Saturday, March 13, 2010

Scott Brown (R-MA) Delivers Blazing GOP Weekly Address - Brown to Obama - Listen to the People!

The GOP Weekly address was delivered by the Jr. Senator from Massachusetts, Republican, Scott Brown. Brown spoke about our devastated economy and the Presidents unwillingness to let go of a huge government investment (take-over) in our health-care system - regardless of what the people want. He make it clear that he is in Washington at the behest of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and that on January 19th, we, the people, sent a message to Washington through Scott Brown. He speaks for every one of us that is disenchanted and disgusted with the lack of regard paid to the electorate by those who feel power over the people, rather than power bestowed on them, by the people, to at least attempt to govern effectively. That has not been done - Obama and his Party, will pass a bill in haste, but they will, as a result, repent in the leisure of retirement - when Massachusetts sends a message, that is speaking volumes.

Transcript from: Gateway Pundit:

"Hello, I’m United States Senator Scott Brown from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

“When the people of my state elected me in January, they sent more than a senator to Washington – they sent a message. Across party lines, the voters told politicians in Washington to get its priorities right.

“And from my travels and conversation with people throughout this country, they told me that they want their President and Congress to focus on creating jobs and reviving America’s economy. Instead, for more than a year now, we have seen a bitter, destructive, and endless drive to completely transform America’s health care system.

“In January of last year, unemployment hit 7.2 percent and our economy was hurting badly. But, early in President Obama’s term, he and the Democratic leadership of Congress made takeover of health care their first priority.

“Today, times are even tougher across our nation when it comes to our economy. Nearly one in ten Americans are still out of work. And still, the President and Congress are focused on ramming through their health-care bill, whatever it takes, whatever the cost.

“Maybe you remember what President Obama promised in his State of the Union address. He said he was going to finally focus on jobs and the economy for the remainder of this year. I applauded him for that. Well, here it is, it’s almost spring. And what is he out there talking about again? That same 2,700-page, multi-trillion dollar health care legislation.

“So, an entire year has gone to waste. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and many more jobs are in danger. Even now, the President still hasn’t gotten the message.

“Somehow, the greater the public opposition to the health care bill, the more determined they seem to force it on us anyway. Their attitude shows Washington at its very worst – the presumption that they know best, and they’re going to get their way whether the American people like it or not.

“And, when politicians start thinking like that, they don’t let anything get in their way – not public opinion, not the rules of fair play, not even their own promises.

“They pledged transparency. Instead, we have a health care bill tainted by secrecy, concealed cost, and full of backroom deals– and that’s just not right. They should do better. The American people expect more.

“They pledged a true bipartisan effort. Instead, they have resorted to bending the rules, and they now intend to seize control of health care in America on a strict party-line vote.

“In speech after speech on his health care plan, the President has tried to convince us that what he is proposing will be good for America. But, how can it be good for America if it raises taxes by a half trillion dollars and costs a trillion dollars or more to implement? In addition, how can it be good if it takes another half a trillion dollars away from seniors on Medicare, and still includes all the backroom deals you have been hearing about for months?

“Well, for the past year or more, the new establishment in Washington has tried again and again to sell this plan to the American people. But the Americans aren’t buying it, and for good reason. And now, what’s going on is a last, desperate power play. They actually tell us that passing the bill is necessary, if only to prove that something can get done in Washington.

“Well, I haven’t been here very long, but, I can tell you this much already: Nothing has distracted the attention and energy of the nation’s capital more than this disastrous detour. And, the surest way to return to the people’s business is to listen to the people themselves: We need to drop this whole scheme of federally controlled health care, start over, and work together on real reforms at the state level that will contain costs and won’t leave America trillions of dollars deeper in debt.

“This, above all, was the message that the people of my state sent to the President and the Congress in the election over a month ago.

