Randy's Blog

RSS Feed
Posted by Randy | September 17, 2014

This week, the House Select Committee on Benghazi held its first hearing to examine implementation of the recommendations made by the Accountability Review Board.

The Accountability Review Board issued a report in December of 2012, which found that “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies” at the State Department resulted in security that was “grossly inadequate” to address the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that took the lives of four Americans.

The Review Board made over twenty recommendations, including designing courses that integrate high threat training to better prepare diplomatic security personnel assigned to high-risk posts, and revising regulations to include disciplinary action when poor performance by senior officials is related to a security incident.

In September of 2013, the State Department's Office of the Inspector General issued a report noting that while the Department has taken action to implement the recommendations, it may not be doing so in a manner that reflects the intent of the Review Board.


Question of the weekIn moving forward towards correcting and improving security at our American embassies, how important do you think it is that Congress continue examining the attack on Benghazi that took the lives of the US Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans?

( ) Very important
( ) Important
( ) Somewhat important
( ) Not important
( ) Undecided
( ) Other


Take the Poll here.


Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.

 

Posted by Randy | September 17, 2014

This week, I joined Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business to share my thoughts on ISIL, arming the Syrian rebels, and the President’s speech.

Watch below if you missed it, or click here.

Posted by Randy | September 12, 2014
This week, President Obama addressed the nation to present a strategy to the American people regarding the role the United States will play to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Since last month, the United States has conducted more than 150 airstrikes and has provided humanitarian assistance to those targeted and persecuted by the terrorist organization.

The President announced that the United States will lead an international coalition in continuing the airstrikes and humanitarian aid, and send an additional 475 servicemembers to Iraq to support and train Iraqi and Kurdish forces.


Question of the week
: Do you support the President’s strategy for combatting ISIL?


( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other.


Take the Poll here.


Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by | August 12, 2014
In June, as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) began its takeover of major cities in Iraq, I asked if you believed the United States should get involved.   In response, 2,096 out of 3,469 or 60.4% of you said ‘no.’

On August 7th, the President authorized targeted airstrikes against ISIL if they move toward or threaten our personnel in the U.S. consulate in Erbil or the American embassy in Baghdad.  The President also called for humanitarian aid for the Iraqi civilians stranded on Mount Sinjar, and authorized military assistance to the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces as they battle these terrorists.

To date, the U.S. military has conducted airdrops of food and water, delivering more than 85,000 meals and more than 20,000 gallons of drinking water, and is continuing airstrikes against ISIL to protect our American diplomats and military personnel in Erbil.


Question of the week:  Do you support the actions taken by the Administration in response to the situation in Iraq?

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other.


 Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPollhere.
Posted by Randy | July 24, 2014
Last week, a Malaysia Airlines passenger flight, carrying nearly 300 people, was shot down over Ukraine.

Secretary of State John Kerry stated that there is evidence that Russia provided the rebels in Ukraine with the weapons used to shoot down the plane, and reports indicate that the rebels have turned over the black boxes that contain key data about the flight and the downing of the plane.

This week, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to conduct an international investigation into the tragic incident.

Question of the week:  What role should the United States play in the response to the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight? 

( ) Impose new sanctions on Russia.
( ) Take the lead in the investigation of the attack.
( ) Lead negotiations to disarm pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.
( ) The United States should not get involved.
( ) I don’t know.  
( ) Other. 


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | July 24, 2014

Recently, the House passed H.R. 657, which I cosponsored, expressing support for Israel's right to defend itself against rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization, and calling on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket fire and other attacks on Israel. 

I stand with Israel.


Additionally, I supported the United States–Israel Strategic Partnership Act, H.R. 938, affirming the House’s support for Israel’s security and the shared values between the United States and Israel.
Posted by Randy | July 17, 2014
Earlier this month, hostilities between Hamas – a Palestinian militant group – and Israel escalated following the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers.

