My Twitter Feed

September 20, 2021

  • The Whole State Has Gone Mad – a Tour.

    This week has been particularly mind-boggling everywhere from the Capitol in Juneau to the Anchorage Assembly chamber, to the Kenai Peninsula, Fairbanks, and the Mat-Su. All I can say is suit up, because we’re going to take a dive and look at it all. IN JUNEAU The Special Session took a crazy turn Wednesday night. The legislature was slated to vote on what was shaping up to be an $1100 PFD, to fund scholarships, and get it done, and the floor session was ready to start… But 18 of the 38 legislators who were in the Capitol decided not to show up. Taking into…

  • GOP Senator Says Firearm Might Help Pass Agenda

    FINANCE FIREWORKS About the most exciting thing to happen so far in the current special session was the fireworks display in the Senate Finance Committee this week. Granted ‘fireworks’ by Senate Finance Committee standards sounds to most people like ‘stern words’ but for the Senate Finance Committee, that’s FIREWORKS. The purpose of the meeting was to hear from Alexei Painter, the Director of Legislative Finance, to summarize the fiscal situation of the state and to go over the governor’s heinous hacking of the budget. The governor got uniformly raked over the coals for his vetoes.  Donny Olson (D-Golovin) was extremely…

  • AK lawmaker speaks at Pillow Symposium & the losingest losers lose again.

    THE LOSING STREAK CONTINUES In the recent history of Alaska legislative elections, there’s never been someone so smug, so obnoxious, and so mansplainy that his loss deserved celebration like Lance Pruitt (R-East Anchorage). His Twitter trolling, and actual stalkerish drive-by’s of his opponent’s home taking pictures were the icing on the cake. Then there was this, on the day before the election. File that one under “This Aged Badly.” Dr. Liz Snyder pulled off a win IN HOUSE DISTRICT 27 and sent “Speaker Pruitt” (yes, he’d moved into the office in his mind) packing. He was even fined almost $20,000 for…

  • Alaska Gov Pals Around With Insurrection Instigator

    DOZENS ATTENDED! The on-again-off-again fundraiser to fight the Recall Dunleavy campaign has finally happened after being canceled earlier this summer. The governor, who decries “east coast elites” and out-of-state influence on Alaska campaigns, brought at least a dozen Alaska Republicans with him to Donald Trump’s east coast elite golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey to collect out-of-state money to influence an Alaska campaign. Donald Trump, you may remember, is the one who fomented a violent insurrection attempt to overthrow of the United States government because he lost the election. He and the Tall One are buddies. The dozen or more Alaskans…

  • Secret Mormon fascist outed in the Department of Law?

    WHY THE LATEST LAWSUIT AGAINST DUNLEAVY IS A BIG DEAL Power Cost Equalization. Don’t leave! I know it sounds dull and wonky, but the implications of this one are far-reaching. Back in the 80’s Alaskans were trying to figure out how to help reduce energy costs for all Alaskans. Some regions got giant infrastructure projects like concrete dams for hydropower. Other regions didn’t, and their energy costs showed it. So, in 2000 a fund was established so rural residents got something called “power cost equalization” which means what it says – the state put some money in an account that would help…

Headlines

Misfire and $$ Down the Toilet

Apr 9, 2021

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…

‘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…