Writings and observations

Plagiarism is easier to detect these days than it once was, what with search engines and even web sites designed to match texts. KTVB-TV in Boise did a fine job of using that technology to take one more look at the controversial case of the congressional announcement speech by Vaughn Ward, who lost the Republican primary last month in Idaho’s 1st district.

The original controversy centered on the similarity of a relatively few lines in the speech to one several years ago by Barack Obama. But much more of it, apparently, comes wholesale from a speech by a Republican Pennsylvania congressional candidate. Asked about the speech, Ward’s former campaign manager said the speech was “outsourced.”

Like a college kid buying a term paper? So it would seem. Maybe there’s something to this call for “authenticity” in politics.

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Idaho

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weekly Digest

Business and economic news dominated our Washington, Idaho and Oregon Public Affairs Digests this week, as unemployment statistics and employee pay numbers stabilizing or jogged upward. Another significant piece of news for Northwest transportation and economic development: Major changes in air routes for Horizon Airlines, with significant cuts in a number of the smaller Northwest markets they serve.

There were significant legal decisions, including one in Oregon relating to medical marijuana users who seek concealed weapons permits; in Idaho, a legislator is considering introducing a medical marijuana bill in the 2011 session. Idaho also reports meth use down.

As a reminder: We’re now publishing weekly editions of the Public Affairs Digests – for Idaho, Washington and Oregon – moving from a monthly to a weekly rundown of what’s happening. And we’re taking it all-electronic: The print edition will be moving to e-mail.

That means we can include more information, and get it out a lot faster: The weekly Digests will be in your in-box first thing Monday morning. If you subscribe, of course: That’s $59 a year, for 50 issues and the yearbook. Yes, including the yearbook. The Idaho Yearbook, which we published for years up to 2002, will return early in 2011 – in printed book form – and Digest subscribers get it for free with their subscription. And the Oregon and Washington yearbooks will be coming out at the same time.

If you’d like to take a look at one of the new weekly Digests, here’s a link to the Idaho edition, to the Oregon edition and to the Washington edition. If you’d like to subscribe, here are the links (through to PayPal) for Idaho, for Oregon and for Washington.

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