Saturday, August 21, 2010

Barney Frank 2010 Opponent - Republican Sean Bielat - “Outed” for Being a Democrat by Local News – Blames Barney Frank!?

Sean Bielat, candidate for the Massachusetts 4th Congressional Seat, has been running a scorched earth primary against the somewhat flawed Republican, Earl Sholley, in hopes of besting Sholley to gain the privilege of running against incumbent Barney Frank. The Bielat campaign put out a website, entitled: Decide for which includes Lexis Nexus court documents, and links to newspaper articles that appear damming to Mr. Sholley. It is clearly marked – clearly marked “paid for by Bielat for Congress.” In essence, one can agree or disagree with this tactic; however, it was apparently brought on by divisive remarks made by followers of the Sholley Campaign.

Decide for

That said, in a recent article on Wicked Local here the fact that Sean Bielat was a registered Democrat up until 2005, complete with copies of his voting records via Lexis Nexus, is thrown out at the district in the form of an “outing”.

The article also incorrectly states that Mr. Sholley has been a lifelong resident of the District, when, in fact, he had moved there in 2008, however, Sholley had been a resident of the Commonwealth, living in Holliston and Attleboro. It is not an uncommon practice for politicians and/or those seeking to become politicians to move to a district in order to run against an incumbent. Therefore, the carpetbagger charges being thrown by commenter’s on this article at both Sholley and Beilat should do some research on the practice.

Is it a problem that Mr. Beilat was a former Democrat? Hardly, that’s a cause for celebration – however, timing, as they say, is everything. Had Sean Bielat begun his campaign with: "I was a lifelong Democrat, who, after much soul searching found that I could no longer support the Party and its policies and became a Republican. I also decided that I had to make up for my previous faux pas and step up and stand up to one of the most egregious politician’s in the nation – Barney Frank – so I decided to run for Congress."

That narrative would have propelled Mr. Beilat into stardom, both in the district and in the eyes of the national press. There is nothing that Republicans love more than converts.

That did not happen.

Mr. Beilat did not mention he was a Democrat, and in response to the “Wicked Local” article, Bielat’s team posted a message on his website, Entitled: Yes, I was a registered Democrat .

Bielat: Blames Barney

Unfortunately, not unlike the current occupant of the White House, Mr. Beilat chose to blame Barney Frank, of all people, for “outing” him as a Democrat. His heartfelt account of growing up in a Democrat family as well as his “seeing the light”, is ruined by his casting blame at Frank. He could have and should have used it to his advantage.

Scenario: "I was a Democrat at one time, but I chose the better party, and although I should have been upfront from the beginning about my affiliation, I felt that a) it was not relevant, b) I was embarrassed to admit I was a Democrat, c) I was afraid I would not be accepted" – anyone of those would have done, with the following: “and I apologize if I have offended anyone, it was obviously my mistake.”

This regardless of the allegations that Barney Frank is on some kind of a witch hunt to “out Beilat” so that Frank can hold onto his seat, the charge that Beilat makes in his post opening.
That allegation by the way may or may not be true. The wicked local author, most likely followed up on Google searches which landed on his blog posts regarding Mr. Bielat. The reason this sounds more plausible is that this blog began to receive search in February of 2009, immediately following Beilat’s announcement to run as a Republican. The screen shot below from tracking software is from North Carolina, additional searches came from Chicago Illinois, upstate New York and Los Angles.

Search for Sean Bielat Democrat from February 2009 - click to enlarge

As there is more than one Sean Bielat, (as was pointed out to this blog regarding a post incorrectly stating a place of marriage), it was dropped. Apparently, not by seasoned journalist, Tony Schinella, who, with Lexis Nexus at his disposal, easily found the supporting documents. As this is a non-for-profit blog, paying for extensive Lexis Nexus services (which can get pricey), does not happen.

So, to Mr. Beilat, Man up, and take responsibility (or have your campaign staff do it) quickly. Change the narrative, which should have been your narrative from the beginning. There are only two candidates on the Republican Ticket, and you have done your best to “out” Earl Sholley (who, in reality, most of what was outed was old news) in order to rise to the top (which appears a flaw of sorts). Congressman Frank could have been bested, now, thanks to you, it may still be doable, but it will be three times the uphill battle it was.

With that said, Congratulations are in order to Mr. Bielat on his conversion, (regardless of who announced the conversion) and for being a patriot who would take time out of his life, his work, and his family, to run against one of the most fiscally damaging politicians of our lifetime.

May the better man win the primary, and whoever does win, that man will need all the support they can handle to best Congressman Barney Frank. Therefore, the time for Mr. Sholley’s (supporters) and Mr. Beilat to begin to talk about issues, is now, and to talk about avidly supporting the winner, regardless of whom that may be.

