Friday, February 17, 2006

International Games Archive

International Games Archive: "Sarajevo cancels hosting of 2009 Special Olympic Winter World Games
February 12, 2006
Special Olympics organizers in Bosnia and Herzegovina have announced that Sarajevo will not be hosting the 2009 Special Olympics Winter World Games.
Sarajevo was awarded the games in March of 2005, during the last Winter Games in Nagano.
The news was known by Special Olympics International in December, but not made public or published on their web site.
News sources in Idaho have announced that Boise, Idaho, at first interested in a run at the 2013 games, are now very interested in bidding for the 2013 games.
According to the Idaho Statesman local Idaho Special Olympics supporters Jim and Pirie Grossman were interested in proposing a 2013 World Games bid when they ran into Maria Shriver at a Christmas party in Sun Valley. Shriver broke the news that Bosnia and Herzegovina had recently dropped out as hosts, and suggested that Idaho look at the possibility of bidding for the 2009 games.
Special Olympics officials were in Boise in late January evaluating venues.
The Idaho Statesman has reported that there may be bids from Poland, Germany, and possibly, the Reno, Lake Tahoe region in Nevada, hosts of the 1989 games.
Bid proposals must be ready by March 3rd, and the new host is scheduled to be chosen by the end of May. "

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Idaho may be in the running to host the 2009 Special Olympics - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Local News - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho: "Idaho may be in the running to host the 2009 Special Olympics"

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Dry Creek Historical Society

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Dan Popkey - Property taxes squeezing middle class in Valley County

Dan Popkey - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Monday, July 18, 2005

Howard Dean gets Idaho's independent values - Dan Popkey

Dan Popkey - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Friday, July 08, 2005

Ignore rumors - Risch will run for governor - Dan Popkey

Dan Popkey - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Tell me something I didn't know...

Robert Scheer | US Is Its Own Worst Enemy in Iraq

Monday, May 16, 2005

Western Democrat: Blue Governors in Red States

Western Democrat: Blue Governors in Red States: "Blue Governors in Red States Governors
Following up on Emmett's earlier post about how popular the Western governors are (according to Survey USA), I'll point you to a comment by Andrew Simon that appeared on BlueOregon.
Andrew pointed out that every single Blue Governor in a Red State is more popular than every single Blue Governor in a Blue State. Shocking, eh?
Bush States - Democratic Governors with High Approval Ratings
3 Wyoming Dave Freudenthal D
6 West Virginia Joe Manchin D
8 Arizona Janet Napolitano D
10 Oklahoma Brad Henry D
11 Montana Brian Schweitzer D
12 Louisiana Kathleen Blanco D
13 Virginia Mark Warner D
16 Kansas Kathleen Sebelius D
20 New Mexico Bill Richardson D
22 North Carolina Michael Easley D
23 Tennessee Phil Bredesen D
25 Iowa Thomas Vilsack D
Kerry States - Democratic Governors with Low Approval Ratings
26 New Hampshire John Lynch D
29 Pennsylvania Edward Rendell D
34 New Jersey Richard Codey D
35 Wisconsin Jim Doyle D
37 Delaware Ruth Ann Minner D
39 Maine John Baldacci D
42 Illinois Rod Blagojevich D
44 Michigan Jennifer Granholm D
46 Oregon Ted Kulongoski D
47 Washington Christine Gregoire D
Ponder that for a minute and tell me what you think. Because it baffles me.
Could it be that Democrats who have to run in Bush-leaning states are more likely to run a moderate course, or have a cultural approach that makes sense to the broad swath of the population?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Editorials - The Idaho Statesman - There's no single solution for rural Idaho

Editorials - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

In Idaho, a man named Vasquez calls for reform

In Idaho, a man named Vasquez calls for reform

Western Democrat: More Utah convention stuff

Western Democrat: More Utah convention stuff

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Rural Idaho still lags behind cities

The Idaho Statesman: "

Monday, May 02, 2005

An ambitious energy-independence campaign would be boldness of a sort that George W. Bush usually loves

Friday, April 29, 2005

The Democrats’ Da Vinci Code - American Prospect

As the Democratic Party goes through its quadrennial self-flagellation process, the same tired old consultants and insiders are once again complaining that Democratic elected officials have no national agenda and no message.

Yet encrypted within the 2004 election map is a clear national economic platform to build a lasting majority. You don’t need Fibonacci’s sequence, a decoder ring, or 3-D glasses to see it. You just need to start asking the right questions.

Where, for instance, does a Democrat get off using a progressive message to become governor of Montana? How does an economic populist Democrat keep winning a congressional seat in what is arguably America’s most Republican district? Why do culturally conservative rural Wisconsin voters keep sending a Vietnam-era anti-war Democrat back to Congress? What does a self-described socialist do to win support from conservative working-class voters in northern New England?


Simpson, Otter to back tougher rules on bankruptcies

Headwaters: Idaho Falls Post Register: "BOISE -- Tougher rules for declaring bankruptcy and a permanent repeal of federal estate taxes will be backed by Idaho's two U.S. House members in key votes in Congress this week.
Idaho had the 10th-highest number of bankruptcy petitions per household last year, according to the nonpartisan American Bankruptcy Institute. In the last federal fiscal year, 9,790 cases of bankruptcy were filed by Idaho residents, according to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts. That's up more than 7 percent from the 9,051 bankruptcies filed in fiscal 2003."

Monday, April 25, 2005

It's a Horse Race...

Ridenbaugh Press on Idaho's 1st CD

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Salon on Schweitzer

"'You know who the most successful Democrats have been through history?' he asks. 'Democrats who've led with their hearts, not their heads. Harry Truman, he led with his heart. Jack Kennedy led with his heart. Bill Clinton, well, he led with his heart, but it dropped about 2 feet lower in his anatomy later on.

'We are the folks who represent the families. Talk like you care. Act like you care. When you're talking about issues that touch families, it's OK to make it look like you care. It's OK to have policies that demonstrate that you'll make their lives better -- and talk about it in a way that they understand. Too many Democrats -- the policy's just fine, but they can't talk about it in a way that anybody else understands.' When you're out visiting with folks in a way that touches their heart, you tell them, "We're going to find the money to do the right thing."

You need to have good solid policy -- that's important. But you've got to touch people. They've got to know you; they've got to know that you believe in what you're saying. And that's probably more important when people vote than your policies. Because how the hell are they going to raise their families, maybe work two jobs, go hunting on the weekend, bowl and drink beer with the boys on Tuesday night, and still have enough time to figure out who's telling the truth about the budget, about healthcare, about education?

They look up there and say, "That guy's a straight shooter. If I wasn't so busy bowling and working and fishing, and if I had time to spend on these issues, I bet I'd come to the same conclusions that that guy would. But it's a good thing that he's doing all that studying and stuff, because I'm busy fishing and bowling."

In my Senate campaign [Schweitzer ran unsuccessfully in 2000], I had a great campaign ad. I stood in front of one of my barns, and I said: "Montana is not New York City. We don't need a bunch of new gun laws. We need to enforce the ones we already have." And then we moved to a shot where I was with one of my sons and my daughter, and I was holding a .270, which is a fairly good-size rifle. As I'm talking, I lifted the bolt, shoved in a bullet, put the safety on and handed it to my son as my daughter watched, and he touched one off. And as I was doing that, I was saying, "In Montana, we understand that passing responsibility from one generation to another with gun safety is part of who we are."

So this time around, when we started shooting ads, they had some polling data, and they knew what pushed the buttons of the people in Montana. And I said, "No. This is the way this campaign is going to work: The more times that we run ads with me on a horse or carrying a gun -- it's better if I'm doing both -- the more likely it is that we'll call me a governor at the end of the day. Because what those ads said is, "I'm a real Montanan."

understand that the Democrats in the big cities, on the East and the West coasts, have a grave concern about gun control. Frankly, as it turns out, so do Republicans. [California Gov.] Schwarzenegger supports gun control, I think. [New York Gov.] Pataki certainly does, [former New York Mayor] Giuliani does, most of these East Coast Republicans do. So I can appreciate that they've got a problem in their inner cities. But that's not what we have out here in the flyover zone. We have guns because we like them. We have guns because in some ways it just kind of defines who we are. We like having guns around. It's not necessarily that you're out shooting -- it's knowing that you could if you wanted to.
When you crowd a bunch of people together, when you've got people living on top of each other, they're likely to have run-ins. So you need a whole bunch more laws. When you've got more cattle than people and you've got blue sky that goes on almost forever, people have got room to roam without bothering each other. Live and let live.

I think that guns are probably preeminent in a place like Montana. When it comes to religion, people respect your own opinion. If the question is, Is it important in the flyover areas, the Midwest and the West, to understand something about God, I think it is. I think people are likely to be more God-fearing. Are they in church on Sunday necessarily? No. They might be fishing. People have different ways of getting close to their maker. In Montana, lots of time that means getting out.

Hell, yes. When every mother and father knows that there will be support if they have a kid that deserves the opportunity to make it to the top ... Education is the equalizer. It doesn't matter if you were on third base or were in the dugout when the game started -- you have an opportunity to make it to home plate with education.

