Friday, December 30, 2005

Bowler's Heaven - Michigan man bowls third 300 game of life, then dies

PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — A longtime bowler collapsed and died at a bowling alley shortly after rolling the third perfect game of his life.

"If he could have written a way to go out, this would be it," Johnny D Masters said of Ed Lorenz, who died at a bowling alley shortly after bowling a perfect game.

Ed Lorenz, 69, of Portage, near Kalamazoo, bowled a 300 Wednesday in his first league game of the night at Airway Lanes. When the retiree got up to bowl in the fifth frame of his second game, he clutched his chest and fell over, and efforts to revive him failed.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Idahoans must guard and protect our federal public lands

This is an op-ed piece that will be appearing in newspapers around the state this coming week. I don't know anyone who has more understanding or credibility on this topic than Cecil Andrus, a four-term Idaho Governor and former Secretary of the Interior.

Idahoans must guard and protect our federal public lands
By Cecil D. Andrus

Selling off our public federal lands to pay for the damage of Hurricane Katrina is like selling your backyard to cover the costs of a fire in your garage. It doesn’t make sense.

Yet, there are some in Washington, D.C., who are pushing a plan to sell off 15 percent of all the lands held by the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and other Interior Department agencies. States like Idaho with a lot of federal acres would be first on the chopping block.

Idaho has about 33 million acres of federal public lands. Selling of 15 percent of those would equal more than 5 million acres. That’s more than the entire Boise and Sawtooth National Forests combined. And the 15-percent figure doesn’t necessarily apply to a state-by-state approach – there’s no limit in the proposed legislation as to how much could be sold in any single state.

Here in Idaho, our public land is our working capital. We use our natural resources, such as timber and grazing, and we enjoy the recreation that comes with them, such as hunting, fishing, camping and hiking.

Yet, our public lands are more than the sum of its parts. Over the years of my life, as I have driven and flown around this beautiful state, I’ve seen the prettiest blue waterfalls, the most stunning high desert cliffs, the most breathtaking green forests. But just as much as the scenery, I love the fact that it belongs to all of us. None of us own it, yet we all share it – it’s ours. That’s one of the most central concepts of being an Idahoan – it’s what makes us who we are.

I can’t imagine why anyone from Idaho would want to auction off this irreplaceable treasure. I know that Jerry Brady, Democratic candidate for governor, has stepped up to defend Idaho’s public lands, and I commend him for it. Because once we sell it off, it’s gone. The old Will Rogers adage is true: “They ain’t makin’ it no more.”

Sure, you can horse-trade for a few acres here and there. We did some of that when I was Secretary of the Interior under President Carter. But in all my years managing the Interior Department, our goal was always to make public land more open and accessible to the people; not sell it to the highest bidder so private landowners can put up fences, like they’ve done in Texas.

I’m sure some people will say that Idaho has plenty of public land, so we can afford to sell off some and still have plenty. But selling land isn’t the same as selling potatoes, microchips or some other commodity. Rural land can be bought strategically, so that purchasing 100 acres can effectively close off 1,000 acres or more, depending on road access. This kind of buying allows one private citizen to make a minimal investment but still locks out huge tracts to everyone who doesn’t own a helicopter.

Also, in the current political atmosphere, there’s a strong potential for dishonesty. It seems like every day, more headlines are coming out of Washington, D.C. about politicians corrupted by greed. What do you think would happen if the entire West were opened up to land speculators? Who do you think would be the winners and who will be the losers?

I’ll tell you who. It will be the high-dollar campaign contributors and the big-time power brokers who will own the best and most valuable lands. The hunters, fishermen, campers and other recreationists will be left out, but they won’t be the only losers. It will also be the family rancher, the small-town outfitter, the restaurant owners and hotel operators and all their employees.

Idaho and the West are not for sale to the highest bidder. Our heritage, our culture and our future depend on keeping this irreplaceable resource open for all.

Cecil D. Andrus,
Former Idaho Governor

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tall buildings? Community Centers? Attend and Give Input!

Tonight there will be a workshop at the First Presbyterian Church at 521 Lakeside Avenue in downtown Coeur d'Alene from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm regarding the issue of downtown development restrictions.

There will also be a meeting at Coeur d'Alene High School for citizens to provide further input on the proposed Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.

It's unfortunate that both meetings are happening on the same night, but for my money both of these are critical issues. I intend to go to the downtown development workshop for the bulk of it since of the two issues it is the one I know less about. If there is time left I will try to make the Kroc Center meeting as well.

Regardless - people need to attend these meetings in person and make your feelings known. You can also email me directly at: to give me feedback if you can't attend in person. Thanks!

For information on both of these things visit the city website at: City of Coeur d'Alene Website

Sunday, November 20, 2005


It's been a very busy last few months with the campaign and all, and I intend to do some thinking and jotting some thoughts about the recently concluded political campaign when I have some time. It's been just about 2 months since my last post here, but tonight something happened as a result of the blogosphere that gives me a little perspective and I wanted to put it down as a reminder of how what real struggle is like.

I received an email that was sent through another blog site I help administer, and it appeared by all accounts to be a suicide note. I'm not trained in such matters, but I know that any person who would put such thoughts into words or emails needs to get help - of whatever kind - immediately.

All we had was a partial email address and a name, so I went to, put in the person's name and town (she had indicated where she lived) and there was a match. We sent an email reply, and tried to call the number but there was no answer.

So we called the local police in her town, gave them the information, and they said they will do their best to locate the person and send help.

It's an enormous burden to contemplate what must be going through this person's mind, but for now all we can do is pray that her outreach might get her some help.

In the midst of this, I'm reminded that as busy as our lives are, as difficult as things can appear at times, we're greatly blessed.

So to my email correspondent tonight - though you may not be able to see it right now, you are loved and you are in our prayers. Stay with us.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Kennedy for City Council Website is up!

Due to the web mastery of the great VanEtten Studios, the Kennedy For City Council Web site is up and running, and able to accept donations for the campaign!

Thanks, Dave!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Katrina Evacuees Experience in Idaho

This is another in the series of email posts on resettlement efforts of Katrina evacuees to Idaho. I believe that there are several families resettled in Idaho at this point, but this is a little glimpse into what our statewide organization, Catholic Charities of Idaho, is doing with one family who has resettled in Boise. Carl Quintanilla of NBC will be highlighting this family next week on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams as an example of how folks are faring in their resettled residences and the services people are providing.

Hello All,

We are having busy days here with our wonderful family from New Orleans. NBC started filming at my home this morning at 9:00 AM. They filmed the last of the packing and loading my SUV and then we went to the new duplex and filmed the unloading, etc. St. Vincent de Paul brought a king-size bed for our 6’8” dad and tiny mom! That was filmed along with some quiet dialogue about their experience.

Right now they are here at CCI doing a counseling session with Melaney (CCI counselor). She is telling them about the kind of changes they can expect in their 5-yr old’s behavior. She is a “livewire.”

