Blue-shifting the Gem State, one blog entry at a time.

A Tribute to Rep. Allen Andersen

[Cross-posted at The Political Game.]

Allen Andersen's parents were buried in Arbon Valley, Idaho where they spent most of their lives farming. As a young man, Allen spent a great deal of time in Arbon Valley as well, though he attended school in Pocatello. It's fitting that Allen, the former state representative, will be laid to rest in the city to which he devoted so much of his life.

For those of us who knew Allen, it came as a great shock when he passed away last week of a sudden heart attack. If others who knew Allen were at all like me, the shock of it all left us struggling to put into words what Allen meant to us. One word that consistently came up when I spoke to others who knew Allen was kind. Allen was one of the kindest people I ever had the privilege of knowing. His sincere kindness was a constant, as was his sense of humor.  read more »

I won’t shop on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, July 4 th….. And I am Jewish….Some of these holidays aren’t mine…..

I won’t shop on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, July 4 th….. And I am Jewish….Some of these holidays aren’t mine…..

I know that people need to shop. The economy needs to recover. But…..  read more »

Occupy Boise Solidarity Rally

Even though the ink wasn't dry on the Seattle City Council's resolution in support of the Occupy Movement, the Seattle Police pepper sprayed Occupy protesters in downtown Seattle, including the 84 year old woman above. The photos of the incident are astonishing. The police action reportedly also incapacitated a priest and a pregnant woman.

This isn't an isolated incident with evictions starting in Wall Street's Zucotti Park and occurring nationwide in what some are saying are a coordinated effort. After the jump I post a video with Rachel Maddow providing some important historical context for the Occupy Movement and the free speech rationale for the 'occupy' tactic. Tomorrow, November 17, Occupy Boise will hold a solidarity march with the other Occupy movements worldwide.

The significance of this action is now amplified and the timing critical, with many Occupations around the country being wrongfully evicted and brutalized in the last couple of days. Occupy Boise stands in solidarity with the global Occupy movement in calling for JUSTICE. Join us on Nov 17 to raise our voices for all to hear!

PEOPLE OF BOISE: Rise up with the Occupy movement on this international day of action to RESIST austerity, RECLAIM the economy, and RECREATE our democracy.

11:00 Meet at the Occupy Boise Encampment to eat, make signs, talk, and prepare
12:00 Mass March begins
12:30 Rally at Main St and Capitol Blvd

If you want to keep the country talking about the corruption of money in politics, or are simply outraged by the police action against peaceful protesters, make your lunch time tomorrow extra special.  read more »

'SNL,' Penn State scandal offends even Satan

On "Saturday Night Live," even the devil was offended by the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. "SNL" cast member Jason Sudeikis reprised his role as Satan, appearing with red horns and pitchfork. The devil was informed by "Weekend Update" host Seth Meyers of sex charges against a former defensive coordinator and allegations that university officials failed to report the abuse.

Even he was disturbed by the news. Addressing Penn State students who protested football coach Joe Paterno's firing, the devil spoke directly into the camera, asking, "Do you know how bad that made you look?"

And other judgements are already being handed down. Tangible impacts of scandal starting to become clear.

First, A standout high school offensive lineman from Colorado has turned his back on his verbal commitment to attend Penn State, becoming the  read more »

Super Congress: Super Deception

In a commentary today I discuss how Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner reached a deal to solve the debt ceiling crisis back in August. But the rest of the cutting will be done by a "Super Congress" made up of six Republicans and six Democrats.

We are being asked to believe that a committee of 12 will, effectively, run our nation.

How does that sound?

Read the full story from Yahoo! News.

The Republican Party's Race Dilemma

Crossposted on Daily Kos

There is a reason that so many of them need to support a Pizza guy, with no political experience, for President of the United States

"MeandG, I don't know if you've seen this or not. But I was interested in what your perspective was on it." Idaho State Journal Columnist and bannock County-based Republican Richard Larsen messaged me.