And healthcare. You know, in Montana, 20 percent of the people don't have health insurance. They're not indigent, living under bridges someplace or in a culvert with a sleeping bag. Maybe Mom and Dad both work. They say prayers with their kids when they tuck 'em into bed, and then they close the door and they walk down the hall, and they get on their knees and they pray one more time that nobody gets sick because they don't have health insurance. They just can't imagine having a sick child and not being in a position to be able to get the help that they need.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 The Long Emergency : Politics

Quite far out there in the quasi-science fact/fiction realm, but Kunstler always make interesting, thought provoking reading. His work on suburbia and how it came to be Home from Nowhere is spot on and helped shape the vision of Hidden Springs. Article

Monday, April 11, 2005

Lawmakers: Feds should pay more for untaxed land

Unless the federal government boosts local reimbursement for lost tax revenue on public lands, some western lawmakers want to give Uncle Sam's property to the affected counties.

"If the government can't be a good neighbor, it has no business being in the neighborhood," U.S. Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter, R-Idaho, said after introducing his bill this week to increase spending on the federal "Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes" program.

Under a 1976 law, cash payments are made by the U.S. Department of Interior to compensate local governments for tax-exempt federal land. The money, intended to offset losses to the private property tax base, is generally used by counties to pay for firefighting, law enforcement, schools and other services.

Western lawmakers have long chafed that rural communities with large tracts of federal land have not received the amount of money they're due under the law. During a news conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, a bipartisan group of western members of Congress claimed that during the past decade, rural communities have been shortchanged $1.1 billion.

Otter's legislation, co-sponsored by fellow Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson, would give counties parcels of federal land equal in value to the difference between the PILT payments appropriated by Congress and the full amount authorized by law. National parks, wilderness areas and federal wildlife refuges would be exempt from the conveyances.
Headwaters: Idaho Falls Post Register

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Tony Montana

HELENA, Mont.--Tribal flags billowed next to the Stars and Stripes, the smell of burning sweetgrass hung in the air, and the drumbeat from a half-dozen tom-toms was a tad insistent. Scores of Native American tribal members dressed in full war bonnets and chest-length braids intoned powwow tunes while modern-day cowboys and cowgirls, decked out in rented tuxedos and full-length gowns, bounced like pogo sticks in a traditional Native American victory dance. More

Friday, April 08, 2005

Idaho sees solid job growth

Economy - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho: "

Idaho job growth was sixth highest in the nation during the fourth quarter of 2004, according to the latest state profile compiled by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp."

Saturday, March 26, 2005 Democrat Brady to run for governor again Democrat Brady to run for governor again: "Democrat Brady to run for governor again
Ex-publisher says balance needed; he lost to Kempthorne in 2002"

Abortion consent bill to get vote

Courts struck down previous attempt at law

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Tamarack changes laid-back Donnelly

Local News - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho: New jobs, land boom change hamlet's look and lifestyle"

Dan Popkey - Ag tax break used by land speculators costs us all

Millionaires posing as farmers will keep their property-tax breaks for vacation lots unless the Idaho Senate cuts through the crap this week.

If lawmakers fail us, more $500,000 lots at places like Tamarack Resort in Valley County and Teton Springs in Teton County will be sold to speculators and well-heeled buyers cashing in on exemptions intended for farmers.

They will pay almost nothing — in many cases literally nothing because counties don't send tax bills for under $1 — because of our lawmakers being unable to clean up the mess they made of our tax law in 2002.

You will make up the difference. This year, $3.3 million will be paid by other taxpayers to recover revenue lost under the 2002 law, according to a State Tax Commission estimate.

Compounding this outrage is that it has twisted a tax policy crafted to protect working farmers and ranchers. What I call the Tamarack Tax Break has its origins in a 1980 law approved by a unanimous Legislature that created a property-tax exemption to "preserve land for agricultural use."

The 1980 Legislature said scarce land and encroaching development threatened the future of agriculture; the tax break was necessary to sustain a key segment of Idaho's economy.

The 2002 Legislature turned that law on its head. Instead of saving ag land, the Tamarack Tax Break stimulates subdivision of farmland for vacation homes and enables speculators to buy and hold tax-free lots

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Western Democrat: RE: Purple Mountain Strategy

Western Democrat: RE: Purple Mountain Strategy

It's Just a Little Smoke...

Ridenbaugh Press: "Preferential treatment

One might expect that a state legislature assigned to sift among all the interests of the state would weigh the interests of one against another, and that even a notably pro-business legislature, such as Idaho's, would weigh at least the various business interests against each other, rather than worry about single-dimensional fairness to just one.
But do it did, once again, in the case of House Bill 33, the latest in a series aimed at ensuring the right of farmers in the Rathdrum area to burn their grass seed, a component of developing that crop. This particular measure has to do with defining an 'economically viable alternative' to the burns that darken skies and clog lungs in the Panhandle.
You could feel the unease in the Senate when Senator Shawn Keough, a Sandpoint resident - an asthmatic - who lives straight in the path of the smoke, talked about the impact. This is smoke produced by someone else which comes not just to but through her home. She talked about having to decide whether this arrival of smoke meant she had to go to the hospital, and consider just what the health consequiences of this burn might be. She is, of course, far from alone, but making the matter personal, affecting someone all 33 of the other senators knew, made it the more powerful.
Strong as that argument was, it has not swayed a working majority of senators in the past. Put perhaps a bit more forsibly this time was the point that other businesses - tourism notably, but many others as well - are being harmed by the burns. Considering the impact of legislation beyond just one sector - the grass seed farmers - evidently was more than a majority of senators would absorb. In the end, the bill passed 19-15; it had previously passed the House. 03/16/05 08:37 "

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Editor's Cut

Editor's Cut

The Republican Dictionary, IV

Bush's PERSONAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS, n. Chinese Communist Party loans and more...

The Seattle Times: Local News: Leaks fuel concern about Spokane train depot

The Seattle Times: Local News: Leaks fuel concern about Spokane train depot

Friday, March 04, 2005

Tough Luck Dirk, Risch.

Scientist Named To Head The EPA (

Idaho Legislature - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Idaho Legislature - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho: "Economist says restoring fishing seasons for salmon would pay off
'The bottom line is fish are worth money,' he said"

Stennett faces long odds in governor's bid

: "Stennett faces long odds in governor's bid"

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

What's Wilderness Worth?

"As a Matter of Fact, Money Does Grow on Trees"

With an anti-environmental backlash inflicting one defeat after another on conservationists, a band of maverick economists is riding to the rescue with a startling revelation about the true value of our natural resources: Follow the money, and you end up in a very green place.

For more than a century, the people who run America's extractive industries—logging, mining, and fossil-fuel drilling—have offered one answer. Conservationists and the environmental movement have offered another. Developers have touted job creation and the connection between industrial exploitation and economic vitality. Environmentalists have grounded their appeals in ecological science and the value of wilderness to the human soul. Always at odds, locked in ideological opposition, the two sides, it seems, have long been speaking different languages.

Currently, with tens of millions of acres on the line and developers enjoying a stiff political tailwind blowing out of Washington, D.C., the mutual incomprehension has become nearly absolute. The environment reflects the red-state/blue-state divide and plays out in vitriolic debate.

Amid all the noise, both sides are failing to hear the whisper of a bold development that could break the deadlock and revolutionize sustainable environmental policy: the arrival of wilderness economics, a dollars-and-cents way to attach a fair and reliable estimate to the seemingly uncountable value of preserving wild spaces and pristine natural resources.

The lyrical phrases of John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and David Brower never came with dollar signs attached. They couldn't. In bill and coin, nobody in those days could say what wilderness was worth. Now we can. Studies of rivers and lakes reveal that healthy watersheds provide millions of dollars' worth of water filtration, just one of many such natural services critical for healthy communities. Researchers digging into the economy of the West are finding that forests often have a higher cash value standing than they have as cut timber. Small towns born as logging outposts now thrive as recreation gateways.

"Fifteen years ago we knew intuitively that cutting down these forests didn't make sense," says Bob Freimark, Pacific Northwest director of the Wilderness Society. "We couldn't point to any economic studies to back us up. But not anymore."

This new economic paradigm couldn't arrive at a more crucial time. The failure of environmentalists to sell their agenda to voters has run headlong into an administration that's put energy development at the top of its list and is making it easier than ever to siphon private resources from public land. While mainstream media have focused on hot spots like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Bush administration officials have quietly opened millions of acres of wilderness-quality land in the lower 48 to developers. Much of the 58.5 million acres of roadless national forest preserved by the Clinton administration will soon lose its protection. In Wyoming, ranchers who've wisely tended their land for generations are watching energy companies ruin their soil and water in a natural-gas free-for-all. In Utah and Colorado, nearly 150,000 acres of wildland—including previously protected sections of Desolation Canyon, as well as spectacular tracts of Sagebrush Pillows and the Dolores River Canyon—have been leased for drilling in the past 14 months. Tens of thousands more will likely follow.

