Word came Tuesday that now a third UNRWA school in Gaza was housing rockets for Hamas. (How the missiles were never noticed before was unclear — maybe they were stacked beneath the erasers and paper clips or hidden under student spitballs.) From the Jerusalem Post [1]:

Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, did not name who was responsible for putting weapons in the school, but quickly criticized whoever was at fault.
“We condemn the group or groups who endangered civilians by placing these munitions in our school. This is yet another flagrant violation of the neutrality of our premises,” Gunness said in a statement. “We call on all the warring parties to respect the inviolability of UN property.”

Gunness added that a UN munitions expert was called in to dispose of the weapons, but could not get to the site due to fighting on the ground.

Further, [2] is reporting:

This week, UNRWA supplies and building materials had been found [3] in Hamas’s tunnel infrastructure, which has been used to smuggle weapons and carry out attacks on the State of Israel.

How’d that get there? More of that pesky teenage pilfering when teacher turned his back? Or was it something a bit more intentional? No wonder The Algemeiner is asking: Are UN Agencies Fighting for Human Rights or Supporting Terrorism? [4] It notes:

None of this is new and seemed only to be surprising to UNRWA itself. The group has a long-documented history of terrorist ties, something UNRWA’s former Commissioner General Peter Hansen openly admitted in 2004 to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation stating, “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll … and I don’t see that as a crime.”


Americans need to be alarmed by what Obama’s actions on behalf of Hamas reveal about the general direction of American Middle East policy under his leadership.

When US President Barack Obama phoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday night, in the middle of a security cabinet meeting, he ended any remaining doubt regarding his policy toward Israel and Hamas.

Obama called Netanyahu while the premier was conferring with his senior ministers about how to proceed in Gaza. Some ministers counseled that Israel should continue to limit our forces to specific pinpoint operations aimed at destroying the tunnels of death that Hamas has dug throughout Gaza and into Israeli territory.

Others argued that the only way to truly destroy the tunnels, and keep them destroyed, is for Israel to retake control over the Gaza Strip.

No ministers were recommending that Israel end its operations in Gaza completely. The longer our soldiers fight, the more we learn about the vast dimensions of the Hamas’s terror arsenal, and about the Muslim Brotherhood group’s plans and strategy for using it to destabilize, demoralize and ultimately destroy Israeli society.

The IDF’s discovery of Hamas’s Rosh Hashana plot was the last straw for any Israeli leftists still harboring fantasies about picking up our marbles and going home. Hamas’s plan to use its tunnels to send hundreds of terrorists into multiple Israeli border communities simultaneously and carry out a massacre of unprecedented scope, replete with the abduction of hostages to Gaza, was the rude awakening the Left had avoided since it pushed for Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza.

In other words, in their discussion Sunday night, Netanyahu and his ministers were without illusions about the gravity of the situation and the imperative of winning – however defined.


Urban legend had it that The New Yorker’s Pauline Kael pronounced herself mystified by Richard Nixon’s re-election: “Everybody I know voted for McGovern.” The actual quote, as we noted in 2011, made clear Kael understood her social circle was not representative of the American electorate.

But the real Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic’s chief ObamaCare apologist, sounds a lot like the mythical Kael in his latest effort to explain away last week’s decision in Halbig v. Burwell:

Most of the health policy wonks I know are baffled by these new legal challenges to Obamacare—the lawsuits that one federal court rejected last week but another one approved, and then got more attention thanks to some 2012 comments by one of the law’s outside architects. If you want to know why we are so puzzled, you should read the article that Sarah Kliff published in Vox over the weekend.

Even the mythical Kael wouldn’t sink so low as to appeal to the authority of Vox!

Kliff’s argument can be reduced to the following: First, “Congress never debated whether they would limit the subsidies to states that built their own exchanges.” Second, Kliff doesn’t remember hearing anyone raise the question at the time. Third, Kliff can’t find any contemporaneous articles discussing the question. Therefore, Congress “intended” for subsidies to be available “in every state, no matter who built the exchange.” Thus if the law says otherwise, it must be an error.

What about Jonathan Gruber’s contemporaneous statements to the contrary, noted here Friday? Kliff: “Gruber has since told . . . Cohn that his comments were a ‘mistake’ during an ‘off-the-cuff’ remark. I’m inclined to believe Gruber, largely because I’ve interviewed him numerous times about threats to the Affordable Care Act, and this idea (which has huge consequences for Obamacare) never came up.”

