MeAndG's blog

KTVB: McGee Pleads Guilty, Will Spend Three More Days in Jail

At least there was no coverup ...

KTVB is reporting that Senator John McGee will spend 3 more days in jail. The vehicle related charge was dropped as part of the plea. He has already paid restitution to the victims and written a letter of apology. In court, McGee said that he is truly sorry and takes full responsibility for his actions that evening.

McGee will probably move on from this.

God bless him.

State Senator John McGee arrested for Grand Theft, DUI

Crossposted on Daily Kos


Former Prosecutor John Bujak is not the only one making scandalous legal waves in Canyon County -- the kind you can't cover up.


ADA COUNTY -- According to the Ada County Sheriff's Department, Idaho State Senator John McGee was arrested and booked into the Ada County jail at 4:27 a.m. Sunday. McGee is charged with grand theft and driving under the influence.

Mcgee Mug Shot

According to Sgt. Carlos De Leon with the Ada County Sheriff, McGee began drinking at a Boise golf course at about 10 p.m. Saturday. McGee left the clubhouse just before 3 a.m. and came upon a Ford Excursion with the keys inside and a 20-foot travel trailer attached in the area near the Muir Woods Subdivision in southwest Boise. McGee drove off in the vehicle, which had the keys inside.

McGee tried to turn the vehicle and trailer around in a long driveway in the subdivision near Overland and Victory roads and Five Mile Road. The Excursion and travel trailer ended up jack-knifed in the driveway. Two kids in the home where McGee was attempting to turn the vehicle around watched him get out of the vehicle, walk up and down the street a few times, then get into the back of the Excursion and go to sleep.

Like most people who get DUIs, this probably isn't a first for such behavior. But Idaho's Republican Good Ol Boy network rubs elbows, giggles, and slaps each other on the back ...

They give a wink and problems go away.

But this adds insult to injury, McGee attempted to be a champion for legislation against dangerous drivers.

From the February 16, 2011 Idaho Press Tribune:

Caldwell Sen. John McGee says texting while driving is as dangerous as driving while drunk. ... He’s right.

Police officers can already charge someone with inattentive driving if they see erratic behavior on the road. But McGee has introduced a bill in the Legislature that would clarify to law enforcement that texting while driving simply is inattentive driving.

It might not seem like much of a difference, but McGee’s addendum would make it easier for police to write a ticket without having to wait until it’s too late. If the bill becomes law, an officer could write a ticket the minute he sees someone texting at the wheel. He wouldn’t have to wait until he sees the driver swerving all over the road.


Let's see if the Republican leadership can turn a blind eye to this one.

Full story:

Risch: "What is said in the press about Guantanamo is inaccurate and overblown"

Crossposted on Daily Kos

The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a detainment facility of the United States located within the United States' Guantanamo Bay Naval Base on the island of Cuba. The facility was established in 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold detainees from the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq. It is operated by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo of the United States government in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which is on the shore of Guantánamo Bay. The detainment areas consist of three camps: Camp Delta (which includes Camp Echo), Camp Iguana, and Camp X-Ray, the last of which has been closed. The facility is often referred to as Guantánamo, G-Bay or Gitmo, and has the military abbreviation GTMO.

U.S. Senator Jim Risch returned from touring Guantanamo Bay Monday evening, capping a full day of meetings and tours of the detention facilities located at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base on the island of Cuba.

According to Risch:

Since 2002, Guantanamo has held some of the most dangerous terrorists and combatants, and President Bush sought to try detainees through military tribunals.

As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Congress drafted the Military Commissions Act, which was signed into law in October 2006 and provided the legal authority for the United States to try detainees.  read more »

Luna fails to comply

... when his own tech task force facilitator says "turn off your technology;" according to a story today by Dan Popkey:

Facilitator Lauren Morando Rhim asked members of the Students Come First Technology Task Force to respect colleagues' time, attend regularly and arrive promptly to complete their duty to make recommendations to the Legislature by Jan. 31.  read more »

Redistricting has begun!

The Redistricting Commission voted to establish the following public hearing schedule around the state. Locations and further details will be posted as soon as they have been determined.


