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Damn sure glad you're on the side of truth and justice. Well done. More to come.

Bill Sali Fan

You socialists will probably also complain about one of Congressman Bill Sali's campaign chairmen having a brother who's a suspected child molester. ( http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2007/11/12/krichert/salis_support )
This incident only shows why the Task Force shouldn't have gone back to the 1800s, as you suggest, but more towards 1650. With arranged marriages, you never hear about "domestic abuse".

Adam Graham

Actually, if MGR were on the side of truth she'd mention that from 2000-2003, 58% of Idaho households were made up of Married Couples, and cohabiting couples (same as common law spouse) made up 4.5% of the Couples in Idaho. Married couples during that four year period accounted for 44.7% of Domestic Violence while the cohabitators accounted for 11.9%. Thus domestic violence is far more likely with cohabitating couples.

And in order to say that the majority of cases of domestic violence cases are done by spouses, she's defines people who haven't got married as spouses.

And by the way in most cases, they aren't actually married under actual Common Law Marriage as the state of Idaho recognizes no Common Law Marriages unless they were created before January 1, 1996:



Yeah, whatever it takes Adam; keep it up baby.

Adam Graham

Yeah, that's a good response when you're caught distorting reality.


The fact that domestic abuse is seen in significant numbers amongst couples who are married and couples who are not married shows us that marriage does not cause or prevent domestic violence.

Adam Graham

That 58% of the state's adult population that's married only accounts for 44% of the state's Domestic violence would indicate that it's less likely to occur and Sara that's the key: it's better one way than another.

Married people are less likely than cohabitating people to have domestic violence occur. And if good premarital counselling and education are added in, that makes the odds even better.


Adam, I suggest you check yourself. The statistics I quote are backed by data and frankly your desperation speaks volumes.

Adam Graham

Yeah, and I've got statistics to. The Stats I used for the percentage of nonmarried couples living together and married couples in Idaho comes from the US Census.


Now you can call me desperate, crazy and insane or you can address the spreadsheet.


Adam, putting two numbers together doesn't make them causally related. You can continue disingenuously pushing a non-solution to a real problem (which is vanishingly unlikely to actually affect you), but only if you'd like to explain to a married victim of domestic violence how correlation equals causation.

Adam Graham

I think there's more than enough evidence to back up this conclusion, not just from here but from other sources. Pre-marital education does help, but suggesting that when actual rates of domestic abuse by cohabitating couples are 3 times what it is for married couple, that the idea that marriage is better than cohabitation is untrue is fallacious at best.


The whole point here is that a REPUBLICAN wants BIG GOVERNMENT to tell AMERICAN citizens how to live is willing to legislate second class status upon women.


Ooops, the post should read:

The whole point here is that a REPUBLICAN wants BIG GOVERNMENT to tell AMERICAN citizens how to live and is willing to legislate second class status upon women.

Note to self, preview,preview,preview!

Ralph Maughan

Wherever there is someone militantly espousing "family values," my observation based on what I've seen in the news over the last decade is that we should look around.

There is a good chance scandal lies just below the surface.


Adam, you are hilarious. Clicking on your link takes me to a chart that lists "Fertility Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin."

Now I call you *really* desperate.


But to seriously address Adam's concerns:

1) The numbers I used to arrive at the population of married couples in Idaho being 56% come from U.S. Census data for 2006. You can get there through the link above or by clicking my name. It lists population data by social characteristics. The table relevant to this discussion is Households By Type which lists data for the following types:

Married-couple families
Male householder, no wife present
Female householder, no husband present
Nonfamily households

Using the data from Married-couple families and the total population over age 15, I calculated that married couples make up 56% of the Idaho population over age 15. The ISP study distinguishes common-law from licensed spouses but as you can see the census data does not and, given the other choices, the only logical category for common-law marriages is the Married-couple category. So I combined the ISP study data for the two to arrive at the 51.8% figure.

2) A common-law marriage and co-habiting are not the same thing. People who are legally common-law married consider themselves married, and would say as much if asked, whether on a census questionnaire or otherwise.

3) The interesting thing from the ISP study is that the most significant factors in whether a person is at risk for domestic violence is a person's age and their gender, not whether they are married or not. Being married doesn't make a person more or less likely to be a victim and that was the main point in quoting the data.


