"President Obama needs to come clean about his upcoming Alaska trip. Alaskans across the state have a lot of issues they'd like him to address, and his failure to reach out to our delegation is extremely disappointing, but typical of his Presidency." -- Don Young (on Facebook)
"I have never been a good alarmist, but it is becoming harder and harder to conclude that this administration's long-term plan is anything other than to starve our Trans-Alaska Pipeline System of new oil ... It sure looks like their goal is to shut down our pipeline once and for all -- to see it decommissioned and dismantled." -- Lisa Murkowski
"I was not invited." -- Dan Sullivan
Welcome to Alaska, President Obama. I don't blame you a bit for not wanting to hang out with our pathetic delegation. It's comical how whiney they are. Shocked! Shocked, I say, that they aren't invited to your visit to Alaska.
I mean, really, Don Young probably yearns for the days of his youth when his family "had wetbacks" and has the worst voting record in Congress. His antics are legend. He once waved a walrus penis bone at a former Fish and Wildlife Service official, wore a beanie with a propeller in a meeting, and got caught making faces on the House Floor. Maybe he thinks he's clever? He's not. Don Young telling the president he needs to "come clean" is pretty rich. Seriously, he could stink up an outhouse with his track record.
Lisa? Well, she's slowly, sadly becoming Frank Jr. In her op-ed this week, she chided you to realize Alaska "has been safely providing the nation with oil from Prudhoe Bay for four decades." I guess she forgot about the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill ... or maybe she considers that "safely." I don't. She says if you make "an honest effort" to talk to Alaskans you will be in awe of us. I'm waiting for her to take her own advice.
Dan Sullivan is a special Koch-selected senator. I wouldn't invite him to a party either unless you want to know things about Ohio.
Here are a few things I'd like you to pay attention to while you're here in Alaska.
First, our Gov. Bill Walker is kind of a rockstar. He's being sued by a panel of Republican-led legislators because he's expanding Medicaid to 40,000 Alaskans. Thanks, Obamacare! A judge denied the temporary restraining order sought by the panel because it seems it doesn't harm Alaskans to have Medicaid expanded. Who'd have thunk it? Walker is the most reasonable governor we've had in a long while. You may remember some of our previous ones, including Sen. Lisa's dad who appointed her to his own vacated Senate seat.
Second, you're here talking about climate change at the same time your administration has approved oil drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Um, this is awkward, but are you serious? Lisa, Don and Dan all say you hate oil almost as much as you hate the Devil, yet your policy is to put an ecosystem at grave risk. Look how Shell Oil steps on themselves every chance they get. The Coast Guard says it isn't equipped to help when there is a spill. Your decision is contrary to all the noise from our congressional delegation, but, what you have missed is a chance to open ANWR. Huge advances in directional drilling and insurance of heavy oversight of drilling on land would be preferred to drilling in an ocean which isn't known for its hospitable conditions. Considering the price of oil, the economics don't hold up for drilling at such high risk offshore.
Third, have a blast in Dillingham. It's a hoot out there and the people have a richer life than most other places. You'll see more "No Pebble" flags than any other -- and they have good reason. I know you're aware of our abundant salmon runs in Bristol Bay, and I hope you do all you can to protect them.
Oh, and if people share their smoked salmon with you by all means, ask them if it's wet or dry brine and take some time to hear about their special techniques.
Mr. President, I'm not really stoked about your record so far. You're sitting at a solid C minus for your Shell decision, but there's time for you to do some extra credit and bring that grade up. Lisa and Dan are battling for who has a bigger F, yet they are trotting around like they are at the head of the class. Don? Well, can we send him back a couple of grades?
I invite you to spend some of your time learning about our varied cultures, stories and amazing people. We're much more than just a spoiled delegation with entitlement issues.
Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.
The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.