Friday, May 07, 2010

Barney Frank Opponent Sean Bielat, First of GOP Hopefuls to File Signatures with Statehouse

Sean Bielat for Congress, image Libertarian Republican. net

Yesterday, Sean Bielat turned in sufficient signatures to place his name on the ballot in the State of Massachusetts in order to run against incumbent Barney Frank in the 4th District.. According to Bielat’s “Facebook” page, he dropped off 2756 “certified
signatures” at the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office. Bielat was the first of several candidates to announce his trip to Beacon Hill. Signatures are not officially due until May 25th, according to the Secretary of State’s office. In addition the process allows for opposition candidates to challenge signatures, so it is imperative that that candidates collect above and beyond the 2000 certified signatures required for those running for U.S. Congressional Seats. Candidates can expect that a minimum of 500 signatures will be challenged, and those will be reviewed by the Registrars of Voters by May 28th. Once a candidate runs the gauntlet of the certification process, they are then officially on the ballot.

Beilat, formerly of Canandaigua, NY, was married in New Hampshire in October of 2009 He is expecting his first child. An Active Marine Reservist, Bielat worked with I Robot’s Military division, and lists his current occupation as “consultant”. He has been described as a Libertarian Republican by the website Libertarian

The other Republican Candidate, Earl Sholley, is expected to bring his signatures to the Statehouse next week with little fanfare. Sholley will face Bielat in the September primary. The winner of that primary will go on to challenge long-time incumbent Barney Frank of Fannie and Freddie fame. Although the district did vote for a Republican, Scott Brown, in the January 19, special election, either Sholley or Beilat will have to win over Democrats in order to defeat Frank. The district, due to gerrymandering, has several larger urban populations that are predominantly Democrat. A great deal will depend upon how alienated Barney Frank has become from the rank and file moderate Democrats. Those are the individuals the winner of the September Primary must attract in order to defeat Frank and it is not out of the question.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Barney Frank to White House – Fight GOP Attacks on Freddie & Fannie – Lenders Immediately Report Losses – Will Barney go the Way of Obey?

Freddie Mac went to the public trough again this quarter asking for yet another bailout of 10.6 billion dollars. The mortgage lender, which has been under the protection of Barney Frank (D-MA) (See May, 2006 Bloomberg Article here where Frank clearly states there is no crisis re: Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae:

``I don't think we are facing any kind of a crisis'' or ``threat to the Treasury,'' Democratic Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts said. At the same time, investors in the two companies shouldn't assume the government guarantees the companies' ability to pay debts, he said.”
In his variety of rolls on the House Finance Committee, Frank has covered Freddie and Fannies back - they are also currently exempt from new financial regulatory rules being proposed by Democrats.

Frank, just prior to the report of additional massive losses on the part of his favorite lender, (which in essence started the entire financial disaster vis a vis mortgage meltdowns see 2006), zipped of a two page memo to the White House demanding that the Administration defend Freddie and Fannie against Republicans who would have them adhere to the same rules as other financial institutions. in his memo, Frank again stated that his favorite lenders were doing just fine, especially since the government had taken over.

From Politico: ”Frank made the case that Freddie and Fannie are being managed responsibly, and aren’t doing further economic damage to themselves now that they’ve been taken over by the government.”

Immediately following Franks memo, the government run, responsibly managed Freddie and Fannie reported losses of 6.69 Billion according to Market Watch.

There should be a restraining order against Frank’s ability to meddle further in the financials of this nation, if the man is not coherent or lucid enough to understand that his pet projects are massive failures, especially when managed by the “government”.
Frank, who is up for reelection in 2010, has been rumored to be considering following in the footsteps of his close ally, Chris Dodd (D-CT) who decided not to seek reelection in 2010. Several months ago, sources in Massachusetts had indicated that Frank may, effectively, ‘retire’. In fact, the “rumor of Frank’s retirement” hit the airwaves recently through right-wing talk show hostess, Laura Ingram, who "Tweeted" the rumor, making for quick denials from Frank. That said, those particular sources also indicated that should Frank not run in 2010, he would pass the torch to an individual seen by local Democrats as very electable, a charismatic South Coast Mayor.

Frank is still denying a retirement, however, so were many other incumbents who have announced they will not seek reelection, most recently, David Obey who announced yesterday that he would not be returning to Congress in 2010. This left Wisconsin Democrats scrambling for replacements. (Obey was nationally known as the father of the Stimulus - Frank as the Father of the Mortgage Meldown.) One would hazard to guess that Frank would make sure that his successor would be able to at least make a decent attempt to fend off GOP opposition.

