MY SAY: ELECTIONS ARE COMING…A DIAMOND IN THE GRANITE STATE

Marilinda Garcia (R) Challenger To Incumbent Ann McLane Kuster (D) in District 2
http://www.marilindagarcia.com/

HOT BUTTON ISSUES

HEALTHCARE “I will work to dismantle Obamacare and replace it with bottom-up reforms that allow consumers and their doctors to make decisions for themselves.”

Obamacare was a misguided and destructive policy from the start. Since the law was proposed in 2009, I have argued that putting health care decision-making in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats would lead to higher prices, fewer choices, no improvement in health outcomes and restricted access in the doctor-patient relationship. Now, unfortunately but as expected, we are beginning to see the evidence. Thousands of New Hampshire families have had their insurance canceled because of this new law, and thousands more who are being pushed onto the exchanges are seeing significant and unaffordable premium increases. Additionally, this broad government mandate overtakes 1/6th of the US economy and severely inhibits innovation in medicine through higher taxes, limiting and cumbersome regulations and centralization of power. In my hometown alone, I have seen highly-specialized clinics that feature state of the art equipment and medical innovation be sold by what will be the few large nationwide providers – ending the delivery of patient-centered care and transparent pricing in our community and state. But it is not enough to just oppose Obamacare. While ObamaCare has made the system worse for millions of Americans due to policy cancellations and skyrocketing premium increases, the pre-Obamacare health care system was riddled with flaws and failures. Next generation conservative leadership means providing alternatives that enhance health care options for all New Hampshire families. Instead of top-down solutions, in which politicians, bureaucrats and insurance executives are in charge of our decision-making, we should promote bottom-up solutions in which consumers make decisions for themselves. Here are some specific ideas I support:

Tax fairness: Individuals who buy insurance for themselves should be afforded the same tax exclusions that employers get when they provide insurance for their employees.
Interstate competition: Allow consumers to purchase health plans across state lines.
End lawsuit abuse: Defensive medicine, whereby doctors prescribe unnecessary treatments in order to prevent lawsuits, is contributing greatly to health care costs.

FOREIGN POLICY America has no greater ally in the Middle East than Israel. Unlike any other nation in the region, with Israel we share a commitment to individual rights, religious tolerance and representative democracy. That is why we must emphasize our commitment to Israel as we continue to face common threats, such as a nuclear-ambitious Iran and global terrorism. America must stand with her friends and allies globally. The Obama Administration has proven itself to be an unreliable partner for our allies. We should never pursue policies that alienate our greatest allies in unstable regions for the purpose of placating the demands of nations that publicly seek to harm us.

ENERGY Energy Policies That Work “I will prioritize smart domestic energy development that reduces energy prices, increases our national security and independence, and creates more job opportunities.” New Hampshire families and small businesses are feeling the pinch of high energy costs. It doesn’t have to be this way. My top priority is opposing any new energy taxes, such as the Cap-and-Trade tax or the plethora of new taxes and regulatory burdens associated with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). I oppose the cap-and-trade energy tax. Second, we can positively impact energy prices by pursuing a smart energy policy. I support policies that would increase domestic energy exploration and production, increase our refinement capacity and build more efficient energy transport systems, such as the long-overdue Keystone XL Pipeline. These policies would reduce the cost of energy, reduce our dependency on foreign oil and create new, good-paying American manufacturing jobs.

Jonah Goldberg: Is the Islamic State Really ‘Not Islamic’?

Anyone who thinks jihadism is authentically Muslim won’t change his mind because Obama says so.

“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state.”

—​ President Barack Obama in his address to the nation on Wednesday

About the second point reasonable people can quibble. The terrorist army that calls itself the Islamic State is certainly trying to build a state — and not just a state but a super state, or caliphate. They’re not there yet; their delivery of social services seems spotty at best, though they do collect taxes and uphold the law (in a fashion).

More relevant, it doesn’t really matter if it’s a state. Morally, this weed stinks just as much whether you call it a state or a soccer league that rapes, tortures, and murders people on the side. And legally, statehood would matter — and not very much — only if the U.N. and other bodies agreed to recognize the fledgling caliphate’s legitimacy. That’s not going to happen even if the Islamic State opens up post offices and DMVs on every corner.

The president’s first assertion is trickier. Is the Islamic State “not Islamic”? Moreover, is it really “clear” that it’s not Islamic?

Not even a little? Is it Islamic-ish?