I wanted to demonstrate the range of services available to families who relocate with the help of Catholic Charities. Because their anchorman cannot come until Sunday night, they will not be airing the piece this Friday. I will let you know when we hear. It could be Monday or Tuesday evening. Carl Quintanilla, who has been covering the hurricane for NBC, is flying here on Sunday so that they will have some footage of him with the family.

NPR would like to do a story as well. Marcia and staff are working hard on getting the prayer services organized for Friday. Daren and Tasha and kids will be featured. Tonight we are having a welcome party at their duplex. All are invited who are in the area. NBC will be taping it.

Tomorrow morning we will begin at 8:45 at the elementary school where Dymonlynn will be attending kindergarten, followed by the meeting of the interfaith pastors, a trip to ITT Tech where Daren can resume his education. I’m off to Phoenix on Friday. When I get a break, I will e-mail you more information. Daren and Tasha want other victims to know that relocating to other places in the U.S. can be a wonderful experience.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Dalai Lama and Willie Nelson in Idaho Together - Perfect!

(KTVB Television) KETCHUM -- "The Dalai Lama made his much anticipated arrival into the Wood River Valley Saturday afternoon under a cloak of secrecy.

The Dalai Lama will deliver a message of peace to the Wood River Valley on the anniversary of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks.

But it is country crooner Willie Nelson who's taking center stage tonight.

NewsChannel 7 has a backstage pass to the event.

You might not automatically tie Willie Nelson with the Dalai Lama, but there is a legitimate connection here -- all in the name of charity.
Money made from tonight's show will go to the children of Tibet."

(No offense intended to the Dalai Lama that his picture is much smaller than Willie Nelson's here - there are just more higher quality public domain internet images of Willie than the Dalai Lama available - go figure! But since they're both great men of peace not to mention rockin tunes, I'm sure the Dalai Lama won't mind)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina Resettlement Activities - Sunday Evening Update

This is an update mail from Catholic Charities of Idaho's Development Director Kristan Schlichte, who has been dispatched to Texas to work on helping evacuees get resettled. To me it shows a sense of order forming amidst the chaos, but still how much freelancing is going on out of necessity (dropping folks off in front of a non-profit agency for lack of a better plan, for example).

Hi again,:
We are saying right now that we can accommodate individuals and families from 6 weeks to 6 months and beyond depending on their own self-reliance plans. Our Idaho contingent visited a shelter in Galveston this evening. It was much smaller and very calm compared to the Astrodome. They canceled plans for a Mass there today because of security issues. However, they allowed Bishop Fiorenza, a rabbi, an Imam and a Baptist minister to take ten minutes each to talk to he crowd. Greg Patin, our Catholic Charities Galveston/Houston contact who has been spending hours over there, said that he could feel a calm settle over the crowd as the faith leaders spoke. Some individuals have families, others don't. Right now the thought of leaving the gulf coast is overwhleming to many. However, in several days and weeks, they will realize their plight and be less fearful of taking a chance. Many are still in shock and unable to rationalize their situation. We know that after crisis mode comes post trauma. These folks need to be somewhere where they can get supportive services for themselves and their children. They do not know what is in store for them. Let me know how we can be of service to the Yakima CC office in the intake process. CC Houston has taken us in and is asking us to help to interivew individuals and families willing to re-locate for transitional housing. (Just make sure someone has done a home visit prior to placement. I know you already know that!) They are doing yeoman's work here. Today 5 busloads of Vietnamese people from Louisiana were dropped off in front of their office with no notice. Someone told the bus drivers in New Orleans to take them to Catholic Charities because "they would know how to help them!" It is CCUSA at its best. We can be so proud! I'll talk with you tomorrow.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Idaho Responds to Hurricane Katrina

I've had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Idaho (CCI) since its inception in 2001. CCI's national network, Catholic Charities USA, has been in the disaster recovery business for 100 years or so, and is at the forefront of efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I'm pleased that CC Idaho staff and Idaho volunteers are making their way to Houston, in coordination with national and state relief organizations, to help resettle some evacuees to Idaho for as long as is needed until they can find a way back to their homes and lives.

This has been a colossal nightmare, as everyone knows, but in the quiet of non-profit organizations and homes all around the country we can see the beginnings of light at the end of the tunnel.

If anyone is interested in how they can help out, email me for Idaho contacts or check out the national Catholic Charities website at Catholic Charities USA.

Below is a reprint of an email I received last night from CCI's Development Director Kristan Schlichte who is coordinating Idaho's Catholic Relief efforts to let you know some of the scope of CCI's efforts. We may be thousands of miles away, but we aren't helpless.



"Here is today’s update from CCUSA.

Today (9/2) (Idaho Catholic) Bishop Mike Driscoll asked me to coordinate the diocesan disaster response. Along with staff from Catholic Charities of Idaho, we met with diocesan leaders to brainstorm some immediate ways to assist the victims. I am traveling to Houston tomorrow along with 3 Treasure Valley volunteers to identify families for immediate transition to Idaho. Marcie Wilske, our new Parish Social Ministry Director, is coordinating with self-identified families who want to bring victims into their homes. The details are being worked out between CCI and local parish volunteers.

We have also made initial contact with the Governor’s Office, the office of Boise's Mayor, Homeland Security and the Idaho Careline. We are prepared to match victims to volunteers statewide as part of Phase 2 of our efforts. 211 Careline will direct potential volunteers to Catholic Charities of Idaho. We have an online housing assistance form for people to complete and return. Executive Director Marie Hoff is planning to hire additional temp. staff to help case manage the families who come to Idaho. More about the details of this later.

If you have ideas or suggestion, please contact Marcie Wilske here at CCI. We are working with United Way and Catholic Charities in Houston. My friend, Fr. JJ Mc Carthy, O.Carm., is the pastor of St. Bernadette’s Catholic Community in Houston. He is giving us hospitality and his parishioners will assist us with logistics as necessary. We will try to get the Idaho National Guard to provide return transportation for the victims. If not on this trip, then on subsequent phases, I am hoping the St. Bernadette parishioners who are part of NASA will help coordinate charters with the USAF. Right now everything is very fluid.

I am grateful for the opportunity to utilize my experience in disaster relief to put our agency and diocese on the forefront of “hands-on” response. I ask for your prayers and any contacts you might have with the corporate community to assist us in this resettlement effort. The duration of time for people to be in our care could be from 6 weeks to 6 months depending on the needs of the individual families and the kind of supportive services we can muster.

These are indeed refugees because they have nowhere to return. CCUSA is mounting a huge effort to coordinate good will and resources with victims needs. It is called Operation Home Away From Home. We can be proud of our Catholic network. I will have my laptop with me and can be reached at my home e-mail address. I will keep in touch. Pray for these initial efforts at bringing relief to the Katrina victims.

Kristan Schlichte"

The Storm after the Storm - David Brooks

David Brooks NYT Column: "We'd like to think that the stories of hurricanes and floods are always stories of people rallying together to give aid and comfort. And, indeed, each of America's great floods has prompted a popular response both generous and inspiring. But floods are also civic examinations. Amid all the stories that recur with every disaster - tales of sudden death and miraculous survival, the displacement and the disease - there is also the testing.

