Fiscally inept, socially bankrupt

March 3, 2015 at 4:36 am | Posted in anchorage, politics | Leave a comment
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Some rants and reactions subsequent to reading the Halcro cover story in last week’s Anchorage Press.

Assemblymember Patrick Flynn sticks it to Halcro [discreetly, politey] in the article: “…the term ‘fiscal conservative’ gets thrown around a lot, and whether or not that’s a valid claim really depends on the prism through which you’re viewing it.”  And he goes on to sketch some common assumptions of what the term means and whether or not Halcro matches the definitions.

Since I’m never as tactful or subtle as Flynn, I’d take it a step further.  I’ve heard all kinds of people for years now going around saying they are “fiscally conservative and socially liberal”, and not one of them has any fucking idea what it means.  It’s a nebulous term, it’s pandering at its finest.  It is a way to still associate with a group or philosophy you know is toxic and dangerous, while giving yourself an out.  It’s in effect saying, “See?  I’m as Republican as they are, but they are assholes and don’t care about people!”

Halcro spends a lot of time trying to convince us of his independent critical thinking skills and policies that aren’t tied to Republican or Democratic agendas, while at the same time reminding us he is a lifelong registered Republican.  The cognitive dissonance is strong in this one!

Flynn again: “Andrew pulls from a demographic similar to what supported Lisa Murkowski in her re-election bid four years ago.”  Will the results be the same, too?  The day after the election tally’s certified, any notion of “dancing with the one that brung you” will vanish?  Just kidding!  I was the President of the Chamber of Commerce, FFS!  You thought I was going to throw out the Good Old Boy Network in favor of good public policy that benefits all of the citizenry?  How naive of you!  Well, it wouldn’t be the first or last time the public is taken in by an Establishment candidate standing behind an anti-Establishment banner.

Just once I wish some reporter would follow up with the “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” credo, by asking for an example or something.  They might find just opportunistic doublespeak behind the curtain, eh?

The plain old people who are never going to run for office may wish to think more deeply about such sloganeering also.  What does it really mean?  It always sounds a bit immature to me — I used to think more that way as a young adult, before I realized what was happening all around me and how injustice is baked into the cake.

It was interesting how new Alaska Governor Bill Walker solicited budget cutting ideas from the general public.  On one hand, nobody who stands to suffer from cuts ought to say anything, right? — and in fact, it’s doubtful anything meaningful will come out of such a process.  At least, it’s a long shot, an unlikely scenario.  I wrote in and said, start with KABATA and also suspend and review the five next most expensive transportation projects — and during the moratorium, figure out how to improve the way transportation projects are prioritized — based more on real Planning, and try to take politics out of it.  I would say a lot more, but since I make a living in a profession that’s involved in development, it can be problematic to say too much sometimes.

Sooner or later, though one has to try to stop equivocating and be clear about one’s vision and its implications.

Best field report yet from a Palin book signing event

December 26, 2009 at 10:10 am | Posted in alaska, politics | Leave a comment
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Just read [linked via Progressive Alaska] Wasilla freelance photojournalist Bill Hess‘s writeup of Palin’s Wasilla book signing.  Hess gracefully portrays some disturbing people and events; covering wingnuttery, the plight of longtime reporters and photographers, the current state of the Mat-Su and the former governor’s strange way of being indifferent and uninformed but simultaneously inquisitive.  His photo narrative pauses at regular intervals for reflection and insertion of nuggets of historical context.  Progressive Alaska proprietor Phil Munger said this is an award-winning piece.

Craziest weekend ever!

July 6, 2009 at 8:37 am | Posted in alaska, politics | Leave a comment
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Our governor resigned on Friday, saying she not only doesn’t intend to run for a second term in the 2010 election, she won’t even finish the first term!  Instead she’ll turn it over to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell later this month.  She gave a weird, rambling speech; visibly agitated.

Then yesterday, Palin’s attorney released a sternly worded letter threatening to sue local radio talker Shannyn Moore [apparently the most irritating of the “pajama-clad bloggers” who have been driving the governor insane!  Must have been all that talk about accountability, results, engagement]. 

