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Opinion

  •     When I wrote, a couple of weeks ago, that Lori Berenson is a criminal, I certainly was not setting myself up to be her judge.

  • For all his huffing and puffing about principle and concern for the American people, Sen. Arlen Specter, now known as a Democrat from Pennsylvania, serves as only the latest in a long list of sad examples of what Washington D.C. is all about — preserving one’s own power.

  • Use some

    common sense

        I have been reading the paper and talking to people about the way our school board handled the hiring of our new school superintendent and no one is very happy.

        We spent $30,000 to pay someone to look for someone to fill the job, when we had a good person here in the system that had experience and doing a good job.

        So my question is why did we spend all this money looking when we had a good assistant superintendent that should have gotten the job?

  • Last week, the House passed the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009, which would create new protections for consumers facing excessive credit card fees, sky-high interest rates, and unfair, incomprehensible credit card company agreements. I voted in favor of the bill. In addition, the House passed with wide bipartisan support an amendment I wrote that would require credit card companies to have a 6-month minimum period for promotional rates, or “teaser” rates, which primarily target college students.

  • It’s that time of year when warmer weather returns and students all across Virginia are preparing for their final tests of the school year while dreaming of their summer vacation. But it is also important that as the school year winds down we thank the hard working teachers who educate our children.

  •     My column on Lori Berenson, the young American woman held prisoner in Peru, received a rather vicious and judgmental response from my conservative colleague on this page.

        Instead of calling him “doctor,” as I have in the past, I think he should be called Judge John Barnhart, because he surely sat in severe judgment of this young woman.

  •     President Barack Obama has already taken all the reasonable steps he could to be nice to Cuba.

        President Obama reached out to the Cuban government by lifting the Bush administration restrictions on the ability Americans, with relatives in Cuba, to send money to family members there and visit them. He also opened the door for American telecommunications companies to do business there. This, of course, depends on the Cuban government allowing it.

  • Kevin VanDam might have walked away with the Advanced Auto Parts Blue Ridge Brawl trophy and the $100,000  champion’s check, but in the end it might just be the Smith Mountain Lake area which comes away as the real winner.

  • It’s obvious

        In response to Rick Howell’s March 18 column concerning embryonic stem cell research, I have one point to make which is never mentioned by the main stream media.  It is a fact that there have been successes as well as promising results with the use of adult stem cells.   On the other hand there have been zero successes or promise with embryonic stem cells.

  • I recently had the honor of traveling with the Surgeons General of the U.S. Army and Navy and a bipartisan group of Members of Congress from the Veterans’ Affairs Committee on a mission to Afghanistan. We had the unique opportunity to see first-hand the heroism and professionalism of our medical personnel saving lives overseas, from the battlefront to transition hospitals. Our soldiers were heartened to receive notes of support that I brought over from Rustburg Elementary and Middle School, Gladys Elementary, and Dillwyn Primary School.

     

  • Sunday, April 26th marks Debt Day for the 2009 fiscal year. This is the day the government starts paying for federal spending by borrowing money rather than using its revenue.  This means that all of the money spent from Washington the rest of this year will either be borrowed from other countries or borrowed from future generations, in turn increasing our federal debt dramatically.

  •     Under the leadership of President Barack Obama, the United States may finally be prepared to close the book on one of the most lingering and most useless remnants of the Cold War: the trade embargo against Cuba.

  •     Even the weather cooperated last week when Elisha Ray Nance’s body was laid to rest with the honors befitting an American hero.

        By the weather cooperating, I mean that it was perfect for a D-Day funeral. It was overcast, cold and wet, much like that morning when Ray headed for a French beach 65 years ago. Ray was second in command of Company A that day and the only company officer to reach the beach and live to tell about it. He was severely wounded in the process, wounded so badly that it took nearly a year for him to recover.

  • Common sense?

        Has anyone seen common sense lately? Apparently it has vanished off the planet, especially from this country. Every day common sense becomes scarcer as we lay to rest the folks that grew up hard during the great depression and survived WWII. Most of their offspring will believe any propaganda that comes across the tube. The sad thing is that the more education they have the easier they’re brainwashed.

  • In less than two months veterans of D-Day from all around the nation are expected to come to Bedford to participate in the 65th anniversary of D-Day gathering scheduled to be held in June. The event is expected to draw thousands and will likely be the last large-scale observance of the anniversary of D-Day. The event, sadly, will be one man short with the passing this week of Ray Nance.

  • Last Thursday marked my 100th day as your U.S. Congressman, and I’d like to report back on some of the successes of this first 100 days and what more remains to be done. While the extraordinary times we face have demanded some extraordinary measures, like the recovery bill, I believe we have laid a strong foundation for economic recovery and fought successfully for the priorities for Virginia's working families.

  • Just a few days ago millions of Americans from across this great country joined together to participate in taxpayer tea parties.  These gatherings were an opportunity for everyone to express their frustration and disdain for our broken tax code and the out-of-control government spending currently taking place in Washington.

  •     Tax Day 2009 had a new feature this year: so-called tax day tea parties, where people showed up to replicate the old Boston Tea Party and express their opposition to, well, paying taxes, I guess.

        Held in cities all across the country, including Roanoke, participants bemoaned the Obama stimulus package, the various government bailouts, and of course, the Internal Revenue Service, everyone’s least favorite government agency.

  •     President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, so far, has been a mixed bag.

  • Today’s the day.

        By midnight tonight everyone is to have paid “their fair share” to the United State Government. Don’t forget, as our vice president said, it’s our patriotic duty. If only we had some patriots in Washington ready to follow their own rhetoric. To hear them talk, you’d think April 15 should be a time for hot dogs, watermelon and fireworks — not the Fourth of July.