Grounds Exist to Remove #VolinskyAgenda From Executive Council. What’s Lacking is the Political Will.

Article 63 of the New Hampshire Constitution:

The members of the council may be impeached by the house, and tried by the senate for bribery, corruption, malpractice, or maladministration.

Does knowingly violating the First Amendment to the United States Constitution rise to the level of malpractice or maladministration?  I’d say so.

As I discussed in a prior post, the First Amendment prohibits religious discrimination by the government.

Under the free exercise clause: “the government must “maintain strict neutrality, neither aiding nor opposing religion,” Sch. Dist. of Abington Twp. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 225 (1963).  And the establishment clause “requires the state to be a neutral in its relations with groups of believers and non- believers; … State power is no more to be used so as to handicap religions than it is to favor them,” Everson v. Bd. of Educ., 330 U.S. 1, 18 (1947).

The equal protection clause also prevents government from discriminating on the basis of religion.  For example, New Jersey providing free transportation to students in all but religious schools, Everson, or New York supplying free secular text- books to all students but those attending religious schools, Bd. of Educ. v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236 (1968), constituted impermissible religious discrimination.

As Jennifer Horn explained in a recent column in the Union Leader (aka #StinkyJoe McQuaid’s #DyingPaper), Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky (aka #VolinskyAgenda) has knowingly violated the First Amendment by voting on at least one and arguably two occasions based on animus toward Christians:

Last week, Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky was the sole vote against a contract with a faith-based organization to provide services to recruit foster and adoptive families because he “suspected” they might not be supportive of gay and lesbian foster parents.

In response to Mr. Volinsky questioning the qualifications of Bethany Christian Services to continue to provide services to the state, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald informed the council that the federal government had a long-standing policy of not discriminating against such organizations based on their religious character, and that the Obama administration had issued an executive order saying as much. Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers confirmed the relationship between the state and Bethany, and reiterated the critical need for their services “in part because of the depth and length of the opioid crisis in New Hampshire.” And yet, Volinsky still withheld his support.

It should be noted, as Horn noted in her column that Bethany Christian services had been under contract with the State for many years and without any problems:

In the case of Bethany Christian Services, Volinsky voted against a contract with an organization that has been providing services for the state since John Lynch was governor, and whose contract was renewed under the Hassan administration without question or concern.

The other instance was #VolinskyAgenda’s opposition to Frank Edelblut serving as Education Commissioner:

Mr. Volinsky’s vote is particularly troubling in light of the fact that he took a similar, if not even more aggressive, line of attack against Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut during his confirmation hearing. Volinsky tried to apply what has become his own anti-Christian litmus test against the then-nominee.

I don’t expect the House to impeach or the Senate to convict, even though the grounds exist to do so.  Too many RINOs.

No, the Alexander-Murray (Obamacare) Bill Does Not Reduce the Deficit

At least one member of  Governor Sununu’s staff is claiming that the Alexander-Murray bill, which restores the Obamacare “CSR” payments that President Trump recently ended, reduces the deficit:CSR -Cost Sharing Reduction- payments are a euphemism for the federal government forcing taxpayers to reimburse insurance companies for losses incurred as a result of Obamacare requiring insurers to charge lower premiums and/or deductibles to lower-income insureds.

As HotAir has explained, CBO basically “cooked the books” in order to claim Alexander-Murray reduces the deficit.  More specifically,  CBO compared spending under Alexander-Murray to spending under Obamacare assuming that Trump would make “CSR” payments.  That is a ridiculous assumption, obviously, because Trump has stopped making CSR payments on the grounds that they are not legal because Congress never appropriated the funding.

From HotAir:

Even the cost savings are more or less reliant on the status quo. Earlier this year, the CBO projected the costs of the CSR payments to reach $7 billion this year, and escalating to $16 billion in 2017. Congress has not appropriated funds for the program since 2014, but the Obama administration paid them anyway, as did the Trump administration until this month. The $3.8 billion in savings for Alexander-Murray results from CBO counting this money as already outgoing rather than as new spending. Given that the purpose of Alexander-Murray was to provide new funding for CSRs now that the White House has refused to spend money that Congress has not appropriated, that is a very, veryquestionable scoring decision.

So Alexander-Murray is hardly a “fiscally conservative health care solution.”

No, Democrats Don’t Want to Have a Conversation About Preventing Mass-Shootings

One of the themes that Democrats and their surrogates in the press have been sounding since the mass-shooting in Las Vegas is that we “need to talk about gun control” in order to prevent more mass shootings.  For example, these two Democrat trolls trolling Governor Sununu:The trolls were picking up on a misleading headline from NHPR -what a surprise- that mischaracterized the following quote from Sununu:

“The focus so early on in a tragedy right now isn’t about what Washington is going to do legislatively,” Sununu told reporters in a telephone conference call Monday.  “It really needs to be about what we are going to do to make sure we are there for those families, to make sure that they have the supports they need to get through this horrific time in their lives.”

as, “Governor Chris Sununu says gun reform should be put on the back burner, …“, under the headline: “Sununu: Not the Right Time to Discuss Gun Control”.  The author of this Fake News is Paige Sutherland.

But the Democrats, and their surrogates in the press, have yet to identify a single law that would have prevented the Las Vegas shooting or further mass shootings.  The only actual legislation they have floated that is relevant is banning bump-stocks.  For example:But the most one can say is that it is possible that there might have been fewer deaths if the shooter did not have a bump-stock.  It is also possible that there may have been more deaths because bump-stocks decrease accuracy.

I am agnostic on bump-stocks.  That is, I think an argument can be made that bump-stocks violate the spirit of the 1886 law banning automatic weapons.

But banning bump-stocks is just the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent.  The next step will be to argue that a “high capacity” magazine is the equivalent or near-equivalent of a bump-stock and ban those as well.  And the next step will be to reduce the number of rounds that qualify as “high capacity.”  Over time, this progression will undermine our Second Amendment right to self defense as there are tens of millions of high capacity magazines in America and there is no way of keeping them out of the hands of criminals.  And even if that were possible, banning high capacity magazines makes it impossible to defend against multiple assailants.

Check out the following twitter-rant from the New Hampshire Democrat Party:Not only is there not a single serious idea for preventing mass shootings, the suggestion that there is a nexus between law-abiding citizens in New Hampshire having a right to carry a weapon concealed on his or her own person -concealed carry- and the mass shooting in Las Vegas is demented.

So, the Democrats do not want to have a conversation about mass shootings.  They want to use mass shootings as a pretext to eviscerate the Second Amendment and to score cheap political points against the GOP.