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Pot porridge

carlson CHRIS
CARLSON

 
Carlson
Chronicles

Actually, the phrase is a French one, “poi pouri,” and, loosely translated it means “left over items.” Not having taken French as a foreign language either in high school or college, I’ve Americanized it a bit. I call it pot porridge.

Item #1. A covetted “Dummie” award to the p.r. experts at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Lab. They are making the Andrus/Batt contention that one cannot trust DoE at all, incontestable. Part of INL’s contention that they ought to be granted a waiver from the 1995 Batt Agreement’s ban on the importation of any commercial radioactive waste is that they’ve changed and now are committed
to more transparency, and to prompt notification. A recent event says “au contraire” (French for “I beg your pardon?”).

Turns out there are some bad habits that DoE/INL can’t correct overnight—-such as prompt notification to the media of a “worker exposure incident” at the troubled New Waste Calcining Facility. DoE/INL and the site contractor, CWI, admitted tht they had delayed filing a public report for six months.

Some things never change. One can almost hear Phil Batt saying “make my day!”

For his part, Cecil Andrus long ago figured out that any entity, whether public or private, operates by public consent. If one gets crosswise with the public and is perceived as placing the public at risk just for its profits, is not truthful, or misleads, they forfeit the public trust and along with it goes their credibility.

Andrus flat says that DoE has a long history of lying to him. He does not use that word lightly. Justifiably, DoE’s word is no good to him nor should anyone else believe a thing they say, as this latest doubt-creating incident again demonstrates.

Kudos to Corey Taule of the hometown Post-Register, who blistered DoE/INL in an editorial over the weekend for so stupidly making the Andrus/Batt lack of trust case for them.

Item #2. The Japanese have a difficult to translate word, giri, that Idaho’s legislative leadership, especially Speaker Scott Bedke (R-Oakley) ought to internalize. The word references the extra degree of obligation one has to another, and in the Idaho Legislature it is critical that the Speaker of the House recognize his responsibility to fulfill his role by truly providing leadership and producing for the public.

With alll due respect to the man who I’ve never met, there was little if any leadership from him, and few would give this year’s edition of the Legislature more than a D+ . Lay it all at the feet of Speaker Bedke. To let the Legislature adjourn without correcting the failure to provide funding for children from 155,000 certifiably poor families in Idaho, and possibly cripple if not destroy the support system, thus forfeiting $205 million is simply irrespopnsible.

That my good friend, Randy Stapilus, named Bedke the most influentrial politician in Idaho is rediculous. What good is having power if not exercised for the public good?

Bedke called the session “monumental,”and it was—-a monumental failure. In Japan when a “leader” fails so miserably, he apologizes and resigns. That’s what giri dictates and that’s what Bedke should do.

Item #3. Ted Turner’s 24/7 CNN News came calling last week. The producer of the Nancy Grace Show, one Mike Duffy, called and indicated they would like me to be available the next day to be on the show via a skype interview. He had seen the column I did on the tragic death of Veronica Rutledge, the bright young Kootenai High School graduate from Harrison shot and killed by her two-year-old last December outside the Hayden Wal-Mart.

It must have come as a surprise to them because most folks jump at the chance to be on a major network show, but I declined the invitation.

First, Nancy Grace is a former prosecutor well-known for her fervent pro-gun control views. Apparently, this is an outgrowth from the fact she lost her husband in a gun violence death. If I thought she and the show were really interested in facts, and were seeking an enlightened discussion, I might have thought otherwise. Regretfully, hers is one of those programs that seeks higher ratings by generating more publicity.

Secondly, I’m sure Ms. Rutledge’s family is still hurting fiercely from this terrible event. A program rekindling a painful past was something I simply was not interested in lending myself and my time.

As I told the producer in an e-mail – the column spoke for itself and there was nothing I could add.

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