A legislative dance ritual

It happens every Idaho legislative session, this elaborate dance ritual. The good thing is, everyone knows their part by rote.

First, a legislator runs out some noisy but ultimately toothless flame mail directed at the federal government. This rallies the faithful and rankles the critics. And we devote too much ink to the whole exercise.

Dancing lead this year is Rep. Dick Harwood, a St. Maries Republican serving his ninth year at the Statehouse. He is sponsoring a
"joint memorial."
Don't get blinded by the florid lexicon of the Legislature. Joint memorials are non-binding letters to the feds. This is common knowledge to everyone who then proceeds to take joint memorials seriously.

Harwood has drafted an odd missive. At one point, he scolds Congress for delegating monetary authority to the Federal Reserve, "thus failing to protect and provide a sound monetary system as defined and mandated by the Constitution of the United States." At another point, he pointedly reminds Congress that the 1oth Amendment grants the states and the people all power not specifically granted to the feds.

According to the memorial: "This serves as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers."

That'll sure make a difference.

Harwood is not, with apologies to Billy Idol, dancing with himself. His co-sponsors include two local lawmakers: Meridian Republican Marv Hagedorn and Emmett Republican Steven Thayn.

Predictably, the dance floor is packed. Critics, such as state Democratic Party spokeswoman Julie Fanselow, trot out Web site links that suggest Harwood's memorial is part of a national state sovereignty movement. And reporters spend way too much time and space on these memorials — while lamenting the lack of attention to matters of substance.

Yes, Pogo, I have met the enemy. And he is me.

I write about this one in an attempt to illustrate a bigger point.

The defining issue of this legislative session could be how (or if) the state spends some $1 billion of federal economic stimulus money. Do we use it to help offset a historic $62 million in cuts to K-12 (amounting to $225 for every kid in public school)? Do we use it to help create or save jobs in a state losing jobs at a dizzying pace? Or do we petulantly refuse the money — while conveniently forgetting the $1.9 billion in federal money Idaho is spending this budget year?

This is an important debate. I don't see the Harwood memorial as a meaningful part. It's just a distraction.

But we love distractions, and we in the press are no different. When the music plays, we get dancing feet. We're ritualistic like that.

Harwood's proposal: All juice, no seed.

He must have had a cerebral vasectomy.
Next time, move the operation to the front.

Real men...

write bills, not 'joint memorials'

Feed him raw meat...real men burn raw meat in the back yard.

If he's out of fine Scottish distillated product, the state run that thing as well.

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To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

Democrats see it as a distraction, too, Kevin

Which is why the Idaho Democratic Party called it "grandstanding" on our website.
It's a time-waster, to be sure. Idahoans also deserve to know that while Rep. Harwood claimed that 31 states have already declared sovereignty, the truth is that - while showboating legislators are making attempts similar to this in many other states - no state has actually told the federal government to stick it. Does Idaho really want to be the first?

Idaho Dems naive about the courage of the Idaho Press

Julie,
You and your fellow Dems are just fooling yourselves about any critical thinking & journalistic backbone at the Idaho Statesman. These woefully underpaid McClatchy stoolies are sooooooo frightened of losing their pittances, they'll knuckle under to anyone (read: our political bozos) giving them grief.

Thanks to this level of milquetoast content (the readers know), and the big egos in their Sacramento corporate HQ who swallowed a supertanker of toxic debt, McClatchy is simply a whisker away from oblivion.

Prediction: McClatchy is forced to sell or close the Statesman. If it's sold, the new owner will start producing hard-edged journalism about the incredible target-rich zone that is bozo-Idaho....and people will start reading it like never before.

You are well meaning but halfway to half lost, Bill.

We should drag out the circulation figures as I doubt over half the newsstand run would be cat box lining or recycled.

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To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

HJM 4 doesn't do enough

We do need a BILL, and not a meaningless HJM. We need a bill that tells the Federal Government that it was created to be subservient to the several states and not the other way around. And that bill needs to have some teeth to it. For example, it should dictate to the Federal Government what uses for taxes collected from Idahoans are and are not permissible. If the Federal government does with Idahoan tax dollars things that are not Constitutional, then the Federal government doesn't get to collect that money from Idaho. It should also have penalties for Federal employees who try to enforce unconstitutional Federal codes and statutes inside Idaho. For example, if thieving jackals from the Bureau of Always Think Forfeiture try to take my guns then they go to prison in Idaho. I think that would be a decent start. It'll never happen, though. Idaho's legislature, for all their "conservative" rhetoric, are welfare junkies. Idaho rakes in about $1.30 or more for every dollar paid out to Federal taxes. Our "conservative" state is totally on the dole. This HJM will most likely (and sadly) die in committee or fail on the floor when Idaho legislators realize they're about to bite the hand that feeds them.

