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David Ripley: Go Out and Annoy an Abortionist

February 8th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The winning ad from this year’s Super Bowl has to be the Doritos ad, which shows a playful interaction between a Dad and his preborn baby. It was warm, funny and made the point that Doritos are pretty tasty.

On the way, it also built upon the common sense understanding that the preborn child is a conscious human being while yet in the womb.

That was enough to outrage the folks over at NARAL – the association of professional baby assassins. They actually blasted out a tweet denouncing the ad: “Not Buying It – that Doritos ad using the anti-choice tactic of humanizing fetuses ….”

This tells us everything we need to know about the mindset over at NARAL – an understanding of the world which hinges upon a delusional fantasy in which the “fetus” is not even human. These are the lies they must tell themselves to get up each day.

We urge our friends to go out and buy a bag of Doritos in the next couple days, if only to annoy an abortionist.

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

David Ripley: Death Lobby Descends on Utah

February 4th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Utah Democrat state representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck introduced legislation today that would create a right to physician-assisted suicide in the state of Utah.

HB 264 is called the “End of Life Options Act”, and would allow a physician to prescribe deadly drugs for a patient diagnosed with a condition that could reasonably be expected to cause natural death within six months.

There are various clap-traps in the bill – including a requirement that the attending physician determine that the patient is acting voluntarily, and encouraging the patient to share his or her determination to die prematurely with family members. But the primary purpose of the legislation is to implement the agenda of the Death Lobby. Under the rhetorical cloud of “compassion”, Ms. Houck and others seek to end the lives of elderly and sick citizens prematurely. This saves money and trouble for many.

A similar effort was threatened in Idaho several years ago. Fortunately, through the leadership of this organization and people like Russ Fulcher, Cliff Bayer and Governor Otter, Idaho instead implemented an outright Ban on Assisted Suicide.

We pray that the Utah Legislature takes a similar tack: The only way to be rid of the Death Lobby is to take decisive action in positively rejecting their message and agenda.

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

David Ripley: Democrats Side with Planned Parenthood

February 3rd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan held true to his word, and brought a veto override motion to the House floor last night. Republicans attempted to override President Obama’s veto of the Planned Parenthood defunding measure. Unfortunately, the effort fell short of the two-thirds’ majority required.

The motion to override on HR 3762 received 241 votes, while 186 members voted with Planned Parenthood and Obama.

Only 1 Democrat (Colin Peterson of Minnesota) voted to override the veto.

Idaho’s Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador voted again to defund Planned Parenthood.

The effort to sever our partnership with America’s largest abortion chain must now await the election of a new president.

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

David Ripley: Planned Parenthood Goes in for Hillary

February 1st, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Planned Parenthood announced that it would be spending “six-figures” on media to help protect Hillary Clinton in Iowa from the insurgency campaign of socialist Bernie Sanders over this closing weekend.

The head of Planned Parenthood’s PAC argued in a press release, “There’s too much at stake for us to take a back seat in this election. Every single leading Republican candidate would strip health care from millions across the country – blocking patients from seeking services at Planned Parenthood, banning safe, legal abortion and even ending insurance coverage for birth control”.

She went on to burn her brand into the Abortion Industry champion:

“At the end of the day, [Hillary’s] the one we trust to go head-to-head with the extreme anti-abortion politicians hell-bent on rolling back the progress we’ve made….”

We’ll see if their endorsement can save Clinton from the quixotic campaign of Sen. Sanders. If she does, it will be up to us to make sure that Americans are confronted with the specter of Planned Parenthood’s hand-picked agent occupying the world’s most powerful office.

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

Richard Larsen: What Conservatives Can Learn from Liberals

January 28th, 2016 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

There are tactics and characteristics of the American left that conservatives would be well advised to emulate. Until these lessons are learned, conservatives will likely continue to struggle at the ballot box, and liberty will be but a noble afterthought.

Perhaps the most critical lesson to learn is that 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 and governmental hegemony. Every piece of legislation, policy statement, regulation, executive order, election, and every 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.

