Steven J Connolly

Friday
Aug162013

Hassan Can Say. Hassan Can Do. 

“That’s something we’re all going to talk about. Okay?” –Gov. Hassan.

This is an interesting UTUBE video that happens to take place during the inauguration of Gov. Maggie Wood Hassan.

In it she is asked if her administration has any plan(s) to do anything about the dependency of New Hampshire upon the Federal Government.

I wonder if she has answered her own statement.New Hampshire will dole out millions of dollars in food stamps, fuel assistance and federal programs. Where is the accountability? Should not the Office of Governor be the lead in this accountability?

If were my question to ask I’d ask if she would sign an executive order calling for greater financial accounting and quarterly audits be done on existing Federal programs in the granite state.

I already know what would happen…

 

Friday
Aug162013

Prime Rib Politics

So I’m standing here at the supermarket meat wall looking at the various cuts of beef, I’ve never much of a beef eater until I became a truck driver and spent some time at beef packing aka slaughterhouses in the mid west and western part of the U.S.

I’m now looking at an impressive cut of prime rib, bone in. It’s got an impressive price too: $5.56 a pound which according to beef retail.org is up .26 cents from the price last week and up .18 cents from its highest price last year.   The price of beef is up across the board. Does anyone even care?

So I’m looking at this impressive cut of beef thinking about the journey of cattle from the feedlot to the slaughterhouse to being transported across the United States in the dead of night to where it is today, a step away from a blazing grill and some A1 sauce. But unfortunately, on this day I’m priced out of the market.

And then another question comes to my mind. How many individuals with the NH EBT (food stamps) card are actually concerned about a .26 cent increase in the price of beef in one week?

And let’s take this a step further.

What kind of role does the NH Department of Agriculture have in an increase in the price of beef?

I’ll answer both questions.

Nobody cares as long as there is money on the NH EBT card. They’re not paying for it anyways.

The NH Department of Agriculture doesn’t care either there could be an argument that they have no control over the price of beef just like they don’t have the ability to watch federal legislation like the recent farm bill and its impact to farmers and at least warn NH residents that this is happening.

So I’d imagine they don’t care either regardless of who is paying for it.

Why does NH even need a Department of Agriculture?

 

 

Friday
Aug162013

Yet Another Regulator

So yesterday I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about JP Morgan Bank. It had to with some pending charges and possible indictment over some trading activities of two of its traders based in France and Spain. 

It was the same type of article that does appear more frequently than not and it goes something like this: Traders do trades and speculate into financial losses in the millions and billions of dollars, there was no oversight over their activities and lots of money is lost in the process. It seems like there is an increasing amt. of market regulators.

By the way this also a function of free, capitalistic markets where money is made and money is lost in the course of business, strategy and market endeavors.

But lets move on...

For some time I was following Coal and how some of the market manipulation affected this commodity. Well, from what I’m reading also in the Wall Street Journal is that millions of dollars have been lost on this commodity in the past twelve months by speculators being short instead of being long. In other words they were “betting” that the price would decline instead of increase.

So of course I’m reading this and wondering who exactly is going to be pressing these charges against the traders at JP Morgan Bank. A natural direction might be the CFTC, the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, etc.

It was a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading: a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate actually has the authority to press charges for trading activities of the U.S. based bank.

Then the article raised another interesting issue:  Extradition.

The traders, from France and Spain, if charged, would have to be extradited to the United States.

I wonder if subcommittees of the U.S. Senate have extradition authority.

What other kinds of powers do they have?

Thursday
Aug152013

Is Bragdon A Vidkun Quisling? 

Is Bragdon A Vidkun Quisling?NH Senate President Bragdon reminds me of one Vidkun Quisling. History will repeat itself. Vidkun Quisling. Norway never got it's independence the LGC won't either.

I’m disgusted with Senate President Bragdon’s appointment to a $180,000.00 year post at the Local Government Center (LGC).

My immediate thoughts is that Bragdon is very similar to on Vidkun Quisling of Norway; an unremarkable human being that really can’t get to stardom but somehow gets to the surface due to circumstances.

In this particular case, and in the history of the world:

There is no backbone or leadership in this state and this is why this has happened.

History will repeat itself.

Norway never got its independence.

LGC won’t either.

Thursday
Aug152013

To Bearcat Or Not. 

The debate (if this can be called this) over the possible use of a Bearcat Military Vehicle in Concord is an example of what happens when political activists get involved in anything.

Concord Police are considering getting a Bearcat like this one. I think the yearly maintenance on this vehicle is going to be a real dog. The truth usually gets buried.

Case in point.

The activists are all yelling and screaming “The militarization of the police.” accompanied by various pump and dump agendas by the Department of Homeland Security.

I don’t think so. But I oppose this Bearcat in Concord for one simple reason: cost $$$.

But I’ll talk more about that later.

I’ll start with a story I read in the Wall Street Journal about a large Pentagon order for M1 Abrams Tanks that was placed about two years ago, I think it was for 150 tanks and the manufacturing facilities were in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Well, to make a long story short the Army and Marine Corps stated they didn’t need any more tanks and wanted to cancel the order. The members of Congress from these districts feared the loss of jobs with no tanks being built and opposed the efforts to cancel the order.

A political compromise was struck.

Since the assembly lines would be running anyways instead of building M1 Abrams Tanks they’re now building this Bearcat type of vehicle while hundreds of jobs have been preserved.

It’s my understanding that most of these Bearcats are actually being given or sold to police agencies in places like Iraq, Afghanistan even Morocco and a few are finding their way into other areas like police agencies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

So Concord is applying or considering applying to get a $275,000.00 Bearcat from the Federal Government.

So what if they do? …..

My concern is not the vehicle itself and the reason(s) for getting it but what it will cost to maintain the vehicle on a yearly basis and how this will be ultimately borne by local taxpayers in Concord.

A taxbase that is already stretched very thin.

My guess is that it will cost about $20,000.00 a year in fuel, preventative maintenance and heated garage space just to house the Bearcat. I’ve not calculated the cost of training hours, actual use or any of the money used for the personnel that use the Bearcat. Where is this money going to come from?

I don’t think Concord can afford a Bearcat even if it thinks it may need one.

And actually they might need one.