March 08, 2006


She was sixteen--the age when many teenage girls are involved sports, music, school, church, close friendships and first dates. This would have been her... Was it just a year ago, maybe 18 months? How things had changed--standing in the county jail, eyes sunken, hair patchy, skin covered in open sores, rail thin, waiting for her brand-new baby to be taken for medical care for methamphetamine addiction and then foster care. What had she done? It was just a little hit less than two years agoâ?¦Thi… Continue Reading

March 08, 2006


English historian Arnold Toynbee wryly observed, â??America is like a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.â?? Notwithstanding Toynbeeâ??s conceit, he alludes to an indisputable truism: when America takes military or economic action, at home or abroad, the rest of the world is affected. Our grand history has prepared us for this role and means that our nation carries a responsibility regarding to world affairs and stability. United States&… Continue Reading

February 15, 2006


â??At present, two worries are paramount. That despite publicity and government educational efforts, many of those participating remain in the dark about what it will and will not coverâ?¦As to the first problem, it is perhaps unavoidable that some persons remain uninformed despite good intentions and earnest efforts. Whatever the arguments have been and will be against it, Medicare deserves a fair trial.â?? San Angelo Standard-Times This observation is a little dated--almost forty years to be e… Continue Reading

February 08, 2006


Prioritization is key to responsible personal and business budgeting. Financial needs should be carefully examined keeping in mind current realities and the longer view over years. Funding sources must be evaluated for their reliability. When it comes to the federal budget, the process gets even more complicated. Priorities must be established. Tough fiscal realities face us at all levels, dictating allocation of scarce federal funding resources. Unlike employment or business income these source… Continue Reading

February 01, 2006


Times of testing and trial reveal a number of truths. Character becomes evident. Priorities are defined. Hearts are revealed for what lies beneath the surface. Leaders emerge, as well as those willing to follow with wisdom, discernment and honesty. President Bush called this time in history â??a time of consequence.â?? Never easy, choices made now, as he told our nation in the annual State of the Union address, define Americaâ??s future at home and abroad.We choose courage in the ongoing battle … Continue Reading

January 25, 2006


According to national research, thereâ??s a very real chance that about one-third of teenage girls in high school or middle school have been hit, punched or kicked by a boyfriend. Itâ??s highly likely that this violence didnâ??t just come out of the blue, and that verbal and emotional abuse preceded these attacks. If youâ??re a parent, are you aware that this happens regularly? Did you know that boys are also victims of dating violence? Did you know that teen dating violence has ended in death, … Continue Reading

January 18, 2006


For years now, landowners, environmentalists and state and federal agencies responsible for implementation and enforcement of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) have been working to improve the Act. The status quo is not producing the best possible outcome for species or people. And although stakeholders continue to advocate for meaningful improvements, the stalemate goes on. In the meantime, the survival of one species after another, and one ranch or farm after another is called into question. Th… Continue Reading

January 11, 2006


During my tenure in Congress, I have served on both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees. One of the most valuable tools I have discovered when preparing to write a farm bill is organizing a series of statewide town hall meetings. These meetings give me, my staff and agency staff the opportunity to gather information about the strengths and weaknesses of the bill from those who are most affected by farm policy on the ground in Idaho. This is valuable first-hand information that provides t… Continue Reading

January 04, 2006


When Alexis de Tocqueville, in his quest to learn more about our new country toured the United States in the early part of the 19th century, he noted in his diary that Americans were ready and willing givers to charity. Something he considered rather unique. He said that Americans saw a need, for a school, a hospital or a church, or any other kind of service, they formed an association and began to work on raising private funds to help. No one had to prompt them and there was no government invol… Continue Reading

December 21, 2005


On December 15, 2005, I introduced the bipartisan Collaboration for the Recovery of the Endangered Species Act (CRESA). For years now, Iâ??ve heard from many individuals and groups about the need to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As we debate this bill in 2006, I look forward to working with all who have concerns and suggestions on this critical issue. Over the years our state and nation have fiercely debated the merits of the ESA. But there is one fundamental concept on which all agr… Continue Reading

