Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Entries in H (5)

Tuesday
Sep032013

Obama Stumbles Into Proper Syrian Decision 

                Mea culpa. 

                My return postings last week were chock full of spelling errors because…well as you know, I don’t have a computer at home and the library allows a limited time each day and at times, I can’t figure out the spell check there…and time is always a ticking.

                I’ve spell checked everything I posted last week, and I’ve updated the spelling on David Letterman’s band director.  I never would have guessed it’s Paul Shaffer.  Thanks to the State Representative who corrected me on that one.

                Comments were so few that maybe I should simply go back into hibernation, but in fact over the weekend (as I was spending a great deal of time watching U.S. Open Tennis—too bad about Federer; he looked simply terrible yesterday), I jotted down no less than a dozen things I could comment on…everything from the Arnold campaign punking the Union Leader city hall columnist…to praise for President Obama for deciding to send his insane decision to bomb Syria to Congress.

                What an interesting dynamic.  It seems that only establishment Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want to kill more innocent people in retaliation for innocents being killed in Syria.  The first two Democrats I ran in to at the State House today (a powerful Senator and a very powerful House member) are as much against getting involved as I am.

                So many libertarian-minded Republicans are against intervention that Fox News has had to dig into its bench to find enough hawks to spew anti-Obama dogma.

                In fact, they had to dig out the former third wheel in the McCain-
Graham triumvirate (Democrat Joe Lieberman) to push for an even wider intervention Sunday.  The new third wheel, New Hampshire’s own Kelly Ayotte, seems to have managed to dislocate herself from McCain’s hip although I hear she favor intervention if we kill more rather than fewer innocent people.

                Hopefully, our state’s three Democrats in D.C., Jeanne Shaheen, Carol Shea Porter, and
Annie Kuster will bolt from the Pelosi-Reid fold and vote not to intervene in an area we neither can nor should control.

                Two of Fox News’s  most bizarre Obama bashers are former United Nations ambassador John Bolton and Charles The Wise Krauthammer,

                Bolton insists we should NOT get involved in Syria (I wholeheartedly agree), but he still manages to bash Obama’s handling of the situation.  He goes on to insist that Congress will pass the intervention plan because Obama will buy off enough Democratic votes to get his way.            

What an outrageous  assertion to make without any proof whatsoever.

                Charles, more glib than wise in this instance, doesn’t seem sure whether or not we should be involved in Syria, but what difference does that make?  His real goal seems to bash the President.

                I’m no supporter of our President’s domestic policies, but he is to be congratulated, as Senator Rand Paul says, for allowing Congress to weigh in on this decision.

                This may not be Barack Obama’s finest hour when It comes to making a decision and sticking with it, but had he gone ahead with his plan to bomb away, it would have been his and the country’s darkest hour.

                Yes it seems that the President, for whatever reason, seem to have lurched into the proper decision, and for that all Americans, regardless of party, should be grateful.

                There is no good solution here.  The fact that the disgusting McCain-Graham forces are trying to convince Obama to use more force while others want less force used serves as evidence that this circle simply can’t be squared.

                Fox’s lone (or so it often seems) Democratic commentator, Bob “I Lost 49 States” Beckel is almost as disgusting as the Republican hawks.  Mondale’s campaign manager, rather than engage in honest debate, has resorted to the worst kind of demagoguery.  He insists on pointing out that 1400 people, including 400 children he never fails to add, were gassed in Syria, but when challenged about what evidence there is that Assad’s people, rather than the rebels themselves did it, he resorts to saying, “You’re smart enough to know that can’t be the way it is.”

                Well, Mr. 49 State loser, I’ll never be too quick to trust anything our government tells us, not after Colin Powell, whom I respected far more than I ever will John Kerry, insisted there were WMDs in Iraq and Hillary Clinton insisted that the Benghazi killings were the result of some anti-Islamic film.

                I’m reading “Ike’s Bluff” by Evan Thomas, a look at the duplicity Eisenhower used to run our foreign policy if the 50s.  Don’t get me wrong; I like Ike, but it’s hardly the stuff to give one confidence in what our leaders tell us.

