Saturday, February 16, 2008

No Nukes for Idaho...

I realize there are a lot of pros and cons to nuclear energy... and since science was never a favorite subject of mine, I won't pretend to understand all of it. My resistance comes from my belief that nuclear power is unsafe, I don't trust the "government" to be honest with us about the long-term affects, and I don't believe we have developed a safe way to deal with waste. I will NEVER support a "solution" that will impact my grandchildren (who aren't born yet).

That being said, I found this very interesting and important for us to know:

Nuclear Power and France: The Most Complex and Unsolved Radioactive Waste Problem in the World

France gets nearly 80% of its electricity from its 58 reactors.

However, such a heavy reliance on nuclear power brings with it many major, unsolved problems, most especially that of radioactive waste. In fact, the French nuclear power program has resulted in the most complex nuclear waste problem in the world and includes an accumulated "pile of plutonium" with no safe disposal option of more than 80 metric tons sitting in tens of thousands of vulnerable containers.

France reprocesses domestic and foreign reactor waste - chemically separating the plutonium from the unfissioned uranium. Only about one percent of this mass is plutonium and only a small fraction of this is "recyled" as reactor fuel in "MOX" reactors. Operating MOX reactors in France - that use a blend of plutonium and uranium oxide fuel - comprise only 16of the fleet and all the waste these reactors generated has to be transported and stored. It is not reprocessed.

Reprocessing itself results in large quantities of liquid wastes that are discharged into the English Channel. This has resulted in radioactive contamination of the seas as far as the Arctic Circle and in leukemia clusters around the French reprocessing plant (La Hague.) Aerial discharges are also highly radioactive - thousands of times higher than natural background radiation.

Read our fact sheet on Nuclear Power in France: Setting the Record Straight to learn more about the French nuclear mess.

And read The Cogema File to better understand the culture of cover-ups and contamination that has marked the corporate nuclear history of France.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thank you, Sharon, for all you given us...

Idaho Press-Tribune
Sharon Strauss
Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Prominent local Democrat dies

CANYON COUNTY — Just days after the largest Democratic caucus in Canyon County memory, local party activist Sharon Van Slyke died of cancer Sunday. In addition to her political work, Van Slyke has been lauded as a strong force for women and for her work to help children.

Van Slyke, 69, of Kuna, died Sunday after battling cancer. She resided at Karcher Estates rehabilitation center in Nampa at the time of her death. She lived for more than 20 years in rural Canyon County with her husband, Carl, before the couple moved to Kuna.

A matriarch of the Democratic party, Van Slyke spent a lifetime championing its causes. In particular, she advocated for a greater role for women in Idaho politics.

Van Slyke dedicated countless hours to the Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus, holding positions both as the president and regional director. Her years of work positively impacted women politicians across the state, her fellow Democrats said.

“She was a very dedicated Democrat. She worked very hard for the party, not only for Canyon County but for the state as a whole,” said Nampa resident Mary Peck, who worked with Van Slyke for decades on Canyon County Democrat issues.

Under Van Slyke’s leadership, a candidate training module was developed by the caucus to help candidates of both genders run successful campaigns.

She also started “Dine and Dialogue with Democratic Divas,” a lunch forum that featured Democratic leaders and spotlighted issues.

When not advancing Democratic principles, she often held Democratic fundraisers at her home.

The Democratic Party was just one of Van Slyke’s many causes.

“Her claim to fame and the thing she enjoyed doing was being the birthing mother of various organizations,” her husband Carl told the Idaho Press-Tribune. “People would ask her what she did, and she would say she was a community activist.”

Among the organizations she helped bring to life were the local Interfaith Alliance, of which she was a founding member in 1998, and the Idaho Refugee Resettlement Program, where she formerly served as director.

She was a “founding mother” of the Idaho Women’s Network, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. She also served as president of the United Way of Canyon County.

“We were sad to hear of Sharon’s passing and deeply appreciated her efforts in the progressive movement,” said Idaho Women’s Network executive director Donna Wade.

Close to her heart was her affiliation with the Church Women United movement, where Van Slyke served on the national board.

Children’s advocacy was also her passion, and she played a key role in helping head up a campaign against childhood hunger with the Idaho Hunger Action Council, her husband said.

Her strong advocacy for children’s issues was inspired by the challenges she faced rearing her own daughter, who had epilepsy, Carl Van Slyke said. Over the years she served on a governor-appointed state youth council and was involved in various other child-advocacy causes, including the Court Appointed Special Advocates program.

“She was always interested in making the community a better place,” said Sally Zive, president and CEO of United Way of Treasure Valley, who first met Van Slyke in 1995. Van Slyke was a long-time United Way board member as well as the organization’s former Canyon County president. “She was one of these classic community volunteers. She just knew what needed to be done, and either recruited people to help her get things done or she got it done herself.”

Van Slyke’s health began to decline this fall after cancer was found in her stomach. Upon biopsy it was determined that it was breast cancer that had spread to her stomach.

Her husband Carl said that even as she grew weaker throughout the winter, “she still (had) that feisty attitude.”

Van Slyke wore her affiliation with the Democratic Party proudly, said those who knew her, despite an often uphill battle in Republican-dominated Canyon County.

Politics continued to be a mainstay in her life, even near the end. Van Slyke even had a life-size cut-out of Hillary Clinton in her hospital room, and the prop moved in with her at Karcher Estates.

“We have been watching Democratic politics on TV each day. We are just sorry that we were not able to participate in the Idaho Caucuses on Feb. 5,” Carl Van Slyke told friends via e-mail in the days before her passing.

In a 2005 interview, Van Slyke told the Idaho Press-Tribune that she hoped her legacy would be that she helped recruit and nurture a new generation of female politicians. “(R)ight now we have younger professional women who I firmly believe will be the senators, mayors and congress people as we progress into the next century,” Van Slyke said.

[I first met Sharon through the Center for New Directions in the early 90s. I was so thrilled to re-connect with her again via the Idaho Democratic Party... what a role model, what a star, what a DIVA! She has touched many lives and our world is a better place because she was here... -drp]

Reason #1969 to vote "NO" for McCain

We do NOT need a third Bush term!!
We do not need more LIES!
We do not need more WAR!

We need the TRUTH!

We need HONESTY!

We need to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH!


Reason #1968 to vote "NO" for McCain

America cannot afford more of the same.

America cannot afford to continue Bush's administration.

America cannot afford to continue Bush's war.

America cannot allow our military men and women
to continue paying the price for our ignorance.

Ask yourself:

How can we continue to fund the war, but not the casualties?

How can we continue to allow defense contractors to profit even beyond their OWN expectations? Especially after all of the misuse of the funds they've been given so far?

How can we pretend that the war in Iraq is about OIL and not 9/11?

How can we allow the war based upon lies to continue for the next ten years?

How can we continue to demand we "win" in Iraq... when we can't even define "win", are NOT winning, and have never even been CLOSE to winning?

How can we continue to send our damaged and broken soldiers back to the war zone? (At least the ones who haven't committed suicide...)

How can we continue to allow this administration to lie to us and bury information?

How can we continue to pretend that the financial and human price that we are paying for the war in Iraq is keeping America safe?

How can we afford the price we will be paying (and NEED to pay) to take care of our veterans?

How can we continue to say the surge is working when our troops still can't come home and are still being killed at alarming numbers?

How can we even consider a "pause" in troop reductions... haven't we been lied to enough?

How can we continue to deny that we are in another Vietnam?

How can we even THINK about starting another war?
When will America say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!"?
In November 2008... VOTE OBAMA!

Reason #1967 to vote "NO" for McCain

Go ahead, make fun of me for believing in "HOPE" and having dreams for my children... but you will not convince me that this man should be the next leader of America.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Why the waving of the flag doesn't impress me anymore...

It breaks my heart... I feel like I'm letting down people who I respect and admire deeply... but I can't stand the hypocrisy anymore...

"Support the troops" means "sacrifice more Americans"...
"God is on our side" means "I don't care if the government lied..."
"Look, I am wearing a flag pin!" means "I don't have to do anything else!"
"I'm a Republican" means "My head is up my tailpipe and I don't have to pay attention!"

