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David Ripley: Appeals Court Orders Human Embryo Destruction

September 29th, 2010 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Yesterday, the DC Circuit Court reversed an order by federal Judge Royce Lamberth, so that the Obama Administration may proceed with giving federal grants to researchers who want to destroy embryos as part of medical research programs. Their action seems to be a patent contradiction of federal law – which prohibits the use of federal money for such “research”.

While the case is not over, the ruling clearly spells great hope for those who want the government to pursue embryonic stem cell research. Even if Judge Lamberth goes ahead with the trial, finds that Obama is violating congressionally-enacted law, and reinstates the ban on federally funding – the circuit court sent a big signal yesterday that it would reverse him.

That sets up an eventual appeal to the Supreme Court, which may well rule against Obama’s compulsive desire to destroy human embryos.

In the meantime, the American people and federal law will be defied. Most importantly, an unknown number of vulnerable, tiny humans will be destroyed. More of our national soul will be defiled. And money that could be focused on effective research will be squandered.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | 2 Comments »

Richard Larsen: Which is REALLY the Party of Stupidity?

September 29th, 2010 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

I was amused the other day reading Richard Stallings’ column about an ill-advised component of the Idaho Republican Party platform that calls for the repeal of the 17th Amendment. What was most amusing was his opening line, “Do Idaho Republicans think we, the citizens of Idaho, are stupid?” Au contraire, Congressman. While the merits of the 17th Amendment repeal are open for legitimate debate, stupidity isn’t a prerequisite for engaging in it. There is ample evidence that voter apathy or ignorance facilitates political manipulation on both sides of the spectrum, but the party in control on the Beltway not only preys on it, but depends on it since they presume their statist centralized planning trumps our individual liberty.

For example, consider Nancy Pelosi’s comment in the midst of the Obamacare debate, when she said, “We have to pass the bill so you can see what’s in it.” If Newt Geingrich or Dennis Hastert had said anything that idiotic they would have been removed from their Speaker post by their party! Well Ms. Speaker, the ignorant masses are learning what’s in it, and we frankly detest it even more now than when you were debating it, contrary to the President’s assertion that we’d “love it.”

Speaking of the ignorant masses, how about the White House’s perspective on all Americans? Obama’s regulatory “czar,” Cass Sunstein, said just two years ago, “Once we know that people are human and have some Homer Simpson in them, then there’s a lot that can be done to manipulate them.” Since we know we’re all human, it follows deductively that the White House assumes we all “have some Homer Simpson” in us. Read that as a euphemism for “all Americans are stupid.” But even more disturbing is his conclusion, “then there’s a lot that can be done to manipulate them.” In other words, this czar, so highly regarded by our president, believes we’re all a bunch of ignoramuses who are ripe for manipulation by “enlightened” elites like him and his boss.

Sunstein stated in his book Nudge, “We need to move away from short-term, politically motivated initiatives such as the ‘nudging people’ idea, which are not based on any good evidence and don’t help people make long-term behaviour changes.” He instead asserts the role of government in making those choices for people. The mentality is obviously alive and well in many areas of the country where Mr. Stallings’ party has a death-grip on the populace where personal choices are removed by government fiat as trans-fats are banned, the use of salt in food preparation are prohibited, soda drinks are removed from vending machines by executive order, and even sand-castle construction on public beaches is prohibited because of “environmental” concerns.

Further evidence of how Stallings’ party believes ardently in the stupidity of the American electorate was on display at Obama’s CNBC Townhall this week. Dismissing Tea Party activists’ concerns about the Washington power grab and profligate spending perpetrated by his party in Congress, Obama dismissed all those concerns as frustration with the economy. “It has not happened fast enough. I know how frustrated people are,” he said. No, Mr. President, it’s not just that the economy isn’t recovering. It’s that you and your comrades on The Hill are doing everything possible to thwart full economic recovery, permanently disable the private sector, and engorge government at the expense of all us common folk!

Obama further disputed tea party activists who argue that the government is now engaged in activities that go beyond the scope of what is authorized in the US Constitution. He argued, “The federal government is probably less intrusive now than 30 years ago.” Oh how stupid he must think we commoners are. That after the auto industry takeover, health-care takeover, monopolization of the student loan industry, unprecedented regulation and bailout of the financial services sector, unprecedented spending shackling future generations with massive federal debt, and mandating financial industry compensation from the White House, the federal government is less intrusive than 30 years ago? But of course we’re all stupid, so we don’t know any better and his Ivy League comrades know better than we how we should conduct all aspects of our lives.

