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Guest Post: Sebelius for Vice President?

June 10th, 2008 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

Let’s start this discussion by admitting a very wrong guess. We have written in this column months ago that Hillary Clinton was all but certain to be the Democrat nominee. It would take a lot of energy and a determined interest to know how on earth she managed to squander a huge opening advantage. But she did, and it probably doesn’t matter much to the pro-Life movement because Barack Obama is every bit as committed to killing the innocent as Clinton. (Maybe some smart guy will write a decent book as an offering to political junkies explaining her melodramatic implosion).

So here we are: Obama versus McCain.

There will plenty of weeks to discuss this race. For today, let’s consider the drama unfolding around Obama’s pick for Vice-President.

One of the folks being touted as an alternative to the Hillary VP disaster is Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas. Media pundits correctly point to the fact that Sebelius comes from a leaning Republican state in the Midwest; she is a woman – and she is not Hillary Clinton.Those are all credible facts in Sebelius’ favor.

But those same media analysts go to the next level and describe her as some sort of “moderate”.

That will be a hard sell.

The most damaging thing we’re aware of is her symbiotic relationship with George Tiller – America’s most notorious abortionist. He is credited with providing much of the campaign finance to her first election. She has reciprocated by doing much to protect him from criminal prosecution for his flouting of Kansas law prohibiting late term abortions. (Her latest act was to appoint a pro-abortion Attorney General who has worked overtime to keep records away a Grand Jury investigating allegations against Tiller).

Now a new scandal has emerged: Sebelius feted George Tiller and his abortion clinic staff at the Governor’s Mansion in April of 2007 – while Tiller was under criminal investigation. To make matters worse, this political fundraising event was paid for by taxpayers until a pro-Life group forced the issue just two weeks ago.

While McCain has shown no disposition toward using the bully-pulpit to defend preborn children, he may be moved to do so should Obama be foolish enough to select Sebelius.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Guest Post: Cap and Trade Legislation – Unilateral Economic Disarmament

June 10th, 2008 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Here we are on the verge of a possible recession (we haven’t had two quarters or even one quarter of negative GDP growth), and in the midst of an energy crisis with $135 oil, and what was Congress debating this week? A tax that will hit the economy from $1.7 to $4.8 trillion, and cost the average American family up to $3,726 per year! Such legislation will, if eventually passed, virtually ensure an ongoing recession by adversely affecting national GDP by 2 to 3% per year according to Time magazine, which inexplicably thinks it’s a good idea.

The Warner-Lieberman bill, the so-called cap and trade bill would have done that, and probably more. After all, when was the last time a government program cost projection was accurate? This bill, defeated by the Senate, was heralded by mainstream media, and certain politicians, as “bold national policy” designed to reduce carbon emissions and “contain climate change.” Yet even in the best-case scenario, the potential climatic impact would be a change in global average temperatures by about 1/100 of a degree between now and 2030. Who in their right mind would think that’s a cost-effective use of tax-payer money? Apparently a bunch of Federal legislators and many in the mainstream media fall into that inane category. It really makes me wonder what has happened to common sense in politics. It obviously is a rare commodity on Capital Hill and is declining as precipitously as Congressional approval numbers.

Cap and trade legislation forcibly lowers carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by placing limits, or caps, on companies that emit CO2, and affords a mechanism for them to trade or buy credits from companies that are under those limits. By creating such a mechanism, utilities and companies emitting less than the limit could sell credits to companies over the limit, which would have to buy the right to emit more CO2. The net affect on the environment is negligible, but the potential to drive energy related costs higher and higher is significant, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

MIT published a study earlier this year that estimated the cost of implementing such a system would cost $3,500 to the average American family of four by creating a massive tax on energy that is then passed on to consumers including a 44% increase in the cost of electricity. The NAM estimates the impact on the cost of gasoline would be as much as an additional $5.00 per gallon by 2030. That means if this bill was in effect now, gas would cost $9.00 per gallon.

Even if the CO2 emissions are reduced as predicted, based on the “science” of the proponents, the impact on the global environment is a decrease of 0.013 degrees of “prevented warming,” according to the National Center for Public Policy Research. Look at it this way, if you were buying a car, and the salesman said it may or may not run, and even if it did, it may not function the way it was designed to, would you dish out $3,500 for that car?

What makes much more sense is to do the same thing we did last year. Global temperatures dropped by 0.7 degree Celsius last year. That decline actually eradicates the increase of the past 100 years, according to all three monitoring agencies. So what did we do to achieve such a drop in global temperatures? Aside from individual conservation, we did nothing. Could it be that climate temperatures actually fluctuate regardless of mankind’s CO2 emissions?