If we’re talking clarity, I’d say the Islamic State is clearly not Mormon. Or Lutheran. Or Buddhist. It most certainly is not the most extreme example of Quakers gone bad ever recorded.

As for its not being Islamic, that’s at best unclear, if not just clearly wrong. And the fact that the majority of its victims are Muslim is irrelevant. Lenin and Stalin killed thousands of Communists and socialists; that doesn’t mean Lenin and Stalin weren’t Communists and socialists. If such terrorists who kill Muslims aren’t Muslims, why do we give them Korans when we imprison them?

WILLIAM BENNETT’S TEPID DEFENSE OF COMMON CORE: FREDERICK HESS

He likes the idea but skips major questions about what comes after.

Support for the Common Core is collapsing. Just a year ago, Gallup reported that 62 percent of Americans had never heard of the Common Core. The minority who had heard of it were generally supportive. This August, Gallup reported that 60 percent of Americans now oppose the Common Core, including 76 percent among Republicans and 60 percent of independents.

In response, Common Core advocates are redoubling their efforts to find credible Republicans to embrace the Common Core. On Thursday they got former secretary of education Bill Bennett to restate his support for the Common Core in a Wall Street Journal editorial. You can just picture the Common Core’s (predominantly liberal) champions high-fiving in celebration. But they should restrain themselves, because the Bennett column illustrates why the Common Core’s “conservative problem” isn’t going away anytime soon.

Bennett’s thinking is always sharp and deserves careful attention. In this case, such attention highlights just how tepid his endorsement turns out to be. Bennett’s big “defense” of the Common Core mostly argues that conservatives should favor rigorous academic standards, mastery of mathematics, and common assessments. (He also rebuffs the wrongheaded claim that the Common Core includes a leftist reading list and argues that Obama-administration involvement isn’t cause enough to abandon the enterprise.)

But Bennett never even attempts to make the case that the Common Core standards are “good,” or to alleviate concerns about potentially problematic consequences. In this, his column is pretty typical of what passes for conservative advocacy. Conservative champions tend to argue that high standards and common tests are good and that, ipso facto, the Common Core must be good.

Islamic State Is Recruiting America’s ‘Jihadi Cool’ Crowd: Rep.Michael McCaul (R-TX-District 10 )….see note

Just for the record…,.Rep. McCaul gets a very negative rating from the Arab American institute:

•Rated -3 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
The threat from terrorists holding U.S. passports is rising, and the administration is still playing catch-up.

We heard Wednesday night from President Obama about his plan to combat the Islamic State abroad, but what we didn’t hear is his plan to combat violent Islamist extremism in the U.S.

Americans have been radicalized within our borders and drawn to this conflict in disturbing numbers. Late last month the State Department confirmed that an American was killed in Syria while fighting for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and the government is investigating a second American fatality in the same battle. Both were young men raised in Minnesota, and one was found with his U.S. passport.

Though citizens of at least 50 countries have joined the brutal terrorist group, the hundred or more Americans who have traveled to the region to join the fight are the ones who pose an exceptionally grave threat to national security. Armed with military training, combat experience and extremist connections, these battle-hardened Islamists are only a one-way flight from home.

U.S. authorities are working to track these individuals and prevent their return to America, and the international community is waking up to the need to roll back the ISIS sanctuary straddling Iraq and Syria. But the danger to the homeland cannot be eliminated or reduced to what President Obama called a “manageable problem” solely on a foreign battlefield. We must also wage a robust effort here at home to combat the violent Islamist ideology—the root of radicalization—by working with local communities to intervene when we see signs of it.

Several of our allies have recently announced new measures to tackle homegrown extremism. The United Kingdom, for example, is requiring suspected British jihadists to attend de-radicalization programs. But many of our partners ultimately look to the U.S. for guidance. So what is America doing to combat the rising threat of domestic radicalization? I am worried that we are not doing enough.

MARK SKLAR, M.D.Doctoring in the Age of ObamaCare….See note please

This problem with medical care started long before Hillarycare or Obamacare….Alas…the entire problem really began with the Presidency of Ronald Reagan when Medicare was empowered to set the bar for reimbursement even by private insurers, and that gave decision making to actuaries and bureaucrats who decided on lowered fees and inundated doctors with paperwork…..rsk

Endlessly entering data or calling for permission to prescribe or trying to avoid Medicare penalties—when should I see patients?
It has been four years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, so I thought it may be useful to provide the perspective of a physician providing daily medical care. I am an endocrinologist in Washington, D.C., and have been in solo private practice for 17 years after seven years at an academic institution. Since 1990, the practice of medicine has changed significantly, seldom for the better.

