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

Dean/Nader debate replay on C-SPAN.org

If you weren't able to watch yesterday's NPR-sponsored debate between Howard Dean and Ralph Nader, you can download a RealPlayer recording of it at C-SPAN.org.

I haven't been able to watch it yet, but from the comments I read yesterday at DailyKos, Dean did a great job. Check it out for yourself.

43rd State Blues, a Beacon of Light for the rest of the United States.

I just read an article that the National Guard has conveniently lost Bush’s records of his three months of non active duty, otherwise known as AWOL. They state that not only were his records destroyed, but others as well. Just amazing! Notice how none of this was brought up when he released all of his National Guard records.

Which brings me to the point of hey, this is just the way Idaho government works. If we do not like something let’s just do our backdoor politics and get what we want. Manipulate, deceive and intimidate seems to be the way of legislation in Idaho. This is the norm for a Republican-run government.  read more »

Bechtel BWXT right-wingers at INEEL abuse use of e-mail, attack Kerry


Yesterday's Idaho State Journal has a story about Bechtel
BWXT
employees at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental
Laboratory
using email to send hateful and inaccurate information about
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. 43rd State Blues
has obtained a copy of the email, and we'll show it to you below. First, here's
a link to the newspaper article at journalnet.com:

Hatch Act infraction at INEEL investigated

By Holden Parrish

Assistant City Editor

ARCO - A possible Hatch Act infraction at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory has been investigated and dismissed. However, action was taken to address the matter in hopes of avoiding repeat occurrences, a site spokesman said Wednesday.

The complaint centered around a series of forwarded e-mail messages that appear to have originated at the federally funded facility. The messages contain a series of testimonials attributed to U.S. military veterans who served in Vietnam alongside or during the same time as Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

The comments were generally not favorable to Kerry. Also, another INEEL staffer who received the e-mail forwarded it to other site employees with the appended remark, "Let's get this out to as many people as we can. This commie, pinko, traitor."

For information on the Hatch Act, click here. Or do a search of the Hatch Act
on Google News -- you'll be surprised how often it has to be enforced.

This type of complaint is supposed to go before the Merit Systems Protection Board, though I doubt this one did. Bechtel BWXT oversees the INEEL because the United States Government pays them, with money from our taxes, to do so. To say they've "dismissed" any notion that their employees' action may be in violation of the Hatch Act sounds like an excuse to sweep the problem under the rug and make it go away.

But maybe we're making too much of this. After all, it was probably just a couple of Bechtel BWXT employees exchanging email, right?

Actually, it was 19 employees, from what we can tell, plus other non-employees
who were sent this through the INEEL's government mail servers to the "Friends
and Family@INEL.inel.gov...
" The email, which appears to have originally
be sent by Bechtel BWXT employee Burl Summers, was then forwarded by two other
employees, Leslie Chapman and Donna Andrews, who sent it on to others. I've
X'ed out phone numbers and parts of their email addresses.

----- Original Message -----
From: DKA@xxxxxxxx.xxx
To: Friends_and_Family@INEL.inel.gov
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 9:23 AM
Subject: Kerry  read more »

Eastasia plans attacks on Eurasia - Ridge announces terror threat (conveniently knocking Kerry/Edwards off the front page?)

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,125072,00.html

"It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same—everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same—people who had never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world." ~ Orwell

but on the lighter side...  read more »

Kenny Boy just got Layed

Finally after waiting two plus years, it looks like justice for all those folks who lost billions of dollars. From what I have read this morning, Kenny will face an indictment that contains 11 criminal counts, including securities fraud, wire fraud and making false and misleading statements.

This will be another embarrassment to Bush and his cronies. When President Bush was questioned on Kenny Boy’s indictments he would not answer any and walked away. This is the true face of the Bush administration.

Kenny was the biggest contributor to Bush throughout his campaigns. Kenny was on the Cheney Energy Commission that the Supreme Court protected. Kenny also bankrupted a lot of folks, misusing their retirement funds and investments. California will not be far behind in going after this lowlife, after he threw the state into financial chaos with his fake energy crisis.

For the satisfaction of all those taken to the cleaners by Kenny, his new name could be Bubba if the courts don’t mess this one up. Don’t be surprised if, as Bush is on his way out, he grants ol' Kenny-Boy a presidential pardon. Not out of friendship, but to cover his own butt.

Dean wobbled, but he won't fall down

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

— Obi-Wan Kenobi

Memories of a Dean Administration

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

By Meryl Gordon

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

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

The Cheney-Edwards Debate

I have my take on the vice-presidential debates:

Moderator: Welcome, Vice President Cheney, Senator Edwards.

Edwards: Thank you.

Cheney: F*&k you!

Moderator: First question, your take on the economy.

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

Cheney: F*&k the middle class.

Moderator: Your opinion of your opponent?

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

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

You're getting the picture...

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

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

Free Ride

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

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

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

...  read more »

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donkey Power!


Grass Roots Support...=)

Kerry - Edwards in 2004 and 2008

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

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

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

Kerry-Edwards '04

I can live with that.

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

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

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

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

If only the GOoPers really had Common Sense...

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

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

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

Light up the sky

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

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

Democrats on Parade

A few photos from today's parade in Pocatello.

Color Guard
Color Guard

Supporters for Lin Whitworth for Congress  read more »

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

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

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

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

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

It's turning blue!

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

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

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

Bias in the Press? =)

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

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

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

Working with the MMOB

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

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

Now here's a draft I can support

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

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

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