Rammell: Get rid of the wolves

A year ago, Rex Rammell raised a ruckus when the state shot elk that had escaped from his Eastern Idaho hunting ranch.

Now, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate says the government should eradicate Idaho's wolf population.

In a guest essay, Rammell aligns himself with the likes of Stanley's Ron Gillett and other anti-wolf advocates. Rammell wants the feds to remove Idaho's wolves, and if the feds don't do it, then the state should.

"It is time Idaho made a stand to save our crown jewels: the majestic big game herds we have spent decades building," Rammell says.

Check out Rammell's op-ed, and other political guest opinions,

Jobs I wouldn't want (the latest addition to the list)

Oh dear.

Check out style="text-decoration:underline;">this story from the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash.

How would you like to be working public relations for this school district today?

A second helping on the Farm Bill

I got an e-mail from a good friend, taking me to task for style="text-decoration:underline;">our Thursday editorial on the Farm Bill.

"You think government can help stop obesity," he wrote. "Funny stuff."

So I e-mailed back and told him to shut up and eat his celery. Perhaps that helps explain why I have fewer good friends.

Anyway, it got me to rereading the editorial.

We didn't say the bloated bureaucracy of federal government could make us all thinner. What we did say is that a Farm Bill doles out billions of dollars in commodity programs, and not necessarily for food products that foster healthy eating. The proposed Farm Bill takes small steps to encourage growers to raise fruits and veggies, and get fresh produce into our school lunchrooms — but it doesn't do much.

Locust Grove: A blogger's perspective

Because it made me laugh, I have to serve up a link to Meridian blogger Joel Kennedy's style="text-decoration:underline;">properly irreverent post on the opening of the new Locust Grove overpass.

It is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive post I've seen on an overpass opening, written by a Meridian-based citizen journalist. And I don't dispense that sort of praise lightly. It's got it all. Photos of the overpass, shots of the dignitaries — and Kennedy still managed to get his car home for his daughter and squeeze in a little Guitar Hero before posting. Multitasking any journalist can admire.

Want to attend this meeting? Go jump in a lake ...

A working group, under the invite of Gov. Butch Otter, will meet Friday morning to discuss registration fees for kayaks, canoes, drift boats and other non-motorized crafts.

Boy, that meeting would make for some quality eavesdropping. You can bet kayakers are splitting their neoprene suits over the prospect of getting dinged with a boat fee (the motorized boaters pay $20 a year for boats up to 12 feet, and $2 a foot beyond that).

Quality eavesdropping indeed. Because — as baseball Hall of Famer and free-press advocate Yogi Berra might say — if you didn't get an invite, then you aren't invited. This is another one of the governor's closed meetings, like his water and health care "summits," albeit on a smaller scale.

The cabin lease debate: The next round is Tuesday

The cabin lease debate will resume Tuesday morning, when the state Land Board discusses 2008 rates for Payette Lake leases.

I have to admit, the leaseholders have a stronger case than I expected. Representatives of the Payette Lake Cabin Owners board came in Wednesday to make their presentation to the Statesman editorial board.

A few highlights:

• The 169 leaseholders are feeling the effects of rapidly increasing property values. If anything, they are worse off than landowners. If a property's value doubles, a property tax rate doesn't necessarily double. But when the value of a lease site doubles, the rental will double, since the rental rate is based on 2.5 percent of appraised value.

Other Voices: Who are these guys, anyway?

Interesting post over at style="text-decoration:underline;">Adam's Blog, written by local Republican blogger Adam Graham.

Graham — as regular readers know — is a frequent contributor to Other Voices, our daily roundup of commentary from IdahoStatesman.com, the blogosphere and elsewhere.

How frequent? Graham actually did the math. He ranks second to Randy Stapilus, a Northwest political blogger who, in an earlier life, was the Statesman's political editor. Tied for third and fourth are Idaho Values Alliance's Bryan Fischer and reporter Betsy Russell, author of the Eye on Boise blog at the Spokane, Wash., Spokesman-Review.

Simpson's candid assessment

The White House has bungled the SCHIP debate, hurting Republicans in the process.

The White House presented an unrealistic budget proposal, and has refused to negotiate with Congress.

And with the support of congressional Republicans, the Bush administration has effectively handed the Defense Department a blank check.

These tough assessments come not from an Idaho Democratic congressional candidate, but from a Republican, 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson.

In a Statesman editorial board meeting Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee member voiced his frustrations over the dysfunctional congressional budgeting process — and placed some of the blame at the foot of the Bush administration:

Air quality summit: Save your breath?

City Hall watchdog Dave Frazier isn't expecting much from tonight's "air quality summit" at Boise City Hall:

An excerpt from his style="text-decoration:underline;">Boise Guardian web site:

"Remember the air has turned sour during THEIR respective watches. Today’s leaders have failed miserably when it comes to controlling the rate of growth and subsequent pollution problems. The politicos have been busy trying to increase population while our air and traffic woes have worsened.

"Oh sure, we will hear that increased density will make it possible to have trains, light rail, buses, and more bicycles. 'Get the sinners out of their gas guzzlers, admit global warming is bad, stop building highways, live near your job, walk to Costco for those 48 rolls of toilet paper and 12 loaves of bread.'

A sure sign of the season, Part 2

What do you get for the person on your shopping list who has everything — save for a sense of burnout over the Larry Craig story?

Why, you pick up style="text-decoration:underline;"> the Larry Craig action figure, what else?

He talks. The figure features sound clips from his infamous Aug. 27 news conference — Craig's assertion that he is not and never has been gay; and his poorly worded opening remark in which he thanks everyone "for coming out today."

But wait, there's more, as the online sales pitch promises. "His limbs are bendable, so you can put him in all sorts of poses... even the famous 'wide stance' the Senator refers to."

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