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Opinion

  • ... Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

  •     State and local governments all over America are hoping that Obama Claus leaves them the economic stimulus presents, next month, that they’ve asked for.

  •     Now that we have a new president the work can begin to establish a better reputation for the United States around the world, and that means a new beginning in foreign policy.

        With Barack Obama as president, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and Sen. John Kerry chairing the foreign relations committee, all the right players are in place to change the arrogance and hubris that marked the last administration’s approach to the world.

  • America is about ready to do something it has never done before, as a nation.  This is an historic moment in our history.  On Tuesday at around noon we inaugurated the 44th president of the United States.  As we are all aware of our new president is black man.  This is an Historic Moment because of the election of the first black president in our nation’s history… Congratulations,  Barack Obama.

  • This year’s General Assembly began with all of the customary events taking place.  Legislators reacquainted themselves with their surroundings and started the process of reviewing bills that have been assigned to their committees.  On opening day, Governor Kaine delivered his State of the Commonwealth Address with all of the usual ceremony.  But although much was similar to past sessions, there are a lot of differences this year.

  • Last week, in the opening hours of the 111th Congress, I introduced bipartisan legislation that would amend the United States Constitution to force Congress to rein in spending by balancing the federal budget.  I am pleased that over 130 Members of the House, Republicans and Democrats alike, have signed on in support of my legislation, House Joint Resolution (H.J. Res) One, which ensures that the federal government is held accountable and that the money our citizens work so hard to earn is not squandered on wasteful spending and programs. 

  • In this historic Inauguration week for our nation, let us look forward with hope towards a new kind of politics in Washington that puts problem-solving ahead of partisanship. Let us work together towards an economic recovery for working families that heeds Dr. King's call for economic justice.

  • A good start

        Tom Perriello is off to a grand start as the new Congressional Representative for the 5th District of VA. He has already been back to many areas meeting with business leaders and local representatives listening to their concerns and looking for new ways to help the 5th. Tom has also been busy on Capital Hill. He has taken a seat on two committees, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Veteran’s Affairs Committee.

  • From Hampton Roads to L.A., St. Paul to San Angelo, communities across this nation are making their lists.

        And they’re checking those lists twice, hoping that President-elect Barack Obama will shower them with Christmas in February gifts from his $775 billion (and growing) stimulus package that is supposed to cure the financial aches and pains being felt in pocketbooks of hard-working Americans. We can’t trust government to provide the answer to this.

  •     I pontificated on the meaning of “change” in this space back on Oct. 1. I noted that the word “change” is meaningless as it could be a change for the better, or for the worse.

  •     In the last year or so there have been some very visible bumper stickers that say “1/20/09: Bush’s Last Day.” Those of us who have long awaited the departure of this particular president now have only days to go.

        When the question about a president’s “legacy” is centered around whether or not he’s the worst president ever, well, enough said. Even Bush’s most ardent supporters have only one line to run with: History hasn’t yet rendered its judgment.

  •     Social Security has a new online retirement application and a new celebrity spokesperson to help spread the word.

        You can apply for retirement benefits from the comfort of your home or office at www.socialsecurity.gov. There’s no need to drive to your local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. You can complete the new online retirement application in as little as 15 minutes. It’s so easy

  • The single greatest challenge facing our country in the new year and the years ahead is asserting the kind of affirmative and creative leadership necessary to regain the confidence of the American people in our system of governance, our nation’s leaders and our standing in the world. 

  • Just a few weeks ago, we marked the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  This document, a direct result of the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany during World War II, was intended to clarify the international consensus on the most fundamental of human rights.  Despite growing international support for the core ideals such as the right to life, liberty and security of person contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, you just have to turn on your nightly news to see blatant violations of these princ

  • This week, I was blessed to be sworn in as our district’s Representative in the 111th U.S. Congress. It’s a sacred duty to serve you in Washington, and I am already hard at work on strategies for economic revival for Southside and Central Virginia and for a new era of accountability for our corporate and government leaders.

     

  • Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine is to be congratulated for being selected to head the Democratic National Committee. The appointment is a great honor and it demonstrates the hard work Kaine put in to helping President-elect Barack Obama get elected — both here in Virginia as well as across the nation — this past year.

  •     2008 ended with fireworks of a very unpleasant kind.

        Shortly before the end of the year, Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization that rules Gaza decided to end its six month truce with Israel. Even during that time, the Islamic militants occasionally violated the truce, firing rockets into Israel. Once the truce ended, the militants began firing larger numbers of rockets and mortars.

  •     I haven’t seen “Frost/Nixon” yet, but I will. Hollywood’s latest political film tells the story of the television interview of the disgraced president by British journalist David Frost.

        Coming in the immediate years after his resignation, when Nixon still hadn’t admitted any guilt, Frost got him to utter one memorable line: “If the president does it, it’s not illegal.”

  • It has been widely reported that one of the top priorities of the incoming Obama Administration is the enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation which strikes a huge blow to the privacy rights of workers throughout the country.  With a title like the “Employee Free Choice Act” you would expect this legislation to protect the American worker.  Unfortunately, it does the exact opposite and its title is deliberately misleading. 

  • On Sept. 30, 2008, President Bush signed the FY2009 Defense Appropriations Act to fund programs authorized in the FY2009 Defense Authorization Act  he signed Oct. 14, 2008.  These two acts are now law and include several significant changes in benefits for the active duty military, reserves, National Guard, military retirees and veterans.  Some of the changes affecting retirees and veterans follow: