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November 12th, 2019

All my life I’ve been told “change is constant.” And, all my life – 80+ years – it has been. In nearly all ways. But, just because it’s a “constant” doesn’t mean it may always be good change. I recently got some medical news that’s made me reflect a bit and take note of some of that “change.”

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November 11th, 2019

My Mom, Eunice Martens Jones, was born just as World War 1 was ending. She grew up in a German-American community south of Eden. Her father was an immigrant from Hamburg, Germany, and her maternal grandmother had immigrated from Bremen. Grandma Martens told me in the 1960s that the community of German-Americans had been vie

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November 9th, 2019

The Trump-defending Idaho congressional delegation was reminded yet again this week of the dangers involved in shielding a president who can’t tell the truth and won’t let most of his subordinates even try. Spoiler alert: Defending the president is only going to get more difficult; more difficult by the minute. An unlik

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November 8th, 2019

Stay in elective office long enough, the sages say, and for the voters the time will come when it’s too long. That can be true even if the voters aren’t really interested in a major change of direction. Consider the different stories told by the Meridian and Boise mayoral elections on Tuesday. In Meridian, four-term may

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November 7th, 2019

This last week I ran into a guy in clinic that made me thankful for Idaho voters. We were able to help him out. You should know about this. It’s not about politics or policy, just about how we were able to help out a hard-working guy. He was in his work insulated coveralls since he had gotten in a couple hours on a chilly

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November 6th, 2019

One of the lines of thought in the last couple of weeks, in some of the many sources of political punditry, is that the election results of 2017 and 2018 should be considered something of an outlier, a bit of a normal reaction to a change in election results in 2016. Put another way, Democrats in the last couple of years di

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November 5th, 2019

The United States rightfully celebrated the death of the Islamic State (ISIS) leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on October 27. The killing of this despicable cutthroat was a clear setback for ISIS, but the group will continue to threaten the U.S. and its allies. Just as the death of Osama bin Laden did not eliminate al-Qaeda, B

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November 4th, 2019

This impeachment business has become an overwhelming saga. It’s taken all the air out of the room. Not that it isn’t warranted. It is. And will continue so for several months. Trying to keep up with daily disclosures and the changing cast of characters is quite a job for political junkies. As the old movie posters used

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November 2nd, 2019

For decades the national Republican Party literally owned the political debate over national security issues. Polls repeatedly indicated that American voters trusted Republicans more to properly handle military and foreign policy. Republicans ruthlessly — and occasionally shamelessly — exploited this advantage. In his 1

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November 1st, 2019

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare must have been surprised when social media giant Facebook rejected 14 of their ads, having to do with health care. Such a denial sounds ridiculous on its face. But – and to be clear, this is in no way the fault of the department – the case is more complicated than that,

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October 31st, 2019

Sometimes when you listen to people you hear the way they think. When we have a problem to solve, how we think about it, how we frame it can determine our ability to find a solution. Many people see government as a vending machine. It’s a mysterious thing that takes our money and gives us back something we expect to be of

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October 30th, 2019

Clean it up or sweep it out. The word corporatism seems, in a day when massive corporations occupy so large a part in society, like a natural: It’s short, simple and seems to relate to something specific. It’s not that simple. It has been used on the right to attack the left (notably during the Obama Administration) as

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October 29th, 2019

I have to admit that I was not particularly impressed with Mitt Romney when he was running for president in 2012. He’d done a great job on the Salt Lake Winter Olympics in 2002 and run a credible campaign for president in 2008, but his core values seemed elusive. Many of the positions he took in the 2012 election were sub

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