My Twitter Feed

June 16, 2021

Headlines:

  • The Great Bamboo Hunter vs. Indictments at Home

    BAMBOO HUNTER Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) is the latest in a string of Trumpy state legislators to fly off to Arizona for the grand tour of the Fraudit™, conducted by a group called “Cyber Ninjas” which is doing an examination of votes for President by Arizonans in the hopes of confirming an assortment of conspiracy theories which say that the 2020 vote was stolen and that Donald Trump is really still the President.  Sure there’s a special session going on in Juneau right now, but Eastman seems to have different priorities. And apparently that money in his legislative account was…

  • The Good, the Bad, & the Beginning of the End

    NO BY PROXY Remember a few months ago when an angry rioting mob stormed the Capitol in Washington D.C. armed with bear spray, flag poles, baseball bats, and other assorted weaponry and tried to hunt down members of Congress, and overthrow a legal democratic election? Apparently some members of Congress would like to just gloss that over. Last week the House of Representatives voted 252-175 to create a bipartisan committee to investigate how that happened and what we ought to do about it. 35 Republicans voted for it. Don Young was not one of them.  Don Young has missed 14.2% of roll…

  • Unconstitutional & Unfit

    WHAT-THE-HECK-A-THON – Part 1 We had not one but two marathon floor sessions this week. It started off in the House where mostly-minority Republican budget amendments were considered. Several passed with the assistance of majority Republicans, most notably Rep. Kelly Merrick (R-Eagle River) and House Speaker Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak). (Remember the majority coalition in the House is made up of Democrats, and a few independents and Republicans – the minority contains only Republicans who don’t want to work with Dems).  The operating budget finally passed 23-16 with two minority members (who were in the majority coalition last year but defected this year) Bart LeBon (R-Fairbanks) and Steve Thompson (R-Fairbanks) crossing over to vote…

  • Sen. Dan Sullivan – Leading in the Wrong Direction

    SEN. DAN SULLIVAN ADDRESSES THE LEGISLATURE BUCKLE UP To say it was mind-numbing to listen to Sen. Dan Sullivan in his address to a joint session of the legislature is an understatement.  To say that was surprising wouldn’t be true. Mind you, he’s not up for reelection until 2026. His job security is solid. He doesn’t need to pander and whip up “the base” to get votes any more. This was the perfect opportunity to deliver a positive address, looking to the future, reassuring the 44% of Alaskans who didn’t vote for him that maybe he wasn’t so bad, and…

  • Wasilla Rep. wants marriage defense for ‘rape by fraud’

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED The legislature finalized House Bill 76 this week that allows Alaska to keep millions of dollars in critical federal covid-related funding. But it didn’t come easy. The House passed their version of the bill back in March, then it went to the Senate, which brought it to the floor with 41 amendments, and only 2 days to spare before the money evaporated.  Republicans had some doozies. Majority leader Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer) had an amendment which said that “biological girls should play biological girls, and biological boys should play biological boys” in high school sports. Minority Leader Tom Begich (D-Anchorage) pointed out…

Headlines

‘Where do they find these people?’

Apr 6, 2021

TODAY IS THE DAY! If you’re in the Anchorage Municipality, don’t say we didn’t tell you this one is important! You get to decide whether Anchorage has a responsible, decent mayor or a homophobic Alaska Family Council homeless-hating right winger. (yikes!) You also get to decide whether you get thoughtful, intelligent school board members, or ones who joke about corporal punishment and obsess about racism not existing on their social media posts. And if you’re in Midtown you get to pick between keeping Felix Rivera, a caring hard-working Assembly Chair, or letting a bunch of Q-azy, anti-masking, storm-the-Assembly-chambers wackos turn out to vote…

Bonfire of the Insanities

Mar 26, 2021

“IT’S UNBELIEVABLE” This is perhaps the best way to sum up the confirmation hearing for Alaska’s third Attorney General under Gov. Mike Dunleavy held in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week – a post from the Chair herself. Reinbold, unsurprisingly, spent the bulk of the time complaining about having to follow rules, “drilling down” on the nominee’s opinion on separation of powers, the executive branch overreaching on civil liberties, and the governor’s mandates on “cloth face coverings” in government buildings. “As you know in the building we have negative tests but we still have to wear these,” she said. And…

