*Gotta kick out of Gov. Dirk Kempthorne this week. He (or should I say his flack, Mike Journee?) wrote a letter slamming my editorial of a week ago, which bashed the shabby way he treated Post Falls City Administrator Jim Hammond re: that Board of Education reappointment or lack thereof. In his first try, Dirk/Journee complained about the potshot and accused the S-R of being adamantly opposed to charter schools and school choice. When I pointed out to Journee that this paper has a long, established history of supporting school choice and charter schools, he shamelessly sent back a revised letter a few days later with this line: "That's why I was so disheartened that the Spokesman-Review, a proponent of charter schools and supporter of Jim Hammond, would denigrate his appointment (to the Charter School Commission) in the way it did." Talk about spin. The guv should just admit he jerked Jim around. And give it a rest.

*File this one from a No Holds Barred reader under courthouse conspiracy theory: "Heard an interesting bit of postelection yada, yada: Frank Henderson is supposedly going to 'place hold' his House District 5 seat for a term until Gus is up for re-election on the commission, which he's told lots of people he has no intention of running for again. Gus aspires to the state legislature at the end of the term but this was the first I'd heard of this theory. I think out here in the River City Gus' stock isn't too high, and he'd be hard-pressed to be re-elected to the commission, so I don't see him as a lock to win a legislative seat. I hope Frank lives to be 110 and serves most of those years in Boise!"

*Another reader pointed out that Mark Compton -- no relation to Dick -- has beaten (in chronological order) Alice Rankin and Ron Rankin for GOPrecinct committeeman and then the Rankins' daughter, Kerri Thoreson, for county vice chair, on Wednesday. You might call 'im a Rankin Slayer. (You'll see this one in Monday's Huckleberries. Too interesting an item to pass up.)

*Finally, I want to thank you for making this a successful blog. On Wednesday, I had 683 page hits, a nice increase from the 400 to 600 page hits I've been running all along. My goal is to reach at least 1,000 hits within a year.


A Word from Steve ...

The Iraq War and the Vietnam War. The similarities become more striking each day. Americans committed their young soldiers for strong reasons: In Vietnam it was the threat of communism sweeping into all of Asia. In Iraq,

is it is the threat of radical Islam terrorists sweeping into all of the Middle East. Vietnam was jungle warfare fought in small hamlets in dangerous difficult terrain. Iraq is jungle warfare fought in urban streets in dangerous difficult terrain. There were no front lines in Vietnam and an unseen enemy moving in and around our troops. Iraq has no front lines and an unseen enemy moving in and around our troops. In Vietnam, We attempted to place a foreign type of government in power with American handpicked Vietnamese leaders. In Iraq, we are attempting to place a foreign type of government in power with American handpicked Iraqi leaders. In the Vietnam War, we had a dogmatic and unyielding Secretary of Defense in Robert McNamara. In the Iraq War, we have a dogmatic and unyielding Secretary of Defense in Donald Rumsfeld. It is oil in Iraq. It was oil in Southeast Asia. The military was hampered by politics in Vietnam. The military is hampered in Iraq by politics. The United States was alone in Vietnam. The United States is alone in Iraq. Our Vietnamese army failed us in Vietnam. Our Iraqi army is failing us in Iraq. We tried to overwhelm the enemy with napalm and the raining down of B52 strikes in Vietnam. We tried to overwhelm the enemy in Iraq with smart bombs. We never won the “hearts and minds” in Vietnam. We are not winning the “hearts and minds” in Iraq. Americans were shocked to see Buddhists monks setting themselves on fire in Vietnam. Americans are shocked to see terrorists blowing themselves up in Iraq. We committed our troops totally to Vietnam War with the Gulf of Tonkin incident that never happened. We committed our troops to the Iraqi war with the threat of weapons of mass destruction that never happened.

Our president was brought down because of Vietnam. Will our President be brought down because of Vietnam? It was the war protesters that finally brought our young soldiers out of Vietnam. Will war protesters again get them out of Iraq? We gave up and got out of Vietnam. Will we give up and get out of Iraq?

The stakes are much higher for America now, but Iraq and Vietnam sure look the same.

Steve Badraun

DFO: One parallel that Steve missed is this: The media's distortion of the war in Vietnam, especially after the Tet offensive, which was portrayed as anything but a devasting loss for the Commies, played a major role in turning public sentiment against our effort. The same is happening now. I do believe this war is justified. And I don't believe the media are telling the entire story, much of which is positive. As a result, the media have played a major role in trying to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.

A Word from Cis ...

As I told you before I was an aide for 17+ in a nursing home until last Dec. So I find the elderly wonderful to be around. I was taking care of the greatest of generations. One lady I took care of

passed away at 104 and she was quite with it. She use to tell about her family traveling across country in a wagon. And she and her sister going out riding everyday and get way ahead of the wagon and her father getting upset with them because they would race off further than he could see. I took care of a guy who played pool against Minnesota Fats. I took care of a gentleman who was a gentle man ... who the French came over 3 years ago to give him a medal, just 6 months before he passed away at 101. And he had a great sense of humor. And yes, I loved the grumpy ones too. Yes, what a great generation... who race across the land on horses, who went to school here in Bonner County and rode horses to school. Who got to see telephones, cars, planes, spacecrafts, computers and so many other things. Will there be such a vastness in a generation again? I don't know. So God Bless (Spokane Valley) Vern and the others like him. I will bow to him any day. And glad that you like to give him space. As you do with all of us for that matter -- Cis the Retired

DFO: It's a pleasure to provide you a chance to express your opinions on line.

Best of the Northwest (5/28/04)

Gotta admit. I agree with Brand X's analysis of that proposed $30 million to $50 million horse track on the western edge of Post Falls. Everything looks good on paper ... for those who can stomach gambling of any sort ... but a proposal like that has a bunch of hurdles to overcome -- not the least of which is industry competition in the Boy-C area. At best, this one's a 100-to-1 longshot. Here's your Northwest roundup:

1. Dang! Cartoonist Milt Priggee mighta had a tough time getting today's offering thru the old S-R screening process. But No Holds Barred is a different animal. Here's his latest.

2. At Wazzu, prez V. Lane Rawlins sez he will appoint a veep of political correctness, er, vice president for equity and diversity, here, and The Daily Evergreen disses that announcement here. Sounds like Rawlins could learn a thing or two from the student journalists.

3. Boy-C State prez Bob Kustra is on board the Vandal Express as the U-of-I seeks to join the Broncos as a full-fledged member of the Western Athletic Conference here.

4. Sgt. Donald Walters of Salem, Ore., who was listed as killed during the ambush that brought national fame to Jessica Lynch, was actually captured alive and then executed by his Iraqi captors. The Seattle Times reports the story here.

5. J. Flipflop Kerry, who has now decided to accept his party's nomination if offered at the Demo convention in Boston, wrapped up his swing thru Seattle Thursday by promising to restore "America's place in the world" as an internationally respected power. Blah. Blah. Blah. Here.

6. Going-to-the-Sun Highway in Glacier National Park is a stone's throw away from opening for the spring/summer here.

7. Boy-C welcomed back nine helicopter mechanics from a 10-month tour of duty in, ahem, bee-you-tiful Afghanistan here.

8. There's trouble in paradise as the Elephants gather in Bellevue today for their state convention here.

*The Idaho Statesman correctly supports the calling of a grand jury to sort thru the University Place mess here.

*The Missoulian opines that the folly of grounding the nation's aerial tankers as a result of an overreaction of a National Transportation Safety Board report already is being felt here.

*With Gary Barnett back, columnist Steve Kelly of the Seattle Times sez nothing has changed at the U-Colorado here.

* Joel Connelly of the P-I sez the spirit of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley is alive and well among the strong-arm politics of the Northwest here.

TGIF QF6 (5/28/04)

It's TGIF before the Memorial Day Weekend. And Tags (Cynthia Taggart) and I are the early birds in the office today. Everything's quiet. And even the traffic seems lighter than normal on Northwest Boulevard. In other words, it's time for a thought. And here it is: I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to work for this quality company for as many years as I have (almost 20). And to do what I do for a living -- give our readers a piece of my mind 5 days a week. And to live in this beautiful town in this beautiful part of the country. 3-for-3 ain't bad. Here's your TGIF Quick Fix 6:

1. Paul Nowak and Daryl Cagle's stable of top-notch cartoonists get us going today with their TGIF Political 'Toon Fix here and here.

2. Jay Leno was the leader of the pack again last night as he offered this insight into voting priorities: '''American Idol' received a record 65 million votes. 65 million votes! And today Bush and Kerry both started singing lessons." He-e-r-r-res your Late Night Fix.

3. Don't look now, but the gendarmes have come up with another device to deal with property tax dodgers and scofflaws -- the BootFinder. It's a small, hand-held camera that scans license plates of parked cars to identify people with delinquent property-tax bills and unpaid parking tickets. Here's your Big Brother Fix.

4. And, if the Bootfinder isn't enough to scare you straight, a new General Accounting Office survey reveals that dozens of fed agencies are data mining (sifting thru our credit reports, credit card purchases, student loans, etc.) to form a profile on American citizens. Here's your Conspiracy Theory Fix.

5. So. whaddya think the most common alternative medicine is? Acupuncture? Nah. Chiropractic care? Unh-uh. Yoga? Try again. Let me give you a hint: Now, I lay me down to sleep, I pray ... You got it -- prayer. Fifty-five percent of Americans say they've used prayer for healing purposes. Here's your Poll Fix.

6. Remember those Libertarians who planned to move en masse to a state (New Hampshire), run for office and take over? Well, now we have an Evangelical push to do just that. Not only has the quixotic quest sparked interest, but the crusaders have already picked a state: South Carolina. You can find your Huddled Masses Yearning to Take Over Fix here and here.

*TGIF is Ladies Day, and I kick off the Opinion Fixes with Kate O'Beirne of the National Review pointing out that most of our soldiers in Iraq, unlike the clowns at Abu Ghraib, have distinguished themselves here.

*In a 1995 review of Letters of Ayn Rand, Florence King let loose on the Queen of Objectivism here.

*California writer Catherine Seipp opines on war films by Planet Hollyweird here.

*Jennifer Verner of FrontPageMag looks at the dangerous personal jihad of T. Chappaquiddick Kennedy here.


*Sober Thought for the Day: What if more Kootenai County residents voted for the "American Idol" Wednesday night than voted (24.14%) in the local primary elections? Would that be the end of civilization as we know it?

*Amy Dearest pulled down another $1,422 in three small scholarships at the Lake City High awards ceremonies last night, which means we're thisclose to being able to afford that $30,600 per year (est.) price tag that goes with U-of-Portland enrollment. Actually, between the financial package offered by the university, several Junior Miss scholarships and now these three we're within $6,000 of a full ride for the first year. And that's doable, even on one income in Right to Work Idaho. I deeply appreciate all of you Rotarians, Kiwanians, etc., who sacrifice every year to raise money for scholarships. In my son's case, it made a significant difference in being able to afford the undergraduate schooling that paved the way two years ago for med school.

*A reader wanted to know if I'd seen the May 22 issue of the CdA Press in which a story about Duane Hagadone's megayacht, Lady Lola, inadvertently was placed side-by-side with another story announcing an increase in subscription rates. That'd be delightfully ironic if it happened that way. But the two stories actually were in different sections. Still ...

*You can blame that fierce rainstorm Wednesday night on LCHS official Tom Mollgaard, who, as emcee, began the annual awards ceremony by telling the audience about a sci-fi book he was reading -- one in which a wizard observes wryly: "Someday, the rain will get you wet." Within minutes, it was pouring down outside and forming a massive pool from a leak almost the entire length of the stage. Mild-mannered Mollgaard apologized profusely throughout the p.m.

*No Holds Barred hears that Ron Vieselmeyer and Phil Hart accepted ex-congressman Helen Chenoweth-Hage's offer to cut an radio ad for them prior to the primary Tuesday. But Charles Eberle didn't. Wonder if that gift horse would have provided the 100 votes Eberle needed to retain his seat?


They're talkin' 'bout us out there ...

RunnersWeb.com, the on-line mag for runners and triathletes, gave viewtiful CdA two thumbs up in a recent article about the upcoming Ironman: The inaugural Ironman in Coeur d’Alene was a resounding success,” said Ironman North America President Graham Fraser. “We expect the popularity of the event to continue to grow as more and more people compete and see the beauty of the area here in Northern Idaho.” Read all about it here.

Lunch Special (5/27/04)

For the Lunch Special today ... I'm offering turtle soup, as in terrapin soup, by way of Patmos, Idaho, and several other Northwest stops, including Seattle and Alaska. That description, of course, fits only one person in these parts -- my old colleague David Bond, over in the Silver Valley. On a good day, D.P. Bond can rant with the best of them. He and I go way back to the '70s, when he was news editor of the Press and I was managing Duane Hagadone's sister paper in Kalispell, Mont.: The Daily Inter Lake. Some called it "the daily mistake," but that's another story for another day. In the past, D.P. has cast himself for column purposes as a Terrapin and an exile on the mythical river island of Patmos a la Apostle John. No one can make EPA bureaucRATs see redder. You can find his latest column, the Wallace Street Journal, which he writes for The Silver Valley Mining Journal here.

Best of the Northwest (5/27/04)

Gotta skewp from Leadership CdA today ... one that I can blog because it was said to me outside the hallowed grounds of the North Idaho College Library, where media day was taking place. (Leadership CdA has a secrecy rule banning participants from using info gleaned at the frank sessions to be used for unholy purposes, er, news stories.) And here it is: Fellow panelist Dick Haugen, the voice of KVNI radio, turned 49 yesterday. Which makes him a pup in some eyes. Anyway, enuf of that news flash, here's your Northwest roundup:

1. Cartoonist Eric Devericks of the Seattle Times gets us going with his take on Dubya's Iraq War speech here.

2. Don't look now, but Idaho grew 1.7 percent between 2002 and 2003, to 1,366,000, which means our state is still attractive to many outsiders. However, our income growth per capita lagged behind to drop us from 43rd to 45th overall. The Idaho Statesman looks at the numbers here.

3. The Idaho Vandals received a healthy dose of good news in their never-ending quest to land a spot with Boy-C State and Fresno State in the Western Athletic Conference. (If they do, forget all that nonsense that I said in the dead-tree media about sending the Vandals back to the weaker Big Sky Conference). You can find the Statesman story here.

4. Abu Hamza al-Masri, whose real name is Mustafa Kamel Mustafa (but you can call him Eminem), was arrested at his London home and indicted for trying to establish a terrorist camp in (are you ready for this?) ... Bly, Ore. (east of Klamath Falls). Click here.

5. Dunno what animal enterprise terrorism is (OK, OK, I do know because I read the following link), but the FBI has made a dint in it by arresting seven Crusader Rabbits, including Jess Harper, a radical from Seattical (which rhymes). Click here.

6. Nick Geranios of the AP's Spokane bureau sez there's no women in Washington involved in the following fields: petroleum engineer, tire builder, streetcar driver or rail track layer. Dunno if that's good or bad. But Nick's stickin' to his story here.

7. Gays opposed to a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriages have complained that a Baptist church near Helena, Mont., failed to report contributions for an event supporting the ban. And the beat goes on here.

8. WSU AD Jim Sterk gave the Board of Regents a sneak preview of the plan to overhaul Martin Stadium here.

*For Kootenai County readers, S-Reporters James Hagengruber and Erica Curless asked winners and losers to analyze what happened Tuesday in the primary elections here. (You may have to fill out a simple form for free access to our Web site.)

*The Idaho Statesman tries to make heads or tails of the primary election results here.

*Sports columnist Larry Stone of the Seattle Times points out that our beloved M's followed the Cleveland Indians pattern in rising to almost the top of the baseball world and they're following them in decline, too. Click here.

*Columnist Nicole Brodeur of the Times is shedding "no tears for the folks at Microsoft, who are up in arms over the company's decision to cut benefits to its workers and make changes in an employee stock-purchasing plan that will save the company $60 million." Click here.

*According to the P-I, political discourse in Washington lost ground recently as a result of a series of incidents, including the muzzling of a Repub congressional wanna-be ... by the GOP. Click here.

Thursday QF6 (5/27/04)

Gotta blog quick today because I have a date with the Leadership CdA class at 10:30 to explain, and I quote: What do you do? How do you choose what you cover? And what makes news? Answers: 1. Annoy people; 2. It chooses me; and 3. Anything that makes me say: Ya gotta be kiddin' me. I'll polish those answers by 10:30. Meanwhile, I have to feed the blog monster. Here's your Thursday moanin' Quick Fix Six:

1. Mariner fans will appreciate cartoonist Steve Benson's work today as he provides a Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Conan targeted Dubya last night with this squib: "It’s being reported that President Bush is having second thoughts about having the Republican National Convention in Manhattan. Turns out he didn’t know that Manhattan was in New York City." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. And The Lefties Want to Turn Iraq Over to Them? A book by three current and former U.N. employees sez U.N. missions have more on their agenda than peace-keeping -- like, say, for example, booze-soaked orgies. Another U.N. scandal is looming as No Holds Barred presents a Corrupt UN Fix.

4. And speaking of nuts, Al Gore gave aid and comfort to the enemy in a rant yesterday before the radical MoveOn.orgites who have compared Dubya to Hitler. A nation divided can't stand, particularly in a time of war. But the Lefties, with fire cover from their brothers and sisters in the national media, know no shame. Here's your fix from the Hate America First Crowd.

5. For centuries, brave American men and women have been dying for the cause of our freedom. And most of them died without much fanfare. World mag tells a few of the stories of those who have fallen in Iraq for our Iraq War Fix.

6. "Taxpayers funding Washington's $20,000-per-household budget have long known they are not getting their money's worth. Farm subsidies are among the most wasteful uses of taxpayer dollars," sez The Heritage Foundation. Yet, we keep throwing money at the problem. Here's your Pork Barrel Fix.

*Wesley J. Smith of National Review On Line opines on that assisted-suicide ruling involving neighbor Oregon here.

*The Wall Street Journal talks of the new evidence linking Iraq to al Qaida here.

*Max Boot of the L.A. Times offers a reality check for those still in denial that we're at war here.

*Firebrand Ann Coulter sez the anti-war media have found their Tet offensive to lie about in the grim Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal here.


*As many of you know, Katie Brodie -- or should I say, Commish-elect Brodie? -- is the sister of former S.F. 49er QB John Brodie (one of my first sports heroes). Anyway, John suffered a stroke some time ago and is still recovering. Katie made him promise not to watch the election results last night because she planned to fly down to southern California this morning to tell him in person what happened. He didn't know whether Katie won or lost until she got off the plane today. (And news nuggest like that is why you read the blog between Huckleberries fixes.)

*KVNI's Dick Haugen wasn't the only one who was confused by that 94.14% vote total last night that actually was the final total. I spent 90 minutes with Frank Henderson, campaign manager Skip Hissong & Co. at Templin's, waiting for final results. At several points in the evening, Frank was clinging to single-digit vote leads over Charles Eberle. When we learned that the totals we were viewing, indeed, were the final ones, I was the first to congratulate Frank on retiring Eberle, a strange bird who was taking up space at the Legislature.

*BTW, Dick H. sez that Commish Dick Panabaker said on his radio show today that he's going to have to learn to walk like a duck -- a lame duck. He's bruised. But he still has his sense of humor. Without Piazza scraping off the courthouse vote, Dick might have survived Katie's challenge. That, and about $20,000 more to run his campaign.

*Henderson, 81, told S-Reporter Erica Curless that he was proud of me for not falling asleep late last night as we waited for the, ahem, missing 6% of the vote. In fact, he even offered to be my personal trainer to get me back in shape.

*Skip Hissong was proud of himself -- as he had a right to be -- that he and wife, Jodie, wound up on the front page of the Coeur d'Alene Press on election day -- with him holding a campaign sign for Henderson. The Press, of course, should have known better than to pull a stunt like that. It's a no-no to provide free publicity to a candidate on election day. Eberle reportedly went through the roof. And he had a right to be mad. That's what distinguishes us from them.

*Ex-Commish Ron Rankin had an awful night at the polls. He pumped money into 5 or 6 campaigns, but only one of his horses came through: incumbent Jim Clark. And he was beaten by Mark Compton (no relation to Dick) in a race for a precinct committeeman seat. Who sez you can't beat a dead horse.


Another Word from Duffer ...

You should be aware that I'm considerably more moderate than you in my thinking. Not to the point of being called "liberal", but certainly more in the center on many issues. But, that's the great thing about living in the United States. We can agree to disagree! As I'm retired now, I can be more free to express my opinions than when I was working in CDA. Usually, I just sit back and listen until I just can't stand it anymore and I vent.

And on that point, I disagree that Meyer's pro-choice stance played a major part of his defeat. If that were the case, Hollingsworth and Vieselmeyer, who are pro-life would have polled 12-16% more of their district's vote assuming the demographics (and philosophy) were the same throughout the county. IMHO, Meyer was defeated solely on the burning and self-serving legislation issues.

I don't know if you're aware, but the organization SAFE (Safe Air For Everyone) furnished Mr. Hart with a mailing list of its members (over 1,000). Two weeks prior to the election, I received a well prepared Hart campaign brochure and letter asking for my support knowing that I wasn't even in his district. His defeat may be a mute point as I believe the Supreme Court will declare the protection legislation unconstitutional and the class action suit will proceed against the burners -- Duffer

DFO: I stand by my original opinion. I know that Hart fans were working the large evangelical churches in the area. And that he benefitted by that pro-life literature dump at evangelical church Sunday morning. So did Sen-elect Mike Jorgenson, another pro-lifer. As far as the District 5 race went, Nonini and Henderson worked their tails off, spent bundles, had the gale-force backing of the Post Falls Mafia -- and still only won by a hundred votes or so over pro-life wannabes. Yes, field burning and self-serving legislation played a role in Meyer's defeat. But so did his vote against the partial-birth abortion ban a few years back.

A Word from Jonathan ...

* Lewiston? I can come up with two better-known towns by that name. One's in Maine, a snow-covered mill town where old-timers still speak French and whose most famous happening was the one-punch Ali-Liston fight in '65. The other, just upstream from Niagara Falls, was the final home of my beloved race-tracker buddy, Dear Ol' Daryl Wells. This one (Lewiston, ID),

however, has a feisty little newspaper (which I can't read because it's pay-per-view) and a feisty little sports scribe who covers the Cougs. I love the guy's name...Dale Grummert. Dale Grummert! That's a Garrison Keillor creation if there ever was one. Or maybe some exotic tool-box gadget: "Hand me that Dale Grummert over there, willya?" I enjoyed his work when Wazzu went to Pasadena behind Cryin' Ryan Leaf, whom the Big Sky guy- that would be the inimitable John Blanchette- admits let Montana down. Still wondering what the heck a Dale Grummert is, I remain --Jonathan Cohen, Brookline, MA

DFO: Here's why Jonathan is unlike anyone else I've ever met, even in Cyberspace. He reads extensively on line and appreciates the best. And he even knows about Grummie, a former Coeur d'Alene Press sports writer and one of the Northwest's best-kept secrets, laboring away down there in Lewiston. Most folks around here don't remember Grummie. As I've said before, Jonathan has never set foot in these parts, and he knows more about us than we do.

A Word from Spokane Valley Vern ...

The guy with the "go in the snow SUV." He doesn't know what driving in the winter is. I drove for years before there were such things as "all winter tires," "sawdust tires," etc. For several years, in a Model A Roadster, that had tires with about a three inch wide tread, I drove up and down the old Lewiston Grade going to and from college. There was no such thing as "snow melt" or salt used on that road in the winter. One day I made it almost to the top, hit a bump and did a 180 degree turn and started back down the hill. Finally got turned around and this time made it to the top. (No heater in the rig and side curtains that did not fit all that well). The lady from Otis Orchards that is a state representative from the Washington 4th District opposed any legislation that would outlaw studs. I told her that her problem had to be just one thing: she must be a lousy driver -- Vern

DFO: Ah, Cis the Retired, from Kootenai, who advocates large SUVs over eco-cars for winter protection, is a femme not a guy.

A Word from 'Duffer' ...

I know that you called it, but this morning's headlines should read: Meyer Smoked by Downwind Constituents. I could go on at length about his self-serving legislation, but I need to get my coffee and S-R fix. BTW, it looks like you batted .667. Have a good day -- Duffer

DFO: Bayview Herb isn't gonna like it, but I'm adding "Duffer" to my stable of anonymous commenters. He's right about my batting average. And I'm glad I missed on two of my calls. I picked correctly: Currie, Clark, Hart, Chadderdon, Gridley and Nonini. I missed: Brodie, Jorgenson and Henderson. I was big-time happy to see Jorgenson and Henderson win. And we can do a lot worse than Katie Brodie in the commish office. Thanx for keeping score, Duffer.

