Rep Steve Vaillancourt


Da Meanest Demeanor Since Al Gore In 2000

Sneer, smirk, grimace, frown, and snarl.

Jeanne Shaheen displayed the full range of emotions during last night's CNN/NH1 (WBIN) debate, the full range of emotions that is if you consider...

Sneer, smirk, grimace, frown, and snarl the full range.

Oh yes, throw in a heavy dose of petulance and the tendency to interrupt with totally irrelevant slurs.

All she was lacking was Al Gore's patented sigh, and one would have thought the Missouri native was intentionally trying to mimic the Tennessean’s style that many believe cost him the 2000 Presidential race.

For the second time in three days, I found myself so unimpressed by our incumbent senator that I had to caution myself, "Self, you're for Scott Brown. You can't get over how Jeanne Shaheen, as New Hampshire governor, tried to pass a 2.5 percent sales tax, and 4.5 percent capital gains tax and sat back as all but seven Democratic State Representatives voted for an income tax on the day that will live in history, the day the income tax passed 194-190."

"Self," I had to tell myself, "perhaps you shouldn't trust your own judgment that Jeanne Shaheen was simply god awful in the debate."

It was as if she didn't know both candidates would constantly be on screen. While Scott Brown looked down at his notes (and often reached for water), Jeanne Shaheen mugged for the cameras as if to say, "God, I'd rather be anywhere than here having to answer for my record."

Cognizant of the fact that I brought a bias to watching the debate, I couldn't wait to see how Kevin Landrigan saw it. He's the veteran New Hampshire reporter who was released earlier this year when the bean counters at the Nashua Telegraph decided to save a few shekels.  This most respected of all reporters has caught on with NH1 (WBIN TV). The station doesn't use him enough, but I suspected he'd be given at least a few moments during the 10 p.m. newscast.

He was, and guess what?

His reaction was the same as mine. Actually he added a few new words to my litany of...

Sneer, smirk, grimace, frown, and snarl.

Kevin added that Shaheen appeared "frustrated" and "irritated".

He went on to say that she was "a little better" in the second half of the debate.

Who could argue with that. After all, the first half was an utter disaster for the Missouri native who continued to try to take shots at Scott Brown for where he comes from.

Sneer, smirk, grimace, frown, and snarl.

Ah yes, the full gamut of emotions for the Missouri native.

She sneered.

She smirked.

She frowned.

She grimaced.

She snarled.

And to quote the non-biased NH1 reporter, she was "irritated" and "frustrated".

Hey Kevin, you would be frustrated to if you had to defend your record of voting 99 percent of the time with Barack Obama who, according to some polls, is now nearly 25 points (37-60 UMass/Lowell Friday) under water in the state.

However, as always, my goal here is to be totally fair ("Oh sure," I can hear you saying), so rather than go with my own reaction or Kevin Landrigan's, I googled a bit.

Check out Andy Hiller's reaction from Channel 7 News. Better yet, check out how he scored the debate.

Rest assured that in time for next Thursday's final debate on Channel 9, someone will tell Shaheen to watch her demeanor....da meaner the demeanor is not the better the demeanor. I couldn't resist using that pun a second time.

As Kevin pointed out, optics matter. Optics...that's another word for demeanor, n'est-ce pas?

Shaheen lost the debate because she had to spend so much time on the defensive, ...

  • Shaheen, Brown clash in New Hampshire
    Politico - 3 days ago
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    Sep 30, 2014 - It is not hard to see why Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) is ducking debates, refusing appearances, and trying to limit her exposure to hard ...
  • WHDH: Jeanne Shaheen “Lost The Debate” And Was On ...
    3 days ago - Uploaded by goptvclips
    WHDH: Jeanne Shaheen “Lost The Debate” And Was On The Defensive Over Her Obama Ties.
  • Friday

    There's No Early Voting In New Hampshire

                    Not the conservative and ultra-biased Fox News, but the much more liberal and fairer MSNBC (or so I've come to learn this week) reported a few days ago that as if problems for Democrats aren’t bad enough around the nation, early voting returns from the purple states of Iowa, Colorado, and North Carolina, which in the past have favored Democrats, have turned in favor of Republicans so far this year.  Don't take my word for it; check out this Washington Post story.

