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David Ripley: Well, They’ve Done It

November 8th, 2009 by Halli

Well, They’ve Done It

The U.S. House voted late last night to approve ObamaCare by a vote of 220-215. With some 54% of Americans opposed to the legislation, it is rather surprising that House Democrats nevertheless charged into the void.

One bright spot is the adoption of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment by a vote of 240-194. This pro-Life amendment prevents the use taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. While H.R. 3962 is in no way a “pro-Life” bill, adoption of this amendment is a tremendous victory for the pro-Life movement. Mr. Stupak (D-MI) deserves high praise for his grueling, principled and courageous battle to protect women, preborn children and American women from the outrage of public financing of abortion-on-demand.

The future of tax-funding for abortions remains in doubt, however, as the Senate holds a deeper hostility for preborn children.

Idaho’s Walt Minnick was among those voting against the legislation; to his credit, he also opposed adoption of the rule allowing Pelosi’s bill to be considered on the floor.

However, his behavior on the Stupak Amendment is truly hard to understand. He was one of 194 Democrats to vote against the amendment, effectively saying that he believed every Idahoan should be forced to pay for elective abortions. After standing-up for free abortions as an essential health care right for women, he went on to vote against the broader health care bill. One could understand Mr. Minnick’s priority to be abortion, but not basic health care.

To make matters worse, Mr. Minnick issued a press release defending his contorted priorities:

First, he described that he adopted a daughter from China who survived that nation’s forced abortion policies; this was how he developed “a deep faith in the value of life” – and, inexplicably, how he also developed a deep allegiance to abortion-on-demand.

Mr. Minnick then goes on to argue that he opposed the Stupak Amendment because he does “not want a government bureaucrat denying a medical procedure ordered by a woman’s physician.” Nice try, but that defense is even more confusing than the last. Firstly, physicians do not order abortions like breast cancer exams. Secondly, the Stupak Amendment deals only with the matter of who pays for the abortion – the taxpayers of Idaho or the woman wanting an abortion?

But here is the most tortured defense: “One of the reasons I oppose the House health care bill is that I do not believe the federal government should be making health care decisions for Americans. It is also why I oppose this amendment.”

The Stupak Amendment does nothing to interfere with a woman’s so-called “right to choose”, nor does it inject the federal government into that decision. Just the opposite, in fact. It is quite outrageous for a guy to self-righteously clang the bell for a woman’s “right to choose”, while simultaneously demanding that everyone else, under penalty of criminal sanction, pick-up the tab for that decision.

Thank the Lord most Members of Congress were a bit more clear-headed about this crucial matter.

Here is the full transcript of Rep. Minnick’s press release:

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick released the following statement regarding his vote against an amendment to the Affordable Health Care for America Act:

“One of my daughters was born an orphan in China, and she had a chance at life because her parents defied a government order. I also have two sons, both of whom had a difficult time with their health as newborns. Helping all of them grow to be healthy and strong gave me a deep faith in the value of life.

“One of the many things I learned from my children is that nothing can come between the bonds forged by a family, by the difficult decisions we all make day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

“The issue of an unplanned pregnancy is just such a decision. It is painful, difficult and complicated for women and for their families. Doctors and pastors take great care to think deeply about advice offered to people who are dealing with that situation.

“Like most of them and like most of my constituents, I believe abortion should be safe, legal and rare, and that a decision on the issue can be made only by a woman, her family, her doctor and her pastor.

“I do not want a federal judge overruling that decision. I do not want a government bureaucrat denying a medical procedure ordered by a woman’s physician. I do not want this Congress to give an anonymous insurance executive an excuse to gut coverage for women’s health.

“One of the reasons I oppose the House health care bill is that I do not believe the federal government should be making health care decisions for Americans. It is also why I oppose this amendment.”

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

Richard Larsen: Freedom or Conformity?

November 6th, 2009 by Halli

by Richard Larsen

This past week a client of mine sent me an email which was instantly humorous, but prompted me to ponder its message further. Good humor is characterized by underlying kernels of truth. So it was with this message. After the initial amusement, the kernels of veracity kept popping up and I realized that it warranted additional examination as it typified, to an extent, the different perspectives maintained by those who identify themselves as either liberal or conservative.

