The rumors surrounding the small town of Kingston are running rampant these days. It seems everyone knows what’s going on, yet nobody “in the know” will say a thing.

In the early days of the Biden administration, the president signaled his intent to reverse border security rules that deterred immigrants from crossing the southern border illegally, “Migrant numbers increase along US-Mexico border as they await Biden’s immigration action” one news outlet underscored. As a result of these open border policies within the last year we’ve experienced record border crossings, overflowing detention centers and the release of single adult migrants into the U.S., among many other problems.

You can file this under the header, “Duh.”

This year’s tax season is expected to be difficult. Even the national director of the Taxpayer Advocate Service recently referred to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as an agency “in crisis” with backlogged returns, staff shortages and other historic pandemic-related challenges.

A lot has been on my mind as of late.

While young people sporting the National FFA Organization’s trademark blue corduroy jackets are a familiar sight across Arkansas, they are not typically seen on Capitol Hill. Recently, they were spotted in the halls of Congress as FFA’s national officers visited lawmakers.

Can you imagine the gall of a presidential candidate saying he will nominate a woman, and only a woman, to be the next justice on the United States Supreme Court? The audacity of the wanna-be president, forsaking all others just to nominate a woman.

President Joe Biden marked one year in office on January 20. So far his agenda hasn’t lived up to his own lofty rhetoric and unbridled confidence when he was asking voters to send him to the White House.

The absurdity around Madison County’s need for a jail was front and center at last week’s quorum court meeting.

A November 2021 Gallup poll identified inflation as one of the top five most important issues for Americans. This is no surprise considering the price increases we’re facing for everyday essentials. Each month, our dollars stretch less and too many are forced to make difficult decisions about their budgets.

Congress ended 2021 by strengthening national security and improving resources to our servicemembers and their families with passage of the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which will allow us to be better prepared for threats from our adversaries and protect our interests at home and abroad. The bipartisan support for this bill was a big accomplishment considering Congress spent much of the year debating the partisan agenda driven by the president and his allies in Congress. 

The one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, sadly, was a partisan event. Democrats gathered to remember what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, while most Republicans stayed silent. None spoke out about former President Donald Trump and his ties – whether direct or not – to those who stormed the Capitol.

A year ago this Thursday, the U.S. Capitol came under attack by a mob determined to stop lawmakers from carrying out their Constitutional duty: certifying Joe Biden as the new president. The storming of the Capitol was one of the saddest days in this country’s history. If you don’t truly believe that, then you side with those who destroyed public property, attacked law enforcement officers, went after sitting members of Congress and those who sought to overthrow the proceedings in the Capitol that day.

As we wrap up 2021, it’s only natural to reflect on the major news stories that developed and to remember those people we lost, be they local residents or national figures who we knew from afar.

We recently celebrated the life of former Senator Bob Dole, an American hero who dedicated his life to serving others. He sacrificed his own safety and almost paid the ultimate price as an Army lieutenant during World War II and, after he was saved, the people of his Kansas hometown rallied to support his recovery needs. 

The 2022 election cycle will be a very interesting time in Madison County, to say the least.

This article is not an attack on those who hold dear traditional values and beliefs. Nor is it about diminishing individuals’ rights to participate in the democratic process. For I, along with many I know, hold tight to long-established, conservative values and beliefs while in pursuit of just and right personal causes. But there comes a time when wrongdoing on either side of the political aisle must be called out for what it is. 

At Monday night’s regular school board meeting, Huntsville High School Principal Roxanne Enix announced graduation would take place May 12, 2022, at Eagle Stadium. She paused and smiled and then said, in 2023, the district won’t have to worry about weather because the ceremonies will take place in the Huntsville Activity Center, which is set to open in a little less than a year. 

When Bryan King lost his state senate seat to Bob Ballinger in 2018, he did so by fewer than 400 votes. It seems as if the Green Forest resident is considering a rematch with Ballinger, who lives in Oark and represents Madison County in the state senate.

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