Dudley Sharp - Death Penalty: How Wrong is Concord Monitor?

Subject: The Death Penalty:
How Irrational is the Concord Monitor Editorial Board?
Re: Editorial: Evidence mounts against death penalty, Editorial Board, Concord Monitor, February 14, 2016
From: Dudley Sharp
I list The Editorial Boards comments as "EB":    My reply is "Sharp":
1) EB: "Until the justice system is perfect, the state shouldn’t execute anybody."
Sharp: There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, since the 1930s (1).
Since 1973, about 14,000 innocents have been murdered by those known murderers that we have allowed to murder, again - recidivist murderers (1).
Since 1973, up to 400,000 innocents have been murdered by those known criminals that we have released from custody or not incarcerated (1).
5000 die in US criminal custody, every year (1).
The death penalty/ executions protect innocents to a higher degree than does Life Without Parole (LWOP) (1).
2) EB: "The trouble is that this is a society too accepting of collateral damage."
Sharp: EB, obviously, has no clue how right they are.
3) EB: "One of these years, New Hampshire lawmakers will wake up and realize that to take one innocent life is to take one too many, and so will abolish the death penalty."
Sharp: One of these years, or maybe never, the EB will wake up and realize that there are massive numbers of innocents murdered and harmed because of the release of known criminals and that the death penalty protects innocent lives more than does lesser sanctions.
Realities that are just as easy to confirm,  as they are for the EB to avoid.

Ralph Benko - The Buck Starts Here: The Missing Issue In The 2016 Presidential Election

Something is missing from the front-and-center of the presidential campaign. The American economy has long been stagnant. We are growing at maybe half the historic trend line and far beneath that of the robust growth of Reagan and Clinton. 

Anemic 2% growth may not seem like a big deal. It is. A 1% - 2% annual shortfall may seem trivial. It’s not. Compounded over 15 years that means that the American economy, and each of our paychecks and net worth, is around a third lower than it should be. Most everyone outside the “1%” feels this hole in our pocketbooks.

This stagnation has implications for the federal deficit, for the solvency of Social Security and Medicare, and for our ability to afford a robust defense. Most of all it means that the vast majority of voters are struggling economically.  The growth gap occurred under both Republican president George W. Bush, and Democratic president Barack Obama. It is unseemly forcandidates to criticize Party Elders, which may in part explain their diffidence. But it’s so.

A feckless Fed torpedoed the economy under both Presidents Bush and Obama. As TheWashington Post’s Ylan Q. Mui noted in Why nobody believes the Federal Reserve’s forecaststhe Fed has gotten 50 out of 50 of its last economic forecasts badly wrong. If the National Weather Service had a track record that bad heads already would have rolled. The Fed enjoys a strange impunity. 

Reagan and Clinton’s robust job growth occurred under the Volcker-Greenspan “Great Moderation.” That policy was abandoned around the year 2000 thrusting America into a miserable “boom-and-bust” cycle. 

The sign on President Truman’s desk, “The Buck Stops Here,” in a very literal sense applies. Still, the buck — Federal Reserve Notes — starts at the Fed.  The candidates’ tax plans also are relevant to economic growth. But monetary policy is paramount.

The candidates have been strangely quiet about it, possibly not wishing to impugn their Party Elders. Still, voters can dig down and find where they stand.  We should.

Donald Trump has presented a disturbing criticism of Fed Chair Janet Yellen for not raising interest rates, observing in the next breath that doing so would plunge America into a “recession-slash-depression.”

Gov. Christie has called for an audit of the Fed as have Sens. Rubio, Cruz, and Paul. Gov Christie has attributed partial blame to the Fed for the widening gulf between the rich and poor and blasted it for keeping interest rates at zero.

Gov. Bush has been almost mute on this topic.

Sen. Ted Cruz and, less directly, Sen. Rand Paul have called for a restoration of the gold standard (a policy also commended, in passing, by Trump and Carson). This controversial policy correlates closely with some of the best economic growth in American history, including America’s post-war economic boom era. 

As James Carville wrote, “It’s the economy, stupid!” Voters, in deciding for whom to vote, would do well to look at the candidates’ positions on the Federal Reserve.  The buck starts there.

Carly Fiorina: We must tackle the addiction crisis

Carly Fiorina

January 4, 2016


If you’re criminalizing drug abuse and addiction, you’re not treating it—and you're part of the problem

When our daughter Lori was just 34 years old, my husband Frank and I lost her to the demons of addiction.

I had known her since she was 6 years old. I fell in love with her and her big sister, Tracy, almost before I fell in love with their father—my husband, Frank. Lori had long blond hair and bright, sparkling eyes.

It broke my heart to watch the look that grew in Lori’s once-bright eyes as her addictions overcame her. There is an old saying: “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” As Lori grew progressively sicker, the potential disappeared from behind her eyes. The light, the sparkle she once had, left her. What remained was a dull, flat void. It was the look of hopelessness. And that look is what haunts me most.

Lori had been battling addictions for years. She had been in and out of rehab three times. As anyone who has loved someone with an addiction knows, you can force someone into rehab, but you can’t make her well. Only the addict can do that.

Virtually every minute of every day after those two police officers stood in our living room, Frank and I wondered what signs we had missed, what we could have done differently to help Lori overcome her demons. It is the torture of second-guessing that every parent who has lost a child to addiction goes through.

Unfortunately, too many of the men and women I have met on the campaign trail have experienced tragedies like ours. They have lost fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters. Drug addiction is an epidemic, and it is taking too many of our young people.

This is a battle that we must fight. There are things that we can and must do.

We must invest more in mental health and in the treatment of drug addiction.

We shouldn’t be criminalizing addiction. If you’re criminalizing drug abuse, you’re not treating it. In New Hampshire alone, 85% of state prisoners have a substance abuse problem. These men and women need help.

We need to reform the criminal justice system and make sure we’re putting the right people in prison. The federal prison population has nearly doubled in the last 20 years—and nearly half of the inmates in federal prison are in there for non-violent drug offenses.

It’s important to keep violent criminals out of our communities—but it’s also true that prison is not always the right answer. Drug offenders who go into treatment—rather than through the normal criminal justice system—are about 25% less likely to be re-arrested in the two years after leaving the program.

It’s clear that there is a better way—and a number of states are on the forefront of this fight, developing innovative solutions to a problemthat the federal government has failed to solve.

Texas now has specialized drug courts that allow more flexibility in addressing non-violent offenses. Georgia has made it a priority to help inmates earn a degree and gain skills that will help them get a job and stay out of prison.

In New Hampshire, I have gotten to see some of these innovations firsthand. Last month, I visited CADY (Communities for Alcohol- and Drug-free Youth), an organization that has had success in offering youth with substance abuse disorders a pathway to recovery that does not take them through the traditional criminal justice system. Instead, CADY gets them the help they need. We need to empower states like Texas, Georgia, and New Hampshire to implement the solutions they know are working.

At the moment that those two police officers delivered the news to my husband and me, we lost both the woman Lori was and the woman she could have been. All our hope for her and her life died. We grieved for Lori, for our family, for ourselves.

Unfortunately, I have seen the look from Lori’s eyes in too many people around the country. People are losing the sense of limitless possibility that has always defined this nation.

In too many cities, young people are getting access to drugs—and then getting arrested—and then turning back to drugs. It’s a terrible cycle.

We need to create a circumstance where people have a stake in their community—and they will only have that stake if they believe that their community offers them possibilities for a future. It’s time to take our country back from the professional politicians and return that sense of possibility to the people of this nation.

I look forward to discussing these important issues at the New Hampshire Forum on Addiction and the Heroin Epidemic at Southern New Hampshire University on January 5.

US Sen. Gregg & Gov. Lynch - Something We Can All Agree On

This column first appeared in the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Something We Can All Agree On
By Senator Judd Gregg andGovernor John Lynch
The 2016 Presidential contest iswell under way.  We in New Hampshire areabout to make choices in our First in the Nation Primary that will havefar-reaching ramifications for our nation.
We have an incredible responsibilityevery four years to use our strong New Hampshire values and judgment to helpshape the national debate and select who our next President will be.
We also get to witness first handjust how frustrating and polarizing the political process can be, and how theissues that divide us often seem to control the discussion of the day. Yet ascitizens and neighbors, we know we share common ground.
As representatives from oppositeparties, we strongly believe in an issue that transcends politics andstrongly reflects our core values: support for national service. Nationalservice harnesses America’s most powerful resource – the energy and talents ofour citizens – to improve communities, impact lives, and tackle some of thebiggest challenges facing our nation. Not only is this an issue that we bothagree on, voters across the country overwhelmingly support an increasedinvestment as well.
recent poll conducted in nine presidentialbattleground states, including New Hampshire, shows overwhelming supportfor robust federal investments in national service. After learning the detailsabout national service, 83% of voters said they would like to maintain orincrease the levels of spending and investment, including 78% ofRepublicans, 84% of Independents, and 90% ofDemocrats -- and even 78% of Tea Party supporters.  

New Hampshire, where residentshave long embodied what it means to be active citizens, relies heavily onvolunteers whether its neighbor helping neighbor, mentors andteachers guiding children, or communities coming together to clean up parks,stock food pantries and support one another. National service is makingthat happen and has fueled our growth in volunteerism over the past20 years. In fact, each AmeriCorps member leverages more than 40 communityvolunteers by providing regular volunteer management. The bang for thebuck is compelling and badly needed: economists estimate that every dollarinvested in national service generates almost $4 returned to society in higherearnings, increased output, and other community-wide benefits.
One proven, cost-effective nationalservice program helping to make a difference here is City Year NewHampshire (CYNH). Serving in eight of Manchester's high-povertyschools, City Year AmeriCorps members provide struggling students with theadditional support they need to advance toward high school graduation preparedfor college, careers, and successful lives. And it's working. According to arecent third-party study, schools that partner with City Year across thecountry are two to three times more likely to improve on state assessments inEnglish and math -- and an overwhelming 98% of students tutored by CYNHimproved their literacy scores.
Other well-known New Hampshireorganizations that use national service members to deliver their missions anddrive results include the Student Conservation Association, which engagesAmeriCorps members in environmental stewardship projects, and the US FIRSTFoundation, which fuels innovation in education focused on science, technology,engineering and math.  
Americans overwhelmingly agree thatnational service prepares young people for the workforce, builds strongneighborhoods and communities, and restores the American values of patriotismand civic duty.  Four-in-five voters alsosupported the education awards offered to AmeriCorps alumni, which help todefray ever-rising college costs. (AmeriCorps members earn a college scholarship worth $5,775.)  With the largest average student loan debt inthe nation, this is likely a benefit Granite Staters in particular can getbehind.
As we hear more from thepresidential candidates and learn details about their plans for the country’sfuture, a commitment to expanding funding for national service, which is paidfor, should be included. It not only makes moral and fiscal sense, but goodpolitical sense too. Sounds like a great combination for any presidentialcandidate to embrace. We hope we’ll hear them talk about it out on the trail.
Judd Gregg, a Republican,represented New Hampshire in the U.S. Senatefrom 1993-2011. John Lynch, a Democrat, wasthe Governor of New Hampshire from 2004-2013.  

