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

Baseball been berry berry good to me

Cute little human-interest story about folks from Illinois visiting our lovely North Idaho area.

LES WINKELER: BASEBALL A WAY TO BREAK MOST SILENCE BARRIERS (click here to read article.)

Always thinking of the families

Our neighbor's son was across the street and was in his National Guard uniform talking with his mom. I asked how everything was going. His wife is pregnant, just built a new home and to top everything off the National Guard is shipping him out on July 3rd. They couldn't wait an extra day or two to spend time with their families, how patriotic of them...

A little behind the times but par for Eastern Idaho....

Well, even though we celebrate the fourth of July on the fifth in this part of the world, miracles do happen. Fahrenheit 9/11 is coming to Eastern Idaho! In Idaho Falls the Edward's Grand Teton will be the place to be and in Twin Falls your viewing pleasure will be at the Twin Falls Cinema 12. This is a good time to show support and let everyone know the movie is in town. So tomorrow I intend to sit back, enjoy the ride and let the discussions begin...

Who guards their jobs while they guard our country?

It would be one thing if this were just an isolated incident, but it happens a lot more than we imagine:

An Idaho National Guardsman was fired from his state job a day after being called for active duty in Iraq.

The firing of Pfc. Britt Haustveit is indicative of a larger problem that citizen soldiers have with employers, Guard and military reserve advocates said.

Haustveit, 23, had been working for the Transportation Department for nearly a year when his Guard unit was put on alert in late February. He told the Lewiston Morning Tribune on Monday that his supervisors asked him almost daily if he was being called up, and he kept telling them it was unclear because he was in a support, not a combat, unit.  read more »

Hypocrisy Redux

From Christian Coalition to casino chicanery — another right-wing "do as I say, not as I do" moralist get's caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

When Ralph Reed was the boyish director of the Christian Coalition, he made opposition to gambling a major plank in his "family values" agenda, calling gambling "a cancer on the American body politic" that was "stealing food from the mouths of children." But now, a broad federal investigation into lobbying abuses connected to gambling on Indian reservations has unearthed evidence that Reed has been surreptitiously working for an Indian tribe with a large casino it sought to protect--and that Reed was paid with funds laundered through two firms to try to keep his lucrative involvement secret. Reed has always operated behind the scenes, and apparently he didn't want to risk becoming a humbled hypocrite like his right-wing cohorts William Bennett and Rush Limbaugh.

==snip==  read more »

Seventh-Inning Wretch

Yoiks — nothing like pissing off an entire stadium of baseball fans:

(Vice-President Dick) Cheney, who visited both clubhouses after batting practice, watched part of the game from the box of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and part from a first-row seat next to the Yankees dugout, where he sat between New York Gov. George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Cheney was booed when he was shown on the right-field videoboard during the seventh-inning stretch.

Cheney, Bush and the rest of the neo-freaks can spin these outbursts as much as they want, but the fact is that day by day, more and more people don't trust them, don't like them, and want them to go away.

At this rate, by the time Election Day arrives, Dubya's administration is going to feel like a pi

Saint Ralphie falls from grace

Bumpersticker for sale on CafePress:



Sure they have a choice — Bagdad or Leavenworth

Over 1,600 Idahoans with the Army National Guard's 116th Armor Cavalry Brigade have been and are in the process of being sent to Texas for training in preparation for possible deployment in Iraq. But it looks like a lot more folks — who probably thought their term of duty was long over — are going back into the military, whether they want to or not.

Army Plans Involuntary Call-Up of Thousands

(Reuters) - The U.S. Army is planning an involuntary mobilization of thousands of reserve troops to maintain adequate force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, defense officials said on Monday.  read more »

Not smokin' for long

Smoke ‘em if you got em, bum ‘em if you don’t, because if you’re a smoker, you don’t have much time left to light up in indoor public places.

Imagine walking into your favorite local restaurant, taking a deep breath and smelling .. only food.

Come July 1, that clean air will be no accident. It will be the result of the Idaho Clean Indoor Air Act, passed earlier this year by the state Legislature.