President George W. Bush and his supporters defend these actions in the name of energy security and jobs. But set against the West's new economic reality—a long-term shift away from extractive industries and toward recreation, tourism, the service sector, and information technology—the aggressive drive to cut and drill without factoring in long-term effects on the value of public wildland isn't just environmentally unfriendly; it's economically unsound. Converting the natural wealth contained in the nation's pristine forests, deserts, canyons, and mesas into a one-time hit of corporate profit is a swindle of the first order, one that should outrage anyone, Republican or Democrat, who favors combining sound business practices with smart environmental stewardship.

Fortunately, the new way of thinking, if embraced by both sides, could lead to an era of compromise, in which decisions about extraction and preservation are based on assessments of long-term value, and of how that value might or might not be sacrificed for short-term gains.

If that happens, we'll owe thanks to people like John Loomis, 52, an economics professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and one of the pioneer thinkers in wilderness valuation. Loomis has written dozens of papers showing that mining, logging, drilling, and grazing are rarely the most economically beneficial uses of public land.

More What's Wilderness Worth?:

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

On their honor. LDS and Boys Scouts in Idaho

Ridenbaugh Press: "On their honor
On their honor

A few days ago, down below in this space, you may note this: "You get the sense that we're just on the verge of seeing a bunch of really ugly stories coming up on the subject of the Boy Scouts."

That was not really a guess, even though the point came from a look at organizational dynamics. A story from out of Idaho has been bewing for a while; today it surfaced, in the Idaho Falls Post Register, and it is explosive.

It evolved out of a shabby attempt at coverup - the disappearance of a whole civil suit court file, that action itself being the subject of some discussion of abuse of court process some weeks back. This might have been just an odd curiosity, but the few details which did surface - that it had to do with a child sex abuse case and that it related to the Boy Scouts - suggested that something much deeper and more damaging, something near the heart of the social, political and power structure of the area, was involved.

The bit of background to that conclusion is this: Nearly all Boy Scout activity in eastern Idaho (and a very large chunk in Idaho overall) is sponsored directly by the LDS Church, which is socially dominant in the region, and which has made scouting an official church activity since 1913. That means child abuse in the Boy Scouts in Eastern Idaho translates to child abuse under the umbrella of the LDS Church. Once journalists and others gained access to the court records, as they eventually did, the dots were almost sure to be connected.

And they have, in some alarming ways.

The Post-Register story (no direct link available) starts: "Paid professionals at the Grand Teton Council hired a child molester to work at Camp Little Lemhi even though they, the national Boy Scout office and troop sponsors in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were warned about Brad Stowell. Court records, which the Boy Scouts' lawyers fought to hide from public view, show the warnings might have been sufficient to disqualify Stowell from scouting six years before he was finally arrested."

Stowell was picked up for sex abuse (of a six-year-old) as a teenager, and his mother was well aware of it - she took him to rehabilitative treatment for months. But she also was long heavily involved in scouting, is in the regional council's Hall of Fame, and let her son take a job at a scout camp. Stowell's LDS bishop knew as well. But Stowell went on abusing. The story says he eventually confessed to molesting two dozen boys; ultimately, he was arrested after some of his victims complained directly - but that was after years of warnings to the adults yielded no results. This is a key point: None of those trustworthy and morally straight adults would act; it took the kids to do it.

The effort to bar Stowell from scouting activities apparently had been led before that by a Blackfoot man, Richard Scarborough, who pleaded with the national scout organization and his own church to keep Stowell away from the kids - to no avail. The response he got from the high offices of the LDS church raised a whole set of other questions, because officials there wrote back to note an investigation by the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare had determined no further action was needed.

The Post-Register noted, "It's unclear how church officials obtained the information because Idaho law prohibits Health and Welfare from releasing such details to private individuals or organizations, particularly in a case involving a juvenile."

As indicated, this case goes to the heart of the social-political-power structure in Idaho. (Should be noted that running the story at all constitutes an act of courage on the part of the Post Register.) On various levels, many people have been involved in what has happened, and only a few have been publicly named inthis first round. This story does not appear to be done.

Among the implications: Is it even conceivable that this is the only such case? Or that, with this one exposed, no one else (maybe in another state) will come forward to tell of another? Bear in mind what the Catholic Church has undergone in the last decade, and how all that started, and you can easily imagine - now - what may lie ahead. 02/28/05 11:42 [comment / reprint]

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Center for the Rocky Mountain West - Home - University of Montana

Center for the Rocky Mountain West - Home - University of Montana

.:: Government by the People -- ::.

.:: Government by the People -- ::.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Power shift Republicans are losing their grip on the West, by losing touch with its changing constituency.

Headwaters News: Perspective; Insight and Analysis for the Rocky Mountain West"

Western Democrat: What makes a Western Democrat

Western Democrat: What makes a Western Democrat

Economy - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Economy - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho: "Idaho's economy will generate about 14,700 new jobs in 2005, according to the annual Wells Fargo Economic Forecast.

But experts say most of those new jobs will be lower-paying service industry work.

Wells Fargo also forecasts that the residential housing boom, which fueled the state's economic recovery over the past two years, will dip slightly in 2005 as interest rates continue to climb.
Ultimately, however, Idaho's overall economic numbers for 2005 will mirror the previous year's, said Wells Fargo economist Kelly Matthews."

Monday, February 14, 2005

Inaugural ball shows support for area tribes -

Inaugural ball shows support for area tribes -

Friday, February 11, 2005

Schweitzer outgoing and hard-working -

Schweitzer outgoing and hard-working -

"Top Billings" How a Montana Democrat bagged the hunting and fishing vote, and won the governor's mansion. by David Sirota

"Top Billings" by David Sirota

Vasquez to run for 1st CD

A Canyon County commissioner adamantly opposed to unlawful immigration may run for Congress.

In December, U.S. Rep. Butch Otter, R-Idaho, filed the required papers to begin a campaign for governor. His expected vacancy has many politicians looking at the congressional job — including Republican Robert Vasquez, who has formed an exploratory committee to look into a bid for the 1st District seat.

Vasquez recently spearheaded the commission's request to ask Gov. Dirk Kempthorne to declare Canyon County a disaster area due to an anticipated "imminent invasion" of illegal immigrants.

Vasquez said a comic book-style guide allegedly providing safety advice for Mexican nationals planning to illegally enter the United States prompted such action.

In a resolution approved last month, the commissioners blamed undocumented residents for increasing crime, spreading infectious diseases and causing fatal car accidents. The commissioners asked the state for money to cover related costs.

Vasquez has taken similar unconventional measures before. Last year, he tried to bill the Mexican government $2 million for reimbursement of jail and medical treatment costs he claimed the county provided to Mexican citizens.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Natural Allies - Sierra Magazine - Sierra Club

"If only hunters, anglers, and environmentalists would stop taking potshots at each other, they'd be an invincible force for wildlands protection." Complete article. A good read.:

Sierra Club: The Planet

"Spurred by blatant congressional attacks on America's natural resources, environmentalists are setting aside past differences with hunters and anglers and working together to defend wild lands and habitat from timber and oil companies, mining conglomerates and irresponsible developers.

More than 100,000 Sierra Club members - better than one out of six - are active hunters and anglers dedicated to continuing the sporting tradition through public land conservation. Considering that more than 50 million Americans fish and 15 million hunt, such a coalition makes sense. Most recently, alliances such as Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, run by elk hunters, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, run by a former National Audubon Society lobbyist, have protected or restored 1.8 million acres north of Yellowstone National Park.

Trout Unlimited has been another powerful force in not only conserving public lands from the threats of grazing reform and irresponsible forestry practices, but preserving the Endangered Species and Clean Water acts. 'What has made Trout Unlimited so successful is that it is run by people who are not just sportsmen or environmentalists, but both, ' wrote Ted Williams in the September/October issue of Sierra magazine. Whenever sportsmen combine with environmentalists, you have 60 to 70 percent of the population, an absolutely irresistible coalition.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

TRCP -- Guaranteeing You a Place to Hunt and Fish

"There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country."
~ Theodore Roosevelt 8/6/1912

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is a coalition of leading conservation organizations and individual grassroots partners, working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing by conserving fish and wildlife and the habitats necessary to sustain them, increasing funding for conservation and management, and expanding access to places to hunt and fish.

"To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed."
-Theodore Roosevelt, 1907

TRCP -- Issues and Action

Monday, January 31, 2005

Senate vote stands between us and a nasty fight - Popkey

"Twelve senators can spare Idaho an ugly, demeaning, expensive fight over gay marriage that would have no practical effect except to divide us.

The Senate vote on a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage and civil unions of any kind is expected Wednesday. Twelve senators say they will oppose the measure, denying supporters the two-thirds majority necessary to put the amendment on the November 2006 ballot, as my colleague Wayne Hoffman reported Saturday.

I hope their courage lasts. They'll be under intense pressure before the vote, but we have better things to do in the next 21 months, including elect a governor and a member of Congress, and dealing with budget, education, transportation and economic development needs.
Without a Daring Dozen in the Senate, we're in for a bruising campaign. Out-of-state groups are already here. Amendment backers from Colorado and Arizona attended a press conference and Friday's hearing on Senate Joint Resolution 101." More

Thursday, January 20, 2005

"You know you're a true Idahoan when..."

