Thursday, June 27, 2013

Legislators, Guns, and Money

Another deadline has been met and another state budget has been passed. The final session of the year for the NH House was jam packed with theater, debate, obstructionism, and oratory that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The job of the House was to vote on whether or not to adopt the reports from the various Committees of Conference (CoC).

All three budgets were passed, HB 1 – the main budget, HB 2 – the budget trailer, and SB 25 – the capital budget. All passed by wide margins, with a modicum of posturing. The best comic relief of the day came when former Speaker William O’Brien made a floor speech claiming that the budget they’d just passed was the result of his hard work – his legacy. It was, he said, “An O’Brien budget.” The former speaker refused a committee assignment this year. Apparently after being the king, he was reluctant to mix it up with the peasants on a committee. That means he did nothing all year but vote on session days, and hold press conferences. The hardest work he did all year was during the final session when he asked for 2 roll call votes. After his delusional speech, someone moved that his remarks be put in the permanent record. It was roundly voted down. It is fascinating to watch someone walk through the world unencumbered by fact or logic; yet so egotistical as to think that running for Congress should be his next move.

HB 242, a bill dealing with child safety restraints was hotly contested. The Liberty crowd hated this one. How dare anyone tell them how to take care of their children? Nothing says freedumb like dead kids in a car accident.

HB 573, the watered down compromise version of the original therapeutic cannabis bill passed on a division vote of 284-66. The bill is a disappointment to all advocates for medical marijuana, but the hope is that this will be a step toward better policy.

HB 595, the voter ID bill compromise also passed, after a lot of posturing from the Liberty crowd. In the compromise, current NH student ID is deemed an acceptable form of identification for voting purposes. The (unfunded) mandate for cameras and scanners is kicked down the road till 2015, just in time to gum up the first in the nation primary. One legislator told me all about the need to safeguard our elections, because of all the voter fraud he’s seen. None of it ever seemed to be caught on camera, video, or reported to the police. I asked him if he really believed that our elections are highjacked by busloads of people from Massachusetts, he said yes. I asked how (if that were the case) he explains the Senate? Or why the Democrats don’t run everything always, he had no answer.

Everything passed. It was a long, hot day in the House, and toward the end, tempers were a little frayed over the continual calls for roll call votes. Many seemed to think that 14 of ‘em were plenty.

We have a budget, but it doesn’t increase revenue. A story in yesterday’s Concord Monitor warns that the widening of I-93 will run out of funding by 2015. There’s no money to continue. There’s no money to fix our roads and bridges. There are still 3 bridges around the state that can’t be used at all. Some funds have been restored to our university system and our community colleges, but NH still needs to make the decision to invest in the future, instead of clinging to the failed policies of the past.

On June 18, the traveling bus tour of Mayors Against Illegal Guns came to Concord. Local gun safety advocates procured a permit to have a peaceful memorial vigil on the State House Plaza. The names of the 6000+ who have been killed by guns since the Sandy Hook school massacre were going to be read throughout the day. This event horrified the NH NRA group, who sent out emails to inflame their followers. A Facebook event page was created, and a number of the Libertea faction of the state legislature signed on as being quite excited to stage a counter-protest to this peaceful memorial vigil. Disgraced former NHGOP chair Jack Kimball was hard at work ginning up the basest of the GOP base. They were successful.

When I arrived at the event at 5 pm, the peaceful, unarmed citizens who were conducting a solemn memorial were surrounded by about 60 armed thugs who were screaming anti-Semitic slurs, racist slurs, anti-woman slurs, and bellowing into a bullhorn. They were threatening people. One bellicose thug threatened me, because I had a camera and I was taking crowd shots. He later tore a sign out of another woman’s hands and went for her camera. Another decided that the best way to illustrate responsible gun ownership was to get right up in the face of John Cantin, as he spoke about his daughter’s murder in 2009. Daniel Musso heckled and harassed John Cantin. He was eventually led off by the police, fought with them, and was tased.

