Rep Steve Vaillancourt


Hassan Wishes She Were Running Against O'Brien

                As the polls narrow dramatically for governor in New Hampshire—the latest New England College Polls actually out yesterday had a 47-47 tie—Governor Maggie Hassan clearly wishes she were running against former House Speaker Bill O’Brien.

But she’s not.

                Hassan misses few opportunities, whether it be in a debate, on the stump, or on the set of Channel 9, to point out how New Hampshire cannot afford to return the Bill O’Brien days of leading New Hampshire.

                Of course, Hassan isn’t running against Bill O’Brien. 

                She’s running against the avuncular Walt Havenstein (with a friendly demeanor not unlikely another famous Walter, “Uncle” Walt Cronkite). 

                Havenstein, while still down 6.6 points in the Real Clear Politics averages, is coming on like gangbusters.  The fact that Barack Obama is 15.6 points under water in approval in New Hampshire (see below) is certainly part of it, but Havenstein seems to have hit his stride as well.

President Obama Job Approval in New Hampshire

PollDateSampleApprove Disapprove Spread
RCP Average 10/4 - 10/26 -- 40.3 55.9 -15.6
New England College 10/24 - 10/24 1132 LV 46 51 -5
WMUR/UNH 10/22 - 10/26 555 LV 41 56 -15
CNN/Opinion Research 10/18 - 10/21 645 LV 39 57 -18
UMass Lowell/7News 10/15 - 10/21 643 LV 37 60 -23
Suffolk/Boston Herald 10/16 - 10/19 500 LV 40 56 -16
UMass Amherst/WBZ 10/10 - 10/15 322 LV 38 57 -19
High Point/SurveyUSA 10/4 - 10/8 824 LV 41 54 -13

More Polling Data | News

                Personally I’ve gone from leaning toward writing in Andy Hemingway to most likely voting for Havenstein now.  His position, seemingly in support of marijuana decriminalization, is a major reason.  While Hassan remains tied to her Reefer Madness past, Havenstein seems to have evolved considerably on this important issue.

                Faced with running against the highly likable Havenstein, Hassan seems to be confused.           

                She thinks she’s running against O’Brien, and while that play might well have led to a touchdown in 2011, it’s more likely to lead to a pick six this year.

                Hassan should fire whichever advisor keeps whispering in her ear, “Just attack O’Brien”.

                One of the immutable laws of politics, one which Hassan seems intent on violating, is that people have short memories.

                My guess is that 80 to 90 percent of New Hampshire voters don’t even remember who Bill O’Brien is.  Among those who do, he will be re-elected easily in his home district of Mt. Vernon, and by making him such a lightning rod, Hassan is merely setting O’Brien up as a force to be reckoned with when (not if) Republicans take control of the New Hampshire House.

                I’m not saying he will return to the Speaker’s chair (that truly depends on which Republicans get elected next week), but he’ll certainly have bragging rights.  He’ll be able to say that despite being vilified by Maggie Hassan, he and Republicans scored major gains.

                Actually when you get right down to it—and this is something only honest insiders will acknowledge—the budget passed in 2013-14 (and signed by Hassan) was closer to the O’Brien budget of 201-2012 than she will ever admit.  She couldn’t restore all the spending she wanted to because…well because the revenues just weren’t there…especially after the House, including many of her own Democrats, shot down here $90 million revenue source, a single and highly regulated casino.  (While New Hampshire may have netted $90 million, billions would have flown out of state, indeed out of the country, to Millennium, the company which has been trying to sell the Salem casino for almost as long as Manchester Senator Lou D’Allesandro has been pushing it).

                But I digress.

                This bog was supposed to include a print example of Hassan attacking O’Brien rather than Havenstein.

                Here’s paragraph three of a Valley News story dated October 22—

They can re-elect her for a second term or “we can allow my opponent to really pull us backward to the Bill O’Brien era that really devastated our small businesses, our working families, and our economy,” Hassan said.

                Oh really…and I thought that O’Brien’s policies were much more friendly for small businesses than those of Hassan.