As for Cohn’s latest effort, it passes over the Gruber statements altogether, except for that reference to “one of the law’s outside architects.” So we’re supposed to disregard those Gruber statements because (1) if he’d meant them, he’d have said something about it to Kliff, and (2) he’s just some outsider yahoo anyway.

Bernard-Henri Lévy : The Ugly Tide Washing Across Europe

The ‘Gaza generation’ seems worried about Arab deaths only when Jews are involved.

About the crowds on Friday in Paris chanting “Palestine will overcome” and “Israel, assassin”: Where were they a few days earlier when news broke that over the previous weekend Syria’s civil war had produced 720 more dead, adding to the 150,000 others who have not had the honor of demonstrations in France?

Why did the protesters not pour into the streets when, a few days before that, the well-informed Syrian Network for Human Rights revealed that so far this year Damascus’s army, which was supposed to have destroyed its supply of chemical weapons, carried out at least 17 gas attacks around Kafrzyta, Talmanas, Atshan and elsewhere?

Will these people, “outraged” for a day, claim that they did not know, that they saw no images of the others who died, and that today only images have the power to stir them to action? That is not going to work. Because they had seen what was happening in Syria. As reporters later discovered, those same grisly images, or older versions of them, were appropriated, doctored and retweeted by organizers of the anti-Israel demonstrations under the dishonest hashtag GazaUnderAttack.

Is the Left anti-Semitic? Sadly, It is Heading That Way By Brendan O’Neill

There has been a lot of talk over the past two weeks about whether it is anti-Semitic to oppose Israel’s attack on Gaza. Radical Leftists and liberal commentators have insisted (perhaps a bit too much?) that there is nothing remotely anti-Semitic about their anger with Israel or their fury on behalf of battered, bruised and bombed Palestinians. And of course they are right that it is entirely possible to oppose Israel’s militarism without harbouring so much as a smidgen of dislike for the Jewish people. Some will oppose the war in Gaza simply because they are against wars in general, especially ones that impact on civilians.

However, it seems pretty clear to me that much of the left in Europe and America is becoming more anti-Semitic, or at least risks falling into the trap of anti-Semitism, sometimes quite thoughtlessly. In the language it uses, in the ideas it promotes, in the way in which it talks about the modern world, including Israel, much of the Left has adopted a style of politics that has anti-Semitic undertones, and sometimes overtones. The key problem has been the Left’s embrace of conspiratorial thinking, its growing conviction that the world is governed by what it views as uncaring “cabals”, “networks”, self-serving lobbyists and gangs of bankers, all of which has tempted it to sometimes turn its attentions towards those people who historically were so often the object and the target of conspiratorial thinking – the Jews.

Yes, one can hate Israel’s attack on Gaza without hating the Jews. But there’s no denying that the hatred being expressed for Israel’s attack on Gaza is different to the opposition to all other acts of militarism in recent times. Just compare the huge 2003 Hyde Park demo against the Iraq War with the recent London demos against Israel’s attack on Gaza. The former had an air of resignation; it expressed a mild, middle-class sense of disappointment with Tony Blair, through safe, soft slogans like “Not In My Name”. The latter, by contrast, have been fiery and furious, with screeching about murder and mayhem and demands that the Israeli ambassador to the UK be booted out. Some attendees have held up placards claiming that Zionists control the British media while others have accused both London and Washington of “grovelling” before an apparently awesomely powerful Israeli Lobby.

This is a recurring theme in anti-Israel sentiment today: the idea that a powerful, sinister lobby of Israel lovers has warped our otherwise respectable leaders here in the West, basically winning control of Western foreign policy. You see it in cartoons depicting Israeli leaders as the puppet masters of politicians like William Hague and Tony Blair. You can hear it in Alexi Sayle’s much-tweeted claim that the “Western powers” kowtow to Israel because they are “frightened of it… frightened of the power that it wields”. You can see it in the arguments of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their popular book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, which holds an apparently super-powerful pro-Israel lobby in the heart of Washington responsible for the Iraq War and all other kinds of disasters. The claim is often made that Israel has corrupted Western officials, commanding them to carry out its dirty work.


Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier’s Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.

Dear Secretary of State John Kerry:

Because of my respect for the United States, I will attempt to afford you the honor you think you so richly deserve. It’s hard to speak to you with anything but anger, hard to feel the need, again, to start from the beginning because you clearly choose to ignore history in your quest for glory. It is a quest destined to fail but its outcome, even, or more accurately especially, in failure, will hurt Israel.

