Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 12.23

  • The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is reporting that Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins will be creating a working group to help write regulations regarding commercial marijuana, while Tribes are also carefully wading into marijuana policy.
  • APRN’s Liz Ruskin crunched the latest numbers to find that Democrat Mark Begich spent nearly $10 million, and Sen.-elect Dan Sullivan spent $7.6 million in the Senate race. She also writes how donors are still eager to give post-election.
  • $20 a barrel? Yep. That could soon become Alaska’s reality.
  • The U.S. economy has grown by 5% in the past year, making this the single fastest growing year since 2003, so says The Guardian.

  • BP is arguing that the decline in oil prices should translate into a decline in the $18 billion pollution fine for the Deepwater blowout. It says that given low oil price, such a large fine will drain its financial resources.
  • Per the Chugiak Eagle River Star: Rona Johnson has been named publisher of Morris Publishing Group Alaska, which includes the Alaska Journal of Commerce, Alaskan Equipment Trader and the Chugiak-Eagle River Star weekly newspaper.
  • Even local pollster Ivan Moore is getting behind the idea to use a percentage of the market value of the Permanent Fund to fund state government. Moore writes about it in the Press, but forgets that Gov. Frank Murkowski pushed the idea hard in 2005. Democrats and a handful of Republicans refused to play along then.
  • The Juneau Assembly is proposing a 1-year delay in allowing pot shops to open. The Juneau Empire has the details.
  • The Juneau Empire also reports on how the Alaska Bar Association ethics committee is grappling with the ethics of advising clients about the new law, given that pot is still illegal federally.
  • In a poll, the Washington Post and ABC News teamed up to find that 77 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of Republicans—an overwhelming number– support diplomatic relations with Cuba. The Hill has the poll boiled down to interesting bite size pieces.
  • The Alaska Commons has more on the ongoing feud between Charlo “F*#c it, I Quit” Greene and business owner Sarha Shaubach.
  • The New York Times claims that Sen. Mitch McConnell’s goal is to turn the GOP into the party of ‘Yes!’
  • It probably isn’t the best time to be asking for money, but the Dispatch reports on the details of the muni-requested enhanced tactical training center for cops.
  • The U.S. attorney for Eastern District of New York, Loretta Lynch, seems to be growing on a number of Republicans, according to Politico.
  • The Hill covers the struggles of White House photographer, Pete Souza, of trying to get his iconic photo of the Situation Room during the Osama bin Laden raid went down without pixilation. It turns out that a briefing on the table has been deemed classified and thus the pixilation.
  • Longtime Sitka Assembly member Phyllis Hackett told the Daily Sitka Sentinel that she would be leaving office.
  • The Huffington Post announced that conservative columnist George Will has been awarded Media Matters’ Misinformer of the Year. Think of this as the political version of Hollywood’s Razzies.

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13 thoughts on “Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 12.23

  1. Pat Race

    AH HA, You’re welcome to visit the Alaska Robotics Gallery at 220 Front street. Much of what we carry (outside comic books) is designed locally and even printed locally. I’ll be around until at least four today, hope to see you!

    I did a lot of my own shopping this year at Panhandle Provisions. Delicious, locally made cured meats!!!

  2. AH HA

    @Juneauer: Just a clarification and an update:

    To be clear:
    1. Today is Festivus. (look it up if you need to)
    2. I have no complaint with the Chinese or their merchandise (such as it is) The complaint is with merchants who refuse to carry anything not made in China.

    As an update:

    Based on your advice, I had a quick look at the following stores:

    Heritage Coffee : Other than the coffee everything else was made in China… the cups the grinder the coffee maker…

    Alaska Brewery: Really? Buy your friends beer for a present often? Ever try to mail a beer?

    Hearthside Books: The first thing I looked at was “Made in China” I looked no further.

    NAO (The real name for this store is Nugget Alaska Outfitter) : Nope. First thing I looked at were a pair of timeless Alaskan Classics….. EXTRATUFF Boots… can you believe it? Made in China.

    Admittedly, there are other stores in the area however, I think I’ve looked far enough to establish a trend.. and besides that, I already sent the cards.

  3. Andy

    Ah Ha,
    For your edification, China is so short on trees they are importing chopsticks.
    Believe it or not, a company in Georgia exports 99% of their manufactured chopsticks to
    the Red Giant. Go Bulldogs!

    It is comforting that USA made utensils are being used to shove sustenance into Chinese mouths, although I am worried that eventually Chinese made bayonets will be shoved into our backs. Oh well, ain’t free trade great?