Civic arrangements work or they fail. Leaders are found worthy or wanting. What's happening in New Orleans and Mississippi today is a human tragedy. But take a close look at the people you see wandering, devastated, around New Orleans: they are predominantly black and poor. The political disturbances are still to come. "

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Kennedy Clan - August 2005

Kathleen and Mike with (left to right) Max, Nora, Will, Quinn, Maggie

It's our turn to help Biloxi

New York Daily News - Home - Michael Daly: It's our turn to help Biloxi: "With news of the awesome destruction down South comes a memory from the terrible days after 9/11, when a big banner went up in Times Square.

'Biloxi loves NYC!' the banner announced.

The banner was sent by Biloxi High School to Stephen Pitalo, a graduate of the Class of 1986 who had moved from that Mississippi city to New York and became a TV and radio producer. He also received boxes of relief supplies collected by students at the Biloxi grammar school he attended, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. "

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Screams and tears as Israeli settlers exit Gaza

photo copyright AFP

I think this is a truly momentous occasion - one that makes you stop and pause and reflect on just how much pain and suffering that people in the Middle East have put one another and themselves through over the years. I am no fan of Ariel Sharon, but I think he has to get credit for following through on this extremely difficult action in hopes of continuing a peace process that is as tortured as anything one could conjure up.

Certainly there are strategic reasons for this move on the part of the Israelis, but I have to believe it will be met there with contemplation of what the future of the region really is.

Pullout of the Gaza Strip: "Backed by bulldozers, Israeli forces fanned out through the Mediterranean seafront territory, marching through makeshift barricades into a string of settlements after hundreds of families defied a midnight deadline to leave voluntarily.

As smoke rose from tyres set ablaze by protestors, emotions were running high with sporadic scuffles breaking out while settlers and soldiers wept tears of rage and anguish at the historic operation that pitted Jew against Jew.

Sharon, who risked his political career on the pullout and has been vilified by settlers who once considered him their champion, said he had been moved to tears seeing Jews being hauled from their homes.

'When I see these families with tears in their eyes and police officers with tears in their eyes, it's impossible to look at this without weeping yourself,' he told reporters."

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Bush Library at my Alma Mater? - Bush library hopefuls have stacked up: "Bush told Texas reporters this month that his wife would 'definitely' have a vote on the final decision. That fueled speculation that SMU in Dallas, where the future first lady earned her bachelor's degree in education, is the frontrunner. She's also on SMU's board of trustees.

There's more to support the SMU theory. The Bushes have mused about buying a house in Dallas after his presidency to provide an urban alternative to their 1,583-acre ranch, which is just 23 miles from here - and Baylor."

Monday, August 08, 2005

Request a Yard Sign!

If you would like a Kennedy for City Council yard sign in Coeur d'Alene, please email me at: with your name, phone, and address, and we'll make sure you get one when we're putting them out later this fall.

Thank you for your support!

The campaign - week one - Canfield Mountain

This was a good week to get the campaign for city council kicked off. I got good coverage in the papers, very warm response from the friends and family who attended, and this weekend at Art on the Green and the Street Fair I was surprised at how many people wanted to come up and talk about the future and the campaign.

We always see friends we haven't seen in a while on this weekend, but this was different because this time the friends were very excited about helping, asking what they can do, and ready to work. This is a humbling and exciting response!

On Thursday evening the Open Space committee, of which I'm a member, hiked around Canfield Mountain, contemplating the area and getting a sense of the acreage that may well become public property as the Copper Ridge subdivision gets built and the developers donate back property to the city. The challenge of finding an effective route to the land through the neighborhood and to the Forest Service property which abuts the land will be interesting to work through. Parks Director Doug Eastwood is more than up to the challenge.

I was struck by how much slash and the seeming hack job done in places on the mountain to date by private owners. The city will do a better job of maintenance I'm sure when they take ownership, but it appears that the Idaho Dept. of Lands either didn't have tools to get the mess cleaned up, or didn't care to focus on it. Either way, it's a shame and in many places it's a mess.

Here's a link to a Canfield Mountain Trail page for mountain bikers:

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Remodeling for First-time Homebuyers

I've always said that my friend Mike who wrote the great missives from Israel should be a professional writer. Now he and his wife Beth, our other great friend in that marriage, are remodeling their home and I think it will be a rich source of humor for a while to come. Let's hope he keeps blogging away on this one. (Caution - one f-bomb alert toward the end of the story - sorry, Mom)

The Lattice of Coincidence: "In an effort to keep up with our smarter friends, who wisely cashed-in their twin condos or starter homes before the market reached Tulip Mania proportions, we have purchased the house that served as the serial killer's home base in The Silence of the Lambs. A brightly hued rowhouse, Number 1364 served as home to three or seven or nine people and upwards of twenty pets. Their effluvia - hair, skin, smells, excrement - is tattooed into every molecule of the place."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Kennedy to run for Cd'A Council

Coeur d'Alene Press: "Husband, father of five says city must meet needs of all residents

COEUR d'ALENE -- Local software businessman Mike Kennedy cited Charles Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities' when he announced his candidacy for City Council Tuesday."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Coeur d'Alene City Council Announcement

When I moved to Coeur d’Alene in 1991 I had all my belongings in the back of my 1984 Honda and no money. So I spent several months living in the basement of my aunt and uncle’s home in the Fort Grounds – a great introduction to my new hometown.

Since then I have been proud to be involved in a number of community organizations. I’m a 1998 graduate of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Leadership Coeur d’Alene program, I serve as a director on the local non-profit boards of the Coeur d’Alene Library Foundation and Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre and I’m also on the state board of Catholic Charities of Idaho.

But the most important item in my resume now is that fourteen years after arriving in Coeur d’Alene I have a beautiful wife and five amazing children all born in the same wing of Kootenai Medical Center right here in Coeur d’Alene.

The reason I’m running for City Council is because of those five kids. Kathleen and I are living the “American Dream” here, and we want our kids to be able to do the same – to get a job, buy a home and raise their families right here, just like we’re trying to do.

There are three issues that I think are critical to preserving and improving our quality of life in Coeur d’Alene:
• Growing in a way that makes sense
• Protecting our kids
• Preserving access to open space and public places

I’m sure you’ve all heard the line: “It was the best of times it was the worst of times.”

These are the first words written by Charles Dickens in his classic novel A Tale of Two Cities. They described Paris and London in the 1770’s, but in many ways those words could address Boomtown Coeur d’Alene in the early 2000’s.

I want to talk for just a few minutes about our two cities.


Growth and development are here – and they bring great opportunity along with challenges and change. Recently a consultant came to town and told our city officials that CDA was standing in the path of a freight train and we didn’t realize it.