                What a strange line of attack by our first term governor…the ball is just hanging out there ready for a pick six.

                Poor Maggie…at the same time she can’t lay a glove on Havenstein, the Concord Monitor, best friend of big tax and spenders everywhere, brings back to life the man who single-handedly nearly destroyed the Democratic party in 2002.  Yes that would be pro income taxer Mark Fernald who lost big to Craig Benson that year, causing Democrats everywhere to hot foot it away as from an income tax plan as a vampire moves away from a cross.

                Fernald has penned on op-ed piece, “Does the state have a revenue problem?  Havenstein says no, but he’s wrong” for the Monitor.

                Being called wrong by income tax advocate Mark Fernald is probably the best gift Havenstein could get as he attempts to pull a stunning upset, the best gift that is unless Hassan insists on lobbing up more pick sixes in the coming week.

Before the week is out, I’ll write in detail and how all but seven Democrats, unable to deal with strong arm tactics of House leader Peter Burling, voted for an income tax.

                Hassan says she would veto an income tax today—don’t they all?—but with Fernald attacking Havenstein, maybe he’s hitting the right chord with new commercials putting the dreaded broad-base tax back in play.

                Stay tuned for the story behind the story of the day Democrats were thrilled by the 194-190 income tax passage.

                As for now, watch out Maggie.  As drivers are warned, objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear.  That’s Uncle Walt Havenstein, not Bill O’Brien, in your rear view mirror.

                Just keep the ever increasingly loathsome Chris Christie out of the state for the final seven days, Uncle Walt, and you’ve got my vote (only a joke).

                Tomorrow night's debate may be worth watching after all, and please Madame Governor, don't try telling us again that your favorite web site is from the Nashua Telegraph.  Since the bean counters there released Kevin Landrigan, the best reproter in the state, to save a few sheckels, there's been very little in that paper worth paying attention to.  Really, Maggie, really, try the Real Clear Politics site.  You too, Uncle Walt (and that's no joke).

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEHassan (D)Havenstein (R)Spread
RCP Average 10/15 - 10/24 -- -- 49.3 42.8 Hassan +6.5
New England College 10/24 - 10/24 1132 LV 2.9 47 47 Tie
ARG 10/19 - 10/22 600 LV 4.0 53 43 Hassan +10
CBS News/NYT/YouGov 10/16 - 10/23 1042 LV 4.0 47 38 Hassan +9
CNN/Opinion Research 10/18 - 10/21 645 LV 4.0 51 45 Hassan +6
UMass Lowell/7News 10/15 - 10/21 643 LV 4.5 49 45 Hassan +4
Suffolk/Boston Herald 10/16 - 10/19 500 LV 4.4 49 39 Hassan +10

All N.H. Governor - Havenstein vs. Hassan Polling Data


Add Two More Senate Seats For Republicans (Now 54-46)

All year, I've stayed with a seven seat net gain for Republicans in the United States Senate. That would mean Republican control by a 52-48 margin come January.

All year that is...until today.

Over the weekend, I decided to add Colorado to the list making it a gain of eight, and today, in the only instance of going against polling data, I'm adding North Carolina back to the list for the ninth seat.

Thus, the nine seats are West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota (there was never any drama in this state; with all due respect, it was a creation of Bloomberg reporters Halperin and Heilemann in a shameful attempt to boost their new show), Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, Iowa, Colorado, and North Carolina.  Note that I didn't say Republicans would have 54 seats as of November 4.

Louisiana--Almost certainly, the Louisiana race won't be decided until December. In fact, with two Republicans in the race, expect incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu to finish first (by four or five points or so in November) but then to lose the runoff by a similar margin.

Georgia-Note too that I'm not saying David Perdue will gain the 50 percent threshold in Georgia in November. There appears to be a good chance that race will require a January 6 run-off; blame it on a Libertarian siphoning off just enough votes to hold Perdue back. Democrats were literally crowing about this race last weekend as Michelle (daughter of Sam) Nunn briefly moved into the lead, but the last three polls show Perdue back ahead. Hmmm...I recall pointing out here last week the danger of Nunn peaking too soon.

