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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Smart Bombs: Idaho nurtures unborn supremacy

While Idaho Rep. Vito Barbieri’s vagina dialogue with a physician was entertaining, the larger issue is more enlightening.

Barbieri’s legislation, which sailed through committee, would halt “webcam abortions,” during which consultations with physicians are done online. Instead, they would have to be done in person, even though this isn’t medically necessary.

This is the same Legislature that so enthusiastically embraced webcams that it considered increasing class sizes and replacing hundreds of teachers with laptop computers. This doesn’t improve education overall, but it does save some cash.

The lesson here is that Idaho kids need special attention, all the way up to the day of birth. After that, scrimp on education and health care, and, incredibly, allow sick children in faith-healing families to die.

State Rep. John Gannon, D-Boise, wants parents who withhold medical attention to be prosecuted, but as state Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, explained to reporter Leah Sottile, writing for Al-Jazeera America, this would be a violation of the religious beliefs of the Followers of Christ.

“They are comforted by the fact that they know their child is in heaven,” Perry said. “If I want to let my child be with God, why is that wrong?”

Well, there’s the avoidable suffering of defenseless children, or the fact that she’s in a “pro-life” state that tries to intervene before children are born, regardless of the parents’ personal beliefs.

Be honest. Another anti-abortion bill in the Idaho Legislature would require providers to have hospital-admitting privileges, which serves no medical purpose. If something goes wrong, everyone has access to emergency rooms. The legislation simply presents another way for lawmakers to harass women and doctors.

How about just affixing an amendment that bans all abortions on days that end in “y?”

White with foam. Lately, when I hear “God Bless America” and it gets to “white with foam,” I don’t think of oceans. I think of reactionary rage.

“Damn that Obama! … doesn’t love America! … wasn’t raised like you and me! … lived in a Muslim country (who does that?) … doesn’t stand strong like Ronald Reagan! … won’t say ‘Islamic extremists’! … sells weapons to Islamic extremists bent on our destruction!”

Skip that last one. That was Reagan, a true American. But if Obama ever pulls off a covert deal with Iran. …

Hate clarifies. During the Benghazi contretemps, the complaint was a president purportedly failing to call Islamic extremists “terrorists,” and now the ISIS “scandal” is failing to call terrorists “Islamic extremists.”

Of course, President Barack Obama didn’t help himself when he said this: “Our war is not against Islam, or against faith practiced by the Muslim people. Our war is a war against evil.”

Oh, sorry. That was President George W. Bush sticking up for Islam. Here’s what Obama said: “Ours is a war not against a religion, not against the Muslim faith. But ours is a war against individuals who absolutely hate what America stands for.”

Must take a busload of bile to see the difference.

This megabytes. Now that “net neutrality” has been won (for now), maybe we can figure out why America’s Internet is relatively slow and expensive.

Citing the New American Foundation’s “Cost of Connectivity” report, the New York Times’ Claire Cain Miller wrote, “When New American ranked cities by the average speed of broadband plans priced between $35 and $50 a month, the top three cities, Seoul, Hong Kong and Paris, offered speeds 10 times faster than the United States cities.”

Associate Editor Gary Crooks can be reached at or (509) 459-5026. Follow him on Twitter @GaryCrooks.