He was referring to:

Racist Bake Sale Organizers at UC Berkeley Are Totally On to Something

A club of College Republicans at the University of California-Berkeley is making a lot of enemies this week for its plan to hold a bake sale in which customers will be charged based on race and gender. Prices of baked goods are as follows: $2 for white men, $1.50 for Asian men, $1 for Latino men, $0.75 for black men, and $0.25 for Native American men; all women will get $0.25 off those prices.

The bake sale is a form of satirical protest against pending affirmative action legislation that would allow California universities to consider race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin during the admissions process. Minority students get "preferential treatment" at the bake sale just as they do during the admissions process.

Here is my response:

When I served on the faculty at Utah State University in 2003 - 2004, the College Republicans had a table doing this. They said that their purpose was to spur a debate about Affirmative Action. I'm all for debate, but there are better ways to create them, such as publicizing a formal debate and inviting voices from both sides. Granted, it is acceptable and desirable on college campuses to create tension and even confusion on controversial topics, and it is a common practice for professors to dress up to appear as something they are not (punk rockers, homeless people, etc.) to provoke student thought and conversation about stereotypes.

However, I didn't walk over to their table to debate, because I sensed a certain hostility, and Utah State College Republican's strategy that afternoon did nothing to dissuade that perception.

Simply put, the Republican Party, as a whole, has a problem:

Words from Congressman Raul Labrador sum it up:

He told the Wall Street Journal that his party's immigration rhetoric is a turn-off for many Latino voters who might otherwise be inclined to vote Republican on social and fiscal issues.

"They don't feel welcome in the party, and I think that's a shame," he said. "I think we can change this."

Labrador said that if the party wants to remain relevant, it needs to welcome people of different backgrounds.

"I think it's happening nationally," he said. "We need to continue to have this conversation."

Quintana endorsed by Boise Mayor Dave Bieter

Crossposted on Daily Kos

Current and former elected officials also back Quintana

Boise City Council candidate Ben Quintana announced endorsements from Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and several other current and former elected officials.

"Initially, I had not planned to weigh in on the Council races, and in particular the open seat,” said Mayor Bieter. “But having had the opportunity to get to know Ben Quintana better in the recent weeks and having looked closely at his positions on the key issues facing our city, I've come to conclude that Ben's vision for Boise is very much in tune with my own vision and priorities as Mayor. I heartily endorse Ben's candidacy and look forward to having his passion, energy, and commitment to promoting livability on the City Council."

Additional endorsements from current and former elected officials who support Quintana include: Boise City Council Member, TJ Thomson; State Senator, District 14, Chuck Winder; Ada County Sheriff, Gary Raney; Garden City Council Member, Kathleen Simko, State Representative, District 18, Phylis King; Former State Senator, District 19, Mike Burkett; Former Democratic National Committeewoman, State Senator and Assistant Democratic Senate Leader, Gail Bray; and Former State Representative, District 18, Branden Durst.

Boise City Council is a non-partisan office. Quintana is running a non-partisan campaign and has drawn broad-based support from the Boise community. For a full list of endorsements and testimonials, please visit  read more »

Occupy Participants Occupy Dialogue

Individual participants from six Idaho communities, from all reaches of the state, join Marcia Franklin to discuss why they are taking action. Frickin' frick, when you get Harry, Rigby resident in his mid 60s, calling in support, this movement is definitely tapping a nerve. The link for these episodes is on the Dialogue website and also contains links to sites for each of these movements. The web extra segment follows after the jump.  read more »

Occupy Boise Needs Supplies For Tent City

In case you haven't heard, the fine folks at Occupy Boise helping to focus the traditional media on things that matter to 99% of us, have decided to elevate their profile by forming up a tent city on the site of the old Ada County Courthouse adjacent to the Statehouse. So far it appears there won't be much push back, but we're dealing with bright crimson state officials, so far.