Many conservatives tend to look at each of the above events as an all-or-nothing proposition. If they can’t have absolute 2nd Amendment rights, it’s all wrong. If they can’t have completely free markets, the system is corrupt and it’s no good. If a candidate doesn’t agree completely with their perspective, they’re evil and cannot be supported, and they’re simply the “lesser of two evils.”

The 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 unfilled. Liberals, generally, seem to relish each minor victory and recognize any politically incremental movement for what it is – one step in the process.

When we realize that every election and every other political activity takes us incrementally toward liberty, we begin realizing that each minor move to constitutionality and liberty is a victory, however small. And rather than bemoaning the failure to leap to the top of the ladder, relish the small victory, and gear up for the next battle for the next incremental triumph.

Closely related is persistence. When liberals don’t get what they want, they keep pressing ahead, until at last they persevere. When HillaryCare failed in the 90’s, the issue was placed on the back burner until they could muster the political clout to pull it off with the 2010 edition – ObamaCare. The old aphorism, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” should be the mantra of conservatives. Don’t give up, don’t give in, and if we fail, then try again until we succeed.

Liberals are masters of the compromise. In foreign affairs, they’re willing to concede large swaths of political ground for minor gains. For example, they assure a nuclearized Iran in 10 years, for little more than the appearance of having achieved a great deal for the U.S. But when it comes to domestic affairs, it’s just reversed. They will concede hardly anything in exchange for massive concessions from Republicans. This art is obviously a learned trait, and one that has thus far eluded conservatives. Until they can learn to at least meet halfway on issues of principle, conservatives will forever be the political doormats in American politics. Acquiescing and caving totally to the left not only emboldens the left, but it alienates conservatives from their political base and ideological constituency.

Granted, part of the lefts success in this regard is due to the fact that they have the media to advance their narrative. When congress presents a budget and the president threatens to veto it, liberals and the media all blame congress if the government is shut down for not presenting a budget the president can sign. If it’s vetoed, the president shut government down, not congress! Conservatives must learn to control the narrative, and shape the story in a way that ascribes blame where it belongs. President Reagan was able to do this, even without the alternative media that’s available today.

The left is organized, mobilized and energized at the grassroots level in such a way as to capitalize on technology and social media. Conservatives have come closer to creating a genuine grassroots organization with the emergence of the Tea Party. But even that is fragmented, sometimes regionalized, and parochial in nature. Until conservatives learn to master grassroots organization and mobilization, we’ll always be playing second fiddle.

Conservatives tend to be more defensive and reactionary, rather than aggressively proactive. We have constitutional principles – American principles – as our ideological foundation. Rather than sitting back and defensively trying to protect and preserve them, we’ve got to learn to be proactively advancing and bolstering them. Just as in sports, defense alone can’t win a game. There’s got to be an offense scoring points in order to win.

Liberals don’t seem to care how liberal their fellow ideologues are. They just care if they claim to be liberals, and if they subscribe to their broad dogma. Conservatives are often too consumed with whether one is “conservative enough,” or a “true conservative.” Consequently, we spend more time fighting amongst ourselves, pointing fingers, making accusations, and casting aspersions than we do in fighting the real enemies of liberty. A house divided against itself cannot stand, and as long as conservatives engage in this internal civil war, we will remain our own worst enemies. We can only succeed when we’re united.

George Washington claimed, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” America’s plant is withering, and if we’re to save it, we need to start working proactively together as freedom’s stewards.

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

David Ripley: More is Revealed…

January 28th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Operation Rescue provided more background information on the grave injustice playing out in Houston, where undercover investigators are facing criminal charges – but the baby butchers walk.

The first thing we learn is that the Grand Jury impaneled by DA Devon Anderson never even took a vote on whether to indict Planned Parenthood for violations of federal statutes like the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. (Despite video evidence that Houston Planned Parenthood doctors engage in such practices in order to harvest more valuable organs and tissue). In fact, it is not clear that the Grand Jury in Houston was even presented with evidence about potential wrong-doing by Planned Parenthood officials.

