Democratic women lawmakers on Wednesday said they are confident the Supreme Court would uphold an ObamaCare mandate that requires most employers to cover birth control in their insurance plans. “The healthcare decisions should be made by the employees, not by someone who is running a for-profit company that’s not a religious institution,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said. “I think that’s what the Supreme Court is going to decide.” The Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a challenge to the mandate brought by two private companies that argue the federal government couldn’t order businesses to pay for contraception coverage that goes against the owners’ religious beliefs/Jonathan Easley, The Hill. More here.
Question: Do you think the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the birth control mandate that's part of Obamacare?
Frustrated separatists can agitate all they want to for a state of their own, but if we ever add a star to Old Glory, it's more likely to represent Puerto Rico, American Samoa or Washington, D.C., than North Colorado. Earlier this month, voters in 11 sparsely populated Colorado counties got a chance to express their distaste for their state government — which is not geographically distant, but culturally a world away in Denver. On their ballots was an option to secede from Colorado. "We simply want to be left alone to live our lives without a dictatorial central government forcing itself upon us," zealots explained on their website, 51ststate.org. Nonetheless, voters in only five of the 11 counties chose to pursue independence from the Mile High City/Peter Laufer, Inlander. More here.
Question: Would you really, truly want North Idaho to secede from the Kingdom of Ada if it could?
And yet another Idaho reader has won one of the two prizes handed out each week as part of the Spokesman-Review News Quiz contest. Tamara Poelstra is this week's winner, either the fourth or fifth Idahoan in a row to win either the $50 gift certificate to the Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane or two free movie tickets. Tammy won the gift certificate. Last week, Sharon Fisher won the movie tickets. Onward. This week's quiz asks questions re: the Centennial Trail, WSU football and other items in the news. Take News Quiz here. Top quizzers have a chance to win the $50 gift certificate. Everyone who enters has a chance to win the movie tickets.
- 1st Question Answer: 82 percent.
- Leaderboard: Berry Pickers RayNTim, Duffer, Another Perspective, SFredrickson, EddieTorreal & Sibulsky are among 45 so far on this week's Leaderboard. North Idaho readers have won one of the two prizes for 5 weeks in a row.
The verdict is in. I haven’t done any scientific analysis, but I’m confident of what I am about to assert – the American attention span is shorter than the time it takes for Auburn to score a touchdown after a missed Alabama field goal. In other words – short. Very short. For a few moments earlier this fall we were consumed by the news of a humanitarian crisis and chemical weapons use in Syria. Then the Obamacare website didn’t work. Then Iran seemed to be coming to the international table to negotiate over its nuclear weapons program and then China started issuing orders about disputed airspace in the Far East. Oh, yes, throw in a train wreck, a few tornadoes and an NFL lineman who is a bully. So much news and so much noise that much of the media and most policy makers seem to consistently miss the truly great issues confronting the nation/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here.
Question: Why do you think America suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder when it comes to major issues at hand?
It’s official. “Allium Spring Chorus” will be the sculpture at the Third Street entrance to McEuen Park after the City Council voted in a classic 4-3 split to approve it Tuesday evening. Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission member Jennifer Drake, who chaired the selection committee, and Steve Anthony, recreation director for the city, presented the council with recommendations. The piece went through a rigorous selection process that eliminated 179 other proposals, Drake told the council. “Of the four finalists, this one did have the most No. 1 votes from all the public comments, and several pages worth of people just commenting,” Drake said. “And there were a number of negative comments as well.” Councilman Mike Kennedy said he hears two major criticisms from constituents about the public art selection. The first is, ‘why isn’t the city using local artists,’ and the other is ‘why aren’t the pieces themed to reflect our history and culture’/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)
Question: Do you think public art in Coeur d'Alene should use local artists and/or focus on the city's history?
A slew of Democrats tweeted “Happy Holidays” to the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Wednesday in response to a recent debate over the holiday greeting. The Democratic National Committee encouraged supporters to tweet the phrase following controversy over products the NRCC has been selling for Christmas. More than 1,000 people tweeted it on Wednesday, according to social media analytics tool TOPSY. “The official organization charged with electing Republicans to the House — the national Republican Party! — thinks that telling people "Happy Holidays" is something that only liberals do,” DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee wrote in a morning email to Democratic supporters/Rebecca Shabad, The Hill. More here. (AP file photo: A man in Sacramento, Calif., protests Walmart's use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas")
Question: 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Holidays'?
The wall of Pantene choices that Councilman MikeK encountered.
Councilman MikeK offers this oft-thought lament of the modern husband/father (via Facebook): "My daughter, Nora, sends me to Fred Meyer for shampoo on my way home from a meeting. I ask for specific details. She says "Pantene". I ask for more details because this (above) is what I'm met with in the Pantene section. I kid you not these are all varieties of that brand. Ladies of Facebook land, we don't ask for details because we are dumb (mostly). We just can't bear being met with that look of 'you can't be trusted with anything can you?' every time. Have mercy on us. Give us some usable details!"
DFO: I still am shaken from the time that I was sent -- by myself while my wife shopped elsewhere in Coeur d'Alene Super 1 -- to pick up some deodorant. I was overwhelmed by the choices. How do the females in our life do it?
The city of Hayden sent Huckleberries this news release today: The 2013 Hayden Lights Parade, Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and all activities scheduled for the evening of Saturday have been canceled due to extreme weather. The potential of subzero temperatures presents a hazard to those participating. Sorry for the inconvenience. If you have any questions regarding the cancellation, please contact the Hayden Community Services Department @ 209-1080.
Question: What activities are you planning this weekend despite chilly weather?
- 11:45 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Dec. 3-4 here.
- 11:32 a.m. A muffler is lying on e/b I-90, b/n MP 10-11 (NW Blvd/CdA).
- 11:21 a.m. 41YO female having panic attack @ Center Partners, 784 S. Clearwater Loop, CdA.
- 11:20 a.m. Railroad crossing guard broke off when it came down on truck crossing @ w/b H54/MP 7.4, Athol.
- 11:12 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency reported @ 11700 block of Alaska Loop/Hayden
- 10:51 a.m. 2 CPD officers are checking on suspicious person @ 100 block of W23rd, CdA.
- 10:42 a.m. PFPD officer wants to know when owner will remove car blocking road @ Syringa/White Sands, Post Falls.
- 10:34 a.m. Driver of red KIA driving slowly off I-90 exit @ H41/Post Falls, almost missed exit.
- 10:23 a.m. Elderly female injured in fall @ 13400 block of Bighorn Canyon Street/Post Falls.
- 10:02 a.m. Driver of black convertible Volvo @ w/b I-90/MP 2 (Pleasantview) is driving w/top down, speeding.
- 9:33 a.m. T.J. Maxx, off H95, reports trespassed male is back in parking lot.
- 9:22 a.m. KCSDeputy responding to report of 22YO suicidal male at a group home.
- 9:14 a.m. A child is suffering a seizure on a school bus in front of Fernan Elementary.
- 9:11 a.m. A mobile home is on fire near a residence @ 7th/Van Buren, Spirit Lake.
A snow-covered cow munches on grass in Beaver Creek Park south of Havre, Mont. A wintry storm pushing through the Rockies and Midwest is bringing bitterly cold temperatures and treacherous driving conditions. (AP Photo/Havre Daily News, Lindsay Brown)
- Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
- Fugitive of Week: Michelle Rebecca Galbreath/Press
- Spokane Valley thieves steal $50K worth of Iphones/SR
- Otter allows carriers to reinstate insurance plans/Eye on Boise
- 55YO Coeur d'Alene man charged w/vandalizing vehicles/Press
- Workers hit picket lines at Deaconess, Valley hospitals/Ian Cull, KXLY
- Bighorn crashes Thanksgiving at Montana home/Perry Backus, Missoulian
- Democratic legislators back bills supporting ed reform/Bill Roberts, Statesman
- Hayden cancels tree lighting, parade due to expected subzero temps/city of Hayden
- Tuesday Poll: Hucks Nation agrees with the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee that the best way to pick a state party nominee for president is the primary system. Idaho Republicans switched to a caucus system during 2012 presidential election, to attract candidates to the state. 104 of 125 respondents (83.2%) said the primary system is best. Also, 11 of 125 (8.8%) preferred a mix of primary system and caucus. 8 (6.4%) picked the new caucus method. 2 (1.6%) were undecided.
- Today's Poll: Has Clark Peterson's fantasy game hobby compromised his ability to do a good job as a Kootenai County magistrate?
Agree or disagree? -- CindyH via Facebook.
Question: Which Christmas song do you consider the worst ever?
Most baby boomers can recall the Walt Disney adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. It was a delightful, full length animated movie with the usual contest between the good characters and the bad characters (remember the giant cobra?). Of course good always triumphs over evil. Idaho Democrats at last have a candidate for governor---Boise businessman and long-time school district board member, A. J. Balukoff. Yes, the easiest way to pronounce his name is to remember Baloo, the friendly bear. Democrats are hoping Idahoans will be drawn to one of the first of the baby boomer generation much as people were drawn to the Disney character. This column six months ago put in print that “Baloo” would be the Democratic nominee/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicle. More here. (AP photo)
DFO: If you're as fed up as I am with the way Gov. Otter & his GOP legislative playmates have trashed Idaho education funding, you'll welcome an alternative on the gubernatorial scene, albeit a Democrat, who understands the value of a good education system.
At Eye on Boise, Betsy Russell reports on a meeting this morning of Idaho Legislature's Federal Lands Interim Committee. The committee is taking public testimony this morning on proposals to have the state take over title to federal public lands:
An exception was Russ Smerz, an unpaid lobbyist for Tea Party Boise who said he was speaking for “23 different liberty groups around the state of Idaho,” including 14 tea party groups, the John Birch Society, the Idaho Freedom Foundation, Idaho Open Carry and more. “We do support the transfer of federal lands to the state,” he told the committee. “Basically it’s increased school funding, better managed by the state than the feds, and the historical precedent that has been set by the eastern states.” Jeff Wright of Boise County spoke in favor of transfer; he said his county is 90 percent federally owned. “We can’t develop an economy because we’re not allowed to,” he said. “I think it’s time that Idaho took control of their own destiny.” Full report here.
Question: Do you think this idea has a snowball's chance of becoming reality?
Mary Souza has come out of her seclusion, after her loss to Steve Widmyer in the Coeur d'Alene mayoral race Nov. 5. Here's a portion of her op-ed article in the Coeur d'Alene Press online edition:
Many of my voters have emailed me, upset about the unseemly and dishonest behavior of some prominent Widmyer supporters, with particular anger at the lies and bias in The Press and its blatant political promotion for Steve. But we always knew it wouldn’t be fair; we knew The Press would not be our friend because the strings of control are not attached to us, so we cannot be maneuvered by the powers that be. Let’s hope and pray that Steve doesn’t respond to those strings either. He’s got them now, no doubt about it, and we discussed as much during our coffee. The question is, can he push them away and do the right thing for the people of CdA? I sincerely hope so. Full comment here.
Question: Does Mary still have clout in the city of Coeur d'Alene?
Judge Clark Peterson, a magistrate judge in North Idaho, poses for a photo in 2001 at GenCon, the largest tabletop gaming convention in the United States. (Photo: angelfire.com)
Clark Allen Peterson is more than just a devoted fan of tabletop role-playing fantasy games. He has been an entrepreneur and publisher who mentors game designers, heralds product releases from a company he founded, judges design competitions and posts online comments about the intricacies of this make-believe world of monsters, mythical creatures, magic and good vs. evil. Many know him as the demon prince Orcus, Lord of the Undead. Others know him as the Honorable Clark A. Peterson, a state magistrate judge in Coeur d’Alene. The 46-year-old Peterson has posted hundreds of online comments about the fantasy games while at work at the county justice building in his four years as a member of the state’s judiciary/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: Has Judge Peterson's fantasy game hobby compromised his ability to do a good job?
Young voters are turning against President Obama and his signature healthcare law, according to a new poll from Harvard University's Institute of Politics. Obama's approval rating has plunged to 41 percent with voters aged 18-29, down from 52 percent the last time Harvard polled the group. While 56 percent in the poll say they backed Obama last year, just 46 percent say they would do so again. "We're now seeing a sea change among this critical demographic," says Harvard Institute of Politics Director Trey Grayson. "The president has experienced a double-digit drop in his approval rating among millennials over the last seven months/The Hill. More here.
Question: Can Obamacare survive without Millenial support?
This is in response to the “Readers Write” page of last Sunday’s paper. It’s about the “sculpture” that’s in the middle of the roundabout on Fourth and Kathleen. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, crazy. Ms. Cutler was so right in saying the money could have been better spent somewhere else. She mentioned the food banks in the area, I have to agree. I volunteer at the Coeur d’Alene food bank and some days we have barely enough to give to our clients. That money would have really helped feed our clients. When Ms. Cutler mentioned that the “sculpture” reminded her of Disneyland I couldn’t help but think of the pig sty that’s being built downtown between the library and The Resort. I think I know whose idea that was for the roundabout, his name starts with a “W.” I would like to see the council members come by the food bank for a tour and see what the real world is all about/Leonard Veit, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press.
Question: Art or basics?
350 W. Appleway & Hwy 95
Coeur d'Alene Weather
Current conditions: Cloudy
Temperature: 30° F
Wind: N 6 mph
Feels like: 24° F
Visibility: 10 mi
Sunrise: 7:26 am
Sunset: 3:54 pm