Even beyond that Adam, and speaking of fallacies, how the hell is doing away with no fault divorce going to help? If anything it will force these figures to go up as people search for "fault" in order to get out of a bad marriage. Its simply ludicrous to believe that forcing couples to remain married by providing legal hurdles is going to solve social ills like domestic violence. My guess is that the incidences of married couple violence is under-reported in any event but you'll see a spike if its a way to become unmarried. In fact you'll get many more provoked and false claims. That should be healthy for the kids in that relationship. Just why do you think no fault divorce spread to almost every jurisdiction in the country so rapidly?


Adam, the point is that domestic violence breaks up marriages, and it prevents them from occurring. Marriage describes the living situation, it is not a force that affects the behavior of an abuser toward their victim. You're making the argument that what an unmarried victim needs to do to prevent being abused at the hand of their partner is to marry them. Well, it didn't work for Mrs. Thayn. If all you want to get across is that living with an abusive partner is dangerous, I'd have no argument. But it's dangerous and insulting to argue that a victim marrying their abuser will somehow protect them from abuse.

Adam Graham


Sorry, wrong link.

As I stated before, Idaho does not recognize Common Law Marriages that were formed after 1995. Now, if you believe that more than 10.5% of the people in the State are living in Common Law Marriages origniated before 1995 than I'm going to have to disagree.

Regardless, common law marriages are not traditional marriages. There's been no community support network, no premarital counselling, no real public committment. To lump that in with traditional to prove traditional marriage doesn't work is utter absurdity.

And to take a study and use it to prove something it didn't argue is specious, particular when other studies have shown the same correlation:


I'm not suggesting a woman marry her abuser. However, what often happens in the course of a marriage being performed does improve odds. First of all, many couples go through pre-marital counselling which can lead to a couple deciding not to get married. If not that, some instruction is given in regards to how to manage conflict, which is often lacking. An official marital relationship is more likely to bring family support, stability, and the presence of different folks who are not going to invest themselves in supporting a relationship that could break up at any minute.

Ending no-fault divorce won't solve the problem of domestic violence but coupled with increased support for programs that provide marital counselling (which no one wants to talk about.), it will give couples an incentive to work it out one way or antoher.

Domestic violence is going to be helped through improved pre-marital counselling efforts which is also addressed in this bill.


Exactly Sara.

Adam, The important thing to remember here is that my argument isn't over what type of family is "best" or whether marriage "works" or not. As said in this post, my arguments are these:

1) Domestic violence is a serious issue and by trying to address the problem through legislation encouraging marriage and discouraging divorce, the task force isn't going to solve it. As many have pointed out, it may in fact make the problem worse. Being married doesn't immunize anyone from domestic violence and Steven Thayn of all people should have known that.

2) Anytime a governing body talks about intruding on the rights of individuals to make decisions for themselves it ought to make everyone nervous.

I have no problem with non-governmental groups, such as religious or other non-profits, encouraging marriage counseling and promoting whatever other programs they wish. It just shouldn't be something a government gets involved in.

I haven't yet looked at your link but I will and then follow up if needed.


Okay I looked at your link. Here are my thoughts:

1) We're talking apples/oranges here. The statistics you cite are percentages of coupled households not percentages of the entire population.

2) The problem we both face in trying to make sense of the ISP study data in relation to the census data is that the categories studied are not equivalent, requiring some assumptions to be made.

3) I maintain that for census purposes many common-law spouses would report their status as married whether they actually have a piece of paper saying so or not.

[Editor's note: Looked at your data again Adam and have to correct this earlier comment. The percentages listed in your link are of the total population even though the title on the table suggests that it's just coupled households.]

Adam Graham

Part of the problem we're running into as well, MGR, is that you're using the data in a way that wasn't really intended.

With common law spouses, you never get a piece of paper from the government, anyhow


Hmmm, I don't agree that I'm using the data in a way it wasn't intended. I'll remind you again that my argument was not an attempt to make a judgment, good or bad, about marriage. My argument was that domestic violence is not bound by marital status. The data is there and it does not show what Thayn and others have tried to claim: that domestic violence is caused by what they call a breakdown in the traditional family structure. You have to admit that a 44.5% incidence among married couples is troubling whether or not you agree with my methodology in calculating the population percentage. The data show that domestic violence occurs in all segments of society with gender and age being more significant determining factors than marital status. This fallacious argument that encouraging marriage and discouraging divorce is somehow going to convince an abuser to stop is dangerous. If you haven't yet, you really should read the full ISP report.