Why don't YOU write it so they can call you a CRACKPOT...

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To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

Because I'm too HONEST for politics

You say "crackpot," I say "Jeffersonian." I know I'm doing something right when the statists start tossing out the ad hominem attacks.

I say BS and your own family will validate my position.

You've applied politics since the day your mother first held you ;-p

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To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

Thanks, FO :)

Your attempts at trolling have given me a moment or two of amusement. Have a nice evening.

I'm only a foreignoregonian, I'll never get to be a BILL or LAW.

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To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

Democracy, the greatest scam the world has ever seen.

Let me warn those who feel it's too much to read, if it hurts your head, your Idaho education can't keep up, or comprehend, don't read it. Or take breaks, read a little at a time.

Our government has been playing this shell game for over a half century, too bad we didn't know before now?

We're $53 trillion in the red & we're just now catching on? Our government, representation, this democracy we're promoting around the world with war & murder is either very poorly managed or crooked. I would have to say crooked, as a dog's hind leg!

Neither is accectable yet we keep sending Ameircans to die in wars based on lies & paying trillions to crooks who broke US. How do we suggest to the world, while we bomb them, that democracy is the best thing since canned beer?

Everything our representatives do is wrong, costing US tillions just because they show up for work. We'd be better off if they called in sick, because they are. It's a disease called campaign finance spreading out of control.

The nuclear waste dump we've already spent twenty years & how many billion on, is now on hold, not going to happen? What kind of idiots do we elect? Look at the list, history, banking's been corrupt for at least half century, & we're in this financial crisis? Like 9/11 the warnings were all over yet our representatives not only did nothing, they tooked $64 million & the FED, SEC, & Treasury stopped public debate into derivatives AIG as into. Lie to yourself, your spouse, the world, but don't lie to me.

The failure of Social Security having been robbed for years, is coming up. Along with Medicare & Medicaid, this current mess is going to look like a church picnic when that happens.

Maybe that's why we're breaking ourselves now, to avoid the bigger mess later, & the crooks are getting all they can now? I'm sure our representatives have a plan, {wink & a nod} to steal much more before we're belly up. They'll blame a lot of others but we all know how & why this is happening.

Didn't something like that happen in Iraq, the crooks ran off with the $, & history after we liberated them. The Stateman just had an article suggesting $100 billion or something stole from the $2 or $3 billion Bush originally suggested recontruction would cost. Like the $50 billion the war in Iraq was originally going to cost & national debt of trillions, it doesn't mean a thing. Virtual as mtomin clued US in. Like a reccession we weren't in for a year while our representatives hid their money, until they decided we were, & taxpyaers alrady lost trillions, we're being taken.

Wouldn't you know it? I compare our representation to all star wrestling & Verne Gagne beats to death some old guy in a home, forgot?

The US is more like all star wrestling everyday, with Alzheimer's, our representatives are beating US to death with corporate socialism while complaining the poor paying for this mess are getting the great deal socialism provides! America has been social through everything from taxes to public school for years, Social Security being robbed is social X two. Evidently they forgot who WE the People as written in the constitution are?

Michael Moore will be coming out with his next doc., it'll more in depth than my rantings, but you heard it here first. I can't campare myself with Mike but you have to know I sent him an email in response to his email asking for input by the crooks on Wall Street. I have those old bank records that proved banking was crooked years before the banking scandals of the eighties.

Like AIG, GM, & so many others, we're already done, broke, yet our representatives have been, & continue to hand out trillions? Like always they'll act surprised when it hits the fan. How could we have known???? there were no indications, no signs. No signs of life or intelligence by our representatives. Full financial disclosure by all our representatives & their families starting with IRS audits by all government officials, CEOs of the crooked banks, & Insurance responsible for this crime while getting trillions, will tell US more than most want to know.

The ability to print money doesn't make US a money maker so much as a brankrupt printing company. Feel stimulated?

Can we blame the crooks we elect? I do because I've been pointing it out for years.

