Rep Steve Vaillancourt


Boo To Fox Sports For Canceling The Packers In Mid-Game

Green Bay Packers
7-3, 2nd in NFC Northern Division
Yesterday, 4:25 PM
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
20 - 53
Green Bay
  1 2 3 4   Total
Eagles 0 6 7 7   20
Packers 17 13 9 14   53
The Pack is back.

To the extent that I'm rooting for any sports team these days, it's the Green Bay Packers, not the Patriots.  Call it a throwback to my earliest days as a fan, those days when one of the best ever, Bart Starr, was at the helm.  I hear he's been ill; what a gentleman.

Bart Starr on road to recovery - Packers
Green Bay Packers 
Oct 4, 2014 - A statement from Cherry StarrBart and I have enjoyed all of the sweet cards and messages from Your kindness has been so .

As I explained earlier this fall, I'm not rooting against the Patriots, but I find it impossible to continue to cheer for a team that had a double murderer (allegedly) on the roster a few years ago.  Oh, but Mr. Kraft and Coach Bellichick didn't know, their defenders say, but to that I respond--so much for Mr. Kraft and Coach Bellichick as judges of character.  Of course, this would be the same Mr. Kraft who kept Bellichick after he was fined a half million dollars for cheating a few years before that. If honor and integrity matter to any sports fan, it's tough to root for the mighty Patriots, at least it is for me.

How good are the Packers these days?

So good that as I was thoroughly enjoying the romp over Chip Kelly's Eagles in the third quarter yesterday, Fox Sports decided to cut the game off and take us to a closer game (Lions/Rams, ho hum).

What an outrage!  No wonder it's so difficult to watch any sports on TV any more; just when you're enjoying a game, the powers that be switch venues.

In case you're wondering, while much of the Manchester area is gaga over the Eagles due to Kelly, I'm a lifelong "hater" of all Philadelphia teams, from Wilt Chamberlain's 76ers to Bobby Clark's Flyers and I'm too old to change now.

When it comes to the Pack, they've always been my second (or third) favorite team.

Right now, they're number one with least until I discover they were sheltering a triple murderer (alleged) on the team.
Aaron Rodgers, at least for me, is better than Brady; I was always a big Steve Grogan fan; I prefer my quarterback to be able to move, at least a little.

I suppose next time to Packers are on Fox, I'll have to root for a close game so the network doesn't take the game away from us in midstream.

Disgusting.  For those inclined to assume the PC mantle, give me a break.  I use the word "hate" in quotes, in a strictly sports rivalry sense.  It's kind of like "ugly as sin"; if you don't get it, you should be reading Huffpost and the incompetent Concord Monitor instead of this.  Speaking of hate, it just doesn't seem the same when the Jets are so bad they're not even worth "hating".  

But then there's always Seattle to "hate".  Yes, they're the Super Bowl champs, but Pete Carroll sucked when he coached the Pats and he sucked yesterday when, trailing 24-20, he passed up a sure field goal which would have moved the Seahawks to within a point and then they could have won it a few minutes later with another field goal.  Apparently I wasn't the only one thinking along those lines; Jimmy Johnson said the same thing on Fox.  

The Polls--Landrieu Down 16, Obamacare At A New Low

You didn't really think the election would bring an end to polls, did you?  We've been given a brief respite, nothing else.  In fact, I've been assiduously searching for numbers out of Louisiana for the past week, especially after watching what could only be described as Mary Landrieu's pathetic attempt to save her seat by taking to the Senate floor for an hour last week pushing the XL pipeline.  The H word was even uttered on the Senate floor; yes indeed, Democratic Senator Heitkamp from North Dakota asserted that it's taken longer to approve the pipeline than it did to defeat Hitler.  That's true enough but only because "her" President and 'her" party's special interest groups have stoo in the way; of course, she didn't say that.  After blocking a vote on this major issue for years, outgoing majority leader Harry Reid has apparently decided that Mary needs all the help she can get.

Truth be told, Reid more than any single homo sapien (except Barack Obama of course) is responsible for the Democratic bloodbath of November 4.  Mary could have used his help a year ago.  It's too late now.  At last we get new data out of Louisiana, and Landrieu trails Republican Bill Cassidy by 16 points (57-41, Magellan), about what we could have executed by adding the numbers for Cassidy and the other Republican from the election two weeks ago.  Obama is at negative 30 in the state, 32-62.  Ouch!  If only Mary could run a little faster and a little farther from Obama, maybe she'd cut the margin to single digits.

