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Attitudes on growth


In a respectful “town hall” meeting at Boise Fire Station #4 on Ustick Road Wednesday night, speaker after speaker told the Boise Mayor and Council they were tired of the growth or the rapid pace of growth.

Describing idyllic scenes of the past being blotted out with high density apartments, about 90% of those speaking complained of speeders and traffic on State Street or Hill Road, begged for slower growth, bemoaned the loss of the “character” of Boise, “cringed” at the rank of fastest growing city, complained about the high cost of housing, sought to have some restrictions on developers who are flush with money from California, and the impact of high prices in the downtown area for everything from omelets to parking.

To no one’s surprise Bill Conners of the Chamber of Commerce praised the council for all they have done to stimulate growth and attracting businesses to Boise.

There were a handful of activists outside brandishing signs urging restraint of growth.

Come again?


I’ve heard and seen some bilgewater during my 40 years dabbling in politics. Senator James Risch’s spokeswoman’s recent statement that Cecil Andrus would have taken the same course Senator Risch had and held the national interest hostage to a parochial interest takes the cake.

It reminds me of the classic putdown Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen nailed a pretentious Vice President Dan Quayle with during the vice presidential debate. To paraphrase, madam: “I beg your pardon. I knew Cecil Andrus, I worked with Cecil Andrus and Senator Risch is no Cecil Andrus.”

Andrus knew that governors and senators are elected to solve challenges, to find solutions by compromise and figuring out the greatest good for the greatest number. He did not approach issues from an ideological standpoint He was candid and straightforward. He studied issues and took stands based on good policy making good politics. He did not put his finger in the air to test which way the wind was blowing.

He had a sense of perspective and to suggest he would hold the national interest prisoner to a purely parochial matter is bunk.

For Risch to claim he held Cece in high regard and that attempting to bump out Simpson’s amendment was not personal simply does not past the smell test. Risch also claimed to have been blind-sided by Simpson, that he was unaware Mike was proceeding. More balderdash. Early on he told Simpson he would oppose the move necessitating Simpson finding a bullet-proof way to get it done.

Thanks to Simpson’s skill it was fittingly accomplished. Almost as appalling as Risch’s attempt was the Idaho Statesman’s editorial trying to minimize Risch’s gaffe. Risch shot himself in the foot and his trying to find an ex post facto explanation was simply sad.

One may also have noticed that Senator Risch and Senator Mike Crapo, Idaho’s senior senator, voted no on the final spending package. Both cited concerns about budget busting and excessive spending increasing the national debt. This of course is a classic smokescreen.

They want it both ways: to come home and tell Idahoans how they courageously voted no and stood like Horatio at the bridge slaying as many “big spenders” as they could. Notice that neither of them joined or encouraged Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in his effort to mount a filibuster.

Notice too how these balance budget heroes that represent Idaho in the Senate belong to a party that is responsible for the two biggest contributions to America’s deficit in modern times. The recent tax cut for the wealthy by all economists and accountants will add trillions to the deficit, just as the Bush era passage of the government taking over drug payments has.

When you next see these two deficit hawks ask how they lost their wings.

Have you noticed also how there are a fair number of U.S. senators around whom swirl rumors of having girl friends on the side and who seem to think female staff are perks of the office and targets of opportunity?

Many of these are first class hypocrites who talk family values but who live a different life. The nexus of power, money and sex is apparently a toxic brew. Such rumors even touched Senator Crapo a few years back but he emphatically denied them and the story soon died. And in fairness to Senator Risch, he has never been the subject of such rumors or speculation.

As one political observer put it, “Risch wouldn’t dare stray - Vickie would kill him.”

There is one group of senators not touched by such rumors of scandal and infidelity: The 22 members of the Senate that are female. Now isn’t that interesting?

Let’s not abandon Syria


Russian President Vladimir Putin must have broken out in a happy dance when President Trump announced over the Easter weekend that the U.S. was going to abandon its Kurdish allies in Syria.

After all, Russia has been doing everything it can to dislodge the American-advised Kurds from the territory we helped them take from ISIS in the last couple of years.