  • Hailey/Ketchum Public Hearing, June 30, 2011 (7-9 p.m.)
  • Twin Falls Public Hearing, June 29, 2011 (7-9 p.m.)
  • Burley Public Hearing, June 28, 2011 (7-9 p.m.)
  • Moscow Public Hearing, June 23, 2011 (2-4 p.m.)
  • Lewiston Public Hearing, June 23, 2011 (7-9 p.m.)
  • Sandpoint Public Hearing, June 22, 2011 (2-4 p.m.)
  • Coeur d'Alene Public Hearing, June 22, 2011 (7-9 p.m.)
  • Soda Springs Public Hearing, June 16, 2011 (7-9 p.m.)
  • Listen Live

  • Pocatello Public Hearing, June 15, 2011 (7-9 p.m.)
  • Listen Live

  • Idaho Falls Public Hearing, June 15, 2011 (2-4 p.m.)
  • Listen Live  read more »

    Face Geometry

    Crossposted on Daily Kos in the Readers and Book Lovers Group and Education Alternatives Group.

    God has given you one face, and you make yourself another. ~William Shakespeare

    Human faces are familiar to our visual systems.

    We easily recognize a person's face in arbitrary lighting conditions and in a variety of poses; detect small appearance changes; and notice subtle expression details. Can computer vision systems process face images as well as human vision systems can? Face image processing has potential applications in surveillance, image and video search, social networking and other domains.

    Face Geometry and Appearance Modeling: Concepts and Applications, by Zicheng Liu, Zhengyou Zhang provides a systematic description of modeling face geometry and appearance from images, including information on mathematical tools, physical concepts, image processing and computer vision techniques, and concrete prototype systems.

    The book is a reference for researchers and graduate students in computer vision, computer graphics and multimedia, as well as application developers who would like to gain a better understanding of the state of the art.

    The human face has fascinated people since time immemorial and many scientists would agree that, aside from the brain itself, the face is the most intriguing part of the human body. Attempting to emulate its form and function by computer is an extremely challenging problem because people are very sensitive to even the smallest shortcomings and defects in facial models. Liu and Zhang boldly tackle the difficult challenge of modeling the form and appearance of the face. The value of their book is enhanced tremendously by the fact that it not only presents and discusses their own work in detail, but also that delves into the technical details of a plethora of related methodologies and algorithms contributed by other researchers. - Demetri Terzopoulos, The Chancellor's Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles  read more »

    Scam Jam

    Crossposted on Daily Kos

    Written by Kathleen Tuck

    Boise State’s Center for the Study of Aging will co-sponsor Scam Jam, a free educational and entertaining forum where Idaho seniors will learn to avoid today’s scams and frauds, from identity theft to telemarketing and consumer frauds. The forum is June 17.

    As part of the Idaho Summit on Elder Abuse, the seminar is being offered by a coalition of organizations that will offer free expertise to empower Idaho seniors with education to keep them from becoming victims. The Center for the Study of Aging is a primary sponsor, along with the Idaho Department of Insurance and Idaho Commission on Aging.

    As our population ages, elder abuse and exploitation is on the rise across Idaho, said Sarah Toevs, director of the Center for the Study of Aging. “With the proliferation of technology comes increasing opportunities for con artists to try to take advantage of people through fraud and scams. The expertise gathered at this free forum will empower citizens to protect themselves and their families.

    Experts will provide information on recognizing and avoiding exploitation and the ruin it can wreak on consumers’ financial security.

    Topics addressed throughout the day include:

    Identity Theft
    International Lottery Scams/Nigerian Letter Scams
    Insurance Fraud: Medicaid, Medicare and Long-term Care
    How to Recognize a Scamster
    Medicare Fraud Fighters; Prescription Drug and Durable Medical Equipment Fraud
    Computer Scams: E-mail, Phishing, Spyware OH MY!
    Securities Fraud and the Investing Senior
    Front Door Savvy
    Mail, Telemarketing, and Laboratory Testing Scams
    Financial Exploitation: Prevention is Your Best Defense
    Healthcare Reform Act Changes  read more »

    Young People's Pavillion

    Crossposted on Daily Kos
    This is the introductory diary for my weekly series in the Daily Kos Readers and Book Lovers Group.

    Also republished by the Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter


    "If my kid can't read, you're not doing your job," a parent yelled at a teacher during a recent CNN Townhall meeting.

    Her thought has some truth to it. But of course, there is more to the issue.

    Why are parents so important in a child's schooling process? 25 years of teaching and providing staff development in urban areas and in rural areas with traditional low-income problems has allowed me to hear many concerns expressed by area teachers. Among them, there is talk of a critical need for more effective strategies to bring parents into the school environment in a positive, supportive way.

    Welcome to Young People's Pavillion. Issues like those above will be discussed here frequently. I review multicultural literature and suggest uses for classrooms and homes.

    I also look at academic texts on a variety of topics.

