Andrew Jensen

AJOC EDITORIAL: GOP finally delivers on promise to Americans

Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain to development wouldn’t be necessary if only we could power our economy with Democratic hysteria.

The biggest outrage since the last outrage, of course, is the impending passage of a tax reform bill that should reach President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature before the end of the year.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Alaska’s wish list getting shorter

One by one, the items on Alaska’s wish list are being checked off as the first Christmas of the Trump administration nears.

With Republicans appearing to gather enough votes in the Senate to secure passage of their tax overhaul bill, we could see President Trump signing legislation that will finally open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Trump administration breathes life into Alaska

A year ago to the day from this writing, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in a political upset for the ages that both Democrats and Republicans are still trying to come to grips with.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Game over for Wielechowski

If Sen. Bill Wielechowski is true to his word, we’ve heard the last from him about changing Alaska’s oil taxes.

Back on June 10, 2014, Wielechowski and now-former Sen. Hollis French (who Gov. Bill Walker appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission last year) issued a “very simple challenge.”

“If SB 21 produces new oil, even ONE additional barrel, and this production results in increased revenue to the state, even ONE more dollar we will drop our support for revising oil taxes,” Wielechowski said.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Trump restores separation of powers

After President Barack Obama used Congressional intransigence as an excuse to upend the separation of powers spelled out in the Constitution, President Donald Trump is using the same reason to restore it.

Not once, not twice, but more than two dozen times, Obama told audiences and interviewers that the Constitution did not allow him to use an executive order to change the immigration status of millions of people brought to the country illegally as children.

AJOC EDITORIAL: A tax for two Alaskas

Gov. Bill Walker appears to have not learned his lesson when calling a special session.

After the Legislature went all 121 days it was allowed this year without producing a budget or a way to pay for it, Walker called a special session with a loaded agenda that proved a recipe for disaster as the divided House and Senate exerted their respective leverage over the various pieces and it ended after 30 days at the same stalemate.

AJOC EDITORIAL: State education system needs total overhaul

The first step to solving a problem is admitting one exists.

Alaska education officials have finally crossed that threshold after releasing the results from math, science and English tests administered this past spring to more than 70,000 students across the state in grades 3 through 10.

The outcomes were shockingly poor.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Et tu, Dan and Lisa?

From being Hitler to being a Russian tool and now back to being a Nazi, President Donald Trump has come full circle.

For the left and the media, although that is redundant, nothing feels so comfortable as returning to their safe space governed by Godwin’s Law.

“Why do Nazis like you?” one bylined operative yelled at the president on Aug. 15.

“Do you support the Confederacy?” asked another, who presumably had a credential that wasn’t signed in crayon.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Congress turns to Trump to bail out Obamacare

Senate Republicans have set the bar pretty high for achievements in failure.

By bungling their attempt to repeal or replace Obamacare, they accomplished the impossible: they now own a law that none of them voted for in the first place and in fact campaigned for seven years to scrap.

AJOC EDITORIAL: The deadbeat, do-nothing Legislature

Alaska has less oil production than California and a credit rating just better than Illinois and New Jersey, yet 51 incumbents will run for reelection next year with at least one of them seeking a promotion.

A day after this column goes to press, the Legislature will meet for a day in Juneau to pass the capital budget that — like everything else its members did or didn’t do this session — should have been finished three months ago.

The self-congratulatory back-patting is nauseating.

AJOC EDITORIAL: McConnell, GOP should have listened to Murkowski

The only conclusion that can be drawn from watching D.C. Republicans vomit all over themselves in their pathetic efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare is that they were just as surprised as Democrats when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

After spending the past seven years campaigning and fundraising on promises to scrap the widely unpopular law — and being rewarded with total control of all three branches of government — the GOP has found out what it’s like to be the dog that catches the car.

AJOC EDITORIAL: House gambit a waste of everyone’s time

If the House Democrats keep up these futile political gestures, someday they may grow up to be Congressional Republicans.

The latest last-second nonsense from the Democrats managed to top their ridiculous vote in June when they introduced — and approved with the help of half the Republican caucus — a $2,200 PFD as they stuffed the operating budget into the capital budget bill before adjourning the first special session called by Gov. Bill Walker.

AJOC EDITORIAL: 75 million reasons SB 21 is working

What’s been obvious for several months became official on June 30.

The 2017 fiscal year ended with a final average of 528,484 barrels per day of production on the North Slope.

That is a 2.6 percent increase versus the 514,900 barrels per day last fiscal year, or virtually identical to the 2016 increase in production from 501,500 barrels per day in 2015.

To put this in perspective, the last time the state saw consecutive years of production increases was in 1987-88 when North Slope production peaked at more than 2.1 million barrels per day.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Crocodile tears for White House press corps

The liberals with bylines in the White House press corps are in a snit about receiving their overdue comeuppance from an administration that has decided to fight back.

At the top of the latest outrage list from the press is the decision to prohibit video cameras at a few of the daily presidential briefings, which led to the priceless audio of CNN’s Jim Acosta channeling his inner Mortimer Duke from the end of the movie “Trading Places” by yelling at Press Secretary Sean Spicer to turn the machines back on.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Democrats destroying the village to save it

Democrats in Juneau deserve credit for at least one thing: what they lack in good ideas they more than make up for in chutzpah.

Now 10 days from a government shutdown at the time of this writing, the legislative session has become a monkey fight inside a clown car driving into a dumpster fire.

AJOC EDITORIAL: House Majority has lost. They just don’t know it yet.

Here’s hoping House Speaker Bryce Edgmon hasn’t gotten too attached to his gavel.

The once high-riding Democrat-led Majority in the House had a stake driven through its heart on June 5 when it was abandoned by Gov. Bill Walker, its one-time ally on raising oil taxes and bringing back a state income tax.

AJOC EDITORIAL: The right man for Alaska

In a room full of the state’s business leaders dressed in sport coats and summer dresses, the visiting guest of honor looked and sounded as Alaskan as any of them.

Decked out in khaki pants and short sleeves, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a retired Navy SEAL and former congressman for Montana, spoke passionately about President Donald Trump’s vision of American energy policy that goes beyond independence and into “dominance.”

AJOC EDITORIAL: The ‘What, me worry?’ Legislature

By the time House and Senate members return to Juneau after Memorial Day weekend, they will have burned through 14 days of a 30-day special session without much, if anything, to show for it.

Two days later, pink slips will go out to virtually every state worker with the possible exception of troopers, corrections officers and Pioneer Home employees.

If only they could be sent to the 60 legislators as well.

Both bodies have passed operating budgets as well as bills to use Permanent Fund earnings and end the state’s cashable oil tax credit program.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Real jobs beat theoretical jobs

It wasn’t a surprise that last week’s column drew a response from self-appointed PFD guru Brad Keithley.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Jobs drive the economy, not the PFD

The PFD is not a suicide pact.

The Alaska House and Senate are now engaged in a high-stakes game of chicken as the session has gone into overtime with less than 30 days to go before the mandated adjournment.

On one side is the Senate arguing it is protecting pocketbooks the most, while the House has taken the position of picking the most pockets.

At the center of it all is the Permanent Fund dividend.

The Senate would cap it at $1,000 for three years; the House at $1,250 for two.

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