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

A night in the ER without insurance.

Medically we are definitely a country of haves and have nots. My friend, who has no health insurance or job, slipped and fell on the ice. Some wonderful people took her to the ER. I was called because I was in the phone book and I am her friend. I went to the hospital and was at first told her bone was not broken. Then the doctor came in and he ordered more xrays. Turns out the bone was broken.  read more »

Why Idaho is a Political Bloggers' Dream State

Crossposted On Daily Kos

"Yeah, I you know when I drink alone/ I prefer to be by myself." - George Thorogood.


(NOTE: It could also be called a nightmare)

So you think you can blog?

You call yourself a progressive, a liberal, a Democrat or something along those lines?

Do you live and blog outside of Idaho?

Ha!

Come join us.

Here's why:

As I wrote in my recent entry: UPDATED: Idaho Senator Mike Crapo charged with drunken driving:

Idaho:

One large land mass.

One small population.

One political party filled with more screw-ups than you can fit in an average class at the Betty Ford Center.

Nice going!

Great family values!

Way to set an example for our children! (triple snark)

Yeah, there is not much out here, except for one thing: a target rich environment to bust on Republicans!

Can your state beat our list of anti-GOP blogging topics?

Just when you thought it was safe (or if you were ready to be bored), Crapo, for example, recently plead guilty to drunk driving. The senator said he felt like he owed people a full explanation of his behavior and took questions outside the courthouse.

Idaho's GOP: the gift that keeps on giving.

Crapo gave an apologetic statement where he acknowledged that he been drinking alcohol on occasion for the past year or so, in violation of the tenets of his Mormon faith.

Crapo said he had been drinking vodka and tonic at his Washington home on the night of Dec. 22, became restless, couldn't sleep and went out for a drive.

.

Crapo said he was not with anyone at the time, was not going to see anyone and was not coming or going from seeing anybody.

Well that covers just about everybody (gay, straight, male female, and other) doesn't it?

"In recent months, and for less than a year, I have on occasion had alcoholic drinks in my apartment in Washington, DC. It was a poor choice to use alcohol to relieve stress—and one at odds with my personally-held religious beliefs. However, on the night of Saturday, December 22nd, I made another even worse decision to go for a drive to get out of my apartment and try to wind down. I left my apartment, driving out past the monuments. I was alone during this drive and never left my vehicle. After driving around for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, I realized what a mistake it had been for me to drive and decided to return to my apartment. I approached a multi-street intersection and mistakenly turned against a red light. It was at that time that the police pulled me over.

On Daily Kos, I asked: You think you can have more fun blogging about Republicans in your state?

Take at look at these jabs:

Sisyphus Idaho:

I'm feeling restless. I think I'll go for a drive. --not said by a drunk 61 year old at night ever.

And

... Interesting that he was now drinking vodka tonics. So let me get this straight. The senate adjourned on December 21 due to return December 26. His family is in (Idaho Falls). He's still in DC 48 hours later, drinking, alone and restless. Not passing the smell test.

Spitball:

So you think your Republicans are more twisted, demented, and downright backwards that ours here in Idaho?

Who is your Larry Craig, your John McGee?

Where is your Rex Rammell and your Bill Sali?

In about a month we are going to have another topic which is sure to disconnect readers from any imaginable reality.


Tag.

You're it!
 read more »

A motley cast of characters rule the world

Crossposted on Daily Kos

News recently broke that Senator Mike Crapo will not contest his DUI:

Police have said Crapo registered a blood alcohol level of 0.11 percent when he was pulled over early Sunday in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Va., after running a red light. But a secondary test performed after Crapo was brought to the jailhouse - the one that will be used in court - registered at 0.14, nearly twice the legal limit ... .

The Idaho Statesman goes on to report that the 61-year-old's arrest two days before Christmas stunned colleagues and constituents alike, not only because of his squeaky-clean image but also because the senator, a Mormon, had said previously he abstains from alcohol, in accordance with his church's practices.

While no one will ever mistake Bill Clinton for a leader held up on a Holy Roller pedestal, I am reminded of this book by George Stephanopoulos during this quasi-epic fall of Crapo:

All Too Human is a new-generation political memoir, written from the refreshing perspective of one who got his hands on the levers of awesome power at an early age. At thirty, the author was at Bill Clinton's side during the presidential campaign of 1992, & for the next five years he was rarely more than a step away from the president & his other advisers at every important moment of the first term. What Liar's Poker did to Wall Street, this book will do to politics. It is an irreverent & intimate portrait of how the nation's weighty business is conducted by people whose egos & idiosyncrasies are no sturdier than anyone else's.

