Saturday, January 16, 2021

Speaker Stegosaurus

Sherman Packard in the Hall of Flags at the NH State House. Photo by Oliver Laughland for The Guardian 

State Rep. Sherman Packard was elected Speaker of the NH House on January 6. The previous speaker was killed by his political party in December, about a week after being sworn in. The Covid denying, freedumb loving, anti-maskers prided themselves on their big, mask free gatherings. Hinch took stupid risks, contracted Covid, and died. 

That meant a new Speaker had to be chosen. Packard was Hinch's second in command, so he served as Acting Speaker after Hinch's death. (A death he initially denied was caused by Covid.) He's been promising to honor Hinch's legacy ever since - and so far he's succeeding. 

Hinch had a long history of coddling and protecting the very worst in his caucus. He tried to protect Robert "Red Pill" Fisher from the consequences of founding an online forum for rape aficionados and other incels. 

Hinch tried to cover for Rep. Robert Forsythe, after he was arrested for assaulting a pregnant woman. 

He covered endlessly for the problem that is known as Rep. James Spillane.

That is the Hinch legacy that Packard is honoring, right out of the starting gate, as we learned in this story by Paula Tracy for

This week, Packard stripped Democratic State Rep. Rosemary Rung of her committee assignment, because of a tweet she made about David Ellis, the police chief of Troy, NH who attended the insurrectionist activities in Washington, DC that led to the sacking of the Capitol. He claims he didn't participate in the violence, BUT, he was there, protesting the results of a legitimate election. This would appear to be in violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution. We know that Chief Ellis was in DC, because he did an interview there with a national publication, New York Magazine. Representative Rung's tweet called on NH police to denounce Ellis and call for his resignation. 

Packard is attempting to blame Rep. Rung for the fallout in Troy, where the town hall shut down after threats of violence. Ellis outed himself to a national magazine, but Packard is blaming Rung. From the InDepthNH story:

 "In a letter to House Minority Leader Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, Packard accused Rung of acting “beneath the dignity of the House” and committing a “dangerous violation” of the tenet for how things get done in the House of Representatives..."

The Speaker didn't contact Rep. Rung. He chose to speak with House Minority Leader Renny Cushing. Packard wanted to solve this woman problem by going man to man. 

As for the "dignity of the House" the man who has protected Rep. Dawn Johnson from the consequences of her anti-Semitic and seditious social media posts - and done the same to protect James Spillane from HIS anti-Semitic posts has a lot of nerve talking about dignity. Packard turns himself into a pretzel to defend Spillane, and shows himself to be either a liar or a fool when it comes to Johnson. She posted racist/anti-Semitic memes from the Daily Stormer on social media. She has apologized endlessly for the source of her content. She has NEVER apologized for the content. 

Spillane literally tried to incite violence last fall with a Facebook post:

“Public Service Announcement,” Spillane wrote in the post from earlier this week. “If you see a BLM sign on a lawn, it’s the same as having a porch light on at Halloween. You are free to burn and loot that house.” 

Rep. Rung called for NH police to denounce Chief Ellis for violating his oath of office.  Calling for a resignation is miles away from "you are free to burn and loot." 

But this - this is the real cherry atop the shit sundae served up by Speaker Packard:

Packard has told Rung he would consider her request to resume her committee duties, “If you can demonstrate to me in a sincere manner that you regret the tone and the subject of your social media post, and that you realize how it could have contributed to the very serious situation the town of Troy and its public officials are experiencing…”

If Rep. Rung acknowledges that she's a naughty girl, Big Poppa Patriarch will CONSIDER her request to resume her committee duties. Perhaps he'd like her to write on the blackboard 500 times or give her a spanking, because isn't that what we do with naughty girls?  He's treating her like a wayward child, not an adult human. 

Packard would never, ever, in ten million years say this to a male representative from either party.

This is old-school, deeply ingrained sexism at work. 

It's no wonder he insisted on that ridiculous drive-in House session. We know he's a dinosaur when it comes to technology. Now we know he's a dinosaur when it comes to women, too. 

