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

Dean wobbled, but he won't fall down

"If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can ever imagine."

— Obi-Wan Kenobi

Memories of a Dean Administration

He fell from the highest of political heights. But now Howard Dean is up—and moving—again.

By Meryl Gordon

Just as the elevator doors were closing, a loud gasp came from the crowd inside. They’d just realized that the compact, graying man in the dark suit and button-down white shirt, awaiting an up elevator, was indeed Howard Dean.

“I love it when that happens,” says Dean, mimicking the astonished looks. “I feel like I’m constantly in an Alfred Hitchcock movie these days—I pop up in places that normal people do, and they don’t expect it. It’s a cameo, this guy on national TV for six months walking by, and they can’t quite place me.”  read more »

The Cheney-Edwards Debate

I have my take on the vice-presidential debates:

Moderator: Welcome, Vice President Cheney, Senator Edwards.

Edwards: Thank you.

Cheney: F*&k you!

Moderator: First question, your take on the economy.

Edwards: A two tier system, richer and poorer. We need to find a way to bring back the middle class. Jobs and health care for all.

Cheney: F*&k the middle class.

Moderator: Your opinion of your opponent?

Edwards: Has served his nation well but his time has elapsed. The vice-president operates America like a corporation, squeezing out the middle class and sending the poor to do the dirty work on behalf of his Neocon beliefs.

Cheney: Go F*&k yourself, you snake oil salesman. I have another four years to screw Americans out of a lot of money, and F*&k Patrick Leahy again...

You're getting the picture...

We will hear the GOP attack machine try to derail Senator Edwards. They are in paranoia of his draw to the middle and lower class. He has been there and knows how the average American survives. Lower and middle class rebellion is the fear of this administration, at both national and local levels.

This is a good time, with Fahrenheit 911 and the nomination of Senator Edwards, to show that we are not afraid to ask questions and challenge both local and national leaders. We should build on this momentum -- remember, opportunity only knocks once.

Free Ride

The Republican party will change the words from Foghat’s song for their convention theme. A solemn reminder of how easy BushCo has had it when you read this excellent article from Rep. Henry Waxman in the Washington Post (free registration required).

During the Clinton administration, Congress spent millions of tax dollars probing alleged White House wrongdoing. There was no accusation too minor to explore, no demand on the administration too intrusive to make.

Republicans investigated whether the Clinton administration sold burial plots in Arlington National Cemetery for campaign contributions. They examined whether the White House doctored videotapes of coffees attended by President Clinton. They spent two years investigating who hired Craig Livingstone, the former director of the White House security office. And they looked at whether President Clinton designated coal-rich land in Utah as a national monument because political donors with Indonesian coal interests might benefit from reductions in U.S. coal production.

...  read more »

Speech I gave at a recent Mobilize America's Youth Rally in Spokane

Hey, it’s great to see you all out here today!

My name is Ian Stenseng, I’m 23 years old, and I’m running for the Idaho State Senate, District 5 in Post Falls.

I was at the state Democratic convention in Pocatello last weekend – I was a Howard Dean delegate – and I met a young woman named Dani Diaz there.

Dani was also a delegate, eighteen years old, very bright, and already very involved in politics and progressive action. And Dani said something that I thought had an element of truth to it.

She was talking about us as young people, and she said, “We always complain that people in positions of power don’t listen to us, but the problem is that half of the time, we’re not SAYING anything.” And I think that’s true, and I think that’s what today is all about, changing that.  read more »

Donkey Power!

Grass Roots Support...=)

Kerry - Edwards in 2004 and 2008

Thank God for pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon, rosemary with stuffed garlic. I was able to be up early this morning to watch live the good news with the Edwards’ announcement.

So, speaking of pork, the comparison to Cheney has begun. The analysts were discussing how much more important the duties of the V.P. have become and does Edwards have the experience. What they should be discussing is because of our current President, he has screwed up so much, that the current V.P. has to practically run the country.

Kerry - Edwards are a team, a blend of tradition with a nice middle class touch. Not a father - son relationship where the son is a blank up, and dad is always cleaning up his mistakes and making them worse or for profit. Of all the choices for Kerry, I feel that he has made the right choice (sorry Dean fans) and a new energy has been added that can carry us to the top in November. So what should I have for dinner tonight?

