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Today's Opinions

  • Letters

    Bravo for the Community Orchestra

        Bravo! Bravo! Bravo for the Bedford Community Orchestra and its May 15 spring concert.

         Saturday was the first time we’ve attended one of the orchestra’s concerts, and we discovered how remiss we’ve been. We’re going to correct that in the future.

        The concert was marvelous—music from a Harry Potter movie, Copeland’s Rodeo, Abreu’s Tico-Tico, Ravel’s Bolero, and Celtic music from Lord of the Dance.

  • The case for financial reform

    In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy – that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base.  That focus has been lost, as many on Wall Street have accumulated vast wealth while the middle class falls steadily behind.  When regions of Virginia are experiencing more than 21% unemployment and so many working Americans continue to struggle in this economy, it is only just that our leaders protect the interests of America’s working people.

  • Home Star Energy Retrofit Act will create American jobs

    Last week, we received some encouraging news as the Department of Labor announced that the economy added 290,000 jobs in the month of April – 231,000 of them in the private sector. This is the largest number of new jobs in four years and the fourth consecutive month of job growth.

  • Congress has enacted more than $800 billion of tax cuts

    One of my top priorities in Congress has been reducing financial burden on middle- and working-class families during these tough economic times. Last week, USA TODAY reported that Americans paid their lowest level of taxes in 2009 since Harry Truman’s presidency. The news story reported: “Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports.

  • Congress needs a budget

    Traditionally, Congress is expected to agree on a budget for the upcoming fiscal year by April 15th.  It is this budget process at the beginning of each year where the decision is made regarding total federal spending for the year.  It is the budget that sets the stage for how fiscally responsible government spending will be.  Since the passage of the Budget Act of 1974, the House of Representatives has never failed to pass an initial budget to set the spending priorities for the following fiscal year.

  • Lessons from Kennedy’s ‘True Compass’

    Ted Kennedy‘s “True Compass” would be poignant for one fact alone if there wasn’t so much else to recommend it. This Kennedy brother, after all, was the only one who lived long enough to write a memoir.

        Pathos and tragedy accompanied every step of success his family ever recorded. For the prominent role they achieved in American history, they paid a very bloody and very sad price.

  • Financial reform is needed

        The oil spill in the Gulf has been consuming the news, and possibly Congress’ attention, so I haven’t seen much lately on the Senate’s efforts on a financial reform bill. Prior to that, a lot of news consisted of “Democrats” accusing Republicans of being in Wall Street’s pocket. Of course, “Democrats” are in Wall Street’s pocket, so maybe they know who their neighbors are.

  • Leaving his mark

    The fact that President Obama selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan — a liberal reflecting his political stance — to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens should come as no surprise. For all the handwringing over legislation that has been introduced over the past 18 months, the President’s opportunity to appoint SC justices provides the opportunity for him to leave his greatest legacy.