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

Winter Carnival in a Western Town: Identity, Change and the Good of the Community

Crossposted on Daily Kos

Held annually, the McCall, Idaho, winter carnival has become a modern tradition. A festival and celebration, it is also a source of community income and opportunity for shared community effort; a chance to display the town attractively to outsiders and to define and assert McCall's identity; and consequently, a source of disagreement among citizens over what their community is, how it should be presented, and what the carnival means.

Though rooted in the broad traditions of community festival, annual civic events, often sponsored by chambers of commerce, such as that in McCall, are as much expressions of popular culture and local commerce as of older traditions. Yet they become dynamic, newer community traditions, with artistic, informal, and social meanings and practices that make them forms of folklore as well as commoditized culture.

Winter Carnival in a Western Town: Identity, Change and the Good of the Community (Ritual, Festival, and Celebration), is the first volume in a Utah State University Press series that began in 2011, titled Ritual, Festival, and Celebration.

Author Lisa Gabbert, an associate professor of English at Utah State, is a specialist in Folklore Studies. Her research includes study on landscape and place, festivals and play, and medical folklore.

Cookie traditions? Family reunions? Snipe hunting? Jell-O recipes in Utah? These are just a few of the topics that Gabbert's undergraduates research for projects in her Introduction to Folklore class. They cover:

an amazing variety of offbeat subjects. These topics may seem superficially unimportant to many scholars in other fields, and they usually are overlooked in the serious halls of academe (although undergraduate research in folklore often finds its way into professional books and publications as scholars use materials deposited in folklore archives, a recent example of which is Elizabeth Tucker’s 2007 book Haunted Halls). In fact, undergraduates’ folklore research projects document everyday practices that are the staff of local community life. These projects offer insider interpretations of local traditions, providing insight into the cultural dynamics of arenas such as family organization and the teen cultures of high school and early college. These arenas can be difficult for outsiders to study since the nature of such materials is ephemeral and rarely recorded. For these and other reasons, undergraduate research in folklore contributes to knowledge of contemporary social and cultural life.

Gabbert's students are required to go out into the community to document folklore using anthropological fieldwork techniques, and they analyze their findings in the written portion of the project.

Lisa Gabbert

Her book serves as a classic and user-friendly sample of a research product, for her students as well as anyone who interested in folklore. James P. Leary, editor of Journal of American Folklore called Winter Carnival a first rate ethnographic study:

Whereas other folklorists have scrutinized festival in relation to cultural and social systems, Lisa Gabbert offers the first fully developed study of festival in relation to work and place. Her contribution is distinguished by its engagement with environment, the industrialized backwoods, winter, and tourism in the American West.

"Without recourse to jargon, and always at a comfortable pace, the author takes us into the heart of McCall's winter festival yet always returns to key questions: how does community take shape or fragment around festive activity?" writes John H. McDowell, author of Poetry and Violence: The Ballad of Mexico's Costa Chica. "How does festival respond to changing social environments?"

"In sum, undergraduates’ folklore research benefits both students and the discipline," Gabbert writes. "Students learn about and come to more deeply appreciate community traditions; they acquire basic ethnographic skills; and they learn critical thinking by analyzing materials they have collected while they are writing up their research. In turn, folklore studies benefits from these student projects by having an ever-expanding and constantly updated archive materials upon which to base future study."

There is tremendous value in helping students see the relevance of folklore to their every day lives. I highly recommend this work for its wonderful blend of writing, theory, teaching, and practice.

Boise State Bronco Win Over Creighton: Biggest Win in History of Basketball Program

Crossposted on Daily Kos

"Boise State basketball coach Leon Rice and his players knew enough to get out of Derrick Marks' way. The sophomore guard did the rest," according to the Idaho Statesman. Marks scored a career-high 35 points, leading Boise State to a stunning 83-70 upset No. 11 Creighton, on Nov. 28. This result is the greatest victory the team has ever scored. Just take a look at these facts:

Marks hit 18-straight in the second half, 28 of his overall points in the second half before 16,364 shocked fans at CenturyLink Center Omaha. The Broncos, who played No. 13 Michigan State within four points on the road a week earlier, beat a ranked opponent for the first time in four seasons; and on the road for the first time since March 2005.

Creighton came in with all six of its wins by double figures, and the Bluejays were impressive in weekend wins over Wisconsin and Arizona State in Las Vegas. Creighton hadn't lost a regular-season November home game since 1989, a span of 42 games.