Kerry-Edwards '04

I can live with that.

There were a lot of good choices for Veep, and heaven knows there were a few I would have been unhappy with (Gephardt, Vilsack).

I suppose my biggest surprise is that Kerry chose someone who is now expected to run for prez in 2012. Yeah, Kerry still has to win this year, I know, but with all the factions within the Democratic Party hankering for their shot at the White House, I thought he might stick with a VP who was older and didn't have obvious sights on the Oval Office.

I think, for Kerry, it came down to winning, and he probably has the best chance of doing so with Edwards. They look good together, Edwards is a hell of a campaigner, and if there is such a thing as a "Southern strategy," this covers it.

This is a team-up that can win in November, and in the end, that's what really counts. Now it's time for all us Democrats to get our asses out there, every day up to November 2nd, and win this election!

If only the GOoPers really had Common Sense...

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

Dang if that Thomas Paine didn't have a way with words. I hope you Democrats throughout the state had a great 4th.

Now get ready to dig in for the fight — only 119 days left until November 2nd.

Light up the sky

Click here to see a low-rez QuickTime video clip (or here for a higher-resolution version) of the finale of the "greatest show in Idaho."

I have to admit, it was impressive. Although I would have happily gotten by without the simulcast's audio clips of Ronald Reagan and the blatant jingoism of the announcer. Still and all, the fireworks were nice.

Democrats on Parade

A few photos from today's parade in Pocatello.

Color Guard
Color Guard

Supporters for Lin Whitworth for Congress  read more »

If you build it (unsafe), they will come (after you)

Nobody needs or wants overzealous government inspection, as should be obvious. But that doesn't mean businesses in Idaho should be above oversight. Stop a hundred people on the street and ask them if they're going to commit a crime, and they're going to answer "no." That doesn't mean we don't need cops patrolling our streets. No industry is immune from those who cut corners or put their worker's lives in danger to save a buck. Enforcement of the law is necessary to keep all of us safe.

I'm sure most building contractors are honest and put the safety of their employees first, but every barrel has its bad apples. However, in the view of the Idaho Building Contractors Association of Southwest Idaho, they're being singled out for no good reason, and complain that the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is just picking on them:

(Ted) Martinez claims the heavy handed fines have put some of his members out of business. "Let me give you an example. One of our builders actually called them and asked them if they would come out to their job and check for compliance. They came out to their job and checked for compliance. The following week that inspector went out to their job and fined them."

They have complained to Congressman Butch Otter's Office who has expressed concern. Otter's office says he is

It's turning blue!

Don't know whether y'all know about; it's a website that lists contributions (including names and addresses and titles) to the presidential campaigns. It's creepy and neat at the same time.

Anyway, they have one thing where they show the map of the U.S., using donations as a proxy for candidate support, and according to that -- Idaho is light blue! In other words, we've gotten more donations to Democratic candidates than Republican.

In fact, only one state (Kentucky) is dark red, though others are pink.

Bias in the Press? =)

In response to Henry Sego's letter, I have to agree with Mr. Sego. There is a decidedly editorial bias regarding the content of our homey little newspaper's op/ed section.

Unfortunately, I can't share in Mr. Sego's questionable assessment as to where the bias lies. He seems to forget that, while Marty Fortier's regular contributions to our little paper may read like the muddleheaded screeds of a neocon mouth-breather, it is important to remember that they are the PAID muddleheaded screeds of a neocon mouth-breather.

I'm sure that were it not for The Press' 500 word limit, Ms. Steinmetz would be happy to talk at great length about the "great harm" the Clinton administration did to America.  read more »

Working with the MMOB

43SB received an email from Don Abrams, membership coordinator for Mainstreet Moms Oppose Bush (MMOB). The MMOB's primary emphasis is letter writing campaigns aimed at single women in swing states. The approach involves individuals sponsoring letter writing events in their homes and inviting friends and neighbors to participate. All the necessary materials are available on their web site, including sample letters, fact sheets, and voter registration forms. They can even provide names and addresses for potential swing state voters.

MMOB has over 800 members across the country, but not a single person in Idaho. If you're interested in joining up, check out their website at (which, by the way, is one of the best site designs I've seen in a long time).

