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David Ripley: Planned Bullyhood, Part II

January 9th, 2013 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

In the rearview mirror, the Komen saga of late 2011 and early 2012 set the stage for Obama’s re-election effort. It was through their coordinated attack on Komen that the Abortion Industry and its purchased political stable launched the “War on Women” charade upon the American people.

Karen Handel, in her new book, “Planned Bullyhood”, details the strange naïveté which drove Komen executives to hire Hillary Rosen as their key media advisor after the decision was made to sever its ties with Planned Parenthood. One of Rosen’s clients was (and is) Planned Parenthood. It is painfully obvious that this operative most likely provided Planned Parenthood with advance notice of Komen’s decision.

It is also quite likely that Rosen was intimately involved in helping Planned Parenthood develop its nasty campaign against Komen which resulted in the charity’s complete capitulation after just 3 days of the Planned Parenthood offensive. (Our readers might best remember Hillary Rosen as the Democrat activist who attacked Ann Romney as “never having worked a day in her life”. She also served as Sandra Fluke’s press agent.)

We may never know for certain how many consultants and “friends” willingly betrayed Komen to serve their masters at Planned Parenthood.

What we can say for certain is that Planned Parenthood demonstrated for all to see its ruthlessness and sinister character by the way it savaged an organization that had provided financial support to Planned Parenthood for decades:

“I did not anticipate that the passion and support for Planned Parenthood would make Komen expendable; that Komen would be seen as necessary collateral damage,” Handel writes.

What should alarm everyone reading Handel’s book is the demonstrable fact that Planned Parenthood engaged in a vicious campaign to destroy Komen in lieu of a surrender. (How dare Komen stop paying protection monies to Planned Parenthood?!) Cecil Richards & Co were perfectly happy to see either outcome. And they were more than willing to sacrifice the health of women suffering from breast cancer – the very people they claim to “serve” – in order to achieve their political goals. Even ardent liberals should shudder at the duplicity and cynicism of this nefarious organization.
What did Handel learn from the sorry experience – which included death threats and libelous accusation?

“Unless Planned Parenthood and its elite liberal forces are stopped, what they did to Komen is just the beginning….Planned Parenthood has honed its political combat tactics and is poised to shape elections today and well into the future. With Komen, they achieved something they never had before: the public (near) destruction of a widely trusted and passionately supported organization dedicated to nonpolitical goals. This has broad ramifications. Planned Parenthood has opened the door to a shakedown of American politics by liberal interest groups, employing mafia-style tactics to hold hostage sponsors and advertisers and even other nonprofits that dare to defy their agenda or support those who do.”

Many of us in the pro-Life movement followed the Komen controversy closely. Yet few of us appreciated the huge significance of the quick surrender and what it tells us of the American social/political scene.

Not only is Handel’s book a moral tale – it should be required reading for conservative activists and politicians. Too long have we underestimated the evil and power of Planned Parenthood, Inc.

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

Richard Larsen: Revenue Component of Fiscal Cliff Resolved

January 9th, 2013 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

The major news services this week universally proclaimed that the “fiscal cliff” had been averted by a last minute deal between congress and the White House. There were many components to the fiscal cliff, some of which have been addressed by the last-minute deal, and many that were not. The revenue components have been resolved, while the more significant spending related issues were simply postponed.

The best news is the Bush era tax cuts are now permanent, vindicating the former president whose tax cuts bore his name. The 10, 15, 25, 28, and 33 percent tax brackets are now permanent, while individuals earning $400,000 or couples at $450,000 will now pay the 35% up to those amounts, and 39.6% on anything over those levels.

The marriage tax penalty is now permanently fixed. The tax code, before the 2001 EGTRA (Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act), required a husband and wife to pay more in taxes when they filed jointly than they would as single taxpayers. According to calculations from the tax publisher CCH, the marriage tax penalty translates to a nearly 17% increase in taxes for those married couples who file jointly, regardless of bracket.

Everyone who is working will now see more taken out of their paychecks for Social Security. The payroll tax is now reverting from the temporarily reduced 4.2% rate for employees’ portion back to the pre-EGTRA levels of 6.2%. That will mean about $1,000 tax increase for employees earning $50,000 per year.