In the 1990s insurance companies developed managed-care plans that greatly increased their profits at the expense of the physician. With the Affordable Care Act, we are seeing new groups profiting from changes to the health-care system. Entrepreneurs and hospital executives are capitalizing on organizing physicians into groups called Accountable Care Organizations from which they will take a very substantial percentage of collected income. Now that physicians are being required to use electronic medical records, the companies that develop them are harvesting money from physicians’ practices and from hospitals.

The push to use electronic medical records has had more than financial costs. Although it is convenient to have patient records accessible on the Internet, the data processing involved has been extremely time consuming—a sentiment echoed by most of my colleagues. To save time, I was advised by a consultant to enter data into the electronic record during the office visit. When I tried this I found that typing in the data was disruptive to the patient visit. My eyes were focused on the keyboard and the lack of direct contact kept patients from opening up and discussing their medical and personal problems. I soon returned to my old method of dictating notes and pasting a print-out of the dictation into the electronic record.

THE DEMOCRAT’S CASTING COUCH IN IOWA: HILLARY FACES SKEPTICS

Hillary Clinton Faces Skeptical Iowa Voters by Peter Nicholas
Ahead of Possible 2016 Run, Former Secretary of State to Make Her First Visit to the State Since 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa—It was Iowa that punctured Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency in 2008. If she runs again, it looks like she still has work to do.

Some Democrats who backed other candidates in the state’s caucuses in 2008 say they haven’t yet warmed to Mrs. Clinton. Others bristled at her recent criticism of President Barack Obama’s Mideast policy. Accustomed to watching presidential candidates up close, some say they want to see a more accessible and authentic candidate than the one who finished third behind Mr. Obama and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

Mrs. Clinton remains the favorite to win her party’s nomination, should she run in 2016, and a super PAC is already making a substantial effort to help her here and in other states. She will have a chance to make new impressions when she returns to Iowa Sunday for the first time in six years to headline, along with former President Bill Clinton, a Democratic fundraiser and speak at an annual steak fry hosted by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

Mrs. Clinton’s public image has taken a hit since she left her job as secretary of state. Some 43% of registered voters viewed her positively in a national Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll taken early this month, down from 59% when she entered the State Department in 2009.

Dale Todd, a former Cedar Rapids city councilman who backed Mr. Obama in 2008, said he didn’t take well to Mrs. Clinton’s criticism in a magazine interview of the president’s delay in arming rebels in Syria and her suggestion that Mr. Obama needed a stronger organizing principle for foreign policy. “If there is some political consultant who thinks that’s the way to win Iowa, I would suggest they are incredibly wrong,” he said.

But Bret Nilles, chairman of the Linn County Democratic Party and backer of Mrs. Clinton in 2008, said her global experience is an important credential. “Events in the Middle East—particularly in Syria and Iraq—are an area of concern. Her background at the State Department and her knowledge would be a valuable asset,” he said.

Asked about Mrs. Clinton’s ratings, the Republican governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, pointed to a similar tumble on the part of Mr. Obama. “She was part of his administration,” he said.

NEW HAMPSHIRE CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS 2014- INCUMBENTS AND CHALLENGERS AND WHERE THEY STAND ON THE ISSUES: BY RUTH KING

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/new-hampshire-2014-candidates-for-congress-where-they-stand

State 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

US SENATE LOGO SQ
Kelly Ayotte (R) Next Election in 2016.
Jeanne Shaheen (D) Incumbent

http://jeanneshaheen.org/ http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/jeanne_shaheen.htm**

HOT BUTTON ISSUES

HEALTHCARE She opposes repeal of the Affordable Care Act because she believes we cannot go back to the days when insurance companies could discriminate against women and people with pre-existing conditions, cap lifetime benefits, and terminate policies for people who got sick. Jeanne is working to improve the ACA by extending deadlines for sign up and cosponsoring legislation to reduce the number of policies cancelled by insurance companies. Jeanne led the effort to strengthen Medicare by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and save an estimated $5,000 for each senior. Jeanne is cosponsoring bipartisan bills to require the government to negotiate for lower drug prices for Medicare and to prevent pharmaceutical companies from keeping cheaper generic drugs off the market.

ENERGY Opposed to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. As Governor, Jeanne led the fight to bring competition to the electric industry and she brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass the Clean Power Act, first in the nation legislation that reduced power plant emissions. Her energy efficiency programs have saved New Hampshire families and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars. In the U.S. Senate, Jeanne is leading the fight, with bipartisan support, for a comprehensive national energy strategy to meet our growing energy needs, increase energy efficiency, lower costs, and confront the global threat of climate change. Her legislation would create 190,000 U.S. jobs, save consumers billions of dollars, and reduce pollution.

ENVIRONMENT Jeanne has been an environmental leader throughout her career. She is committed to ending our reliance on fossil fuels and moving us toward a clean energy future. She opposed attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act and strongly supported land and water conservation programs. She understands that New Hampshire’s natural beauty is one of our state’s greatest assets and is committed to preserving our wildlife habitats and recreational areas for generations to come.
Scott Brown (R) Challenger

Ex-US Senator, Ex-MA State Sen., Ex-MA State Rep., Attorney & Army Veteran https://www.scottbrown.com/

HOT BUTTON ISSUES

TAXES Scott Brown believes that as a nation we are over-taxed. The American people are spending more on taxes than for their housing, food, and clothing combined. The host of new taxes in Obamacare are a clear example of this rampant taxation. Scott Brown will fight to reduce the tax burden on middle class Americans. He never voted for a tax increase during his years of public service, and he will do everything he can to make sure that Americans can keep more of their hard-earned money.

HEALTHCARE Obamacare Isn’t Working The people of New Hampshire take pride in individual liberty and freedom. Obamacare demolishes both. It is bad for New Hampshire and bad for America. Granite Staters are already suffering from higher premiums, fewer options, and canceled plans, forcing them to find new doctors and drive farther distances for treatment. Of the state’s 26 hospitals, 10 have been excluded from the only plan that is currently offered. Obamacare is also hurting economic growth and causing uncertainty for businesses. Next January, businesses will be forced to offer health insurance to their employees or face penalties. In the Senate, Scott Brown fought to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. Senator Shaheen cast the tie-breaking vote to pass Obamacare into law and stands by the President’s law, despite the hardships it has created for Granite Staters.

IMMIGRATION Scott Brown believes we are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws and those laws must be observed. Scott supports fixing the legal immigration system in a way that encourages students, high-skilled workers, and entrepreneurs from around the world to come and pursue the American dream. He believes, however, that amnesty is wrong. It undermines the law, and is a disservice to the millions of immigrants who are following the law and playing by the rules.

ENERGY Scott Brown believes we need to pursue an “all-of-the-above” energy policy that includes carbon-based fuels, nuclear, wind, solar and other renewables. Such a policy is good for jobs and for the nation’s security, as it will reduce our reliance on foreign sources of energy. Scott Brown also supports efforts to build the Keystone pipeline, a mega-project that will create thousands of good-paying jobs.