Is anybody paying attention??? Idahoans don't seem to give a rat's ass about our Congressmen and how they FAIL to support our veterans...

Good grief, Senator Larry Craig (formerly Chair of Veterans Affairs) was given consistently FAILING grades by various veterans' associations for the past ten years... did anybody notice?? NO! As long as he was a Republican, Idaho trusted him... as offensive as his betrayal to our veterans should have been, people supported him... until he started playing footsie in a mens' restroom!

And now... their President who shall only be spoken of in reverent tones (or one shall be not "supporting our troops" or is "unAmerican") has committed yet another betrayal to the men and women who are risking their lives for his war...

During the State of the Union, to thunderous applause, Bush fed out more BS to America by stating that:
"Our military families serve our nation,
they inspire our nation,
and tonight our nation honors them

That would be wonderful... IF HE ACTUALLY MEANT IT!!

He said that in reference to his proposal to allow our military men and women the ability to transfer their unused educational benefits to their family members.

Does anybody care that he neglected to include it in the budget he sent to Congress? How about a press conference where he can explain this to America, okay?? (He can add it to his explanation of all of the lies, where is bin Laden, and how does he define "Mission Accomplished" today.)

May I suggest that you contact your representives and ask them "WTF?"

No, don't do that...
Just ask them if how they plan on addressing this issue... if at all.
If you are an Idahoan, you know you're just going through the motions... but do it anyway!! Save their response letter for their next campaign!

Hey McCain, get out of my pink house!!

Ooops! Guess who screwed up!!

Make a note:
Before you use someone's songs to promote your campaign... GET PERMISSION!! It's possible the songwriter doesn't SUPPORT you!!

Seriously, folks, do these lyrics sound like a Republican theme song???
There's room enough here
for science to live
and there's room enough here
for religion to forgive...
...And poverty could be just another ugly thing
and bigotry would be seen only as obscene
and the ones who run this land
help the poor and common man...

Like I said, OOOPS!

Words to my heart music

Separation of church and state... it shouldn't be a complex issue but too many of our elected representatives muddle it up. I've tried to explain how I feel but it's like talking to an empty room sometimes...

But then I found this post from Texas:
The real question is not whether GLBT people should be allowed to marry; the question should be is there a valid reason for the government to sanction marriage of any kind?

The Maryland General Assembly has seen the issue this way and has a bill pending that would eliminate all civil marriage and replace it with recognized domestic partnerships. The term marriage would be left to the religious sector where it belongs and the RDPs would be the construct for all legal purposes. Consider it a separation of church and state issue. Marriage is a religious institution and Domestic Partnerships can function for tax and other legal purposes.

This kind of law makes debates about “gay marriage” toothless. After all, the state gives equal rights to all its citizens and it’s up to churches to perform marriage ceremonies. This move will no doubt enrage many folks on the right, but to me it makes complete sense. It keeps the government out of the religious institution of marriage completely. Couples can be joined in a civil union and still receive all the rights of a married couple without the need for a religious ceremony.

For a gay or lesbian couple to get “married” they would first get a civil ceremony and then find a friendly church. This gets the government out of the marriage business and that seems a good idea to me.


If you vote for McCain, please head straight to the recruiters office... don't forget to bring your children and grandchildren...

Watch this video and feel inspired...

Then watch this video and cry...

If America screws up yet again, it will be YOUR brothers and sisters, YOUR children and grandchildren who will pay the price...

Friends don't let friends vote STUPID.

Even the DEAD endorse Obama!!!

Mitchell Van Yahres, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, who died Friday, February 8, 2008, in Charlottesville, aged 81, tended trees for a living and people for a lifetime. [...]

His friends, who nearly included everyone who met him, are asked, in lieu of expenditures on flowers and the like, to make a healthy and significant contribution to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama or, if they insist, the charity of their choice.

Go to Raising Kaine for the commentary... there is a personal anecdote about Mr. Van Yahres that is quite touching...

Still undecided? WATCH THIS!

Barack Obama answers an undecided voter in Alexandria on February 10.

Hypocrites Need Not Apply

Here on my blog and out in the real world, some people keep talking about Obama's faith... he isn't Christian enough for them or something. One comment here on my blog stated that Obama should have his picture taken holding a Bible in order to prove his Christianity.

I want to remind these "Christians" about what the Bible says about "hypocrites":

Luke 11:39
And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

Ezekiel 33:31-32
And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

Isaiah 29:13
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.

Matthew 15:8
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Matthew 23:27-28
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Matthew 6:1-61
Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

5And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6:16
When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

If you really think about it, Obama is following God's law... and following Christ. He doesn't need to carry a Bible around as a photo op to remind people ... he is following Christian Principles by through his actions.... and that is what matters.

CDC Warning: New STD

The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a virulent new strain of Sexually Transmitted Disease.

The disease is contracted through dangerous and high-risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim and is pronounced "gonna re-elect him."

Many victims contracted it in 2004, after having been screwed for four years. Cognitive characteristics of individuals infected include:
  • anti-social personality disorders,
  • delusions of grandeur with messianic overtones,
  • extreme cognitive dissonance,
  • inability to incorporate new information,
  • pronounced xenophobia and paranoia,
  • inability to accept responsibility for one's own actions,
  • cowardice masked by misplaced bravado,
  • uncontrolled facial smirking,
  • ignorance of geography and history,
  • tendencies towards evangelical theocracy,
  • and categorical all-or-nothing behavior.
Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed at how this destructive disease originated only a few years ago from a bush found in Texas.

To increase your own immunity to this disease, go here.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Jesus as VP... it's almost this bad...

If JESUS ran for President...

I posted this two years ago, I'm sure it's been around even longer. But with the current chatter about which Presidential nominee is the best "Christian" for the job... I felt the need to re-post...

Click the image for a bigger picture...

Bush's legacy... makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy...

Click on image for bigger picture... click on title for link to original with sources.

Larry Craig: The Man With The Miracle Cure

Larry Craig has always known what really is causing America's economic woes...

The war in Iraq? Nope.
The lack of jobs which pay a living wage? Nope.
Increased cost of health care and related bankrupticies? Nope.
Credit companies sucking the blood out of struggling Americans? Nope.
Corporate CEOs who rape the retirement funds of their employees? Nope.
The increased cost of gas? food? utilities? Nope. Nope. Nope.

It's ALWAYS been the housing market.

And Larry boy has always known that. He's so smart! And polite too! He didn't want to be rude and point out the obvious a few months ago... it would have embarrassed the Republican presidential nominees who all claimed that our economy was doing SO well! He didn't want to point it out last year... or the year before...

But now it is the right time for Larry Craig to not only explain to America what the real problem is but to also offer the miracle solution!

Are you ready?

No, no, he doesn't support the economic stimulus bill that the House and Senate passed February 7 because it did not address the housing problem.

He also opposed the bill because he felt that it was "fiscally irresponsible to increase our budget deficit by $150 billion just to give everyone a few hundred extra bucks to spend."

Fiscally irresponsible?! I didn't realize he even knew what those words MEANT!! (I happen to agree with him... as much as I will appreciate the money to catch up on our outstanding bills, I know we'll be paying for it later.)

No, Larry's magic potion consists of providing a $5,000 tax credit "to buy homes sitting on the market".

That will not help those who are losing their homes right now... or are behind on their payments.

That will not help the folks who are struggling to pay rent.

That will not help the families living in substandard housing.

That will not help the families who use their full paychecks to pay for gas, food, and medical bills.

That will not help the families whose credit is already so damaged due to wages that can't keep up with the cost of living that they would never be able be approved for a loan.

That will not help the families who haven't even been able to set aside money for a down payment (they put it in their kids' college fund instead... ha ha ha!).

So... who does this help?
  • The banks... who have foreclosed on many homes.
  • The people who want to sell their $200,000 home to buy a $300,000 home.
  • The developers who got greedy and built more homes than the market could absorb.
  • The families who need to sell their $200,000 home so they can move into a $100,000 home because they can no longer afford to pay for their $200,000 home.
  • The wealthy who need a second/third/fourth vacation home, and another tax break like I need another dog.
What does Larry see that I'm missing???