I've also scored Alaska for Republican Dan Sullivan despite the continued refusal by Democratic Senator Mark Becich to take no for an answer.  He just won't concede even though he's still down 8000 votes out of only about a quarter million counted--apparently the ballots for igloos strategy just didn't work. Compare that to Republican Ed Gillsespie who conceded to Mark Warner even though he was down only 15,000 or so votes out of two and a quarter million cast in Virginia.
Now that I'm getting MSNBC, I find it truly comical to see how fellow Democratic traveler Rachel Maddow is about the only one left urging Begich to hold on.  While I generally enjoy the left wing slant of MSNBC (Chris Matthews is especially amusing as he goes out of his way to call Ted Cruz the Joe McCarthy of our time over and over again), but this Maddow simply cannot be trusted, not for a minute; plus she exudes a smarmy self-righteous nature that would put James Pindell to shame.

No amount of pathetic pandering on the Senate floor can save Landrieu.  That's why you'll note that in my tallies, I've already stated the totals at 54R-46D, exactly what I had predicted, by the way.  In fact, I called every United States Senate race correctly, defying the pollsters in North Carolina and Kansas, as well as every New Hampshire Senate race for the second election cycle in a row.

Perhaps even more significantly on the polling front is word from Gallup that support of Obamacare has fallen to an all time low, just 37 percent as opposed to 56 percent opposed (hey, that's negative 19).  I've copied the entire story for you here.  Only 33 percent of independents approve; only eight percent of Republicans; and the approval with Democrats is only 74 percent.  As always, don't take my word for it.  Here's the story.
As New Enrollment Period Starts, ACA Approval at 37%l
by Justin McCarthy

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the Affordable Care Act's second open enrollment period begins, 37% of Americans say they approve of the law, one percentage point below the previous low in January. Fifty-six percent disapprove, the high in disapproval by one point.

Trend: Americans' Views of the Affordable Care Act

Americans were slightly more positive than negative about the law around the time of the 2012 election, but they have consistently been more likely to disapprove than approve of the law in all surveys that have been conducted since then. Approval has been in the low 40% or high 30% range after a noticeable dip that occurred in early November 2013. This was shortly after millions of Americans received notices that their current policies were being canceled, which was at odds with President Barack Obama's pledge that those who liked their plans could keep them. The president later said, by way of clarification, that Americans could keep their plans if those plans didn't change after the ACA was passed.

The current 37% reading comes on the heels of last week's midterm elections, in which Republicans won full control of both houses of Congress. Already, party leaders are discussing efforts to repeal the unpopular law.

Repeal is highly unlikely, given Obama's veto power, but the law's new low in approval -- and new high in disapproval (56%) -- could potentially have an impact on its future. The president himself has acknowledged he will consider modifications to the law, which could include repealing the tax on medical devices.

Approval Among Independents at 33%

Approval of the law continues to diverge sharply by party, with 74% of Democrats and 8% of Republicans approving of it. Independents have never been particularly positive toward the law, with approval ranging between 31% and 41%. Currently, 33% of independents approve.

Trend: Approval of the Affordable Care Act, by Party ID

Nonwhites, who disproportionately identify as Democrats, have maintained majority approval since the ACA's inception, now at 56%. Though this is still about double the level of approval among whites (29%), it is the first time nonwhites have fallen below the 60% mark.

Trend: Approval of the Affordable Care Act, Whites vs. Nonwhites

Bottom Line

Americans have never been overly positive toward the ACA, at best showing a roughly equal division between approval and disapproval early on in the law's implementation. The percentage of Americans who approve of the law represents a new numerical low, which could indicate a loss of faith in the law amid the aftermath of the 2014 midterms. Although the ACA, also called Obamacare, was not as dominant an issue in this year's congressional elections as it was in 2010, the issue was part of Republicans' campaign efforts to oppose the president's agenda overall. In doing that, many of the party's candidates were successful.

Though the law's implementation suffered setbacks last fall, government officials have greater optimism for the health insurance website's usability this time around. Importantly, though, approval of the law has remained low throughout the year even as it has had obvious success in reducing the uninsured rate. And with approval holding in a fairly narrow range since last fall, it may be that Americans have fairly well made up their minds about the law, and even a highly successful second open enrollment period may not do much to boost their approval.



The Race For Speaker--Sanborn Withdraws

In a personal message delivered shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Laurie Sanborn, R-Bedford, announced that she is withdrawing from the race for New Hampshire House Speaker.

She sited a need to devote time to her husband State Senator Andy Sanborn who was recently hospitalized.