On the issues:
Sholley for

Obama - Bush Not to Blame for Economy – Congress To Blame! If that Doesn't Work - Maybe it Will be the FBI Next!

The Democrat Controlled Congress - since 2006 - image NYTimes

The Presidenthas apparently had an epiphany that the tactic of blaming former President George W. Bush for the current economic disaster is no longer working with the general public. It could have been his pending umpteenth vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, where the President discovered Massachusetts residents sporting “George Bush, Miss Me Yet T-shirts, or it could have been the polls, either way, Obama needed a new scapegoat, and he finally got it right.

Blaming Congress, which has been controlled by the Democrat Party since 2006 is where the blame lays, President Obama immediately pointed to the differences and blasted – the minority party in both Houses – unfortunately for Obama, even the Los Angeles Times “gets it”:

According to the president, he's been "adamant" with Congress for months now about a new jobs bill to help small businesses. Obama says this really good bill is stalled in the Senate, where so much administration legislation has been crammed through so effectively by Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Reid's been so good at it, in fact, that he's now running for his political life in a reelection campaign back in Nevada where unemployment is 14.3% and Obama's legislation is not so popular.
Reid's up against a conservative Republican. So, that means Harry Reid must be a Democrat, just like Obama, and just like 59% of the Senate's votes.
The very same party that has controlled both houses of Congress since the 2006 election and really controlled them both since the 2008 hopey-changey balloting.
So, facing the growing grim possibility of a GOP surge on Nov. 2, is this maybe the start of buddy-bickering within the Democratic huddle? Vulnerable people pointing the proverbial political finger of blame at someone else? That's ridiculous, of course.

The article is appropriately entitled: “Obama now blames poor job numbers on congressional inaction. Wait! His party runs Congress” and is further evidence that failure to take responsibility, sooner or later, catches up with the “perfect candidate”.

That’s the problem with “perfect candidates”, especially those who, for some reason, have to point the finger at everyone but themselves. As CEO of these United States of American, Barak Obama is responsible for the actions of his administration – Congress, of course, is the other animal, the animal that holds the purse strings, the animal that writes and approves spending measures, and then hands them off to the administration to either sign off on, or veto! This cannot be done without a - majority.

The people get this – they also get the fact that Democrats, Progressive Democrats have run the Congress in preparation of Obama, (also Progressive) someone who apparently would agree with them completely – (With of course, the ones that are the root cause of all Obama’s problems – Republicans in the minority.)

Of course, all this finger pointing isn’t reserved for the President alone: Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has now hinted, that he may not have been the primary target of investigation by the FBI during his recent trial for “trying to sell a Senate Seat – Barak Obama’s Senate Seat.” He was convicted of lying to the Feds, of course, but that charge is somewhat of an oxymoron, when one considers who’s in charge.

In a recent ABC News interview the former Governor of Illinois implied the Feds were truly after – the Blamer in Chief! – This, with Chicago Politics being what they are – might not be a stretch. Video of that “sit” down below.

One wonders who Obama will blame for a Federal Investigation of himself! George Bush no longer works, we the people will just have to wait and see.

Video also available at: ABC"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Progressive Democrats in Denial – Local Press Attempts to Reshape Narrative on Public Angst and GOP in Massachusetts

Dr. Jay Flietman - Running the Ground game Against Richard Neal - MA Hamdpen Second - image Jay Fleitman Blog

An interesting article in the Northampton Gazette , entitled “Shifting Ground: Local Republicans are energized, Democrats feisty as fall elections approach”, speaks about the political outlook in the fall elections, specifically in Massachusetts.

The author begins the article by noting the issues that are on the minds of the public: the building of a mosque at ground zero in New York, Rupert Murdoch’s donation to the Republican Governors Association and finally an aide to President Obama criticizing Progressive Democrats. The economy, including the fact that 500,000 new unemployment claims were filed last week, (with article published Friday, August 20th, news of increased jobs claims available day before), the angst over immigration and health care reform were not mentioned at all.

The use of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News as having made a rather large donation to the Republican Governor’s Association is interesting as it is basically a “call to action” for those on the left who tune in to MSNBC. Other, more informed news consumers, understand that Murdoch gives to both political parties, leaning to the left in the 2008 elections with the with the likes of then Presidential candidate, John Edwards urging Democrats to reject money from Murdoch.

Additionally, no word on the sixth Presidential “get-away” across the state on Martha’s Vineyard where George Bush “Miss Me Yet”, t-shirts are selling like “hot cakes”.

The article does nicely outline the differences in political think within the Democrat Party – with the battle between “conservative” and Progressive Democrats highlighted. The author quotes the President of the 100,000 strong PDA (Progressive Democrats of America) as saying nothing should be taken for granted and furthering the fact that Progressives want to make the national party more progressive.

