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Opinion

  • In March and April of this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made a couple of important announcements concerning the Agent Orange (AO) disability program.   These included an announcement of the proposed rule published March 25 in the Federal Register stating that about 86,000 Vietnam War veterans, their surviving spouse or estate will be eligible for retroactive disability compensation from the VA – an average of 11.4 years for the veteran and 9.6 years for survivors.

  •     Conventional wisdom in the nation’s capital right now is that Democrats are up against it in this fall’s elections and will probably lose a great many House seats and at least a few seats in the Senate.

        Polling shows a very strong feeling against incumbents, but that feeling goes both ways, against Democrats and Republicans, too.

        The party in power in the White House almost always loses Congressional seats in mid-term elections. It is no different this year.

  •     “I believe in Jesus Christ and I want to thank my Lord and Savior for loving me the way He does,” - Nate Boyer, Bedford County Republican Party Chairman.

  • Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte is hoping to reform the often abused earmark process that dominates wasteful spending in Washington, D.C.

        Good luck with that.

        If the healthcare legislation fiasco of this past year taught this nation anything, it’s this – anyone can be bought if the price is right.

  • New health reform law

        The debate over a new healthcare reform plan that has been waged for over a year has finally resulted in a law.

        Unfortunately the end of this debate did not yield bi-partisan results, and the law currently going forward will not likely survive the Supreme Court. There are a few reasons I do not support this final law, which are, among others:

  • One of my top priorities in Congress has been increasing access to quality, affordable education. To make our region competitive in the global economy, we must invest in our workforce, starting with pre-K and continuing through college and community college. That’s why I was proud to support the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which was included in the health care reconciliation bill that was signed into law on March 30, 2010. This measure will make college more affordable and at no cost to taxpayers by making common-sense reforms to the federal student loan system.

  • More than 7 million jobs have been lost in the last three years and over 3 million of those jobs have been lost since the President signed the so-called stimulus plan into law last year.  Unfortunately, these are numbers that the American people are all too familiar with and yet the Congress continues to pursue an agenda that will further threaten American job creators.  While Americans are asking “Where are the jobs?”, the Majority in Congress continues to demonstrate that they do not understand the priorities of our constituents or appreciate how private sector

  •     Radio talk show personality Neil Boortz is popular with conservatives, especially those who consider themselves libertarians and/or independents.

        While Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are obvious mouthpieces for the Republican Party, Boortz doesn’t play the party line.

  •     It looks like nobody is too keen on immigration reform, even the “Democrats.” Earlier this month, shortly after Senator Charles Schumer brought up the subject at a news conference, Senator Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, quickly said that it wouldn’t be addressed during this Senate work session. He didn’t offer an idea of when the “Democrats” would bring it up.

  • Bedford County residents enjoyed a double-dose of good fortune last week. First the county supervisors passed a budget without raising taxes and then the world’s best bass fishermen put on a four-day show that thousands enjoyed and will continue to pay dividends to this region for months, and possibly years, to come.

  • Disappointed program won’t continue

        Last summer I was privileged to attend Friday’s at the Museum hosted by the Bedford County Museum.

  • enealogical Library continues to honor Confederate History Month with another story about buildings that have a link to the War Between the States. Last week we wrote about Fancy Grove in the southern part of the county. This story is about another home that was near there.

  •     With the impending resignation of Associate Justice John Paul Stevens from the U.S. Supreme Court, President Obama will get at least one more chance to select a justice.

        Obama took a relatively safe road with his choice last year of Sonia Sotomayor. As the first Hispanic on the court, she was a historic pick. But she was, and remains, a person with what is basically a middle of the road political philosophy.

  •     When I lived in Norfolk, a quarter of a century ago, the place took a direct hit from a Category I hurricane.

  • So you want a vanity license plate? Take note: You just can’t say anything you want. The word crew is watching.

        The Department of Motor Vehicles keeps a close watch on what you’re trying to say on those plates and if you get too racy, your effort won’t travel far. 

        Good for the DMV. License plates are no place for Virginia residents to slip their filth into the public domain.

  • Clarification to editorial

    Editor’s note: Last week’s editorial on the Bedford County Public Schools budget stated that the Early College program was a casualty of this year’s budget. While the school system’s support of the program is ending, CVCC is still offering the program. The following letter was submitted from CVCC about the program.

  • The Bedford Museum and Genealogical Library continues to honor Confederate History Month by featuring houses in Bedford County that played a role in the War Between the States.

  •     You’ve got to hand it to Governor Bob McDonnell; he knows how to put his finger in the wind and discern the prevailing political direction, even when it runs counter to his ultraconservative instincts.

  •     I wonder if this is politically motivated?

        Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported (Page B1 of the Apr. 6 edition) that Toyota faces a $16.4 million fine in the United States. According to this news article, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is seeking the fine, accusing Toyota of knowingly hiding a problem with sticky gas pedals from U. S. regulators. This is the maximum fine allowed under U. S. law and vastly exceeds the previous record of $1 million.

  • Bedford County escaped the worst of budget cuts for the school system when the General Assembly restored millions of dollars that were proposed to be eliminated from the state funding for the 2010-2011 school year.

        That meant fewer jobs had to be eliminated and no schools had to be closed. That certainly helped ease the pain that could have been felt next year. Instead of losing 124 jobs, the school system will only eliminate half of those. Most of those spots will be handled through attrition and through a retirement incentive, but not all of them.