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A welcomed void in Washington, D.C.

Posted on Monday, July 8, 2013 at 8:52 am

Before I start this week’s column, did anyone notice that for a week, key figures in all branches of federal government vacated their perches in Washington, D.C. at the same time.

The Supreme Court justices recessed following their decisions on same-sex marriages and the California Prop 8 issue. Remember the Court issues ‘opinions’ and in all walks of life, people have their own opinions. That certainly was the case as a nation reacted to the ‘opinion’ of the nine justices.

Congress left for a week’s vacation as they went back home. They even managed to leave town before their work was done….just ask all those students and families with college loans. Due to the legislators’ inaction, the interest rate effective July 1 doubled on the loans (at least for the time being). I always had the impression to get your job done before going off on playtime (vacation)…that doesn’t apply to Congress, I guess. Politics comes first and gone is the attitude that ‘they work for us.’ – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement regarding student loan interest rates.
“Millions of American students are borrowing between now and the fall, and they’re trying to decide whether or not they can afford to go to school. Now is the time for Congress to pass a bipartisan, common-sense solution that will give students more long-term certainty and access to lower rates. The House passed a bill, and the Senate has a bipartisan plan that is very close to the president’s proposal. I hope Majority Leader Harry Reid will allow a vote on this common-sense solution immediately when the Senate is back in session.” Notice he used the words ‘bipartisan’ and ‘common sense.’ Both words have been swept under the rug way too long, in my opinion, by Washington politicians.

The President took his family on an million-dollar African vacation, stopping in three countries and even had a meeting with his predecessor in office, President George ‘W’ Bush. In many stops, the current Commander in Chief found that ‘W’ and his African policy under his administration had bettered the lives of many in those developing countries. Just on the eve of the President’s return, we get word that there will be a year’s delay for employers who have 50 or more employees to provide insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act which, many aspects, is geared to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2014. This has been a very rocky beginning to a second term for the President.

While our national leaders traveled to many different locations, one American remained locked behind in the Moscow airport in Russa, attempting to find a new home. Edward Snowden, the man who leaked information about a government program documenting calls for security purposes, is seeking asylum in a variety of countries but as we went to press, had not found any takers.

Well, take a respite from looking at Washington D.C. this week by taking in the Lincoln County Fair. Let your worries go away as you take in the events of the week.

By Bob Simmons