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District 1

Carol Shea-Porter (D) Incumbent

http://www.sheaporter.com/ http://shea-porter.house.gov/

http://www.ontheissues.org/house/carol_shea-porter.htm**

HOT BUTTON ISSUES

HEALTHCARE I voted for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has brought coverage to millions of Americans and raised the number of insured to the highest on record. More than 40,000 people in New Hampshire gained coverage this year through the state Marketplace, and 50,000 more will get healthcare when Medicaid expands this July. The healthcare law prevents discrimination against women, people with pre-existing conditions, and older Americans. It ensures that young adults can stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, which has already extended coverage to more than 10,000 young people in New Hampshire. It also eliminates annual and lifetime limits, so now, if your family member is sick, the insurance company can no longer refuse to pay past a certain dollar amount. Before the law passed, we were all paying extra for nonpayers, who often ended up in emergency rooms and left taxpayers footing the bill. Addressing this problem while keeping the private insurance market was originally a Republican idea, and was piloted by then-Governor Romney. The law has the support of leading organizations in the health care industry, groups such as the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, and many others that work directly with patients. Organizations like Small Business Majority and AARP are also actively supporting it. Next year, there will be a total of 5 insurers offering plans on the New Hampshire Marketplace. Lack of insurer competition in New Hampshire had been a problem for decades, but now the healthcare law is reversing that trend. I pushed to bring new choices to the Marketplace, and I’m proud of the work I did. While I have always supported healthcare reform, I have never said this law is perfect. I would have preferred a public option–Medicare you can buy into–and I was disappointed in the rollout, especially the website and the fact that NH had only one insurer. It was outrageous when Anthem left ten hospitals out of its network, including Frisbie, Parkland, and Portsmouth. I fought to make sure that insurance companies must actively prove they have enough doctors and hospitals in their networks next year, and succeeded.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT Opposed construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. After years of arguing about whether we are experiencing climate change as a result of our human activities, the debate is over. Climate change is real, and it is impacting our planet and the Granite State as we speak. We need our policy makers in Congress to finally acknowledge the reality of climate change and the effect it is having on our environment. Unfortunately, Frank Guinta continues to side with the do-nothings. He has stated on multiple occasions that he believes the government has no role in combating climate change, and he told the Raymond Tea Party that as well. The fact is that the government does have an important role to play in stopping climate change. I support the current Clean Power Plan that will fight climate change by cutting carbon pollution from existing power plants by 30% below 2005 baseline levels by 2030. These limits will not only protect our environment, they will also safeguard our health, and spur innovation in the clean energy economy. In New Hampshire, we know how important our natural resources and the environment are to our economy, and that’s why we’ve already made significant progress towards the 30% goal. Between 2008 and 2011, carbon emissions from the power sector in the Granite State decreased by 25%. New Hampshire will continue to have flexibility on what methods we use to meet the new national goal by 2030. Our state acting alone is clearly not enough, and that is why I was also happy the Supreme Court upheld the rule that EPA can regulate cross state pollution. For far too long, New Hampshire has been known as the “tail-pipe state”, as air pollution for other areas of the country particularly the Midwest, has blown across our borders. The cost of removing an additional ton of carbon pollution in an upwind state is as little as $500, and yet in many cases some basic control technologies have not been installed. This inaction by other states is simply unacceptable. However, we need more than strengthened regulations to curtail climate change; we also need increased investment in new clean energy technologies. We must break our dependence on oil for environmental and security reasons, and we must do it now. Indeed, the Defense Department has been a strong leader in advocating for and implementing renewable technologies. I firmly believe there should be an Apollo-type program to advance renewable energy and slow down climate change. The time to protect our environment and act on climate change is now. But in order for this to happen, we can’t send more big coal and big oil friends like Frank Guinta to Washington in November.

Frank Guinta (R) Challenger

http://teamguinta.com/

Rated -2 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)

HOT BUTTON ISSUES

HEALTHCARE While serving New Hampshire in Congress, his top priority was growing the middle class. He worked to achieve this goal in a number of different ways. Namely, he fought to repeal and replace Obamacare, which continues to devastate the middle class through a combination of taxes, a reduction in the workweek while also putting in place barriers for hiring that hamper small business growth. Health care premiums are skyrocketing, devastating the middle class here in the state and around the country. New Hampshire was promised we could keep our plan, and then 22,000 lost their health insurance. We were promised additional access to care; now we only have one insurer and almost half of our hospitals have been excluded from the Obamacare Exchange. The 40-hour workweek has been eliminated, ever diminishing the take home checks of thousands of workers while 12 of the 21 taxes included in Obamacare fall on those earning less than $250,000 annually. And the promise made to seniors in the form of Medicare? Eviscerated. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a cut to the popular Medicare Advantage Program which one report stated would cost the average senior nearly $1,000 in additional out of pocket costs annually. Health care plays a critical role in the daily lives of all Americans. Today, medical decisions lie more in the hands of bureaucrats and insurance companies rather than doctors and patients. For these reasons, I have fought to repeal or defund Obamacare It is long past time to find solutions to fix this broken health care system, too many are suffering, and too few have access to affordable, quality care. New Hampshire should not accept this current condition as a permanent reality; we can and must do better. Recently, I began a Health Care Listening Tour, which has brought me to multiple locations and shown a bright light on the disastrous affects Obamacare has had on New Hampshire. In place of Obamacare, Washington should push legislation permitting the purchasing of insurance across state lines, reform medical malpractice, increase competition and implement market-based reforms to reduce costs and increase access to quality, affordable health care.

IMMIGRATION The United States has always been a melting pot, and we respect the traditions and beliefs of others. We should continue to welcome people to the United States who respect our laws and want to contribute to the betterment of our society. I do not oppose legal immigration, in fact, like many Americans; I am a product of it and have been honored to partake in swearing in ceremonies for individuals who have earned the right to become American citizens. Illegal immigration though, is an entirely different situation. We are a nation that believes deeply in the rule of law and I do not think we should reward those who would willfully ignore our laws. First, we must secure the border. This can be done with an increase in the number of border agents, construction of walls in high traffic areas and the added use of new technology. Our second priority ought to be an increase in the penalties for employers who assist or hire illegal aliens. Local law enforcement should be encouraged to report illegal immigrants to the appropriate authorities for immediate deportation. Those state and municipal governments that refuse to follow federal immigration laws should forfeit federal funding. Lastly, we should work to streamline and make more efficient our immigration process. To be clear, I will not support an amnesty of illegal aliens currently in the United States. Any amnesty would only reward criminal behavior and would encourage additional illegal immigration in the future.

