Sisyphus's blog

Bryan Fischer's Greatest Hits

Hate mongering for Christ. Right Wing Watch compiled a short list of his most egregious comments. Is there any thing or anyone Fischer won't Godwin?

Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Busted

The circumstances surrounding the arrest of District 10 State Senator John McGee (R-Caldwell) would be almost comical in a Hangover kind of way if these weren't very serious charges of DUI and grand theft.

McGee began drinking at a golf course at about 10 p.m. Saturday night. At some point, McGee left the clubhouse on foot and walked for a distance, eventually coming upon a parked Ford Excursion with a 20-foot travel trailer near the Muir Woods Subdivision in Southeast Boise.

The keys were in the vehicle and McGee drove away just before 3 a.m. Sunday. McGee pulled the vehicle into a long driveway in the subdivision near Overland and Victory roads and Five Mile Road, in an attempt to turn around. The Excursion and travel trailer were jack-knifed in the driveway.

Two kids in the house were watching McGee's activities. He exited the vehicle, walked up and down the street a few times, got in the back of the Excursion and went to sleep. The kids called police.  read more »

I'm an Asshole

I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got around to watching this.

Message to the Media: Do Not Feed the Trolls

What Have Unions Ever Done For Us?

Luna Thuggery

Idaho Superintendent of Public Schools, Tom Luna, claimed he was the victim of "union thuggery" when an, as yet, unidentified person spray painted graffiti on his truck parked in his driveway in the dead of night. No evidence of union involvement ever surfaced. Neither has evidence been disclosed of Luna doing it himself. But that didn't stop Tom Luna from getting some media air time and blaming the Idaho Education Association for the crime, in an obvious effort to sway public sympathy for him and his radical plan to privatize Idaho public education.

Luna's plan was unheralded in his recent campaign for re-election. Neither did Luna consult with myriad stakeholders who would be impacted by its draconian changes. In other words, the plan was an orchestrated political ambush. And while the legislature accommodated some hearings on the plan, the participants of which were overwhelmingly opposed, the education deform legislation was signed into law barely four months after it was unveiled, with little change. Political and legal opposition formed during and after the session, with efforts currently underway to hold a referendum on the plan, recall Luna and two legislators, and a lawsuit filed by the IEA to challenge many de-professionalizing aspects of the legislation. But many of these efforts are strictly reactionary, not strategically thought out or comprehensive, with some from barely organized groups struggling to mount an opposition to a plan already in the implementation stage.  read more »

All Out Win

I was slightly dubious when my friend Jody said this was a "must see". It is. Full screen. Send to all your friends and family. The news is joyful.

Fracking Idaho--Not So Fast

As a follow up to the last post on fracking, we have a refreshing display of backbone from Payette County where the Planning and Zoning Commission had some reticence at the haste at which fracker, Bridge Resources, wanted to proceed.

Payette County Planning and Zoning Commissioners rejected Bridge's request for a conditional use permit in the company's effort to build a 13-acre gas compression site to send 50 million cubic feet to gas into a commercial pipeline. The site would draw and dehydrate gas from several exploration sites scattered around the New Plymouth area, pulling out approximately 30,000 gallons of water and up to 1,000 barrels of oil each day. The water and oil would be hauled out of the site on a semi-regular basis.

A Bridge spokesman said they were anxious to speed up the construction but the proposed truck traffic, noise from a compressor and a lack of engineering documentation gave the P&Z commissioners pause.

"We want to protect people in our community," Commissioner Farrell Rawlings told Bridge representatives. "For you to sit here and tell us everything is going to be fine is just a bunch of baloney."  read more »

Fracking Idaho

If you haven't seen Gasland yet, queue it up. This documentary is not a Frontline type, weighing-all-sides-of-the-issue, expose. As a film, it works as an excellent piece of first person journalism, exposing the horrors Josh Fox finds in his search for the consequences of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in America, which injects chemicals underground to induce gas production. For years industry held close to the vest the recipe for the chemical composition used in fracking as a "trade secret". But since people started testing their water, the secret is slowly coming out.

The movie also provides context for this recent controversial decision  read more »

Osama's Dead, Baby. Osama's Dead

As Rachel sez, Instant Folk Art. For other interesting internet reactions to the news go here. This one is my favorite.

Which one is yours?  read more »

Idaho's Education Union Strikes Back

In court. From the blogmother.

The Idaho Education Association has filed suit against the State of Idaho, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1108 and related trailer bills. The bills, enacted this past legislative session, wrongly curtail the rights of teachers, the IEA and its local education associations.

