Mike Pence Isn’t Giving In to Obamacare By Patrick Brennan

Republican governors and state legislatures across the country are under pressure to accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, and the Obama administration and health-reform liberals are excited to announce their latest victory: Indiana governor Mike Pence has announced he’ll take the money and buy into the law he’s supposed to want to repeal.

Well, not so fast: Pence isn’t doing what, say, governors John Kasich and Chris Christie (Republican governors of bluer states) did, and decide to expand their state’s Medicaid programs basically as-is. Pence wants to use federal funding to expand an altered form of Healthy Indiana, a program the state’s run since 2008 for people with incomes up to 200 percent of the poverty level. Pence isn’t really “expanding Medicaid,” and the Obama administration can’t really claim that he’s going along with the law — he’s trying to bend it as much as possible.

But that doesn’t mean what he’s doing is a great idea, because there’s only so much he can bend it. Healthy Indiana was praised by many conservatives but criticized by others, and now Pence’s proposal both supersizes it and waters down in order to have a chance at approval from federal health-care bureaucrats. What did he have to do to it?

A brief explanation of the original Healthy Indiana (“HIP”) program: Everyone earning under 200 percent of the poverty line not already eligible for Medicaid could apply, though the number of spots were limited. HIP enrollees to make contributions between 2 and 5 percent of income every month to a health-savings account, called POWER, which the state would subsidize so that the contributions equaled $1,100 each year. The deductible for their plan was equivalent to that, $1,100, after which they had catastrophic coverage paid at Medicare (not Medicaid) rates. Preventative care was totally free — which is a good thing for the unhealthy population Medicaid serves — and were required if enrollees wanted to roll over their HSA contributions from year to year. (A good simple explanation of the program can be found in this FAQ.)

Before the ACA, lots of states around the country chose, like Indiana, to expand Medicaid beyond its standard federal eligibility categories with their own funds, but HIP was probably the most conservative and most consumer-driven. It certainly was much better than ordinary Medicaid: It required contributions from the enrollees and incentivized them to use the right care and avoid the emergency room, while ordinary Medicaid has almost no cost-sharing at all. It also got them much better access to care because its reimbursement rates were much higher than standard Medicaid’s. It was expensive — more expensive than expected — but getting health insurance for poor Americans is never going to be cheap. It was extremely popular, and though health outcomes weren’t yet clear, preventative care use was up and emergency-room use was down versus normal Medicaid.

Reid His Lips The Senate Majority Leader Aims to Silence Those Who Disagree With Progressivism. By Jonah Goldberg

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays.

Dear Reader (including those of you who’ve opted not to get “Reader” tattooed on your back for fear I and this “news”letter will one day go the way of Jill Abramson),

I have breaking news!

My dog is quietly sleeping on the couch! That’s right, she is a warm puddle of furriness. Earlier this morning she rubbed up against me and asked me to feed her. Even weirder, when I asked her to sit, she didn’t. She just stared at me as if I owed her money.

My only regret is I don’t have video of this amazing activity. For if I did, I’m sure The Today Show and Good Morning America would lead with it.

I can only reach that conclusion given the global hysteria over a cat that attacked a dog that was attacking a small boy. What I mean is, if one cat out of a billion acts like your typical dog, surely when a dog acts like a typical cat, it should also be big news.

Of course, that wouldn’t happen. Why? Because we expect dogs to be dogs. Not all dogs are heroes, of course. Not all dogs follow commands. Some dogs even do bad things, like attack little kids in the driveway. But these are exceptions to our expectations. Every day some dog somewhere protects a member of his family. Every day a dog does amazing things when asked. Every day millions of dogs do less-than-amazing things like sitting or fetching or rolling over.

But here’s the thing: When a cat does it — BOOM — everyone applauds like finish-line huggers at the Special Olympics. Put a video of a cat fetching a ball up on YouTube and it will rack up views like notches on Bill Clinton’s headboard.


Through months of Obama administration stonewalling, the redoubtable Judicial Watch perseveres in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, finally uncovering bombshell documents that have eluded several congressional investigations. For the second time in a matter of days, we find that standing oversight committees with competing subject-matter jurisdictions and limited attention spans are incapable of the grand-jury-style probe needed to get to the bottom of administration lawlessness. For that, in the absence of a scrupulous special prosecutor reasonably independent from the Obama Justice Department (not gonna happen), it becomes clear that a select committee will be necessary.

Just two weeks ago, the scandal involved the cover-up of administration duplicity regarding the Benghazi massacre. (See my related article in the new edition of National Review.) Now, it is the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service.

For a year, the administration and IRS headquarters in Gomorrah by the Potomac have attempted to run an implausible con-job: The harassment of organizations opposed to Obama’s policies by an executive-branch agency had nothing to do with the Obama administration — it was just a rogue operation by an IRS office in Cincinnati which, though regrettably overzealous, was apolitical, non-ideological, and without “even a smidgen of corruption.”

The story had about as much credibility as the administration’s “blame the video” script that Susan Rice dutifully performed on the post-Benghazi Sunday shows, or the Justice Department’s 2011 assurance to Congress that its agents would never knowingly allow the transfer of a couple of thousand guns to criminal gangs in Mexico. The “Cincinnati did it” yarn has been unraveling since it was first spun by IRS honcho Lois Lerner and, soon afterwards, by President Obama himself. The lie has now been exploded by e-mails clawed from the IRS by Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act suit.

These include one from a top IRS lawyer in Washington succinctly explaining that “EOT [i.e., the revenue agency’s “Exempt Organization Technical unit” in Washington] is working Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy.” This was in July 2010, which is to say, in the key final months of Obama’s reelection campaign. “Tea party applications” were requests by conservative groups to be granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. By selectively setting aside their applications, delaying the conferral of tax-exempt status to which the law entitled them, and putting them through inquisitions that violated their constitutional rights to political speech and association, IRS headquarters prevented them from raising funds and organizing as an effective opposition.



Filing Deadline (D/R/Libertarian): March 25, 2014 – Filing has been completed. Missouri is one of 13 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party’s primary.
Primary: August 5, 2014
Voter Registration: http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/register.aspx
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

Claire McCaskill (D) Next Election 2018
Roy Blunt (R) Next Election 2016

District 1
Lacy Clay (D) Incumbent
Lacy has always represented the St. Louis area, and has always represented progressive views, throughout his career. In a recent analysis by National Journal, Lacy is tied for First Place as the Most Liberal Member of Congress. Lacy’s legislative priorities focus on four key building blocks that help to create stronger communities: jobs, education, healthcare and housing. He’s fighting to restore our economic security as we defend against the Republican assault on Medicare, the Middle Class, and virtually every effort by President Obama to restore our economy.
http://www.lacyclay.org/ http://www.ontheissues.org/house/william_lacy_clay.htm **


ENERGY Voted against the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. Energy policy and climate change are at the center of our nation’s economic, national security, and environmental challenges. I believe that it is more important than ever for America to adopt an aggressive and innovative energy strategy. I support the development of alternative sources of energy in order to retain our competitive advantage and ensure a promising future for our children and grandchildren. The development of green technology and green jobs will spur tremendous growth and offer long-term relief to the American economy by making us less dependent on energy from unstable areas of the world.