Frankly, in light of what this gaggle of academics in the White House is doing to the nation and individual liberty, Forrest Gump’s truism, “Stupid is as stupid does” seems somehow apropos. There is no more certain evidence of questionable intelligence than illogical actions.

The actions and policies of the ruling elite in Washington either presuppose incredible stupidity and ignorance on our part, or supreme arrogance and elitism on theirs. Most likely, it’s a combination of the two, for they could not implement their elitist statism without ignorance and acquiescence on our part. However, judging from anticipated electoral backlash in November, it appears that they’ve banked too heavily on both presuppositions.

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

Richard Larsen: Who Really Caused the Recession?

September 20th, 2010 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

On a daily basis the ruling elite in Washington and the media cast the blame for our current poor economy on George Bush, capitalism, Wall Street, banks, and Republicans in general. Facts do not support this oft-repeated creative fiction.

Tracing the roots of the financial meltdown of 2008 and the resulting recession, we must go back to the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA). This Federal law intimidated lenders into not restricting their credit services to low-risk markets, a practice called “redlining.” The CRA required banks to submit regular reports proving that they were not avoiding home lending in impoverished regions. This started the process that has peaked over the past few years of lending with little proof of ability to pay. Lenders were pressured by government regulators to make creative interest-only loans, high-risk “no doc” and “liar loans,” in order to allow people to buy more housing than they could afford. We have come to know these loans as “sub-prime,” or loans with much higher risk of default.

In 1992, Boston’s Federal Reserve funded a study that resulted in increased pressure on banks to fund questionable mortgages. It led to increased regulation of the mortgage market at the bank level to the point where four government agencies were monitoring banking activities relative to CRA demands. A ranking system was put into place where financial institutions were rated based on CRA lending, and the penalties could be stiff against banks whose CRA rating declined. The data and analysis of that research was later discredited.

In 1994 then Attorney General Janet Reno declared the Clinton Administration would be even more aggressive in pressuring lending institutions into full compliance with the CRA.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored mortgage giants, (GSEs, or Government Sponsored Enterprises) became the underwriters for most of the sub-prime mortgages. GSE leaders bragged in internal memos about their expansion into the sub-prime business and how that augmented their earnings.

Jim Johnson, CEO of Fannie Mae, was forced to resign in 1999 over accounting irregularities. Franklin Raines replaced him and perpetuated the questionable accounting and funding of sub-prime mortgages. Fannie was levied a $400 million fine by the SEC for their fraudulent bookkeeping and risk management but that didn’t even slow them down, let alone stop them. There is an additional political component to this as both Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson have served as economic advisors to Barack Obama.

In 2003 and 2005 the Bush administration attempted to reform the GSEs. Both Bush Administration Treasury Secretaries and Alan Greenspan repeatedly called on Congress to clean them up. Those attempts failed mostly due to the massive contributions by the GSEs to congressional reelection campaigns. The top recipients of those funds were Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Barack Obama, some of the most ardent supporters of the GSEs.

Politicians created our recession with bad policy, bad regulation, and lack of regulation of the GSEs which resulted in a real estate market collapse. The GSEs sold the mortgages to banks and Wall Street as government guaranteed paper while rating agencies failed to make the distinction between quality loans and their sub-prime counterparts.

Congress has repeatedly exempted the GSEs from regulation that would hold them to a higher standard and would have likely prevented the financial market meltdown of two years ago and the resulting recession we still languish in. The new financial reform recently passed and trumpeted by the administration once again intentionally excludes the GSEs. Our problem is still not solved and it can happen yet again.

The media have been accomplices in this shakedown. There has been no accountability, and negligible factual coverage on who really caused this mess. It’s not Wall Street and the banks. They were writing and trading the mortgage paper that Fannie and Freddie wanted and the enabling congressional leaders encouraged. And the media have pointed the blame at everyone and everything except those who really caused it: their friends in government and the GSEs.

In short, the government created the problem by socially engineering the lending process by pushing lenders too far to make mortgages to too many and for too much. The foolhardy government mortgage lending policies led to a near collapse of our entire financial system. As the Investor’s Business Daily observes, the law of unintended consequences of government policy is now fully manifest.

When you hear causes of our recession, and they don’t list congress and bad regulation, they’re not telling you the truth. The causal elements of what brought us to this point were the creations of those most ardent in casting the blame elsewhere. They are most culpable, for they wrote the legislation and the regulations, refused to regulate the GSEs, and yet still they have the audacity to point blame at everybody but themselves.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Minnick Defies Promise to Idaho Voters

September 17th, 2010 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A story running in today’s Idaho Reporter carries a quote from Walt Minnick when he was a challenger back in 2008: “You won’t find me lining up 100 percent on anybody’s political scorecard.” It was a campaign promise that too many Idahoans deposited in the bank.

