Interesting Items 07/24

Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Lisa
  2. Kamala
  3. Kenai
  4. Sessions
  5. Domination
  6. Cold
  7. Humpbacks

  1. Lisa. Our senior Alaska US Senator, Lisa Murkowski got herself famous last week with the announcement that she would not vote for the repeal and replace legislation for O’BamaCare last week.  She quickly followed it up with a promise not to support a straight repeal either.  Combined with promises by Susan Collins (RINO, ME) and Shelly Capito (R, WV) provided enough opposition to both the repeal and replace and the straight repeal to derail the process for a time.  This decision presents Lisa with a problem, albeit one several years in the future, as she has steadfastly and publicly supported a straight repeal.  Her most recent vote to repeal was in 2015.  So what has changed?  Likely nothing, though there is always the outside possibility that she allowed herself to be rolled by a month’s worth of anti-repeal ads run locally but funded by national groups.  Her rationale for no longer supporting a straight repeal is the 200% premium increase in AK since 2010 and the departure of multiple health insurance companies from Alaska over the time.  She has also decided to protect, defend, and fund Governor Walker’s foolish decision to adopt O’BamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, the only thing that has increased the number of Medicaid people here in Alaska.  Of course, the first two things are being caused by O’BamaCare itself.  And Medicaid expansion is accelerating Medicaid’s inevitable slide into bankruptcy.  Lisa is not up for reelection until 2022.  Last time she got only 44% against a last minute run by Joe Miller, who jumped in at the last minute, was mostly unfunded, and ended up with 29% of the vote.  I don’t see this making Lisa any stronger.


  1. Kamala. The next iteration of the O’Bama candidacy will take place in 2020 as first term US Senator from CA, Kamala Harris, will don the mantle of Hope and Change, and run as O’Bama.  Her candidacy will do everything that the O’Bama candidacy did.  Most importantly, as black voters demonstrated last year that they will not turn out for a white septuagenarian (Hilly).  Democrats hope that they will turn out for a photogenic, mixed race, decent looking woman who will run as a black (gotta keep scratching that racial scab to make sure it never heals).  As I have written previously, Harris was a bundler for the O’Bama 2012 campaign as a district attorney in SF.  She reportedly bundled Mexican drug cartel money and funneled it into the campaign.  She was elected as the California Attorney General where she spent a single term before she replaced Barbara Boxer in the US Senate.  She was not an improvement over Boxer.  In her time as Attorney General, Harris was ready, willing, and able to use and abuse California state law to stomp on free speech rights, to go after firearms owners, to push the immigration / sanctuary city / illegal immigration effort, and to push the manmade global warming due to CO2 emissions fraud.  She does have a bit more history in office than O’Bama did before the democrats selected him as the face of their party.  Unfortunately, it is all bad, in some ways worse than O’Bama as it demonstrates she will use and abuse the law for the goals of her and her backers.  Like Elizabeth Warren and Geran Tarr from Anchorage, Harris is a truly dangerous woman who needs to be kept as far from the levers of power as humanly possible.


  1. Kenai. We are in the middle of our manual fight over salmon here in southcentral Alaska.  The tail that wags the Cook Inlet dog is the second run of sockeye (red) salmon into the Kenai River.  This is a commonly held resource subject to all the tragedy of the commons foolishness.  Throw into the mix regulatory capture of the resource by the 1,100 commercial fishing permit holders, and you set the stage for some real nastiness.  Along with the 1,100 commfish permits, there were 26,000 personal use (dipnet) users, under 1,000 subsistence users, and over 300,000 sport fish licenses sold in southcentral Alaska.  While commfish nominally targets second run reds, they fish most of the waters of the Inlet, scooping up a lot of other salmon (pink, chum, king and coho) traveling to other streams in Cook Inlet.  Over the years, this mixed-fish fishery has helped crash the return of king salmon into a lot of Cook Inlet streams.  At the February Board of Fish meeting, Bill Walker appointees let a commfish initiative that cut escapement targets of second run reds into the Kenai by 200,000 fish.  These are not a lot compared to overall returns.  Unfortunately they represent a reallocation of resource from dipnet, subsistence and sport fishermen into commercial nets.  Over the last few years, 200,000 red salmon is just under the entire dipnet catch for a season.  Fisheries managers have gotten quite good at eliminating the large pulses of fish into the river that allow dipnet, sport and subsistence fishermen to have a decent chance to catch their fish.  They do this by allowing the commercial nets to remain in the water outside their scheduled times via a series of emergency orders extending the commercial fishing times.  This year, they fished the commercial nets early and hard, to the point where it does not appear that there will be sufficient fish allowed to enter the river to even make the low escapement number.  This is a major screw up, perhaps one that will trigger organization and political participation by the other user groups.  There is no way that 1,100 people should be driving the Cook Inlet salmon bus.  But they are successful because they are politically organized and donate large sums of money to continue their regulatory capture routine on the resource.  This governor and his House majority have been very, very damaging to the sustainability of the resource and its allocation to all user groups.  It is long past time for a political remedy to this political problem.