Russian mercenaries even attacked U.S. and Kurdish forces at a joint base in Syria on February 7, suffering heavy casualties from American firepower. For the time being, that thwarted Russian aims to take over the Kurdish enclave and its oil resources in eastern Syria. The President’s announcement must have been music to Putin’s ears.

On the other hand, the Kurds saw the announcement as a betrayal of the first order. They had been encouraged into our fight against the Islamic State terrorists with promises by the Obama administration of military support and help to establish a safe enclave for the Kurds in eastern Syria. President Trump doubled down on those commitments when he came into office. The Kurdish forces worked in good faith to largely destroy the ISIS forces in Syria, suffering many casualties in the process.

It is not clear what prompted the withdrawal announcement. We do know that the President called Putin on March 20 to congratulate him on his election victory and invite him to the White House. It is certainly possible that Putin raised the issue of withdrawing American forces from Syria, but we may never know. What we do know is that the following week, the President froze spending of $200 million that had been intended to stabilize territory the Kurds seized from the terrorists. Then came the withdrawal notice.

Both military and civilian advisers urged that we continue our partnership with the Kurds until the last of the ISIS fighters were eliminated and a political settlement was reached that protected our Kurdish friends. They argued withdrawal would leave a void that Russia and Iran would gladly fill. The President ignored the advice to keep our commitments to these steadfast allies. It may have been a Fox and Friends episode on April 3, cautioning against precipitous withdrawal, that caused Trump to reconsider. Or, perhaps the President took advice from candidate Trump, who railed against telegraphing military moves to adversaries. In any event, it does not appear now as if American abandonment of the Kurds will happen overnight but it is coming soon.

Putin will have to wait a bit longer for what he, President Assad and the Iranians are hoping for--a withdrawal of American advisers and firepower so that they can go about finishing off our Kurdish friends. That would not only be a damnable betrayal of valiant people who stuck out their necks to help rid Syria of a deadly threat to America, but a signal to the rest of the world that America cannot be trusted. The message to other countries is that the U.S. will use you for its purposes, whatever the cost in blood you suffer, and then discard you like a dirty rag.

I developed a strong antipathy to betraying an ally in 1975, when the U.S. failed to lift a finger to help the South Vietnamese turn back an invasion from the North, despite President Nixon’s iron-clad promise that our air power would be there to protect them. And, we failed to make a concerted effort to evacuate our South Vietnamese friends and allies when collapse of their country was imminent. Many of my friends likely ended up being killed or persecuted for siding with us. Let’s not let it happen again.

Gut check time


I’m one of those current and former media folk whose guts are churning about the massive attack on our free press - and society as a whole - by Sinclair Broadcasting. It’s something like a “journalistic Pearl Harbor” for this country and Sinclair ain’t the good guy.

The background, of course, and the source of my angst, is Sinclair forcing more than 100 TV stations it owns or operates to broadcast handout video and scripted propaganda favorable to the Trump presidency while demeaning legitimate news sources. News anchors are handed “speeches” to read each night and newscasts are to include videos of corporate “spokesmen” offering a Trump-supporting diatribe of phony “news.”

It’s something everyone should be aware of. If we had a more responsible Congress, we could reasonably expect legislative action to end this travesty. Unfortunately, most people seem unfazed by this attack on free speech. And our Congress continues to suffer “mental erectile dysfunction” caused by an overabundance of campaign dollars.

The issues at stake are self-evident and need no further discussion. But, judging from their nearly unanimous reaction, most of the would-be reporters and staff at Sinclair seem to have a personal case of self-pity.

We’re hearing a lot of ‘em claim they feel tied to contracts signed in better days when they were looking for that professional “pot-of-gold.” “The ticket to fame and riches.” Now, they’re using those documents to say they can’t quit Sinclair because “they’d be sued” or they can’t leave because “they have young families.”

Take it from someone who’s been there. Leaving Sinclair now is likely the best possible move you can make for a better career future. It also might be the best tonic right now to help you be that professional you think you are.

A wise and thoughtful friend wrote something the other day, giving me a different perspective. Forget Sinclair. Think, instead, of the thousands of teachers marching for better pay and improved state support for children and the necessary equipment and materials to do their jobs. Some of their administrators threatened to fire them if they marched. But, march they are. They, too, have young families to support and student loans to pay off. But, they’re marching.