Richard Hinch - Opioid Epidemic is and Will Continue to be a Top Legislative Priority

By: House Majority Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack)

In a recent op-ed, Governor Hassan laid out her reasons for calling a special session of the legislature to deal with the state’s ongoing opioid epidemic, which is directly affecting so many New Hampshire families. Addressing this crisis has been and will continue to be a top priority for the legislature.

A week prior to the Governor's special session request, House and Senate leaders held a press conference where they presented an array of legislation that would be taken up in an expedited manner when the regular session convenes in January. These proposals aim to bolster the state’s response to the crisis, and include funding for more regional drug courts, improving access to long term recovery services, increasing penalties for fentanyl, and improving the state’s efforts in prevention and interdiction. With broad consensus in the legislature that addressing the opioid epidemic is our top priority, there was no disagreement that a bill could reach the governor's desk in a matter of weeks, not months, as she claims.

The governor’s recent level of concern is a remarkable change of course from what we experienced this past summer, where millions of dollars in new funding for treatment and enforcement were delayed for 10 weeks by the governor’s veto of the legislature’s budget. While the governor was busy vilifying Republicans for changes to New Hampshire’s business tax code, much needed funding was delayed to the very things she is hoping to support today.

In the legislature’s budget, funding for drug and alcohol treatment and recovery programs was increased by 75% from the previous budget. The substantial growth in dollars budgeted for these types of services was a steadfast commitment by the legislature to help our state respond to the crisis. We had hoped the budget would become law as soon as possible, but the governor’s veto stopped this new wave of dollars from reaching our overwhelmed addiction treatment and behavioral health service providers.

Included in these funds was a doubling of the budget for theGovernor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery. Because of the delay caused by the budget veto, the Commission could not set or approve their budget until October 23rd. Had the governor let the budget become law in June, her own Commission could have approved their budget in July or August, and the additional dollars could have been utilized months ago, rather than just now reaching programs and service providers.

Also included in the legislature’s budget were funds earmarked for additional personnel in the State Police crime lab. The crime lab is facing an enormous backlog of work as a result of increased drug related crime requiring substance analysis. The legislature listened to the concerns of the Department of Safety and stepped up by fulfilling their request for additional dollars. Due to the governor’s budget veto, these dollars are just now reaching the Department of Safety, and recent reports suggest that postings for new job openings are only now happening this week.

These are just two examples of a failure by Governor Hassan to recognize the important steps forward we were able to make in 2015, and a failure to recognize that her actions impeded the ability of her own executive branch of government to have the resources they need to do an effective job.

Governor Hassan’s change of course suggests that she believes it is now more politically expedient to devote time and resources to the issue than it was in June or July. Rather than focus on the pragmatic policy implications of the legislature’s budget, the governor chose to focus on politically driven talking points provided to her by staff and consultants whose business it is to manufacture disagreement.

During the 2015 legislativesession we were proud to not only put forward a statewide spending plan with an emphasis on supporting programs to aid in the state’s efforts to address this crisis, but we also passed legislation that gave first responders greater access to Narcan, passed a Good Samaritan law to protect those who report drug related emergencies, and increased funding for more community based mental health services.


We don’t disagree with the governor that more needs to be done. But, in recent weeks, we’ve seen what a rushed process void of stakeholder input can produce, when the Board of Medicine rejected most of the Governor’s proposed rule changes to prescribing practices. We want to avoid similar situations as we move forward.


The governor would like us to believe that a special session of the legislature is the solution to New Hampshire’s drug crisis when, in fact, it is a deflection of her responsibility as governor. The solution won’t merely be a set of bills that come before the House and Senate. It requires a leader capable of managing the executive branch of government to effectively deploy the resources the legislature has appropriated, and the ability to seek results instead of headlines. Up to this point, we have not seen these qualities manifested by the governor.

The legislature will continue to act in a proactive manner as we have demonstrated throughout this year, and are willing and able to work in a bipartisan, coordinated manner to pass the best legislation we can with the resources we have available. It is up to the executive branch to manage delivery of funds and services, and in turn produce measurable results.


The death penalty saves more innocent lives, in three ways, than does life without parole (LWOP) (1,2).
The (now) 155 "exonerated" or "innocent" from death row, as its offshoot, the 4.1% "innocent" on death row, are both deception, very easily discovered by fact checking, wherein the anti death penalty folks have just redefined "exonerated" and "innocent" and stuffed a bunch of cases into those fraudulent definitions (1,3).
There is no verifiable case of an innocent executed, in the US, at least since the 1930's (1,2).
Since 1973:
(a) there have been 14,000 - 28,000 actual innocents murdered by those known murderers that we allowed to murder, again - recidivist murderers (two different recidivism studies from different years) (1).
(b) up to 200,000 innocents have been murdered by those criminals we have released or not incarcerated (1).
The evidence that the death penalty deters some is overwhelming (1,2).
The evidence that the death penalty deters none does not exist (1,2).
Death is feared more than life. Life is preferred over death. What is feared more deters more. What is preferred more deters less.
Media and Fact Checking
The anti death penalty "innocent" and "exoneration" frauds are, very easily, confirmed, yet, most often, are simply passed onto the public by the media, aiding in that fraud, even though the anti death penalty folks have admitted the deceptions (1,2, 3).

1) The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter? A Review of All Innocence Issues
2) OF COURSE THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS: A review of the debate
99.7% of murderers tell us "Give me life, not execution"

3) The "Innocence" Frauds
a) 70-83% of the anti death penalty folks claims of death row "exonerations" are false.
Start with Sections 3&4
The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy
b) The 4.1% "Innocent" on Death Row: More Nonsense
c) Innocence Project Invents False Confessions
250% error rate in "confessions"
d) Journalism professor accused of framing innocent man for murder as part of his campaign to abolish death penalty in Illinois, Daily Mail, November 10, 2014,

Jim Rubens - End Purple State Political Stalemate


End Purple State Stalemate


FYI: I’ll be at the 603 Alliance GPS Caucus, this Saturday in Contoocook if you want to say hi or talk politics. The Caucus is open to all registered Republicans and Independents with the goal of unity around a single conservative candidate.
Here’s my dinner speech last Friday at the Republican Liberty Caucus convention in Nashua ...
Fed up watching New Hampshire’s hard won Republican seats constantly flip back to milquetoast Democrats? Last week, it was nothing-burger Maggie Hassan. Odds makers rank her so competitive that the entire US Senate is now at risk of falling back into Democrat hands. This purple state stalemate has been going on now for 20 years, and it’s a political dead end.
Here’s how the Republican establishment has tried and failed to cope with purple state stalemate:
Anoint a candidate whose vote is reliably for sale to the high bidder. Lightly season with some pro-life talk. Then blur differences with the Democrat, avoid controversy, do ribbon cuttings, and win over the last one percent of low-information voters with a pleasant smile or a macho jawline.
There are two massive problems with this strategy.
Number one, we’re left out in the cold if we want small government accountable to the people and not to the bought and paid for Washington party barons. Number two, we get endless talk and promises on what we want, but no action. And the country we love slides downhi
  • We’re six years into the so-called recovery built on a sugar high of zero percent interest rates and four trillion dollars of printed money. And the middle class is still being squeezed by rising living costs, stagnant wages and decent-paying jobs continue to evaporate.
  • 100 trillion dollars in debt andunfunded promises recklessly loaded on to our kids and grandkids and no end in sight. The bi-partisan Washington cabal won’t do a partial government shutdown to force long-term spending sanity and to save our currency. But showing their true colors and to show that they can do big things when they want to, look at this past December’s bi-partisan Cromnibus budget deal. Another $430 billion in debt. And they had no trouble inserting language written by Citicorp lobbyists sticking ordinary taxpayers with losses from big-bank derivatives trading.
  • Let me explain Donald Trump to the Republican establishment. A giant bloc of working Americans despise open borders, amnesty for illegal aliens, and the flood of excessive immigration that is driving down wages and threatening the social cohesion necessary for voluntary civil society. (Clarity point: immigration is great for America if its rate allows immigrants to absorb into our culture).
  • And Washington’s bi-partisan hawks. No victory/exit strategy, 15 years of lost wars, tens of thousands of dead and injured American soldiers, trillions in borrowed money, and constantly increasing chaos in the Middle East. Just over two years ago, these strategy-blind hawks had us funding, arming and training ISIS. Now they have us taking sides with Al Qaeda in proxy wars in Yemen and Syria. They’re dangerously close to getting us into a shooting war with Russia. They won’t say a cross word about our key Arab “ally”, Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading sponsor of jihadi ideology, funder of the 9-11 terrorists, brutal human rights violator, and over 200 beheadings so far this year. Years of bi-partisan talk about honoring our vets, yet VA bureaucrats are still killing our vets on waiting lists. (Here's my earlier post, how we can win the war on terror).
  • Another example. The bi-partisan drug war. A trillion dollars spent worldwide. In Nashua alone so far this year, 16 dead from drug overdose. Half of young black males likely to be locked up during their lifetimes. $8 billion spent last year to eradicate opium production in Afghanistan, now at record levels, supplying ¾ of global demand and major funding for the Taliban. (Here's my earlier post, Drug War Rethink).
  • Here’s another bi-partisan Washington cave in. Every member of Congress swears to defend the United States Constitution. Then why are they breaching the Fourth Amendment by allowing government to spy on hundreds of millions of innocent Americans with no evidence that our safety has been enhanced?
  • And the tax code. It’s impenetrably complex and riddled with special interest breaks that drive up rates for the rest of us. It severely distorts free market choices. The public hates it, but Washington politicians want it that way because Washington lobbyists want it that way.
  • And for my last example, the perfect illustration of the nose ring that crony capitalists have installed on the party barons in both parties, the Ex-Im Bank. Eighty percent of Ex-Im loan guarantees in 2012 went to one company, Boeing. They’ve corrupted the economy so that businesses are forced to hire lobbyists and fly to Washington to pay homage instead of shopping private lenders or guarantors to help export their products.
My point is, the bi-partisan establishment can get things done in Washington when they want to. Seventy-five percent of Republican voters do not trust Republican leadership because the Washington establishment is not advancing core conservative principles and is not working for average Americans.
So, here’s how we can come to grips with our nation’s biggest political challenges. Here’s how we can end purple state stalemate.
It’s what Ronald Reagan did.  He brought millions of Reagan Democrats, average working Americans, into the Republican coalition. He led a durable political realignment.
Today, times are different, the issues and the demographics are different. But the dynamics are the same.  Let’s stop trying to compromise with Washington’s business-as-usual, pay to play, incumbent protection racketeers. Let’s stop working so hard to appeal to the last one percent who decide in the voting booth who has better hair. It’s time for a full-on political realignment to bring another ten percent to the small-government, of-by-for the people ticket.
We will win when grass roots activist leaders unite social conservatives, liberty Republicans, and populists.
The time is more right than in decades. The anti-establishment candidates for President are consistently out polling and out energizing the establishment.
But here’s the rub. The anti-establishment factions on the right must unite.  As I learned last year in my US Senate run, unity is difficult.  All of us are deeply committed to our core principles. But as we all learned, we either suck up and accept lesser-of-two-evils crumbs from the establishment, or we find big common purpose among ourselves.  United we stand, or divided we all fall.
Tactically, this means doing more of what the 603 Alliance is doing. This means uniting around one grass roots, small government, of, by, and for the people candidate in every primary. This is how Dave Brat took out Wall Street crony capitalist Eric Cantor.
What our unity candidate will look like and how we get united will be different in different states, races, and election cycles.  Sometimes our candidate will be a leading defender of life, sometimes a champion of liberty, sometimes a candidate single-minded about a private sector economy that works again for middle class American citizens.
When we win these primaries, if we’ve done our job at realignment coalition building, we’ll have candidates readily able to defeat Democrats. We will win, not by blurring differences, not by going purple, but by delivering solutions to our big challenges, solutions that end self-dealing and business as usual corruption in Washington.
It’s not nearly enough just to be against the establishment. Let’s get to work on working together to turn our great nation around. 

