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May 18, 2021

Solidarity Picnic Photo Album!

Yesterday, labor leaders of all stripes, and the middle class who loves them joined together in solidarity on the Park Strip in downtown Anchorage. It couldn’t have been a nicer day – sunshine, gentle breeze, none of that wet stuff falling from the sky. Hundreds of people and their families were there. Candidates, and elected officials milled about – all there to show their support for the middle class. Alaska has the second-highest union density of any state (New York is first), so Alaskans understand the importance of organized labor and how it improves the quality of life for all…

The Wrath of Captain Zero

Well, somebody’s still mad. After he didn’t get his way during the legislative session, he broke his crayons and went home. After Governor Sean Parnell’s embarrassingly botched special session that cost Alaskans upwards of $30,000 a day, in which his woefully underprepared administration tried in vain to get the Alaska Senate to green light his second $2 billion dollar a year, no-strings-attached, prezzie to the oil companies, he’s now got another plan. Revenge. It didn’t register with the governor that Alaskans actually didn’t like his oil tax plan. They didn’t like the idea of moving $10 billion over the next…

Alaska Gets Gouged

I’m never surprised by the unabashed glee with which those on the right shill for the rich and powerful, but the Republican support for the fuel price gougers here in Alaska has even me flabbergasted. Alaska’s gas prices are through the roof. Why? Oiligopoly. Two refiners control virtually 100 percent of the gasoline market — with Tesoro controlling 80 percent and Flint Hills, owned by the Koch brothers, controlling 20 percent. You know the Koch brothers: job creators extraordinaire. They’ve enjoyed a decade of low taxes, fired 13,000 workers since 2007 and seen their net worth skyrocket from $34 billion…

The Soldier, The Sailor & The Senator

Prisoner #313052 was wounded and, a few days later, taken captive by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. A member of the 86th and 28th Infantry Divisions during World War II, George Chilton aka “dad” would later be liberated by the Russians and awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service. He never did claim the Bronze Star. He said he didn’t like to think about what he had to do to earn it. And thus, ever since I was a young girl, I was made aware that there are ordinary people who do extraordinary things…

Anchorage Tea Party Embraces Extremes

I decided to pop in and see what was happening over at the Anchorage Tea Party’s candidate forum Monday night, because (believe it or not) that is my idea of a good time. And also so you don’t have to go. You, after all, are a regular person and it is not your idea of a good time. As I worked my way through the drizzly parking lot, I noticed that several candidates were advertising themselves on their cars. They ranged from the “so very Alaskan” duct taped model: To the “OMG I’m a State Senator! Look at ME!” mobile:…

Dems Help Vets – Capt. Zero Pouts

So, here’s how Governor Sean Parnell proves to us once again that he and his ilk are no more than bratty middle schoolers, completely unwilling and unable to give credit to anyone for doing anything unless they are on the same ideological team. Of course in politics, it’s natural to play up your own good deeds. But this, my friends, is actually embarrassing. I’m going to show you a little press release that came from Sean Parnell’s office. I’m going to highlight the people who are Republicans in red, and those who are Democrats in blue. Ready? ******************** Governor Signs…

Postmortem: Wisconsin, Obama & Elections

Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye, ‘Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument, Persuade my heart to this false perjury? —”Love’s Labour’s Lost,” William Shakespeare Madison, WI—Was it the money? Was it a weak candidate? Was it the President’s and DNC’s indifference? With Karl Rove and national Republicans dancing in the end zone, the soul searching and recriminations among Wisconsin progressives are now in full swing. The bulk of national commentary—including from generally sympathetic outlets like MSNBC and the NY Times—has generally been useless. And since we can have for more impact on what we do than on…

Parnell Kills His Own Special Session. Blames Senate. Pouts.

Things aren’t going well for Sean Parnell. It all started last week when he called the legislature into special session to talk about three things, the most difficult and contentious of which was oil and gas production taxes. The governor sent his team to Juneau with a bill. For purposes of readability, we’ll refer to this bill (SB3001) as what it is metaphorically – a cow pie. Hatching the Idea What the governor wanted in this new “hybrid” bill was to give all kinds of breaks to big oil companies for fields that are already producing, and not so much…

Quitter 2.0 – Parnell Breaks Hockey Stick, Says ‘Puck You.’

    And the crowd goes wild! Remember when I compared the Resources Committee meeting of the State Senate to a hockey game, and said I thought that they ought to have a rule just like in the peewee leagues, where when one team is like 20 points up they just call the game so the other side can slink away and lick their wounds instead of continuing to endure the public humiliation? Well, guess what? Even though that rule doesn’t exist, Bryan Butcher, Bruce Tangeman, and Co. have been recalled back to the locker room. That’s right – Parnell’s…

The Senate Heros vs. Captain Zero – Get Ready to Rumble!

The internet is a beautiful thing. How else could a political junkie snuggle into the couch in jammie pants with a cup of coffee, and commiserate with other like-minded souls for an event that rivals all this baseball stuff that everyone else seems to be talking about. I speak to you of…. (dramatic pause) the Alaska State Senate Resources Committee Meeting to discuss the governor’s newest oil tax plan. Before you roll your eyes, and click to anything but this, hear me out. Especially if you’re an Alaskan, this is one of the best reality TV shows around. It’s got…