Congressman: ‘For America to be safe, America must be strong’ - Hi-Desert Star: Letters To Editor

Congressman: ‘For America to be safe, America must be strong’

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Posted: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:49 pm

Last year saw Congress pass desperately-needed legislation that will have long-lasting impacts throughout our country. Historic reforms reduced taxes for virtually every American and business, hundreds of job-killing Obama-era regulations were repealed, and major improvements were made to both the Veterans Administration and GI Bill. Moreover, ISIS has been largely destroyed in Iraq and Syria, and the economy is booming, with the stock market hitting record highs and unemployment at an all-time low. However, despite these achievements, Congress must remain focused on rebuilding America as we embark on a new year.

For years, investments in public infrastructure have been ignored or delayed. Our roads are crumbling, our bridges are failing, and most of our public utility systems are decades old. Instead of creating new entitlement programs, governments should provide basic services that taxpayers need and want. We can start by eliminating or streamlining onerous regulations that drive up costs and impede critical infrastructure projects. In many cases, state and local governments spend millions of dollars for federal permits and approvals. Congress must address this problem, tax dollars should be spent on new roads and bridges, not on forms and bureaucrats.

That being said, any infrastructure legislation must also include a significant federal investment. Historically, the federal government has led the way on major infrastructure projects, such as the interstate system itself. Many essential projects simply won’t be built without federal dollars. Our challenge is to do this in the most efficient way possible, getting the most for taxpayer dollars.

A potential model for a funding solution could be the Natural Park Service Legacy Act, a bipartisan bill that I cosponsored. This measure would dedicate a portion of the federal government’s revenues from oil and natural gas production to fixing the infrastructure backlog in our national parks. This bill is particularly timely due to the President’s initiative to expand domestic energy production. Utilizing dedicated funding streams to meet our country’s transportation needs ensures that the federal government can’t redirect your tax dollars to unnecessary and redundant programs. Expanding domestic energy production not only increases American energy independence, but it also creates the opportunity to fund infrastructure improvements directly.

After nearly two decades at war, it’s time for Congress to get serious about rebuilding our military. High-tempo conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, combined with the Obama-era sequester cuts to defense spending, have left our armed forces stretched to the breaking point. To make matters worse, America continues to face threats from rogue states like North Korea and Iran, and rising adversaries like Russia and China pose serious national security challenges. Consequently, it’s more important than ever that our military be the strongest, best-equipped force in the world. Ending the sequester and investing in our military must be a top priority in 2018.

This past year, Congress and the president made considerable strides in changing the way the federal government does business. However, more work must be done to eliminate bureaucratic red tape and establish reliable funding mechanisms for roads, bridges, and other infrastructure needs. For America to be safe, America must be strong, and 2018 should be the year that we begin rebuilding our military. A rebuilt America will be a prosperous America, but without a significant investment, these gains will be under constant threat.

© 2018 Hi-Desert Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • TwoToeJoe posted at 4:43 pm on Wed, Jan 31, 2018.

    TwoToeJoe Posts: 486

    No, it is pure logic. President Trump has managed to anger both Moscow and Chuckie Schumer at the same time. Brilliant! No one else could had done it better!
    By the way Russia invaded Ukraine, intimidated Europe, shadowed our forces, cruised down our coast, and propped up North Korea and even hacked Hillary's private e-mail containing top secret information all while Obama and his sycophants was in office. The previous administration utilized appeasements, payouts, and other idiotic methods that never worked while systematically dismantling our military. Now we must rebuild our military, sharpen our swords, and drain the swamp so America can be strong and make America great again!

  • gstiler posted at 1:45 pm on Wed, Jan 31, 2018.

    gstiler Posts: 13

    Yep, Mr. Cook, Two Toe and other syncophants, just like I said... Trump gives his beloved Russia a pass on sanctions mandated by a Republican congress while Putin invades the Ukraine, intimidates our allies in Europe and the Baltic, scambles jets and bombers to shadow and intimidate our own planes and ships, cruises his own navy up and down the east coast, props up North Korea, and hacks our democracy.
    ... but let's ignore all of that because we've got to drain the swamp, sharpen our swords and be strong!
    This defies all logic. [sad]

  • TwoToeJoe posted at 3:53 pm on Fri, Jan 26, 2018.

    TwoToeJoe Posts: 486

    Our President and Paul Cook is not ignoring external threats from foreign influence. That is why we must keep our swords sharp. External influence is always expected by foreign enemies. What was not expected was the internal influence and corruption by our FBI, DOJ, NSA, and domestic political hacks using foreign(Russia, et al) propaganda. The corrupted and incompetent previous administration and his failed successor and other cronies are now unemployed. Our elections and power grids were not hacked only attempted. The only influence campaign being conducted right now is the losing party's overt attempt to unseat a duly elected and sitting President. I always knew Russia was a threat but it is a real shame and disgusting to discover we have more threats towards democracy in our own government. Draining that swamp in DC makes perfect sense. Once drained we will be safer and it will make America great again!