Jim Rubens - GPOs: Crony Capital Poster Child & How To Fix It

Combined, Trump, Sanders and Carson now outpoll their establishment rivals, lopsidedly in New Hampshire. We are at the leading edge of a national political revolt, driven less by ideological litmus testing, far more an expression of open disgust for the Washington insider class who give lip service to average Americans and enrich and aggrandize themselves by selling power and economic privilege to the high bidder.
Into the weeds with a blatant case in point …
… which is the Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) safe harbor exemption, an obscure one-paragraph law written by medical industry lobbyists and snuck into a 1987 Medicare/Medicaid reform bill. The six dominant GPOs are middlemen, supplying most of the $300 billion in generic drugs and medical equipment and supplies used by U.S. hospitals.
The GPO safe harbor is unique in federal law, permitting GPOs to pay kickbacks to hospitals and hospital executives in return for sole-source contracts. This legalized banana republic corruption warps traditional free market incentives that give us continuously improving products and services at lower cost.
Combined with lax anti-trust enforcement, legalized GPO kickbacks have sharply suppressed competition, manufacturing capacity, and innovation in the generic drug and medical equipment and supply industries. Additionally, American healthcare costs are increased by at least $30 billion annually, $17 billion of this paid by taxpayers. Doctors are stuck with periodic shortages and price spikes for commodity anesthetics, antibiotics and even bagged sterile saline. Patients are subjected to unnecessary risk.
For fifteen years, doctors, healthcare entrepreneurs, muckraking journalists and a handful of Senators (Grassley, Coburn, Kohl and Leahy) have fruitlessly pressed Congress to end this corrupt, crony capitalist market distortion by simply repealing the GPO kickback safe harbor law.
Why no action by Congress? Leadership barons in bothparties get millions in campaign contributions from GPOs, hospitals, manufacturer cartels and their lobbyists. The Democrats’ lead handmaiden and recipient of GPO campaign money is Chuck Schumer, who went ballistic during a 2006 Senate hearing because GPO kickbacks were even being discussed in public.
What to do?
Repealing the GPO kickback safe harbor is but one of thousands of discrete and widely supportable reforms that would end crony capital corruption and restore government of, by, and for the people. But Congressional party barons use their hammerlock over procedure to block reform bills like these on behalf of their donors.
One simple solution is to break procedural gridlock by allowing every member of Congress to do what every member of the New Hampshire legislature can do: bring bills to the House or Senate floor for a straight up or down vote.
Under U.S. Senate rules and custom, only Senate majority leader McConnell can offer a motion to proceed to floor debate on a bill. I propose a change to Senate rules allowing a simple majority of 51 Senators to agree to allow floor debate and a vote on specific, single-subject bills. Under this special rule, debate time limits would be agreed to by sponsors in advance, only germane amendments permitted, and the right to filibuster retained. Specific, broadly-supported legislation could come directly and promptly to the Senate floor for open debate.
Subject to heightened public attention on open floor debate, wavering Senators would break from Chuck Schumer’s grip and be embarrassed into voting for a stand-alone bill to repeal the GPO kickback safe harbor.
As in the New Hampshire legislature, this procedural change would not grind Congress to a halt. It would force debate and votes on more issues. Senators would spend more time on our nation’s backlog of pressing and unresolved issues. They would stop spending half their time groveling for money from the crony capitalists who have corrupted Washington and stifled the general prosperity that would otherwise flow from free market competition.

Every citizen in our first in the nation primary state should be asking the candidates what they will do to break Washington gridlock and end crony capitalist corruption.
I’ll be speaking tomorrow in Rochester
How an Article V convention to propose constitutional amendments can save America from national bankruptcy and political corruption
Rochester 9-12 Group
Monday the 14th, 6:30 pm
Church of Christ, 336 Salmon Falls Road, East Rochester

NH Rep Max Abramson - New Hampshire's Dumbest Law

When we reuse or recycle old milk jugs to water our plants, we rarely think that we may find ourselves facing criminal charges and one year in corrections for each offense.  It's unlikely that this would actually happen, yet there are still many old laws on the books that were never repealed as technology, society, and our economy has changed.  Enacted in 1907, the legislature made only one modification in 1961, changing this to a misdemeanor.
Perusing the Revised Statutes Annotated at your local library or online, we find that it is illegal to hunt with ferrets or destroy a muskrat house.  It is perfectly lawful to collect seaweed in all 50 states, but in New Hampshire, you cannot do so at night.  If your GPS gives you a notice on the highway, you must now pull over to hit OK under the new hands free driving law.  StupidLaws.com warns of a $150 fine for ”maintaining the national forest without a permit.” DumbLaws.com (no relation) warns of RSA 353:10, which makes it a crime to check into a motel or inn under an assumed name.
While some of these laws may have made sense long ago, some are leaving more confusion and questions than answers.  School age kids from around the state are being invited to find the silliest, most outdated, nonsensical laws that they can find.  Interested students can get on the Internet and start putting words into the search field at:
They can then find the RSA number and post your suggestion to the Facebook page, New Hampshire's Dumbest Law before the September 15th deadline.  Students can also mail their suggestion to New Hampshire's Dumbest Law, PO Box 746, Seabrook, N.H. 03874.  A number of legislators will select from those suggestions and file a bill to repeal that law.  The winning class will get to come to the State House and argue before a House Committee to repeal this law and learn the legislative process in person.  This is a great learning experience for students, and should be a good chance for youngsters to affect the laws of our state.
Rep. Max Abramson
Rockingham 20

Jim Rubens - Drug War Rethink Overdue


Drug War Rethink Long Overdue

Illegal drug overdose deaths have rocketed into a crisis policy challenge, claiming a staggering 325 New Hampshire lives last year, three times our traffic fatalities. Unfortunately, we are hearing same-same from most of our political leaders: tinker around the edges with good ideas that will help (but not nearly enough) and toughen up on the drug war.
The global 50-year, $1 trillion war on drugs is a flagrant policy failure in urgent need of a thorough, evidence-based rethink. Here are the facts: 
  • Supply interdiction drives up violence and drug supplier profits.
    • Global illegal drug demand is now $320 billion annually.
    • Since 2006, drug trade violence stemming largely from U.S. demand has killed over 100,000 people in Mexico alone.
    • U.S. taxpayers spent $7.5 billion last year attempting to eradicate production of opium (the raw material for heroin) in Afghanistan, yet cultivation there has reached record levels, supplying ¾ of global demand and occupying a cultivated land area the size of Rhode Island, and providing a major source of funding for the Taliban.
  • Drug addiction and abuse is pervasive and massively damaging.
    • Nationally, illegal drug use costs almost $200 billion annually in crime, lost work productivity and healthcare.
    • 9.4 percent of Americans are past-year users of illegal drugs, 7.5 percent for marijuana. 39 percent of 12th graders are past-year illegal drug users, 35 percent for marijuana. At my local high school, MJ can be had free for the asking every day and is easier to obtain than alcohol.
    • Only 11 percent of 23 million Americans needing treatment for illegal drug or alcohol use are getting such treatment.
    • New Hampshire is #12 among the states at 11.2 percent of 12+ population using illegal drugs or abusing pharmaceuticals.
    • Substance abuse costs New Hampshire $1.84 billion annually, nearly 3 percent of state GDP.
    • U.S. prisons are filled with non-violent drug offenders. With 5 percent of world population, the U.S. has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Illegal drugs are readily available even in prisons with many drug offenders leaving prison as hardened criminals and more addicted.
    • Drug law enforcement is racially discriminatory. Six in ten drug crime prisoners are black or Latino, though proportions of drug suppliers and users are similar for whites.
Here’s how I’d change policy, specifically for heroin and marijuana.
For heroin, we can learn from the eight European nations and Canada which operate “heroin assisted treatment” programs. Generally, heroin addicts who have failed methadone or other forms of drug treatment are given access 2-3 times per day to clinical healthcare facilities where they receive controlled doses of pharmacological grade heroin in addition to medical care, drug treatment counseling and social services. The measured outcomes include sharp reductions in illegal drug use, drug crimes, disease, overdose deaths and major increases in addiction treatment retention. In Switzerland, property crimes among enrolled heroin addicts dropped by 90 percent.
In 2001, Portugal became first in the world to decriminalize all drugs and to make drug treatment services fully accessible. In Portugal as generally in the 24 other nations adopting drug decriminalization, use rates did not increase. Drug violators are referred to treatment providers, but not compelled to accept services. Drug-related deaths since 2001 have declined by 80 percent. Rates of past-year drug use have decreased. New AIDS cases among drug injectors resulting from dirty needle sharing declined by 93 percent. In most of the U.S., sterile needles are illegal to possess and one-third of all new AIDS cases result from dirty needle sharing.
For marijuana, Washington should grant states the power to legalize and regulate like alcohol. For New Hampshire, I’d allow sale at state liquor stores if locally approved. Require child-proof packaging and labels disclosing potency and health effects, including the fact that MJ use involves performance and brain developmental effects (though far less in the aggregate than tobacco or alcohol). Prohibit advertising and public use. License in-state wholesale producers and allow personal production in limited quantities. Extend DUI laws to cover marijuana metabolite blood levels.
Washington State is one of four to have legalized and taxed the sale of cannabis products.  Over its first year in full effect, Washington saved most of the $20 million previously spent on minor MJ law enforcement and collected $83 million in tax revenues, with revenues used to fund prevention, treatment, research and education programs. Early data show that traffic fatalities and youth marijuana use have not increased.
To sharply reduce human suffering, violence and death, political leaders must confront the fact that the drug war is an abject failure. Real solutions must sharply increase public funding for substance abuse and addiction treatment, which can be more than paid for via reduced drug interdiction and non-violent drug user imprisonment. By dropping rigid thinking about drug policy, we can increase racial harmony and defund criminal drug empires and Afghan terrorists.
Jim Rubens is former GOP state senator and past President of Headrest, a Lebanon-based substance abuse and suicide prevention and counseling center. 