Colorado--The reason I had held back on moving Colorado to the GOP column was that in recent years, Democrats have done better on election day than polls indicated. However, Tom "Uterus" Udall is now down in all but one poll. He's run a terrible campaign, appearing virtually incoherent at times (and I'm referring to clips I've heard not on Fox News, but rather on POTUS radio and MSNBC TV). Representative Cory Gardner is ahead by more than three points in the Real Clear Politics average, and most pundits admit that even if there is such a thing as Democratic ground game advantage, it's worth only about two points. The Denver Post has endorsed Gardner, and over the weekend, there was a report that he actually leads among Hispanic voters thus negating the idea that a late surge among Hispanics will save Udall. Colorado is all vote by mail this year (a terrible idea), but there's no reason to believe Democrats are any more adapt at licking stamps than Republicans.

538 gives Gardner a 78 percent chance of winning (I double checked and that's not a typo--78%); Pollster a 62 percent chance.   All my predictions are based on what is most likely to happen, what I like to call a "gun to your head" prediction; in other words, you did if you're wrong. I can't imagine even a partisan Democrat picking Udall in a "gun to your head" prediction here...although former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown seemed to do just that on the aforementioned Bloomberg show last night. He must not value his life as much as I do.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEGardner (R)Udall (D)Spread
RCP Average 10/13 - 10/23 -- -- 47.0 43.7 Gardner +3.3
Rasmussen Reports 10/21 - 10/23 966 LV 3.0 51 45 Gardner +6
NBC News/Marist 10/18 - 10/22 755 LV 3.6 46 45 Gardner +1
CBS News/NYT/YouGov 10/16 - 10/23 1611 LV 4.0 46 47 Udall +1
USA Today/Suffolk* 10/18 - 10/21 500 LV 4.4 46 39 Gardner +7
Quinnipiac* 10/15 - 10/21 974 LV 3.1 46 41 Gardner +5
PPP (D) 10/16 - 10/19 778 LV 3.5 47 44 Gardner +3
Reuters/Ipsos 10/13 - 10/20 1099 LV 3.4 47 45 Gardner +2

All Colorado Senate - Gardner vs. Udall Polling Data

North Carolina--I am much less confident in flipping North Carolina back to Republicans, but all the momentum seems to be with Thom Tillis; he still trails by one point in the RCP average, but note that a Libertarian candidate is siphoning off five percent. I fully expect that number to be down by election day with Tillis the beneficiary. Note the RCP story (link below) which stresses that Democrats will need the ground game to save incumbent Kay Hagan. Of course it could happen, but until I see proof, I am not willing to believe a massive get out the vote effort will succeed to any degree an off-year election. Thus, with the gun against my temple, I'm going with Tillis...although Pollster has Hagan at a 58 percent chance of winning  and 538 has her at 69 percent.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEHagan (D)Tillis (R)Haugh (L) Spread
RCP Average 10/15 - 10/25 -- -- 43.6 42.6 5.0 Hagan +1.0
High Point/SurveyUSA 10/21 - 10/25 802 LV 3.5 44 44 5 Tie
NBC News/Marist 10/19 - 10/23 756 LV 3.6 43 43 7 Tie
CBS News/NYT/YouGov 10/16 - 10/23 1910 LV 4.0 44 41 2 Hagan +3
PPP (D) 10/16 - 10/18 780 LV 3.5 46 43 5 Hagan +3
Civitas (R) 10/15 - 10/18 600 RV 4.0 41 42 6 Tillis +1

All N.C. Senate - Tillis vs. Hagan vs. Haugh Polling Data

Kansas—This looks like another case of peaking too soon for Independent Greg Orman. His ten point lead is all but gone, and I would be surprised if Pat Roberts doesn't hold on. I actually watched a debate between Orman and Roberts. For the first half hour, all I could think of was--what's with Orman’s accent--he sounded a bit like Jack Nicholson in Batman intoning, "What till they get a load of me!" HuffPost can attack me not only for calling one candidate "ugly as sin" but the accent of another, but rest assured, I mentioned the accent to others, and they agreed with me...or I wouldn't mention it here.  The accent is a bit off-putting, and Roberts seemed sharper than Orman in the debate.  538 now has the race at dead even; Pollster gives Roberts a 52 percent chance at holding on.