“You know some of my Democratic colleagues, you know, are being leaned on mighty hard right now. Speaker Pelosi and others are handing down their marching orders, telling them to vote for this bill no matter what. Rarely have elected leaders been so intent on defying the public will. For many members of Congress, the time for choosing is near – do what the party leadership demands, or do what the people have asked you to do. If my colleagues don’t mind some advice from a newcomer, I’d suggest going with the will of the people.

“After all, from the very beginning of this debate, the American people have called it correctly. In every part of the country, Republicans and Democrats have agreed on serious, straightforward, commonsense health care reform. They expect us in Washington to do the same – working together, acting fairly and by the rules, and staying focused on the need to make the American economy as strong as it can be. That is the business that brought me here on an unexpected journey to Washington. And, it’s the responsibility of everyone sent here to serve our country. We can do better – and I challenge my colleagues and the President to do just that.

“I’m Senator Scott Brown and thank you very much for listening.”

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rasmussen – Massachusetts Ramps Up Independence – Trouble for Patrick as well as Congressional Incumbents

Pollsters - Massachsuetts 2010 and 2012? image: blog optimism for America

A new poll released by Rasmussen on March 8th, reveals that the Commonwealth has no longer is blindly following a liberal bent; rather, the independent streak appears to be growing stronger. In this particular poll the crosstabs are revealing - the Gubernatorial Election is tight, with Patrick leading with 35%, GOP Frontrunner, Charlie Baker with 32% and Democrat turned Independent Cahill down to 19% - the kicker: 14% of those polled are currently undecided. The undecided’s, incidentally, are often aligned with name recognition and or a favorable rating, which in Baker’s case, a startling 28% of those polled have no opinion (meaning they have not heard of or have sufficient knowledge of Charlie Baker). In a match-up with Patrick, only 13% view him very favorably, while Cahill comes in at 10% and Baker at 17%. The Governors current overall approval (includes strongly and somewhat approves) is at 33%. With independent candidates coming out strong “out-of-the-gate” and normally finishing in the 6 percentile, the 3 point gap that Separate Baker and Patrick should close quickly over the summer and into the fall, as long as Baker’s staff makes sure that his name becomes “household” across the Commonwealth. That 28% could conceivably push Baker ahead of Patrick in double digits.

Political campaigns are all about branding – 1 the brand of the Candidate and, fortunately for Baker, the brand of the Political Party in general. If Baker introduces himself to the Commonwealth, remains upbeat in any advertising, he will minimize the threat from Cahill, and Patrick will be, as they say, history.

The Kennedy state no more – 58% of those polled feel that the Kennedy dynasty is over, and the health care issue is still a driving force in the Bay State, with 31% strongly approving and 40% strongly opposing, on this issue Bay Stater’s know where they stand, only 2% were “unsure” (refused). When adding in those on the “somewhat fence”, the support Obama’s Health Care plan jumps to 46% and those that oppose to 52%. What one must keep in mind – this is Massachusetts. The Presidents Handling of Health Care Reform: 19% believe he’s done an excellent job, while 44% believe he has done poorly. That is stunning. Additionally, Massachusetts voters believe that the Insurance Companies would do a better job that the Federal Government, 50% to 42%.

Obama’s overall approval rating in the Commonwealth (includes the somewhats), is at 44%! With a disapproval rating of 46%, which tells us that Massachusetts has joined the rest of the nation (Gallop latest Obama approval: 46%).

All that aside, those who are considering a Congressional run, or are now invested in a run against a current Congressional representative, get a serious boost – 38% of those polled feel that the current representative in Congress deserves to be reelected – 38% feel that they do not. This particular question has those undecided’s in-line with Baker’s numbers: 24% are unsure. (Branding). When asked if the nation would be better off if the incumbent were to be defeated – 53% of Bay Stater’s believe that the entire Massachusetts Democrat Controlled congressional legislation should be sent packing, while 25% support keeping them in office, and 22% remain sitting on the fence. In reviewing the data on both previous poll questions, the percentage of those sitting on the fence is a 2 point difference. This means that those Republicans or Independents running in each district better start knocking on doors and introducing themselves; to everyone in the district. Instead of holding barbeque's and cocktail parties, it would behoove those that want a clear shot at making history, to get in the trenches and get to know their future constituents.

