The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Obama To Rename North America’s Highest Peak As Denali On Alaska Trip

@reuters

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Barack Obama on Monday will officially restore Denali as the name of North America’s tallest mountain, ending a 40-year battle over what to call the peak that has been known as Mount McKinley.

The symbolic gesture comes at the beginning of a three-day trip to Alaska where Obama hopes to build support for his efforts to address climate change during his remaining 16 months in office.

The peak was named Mount McKinley in 1896 after a gold prospector exploring the region heard that Ohioan William McKinley, a champion of the gold standard, had won the Republican nomination for president.

But Alaska natives had long before called the mountain Denali, meaning “the High One.” In 1975, the state of Alaska officially designated the mountain as Denali, and has since been pressing the federal government to do the same.

Alaskans had been blocked in Congress by Ohio politicians, who wanted to stick with McKinley as a lasting tribute to the 25th U.S. president, serving from 1897 until his assassination in 1901.

Under Obama’s action, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will use her legal authority to end the long debate and rename the mountain, which has an elevation of more than 20,000 feet (6,100 meters).

“This designation recognizes the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska natives,” the White House said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by Steve Quinn in Juneau, Alaska; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Photo: Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley. National Park Service/Lian Law via Flickr.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Leopard 2 tanks

This is the latest report in my months-long coverage of the war in Ukraine. For more reporting like this, and to read my screeds about the reprehensible Republican Party, please consider becoming a paid subscriber.

Keep reading...Show less
Youtube Screenshot

With Republicans once again setting the stage for gridlock in Congress over raising the U.S. Treasury's statutory debt limit, and using interviews to push disingenuous analogies comparing the federal government’s budgeting practices to that of an average American household. The real danger is that mainstream media could fall for this misleading comparison and pressure Democrats into enacting painful cuts to popular social programs, while also letting Republicans off the hook for their role in manufacturing this crisis in the first place.

These comparisons between federal and household budgets go back many years, and they ignore some glaring differences: Unlike a household or business, the U.S. government issues its own currency and can roll over its own debt. The political utility of this comparison, however, is that it has enabled conservatives to target social programs, while they avoid answering for their own role in running up the public debt through unfunded tax cuts under Republican administrations.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}