Larry closes with this:
"It may help some, but it won't be enough. I believe that because Congress didn't address the housing market this time around, we will be back in a few months doing this again. Next time, I hope Congress gets it right."

Why do I feel like throwing up?

Check out his E-Newsletter... and don't forget to answer his survey question:

Would you or someone you know use
a $5,000 tax credit to purchase a home this year?

Personally, just about everyone I know would is struggling to hold on to the house they already have...own or rent.

Veterans: NO to McCain!!!

TO: Interested Parties
RE: Senator McCain’s Real Record on the War in Iraq
DATE: February 8, 2008

Senator John McCain presents himself as a maverick and a critic of the Iraq war. But a close read of his record indicates that his position on the Iraq war has consistently matched President George W. Bush’s.

Before The War:
McCain used many of the same arguments as Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Cheney and President Bush when advocating going to war with Iraq.

McCain co-sponsored the Use of Force Authorization that gave President George W. Bush the green light – and a blank check - for going to war with Iraq. [SJ Res 46, 10/3/02]

McCain argued Saddam was “a threat of the first order.” Senator McCain said that a policy of containing Iraq to blunt its weapons of mass destruction program is "unsustainable, ineffective, unworkable and dangerous."

McCain: "I believe Iraq is a threat of the first order, and only a change of regime will make Iraq a state that does not threaten us and others, and where liberated people assume the rights and responsibilities of freedom.” [Speech to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, 2/13/03]

McCain echoed Bush and Cheney’s rationale for going to war. McCain: “It’s going to send the message throughout the Middle East that democracy can take hold in the Middle East.” [Fox, Hannity & Colmes, 2/21/03]

McCain echoed Bush and Cheney’s talking points that the U.S. would only be in Iraq for a short time.

McCain: “It’s clear that the end is very much in sight. … It won’t be long…it’ll be a fairly short period of time.” [ABC, 4/9/03]

McCain said winning the war would be “easy.” “I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women.” [CNN, 9/24/02]

During The War:

Senator McCain praised Donald Rumsfeld as late as May 12, 2004, after the Abu Ghraib scandal.

Asked if Donald Rumsfeld can continue to be an effective secretary of defense, McCain: “Yes, today I do and I believe he's done a fine job. He's an honorable man.” [Hannity and Colmes, 5/12/04]

Senator McCain repeatedly supported President Bush on the Iraq War – voting with him in the Senate, defending his actions and publicly praising his leadership.

McCain maintains the war was a good idea.

At the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain, focusing on the war in Iraq, said that while weapons of mass destruction were not found, Saddam once had them and “he would have acquired them again.”

McCain said the mission in Iraq “gave hope to people long oppressed” and it was “necessary, achievable and noble.”

McCain: “For his determination to undertake it, and for his unflagging resolve to see it through to a just end, President Bush deserves not only our support, but our admiration.” [Plain Dealer, 8/31/04]

Senator McCain: “The war, the invasion was not a mistake. [Meet the Press, 1/6/08]

Asked if the war was a good idea worth the price in blood and treasure, McCain: “It was worth getting rid of Saddam Hussein. He had used weapons of mass destruction, and it's clear that he was hell-bent on acquiring them.” [Republican Debate, 1/24/08]

McCain defended Bush’s rationale for war. Asked if he thought the president exaggerated the case for war, McCain said, “I don’t think so.” [Fox News, 7/31/03]

McCain has been President Bush’s most ardent Senate supporter on Iraq. According to Michael Shank of the Foreign Policy in Focus think tank, McCain was at times Bush’s “most solid support in the Senate” on Iraq. [Foreign Policy in Focus, 1/15/08]

McCain voted against holding Bush accountable for his actions in the war. McCain opposed the creation of an independent commission to investigate the development and use of intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq. [S. Amdt. 1275 to H.R. 2658, Vote # 284, 7/16/03]

McCain praised Bush’s leadership on the war. McCain: “I think the president has led with great clarity and I think he’s done a great job leading the country…” [MSNBC, Hardball, 4/23/03]

Senator McCain has constantly moved the goal posts of progress for the war – repeatedly saying it would be over soon.

January 2003: “But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” [MSNBC, 1/22/03]

March 2003: “I believe that this conflict is still going to be relatively short.” [NBC, Meet the Press, 3/30/03]

June 2004: “The terrorists know that this is a very critical time.” [CNN, 6/23/04]

December 2005: "Overall, I think a year from now, we will have a fair amount of progress [in Iraq] if we stay the course.” [The Hill, 12/8/05]

November 2006: “We’re either going to lose this thing or win this thing within the next several months." [NBC, Meet the Press, 11/12/06]

Senator McCain opposed efforts to end the overextension of the military that is having a devastating impact on our troops.

McCain voted against requiring mandatory minimum downtime between tours of duty for troops serving in Iraq. [S. Amdt.. 2909 to S Amdt. 2011 to HR 1585, Vote 341, 9/19/07; S Amdt. 2012 to S Amdt. 2011 to HR 1585, Vote #241, 7/11/07]

McCain was one of only 13 senators to vote against adding $430 million for inpatient and outpatient care for veterans. [S Amdt. 3642 to HR 4939, Vote 98, 4/26/06]

Senator McCain has consistently opposed any plan to withdraw troops from Iraq

Senator McCain repeatedly voted against a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq. [S. Amdt. 3876 to S.Amdt. 3874 to H.R. 2764, Vote #438, 12/18/07; S.Amdt.. 3875 to S.Amdt.. 3874 to H.R. 2764, Vote # 437, 12/18/07; S.Amdt.3164 to H.R. 3222, Vote # 362, 10/3/07; S.Amdt. 2898 to S.Amdt. 2011 to H.R. 1585, Vote #346, 9/21/07; S.Amdt. 2924 to S.Amdt.. 2011 to H.R.1585, Vote #345, 9/21/07; S.Amdt.2 087 to S.Amdt. 2011 to H.R. 1585, Vote #252, 7/18/07; S.Amdt. 643 to H.R. 1591, Vote #116, 3/27/07; S.Amdt. 4320 to S. 2766, Vote #182, 6/22/06; S.Amdt. 4442 to S. 2766, Vote #181, 6/22/06; S.Amdt.. 2519 to S.1042, Vote # 322, 11/15/05]

Senator McCain has consistently demonized Americans who want to find a responsible way to remove troops from Iraq so that we can take the fight to al Qaeda.

McCain: "I believe to set a date for withdrawal is to set a date for surrender.” [Charlotte Observer, 9/16/07]

McCain called proponents of a congressional resolution opposing the troop surge in Iraq intellectually dishonest. [Associated Press. 2/4/07]

The Future:

Senator McCain now says he sees no end to the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq.

McCain: "[M]ake it a hundred" years in Iraq and "that would be fine with me." [Derry, New Hampshire Town Hall meeting, 1/3/08]

McCain on how long troops may remain in Iraq: “A thousand years. A million years. Ten million years. It depends on the arrangement we have with the Iraqi government.” [Associated Press, 1/04/08]

Rep. Jaquet: Food Tax Update

I am writing to update you on the situation that is surrounding the issue of food tax credits that is again before the legislature this session. Today proved to be an interesting meeting of the House Revenue and Taxation committee as the controversial issue of food tax credit was brought to the table. The bill under consideration today was that of HB 0439. This bill proposes an addition to existing law to provide for income tax credits or refunds for certain resident individuals to offset the cost of sales tax on food.

This legislation addresses the inadequacies of the current law by incrementally increasing this "Food Tax Credit" starting with an increase to $55 for the poorest Idahoans, $30 for all other Idahoans, and an additional $20 for seniors for tax year 2008.

However, the majority of the committee believe that this issue is better accomplished by a repeal of the tax on food, a basic necessity. After numerous testimonials from members of the community and representatives from various churches and organizations it was decided by the committee that the bill, HB 0439 will be held in committee until other options have been brought forth and considered.