The new law will affect more than just eateries, however.  read more »

Ssssssssmokin'!

Box Office Mojo shouts, 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Ignites Box Office Passion:

With $21.958 million in the till since its record-breaking debut in New York City on Wednesday, Fahrenheit 9/11 is already the highest grossing documentary of all time -- excluding large format, concert and other non-"apples-to-apples" sub-genres – surpassing Moore's own Bowling for Columbine's $21.6 million lifetime gross.

Fahrenheit is also the first documentary to land in the weekend top five, let alone be No. 1. Its opening topped Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction's $9.3 million as the best ever for a Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner, and it was Tarantino's jury that handed Moore the prize this year.  read more »

Rebel review of F9/11

I won't get a chance to view this for myself until Wednesday or Thursday, but Julie at Red State Rebels has already experienced Fahrenheit 9/11, and posted a great review at her site.

President Harry Truman once said, "I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell." Dubya and his buddies just felt the temperature jump in a big way.

Idaho Press Club's "friendly lawsuit" against Idaho GOP

Click "read more" below post to see entire article.


Last month, the Idaho Press Club filed a “friendly lawsuit” against the state Legislature because it (meaning the Republicans, of course — the state Democrats hold their meetings in the open) continued to hold meetings in secret, behind closed doors, in violation of Idaho’s Open Meetings policy.

This issue arose during the 2003 legislative session, when a half-dozen closed meetings of official legislative committees were held, including the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, the Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee, and the House and Senate resources committees. Media groups from throughout the state, including the Idaho Press Club, the Idaho Allied Daily Newspaper Publishers, and the Idaho State Broadcasters Association, protested in a joint letter delivered to legislative leadership on May 3, 2003.

That letter said in part, “Closed meetings violate state law, but just as importantly, they violate the public trust. Secrecy in government arouses suspicion. Transparency in government fosters trust. We respectfully urge the Legislature to incorporate Idahoans in the committee process – and follow the letter of the law – in all of its future meetings.”  read more »

Bunce & Preston registering voters this Saturday


Del Bunce, candidate for House seat 14B, and Naomi Preston, running for the
U.S. House of Representatives, will be in Eagle this Saturday at the Wild Wild
West Coffee shop. They'll be registering Ada County residents to vote this November,
and you can even request an absentee ballot.

Stop on by, grab a tasty beverage, take a minute to register to vote and chat
with Naomi and Del. They're both top-notch folks and terrific candidates —
you'll be glad you dropped in.

Union Members: Come walk with Lin Whitworth July 4 & 5


Patty Nance, campaign director for Whitworth
for Congress
, sent this note out today:

Good Afternoon!

We are looking for a few (okay 50+) good union members who would be willing
to walk in the Pocatello 4th of July parade with Lin Whitworth, candidate
for the Second Congressional District.

We will meet at the Whitworth office (lower level of the Labor Temple, corner
of Wyeth and Arthur, Pocatello) Sunday, July 4 at 9 a.m. The parade starts
at 10 a.m. We will have signs and candy ready for each participant. We expect
to be done by noon.

PLEASE WEAR YOUR FAVORITE UNION T-SHIRT AND
BRING YOUR UNION SIGNS IF YOU CAN!

I know many of you want to go out of town, spend the day with the family or
just sit under a shade tree in a hammock on the 4th but think about this:
Lin Whitworth spent countless hours gathering signatures and organizing the
Repeal Right-to-Work effort in Eastern Idaho when he could have been spending
that time with his family or just hangin' out under a tree in his own hammock
:)

Thanks in advance for your help — please share this with your membership
and together we will have the biggest representation of Idaho's labor community
that anyone has seen in years!

Thanks — you're the best!
Patty Nance

This Message brought to you by Whitworth for Congress, Richard Stallings, Treasurer

I know from firsthand experience how hard Lin and his family worked to gather
signatures for repeal of Right-to-Work, and they gave 200% effort to the cause.
This man truly is a friend to Labor.

