Rep Steve Vaillancourt


William F. Buckley At His Ugliest--And Granny From The Cliff

I've always been a fan of both William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal, two great intellects who have now slipped the mortal coil, Bill (if his faith allows) to the after life, Gore back to dust from which we all (if his belief holds) come.

Thus, I was stunned when in an attempt to discover a funny moment from their 1968 banter of ABC-TV convention coverage, I discovered Buckley at his ugliest.

I was looking for the impish Vidal admonition, "Don't stick your tongue out at me Bill."

Rather, I found, a vulgar Buckley, losing an argument with Vidal over the Vietnam War, resorting to physical threats against Gore.  He threatened to beat up the glib author and intellectual, but not only that, quite clearly Buckley referred to Vidal using the Q word, the equivalent of calling a black person the N word.  Buckley, before millions of viewers, called Gore Vidal a queer.  It wasn't just a slip of the tongue either, but an out and out slur.  Ah yes, the glory of live television.  No wonder I remembered the convention coverage and preferred ABC to either Walter or Huntley-Brinkley (not an easy thing for me since the only ABC Channel we got--Mt. Washington Channel 8--was rather snowy).

The last refuge of a tongue-tied losing debater to to name call and threat violence.

I never remembered Bill Buckley as such a thug.

Apparently, Vidal brought out the worst in the Yalie.  Of course, Vidal also engaged in a bit of name albeith not as vile.  He called Buckley a "pro crypto Nazi."  As I've always said, "If the swastika fits, wear it."

Sieg Heil!

I learned all of this as I ran the clip on this week's edition of The Liberty Express which first airs Monday night on Manchestertv 23, then reairs Thursday at 9 p.m. and next Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon.  By Friday, the show will be up on  The boorish Buckley moment comes about midway through the hour.

If you can't wait to see it, just google Buckley Vidal 1968 debates.  That's what I did.

The clip runs about 70 seconds; it's not the best quality, but then it was in the grainy days of 1968.

In honor of the Paul Ryan veep selection, I've also located the Throw Granny of the Cliff ad which we are sure to see a lot of the next 90 days.  I run that and offer commentary on why Ryan was both a good and bad choice for Romney--good philosophically, politically a potential disaster in the making.

Here, try this.  Ain't technology grand?  Enough to destoys those we've long worshipped as heroes.!

William Buckley Vs Gore Vidal - YouTube 15, 2007 - 1 min - Uploaded by lliberopoulou
This is the well know incident between William Buckley and Gore Vidal that occurred during ABC's coverage ...

William Buckley vs Gore Vidal 1968 debate 18, 2006 - 2 min
A 1968 debate between Gore Vidal and William Buckley where Buckley is called a "pro crypto-Nazi" by ...

Bingo, Sustante--Careful What You Wish For

Susanthe, a blue blogger whom I've taken disagreed with in this past, hits the jackpot today with her blog entitled Be Careful What You Wish for.

I was going to post something similar here, but rather than take the time or refer you to what she wrote, I feel eithically sound in copying what she says here.  That's what I'm doing.

Not for a minute do I buy into Speaker Bill O'Brien's desire to expand the House Grievance committee.  Most people I talk with think the committee should not exist at all. It's legislative intrusion into the judicial branch.  The fact that O'Brien wants to up to ante is simply another reason he should never be returned as Mt. Vernon Rep, let alone speaker.

Here's what susante has to say:

Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 13:11:05 PM EDT

It seems that Speaker O'Brien wants to create an Inspector General's Office  to provide "oversight and transparency" in our state government.

From WMUR:

This summer, there have been allegations of a cover-up at the state Liquor Commission involving thousands of dollars in missing wine and a nepotism scandal at the Office of Employment Security.

"When we look at all the minor scandals that are coming up, there should be a branch of government that says, 'What's going on here?'" O'Brien said.

Apparently it hasn't occurred to O'Brien that his administration and his office could be investigated as well. The Bob Meade debacle. The DJ Bettencourt scandal. The nepotism in his office, with his business ties to DJ, and his hiring of DJ's wife. His refusal to allow a reporter into a press conference. These are all things that should be investigated vigorously.