• You don't see anything the least bit funny about the state's largest university playing the biggest football game in its history every other week.
• You've parked next to sagebrush that are taller than your car.

• You refer to any elevation that doesn't have a tree line and a snowcapped peak as a hill.
• Your town has more tackle shops, outfitters' offices and whitewater businesses than it does houses.
• You see a man in a pin-striped suit and cowboy boots and know immediately that he's a state legislator or congressman.
• People believe you when you say you're late arriving at your destination because you were held up by a band of sheep.
• When you ask people what ward they're in, they automatically know you're talking about a church instead of a hospital.
• You know people who have been in fistfights over the brand of pickup they drive.
• When entering a drinking establishment in North Idaho, you instinctively know better than to say you're from southern Idaho. If you inadvertently let it slip that you're from Boise, you duck and look for the nearest exit.
• The county where you live is bigger than some states. Cows outnumber people there, and the few people who do live there are proud of it.
• You're not surprised when, instead of asking where you're from, motel clerks greet you by saying, "Whatchahuntin'?" And it isn't even hunting season.
• You see a lonely looking woman having lunch by herself at the Statehouse snack bar and recognize her as the entire delegation of statewide officeholders who are Democrats.
• You see a mountainside riddled with caves and know not only that there are people living in them, but that they're paying rent.
• You know better than to pop into a popular restaurant because it's reservations-only and you won't be able to get past the Harleys parked on the front porch.
You know several people who have hit a deer more than once
• The closest thing you have to rival gangs in your neighborhood are skiers and snowboarders.
• You stop at a small-town restaurant where they don't have what you want and the waitress runs three blocks to get it for you.
• Your car breaks down on a state highway and the first person to come along picks you up, takes you home for dinner with the family and puts you up in the spare bedroom. This has actually happened to me.
That's one of the things people like best about Idaho. The natives are incredibly friendly.
Tim Woodward - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho:

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

MSNBC - Brand names split along red-blue lines

MSNBC - Brand names split along red-blue lines: "Red state residents were more likely to consider themselves religious, although the difference was not huge, especially among women. Red-state women were much more likely to be divorced than their blue-state counterparts. (The difference was less pronounced for men � possibly the result of red-blue intermarriage?)
The survey also offered a hint on why Democratic Sen. John Kerry lost the election: Red-state men appear to be more politically active and involved in their community.
Only 70 percent of men in blue states said they were registered to vote, compared with 80 percent in red states. And of those registered to vote, 18 percent of men in blue states said they did not vote in November, compared with only 12 percent in red states.
Nevertheless 48 percent of blue-state men considered themselves �well-informed� on international affairs, compared with only 38 percent of men in red states."

Pool for open congressional seat is growing - Popkey

Valley home sales set record

  • Boise had 4,131 residential sales last year, up from 3,487 in 2003. Home starts, however, fell to 624 from 836 the previous year, reflecting an increasing scarcity of available land for development."I don't see a letup in the housing numbers," said R. Gail Heist, principal with Professional Real Estate Services. "The builders I talk to are ramping up for a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in housing starts this year."Heist said the surging Idaho economy is bringing up to 20 new small businesses a month to the Treasure Valley, each representing five or six families.
  • "That has a large impact on demand for homes," he said.U.S. Bank western region economist John Mitchell said he expects the industry will continue to prosper because of an Idaho economy that is out-performing economies of neighboring states.
  • Mitchell said the state remains "on a tear," citing statistics indicating that Idaho is first in the region in population growth, at 2 percent a year. The state is second in the nation in job growth and fourth in housing appreciation, with an annual rate of 9.29 percent as of the third quarter of 2004, he said."It (Idaho) is one of the premier places in the region," he said.Mitchell added that the national economy will continue to grow in 2005, barring a dramatic drop in the dollar or a major oil shock resulting in a rapid jump in interest rates.
  • Jerry Van Engen, an industrial broker with Thornton Oliver Keller, said the local commercial real estate market began to turn around in the second half of 2004, with office vacancy rates falling from a high of 11.12 percent in the third quarter to 10.71 percent late in the year.The industrial vacancy rates climbed climbed slightly, to 8.68 percent. He predicted a turnaround for office construction projects this year, with the Eagle Road corridor becoming a "hotbed" of office activity.

Economy - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Albertsons could be first in line to benefit from governor's business tax breaks by Popkey

Those pluses ensure Idaho will continue to grow rapidly, with or without more tax breaks.

Reed, the Albertsons tax VP, made a case for stability in his Jan. 6 testimony. 'In many ways, Idaho is a model state for business, and that's why we continue to be headquartered here. The simplified and fair tax structure is a selling point, both for the business and for our customers and associates.'
Lawmakers should remember what drew HP here in the first place � quality of life, a capable work force and good schools. Lawmakers must take great care to ensure they don't harm businesses already providing good jobs or gut tax revenue necessary to support a healthy economy."


Saturday, January 15, 2005

Bringing home the bacon

Idaho’s Congressional Delegation makes sure we get our share of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill
The Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by Congress every year always includes the pork projects near and dear to all state’s representatives in Congress. Idaho is no different. Senator Larry Craig and Congressman Mike Simpson both serve on their respective house’s appropriations committees, so we should get a little more than most states, right?

Many taxpayers are uncomfortable or downright pissed when find out their taxes are paying for a weather museum in Punxsutawney, New York, or mariachi education programs in Las Vegas, Nevada. But when the money comes home, it means jobs. It means our congressmen and senators are working hard for us.
According to Citizens Against Government Waste (, Idaho ranked 14th this year in pork per capita at $57.05 per person. In 2003, our congressional representatives helped Idaho achieve a sixth place ranking.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Homegrown Show of Dissent from Moscow, Idaho

I Did Not Vote 4 Bush wristbands

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

NDOL: The Road Back by Al From and Bruce Reed

If Democrats want to be a majority party again, they need to win back the middle class. Article:

Reader's Opinion - The Idaho Statesman - Idaho Farm Bureau Federation Opposes Nez Perce Water Agreement

"After a strenuous review process, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation delegates voted on Dec. 2 to oppose the Nez Perce Water Agreement. After putting forth the effort to understand what this complex agreement does and doesn't do, we believe that although there are many positives, the compromise of private property rights outweighs the potential benefits.

The attorneys and others who negotiated the Mediator's Term Sheet did an adequate job in looking out for irrigation interests and finding creative ways to lessen endangered species concerns on certain species. However, the tradeoff comes in a compromise to private property rights that Farm Bureau members cannot support.

Not long after the agreement was released for public consumption, North Idaho landowners began raising serious concerns about private property rights � a fundamental Farm Bureau belief. Idaho Farm Bureau recognizes timber as an agricultural commodity and supports the Idaho Forest Practices Act. We oppose new regulations that go above and beyond IFPA. The Nez Perce agreement appears to supersede IFPA in that it reclassifies streams, extends buffer zones on either side of streams and restricts the amount of timber landowners can harvest on private land. The state has vigorously defended the current buffer zones, established by the IFPA as being sufficient to protect wildlife, soil, air and water.

In addition, the agreement requires these landowners to grant access to private land to state agencies for mapping and habitat monitoring activities. Further, the agreement calls into question how this land inside the buffer zones that is no longer available for timber harvest will be taxed. Will the landowner be expected to pay property taxes on land he can gain no income from?


Editorials - The Idaho Statesman - Economy should be a common agenda

"Idahoans see a lot of things differently than their lawmakers.

But Idahoans' vision on the economy is sharp. Legislators need to pay attention.

A new Boise State University statewide survey shows some clear and interesting disconnects between the people and their elected officials:
� Idahoans, a whopping 80 percent of them, want the state to help pay for local school buildings. Legislators have put state dollars into interest on school buildings but have refused to pay any principal on local schools. A lawsuit to settle who should pay for schools remains unresolved after 13 years.

� Idahoans want to be able to vote to raise their taxes for needs close to home: 55 percent agree with the idea, while 28 percent oppose it. Legislators have refused to budge on giving voters the right to make the choice on paying for needs such as public transportation. Lawmakers have refused to extend more taxing authority to local governments � which, according to the BSU survey, is the level of government Idahoans trust the most.
� Idahoans aren't too worked up over the sales tax: 63 percent of respondents said the current 6 percent sales tax is 'just about right.' Gov. Dirk Kempthorne got a round of applause from lawmakers Monday night when he restated his pledge to roll the sales tax back to 5 percent.

� Idahoans demand open government. Fifty-four percent of Idahoans oppose closed-door legislative meetings to conduct business, while only 28 percent support the idea. Several legislative committees held closed meetings in 2003 and 2004 to discuss issues such as water rights and tax bills.

So where can Idahoans and their elected officials bridge the gap? Here's one place.
Idahoans clearly are concerned about the economy.

Caldwell buys downtown 'hole in the ground'

Mayor focuses on revitalization during address

"CALDWELL - Mayor Garret Nancolas announced the purchase of a parcel key to Caldwell's downtown revitalization during his State of the City address Tuesday at O'Connor Field House.

'Is everybody familiar with the hole in the ground in downtown?' Nancolas said. 'We just bought it.' He said the city also has authorized offers to buy parcels that would help complete the Indian Creek uncovering project through the downtown.

