December 15, 2004 

Tuesday, December 7

Because it is still illegal in Idaho to have sex outside of marriage a Twin Falls County judge convicts a 14-year-old-girl of the crime of fornication according to a report by the Twin Falls newspaper the Times-News. The boy involved, an 18-year-old from Buhl, is facing a much heftier charges. But her crime won't go unpunished. She gets 90 days in juvenile detention, nine months probation (also the human gestation period. Coincidence?) and will have to perform 20 hours community service. Despite the law being administered to a minor in this case, it applies to Idahoans of all ages. In other words, don't get caught fornicating without being married.

Wednesday, December 8

A Boise jury finds the 11 defendants guilty as charged for obstructing officers and city workers from moving the Ten Commandments monument. Two of the 13 arrested plead guilty to a lesser charge. Although potentially faced with a hefty fine and up to six months in jail the judge gives eight of them only 25 hours community service. The other three await sentencing.

Thursday, December 9

Last week we ran a story by Carissa Wolf about how the Idaho National Guard troops are well equipped. Today we learn of a soldier from the Tennessee National Guard who asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld why soldiers have to scrounge through local landfills to enhance the armor on their vehicles. Lots of soldiers cheered. Rumsfeld was allegedly pissed and said, "You go to war with the army you have."

But that isn't the whole story. An embedded Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter with the solider's regiment fed the questions to the soldiers so they could ask "tough" questions." Why? Because Rumsfeld wasn't planning on taking any questions from reporters. Our administration has a habit of that. They love to blame the messenger but don't want to ever talk to them.

The chairman, president and CEO for Gannett, (corporate owner of USA Today, The Idaho Statesman, Thr!ve and just about every other news box on the street) says, "2004 will go down as another year of record revenues, earnings and operating cash flow. We are pleased with our results, particularly because we achieved them in an uneven and somewhat tepid economic recovery." According to their forecast, next year the company expects ad revenue to be up, circulation to be flat or down with fewer employees but an increase in revenue generating ones and newsprint consumption to be down or flat. In other words, if we interpret correctly, they plan on making more money by having more salespeople, producing less editorial content, getting rid of non-sales staff and publishing fewer papers. And they say the passion for good journalism is dead.

Last but not least, Canada's Supreme Court gives the big thumbs up for gay marriage today.

Friday, December 10

President Bush experiences the first casualty among the nominees to replace his fleeing cabinet. Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, tagged to become the Secretary of Homeland Security, withdrew his name from consideration because of Nannygate III: The Return. In Nannygate One Zoe Baird was forced to withdraw her nomination by Bill Clinton for not paying employment taxes on her illegal immigrant nanny. In Nannygate II: The Gardner, Linda Chavez, tagged by Bush to be the new Labor Secretary, was caught paying an illegal immigrant for a few chores "around the house." Now Kerik seems to have discovered that his longtime nanny has questionable legal status to work in the United States. As the official who would be responsible for guarding the borders against those illegals and terrorists trying to get into our country it might look a little shady for Kerik to run that department.

Saturday, December 11

It's official: Viktor Yushenko, the Ukranian opposition candidate whose once handsome mug now looks like the face of the moon, has an explanation. He officially confirms that he was poisoned. His aides are blaming a plot directed by the Ukrainian government via the Kremlin with the help of former KGB agents.

Sunday, December 12

TiVo sends cease-and-desist letters to news organizations to keep them from using TiVo as a verb. Millions TiVoed Janet Jackson's Superbowl super-flash and you may have TiVoed past ads on many a night. If only you could TiVo life through the slow parts. We TiVoed most of Thanksgiving dinner and are now enjoying the best parts while we spend this evening Netflicking.

Monday, December 13

Scott Peterson, the California man convicted of killing his pregnant wife was sentenced to death. There are 640 people on death row in front of him, so he probably has decades before facing the reaper.

Tuesday, December 14

The Federal Reserve raises interest rates by one-quarter percent. We hear a few grumblings about Idaho's proposed Gay Marriage Amendment. It may turn out not to be a slam dunk after all for proponents of the legislation.

U.S. DEBT

The outstanding public debt as of Dec. 14, 2004 is $7,571,809,074,778 and increasing on average of $2.56 billion per day since September 30, 2003.

Each citizen's share of this debt is $25,662.31.

Source: www.brillig.com/debt_clock

WAR IN IRAQ

U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1,296 U.S. service members (including 10 Idahoans) have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 1,019 in combat and 277 from noncombat-related incidents and accidents. Injured service members total 9,844.

Last week 22 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq.

Since President George W. Bush declared "mission accomplished" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, 1,154 soldiers have died and 9,302 have been injured.Source: U.S. Department of Defense

IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 14,770 and 16,965.Source: www.iraqbodycount.org

COST OF IRAQ WAR TO U.S.: $150,055,750,000.

COST OF IRAQ WAR TO BOISE: $64,584,000. Source: costofwar.com

Citizen calendar

If you have any unpaid parking tickets be one of the first in line on December 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Boise City Hall and area pastors will write a check to pay them, if you ask. Money will be given on a first--come, first--served basis until it runs out. Funds were donated by Treasure Valley business leaders and pastors.

Send hot tips or a letter to the editor to Editor@boiseweekly.com

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