Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Friday
May252012

The Week In Polls--May 25--Abortion Support Slips

            As Barack Obama’s favorability remains right at neutral and as Mitt Romney has pulled close enough to call the race a dead heat, it seems we are settling into what is going to be a long slog before any meaningful trends are available on the polling front.

            So much so that perhaps we should look elsewhere for numbers this week.       

            Gallup fills the bill with numbers which show tolerance for abortion nearing a record low, and Rasmussen shows support for a guilty verdict in the Travon Martin/Zimmerman case fading fast.

            The abortion numbers may be the biggest story of the week.  50 percent now describe themselves as pro life and only 41 percent pro choice.  The numbers were fairly even a year ago, and pro choicers have historically held an edge.

            No more.

            Republicans are 72-22 on the pro life side; Independents 47-41; and only Democrats are now in a majority for pro choice (34-58).  This is one of the rare cases I might say no opinion if asked the question; it remains a tough call.

            Not so the Travon Martin case.  Rasmussen now finds 40 percent believe George Zimmerman acted in self defense (up 25 points since right after the incident in Florida); 24 percent think he’s guilty; 36 percent are undecided.  Only 33 percent expect he will be convicted. 

            Should the United States now withdraw all troops and forces from Western Europe?  (How many even know we still have substantial forces there?)  51 percent say yes; 29 percent say no.  I say we should have withdrawn decades ago, but that’s no surprise.

            With talk increasing among Democratic pols that Obama might dump Joe Biden for Hillary (it would be a boffo idea), Gallup finds Biden is only slightly unpopular, minus 3 at 42-45.  It’s 73-17 among Democrats; 37-47 with Independents; and 15-72 with Republicans, and the amazing thing is the numbers have barely changed for months and months.

            Obama was up a bit earlier in the week in the Real Clear Politics average.  Today it’s back to only plus 0.2 (48.0-47.8), but the Huffington Pollster average has him down 1.7 points (46.9-48.6).

            Even more frustrating is that both sites have different averages for every state and for most Senate races.  I checked it out this week, and it’s simply frustrating to see averages not in synch.  Of course it all depends on which polls you use in your averages.

            Even more bizarre, Huffington has Obama with enough states to carry the Electoral College with 280 votes while RCP has him only at 227.  Even with that, Romney is closer in the national RCP average (down only 0.8 at 45.6-44.8) while RCP has Romney down 1.6 (45.4-43.8) and closing.

            This probably tells verifies what we’ve long known, that national numbers precede state totals.  We should expect to see Romney doing better in state polls in coming days.  For example, he’s been down double digits in Iowa, but expect to see improvement there, and he’s already closed the margin to 2.4 points in Wisconsin (47.8-45.4).  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker seems safely ahead in his recall race, by six points or more with Democrats seeming to have thrown in the towel; they never should have begun this quest; the forces at play could hurt Obama in November.

            As for now, Romney has pulled slightly ahead in Florida and North Carolina, but trails in other swing states including being down by as much as five in Ohio (according to Huffington) and 3.6 (RCP) and by as much as five in Virginia as well.

            It looks like Romney can write off Nevada (+8.2 for Obama) and New Mexico (+8.8) in the Southwest, and focus on Colorado where most polls have it a dead heat and Arizona where he’s up by only a point or so.  Obama might as well write off Missouri and Indiana.

            On the Senate race front, only Massachusetts (Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren) and Virginia (Allen vs. Kaine) within virtually dead even with Republicans up less than a point in both states.

            As predicted here earlier, Democrat incumbents Tester in Montana (down 4.6) and McCaskill (down 3.5) in Missouri appear on the way out.  Republican Jeff Flake has moved to a big lead in the open Arizona seat, but Democrat Heinrich leads Wilson by five or so in the open New Mexico seat.

            Independent King is way, way ahead in Maine. 

            My best guess is now a gain of six for the GOP and a 53-47 lead next year (assuming King caucuses with the Democrats).

            My upset specials have always been Ohio and Florida.  Republican Connie Mack seems to be closing in a bit on Nelson in Florida, but Democrat Sherrod Brown continues to hold a lead of five or six points in Ohio.  I still wouldn’t be surprised to see one or both fall to Republicans, depending on top of the ticket strength, but don’t bet the house on either.