Iowa worries me a bit as Bruce The Anti-Lawyer Braley appears to closing the gap of Joni The Hog Castrator Ernst. That could well be the closest margin of them all, but time is running out, so I'm sticking with Ernst. 538 has Ernst with a 64 percent chance, Pollster only 55 percent.


Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEErnst (R)Braley (D)Spread
RCP Average 10/3 - 10/24 -- -- 46.7 45.0 Ernst +1.7
Loras College 10/21 - 10/24 1121 LV 2.9 44 45 Braley +1
NBC News/Marist 10/18 - 10/22 772 LV 3.5 49 46 Ernst +3
CBS News/NYT/YouGov 10/16 - 10/23 2322 LV 3.0 44 44 Tie
Quinnipiac 10/15 - 10/21 964 LV 3.2 48 46 Ernst +2
USA Today/Suffolk* 10/11 - 10/14 500 LV 4.4 47 43 Ernst +4
Rasmussen Reports 10/8 - 10/10 957 LV 3.0 48 45 Ernst +3
Des Moines Register/Bloomberg 10/3 - 10/8 1000 LV 3.1 47 46 Ernst +1

All Iowa Senate - Ernst vs. Braley Polling Data

New Hampshire--Note that my increase from a seven to a nine seat gain for Republicans does not include Scott Brown in my own New Hampshire. This is, after all, a gun to your head prediction, and while Brown has closed the gap to within 2.2 points with RCP. Shaheen continues to lead in all polls except one (NEC). Five Thirty Eight still has Shaheen with an 81 percent chance of winnng, and I tend to only go against Nate Silver when it comes to sports predictions (I'll never forget that 7-1 German win when Silver had the Brazilians as fairly heavy favorites). But this is politics, not sports and Silver rules. Sorry Scott...maybe the WMUR/UNH poll, most likely out Thursday, will change my mind, but I think not.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEShaheen (D)Brown (R)Spread
RCP Average 10/15 - 10/24 -- -- 48.2 46.0 Shaheen +2.2
New England College 10/24 - 10/24 1132 LV 2.9 47 48 Brown +1
ARG 10/19 - 10/22 600 LV 4.0 49 48 Shaheen +1
CNN/Opinion Research 10/18 - 10/21 645 LV 4.0 49 47 Shaheen +2
CBS News/NYT/YouGov 10/16 - 10/23 1042 LV 4.0 46 41 Shaheen +5
UMass Lowell/7News 10/15 - 10/21 643 LV 4.5 49 46 Shaheen +3
Suffolk/Boston Herald 10/16 - 10/19 500 LV 4.4 49 46 Shaheen +3

All New Hampshire Senate - Brown vs. Shaheen Polling Data

Neither Kentucky, Arkansas nor Alaska, Willie Brown’s assurances notwithstanding, will be all that close.

My best guess now is that Republicans control 52 seats on November 5, 53 in December, and 54  by January 6, 2015.  Bye, bye, Harry.

The biggest number in all this wandering is minus 12.7; that's how much Obama is under water with its average today (41.7-54.4).  Even Rasmussen now has him down eight!


Democrats Need Ground Game to Save Hagan in North Carolina

Five Thirty Eight now gives Reublicans a 64.5 percent chance of taking the Senate.  Pollster makes it 63 percent.  Here's a great chart from Pollster.  Note that they now give Scott Brown a 41 chance of beating Shaheen and Tillis a 42 percent change of knocking off Hagan (that's why I call North Carolina my out on a limb prediction).




Da Meanest Demeanor Since Al Gore In 2000

Sneer, smirk, grimace, frown, and snarl.

Jeanne Shaheen displayed the full range of emotions during last night's CNN/NH1 (WBIN) debate, the full range of emotions that is if you consider...