HEALTHCARE Strong proponent of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Martin Baker (R) Challenger
http://www.martinbakerforcongress.com/ http://www.martinbakerforcongress.com/issues.html


1. Our nation’s greatest strength rests on the shoulders of the individual citizens and each person’s dignity freedom, and responsibility must be honored and respected.
2. We must be a nation of equal rights, equal justice, and equal opportunity regardless of race, creed, gender, age or disability.
3. We must embrace the principles of free enterprise and encourage individual initiatives as these are keys to opportunity, economic growth, and prosperity.
4. We must have a government that is a responsible caretaker of taxpayer money. Taxpayers must be allowed to keep more of their earned money and government must learn to live within its means.
5. Government must limit its role and provide only those basic needs that cannot be provided by individuals or private organizations. Government can be compassionate without enabling a pattern of lifetime dependency .
6. Government can only govern with the consent of the governed and must never lose sight that all power derives from the people.
7. Government cannot continue to stifle potential medical breakthroughs crucial to our citizen’s wellbeing through overregulation or forced participation in restrictive medical care coverages.
8. The men and women of our armed forces who face danger in defense of our principles deserve our respect and support.
9. American values rest within protecting life at all stages, strong families, and individual involvement.
10. We must secure our borders from illegal immigration without delay and prosecute those who violate immigration law.
11. Any and all foreign policy decisions including aid and charitable giving must be made with the goal of preserving and improving American society.
12. We must see reform within the criminal justice system including but not limited to reevaluating the minimum sentencing guidelines for non-violent federal offenders.
13. We must keep all education decisions locally.

Daniel Elder (R) Challenger
David Koehr (R) Challenger
No website yet

District 2
Ann Wagner (R) Incumbent
http://annwagner.com/ http://www.ontheissues.org/house/Ann_Wagner.htm**
Ann Wagner’s public service began at the grassroots level. She served for nine years as a local committeewoman in Lafayette Township and went on to Chair the Missouri Republican Party delivering historic Republican gains. She also served as Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee during the first term of President George W. Bush.

In 2005, following nomination by President Bush and confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Ann was sworn in as the 19th U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She served as U.S. Ambassador for four years before returning to her home in Ballwin, Missouri.

ENERGY Due to the ongoing development of our domestic resources, the United States is closer to becoming energy self-sufficient. For too long, we have relied on importing oil from foreign countries and watched as Americans are forced to pay increasing prices at the gas pump. In order to achieve this we must fully cultivate our oil resources at home by ending the drilling moratoriums, increasing onshore and offshore production, and approving permits which would assist in transporting oil from North Dakota’s Bakken. It is also time for the Obama Administration to approve the Keystone Pipeline permit that will lead to thousands of jobs and cheaper energy.
Additionally, we must embrace the burgeoning natural gas industry and fight back on harmful Environmental Protection Agency regulations that will make it more difficult for coal powered facilities to thrive. All of these utilizations of available resources will provide stability to our country’s energy needs while advancements in alternative energy options such as wind, solar, hydropower, and geothermal continue.
More on Energy President Obama Out of Excuses on Keystone Pipeline Jan 31, 2014 – Press Release – Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner issued the following statement after the State Department issued its latest report on the Keystone XL Pipeline:

HEALTHCARE The rising cost of health care is a huge problem facing our nation. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare, only serves to exacerbate the issue by further contributing to higher premiums, creating more barriers to care, and adding more money to our growing deficit. Instead of increasing competition, removing bureaucratic red tape, and focusing on the doctor patient relationship, the Affordable Care Act did exactly the opposite while creating a massive new entitlement program which we cannot afford.
I am committed to repealing this harmful legislation and replacing it with common sense, small government reforms with increase access to health care and lower costs for middle class families.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS As a former United States Ambassador, I saw firsthand the importance of strengthening ties with our allies around the globe in order to enhance our national security, protect American interests abroad, and promote democracy and human rights. I am committed to working in the United States House of Representatives to ensure our nation continues its role as a leader on the world stage.
We must continue our steadfast support for the nation of Israel while remaining cautiously optimistic regarding the revolutions throughout the Middle East. Furthermore, it is essential we use all the tools of foreign policy to ensure Iran and North Korea cease their development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Arthur Lieber (D) Challenger


HEALTHCARE I support Medicare-for-all, also known as a single-payer system. The United States is the only industrialized country in the world which does not provide affordable universal health care. However, we have come much closer in recent years with the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) and I support its full implementation, hopefully to be followed by a more efficient Medicare-type system. I support the following propositions:
• The United States and its people would be best served by a “Medicare-for-all” health care system.
• Our focus should be on prevention of illness, disease, and accidents.
• Mental health care should be given parity with all other forms of health care.
• We should encourage more medical students to become family practitioners and to serve areas where there are fewer physicians.
• Significant tort reform is required so that malpractice premiums are not at a level that drive physicians out of the health care system.

CIVIL LIBERTIES I support the following propositions:
• The United States has a long history of honoring and protecting human rights.
• The United States also has abrogated the rights of various groups including Native Americans, African-Americans, women, some immigrants, and some individuals on the basis of sexual orientation.
• The United States operates best when it extends human rights to as many people as possible.
• Civil liberties have been primarily protected by the federal government, not states. We should embrace U.S. Supreme Court decisions that protect the rights of those who do not receive equal protection under the law.
• Issues of civil liberties are complicated. In general when we extend a right to one person it means we are taking another right from a different person. We must make decisions based on fairness and be particularly mindful of protecting the rights of minorities and people who are at an economic disadvantage.

District 3

Blaine Luetkemeyer (R) Incumbent
http://www.blaineforcongress.com/ http://www.ontheissues.org/house/blaine_luetkemeyer.htm** https://luetkemeyer.house.gov/

Rated -3 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


HEALTHCARE Blaine strongly opposes Obamacare and is currently working to repeal it and de-fund it, because Obamacare destroys jobs, raids Medicare, raises taxes, tramples on religious freedom, and empowers the government rather than doctors and patients to make medical decisions among other reasons. Blaine believes doctors and patients – not government bureaucrats – should be in charge of health care decisions, and he supports common sense solutions to the high cost of health coverage like allowing small business to join together to have the same purchasing power for insurance as large corporations; enacting medical malpractice reform to stop frivolous lawsuits that drive up the cost of care; and fostering competition by allowing the sale of insurance across state lines.