            Go with 53-47.

            And if you really want to be frustrated, click on several states comparing RCP to pollster…contrasting would be a better word than comparing.

            Rasmussen still has Republicans up four in the generic congressional ballot although the average is somewhat less than that.  Expect Democratic gains in the U.S. House to be in the handful range, nothing more, come November.

            The New Hampshire House is looking like a completely different story.  An astute odds maker now should give just slightly less than even odds of Democrats taking control…200-200 is possible.  Obama’s lead is six points over Romney in the state; the race for governor appears tied; and Bill O’Brien continues to drag the Grand Ol Party down every chance he gets.

Friday
May252012

Our Keene Correspondent Checks In

Rep. Steve Lindsey, D-Keene, checks in with an interesting report today.  I particularly like Mike Marland's "Clark Gable Day" comment.  All I can say to left wing idealogues (not that there's anything wrong with that!) like Arnie Arnesen is that you can easily check the numbers...Stalin killed many millions more than did Hitler (and is it not a good liberal tenet that each life counts the same?); of course, Stalin also had a better p.r. team...or as they say, he lived to write the history, and he who writes the history wins over the weak-minded like Ms. Arnesen...she really should read a little history before she decides to sound off again!  If the hammer and sickle fits, wear it...if the twisted cross fits, wear it.  Better yet, why don't we all simply make a bound to fight tyranny wherever we find it...starting right on the floor of Bill O'Brien's House.

To all,

    This morning, on Dan Mitchell's talkshow on WKBK.  Arnie Arnesen was on.  I called in.   I asked about the infamous "If the Mustache Fits" Mike Marland cartoon.  Arnesen was off to the races commenting on the cartoon and how inappropriate imagery like Heil Sieg was.   Mitchell countered that the Right also uses imagery of Stalin for the left, morphing images of Obama and all.  But Arnie felt this Hitler ties were worse as they are more widely known.

     Mike Marland, who lives in the Monadnock Region and listens to the show, called in.  After hearing of the two hosts concerns and information proffered, Mike said it was a "Clark Gable Day."  Whatz that mean, said Mitchell.   ....  "Frankly... I don't give a damn" said Marland  ... A reference to the memorable lines of Gone with the Wind.

    Marland also said he was busy at work this week, pumping out a line of cartoons that will further comment on our doings.

---Steve Lindsey
Keene, NH
Friday
May252012

If Only I Could Draw, We'd Have A Severed Nose Cartoon

            Did you ever wish you were blessed with a particular talent, for at least a few hours or so?

            No, I don’t mean something as esoteric as the ability to hit a major league fast ball 400 feet over the fences or to throw a 95 mile an hour fast ball even…although that might be nice to dream about.

            I was thinking of more mundane things like the ability to draw.

            Once in a while, I come up with a great idea for a political cartoon; I even imagine how it would look on paper, but ultimately I am faced with a small problem...

            I can’t draw.

            Being a cartoonist would be a hoot; I’ve got plenty of ideas for cartoons which might be acceptable to enough people to make a go of it.

            However, I repeat…I can’t draw.

            I can write (some would dispute that); I can talk (some would dispute that), but I can neither sing nor draw, not even enough to try.

            Actually it was prior to the controversy over Monitor cartoonist Mike Marland's rather tame Bill O’Brien cartoons (the ones with the silly facial hair and even sillier hats) that I that up this idea.

            Remember the old saying, “Don't cut your nose off to spite your face”?

            I’m sure most of our mothers warned us not to do that, but it’s precisely what O’Brien’s leadership in the House has done this spring.  In an attempt to force (bully) through legislation that the Senate clearly will not accept, Team O’Brien has ventured out several on several limbs, attaching its right wing extremist ideas to otherwise sound legislation such as the extension of business tax credits.

            The Senate, more often than not--and as could easily have been predicted--simply decided to let the bills die altogether.

            That’s what happens when you insist on bullying the other body.

