Rep. Young and his show biz

This editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

Maybe we’re jaded. We’ve seen our Rep. Don Young in action so many times that when he plays Alaska’s homespun champion and a bully to boot, it just doesn’t “go viral” for us. It’s like Boston Red Sox fans used to say about Manny Ramirez — it’s just Manny being Manny.

Young’s set-to with Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley was more sizzle than substance. Young was rude. Brinkley was right to stand up to him. Brinkley’s own contemptuous reference to Young’s education was a cheap shot.

As for Young, railing at environmentalists has been a staple of his career. He clearly has fun doing it and just as clearly doesn’t care what critics think. And despite antics like the propeller-head beanie slap at Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the administration’s oil and gas policies, it’s a mistake to underestimate Young. He hasn’t stayed in office since the early ‘70s on dumb luck.

But here’s the thing. A verbal slap fight with an academic may satisfy some Alaskans but does nothing for Alaskans. Beanies and bullying won’t expand oil and gas exploration; beanies and bullying subvert Young’s arguments and harden opposition. At the least, they’re a waste of energy.

Besides, Young should realize that if Brinkley sold a few more books off his video clash with Young, then the historian had the last word.

Young will be Young but he’s old enough to know when to know better.


Thu, 01/19/2017 - 09:41

Letter: A pro-life presidency is something to be thankful for

​On Jan. 20, we will see the inauguration of a new president. From the pro-life perspective, this is something to be thankful for. That day represents the departure from the White House of one of the most pro-abortion presidents we have seen to date. His replacement is a man who has voiced support for a number of pro-life, pro-family initiatives that will protect the rights of the unborn and their mothers. Read more

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 09:22

My Turn: Alaska’s national parks need infrastructure support

In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial anniversary. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Denali National Park, one of the many crown jewels in Alaska’s collection of our national parks. These parks represent the very best and most treasured public lands in our country. As we hear about badly needed infrastructure improvements to our roads, bridges and utilities nationwide, it’s important to remember that our national parks are not immune to these challenges. Denali National Park alone faces an infrastructure repair backlog to roads and facilities of $53 million.

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Thu, 01/19/2017 - 09:22

My Turn: Reflecting on why I love Alaska

Gov. Bill Walker issued a proclamation designating 2017 as a “Year of History and Heritage” in recognition of Alaska’s sesquicentennial — the 150th year since Russia ceded its possessions and interests in Alaska to the United States. Gov. Walker’s proclamation encourages all Alaskans “to study, teach, reflect upon our past, and apply its lessons to a brighter, more inclusive future.”

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Thu, 01/19/2017 - 08:47

Outside Editorial: NATO and the EU: Mend them, don’t end them

The following editorial first appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

In lamenting President Barack Obama's foreign and military policies, Republicans have frequently offered a concise summary: "Our allies don't trust us, and our enemies don't fear us." They didn't imagine the day would come when the same might be said of a Republican president. But that's the prospect Donald Trump raises. Read more


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