The talk was well attended, and we had a great time meeting everyone. We shared our backgrounds, our blogs, the relationship between bloggers and the mainstream media, the important political issues of the day in Alaska and how the powerful internet community of Alaska blog readers is becoming a real force for change. We talked about the 2008 election, about Sarah Palin and Ted Stevens, about fish issues in Western Alaska, ethics complaints, and a certain…(cough cough) … legislator who outed a certain blogger using state time and resources. Let’s just say they weren’t impressed.
II. Speaking of slimeballs (as in Rep. Mike Doogan), here's Bill O'Reilly, telling more lies than usual in a description of Netroots Nation:
As Lisa Derrick observed Tuesday evening at firedoglake:
I was there and by my standards, I met a lot of moderates, and everyone seemed very fond of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the protection and advancement of civil liberties, and our wonderful country–its land and waters, its people and animals.
Maybe Bill counts vegans and those who shop organically as radical liberals, because there were some of those at Netroots, along with karaoke singers, poker players, clergy, small town mayors, law enforcement officials, farmers, stock brokers, lawyers, housewives and househusbands, married couples, living togethers, singles, DILFs and MILFs and sexy seniors, families, pet owners, union members, and the self-employed. It was a huge slice of America.
III. Late Monday in Nome, Alaska Report Editor Dennis Zaki questioned National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Director Jane Lubchenco on possible solutions to the ongoing devastation of Yukon River salmon stocks. Here's Dennis' short interview:
Lubchenco is in Fairbanks Wednesday, but will be in Anchorage Friday, and Progressive Alaska will be covering aspects of that important set of events through the rest of this week. As PA observed Tuesday, aspects of the new NOAA administrator's approach to some important, costly issues tied to implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens paradigm are beginning to appear troubling. How Dr. Lubchenco's earlier ties to the Pew Charitable Trust have been playing out has been bothering the Gloucester [Massachusetts] Times editors:
Perhaps it should be no surprise that the majority of new appointments to [regional fishery management] councils have ties to the Pew Environmental Group, a subdivision of the Pew Charitable Trust, with an endowment of more than $4 billion fueled in large part by the Sun Oil Company, or Sunoco. Lubchenco, after all, is a former Pew fellow, has been a beneficiary of Pew funding, and also sits on the board of the Environmental Defense Fund.
It should also be no surprise that those groups favor the overhaul of the fishing industry that Lubchenco has said is one of her top priorities — converting the nation's fishing industry from one in which the resource is held in common into one in which it is divided into "commodities" known as fishermen's catch shares.
As Alaskan progressives are aware, most of the money that has been generated in Alaska by the conversion of fishery resources from individuals to corporations has not been seen by Alaskans.
The relationship between Lubchenco and Pew's powerful alumni and allies, and how that might influence fishery policy changes bears watching.
And I was hoping that, by now, Lubchenco would be showing Americans and the world that science matters.
And more attention to detail.
image - by AKM of a Toobz poster at the Berkman Center