Greater men than you have tried to make, to force, peace on the Middle East. I promise you, you will fail too. You will fail because you are not addressing the root cause of the problem. You, like so many before you, take the easy way out. Blame Israel. It is so easy to do, and so stupid.

I could speak to you of history – a history longer and greater than you can imagine. I could speak to you of injustices – yes, our land is filled with the graves of those murdered for the unjust reason that they lived here, or traveled abroad, or ate in the wrong restaurant, or took the wrong bus.

I could speak to you of justice – of a population exchange similar to those that have taken place throughout history as nations settle between war and peace. They left their lands to go there, most voluntarily so that their invading brothers would have a clear path as they pushed the Jews into the sea. And our people, who left their homes and possessions in Arab lands, most forced, not voluntarily, and came here.

We fed our brothers, clothed them, gave them homes. And most importantly, we loved them and gave them the most precious of gifts – a future, a present, as integral parts of the land and people of this country. My neighbor, the family across the street – they live in the same houses that I do, drive the same cars, attend the same schools. He is an engineer; he is a judge in the courts. She is a nurse; she is a lawyer. All my neighbors, though their grandparents came here with nothing.

And at the same time, across many borders, the Arabs put their “brothers” in refugee camps, all but starved them. They raised them to be embittered – not at those who kept them in squalor, but those they had hoped to defeat. They blame us and you are naive enough to blame us as well?


Wow!… And this could be to be the next leader of the Free World?
In an interview on Fusion TV former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed Hamas fired rockets from schools because “Gaza is small.”

There are so many things wrong with this statement:

“I think Hamas intended to provoke Israel, because that is why they started the rocket fire again. As I said when I negotiated a ceasefire it held until just this month. And, then Hamas which has its back against the wall decided to once again fire rockets into Israel. Israel made it clear that wasn’t acceptable… The problem is, and I’m not a military planner, Hamas puts its missiles, its rockets into civilian areas. Part of it is because Gaza is pretty small and it’s densely populated.“

Could you even imagine if Sarah Palin would have said something this dumb?

Hamas and other extremist groups in Gaza have fired 2,491 rockets into Israel so far this year.
There was no ceasefire.

And, for the third time this month a terrorist rocket arsenal was found at a UN school in Gaza Tuesday.

A new blood libel? Medical NGOs and activists demonize Israel

Political advocacy NGOs claiming a medical mandate, as well as affiliated individuals, are active in publicly and falsely condemning Israel’s self-defense measures in Gaza during July 2014.

A well-publicized example was the “Open Letter for the People in Gaza,” published in the British medical journal The Lancet by Mads Gilbert (NORWACS), Swee Ang (Medical Aid for Palestinians), Paola Manduca (New Weapons Committee), and others. The Israeli Ministry of Health reportedly identified the letter as “bordering on blood libel.”

NGO Monitor has published a report, “Analysis of Medical NGO agendas and distortions on the Gaza Conflict,” with detailed examples of how NGOs and activists:

demonize Israel and use hate speech under the guise of medical expertise and scientific fact;

deny Israel’s obligation to defend its citizens;

present political analysis, legal declarations, and speculations regarding Israel’s military operations and weaponry, far beyond the scope of any medical expertise they might possess; and

promote distorted and false narratives.

Click here to read the report

For further details, analysis, and background on this phenomenon, including examples of such statements from previous armed conflicts, see: NGO Malpractice – The Political Abuse of Medicine, Morality, and Science, Gerald M. Steinberg and Naftali Balanson, NGO Monitor Monograph Series 11, July 29, 2013)

The Real Financial Crisis in College: by Adam Andrzejewski ***see note please

Disclosure: is the founder of and IL watchdog organization, For The Good of Illinois
I have been perusing college curricula, and the biggest scam in America is in very low higher education. If you removed more than thirty percent of classes…i.e. gender studies, trangender studies, women’s studies, climate studies, etc. and a variety of “extra curricular” baggage, a decent education would be possible and great deal of money would be saved. This column is an excellent example and Open the Books is a fabulous organization exposing all the fraud and waste in the VA….rsk
Wine Cellars, Shooting Clubs, a corrupted $20 Million State Grant, a College President’s $500,000 Comp Package, $600 Million in Construction Projects, & much more…

Nearly every day, the news headlines are screaming about the increasingly unattainable costs of tuition and the insurmountable price tag of attaining a college degree. Student debts are at crushing levels which impacts social mobility and drives a deeper divide between the haves and have not’s.