IMMIGRATION Securing our Borders and Combating Illegal Immigration – Blaine believes we must stop the flood of illegal immigrants crossing our borders. He believes in the rule of law, which is why he staunchly supports efforts to crack down on illegal immigration including doing more to protect our borders. Any serious immigration proposal must ensure that all who wish to come into our country adhere to the rule of law, which is why Blaine has openly opposed amnesty bills considered by Congress. As a member of Congress, Blaine will vote for laws that punish businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants and he will vote to eliminate taxpayer funding of all benefits for illegal immigrants. Blaine also will support increase border security that not only prevents illegal immigration but also possible terrorists from entering the country.

ENERGY It is more important than ever that we work to free ourselves from our independence on energy sources from foreign nations, many of which openly oppose us. Blaine supports an all of the above energy plan to harness all of our own resources and capabilities, whether oil, coal, nuclear, biofuels, solar, or wind. We must drill for oil in Alaska, on federal lands, and off of our shores; we cannot afford to leave these resources untapped. He staunchly opposes cap and trade and has fought to rein in the out of control EPA, which has proposed numerous regulations that will drive up the cost of energy and will further damage our economy if allowed to go unchecked.
Blaine’s Bulletin-The EPA’s Wood Burning Problem – Posted in Columns on March 7, 2014
Congressman Luetkemeyer Says Report Shows Now is the Time for President to Approve Keystone – Posted in Press Releases on January 31, 2014

Leonard Steinman (R) Challenger
Velma Steinman (D) Challenger

Leonard Steinman has run for Jefferson City mayor, Cole County Western District commissioner, Missouri governor and the U.S. House of Representatives. But he’s never campaigned against his wife, Velma Steinman, before. In fact, it’s quite possibly the first time in Missouri’s history a husband and wife have competed against one another for a congressional seat.
With his white beard, gadfly persona and penchant for eccentric costumes, Leonard, 62, cuts a well-known figure in Jefferson City. Velma, 53, isn’t as familiar as her spouse, but has roots in Cole County just as deep as her husband’s.
Asked why the two would run against each other for the same job, Velma replied: “People think we’re doing this as a lark. They think it’s funny. But I think it shows that husbands and wives can have separate views and still work together. Congress can do the same.” Leonard said: “One way or another, we’re going to get into Congress and open people’s eyes up.”

Courtney Denton (D) Challenger
http://www.cdentonforcongress.com/ http://www.cdentonforcongress.com/issues


JOBS AND ECONOMY Between the skyrocketing cost of living and the lack of job availability, it is more and more difficult for the average American to live comfortably. Although, we as a nation are moving in the right direction, there is still much room for improvement. By ending tax loopholes for large corporations and providing tax cuts for small businesses we can build a more stable economy.

TAX REFORM Each year it grows much more difficult for families to ensure a secured financial future. Rather than provide tax breaks and cuts for millionaires, we must protect the middle class by offering them tax cuts. As a Democrat, I will strive to protect the working family and middle class. We must have a tax code that rewards works and creates wealth for more people, not a tax code that hoards wealth for those who already have it. With a Democratic representative, you would have a strong advocate working for you to protect your livelihood and family. Major corporations and millionaires must pay their fair share rather than have protection from paying taxes.

Joe Frost (R) Challenger
Filed but no website

John Morris (R) Challenger

District 4

Vicky Hartzler (R) Incumbent
http://www.vickyhartzler.com/ http://www.ontheissues.org/house/Vicky_Hartzler.htm**
Rated -6 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


ENERGY America should continue to develop its domestic energy sources to keep prices reasonable for consumers at home and at the pump. We have an abundant supply of natural resources in America that we must use to meet our nation’s energy needs, and these resources should be utilized responsibly. However, the current administration has done nothing but increase the cost of doing business and hold up common sense infrastructure improvements like the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Keystone Pipeline would create 15,000 manufacturing jobs and 118,000 spin off jobs that would help put Americans back to work. I have co-sponsored two bills that would remove red tape and streamline the Keystone Pipeline approval process, H.R.3 the Northern Keystone XL Route Approval Act and H.R.334 the Keystone for a Secure Tomorrow Act. When President Obama took office gas prices across the U.S. were around $1.90 a gallon, but his policies have created uncertainty for the market leading to higher energy prices, slower economic recovery, and a severe lack of employment opportunities for the average American.
Recently, President Obama has decided to extend a series of executive orders to increase the cost of producing domestic energy since his legislative agenda has failed to gain support from elected officials in Washington. This top down approach will increase the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate carbon emissions from new and existing coal burning power plants. Public utilities across the U.S. have made significant efforts over the past 10 years to diversify their portfolios and have upgraded systems to decrease emissions and implemented new technologies as they have become available. However, this administration does not understand or does not care about the impacts that these rules will have on ordinary Americans. Such drastic changes will put billion investments at risk of closing down and increase the cost of electricity that will unduly burden the middle and lower class citizens across the U.S. Instead of working with Congress and the power generation industry, this administration is pushing a “Washington knows best” policy that could have detrimental effects on average Americans.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS A top priority of mine will always be to ensure the safety and security of our great nation, and central to this priority is the recognition that the national security of the United States is directly tied to the strength and security of the State of Israel. The Middle East continues to experience instability with mass demonstrations in numerous countries, Hezbollah pointing rockets at Israel, Hamas controlling Gaza, and the looming threat of Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. security assistance to Israel has never been more important for our own interests. Any strategy less than the full commitment of our nation to the state of Israel would represent a serious and disconcerting change in U.S. policy.
I have expressed my support for Israel publically on the floor of the House of Representatives in order to express disappointment with President Obama’s proposal for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders. President Obama’s call for Israel to make more sacrifices in the pursuit of peace in the Middle East is unacceptable. The borders that were established in 1967 followed three wars launched against Israel. For Israel, acceptance of the 1967 borders would mean that Israeli sacrifices were for nothing. We all want to see peace in the Middle East. However, it is unrealistic and naive to think that peace will come as a result of Israel – the only democratic state in the region – making more concessions. Restoring the pre-1967 borders would be a victory for Hamas, a terrorist group committed to Israel’s demise. This is not the path to peace and the President should acknowledge this. Peace can only come about through the Palestinians and other Middle Eastern countries accepting Israel’s right to exist. We must stand strong for Israel.