Almost every single congressional district in Massachusetts is in play, and two in particular, the 2nd Hampden and the 4th, are going to be the districts to watch. Those candidates that have an independent streak, will perform the best in these two districts, right now, that’s Jay Fleitman in the Hampden 2nd, and Earl Sholley in the 4th (excellent review here: at Massachusetts Election 2010.

In conclusion, Massachusetts which has always been dubbed “Safe Democrat” and the “Bluest State” is changing. That change comes from the growing number of independents, or registered unenrolleds, who will vote for the person, not the party – it does not matter that Democrats currently outnumber Republican’s, it matters which candidate (or incumbent) is able to convince the majority of voters that they deserve the nod. In 2010, Massachusetts, against all odds (referring to the media’s take) may indeed shock the nation once again.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Barney Frank Seeks Mortgage Write-Downs of $442 Billion from Four Banks Includes Frank Friendly BOA

With Housing still in shambles, despite bailouts and a variety of failed programs, Rep. Barney Frank is going back to the banks, hat in hand so to speak, for more. According to the Financial Times, Frank had sent an email to the heads of Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo and Band of America, to “save housing”. FT includes an excerpt from the email:

“The four organizations you lead are major participants in the second-lien market. Failure to modify these debts has become a major and unnecessary obstacle to thousands of Americans being able to stay in their homes. I urge you in the strongest possible terms to take immediate steps to write down these second mortgages and allow principal reduction modifications of the underlying first liens to take place. If there are legal obstacles to your doing so, we will work with you to remove them.”

In essence, Frank is asking the banks to write down the second liens, which, in the world of mortgages, requires first reducing the principle on the original mortgage. The second-lien request is a “first step” in the process.
One understands that Frank, who has had his hands in the nations finances, specifically issues of housing and mortgages, along with now retiring Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), have a good relationship with the banks, especially those that are now considered “owned” by the “State”.

Chief among them is Bank of America and its Massachusetts based CFO, Brian Monihan, who had supported Dodd’s failed bid for the presidency (list of contributions here ). In addition, Monihan is now actively supporting Barney Frank’s re-election campaign, as reported by business week.

Frank’s promise in his email to the four executives to “remove any legal obstacles” in order to move his latest scheme forward, is the type of “business as usual”, which is primarily to blame for the current economic situation.

Recall Frank’s relationship with Mortgage Giants, Freddie and Fannie, going as far back as 2003 when Frank insisted that:

'These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.'
At the time, Franklin D. Raines was the Chief Executive Officer, one with which Frank had a personal relationship.
Frank helped (or was responsible) for the destruction of the two biggest mortgage lenders in the nation, and now, he’s asking the largest banks (see TARP and beholden) to go along with another one of his fiscally unsound programs. With Bank of American CFO supporting Frank’s camping, red flags should be flying up all over the 4th district as well as the nation.

There are several Republicans running against Frank in the 4th, as well as a Democrat, and a list of “other” party affiliate contenders. The frontrunner in the 4th District race is a populist, who is strong on term limits, anti-tax and fiscal responsibility. Earl Sholley A source inside the campaign noted that Sholley is running his campaign debt free. In addition, although he may not be the perfect candidate in the eyes of the State GOP, (or the Boston Heralds, Howie Carr, who also dismissed Scott Brown’s candidacy), Sholley has less “baggage” than the current occupant of the Congressional Seat.