WMUR presented a very slanted story that night on the news, a story that has come to be accepted as the truth. I was there at the same time the WMUR reporter was. He did an interview with Jack Kimball, he spoke to some of the gun thugs, but he never spoke to anyone outside of the gun nut crowd. The story was edited into being one lone heckler who was brutalized by the police. What they don’t tell you is what the police walked into – an armed gang of bullies spoiling for a fight. It was very nearly a riot. The only NH traditional media that reported the truth was the Concord Monitor. Everyone else has worked hard to turn the story into ANYTHING other than a gang of out of control, armed bullies attacking unarmed NH citizens.

After seeing all this, I can only conclude that these angry men oppose background checks because they would be unable pass them. Also: this is why we call them “gun nuts.” The guy who threatened me was furious at the idea of his picture being taken. I also conclude (as usual) that the default setting for most NH media is GOP. The slanted WMUR report created a lie that was then picked up by media all over the world. NH residents deserve to get the real story, not coverage that’s been sanitized for GOP protection.


“Republicans want to deregulate everything except voting and vaginas.” susanthe, via Twitter.

© 2013 sbruce  Published as a biweekly column in the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.

It's Okay With Me if Rep. Kyle Tasker Doesn't Vote

Last week, I wrote about NH State Rep. Kyle Tasker. Rep. Tasker was in some hot water for posting a racist video on his Facebook page. I chimed in, helpfully, with a look at his voting record in the House this past session. Not only had Tasker missed a number of votes, he hadn't voted on a single roll call vote in the House since April 3. Now, it's possible he was there and voted in voice votes or division votes, but that begs the question....why?

Yesterday, Kyle Tasker was present and accounted for at the beginning of the House session. The first roll call vote was on SB 48, relative to school performance and accountability. He voted no. The next roll call was SB 148, an act relative to electric renewable energy standards and relative to group and individual health insurance market rules.

Humph, you say - what the hell kind of bill is that? It's a mutant bill, caused by the Senate's refusal to regulate the ACA in NH in any way. Some of our state senators are under the impression that if they stomp their expensively shod little feet long and hard enough, we won't have "Obamacare." The fact that it is the law hasn't yet become clear to them.

In any case, Kyle was there to vote no on SB148. The next roll call vote was on a motion made by gubernatorial aspirant George Lambert, to reconsider the voice vote made on SB 135. (relative to the practice of genetic counseling. Tasker voted yea on the motion to reconsider, but it failed. Next up in the land of roll call was HB-1, the budget bill. Tasker voted yes on passing the budget. HB-1 was followed by HB-2, the budget trailer bill. (the bill that makes appropriations and deals with revenue.)
Tasker didn't vote. He didn't vote on HB 124, either, a bill concerning disability retirement insurance.

Then along came HB 247, relative to child passenger restraint requirements. This was a hotly contested bill, with the libertea faction objecting strenuously to the idea of the gummint regulating their kids. The safety of children should be up to their parents. After all, nothing says freedumb like a dead kid in a car crash. He voted against it, of course. This was followed by SB295, a bill that would mandate background checks for volunteers and employees of summer youth skill camps. Kyle voted nay on that.

And then he disappeared.

He didn't vote on HB 472, the rooming house bill. He didn't vote on HB 573, the medical marijuana bill. He didn't vote on HB 595, the voter ID bill. He didn't vote on HB 664, HR11, or SCR1.

Out of 14 roll call votes, Tasker voted 7 times. There were voice votes and division votes that he may well have participated in. I saw him twice so I know he was there for much of the session.

So, why? Why would you show up and not vote?

It's okay with me if he doesn't vote. One less freedumb/libertea wingnut in the mix works just fine for me - but the voters of Rockingham District 2 may feel otherwise.

WGBH 16th Annual Muzzle Awards

WGBH in Boston announced the winners of their 16th annual "Muzzle" Award. They honor those folks who have done their best to thwart freedom of the press.

This year, northern New England had two winners!

Maine Governor Paul LePage gets his third "Muzzle" since he took office. (This is his third year in office).