Sneer, smirk, grimace, frown, and snarl the full range.

Oh yes, throw in a heavy dose of petulance and the tendency to interrupt with totally irrelevant slurs.

All she was lacking was Al Gore's patented sigh, and one would have thought the Missouri native was intentionally trying to mimic the Tennessean’s style that many believe cost him the 2000 Presidential race.

For the second time in three days, I found myself so unimpressed by our incumbent senator that I had to caution myself, "Self, you're for Scott Brown. You can't get over how Jeanne Shaheen, as New Hampshire governor, tried to pass a 2.5 percent sales tax, and 4.5 percent capital gains tax and sat back as all but seven Democratic State Representatives voted for an income tax on the day that will live in history, the day the income tax passed 194-190."

"Self," I had to tell myself, "perhaps you shouldn't trust your own judgment that Jeanne Shaheen was simply god awful in the debate."

It was as if she didn't know both candidates would constantly be on screen. While Scott Brown looked down at his notes (and often reached for water), Jeanne Shaheen mugged for the cameras as if to say, "God, I'd rather be anywhere than here having to answer for my record."

Cognizant of the fact that I brought a bias to watching the debate, I couldn't wait to see how Kevin Landrigan saw it. He's the veteran New Hampshire reporter who was released earlier this year when the bean counters at the Nashua Telegraph decided to save a few shekels.  This most respected of all reporters has caught on with NH1 (WBIN TV). The station doesn't use him enough, but I suspected he'd be given at least a few moments during the 10 p.m. newscast.

He was, and guess what?

His reaction was the same as mine. Actually he added a few new words to my litany of...

Sneer, smirk, grimace, frown, and snarl.

Kevin added that Shaheen appeared "frustrated" and "irritated".

He went on to say that she was "a little better" in the second half of the debate.

Who could argue with that. After all, the first half was an utter disaster for the Missouri native who continued to try to take shots at Scott Brown for where he comes from.

Sneer, smirk, grimace, frown, and snarl.

Ah yes, the full gamut of emotions for the Missouri native.

She sneered.

She smirked.

She frowned.

She grimaced.

She snarled.

And to quote the non-biased NH1 reporter, she was "irritated" and "frustrated".

Hey Kevin, you would be frustrated to if you had to defend your record of voting 99 percent of the time with Barack Obama who, according to some polls, is now nearly 25 points (37-60 UMass/Lowell Friday) under water in the state.

However, as always, my goal here is to be totally fair ("Oh sure," I can hear you saying), so rather than go with my own reaction or Kevin Landrigan's, I googled a bit.

Check out Andy Hiller's reaction from Channel 7 News. Better yet, check out how he scored the debate.

Rest assured that in time for next Thursday's final debate on Channel 9, someone will tell Shaheen to watch her demeanor....da meaner the demeanor is not the better the demeanor. I couldn't resist using that pun a second time.

As Kevin pointed out, optics matter. Optics...that's another word for demeanor, n'est-ce pas?

Shaheen lost the debate because she had to spend so much time on the defensive, ...

  • Shaheen, Brown clash in New Hampshire
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    Sep 30, 2014 - It is not hard to see why Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) is ducking debates, refusing appearances, and trying to limit her exposure to hard ...
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    WHDH: Jeanne Shaheen “Lost The Debate” And Was On The Defensive Over Her Obama Ties.
  • Friday

    There's No Early Voting In New Hampshire

                    Not the conservative and ultra-biased Fox News, but the much more liberal and fairer MSNBC (or so I've come to learn this week) reported a few days ago that as if problems for Democrats aren’t bad enough around the nation, early voting returns from the purple states of Iowa, Colorado, and North Carolina, which in the past have favored Democrats, have turned in favor of Republicans so far this year.  Don't take my word for it; check out this Washington Post story.

    Democrats have an early vote problem - The Washington Post 
    The Washington Post 
    3 days ago - Compared to overall voter registration, Iowa and North Carolina ... states that recently began early voting: Nevada, California and Colorado.


