Vol. 52, No. 4

In this edition

With polls showing that over 80% of the American people view cyberterrorism as one of the top threats facing the United States, the latest Ripon Forum examines what is being done to prevent a “Cyber 9/11.”

In Memorian: “An Enduring Peace”

In tribute to the life and accomplishments of the late John McCain, we republish his 2008 interview with the Forum that not only remains remarkably relevant today, but reminds us why he will be missed.


America has played defense long enough when it comes to cybersecurity. In the face of an increasing multitude of threats, it is time to go on offense.

Elevating Cyber Command:

The elevation of CYBERCOM earlier this year is a move whose time has definitely come. In fact, the only possible criticism could be: “What took you so long?”

The Magnitude of the Cyber Threat Facing America

With an estimated 40 billion new devices expected to be interconnected by 2020, the American people — and the U.S. economy — are more vulnerable than ever before to a cyber attack.

Defending the Grid

With cyber threats continuing to grow and evolve, the public & private sector are working together to protect America’s supply of electric power.

Closing the Federal Cyber Workforce Gap

A recent OMB report highlighted the fact that Three quarters of federal agencies lack the capability “to effectively detect data exfiltration attempts and respond to cybersecurity incidents.”

Paper Ballots & Election Security:

Eliminating the human element from filling out paper ballots is as essential to election security as ensuring election machines produce a voter verifiable paper ballot.

Safeguarding the Mid-Terms

There’s a mixed bag of actions being taken by election officials in states across the country in order to mitigate the infiltration of election systems during the 2018 mid-terms.

Troubling Trends in the Federal Budget

Elected leaders profess to be concerned about the nation’s long-term economic growth. You’d never know it, however, by looking at the federal budget.

A Failure on 9/11, and a Lesson Finally Learned

Prior to 2001, the ability to communicate over commercial wireless carriers would routinely be unavailable during major incidents — times when first responders need it the most.

Ripon Profile of Jackie Walorski

The Indiana Congresswoman discusses, among other topics, the importance of farmers and manufacturers in her District, and how tariffs will impact their work.

Ripon Profile of Jackie Walorski

Name: Jackie Walorski

Occupation: U.S. Representative for Indiana’s 2nd District

First job & lesson(s) learned from it: After graduating from college, I worked as a TV news reporter in my hometown of South Bend, Indiana. Working as a reporter gave me the opportunity to meet fellow Hoosiers from all walks of life, and it taught me the value of asking questions. I brought those lessons with me to Congress, where it’s my job to fight for my constituents and work to make our communities stronger. When I travel around the 2nd District, I get to talk to Hoosiers, learn about the challenges they face, and ask for their ideas as we work together toward commonsense solutions.

Book(s) you’re recommending to friends: “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by Laura Hillenbrand

Top issue(s) in America that no one is talking about: I represent one of the top manufacturing districts in the nation, with RVs, boats, trailers, engine components, car parts, and countless other made-in-America products being built in northern Indiana. Our communities were hit hard by the recession, but Hoosiers are resilient and now we are near full employment. In fact, job creators tell me they have trouble hiring enough workers to keep growing. The jobs gap – the difference gap between businesses’ demand for workers and the millions of Americans not in the labor force – is a critical issue that deserves more attention. Earlier this year, the Ways and Means Committee on which I serve held a series of hearings examining solutions to the jobs gap and the need for skilled workers. We will continue working to find commonsense solutions to build a stronger American workforce and ensure more people can climb the economic ladder and achieve the American Dream.

Challenge facing your District that you’re working hard to address: Manufacturers and family farmers in my district tell me they are being hurt by the steel and aluminum tariffs as well as retaliation in response to these and other tariffs. President Trump is right to go after China’s unfair trade practices, but I am concerned about the long-term impact on American businesses and workers. That is why I’ve been urging the administration to make the tariffs more narrowly targeted and calling for improvements to the broken product exclusion process. I have heard from manufacturers across the country that the process is opaque, inconsistent, and unfair. The administration recently announced it would implement some of the commonsense fixes I’ve been calling for. This is a step in the right direction, and I will continue working to ensure we have pro-growth policies that build on our nation’s economic momentum and benefit American businesses, farmers, and workers.

Finally, finish this sentence: “If I could reform one government agency, it would be…”: The VA. Our brave men and women in uniform risk their lives each and every day to defend freedom and keep America safe. We have a responsibility to care for them when they return to civilian life. But too often, we have seen the VA fall short in its mission. Since I was first elected to Congress, I have been holding the VA’s feet to the fire and fighting to keep our nation’s promise to our veterans. We’ve taken important steps to restore a culture of accountability at the VA and provide veterans the timely, quality care they earned, but there is more work to be done. We must continue working to improve the care our veterans receive, eliminate long wait times, and ensure survivors of military sexual trauma get the support and treatment they need.