Nashua Telegraph’s Swiss-Cheese Analysis of Brown-Shaheen Senate Race

There is an article in today’s Nashua Telegraph titled:  2014 Year in Review: The second act for Scott Brown, this time in NH  Unfortunately, rather than providing any insight into why New Hampshire went in the opposite direction from the rest of the country in the 2014 midterms, the article basically just repeats the Jeanne Shaheen campaign memes that Scott Brown was a well-funded carpet-bagger, while Shaheen was a “moderate” who always puts New Hampshire first.

Let’s start with campaign spending.  All the article has to say about campaign spending is that Brown had a “massive fundraising network.”  Actually, as I discuss here Shaheen outspent Brown by $7 million.  So if Brown had a massive fundraising network, doesn’t that mean Shaheen had a “mega-massive fundraising network”?  From the article, you get the impression that Brown materially outspent Shaheen, when in fact just the opposite took place.

The Telegraph also describes Jeanne Shaheen as the “the moderate Shaheen,” but never explains how one can vote with President Obama 99 percent of the time and be a moderate.  Moreover, the Telegraph suggests it was irrelevant, if not misleading, for Brown to campaign on Shaheen’s unswerving allegiance to Obama. Continue reading

Jasper-Republicans and Democrats Push for Less Transparent Government

Last session, the rules of the New Hampshire House provided that, “[a] roll call shall be taken when a member moves for a roll call vote and that motion is seconded by 10 other members.”  Absent a roll call, we have no way of knowing how our representatives voted.

Yet this past Thursday, by a unanimous 10-0 vote, the House Rules Committee voted to change the rule to require twice as many seconds.

This is 2014, not 1814.  Voting is done electronically.  We don’t have a show of hands and have the Clerk walk up and down that aisle writing down who voted yes and who voted no.  A roll call vote takes no more time than a “division vote,” a vote that electronically records the yeas and nays but not who voted yea or nay.  (The third form of voting is  a voice vote where the Speaker determines if there were more yeas or nays (which some representatives thinks means you shout as loudly as you can)).

It only takes one representative to require a division vote.  And that is all that should be required for a roll call vote.  The public has a right to know how their representatives vote.  Doubling the number of seconds makes it easier for a Speaker who doesn’t want a roll call vote on a certain bill or bills to use his influence to prevent the roll call. Continue reading

Life Without Rondo

Hopefully, life without Rondo for the Boston Celtics looks like the Marcus Smart of December 8th against the Wizards:  “Playing extended floor time in the fourth quarter Monday, Smart lit Boston’s rally fuse, both with his defense — highlighted by a couple of charge takes — but also providing some much-needed offense. Smart scored a career-high 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting (4-of-8 beyond the 3-point arc) with 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 assists over 35 minutes.

So now in addition to checking the box-scores for the Wizards, to see how Paul Pierce is doing, I’ll be checking the Maverick’s boxes as well to keep up with Rondo.  Highly unlikely, but it would be cool if they met in the finals.

How to know if Jeff Green is staying or leaving?  Well, do you don’t think this lit a fire under Danny Ainge to deal Rondo?


Concord Monitor Editorial Shows Spending, not Style, Behind Democrats Support of Speaker Jasper

Here is all you need to read in today’s Concord Monitor Editorial regarding the split in the Republican House Caucus to understand why the Democrats supported and continue to support Shawn Jasper:  “The latter realize that to solve problems and serve the disparate needs of voters, that is to get something beneficial done, usually requires compromise. The former would rather do nothing than compromise what they claim are Republican principles: Shrinking government is good and public spending is bad.”

“Latter” refers to the vast majority of the Republican Reps in the New Hampshire House.  “Former” refers to the 35-40 Republicans who joined with the Democrats to elect Jasper as Speaker.  To use the patronizing language employed by the Monitor’s editorial page:  To the Jasper-Republicans smaller government is bad and more spending is good. Continue reading

A Primer on New Hampshire Politics for Jeb Bush

Dear Governor Bush:

I hear you are running for President.  Things have changed a lot in New Hampshire politics since your father won the primary back in 1988, so I thought I would give you an update.

