Dirk Vader Quote of the Week 

"We're going to tell him, 'Don't do this."

No, this isn't from Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne's day-to-day Darth Vader activities, where he does stuff like take a veto-blaster to bills sight unseen to bully lawmakers into rubberstamping his new intergalactic highway to the TamarackStar. This is from the Kempthorne who, on rare occasions, stands up to his Nookyalur Emperor on issues like ... well, pretty much just the no-brainer of supporting Idaho's National Guard.

In February, Kempthorne joined the other 49 state governors in a letter to George W. Bush expressing concern over proposed cuts to the Army and Air National Guard by the Department of Defense. Then, last week, at the winter meeting of the National Governor's Association in Washington, D.C., Kempthorne reiterated his well-supported stance with a firestorm of choice sound bites. Aside from the above quote from the AP, he told the Post on February 25 that the current trend of long overseas troop deployments and proposed budget cuts are a "formula for disaster" for states. Then he whirred his red-state saber for The New York Times, adding that the National Guard was bearing "a totally disproportionate share" of cuts in the military budget, significantly weakening its ability to protect lives and property at home. And finally, on February 28, he picked up his lightning-bolt-throwing master and hurled him into the flaming core of the interstellar war machine (well, not really), giving the Post another great quote: "I appreciate the president saying he's committed to the full strength, but the money is not there." Zing!

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