I like what reviewer Rebekah Warren said about Stephonapolous book:

Written with the jittery cadence of a bookie, All Too Human is a lively look at the complex and motley cast of characters who rule the world.

Crapo's "arrest two days before Christmas stunned colleagues and constituents alike."

Which brings me to a fundamental question.

Why are we surprised?

Rumours swirled around Larry Craig for years. One day, he got caught. Did it really matter, or was it just fun to knock him off the pedestal?

Trivia question: How many DUIs exist between George W. Bush, Idaho Governor Butch Otter, and former Vice President Dick Cheney?

Shock?

Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner is:

... sitting on a $4.5 million campaign war chest — is mulling a bid for citywide office next year and “seriously considering” a mayoral run, multiple sources told The Post.

I hope he wins.

While DUI is a serious crime and perpetrators deserve all the resulting hits that come with it, there is a separate dialogue that needs to be addressed.

The excerpt below, by Nampa, Idaho blogger Amy Larson, speaks to her experience on the editorial board of the Idaho Press Tribune.

I loved going to the Editorial Board meetings on Thursdays. ... The Editor was a savvy, strong woman who knew who she was and offered no excuses. A great role model for me. I observed how she masterfully cut off comments that droned on for too long, changed the subject when necessary, and her overall leadership of the group. I enjoyed the members of the Board, too, how each one of them brought a different perspective to the items of discussion.

We got to meet VIP's, politicians, and other newsmakers. For the most part, I was surprised to find myself unimpressed. One or two politicians stood out here and there, due to their seeming rather genuine, but I thought I would be more wowed by those in the public eye. It was a bit of a let-down. They were ordinary people, just like me. Many of them lost track of their tone when they got overly-passionate about a topic. Some of them talked too much. One very well-known public figure showed up wearing a shirt that looked as if it had been slept in. It being an election year, we were invited to the paper-hosted public forum. This is where I had my eyes opened when it came to how imperfect we all are, with few exceptions. Tempers flared, basic rules were ignored, and the Editor/ Moderator had to quite forcefully demand that a man in the audience sit down and remain silent.

Those on the stand who retained their maturity level made an impact, but they were the minority. I'd always envisioned community leaders as a composed, well-controlled lot. That forum changed my mind.

Nice reflections, Amy.

I guess I've simply outgrown the surprise factor, and have been emotionally past it for a long time.

What expression would you use to describe the people who run the world?
 read more »

Fiscal Cliff Could Affect State Courts Already Faced with Budget Constraints

Follow us at http://twitter.com/123idaho

Efforts to save the nation from going over a year-end "fiscal cliff" were in disarray as lawmakers fled the Capitol for their Christmas break. "God only knows" how a deal can be reached now, House Speaker John Boehner declared.

President Barack Obama, on his way out of town himself, insisted a bargain could still be struck before Dec. 31. "Call me a hopeless optimist," he said.

The nation’s decision makers continue to wrestle with the consequences of going over the “fiscal cliff” at year’s end, which may translate to cuts in federal funding in many state budgets.

The trickle-down effect could cause more problems for state courts that have fallen victim to massivefiscal cliff budget shortfalls during the recession, according to G. Alan Tarr, a professor of political science at Rutgers-Camden.

“When revenues decrease as they have during the recent recession, states have to look for places to cut in order to balance their budget,” says Tarr, an internationally noted constitutional scholar. “Some states cut across the board and others pick out areas in which funds aren’t being well spent. In any case, state courts tend to get hit, which precipitates concerns about the administration of justice.”

Tarr opines on the issue in his article, “No Exit: The Financial Crisis Facing State Courts,” recently published in the Kentucky Law Journal.

Tarr directs the Rutgers-Camden Center for State Constitutional Studies. He has consulted with numerous state legislatures and Supreme Courts on the complexities of state constitutions. says a majority of funding for state courts – which makes up about 2 or 3 percent of a state budget – accounts for salaries for judges, clerks, and other core personnel. Therefore, Tarr says budget cuts to the courts tend to take the form of reducing personnel.

“The cuts in turn have forced state court systems to adopt measures to reduce costs, such as cutting hours and employees, which jeopardizes the administration of justice,” Tarr says.

In his article, Tarr notes that in fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011, state budget shortfalls have totaled more than $530 billion, leading to dramatic reductions in funding for state courts.

If cuts have to be made at the federal level as a result of the so-called fiscal cliff, they will include funding that goes to the states, creating more of a burden on entities like the courts, Tarr says.

“The problem for state courts is that there are many other worthwhile uses for this revenue within the state budgets,” he notes. “The courts are competing against education, Medicaid, and other state functions.”

