Author Archives: kwinker

The Boombah Haulage Company

The Boombah Haulage Company, president, CEO, and sole employee.

All those artisanal, hand-crafted heat candies created in the woods behind our house (the Boombah) have to travel to the wood shed somehow to realize their purpose. Yes, they’re pieces of dead trees, but they’ve been diced up into 16-inch lengths for a reason. I generally cut the trees as soon as possible after they die, so they are usually still green and the pieces of future firewood are heavy. So I stack them in the woods for a year or so to begin the drying process. Like a squirrel with little food caches scattered about, I can usually remember where the piles are. I haul them out on a network of foot trails one load at a time on my shoulders. It’s a great workout. I peck away at it when I feel like it.
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Double Dipping

This was our 20th year fishing for salmon in the Copper River. You’d think we’d be experts by now and get our limit every time. Ha! If you want to be sure to come home with fish, go to the store. This fishery is a uniquely Alaska experience, a personal-use fishery open only to state residents. You use big nets on long handles. It’s a longstanding traditional way to harvest salmon for the table, and the fish, the Copper River red salmon, is probably one of the best food fishes in the world. We enjoy them immensely. And, while it’s serious work, I still enjoy going to get them.
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Chainsawing Squirrels

“Chainsawing squirrels” is not a phrase you see every day, but bear with me. We’re just winding up an idyllic weekend at our Alaska summer vacation home. Actually, it’s our ordinary everyday home; it just felt like the kind of place you’d like to go on vacation because the weather was perfect and we decided to spend a good chunk of the weekend reading and relaxing. This meant putting in some serious deck time. Well, somebody had to do it. It was just that nice out—unusual for early August and a welcome break after several weeks of dedicated work.
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Republican Health Care Zombie Staggers On

Given that the BCRA is now dead, I’ve begun this new post. We are now in uncharted territory. No hearings have been held, there is no passable bill to even vote on, and Republican Senate leadership has a death grip on the wheel, eager to pass anything at all—and that anything has no glimmer of hope of improving health care for the country. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

25 July update from the Alaska Dispatch News. Motion to proceed passed 51-50. Pence had to make the tie-breaking vote, with Collins & Murkowski voting against it with all 48 Democrats. There is absolutely nothing on the table that isn’t detrimental to Alaskans, so good on Murkowski. The BCRA itself then died a swift death 43:57, with nine Republicans joining all Democrats in opposing it. Those nine, per Matt Fuller on Twitter (@MEPFuller), were: “Nine Republicans voting no at this point on BCRA: Collins, Cotton, Corker, Graham, Heller, Lee, Moran, Murkowski, and Paul.” The process going forward now is nothing less than a total mess, with no clear bill to vote on and no outcome on the table that doesn’t take away health care from many millions and cause dramatic insurance cost increases among large swaths of society.

Fivethirtyeight is carrying ongoing coverage. NY Times is also keeping up, of course.

Everyone should be calling their Senators, daily. The best path forward for, you know, actually improving health, is a bipartisan approach to fixing the ACA. From my prior most:

The way to move forward is simple and most agree on it: “Nearly everyone wants changes to the Obama law, while hardly anyone wants to see it abolished without a substitute in place.” Eleven governors (bipartisan) sent a letter to Congress to advocate for this approach.

Pick up the phone. I’m sure your Senators will enjoy hearing from you.

P.S. The disappointment of the day was probably John McCain. What an American. And what a way to go out not with a bang but with a whimper. His kowtowing to the party began probably in 2000, as I recall. But I have to say that coming back from life-threatening, publicly funded brain surgery to then vote for the BCRA to take such hope from tens of millions of fellow Americans is contemptibly low. That’s party before country stuff. I wish him a strong recovery (he’s served his country much more than most), but I wish we could turn the clock back to when he was clearly for all Americans.

26 July update. TPM provides a timeline for today.