Jim Fisher of the Lewiston Trib writes ...

How come the S-R continues referring to Wayne Meyer as being powerful as chairman of Ways and Means? In other states, and in Congress, that might be a powerful position, but the chair in Idaho is just a toady for the speaker, whose committee it is. It holds no regular meetings and gets together

in hallways and the like only when the speaker wants something done. Membership other than the chairs are leaders of both parties, and votes are nearly always party-line, with the chair (voting as the speaker wants) breaking the tie. In my years in the Statehouse, the chair was a known idiot, Noy Brackett. Anyone calling him powerful by that position would have been laughed out of the place. I know Meyer is no idiot, though. How'd he get beat? -- Jim Fisher, Editorial Page Editor/Lewiston Trib

DFO: Meyer was toast going into this primary. First, constituents were fed up with what they saw was a self-serving advocacy for his industry, grass growers; secondly, that vote against partial-birth abortion a few years ago came back to haunt him; and, finally, the 2002 redistricting caught up to him. Pro-lifer Phil Hart was able to play on Meyer's social liberalism. And the Hayden/Hayden Lake portion of Meyer's new district didn't think much of field burners. Strike One. Strike Two. Strike Three.

A Word from The Edge ...

Well, I was wrong about a three races. But let’s focus on the positive. Mike Jorgenson—I called it. He will raise the intellectual bar of the legislature, and probably will do very well.

There were a couple of surprises last night, including Piazza’s strong showing. I think it made the difference in Panabaker’s defeat. Biggest winner: Katie Brodie. She gets the keys to the kingdom,

and a nice boat ride in the south of France. Second biggest winner: Big D. Everything is shaping as the emperor has forseen.

Biggest they think they’ve won but really didn’t: Rocky Watson. The sheriff might get the money for his deputies now that Katie is in office. I wouldn’t hold my breath. Who has a mandate: Rick Currie. He trounced Brennan who had big bucks and support. The question is will he use his new power? Will he stand with Gus, or Brodie? Who will be back: DeLange, she just needs seasoning. A good battle against Wal-Mart will help her credibility. Charles “The Rake” Eberle, Jim Hollingsworth, and Bonnie “committee” Douglas will probably pop back at some point. Who’s gone for good: Politicians are like cats, they have nine lives. But I would guess Panabaker, and Piper won’t be back.

Biggest losers: Kootenai County residents who failed to pick up the keys to democracy, and let a few decide the future of North Idaho and the state.

The Edge

Best of the Northwest (5/26/04)

As I watched the local election results Tuesday with Frank Henderson, Prosecutor Bill Douglas, Commish Gus Johnson & Co. at Templin's, I heard several comments about the low voter turnout. Which was a lousy 24.14% here in Kootenai County. At one point, Frank, who has traveled to several eastern European countries as an economic consultant, shook his head. Eastern Europeans, he said, wouldn't understand our low turnout. To them, voting is a privilege. But how do you drill that fact into the heads of us fat, dumb and lazy Americans? On a brighter note, my Amy Dearest, now 18, voted for the first time. I'm as proud of her as I am ashamed of those who couldn't be bothered. Here's your Best of the Northwest roundup:

1. Cartoonist Milt Priggee and David Horsey provide our Best of the Northwest cartoon roundup here and here.

2. The Idaho Statesman provides all kinds of good political stuff in today's edition: Columnist Dan Popkey predicts Idaho D's will pick up a half dozen more seats here; Wayne Hoffman analyzes the primary results Tuesday here; and the paper provides a rundown of Kingdom of Ada results here.

3. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, co-chair of J. Flipflop Kerry's Washington state campaign was crowing after a Seattle affair raised an approximate $2 million for the prez race. Sez she: "If you can raise $2 million in five weeks in Seattle for this guy, it's because America thirsts for what he has to say." The Seattle Times provides the rest of the story here.

4. Boeing reacts to news that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has delayed orders for 100 aerial-refueling tankers for at least six months here.

5. In a radio ad, King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng has added his voice to the growing list of individuals who are warning Washingtonians to beware of signing initiative petitions. Sez Maleng: "Ask questions. You have a right to know the truth about what you are signing and who is asking you to sign it." Click here.

6. About 30 new businesses have opened shop in downtown Boise in the last eight months, changing the face of the skyscape around the Capitol. Click here.

*The Seattle Times sez Kerry should reject a proposal to hold off accepting the Demo nomination in order to raise more money here.

*Across the state of Idaho, 70 percent of the voters stayed home yesterday, which means 3 in 10 voters decided the final lineup for this fall's election. (In Kootenai County, only 24-plus % turned out.) F'shame. Click here.

*Somehow, I missed a column by Joel Connelly of the P-I, who's rapidly becoming one of my favorite Northwest columnists. In his May 14 column, Connelly sez U.S. Sen. Patty Murray shouldn't "misunderestimate" U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt in their 2004 Senate race here.

*The Oregonian opines on the ordeal of former terrorism suspect Brandon Mayfield here.

Extra! Extra!

Fresh off his 119-vote win over Ron Vieselmeyer for a Post Falls House District seat, Landslide Bob Nonini has told No Holds Barred (via Erica Curless) that he's stepping down as Kootenai County GOP chairman tonight to concentrate on his fall race. (Bonus points if anyone can name the 3 Demos running against Dick, Bob and Frank Hint: Ian, David and Lyndon.) That should make the realignment meeting tonight fun. And almost worth attending. But I'll be at Lake City High finding out how much scholarship moolah Amy Dearest has raked in for her frosh year at University of Portland.

A Must Read re: Iraq

If you're sorting out what's going on in Iraq, Andrew Sullivan's commentary in the London Times Sunday is a must read. Rather than trying to win the peace now, which the anti-war media keeps harping on, we're still fighting the war that So-Damn Insane intended all along. And winning. At this point, the only thing that can defeat us is fear itself. And Demos and nattering nabobs may be overplaying their hands in trying to seize defeat from the jaws of victory. Click here.

Hump Day QF6 (5/26/04)

Our primaries in North Idaho have received plenty of attention in the last few weeks. And they decided some things last night -- like who's going to run the courthouse and the entire lineup in Legislative District 3 (Hayden/Rathdrum) since the Democrats didn't bother to field a candidate. But before we get into all that, you need your Quick Fix 6:

1. Cartoonists Paul Nowak and Wayne Stayskal provide your Hump Day Political 'Toon Fix here and here.

2. It's apparent that we can begin to move on from the Abu Ghraib obsession. Why? Jay Leno's finally joking about it: "The White House announced the notorious Abu Ghraib prison will be torn down, demolished and done away with. But don’t worry, we’ll always have our memories and of course the photographs." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. The New York Times semi-ap-hollow-gized today for not being more skeptical in reporting stories that depended on Iraqis with a bone to pick with So-Damn Insane. In other words, the Gray Lady is beating its breast that it didn't do an even better job of undermining the administration and the war with Iraq. Here's your Lefty Media Fix.

4. If you didn't hear what J. Flipflop Kerry said when he heard that Dubya had tumbled off his bike, here it is: "Did the training wheels fall off?" Well, Flipflop gotta kick out of that. But Demo Chicago Mayor Daley didn't. He scolded The Arrogant One from Taxachusetts for being uncivilized. Here's your Civility Fix.

5. Most Americans don't know how close America came to losing its war of Independence. General George Washington's bravery in crossing the Delaware to defeat a surprised Hessian army followed a five-month string of losses that decimated and demoralized our troops. Here's your American History Fix.

6. For my money, Zogby is the only poll that counts. And the only Zogby poll(s) that count are the ones for the battleground states, not overall national numbers. And you can find those numbers in your Poll Fix.

--Don't look now, but there's a new skank on Capitol Hill a la Monica Lewinsky, and conservative flamethrower Michelle Malkin is on the spot to knock her down here.

--David Limbaugh questions why the national media has refused to take a serious look at Flipflop Kerry's controversial Vietnam War record here.

--Tony Blankley, editorial page editor of The Washington Times, discusses Dubya's speech here.

--Dick Morris looks at that three-way presidential race -- Dubya, Flipflop and al Qaida -- here.


*Gotta fix a leak around an upstairs skylight, so I'm blasting out of here a little early tonight with plans to be back when the polls close.

*From what I hear, the commish race between Dick Panabaker and Katie Brodie is going to be a barn-burner, with the winner decided by a few votes. Then, we're all experts before the absentee ballots are calculated.

*Here's where some of the political parties/wakes are going to be tonight: Katie's at The Caddy Shack; Dick, Rick and Rich Piazza are going to be at Sargents; Mike Gridley, at Toro Viejo downtown; Marge Chadderdon, at her Fernan area home with family; Frank Henderson and the Post Falls Mafia will be at Templin's.

*My only regret from the talk show with Dick Haugen Monday morning is that I forgot to mention the candidacies of Rich Piazza and Mike Piper in the race for Panabaker's seat. Obviously, I wasn't thinking on my feet very well at that moment. Both of run credible races. Piper, in particular, has done a credible job raising public consciousness on his important issue: local environment.

*Rumorama: Keep hearing that Marshall Chesrown (of Black Rock) has purchased the river edge from Spokane developer John Stone of Riverstone to develop the condo phase. But Stone insists that Chesrown is one of three entities vying to purchase the property on the perimeter of his impressive property. The other two include a local company -- Coldwell Banker? -- and a southern California company. Stay tuned.


Larry's Schedule

Here's U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's schedule for his two days in Kootenai County beginning tomorrow:

Wednesday, May 26:

4:40-5:30pm -- Post Falls: Dedication of trees planted at the University of Idaho Research Park, 721 Lochsa Street.

Thursday, May 27:

9:40-10:45am -- Coeur d'Alene: Speaking to Coeur d'Alene High School Seniors.

11:00-11:45am -- Coeur d'Alene: Tour Cd'A Airport/Empire Airlines facility expansion.

12:00-1:45pm -- Post Falls: Post Falls Chamber of Commerce at Red Lion Templins, 414 East 1st Avenue.

3:30-5:00pm -- Post Falls: National Guard Armory, mission briefing and meeting with troops prior to deployment.

5:15-6:00pm -- Coeur d'Alene: Cd'A Business After Hours at Specialty Recreation and Marine, 910 West Kathleen Avenue.

A Word from Jonathan ...

Like you, I'm a David Horsey fan -- best political cartoonist in the country, and maybe the world. I don't quite consider him loony-left, but the man not only draws like nobody else -- he uses words as part of it like nobody else. I call him "a columnist who draws", and even have a book of his work that somehow surfaced up here. Hey, I'd rather have Horsey for oppo-work than some of the guys who write. Wouldn't you? David Horsey. The man they should retire the cartoonists' Pulitzer for.

* Can't thank you enough for the David Brooks blog. More than any pundit I've ever read, David Brooks makes me darned proud to be an American. Last summer, after an unfortunate mishap by Your Humble Writer finally settled down, I just happened to see the NYT and a tiny squib: "David Brooks will join The Times' Op-Ed..." Only time I ever stood up and cheered over a hire. The man's brilliant. Even my mom, who doesn't read the Times, heard this remark on the Imus show: "That David Brooks is the smartest guy in Washington." Now, that's the kind of radio talk I like (not Imus, I mean). What I wouldn't give to share a meal with the man! Keep him on your list, Dave-O. You won't be disappointed.

* Believe it or not, My Lovely Rabbi (who has five kids) has a tiny connection to Idaho. Seems her youngest son, now a reporter/anchor for the local CBS affiliate, got his very first TV job about a decade ago- at the CBS affiliate in Idaho Falls. Now, I've never been anywhere near Idaho Falls, but My Lovely Rabbi and her (now-deceased) husband flew out to Salt Lake and drove up to see him. Since the boy was, arguably, the only one of My Tribe in town, she was a little worried, but reported that the locals- mostly Mormon over there, I believe- treated him with respect and even steered him to the only rabbi in the state- in Boise- when the major holidays came along. Their neighboring state of Utah sent us our current Gov., Mitt Romney, a/k/a The Mormonator. I must admit he's probably too much of a wing-nut for this state, and nobody I know l! ikes him. We like Bill Weld-style, progressive-patrician Reps, though.

*That's it from this Corner. Loved your description of Cd'A as "Hagadonia". I must rent "Duck Soup" to go with those other Marx-ist flicks I saw recently. By the way, the real Fredonia is a town in Western New York, and when the original picture came out, Groucho said to its mayor: "Don't change the name of your town! It will help our picture!" Guess he knew early that any publicity is good publicity, right?

Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, MA

DFO: Another entertaining entry from my Massachusetts correspondent.

A Word from Cis Gors ...

I, as a SUV driver, may be crying all the way to the gas station, now ..... but I am safe each and every winter and so are my co- road drivers.. See those of us in the North Idaho area have real snow... and don't freak out at an inch of the stuff... like the Seattle coffee drinkers -- Cis the Retired

DFO: Cis is reacting to that statement in the Seattle Times today by a letter writer: "I'm really, really enjoying hearing those SUV drivers whine about these new high gas prices." And she has a dang good point.

Lunch Special (5/25/04)

For today's lunch special ... I'm offering a twofer: The Edge and Steve Badraun explaining why No Holds Barred anonymity is important in any political blog in This Company town:

Tell Herb (Huseland) I respect his opinion, even if he doesn’t respect mine. I didn’t realize the blog was being taken so seriously by the folks in cyberspace. I prefer not to lose my job here in the Lake City, so I keep my name hidden. If it becomes a rule that you have to have your name, I won’t actively participate in the blog anymore. That’s Dave O’s call. I don’t see any harm in poking a little fun at the power structure and its players in Hagadonia. My thoughts are simply observations and opinions. -- The Edge


I agree with the writer. In a perfect world, comments need to be identified . But, I can assure you that Kootenai County politics ain't a perfect world. It is a treacherous place to be on the dissenting side. Those opinions will affect your life and job and future. Until that changes and there is a strong enough group that can stand up to this bunch of South American tin generals, we just should be glad that people find any avenue to express their voices -- Steve Badraun.

DFO: I agree with both writers. After almost 20 years in CdA, I'm amazed how many people here are afraid of their shadows. And The Powers That Be. And I'm not just talking about folks, like The Edge, who earns a living by working for others. Big Shots are afraid to speak out for fear of saying the wrong thing. Almost reminds me of those Flying Monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. Anyway, I'll continue to grant anonymity to those who have something to say and the expertise to make those statements. Hey, it's my blog. And I make the rules.

Best of the Northwest (5/25/04)

1. I don't buy what Seattle Post cartoonist David Horsey is selling here re: Dubya's speech last night. (It was top-notch and statesmanlike.) But I'm committed to giving you the best stuff from the NW each day. And Horsey's one of the best. So, click here.

2. Well, The Idaho Statesman was offering a column about Playboy's 50th anniversary and another feature on a guy that's becoming a woman. So, No Holds Barred decided to go to Option 3: a simple promo to help you decide to exercise more here.

3. For all of you who are tired of reading about the bad that kids do, meet outgoing Borah High student body prez Stephanie Armstrong. Because of her student-to-student tutoring projects, several classmates are graduating that otherwise wouldn't have done so. Read all about it here.

4. Political infighting, sez a Seattle Times story, is breaking up that old congressional delegation of Washington state here.

5. Quote of the Day from Seattle Times letter writer Dave Gamrath: "I'm really, really enjoying hearing those SUV drivers whine about these new high gas prices." And all the eco-car readers said: Amen.

6. Contractors have underreported the number of injuries and illnesses at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and other nuclear-cleanup projects, creating a false image of safety and possibly masking threats to workers, according to a federal audit. And according to a report from Lisa Stiffler of the P-I here.

7. With the Mariners going as bad as they are, they may be looking for some help soon from three minor leaguers who were given up for dead in recent years. Click here.

8. Jack Phillips was fired as head of the Spokane Civic Theater in what, one insider said, was a coup d'etat. You may have to fill out a free form for entry after you click here.

--For you fellow Spudheads, The Idaho Statesman opines on why you should vote today here.

--Nicole Brodeur wanders if King County exec Ron Sims is ready for the Washington governor's mansion here.

Bayview Herb Slams The Edge ...

I think he (The Edge) should have been blocked out at least the last two weeks (from commenting on primary races). I'm not talking about law here, just fairness. I sign my name to every opinion I give, and please pass on my lack of respect to the person that has a shield. I will never, even if I agree with his/her position, respect either the person, or the process, that allows him/her/it to anonymously slam/support positions. That simply is not good journalism, or morals, for that matter -- Herb Huseland

DFO: But it is the blogosphere.

A Word from The Edge ...

I want to thank the United States and the men and women of the armed forces for allowing me to vote by defeating the British (twice), the Germans (twice), the Japanese, the communists, and special thank you to Ronald Reagan for outspending Russia, (even though he can’t remember it now), and the terrorists (Afghanistan, Iraq). Democracy is pretty sweet. I can’t tell you who I voted for because I hate exit polls. But here are my predictions for today’s election:

Kootenai County commissioner: Dick Panabaker and Rick Currie retain their seats sending Brodie and Brennan back to sulk with their pals from Concealed Biz and Minimum Wage Jobs Plus. In bizarro world, Mike Piper wakes up a winner.

Senate District 3: A shocker – Mike Jorgenson beats Bailey and Boatwright.

House District 3: Jim Clark smashes Hayden's nicest councilwoman DeLange; and Phil Hart barely beats the Wayne Meyer.

House District 4: Jim "Who needs rules" Hollingworth edges Marge; Mike "Flaming hair" Gridley edges Douglas.

House District 5: Charles “The Rake” Eberle over Henderson in a steel cage match; Bob Nonini wipes the floor with nice guy Vieselmeyer.

The Edge

Election Day QF6 (5/25/04)

Finally, the primary elections are upon us in viewtiful North Idaho. At 7:40 a.m., I was the third to vote at the Assembly of God Church on 7th, which is in the heart of the Borah Triangle, that never-never land on the edge of the boundaries of the Coeur d'Alene and Lake City high school districts. The election judges said -- hopefully, I believe -- that most people probably think the polls open at 8 rather than 7. Hate to see a lousy turnout today when absentee voting is way up. On my way back from meeting with my padre this a.m., I saw Phil Hart and his family at Hayden & 95 waving at people. Nice man -- and probably a new state rep from District 3. But enuf of this stream of consciousness stuff. Here's you Election Day Quick Fix 6:

1. Cartoonists Paul Nowak and Wayne Stayskal provide a coupla shots @ J. Flipflop Kerry for today's Political 'Toon Fix here and here.

2. Jay Leno also had fun with Flipflop during his monologue last night: "Shrek 2” made $104 million this weekend. That is the most money taken in on one weekend since John Kerry’s honeymoon." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Dubya made his reputation for dealing with terror in the days following the 9-11 attacks. Now, however, some of his harshest critics are survivors of those attacks, prompting charges that they're using 9-11 for partisanship gain. Here's your Campaign 2004 Fix.

4. I used to end my old Hot Potatoes' column with a number -- ya know, today's column was brought to you by the number ... Well, here's an unsettling number: 18,000. A leading think tank believes that al Qaeda has that many killers available to hit soft targets in the U.S. and Europe. And you thought the Patriot Act was needed. Here's your Number Fix.

5. Irwin Stelzer of The Weekly Standard sez that high gas prices are transforming politicians into dissemblers who are doing nothing to address the problem. Here's your Gas Price Fix.

6. Before the hand-wringers from The Left begin attacking Dubya's speech last night, I'm offering some commentary from conservatives to provide balance. For your Opinion Fix (which continues on the jump with other subjects), I have Dubya's entire speech here; John Podhoretz (Bush bets the House); David Brooks (Bush's Epic Gamble); and Jim Geraghty here.

--Editor Wesley Pruden of the Washington Times opines on the possibility that Flipflop will delay accepting the Dilemmacrats' nomination so he can raise more moolah here.

--Columnist Bob Just of WorldNetDaily believes the Dilemmacrats will soon betray Israel here.

--Writing for FrontPageMag, Arab-American Noni Darwish explains why Arab-Muslims have to ap-hollow-gized for 9-11 or anything else their faithful have done ... and why they view Dubya's ap-hollow-gy for Abu Ghraib as a sign of weakness here.

--Thomas Sowell applauds Bill Cosby for having the guts to blast black parents and offspring for not learning the king's English here.


Who's gonna win the primaries tomorrow? I see it this way:

Kootenai County Commish: Dick Panabaker by a neck over Katie Brodie, with Rich Piazza 5 or 6 lengths back and Mike Piper still in the back stretch; and Rick Currie in a blowout over Claudia Brennan.

Senate District 3: Kent Bailey by a nose over Clyde Boatright with Mike Jorgenson a distant third.

House District 3: Jim Clark by a coupla lengths over Jeri DeLange; and, in an upset, Phil Hart by a coupla lengths over incumbent Wayne Meyer.

House District 4: Marge Chadderdon over Jim Hollingsworth by a three lengths; Mike Gridley over Bonnie Douglas by a half length.

House District 5: Charles Eberle over Frank Henderson by two lengths (solely because the religious right in Post Falls doesn't know better) and Bob Nonini over Ron Vieselmeyer by a length.

--Dilemma-crats: A coupla office D's who live in CdA asked for advice today because they don't know whether to stay home and vote for challenger Mike Gridley in that only Kootenai County D primary or to cross-over and vote in the GOPrimary for K-Commish because it's a winner-take-all situation in both races. I wouldn't hesitate to cross-over unless I had a horse in the race. The opportunity to help elect two county commish trumps voting in a D legislative semi-final any day.


Q & A

Question: I was surprised today that you didn't comment on the Press' endorsement of Rick Currie over the weekend, when the Concerned Business group had previously donated money to Claudia Brennan. Sorta looks like they left her blowing in the wind.

Answer: As a long-time Hagadonologist, I look at it like this: It doesn't make sense that the HHagaCorp would leave Brennan dangling in the wind, after HHexec John Barlow held a fundraiser for her, paraded her around the county and shook down Concealed Biz jumbos for funds on her behalf. Unless ... Bob Paulos' polling numbers showed Currie clobbering Brennan tomorrow, And Duane wanted to make nice because he'll have to deal with the Rickster for the next four years. A little egg on Barlow's face is a small price to pay for backing a horse that might treat you kindly when you develop Blackwell Island. BTW, I mentioned this on Dick Haugen's show this morning.

A Word from Election Central ...

Thought you might like an update from election central on the last day of absentee voting. It's been busy all and and looks like we will end up with about 2,400 absentee votes. That is about 75 votes ahead of our record number of absentee ballots cast in the 2000 primary. It sounds like we might actually come out ahead of the statewide average which would be nice for a change.

According to Randy Stapilus, Ada County is seeing a much smaller absentee rate than normal here.

Dan English

One Grande of Regular, Please

If gasoline
keeps going up,
I’ll have to buy
it by the cup.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

A Word from Steve Badraun ...

I just like to read the newspaper column of Bob Paulos of the Coeur d' Alene Press once or twice a year. Whenever I am impressed with the journalism profession, his comments bring me streaking back to earth. There is just plenty of very bad writing and thinking out there. Bob Paulos, when he attempts to talk seriously about the issues of the day, has and always will be silly and small.

He just goes off recently about how Dick Panabaker has sullied the reputation of Hagadone employees when Dick spoke of the "Hagadone bunch". He fills the page with examples of the "average" Hagadone employee and the community work of this group. Now the community knows about the "Hagadone bunch" and it is not the people making the beds in the resort.

Stick to stories about your Palm Springs golfing buddies, Bob. Leave the important stuff to journalists. Column closer: Stay our there and play another round. We would be grateful -- Steve Badraun

DFO: See opening commentary in today's Best of the Nortwest roundup.

Lunch Special (5/24/04)

Remember when the nattering nabobs of America's media were predicting America's waterloo as a result of al-Sadr's last stand in Fallujah? All hell's breaking loose all over the country, they whined. Well, it didn't happen. In fact, it seems like Americans and Fallujahans are learning to play nice. The National Review reported on an extraordinary press conference last week that was pretty much ignored by the media-ocrity. Here's a sample: "But the big news out of Fallujah, last week, was a press conference held by Muhammed Ibrahim al-Juraissey, the city's mayor; Gen. Mohammed Latif, commander of the Fallujah Brigade; and Maj. Gen. James N. Mattis, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division. Though scant media attention has been paid to the three men's comments — delivered on Thursday, May 20 — their words speak volumes about the blossoming relationship between Iraqis and Americans, and the fact that insurgents operating in the city are losing friends fast." Today's Lunch Special? A healthy dose of truth re: the current situation at Fallujah here.

