I am very happy to spend some time with you this evening sharing views on a wide array of issues.
I have spent part of the day reflecting on the true meaning of Memorial Day. We end up the month of May 2007 with almost 120 American deaths in Iraq.
I don't know how exactly to propose this - but I think we should have a few moments of inactivity, silence and reflection on the sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform serving us today....and those that have gone before them.
I think of the 117 soldiers that died in May so far and the many more that have been wounded. I'm sitting at my desk in Boise knowing that most of America grieves as well, but in a large sense the grieving is local and personal with the families and loved ones of the fallen. Our nation is waging war but not all of us are making sacrifices.
As I sit here waiting for our exchange to begin, I am angry at George Bush for rushing us into this war and for mis-understanding the realities of the situation on the ground in Iraq. His delusional policies have left our reputation around the world in tatters and he has jepoardized the viability of our military infrastructure to fight in other theaters of war. Importantly, George Bush has squandered opportunities to unite our country after 9/11.
As a former US Army military intelligence officer I am very upset at the President's inability to face some hard realities in this war: his policies have failed us and he should set a new course of action.
The recent escalation is not the answer.
I have always tried to interact with Idaho voters and constituents. In 1982, I took a job for approximately one week in each of the 19 counties of the First Congressional District. This approach allowed me to interact with people of all walks of life. I learned a great deal. I loved the town meetings I held when I served in the Congress in the early '90s. In my last statewide campaign I shook 22,209 hands across Idaho to learn what was on the minds of Idahoans. It paid off. I learned a great deal by meeting people where they worked, lived and recreated.
Tonight and in subsequent live blog sessions I hope to continue to learn from you and to share my thoughts on how we can solve some problems in Idaho and in our country.
Many thanks. Larry