                As for all the Republicans who revel in pointing out that John Kerry is looking more Presidential that Obama these days, check out Sean Hannity's comparison of what Kerry The Hawk is saying today versus what Kerry The Chicken Hawk was saying during the Vietnam Ward days.  Yes, Mr. Secretary of State, it's easy to be a hawk when lives other than your own are on the line. 

                He's nearly as disgusting as McCain's group.

                Maybe I should take up the Dish offer to, for a lesser cost, switch me to a selection of channels that includes MSNBC and Conan O’Brien’s station at the expense of losing Fox News.

                Spell check seems to be working again, but I’m out of time to write about the punking of the Union Leader by Arnold’s pathetic mayoral campaign.

Friday
Jan182013

Election Trivia...Or Going To The Dogs

Usually when the Red Book (the Secretary of State's election results book) comes out in May or June, I comb through it for interesting data.   Undoubtedly I'll share some of that this spring, but in looking at loose pages of election results (in my attempt to gauge what impact a return of straight ticket voting might have), I encountered something which I thought would make a great trivia question.

Keep in mind that New Hampshire has ten counties.  Keep in mind the make-up of those counties; for example, no Republican would likely carry Cheshire County at the top of the ticket (hint, hint), and see if you can come up with an answer to this without any multiple choice options.  Obviously the answer will be between zero and 20.

Add up the number of New Hamsphire counties won by Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ovide LaMontagne in the November, 2012 election.  What do you get, and if any counties (the answer in fact is NOT zero), which counties?  Of course, you could look up the answer, but since no reward is offered, you can just scroll down to the answer here.

 

It's three counties.  Ovide lost in all ten counties, but Romney did in fact carry three counties, and if you know much about voting trends in New Hamsphire, you should be able to guess which three.

Obama received 52.0 percent of the statewide total, Romney 46.4 percent with the other 1.6 percent going elsewhere (1.2 percent ot Libertarian Gary Johnson).

The counties Romney carried were:

Carroll by only 230 votes--14,207 to 13,977

Belknap 17,571 to 15,890 and you must have guessed:

Rockingham 87,921 to 80,142.

 

Which county did Ovide come closest to carrying?

Let's see here...

Both numerically and percentage-wise, it appears to be Belknap.

Hassan 16,756 Ovide 15,702.

He lost Carroll 14,339-12893.

And he lost Rockingham 84,287-77,095.

Did Hassan carry any single county by more than a two to one margin?

Not quite.  She got up to 65.1 percent in Cheshire, winning 25,136-13,488.

For someone with way to much time on his or hands, it might be interestng to see how many places Obama actually got more votes than Hassan; it shouldn't be many since she won by 13.4 percent statewide and Obama won by "only" 5.6 percent.  The answer appears to be zero when it comes to counties; I'm not sure about cities and towns.

This is so much fun I could go on and on but I should write a blog comparing the statements from Seabrook and Rockingham spinners, those who would defend simulcast racing from the brutal state of Florida, to Lance Armstrong.  Caught in misstatement heaped upon msistatement, they, like Armstrong seek to pile on more misstatements and to attempt to change the subject and demonize those who would provide the truth.

That's for another day; suffice it to say here that it's rather strange that a reporter (no names please), in writing such a lengthy column on the bill yesterday, would not even try to contact the bill's sponsor who has reams of data to disprove outrageous claims by the tracks.  Coming soon to this very blog...

 

DOCUMENTED PROBLEMS AT SANFORD ORLANDO KENNEL CLUB
 
-- The state of Florida conducted a formal investigation in January 2011 after a three-year-old brindle greyhound named Crystal B Disco died after she collided with another dog during a race at SOKCstruck the rail with her forehead, and suffered an open skull fracture.
-- The state of Florida conducted a formal investigation in September 2010 and found that in a single month four greyhounds had been severely injured during races at SOKC and euthanized by track veterinarian Bruce Olson.
 
-- On July 2010 a veterinarian and a track official documented unsanitary conditions in a kennel at SOKC. According to witness statements the kennel had “a strong smell of ammonia” from urine, “indicating that the kennel was not being properly cleaned.” The trainer responsible for the kennel was banned from the facility, but no further action was taken.

 -- The state of Florida conducted an official investigation in November 2008 after a greyhound named Birthday Toy was electrocuted during a race at SOKC.