The Bluejays are the highest-ranked team Boise State has ever beaten. Prior to this game the best victory was over a No. 15 Washington team in 1998. Boise State was 1-18 against ranked teams on the road entering the game. The lone win was against Nevada in March 2005. It was Boise State's first win over a ranked opponent since they beat Utah State in February 2009. The Broncos were 5-34 all-time against ranked teams.

"The players and coaches did a great job of figuring out that Derrick was the hot hand. We kept running different plays for him to get the ball in his wheelhouse," Rice said. "And credit Derrick, he made some tough shots." Boise State shot the lights out in the first half, making seven straight three-pointers after an initial miss and would lead by as much as 39-28 with 3:10 remaining before the break.

Boise State led 39-33 after shooting 64 percent from the field in the first half. The Broncos made seven straight 3-pointers and were 9-of-13 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.

Marks 35 points are tied for 10th-most by a Bronco in a game in school history. Rice showed his team the film from the end of the close loss to Michigan State, before the Creighton game. "I was just in the zone," Marks told the Idaho Statesman. "I just felt like I had to do that so we could win the game. We reviewed the mistakes we made. I knew we'd have to deal with that again," he said. Boise State did not trail after the first minute.

At one point late in the second half, Boise State "came apart and they answered a little bit. But we put ourselves back together. It's something we didn't do against Michigan State," Rice said. "I'm proud of how they finished."

"We just had no answer for them on the defensive end of the floor. I thought they outhustled us, I thought they communicated better than we did," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "If you're watching that game tonight, it was obvious who the better team was tonight, and it wasn't us."

Marks' 35 points were 10th-most in school history and 11 more than his previous best. Boise State's nine three-pointers at halftime were the most by a Bluejay opponent in a first half in at least 10 years. Boise State outrebounded Creighton 31-19.

Nonetheless, with all the honor and glory that comes with this accomplishment, Rice kept things in perspective. "It's a great win for our program," he said. "But we don't want to be defined by one win in November."

Buht it'z in da Constahtooshun...

If Idaho State Sen. Sheryl Bangs Nutball were to breed with Sen. Chuckles Winder, can you imagine the children they'd spawn? Maybe they could open an End of Days daycare.

Gonna be a long Legislative session next year...

Post-Election Analysis of SOME WICKED ASS KICKING YEAH!

I've had literally tens of my Idaho friends and fans ask me about the recent presidential election, knowing full well I am always a balanced and fair interpreter and some might even say bellwether-man of the winds of ideological change.

So, first let me say to the devoted and focused supporters of Willard "Mitt" Romney - NEENER NEENER FUCK NEENER! Idiots



You actually thought this insectile cyborg-hate machine would win? Seriously? Look at those red/blue maps of the USA. Population Density, IQ, Racial/Ethnic Diversity, Nice places to eat out, Museums, Symphonies, etc etc

The Great White Shark of Dominant Culture America is beached and twitching in the multi-hued sand of this ass kicking nation.

The GOP pushing itself even FARTHER to the right is so brilliant. Wow. Stay hitched to Karl Rove's obvious superior political strategerianesque brilliance. So smart. So unstoppable. More Jesus. More Vagina Management by Caucasian Middle Aged Men. More safety net slashing. So scary! Can't wait for the midterms.

Oh yeah, the etch-a-sketch positioning was SO COOL. And brave!

Stay anachronistic. Stay angry. Stay anhedoniac

So here we go, here we go. Socialism! Islamic Indoctrination Centers in every major US city. Death panels. Destruction of small businesses. Chinese overlords. I can't wait! love love love to watch this nation be destroyed by DEVILCRATS and NOBAMA. Because, that's why we voted for him!

Smoking pot and marrying your drinking buddy is NOW LEGAL IN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIK OF WASHINGTON! Here weeee go!

Really though, I think we'll be ok. Except for those teabaggers in their sad, droopy tricorns and their muskets either empty or fulla teardrop soaked gunpowder. Sorry, y'all. Guess you've been fucked right out of relevance by normal America. BUMMER.

So the Hippie Days of Halcyon America are here again and I, for one, am dancing with the devil and pleased as punch.

Garfield Elementary Teachers Will Not Receive a Performance Bonus

... nor will the teachers at Frank Church High School, Boise's alternative school.