He goes on to cite the 4th Districts, Barney Frank:

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, of Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District, warns that progressive Democrats upset with the party's conservative members should try to defeat them in primaries - but only in safe Democratic districts, not ones that could be taken by a Republican.
In a recent interview with Congressional Quarterly, Frank added that if progressives have a choice between a conservative Democrat and a Republican in November, they should vote for the Democrat "but stick voodoo pins in him ... that relieves your frustration and helps public policy."

The Massachusetts 2nd District is also highlighted, with Richard Neal (D) being seen as “Safe” – in fact all but one Massachusetts district is seen as safe by political pundits who quote the “Cook Report”, a Washington Based political publication. Although the Cook Report bases its bi-partisan analysis on reports from those in the “know” in political circles in states where they may not have intelligence on the ground, one has to note the absence of any polling, outside of the Governor’s race, by firms other than those hired by candidates for internal polling purposes.

If all was “rosy” so to speak, there would be no need for Bill Clinton to come to Springfield to stump for Neal, nor, for that matter, Barney Frank to open a a campaign office in Newton of all places.. (Only two of many instances taking place across the Bay State.)

The Hamden 2nd, where Neal has run virtually unopposed (the true focus of this article), in decades, now has Republican’s vying for his seat, and they have the ground game on. In fact, newly former Democrats (those must be the “conservative Democrats to which the PDA refers), have “jumped ship” to the Republican side – which began with Scott Brown, and has carried through to district races. Democrat held seats “safe” in Massachusetts? Hardly.

Dr. Jay Flietman, who is running against Richard Neal, is highlighted in the Gazette article. It may be because Fleitman is the “hometown” Republican, a man who sat on the Board of Health in Northampton until relinquishing his seat to campaign against Neal. The fact that Fleitman was able to get to the Board of Health in Northampton (which is similar in political think to Amherst and Cambridge (see additional progressives quoted in the article, with one moderate community college professor thrown in who had voted for McCain) speaks volumes on the ability of “Dr.Jay” to appeal to a broad spectrum of voters, including Democrats. Jay Fleitman will face Tom Wesley is the upcoming primary on September 13th. There are multiple Republican’s running in all but one, one district in Massachusetts.

The question remains, how much clout does the press, or Progressives, for that matter, have in shaping the narrative on this mid-term? One has to factor in media, in general, and where consumers are going to get their news. The highest rated radio talk shows in Massachusetts include Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and locally Howie Carr of WRKO fame, Fox News (although much maligned) takes the top spot in cable wars on a weekly basis (See Cable News Ratings), coming close in viewership to the national network outlets who, at one time dominated evening news broadcasts. A recent New York Times article, noted broadcast was down for all networks, by range of 4 to 6 percent To networks that, in the late 1990’s had 10 million viewers per night, the fall to cable is telling.

Consumers are no longer sitting back and waiting for their national or local news anchor to tell them what is up – they are literally “Googleing” for verification. Blogs, as well as alternative news organizations, including international sources, are now being used in an effort to get the “scoop”.

Therefore, the Progressives of America have their work cut out for them. For that matter, so does Bill Clinton. Although highly popular in Massachusetts, Richard Neal, is rather lackluster, more so this season than any other. Will these races be a walk in the park for those who rise to the top of the ticket after the primary? No - but these candidates are better prepared to fight the Democrats on their own terms – they may not have the SEIU out in force, (who’s members were quoted in the Brown election as having been paid to support Coakley, but were voting for Brown), nor the “star power” of a Bill Clinton, but what they do have is the ability to connect with the voters, regardless of party.

Therefore races will be close, in the vein of Scott Brown close – 2 to 3 points were predicted in his “win” over Coakley, a slightly conservative number.

Pollsters to trust: Public Policy Polling a firm known to lean Democrat, but who, in the past, especially in recent special elections, has been spot on. For a skewed view of how well a favorite candidate (out of Massachusetts) might be doing, Real Clear Politics offers a combination of polls, to come up with an average.

The people have a choice, in the Hampden 2nd – between an entrenched, straight party line, politicians who is obviously influenced by Progressives, as opposed to the majority of Democrats (one Richard Neal), or a knowledgeable and likeable physician from Northampton, Dr. Jay Flietman who seeks to bring a different, fiscally conservative narrative to Washington.

Herein lays the crux, “likeable”, it will boil down to retail politics, on all level, and the more appealing the candidate is to the masses now (progressive think), the better the chance of besting an incumbent.