 
-- In July 2007 a state investigator documented neglect in a kennel at the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club. In his official report, the investigator detailed severe problems:
“When we entered, the outrageous stench of ammonia was overpowering. Its source was from the urine on the carpets that had not been cleaned from the dogs that had not been let out of their cages.”
The investigator spoke to a greyhound trainer who was temporarily taking care of the dogs, who indicated that the dogs were “full of ticks and not well taken care of.” According to the official report the dogs did have ticks and fleas. Upon completion of the report, the investigator took no action, noting that “because we have no rules or statutes covering this kind of animal treatment there is no violation and the case is closed."
 
-- On June 25, 2006 a greyhound named Airborne was seriously injured in a dog fight at SOKC. Despite the obvious injuries the dog had suffered, the trainer responsible for him did not ensure he received veterinary care. Instead, Airborne was “placed in a cage within the kennel and left untreated” for two days.
 
-- In April 2006, an investigation by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at Sanford Orlando Kennel Club “revealed that eighteen adult greyhounds were cramped into nine crates designed to hold one dog.” The state investigative report indicated that the dogs were perpetually muzzled.
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Friday
May062011

UNH President Promises No Funding For Channel 11

               Even as the highly paid movers and shakers at Channel 11 continue to spend taxpayer money lobbying New Hampshire Senators to send more taxpayer money to their station, UNH President Mark Huddleston sent a strong signal last night that he won’t allow it.

               At a sparsely attended meet-and-greet with Manchester area lawmakers, President Huddleston promised that, with the University system losing 45 percent of its state dollars, Channel 11 should not expect any more money from the university (Channel 11 monies have traditionally flowed through the university system budget).

               Ed DuPont, Chairman of the University system Board of Directors, was only slightly more equivocal.  He noted that some funds might be necessary to help Channel 11 through the current year.

               The response came to this question from a Manchester Representative (me).

               Although it’s only $2.7 million, don’t you think it’s time, considering the ten year plan for the university that you’ve just alluded to, that Channel 11 be weaned from taxpayer funding?

               President Huddleston left no doubt in his answer.  The position was much clearer and stronger than signals  the University sent when my bill to defund Channel 11 was heard in House Finance earlier this year.

               In fact, the only person who held out hopes for continuing to spend scarce state monies on the television station was one of five Democrat State Senators.  Yes, Lou D’Allesandro, who barely survived a challenge from Joe Kelly Levasseur last November, went out of his way attempting to pick a fight with me in public by coming out in support of Channel 11.

               Apparently President Huddleston and Ed DuPont have gotten the message that monies for the university system should go toward cutting tuition.  Apparently, everyone except D’Allesandro has gotten that message.  Apparently, D'Allesandro revels in being the odd man out, thinking that Channel 11 still deserves a piece of the University pie even if tuitions must skyrocket to pay for it.

               No wonder the number of Democrat senators is down to five.

               A member of House  Finance Committee (yes, that would be I) also posed concerns that we’re spending $12 million dollars, including more than $150,000 for a public relations specialist/lobbyist, on a layer of bureaucracy known as the Chancellors’ office.

               Diplomatically, President Huddleston sidestepped the question (after all, it's not his office; in fact, it probably creates problems for his office).  Chair DuPont asserted that the Board is trying to cut back costs in the chacellor's office.

               We need to do more than cut costs in the chancellor’s office.  We should eliminate it completely; let each the branches of the university system handle their own administration; and pass the $12 million in savings on as tuition cuts.

               Only a handful of Manchester Reps were on hand for the meeting.  It would have been two less had I not promised Irene Messier I’d take her.  Maybe, the President and Board Chairman (not to mention Senator Lou) wish I hadn’t made such a promise.    

Tuesday
Mar152011

Pay In The Lobby Or Get It Here Free

Someone on the House floor just asked me about the press release regarding my plans for a New Hampshire version of the Hatch Act bill.

My reaction was, "What are you talking about?"

In point of fact, last Thursday around midnight as I now recall, I posted word of those plans here.  It turns out that it's now up on a web site you have to pay for, Kevin Landrigan's blog on the Nashua Telegraph's The Lobby.

