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July 20th, 2018

Of all the states, Utah may be the most useful as a comparison point for Idaho. The idea of comparing isn’t commonplace. People in most places think vertically – my community, state, nation, in a way sometimes called “stovepiping” – and not so much horizontally. But that’s often where some of the most us

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July 19th, 2018

President Ronald Reagan would have been repulsed by the spectacle of an American president kowtowing to a murderous dictator like Vladimir Putin. If Russia had attacked our democracy, Reagan would not have meekly stood by for months denying it. He would have taken swift and effective action to punish the attacker, rather th

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July 18th, 2018

There are two predictions I can make with some surety (though I’m all too often out in the weeds) surety. No, it is not the inevitability of death and taxes. The issues are these: The Catholic church will never change its position on life and will always oppose abortion on demand as well as oppose any and all changes to l

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July 17th, 2018

Wandering around election stats today, I stopped in at Cook’s report on partisan indexes but congressional district, and thought it would be interesting to compare the rankings for the Northwest. A note or two for those not conversant with the PVI (partisan voter index): It uses a set of statistical measures, includin

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About a week ago, and in the dead of night according to the New York Times, Trump started his trade war. With all the other hoopla going on, not much has been done to call attention to this event. International trade makes up around 25% of our GDP, which is a number that is not to be sneezed at. However, international trade

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July 16th, 2018

Even with a near lifelong interest in politics, I avoid Sunday “talk shows” like the plague. Haven’t watched in over 30 years. Maybe longer. Maybe back to the last days of Lawrence Spivak on “Meet The Press.” Well, Tim Russert, at least. Each Sunday, reporters and opinionists – most of whom have an uncanny i

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July 15th, 2018

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for July 9. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com. The summer quiet continues. A few wildfires flare up from time to time, but they’re small; the state revenue and budget picture wound up on track; and wild animal stories prolifer

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July 14th, 2018

Ada County Highway District Commishes voted Wednesday 3-2 in favor of placing an open ended fee hike proposal on the November ballot which exempts vehicles over 8,000 lbs. from ANY local fees while placing the entire burden on automobile owners. Commishes Jim Hansen and Kent Goldthorp opposed the measure while Sara Baker, R

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July 13th, 2018

The latest data dump on population estimates running up through 2017 from the U.S. Census office offers, as usual, some numbers worth considering. Two items in the latest round of Idaho statistics – you can see them at lmi.idaho.gov/census – seem especially worth pondering. One of them is a chart showing the gro

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July 12th, 2018

When I served on the Governor’s first workgroup that studied and recommended Medicaid Expansion for the State of Idaho, I sat on the panel next to a former director of the Idaho Department of Corrections. I had previous experience working as a physician in the Idaho prisons and we had discussed this in the past. After one

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July 11th, 2018

This past weekend saw a classic example of an otherwise fine reporter filing an Associated Press story about the prospects of former State Representative Paulette Jordan (D-Plummer) to upset Lt. Governor Brad Little (R-Emmett) in this fall’s gubernatorial race. Rather than state the obvious, that she has a snow-balls chan

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July 10th, 2018

It is sad that every vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court sets off a political feeding frenzy in Washington and throughout the country. It is as if a new appointee is intended to be a super legislator, rather than an impartial arbiter of disputes between and among citizens and the government. The whole process is infused with

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July 9th, 2018

Someone somewhere has come up with two words that perfectly describe what I’ve been feeling for several months. “OUTRAGE FATIGUE.” At no time, in my many years, have I felt such a continuing, angry mood both personally and nationally. Seems like everybody is mad about something or at someone. Or many somethings and ma

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July 8th, 2018

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for July 9. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com. Following a weekend highlighted by biennual political party conventions at far ends of southern Idaho, Idaho politics – and much else – quieted considerably in the week followin

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No one should be impressed that the president has vowed not to ask prospective Supreme Court nominees their positions on Roe v. Wade. First, his vows — marital and otherwise — are worthless. Second, he doesn’t need to ask the question because the Federalist Society has vetted the candidates. Only those who

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July 7th, 2018

Lt. Col. Oliver North, incoming president of the National Rifle Association, told an enthusiastic crowd of some 700 Republicans attending the 2018 Idaho GOP Convention inside Idaho State University’s cavernous Holt Arena that it is his objective to double the NRA’s membership from six million to 12 million as it

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July 6th, 2018

Most of what you see in political party platforms and resolutions is more or less than you’d expect to see. There’s a good reason most of what they have to say generates few headlines. Close watchers could pick out a little more than that this year from the state party conventions a week ago at Pocatello (the Republican

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