When I heard that a 65YO male w/severe back pain needed medical attention this AM, I thought to myself: “I hope the Old Guy is OK.” Then, I realized that I'm officially an Old Guy, too. For my birthday yesterday, good friends bought me one of those “Old Guy Rules” T-shirts that also included the message: “If you don't know who I am, you must not be from around here.” It's a nice T-shirt. But I don't know if I'd dare wear it. Folks would think I have a big head. So do you want to start any threads this TGIF AM? Here's your Wild Card …
Here's some of the whereases from a resolution to be discussed by the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee (Tuesday, Nov. 25), asking the state GOP to disavow its appointment of former U.S. senator Larry Craig as finance chairman:
Question: Do you think this resolution will pass/fail?
Laura Moreno, of Nampa, hugs her good friend Krista Busmante after watching President Obama's speech on immigration reform Thursday at the Hispanic Cultural Center in Nampa. “It's really big because families won't get separated,” said Moreno. Moreno was nine years old when she came into this country illegally with her mother. The executive order issued by President Obama will keep families who have been in the country illegally for at least 5 years safe from deportation. (AP Photo/The Press-Tribune, Adam Eschbach)
Also: Prior to the announcement of President Obama's directive on immigration reform, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and agribusiness called on Congress to pass immigration reform. Click here.
Wayne Hoffman/Idaho Freedom Foundation columnizes: “Imagine an 8-ounce glass of water on a kitchen counter. The glass is almost full. I could, as a matter of public policy, declare that the glass should hold 16 ounces of water. But my declaration won’t make the glass larger. It certainly won’t make the water tastier. And if I do decide to pour more water into the glass, the overage, unsurprisingly, would spill onto the floor. Similarly, expanding Medicaid won’t mean Idaho will miraculously have more doctors, more nurses, more practitioners of any kind. It won’t cure disease. It won’t even stop your runny nose.” More here.
Question: Do you think Medicaid expansion in Idaho is a bad idea, too?
In his latest Johnson Post, Marc Johnson writes: “In an engaging and provocative new book – To Make Men Free – Boston College historian Heather Cox Richardson tells the story of the creation of the Republican Party – Lincoln’s party – as an activist, results oriented movement that was determined to support “a strong and growing middle class, whose members had fought to defend the government during the war and now used government money and owned government bonds, paid government taxes and attended government-funded colleges, and gave their wholehearted allegiance to the nation.” Oh, yes, Lincoln’s Republican Party also championed immigration. It is a curious twist of history that the Republican Party of Lincoln, a party that began as a champion of the middle class and freed the slaves, now so closely identifies with the most privileged among us, while catering to older, white voters, many in the south.” More here.
Question: Is it correct to say that the Republican Party caters to the privileged when many Republicans I know are struggling to get by financially?
Dan Sisson, a historian and EWU professor, stands in front of his home, which he has been building for 12 years, to look like Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. See story below. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
An osprey tears apart a snake near the side of a highway Thursday in Orange Beach, Ala. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Thursday Winner — DFO, with 8 likes: “DFO and another Old Goat enjoy a birthday lunch of roughage, while checking out real estate for possible future purchase.” You can see Thursday Photo & all Cutline Contest entries here.
Lydia Tanner, the dirt-bike road warrior for Bikemag.com, fell in love with the trails around Sandpoint, Idaho, writing: “Sandpoint, Idaho, is home to some of the most badass folks I’ve ever met. On skis, on bikes, wherever; over the years I’ve stopped feeling too surprised when I find out my newest shred buddy hails from Northern Idaho. Maybe it’s their proximity to the Purcells, the Selkirks and other general Canadian awesomeness–or maybe it’s something in the Pend Oreille water.” You can read the rest of her post here.
Question: Any dirt bikers out there?
Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador, in an interview airing now on NPR, says he thinks the president’s planned executive action on immigration is illegal, and while shying away from talk of impeachment, had these suggestions on how congressional Republicans might respond: “Well one of the things, I think, is Mitch McConnell should say first thing tomorrow morning that he will not allow any appointments that this administration has made. So there will be no hearings on the new attorney general, there will be no hearing on judges, there will be no hearing on anything this president wants and that he needs. I think that would be one action that we can take immediately”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: So Congressman Labrador wants to punish President Obama for acting on immigration when he had a chance to be a key player on reform and bailed?
Writing in the Coeur d'Alene Press, state Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale: As a conservative state legislator from rural Idaho, member of the House Education Committee, supporter of the Idaho Education Network (IEN), and lifelong Republican, I have been carefully watching this issue since 2009 when a state contract was awarded to connect Idaho's schools, libraries, and many state agencies with high speed Internet. The federal tax on Idahoans' phones was to pay 75 percent of the cost. Correctly done, it brings the world to Idaho students and citizens, especially in rural areas. However, when it becomes illegal and corrupt, I must speak out. Idaho citizens are watching crony capitalism in action. A rigged contract required a homegrown company, Syringa, to sue and years for justice to finally prevail. More here.
Question: Conservative Rep. Boyle must be a RINO to question the handling of the Idaho Education Network contract, right?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, editorialist Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune jeers … state Rep. Thyra Stevenson, R-Lewiston: “Losing re-election to Democrat Dan Rudolph did not diminish her legendary sense of entitlement. Consider her appearance at the North Idaho Chamber of Commerce Legislative Tour, where the newly elected Legislature traditionally gathers the weekend after the election. Stevenson showed up Nov. 9 at the Coeur d'Alene Inn, expecting the goodies of public office to continue flowing her way. But the tour was intended for legislators elected for the 2015-16 term. Stevenson kept pressing. She might contest the election result, she told tour officials. Unless next week's recount reverses Rudolph's 26-vote margin, he's in and she's out. Tour officials awkwardly invited Stevenson to attend the welcoming banquet — like any other visitor — provided she was willing to pay the $50 admission. Stevenson boorishly refused and left. Marty's full Cheers & Jeers column here.
Question: How could Rep. Thyra Stevenson have handled this better?
Post Falls High School junior Taylor Demute shares a laugh Thursday as she carries donated blankets at the school. Members of the PFHS Link Crew organized a blanket drive and fundraiser to benefit St. Vincent de Paul in Coeur d’Alene and the Kootenai County Humane Society. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Quilts, comforters and cozy blankets dominated a Post Falls classroom’s countertops, corners and spare cubbyholes in an overwhelming response to a student-led blanket drive for a local homeless shelter. A group of Post Falls High School teens chose a blanket drive as their annual service project to show thanks for having warmth and comfort in their lives. “A lot of people don’t have that when they are homeless,” said Zachary Smith, 16. The high school students, and teacher Samantha Starr, expected about 200 blankets. They were at 450 and counting Thursday. The group also had raised more than $1,000/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here.
Question: How cool is this?
President Obama chose confrontation over conciliation on Thursday as he asserted the powers of the Oval Office to reshape the nation’s immigration system and all but dared members of next year’s Republican-controlled Congress to reverse his actions on behalf of millions of immigrants. In a 15-minute address from the East Room of the White House that sought to appeal to a nation’s compassion, Mr. Obama told Americans that deporting millions is “not who we are” and cited Scripture, saying, “We shall not oppress a stranger for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once, too.” … His directive will shield up to five million people from deportation and allow many to work legally, although it offers no path to citizenship/Michael D. Shear, New York Times. More here. (AP photo)
Question: Did President Obama go too far with his immigration reform?
For the last 12 years, the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce has underwritten the Ironman Coeur d'Alene event, but now it's considering ending its sponsorship before the race slated for June 2017. Before making that decision, the chamber is seeking recommendations on how to proceed. “If we exercise this option, the race would be moved to a different community,” said Steve Wilson, president of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce. Ironman races are profit-making events owned by the World Triathlon Corporation, and for cities to host the event, an entity within the city must come forward as a sponsor. … However, the price tag is “fairly significant” and while Wilson would not comment as to the exact price of the event, he said it's in the six-figure range every year/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo by Bruce Twitchell: Heather Wurtele crosses the finish line to be the women's winner of 2014 Ironman Coeur d'Alene)
Question: Should Coeur d'Alene continue to participate in Ironman — or let it go?
I'm officially a Seasoned Citizen now. I reached age 65 at 1:30 this morning. I looked at my face in the mirror after shaving this morning. There's certainly more wrinkles there than there were 10 years ago. But I earned them, especially the laugh lines around the mouth and eyes. I enjoy life. I'm blessed in so many ways — in terms of family, friends, and this cyber community. Also, I'm blessed to love and be loved by a wonderful God who changed my life dramatically at the onset of my 44-year newspaper career. And it ain't over. As I said in my very first post at Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004: “Fasten your seatbelts, you're in for a wild ride.” Now for today's Wild Card …
A surfer rides a wave during a tow-in surfing session at the Praia do Norte or North beach, in Nazare, Portugal, earlier today. A tow-in is a surf technique in which the athlete is towed into a large wave by a partner driving a jet-ski or other watercraft with an attached tow-line. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)