Editors at the Bangor Daily News must have known their request for public documents about concealed-gun permits last February would be controversial. After all, The Journal News of White Plains, NY, had already set off a firestorm by publishing an interactive map of gun owners on its website.
But the reaction to the BDN was so intense that it called into question the very nature of “public” records. State legislators, especially Republicans, denounced the newspaper. A “Boycott Bangor Daily News Don’t [sic] Tread on Us” page popped up on Facebook.
The BDN was clear that they had no intention of publishing personal information about gun owners.  
LePage recently secured his 4th Muzzle when he announced he'd no longer speak to 3 of the state's largest newspapers
And speaking of petty tyrants, New Hampshire was also an award winner.  Disgraced Former Speaker of the NH House Bill O'Brien won his "Muzzle" for the day he refused to admit Concord Monitor reporter Annmarie Timmins into a press conference, because he was miffed about a cartoon that had appeared in the paper. Annmarie didn't draw the cartoon - but the petty tyrant took his miffage out on her. 
William O’Brien is not one to brook much in the way of back talk. When a protest broke out in the House gallery during a budget hearing in the spring of 2011, he ordered state police to kick everyone out.
A year later, a fellow Republican legislator became so upset with what he saw as O’Brien’s attempts to silence him that he directed a toxic remark at the Speaker: “Seig Heil.” The legislator was ejected from the chamber and forced to apologize.
The cartoon was the direct result of the "Seig Heil" incident. 
This is one award richly deserved by the former speaker, a little Napoleon who attempted to rule the State House as if it were his own personal fiefdom. 
I sat in the House yesterday in wonder, as O'Brien made a floor speech telling his colleagues that the budget they'd just passed was the result of all of his hard work. Plain old Rep. O'Brien refused a committee assignment this session, because - well - after being royalty, mixing it up with the peasants was too dreadful to even contemplate. O'Brien did no work on the budget - or anything else. He showed up on Wednesdays to vote. The hardest work he did all year was yesterday, when he asked for two roll call votes. Yet, he gave himself a big old pat on the back, and informed his colleagues that this new budget was "his legacy." 
As repellent as I find him, I do marvel at O'Brien's ability to walk through the world unencumbered by facts or logic. 
Our very own NH award winner is running for Congress.  Pass the popcorn! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hynes 58th Flavor: Screaming Nutcase

This is a link to the website for Hynes Communication. Here's a quote from company president Patrick Hynes:

Here's one from co-founder, Paul Young:

Patrick Hynes wants us to know that he's a big deal in the GOP:

Patrick is also a well-known political operative. He currently operates as an advisor to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.  He also served on many national campaigns including former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC and Senator John McCain’s 2008 campaign for president. Patrick’s other clients include Fortune 500 firms and many of the largest industry associations in Washington, D.C.

All this sounds mighty impressive, doesn't it? If only Pat Hynes didn't lead a double life on Twitter.
Mr My Clients come from Fortune 500 companies seems to have a lot of time on his hands.

More time than he can fill with his vanity publication, NH Journal:

NH Journal is an online news publication that covers a variety of news through a blend of aggregation, original reporting, wire feeds, user generated content and social media aggregation. We cover national, state and local news, from sports to politics to entertainment and everything in between.

In other words - they make it up. Most of their stories are written by "Staff Reporter." He's a busy guy. 

To fill his time, Pat creates fake twitter accounts attempting to mock some NH Democrats:

Kathy Sullivan was the NH Democratic Party chair for a number of years. One of  Fake Kathy's followers is

Silly Goose Ray B - another fake twitter account. One of Silly Goose's followers:

Mr. Big Ego wasn't smart enough to leave himself out of the whole mix. Earlier this year he had a "Beclowned Ray" twitter account. The giveaway was that he was using the word "beclowned" in many of his tweets, AND "Beclowned Ray" "followed" Pat J Hynes. 

I sure do hope Pat isn't sitting by the phone waiting for Mensa to call. 