One city of Coeur d’Alene is bursting with new residences, increasing home values, and new construction everywhere, providing a vibrant and robust economy. We absolutely need to keep this economy strong to provide livable wage jobs for our citizens. But our other city has a widow in the same home she’s been in for years, now living in fear of losing her home to increasing property taxes. Our city also has too few livable wage jobs for our neighbors.

So ask yourself if Coeur d’Alene is growing in a way that makes sense. In many cases it’s not. Here’s an example – garbage fees, water fees, wastewater treatment fees – all of these have gone up over the years. But since the early 1980’s annexation fees have not increased at all.
Growth must pay for itself - and it isn’t now. We must enact more aggressive and more targeted impact fees so that new construction underwrites the cost of the new infrastructure needed to support it.

New development should also be good for all the community. We’re standing in a terrific new neighborhood – Coeur d’Alene Place. We like it so much my wife and I chose to build a new home for our growing family a few blocks away so our kids could walk to the park, walk to school, and ride their bikes on safe pathways. We need to encourage developers like this who build with vision, and make any new development truly part of and good for the overall community, instead of just being a walled-off enclave with no connection to the area around it.

So we stand in a great neighborhood, but just up the road is a four way stop sign that forms an enormously long and overburdened line of cars every day at rush hour – a traffic jam of the type that so many people left cities to get away from. I want to know why that happens and what we can do to fix it. When it comes to the work of dealing with growth in Coeur d’Alene, I think we need to spend more time planning up front to ensure that we leave this town better than we found it and don’t make mistakes that aren’t fixable later on.


Young families like ours that are growing and making their way need a fresh voice on the Coeur d’Alene City Council.

Our one city of Coeur d’Alene provides good schools, great opportunities for kids to get involved and grow. The other city has challenges facing our kids that seem tougher than ever before.

Whether it’s a simple good quality of life issue like providing safe routes to schools, or a deadly serious issue like strengthening city ordinances so that violent sex offenders don’t gather together in makeshift flop-houses near our schools, we need to work harder to protect our kids.

Whether it’s ensuring that our community provides more after school programs or the need to keep cracking down on meth labs and the drug scourge in our neighborhoods, we need to work harder to protect our kids.

I want to be the voice for young families on the Coeur d’Alene City Council.


I am currently serving on the city’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Open Space. It’s a new committee, recently formed, and we’re doing our best. But the city needs to move faster and more aggressively to protect those precious open spaces that make our community something special but that are rapidly disappearing. Our one city of growth, opportunity, and excitement is rapidly threatening the other city of open western prairies, rugged mountains and hills, and pristine lakes.

We need to find a way to protect our access to places like Canfield Mountain, Best Hill, Sanders Beach, access to the lake and the Spokane River and we need to try to save some of the vanishing prairie from permanent loss, as our visionary neighbors did with Tubbs Hill many years ago. Time is not on our side here – we need to act now – creatively and innovatively – to protect our cities precious jewels. I don’t have all the funding answers for these challenges, but they are out there and we need to work hard to find them. And one more thing - when I’m on the council, I will do my best to ensure that McEuen Field remains public for all the people all the time and not turned over to private development.

I was proud to be asked to design and manage the campaign to finally build a new library in Coeur d’Alene through the passage of a bond. This was an important public space project. A great team was assembled, and we worked hard along with the fire and public safety folks, to talk to every community group that would have us in to speak. The city responded with overwhelming support – 68% - for the new library, despite some struggles and some opposition. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

I want to bring that same leadership and creativity to the other challenges that face the city. The big things that are worth doing are sometimes very hard – I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and work harder and smarter to take on those big challenges.


In closing, I thank you all for coming out today in support of this campaign. I’m honored, flattered, and humbled. In return for your support I can promise you that no one will work harder than I will to listen, to learn, and educate myself on how to improve the city of Coeur d’Alene every day.

In order to accomplish the things we’ve talked about today – growing in a way that makes sense, protecting our kids, and protecting our open spaces, I have to ask you for one or all of the following three things – time, talent, and treasure.

Our campaign will need lots of volunteer help and time, we’ll need your great ideas and your talent, and unfortunately because campaigns aren’t free, if you’re able to help in the form of a campaign contribution – at any level – we need it and I will be most appreciative.

We started off talking about the two cities earlier – the best of times and the worst of times. In Coeur d’Alene we are in exciting and transitional times. I am very bullish on Coeur d’Alene’s future and I believe this is the best place in the world to live. I pledge every day to turn the challenges we spoke about today into opportunities and to ensure that Coeur d’Alene has nothing but good times ahead.

Thank you.

Statement of Residency

At the end of 2004 my wife and I began looking for a bigger home to accommodate our family and we absolutely wanted it to be back in Coeur d’Alene – near parks and schools for our kids. The available inventory of homes for sale were either not big enough for our family or well out of our price range. So after spending several months looking at dozens of homes all around the city, in February of 2005 we decided for budget and space reasons to build a home in the Coeur d’Alene Place subdivision in the northern part of town.

We contracted to build the home, expecting that it would take not much longer than 6 months to complete and that we would be moving toward the end of the summer. We are excited to be moving a half mile back into Coeur d’Alene, excited to be living in a neighborhood with good schools and parks within walking distance, and a community with many young families.

But in the intervening months the “time to build” for new home construction in North Idaho has grown very long, owing to the sheer number of homes being built, the volume of work for available building trades workers, and an unexpected national shortage in concrete. Not to mention the backlog of building permits for an overburdened city building department!

In the early summer of 2005 I was encouraged to consider a run for the City Council. After managing the successful library bond campaign and getting to see the inner workings of the city, I decided to consider the prospect. When Councilman Ben Wolfinger announced he was not going to run for re-election, I began to seriously consider running. Unfortunately it became clear that our new home would not be completed by the requisite 30 days before the filing deadline, so I investigated alternative options.

I sought out opinions from municipal and elections professionals, as well as the personal views of many citizens around the city. I am advised that the definition of residency is based on fact and intent, the fact of where a person spends their nights, and the intent to return there after an absence of any duration. While I’m not an attorney, it seems clear that the law on what constitutes residency is somewhat open to interpretation. So I decided to erase any doubt and be very clear about the facts of our situation.

Unfortunately my wife and I are not able to afford both a mortgage and the high rent for a second home, and selling and moving twice would be problematic. Thus, because the completion date of our new home is subject to the fluctuations of building schedules, weather, and unforeseen delays, I am taking the steps outlined below to legally establish residency in the city limits of Coeur d’Alene. While this is not an optimal situation for our family, and we are incurring additional costs to do so, I want to abide by both the spirit and letter of the law.

I very much want to serve the City of Coeur d’Alene, and while these steps I’m taking are a slight burden to me and my family, they are ones we are willing to bear to try to contribute to the betterment of our community. My wife is immensely supportive, and as a native Idahoan she wants the best for our city and the hometown she loves.