"Virtually everyone agrees that designing and monitoring a Merit Pay program would be a bureaucratic nightmare of almost epic proportions," writes Beth Lewis.

Lewis continues:

Success is difficult, if not impossible, to define and measure. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has already proven how the various unleveled playing fields in the American education system inherently set up a wide variety of standards and expectations. Consider the diverse needs of English Language Learners, Special Education Students, and low income neighborhoods, and you’ll see why it would be opening a messy can of worms to define standards of success for American schools when the stakes are cash in the pockets of real teachers.

In Idaho, the nightmare has become a reality. According to Betsy Russell:

Idaho state schools Superintendent Tom Luna has announced that under the now-repealed “Students Come First” laws, teachers in 499 schools across the state will receive bonuses for their work last school year, while those in 155 schools will not. Data for 12 schools still is in the works. The bonuses are going out on the basis of student achievement by school, measured partly by test scores. In the Boise School District, for example, teachers at North Junior High will get $234,955 in bonuses, while teachers at South Junior High will get nothing. Teachers at Highlands Elementary School will split $78,000 in bonuses, while those at Garfield, Whitney and Hawthorne elementaries will get nothing. Every high school in the district qualified for bonuses for its teachers, except for Frank Church High School, the district's alternative school.

JamesGatz offered an interesting response:

Garfield Elementary School received nothing. Garfield Elementary, a Title 1 school serving poor students, immigrant students, students who speak English as a second language, homeless students, and in general a lot of students who just have tough row to hoe in their young lives received absolutely NOTHING under Luna’s so-called pay for performance scheme. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Bupkis. Nada.

Garfield School received nothing In spite of being one of nine schools to be singled out to receive a Distinguished Schools Award for 2012. One of nine out of all Idaho schools.

Here’s the Boise School District press release about the achievement of Garfield School:

Boise, ID — 10/25/2012 — Boise School District’s Garfield Elementary School is one of only nine schools in the entire State of Idaho to earn the Distinguished Schools Award for 2012. During an awards ceremony held on Thursday, October 25, 2012, Mike Rush, Executive Director of the Idaho State Board of Education, presented Garfield Principal Debbie Donovan and District Superintendent Dr. Don Coberly with the award for 2012.

“We are honored to have received this award,” said Donovan. “It symbolizes the hard work of our staff, students and parents to create a positive and effective learning environment for students here at Garfield.”

The award is given by the State Board to schools in Idaho that meet the following criteria:  read more »

Tweet with (not-so) Veiled Obama Threat Removed

UPDATED 11/13/12:

This diary was published last week under the title:

Should the Secret Service Investigate this Tweet?

While @LauraFlyMe's Twitter account is still active, the link to a tweet that read like a threat to Obama now shows "This Twitter Page does not exist."

This development adds new light to the dialogue below.

What do you think happened?


Crossposted on Daily Kos

UPDATED 11:33 a.m. MST

The watchful eye of Sisyphus has uncovered this lunacy.

This tweet has been up many hours:

If you scroll her page you will notice that a few people have already used the @ command to forward the tweet to the official Secret Service Twitter page:

And here is a similar response:

Others took a more academic approach, saying things like:

"Thanks for making us Christians look bad."

Her message crosses the line. And is @LauraFlyMe involved in the airline industry? Maybe. A quick read of the site shows it to be either a fake or a generic profile. As tytalus points out in the comments under the Daily Kos post:

"That background looks old. seems to be an old advertising campaign from National Airlines dating back to the 1970s."

The page is also filled with other extremist rants.

What do you think the consequences should be?

Here is the screenshot:  read more »

Pundits: GOP must move to the center. Krugman: Obama shouldn't budge.

Tom Cohen at CNN:

Listening to Republicans try to explain what went wrong in
their worse-than-expected election thumping reveals a party struggling
to define itself amid continuing change in the nation it seeks to lead.

"We have to allow for a period when it's going to be messy and in which
there's going to be an attempt for the Republican Party to find it's
soul," noted Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow in economic studies at the
Brookings Institution. "It's a divided party, it seems to me right now."
The well-known division pits a loud and powerful conservative base,
fueled in the past three years by the tea party movement, against a
once-prevalent moderate faction now relegated to wing status.

