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citydesk: Crapo on breaching, Fischer on his way

Audio: Sen. Crapo discusses national energy needs

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Fischer going to Tupelo, won't broadcast in Idaho

Boise theocrat Bryan Fischer is taking a new gig in Tupelo, Miss., hosting a live, two-hour talk show for American Family Radio, an affiliate of the American Family Association.

Since breaking the news on his Idaho Values Alliance Web site, several people have bid him adieu.

"Thank heaven for Idaho," Boise gay activist Jody May-Chang told the

Idaho Press-Tribune

. "I feel sorry for Mississippi."

But here's another gem for Gem State Fischer haters: AFR does not even have a station in Idaho, according to its official station list.

Not that we have any shortage of Jesus radio here. And, as Fischer points out in his "Moving on" letter, audio and video from his program will be streamed online starting July 6.

Fischer says his show will examine the intersection between ethics and politics.

"It is that intersection--the place where a Judeo-Christian worldview intersects with America's public life--that fascinates and energizes me."

Of course, his move to Tupelo could be as much about the intersection between ethics and cold, hard cash.

According to a 2007 Media Transparency story, the American Family Association, of which Fischer's Idaho Values Alliance is supposedly a local affiliate, had net assets of $32 million and paid college tuition for children of employees.

That's a far cry from IVA, which begged supporters for financial support in November 2007.

Fischer signed off, saying IVA would go into "whisper mode," and then added a strange, biblical formulation:

"We covet your prayers as we pass through this time of transition, and in return we seek God's highest blessing for you and for the state of Idaho."

Bryan, it's neighbors' wives we covet. Prayers we humbly request.

Crapo will talk breaching

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo told a meeting of renewable energy and fish enthusiasts last week that he is ready and willing to engage in a region-wide collaborative process to resolve the conflict over salmon and dams. And as to putting dam breaching on the table, Crapo said, "Yes, dam breaching has to be on the table."

But, not-dam breaching is also going to be on the table, he said.

Crapo's remarks to the Northwest Energy Coalition, which advocates for dam breaching and is a plaintiff in the most recent court challenge to the National Marine Fisheries Service salmon recovery plan, came on the heels of a letter from the federal judge hearing the case admonishing all parties that breaching must at least be considered as a contingency plan to save salmon and steelhead.

"Federal defendants have spent the better part of the last decade treading water and avoiding their obligations under the Endangered Species Act," U.S. District Judge James Redden wrote. "We simply cannot afford to waste another decade."

Crapo agreed but asked that the solution be discussed around a table rather than in front of a judge. Fish advocates applauded his willingness to negotiate but did not agree to immediately drop their lawsuit.

--Nathaniel Hoffman

war in Iraq

U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, June 2, 2009, 4,310 U.S. service members (including 31 Idahoans) have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 3,450 in combat and 860 from non-combat-related incidents and accidents. Injured service members total 31,327. In the last week, seven U.S. soldiers died.

Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 81 soldiers have died.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Defense

IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 92,133 and 100,591.

Source: iraqbodycount.net

COST OF IRAQ WAR: $674,518,697,596

Source: costofwar.com