ENERGY Favors construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. A recent study suggests over 1,000 people in our District will lose their jobs because of this overactive regulatory regime. That is to say nothing of the increased costs you pay monthly on your electricity bill. It is long past time to tell Washington to stop hurting the middle class citizens of this state with their reckless agenda in the name of an ever-expanding state. New Hampshire’s economy depends on tourism and protecting our natural beauty, pristine lakes, rivers, and habitat. The idea that we must choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment is a false choice. We must rein in the federal government’s excesses, protect New Hampshire jobs and taxpayers, while ensuring our habitat and beauty remain intact. Based on other estimates released by the Federal Highway Administration, the average American now spends an extra $1,022 a year because of the increase in gas prices. This is $1,000 not saved for retirement. $1,000 not put into your kids college account. $1,000 not spent on that vacation you wanted to take. We need to enact a nationwide, long-term energy plan to begin responsibly exploring for and utilizing our own natural resources. Recent estimates have said the United States could be a net energy exporter in the not too distant future; however, this will only occur if we have the courage to take the necessary steps to become energy independent. Renewable energy and other forms of green energy must be part of the solution too. Only when we commit ourselves to this all of the above energy approach will we truly become energy independent and rid ourselves of our dependence on foreign oil.

District 2

Ann McLane Kuster (D) Incumbent

http://kuster.house.gov/ http://kusterforcongress.com/

http://www.ontheissues.org/house/Annie_Kuster.htm**

HOT BUTTON ISSUES

HEALTHCARE Annie is focused on reforming our health care system to improve access to affordable, quality health care. She knows the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, which is why she is working to improve the law. Annie sponsored the bill to fix the “family glitch” and make family health coverage more affordable, and cosponsored legislation to expand tax credits so small businesses can more easily afford to provide health care for their employees. She also successfully pushed the Obama administration to ensure that drugs that help combat breast cancer will be covered by health insurance providers​. Annie opposes efforts to completely throw out the health care reform law, which would increase pharmaceutical costs for seniors and reinstate discrimination against women and patients with preexisting conditions, and she is committed to fixing remaining problems with the law and increasing competition in the New Hampshire health insurance marketplace.

LGBT EQUALITY In Congress, Annie is a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus where she works to end discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. Annie is an original cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and signed the amicus brief to the Supreme Court successfully challenging the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. In addition, Annie has championed legislation to ensure same-sex couples receive the same veterans benefits, social security benefits, and immigration rights as all other Americans.

ADVOCATING FOR WOMEN As part of the third class of women to ever graduate from Dartmouth, Annie has been breaking ground for women her entire career. As an adoption attorney for 25 years, Annie worked with women of every age and background facing unplanned pregnancies, and is a staunch defender of a woman’s right to choose and to make her own health care decisions. Shortly after beginning her service in our nation’s first all-female congressional delegation, Annie went to work addressing sexual assault in the military, and helped lead the successful effort to increase whistleblower protections for those who report these crimes. Annie also recently unveiled an Economic Agenda for Women and Families, which advocates support for critical reforms that will help level the playing field for Granite State women and their families – ​like the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure women ​can access equal pay, protections for pregnant workers, and expanded sick and family leave.

ENERGY Voted against construction of the Keystone XLPipeline without limiting amendments.
Marilinda Garcia (R) Challenger

http://www.marilindagarcia.com/

HOT BUTTON ISSUES

HEALTHCARE “I will work to dismantle Obamacare and replace it with bottom-up reforms that allow consumers and their doctors to make decisions for themselves.”