Pat likes to tweet out nonsense at a variety of people. I'm sometimes one of them. I wont be bullied by Mr. Advisor to Pawlenty, and it's very upsetting to him. Like any pusher of propaganda, any deviation from his talking points is very upsetting - and it's also obvious that he's not exactly a great intellect.

Today, Pat's Fortune 500 clients must all have the day off. Rand Paul hasn't signed him on as an advisor for his presidential run. No one has. Poor Pat had a LOT of time on his hands today.

His first tweet at me:

My response:

It was right at this point that Mr. Important GOP Guy came unglued:

That was the only time I ever referenced families. I never said a word about his.

  Handy, because I didn't ever apologize to him. I never said anything about his family. He's raving.

That last one is my favorite. Works without fingerprints? Yeah, we saw proof of that with the fake twitter accounts. Slick as all get out. 

Now, here's my question - seriously - who hires this guy? Who would work with him or for him? Why would anyone want to be professionally affiliated with this shrieking twit? 

Do his Fortune 500 clients follow him on Twitter? 

He purports to be an expert in using social media - does he use his own Twitter account as an example for perspective clients?? Is this how they achieve such a high retention rate? 

Finally - why would anyone take this clown seriously? 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Alcoa Stock Value Plunges in the Wake of Stellaaaaah's!!!! Resignation

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Stella's Swan Song Sung Amidst GOP Fauxtrage

Oh, say it ain't so:

Stella Tremblay is a NH State Representative, and a member of the NH Republican Party. She's claimed since the bombings of the Boston Marathon that it was a "false flag" operation, engineered by the US government - and that the people who were injured that day were all actors.

NH GOP Chair Jennifer (tax cheat) Horn is supposed to have read Stella the riot act to get her to shut up. She was denounced by her colleagues and the NH House made a very public resolution stating that they didn't believe any such thing. There was some NH media coverage. Mostly though, the NH GOP and their media lapdogs just wanted it to go away.

Stella didn't shut up, which was reported on by NH indy media sources, and by HuffPo. Her latest outburst was covered yesterday, by me, by HuffPo - and ignored by NH tradmed.

Suddenly, today, Stella is resigning. Here's where the irony comes in. At the same time Stella is resigning because of her comments about the bombings in Boston, the NH media is attempting to cover up the violent behavior of gun thugs at an anti-violence rally, by suggesting that they were inflamed by the reading of Tamerlain Tsarnev's name. The Union Leader and WMUR are flogging that story hard.

This was a near-riot incited in part by some New Hampshire legislators. JR Hoell was there - he's the taller man with the blue shirt, keeping his distance from the bully boys.

And after doing his bit to incite the angry mob, he slithered off. Gary Hopper, another inciter, was there briefly, and slunk off. 

Rep. John Burt was another of the legislators who helped incite this near riot. 

That's Rep. Burt in the red tie. To his credit, he didn't slink off. He stayed for most of it. As the mob shouted at ministers, bellowed anti-Semitic slurs, yelled racist comments, and bellowed about women, Rep. Burt and I discussed what was going on. I told him that it was ugly - that this was the equivalent of the Phelps clan picketing a military funeral, and that this mob was way out of control. He agreed with me. 

That this story of this gun thug melee is being reported so dishonestly should enrage every thinking person. And with that in mind, I hope you'll forgive me if I remain unimpressed by the faux outrage emanating from the Party of Stella Tremblay. 

as always, admiring h/t to Tuck at Miscellany Blue

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Names on a List: Sociopath Heckling Women - Another Story WMUR Won't Tell

This guy was one of the loudest and most persistent hecklers. As the vigil was winding down, he decided that the way to illustrate responsible gun ownership was by getting in the faces of women older than he, and screaming at them. None of his fellow gun nuts attempted to calm him down, far from it. You can hear the guy with the bullhorn egging him on in the background. This kind of behavior is why people call guys like this "gun nuts."

The corporate owned, conservative, GOP bootlicking NH media isn't showing you this side of the story.