Idaho Falls will be holding their celebrations on Monday the 5th, and the Whitworth
for Congress folks would love the company of good I.F. area Union members to
walk with them in that parade. They'll meet at the Civic Auditorium (by Idaho
Falls High School on South Boulevard) at 9:30AM The parade starts at 10AM and
the Whitworth campaign will have signs and candy ready for every union member
that joins in.

All of you Labor folks in Southeast Idaho, come out and support a man who has
spent his life supporting Unions and union membership. Walk with Lin on Sunday,
July 4th in Pocatello and Monday, July 5th in Idaho Falls. Let's show our corner
of the state that we need to send a real working man to Congress!

F#&% You, You F#&%ing F#&%ers!

There, now I'm fully qualified to be Vice-President:

On Tuesday, Cheney, serving in his role as president of the Senate, appeared in the chamber for a photo session. A chance meeting with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, became an argument about Cheney's ties to Halliburton Co., an international energy services corporation, and President Bush's judicial nominees. The exchange ended when Cheney offered some crass advice.

"Fuck yourself," said the man who is a heartbeat from the presidency.

Day by day, bit by bit, Cheney's losing it. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

ProgressivePunch ranks Idaho's Congresscritters

Click "read more" below post to see entire article.



There's a new website in town, it's got silicon in its veins, and it's fast on the draw. It's name is ProgressivePunch, and here's how they describe what they do:

ProgressivePunch is a non-partisan searchable database of Congressional voting records from a Progressive perspective. But we're convinced it's extremely useful irrespective of anyone's political positions.

We show the performance of members within 125 different issue categories, and detailed vote descriptions, thereby empowering you to zero in on what matters to you.

Many groups and organizations that set up their own rating systems include their own biases, intentionally or unintentionally. ProgressivePunch claims their methodology eliminates this problem, and that they "try to take human beings out of the equation as much as possible." Although, as they write on their website:

"The Progressive Position" by definition, is the position of the majority of the Progressives, not the position of the majority of the Republicans. We've tested this algorithm in the real world and it works extremely well.

So what does it have to say about Idaho's own odd squad of Larry Craig, Mike Crapo, Mike Simpson and Butch Otter? Before we show you the numbers, let's first look at an example of how a Democrat from our neck of the woods would rate.  read more »

WWJS: What would Jesus spin?

From Bill in Portland Maine's "Cheers & Jeers" entry on today's DailyKOS:

Jesus comes back to Earth and grants an exclusive appearance on the O’Reilly Factor. C&J has exclusive transcript…with the money quote in bold:

CHRIST: ...and I’m saddened that your president, Mr. Bush, has turned his back on so many of the sick and downtrodden in America. The rich can take care of themselves—why not focus on the poor and help lift them up with kindness and love?

O’REILLY: Y’know, I’ve gotta say I’m disappointed in you, Mr. Christ. I’m disappointed. I thought we were…

CHRIST: But…  read more »

F911: Let's get ready to rumble

Julie in Boise here. I've been in touch with Carole Skinner, owner of The Flicks, about whether we can have a voter registration table there during Farenheit 911's run. She tells me she has already been in touch with the Ada County Dems and the state party in hopes of arranging just such a presence.

If you are near Boise and would be willing to help staff a registration table, please let me know by emailing me at julie@juliefanselow.com. I'll have more info soon.

Right-wing poll claims Idaho men support — *gasp!* — Bush


Julie at Red
State Rebels
puts the smackdown on the Rethug-sponsored poll
conducted by a Boise talk-radio wingnut and Senator Craig sycophant. Check out
her post here.

One year ago, but seems like yesterday


One
year ago today
, Governor Howard Dean of Vermont formally announced his candidacy
for president. Though no longer in the race, the movement he began continues to
grow and thrive.

The reason so many people across this country have become active in national,
regional and local politics is due, in large part, to the message and the challenge
Dr. Dean laid out before the American public.

The right-wing in power have done their utmost to drag this country into a
pit of despair, to defile and divide a nation acclaimed as a beacon of light and hope
for over 200 years. But as Howard Dean reminded us, we have a choice. We, as
Americans, can do better.

We have the power.

We can take our country back.

131 days until the election. Let's not waste a minute.

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