The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, or JGTRRA, temporarily reduced the capital gains tax rate. Most capital gains have been taxed at 15 percent for the past nine years, and investors in the 10 percent and 15 percent tax brackets have not paid any taxes on profits from appreciated asset sales. Qualified dividends have been taxed similarly. These rates are now permanent for all but the higher income taxpayers who will pay 20% on dividends and capital gains.

The Child Tax Credit was extended for another five years which allows each head of household to deduct $1,000 for each qualifying child, as opposed to the pre-JGTRRA deduction of $500. Also, the current levels of the Earned Income Tax Credit were extended until 2017.

The estate tax exclusion amount is retained at $5 million indexed for inflation, but the top rate has increased from 35% to 40%. The estate tax “portability” election was made permanent, which allows the surviving spouse’s exemption amount to be increased by the deceased spouse’s unused exemption amount.

Childcare expense deductions of up to $3,000 for one child and $6,000 for two or more dependents are now permanent.

The so-called AMT Patch is now permanent, and is indexed to inflation. The Alternative Minimum Tax was implemented in 1969 to ensure that wealthy taxpayers were not using tax loopholes or taking excessive tax breaks to reduce their tax liability disproportionately. It was never indexed to inflation, so the fairly high income levels of the AMT 43 years ago are low by today’s standards. For 2012, the exemption amounts are $78,750 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $50,600 for single filers. Relief from AMT for nonrefundable credits is retained.

There were more than 70 so-called tax extenders scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. Some of those were made permanent, and some were allowed to expire. A few of hose made permanent included: expanded adoption credit and adoption-assistance program amounts; the exclusion for employer-provided educational assistance; the enhanced rules for student loan deductions introduced by EGTRRA and special treatment of tax-exempt bonds for education facilities.

Some of those “temporary” tax extenders were renewed for another year. They included, among other things: deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers; mortgage insurance premiums treated as qualified residence interest; deduction of state and local sales taxes; deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses; and tax-free distributions from individual retirement plans for charitable purposes.

For those who itemize deductions, there are new higher limits to phasing out of deductions and exemptions. The thresholds are $250,000 for single taxpayers, $275,000 for heads of household, and $300,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly.

The tax increases are projected to raise $600 billion over ten years, or roughly $60 billion per year, enough to fund government operations for about six days. And, as usual, the measure included $70 billion in special tax breaks and credits, a perpetuation of crony capitalism.

Unresolved by the last-minute measure are issues related to Social Security and Medicare funding and solvency, reduction of our massive deficit, and the $16.4 trillion debt limit which we will hit in February. Also postponed is the automatic implementation of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, known as the “sequester.”

Washington still must find the discipline to cut spending in order to avert a more devastating fiscal cliff created by our $1 trillion-plus deficit and $16 trillion national debt.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

David Ripley: The Hope of Christmas

January 1st, 2013 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

As we move toward closing out 2012, the celebration of the Lord’s birth gives us a chance to put things into hopeful perspective.

2012, hyped by the media and many lost souls as the cataclysmic celebration of “ancient wisdom”, will end in the normal fashion after all. A simple turning of days into weeks, on into a new year. No burning asteroids or Yellowstone explosions. No definitive proof that the Mayans were imbued with special knowledge as a result of their intermingling with ancient aliens.

One imagines the perverse disappointment in many enlightened circles.

All of which is not to say that 2012 did not bring painful and destructive events. Topping the list must be Barack Obama’s re-election. The national government will apparently be controlled by abortion zealots for another four years. That translates into a lot of lives lost, and too much time for the deeper penetration of Planned Parenthood’s world view into the American soul.

One can foresee the coarsening of American culture and the hardening of the federal judiciary as the edifice of industrialized abortion is raised higher. The ending of the slaughter seems further out of reach.

But Christmas is a time of miracles. It is a time for celebrating God’s merciful intervention on behalf of men. No mortal could envision the impact this tiny baby would have upon the future of mankind when a sojourning couple sought shelter in a barn. Yet this vulnerable new life would grow to become the Captain of the Heavenly Host, the mightiest Hope of mankind.

Arrogant politicians come and go, but the Hope of Mankind remains.

How magically appropriate that the true hope of the pro-Life movement should come in the form of a humble newborn wrapped in swaddling clothes. Through the power of that love the pro-Life movement will persevere. And what is more, the pro-Life movement will prevail.

May the Lord richly bless your family with His presence as you celebrate the Miracle of Christ.

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

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