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David Ripley: Keeping the (Liberal) Faith

March 5th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Have you noticed the increasing public presence of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

During the last presidential election, the Supreme Court Justice made numerous political statements, which raised eyebrows in some quarters. Since President Trump’s election, Ginsburg has become even more outspoken in her politics and public criticism of the president’s agenda.

This past week, she made a trip to George Washington University to encourage the liberal faithful. It seems the 83 year-old jurist has become more of a cheerleader for the Left than a Supreme Court Justice.

She made it clear that she has no intention of leaving the bench to make room for another Trump appointee.

Ginsburg also went out of her way to praise the liberal press, defending outlets like the New York Times as purveyors of truth.

And then she went into her admiration for the thousands of women who turned out in Washington to defend legalized abortion and protest the anticipated policies of a Trump Administration.

“I have never seen such a demonstration, both the numbers and rapport of the people in that crowd. There was no violence, it was orderly. So yes, we are not experiencing the best of times, but there is reason to hope that we will see a better day.”

It is unseemly for a sitting justice to publicly advocate for such a blatantly partisan agenda. There can be no serious debate that such political organizing confirms our worst fears of a badly compromised federal judiciary. So we can’t feign surprise that judges like Ginsburg are partisan hacks; but it is nevertheless sad that she is so brazen about leading the liberal social revolution. And even sadder that her behavior has largely gone without criticism.

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

David Ripley: Congress Slow Walks De-funding

February 12th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

We have previously expressed concern about Congress fulfilling its commitment to defund Planned Parenthood. The much anticipated vote on a Reconciliation bill to both defund the Abortion Giant and Repeal ObamaCare seems to be on hold. Rather than cap the pipeline of federal funding, the Congress appears to be shifting responsibility back to the states for action.

This last week, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) introduced a measure to repeal rules Obama punched through at the end of his presidency to protect Planned Parenthood’s tax subsidies. The House Rules Committee will meet next week to consider HJRes 43, which would restore the ability of states receiving Title X monies to direct those funds away from Planned Parenthood.

While this is a positive trend, it suggests that Congress is far from ready to strip monies from the abortion provider. It seems odd, for example, to go after an underlying rule – which will take weeks to successfully repeal – rather than the whole program.

It also suggests that Congressional leaders may be trying to shift the battle with Planned Parenthood from Washington, D.C. to the various states.

Hopefully, we are misreading the dynamic at work.

The simple fact is, Congress has created the behemoth which is Planned Parenthood through its decades-long steady subsidy of millions in tax dollars. Particularly in light of the corrupted federal court system now oppressing America – containing Planned Parenthood’s toxic effect on American culture will require genuine, courageous leadership from the U.S. Congress.

Let us pray they find the will to act.

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

David Ripley: Time to be Concerned

February 8th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

After an amazing start on the pro-Life agenda, there are reports indicating that the new Republican government may be having trouble finding the will to defund Planned Parenthood. The problem lies not with the White House, but with the Congress.

There were hopes that the Congress would defund Planned Parenthood last week, after staging an historic vote to do so last year. That previous attempt was vetoed by Barack Obama, who went down swinging for his comrades in the Abortion Industry. With a new pro-Life president in charge of the government, hopes remain high among pro-Lifers that the evil partnership between American taxpayers and the nation’s largest abortion chain will finally end.

The plan was to use the Reconciliation procedure to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal ObamaCare in one fell swoop. This mechanism means that Congress can move legislation with simple majorities in both the House and Senate.

Unfortunately, a number of Republicans have become anxious about repealing ObamaCare as there is not yet consensus about how the Republicans will reconstruct the health care insurance market place. In fact, one report indicated that Speaker Ryan may hold the reconciliation vote until the spring and summer.

That means the money pump is still running, transferring the nation’s treasure to Planned Parenthood’s bank account.

Utah Senator Mike Lee issued a statement yesterday, urging Congress to take action on defunding Planned Parenthood. He rightly called the continued tax subsidies of Planned Parenthood a “stain” on our nation’s great history.