Not sure how we as a society can deploy riot gear encrusted police armed with tear gas and other weapons on people whose only crime is camping. Its not like they ruined the economy. Here's the list of things they need to get going. Please note their number one need, and if that's not doable then do what you can.  read more »

Bill Moyers Puts Occupy Wall Street in Context

Longtime journalist and commentator Bill Moyers was the keynote speaker on October 20 at the 40th anniversary celebration of Public Citizen, the "countervailing force to corporate power".

A copy of the speech is here but its not a transcript. He is a great orator.  read more »

Keep Wall Street Occupied

I'm not asking for money. I'm asking you for five minutes to do what you've always wanted to do. You get loads of supplications from banksters in the mail everyday. Take a minute to establish a dialogue. Tell them how you feel about junk mail or anything else that may be bothering you.

And for those who think that none of this is gonna make a bit of difference, it already has. If you believe this is just about dirty hippies wanting entitlements, Matt Taibbi pummels that media driven fallacy. Here's a quick and dirty report on the efforts and failures of your government in holding Bankster's accountable. And if you still doubt, know that this movement isn't necessarily divisive, the one percent agree with many of the objectives. Keep your eye on the prize.  read more »

Welcome to the Big Stage, Herman

and to the Republican Party.

So far, Monday is shaping up to be a long day for Herman Cain amidst the sexual harassment claims against him that have surfaced, and his misfortune at having public events scheduled for today, writes Barbara Morrill.

Cain has already appeared at the American Enterprise Institute, where his hosts helpfully blocked any questions about the Politico report about Cain's alleged "sexually suggestive behavior" toward two women during his time as the head of the National Restaurant Association, but dodging the bullet may be more difficult at his next stop: the National Press Club.

Cain's campaign manager, Mark Block appeared on MSNBC earlier today and stated that Cain had "never sexually harassed anybody ever, period, end of story," but followed that up with a classic non-denial denial:

I am not personally aware of any cash settlement relating to sexual harassment charges to Mr. Cain.

Further entertainment is scheduled for later today, when Cain will appear on Fox News and, no-doubt, spout off further complaints about the "liberal media."

"And what better venue then Fox?" Morrill said.

Double whammy?

Now there are reports that Aides’ Corporation May Have Illegally Gotten Cain Campaign Off The Ground.

All of this reeks of a classic insider Republican hit job.

That's why the sexual harrassment allegations appeared in Politico.

Rove and Crew are scareder than Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, that this crackpot might actually win the nomination.

If that happens, it's Goldwater 1964 all over again. They needed to intervene so Shazam: opposition research is dropped into Politico's lap.

Occupy Your Head

we gave you video games
the internet
dvr recorders
kindle readers
plasma teevees
hummingbird feeders
mango salsa
online banking
orgasm faking
cable talk shows
the left, the right
high sarcasm
mega churches
surfing kites
cellular phones
gay marriage
delivery pizza
SSRIs, hydrocodone,
electric cars
many hoppy ales
IKEA black leather sofas
seahawk fails
electric guitars
remote controls
sudoko, sushi
dancing w the stars

we gave you
so much from
weak to stronger
short to longer
so why
must you occupy
anything but
a soft couch or

Raul Labrador Up To No Good / Raúl Labrador para nada bueno

Crossposted on Daily Kos

También publicado en español. Véase el texto a continuación.

The current "guest" worker programs, temporary visa programs, have been termed "close to slavery" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. We must be wary of the value of any piece of legislation that is proposed by Tea Party Congressman Raul Labrador. I wouldn't elevate these suggestions or their sponsors as 'interesting,' rather as bait to divide the movement for immigrant rights." - Fred Hirsch

With Congress unable to agree on a comprehensive immigration overhaul, and with states taking immigration matters into their own hands, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho thinks he has an idea that can draw bipartisan support, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Labrador, 43, who spent 15 years as an immigration attorney before riding the Republican wave to Congress last year, one of five Latino Republicans elected -- is right on the mark about some things:

Labrador said his party's immigration rhetoric is a turn-off for many Latino voters who might otherwise be inclined to vote Republican on social and fiscal issues.