Now here's a draft I can support

Rumors going 'round is that early next week Senator Kerry will announce his choice for a running mate. Many names have been floated and dismissed, but some folks aren't waiting for a decision — instead, as Julie discusses at Red State Rebels, they're pushing one:

With news that Ralph Nader is hurting John Kerry in key states, the Dean-for-VP forces are getting serious. The National Draft Dean for VP Committee has announced it may mount a floor fight at the Democratic National Convention to put Howard Dean's name in contention for the party's VP nomination.  read more »

Collecting signatures just got a little easier

At least something good has come out of the attempt to repeal Right-to-Work earlier this year. I originally wrote this back on March 16th at the old Idaho for Dean weblog:

Man, son charged with trespassing

(Idaho Statesman, edition date 3/14/2004.)

A Canyon County father and son who circulated a petition at the Idaho Center on Friday were arrested on trespassing charges, police said.

Robert Allen and his son, Nate, were circulating a petition for the Idaho Citizens to Repeal Right to Work in the parking lot during a monster truck rally, Nampa Police Sgt. Kyle Winnicki said.

The Idaho Center is supported by tax dollars -- OUR tax dollars. Mr. Allen checked with lawyers beforehand to make sure it was legal to gather signatures there, and was informed it was completely within the law.

And yesterday, this is what the judge determined:  read more »

The temperature at which the Bush Administration melts

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Edwards Grand Teton Stadium 14 in Idaho Falls (the closest theater for me in SE Idaho) to watch Fahrenheit 9/11, and it was a real treat.

Attending the 2:10PM showing, I didn’t think there would be many folks there to see it early on a Thursday afternoon. After buying my ticket and hitting the concession stand, I remembered I wanted to buy a Post Register. PR reporter Milan Gagnon has let us here on 43SB know he was writing an article about F9/11's premier. According to the article, Wednesday’s 11:30AM showing had a technical problem, and the theater was unable to show the last 10 minutes of the movie, necessitating a refund to the audience.

When I returned to the theater, the movie had just begun, and the audience had swelled to somewhere between 40 and 60 people. A quick glance gave the impression that a majority of the audience were senior citizens, with the rest consisting of those under 30. Being in my 40s, I was definitely in the minority.

About the movie itself:  read more »

F 9/11: The new Fear Factor for Eastern Idaho

Before I begin my personal review of F 9/11, let me mention a very well written article in the Post Register by Milan Gagnon about the opening of F 9/11. In Milan’s article he mentions “attendees were hesitant to give names or speak about the film or their motives for seeing it, and no one would consent to photographs.” Wow! Are people that afraid in Eastern Idaho to express their opinion without fear of repercussion? Why would that be?

Can’t be because of religious convictions, we have separation of church and state, nor arrogance of another political party, in America everyone is equal. Maybe because F 9/11 is all lies. At least that is what local GOP activist  read more »

"Not just yes, but hell yes"

Good story in today's Idaho State Journal on the U.S. Congressional race between Lin Whitworth and Mike Simpson:

Simpson has defended his seat capably since taking office in 1998. The former Blackfoot dentist, a former Speaker of the Idaho House, snared almost 71 percent of the popular vote in 2000 and more than 68 percent in 2002.

Still, Whitworth radiates optimism.

"Can I beat (Simpson)? Not just yes, but hell yes," he said. "Don't tell me I can't because I can. That's the way I've had to face life."

This is what I want to see in every Democratic candidate throughout the Gem State. I want take-no-prisoners, spit in their eye, never-give-up-never-give-in and damn the torpedoes attitude.

Idaho has some serious problems, be it financial, social, educational, et al, and with the GOP's control of this state for so long, they've got no one to blame for our state's woes but themselves.

Too many of Idaho's Republican legislators make poor decisions, create discord and stifle communication, and can't be trusted with taxpayer money. If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, our Republican legislators are a highway construction crew unto themselves.

Only by getting more Democrats into government statewide, and forcing the state GOoPers to actually think before they act, will we be able to turn things around for the better for Idaho's citizens. And candidates like Lin Whitworth will be in the forefront of that positive change.

Back in Black Smack

For you Lewis Black fans (ranting is my speciality) a really good rant at campaign ads. Lewis pokes fun at MoveOn and Howard Dean but really puts a smack down on the red 527's. To enjoy this go to under "The Daily Show" and Back in Black campaign ads (or click here). A great way to start your day....

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