As of now, one must respectfully agree to disagree on the notion that all seats, with the exception of the 10th District, are “safe”, rather, with Democrats playing defense for the first time in decades, it appears that these districts are up for grabs, and as conditions worsen, along with the rhetoric that all is well with Democrats from the local news, the face of Massachusetts is on the verge of a substantial shift in political think.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

500,000 New Unemployment Claims – CNBC Once Again Claims: “Unexpected”!

CNBC is reporting that new jobless claims rose to a 9 month high as of August 14th to 500,000 new claims. The word, “unexpected” was, once again, used in conjunction with additional jobless claims. With the economy in “stimulus” mode, the nation has lost more than it has gained going into 2010 mid-terms. The only thing unexpected about these claims is the continual use of the term in conjunction with monthly job losses under the Obama administration's watch.

In addition, the number of individuals receiving “emergency benefits” (extended) jumped to 4.75 million as of July 31st. Good thing they passed that "Jobs Bill".

Eventually, the Progressive mantra “tax the wealthy”, (i.e. corporations), will drum the nation into deeper penury if someone, somewhere doesn’t realize that the current taxing problem needs a bold approach – repealing every piece of legislation that has added a nickel to the corporate and individual income taxes, and instituting attractive packages for employers to get back on the hiring wagon, including busting a few unions. How many more jobs must be lost before the powers that be wake up and smell the coffee?

Obama Heads to Martha’s Vineyard for 10 Day Vacation – Best Selling T-shirt on the Vineyard – George Bush?!

George Bush T-Shirts Big on the Vinayard - photo

Welcome to Massachusetts – Although the press has been somewhat generous regarding President Obama’s vacations, including a recent article from NPR asking “Why do we Care About Presidential Holidays” which borrows from the Slate blog’s “The First Families Forced Vacations (No kidding, that’s the Title) by Anne Applebaum.

Applebaum, in defense of the President and First families trips “from Maine to Spain” (NPR), ends the article with a statement and question: “This is what mid-August is for. Why do we need to think about them when we’re on vacation too?”

Asked and answered with a sharp retort by a commenter at NRP who quips: “the taxpayers are paying for it. No one needs 2-3 vacations a month….”

While the AP’s latest poll (video below) notes that 61 percent of respondents feel the economy has gotten worse or stayed the same “under Obama’s watch” – and one 10 day vacation for many United States residents is but a dream due to the economy asking why “we care” should be fairly self-evident.

It is not so much that individually, anyone begrudges a President a break, (with perhaps the press and George Bush), after all, that’s one job noted for adding twenty years to every President’s appearance. (See Rush Limbaugh’s comments on Presidential aging here in an attempt to Lampoon then Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – taking what one would consider “the low road”, specifically as it applied to women and the job at hand.) (Note: Hillary faced more “feminine centered” negative comments from the press than even perhaps, Geraldine Ferraro, blowing the theory out the window that “we’ve come a long way”. )

Therefore, the guy does deserve a break, but 2 to 3 per month as suggested by the commenter at NRP? That might be a tad excessive considering the aforementioned poll. Even in Massachusetts, on the Vineyard of all places, residents and those able to take a trip to the Island (Keep in mind - 9 of the 10 Mass. Congressional Districts have viable alternatives to the Democrat incumbents, all of whom are up for reelection in November.) have a favorite new tee shirt according to Channel 5 Boston: one that depicts George Bush.

One has to ask how bad can it be when George Bush is being worn with respect (or longing perhaps) in Massachusetts?! One can almost bet there will be no visits off the “Island” in order to stump for any of those Congressional Democrats who are busy trying to cover tracks in their districts. Even Barney Frank faces opposition from within his own Party, while two Republicans are vying for the opportunity to retire “Barney”, and rumors of his eminent resignation have been flying around the district.

The last thing Barney needs is a visit from Obama (unlikely in any event) – however, perhaps the President would enjoy a side trip to the Pioneer Valley (which is really a beautiful place to live and vacation) to give former President Bill Clinton a break from stumping for troubled Democrats, to lend a hand with Charles Rangles’ handpicked successor, media shy (outside his own district) Richard Neal. That would endear the President to many residents in this conservative leaning section of the state, although admittedly for reasons not in Obama’s, or more to the point, Neal’s best interest.

Yes, we can care about numerous vacations, especially in a time where the economy is at issue, regardless of election year politics, perhaps Obama could have skipped the Vineyard, and maybe taken a vacation at his home in Chicago – backyard style – like the rest of us.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nancy Pelosi Up For Reelection in 2010 – Voices Solidarity With Those Who Would Investigate Opposition to NYC Mosque - Audio

Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA 8), in an interview with KCBS San Francisco, was asked about the controversy over the building of a Mosque on Ground Zero – in response, Pelosi noted that it was not up to her, rather her colleagues in New York. She did not stop there, however, but went on to express the need to “investigate” who was funding opposition to the building of this mosque. The audio link is below as well as on KBCS.

