Greetings to all of you who shall receive this weekly missive. What a week, as we draw closer to a very Merry Christmas.
We received our Congressional committee assignments this past week, and I was humbly pleased to secure positions on the House Armed Services and Small Business committees. These two committees will afford me the ability to serve America by protecting our military and also the foundational economic engine for our country, small businesses.
In keeping with the latter, I also had the chance to visit several places that promote job creation and opportunity in our South Florida community. First, I had an impressive tour at the main campus of Keiser University in Ft. Lauderdale. During the tour, I learned how the Obama administration is attacking “for profit” education institutions. Next, I had a breakfast with members of the Ft. Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority. After that, I went to the groundbreaking for the United Technologies Test Fire and Safety site at the Pratt Whitney, Sikorsky campus. During the tour of Pratt Whitney, I had a chance to walk through the Blackhawk helicopter assembly line…brought back some great memories!
Also very memorable, was my attendance at the annual Holocaust Survivors luncheon, held in Boca Raton at Temple B’nai Torah. I cannot even begin to express the emotion of being with those who suffered through such a horrific ordeal. In my remarks to the crowd, I stressed my firm commitment that “never again” means exactly that. It is a message which America must clearly send to the despots, dictators, autocrats, and theocrats who threaten the modern State of Israel, which we rededicated in 1948…but has existed for 5771 years.
There were a couple of events this week which were simply fun to do. The first was Thursday evening in Jupiter where I spoke to the Palm Beach Sheriffs Office SWAT annual Holiday dinner. I told these brave men and women that they are the everyday guardians of our community and examples of leadership. Being in that room with them reminded me of what it means in America to be exceptional…..and a hat tip to SWAT Captain Robert Allen.
On Friday morning, I visited the high school of my oldest daughter, Aubrey, and talked with several Senior classes on our current economic situation. These young people are far more attuned and savvy than we were back in 1979 when I was a high school senior!
Also this week, I sent a letter to GOP Majority Leader-Elect Eric Cantor referencing the 2011 House calendar pertaining to it only having 123 days for us to be in session on Capitol Hill. Perhaps I have come from a different background, but I truly believe that the desperation and criticality of these times demand greater exertions from those elected to serve America. We shall see if the calendar is adjusted.
On December 14th my wife Angela celebrated another birthday…and I am not so stupid as to say how many. It is always a nice time for Aubrey and Austen to sing to Angela and express their love…..no, I do not sing and my love had better be expressed in a gift!
December 14th will now also have another significance for me…in memory of someone that I have never met and did not know…but yet I am bonded to forever. It was the day that Marine Lance Corporal Jose A. Hernandez, of Lake Worth, Florida, lost his life in Afghanistan. Hernandez would have turned 20 years old this coming week. On Friday night I was privileged to attend, along with Angela and former Congressman Mark Foley, the beach side candlelight vigil for this young warrior who gave the last full measure of devotion.
The following morning, the sacrifices of this young Marine were immediately apparent. We turned over almost a thousand toys to Marine Reserve Non-Commissioned Officers for the Toys for Tots program. The service of Lance Corporal Hernandez means we live in a Country where we are free to give to those less fortunate. We live in a Country where warriors such as our Marines can serve on distant battlefields and yet show their kind benevolence towards those who are less fortunate here in America.
May my Warrior Brother requiem en pace…………
In keeping with the theme of sacrifice, our family attended the 27th Annual First Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale Christmas pageant. The wonderful evening full of spectacular singing and performances reminds us of what Christmas truly means. It is the time to remember that “God so loved us all that he gave us His only begotten Son”. This is the most special gift of sacrifice for those of us who are looking for that which will fill the spiritual void in our lives.
We must understand that there is nowhere in our founding documents where separation of church and state is mentioned. It is a reference to a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist minister alluding to our country never having a head of state which is also the head of church. Separation of Church and State does not mean the separation of faith from the individual. Many thanks to Pastor Larry Thompson and First Baptist Church of Ft Lauderdale for an incredible pageant event.
Also, thanks to my own Pastor, Scott Eynon of Community Christian Church in Tamarac, for calling me this week just to say he was keeping me in his prayers!
Something to watch out for! My appearance on Israel TV January 18th on the number one English language show in Israel, “Tuesday Night Live in Israel.” The show is broadcast throughout all of South Florida on Comcast, Atlantic Broadband and on JLTV on DIRECTV, and into 26 million homes nationwide. I had the chance and be interviewed with the show’s host, Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel on Sunday while he was in town briefly. The taping will be aired on the January 18th show-which by the way will be taped live in America- in Ft. Lauderdale.
In closing, I would like to offer my congratulations to President Barack Hussein Obama for coming to grips with the reality check of November 2, 2010. His efforts to ensure that the American people will not have a huge tax increase on 1 January is to be commended. However, we in the 112th Congress shall work hard to end the necessity of unemployment checks before the 13 month extension point. Furthermore, we look forward to working with the President on creating effective, efficient, and limited federal government as we curtail spending and reduce the size and scope of a bloated, redundant, and duplicitous Washington DC.
Lastly, just a final thought…the past two years have seen the highest amount of casualties in Afghanistan, we have ten of our Warriors sitting in prison at Ft Leavenworth, North Korea has sunk a South Korean naval vessel and fired 200 artillery rounds into South Korea, Iran marches on towards reaching nuclear capability, our borders are unsecure and a border patrol agent was just killed as Mexico begins to resemble Iraq or Afghanistan………..and the most important Strategic defense issue for the lame duck Congress was to repeal the policy called “Dont Ask, Dont Tell”.
My priorities will be to ensure the enemy which killed LCPL Jose A Hernandez gets killed, whereever he exists……my concern is not making our military conform to individual behavior. However, the liberal left of this lame duck Congress, and some misguided Republicans, are truly more concerned with whom members of our fighting force sleep and appeasing, at a last gasp, impertinent special interest groups.
Utterly disturbing, totally pathetic.
Steadfast and Loyal,