet oil they plan to send down the pipeline. The administration takes those numbers and…

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The Enemies of Mandela

You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his enemies – Gustave Flaubert  Usually I would let a couple days go by before writing something like this. But I wanted to get this on the record before Sunday when so often history is rewritten on the talk shows, and behind the pulpit. Mandela will be remembered as a hero, as one of the great leaders of any race, or from any country – and rightly so. Many people more well-informed and personally attached to this great man will write his obituaries. In this place, I want to…

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Don Young & 22 in GOP Oppose TPP Fast Track

“Fast track.” Sounds productive. Sounds exciting. Sounds all, “Git ‘er dun.” But in reality, what fast track trade authority does is allow a President to sign and enter into a trade agreement before Congress gets to vote on it, have a guaranteed vote within a set number of days, limited debate, and no amendments allowed. Presidents including Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush requested the authority, which has been used 16 times since its inception in the 1970s. And now President Obama would like to have it while negotiating trade agreements via the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). [Here’s a quick…

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NSA Spying, Tax Fraud Join Trade Debacle

Although the horrendous TPP (“Trans Pacific Partnership”) pact is the most pressing global trade story here in the U.S., the current round of the TPP’s European cousin (aka TAFTA) is taking the cake in Belgium for sheer entertainment value. At the core of both pacts are sweeping new corporate rights and privileges, like the investor-state system. That little gem allows corporations to sue governments in foreign tribunals for taxpayer compensation of any domestic policy they claim undermines their “expected future profits.” Take a minute and sit with that last sentence until it really sinks in. Developing nations seeking commercial relationships with the…

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TPP 101 in Less than 4 Minutes. Go.

You’ve likely heard about the “TPP” in the news lately. You know it has 3 letters. You may even know that they stand for Trans Pacific Partnership. You may know that it’s considered a bad thing by the left, the right, and everyone in between. You may know it has something to do with trade… aaaand you may have gotten overwhelmed. Or you may be frustrated that other fairly engaged people seem not to know what it’s all about and why it matters. Here’s a great primer that takes less than four minutes, featuring Amy Goodman from Democracy Now interviewing…

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Recall Effort Advances

Anchorage State House Representative Lindsey Holmes got one step closer to political oblivion yesterday. She’s the Democrat, elected to serve West Anchorage, one of the most liberal districts in the state, who got to Juneau and went “>>POOF!<< Guess what? I’m a Republican now!” Those who knocked doors, donated money, put up yard signs, and gave their vote to Ms. Holmes were (needless to say) not amused. A group of the unamused decided to do something about it, and fire the nouveau Republican from her job. And that takes a lot of work. Signature gathering of District 19 residents began…

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Three Dans Too Many

An invitation! We got an invitation! And it’s pink and blue and calligraphied all fancy-like! Are Mayor Dan Sullivan and Bill and Michelle Bittner going to have a baby? Are Dan Coffey and his wife Pauline going to get married again? No, wait. It’s an “announcement of great importance to the future of Anchorage.” Wow. Hold on just a second… We’re getting a Red Lobster?     Alas, no to all of the above. Instead, Dan Coffey, the former Assemblyman and Sullivan minion/mancrush, has decided to run for Mayor. Not really that surprising. You may recall Dan Coffey is the…

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Torches and Pitchforks for Parnell

There are certain times when a government crosses a line, and there’s really no other way to adequately express one’s feelings about it than by deploying torches and pitchforks. The glinting of the tines in the firelight, the surging of the crowd, the bellowing of moral outrage… Ahhh. There’s really nothing like it to get the ol’ blood pumping. Well, I guess there is another way, but I’m reasonably sure it’s illegal, and though it might be satisfying the irony of retaliating against a bully by tarring and feathering him could not be overlooked, and might garner said bully some…

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Parnell Gets Fish Slapped

When one grapples for a visual allegory of what happened to the Parnell administration this week, it’s hard to think of anything more appropriate than this: That’s Sean Parnell on the right, and the Anchorage Superior Court on the left. The Superior Court ruled that the constitutional rights of Alaskans have been violated by the current administration when Parnell & Co. refused to process a four-year-old application to reserve water in the Chuitna River watershed for wild salmon. “Today’s ruling is a victory for every Alaskan who wants to protect wild salmon and the Alaskan way of life,” said Ron…

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Assemblyman Admits Back Room Shenanigans

Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly meeting promised to be more interesting than usual, but no one was expecting the jaw-dropping admission of blatant politicking by a supporter of the Mayor on the Assembly, and that the peoples’ referendum to repeal a draconian labor ordinance was being set up as a casualty of electoral manipulation. The Anchorage Assembly passed its anti-union, anti-public-employee Ordinance 37 back in March of 2013 despite hours and hours of testimony against it. In fact, Chair Ernie Hall even cut off testimony with many still waiting for an opportunity to speak. That led to the filing of a petition to…

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