My Twitter Feed

May 11, 2021

  • 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…

  • Alaska Senate Removes Anti-Masking Judiciary Chair

    THE DEATH OF IRONY Who is responsible for this atrocity? Senator Peter Micchiche (R-Soldotna). This week he talked on air to Dan Fagan (AK right wing radio host who lives in Louisiana) about Anchorage politics. It was pretty rich. Micchiche thinks that Anchorage took this whole deadly pandemic thing way too seriously and… wait for it… “destroyed an economy.” This insightful piece of economic nonsense comes to you from the Senator who cast the deciding vote on SB21, the infamous 2013 legislation which has taken BILLIONS with a B directly out of Alaskans’ pockets and deposited them into the already-gigantic…

  • Dumpster Fires & Middle School Spats

    WAR OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOLERS   The Middle-School-style social media spat between anti-masker Sen. Lora Reinbold and the Governor’s office (in which they are both losing and that’s fine with us) has claimed a new victim. Former sycophantic right-wing radio hack, Dave Stieren, who is now making six figures working for the governor’s ham-fisted communications team has received a smack-down. Sen. Reinbold made a post on her official page complaining about the fact that she’d been fined $250 for taking her mask off during a meeting, and that therefore she was a victim of the “mask tyranny” being “pushed” by…

  • Misfire and $$ Down the Toilet

    SHOW ME THE MONEY It’s budget time in Juneau, and we’re looking at a strange set of circumstances that is complicating the process. Weirdly, it’s a giant influx of cash! You were not expecting that, were you? Joe Biden’s amazing American Rescue Plan means Alaska will receive about $1.1 billion, plus hundreds of millions more for education from K-UA, tribes and local governments, and infrastructure projects. You’ll recall Sen. Murkowski, Sen. Sullivan, and Rep. Young all voted against this bill. Guess they are not interested in bringing home the bacon anymore. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Now, the Alaska House and Senate must determine how to legally invest the money for the greater good of all Alaskans. Thankfully, there…

Headlines

The Big Breakdown – Alaska Elections 2020

Nov 21, 2020

THE BIG BREAKDOWN It took two weeks, but at last we have the final numbers in Alaska’s 2020 election! We can officially say that in 2020, Alaska had more voters turn out than in any other election ever. That’s something! It’s also worthy of note that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won in Anchorage, and performed better statewide than any presidential ticket since Lyndon Johnson! That means Democrats were motivated, showed up, and are a larger force in the state than ever before. The final was 42.8 Biden/Harris to 52.8 Trump/Pence. The state we match most closely with is Iowa,…

Rufous-vented Chachalaca, Tobago Island, Trinidad and Tobago

Return of Bird of the Week: Rufous-vented Chachalaca

Nov 21, 2020

Last week we looked at the Rufous-headed Chachalaca. This week we go to the other end of the bird for the critical field mark. Mrs. WC thinks it’s unseemly to name a bird after its naughty bits, but there it is. These photos are more than fourteen years old, taken with an Olympus E-1, Olympus’s first Four-Thirds Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. It was state of the art at the itme, but the lamest, cheapest smart phone camera takes much better photos today. These photos, taken at f5 (wide open), 1/200 and ISO800 with a 50-200mm zoom and a 1.4…

Rufous-headed Chachalaca

Return of Bird of the Week: Rufous-headed Chachalaca

Nov 14, 2020

In WC’s experience, at least, this is the flightiest, the most easily spooked of the Cracids that WC has seen. You can see some motion blur in the head in this photo; even at ISO1600, the fastest WC’s Olympus E-3 could shoot without very serious grain, the shutter speed was only 1/200th of a second at f7.1. The bird’s head came up, it turned away and ran down the branch, disappearing in a tangle of liana vines. There were five birds in the tree; this is the best photo. Sigh. You woudn’t know it from this photo, but this is…

Speckled Chachalaca, Eastern Ecuador

Return of Bird of the Week: Speckled Chachalaca

Nov 7, 2020

Another “cha-cha” bird, this time a smaller member of the Chachalacas, the Speckled Chachalaca. Like a lot of the Cracids, it has consistently denied WC a clear photo opportunity. This species has a fairly wide distribution, from Columbia to Bolivia, along the eastern slopes of the Andes. It’s an easy bird to identify, with the characteristic speckles along the throat, expanding to scalloping on the chest. It has a strong, curved bill and a small dewlap in comparison to its cogeneors. It forages in groups of as many as six birds (possibly families?), eating fruits, flower buds and leaves. The…

Return of Bird of the Week: Chaco Chachalaca

Oct 31, 2020

Chaco Chachalaca, Panatnal, Brazil One of WC’s birding buddies call this genus of Cracids the “Cha-cha” birds. Chachalacas are cousins to the Currasows and Guans featured earlier. They generally tend to be a bit drabber than those cousins, but there are exceptions. Chaco Chachalacas are famous for their dawn chorus; this bird was vocalizing when WC got this shot. The male’s morning call is described as a “bink, ka chee chaw raw taw, chaw raw taw, chaw raw taw” and is very loud, audible for half a mile. You be the judge:

The Final Shenanigans Before Election Day

Oct 30, 2020

  DAVID NELSON (Yes, him again) So, hang on just a second… how long HAS David Nelson lived in the district he’s running in? Good question. The rules are very specific – you have to live in your district for a minimum of one year from when you file to run. Nelson filed on February 27, 2020, which means he had to have resided in HD15 since February 27, 2019. On his own Facebook page he says he moved to Muldoon when he got a job on JBER… in December, 2019. Here’s a handy infographic with images from his own…

Male Chestnut-bellied Guan, Pantanal, Brazil

Return of Bird of the Week: Chestnut-breasted Guan

Oct 24, 2020

This is a medium-sized guan, and in contrast to its tree-loving cousins, mostly forages on the ground. It’s the rarest Cracid – the family of Chachalacas, Guans and Currasows – that WC has photographed, and is likely globally threatened. Birds of the World (paywalled), one of the definitive sources of information on the 10,000 species of birds, says, “Comparatively little is known of the species’ natural history.” That’s an understatement. This species prefers the swampy forests and savannah of the Pantanal, the very large, seasonal swamp in eastern Bolivia and western Brazil, although smaller populations are found in central Brazil….

We Found the Worst Candidate in Alaska!

Oct 22, 2020

Goodness knows, Alaska is a veritable banquet table of bad Republican entrees this cycle. But we think we may have found the worst – the Jell-O salad with liverwurst of candidates. David Nelson May Be the Worst Candidate Ever Just have to say. This 23-year old recent Florida transplant, who has lived in the district the exact minimum amount of time necessary to run for office, is lacking in just about everything but gall. Let’s start here: Lying about military service The Official Election Pamphlet (OEP) is mailed out by the Division of Elections before every election and includes information…