Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Even Maurice Clements says the message he posted on a Caldwell electronic billboard might have been “poorly done." That’s an understatement, albeit after the fact. But the billboard remained up Monday, showing President Barack Obama alongside Colorado movie theater mass murder suspect James Holmes — a juxtaposition that manages to combine poor reasoning with even poorer taste. Clements said he was trying to call attention to Obama’s failure to bring U.S. troops home as promised, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Americans and civilians. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize despite his lethal foreign policy decisions, said Clements; meanwhile, after 12 people died in the Colorado theater shootings, “everyone freaks out.” As Clements said last week, “We’re not saying that Obama is a lunatic.” No, of course not. By placing a picture of Obama next to that a wild-eyed spree shooting suspect, Clements is merely implying that Obama is a lunatic/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: What do you think of Idaho's Far Right trying to portray President Obama as a lunatic?
Some Kootenai County gun retailers and law enforcement are reporting a rise in gun ownership, though they say the trend started months before last week's shooting in Colorado. "It's an election year," explained Eric Johnson, trainer with Downtown Guns and Ammo. As rumors of policy change are thick in the air again with the approaching presidential election, fear of fiercer gun control is also resurfacing. "It was crazy the last time," Johnson recalled of folks harvesting firearms during Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. "Anytime a Democrat gets elected, people start to panic a bit. This year, there's even more on the re-election. The majority of people start to panic, then." Although retailers' shelves haven't been emptied like they were four years ago, gun sales at Johnson's downtown Coeur d'Alene store have risen about 30 percent this year, he estimated. No particular style or brand seems more popular than others, he added. "They're buying just about everything," he said. "Election years, they're always just a little concerned"/Alecia Warren, SR. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Treven Weaver helps a customer browsing the gun selection Thursday at Black Sheep Sporting Goods in Coeur d'Alene)
Question: Has the current direction and/or economic situation in this country prompted you to purchase a gun (more guns)?
"Offensive." "Abhorrent." "Pathetic." Words like that are being used to describe a billboard in Caldwell, Idaho, that compares President Barack Obama — unfavorably — to James Eagan Holmes, the suspect in the shooting deaths of 12 people in a Colorado movie theater last week. The sign features photos of Holmes and Obama side by side. Of Holmes, it says: "Kills 12 in a movie theater with assault rifle, everyone freaks out." Of Obama, it says: "Kills thousands with foreign policy, wins Nobel Peace Prize." The electronic billboard often blares anti-Obama messages, but this one struck people as especially insensitive. It's the work of supporters of the late Ralph Smeed, for many years a lightning-rod activist for libertarian causes in Idaho, The Idaho Statesman of Boise reported/US News & World Report. More here. (AP file photo of James Holmes in court)
Question: Are you kidding me?!
Forty-nine percent of voters identify President Obama as a Christian, a new poll says, and the others say that they don't know or that he is a Muslim. "Nearly four years into his presidency the view that Barack Obama is Muslim persists," says the survey from the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. According to the poll on religion and politics, 17% say Obama is a Muslim, while 31% say they do not know his religion. "Fewer say Obama is Christian — and more say he is Muslim — than did so in October 2008, near the end of the last presidential campaign," Pew reported. "The increase since 2008 is particularly concentrated among conservative Republicans, about a third of whom (34%) describe the president as a Muslim"/David Jackson, USA Today. More here. (AP photo)
Question: If President Obama says he's a Christian, that's good by me. How about you?
This is a very unusual political video.
It's pro-Romney, although not from the Romney campaign. In fact, the Obama campaign might send it out on their Twitter feed for a few grins.
But the guy really likes Romney, and really doesn't like Obama. That, and he seems to be standing in the middle of a stream while playing his keyboard…
I don't know why I'm so captivated by a couple of Lyndon LaRouchers from Seattle spending part of their day today in front of the Hayden post office, collecting signatures calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama. Do you suppose that I miss the excitement of the failed Coeur d'Alene recall attempt when it was hard to drive anywhere in town without someone trying to get you to sign their petitions? Hard to say. But I appreciate the photos emailed to HucksOnline by photographer Duane Rasmussen.
