How thrilled we were to open up Saturday's New York Times and see, front and center on the National Report page, an article about Idaho--hooray!--with the peaceful headline, "Bush's Interior Nominee: Comfort In Consensus." Even better, the article started off with just about the neatest four words we could ever imagine for a Times story: "Eagle Island State Park."
Then we got to the end of the first paragraph.
Author Kirk Johnson mentioned how Idaho's most recent political export, prospective piece of cabinetry Dirk Kempthorne, has been pushing a parks plan that would pay for itself by putting a gravel mine on the grounds of Eagle Island. And we cried a little.
"Is it your position, Governor--pause, clear throat, sip from water glass--that mining inside America's parks is good public policy?" Johnson wrote. The joke, of course, was that Kempthorne declined to be interviewed, so the default answer was "Ayup." Johnson chatted with local veterans of Kempthornian policy such as James Weatherby from the Public Policy Center at Boise State, House Speaker Bruce Newcomb and Idaho Conservation League program director Justin Hayes, who delivered the line du jour about the Eagle Island gravel plan: "It's going to be like stepping on a rake."
Follow the link at www.boiseweekly.com to read the full story. Or maybe ... don't.