We ask for your prayers on behalf of the Congress. May our nation’s leaders find the courage and resolve to end this gross injustice.

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

David Ripley: The Battle to De-fund Planned Parenthood Begins

January 14th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The new Republican Congress has begun work to make good on a critical pro-Life agenda item: Ending the coerced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood. It is our understanding that language is included in the current “reconciliation” bill which will end Planned Parenthood’s outrageous access to the U.S. Treasury. This is the same bill which will obliterate ObamaCare.

The defunding language cannot get to President Trump’s desk too quickly.

Approximately 40% of the abortion giant’s funding comes from taxpayers – now something like $550 million each year. It is that massive subsidy which has allowed Planned Parenthood to have such a devastating effect on the nation’s culture and the lives of millions of vulnerable women and girls.

Already the organization is brandishing sabers in the media, trying to persuade Americans that Republicans are waging a “war on women”. PP President Cecile Richards, still recovering from the loss of her White House desk next to Hillary Clinton, recently appeared on the Comedy Central channel. She argued that the end of public funding for Planned Parenthood is really “an end of access to care for a lot of folks in this country”. Pure balderdash.

The truth is, Republicans are likely to increase funding for women’s health care – but they are going to insist that public dollars are spent with legitimate health care providers. You know, the kind of professionals who put the patient – not their abortion ideology – first.

Short of overturning Roe v. Wade itself – the current defunding effort in Congress is the greatest single blow we can strike for Life. It will result in the saving of hundreds of thousands of preborn children. You can be sure that the enemy is well aware of the stakes, and will wage both political and spiritual warfare, at levels rarely seen, to protect the revenue stream of Planned Parenthood’s death machine.

Pro-Lifers must be in earnest prayer for the success of this effort.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: So Long Dirty Harry

December 15th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The blessings of this Christmas Season continue to mount.

It was encouraging to see Nevada’s Harry Reid finally depart the U.S. Senate this week. He has built a long, chilling record of blind support for the Abortion Industry during his decades in the world’s most powerful chamber.

No doubt Reid will return to Nevada to enjoy the millions of dollars he has amassed during his years of “public service”. That phenomenon is disturbing, and all too common these days. Yet, if it incentives Reid to leave the public square, fine. It is a small price to pay for the babies that just might live now that he is gone.

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

David Ripley: Democrats Might Turn to Abortionists for New Leadership

November 19th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Following their devastating defeat earlier this month, the Democrat Party is searching for leadership going forward. It appears there are three top candidates: A radical Muslim congressman from Minnesota (Keith Ellison) , a former chairman (Howard Dean) and the president of the National Abortion Rights Action League (Ilyse Hogue). This is the professional association of abortionists.

What a cast.

The most honest choice would be the abortion champion. As we saw in the presidential election, the new Democrat Party has become a subsidiary of Planned Parenthood and the Abortion Lobby. Ignore the middle class, scorn blue collar families, and deride traditional values: This is the philosophy driving the modern Democrat Party. All in the name of a hyper-sexualized politics built around their “sacred rite” of abortion.

It would be quite fitting for the head of the country’s abortionist network to become the official head of the new Democrat Party. It would save her a lot of texts and cab rides across town.

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

David Ripley: Historic Election Night for Pro-Life America

November 9th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The decisive victory by Donald Trump yesterday was, for those with the eyes to see, an historic gift of mercy to the nation by a loving God. By His grace, we did not get the government we deserve, but one which can foster an environment in which virtue can grow. A major issue in this campaign was abortion, as evidenced by the $30 million Planned Parenthood invested in Hillary Clinton.

Thankfully, the nation rejected Clinton’s corruption and deadly radicalism.

The results of Tuesday’s election present the Republican Party with a new lease on life, and an historic opportunity to protect preborn children. They must begin by ending the coercive partnership with the evil empire that is Planned Parenthood.