Pushing for Additional Iranian Sanctions: We must continue to highlight the persistent threat of a nuclear Iran. Iran continues its illicit drive for nuclear weapons in defiance of multiple mandatory U.N. Security Council resolutions. As one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism, Iran provides weapons, money, and training to groups, which seek the destruction of both the United States and Israel. Iran has a global terrorist network and actively undermines U.S. peace efforts though its support of groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Stringent economic sanctions remain our only peaceful option by which to persuade Iran to suspend its quest for nuclear weapons. We must work relentlessly to enforce existing U.S. sanctions on foreign companies that work in Iran’s energy sector and on banks that facilitate Iran’s international transactions. Towards these ends, I have sent a letter to United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to press for the addition of new companies and individuals to the list of sanctioned Iranian entities. Additionally, I have co-sponsored the Iran Threat Reduction Act, which strengthens Iran sanction laws for the purpose of compelling Iran to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Preventing Iran from achieving nuclear-weapon capabilities is essential for stability in the Middle East and for our own global security.
Assisting Taiwan: The United States and Taiwan have a long history of close relations. Taiwan is a stable democracy, a strong ally, and an important trading partner. Congress has played an important role in this relationship by passing the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979 to sustain our close bilateral relationship and to advance the mutual security and commercial interests of the two nations. This has served as a cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan relations, and it has helped preserve peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. I am a proud member of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus that works in a bipartisan way to enhance and strengthen U.S.-Taiwan relations and to ensure that Taiwan continues to be a free, democratic country. This membership, along with my membership in the Congressional China Caucus, shows strong support for countering the threat from China. Taiwan lives under a constant military threat from the People’s Republic of China. Taiwan is a fellow democracy facing a very serious threat and at this crucial time in their history, we must stand with our ally.

IMMIGRATION A compassionate solution for the illegal immigrant population living and working in the United States can be accomplished without resorting to amnesty. I cannot support a policy which rewards the criminal behavior of violating America’s immigration laws. Current illegal immigrants should not receive all the rights and privileges they would have been eligible for had they come legally. They should not be eligible for citizenship. To pardon lawbreakers and reward them with the objective of their offence is inappropriate and will accelerate the flow of illegal immigrants.
The opportunity to work in the United States is a valuable one, and those who break our laws should not have the privilege of competing in the same labor market as law-abiding citizens of our great nation. Granting amnesty to those who cross our borders and enter our nation illegally is not the answer to solving the problem of illegal immigration, especially when there are so many people around the globe who wait their turn to apply for visas and pursue legal paths to immigrate to the United States. The following actions represent some of the steps I have taken since assuming office to address illegal immigration:
Border Protection: I have co-sponsored the National Guard Border Enforcement Act. This legislation directs the Secretary of Defense to deploy at least an additional 10,000 members of the National Guard for border control activities along the U.S.-Mexico border until the Secretary of Homeland Security certifies that the federal government has achieved operational control of the border. The border must be secured, and enforcement at the border must be effective. Congress must authorize and routinely fund adequate border enforcement personnel, technology, physical infrastructure, detention facilities, and judicial and prosecutorial resources. There is a direct relationship between border security, national security, illegal immigrations, border violence, contraband smuggling, and illegal drug peddling.
Eliminating the Visa Lottery Program: I have co-sponsored the SAFE for America Act. This bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the diversity immigrant program. This would eliminate the visa lottery system, which rewards 50,000 annual green cards based on “random selection” instead of humanitarian need, family connection, or other economic or cultural value to the United States. We should give preference to those who seek to enter the U.S. for education, humanitarian, or job-specific reasons-not arbitrarily grant visas from a random pool of applicants.
Mandating E-Verify: I will fight to ensure that all employers must verify the legal immigration status of all employees. I have co-sponsored the Jobs Recovery by Ensuring a Legal American Workforce Act of 2011, which would make E-Verify, the basic pilot federal employment verification program, permanent and mandatory for all employees. E-Verify deters the employment of illegal aliens by searching employee information against government records to ensure a person’s identify. The ability of employers to rely on illegal labor must be stopped. In harsh economic times, it is important to make sure illegal aliens are not in the workforce.

HEALTHCARE In 2012, the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This page can serve as a resource to keep you updated on issues related to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
I am disappointed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s failure to overturn President Obama’s health care law. The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court allows for the full implementation of the 2010 law, despite its flawed design and questionable constitutional basis. The law still fails to address the issue of adequate funding, and will drive up health care costs, making it harder for small businesses to hire workers. However, while the ruling is cause for dismay, supporters of the free market and individual liberty can take some comfort in the dissenting view that this law violates the U.S. Constitution. My House colleagues and I remain committed to repealing this troublesome law in its entirety. This ruling highlights the critical need for a Congress and White House committed to refocusing attention on health care legislation that provides affordability, cost transparency, choice for senior citizens, and will protect the right of citizens to keep their current insurance policies.
The fundamental flaws of the Affordable Care Act will have grave impacts on the nation for decades to come. Americans will see more than $500 billion in tax increases during a time of economic hardship. It forces Americans to buy into government-approved insurance programs, or else face an extra tax burden. The federal government should not be allowed to force its citizens to buy a private product and then strictly mandate what is in that product. Many of the tax increases will come from businesses and insurance companies themselves, with many taxes based on each company’s share of the market. At a time when Americans are struggling to find work, this law makes it even harder for small businesses to hire workers.

John Webb (R) Challenger
Nate Irvin (D) Challenger
http://www.irvinforcongress.com/ http://www.irvinforcongress.com/issues

District 5

Emanuel Cleaver (D) Incumbent
http://cleaver.house.gov/ http://www.cleaverforcongress.com/

FOREIGN AFFAIRS The U.S. is a melting pot of ethnicities and religions fashioned by immigrants from all corners of the globe. I am proud that my congressional district is home to a diverse population of people who can trace their ancestries to all parts of the world.
Serbian Caucus – I am honored to serve as Co-Chair to the Serbian Caucus here in Congress. In Missouri’s Fifth District, we have a robust Serbian population, with multiple annual festivals to celebrate and embrace the culture. As Co-Chair to the Serbian Caucus, I have been very pleased that the cooperation between our two countries has been steadfastly improving and continuing to develop over the past decade. Our Caucus was established in 2004 with the express goal of improving communication, raising awareness for issues of concern for Serbian-Americans, and increasing friendly relations between our two countries. I have no doubt that the relationship will only continue to grow in the future.

