June 28, 2006


In the movie National Treasure, Nicholas Cage plays a man obsessively searching for a treasure hidden away by a secret society in the 1700s. His quest leads him to a map supposedly printed (in invisible ink, of course) on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Predictably, National Archives officials are disinclined to a) believe the story and, b) check the back of the fragile document. Cageâ??s character decides to â??borrowâ?? it; the bad guy gets the same idea; and, both descend upon th… Continue Reading

June 21, 2006


Fiscal health requires lowered taxes and reduced spending. Congress has taken steps toward the first, now we must turn our attention to the second. For this reason, Iâ??ve joined my colleagues in the Senate to introduce the Stop Over-Spending Act of 2006, or the S.O.S. Act. This legislation, intended to curtail dangerous spending habits that our nation has acquired in recent years, has cleared the Budget Committee and is on its way to the floor for consideration by the full Senate. Our budget pr… Continue Reading

June 14, 2006


I see them most often when driving. Yellow ribbons adorning vehicles and windowsâ??a reminder that fellow American men and women are going about routines far more dangerous than our usual drive to work or trip to the store. We hear intermittent success stories and regrettably more doom and gloom in our media about the progress of the rebuilding and emergence of democracy in places far from home. These reports depict single observations of events and trends. Each may be valid, but should be consi… Continue Reading

June 07, 2006


â??In order to save anything at all we had to begin firing the buildings on the outskirts of the town, and then the terrible work of forcing the backfire towards the big blaze began. I will never forget the sight. An impassable wall of fire was eating its way down the hillside. Our backfire, which had assumed huge proportions, was creeping up towards it. In exactly four and one-half minutes after we started our fire, the two met. Never have I seen anything like it plunging at each other like two… Continue Reading

May 31, 2006


â??On September 1, 1805, the party set out, traveling cross-country over high, rugged hills, to todayâ??s North Fork of the Salmon Riverâ?¦They were entering mountains far more difficult to pass than any American had ever attemptedâ??steep and massive peaks thrust up by tectonic forces deep within the earth, thickly timbered in pineâ?¦The confusion of creeks and ravines cutting through deep mountainsides has made the route the expedition used the most disputed of the entire journey. Clark descri… Continue Reading

May 24, 2006


Not for fame or reward, not for place or for rank, not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity, but in simple obedience to duty as they understood it, these men suffered all, sacrificed all, daredall, and died.-Inscription at Arlington National CemeteryIs the car packed? Someone taking care of the animals? Reservations made? Is the salad finished? Kids ready? Is there charcoal for the grill? Enough soda, chips and dip? These questions may sound familiar this time of year as we celebrate the Mem… Continue Reading

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


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

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

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

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