And the kids. Some of those same school districts threatened to give them failing grades and other punishments if they marched. But, hundreds of thousands are out there. At a time when a failing grade on a transcript could cost them badly when trying to get into college, they made the decision that enough students had been murdered with uncontrolled automatic weapons.

At eight score years, I’ve had many periods of employment and unemployment. I’ve signed contracts. I’ve broken a few. And a few were broken for me. I’ve walked away from incomes when such things as a court-ordered child support order had to be kept current - income or no. I’ve made professional and personal choices and lived with the consequences.

I only say those things to make this point. To the Sinclair people who think they’re captives and can’t possibly do the responsible thing, “Yes, you CAN!” And some of your brothers and sisters are doing just that.

The vast majority of reporters, editors and other news professionals alive today are in your corner. They’re “mad as Hell,” too. Like me, most of them have been around and around the block. But, you’re the only ones who can take the right step this time. Now, it’s your turn. You’ve got thousands and thousands of shoulders to stand on.

But, if you persist in the pity-party, here’s something else to consider. The longer you stay with an employer nearly all your fellow professionals despise, the more time with Sinclair will show on future job applications. If you show it, that time will be an impediment that could result in a rejection. If you leave that space vacant, they’ll ask. Either way, staying with Sinclair will be a cancer on your career.

We’re cursed with a current political situation in which those who could take responsible action, and do what must be done to defang Sinclair, won’t act. They’ll walk on hot coals through Hell for the Second Amendment but won’t take one step to protect the First.

It’s up to you. What’s your career worth?

The argument for Little

In recent days, we've run posts from people arguing the case for two of the Democratic candidates for Idaho governor, and today a post - from former Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa - arguing the case for one of the Republican candidates. Comparable posts advocating the other two major candidates in the case, Raul Labrador and Tommy Ahlquist, would be welcome and we'd be glad to run them too.


In 40 years of managing elections in Idaho, I noticed a few characteristics that the best candidates – and leaders – have in common.
They talk less and do more. They under promise and over deliver. They are collaborative. They take the long view even when it’s unpopular in the here-and-now. And they know that in a state as close-knit as Idaho, today’s opponent could be tomorrow’s ally – so they don’t burn bridges.

Brad Little embodies those qualities in this year’s Republican primary race for Governor.

Brad Little the Emmett rancher would rather listen than pontificate. He has the experience to know his own mind and the humility and empathy to know that what others think matters just as much.

Brad Little the former State Senator knows the policy-making process firsthand and inside-out. He won’t need a tutorial because he already understands what it takes to get things done in State government. And he knows that no matter how bold the claim, no one can do it alone.

Brad Little the Lieutenant Governor knows that whether it’s raising cattle or presiding over the Idaho Senate, working together is the best way to accomplish shared goals and come out the other side without bitterness or backbiting.

Brad Little the husband, father and grandfather knows that working in State government has a lot more to do with preparing the next generation and the one after that for the challenges ahead than it does with achieving personal political success. He’s in it for a better long-term future, not better numbers in today’s polls.

I know Brad Little to be the kind of candidate and the kind of person who will make us proud as Governor. He and his wife Teresa are gracious without being self-congratulatory. They are engaged without being condescending. They are hard-working to their very core. And they are Idaho, through and through.

There are certain givens when it comes to successful candidates in Idaho. They must be for stronger families. They must be protective of Idaho’s water, rural lifestyle and public lands. They must have at least a healthy skepticism about the federal government. And they must be willing to put their ego and personal agendas on the shelf to make tough choices for the common good.

Brad Little fits all those criteria and more. He will work hard to help ensure that Idaho’s economy keeps growing, Idaho’s communities are safe, Idaho’s budget is balanced, Idaho’s public policies are sound and responsible, Idaho’s voice is heard in Washington, D.C., Idaho’s children get a world-class education, and their own children have the kind of career opportunities that keep them right here at home.

That’s why I’m voting Brad Little for Governor in the May 15 Republican primary election, and it’s why you should too.

Idaho Briefing – April 9

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for April 9. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

Major stories coming from an unusual direction this week: The hiring of new presidents at two of Idaho’s major higher education institutions. (On top of putting the UI athletic director on lease.) That work isn’t done yet – the hiring for Boise State University still awaits – meaning that changes for higher ed in Idaho this year could be significant event if the proposed reorganization plan (that the legislature rejected) went nowhere.