Tarr says the American Bar Association became very concerned about funding for state courts and in 2011 formed a task force to look at the fiscal issues affecting the courts and what could be done about them.

“There are two possibilities,” he says. “The states can increase the portion of the state budget that goes to the courts, or can increase the pool so that they get the same percentage, but there’s more revenue.”

In any case, Tarr says there is no light at the end of the tunnel for underfunded state courts.

“The state courts are, for the foreseeable future, going to continue to face declining funding,” he says. “They’ll have to find ways to work more expeditiously to continue to deliver the administration of justice.”  read more »

Crapo charged with drunken driving

Crossposted on Daily Kos


UPDATE 10:14 p.m. MST. HERE IS THE MUGSHOT

UPDATE

8:22 PM PT: According to the Associated Press:

"Police said Crapo, who was alone in his vehicle, registered a blood alcohol content of .110. The legal limit in Virginia, which has strict drunken driving laws, is .08."

(I.e. He was hammered)

Merry Christmas Mike!

Well, at least he cooperated with police.

This is just in, from Politico:

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) was arrested and charged with drunken driving in Alexandria, Va., early Sunday morning, according to local police.

Jody Donaldson, a spokesperson for the Alexandria Police Department, said in an e-mail that Crapo was arrested at 12:45 a.m. Sunday. An Alexandria police officer noticed Crapo’s vehicle run through a red traffic light, and after the vehicle was stopped, the officer conducted field sobriety tests, which Crapo failed, Donaldson said. Crapo was arrested and taken into custody without incident, Donaldson said.

Idaho:

One large land mass.

One small population.

One political party filled with more screw-ups than you can fit in an average class at the Betty Ford Center.

Nice going!

Great family values!

Way to set an example for our children! (triple snark)

UPDATE:

In a statement, Crapo apologized for his actions.

“I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance,” Crapo said. “I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family, my Idaho constituents and any others who have put their trust in me. I accept total responsibility and will deal with whatever penalty comes my way in this matter.

“I will also undertake measures to ensure that this circumstance is never repeated.”

His BAC is not yet available, and there is a very interesting side note:

Crapo, a 61-year-old Republican, is serving his third term in the U.S. Senate. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and has said publicly that he abstains from alcohol.

The Tragedy in Conneticut...

My head reels at yet another tragedy that probably could have been prevented or at least been less horrific. I cannot try to get into the head of someone who would do such a thing. I can't imagine an entire Kindergarten class murdered by the teachers psychopathic son (or anyone). Beautiful children, just starting their lives....

Flashback to the summer. A bunch of people watching the latest batman movie.... A violent movie, yes but on the big screen... 12 dead....

A mall in Oregon full of holiday shoppers....

Can we do anything? Do we always have to play the victim?  read more »

The Money May Have Run Away from Boise State's Big East Future

Crossposted on Daily Kos

In many people's eyes, the Broncos were the best thing that ever happened to Idaho. This little sandlot of a state was now on the big screen, in the big time. Bronco pride and fever ran deep, and so did sales of tickets, paraphernalia and other goodies.

The giddiness was not lost on the BSU administration. Eyeing the big paydays of the New York area television market, the Broncos were set to leave the Mountain West Conference and join the much more lucrative Big East, after this season.

And to those who said that the miracle finish in 2007 when Boise state beat Oklahoma was a Cinderalla story -- a one hit wonder -- the team went on to rattle off multiple championship and bowl victory seasons in the following years. They compiled some of the best winning statistics in all of college football.

But the big dance may finally be over; for now, at least.

Boise State's future of playing football in the Big East could be in severe jeopardy. Today, the seven basketball-playing Catholic colleges of the Big East announced their decision to leave the league, according to the USA Today.

Marquette, Villanova, Seton Hall, St. John's, Georgetown, Providence and DePaul have made the decision to defect from the league based on the football moves the Big East has made.

Jeff Landers, Sports Director of LocalNews 8 is reporting that the league could be dissolved.

According to ESPN.com, the conference still doesn't have a television contract, which is only estimated between $60 million and $80 million with the basketball schools as a part of the package. ESPN is reporting the value could drop 15 or 20-percent with the loss of the seven schools.

That would affect BSU's television revenue as a football-only member of the Big East.

And here's a fascinating take from a blogger on D.F. Oliveria's Huckleberries:

Sometimes when you’re chasing dollars and swing for homeruns you strike out. Same applies to (University of Idaho); independence chasing dollars by staying in WAC as long as possible to maximize their share of the payout the defecting schools owe the WAC and body game bag payouts.

BSU chasing the higher dollar TV contract they thought was inevitable by going to the Big East. Tough spin job for (Boise State President Bob) Kustra on this one.