You'd best be careful, women of the House minority party! Speaker Stegosaurus is ready to apply his misogynistic double standards if you don't behave. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A Year of Free Political Advertising for Sununu


Governor Sununu has been giving weekly press conferences during the pandemic. Not because he's an epidemiologist, a doctor, or a scientist. Not because he's an expert in matters of public health. He's been giving them because he's a politician who seized the moment to advertise himself on the public airwaves (WMUR aka WGOP), for free. 

In our neighboring state of Maine, the weekly Covid updates come from Maine CDC Director, Dr. Nirav Shah. Dr. Shah is so popular that he has a Facebook fan page - and a chocolate bar named after him. 

The weekly Covid updates are not used as free political advertising for Maine Governor Janet Mills.  

Did all this free advertising have an impact on the NH state elections? Absolutely. But don't take my word for it - here's what the (unfortunately) elected Executive Councilor Joe Kenney had to say in the Union Leader

Kenney said he was one of many who benefitted from Gov. Chris Sununu, who became a TV star by virtue of his weekly briefings on COVID-19.

Even Joe Kenney gets it - and he's no rocket scientist. 

Despite lacking any sort of expertise, Sununu got a free platform every week, to stand before fawning journalists who seldom asked any difficult questions,  including the most basic one of all, "Isn't this free political advertising, Governor?"

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Big White Tent of the NH GOP

Photo from the Union Leader

Former NH State Rep. Robert Forsythe was arrested for assault and domestic violence. We learned about the arrest two months later, on August 26. The NH House Minority Leader had this to say:

“Domestic violence and assault are unacceptable and wrong and have no place in our society,” Hinch said. “Rep. Fosythe is the only person who can put pen to paper, and sign a resignation letter. The people of Boscawen have the right to ask him to resign if they believe he can no longer represent them. They also have the ability to vote for alternative candidates, including write-ins, if they believe they no longer want Rep. Forsythe to represent them in Concord. 

This translates as: domestic violence is bad, but we aren't going to ask him to resign. 

Later that same day, the governor released this statement:

“Sexual and domestic violence will not be tolerated in New Hampshire,” Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement. “Robert Forsythe must resign. Immediately."

That didn't even take 24 hours. The very next day, Forsythe resigned. 

On Friday, December 11, we learned that newly sworn in, freshman State Rep. Dawn Johnson was posting material from the neo-nazi website, Daily Stormer, on Facebook and Twitter. It took nearly 4 days for Governor Sununu to rouse himself long enough to make a statement:

 “Regardless of political party, we must condemn anti-Semitism and racism in all forms. These comments are repugnant and appalling,” Sununu said.

Note - he didn't even bring up resignation. It seems that sexual and domestic violence will not be tolerated in NH, but anti-Semitism and racism will. The second thing I notice is the sad attempt at both siderism. "Regardless of political party," is a big, steaming pantload, considering that the neo-nazi call is coming from inside his House. 

Representative Johnson has been quite clear that she has no intention of resigning. She's being represented by newly minted State Rep. Norm Silber, who was just sworn in for his second freshman term in the legislature. 

Let's take a brief side trip into the land of Silber. In 2017, during his first freshman term in the legislature,  he thought it was very amusing to try to defend Brett "kegstand" Kavanaugh from accusations of sexual assault by comparing his actions to playing spin-the-bottle. I wrote about Silber's rudeness to a voter in 2017; Silber Service, Tarnished. In addition to defending his neo-nazi colleague, he's also questioned Dick Hinch's autopsy report. Naturally, Silber and Johnson are both maskholes. 

Getting back to Silber's defense of his neo-nazi colleague -  in a letter to the Laconia Daily Sun, Silber offered up this excuse for Johnson's actions:

The internet can be a very dangerous place for adults as well as children. Just as it is easy for children to be lured into illicit sexual encounters or worse through the internet, so can adults inadvertently fall into terrible situations far beyond their intentions through the internet and email.

How many times have you mistakenly hit the “reply all” key in an email when you only wanted to respond to a single individual? How many times have you inadvertently clicked on a link, thinking it would lead you to one thing when it turned out to be quite different? How many times have we seen posts of fake photos that have been created or altered electronically solely to embarrass someone?

Dawn’s present situation is the second example of someone I know from the Lakes Region who posted or forwarded an internet link to a story that they thought in good faith was legitimate but that turned out to be of an anti-Semitic or racist origin. But I know that neither of those women are anti-Semites, racists, or haters.