The fundamental premise of this kind of legislation must be rejected. That premise seems to be that we can “save the planet” by reducing our carbon footprint. There is no underlying science that proves we can do so. Secondly, we must learn from the mistakes of Europe which has implemented cap and trade policies. The three years of Europe’s experiment has been a disaster both from an environmental perspective and economically, according to the UK Times.

Let’s consider a few facts. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas in the atmosphere that is measured in parts per million, or ppm. The vast majority of CO2 emissions, about 97 percent, comes from Mother Nature, including what we humans exhale.

CO2 is nowhere near the most important greenhouse gas; water vapor holds that distinction. An astounding 99.9 percent of Earth’s greenhouse gas effect has nothing to do with man-made CO2 emissions. If measured on a football field, man-made CO2 would amount to less than a centimeter.

The Warner-Lieberman bill has been defeated but it was a dress rehearsal for another version next year, especially if Congress moves more to the left in the November elections. These efforts amount to draconian command-and-control attacks against our quality of life under the auspices of environmentalism. The underlying premises are flawed, and the recommended measures can virtually destroy the American economy. Unilateral disarmament was wrong militarily; and cap-and-trade legislation amounts to unilateral economic disarmament.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

Guest Post: Challenge for Human Rights Commission – What if a Lesbian is Guilty of Sexual Harassment?

June 6th, 2008 by Halli

By Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

The bona fides of the Idaho Human Rights Commission, which claims to be all about equal treatment for everyone, are abut to be put to the test.

The IHRC brought a bill this past session, sponsored by Republican Sen. Tim Corder, which would have threatened severe punishment to any employer who would make non-normative sexual behavior or cross-dressing in issue in employment decisions.

What the HRC has yet to address, to my knowledge, is how it will handle a complaint issued against a lesbian who is being charged with sexual harassment on the job.

We are about to find out.

Janet Crapo, a former city employee in Hauser, a 670-person lakeside town in northern Idaho, has filed a formal complaint with the IHRC, accusing a member of the City Council, Carmen Miller, of recruiting her for a city job and then retaliating against her when she declined Miller’s lesbian advances.

The two met at a fitness class, and Crapo was soon offered a job by Miller, who said the job would be terrific as long Crapo would “play the game,” a phrase which Miller refused to clarify.

Shortly after Crapo took the job, Miller began visiting her at work, bringing lunch to her or offering to take her out. She began showing Crapo pictures of herself in a bikini during a body-building competition in Hawaii.

The harassment, according to the complaint, included home phone calls, questions about sexual orientation and other sexually inappropriate comments.

Said Crapo, “I was so uncomfortable being around Ms. Miller, I would come home from work and cry or tell my husband that I did not want to go back because I was so uncomfortable.”

She complained to the then-mayor and the city council president, apparently to no effect.

The employee, a married mother of two, finally quit her job after 15 months of such treatment, writing in her letter of resignation that she could not “handle the stress any longer due to the harassment.”

The HRC, which gets almost $1 million a year of your tax money to push the homosexual agenda in Idaho, claims on its website that, “Our commission works toward ensuring that all people within the state are treated with dignity and respect in their places of employment.”

Janet Crapo is about to discover whether “all people” includes heterosexuals who are sexually harassed by homosexuals.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Idaho Legislature | No Comments »

Press Release: Congressman Sali – Record Tax Increases Would Hurt Every Idahoan and Further Weaken U.S. Economy

June 6th, 2008 by Halli

From the Office of Rep. Bill Sali

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Bill Sali today voted against a budget blueprint that calls for the largest tax increase in American history in order to subsidize even more runaway federal spending.

The measure passed 214-210 but had opposition from many democrats who couldn’t come to terms with this egregious tax hike. It had already passed the Senate and does not need to be signed by the president to take effect. The measure sets the total limit of spending for the 12 Appropriations bills to be considered by Congress. The 2009 House-Senate budget resolution is expected to cost average Idahoans an extra $2,600 this year – on top of rising gas and food prices.

“The words have been used so often that they have sort of a numbing effect – ‘the largest tax increase in American history.’ But at a time when our nation is already wrestling with the highest gas prices we’ve ever seen along with a weak economy that threatens growth, a warning of such a gigantic tax hike shouldn’t fall on deaf ears – it will fall on everyone’s well-being, and should foster outrage from every Idahoan,” Sali said.

“This budget will lead to additional hardships for Idahoans. Now, Democrats in Congress have decided to throw salt in a gaping economic wound, and I can’t begin to say how reckless and thoughtless this plan is. What Idahoans need more than anything is lower taxes and lower energy prices, and this Congress is coming up with every way possible to give us the exact opposite. This budget will prove disastrous not only for the U.S. economy but for so many Americans who are already struggling to make ends meet,” said the Congressman.