Do you want to know why college costs and debts are so oppressive? Colleges have become fiefdoms unto themselves- even at the local community college level. An excellent case-in-point is within my own locale at the College of DuPage (COD).

Here’s what we’ve exposed at COD during the last 45 days:

Stopped a political strategy to procure a $20 million state grant
Requesting COD President Robert Breuder’s emails during the two week period prior to the governor’s visit to campus for commencement, we exposed a political strategy to “shake loose” a $20 million state construction grant by bringing support to incumbent Governor Pat Quinn. Citing our exposure, the major Chicago dailies editorialized and the scandal ran on the front page. The governor said the president’s strategy was “extremely alarming” and employed “misrepresentation.” Quinn then suspended “all future capital dollars.”


Primary: September 9, 2014

To see the actual voting records of all incumbents on other issues such as Foreign Policy, Second Amendment Issues, Homeland Security, and other issues as well as their rankings by special interest groups please use the links followed by two stars (**).

U.S. Senate

Sheldon Whitehouse (D) Next Election in 2018.
Jack Reed (D) Incumbent**


ENERGY Voted against construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. Senator Reed has fought for a national energy policy that creates jobs and saves families and businesses money through improved efficiency. Investing in clean energy cuts down on harmful pollution, strengthens our economy, and increases American competitiveness. To make America more energy independent while protecting public health and taxpayer dollars, Reed has supported efforts to safely and responsibly increase domestic oil and gas production. As Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, Reed wants stronger oversight of energy companies drilling on our public lands and waters. Reed has called for more rigorous inspections of drilling facilities to ensure energy companies are safeguarding public health and the environment, and believes that these companies should pay their fair share of royalties to the American people.

ENVIRONMENT Dealing with Climate Change and Preserving Our Natural Resources – Senator Reed understands that a clean environment is important to our state’s economy and Rhode Islanders’ health and quality of life. His conservation efforts have helped clean up and preserve Rhode Island’s open spaces, beaches, and waters, so future generations may appreciate the beauty of the state while living healthy, productive lives.

He also recognizes that our environment is under constant stress from a changing climate. Warming temperatures and weather volatility pose a threat to our environment, economy, and national security, and Senator Reed believes that part of our mitigation strategy must include a national energy policy that limits carbon pollution, focuses on the development of clean, renewable energy sources that create jobs, and holds big polluters accountable. He also believes that communities must take action to better adapt to a changing climate. This includes the increase in resilience of our critical infrastructure and emergency preparedness. Reed chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, which writes the budget for several key environmental agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He has fought efforts to gut the Clean Air Act, rejecting harmful policy riders and deep funding cuts that would weaken the EPA’s ability to address climate change and fight pollution that threatens public health. Reed has also fought to maintain robust funding for the EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. These key federal programs help states finance priority water and wastewater construction projects that support jobs, improve water quality, and safeguard public health and the environment.

IMMIGRATION Senator Reed believes we must have smart, fair, workable immigration policies that welcome into the United States those who embrace America’s ideals and values. Yet our current immigration system hampers economic growth, weakens our ability to deter illegal traffic into the United States, and fails to meet that standard of fairness. As such, Senator Reed supports comprehensive immigration reform that fixes our broken federal immigration system and protects our national security. Throughout his time in the Senate, Senator Reed has voted to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform, including the 2013 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. This bipartisan bill, which passed the Senate, would reduce our budget deficit and institute broad measures to secure our borders, deter employers from hiring those who come here illegally, and offer a tough but fair pathway to earned citizenship. Fixing our immigration system also means supporting policies that foster innovation and growth, including a process to retain highly-educated individuals once they graduate from American colleges and universities, rather than taking their skills overseas.

HEALTHCARE Senator Reed has supported efforts to improve the quality of our health care system and reduce costs for consumers, and has been nationally recognized for his work to provide all children with access to affordable health care. He helped author key provisions of the health insurance reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to give individuals and families more choice and more control over their health care. For the first time, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for a pre-existing condition, charge women higher insurance rates, or put an annual or lifetime cap on how much they will pay for care. The ACA addresses these unfair practices, gives more people the chance to afford insurance, as well as preserves and strengthens employer-based insurance and federal programs like Medicare. Reed is also steadfastly committed to preserving and protecting Medicare and Medicaid, improving the health of Rhode Islanders and the quality of the care they receive, and lowering costs without slashing benefits. Throughout his career, Reed has worked to support Rhode Island’s Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) program, RIte Care, with additional federal funds. RIte Care provides over 200,000 Rhode Islanders with vital assistance. Without this program, many would likely go without needed care or make costly trips to emergency rooms.
Mark Zaccaria (R) Challenger