That's a big helping of word salad with a side of florid dressing. It's also a bunch of hooey. No one finds themselves at the Daily Stormer by accident. A simple Google search doesn't take you there. As I discovered, you have to know where you're going, or do a deeper search.  

Johnson  posted a conspiracy theory from a neo-nazi website. That theory came with anti-Semitic and racist cartoons.  Silber is focusing on what the media has focused on, the source of the material. Johnson has "apologized" for the source. She has never tried to disavow the content. 

Roger Carroll of the Laconia Sun is the only reporter in the state who acknowledges this: 

Johnson apologized on her Facebook page for the source of the message – the Daily Stormer – but it was not clear that she disavowed the content of the post.

Be sure to read his story - it describes the material that Johnson posted, in great detail. 

Johnson has deleted her Facebook and Twitter accounts. I'm betting she's still plenty busy on Parler. 

To summarize, Johnson isn't going to resign. The Governor, who had no tolerance for domestic violence, has plenty of tolerance for neo-nazis. He's not going to call for her to resign. And when you come right down to it, how can he? This is what the Republican Party is now. These are his people. 

It's up to the rest of us to make them eat this, every single day for the next 2 years. 

A Tutorial for the NH Media on the Meaning of the Word Apology

This was October. Apparently a place opened up in the NH legislature. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

A Tutorial for the NH Media on the Meaning of the Word Apology

 Let us begin with a definition, paying particular attention to #1: 

Webster's defines an apology as an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret. Hold that thought, we'll be coming back to it. 

On December 11, we learned that newly sworn in Republican State Representative Dawn Johnson from Laconia had posted an anti-Semitic theory (complete with pictures) on social media. The material she posted came from the Daily Stormer, a white nationalist/neo-nazi website. Rep. Johnson posted on Twitter, and tried to post on Facebook but her post was blocked, which she complained about on Facebook. (Johnson has since closed her mainstream social media accounts.) 

William Tucker, aka Miscellany Blue saw Johnson posting material from the Daily Stormer, and tweeted about it. NH is a small state, and the story spread quickly on social media. People began calling for her resignation. She's also on the school board in Laconia, which generated even more outrage. 

The story was covered by Their story was picked up by Concord Patch and the Laconia Daily Sun. This was the headline:

From the InDepth story:

"In an apology posted to her social media accounts, Johnson apologized for sharing an article from the Neo-Nazi website, saying she was unaware of the source of the article.

“I have removed the report as it came from a source I do not agree with and thanks to a couple of people who showed me,” Johnson wrote."

The Union Leader  had a few paragraphs about the story in the State House Dome column, with the heading "New rep sorry."

From the UL story: 

“I want to apologize for a post I did the other day. I have removed the report as it came from a source I do not agree with and thanks to a couple of people (who) showed me,” Johnson wrote.

”I apologize again and will in the future look at the source closer before sharing content. God Bless and Happy Friday!”

As we learned above, an apology is an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret.

Rep. Johnson expresses regret for posting "from a source she does not agree with." She does not, however, express regret for the CONTENT of what she posted.  This is not an apology. It's a weasely attempt at ass covering. 

Johnson got caught posting anti-semitic garbage from the Daily Stormer. (During Hanukkah!) She didn't accidentally fall on her keyboard, click on the Daily Stormer site and repost their material by accident. She went to that site on purpose, and reposted material that she agrees with. 

There is no way for her to apologize for that. What can she say, "Sorry I'm an anti-Semite, but I'll try to do better?" Instead, she made up a lame excuse, and the NH media was all too eager to accept it as an apology. Why? 

Because reporting it for what it is might upset people. Republican people, especially, and the NH media is always afraid to do that. 

The NHGOP Twitter account has been silent since December 11. So has the Twitter account of Governor Sununu. 

The NH Republicans want this to go away, so that they don't have to ask for her resignation. They'd rather keep a known white supremacist in the legislature than lose the seat, even when they have a 26 seat majority. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

The Branch Covidians of NH


Part Two is so that you can see the date stamp:

Then Chris Maidment made sure to let us know who is behind all of this:

For anyone who has been wondering about these groups, we see now that they're pretty much one in the same. 