We suspect that Ms. Anderson’s true agenda was to protect the Abortion Industry. From the beginning of her “investigation” she indicated that she would be looking closely at the behavior and methods of the undercover reporters who stunned America with their findings.

Despite being appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the post, Ms. Anderson has a rather questionable past with respect to the Abortion Industry.

In 2013, Operation Rescue brought a complaint in Houston against an abortionist named Douglas Karpen. They uncovered a pile of evidence showing that Karpen was operating a practice very similar to that of Kermit Gosnell: killing babies after birth by snapping their necks. Turns out that the attorney who defended Karpen (Chip Lewis) is a close personal friend of D.A. Anderson – and a major donor to her political campaigns.

Just as interesting: Anderson assigned the same female deputy to run the Planned Parenthood grand jury as botched the Karpen grand jury. (Karpen walked away from those 2013 charges).

It seems quite obvious that justice is going to be a very difficult thing to find in Houston. Hopefully Governor Abbott will have greater success at the state level.

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

David Ripley: The Chicago Way

January 26th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life
Along with most Americans, we were shocked to hear that Planned Parenthood of Houston has been “exonerated” by the Houston DA – while the investigators will face criminal charges. Is this not a perfect example of the corrosive effect of legalized abortion upon our legal system?

We are a long way from Houston, and do not know the Houston D.A., Devon Anderson. We don’t know her politics or position on abortion. But we do know that she has an attorney working in her office who also serves on the Board of Planned Parenthood – Houston, the very organization Anderson set out to “investigate”.

The pressure Planned Parenthood is bringing to bear on the noble souls who exposed their butchery-for-profit scheme is unbelievable. It demonstrates the Mafioso-like ethics which animate Planned Parenthood: Just a week or so ago, they brought suit in San Francisco against David Daleiden, leader of the Center for Medical Progress. It is the second lawsuit filed by the Abortion Industry to silence Daleiden, and to prevent America from being confronted with the ugly truth about legalized abortion.

In response to the criminal actions by the Houston D.A., Mr. Daleiden issued the following statement:

“The Center for Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws…. Planned Parenthood still cannot deny the admissions from their leadership about fetal organ sales captured on video for all the world to see.”

That is a fairly careful, if pointed statement. No doubt, Mr. Daleiden’s response was drafted with help from his attorney since he must now mount a criminal defense.

We prefer the statement issued by Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN):

“It is a sad day in America when those who harvest the body parts of aborted babies escape consequences for their actions, while the courageous truth-tellers who expose their misdeeds are handed-down a politically-motivated indictment instead.”

Amen.

We are going to have to hold Mr. Daleiden in prayer, and we are going to have rise, as a community, to help support him as he works his way through the legal harassment Planned Parenthood has laid for him.

In the meantime, we must also not lose heart: Gov. Abbott (R-TX) is vigorously pressing a state-led investigation into Planned Parenthood’s activities, which may go a long way toward correcting this blatant injustice at the hands of Ms. Anderson. He said today that the antics in Harris County will have no impact on the state’s determined investigation into Planned Parenthood.

And we can also take heart by remembering the words of the prophet Isaiah, who faced incredible levels of social corruption in his day:

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil … who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent … for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore the Lord’s anger burns ….” (Isaiah 6:20 -25).

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

David Ripley: Grieving for a Hurting Nation

January 22nd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Today marks the 43rd year in which America has been shackled by an edict which allows for the mechanized destruction of some 4,000 innocent babies every day. The official total is something like 58 million babies lost to abortion – but that figure understates the carnage by a considerable degree.

A day like today is one in which we should take stock of the price being paid by this great nation for legalized abortion. The great scandal of organ harvesting revealed last year is an alarming sign of the darkening of America’s soul. Of course it is ghoulish to imagine Planned Parenthood chopping babies in the back room in exchange for Lamborghinis. Yet we must ask: Where is all the money coming from?