    For example, in Improving Parental Involvement, Garry Hornby describes how schools can achieve this aim, and how to increase standards of achievement. His book covers the field from nursery to secondary schools, and is aimed at teachers, governors, welfare workers, advisers and PTAs.

    Effective schools involve parents effectively.

    The importance of parental involvement is reinforced by the considerable amount of research evidence which is now available to support the contention that improving poarental involvement increases the effectiveness of education that the children receive.

    Teachers have mentioned to me, how parents from certain categories, including those
    of bilingual, international, and ESL children, often feel left out of the mix. A certain sense of alienation from the overall process needs to be overcome. Time and again I have sat with a teacher or administrator who has mentioned how hard it can be can be to convince some local residents that parental involvement in the school and classroom is important, possible, and essential.

    Our nation's rapidly changing ethnic diversity was highlighted in new figures recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Among other things, they show how the nation's Hispanic population grew by more than 15 million between 2000 and 2010, and accounted for more than half of the total U.S. population increase of 27.3 million.

    The following "journey" of a Salt Lake City teacher speaks volumes about what is happening to the population in the Pacific Northwest. With our nations's growth, and much more on the way, our community may experience many of the dynamics described below:  read more »

    Unite or Die

    Crossposted on Daily Kos for the Readers and Book Lovers Group


    An understanding of how our government was formed is essential to the civic education of every American child. But as teachers and parents, how do we engage kids’ interest in this important topic?

    Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation presents the drama of the Constitutional Convention in the form of a school play performed by exuberant young actors dressed as the thirteen original colonies.

    Colleagues have offered additional praise: the author has put together a story that embraces our multicultural population and demonstrates that our constitution is for "We the people!"

    Unite or Die Correct  read more »

    Flip Flopping

    "This isn’t the answer to the challenges we face in education today. The burden of proof should be on those who want to defend the status quo, not on those who want to change it."

    - Idaho Secretary of Education Tom Luna, from a prepared statement last month on the referendums, the Idaho Press Tribune reports.

    "Idaho and Utah tend to outperform most states that outspend them in education."

    - Luna spokeswoman Melissa McGrath, in a May 31 Betsy Russell story Idaho ranks low, falling for school spending.  read more »

    The Couch Potato Effect

    Crossposted on Daily Kos

    I am sitting in McDonalds as I write this. I just ate two oatmeals and had a milk. That is exactly what I intended to do.

    But I almost went for the sausage McMuffin ...

    You sit on the couch and watch people cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. You tune into “The Biggest Loser” and see contestants drop pounds. Your coworker lands a big job promotion.

    Does watching someone complete a goal motivate us to complete a similar goal? How do the goals of others impact our own efforts?  read more »

    Do Students Really Come First?

    Richard Larsen and Karen Silbernagel Danley Debate Luna's Education Plan

    Idaho State Journal Columist Richard Larsen states that the teacher's union and other opponents are loaded with misinformation.

    In his column Facts about students come first Larsen mentions how President Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has said: “Challenging the status quo will take courage. . It will take commitment. And it will take collaboration.”

    Larsen contends that Duncan "has laid out similar proposals (to Idaho's Republican-led plan) on a national level."

    "Students Come First does challenge the status quo in a way that benefits our students, despite what special interest groups may be telling you," Larsen says.

    ‎But others see it differently, such as the opinion in this column from the Idaho Statesman: "How Tom Luna’s co-workers from the Bush administration — and the private education companies they now help run — positioned Idaho’s schools chief to make changes that the for-profit education industry may cash in on."

    I asked Treasure Valley activist Karen Silbernagel Danley to respond, and Canyon County Democratic Volunteer Victoria Brown also added thoughts.  read more »

    Breitbart wins his first non African American scalp

    And now he can say:

    "See, I'm not a racist!"

    According to ABC News:

    Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York said today he has engaged in "several inappropriate" electronic relationships with six women over three years, and that he publicly lied about a photo of himself sent over Twitter to a college student in Seattle over a week ago.

    "I take full responsibility for my actions," Weiner said. "The picture was of me, and I sent it."

    The announcement came as ABC News prepared to release an interview with Meagan Broussard, a 26-year-old single mother from Texas who provided dozens of photos, emails, Facebook messages and cell phone call logs that she says chronicle a sexually-charged electronic relationship with Weiner that rapidly-evolved for more than a month, starting on April 20, 2011.  read more »

    A Multicultural Book Pavilion

    UPDATE: 6/5/2011 "Mutlicultural Book Pavillion" was a working title, subject to change. The Daily Kos editor suggested I title my series "Young People's Book Pavillion," to reflect my focus on children's and Young Adult Literature. My theme will still be multicultural education, and my welcome diary, explaining details, will appear on June 12.

