Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Tuesday
Apr082014

Call Me Cassandra--Legalized Marijuana Drives Mexican Growers Out Of Business

It's not even April 1, the day I posted the famous blog about New Hampshire drug dealers expressing their gratitude to the House for failing to pass HB492 which would have legalized, regulated and taxes small amounts of marijuana in the state, thus driving dealers out of business by quashing their $150 million business in black market street sales in our fair state.

That was a classic, but note that it was written April 1.  Apparently it's true that behind every piece of satire is more than a grain of truth, and the grains are spreading across our beach already.

This item is not a parody at all, but rather a link sent to me by someone out there in the internet ether.  Apparently legalization in states like Colorado and Washington is driving the price of marijuana down to such an extent that some Mexican growers are in fact being driven out of business.

Along with the pertinent section of the story, I've included a link to the overall story, just to prove that this isn't a hoax. The source, mind you, is not some pro marijuana rag, easily disparaged, but the main stream Washington Post.

As I've said all along, the surest way to drive out the lowlife scum who deal illegally and quite profitably...in fact the only way...is to legalize, regulate (thus guaranteeing that adulterated substances stay out of the product), and tax marijuana.

One of my favorite State Reps (no names please; I wouldn't want to embarrass him/her) recently called me the Cassandra of the New Hampshire House, a reference to the ancient Greek who was blessed with the gift of prophecy but cursed that no one would believe her.

Cassandra strikes again here, right on the money but sadly, not believed...at least by the majority...at least not yet.

Here's the quote and the entire link.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

With the wholesale price of marijuana falling — driven in part by
decriminalization in sections of the United States — Mexican drug
farmers are turning away from cannabis

“It’s not worth it anymore,” said Rodrigo Silla, 50, a lifelong cannabis
farmer who said he couldn’t remember the last time his family and others
in their tiny hamlet gave up growing mota. “I wish the Americans would
stop with this legalization.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/tracing-the-us-heroin-surge-back-south-of-the-border-as-mexican-cannabis-output-falls/2014/04/06/58dfc590-2123-4cc6-b664-1e5948960576_story.html?hpid=z3

Cassandra

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Cassandra by Evelyn De Morgan (1898, London); Cassandra in front of the burning city of Troy at the peak of her insanity.

In Greek mythology, Cassandra (Greek Κασσάνδρα, also Κασάνδρα; ),[1][full citation needed] also known as Alexandra or Kassandra, was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. She had the power of prophecy and the curse of never being believed. A common version of her story is that Apollo gave her the power of prophecy in order to seduce her, but when she refused him, he gave her the curse of never being believed. In an alternate version, she fell asleep in a temple, and snakes licked (or whispered in) her ears so that she was able to hear the future. The connection between snakes and knowledge is a recurring theme in Greek mythology, though sometimes it brings an ability to understand the language of animals rather than an ability to know the future. She is a figure of both epic tradition and of tragedy.

 

 
Monday
Apr072014

Pundit Alert--Fowler Crosses Line From Spinner To Liar

 

 

Richard A. Fowler
  • Radio host
  • Richard Fowler is an American radio show host, media personality, and political activist.
  •  

    When does your normal political spinning go so far as to enter the realm of out and out lying?

    In my humble opinion, Democratic radio talk show host Richard Fowler crossed that line in appearing on Fox News this afternoon (in the 1-2 hour). While attempting to defend newfound support for Obamacare, Fowler cited polling results from Louisiana. He contended that in Senator Mary Landrieu is sticking by Obamacare and as a result is experiencing a major boost in the polls.

    After being down 10 to 15 points, Fowler contends that the Democratic incumbent has now regained the lead. When challenged on those past polling results, Fowler actually doubled down...or at least he upped the ante. He referred to polls which showed Landrieu down 15 to 20 points.

    Oh really?

    What polls?

    I keep track of these things; in fact, I spend more time following polls than I really should admit; I write on polling trends here often.

    The Louisiana Senate race is of particular interest to me (I am convinced Landrieu will lose, but it could well be close and extend into a December runoff), and while I do recall Landrieu being down by as much as four points, never, not ever do I recall seeing here down ten, let alone 15 or 20 points.

    Thus, Fowler is no merely a spinner, but he's a liar. In listening to pundits, I always respect their opinions...until they give me reason not to. Fowler has given me reason to remove him from ever being taken seriously again.

