Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Saturday
Dec272014

Nate Silver Analyzes Bush's Conservative Creds

 

If you've ever wondered what pollsters and numbers crunchers do when we've just finished an election and before we head into an other election cycle, get a load of this new work from Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com.  In attempting to answer the question of whether or not Jeb Bush is conservative enough to win the Republican nomination (I say he is; but I'm not supporting him), Silver has put together a chart ranking most of the current candidates (and he includes the legendary conservative Barry Goldwater, perhaps as a benchmark).

Silver ranks Rand Paul (yes, he's my candidate) as the most conservative based on four criteria.  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is second most conservative among potential candidates; coincidentally (or maybe not), Walker is my second choice for President.

I've lost all respect for Florida Senator Marco Rubio with his muddled Cuba positon, but that's another story.  Suffice it to say I agree with Obama and Paul and the vast majority of the American people (49-28 percent in a new Rasmussen Poll) on normalizing Cuban relations.  Rubio actually defends himself by saying he doesn't care if everyone disagrees with him, a sure sign of a politician doomed to failure--and rightly so.

Chris Christie is the least conservative, and Richard Nixon rates as the third least conservative (no surprise, at least not to me).  Silver gives Jeb Bush a score of 37 (in the Dole/McCain/Romney range and very close to the average for a Republican Congressman last year); father George H.W. Bush gets a more liberal score of 33; brother George W. Bush gets a more conservative score of 46. 

For what it's worth (and it really is kind of fun during these poll-less days), here's the Silver chart.

silver-datalab-jeb-1

Friday
Dec262014

Reefer Gladness Replaces Refer Madness

Memo to New Hampshire State Representatives, Senators, and Governor and similarly elected officials in 45 other states:

With apologies to Rasmussen for "borrowing" the idea for the headline, let the word go forth.  The days of Reefer Madness are a thing of the past.  Colorado and Washington led the way in 2012; Washington, Alaska and the District of Columbia joined in last November, and now a new Rasmussen poll shows that Americans across the nation, by a 48-43 percent margin, want their states to legalize marijuana (it was 43-43 the last time Rasmussen asked; other polling outfits show even wider margins of support for legalization; it's 52-45 with Pew Research).

Of course, we nearly did just that in New Hampshire last year; at least the House nearly did that; we passed a bill to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, but it failed after a trip to the killer Ways and Means Committee.  I never quite figured that out since Ways and Means found revenues would be even better than any of them ever imagined.  

While I am no longer a State Rep, I hear that there will not be an effort to legalize this year. The focus will be on Rep. Schroadter's decriminalizataion bill.  Of course, I wholeheartedly support decriminalization, but really folks, it's not enough.  The time to legalize, reuglate and tax has come.  If you get a chance, pick up Bill Bryson's new book "One Summer--America 1927".  The chapter on the failure of prohibition is a real eye opener; every New Hamsphire Rep and Senator (or at least those on Criminal Justice) should get a copy; I've atually supplied some and have just discovered that the entire book is available free on line.

One SummerAmerica, 1927

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupOct 1, 2013 - History - 528 pages
Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book
A GoodReads Reader's Choice

In One Summer Bill Bryson, one of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers, transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life.

Oh by the way, did you hear that the $1.1 trillion national budget, passed belatedly a few weeks ago, not merely includes the outrages of changes to Dodd-Frant and campaign contributions, but it also repeals the decision of the voters of D.C. to lealize?  CSpan ran Elizabeth Warren's rant against Dodd-Frank over and over, but the story about the slap in the face of D.C. voters was virtually ignored by the national media.  

I kid you not!  

You just can't make this stuff up!  Talk about elected officials being out of touch!  

Here's the data from Rasmussen and Pew. 


Nearly Half Want Their State to Legalize Recreational Pot

More voters now support legalizing recreational marijuana use in their state, even as Nebraska and Oklahoma plan to sue Colorado over its marijuana laws.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters now favor the legalization of recreational marijuana use in their state, while 43% are opposed. Support for legalization is up from 43% among all Americans in August and 41% of voters in January. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on December 23, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

 

 

Pew Research Center. Oct. 15-20, 2014. N=2,003 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 2.5.

             

"Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?"

 
    Yes, legal No, illegal Unsure/
Refused
   
    % % %    
 

10/15-20/14

52 45 3    
 

2/12-26/14

54 42 3    
 

3/13-17/13

52 45 3    
 

2/22 - 3/1/11

45 50 5    
 

3/10-14/10

41 52 7    


Friday
Dec262014

Fear Not; The Lists Will Be Back "Soon"

It's taking a while to get up and running with my new email.  Consdier me a techie luddite, so I haven't yet got the special mailing lists together of everyone who wants to automatically receive all my blog entries as posted on New Hampshire insider.  Actually it's better to check there anyway since many of the photos--and graphics--don't seem to copy well.  The links also are easier to follow on the site.