Idaho Power is joining seven other electric utilities in the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM), enabling the company to buy low-cost energy from across the region in real time.

University of Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear has been put on administrative leave for 60 days while investigators and university leadership work to better understand process failures in reporting sexual assault complaints in 2012 and 2013, what has been done since then, and what should be done in the future.]

Local health organizations are joining the effort to put closing the coverage gap on the ballot in Idaho. Following another year of legislative inaction, advocates are eager to give the voters of Idaho the chance to decide.

The Bureau of Land Management has begun implementing an experimental targeted grazing project aimed at reducing fuels and associated fire risk and protecting rehabilitation efforts within the Soda Fire zone. Participating local ranchers will be grazing livestock along 36 miles of Owyhee Front roadways from approximately Marsing to Murphy from now through June.

Boise State University officially has begun construction on the $50 million Micron Center for Materials Research.

Representative Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, sharply criticized a federal court decision he contends is forcing the waste of $40 million in hydropower based on dubious scientific grounds in the name of helping salmon.

After nearly 32 years on Kimberly Road the Sawtooth National Forest Supervisor’s Office will be moving. The new Supervisor’s Office will be located at 370 American Avenue in Jerome.

PHOTO The Department of Energy last week officially approved the contract modification that enables a five-year extension for Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) to manage and operate INL through September 30, 2024. (image/Idaho National Laboratory)

The Paulette Jordan math


A couple of weeks ago I was driving across the border into Idaho from Montana. I stopped the car and took a picture of the “Welcome to Idaho” sign. I thought: It would be cool if that sign read, just under the Idaho greeting, Paulette Jordan, Governor.

Jordan, Coeur d’Alene, is running as a Democrat in what is perhaps the reddest, most Republican state in the country. So it’s an impossible task, right?

No. Let’s do the math.

The first part of that equation is done: Running. So many talented people survey a political campaign and then, for whatever reason, pass. But the inviolate rule of politics is that you must run in order to win. So that is a huge step.

Jordan is one of seven Native American candidates running for statewide office and one of two Native women running to a lead a state, (something that has never been done before.) She will be the first of those candidates to face voters and she will need to win a contested Democratic primary on May 15. A date that’s coming up fast.

One of the most important reasons for Native American candidates is the aspirational aspect. It’s a way for young people to see a future, (one that is far more important than just politics.) During a recent trip to Fort Hall, and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Jordan took time out to visit the students. She also met with community members where she said on KPVI 6 that the issues that “tribes push forward are good for everyone, all of humanity. So when we talk about education in tribal communities, it's the same for Hispanic communities, it's the same for every single district up and down this state.”

Jordan is running against A.J. Balukoff, who, unlike Jordan, can use his own wealth to fund his campaign. (Something he has already done to the tune of $175,000.) Four years ago Balukoff was the Democratic nominee for governor and lost by a wide margin.

Idaho has an odd primary. The Republicans limit their ballots to anyone except those who publicly claim party membership. But anyone who is “unaffiliated” or independent can pick up a Democratic Party ballot on election day. Because Idaho is such a conservative state, most voters sign up with the Republicans. Four years ago more than 155,000 voters did just that, while only 25,638 voted in the Democratic primary.

This is actually an advantage for a candidate like Jordan. She only needs to find a few thousand votes (my bet is there will be more interest than four years ago.) So, let’s say that means the primary winner will earn at least 25,000 votes. That’s a plausible number in a season where nontraditional candidates are getting a second and third look.

There is only one county in Idaho that regularly votes for Democrats: Blaine County. That’s Sun Valley, Ketchum, the Wood River Valley. Think lifestyles of the rich and famous. Hillary Clinton had a two-to-one margin over President Donald J. Trump in Blaine County. Jordan must do well here.

Votes from Idaho’s five reservations could help, too. The numbers are small, but if they are one-sided, say 100, 200, 300 votes to a handful, it could give her an edge. Especially in a primary.