                    Of course, in a fourth purple state people are most watching—yes, that would be New Hampshire—we don’t have early voting.  In fact, in order to receive an absentee ballot, a voter needs to sign a form asserting that he or she will not be able to make it to the polls on election day for either medical, job-related, or religious reasons (and I don’t believe there are any religious holidays this November 4).

                    In a typical Presidential year, as many as 10 percent of votes in New Hampshire are cast by absentee ballot, but in an off-year election, not only is the total number way down, but the percentage usually falls to something in the six percent range.

                    In fact, about a week from now, Secretary of State Bill Gardner will make his turnout prediction, and if the past is any indication, he’ll do so only after checking with a scattering of city and town clerks to determine how absentee ballot requests are coming in.

                    With that in mind and with the caveat that we still have ten days to request an absentee ballot in the mail, I thought I’d pop in to ask Manchester City Clerk Matt Normand how things are going.

                    The short answer is not well at all, but Matt actually provided me with a chart of absentee voting in the city going back dozens of years.  That’s more than you need to know here, but allow me to share some of the data with you; it’ll explain why my ultimate prediction will be that turnout this year is likely to be more than the 2006 off year election but slightly less than the 2010 election.

                    Don’t even think about comparisons to Presidential years.  When it comes to turnout, they’re miles apart, a fact Democrats don’t seem to understand (or at least don’t admit) when they insist their ground game will rival that of 2012.

                    That’s absurd.  

                    But don’t take my word for it; let’s look at real numbers from Matt Normand’s Manchester chart.  These numbers are for Manchester only, a city with a population of about 110,000 in a state with 1.3 million people.  The good thing for comparison purposes here is that both the city and the state population has changed very little for the past eight years.

                    2010—2195 absentee ballots cast; 28,114  total votes cast.

                    2006—1789 absentee ballots cast; 25,471 total votes cast.

    Now compare those numbers to Presidential years:

                    2012—4051 absentee ballots cast; 45,001 total votes cast.

                    2008—4395 absentee ballot cast; 43,752 total votes cast.

                    We could go back further in time, but take my word for it, the pattern is consistent.  35-40 percent fewer votes are cast in a non-Presidential years, both in Manchester and statewide (and nationwide as well).

                    Matt tells me that as of Friday’s mail, the city had received approximately 1900 absentee ballot requests and 1100 returned ballots.  Requests taper off dramatically the final week, but keep in mind that the law does allow a voter to fill out a request at City Hall and vote at the same time, so the process continues right up to the day before the election.  In every instance, the voter must swear that he or she has a valid reason for not being able to show up at the polls on election day.  In other words, early voting for the sheer convenience of it is not allowed in this state.

                    Let’s look at final state totals for the same four years (courtesy of the Secretary of State’s famous Red Books).

                    2010—30,032 absentee ballots cast; 461,423 total votes  cast (6.5 percent absentee).

                    2006—24,380 absentee ballots cast; 417,436 total votes cast (5.8 percent absentee).

    Now compare those numbers to Presidential years:

                    2012—68,014 absentee ballots cast; 718.700 total votes cast (9.5 percent absentee).

                    2008—72,264 absentee ballots cast; 719,403 total votes cast (10.0 percent absentee).

                    Notice I’ve underlined the 2010 and 2006 totals; that’s because I expect turnout for 2014 will be in that range, probably closer to 2010 than 2006 (there was no United State Senate race in New Hampshire in 2006).  In fact, my prediction would be around 450,000 votes cast and 28,000 absentee ballots cast.

                   Some will try to convince you that turnout will be greater because of the seemingly wall to wall TV commercials for candidates for governor, senator, and the two congressional districts.  Even on the Boston stations, there seem to be more commercials for New Hampshire than Massachusetts candidates.

                  However, do so many commercials lead to higher turnout or simply annoy people to the extent they simply stay home in droves?

                  We’ll see, but what we won’t see, at least not yet in New Hampshire, is a great deal of early voting, and that’s fine with me.

                  I certainly agree that voting is a right, but as my high school U.S. history teacher wrote in my yearbook (we’d apparently been debating “rights” a lot all year), “With rights come responsibilities.”

