President Obama gave his State of the Union address last night, and the response from Alaska’s U.S. senators was swift and negative, particularly to Obama’s pledge to act without Congress where he can. Sen. Lisa Murkowski issued a video rebuttal:
“Going it alone is not a solution and it’s counterproductive in government. Consensus-building is hard, but 100 percent do-able.”
Sen. Mark Begich, the only Alaska Democrat in Congress, took swipes at the president, too. He says Obama should’ve focused on oil and gas development and he promises he won’t sit idle for what he calls an executive power grab from an Administration that doesn’t get Alaska’s core issues.
Two of the Republicans hoping to unseat Begich issued press releases trying to show Begich and the president are acting as one. Dan Sullivan’s statement a day ahead of the speech slammed what he calls the “failed Obama-Begich agenda.” Mead Treadwell’s press release blames Obama and Begich for being at the helm while output in the Alaska pipeline declines.
- French President François Hollande was at the White House trying broaden an international coalition to fight the Islamic State.
- Canadian regulators say the Tulsequah Chief Project, near Juneau, has agreed to reduce pollution leaking into a nearby river. But the mine won’t have to restart a shuttered water-treatment plant.
- On the sidewalks, at the stores, at the bars, people have been talking about a loud sound they heard around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Most have never heard anything like it before.
- A pilot program called Alaska Innovative Medicine in Anchorage is rounding out its first year trying to improve that journey for patients while also spending less on health care.