Believe it or not, and I say believe it or not because the press (and presumably the local GOP operatives who claim to be your New Hampshire confidants) persists in calling New Hampshire a “swing state” or a “battleground state”, 1988 happens to be the last time a GOP Presidential candidate won over 50 percent of the vote in New Hampshire.  In 1992, Bill Clinton edged out your father 40 percent to 38 percent, with Ross Perot taking 22 percent.  And in 1996, Clinton won again, this time with 49 percent of the vote to Bob Dole’s 39 percent, with Perot taking about 10 percent. Continue reading

Speaker Jasper’s Message to New Hampshire – Your Taxes Are Going Up

Today, the Union Leader ran an op-ed by Speaker Shawn Jasper.  Basically, a my vision for New Hampshire type of thing.  What’s most notable about the Jasper op-ed is that there is no mention by Jasper of holding the line on taxes.

And that omission is why the Democrats supported Jasper for Speaker and why they describe their support of Jasper as doing the right thing or what’s best for New Hampshire.





Despite all the bloviating from the Union Leader and others about Jasper being every bit as conservative as Bill O’Brien, Jasper is not a fiscal conservative in the sense that he supports smaller government and less spending.  Jasper’s definition of fiscal conservatism  is not growing government too fast.  Philosophically, Jasper is closer to Democrats on fiscal issues than to Republicans like O’Brien.  The disagreement between Jasper and the Democrats is merely over the rate at which government should grow.  That is, fiscal conservatism to Jasper is growing government at a smaller rate than the Democrats would grow it.

So the takeaway from Jasper’s op-ed is this: If Speaker Jasper has his way, taxes are going up.




Kobe and Michael

This past Sunday, Kobe Bryant moved past Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.  It took Kobe 1270 games.  It took Michael only 1072 games.  Michael never had to share the ball with a player like Shaq, who spent eight seasons with the Lakers and averaged 27 points per game during that span.  But Michael retired at the peak of his powers, at age 29 after winning his third consecutive championship, and missed the majority of the next two seasons.

It would have been fascinating to Michael and Kobe go head to head in their prime as Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain did.  Michael and Kobe did face off against each other, but Kobe began his career in the 1996-1997 season at age 18, when Michael was 33 years old.  Michael retired after the 1997-1998 season, the second of his three-peats, then made a comeback in 2001 for two season with the Washington Wizards.

Here is some Youtube of Michael against Kobe:

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Union Leader Editorial — Putting Lipstick on the Democratly-Elected Speaker of the New Hampshire House

Today’s Union Leader editorial claiming Speaker Shawn Jasper is as conservative as they come and warning conservative Republicans to line up behind him is a doozy.

The Union Leader begins by claiming that Jasper’s selection of Chuck Douglas as the House’s legal counsel “underscores further Jasper’s own conservative roots.”  The Union Leader doesn’t say whether they mean political conservative, judicial conservative or both.  But as for Douglas’ politics, he has opposed tort reform and has sued the State arguing that courts have a right to adequate funding (the amount of which they get too determine).  And as for Douglas’ credentials as a judicial conservative, a strong argument can be made that he was anything but.

Later, the editorial purports to defend Jasper’s conservative credentials:

What we will weigh in on is the silly claim that Shawn Jasper is not a true Republican conservative. He is, from our experience, as much a conservative as is former Speaker Bill O’Brien. We think either would do a good job of leading the House.

If it is such a “silly claim” how about a few examples of Jasper proposing reductions in spending and taxes?  There are none.  And the reason there are none is that what is really the “silly claim” is the claim that Jasper is a fiscal conservative in the mold of a Bill O’Brien. Continue reading

Debunking Two Persistent False Claims About the 2014 Midterms

Today’s Union Leader contains an article about Bill Shaheen’s election by the New Hampshire Democrat Party to serve as one of their representatives on the Democrat National Committee.

The article quotes Bill Shaheen as saying, “We are probably the last great hope where money cannot buy an election.”  Actually, Jeanne Shaheen outspent Scott Brown by over $7 million dollars.  “Outside money” favored Brown, but by less than a million dollars.  So if anybody should be charged with attempting to buy an election in New Hampshire, it’s Jeanne Shaheen and her supporters.

Another false claim in the article comes from NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley: Continue reading