Shannyn Moore

This week several legislators from the House minority wrote an op-ed. One paragraph specifically answers the question, “What the hell are they doing still in Juneau?” I know, you probably thought it was for all the fancy lobbyists dinners and fat per diem checks, but it boils down to this: “The $775 million in cash subsidies to the oil industry is more than the combined budgets of the Alaska Court System, Department of Corrections, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and Department of Fish and Game. Combined.” Can we just think about that for a minute? I’ll wait for you to reread that little tidbit. Okay, welcome back to the column. The Republicans are in charge. They apparently don’t want to take a cent away from the oil companies and act like they'd rather take from your...Shannyn Moore
A few months ago, I explained why the Republican majorities running the Alaska House and Senate would be wise to accept a Democratic offer to put aside party politics and work together as one big caucus of the whole to address our fiscal crisis. The last time we had a bipartisan Senate, it managed to come up with a fair oil tax structure, and put $16 billion in the bank. And thank God they did, because we’re living off that savings right now. But no, Republicans rejected bipartisanship and decided to go it alone. After their successful partisan gerrymandering of a few years ago, they are in complete control of the Legislature; they count 80 percent of the Senate and almost 68 percent of the House in their caucuses. They control every committee, which means they unilaterally decide which...Shannyn Moore
Alaska has lost one of our best -- I would venture to say our very best -- this week. Mary Epperson passed away in Homer, surrounded by her family. She was 93. In 1954, Mary, her husband Jack and two children moved to Alaska. At her insistence they brought a piano with them. Their family settled on the Kenai Peninsula, and Mary set about making the community of Homer what it is today. This is no exaggeration, she literally made our little hamlet by the sea what it is. She was the city clerk and treasurer for many years. Someone once told me that in the early days people looking to buy land would check with Mary first. She knew who was ready to get out of town and would make a deal as well as to who the good neighbors were. She founded the Homer Foundation, the Homer Council on the Arts...Shannyn Moore
Last month a woman took her own life on the steps of the Courthouse in Juneau. The Legislature went on lockdown -- after ushering aides and press out of the room. As a result, the Legislature is considering new protocols to keep their own precious souls safe from any gun violence that might befall them while at work. I get it. The Capitol building is a no-gun zone. But what I find truly remarkable is that Sen. Pete Kelly will even go to work in a “gun-free zone.” According to the “logic” in his op-ed on SB 174, the Legislature is really just asking for a bad guy with a gun to come in blazing since Pete is so sure there’s no good guy with a gun to defend them. Oh, that’s fantasy thinking. The ammosexuals who think they're going to be cool-handed heroes when the time comes have a better...Shannyn Moore
Donald Trump has finally said something I believe. He’s since walked it back, but this week he said he believed women should be punished for abortions. He also said he didn’t think anything should happen to the man who impregnated the woman. That seems fair. Holy hell has torn loose. The anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights people came together in shock that the GOP presidential front runner would say such a thing. The anti-abortion surrogates hit the television circuit to say how much they loved women who consider abortion and would like to “take care of them” not punish them. Sen Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich ran to cameras to say how much they thought women were lovely vessels of life and shouldn’t be punished, apparently unaware of their own records. Before he could clarify if the...Shannyn Moore
Happy Easter to all those who celebrate this day. Polls show Alaska is one of the least religious states in the nation. That’s probably true for organized religion but I suspect most Alaskans are pretty spiritual people. It’s hard not to stand at the top of a mountain, in the middle of the wilderness or at the base of a glacier in Alaska and not believe in some higher force. When Sunday morning rolls around and my partner says, “You wanna go to church?” I will be on the boat halibut fishing pretty soon. If I were to generalize, I’d say the vast majority of Alaskans live by the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This past Friday, the several very conservative members of the state Legislature stood up and spoke about Good Friday. About the sacrifices Jesus made...Shannyn Moore
An email from a reader this week asked me to remind Alaskans, and myself, to “appeal to the better angels of our nature.” I’ve been rolling around that phrase, "better angels," for days. It was first used by Shakespeare in his play, “Othello,” later by Charles Dickens in his novel “Barnaby Ridge,” and still later by President Abraham Lincoln in his inaugural address. (His secretary of state, William Seward, added it to the draft. Yes, our Seward, the guy who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia.) With Alaska news outlets reporting daily on the fiscal crisis facing our state, it’s easy to focus not on our better angels but on the craven politicians who got us into this mess. We Alaskans are suffering from more than a busted state treasury. We’ve seen adversity and strife before,...Shannyn Moore
For a long time I have thought the citizen legislature is a really quaint and fine representation of who we are as everyday Alaskans. If that is the case, we are in more trouble than we think. I hope to heaven that our populus is in better shape than who we have representing us. This week there was a giant surprise to the very lawmakers who voted for that hideous oil legislation known as SB 21. Shock, I tell ya, shock! What? There’s a provision in that bill that actually takes away incentive to develop oil? Why would we do that? Oh, we didn’t know. Kinda makes you wonder who wrote the bill, doesn’t it? I’m guessing it was a lobbyist. Makes the most sense. Yes, now, under some super secret measure that doesn’t allow us to know how much money we are out, some oil companies are taking...Shannyn Moore
I need a serenity prayer to recite before these presidential candidate debates. “God grant me the serenity to accept that politics in my country is now about spray tans, small hands, penises, outspoken racism and how the will of the people can be thwarted come convention time.” (Apologies to Reinhold Niebuhr.) Yes, I’m talking about you, Republicans. The Democratic debates have been relatively boring, what with all that talk about economic and foreign policy, but you Republicans are awesome entertainment, better than a carnival freak show. Chris Christie, the bridge saboteur and failed presidential candidate, joined our quitter former governor in endorsing Donald J. Trump for president. Of course, it wasn’t bump-free. Christie had to call a press conference the next day to clarify he hadn...Shannyn Moore
I never thought I’d miss the pettiness of high school. Oh, I had a few friends back then but I spent most of my time laying low in the music and art departments. I tried to avoid the aspiring sociopaths, which wasn’t as easy as it sounds, although it was the knuckleheads that really bugged me. At least some of that could be explained by “developing brains.” Well, these days I miss high school. North Pole Republican Rep. Tammie Wilson is the mean girl in my life now. This week she proposed cuts to the University of Alaska budget that would absolutely devastate higher education in Alaska. She wants to eliminate 600 to 1,000 jobs directly, and no telling how many more indirectly. Wilson doesn’t seem to get what is obvious to just about everyone else with a pulse. The university research...Shannyn Moore