HEALTHCARE Strong proponent of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Because of healthcare reform, millions of seniors are getting free preventive services, children are not being denied coverage, and young adults are covered under their parents’ plan. These are big and important differences helping millions of Americans focus on their jobs and quality of life, instead of worrying about what will happen if they and their family members get injured or sick.
• No American can ever again be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition.
• No woman can ever again be charged a higher premium just because she’s a woman.
• No American ever again has to worry that one major illness will mean bankruptcy for their family.
• No senior will ever again have to pay a co-pay for key preventive services like cancer screenings.
• Because of the ACA, the CBO has projected we will have lower deficits than in their last report, with a reduction of $23 billion in 2014 and $286 billion over 2015-2024.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, the government run program that provides health insurance for low income and disabled individuals, was expanded to include more people. The Supreme Court decided that Congress did not have the power to penalize states that did not want to expand their Medicaid programs by cutting of funding for existing Medicaid programs. The Missouri Legislature has not taken action to expand Medicaid in Missouri. Medicaid reform and expansion would bring federal dollars that Missourians send to Washington, $2 billion a year, back to the state to provide health care coverage to an additional 300,000 working Missourians. These families make no more than $32,913 a year — for a family of four.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT Voted against Keystone Pipeline without limiting amendments. Global Warming – As early as 1859, British scientist John Tyndall discovered that carbon dioxide (CO2) can trap heat. Since Charles Keeling began measuring atmospheric CO2 in the late 1950s, scientists have accumulated a wealth of evidence documenting the increase of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, the rise of global average temperature and the influence of human activities on the Earth’s climate.
I was proud to be chosen to serve on the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. From 2007-2010, my colleagues and I held over 50 hearings on the security, economic and environmental threats posed by global warming and investigated policy options and technologies to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The Committee also worked to communicate these issues directly with the American public.
Livable Communities & the Green Impact Zone – Every community in America – regardless of its size, geographic location, demographic composition, or economic base — aspires to become a place where families are safe, enjoy personal and environmental health, can select from a range of housing and transportation choices, and have access to educational and economic opportunities. These are the building blocks of livable communities. I am proud of the work that is being done to make the Green Impact Zone, and Kansas City, livable communities. I support community efforts to promote this sustainable development and efforts in Congress to fund and expand federal programs, such as the Partnership for Sustainable Communities at Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Kansas City has benefited from several Partnership for Sustainable Communities grants, and I will continue to support funding for these programs in Congress. As a member of the Livable Communities Task Force, I have championed smart federal policies that can affect community livability through housing and transportation choices, enhancing economic competitiveness, and reinvest in existing communities.

Bob Gough (D) Challenger

Eric Holmes (D) Challenger
Campaign Pledge
I will read, analyze and collect input on every bill before voting.
I will not vote for any deficient budget.
I will not vote for any increase in debt ceiling.
I will not vote for any bill which will increase unemployment.
I will vote to repeal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
I will vote for tax reform.
I will honestly report on bills and their effects.

Charles Lindsey (D) Challenger
Filed but no website

Mark Memoly (D) Challenger
Samuel Alao (R) Challenger

Mike Burris (R) Challenger
Filed but no website

Berton Knox (R) Challenger

Bill Lindsey (R) Challenger

Jacob Turk (R) Challenger

District 6

Sam Graves (R) Incumbent
http://www.gravesforcongress.com/ http://graves.house.gov/
Rated -5 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


TAXES Currently, the U.S. tax code is 55,000 pages long and has over two million words it. It’s filled with credits, loop-holes and giveaways. It takes the average small business 37 hours to do their taxes. That’s time they should be able to spend growing the business.
I believe the federal government should throw out the current system and adopt a much simpler, more stream-lined code. Therefore, I am currently a co-sponsor of the Fair-Tax, which would replace the current progressive income tax with a national sales tax. The benefit of the Fair-Tax is that it taxes most individuals at a lower rate than the income tax. It also only taxes the goods and services you purchase, encourages saving, and produces similar revenue to the current code, just in a much simpler manner.

HEALTHCARE The government takeover of our health care system must not be allowed to stand. Not a week goes by without hearing more stories about how the 2,000 page law will cost more than we were told, cover fewer people than we were promised and significantly increase taxes and fees on average Americans. We must repeal this bad piece of legislation and replace it with reforms that will expand coverage while lowering costs.
For example, we should let small businesses group together to buy coverage at rates similar to what large corporations pay. Those policies should operate across state lines so insurance companies are forced to lower rates to compete for business. And policies should be portable, following an individual from job-to-job so insurance companies have a stake in making sure their clients stay healthy.

ENERGY I believe we must continue to develop all forms of energy production while limiting our reliance on foreign sources of oil. America is home to a diverse energy sector. We see that first hand in Northwest Missouri in the form of our windmills and seemingly endless acres of corn, much of which will be turned into ethanol. Voted for the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.

For our economy to truly recover we will need to continue to tap into both American resources and innovation in the energy field. We must increase our production of wind, bio-fuels and other types of renewable energy, as well as continue to develop all forms of domestic energy production. Northwest Missouri’s farmers are leading the way. I will work to make sure they continue to do so.
Voted YES on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling. Congressional Summary:
• Makes available for leasing, in the 2012-2017 five-year oil and gas leasing program, outer Continental Shelf areas that are estimated to contain more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil; or are estimated to contain more than 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
• Makes the production goal for the 2012-2017 five-year oil and gas leasing program an increase by 2027 in daily production of at least 3 million barrels of oil, and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Kyle Reid (R) Challenger
https://kylereidforcongress.com/ https://kylereidforcongress.com/issues/

Christopher Ryan (R) Challenger
Six year Marine Corp. Veteran
http://www.ussemperfi.com/ http://www.ussemperfi.com/key-issues.html

• I will continue the mission and projects that Rep. Graves has spent his timeworking on for the 6th District.
• I will work with you to protect America, Missouri jobs, farms and education.
• I will be a passionate voice for conservative positionsand support others who share our values.
• I will work to repeal, revise, or unfund the national take over of health care.
• I will fight for a tax system that works for all Americans.
• I will fund National Defense, Protect our Veterans and fund theBorderFence.
• I will speak out and hold Congress and the Executive Branch accountable.
• Iwill work to freeze congressional pay.

Brian Tharp (R) Challenger

Gary Crose (D) Challenger
Gary Crose, 63, has announced his candidacy to represent the 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Crose will compete against Bill Hedge of St. Joseph and Edward Fields of Kansas City for the Democrat nomination.

Edward Fields (D) Challenger
Bill Hedge (D) Challenger

District 7
Billy Long (R) Incumbent
http://billylongforcongress.com/ http://www.ontheissues.org/house/Billy_Long.htm**
Rated -5 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)

ENERGY Voted for Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. In 1977, the Department of Energy was formed to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. In 2006, President George W. Bush again warned us about our addiction to foreign oil and since then we have done nothing. Every president since Richard M. Nixon has bemoaned our reliance on foreign oil but none have taken any serious steps to address the issue in a meaningful way. Rising oil prices are devastating our economy and the security of this nation. As American motorists fill up their gas tanks they fill the pockets of dictators around the world.

We can insulate ourselves from energy price spikes and improve our economy by taking advantage of our domestic energy resources. By reversing President Obama’s policies and ending the drilling moratorium, increasing onshore and offshore production, and by opening up resources around the country such as Alaska and the North Dakota’s Bakken formation, jobs will be created as families across the country receive much needed relief at the pump. That is why I am a cosponsor of the American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act, which directs the Secretary of the Interior to implement a competitive leasing program for exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas resources off the Alaska Coast.

We need an all-of-the-above approach to solve this problem. We haven’t built an oil refinery in this country in over 35 years. We need more oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy production combined with more wind, solar, hydropower, and geothermal energies. This will lower prices, create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and strengthen our national security.