'That deserves a big yabba dabba doo,' Nancolas said" More,:

Popkey - Kempthorne plan goes against conservative grain

"Kempthorne's highway plan demands a cultural transformation in the state with the second-lowest per capita debt in the nation.

Employing massive borrowing for the first time, Kempthorne wants to jerk Idaho into the 21st century � just as Gov. Bob Smylie hauled us into the 20th century with the sales tax and other reforms in the 1960s.
'It's time we stop talking and start building,' said Kempthorne, winning applause from moderate Republicans and Democrats, while conservatives sat slack-jawed at the $1.6 billion (in 2005 dollars, not including interest) price tag.

'It was definitely a legacy speech,' said Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes.

Kempthorne's call to bring Idaho to parity in the family of states comes with a twin: huge tax breaks for big businesses with new, high-paying jobs. Taken together, it's a breathtaking move to use government to aggressively stimulate growth.
That runs against the grain. Our conservatism is grounded in both stinginess and a pride in being what America was. Idahoans don't want to be like Californians or Oregonians. We're content with a place where four-line highways will never despoil happy hunting grounds, where labor unions remain emasculated, schools gang-free and coffee shops observe a population cap on customers with Ph.D.'s and studded tongues.

The prospect of competing with California and Oregon for elite jobs is unsettling to many. Conservatives did perk their ears when Kempthorne ticked off roads in their districts that would be part of his plan to do 30 years' work in 10. But after the speech, some were flat-out hostile.

'It was the taxpayers' worst nightmare,' said Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis. 'Other than that, it was OK. Wh" More,:

Twin Falls Irrigators want thousands of wells shut down

Call could force farms, industries to stop pumping

"Five Magic Valley canal companies and irrigation districts demanded Idaho officials to force thousands of farms, businesses and communities to stop pumping from wells and deliver the water they are due."More,:


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Can Environmentalists Hunt?

"North America's system of wildlife management, of which regulated hunting is an integral part, is a tremendous achievement. The value of wild elk and deer to hunters supports the protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat for an array and abundance of wildlife, including large predators and threatened and endangered species, and supports ecologically-based research and management. It's a sustainable system that gives many hunters a stake in wildlife, and fuels public understanding and concern for conservation. " More,:

"Why I Hunt"

In the fall, it's what I want to do. It would be unnatural and dishonest to sit on my hands; I'm a hunter, a predator (in the fall), with eyes in front of my head, like a bear's or a wolf's or even an owl's. Prey have their eyes on the sides of their heads, in order to see in all directions, in order to be ready to run. But predators--and that's us, or at least some of us--have our eyes before us, out in front, with which to focus, to a single point. More,

Monday, January 10, 2005

Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Slander in Idaho?

Dan Popkey - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho: "Whoever jobbed Chuck Winder in the 2003 Boise mayor's race with an Election Eve telephone attack ad is tenacious about keeping their identity secret.

Former Attorney General Dave Leroy told 4th District Judge Kathryn Sticklen last week that he would advise his unnamed client(s) to fire him if she orders him to reveal who they are.

Since March, Boise city officials have toiled to enforce Idaho's campaign disclosure laws, which require sponsors of campaign ads and persuasive telephone polls to identify themselves and who paid the bills.
If Leroy's Doe(s) prevail, they will establish a precedent for anonymous campaign shenanigans. Anybody with the means to get a good lawyer could repeat the scheme that smeared Winder: Hire out-of-state consultants and attack without fear of taking responsibility for the message.

Leroy, one of the ablest criminal lawyers around, is using every tool in the shed on behalf of whomever paid for recorded phone calls unfairly linking Winder to the Boise City Hall scandal. Winder fell 802 votes short of forcing a runoff with now-Mayor Dave Bieter in November 2003.
Leroy is raising constitutional issues springing from the Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination that have never been decided in Idaho."

Sunday, January 09, 2005

TIME - Arnold vs. the Gerrymanders

TIME - Mitch Frank - : Arnold vs. the Gerrymanders: "In California, like most states, there are few things more secure than an incumbent's Congressional seat. In the last election, only two of the state�s incumbents won with less than 60% of the vote; seven won more than 80%. The state balance of power remained the same: 33 Democrats and 20 Republicans once again make up California's Congressional delegation. None of this is surprising; California�s political boundaries, like most of the country�s congressional and state legislative district lines, were drawn to protect incumbents, putting a solid majority of party loyalists in each district. Nationwide, out of 435 seats up for election last fall, only about 30 were considered close races.
Now, Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to shake that up. He's not a big fan of the current districts, which have filled the state legislature with liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans who aren�t huge fans of Schwarzenegger�s moderate ideas. So the Gubernator plans to take a sledgehammer to the current system. In his state of the state address this week, he�ll propose taking control of redistricting away from the legislature and giving it to an appointed bipartisan panel of retired judges. The panel would immediately redraw districts for the 2006 election.
As with many of Schwarzenegger�s proposals, �Arniemandering� is causing a lot of political tongue-wagging. During his two years in office, the governor has scored some big accomplishments, passing a $15 billion bond measure to stave off bankruptcy while holding onto a 65% approval rating. But what�s more amazing � and troubling � is how he�s done it. Arnold has had little success working with the legislature, which is controlled by the Democrats and hopelessly gridlocked. So he�s accomplished thin"

Stallings to be new Idaho Dem Chair

Ridenbaugh Press: "The last time an Idaho political party selected a successful and statewide-known political figure as party chair, the event marked a renaissance.
That was in early 1991, a moment when the Idaho Republican Party was in a funk. The election of 1990 was the worst for that party in three decades, the climax of three elections that each marked general reversals for Republicans and especially conservatives. Dispirited, fractious, the Republicans turned to a figure respected by just about everybody: former Lieutenant Governor (and long-time state Senator) Phil Batt.
The contours of Idaho politics ever since have been shaped in significant part by what happened next. Batt used his stature to unite the party, and his political wits to pull together a unifying message and definition, and more - a sense of priorities, redefining the party in the minds of many people through a series of shrewd decisions about what to talk about, and what to leave on the back burner. Batt later became governor, a beneficiary of hisown party strategy, but his biggest impact on his state may have been his short but extremely influential tenure as party chair - possibly the most influential chair of a major Idaho political party ever.
This week comes news that Democratic Party Chair Carolyn Boyce plans to step down when the party's executive committee meets. And word that the top interested candidate to replace her may be Richard Stallings. And that raises some thoughts.
Like Batt, Stallings is a politician with a long track record.
He goes back to the mid-70s working on Democratic campaigns, ran twice for the legislature (losing in a Rexburg-based district, no disgrace for a Democrat), running for Congress in 1982 and losing - then, in 1984, knocking off veteran Republican George Hansen and winning by growing landslides in his next three re-election contests. Lost two race aft"

TIME Magazine -- The New Science of Happiness Print Page: TIME Magazine -- The New Science of Happiness: "The New Science of Happiness
What makes the human heart sing? Researchers are taking a close look. What they've found may surprise you"

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Ridenbaugh Press

Ridenbaugh Press: "Headline on a press release today from Idaho's representatives Mike Simpson and C.L. 'Butch' Otter:
'Simpson and Otter Back New Effort to Permanently Repeal Death Tax.'
That may be difficult: There is no such thing as a 'death tax.' There is - was - an 'inheritance tax,' which taxes large sums (we're taking about millions of dollars) passing from one person to another, paid by the recipient. It affects a tiny slive of the population, just a few of the wealthiest. But death is not taxed, and there is no tax on the books called the 'death tax.'
Could it be they mean the 'inheritance' or the 'estate' tax? If so, why would they use incorrect terminology? Unless there's some political reason, of course ... "

Monday, January 03, 2005

MSNBC - Page 4: 'The Audacity of Hope'

MSNBC - Page 4: 'The Audacity of Hope'

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Political Victory: From Here to Maternity (

Political Victory: From Here to Maternity ( "Conservative, religiously minded Americans are putting far more of their genes into the future than their liberal, secular counterparts. "

Saturday, January 01, 2005

The New York Times - Reserved: A $250,000 Parking Spot in Sun Valley

The New York Times > Fashion & Style > Reserved: A $250,000 Parking Spot: "THE daily race to be first down the powdery slopes at Sun Valley is as much about clout as it is about speed, and with this in mind, an increasing number of wealthy celebrities and business titans are scrambling to buy themselves a pricey head start.
The object of their desire is an aging Bavarian-style apartment building with motel-issue sliding glass doors and an interior that still bears the marks of its 1970's birth: not the normal taste among the super-rich here. It's called the Edelweiss, and what redeems it in the eyes of well-known moguls and actors is its location, directly across the street from the best ski lift around, the No. 10, a high-speed quadruple chair that goes directly to the top of Bald Mountain.
In Ketchum buying a condo at the Edelweiss has become known as purchasing a 'ski locker.' Such 'lockers' sell for $250,000 and up, and are not for sleeping in. They are for parking in front of and then walking away from, toward the powder."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Local News - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Local News - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

State rules candidate broke law

Marge Chadderdon's effort to correct problem in finance report means she won't be charged
Taryn Brodwater
Idaho Spokesman Review Staff writer
December 3, 2004

Marge Chadderdon violated state campaign disclosure laws when she failed to report more than $2,000 she spent for ads in the Coeur d'Alene Press, according to the Secretary of State's office.

