Editorials

July 06, 2007

MAKING IMMIGRATION LABOR POLICY WORK

    While not everyone knows for certain the circumstances of their ancestors coming to this country, most can say with certainty that these brave men and women found an opportunity to make the promise of a better life a reality.   And, like millions of immigrants before (and after), they shed former allegiances to countries of birth and became-very proudly-Americans.   Most Americans share this common heritage:   immigrant ancestors coming to this country and enthusia… Continue Reading


June 27, 2007

A LEGACY WE'LL ALWAYS PRIZE

 "A sense of Idaho's past will help the present generation understand better the kind of state that evolved in recent years when the modern metropolis intersected with a hinterland rich in beauty and natural resources.   It is the continuing juxtaposition of hinterland and trend-setting urban area that will likely shape the course of public debate into the twenty-first century."                           --Carlos A. Schwantes, in "In Mountain Shadows:   A Histor… Continue Reading


June 20, 2007

ENVISIONING AMERICA'S ENERGY FUTURE

Energy is on our minds-with gasoline prices still high, "pain at the pump" is something we all relate to.   Understandably, "it's complicated," is a frustrating response to questions about high fuel prices.   Easy answers provide easy targets for our frustration, but simplify issues to the detriment of sound policy development.   The long answer-where the truth is found-is not the stuff of soundbites.     Energy production and consumption must be addressed on the supply… Continue Reading


June 12, 2007

ONLINE AND IN THE KNOW

"YT?   TOY" "Hi" "Q.   Can we MIRL? "IDK…" "RUOK? … I think ILU" "P911!" "OK…B4N"   Even ten years ago, deciphering the language that children and teens used came down to figuring out what new words described old feelings, objects and situations.   What was "cool" in the 70s, "rad" in the 80s, and "sweet" in the 90s is "phat" today.   Now, with the widespread use … Continue Reading


June 11, 2007

NORTHWEST'S POWER IS STRONGEST WHEN UNITED

When it comes to electric power rates, Idaho and the entire Northwest are in an enviable position. Idaho had the lowest average power rates last year of any state in the entire country, and the Pacific Northwest had the lowest rates of any region in the country - due largely to low-cost hydroelectric power. It has been that way for quite a while. It is worth noticing that Idaho also emitted fewer pollutants and greenhouse gases per capita than any state, largely due to that same hydropower syste… Continue Reading


June 06, 2007

GLORY IN THE MAKING

On June 14, 1914, Franklin Lane, then Interior Secretary, delivered an address entitled "The Flag Maker," in honor of Flag Day.   Lane relayed a "conversation" that he had with the American flag in his office that morning.   Here are excerpts:   'I know you well. You are the man who worked in the swelter of yesterday, straightening out the tangle of that farmer's homestead in Idaho…or helped to clear that patent for a hopeful inventor in New York, or p… Continue Reading


May 30, 2007

AMERICAN COMPETITVE SPIRIT: ALIVE, BUT WELL?

"Market forces are already at work moving jobs to countries with less costly, often better educated, highly motivated work forces and more friendly tax policies."-"The Gathering Storm," 2006 National Academies Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy report to CongressWarning bells are sounding: â?¢ The U.S. share of global initial public offerings (IPO), where a company makes its IPO outside of its home country (a strong measure of the competitiveness of capital m… Continue Reading


May 23, 2007

A COST BEYOND MEASURE

FOR RELEASE CONTACT: Susan Wheeler (202) 224-5150Week of May 27, 2007 Laura Thurston Goodroe (202) 224-7500A COST BEYOND MEASUREGuest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoWhite crosses bearing the names of American military men and women symbolize the price paid by our military for our freedom. Certain cemeteries come to mind immediately: the American Military Cemetery in Normandy and, of course, veterans' cemeteries in every state. Others are not as well-known: A small cemetery outs… Continue Reading


May 16, 2007

LOCAL CONTROL BENEFITS IDAHO'S KIDS

LOCAL CONTROL BENEFITS IDAHO'S KIDSGuest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoAs a parent, it never ceases to amaze me how different my children are. They have different likes and dislikes, different personalities and different goals and interests. It's no surprise that their learning styles vary as well. If five children in the same family require different things in a school setting to help them succeed, then an education system that caters to millions of children from millions… Continue Reading


May 09, 2007

THE THIN BLUE LINE

May has been a tragic month for Idaho law enforcement. On May 3, Caldwell lost Stacey Heim, a promising young police officer and mother of two had been with the Caldwell police department for seven years, in a terrible accident. Then, in the early morning hours of May 20, Lee Newbill, 17-year law enforcement veteran and father of three, was gunned downâ??the first Moscow police department officer to be killed in the line of duty since Moscow became a city in 1899. These tragedies come at a time … Continue Reading