The suit was filed in state district court in Ada County. Joining the IEA as plaintiffs and representatives of thousands of Idaho teachers are three IEA locals (Fremont Education Association, Caldwell Education Association and Shoshone Education Association) and two Idaho school teachers, David Graham (a junior high art teacher in the Moscow School District) and Teena Marley (a kindergarten teacher in the Pocatello School District).

“Because the Legislature, Governor Otter and State Superintendent Luna failed to listen to the voices of Idaho citizens and, in the case of SB 1108 and the trailer bills, overstepped their legal bounds, the IEA supports citizen efforts to place referenda on the ballot challenging the Luna laws,” said Sherri Wood, IEA President. “Likewise, we will challenge the constitutionality of SB 1108 and the trailer bills.”

The IEA’s lawsuit contains four claims:  read more »

Progressive Plan Saves; Conservative Plan- Not So Much

Republicans exist to protect the wealthy's exploitation of the middle class. As Ezra substantiated about the current budget cutting fervor swirling in the media:

If you want to understand why the budget debate so infuriates people who actually care about deficits — and, in particular, people who actually care about health-care spending — consider this: The central health-care reform in Paul Ryan’s budget, the one that’s got him so many plaudits for courage, would actually increase costs. The health-care reform that progressives have been pursuing for more than two years would cut them. And yet calling for Medicare to be privatized and voucherized is considered serious, while calling for a public option is considered tiresome.

Thus, even though government is getting screwed by picking up these costs, the public option is off the table because of Republican concerns for their friends in the insurance industry. And what costs are we talking about?

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 - Part One
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

And of course Idaho is looking into terminating Medicaid completely. And yet no Idaho Republican has offered a plan to tackle these issues or the costs that will fall to state government eventually. No better example can be utilized in demonstrating Republicans' utter lack of substance by the mere repetition of the word "Obamacare" as the reason for their hatred of the Affordable Care Act. I challenge you to ask your Republican friends to articulate why they hate the Affordable Care Act without using the word Obama. Its no wonder over half of Republican primary voters are birthers. And if the debate ain't about substance, its got to be about the obvious thing bothering them.  read more »

The Deficit Kabuki

The state of politics in the country today is beyond ridiculous. The traditional media is being led by their collective nose on deficit reduction while unemployment and the economy continue to stagnate. We still have to fix that and good luck finding an economist who says deficit reduction will create a single job. Idaho just terminated 1,000 jobs in order to balance the budget. Democrats needn't lend legitimacy to the deficit charade by negotiating with the crazy. As Digby observes:

Shudders went through the Beltway on Monday on the news that Standard & Poor’s had lowered its outlook for U.S. debt because of its “fears” that the Democrats and Republicans wouldn’t be able to come together to eliminate the deficit. The press breathlessly reported that the market “plunged” 140 points on the news. Chris Matthews barked, “This is scary!”

The so-called plunge turned out to be the biggest one-day drop since ... March 16 of this year. And Paul Krugman wryly commented on his blog that “If S&P warns that U.S. bonds might not be safe, and the price of those bonds rises, you really have to wonder how anyone can write with a straight face that this warning caused other market movements.” But let’s not let any of that get in the way of a good story: “The Market Gods are displeased with all this partisanship and Washington. Must. Heed.”

Unfortunately, deficit hysteria has managed to turn all government business into a single exhausting negotiation that makes the Paris Peace talks look like a quick handshake by comparison. At this point it’s unlikely that Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee’s attempt to separate the debt-ceiling vote and the budget negotiations by saying they are on “parallel but separate tracks” will convince anyone, especially when you have Republican members of Congress saying just the opposite.

Read all of Digby's analysis on the Republican lack of good faith.  read more »

Democrats Pwn Republicans in Congress

I wish this plan had worked. But after the abuse of the cloture rules in the senate, it seems not only justified, but brilliant.

What was supposed to be a routine vote in the House -- to knock down an amendment authored by conservative Republicans -- turned into pandemonium on the House floor Friday, as Democrats tried to jam the plan through, and hang it around the GOP's necks.

The vote was on the Republican Study Committee's alternative budget -- a radical plan that annihilates the social contract in America by putting the GOP budget on steroids. Deeper tax cuts for the wealthy, more severe entitlement rollbacks.

Normally something like that would fail by a large bipartisan margin in either the House or the Senate. Conservative Republicans would vote for it, but it would be defeated by a coalition of Democrats and more moderate Republicans. But today that formula didn't hold. In an attempt to highlight deep divides in the Republican caucus. Dems switched their votes -- from "no" to "present."