Mr. Minnick has consistently and defiantly broken that promise, on the most sacred matters before the Congress.

Walt Minnick does indeed have sycophantic relationship with the Abortion Industry. He has a 100 percent voting record for notorious groups like the National Abortion Rights Action League – comprised of those individuals who actually end the lives of preborn children for a living. Likewise, Minnick carries a perfect grade from the folks at Planned Parenthood.

In fact, Mr. Minnick is such a good soldier for the Abortion Industry that he has repeatedly saluted when they demanded he compel all American taxpayers to fund their evil with public dollars.

As part of the national Democrat Party strategy to regain power, they recruited people like Walt Minnick as a ploy to gaining raw numbers in their caucus. The deal was that Minnick would be free to vote against leadership on some key votes – so long as they were loyal when it mattered. Indeed, Minnick has cast a few votes against the Democrat agenda. This is a cynical, carefully orchestrated minuet to deceive the electorate into sending people like Minnick back for a second helping.

But the one area that Mr. Minnick has proven to be a steadfast, “true believer” is in the matter of destroying preborn children. The simple fact is that Mr. Minnick is the most radical abortion advocate Idaho has ever sent to Washington.

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

Richard Larsen: They’re not Just “Tax Cuts for the Rich”

September 14th, 2010 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

For nearly ten years I’ve been living a lie. Ever since the first round of Bush tax cuts in 2001 I’ve been told that I was rich, because I got a tax cut. For someone living barely above subsistence level, I found it rather ennobling that all these anti-capitalists across the land thought I was rich. Now, all of a sudden, my bubble is burst as even Barack Obama is finally telling the truth that everyone, at every income level, got a tax cut from that despised former leader of the free world. All this time I thought it was among the “rich” that got those tax cuts.

Here’s a little primer for those who have been bitter clingers to the “tax cuts for the rich” nomenclature. President Bush in 2001 and 2003 led Congress to reduce tax rates for all taxpayers. The effect was record tax receipts starting in 2003 and a shifting of the tax burden increasingly to the wealthiest Americans. We can more easily see the effects by dividing taxpayers into five brackets. Those who benefited most were the lowest income, under $25,000 (a tax cut of 17.6%) per year, and those making about $60,000 per year (12.6%) according to IRS data. When the benefits of the second round of tax cuts are factored in, those in the $60,000 per year income level realized a total Federal tax savings of 24 percent. Those who made over $350,000 received a tax cut of 12.5%, while those who make over $1 million got about a 6% reduction.

The Wall Street Journal stated that the Bush tax cuts, in effect, triggered what may be the biggest increase in tax payments by the rich in American History. The top 1% of taxpayers, who earned $388,806 and higher, paid 40% of all income taxes with the Bush tax cuts, the highest percentage in at least 40 years. Taxpayers in the top 10% in income, those earning over $108,904, paid 71% of the total income taxes, again, the highest in at least 40 years.

When we look at the lowest income taxpayers, the figures are amazing. Those below median income levels paid a record low of 2.9% of all income taxes, while the top 50% paid 97.1% of federal income taxes.

Darn it, there goes another broken Obama campaign promise. Seems like I remember him saying, “No family making less than $250,000 a year will see any tax increase.” Looks to me like all of us will see our taxes go up if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire. Those who have decried the “tax cuts for the rich” for the past decade have been lying to you.

This week in Cleveland Obama said the tax-cuts for the wealthiest Americans must be allowed to expire, while extending the lower tiered income bracket tax cuts. He said, “This isn’t to punish folks who are better off — it’s because we can’t afford the $700 billion price tag.” Only in a Marxist world can individual assets be thought of as an entitlement for the government! If he truly believes he can do more job creation with that extra income to the government rather than those entrepreneurs and sole proprietors who fall into that tax bracket, his track record doesn’t support it. The stimulus bill “guaranteed” that unemployment wouldn’t exceed 8%. I say, let the “rich” keep it. They’re much more likely to put it to good use in economic expansion and job growth than the ruling class in Washington is.

In August of last year, Obama declared accurately, “You don’t raise taxes in a recession.” I don’t believe the economy is out of the doldrums yet, Mr. President. While technically we may be out of a recession, it surely doesn’t feel like it, as attested by the high unemployment rate, low consumer confidence, barely-positive GDP growth, and a housing market in the throes of depression.