IMMIGRATION I believe in legal, regulated, and appropriate levels of immigration. However, we need to solve the illegal immigration problem that threatens to overwhelm border states and severely disrupts our society. Open borders allow people with criminal backgrounds, drug traffickers, and terrorists to enter the country. I support doing whatever it takes to secure the border. We should complete the border fence and deploy National Guard forces if necessary until we have firm control over who enters this nation.

I also support vigorous enforcement of our immigration laws by police whenever they encounter an illegal alien, especially if it occurs during the investigation of other criminal conduct. I have cosponsored the National Guard Border Enforcement Act, which directs the Secretary of Defense to deploy the National Guard for border control activities along the U.S.-Mexican border. If we cannot control the border, then we are not safe as a nation.

While the total number of illegal immigrants is unknown, the number ranges in the millions. These illegal immigrants place strains on our social support networks, our infrastructure, and routinely evade the basic laws that govern society. As Americans we pride ourselves on our ability to incorporate immigrants into our unique American culture. Unfortunately illegal immigration resists this unifying influence and results in the creation of a near parallel society. We must enforce our laws and encourage people to become Americans the legal way.

HEALTHCARE Our healthcare system is the envy of the world. We have the finest doctors, nurses, protocols, and facilities in the world; and that did not come about as a result of a government run system. Unfortunately, President Obama pushed a partisan health care bill through the Democratically controlled Congress using parliamentary tactics and big pay-offs like the “Louisiana Purchase.” This Democratic bill was passed without a single Republican vote and increased federal spending by $2.6 trillion. It has given the federal government unprecedented control over the American health care system, which makes up about one sixth of our economy.
People, not the government, are the source of prosperity in our country and they make the American health care system the envy of the world. What we need are commonsense solutions that will strengthen our health care system instead of stimulating debt and eliminating patient choice. A health care system where insurance can be bought across state lines so insurers compete against each other and lowers cost for patients. A health care system that allows for tort reform so doctors can give patients the best medical care possible without fear of unreasonable retribution. Instead of ramming through partisan bills, I am working to make health care more affordable for hardworking families without a government takeover.

Marshall Works (R) Challenger
Jim Evans (D) Challenger

Genevieve Williams (D) Challenger

HEALTHCARE I support the Affordable Care Act, and while it’s far from perfect, it’s a great start. I want to encourage cooperation and collaboration to continue to work toward our common goal of ensuring the availability of affordable health care for every American.
ENERGY I do not believe petroleum is the fuel of the future. We need to move toward secure and domestic sources of clean sustainable energy so we can continue to fuel the growth of our great nation with our expansive natural resources as we always have.
SECOND AMENDMENT I am a proud supporter of the Second Amendment. I believe our founding fathers intended this to be a nation of gun owners.
WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS Every woman has a right to accessible and affordable forms of safe and effective contraception. I also believe every American has the right to be informed and aware of the choices available to him or her. Sex and reproduction are very personal and private issues and are choices best left to the individual, not the government.

District 8

Jason Smith (R) Incumbent
http://jasonsmith.house.gov/ http://www.electjasonsmith.com/

HEALTHCARE Defund ObamaCare; no government-run programs
If elected, I will vote to repeal ObamaCare and to defund it at every opportunity. The answer to improving our healthcare system is not to turn it into a government run program that puts a bureaucrat between you and your doctor. The answer is to increase access, increase competition and allow individuals to own their own healthcare.
We can do that with common sense, free market solutions that do not involve creating a bigger, more bloated federal government.

ENERGY We have vast and valuable energy resources in America and Southeast Missouri. The Obama administration has rejected opportunities to create energy independence. President Obama’s pursuit of cap-and-trade legislation is out of touch with our energy needs. As energy prices remain on the rise, we cannot continue to support foreign dictatorships when we have viable resources here at home. Dependency on foreign oil threatens our economic and national security.
Building oil refineries, ending the drilling suspension, and increasing onshore and offshore production will create jobs and lower energy prices. We can create strengthen our economy by pursuing opportunities to harvest our own oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydropower and geothermal energy. Mar 10, 2014 – Press Release – Smith sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging action on the Keystone project

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jason Smith recently sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, expressing his support for the Keystone XL Pipeline and asking the secretary to move swiftly on the project’s application. It has been over five years since the backers of the Keystone XL Pipeline first submitted their application to the U.S. State Department on September 19, 2008.
In his letter, Smith outlined the economic benefits of the project, saying the Keystone project will create an estimated 42,000 construction jobs with roughly $2 billion in salaries for hardworking Americans.
“The construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline will infuse our country’s economy with the kind of infrastructure investment that creates and supports jobs. This pipeline is a $7 billion expansion that will create an estimated 42,000 construction jobs. The project will direct roughly $2 billion into the pockets of hardworking Americans who desperately need it. These dollars will potentially go to cash-strapped communities in Middle America, supporting local grocery stores, local car dealerships, local restaurants, local housing markets and the list goes on and on.”
Smith also said the Keystone project will provide a reliable source of energy in North America, instead of relying on Middle Eastern nations to meet our energy needs.

IMMIGRATION My view on immigration is simple and will not change:
• I am opposed to amnesty in any and all forms.
• Congress must secure our borders.
• I believe Congress must ensure that anyone who is here illegally is not receiving government entitlements.
• I believe a pathway to citizenship already exists for people who follow the law and special treatment should not be given to those who have knowingly broken the law.

The House of Representatives has a much different approach to immigration reform than the 1,000 page amnesty bill passed in the Senate. The House is focused on securing our borders. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I voted for legislation that will provide a strong enforcement strategy and strengthen the security of our country. The Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act, also known as the SAFE Act, grants state and local law enforcement officials the authority to enforce federal immigration laws. It also strengthens national security, protects American communities from dangerous criminal aliens, improves visa security, aids U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in doing their jobs, and strengthens border security.
Like many of you, I am concerned about the U.S. Senate’s controversial immigration bill. In contrast to the SAFE Act, the U.S. Senate’s bill lacks sufficient border security and allows amnesty for illegal aliens. I oppose the Senate’s comprehensive approach to immigration reform. Please know I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to protect our Nation’s borders, oppose amnesty for people who have knowingly broken the law and promote stronger immigration policy.

Barbara Stocker (D) Challenger

Read more: Family Security Matters http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/missouri-2014-candidates-for-congress-where-they-stand?f=puball#ixzz31scbH6zO
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution


Norman Simms is the author of Alfred Dreyfus: Man, Milieu, Mentality and Midrash (Academic Studies Press, 2011). The second volume in the series, Alfred Dreyfus: In the Context of His Times: Alfred Dreyfus as Lover, Intellectual, Poet and Jew (also by Academic Studies Press) was published in July 2013; and the third Alfred and Lucie Dreyfus in the Phantasmagoria (Cambridge Scholars Publisher, UK) in September 2013.