Chadderdon isn't facing charges because the state's investigation found that the newly elected state representative didn't "willfully" violate the law and had immediately responded by filing an amended report.

The Idaho Democratic Party had filed a complaint against the Republican just days before the Nov. 2 election. Democrat Mike Gridley had raised questions about his opponent's sunshine report after he saw several ads in the newspaper that weren't disclosed.

At the time, Chadderdon told The Spokesman-Review that she didn't receive a bill for the ads until after the deadline for the pre-general election report.

Chadderdon couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.

"I have no reason to believe Marge intentionally or willfully tried to do anything wrong," Gridley said Thursday. "I was looking at it because it didn't make sense."

Thursday was the deadline for candidates to file their 30-day post-general campaign finance reports, disclosing contribution and expenditures through Nov. 12.

The reports showed Gridley raised $45,538 and spent most of that in his bid for the District 4 seat. Chadderdon raised significantly less, just more than $25,000.

She spent $30,000 on her campaign.

The biggest spender in North Idaho was Democrat Steve Elgar. He raised and spent nearly $69,000 during his unsuccessful bid to represent District 1.

Republican Eric Anderson received 50.2 percent of the vote to Elgar's 45 percent. Anderson raised almost $39,000 and spent $33,000.

In each of North Idaho's legislative districts, candidates raised significantly more than their predecessors in the 2002 election.

In Districts 1 and 3, candidates this fall had nearly twice as many contributions as 2002's hopefuls.

For complete campaign finance reports, visit the Secretary of State's Web site at

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Who Is John Stott?

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Who Is John Stott?

Monday, November 29, 2004

Was Nov. 2 Realignment -- Or a Tilt? (

Was Nov. 2 Realignment -- Or a Tilt? (

"The Great Black Hope" by Benjamin Wallace-Wells

"The Great Black Hope" by Benjamin Wallace-Wells

Sunday, November 28, 2004

"Top Billings" by David Sirota

"Top Billings" by David Sirota

Saturday, November 27, 2004

No Small Potatoes

No Small Potatoes

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

High Country News -- April 12, 2004: The One-Party West

High Country News -- April 12, 2004: The One-Party West

Monday, November 22, 2004 - It's the Internet, stupid - It's the Internet, stupid

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Local News - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Local News - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Local News - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Local News - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Statesman Endorses Kerry

Editorials - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho

Way to Go Idaho!!! Green is the way from Red to Blue!

Kerry has raised almost as much as Bush in Idaho

Democrat tallies 815% more than Gore got in 2000

The Idaho Statesman Edition Date: 10-24-2004
In the month leading up to the election, Democrat John Kerry is doing the impossible.

He has raised, dollar for dollar, almost as much money from Idaho donors as Republican President George W. Bush.

The latest Federal Election Commission statistics show that Kerry has raised $356,261 to Bush's $362,310 from Idaho people, PACs or companies giving $200 or more.

And Kerry's money has come from about 25 percent more individual donors.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The New York Times: Feeling the Draft

How else can you implement the "Bush Doctrine?" The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Feeling the Draft

Monday, October 18, 2004

NYTimes Endorsement of Kerry

The New York Times > Opinion > John Kerry for President

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The New York Times > Magazine > Without a Doubt

''Just in the past few months,'' Bartlett said, ''I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.'' Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: ''This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . .

''This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts,'' Bartlett went on to say. ''He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.'' Bartlett paused, then said, ''But you can't run the world on faith.''

This is one key feature of the faith-based presidency: open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith. It could result in a loss of confidence in the decision-maker and, just as important, by the decision-maker. Nothing could be more vital, whether staying on message with the voters or the terrorists or a California congressman in a meeting about one of the world's most nagging problems. As Bush himself has said any number of times on the campaign trail, ''By remaining resolute and firm and strong, this world will be peaceful.''

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

George W. Bush, clearly, is one of history's great confidence men. That is not meant in the huckster's sense, though many critics claim that on the war in Iraq, the economy and a few other matters he has engaged in some manner of bait-and-switch. No, I mean it in the sense that he's a believer in the power of confidence. At a time when constituents are uneasy and enemies are probing for weaknesses, he clearly feels that unflinching confidence has an almost mystical power. It can all but create reality.

Whether you can run the world on faith, it's clear you can run one hell of a campaign on it.

George W. Bush and his team have constructed a high-performance electoral engine. The soul of this new machine is the support of millions of likely voters, who judge his worth based on intangibles -- character, certainty, fortitude and godliness -- rather than on what he says or does. The deeper the darkness, the brighter this filament of faith glows, a faith in the president and the just God who affirms him.

And for those who don't get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush, who now runs his own consulting firm and helps the president. He started by challenging me. ''You think he's an idiot, don't you?'' I said, no, I didn't. ''No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it's good for us. Because you know what those folks don't like? They don't like you!'' In this instance, the final ''you,'' of course, meant the entire reality-based community.

A regent I spoke to later and who asked not to be identified told me: ''I'm happy he's certain of victory and that he's ready to burst forth into his second term, but it all makes me a little nervous. There are a lot of big things that he's planning to do domestically, and who knows what countries we might invade or what might happen in Iraq. But when it gets complex, he seems to turn to prayer or God rather than digging in and thinking things through. What's that line? -- the devil's in the details. If you don't go after that devil, he'll come after you.''

The New York Times > Magazine > Without a Doubt

Saturday, October 16, 2004

OREGONIAN Endorses JK - What a Difference 4 Years Makes

Kerry for president
The Democrat could help rebuild the United States' standing in the world while restoring balance at home

When George W. Bush entered the White House in 2001, he and his team moved quickly to push government hard to the right.

This effort came even though Bush campaigned as a moderate and his narrow, contested election was anything but a mandate for sweeping change.

But if Bush partisans could turn aside disagreement with a brusque "elections have consequences" in 2001, it turns out today that governing has consequences, too.

One of them should be that Americans elect John Kerry president in November.

Bush's term in office has been marked by two major failures. One is his conduct of the war in Iraq. The other is his stewardship of the nation's fiscal health. Bush ran for president as a "compassionate conservative." But true conservatives don't choose to go to war without proper planning or pursue fiscal policies leading to the deepest federal deficits in our nation's history.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Presidential Footwear

Casual footwear

If John Kerry is being likened to a pair of 'flip-flops,' it makes sense that President Bush could be likened to 'sneakers.'

Rob Branch, Boise
Letter to the Editor, Idaho Statesman 10/14/04

Bush was WRONG to Invade Iraq accuses 26 Year Nebraska GOP chair of House Intel Committee

With friends like these....

Doesn't Bush have enough enemies already?

Retiring GOP congressman breaks ranks on Iraq
Nebraska's Bereuter calls war 'a mistake'

From Ted BarrettCNN Washington Bureau

Rep. Doug Bereuter, R-Nebraska, sent a letter to constituents criticizing the war in Iraq.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Breaking ranks with his party and reversing his earlier stance, a senior Republican lawmaker who is retiring said Wednesday the military strike against Iraq was "a mistake," and he blasted a "massive failure" of intelligence before the war.

"I've reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action, especially without a broad and engaged international coalition," Bereuter wrote in a four-page letter to his constituents.

"The cost in casualties is already large and growing, and the immediate and long-term financial costs are incredible."

Bereuter was particularly critical of the prewar intelligence, which described an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But no such weapons have been found since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Bereuter voted in support of an October 2002 resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq, but he said that vote was based on what he had been told about the weapons threat from Iraq.

"Left unresolved for now is whether intelligence was intentionally misconstrued to justify military action," Bereuter said.

He also said the administration was wrong to ignore military leaders who warned many more troops would be needed in Iraq to maintain the postwar peace.

"Now we are immersed in a dangerous, costly mess and there is no easy and quick way to end our responsibilities in Iraq without creating bigger future problems in the region and, in general, in the Muslim world," Bereuter said.

Bereuter said it was important for the executive and legislative branches of government to learn from the "errors and failures" relating to the war in Iraq and its aftermath.

More of the CNN Story

Full Letter to Editor that he wrote.

Addicted to 9/11

Great editorial (as always) by Thomas Friedman. This guy forces you to think.

If only more Americans exercised that most unique, but seemingly atrophied muscle in our body.

Imagine a stronger America, not just phsyically and militarily, but... intellectually. Imagine our future with John Kerry as President. Now get to work and read this.

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Addicted to 9/11
I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I hear the president and vice president slamming John Kerry for saying that he hopes America can eventually get back to a place where "terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance." The idea that President Bush and Mr. Cheney would declare such a statement to be proof that Mr. Kerry is unfit to lead actually says more about them than Mr. Kerry. Excuse me, I don't know about you, but I dream of going back to the days when terrorism was just a nuisance in our lives.

If I have a choice, I prefer not to live the rest of my life with the difference between a good day and bad day being whether Homeland Security tells me it is "code red" or "code orange" outside. Somewhere along the way we've gone over the top and lost our balance.