George Landrift - Postal Service shortfalls impact rural areas


Before the United States was a country, even before it declared its independence, the United States maintained a letter delivery service. In fact, the very first “long distance” route went between no other than Williamsburg, Va., and Portsmouth. Though the makeup of the service, which employs 600,000 workers nationwide, including almost 3,100 in New Hampshire, has changed greatly between then and now, its core function has remained the same – to provide a letter mail delivery service to every American, no matter where they live, at a reasonable rate.

Yet due to constantly evolving technologies and lack of effective leadership from the U.S. Postal Service, the quasi-government agency continues to stray far from that function. While this ultimately hurts all Americans, it especially threatens states with large rural populations, such as New Hampshire.

Today, we have other means to share information. But rural America lags behind more urban areas in internet use, which only makes the USPS that much more important in many areas of the country.

“Federal law requires the Postal Service to provide ‘a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services’ to rural areas and small towns,” the Washington Post reports.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Postal Service seems to be increasing service and product offerings in metropolitan centers like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York, while they are shutting down mail processing facilities and decreasing service in other areas.

This past January, the U.S. Postal Service announced its intention to close 82 mail processing facilities across the country, reducing post office hours, and increasing delivery times. From this proposal, the areas that would be hurt most by these closures are small towns and rural areas. “Some of the nation’s poorest communities, many of them with spotty broadband Internet coverage, stand to suffer most,” the Post analysis found in 2012 when closures were only rumored.

Because of these closures, mail sometimes travels 90 miles out of the way before it reaches its intended recipient on the other side of town. Many have questioned the strategy to close the processing facilities in light of the resulting decline in service standards, which have steadily deteriorated over the last three years. “The postmaster general doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on in rural America, and it shows,” Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of the very rural state of Montana recently said.

Examples are the elimination of overnight delivery for local first class mail that would arrive the very next day and the lagging delivery times for first class mail. According to the USPS, first class mail, which is supposed to reach its recipient within 3-5 days, failed to meet that standard for over one-third of all mail delivered in the first seven weeks of 2015.

While service is languishing throughout most of the country, urban areas are seeing a bump in services from the USPS. Recently they expanded a service called Metro Post to other cities even though it earned $1 for every $10 invested – a 90 percent financial loss. Add this to other new ventures like grocery delivery – now expanding in New York City – as well as a potential move into banking services, and it’s clear that the trend has been to cut back on standard mail service, which everyone relies on, in order to move into other business ventures in big city markets.

All told, customers may not be getting what they pay for. Considering the stamp price increases, we can’t help but wonder if we are subsidizing their ill-fated experiments.

While the USPS will fail to elicit attention from the 2016 Presidential field, the issue is still important. The tentacles of the USPS touches too many corners of this nation to ignore its problems. Now is the time for the USPS to refocus its mission and remember its rural customers.

(George Landrith is the president of Frontiers of Freedom, a think tank in Fairfax, Va.)


David Holt - New Hampshire Follows Trend, Supports Arctic Energy Development

By David Holt


A new poll shows what’ll be at the top of New Hampshirites’ minds when they hit the voting booths next year to elect a new commander-in-chief – energy production.


A survey administered recently by Consumer Energy Alliance shows that more than 80 percent of voters in New Hampshire said that candidates’ energy policy would be a key decision point on who they vote for in next year’s presidential election. This resonated not only with Republicans but also with Democrats and the much-coveted Independents.


It’s hard to come any closer to showing cross-party unity on an issue than that.


This probably comes as a surprise for very few. Energy policies significantly impact the pocketbooks of residents in New Hampshire. All consumers, regardless of party affiliation, want to ensure stable and low prices for all forms of energy, and the energy sector continues to be the most significant pillar of the strengthening economy.


What is likely surprising for many is where voters in New Hampshire suggest energy policy will be crucial: the U.S. waters in the Arctic, a resources-rich region thousands of miles away. Support for offshore energy development in the Arctic Circle dwarfed its opposition by substantial double-digit percentage points.


What voters want to know – and what each candidate will have to answer – is how each candidate, if elected, will utilize the U.S. Arctic to expand the nation’s record-setting energy renaissance, which has resurrected the national and state economy by mass-producing jobs and helping make the U.S. a worldwide energy leader.


While several polls show that an overwhelming majority of Alaskans support energy development in the Arctic, the region remains a hot-button issue because of its beautiful geography and immense untapped oil and gas potential.


The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimates that the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has about 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That’s enough to fuel every domestic flight for over 120 years and heat every American home for more than 30 years. Furthermore, the Chukchi Sea, off Alaska’s northwest coast, offers more resources than any other undeveloped U.S. energy basin. In fact, experts believe it may be one of the largest untapped oil and gas sources in the world.


The National Petroleum Council (NPC), an advisory council to the U.S. Department of Energy, says that the development of these resources would not only create more jobs nationwide but also generate billions in additional revenue while keeping domestic energy production high and consumer costs and imports low. These resources would also help pull Alaska out of its multibillion-dollar budget shortfall and extend the longevity of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), a major energy artery for the lower 48 states and the energy-guzzling West Coast that continues to be hampered by declining throughput.


These polls and analyses illustrate how New Hampshirites support a common sense energy policy that includes Arctic offshore energy exploration. Most Alaskans, whose state is funded almost entirely by the petroleum industry, strongly echo these sentiments.


Now the White House – which just gave conditional approval to drill in the Arctic this summer – might be following the trend.


“When it can be done safely and appropriately, U.S. production of oil and natural gas is important,” said President Obama. “I would rather us – with all the safeguards and standards that we have – be producing our oil and gas, rather than importing it, which is bad for our people, but is also potentially purchased from places that have much lower environmental standards than we do.”


We at Consumer Energy Alliance could not agree more. With overwhelming public support by New Hampshire for offshore development in the U.S. Arctic and the importance of the region to our energy and economic security, we hope the Administration implements President Obama’s vision by taking the steps necessary for U.S. Arctic development to commence – and that the next President follows suit.

Speaker Shawn Jasper - State Budget Negotiations

While the legislature has been enjoying a well-deserved summer recess, legislative leadership, along with the governor and her staff have begun a series of meetings for the purpose of crafting a plan that would allow us to move forward in dealing with those parts of the budget on which we disagree.  While the Continuing Resolution is in place until December, it was important to have initiated these discussions.

In a recent letter to the governor, I reminded her that we have confirmed, through the Legislative Budget Assistant, that the budget she vetoed is a balanced spending plan, addressing many of the concerns that she had brought to the legislature.

There are a number of different paths that we could have taken in order to resolve the detrimental effects placed upon the people of New Hampshire when Governor Hassan exercised her veto authority.

As a direct result of her action, we very well could witness a spike in property taxes, depending upon how and when the Department of Revenue Administration sets local property taxes, the inability of the state to address the opioid epidemic, as well as any undue pressure felt by the state’s health and human services providers.

House Finance Chair Neal Kurk (r-Weare) has pointed out a number of important points that clearly shows how ill advised the governor’s veto was.

The budget appropriates $11.352 billion in total funds for the next biennium, an increase of 5% from the current biennium.

Dedicated funds were not “raided” in the process.

The community college system would have been fully funded allowing them to freeze tuition for the next biennium; USNH would have seen an increase in funds.

Health and Human Services would have received higher funding in this budget than in any previous one--$4.449 billion, up 8% from the current budget. Additionally, funding would have been restored for elderly services, including meals on wheels, services for veterans, the developmentally disabled, and the mentally ill, with the latter at levels meeting the requirements of a legal settlement.

The nearly 40,000 people served by the expanded Medicaid program will continue to receive their 100% federally funded health coverage through December 31, 2016, as provided for in current law.

Funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment would have been increased by 49.5%, to $42.3 million.

A 5% rate increase would have been granted to providers of long-term care in the community.

Transportation department services would have been funded at $1.172 billion, an increase of 8% in the current budget.

The Department of Safety would have seen a 9% increase in its budget, largely through the substitution of general funds for highway funds.

The Fish and Game fund would have received a $1.2 million infusion from the general fund.

I outlined many more examples in my letter to the governor.

There are 160 democratic state representatives and 10 democratic state senators who very much want to address the needs of our citizens, as do members of the majority party.  This was clearly illustrated when most of minority party supported the continuing resolution.  That vote was necessary to address the governor’s veto threat so that the people of New Hampshire would not suffer through a shutdown of state government.