In Flight to Arras (1942), Antoine de Saint-Euxpéry meditates on the way the French nation confronted the harsh reality of their defeat by Nazi Germany. He says, near the end of the narrative of his experiences as a reconnaissance pilot during those last days before the surrender was signed, that there is a difference between those who believe that a civilization be valued by the way it honours one man who gave his life that thousands might live and those who argue rather than a nation is to be exalted because all of its citizens were ready to die to preserve the life of one man. Without saying so directly, Saint-Exupéry describes what happened when, after a more than decade-long struggle to overturn the false charges, the verdict of two court martials, and the strident bigotry of the press, mobs in the street and entrenched time-servers in the Army, the State and the Church, Alfred Dreyfus received his vindication. Dreyfus endured the physical and psychological torments of dales imprisonment for nearly five years on Devil’s Island twelve years of public ignominy, and a lifetime of nightmares and frustration in his hope for full and final restitution, but he never wavered in his loyalty to France and its Republican Ideals, his belief in the goodness of the Army and the civilization of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

Now once again, Alfred’s name is taken in vain. It is contended by the anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic groups who call for divestment, boycott and sanctions against Israel, that they are being made victims of a barrage of lies and slanders by the Israeli military, the pro-Israel Lobby and the multifarious (and nefarious) Jewish controllers of the press, the culture and just about everything else in the world. Certainly the lies, distortions and slanders purveyed by these people are one thing, whereas the attempt to draw in Dreyfus as a model of their own experiences is quite another. On the one hand, to attempt to answer each of those bizarre mistruths that are set up as historical reasons for opposing Israel and denigrating Jews and Judaism does not merit a detailed response; that would only be to grant to such statements the status of rational arguments, whereas they are anything but. On the other hand, defending Dreyfus yet again means attempting to set forth a long, complex analysis of who he was, what he underwent, how he and his wife grew stronger in their love and their loyalty to one another-and since the analogy makes no sense at all.

When Alfred Dreyfus was arrested in 1894, he was a young artillery officer temporarily posted to the Intelligence Office in Paris; he was also happily married to Lucie, and they had two young children. Relatively well-to-do, thanks to both his and her family, they believed that they were happy, well-assimilated French Jews. Both families moreover had come from Alsace, one of the provinces forcibly annexed to Germany after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and they like other refugees, Jewish and Christian, felt not just the sting of military defeat, but the humiliation of losing their homelands, and so were devoted to what was called la rivanche, the revenge, the wish to take back Alsace an d Lorraine. This was why Alfred, like many other young Jewish boys, was told to join the army.

This is why it was so utterly preposterous for the Army to charge Alfred with treason and espionage in 1894, and why it was so outrageous for anti-Semitic and Catholic newspapers to scream in their headlines that all Jews were traitors and spies because they were innately, culturally and religiously incapable of loyalty and forever prone to acts of disloyalty. The mobs in the streets shouted “Down with Dreyfus!”, then “Down with Dreyfus the Jew!” and then “Down with the Jews!”

From the moment of his arrest, Alfred Dreyfus proclaimed his innocence, and he never wavered. More than that, from the moment of his incarceration, as he screamed and raged, beat his head against the prison walls and shouted “I am innocent,” his family, the Dreyfuses, and her family, the Hadamards, never doubted his innocence; they never wavered in this belief. In similar circumstances, even today, when a family member is accused of treason and espionage, found guilty by two court martials, sent away to perpetual exile, and daily vilified in the press, in the parliament, and in the streets, spouses find it too much and seek a divorce, other relatives hide in shame and refuse to speak or act on behalf of their loved one, and frightened good people cower in the shadows, keeping their heads down, and hoping they too will not be made into victims. But because Alfred and Lucie never wavered, eventually-slowly, agonizingly-the tide began to turn. Eventually, but not inevitably, not inexorably, the balance of public opinion began to shift, and in due course Alfred was exonerated.

Pro-Israel Groups Blast SJP for Racism and UCLA for Fecklessness: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Seven staunchly pro-Israel organizations told the California Board of Regents at a hearing on Thursday, May 15, that its failure to stand up to the thuggery and blatant racism of the UCLA Students for Justice in Palestine against pro-Israel students was a failure of leadership and of morality.

What was so egregious that these pro-Israel organizations were protesting?


The UCLA-SJP introduced an initiative which calls for a Judicial Board investigation of student council members who have taken trips to Israel sponsored by groups which the SJP deems to have “political agendas that marginalize multiple communities on campus.” The groups on SJP’s hit list are the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and Hasbara Fellowships.

As Dumisani Washington, the Pastor-leader of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, said in his remarks at the hearing Thursday morning, the SJP’s denunciation of pro-Israel groups for having a political agenda is not just hateful, it is hypocritical.

“One wonders exactly what SJP assumes itself to be, if not an organization with a ‘political agenda,’” Washington told the Regents.


The second initiative promoted by the SJP to deprive pro-Israel students of a voice in campus discussions was its demand that candidates for student government positions sign a statement pledging that they will not go on any trip to Israel sponsored by the three Jewish organizations.


Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist, pastor of an Anglican church, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle Eastern Forum, and director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.
It is a common refrain of pious Muslims in the face of atrocities done by other Muslims in the name of Islam that Islam must not be shamed: whenever an atrocity potentially dishonors Islam, non-Muslims are asked to agree that ‘This is not Islamic’ so that the honor of Islam can be kept pristine. However the real issue is not what would be good or bad for Islam’s reputation. … Islam is not the victim here. The pressing issue here is not to get people to think well of Islam, but how these girls can be rescued, and above all how Boko Haram’s murderous rampage is to be halted.

Qasim Rashid, an American Muslim, published on FoxNews a heart-felt expression of deep distress at the kidnapping of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram (‘What would Muhammad say to Boko Haram’). He declared that Muhammad himself would not recognize this group as acting in line with his teachings:

“Boko Haram’s claim that Islam motivates their kidnappings is no different than Adolf Hitler’s claim that Christianity motivated his genocide. This terrorist organization acts in direct violation of every Islamic teaching regarding women.”

Qasim Rashid is not the only Muslim who has been speaking out in support of the kidnapped girls, while denying that their plight has anything to do with Islam (see here).

Qasim Rashid is a member of the Ahmaddiyah community, which is regarded as unorthodox by most Muslims. Indeed Ahmaddiyahs are often severely persecuted for their beliefs in Islamic nations. Although Qasim Rashid does not speak for mainstream Islam, he is nevertheless to be commended for speaking up against Boko Haram’s repugnant acts.

But does the claim that Boko Haram is not Islamic hold up to scrutiny?

What counts as a valid manifestation of Islam? Ahmaddiyah beliefs can be considered Islamic, in that those who hold them do so on the basis of a reasoned interpretation of Islamic canonical sources, even if the majority of Muslims reject them as Muslims. By the same token, the beliefs of Boko Haram must also be considered a form of Islam, for they too are held on the basis of a reasoned interpretation of Islamic canonical sources.