Running against Frank in the 4th District: Earl Sholley ( who has already launched a media campaign and Sean Bielat ( running against Sholley in the Republican primary. When was the last time Frank faced not one, but two GOP candidates? Never. Sholley a fiscal and social conservative, and Bielat who is a moderate conservative, will keep Frank’s name out in front of the 4th District voters from now until September, (when one or the other will be sent by local Republicans and Independents through to the November election against Frank). This blog has had contact from both the Sholley Campaign, as well as directly from Sean Bielat immediately following his announcement to run. Both men are committed to the campaign, although Sholley entered the race immediately following the 2008 election, Bielat entered after Scott Brown carried the district. In that particular race it will be all about the ground game, and name recognition in the district. In any event, having a primary with two Republicans knocking on doors throughout the district may make Frank’s summer unbearable – which would be reason enough to pass the torch onto a younger man. However, that in itself would, at this point in the game, may be a tactical error on the part of the State DNC (see Martha Coakley), which will then hand the seat held so long by Frank to the GOP.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Nancy Pelosi Not Sure How Long She’ll Remain Speaker of the House – Is the Speaker Considering Retirement Options? Analysis

Pelosi unsure of her role as Speaker - Image: Time

A rather glowing article on House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, from the WashingtonPost yesterday included a somewhat unusual statement from the Speaker at the end of the article:

"If you're asking me how long I intend to stay here, I don't know. I don't know. I just don't know. I have certain issues that I want to accomplish, but what's more important to me is that we have a strong Democratic majority," she said. "That's more important than who is speaker."

Some may argue that her national favorability rating standing at 11% would give her reason to muse over losing the speakership, however, it is the approval rating in her own back yard that would give Pelosi pause. A Field Poll conducted last October 2009, shows Pelosi with an overall approval 34% in California, with Democrats, at that time, giving the Speaker a 51% rating, with 21% of the Party Faithful having no option, and 23% disapproving of the Speakers performance. In the same poll, Senator Boxer, who is now in a battle for her Senate Seat, has a higher rating, 66% in this particular poll. According to Real Clear Politics Polls Boxer is now within the margin of error in most California polls, giving her Senate Seat the websites “Toss up” status.

The 8th district may not be representative of the balance of California, however, if one looks at the California Secretary of State’s registration statistics, in 2008, 56.49% or 269,664 registered voters identified themselves as “Democrats” , the latest figures show a slight decline in registered Democrats – dropping to 251,516, with the overall percentage remaining basically the same.

Interesting, however, is that 17% of those Democrats voted for Cindy Sheehan, of Code Pink fame, in 2008. What would an approval poll in Nancy Pelosi’s district look like now? See Barbara Boxer.
Nancy also faces opposition from Dana Walsh, the Republican candidate who ran against Nancy in 2008, in a year where the Republican Brand was as bad as the Democrat Brand is today. At that time, Walsh received only 8% of the vote.

However, fundraising in 2010 is telling. Both Walsh and Pelosi have filed approximately the same amount in dollars: Pelosi: 1.7 million to Walsh: 1.4 million. Cash on hand: Pelosi: 172,000, Walsh: 123,000. Both women are not being funded by their political parties. Walsh, however has a primary fight with John Dennis, while Pelosi has recorded a total of $2500 from her Party. That fact, in and of itself, maybe due to the fact that the Speaker’s district seat is considered a “lock” for the Party, but then again, so was the Senate Seat referred to by Democrats as the Kennedy Seat.

One also understands that Dana Walsh is no Scott Brown, nor does she have to be, (or any other challenger with fiscally conservative credentials in 2010), and one would hazard to guess that Pelosi, is watching this more closely than any other race she has faced in the district. Given her popularity nationwide, as well as the statistics favoring a change in majorities – thereby ousting Pelosi as Speaker, the real possibility exists today, that she may also be looking at forced retirement in her own district. Nancy Pelosi's Statement, in the post article, directly stating that it is not important who the speaker is, as long as the Democrats maintain a majority, appears to be forced bravado on her part. Perhaps like Dodd, and others who have “fallen on the sword” so to speak, for the sake of the Party and outright retired, Pelosi maybe thinking along the same lines. It would prevent her from losing face: first by losing the majority, and secondly by losing in her own backyard.

Monday, May 03, 2010

NY and Pittsburg – Bomb Attempts Diverted – Taliban Claims Responsibility in NY – When Will a Sane Border Policy be Enforced?

Photograph at scene of bombing in Isreali Shoppoing District: Reuters Article 2004
On May 2, 2010Reuters ran an article noting that the Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for the failed Bomb attempt in Times Square, NY. A radical Islamic website, was linked in the story, due to the video that was posted on YouTube titled: “Qari Hussain Mehsud from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan accepts the responsibility of recent Attack on USA with Great Pride and Utmost Bravery” – the video, according to Reuters, was complete with English subtitles, it had been removed by You Tube “due to terms of use violations”, almost immediately following the Reuters release.

