WC’s On Sabbatical


WC will be taking a probably undeserved sabbatical from the blog for a few weeks. WC could say that he’s earned it, churning out two and sometimes three blog posts a day since Joe Miller crawled out of his law office and inflicted himself on Alaska’s Body Politic. But that would be a Miller-ism, a…

The Right Idea?


Arctic Terns famously migrate from the Arctic to the Antarctic each year. If you’ve seen them in flight, you know that effortless, buoyant motion that makes them so distinctive. It’s possible to imagine this elegant bird managing such a long migration. Their hovering posture, pictured here, is similarly graceful and beautiful. When the temperature in…

Cleaning Out the In-Box


From the miscellaneous stuff WC gets as email, comments and spam, he offers the following: If you want really snarky name-calling, invite economists to the party. Paul Krugman does a take down on both economist William Kristol and all of his fellow travelers: This open letter to Ben Bernanke is a remarkable document, not least for…

The Sloop John B


A very long time ago, WC worked a summer for the University of Alaska Institute of Marine Science, aboard the R/V Acona in the waters off – sometimes a long ways off – Alaska. That summer, the Beach Boys had a hit with “Sloop John B.,” which made it to #3 on the Top 100…

What Price Democracy?


In the fallout from the 2010 election, it’s easy to lose sight of one of the important lessons: you can’t always buy your own way to a major political seat (ask Meg Whitman), but you don’t need to. It much easier to persuade American voters to give it to you. Like televangelists selling salvation, the…

Gulls & Terns; Terns & Gulls


All birds are wonderful, but if there is a single  family of birds that WC likes best, it’s the Larids, the gulls and terns. In Interior Alaska, we see them only seasonally, but many hang around coastal Alaska all year. Here’s a selection of gulls and terns. Heerman’s Gull is casual in Alaska. It’s not…

Why Joe Miller Has Lost – Updated


Update for Results through November 12: Murkowski’s unchallenged ballots are now up to 90% of total ballots cast. That would take the write-in candidate to 83,681 votes, against Miller’s 82,180, with some 72% of the precincts counted. Absentee ballots aren’t all tallied yet, but unless they are statistically aberrational, they won’t affect the outcome. Bottom…

California’s Primary Experiment


Unnoticed in the fury over Whitman versus Boxer, and Fiorina versus Brown, and all of the other expensive madness that is California politics, was the passage of Proposition 14 back in June. Under this new open primary system, voters will no longer be limited to choosing among candidates from their own parties. Proposition 14 will put the…

Why Joe Miller Has Lost


Update for results through November 11: Murkowski continues to hold an unchallenged 89.78% of the write-in votes, as statistics would predict, with a little less half of the total write-in votes counted. Today’s percentage is actually slightly higher, which translates into a handful of additional votes. WC will say it again: despite ridiculously lousy excuses…

Advice for Sudeep Reddy


Caribou Barbie is sharing her ignorance of economics via Facebook. (It’s really sad that she can’t manage a blog, but Alaskans’ expectations of the Quitter are about at the level of Facebook anyway.)  Because Palin is involved, it’s a muddle, but WC will strive to tease out the details for his readers. And offer a…

Favorite Webcomics: The Oatmeal


Matthew Inman’s drawing skills over at The Oatmeal are actually worse than WC’s; and WC didn’t think that was possible. Probably WC’s 7th grade art instructor would be surprised, too. But Inman’s imagination is pretty amazing. Here’s an example of his dead-on sense of humor: WC doesn’t have the nerve to copy one of his…

Just a Banana Republic?


It’s the image we are given in Junior High School. The Latin American country – the Banana Republic – with the poor living in squalor next door to the ultra-wealthy aristocrat. Mercedes limousines driving past begging children. Shocking income disparity is a hallmark of Banana Republics, after all. So it came as a shock to…

Tired of Joe?


Joe Miller’s incessant whining is really starting to grate on WC. And WC is talking about the post-election sniveling, not all the nonsense that came before. For example, whining that he wasn’t give time to ramp up staff to keep an eye on the evil Division of Election’s officials. If, in his arrogance, he was…

A Machine Gun to a Knife Fight


You can cut down a tree – a small tree, anyway – with a semi-automatic weapon. It’s a matter of patience, lots and lots of bullets, and little regard for the environment. For certain of WC’s politically conservative buddies, it must have some kind of internal gratification that offsets the waste of money and the…

Heroes and Villains


Stand or fall I know there Shall be peace in the valley And it’s all an affair Of my life with the heroes and villains Heroes and villains Just see what you’ve done -Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, “Smile” 1966 As the 2010 midterm elections slowly, slowly totter to an exhausted end, it’s time…

Never Expect Gratitude


George W. Bush left office January 20, 2009 with the Dow Jones industrial average off 2,306 points from when he took over: The worst performance in terms of points lost for any U.S. president, ever. The blue chips closed the Friday before inauguration — the last full trading day of Bush’s term — at 8,281, way off of the…

Grand Jury Secrecy Stood on Its Head


WC is a lawyer. WC cares about the legal system. In many ways, it’s the last, best defense against tyranny. So WC gets pretty worked-up when the legal system is flagrantly abused. A case in point: Probably everyone can agree that Siobhan Reynolds has been a zealous advocate against prosecution of physicians accused of overprescribing…

Santa Files Bankruptcy


WC was saddened to learn yesterday that Santa has filed bankruptcy. It’s true. One of WC’s less pleasant tasks involves bankruptcy court. WC was reviewing the paperwork in a bankruptcy case and there, in Schedule I, where it asks, “Occupation,” was written in, “Santa.” It was medical expenses that did the old boy in. Like…