    Democrats have an early vote problem - The Washington Post 
    The Washington Post 
    3 days ago - Compared to overall voter registration, Iowa and North Carolina ... states that recently began early voting: Nevada, California and Colorado.


                    Of course, in a fourth purple state people are most watching—yes, that would be New Hampshire—we don’t have early voting.  In fact, in order to receive an absentee ballot, a voter needs to sign a form asserting that he or she will not be able to make it to the polls on election day for either medical, job-related, or religious reasons (and I don’t believe there are any religious holidays this November 4).

                    In a typical Presidential year, as many as 10 percent of votes in New Hampshire are cast by absentee ballot, but in an off-year election, not only is the total number way down, but the percentage usually falls to something in the six percent range.

                    In fact, about a week from now, Secretary of State Bill Gardner will make his turnout prediction, and if the past is any indication, he’ll do so only after checking with a scattering of city and town clerks to determine how absentee ballot requests are coming in.

                    With that in mind and with the caveat that we still have ten days to request an absentee ballot in the mail, I thought I’d pop in to ask Manchester City Clerk Matt Normand how things are going.

                    The short answer is not well at all, but Matt actually provided me with a chart of absentee voting in the city going back dozens of years.  That’s more than you need to know here, but allow me to share some of the data with you; it’ll explain why my ultimate prediction will be that turnout this year is likely to be more than the 2006 off year election but slightly less than the 2010 election.

                    Don’t even think about comparisons to Presidential years.  When it comes to turnout, they’re miles apart, a fact Democrats don’t seem to understand (or at least don’t admit) when they insist their ground game will rival that of 2012.

                    That’s absurd.  

                    But don’t take my word for it; let’s look at real numbers from Matt Normand’s Manchester chart.  These numbers are for Manchester only, a city with a population of about 110,000 in a state with 1.3 million people.  The good thing for comparison purposes here is that both the city and the state population has changed very little for the past eight years.

                    2010—2195 absentee ballots cast; 28,114  total votes cast.

                    2006—1789 absentee ballots cast; 25,471 total votes cast.

    Now compare those numbers to Presidential years:

                    2012—4051 absentee ballots cast; 45,001 total votes cast.

                    2008—4395 absentee ballot cast; 43,752 total votes cast.

                    We could go back further in time, but take my word for it, the pattern is consistent.  35-40 percent fewer votes are cast in a non-Presidential years, both in Manchester and statewide (and nationwide as well).

                    Matt tells me that as of Friday’s mail, the city had received approximately 1900 absentee ballot requests and 1100 returned ballots.  Requests taper off dramatically the final week, but keep in mind that the law does allow a voter to fill out a request at City Hall and vote at the same time, so the process continues right up to the day before the election.  In every instance, the voter must swear that he or she has a valid reason for not being able to show up at the polls on election day.  In other words, early voting for the sheer convenience of it is not allowed in this state.

                    Let’s look at final state totals for the same four years (courtesy of the Secretary of State’s famous Red Books).

                    2010—30,032 absentee ballots cast; 461,423 total votes  cast (6.5 percent absentee).

                    2006—24,380 absentee ballots cast; 417,436 total votes cast (5.8 percent absentee).

    Now compare those numbers to Presidential years:

                    2012—68,014 absentee ballots cast; 718.700 total votes cast (9.5 percent absentee).

                    2008—72,264 absentee ballots cast; 719,403 total votes cast (10.0 percent absentee).

                    Notice I’ve underlined the 2010 and 2006 totals; that’s because I expect turnout for 2014 will be in that range, probably closer to 2010 than 2006 (there was no United State Senate race in New Hampshire in 2006).  In fact, my prediction would be around 450,000 votes cast and 28,000 absentee ballots cast.

