Saturday, August 23, 2008

Smorgasbord Saturday

After what seems like the longest tease in American history, Barack Obama has announced that Senator Joe Biden of Delaware will join him on the Democratic ticket. The roll out of Obama's vice presidential decision was first said to come at the start of the Olympic games in Beijing. With the games in their final hours, attention turned to the Democratic National Convention that begins Monday in Denver. Regardless of how long it took, Biden is a good choice. Am I annoyed that Hillary Clinton wasn't even vetted? You bet I am.

As the announcement approached, I started thinking about the face of Congress. The 111th Congress is sure to be a different body whether Obama or McCain wins. I've thought a lot about the Senate I've known, the Senate that for my entire lifetime has included the likes of Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Robert Byrd, Ted Stevens, John Warner, and Pete Domenici. If Obama wins, the Senate will lose the current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is hard to imagine that committee without Joe Biden.

In addition to the changes I am expecting in the Senate, the House is in for some significant changes in the days and months to come as well. This week saw the untimely passing of Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the chairman of the House Ethics Committee. Rep. Jones' passing was sad news for the entire political community. An original supporter of Hillary Clinton's, Jones has been active in national politics for many years. Her voice and passion will be missed in the House.

If you haven't yet participated in the Washington Post 2008 Pick Your President contest, I encourage you all to do so. In terms of electoral math (all math, really), I am completely baffled, but I can look at this map and have a pretty good idea of how most states will go in the general election. My hangups? Michigan and Nevada.

Did you know that the Idaho state flag will be featured on U.S. postage? Sure enough, on September 2nd, Former Gov. Phil Batt and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa will be on hand at the Idaho Historical Museum to unveil the Idaho State Flag Postage Stamp.

As was noted here on Thursday, the charges filed by Minidoka County Prosecutor Nikki Cannon against Dan Luker have been dropped. Quoted in the original press release was Luker's attorney, Keith Roark, noting the win this was for the First Amendment. Leave it to Bryan Fischer of the Idaho Values Alliance to not see it that way. He called the judge's ruling predictable and sad. Seem Mr. Fischer is looking at the incident as damaging personal property.

More Idaho-related news: Special Olympics of Idaho has been named one of twelve organizations that have been selected as a beneficiary of the 2008 Albertson's Boise Open presented by KRAFT which will be held in Boise at the Hillcrest Country Club, September 8th - 14th. With the World Winter Games coming here in February, it is great to see such an immense amount of local support going to help not only the world winter games, but the smaller regional and state games. Albertsons has, as long as I can remember, been very supportive of Special Olympics Idaho.

I've been meaning to mention that the Jerome County Commission voted 2-1 to allow the Big Sky Farms Limited Partnership feedlot to be built just over a mile from the Minidoka Internment National Monument in Hunt, Idaho. This controversial decision is a long time coming and one that has been disputed all over the country. As one of the most endangered historical sites in America, the Minidoka Internment National Monument at the site of the internment camp that housed Japanese-Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor appears to be gaining no traction on the historical preservation front, no thanks to the commissioners of Jerome County.

In a follow-up to last Saturday's story regarding the two Georgia men who discovered a Bigfoot carcass while out hunting--it was a hoax. No, really? Yup, the Bigfoot hoax was evidently just a joke. Well I guess that means it's a good thing that our local Bigfoot expert didn't jump on board with the story...

Because I might not get to it before now and Tuesday, don't forget that Forth, the new album from The Verve hits stores on the 26th. In addition to the long-awaited Verve release, Blues Traveler is also releasing their North Hollywood Shootout album. Also, nine years after his last release, Matthew Sweet's Sunshine Lies will also hit stores. That's one mighty fine New Music Tuesday coming your way and don't forget it will be followed by the September 16th release of Darius Rucker's Learn to Live.

Clearly, this Smorgasbord Saturday edition is a lengthy one. Fall semester at Idaho State University will begin Monday, I am having a discectomy next week, and all of these stories have been piling up in my inbox again... Hopefully you've made it to this end of this edition and once again, Happy Saturday!

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