As I wrote to the governor, “The cleanest and clearest path forward for you would be to politically free all 170 colleagues from across the aisle, allowing them to vote their conscience on veto day.”  We remain confident that the many issues listed in my letter are mutual concerns to us all.  In fact, if it were not for the governor’s veto, we would have a state budget in place today.

I have called upon the governor to provide us with her thoughts as to the best way to address this issue.  None of Gov. Hassan’s concerns are of such a critical nature that they could not be addressed in the next legislative session. 

The governor’s argument over the 21 million dollar business tax cut issue pales in the face of the systemic stresses placed on our service providers, the neediest in our society, and the employees of New Hampshire when she chose to veto the budget. It has proved to be the most harmful of the three choices that were presented to her, i.e. sign, veto, or let the budget become law without signature.

It is incumbent upon us as leaders to evaluate the impact of the decisions we make, apply what we have learned from the results of those decisions, and consider a new course of action.  I encourage the governor to consider the current circumstances and the impact of not having a 2016-17 FY plan that addresses the many important concerns for the functioning of our state.  I call upon her to free the 170 democratic legislators, allowing them to vote to follow the clearest and quickest path for a sound, pragmatic solution, which would be to override her veto of the budget.


Jim Rubens - Don't Shoot the Messenger: Gary Hart on Endemic Political Money Corruption

Gary Hart on Endemic Political Money Corruption


Why is this presidential campaign a contest of styles and personalities and not policy? Why is the leading Democratic candidate campaigning on her cookie recipes rather than her position of the Trans Pacific Partnership? Why is no Republican giving us straight talk on climate science? Why does the corporate lobbyist think-tank commentariat so viciously marginalizes any candidate who opposes amnesty for illegals, the national security state or military pork?
To be a leading candidate is to be muzzled and directed by today’s big-dollar political money system that has subverted the national interest and corrupted Washington to the bone.
Former US Senator Gary Hart lays it out forcefully in his newly published
Time.com essay. Below are snips:
  • Four qualities have distinguished republican government from ancient Athens forward: the sovereignty of the people; a sense of the common good; government dedicated to the commonwealth; and resistance to corruption. Measured against the standards established for republics from ancient times, the American Republic is massively corrupt. 
  • There has never been a time …when the government of the United States was so perversely and systematically dedicated to special interests, earmarks, side deals, log-rolling, vote-trading, and sweetheart deals.
  • The key word is not quid-pro-quo bribery, the key word is access. In exchange for a few moments of the senator’s time and many more moments of her committee staff’s time, fund-raising events with the promise of tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars are delivered. 
  • You have a billion, or even several hundred million, then purchase a candidate from the endless reserve bench of minor politicians and make him or her a star, a mouthpiece for any cause or purpose however questionable, and that candidate will mouth your script in endless political debates and through as many television spots as you are willing to pay for. 
  • The lobbying business is no longer about votes up or down on particular measures that may emerge in Congress or policies made in the White House. It is about setting agendas, deciding what should and should not be brought up for hearings and legislation. 
  • America’s founders knew one thing: The republics of history all died when narrow interests overwhelmed the common good and the interests of the commonwealth … [T]he government of the United States is for sale to the highest bidder. 
  • In addition to the rise of the national security state, and the concentration of wealth and power in America, no development in modern times sets us apart more from the nation originally bequeathed to us than the rise of the special interest state. There is a Gresham’s law related to the republican ideal. Bad politics drives out good politics. Legalized corruption drives men and women of stature, honor, and dignity out of the halls of government. 
  • [If we are] to restore our highest ideals, then major changes must be made in the way we elect our presidents and our members of Congress.

Thanks for listening,

Jim Rubens

Rep. Max Abramson - New Hampshire's Dumbest Lawmakers

In response to the Red-Tailed Hawk disgrace, during which a group of fourth graders from my district were forced to watch from the Gallery as their simple bill was “mocked and ridiculed” by legislators, some of us have put together a family friendly contest for school age kids.  Called “New Hampshire’s Dumbest Law,” school and college students in New Hampshire are invited to find an outdated law on the books that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  It is illegal, for example, to collect seaweed on the beach at night, to sell your clothes to pay a gambling debt, or to check into a motel under a nickname.  Several of us will select the silliest and most ridiculous rule still on the books, then cosponsor a bill to repeal that outdated, improbable law that no one could believe in.  There is a Facebook page of the same name with directions for how to search for and submit their idea for the silliest law before the September 15th deadline.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives looks very different from the inside, to be sure, than it does to the public.  As a freshman representative, the workload and effort to catch up and understand the process are tremendous.  Speaking directly with the likes of former speakers Bill O’Brien and Gene Chandler, Representative Pam Tucker, Senator Nancy Stiles, John Reagan, and Russel Prescott is a very different experience in person than seeing them on the news.
Seated on the bench just a few yards from the podium, waiting to speak in favor of the bill that would have made the Red-Tailed Hawk the state raptor, I watched in embarrassment as Representatives Bartlett, Burt, and Groen ridiculed the bill and brought the House of Representatives to a new low, something that few then realized would go viral and make us all infamous nationwide.  Rather than apologize for his own inaction during the fiasco, Speaker Shawn Jasper took the opportunity to write the fourth graders (see NHInsider April 1, 2015), who are in my district, and criticize members of the House for their behavior.
From the outside, though, the public is being told that the legislature just can’t agree with Governor Maggie Hassan, who has just vetoed an $11.3 billion budget, already 7% larger than the last one, because it doesn’t provide $40 million in pay raises and Medicaid Expansion.  The impression is given that the elected officials can’t get their act together.  The impression is largely correct.
From the outside, the mainstream media continues to report on the “civil war” going on among House Republicans, a problem that we don’t see on the Senate side.  Shawn Jasper, described by many legislators who knew him as a “self-inflated bully” (NHInsider, Japser Boasts About His Bullying Abilities, February 27, 2012) aligned with Democratic leadership to narrowly take the Speakership, giving the Democrats the power to defeat countless NHGOP “platform” bills.  Efforts to restore local control and parental oversight of schools, improve transparency in local government, strengthen self-defense rights, and reduce the burden of regulations and unfunded state mandates on businesses and towns has been defeated repeatedly by a coalition of 60 Jaspercrats (“Republicans” who vote like Democrats) and 160 Democrats who must vote as Flanagan and Shurtleff, respectively, tell them to.  For three months, every Republican platform bill went to defeat or was amended to death, finding only the support of about 140 conservative or “liberty” Republicans, often followed by derisive laughter from Jaspercrats and Democrats.
From the anteroom (formerly a bar, according to lore) behind the Hall of Representatives to the hallways of the Legislative Office Building, I am asked almost daily why Jasper still refuses to assign me to a committee, why he continues to ostracize pro-life conservatives, why he “acts like a 61 year old baby.” I am warned by over 30 different reps not to go into his office alone, that he is liable to just make things up afterward and perhaps later claim that I threatened or came at him. “That’s a set up!” several warned.  All bullies are cowards, and all are two-faced.  Even Jasper had friends before he had the power to hurt those who wouldn't kiss up to him.
From the outside, there remains a need to appear congenial and bipartisan, giving the appearance of professionalism and working together.  From the inside, Democrats are holding the entire state hostage and threatening a winter shutdown of our highways in order to squeeze a few tens of millions more out of the taxpayer.  In other states, they turn whole communities into ghettos and fill states with people dependent on handouts in order to build safe Democratic holdouts, albeit at the expense of dramatically higher crime, taxes, and urban sprawl.
From the inside, platform Republicans are asking what our message is after Hassan has followed through with her threat to veto the budget.  Myself having consulted with authors, business owners, inventors, and tech startups about marketing and branding decisions that have to be made early, I am left wondering why no one is working on this critical part of the NHGOP effort.  Again I propose “smaller government, local control,” which everyone agrees with, but no one remembers to repeat it.  No other message is brought forward, and I wonder what people are thinking in caucus.
As a member of Laurie Sanborn’s Business Caucus, Bill O’Brien and Pam Tucker’s Republican Majority Caucus, Carol McGuire and Leon Rideout’s House Republican Alliance, and the Pro-life Caucus, I am amazed at how much legislators talk over each other.  As something of an expert on many areas of public policy, I watch members raise their voices and argue over each other.  Their heart is in the right place, but they are pushing efforts and positions that should never leave the room, some of which turn into proposed legislation.  Watching the sausage get made with the wrong ingredients is often a frustrating view of Amateur Hour, adults acting like ten year olds.  Advocates of SB113, the casino bill, were stunned when it went down to a terrible defeat, losing by about 50 votes in the House.  Now that it’s too late to resurrect, they are only now talking about actually getting input from legislators who were reluctant to support it.
Governor Hassan and the Democrats are now going against the will of suburban moms, an act of political suicide and sheer insanity in the modern two party marketplace.  Democrats have voted against and vetoed everything from giving local control to school boards to making the unpopular Common Core optional, from increased funds for charter schools to keep them open to letting parents opt out of politically motivated or objectionable material on these standardized PACE or SBA tests.
Jaspercrats are even joining Democrats to oppose letting businesses buy health insurance from out of state preferred provider networks (HB128), adding an obscure mold remediation licensing mandate ( SB125, despite the fact that the EPA already offers a free course and certificate that won’t count toward this new mandate, and that only two other states require one), enacting a very unpopular fee schedule set by the Department of Labor (SB133, even though both parties vocally decried fee schedules as terrible policy), and adding many other regulations that will just make life more difficult for Granite State businesses, a longtime Republican mainstay.
Worse, Jaspercrats and Democrats locked together to push through numerous “crony capitalist” bills, including the infamous SB30 “Balsams Bailout,” the $28 million loan guarantee that we were repeatedly told had nothing to do with the Balsams.  I’d love to be able to live out in the middle of nowhere and get to force the taxpayers to back a huge five star resort in my backyard so that my offspring won’t have to go to the trouble of moving to southern New Hampshire to get work like the rest of us schmucks.  While we’re telling people with physical and mental disabilities to go take a hike because the State is broke, maybe we could spend another $28 million on job training and scholarships for those recovering from work injuries, disabled vets, or those with permanent disabilities instead.
Questions were raised about SB221, which sounded like it would turn over $950 million in assets to private investors for just $100 million, with rates guaranteed by ratepayers in order to convince some wealthy investors to take nearly a billion in assets off our hands for about ten cents on the dollar.  With careful money management like this, it’s no wonder that our elected officials are so handsomely compensated.  Our annual reimbursement of $100 would almost be enough to bring half of your family to Water Country for the day, provided that you walk there and don’t eat, drink, or rent a locker for your sport blazer and winter boots.
Under the ever-present threat of removal from their various “leadership” positions, chairs, vice chairs, majority leaders and whips must steadfastly vote as N.H. Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley tells Speaker Jasper to tell Majority Leader Flanagan to tell them to vote, no matter what the cost to the taxpayer or Republican party unity.  Only three votes against “leadership” will get any chairman removed.  Rep. Laurie Sanborn was pulled from the House Finance Committee after she steadfastly refused to support the ill-fated 8 cent per gallon gas tax increase.  Others have been threatened with being pulled from Committees of Conference if they will not do what Ray Buckley tells Jasper to tell Flanagan to tell them to do.
The tragedy of the House of Representatives is that the Speaker wields absolute, unaccountable power.  Since the Democrats vote as they are told (or get removed by the union officials at the upcoming election) this gives a few wealthy liberals total control of the output of the House, even though the voters actually voted Democrats out for these very reasons.  This is the real reason why 240 Republicans cannot currently downsize government, root out waste, fraud, and abuse, or take on the power of the trial lawyers.
The response to New Hampshire’s Dumbest Law from the House Clerk and the Speaker’s Office is that cannot be announced to the full membership or included in the House Calendar as it would not be fitting with “the decorum of the House.” New Hampshire’s Dumbest Law can be discussed and promoted anywhere else.  The “self-inflated bully” was chosen by House Democratic leadership to turn the House into a fiasco and a national embarrassment.  It worked.
Representative Max Abramson
representing the towns of Hampton Falls and Seabrook
(Despite numerous requests of the Speaker, I am still the only member of the House without a committee assignment.)