The Bloomberg editorial board:

Republicans have two options. They can join the White House
in shaping immigration reform, all the while knowing that the president
will get the lion’s share of credit. This is politically unappealing in
the short term, which is certainly one reason Republicans have resisted
it. However, the alternative promises even more dispiriting political

If Republicans again oppose immigration reform, they risk cementing
their reputation as obstructionists and, in the process, tightening the
Democrats’ hold on a large and rapidly growing constituency. This is
tantamount to political surrender, if not suicide. It would be a
terrible outcome for the country and a self-inflicted wound that could
hobble national Republican campaigns for years to come.

Michael Gerson at The Washington Post:

The 2012 election was a substantial victory not only for
President Obama but also for liberalism. Obama built his campaign on
abortion rights and higher taxes for the wealthy. He was rewarded by an
electorate that was younger, more pro-choice and more racially diverse
than in 2008. The Obama coalition is not a fluke; it is a force.
Some conservatives have reacted in the tradition of Cicero: “Oh, the
times! Oh, the customs!”Rush Limbaugh concluded, “We’ve lost the
country,” which he described as a “country of children.” “There is no
hope,” Ann Coulter said. And Bill O’Reilly: “It’s not a traditional
America anymore.”

As a matter of strategy, it is generally not a good idea to express disdain for an electorate one hopes to eventually influence.  read more »

Obama Tearfully Thanks Volunteers.

And I couldn't say it better.

Idaho Democrats Play Key Roles in Obama Victory

Nobody in Idaho suffered any delusion to whom the state's four electoral votes were going, but few are aware that two of Idaho's prodigal sons were influential in achieving victory for Obama.

Jim Messina, who grew up in Boise and graduated from Boise High School led Obama’s reelection campaign that observers said used a mix of behavioral science and technology to identify and get out to vote a new crop of voters to the coalition. He has now kept his election victory record intact since he ran a campaign for former Missoula Mayor Dan Kemmis in 1993. The sky seems to be the limit for his future.

Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff Bruce Reed grew up in Coeur D’ Alene, the son of environmental attorney Scott Reed and former Democratic Senator Mary Lou Reed. He was credited by former President Bill Clinton as co-author of his powerful convention speech that energized Democratic activists.

Jim Messina's star couldn't be higher right now given this quote from last week: "We have the math. They have the myth." And to underscore the ludicrous nature of Obama's liberal/socialist tag of which the right wing media is so fond, Messina was formerly the chief of staff to blue dog Senator Baucus of Montana. Even with these conservative credentials, Messina's fact based pragmatism who helped shepherd Obamacare through his senate committee and eventually the full congress before Obama brought him on board in the White House. I cannot think of anyone who has been a more influential force in this administration and thus the country in the last four years.

Bruce Reed formerly headed what's left of the DLC, a centrist Democratic organization, before being asked to be Vice President Biden's Chief of Staff. His efforts at assembling persuasive facts for Clinton's convention speech earned Clinton the internet title of "Secretary of Explaining Shit", a sanitized version of which later became his preferred title by the Obama campaign in later speeches. If Republicans can't find common ground with these two Idahoans, then it's the Republican party playing politics. Or they have become so ideologically extreme in their epistemic bubble, they can't be reasoned with.  read more »

And Indeed He Was

This guy opted for some last minute electioneering in front of the Idaho Statehouse on election day. A facebook capture shows him walking away from Mitt Romney's Idaho co-chairs, Governor Butch Otter and Senator Jim Risch (I can't confirm if that's the angry little gnome but it looks like his bald spot). I chatted with the man as I asked for his picture. He stated he wanted to exercise his civil rights before they disappeared. He was still shaking from a confrontation with the Idaho State Police just twenty minutes before who threatened him with a felony. They strongly encouraged him to leave the area, the most visible and politically, if not socially, appropriate one in the state. I shared with him my concerns regarding the backfiring of his methods of political persuasion but have no doubt that the first amendment protected him where he was. Despite the police confrontation, he laughed getting flipped off by nearly every grey haired white guy who drove by.

“Was last week a head fake, or were they just not that smart?”

*UPDATED 11/8/2012*

Republicans believed their own spin

Mitt Romney will win. The tie in the polls goes to the challenger. Here’s why:

Enthusiasm. It matters enormously, and it’s disproportionately on the Republican side, in good measure because of an intense desire to defeat President Obama. True, enthusiasm doesn’t guarantee an edge in turnout, but it’s certainly a key indicator. “In these final days, turnout is driven by intensity,” says Republican pollster Ed Goeas. The nearly half the electorate that strongly disapproves of Obama’s performance in office “will need little else other than the opportunity to vote against President Obama to motivate them to go to their polling place.” Goeas conducts the bipartisan Battleground Poll along with Democrat Celinda Lake.

In 2008, self-identified Democrats led Republicans in turnout by seven percentage points. Gallup’s projection is that Republicans will have a 49-46 percent edge this year. “The political environment and the composition of the likely electorate strongly favor Governor Romney,” Goeas says. The Battleground Poll’s “vote election model” projects Romney with 51 percent.

The words above are from a Weekly Standard article written the day before the election.

And get a load of this bold prediction:

Uh! OK Steve.

But reality settled in: Before Republicans went looking for answers Tuesday night, some of them went looking for the remote, according to CNN in a story called Analysis: Why Romney lost.

When it became clear about midnight that President Barack Obama was safely on the way to re-election, a handful of cranky and inebriated Republican donors wandered about Romney's election night headquarters, angrily demanding that the giant television screens inside the ballroom be switched from CNN to Fox News, where Republican strategist Karl Rove was making frantic, face-saving pronouncements about how Ohio was not yet lost.

Romney's 'all' proved not enough

Rove was wrong, of course.

Congratulations to President Barack Obama, the first Democratic president since FDR to win more than 50% of the popular vote in two elections.

The election finally "was a great night for pollsters, too! Well, maybe not so much for Jonathan Paleologos," wrote blogger deminva.

On October 10, 2012, Paleologos told Fox’s "The O’Reilly Factor.

“I think in places like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, we’ve already painted those red, we’re not polling any of those states again,” " “We’re focusing on the remaining states.”

deminva snarked:

"Jonathan Paleologos, the political scientist with his finger on the pulse of his own state, Virginia."

Story: Pollster pulls out of Fla., NC and Va., says Obama can’t win there


According to the Washington Examiner, what was striking after Fox News called the race for Obama, at about 11:15 p.m., was how stunned so many of Romney’s supporters were. Many said they were influenced by the prominent conservatives who predicted a big Romney win, and they fully expected Tuesday night to be a victory celebration.

“I am shocked, I am blown away,” said Joe Sweeney, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “I thought I had a pretty good pulse on this stuff. I thought there was a trend that was going on underground.”

“We were so convinced that the people of this country had more common sense than that,” said Nan Strauch, of Hilton Head, South Carolina. “It was just a very big surprise. We felt so confident.”

“It makes me wonder who my fellow citizens are,” said Marianne Doherty of Boston. “I’ve got to be honest, I feel like I’ve lost touch with what the identity of America is right now. I really do.”


In response to the wide reaching enthusiasm of Romneyites, one source questioned:

“Was last week a head fake, or were they just not that smart?”

Congressman Labrador's Twitter Page Gets Naughty ... AGAIN!

Crossposted on Daily Kos

"I think all of America can get behind (in front of?) this sort of bi-partisan advocacy." - Alexandra Grande (Facebook comment)


Looking for a wild time?

Well just be sure to regularly check the Facebook page of Congressman Raul Labrador.

First, we had Labrador Retweets Endorsement from Fictional 1960s TV Character, prompting Huckleberries Online to ask:

Which fictional TV character would you want to be endorsed by?

DFO wrote:

The Twitterverse and liberal The Daily Kos are having fun with a R/T by Congressman Raul Labrador's crew — of Dr. Alfred Bellows' endorsement: “I'm supporting @Labrador4Idaho, and you should too. The man has delivered on his campaign promise of fiscal responsibility.” If that name sounds familiar, you're probably a fan of the old TV show: “I Dream of Jeanie.” Dr. Alfred Bellows was the psychiatrist in the 1960s comedy. Tweeter Sharon Fisher may have been the first person to spot the R/T — and hilarity that went with it.

And this in today From Tony Shallat:

At about 11:30 MST:

If you want a quick laugh today go to

Look at what tweet he favorited. Yes this is real.