December 14, 2005


It is hard to believe that weâ??ve come to the close of yet another year. For many of us, the days, weeks and months have fairly flown by and now we find ourselves in the midst of December, perhaps wondering how weâ??ll be ready in time for our holiday celebrations, or for the really organized, thrilled to be done with most of the preparations. December provides an opportunity to think back on the yearâ??s events and look ahead to what 2006 will bring. Idahoans have seen both the departure and t… Continue Reading

December 07, 2005


Winter has come early to parts of Idaho this year. The grey snowy days, slippery roads and no small amount of shoveling might seem oppressive at times, but these cold winter days also bear the possibility of relief from the drought that has gripped Idaho for years now. Similarly, in the aftermath of the dot-com collapse, September 11 and the ongoing military efforts in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, the economy has been in an ongoing state of recovery that may have seeme… Continue Reading

November 30, 2005


Simplicity just isnâ??t a word synonymous with taxes. With nearly $150 billion spent annually on compliance, federal taxes are a confusing web of seemingly arbitrary rules, endless line items, schedules and worksheets. Even with multiple instruction books, maneuvering the maze of the tax code is costly and time-consuming. Individuals and businesses must participate in a national discussion about a simpler tax system, one that collects sufficient revenue to meet appropriate federal responsibiliti… Continue Reading

November 23, 2005


December is a time when we gather gifts for family and friends and for those in need. This generosity is generally understood in the context of a one-way actionâ??a true gift comes with no expectation of something in return. Our gain is the knowledge that the gift has brought someone else joy, respite or relief from trouble. The surprised and excited cries of children on Christmas morning; warm embrace of a loved one on a candlelit evening; or, knowing that a child or family somewhere else is wa… Continue Reading

November 16, 2005


HEARTY, HEALTHY AND HAPPY THANKSGIVINGGuest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoThanksgiving is just around the cornerâ??for many, a time of family, friends and food. Every family has its own special blend of dishes, as diverse as our proud American heritage. As we prepare for and enjoy our Thanksgiving dinners or provide for those less fortunate, itâ??s also a good time to think about our health as November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.Type 2 Diabetes accounts for 90-95 percent… Continue Reading

November 09, 2005


MORE THAN JUST A NAME ON A LIST Guest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoItâ??s just a name on a list--alone, not all that powerful. That is, until you consider what it means. The name, among many of the hundreds of World War II Idaho war dead preserved by the National Archives, was that of Albert Jacobsen from Burley. While I donâ??t know Albert Jacobsenâ??s family, most importantly, I do know that he was a seaman second class in the Navy and killed in the line of duty. It seems that … Continue Reading

November 02, 2005


SAVING THE BUDGET CANDLEGuest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoAn old farmer was once asked by a young man how it was he had become so wealthy."It's a long story," said the old man, "and while I'm telling it we may as well save the candle." And he put it out."You need not tell the story," said the youth. "I understand."With the natural and human-caused world events of the last four years, our nation has faced increasing deficits and une… Continue Reading

October 26, 2005


In the United States, it injures over 2 million people and kills 1,300 every year. 30 percent of women and 22 percent of men are victims in their lifetime. Sadly, these numbers represent only 50 percent of known cases. This is domestic violence. Itâ??s real, and itâ??s closer to home than many people think. Every Idaho community has stories of family violence. What an appalling tragedyâ??even having seen what I have in the capacity of a public official, itâ??s still difficult to understand how p… Continue Reading

October 19, 2005


Teddy Roosevelt first applied the term â??conservationâ?? to the process of wise-use and preservation of natural resources. A century later, conservation laws have successfully restored species like the American bald eagle, gray whale and peregrine falcon to sustainable populations. This is a terrific start to the greater goals of preserving wildland resources, which is the intention behind the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These goals have strong public support, including mine. The many people … Continue Reading

October 12, 2005


EARLY AMERICAN EMAIL?Guest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoWhat it would have been like had there been e-mail in our early American history?Think of it, "The Compiled E-mails of Thomas Jefferson" or perhaps, the "Instant Messages of the Lewis and Clark Expedition." Although our third President may have delighted in e-mail, somehow it just wouldn't seem right for Thomas Jefferson to do anything but write letters. Itâ??s amusing to think about: one of my favori… Continue Reading

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