The pro-Life movement saw important victories in Idaho as well. Democrat House Leader John Rusche was defeated in Lewiston, after building a “perfect” record of support for Planned Parenthood and its agenda. Idaho Chooses Life made a concerted effort in this district, and we are pleased that Rusche will no longer be there to obstruct the advance of protections for Idaho’s most vulnerable citizens.

We are happy to report that Thyra Stevenson won a strong victory in the other Lewiston House seat. Her return to the Legislature is a boon to the pro-Life movement and sensible government.

Democrat Senator Dan Schmidt (Moscow) was also defeated in Moscow. He is another Democrat who voted regularly against pro-Life bills in the Legislature.

And pro-Life Representative Lynn Luker (Boise) won another term yesterday, following an all-out assault by the Idaho Democrat Party to extend their influence into the last Boise City district represented by Republicans in the Legislature.

Thankfully, Democrat Deborah Silver was defeated last night in her effort to unseat Sen. Lee Heider (Twin Falls). Ms. Silver is a Board Member of Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest, which runs the abortion clinics in Alaska, Washington and Idaho.

In Ada County, pro-Life Republican Rick Visser won a rather surprising victory over liberal Democrat TJ Thomson in the contest to fill an open seat on the County Commission. Democrats invested something north of $130,000 into Thomson’s campaign, hoping to use him as a wedge in building a county-wide base of operations. No doubt Trump’s strong victory in Idaho helped Visser overcome his serious financial disadvantages.

There was one serious setback yesterday: Sen. Curt McKenzie, our endorsed candidate for the Idaho Supreme Court was defeated by Robyn Brody. She enjoyed the backing of the Idaho Trial Lawyers, who invested several hundred thousand dollars into her campaign. We will now have to await future events to see what kind of impact Ms. Brody will have on the high court.

All in all, there is a boatload of blessings in this year’s general election.

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

Layne Bangerter: Defending Religious Liberties

October 31st, 2016 by Halli

by Layne Bangerter

As a Latter Day Saint with deep connections with people of other faiths, I share the common goal of bringing others closer to Christ. We live in a Country that permits us to exercise our faith and teach our doctrine to others. The opportunity to serve my fellow men and women is a privilege and right. This very freedom has been increasingly under attack by politicians and our current Executive Branch.

We’re being told that the Mormons are in a dilemma; they feel that they must choose between their moral compass as opposed to the decision of who is better fit to run our country. While the candidacy of Donald Trump might have pushed some Mormons to pause their support; the fact remains that he, along with Mike Pence, is the only valid candidate who will fight for our religious freedoms and uphold The Constitution.

I know Donald Trump, who can be summed up in just one word: Freedom.

America has never been in as dire position as it is now with our Constitutional rights and liberties under barrage from the current leadership in Washington DC. Democrats have continuously pushed through policies that lead our great nation further away from the principles on which it was founded. Americans are caught in the battle to retain our freedoms.

Recently the LDS Church presented a letter, signed with other faiths, to President Obama, with regard to the report, “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.” Donald Trump stands by and endorses the aforementioned letter and will defend these policies as he has defended the core principle of the First Amendment – the “free exercise” of religion. In a Florida Rally, he stated “Without Religious Liberty, You don’t have liberty.” This is a powerful statement of solidarity aligned with our Christian values.

The report, which was submitted to the United States Coalition of Civil Rights in September of this year, has alarmed many with how harshly it condemned our modern day religious liberties. In the Report Democrat Martin R. Castro, appointed “USCCR” chairman by president Obama, makes the statement:

“The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”

He goes on to threaten our modern day practices by adding: “Today, as in the past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality.”

