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  • Keep oil drilling out of the Eastern Gulf
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on November 17, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Water Quality

    Offshore drilling and related activities, including seismic testing, have no place in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The moratorium on exploration in the eastern Gulf established in 2006 will expire in 2022 unless Congress acts. It is imperative for the future of Florida and our tourism-based economy that this bipartisan effort to extend the moratorium succeed. I believe I have some credibility on this issue, having served on the board of one of the world’s leading land and offshore drilling firms ... Read more

  • The Differences Between Catalonia and Kurdish Iraq
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on November 13, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Foreign Affairs

    Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan are engulfed in identity crises. While the two independence movements are the subject of frequent comparison, their situations differ because of historical, cultural, and economic ties with their respective mother countries. Catalonia and Spain share a deep and longstanding unity, while Kurds have a loose union with the rest of Iraq and lack a shared history beyond the past one hundred years. Not surprisingly, a silent majority of Catalans seems to support a unified... Read more

  • Stimulate Economy Through Tax Code Reforms
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on October 27, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy & Jobs

    To return to growth rates which the United States has enjoyed for years and to provide opportunities to hard-working Americans, our outdated tax code needs serious reform. It is an inescapable truism that tax treatment affects the amount of capital investment, which in turn leads to job creation and economic growth. Both personal and corporate taxation will influence growth. Corporations invest directly to expand their business and create jobs while individuals save for themselves and their reti... Read more

  • A Long View on Iran
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on October 16, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Foreign Affairs

    There are four elements in Iran that bear on United States foreign policy interests: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the “Supreme Leader;” his theocratic power base, the Revolutionary Guards and its Quds Force unit; President Hassan Rouhani and his elected government; and the Iranian people themselves, which includes a broad middle class. The distinction between the first three and the final element could possibly create an opportunity for some form of American outreach to the segment of these people wh... Read more

  • Kurdistan Deserves U.S. Support. Here Is Why
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on October 11, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Foreign Affairs

    With 72 percent turnout and a 93 percent affirmative vote in a referendum on independence in September, there is little doubt that the people of Iraqi Kurdistan seek freedom from the Republic of Iraq. Last week’s vote in the autonomous region was overwhelming and showed that the country’s Kurds are deeply invested in a quest for self-determination reminiscent of our own more than 200 years ago. Yet the U.S. response was terse. The State Department said that Kurdistan’s independence would impede ... Read more

  • It's Time for Serious United Nations Reform
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on September 18, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Foreign Affairs

    As a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, I have worked with a uniquely non-hegemonic sovereign that utilizes moral persuasion and "soft power" diplomacy to combat crises around the world. Whether Islamic-inspired terrorism, medical epidemics, corrupt regimes, or human rights violations, this form of diplomacy can produce positive outcomes and avoid armed conflict. And this is why the unaccountable and underperforming United Nations needs serious reform. The U.N. is failing its mission to mak... Read more

  • On the hunt to save the Everglades
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on August 13, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Water Quality

    On Thursday, I hunted invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades to bring national attention to the damage caused by these devastating predators, which prey on native wildlife across South Florida. We all have a vested interest in restoring and protecting the Everglades and these invasive species are a serious problem. Burmese pythons are devastating predators, killing off rabbits, birds, bobcats, panthers and even the Key Largo Wood Rat. One python was implanted with a signal and was tracked fo... Read more

  • Focusing on Southwest Florida
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on August 4, 2017 | Preview rr

    There has been a lot of noise created by opponents of the conservative agenda about what the House of Representatives has been able to accomplish it the first six months of the 115th Congress. The House has sent 250 bills to the Senate- for example, bills to strengthen border security, to stop funding sanctuary cities, to roll back job killing Obama era regulations, to fund Everglades and Lake Okeechobee Watershed restoration projects, to take care of our veterans and soldiers, to repeal Obamaca... Read more

  • Keep The Government Out Of Home Health Care
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on July 19, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Healthcare

    If people want to receive health care services in the comfort of their own homes, they should not be punished for their decision. Unfortunately, due to an Obama Administration regulation, seniors and disabled persons are penalized for choosing to receive home health care services. This is yet another overreaching government intrusion into peoples’ lives that needs to be reversed immediately. The Obama regulation placed an unfair burden on seniors and disabled persons in order to appease labor un... Read more

  • What Happened to the First Amendment?
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on July 4, 2017 | Preview rr

    Congressman Francis Rooney: Our First Amendment right to free speech is under assault on many college and university campuses around the country. Under the guise of protecting students, the freedom to express views not deemed acceptable to an intolerant, judgmental elite is being attacked and denounced by students, professors and, in many cases, administrators. Protection from what? Safely ensconced in the artificial, surreal atmosphere of the campus, far away from the harsh realities of life, b... Read more