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January 19th, 2019

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch became chairman of the prestigious Foreign Relations Committee last week and as nearly his first act he bashed the two Idahoans who held that position in the past, William Borah and Frank Church. In an interview with Idaho Press reporter Betsy Russell, Risch also said his “repertoire does not include

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January 18th, 2019

The operative phrase used to be “don’t Californicate Idaho.” Now, in the age of the meme, it’s an image, showing Idaho melded to the top of California, the merger called Idafornia. On a shirt. An artist from Nampa named Scott Pentzer created it, though the design is so simple almost anyone could have. Pentzer said h

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January 17th, 2019

It can be hard to confront a colleague with their misbehavior. I’ve done it a time or two and it sure got me to thinking about my loyalties. When I chose to act, it was out of a sense of loyalty to a purpose, a profession, a greater good that deserved my service. There were also times in my life I passed on the confrontat

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January 16th, 2019

One decade ago, following the 2008 general election, something unusual happened at the Oregon Legislative Assembly: One party controlled both chambers with supermajority numbers. Democrats held 18 of the 30 seats in the Senate, and 36 of the 60 seats in the House of Representatives. The numbers were significant, because sin

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January 15th, 2019

The Idaho Constitution flatly declares: “All political power is inherent in the people.” Those people established a government of elected representatives to carry out regular public business. However, they wisely reserved the right to initiate and pass laws when their representatives balk at carrying out the public’s

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January 14th, 2019

The national political air is full of 2020 talk these days. For both parties. Ohio Governor John Kasich seems ready to formalize his run against Trump. Jump in early, suck up media attention but, more importantly, get into the pockets of Republican fat cats. Wise move. To some extent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is doing the same

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January 13th, 2019

Agriculture is cyclical. Season flows into season. Vines flower then a hundred or so days later you harvest their fruit. Animals and farmers live their life cycles together on land that sustains them both. Nature wraps us in the cycle of life.In January we begin to think of pruning and worrying about frost. What h

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This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for January 7. Would you like to know more? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com. The Idaho Legislature kicked off with a new speaker about the state of the state, Governor Brad Little. In Washington Senate committee assignments were parceled out, and Senato

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In his speech from the Oval Office, Trump dwelled on a handful of grisly scenarios, relating in detail violent crimes committed against U.S. citizens by undocumented people. He did this well-knowing that undocumented individuals commit violent crimes (indeed all crimes) at a per capita rate far lower than that of U.S. citiz

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January 12th, 2019

Like many State of the State speeches by Idaho governors, Brad Little’s first speech to a joint session of the Legislature this week was notable for what the new governor said and what he left unsaid. No one will accuse Little of scaling many oratorical heights, but his compact, workmanlike 35-minute address did help to b

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January 11th, 2019

Brad Little now has two major addresses – inaugural and state of the state – under his belt as Idaho governor, and they might have given a focused indication of what he will do. But not exactly. We’re probably going to have to keep watching to figure that out. The speeches were capable, professional and approp

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January 10th, 2019

My daughters don’t use Facebook. They have their reasons, and I agree with most of them: waste of time, privacy, concern for the level of conversation. So, I was a bit surprised when I got a text from a daughter the day after Christmas asking me to post something on a Facebook site. They had gone for a ski out in the east

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January 9th, 2019

The presidential historian Robert Dallek has frequently said that it typically takes 50 years after a president leaves office to fully reckon with their legacy. It takes that long for the documents to become available, for the memoirs to be written and for the consequences of actions to become clear. This is typically good

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Shortly I’ll get around to an overview look at the first state of the state spe3ech delivered by new Idaho Governor Brad Little. But before I get to that, one allegation contained in it deserves a review. The context was Little’s statement that “I intend to work with you to implement Medicaid expansion usi

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January 8th, 2019

In July of 1964, I visited East Berlin and learned something about walls. They are ineffective to keep desperate people penned in, or kept out, without the certain use of lethal force against them. Despite strict border security in the late 50s and early 60s, hundreds of thousands of East Germans fled to freedom in West Ber

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January 7th, 2019

I was raised in an old line Republican home and voted that way much of my life. Richard Nixon brought an end to that, even before Watergate. Amazing how corruption and outright criminality can change a guy’s voting habits. Permanently. So, I came late to the ways of the donkey party. Though that happened some 45 years ago

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January 6th, 2019

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for January 7. Would you like to know more? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com. The new year is starting, with inauguration of new Idaho state officials and – this week – opening of this year’s regular legislative session. Governor-elect

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