Monday, August 07, 2006

Raj Answers Sepia Mutiny Questions

Following his interview Raj interacted with Sepia Mutiny’s audience.

Thanks to all for your questions and kind words.

Chick Pea,

1. The problem of excessive litigation against good doctors is huge in my congressional district. It is an issue about which I am especially passionate. There are a variety of reforms that have promise to solve this problem, one of which is to cap contingency fees for lawyers who take these cases. Another is to place caps on non-economic damages.

2. One of my goals while I’m in office is to work on defense and foreign policy. I spent much of my time at Boston College studying the history of diplomacy.
Serving in Congress would be a suitable post to work on that issue.

3. The federal government has a hand in anti-crime policy, since many local law enforcement agencies get homeland security funding. I want to make sure that such funding, as well as programs like C.O.P.S. which funds the hiring of many police officers is kept sufficient.

4. I’m very proud of what Bobby Jindal has done as a Congressman from Louisiana and my campaign has valued his council greatly.

5. I am a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. The man believed in and exemplified a robust but realistic foreign policy and a domestic policy of clean government. He gave the GOP a proud tradition of respect for the environment, a tradition that we must reclaim.

6. I shop for my bowties at some big- name stores like Brooks Brothers, but I also have gotten some from a specialty store in Middlebury, Vermont that I rather like.


I believe that we must suppress the insurgency in Iraq. That said, if I were in Congress when the resolution for war in Iraq was voted on, I would not have voted for the war. But nations like ours and Israel’s must recognize the threat of terrorism when it approaches, and there is, I believe, work to be done in the Middle East before a U.S. withdrawal. But we need to be thinking out of the box on these things. I fear that the administration is caught in a spiral. I’ll be speaking about this quite a bit in my campaign. I think we all must remember that no matter what we think about the war we must support the troops. My campaign recently held a fundraiser for the troops which was quite successful.


Our alliance with Canada is arguably the strongest that we in the U.S. enjoy. Our relationship on trade should not be imperiled by squabbling from either side. Our policy should be to knock down trade barriers on both sides, so that trade is both free and fair.

P.G. Wodehouse,

I am utterly opposed to arrests made on the basis of race. If this is proven decisively to have happened in “Operation Meth Merchant”, it will not be met with approval by me.

Also, you inquire about I identify myself. Quite simply, I am Indian-American, I am Irish-American, and foremost, I am American. I believe none of this is mutually exclusive.

Yo Dad,

1. My biggest differences with President Bush center on the question of Iraq. He has demonstrated a degree of courage, which is admirable, but the situation in Iraq required greater realism than he was willing to give it when he made his push for war.

2. I believe that America retains much strength in the world. We will keep up that strength only by being more cautious before stepping into perilous conflicts like the current one in the Middle East.


On the immigration issue, it is important for the United States to bring in more of the best and brightest from around the world by increasing H-1B visas, student visas, and the like. Immigration is the lifeblood of America, and we should have a policy that reflects that while still strenuously controlling our borders so that immigrants come here legally.


I have taken a strong stand against the stereotyping of Indians in America since the beginning of my campaign. I voiced particular displeasure at Senator Biden’s comments implying that we are exclusively convenience store owners.

Not about to be played,

I am very proud of the support AAHOA has given me. Their goals are ones that I certainly value, since I am a hotelier of Indian heritage. Their priorities are to oppose discrimination and to keep taxes, regulations, and other hindrances to Indian hoteliers in America from disallowing us to realize the American dream.

This speaks, I think, to the reason why Indian Americans can and should support each other politically. Our values of family, industriousness, and education are shared amongst the vast majority of our community.


You are quite right to raise the importance of environmentalism. This is an issue on which my party, the Republican Party, must get back to its roots. We need to work on developing alternative sources of energy so that we can wean ourselves off of our addiction to oil. I support efforts in Congress to jumpstart these promising new technologies like solar energy and biofuels.

You are also correct to view climate change as one of mankind’s greatest current environmental challenge. To address it, I believe Congress must enact tough standards on carbon dioxide emissions that will bring our country into line with other nations that have addressed this issue.


I believe that rashly calling for the impeachment of judges is a wrongheaded approach to keeping our judiciary independent. I strongly oppose the Kelo decision which expanded the governments reach on imminent domain, but I believe legislators responded to the ruling constructively, but acting themselves to curb imminent domain. I must also emphasize that I, as a congressman, would not be involved in the confirmation of judges.


1. I support multilateral talks to restrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions. With regard to the nations you have mentioned and their ties to terrorism, the United States must bring multilateral diplomatic strength to bear and force their hand without resorting to military conflict at the moment. Because of Iraq and prudent consideration, another military conflict is not a viable option.

2. I stand by the U.S.-India nuclear deal 100 percent and believe that it holds much promise to improve relations between America and India. My opponent unfortunately voted against it.

3. I believe that we as Indian-Americans must stand together and bolster our shared values of family and equality. If the various Indian communities in America stand together, we can be a strong force for anti-discrimination. We can also become a powerful force to bring together the two great democracies of the world and have the American people overall recognize the tremendous contributions we’ve made to this country.

4. I believe that the relationship between Israel and the United States is rightly valued and should be continued.


I appreciate your perspective on this matter. I must submit that bringing excellent students from abroad into America is not merely a matter of removing any cap on visas, but also of providing the right incentives for students to come. We need to make sure that students here on visas as well as workers here on H-1Bs do not only come here to work or study for a bit, but to stay. The temporary nature of many visas is such that many who take them leave after working or studying for a short time in the U.S. This must change. America must maintain its ability to bring the best and brightest to our shores.


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Interesting site.
Keep on bloggin in the free world.

-- FreeCyprus
Hellenic Reporter

7:47 AM  

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