(btw, to suggest that I'm lying or attempting to mislead anyone when my post clearly pointed out what calculations I made to arrive at the figures I used is insulting. As I said you can disagree with my methodology and I'm open to discussion about that but resorting to those kinds of accusations doesn't help your cause.)


MG - Really really great work here. I'm very impressed.

I'm grateful for The Mountaingoat Report this morning! You got it all going on girl.


"increased support for programs that provide marital counselling" Actually Adam I think we may have consensus on this issue. How you're going to implement it? It also seems very odd and suspect that Republicans want to increase government sponsored social programs. Particularly Thayn whose website advocates dismantling government sponsored education which he labels as a form of child abuse.

Sara you very eloquently made the point. Adam, government policies have supported committed monogamous realtionships for decades. Why is it Republicans won't allow gay couples access to the benefits of those same policies?

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Quotes For 2010

  • "The main thing is to keep everybody going down that road as we try to find the answers and solutions to all these problems. It'll be fun! We'll get it done." — Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star) when asked in an Idaho Reports broadcast how the State House will handle making tough budget decisions this year, 1.29.10.

Quotes For 2009

  • "[Some politicians] wouldn't recognize the Constitution if it fell in their laps and called them Daddy." — Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett (R-Challis) at a tea party tax protest.
  • "Just, you know, putting beans on the table." — former Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) when asked by Nate Shelman (670 KBOI) what he's doing these days.
  • "I said yesterday we hope and pray things will get better before they get worse. It's obvious to me some of you need to do a better job of praying." — Sen. Dean Cameron (R-Rupert), Joint Finance-Appropriation Committee co-chair on the grim economic forecast facing the committee.
  • “We’ve been called a lot of things but we’ve never been called sneaks before.” — Rep. Maxine Bell (R-Jerome) in a budget dispute with the governor's staff over legislators' computer funding.
  • "I’m not wearing rose-tinted glasses. But I am a glass-half-full kind of guy." — Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter attempting to remain optimistic while delivering tough economic news in his State of the State/Budget message.

Quotes For 2008

  • "I am not ashamed that we use a lot of energy in this country. It has made us the most prosperous Nation on the face of the planet. ... Using energy makes us prosperous." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) during debate on an energy bill that, among other things, invested in alternative and renewable energy sources and repealed tax subsidies for large oil companies. (H.R.6899)
  • "If [Oversight Committee Chairman] Henry Waxman was interested in doing more than just showboat, we'd be there in a heartbeat. It's political grandstanding." — spokesman Wayne Hoffman explaining why Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) was absent from congressional oversight hearings into the financial crisis where, among other things, it was learned that AIG executives indulged in a lavish retreat a week after the bailout.
  • "You know what, campaigns are fast and furious, I accept responsibility that we don't have the right citation there, but the facts I stand by - we are correct about that." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) reacting to a campaign commercial fact-checking report.
  • "There are people out there without health care, and we need to address that, but it's not as big of a problem as some people would make it out to be" — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) in a Lewiston, ID debate
  • "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." — President Bill Clinton in a speech at the 2008 DNC
  • "To my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits, from the bottom of my heart, thank you." — Senator Hillary Clinton in a speech at the 2008 DNC
  • "The America that we know, that the founding fathers envisioned, will cease to exist." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) speaking at the state GOP convention about the possibility of a Democratically controlled White House and Congress.
  • "Sometimes the problems have to get larger before you can solve them. We can still drive around the potholes, so they must not be big enough." — House Speaker Lawerence Denney (R-Midvale), explaining that lawmakers still need to be convinced about the extent of road maintenance problems before they'll agree to tax or fee increases.
  • "Those people that believe in shooting animals through the fences . . . ought to turn the rifle the other way." — Former Governor Cecil Andrus, at sportsmen's rally, decked out in full camouflage, urging opposition to "shooter bull" operations on domestic elk farms.
  • "GARVEE is like swallowing a raw egg - it seems to be one of those things that's really hard to stop in the middle of." — Rep. Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian), in comments on a package of transportation bills introduced by House GOP leaders at an emergency committee meeting.
  • "I'm a professional dairyman. I have milked and milked everything I can possibly milk." — State Police Maj. Ralph Powell, arguing that the state crime lab's bare-bones operation has reached its limit and now costs the state money as testing is sent to private labs.
  • "Idaho is ranked last in the nation in protecting the safety of children in day care centers." — Sen. Kate Kelly (D-Boise), in support of an unsuccessful move by Senate Democrats to force a daycare standards bill out of committee.
  • "This [anti-discrimination bill] is something we will propose every year until it passes." — Rep. Nicole LeFavour (D-Boise), responding to the latest BSU Public Policy survey in which 63 percent of Idahoans think it ought to be illegal to fire someone for being gay or seeming to be gay.
  • "I assumed it would be a bunch of radical college students, so to fit the part, I grew a goatee, got a revolutionary T-shirt and put on some ratty jeans." — Rep. Curtis Bowers (R-Caldwell) in an Idaho Press-Tribune opinion explaining how he disguised himself to uncover alleged communist plots.