Shame On You, WMUR

As anyone who was at the Gun Nut Melee yesterday is aware, WMUR's coverage was pure, slanted, bunkum. Adam Sexton and I were both there at the same time - so presumably we saw the same things. Yet, for reasons unknown, his report was slanted to sound as if that one guy who was arrested was the only heckler.

He was not. 

This is Adam Sexton in the gray suit, showing what I presume are pictures of his adorable baby to a guy in a gray tee shirt and a hat. Gray Tee Shirt was a loud, and persistent heckler, throughout the entire event. 

There was no mention in the WMUR story of the anti-Semitic slurs shouted about Mayor Bloomberg. No mention of the crowd yelling Ayotte, Ayotte, Ayotte as an intoxicated gun nut attacked a man whose daughter was murdered as he spoke to the crowd. No mention of the crowd attempting to shout down a minister. 

In this picture we also see disgraced former NHGOP Chair Jack Kimball, who Sexton chose to give airtime to, rather than present the reality of the angry mob of gun nuts who were threatening, harassing, and in some cases assaulting the people who were there to participate in a peaceful vigil honoring victims of gun violence. Sexton didn't bother speaking to any of the people there to participate in the vigil. He kept far away from them, choosing only to speak to members of the angry, disruptive, and violent mob. 

This report was irresponsible and dishonest. Shame on you, WMUR. 

I've long said that WMUR is the TV equivalent of the Union Leader. It's a shame they feel compelled to keep on proving me right. 

Contact info for WMUR:

WMUR-TV Broadcast Center 
100 South Commercial Street 
Manchester, NH 03101 
(603) 669-9999 
FAX: (603) 641-9005 


This is is a video of the man who was eventually arrested at the No More Names gun violence event yesterday in Concord. The man who is speaking is John Cantin, a NH man whose daughter was shot and killed by her estranged husband in 2009. The man in the red shirt is the one who was arrested.

The gun crowd often tells us we must respect their gun rights. The video is pretty clear on how much respect they have the rights of those who don't share their views.

Senator Ayotte is cheered on by her supporters, as they heckle and harass unarmed, non-violent individuals, attempting to have a peaceful vigil. The man who was arrested is chanting her name as he badgers the father of a murder victim.

These are your people, Senator Ayotte. You should be so proud.

She's Back....Stellaaaaaaaaaah!!!

NH State Rep. Stella Tremblay achieved global fame when she called the Boston marathon bombings a terrorist attack by the US government. Many of her fellow Republicans were horrified by her suggestions that those were actors, not injured people. NH GOP Chair Jennifer Horn denounced her comments AND told her to shut up. Stellaaaaaaaah!! kept on talking. Then she issued a fauxpology if anyone was offended.

Finally she stopped. She avoided the State House for weeks. She wasn't present the day the House issued a resolution stating that they did not share her views.

In recent weeks she's been back in committee, back in House sessions. And now, she's REALLY back, all the way back. Oh, Stella -  how I've missed you!

Today Stella sent this email out to all members of the NH House and Senate:

From: Tremblay, Stella
Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 8:29 AM
To: ~All Representatives
Cc: ~Senators
Subject: Follow up Reports
This is the link sent to me that started me questioning the Boston Marathon Bombings.  Is there a possibility that this man may be telling the truth?   Lt. Col Potter:   Boston Marathon Bombings   Crisis Actors helping the military  CNN   Look logically at these videos.   Ruslan Tsarni  (Uncle of Boston Bombers)’CIA Connections and Graham Fuller
Have you seen ANY main stream media doing a follow up on these stories?   I have not.   I just connect the dots.  Apparently, it is very dangerous to seek truth, or ask questions.


You have to hand it to her. She's completely undaunted by the derision heaped upon her by members of her own political party. She was mocked by people around the world - and she is undeterred in her quest to prove that wearers of tinfoil are correct, and the US government blew up the Boston Marathon. 