Best of the Northwest (5/24/04)

Well, Bob Paulos, the one-time publisher of the Coeur d'Alene Press, has finally lost it. OK, OK, he lost it some time ago. But he's finally lost it in print, taking exception to in comment in which Commish Dick Panabaker referred to the Hagadone, ahem, family as a "gang." On Sunday, Paulos ranted about the comment in "the out-of-state newspaper" -- he's so sour he can't even mention our name -- and stated Hagadonia employees are above average (like the children in Lake Woebegone, Minn.). And he demanded an ap-hollow-gy. Seems Paulos has been sucking at the company udder so long that he doesn't realize that the majority of this town would say that Panabaker was being kind in his description. Well, enuf of that. Here's your Northwest roundup:

1. Cartoonists Eric Devericks and Milt Priggee get the roundup off to a liberal start today with their political 'toons here and here.

2. I'm providing a three-fer from weekend pages of The Spokesman-Review (you'll need to go thru a brief, FREE, sign-in procedure): My Huckleberries column this a.m. here; a roundup of our Tuesday primary endorsements here; and my Saturday column of Middle East broadcaster Dave Dolan here.

3. Reporter Patrick Orr of The Idaho Statesman provides a behind-the-scenes look at the terrorism conspiracy trial of Sami Omar al-Hussayen, which is now entering its seventh week in Boise here. And for an even deeper look at the long trial, check out S-Reporter Betsy Russell's blog here.

4. Ella Gunderson, the 11-year-old Redmond, Wash., girl who shook up Nordstrom's by writing a letter to execs asking for modest clothing for pre-teens, has appeared on NBC's "Today" show and soon will make a second appearance on CNN. Goes to show what a little common sense can do in today's cuh-razy U.S. of A. Click here.

5. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist appeared in Bellevue to boost George Nethercutt's long-shot bid to unseat U.S. Peppermint Patty Murray here.

6. U-Dub sociologist Becky Pettit sez African-American men are more likely to end up in prison than to enter the military or gain a bachelor's degree here.

7. R.J. Khron (Rjd2) of Ohio and other musicians -- their word, not No Holds Barred's -- has joined the crusade by Seattle-based Music for America to register 1 million young voters this year here.

8. Once on the edge of instinction, peregrine falcons have made a full-scale comeback in cities such as Portland, Ore. Click here.

--The Oregonian looks at Portland's quixotic big to land the Montreal Expos here.

--According to Joel Connelly of the P-I, P.C. Canadians can't stand Dubya, but they also have a bellyful of their own Left Wing government, which has been in power since 1993. Click here.

--With the Mariners going nowhere in their AL Western Division race, Bob Finnegan of The Seattle Times suspects that a major overhaul of the current team may be just around the corner here.

--Now that Puget Sound talkmeister Dave Ross has decided to run for one of Washington's congressional seats, The Seattle Times opines, he should leave the air. And the Times is right. Click here.

Monday Moanin' Quick Fix Six (5/24/04)

I'm runnin' a little late today because I was on KVNI talkmeister Dick Haugen's show this morning talkin' about tomorrow's primaries. The guys in the office said I pronounced depot as dee-pot (as in pots and pans) twice. And wondered if I was nervous. Answer? Negatory. I hadn't had my morning brew. So, the brain was still addled from sleep. I'm a night person. Don't function well before 9 a.m. And we were on the air at 8:15. It was fun. As always. Remember to vote tomorrow -- early and often. Here's your Monday Moanin' Quick Fix Six:

1. Daryl Cagle of Slate.com and his friends get us off to a roarin' start this week with a whole lineup of cartoons for our Political 'Toon Fix.

2. How about some potential headlines for the year 2035 to start your morning with a grin before we get serious with conservative stuff. Here's one tongue-in-cheek entry from Daniel Kurtzman's political humor site: "Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking." And here's your Future Headlines Fix.

3. All of us need to tune in tonight as Dubya discusses what's going on from his viewpoint (rather than the media's) and how we're going to extricate ourselves from the mess by handing over power to an interim government June 30. Here's your Straight From The Horse's Mouth Fix.

4. It's hard to get a handle on civilian casualties during the first 12 months of the Iraqi War and aftermath. But we do have a ballpark figure from Baghdad and three provinces (from a morgue count): 5,558. Before you start wagging your finger, however, consider: During his 23-year reign of terror, So-Damn Insane may have slaughtered as many as 500,000 Iraqis. Here's your Iraqi War Fix.

5. Repub Idaho may have caved on term limits because political Fat Cats wanted to hang onto their seats longer, but San Antonio didn't. Despite being outspent 100-to-1, the term-limiters prevailed in a recent election. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

6. More than half of the country's journalists believe their profession is headed in the wrong direction and by an almost 5-to-1 count liberals outnumber conservatives in the media. You can find your Behind The Headlines Fix here and here.

--Celebrated author E.L. Doctorow was almost booed off the Hofstra University stage for delivering a graduation address that ripped Dubya here.

--Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe wonder, discusses the overblown fears liberals and conservatives alike (see: Otter, C.L. "Butch") have about the Patriot Act here.

--Michael Barone of U.S. News & World Reports opines on Dubya's speech to the nation tonight about the situation in Iraq here.

--Jules Crittenden sez the quagmire's developing in Washington, D.C., not in Fallujah here.


It's Friday night, and I tapped out. Wrote a column on Dave Dolan, the Coeur d'Alene native who reports on the Middle East from Israel and has written three books. And I wrote Huckleberries. Some good things in there, including Dave's close encounter with K-Co baliffs and jury duty and two more poems by The Bard of Sherman Avenue. I will tell you one funny thing about Dave, though. He was looking forward to seeing "The Passion of the Christ" at the Discount Theaters in Hayden because he understands Hebrew, which is thisclose to Aramaic, and wouldn't have to read the English subtitles. However, he got snagged in traffic due to construction on Government Way and then missed the turnoff to the theaters. By the time he got turned around, it was too late to get to the movie on time. He now plans to see "The Passion" in the Middle East, where the original showing, of course, was performed live. And those who believe that (and have made it the core of their lives) are way better off for it. Behave yourselves until Monday, when we blog together again -- DFO

Dealer's Choice

I'm cleaning out the e-mailbag as the week ends. Here's what's left over:

--Big John Rook sends along a link that wonders if evangelicals and other religious conservatives can vote for Democrats any more here.

--L.C. Johnson of Moscow sends a link from Democrat Zell Miller's (who's one Democrat I'd gladly vote for) U.S. Senate Web site that sez fingerpointing and apologies over prisoner treatment only boost the enemy's cause here.

--Dunno who's hiding behind the pseudonym, Share the Truth, but s/he sends along a link that talks up some of the good news that's happening in Iraq here.

--Alton Leftfield, my liberal alter ego in the newsroom, sends along several things to debunk the righty stuff that I've blogged, including: Max Boot, a former Wall Street Journal idiotorialist who sez religious conservatives should fuhgeddabout gay marriage here; the hawks are having second thoughts about the Iraqi war here; and a photo of Laura Bush and the double-crosser Ahmed Chalabi at the State of the Union address here. Writes Alton: "Chalabi is just above Laura Bush and to the left. Played us ... Big time!"

A Word from Massachusetts ...

HI DAVE-O! We'll happily end our first week of correspondence with a few weekend witticisms...

* Somebody (K-Commish Rick Currie) checked in yesterday with a word about being called to see Duane-O? Reminds me of the end of "Wizard of Oz"...as in "Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain"! Sounds like the man has the power to cloud men's minds.

Hee-hee-hee! Bet you thought I wasn't old enough to drop that line or tell you where it's from! Actually, as an old MAD magazine fan from way back, I remember seeing a spoof on "The Shadow" which said something like "I am the Shadow'! (Short for Shadow-skeedee-boom-boom)". To give you an idea of how hopelessly retro I am, I was studying old-time radio when I was in college circa '77. I listened to '50s and '60s oldies in the '80s. I moved on to big bands and Great American Songs in the '90s. Now, I'm doing the Marx Bros., Bugs Bunny and Rocky and Bullwinkle. At this rate, I'll probably do Al Jolson ten years from now. Forward into the past, I say, but it's what I like.

* Dave Ross for Congress on the Eastside (Washington)? I'm impressed. Obviously, I've never heard him in person, but I think Dave's as good a talk-show host as anyone out there. I do wish we had someone like him here in the Northeast, where right-wing screamers dominate. (We've got one of the most notorious, Howie Carr, who also writes for the Boston Herald.) I also like Dave's well-written- and well-sung!- song parodies; they're on line at www.daveross.com . His recent ditty about Martha Stewart (to "Jailhouse Rock") was fantastic. I believe that Dave's a centrist by Seattle standards; of course, that Dr. Demento across the lake, Jim (Saddam's Shill) McDermott, is beyond the pale. Still, if I lived on Mercer Island (yeah, right, I know only the Gateses and Allens live ther! e), I'd vote for him.

Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, Mass.

DFO: Sometimes, I think Jonathan can read my mind ... from over there in Taxachusetts. BTW, Alton Leftfield sez I got it wrong about T. Chappaquiddick Kennedy's home state. In terms of local and state taxes, Massachusetts is far better off than Idaho. But it falls far behind when federal income tax is figured in. Guess minimum wages are good for something.

A Word from Steve Badraun ...

That entire county commission system of management is just plain dumb and no way to run an organization. Three people who have little or no experience running large departments and super budgets tinker around with problems way over their heads. This commissioner formula is a political process and not a management process. Get someone in there who runs the county and leave the political calls to those commissioners. We would all feel that our money is more efficiently used if the commissioners would stick to politics and stay away from county management. It is an old system that we finally have to put away for good.

Steve Badraun

DFO: I tend to agree.

A Word from Big John ...

In the late 1960's, while I was program director of WLS radio in Chicago, Buckminster Fuller was invited to address our ABC group. Following his lecture, a few of us were fortunate to have a few minutes with him when the subject of the Vietnam war came up. I remember "Bucky" saying, "Oh yes, the great American experiment. It too could die from too much freedom and a lack of unity".... His words never seemed more apropos than they do today... How right he was.

John Rook

DFO: Big John's a legend in the radio field. You can find out about him here. And you can read up on the book he's writing on line, which includes a chapter about his sojourn in Coeur d'Alene here.

A Word from Herb ...

Something unusual happened yesterday. I got a campaign phone call. No, wait, that's not unusual. What was, was that it was from the candidate herself. Claudia Brennen, probably cold calling, rang me up and discussed her views, as well as mine for over fifteen minutes.

I found little to criticize, and much to admire. I have never met this woman, or for that matter, any other current candidate. I also have never been asked for my opinion by one. I can only think that those that are putting down the "run it like a business" line, have either not run their own, or haven't faced up the the issue of raising taxes if necessary, if you can't make ends meet otherwise. If I'm not mistaken, none of the incumbents, honorable as they may be, own, or have had to budget a business. I am going to vote for this highly intelligent candidate.

This my opinion, and I own it, and am not willing to hide behind a screen name.

Herb Huseland

DFO: I've never owned a biz, but I've been a reporter/opinion writer for 34 years. I coulda retired if I had a double sawbuck for every time a Repub has had to eat his words about running government like a business. You can't for alotta built in reasons, including the type of tenured employee with locked-in benefits that the public employs. BTW, K-Co. commish Dick Panabaker owned an upholstery shop in Hayden.

TGIF Lunch Special (5/22/04)

In my freshman year at Gridley (Calif.) Union High School, Parley Mel Anglen, my arrogant English teacher, made a statement that remains with me to this day: A woman has never written anything worth reading. For years, I believed that chauvinistic crap. As a result, I never read anything by women ... until one lost weekend when I picked up Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind." (Mebbe my, ahem, feminine side broke through -- briefly.) I know now, of course, that the terrifying Parley Mel was full of horse manure (as well as himself). Some of the columnists I now enjoy reading most are written by women: Florence King, Camille Paglia, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Kathleen Parker and so on. Why am I telling you this? I'm letting the gals bring you the Lunch Special today. You can find a collection of great columns by women here (don't waste time looking for that Lefty Texas Shrew, Molly Ivens): King (opining on Mark Twain), Mona Charen (children of gay couples), Debra Saunders (clueless animal lovers), Malkin (unsung heroes at Abu Ghraib) and, of course, Coulter (L.A. Times ethics).

A Word from The Edge ...

I am soooooooooooooooo tired of campaign rhetoric that says government should be run like a business. I wonder how many businesses are required by

state law to give medical and dental care to meth tweakers, thieves, and violent thugs. What would happen if the state mandated every business provided FREE medical benefits, and FREE dental care. There would be rioting in the streets. It’s ironic that so many companies are reducing health care benefits (some don’t even offer dental plans), and the county is mandated to keep giving the same level of care. I see the my career mistake, I should have been a criminal to have clean teeth.

Here’s another cliché. We need to manage growth responsibly. What the heck does that mean exactly? Dixie “I am not happy” Reid couldn’t tell ya. Deanna Goodlander sold a bunch of land to a developer. Is that managing it? Or making money? Here’s another one: We need to make growth pay for itself. Ok. How about some impact fees, or stricter rules. You can’t build a wall around the area and not let anybody in.

Yet more: We can do better than the current people in power. Oh really, how? They never mention that part. It’s all general statements because they know there are no easy solutions.

The Edge

DFO: Bingo.

TGIF Best of the Northwest (5/21/04)

1. Eric Devericks of the Times and David Horsey of the P-I begin our Best of the Northwest roundup on this overcast TGIF morning with their latest 'toons here and here.

2. Significantly, Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden has recused himself and his office from the investigation into the University Place shenanigans. And Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower sez he hopes to name Federal Prosecutor Allen Garten from Oregon's AG office to lead the investigation. Garten's a bulldog. If he gets ahold of this one, heads will roll. Click here.

3. Say It Ain't So, Mark: Sports report Bud Withers of The Seattle Times opines on those rumors that Gonzaga's Mark Few might be in line to become head basketball coach of Stanford here.

4. Ella Gunderson, 11, caught the attention of Nordstrom execs with a letter asking for clothes that were fashionable ... and modest. May her kind increase. You can find the Times story here.

5. Don't look now, but a government report sez three Northwest rivers suffer the nation's highest pollution for mining wastes. Do you know which ones? Uh-huh. The Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and Clark Fork rivers. We got 'em all. Click here.

6. Signature gathering for an initiative to ban same-sex marriages in Oregon could begin as early as today. Proponents will have six weeks to gather 100,840 valid signatures. Click here.

7. Ichiro is two hits away from 2,000, a major milestone for any Major League Baseball player. Of course, the Times is fudging a bit because it's counting the Japanese wonder's production in two nations, over 6,000 miles, here.

8. Oregon attorney Brandon Mayfield has been released from custody in the investigation into the Madrid railroad bombings, but he remains a material witness here.

--You can find the editorial I wrote about the appointment of community activist Sue Thilo to the Idaho Board of Education here. (You'll have to sign in to read it, but access is still free -- for now.)

--Former U-Dub softballers opine/whine that media reports painting coaches and players as a bunch of drug-giving or -taking zombies are horse feathers here.

--Daniel Pearl's father, Judea, wonders where is the outcry from Muslim leaders about the senseless beheadings of his son and Nick Berg to make a political statement. Joel Connelly of the P-I asks that $64,000 question here.

TGIF Quick Fix Six (5/21/04)

Gotta kick out of that letter to the editor by Sandy Clark this morning, promoting the candidacies of Katie Brodie and Claudia Brennan and insisting that you can run county government like a bizness. Sandy pooh-poohs the notion that unfunded mandates, regulations, etc., prevent county officials from doing so. Well, Sandy, they do. I've watched one Repub after another, including the current commish Billy Goats Gruff trumpet into office with the same claims. Only to be hit in the face by reality. Indeed, you can streamline some things to save money. But, ultimately, you're hands are tied in so many areas. If some want to believe in the Tooth Fairy, I don't have the time to correct them. With that, how about a quick fix?

1. Let's do a cartoon two-fer for TGIF with Chuck Asay here and Paul Nowak here providing your Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Jay Leno had this to say on his show last night: "The show is finally somewhat back to normal. Yesterday we had First Lady Lara Bush on the show. We had all the Secret Service guys here on the set. They’re like 6’2”, wear those suits, they just stand there and don’t smile. It was like a room full of John Kerrys." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. In an effort to strike a balance (shaddup!), No Holds Barred is providing you with the latest caterwaul over Abu Ghraib prison abuse here and a Washington Times story denouncing the media's obsession with this tempest in a teapot here for your Media Overkill Fix.

4. No Holds Barred has some good news for the huddled masses yearning to be free of Internet porn. As of Thursday, porno spam has to come with a warning label that includes the words, "sexually explicit" in the subject line and it can't open up to graphic images such as a skank strung out on heroin doing the nasty with a barnyard animal. Here's your Spam Fix.

5. I believe I've stumbled upon a must-read for anyone who wants an insider's look into the world's news from a conservative perspective. Today, FrontPageMag has introduced its "war blog," which provides the best blog commentary and e-mails available. Here's your War Blog Fix.

6. Steven C. Baker of FrontPageMag looks at the sheer stupidity of a recommendation to U.S. athletes that they shouldn't wave the Stars & Stripes at the Olympic Games this summer in Greece. Here's your P.C. Fix.

--You can find how U.S. hospitals are helping average Iraqis suffering life-threatening diseases here.

--Author Colleen Carroll Campbell sez the fun-and-games lifestyle portrayed by "Sex in the City" actors is a myth here.

--Denis Boyles of EuroPress Review sez we're inundated with pornography because (drum roll, puh-leez) it works as a selling device here.

--Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal sez: It's the war on terror stupid. Click here.


Got bunches of stuff to blog, including this one from one of my spies (which you'll probably see in Monday's Huckleberries, too, because it's so good):

--"Overheard this being said at Brix by a table full of golfers wearing BlackRock logo apparel..."if I knew I had to drive so far for so little i would have re-thought buying a place here" Hummm... guess when the elite buy million dollar houses they don't check out the community first. Sorry we are such a dissapointment down here in whoville."

--My courthouse spy sez Koot-commish wanna-be Claudia Brennan just loaned her campaign $1,550 for the final push to Tuesday. According to her treasurer, Freeman Duncan, she had $29.32 on hand at this week's 7-day reporting deadline after collecting $13,550 for her campaign this year.

--For those keeping score at home, Sheriff Rocky Watson, who's running unopposed in the GOPrimary, has raked in $7,550 for his re-election campaign -- mostly from the usual suspects, including former CdA police chief Tom Cronin, who's supporting several wanna-bes to the tune of $100 apiece. So far, Rocky's spent only $675 -- all on campaign key chains, whatever that is. I'll need to grab one to go with that old "Rocky for Sheriff" button that I have ... from the '70s.

--Also, for those keeping score at home, here's the final fund-raising numbers in the commish wanna-bes and will-bes sunshine reports (in descending order with treasurer's names in parenthesis): Katie Brodie (Jim English), $24,540; Brennan (Duncan), $13,550; Dick Panabaker (Michelle Kramer), $5,700; Rich Piazza (Mary Lou Piazza), $5,035; Rick Currie (Jim Deffenbaugh), $3,992; and Mike Piper (Sharon Johnson), $1,301. Only found two mentions of Concealed Biz of North Idaho: $1,000 each for the ladies. But there's plenty of mention of the Usual Suspects hiding behind CBNI in commish and legislative reports.

--Remember to tune in to KVNI at 8:15 Monday morning for my gabfest about the election with Dick Haugen.


A Word from Jonathan Cohen ...

...my new on-line friend reporting from Massachusetts:

One of those pitiful Phelps people from Kansas showed up in Cambridge the other day as the gay-nuptial movement began. Here's another way I differ from rabid-dog righties: I don't mind honest conservatives but hate angry single-issue zealots- of any stripe. I do, however, accept opposing views from sincerely religious folk- in my case, the Orthodox branch of My Tribe- provided they "hate the sin and love the sinner". Frankly, the principal reason I (quietly) support the new couples is my friendship with My Lovely Rabbi (her name is Emily), a staunch supporter, and My Other Lovely Rabbi (her name is Karen), half of a lovely two-woman couple. Their opposition is only political- you know, ACLU stuff. I can take that, too, as long as one emphasizes the "civil" part.


Where are they now?

Kurt Sigler, a former EWU offensive tackle and 1998 Coeur d'Alene High grad, is trying to catch on with the Buffalo Bills. The Easterner, his college newspaper, tells ya all about it here.

A Word from Steve Badraun ...

So, Rick (Currie) has been summoned to (Duane Hagadone's) big office (today).

Oh, I remember getting the call from the white haired man. Once when I was a planning commissioner and he thought I might have some influence on his big plans for the Potlatch site after his purchase. Two phone calls were placed prior to my arrival that day to get my personality profile from my friends. You sit in these deep chairs positioned around a half circle table with Duane facing you. There is a shiny chromed band around the table with vent holes neatly positioned directly in front of your face. Duane hits the remote and the blinds open and close automatically. It is just you and Duane having a little chat together as you talk into the vent holes.

Steve Badraun

DFO: It'll be interesting to see if Rick returns as George Bailey ("It's A Wonderful Life") or Team Player Rick with two all-expenses-paid tickets for a cruise to the French Riviera.

Lunch Special (5/20/04)

For our Lunch Special today ... I'm presenting a big double-beef Hero Burger with a big helping of Major Ben Connable of the 1st Marine Division on the side. Ben? He's now in his third deployment to the Middle East. And he's had a bellyful of the defeatists/media/Democratic politicians who never veer from their determination to undercut our troops with their coverage. He remembers the media hand-wringing from the first Gulf War and the dire predictions of widespread insurgency a few weeks back when that goofy rebel cleric was holed up in Najaf. None of those predictions have come to pass. As the good major sez, the battlefield is rife with setbacks. Read: the media should cool it. And let the professionals take care of things. You can read the major's thoughts here.

Best of the Northwest (5/20/04)

Mah people are meeting with KVNI talkmeister Dick Haugen's people to set up a time Monday morning for the two of us to discuss the primary election Tuesday on the air. It looks like 8:15 a.m. startup at this point. Dick and I have a good time guesstimating winners. And beating up on a politician or two. While you consider tuning in, here's your Best of the Northwest roundup:

1. Jack Ohman of the Oregonians doodles his views on the new interrogation technique at Abu Ghraib here.

2. The Idaho Statesman provides a complete camping guide to 20 Idaho campgrounds and plenty of other good outdoors stuff here.

3. In a guest opinion in The Idaho Statesman, ex-governor Cecil Andrus and former U.S. Sen. Jim McClure applaud U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson's attention to managing the spectacular Boulder-White Cloud Mountains area in central Idaho here.

4. According to The Seattle Times, hundreds of Washington residents who thought they might be done with their days in the Army may be pulled back into service in the weeks ahead. Click here.

5. Scott Richards, the Cape Elizabeth man who spent two days on an icy ledge with a dying from on Washington's Mount Rainier, has returned home here.

6. Peter Vinikov, one of the Northwest's premier jazz bassists, has died at age 47 here.

--In its entertainment and arts section, The Seattle Times bids good riddance to "American Idol" third-stringer Jasmine Trias whose adoring fans in Hawaii almost caused critical Simon to blow a gasget on national TV. Click here.

--Like me, Collin Levey of The Seattle Times is wondering why the national media was in such a tizzy to downplay the discovery of a WMD that was used against us here.

--Ex-U.S. Rep. John R. Miller of Washington applauds the battle against AIDS but sez that, to be successful, disease warriors also have to cut off a major source of AIDS: prostitution. Click here.

--John C. Dreschler of the Discovery Institute in Seattle sez: "Iraq is to the war on terror what West Berlin was to the Cold War — freedom's hope in a sea of totalitarian despair." Click here.

Thursday Quick Fix Six (5/20/04)

Happy thought for today: "So a Sarin-infected device is exploded in Iraq, and across the border in Jordan the authorities say that nerve and gas weapons have been discovered for use against them by the followers of Zarqawi, who was in Baghdad well before the invasion. Where, one idly inquires, did these toys come from? No, it couldn't be...." -- Christopher Hitchens - Slate

1. Cartoonist Paul Nowak and Wayne Stayskal bring us today's Political 'Toon Fix here and here.

2. Conan delivered last night's best one-liner with this: "Today John Kerry met with Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Kerry said the meeting went well until his gun jammed." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. You may have heard of the blogger of Baghdad, a Web logger who captured a worldwide following by describing life under So-Damn Insane, the shock and awe of our three weeks of bombing and then liberation. Now, Salam Pax has been outed and he sez, half in jest, that he's waiting for an Islamic cuh-razy to come over and out him. Here's your Iraqi War Fix.