According to the Investor’s Business Daily, two-thirds of small businesses fall into the top income tax bracket. They are also the ones we depend on most for job creation. IBD also points out, “Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. Of crucial importance to entrepreneurship and job creation, the top capital gains tax rate rises from 15% to 20% next year, while the top rate for taxation of dividends rises from 15% to 39.6%.”

A surefire way to reduce activity is to tax it, or increase the taxes on it. If you want less capital investment, tax the gains on it. If you want less income growth, tax it. If we want to ensure that the economy remains moribund for the foreseeable future, allow the tax cuts to expire on all income levels. But mostly, allow them to expire on the “rich.”

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Posted in Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Taxes | 1 Comment »

Andi Elliott: Jefferson County’s Response to My Request for Costs

September 13th, 2010 by Halli

By Andi Elliott, Tea Party Patriots State Coordinator and Animal Welfare Activist

I read this week’s Jefferson Star article entitled “County investigation draws to a close”. I had to smile. Recently I received a letter from our County Clerk. Due to the investigation and the complaint in the petition that county residents were having a tough time getting information, a new policy was instituted promising a 3-day turn around for information requests.

When my letter arrived in response to my request for the costs related to my prosecution for “trespass by agency” (involving the Mud Lake dog with broken legs) that was dropped 6 months later after multiple hearings and motions and discovery expenses, I laughed out loud.

To cite the letter: “Sheriff’s Office: Did not track man hours used, therefore no way to calculate cost. Prosecutor’s Office: There are no recorded hours. Prosecutor is salaried. Court Clerks: Do not track hours per case, only all encompassed caseload numbers per year. Judges-paid by state.”

I must admit, the response was timely…72 hour turn around, as promised.

So, since the county is unwilling to come forward with any reasonable information, let me see if I can estimate an approximate figure. My attorney expenses were approximately $12,000 and I’m sure that Prosecutor Dunn who was inextricably involved considers his time equally important. The Deputy Prosecutor has indicated that she was the lead prosecutor in my case, so shall we say around $10,000 for her involvement? I have a “trial notebook” loaded with Motions that I’m sure encompassed many “man hours”. Let’s guess 25 hours at about $8 an hour…about $200. And the multiple 1 1/2 hour round trips that the deputies made from Rigby to Mud Lake….hmmm, I’m guessing the deputies’ pay equals a teacher’s salary. I’ll low ball it…$20 an hour at maybe ten trips. And then consider the gas/wear and tear/benefits and “opportunity lost” on time dealing with criminals and then there were the hours that were spent in court. I’m thinking it was around 6 court hours and we’ll say the judge makes $50 (I’m guessing here)…so that’s another $300 plus all the clerks and deputies present. So, I’m thinking that we’re looking at close to $20,0000-$25,000 total cost to Jefferson County taxpayers.

I am also thinking that we could have better used the time and monies elsewhere. What do you think?

Andi Elliott

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Posted in Guest Posts, Politics in General, Property Rights, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: The American Political and Social Majority

September 13th, 2010 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

An old Buffalo Springfield song from another tumultuous time in American history starts out, “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” Judging from the hundreds of thousands who turned out at radio and TV commentator Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington last weekend, something’s definitely happening here. And while it may not be exactly clear, there are some pretty good indications of what it is.

What’s amazing is the fact that Beck’s rally was more of a cultural event than it was a political one. He asserted that it was a “reflection of who we are, where we are, where we’re going, what each of us have to do. How do we get our way out of this? And it’s not politics, gang. It’s not politics.” It was a visual and aural feast for anyone who feels we’re forgetting our roots as a Judeo-Christian nation, codified by our founding documents and the writings of our Founding Fathers. Indeed the whole rally centered on a need for this God-fearing nation to return to the faith of our forefathers, and the need for all of us individually to live with honor and integrity. As Beck asserted, those were traits in ready abundance at the time of our founding but seem in short supply today.

While not overtly political, the political underpinnings were clear. And it’s not just that our national leaders have been lying to us about what Obamacare is going to do or not do, or the promises of no more than 8% unemployment if the stimulus was passed. Misrepresentation and dishonesty is all too common from the ruling class in order to bring us lowly subjects into accord with their statist and big government solution ideas.

There is a backlash that is building like a tsunami in the country, and it’s represented only in part by the contemporary Tea Party movement. And again, it’s not just over policy and politics, it’s fundamentally about what America is as a nation and what we as Americans are all about. This notion that we all have to think a certain way, because the power elite in Washington states it, the mainstream media parrots it, academics teach it as orthodoxy, and we’re all supposed to abandon our common sense and our sense of values to be good subjects and an acquiescing proletariat.