With the threat of a Hillary Clinton presidency, comes the loss of religious freedoms as we know it. A recent article by The Washington Post reveals Clintons feelings toward what many of us hold so dear. “Hillary Clinton made a stunning declaration of war on religious Americans. Speaking to the 2015 Women in the World Summit, Clinton declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

The overwhelming media bias has shown it’s willingness to support a Clinton presidency which will allow our rights and privileges to be stripped away. As a Latter Day Saint, it is my obligation to stand with other faiths in promoting our ideals and values and I have done so as a citizen and as an ecclesiastical leader. I have found that I do not stand alone in these convictions. My fellow Christians have stood strong by my side. The Evangelical leadership and their patrons are supporting the Trump presidency in historical numbers. We are now being watched by all denominations to see if we stand as strongly to defend religious liberties as other Christians. We are now down to one choice if we are to retain our religious liberties and that is by supporting the Trump Presidency and his associated policies and resolve to defend us. I know the love he has for this country, his desire for America to become prosperous again; to become safe again; and to become united again. Donald Trump’s message is the great message of our time.

Society has been consumed by an overwhelming need to judge and condemn others for their past. I believe it is the path that we are currently on and the future ideals that we strive toward that sing the true character of a person. Human redemption and forgiveness is of the utmost importance.

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.”

-Robert Muller

Layne Bangerter

-Layne Bangerter is an LDS bishop in Idaho and serves as a senior policy advisor for Trump/Pence Campaign.

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

Richard Larsen: If Conservatives Want to “Save the Republic”, We Must Use Pragmatic Approach

October 31st, 2016 by Halli

by Richard Larsen

Conservatives have to start thinking pragmatically and tactically, rather than ideally, when it comes to politics. As long as we continue to throw the most viable conservative candidate under the bus because he or she doesn’t measure up to our personal standards of conduct, we will continue to lose crucial elections that might otherwise curb the rate of descent into the statist abyss.

It’s a regrettable characteristic of many on the right, in their sanctimonious way, to dismiss their imperfect politicians with not a thought of forgiveness or of the consequences. Meanwhile, liberals take the pragmatic approach of rallying around their embattled candidates. Liberals are the pragmatists, and seem ostensibly more “Christian” in the process.

Politics is not a religion. Rather, it’s “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.” If conservatives truly have a “conscience,” the salvation of their country should weigh much more heavily on them than whether they “feel good” about a particular candidate, especially when most of the complaints against him are not regarding his policy. After all, it’s policy that governs the country. There are no acts of Congress, executive orders or regulatory oversight based on what someone purportedly said or did years ago. Governance is by policy, and the candidate who wins the election sets policy.

Character is so crucial for our political leaders, yet both of the presidential candidates with a chance to win in this election cycle suffer from a dearth of it. With that out of the differential equation, it all boils down to policy and governance. We know what we will get with Democrat Hillary Clinton — four or eight more years of the moribund economic policy, the strangling effects of ever-expanding regulatory control of every aspect of our lives, foreign policy purchased by “donations” to the Clinton Foundation, and lies ad infinitum.

We may not know for sure what we get with a Donald Trump administration, but at least we know it will swing the pendulum, perhaps even slightly, to the right. This is crucial, for political shifts, and changes at the governmental level, are always incremental.

Politics, and governance in general, is incremental. The ebb and flow of the political environment and the mechanics of governance move incrementally, either toward liberty and constitutional principles, or toward centralized planning, governmental hegemony and dependency. Every piece of legislation, policy statement, regulation, executive order, election and judicial decision moves the nation, a state or a community slightly one direction or the other. It rarely moves all the way to one extreme or the other.

Too many conservatives suffer from “ideality paralysis”. They are waiting for the “perfect” candidate (who will never be found, since everyone’s notion is different); hoping against hope for a miraculous “victory” in the House (if their candidate can win but one state); incessantly rejecting the one person in a position to abate the nation’s perpetual descent into the statist abyss; or hoping against hope for a miraculous future victory based on a variety of “ifs.” This schismatic parsing of candidates, and perpetual self-inflicted shooting of the conservative movement in the foot, operationally and tactically, provides little hope for any future victory at the national level. That is, unless we can start thinking incrementally, and tactically, rather than ideally.

Voltaire said, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” And in politics, he couldn’t be more correct. Rather than waiting for the perfect candidate, we choose the most conservative viable candidate (who can win) on the ballot. This is tactical and pragmatic incrementalism, as we consider, from the candidates who can win, which inches us closer to liberty or away from it.

