Paul Jenkins

Media organizations cobble together 'Top 10" lists this time of year because news of any consequence is, well, exceedingly rare -- and space and time must be filled. My list -- “Big screw-ups” -- is short. It contains only one item: Anchorage Ordinance 2013-37, the Responsible Labor Act.

The way AO-37 was rammed through the Assembly was a monumental mistake. The city missed an opportunity to modernize its complicated, antiquated labor law -- last amended in 1989. Much worse, it changed dramatically the political landscape in unimaginable ways. It is fair to say the fight over AO-37 led to Sean Parnell losing the governor’s seat to Bill Walker...

Paul Jenkins

It was difficult to read the Dec. 22 Alaska Dispatch News commentary by Etta Kuzakin and not wonder how much a human life is worth to petty bureaucrats safely tucked away in their Washington, D.C., offices -- and so beholden to special interests.

Kuzakin, president of King Cove’s Agdaagux Tribe, worries Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s refusal to allow a short road linking King Cove, her tiny Aleut fishing village far out on the storm-raked Alaska Peninsula, and the nearby all-weather runway at Cold Bay someday will cost a life. She has reason to fret...

Paul Jenkins

This was supposed to be a warm and fuzzy Christmas column. Unbridled joy. Elves. Kids. Sugar plums and cookies. You know, to fit the season. Then, I saw a chilling video of useful idiots in what major news outlets called a “peaceful” protest in New York City chanting: “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!”

That got me wondering: Who are we?...

Paul Jenkins

It is easy to shrug off the notion of federal “overreach” -- dismissing it as rhetoric or political mumbo-jumbo -- until you get a peek inside a federal agency hell-bent on getting its way, no matter the law, that uses any and every possible means to tilt the playing field.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency, it turns out, is just such an agency. It is waging a relentless, precedent-setting campaign to preemptively veto development of the Pebble project in the Bristol Bay region -- using junk science, secrecy and authority it does not have -- even before the first development plan sees daylight...

Paul Jenkins

It is unsurprising Bill Walker would rejigger an election with his new union pals and Democrats to finally pocket the keys to the governor’s mansion. The surprise is that he did it willingly -- without a gun to his head.

Who in his right mind, given Alaska’s grim fiscal reality, would want the job? A normal person would dodge it like ringworm. Perhaps Walker should follow the late Gov. Wally Hickel’s lead and have his noggin examined to prove he is not nuts.

What does Walker win? In his own words, “lean times” -- a laughably optimistic assessment...

Paul Jenkins

With dust from recent elections still clouding the air, many political junkies itching for fireworks -- and unwilling to quietly eat their popcorn and await the train wreck that is our new state government -- already are focusing on the 2016 Senate race. It has possibilities.

The big question seems moot: Sen. Lisa Murkowski almost certainly will seek re-election, barring her being squished by a meteor. Already she is rejiggering staff.

With a dozen years seniority and a new job as Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee boss, she is coming into her own. It takes forever for a senator to gain enough seniority and clout to do Alaska any good -- and she is about there. Think Ted Stevens...

Paul Jenkins

Obamacare, it turns out, is just another in a long string of big lies from the political left. A huge, complicated fantasy cloaked in gibberish, it is a whopper so enormous, so monstrous it could transform the United States into something unrecognizable if it is not stopped.

Why lie in creating the law? The left -- surprise! -- says it believes you are too stupid to handle the truth; that Obamacare is designed to fail; that it will cost too much; that it is a massive redistribution of wealth from the young to the old; that it is a first, necessary step to the single-payer, socialized health care system of its dreams.

In fact, it fears you are too smart, so the left does what it must to survive -- it lies...

Paul Jenkins

It must stink to be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Repudiated. Abandoned. Frustrated. One day, he is on top of the world, thumbing his nose at Republicans and the American people. The next? Looking up at the underside of a runaway bus.

Apparently stunned senseless by Tuesday’s Democratic election disaster, Reid appears befuddled.

"The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together," he says. "I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class."

He is, of course, dreadfully wrong and Republicans everywhere should take note: They could be just as hopelessly confused -- and soon -- if they muff the opportunity handed them by the American people...

Paul Jenkins

There is something subliminally irksome about the so-called gubernatorial unity ticket of Republican-cum-independent-cum-undeclared Bill Walker and hard-core Democrat Byron Mallott. It is hard to pinpoint, like a mosquito’s high-pitched bzzzzzzz near your ear as you fall asleep. But it is there. A warning.

Yes, there is that thing about the ticket being a poll-driven, hand-picked AFL-CIO Frankenstein, spawned in the desperate political reality that neither Walker nor Mallott had the proverbial snowball’s chance individually to beat Republican Gov. Sean Parnell in the general election...

Paul Jenkins

Attack ads bolstering Mark Begich’s quest to retain his Senate seat are enough to make any self-respecting snake blush. To endure them day-in and day-out without developing spiritual callouses, a person needs, as Hunter S. Thompson once put it, the soul of a lizard.

At least one of the ads -- vicious enough to make even the left gasp -- drew national ridicule and scorn. If you give them much credence you would have to believe Begich’s opponent, former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan, is the devil incarnate, that Alaska women are not very bright, and that they care only about abortion and free birth control. Heaven forbid they would worry about the economy, or jobs or national security issues. Begich apparently would leave all that heavy lifting to the menfolk...

Paul Jenkins

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