                   Some will try to convince you that turnout will be greater because of the seemingly wall to wall TV commercials for candidates for governor, senator, and the two congressional districts.  Even on the Boston stations, there seem to be more commercials for New Hampshire than Massachusetts candidates.

                  However, do so many commercials lead to higher turnout or simply annoy people to the extent they simply stay home in droves?

                  We’ll see, but what we won’t see, at least not yet in New Hampshire, is a great deal of early voting, and that’s fine with me.

                  I certainly agree that voting is a right, but as my high school U.S. history teacher wrote in my yearbook (we’d apparently been debating “rights” a lot all year), “With rights come responsibilities.”

                  I’ve always believed that along with the right to vote comes a responsibility to set aside a few minutes of a certain day each year (November 4 this year) to go to the polls to exercise that right.


    Baseball Has Only Itself To Blame For Low Ratings

    Fox World Series announcer Jim Buck.  Don't even ask me to name his new color man (men?).


    MSNBC reported this afternoon that this year's World Series (that has something to do with baseball, if memory serves) is drawing the worst TV ratings ever.

    Sure enough, I googled it (see below). Fox Sports drew only 1.2 million fans for game one and 12.9 million for game two.

    By comparison, the final game of the World Cup this summer drew more than 25 million TV viewers.

    The last time the Kansas City Royals won a World Series, 1985, the games averaged 34.5 million viewers each. Thus it seems that baseball viewership is down nearly two-thirds in less than 30 years.

    As far as I'm concerned, major league baseball has only itself to blame.

    When I was a young kid growing up in Vermont, I wouldn't miss a World Series game, except of course that many were scheduled in daytime back then, and were in school...ah yes, even in 1967.

    The joy of baseball back then was that the same network had the games year after year (NBC) and the announcers would change depending on which team made it to the series. The network was apparently forced to hire the home team announcer for its broadcasts. That's why Dick Stockton, one of the worst announcers in any sport, got to call Carlton Fisk's dramatic home run.

    I have nothing against Joe Buck doing all the games (he's excellent and Tim McCarver was one of the best color analysts ever), but the problem with baseball today is that the average fan (me, for example) doesn't even know which network will be carrying post-season games.

    I'm with a low level Dish tier, so while I get the major networks, I don't get Fox Sports, NBCSports, or ESPN (1, 2, or 1000). I do get CBSSports, but there's never anything worth watching there unless you're into the sport of Texas Hold 'em Poker.

    I actually thought I might get to watch the National League championship series on Fox, but lo and behold after Fox carried the first game, game two was relegated to Fox Sports.

    Now not only are the post-season series split up among networks you have to pay for, it appears that individual games are split up.

    Major league baseball, I give up, and I’m the guy who back in the 60s used to tune in baseball broadcasts from all over the country, including Jack Buck (father of Joe) doing Cardinal games with Harry Cary on KMOX, the great Chuck Thompson doing Oriole games on WBAL, the great Bob Prince kissing Pirate home runs good bye on KDKA (I even remember getting Ray Scott doing Minnesota Twin games from time to time and the Commander Bob Elson with the White Sox from Chicago).  Cowboy at the Mike Curt Gowdy, Ned Martin, and Ken Coleman made even Red Sox losing teams exciting as opposed to this clown they insist on keeping with them today.  He’s awful…Joe Casting something or other.

    Major league baseball, you’ve lost me, and apparently I’m not the only one.

    If you want to treat a long time fan this way, I'll simply stop watching.

    As I reported earlier this week, I have no rooting interest in this World Series, and in fact, I have no interest at all. Apparently, if the ratings are any indication, 95 percent of Americans agree with me.

    Until major league baseball decides to open post-season up to the regular networks, it's ratings will undoubtedly continue to fall through the floor.

    Sad, sad, sad, but true, true, true.

    Sports Humor At 12:45 a.m.