Money hungriness. Win at all costs. Bigger is better. The trend can be deadly. But is it reversible?

A Local 8 commenter wrote:

Boise is not in a tough spot. They just stay in the open arms of the Mountain West and forget this ever happened. It was a colossal blunder than can still be undone, remarkably easily. No court in the world would hold them liable for any breach of contract with the Big East as it is about to be constituted.

I hope they do.

Winter Carnival in a Western Town: Identity, Change and the Good of the Community

Crossposted on Daily Kos

Held annually, the McCall, Idaho, winter carnival has become a modern tradition. A festival and celebration, it is also a source of community income and opportunity for shared community effort; a chance to display the town attractively to outsiders and to define and assert McCall's identity; and consequently, a source of disagreement among citizens over what their community is, how it should be presented, and what the carnival means.

Though rooted in the broad traditions of community festival, annual civic events, often sponsored by chambers of commerce, such as that in McCall, are as much expressions of popular culture and local commerce as of older traditions. Yet they become dynamic, newer community traditions, with artistic, informal, and social meanings and practices that make them forms of folklore as well as commoditized culture.

Winter Carnival in a Western Town: Identity, Change and the Good of the Community (Ritual, Festival, and Celebration), is the first volume in a Utah State University Press series that began in 2011, titled Ritual, Festival, and Celebration.

Author Lisa Gabbert, an associate professor of English at Utah State, is a specialist in Folklore Studies. Her research includes study on landscape and place, festivals and play, and medical folklore.

Cookie traditions? Family reunions? Snipe hunting? Jell-O recipes in Utah? These are just a few of the topics that Gabbert's undergraduates research for projects in her Introduction to Folklore class. They cover:

an amazing variety of offbeat subjects. These topics may seem superficially unimportant to many scholars in other fields, and they usually are overlooked in the serious halls of academe (although undergraduate research in folklore often finds its way into professional books and publications as scholars use materials deposited in folklore archives, a recent example of which is Elizabeth Tucker’s 2007 book Haunted Halls). In fact, undergraduates’ folklore research projects document everyday practices that are the staff of local community life. These projects offer insider interpretations of local traditions, providing insight into the cultural dynamics of arenas such as family organization and the teen cultures of high school and early college. These arenas can be difficult for outsiders to study since the nature of such materials is ephemeral and rarely recorded. For these and other reasons, undergraduate research in folklore contributes to knowledge of contemporary social and cultural life.

Gabbert's students are required to go out into the community to document folklore using anthropological fieldwork techniques, and they analyze their findings in the written portion of the project.


Lisa Gabbert

Her book serves as a classic and user-friendly sample of a research product, for her students as well as anyone who interested in folklore. James P. Leary, editor of Journal of American Folklore called Winter Carnival a first rate ethnographic study:

Whereas other folklorists have scrutinized festival in relation to cultural and social systems, Lisa Gabbert offers the first fully developed study of festival in relation to work and place. Her contribution is distinguished by its engagement with environment, the industrialized backwoods, winter, and tourism in the American West.

"Without recourse to jargon, and always at a comfortable pace, the author takes us into the heart of McCall's winter festival yet always returns to key questions: how does community take shape or fragment around festive activity?" writes John H. McDowell, author of Poetry and Violence: The Ballad of Mexico's Costa Chica. "How does festival respond to changing social environments?"

"In sum, undergraduates’ folklore research benefits both students and the discipline," Gabbert writes. "Students learn about and come to more deeply appreciate community traditions; they acquire basic ethnographic skills; and they learn critical thinking by analyzing materials they have collected while they are writing up their research. In turn, folklore studies benefits from these student projects by having an ever-expanding and constantly updated archive materials upon which to base future study."

There is tremendous value in helping students see the relevance of folklore to their every day lives. I highly recommend this work for its wonderful blend of writing, theory, teaching, and practice.

Boise State Bronco Win Over Creighton: Biggest Win in History of Basketball Program

Crossposted on Daily Kos

"Boise State basketball coach Leon Rice and his players knew enough to get out of Derrick Marks' way. The sophomore guard did the rest," according to the Idaho Statesman. Marks scored a career-high 35 points, leading Boise State to a stunning 83-70 upset No. 11 Creighton, on Nov. 28. This result is the greatest victory the team has ever scored. Just take a look at these facts:

Marks hit 18-straight in the second half, 28 of his overall points in the second half before 16,364 shocked fans at CenturyLink Center Omaha. The Broncos, who played No. 13 Michigan State within four points on the road a week earlier, beat a ranked opponent for the first time in four seasons; and on the road for the first time since March 2005.