Borrowing the text from the message, I’ve removed the direct reference to liberal and conservative, and will leave it for you to decide which is which. There will not be a quiz at the end, but I would imagine those who follow current events closely will immediately recognize which is which. Now as you read these, decide which is the liberal, and which is the conservative, for, given my predilection for investing terms, I will only use the appellations “bulls” and “bears.”

If a bull doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a bear doesn’t like guns, he feels that no one should have one.

If a bull is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat. If a bear is, he thinks no one else should eat meat either.

If a bull sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy. A bear, however, wonders how to avoid confrontation and look good doing it.

If a bull is homosexual, he quietly lives his life. If a bear is homosexual, he loudly demands legislated respect and acceptance of his lifestyle as “normal.”

If a minority is a bull, he sees himself as independently successful. Their bear counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a bull is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A similarly down-and-out bear expects the government to take care of him and his working neighbors to pay for it.

If bull doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels. Bears, however, demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a bull is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church. A bear who is a non-believer wants any mention of God or religion silenced and all public images thereof banished.

If a bull believes in man-made global warming, he tries to reduce his carbon footprint. A bear who is an adherent to the global warming religion thinks everyone should be forced to live like cavemen.

If a bull decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A bear demands that the rest of us pay for his.

So how obvious was it to you which were the bulls and the bears? Although greatly simplified and generalized, the themes and basic tenets should be obvious. There is much to consider from these generalizations which makes this a pragmatic exercise judging from the national dialogue as it appears in the headlines and commentary on a daily basis. In short, it would appear that bulls believe in the primary tenet upon which this nation was founded: freedom, while the bears prefer government “solutions,” based on conformity and coercion.

That desire for conformity is further manifest in cries for unity and bipartisanship. The caveat to that notion is that for there to be such unity, someone has to sacrifice his principles and belief system to achieve it, and the expectation is that the bulls are the ones who have to acquiesce, while they hope that common sense will prevail and the bears will come to see things through the lens of freedom. The bears assume that since they’re more enlightened the bulls should see things through their lens of conformity and be willing to sacrifice freedom for the common good.

One of the glaring lessons from this little exercise is the realization that it’s not the bulls who attempt to force their belief system on others, as is the common presumption, but it’s the bears who do so. Bulls are content for the most part to allow people to live as they so desire, but the bears, due to the presumed superiority of their position, seek to impose their beliefs on all.

So which ideology is closest to yours? Are you a bull or a bear?

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Posted in Guest Posts, Politics in General | No Comments »

Andi Elliott: Cummunicable Disease Alert!!!

November 6th, 2009 by Halli

Communicable Disease Alert!!!

A new health threat has been confirmed in Washington, D.C. President Barry Obama and his wife, Michelle O, were the first to be officially diagnosed with this virus. It is said to spread through direct contact.

Already, the virus has infected Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid both of which have tested positive for the A1 C1.

VA constituents attempted to meet with their Senators yesterday during Congresswoman Bachman’s HOUSE CALL but the Senators were too busy having “tea” to meet with them until the busses were ready to return them to the VA Peninsula…so obviously, the A1 C1 virus has already infected these two Senators. There is also some concern about Idaho’s Congressman Walt Minnick.

There is currently no known treatment but “We the People” are working around the clock to find a cure. Preliminary tests indicates that it will be Nov 2010 before the final results are in for the “fix”, but until then the A1 C1 (AKA Arrogance and Conceit) will continue to spread.

This is your Tea Party Patriots coordinator, Andi Elliott.

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

Brett Manwaring: Open Letter to Idaho Falls Precinct 20

November 2nd, 2009 by Halli

To: All voters in Precinct 20
From Brett Manwaring, Republican Precinct Committee Chairman, Precinct 20

In this current election cycle – city elections for mayor and 3 council positions – we should all consider a few things:

• Much has been made by Democrats, self-proclaimed RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only) and the Post Register about the Republican Party endorsing candidates for City elections, saying the races are non-partisan. All people, individuals and parties (private organizations), have the right to publicly support who they will. Some Democrat candidates in general partisan races go to great lengths to not mention they are Democrats – what does that tell you? During the runoff election debate, Ida Hardcastle voted against it because of the cost. The City of Idaho Falls, by consolidating it’s election of only 3 or 4 races with the general elections, could save at least $15,000 to $20,000 per election. Why not?

