Friday, February 19, 2010

Carey's Chief of Staff Bannock Carries His Own Philosophy... and ... HUH?

After reading the article in today's Peninsula Clarion, I was left wondering exactly what the hell Mr. Bannock (and perhaps, the reporter) was trying to say.
From the article:
Bannock's ideal political model would essentially extend the assembly's U-shaped table into a circle around the audience. That circle would put Bannock's usual seat in the back of the assembly and his future seat at the table on a nearly level plane.
Think of the spherical globe Atlas holds atop his shoulders. Government, Bannock says, should be like Atlas: hoisting the world up so that it can spin freely (emphasis mine).
 Again, from the article:
As the director of Alaska's Division of Motor Vehicles, Bannock put that into practice. His management style allowed lower-level employees to shape some of the office's operations.
 The article continues...
In that kind of system, a manager's role is devalued and can often be eliminated.
Duane got his wish.
Commissioner Annette Kreitzer fired Bannock in 2007 because the two were "unable to bridge the gulf of differences in management and communication styles," Bannock says.
"I strive to set myself apart from the "business as usual" crowd. Otherwise, what's the point?" Bannock wrote in response to his firing in June 2007. "For me, this was never about a job; this was my chance to change the world."(emphasis mine)
Change the WORLD?
As director of the DMV?

Have delusions of grandeur much, Duane?

The bottom line comes near the end of the article:
If Bannock realizes his true political ambitions, he will someday represent the Kenai Peninsula in the Alaska State Senate (emphasis mine).
That's what his new job as Dave Carey's Chief of Staff is really about, folks.

Duane "Atlas" Bannock.
Coming soon to a pedestal near you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Lisa Murkowski.

According to every major economic research firm, the Economic Stimulus Bill worked, producing somewhere between 1.6 and 2.5 million jobs for Americans.

Now, according to Think Progress, 111 Congressional legislators voted against the stimulus package... and are now taking credit for its success.

"Lockstep Lisa" Murkowski is one of them. 

In an article published in the February 9 edition of the Washington Times, her Highness of Hypocrisy™ has no problem whatsoever in  stepping up and accepting the credit for bringing home the bacon, even though she, in concert with her GOP colleagues, refused to lift a finger to raise the pig.

From the article:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, called the stimulus "excessive" and voted against it, though she noted that money in the legislation would benefit her state. She, too, wrote to the USDA to support Alaska projects seeking stimulus funds.
"I opposed the stimulus bill as did most of my colleagues in the Republican caucus, but it was passed in Congress and signed into law," she said, when asked about her support for project seeking stimulus funds.
"When constituents come to me asking for support in a competitive application process for funding for broadband expansion, I am happy to support their request. I will always fight to make sure my state gets its fair share of available federal dollars," she added (emphasis mine).
Yeah, right, Lisa.

Even if you opposed the appropriations in the first place. 

Not just once, but twice.

Having your cake and eating it, too.  A standard for the GOP.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Climate vs. Weather: Get a Brain! Morans!

All in all, this has been a pretty mild winter for Alaska.  Southcentral Alaska, for sure.  

We've had a few cold snaps, we've had some chinooks, but overall, not too bad... and now, in mid-February, we seem to be headed for an early spring.  My fingers are crossed on that one.

When I was a kid, I'm pretty sure we had more severe and longer winters than we do now, but that could just be me.  Memories from childhood often get "modified" over time, and one shouldn't place too much stock in anecdotal  information... except that village elders from across Alaska seem to verify my memory.  

Over the course of several decades, things are changing.  That change has not always been good.

I'm not saying global climate change itself is not a natural cycle, but I think it's absolutely stupid to think that in the last 150 years or so, world-wide industrialization and emission of greenhouse gasses hasn't exacerbated the problem.

So, when I hear "experts on everything" like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Chris Wallace shouting out how the recent snow storms in the eastern and southern US are "proof" that climate change is false, it annoys the hell out of me.

The only thing their statements  "prove" is either their ignorance, or their willful desire to misinform and mislead.  The smart money is on the latter.

There's a huge difference between "climate" and "weather."

This morning, I was listening to a story on National Public Radio (NPR) "Morning Edition" by Christopher Joyce (a correspondent on the science desk at on NPR), and the story gave listeners one of the most succinct and accurate explanations of the difference as I've ever heard:

A storm is part of what scientists classify as weather. Weather is largely influenced by local conditions and changes week to week. It's fickle — fraught with wild ups and downs.
Climate is the long-term trend of atmospheric conditions across large regions, even the whole planet. Changes in climate are slow and measured in decades, not weeks.(emphasis mine)
Can't the talking heads on Fox News  or the right-wing deniers of climate change grasp that concept?  
Of course they can, but it doesn't suit their political agenda to engage in facts.  Making shit up is more their style.

Remember, we're talking about a group of people who are working hard to re-write the history of the G. W. Bush administration, and blame it all President Obama.

Given that, what else could we expect from them?