Coincidence? I think not:

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Gun Crowd Goes Beserk

The No More Names bus tour, organized by Mayors against Gun Violence stopped in Concord today. There were people on hand (including Quakers and members of the clergy) to read the names of all those who have been killed by gun violence since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The scaredy gun crowd showed up and made a big, ugly spectacle of themselves. They were a mob of angry white men, shouting at ministers, shouting at anyone who wasn't one of them. One particularly charming fellow threatened to shove my camera up my ass. There's only one amendment in their Constitution, and it's not the same one that I'm a dedicated practitioner of.

I told him I was a member of the media, and he said he didn't give a shit if I was the Pope. Then he bellowed "You can't be the Pope - you don't have a dick!" I said, "I guess that means I can't be you, either." He decided that was the end of our witty banter.

I chatted with a heckler for a while. I asked him if he didn't think it was rude to shout at people. He said that it usually was, but that they weren't answering him. He wanted to talk to them, he said. I pointed out that screaming at people might not be the best way to begin a respectful dialogue. He was stymied. He really didn't know what to say to me. All these people have to say is GUNS! SECOND AMENDMENT! FREEDUMB! DON'T TAKE MY GUNS AWAY!

One heckler screamed "My mother was raped because she didn't have a gun." That pretty much absolves the rapist of any responsibility. Another shouted at the person reading names, "Why don't you kill yourself?" Another shouted, "You're reading names on a list - it doesn't mean anything."

A man was arrested after attacking John Cantin, whose daughter was murdered in Manchester in 2009.

When the police came, a lot of the gun crowd skittered away like cockroaches. They got their game back though, and began bellowing again. A call must have gone out, because a bunch of guys showed up with big guns and multiple guns. It was a fascinating response from those folks who always insist they are peaceful, law abiding folk. They showed what lies behind the mask today. It's angry, it's white, it's male, and it's ready to attack anyone who dares disagree with it.

This guy with the gold emblem on his shirt came very, very close to assaulting Mo Baxley.

As the names of the dead were read, the gun crowd shouted "Shame on you."

Shame on us, NH.

Time For Voters to Take Kyle to

(A look at Rep. Tasker in action, testifying before a House committee. Marvel at how well prepared he is as the lead sponsor for a bill to decriminalize marijuana.)

NH State Rep. Kyle Tasker was first elected in 2010, when the noxious red tide swept our state, and the NH GOP ceded control of their party to the Bircher, Bagger, Free Stater faction. Tasker represents Rockingham County District 2: the towns of Candia, Deerfield, and Nottingham.

Young Mr. Tasker set himself apart from the pack very quickly. In 2011 he got into some trouble for some comments he made on a Facebook page:

Tasker questioned whether police should have any more right than a law-abiding individual to point a gun at someone.
“When a police officer points his firearm that’s not gonna make me feel threatened? If I’ve been trained to respond to that with force am I justified in blowing a cop away because I’m quicker on the draw, and he already pointed his firearm at me?” Tasker posted.
“Police are just citizens with badges and all laws should apply equally.”
Within an hour of the leak, Tasker issued a statement explaining himself.
“A number of people, as part of an intellectual discussion on SB 88 raised hypothetical questions on how this law would be interpreted,” Tasker wrote.
“I used one example that involved police to try to make a point and get a greater understanding of how the changes proposed in SB 88 would affect state law. In no way do I endorse shooting of police officers or anything but following the lawful orders of the police and to suggest otherwise is a clear misinterpretation of my intent.”

Anyone who believes that Kyle Tasker was part of an intellectual discussion has never met Kyle Tasker. 

In the second year of his term, Rep. Tasker went on to distinguish himself even further; this time making national news:

A Republican member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives who once posted a comment on Facebook about shooting at police officers accidentally dropped one of his guns on the floor at the start of a committee meeting Tuesday morning. State Rep. Kyle Tasker (R-Nottingham) explained to onlookers that he had donated blood that morning and the effects caused him to drop his gun at the start of a House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee meeting. The committee was meeting to amend an abortion bill pending in the Legislature. The gun did not fire.State Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord), a member of the committee, said that he was sitting three seats away from Tasker in the committee room when he heard "a clang" and saw that the gun was on the floor. Shurtleff said Tasker routinely wears two guns in a shoulder holster to legislative meetings.