One such potential bill is being brought forward by one of our Democratic Representatives, James Ruchti. Our Food Tax Elimination Act proposes an elimination of the 6% sales tax on food by a reduction of 1% per year for six years. Not only does this provide a fiscally responsible and feasible approach to this necessary repeal, but it also has a greater positive impact for those Idaho citizens who are not eligible to receive a refund under the current grocery tax program. In addition to our bill, there are others that will be brought forward for consideration, and I will continue to keep you up to date with the developments surrounding this crucial issue.

Please be sure to keep in touch if you have any questions or concerns about this issue. I can be reached at or 800/626-0471. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

Rep. Jaquet: Legislative Report Week 5

What a hectic week. Friday was the last day to get bills submitted to afternoon committees. Combine that with the County Winter Conference which featured a speech from Speaker Newt Gingrich, a trip home to vote in the caucus, a presentation to the credit union association, a luncheon with the FFA students and a phone that was drowned by a leaky water bottle and now I’m hoping the roads are open to Ketchum to make it home this weekend.

I’ve had some ups and downs with legislation:

The counties approved, in concept, large generation facility siting legislation. The legislation applies only to merchant plants and creates the opportunity for informed decision making at the local level. This next week I’ll be presenting the concept/draft to the cooperative and municipal utilities that are exempt as are the investor owned utilities.

An attempt at introducing a bill to require renewal portfolio standards at 25% by 2025 will not get a hearing this year.

Affordable workforce home legislation has been dropped off with the House Revenue and Taxation Committee for introduction in the near future. The bills include adding affordable workforce housing as an eligible use for development impact fees, requiring developers to ensure the development of workforce housing or pay a fee in lieu of development, a voter approved proposed tax levy to home owners whose home is valued at $1 million plus and who don’t qualify for the homeowners exemption, and an expansion of county local option sales tax to include affordable workforce housing.

The residential sales price disclosure legislation that was drafted and introduced last year was re-introduced this week in the senate. The hearing should be within a week. A second piece of legislation brought by the Idaho Association of Realtors also addresses this situation in a different way. I would appreciate your comments on both of these. You can find them at, under the Legislation link. The bill numbers are SB1400 and SB1401.

Senator Langhorst re-introduced last year’s legislation to abolish the one mile restriction on who may testify in confined animal feeding operations public hearings. The goal is to get the bill through the House this year. I also have drafted a bill that would provide for mediation between cities and/or counties who have concerns about decisions that cross boundaries.

The grocery tax credit was defeated in committee this week. We’re hoping that a bipartisan solution to decreasing the sales tax on food at the cash register will come forth. Legislators are also working on a new credit bill.

A bill to allow highway districts to increase their levies with a vote of the people is before the House Revenue and Taxation committee. Revenues were frozen many years ago at an artificially low rate and districts are having a hard time keeping up with inflationary costs. The Emergency Communications Commission has asked for a 25 cent increase per month on phones to a maximum of $1.25 to provide grant funding for rural communities who don’t have the population to support the Enhanced 911 systems as well as the ongoing maintenance costs of those systems.

Also introduced for hearing is the Ranch, Farm and Forest Protection Act which would give a tax credit to owners of agricultural and forest land who voluntarily agree not to develop lands important to fish and wildlife. I am supporting all of these bills.

The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) are scheduled to finish up state agency budget hearings on Wednesday, February 13. Budget setting will start on Monday, February 18 and should finish around March 7. Revenues have begun to slide due to the national recession (most now say we are in a recession!) and we’re anticipating some tough decision making.

Thank you for keeping in touch with me. Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

Email: or Phone: 1/800/626-0471

Rep. Pence: Legislative Report Week 5

What a week for Democrats!! The Obama rally Saturday was inspiring and then being able to drive back to Gooding for the Democrat Caucus last Tuesday was frosting on the cake. It was great visiting with everyone and listening to politics served up grassroots-style. Gooding County about doubled their last caucus numbers. Also heard great reports from the rest of the District 25 caucuses.

Bad news appeared on the economic scene. Tax receipts are down $35 million for January. If this trend continues, it will not bode well for agency budgets and establishment or continuation of programs. Bare bones budgets are hard on all concerned.

This is the last week for Routing Slips (RS) to be introduced in our afternoon committees (for me Agriculture and Natural Resources). Not only am I listening to 5-8 new concepts being introduced each committee, but was also tying up loose ends and generating support for an RS with Rep. Eskridge dealing with the operation and use of state outdoor sport shooting ranges. It establishes a uniform noise standard for these ranges and offers them grandfather protections from nuisance actions resulting from new housing moving in around them. There is great support state wide from sportsmen and it will be heard Monday.

No concrete information on a teacher pay plan. There is the possibility that the category 4 contract (the one requiring teachers to give up continuing contract) will be dropped as part of the pay plan. Still some movement to better train administrators to evaluate teachers and to supervise improvement plans designed to help a teacher become more proficient. There is a still a lot of support for concurrent enrollment in our high schools. This would allow students to take classes which qualify for both high school credit and college credit at the same time. This would enable students in some cases to graduate from high school with enough credits for an AA degree. College of Southern Idaho is working hard to develop classes available in the Magic Valley. A longitudinal data system which would enable instant access to individual records by authorized individuals looks to be a go. If a student were to move to Gooding from Sandpoint, this system would enable a teacher to instantly access records and put that student in classes at his or her proper level. There will be many other educational uses for this type of statewide data system.

Are you aware of the Department of Corrections has the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) program? This is a free, automated hotline that provides crime victims with vital information and notification 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. This service will allow you to obtain offender information and to register for notification of a change in offender status, such as offender release. This program offers peace of mind to victims of crime and does protect the public. Visit the Idaho VINE hotline at 1-866-9VINE-ID or visit

The Lincoln, Camas, Blaine and Gooding County elected officials were in Boise this week. It was great to talk with all of you. Thanks for the work you do and for the great ideas you come up with for making Idaho such a great place to live.

If you are in town, drop in and personally give me your opinions. Otherwise phone me at 1-208-332-1271, e-mail at, or write P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0038

Rep. Pence: Legislative Report Week 4

The week began with the news of Senator Stennett’s impending surgery. I am thankful that he was up and moving around quickly and was released Thursday. He will be in all our prayers as he continues his treatments in pursuit of recovery.

The Senate Education committee was scheduled to take up the iStars and We Teach Bills last Wednesday, but action was postponed. It appears neither of these concepts have enough approval to make it through committee. There is an effort to salvage the concept of rewarding effective teachers with additional pay. This may take the form of fewer steps or reduced amounts for each step. With tax income falling below expectations, legislators are wary of ongoing commitments of this magnitude. Any bill which ties relinquishing a continuing contract to eligibility to receive a step up the career ladder, will not get my vote.

One of the results of this summer’s Interim Water Resources Committee is H404. It asks for $20 million over ten years to develop aquifer planning and management throughout Idaho. These funds will be used to provide technical studies, facilitation services, hydrologic monitoring, and for the development of measurement and comprehensive plans for these aquifers. Water is becoming a valuable commodity and the need for comprehensive plans aimed at achieving aquifer sustainability is a necessary long-term goal. These plans will also provide data which will help to protect Idaho’s water as we confer with Washington officials over cross boarder water issues near Coeur d’ Alene.

Speaking of water, what about the snow this week? I trust it extended to the east as well. If so, it would go a long way in easing the anxiety over those pending shut down orders on irrigation wells all along the Snake River Aquifer.

The State Board of Education recently released a 113-page report concerning Medical Education in Idaho. This preliminary study was contracted to MGT of America. This report documented that a significant need for more physicians exists in Idaho. In addition the following results were noted:
· Access to physicians by the general population is extremely limited.
· Many of Idaho’s physicians are 55 or older and nearing retirement.
· Idaho’s population base is sufficient to support the clinical part of medical education.
· There are a number of highly qualified Idaho students seeking medical education.
· Idaho is dead last among states in the number of seats available in medical education.
· Less populated states have supported medical schools for years.
· Healthcare is an important component in the national economy, but much less so in Idaho.
· Idaho’s limited investment in medical education makes us ill-prepared to compete for a share of the rapidly expanding biomedical industry.