            That's what happened last fall when O'Brien cost the state $3 million by attaching a marital masters amendment to an HHS bill trying to force the session back into session.  How'd that one work out?  Not so well, a fact all must admit, even my fellow low-minded Republicans who now insist on calling me names (RINO indeed, my HRA score is higher than most Republican leaders, you ignorant blobs of humanity).  Rather than face the truth, they would destoy the messenger.

             Stop cutting your nose off to spite your face!

             You lose not only what you hoped to get in your wildest dreams, but you also lose what you could have had had you not been such a bully.  Such reckless behavior is a poor way to governor, and I suspect voters will figure that out.

            In other words, he who refuses to compromise loses all.

            In other words, a severed nose is small consolation.

            But notice that I’ve aleready wasted several hundred words explaining the concept when a simple cartoon would have sufficed.  One with more graphic skills than I could simply draw a bunch of faces with severed noses.  There would of course be a ring through each nose with verbiage denoting the legislation which was lost as the noses were cut off from the faces.

            Viola!

            A great political cartoon.

            I offer the idea here for anyone out there who might want to “borrow” it.  In fact, as I was mentioning it today during the taping of my TV show for next week, my producer quickly googled a cartoon of a severed nose…so the idea is apparently not my alone. 

            Rest assured, every great idea has been thought of before.  It’s merely how one adopts the ideas that sets one apart from the masses.

            After the moustache kerfuffle this week, I thought of another face spiting nose cutting idea.  Majority Leader D. J. Bettencourt is so righteously indignant at the Monitor that he refuses to speak with any Monitor reporter, and apparently in the lemming mentality typical of House leadership these days, some three dozen Republicans have taken a similar pledge to “punish” the Monitor.

            Nonsense!

            Pure poppycock!

            Rubbish!

            These Republicans, with their inane threat to the Monitor, re only punishing themselves and their constituents.  They are evincing yet another example of cutting one’s nose off to spite one’s face.  If stories run without the Republican side of the story, these so-called leaders will have no one to blame but themselves.

            My first post-college boss in the dreaded private sector, a printer/publisher back in 1974, was certainly not the first to come up with the line but it was the first time I’ve heard it, “Don’t get in a pissing contest with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”

            Having got in a pissing contests with a Catholic bishop (“the pedophile pimp” comment), the Republican leaders apparently has a new goal in mind—getting in a pissing contest with those who buy ink by the barrel.

            Been there, done that (remember the vile Tom Fahey); hey Deej, it doesn’t work.

            All you do is once again supply fodder for another cartoon, this one with your severed nose lopped off your poor face.

            If only I could draw!

Thursday
May242012

Media Watch--Felice Belman Errs Again; What About Otto's Stache?

Google the Concord Monitor web site, and there's a link to this story which just about says it all as far as I'm concerned.  Enjoy.  Remember on my TV show, The Liberty Express tonight at 9 on manchestertv23 and then again Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon--quite by conicidecne; the clip was planned weeks ago-- I spend a lot of time talking about Bismark as I stand in front of a monument to him in Essen, Germany.  We also go into the Alte Synagogue.  It just doesn't get much better than this for promotion.  Go to vimeo.com/channels/libertyx.  And make sure you send this link to Alan The Ambulance Chaser Dershowitz.

If you click on the link to read the editorial, you will note that Ms. Belman again gets it wrong.  I gave no Nazi salute; I neither mentioned the word Nazi or Hitler.  I simply stated two German words, "Sieg Heil" in a very quiet tone as a matter of fact.  Watch the tape; I use it on my show.  My remarks would be construed by anyone with any brain power left as denegrating the Speaker, almost as if to say, "Yes, SIR!" as one would comply with any small f fascist in a mockingly subservient manner.  I find it amazing that even a week later, responsible members of the media, regardless of their opinions to which they are entitled, could continue to misstate basic facts.  Watch the tape!  Watch every week and you'll discover more of the 40 hours of anti-Nazi, anti-fascist, and anti-totalitarian filming I did when in Berlin and Germany. 

Some day we can argue whether Hitler or Stalin was worse, whether fasicsm or communism is worse.  Stalin deserves the crown if for no other reason than out of respect to sheer numbers--he killed more--and communism is undoubtedly more spirit numbing than communism, but the point is debateable.

