Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LoBiondo opposes SOPA

I'm pleased to see via Blue Jersey's update on SOPA that Frank LoBiondo has come out against the misguided SOPA bill:

Appreciate all calls, emails, tweets from #SouthJersey residents re: #SOPA - I am STRONGLY OPPOSED & would be a NO if it came to vote as is.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Statement by the President on Osama bin Laden

Transcript of President Barack Obama's statement on Osama bin Laden:

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.



It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory -- hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.



And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.



On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.



We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda -- an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.



Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.



Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.



And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.



Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.



Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.



For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.



Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will -- remain vigilant at home and abroad.



As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.



Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.



Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.



The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.



So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.



Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.



We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.



Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.



And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.



The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.



Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.



Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Frank LoBiondo statement on passing of John Adler

Frank LoBiondo on John Adler:

"Having served with John in both Washington and Trenton, I can attest that he was a good man who was deeply dedicated to South Jersey and those he represented. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Shelley, their sons and family."

Friday, April 1, 2011

Constitutional Crisis: Frank LoBiondo tried to pass law without the Senate

You and I learned that a bill becomes a law only after it passes the House of Representatives and the Senate. Frank LoBiondo, Jon Runyan, Scott Garrett, Chris Smith, and Leonard Lance have invented a new theory of government:

If the House has not received a message from the Senate before April 6, 2011, stating that it has passed a measure providing for the appropriations for the departments and agencies of the Government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, the provisions of H.R. 1, as passed by the House on February 19, 2011, are hereby enacted into law.


Yes, if the Senate fails to vote for a bill that means it becomes law! Congratulations Tea Party "Constitutionalists," you have hit the jackpot with your Representatives.

I'd like to think Rodney Frelinghuysen failed to vote because he being visited by his outraged ghost ancestors but there's probably another reason.

Cross Posted from Blue Jersey

Monday, January 31, 2011

A bank bailout Frank LoBiondo will love?

Like many Republicans, my Representative Frank LoBiondo is proud to support the Middle East wars at the cost of a trillion dollars but opposed loaning money to American banks during a financial crisis. A new story in the New York Times indicates his "principles" are about to collide:

Fraud and mismanagement at Afghanistan’s largest bank have resulted in potential losses of as much as $900 million — three times previous estimates — heightening concerns that the bank could collapse and trigger a broad financial panic in Afghanistan, according to American, European and Afghan officials.


The bank is used by our military to pay Afghans nominally part of their own government payroll. Time's Joe Klein thinks China should bail out the bank, which I'd be happy to bet against. No, this is an expense that is going to be added to the occupation.

I'm looking forward to see if Republicans will vote to bail out these crooks and how they will keep it as quiet as possible.

Cross-posted from Blue Jersey

LoBiondo votes to end public financing of Presidential campaigns

You may remember choosing whether or not to let a few dollars of your tax return -- it used to be $1 -- be used to help finance candidates for President. The system is intended to help reduce corporate influence, and it may help less well known candidates get started. It all works by matching donations -- you and I can't just pick up money by pretending to run -- and limiting spending.

Frank LoBiondo and the new Congressional majority just voted to end public financing.

On the other hand, the truth is that system is collapsing so it's not an entirely bad vote. The public financing system made G. W. Bush President (since it limited Gore's spending, but Bush opted out) while Obama opted out entirely and was therefore able to run campaigns in more states. (He won in Indiana and picked up an electoral vote in Nebraska!) No major candidate will ever be limited by this system again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

LoBiondo on TSA Scanners

I saw in the The Cape May County Herald that Frank LoBiondo weighed in on the TSA controversy. He calls for "balance" which I certainly hope he tries for himself in the next Congress.

The official website has the full letter he sent to Pistole:

Amid news reports detailing “invasive” security procedures including the physical pat-downs of children, U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) is urging Transportation Security Administrator John Pistole to “continue developing procedures that will both protect the safety and health and dignity of airline passengers.”



“We all agree that securing our airports and those flying is a critical aspect of our homeland security efforts. However, those same security efforts should not serve as an assault on the personal dignity of passengers. There is a balance that can and must be struck to ensuring our aviation network is secure without compromising the values for which our nation was founded,” said LoBiondo, a member of the House Aviation Subcommittee.

Full text of the letter sent to TSA Administrator Pistole late last week is as follows:

Dear Administrator Pistole:

I am writing to express my serious concerns about the new screening policies and how those policies are being executed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel at airports throughout the Nation.

Under the new guidelines established by TSA, passengers are subject to a mechanical full body scan, or a physical pat-down. The full body scan has created some worries about the negative on individuals' health due to the small amount of radiation utilized. There are also serious concerns that the scan amounts to a "virtual strip search" -- an invasion of privacy and an assault on personal dignity. While I am pleased that TSA has taken steps to address these concerns, such as separating the viewer of the scan images from the actual person being viewed and blurring sensitive "personal" areas on the images, I urge you to continue developing procedures that will both protect the safety and health and dignity of airline passengers.

I am sure you are acutely aware of the widespread skepticism and public outrage these policies are generating. While I fully recognize the need for enhanced security guidelines to maintain the safety of the airways and the fact that TSA instituted these new guidelines to protect passengers, commonsense must be part of the security equation. As a father and grandfather, I was particularly disturbed by the video of a three year old child being patted down by a TSA agent while the child screamed and cried in the arms of her mother. Surely, clarification and refinement of the guidelines must be undertaken, as well as enhanced or remedial training for TSA agents