Inside/Outside Morning news roundup for 11.14

  • Keystone is all the buzz, and President Obama’s actions on the pipeline will set the direction and tone of future Executive/Congressional relationships. If he signs onto the bill at the behest of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and other red state Dems, he’ll get flack from his base. If he doesn’t, the 2015 Senate will have enough votes to override a presidential veto, per The Hill. As for Keystone’s meaning to Alaska, Senator-elect Dan Sullivan’s answer on this issue while on the Greta Van Susteren was interesting. Sullivan might want to read this article from the Fiscal Times that also explains how current oil prices could spell death for Keystone.
  • If the Unity Ticket does prevail in the Alaska gubernatorial race, Sabato’s Crystal Ball reminds everyone that our state will be the only one this election cycle that kicked out both an incumbent governor and senator.
  • Taxes got Capone and it looks like Campaign Disclosures is going to get Charlo (F*%k it! I quit) Greene. The Dispatch has the lowdown on what fines APOC has smacked Greene with relating to her fundraising activities for the Alaska Cannabis Club. Here’s a little advice to those that work in the gray area of the law: hire an accountant.
  • Mark Begich hasn’t done it himself, nor does it appear that the Alaska Democratic Party will do it, so it appears that others in the Senate will admit that he lost. Here’s Sen. Mary Landrieu conceding on his behalf. It’s certainly not the way Uncle Ted did it. But there is still time left for beautiful speeches before Christmas break.
  • It seems that Vice President Joe Biden has once again saved President Obama. This time, from just the idea of impeachment because as Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told The Hill when asked about impeaching the president: “Have you met Joe Biden?”

  • Finally, asked where the $57 million spent on Alaska’s U.S. Senate race ended up. Liz Ruskin at APRN put words to what most of us knew: TV stations in Alaska, of which KTUU took the lion’s share. KTUU’ s general manager described it as a “windfall.” In the story, Jim Lottsfeldt justifiably complains on how much the station gouged super-PACS, like Put Alaska First, which he headed. For instance, while a candidate would pay $450 for a 30-second spot, super-PACs paid $7,500 for the same spot. “So when people talk about wanting to get all the big money out of politics they should have an honest conversation with TV stations and radio stations,” Lottsfeldt said, for which he gets a big amen from me. Other takeaways: The reporters at KTUU should consider asking for a raise, and all TV reporters should never be allowed to report on all the big money going into big politics (as they do with concern in their voices) without at least mentioning that their employers are the ones who are most benefiting.
  • We can all breathe a little easier as we nosh our beloved salmon and halibut because the Peninsula Clarion has announced that testing on Cook Inlet waters shows no sign of radiation emissions from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. No Frankenfish in our waters!
  • With so much loss to the Democratic Party, not just in the number of seats in Congress, but also across the country in state–level elections, Politico is wondering how Sen. Harry Reid kept his job as Senate Minority Leader for 2015. So do I.
  • E&E Publishing has an article about how the EPA IG advanced a probe into the agency’s work on Alaska’s Pebble Mine project.
  • Juneau is officially the states most LGBTQ friendly city in Alaska with a score of 33 per the Human Rights Campaign. That is simply not good enough for City Manager Kim Kiefer when the national average is 59. She told the Juneau Empire, “HRC’s scoring standards limit Juneau’s score, largely due to questions of wording.” This reaction deserves two snaps and a twist.
  • The Seward City News covered how police and principals from every school in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will be training staff on how to prepare and keep students safe in possibility of an intruder. Is this the new normal for the 21st century or overreaction?
  • ViralNewsChart has the latest on the Alaska National Guard state records release.
  • The Juneau Assembly is deciding to increase the excise tax on the sale of tobacco within the city and borough by an extra $2.00 according to the Juneau Empire. Is this a long-term strategy to simply tax tobacco out of existence?
  • The AP has an article detailing the Speaker of the House and 2015’s Senate Majority BBF relationship and how this will ease legislative gridlock.
  • APRN reports that Russian and American officials met to discuss Arctic oil (and maybe stave off oil wars in the future?).
  • Ballot counting resumes today! The Fairbanks News Miner reports that still 35,000 ballots left to be counted and another 8,800 votes still outstanding that can still be added to the tally if they make it to the Division of Elections by Wednesday and were postmarked by the 4th. With the numbers so close in the gubernatorial race, this process is still worth watching.
  • Ever wonder who the the people behind the campaign curtain are? Here’s a few who worked this election cycle.

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