Pelosi, who is up for reelection this year, is busy stumping in her home district. She will be facing John Dennis (, the Republican candidate for the 8th Congressional District. Although most pundits would note that Mr. Dennis does not stand a chance in Hades in besting Ms. Nancy, there is increasing angst in Pelosi’s district, and Mr. Dennis represents an opportunity for those moderate Democrats and the growing number of independents to send Pelosi packing. Dennis, who leans towards Libertarian ideals, is well liked in the district, even getting a nod from the Bay Area Reporter as an alternative, noting that Pelosi has lost the all important Bay Area LBGT support. Donations can be made to Dennis’ campaign here at

One must recall that one little-known Commonwealth Senator by the name of Scott Brown, was down 15 points (according to a Boston Globe poll) less than a week prior to the peoples victory in the Bay State, that, in this opinion, was just the beginning – even the bluest of states can show that reason trumps blind political ideology when push comes to shove.


MA 4th Congressional District Race Update – Barney Frank 2010 Opponent, Sean Bielat (R) to Appear on FNC’s, Sean Hannity Show.

Sean Hanntity of Fox News - an Interest in MA Growing Conservative Movement - image: wow

As the Massachusetts primary season is heating up, Candidate for Congress, Sean Bielat, will be a guest on the Sean Hannity Show, this coming Monday, August 23rd. (Source: email received from the Bielat campaign). This Conservative showcase, will give Mr. Beilat a national platform in which to a) prove that the Bay State has credible Republican candidates running for office (in droves mind you – all but one of the 10 districts has a Republican Primary) and b) take an opportunity to show how he might differ from his competitor, Earl Sholley, on the issues to those in the 4th district who were not able to listen to the 7am debate held on Rush Radio( Podcast of Debate available here. )this past week. Lastly, it will give Mr. Beilat an opportunity to increase his “war chest” which, rumor has it, is on par with Barney Frank’s. (Note rumor, but with the insistence that the next FEC filing will be “huge”. (source name withheld, as noted as rumor)

So tune in next Monday, or set your dvrs, and take the time to get to know a young Marine who may just be Frank’s nemesis (or in the event that Frank, even with evidence to the Contrary, bows out of the race at the last breath (Ethics Panel Indictment Avoidence Ayndrom), handing it, hat in hand to Rachel Brown – given tweet and sources from Laura Ingraham of Frank’s retirement in April and the way in which Frank approached Rachel Brown, with all due respect, in the Democrat Debate (available on You Tube).

Mr. Bielat might find himself up against a different opponent. With politics in the 4th District of Massachusetts, perhaps a bit more “crazy” than other districts in Massachusetts – anything, at this point may happen. One thing is certain, the next Congressional Representative for the Massachusetts 4th will be one of these four individuals:

Barney Frank Barney
Rachel Brown Rachel for Congress
Sean BielatSean"
Earl SholleySholleyfor

Barney Frank – Finding Revenue in Vice – Taxing Questions Arise Over Online Gambling

Barney Frank - Legalize Online Gaming then Tax Them! - photo

The Free Lance Star Fredericksburg, Virginia, article regarding Barney Frank and his penchant for online gaming puts a new spin on an otherwise moral issue – one of taxes. Currently, on-line gaming sites such as sports betting and casinos are held “off-shore” but readily available to consumers in the U.S. Franks bill which makes it legal for the U.S. gaming industry to jump on board the internet gravy train appears to make sense, as far as fair play is concerned – why not let the U.S. based companies take a piece of the pie? Taxes – the other Bill on the Congressmans desk - would then tax them back off shore. The article speaks to the societal problems associated with legalized gaming but not before blaming Frank for bringing vice to the nation

REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-Mass., says that "some adults will spend their money foolishly, but it's not the purpose of the federal government to prevent them from legally doing it." Especially when the government can tax that foolishness.
Before Congress left on its summer break, the House Financial Services Committee, which Mr. Frank chairs, passed a bill that would legalize online gambling, including poker and sports betting. All that remains to slap a smile on Mr. Frank's face is for a companion bill--the one that would establish the taxes--to make its way through committee.
Proponents are betting that legalizing online gambling and letting the IRS take a cut could put as much as $42 billion in Uncle Sam's coffers over a decade--easily enough to stimulate the prey impulse in revenue-hungry congressmen.”