The story I heard from folks who were at the House that day was that Tasker was playing quickdraw out in the hall with buddies, which is why his holster wasn't properly snapped shut. As for me, I wonder how Nottingham has kept their enormous violent crime stats a secret. Clearly Rep. Tasker lives in terrible fear every day - a fear so great that he carries not one but 2 handguns.

Somehow, Rep. Tasker won a second term.

This year, he's distinguished himself anew, as we learn from Miscellany Blue. Tasker posted a video on his FB page by a conservative black commentator who has made a name for himself by bashing black folks. The video led to this exchange with one of his fellow intellectuals, Rep. John Burt:

John A Burt Is this man racist?
Kyle Tasker He thinks black women are the least fit people on earth to rear children.
Kyle Tasker So not really

It's good to see that Rep. Tasker is hale and hearty enough to be posting offensively on Facebook. Given his spotty voting record this session, one might have concluded that he was in ill health. 

The House Republicans have called for an inordinate amount of roll call votes this session. Their strategy was to use those votes on people they want to oust from office. What they didn't appear to think about was that all those votes/nonvotes on the record are fodder for people like me. Thanks, NH GOP!

Rep. Tasker hasn't cast a roll call vote in the NH House since April 3. 

On January 2, there were 5 roll call votes. Tasker didn't participate in one. 
On January 30, there were 8 roll call votes. Tasker didn't vote twice. 
On February 6, there were 5 roll call votes. Tasker didn't vote once. 
On February 13, there were 6 roll call votes. Tasker didn't vote twice. 
On March 6, there were 12 roll call votes. Tasker didn't vote 8 times. 
On March 13, there were 14 roll call votes. Taskwer didn't vote 12 times. 
On March 20, there were 13 roll call votes. Tasker didn't vote 7 times. 
On March 21, there were 16 roll call votes. Tasker didn't vote 7 times. 
On April 3, there were 21 roll call votes. Tasker didn't vote 16 times. 

That was the last time a recorded vote shows up for Representative Tasker. He missed theApril 24, May 8, May 22 (lead sinkers!), May 29, and June 5 voting sessions. On June 5 there were 20 roll call votes. 

Now, I'd be the last person to complain about Kyle Tasker not voting. I wish more of the freedumb and libertea crowd would follow his example. 

The voters of Rockingham District 2 might feel a bit differently. 

To access roll call votes, go to the NH General Court website. On the right side of the page is a section labeled State Legislation Dashboard. Click on the link to voting records. Here you have the option of searching the House or Senate. Click on House 2013, and hit search. The screen that comes up next gives you the House roster. Click on any representative's name, and you will see their voting record on all roll call votes thus far this year. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

The NH Medicaid Expansion Waltz

Today, Beverly Woods and Shana Aisenberg were on hand at the Medicaid expansion rally in front of the LOB, to sing their new, witty and topical song about health care in NH:

There were about 60 people in front of the LOB, ready to welcome legislators heading in to the LOB for the budget committee of conference, where Medicaid expansion will live or die.

Of course, cowardly legislators headed in through other entrances. The group went upstairs, where the hearing room was jammed.

It's the Senate that is all boogered up about expanding Medicaid. This is largely because POLITICS. A number of our state senators are rumored to be thinking about running for higher office. One of them, Chuck Morse, is on the committee. Andy Sanborn is reportedly thinking about a goobernatorial run, and Jeb Bradley is thinking about using his famous charisma in a bid for the US Senate. The NH Senate has done their best to obstruct and undo anything positive the House has done. They may be under the impression this plays well with voters - but that's because they only talk to the Libertea types. 

Chuck Morse announced during this morning's Committee of Conference opening ceremonies that there would be no Medicaid expansion. That's that can-do spirit of bi-partisan cooperation we all know and love. The inmates took over the GOP asylum in 2010. Now everything is a contest, and it's all about winning. The state, and the people who live here aren't even a factor in their calculations. It's just about winning and scoring political points. I've sat behind a bunch of the fratboy libertea brigade during the House sessions this year, and that's what they do. They high five. They giggle, and pass the messages on their phone screens around. They whisper back and forth, and then some will get up and join the mini caucuses going on around the room. It's all about obstruction. It has not a goddam thing to do with what is right for the state. The GOP has a lot to answer for. When they ceded their party to these cretins, they ensured their own doom. 