Then an hour later:

Well Labrador fixed his twitter account....but I have a screenshot....can't escape naughty behavior in the iPhone generation:

"I didn't realize he was such a health fanatic." - Ben Wilson (on Facebook)

Vote No on Hunting/Fishing Amendment to Save Hunting and Fishing

Growing up in Idaho, parents engendered a love for the outdoors often through sharing productive past times of hunting and fishing. If parents didn't, exposure came through friends, other relatives or simple proximity to the outdoors. Many received hunter safety classes in seventh grade and a hunting trip with dad might be an excuse to miss a day of school. Pickup trucks with gun racks were for the rifle and/or a fishing rod, in case you crossed a stream around sundown with a cloud of caddis descending on the water's surface dimpled with fish rising. The walls of many an Idaho household are adorned with photos of a mess of fish or a prized buck, if not the animals themselves.

So I view with no small amount of amused perplexity anyone who would politically posture constitutional protection for activities under zero threat of majority vote restricting them. As usual when the skeptical hackles rise, the devil is in the details. The text of the amendment will likely be dismissed by the ordinary Idaho voter in favor of its statement of purpose, to protect hunting, fishing and trapping. However, the proposed amendment may actually harm the ability for successful hunts, would protect some inhumane methods of take, and actually takes aim at killing fish, not protecting them.  read more »

Canyon County Democrat Travis Manning Endorsed by Idaho Press Tribune and Idaho Statesman

Crossposted on Daily Kos

Canyon County has not sent a Democrat to the capitol since the early 1980s when Terry Reilly unseated a Nampa Republican.

Times have changed.

And one overriding and particularly heated issue through this entire election season has been the education reform referendums. See Audios: Did Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction Grab and Curse Out A Legislator? Idahoans will vote to keep or trash Propositions 1, 2, and 3. These laws, ironically called "Students Come First," would reduce the number of classroom teachers in favor of technology purchased under questionable circumstances. They also virtually eliminate collective bargaining.

Travis Manning is currently an English teacher at Vallivue High School where he has taught for seven years. He is Executive Director of the Common Sense Democracy Foundation of Idaho, an Idaho grassroots think tank formed in June 2011 in response to radical education reform measures in Idaho. He is a member of the Idaho Council of Teachers of English and active participant with the Boise State Writing Project. Travis is active in his local teacher’s association where he has led and been engaged in numerous committees. He supports all of his fellow teachers and all of the hard work they do. In 2011 he spoke out at the Idaho House and Senate Education Committee hearings in support of Idaho public schools, and has since published a number of editorials across the great state of Idaho supporting the voices of all Idaho citizens in the legislative process. He supports the needs of all learners in public schools and works hard in his teaching to reach out to help struggling students. He is an advocate for parents and teachers, believing they are critical stakeholders in the success of Idaho’s children.

Here is an excerpt from the Manning endorsement in the Idaho Press Tribune:

Republican Brandon Hixon has been a good party worker, even leading the charge for the county GOP caucus.

But in a period where elected officials have disgraced the Grand Old Party — particularly in Caldwell where then-Sen. John McGee twice brought shame to the Legislature, and a long and expensive legal battle (on the taxpayers’ dime) involving former Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak, voters may be more inclined to vote for candidates with untarnished records.

When answering this pre-election question: What standard should elected officials be held to, Hixon said this: “Much higher standard than average, with the understanding that even elected officials are imperfect humans.” ... Many people have a few mistakes that could haunt them if running for office, but only one candidate – 31-year-old Brandon Hixon – has five misdemeanors, 15 infractions and three civil actions for financial failings. Hixon says his court history is not a reflection of what will happen in the future. But let’s face it, his standard of expectations is low. That’s not the way to start a political career.

I wrote more about this troubled young man here: Candidate Brandon Hixon: The Newest Face of Canyon County Republican Corruption.

From the Idaho Statesman:

Manning was drawn into this race because of Students Come First; he is a teacher opposed to the laws. But Manning, a Democrat, isn’t a one-issue candidate, and we were struck by one difference between Manning and Republican Brandon Hixon.

Where Hixon downplayed ethics issues, saying most of the complaints are coming from Democrats, Manning says the issue resonates with Canyon County constituents who have followed the McGee case and the saga of former prosecutor John Bujak. In this open race, Manning offers a stronger command of the issues, and gets our endorsement.

All the pundits now agree. Travis Manning is the right choice on November 6.
 read more »

It's the Deception, Stupid

We are the recipients of an email which attaches an Americans for Prosperity flyer, Serephin posted below, soliciting students of Madison and Rigby High Schools to man a Melaleuca call center in order to campaign against Obama in swing states prior to election day. The email is from concerned parents of a Madison High School student who confirmed the flyer is being distributed to school students as well as being discussed in school. The parents expressed concern that the flyer is deceptive in advancing Americans for Prosperity as a "non-partisan" group. Indeed their student indicates that "kids have been instructed to say it doesn't matter what your politics are--come join the non-partisan fun of making phone calls." The flyer promotes a contest between two high schools in closest proximity to the Melaleuca Call Center where the electioneering is to be conducted.