    Here's a sports joke courtesy of Craig Ferguson, the great CBS late, late host who is leaving for greener pastures in mid-December.

    After Peyton Manning set that career touchdown record Sunday, his brother Eli tried to email him congratulations...but it was intercepted. Regarding the email from Brett Favre...well, I better not repeat that here; suffice it to say, it was much raunchier than any "ugly as sin" comment I've ever made…something about emailing male genitalia as only Brett Favre could do.

    Ah yes, Craig Ferguson "keeping it classy all the way to Christmas."

    How I'll miss Craig, Geoff Ferguson, not to mention Secretariat. Is it true that the two halves of the horse switch roles each night?


    The opening game of the 2014 World Series was the lowest-rated Game 1 on record, ...


    This Week's Trivia--Shaheen, The Southern Teacher

    1. shameless audacity; impudence.
      synonyms: audacitycheek, guts, nerve, boldness, temerity
      "it took a lot of chutzpah for her to walk in on Owen's bachelor party"
    When Miriam Webster's Company publishes a new dictionary, they ought to print a picture of Jeanne Shaheen next to the word chutzpah.

    The Missouri native (unlike most media, except this blog, Chuck Todd actually referred to the Show Me state during last night's debate) continues to attempt to label New Hampshire native Scott Brown as a carpetbagger.

    Talk about unbridled hypocrisy.

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    I've long known that Jeanne Shaneen was born in Missouri, but not until I googled her did I fully realize what an outsider to New Hampshire she really is (not that there's anything wrong with that...unless of course you try to label your opponent as an outsider).

    After she left Missouri, Jeanne Shaheen didn't put New Hampshire first by choosing to go to college here.  No indeed; she headed to Pennsylvania.

    After losing her Senate race to John Sununu in 2002, she hardly put New Hampshire first by getting back to work for the Granite State.  No, not at all...she shuffled off to the Kennedy School in Boston in the great tax and spend state of Massachusetts.

    At least, Scott Brown is moving back to New Hampshire; Jeanne Shaheen preferred to take her liberal ideology...after all, she voted with Barack Obama 99 percent of the Massachusetts.

    Such rampant chutzpah...such unbridled sublime hypocrisy.
    Pause...for an interruption.

    "Point of order, point of order, Rep. Vaillancourt, point of order," I hear.  "This is supposed to be the week's trivia question.  You'll have plenty of chances to malign Jeanne Shaheen later.  Will you get to the trivia question?"

    The point of order well taken.

    Here's the question then.

    Missouri native Jeanne Shaheen, after being schooled in Pennsylvania, and long before abandoing New Hampshire to shuffle off to the Kennedy School in Boston (that's Massachusetts last time I checked) actually taught high school.  
    In which southern state?







    I hardly expect you to take my word for the answer...although you can be sure I'd be far more truthful than the Missouri native was about her opposition to nuclear power.  To be perfectly fair, let's allow google to give us the answer of Mississippi.


    Early life, education, and pre-political career[edit]

    Shaheen was born Cynthia Jeanne Bowers in Saint Charles, Missouri, the daughter of Belle E. and Ivan E. Bowers.[2] She is the wife of Lebanese-American attorney and political operative Bill Shaheen. They have three children. She graduated from high school in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, and earned a bachelor's degree in English from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree from the University of Mississippi.[3] She taught high school in Mississippi


    While we're into wikipedia and shaheen, let's check this out--


    In 2001 Shaheen tried to implement a 2.5 percent sales tax, the first broad-based tariff of its kind in history of New Hampshire. Unlike neighboring New England states New Hampshire does not have a sales tax. The state's legislature rejected her proposal.[17] She also proposed an increase in the state's cigarette tax and a 4.5 percent capital gains tax.



    Brown Leads Shaheen; Dems Stack Debate Crowd


    Less than 24 hours before they'll be debating for the second time in three days, Missouri native Jeanne Shaheen and New Hampshire native Scott Brown are virtually tied in a new poll from New England College for NH1 (WBIN-TV) which will be joined by CNN in hosting tomorrow night's debate.