Understanding that Congressman Frank, who faces multiple challengers for reelection this year, has been working with the gaming industries and their lobby for quite some time to achieve this particular source of revenue for the Federal Government, what one finds somewhat interesting, is the high road taken by the Free Lance Star. Specifically, their speaking to the moral aspect and the dangers of online gaming brought on by Mr. Frank’s bill, a danger that already exists. Online gaming sites, from casino’s to sports-betting to betting on the outcome of political races are all available –Frank, in backing the Casino’s cause to take it online was only leveling the playing field - and increasing Federal Revenue: (Note: McDemotts (D-WA) bill Barney’s desk is estimated to bring in 42 billion in taxes from online gaming.)

Frank, who, according the FEC, is a recipient of generous donations by U.S. based gaming companies ( here ) who must at this point, understand that nothing is more certain in this great nation, especially now and into the future, than “taxes”. One has to wonder if the gaming industry is aware of the legislation to tax them back to the Stone Age mentioned in the Free Lance Star?

Google Frank and online gaming (add in cigar and it gets really interesting) and the number of articles in support of the 4th Massachusetts own son, is stunning. All coming from cigar and gaming publications or, as the Star pointed out – less moral areas all of which possibly lead to an increase in broken homes.

One has to hand it to Frank, rather than criticize him in this instance – politics that the Democrats have put into place, specifically the lending industry (home mortgages come to mind and a certain quasi government entity or pair of entities, Freddie and Fannie) have put our nation into penury and will, with the new interest rates revealed on the government only student loan industry Student (more information on how that bill is going to affect the nation here here )at three times the rate of private lenders (who are no longer eligible to lend money for student loans period) will serve to eradicate that debt, but who will pay? Our children and grandchildren are now in the unenviable position of paying in spades for every piece of legislation this Congress and administration in concert has conceived in a under two years –a yoke around the necks of the middle class that should last for decades.

Along comes Congressman Frank, who finds an industry and a way to tax it. Perhaps if that income were to go to reducing the federal deficit, that would be ideal, but with Democrat in charge of Congress (with every intention of continuing despite predictions to the contrary), then one can expect more tax burden as well as real debt (see student loans) to be piled on the backs of our future(i.e. our children and grandchildren whose lifestyle, instead of being better than the previous generation, will, unfortunately, be considerably more expensive, allowing for less options, higher education being one of them. The President in taking over the student loan industry, with interest rates only rising as new applicants receive their approvals, did not reverse an earlier federal law that prohibits student loans to be included in a bankruptcy). Barney Frank might suggest that students now take to gaming in order to hopefully hit it big to pay off the interest Obama plans on collecting off student loans (which note: cannot be purchased anywhere but the federal government.)

One cannot therefore, blame Barney for doing his job, finding an industry that was seemingly being kept from competing with offshore companies, and then taking them in order to fund something that will come down the pike. Additionally, Hades may have frozen over, as this blog does not normally agree and or support Congressman Frank’s actions – as they are contrary to conservative ideology – but this time, one has to admit, Frank is guilty of Fair play.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chris Christie – Pragmatism Rules In Discussions on Proposed Ground Zero Mosque

Chris Christie - Makes One Want to Move to New Jersey - image write on new

From Politicoauthor Maggie Hagerman, reports on New Jersey Republican Governor, Chris Christies’ “take” on the controversy surrounding the building of a Mosque (more to the point a community center) at Ground Zero. In an interview,

"on Monday became the most prominent GOP figure to warn against "overreacting" to the threat of terror and painting "all of Islam" with the brush of terrorism amid the swirling controversy about the Ground Zero-area mosque."

That quote was preceded by the articles headline and assertion that Governor Christie was “warning” the GOP establishment - a stretch by the author to say the least. However, the author did throw in Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich as the ones to whom the Governor was most likely addressing the statement he made – noting it was a “striking departure” from the aforementioneds stand on this issue.

The remarks she quoted further down in the article, paint a different picture entirely. Christie was referring to the fact that he did not feel this particular issue should be used as a political football by any political party and especially the President, due to the egregious nature of the crime on September 11th, and his concerns are spot on and then, lo and behold, he recuses himself from commenting:

“and I don't believe that it would be responsible of me to get involved and comment on this any further because it just put me in the same political arena as all of them."

Thumbs up to Governor Christie for calling it “like it is” and thumbs down to Politico for the articles Title – “Chris Christie warns GOP on mosque” – The question is: was the author expecting the reader to stop at the headline, and then form an opinion based on her opinion – and not notice that Christie most specifically called out the President, not naming any one party, but noting both parties should not use the issue as a “political” football – therefore an alternate and perhaps more appropriate title might have been “Chris Christie Calls Obama Out for Weighing in on Proposed 9/11 Mosque, warns both parties .………”

Monday, August 16, 2010

Obama’s Gallop Numbers now at 49% Negative – Congress to Cut State Future Aid to State Food Stamp Programs to Fund Mrs. Obama’s Program.