So effective July 2005:
• I have legally rented a room on a month to month basis in
Coeur d’Alene where I now reside;

• I have changed my legal residence to my address in Coeur d’Alene;

• I am in the process of changing my vehicle and driver’s license registration to Coeur d’Alene;

• I will be spending weeknights away from my family sleeping in my rented room in Coeur d’Alene (addressing the "fact" of residence), and I will spend weekends with them - not unlike the people who own lake homes and live there on weekends without sacrificing their residency;

• My wife and children will stay at the home in Grouse Meadows, Hayden (just steps from the city line at Prairie Avenue), and will join me in moving into Coeur d’Alene permanently the first day our new home is ready (addressing our intent to remain within the city jurisdiction);

• Because of the cost of technical infrastructure and my need to make a living I will continue to work out of my former home during the day where I am set up - with the side benefit of spending time with my family during breaks in my day and at their after school events, like any Dad would. I chose not to try to move my family now to minimize any disruption in their lives.

I am committed to the city of Coeur d’Alene and to serving the citizens of Coeur d'Alene, and there is nothing more important to my wife and me than the quality of life of our children. My goal is to positively impact that for my family and others in the city of Coeur d’Alene.

If you have any questions, concerns, or issues, please call me directly at 661-7337 or email me at:

Mike Kennedy Biography

Michael R. Kennedy (Mike)
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Married (wife - Kathleen), seven children (Will, Nora, Maggie, Max, Quinn, Jack, and Ronan)

College: Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, B.A. in Political Science
High School: Pine Bush High School, Pine Bush, New York

Professional Highlights
Mike has had managerial and entrepreneurial experience in several business and non-profit startups since 1993 as well as countless political and initiative campaigns during that time.

Currently Mike serves as the President of Intermax Networks, a high-speed internet company in North Idaho.

As a professional in the software industry, Mike has been involved in large committee projects as well as one-on-one sales initiatives for various and divergent clients.

Mike has been a consultant to business, civic, and political entities and individuals over the last decade, all focused on building organizations and marketing products, causes, or candidates. As a full-time staff member for a candidate for the United States Senate in 1996 and campaign manager for another in 2002, Mike has experience in political activism, organization, and communication from local grassroots field organizing to fundraising and the crafting of advertising and media messages to present an issue to the public.

Finally, Mike’s experience as a Capitol Hill intern and campaign staff member for a sitting member of the United States Congress and challenger for the US Senate has made him uniquely qualified to understand the difficulties and challenges in representing textured, controversial issues to the public at large.

Professional Background
Mike served as a Senior Account Executive for XDimensional Technologies, a leading software company in the insurance industry space that develops management system solutions for insurance agencies all across the country. He also has a partnership interest in a small Long Term Care insurance agency.

Over the years Mike has also managed a consulting practice serving business and political clients with marketing, message, sales and media concerns. His clients have included small technology companies, service businesses, and non-profit organizations seeking to maximize their budgets and get their message across to a larger target community.

Mike was responsible for the strategic plan, oversight and campaign management of all aspects of the successful $3 million dollar bond campaign for the City of Coeur d’Alene and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation, overcoming entrenched resistance and past organizational challenges.

Prior to these activities, in his capacity as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ApplyYourself, Mike was responsible for the operations of bringing products to market, building a sales team, communicating with admissions professionals and the ongoing work of client development. Before joining ApplyYourself, Mike served as a 2nd Vice-President of Marketing for AMS Services, Inc., a $115 million company that specializes in software development for the Insurance industry vertical market. Prior to working for AMS, Mike was a Regional Project Manager for Kinko’s, after successfully opening and managing a branch office in the Inland Northwest. He also served as full-time Field Director for a 1996 United States Senate political campaign in Idaho and Campaign Manager for another political campaign in Idaho in 2002.

Other Activities
Parishioner, St. Pius X Catholic Church, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Founding Board Member, Catholic Charities of Idaho, Boise, Idaho
Board Member, Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation and Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre
1998 Graduate, Leadership Coeur d’Alene, Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce
Occasional volunteer Little League umpire

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Idaho's Carole King - Top of the charts- again!

Earlier this month Carole King released an album of music recorded during live concerts on her "Living Room Tour" last year. As a lifelong fan I was ecstatic to hear her music, but I also had the wonderful opportunity to get to know and travel with Carole last year while she packed auditoriums, halls, and living rooms all around Idaho.

Carole is pictured here during an appearance at the Bonner County Fair in Sandpoint in August of 2004. As a result of our travels together I'm proud to call her a friend.

Carole's passion and love for Idaho and America are complete and total, and her new album is a special gift that I'm glad she's given all of us. It's also a musical history lesson as she dives into a medley of outright classics that she's written over the years - every one of which all of us know.

No surprise, but Carole is once again on the Billboard charts with this album, hitting the Top 20 this last week after only two weeks of release!

Thanks, Carole, for making Idaho proud with another terrific album!

Click here to buy Carole's new album: Living Room Tour CD

Carole King's Website

Friday, July 22, 2005

Max Mows the Lawn

Not really, but he did contemplate the engine as it sat idle in the yard.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Brief blurb in story about Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander's announcement

Deanna Goodlander is a two-term council member and shouldn't have any trouble getting reelected.

Coeur d'Alene Press: "...Local software businessman Mike Kennedy said he is strongly considering running for Wolfinger's position, but will probably have to rent an apartment in city limits until construction on his new home is finished. His present home is just outside city limits. "

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Madeleine Sheils - Golfer Extraordinaire

Mark my word - you'll be reading about Kathleen's cousin Madeleine on the LPGA tour one day!

Golf Plus - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho: "Meridian's Marc Arima survived a second-day charge from Jake Harr of Buhl to win the boys title, while Madeleine Sheils of Boise captured the girls crown Wednesday at the Big I Junior Golf Classic qualifier at Shadow Valley Golf Course."

Friday, July 15, 2005

Cd'A Library Location

This is responding to a question on the Huckleberries Online blog about the location of the new library.

The land where the library will be built was partially donated (courtesy of the Jameson family), partially purchased with LCDC involvement, and adjacent to the City Hall, which was a strategic placement. Again, I'm not sure of all the exact reasons for the initial location there, but during the campaign we talked about a few key reasons why the location was a good one:

(1) 15,000 residents of the city (nearly half) live within a mile of the site;

(2) the demographics of the area and the schools nearby indicate that many of the city's most economically disadvantaged kids live in or near downtown, thus it would serve those people who need it the most (surprisingly, CdA has nearly half of it's children in SD271 on free or reduced lunch, an anti-poverty program);

(3) putting a library there could preserve public space for the entire community as opposed to the alternative, selling to the highest bidder and getting another high-rise to ring McEuen Field - I felt this to be a worthy goal philosophically;

(4) the land had already been secured, and with the sale of the current library building on Harrison and passage of the bond, the citizens would be bonding for less than half of the cost and value of the new library - with real estate costs the way they are finding new property would be tricky, and if the location were outside the LCDC zone the LCDC couldn't be involved and the advantageous funding structure there could make the entire cost of the project much higher;

(5) while growth is occurring in the North for sure (that's where I live) some visionary planners have told me that long term growth in this city - which is coming whether we like it or not - will likely be to the south and east, thus making the location perhaps more centrally located looking into the future; and

(6) lastly, there will be tons of new parking spaces in the new library (and theoretically the City Hall complex area next door) and downtown always needs more parking!