Superficially the flyer encourages students into political activity which many would agree is laudable. A cause for skepticism regarding the parent's complaints is that we are deep in the election silly season where passions run high and often trump better judgement and rational thought. As a result many tend to view campaigning complaints more cynically than at other times of the year. So what is it about this right wing solicitation effort to Idaho high school students which causes concerned parents to react as if a laws were broken? The answer lies in Americans for Prosperity utilizing deception and money to entice children to do their bidding. Worse, ASP asks those children to also participate in further deception.  read more »

Koch Bros. funded Americans for Prosperity recruiting Idaho high schoolers to badmouth President Obama

UPDATE 10/25/2012: Sisyphus has a post up above, "It's the Deception, Stupid" that rips into the scheme by Americans for Prosperity as the push poll it really is. You definitely want to check it out.

Americans for Prosperity (a Koch brothers-spawned political outfit) appear to be working with Mitt Romney national finance co-chair Frank VanderSloot's company Melaleuca to recruit Idaho high-school kids in Jefferson and Madison counties to make anti-Obama calls in return for cash. The kids are handing the fliers out to their fellow students at the schools (but who exactly is providing them to the kids in the first place?).

Oh, and if you believe Americans for Prosperity is non-partisan, I have a 50-story office building in Bone, Idaho I'd like to sell you -- cheap!

Labrador Retweets Endorsement from Fictional 1960s TV Character

Update 10:20p.m. MST

As of this post, you can still go to Raul Labrador's Twitter page and see his wonderful endorsement. It has been on there (and all over the web) for more than 10 hours.

I know that Raul was busy debating Jimmy Farris tonight.

I wonder when he will realize this.

Or maybe Raul is just proud of the vote of confidence!

UPDATE 4:33 p.m. MST

Huckleberries Online picked this one up:

The Twitterverse and liberal The Daily Kos are having fun with a R/T by Congressman Raul Labrador's crew — of Dr. Alfred Bellows' endorsement: “I'm supporting @Labrador4Idaho, and you should too. The man has delivered on his campaign promise of fiscal responsibility.” If that name sounds familiar, you're probably a fan of the old TV show: “I Dream of Jeanie.” Dr. Alfred Bellows was the psychiatrist in the 1960s comedy. Tweeter Sharon Fisher may have been the first person to spot the R/T — and hilarity that went with it.

Question: Which fictional TV character would you want to be endorsed by?


Crossposted on Daliy Kos

Check Raul Labrador's Twitter page Right Now!

Sharon Fisher explained:

The screen shot below is from 3:32 p.m. MST:

Here is Alfred's page:

Who is Alfred Bellows?

Col. Alfred E. Bellows, M.D. is a fictional character in the popular 1960s situation comedy I Dream of Jeannie, which ran for five seasons. Dr. Bellows was portrayed by Hayden Rorke from 1965 to 1970. Rorke reprised this role in the 1985 TV movie I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later before his passing in 1987.

From the first season onwards, Dr. Bellows is the psychiatrist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). I Dream of Jeannie is set in the town of Cocoa Beach, Florida. Dr. Bellows is a colonel.

Dr. Bellows is a shrewd and cautious man who is inevitably used as a scapegoat. He becomes fixated on Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman) and Roger Healey (Bill Daily) when they are caught in a web of inexplicable situations resulting from the magic of a genie, appropriately named "Jeannie". He observes, records and ponders their activities, determined to uncover the cause.

Throughout the series, Bellows tries to prove that Tony is up to something. Generals Hadley, Peterson, Stone, and Schaeffer in turn reluctantly accompany him when he attempts to prove Tony's strange "tricks". Fortunately, thanks to Jeannie, none of these generals witness the strange events and Tony is saved from being fired from the space program. This means that the generals are more wary of Bellows than Major Nelson or Major Healey. In some cases the trick can extend to the generals, such as Jeannie's mother trying to court Bellows and dressing him in the robes of a pasha (and causing Jeannie to scold her mother for going after a married man). Bellows' appearance causes one general to worry he is suffering from hallucinations by seeing Dr. Bellows in pasha robes, and Bellows in turn saying the vision is real but he has no clue how he acquired such exotic clothing. Nevertheless, Dr. Bellows relentlessly devotes his entire life to "figuring out" Major Nelson. At one point Bellows tells Nelson and Healy that the moment he brings in General Peterson it all goes away, so he is forgetting this is brought up.