May 02, 2007

WE DELAY AT OUR TROOPS' PERIL

Perhaps the most important responsibility of the federal government under our Constitution is national defense. When that responsibility requires that we commit troops to war, we are obligated to provide them the means to accomplish the mission as determined by military leaders in the field. That support includes providing physical resourcesâ??equipment and trainingâ??and we stand behind the military's determination of effective rules of engagement. Our military deserves nothing less. When m… Continue Reading


April 19, 2007

FEDERAL DOLLARS AT WORK

Spring is a busy time for many of us. In Congress, spring means another season of appropriations. As Congress makes federal agency funding decisions for the next fiscal year, it's important to talk about one of the ways that we make sure hard-earned tax dollars are returned to our communities. It's important to control federal spending. Serving on the Senate Budget Committee, I make decisions about proposed federal expenditures through the lens of a fiscal conservative. Once adopted, a f… Continue Reading


April 11, 2007

KINDNESS COUNTS

Many have heard about the disparaging remarks made recently by a national talk radio host about a university women's basketball team. From the media to Capitol Hill to work and school, public and private discourse has steadily deteriorated. What was once considered uncouth, impolite or unspeakable has become disturbingly commonplace in words we use to talk to, or about, others.We need only look as far as our children to see this. According to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), 43 … Continue Reading


April 04, 2007

FINANCIAL LITERACY

In 2005, the average personal savings rate of Americans dropped into negative numbers, to minus .5 percent; in 2006, that doubled to minus 1 percent. The last time that the national savings rate was negative was during 1932 and 1933â??the Great Depression. These and other statistics indicate disturbing trends in the personal financial literacy of Americans:â?¢ 14.5: Percentage of disposable personal income that went to paying interest on personal debt in the second quarter of 2006--setting a rec… Continue Reading


March 28, 2007

FAILING OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. -Mark TwainLast week, Mark Twain's words rang true in Congress. The confidence with which the majority of the U. S. Senate passed its Fiscal Year 2008 budget resolution corresponds directly with the level of ignorance as to the hard facts of revenue, spending reduction and tax relief that we've seen over the past four or five years. Without a wake-up call in Conference committee debate, this "success" … Continue Reading


March 22, 2007

OBSERVATIONS ON THE LENDING INDUSTRY

Recent fluctuations in the subprime mortgage lending industry, stemming, in part, from a rise in foreclosures nationwide, made news headlines over the past few weeks. (Subprime lenders have the ability to extend credit to borrowers with less than perfect credit histories.) In the midst of some mild panic, including calls for more mortgage lending legislation and oversight, benefits of a vital housing industry are sometimes obscured. As a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urb… Continue Reading


March 14, 2007

TIME TO TALK TAXES

As April 17 approaches, some might be scrambling to file 2006 taxes. As liabilities or refunds are calculated, three important tax reform issues bear consideration. Thankfully, Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) limits and 15 percent rates on capital gains and dividends remain in effect temporarily. But, the future of these important tax reductions is in jeopardy if Congress doesn't act now to permanently fix the AMT and extend the 15 percent cap on tax rates for capital gains and dividends. Ofte… Continue Reading


March 07, 2007

DIVERSITY, OPPORTUNITY AND RENEWAL

Management of the Owyhee Canyonlands has been characterized by decades of conflict with heated political and regulatory battles. Diverse land uses co-exist in an area of intense beauty and unique character. The conflict over land management is both inevitable and understandable--how do we manage for diversity and do so in a way that protects and restores the quality of that fragile environment? In this context, the Owyhee County Commissioners and several others said "enough is enough" … Continue Reading


February 28, 2007

FROM ROCK OIL TO SWITCHGRASS

Innovation lies at the heart of the American penchant for successful enterprise, as evidenced in our energy history. In 1859, Americans were feeling a financial pinch from the cost of whale oil. Used for lamps and lubricants at the time, whale oil was becoming increasingly unaffordable. A Pennsylvania company became interested in extracting "rock oil" from the ground. When the company was seeking financial backers for its proposed drilling project, historians note that one banker scoff… Continue Reading


February 22, 2007

COMMON MAN, UNCOMMON LEADER

February is a great month to talk about Abraham Lincoln's roots as a common man, a man of the people. Lincoln lived a timeless example that provides no less leadership for America today than when he was at the country's helm 150 years ago.Lincoln had tragedy and challenges early in life. When he was nine, his mother died. When his father remarried, the new blended family of eight lived in a log cabin. As a youth, Lincoln became very close to his stepmother, a tender and strong relationsh… Continue Reading

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