Creighton came in with all six of its wins by double figures, and the Bluejays were impressive in weekend wins over Wisconsin and Arizona State in Las Vegas. Creighton hadn't lost a regular-season November home game since 1989, a span of 42 games.

The Bluejays are the highest-ranked team Boise State has ever beaten. Prior to this game the best victory was over a No. 15 Washington team in 1998. Boise State was 1-18 against ranked teams on the road entering the game. The lone win was against Nevada in March 2005. It was Boise State's first win over a ranked opponent since they beat Utah State in February 2009. The Broncos were 5-34 all-time against ranked teams.

"The players and coaches did a great job of figuring out that Derrick was the hot hand. We kept running different plays for him to get the ball in his wheelhouse," Rice said. "And credit Derrick, he made some tough shots." Boise State shot the lights out in the first half, making seven straight three-pointers after an initial miss and would lead by as much as 39-28 with 3:10 remaining before the break.

Boise State led 39-33 after shooting 64 percent from the field in the first half. The Broncos made seven straight 3-pointers and were 9-of-13 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.

Marks 35 points are tied for 10th-most by a Bronco in a game in school history. Rice showed his team the film from the end of the close loss to Michigan State, before the Creighton game. "I was just in the zone," Marks told the Idaho Statesman. "I just felt like I had to do that so we could win the game. We reviewed the mistakes we made. I knew we'd have to deal with that again," he said. Boise State did not trail after the first minute.

At one point late in the second half, Boise State "came apart and they answered a little bit. But we put ourselves back together. It's something we didn't do against Michigan State," Rice said. "I'm proud of how they finished."

"We just had no answer for them on the defensive end of the floor. I thought they outhustled us, I thought they communicated better than we did," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "If you're watching that game tonight, it was obvious who the better team was tonight, and it wasn't us."

Marks' 35 points were 10th-most in school history and 11 more than his previous best. Boise State's nine three-pointers at halftime were the most by a Bluejay opponent in a first half in at least 10 years. Boise State outrebounded Creighton 31-19.

Nonetheless, with all the honor and glory that comes with this accomplishment, Rice kept things in perspective. "It's a great win for our program," he said. "But we don't want to be defined by one win in November."

Buht it'z in da Constahtooshun...

If Idaho State Sen. Sheryl Bangs Nutball were to breed with Sen. Chuckles Winder, can you imagine the children they'd spawn? Maybe they could open an End of Days daycare.

Gonna be a long Legislative session next year...

Post-Election Analysis of SOME WICKED ASS KICKING YEAH!

I've had literally tens of my Idaho friends and fans ask me about the recent presidential election, knowing full well I am always a balanced and fair interpreter and some might even say bellwether-man of the winds of ideological change.

So, first let me say to the devoted and focused supporters of Willard "Mitt" Romney - NEENER NEENER FUCK NEENER! Idiots

Really?

Really?

You actually thought this insectile cyborg-hate machine would win? Seriously? Look at those red/blue maps of the USA. Population Density, IQ, Racial/Ethnic Diversity, Nice places to eat out, Museums, Symphonies, etc etc

The Great White Shark of Dominant Culture America is beached and twitching in the multi-hued sand of this ass kicking nation.

The GOP pushing itself even FARTHER to the right is so brilliant. Wow. Stay hitched to Karl Rove's obvious superior political strategerianesque brilliance. So smart. So unstoppable. More Jesus. More Vagina Management by Caucasian Middle Aged Men. More safety net slashing. So scary! Can't wait for the midterms.

Oh yeah, the etch-a-sketch positioning was SO COOL. Just.so.cool. And brave!

Stay anachronistic. Stay angry. Stay anhedoniac

So here we go, here we go. Socialism! Islamic Indoctrination Centers in every major US city. Death panels. Destruction of small businesses. Chinese overlords. I can't wait! love love love to watch this nation be destroyed by DEVILCRATS and NOBAMA. Because, that's why we voted for him!

Smoking pot and marrying your drinking buddy is NOW LEGAL IN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIK OF WASHINGTON! Here weeee go!

Really though, I think we'll be ok. Except for those teabaggers in their sad, droopy tricorns and their muskets either empty or fulla teardrop soaked gunpowder. Sorry, y'all. Guess you've been fucked right out of relevance by normal America. BUMMER.

So the Hippie Days of Halcyon America are here again and I, for one, am dancing with the devil and pleased as punch.

Garfield Elementary Teachers Will Not Receive a Performance Bonus

... nor will the teachers at Frank Church High School, Boise's alternative school.

"Virtually everyone agrees that designing and monitoring a Merit Pay program would be a bureaucratic nightmare of almost epic proportions," writes Beth Lewis.