  • gstiler posted at 12:27 pm on Fri, Jan 26, 2018.

    gstiler Posts: 13

    Rep. Cook says that for the US to be 'strong' and threat-free we need to rebuild out military. But then he, his party and his president continue to ignore the warnings of 11 US intelligence agencies that Russia(and others) continue to mount web-based influence campaigns and engage in the overt hacking of our elections, infrastructure systems and who knows what else.

    So, Rep. Cook wants to re-arm the military to protect democracy, while permitting that same democracy to be eroded by external enemies (Russia, et al) and by an incompetent president?

    Doesn't make sense!

  • BBB posted at 4:59 pm on Thu, Jan 25, 2018.

    BBB Posts: 218

    It takes a deep hole to bury a horse. I agree that the pathetic American statement was over the top, and regret hitting post comment last week. I am sorry for hurling such an invective at you.

    Joe, you're citing the bio part of Duckworth's website. There was no mention of military service at the end of her press releases, at least not the ones I reviewed this AM. There is a difference. I'm out.

  • CookieG posted at 3:43 pm on Thu, Jan 25, 2018.

    CookieG Posts: 21

    I enjoyed the mention of this letter as "lacking meaningful insight". I thought Paul Cook's letter was full of meaningful insight. The "lack of meaningful insight" is thoroughly exhibited by the dismal responses such as "kook", "double kook", and "just another hollow missive from Col Blunderbuss". Those are not even including the ones that were removed. The "subject at hand" is not the use of his letter as a "free" advertising tool. I would also agree that to label someone as a " pathetic excuse for an American" for simply responding to immigration issues is not a slight but reveals true deep hearted hate. The "dead horse" issue was started by the lack of meaningful insight and exposed the hypocritical nature of some commenters. The "how about we quit beating a dead horse" is a wonderful way out of a deep hole. Maybe it is about time to quit digging. May God bless Paul Cook and his beautifully worded and meaningful letter!

  • TwoToeJoe posted at 1:16 pm on Thu, Jan 25, 2018.

    TwoToeJoe Posts: 486

    Yes it is time to stop beating a dead horse. Especially when claims such as no other candidate does this is an untrue statement. The claim naturally went from "always" to "not always" and then specifically to "Tammy Duckworth". Hate to even point out that even this is false. All that was needed was to disagree with the premise 'For America to be safe, America must be strong’. I realize that is offensive towards some. Maybe because Col Cook(ret) is a career military guy is a problem? Then maybe Lt Col Duckworth (ret) who also is a career military gal may be a problem also? Now that is a novel position.

    Must have missed these:
    "Tammy was living in DeKalb, Illinois, working at Rotary International while pursuing a Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University, when her unit, headquartered in Peoria, was mobilized in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. On November 12, 2004 Tammy’s UH‐60 Black Hawk helicopter was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. She lost both legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion. As a result of her injuries, Tammy was awarded the Purple Heart."
    "Senator Tammy Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs."

  • BBB posted at 11:36 am on Thu, Jan 25, 2018.

    BBB Posts: 218

    Rephrase away. The subject at hand is Cook's use of the Star as a free advertising tool, his message was pure campaign boilerplate, lacking in any meaningful insight. A career military guy thinks we need to have a huge increase in military spending. Now that's a novel position.

    I ckecked out Senator Duckworth's website, and no reference to military awards or service tag lined at the end of her press releases.

    How about we quit beating a dead horse.

  • TwoToeJoe posted at 9:53 am on Thu, Jan 25, 2018.

    TwoToeJoe Posts: 486

    Then perhaps the statement "The fact is Cook has ALWAYS played off his military service in his communications" should be rephrased. Perhaps the statement "We all know Cook was a career officer in the Corps., and was awarded two purple hearts while fighting in V. Nam." I knew he was a career officer but never knew he was awarded two purple hearts. Upon checking I also discovered he was awarded the bronze star. In today's politics people demonize those who who were granted deferments depending on ideological views and when it does not fit the narrative downplay military service. This tactic amongst many others is employed when the focus on issues is not important and the topic should be changed. People complain that we spend too much on our military and should redirect funds towards wasteful spending such as relocating Unaccompanied Alien Children showing up at our borders which is costing us over a billion dollars a year and growing. I would rather spend this money on more useful purposes such as Defense, Border Security, and the National Parks rather than creating more problems in the future. I agree with Col Cooks philosophy that "For America to be safe, America must be strong".

  • BBB posted at 8:03 am on Thu, Jan 25, 2018.

