Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Tuesday
Dec022014

The Race For Speaker--Bring In The Clown (Jasper)

This will be my final posting (maybe) as a State Representative, and lo and behold, I just couldn't leave without passing along an email sent to me by a newly elected State Representative.

Apparently, anti-Bill O'Brien forces have found a person to rally around, and it just happens to be the one State Rep I've truly come to despise above all others through the years, Shawn HV Jasper, R-Hudson.

Regular readers of this blog will undoubtedly recall that HV stands for His Vileness. To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "How do I loathe thee, let me count the ways!"

As an aside, one of my most humbling moments as a Rep was when I attributed that line ("How do I love thee; let me count the ways") on the House floor to the Immortal Bard. It was E.B. Browning (in "Songs from the Portuguese") not Shakespeare, a gentle Rep from Claremont corrected me. Ouch! Talk about being hoisted on one's own petard...but I digress.

This apparently is not just any old draft His Vileness effort. As you'll notice in this email, it's from former Speaker Bill O'Brien's one time Chief of Staff (a highly paid position) Bob Mead. Mead and O'Brien were leaders of the House Republican Alliance before O'Brien became Speaker; Mead in fact had to abandon the House seat he'd just been elected to in 2010 to take the paid position. The falling out was hashed out in public, and while I know a little more about it than most people, I'll pass on the temptation to become a historian here.

Suffice it to say that for Jasper to overtake O'Brien tomorrow, with Republicans in control of the House 239-161, he would need to capture all Democratic votes (that's very unlikely) and persuade at least 39 Republicans to bolt from O'Brien who won the Republican caucus by four votes of Gene Chandler two weeks ago.

From all indications, Chandler is not part of this coup attempt, but my sources are not so sure about David Hess, R-Hooksett.

I said all along that Jasper and Hess were the two main reasons Chandler lost to O'Brien in the first place, so we appear to have come full circle.

But as of midnight tonight, it won't be any of my business, and you know how I always mind my own business...so while the big egos fight it out at the NH State House, I'll be tuned in to Big Cat Week on Nat Geo Wild.

Who says losing doesn't have its advantages?

Dear Representatives-Elect,

For all of you who were planning to protest the caucus speaker nominee by withholding your vote or casting a blank ballot on Organization Day,

you now have another choice. You no longer have the dilemma of wasting your vote or voting for a speaker candidate you are opposed to.

Although the motion was brought forward, the Caucus failed to vote to unanimously support the Caucus’s speaker nominee.

This deliberate slight by the Caucus, opened the door for another candidate’s nomination on Organization Day, which has now happened.

Bowing to growing pressure from a long list of supporters, Representative Shawn Jasper, who will be starting his eleventh term,

will now have his name placed in nomination for speaker on Organization Day.

So, once again, you have an opportunity to cast your ballot for a more moderate speaker.

Just goes to show that it isn’t over till it’s over.

Please don’t waste your vote on Wednesday!

The Hon. Bob Mead

Mont Vernon

 

Tuesday
Dec022014

New Email Address

If you  can no longer contact me at steve.vaillancourt@leg.state.nh.us, try

 

repvaillancourt@gmail.com

Tuesday
Dec022014

A New Email Address...Same Old Blog Address...Hitler's Leeches...Blood Feud...Big Cat Week

As of Wednesday, my old email address, steve.vaillancourt@leg.state.nh.us will no longer be operable.

When I bought a personal computer back in May, I created an email address there, so I'll be using that one from now on. It's never been used until now, but ironically it's

repvaillancourt@gmail.com

Why, you might wonder, not change it now that I will no longer be a State Rep.

That's easy to explain. My first thought was to get the simplest address possible, maybe something like sv@gmail or stevev@gmail, something that would be easy for me and everyone else to remember, but that shows what a luddite I am. With 310 million Americans, those addresses are already taken; in fact, believe it or not, there are apparently hundreds of steve vaillancourts out there along with any combination of letters in my last name. I think I would have had to settle for stevevaillancout342@gmail.com.

Ah yes, it's all coming back to me now. The once and future Rep. Dan McGuire was helping me set up the gmail account, and after we stuck out with several attempts, he suggested that repvaillancourt@gmail.com was probably not taken.

He was right.

Thus, that's what I'll be using from now on.

I will continue to write as a front page blogger at nhinsider.com, some times more, some times less.

As always, you can comment on anything I write on the blog, but the same rules will apply. Ad hominem attacks, either on me or others, will not be tolerated; and any comment must apply to the particular blog in question. Anyone not obeying these simple rules will have his or her posting removed (it only takes me a second) and will be forever banned. As I've said before, I believe in free speech for all, but this is my blog and I control what goes up. When I had a TV show, I compared it to a room in my house. Guests are welcome but any guest who decided to start urinating on my living room floor would be thrown out and forever banned. You are welcome to post relevant comments on the blog, but urination on the blog remains verboten.