4. In a speech next week, Dubya's going to lay out strategy for handing over complete sovereignty to the Iraqi ruling council. Meanwhile, we're on the outs with our former buddy Ahmed Chalabi. And the polling numbers of rebel clerk Moqtada al-Sadr are almost as high as Dubya's. You can find your Top of the News Fix here, here and here.

5. Writing for FrontPageMag, Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu provides a little perspective on what happened at the Abu Ghraib prison. The national media, of course, will ignore this perspective as they beat their breasts and dump ashes on their heads. But regular folks should get it. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

6. Oil industry officials and others are blaming part of the run-up to $2-a-gallon gasoline on air pollution regulations that are forcing refiners to supply 18 different blends of gas around the country, including four in New England alone. Here's your Eco-Twinkie Fix.

--The Belmont Club blog reports how the U.S. news media using their selective coverage of the Iraqi War, and the Vietnam War before, as a weapon here.

--Joel Mowbray provides the good news from Iraq that the mainstream media won't tell you here.

--Columnist Larry Elder sez the outrage expressed by Nick Berg's father against Dubya was misplaced here.

--John Leo looks at the battle between pro-life Catholic bishops and pro-abortion Catholic politicians here.


I've had my head down today, writing a column about Coeur d'Alene native Dave Dolan, who has lived in Israel and reported on the Middle East since 1980. It should run Saturday. But I do have a coupla pieces of gossipy news:

--I hear Commish Rick Currie has been summoned to the Office on the Lake to meet with The Boss Thursday. DBHimself. Probably means that Bob Paulos' polling numbers show that Rick's way ahead. So, it's time to make nice with a man who'll be sitting in a commish chair for the next four years. (btw, Barlow, if you're the one assigned to read this today, Rick didn't tell me about this. So, don't break his legs.) I'd love to be a fly on the wall at tomorrow's meeting. Then, I could just call my Deep Throat over at HHagadone Central.

--In its attempt to knee-cap Dick Panabaker before Tuesday, Brand X'll be running a story about a Panabaker Hater who claims the commish abused its power by annexing the prosecutor's civil department many, many moons ago. Guy's name is Larry Spencer. On a scale of 1 to 10, the story's about a .05.

--Wonder what mainstream Dems for Mike Gridley thought about Brand X endorsing state Rep. Bonnie Douglas for that House District 4A seat? Quoth: "Gridley simply hasn't distinguished enough differences between his platform and the incumbent's, and until that happens, Douglas should retain the title." I wouldn't smile too broadly if I were Bonnie. The big headline and glowing endorsement for Repub Marge Chadderdon on the editorial above reveals where Brand X will come down with its general election endorsement this fall.

--Gotta kick out of Union Pacific dropping $300 into Bonnie's kitty, however. Mike worked as a staff attorney for UP for 10 years. But he didn't getting a dime from the railroad.

--You heard it here first: Phil Hart will beat Wayne Meyer in their House District 3 primary contest. And I ain't blowing grass smoke.

A Word from The Edge ...


I am not gay (Not that there is anything wrong what that), but I wish the religious zealots from the Bible belt could find something better to do with their free time: like figure out why mobile home parks in Kansas always get wiped out by tornados? I am confused by their sign “God Hates America.” I didn’t know the Almighty hates the U.S.A. Does he love Canada? Or worse, France? The other perplexing sign was one that said “Thank God for Sept. 11” What
exactly are they thanking God for? Was it the nearly 3,000 Americans murdered in cold blood by terrorists, or the fact that some of those who died probably were gay?

The Edge

DFO: As an evangelical, I'm appalled by the Phelps Family Wackos. These clowns blow into communities, purporting to do the Lord's work, and make asses of themselves, confusing people in the process that they represent true Christianity. I know the Scripture texts -- both Old Testament and New Testament -- that condemn homosexuality. I also know the Scriptures that say love for mankind is suppose to be the trademark of the Christian faith. I wouldn't judge Christians by this gang of publicity-seeking wackos.

A Word from Jonathan Cohen ...

(For my 500th posting, I'm blogging Jonathan Cohen's latest e-mail because he's a good writer ... and funny ... and he has a different perspective ... from Massachusetts)

HI DAVE-O! First up, Maynard the Doorman thanks you for the howdy. He was born in Newfoundland, where names like "Maynard" are a little more common than here, and says he's found a fellow Maynard in person only once- in a

restaurant in Halifax. I made sure to tell him that names like his, and "Lorne", and "Morley", and "Gord", are very prevalent north of the border.
In fact, a whole generation of Canadian boys- of My Tribe and others- were named "Lorne" because of Ottawa-bred Lorne Greene, once the CBC's voice of news before he became Ben Cartwright. Yet another of my trademark "things you didn't want to know"!

Next, a few well-chosen words about how blue-state elite papers, like our two feuding brothers, El Globo (Boston Globe) and the Gray Lady (New York Times), choose their letters-to-the-ed. My hometown cage-liner had a batch of letters on the gay-nuptial matter; they pick one or two "cons" by folks with Catholic names and small-town provenance, and one "wing-nut" from out-of-state, usually a Southern Red one. A hysterical "Boycott Mass.!" screed had the dateline "Keystone, FL". Well, I never heard of no "Keystone, FL", but I looked it up and found that it was a hamlet between Palatka and St. Augustine. As for the NYT, did you ever notice that the most popular dateline for lefty letters there is "SF/Berkeley/Marin/Palo Alto"? I have a friend who moved to LA years ago; her son, an honor student, got a 4-year ride to UC-Berkeley thanks to a charity affiliation. She was a bit worried because the! boy's both of My Tribe and a registered Elephant. Berkeley, as you know, isn't very friendly to either. But he loves being a Bear and even joined both Hillel and the Young Reps. Good luck, we say, and have him listen to Ronn Owens on KGO- the only sensible voice in the Bay Area. Savage, I'm afraid, is a bit too mad-dog for both of us. (I know. I read his books.)

Third comes a sporting note or two, since you include a link or two in that department. My three favorite scribes in your Corner, in no particular order, are Blanchette (you-know-where), Thiel (P-I), and McGrath (Tacoma). The folks over at "Fairview Fanny" are a little dull, but Tri-Cities product Bob Condotta will make a bang-up frontman when the aging Newnham retires. That Tacoma outfit's underrated; ex-Spokesmen Boling and Sando are terrific. My real fave there is the witty (at least he tries to be) new baseball guy with the lovely name of Darrin Beene. Darrin- named for the hubby on "Bewitched"!- isn't quite in the class of "Fanny"'s superb Larry Stone, but he tries harder. Given the Moribund M's of '04, he'll have to. BTW- where in the Valley do you hail? Darrin's from Fresno. In addition, my wonderful piano-playing Culture Minister- The Incredible David, who! (I hope) you met yesterday- has visited the Valley because his dad, a research scientist with Shell, did a few years in Modesto. Sadly, that modest but hard-working town has been in the scandal sheets too often lately (Condit/Chandra/Laci). Not the kind of publicity you want.

Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, Mass.

A Word from Steve Badraun ...

OK, time is up.

Maybe the Coeur d' Alene City Council could give us an update on the one pressing issue they have been "working their hearts out" on: access to Sanders Beach forever.

Steve Badraun

DFO: Ahaha. Ahaha. What a card. "Working their hearts out"? If they can't win access to Sanders Beach when they have HHospitality over a barrel, how in the world are they going to sweet talk their way into guaranteed access. (Yeah, I know you were being sarcastic here, Steve. So am I.)

Lunch Special (5/19/04)

Sorry to take so long bringing you today's Lunch Special. But I had to sample several possibilities before I found one that sums up my feelings about Liberals and the World War they choose to ignore. Michael Reagan, in conjunction with cartoonist Chuck Asay and others, opines on Iraq, Abu Ghraib and Nick Berg's beheading. Here's a sample: "Liberals simply cannot distinguish between bad behavior and evil because they don't believe that there is any such thing as evil." And you can find today's Lunch Special -- Ronnie's boy, Mike, and a bunch of political 'toons -- here. Enjoy.

Best of the Northwest (5/19/04)

Fred Phelps Jr. of Kansas brought his anti-gay carnival to Lake City Tuesday -- without the promised "beautiful blue granite monument" to denigrate the memory of the late Matthew Shepard. Brand X played the Phelps Family visit on Page 1 with color photos. We buried the storied inside the Handle section without photos. Dunno who was right. But I say good riddance to these troublemakers. They're headed to Ellensburg and Seattle next. Our gain is Ellensburg and Seattle's loss. And here's the rest of your Best of the Northwest roundup:

1. David Horsey of the P-I and Eric Devericks of the Times provide their wacky views of the world here and here.

2. “You can't have a real community of Spokane's size without a bus system. It's unimaginable. But now that's not going to happen,” said a jubilant Greg Falk, co-chair of the Save Our Transit campaign. You guessed it. Sixty-nine percent of Spokane voters saw the light and voted to approve a sales tax hike to underwrite the Lilac City's bus system here.

3. Columnist Dan Popkey of The Idaho Statesman looks at Canyon County GOPrimary race involving colorful state Rep. Dolores Crow, ultraconservative chairwoman of the House Taxation and Revenue Committee, and four others here.

4. The U-of-I sez former college prez Robert Hoover contributed to the financial chaos that surrounded the University Place fiasco here.

5. Climber Scott Richards gave a harrowing account to The Seattle Times re: the tragic set of circumstances that claimed the life of a friend on Liberty Ledge on Mountain Rainier National Park here.

6. Profiling might be out as standard operating procedure in law enforcement. But data mavens from both political parties are busy mining all usual info possible to target voters they need to when the presidential sweepstakes. The P-I looked at the new phenomenon here.

7. A former pound puppy from Montana will be crooning along with Dean Martin on "Live with Regis & Kelly" Thursday morning. The Missoulian tells ya all about it here.

--Columnist Stephen Dunphy of The Seattle Times sez Alaska Airlines faces another year of red ink here.

--Sports columnist Steve Kelly of The Seattle Times opines on the prospect of the M's sending Freddy Garcia to the New York Yankees sometime this year here.

--The Seattle Times rips that Washington Supreme Court decision last week that closed the door on government openness here.

--Also, the Times rips that state GOP decision not to allow Reed Davis, a GOP wanna-be for the U.S. Senate, to speak at its convention next week unless he promises not to bad-mouth other candidates here.

A Word from The Edge ...


It seems as if the SR has touched a nerve with Bonnie Douglas. The basis for her argument to be re-elected is ‘I’ve paid my dues for the Democratic party and I serve on bunch of boards.' No wonder the Democrats are repeatedly backed by Republicans in Idaho. What every happened to the best candidate for the job? Gridley is a player. Bonnie is a, well, she served on some boards nobody has heard of, or cares about. Douglas is going out in the first round, take that to bank.

The Edge

DFO: Brand X backed Bonnie Douglas today. Dunno whether The Mess played eenie-meenie or Mike Gridley ticked off The Boss during the Sanders Beach talks, which he wasn't officially part of. Or Bob Paulos' polling numbers (for all their inaccuracy) show Douglas winning. Gridley definitely has the party's heavy hitters on his side. But Douglas has incumbency ... and the Press?!

Hump Day Quick Fix Six (5/19/04)

We're halfway to the weekend, and we've already had another fatal crash on U.S. Highway 95, the dangerous goat trail; Kansas preacher Fred Phelps Jr. has sucked his 15 minutes of local fame by denouncing gays at the courthouse, and the Hagadone/Concealed Biz/Minimum Wage Jobs Plus troika is desperately trying to buy courthouse commish offices. In other words, we're experiencing situation normal in the City on the Take. Here's your morning fixes.

1. Cartoonist Chuck Asay and Jim Huber begin our Hump Day fixes today with a two-fer Political 'Toon Fix here and here.

2. Jay Leno had Abu Ghraib on his mind during his monologue last night: "Apparently we’re handing over power in Iraq on June 30th. Actually, we’re just handing them the leash. They’re on their own after that." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. While The Left and the media -- sorry for the redundancy -- whine about America's exit strategy, the U.S. and interim Iraqi council are still all systems go for a June 30 handover of the government. Here's your Iraqi War Fix.

4. Republican Fat Cats view mass migration as a source of cheap labor, but in the long run, they're cutting their throats. The huddled masses yearning to be free as they flow into the U.S. are going to end up voting Democratic. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

5. The two major political parties picked their cannon fodder for this fall's elections in primary races of national importance Tuesday. Here's your Political Fix.

6. For your Opinion Fix, here's John Derbyshire (Nick Berg & barbarism), Michelle Malkin (English only), William Safire (WMD discovery) and John Podhoretz (Why Bush needs to be bold).


CdA City Attorney Mike Gridley seems to have things going his way in his House District 4A race against incumbent state Rep. Bonnie Douglas, D-CdA. Consider:

--The following six Demo queenpins have signed a letter supporting Gridley: Dr. Maj. Stormogipson, Barb McFarland, Susan K. Smith, Carol Ingalls, Eileen Riddle and Ann Smart. The letter sez in part: "We've worked with Mike and we know that he is smart, compassionate, and tough. Mike Gridley won't be afraid to fight for women's issues -- especially in the face of tough opposition in Boise. As women and members of the Committee to Elect Mike Gridley, we believe it doesn't matter what your gender is -- what matters is that you care about the issues that affect our lives and won'd back down from a fight on these principals." So much for the Demos' 11th Commandment: Never vote against a Democratic woman."

--Veteran Councilman Ron Edinger, a Republican, is putting up Mike's signs all over District 4 (city limits of CdA).

--The Dodge cartoon chicken is going to appear in the Nickel's Worth this week with signs saying, "Vote for Mike Gridley" and "I Like Mike." If I knew how to blog the cartoon, I'd show you what I mean. But I don't.

--BTW, all the sunshine reports are in here (Kootenai County) and here (Idaho Legislature).

DFO: It may take more than a hula to save this seat for the incumbent.

2004 Primary Endorsements

You can find a complete roundup of our North Idaho primary endorsements below:

1. Kootenai County commissioners (GOP, winner take all): Dick Panabaker and Rick Currie here.

2. District 3 (Hayden, Hayden Lake, Rathdrum, Athol, Bayview and Spirit Lake): GOP Senate (winner take all) -- Mike Jorgenson, GOP House (winner take all) -- Jim Clark and Wayne Meyer here.

3. District 4 (Coeur d'Alene): House -- Marge Chadderdon (R) and Mike Gridley (D) here.

4. District 5 (Post Falls, Hauser and south of the Spokane River): GOP House: Frank Henderson and Bob Nonini here.

Lunch Special (5/18/04)

For your Lunch Special today, I'm going to do you a favor and not provide a link. The special? The beheading of Nick Berg. I finally found a site that'd work on my computer to watch the slaughter of the unfortunate American. I've seen worse things on R-rated movies. But this was chilling because it was for real: a crazed Islamic thug calmly reading some announcement for four other buddies while Berg in an orange jumpsuit sits motionless in front of them. You've seen that photo. After the long-winded proclamation, the main Islamic monster pulls out a knife, leans Berg onto his side and starts sawing. You hear Berg scream. But you can't see much at this point. At the end, the mastermind holds up Berg's head. Imagine being a parent who knows that his child's decapitation is available on the Internet for all to see. Spaniards, of course, would wet their pants and run if this happened to opne of them. Me? I want the allies to guillotine all five of these thugs, in the public square in Fallujah, and then hang their carcasses from that bridge for all to see, particularly the rotten Leftists who distort the news for the rotten New York Times. And you know what you can do with your hand wringing about the Abu Ghraib prison? I don't believe in the torture/humiliation treatment of the prisoners, but I also know that many of those thugs'd cut an American's head off in a blink.

Best of the Northwest (5/17/04)

Fred Phelps, that Kansas pastor who opposes gays in general and the late Matthew Shepard in particular, was suppose to visit the Kootenai County Courthouse this morning to offer an anti-Shepard plaque to go with our 10 Commandments monument. All he'll end up doing is provoking some atheist to complain about the 10C's monument. But Phelps'll be content because he got the publicity he was seeking. Reporter Kevin Taylor will provide the full report Wednesday. Here's your Northwest roundup:

1. David Horsey of the P-I gets us going with a look at the, ahem, other political niche groups that could decide this fall's prez election here.

2. Canadian clinics quietly are telling Americans than they no longer can provide cheaper drugs after insurance companies warned Canuck doctors that they'd be uninsured if something goes wrong. The Seattle Times tells ya all about it here.

3. U.S. Senate wanna-be Reed Davis won't be allowed to speak at the Washington GOP convention at Bellevue next week because he won't promise not to bash fellow elephants here.

4. Gov. Gary and Mona Lee Locke are expecting a third baby in mid-November, to go along with Emily, 7, and Dylan, 5, who were born after their father became Washington governor in 1997. Click here.

5. The Washington Supreme Court will decide the merits of the state's $101 click-it-or-ticket law. I think it's a major invasion of a motorist's rights. And gives the gendarmes too much ammo to stop you at any time. But, hey, that's me. Click here.

6. For any of you Montana Griz fans out there, former UM star QB Dave Dickenson has undergone another knee surgery but should be ready to lead the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League when the season starts here.

--Sports columnist John Levesque of the P-I sez the listless Mariners should break the bank to acquire Kansas City centerfielder Carlos Beltran here.

--If the U.S. House of Representatives is the people's house, asks Joel Connelly of the P-I, why don't we have a few more good races to fill congressional seats? Click here.

--Kathleen O'Connor of CodeBlueNow tells Seattle Times readers that Premera's plans to convert to for-profit status is unhealthy and unwise here.

A Word from Rep. Douglas ...

I was surprised by S-R endorsing (Mike) Gridley. He has done nothing for the Democratic Party in the 3 years he has been in Coeur d'Alene. I have paid my dues by working on parade entries, working for candidates, working on fundraisers, worked in the North Idaho Fair booths (which is where I first met you) and have been Treasurer of the Kootenai County Democratic

Central Committee where I started an annual fundraising letter.

The things Gridley has done for the community are necessary for his job. I have worked hard in the community because I have the fire in my belly to help organizations that need my energy. I've been a PTO officer, church women's group officer, and I currently serve on several boards including the State Hospital North, ICARE and the Center for New Directions.

I believe that Democrats know that I am all about public service and listening to the people.

Representative Bonnie Douglas

p.s., I am pretty certain that you left the District 4 Candidate Forum before my hula.

DFO: Yeah, I did leave a little early. The hula mighta made a difference. Don't think Gridley can hula.

Tuesday Quick Fix Six (5/18/04)

Ah, 'tis nice to be done with our endorsements for another election cycle. At one time, I heard that an endorsement from one or the other of the two CdA papers was worth 300 votes. An endorsement from both was worth 700 votes or so. But that's all conjecture. Some have won with neither endorsement. We'll see next Tuesday. Meanwhile, here's your Tuesday morning fixes:

1. Paul Nowak and Kevin Tuma get us off to a roaring start with your Political 'Toon Fixes here and here.

2. At least, David Letterman is able to laugh at the situation in Gay Massachusetts: "I know what you’re thinking, Dave looks like he’s in a good mood. I am not. I am laughing on the outside and crying on the inside. I got a call from Massachusetts this morning – my Uncle Earl is a bride." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. WorldNetDaily is reporting this morning that four people -- oops, I should say, Islamic monsters -- have been arrested in connection with the beheading of American Nick Berg here. Meanwhile, U.S. forces are dealing with an attack, featuring mustard gas from one of So-Damn Insane's "nonexistent" WMDs. Here's the rest of your Top of the News Fix.

4. The General Accounting Office has guesstimated the financial impact of gay marriage on the national budget at about $1.4 billion. The Washington Times provides your Reality Check Fix.

5. Irwin M. Stelzer of the Hudson Institute sez the news about gas prices is far better than you think ... and far worse. Here's your Economic News Fix.

6. Andrew Damick tries to answer the question often asked in American Christian circles: Why should the devil get all the good music?" Here's your Allelujah Chorus Fix.

--Editor Wes Pruden of The Washington Times looks at that possible Demo "unity ticket" involving Kerry & McCain here.

--Thomas Patrick Carroll of the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin points out why it may not matter at this point if we find WMDS in Iraq here.

--Broadcaster Dennis Prager sez the anti-American bias of the national news media was in full display during its coverage -- or lack thereof -- of Nick Berg's beheading here.

--Phyllis Schlafly of the Phyllis Schlafly Report looks at the feminization of the American military here.


--I'm curious about the remaining sunshine reports out there. The money seems to be following the ponies supported by Kootenai County biz: Katie Brodie ($24,000), Claudia Brennan ($13,500), Mike Jorgenson ($17,000, but $7,000 of his own). Meanwhile, Commish Chairman Dick Panabaker has to make do with $5,700. If I was a betting man, I'd say the following biz wanna-bes will also have big warchests: Jeri DeLange, Frank Henderson and Bob Nonini. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I only see one in that entire crowd that'd be beholden to the Hagadone/Concealed Biz/Jobs Plus complex.

--At this point in reviewing the sunshine reports, I'd say the title of PACman goes to state Rep. Wayne Meyer, whose latest contributions to a $14,000 warchest, come almost exclusively from political action committees, which is not a good sign. State Sen. Kent Bailey also looks like he's getting into the PAC habit. Between you and me, Meyer'll need every dime to fend off the challenge from former Constitutionalist Phil Hart of Athol.

--From what I hear, Bailey and former senator Clyde Boatright are running neck-in-neck in their Senate District 3 race, with Jorgenson a distant third. But you know what I think of Bob Paulos' North Idaho News Network poll. Or does Paulos call his polling service something else nowadays?

--If yard signs were votes, Charles Eberle would win in a walk next Tuesday. His signs are everywhere in Post Falls. Fortunately, yard signs are not, though.


A Word from Ace Jones ...

... re: Kootenai County commissioner races:

Dick Compton shared many of Katie Brodie's political ties and he was very good internally for the operation of the county.He was also strong enough to stand up to people who thought he owed them. Panabaker was also thought to be in the pockets of developers and turned out to be very independent. If the operation of the county continues to crumble, it will cost taxpayers more in the long run. I'd trade Katie for Dick, but keep Rick. I think Claudia is the Concerned Business puppet -- Ace

DFO: Katie reminds me a lot of CdA Mayor Sandi Bloem -- bright, energetic and, yeah, even tanned. Must have a tanning booth in her home. The world wouldn't come to an end if she upset Dick. But, after the Sanders Beach fiasco, I wonder if she'd break her constituents' hearts, like Her Sandiness did, if Duane Hagadone needed a favor. After all, he'll be turning his attention to Blackwell Island in the county one of these days soon. Overall, I think she'd do a good job. As far as Claudia Brennan goes, her sunshine report reads like a who's-who of Concealed Businesses.

Extra! Extra!

Campaign finance reports are hitting the courthouse and secretary of state's office fast and furious this afternoon. In Kootenai County, all the Republican commish wanna-bes have turned in their sunshine reports so far, except Rick Currie. (Not to worry ... the deadline isn't until tomorrow at 5 p.m.) You can find those reports here. And you can find the legislative reports here.

'River Dredging'

When you want a harbor on your land,
those doggone permits tie your hand,
and you don’t need one anyway –
just dig at dawn on Mother’s Day.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Lunch Special (5/17/04)

For the Lunch Special today, I'm serving Kootenai County Demos in Quandry -- a note from insider Kristy Reed Johnson about the possibility that a lot of D's are going to crossover to vote in the GOPrimary because they have only one primary of their own. Take it away, Kristy (and, O My Readers, remember to follow the jump):

There is a huge debate going on within the ranks of the Democratic Party about the May 25th Primary Election. Can Democrats ETHICALLY vote in the Republican Primary? County wide, the two County Commissioner

races have no Democrats or Independents running. In Legislative District 3, there are no Democrats running for any seats. What's a Democrat to do? Some Democrats would rather be stuck by lightening than vote for any Republican. However, for those Democrats who live in Legislative District 3, we, as Democrats, have failed you in the most fundamental way possible. We have no candidates to offer you. There are 5 races whose outcome in the Republican Primary will determine the elected officials who will represent all of us, regardless of party. I urge all of you to vote for the candidates of your choice. For those of you in District 4, we have our own primary. Voting in the Republican Primary would be a grave disservice to the Democrats in District 4. Then there are those of us who live in Districts 2 and 5. We have a full slate of Legislative candidates ready to meet the survivor of the Republican Primary in the General Election in November. Voting in the Republican Primary for ANY candidate running for the Legislative seats would not only be unethical, it could be counter productive for the Democratic candidates in November. However, since we as Democrats, have failed to field a credible candidate for either County Commissioner seat, Democrats should have the option to exercise their right to select their elected officials. There is a well financed effort to control the County Commission by powerful special interests who want to be sure they have officials at the County Commissioner level to fund and/or approve their pet projects. While I believe in "local control" for government, having that control in the hands of one man (and his friends) is not in the best interests of the taxpayers of Kootenai County, regardless of political party. The impact of the outcome of this particular pair of County Commission races will be felt in the pocket book of every home owner in Kootenai County. Staying home is an option, but I would urge everyone (except those of you in District 4) to vote for the candidate of your choice for County Commissioner, and for those of you in Legislative Districts 2 and 5, leave all other parts of the ballot blank. I also urge you to attend the County Commissioner Candidate Forum, May 18th, 6 PM, at the Coeur d' Alene High School Auditorium. It's your government. Vote. Kristy Reed Johnson, Legislative District 5 Democratic Party Chair. 312 S. Coho Road Post Falls, Idaho 83854 (208) 777-1588 kristyr@earthlink.net

DFO: Earth to Kristy and her fellow D's -- hold your nose tightly between thumb and forefinger and vote R. Otherwise (except for Coeur d'Alene D's, who have a primary) you're wasting your time going to the polls and allowing the R's choose who'll represent you as commishes for the next two to four years.