So, no cigarette tax increase. No gas tax increase. No expanded Medicaid. What's all that mean?

It means hundreds of job losses. The Freedumb crowd wants to liberate hundreds of state employees from their jobs. Why? Because they want the state to run badly. Then they can say: "SEE, GUMMINT BAD." It also means that the 300+ bridges on the state's red list will be joined by more. It means that more people will pretend not to be sick until they have to go to the ER, and the cost of that visit will be more than their poverty can support. It means that NH taxpayers will be subsidizing the expanded Medicaid benefits received by people in states like Arizona. NH gets back $0.67 on each tax dollar we send to Washington. We're a donor state. And rather than get some of it back, our state Senators would just as soon shovel it at the states who want it. 

In the back row, wearing a white shirt is Greg Moore, of Americans for the Prosperous. Sitting next to him is Ashley Pratte, the director of the Cornerstone Policy Institute. Cornerstone claims to be a Judeo-Christian organization that promotes families and family values. That would explain why Ms. Pratte is at this hearing to register her disapproval of expanded Medicaid - her deep concern for families. She's following right along in Jesus' footsteps. 

These people are all loathsome. They're going to do a lot of damage to our state, in the name of scoring political points to appeal to their base. The teabagger, Free State, John Bircher crowd. Ignoranuses. 

Definition of ignoranus :.

  1. 1. (n.) A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun VIolence - Coming to Concord on Tuesday

June 14, 2013

Alex Katz: or 212-788-7617
Stacey Radnor: or 202-870-6668
Lizzie Ulmer: or 269-271-2331



Mayors Against Illegal Guns to Hold “No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence” Rally in Concord on Tuesday, June 18th

           On Tuesday, June 18th, Mayors Against Illegal Guns will hold a rally in Concord, New Hampshire as part of the “No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence” – a 25-state national bus tour over a period of 100 days aimed at urging America’s leaders to support common-sense gun policies. Survivors of gun violence, faith leaders, and local activists will come together to voice their continued support for comprehensive and enforceable background checks, and they will call on Senator Kelly Ayotte to reconsider her vote against these live-saving measures. As part of the rally, participants will also read the names of hundreds of victims of gun violence.

This past April, Senator Ayotte voted to block bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey that would have helped keep guns out of the wrong hands by requiring background checks for commercial gun sales. Recent independent polls have found that that 89 percent of Granite Staters support background checks for all gun sales.  

Every day, 33 Americans are murdered with guns in this country. “No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence” is part of Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ ongoing, national effort to continue raising awareness to the issue of gun violence in America – and most importantly, to urge elected officials to act on behalf of the people they represent.

What:            “No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence” rally urging Senator Kelly Ayotte to support background checks that will help save lives

Who:                        - Judy Stadtman, Co-Founder of Project for Safer Communities NH
- John Cantin, Veteran, Survivor of Gun Violence, Father of Gun Violence Victim
- Revered Stephen R. Silver, First Congregational Church of Lebanon
- Rabbi Robin Nafshi (Will Read Names)
- Reverend Kate Atkinson (Will Read Names)

Where:             City Plaza
107 N. Main Street
Concord, New Hampshire

When:                        Tuesday, June 18th
Rally Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Reading Time: 9:00am-9:00pm

*Judy Stadtman, Reverend Stephen Silver, and John Cantin will be available to speak with media throughout the day. For interview requests in advance and on-site, please contact Stacey Radnor at 202-870-6668.

RSVP: Sean Redding or 847-909-7787

About Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Since its creation in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 members to more than 950 mayors from across the country. We have more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters, making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country.  The bipartisan coalition, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has united the nation’s mayors around these common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns.  Learn more at