The perfect U.S. Supreme Court nominee

Dear Mr. President: Allow me to suggest respectfully the perfect nominee to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

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4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - March 8, 2016 at 3:11 am

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The choice

By Randy Stapilus In this season so uncomfortable for many Republicans a new question may soon arise: What’s most important, party or philosophy? On Tuesday, and then again possibly in November, we’ll get hard numbers on that, because what’s on the ballot will give Idaho’s Republicans, and their elected leaders — a choice.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - March 6, 2016 at 12:04 pm

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A trip to Lake Wobegon

By Michael H. O’Donnell

Garrison Keillor walked slowly across the stage of the sold-out Jensen Grand Concert Hall wearing a light rumpled suit and red tie with running shoes that matched.

With a soothing baritone voice that wove its way into everyone’s imagination, Keillor took listeners to an old ice fishing shack on Lake Wobegon and dipped a line into the deep waters of humanity.

Two hours vanished in the crowd. And in several magic moments of shared singing, no one in that auditorium was a stranger. It’s a gift politicians can never understand.

It’s the power of a good storyteller, one who can shake hands with everything that’s familiar inside us and allow us to put our arms around new perspectives.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - March 5, 2016 at 9:55 pm

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Dumping on Trump: Why it doesn’t work

By Leonard Hitchcock

His fellow Republicans are now attacking Donald Trump with everything they’ve got. They’ve accused him of betraying conservative values, of being a CINO — a Christian in name only — of being devious, arrogant, rude, foul-mouthed, and egocentric. And they have been dismayed to discover that a great many of their fellow Republicans just shrug and wave their Trump signs harder. Trump is on his way to winning the Republican nomination and the self-styled genuine conservatives, like Cruz and Rubio (who are actually tea-party wing-nuts), and Kasich (who is, indeed, a traditional, establishment Republican) are baffled at his success.

What they don’t understand is that Donald Trump is admired by millions of Americans for being just who he is. He’s straight out of a 21st century Horatio Alger story. He’s rich, he’s a TV celebrity and he lives the sort of life that most Americans live only in their dreams.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - at 9:54 pm

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Trump will stab his supporters in the back, and they will love it

By Neal Larson

I watched with more dismay than surprise the Republican (Republican!) front-runner make an assertion about the size of his male anatomy in a high-profile nationally televised debate this week. Hours before, the same front-runner asserted that endorsement-seeking candidate Mitt Romney in 2012 would have “dropped to his knees” to secure an endorsement.

Such is the state of American politics: piggish, juvenile, and phallic.

I gazed at the screen, trying to brace myself for the reality that we may have to stare this man in the face for the next four years — heaven forbid eight — listening to the same damn tiresome and repetitive claims of superiority in anything and everything he does and thinks about and touches and looks at.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - at 9:53 pm

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Climate change whacking Montana hard

By George Ochenski

While Montana’s clueless politicians continue to chant “coal, coal, coal,” the harsh realities of global climate change are coming home to roost in Montana with undeniable impacts. It’s too warm, too soon, with too little snow in the mountains right now and, given that 2016 has continued the record-setting global temperature trend of 2015, it’s clearly past time for the politicians to get off their fossil fuel high horse and start doing what needs to be done to preserve a livable climate for future generations.

In a new report, renowned University of Montana economist Tom Power and his geologist son Donovan took a hard look at what the changing climate means to agriculture, one of Montana’s largest non-governmental economic sectors, estimated to be one-seventh of the state’s economy. The numbers are startling and dwarf the losses in the coal industry on which our leaders seem fixated.

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12 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - at 9:52 pm

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Freedom from the media and love of the outdoors

By Ralph Maughan

In front of my new laptop with its twinkling lights and shimmering keyboard, I have quick access to exciting games and news from every source. Virtual events come fast or slow, totally at my will. It is hard to be bored as I sit in comfort slowly wrecking my spine.

Natural experience

When people are outdoors, “in nature,” as we sometimes say, events usually happen slowly. It’s not a thrill every minute, except if you fall into a swift river. Events of the day are mostly predictable. The sun rises and sets. The weather is often the same all day long. Sometimes the temperature hardly changes, like with the two-week winter ice fogs we have in Pocatello, and we live in monotones of charcoal, gray and tan. Likewise, when the temperature does change, it is hardly every 30 seconds, and it is usually predictable as it culminates and peaks in the late afternoon.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - at 9:48 pm

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Shhh, secret gun committee is now meeting

By Mike Murphy

Darn. Of all the rotten luck! Here I was completely wasting my Saturday working a part-time job to help me survive retirement, reading a book about American history to help me be a better informed citizen, and shaving my beard to help me, uh, you know, look better, when, unbeknownst to me at the time, I could have been doing something worthwhile like attending a gun-rights rally at the Capitol in Boise.

The crowd gathered to show support for House Bill 422 which would allow folks to carry a gun without a permit within city limits. Some of us are very, very angry because, instead, the state Legislature wastes time on dumb bills like House Bill 451 which would emphasize “productive collaboration between the home and school” to provide third-graders with help in reading.

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4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - at 9:47 pm

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Med school is the right move for Idaho

By Sen. Marv Hagedorn, Sen. Jim Rice and Rep. Kelley Packer

On Feb. 25, Idaho’s first medical school was announced. It will be built with only private investment. The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) will be located in Meridian on Idaho State University’s Meridian campus. This school answers needs that have been identified in access to health care in Idaho, including addressing our physician shortage and medical education deficiencies, as well as providing a positive economic impact.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - March 4, 2016 at 3:15 pm

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Donald Trump’s Cult of Personality

By Richard Larsen

The most disturbing aspect to the Donald Trump candidacy is not the empty rhetoric, non-substantive solutions, or even his brash politically-incorrect style. The most disturbing aspect of his candidacy is what it says about so many of our fellow citizens. A veritable personality cult is developing around the GOP frontrunner rivaling that of the Democrat nominee from four and eight years ago. And it’s just as speciously founded.

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7 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Richard Larsen - at 2:01 pm

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