    By the way…what happened to the manufacturing middle class? Making chopsticks I guess………..

  4. Juneauer

    That’s just ridiculous. There are tons of locally owned stores that are open at this exact second.

    Off the top of my head:
    Juneau Artists Gallery (and every other store in the Senate Building)
    Annie Kail’s
    Heritage Coffee
    Alaska Brewery
    Hearthside Books
    Alaska Robotics
    The Canvas Gallery (sells art and is part of REACH)

    You could go to any of those places or you could continue to complain about the Chinese…

  5. AH HA

    In Juneau, all the ‘local’ shops are owned by Cruise Lines and their affiliates and are closed for the year.

  6. Marvin

    Actually, it’s really not all that hard. I go to a number of the craft shows before the holidays at the museum, the Dena’ina Center, the University, Bad Girls, etc. I also go to locally-owned stores like Bella’s Boutique and Sevigny Studio. When you go to places like that, not only are you not buying Chinese, you’re actually buying things made by Alaskans. Try it. You’ll like it.

  7. Andy


    All the numbers are easily fudged. In the good old days of gold standards and Keynesian
    economic dogma, the GDP was the value of good produced ONLY. Somewhere in the seventies the goods produced started to fall, so they modified the equation to include services.

    Our true GDP per capita has been dropping like a lead rock , now commy China is kicking our sluggish spreadsheets with real production. We like to feign success by MBA subterfuge, resulting in the false perception that we are kicking arse. In reality, the services variable is simply bumped up to cover the lack of durable goods being pumped out domestically.

    We are being strangled by internal forces, namely the EPA et al . When WWIII breaks out, and we can’t win because of lack of domestic production, I hope they line up the envirowhackos first and use lead laced bullets. I wonder if ObamaCare covers funerals ?

  8. AH HA

    Just to be clear… “The Guardian”????

    You’d get closer to the truth listening to either Rush Limbaugh or Chris Mathews….

  9. AH HA

    This last New Years a made a resolution, something I almost never do since I take them seriously and really try to stick to them once made. I had resolved that in the future I would not buy any Christmas gifts that had been ‘made in China’.

    I tried.

    I tried some more….

    I really Really Tried….. I looked at Costco, Safeway, Wall-Mart, Fred Meyer, Home Depot, Office Depot, Sears, Penney’s, All the malls, Most of the Mom and Pop Stores…. Liquor stores, Gun Stores….

    Ha!! Found one…. I can get Harry a nice bottle of this Scotch! …. Hey, wait,,,, this stuff is made in Japan? I decided against it. Even though it’s not Chinese, somehow, Japanese made Scotch is just wrong.

    Ultimately, I gave up. It is probably not possible. You can’t even give money (It’s made in china as well)

    This year family, friends and associates who would normally receive a Christmas gift from me will instead receive a card (made in china) explaining the situation and offering an apology and my best wishes.

  10. Keith Bradley

    Sheesh! You would think that I could get my math correct . . . it was actually 66%, not the 40% I mentioned above.

    Here are the annual contributions:
    Annual Contribution to Final Q3 GDP vs Second GDP Revision ($B)
    Healthcare (Affordable Care Act is the driver): 12.1
    Financial Services and Insurance: 2.6
    Nondurable Goods: 1.9
    Motor Vehicles and Parts: 0.6
    Recreational Goods and Vehicles: 0.6
    Housing and Utilities: 0.5
    Other Durable Goods: 0.2
    Furnishings and Durable Household Equipment: 0.1

    Well, seems sustainable to me!


  11. Keith Bradley

    “The U.S. economy has grown by 5% in the past year, making this the single fastest growing year since 2003, so says The Guardian.”

    Curiously in Q1, the impact of adjustments/inclusions of the Affordable Care Act pushed GDP into the positive range. It caught a few economists attention . . . however, this morning it was even more spectacular accounting for approximately 40% of the 5% reported.

    The Wizard of Oz would be proud.


  12. AH HA

    Don’t forget, today is Festivus!

    Festivus, a well-celebrated parody, has become a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 that serves as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.[1] Originally a family tradition of scriptwriter Dan O’Keefe, who worked on the American sitcom Seinfeld, the holiday entered popular culture after it was made the focus of a 1997 episode of the program.[1][2] The holiday’s celebration, as it was shown on Seinfeld, includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole, practices such as the “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength”, and the labeling of easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles”.[3]

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