Also, except for this burst of energy in Montrea (the Second Cup on St. Catherine, not far from the beutiful "women" of Mados), I haven't been checking mn new email address all that often, but I'll be back in the swring of things next year.

I've finished selections for the three dozen year in review categories (the same categories as last year) and will type them in tomorrow or Sunday.  I just added the Catalonia vote as most underreported story of the year.  I'm so sick of hearing about Sony/North Korea/The Interview, I can't imagine not going with it as most overreported story.

The new email address is:

Repvaillancourt@gmail.com

 

I try to answer all civil posts.

Friday
Dec262014

No To Separation In Canada, But Yes In Spain

Without a doubt, the least covered story of the year was the November 9 vote in Catalonia to secede from Spain.  After the Scots decided to stick with the United Kingdom a few weeks earlier, I actually decided to folloiw the movment in Spain, but here's an indication of just how American media failed to cover the story.  I saw nothing about it, forgot about it, and just now googled the story as part of a year in review process, and learned that not merely did the Catalans vote to say bye-bye to Spain, but 80 percent of them favored the move.

Wow!

Consider me a separatist, and I write this from Montreal, Quebec, the city and the province which came close to seprating from Canada.  That was back in 1995.  However, after the sovreignty vote failed by a razor thin margin here back then, it's been all downhill since.  In fact, last spring, sepratist Parti Quebcois leader Pauline Marois was thrown out of ofice (as premier) in one of those snap elections which happen from time to time in parliamentary system.

So it was no to even thoughts of separation in Quebec and no, at least not for now, in Scotland, so one would have thought the vote in Catalona, the part of Norheast Spain which includes Barceloia, that at least some American media would have covered the story.

Not so much.

Perhaps I should change the focus of my long awaited novel about a radio talk show host whose demagoguery leads to the sepration of Quebec from Candada.  Instead of The Emperor of Quebec, maybe I should head to Barcelona and start working on the Emperor of Catalonia.  

Here's a report I've managed to google on the "undercover referendum" in Catalonia November 9 (a very famous day in European history by the way, Kristillnacht in 1938; Wall comes down in 1989).

Quebecers should be so lucky!

Catalonia President Pushes for Independence in 2016 By Calling for Early Elections

Catalonia
Reuters

Catalonia's President Artur Mas is hoping to secede from Spain within 18 months by calling for an early election in the region.

In a speech in Barcelona's Fòrum Auditorium in front of 3,000 people, Mas said the only way to achieve independence in the immediate future was by allowing citizens to "decide on their own collective future as a nation" as the "the Spanish State has let us down".

He slammed the Spanish government's attitude to Catalonia over the last two years, and said Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's comments over pro-independence demonstrations being "silent majorities" were "paradoxically ignoring the absolute majority at the Catalan Parliament that supports Catalonia's right to self-determination".

Mas added that the "public consultation process" on 9 November showed that Catalonia had become "an adult country", adding that it "was not underage any longer".

The leader of the centre-right Convergence and Union alliance also called for foreign states to take part in the mediation process between Catalonia and the Spanish government.

On 9 November, nearly 80% of Catalans opted to secede from Spain in the "undercover referendum".

Catalonia is widely viewed as the industrial and commercial hub of Spain, and pays far higher taxes than any other regional community.

It accounts for over 20% of Spain's GDP, and only 8% is ploughed back into it by the state. The Catalancommunity represents 16% of the total Spanish population.

Following the consultation earlier this month, the Spanish government launched a lawsuit against Mas for "disobedience and dishonesty", accusing him of flouting a court injunction that prevented him from holding a vote on secession.

The court case could also prevent Mas and his deputy, Joana Ortega, from running in the next regional elections, due to be held late in 2016, as it could led to a ban from public office.

Friday
Dec262014

Media Watch--Fox Dumps Dish; Howie Lives; Bad Canadian Radio

From The Second Cup Coffee Shop, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Only $3 (with tip) for a large cup and internet access

This is incredible.  It's been more than three months since I've been here and the first thing I noticed was two elderly gentlemen sitting in the exact same places (on either side of the door) they were when I was here last. One is still playing with his computer; the other seems to be staring aimlessly out the door.  Is this the Twilight Zone or what?  I expect a third regular will be sashaying in any minute.

The big news up here was the December 2 death of hockey legend Jean Beliveau at 83. The big news story for the year, of course, was the terrorist assault in Ottawa.  The border guards (Canadian side) insisted on searching my car; they must not have liked my explanation that I was going to the casino and then just going to hang out for the weekend.  

I figured it would be too complicated to explain that I needed to get connected at the Second Cup Coffee Shop so I could do my year in review blog...and it probably wasn't a good idea to tell them I was going to walk by the Berri-UQAM metro stop to see how many dealers offered to sell me drugs.  It's too cold for that kind of entertainment (walking by, not buying I mean) anyway.  Maybe I should see if The Interview is playing here.  