"They don't feel welcome in the party, and I think that's a shame," he said. "I think we can change this."

Labrador said that if the party wants to remain relevant, it needs to welcome people of different backgrounds.

"I think it's happening nationally," he said. "We need to continue to have this conversation."

Labrador, a Republican, recently introduced a bill that would speed up applications for permanent residency to foreign-born graduate students who are offered jobs by U.S. employers in high-tech fields.

"Many of these students actually leave," he said in an interview. "They go back to their home country or to our competitors."

Not only would his legislation help boost the U.S. economy by keeping highly educated workers in the country, Labrador said, but it also would help encourage more American students to pursue math- and science-based careers. Labrador said his bill aims to shorten the waiting period for approval of work visas, which can take several years and can discourage talented workers from staying put. While the legislation wouldn't change the process, it would enable students to obtain visas once they've completed their paperwork, which should take no more than two years.  read more »

Occupy Boise to Hold a FREE! Community Bazaar

Occupy Boise invites the public to a “FREE! Bazaar” on Saturday, October 29 from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM in Capitol Park.

Occupy Boise's mission is to build community among the 99% to address the problems caused by the greed and corruption of the 1%. The “FREE! Bazaar” will be an exhibition of some small-scale, practical ways to serve human needs right now while preparing to address the bigger problems down the road. Don't miss this chance to spend time with friends and neighbors in a completely noncommercial (FREE!) setting.

The “FREE! Bazaar” will feature games, music, zombie face painting, a really free market (where all goods are FREE!), a free-speech soap box, a mass meeting, arts activities, food to share with Food Not Bombs, and educational workshops such as “Know Your Rights,” “Herbalism,” and “Consent”. To experience what it might look like to focus on human needs instead of corporate greed, come to the “FREE! Bazaar” in Capitol Park this Saturday, between 10:00 AM and 6:30 PM. The park is located at 601 W. Jefferson Street (across from the People's House) in Downtown Boise.

The event is absolutely free of charge and open to folks of all ages and backgrounds. The public is also invited to attend all Occupy Boise meetings to discuss and plan next steps. On Thursday and Friday, Occupy Boise will hold General Assembly meetings from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the House Majority Caucus Room on the 4th floor of the People's House, at 700 W. Jefferson St. On Saturday, our mass meeting will assemble at 2:00 PM at the “FREE! Bazaar” in Capitol Park. Other assembly times can be found on the calendar tab here.  read more »

Food for Thought: Kren HAS voted in favor of contracts with Bujak

Crossposted on Daily Kos

‎"I was the only council member that did not go along with the proposal for the Bujak contract with the county," - Stephen Kren in the Oct. 12, 2011 Idaho Press Tribune.

"In Nampa the Gang of 4, (Mayor Tom Dale), (Councilwoman Pam)White, (Councilman Martin) Thorne and (Councilman Curtis) Homer have voted for every tax increase they could legally get away with including Urban Renewal which caused the 5% increase to 2012 taxes," writes Ronald M. Harriman on the Idaho Statesman website. "(Councilman) Stephen Kren is the only one who stood against these efforts and singly tried to stop the now infamous Bujak contract."


Here is some background.

According to the Idaho Press Tribune:

(Former Canyon County Prosecutor John) Bujak won over the hearts of voters and his fellow county officers with his sharp campaign to reorganize and improve county prosecutions followed by a first year in office where he appeared to do everything right and nothing wrong.

The idea of saving taxpayer dollars using economy of scale to prosecute Nampa misdemeanor and traffic cases seemed too good to pass up. Although the Idaho Press-Tribune and critics raised concerns about his plan to put proceeds into a private account, the law stood on his side.

In that context, county commissioners and the majority of the Nampa City Council agreed to the Bujak-controlled trust fund — the one that’s almost broke now even though he owes the county six figures.