Otter is Idaho's crook, the Tax Commission, just one example. Otter has a buddy in every possible state office & position, trying to manipulate his will, raise taxes on people who absorb taxes evaded by his corporate connections through the Tax Commission. Otter lets the taxpayers drink rotten milk rather than step on a great contributor, agri corruption's toes. Just like the peanut producer in TX, Otter suggests inspections are done in the highly subsidized dairy industry but if you look on Nextrev you can see pallets of milk clearly marked both rerun & hogfood. Don't bother reporting anything to Otter, he's too busy playing Texas ranger, eating Viagra, chasing the trophy wife around the house we provide $4,500 a month for. I wonder if he fell off his horse or just out of the saddle hurting his hip & now shoulder. Then he acts like the kid with Autism is a concern. Bold faced liar!

Otter wants to get all the working class state employees off the state insurance, yet he's the one driving up insurance costs we all pay because he couldn't stay on the pony he said he could ride. Some Texas ranger, wanna be is all he'll ever be. I'm surprised he isn't wearing JR's hat while chasing the trophy around the house. I bet it was disappointing having to return it. I'll bet he sent a fake & kept the real one.

Darifold, the highly subsidized dairy industry, used to rerun milk several times until they got it right, sometimes. We used to pick up milk we delivered the day before because it was no good, after customers brought it back to WINCO, Ridley's, & Paul's who all had private label, Darigold milk with their store's name all over it. There is a memo on www.nextrevolution.net, suggesting, it's all bad?

Dick Harwood

Dick is a wonderful person, very in tune with his constituents, so by attacking him, you are attacking me and everybody else who supports him. I am happy to put the Feds on notice. So are many other states including Washington. We are all getting pretty tired of being little slaves for the Feds. Where is the anger over Hillary trying to give our land as collateral for Chinese money? Where is the outrage over the 900 Billion dollar subsidy for Hamas? It is time for the soverign states to say "enough of this madness." If we as a state kept all the money that DC demands, we would be rolling in money. Otter hasn't kept his promises to any great extent, but he was pretty good when he was in DC. I would like to know what is happening with the zero starting point for government programs. Let us all see why the state budget has tripled in 8 years. As for our dairy people, they had a blurb on their website explaining in Spanish and English how to avoid the authorities so that they could bring in more illegal aliens for the taxpayers to support. The dairy industry is severely compromised so it doesn't surprise me what the previous poster has said.

Perhaps if these new found anti-federalists and anit-debt loons

had spoken up earlier, you know, when dubya' was turning a surplus into 5 trillion in debt so his rich buddies could save on their tax bills, when he was involving us in an unnecessary war and requiring the states' National Guard troops to die in it, when he was looking the other way on immigration so his buddies could get cheap labor to abuse and discard at will, and when he was tearing up the Constitution and threatening telecoms in order for his administration to listen in on domestic phone conversations. If the point had been raised then, maybe the resolution wouldn't reek of the partisanship and hypocrisy that Harwood vomited into it.

So where was your anger then? During the last eight years? Or where you all titillated about killing the Arabs and catching the liberals.

Crawl away little man, your credibility matches your character, and that is where the zero starting point can be found.

And knawing of flesh from bone when corn flakes lack so.

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To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

Assumptions

Dear poet, my anger has been for more than the last 8 years. How would you come to think I have been happy with GW? Is this new age mysticism? Did this little tidbit come to you in a vision? What? For some odd reason you assume that I was thrilled, "titillated about killing Arabs." Don't forget that congress agreed with the blessed "bipartisanship" to attack Saddam at the urging of the UN, another failed bureaucracy, headed by tyrants and power mad maniacs. I did not agree. You have a very strange mind. "Crawl away, little MAN?" Once more your intellect (or your psychic ability) fails. I am not a man, and I have no crawling habit. What does all this have to do with the subject anyway? Now you can go on about how horrible women are or something. PS Obama has made Georgey baby look like he was Scrooge! What now? Dick is correct to put the feds on notice before we are all reduced to poverty level. There was no "surplus" either, it was cooking the books by adding the social security receipts into the general fund and yup, raising taxes. Enron accounting can only work for so long.

I guess everyone has PMS today...Greyghost, get some sleep, man.

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To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

"A joint memorial"

We had one when my bong melted in 1973.

I remember 1973 well...

Vietnam, Nixon and every time two Mexicans had a fight the Idaho Free Press called it a "Chicano race riot" or something. Quaint!

Somebody spraypainted "NARC GO AWAY" all over a neighbor's cars and property once and they moved quickly. Nancy Reagan had no say for nothin' back then.

Nampa was a pretty cool place in 1973, despite all that. I was having fun in second grade at Lincoln Elementary.

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To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

Was not in Nampa in '73.

Wish I was. Chilling in Subic for a brief respite, was like Disney.

There are lots of things in the Philipines to chill with...

so I've heard of.

Just try not to chill with the revolutionaries or whatever.
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To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.