    Maybe he has some internal polling data from Louisiana. If so, he should share it with us. However, I suspect he has no such data. He was simply making things up (pulling stuff out of his you-know-what) hoping nobody would catch him on it. That's a dangerous thing to do for any self-respecting pundit, especially in an age when all we have to do is key in Real Clear Politics for the numbers.

    Here are the numbers I come up with; note that while ahead double digits long ago (24 points in fact), Landrieu has never been down that much. Take note, Mr. Fowler before you lie to a nation again. Either you are ignorant or deliberately lying; either way, you are not to be trusted again.

    No wonder Fowler is so willing to jeoardize his own reputation, to go from spinner to out and out liar for Landrieu. Note the story on just how important the Louisiana race could be and note how Landrieu might in fact not even survive for a runoff!

    2014 Louisiana Senate Race

    Louisiana Senate - Cassidy vs. Landrieu

     

    Poll

    Date

    Sample

    Cassidy (R)

    Landrieu (D)

    Spread

    RCP Average

    1/28 - 2/24

    --

    44.7

    42.3

    Cassidy +2.4

    Hickman Analytics (D)

    2/17 - 2/24

    404 LV

    46

    42

    Cassidy +4

    PPP (D)

    2/6 - 2/9

    635 RV

    44

    45

    Landrieu +1

    Rasmussen Reports

    1/28 - 1/29

    500 LV

    44

    40

    Cassidy +4

    Poll

    Date

    Sample

    Landrieu (D)

    Cassidy (R)

    Hollis (R)

    Maness (R)

    Spread

    Magellan Strategies (R)*

    3/24 - 3/26

    600 LV

    39

    26

    3

    3

    Landrieu +13

    PPP (D)

    2/6 - 2/9

    635 RV

    43

    25

    5

    3

    Landrieu +18

    SMOR

    11/6 - 11/12

    600 LV

    41

    34

    --

    10

    Landrieu +7

    PPP (D)

    8/16 - 8/19

    721 RV

    48

    24

    --

    5

    Landrieu +24

    Candidate needs to receive 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff.

    How one race — in December or even January — could determine who controls Senate

     
     

    Republicans are now favored by most analysts to take over the Senate in the 2014 election; this much we know.

    But in what is shaping up to be an intriguing battle for the Senate, some folks are missing a tantalizing subplot. And that is this: There's a significant chance that control of the upper chamber will be decided not on Election Day, but in December or even January, with all eyes on (and money flowing to) a two-candidate runoff in one state.

    Two states holding top Senate races this year hold runoffs if neither candidate attains 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 4: Georgia and Louisiana.

    So what are the odds that runoffs in either (or both) of these states might determine who controls the Senate come 2015? Let's take a look at each one:

    Louisiana - Dec. 6 runoff

    It's much more likely that there would be a runoff in Louisiana than in Georgia. This is because Louisiana's November election is a nonpartisan race in which there will be multiple Republicans splitting the vote.

    That means Republicans will likely be battling to make the runoff — Rep. Bill Cassidy is the favorite, but retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Rob Maness has tea party support and state Rep. Paul Hollis has self-funded $250,000 — and hoping Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) doesn't crack 50 percent.

    (It's possible that Cassidy could simply swamp Landrieu and win outright on Election Day, but if that happens, Republicans have probably already won the Senate in a rout.)

    In her three Senate races, Landrieu has faced a runoff twice (and took just 52 percent the other time). Given that and the fact that the GOP seems to have momentum right now, it seems quite likely she'll be headed for a runoff.

    For now, let's put the odds of a runoff in Louisiana at 75 percent.

    Data above is for the runoff election that will take place on Dec. 6 if no candidate receives
    50% of the vote in the open primary on Nov. 4.

    More Polling Data | News

    Louisiana Senate Open Primary (Nov. 4)

    Monday
    Apr072014

    Quebecers Expected To Oust Separatist Party

    You may recall that when I last reported from Montreal, in mid-February, a budget crisis was about to bring down the government of Parti Quebecois (that's the Separatist Party) leader Pauline Marois. Sure enough, she called an election a week later, and as is the tradition in Quebec and Canada, the election didn't drag on for years. It took only six weeks. Today is the day that Quebecers go to the polls and are expected to vote out the Separatists. The only question seems to be whether the once corrupt Liberals (hey, everyone is once corrupt in Quebec it seems) will score a big enough victory to rule with an absolute majority or whether third and fourth party strength will force a coalition government. Things can be rather complicated north of the border as this story will make clear.