I discovered that arguing the location was like arguing religion - it was a matter of personal opinion and thus no one could ever truly be "right" (and the best assessment of the decision-making wouldn't occur until well into the future after the project is completed).

There are still efforts ongoing to raise the final amount of money for completing the project, fixtures, etc, and the city has a good team together working on it, led by Renata McLeod. There are great naming opportunities and ways to put your family's permanent stamp on the new library through tax-deductible contributions.

For more information, or to make a contribution, go to the link above or here:

Thursday, July 14, 2005

National Group says Idaho best-prepared for disasters

Look at that - great national recognition for Idaho! Let's hope we don't have to test this.

KTVB.COM | Idaho News Weather & Sports | Local News: "COEUR D'ALENE -- A national group says if bioterrorism, infectious disease or any other disaster strikes, the best place to be is Idaho.

The National Association of County and City Health Officials has recognized Idaho as the best-prepared state in the nation to respond to health emergencies. "

Southwest second-quarter profit rose 41% despite higher fuel costs

Southwest Airlines is one of the best companies in America. I've been a fan since I started flying them in Texas, and their service and on-time reliability continue to be stellar. There are lots of folks who don't like the "cattle" feel of a Southwest flight, but I think they are efficient as can be and I'd trade lots of perks for low cost and on-time service. Face it - there are no perks on any airlines anymore, so Southwest just does what everyone else does way better and with more fun. Herb Kelleher has always been a business hero of mine. - Southwest second-quarter profit rose 41% despite higher fuel costs: "DALLAS (AP) - Low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines (LUV) said Thursday that second-quarter profit rose 41% from a year ago, as fare increases helped offset a 25% rise in fuel costs per gallon. Its shares climbed more than 5%. "

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Girl Critical After Riding Disney's Tower of Terror

This is sort of disturbing, as we rode this exact ride with our 9 year old and 7 year old last December. It was a scary ride, but something tells me there had to be something else going on with this young girl health-wise. - News - Girl Critical After Riding Disney's 'Tower Of Terror' Ride: "A 16-year-old girl is in critical condition after riding the 'Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror' ride at Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World, according to Local 6 News. Officials said a girl from Britain exited the ride Tuesday at about 9:50 a.m. and complained that she was not feeling well, Local 6 News reported."

Father's Day 2005

I'm blessed beyond words.

Father's Day 2005

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Laird Maxwell claims responsibility for Winder smear campaign

This shouldn't be a surprise, but the rank smear of this bad act should be punished. Maxwell has long been known as a bomb-thrower, but this was over the top even for him. Chuck Winder didn't deserve this, and though I think the right guy ultimately won the election (Mayor Dave Bieter, whom Maxwell also opposed), this was unseemly. Look next for Chuck Winder to file a civil suit against Maxwell - I think it would have some traction. Perhaps we're hearing the last dying days of Maxwell's organization?

KTVB.COM | Idaho News Weather & Sports | Top Stories: "We now know who was responsible for the Boise mayoral smear campaign in 2003.
Laird Maxwell, a conservative activist and lobby, filed an affidavit in a Boise court Thursday claiming he acted alone. "

Monday, June 27, 2005

Quinn smiling in a new spring outfit. June 2005.,

Nora shows off her catch of the day from a school field trip. June 2005

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Happy Birthday John!

So I'm sitting in a board meeting this afternoon in Boise, praying it will end on time (it didn't). And I missed personally calling big brother John on his birthday, though I know the kids called their beloved UNCLE JOHN! to wish him a big birthday this morning while I was traveling.

At the end of my business meeting of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Idaho, the Bishop led us in the "June 24th prayer for St. John the Baptist". At the prayer's closing, I mentioned that today is my brother's birthday, and while I never had a clue that it was also the Feast of St. John the Baptist, I said "Bishop, I'm 100% sure that my mother knows whose Saint day it is!"

Regardless of his level of sainthood, I hope the old boy knows how much he means to his little brother - much more then his little brother can say. I'll spend lots of time with other mentor figures in my life - and I have.

But no one can conjure up a much needed simple reflection on my part or speak to my moral compass more quickly and completely than brother John. And no one's approval or acceptance quite measures up to that of brother John.

We haven't lived in the same city approaching 15 years now, and life doesn't have us talking as frequently as we should. But when life hits the fan, there isn't a person alive that I'd be more comfortable calling to give me a nudge to where I need to be, whether its with a sardonic question or a knowing wisecrack, than my brother John.

Our kids are growing up in a home that is one block short of chaos at any time. But first-born Will shows more ability to carry the torch of leadership - with all that entails - each day. We don't want to put a major burden on him to be responsible for his younger siblings, but if he has any interest in learning what it means to be a world class big brother, he could do much worse than spend some time with Uncle John.

He couldn't have a better mentor.

Happy Birthday Bro!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Thoughts on Nixon's Library

So last week I spent a few hours at Nixon's library in Yorba Linda, California. I'm a history and presidential buff, so the fact that the library was just a few minutes from where I was staying was a perk.

The library was fascinating, really. I went through rather fast, so I didn't read every plaque, every entry, every comment. But the overall effect was obviously very favorable to America's 37th President.

I have to admit, try as I might to be objective, some of the Watergate section seemed designed, bound, and determined to rewrite history on Nixon's knowledge, participation, and actions. Oddly I happened to be there on the 33rd anniversary of the actual initial break-in at the Watergate Hotel (DNC headquarters), something I didn't realize until later. The narrator of several of the components of the Watergate exhibits intoned deeply about how little the President knew, and how poorly served he was by his staffers. I can agree with the latter, not the former.

In following a few older ladies around the museum, I was struck by how defensive they were in talking with one another of Nixon. I don't know if they were locals or from elsewhere, but as I walked along in silence next to them they continued to talk about what the Democrats did that tripped Nixon up. I would have been more concerned if they hadn't been so completely wrong in their history of the events as I listened to them talk to one another about it. Listening to them made me aware of the Red/Blue state divide, even when it comes to history. It is perhaps fitting that when we arrived at the section on the First Lady's gowns, they lingered for a long time while I took a quick glance and moved on to the rest of the museum.

All in all the museum was well done. The preservation of Nixon's birthplace and the history of his family was very interesting. Despite the fact that it really is in the middle of a bustling town setting, at the cross-section of several state highways, it had a calm and placid feel to it. The gravestones where the President and Mrs. Nixon are buried are well-kept.

At the library now, and for the rest of this year, is a traveling exhibit of a brilliantly detailed scale replica of the White House down to the paintings on the walls. This exhibit has been around the country, and won't be at the Nixon Library permanently, but it was worth the price of admission.