Quotes For 2007

  • "Divorce is just terrible. It's one of Satan's best tools to kill America." — Rep. Dick Harwood (R-St. Maries) describing the work of the Idaho Legislature's Family Task Force.
  • "I am not gay; I never have been gay." Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) in a statement responding to news of his arrest and subsequent guilty plea to disorderly conduct after an incident in an airport men's room.
  • “Most of the hospitals in this country have Christian names. If you think Hindu prayer is great, where are the Hindu hospitals in this country? Go down the list. Where are the atheist hospitals in this country? They’re not equal.” — Rep. Bill Sali (R-ID-01) to the Idaho Press-Tribune editorial board in response to criticism of his views regarding Hindu prayer in the Senate.
  • "We are all Nintendo warriors today. Remember that game, that electronic game, a few years ago, push buttons zim, zam, boom and it was all over with? That is not the way you fight war, although we as a society have grown to believe that." — Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) during debate on an amendment to a bill providing for defense authorization.
  • "While we are Democrats and Republicans, in our hearts we are all Idahoans." — Sen. Clint Stennett (D-Ketchum), reaching out to Republicans while outlining the Democratic agenda for the 2007 legislative session.
  • "One of the hardest things we've had to do here is taking off our party hats." — Rep. Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian) on a proposal to restrict Idaho's primary elections.
  • "This is outrageous. The people of Idaho are entitled to have their representatives base their votes on the merits of a bill, not on who backed the loser in a speaker's contest." — Former GOP Gov. Phil Batt responding to accusations of political retribution taken by House Speaker Denney (R-Midvale) on other members.
  • “There was one of those six projects that was removed altogether. Why? Because the senator and the representatives from that district were from the wrong political party. We need to take a step back" — Sen. Dean Cameron (R-Rupert) to the Senate when debating the GARVEE bill.
  • "I'm prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself." — Gov. Butch Otter, speaking to a hunters' rally at the Statehouse.
  • "To get a kick out of smoking industrial hemp, it would take a cigar the size of a telephone pole." — Rep. Tom Trail (R-Moscow), downplaying the relation between hemp and its cousin marijuana
  • "I guess I would just make a plea saying we need the money. You know we need the money on roads." — Rep. JoAn Wood (R-Rigby), on proposed bill to collect gas tax from sales on Indian reservations.
  • "No one wants to carry the canoe bill." — Rep. Eric Anderson (R-Priest River), agreeing with Gov. Otter that non-motorized boats should also pay registration fees, but noting any such proposal will be a tough sell.
  • "I don't think we should let the threat of a lawsuit force us to implement something that's not well thought out." — Abbie Mace, Fremont County Clerk, testifying against a "modified-closed primary" bill being pushed by GOP leaders.
  • "There's a lot of things that I pointed out in my State of the State (address) that haven't passed. Unfortunately, I can't think of one that has." — Gov. Butch Otter, addressing reporters on the legislative session so far.
  • "I say let's have a hearing and take our clothes off and go after it." — Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, trying to get lawmakers to print his bill.
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