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June 21, 2021

Headlines:

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…

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…

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…

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…

Parnell’s War on Education

Our governor gave his State of the Colony speech this week. In it, he tied “school reform” (by which he apparently means amending the Alaska Constitution to allow spending public money on private and religious schools) to raising the state’s contribution to each student’s education. I guess taking hostages is now Standard Operating Procedure for Republican elected officials. And even if those of us who like our constitution just the way it is were to acquiesce, Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposed “increase” in education funding wouldn’t come close to replacing what schools have lost to inflation in just the last three…

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!

Parnell, Murkowski & West Virginia

Pop Moore was born and raised in West Virginia. I’m proud of our family heritage in a state that includes the original Rednecks in the Battle for Blair Mountain. That’s where my grandfather fought to unionize the coal mines after getting buried in a slide. When I was growing up, we’d go visit my grandmother in a tiny town in Boone County. It was humid and friendly. Tomatoes from the garden tasted delicious, and the people talked funny. The center of town was the yellow line that ran through it. I loved sitting on the porch swing listening to stories….

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…

Parnell Rejects Healthcare Expansion

I spoke with several folks this week about what they expected Gov. Sean Parnell to do with his opportunity to expand Medicaid for Alaskans. Only one thought he would turn it down. Everyone else seemed to think he’d heed the plea of the chambers of commerce to support an expansion. The chamber isn’t exactly a communist cell, so I thought maybe its voice could reach the ear of our oil lobbyist-turned-oil politician. When Republican Gov. Jan Brewer accepted the expansion for Arizona, she attributed it to her ability to “weigh the evidence and do the math.” Surely, I thought, Parnell…

BREAKING: Conoco Rakes in Your Money

ConocoPhillips makes a lot of money. This seems like an obvious statement, but its one that Governor Sean Parnell, and his oily ilk in the Alaska legislature are hoping you and everyone you know will forget when it comes time to vote on the repeal of SB21. So they run around with their hair on fire yelling things like “Incentivize production!” and “It’s complicated!” and tell us that if we don’t start sobbing and throwing cash at the big 3 oil producers, and if we repeal SB21, well… they’re going to leave us for someone else like Libya or North…