• The City Council candidates are total opposites in philosophy. Ehardt and Creek come from the private business sector, while the incumbents, Cornwell and Hardcastle, believe and act as total bureaucrats. Any real life business experience they had must have been forgotten, but what the incumbents have learned is to denigrate any opponent personally that disagrees with them, rather than debate their views and positions shared by a minority of the City. Creek and Ehardt will vote for less government, lower taxes and real cooperation with neighboring communities – Hardcastle and Cornwell lead the charge against all these, using the City’s checkbook for their favorite projects. We should ask these questions:

1. If the City can purchase property after property and fund project after project – off budget – how much money is there in all City slush funds? Many feel that with surpluses the City must have, taxes are too high. But year after year there is little or no relief. The incumbents feel they can’t go without every thin dime. Hardcastle claims taxes are lower than 15 years ago – but forgets to tell the swimming pool bond was paid off which lowered it substantially years ago, but she has done her best to get it back up. At the Republican Women’s candidate forum Oct. 22nd, Hardcastle seemed to brag that IF isn’t the highest taxed City. It is 16th highest of 191. IF’s levy (rate the city taxes all property) is .0089. Twin Falls – .0066, Boise – .0050, Post Falls – .0038, Meridian – .0026, Sun Valley – .0010, and Eagle – .0007. Eagle operates on 1/12th and Meridian on 1/4th of IF’s income. Both Meridian and Eagle have comparable assessed valuation to IF. Can someone in City government explain these differences? The two incumbents will tell all willing to listen how all zoos, flowers and entertainment will disappear if anyone other than them is elected – that is just not true! We all love the City of Idaho Falls, it’s beauty, cleanliness and services. To question boldly some policies that could be better is an attempt to make our city better, with or without those who defend the status quo. Many surveys have shown that conservatives give more freely of their own money by 2 or 3 times than liberals to the very causes we are told they would destroy, while liberals are very generous with the public’s money.

2. Why not, prior to serious discussions to eliminate the parking on Memorial Drive, solve the problem of where the patrons and employees of the Court House will park when the 200+ spaces are eliminated? Many have heard Ida Hardcastle say “The City doesn’t need to furnish parking for the County employees”. This is the same Ida that tried to ram through the Rec Center bond and other grandiose schemes that would have cost us millions. After the people voted down the Rec Center overwhelmingly, she was reported as saying “We’ll be back”. I think her 16 years on the council are all we can afford.

Why not have a change of view and ideas instead of the same old tired ones?

VOTE FOR CREEK AND EHARDT

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Falls Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

Larry Lyon: Idaho Democrats Abandon Non-Partisan Politics in City Elections

November 2nd, 2009 by Halli

By former Idaho Falls City Councilman Larry Lyon

With all the attention “Non- Partisan” politics has gotten in Idaho Falls since the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee voted 23 to 3 for the option to endorse candidates in city races, I did some research. What I found was very enlightening.

I did some research on the history of “non-partisan” politics in Idaho. The following information came from searching the term Non-Partisan on the Idaho State web site.

“The Idaho Nonpartisan League was organized in 1917 by Ray McKaig,…”. It’s purpose was to infiltrate existing political party’s by “nominating League candidates on existing major party tickets…”.

“In Idaho the Nonpartisan League took over the Democratic Party in the 1918 primary, nominating a wealthy but sympathetic Republican…for governor. The Democratic state chairman thus was forced to campaign against the Democratic state ticket that year…”,

The history of non-partisan politics in Idaho is the history of a “shadow party” called the Non-Partisan League infiltrating the two major parties and running Republicans as Democrats and visa versa.

“To combat the Nonpartisan League the [Idaho] Legislature repealed the Idaho direct primary in 1919.” After that “…the League finally had to become an independent political party after all…” It morphed into the Idaho Progressive Party, which dissolved in 1928.

The label of “non-partisan” was created as nothing more that a political disguise.
Many states and cities throughout the US reject non-partisan elections as bad public policy. One example is New York City.

Here is an excerpt from the testimony of then Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. before the City Council Committee on Governmental Operations

Select Committee on Charter Revision, Thursday, October 23, 2003.