                  I’ve always believed that along with the right to vote comes a responsibility to set aside a few minutes of a certain day each year (November 4 this year) to go to the polls to exercise that right.


    Baseball Has Only Itself To Blame For Low Ratings

    Fox World Series announcer Jim Buck.  Don't even ask me to name his new color man (men?).


    MSNBC reported this afternoon that this year's World Series (that has something to do with baseball, if memory serves) is drawing the worst TV ratings ever.

    Sure enough, I googled it (see below). Fox Sports drew only 1.2 million fans for game one and 12.9 million for game two.

    By comparison, the final game of the World Cup this summer drew more than 25 million TV viewers.

    The last time the Kansas City Royals won a World Series, 1985, the games averaged 34.5 million viewers each. Thus it seems that baseball viewership is down nearly two-thirds in less than 30 years.

    As far as I'm concerned, major league baseball has only itself to blame.

    When I was a young kid growing up in Vermont, I wouldn't miss a World Series game, except of course that many were scheduled in daytime back then, and were in school...ah yes, even in 1967.

    The joy of baseball back then was that the same network had the games year after year (NBC) and the announcers would change depending on which team made it to the series. The network was apparently forced to hire the home team announcer for its broadcasts. That's why Dick Stockton, one of the worst announcers in any sport, got to call Carlton Fisk's dramatic home run.

    I have nothing against Joe Buck doing all the games (he's excellent and Tim McCarver was one of the best color analysts ever), but the problem with baseball today is that the average fan (me, for example) doesn't even know which network will be carrying post-season games.

    I'm with a low level Dish tier, so while I get the major networks, I don't get Fox Sports, TBS (Turner has pulled all its channels from The Dish), NBCSports, or ESPN (1, 2, or 1000). I do get CBSSports, but there's never anything worth watching there unless you're into the sport of Texas Hold 'em Poker.

    I actually thought I might get to watch the National League championship series on Fox, but lo and behold after Fox carried the first game, game two was relegated to Fox Sports.

    Now not only are the post-season series split up among networks you have to pay for, it appears that individual games are split up.

    Major league baseball, I give up, and I’m the guy who back in the 60s used to tune in baseball broadcasts from all over the country, including Jack Buck (father of Joe) doing Cardinal games with Harry Cary on KMOX, the great Chuck Thompson doing Oriole games on WBAL, the great Bob Prince kissing Pirate home runs good bye on KDKA (I even remember getting Ray Scott doing Minnesota Twin games from time to time and the Commander Bob Elson with the White Sox from Chicago).  Cowboy at the Mike Curt Gowdy, Ned Martin, and Ken Coleman made even Red Sox losing teams exciting as opposed to this clown they insist on keeping with them today.  He’s awful…Joe Casting something or other.

    Major league baseball, you’ve lost me, and apparently I’m not the only one.

    If you want to treat a long time fan this way, I'll simply stop watching.

    As I reported earlier this week, I have no rooting interest in this World Series, and in fact, I have no interest at all. Apparently, if the ratings are any indication, 95 percent of Americans agree with me.

    Until major league baseball decides to open post-season up to the regular networks, it's ratings will undoubtedly continue to fall through the floor.

    Sad, sad, sad, but true, true, true.

    Sports Humor At 12:45 a.m.

    Here's a sports joke courtesy of Craig Ferguson, the great CBS late, late host who is leaving for greener pastures in mid-December.

    After Peyton Manning set that career touchdown record Sunday, his brother Eli tried to email him congratulations...but it was intercepted. Regarding the email from Brett Favre...well, I better not repeat that here; suffice it to say, it was much raunchier than any "ugly as sin" comment I've ever made…something about emailing male genitalia as only Brett Favre could do.

    Ah yes, Craig Ferguson "keeping it classy all the way to Christmas."

    How I'll miss Craig, Geoff Ferguson, not to mention Secretariat. Is it true that the two halves of the horse switch roles each night?


    The opening game of the 2014 World Series was the lowest-rated Game 1 on record, ...