Former R.I. GOP Chairman Mark Zaccaria running for U.S. Senate

Zaccaria ran twice in 2008 and 2010 for the 2nd Congressional District seat held by U.S. Rep. James Langevin, D-R.I., and then took over the chairmanship of the state’s Republican Party in 2011. He relinquished the reins last year, after the party took another beating in the 2012 election. In an interview a year ago when the GOP was still in the hunt for a candidate to challenge Reed, Zaccaria argued that the right candidate could effectively attack Reed for being a “consummate Washington insider.” “The guy has a voting record that goes forever. And he’s voted for a lot of crap,” Zaccaria said. “You have to ask the hard-working taxpayers of Rhode Island: Is this guy working for you? The answer is no.”
Not sure of your district? Click here to find out


District 1
David Cicilline (D) Incumbent**

Rated +1 by AAI, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


ENERGY Voted against construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. David has been has a strong and vocal advocate – voting to uphold important protections for clean air and water. David voted against dangerous legislation that would have opened up New England’s coastline, including Rhode Island, to offshore drilling. David strongly and vocally opposed the Republican attempt to enact an Interior and Environment Appropriations bill that would have seriously jeopardized our land, air, and water, while also slashing funding for vital water infrastructure investments that benefit and support jobs in Rhode Island and in states across the country. David continues to be a strong advocate for the President’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution and address global climate change. David believes it is time to end our addiction to foreign oil. David has been working hard to rein in excessive Wall Street oil speculation, which many experts agree is part of the rising price consumers are paying at the pump. David is also focused on the long-term energy independence of our nation. The only way to get gas prices down in the long run, while also helping improve our environment, is to support the development of renewable energy and advanced vehicle technologies. That’s why he has supported efforts to rein in taxpayer subsidies for big oil companies and shift federal investments to focus on clean-energy technology – creating jobs in the renewable energy economy, diminishing our reliance on foreign fuels, and helping protect our environment.

U.S./ISRAEL RELATIONSHIP As a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, David has been a consistent supporter of a robust relationship with Israel. Israel is a strong and brave democracy and has been an inspiration for the world for more than sixty years. The State of Israel was founded on the values of pluralism, justice, and respect for human rights, and as a practicing Jew, David is proud that Israel continues to embody those same values today. It is because of these shared values and a commitment to protecting minorities and workers, rejecting discrimination of any kind, and the strong belief in freedom of speech and an impartial judiciary, that the relationship between the United States and Israel is so strong and mutually reinforcing.

Israel remains America’s strongest ally in the region. It is absolutely imperative that the United States makes it unmistakably clear that our support for the State of Israel is unshakable. In addition, we must strongly and vocally support the absolute right of Israel to defend itself and take all steps necessary to protect the safety and security of the State of Israel and her people. David’s trips to Israel have only strengthened his belief that a strong Israel is not only vital to her people, but also vital to U.S. interests. The United States must be prepared to provide additional assistance to Israel for her increasing defense needs.

HEALTHCARE David supports the Affordable Care Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, but he also understands that the law is not perfect and we should be working together to address any issues that surface during the law’s implementation and do all that is necessary to make sure the law is working for all Rhode Islanders. Already, the Affordable Care Act has helped expand coverage to thousands of Rhode Islanders, reduced costs, initiated critical reforms of the health care delivery system, and provided thousands of Rhode Islanders with the peace of mind that health insurance will be there for them when they get sick. For a wide range of Rhode Islanders, the Affordable Care Act has been a landmark achievement. Rhode Island’s state-based exchange, Health Source RI, has provided coverage to more than 30,000 consumers as of January 2014. In addition, every person, regardless of their gender, age or a pre-existing condition, now has access to affordable care. Lastly, the rising cost of health care is finally slowing, and many consumers are experiencing dramatic reductions in their monthly premiums. David believes the law is not perfect, but we cannot move backward and must work to fix what does not work.