Of course, I could have told them I was going to Mados to look at all the drag queens who are more attractive women than a certain American congressperson.

Ouch!

In an attempt to get more people to part with their money, the casino has devised a new game.  It's group black, roulette, and baccarat.  An entire roomful of people, through the joys of technology, can play the same hand at a time.  It allows mnimum bets to revert to five dollars, just like the good old days.  In case you're wondering, yes, I was tempted to play--I only gave black jack up when they raised the stakes; but I resisted.  The free entertainment for the weekend in a 15-member big band; not bad, but I trust if I find myself going back, I'll break down and play.  How about this deal?  The dollar is up to $115 Canadian.  What if I just take the $15 bonus and see if I can building it into a bundle.    

Howie Lives--Boorish talk host Howard L Carr (the perfect example of someone you like in spite of your best efforts not to) has finally broken free from WRKO-680 in Boston, but he's still around.  Apparently he's formed his own corporation and is syndicating his show personally now.  

The first (and only time) I heard him all year was as I was driving to Vermont for Christmas; on 620 WVMT.  I gave him up a year ago when I purchased XM-Sirius and became hooked on Julie Masson and the Press Pool at that hour (3-6), but alas, the subscription was run out (I'm not in the car much any more, so I haven't bothered to re-up).

WVMT is about the only station one can get in some areas of Vermont, and once my Warren Zevon disc started skinning (right in the middle of Wevewolves of London in fact), I was forced to turn on AM radio.

All indications are that Howie is just as mean as ever.  He still does the Death Pool (sick, but again I kinda like it) in which he awards a prize for a listener who picks the next famous person to die.  No one had the actor who played Puglsey Addams, dead at 59, and Howie insisted on noting that the early death might well have been due to overweight; Puglsey was a chubby child.  Only Howie could slur the dead without having a clue as to the truth of what he was talking about!  

Thankfully I arrived at my brother's house rather quickly and Jim Bohannon was on when I left.  I've also discovered something called Red Air Radio,an all night show on WABC 770 in New York and a station out of Detroit, 760. It's amazing how the signals reach great distances in the night Vermong air.  As a teenager, I used to pick up baseball games from places as far away as St. Louis, Harry Cary and Jack Buck on KMOX; Commander Bob Elson with the Chicago White Sox; and of course Detroit with the great Ernie Harwell.

Fox News Dies--Red Eye Radio was talking about the network which carries another Red Eye. That would be Fox News; remember Red Eye TV is the reason I referred Congressman Annie Kuster's lack of beauty; that's where I first heard about the survey showing as much as an eight point advantrage for a more attractive candidate. No one with vision could deny that no matter how many times she's re-elected, Kuster will never win a beauty conteset.  I stand by that.

But I digress...Fox News is the latest in a long line of media outlets to pull itself from the Dish Network.  The Red Eye radio people shot down a rumor that it's because of Fox's right wing slant.  As always, this is strictly about money.  Fox wants more of it from Dish.

I was about ready to get rid of Fox anyway.  In fact, once I get back home, I think I'll change to a cheper Dish tier which has no Fox but does have MSNBC and Turner (then I can to back to watching Conan now that Craid Ferguson is gone).

Earlier this year, CNN removed its channels from Dish--no bit loss or me; I only got HLN and I truly loathe Nancy Grace.  CBS was actually gone for a day or so and there was even a threat to remove Channel 9 and ABC earlier this year.

The Dish executives have actually voiced explanations which air constantly (on Channel 204).  Dish has "temporarily" replaced Fox with Glen Beck's Blaze network, a god awful station which has among the most annoying anchors in the history of the medium.  Who would pay for that crap?  Lots of people apparently, but not me.

Fox's goal, of course, is to anger Dish subscribers to such an extent they'll call and complain.  I for one favor a company like Dish which is trying to keep prices down and I've never understood how it's a benefit for thoaw companies who pay millions of dollars to air commercials on Fox to lose 12 million pair of potential eyes (count me among those who'll be happy if I never have to see William Devane plugging gold and silver again...not to mention Flo). 

Put me down on the Dish side in this media war.  Screw Fox!  Am I allowed to say that?  I could be like Craig Ferguson and get my own personal censor.

Here are some links.

  1. cisco, CA - IND (KICU), 36.

  2. In the news
  3. Dish Network customers are heading toward the one-week mark minus access to Fox News ...

English radio will never be the same again in Canada.  CJAF 800 used to have great local hosts, but subce they signed up with the syndicated Coast to Coast overnight show from the U.S., they've lost me.  Oh well, WFAN from New York City usually comes in up here; believe it or not, they're still talking about the Jets and the Giants.

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