Long-term perspective significantly shapes incremental adaptation. Liberals seem to have a more long-term view of the process, and realize that each political victory is a rung on the progressive ladder. Too many conservatives suffer from severe myopia, mistakenly believing that if they can’t jump to the top of a ladder in one jump, they’ve failed, or that other conservatives have failed them if they can’t, or don’t, make the jump to the top minus the intervening steps.

This tendency places some conservatives in the unenviable position of never being satisfied with anything. Since they can’t have things just precisely the way they want them to be, they will forever be unsatisfied and politically unfulfilled. Liberals, generally, seem to relish each minor victory and recognize any politically incremental movement for what it is — one step in the process. And rather than bemoaning the failure to leap to the top of the ladder, they relish the small victory and gear up for the next battle for the next incremental triumph.

The two viable candidates in this presidential election cycle will move the country incrementally one direction or another. One, hopefully slightly back from the liberal abyss, while the other plunging headlong into it. And winning is everything in politics. Symbolic votes and votes of “conscience” don’t make Supreme Court appointments, implement policy or direct where a country is heading overall. Winners do.

Too many conservatives claim they have to “vote their conscience.” If they cared more about their country than “feeling good” about their vote, their conscience would demand they vote for the most conservative viable candidate, in spite of his or her flaws.

We should be collectively looking at the possible incremental movement away from the liberal abyss by voting for a less-than-perfect candidate, rather than willfully allowing the country to lurch, not just inch, ever closer to the point of no return – where the republic will be unsalvageable from the permanent damage of leftist policies. A true patriot would put his republic ahead of his “feel good” vote of conscience.

While conservatives are more likely to know their Constitution by rote, too many of us are political illiterates. Politics is about policy, which takes us even slightly closer to our founding principles, or further away. And the only way to effect change back to constitutional governance is by winning elections, with the most conservative electable candidate in a race. Tactical pragmatism rather than ideality should determine our voting. Symbolic third-party votes and third-party votes of “conscience” only enable the victory of the enemies of liberty. And in politics, winning is everything.

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

David Ripley: Hillary Celebrates 100 Years of Planned Parenthood

October 21st, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Planned Parenthood – the Abortion Industry’s largest producer – celebrated its dark 100 year history this past weekend. Democrat Hillary Clinton joined in the festivities by posting five separate Tweets praising the organization for its defense of “autonomy” and attacking Donald Trump. She expressed “pride” in what the abortion empire has accomplished over the past century.

Okay … let’s survey their handiwork.

Rachel Stoltzfoos over at the Daily Caller wrote an excellent piece summarizing the destruction Planned Parenthood has accomplished.

The semi-official death toll from Planned Parenthood is well over 7 million defenseless human babies. The annual carnage has now hit about 328,000 babies killed at some 650 abortuaries spread through every state of this Union. But the death toll only scratches the surface of the moral, social, spiritual havoc that Planned Parenthood has wrought. The cost to mothers and fathers, the damage to our legal system are but a couple of the accounts most difficult to measure.

Over the last decade, Planned Parenthood’s legitimate health care services have declined dramatically, while abortions have climbed. For example, they claimed some 2 million cancer screenings in 2006. By 2013, that number had declined to 900,000. At the same time, the annual killings have climbed from 289,000 to that staggering figure of 328,000. Yet they continue to enjoy funding from Congress and protection from leading Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Of course, Hillary Clinton has every reason to praise Planned Parenthood: It is spending some $30 million to help elect her to the presidency.

The Daily Caller also notes that this purportedly “non-profit health organization” has pumped more than $50 million into congressional campaigns since 1990. These massive political bribes have been used to build an unparalleled empire aimed at fulfilling Margaret Sanger’s racist, eugenics vision.

There can be no doubt that this presidential contest presents American voters with a fundamental choice. The defeat of Hillary Clinton must be a priority for every single Christian, pro-Life voter. We must commit ourselves now to earnest prayer, asking the Almighty to pierce the veil of darkness with which Planned Parenthood and its media allies are trying to cloak this election.

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

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