IMMIGRATION David strongly believes that the House of Representatives should pass legislation to help approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants emerge from the shadows, and provide a responsible path to citizenship for those who want to fully participate in our civil society and contribute to our nation’s economy. This reform must begin with securing our border and ensuring that those who are here without proper documentation be required to “go to the end of the line,” pay a penalty, pay their taxes, and pass criminal background checks before receiving citizenship.
Matt Fecteau (D) Challenger


FOREIGN POLICY Afghanistan. We have invested too many valuable resources, and have shed more than enough blood in Afghanistan. The time is well-past due to bring our brave Soldiers home. As a combat veteran myself, I understand the sacrifices that are made by our uniformed military personnel. I also believe that the first priority of all of our decisions must be the ultimate safety of our troops.

Cuba. I support lifting sanctions against Cuba. The best way to spread freedom and respect for human rights is more cultural exchange between American citizens and Cuban citizens. Lifting sanctions would also be a small economic stimulus. Approximately $5 billion in additional revenue from export sales and 6,000 jobs could be created by lifting sanctions against Cuba.

Iran. The US must do everything reasonable to ensure the Iranian government does not acquire nuclear weapons. We must work with our allies and the international community to hold the Iranian government accountable to its international treaty obligations.

Israel. The US must remain committed to our long friendship with the state of Israel. We must also continue to support Israel in the face of any challenges that lie ahead. The surest way to ensure Israel remains secure is to produce a realist and durable peace accord.

Syria. As a military member, I cannot support overt US military intervention in Syria. While I condemn the tragic loss of life, Syria is not our war. However, I support working with local allies to bring about a conclusion to the Syrian conflict while holding war criminals accountable for atrocities that may have occurred.

War on al Qaeda. One huge reason I joined the military was 9/11. I continue to believe we should eliminate and undermine al Qaeda in realistic and Constitutional ways.

HEALTHCARE Obamacare. I support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Obamacare. However, while the President and Congress should be commended for this legislation, I believe the Act does not go far enough. I strongly support ‘Medicare for All’ or universal healthcare. Healthcare is a universal human right and it would save us billions. One study states that the ‘Medicare for All Program’ would save us around $600 billion the first year.

Mental Health. The President should be commended for allotting an additional $100 million to Mental-health facilities and providers. However, that $100 million does not go far enough. We need to continue to increase mental healthcare funding and coverage to mitigate the effects of mental instability.

ENVIRONMENT The Federal government must take the initiative to protect our environment. The following are four crucial initiatives I support: First, I believe Cap and Trade is a vital program that would help reduce carbon emissions. The Congressional Budget Office projects that cap and trade could produce $873 billion in revenue and cost $864 billion over the next ten years. In short, it would be a deficit neutral piece of legislation. Second, I support expanding the tax credit towards hybrid and plug-in vehicles. The current tax credit of $7,500 does not go far enough. The price of “green” vehicles still is not competitive. Through properly-sized tax credits, we can work to make them affordable for the greater marketplace. Third, renew the Solar Investment Tax Credit. The Solar Investment Tax Credit is set to expire at the end of 2016 and with it, the 30% investment tax credit. This tax credit has fueled 1,600% solar installation growth since its inception in 2006 and has created around 100,000 jobs. The success of this program is clear – extending it indefinitely would be good for America.

Fourth, produce more Green Jobs. We need to refocus our energy on producing environmentally friendly products which we would be able to install domestically and export globally. This would reduce our trade deficit, our dependency on foreign oil, protect our environment and create additional American jobs in the process. A billion invested in solar would create 1,900 jobs, and a billion invested in wind would create 3,300 jobs. The US could become a major exporter of green products, but it has to move fast. In addition, I reject the Keystone Pipeline. The Keystone Pipeline only contributes to global warming and would transport some of the most toxic fossil fuel over 2,000 miles from Canada to the Gulf Coast. In the unfortunate event of a rupture, this toxic fossil fuel could contaminate water, destroy ecosystems, or endanger public health.
Cormick Lynch (R) Challenger


ECONOMY AND JOBS As your Congressman, Cormick’s primary objective will be to restore the American economy to full strength. With the highest unemployment rate in the country, economic malaise impacts Rhode Island perhaps harder than any other state. Any proposal to reignite dynamic economic growth will rest upon lowering taxes and costs of doing business both in Rhode Island and the country as a whole. The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, and Forbes has rated Rhode Island as the worst state for doing business. In addition, Rhode Island was ranked dead last in a June 17, 2014 survey of small business owners, citing the state’s tax structure, regulatory environment, and overall business climate. While fortune 500 companies avoid regulation by outsourcing jobs and prohibitive tax rates by moving overseas, small business owners and workers are unable to do so. It comes as no surprise that America’s small business and manufacturing sectors were hit hardest by the Great Recession. These dynamics must change for the emergence of a robust economy to occur. It will take a concerted effort both from the state house and your representatives in Washington in order to be successful. Having served in the armed forces, as a firefighter, and a private equity analyst, Cormick’s strong leadership and diverse experiences enable him to understand the challenges facing Americans today.