Coming on the heels of the Mark Felt/Deep Throat admissions, I wasn't surprised to see no mention of that episode, but I was a little disappointed. I haven't been to Little Rock yet to see the Clinton library, but I'd be intrigued to see how it handles the impeachment. I would expect the same sort of defensiveness, but history is better served if these museums would report the facts as they are known, and update them accordingly.

Nixon, I was reminded, had a tremendous domestic and international record of success and progress. By today's standards he would be considered a political moderate and a rather effective president. But his personal demons, never slayed, proved to be his undoing. The story of Watergate has fascinated me since I was young (no explanations for that) so to finally see my first presidential library, and the fact that it was Nixon's was very unique.

Beautiful Maggie MacMoo is on hand to cheer her brother during his baseball game, June 2005.

Nora and Max stroll along a park pathway in Coeur d'Alene, June 2005.

Will playing a strong second base, June 2005.

Will prepares for a pitch in the fourth inning of Saturday's last spring Little League game.

Kathleen and the kids make another terrific Father's Day cake - Kathleen's creativity in cake-making knows no bounds.

Friday, June 17, 2005

33rd Anniversary of the Watergate Break-in

Here's proof that I, a known fellow traveler of the Democrats, went and visited the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, California earlier today. And it was very cool. The fact that it was the 33rd anniversary of the Watergate break-in was a complete and total coincidence, a fact I didn't even know until watching Jay Leno tonight - how crazy is that? I'll blog more thoughts about it this weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Tricky Dick and Me

So I'm in Brea, California on business, and my hotel is about 2 minutes drive from the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace. I have meetings most of the day tomorrow, but if I get an extra hour before my flight, instead of Disney I'm heading to see the new Deep Throat exhibit (do you think they've updated the enemies list section already?)!

Happy 4-Month Birthday Quinn!

Thursday, June 16 is the 4 month birthday of Quinn Marie. My how time flies - this shot is Quinn just a few hours old on February 16, 2005. A stunning beauty then, even more so now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Old House

So the powers that be are tearing down our old fraternity house to make space for a parking garage (or something equally useful). This is probably a good thing, considering the condition of the place was awful when I lived in it 16 years ago. People on the SMU campus (Dallas, Texas) always knew what fraternity you were a member of because all us Lambda Chis had a distinctive smell that you couldn't ever get rid of. I remember a friend of mine whose mother cried when he came home from break because try as she might she couldn't get the smell out of his clothes.

The administration is apparently building a new Lambda house down the road, but it won't be the same. I suspect they won't spring for the beach volleyball court and basketball court outside, though they'll probably have the good sense this time to actually put up toilet stalls instead of just leaving the toilets sitting open next to one another. There was an unwritten rule, broken by very few, that if someone else were using one of the toilets you never went "co-pilot". RIP Lambda Chi House, and RIP rotten Lambda smell that no one could ever conquer. RIP Magic Carpet Ride and RIP consistently bad food.

We'll miss you, but not that much.

Monday, June 13, 2005

This picture from a few years ago still cracks me up. President drops Barney in front of horrified youth softball team. No one was harmed in the filming, but Barney is a little less trusting than he used to be.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

This gem is from August 2004, as we drove north toward home on Highway 95. While Kathleen tended to a car-sick Max, the other kids tromped down along the banks of the Salmon River.

Friday, June 10, 2005

If you can beat the Red Sox, you're a friend of mine... - Cubs take out 87 years of frustration on Red Sox: "

By Rick Gano, The Associated Press
CHICAGO - Forget the curses and jinxes and all talk of bad luck. At least for one day. The Cubs simply gave the Red Sox a rude welcome on their first-ever trip to Wrigley Field in the storied teams' first meeting since the 1918 World Series. "

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Go, Shaylee!

Shaylee Welker, daughter of our good friends Dan and Shannon Welker, competes in the 50 meter dash on Tuesday during the 23rd Special Olympics held this year at Fran Rish Stadium in Richland, Washington. Congrats, Shaylee!

Cd'A finalist for $29 million Kroc grant

This is a major coup for our "not-so-little-anymore" burgh. Lots of people worked lots of hours to make this happen. And the fact that it will be just down the road from the new Kennedy compound will be an added plus! Congrats to all involved! CdA finalist for $29 million Kroc grant: "Coeur d'Alene beat out Seattle, Tacoma and numerous other cities today to become a finalist for a multi-million grant to build a Salvation Army community center.

Mayor Sandi Bloem said the city is almost guaranteed up to $29 million for a Kroc Center that will offer something to every resident in Kootenai County. The multi-purpose community center would be built next to Ramsey Park."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Maggie "MacMoo" and her pal Miss Piggy posing for the camera.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Patty Duke Pearce and US Rep. Butch Otter kick off the Trust for Public Lands St. Joe River Basin Conservation Initiative

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Otter, Duke and the St. Joe River Basin Conservation Initiative

Today there was a press conference announcing that Congressman Butch Otter and Patty Duke are co-chairing the steering committee for the St. Joe River Basin Conservation Initiative. In short, this project has the Trust for Public Lands raising money to purchase conservation easements from Potlatch.

This is a terrific effort that is drawing support from all over the political spectrum, from Sen. Larry Craig and Potlatch to the Idaho Conservation League. When projects draw from that diverse a pool of groups, we need to encourage and promote them.

For more information click here: St. Joe Basin Project

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Max hides his stiff upper lip to be photographed in mid-bath. December 2004

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Monday, May 30, 2005

Thank You

Today is a day to honor those who served. In our combined family - just including our immediate parents, grandparents, uncles, and cousins, we have a long tradition of military service, many of whom saw combat in war, all of whom served honorably.

We stand on their shoulders in appreciation.

Kathleen’s side of the family:
William J. Morrow - US Army
Max Marshall Sheils – US Army
Bill Dye – US Navy
Lt. Col. William J. Morrow, Jr. (Ret.) - US Army, Silver Star
Col. Connie Vandermarliere Morrow - US Air Force
Max M. Sheils – US Army

Mike’s side of the family:
John P. Duke - US Navy
Charles M. Kennedy - US Army
John “Jack” Kennedy – US Army
Richard Kennedy – US Army
Raymond Duke – US Army
James P. Docherty – US Marines
Michael R. Pearce – US Army
Brian Kennedy – US Army

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Nora Lou getting ready for a bike trip - March 2005. - French vote against new EU constitution

When I lived and studied in Paris in 1988, we did a paper on the European Union, with the great then-deadline looming of 1992 for unity on the common market. Events this week show just how slow time marches and how difficult fundamental change of the sort they've been contemplating really is. - French vote against new EU constitution

A frequent visitor to the backyard. No surprise the neighborhood is called Grouse Meadows.

Mike and Quinn February 16, 2005

Max strolls the beach in Florida with Mom on a trip to Grandma and Grandpa Morrow's condo. December 2004.

Maggie and Max drying off after swimming at Grandma and Grandpa Kennedy's pool in Miami, Florida. December 2004.