Jordan should also poll well with younger Democratic voters and with Hispanics. These two constituent groups are growing in numbers and importance. Well, sort of. Idaho is a young state: There are more people under 18 than any other demographic group. And younger voters from 18 to 25 are a relatively small cohort at roughly 155,000 people. But in the last elections this group increased its turnout rates, so there is a potential upside. Hispanics now account for 12 percent of Idaho’s population and, according to Pew Research, are some 80,000 eligible voters (far more than what would be needed in a primary election.)

The math is there. It’s possible.

What about Jordan’s message? Is she connecting with primary voters? That’s a much tougher call. She has to reach voters in a state with two time zones and a distinct geographic divide. I often joke that Idaho is the only state with three capitals: Salt Lake City, Spokane and Boise. Each major city has its influence over regions of the state.

Recently Jordan’s team made a rookie mistake adding the word “ever” to an email about her being the only Democrat elected in North Idaho. This took away from an important message: Jordan won re-election to the Idaho House two years ago in a terrible cycle for Democrats. Her campaign convinced voters who would not normally vote for a Democrat. This should be said over and over as a reason why Idaho Democrats should vote for Jordan.

And after that? The toughest hill to climb come after the primary. Jordan would then need to make her case to Idaho’s deeply conservative Republican voters. But if there is ever a year to do just that, it’s this one.

But first the May 15 primary is coming fast. That’s a hurdle that Jordan needs to clear first.

Mark Trahant is editor of Indian Country Today. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. On Twitter: @TrahantReports (Cross-posted on TrahantReports)

What was local TV news


What Sinclair Broadcasting is doing feels personal to me. It should feel personal to you.

When I came to Idaho 44 years ago, Boise’s Channel 2 station, which was KBOI (later KBCI, then KBOI again), had been a landmark in Idaho journalism, renowned among reporters and producing a crop of the best, not least among them a news director who had just become Boise’s new mayor.

In 1990 I worked there for a time, and while television journalism wasn’t by then quite what it had been a couple of decades earlier, there were still fine journalists doing good work at that station.

And still are today. But nowadays, I have to extend my sympathy to them. They face challenges I and their other predecessors never did.

Channel 2 now is owned by the Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting group; KLEW television is Lewiston is owned by Sinclair as well, as are stations in Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City and many others - 172 around the country, with probable expansion to 233 before long. Like most local television (and radio) stations these days, Idaho’s stations mostly are owned by large national corporations.

That isn’t new. The news is what Sinclair is doing to its local stations.

The concerns many of us in local news a generation or two ago had with far-away corporate ownership, tended to involve budgets or internal structural issues. We seldom (and this was true at newspapers as well as broadcast) heard even echoes of specific takes on news coverage, and rarer still encountered anything “must-run” from corporate, much less any direction toward a political preference. The news reports you saw in the local news were, for better or worse, developed by the local staff. I know; back in the day, for a short stretch, I wrote some of them myself.

This is what’s new with Sinclair.

Watch the video posted at, under the headline, “How America's Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media.” It compiles clips from dozens of Sinclair stations - KBOI is one of them - showing anchors robotically reciting, word for word, a script handed down from Sinclair corporate, in essence advising viewers to believe nothing of what they see or hear from any other news source (Sinclair’s presumably exempted).

Cable host John Oliver nailed it: “Nothing says ‘we value independent media’ like dozens of reporters forced to repeat the same message over and over again like members of a brainwashed cult.”

There’s power, and danger, in the image of these local people, with established local reputations, doing this, which is why Sinclair’s executives are going to the trouble.

“Must-run” sequences, strewn in among (diminishing) local news, have become regular, witness the "Bottom Line With Boris" clips, the “Terrorism Alert Desk” - anything to ratchet up fear. On March 21 viewers saw former Trump staffer Sebastian Gorka on the "Deep State." And much more.

Not everyone nationally has gone along. Complaints have leaked; at least one on-air person reported feeling “like a POW” delivering the ordered anti-journalism message. A station in Madison, Wisconsin tweeted that it "did not air the Sinclair promotional announcement … we stayed true to our commitment to provide our Madison area viewers local news, weather and sports of interest to them." Will they still have their jobs in a couple of weeks? Some at other stations already have quit.