Read the rest. It was quite the freak out. Steny Hoyer, the man with the plan. A very effective method for Democrats to call BS on Republican extremism.  read more »

Snarking the Right Wing Noise Machine

The General caught skoalrebel on teh Hannity.(shudder) Follow the link for the new version of the Bible.

That should make her shrewness ill. As you know, Fox flourished once Murdoch got Reagan to kill the fairness doctrine. Below the fold you can witness what history would look like if Fox reported on it. (Thanks Reggie)  read more »

"Don't Throw Women Under the Bus"

The formidable female contingent of Senate Democrats call BS on the radical Republican agenda.

In contrast to this spirited presser, watch Republican Congresswomen dodge the issue. Here is a breakdown in what Planned Parenthood provides. And here's a study demonstrating Planned Parenthood programs and the cost savings they provide to government.  read more »

Idaho Republicans Handing Issues to Potential Candidates

The Idaho legislative session for 2011 has ended and its by far the most radical I've witnessed in my 50 years. That should be a signal for candidates waiting in the wings for opportunity. Indeed cocky Republicans revisited legislation that punished them last time. Check out this well supported informative article on Idaho's Rapist Protection Act.

Marching in step with the GOP’s nationwide war on a woman’s right to choose, the Idaho legislature gave final approval to a bill that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks. Modeled after Nebraska’s first-in-the-nation measure, the bill — like the one passed in Kansas last week — is based on highly disputed medical research alleging that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. Idaho’s bill, however, also fails to include exceptions for rape, incest, severe fetal abnormality or the mental or psychological health of the mother. “Only when the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life or physical health could a post-20-week abortion be performed.”

In 1990, Idaho’s anti-abortion Gov. Cecil Andrus (D) vetoed a similar bill expressly because it failed to provide a rape or incest exception. “The bill is drawn so narrowly that it would punitively and without compassion further harm an Idaho woman who may find herself in the horrible, unthinkable position of confronting a pregnancy that resulted from rape or incest,” he said.

Its interesting that Idaho Republicans would take another run at this radical legislation which the AG has deemed unconstitutional. Republicans are fully aware that the first stop of this legislation is yet another very expensive court proceeding funded by Idaho taxpayers. The consequence of their efforts in 1990, enabled Democrats to have their strongest showing in the state legislature. After the 1990 election, Democrats controlled half the Idaho senate, a feat that has no comparison since. Idahoans, Republican and Democrat, share a value of freedom from governmental control. In 1990, voters punished Republicans for forgetting that value.  read more »

Calculating Your Tax Savings

Tax day is next week. Obama got you some extra savings in his deal with the devil. Calculate it here.


Too many links about which to write separate posts, so I'll throw them your way and we'll see what sticks.

I've got a bunch of science related links. The Republican war on education and science wins one. Scientific American throws in the towel. And now scientists are helping Republicans with their objectives.

In related news Groundhog day moves to January.

Richard Branson demonstrates that the rich can get their way over science.

And for my astronomy readers, this lens will enable you to shoot the moon.

And speaking of geeks, check out this cool stuff for sale.

This has got to be one of the most strange, perverse, twisted things I've seen in a long time.

NPR reports the development of a new surgical technique to enable you to see in 3D.

Whole Foods is coming to Boise. And here is the latest method to pamper yourself with food.

Burning man is taking some lessons from Republicans to raise revenue lowering the costs of their tickets.

The United States Army has settled on a hat.

I don't know about you, but this strikes me as an April Fool's joke.

My next vacation will be spent in this hotel. Which I hope is near this awesome tour sponsored by the Sierra Club.

I can hardly wait for this to go off Broadway.

I loved the features on these apps. Here's an app for the lonely.

The Guardian, Britain's progressive newspaper, goes all in on the royal wedding.  read more »

Sisyphus on Facebook

Update 3/30: My two day banning ended. Afterward I sent maybe another five or ten friend requests and now I'm banned for four days. If you've sent a friend request, be patient. Facebook and I have yet to come to terms.

Yes, hell has frozen over and here's your invitation to ice skate on my luddite remains. When I went to issue invitations on teh Facebook, the Facebook minions flagged me for spamming people I didn't know. Of course Sisyphus knows these people personally. Glad to know my social media skills are on par with my social skills. Regardless you'll have to "come to butthead" to be my friend.  read more »

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