As to what I expect to write about, that won't be a problem. For example, I'm reading more, five books at a time now. When the blizzard hit Thanksgiving eve and the library was closed, I was in the process of finishing The Brothers about John Foster and Allen Dulles. Lo and behold, my Dish went dead for the night and I was left without a new book to plow into, but not for long.

Naturally I have hundreds of books I've bought and read over the years, and I decided--hey, let's reread David Irving's 800 page epic Hitler's War. That's what I spent Thanksgiving weekend doing; although Irving has been accused of being a Holocaust denier--he was in fact jailed in Austria--he's really a great researcher and a good writer, and I found the book easy to get through, again. I even remembered certain passages, like leeches dying when Dr. Morrell used them to try to bleed Hitler. Strange, what we remember!

Hitler's War

  • ·  Book by David Irving
  • ·
  • ·  Published: 1977

Having learned a lesson--don't ever be without new reading material--I picked up four at the library yesterday, two on the bombing of Dresden, Blood Feud about the war between the Obama and the Clintons (full of gossip, a fast read, but not all that gratifying), and as a reward, a John Irving novel (the only one I haven't read and reread). 

 

There's always plenty to read--suggestions are always welcome--but I also discovered it's big cat week on NatGeo Wild (190 on the Dish), so I could write about big cats rather than small New Hampshire politicians. I love the big cats...hey did you know that tigers mate only to carry on the gene pool...during two or three days, the male tiger will mate upwards of 50 times, but only for 10-20 second each time...talk about your quickie.

Ah, that's much more fun than writing about the Race for Speaker!

My favorite big cat--the leopard...did you know that the black panther is really a leopard? It's true. But don't get me started on lions vs. leopards vs. tigers vs. cheetahs (the cheetah is twice as fast as the tiger but not really in the same league). Your leopard is not the fastest nor the strongest nor the most agile big cat, but it comes in second in just about all categories.

Check out big cat week.

 

Image result for big cat week

 

 

For Big Cat Week, Our 6 Favorite Cat Videos

news.nationalgeographic.com/.../141201-bi...

National Geographic Society

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1 day ago - From a Siberian tiger on the hunt to a sprinting cheetah, see editors' picks for most compelling cat videos in honor of Big Cat Week

There will always be something to blog about, and the exciting thing is that, unlike when I was tied to the State House, I'll never know exactly what it will be.

I just noticed that I began this blog on nhinsider.com back in January, 2011. In fact, there's an index of everything I've ever written, month by month. A page on the web site features five entries, and by next week, I'll be up to page 400...so it appears I'm fast approaching my 2000th posting.

Rep Steve Vaillancourt

Entries by Month

Click on a month below to view a list of articles published during that month.

Page 1 2 3 4 5 ... 399 Next 5 Entries »

You're assignment is to go to nhinside.com and reread them all. A pop quiz will be offered later.

Speaking of quizzes, I expect to continue to offer a weekly trivia question...I got a million of em.

 

Image result for blood feud

 

  • Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas
    Book by Edward Klein
  • #1 New York Times Bestseller In this highly anticipated follow-up to his blockbuster The Amateur, former New
  • Image result for hitler's war
  • Hitler's War is a biographical book by David Irving. It describes the Second World War from the point of view of Adolf Hitler. It was first published in April 1977 by Hodder & Stoughton and Viking Press. Avon Books reissued it in 1990. Wikipedia
  • Monday
    Dec012014

    This Week's Trivia--The "Bastard" vs. The Communists

    The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War 

    Front Cover
    Macmillan, Oct 1, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 402 pages
     85 Reviews

    A joint biography of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, who led the United States into an unseen war that decisively shaped today’s world

    For the third time this year, I've stumbled upon a tremendous biogaphy of someone I really don't like at all (in this case, it's two men, the Dulles brothers; earlier it was Woodrow Our Worst President Wilson and Nelson "What A Way To Go!" Rockefeller).

    This week's trivia question is courtesy of probably the most important book to come our way the past two years. It's "The Brothers, John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles and Their Secret World War" by Stephen Kinzer whose earlier book "All The Shah's Men" made me about as mad as any book possibly could. It detailed how Teddy Roosevelt's grandson Kermit, with the active  help of the Dulles brothers and with the tacit approval of newly elected President Dwight Eisenhower, set about to overthrow the duly elected Democratic government of Iran in 1953.

    Kinzer recaps that story here, but in telling the sordid story of the Dulles years, he goes much further and has once against succeeded in infuriating me.

    Hey, it's good to be infuriated when you learn your country was doing terrible things all over the world for the better part of a decade.

    This book is a must read for anyone who wants to know the real answer of why America is so "hated" around the world.

    Actions have consequences, and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, along with his brother CIA director Allen, set back America's image around the world for a half century.

    Not only did they succeed in overthrowing Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran, but for their own personal financial interests (United Fruit), they got rid of President Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala and then set about destroying Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam and President Sukarno in Indonesia--they plots failed but had long term consequences. The Dulles boys were also behind the assassination of Patrice Lumaumba in the Congo and were most likely trying to have Castro assassinated at the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion (at least Allen was; John Foster died early in 1959).