This bears repeating; he ran against Frank in 2008 for the first time, entered late and was able to garner a percentage of the vote that would have to have included all or most of the Republican’s in the district as well as Independents and perhaps a Democrat or two. He’s got an interesting take on the issues, and worth a listen – Broadcasts from his weekly radio show are available here at “Ask Earl”

To find additional information as to who is running in the 4th district, (FEC Filings) go here

Note: This does not include all candidates running in the 4th, but those who have filed with the FEC.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dr. Jay Fleitman resigns from NoHo Board of Health to Focus On Race Against Democrat Richard Neal

The Daily Hampshire Gazette has reported that Dr. Jay Fleitman, GOP candidate for the 2nd Hampden Congressional District, has stepped down from his long-held position on the Board of Health. Fleittman, who practices pulmonary medicine, is a rarity in the City of Northampton, locally dubbed “NoHo”. The city is home to Smith College, and has a heavy liberal bent, yet Jay Fleitman is not only well received, but a respected member of the community despite being a Republican.

Flietman made his decision to run for against Neal early in the game (pre-Scott Brown), Neal, a 20 year veteran of Congress, had been unchallenged for decades, and has been confident in his position, enough so that he has not produced one piece of legislation. Like clockwork, Neal’s staff sends mailers out every two years to constituents warning about the evils of Republicans, and/or touting what he has accomplished in the district. One of the favorite Neal claims is that he has, time and again, “saved Westover Air Reserve Base”, which is one of the most strategic basis in the nation, and has been since World War Two. (A bit of Al Gorism can be found in Neal at times.) Perhaps the two biggest reasons to take a hard look at Flietman as an alternative to Neal are:

1) Neal has consistently voted with the Democrats in Congress, never crossing the aisle, regardless of the worth of a particular bill. His latest “Town Hall” on health care in August, was held in Worcester (which is part of the District, but far from the major cities of Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee). He defended the Congressional Brand of Health Care Reform over the objection of his constituents.

2) Most recently, disgraced Democrat Charles Rangel was forced to resign his Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rangel’s choice of replacement: Richard Neal. Neal did not get the nod from the House, rather the gavel went to a Michigan Democrat, but Neal intends, according to the several sources, to fight for the post, although he must first make it through the November elections. The reason one cites this aspect of Neal’s career is that a recommendation to a post by someone who is so corrupt, as a Democrat, that they are forced out, speaks volumes.

However, the question remains, will a Republican be able to oust long-term Democrat Congressional Representative in 2010. The answer is a resounding yes, with some caveats. The candidate must be able to connect to voters on several levels, be a populist, independent minded individual. Fleitman completes this profile admirably. In addition, his candidacy was announced pre-Scott Brown, which, in this mind, no matter which district, speaks volumes about the sincerity of the candidate and the will of the candidate to take on the “odds”.

This is not to say that the bevy of candidates coming forth from the woodwork to run across the Commonwealths districts are not worthy, it is just that decisions were made post-Scott Brown, the congressional districts analyzed ad nauseum in order to determine if a “Republican” win would be feasible. It also speaks volumes about courage and conviction of one’s principals and abilities. One must face the facts, Scott Brown was and remains Scott Brown, someone who at times distanced himself from the GOP, an independent minded thinker that did not run because he looked at the Commonwealth and past races and thought – I can do this because so and so won the race.

That’s one of the finer points about Jay Fleitman (among other candidates who are running in several other districts), he ran because he felt he needed to do something. He “manned-up” before it was a popular thing to do and looking at all the angles, he’s just independent enough to appeal to the voters of the Hampden 2nd in a big way. One can bet that residents of the 2nd Hampden may be treated to yet another postcard in 2010 from Richard Neal.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Quote of the Week - Speaker Pelosi On Health Care

From a press release at Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi's Press Room

From Speaker Pelosi's Remarks at the 2010 Legislative Conference for National Association of Counties:

"But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."