Lewis continues:

Success is difficult, if not impossible, to define and measure. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has already proven how the various unleveled playing fields in the American education system inherently set up a wide variety of standards and expectations. Consider the diverse needs of English Language Learners, Special Education Students, and low income neighborhoods, and you’ll see why it would be opening a messy can of worms to define standards of success for American schools when the stakes are cash in the pockets of real teachers.

In Idaho, the nightmare has become a reality. According to Betsy Russell:

Idaho state schools Superintendent Tom Luna has announced that under the now-repealed “Students Come First” laws, teachers in 499 schools across the state will receive bonuses for their work last school year, while those in 155 schools will not. Data for 12 schools still is in the works. The bonuses are going out on the basis of student achievement by school, measured partly by test scores. In the Boise School District, for example, teachers at North Junior High will get $234,955 in bonuses, while teachers at South Junior High will get nothing. Teachers at Highlands Elementary School will split $78,000 in bonuses, while those at Garfield, Whitney and Hawthorne elementaries will get nothing. Every high school in the district qualified for bonuses for its teachers, except for Frank Church High School, the district's alternative school.

JamesGatz offered an interesting response:

Garfield Elementary School received nothing. Garfield Elementary, a Title 1 school serving poor students, immigrant students, students who speak English as a second language, homeless students, and in general a lot of students who just have tough row to hoe in their young lives received absolutely NOTHING under Luna’s so-called pay for performance scheme. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Bupkis. Nada.

Garfield School received nothing In spite of being one of nine schools to be singled out to receive a Distinguished Schools Award for 2012. One of nine out of all Idaho schools.

Here’s the Boise School District press release about the achievement of Garfield School:

Boise, ID — 10/25/2012 — Boise School District’s Garfield Elementary School is one of only nine schools in the entire State of Idaho to earn the Distinguished Schools Award for 2012. During an awards ceremony held on Thursday, October 25, 2012, Mike Rush, Executive Director of the Idaho State Board of Education, presented Garfield Principal Debbie Donovan and District Superintendent Dr. Don Coberly with the award for 2012.

“We are honored to have received this award,” said Donovan. “It symbolizes the hard work of our staff, students and parents to create a positive and effective learning environment for students here at Garfield.”

The award is given by the State Board to schools in Idaho that meet the following criteria:  read more »

Tweet with (not-so) Veiled Obama Threat Removed


UPDATED 11/13/12:

This diary was published last week under the title:

Should the Secret Service Investigate this Tweet?

While @LauraFlyMe's Twitter account is still active, the link to a tweet that read like a threat to Obama now shows "This Twitter Page does not exist."

This development adds new light to the dialogue below.

What do you think happened?

_____

Crossposted on Daily Kos

UPDATED 11:33 a.m. MST

The watchful eye of Sisyphus has uncovered this lunacy.

This tweet has been up many hours:

If you scroll her page you will notice that a few people have already used the @ command to forward the tweet to the official Secret Service Twitter page:

And here is a similar response:

Others took a more academic approach, saying things like:

"Thanks for making us Christians look bad."

Her message crosses the line. And is @LauraFlyMe involved in the airline industry? Maybe. A quick read of the site shows it to be either a fake or a generic profile. As tytalus points out in the comments under the Daily Kos post:

"That background looks old. seems to be an old advertising campaign from National Airlines dating back to the 1970s."

The page is also filled with other extremist rants.

What do you think the consequences should be?

Here is the screenshot:  read more »

Pundits: GOP must move to the center. Krugman: Obama shouldn't budge.

Tom Cohen at CNN:

Listening to Republicans try to explain what went wrong in
their worse-than-expected election thumping reveals a party struggling
to define itself amid continuing change in the nation it seeks to lead.

"We have to allow for a period when it's going to be messy and in which
there's going to be an attempt for the Republican Party to find it's
soul," noted Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow in economic studies at the
Brookings Institution. "It's a divided party, it seems to me right now."
The well-known division pits a loud and powerful conservative base,
fueled in the past three years by the tea party movement, against a
once-prevalent moderate faction now relegated to wing status.

The Bloomberg editorial board:

Republicans have two options. They can join the White House
in shaping immigration reform, all the while knowing that the president
will get the lion’s share of credit. This is politically unappealing in
the short term, which is certainly one reason Republicans have resisted
it. However, the alternative promises even more dispiriting political
consequences.

If Republicans again oppose immigration reform, they risk cementing
their reputation as obstructionists and, in the process, tightening the
Democrats’ hold on a large and rapidly growing constituency. This is
tantamount to political surrender, if not suicide. It would be a
terrible outcome for the country and a self-inflicted wound that could
hobble national Republican campaigns for years to come.

Michael Gerson at The Washington Post:

The 2012 election was a substantial victory not only for
President Obama but also for liberalism. Obama built his campaign on
abortion rights and higher taxes for the wealthy. He was rewarded by an
electorate that was younger, more pro-choice and more racially diverse
than in 2008. The Obama coalition is not a fluke; it is a force.
Some conservatives have reacted in the tradition of Cicero: “Oh, the
times! Oh, the customs!”Rush Limbaugh concluded, “We’ve lost the
country,” which he described as a “country of children.” “There is no
hope,” Ann Coulter said. And Bill O’Reilly: “It’s not a traditional
America anymore.”

As a matter of strategy, it is generally not a good idea to express disdain for an electorate one hopes to eventually influence.  read more »

Obama Tearfully Thanks Volunteers.

And I couldn't say it better.

Idaho Democrats Play Key Roles in Obama Victory

Nobody in Idaho suffered any delusion to whom the state's four electoral votes were going, but few are aware that two of Idaho's prodigal sons were influential in achieving victory for Obama.

Jim Messina, who grew up in Boise and graduated from Boise High School led Obama’s reelection campaign that observers said used a mix of behavioral science and technology to identify and get out to vote a new crop of voters to the coalition. He has now kept his election victory record intact since he ran a campaign for former Missoula Mayor Dan Kemmis in 1993. The sky seems to be the limit for his future.

Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff Bruce Reed grew up in Coeur D’ Alene, the son of environmental attorney Scott Reed and former Democratic Senator Mary Lou Reed. He was credited by former President Bill Clinton as co-author of his powerful convention speech that energized Democratic activists.

Jim Messina's star couldn't be higher right now given this quote from last week: "We have the math. They have the myth." And to underscore the ludicrous nature of Obama's liberal/socialist tag of which the right wing media is so fond, Messina was formerly the chief of staff to blue dog Senator Baucus of Montana. Even with these conservative credentials, Messina's fact based pragmatism who helped shepherd Obamacare through his senate committee and eventually the full congress before Obama brought him on board in the White House. I cannot think of anyone who has been a more influential force in this administration and thus the country in the last four years.

Bruce Reed formerly headed what's left of the DLC, a centrist Democratic organization, before being asked to be Vice President Biden's Chief of Staff. His efforts at assembling persuasive facts for Clinton's convention speech earned Clinton the internet title of "Secretary of Explaining Shit", a sanitized version of which later became his preferred title by the Obama campaign in later speeches. If Republicans can't find common ground with these two Idahoans, then it's the Republican party playing politics. Or they have become so ideologically extreme in their epistemic bubble, they can't be reasoned with.  read more »

And Indeed He Was

This guy opted for some last minute electioneering in front of the Idaho Statehouse on election day. A facebook capture shows him walking away from Mitt Romney's Idaho co-chairs, Governor Butch Otter and Senator Jim Risch (I can't confirm if that's the angry little gnome but it looks like his bald spot). I chatted with the man as I asked for his picture. He stated he wanted to exercise his civil rights before they disappeared. He was still shaking from a confrontation with the Idaho State Police just twenty minutes before who threatened him with a felony. They strongly encouraged him to leave the area, the most visible and politically, if not socially, appropriate one in the state. I shared with him my concerns regarding the backfiring of his methods of political persuasion but have no doubt that the first amendment protected him where he was. Despite the police confrontation, he laughed getting flipped off by nearly every grey haired white guy who drove by.

“Was last week a head fake, or were they just not that smart?”

*UPDATED 11/8/2012*

Republicans believed their own spin

Mitt Romney will win. The tie in the polls goes to the challenger. Here’s why:

Enthusiasm. It matters enormously, and it’s disproportionately on the Republican side, in good measure because of an intense desire to defeat President Obama. True, enthusiasm doesn’t guarantee an edge in turnout, but it’s certainly a key indicator. “In these final days, turnout is driven by intensity,” says Republican pollster Ed Goeas. The nearly half the electorate that strongly disapproves of Obama’s performance in office “will need little else other than the opportunity to vote against President Obama to motivate them to go to their polling place.” Goeas conducts the bipartisan Battleground Poll along with Democrat Celinda Lake.

In 2008, self-identified Democrats led Republicans in turnout by seven percentage points. Gallup’s projection is that Republicans will have a 49-46 percent edge this year. “The political environment and the composition of the likely electorate strongly favor Governor Romney,” Goeas says. The Battleground Poll’s “vote election model” projects Romney with 51 percent.

The words above are from a Weekly Standard article written the day before the election.

And get a load of this bold prediction:

Uh! OK Steve.