May 24, 2012



No One Cares About Otto Von Bismarck's Mustache

But they sure don't like giving someone "the Hitler," either in real-life, or, as happened in a Mike Marland effort in the Concord Monitor, in cartoon form. I think this editorial gives you just about everything you need to know, including a look at the cartoon itself. I actually think the Hitler example is useful when utilized as an absurd extreme, or at least not worthy of throwing up one's hands and stomping away from the computer, but I can't imagine the point being made of just comparing some political dude to Herr Wolf unless, maybe, some sort of hate-speech was involved. This sounds just like some sort of generic, ill-conceived Hitler-as-generic-free-speech-hating-despot comparison, which makes a straight-up comparison even more problematic. Maybe Hitler's branding needs work; maybe someone needs to step up in the despot ranks in more of a free-speech crushing manner. The intriguing part of the editorial, incidentally, is how the newspaper person talks about their maybe not running the cartoon but then deciding to give the cartoonist the privilege of his platform.
 
posted 5:45 am PST | Permalink

Thursday
May242012

Maps Show Lazy Lawyers At Fault In Redistricting

 

You know the world has truly turned upside down when I find the best information on a given subject not in the main stream media, but in the bluehampshire web site.  That's the case with these maps posted yesterday on the redistricting lawsuits.  I reproduce them here with full credit.

Republicans in the New Hampshire House did not even come close to meeting the 2006 Constitutional amendment requirements (pushed by Paul Mirski and Bill O'Brien--you just can't make this stuff up) of every town or ward with 3291 people having its own Represenative.

It's even worse, however.  Constitutional Review Committee (wanna bet that'll be gone come December) Chair Dan Itse continues to try to defend the indefensible, claiming that the O'Brien/Mirski/Mosca plan is acceptable because it meets the federal mandate of ten percent deviation.

What he refuses to admit (at least not publicly) is that ten percent is merely a safe haven recommendation, and in fact is NOT A REQUIREMENT.  Any plan exceeding ten percent might have required justification, the kind of thing any good lawyer could have easily provided.  Instead of good lawyers, we have fallen victim to LAZY LAWYERS in this state.  They should have all been fired when they made up the fiction that ten percent was necessary.  They should have been replaced with lawyers who could have done their job, show how the ten percent deviation needed to be expanded in more now that the new amendment is in effect.  They could certainly have argued that ten percent has NOT been used in the past.

Only the lazy--lazy lawyers, lazy legislators, lazy leaders--would insist on handcuffing the state with the ten percent mandate when by going to something like 14 percent deviation, both the federal and state constitutional mandates could be met.

In fact, as I've noted here before, the plans passed by Republican-controlled Houses ten years ago had deviations as high as 22 and then 16 percent.

Had the redistricting panel not been handcuffed with the hard and fast ten percent fiction, we could have produced a plan all would have been happy with.  Pelham could have had its own Reps and Hudson its own Reps (with only a 6.2 percent deviation).  Plymouth could have stood alone as required by the New Hampshire Constitution.  So could Meredith.  As I look at this map, I see that Littleton does not get its own Rep; my plan had a solution for Littleton, but Republican leadership threw it aside arguing that a Democrat might get elected in Bethlehem/Franconia if a megadistrict were not created.  Let Mirski try to deny this; hook him up to a lie detector right alongside yours truly; and bring in Rep. Spec Bowers while you're at it--he's the one who created the illegal monstrosity at Mirski's behest. 

Republican leadership broke the law due to both laziness and an attempt to gain political advantage. 

It is truly sad, sad, sad, but true. 

A quick look at the map would lead anyone with even a passing knowledge of numbers to easy solutions for many towns if deviation were only slightly expanded, not even t the 16 or 22 percent level Republicans found acceptable ten years ago!

Only the lazy have prevented us from arriving at an acceptable solution.

Hopefully, the courts will not recognize chronic laziness as an excuse for unconstitutional redistricting.

Thanks to the Blues for graphically pointing out what I could--and have--spent thousands of words explaining here.