Unbelievable - But seeing is Believing

There is an alternative:  Visit:  John Dennis

The Ethical Reasons Why Eric Massa Should Not Have Resigned His Congressional Seat

Congressman Eric Massa - image multichannel
Yesterday at 5:00 pm, Eric Massa, Democrat, resigned his 29th District Congressional Seat. He did so, in part, because he was under a congressional ethics investigation. Apparently, the Junior Congressman had sexually harassed a male staffer at an event – so the question follows – how is that any different from several key Democrats who’ve had ethics complaints against them – for decades? Take recently dismissed Charles Rangel, who held onto his Chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee while under the cloud of tax issues and most recently, a corporate kickback of one trip to the Caribbean, which was, apparently, too much for Pelosi to endure. Then there’s Massachusetts 4th district’s, Barney Frank, who, in 1989, hired a male prostitute as a “companion” and “household employee”, who then ran a prostitution ring out of Frank’s home , allegedly unbeknownst to Frank. He endured calls for his resignation, and yet today he is the Chair of the powerful House Finance Committee. So, while Eric Massa had a bit too much to drink at a party, and basically made an off the cuff remark to a male staffer, which constituted Sexual Harassment, he must be banished.  Massa is a card-carrying member of the same party, the party that turns its back when one of its favored members is pulling one egregious stunt after another, protecting and defending them till the last vote is cast.

Something is fishy here, and Massa’s claims that he was set-up and pushed out because he refused to play ball with the Obama administration is more probable than not, given party history of ethics. In fact, the Democrats are treating Eric Massa just like a Republican! Recall any Republican who had an infidelity of any sort in the past two decades and the calls for ethics investigations and resignations came first from the Democrats. The word hypocrite is strongly advised as an adjective in this case.

Then Massa called it like it was, on radio, letting the world, or whoever would listen, know that he was pushed out because he refused to vote for Obama’s Health Care Reform Plan. He even had a visit from Rham Emanuel, while in the shower. (Politico). Massa alleges that Rham came at him in the shower, yelling, and himself naked – it is not just a circus in Washington now, it is a shambles. Democrat members of the house now understand that if they don’t vote for health care, they may have to face a naked and angry Rham Emanuel – that will be sure to change a vote or two.

It’s a matter of principle and it’s a matter of backbone, so, when Eric Massa came out and let the world know what had taken place, he should have stayed right where he was, in his seat, until November, but he didn’t. Massa promptly resigned, giving rise to speculation that the shower visit from Emanuel may have been followed up by other threats.  It's time the nation saw another Nathan Hale. If not Massa, then who will rise to the occasion?

Now, Massa’s had been called into question by an ethics investigation as early as February (reported by Politico). His aides were grilled for over 3 hours and the gist of the questioning was whether or not the Congressman was gay. Now, not for nothing, but Barney Frank is openly gay, but he’s a standard bearer for the party, so what is the problem here? Eric Massa would not play ball with Barack Obama.

As conservatives embrace Massa because of his outing of the Administration, Democrats (no less)warn that they should be not be too hasty ) and certain Conservative Talking Heads, are joining in  - with the “sky is falling”, beware, of ethics violations and possible conspiracy theories rhetoric dished up by the Democats in charge.

That’s the disconnect with the public – whereas a Congressman who may or may not have done anything specifically wrong by Congressional Standards (Democrat), resigns and then tells all, in hopes of stopping a health care fiasco pushed by the President, is being turned into a pariah of sorts by both the left and the extreme right. It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback, and one cannot know all the facts (just those that trickle down).  However, it is also glaringly apparent that this man went out to let the world know what had taken place because he did not want to go with the Obama flow. Given the use of the word “thug” in conjunction with the administration on a fairly consistent basis from Right of Conservative Talking Heads, one has to give this guy points for standing up and speaking out. One also has to wonder, again, what threats he endured to actually resign his seat.

It is far too easy to cast aspersions on what amounts to a “whistle blower”, what boggles the mind is that, to date, few are coming to his defense against a backdrop of a Congress that holds so many corrupt in its embrace. It is not so much that Massa was “disgraced”; it was more that a message was sent to the rest of the Democrats in Congress, one that is clear and without doubt; either stand with us, or pay the price.