Shenanigans & Malarkey

Mar 19, 2021

No, it’s not a sketchy Irish law firm – it’s this week in the Alaska State Legislature. THE BUDGET LOOMS It’s that time in the legislative session, when all the budget subcommittees that take on little bite-sized pieces of the big budget and make recommendations, are starting to wind down. Soon all those little pieces will reconnect and we’ll be on to the next phase. But for right now, part of the draft budget includes a controversial line item we’ve been keeping our eye on.  Remember a few weeks ago when there was a hearing about the Dunleavy administration’s move…

Anti-masking Alaska Senator Banished from Capitol. Maybe.

Mar 12, 2021

Welcome to the theater of the absurd. If you’re getting tired of watching Alaska Senator Lora Reinbold’s middle school “you’re not the boss of me” antics, you’re not alone. Even her fellow Republican Senators have had enough – and they’re the ones who thought she’d be just swell as part of their “Caucus of Equals,” and installed her as the chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee. Because what could possibly go wrong? Should we still be talking about this? No. Does Sen. Reinbold (R-Eagle River) make that impossible? Yes. Since the CDC-compliant mask mandate went into place at the Capitol, Reinbold has been wearing…

No Room for Nazis, & more committee madness

Jan 29, 2021

NO ROOM FOR NAZIS The good news is that the actual Nazi apologist on the Alaska Human Rights Commission was removed. Gov. Dunleavy felt that her defense of Nazi phrases was… “distracting.” I think the word he was looking for was “wrong” or “abhorrent.” But regardless, Anchorage Assembly Member Jamie Allard is off the commission even though she still sits on the Anchorage Assembly. Tuesday night, when Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson addressed the chamber saying we must speak out forcefully against Nazism and hate, she was booed by a contingent of Allard fans in the audience. It’s irrelevant what your political party is, when…

Crimson-mantled Woodpecker

Return of Bird of the Week: Crimson-mantled Woodpecker

Jan 23, 2021

This will be the last Return of Bird of the Week here at the Mudflats. Differences in some of the underlying parts of WordPress have made cross-posting difficult. The Satuday series will continue over at Wickersham’s Conscience if you haven’t had enough birds yet. Thanks for reading the 350 +/- posts. Get out and enjoy the birds. Another very handsome, very colorful woodpecker, the Crimson-mantled is found along the eastern and westerly slopes of the Andes from Columbia to central Bolivia. It’s a medium-sized woodpecker, about the size of the Hairy Woodpecker, and fairly common across its range. There are…

Red-stained Woodpecker, Ecuadorian Amzon

Return of Bird of the Week: Red-stained Woodpecker

Jan 2, 2021

WC will start 2021’s Bird of the Week with a spectacular bird: the Red-stained Woodpecker. The male, in particular, is beautiful bird, with a golden-brown back, a heavily barred chest, a red head and the signature red-staining on primary and secondary feathers in the wings. The female lacks the red staining and red head, and is amazingly cryptic and hard to find. This is a bird of the middle and upper zones of mature trees in the Amazonian basin. It’s uncommon in lower parts of the jungle forest. The first two photos were taken from a tower 120 feet up…

Male Downy Woodpecker, McCall, Idaho

Return of Bird of the Week: Downy Woodpecker

Dec 26, 2020

Common, very widely distributed and tolerant of humankind, the Downy Woodpecker is easily attracted to a suet feeder. Its range extends across North America, from the Seward Peninsula in Alaska to southern Florida, and from southern California to Labrador. A smaller version of the Hairy Woodpecker, it’s interesting because the male and female generally forage on different parts of a tree or shrub. The male usually probe smaller branches; the female on larger branches and the trunk. There are seven subspecies. The female above is medianus, found across the boreal forest; the male is leucurus, fond in the Rocy Mountains…