Blue State Food Aid Programs - image McClatchy

The Hill Blog is reporting that the Congress is ready to cut state aid in the form of the food stamp program, in order to fund a pet project of Mrs. Obama’s, her health initiative (a laudable project, whereby children are taught exercise and the tenants of eating right.) The aid, which according to the Hill blog, is actually an increase in aid to states that would have been phased in over a period of time, (2014), will vote to take back that chunk of change and give it to this program. The cost of the program: $8 billion.
Also noted is that the Food Stamp program is the Democrats favorite fund-cutting measure used to finance other areas because simply, there’s not many options of places to cut. The AP is reporting that the bill, which passed the Senate earlier, notes that hunger advocates who had supported the bill prior to finding out the cuts were going to affect the food stamp program, are now opposed.

Meanwhile, over at Gallop, Obama’s numbers declined again showing a 42% approval with 49% disapproval ranking going into the November mid-terms.
That said, the latest news regarding the cut in state aid has had little traction in the news (yet, if at all) and Food Stamps, in cash-strapped blue states, are a staple. The First Lady, is being made out by some media outlets to be somewhat callous : The Examiner Headline for example reads: As First Lady returns from Luxury Vacation, Obama cuts Food Stamps to Nations Poor the blogs have elaborated on that theme. Is it fair, however, to attack Mr. Obama whose intentions are in the right place? (Regardless of the 20 some odd vacations the family has taken since August? (Exaggeration and sarcasm).

The reality is that blue state Food Stamp programs need to be overhauled. One might say, even, on a Canadian model (shocking!). In Massachusetts (and most likely elsewhere) those that receive food stamps are given a debit card, which is good for a number of items, including, lobster (no kidding), and are salable on the “open market”. This sets the state system up for possible fraud and waste of the taxpayers’ dollars.

A few years back, an acquaintance had fallen on hard times, living in Canada (It may have changed since, but he idea is valid), those who could not afford food, would go to the nearest church (this could fall under faith based initiatives), where their needs would be assessed, they would be given a list of what to buy, and provided with exactly that – at a grocer who was aware of what the needs were. This type of program allowed for individual dignity and a much needed hand up – while eliminating fraud.

One must be fairly certain that states offering this type of food stamp credit card assistance, have an ability to track purchases, - however, that said, fraud is able to continue. In almost every community in the nation, a food pantry exists, therefore, a better use of funds would be to stock the food pantries, (working with the local grocery chains), allowing for better monitoring of purchases – this would actually serve two purposes. 1) The First Lady could insist that no donuts be made available on the shelves of these pantries and write ht guidelines, and secondly, one can bet that less abuse might take place, cutting the costs of the program.

It should also be noted, that eventually, an inability to borrow and print money at will have to come to an end, and after signing a Bill supporting teachers unions (financially) that according to an article in the Hawaii Reporter,(Blue State) will end up cutting out social programs such as food stamps, one sees the writing on the wall.

As more social programs are cut, the onus will be on the American people to stock these pantries and to make sure those in need do not go without. The choices made regarding the teachers union bailout and the cuts in Food Stamps, may have been held off, until the nation was in a state of recovery – not rushed through a Congress about to change overseers in November. It does nothing but erode support for the Presidents’ 2012 reported comeback and move to the middle. Hillary, 2012, is looking more attractive by the minute.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Election 2010 – The Democrats Debate: Rachel Brown (D) versus Incumbent “Barney Frank” (D) Sponsored by The Brookline Democrat Committee

In the interest of the Public, and for those Democrats who read this blog - The video below, from Rachel Brown for Congress, shows the Democrat primary line-up for 2010, as well as the policy of both Brown and Frank. Frank must first face Rachel Brown in the primary on September 14th, the winner of that primary will go on to face the winner of the Republican Primary (Sean Bielat or Earl Sholley) for the privilege of serving the people of the 4th Congressional District, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

While Brown, in the video, calls for the Impeachment of Obama, Frank has called out Obama for not being as hard on the GOP as he should have. Frank does not call for the impeachment of Obama.

The Democrats:

Barney Frank:
Rachel Brown:

The Republicans:

Sean Bielat
Earl Sholleysholleyfor

Follow the Money: FEC (Federal Election Commission)
Through 6/30/2010
Sean Bielat: $179,479 net receipts $84,403 net disbursements $95,076 net cash $30,000 loans
Rachel Brown: $23,163 net receipts $22,032 net disbursements $1,130 net cash $0 loans
Barney Frank: $2,224,503 net receipts $1,416,776 net disbursements$981,168 net cash , $0 loans
Earl Sholley: $73,134 net receipts $62,468 net disbursements $11,153 net cash $11,750 loans

It is the logic of most political pundits and analysts that money talks - however, a recent race in the California 8th proved otherwise in the Republican primary where John Dennis ($654,494 net receipts $596,796 net disbursements $57,698 net cash $52,722 loans) defeated Dana Walsh ($1,973,156 net receipts $2,007,355 net disbursements $48,990 net cash $50,518 net loans), going on to face incumbent Nancy Pelosi ($1,983,554 net receipts $2,085,218 net disbursements $214,046 net cash, $0 net loans)

Therefore, in this scenario it was the boots on the ground that ruled the CA 8th District Republican primary - it follows therefore, that anything can happen in the 4th District Primary.