But what is Kren's real and complete voting history on Bujak?

June 1, 2009 - All council members voted Yes. Page 7. Read the Nampa City Council Minutes.

Sept. 8, 2009 - No dissenting votes on Bujak contract. Page 8. Read the Nampa City Council Minutes.

Aug. 16, 2010 - Kren finally votes Nay, twice. Page 10. Read the Nampa City Council Minutes.

Oct. 18, 2010 - Kren makes the motion to approve the contract with Bujak, just two months after voting No. Page 4. Read the Nampa City Council Minutes.

Food for thought: What changed from Aug. 16 to Oct. 18 that changed Kren's mind and led him to vote in favor of the Bujak contract?

Idaho Statesman: Lance McGrath and Curtis Homer top choices for Nampa City Council

According to yesterday's Idaho Statesman:

Nampa’s Nov. 8 city election ballot is dotted with well-known names. Incumbent Stephen Kren has spent 16 years on the council. Curtis Homer is a four-year council veteran who had been police chief for a dozen years. Some of the challengers should be familiar to voters as well: Bob Henry and Lance McGrath are making their third and second council runs, respectively. ... We believe McGrath and Homer provide the best combination of practical city experience and leadership, and get our endorsement. With nearly four years’ experience on Nampa’s Planning and Zoning Commission, McGrath would come to City Council with some valuable experience.

Kren has cultivated a reputation as a contrarian in his four terms on the council. There is certainly a place for a skeptic on any legislative body; for example, Kren wisely voted against Nampa’s ill-advised and poorly structured contract with former Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak. But for us, the edge goes to McGrath, because he has better ideas for the future.  read more »

Occupy Boise October 22, 2011

Some footage from last Saturday's occupation shot by my friend James. Congenial and well organized.

Vote Ben Quintana for Boise City Council

Crossposted on Daily Kos


Dear fellow Boisean,

As your newly elected Boise City Council Member, I will focus on strengthening our local economy and supporting job creation initiatives – key ingredients that will make Boise the most livable city in the country. City leaders have the ability to assist in these efforts by building a great environment that allows businesses and communities to thrive. By working in partnership with key stakeholders, crafting innovative policies and legislation, and planning smart for the future, we can create a better tomorrow.


Through experience, I’ve learned that a small group of hard working citizens can accomplish anything. When people come together, ideas spread and solutions emerge. By working as a team with the City Council members, Mayor and citizens of Boise, I believe we will continue to discover new solutions to our unique challenges and implement plans to strengthen our local economy and create high paying jobs.

Over the years, I’ve spoken to thousands of citizens, businesses, and community leaders and listened to their concerns about our future. I’ve become passionately involved in the ongoing success of our city and want to do everything I can to preserve and enhance the qualities that make Boise unique. Below are just a few of the ideas I’ve developed and gathered by listening to our citizens. As I work to implement our ideas, I encourage you to continue sharing your thoughts on city issues and communicating your vision for a better Boise. This is our city. Let’s make it great.

I will work aggressively, yet diplomatically to strengthen our local economy and support job creation initiatives by:

Attracting new companies to Boise
Developing new and existing companies
Growing local businesses
Turning ideas into reality
Connecting people and pooling resources
Attracting more dollars into and circulating within Boise

In addition to strengthening our local economy, we must also continue working to make Boise the most livable city in the country. To work toward accomplishing this vision, I will focus on:

Building on Boise’s strengths
Branding Boise
Expanding Boise’s public art and cultural diversity
Strengthening our commitment to quality education
Improving our transportation system
Encouraging more leaders
Tapping into new ideas and energy

Yours in service, Ben

Vote Ben Quintana for Boise City Council
PO Box 7734
Boise, ID 83707
Cell: 208.850.9713
Twitter: @benquintana


These are Ben's ideas. What would you like to see? Share your ideas for Boise below.

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