“…I am pleased to be with you this morning to address this important issue.
As I have said repeatedly since the formation of the Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission, I am opposed to the elimination of party primaries and the imposition of a non-partisan election system in the City of New York. It is poor public policy, and an idea more likely to weaken our democratic system than to strengthen it.”

“… any contemplated changes to our electoral system must be demonstrably superior to what is currently in place. Nonpartisan elections do not meet that standard. “

“Some of the arguments advanced by … supporters [of non-partisan elections] are based on misleading claims, and others are simply unconvincing.

First, advocates argue that party politics control the outcome of elections in New York City. In reality, New Yorkers are among the most independent-minded voters in the country, and they routinely cross party lines to support candidates. In New York City, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 5 to 1, it is striking that a Republican has been chosen to serve as Mayor in each of the last three elections.

Second, despite the claims of its proponents, there is no convincing evidence that eliminating primaries would increase voter turnout in New York City. New York’s experience to date with non-partisan elections – special elections to fill vacancies and Community School Board elections, which both, unfortunately, draw extremely low numbers of voters – does not suggest that it is the right system for New York City.

Indeed, the experience of Jacksonville, Florida, which is often cited by proponents of nonpartisan elections, is decidedly mixed. In the first election following the elimination of party primaries, voter turnout increased somewhat. In the next election, voter turnout dropped substantially below what it had been in the last election to include party primaries.

In the most recent election, voter turnout returned to the levels that it had reached when party primaries were still in effect. In other words, the experience of Jacksonville, Florida, does not exactly serve as a ringing endorsement of nonpartisan elections.

Third, eliminating party primaries would be bad for minority groups. These groups have spent years building up electoral strength in a variety of ways, especially through membership in political parties. By concentrating their political strength through party membership, minorities have elected candidates that reflect their concerns. Dismantling this system at a moment when members of these groups hold more City and Borough-wide offices than at any time in our history would undermine that progress.”

Not only do cities in New York State have party primaries to select candidates for city office but they also have a process that allows more than one party to endorse a candidate.

One piece of campaign literature has a candidate endorsed by the “Republican”, “Conservative”, and “Independent” Party’s. Another had a candidate endorsed by the “Democratic”, “Independent”, and “Working Families” Party.

Now I know that New York has it’s share of problems, but the way they run city elections does not seem to be one of them. People in New York State are more excited, informed, and engaged in the political process at the local level than I have ever seen in Idaho Falls.

Incumbents get free passes to re-election in Idaho Falls and Ammon. The Idaho Falls Mayors race has been described more as a “coronation” than a legitimate political contest. Voter apathy seems to be at an all time high.

Thankfully this may be changing. Not because of the Republicans, but because of the Democrats.

Democrats have shed the phony disguise of non-partisanship. The Democrats are openly engaged in partisan politics in Boise.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpK_xc0bxis “>TJ Thomson, an ardent Democrat who voted to nominate Barak Obama at the Democratic National Convention is running for Boise City Council.

The Idaho Statesman has written about this race, saying that it is non-partisan “in name only”.
The Democrats are engaged in a full court press to get TJ Thomson elected. His endorsement list is a Who’s Who of Idaho Democrats; including former Governor Cecil Andrus, former Democratic Congressman Richard Stallings and two time Democratic candidate for Governor Jerry Brady.

TJ Thomson has also been endorsed by the Democratic” title=”http://www.democracyforamerica.com/current-endorsements\”>Democratic” target=”_blank”>www.democracyforamerica.com/current-endorsements”>Democratic Party Community Organizing group, Democracy for America.

There is nothing wrong with the Democrats being openly involved in City politics. Political Party’s should be involved. That is why they exist.

People who crow about how wonderful non-partisan politics are usually those who support incumbents in city races. In reality “non-partisan” politics are nothing more than an incumbent protection program. By creating a political climate that discourages political Party’s from engaging in the political process, the very thing they were created to do; it virtually eliminates any organized opposition to those already in power.

This is a recipe for political careerism, which can only lead to waste, cronyism, and corruption, regardless of who is in power.

The campaign to elect Democrat TJ Thomson to the Boise City Council is good news for City Politics in Idaho. The Democrats have asserted their freedom of speech and association and gotten fully behind a candidate who shares their values and their priorities.

Now that the Democrats have rejected non-partisan politics in city races hopefully other political parties will follow their lead.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Falls Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

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