It seems likely that O'Brien thinks that this is an office that he would have immunity from - and would be under his thumb.  

But other questions linger - doesn't this fall into the category of GROWING our gummint, thereby making it BIG gummint?  


Silver Is Wrong! It Should Still Be Rubio!

Nate Silver at, one of my favorite numbers crunching sites, has an interesting analysis on the Mitt Romney Veep front.  I don't agree with the conclusion, but it's fascinating.  Silver goes through hoops to come up with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell as most likely to help Romney if you just look at  one state.  McDonnell is up 24 points in popularity in his home state (55-31) while it's only 16 points for Rubio (48-32).  Paul Ryan, the flavor of the day, is only up 38-33 in his home state of Wisconsin.
Tim Pawlenty actually has a negative eight rating (37-45) in Minnesota while Rick Santorum is the only other in negative territory, down 11 (37-48 In Pennsylvania).
Silver also agrees with Larry Sabato that Romney needs to win Florida on his own to have a real serious chance with hitting the magic number of 270 electoral votes, so help in Florida won't be enough.
I say this is a misreading of history as pundits say that a Veep choice can at most help by a couple of points in his or her home state.
Consider this as I still push for Rubio.  Pundits are fond of saying that the last time a Veep choice mattered was in 1960 when LBJ helped JFK carry Texas, but read the new Johnson biography, Passage of Power (by Robert Cano, the fourth in his series of LBJ), and see if you don't agree that LBJ's whistle stop stumping helped JFK not only in Texas but throughout the south which had reservations about a Massachusetts liberal.
It's time that some talking head point that out and note that Rubio could do the same thing, not in the south this time, but he could help both in Florida and in western states (Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico) and some eastern states with large Hispanic populations.  Even if Rubio improved Romney's standing only a few points with Hispanics, it could be more of a help than he would be in Florida, and I continue to insist that banking those 29 electoral votes is more critical than hoping to get Virginia back.  Wins in places like Colorado, Iowa, and NH could offset the loss of Virginia; nothing can help Romney if he loses Florida, and Rubio's 16 point plus favorability at home is nothing to sneeze at.
Besides, Rubio polls ten points more than any other when Republicans are asked who they'd like to see number two.
If it can't be Rubio, it better not be Pawlenty.
I still like the thought of making Democrats attack a black woman (yes that would be Condi) if it can't be Rubio.



The Week In Polls--Aug. 10--We Want Olympics Live!

