Opinion

If John Kelly didn’t exist, President Donald Trump would have to invent him, and he wouldn’t be able to.

The chief of staff had a rocky couple of weeks with the imbroglio over ousted White House staff secretary Rob Porter, but he is as close as it gets to an indispensable man in the Trump White House.

Here’s the question: should Alaskans who receive Medicaid be required to work or volunteer as a condition of their benefits?

I believe so, and two weeks ago I introduced SB 193 which would require Medicaid recipients to engage with their community through employment, volunteerism or subsistence activities.

I want to thank Rep. Dan Saddler for his loyalty and respect for our military veterans and service to his district and the Legislature.

As a legislator representing a district with more veterans than any other in Alaska, I take very seriously my responsibility to look out for veterans’ interests. My legislative career has focused strongly on supporting veterans and their families, and my proudest duty has been as chair of the Military and Veterans Affairs, and Joint Armed Services committees.

My son recently expressed excitement towards registering for next year’s freshman class at Eagle River High School, in particular because of all the interesting electives he anticipated.

As both a teacher at ERHS and a parent of a soon-to-be freshman, it was with a sad heart I had to temper his expectations in light of staffing cuts and course closings resulting from funding levels far outpaced by inflation.

If only Joe McCarthy had lived to see this moment, when it is suddenly in vogue to attribute large-scale events in American politics to the hand of Russia and to inveigh against domestic subversion.

Robert Mueller released an indictment of 13 Russians for crimes related to their social-media campaign to meddle in our internal affairs in the run-up to and aftermath of the 2016 election.

Mueller obviously isn’t a McCarthyite, and can’t be held responsible for the hysteria — and hopeful expectations of an impeachment-level event — that has built up around his work.

President Donald Trump has had impure thoughts about special counsel Robert Mueller.

That much, we know. The New York Times reported that Trump asked White House counsel Don McGahn to fire the special counsel. When McGahn resisted, Trump backed off and left Mueller in place.

Talking their clients out of bad ideas — especially impulsive clients likely to blunder into gross mistakes — is what lawyers are supposed to do.

In his opinion piece Feb. 3 in the Anchorage Daily News, House District 22 Rep. Jason Grenn calls for ending the annual “Pink-Slip Circus.”

Many agree with him that this is bad local political theater, and that indeed pink-slipping of teachers must end.

However, bills offered by Rep Grenn, and Kodiak Sen. Gary Stevens make the assumption that pink-slipping — a politically valuable annual hostage taking event — will end due to these early education funding bills.

Chuck Schumer started a government shutdown he couldn’t finish.

The New York Democrat, among the shrewdest operators in national politics, stumbled badly because he succumbed to the siren song of the anti-Trump resistance.

He believed that any charge could be made to stick to President Donald Trump, no matter how implausible, and chose the dictates of an inflamed Democratic base over common sense.

By now, almost everyone’s got a smart phone. Even in Alaska, iPhones and Androids have become an indispensable part of life, helping us communicate, navigate, plan schedules, count calories, play games, and more. There is almost no aspect of life that smartphones don’t make easier and better.

So, as part of my work to make state government work better for Alaskans, I came up with a simple idea that will let us leverage modern technology to better enjoy the traditional Alaskan pleasures of hunting, fishing and trapping: digital licenses.

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