Question: Why do you suppose the Seattle LaRouchers picked the Hayden post office for their HQ?
Lyndon LaRouche people from out-of-stater were in front of the Hayden post office today collecting signatures in an attempt to impeach President Barack Obama. Remember that Scanner Traffic item re: loiterers on the sidewalk in front of the post office. Apparently, it was these guys. Huckleberries hears … that they were polite and moved away from certain areas when they were told to do so. (BTW, I noticed that Hitler-type mustache on President Obama's photo in case you were wondering.) Duane Rasmussen photo special to HucksOnline.
Question: Why would anyone come to Idaho to waste time gathering signatures for the impeachment of President Barack Obama?
President Barack Obama is scheduled to stop in Seattle next week, the third time in seven months he will visit the state's largest city to raise money.
His re-election campaign hasn't released many details of the trip yet. It’s a stop with two campaign fundraisers at the end of a Western swing that includes Nevada, California and Portland, Ore., then heads for New Orleans.
But if the pattern of previous trips holds, he can expect to rake in more than $1 million . .
This punching bag depicting President Barack Obama was on display at the Republican tent Wednesday at the Delaware County Fair in Muncie, Ind. The punching bag will not be displayed any longer after members of the public, including some there for Democrat Night at the fair and at least one Republican, raised concerns with Republicans manning the GOP tent. (AP Photo/The Star Press, Keith Roysdon)
Question: Funny or tasteless?
A poll purports to be able to tell whether you're likely to support Barack Obama or Mitt Romney by your preferences to things like movies, cars or pets.
Of course, it could just ask who you plan to vote for. But that wouldn't be any fun, would it?
Nearly 12 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark ruling, upholding much of what they call "Obamacare," members of the Boise Tea Party broke out their tri-corner hats and Don't Tread on Me flags to protest the decision Thursday evening on the steps of the Idaho Statehouse. Chad Inman, president of Tea Party Boise, went through a laundry list of his group's priorities. "No. 1, repeal Obamacare, the largest tax increase in history," Inman told the crowd. "No. 2, vote for congressmen that will overturn Obamacare." Inman followed with his other priorities, including an elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Education and Energy. One of the tea partiers, Jim Haskin, complete with his misspelled "empeach" sign, insisted that Obama was what he called an "insider" but when Citydesk asked Haskin about any man or woman becoming an insider once they were elected into office, he thought for a moment/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here. (AP file photo from 2010 Boise Tea Party event)
Question: Is it time to "empeach" Barack Obama?
Gov. Butch Otter's statement re: Supreme Court approval of Obamacare: “Although five Supreme Court justices upheld Obamacare and the individual mandate under Congress’s power to tax, it does not mean it’s the right thing to do. Obamacare has been bad for America from the beginning. This is a sad day for self-determination and for individual liberty. Change is now in the hands of the American people and we must elect a new president and congressional candidates who will repeal Obamacare and protect our freedom to remain the architects of our own destiny”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (AP photo: An Obamacare opponent demonstrates outside the Supreme Court in Washington earlier today)
- Also: Idaho leaders stunned by ruling, face big decisions/Betsy Russell, SR
President Obama looked pretty happy when he took to the microphone earlier this morning to comment on the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision that upheld the Affordable Care Act.
For those who didn't see that, but wonder what he had to say, a transcript is inside the blog.
With the Capitol in the background, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks about the Supreme Court's health care ruling Thursday in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Question: Who will the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare help more in November — President Barack Obama or GOP challenger Mitt Romney?