Best of the Northwest (5/17/04)

If you'd been at Lake City High's Blue Room Friday night, like Schools Super Harry Amend and his wife, you'd have seen my Troupe de Wolfe acting debut -- not that I had advanced warning. As part of a dinner theater murder-mystery, I was "arrested" by the southern sheriff (Cory Morss) and the next thing I know I'm on stage -- as "Terry" the hotel clerk -- reading lines that were key to solving the murder. I was pretty lousy. But I got a laugh. And a deeper appreciation for what the talented teen actors go thru to entertain us. Now, onto the Best of the Northwest roundup:

1. By now, you've probably guessed that free-lancer Milt Priggee is no fan of the GOP or Dubya. But that doesn't stop me from bloggin' him here.

2. Check out my Huckleberries column today and meet Jonathan Cohen, a delightful new friend from Brookline, Mass., who gives his East Coast impression of Coeur d'Alene here.

3. Don't mean to hog the blog today, but I should provide a link to our endorsements for the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners here.

4. The opening of this Idaho Statesman story tells all: "Idaho's Nez Perce Tribe has struck a deal with the state of Idaho, the federal government and irrigators that would provide wide-ranging benefits for endangered salmon, legal cover for Idaho water users, and cash, water and land for the tribe." Click here.

5. Idaho Army National Guard Pfc. John McNabb of Post Falls is at Gowen Field in Boise going through two weeks of exercise that should come in handy if/when he's deployed with the 116th Engineering Division to Iraq. Click here.

6. M. Lee Pelton, the African-American president of Willamette, was 4 years old when the Brown v. Board of Education was handed down. At 54, he talks about what that decision meant to him here.

7. Men's Journal has named Missoula as the No. 1 small town in the United States here.

8. According to the Daily Evergreen, WSU's Board of Regents just gave prez V. Lane Rawlins a healthy wage bump, from $254,065 to $300,000. What do the Regents think Rawlins is? A football coach? Click here.

--Seattle has the highest percentage of educated of college-educated residents of any major city in the U.S., and Washington ranks among the top 10 states for educated residents. But those numbers are deceiving, sez a Seattle Times editorial here.

--Outdoor writer Pete Zimowsky of The Idaho Statesman talks about the hair-raising fun of driving Owyhee County's back-country here.

--P-I columnists Art Thiel and John Levesque looked at what's wrong with the Seattle Mariners after the series in New York ... and before it here and here.

--James Vesely, Editorial Page editor of The Seattle Times, discusses the radical idea of subsidizing Washington colleges and universities for the number of students they graduate rather than the number of students enrolled here.

Monday Quick Fix Six (5/17/04)

How come weekends go so fast? Are there less hours in Saturdays and Sundays? Seems like only yesterday was Friday. Well, no use crying over spilt 1%. It's Monday. The sun, which was missing all Sunday in the fab Inland Northwest, is in the heavens to mock us as the week begins. Clearly, I need a jump start. And so do you. Here's your Monday, Monday fixes.

1. Cartoonists Paul Nowak and Wayne Stayskal get us going with our Political 'Toon Fix here and here.

2. Jay Leno had this to say about Donald Rumsfeld and the situation in Iraq Friday: As I’m sure you know, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iraq. He told everyone, "No Pictures.” He-e-e-res your Late Night Fix.

3. Today, Massachusetts joined Denmark, The Netherlands and parts of Canada as the only places in the world where gays can legally marry. And we're considering the junior representative from Taxachusetts as our next prez? Indeed, the end is near. Here's your Breaking News Fix. And the Family Research Council's reaction to the situation in Massachusetts here. (In other breaking news, a suicide bomber killed the head of the Iraqi Governing Council today here.)

4. Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, middle-class flight has resegregated big-city public-school systems. A report to the Rockefeller Foundation sez that the Brown decision was something of a bust. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

5. QB Mark Brunell remembers the day that QB cruncher Reggie White bellered from across the lockerroom: "Y'all need to go to Bible study." "I was in shock," Brunell says. "But that was Reggie. He was very outspoken. Very bold. He was a great example." Here's your Monday Armchair Quarterback Fix.

6. Indianapolis Star Editor Dennis Ryerson admitted his snoozepaper underplayed the story about the beheading of Nick Berg. Now, I wonder, when will the rest of the media admit that they're making too much to do about Abu Ghraib and too little to do with Nick Berg. Here's your Mea Culpa Media Fix.

--John Lund of the Wall Street Journal sez the Dims' campaign of hate won't beat Dubya this fall here.

--Deroy Murdock, a National Review contributing editor, points out that Abu Ghraib prisoners aren't exactly Sunday School teachers here.

--Colleen Carol Campbell sez we started to remake marriage long ago here.

--Joel Mowbray looks at the media's bias on Rumsfeld, Iraq and Abu Ghraib here.


--I'm about to write --30-- on this work week and attend another Lake City High drama production with my Dearly Beloved and Amy Dearest. But I need to finish tying up loose ends with you, O My Readers.

--I hear ... that CdA Super Harry Amend had quite a set-to with a group of parents over a personnel issue Thursday -- some four hours. And even brought up that old CHS sex video scandal in defending his judgment. According to a spy, one parent walked out after reading a handout from Harry, stating: "This is a bunch of crap and I am not going to sit here and listen to it anymore." Meanwhile, Hazel Bauman, Harry's Girl Friday, didn't say anything during the lengthy encounter. Seems not everyone's wild about Harry. But a lot are.

--Now, I'm going to introduce you to a new pseudonym: Alton Left Field. He's a co-worker who occasionally looks at my Righty blog and sends along links to provide the rest of the story from his perspective. For example, he sent along two in the last few days that are worth a look: a Detroit Free Press story about how the ACLU fought on behalf of a Michigan Christian valedictorian who wanted to use a Scriptural quote for the yearbook here. And a liberal blogger who complains that the media kowtow to Dubya and conservatives here. Welcome aboard, ahem, Alton.

--It's 5:59, and Mama's probably wondering where I'm at. So, I'm outtahere until Monday. Behave yourself. And we'll take up this online conversation then.

Ace Strikes Back

Just read this morning's commissioner endorsements. The thing that strikes me is how a newspaper can not know when there are serious internal problems in County government.

The internal breakdown is effecting morale, effectiveness, and operations. It does appear a great deal of the negativity is coming from Gus, but a big part of the problem is Dick's failure to be a strong leader. He is burnt out and frustrated. There is no Frank Henderson or Dick Compton to take charge and provide leadership. Commissioners bicker with each other; don't talk to the elected officials; don't communicate with staff on important issues; are not planning ahead. It may be quite on the outside, but it's a real mess at the courthouse. The elected officials and the staff are keeping things running in spite of the problems. I do think Rick is trying hard and would be a good commissioner if he was on a board with a strong leader. Just some thoughts.

Ace Jones

DFO: Ace, I'm pretty sure I know who you are now. And I'm blogging you because you have an insight into courthouse politics that few others do. However, I do believe you have a bit of a bias from past public service. You honestly believe that handing two of three commissioner votes over to the Hagadone/Concealed Biz/Minimum Wage Jobs Plus troika is going to improve things?



I have a few friends who work for the county and the word is that things are mighty tense there. The feud between Panabaker and Sheriff Rocky Watson is huge. They hardly speak or even look at each other. Panabaker honestly believes Watson is campaigning to get him out of office with the folks from Concealed Biz and Minimum Wage Jobs Plus (Recruiting and training tools for The Hagadonia Resort and Golf Course).

There is also little (support) for Claudia B., and many are praying that Rick Currie returns for another term. People respect the man (Even if he gets flustered). Did you hear Panabaker’s answering machine, where the Captain goes ballistic? If the tape exists, you should add an audio link to the blog. That would be sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

The Edge

DFO: Wonder why Rocky has turned on the two guys that gave him a second chance at sheriff: Panabaker and Ron Rankin. He's rich enough to pay for his own yacht rides.

Lunch Special (5/14/04)

We're gonna try a little home cooking this afternoon for our Lunch Special. I encountered a cool local Web site while rummaging around for info re: Mindy Cameron, former Seattle Times Editorial Page editor who's running for a Lake Pend Oreille School Board position: SandpointOnline.com. It has all kinds of neat stuff, like a roundup of all the elections going on in Bonner County, stories from the latest issue of the biennial Sandpoint mag, Sandy Compton's column, "The Scenic Route," as well as archives and advertising. In the election roundup, you can find profiles of candidates, like Mindy, who provided them. 'Tis nice to have a news source up north that doesn't bow the knee to the Boss Hogg on the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Enjoy.

TGIF Best of the Northwest (5/14/04)

Looks like Gov. Dirk Kempthorne finally has thrown a bone to Post Falls City Administrator Jim Hammond, naming him to the at-large position of the new charter schools commission. It's not quite as good as a reappointment to the state Board of Education, but I hear that Jim could be in line to become chairman of the new commission. Mebbe someday we'll figure out why southern Idaho pols, like Blake Hall, maneuvered behind the scenes to bump Jim from the education board. Mebbe Jim was too competent and that worried people with political ambitions, like Hall. Enuf of those sour grapes. Here's your NW roundup:

1. Cartoonists Milt Priggee and Eric Devericks begin our Best of the Northwest roundup today with their unique views here and here.

2. A moment of silence, please, for another Inland Northwest hero, who has fallen in Iraq trying to make this world a safer place from jihadists: Jeff Shaver, a 1997 graduate of Newport High. The S-R tells you about the courageous young man here.

3. Two hundred years ago today, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark left Camp Dubois on the Wood River in Illinois with their Corps of Discovery (at 4 p.m. to be precise) to begin one of the greatest adventures this country has ever known. Sherry Devlin of the Missoulian tells you all about it here.

4. Boise Public Works employees are test-driving a pilot program to ride bikes to downtown meetings and appointments five minutes away. Not only does it save gas and keep employees fit, but it's easier to find a parking place. Click here.

5. A class-action lawsuit against Boeing by 28,000 current and former femme workers, claiming gender bias, is nearing trial here.

6. Jim Brunner of The Seattle Times recalls that the last Eastern Washington pol to win a U.S. Senate seat was Clarence C. Dill, who left office in 1934, as he reports on U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt's long-shot bid to unseat Patty Murray here.

7. Timberline Coach Annie Schmidt had a baby May 1 and three days later was backed in the dugout en route to coaching her team to the Idaho 5A District 3 softball title here.

8. An inquiry commission is trying to come up with a reasonable explanation for the $1 million deficit rolled up by the University of Montana sports program here.

--Joe Borton and Mark Snodgrass get The Idaho Statesman's endorsements for legislative seats in the Meridian district here.

--Prof Darius Rejali of John Reed College in Portland sez U.S. troops new what they were doing when they tortured/humiliated Iraqi prisoners here.

--National Guardsman Frank Seldon, now serving in Mosul, begs to differ with those who consider everyone serving in the military in the Middle East as heroes here.

--Columnist Susan Paynter of the P-I doesn't mince words: That so-called affair between eventual Oregon governor Neil Goldschmidt and a 14-year-old girl back when was rape, not an affair. Click here.

TGIF Quick Fix Six (5/14/04)

The sun's shining over silver-blue waters of our great lake on the southern edge of the city. Meanwhile, I've signed my life away to send another child to a private four-year college, University of Portland. Which means I'm that much further away from retirement. And you'll have to put up with me that much longer. Alas. Here's your morning fixes:

1. Daryl Cagle and his Web site on Slate.com launch us today with a roundup of cartoons, mostly re: the Iraq prison scandal/Nick Berg beheading, for our TGIF Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Jay Leno's still in Las Vegas, telling jokes like this one: "According to our latest intelligence, Osama bin Laden is living somewhere in Pakistan, but the Pakistani authorities say they have no idea where he is. Oh shut up! Do you believe that? I mean if a 6’5”guy with five wives and 40 kids moved next door to you, wouldn’t you notice?" Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had this comment after he finished his tour of duty at Abu Ghraib: "I've stopped reading newspapers - you've got to keep your sanity somehow," Rumsfeld told the troops. "I am a survivor." Indeed, he'll probably survive the current flap although it's taking quite a toll on Dubya's polling numbers (much to the delight of the mainstream media who seem to have forgotten headless Nick Berg in their obsession with the prison scandal). The Australian provided your Top of the News Fix 20 minutes ago.

4. Thank God for The Washington Times, which stands apart and above most mainstream media with its crystal-clear vision of what the beheading of Nick Berg means to the war on terror. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

5. While the Arab world and the media obsess about the poor unfortunate jihadists who were humiliated at Abu Ghraib, the U.N. is ignoring borderline genocide in Sudan. Haven't heard anything about it? Here's your Real Terror Fix.

6. Dick Armey of Citizens for a Sound Economy opines on the latest outrage perpetuated by trial lawyers: the request for $258 million in attorney's fees for the Microsoft settlement. Which amounts to $3,000 per hour for one attorney and $2,000 per hour for the other 34. Ready for your Trial Lawyer Fix?

--John Podhoretz claims the New York Times is leading the nation's media in root-root-tooting for the foreign team, Arab jihadists, here.

--David Limbaugh takes a look at the secularists' double standard here.

--If the media truly were dedicated to journalistic integrity, sez Gary Aldrich, they'd be praising the American war effort in rebuilding a once-dilapidated nation here.

--Kate O'Beirne targets The Left's all-out push to get conservative talkmeister Rush Limbaugh here.


--Question: What kind of attack do you expect on Commissioners Dick Panabaker and Rick Currie by the HHospitality/Concealed Biz/Jobs Plus complex prior to the GOP election?

Answer: Mebbe a surreptitious direct mail attack, bringing up Dick's BNSF vote (which the area's big shots also supported). Or something about that old DUI. Rick doesn't have much of a track record. So, there's not much there to attack directly. Usually, Brand X provides free publicity by running front-page shots and mugs of its fave candidates in the closing days of tight elections. If Bob Paulos' polling data shows Panabaker or Currie way ahead, however, Duane Hagadone will make nice and send attack dog John Barlow over to the courthouse with an invitation for an all-expense boat trip to the French Riviera.

--Marge Chadderdon, running for a House District 4 seat, had the best opening line for any of the candidate endorsement interviews that conducted. Sez she: "You're better looking in person than in the paper." Dang! Whaddya say to that?

--Don't look now, but the Lake Pend Oreille School District has a heckuva candidate running for the school board in Mindy Cameron, former Editorial Page editor of the Seattle Times and, before that, managing editor of the Lewiston Tribune. Although I worked as news editor for the Trib from 1982-84, my path has never crossed with Mindy's. She's gotta be sharp. She's running against Marcus Ross. You can find out about the races in Bonner County by checking with the Sandpoint On Line Web site here.

--I've had my head down most of the day, so I don't know whether the governor announced Post Falls City Administrator Jim Hammond's appointment to the new Charter School Commission this morning. Then, Old Blue Eyes' back mighta been acting up again.

Media v. American Public

Instapundit points out that the big media are desperate to keep the Abu Ghraib prison scandal alive because it hurts Dubya, while it already is trying to sweep the vicious beheading of American Nick Berg by Islamic thugs under the rug because it helps Dubya. In fact, the Boston Globe was caught going to such lengths as publishing porno shots which it falsely claimed came from Abu Ghraib here. Meanwhile, the American public is voting with their computer mouses in numbers for the Nick Berg story. And you wonder why circulation figures of America's snoozepapers are in the toilet? Read all about the great media shell game here.

A Word from Oregon ...

...and former Hayden Lake barber Rich Oliveria's offspring, Shawn:

Hello Dave,

I don't know if you remember by dad Richard (Rich) Oliveria when he was a barber/stylist in Hayden Lake. He had said he met you on a couple of occasions, including (I think) an interview about the neo-nazis that my dad had cut hair for on occasion.

It is kind of hard to forget when I heard about you since we do share the last name.

I was on your blog today and found it quite interesting, I am sure we agree in most things by what I read. I really would like to see the letter from the serviceman's father to get out even more, but how???

Anyways, hello from SUNNY southern Oregon. (I had a hard time living with the grey skies in north Idaho, but also didn't want to raise my own family is Santa Cruz, so I followed suite and moved here like my parents did.) My dad is now in real estate working with Re-Max.

Shawn Oliveria

DFO: We still have a small colony of Oliverias living in Kootenai County. Brother Ray moved his family from Kalispell, Mont., a year ago, and has settled in that nice subdivision between Canfield Middle School and Coeur d'Alene High. Sister Charlotte Mitchell moved with her Montana cowboy husband, Roy, to Athol a coupla years ago. And my mother, Eva, lives in Hayden. So, be careful what you say about me to brown-eyed strangers around here.

As the Money Turns ...

...if you want to check out who's financing K-County commish wannabe Katie Brodie and others (although they don't have to post until May 18), check out the link below:

For those interested in seeing the full scanned sunshine reports of various candidates for the current election cycle and past elections, here is the address for our elections website. Just click on the "Sunshine Reports" button and you will get to a drop down menu for elections back to 1992. We will post all new reports within 24 hours of when we receive them (usually within a few hours).

Dan English
Kootenai County clerk

A Word from Kerry Country ...

...and a new friend who's as close to a conservative as they get in Massachusetts. Enjoy:

HEY DAVE-O! Greetings from a contrarian centrist here in the land of Sen. Teddy Ballgame, Sen. Jean-Francois Kerry (pronounced Ker-REE, Parisian style) and Rep. Barney Rubble. Actually, I'm probably to your left on some

issues; I'm a Joe Lieberman Donkey/John McCain Elephant, depending on what kind of mood I'm in. My Favorite Pundit? Far and away, David Brooks. That might make me left-leaning in your neck of the woods, but around here, I'm a wing nut. Do you gather that I want to leave this town in late July when the Kerry Klambake takes over? Thought so, but I don't have the dough. Maybe Maine's still too close?

The Inland Northwest, ignored by most of us east of the Rockies, has suddenly emerged as one of my focus markets thanks to my wonderful correspondent at your paper, the witty and all-knowing John Blanchette- or, as I call him, The Best Sports Columnist Nobody Knows. That clever, bearded poet has all but adopted me as his East Coast connection, and has regaled me with all kinds of stories that, among other things, have helped me learn where Moses Lake, Bonners Ferry, and Miles City (he's a Big Sky guy) are. Also Palau and Saipan, the distant isles where his wife was raised. Now, I have Spokane- incredibly- on my want-to-visit list because I like the guy so much. He also never, ever Cougs it. John Blanchette. Spokane's big-league franchise since 1981.

I haven't quite gotten to the Idaho side, though the doorman in my building actually knows how Coeur D'Alene was settled. "French trappers and silver miners?", he asks, correctly. I also know that the entire town is run by some group called Hagadone's Heroes, and the official meal involves burgers, Idaho fries and huckleberry shakes. Funny, the only huckleberries I know are some old cartoon dog, a Mark Twain hero, and something from old Yankee broadcasts. Still, I believe you're in a pretty resort area with lakes and outdoor activity. Have to be careful of those Hagadone boys, though.

Anyway, as a true New England renegade, I'm the type of guy who loves to read books that rip the media cabal apart- people like Bernie Goldberg, Myrna Blyth, and Dick Morris. Most of the people I know are Al Franken-Bill Maher-Jon Stewart fans.

I told you I'm out of step- and proud of it. I mean, I know four people who are Dennis Kucinich supporters. Me? I'll take Dennis Miller- or Dennis the Menace- any day.

Thanks for reading. Dave-O! Da-a-a-a-veO! Dave-O come and me wanna go laugh! Have a great week!

Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, MA

NB- This gives away My Tribe, but I like Michael Medved too.

DFO: Anyone who's a fan of Blanchette, Goldberg, Morris, Miller and Medved can be forgiven the David Brooks misstep. A Republican in Massachusetts must be kindred spirit to a Democrat in Idaho. We need to hear more from Jonathan. His doorman certainly knows our history. And he seems to have a good grasp on the common man's struggle against good-and-sizzle here in CDA.

Scott Reed Speaks ...

(In case you were wondering where the Demo, ahem, power structure stands in the only Demo primary in Kootenai County, you should check out this letter pilfered for me by a No Holds Barred spy. CDA attorney Scott Reed mailed it to 1,800 CDA households.)

I have had the opportunity to work closely with City Attorney Mike Gridley in pursuing common environmental goals. Mike was the chief prod and major author of the Hillside Ordinance

adopted by the city council last year which imposes major conservation restrictions to prevent damaging road or house construction on the steep hillsides within the city limits that are the watershed into Fernan Lake.

As a member of the Committee of Nine, I know that Mike has been the principal player toward obtaining Burlington Northern railraod property adjacent to the city park and also for the completion of the Centennial Trail.

Most recently on the Sanders Beach/Hagadone annexation, Mike worked very hard with me and others to try and work a deal that would preserve public access to the beach. Mike is also a leader in trying to make the 11th to 15th Street stretch of Sanders Beach more open to the public.

In this county, the temptation is to pull a Republican ballot in the primary because that is where the action is. Not this time! Vote Democratic for Mike. It is important that we send the strongest person possible to Boise for these next two most difficult session and Mike Gridley is that person.

Scott W. Reed

Lunch Break (5/13/04)

I don't know why I don't watch "Frazier" more often. The half hour show is one of the better ones on TV. Tonight, it concludes its 11-year run in which it won more Emmys than any other comedy in history. In its edition today, The Seattle Times focuses on the brainy sit-com that was pooh-poohed when it opened using Seattle as a backdrop. But which proved to be ahead of its times as Seattle has transformed to be more like the show than vice versa. You can find the Times story here. And Melanie McFarland, the P-I's TV critic, bids "Frazier" a fond farewell here. Today's Lunch Special is a touch of class: Kelsey Grammer and the extraordinary ensemble of "Frazier."

Best of the Northwest (5/13/04)

Yesterday, I told you about the frosh New Plymouth legislator (Clete Edmunson) who got in trouble for using his clout to defend his son against a DUI. A spy sends along a report from The Idaho Statesman about another one of Idaho's pols who's in trouble: "In the Canyon/Gem county District 11, Dale R. Salyers is not actively campaigning for House Seat A, because he's at the state hospital in Orofino, his wife, Denise, told The Idaho Statesman. Court records show Salyers faces stalking, disturbing the peace and weapons charges." And you wonder why I'm not very impressed by politicians. Here's your Northwest roundup:

1. David Horsey of the P-I and cousin Milt Priggee get our Northwest roundup off to a flying start with their 'toon doodlings here and here.

2. I doubt that few reading this blog are college students. But some of you may have children who are about to become college students. So, I'm giving you Ben Hawken of the WSU Daily Evergreen and his dire warning to collegians expecting too much this fall from their new roommates here.

3. Idaho U.S. Attorney Tom Moss has handed U-of-I's University Place scandal off to his colleague's office in Oregon to avoid a possible conflict of interest (a charge which never seemed to bother any official, local or state, in Idaho before -- particularly in Coeur d'Alene). Click here.

4. Joe Kolman of The Idaho Statesman sez it's smarter to restart your car's engine than to let it idle for 10 or 15 minutes while you're waiting for your latte at a coffee hut here.

5. African-American fourth-graders in Washington led their peers across the nation in reading scores here.

6. What's black and brown and looks good on a lawyer? Answer: A Doberman pinscher. That joke came to mind when I heard what lawyers in the Microsoft antitrust case are asking for $258 million in legal fees here.

7. The P-I looks at Seattle's 7-year-old alternative newspaper war here.

8. Larry Krystkowiak, the best basketball player ever produced at the University of Montana, will be named head Griz coach at a news conference at noon today (PDT) here.

--The latest North Idaho College Sentinel on line is here.

--Columnist Joni Balter of the Seattle Times sez Washington has become a lighter shade of blue (Democrat) in the political red-vs-blue sweepstakes here.

