I almost always had first-day jitters. I remember my mom walking me to the door, handing me my lunch bag and kneeling down to kiss me on my forehead as I stepped out of the house and towards a new school year.
It was early 2009. The economy was in decline and the world was watching Washington to see what it would do. We need to jump start the economy, leaders in Washington said. We have to take strong measures in order to keep unemployment from rising, we heard.
The “preservation of liberty requires that the three great departments of power should be separate and distinct.” Those words written by James Madison in the Federalist Papers laid the groundwork for one of the cornerstones of our structure of government.
Sometimes what needs to be done is obvious. Today in America, one of those priorities is addressing jobs. We must empower businesses to create jobs. We must increase competitiveness for U.S. manufacturing. We must pay down America’s unsustainable debt burden.
Cody Childers had a childhood dream of serving in the United States Marine Corps and as a young high school senior, he courageously took the first steps towards making his dream a reality; he joined the delayed entry program at Grassfield High School in Chesapeake, which allows young men and women to make an early commitment to becoming Marines.
In the heat of the Arizona sun, armed with commands from senior government officials, special agents set out to instruct gun store owners to sell thousands of semi-automatic weapons to illegal straw purchasers. The weapons, once in the hands of criminals, would be run across the border in a scheme by the U.S. government to bring down Mexican arms smuggling networks.
Ants – they are the unwelcome summer guests; the plight of the summer picnic. One tiny mistake, one lemonade left unfinished, one cookie crumb fallen on a checked blanket is the surest way to put a damper on any summer afternoon. They appear slowly, one carefully making its way across the blanket to the fated leftovers, another following close behind.
Fifty-five years ago, the House Judiciary Committee considered a bill that would affirm one of the cornerstones upon which our nation was built. Although opposed by a small minority of the American public at the time, the bill received overwhelming support by Americans and members of Congress.
This week, I pulled up to a gas station pump to fill my car. As I held the hose and watched the numbers on the pump tick higher and higher, I couldn’t help but think of a column I had written several years ago. “In the last couple of weeks it has become less and less surprising that $20 is hardly sufficient to fill your tank at the gas station” I wrote.
The first couple months of a new year usually mean committing – or not committing – to resolutions, establishing new personal goals, and plotting out the family calendar for the year ahead. The first couple months of the new year also mean that state and federal taxes once again take center-stage. W-2s start to flood mailboxes.
When taken together, these events naturally paint a discouraging picture of America’s future. In the face of these events, there is a tendency for many people across the country to begin to think that America’s best days are behind us. And no matter what the circumstances, there are always those individuals who genuinely do not believe that America is exceptional or great.
During this time of year, when families are traveling and students are studying abroad, my office regularly receives calls to help constituents who are traveling outside the country. Often, this involves assisting individuals with obtaining a passport.
Every once in a while the smallest memories stick in your mind. They drift to the recesses of our consciousness and then, randomly, a seemingly unrelated occurrence triggers their return to our memory. Such it has been over the past week, as I have recalled that homemade sign in front of an old country nursery.
If you took 20 minutes to search for yourself on the Internet, what information would you find? Probably more than you are comfortable with. We put more information about ourselves online than ever before. We pay our bills online. We check the balance of our checking accounts on our phones. We file our taxes online.
A poll I came across this week noted that most Americans now want Congress to do nothing rather than to pass the proposed healthcare plan, a statistic that is interesting considering that most Americans simultaneously believe that something needs to be done to address problems within our healthcare system.