Behind the curtain of Planned Parenthood scandal is the mountains of money being spent to procure organs and tissue from tiny human beings who could not defend themselves. Presumably “respectable” companies and institutions are using these babies as organ farms to pursue research that once would have been widely denounced as clearly unethical. Does not the silence point to a coarsening of the American conscience?

Yet there are signs of awakening, as well: The U.S. Congress has finally had its fill of financing America’s largest abortion provider. The number of abortion clinics is at an historic low. Planned Parenthood is having serious trouble recruiting new abortionists. And the number of pro-Lifers continues to grow.

That strength will be on display today as the national March for Life takes place in the midst of a big winter storm. Snowflakes or not – tens of thousands of Americans will stand up for those who cannot defend themselves. That march offers the nation an invitation to repentance, to healing, to real freedom. May the Lord amplify those voices raised today and awake a people in need of healing.

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

Richard Larsen: Martin Luther King and His Far-reaching Impact

January 21st, 2016 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Some people take umbrage at the fact that Martin Luther King, Jr. has a holiday dedicated to his remembrance, while none of our founders, or even presidents, do. I am not among them. In many ways, MLK epitomizes the founding principles the nation was based on, for they, along with his theological convictions, comprised his core belief system.

As we celebrate the 87th anniversary of his birth, acknowledgement of his contributions to civil rights and peaceful demonstration for just causes is just a portion of what the man represented. His insights on freedom, work, selflessness, and morality apply equally to all Americans, regardless of political orientation, race, or creed.

Perhaps that was the key to his enduring legacy – not just that he advanced civil rights, but that he taught and expounded precepts that transcended the great social divide of his time. Perhaps there is as much for us to learn from those teachings in transcending and bridging the divisions of our time.

To him, everything revolved around freedom. “I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be as a people, our destiny is tied up in the destiny of America.” This may seem ostensibly a self-evident truth, but the concept is increasingly foreign to too many of us as we look continually to government for solutions, at the expense of individual liberty to choose and to act.

He also stated, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” When we realize that much of what’s done in the name of government is oppressive to freedom, it’s increasingly evident that as an electorate we must needs rise up in opposition to freedom-inhibiting laws and regulations, and demand redress.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom,” he declared on another occasion. Individual and universal freedom was everything to him, without regard to ethnicity or other contradistinction. He advocated freedom, as opposed to government programs that diminish the freedom to build, achieve, to be rewarded for those achievements, and to succeed.

He often talked about how critical it was for all Americans to have a job. To him, a good job was ennobling, and built character. “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” A working society was a free society, for without work, one becomes the ward of the state and loses their individual freedom to become and do.

He was so critical of those whose entire focus was on themselves and their own self-interests. And he made no distinction between the personal and the private; the political and the individual. Said he, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” And as if to underscore this notion, “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” Clearly those who engage in identity politics for their personal aggrandizement are not looking at the greater good for society and America.

He always emphasized doing, and acting on principles. It wasn’t enough to echo the refrains of freedom, one had to work for them. And at times he seemed to echo the sentiments of Edmund Burke, the English philosopher who said “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” King’s version was, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” How can one claim ownership of great precepts, and not be willing to act on them?
“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Clearly, to King, all lives matter!

The Reverend was a highly principled man, driven by truths and fundamental values. He referred often to those values. “If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.” Some of those values were the very foundational principles upon which the nation was founded, that he found lacking in their application to all American equally.

He was not a perfect man. None are. Yet he advanced a commitment to “moral foundations” and “spiritual control” which he saw as critical for society as a whole, and can only be accomplished by each of us dong our part.

I think he would concur with General Douglas MacArthur, a great student of history, who declared, “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”

Although an icon of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King was not single-dimensional. He called upon all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religious convictions, or socio-economic status, to do their part for the benefit of society and the country. It’s wholly fitting to have a holiday dedicated to his memory and teachings. And the nation would be better off if more effort were expended in adherence to his precepts.

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

Richard Larsen: Independent Voters, America Needs YOU!

January 15th, 2016 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

The final word to escape the lips of William Wallace of “Braveheart” fame was “Freedom!” The scene still today sends chills down my spine, and arouses a profound sense of gratitude for the freedoms we have in America, even with their gradual erosion that we’ve witnessed over the past 240 years. Even as William Wallace was willing to give his all for freedom, so likewise Republicans in America are generally committed to the ideological foundation of our republic: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We implore independent voters to side with the cause of liberty and individual freedom.

With that said, the Republican Party is no more monolithic than the Democrat Party is. There are elements within both parties that are more or less conservative or progressive. Those of us who are more conservative align ourselves ideologically with the classical liberals of the 18th century who founded this nation, again based on the Lockean Creed and embedded in our founding documents. These are the principles that have made America unique, and it is our conviction that this legacy must be perpetuated for the republic and American exceptionalism to survive.

As classical liberals, we acknowledge that the more government grows and encroaches into our individual lives, the more our individual freedom and liberty is diminished. It was this principle that Benjamin Franklin referred to when he stated, “Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.”

While we acknowledge the need for some security as a safety net for some in society, we believe that freedom is ennobling and the ability to achieve or fail develops character and is good for all, individually as well as collectively as a society. Consequently, we resist expansion of government power and incursion into, and control over, our lives.

We believe that in a representative republic we have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and that our elected officials are beholden to the will of the people to act in our collective best interests, rather than catering or pandering to select groups or special interests. Thomas Jefferson is often quoted saying, “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” While the attribution may be in question, the logic isn’t.

We maintain that the Constitution purposefully delineates the limited powers of government in order to maximize individual freedom and liberty. Consequently, we are supportive of the constitutional functions of government, and logical and progressive levels of taxation in order to support them. We support logical, protective regulation, but reject centralized planning and government intrusion into every aspect of our lives at the expense of our liberty.

We are supportive of rational levels of taxation to pay for the services we demand of government, but acknowledge the factual consequences of diminished return the higher taxes are. And as the former Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Christina Romer has proven, for every $1 collected in taxes, there is a diminution of GDP (Gross Domestic Production) output of $3. Taxes, then, should be kept as low as possible to maximize growth of the economy and provide us individually with maximum financial freedom.

We want the economy to grow, not just for the improvement of our station in life, but because we need more than 120,000 new jobs created each month just to keep pace with population expansion. And more than that is needed to start picking up the gap of those who are underemployed, who, based on the Department of Labor’s U6 report, currently stands at 10%.

This kind of job expansion can only occur with a healthy, thriving private sector, that rather than being demonized by Washington and inflicted with senseless regulation and micromanagement by government bureaucrats, is fostered and facilitated by prudent policy and regulation. Ronald Reagan said, “The best welfare program is a job,” to which we would qualify further, a “good job.”

We adhere to fundamental fiscal principles, that the government should be beholden to the same financial restraints that we as individuals are, and that we shouldn’t spend what we don’t have. We maintain that it’s illogical to presume that spending two times more than you receive in income or revenue is sustainable and that believe that unrestrained spending threatens to bankrupt the nation and raze the republic.
We believe in free market economies, not only because they work, but because they afford the most freedom to hard-working Americans. Government can serve a legitimate role in protection of citizens and their property, but should not have power to micromanage our health care, our energy use, or our commercial activities.

Thomas Jefferson succinctly stated, “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” We hold that to be a self-evident truth.

Right now we have a federal government that is neither wise nor frugal, but to that end we strive for a reversal at the national level, and an improvement in state and local government as well. To effect such change, it is imperative that independents consider not just the personalities of presidential and congressional candidates, but the broad principles at the base of their ideologies.

If the republic is to survive as intended, it will be because a majority of the 39% of independent voters decide that it’s worth saving, and vote accordingly. We would invite a thorough examination of the issues and the candidates, and a resolve to make logical, cogent decisions on how to vote that will facilitate a return to common sense governance, and a resurgence of commitment to the principles upon which the nation was founded. America’s founding principles made her great; she can be so again!

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

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