FOREIGN POLICY As an Iraq War combat veteran, Cormick has served alongside the countless men and women who put their lives on the line to defend American interests at home and abroad. He knows firsthand the security challenges facing the United States in the twenty-first century and wants to make the reforms necessary for our defense department to become more efficient. In recent years President Obama’s approach to trimming the defense budget has resembled a hatchet more so than a scalpel. Defunding the defense department has not taken the form of cutting back on the 167 countries the United States operates in. Instead, he has done so by reducing troop levels for all branches of the armed services, which has jeopardized our state of readiness. Cormick knows there is room to eliminate waste and reform the department, but Ronald Reagan said it best when discussing the need for a strong military: “Peace through strength.” Diplomacy is the best security, and our diplomatic leverage is strongest when our military is well funded. However, the support of the public and our political leadership is equally important. It is absolutely necessary to streamline efficiency and ensure the American peoples’ interests are at stake when and if we choose to act. Regardless of how one feels about the “Red Line” controversy in Syria, President Obama’s handling of the situation alienated the public as well as our allies. Presenting a united front is of vital importance, as failure to do so worries our friends and emboldens our enemies.

IMMIGRATION The debate over immigration reform has become muddled into a tired political talking point. Cormick believes Immigration Reform and Border Security are two separate things. The primary concern is to secure the border, as it is a threat to national security. However, Cormick fully supports a path to citizenship for those who come to this country legally and seek employment. Political posturing on this issue has created a humanitarian crisis. The failure to act has left countless men, women, and children in a lawless state of affairs.

VETERANS The recent Veterans Affairs scandal highlights a problem that has plagued America for decades. General Shinseki’s resignation is a step in the right direction, but the Veterans Affairs system needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. “Support the Troops” has become a political punch line; we as a society have failed in our commitment to take care of our brave men and women upon their return from overseas. A veteran’s months long wait to see a doctor or the exorbitant suicide rate among our armed service members is not a political football for Cormick, they are his friends and comrades. While less than 1% of Americans today serve in the armed forces compared to 12% during World War II, our obligation to veterans cannot change. Our country should provide today’s veterans the same opportunities afforded to the World War II generation. Cormick was able to finish his finance degree due to the post 9/11 GI Bill, but the same commitment needs to be made to veterans’ physical and mental wellbeing. The Department of Defense lost more service members to suicide than to combat last year, and this needs to change. Cormick wants to tackle the full spectrum of issues facing today’s veterans. Veterans should not have to struggle to find gainful employment or the healthcare they need. The American people can never repay these brave men and women for their service, but at the very least we can make this life or death issue a top priority.

HEALTHCARE Cormick believes Obamacare is in need of significant reform. Proposals to expand access to healthcare should be focused on lowering rates and improving the quality of care for consumers. Instead, the law has largely provided political pork for insurance companies and picked winners and losers. Small businesses in particular have suffered from rising premiums and new taxes from its overbearing regulation and inconsistent enforcement. Obamacare’s array of mandates have caused businesses to cut employees’ hours to part time, cost individuals the ability to choose their own doctor, and many have lost the insurance plans they had been happy with for years. Cormick supports a free market approach to healthcare, removing red tape such as the inability to sell insurance across state lines and the price gouging currently practiced by insurance companies and hospitals.
Stan Tran (R) Challenger

District 2
Jim Langevin (D) Incumbent**

Rated -1 by AAI, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


ENERGY Voted against construction of the KeystoneXL Pipeline without limiting amendments Comprehensive Energy Solutions – Our nation needs a comprehensive energy strategy that includes the development of clean and renewable energy sources, as well as new initiatives to encourage conservation and energy efficiency in order to protect hard working families and small business from skyrocketing oil and gas prices. While big oil companies pull in record profits, our consumers are paying the price. I am a founding member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) and currently serve as Energy Task Force chair. SEEC was established to advocate for policies including clean energy innovation and job creation, environmental protection, and policies that will address global climate change. (For more information on SEEC and the Coalition’s efforts to pursue clean energy policies, please visit our website.) As a member of SEEC, I joined 26 colleagues in highlighting specific clean energy and energy efficiency incentives, many of which were extended in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