--In one of the best columns I've seen written on the subject, evenhanded Collin Levey of the Seattle Times warns us not to follow a script written by terrorists here.

--The Idaho Statesman has endorsed pro-abortion clone Cheryl Miller to replace retiring state Sen. Sheila Sorenson, R-Boise, the pol who allowed GOP leadership to hide behind her skirts by holding the amendment to ban gay marriage hostage in committee, here. And GOP first-termer Janet Miller here.


She could drive a car;
she could use a phone;
she did both at once;
she broke every bone.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Thursday Quick Fix Six (5/13/04)

Gotta e-mail from a Joe Lieberman/John McCain moderate from Massachusetts who'd heard of Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. He writes: "I haven't quite gotten to the Idaho side, though the doorman in my building actually knows how Coeur D'Alene was settled. 'French trappers and silver miners?', he asks, correctly. I also know that the entire town is run by some group called Hagadone's Heroes, and the official meal involves burgers, Idaho fries and huckleberry shakes." He has us pegged. I may blog the whole e-mail later. But now it's time for your Quick Fix:

1. I've said it before, no one does the political/media scene from the right better than Chuck Asay of the Colorado Springs Gazette. Here's your Political 'Toon Fix.

2. NewsMax hasn't updated its Late Night jokes roundup, so I dug around for a good one from Tuesday night. He-e-e-ere's Jay Leno: "It was announced today Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of The Christ” will be released on DVD August 31. Now I’m just guessing here, but there probably won’t be any "alternate endings”. I think they’re going to just keep that one."

3. In a profile of our fighting men and women in the Middle East, the Christian Science Monitor reveals that the privileged children of elite families no longer are in harm's way. Here's your Iraqi War Fix.

4. For the first time, I'm blogging a story from that, ahem, neutral Arab news service, Al Jazeera. (Hey, it's not nearly as un-American and anti-war as most U.S. mainstream media.) In this story, bloggers question the authenticity of the Web posting showing the brutal beheading of American Nick Berg. Here's your Conspiracy Fix.

5. Apparently "Leash Girl," Lynndie England, has a future in porn flicks after she serves her time for abusing Iraqi prisoners. Some of those photos that haven't been aired yet show her and other GIs en flagrante delicto. Frankly, if I was King of the Universe, we wouldn't allow women in combat. But, hey, I'm not P.C. Here's your GI Porn Fix.

6. In FrontPageMag stories, Ariel Natan Pasko and Andrew G. Bostom warn that desecration and decapitation of enemy bodies is part and parcel with the teachings of Islamic extremists. You can find your Reality Fix here and here.

--Arnold Kling of Tech Central Station looks at all the bad things that haven't happened because the U.S. is doing its job better than the national media tell you here.

--Jason Wright of the Frontiers of Freedom Project explains why it's time for the National Education Association to go here.

--Myrna Blyth of Ladies Home Journal sez America's first femme prez will be in the mold of Britain's Margaret Thatcher here.

--Columnist Ann Coulter looks at crazy-as-a-Fox News viewers here.


--Dang! Kootenai County commish wannabe Katie Brodie's rolling in dough, more than $24,000 to date (and it's still pouring in). Ten checks of $1,000, 15 more of $500 and 25 more of $100. Sixty-five checks of $100 or more. The who's who of Kootenai County is backing her fight to unseat Commish Dick Panabaker. Yeah, there's $1,000 in there from Concealed Biz of North Idaho. But it certainly wasn't needed. In fact, Katie should have given it back ... just to put some distance between herself and the HagaCorps unofficial PAC. The financial report isn't due until May 18. Mebbe Katie's bragging.

--Gov. Dirk Kempthorne's gonna announce his future plans for Post Falls City Administrator Jim Hammond Thursday morning. I don't like 'em. But Jim's a good trooper. He'll do a good job wherever he lands. Dirk should be ashamed of himself for the way he's treated this faithful servant.

--CDA Councilman Al Hassell for Commish Dick Panabaker's seat in two years? Hmm.

--A little birdie tells me that all hell's gonna break loose up Bonner County way unless the school board gets its act together and boots a Johnny Rotten who threatened to kill a Sandpoint High teacher over a bad grade. Stay tuned.

--Give-'Em-Helen Chenoweth must be riding a high horse now that she's hooked up with her sagebrush rebellion Nevada rancher. She doesn't have time to call me for an interview before her guest appearance at that Post Falls fundraiser for Ron Vieselmeyer and Charles Eberle this weekend. Then, mebbe she read our editorial endorsing the other guys.

--Look for our Kootenai County commish picks Friday.

Mailbag (5/13/04)

Greetings Dave,

You got it wrong concerning prostitution being the oldest profession in the world. It is actually clothes making! Check Genesis 3:21.

God Bless,

Steve Adams

DFO: Steve's referring to a Best of the Northwest roundup item from Tuesday. And he makes a great point. Gen. 3:21 sez, "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." Mebbe I should have said that prostitution was the oldest "manmade" profession. You guys are a tough audience.

I had the occasion to sit down with Mike Gridley when I was in Coeur d' Alene last week. I had been hearing that Mike had identified Bill Panos, the former city administrator, as a phoney very soon after he singed on as our city attorney. Bill Panos was out of there shortly and our city government started to breathe again. Mike is a fresh voice in North Idaho politics. His presence and approach will give us much needed representation in Boise.

Steve Badraun

DFO: Yo, Steve, why didn't you stop by and say, hi?

Steve Sibulsky sends along what he describes as a "shameless promotion":

The Coeur d’Alene Youth Orchestra and the Coeur d’Alene Junior Youth Orchestra present their Spring Concert at 7:00 PM on Monday, May 17, 2004 at Schuler Auditorium, Boswell Hall at North Idaho College. Admission is free.
The Coeur d’Alene Youth Orchestra is comprised of high-school age musicians, and is conducted by Mr. Gerard Mathes. The Coeur d’Alene Junior Youth Orchestra is made up mostly of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students and is conducted by Mr. Marchand Duke. For up-to date information, visit the Coeur d’Alene Youth Orchestra website at www.cdayo.org.

DFO: Hey, the price is right.


While I can't imagine what a parent with a child serving in Iraq could be feeling, I find it hard to accept that in this diverse and strong republic, issues as important as going to war, the conduct of a war, scandals during a war, exit strategies from a war, the performance of our leaders in a war, the cost of war (in dollars, lives, and future of the county) can't be debated without it being unpatriotic. Has the media in some cases seemed gleeful about negative events? Sadly so. Has other media pushed the official line and downplayed reality? Yes. The truth is somewhere in between. In spite of what is said, it is possible to critical of actions and policies without being a traitor.

Ace Jones

DFO: Close call.


Open letter to Senator Craig and Senator Crapo:

No U. S. citizen, nor our beloved nation, deserves the horrid insult that has been delivered by Senator T. Kennedy in his positing of moral equivalency between the murderous tyranny of Saddam Hussein and the people of the United States of America, their nation's government, and President Bush.

I demand an apology from Senator Kennedy, and I do not how to make this demand known other than through you. I'm certain you must be as offended and as appalled as am I and my fellow patriotic citizens. We are sick and tired of being lectured on morality by the Duke of Chappaquiddick!!

He has disgraced the high office to which he has been elected and has insulted America. His repeated debasements cannot be tolerated.

Leonard C. Johnson

DFO: At least, he's insulted Flyover Country.

A Question about Mike Jorgenson

What you do make of the letters in the CDA press today which outline a nasty battle between some guy and legislative candidate Mike Jorgenson? I can't believe somebody as smart as Jorgenson would lie about his background.

The Edge

DFO: I thought Jorgenson provided reasonable responses on the same Editorial Page to Hayden Lake resident Ed Felsing's accusations, which I consider extremely lightweight. Felsing claims Jorgenson lied in his campaign literature when he said he graduated with honors from Eastern Oregon in 1971, that his degree was in economics and that he played football on a scholarship. Felsing's wrong on the scholarship question and the other two "tall tales" are a matter of interpretation. Bottom line? Give Felsing points for distracting the candidate with this tempest in a teapot in the closing days of the campaign.

Lunch Special (5/12/04)

With all the tragedies in the world and the Mariners off to a lousy start, I needed a good laugh this lunch hour. And you probably do, too. I borrowed this from U-of-I student Henry Johnston's blog site. If it doesn't provide a decent laugh, then you're worse off than I am. Or you didn't receive an S-R candidate endorsement. You can find your LOLunch Special here.

Extra! Extra!

You can find the complete S-R story re: the recovery of Mike Cmos Jr.'s body from the Spokane Wastewater Treatment Plant here.

Best of the Northwest (5/12/04)

Flash! Rescue workers have found the body of maintenance mechanic Mike Cmos Jr. at the collapsed Spokane Wastewater Treatment Plant. You can find this morning's S-R story about the search here. And I'll provide you with the rest of the story when I get it. Meanwhile, here's your daily Northwest roundup.

1. Eric Devericks of The Seattle Times and David Horsey of the P-I give their views on the Iraqi War and Arab oh!-pinion here and here.

2. Columnist Dan Popkey of The Idaho Statesman is betting that the most Democratic legislative district in the state will elect Idaho's first openly gay representative this fall here.

3. Find out why Idaho ranks 13th of 50 in the "best of the best" rankings here.

4. A Payette judge sez frosh solon Clete Edmunson of New Plymouth used his clout to try to protect his son from a DUI charge here.

5. According to a new survey, reported by Kyung M. Song of the Times, perfectionism has very little upside here.

6. I don't want to rub alcohol into an old Spokane wound (and if you believe that I have some oceanfront property in Arizona for sale), but residents of Washington's neo-No. 2 city enjoy living in the City of Destiny, smell and all, here.

7. Don't look now, sez the Oregonian, but the northern spotted owl is losing ground in its fight for survival here.

8. Here's the editorial I wrote this morning on that loopy homeowner who decided a boat slip nearer his upscale home was more important getting permits to muddy Spokane River waters.

--The P-I honors the memories of Spokane County Deputy James J. Slater and nine others who have died in the line of duty and received Washington State Law Enforcement Medal of Honor posthumously here.

--The Idaho Statesman backs Sen. Hal Bunderson and challenger Stan Bastian in District 14 (Northwest Boise, Meridian, Star and Eagle) primary races here.

--P-I columnist Joel Connelly opines on lessons from life learned from a "Greatest Generation" father here.

--P-I columnist Susan Paynter sez one person's banner of free speech is another person's red flag here.

Hump Day Quick Fix Six (5/12/04)

The sun's shining and it's breezy this morning in the City on the Lake. I've heard so many good rumors this past week re: people in power that I don't know where to begin. (That's why I love political campaigns. All the dirt comes out.) Actually, few of the rumors are printable. They're just nice to know. It helps me figure out why people do what they do in their public lives. With that little tease, I'll turn my attention to your Quick Fixes.

1. Cartoonist Paul Nowak deserves an A-plus for putting the Abu Ghraib scandal and Nick Berg beheading in context. Here's your Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Jay Leno began his weeknightly tap dance by targetting Kobe Bryant: Today Kobe Bryant plead "not guilty” in a Colorado courtroom. You he’s been going back and forth so much between his trial and playing basketball that now when Coach Phil Jackson calls him off the bench he says, "Will the defendant please rise." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Outrage over the Abu Ghraib scandal and congressional Demos constant bashing of the Iraqi war and military are undermining the morale of U.S. troops in harm's way. (And you know what you can do with your statement: I support the troops but oppose the war.) Here's your Iraqi War Fix.

4. Unruly behavior by surly punks in middle and high schools is driving out good teachers and undercutting academic achievement, according to a new survey here. Meanwhile, the large Southern Baptist Convention will consider a resolution that urges members to pull their kids from public schools. Here's your Education Fix.

5. In an attempt to extend federal unemployment benefits Tuesday, Senate Demos missed by a single vote. Guess who was the only U.S. senator to miss the vote. Bingo. J. Flipflop Kerry. Wonder if he'll bring that up on the campaign trail. The Boston Herald commented on Kerry's no-show here. Meanwhile, here's your Flipflop Fix.

6. U.S. Sen. James Inhofe expressed outrage at the outcry over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. And he makes a good point. Sure, we screwed up. But the hand-wringing by the media, Bush bashers and Islamic despots is over the top. Here's your Reality Check Fix. (And some thoughts By Cal Thomas, too, here.)

--Editor Wes Pruden of The Washington Times opines on the congressional role in the Abu Ghraib scandal here.

--Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institute opines on the 50th anniversary of one of the most momentous decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court: Brown v. Board of Education ... here.

--Contributing Editor James S. Robbins of the National Review tells us what we learned from Nick Berg's murder here.

--Catherine Seipp explains why comedian Dennis Miller drives The Left cuh-razy here.


Gotta run outta here this evening. So I don't have time to say much other than adios until tomorrow morning. And thanks for checking in on this blog occasionally. I enjoy your e-mails and notes. And, remember, if you want me to keep your notes on the Q.T., simply write FYI or "not for blog" on them. I definitely will respect that request. Seeya -- dfo

Mailbag (5/11/04)

Now that Hagadone Corporation has been allowed to build their project along Coeur d' Alene Lake Drive, It is time for some serious design planning to begin in that corridor. To leave it without protection, invites a hodge podge of structures that may or may not enhance that area. There is only one chance to do this and the time is now. Are we going to have the landscape dictated by Hagadone Red Geraniums, Red Maples and Goldflame Spirea? Or are the people of Coeur d' Alene going to take charge of the design for that area?

Steve Badraun

DFO: C'mon, Steve, when it comes to HagaCorp, the only thing the city knows how to say is: "How high?"

I find it really sad when people attack you personally, as you indicated in your No Holds Barred. I find your comments to be refreshing and creative. As I told you before, I think that you are an artist, and art creates conversation.

Paula Laws

DFO: It goes with the territory. But your comments are very kind. Thanks.


Interesting picks on the Dist. 3 race.

Sen. Shawn Keough

DFO: I heard your fella senator, Kent Bailey, is ticked that we picked someone else for the GOPrimary. He'd use some other word to describe the picks than "interesting."



I was angry to read the story about the gentleman who illegally excavated a boat slip on the Spokane River last weekend without the proper permits. I am thinking a $250,000 fine would get his attention.

The Edge

DFO: Check out Wednesday's editorial. The Edge & I agree completely on this one. But I'd throw in jail time, too.


There is a rumor floating around the courthouse that the commissioners are looking at hiring an administrator. Even though I was one of the few who was pleased when they eliminated it before, I think it could work if done right. (I was pleased because I thought Taggart ... needed to leave) However, the people rumored to be under consideration would be disasters and the elected officials would blow up. Might just be courthouse talk, but it's coming from various directions.

'Ace Jones'

DFO: A good administrator wouldn't be bad. A bad administrator would be awful.

HagaCorp wants a little more

An item (No. E) on the county waterways commission agenda tonight:



Lunch Special (5/11/04)

We didn't have to wait long for the national media to spin the brutal decapitation of American contractor Nick Berg at the hands of the Islamic monsters who abducted him. AOL headlined the made-for-video murder this way: "Abuse Scandal's Deadly Fallout" -- as if the Muslim extremists weren't beheading (Daniel Pearl) and mutilating (Fallujah) Americans before the scandal at Abu Ghraib came to light. You can wring your hands if you want about the humilitations of Abu Ghraib. But the so-called victims at that prison are still breathing today -- at least most of them -- after trying to shoot or bomb Americans. We're dealing with animals. Blogger Andrew Sullivan provides a proper perspective on Berg's murder for today's Lunch Special.

A question from Milt Nelson ...

...about the Kootenai County commissioner races:


Just checking..exactly HOW MANY seats on the Kootenai County Commission are up-for-grabs? 1 or 2? I want to vote for those who I know will support sensible development - not the mass-home type especially in areas where it's definitely NOT appropriate (much less wanted).

I'm certainly FOR Dick Panabaker - He stood up for us here in the Hidden Valley area (by Rathdrum) when I.F.I. (Katie Brodie's employer)

wanted to build that 184-home 'Urban Sprawl' monster on the 252-acre plot right across the road from my place!

I see where Claudia Brennan is facing Rick Currie - This presents me with a difficult choice as I'm not acquainted with either one, but seeing Ms. Brennan's relationship with the Hagadone interests - I guess I know where my vote will go...

Milt Nelson

DFO: I've written the S-R endorsements for these two races, which are winner-take-all contests because there's no Democratic or Independent candidates on the other side. We'll publish them sometime this week. Stay tuned.

A Soldier's Father Speaks Out

this comes from NewsMax.com.

A gentleman from Virginia, proud parent of a decorated Army officer serving in Iraq, writes to us, "I am so fed up with the anti-American propaganda coming from some Americans that I wrote the open letter below. I will appreciate it very much if you include it": [text of letter follows]

An open letter to some political partisans, especially certain politicians and people in the media: I have a son who is an American soldier in Iraq.

I care very much about what affects him and his comrades in arms.

I am not fooled, when you partisans spew propaganda that helps our enemies and harms our soldiers, then tell us you support our troops.

I am not fooled, when you focus on, highlight, and exaggerate the negative things that happen in Iraq, while ignoring our positive accomplishments, then tell us you support our troops.

I am not fooled, when you focus attention on American soldiers killed and wounded in Iraq, to use these brave patriots as an anti-Iraq-war political football, then tell us you support our troops.

I am not fooled, when you keep criticizing why and how we invaded Iraq - that is done; our troops are there - then tell us you support our troops.

I am not fooled, when you engage in constant, carping criticism of what the U.S. has done and is doing in Iraq, then tell us you support our troops.

I am not fooled, when you search for and trumpet to the world anything that will diminish respect for our soldiers and their leaders - even when it endangers greatly their lives, then tell us you support our troops.

I am not fooled, when you tell our soldiers and the rest of us that they are stuck in a "quagmire" and will suffer a Vietnam-type defeat, then tell us you support our troops.

I am not fooled, when you spout propaganda that undermines the morale of our soldiers and the American public and boosts the morale of our enemies, then tell us you support our troops.

You are giving aid and comfort to our nation's deadly enemies! They know they cannot defeat us militarily in Iraq. However, you cause them to think they can win here politically by breaking our will, if they kill and wound enough of our soldiers.

You despicable partisans! You are stimulating our enemies to attack our soldiers and the people working with them. The blood of many Americans and Iraqis is already on your hands. And your hands collect more blood every day!

You are determined to regain the political power you have lost, and you believe your presidential candidate and congressional candidates will win, if the U.S. fails in Iraq.

If your anti-American propaganda contributes to the deaths of many Americans and Iraqis, that is a price you are willing to make them pay. You are pathetic and dangerous!

I am not fooled, when you contemptible politicians and other political partisans, including many in the media, tell us you support our troops. I know that is a lie!

I am not fooled, when you claim spreading your pernicious, divisive, anti-American venom makes you patriotic. I know it does not - and I know you are not!

Best of the Northwest (5/11/04)

We're experiencing another overcast day today in this viewtiful Company Town. The sun's not even trying to make an appearance. And it rained last night. You'd think the weatherman'd get the hint that it's May. But I'd rather be living here than almost anywhere else:

1. Seattle P-I cartoonist David Horsey has a slightly different opinion about Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld than I do here.

2. In case you were wondering, the price of gallon of unleaded regular in Washington has risen 26 cents in the last month to a record $2.13 per gallon. The Seattle Times tells you all about it here.

3. Sports columnist Blaine Newnham of the Times discusses those 9 U-Dub rowers who showed up the fuhrer back in the '30s and stole a gold medal right from under his mustache here.

4. A 132-year-old law has allowed foreign countries to claim 1.2 million acres of public U.S. land that contains gold, silver and other minerals -- an area approximately six times the size of Mount Rainier National Park. Click here.

5. Jail has become big business in Kootenai County. But we have a long way to go to catch up to Ada County's jail, which now has a prisoner capacity of 728 after adding another 308 beds in a $6.8 million expansion. Click here.

6. The Idaho Statesman sez prostitution arrived in Boy-C soon after the city was platted in 1863 -- next door to the Army's Fort Boise. Today's edition features a history of the oldest profession in the world here.

7. You can read all about a Lynnwood fisherman who landed a big one that didn't get away, a wedding dress that is, here.

8. UMontana's inability to provide a multi-year contract has prompted Griz basketball coach Pat Kennedy to take a job elsewhere. Click here.

--Retired USAF Lt. Col. Jim Sands of Mountain Home Air Force Base sez photos of war dead and coffins violate the privacy of families here.

--The Oregonian opines on former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt's 1970s lewd-and-lascivious crime with a 14-year-old girl here.

--S-R columnist Doug Clark sez ya can't beat City Hall for dumb ideas. And he was talking about Spokane, not Coeur d'Alene. Click here.

--Bob Sherwin of the Times wonders if that superb start by Freddy Garcia means that he's going to be trade bait sometime soon. Click here.

Tuesday Quick Fix Six (5/11/04)

1. Cartoonists Paul Nowak and Wayne Stayskal bring us the Politically 'Toon Fix to get this morning off to a fast start here and here.

2. Most of Jay Leno's bit last night involved Las Vegas. But he did have a good observation about the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: "Who would’ve ever thought that more nude pictures would have come out under President Bush than under President Clinton?" Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Laurie Mylroie of FrontPageMag looks at new evidence that 9-11 mastermind Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi officials, debunking the claims by The Left that there's no ties between 9-11 and Iraq. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

4. Pro-abortion groups are calling on their disciples to boycott the Curves fitness company, which has 3 million femme customers and 7,500 outlets, because Curves has the audacity to support pro-life causes. Here's your Pro-Life Fix.

5. According to a Washington Post poll, 90 percent of Americans are upset, angry or confused about the Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal (check out this Chuck Asay 'toon for perspective), but they're not taking it out on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Even a slight majority of Demos want him to stay on. Here's your Poll Fix.

6. The American economy is firing on all cylinders, despite the 9-11 attacks and the economic bubble burst in the high-tech industry. But you'd never know that if you got your news from the mainstream media, the political action arm of the Democratic Party. Here's your Good Economic News Fix.

--Andrew C. McCarthy, former chief assistant U.S. attorney, sez good can come out of Abu Ghraib here.

--Executive Editor Mort Kondracke of Roll Call sez abuse at Abu Ghraib doesn't justify Donald Rumsfeld's ouster here.

--Radio talkmeister Dennis Prager sez the obsessive news media should be ashamed of itself, too, for not reporting atrocities worse than Abu Ghraib here.

--Matt Towery challenges pollster John Zogby's prediction that Flipflop will win the presidency here.


Boy, did I blow it over the weekend -- you know, Mother's Day. Nah, it's not what you're thinking. I took care of business on the home front. And enjoyed surprising my wife with a somewhat creative present: a giant half barrel from Tidyman's, filled with dirt and five geranium plants (none of which were stolen from The Coeur d'Alene Resort). I even added a heart-shaped stepping stone for a finishing touch. Not bad for a clod whose brain freezes when it comes to buying decent presents for loved ones. I felt pretty smug as my brother, sister, I and our spouses prepared to have dinner at Mom's house Sunday. Then, it hit me. Mom! I've always gotten away with a card in the mail before. But now she's living in Kootenai County. I couldn't believe I'd forgotten about her. I was feeling like a heel until I looked out the window and saw a giant, untended lilac bush. You know the rest of the story. Mom was pleased with the handful of lilacs that I brought her. Then, she always was pleased with the little things we brought her in return for her unfailing, undying love.

Mail Bag

The mailbag today is full:


When newspapers like the Coeur d'Alene Press publish headlines like "CdA embraces Hagadone Project," or reporters like Jayson Blair writing fiction instead of the news for the New York Times, it's easy to see why they trust the media like the neighborhood Amway salesperson.

The Edge

DFO: The Edge is talking about a poll that shows media credibility is down the toilet here.


Here's some updated information about absentee voting for all of your loyal and hopefully politically active readers. Through mid-day today we've had 1,029 requests for absentee ballots including almost 50 military ballots. The county election office is open 8-5 for people who want to stop by and vote in person. We will also be having a special Saturday time on the 22nd from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those who can't get in during the week but want to vote absentee before the primary election. With early absentee voting, voting by mail, special hours on a Saturday, and of course 71 manned precincts from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day it pretty much takes away all the excuses for not voting!

Dan English
Kootenai County Clerk


You made a comment in the email that you disagreed with my comments re: Dick and Rick at the Courthouse. Both are honest, decent and hardworking individuals. Neither is a strong leader. The people I know at the courthouse are unanimous in feeling the commission is adrift. There is certainly a feeling on the street that the commission is dysfunctional. A big part is Gus. He is quickly becoming one of the worst Commissioners ever.