It needs to be acknowledged that Boko Haram has not arisen in a vacuum. As Andrew Bostom has pointed out, violent opposition to non-Islamic culture has been a feature of Nigerian Islam for centuries. Today this hatred is being directed against Western education and secular government, but in the past it was indigenous Africa cultures which were targeted for brutal treatment, including enslavement and slaughter. The modern revival of absolutist sharia-compliant Islam in the north of Nigeria is a process which has deep roots in history. It has also been in progress for decades. Khalid Yasin, an African American convert to Islam and globe-trotting preacher waxed lyrical about the advance of sharia law in Nigeria on Australian national radio in 2003:

“If we look at the evolution of the Sharia experiment in Nigeria for instance. It’s just a wonderful, phenomenal experience. It has brought about some sweeping changes, balances, within the society, regulations in terms of moral practices and so many things. …What did the Sharia provide? Always dignity, protection, and the religious rights?”

But let us consider the evidence Qasim Rashid gives for his view that Muhammad would disown Boko Haram. His arguments can be summarized as follows:

‘Boko Haram violates the Koran 24:34 [i.e. Sura 24:33] which commands, “and force not your women to unchaste life,” i.e. [this is] a condemnation of Boko Haram’s intention to sell these girls into prostitution.’
‘They violate Koran 4:20 [i.e. Sura 4:19] which declares, “it is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will; nor should you detain them,” i.e. a specific repudiation of Boko Haram’s kidnapping and detention.’
‘Prophet Muhammad’s dying words embodied these commandments. He implored, “Do treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers.”’
The seeking of knowledge is an obligation on all Muslims, including ‘secular knowledge’.
‘Islam … commands female education.’


Last Sunday, the government passed what was billed as a major reform in Israeli broadcasting.

The cabinet voted 18-2 to eliminate the fee the public is forced to pay to finance public broadcasting, shut down the public broadcasting authority and open a new public broadcasting authority that will be unfettered by the wreckage of the old one.

The problem with the bill that was approved by the government for submission to the Knesset is that the larger problem with public broadcasting remained unaddressed. The main reason that members of the public railed against the fee is that they don’t like what they are paying for. By and large, with a few notable exceptions, public broadcasting’s offerings are unoriginal, uninteresting and poorly done.

Moreover, they either reflect the worldview of the narrow post-Zionist sliver of the population or signify nothing at all.

The decision to close the broadcast authority and reopen it under another name while canceling the fee is a net positive achievement. But it was also a missed opportunity.

At the last moment, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni inserted radical amendments in the bill to ensure that the price of reform will be maintaining public broadcasting as a subsidized platform for the radical Left.

The original bill, written by Communications Minister Gilad Erdan and co-sponsored by Finance Minister Yair Lapid, gave authority to a committee to nominate an unlimited number of candidates to serve on the new broadcast authority’s nine-member board of directors. The committee was to be chaired by an unelected, retired Supreme Court justice or district court judge, and manned by two other members appointed by the judge.

In the original draft, the judge was supposed to give the list to the minister of communications, who would be empowered to accept or veto the individual names on the list. While this system would give the retired judges enormous power to impose their political ideology on the public broadcasting system, the minister would retain some limited power to block this corruption of broadcasting independence. As new ministers are appointed every few years from different political parties, in all likelihood the minister’s power would ensure some degree of political diversity among committee members.

Livni’s amendment took the minister’s power away. Her version – which Erdan accepted and the government approved – gives the judge the power to present a closed nine-person list to the minister and the minister can either approve or reject the entire list.

So, too, the original bill gave the minister and the government ultimate power to fire the general director of the new authority. Under Livni’s amended version, only the judge has that power.

So who is this all-powerful unelected judge? Since the overwhelming majority of Supreme Court justices are radical leftists, it is fair to assume that the judge will be a radical leftist.

Clinton Allies Send Davis To Set Up Spin Operation Outside Gowdy’s Committee By Jim Geraghty

From the last Morning Jolt of the week:

Guess Who’s Setting Up a Spin Operation Right Outside Gowdy’s Committee?

Let’s start the Friday off right by exposing something that a bunch of Progressives don’t want you to know. At dinner last night, Larry O’Connor of WMAL mentioned his latest interview with the affable but indisputably ruthless Lanny Davis:

Davis will be heading up something he calls “The Truth Squad,” and will position himself right outside the committee room where Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) will be conducting his investigations into the events of the Sept 11th Benghazi attacks.

Davis joined me and my co-host, Brian Wilson on our morning radio show in Washington DC on WMAL Thursday morning.

Okay, that’s not surprising, a Democratic spin doctor sets up shop to “fact check” the findings and questioning of Gowdy’s special committee. But a guy like Davis – who’s represented the Clinton White House, some unsavory foreign clients and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder – doesn’t come cheap. So who’s putting all this together?

Davis said his partner in the effort is an advocacy group called “Correct The Record”, which is funded by the American Bridge 21st Century PAC.

Davis claimed, “They are funded by thousands of grassroots people all over the country,” said Davis. “It’s a great organization, because all they do is put facts out, and that’s really all I do.”

Black Americans Are Worse Off Under Obama Yet They Still Support him Almost Unanimously. By Deroy Murdock

According to a Fox News survey released on Wednesday, Obama’s approval rating stands at 45 percent among all registered voters. However, among black voters, Obama’s job approval soars to 86 percent.

Given Obama’s devastating impact on black Americans, this is even more confounding than the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Obama’s election, no doubt, generated considerable ethnic pride. Seeing a black man (or, precisely, a half-black man) inaugurated was a truly exceptional milestone for all Americans — black and otherwise.

But Obama reached the Oval Office nearly five years and four months ago. Since then, his performance should have dimmed his halo among blacks, especially considering how much they have suffered on his watch.

• When Obama entered office on January 20, 2009, U.S. unemployment stood at 7.8 percent. By April 2014, that Bureau of Labor Statistics figure had fallen to 6.3 percent — a modest improvement. Among blacks overall, joblessness dropped, though less significantly — from 12.7 to 11.6 percent. But for blacks aged 16 to 19, unemployment grew from 35.3 to 36.8 percent.

• Obama’s somewhat more sanguine unemployment numbers, such as they are, seem less about job growth and more about people simply abandoning the workforce — whereupon they conveniently exit the unemployment rate. The more revealing labor-force-participation rate thus fell from 65.7 percent in January 2009 to 62.8 percent last month, a portrait of disengagement last witnessed in March 1978. For black adults, that number slipped from 63.2 to 60.9 percent. While 29.6 percent of blacks aged 16 to 19 were working when Obama took power, only 27.9 percent were employed last month.

• Poverty has increased under Obama. Overall, 14.3 percent of Americans were below the poverty line in January 2009, versus 15.0 percent in 2012, according to the latest available data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. Similarly, the share of black Americans living in poverty expanded from 25.8 to 27.2 percent.