    What is certain is that Quebecers appear to be in no mood for splitting away from Canada. As I pointed out a few weeks ago, it's not only the English speaking minority, but a wave of immigrants who speak neither English nor French. I'll never forget sitting in a buffet restaurant in China Town in Montreal a few years ago. As I returned to my table, I heard more languages than one could imagine; some which I couldn't even recognize. Diversity will prevent the separatist PQ from prevailing today and will most likely prove salvation for the once corrupt Liberals. Heck, according to the very latest polling data, the PQ could, just could, fall to third place.

    Poll shows CAQ making gains, Liberals still lead

    Léger Marketing poll may be last before April 7 vote

    CBC NewsPosted: Apr 05, 2014 9:37 AM ETLast Updated: Apr 05, 2014 3:06 PM ET

    An online poll, published in the Journal de Montréal, gives the Liberals 38 per cent support of voter intentions, versus 29 per cent for the PQ, 23 per cent to the CAQ  and 9 per cent for Québec solidaire.

    An online poll, published in the Journal de Montréal, gives the Liberals 38 per cent support of voter intentions, versus 29 per cent for the PQ, 23 per cent to the CAQ and 9 per cent for Québec solidaire.

    External Links

    (Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

    As Quebec voters prepare to elect a new government on Monday, the Quebec Liberal Party is still in the lead, the Parti Québécois continues its slide and the Coalition Avenir Québec is making a late comeback, according to a new poll by Léger Marketing, which could be the last of the campaign.

    The CAQ are up from 19 per cent support from respondents to two other polls at the end of March and beginning of April.

    "What the numbers show the [CAQ] trending up... They're within reach of keeping more of their seats than we thought maybe a week or two ago. In these conditions, obtaining a majority for the Liberals becomes very complicated," said Christian Bourque, executive vice president of Léger Marketing.

    'In these conditions, obtaining a majority for the Liberals becomes very complicated.'- Christian Bourque, executive vice president of Léger Marketing

     

    This online poll, published today in the Journal de Montréal, gives the Liberals 38 per cent support of voter intentions, versus 29 per cent for the PQ, 23 per cent to the CAQ (its best score of the campaign) and nine per cent for Québec solidaire.

    Today CAQ leader François Legault explains the trend by saying he believes fewer voters feel "stuck" between the Liberals and the PQ.

    "What I want is for the trend to continue. What we see is that fewer Quebecers feel stuck. What I hope is that those who are still feel a little stuck will be able to make a decision," said Legault.

    PQ down since March polls

    The PQ's numbers are up by one per cent from IPSOS and FORUM polls that were conducted April 1.

    However, it is still lower than the previous Léger Marketing poll that was conducted March 21 to 23, which showed 33 per cent of respondents supported the PQ.

    Among francophones, the PQ remains in first with 35 per cent support, followed by the Liberals with 29 per cent, CAQ with 27 per cent and Québec solidaire with nine per cent.

    "It will come down to local races, and regional gains and losses for each party," said Bourque from Léger. "These numbers are right down that middle road between a majority and minority scenario. It'll be a tight one on Monday."

    Asked who would make the best premier, 27 per cent said Philippe Couillard, 24 per cent François Legault and 23 per cent Pauline Marois. QS co-spokesperson Françoise David got six per cent support.

    The online survey of 1,220 respondents was taken April 2 and 3.

    Today Legault said he believes the situation is even better for the CAQ now than at the time the survey was conducted.

    Monday
    Apr072014

    Death And Gambling Live On

                    The five member New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee most likely will take its vote on the death penalty repeal Tuesday morning.

                    Meanwhile, it won’t be until Thursday until the House Ways and Means Committee holds its first hearing on the two-casino gambling bill which passed the Senate in the waning moments prior to crossover.

                    When asked when to expect the vote, a key Senate staffer referred me to six bills which will be heard by the committee, beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow.   The Senate is more flexible than the House about when votes can be taken.  In fact, a vote could come any time, even between hearings on scheduled bills.  However, Judiciary Chair Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, will  most likely comply with a request from two Senators that the vote be scheduled for the end of the session.

                    The final hearing, on the controversial HB1503 (relating to penalties for causing death due to miscarriage or stillbirth) is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.  It could take a while.