Ace Jones


Good Morning, Dave;

Blogs clearly are a different animal and the rules, or your rules, are still being defined. My point about anonymity had more to do with the mean spirited tone of the entry rather than the content. Each person is clearly entitled to their opinion and the more venues for expression the better. The fact that adjectives had to be edited evidences the tone of the entry. It’s easy to throw stones from behind anonymous concrete walls and much harder from glass walls of disclosure. As far as the races in District 3 go, the editorial endorsement column on Saturday did a far better job of describing the situation than I could.

Chris Beck


Thanks for the endorsement in Sunday's paper. I have a question. What is a political wonk's grasp of the issues mean? I have never heard that expression. Have I been insulted or complimented?

Bob Nonini
Coeur d'Alene

DFO: A political wonk enjoys delving into the minutiae of the political process, knowing the nuances of bills, Roberts Rules of Order, etc. Bill Clinton was a wonk. Sorry. But it was meant in a complimentary way here.


On Meet the Press yesterday, Republican Senator John Warner, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, argued against release of some more pictures from the Abu Ghraib prison, saying they were of a classified nature. Warner needs to read up on his Presidential Executive Orders. According to Section 1.7 of Executive Order 12958, as amended by President Bush in EO 13292, "In no case shall information be classified in order to conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency; restrain competition; or prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of national security." It's probably worth noting that helping Rumsfeld and the Stars keep their jobs does not qualify as being "in the interest of national security" as that term is defined in the US Code.

Bill McCrory
Coeur d'Alene

DFO: A person named "truth speaker" sends these familiar photos of Abu Ghraib torment here.


I strongly recommend perusing this Internet site from time to time: The IraqPress Online. Ask your seach engine to find it. There's no "dot com" suffix. News articles are datelined Baghdad, Sulaimaniya, Tikrit, and the like; not written by U. S. reporters and not filtered through or spun by ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN or AP. Its a different world over there than you might believe it to be. Information is as good thing.

Leonard Johnson

President Kerry?

Don't want to rain on anyone's parade, including mine, but I pay attention to one pollster: John Zogby. And Zogby's predicting six months out that the 2004 prez election is J. Flipflop Kerry's to lose. Read all about it here.

Lunch Special (5/10/04)

I don't mind people cussin' me when they don't agree with something I write. Nor do I mind people saying that they don't agree with everything I write. At times, I wished I could go back and change an opinion or two, as more information comes to light. Or as I have second thoughts on a matter. But it does bother me when people believe I have ulterior motives for something I write. I try to call them as I see them and let the chips fall. However, I'm part of an industry that has a horrible credibility problem. And I can understand why after watching the way some media distort and omit facts on a regular basis. A recent survey ranks my profession right down there with used-car salesmen. Quoted in an Insight mag story, Chicago Tribune Editor Charles M. Madigan may have put it best when he offered this advice: "If you are a journalist, you should probably just assume that you come across as a liar." Today's Lunch Drink Special? A shot of the media on the rocks.

Best of the Northwest (5/10/04)

In viewtiful Coeur d'Alene today, the sun's losing its battle to break through the haze. The wind's blowing. And Councilman Al Hassell reports that he's already seen two cars with Kootenai plates and a third one -- a Washington rental -- going the wrong way on Fourth Street. Which means the tourism season unofficially has begun. Now, for the Northwest roundup:

1. Cartoonists Eric Devericks of the Seattle Times and freelancer Milt Priggee begin the week with their takes on issues here and here. Milt's is dyne-oh!-mite.

2. What would Monday be like, if I didn't give you non-S-R subscribers a taste of my weekly Huckleberries here?

3. Chat Chaaht, "The Old Man," the second wolf to be released in the Idaho wilds in 1995, left his mark before he was found dead recently, one of the oldest wolves ever recorded in the wild. The Idaho Statesman looks at this remarkable animal here.

4. After a month of covering the proceedings in Sami Omar al-Hassayen's terrorism conspiracy trial, reporter Patrick Orr of the Statesman, provides some impressions here.

5. On Friday, we mark the 200th anniversary of the beginning of Lewis and Clark's journey up the Missouri beginning near St. Louis. Even before the explorers started out, however, the mouth of the Columbia River had been discovered by white men. You can brush up on your Lewis & Clark history here.

6. Nonprofit organizations provide a valuable service at rest stops in Washington and Idaho that goes beyond "free coffee." Click here.

--Steve Massey, former S-R editor and now my Hayden Bible Church padre, sez the 23rd Psalm was right when it compared people to sheep here.

--The Missoulian opines on that historic EPA decision that sets the state for a $120 million cleanup of Montana's Clark Fork River here.

--Quick thinking by second-in-command Jack Simpson 59 years ago as his U.S. Navy destroyer was going down changed many lives, including Idaho Statesman columnist Tim Woodward's here.

--Appropriately named Mike Mercy of Idaho Emergency Physicians told Idaho Statesman readers that Idahoans pay a high price for those without medical insurance here.

--Sports columnist Steve Kelley of The Seattle Times sez it's time to mourn the lost season of the Mariners here.

Monday Quick Fix Six (5/10/04)

Amber? The Survivor All Stars picked Amber over Boston Rob, probably the most dominant player ever to play survivor? Incredible. Oh well, since Boston Rob proposed to her on national TV last night, he ended up with the million bucks anyway. Which means he even made contingency plans for coming in second. "Survivor" is the only reality fix that I allow myself. And speaking of fixes, here's your Quick Fix Six to get the week started.

1. Paul Nowak has things in perspective as he provides your Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Conan had this to say about the report of Iraqi prison abuse: "Donald Rumsfeld testified before congress today. He said he didn’t read the report on Iraqi prisoners because it was too long and had to much information. President Bush then said, 'Hey that’s my line.'" Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. In several exclusive interviews with the Washington Times, Dubya said he wasn't going to repeat his one-term father's mistakes: cut and run from Iraq early and fail to vanquish the Demos. Here's your Determined Dubya Fix.

4. The London Telegraph provides more details in the brutal murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in your Reality Check Fix.

5. Gun rights activists are mocking the "Million Mom March" to end gun violence, which produced only a coupla thousand in D.C. And Daniel J. Flynn mocked that puny effort here. Meanwhile, here's your Million Mom Minus 998,000 Fix.

6. In Maryland, the Republican governor and the Democratic comptroller are both in trouble from the P.C. police for speaking their minds re: some immigrants' inability or unwillingness to become part of the dominant culture. Here's your P.C. Fix.

--Frida Ghitis of the St. Louis Dispatch sez Arabs who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks here.

--William Safire of the New York Times sez Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld should soldier on here.

--The media's double standard was never in evidence more than the meager coverage they gave to a group calling itself "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at the phenomenon here.

--Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review tries to undertstand Bush Haters here.


I musta given the wrong impression re: thinking over the use of anonymity on this blog. The Edge called in a panic because he thought I was gonna out him. It'd never happen. If the jumbos in this town ever found out whom my many sources are, half the town'd fire the other half. As I mentioned in a postscript to Hayden Councilman Chris Beck, blogs are different animals than mainstream media. Basically, this is my blog site and I can do about anything I want with it -- within reason, of course. That's a great responsibility. And it's also provides freedom. Because of his background, The Edge definitely offers valuable insight worth posting. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with "Ace Jones," a pseudonym for another e-mailer whose identity I don't know. I don't like that arrangement. I want to know who are the people I'm posting. If his stuff is good enough, however, I might post it anyway. How did that old song go? It's my party and I'll blog if I want -- DFO

P.S., remember, the S-R's running our District 3 endorsements Saturday and our District 5 endorsements Sunday. See ya Monday morning.

A Word from Herb ...

I'm spinning again today. I just finished reading David Broder's column. That dreaded word "progressive Republican" appeared, along with many other labels.

There are apparently, conservative Republicans, staunch Republicans,

progressive Republicans, moderate Republicans, and liberal Republicans.

There are also apparently southern Democrats, centrist Democrats, classic San Francisco Democrats, conservative Democrats, and oh, have I forgotten the liberal Democrat, right-wing, left-wing? Darn, I think I'm loosing track here.

I grew up in a left-wing family, where there were only two kinds of Republicans. "progressive, and Damn." I have graduated to considering Democrats "silly fools."

I guess I'm just a chip off the old block...Oops, another cliche...Oh well, there you have it.

Herb Huseland

DFO: I couldn't have said it better myself. Oops.

Lunch Special (5/7/04)

For my Lunch Special today ... I'm resurrecting one of my first postings when I began No Holds Barred almost three months ago. It's entitled, "Commissioner Pincushion" and explains why Hagadonia is after Commish Dick Panabaker's head. When you're done, you'll say, "petty," just like I did. Hold your nose and get ready for the TGIF Lunch Special.

A Word from Chris Beck ...

...about No Holds Barred anonymity:

Good Afternoon Dave – I’m spending my lunch time catching up. It was good to see you at the candidate’s forum in Hayden. The latest blog entry from “The Edge” caused me to pause. I can understand how the veil of anonymity may be accepted when voicing an opinion on a topic such as Sanders Beach. However, when it becomes personal attack on another individual’s character I think the accuser should be known. Just a thought.

Thanks – Chris Beck

DFO: Good point. Let me think about that. The blogosphere is a little different than regular media. I know who "The Edge" is. And s/he's has the credentials to handicap races. I don't like pseudonyms. But there's a definite reason for his/hers. I'd be delighted if you sent a No Holds Barred response explaining why The Edge is all wet. BTW, I also disagree with part of his/her handicapping.

A Word from Gary Ingram ...

...about the District 3 Hayden Meadows wannabe forum:

Well, I thought the Hayden Meadows forum for legislative candidates ( all republican) was very informative in that out of seven contenders only two Mike Jorgenson and Jim Clark gave unconditional support to letting the temporary sales tax increase expire on its given date. The rest of them, all five, had conditions. Keep those rascals at home!

Gary Ingram

A Word from The Edge ...

...about endorsements:

It never ceases to amaze me how poor some of the republican candidates are. Charles Eberle is plain (less than flattery adjective deleted). He's convinced the government has been spying on him. He means well, but

how in the heck did he ever get elected?

Mike Jorgenson is smart and very rich, with powerful connections. however, the guy has an ego the size of Lake Coeur d'Alene. He's a major league snob. He trys to run with the Spokane opera crowd. He also wasted the taxpayers dollars with a silly lawsuit against some schmuck in Hayden Lake who had a fence that was too tall. The city lost the case and Jorgenson lost some face.

Jeri DeLange is a nice sweet lady but is a total lightweight. No big ideas here, just a puppet. Jim Clark will chew her up and spit her out.

Jim Hollingsworth. Met the man. He's not a deep thinker, actually he borders on (less than flattery adjective deleted). He's against contractor licensing and day care regulations.

Of course some of the demos aren't much better.

The Edge

P.S. I missed the friends finale. Did everybody die?

DFO: Chandler & Monica adopted twins, which inspired Phoebe to want to have a boatload of babies; Ross and Rachel got back together; and Joey was left with a duckling and a chick (animal chick). Couldn't touch "Seinfeld" finale of a few years back.

TGIF Best of the Northwest (5/7/04):

The sun's shining on another viewtiful day in the City on the Lake, and we're less than a month away from the invasion of tourists. Any day now we'll hear of a car driving the wrong way on Third or Fourth streets and know the tourism season has unofficially started. BTW, if we're going to call it a tourism season, why can't we hunt and trap them? Here's your Northwest roundup:

1. David Horsey of the P-I and Eric Devericks of the Seattle Times draw their versions of the Iraqi prison mess here and here.

2. The Idaho Right to Work initiative repeal effort fell far short of collecting 40,772 valid signatures and won't be on November's ballot. Click here.

3. Incoming UI prez Tim White has assembled a team of administrators, professors and students to develop a new vision for the university at Moscow and to help make $6 million worth of cuts to balance the books here. And UI students talk about the college's financial crisis here.

4. Mark D. Crouch, 23, of 10018 N. Seminole Drive, Spokane, a teacher and coach at Spokane's Northwest Christian High, has been charged with soliciting sex on line with a 13-year-old girl here.

5. Tears were shed by South Junior High ninth-graders in Boy-C as they saw sub teacher "Mr. L" off to a tour of duty in Iraq here.

6. Boeing exec Harry Stonecipher is tough, decisive, direct ... and a boss who knows the importance of the working man. The P-I takes a look at the man who stepped into the breach after Boeings ethics scandals came to light here.

7. Our Bill Morlin reports on the arrest of three men in northwestern Montana on firearms charges associated with a possible plot to kill public officials here.

8. Ex-Oregon governor Neil Goldschmidt admitted he had sex with a minor while he was mayor of Portland in the 1970s here. And the Oregonian opines about the sad affair here.

9. Two of the students from NASA's new astronaut class are from the Northwest here.

10. The Oregonian reports on the Washington County lawyer who was detained by the feds in connection with the Madrid terrorist bombings here.

--Times Sports Columnist Wayne Newnham sez Dan Wilson belongs behind the plate as the M's No. 1 catcher here and Bob Finnegan reviews Seattle's 2-1 win over Minnesota here.

--The P-I sez the time to protect Washington bird species and subspecies that are in decline is now here.

--Retired teacher Sharon Blair of Meridian/Boise sez Idaho should fix its prison system to help children here.

TGIF Quick Fix Six (5/7/04):

I'm starting early today, so I can get home by 5 to see Amy Dearest head off to the prom with a football heart throb who causes all the girls to swoon. Sez I to Amy: "Do you mind being a bauble on his arm?" Sez she: "Whaddaya mean? He'll be a bauble on my arm." She gets it from her old man. Now, your fixes:

1. Chuck Asay of the Colorado Springs Gazette, who's one of the best conservative cartoonist that you've never heard of, gets us off to a roaring start with a Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Jay Leno said goodbye to "Friends" last night with this: "NBC execs are going to face the real 'Fear Factor'. Thursdays without 'Friends.' That’s the ultimate 'Fear Factor'." I watched the last "Friends" and wasn't all that impressed. Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania and other Capitol Hill D's are ready to throw in the towel re: the war in Iraq, which should provide aid and comfort to the enemy. Murtha sez the war is unwinnable because we're not approaching it properly. Mebbe we would approach it properly if one of the two major political parties would shut its yap and quit using temporary setbacks, like Abu Ghraib for political gain. F'shame. Here's your Clueless Congressman Fix.

4. Employers added 288,000 jobs in April and almost 900,000 since the start of January; yet, that news doesn't seem to be getting out in the mainstream media, which is still bleating about a, ahem, "jobless recovery." Here's your Job Fix.

5. World mag, which has stood solidly behind Dubya on the war in Iraq, now is worried that his administration may be selling out many of those who stood strongly against So-Damn Insane's tyranny. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

6. The Rev. Mark H. Creech of the Christian Action League of North Carolina sez "Mother's Rule" as he points us to Mother's Day Sunday. Don't forget to give your Mother something special on her day. Here's your Mother's Day Fix.

--Dubya's full remarks marking the 53rd annual National Day of Prayer are provided here.

--If Donald Rumsfeld is driven out, sez Midge Decter of the Los Angeles Times, we all lose here.

--Kate O'Beirne, the National Review Washington editor, is worried about that other abuse going on during the war -- congressional abuse -- here.

--Deborah Simmons of the Washington Times opines on military men and women behaving badly here.

--And delightful misanthrope Florence King rounds out what has become an All-Ladies Opinion Fix with a golden oldie ode to Sears, Roebuck, etc., here.


Sorry, I haven't had much time for blogging this week. Too many political candidates, too little time. And the Tums container is empty. I've been making my list of recommendations and checking them twice with the publisher and my editorial page boss. We'll print the first of our endorsements Saturday -- for the District 3 House and Senate seats. You might find a surprise there. I enjoy interviewing candidates and watching them under the spotlight at candidates' forums. But I don't like to pick between/among qualified candidates. The winner becomes your best friend. The loser is sore. Oh well, that's why they pay me the big bucks. Now, off to Post Falls to review Bob & Ron, Charles & Frank.

A Word from Mike Crapo ...

...about Mother's Day:

An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest. --Spanish Proverb

Historians have traced Mother's Day back to ancient Greece and Rome. Springtime, with signs of new life emerging in the fields and forests, was perfect for celebrating the mother goddesses. During the Middle Ages in Europe, the

fourth Sunday in Lent became known as "Mothering Sunday." Mother's Day in the United States was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe, the author of the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, but it was Mrs. Anna Jarvis of West Virginia who convinced her home state to proclaim it a holiday in 1910. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it a national holiday.

Mother's Day traditions vary by country and culture, but regardless of the form the celebration takes, the intent is the same: to honor our mothers for their hard work, dedication to their families, and reflect back to them the love and care they have given. Stories about mothers are repeated throughout history, and bring to mind the lessons they have taught us. I have learned many lessons in my own life, but being kind to others is by and large the most compelling and important one. I learned this from my mother, Melba
Olson Crapo. She was a selfless example of kindness, virtue, and strength to me and to my brothers and sisters. Over the course of her life, she experienced joy as well as quite possibly two of the worst tragedies a mother and wife could face: the loss of her husband, and the early death of one of her adult children. She didn't allow these terrible events to change her character, personality, and outlook. She was committed to serving families, her church and her community, encouraging her children to do the same.

Throughout my childhood, she taught me that in all circumstances, it was vital to treat others with kindness - a lesson that I have tried to apply to every aspect of my life. Giving others the gift of kindness and respect opens many more doors than harsh and threatening words and actions. From working with clients as an attorney to working with constituents and stakeholders as an elected official, I have found time and again that the lessons I learned from my mother about kindness and respecting the dignity of those people with which I come into contact, has opened doors of friendship, as well as my career for me.

This Mother's Day we find ourselves in the midst of a military conflict. Our sons and daughters are engaged in a fight for freedom and justice for those once terribly oppressed, and their efforts will liberate others and ultimately preserve our own freedom. The difficult reality which accompanies this situation is the fact that many mothers will spend this Mother's Day knowing that their child is facing danger in a foreign land. There are even some American mothers who will spend Mother's Day in uniform in Iraq, Afghanistan, orother dangerous places, away from their children. Some mothers here and in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places of conflict, will experience their first Mother's Day after having laid their child to rest in a tragic reversal of the way life should be.

Our mothers gave us the gifts of life, love, and wisdom. On the inside, they are infinitely stronger than they might look. They can take a hopeless situation and find a solution, doing whatever needs to be done. They bear weighty burdens of care and worry. They are the soft heart that hides a formidable will and provides quiet but undeniable strength during difficult times. Their love for us is fierce, unapologetic, and cannot be replicated. Their love doesn't
depend on where we are in our lives, it remains the same.

DFO: So, you're without excuse if you forget to do right by Mommy Sunday.

A Resolution from Larry Craig ...

...about the Abu Ghraib prison (folo the jump for text):

WASHINGTON, DC - Idaho Senator Larry Craig joined Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson in introducing a Sense of the Senate Resolution calling for the destruction of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

While the prison has been in the news for the last few days over the apparent mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners of war, more important the prison is a notorious

icon of Saddam Hussein's terror machine. During the reign of Saddam Hussein, the prison gained a well-deserved reputation as a death chamber as Saddam's Special Security Organization oversaw the execution of thousands of political prisoners there, including 3,000 in one day.

"Destroying the prison and building a new one will send a vital message to the Iraqi people - the death chambers of Saddam Hussein exist no longer and the Americans have no interest in mistreating, torturing, or killing the Iraqi people," said Craig. "We came to Iraq to liberate them and to make our world a safer place."

The text of the resolution is attached.

More information on the War on Terrorism can be found at .



2nd Session

Expressing the sense of the Senate that the Abu Ghraib prison must be demolished to underscore the United States' abhorrence of the mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq.


May 6, 2004

Mr. CRAIG (for himself, Mr. Nelson of Nebraska) submitted the following Sense of the Senate resolution;

Sense of the Senate Resolution

Expressing the sense of the Senate that the Abu Ghraib prison must be demolished to underscore the United States' abhorrence of the mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq.

Whereas the Abu Ghraib prison was used by Saddam Hussein to execute and torture thousands of men, women, and children;

Whereas Saddam and his Special Security Organization oversaw the execution of thousands of political prisoners;

Whereas the Abu Ghraib prison is notoriously known as a death chamber by the Iraqi people;

Whereas the Abu Ghraib prison is arguably the largest and most feared prison in the Arab world;

Whereas it is widely known that one of Saddam's sons, in one day, ordered the execution of 3000 prisoners at the prison;

Whereas the recent reports of atrocities and abhorrent mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison are un-American, do not represent our values, and have sent the wrong message about the United State's intentions in Iraq;

Whereas the American people will not tolerate the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners;

Whereas the American people view this prison as a symbol of evil, and where past cruel torture and mistreatment occurred;

Whereas the American people would like to rid the world of this evil place where past, and unfortunately current reported mistreatment has occurred;

Now, therefore, be it Resolved,

That it is the sense of the Senate that the Abu Ghraib prison, also known as the Baghdad Central Detention Center, be completely demolished as an expression and symbolic gesture that the American people will not tolerate the past and current mistreatment of prisoners.

Lunch Special (5/5/04)

The Lunch Special today ... is an unwholesome slice of North Idaho Demo Arrogance. In a letter to the editor today, Buell Hollister of Hauser, who has been a major player in the Kootenai County Demo party for years, sounds the alarm for what he sees as a serious menace to the future of democracy in America: "born again" Christian fundamentalists. Now, I doubt that Buell, like most ultraliberals, knows the difference between a charismatic Catholic, a nondenominational believer, an Assembly of God member and the various pedigrees of Baptist. All he thinks he knows about evangelicals is this: They're "zealots" and "simple-minded" like our president. Buell closes his rant against believers by quoting George Santayana: "Religion is the veil they draw over their souls to hide the nightmare of their own inadequacy." Almost sounds like Karl Marx. And local D's wonder why the huge population of Kootenai County evangelicals and other religious conservatives (many of whom are among the working class that the D's claim to represent) votes overwhelmingly Republican? Minority Idaho D's won't rebound as a party until they renounce their paranoid, bigoted hatred of evangelical Christians.

Best of the Northwest (5/6/04):

I've spent two of the last three nights checking out candidates for Kootenai County's three legislative districts at local chamber forums -- for possible endorsement recommendations. And, just like the sun shining thru the haze above, a picture is emerging in my mind re: who's best in the races. Local residents will begin seeing our endorsements soon. Meanwhile, here's your Northwest roundup:

1. Cousin Milt Priggee and David Horsey of the P-I get us rolling today with their political 'toons here and here.

2. In an editorial Wednesday, I blasted the "pendejos" (you'll need to click on the link to find out what it means) among us who dis the heroism of fallen warrior Pat Tillman here.

3. For North Idahoans, I'm going to start bringing you good stories that appear in our final edition only. Two men, for example, got roughed up by two others who didn't like the anti-war message on their protest signs here. And Spokane's oldest church is going to celebrate its 125th birthday here. And, finally, Sacred Heart nurses ratify a new three-year contract here.

4. In the Washington Fifth Congressional District race, incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is raking in the dough here, while U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt is bringing in Elizabeth Dole to kick off his campaign here.

5. The Idaho Statesman provides a complete voter guide for the 2004 primary election May 25 here.

6. A report released by Audobon Washington today sez one-third of the state's birds and subspecies are in decline here.

7. Boy-C State AD Gene Bleymaier explains that controversial new policy that allows alcohol sales near Bronco Stadium here.

8. In a guest editorial, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray sez the U.S. needs to stand up to Europe's threat to our aerospace industry here.

--Bill Virgin of the P-I looks at that congressional decision last week that extends the moratorium against taxing the Internet here.

--A Seattle Times editorial sez U-Dub has to get beyond the scandal era that has exploded around its athletic program and medical overbilling here.

Thursday Quick Fix Six (5/6/04):

Don't look now, but the last new "Friends" episode will be aired tonight. Which will cause some to be unhappy. While others like me will merely shrug. At its best, "Friends" couldn't touch "Seinfeld." I occasionally watched "Friends" reruns, but don't find the characters likable beyond Joey and Phoebe. Oh well, that's me. But you can find a story that sez network sitcoms are in decline here. And you can get your morning fixes below:

1. Daryl Cagle's daily 'toon roundup on the Slate Web site has a coupla liberal stinkers as well as some gems. Here's your morning Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Jay Leno asked the $64,000 question Wednesday night -- or at least the one that paranoid Demos believe as a matter of faith: "As you know it’s May sweeps – which is a real dilemma for the Bush White House – do they bring out Osama now or wait until November?" Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Before we get too caught up in all that media hand-wringing about the poor abused saps at Abu Ghraib, we need to focus on the individuals behind bars, most of whom are bad guys who'd be killing Americans if they were free. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

4. The number of "unchurched" Americans -- those who have attended no religious service in the previous six months other than Christmas or Easter -- has almost doubled in the last 13 years. Which means two things: We're going down the toilet faster and faster. And more Christian workers are needed for a much larger harvest. Here's your Poll Fix.

