Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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 Boise's Watergate
 University Place and All The Governor's Men


 Deep Throat II


Chapter 1 - The Cookie Monsters



If 200 people are locked in a room and all the cookies disappear, we can logically deduce they ate the cookies, right?  But can we prove it?
-- Deep Throat II

   Picture this:  two hundred lawyers, government employees, university presidents, university vice-presidents, county commissioners, state agency members, School Board members, public land developers, the Governor of the Great State of Idaho, the Governor’s Chief of Staff, and all 105 Idaho State Legislators in year 2002 walk into a room with no windows and no way out except one door.  In the middle of the room is a buffet table with 136 million chocolate chip cookies baked by the taxpayers for Idaho’s school children.  All two hundred adults are given explicit instructions, “Don’t eat the chocolate chip cookies.  They’re for Idaho’s children.”  The door is then shut and locked; nobody leaves for 24 hours.

   The next morning, the door is unlocked and everybody piles out.  Mysteriously, all the chocolate chip cookies have disappeared.  When questioned, everybody who was in the room for 24 hours throws their hands up in the air and says, “Hey, don’t look at me.  I have no idea what happened or where all the cookies went.”

Upon closer questioning and inspection, many individuals coming out of the room have a ring of chocolate around their lips, chocolate smudges on their fingertips, or cookie crumbs all over their clothing.  They look like the Cookie Monster on Sesame Street.  Some have more chocolate on their faces than others, some point fingers at their neighbors, some have no chocolate ring around their lips but nobody knows what happened to the 136 million chocolate chip cookies.

   The Idaho Statesman newspaper dutifully reports this giant Cookie Monster Mystery but does not draw meaningful conclusions.  The Statesman is caught between a rock and a hard place.  They want to name names and print the truth but they don’t want the taxpayers to draw conclusions that the existence of government schools with billion dollar budgets is the problem.  After all, the Statesman is gung-ho for Idaho to spend lots more than the current $1.3 billion for public education’s Leave No Child Behind folly.  Report the news but don’t blame the system.

   Similarly, the Idaho State Legislature in election year 2004 is also not eager to remind the public that it was in the very room in which 136 million chocolate chip cookies were gobbled up right under their noses.  Don’t ask any questions.  Pretend it never happened.  Let’s quickly move on to more important legislation such as tattoos for minors.

   Meanwhile, Governor Kempthorne skips town every other week and plays Where’s Waldo?  His Office spokesmen pretend Waldo knows nothing about any cookie monsters and quickly point out that Waldo had to go to Washington State, Washington DC, Hawaii, Indianapolis, California, Hoboken, Mexico, and China because he is the Chairman of the National Governor’s Association, a Chairman who is busy trying to outspend Idaho’s $1.3 billion public education budget with Idaho’s rapidly growing $1.1 billion Medicaid budget – and, as of the 2005 legislative session, a $3 billion Highway Proposal.

   President Hoover of the University of Idaho finally breaks down and cries, “OK, OK, maybe I did eat a couple thousand chocolate chip cookies but it was for the public good.  I quit as President of the U of I and – within one week – accept the position of President of Albertson’s College down the street, OK?”

   But wait a minute.  It’s not OK.  What about the theft of the millions of chocolate chip cookies from Idaho’s school children?  Where did the cookies go?  How did it happen?  Why did it happen?  Who are the Cookie Monsters?  Why do we care?

   Because we don’t want it to ever happen again.

   If 200 people are locked in a room and all the cookies disappear, we can logically deduce they ate the cookies, right?  But can we prove it?

   This is the monumental task faced by the investigators of Boise’s University Place scandal.  How and why the cookie monsters did it is the subject of this book.


Chocolate Chip Brownie Recipe To Die For:
(or serve 5-10 yrs in the Fed Pen for self-dealing Public Education funds)

1 box Ghirradeli Chocolate Brownie Mix
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ Tablespoon vegie oil
Whip to a frenzy
Bake 25 min @ 350 F, pull when gooey
Serve w/large glass cold milk, 2 ice cubes
Plead nolo contendre

(...more...available now at online bookstore)

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