The Right’s War on Citizens


One of the more troubling aspects of the political right’s recent actions is its war against citizens. WC will draw on three specific examples from his former home state of Alaska, but the same case can be shown for other states where the political right has control of the government. The Two Rivers Fire DistrictAs…

The Benefits of Republican Hypocrisy


In a sad, sick way, George Santos is understandable. He’s an abject failure as a human being, a former call center employee for the Dish Network, former employee of a Ponzi scheme operator, living in his mother’s basement, a college drop out and a deadbeat. So Santos invented an imaginary version of himself, a guy…

Of Course George Santos


The media was shocked – shocked! – to learn that pretty much everything about Representative-elect George Santos was a lie. But WC thinks that George Santos is merely the logical extension of a Republican Party increasingly removed from reality. Let’s consider the record. We had a Republican U.S. President who, according to the Washington Post’s…

Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House, Washington, U.S., November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

2022 in Review: Politics


In what passes for tradition here at Wickersham’s Conscience, we spend the last week of each year thinking about the year that is ending, and making our wishes for the coming year. This blog post is firmly in that tradition: a look back at the kidney stone that was 2022 and a look forward to…

Or Maybe It Was Humble Pie?


The Alaska Republican Party Central Committee met earlier this month, the first meeting since the November 2022 election. We don’t know what they had for dessert, but we know what the main entrée was: crow. Great big servings of crow. Mmm. Tastes just like chicken.1 You see, the Alaska Republican Party Central Committee had censured…

Poor Tom Cotton is So Confused


Anyone who has lived in Alaska for very long knows that those poor folks in Arkansas get confused about the official abbreviation for their state and the official abbreviation for Alaska. All those “As,” Ks” and “Ss,” WC supposes. Of course, Arkansas is “AR,” and Alaska is “AK.” That kind of confusion is the only…

Notes on Alaska’s 2022 General Election


Alaska has brought off its first, full general election using the ranked voting system adopted by citizen initiative back in 2020. WC has some thoughts. For good and sufficient reasons, WC doesn’t write much about The Quitter, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. But WC will make a small exception here and note that Palin has…

VOTE! The Future of Our Country Depends Upon It


Get out and vote today, if you haven’t already. If you don’t, you are giving the 40-50% of voters who do vote in mid-term elections an out-sized amount of influence. Don’t argue that your vote won’t make a difference; races are sometimes decided by a mere handful of votes. Don’t be intimidated by firearm-packing “poll…

Two Easy Questions for Every Political Candidate


This is an adaptation of a letter that WC’s buddy David James sent to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, back in WC’s hometown. He asks two questions that are something every candidate for public office should be required to answer. WC reproduces and adapts James’ letter here, with his permission. It’s election season, and newspapers will…

Ben Stevens, 2007, via KTUU

Before We Canonize Ben Stevens


One of the weirdest things about American politics is the virtual canonization of crooked politicians when they die. America did it with Dick Nixon. If you listened to the eulogies at Nixon’s funeral, you’d never have guessed he resigned in disgrace, and avoided a long prison sentence only by accepting a blanket pardon from President…

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, in the House chamber on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at the Alaska State Capitol. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

David Eastman’s Treason – A Progress Report


Two different readers have criticized WC for investing so much blog space on David Eastman, the controversial Oath Keepers lifetime member and utterly ineffective legislator who represents the citizens of the Alaska State House District 27. WC believes those readers are failing to recognize just how important the issues surrounding Eastman are. It’s not just…

What Ann Brown Didn’t Say


Ann Brown is WC’s former law partner and the current chair of the Alaska Republican Party. On September 13, the Anchorage Daily News once again gave her space for an opinion column, in which she woodshedded her fellow Republicans for letting a Democrat, Mary Peltola, get elected to Alaska’s sole seat in the House of…

Chief Justice Roberts’ Burning Britches


In a speech to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts addressed the collapse of public respect for the U.S. Supreme Court. He said it’s wrong for people to deem the court illegitimate because its decisions are unpopular. “Simply because people disagree with an opinion is…

Vic Kohring Selling Out, Photo Courtesy FBIourtes

R.I.P. Vic Kohring, 1958-2022


Vic Kohring was a crook. He was a crooked politician, captured on video accepting cash from VECO CEO Bill Allen for his vote on a tax law Allen wanted, and then soliciting still more cash. Yes, the U.S. Department of Justice wrongfully withheld evidence at Kohring’s trial. But there’s still those damning videos from Suite…

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, in the House chamber on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at the Alaska State Capitol. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

An Open Memo to Gail Fenumiai


Ms. Gail Fenumiai, DirectorDivision of ElectionsCourt Plaza Building240 Main Street, 4th FloorJuneau, AK 99801 Re: Matter of David Eastman Dear Director Fenumiai: Wickersham’s Conscience has long admired your reasoned and principled approach to the sometimes challenging issues of Alaska elections. For example, WC wrote applauding your decisions in Senator Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign, decisions that…

It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature


As you might imagine, WC is immensely pleased that Alaskans selected Mary Peltola to fill the balance of the late Don Young’s term as Alaska’s sole U.S. representative. Representative-elect Peltola is all of the things Sarah Palin is not: thoughtful, articulate, in touch with Alaskans and their views, informed and compassionate. She’s also the first…

Ryan Zinke: Ethical Superfund Site


This post was written pre-surgery. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, the very worst environmentally contaminated sites are designated for cleanup by a scoring system called the Hazard Ranking System. If they are bad enough, they get on the National Priorities List – a euphemism if WC…

“This is all heresy”


A Freudian slip, also called parapraxis, is a communications mistake that is believed to be linked to the unconscious mind. The theory – backed by some decent science – is that this kind of gaffe reveals secret thoughts and feelings that people hold. About 45 minutes into the July 21 testimony of former Trump White…

The Idaho Republican Party Prepares for Violence


Lunatic, Lunacy: late 13th century, “affected with periodic insanity dependent on the changes of the moon,” from Old French lunatique “insane,” or directly from Late Latin lunaticus “moon-struck,” from Latin luna “moon” Etymology Online It is a remarkable coincidence that the new Chair of the Idaho Republican Party, elected on the occasion of the most recent supermoon, is named Dorothy…

Guest Blog Post: Abortion, Morality and the Law


An essay by David James, of Fairbanks, Alaska, that is dead on. Morality is not simple. It’s easy to hold absolute positions in the abstract, but when human realities intrude, what seems straightforward becomes complex. For instance, the Ten Commandments state, “Thou shalt not kill.” No exceptions. Yet the Bible is littered with exceptions, because…

Is Mike Lindell Off His Meds?


Idaho is a thoroughly Republican state. Both U.S. Senators, both U.S. Representatives, a supermajority in both houses of the state legislature, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and nearly every elected ministerial office. Those elected officials seemingly vie with each other to see who can be the most conservative. But they aren’t conservative enough for Mike Lindell,…