(What do the local stations say about this? From a leaked internal memo at Sinclair’s KATU in Portland: "Please DO NOT answer any questions or get into any discussion with callers, as they try to navigate to someone internally. … Most certainly don't talk to the press about the issue.” Got it.)

The must-read Sinclair script parroted by local anchors ends with the words, “this is extremely dangerous to our democracy.” That part, they got right. Here’s hoping no other corporate masters try pulling the same thing on the rest of local TV news.

Notes . . .


Mail by voting is going to go national. The evidence of how well it works keeps adding up.

That's no news to us in Oregon, of course, where it's worked extremely well for more two two decades. It's been picked up in a growing number of places, notably Washington state to the north, and it's been doing well everywhere.

The latest evidence comes from Alaska.

State 49 held local election this week, and Anchorage was experimenting with mail-in voting. Election officials there said they were hoping for a modest boost in turnout.

We don't yet know what the final tally will be, but the boost is likely to be a lot more than modest.

Election day was Tuesday. The Anchorage Daily News reported, "About 80,000 ballots had been received by elections officials at the end of the day Wednesday. More were still on the way. Until now, the most ballots the city had ever received in a local race was 71,099 votes in 2012."

But that's only the beginning. As the paper noted, Alaskans tend to be last-minute people, and a further deluge of ballots is expected to come in over the next few days.

They're voting a lot up there. And more and more states will catch on to this. - rs

Bolton as security advisor?


John Bolton has been appointed as national security adviser to the President. My advice to investors is to put all of your money in companies that produce weapons of war. Bolton never saw a foreign policy problem that could not be solved with a good war.

Mr. Bolton was a major cheerleader for the war against Iraq, which ended up being a colossal disaster for the United States. Many of Bolton’s fellow neo-cons have recognized it as such, but he clings to his mistaken belief that it turned out just fine. This, despite the fact that it needlessly cost the lives of about 4,500 brave American service personnel to date, killed and injured hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, created continuing strife in Iraq, cost trillions of dollars in direct and indirect expenditures, made Iran the preeminent power in the region, turned the Middle East upside down with the resulting chaos that is still playing out in the region today, and seriously degraded our country’s military readiness, among other things.

All of this was predictable, but Bolton was too focused on attacking Iraq to bother considering the actual facts or the consequences of war. After all, he had never felt the heat of battle. He admits having signed up with a guard unit to avoid having to serve his country in Vietnam. Many of us stepped forward as Bolton stepped back.

Bolton was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control during the run-up to war and certainly had access to information showing Saddam posed no threat to the U.S. The CIA admitted as much to Congress in mid-2002, before it was muzzled. The U.N. weapons inspectors flatly stated that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. The Guardian newspaper in London reported that British intelligence believed Colin Powell’s purported mobile germ warfare labs were only weather stations, which is what they actually were.

Anyone with common sense who kept reasonably well informed through reputable news outlets could have concluded that attacking Iraq was totally unnecessary, a gigantic blunder and against our national interest. To illustrate that a person did not have to be an arms control “expert” to understand the danger, I sent a proposed guest opinion to the Idaho Statesman in August of 2002, making those very points.

In addition to the needless cost of American blood and treasure, the op-ed said: “While we will undoubtedly eliminate Saddam, we’ll also have to take responsibility for a chaotic aftermath. It will take many thousands of American troops and a number of years to feed and rebuild the country, to keep the Kurds and Shiites from taking revenge against the Sunnis, to keep the Turks and Iranians out, and to keep instability from spreading to the surrounding countries. And, I don’t expect we will be regarded as benevolent conquerors.” And, that all assumed that we would not make such a disastrous mess of trying to reconstruct the Iraqi state. After Powell telegraphed that the administration was hell-bent for war, I dropped the op-ed as futile.

The folly of the Iraq war should have been readily apparent to someone in Bolton’s position, especially if a guy who grew up on a potato farm in Idaho could figure it out. But, to see what is clear-cut in front of him, a person must open his eyes as well as his mind. John Bolton is not that kind of person. He is a chicken hawk who sees war as a foreign policy tool of first resort.

Bolton has advocated war with both Iran and North Korea. Either or both would produce calamitous consequences. He learned nothing from the Iraq experience and would send additional American troops to their needless deaths just to prove his brilliance. The President should drop him like a hot potato.