Let's get this straight.  You find out five days later and have to pay for something you could have read about here a long time ago.   I use the term "a long time ago" because I've moved on to at least a dozen items since then.  Yes, I do make most things I write available to reporter Landrigan and other media outlets, but little did I suspect the public would be charged for what you can get free here.  Plus you wouldn't have to read Landrigan's rather mean (and only arguably true) description of me of always confrontational.  I prefer to think I'm always standing up for causes which the less bold would ignore.

I guess I'm a true conservative because I'll never pay for something five days later what I can get free today!  

Canel your Lobby subscription or the one to that site Pindel (still awaiting puberty according to Scott Spradling at the St. Patty's roast) is always plugging on Channel 9.

It's free here and on More Politically Alert, live Wednesday at 9 p.m. on Channel 23 in Manchester with repeats Thursday at 9 p.m., Sunday at noon, and Tueday at 11 p.m. (always on line at vimeo.com/channels/mpa).

By the way, I just ran into former Senator Rick Trombley and told him he'll be on my show this week.   "Just invite me", he said. 

"No", Rick, I responded.  In honor of St. Patrick's Day humor, I'm digging out the old tape of Rick and I playing Risk along with a certain state party executive director telling a woman he'd like to put clamps on her ---- and drag here through the f------- streets of Manchester.

You won't get that in the Lobby or even here for that matter!

A More Politically Alert exclusive!  Free of course (well, you have to pay your cable bill, I suppose).

Saturday
Jan222011

AG Delaney Should Pull A John Tyler!  Resign!


How comforting history can be!

I just finished reading The Accidental President, a biography of John Tyler, perhaps best known as the first man to assume the presidency upon the death of the incumbent (William Henry Harrison served less than a month after becoming ill when he gave a lengthy inaugural address in the cold in 1841).

Six years before he became the accidental president, John Tyler was Virginia Senator.  Remember that back then senators were not elected by popular vote; they were chose by state legislatures.

Without getting into the history of Andrew Jackson and the national bank controversy, it had an impact on Senator Tyler in a way that should be informative for New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney today.  Legislatures back then occasionally directed their senators in Washington DC on how to vote on certain issues.

In 1835, the Virginia legislature instructed Senator Tyler to vote to expunge the Henry Clay-induced censure of President Jackson from the Senate records.  Although it was mostly a symbolic move, Old Hickory was up in arms, and both the Virginia Legislature and the U.S. Senate had become dominated by Jacksonians.  To the victor go the spoils!

Kind of like the way the NH House and Senate today have become dominated by those who want the state to join more than half the other states to challenge Obamacare in federal courts.

Rather than say no to the Virginia legislature and rather than rant and rave and threaten (as Delaney is doing today), Senator Tyler, an adamant foe of President Jackson, did the honorable thing.  He resigned his seat in the U.S. Senate rather than joinng the majority who in fact voted to expunge.

It's not such a  radical idea to suggest that if Attorney General Delaney cannot find it in his character to obey the will of the vast majority of the NH Legislature (should it come to that; the committee vote certainly indicates it will), he should simply resign. He should pull a John Tyler!

If AG Delaney doesn't believe there's a real Constitutional issue with Obamacare (as evidenced by decisions from other state Attorney Generals), he's simply not qualified to be our state's top legal officer. He should join the suits on his own rather than waiting for the Legislature to tell him to do so.

Rather than try to bully the legislature and suggest he'll create a constitutional crisis, AG Delaney should look to John Tyler (President to be and also traitor to be, but that's another story, about how he led the secession effort in Virginia in 1861).

He should resign immediately so that Governor John Lynch with Executive Council approval can appoint an Attorney General who will bring New Hampshire in line with other states opposing Obamacare in court.

Think of it, AG Delaney.  If resignation over principle was good enough for the soon-to-be accidental president, it's good enough for you.

You don't have to take my word for it and you don't have to read the entire book; in the age of google, simply google John Tyler Resigns U.S. Senate Seat.

Delaney will undoubtedly argue that there's a difference since he's in the executive branch and Tyler was in the legislative branch, but tradition after all has been established.

Don't slam the door on the way out, Mr. Attorney General.