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No, Really, What's Up With Idaho?
Some good news and some full on WTF news.
As we mentioned in our weirdass Idaho story yesterday, Idaho is having a bit of a moment just now. Let's review: In just the past two weeks, Yr Wonkette has featured these steaming nuggets of Pure Idaho Weird — and half of them involve the state legislature!
Happily we have some updates on a few of those, and they don't all suck, so let's take a look-see!
Yay! Librarians Can Keep Promoting Degeneracy!
Yr Doktor Zoom just loves his Boise Library and its exclamation point.
After the state House passed a bill that would have allowed librarians and libraries to be criminally charged for "disseminating materials harmful to minors," the state Senate leadership told reporters last week the bill wouldn't get a hearing in the Senate, effectively killing any chance of the bill moving forward. State Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder said at a virtual luncheon with reporters, "I do not see the chamber picking this one up. I do not see it getting a hearing in committee. I think it’s very appropriately numbered, 666.”
"We don’t really tell our chairmen what to put in their drawer or not to put in their drawer. [...] But there are a lot of bills, probably moreso than normal, that are in drawers around our side of the building. I think most of them will stay there. So I don’t think you’ll see some of the craziness that the House seems to like to do get very far in the Senate."
At the same meeting, Winder said he didn't expect that another crazy House bill — HB 675, which would prohibit gender-affirming care for trans kids — would proceed, either. And as our next newspotato indicates, he was right! [ Idaho Press ]
Senate Kills Anti-Trans Bill Too
This week, Idaho Senate Republicans issued a statement that they will not consider HB 675, which would have banned gender-affirming care for trans kids and would have imposed life sentences in prison for doctors who provided such care, as well as parents who approved it. The Republicans were very careful to make clear that they absolutely oppose "any and all gender reassignment and surgical manipulation of the natural sex of minors," but said the House's bill went too far because it
undermines parental rights and allows the government to interfere in parents’ medical decision-making authority for their children. [...]
We believe in parents’ rights and that the best decisions regarding medical treatment options for children are made by parents, with the benefit of their physician’s advice and expertise.
Hating on trans people is all well and good, and Idaho Republicans are happy to do it, but only if that only hurts trans people themselves, like trying to ban trans athletes . Interfering with parents' decisions about their kids' healthcare, however, is more than they're ready to do, unless a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy. In that case, she needs to become a parent, and after that, Republicans don't care one way or the other about her or her brat. [ Idaho Statesman ]
Kootenai Dems Foil GOP Ratfuckery
In North Idaho, Republicans came up with a kooky plan by to take over the Democratic Party in Kootenai County. The place is already a GOP stronghold, but one of the brain geniuses in the county Republican leadership was recorded talking up a plan to infiltrate the Democrats by running Republicans for Democratic precinct captains in May's primary. Luckily, a non-insane GOP guy shared the recording with the media, and Kootenai Democrats chair Evan Koch wrote this week that
In less than 48 hours we identified and recruited the real Democrats needed to save our Central Committee. They turned out and committed to run in most every open precinct. In fact, many people contacted us to volunteer before being asked.
Only nineteen Republicans filed to run for Democratic precinct captain and now their names and precincts are in the public record. Although this attempted insurgence is a clear concern, it will not threaten control of the committee.
Hooray for local journalism, and hooray for local activism, too! [ Kootenai County Democrats ]
Ammon Bundy Has HAD IT With You Sheeple, Also Baby Is Safe Now
In that weirdass case where professional rightwing liberty provocateur (and independent candidate for governor) Ammon Bundy tried to mobilize people to make Idaho CPS return a malnourished baby to his parents, it seems the baby's family has decided to let the state take care of the 10-month-old, at least for a while. The Idaho Statesman reports the baby's grandfather, Diego Rodriguez, a Bundy adviser, said the parents "are giving custody of (the baby) to the state." No word on any details there; but that seems at least a temporary end to the saga. We'd also note that Rodriguez's blog, which had been railing about authorities "kidnapping" the child and CPS and local police engaging in "child trafficking," hasn't posted any updated outrage since Wednesday. [ Idaho Statesman ]
Rightwing internet talkshow guy Stew Peters said on his Thursday show that he'd received email from Rodriguez saying the judge had ordered that the baby be cared for by the state, and that Rodriguez was planning a "legal review" with his attorneys. The show also featured an interview with Idaho Lt. Gov Janice McGeachin, with more talk of how the poor baby had been "ripped away from the arms of his mother," talk of the state as "abductionists" and so on. (We're not linking, because the video includes the names and photos of medical and law enforcement personnel and a CPS social worker involved in the case.)
Very early Monday morning, Ammon Bundy posted to YouTube a video in which he again said the parents were "perfect" and that the state was lying in order to take the child away, accusing the judge of having "taken hundreds of children," which probably shouldn't be too surprising since she's a family court judge andIdaho has more than 400,000 minors in foster care, with between 1,800 and 1,900 child maltreatment victims reported each year between 2016 and 2019.
Bundy said the next hearing would be held April 8, and again claimed that the only problem was that the parents had "missed an appointment," and denied the doctors' concerns that the baby was malnourished. (Instead, Bundy insisted the baby had only gone to the hospital because he was "throwing up" a lot.)
Bundy then offered some great advice from a guy who wants to be governor:
The lesson we learn here is that you don't, don't take your kids to the hospital. Don't take your loved one to the hospital. You can't afford it. [...] There's a good chance that the state will get involved if you take your child to the hospital. This just proves it.
Bundy speculated about some "pretty eerie connections that are going on in timing" in the case, explained that the judge is a "very wicked woman, I mean very, very wicked, very wicked" who simply wanted to "destroy the family" as family court judges generally do. Finally, he reached his big conclusion:
You don't own your children. If you think you do, if you think you own 'em, that they're your children, you're a damn fool, because the state owns them, and they take them when they want, how they want, when they want. So don't you dare think that you're the one who has rights to your children. Don't you dare think that, don't even act like in any way that you do have those rights. We haven't defended them enough, and now they're taking our little children.
You know, we probably could have pointed out to him that most people regard their children as human beings that they have a moral obligation to care for and raise well, not as possessions, but Ammon Bundy never asks us about anything .
Here's Wingnut Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin Being Very Persuasive
Finally, a master class on how to interview a wingnut who won't give a straight answer, from KTVB Boise reporter Brian Holmes. He tried to get Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin on the record about a pretty simple question: When she sent a recorded video to be played at white suprempacist Nick Fuentes's "America First" hatefest, was she aware of Fuentes's racist beliefs? And if she did know, why did she go ahead and participate?
The interview aired February 28 , but went viral this week when it was retwote by journalist Sergio Olmos. It's really very good: McGeachin tries to avoid the questions, and Holmes refuses to chase after her attempts to distract her.
We've cued the video up to the actual interview, but go right ahead and watch the whole report, if you need context on this shitbird Fuentes.
There's a full transcript of the interview at KTVB, and this post is already way too long, so we'll just focus in on McGeachin's brilliant hair-splitting: OK, maybe she'd heard of Fuentes, but she sent a video to express her views, not his, so why does anyone even care what he thinks? Also, she insists, it's totally unfair to ask her about the views of someone whose conference she participated in, because that's guilt by association and the media only pulls that on conservatives.
She perhaps has never heard of Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers.
Still, we guess McGeachin has a point: We're always hearing about how bad it supposedly is when Republicans speak at neo-Nazi conferences. But why doesn't the media ever report on Democrats speaking at neo-Nazi conferences? We just never hear about that , for some reason. [ KTVB-TV]
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