ANWR oil is for real

 (This appears in today’s American Thinker)

Now that Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is opening to development, you seeing reports of its limited potential.  The media is downplaying the significance of one of President Trump’s signature achievements.  They don’t know what they’re talking about.

When Alaska was granted statehood in 1959, it was given the right to select 103 million acres of the federal land in Alaska, 28% of the total.   Its first choice was ANWR, on the north slope of the Brooks Range.  This was based on the advice of George Gryc, who had studied the arctic slope for the U. S. Geologic Survey.   The details are in John Strohmeyer’s excellent “Extreme Conditions, Big Oil and the Transformation of Alaska.”

But ANWR was off limits.  The Department of Defense wanted it for radar stations to detect incoming Soviet aircraft.  It became part of the North American Air Defense Command, later known as NORAD.

So we had to settle for Prudhoe Bay, just to the west of ANWR.  It all worked our pretty well for Alaskans.  Our fourth Governor, Jay Hammond, managed to channel 25% of Prudhoe’s wealth into the Alaska Permanent Fund.  It’s now worth $66 billion, and this year will give $1600 dividends to every man, woman and child in the state.  It’s will also transfer $2.7 billion to the state government, which covers half the operating budget. 

How big would the Permanent Fund be if we were able to get ANWR instead of Prudhoe Bay?  We’re about to find out.  But this is still federal land, not state.  So the United States Treasury will be the principal  beneficiary  As an American I’m happy to see the money.  The poor people of Alaska will have to settle for their $66 billion dollar nest egg.


Fritz Pettyjohn got into Alaska politics in 1978, working for the reelection of Gov. Jay Hammond.  Throughout his 27 years in Alaska he was a Hammond man.




Trump wins with the votes of people who don’t like him.

This article appears in today’s American Thinker.


Three years ago President Trump was elected because he wasn’t Hillary Clinton.  But he won’t have her to kick around in 2020.  And none of the Democrats running are in Hillary’s league when it comes to turning off voters.  She’s in a league of her own.

Of the 54% of the public that disapproves of Trump, I’d wager that a third of them have some sort of stake in the stock market.  Of all Americans, 52% own stocks.

So say you’ve got 18% of voters who a) have a piece of the market and b) don’t like Trump.  Right now they’re telling pollsters they won’t vote for Trump.  Come election day, a lot of them will have a change of heart.  They won’t admit it to pollsters.  They might not admit it to their own family.  Trump is a very controversial man.  But in the privacy of the polling booth, they’ll ask themselves, “Do I really want to vote for the Democrat, and watch my investment tank?   Or should I vote for Trump, who will work every day to boost the market?”

It’s already common wisdom on the business networks, Fox and CNBC, that a Trump loss to someone like Warren or Sanders would sink the market.   And the longer the Democratic primary lasts, the more the economy-killing ideas of the candidates will be understood by investors.

Trump, in part, measures his success by the market.   He’s open about it.  He’s sending a message.  At a recent rally he told of seeing an old adversary in the White House, a successful businessman he knew well, and he knew this guy didn’t like him, at all.  The guy explained that he was there to help Trump get reelected.  “I’ve got no choice!”, he said.

The President loved telling that story.  Then he smiles at the cameras, and says with a smirk, “You may not like me, but you’ve got no choice!”

And, of course, he’s right.



Trump for Senate in Montana

Senator Jon Tester of Montana is up in 2024, and the Republicans in Montana don’t currently have a candidate who could beat him.  Matt Rosendale lost to him in 2018 only because Matt Rosendale was a spectacularly bad candidate.  And there’s no one on the horizon who is much better.  The talent pool in Montana is very weak.

The President’s son, Don Jr., would be a great candidate.  He’s been coming to Montana for years.  He’s well liked there.  He’s displayed good campaign skills, and would beat Tester easily.

He’d be a latecomer, and that would hurt.  But if he’s honest about his affection for Montana and its people, he could win them over.  He’d have to work his butt off, from one end of the state to another.  But he could beat Tester.  Any decent Republican candidate could beat Tester.

Would Don Trump enjoy the life of a U. S. Senator?  Why the hell not?  All you need to do is show up, and mouth off.  Sounds like fun to me.

The Sino-American Concord

[This appears in today’s American Thinker.]

During the course of his remaining 5 and a half years in office, President Trump will come to an understanding with China.  Trade will only be a part of it.  It will establish a concord, or state of agreement, between the two most powerful nations in the world.  It will result in a peaceful 21st century.

He’ll cut the part on trade some time between now and the election fifteen months from now.  He’ll time it so that he receives the maximum political benefit.  It will ignite the markets, and the economy will assure him of reelection.

The sticking point of any deal with China is enforcement.  They’re not good for their word.  So Trump has thus far insisted that terms of the deal must be written into Chinese law.  But President Xi has been unable to deliver.  His power is limited.

At some point, Trump will relent on enforcement, and the deal is cut.  After all the laws of a communist government aren’t worth the paper they’re written on anyway.  The only real enforcement of a trade deal with China is going to be American retaliation when the Chinese cheat.  Trump knows retaliation.

Also, any trade deal between the two most powerful economies in the world comes with an expiration date.  Regardless of its terms, it will only remain in effect as long as both countries remain satisfied with it.  So whatever concessions Trump must make to get a deal are only temporary in nature.

It’s the deal of the century.  And Donald John Trump was born to make it.


“The Old White Man’s Last Hurrah”

That was the title of a Feb. 29, 2016 article in Time magazine, an article promoted on the cover.  When I saw it I thought “Don’t you wish.”  Columnist Sally Kohn saw the old white guys at Trump rallies, and she figured this was their last, futile effort at saving themselves.  Whoops!

Here we are three and a half years later and us old white guys seem to be hanging in there.  Patriotic old white guys are pretty much in charge of our government, from Trump on down.  They are largely people Trump knows and trusts.

People like Ms Kohn don’t like me, or people who look like me.  She apparently has a lot of company.   Isn’t that racism??