  1. Sessions. There is a lot of head scratching over the fight that President Trump has picked with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  Ostensibly the irritation is over Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, the decision that led directly to former FBI Director James Comey’s manipulation of leaks aimed at getting an special prosecutor appointed.  It has been a long time since a president publicly went after a political appointee like this, perhaps never.  Something may be up, as Trump is superb at manipulating the media, which is now in full-throated support of a guy they have been savaging for over a year.  For his part Sessions has been superb in his assistance in preparing a list of judges for Trump to appoint to the federal bench.  He has been superb on immigration.  He even is pretty good on marijuana legalization, enforcing bad law in an effort to get congress to step up to the place and change the law to move responsibility for marijuana from the feds to the many states.  Sessions is smart enough to know the way to kill a bad law is to enforce it.  And the technique also has the added benefit of actually following the law.  Sessions only mistake has been issuing new guidance expanding civil forfeiture in drug related cases.  Sessions was always a fan of civil forfeiture and is expanding its.  Is he doing the same thing as he is doing with marijuana?  We will hope so.  Either way, it is time for congress to act on both subjects.


  1. Domination. I am thoroughly enjoying this administration.  The fun comes on several levels: the discomfiture of the media; the toothlessness of the democrats; and the aggressive pro-job, pro voter, and pro-American actions of his appointees.  Last week’s example came out of Energy Secretary Rick Perry who announced that the goal of the Trump administration on energy was to be dominant in the energy field.  This is a step above energy independence.  Dominance means that our energy policy is designed so that our allies will always have a constant flow of energy products from the US.  No longer will our energy policy be crafted by smoke, mirrors, pixie dust and unicorn flatulence aka renewable energy.  This means coal, oil and natural gas are in our future.  And if Perry does it right, so will small, modular nuclear reactors.  They are exploring gas to liquids (GTLs), which leads directly to coal to liquids (CTOs) via the Fischer Tropsch process, all important things to do in a time of a quiet sun.


  1. Cold. Jo Nova ran a piece last week that reprised a WUWT post from last December.  Bottom line is that nothing kills as many people as moderate.  Not extreme heat.  Not extreme cold.  Moderate cold is the real killer.  The piece has a bar graph of 13 nations that plot attributable fraction of deaths to temperatures.  In no nation reporting, no number of attributable deaths due to extreme heat, moderate heat, extreme cold rise to even 1% of the total.  Moderate cold on the other hand range from 2% in Brazil and Thailand all the way to nearly 10% in China.  The US number if 5%.  Worse yet, cold is more likely to kill you in Sidney than in Sweden.  Why?  Homes in Oz are not designed for cold weather.  Swedish homes are.  The piece ends up being a critique on the quality of homes built in Oz, noting that the higher quality homes in Sweden keep interior temperatures in the vicinity of 22 C while homes in Oz vary much more, especially when it gets cold, which it has in recent years.  The study of overall deaths took a look at 74 million deaths and concluded that cold kills 20 times more people worldwide than heat does.  Perhaps CO2 emissions are as good for humans as they are for plants.


  1. Humpbacks. I wrote a month of two ago about pods of killer whales (Orca) targeting halibut longliners (commercial halibut fishing boats), removing hooked halibut from the hooks as the line was winched to the surface in the Bering Sea.  The problem has gotten pretty serious in the Bering Sea to the point where commercial fishermen are now having to figure out how to deal with intelligent, federally protected mammals.  Looks like we have a similar problem in SE AK, where humpback whales are starting to target release of hatchery fish as part of their feeding strategy.  This has been going on since 2008 from time to time.  In recent years, the interception has gotten more systematic with a few individuals appearing to now include release of hatchery raised smolt as part of their feeding strategy.  When you have intelligent, federally protected species targeting your business, it is time to up your game a bit.

More later –

– AG

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