In a sure sign that the apocalypse is near, an Idaho Republican senator who favors wilderness agreed to a photo op with Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as President Barack Obama signs the 2009 Omnibus Public Lands Bill. Don't let GOP voters see this!
Americans cheered this great event, made possible in no small part by a vigilant Minneapolis police officer and the judicial system of Hennepin County, Minnesota.
If you are sick of Rush Limbaugh, Zeb Bell and their ilk and you want to hear at least one progressive voice on commercial radio in southern Idaho, you'll want to read this. But be sure to let stations and advertisers know how you feel - starting in the comments on the Statesman piece.
Wayne Hoffman, former spokesman for the lamentable Bill Sali, has found a few new ways to occupy his time. He's now director of a supposedly nonpartisan free-market think tank and a columnist for the Idaho Statesman. Here's a snip of a guest commentary I did earlier today at NewWest.net regarding Hoffman's new gigs. (I would've sent this straight to the Statesman except another op-ed of mine has been bottled up there for several weeks.)
Few would disagree with the main point of Hoffman’s first column, published Sunday: We ought to have more transparent government spending. Democrats have been calling for that for years, and President Obama is moving ahead to be sure it happens, both for government in general and his proposed American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan in particular.
I’m sure that all Democrats, Republicans and Independents agree with Hoffman’s premise. But Hoffman’s opening paragraph is worth a second thought since it belies the key difference between the two major parties. He wrote:
“I’m one Idaho taxpayer who is delighted that state government is undergoing major surgery. Every time the state adds 6 percent onto the price of the things I buy, I imagine ways I’d spend that money if I were not giving it to the government.”
Every time he spends money, he thinks about that? Clearly, Wayne Hoffman is obsessed with taxes more than your average Idahoan.
Like most people, I just pay the six cents. But every once in a while, when I’m prompted by someone like Hoffman to think about taxes, I don’t think about how I’d spend my tax pennies if I had them all to myself. Instead, I think about how – as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said - “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”
Read it all over at NewWest.net - and let's plan on keeping a very sharp eye on the, ahem, nonpartisan writer who not six months ago accused the Idaho media of being "shrill news lemmings all marching willingly to a sea of liberalism, filth and innuendo.” - JF
I was suprised to see an email in my inbox today from Idaho Representative McGeachin (Rep. McGeachin is an anti-abortion Republican from Bonneville County, and I'm a pro-choice Democrat from Boise). Still, I'm always interested in what my legislators have to say. This particular email had a simple request, really. It asked me to vote online for a young Idaho woman for Miss America....hold on...MISS AMERICA!? They still have that archaic tradition?! Worse, Rep. McGeachin she sent this from her legislative email address. Of course I found this irresistible. I had to respond (and please give me props for holding back the snark--it was a challenge). Her email is below my note.
Representative McGeachin -
Thanks for your note! I'm not sure how I wound up on your list to support Ms. Davis's quest to be named Miss America, but I felt I should drop you a note in response.
I think it's teriffic that you support Idahoans, especially young Idahoans, in their endeavors. Supporting this particular endeavor, however, I think is a misstep.
Nationally, Idaho is sometimes seen as a backward and behind-the-times place. Likewise, the Miss America Pageant is seen as antiquated and old fashioned. Do we really need this kind of publicity?
While the pageant now calls itself a "scholarship pageant," it still heavily emphasizes physical appearance over actual skills, attributes and knowledge that would help make young women more likely to be successful today. Growing up, I found such events to be at best frivolous, and at worst, another reason to feel physically inadequate.
I don't quibble with your personal support of pageants. However, when you forward emails that support pageants from your legislative address, you imply state, and possibly even party support. As a Democrat and Idaho taxpayer, I surely hope our party and government don't support these outdated, backward-looking, dying traditions. I like to think we support our ambitious young women through scholarships won on the basis of their brains, hard work and skills, and not how good they look on television.