That's why Mr. Kerry was actually touching something many Americans are worried about - that this war on terrorism is transforming us and our society, when it was supposed to be about uprooting the terrorists and transforming their societies.

The Bush team's responses to Mr. Kerry's musings are revealing because they go to the very heart of how much this administration has become addicted to 9/11. The president has exploited the terrorism issue for political ends - trying to make it into another wedge issue like abortion, guns or gay rights - to rally the Republican base and push his own political agenda. But it is precisely this exploitation of 9/11 that has gotten him and the country off-track, because it has not only created a wedge between Republicans and Democrats, it's also created a wedge between America and the rest of the world, between America and its own historical identity, and between the president and common sense.

By exploiting the emotions around 9/11, Mr. Bush took a far-right agenda on taxes, the environment and social issues - for which he had no electoral mandate - and drove it into a 9/12 world. In doing so, Mr. Bush made himself the most divisive and polarizing president in modern history.

Lastly, politicizing 9/11 put a wedge between us and our history. The Bush team has turned this country into "The United States of Fighting Terrorism." "Bush only seems able to express our anger, not our hopes," said the Mideast expert Stephen P. Cohen. "His whole focus is on an America whose role in the world is to negate the negation of the terrorists. But America has always been about the affirmation of something positive. That is missing today. Beyond Afghanistan, they've been much better at destruction than construction."

I wish Mr. Kerry were better able to articulate how America is going to get its groove back. But the point he was raising about wanting to put terrorism back into perspective is correct. I want a president who can one day restore Sept. 11th to its rightful place on the calendar: as the day after Sept. 10th and before Sept. 12th. I do not want it to become a day that defines us. Because ultimately Sept. 11th is about them - the bad guys - not about us. We're about the Fourth of July. More.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Sounds like Tony Soprano to me...

Bush Reveals Secret Debate Strategy To: "Keep My Foot On John Kerry's Throat"
WASHINGTON, DC – In a forthcoming New York Times Magazine article President George W. Bush reveals his secret debate strategy: "I'm going to be real positive, while I keep my foot on John Kerry's throat." [Air America 10/13/04]

"George Bush's secret debate strategy reveals the hypocrisy at the heart of this entire administration," said Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Terry McAuliffe. "Every American watching tonight should keep the President's secret strategy in mind as they judge him and his promises."

Democrats raise more than GOP in key races

Battlegrounds include districts in Boise, S. Idaho

Idaho Democrats lead in fund-raising in several crucial legislative contests throughout Idaho. Campaign finance statements filed with the secretary of state's office Tuesday show more than $745,000 had been raised through Sept. 30 in the Boise metro area.

The reports also show Democrats with the financial edge in at least half a dozen contests where Republicans hold or have held a seat. The battleground districts are in Boise, Pocatello, Lewiston and south-central Idaho. More

Voter fraud isn't just for Florida anymore, Dem registrations trashed in NV & OR

In Nevada, employees of a GOP-funded voter registration company say they watched their supervisors rip up Democrats' registration forms -- and that hundreds and maybe thousands of Democrats' forms have been trashed.

"Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats." More.

The Race to control the Senate

Interesting analysis of US Senate Races across the nation

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

FEC Comish Reaction to Sinclair Misuse of Public Airwaves

Commissioner Michael J. Copps reacted to reports that Sinclair Broadcast Group will preempt more than 60 local stations across the country to air an overtly political program in the days prior to the Presidential election.

Copps stated: "This is an abuse of the public trust. And it is proof positive of media consolidation run amok when one owner can use the public airwaves to blanket the country with its political ideology -- whether liberal or conservative. Some will undoubtedly question if this is appropriate stewardship of the public airwaves. This is the same corporation that refused to air Nightline's reading of our war dead in Iraq. It is the same corporation that short-shrifts local communities and local jobs by distance-casting news and weather from hundreds of miles away. It is a sad fact that the explicit public interest protections we once had to ensure balance continue to be weakened by the Federal Communications Commission while it allows media conglomerates to get even bigger. Sinclair, and the FCC, are taking us down a dangerous road. "

Monday, October 11, 2004

Mike Simpson would rather be governor, but he'll settle for Congress

Otter, Risch and now Simpson. This could be interesting...

But if Kerry wins, were does that leave poor ol' Dirk?

Could he get Craig to start singing the NRA Anthem?


Bullies at the Voting Booth

In some states, Republicans are threatening to conduct widespread vote challenges in heavily minority areas. In others, recent events suggest that poll workers may wrongly turn away voters. In still others, new laws passed or enforced by Republicans have erected hurdles to trip up the minority vote. And on Election Day itself, say advocates, Republicans may direct numerous tricks at Democratic districts in an effort to confuse or frighten voters.

Here's a rundown of what's happening in several swing states.

An "FUGW" Sign Can Get You Arrested

McCarthyism Watch

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Bush's Scorched-Earth Strategy

After a terrible week for his campaign, Bush has one agenda between now and Election Day: attack Kerry

The rationale for war in Iraq has collapsed, so President George W. Bush has declared another war, this one on John Kerry. Bush's blistering attack on Kerry as weak and wavering on war and the worst kind of tax-and-spend liberal foreshadows the next four weeks. Get ready for a scorched-earth campaign from the Bushies... The dirty little secret is that Bush, if elected, is more likely to pull out of Iraq once elections are held in January.

Senior Republicans on Capitol Hill know that Iraq is a mess. A few brave senators like John McCain, Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar have spoken out, but most are staying silent in solidarity with their party. They’ll tell the truth after the election. The incompetence, hubris and arrogance of this administration has cost American lives and treasure, and left whoever is president over the next four years a situation that will be almost impossible to correct. "If we could hear the inner deliberations of this administration, it would scare us," says a former Republican operative, who knows how the Bushies play the game. "They know they've been caught. Their strategy is to throw up enough monkey dust to get through the next four weeks."

This is the moment of truth for American foreign policy. Will Bush's bald-faced lies carry the day? Can Cheney con the American public into four more years? The Duelfer report this week "shows Bush jumped the gun," says Allen Holmes, a policy analyst who served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bush I in the State Department, and under President Bill Clinton in the Defense Department. "A lot of people told [Bush] we didn't need to go to war. He wasn't listening. He created a battlefield in Iraq. The jihadists love it, particularly when innocent women and children are killed. It's a recruiting tool." Holmes never found the case for going to war in Iraq a compelling one. He thinks Bush wanted to finish the job his father started, which he finds ironic because "in dad's book, he says the reason he didn't go to Baghdad is he didn't want to own the chaos we're involved in today."

Friday, October 08, 2004

Spin Around - Will Media Declare A Bush Victory In Next Debate For Balance?

This time four years ago, relentless media focus on Al Gore’s sighs had managed to convince the voting public that the vice president had actually lost a debate that the majority of viewers believed he had won. So, it shows just how soundly John Kerry beat George W. Bush last Thursday that instead of spending the last week declaring victory, the Republican spin machine spent its TV time claiming that defeat didn’t mater.

And to add insult to injury, Bush’s spinners have been forced to defend the president’s sighs and mannerisms -- things they were all too happy to blast Gore for in 2000.

By Monday, as the media’s attention was shifting from the post-presidential debate analysis to previews of Tuesday’s vice-presidential debate, it was clear not only that Bush had lost to Kerry but that his talk-show surrogates -- who had done little except play defense for three days -- had lost the battle to spin public reaction in their man’s favor.

Of course, it took a media cycle or two for the Bush campaign to get past the initial denial phase and recognize that there was no spinning the president’s stumbling performance into a perceived victory. In the immediate aftermath of the debate, the efforts to cast Bush’s performance as something better than it was ranged from the desperate:

Bush Court: Be Afraid, Very Afraid

Democrats haven't made much of what would happen to the courts should Bush win a second term. This is curious, because you'll remember that the Gore campaign was virtually tattooed with the slogan "Two words: Supreme Court." Maybe the undecideds of Ohio don't know the President nominates judges, and nobody wants to tell them. After all, when you have a system in which the voters who matter most are the ones who know the least, care the least and pay the least attention, you're taking a risk if you give them too much information at once. They might explode! The conventional wisdom is that only college-educated liberals care about the courts, and they're already on board, but I wonder how true that is. What about those soccer moms, torn between tax cuts and abortion rights, or Arizona's Republican women, who are beginning to revolt against their party's hard-right turn, as Salon's Sidney Blumenthal recently reported? And is it wise to assume that everyone who cares already knows? A friend of mine recently met a Yale senior who supported Kerry, but not enough to register to vote; when she pointed out that Bush would have four years to pack the courts, the young genius acknowledged that this thought had never occurred to him.

The truth is, there is hardly an area of life that will not be affected by the judicial appointments made in the coming years. Will the courts continue to dismantle your right to sue state governments in federal courts? By 5 to 4, the Supreme Court decided that federal protections against age discrimination don't apply to state workers. (More recently it upheld the Americans with Disabilities Act – insofar as it applied to the right of citizens not to have to crawl up the courthouse steps.) On the same states' rights theory, by 5 to 4 it threw out parts of the Violence Against Women Act. The Patriot Act? Immigrants' rights? The environment? Ballot issues, à la Florida? Whom do you want in charge of choosing the men and women who will decide the big questions sure to arise?
Right-wing legal activist Clint Bolick has said, "This election could be a twofer – we win the White House and the Supreme Court." Let's make it a twofer for civil liberties, civil rights – and counting every vote.