5. NewsMax trumpets the photo accompanying the following story as "A Photo of Bush that Most Media Won't Show You." You be the judge. Here's your Compassionate Conservative Fix.

6. Andrew Sullivan is gay, conservative ... and one of the nation's best bloggers. His poignant look at the death of Pat Tillman is an example of his pinpoint accurate insight here. Meanwhile, here's your Check-It-Out Web Site Fix.

--Peter Wood of Boston University explains why a college education is so darn expensive here.

--Benjamin Shapiro takes a look at Rene Gonzalez, the Pat Tillman-dissing UMass grad student, and other idiots on campus here.

--Ann Coulter sez even with hindsight liberals can't see straight here.

--Marvin Olasky believes that abortion-on-demand is on its way out here.


I'm off to another candidate's forum, this time featuring wannabes in District 4 (Coeur d'Alene) primary races, including the only Democratic legislative primary in North Idaho. It'll be interesting to see if the Demo primary between state Rep. Bonnie Douglas of CDA and CDA City Attorney Mike Gridley keeps Demo voters home. Or if they're going to cross over to vote in the Repub primary, which features two interesting races for Kootenai County commissioner. From what I hear, Gridley has been working hard and has cross-over support of Repub City Council members. Bonnie has a pretty good voting record. But personality might be a deciding factor in this race. Stay tuned.

A Word from Herb Huseland ...

...about the Abu Ghraib scandal:

Unfortunately, in the enlistment and training process, we sometimes scoop up misfits and lowlifes. It has always been my opinion, having served for four

years in the Air Force, that the fact that senior noncoms were involved, proves that until an opportunity exists to become cruel and inhuman, these career people are not tested. Possibly during basic training, the fact that training cadre are allowed to abuse recruits, gives them the feeling that then they can also do that to the enemy.

The fact that Senior NOC's run the military on an operational level, is a given. If the only time that the officers in this example became involved, was at morning roll call, then what you have is benign neglect. In my four years in the service, my contact with officers was almost nil. Perhaps it's time for junior officers to get their feet wet and actually supervise.

Herb Huseland

A Word from Deanna Goodlander ...

...re. a recent column re: a visit to the old Aryan Nations site:

Dave: Nice article on the Aryan Nations Compound. I was out there with Tony before anything was torn down and I have to tell you that I looked at that beautiful grove of Pines and wondered how such hate could fester there.


Lunch Special (Cinco de Mayo)

The Lunch Special today is ... a piece of my mind. And I'll be serving it to Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, who's now using a sore back as an excuse to continue to drag his heels re: making two important appointments to the state Board of Education. Before that, the governor claimed he was overwhelmed by appointments to various commissions and board and didn't have time to focus on reappointing Post Falls City Administrator Jim Hammond or a North Idaho successor to the Education Board. And before that he was too busy with the Legislature. Actually, Kempthorne has been too busy listening to ambitious outgoing Board Prez Blake Hall and the other financial supporters and campaign managers who make up the highly political board. By procrastinating, Kempthorne ensured that former board veep Hammond wouldn't get his chance to become prez, which made his southern Idaho minions happy. And proved two things about Kempthorne: That he's not really looking for the best-qualified candidate for the vacancy, which would be Hammond, and that North Idaho is still a backwater when it comes to Idaho's cutthroat Republican politics -- DFO

'Mica Bay'

Slow learners down at ITD
still build with mud slides of debris,
and if you sue them, they're OK --
it's not their money anyway.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

DFO: The Bard is referring to that recent lawsuit filed against the Idaho Department of Transportation and a Seattle contractor for allegedly allowing mud runoff from a Highway 95 project to plug Mica Bay on Lake Coeur d'Alene here.

Cinco de Mayo Best of the Northwest:

I realize that many of our professors are nothing more than Vietnam-era hippies who couldn't find a real job. You know how the old saying goes "Those who can, do. Those who can't become college professors." That's not to say that all professors are bad. I've actually had a quite a few in my time here that are awesome. But the fact still remains that a college campus isn't all that it's cracked up to be - that some learning may take place - but for some it is no more than an indoctrination camp, set on producing more college liberals U-of-I blogger Henry Johnston.

1. P-I 'Toonist David Horsey begins our daily Best of the Northwest roundup with a look at the Abu Ghraib prison scandal here.

2. U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's modest immigration plan, targetting about 1.1 million illegal aliens, is gaining momentum in the Senate, while a far more ambitious Demo proposal is having trouble treading water here.

3. Puget Sound D's are courting KIRO radio talkmeister Dave Ross in an attempt to pick up the seat now held by retiring GOP queenpin Jennifer Dunn here.

4. Chat Chaaht, one of Idaho's first reintroduced wolves, is pushing up daisies today after being found dead of natural causes recently. Click here.

5. I finally tuned out after the 15th inning so I wasn't listening when Randy Winn slid home with the winning run in the 16th to give the M's a 4-3 win over the Twins last night. I'm reporting the game here because it didn't make the first edition of our papers. And inquiring North Idaho minds want to know what happened here. Meanwhile, sports writer Art Thiel of the P-I sez the M's made the right move by extending manager Bob Melvin's contract here.

6. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington accuses Europe of doing everything it can to dismantle our aerospace industry here.

--Dan Popkey of The Idaho Statesman opines on that angry gay-dad custody case here.

--Job One for the U.S. Dept. of Energy, according to The Idaho Statesman, is to reduce the risk of terrorism at the nation's nuclear sites here.

--Bad girls leave their marks at a Mount Vernon honors student dance here.

--Idaho's economy continues to move slower than expected here.

Cinco de Mayo Quick Fix Six

Well, the day dawns overcast in the Lake City. But that doesn't dampen the mood here because U.S. Bank has announced plans to open a $15 million call center on the Spokane River which will eventually employ 500 people. Now, if they'll only throw in river access, it'll truly be what chamber types call a win-win. Here's your Cinco de Mayo fixes:

1. Cartoonist Paul Nowak provides his view of J. Flipflop Kerry's service and medals flap for our daily Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Jay Leno kicked off his show last night with this one-liner among others: "Now that Google’s stock is coming out, they asked President Bush if he had ever Googled, he said 'Every morning with Listerine.'" Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Dunno how Flipflop's latest flap is gonna play in the mainstream media -- if they pay attention at all -- but he's under fire from all directions. The medic who treated him for his first war wound that led to an early exit from Vietnam sez the injury required only a Band-aid here. His ex-commander called him a "loose cannon" here. And, for more, here's your Flipflop Fix.

4. WorldNetDaily provides the complete investigation report on the Abu Ghraib prison humiliation here. And talks about Dubya's plans to speak to two Arab networks today here. And goes on to give you today's Iraqi Prison Scandal Fix.

5. James Carafano of The Heritage Foundation sez reinstatement of the draft is a bad idea. And I agree with him, particularly if young women are forced to sign up, too. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

6. Ben Johnson of FrontPageMag denounces Leftist Cartoonist Ted Rall and his ilk for denigrating the memory of fallen war hero Pat Tillman. Here's your Clueless Lefty Fix.

--Thomas Ryan of FrontPageMag looks at the Gang Green's favorite terrorist here.

--Combat soldier Spc. Joe Roche sez the American thugs at Abu Ghraib hurt the troops worse than any enemy soldier here.

--The United Methodists took a firm stand against homosexuality, but they weren't willing to intervene in a case involving a lesbian minister here.

--For the rest of your Morning Fix, here's Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard (a Democratic Senate?), Edward B. Driscoll Jr. (media bias), Catherine Seipp (Kelsey Grammer) and Wesley J. Smith (Terri Schiavo).


I few observations about the Idaho District 3 candidates' forum at Hayden Meadows Elementary:

--I knew I was in North Idaho when I arrived at the forum and saw all three state Senate candidates represented in the parking lot by big pickups with big political signs. All that was missing were dogs and gun racks.

--Brand X Editor Mike Patrick did a very good job as MC.

--On a scale of 1 to 10, a candidate forum rates about a 2.5 in terms of its importance in supplying information that'll enable a voter to make an informed decision at the polling place. Candidates should be allowed to respond to each other or question each other's answer. Otherwise, the forums are a waste of time.

--Dunno if he'll get our endorsement, but one newcomer stood out from the pack: Hayden Lake City Councilman Mike Jorgenson. Not only could he think on his feet, but he wasn't afraid to say how he stood on controversial issues. Most of the other candidates were trying not to slip up. Mike was the only candidate who recognized the dire need for North Idaho legislators to form a caucus to push issues that are important to the region.

--The primaries (May 25) are rapidly approaching. It's time to tune in.


Cedar Post Rocks

Instructor Erin Daniels of the Sandpoint High Cedar Post brags about her "piglets" winning even more newspaper awards. Hey, if you got it flaunt it. Take it away, Erin:

We just got results from the Greater Northwest Student Journalism Awards and several Cedar Post students placed. Please pat them on their shiny little heads if you get a chance...(yes, i know...we rock, we rock):

Annie Kuster--1st place--Spot News Story (the one about students suing)
Rael Ammon--2nd place--Spot News Story (the one about technology failing in our schools)

Casey Pilgeram--honorable mention--General News (the one about how we don't have an evacuation plan)
Michael Staggs--1st place and an honorable mention--Editorial Cartoons (the one about snow days and the one with mr. bass)
Colleen Flanigan and Rael Ammon--2nd place--Sports Features (the ACL feature)
Yarrow Frank--honorable mention--News Photo (the one with Marker giving blood)
--2nd place--Stand Alone Photo (the one of Colin playing bass)
--1st place--Photo Essay (the dance spread)
Colleen Flanigan--1st place--Sports Photo (her soccer photo)
Kelly Cox--2nd place--Photo Essay (her jr. miss spread last year)

DFO: This one's for the piglets: Saaalute.

A Word from The Edge ...

...re: mess around The Feathers:

My wife pointed out the grass around the Feathers on NW Boulevard look terrible and full of weeds and dead grass. Not to sound like Hagadone spokesperson Bob Paulos, but is this the best our money can buy? Beside, the feathers just look bizarre.

The Edge

DFO: You do sound a bit like Bosun Bob of the good ship HHagadone. But I'll forgive you for this one slip. I like the $50,000 Feathers. But the area around them should be kept ship-shape. Don't tell the Bosun about this. Or he'll use the untidy median to complain, once again, about the need for a canoe, too. The guy rides his hobby horses longer than I do.

Veterans Against Kerry

Don't look now, but J. Flipflop Kerry has a severe P.R. problem developing. A group of Vietnam era veterans, including some who served with him or knew him back when, have banded together to denounce his presidential candidacy. Some who knew him say he was a "loose cannon" who went to Vietnam to polish his political credentials. Read all about it here and here.

Lunch Special (5/4/04):

I have a weakness for political cartoons. I love 'em (particularly 'toons in the liberal New Yorker). And I appreciate the talented individuals, like former S-R cartoonist Milt Priggee, who can say so much with a simple doodle or two. That's why I'm a big fan of Daryl Cagle's page on the Slate Web site. He provides all the major doodlers in one place. That page'll be a recurring lunch special. So, why am I telling you this? I'm particularly fond of the first cartoon in Daryl's daily roundup today. It sez it all about worrying how Islamic fundamentalists feel about the Americans in Iraq. Today's Lunch Special. A Political 'Toon Appetizer.

Best of the Northwest (4/5/04):

1. Cartoonist David Horsey of the P-I takes a cynical look at No Child Left Behind here.

2. Boy-C Mayor Dave Bieter is a bicycle buff and doesn't care who knows it. At least twice a week, he rides his 30-year-old bike to work. Which not only is good exercise. But provides a good role model for the rest of us here.

3. Theron McGriff, a gay father from Idaho Falls, had his day in court Monday. His basic argument is this: If he had a live-in girlfriend instead of a live-in boyfriend, would he have lost custody of his two daughters. Frankly, I don't think either situation is a good one, but I'm not on the bench. Click here.

4. The Seattle City Council has voted unanimously to extend its moratorium on strip clubs here.

5. The Muckleshoot Tribe is mounting opposition to initiative activist Tim Eyman's I-892, which would dramatically expand gambling in Washington state, here.

6. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs plans to launch an outpatient vet clinic to serve six counties in north-central Washington here.

7. The U-of-I Argonaut sez there's some good news re: the University Place fiasco in Boy-C here.

8. U-Dub might have the WSU Cougs number when it comes to the Apple Cup. But Dawg track-and-fielders have a rough time with their Coug counterparts. In fact, U-Dub's femmes beat the Cougs for the first time in seven years the other day. Meanwhile, the Coug men won their fourth straight over UW here.

--The collaborative Owyhee Initiative that would create a national wilderness of more than 500,000 acres in the southwest corner of Idaho is being viewed as a national model here.

--In an editorial, the P-I sez U-Dub's still in denial about that Medicare flap that resulted in a $35 million fine here.

--Sports columnist Blaine Newham of The Seattle Times sez losing baseball isn't the ticket in Seattle here. And Bob Sherwin of the Times zeroes in on Ichiro's suddenly unproductive bat here.

--Columnist Bill Virgin of the P-I sez progressive Indian tribes look beyond their sudden riches from gambling or natural resources here.

Tuesday Quick Fix Six (5/4/04):

It's Tuesday, which means I met with my holy man this A.M., so I'm running a little late. It's a bit overcast in Lake City. And breezy. But the sun's trying to shine. Here's your morning fixes:

1. Cartoonist Kevin Tuma launches today's Quick Fix Six with a devilish look at gay marriage. Here's your Political Cartoon Fix.

2. Jay Leno launches our morning's yucks with this one-liner: "Did you see this yesterday? Senator John Kerry is reportedly okay after falling off his bicycle yesterday. Luckily, he landed on his wallet; so he was fine." But rather than highlight his monologue last night. I've decided to give you a J. Flipflop Kerry Late Night Fix.

3. Family and friends of the National Guard unit accused of abusing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib aren't happy with the charges. But they still support the war effort -- unlike the mainstream media who were willing to throw in the towel before war hostilities began. Meanwhile, the thugs responsible for the murder and butchery of four Americans in Fallujah are still nonrepentant. Go Figure. Here's your Iraqi War Fix.

4. James P. Pinkerton of Newsday.com sez the new World War II memorial at D.C. will speak for a great generation which is rapidly disappearing. Here's your Honor Thy Father & Mother Fix.

5. Don't look now, but one of the resolutions that will be considered by the Southern Baptist Convention calls for believers to pull their kids from public schools. "Government schools are by their own confession humanistic and secular in their instruction, [and] the education offered by the government schools is officially Godless," the measure states. Here's your School Choice Fix.

6. As he finishes his memoirs, Slick Willie is as stuck on himself as ever. Even friends are tiring of his incessant talking. Here's your Slick Willie Fix.

--Voting along party lines, the Senate Judiciary Committee is still stonewalling qualified judicial nominees here.

--Many mourn the death of Pat Tillman, but there is a small faction of The Left that mock. Click here.

--Wes Pruden of The Washington Times sez our dilly-dallying at Fallujah is far worse for our image than mistreating Iraqi prisoners here.

--Author Carl E. Olson sez "The Da Vinci Code" should be "Left Behind" here.

--Contributing Editor Deroy Murdoch of National Review On Line reminds us of why we're fighting in Iraq here.

--Military historian Victor Davis Hanson looks at the significance of the Abu Ghraib prison humiliations here.


I'm cutting out early to cover the candidates' forum in Hayden tonight (6 o'clock at Hayden Meadows Elementary), featuring District 3 wannabes (Hayden, Hayden Lake, Rathdrum, etc.). Before I go, I have this news from U-of-I blogger Henry Johnston (formerly of Sandpoint High):

Dean Zeller, Can you Sign My Form???
It is official - I'm no longer a political nut. Well, not degree wise anyway. I gave up my vice of political science to pursue a long running dream of joining the

ranks of my favorite newsmen such as DF Oliveria - the one who encouraged me to shift gears; Doug Clark - my source for comic relief on a wide variety of subjects; both of KREM 2's weathermen Peter Colford - God rest his soul, he was one of my first broadcast role models Tom Sherry - the first newscaster to reply to my many letters written in my younger years; and big time talkmeister Rush Limbaugh (minus the drugs) - a long standing pillar of the broadcast community. Long story short, I've changed my major to Journalism/Mass Media with a minor in political science...which would put me in a nice spot to become a press secretary some day.

DFO: Henry has a nice touch for the printed word. And he has a superb U-of-I conservative blog. Now, if I could only persuade the kid to write more about his life on campus, he'd be indispensible -- an outlaw on campus, yes, but indispensible, just the same. Check out his blog here.

Clueless Cartoonist

Syndicated cartoonist (his word, not mine) Ted Rall shows how clueless The Left can be as he denigrates the memory of ex-NFL gridster Pat Tillman in his latest doodling here. F'shame.

A Word from A Hula Dancer ...

... re: a City Council recall effort:

I am putting the recall on the back burner for now. I have been told there is negotiation going on with the mayor and the Sanders Beach property owners. Not that I trust that process, but we will see. Looking forward to dancing down at Independance Point on Saturday to celebrate mother earth and all the beauty we are blessed with, wherever we are and whoever "owns" it.

Barbara Scarth

DFO: You go, girl. And thanks for the graceful hula before the City Council.

A Word from Herb Huseland ...

... re: Little People:

I grew up in a very Socialist family. There are a few slogans that turn me off. You used one. "The little People." The other two are "The working man," as if I don't work, just because I don't wear a tool belt, and the word "Progressive,"

which sounds high minded, but really means extreme liberal positions. My dislike for the little people, is I guess that it is insulting to those of us that aren't rich. To suggest that you and I, with our life experiences and principles, are little just because we are not wealthy is an insult to every thing I stand for.

Duane Hagadone may be rich in money, but he isn't my master, and certainly I don't feel inferior, just because he is measured by his balance sheet. I am a man, and as such am not little to any slogan slinger.

Herb Huseland
Bayview, ID

DFO: I agree that we shouldn't take the measure of a man by his possessions. I know far richer people in this community than Duane Hagadone who live paycheck to paycheck. Herb makes a good argument here. But I doubt that I'll remember next time I have the occasion to use "Little People."

A Word from Steve Badraun ...

...about the messy grounds and walkways of the old Harbor Center:

Sitting in the Coeur d Alene sunshine today visiting old friends...The city looks just stunning with all the trees in bloom. I am truly impressed with the city by the lake today. There is one place in town that is really ugly........the grounds and walkways at the old Harbor Center.

I cannot believe that the University of Idaho has let the outside of their buildings go to rack and ruin. Weeds and broken boards and generally unkempt and disgraceful. For a buck a year lease, you would think they could have someone keep up the place. I bet the University of Idaho grounds at Moscow don't look like this.....shame on them and shame on the city of Coeur d' Alene for allowing this to happen...


DFO: Steve, you and your riveting insights should get back here from the East Coast. Coeur d'Alene needs your fearless observations.

A Word from The Edge ...

... about that Iraqi prison scandal:


You have to wonder what the American's soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners were thinking when they decided to pose them for decidedly offensive and

homosexual photos. There's nothing like committing a war crime and then taking snapshots for the photo album.

Heads are going to roll over this one, perhaps literally as there are rumblings that the folks who did this could face the death penalty. The U.S. should act swiftly to send a severe message, or else the entire Middle East could blow up in our faces.

This doesn't help our position in the Iraq at all. Somewhere Saddam is laughing...

I believe the actions of a few numbskulls will result in the increasing gruesome deaths for Americans who are captured in the future. Arabs never forget.

The Edge

DFO: I doubt that the cuh-razies leading the insurgency can do anything worse than the murder and butchering of the four American contractors at Fallujah. However, whoever is responsible for the prisoner degradation should be horse-whipped for giving the world's American haters and media another hot topic to fret about for the next two weeks or so.

Lunch Special (5/3/04):

For the Lunch Special today, No Holds Barred is bringing back a not-so-golden oldie: the Selective Service draft. Remember Vietnam? If you weren't in college -- or you didn't have a big-shot Daddy -- you were summoned for a 12-month all-expenses paid tour of Southeast Asia rice paddies. Some got student deferments. Some got high lottery numbers. A few went to jail or Canada. But a whole bunch of 19-year-olds went to Vietnam to fight a war of attrition. Now, the Selective Service has proposed extending the draft ceiling from 25 to 34 and, for the first time, wants to draft women. Dunno how that P.C. nonsense is going to play in Congress. But I doubt it'll play well anywhere beyond the National Organization of Wimmen. You can find today's Lunch Special and associated links here.

Best of the Northwest (5/3/04):

I'm not much of a Bloomsday fan -- read, not at all -- but my sister Eileen Harrison of Kalispell, Mont., impressed me by running the 7-mile course Sunday. At age 58. She's a race-walker. But decided to kick it up a notch. So, this one's for Eileen: Saaaaalute. And that's all you're gonna hear from me re: Bloomsday. Let's get to your roundup:

1. David Horsey of the P-I is dead on the money with his view of springtime D.C. here. And Milt Priggee provides a bird's-eye view of what's happening in and around Fallujah here.

2. I actually did some writing as well as blogging last week. You can find today's Huckleberries column here and that column I wrote about my recent visit to the old Aryan nations compound here.

3. Tim Woodward of The Idaho Statesman tells of a heart-warming friendship between Brian Decker, 22, a tatooed Boise State footballer, and David Duff, a 70-year-old former minister, here.

4. Seattle area clergy debate the Bible's teachings on homosexuality as gay-marriage stays on the front burner here.

5. WSU free agents Isaac Brown and Sammy Moore found a welcome face in Marcus Trufant as they attended a three-day mini-camp with the Seattle Seahawks here.

6. David J. Thatcher, a retired U.S. Postal Employee, told the Missoulian about being part of Col. Jimmy Doolittle's daring raid on Tokyo 62 years ago here.

7. At Idaho Falls, a gay dad gets his day in court today in his fight to retain custody of his daughters. Click here.

8. OK, since they won, I'll treat you to the P-I's complete account of the M's series with Detroit, including a Notebook and a look at Triple-A Tacoma, too, here.

-Dan Popkey of The Idaho Statesman takes a look at that race to replace retiring Idaho state Sen. Sheila Sorenson here.

--According to the Idaho delegation, attorney Bill Myers deserves a thumbs up or down vote after his nomination to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here.

--Seattle Times letter writers take "Baghdad Jim" McDermott to task for omitting "under God" while leading a congressional Pledge of Allegiance here.

--Columnist Joel Connelly of the P-I writes that the old Vietnamese flag remains a unifying symbol to Washington's 60,000 Vietnamese Americans here.


Monday Quick Fix Six (5/3/04):

We experienced a be-you-tiful weekend in viewtiful Lake City. And it looks like the good weather is continuing today. Sometimes, I feel like Bill Murray's character in "Groundhog Day" on Monday -- you know, I feel like I've just done this. But that doesn't mean I can't do it better today. So, here's your Fixes:

1. Cartoonist Paul Nowak provides his view of the Left Wing Air America, which is going, going ... Here's your Monday morning Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Jay Leno was in good form Friday night with this quip re: Teresa Heinz Kerry: Teresa Heinz, the wife of Senator John Kerry, is on the cover of "Newsweek” magazine this week. In fact John Kerry said he first noticed her when she was on the cover of another magazine, "Fortune." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Iraqi polling numbers are all over the place. On one hand, 71 percent of Iraqis view Americans as occupiers. On the other hand, 61 percent say the suffering they've endured to remove So-Damn Insane was worth it, and 89 percent said Iraqis couldn't have removed So-Damn by themselves. Here's your morning Poll Fix.

4. Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard provides a closer look at Dubya's, ahem, smear machine and your Reality Check Fix.

5. Would you rather have a president guided by God or guided by his gonads? David Horowitz of FrontPageMag zeroes in on that PBS attack on Dubya's religion ("The Jesus Factor"). Here's your Left Wing Attack Fix.

6. Muslim extremists weren't content to kill 191 people in the train bomb blast and then a policeman who helped corner the Mad Bombers. They had to desecrate the policeman's grave, too. You want to know why we have to keep fighting and killing these crazies? Read the War on Terror Fix.

--National Review On Line contributor Jed Babbin opines on the New Yorker report by Seymour Hersh of Iraqi prisoners being abused here.

--William F. Buckley sez political correctness is hamstringing our war on terror here.

--John Fund of Wall Street Journal On Line sez Demos are experiencing buyer's remorse over J. Flipflop Kerry here.

--Armstrong Williams sez anchorman Ted Koppel made a farce of the war dead by reading their names on Nightline here.

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