Without Massa coming out, so to speak, the public would not be aware of the alleged tactics used by this administration. With that in mind, he has given the media that cares one whit, the option of keeping close tabs on all of the Democrat Congressional Representatives who previously had voted no on this health care bill, and who suddenly change their minds, either by threat or by bribery (see Ben Nelson). Either way, it casts a very dark shadow over the administration. In this instance, its determination to run a bill through both houses, one that is not wanted by the American Public, but what of future plans?

In historical terms, this November will be the most critical of all mid-term elections. Should the house or the senate remain in concert with the administration, the health care reform package may be the least of our concerns, as the tax and spend rampage will undoubtedly continue unabated. Although his scenario is highly unlikely, (given the current polls), Eric Massa made it extremely clear, that all American’s should take a hard at where we are, and where we could be. Should the Congress flip, and nothing be done for two years, it would be in the best interest of the nation.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Saturday Night Live Video Parodies Realities of Health Care Reform – Obama, Reid & Pelosi The Targets

Saturday Night Lives skit this weekend on Health Care Reform (see You Tube Video below), featured “Obama” flanked by “Pelosi” and “Reid”, the gist: Health Care Reform is so unpopular, but Obama feels he is so popular, that he won’t have any fallout (politically) from the “unpopular” bill. The word “unpopular” is used with some regularity during the skit – specifically when it comes to Harry Reid, who, in the Skit, and real life, has dismal ratings in Nevada. According to the latest polls from Real Clear Politics Reid is bested by either of the Republican candidates going into the primary by double digits. Nothing short of a miracle will send Reid back to the Senate in November.

When speaking of Pelosi’s chances of re-election, the Skit notes that she is considered safe, because Republican’s come in 4th in the district, behind “homeless people” and “Dominatrix’s”. Apparently, those script writers have been too busy to research the District lately, where John Dennis, a Republican, is making significant headway ( From a somewhat snarky article in the San Francisco Weekly one gets the impression that there may be trouble in Pelosi’s backyard.

Pelosi, perhaps more so than Reid, has baggage at home that makes her vulnerable – not the least of which was the embarrassing CIA debacle (in which it appeared Pelosi may have been lying when she decried knowledge of torture - That is a big hurdle to overcome with her base of supporters. Add to that, one gets the impression that Nancy is not all that popular on her home turf – (from comments made on articles in the Bay Area) – just like most Massachusetts races (in the past), polling for Pelosi’s seat is a not even considered – unless, and until the focus on Dennis in the district becomes so hot, that Rasmussen and the rest will poll (See late polling on Scott Brown). However, no one throws good money after bad just to make a point, and in districts like the Mass. 4th and the California 8th, there is an investment taking place. It’s not millions, (yet) but it is enough, so far, to run ads introducing the candidates that will take a stand against long-standing politicians like Pelosi and Frank.

Also of interest in the Los Angeles Times article today, entitled Health Care Overhaul comes down to Obama and Pelosi, a piece on Obama’s final (one should not bet on that) push for Health Care Reform, and Nancy Pelosi’s aid in that endeavor.

How popular is Health Care Reform? From Rasmussen: “55% Say Congress Should Start over on Health Care”>, with other local pollsters showing similar scenarios.

As to Obama’s popularity – it appears that the writers, again, have failed to look to the polls, although given a comparative between the Speaker and the Majority Leader, Obama appears to be a Rock Star, with polls showing approval ratings just under 50% Real Clear Politics, polling on the President Obama Job Approval. A second term, at this point, (and granted it is early in the game) seems highly unlikely – more likely, Obama will be joining Reid and quite possibly Pelosi in forced retirement.

Saturday Night Live Skit on Obama, Pelosi and Reid Health Care Reform Unpopular

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