    BBB Posts: 218

    Joe Joe, the purple heart reference appears as a tagline at the bottom of his press releases and some mailings. The Star has run his press releases in the past as well in the news section of the paper with the tagline. It doesn't appear in all communications.

  • TwoToeJoe posted at 5:04 pm on Wed, Jan 24, 2018.

    TwoToeJoe Posts: 486

    I never knew Col Cook was awarded two purple hearts while serving in Vietnam. My mass mailings and even this press release never even mentioned this. I also am concerned about subversion. It certainly appears all the Russia collusion claims was fabricated by the devious politically biased appointees in the Department of Justice and FBI supported and coordinated by the last administration and the Hillary campaign. I always knew the corruption would be exposed when things did not work out as expected. Some important work taking place in Washington such as stopping the Schumer shutdown, demanding the release of the memo detailing government corruption, the investigation on the Hezbollah financing taskforce, among many other issues is supported by our Col Cook. I just sent a email yesterday to Col Cook yesterday on the corruption issues and so far not received neither a response nor a full mailbox reply. Personally I admire Representative Nunes's work exposing the corruption and can understand the embarrassment by some because of his beneficial impact upon our great country.

  • Porschelad posted at 12:43 pm on Wed, Jan 24, 2018.

    Porschelad Posts: 2

    Before I take Paul Cook seriously, I'd like him to read his constituents' emails. The last two I've sent to his Washington office via the Congressional website have come back to me as "mailbox full." In an elected representative, that is unforgivable.

  • BBB posted at 12:22 pm on Wed, Jan 24, 2018.

    BBB Posts: 218

    Labeling Cook a kook, double kook, and Col. Blunderbuss, while a slight, is hardly the stuff of a hater. The fact is Cook has always played off his military service in his communications as a member of the CA Assembly and now as an US Congressman. We all know Cook was a career officer in the Corps., and was awarded two purple hearts while fighting in V. Nam. We are repeatedly reminded of this when reading a press release or a mass mailing. We get it. I don't recall John McCain, Bob Kerrey, or James Webb repeatedly ending their communications with a reference to medals or awards.

  • BBB posted at 10:34 am on Wed, Jan 24, 2018.

    BBB Posts: 218

    So enlightenment is found in a spurious memo crafted by Nunes" congressional staffers? Hardly. Nunes is a political bungler at best, just review his work as a member of Trump's transition team. May the voters of the 22nd district send this guy back to the farm where he rightfully belongs. As a third generation farmer, Nunes surely can have a more beneficial impact on our country, than slithering along the halls of congress.

    I grew up detesting the Soviet Union in the 60's and 70's, and really not much has changed since its break up. The Russians want to subvert our democracy, and I and a lot more folks want to know if the present administration has one iota of complicity
    in assisting this subversion.

    Col. Cook severed our country bravely fifty years ago, but his dogged cry for a large increase of the military budget has grown old. I guess $589 billion isn't enough.

  • jgc760 posted at 9:19 am on Wed, Jan 24, 2018.

    jgc760 Posts: 99

    It is interesting how the editor of the Star eliminates posts that point out the hateful rhetoric spewed by some of its posters. Attacks that are personal have no place in a vibrant debate of issues. The Star should not be encouraging them by posting them and censoring those who rightfully call them out.

  • jgc760 posted at 9:09 am on Wed, Jan 24, 2018.

    jgc760 Posts: 99

    The haters are out in force on the comment pages. So sad we cannot have a debate over policy. As Abraham Lincoln said, "a house divided against itself cannot stand."

  • Mike posted at 5:48 pm on Tue, Jan 23, 2018.

    Mike Posts: 921

    @ David, Boo, BB and Maxine Waters:

    It is at no ones peril but our own that we ignorantly promote such bitter divisiveness.

  • Mike posted at 5:45 pm on Tue, Jan 23, 2018.

    Mike Posts: 921

    @ Congressman Cook:

    As we can see, your detractors have resorted to disrespectful name calling. Perhaps that’s because they find little in your article with witch a concerned American should disagree.

    I think you are spot on.

    By the way Sir, I believe taxpaying citizens have every right to see the DOJ memo, currently held by Congress, which purportedly supports claims of corruption within the highest levels of government. PLEASE RELEASE THE MEMO!

    Enlightenment drives unfounded hate back into the darkness from which it came.

  • BBB posted at 11:49 am on Tue, Jan 23, 2018.

    BBB Posts: 218

    Just another hollow missive from Col. Blunderbuss....

  • idavidgraficks posted at 12:46 pm on Sun, Jan 21, 2018.

    idavidgraficks Posts: 1259

    double Kook

  • booboo77 posted at 10:06 am on Fri, Jan 19, 2018.

    booboo77 Posts: 1201



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