I clung to the news Friday night with a sick fascination.  I put up a [stream of consciousness] Daily Kos post with some historical thoughts about the Great Alaskan Culture of Corruption — timidly suggesting, maybe Alaska is getting to the point where we’re ready for ethical leaders?  [Sounds like a long shot, but you’ve got to dream!]

Glad the Palin experiment is nearing a close.  Sort of — the resignation story and its aftermath, despite being buried in the holiday weekend news cycle is going to survive and thrive tomorrow.  But, man… everything that’s happened in almost three years, since she won — the ethics complaints, Troopergate, the VP candidacy, Meg Stapleton, Palinbots, her kids and grandson, the war on bloggers [since she can’t sue the entire internet], Levi and Sherry, reactions to crises in Emmonak and Eagle, junior high school styled press releases, the turkey video, the gang of lawyers taking over the state government.  Like the GOP domination of national politics since 1980, I can’t wait to just put everything Palin down the memory hole.

Meanwhile, the north pole melted for good, gas prices went through the roof, the national economy went to hell and the mainstream media went obsolete.  So it isn’t as if we really need to be focusing on her.


December 5, 2008 at 8:28 am | Posted in politics | Leave a comment
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LTE in today’s ADN from a disgruntled citizen:

Let wheelers, dealers meet in pen
The way things are going in Alaska, I believe we should hold our next legislative session in the mess hall of some penitentiary. When all the appeals and all the legal tricks are done, and if ol’ Ted is finally sentenced, the name of our airport should be changed back to Anchorage International Airport. If it isn’t, it would be an embarrassment to all good Alaskans. You don’t see Al Capone International Airport in Chicago, do you?
I’m really damn tired of all this wheeling, dealing, and stealing that’s going on in my beloved Alaska. I’m mad and embarrassed for my state. Oh, and yes, I’m a Republican.
— Ron Thompson

He had me until the final sentence.  Why is this man still a Republican?  I’m embarrassed for him!

There is a party for people like you, Ron.  People who believe in mainstream American values and are fiscally responsible.  It’s the Democartic Party.  You should check into it!

Learning a bit about Mark Begich’s roots

November 23, 2008 at 9:50 pm | Posted in politics | Leave a comment
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Begich, the current Mayor of Anchorage who recently took down US Senator Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican Senator in history has Croatian ancestors:

Begich didn’t emphasize his Croatian roots. But Croatian newspapers closely covered his election, calling him the first U.S. senator of Croatian origin.

Begich’s grandfather left the small village of Podlapaca in central Croatia almost a century ago to seek a better life in America.

Croatian Nikola Begic, who says he’s the new senator’s cousin, was quoted by one paper as saying their extended family had endured poverty and wars in the past, so the senator’s victory “may be God’s reward now.”

Begich’s father, US House Representative of Alaska Nick Begich was killed in a plane crash outside Juneau in 1972.

Neat story.  Many of us are connected to an Old World parallel universe but we don’t often hear a lot about it.

Another corrupt Republican bites the dust

November 9, 2008 at 10:35 pm | Posted in politics | Leave a comment
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Friday night, in an alley behind this fabulous Fairbanks dive bar.

I have to stop reading the letters section!

November 9, 2008 at 8:26 pm | Posted in politics | Leave a comment
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Anchorage Daily News, Nov. 8, 2008:

We’re all hoping it’s the weather
Re.: Palin, Stevens and Young: Does the cold numb the brains of those who live in Alaska or are some Alaskans just that dumb and corrupt?
— Bill Sartori
Windsor Locks, Conn.

Bill, it’s exactly the same reason you guys keep sending Lieberman back to D.C.

Alaskans for Truth rally

September 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm | Posted in politics | Leave a comment
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Hmmm, this looks like it went pretty well!

Mudflats states the reason for the rally thusly: “…we’ve felt a bit like we’re living in the Dr. Seuss story, “Horton Hears a Who”.  If you’re not familiar with this tale, it involves thousands of tiny people who live on a dust speck, and no matter how loudly they yell, no one can seem to hear them.  They keep screaming ‘We are here! We are here! We are here!'”

This one was attended by over 1,000 people, I guess making it the second largest political rally in state history, after the last anti-Palin rally two weeks ago.

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