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The capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, is the scene of a standoff both deeply scary and profoundly inspiring. Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans are trying take away the right of most government workers to collectively bargain. This basic right -- to negotiate with your employer on an even footing -- has nothing to do with Wisconsin’s budget crisis. The crisis is largely the result of Governor Walker’s massive tax giveaways, a huge cost that he’s now trying to cover by targeting state workers...

David Madland and Nick Bunker

Chaos in government. Tens of thousands of angry protesters in the streets. Schools closed. Yes, Wisconsin looks a lot like Egypt this week. But while Arabs are fighting to end extraordinary overreach by government, Wisconsin union protesters are fighting to preserve it ...

Chris Edwards

Education in the United States has been the recent recipient of generous acts of philanthropy. Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has donated $100 million to improve education in Newark, N.J., with the goal of reversing the acute high school dropout problem in that city. And the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged nearly $3 billion to support education at the elementary through college levels...

Jerome Kagan

©2011 Peter Dunlap-Shohl |

Peter Dunlap-Shohl worked as a cartoonist for the Anchorage Daily News for over 25 years. He is now freelancing, including contributing to Alaska Dispatch. You can view his latest work at .

Peter Dunlap-Shohl

Aurora Energy and the Alaska Railroad have despicably taken their erroneous "clean coal" message to a new and previously off-limits audience here in Seward. It's bad enough when the airwaves are dominated by false and intentionally misleading claims of cheap, clean coal being our salvation even though there is no such substance or process, but coal companies went too far this time...

Russ Maddox

America's tax system is broken. It's needlessly complex, economically harmful, and often unfair. It fails at its most basic task, raising enough money to pay government's bills.

Because of Washington's love affair with temporary tax cuts, it's also increasingly unpredictable. Americans deserve a simpler, fairer, more pro-growth tax system.

It won't be easy. Any reform creates losers as well as winners - and losers always let their representatives know how they feel. But Washington is giving hopeful signs that the journey toward tax reform -- the first in a quarter century -- may finally be under way...

Donald Marron

On Tuesday, Feb. 15th, in the Senate Transportation Committee, lawmakers will hear a pitch from Senator Linda Menard, R-Wasilla, for the state to financially backstop the much debated Knik Arm Crossing.

In 2003, the Legislature created the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (KABATA) to pursue the project. Billed as a public/private partnership, the project was seeded with $110 million from federal and state governments, of which the agency states today it has $65 million remaining. The group is now asking for $150 million in state dollars to advance the effort.

Lawmakers should think twice about putting the state at risk for this project as there are just too many unanswered questions along with a dubious history of public/private partnerships in Alaska...

Andrew Halcro

This week's news that ConocoPhillips and Marathon will be shutting down LNG exports from Cook Inlet is a staggering blow for the Peninsula and for Alaska -- and raises crucial questions for our future.

I can only imagine what this is doing for the workers and their families. I've gone to school with, know and represent some of the families affected by today's decision. Those were high-paying, family-supporting wages. Gone. It's adding insult to injury for my district, having lost the Agrium fertilizer plant three years ago. It's a terrible day for the Peninsula and Alaska...

House Speaker Mike Chenault

One of the drums that the tea party beats again and again is that the Founders favored limited government because they thought the power of taxation was an essential tool of despotism. They argue that our current government, with its large and growing debt and with its tendency toward what some conservatives see as socialism, violates the small-government Constitution created by the Founders.

So concerned are the newly elected tea party members in Congress that they have threatened to bring the government to a standstill in the next couple of months by voting against a bill to raise the US debt ceiling, which caps the amount of money that the federal government is allowed to borrow...

David Sehat

©2011 Peter Dunlap-Shohl |

Peter Dunlap-Shohl worked as a cartoonist for the Anchorage Daily News for over 25 years. He is now freelancing, including contributing to Alaska Dispatch. You can view his latest work at .

Peter Dunlap-Shohl