Obamacare was a misguided and destructive policy from the start. Since the law was proposed in 2009, I have argued that putting health care decision-making in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats would lead to higher prices, fewer choices, no improvement in health outcomes and restricted access in the doctor-patient relationship. Now, unfortunately but as expected, we are beginning to see the evidence. Thousands of New Hampshire families have had their insurance canceled because of this new law, and thousands more who are being pushed onto the exchanges are seeing significant and unaffordable premium increases. Additionally, this broad government mandate overtakes 1/6th of the US economy and severely inhibits innovation in medicine through higher taxes, limiting and cumbersome regulations and centralization of power. In my hometown alone, I have seen highly-specialized clinics that feature state of the art equipment and medical innovation be sold by what will be the few large nationwide providers – ending the delivery of patient-centered care and transparent pricing in our community and state. But it is not enough to just oppose Obamacare. While ObamaCare has made the system worse for millions of Americans due to policy cancellations and skyrocketing premium increases, the pre-Obamacare health care system was riddled with flaws and failures. Next generation conservative leadership means providing alternatives that enhance health care options for all New Hampshire families. Instead of top-down solutions, in which politicians, bureaucrats and insurance executives are in charge of our decision-making, we should promote bottom-up solutions in which consumers make decisions for themselves. Here are some specific ideas I support:

Tax fairness: Individuals who buy insurance for themselves should be afforded the same tax exclusions that employers get when they provide insurance for their employees.
Interstate competition: Allow consumers to purchase health plans across state lines.
End lawsuit abuse: Defensive medicine, whereby doctors prescribe unnecessary treatments in order to prevent lawsuits, is contributing greatly to health care costs.

FOREIGN POLICY America has no greater ally in the Middle East than Israel. Unlike any other nation in the region, with Israel we share a commitment to individual rights, religious tolerance and representative democracy. That is why we must emphasize our commitment to Israel as we continue to face common threats, such as a nuclear-ambitious Iran and global terrorism. America must stand with her friends and allies globally. The Obama Administration has proven itself to be an unreliable partner for our allies. We should never pursue policies that alienate our greatest allies in unstable regions for the purpose of placating the demands of nations that publicly seek to harm us.

ENERGY Energy Policies That Work “I will prioritize smart domestic energy development that reduces energy prices, increases our national security and independence, and creates more job opportunities.” New Hampshire families and small businesses are feeling the pinch of high energy costs. It doesn’t have to be this way. My top priority is opposing any new energy taxes, such as the Cap-and-Trade tax or the plethora of new taxes and regulatory burdens associated with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). I oppose the cap-and-trade energy tax. Second, we can positively impact energy prices by pursuing a smart energy policy. I support policies that would increase domestic energy exploration and production, increase our refinement capacity and build more efficient energy transport systems, such as the long-overdue Keystone XL Pipeline. These policies would reduce the cost of energy, reduce our dependency on foreign oil and create new, good-paying American manufacturing jobs.

Read more: Family Security Matters http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/new-hampshire-2014-candidates-for-congress-where-they-stand#ixzz3D6EkiyTP
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

ALAN CARUBA: WHAT INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS OBAMA TALKING ABOUT?

The Islamic State, a self-declared caliphate, is the true face of Islam. It even scares Muslims.

The U.S. and Iran have been adversaries since 1979 when it seized our diplomats and held them for 444 days. In the wake of the Cold War, Russia has assisted Iran develop its nuclear program and has joined its war on the Islamic State. The U.S. has joined the conflict, making Iran, Syria and Russia our allies in a world where such relationships are changing so fast it is hard to keep up with them.

A Sept 5 Debka File report regarding recent air strikes by Syria on two meetings of Islamic State officers, noted that “The twin Syrian air offensive coincided with the opening of the two-day NATO Summit…the information about the two Al Qaeda meetings at Raqqa and Abu Kamal could have come from only two sources: U.S. surveillance satellites and aircraft, or Iranian agents embedded at strategic points across Syria.”

The Israeli news agency concluded that the success of the air strikes reflected “the widening military and intelligence cooperation between the United States and Iran in Iraq and Syria.” So maybe there has been a bonus of sorts from the U.S. negotiations with Iran regarding its nuclear program? The other component is the fact that Iran does not want a hostile Sunni Islamic State emerging in Iraq on its borders. It is more likely this is a short-term alliance.

Meanwhile, at the NATO meeting in Wales, Secretary of State John Kerry identified what he called a “core coalition” of ten nations that could help the U.S. go after the Islamic State (ISIL) terrorists. The seven he named were Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, and Poland. Of these, only Turkey is Islamic. There was no mention of Iran or Syria, both of whom are playing a significant role in the fight against ISIS.

“There is no containment policy for ISIS,” said Kerry. I suppose that’s better than wanting the ISIS threat to be “manageable” as the President recently said at the same time he said he had “no strategy” at present to deal with ISIS. Meanwhile, on Labor Day Vice President Biden, was saying the U.S. was going to follow ISIS “to the gates of hell” to destroy them.