Political shenanigans threaten minority votes - BSU Arbiter Online

A Republican state representative from Troy, Mich.,said, “If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we’re going to have a tough time in this election cycle.” Detroit is 83 percent black. More.

AtomFilms: Mock The Vote

Great funny streamable political shorts, including "This Land" and "Good to be in DC" by JibJabAtomFilms: Mock The Vote


Fri Oct 08 2004 09:46:43 ET

In a LA TIMES column, Jonathan Chait blasts: 'To say that I consider Bush a 'bad' president would be a severe understatement. I think he's bad in a way that redefines my understanding of the word 'bad.'

'I used to think U.S. history had many bad presidents. Now, my 'bad' category consists entirely of George W. Bush, with every previous president redefined as 'good.'

'There's also the fact that, on a personal level, I despise him with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. What I'm saying is, advocating Bush is kind of tricky.' But 'what I'll argue instead is that his very awfulness is the reason he deserves reelection. Begin with the premise that a second-term Bush administration is unlikely to make things a whole lot worse.' Bush's presidency 'is a great mass of contradictions. There's an enormous gap between his purported values - fiscal discipline, toughness against terrorists, a commitment to social conservatism - and his true record.

'Sure, it would be emotionally satisfying to see Bush rejected by the voters once again. But maybe, for this president, defeat is too kind a fate.' "

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Ridenbaugh Press on Idaho Races


As the nation has its battleground states in this presidential election, so Idaho has its battleground legislative districts.

Not many of them, to be sure. But there are a few. More.: "

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Thousands in Florida may be rejected at polls

Check and double check to make sure the voter registration cards are filled out - More

The Race is On - With voters widely viewing Kerry as the debate’s winner, Bush’s lead in the NEWSWEEK poll has evaporated

Among the three-quarters (74 percent) of registered voters who say they watched at least some of Thursday’s debate, 61 percent see Kerry as the clear winner, 19 percent pick Bush as the victor and 16 percent call it a draw. After weeks of being portrayed as a verbose “flip-flopper” by Republicans, Kerry did better than a majority (56 percent) had expected. Only about 11 percent would say the same for the president’s performance while more than one-third (38 percent) said the incumbent actually did worse that they had expected. Thirty-nine percent of Republicans felt their man out-debated the challenger but a full third (33 percent) say they felt Kerry won.

Kerry’s perceived victory may be attributed to the fact that, by a wide margin (62 percent to 26 percent), debate watchers felt the senator came across as more confident than the president. More than half (56 percent) also see Kerry has having a better command of the facts than Bush (37 percent). As a result, the challenger’s favorability ratings (52 percent, versus 40 percent unfavorable) are better than Bush’s, who at 49 percent (and 46 percent unfavorable), has dipped below the halfway mark for the first time since July. Kerry, typically characterized as aloof and out of touch by his opponents, came across as more personally likeable than Bush (47 percent to the president’s 41 percent).

In fact, Kerry’s numbers have improved across the board, while Bush’s vulnerabilities have become more pronounced. The senator is seen as more intelligent and well-informed (80 percent, up six points over last month, compared to Bush’s steady 59 percent); as having strong leadership skills (56 percent, also up 6 points, but still less than Bush’s 62 percent) and as someone who can be trusted to make the right calls in an international crisis (51 percent, up five points and tied with Bush).MSNBC - More

Thursday, September 30, 2004


GOP works behind scenes in state

Efforts to re-elect President Bush are driven by 22,000 volunteers who are working -- sometimes under wraps -- to boost turnout

GOP works behind scenes in state

Efforts to re-elect President Bush are driven by 22,000 volunteers who are working -- sometimes under wraps -- to boost turnout

Idaho Mountain Express: Angels fly into Hailey - September 29, 2004

Angels fly into Hailey
Movie screening urges women to vote

In the 2000 presidential election, 22 million single women did not vote. In the last 6 months candidates for both the Democratic and Republican parties reported that in approximately 50 percent of the households they have canvassed in Boise, the women have not registered to vote, nor do they intend to.

What ever happened to Girl Power? Not the slightly embarrassing 1990s spectacle spearheaded by British popsters The Spice Girls, but the real girl power embodied by the suffragette movement in the early 1900s. Women died to gain the right to votel. Surely women today would be honored to embrace that, right? Apparently not.

Local resident Pirie Grossman was astounded when she heard about the apathy of these Boise women, and, after seeing the HBO movie “Iron Jawed Angels,” realized that there was something she could do about it.

“Iron Jawed Angels” chronicles the little known story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, who led a small group of passionate women in the battle for female suffrage in America.

Starring Oscar winners Hilary Swank and Anjelica Houston, the movie, which aired on HBO in February, depicts the harsher side of the suffragette movement in this country. When their fight for the vote landed them in jail, Paul and her ardent supporters’ did not give up. They protested their false imprisonment by embarking on a painful hunger strike, causing the prison officials to force feed them using metal clamps to hold their mouths open.

Once the press learned of the treatment of the women they proclaimed them the Iron Jawed Angels, earning them ample publicity to further, and eventually achieve, their cause.

Grossman received an email from a friend about the movie and after watching it decided that this was the vehicle to use to motivate women to register and vote.

“It’s such a moving film that I felt if we could fill the seats, whether in a theater, home, church or school, women would watch this film and be moved to fill out a registration form!” Grossman said.

In conjunction with the Idaho Women’s Network, Grossman has arranged for 23 special screenings of the movie to take place across the state of Idaho.

“Iron Jawed Angels” comes to The Wood River Valley Oct. 2 at the Liberty Theatre on Main Street in Hailey. The movie begins at 7 p.m. and those in attendance will have the chance to win door prizes.

There will be voter registration forms at the screening, as well as volunteers available to answer any questions. The event is non-partisan, free of charge and refreshments will be served. There will also be a screening in Spanish at 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 3.

The deadline to register to vote in Idaho is Oct. 8; however, in this state you can turn up on Nov. 2 with a photo ID and a utility bill that has your name and current address on it and you will be allowed to vote.
Idaho Mountain Express: Angels fly into Hailey - September 29, 2004

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

LA Times says "Compared with Kerry, BUSH IS A COWARD"

The suggestion that terrorists support Sen. John F. Kerry for president is ugly, but basically silly. The suggestion that Kerry supports the terrorists is flat-out disgusting. President Bush has allowed surrogates to spread the former idea, but he himself has helped to promote the latter.

Since election day 2000 and through his first term, Bush has talked a better game of democratic values than he has played. And he is not one for nuances in any event. But the point here is not subtle: The right to criticize the policies of those in power is not just one of democracy's fringe benefits; it is essential to making the democratic machinery work. And questions of war and peace — dead young Americans, dead Iraqis, a radicalized Middle East, billions of dollars: Was it worth all this? — are the ones that need democracy the most.

Bush's own campaign strategy has put the events of 9/11 and their aftermath at the center of this election. The president asks to be reelected based on the claim that his response to that event has been a success. It would be convenient for him if any challenge to this notion were considered beyond the pale. Increasingly convenient, in fact, as the word "success" seems less and less applicable. But Bush's convenience is not what this election is about.

This attempt to delegitimize criticism rather than rebut it comes as part three of a three-part Republican strategy. (At least we hope there are only three parts.) Part one was the first wave of Swift boat ads (and the ridiculous hoo-ha around them), raising questions about Kerry's Vietnam service. From there it was an easy leap to part two, the second Swift boat wave and the accompanying fuss about Kerry's leadership of the Vietnam antiwar movement. Part three drives it all home: As during Vietnam, so during Iraq. The guy is still at it, disloyally attacking his own country in wartime and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

As this page noted during the second Swift boat attack, the Vietnam antiwar movement (or at least the part of it Kerry was associated with) was the essence of patriotism, trying to rescue our country from a terrible mistake and to prevent the waste of any more young lives. Those who attack Kerry today for opposing the war back then overlook the fact that the country came to agree with him. If Kerry and others had refrained from criticism out of a crude notion of patriotism and a misguided "respect" for American troops, many more of those troops would be long dead today.

And, as with Vietnam, the nation's policy is gradually shifting Kerry's way. Would Bush have made even the halfhearted efforts of recent weeks to share the burden and direction of the war with the United Nations if he hadn't been looking over his shoulder at the Democratic candidate for his job? To accuse Kerry of aiding the enemy while taking his advice is despicable.

Compared with Kerry, George W. Bush is a coward. This is not a reference to their respective activities during Vietnam. It refers to the current election campaign. Bush happily benefits from the slime his supporters are spreading but refuses to take responsibility for it or to call point-blank for it to stop. He got away with this when the prime mover was the shadowy Swift boats group. Will he get away with it when the accusers are his own vice president, high officials of his own administration (Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage) and members of Congress from his own party (House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert or Sen. Orrin Hatch)?More from LA Times