The ultimate irony - fate puts Will on the Coeur d'Alene Little League Red Sox...

Mrs. Kennedy at a M*A*S*H-themed birthday party several months ago for Mike Pearce.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Bill O'Reilly Hate Speech

I've come to believe that Bill O'Reilly is unstable, and along with people like Ann Coulter and Michael Savage, sets a tone for discourse in this country that is downright dangerous. People should not support this guy by buying his books or watching his programs. Free market response to hate speech.

From Media Matters for America : "Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said that Los Angeles Times editorial board wouldn't understand his objection to legal representation for detainees at Guantànamo Bay, Cuba, until terrorists "grab [editorial page editor] Michael Kinsley out of his little house and they cut off his head." He further opined: "And maybe when the blade sinks in, he'll go, 'Perhaps O'Reilly was right.'"

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Yankees Back on Track

After a horrendous start, the Yankees seem to be getting back on track in the AL East. The Orioles remaining surprisingly strong, but I don't think they'll have the horses to get over the finish line. Any bets?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Former Congressman Decides Not to Run Again

Having been aware of and a small part of this discussion over the last two months, I'm happy for Larry that he's decided not to take on this race at this time. He doesn't need to put himself through the grind when he has a great life with his amazing wife Chris. He has always been a tireless and terrific campaigner, so the Dems in Idaho will miss that, but it will really be better for him. He gave me my first real political opportunity, and what an opportunity it was, to work as an intern on Capitol Hill in DC. I'll always appreciate that and I wish him the best.

LaRocco Decides Against Another Campaign

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Please Don't Tell My Wife...

My wife left early Friday morning for the wedding of her cousin Kyle Waford in Idaho Falls. Since then, I’ve been 100% in charge of 80% of our children (20% are with her, too young to leave alone with Dad). It hasn’t been pretty.

Please don’t tell my wife that:

  • the kids forgot to brush their teeth this morning. And last night. And maybe tonight – but I took their word for it on that one.
  • 2 out of 5 meals we’ve eaten since she’s been gone have been cereal. No complaints, but precious little nutrition. 2 out of 5 meals have been the meatballs she cooked before she left, but I actually cooked the noodles to go with them – yay!
  • the fifth meal was McDonald’s (it may not be the last, depending on how tomorrow goes).
  • Maggie couldn’t sleep last night, so she came down and sat in my office for 90 minutes waaaaay after her bedtime watching a biography special on Ray Charles with me while I pounded away on the computer catching up on 56 emails, 6 of which actually were important.
  • when we finally went upstairs, she slept in Mom’s spot in our bed because she was missing Mom so much she cried twice.
  • One of those 5 meals? Breakfast this morning? Uh, Will (the 9 year old) fixed it for the other kids because I wasn’t awake yet and they wanted to let Dad sleep in.
  • I yelled at the kids because at one point they were playing too loudly and I couldn’t think enough to figure out the instructions on the McDonald’s Happy Meal game so that Maggie would play it and not cry again because she missed Mom.
  • Max had a less than normal number of diaper changes – no problems, but holy cow what can happen when you’re not as attentive to that as you should be.
  • I did contemplate trying to arrange a sleepovers for at least one of the other kids so the ratio would be more manageable, but decided that he was too much help to me with the other kids
  • I put a movie on, locked all the doors, and mowed the lawn with my iPod on for a little “respite”.
  • They’ve watched more TV in the last 36 hours than in the last week combined.
  • And we’re watching another movie while I type this.
  • Will’s new favorite song is “Mickey”, from the 80’s soundtrack on the digital cable music channel that I left on after making dinner – I’ll try to fix that one and erase it from his memory
  • I decided instead of washing the sheets again for a wonderful homecoming for Mom, that I would just sleep on the mattress cover and put the clean sheets she washed on before she gets home.

At a baseball game today I told two other Dads of my Mr. Mom situation, and both gave varying themes on the same exact sentiment: “Man, it’s hell, but God, don’t let her know that – don’t’ let her see you sweat, brother.”

So if you see my wife, tell her you saw us at the library and I was reading to them while a Mozart symphony played in the background. All’s well. Really.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Dan Carol v. Frank Luntz

This is a terrific piece by my friend Dan Carol. Our country desparately needs a real energy policy, yet all we get from GOP consultants is pabulum. Insider political hacks know both Dan and Frank. I'd pay real money to watch Carol eat Luntz's lunch...
Dan Carol: "Frank Luntz is a Weenie"
From the Huffington Post -

Frank Luntz: I am calling you out. It’s time to stop the ducking and start debating.
The quick background: About a month ago, I challenged GOP pollster Frank Luntz privately in an email to debate energy policy at a time and place of his choosing (and with expanded debate posses if he wanted) because I was so disgusted by how lame his Republican energy “talking points” were.
See Frank, if you don’t know him, is the self-proclaimed genius of using focus groups to find the right words to sell just about anything. And he’s made a career of doing it for Newt Gingrich, George Bush, Republican candidates and loads of corporations.
But this isn’t about Republican v. Democratic stuff – at all. In fact, there are lots of folks on both sides of the aisle (like Robert F Kennedy, Jr. and John McCain of, and the Set America Free, Apollo Alliance and Reenergize America coalitions) who are transcending party politics and coming together to spur creative new efforts to create US energy independence. Serious folks – who get that the Bush-Cheney-Luntz energy policy is for the dinosaurs.
Now let’s be clear. I am not ticked off that Frank Luntz is exercising his right to sell his view of the world (drill more oil and build extra nukes with massive taxpayer subsidies) but that the sum total of what he is selling and spinning falls so woefully short of achieving anything close to US energy independence -- while American troops are literally in harm’s way.
That level of political gamesmanship seems to me, in a word, to be UNCONSCIONABLE.
Now I should point out this is hardly the first time (or second, or third) that Mr. Luntz has been called a misleading blowhard or had his ethics questioned.
But maybe it was the first time he was called out as a policy poser with a few of his friends and funders on the cc of the email. Yup, I did that on purpose and he got kinda of mad and refused to debate in a curt response.
Anyhow, while I felt pretty good after that I think a little more shaming is in order. Now I’m willing to admit that maybe I have an anger management problem but as a former energy analyst, a progressive patriot and the father of two I am pretty fired up about this energy stuff being done right. I truly think our economic and national security future is at stake -- and I am not alone.
So here’s my offer again:
Frank, let’s debate serious energy policy at a time and place of your choosing. I am planning to take the summer off so my suggestion for you is to take that time to bone up on a real set of policies you can stand behind (as well as spin) and let’s hit a few campuses this fall. Stanford’s Roosevelt Institution can sponsor one debate I’ll wager; you can pick another venue and sponsor.
And like I said, I am happy to do this alone or with debate posses, on additional topics, if you’d prefer. Or we can go at it right here and right now on The Huffington Post.
Now, maybe Arianna knows the answer, but I am not even sure if Luntz is a Huffington poster. But he is reachable at this email,, if folks want to send him a note of encouragement.