The budget resolution does nothing to cut or eliminate wasteful spending, end the abuse of earmarks, reduce bloated entitlement spending or provide tax relief to Americans. Additional pitfalls of the budget resolution include: the return of the marriage penalty so that some married couples pay more taxes than if they had filed separately as singles; cutting the child tax credit in half; and a dramatic reduction of tax incentives for small businesses.

“This Democrat-controlled Congress continues to break records: Record high gas prices, soaring food prices and now a record high tax increase in the budget blueprint. This is shocking,” said Sali.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Family Matters, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

Guest Post: What Really Happened When Kennedy Met with Khrushchev

June 5th, 2008 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

History oftentimes is whitewashed through the lens polished by hindsight. People and events of any given time can seem inconsequential, but in retrospect, loom large in identifying causal events from a historical perspective.
The administration of JFK has been largely whitewashed as a “Camelot” presidency due in large part to its tragic premature termination. Some of that revisionist history is justified in light of subsequent events, but some is not.

The continuing flap over Senator Barak Obama’s assertion that he would be willing to meet unconditionally, yet with preparation, with any world leader, including those who seek to harm the United States, prompted one such opportunity for historical revisionism. The Senator defended his position, “If George Bush and John McCain have a problem with direct diplomacy led by the president of the United States, then they can explain why they have a problem with John F. Kennedy, because that’s what he did with Khrushchev.” He went on to state, “When Kennedy met with Khrushchev, we were on the brink of nuclear war.”

Historically, this is incorrect. The tendency is to envision a handsome, youthful President Kennedy facing the enemy of freedom, the Premier of the Soviet Union. However, the historical reality is far different. Kennedy’s faceoff with Nikita Khrushchev in June of 1961 was disastrous and actually led to an escalation of the Cold War, the construction of the Berlin Wall, led directly to the Cuban Missile Crisis, as well as an escalation of the Vietnam War.

Just months into his administration, President Kennedy wanted desperately to visit face to face with the Soviet Premier. In his inaugural address in January, 1961, he declared, “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” With that as his foreign affairs theme, he was convinced that he could approach the totalitarian leader in a way not done before, and that he could have success in bridging some of the ideological chasms separating the two because of his intellect and eloquence.

Most of Kennedy’s senior advisors counseled the President not to meet with Khrushchev. Dean Rusk, then Secretary of State, queried, “Is it wise to gamble so heavily? Are not these two men who should be kept apart until others have found a sure meeting ground of accommodation between them?” George Kennan, Truman’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union, counseled Kennedy to not rush so quickly without qualifications into such a meeting. He argued that Khrushchev had ramped up his rhetoric against the U.S., appeared to be more aggressively confrontational, and that the current pressing issues between the two countries should be handled by diplomats through the State Department.

As Nathan Thrall and Jesse Wilkins recently wrote, “Kennedy went ahead, and for two days he was pummeled by the Soviet leader. Despite his eloquence, Kennedy was no match as a sparring partner, and offered only token resistance as Khrushchev lectured him on the hypocrisy of American foreign policy, and cautioned America against supporting ‘old, moribund, reactionary regimes.’ Khrushchev used the opportunity to warn Kennedy that his country could not be intimidated and that it was ‘very unwise’ for the United States to surround the Soviet Union with military bases.”

The face-to-face with the Soviet Premier was an unmitigated disaster. Diplomats on both sides of the table offered the same assessment. One of Khrushchev’s aides recorded that Kennedy seemed “very inexperienced, even immature.” Khrushchev himself said of the two-day meeting that the youthful Kennedy was “too intelligent and too weak,” and returned to Moscow elated at his newfound elevated position of advantage, and extremely unimpressed at the naïveté and seeming impotence of the new President.

Kennedy’s self-appraisal was no less severe. He said of Khrushchev, “He just beat the hell out of me. I’ve got a terrible problem if he thinks I’m inexperienced and have no guts.”

The consequences of this humiliating diplomatic effort could not have been foreseen. Just a few months later, Khrushchev ordered the construction of the Berlin Wall, and a few more months after that, authorized the shipping of nuclear missiles to Cuba to, as he phrased it, “throw a hedgehog at Uncle Sam’s pants.”

There can be no doubt that Kennedy’s weakness contributed significantly to Khrushchev’s perception that he could build the wall and install nuclear missiles off our Southern coast. As a result, Berlin was divided by a wall for nearly half a century and we were brought to the brink of a nuclear Armageddon in spite of Kennedy’s intelligence and articulation. It could therefore be argued that these events were precipitated because of Kennedy’s hubris and his self-perceived ability to persuade. To counter this weakness, Kennedy resolved that he wouldn’t get pushed around by the Soviets any more, and determined to make his stand in Southeast Asia. The rest is regrettable history.

A profound reminder to those who seek political office: “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

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Posted in Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

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