In her email, Rep. Sanborn did not say if she would endorse either of the former Speakers, Gene Chandler or Bill O'Brien, in the race.  Republican Reps will meet next Tuesday to decide their choice for Speaker.  The House is expected to elect whichever Republican survives next Tuesday's vote; that vote will be the first Wednesday in December.

Rep. Sanborn had been picking up support and was expected (at least by me) to draw enough votes to prevent either Chandler or O'Brien from claiming a first ballot victory.

At this early time, it is unknown whether any other Republican will step in to replace Sanborn as the "third" candidate in the field.

Democrats yesterday chose Steve Shurtleff, D-Concord, as what is expected to be minority leader.

In a recount today, Republican McConnell from Cheshire County (Swanzey and Richmond) appears to have defeated Democrat Faulkner by three votes.

The recount for the fourth and final Hampton seat should be concluded within a half hour.

Republicans most likely will control the New Hampshire House by about a 240-160 margin, meaning that most committees will be aligned 12-8 Republicans; and the Finance Committee would be 16-10 Republicans.

Although the Speaker has always been an elected House member, we often hear that the House could in fact elect a non-member to the job.

No, no, I'm not throwing my hat into the ring.


Better Now Than 2016 For Democrats

There's good news and bad news for Democrats today.

The bad news is that, according to a new Gallup poll, the party has sunk to its lowest favorability level ever.   From  43-28 lead over Republicans prior to the election, Democrats have fallen to a 42-36 deficit.  That's a dramatic 21 point swing (up 14 for Republicans, down 7 for Democrats) , almost too much to believe.

The good news, of course, is that (except for the Louisiana Senate runoff, already written off as a loss by most Democrats--they've pulled funding from Mary Landrieu), the next elections are almost two years away.

A lot can change in that amount of time.  

Here's the Gallup graph. Note that the numbers need not add up to 100 percent since this is a favorability ranking of each party, not necessarily a comparison.  Also note that the high water mark for Democrats, at 61 percent, was back in 2000  Republicans reached their high water mark,also at 61 percent, back in 2002. Generally speaking, it's been downhill for both parties ever since.  We could almost draw a downward line like one would with a stock chart!

Republican and Democratic Party Favorables, 1992-2014




Judge Says No To "Historical Slot Racing" In Texas

For those who may have been following the story of how Texas Governor Rick Perry brought expanded gambling to the loan start state this past summer by bypassing the legislature, here's a bulletin just in. A Texas judge has blocked the introduction of so-called "historical slots" into the Lone Star State, noting that the Texas Racing Authority exceeded its authority. There was never any doubt in my mind; only the legislature, in both New Hampshire and Texas apparently, is empowered to approve expanded gambling.

I got involved in this story in late August when a Texas reporter asked me if I though such usurpation of power by Governor Perry would go over well in New Hampshire. Of course I said no. The reporter than found a source for the same story to claim it wouldn't matter a whit. You'd be wrong if you think the contrary source was another elected official or even a judge. It was none other than the since disgraced WMUR reporter James Pindell who just can't seem to miss a chance to make himself part of any story, even one making the rounds from Texas to New Hampshire.

Where is Pindell these days, anyway?

The fact that Governor Perry tried to ram this scheme home without legislative approval should, I continue to believe, make voters in the first in the nation primary state think twice about his authoritarian leanings.  Obviously, he won't have my vote...yours neither I hope.

Here's today's story from the Houston Chronicle.

Judge: Texas Racing Commission exceeded authority by approving ‘historical racing’

By Brian M. Rosenthal, Houston Chronicle

November 10, 2014

AUSTIN — A Travis County judge ruled Monday that the Texas Racing Commission exceeded its authority when it allowed horse and dog racing tracks to install “historical racing” terminals that resemble slot machines.

Judge Laura Livingston sided with a coalition of charitable bingo groups who sued the commission because they felt the terminals would cut into their business.

“Had these slot machines been allowed to be implemented, bingo would have been devastated,” said Steve Bresnen, a spokesman for the coalition. “We appreciate the judge’s decision.”

Andrea Young, CEO of the Sam Houston Race Park, disagreed.

“Today’s decision is a blow to the Texas Horse industry and thousands of hardworking horse men and women,” Young said in a statement. “We obviously disagree with the judge’s decision and are considering our options.”

The historical racing game, also known as “instant racing,” allows players at horse and dog tracks to bet on previously run races that have been stripped of all identifying markings. Supporters view it as a new type of betting that could improve revenues at struggling racing tracks. Opponents complain it looks like a slot machine and is essentially the same thing.

Charitable bingo is a business that brings in hundreds of millions of dollars per year in Texas, but it is under fire from lawmakers who long have complained that only a tiny percentage of profits actually go to charity.