Outspoken Idaho Representative Vito Barbieri has pledged to continue his fight against President Barack Obama's health care reform despite the Supreme Court's final ruling on Thursday. Barbieri — who sponsored a 2011 bill to nullify health care reform in Idaho, told KTVB he wants to try to nullify the law again. "This cannot be the reality," Barbieri told KTVB. Barbieri said he's deeply concerned that the federal government is overstepping its bounds and invading the personal lives of its citizenry. Barbieri said the next step for Idaho Republicans was to continue fighting the measure through any means possible/KTVB. More here.
Melissa Davlin, Twin Falls Times News via Twitter: "One repercussion: the ID Legislature didn't introduce a bill for the state-run insurance exchange, meaning the fed gov't will impose one."
- Idahoans on both sides react to ruling/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise
- GOP vows repeal; begins election year push on ruling/Cameron Joseph, The Hill
Question: Is the repeal of Obamacare a sure-fire winner in presidential/congressional races for the GOP?
The Supreme Court today upheld the vast majority of President Barack Obama’s historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that virtually all Americans have health insurance. The 5-4 decision means the huge overhaul, still taking effect, will proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care. The ruling hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in approving the plan. However, Republicans quickly indicated they will try to use the decision to rally their supporters against what they call “Obamacare.” Stocks of hospital companies rose sharply, and insurance companies fell immediately after the decision was announced that Americans must carry health insurance or pay a penalty/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. relays the breaking news to her staff that the Supreme Court had just upheld the Affordable Care Act this morning)\
The Roman Catholic Diocese had no official comment when Boise Weekly asked about Father Michael St. Marie's choice of words June 22. But St. Marie wasn't simply commenting on the presidential election; he was praying in a very public setting. "Dear Lord, I ask that on Tuesday, Nov. 7, you find a new job for President Obama," prayed St. Marie, pictured, faith leader of the St. Edward Parish in Twin Falls. "The Diocese has no comment, but I can tell you that the Diocese does not condone or support any candidate for public office," Diocese spokesman Michael Brown told Citydesk. St. Marie's prayer was greeted by cheers by nearly 400 Idaho Republicans June 22. His invocation opened the Idaho State GOP Convention/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here. (Photo from Diocese of Boise Web site)
Question: Would you mind if your pastor prayed for the defeat of President Barack Obama from the pulpit or other public setting?
Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador, an immigration attorney who touted his expertise on the issue as he ran for Idaho's 1st District congressional seat two years ago, blasted President Obama's announcement today of a major change in the nation's immigration law enforcement: Young illegal immigrants will be able to avoid deportation if they can prove they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.
"Our nation's first commitment must be to follow the rule of law and this action by the president bypasses the existing legal process," Labrador said in a statement. "President Obama had two years in the White House to move immigration legislation through a Democrat-controlled House and Senate and he failed to do so. There are many Republicans in Congress who have been working to fix our broken immigration process. Instead of joining them to produce legislation in a constitutional manner, the president acted unilaterally in a blatantly political manner."
Click below for a full report on the president's announcement from the Associated Press in Washington, D.C.
Skillful politicians, it is often said, make their own luck. They have – or develop – the instincts to act, speak or hold their tongue at the right moment. The best of the best use language and symbols to connect over and over again with their constituents, or at least with most of them. Politics is many things: policy, determination, intelligence and timing, including being able to read the other side and know how and when to push back from the clinch and land an effective counter punch. Politics is handling adversity, taking a punch and bouncing back. Politics is also performance and performance is the ability to convey a story, a story that connects both intellectually and emotionally. Last week was the week when, I suspect, Barack Obama went from a presumptive favorite to be re-elected in November to, at best, an even bet. To say that the Obama campaign has a bad week is to say the Queen had a nice little party recently. It remains to be seen whether it was the defining week of this campaign that seems to last forever/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here. (AP photo)
Question: Do you think the economy is doing fine, as President Barack Obama said recently?
A man with ties to white supremacists who bragged about wanting to kill President Barack Obama received a 13-year sentence Thursday for a weapons charge, the latest conviction in what his lawyer called “a running battle with the government.”
Wayde L. Kurt, 54, also told associates he was saving money for a “final solution” that would include a bombing to dwarf the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and put him in jeopardy of the death penalty, according to court testimony.
SEATTLE — Barack Obama acknowledged he hasn't been a perfect president as he asked some , supporters to help him win another term and ask themselves a different question than the tradition standard an incument faces of "are you better off than you were four years ago?"
The question he wants to frame the election: "Will we be better off if we keep moving forward?"
In a half-hour speech regularly interrupted by the partisan audience, Obama sought to paint Republicans as the group that wants to go back to policies that didn't work in the last decade and Democrats as the party trying to move forward.
Some of the loudest cheers came whenever he mentioned something involving gay rights, and he worked that theme into many areas of the speech just a day after he said he personally supports the rights of same-sex couples to marry, although the issue should be decided by each state.
"If you're willing to work hard, you should be able to find a job…give your kids a chance to do better…no matter what your last name is, where you come from… no matter who you love," he said.
McClain, left, and Brotski outside the Paramount Theater.
SEATTLE — President Obama's supporters are lining up outside the Paramount Theater and filling the blocked off street in advance of his second fund-raiser of the day in this city.
Obama arrived shortly before noon at Boeing Field, where he was greeted by Gov. Chris Gregoire, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Inslee and other local Democrats, a pool report said. The motorcade then took Obama to a home overlooking Lake Washington, where about 70 people were gathered for a $17,900 per ticket meet and greet.
Outside the estate, a small child had a sign that thanked Obama for "standing up for my mommies," the pool report said.
Downtown near the Paramount were also fans of Obama's announcement Wednesday that he personally supports same-sex marriage.
Mary Beth Brotski and Teri McClain wore a pair of sandwich signs, which read on the front "Thanks for Evolving on Same Sex Marriage" and had a picture of a chimpanzee on one side and Obama on the other.
McClain, who said she tries to attend every Obama appearance in the Seattle area, said she created the signs this morning. The response was mostly positive, although one person did criticize her choice of picturing Obama and a chimp.
"I didn't have time to draw the whole evolutionary chart," said McClain.
Neither were surprised by his announcement. "I think it was inevitable," Brotski said.
"It's time," McClain said. "He's all about change.
President Barack Obama is headed for Seattle today, to raise campaign money and tie up traffic.
Make that tie up traffic even worse than normal in the city.
He's due into Boeing Field about 11:45 a.m., has a high-ticket private fundraiser in the city ($17,900 per ticket) for about 70 folks at a private residence, then a "more affordable" event for the masses — $1,000 per — at the Paramount Theater downtown.
At least for $1,000, folks will get to hear Dave Matthews.
Spin Control will be there, and the campaign says there will be Wi-Fi, so if they're right, we'll be live blogging the event.
OLYMPIA — In a state that recently went through a legislative battle over same-sex marriage and faces a potential ballot fight over the issue, President Barack Obama's comments supporting gay marriage drew quick response.
He'll likely hear some of it in person Thursday, when he stops by for a pair of re-election campaign fundraisers.
Gov. Chris Gregoire, who offered similar reasoning late last year for her switch in support of gay marriage, praised Obama for a "courageous and heartfelt act."
Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, an openly gay legislator and sponsor of the bill that could ultimately allow Washington state to recognize same-sex marriages, thanked Obama for "his courage in taking a strong position in support of equality for all Americans."
But the National Organization for Marriage, a national group helping to gather signatures to place Washington's same-sex marriage law on the ballot and calling for a boycott of Starbuck's for its support of the legislation, predicted Obama's comments would cost him re-election. Although Obama said he personallly supports gay marriage but believes states should decide the issue, "that is completely disingenuous," NOM President Brian Brown said.