Former State Rep. Joe Hoell attempted snark:

That tweet had a pretty short half life in light of today's revelation:

It sure would be sad if some of the infected were at the Covid Policy Summit. 

This would all be more amusing if December 2 weren't Organization Day for NH legislators. The NH GOP had no intention of letting the Democrats know anything about this super spreader event. They found out because the story was in the media. 

House Minority Leader Hinch is quite pissy about having been caught out.  NHPR

"In a statement, House Republican Leader Dick Hinch said he would not share details on the cases, including the number of lawmakers who tested positive, because “we’re dealing with private and personal health information.”


"He said Republican House leadership is working with state health officials to notify people who may have been exposed to the virus. As for Wednesday’s scheduled Organization Day, Hinch said, “we have a very small number of people affected and we have no reason to believe that the folks who tested positive will attempt to attend the event.”

Then there was this:

“We are less than 24 hours from Organization Day and the Republican Leadership in the House purposefully neglected to tell the Speaker’s office or their Democratic colleagues of an outbreak within their caucus,” Shurtleff said in a statement. “We were with Republican Leadership just yesterday for Organization Day and the COVID-19 outbreak was not mentioned to anyone.”

That translates as, "NO, we aren't going to tell you how many were infected, or who they are. We don't think they'll show up for Organization Day - but they might. And no, we weren't planning to tell anyone about it." 

Shouldn't everyone who was there be self quarantining for 14 days? That would, by the way, include Dick Hinch, who was at the event. An elderly, unmasked man, at a super spreader event. Can I be the one to shove the swab up his nose? 

One further note from the anus brigade: 

AFP-NH Koch mouthpiece Greg Moore would like to encourage all the sick reps to attend Organization Day. 

There are days, and today is definitely one of them, when I ask myself, what the fuck is wrong with these people? 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Governor Sununu Endorsed a Secessionist!


This is Carla Gericke, who is running for the New Hampshire State Senate, with Governor Sununu. 

This is Carla's job. She's the President of the Foundation for NH Independence, an organization dedicated to secession. Before that, she was the president of the Free State Project, a group whose stated mission is to take over and dismantle the NH state government, then threaten secession. 

You may be seeing a pattern... 

This is Carla on April 18 in front of the NH State House, posing with some Boogalooers who are part of the New England Minutemen militia. (Photo by @granitepolitics

On April 18, a group called Reopen NH had a rally to protest Governor Sununu's handling of the pandemic. 

As you can see in this photo, Carla is a part of the "Tyranny Response Team." The tyrant in question? Governor Sununu. 

 One would think that the governor endorsing a secessionist would be a big, honking news story, especially a secessionist who has called him a tyrant!  

One would be wrong. 

The incurious NH media continues to tenderly protect and cosset our governor.  

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Why Do You Keep Lying To Us, Bill Gardner?


This was one of the first tweets I saw this morning when I logged in to Twitter. Once again, our Secretary of State proclaiming that "NH is the easiest state in the country to vote in." 

He says it all the time. 

Bill Gardner is the NH Secretary of State. He has access to all kinds of information about voting in NH and the rest of the country. He has access to far more information than a humble blogger like me has. 

Yet, despite my lack of access, I know, by doing a simple Google search, that NH is NOT the easiest state to vote in. It's not even in the top 10 of the easiest states to vote in. 

This map is from a comprehensive voter guide put together by Molly Olmstead and Mark Joseph Stern for Slate. As you can see, NH is considered "moderately difficult," not "easiest state to vote in." 

2018 study done by Northern Illinois University found that the 10 easiest states to vote in were:
  1. Oregon 
  2. Colorado 
  3. California 
  4. North Dakota 
  5. Iowa 
  6. Maine
  7. Utah 
  8. Massachusetts 
  9. Maryland 
  10. New Jersey

    Read more here:

I don't see New Hampshire in there either. I do, however, see Oregon at the top of the list. 

If I know this, so does Bill Gardner. That's why I'm asking why he's lying. And I'm asking the incurious NH media, who all operate on a GOP default setting, why they don't ever ask him about this. Why isn't anyone else asking him why he's lying to us?