Click here for photos of Alfred Bellows.

And be sure to congratulate Congressman Labrador on this big time endorsement!


When you absolutely, positively have to forget the stupid shit you said previously...

Naughty Dinesh

Conservative big gun author Dinesh D’Souza did a real hatchet job on Blacks in his book: The End of Racism.

Now it appears that African Americans are not the only one's he's been ... well ... sticking it to.

From World: Today's Christian News

After a meteoric rise in the evangelical world, The King’s College president Dinesh D’Souza now faces his board’s likely questions about his relationship to a woman not his wife.

David Waldman. points out that D'SOUZA'S MISTRESS:

"In a post on a conservative blog, rails against feminists and “RINO men” for ruining marriage and traditional morality. “Feminists/liberals who intended to destroy and transform that sacred cornerstone of American society—the traditional family” she explains, adding that today’s state of the family proves that “the 19th Amendment was never the best idea ever.” She blames feminist academics for increases in adultery, failed marriages and cohabitation, and even goes on to say that America’s children “are going the way of black ghetto society” thanks to feminists and Ke$ha."

And commenter Empty Vessel added:

Had to check ...

and yes, the woman half his age that has become D'Souza's soulmate does also, just as it happens, seem to be very good looking.

Odd how older men's newfound soulmates always seem to be half their age and hot.  read more »

Meet Travis Manning

About Travis Manning,

Child Advocate

Travis Manning is currently an English teacher at Vallivue High School where he has taught for seven years. He is Executive Director of the Common Sense Democracy Foundation of Idaho, an Idaho grassroots think tank formed in June 2011 in response to radical education reform measures in Idaho. He is a member of the Idaho Council of Teachers of English and active participant with the Boise State Writing Project. Travis is active in his local teacher’s association where he has led and been engaged in numerous committees. He supports all of his fellow teachers and all of the hard work they do. In 2011 he spoke out at the Idaho House and Senate Education Committee hearings in support of Idaho public schools, and has since published a number of editorials across the great state of Idaho supporting the voices of all Idaho citizens in the legislative process. He supports the needs of all learners in public schools and works hard in his teaching to reach out to help struggling students. He is an advocate for parents and teachers, believing they are critical stakeholders in the success of Idaho’s children.

Community Builder

Most recently, Travis gave up coaching high school wrestling, one of his passions, in order to advocate for parents, teachers and students in Idaho governmental affairs. Travis, an Eagle Scout himself, has recently been a Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop in Caldwell, Idaho, and has been involved in Scouting in some capacity or other his entire life. From being a Den Chief and Patrol Leader in his younger years, to being a merit badge counselor, district commissioner, Scout camp counselor or Scoutmaster, among many other duties, in later years. One of the highlights of his Scouting experiences was working on the media staff at the 2001 National Scout Jamboree in Fort AP Hill, Virginia, with his younger brother. Travis believes passionately that youth must understand their local environment — neighborhoods, city, people, culture and natural world — so they might become young ambassadors for the communities in which they live.

Man of Faith

Travis has been involved in numerous school, community and church sports leagues over the years. He takes the lessons he learned in sports and Scouting to heart and has been active in numerous political campaigns and community advocacy activities. He is a freelance writer, active in his church congregation, and has served in a variety of church leadership roles throughout his life. In college, he worked for his university newspaper as a beat reporter. His most recent athletic accomplishment was completing the Boise Half Ironman Triathlon in 2010. He served a two-year mission to Philadelphia in the early 90′s and enjoys traveling, camping, bicycling, reading, and spending time with his wife and three children, Eliza having been adopted from China in June 2012.

Happily Married

Travis is married to Ann Ellison, who stepped down as a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey when the family came along. They are avid supporters of the Caldwell YMCA and believe this partnership between an organization and its citizens greatly benefits the community in which they live. Ann currently serves on the Caldwell Bikeways and Pathways Committee which works to protect pedestrians, bicyclists, joggers, children attending school, and to encourage a healthy lifestyle filled with exercise.

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