May 17, 2006


Donâ??t talk to strangers. Most of us have heard these words time and again. In our cyber age, this advice takes a slightly different form, but the sentiment remains the same--we must teach our children to use the web safely and responsibly. 2003 Census data showed that 56 percent of Idaho households had Internet access. The Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor estimates a 10 percent increase since that time. With the State Legislatureâ??s recent approval of $5 million in matching funds for ru… Continue Reading

May 10, 2006


When visiting Washington, D.C., the White House, Washington Monument, Capitol, and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials tend to be the main attractions to tourists. After spending considerable time here over the past 14 years, Iâ??ve learned about an entirely different Washington, one that includes these important monuments and memorials to our celebrated political and military history, but one that also caters to specific interests of many different people. The worldâ??s most-visited museum, the… Continue Reading

May 04, 2006


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May 03, 2006


On a chilly November day in Shelley in 1914, newly-hired Village Marshal Lafayette Hampton left his wife and two daughters to work his 17th day of duty. Little did his family know that their husband and father would not return home. Called to stop a robbery at a local shop, the 28-year-old marshal pursued the thief to the outskirts of town and was gunned down. Now, almost a century later, Hampton will be rightfully accorded a place of honor along with his fellow fallen officers at the National P… Continue Reading

April 27, 2006


With recent upbeat news about the economy both in Idaho and nationwide, weâ??re hearing terms like unemployment rate, gross domestic product (GDP), durable goods, consumer confidence, housing starts and new home sales, to name a few. These different components of the overall economy, evaluated comprehensively, create an encouraging financial outlook. Idahoâ??s unemployment rate, the percentage of the population unemployed who actively looked for work, fell to 3.2 percent in March, the lowest sin… Continue Reading

April 19, 2006


FOR RELEASE CONTACT: Susan Wheeler (202) 224-5150Week of April 23, 2006 Laura Thurston Goodroe (202) 224-7500HEALTH = FRUIT AND VEGIES ²Guest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoIn 2002, the Outdoor Industry Association ranked Idahoans, 16 and older, as top in the nation in percentage of the population participation in outdoor activities. It makes sense, considering the beauty and accessibility of our natural recreation resources and the many local and state initiatives which have furt… Continue Reading

April 12, 2006


Around this time of year, you may feel a little like the man who, when he claimed the federal government as a dependent on his tax return, was disappointed when they disallowed the claim because he wasnâ??t contributing more than half his income to support it. In April, taxes can seem particularly onerous. With the tax cuts of 2001, 2003 and 2004 still in effect, 75 percent of federal taxpayers fall in tax brackets of 10 to 25 percent. While these cuts have contributed to significant economic gr… Continue Reading

April 05, 2006


Our national character includes two abiding principles: one, we are a nation of immigrants; and two, we live under a peaceful system that upholds the rule of law. Within our borders, every culture and ethnicity in the world is represented. Almost all who live here can easily trace their ancestry to a foreign country, often with great pride. For most, this pride is integral to, not in conflict with our American citizenship. Our political and economic stability is rooted in a deep, very American r… Continue Reading

March 22, 2006


During the recent debate in the Senate over the federal budget, Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and I introduced an amendment that would stop the United States government from raiding the so-called Social Security Trust Fund. I highlight the term â??Trust Fundâ?? because itâ??s misleading. Every year the federal government uses the surplus deposited into the Old Age Survivors and Disability Income (OASDI), more commonly referred to as Social Security, to cover expenses incurred in other go… Continue Reading

March 15, 2006


While she was putting her eleven younger siblings to bed, word reached the house: the British were burning Danbury, Connecticut, 25 miles away. Sixteen-year-old Sybilâ??s father was colonel of the local militia and his men lived throughout a wide area around their hometown of Fredericksburg, New York. The responsible young patriot knew what to do. Convincing her father to let her go, Sybil rode her horse 40 miles that dark April night in 1777 to sound the alarm. The men she roused from sleep arr… Continue Reading

March 08, 2006


The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered.Moral: When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.-Robert Fulghum (1937- ) American writerFebruary is a month associated primarily with Valentines Day--a time when many of us share love, friendship and encouragement with family and friends. It is a time when caring for others is at the forefront of our thoughts an… Continue Reading

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

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