Editorials

February 25, 2009

BUDGETING FOR CHALLENGING TIMES

President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on February 24 and delivered his budget outline on February 26. I once again hold a seat on the Senate Budget Committee and look forward to examining the details of the Administration's FY2010 budget outline. While it is important to work with the President to help those who are experiencing financial difficulties, it is equally important that we protect future generations of taxpayers from an untenable debt load. The President want… Continue Reading


February 19, 2009

ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR HAS NO PLACE IN DATING RELATIONSHIPS

With a struggling economy and Congress on the verge of passing the largest spending bill in the history of our country, it seemed unlikely in early February that entertainers could make any real headlines. But there it was-on Sunday, February 8, R & B star Chris Brown and award-winning pop singer, Rihanna, his girlfriend of nearly a year, would not be performing at the Grammys. Why? There had been a fight-with injuries. Brown was arrested and Rihanna (Robyn Fenty) was pressing charges, alleg… Continue Reading


February 12, 2009

SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS

At the start of every new Congress, Senate committee assignments are reviewed and changes made. While some of my assignments have remained the same-(Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Budget Committee), I have been successful in obtaining two additional assignments that reflect priorities Idahoans place on our remarkable natural resources and a commitment to our strong Native American heritage. In addition to a seat on the Senate Environm… Continue Reading


February 05, 2009

COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS REFLECT IDAHO PRIORITIES

At the start of every new Congress, Senate committee assignments are reviewed and changes are made. While some of my committee assignments have remained the same-I've retained my positions on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Budget Committee-I have been successful in obtaining two new committee assignments (both ones I've held in the past) that reflect priorities Idahoans place on our remarkable natural resources and a commitment to… Continue Reading


January 28, 2009

BE OUTSIDE

"Eventually, most of us figure out that it's people, not nature, who create morality, values, ethicsâ??and even the idea that nature itself is something worth preserving. We choose to be shepherds and stewards, or we don't...We will live wiselyâ??preserving water and air and everything else intrinsic to the equation we're only beginning to understandâ??or we won't, in which case Nature will fill the vacuum when we leave." --Seth Norman, in Richard Louv's "Last … Continue Reading


January 07, 2009

OF EPIC PROPORTIONS

On January 7, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its budget outlook for Fiscal Years 2009-2019. With a sobering prediction that this year's deficit will total $1.2 trillion (without factoring the cost of any new stimulus bill), the report cites what many already know or suspect: the slowdown in economic activity and policy responses to challenges in the housing and financial markets have significantly affected the federal budget. In fact, CBO stated that the U.S. will likely see the … Continue Reading


December 17, 2008

CLOSE TO HOME

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." -U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776 "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; th… Continue Reading


December 10, 2008

ENROLLMENT PERIOD FOR MEDICARE PARTS C AND D

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons are busy times of the year for many people-we are pulled in many directions fulfilling commitments to family, friends and work. Still there are a few things on the to-do list that should take priority even in this busy time of the year. If it applies to you or an aging or disabled family member, and if you have not already done so, you should set aside some time to evaluate your Medicare Advantage plan and/or Medicare prescription drug coverage to m… Continue Reading


December 04, 2008

LOOKING AHEAD TO A NEW CONGRESS

As the 110th Congress ends, we can reflect on important accomplishments including endangered species reform, the Farm Bill and improving benefits for Medicare patients. With a new President and a different dynamic in the House and Senate, legislating in the 111th Congress will require innovative approaches to policy-making. I look forward to working with my colleagues, and the other members of the Idaho delegation, Senator-elect Jim Risch, Representative Mike Simpson and Representative-elect Wal… Continue Reading


November 26, 2008

NOT HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

In recent years, many Americans have spent the holidays away from home, in defense of freedom. Much has changed for the better in Iraq over the past four years, even as our military and coalition forces as a whole ramp up efforts in Afghanistan. But, for over 200,000 military men and women in and around Iraq and Afghanistan, and tens of thousands deployed elsewhere around the world, the 2008 holidays will mean celebrating far from home. It is important to find ways to reach out to them and demon… Continue Reading