On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 10:16 AM, Janice McGeachin <JMcgeach (at) house (dot) idaho (dot) gov> wrote:
This is an exciting opportunity to help elect a beautiful, young Idahoan as the next Miss America.
Please take the time to view the pageant and cast your vote for Elise Davis Miss America.
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: <<deleted>> To: Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 09:38:16 -0700 Subject: FW: Miss America : Countdown to the Crown : Elise Davis
Some of you may have heard that Elise Davis (a graduate from Skyline) will be competing in the Miss America pageant on Saturday. What is cool about this years pagent is that the viewers will have the chance to vote for their top choice. The four girls with the top votes will be included in the top 15 finalists. You can vote via the internet or by text messaging. Try to get the word out, and help one of southeast Idaho's exceptional women become the next Miss America. I have included a link below with more details.
In case you haven't heard, TJ Thomson, one of the early leaders of the grassroots Idaho for Obama group, has filed his intent to run for Boise City Council.
You can read the full press release here on 43rd State Blues and below is some of the early coverage by the local media.
The campaign is just getting going so there isn't much to do yet, but if you are interested in volunteering, donating, or just have questions, please contact TJ Thomson at TJ4Idaho@hotmail.com or Matt Compton, Campaign Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
This may be my favorite photo from 2008, taken by the webcam atop Teton Pass on Election Day 2008. (Hat tip Darcy Lagana.) Better than any photo from Barack Obama's rally at Boise State or the record-shattering caucuses in February, this photo says everything that needs to be said about how Idahoans dove into Democratic activism this year. Check out more photos and memories from 2008 here.
Happy New Year. 2009 will be a year of hope, change, wrenching decisions and the knowledge that -even amid hard times ahead - we have set our country back on a course that will make life better for our children and grandchildren.
January 3 - Plan to win in Southwestern Idaho ... all Dem activists invited to this workshop at the Nampa Civic Center. Tuesday, December 30, is the deadline to reserve a lunch. Email Judy at email@example.com.
January 9 - United Vision for Idaho/United Action for Idaho's annual Progressive Celebration at the Doubletree in Boise.
Just a few notes from the blogosphere ... my essay on how red-state expats ought to support their home state Democratic parties is featured this morning (Saturday, December 20) on the politics front page at The Huffington Post. (Here's a direct link, too. Please send it to Idaho friends and family who've moved to more progressive climes.)
Speaking of MountainGoat, MG and Tara from The Political Game have teamed up to launch a Zeb Bell page to chronicle the most egregious utterings of Idaho's own wingnut radio host and his "festering refuge for hate speech." It's already starting to get some coverage in the national blogosphere. You'll find all the info you need to take Bell (and his advertisers) to task for his racist, homophobic, xenophobic, theocratic crap. Have at it.
Finally, a reminder: the Idaho Democratic Party is interested in seeing independent, grassroots watchblogs established in legislative districts represented by some of the state's most regressive Republicans. If you'd like to help with this effort, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you into the loop.
Bill Sali is the guest host until 7 tonight on 670 AM KBOI, in case anyone wants to call and give him what for. Jim Risch will hold down the chair from 4 to 7 on Friday. I've been listening to Sali for a bit and he's getting nothing but big fat softball questions, er, comments - the last one from a little kid who said "God bless you and Merry Christmas." Awwwww.
Just a couple of quick notes, have you heard yet? Jim Messina (an Obama insider) will be the speaker at the 2009 Frank Church Banquet.
Our Gov has been getting some air time lately it seems, and I hear he has been doing great. Anyone hear him and have a comment? I hear he was on 670 KBOI and also was a guest on Glenn Beck.
And the temporary Capitol also known as the old Ada County Courthouse has some amazing murals. That said some of the art is less then politically correct; including showing men preparing to hang a male Indian. I understand that there has been a decision made to place some plaques under/with some of the murals to explain.
Anyone here know the details or have thoughts? As I understand it (and could be wrong) the tribes had input and everyone agreed on wording and such?
OH! and I almost forgot, any comments on shoes as weapons or statements?