The group claiming responsibility, is based in Pakistan (Fox NY) and noted the bomb was in retaliation for the death of an Al Queda leader in Iraq. In addition, the group claims that America is responsible for interference and terrorism in Muslim countries, specifically Pakistan. Pakistan with its neighbor Afghanistan are central to Taliban-Al Queda operations and training, specifically the mountainous border region that separate the two nations.

Yesterday, in Pittsburgh a “suspicious” device (microwave) was found at a bus station near the finish line of the Pittsburgh Marathon. This device was later detonated by the Pittsburgh Police bomb squad. No one has taken responsibility for this attempt, which took place on the same day as the Car Bomb attempt in New York City.

Both are similar in respect to the fact that they were placed in areas to maximize damage and gain publicity (media coverage) and, as usual, target innocent civilians. The Heritage Foundation has a report here outlining 30 terrorists plots which have been thwarted since September 11, 2001. In 2009, Tarek Mehanna was arrested in Boston on terrorism charges. The pharmacy student apparently conspired with other terrorist to blow up shopping malls.
The later was dubbed as a “Homegrown Terrorist”in an NPR story. The “fear of homegrown” terrorist cited in the article from NRP, is somewhat of an oxymoron, as each of the so-called “home grown” terrorists, are nationals or related to nationals from countries that support and/or harbor terrorist. The fact that “jihad” is a prominent adjective attached to the majority of these plots (Pittsburgh is, as of now, just a routine pipe bomb in a microwave planted at a bus station at the finish line of a marathon.) is indicative of the mentality of those that would harm innocents in the name of religion.

Regardless of the fact that the “terrorist” is homegrown, or that the plot has failed, the fact that there has been an increase in these types of plots in the recently, speaks to the lack of fear of the United States as well as a lack of expertise on the part of the terrorists – in other words, those pulling the strings in Al Queda are not sending in their A team, but they are continuing to instigate and inspire those less than savvy “jihadist” who would undertake the task of blowing up your local mall, restaurant, amusement park, etc. There are no statistics on those that have failed completely by blowing themselves to smithereens while trying to build the bomb (See former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, who’s stint with the Weather Underground, included a failed attempt which resulted in a loss of one member of this domestic terrorist group - NYTimes Article here).

Welcome to Israel – with each and every attempt, one is reminded of our ally, Israel, who has been subjected to ongoing bombings from a variety of terrorists. Although much maligned by the “world community” for shutting down the border with Palestine
, the fact remains that border control reduces these incidences.
Of course, securing the borders of the United States, or “profiling” or even checking the background of those here on visas or caught sprinting across any one of our borders, is “verbotim”. The failure to secure all of our borders is one of the problems that have gone unaddressed by every administration since it became glaringly apparent that individuals from certain religious backgrounds and certain countries and groups, wanted to blow up as many American’s as possible. One can start with the bombing at the World Trade Center in 1993, and go forward to September 11, 2001 throw today, where one can expect a great deal of deliberation by the administration and a continued open-border policy.

One has to wonder, what it will take for the powers that be to decide to actually enforce current immigration laws and secure our borders. The State of Arizona is taking the lead in this, by toughing its stance on illegal immigration, but, to date, none of the other Border States feel the need to face the wrath of both the administrations scathing remarks or the subsequent boycotts and marches by thousands who support open border policy. It is those that scream the loudest who get the attention of the powers that be – that said, even those who’s losses on September 11th, demanded a tightening of the border, it may end up as something less spectacular that finally pushes some administration in the future (and possibly not too distant) to actually close the borders and check visas, and return the nation to a pattern of legal immigration and sanity. Something similar to a bomb blowing up in the middle of a crowed mall in any small city or suburb may finally energize the silent majority who feel insulated from the “alleged and failed attacks” in these larger urban areas.

Further, closing and monitoring our borders is not racist, it is sensible. There are mechanism in place where individuals from nations north and south of our borders, as well as from any country can obtain visas appropriate to work in the United States, or conditions where amnesty can be sought for those who live in nations where political conditions make life unbearable, as well as visa’s that allow one to enter the United States with an eye toward citizenship. It is high time that those in power, regardless of party affiliation, begin to look towards the protection of its citizens, and not pander to who they may offend; be it the “world community” or those huge voting blocs. One would hazard to guess that anyone of Hispanic origin, who is a citizen of this great nation, would prefer to go safely to the mall, and consider a sane border policy a priority.

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