LGTB RIGHTS I have been proud to represent the interests of the LGBT community in Washington. Just two months after Rhode Island’s enactment of marriage equality, I applauded the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking decision in United States v. Windsor to strike down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. I was proud to support this decision by cosigning a brief filed with the Court in favor of repealing DOMA. There is simply no place for discrimination in our society, and this decision set a new precedent to ensure that same-sex couples receive the same rights, protections and benefits available to all married couples, from Social Security survivor benefits and immigration rights to military and veterans benefits. The Administration has already begun changing regulations to comply with this decision, including an announcement that all legal same-sex marriages will be recognized for federal tax purposes. These are important steps toward achieving equal rights for all, but we must continue fighting to remove any remaining discriminatory language from federal law. That is why I am an original cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would fully repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. I am also proud to be a co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act, which would allow US citizens to sponsor same-sex partners for immigration purposes, just as they can sponsor spouses.

HEALTHCARE Despite the fact that we spend more on health care than any other industrialized nation, too many of our citizens still face challenges in accessing the very medical care that America has long been a leader in providing. On March 21, 2010, I was proud to join my Congressional colleagues in taking an historic vote to pass comprehensive health reform legislation. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has already started instituting the changes we need to provide more security and stability to Americans who have health insurance, guarantee insurance to the millions who don’t, and lower health care costs for our families, businesses and the government. These goals were ultimately reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in a June 28, 2012, decision to uphold the law. The consumer protections at the heart of the law will prevent families from being denied coverage because they are sick, abolish annual and lifetime insurance limits, allow young adults to remain on their parents’ coverage and close the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole for seniors. The high court’s ruling also substantiated Rhode Island’s efforts to lead the nation in the planning and implementation of the health reform, including an online health insurance portal to allow individuals and small businesses to shop for insurance based on transparent, competitive pricing while providing tax subsidies to those who can’t afford the full cost of coverage. To learn how the Affordable Care Act affects you, or to find a Rhode Island insurance plan that best meets your needs, please visit HealthSource RI, or call their assistance center at 1-855-840-HSRI (4774).

IMMIGRATION Despite delays in bringing meaningful legislation to the House floor, I remain committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform. I have long been a strong advocate for providing a legal path to citizenship. I supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform ASAP Act of 2009, which would have strengthened border security while creating a straightforward program that requires undocumented immigrants to pass a background check, pay a $500 fine, pay taxes and learn English and U.S. civics in order to earn legal status that places on the path to permanent residence and eventual citizenship. I have also supported legislation to address the immigration status of specific populations, such as the Uniting American Families Act, Reuniting Families Act, the DREAM Act and the STAPLE ACT. Immigration reform is not amnesty. Rather, it simply provides a mechanism for bringing undocumented immigrants into our system so we know who is here and can ensure they are following the rules. Undocumented immigrants would still face significant hurdles before earning citizenship, and, just as importantly, they would not take the place of anyone who has followed the proper steps to enter our country.
Rhue Reis (R) Challenger


OBAMACARE Legislation that never would have become law if congress was not sold a bill of goods on false pretenses. Shame on the democrats for not researching what they were voting on. The lesson? Stop doing what you’re told and start doing your job.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUDGET Stop spending what we don’t have…when individuals and companies do it as excessively as our government has, they would have been bankrupt several times over…let’s be responsible, so that our children and grandchildren don’t have to keep paying for our lack of effective governing.

ECONOMIC CLIMATE / BUSINESS CONDITIONS The President makes it sound like things are picking up steam, that employment is way up and the middle class is recovering. Unemployment is still high with many leaving the workforce. With U.S. oil production at its highest levels, shouldn’t gas prices be significantly lower? Obamacare promises to hobble any economic gains by adding new overhead burdens. In short, we cannot continue like this.

THE PROPER ROLE OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT The role of government must return to what I believe the Founders envisioned it to be. That is, one that is limited by the enumerated powers of the US Constitution, which leaves substantial governing responsibilities to the states.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS / AMERICA’S POSITION IN THE WORLD – DISMAL! The Snowden and WikiLeaks episodes have caused and will likely continue to cause serious embarrassment along with hampering future foreign relations. Our foreign policy seems to be distancing us from our strongest ally in the Middle East, Israel. The result is a weak U.S. negotiating position marked by lack of trust on all sides. It’s time to step back up and re-assert American Leadership in the World.

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