Americans are tired of being called every pejorative name in the book because we have opinions or values that don’t ape those of the ruling, reporting and academic elite. We’re tired of being called homophobes because we believe in the sanctity of traditional marriage. We’re tired of being called bigots or racists because we believe the nation needs protection at the borders. We’re tired of the attempts to belittle, disparage, and trivialize our beliefs because they don’t happen to coincide with those of the effete self-identified “elites” and “enlightened” of the country. We’re tired of the mischaracterizations of us, and abject incomprehension of our traditional values and belief systems, as “bitter clingers” and as people who have “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”

As Charles Krauthammer said in the Investor’s Business Daily last week, “liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities — often lopsided majorities — oppose President Obama’s social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, ObamaCare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a Ground Zero mosque. What’s a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that pre-empts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument. The most venerable of these trumps is, of course, the race card.” And those cards are played, pardon the pun, liberally.

We’re unifying as a country, but not on the coattails of those who want to strip us of our liberty and convert us all to collectivists. No, we’re an obstreperous bunch and likely to become increasingly so as more force is exerted to make us cower in the shadows of the burgeoning monolithic government, calamitous national debt, and a godless society. If, as Hillary Clinton has said, dissent is patriotic, we’re the most ardent of patriots for we object to the hijacking of our nation and imposition of tyrannical, liberty-destroying statutes and court judgments that denigrate and invalidate the will of the people.

Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute claims we live in a 70/30 nation, where poll after poll indicates 70% of us are supporters of the free enterprise system, and 30% prefer European-style statism. And it’s not just regarding economics, it spills into cultural and social areas as well, he asserts. In other words, we are not a minority to be whipped into submission by the statists, we’re a clear majority and it’s high time for us to stand up and defend what has made America exceptional.

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

David Ripley: A Flashlight View into a Dark Closet

September 8th, 2010 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Various media outlets, including the Idaho Statesman, have run stories on a horrible abortion machine based in Maryland, but operating in some four different eastern states. The heinous operation received national scrutiny because of the serious injury to a woman looking for a late-term abortion. Her injuries were so serious that emergency room doctors called in a “Life Flight” to take the woman to John Hopkins University.

The principal abortionist, Steven Brigham, has had his license to practice “medicine” suspended or revoked by five different states over the past 18 years. Yet his need for quick cash, and the demand for a way to dispose of preborn children has kept him in business.

This story provides America with a peek into who is involved in the mechanized death of babies, and how they view babies. It is, as it were, a glimpse into a dark closet aided by a flashlight. If we want to see how women and babies are regarded by those who profit from baby murder – we must have the courage to stand in the doorway and truly wrestle with the dark secrets hidden inside.

Of the many horrors one will find are the frozen remains of killed babies – many who were virtually full-term prior to their destruction at Brigham’s hands. Dozens of babies were found by police in freezers at the abortionist’s office. Looking for some kind of medical explanation, police were questions went unanswered.

We are reminded by a columnist with the Catholic Register that this Maryland horror show is not an isolated incident. Another abortionist, this one in Philadelphia, was found to have stored his killed victims in glass jars, like so many trophies. We have first-hand testimony from an Idaho woman that at least one Boise abortionist kept a jarred supply of his tiny victims in his office for “scientific” purposes.

What are average folks to make of this very dark practice? It is hard enough to understand why a guy with a medical degree would turn to destroying life when he has the skills to safeguard it; it is nearly beyond imagination why a person would fill a meat locker with his handiwork.

About the only thing that comes to mind by way of explanation is the practice of several infamous serial killers, who seemed so infatuated with death, with their own psychotic sense of power, that they found it impossible to let their victims go. They surrounded themselves with their victims by burying them under the house or packing them in freezers.

Let’s have the courage to draw the connections between such killers and those who prey upon defenseless babies in the womb.

Are these the men and women we want to hold such power over the health and lives of American women? Is this the best we can offer women in trouble?

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

Larry Lyon on the 8-28 Restoring Honor Rally

September 3rd, 2010 by Halli

Be sure to listen to Friday’s Halli & Friends show, where Larry Lyon describes his experience in Washington, DC, on August 28 at the Glenn Beck rally. Larry’s description will inspire you and give hope that America can return to it’s constitutional, God-fearing foundation.

Larry suggests viewing the entire event in YouTube video.

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

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