Staggering Ignorance From Bill Maher: ‘We Spend 42% of Our Total Budget on Defense’

BILL MAHER, HOST: We have tens of thousands of troops in Italy, Germany, Japan, Korea, places where wars have not occurred for decades. And we spend I think something like 42 percent of our total budget on defense, right, and I don’t know if that includes or Homeland Security.

CONGRESSMAN BARNEY FRANK (D-MASSACHUSETTS): Well, it doesn’t include Homeland Security. It includes the nukes. They’re in the other budget.

Funny that Frank didn’t bother correcting his host, for the correct figure for fiscal 2013 is 18.5 percent.

Read more here.

Barney Frank Classless to the End

Barney Frank’s retirement speech was as classless as his victory speech in 2010 over Republican Sean Bielat. Then he spent much of the time whining (after winning?) about “vituperation,” and “anonymous smears,” accusing Republicans of running campaigns that “were beneath the dignity of democracy.”

In a statement Tuesday to the Boston Globe, Frank had this to say:

“Markey and Lynch were protected, and the rest of us got what they didn’t want,” [Frank] said.

Frank asserted that Markey…and Lynch…were given good districts. Several others – including himself…got a bad deal, Frank said, even though those districts are still considered by many as safe Democratic seats.” I think Ed [Markey] had some influence with them, but it was spent mostly on his own district. “There was stuff that Eddie got that, if I could have shared some with Eddie, it would have been a better district.”

Frank’s 4th Congressional District still includes the liberal strongholds of Wellesley, Newton and Brookline that played a large role in his 2010 victory, so it’s not clear what he’s complaining about, but in any case, good riddance to a grown man who sounds like a spoiled ten year old, whining that the other kids got a bigger slice of cake.

Sean Bielat has not announced whether he will be running next year, but another candidate who appears to have strong conservative credentials, Dr. Elizabeth Childs (Childsforcongress), is already campaigning for Frank’s seat.

Weinergate

That Anthony .. what a weiner!

OK …I’ll leave the weiner jokes to the experts. Someone did suggest that Barney Frank and Anthony Weiner could open a snack bar in Manhattan … Weiners and Franks. But I digress ….

OK, so Anthony Weiner lied. Big surprise, right? Now we have everyone and their hamster demanding that Weiner resign immediately. Others are saying that Weiner should pull out of contention in the next NYC mayoral election.

Look … he’s a liar. Not the first in Congress, won’t be the last. He’s a symbol of Washington power. These people – and I’m talking on both sides of the aisle – start to believe that they’re so powerful that they can get away with almost anything. Weiner got caught in the zipper of prevarication. That’s gotta hurt … look! He’s crying!

But should he resign? Frankly, I would rather he didn’t. Right now he’s a disgraced leftist House member. If he resigns he will just be replaced with a non-disgraced leftist House member. The disgraced variety of this particular vermin is much less dangerous than the non-disgraced.

As for the possibility of a Weiner being mayor of New York? Sure – that’s going to happen.

Rather than sitting around demanding his resignation, let’s take not of how Weiner handled this debacle when the news first broke. Not only did he lie (par for this hole) but he blamed it all on right-wingers. It was that evil Andrew Breitbart behind this terrible plot to disgrace a very important and effective member of congress. Yeah! That’s it! This is a right-wing plot and the result of all that right-wing hatred out there.

I want Weiner to remain right where he is. First – he’s weakened. Second – we don’t need him hosting a show on CNN (The Weiner Factor?), and third; he stands as a constant reminder of the knee-jerk “blame the right wing” yak squeeze liberals love to float when they’re caught with their pants bulging.

Revisiting Barney Frank

So Slobbering Barney Frank finally admitted helping Herb Moses get a job at Fannie Mae during the early 1990s. Who was Herb Moses? Hunky Herb was Barney’s boyfriend at the time. Why does it matter? Because Barney Frank was on the committee that regulated Fannie Mae at the time he helped his lover get the job … and then for the next few years when Herb Moses was one of the Fannie Mae executives pushing the very Fannie Mae loan guarantee programs that led to our housing and mortgage crisis, while escaping rigorous oversight from Congress. A conflict of interest? Hell ya! But not according to Slobbering Barney Frank. He says, “If it is (a conflict of interest), then much of Washington is involved (in conflicts). It is a common thing in Washington for members of Congress to have spouses work for the federal government. There is no rule against it at all.”

Working for the federal government, fine. But serving on the Congressional committee that oversees your lover’s job? In 2003, the Bush administration proposed altering the regulation of GSEs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Barney Frank had this to say at a hearing of the Financial Services Committee on the subject:

I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two government sponsored enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis. We have recently had an accounting problem with Freddie Mac that has led to people being dismissed, as appears to be appropriate. I do not think at this point there is a problem with a threat to the Treasury….

Now, we have got a system that I think has worked very well to help housing. The high cost of housing is one of the great social bombs of this country. I would rank it second to the inadequacy of our health delivery system as a problem that afflicts many, many Americans. We have gotten recent reports about the difficulty here.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have played a very useful role in helping make housing more affordable, both in general through leveraging the mortgage market, and in particular, they have a mission that this Congress has given them in return for some of the arrangements which are of some benefit to them to focus on affordable housing, and that is what I am concerned about here. I believe that we, as the Federal Government, have probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing and to set reasonable goals. I worry frankly that there is a tension here.

The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disastrous scenarios. And even if there were a problem, the Federal Government doesn’t bail them out. But the more pressure there is there, then the less I think we see in terms of affordable housing.Ouch, Barney.

Remember, though … you are supposed to believe that it was Wall Street greed that caused the financial crisis. A congressman protecting the job of his lover couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with it —- even if he did manage to block reform.

Barney Frank in trouble?

This was a district carved out for Barney by the MA legislature and is considered one of the most Democratic and liberal districts in the country.

But Frank is polling below 50% and the Republican running against him trails by only 10 points despite having terrible name recognition:

Ed Morrissey:

Any time an incumbent falls below 50%, it’s a sign of trouble. In this case, Frank can’t even blame Barack Obama, who gets mildly positive approval ratings in the district, 52/42, as does Frank himself, 53/40. In a generic ballot question, the Democrat leads here by eleven points, 44/33. Bielat gets a 24/9 approval rating, with 67% either having no opinion of him or not knowing his name at all.

Yet Frank only gets 45.2% of the likely voters polled in this survey to commit to voting for him, well below the 50% needed to secure the seat. Beilat gets 36.5% of the vote, well above his name recognition value. With leaners, it becomes 48.2/38.4 Frank, closer to 50% but still short – and with only 0.4% of the voters having never heard of Frank, Bielat has a lot more upside over the next six weeks.

Why has Frank fallen short? The issue priority list gives a big hint. Jobs and the economy top the list with 51.3% of the respondents, but immediately after that comes “Repeal the health-care bill,” with 8.6%. Implementing ObamaCare is only a top priority with 7% of the voters in Frank’s district and finishes fifth on the list, behind getting a comprehensive energy bill and controlling federal spending.

Experts are still not giving the Republican much of a chance. Frank is well entrenched, well funded, and has near universal name recognition. But in this anti-incumbent year, that might be the kiss of death in the end.

Is Barney Frank Trying to Destroy Our Military?

By Roxana Tiron

A panel commissioned by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is recommending nearly $1 trillion in cuts to the Pentagon’s budget during the next 10 years.

The Sustainable Defense Task Force, a commission of scholars from a broad ideological spectrum appointed by Frank, the House Financial Services Committee chairman, laid out actions the government could take that could save as much as $960 billion between 2011 and 2020.

Measures presented by the task force include making significant reductions to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which has strong support from Defense Secretary Robert Gates; delaying the procurement of a new midair refueling tanker the Air Force has identified as one of its top acquisition priorities; and reducing the Navy’s fleet to 230 ships instead of the 313 eyed by the service.

Shipbuilding has strong support in the congressional defense committees, which write the Pentagon bills. Efforts to reduce the number of ships would run into resistance from the Pentagon and the shipbuilding lobby.

Frank on Friday warned that if he can’t convince Congress to act in the “general direction” of the task force recommendation, “then every other issue will suffer.” Not cutting the Pentagon’s budget could lead to higher taxes and spending cuts detrimental to the environment, housing and highway construction.

The acceptance of the recommendations would depend on a “philosophical change” and a “redefinition of the strategy,” Frank said at press conference on Capitol Hill.

He said the creation of the deficit reduction commission offers the best opportunity for the reduction recommendations. Frank wants to convince his colleagues to write to the deficit reduction commission and warn that they would not approve any of the plans suggested by the commission unless reduction of military spending is included.

The task force has looked at various options to trim the Pentagon’s budget in order to reduce the deficit. Those include a reduction in Army and Marine Corps end-strength by cutting back on personnel stationed in Europe and Asia; and rolling back Army and Marine Corps personnel as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end.

The panel also looked into reforming military compensation, which could save about $55 billion; saving $60 billion by reforming the military healthcare system; and reducing recruiting expenditures once the wars wind down to preserve about $5 billion.

All of these recommendations would be expected to engender congressional opposition.

The task force also suggested canceling the V-22 Osprey program and the Marine Corps’s troubled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.

The U.S. nuclear arsenal would also be on the chopping block, under the panel’s suggestions.

The task force recommends reducing the U.S. nuclear warhead total to 1,050.

Launchers would include 160 Minuteman missiles and seven Ohio-class submarines with 24 missiles (each with five warheads).

The panel also recommends retiring the Air Force bombers — “the bomber leg of the nuclear triad,” which includes land-based missiles and nuclear submarines — and ending work on the Trident II missile.

Frank acknowledged Friday that making cuts to the military’s healthcare system, known as Tricare, would be a “non-starter” with his congressional colleagues. But he said that suggestions on how to handle the nuclear arsenal and missile defense could get a “great deal” of support on the Hill.

Frank requested the creation of the task force in cooperation with Reps. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

The Project on Defense Alternatives coordinated the work of the task force, which included the following members: Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives; Benjamin Friedman, Cato Institute; William Hartung, New America Foundation; Christopher Hellman, National Priorities Project; Heather Hurlburt, National Security Network; Charles Knight, Project on Defense Alternatives; Lawrence J. Korb, Center for American Progress; Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action; Laicie Olson, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; Miriam Pemberton, Institute for Policy Studies; Laura Peterson, Taxpayers for Common Sense; Prasannan Parthasarathi, Boston College; Christopher Preble, Cato Institute, and Winslow Wheeler, Center for Defense Information.