Political polls are in such a state of flux that they tend to provide more disinformation than true knowledge these days, so I'm trying (without a great deal of success) to stay away from them until after Labor Day.
However, Gallup has a poll on the Olympics which is worth a look, especially since it backs up my contention that Americans are not happy with pre-recorded coverage by NBC TV.
Among those watching the Olympics a lot, only 12 percent think Olympic events should be broadcast on a tape delay basis.  71 percent would prefer the events be broadcast both live and then on a tape delay basis (that's okay by me), and 14 percent want them only broadcast live.
Among those watching not at all, only 6 percent approve of the tape delay; 43 percent want they both taped and alive; 22 percent want them only live.
NBC simply doesn't care because it's obviously making scads of money with its pre-packaged pablum, but don't buy the excuse that the time difference (five hours from New York to London) forces the tape delay.  When it's 9 p.m. in London, it's 4 p.m. in New York, so there's no reason events could not be broadcast live.  Even at noon London time, it's 7 a.m. in New York, so the network could go live.  For its 8-12 p.m. slot in New York (1-6 a.m. in London), it would have to run highlights, but at least the live versions would have already aired.
As Gallup proves, Boo to NBC!
Gallup ( for a full report) breaks down viewers in several categories, and it appears that the poorer and less educated you are, the less you are watching the Olympics.  Overall 40 percent are watching a lot, 38 percent a little and 21 percent watching none.
Among those with an annual income of more than $90,000, 54 percent are watching a lot and only 12 percent none.
For those below $90,000, only 37 percent are watching a lot, 24 percent not at all.
College graduates are 50 percent a lot, 16 percent none; for those with some college, it's 44 percent a lot and 14 percent none; for high school or less, it's only 28 percent a lot, 33 percent not at all.
Women are also watching more than men, 43-36 percent a lot while it's 21 percent among both groups for not at all.
Young people are watching the least.  Only 33 percent of those aged 18 to 29 are watching a lot.  It's 44 percent for those aged 30 to 49, 41 percent for those 50 to 64; and 40 percent for those over 65, not that big a difference, but there's a huge gap between married people watching a lot (48 percent) and singles (only 31 percent).
As for politics, here's just a sample of why I'm trying to avoid the polls.  Gallup today has it dead even at 46-46.  Rasmussen has Romney up four (47-43) while numerous other polling outfits, including Fox, have Obama pulling away.  Fox has him up nine (49-40), Pew up ten, CBS up seven.  That's because they are oversampling Democrats who appear less likely to vote in November.  I continue to trust Rasmussen which uses only those likely to vote.
Both Rasmussen and Gallup have Obama at negative eight today while Fox has him at plus three.
The Real Clear Politics average has Obama up 4.1 points even while his approval is at minus one.
The pollster average has Obama up only 1.1 points (46.6-45.5) while his negative is minus 3.6 (49.4-45.8).
As I said, these polls really make no sense.
Individual state bad news for Obama is from Iowa where Rasmussen now has Romney up two and Colorado where CBS had Romney moving five up (most likely an outliar).
But you see, I'm doing what I promised to try to avoid till after Labor Day.
Excuse moi.



Teleprompter, Everyone? No Thanks

Apparently Barack Obama is not the only politician who feels the need for a Teleprompter when he wants to convey a cogent thought to the electorate.
For years now, Manchester public access TV has been scheduling three minute speeches for candidates running for office.
In fact, it was my idea more than a decade ago, since I believe candidates should communicate their positions on issues to voters rather than rely on a maze of signs.
I sold the idea to station management; the tradition has been carried on, and whenever I run, I sign up for the three minute message.   (Only about half the candidates even both to do the three minutes spiel).
For the first time, when I arrived at the station yesterday I was asked if I had what I wanted to say written out.
No, I usually ad lib, I explained.
You know, I was told, we are offering teleprompter service this year, and most candidates are taking advantage of it.
Really, I thought. 
Yes, 80 percent have been reading from Teleprompters, I was told.
Really, I thought again.
There must be some art to using a Teleprompter.  It can't be the kind of thing one just excels at at first whack, but the station manager told me candidates were doing well reading.
No thanks, I said; I'll ad lib for three minutes, as always.
I did. 
I always find the ad libbing a better way to communcicate than reading.   In fact, there's a real art to deliver a written speech without making it sound like one is reading.
Back when I first began in elected office, I used to write speeches and read them. 
Now, I simply jot down notes of what I want to say and trust that I'll be able to find the right words to get a thought across.
No thanks, Mr. Teleprompter.
I just finished reading the biography Cronkite (not a short or easy read but a most rewarding book).  What set Cronkite apart from today's talking heads was the ability to ad lib.  Sure, he read a script most nights, but he could also communicate off the top of his head.  Not surprisingly, he was once a sportscaster (University of Oklahoma football) as was I.  It's a great training ground for ad libbing.
Bob Costas, as I've noted in another blog, was once a great ad lib sportscaster.  He's been reducing to reading from a Teleprompter these days, and I assume he's better at it than the candidates appearing on Manchester TV.
The three minutes spots will start airing shortly on Channel 22 (not to be confused with Channel 23, the public access station where The Liberty Express, another mostly ad lib effort, airs Monday at 10 p.m., Thursday at 9 p.m., Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon, always available at
Having moved to the dish years ago, of course, I get neither channel.  It's true: I can't watch my own show without going to vimeo.