    Actually, Scott Brown leads by a point for the second week in a row, 48-47, and Shaheen's once double digit led among women is down to only three points.  

    But don't take my word for it.  Here's the pertinent line from the NH1 story.

    "The big news is that Senator Shaheen's advantage among women is dwindling. Looking back to our September 24th Poll, Senator Shaheen enjoyed a 12 point lead among women over Brown. In this most recent poll, her lead among women is down to just over three percent," added Lesperance, director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute.

    In another NEC poll, Governor Maggie Hassan leads challenger Walt Havenstein by eight points (51-43), but that's actually bad news for Havenstein who was within five points in the same poll a week ago.

    In another Senate poll just out, from the Democratic-oriented PPP, Shaheen leads Brown by four points, 49-45.

    Stacking The Concord Debate Crowd

    Since I so dislike Jeanne Shaheen, I really don't trust my reaction to last night's debate.  The only neutral party I've heard today was a U.S. News reporter who told Julie Mason on the Press Pool on POTUS (SiriusXM 3-6 p.m.) that Brown had won.

    The debate was moderated by Meet the Press host Chuck Todd who seemed totally unable to control the Democrat-stacked crowd.  Despite being told only to applaud at the beginning and end of the debate, the audience not only cheered loudly throughout for the Missouri native but also loudly laughed at more than one occasion when Scott Brown tried to answer questions.

    My sources tell me that Democrats were actually busing students in from both Dartmouth College and Lebanon High School. 
    Apparently Shaheen, feeling more and more insecure these final two weeks, needs all the help she can get.  In constantly interrupting Scott Brown, she seemed to forget how she once supported the Seabrook Nuclear power plant (I can't wait for the fact checkers on that one; ah, here we are; that was quick).

    1. Jeanne Shaheen Lied About Opposing Nuclear Power ...
      13 hours ago - During last night's New Hampshire Senate debate, Jeanne Shaheenstraight up lied about her opposition to a nuclear power plant at Seabrook.
    2. Senate Democrat Average See Full Scorecard6% opposingNuclear power in 1987.
    When she tried to pander to women voters by expressing support for paycheck equity, Shaheen was slapped down by Brown who stated that females received only 95 percent of the salaries of men on Shaheen's staff while females received 121 percent on his (Brown's staff).

    Talk about not only talking the talk but walking the walk, that's Scott Brown.

    When asked to explain what they learned in their previous losses, Brown stressed how important support from his wife and daughters was.

    Shaheen tried to blame her 2002 loss to John Sununu on outside factors beyond her control.

    Oh really, Jeannie?

    Outside Shaheen having spent a great deal of time in her third term as governor (just prior to the 2002 race) trying to force a 2.5 percent sales tax on the people of New Hampshre (her own Democrats in the New Hamsphire House joined Republicans to shoot her down; I remember well; I was there).
    Oh yes, there was also a proposed 4.5 percent capital gains tax--how quickly Team Shaheen would have us forget!

    Shaheen, of course, was governor on that spring day in 1999 when the New Hampshire House passed an income tax on to the Senate 194-190 (with only seven Democrats voting against it--I was one of the seven). The Senate changed the bill, and it ultimately failed when it returned to the House.  Shaheen was handcuffed at the time because House leader Peter Burling very much wanted the income tax.

    Hmmm...Peter Burling...maybe that's the outside force Shaheen was referring to last night.  Whatever happened to Peter Burling, any way?

    Truth be told, however, Shaheen should remember Shakespeare's line from "Julius Caesar". "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves." 

    One of Jeanne Shaheen's problems, just one of them mind you, is that she is incapable of acknowledging that she is personally responsible for anything...kind of like the man she voted with 99 percent of the time. Yes, that would be Barack Obama.

    O-b-a-m-a...S-h-a-h-e-e-n...."Close enough".


    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars

    "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

    Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)