Hamas fired rockets from the Gaza Strip, a Hamas-controlled territory, toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and Israel struck back with a series of air strikes

In an effort to end the violence, Egypt proposed a cease-fire agreement; however, it failed to gain support from Hamas.  As a result, Israel resumed air strikes to combat the continual firing of rockets.  

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a resolution by unanimous consent, condemning the attack on Israel and reaffirming support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens.

Question of the week:  Should the U.S. affirm the right of Israel to defend itself? 

( ) Yes.   
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other.  


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.           
Posted by Randy | June 20, 2014
Last week, a Sunni extremist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), intensified its attempts to overthrow the Shiite-majority Iraqi government and military.  ISIL, which originally grew out of Al Qaeda, has overtaken major cities in Iraq and is currently moving toward the capital in Baghdad.  The Sunnis and Shiites represent two branches of Islam in Iraq where political and sectarian rifts between the two have resulted in years of political violence.  

Yesterday, President Obama said, “The United States will continue to increase our support to Iraqi security forces. We’re prepared to create joint operation centers in Baghdad and northern Iraq to share intelligence and coordinate planning to confront the terrorist threat of ISIL. And through our new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund, we’re prepared to work with Congress to provide additional equipment. We have had advisers in Iraq through our embassy, and we’re prepared to send a small number of additional American military advisers -- up to 300 -- to assess how we can best train, advise, and support Iraqi security forces going forward.  American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region, and American interests as well.”

Question of the week:  Do you believe the United States should get involved in the current situation in Iraq?

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know. 
( ) Other.


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | June 03, 2014
On May 31, the Obama Administration announced that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by the Taliban since 2009, had been freed, in exchange for the release of five senior Taliban commanders from the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The Taliban detainees, all deemed ‘high risk’ in a 2008 Pentagon report, are now under the supervision of the government of Qatar and are subject to a one-year travel ban. 

Current law requires notification to Congress at least 30 days before the transfer or release of a Guantanamo detainee, and the Secretary of Defense must also certify that actions taken will substantially mitigate the risk of the individual re-engaging in any terrorist activity that threatens the United States.

Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel stated that the U.S. acted quickly – without prior notification to Congress – because Sgt. Bergdahl’s safety and health were in jeopardy. 

                   
Question of the week:  Do you support the actions taken by the Administration? (multi-answer)

( ) Yes. All resources and capabilities should be used to free a captured U.S. solider.
( ) No. Under no circumstances should the United States government negotiate with terrorists.
( ) Yes. The President acted under his authority as Commander-in-Chief.
( ) No. Congress should have been notified, as is required by law, before the detainees were released. 
( ) I don’t know. 
( ) Other.


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | May 16, 2014
Over the past several weeks, international outrage has grown as news outlets have reported the mass abduction of 200 Nigerian girls by the militant Islamic group Boko Haram. Responsible for thousands of deaths in Nigeria since 2009, Boko Haram has threatened to sell the girls into slavery. 

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking generates $32 billion per year around the globe, second only to drug trafficking, and the average age a child is trafficked into the commercial sex trade industry is between 11 and 14 years of age.


Question of the week: 
What actions do you support to combat human trafficking in the United States and around the world? (multi-answer)

( ) Make it a federal crime to knowingly advertise for the commercial sex exploitation of minors and trafficking victim.

( ) Encourage states to adopt safe harbor laws that treat trafficked minors as victims and provide access to protective services and counseling, rather than entering the legal system and being incarcerated.

( ) Provide additional law enforcement tools to enable authorities to prosecute all those involved.

( ) Require states to take steps to identify, prevent, and address sex trafficking of youth in foster care.

( ) Increase funding for human trafficking deterrence, victims’ support programs, and initiatives that promote the human rights of women and girls around the globe.

( ) Ensure that a destination country is aware when an American sex offender who has previously abused a child is traveling to that country and encourage reciprocal notification to protect American children from abuse by foreign sex offenders.

( ) I don’t know. 

( ) Other.


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.