As a result of this report, the following four alternatives for medical education were identified.
· Create a new university–operated medical school on the distributive model. Sixty - one hundred students could be enrolled per class. Students take introductory courses on the university campus for two years and complete two years clinical training at several sites across the state (lead to a M.D. or equivalent degree)
· Expand the package of contract programs with medical schools in other states. (University of Washington and University of Utah, Others?)
· Develop a new joint medical school from current medical education resources. This approach would draw from the medical education resources of the three state universities.
· Expand graduate medical education (residency) programs in the state.

The Board spokesman, Mark Browning, emphasized that a cost benefit analysis of the data will be forth coming and will be important in any decision. A Medical Education Study Committee has been formed and will be meeting from March through May. Included in their proposed activities are public meetings at five sites around the state in April. Twin Falls is one of the sites and would be a good place to voice your opinions.

Recommendations from the committee are scheduled at the June Board Meeting. If you want to look more closely at the report, it is available through the Office of the State Board of Education [click here].

If you are in town, drop in and personally give me your opinions.

Otherwise, phone me at 1-208-332-1271, e-mail at, or write P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0038

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Corrections I wish I could have made in Gooding: Unethical purchase of house/land

As I mentioned in a previous post, one individual made a lot of statements that my group was unable to correct during the discussion part of the Gooding County Caucus. I would like to address them...

Statement #2: Obama purchased a very expensive house for a very low price from a crook/slumlord blah blah blah...

Mr. Clinton-supporter, again you've tried to sound like you knew what you were talking about and failed miserably.

"In 2005, Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, bid $1.65 million for a house on the south side of Chicago. According to newspaper reports, the owner was also trying to sell an undeveloped parcel of land adjacent to the property Obama was buying, and he wanted the sales of the two to close on the same day. Obama has said that he mentioned he was buying the house to a longtime political patron, Antoin (Tony) Rezko, a developer. Rezko’s wife wound up buying the lot adjacent to Obama’s. At the request of the Obamas, who were seeking a bit more space for their yard, she later sold them a 10-foot wide strip, or about one-sixth, of her land. The Obamas paid $104,500 for it, or about one-sixth of what Mrs. Rezko had paid for the entire property." [More at]

This information is VERY easy to locate ... even includes sources. What a concept, don't ya think? Probably not as fun as creative story-telling or blowing things out of proportion or stretching the truth... but it works for me.

Who is Obama???

UPDATE 2/07/08: Due to multiple comments/statements which display either deliberate ignorance or sincere misinformation, I have updated this post.

What are Obama's positions?
There are several locations to find out this information. A simple resource is at This site is very helpful for clarification regarding his position on gay rights, abortion, and guns.

For even more information and research, you can learn more about Senator Obama's positions on the issues on his website.

The most information can be located in his BluePrint for Change ... he states his position, describes what he sees as problems to target, his plans, and his record.

Now people should no longer have an excuse to say "what does he stand for?", "it's all hype", "he has no plans, just promises", and all of the other covers for "I haven't bothered to do the research." What are you waiting for? A 60-second commercial with Paris Hilton to get your attention? This ain't Burger King, folks, this is the future of our country... this is the legacy we're leaving future generations.

But... but... but... he's MUSLIM!!
No, he's not. Never was. The TRUTH is HERE.

But... but... but... he's black!
Um... yeah... and his mother was white... from Kansas. What's your point?

He's not patriotic... doesn't support the troops... etc.
Short and sweet: his grandfather was a WWII veteran and taught him to put his hand over his heart during the pledge, and down by his sides while singing the anthem... which is what they were doing at the time of the infamous picture. For more of the truth, go here.

There are other posts on my blog that address Obama questions... click the tag...

ORIGINAL POST: I am not posting this in order to promote any particular candidate... I respect a person's right to vote for the candidate of your choice, and I appreciate their respect of my own right to vote for the candidate of my choice.

I am posting this because I have received multiple e-mails from people which repeat the rumors of Obama's supposed American citizenship, religious beliefs and so on. Almost every e-mail starts out with something like "I looked it up on Snopes and they said it was TRUE!!"

If you receive a similar e-mail, you may be inclined (as many are in today's busy world) to not do your own research and will believe the statements to be true...

So I just wanted to share the following, because I believe patriotic Americans want to be informed voters, no matter who they decide to vote for... I also hope that if you receive a future e-mail which attempts to spread misinformation, you will research its accuracy before forwarding it to others, no matter WHO it is about or which party the candidate belongs to... and are both very good sites for research...

If one actually checked out the Snopes findings (at, one would learn that Snopes has actually determined these rumors to be FALSE, in MULTIPLE parts. It is also determined to be FALSE at
*Regarding the anthem and hand-over-heart incident, you can research here:

For example, the statement:
"ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office — he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran (Their equivalency to our Bible, but very different beliefs)..."

This statement is a mistaken reference to Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, not Barack Obama. More debunking follows...

Barack Obama, 45, served as an Illinois state senator for several years, and in 2004 he won a seat representing that state in the U.S. Senate. His keynote address before the Democratic National Convention in June 2004 brought him national prominence, and he is currently one of the leading contenders for the nomination to represent the Democratic Party in the 2008 presidential election. Barack Obama has an unusual and interesting background, which the above-quoted piece draws on to paint him as a dangerous, camouflaged radical Muslim.

Much of the information presented therein about his background is distorted and exaggerated, however, and no evidence supports a claim that Obama is currently "ideologically Muslim" or has ever been a "radical" Muslim.

Claim: Barack Obama has been a U.S. senator for only 100 days.

Barack Obama was sworn in as a U.S. senator representing the state of Illinois on 4 January 2005, so as of late December 2006 (when the e-mail about his Muslim background appeared) he had been in that office for two years.

Claim: Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a radical Muslim while admitting that he was once a Muslim, mitigating that damning information by saying that, for two years, he also attended a Catholic school.

Barack Obama has not "admitted" to being a Muslim, nor has any evidence been produced demonstrating that he is, or ever was, a "radical Muslim." (As with everything else in the e-mail quoted at the head of the page, this is asserted as "fact" despite a complete lack of supporting evidence.)

"Senator Obama has never been a Muslim," Obama communications director Robert Gibbs said. "As a six-year-old in Catholic school, he studied the catechism." Barack Obama has been associated with the United Church of Christ since the mid-1980s, describes himself as a Christian, and says that he is "rooted in the Christian tradition."

When he was a child in Indonesia, Obama spent a couple of years at a Catholic school and another couple of years at a school that was predominantly Muslim (because Indonesia itself is predominantly Muslim). In his 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama elaborated on his early schooling, explaining that he attended both Catholic and Muslim schools in Indonesia — not out of any particular religious affiliation, but because his mother wanted him to obtain the best education possible under the circumstances:

During the five years that we would live with my stepfather in Indonesia, I was sent first to a neighborhood Catholic school and then to a predominantly Muslim school; in both cases, my mother was less concerned with me learning the catechism or puzzling out the meaning of the muezzin's call to evening prayer than she was with whether I was properly learning my multiplication tables.

Claim: Obama's father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was a radical Muslim who migrated from Kenya to Jakarta, Indonesia. He met Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, a white atheist from Wichita, Kansas at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Obama, Sr. and Dunham divorced when Barack, Jr. was two. Barack Obama's father (also named Barack Obama) was born on the shores of Lake Victoria in Alego, Kenya. Although the elder Obama was raised as a Muslim, no evidence supports the claim that he was ever a "radical Muslim," and Senator Obama's family histories note that his father was an atheist or agnostic (i.e., no longer a practicing Muslim) by the time he married the younger Obama's mother.

Claim: Obama's spinmeisters are now attempting to make it appear that Obama's introduction to Islam came from his father and that influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya immediately following the divorce and never again had any direct influence over his son's education.

The notion that "Obama's spinmeisters are now attempting to make it appear that Obama's introduction to Islam came from his father" and deliberately obscuring the "reality" that his father had little "influence over his son's education" is just silly in light of the fact that Barack Obama himself has repeatedly acknowledged that his parents split up when he was two years old and that he scarcely knew his father:

My father was almost entirely absent from my childhood, having been divorced from my mother when I was two years old. At the time of his death, my father remained a myth to me, both more and less than a man. He had left Hawaii back in 1963, when I was only two years old, so that as a child I knew him only through the stories that my mother and grandparents told.
(Barack's only other childhood contact with his father occurred when he was eleven years old, and his father came to visit Hawaii for a month at Christmastime.)

Claim: Dunham married another Muslim, Lolo Soetoro who educated his stepson as a good Muslim by enrolling him in one of Jakarta's Wahabbi schools. Wahabbism is the radical teaching that created the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad on the industrialized world.

The claim that Obama attended a radical Wahabbist school in Indonesia in the 1960s is exceedingly far-fetched, given that:

The large Indonesian community resident in Mecca was a medium through which knowledge about Wahhabism reached Indonesia, but the community itself appears to have remained virtually immune to Wahhabi influences. In reality there was little direct influence of Wahhabism on Indonesian reformist thought until the 1970s.

Insight magazine claimed in a January 2007 article that Barack Obama spent at least four years attending what is variously described as a "madrassa," a "radical Muslim religious school," or a "Muslim seminary" in Indonesia, but CNN has more recently reported that its own investigation found those claims to be false:

[R]eporting by CNN in Jakarta, Indonesia and Washington, D.C., shows the allegations that Obama attended a madrassa to be false. CNN dispatched Senior International Correspondent John Vause to Jakarta to investigate. He visited the Basuki school, which Obama attended from 1969 to 1971. "This is a public school. We don't focus on religion," Hardi Priyono, deputy headmaster of the Basuki school, told Vause. "In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don't give preferential treatment."

Vause reported he saw boys and girls dressed in neat school uniforms playing outside the school, while teachers were dressed in Western-style clothes. "I came here to Barack Obama's elementary school in Jakarta looking for what some are calling an Islamic madrassa ... like the ones that teach hate and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan," Vause said on the 'Situation Room.' "I've been to those madrassas in Pakistan ... this school is nothing like that."

Vause also interviewed one of Obama's Basuki classmates, Bandug Winadijanto, who claims that not a lot has changed at the school since the two men were pupils. Insight reported that Obama's political opponents believed the school promoted Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam, "and are seeking to prove it."

"It's not (an) Islamic school. It's general," Winadijanto said. "There is a lot of Christians, Buddhists, also Confucian. ... So that's a mixed school."

The Associated Press reported similarly:

A spokesman for Indonesia's Ministry of Religious Affairs said claims that Obama studied at an Islamic school are groundless. "SDN Menteng 1 is a public primary school that is open to people of all faiths," said the spokesman, Sutopo, who goes by only one name. "Moreover, he studied earlier at Fransiskus Assisi, which is clearly a Catholic school."

Obama later transferred to SDN Menteng 1 the elite, secular elementary school at the center of the controversy. The school is public but is very competitive and has exceptionally high standards. It is located in one of the most affluent parts of Jakarta and attracts mostly middle- to upper-class students, among them several of former dictator Suharto's grandchildren.
Indonesia is home to several of the most radical Islamic schools in Southeast Asia, some with alleged terrorist links. But Akmad Solichin [the vice principal at SDN Menteng 1], who proudly pointed to a photo of a young Barry Obama, as he was known, said his school is not one of them.
Moreover, a statement released by the Obama campaign affirmed that:

In the past week, many of you have read a now thoroughly-debunked story by Insight Magazine, owned by the Washington Times, which cites unnamed sources close to a political campaign that claim Senator Obama was enrolled for "at least four years" in an Indonesian "Madrassa". The article says the "sources" believe the Madrassa was "espousing Wahhabism," a form of radical Islam.

All of the claims about Senator Obama’s faith and education raised in the Insight Magazine story and repeated on Fox News are false. Senator Obama was raised in a secular household in Indonesia by his stepfather and mother. Obama’s stepfather worked for a U.S. oil company, and sent his stepson to two years of Catholic school, as well as two years of public school. To be clear, Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago. Furthermore, the Indonesian school Obama attended in Jakarta is a public school that is not and never has been a Madrassa.
Claim: Since it is politically expedient to be a Christian when you are seeking political office in the United States, Obama joined the United Church of Christ to help purge any notion that he is still a Muslim, which, ideologically, he remains today.

As noted above, Barack Obama describes himself as "a Christian," says that he is "rooted in the Christian tradition," and his association with the United Church of Christ began well before his political career. (Obama was first elected to the Illinois state senate in 1996, but he has been involved with the United Church of Christ since the mid-1980s.) The beginnings of Obama's relationship with the church were described in an April 2004 Chicago Sun-Times article:

Obama is unapologetic in saying he has a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ." As a sign of that relationship, he says, he walked down the aisle of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ in response to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's altar call one Sunday morning about 16 years ago. The politician could have ended his spiritual tale right there, at the point some people might assume his life changed, when he got "saved," transformed, washed in the blood. But Obama wants to clarify what truly happened. "It wasn't an epiphany," he says of that public profession of faith. "It was much more of a gradual process for me. I know there are some people who fall out. Which is wonderful. God bless them ... I think it was just a moment to certify or publicly affirm a growing faith in me." These days, he says, he attends the 11 a.m. Sunday service at Trinity in the Brainerd neighborhood every week — or at least as many weeks as he is able.

His pastor, Wright, has become a close confidant. So how did he become a churchgoer? It began in 1985, when he came to Chicago as a $13,000-a-year community organizer, working with a number of African-American churches in the Roseland, West Pullman and Altgeld Gardens neighborhoods that were trying to deal with the devastation caused by shuttered steel plants. "I started working with both the ministers and the lay people in these churches on issues like creating job-training programs, or after-school programs for youth, or making sure that city services were fairly allocated to underserved communities," he says. "And it was in those places where I think what had been more of an intellectual view of religion deepened. "I became much more familiar with the ongoing tradition of the historic black church and its importance in the community. And the power of that culture to give people strength in very difficult circumstances, and the power of that church to give people courage against great odds. And it moved me deeply."

No evidence supports the claim that Barack Obama is, despite his professed Christianity, "an ideological Muslim," and those who have made this claim have offered nothing to support it — no letters or documents in which Barack Obama has ever stated such, no reports of conversations in which he ever admitted such, no revelations from friends or associates that he ever demonstrated such.

Corrections I wish I could have made in Gooding: Missing in Congress

As I mentioned in a previous post, one individual made a lot of statements that my group was unable to correct during the discussion part of the Gooding County Caucus. I would like to address them...

Statement #1: Obama was missing during many Congressional votes.

Mr. Clinton-supporter, may I please point out to you that according to The Washington Post Vote Database (as published in Newsweek, January 21, 2008) that yes, Senator Obama missed 11 votes (1.7%) during the 109th Congress... while Senator Clinton missed 16 (2.5%).

For 110th Congress, Senator Obama has missed 174 votes (38.3%) and Senator Clinton has missed 112 votes (24.7%).

Yes, Senator Obama has missed some votes... so has Senator Clinton. Last year, she missed more than he did. This year, he has missed more than she has. Nothing to brag about for either of them.

So... what was your point again?

Interesting note: Senator McCain missed 58 votes (9%) during the 109th, and 257 votes (56.6%) during 110th.

Republicans endorsing Obama

What do Susan Eisenhower and Joe Scarborough have in common?

They are what Obama recently called "Obamacans"—disaffected Republicans who have drifted away from their party...[Read more]

And I bet their heads won't explode in the voting booth!

Report on Gooding County Caucus

What a night! We didn't have hundreds of participants like Twin Falls... or THOUSANDS like Ada County... but we DID have a great turnout!

We all gathered in the back room at Sally's Office Solutions and Deli... folks started arriving early but they were very patient while we finished getting set up. (It helped that they could order soup, sandwiches, coffee, and more while they were waiting!)

Carpools came from Hagerman and a nice group came from Wendell... it was wonderful to see them! We missed folks from Bliss, but hopefully we'll be addressing that over the next few months. Since we live in a rural area, many of the faces were familiar and some were a surprise! I was able to re-connect with a woman from Wendell who I hadn't seen in at least 8 years, and put some faces to some names I recognized. A couple of Republicans joined us and I really think they felt welcomed.

As volunteers, some who are new to the caucus process, we had some bumps during the evening... I hope those of you who noticed will be willing to help us out next time! We'd greatly appreciate it!

We broke into our groups and that is when the "fun" started...

I prepared for the night by bringing information about Senator Obama's positions and plans. I wanted to be able to inform, clarify, educate, etc. if there were any questions or concerns. Others in our group were willing to also present our candidate that way. I made a conscious decision to NOT bring information about Senator Clinton's weak areas... I am not willing to play that type of game. I believe in success based upon our candidate's great qualities... winning as a result of trashing the opponent is not a "win", in my opinion.

Unfortunately, others were of another opinion. Yes, a couple of folks in the Obama group did get a dig or two... but they didn't dwell on it. But when it was time for the Clinton group to begin speaking, their spokesperson began a ten-minute (or more?) spew of attacks and misinformation regarding Senator Obama. In all fairness, Clinton's group as a whole were not expecting their representative to speak in that manner... but nobody stopped him. After a few minutes, our group tried to re-focus him on sharing Clinton's attributes but to no avail... he was too intent on spitting out poison. Finally, somebody called "time" and he sat down. It was so awful that people next to me were asking if he was a Republican... I said "no", that "all families have their drunk Uncle Bob and he was ours... sigh..." {Since our group was unable to address the accusations of this individual during the caucus, I will be doing so here on my blog and welcome the input from other participants of the evening...}

That was the only negative part of the evening... overall, the night was a complete success, in my opinion, no matter which candidate the participant was supporting. I don't think we could have fit another body into the room... everyone felt welcomed and listened to... if one wanted to speak, they were given the opportunity... we connected with old friends, strengthened friendships with current ones, and developed new friendships as well. Our delegates will represent us well at the state convention...

My favorite moments...
Joking around with one of the Clinton supporters... he's a great guy and we tease each other about our choices... in a friendly and respectful manner. He's someone I've only met this last year and I've sincerely enjoyed our conversations... and I really enjoyed it as Obama's numbers kept increasing during the evening, while his candidate's numbers ... well, let's just say that Obama was the clear winner of the evening! He's a gracious gentleman and took my teasing well!

Sharing the evening with some of my dearest friends... some were old friends, some are relatively new friends... we've shared our fears, our concerns, our frustrations about our losses, our families, our faith. Tuesday felt like the dawn of a new day... and I can't think of a more wonderful bunch of people to share that feeling with...

There were other "Kodak" moments of the evening, but the blue ribbon goes to sharing this memorable evening with my 17-year-old daughter. She will be 18 this summer and will be able to vote for the very first time. Watching her experience democracy in action is priceless.

Oh, yes, the results?
Clinton: 15 (23%, 1 delegate)
Edwards: 1 (2%)
Obama: 48 (73%, 2 delegates)
Uncommitted: 2 (3%)
(For complete statewide caucus breakdowns, go here.)

Call to ACTION!! Si Sue Puede!

Have you heard? Idaho had 22,000 Democrats around the state attend our caucuses on Super Tuesday. That is more than 4 times the turnout in 2004!

What does that mean?

The Idaho Democratic Party sent out an email last week asking Democrats to get involved, and the response has been fantastic. Idaho Democrats are ready to get into the act. They have great program that will make it easy and fun for you to make a difference in 2008.

Become a Neighborhood Leader Today! Click here to sign up!

Or visit

You can also sign up directly with our Field Directors. You can contact either Shelley at or Randy at

He sacrificed Himself for the little people

As most of the world has probably heard by now, Romney has "suspended" his Presidential campaign. What really ticks me off is that he (like so many others) plays upon American's fear of another terrorist attack as a reason... if we elect a Democrat, the bad guys will get us. Oh puh-lease! I'm getting so tired of that line of crap...

Romney Suspending Campaign
By Jill Kuraitis
CNN is reporting that Mitt Romney will suspend his presidential campaign today. [read more]

Mitt, we knew ye too well....
Fraud to the end, Myth Romney told the American people that he is suspending his presidential campaign because of treason monkeys like me. [read more]

Note to "Anonymous"

I am open to discussion... I don't mind folks wanting to preserve their identity... but to those who are only interested in "drive-by shootings"... I will delete your comments.

'Nuff said.

Rep. Jaquet: Legislative Report Week 4

Thank you to so many of you who have touched base to check on Senator Clint Stennett. Clint is recuperating from his surgery at his Boise rental house and is planning to come back to work shortly. He gets to look forward to chemo/radiation, but he’s a tough guy and we know that he’ll be setting records for his recovery!

I’m hoping to see many of you at the Senator Barack Obama Rally on Saturday, February 2. The doors open at 7:00 am and I’m intending to be there between 7 and 7:30. I believe that Obama is our best chance for change. He has ignited young and old people around his candidacy. He represents a transformation regarding business as usual in Washington DC. I’m planning on attending my caucus in Blaine County, Tuesday, February 5. I’m carpooling with Jon Thorson, who is sitting in for Clint, and with Commissioners Schoen and Bowman who will be in Boise for a County conference.

Food tax: The Republicans introduced a complicated expansion of the grocery tax credit this week. I’m hoping that the Chairman of the Rev and Tax committee will allow us to introduce our bill which takes the sales tax off food over a six year period. There is also a Republican bill which has a similar approach. It’s so much easier to do it at the cash register!

School construction bond subsidy access: Several years ago a safe schools bond program was developed which was utilized by seven school districts including Wendell. Wendell had tried to pass a bond for a new middle school. Their old school had been condemned. The second time around with the subsidy it was successful. Now, Wendell would like to present a new request for voter consideration which includes an agriculture/technology and athletic expansion. We discovered that Wendell, because they had taken advantage of the first program, would not be able to access the new program which all districts now had the benefit of. Today I’m presenting legislation which will open this back up to the 7 districts including Wendell. The chair of the Revenue and Taxation Committee has asked to be a co-sponsor.

Energy Efficient State Energy Act: This week in the House Environment Affairs committee this bipartisan bill passed out of committee and it will now go to the House floor for a vote. The bill will require all major state buildings, and building renovations, to be designed, constructed and certified to a standard that achieves energy savings at least 30% greater than the current state approved energy code. I support this bill.

Next Monday is the deadline for draft requests for new legislation. That puts pressure on us to get our bills drafted, reviewed and into the committee chairs. Bills that are not drafted by then don’t have much of a chance to get across to the Senate for approval. I’m scrambling.

Good to hear from so many of you this week. It is always good to have the Representatives from the Association of Idaho Cities.

Let me hear from you: Phone: 1-800-626- 0471 email:

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday: Idaho update!

Many Idaho bloggers will be reporting on their local caucus activity over at New West/Boise so check throughout the day and night, share the discussion, and report on your own local caucus experience!

Julie will be keeping us informed (and providing a forum for discussion) regarding national results over at Red State Rebels.

The Idaho Democratic Party will report statewide numbers on their website.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Names you will recognize...

UPDATED 2/2/08 8:40PM:
After the original posting, Gov. Cecil Andrus has added his support for Senator Obama. He introduced Obama at today's event... watch it here!

Larry Grant has also provided his endorsement for Senator Obama.

After I made my decision to support Barack Obama, I put forth even more effort to learn more about him. AFTER I decided to campaign for Obama, I found out who else in Idaho is publicly endorsing him.

I can't tell you if knowing this before hand would have hastened my own decision, but I can tell you that once I saw these names below... I knew I had made the right one. -drp

Jerry and Rickie Brady

Democrats have a host of qualified candidates who could win in November and be exceptional presidents. However the person best suited to our times is Barack Obama.


The next president must reverse the catastrophic decline in America's moral leadership in the world, a decline that has made us among the least admired nations in the world. Barack Obama can do that.

The next president must cut through the partisanship and divisiveness that have poisoned our public life for 30 years to achieve the unity craved by most Americans. Barack Obama can do that.

As a legislative assistant to Senator Frank Church in the l960's, I had a front row seat for the cascade of critical legislation that followed the death of John Kennedy. Something on the scale of Lyndon Johnson's accomplishments is needed today. If anyone could do that it would be Barack Obama.

The Bush Administration has placed America in a deep financial hole. Any responsible Democrat must reverse the catastrophic rise in the national debt piled on our children while mobilizing a national consensus for universal health care. Those who dug this hole and oppose health care for all will use the filibuster rule in the Senate to resist. In my judgment, Obama has the best chance to rally the nation to override this resistance and renew our country.

Some say Obama should have waited his turn. I say we cannot afford to wait. On many of our challenges, the hour is late and conditions dire. Obama offers the best hope for a breakthrough. Bush, Clinton, Bush and-once again-Clinton does not.

Rickie and I are packing our bags to work for Obama in Nevada come January. We hope Idaho Democrats will do all you can as well.

Boise City Mayor, Dave Bieter

Dear Obama for America in Idaho:

First, I want to thank the many Barack Obama supporters who turned out in numbers to help me be successful in my reelection as mayor of Boise. Your work made a big difference in my decision of whom to back for president.

But I admit that I took the time between my campaign and before the Iowa Caucus to decide between the candidates. After weeks of following each of them, and before any vote was cast in Iowa, I concluded that I will do whatever I can to ensure that Barack Obama be the next president of the United States.

This is a contentious and often bitter time in America. He is the only candidate who inspires us to push for a future that fulfills the promise our country has always had but too often has failed to fulfill.

Most of all, he is the only one with the courage to speak with hope in a cynical time. He is the right person at the right time for our country, our state and the City of Boise.


State Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett: Dist#25, Blaine, Camas, Gooding, Lincoln
State Senate Assistant Minority Leader David Langhorst: Dist 16, Ada
State Senator Diane Bilyeu: Dist.29, Bannock
State Senator Mike Burkett: Dist. #19, Ada,
State Senator Edgar Malepeai: Dist. # 30, Bannock
State Senator Elliot Werk: Dist.#17, Ada

House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet: Dist.#25, Blaine, Camas, Gooding, Lincoln
House Assistant Minority Leader George Saylor: Dist.#4, Kootenai
House Minority Caucus Chair John Rusche: Dist.#7, Lewiston
State Representative Les Bock: Dist.# 16, Ada
State Representative Liz Chavez: Dist. #7, Nez Perce
State Representative Margaret Henbest: Dist.#16, Ada
State Representative Nicole LaFavour: Dist.#19, Ada
State Representative Anne Pasley-Stuart: Dist.#19, Ada
State Representative Donna Pence: Dist #25, Blaine, Camas, Gooding, Lincoln.
State Representative Shirley Ringo: Dist. #6, Latah
State Representative James Ruchti: Dist. #29, Bannock
State Representative Jerry Shively: Dist. #33, Bonneville

· Paul Woods, Ada County Commissioner
· Jim Hansen, Former State Representative, Executive Director - United Vision for Idaho
· Gail Bray, Idaho's National Committeewoman - Super Delegate, Former State Senator
· Grant Burgoyne, Idaho's National Committeeman - Super Delegate, Private Attorney · Mike Kennedy, City Councilman - Coeur d'Alene
· Steve Scanlin, Former State Representative, Private Attorney
· Brian Cronin, Ada County Democrats Chair, 2004-2007

Larry Grant endorses Senator Obama for President

January 31, 2008

FRUITLAND – Larry Grant, Democratic candidate for Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, announced today he is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for President.
In his letter to Senator Obama informing him of the endorsement, Grant said, “Having followed your campaign with growing admiration, I believe that you are the candidate best qualified to lead America in the coming years.”
Obama is scheduled for a campaign appearance in Boise Saturday, three days before the state’s Democrats hold their presidential caucus as part of “Super Tuesday” on February 5th.
Grant thanked Senator Obama for including Idaho in his campaign. “I ran for Congress in Idaho in 2006 and am doing so again in 2008. I can assure you that the people of Idaho are drawn to your message of hope and are excited about your upcoming visit.”
Grant said he is endorsing Senator Obama because he “embodies the new political ethic that we need in this country. He is doing on a national basis what we started in 2006 and are continuing to do in this campaign, which is getting people involved on a local basis.
“People are asking for change. They aren’t happy with the old style of politics,” Grant said. “Obama represents the idea that working together, we can restore America, that people can come together to solve the problems we face and not use them to divide us for partisan gain or to advance a narrow personal agenda.”

Contact: Don Rosebrock
Communications Director
Grant for Congress

Larry Grant

Clinton rally in Boise, ID

"A group of 50 people had been hastily organized at a downtown Boise restaurant on less than a day’s notice to hear Washington Senator Maria Cantwell speak on Clinton’s behalf. "

More here.

"Biggest crowd in arena history"

What a wonderful way to start a birthday!! We left around 6AM and drove carefully and slowly to Boise. The angels were with us and we quickly found a parking space reasonably close to the entrance. Thank God we had passes (because of our volunteer work) and we didn't have to stand in the lines that wrapped out to the Green Belt (from what I was told).

I'm hearing that the crowds were the biggest in the Arena's history (estimated to be more than 14,000, with another 2,000 unable to enter). Talk about "WOW"!! For an AWESOME picture of the crowd, check it out here!!

Right now I'm still processing so I can't write any words of wisdom... I'll just post some of my favorite moments...

{Quick insert here: This is the best description of this morning's rally I've read yet... others have more quotes, more details... but this is what I'd have written if I was as talented as he is... the site has been having troubles tonight but keep trying to check out Juggernaut... it's worth it...!}

First I want to say that the introduction by Gov. Andrus was inspiring all in its own. If you don't have the time/inclination to watch the whole thing, at least watch Andrus' intro which includes:

“I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of political candidates come and go. I have not seen since John F. Kennedy in 1960, a candidate that has the capacity to unite and inspire the people of America like Barack Obama.”

Andrus said Obama could bring about change – in Washington, in the economy – and the war in Iraq. “It takes too many. It costs us too many lives. It’s a war that costs us too much. And for what reason? It’s a war that no one can justify. This is a man that can bring an end to that in my opinion,” Andrus said.

Then former Gov. Cecil Andrus introduced “the man I think should be and will be the next president of the United States.”

"He is the custodian of the hope and the dream of millions and millions of Americans.”

Some of my favorite statements from Obama:

“They told me there weren’t any Democrats in Idaho — that’s what they told me. But I didn’t believe them.”

"Our nation is at war, our planet is in peril and the dream that so many generations fought for feels like it is slowly slipping away... You and I together will remake this country, we will remake the world."

"We can help rural communities build new schools. I won't just talk about how great teachers are, I will reward them by paying them higher salaries."

If you watch the video, you will hear him talk about his plans for America's security, meeting the needs of our military, and more...

I remember "do not negotiate in fear, but do not fear to negotiate", why he wants to be President now rather than later (great statement... something about now they want him to wait until they "boil the hope" out of him!), his praise for our troops... oh, heck, I don't have the right words to describe it! WATCH IT!

Complete uncut speech from KTVB here, another video from KIVI here.

More from KTVB and KBCI Channel 2.
Check out photos here.
Idaho Statesman, 2/2/08
Idaho Statesman pics here.

Other blog reporting at this time:
Great post from Julie at Red State Rebels: Barack Obama fires up 14,000+ in Boise
DailyKos: 14,000 for Obama in Boise this morning!!
Ridenbaugh Press: Obama in Boise
(To check for current Idaho blog coverage, go to LeftyBlogs.)

On the flip side, what do you think about THIS???
GOP: Obama hoopla good for Idaho
Republicans say Obama’s visit draws welcome attention, but they’ll still dominate the state.
Wayne Hoffman, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Bill Sali, said Democrats suffer by comparison:

“Clearly, Americans are frustrated by the garbage spilling out of Washington, D.C. ... The question is: What kind of change do they want? If you want bigger government, higher taxes, more expensive energy and the loss of your Second Amendment rights, then I guess Obama’s your guy. I don’t think Idahoans want that.”
I would have included FOX 12 but their top stories at this time did not include any coverage, nor did the Times-News.

Now I think I will go take a nap!!