Jim Rubens - GOP Pushback on the Pope's Politically Incorrect Science

In my run for US Senate, I engaged in a lonely effort to persuade fellow Republicans to acknowledge fossil fuel combustion as the primary cause of global warming and the need for policy change to mitigate existential harm to humans and the environment. Many told me that these views cost me the election.
I can’t recall a single instance where debating science changed minds, so I wheeled out otherwise respected authorities like the Department of Defense, the CEO of ExxonMobil, and the National Academy of Science, all echoing my case. None seemed to persuade.
Now comes Pope Francis, who makes the case that earth and all its living things are God’s gift to humans who are entrusted with their care and that fossil fuel combustion is destroying creation and harming the world’s poor. The Pope is getting the same reaction from most Republican leaders, discredit the authority: he should stick to matters of the spirit, and limiting fossil fuel use will deny food, healthcare and progress to the world’s poor. Pushing back at the Pope, Jeb Bush told voters at a Derry, New Hampshire town hall that "I don't get my economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope."  
However, Republican policy preferences, including Jeb’s as Florida Governor, are unabashedly guided by faith on the social issues like abortion, assisted suicide and same sex marriage – and this distinction is key – where powerful economic interest groups have little stake in the outcome. Three weeks ago, Bush was the only Presidential candidate to address a closed-door, invitation-only event sponsored by owners and executives of six coal mining companies. The coal industry spent $11 million in the 2014 election cycle, with just 4 percent of that going to Democrats.
It’s time to get honest about this: the expression of faith in politics is filtered by big-dollar special interest campaign money. Republican campaigns are funded by fossil fuel interests who want the right to keep polluting. Democratic campaigns funded by unions who want to trap poor children in failing, monopoly schools.
The needed debate over global warming is not whether the Pope should talk about climate science and creation care. The debate between small government conservatives and big government liberals must be over high-impact solution options. President Obama’s approach through EPA carbon regulation is massively complex and therefore thoroughly subject to regulatory capture by the interest groups that run Washington and buy most election outcomes.
Unlike the Pope who leans left on tax-enforced wealth redistribution, I have great confidence that technology and American innovators can and will find robust solutions that will largely displace fossil fuels as the globe’s primary energy source within not more than two generations. Domestic policy can accelerate this innovation (and no, Governor Hassan, not with a gambling casino).
The US leads the world in medical technology and biomedicine, enjoying the resulting high-paying domestic jobs and strong net exports. We’ve achieved this as a direct result of $30 billion annual funding for pre-commercial health science research, sustained over the past decade and largely distributed via competitive grants by the National Institutes of Health. Despite this success and strong political support for protecting our science and technology lead, the US has fallen to #11 in global R&D per capita.
Heresy for small-government conservatives, but the $2 billion per year the federal government has spent over the past decade on basic energy research is too little to ensure continued American leadership. My pitch: add $10 billion per year in sustained national support for pre-commercial energy R&D.
I do not mean more Solyndras, taxpayer guarantees for nuclear plant construction, oil and gas subsidies, or corn ethanol supply mandates. Phasing out existing federal energy subsidies like these can pay for about half of a $10 billion R&D bump. Government should stop picking commercial winners and losers because crony capitalism distorts, corrupts and freezes marketplace dynamics which otherwise accelerate knowledge and technology commercialization and drives out cost. Taxpayer-backed energy R&D should focus on blue-sky work in materials science, nano-chemistry, quantum physics, solar PV, energy storage, batteries, offshore wind platforms, and thorium fuel cycle reactors, for example. 
Commercialized clean-energy technologies are already booming without subsides. Unsubsidized energy efficiency and utility scale wind and solar PV (in that order) are already cheaper than or competitive with combined cycle natural gas as electricity sources.
Once energy storage becomes less costly than natural gas, market forces will cause displacement of fossil fuels as primary heat, electricity, and transportation energy sources worldwide. Dictators and terrorists will be defunded, energy price shocks will be history, excessively resource dependent nations economically democratized, and global warming curbed.
Rather than impoverishing third-world nations via increased dependency on fossil fuels imported from dictators and terrorists (as most Republican presidential candidates inferentially advocate) let’s heed the Pope by using accelerated innovation and free-market commercialization to bring low-cost clean energy to the world’s poor and to humanity and all creation.


Thanks for listening,

Jim Rubens

Mickey Long - An Immigration & Deficit (or Debt) Elimination Act (“IDEA”)

Every day, hundreds of thousands of New Hampshire residents rise out of bed and compete for jobs and wages. NHetwork (NH.gov) reports that NH has 650,000 (non-agricultural) workers. They also report that over 100,000 of them (about 16%) commute into Massachusetts and other New England states to work. Experts estimate that employers employ about 200,000 aliens unlawfully to work in New England. The 100,000 NH workers seeking work outside of NH must compete every day to find jobs against cheating employers that unlawfully employ those 200,000 aliens.

Even honest employers compete against these cheating employers. Cheaters win low bids for contracts in construction, janitorial services, restaurant services, landscaping, hotel maid services, and etc. Mostly, these low bids reflect illegally deflated wages and prices. Nationally, honest employers seeking to employ over 11 million United States citizens must compete against those actually employing the 11 million unlawfully here. Honest employers and workers struggle every day against this illegally infected market place. This infection results from the continued failures of elected leaders to solve the 11 million illegal immigration problem.

While employees compete, elected politicians bicker and battle over procedure, not substance. For example, the Comprehensive Reform bill passed by the US Senate in 2013 died in the US House without even a vote. The biggest hold up: What to do with the 11 million here. All other parts, e.g., border security, e-verify, seasonal employees, STEM visas, and etc., have substantial bipartisan agreement. Yet, political positioning stokes the fires of hatred that fuels division for politicians. This division costs us money. It results in dishonest employers getting work, reduced tax revenue to state and federal budgets, increased tax expenditure on border and other enforcement efforts, and stagnant wages and zero to no profits for NH’s competing workers and honest employers. Hence the following IDEA.

The IDEA: 1st Secure Our Borders, Permanently:

To protect honest businesses, a market-based solution (“MBS” 1) helps. First, imprison high profile cheating employers to end the current hiring pipeline. Second, let honest employers (market participants) sue dishonest employers that cheat to compete. Honest employers will obtain a court judgment of $50,000 per illegal worker as liquidated damages (50% as a finder’s fee, 50% to our US Treasury). Cheaters will lose their incentive to employ workers illegally, and they will lose their capital to honest employers and taxpayers. Taxpayers will save billions on taxpayer financed enforcement efforts by encouraging privately financed enforcement.

The IDEA employs whistleblower concepts used for over a hundred and fifty years beginning with qui tam (Google it) civil actions. Qui tam suits allow private citizens to sue cheaters who steal from the US government; such citizen suits began after the Civil War to stop supply-vendor (uniforms, munitions, equipment, food service, etc.) cheating. Today, qui tam plaintiffs earn millions suing to help recover billions more for the government. Recently in Massachusetts, this approach has helped honest businesses against cheaters engaged in worker compensation premium evasion (See MGL c 152, Section 25C (11)). Just the threat of a civil lawsuit reduced within five years of enactment the number of employers who cheat to compete. Consider also NH Rev. Stat. 167:61-b (NH’s False Claims Act), which allows private civil

lawsuits against the dishonest. This private enforcement IDEA is old, but the time for its application to immigration has come. A cheater’s fear of a lawsuit stops border penetration by eliminating the employment pipeline incentive permanently. Spending billions of tax dollars on border wall building will not stop penetration. Drone and other tech surveillance, maintenance, and paid guards, and etc., provide contracts for political contributors (Halliburton, Black Water security, and etc.) but will not stop penetration. Penetration will persist via the oceans, Canada, the Great Lakes, air, and overstayed tourists, work & student visas. This IDEA empowers employers to clean up their own industry by suing cheating employers to end the employment pipeline, the purpose of illegal penetration.