November 19, 2008

MOVING FORWARD

Bandied about endlessly now for months during the campaigns, the word "change" was used so often that it was almost rendered meaningless. What can be said, though, is that people have definite feelings about change. Whether it's a new president or the closing of a street on our normal route to work, we all deal with change constantly-as it is said, "the only thing constant is change." So, it really comes down to how we approach these daily events. What attitude do we have? Is it resignation? Can… Continue Reading


October 29, 2008

THE COMMON PURPOSE

"On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom…In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose." -President Dwight D. Eisenhower The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; simple, white headstones blanketing the Arlington hills on the ba… Continue Reading


October 22, 2008

VOTE--YOUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT

It's that time of the political year: billboards, yard signs, political ads on radio, television and the Internet all signal the imminent arrival of this year's general election. Although political ads can seem tiresome, given the alternative-no right to choose our leaders-I can live with the sometimes extreme messaging that characterizes our elections. The tone and substance of these ads should serve as a reminder that voters must be discerning and educate themselves about issues and candidates… Continue Reading


October 16, 2008

TACKLING THE COST OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Since 1997, tuition and fees at public four year institutions have increased by an average of 4.4 percent annually. Similarly, tuition and fees for private four year institutions increased by an average of 2.9 percent annually. The amount students and families paid for college after grant aid and tax benefits-net price-fell between 1997 and 2001, but has risen rapidly ever since. Between 1992 and 2003, the net price of both public and private four year institutions as a percentage of family inco… Continue Reading


October 08, 2008

A RECIPE FOR HEALTHY KIDS

The Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) estimates that a nine-year-old boy, 53 inches tall and weighing 63 pounds, needs 1,500 calories a day, if he doesn't exercise approximately an hour every day. A 20-ounce soft drink, super-sized serving of fries and a bacon cheeseburger provide about 1,500 calories. This means this inactive child would get all his caloric (but not nutritional) needs in one typical fast food meal. The remaining snacks and meals over the course of that day make the ag… Continue Reading


September 17, 2008

ACTION ON ENERGY--NOW

Since June, I've been submitting letters to the Congressional Record from Idahoans who have written to me about how energy prices are affecting their lives. I update my website with new submissions every day that the Senate is in session. Not surprisingly, the deleterious effects of increased fuel costs over the long run are challenging people in many ways as they adjust their daily priorities to accommodate budget constraints. And, with the complexity of the fuel supply chain from extraction, t… Continue Reading


September 10, 2008

THE YEAR OF THE VOTER

In January, Time Magazine proclaimed 2008 the "Year of the Youth Vote." I would expand on that theme and say that 2008 is the "Year of the Voter." We are in the home stretch of an historic Presidential election, a highly-charged Congressional election cycle and many state and local races as well. People who have never been particularly interested in politics are tuning in to the news coverage of the campaigns and the candidates, and voters are taking an active interest in the issues on our natio… Continue Reading


August 27, 2008

MILESTONES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER

How many people do you know who have been diagnosed with cancer? While one is one too many, most of us know numerous people fighting cancer and those who have won, and others, sadly, who have lost the battle. And the number sometimes includes us-in my case, I've beaten cancer twice. This year alone, the American Cancer Society predicts that over 1.4 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer. Although these statistics are unwelcome, there is progress being made. In fact, t… Continue Reading


August 20, 2008

FUNDING RECREATION THE RIGHT WAY

They get you coming and going. If you're a hunter, you pay a 10 percent federal tax on the purchase of your gun and an 11 percent federal tax on ammunition. Your hunting license includes fees for conservation and habitat. Even that tank of gas to drive into the mountains has federal tax on it. Now, after all of that, you get to your hunting spot and, surprise, surprise, you see a fee area sign. Or it's fishing season, you spend money on equipment, licensing and transportation, and you're rewarde… Continue Reading


August 13, 2008

GOING TO THE FAIR

Every August, Idahoans attend or participate in county, regional and state fairs. In some ways, the fair has come a long way from its ancient beginnings-Romans held fairs to encourage trade with conquered provinces, and medieval European fairs were held in conjunction with religious festivals. Fairs were eventually replaced by markets, but the purpose of a fair-showcasing goods, livestock and crafts-remains alive and well in communities nationwide today, thousands of years beyond the heyday of t… Continue Reading

Showing page   of 35