In an interview with ABC, Obama said he had hoped that civil unions for same-sex couples would be enough, but that hasn't proved true. He also mentioned that his daughters have friends whose parents are same-sex couples and whom they wouldn't expect to be treated differently, and that helped prompt his change in thinking.
Within hours, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, as chairwoman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, sent out an e-mail to party supporters, asking them to sign an on-line petition to "stand with President Obama in support of marriage equality."
That closely parallels Gregoire's comments in December, when she called for the change in state law and said her opinion had also evolved from supporting civil unions to marriage for same-sex couples. At that time, she mentioned the her views had evolved from talking with her daughters, whose generation is much more accepting of same-sex unions, and that children who are being raised by two parents of the same sex deserve to have their families recognized the same way as their classmates in more traditional families.
Gregoire and Obama may have a chance to discuss the issue Thursday. The president will make a campaign stop in Seattle, with a fundraiser at the Paramont Theater in downtown; Gregoire will be there, her office said.
The comments could also cause a ripple into the governor's race, which could share the ballot with a referendum seeking to block the same-sex marriage law that is on the books but currently on hold. The leading Democratic candidate, former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, has said he supports the new law. The leading Republican candidate, Attorney General Rob McKenna, has said he supports civil unions but not marriage for same-sex couples, adding his stance on the issue was essentially the same as Obama's. Until today, that description was accurate, but it is now obsolete.
Opponents of same-sex marriage are gathering signatures on Referendum 74, which would give voters the final say on whether the law takes effect. A representative of Preserve Marriage Washington, the main sponsor of the referendum, told the Associated Press Wednesday they had about 70,000 of the more than 120,000 signatures needed to place the measure on the November ballot.
President Barack Obama greets troops at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Thoughts about President Barack Obama's surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan?
Former President Jimmy Carter said he expects President Obama to win reelection, but Mitt Romney would be his top choice on the Republican side. "I think of all the Republican candidates who are prominent, I think Romney would be the one I would rather see have a slight possibility to be president," on MSNBC's "Jansing & Co" in an interview that aired Wednesday. When pressed on whether he would be "comfortable" with a Romney presidency, Carter responded, "I would rather have a Democrat, but I would be comfortable." "I think Romney has shown in his past, in his previous years as a moderate, a progressive that he was fairly competent as a governor and also running the Olympics. As you know, he has a good solid family," Carter said/The Hill. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Are you ready for the cage match between President Barack Obama & Mitt Romney? Who wins?
OK, so the argument over whether Mitt Romney is less dog friendly for strapping a canine cage to his car roof than Barack Obama is for eating dog meat when he was a child in Indonesia is admittedly the stupidest conversation of the Presidential campaign thus far.
But this video is still pretty funny.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum gets a hug from his wife Karen after announcing he is suspending his candidacy for the presidency today in Gettysburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Rick Santorum is suspending his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, clearing a path for Mitt Romney to become the nominee. A campaign spokesman says the former Pennsylvania senator was to make the announcement Tuesday in his home state of Pennsylvania, two weeks before the GOP presidential primary there. Santorum faced a tough fight in his home state against Romney/AP.
Question: Are you ready for Barack versus Mitt?
Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, who is facing dismissal for posting critical comments about President Obama on Facebook, accused the review board that recommended he be discharged of basing its decision on "personal opinion" Tuesday. "I believe it was more based on personal opinion on the three members than it was based on the legalities on the case. They denied four expert witnesses that were there to talk about the legalities. They didn't even want to hear or take written testimony from them," said Stein on CNN's "Starting Point" Tuesday morning. … The three-member review board recommended last week that Stein receive an "other than honorable" discharge, which would include a loss of benefits and reduction in rank, for saying he would not follow orders he believed unlawful and for calling Obama a "domestic enemy" on his "Armed Forces Tea Party" Facebook page/Geneva Sands, The Hill. More here. (AP photo)
Question: Should Marine Sgt. Stein be booted from the Armed Services for posting critical remarks about President Barack Obama?