    Winston Churchill called John Foster a bastard and said, "Foster Dulles is the only case I know of a bull who carries his own china shop around with him."

    Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, a supporter of Mossadegh, called John Foster "pontifical", adding, "He seemed to me like a high churchman out to exploit someone. In fact, I was so struck with Dulles's pomposity that when he helped me on with my coat as I was leaving the office, I turned and gave him a quarter tip."

    While JF was dour and pompous, Allen apparently was a hedonist and a big time womanizer fond of "quickies' to relieve tensions created by the spy game.

    You really should read this book. Rather than stand up for those trying to throw of the yoke of European colonialism, the Dulles brothers saw a Communist behind every bush.

    Many of those the Dulles brothers sought to destroy would have made great allies for the United States. And that brings us to the question. Which of those six men mentioned here--Mossadegh, Arbenz, Ho, Sukarno, Lumumba, or Castro--was actually fond of quoting the American Declaration of Independence?

    As related by Kinzer, who said (in his country's independence day speech)? "All men are created equal; they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable right; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Hmm...that sounds rather Jeffersonian, but apparently it wasn't good enough for the Dulles boys.

    Hint--Here's another quote from the man the Dulles Brothers tried to destroy (page 177).

    "Western powers ought to keep their words. They ought to interfere to stop this unjust war and to show that they mean to carry out in peacetime the principles for which they fought in wartime. What we ask has been graciously granted to the Philippines. Like the Philippines, our goal is full independence and full cooperation with the United States. We will do our best to make this independence and cooperation profitable to the whole world."

    ANSWER--That was the most popular man in Vietnam at the time, Ho Chi Minh who, by the way, had appealed to President Woodrow Wilson as early as 1919 talks on the Treaty of Versailles at the conclusion of World War I.

    Had Eisenhower and the Dulles boys listened to Ho, Americans would have been saved a sad chapter in our history, but then that would also apply to Mossadegh (just look at Iran today), Arbenz, Lumumba, Sukarno, and Castro.   (The Sukarno chapter and some of his quotes are especially memorable).

    Believe you believe the "lies" your teacher might have told you about Cold War history, take a few days to read Stephen Kinzer's "The Brothers". Considering the volume of heavy material covered, it's really a most readable and enjoyable book.  The only bad thng about this book was that it ended too soon.

    Tuesday
    Nov252014

    70 Percent Of NH Gay Marriages Involve Women

    In the nearly four years marriage equality (that is to say gay marriage) has been law in New Hampshire, 70.4 percent of the same sex marriages performed here have been between two lesbians.

    Since the first gay marriage on January 1, 2010, 2278 lesbian couples have tied to knot and "only" 959 gay male couples.

    Those numbers are a bit misleading because numbers in the first two years were skewed by the automatic conversion of couples who had been granted civil unions in 2008 and 2009, 412 in 20ll and another 373 in 2011.

    Here are the year by year numbers.

    2010--707 female marriages, 280 male (including the conversions)

    2011--631 female marriages, 219 male (including the conversions)

    2012--278 female marriages, 111 male

    2013--351 female marriages, 215 male

    2014 so far--311 female marriages, 134 male

    Ah yes, but what about divorces?

    I know that's what you're wondering, and rightly so.

    So far, 200 lesbian and gay male couples have been divorced, 156 females (78 percent) and "only" 44 males (22 percent). Obviously, we should expect to see an increase in divorces as time passes and more and more gays and lesbians are in the married pool. For example, only two male couples and 14 female couples divorced in 2011. In the following four years, the numbers were 14, 42, 56, and 44 for females; 16, 14, and 12 for males.

    Thus in the limited data we have so far, we can say that lesbians are more likely than gay men to marry but they are also more likely to divorce.

    I've saved the most interesting data for last. What percent of the overall marriages in the state have been with same sex rather than heterosexual couples? Actually the number of heterosexual marriages is fairly stable, 8665 for 2010; 8529 for 2011; 8632 for 2012; 8570 for 2013; and 8354 for 2014 so far.

    Let's just use the past three years (since the conversions skew the same sex numbers for 2010 and 2011).

    In those three years, we've had 25,558 heterosexual and 1400 homosexual marriages in New Hampshire for a total of 26,958.

    Do a little more math, and you should agree with my number that 5.2 percent of all marriages in the state in the last three years have been less than straight (sorry, I couldn't avoid the pun).

    That number is actually is higher than I would have imagined. Some social scientists like to say that gay people are one in ten or ten percent of the population; others insist the number is closer to one in a hundred; I've always use a number in between; let's say five percent. My guess is that with marriage equality such a new thing, the percentage would have been slightly lower.

    If anyone has any data from other states (Vermont has been at this slightly longer than we have), feel free to drop it in here.

    As I argued on the House floor when we manage to stun the world by becoming only the second legislature in the country to pass marriage equality, it really isn't about numbers. As long as one couple is denied the right to consummate their love with the right to get married, we fail to live up to basic principles of equality.

    Add 3236 to that one, and that's where we are in New Hampshire--up to 3237 and counting.