Obama’s Old/New Tactic – Republicans Will Hurt Social Security! How long will False Rhetoric Work on the Public?

The old tactic, letting older voters know that their Social Security would be permanently endangered should those crazy Republicans get their hands on it, is a staple in every Democrats campaign rhetoric closet, and has, for decades worked to some extent. In Congressional Races in Massachusetts, a postcard from incumbent Richard Neal in 2006 warned voters that if he were not re-elected, the Republicans would kill Social Security and life as a senior would be put at grave financial risk. (One post-card was all that was necessary as Neal rarely had a credible opponent – which is not the case in this 2010 election.)

Regardless of which Democrat is running for office, Social Security is a “go to” – the charge now: Republicans’ want to privatize social security. Politico reporting on Obama’s weekly address noted the president has promised to fight the GOP from privatizing Social Security!
What exactly does the privatization of Social Security mean? It would take the money away from the Federal governments control and put it into the control of the individuals – it is similar if not exactly the same plan that Federal retiree’s now enjoy. In fact, George Bush was demonized for attempting to privatize “some” of the social security benefits, in order to stabilize the system in his second term and was soundly fought back by the Democrats in control of the Congress and the Senate.

In a nutshell Federal Employees have two separate programs for retirement, one is the The Federal Employee Pension System (outlined here and with benefit eligibility beginning at age 55.

This pension (Social Security substitute) is coupled with an additional plan called “Thrift Savings”. (Those that leave the Federal workforce, often do contribute to Social Security through second jobs, but can only apply for a greatly reduced Social Security benefit, which may end up being completely denied.)

How does Thrift Savings Work?
1. Thrift savings are similar to a 401K – where employees can receive higher benefits upon retirement.
2. Dollars contributed are allocated pre-tax, in savings accounts but are not eligible for matching funds – the age for non-penalty for withdrawal is70-1/2.
3. The employee is in charge of his/her own account – having options as far as how they wish to see their monies invested. The options are government securities, mutual funds, higher risk/yield funds and fixed funds (lower returns but safer and mandatory after an employee hits a certain age). They have, in other words, choices of how to invest for their retirement at higher yield which those paying into the Social Security system do not.

Therefore, retirement benefits for federal employees are semi-self-directed, allowing for a greater return on investment, and higher checks each month than the average retiree on social security.

The problem with this Republican plan to bring the same or similar benefits enjoyed by federal workers to the general public, is that it puts the money into the hands of the “masses” who may, or may not, according to Progressive think” be wise enough to take care of the money themselves – (even though there are safeguards in place).

What does Social Security cover besides Retirement programs for those that don’t work for the Federal Government?

Social Security Disability Benefits are covered under Social Security.

These benefits are taken from the Social Security monies, and provided to individuals when a disability occurs. What is considered a disability? It varies, however, there are law firms (in concert with the Social Security Acministraiton)that will help individuals fight the Social Security system to enable them to receive a monthly check. one popular disability - The inability to speak English. (Inability to communicate in English: As English is the language of America the SSA will consider an inability to speak English to be a factor in evaluating what type of work that person can do.)

Seriously, that might go a ways in explaining, in part, why the system is broke. Add this to the fact that there are more people taking out of the system due to an increase in the number of retirees (baby boomers), than there are people paying in (9.5% and holding unemployment rate) and one sees a pattern developing.

Where else does the Social Security money go?

When in need, the Government borrows from Social Security (and has for decades, regardless of the administration in charge, the Congress spends as it will) as it is not held in Trust, (see article here)

Therefore, one can see why this President might not want those Republicans to put that money into the hands of the people who might just put their money to work for them, instead of letting the “government" maintain total control. The Republican Plan proposed by Bush never intended to take money away from senior citizens, rather to allow them to have the the option (only the option) of having the same benefits as someone like the President or any other civilian working for the government. Besides the cash, the other problem, it would take away one of the biggest campaign slogans that the Democrats currently enjoy and what’s good for the public is not necessarily good for the Party in this case. This explains Social Security and why the Democrats will fight tooth and nail to maintain their ability to access the Social Security Funds.

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