    Please continue to feel free to suggest books of all types, since any text could potentially be discussed for young people in high school and early college years.

    Suggestions have already started coming in. Thanks! I look forward to learning more about the many Idaho authors in our midst, as well as others.


    A lot of my writing centers around ideas found in books. So my entries have regularly been reposted in forums including Readers and Book Lovers and Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter on Daily Kos.

    My recent entry on Poems Throughout the Schoolday made its way into Education Alternatives.  read more »

    Quote of the Day

    From the Facebook page of Rep. Brian Cronin:

    In response to Betsy Russell's story Idaho ranks low, falling for school spending

    Rep. Cronin said:

    Let's parse this statement from Luna's spokesperson: "Idaho and Utah tend to outperform most states that outspend them in education." Really? So we outperform most of the 49 states ahead of us in spending? So we're top ten in terms of student performance? But we still need Luna's radical overhaul of schools because outperforming everyone else isn't good enough? Anyone else having trouble following the logic?

    Gangs, Cops, Education and a Predatory Entity

    Crossposted on Daily Kos

    "You don't have to worry about nothin' out here."

    I have heard that phrase dozens of times from fellow transplants to my area, who came from big city areas.

    "Watch out if you are ever in Nampa or Caldwell."

    That warning also has been given to me dozens of times. It has always come from native Idahoans.

    If you’ve noticed a decline over the last few years in the number of stories in this newspaper about violent gang-related crimes, give yourself a gold star. The Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office confirms that the number of such crimes has been on the decline.

    reads today's editorial in the Idaho Press Tribune.

    Two different perceptions stringently persist, yet neither is entirely true.

    The area including Nampa and Caldwell Idaho, about 20 miles east of Boise, had gained a sort of stigma over time as a dangerous place that was infested with gangs, drugs, and drive-bys.

    Of course, those of us who live here know that perception was off base. Even when violent gang-related crimes made headlines on a regular basis, most of that was gang-on-gang activity. Other than property crimes such as graffiti, most gang-related crime — especially the violent kind — is gang-on-gang. And most of us have had no reason to fear going for a walk in our neighborhoods or worrying about our safety.

    But with the help of federal funding, local law enforcement put an added emphasis on gangs and street crimes. This focus netted indictments of more than 50 gang members this year alone — many of them the “top brass” in those gangs, according to Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor.

    Q. What kind of children get involved in gangs?
    A. The kind with nothing better to do.  read more »

    The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye: A Children's Book about Death

    Crossposted on Daily Kos

    Memorial Day makes me reflect on those we have lost, on the good they have achieved, and on concepts of healing and moving forward.

    I remember riding in the funeral limousine on the way to my father's burial. Among other things, my Dad served in Korea.

    My niece, who was about five years old at the time said:

    "Where are we going?"  read more »

    Sandpoint, ID High School Student: "Now I am less scared of black people"

    Crossposted on Daily Kos

    I really enjoyed this special from Idaho public television.

    Yeah, it was filled with disturbing stuff, but we knew that already.

    The joy came in the fact that these issues are being clearly discussed in an organized fashion that includes very recent and not-so-recent history. It is a counter to the multiple voices that keep telling me "I haven't witnessed any racism in my many years in Idaho."

    I also enjoyed seeing several friends in the video. Special thanks to Representative Cherie Buckner-Webb, Pocatello activist Idaho Purce, and College of Western Idaho Speech and Debate stalwart Jazz Alexis, all of whom appear in the broadcast.

    Watch the full episode. See more Idaho Public Television Specials.  read more »

    Is it just me ....

    or are things growing more colorful around here?

    Idaho Hispanic Population Grows by 73 Percent

    reports George Prentice in Boise Weekly.

    Idaho continues to reflect the nation's rapidly changing ethnic diversity.

    Idaho's Hispanic population reportedly jumped from 101,690 in 2000 to 175,901 in 2010, a full 73 percent increase. Idaho's overall population increased by 21.1 percent. The Magic Valley experienced the greatest Hispanic influx, while Clark, Owyhee and Power counties also saw increases.


    Calling all Democrats!

    Crossposted on Daily Kos

    The Idaho Democratic party needs your input!

    Would you please take our 2011 Spring Survey? Your input is vital in shaping plans for the 2012 election cycle.

    The 2010 election was defined by a Republican wave that swept across the nation,
    overcoming the hard work so many of us invested in Democratic campaigns last year.  read more »

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