Following Up and Following Down: October 2015


WC will post the monthly look back a day early; there are plans for tomorrow. This month’s look back is mostly items WC found interesting or amusing, but didn’t warrant a full blog post. As always, the Magpie Principle applies.

The Washington Post discovered Santa Claus has been elected a city council member in North Pole, Alaska. Santa Claus turns out to be an Anglican monk, a socialist and a most improbable politician for a community as conservative as North Pole. He was elected as a write-in candidate, too. It’s almost enough to make you believe in Santa Claus.

Capitalism may have its flaws, but sometimes it works beneficially. Following Shell’s withdrawal from Arctic exploratory oil drilling, the Department of the Interior has cancelled a planned lease sale and notified the remaining offshore leaseholders their leases won’t be extended. There’s some whining from Alaska’s Congressional delegation, but seriously, Shell didn’t find oil in economic quantities. Maybe some new effort will get mounted when crude oil is back up in the $100 a barrel range, but perhaps by then we’ll have a more sensible perspective on high-risk oil field development.

Ex-governor and fiscal disaster area Sean Parnell has opened a law practice in the Valley. Says it all, really.

This month marks the 40th Anniversary of Terry Gross hosting Fresh Air, the NPR interview show out of WHYY in Philadelphia. There’s a very nice article in the New York Times by Susan Burton, a former producer for This American Life that offers some insights into Ms. Gross and her interview style. Sometimes WC finds Gross’s interviewees less than entirely fascinating, but WC has never heard a better interviewer, a person more adept at getting guests to open up. Happy Anniversary, Ms. Gross, and many more.

The Environmental Protection Agency this month issued regulations, known as the Clean Power Plan. The purpose of the Clean Power Plan, announced back in August, is to require the electric utility industry to shift to cleaner-burning energy sources to power plants. After all, the utility industry, by a considerable margin, is the biggest source of CO2 emissions in the US. And therefore the biggest contributor to climate change. The next day – the next day! – some 24 states filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s authority to issue the regulations. WC is immeasurably pleased to announce that Alaska is not among those 24 states. You know that if Captain Zero was still Alaska’s governor Alaska would be a co-plaintiff. We find progress where we can.

WC learned of the recent death of Michael Cowper, former first lady of Alaska and one of the warmest, most genuine people it has been WC’s pleasure to know. Alaska has been blessed with some terrific First Ladies; Michael was among the best.

It’s Hallowe’en tomorrow. Let’s wrap this up with one last scary thought. There was another Republican debate Wednesday night. One of those clowns, likely, will be the Republican candidate for President of these United States next November. If that doesn’t scare you, you haven’t been paying attention.

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One thought on “Following Up and Following Down: October 2015

  1. A wicked fright, or the scariest thought ever: It’s official. The oligarchy is certified. The circus is the celebration. The Kochtopus knows it no longer matters which who becomes president. [scary-over-the-top-circus music fade]

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