                    In a daylong hearing on the death penalty repeal, Senators heard mostly from proponents last week.  However, supporters of keeping the death penalty have weighed in since.  In the Sunday News, Former Governor Steve Merrill penned an op-ed entitled “NH”s capital punishment law is limited, fair, and just”.  Former Congressman and Justice Chuck Douglas wrote one, headline “Don’t repeal the death penalty.  Executions save lives” for the Concord Monitor.    The Union Leader headlined an editorial (if you can believe it) “Keep NH death penalty:  No good reasons to repeal it.”

                    That rather broad statement, certainly one which flies in the face of many facts presented to the committee, makes the paper’s position clear, and two of Manchester’s three senators, Republican David Boutin and Democrat Donna Soucy, do in fact sit (and presumably will vote)on the committee.

                    Ways and Means Chair Susan Almy, D-Lebanon, after being quoted in the media with the remarkable statement that she’s sick of hearing about gambling, will hear a lot more Thursday.   The Senate bill in itself could take all day, but any number of amendments could be offered.

                    I myself, for example, have a few.  Expecting that the Senate gambling bill would help negate the argument against creation of a monopoly, I learned that isn’t really true when I went to the legislative drafter of the bill.  While the Senate bill in fact would allow for a second casino, the language apparently is such that the second casino could only be considered after the first one is approved.

                    That hardly seems to take the monopoly argument off the table, so I have an amendment which would do many things, including put all casino bidders on a level playing field.  My amendment would also increase the number from two to three, thus further eroding the monopoly argument.  It would also call for the state to receive less up front money but more of the take on an annual basis, thus boosting the state’s share by hundreds of millions of dollars overall.

                    Keep in mind that House rules allow for subject matter of any bill approved by the House to be added to any Senate bill and since Senators want gambling so “badly”, it would appear logical to assume this would be the bill to attach “something” to.  That process could begin in committee or it could wait till the bill reaches the House floor.  However, if the committee recommends the gambling bill as inexpedient to legislate, the House would have to overturn that motion prior to any amendments being offered.

                    Clear enough?

                    Let’s put it this way—for this year in New Hampshire, neither death nor gambling are dead yet.

    Monday
    Apr072014

    This Week's Trivia--A Dark Shadowy Rock Legend

    Let's get away from history and go to pop culture for this week's trivia question.

    Every so often, Dish TV, in a blatant attempt to lure me into forking over more money for HBO and Cinemax, provides me with a free weekend sample, 15 free channels in fact. This isn't like XM satellite which I tried and found worthwhile enough to sign up for full time. I could find very little of interest on any of the 15 channels. What is this wall to wall thing called Game of Thrones?

    Here's how bad it was. The only thing I could find even remotely worth my interest over the free weekend was the 2012 Johnny Depp remake of the campy old 1960s soap Dark Shadows. Back then, I recall a teenage cousin who would stop whatever she was doing at 3:30 every day to watch Jonathan Frid as Barnabus Collins, not to mention David Selby as Quentin the werewolf.

    I never got into Dark Shadows back then and I managed to avoid it when the Depp feature hit the big screen, but to salvage a something from Dish's free weekend, I managed to get through the entire movie last night.

    No, I could never recommend it, but the sound track is rather interesting, and I managed to come up with a pop trivia question.

    Toward the end of the Dark Shadows movie, in an apparent effort to show just how hip he can be, Barnabus Collins (he did after all spend 200 years in his coffin) decides to have a "ball" at the Collins mansion. Which legendary rock star actually performs at the "ball"?

    A--David Bowie

    B--Ted Nugent

    C--Iggy Pop

    D--Ozzy Osbourne (no, spell check, not OOZY Osbourne)

    E--Alice Cooper

    F--David Lee Roth

    Hint--Ah you say, you haven't had the displeasure of watching the movie...so you need a hint. Your wish is my desire. In typical camp fashion, Depp as Barnabus remarks, "That's the ugliest woman I've ever seen."

    Get it...woman...must be Alice (without the snake) Cooper.

    As an aside, if you ever see me drunk or suitably drugged out at a party (you never will), ask me to tell you the story about Sharman (that's the cousin) and croquet. Maybe when I have nothing better to do, I'll write about it. Sharman would be a great fictional character if I ever get around to writing my novel. A lone girl in a family with five brothers, she was...how does one say it...strange. I think she wound up in Reno, but then I wouldn't know for sure. You'd have to hear the croquet story to get the full flavor of why I wouldn't know.

    For our sake here, the answer is E, Alice Cooper.