2nd Get In Back of the Line & Show Me The Money

Simultaneously, charge the four million lawfully waiting in line $10,000 each and walk them in, first. Use that $40 billion to pay down the debt or finance infrastructure jobs (bridges, schools, etc.) to create thousands of jobs. Afterward, place the 11 million illegally here behind those lawfully here. Then, charge those illegally here $30,000 each, as liquidated damages, for a work visa. They can pay over 10 years via IRS weekly payroll deductions ($3,000 per year – about $57/week). Their employers, family, and bank loans will help them pay, too. That pulls in an additional $330 billion to pay down the debt, the deficit or create millions of infrastructure jobs. As an additional penalty and to compromise, deny them citizenship for 20 years or allow citizenship in normal time, but after all is paid. We exempt the elderly, the very young, & seriously disabled; felons we deport. The IDEA is not visa selling; taxpayers have spent billions on illegal immigration. We want our money back! Now, immigrants can help fix five problems:

1) Illegal immigration; 2) A final & permanent solution to secure borders; 3) The US debt or budget deficit; & 4) Deteriorating infrastructure; & 5) Job creation. 

Do the math: Add that $370 billion ($40B + $330B) visa charge to the tax gain of about $30 billion a year those now legalized workers will pay as taxes. Plus, add the $30 billion saved in enforcement efforts each year (assume only one year), and that near half-trillion dollars ($40B + $330B + $30B + $30B) helps pay down much of our deficit or debt or investment in infrastructure and jobs (which produces yet more tax revenue).

Better still, those illegally here get behind those now waiting in line who get in first. Further, the undocumented pay to stay and/or wait 20 years for citizenship. Most criminal acts result in only fines. By using the pay raises that they will likely earn from their new “legal” status they can afford the $57/week fine. Further still, employers get a sufficient and much needed workforce for the next decade’s boom years now underway (because of energy, fracking, raising wages in China, & etc.). Moreover, honest workers no longer compete every day against dishonest employers who hire those unlawfully here. Moreover still, taxpayers substantially reduce their debt, i.e., a windfall or create about 6 million infrastructure jobs, or a bit of both.

Guest Workers: Guess Who Benefits

Some want a Guest Worker program. This is a bad idea for workers, but a great idea for employers. Given Maslov’s “Hierarchy of Needs,” those illegally here will take a Guest Worker program over nothing. “Guests,” however, would work subservient to employers who will sponsor a worker’s visa. American citizens would compete with “Guests.” 

Picture yourself applying for job against a group of “Guests”. Guess who an employer would prefer? “Guests” who ask for a raise will risk termination and loss of sponsorship, i.e., deportation. Guests who sue for overtime pay, age or other discrimination or sex harassment will find difficult obtaining new employer-sponsors. Sure it would be retaliation, but not many Guests would sue. Guests must leave after a term or two in the program (probably 5 years with a 5-year roll over, if the employer agrees). 

Guests provide employers with a compliant young workforce and a revolving door that rotates out older workers who must leave. Employers will rotate their “human resource” stock and capitalize on lower wages and working conditions endured by “Guests.” Guests know too well the employer’s power over their visas. Employers benefit when American citizens compete against co-worker “Guests.” Most New Hampshire workers know their bosses’ power, too. Guest programs also work well for those few unscrupulous business owners or supervisors who will ‘scan the crop’ for good-looking, stronger, and otherwise compliant immigrants to work in their stables. Envision the lawsuits at best or despicable acts at worse endured by “Guests.” New sources revealed recent sexual exploitation by some Australian employers holding visas.2  

Further, Guests send money home. They do not spend it here in our malls and main street stores. Guests realize that they must leave. Accordingly, they must invest at home, not here. Moreover, Guests will not help our entrepreneurs who sell homes, condominiums, new furniture, and our property owners who seek to rent out apartments. Guests would jam many into single apartments to save money for their return home life. Guests will not save in our banks, spend in our restaurants or other retail outlets. They will save for the day the must leave. Accordingly, billions of dollars will leave our shores. A guest program helps employers and the Guests’ home countries. But, such a program will hinder US workers, US retailers, realtors, other merchants, and our economy. 

Moreover still, in all countries where guest programs existed, including the US under the “bracero program” from 1942 to 1964, guests brought in family, friends, and neighbors. This resulted in the millions who overstayed “guest” status, e.g., the very people Ronald Reagan legalized in his 1986 amnesty law. Finally, Guests use social services, as they pay taxes (though low wage taxes). Currently, taxpayers pay low-wage workers tens of billions in subsidies for rent, food stamps, and etc.3 Accordingly, a Guest Program would deplete tax services, burden taxpayers, and compromise -not enhance, border security.4 

Deport Now! Currently, some seek to harness American anger by shouting self-deportation or mass deportation. Only 20% of Americans support this unlikely solution.5 They shout ebola, terrorism, and criminal conduct of a few to induce fear and divide NH’s voters. NH will host the 2016 presidential primary candidates. Some will voice illegal immigration hate messages for votes.

Decades before this scare mongering & voter “persuasion” or mind-manipulation, many in New Hampshire’s construction industry called for deportation. 

For 30 years (a construction workers' career span), politicians failed to deport the millions who came in under Bush I (after Reagan's 1986 amnesty, which lacked border control and pushed wages lower for a generation by more illegal penetration). Politicians failed to deport the next few million who entered under Clinton. When more millions penetrated our borders under Bush II, their number catapulted to 13 million. He failed to deport them even with Republican majorities in both chambers, though he tried reform, too. Many left under Obama, but eleven million remain. Now, many more seek entry as we embark on an historic economic revival spurred by fracking and energy exporting, rising China wages, added to emerging market countries who now have hundreds of millions of consumers. Meanwhile, both Parties failed an entire generation. What makes anyone think that mass deportation will result, especially before any one reading this is dead. That is why almost 75% of Americans want simple legalization, not necessarily citizenship.6 Legalization eliminates illegally deflated competition for a new generation. 

For decades, dishonest employers have been employing millions illegally. Aliens are not taking our jobs; they have held these jobs for a generation. A generations-old problem and nothing new has developed, except pitting immigrants against American citizens to push a wedge between voters. During the past 20 years, ¾ of a worker’s career span and five presidential campaigns, politicians have played with the hearts and minds of voters. Politicians have no IDEA and do not need an IDEA; the current system works only for them, not us. Some seek a piecemeal approach. That works only if the hard piece, i.e., what to do with the 11 million, results first. Failure to address that piece has held up all other pieces. 

Back Taxes  Though politically sweet, insisting on back taxes misses the point. Too many of the individuals here illegally know the real dollars they earned during the past 30 years. Many of us know how much we earned only when we look at our weekly year-to-date total and our w-2 from our employers come January of the next year. If truth be told, too many could not afford to pay the taxes, assuming only $5,000 per year is owed. Five thousand times ten years, puts (without IRS interest, punishing penalties, and etc.) most individuals in debt for life and more. 

Some will owe hundreds of thousands of dollars, never being able to pay. Too many will lie. Lying is a deportable offense; back to square one. So, too many will not come forward. This issue will divide us and will help keep the status quo. Too many politicians will exploit this one boiling issue for your vote; but, that is not in your best interest. Back taxes forces too many to consume less, heavily burdened by tax debt. Business and entrepreneurs should want these folks spending in stores, not giving money to the IRS. How much of those back taxes will you really see in your neighborhood, in New Hampshire? Meanwhile, you will see and experience the effect that workers illegally employed will have on your daily ability to earn better wages, business profits, for you, your children, recent college graduates, and your neighbors too. A one- time $30,000 liquidated damages helps you more, though this clearly remains a tough, blood- heating and enormous stumbling block. Level-headed, clear-thinking individuals require cooler blood to run through rivers that nourish their brains.


So: Why Now? Why NH? Eleven million have been working here illegally for a generation, 200,000 in New England alone effecting 100,000 NH employees who commute and others who do not. Legalized, individuals spur economic growth for businesses looking to sell condos, houses, furniture, vacations, restaurant meals, show tickets, automobiles, cell phones, and clothing sold in our local shops and malls. Businesses need better paid workers who become consumers who can spend in local stores. New Hampshire’s workforce should not have to fight over who will work for the lowest wages based on illegal tactics of cheaters. Too many earning low or illegally deflated wages hurt our economy. Further, taxpayers subsidize low wage employees with food stamps, fuel assistance, and other welfare. We pay Walmart’s employees over $6,000,000,000 in welfare each year (yes, billion)). Low wages do not put consumers into our local shops that line the main streets of Berlin, Laconia, Concord, Keene, Manchester and Nashua -businesses that yearn for consumer spending. Time has long passed to take worker illegal status out of the employment equation. Those lawfully here must compete every day against New England’s 200,000 illegally employed. 

Toward that end, New Hampshire voters remain front and center. Television and other personalities appear on NH streets for our 2016 primary vote. This IDEA can receive national attention, if NH voters demand action now. Senator Kelly Ayotte will host many national and international celebrities and leaders in her quest for re-election and in their quest to elect a President. She enjoys vice-presidential front place consideration for 2016. (Paul Ryan ran for Wisconsin’s US House seat while running as Mitt Romney’s VP.) Regardless, New Hampshire voters and voices can influence our Nation’s immigration policy that will surely effect each of our daily work lives. 

In the 2016 race, immigration looms large. Let candidates know your IDEA that will pass. In the battle to pass immigration reform in the US House & Senate, adopt this IDEA.

1 You can learn more MBSs at Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/cato-journal/winter-2012, a think tank financed by conservatives and Libertarians. There, you will discover that immigrants who actually do become citizens (only 46% of the 1986-Reagan amnesty became citizens) vote both Republican and Democrat. A win-win! 

