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    Business and Politics Need More Women

    In the Senate, there are twenty-one women and seventy-nine men.

    In the House, eighty-four women and 351 men occupy the chamber.

    On the Supreme Court, there are three women and six men.

    In governors’ mansions, there are five women and forty-five men.  Over the years, only twenty states have at one time or another had a woman as governor.

    In the Fortune 500 companies, thirty two of the CEOs are women (6.4 percent).  While this is the highest proportion of female CEOs in the 63-year history of the Fortune 500, the number remains abysmally low.  In the Fortune 1000, it is a mere 5.4 percent.  Women hold 18.8% of the board seats of companies in the 2016 Fortune 1000 list. The 2016 list contains 967 active companies.  In 2015, women held 17.9% of the board seats of 960 active Fortune 1000 companies.  A very poor increase.

    Yet, according to Catalyst, an industry researcher, Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on their boards had significantly higher financial performance.  Catalyst reports: “The return on investment to shareholders of the companies with the highest percentage of women is, on average, more than fifty percent better than those with the lowest number of women.”

    I can cite similar statistics from around the world and in other walks of life.  Indeed, in religion and the military, representation of women in leadership has been abysmal for generations.

    That needs to change—and it starts with appointments to the boardrooms and votes for women in office.

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    Creating Jobs: America’s Number 1 Priority

    Creating new jobs is priority number one for the United States.  No on, whether they label themselves Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Conservatives, Liberals, Progressive disagrees with the proposition that the more jobs we add to the economy, the easier it is to address other challenges such as crime, unwanted pregnancy, family values, and more.

    So far in 2017, employment in the United States has been growing.  In July, The Washington Post reported that the economy added 209,000 jobs.  Bloomberg reports that in the third quarter, America saw the economy grow at 3 percent.

    But creating jobs where there is no prospect of a long-term future is futile.  One sector of growth illustrates my point.  Alternative energy is a good example.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think alternative energy is a wonderful idea.  Nor do I think we should abandon efforts to explore such alternatives.  But alternative energy  not economically sustainable when conventional energy is so much cheaper for consumers and so available here.

    If we want sustainable job growth, let’s support deeper exploration of the abundant gas and oil reserves here in America.  According to The Daily Signal, our current administration is proposing the largest gas and oil lease sale to date, with over 77 million acres of federal waters available in the Gulf of Mexico.  Provided we address the legitimate environmental concerns over such projects, both sides of the aisle should fully support the efforts.

    We need long-term jobs, not temporary employment.  Expanding job growth in the traditional gas and oil industries is a good first step.

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    Pleading the Fifth and the Constitution

    The Russian investigation is an ongoing federal exploration that has been underway since before the November 2016 presidential election.  Each time a new name is revealed or leaked, that person is dragged into the spotlight of the House intelligence committee investigating President Trump’s ties to Russia.  Many of these people, most recently Fusion GPS (the firm that created the dossier of memos on the alleged Russian aid) and Carter Page (Former Trump policy advisor) plead their Fifth Amendment right.

    The fundamental underpinning behind this action is the Bill of Rights’ Fifth Amendment to our Constitution and its promise that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

    The Bill of Rights assures us that the oppression and suppression that caused America to fight its revolution for freedom will never be repeated.  When anyone invokes these protections, it is not for us to be critical or judgmental.  Indeed, it is reason to celebrate and remember that such inalienable rights do not exist elsewhere in the world and are a blessing we must never forget.

    I applaud their right to assert the Fifth Amendment.  Properly exercising constitutional rights is not for me—or Congress—to judge.  It may make the job of Congress harder.  It may delay the investigation and make it more difficult to find some of the facts.

    But in a contest between efficiency and the Constitution, the Constitution must win.