John Livingston News

A Bad Grade for Idaho

We are getting down to the end of our legislative session in Idaho. I am a big fan of the Idaho Freedom Index. In the 35 years I have lived in Idaho my home has always been in one of the two most liberal legislative districts—16 and 19. My current State Senator is Grant Burgoyne and he serves his constituents well. A liberal Democrat he seldom votes the way I would on some critical issues, but he always answers my questions and his legal analysis is logical. I feel much better knowing that even though Grant is a Democrat his Freedom index grade is very close or even better than many Republicans in the legislature. Instead of my views not being

reflected by my Democratic representative, I know that many conservative Republicans in our State are being represented in a similar fashion by their RINO representatives that have Freedom Index scores very similar to Senator Burgoyne’s.

I want to take this opportunity today to give my own report card and analysis on the most recent legislative session. Being a Conservative strict constructionist, and originalist I will go back to original documents using “Stare Deices” as my guiding principle. My original document for

grading the legislature will be the Boise City Schools K-1 Report Card Template which will be recreated at the bottom of this article. I asked both Democratic and Republican leadership about how they would like me to evaluate their performance this session. The Republicans just now got back to me, but the Democratic Leadership felt that we should just do away with

the report card and give everyone a participation trophy. I did get a response from one individual member of the Republican leadership team and they said they will let me know as soon as they run it by the Governor and he will tell them how to respond. Another member told me that whatever Janice McGeachin says we will recommend the opposite.

The Boise City Kindergarten Report Card Template pdf can be accessed here:

I would encourage readers to go to the site and then read my analysis line by line in this article I will only hit the highlights. I also will not use the “MNPSX” system of grading but will give strict letter grades:

ENGLISH C- “Understanding spoken words and listens carefully” brings the entire category way down. There wasn’t a category for “enjoys listening to themselves” or the grade could have been lower.

MATH C- Clearly the entire JFAC crew hasn’t been able to “demonstrate that addition is putting together and subtraction is taking apart using models and alternative strategies”. They now have completed month 4 without Grocery tax relief, property tax relief, income tax relief—consolidating brackets is subtraction but placing people in higher brackets is an

“Alternative strategy” not addition.

Being unable to identify monies spent and monies left on the table, and at the same time being able to spend $650 million on Medicaid—-$3.5 billion if counting Federal subsidies, is an alternative strategy.

SOCIAL SCIENCES—F Understanding history, civics and government and not defunding CRT and social justice programs that purposefully exploit those on the margins and seek to destroy American History is problematic. Not understanding basic Micro and Macro economic theory—-many of our legislators still believe in the “Medicaid Multiplier effect”, also marks

them lower.

Basic Sciences D- Not understanding the motions of physical bodies in space (micro droplets through a face mask), not understanding basic concepts virology, biochemistry and public health. Not understanding concepts of “co-morbidity”, the definition of pandemic, basic public health mitigation strategy, or being able to read basic graphs and tables generated by the

public health districts or knowing the difference between CFR and IFR. Not being able to understand the difference between a positive viral test and a clinical “case” with symptoms. Not having the ability to identify an individual risk profile, and finally not being able to tell the difference between a scientist, an “expert”, a government bureaucrat or a politician

are all problematic.

Now we get down to the last item TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL LEARNERS otherwise

known as critical skills. I will take these in detail.

  1. Listens Well A+– To the Governor—F-to the people—-Overall-C
  2. Listens attentively-D Have you ever watched Idaho in Session on PBS to see how many of our legislators routinely nod off or don’t even listen to their colleagues?
  3. Completes work in a timely fashion-F No explanation needed
  4. Perseveres and puts forth best effort-F—Especially when going into midterm hibernation because 6 asymptomatic Senators tested positive for the dreaded Covid-19.
  5. Respects colleagues, respects voters, respects Idaho values and Idaho families—you decide
  6. “Participates in group activities”—C- Is being in the Legislature a group activity? This session looked more like “The Price is Right” or “Fantasy Island” Or what about “Survivor” where RINOs keep trying to vote conservative off the island (out of leadership and committee chair positions). The show is edited by the Governor and produced by the lobbyists.
  7. ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS-F Always referring to experts, who are referred by lobbyists and campaign donors. Are they really experts?
  8. RESPECTS SCHOOL RULES— C- Are you kidding me. Playing petty childish games like hiding the access key to the Senate floor from the Lt. Governor or taking away her calendar signing privileges, instead of addressing real issues like executive power and authority over reach, tax reform, CRT in our education system, SHIP spending, budget issues that have implications many years into the future, and final basic issues of voter integrity, and Federalism—-by accepting Federal Relief monies for Covid related issues, are we obligating all State agencies across the board to Federal mandates? If we are—are we a State?

In the end the grade over all is a D. We should send our legislators back to kindergarten and not let them come back until they learn to work and stand on principle. Teaching integrity and a work ethic needs to start early on. For many in our State legislature being pragmatic is more

important than being principled. “Let’s get something done—doesn’t matter what—-just something.”

When this circus finally ends the Speaker of the House, the Majority leader in the House, The Senate Pro Temp, and the Governor will stand up in front of Betsy Russell and the press gang with our Lt. Governor being forced to stand behind “the Great Wall of manhood”. They will say something along the lines of. “It was a tough session. We got some things done and we didn’t

get some things done.”

They will refer to the legislative process as being analogous to “making sausage” at least three times. I worked in a meat packing plant for 3 years and making sausage is less messy and far more honorable than what happened this past session in our legislature.

If the needs of the people weren’t so important the whole 4 months could have either been a bad dream or a bad joke. New conservative blood is needed in both branches of government.

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