2 http://thediplomat.com/2015/05/labor-exploitation-revealed-in-australias-food-industry/ 3 http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2014/03/how-taxpayers-subsidize-low-wage-workers; $7 Billion for fast food workers alone. See also, http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/04/15/report-walmart- workers-cost-taxpayers-6-2-billion-in-public-assistance $6.2 Billion for Walmart alone. 4 See “The Mirage of Mexican Guest Workers,” Foreign Affairs Mag. Nov/Dec. 2001.  5 See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/on-immigration-the-gop-is-out-of-touch-with-the-rest-of- america/2015/02/25/8e40d966-bd1b-11e4-b274-e5209a3bc9a9_story.html Washington Post, Feb. 25, 2015, Editorial Board OpEd. 6Id., see also: http://publicreligion.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/PRRI-AVA-Immigration-Policy-D1.pdf

Jim Rubens - Gov Hassan Vetoes Delegate Limitation Bill; Shows Hostility to Restraining Corrupt, Unaccountable Congress

Governor Hassan Vetoes Article V Delegate Limitation Bill
Opposes Restraining a Corrupt, Unaccountable Washington

Governor Hassan today vetoed HB-148, a bill specifying how New Hampshire delegates would be selected to an increasingly likely and first-ever Article V convention to propose amendments to the US Constitution. HB-148 would also have confirmed historical precedent that delegate actions are limited to the subject matter contained in any legislative resolution applying for an amending convention.
The Governor’s veto message is stuffed with purposeful misinformation, apparently to conceal her opposition to the single greatest power granted by the Constitution to the states, the power now needing exercise to restrain our corrupt and unaccountable Washington government.
I have personally worked during my campaign last year for US Senate and, this year, in New Hampshire and in several other states around the country in support of all three of the leading efforts to launch an Article V convention of states.
  • Governor Hassan questions whether the state-led process for proposing and ratifying constitutional amendments is the “right course of action.” In their proposed and subsequently ratified Constitution, the framers voted unanimously at the 1787 constitutional convention to include two paths to amendment in Article V: Congress initiated and state ratified; state initiated and state ratified. The framers included the state-led process specifically because they feared a Congress that could one day become corrupt and unaccountable and that would block needed amendments impinging on its own interests and powers. Congress would not have proposed the Bill of Rights and several other of the current 27 amendments had Congress not been pressured to act by simultaneous organization of the state-led process for these amendments.
  • Congress has today become corrupt and unaccountable, acting as it does in the interest of large campaign contributors and ignoring the interests of average Americans. The convoluted federal tax code and massive debt are evidence that Congress has lost the ability to restrain itself and to act in the national interest.
  • Governor Hassan asserts that, “a convention for considering amending the constitution is not going to be called by the states any time soon.”In fact as of today, 27 of the needed 34 states have passed resolutions applying for a convention to propose a balanced budget amendment. New Hampshire is one of those 27 states.Four states each have applied for a convention to propose amendments related to political money corruption and to federal fiscal restraint, term limits, and restoration of federalism. Given current momentum, the 34 states needed to trigger a BBA convention call could be in place within one to two years.
  • Governor Hassan states that a delegate limitation law would be “contrary to the true purpose of any constitutional convention.” Here, she is egregiously wrong. The US Constitution in Article V provides for a “convention for proposing amendments.” Nowhere in the Constitution is there any provision by any route for a constitutional convention at which amendments could be proposed relative to subjects never contemplated by or undesired by the states.
  • Governor Hassan wrongly asserts that a New Hampshire delegate limitation law should not be considered until an amending convention has been called.Delegate limitation laws, such as HB148, increase public confidence that delegates will not “runaway” by proposing amendments not germane to the subject matter limitations contained in their state application resolutions. Opposition to delegate limitation laws often conceals hostility to the state-led Article V process and to a preference that Washington continue unrestrained.
  • Finally, Governor Hassan parrots a serious historical error frequently promoted by the John Birch Society, that the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was itself a runaway convention. In fact, the 1787 convention was suggested by the five-state Annapolis Convention of 1786, resulting in ten states adopting the following application language to guide delegates: “… taking into Consideration the state of the Union, as to trade and other important objects, and of devising such other Provisions as shall appear to be necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies thereof.”
Please urge members of the New Hampshire House and Senate to override Governor Hassan’s veto of HB-148 and support state powers granted by the Constitution.


Thanks for listening,

Jim Rubens

Jim Rubens - 12 Step for Beltway Hawks: First, Admit Failure

 Time for an Effective National Security Strategy

Beltway establishment hawks – who lost the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, squandered $100 billion on Afghanistan reconstruction (only 10% of which can even be accounted for), created a failed-state terror haven in Libya by toppling Muammar Gaddafi, and in 2012-2013 armed and funded the “moderate” Islamic insurgents who morphed into ISIS – now want us to forget their serial strategic blunders and drag us into yet another Middle East ground war.
The national security debate has degraded into more versus less intervention, with the more camp pinning the blame for the rise of ISIS on President Obama’s failure to reach a status of forces agreement to keep post-surge US troops in Iraq.

Now, we know the real reason for the rise of ISIS, and it’s not because we failed to intervene. Judicial Watch just published a previously secret August 2012 Pentagon report almost precisely predicting that US support for insurgent anti-Assad Sunni factions would lead to unification of those factions and to the creation of an “Islamic state … in Iraq and Syria.” The Keystone hawks persisted well into 2013 in spite of this verbatim warning from the Pentagon in 2012:
“This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy …  ISI (Islamic State in Iraq) could also declare an Islamic state through its Union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.”

Desperately lacking from the national security debate is a coherent, long-range strategy to protect America from Islamic terror. Nation building has failed. Regime change has increased instability in every case. Whack-a-mole bombing campaigns simply drive jihadi insurgents into temporary hibernation or into other failed states, like the one we created in Libya. This haphazard interventionism has loaded our children with a trillion dollars in debt and sacrificed the lives and broken the bodies and minds of tens of thousands of our immensely brave and professional soldiers.

Toward an Effective Strategy
Surgery, not nation building.  Whether as lone wolfs or organized in jihadi-controlled regions, Islamic radicals around the world will continue to plot harm to Americans.  In failed state or enemy territory and using drones and Special Forces, our military (not the CIA) should neutralize individuals directly responsible for killing or seriously harming any American citizen. Every such operation should be promptly followed by an after-action evaluation by a special Congressional committee named for that purpose. A declaration of war with appropriate parameters must first be adopted by Congress, and the Constitutional rights of any involved American citizen must be protected.
Don’t get sucked into the Sunni-Shia proxy war.  There are no good guys for us to save. Let the proxies spill each other’s blood, not ours. Wealthy Middle East nations such as Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia which have substantial air and ground forces are in the best position to contain their internal security threats. Caveat: Iran must not be allowed to have nuclear weapons, and Israel must not be prevented from defending itself.
Autonomous sectarian regions.  Abandon the myth of a unified Iraq and allow Iraq and Syria to disintegrate into autonomous Shia, Sunni and Kurd sectarian regions. A UN safe haven will be needed at least transitionally for regional refugees. The US can play a substantial humanitarian role here.
Demand that Saudis stop funding terror.  In the near term, the US must end our tacit agreement with Saudi Arabia that it act as the world’s primary buffer against oil price/supply shocks while Saudi royals act as the
world’s leading funders for the radical Wahhabi ideology and global terror network. In return for this funding and for imposition of Sharia law (the Saudis do more beheadings than ISIS), the Islamic radicals wink at the princes’ debauchery and their $100 million London apartments and refrain from attacks on Saudi soil.
Cut pork to fund defense priorities.  Our most expensive weapons program, the F-35 fighter bomber, is
unable to reliably fly in desert conditions and, because of its heavy, single-engine design, was defeated in simulations by Chinese fighters. Congress continues to spend ($120 million this year) on the Abrams tank program that the Army has repeatedly stated it does not need. Congress has allowed the Defense Department budget to remain un-auditable since 1990. Before spending more money, fiscal conservatives should require a full DOD audit so that we know where the money we are already spending is going. Fund needed defense spending from cuts to pork, not by breaking healthcare and pay promises to our soldiers.
And Energy
Replace fossil fuels. Beltway hawks thought that, by strengthening ISIS, they could weaken Russia and take down Syrian President and Russian ally, Bashar al-Assad. Russia now has Europe by the short ones because Europe
imports 17 trillion ft3 of natural gas per year (65% of net EU-28 consumption), its top source being Russia. Qatar has the world’s third largest proven gas reserves and could replace EU dependency on Russian gas given sufficient transmission pipeline capacity through Western Syria and Turkey. The US and Qatar have long sought this pipeline route blocked by Assad for reasons made obvious by the chart below.

Better than continuing our blowback-prone proxy war to take out Assad, let’s permanently end free-world dependency on fossil energy from Russia and the Middle East.
Here’s how.
The US leads the world in medical technology and biomedicine, enjoying the resulting high-paying domestic jobs and strong net exports. We’ve achieved this as a direct result of $30 billion annual funding for pre-commercial
health science research, sustained over the past decade and largely distributed via competitive grants by the National Institutes of Health. Despite this success and strong political support for protecting our science and technology lead, the US has fallen to #11 in global R&D per capita.
Heresy for small-government conservatives, but the $2 billion per year the federal government has spent over the past decade on basic energy research is too little. My pitch: add $10 billion per year in sustained national support for pre-commercial energy R&D.
I do not mean more Solyndras, taxpayer guarantees for nuclear plant construction, oil and gas subsidies, or corn ethanol supply mandates. Phasing out existing federal energy subsidies like these can pay for about half of a $10 billion R&D bump. Government should stop picking commercial winners and losers because crony capitalism distorts, corrupts and freezes marketplace dynamics which otherwise accelerate knowledge and technology commercialization and drives out cost. Taxpayer-backed energy R&D should focus on blue-sky work in materials science, nano-chemistry, energy storage, batteries, solar PV technology, offshore wind platforms, and thorium fuel cycle reactors, for example.  
Commercialized energy technologies are already booming without subsides. Unsubsidized energy efficiency and utility scale wind and solar PV (in that order) are already
cheaper than or competitive with combined cycle natural gas as electricity sources.

Policy change can still help with commercialized energy sources. The US can sharply reduce the cost of residential solar PV by slashing regulatory complexity.  Residential solar entrepreneur Barry Cinnamon blogs that US bureaucracy and paperwork about double the cost of US domestic rooftop solar compared with Germany. 
“Amazingly, it boils down to the difference between a one page incentive application in Germany for the installation of a standardized system that does not even require an inspection...compared to hundreds of pages of permits, applications and agreements coupled with multiple inspections and jurisdictional requirements that are required in the U.S.”
Once energy storage becomes less costly than natural gas, market forces will cause displacement of fossil fuels as primary heat, electricity, and transportation energy sources worldwide within two or three decades. Dictators and terrorists will be defunded, energy price shocks will be history, excessively resource dependent nations economically democratized, and global warming curbed.

The Presidential Primaries
Sadly, this post contains more detail than the announced national security/foreign policy planks of the candidates because detail invites attack.  Candidates with whom I’ve talked at length admit to me that, as yet, they have no strategy to offer. Others are getting by just fine on poll-driven rhetorical generalities. The lack of competing and well-articulated national security strategies is restricting debate, forcing voters to run blind, and delaying formation of the national consensus always needed for sustained public support of any strategy.
Primary voters, for the good of our nation, please demand more detail from the candidates.


Thanks for reading,

Jim Rubens