If there is some confusion in the minds of Americans about what the White House is actually doing or not doing, its mixed messages suggest they have as little idea as the rest of us.

A Sept 5 Rasmussen Reports poll said “Voters show even more support for continued airstrikes in Iraq against the radical Islamic group ISIS despite a second public beheading of a U.S. journalist in retaliation for those strikes. Nearly half now support sending U.S. combat troops to fight ISIS.”

The President is fond of referring to “the international community” but that is essentially a meaningless phrase and has been for a very long time. Individual nations act in their own interest and if that coincides with other nations, they are allies. The result is that, over longer or shorter periods of time, the alliances change in response to various active or potential threats.

RUTHIE BLUM: A SAD ANNIVERSARY

I awoke on September 11, 2001, in an agitated state. I was going to have to tell my boss that I would be leaving work early to take my son to an appointment. That was uncomfortable enough. But I was also going to have to rush to pick up my child across town, drop him off at an extracurricular activity, do the grocery shopping while waiting for him to finish, dash back home to prepare dinner for the rest of the family, and then head back out for a parent-teacher conference at the school.

Halfway through my shuttling back and forth, trying to be punctual in spite of massive Jerusalem traffic, I turned on the radio to listen for suicide bombings.

Keeping track of every blown-up bus, restaurant and mall had become a national pastime at this point, a year into the Second Intifada. Chauffeuring our kids everywhere, to avoid placing them in potential peril on public transportation, was now the norm. (The more irreverent among my friends would quip that the Palestinians had finally figured out an effective way to destroy the Jewish state: by forcing us parents to become even more enslaved to our offspring than we already were.)

The top story on the 4 p.m. news broadcast was startling. It was about New York for a change.

“Authorities are investigating whether the crash of a plane into the World Trade Center was accidental or deliberate,” the announcer said.

Buckled in the back seat, my 11-year-old asked the meaning of my gasp.

“Never mind,” I said, jerking into a parking space so that I could quickly escort him into the adjacent building and focus on the events in lower Manhattan. I didn’t have time to explain Western political correctness in relation to Arab terror. And this possible “aviation accident” was taking place nowhere near Israel.

Instead of going to the supermarket as planned, I stepped into a nearby cafe. Patrons were beginning to gather around a large TV, tuned in to CNN. We all stood and stared, mouths open, watching the first tower, and then the second, collapse like giant sand castles. American reporters were still not using the “T” word.

But we Israelis instantly knew.

9/11 and Jihad Terror: A Legacy of Over 13 Centuries—Not 13 Years : Andrew Bostom

There is just one historically relevant meaning of jihad despite the surfeit of contemporary apologetics. Dr. Tina Magaard-a Sorbonne-trained linguist specializing in textual analysis-published detailed research findings in 2005 (summarized in 2007) comparing the foundational texts of ten major religions. Magaard concluded from her hard data-driven analyses:

The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree [emphasis added]. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with.

For example, in her 2007 essay “Fjendebilleder og voldsforestillinger i islamiske grundtekster” ["Images of enemies and conceptions of violence in Islamic core scriptures"], Magaard observed,

There are 36 references in the Koran to expressions derived from the root qa-ta-la, which indicates fighting, killing or being killed. The expressions derived from the root ja-ha-da, which the word jihad stems from, are more ambiguous since they mean “to struggle” or “to make an effort” rather than killing. Yet almost all of the references derived from this root are found in stories that leave no room for doubt regarding the violent nature of this struggle. Only a single ja-ha-da reference (29:6) explicitly presents the struggle as an inner, spiritual phenomenon, not as an outwardly (usually military) phenomenon. But this sole reference does not carry much weight against the more than 50 references to actual armed struggle in the Koran, and even more in the Hadith.

Consistent with Magaard’s textual analysis, the independent study of Australian linguist and renowned Arabic to English translator, Paul Stenhouse, claimed the root of the word jihad appears forty times in the Koran. With four exceptions, Stenhouse maintained, all the other thirty-six usages in the Koran, and in subsequent Islamic understanding to both Muslim luminaries-the greatest jurists and scholars of classical Islam-and to ordinary people, meant and means, as described by the seminal Arabic lexicographer, E. W. Lane: “He fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers and the like.” A concordant modern Muslim definition, relevant to both contemporary jihadism and its shock troop “mujahideen” [holy warriors; see just below], was provided at the “Fourth International Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research,” at Al Azhar University- in 1968, by Muhammad al-Sobki: