Annually, this corner recognizes the most egregious rhetorical insults against the American people. Often these insults are examples of foolishness or arrogance. But this year stood out for its transgressions against the truth. The year 2014 deserves to go down in history as the Year of the Big Lie. Actually, there were lots of big lies in 2014. Sadly, we have come to expect dishonesty from our politicians. But the year just past stood politicians clinging bitterly to chronic lies. Barack Obama got the year started when, in an interview with The New Yorker magazine, he dismissed Islamic State terrorists as the JV team. He was adhering to the narrative created by his propagandists that Islamic terrorism was a thing of the past. He had killed Osama bin Laden. He could pacify Muslims with sweet talk. Now it's possible that this was not strictly a lie. It could have been ignorance/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
In this March 4, 2009 file photo, Donna Douglas, who starred in the television series "The Beverly Hillbillies" tours the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. Douglas, who played the buxom tomboy Elly May Clampett on the hit 1960s sitcom died at age 82 on Jan. 1 in Baton Rouge. Story here. (AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)
Question: Is there any Baby Boomer male who wasn't smitten by Elly May Clampett back in the day?
Idaho legislators will be put to a great test in the session that opens this week. Will they have the fortitude to vigorously debate a proposal to close the Medicaid gap? There's strong speculation that this fiscally prudent, politically charged matter won't ever see the light of serious reflection. That's because the Medicaid issue is related to Obamacare -- and as we're all repeatedly told, Idahoans don't support Obamacare. We contend that objection to one should not preclude serious consideration of the other. You probably already know that expanding Medicaid would assist nearly 80,000 Idahoans who don't qualify for a health insurance subsidy. Roughly two-thirds of these people are working, but poor/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Can Idaho legislators look past their anti-Obamacare bias to do what's right for Idaho's working poor?
A lot of Kootenai County's outlook in 2015 will depend on the two new commissioners elected in November to the three-person board. County Commissioner-elect David Stewart said his schedule shows he will be sworn in at 10 a.m. on Jan. 12. He has asked that fired Coeur d'Alene Airport Director Greg Delavan's employee file be on his desk by noon that day for his review. Look for an executive session shortly afterward, Stewart said Friday. While reinstating Delavan or hiring a new director will be his first priority in 2015, airport expansion also makes his to-do list, he said. Another top item on Stewart's list of priorities is a wage increase for Kootenai County Sheriff's Office deputies/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: What would you say is the No. 1 priority for Kootenai County in 2015?
For Mayor Steve Widmyer and the Coeur d'Alene City Council, 2015 will be a year of challenging business and exciting developments. According to the mayor, public safety is the most important piece of business the city will continue to address in 2015. Widmyer said the arrival of Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White has already brought about reductions in crime rates and is implementing policies that will further reduce them in the future. He said the challenge is in providing the police department with adequate manpower to keep crime rates low. More manpower means more funding, he said, and even though some longtime members of the force are retiring and helping the financing issue, more funds could be necessary/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you agree with Mayor Widmyer that public safety is Job 1 for the city of Coeur d'Alene in 2015?
Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle
I have to think of something nice to say about cats apparently -- because Cindy steered Huckleberries Online to a blog record for annual page-views while I was on vacation. I'll tell you more about that Monday. Meanwhile, I need to bundle up and head outside to shovel the snow off my driveway and sidewalk. Then take Huckleberry the Beagle for a walk. And then settle down for a long winter's day or two of watching NFL playoffs. Here's your first weekend Wild Card of 2015 ...
This photo of snow shrouding the gargoyles atop the Chronicle buidling in downtown Spokane make me especially glad I'm spending my day off hanging out at home with my guys.
Stay safe out there!
Here it is. The new blog format.
I love how they wait until DFO is on vacation to roll it out! Although to be fair, when is Dave NOT on vacation?
I appear to be 7 years younger, since they used my orginal column mugshot. I'm okay with starting the new year, younger!
Note: there is a recent comments button, which is really important to most of us.
Use this Wild Card to tell us what you think.
The family of Veronica Rutledge has set up a memorial fund to pay for her funeral expenses and provide support for her husband and son. Rutledge was killed Tuesday at a Walmart in Hayden, Idaho after her two-year-old son accidentally shot her with a gun he pulled out of her purse. The gun was in a zippered pocket specifically designed to hold a concealed weapon/Rachel Alexander, SR. More here.
Also: The inside story of how an Idaho toddler shot his mother at Wal-Mart/Washington Post
Question: Would you consider donating to this fund?
Dan Gayle, of the SR's Tech Deck blog, posts: We've been hard at work building new templates for the entire network of spokesman.com blogs, and they're going live tonight! (Yay, we know how to party like it's 1999). If you're familiar with Rich Landers' Outdoors blog, the new designs are almost exactly the same, with a clean, classic feel inspired by the great typography of our print newspaper. Here are some of the highlights:
- There are no longer two different versions of our blogs. It's now all reunited as one easy peasy responsive design. Oh yeah.
- Much larger and cleaner typography, making it easier for audiences both young and old to enjoy.
- A newly redesigned blog home page that is much more pleasant to use and much more useful for users to discover all of the great content from our 15 (and counting) newsroom blogs. More here.
Question: So what do you think of the new look for Huckleberries Online?