But reality settled in: Before Republicans went looking for answers Tuesday night, some of them went looking for the remote, according to CNN in a story called Analysis: Why Romney lost.

When it became clear about midnight that President Barack Obama was safely on the way to re-election, a handful of cranky and inebriated Republican donors wandered about Romney's election night headquarters, angrily demanding that the giant television screens inside the ballroom be switched from CNN to Fox News, where Republican strategist Karl Rove was making frantic, face-saving pronouncements about how Ohio was not yet lost.

Romney's 'all' proved not enough

Rove was wrong, of course.

Congratulations to President Barack Obama, the first Democratic president since FDR to win more than 50% of the popular vote in two elections.

The election finally "was a great night for pollsters, too! Well, maybe not so much for Jonathan Paleologos," wrote blogger deminva.

On October 10, 2012, Paleologos told Fox’s "The O’Reilly Factor.

“I think in places like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, we’ve already painted those red, we’re not polling any of those states again,” " “We’re focusing on the remaining states.”

deminva snarked:

"Jonathan Paleologos, the political scientist with his finger on the pulse of his own state, Virginia."

Story: Pollster pulls out of Fla., NC and Va., says Obama can’t win there

___

According to the Washington Examiner, what was striking after Fox News called the race for Obama, at about 11:15 p.m., was how stunned so many of Romney’s supporters were. Many said they were influenced by the prominent conservatives who predicted a big Romney win, and they fully expected Tuesday night to be a victory celebration.

“I am shocked, I am blown away,” said Joe Sweeney, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “I thought I had a pretty good pulse on this stuff. I thought there was a trend that was going on underground.”

“We were so convinced that the people of this country had more common sense than that,” said Nan Strauch, of Hilton Head, South Carolina. “It was just a very big surprise. We felt so confident.”

“It makes me wonder who my fellow citizens are,” said Marianne Doherty of Boston. “I’ve got to be honest, I feel like I’ve lost touch with what the identity of America is right now. I really do.”

___

In response to the wide reaching enthusiasm of Romneyites, one source questioned:

“Was last week a head fake, or were they just not that smart?”

Congressman Labrador's Twitter Page Gets Naughty ... AGAIN!

Crossposted on Daily Kos

"I think all of America can get behind (in front of?) this sort of bi-partisan advocacy." - Alexandra Grande (Facebook comment)

_____

Looking for a wild time?

Well just be sure to regularly check the Facebook page of Congressman Raul Labrador.

First, we had Labrador Retweets Endorsement from Fictional 1960s TV Character, prompting Huckleberries Online to ask:

Which fictional TV character would you want to be endorsed by?

DFO wrote:

The Twitterverse and liberal The Daily Kos are having fun with a R/T by Congressman Raul Labrador's crew — of Dr. Alfred Bellows' endorsement: “I'm supporting @Labrador4Idaho, and you should too. The man has delivered on his campaign promise of fiscal responsibility.” If that name sounds familiar, you're probably a fan of the old TV show: “I Dream of Jeanie.” Dr. Alfred Bellows was the psychiatrist in the 1960s comedy. Tweeter Sharon Fisher may have been the first person to spot the R/T — and hilarity that went with it.

And this in today From Tony Shallat:

At about 11:30 MST:

If you want a quick laugh today go to

https://twitter.com/Labrador4Idaho/favorites

Look at what tweet he favorited. Yes this is real.

Then an hour later:

Well Labrador fixed his twitter account....but I have a screenshot....can't escape naughty behavior in the iPhone generation:

"I didn't realize he was such a health fanatic." - Ben Wilson (on Facebook)

Vote No on Hunting/Fishing Amendment to Save Hunting and Fishing

Growing up in Idaho, parents engendered a love for the outdoors often through sharing productive past times of hunting and fishing. If parents didn't, exposure came through friends, other relatives or simple proximity to the outdoors. Many received hunter safety classes in seventh grade and a hunting trip with dad might be an excuse to miss a day of school. Pickup trucks with gun racks were for the rifle and/or a fishing rod, in case you crossed a stream around sundown with a cloud of caddis descending on the water's surface dimpled with fish rising. The walls of many an Idaho household are adorned with photos of a mess of fish or a prized buck, if not the animals themselves.

So I view with no small amount of amused perplexity anyone who would politically posture constitutional protection for activities under zero threat of majority vote restricting them. As usual when the skeptical hackles rise, the devil is in the details. The text of the amendment will likely be dismissed by the ordinary Idaho voter in favor of its statement of purpose, to protect hunting, fishing and trapping. However, the proposed amendment may actually harm the ability for successful hunts, would protect some inhumane methods of take, and actually takes aim at killing fish, not protecting them.  read more »

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