mandysee_mandydo: (Default)
Today we happened upon a meeting of the Grafton County Republican Committee in Room 001 of Boyd Science Center. The beginning of the meeting was dedicated to letting four Republican Candidates speak about who they are and what they believe as a candidate. Not knowing if the event was public or invite-only, we asked and were told we could attend the candidate speeches but had to leave when they resumed the rest of their meeting as it was private. We were grateful for the opportunity to hear the candidates speak for themselves and took seats that would be convenient for easy exit should Ian awake.

As we sat waiting, Bob Guida, a candidate for US House of Representatives, greeted us (he even said good afternoon ladies!) and handed us a bio sheet so we could have more information about him to take away with us. He was the only candidate to approach us. The other candidates had materials but never reached us for whatever reason. Before the event started, I saw Omer Ahearn pull aside a gentleman that I think was the Chair of the group and they were talking and looking up at us, so I began to suspect we were going to get a change of heart and asked to leave. It turns out (at least in part) that they saw Kathy showing me photos she had taken earlier on our digital camera and the gentleman who spoke with Mr. Ahearn came over and stated that they "prefer no cameras or recording devices. We have our own sanctioned photographer." We respected their wishes and put away the camera. Mr. Ahearn came up to me to talk to me about my work, which I admit I'm not fond of happening outside of my work time but it's pretty much inescapable in a small town as a public employee. I imagine it happens to lots of people, and no doubt I've done it myself to others.

The first candidate to speak was Kelly Ayotte, former NH Attorney General currently running in the primaries to face Paul Hodes for US Senate (Judd Gregg's former seat). Of all the candidates, this was the one I was most interested in hearing. I have been watching her as a candidate and contemplated voting for her in the primaries. She seemed very worked up. Kathy thought it was sort of a Glenn Beck "I just love my gosh darn country so much" fake emotion thing, but I think it seemed more like what happens to me when I speak in public: nervous and shaky and on the edge of clamming up. I found it a bit odd for a former Attorney General. As for her stances on issues, I'll start with our common ground: we both think civics are important for our school children to learn and this subject needs more focus, we both harbor some resentment for the bailouts (though we differ on who is at fault), and we both disagree with the mandated coverage in the current health care bill. We agree that our Senators and Representatives should have the same health care that they vote in for all of us, not the special deluxe plan health care plan they have now, and I liked that she said enthusiastically that she would expect and want to live that by example. She spoke a lot about being accountable to the people and having open government, and I agree we need more of both, but I found it ironic since we were informed not to use a recording device and told we would have to leave after the candidates speaking because the meeting became private.

There was a lot I heard that really bothered me. I know this was a Republican meeting so there's going to be a lot of talking it up for the audience, but I was severely disappointed in the great amount of Democrat demonizing I heard from her. I would have liked to hear more about some common ground she has with Democrats. Unfortunately Ian awoke during her Q&A session just after her speech so I couldn't ask her about this. She did talk about issues, but she didn't elaborate much on how her position differed from Paul Hodes' positions on the issues, but more that they (Republicans in attendance) had to do what they could to make sure Hodes doesn't get elected because he's for running this country into the ground with more government and more spending. I also caught her in an outright deception. She stated she would have Town Hall style meetings up and down the state if she were elected, unlike Paul Hodes. As someone who has attended at least two of Paul Hodes' Listening Sessions (essentially Town Hall style meetings), I know Hodes does them and it was one thing about him as a Representative that I liked. As I mentioned, I came into this meeting favoring her for the Republican nomination to the position, but I left pretty much feeling I would not vote for her, neither in the primaries nor in the actual election should she get the nomination. I'm glad I got the opportunity to hear her speak for herself! The press I read of her presented her a lot more favorable than the impression I got from hearing her first-hand. Another thing that irked me: during the Q&A an audience member mentioned sunsetting and a few government agencies he would like to get rid of had he the choice, and asked her which she might like to see go away.

During this one of the people present (later I saw him leave and his license plate said something about being the senior assistant Republican Leader in the state legislature) muttered "The Judicial System." Ummm, no thanks. I kinda like having courts, especially when they can clear up disagreements about vague or wide-open legislation.

We didn't get to stay for the rest of the candidates. I would have liked to hear Bob Guida speak. His information sheet was interesting, though there were a couple of points that were unsettling. I already know I won't be voting for Fran Wendelboe. She's arrogant and disrespectful, and perfectly willing to use insulting, disrespectful, vitriolic remarks to defame certain groups amo0ng her own constituency. I'm ashamed to admit I ever voted for her as a former New Hampton resident and I don't intend to make that mistake again, especially in light of her horrible remarks regarding same-sex marriage and transgender non-discrimination laws last year both in the legislature during session and as guest host of the public access television program Political Chowder (I believe it was in May or July of 2009 but I'll have to double check that). I can't remember who the other candidate was.

In all I'm grateful that the Grafton County Republican Committee allowed us as guests to sit in on the candidates portion of the meeting. As an independent voter I am very concerned with hearing directly from the candidates as much as possible, and I found in the last election that both the Republican and Democrat offices were of very little help in getting honest answers and information about their respective candidates. The Republicans wanted to talk me into becoming Republican and didn't have much in the way of printed information on their candidates, and the Democrats, while having an abundance of printed materials, wanted to talk me out of my own recollections of their candidates, especially Jeanne Shaheen.
mandysee_mandydo: (Default)
I read this article in one of the local papers tonight and it has me frustrated. Good ol' "live free or die" NH might be considering legislation in the same vain as Maine soon to repeal same-sex marriage. I should hope it won't pass, but I think really when the legislation comes up it really needs to be nailed hard for the negative economic impact it will have on the state.

Some of my thoughts to Cornerstone Policy Research...

"Our state is struggling enough to keep smart, talented people within our borders to strengthen our economy. Yet when legislation was considered to allow same-sex marriage and to provide non-discrimination laws for transgender people, you spoke against them. Now you are speaking in favor of potential legislation similar to Maine that seeks to repeal same-sex marriage. Isn't our economy bad enough without you seeking to make it worse? It's unfortunate in such a difficult economy you want to give our state more reason to drive fruitful citizens away. NH citizens can easily move elsewhere and get broadband internet readily (and from more than one provider), a lower cost of living, a higher income, a fairer tax model, same-sex marriage, and transgender rights. What would those here get? No sales or income tax? Is it really worth it, especially when you have people on fixed incomes paying as much as 50+% of their fixed incomes on property tax? And for what? A state that seeks to take away rights, deny rights, ridicule its citizens (I draw special attention to the horrible, insulting, insensitive, and downright unprofessional and unethical remarks of many of the Republican legislators during the debate over transgender non-discrimination), and hand over infrastructure to inept providers (FairPoint bankruptcy comes to mind).

Drive away the youthful innovators and experienced seniors. You can stay behind and pay the high property taxes for a failing state full of not much but leaves and pretty mountains to be desired. The charm of our natural setting wears thin very swiftly once the surface is scratched."

mandysee_mandydo: (Transgender)
I'm so excited that my eyes are welling up with tears of joy! HB 415 (adds gender identity and expression to the NH state anti-discrimination laws) not only passed a motion to reconsider this morning after failing a House vote by 15 votes a week ago, but also survived a vote to mark it Inexpedient to Legislate and passed the new vote in the NH House by one vote, 188 - 187! I am so grateful to everyone who worked hard to make this happen, especially Gerri Cannon and all of my friends and family that contacted their state representatives.

It's not over. Now it goes on to the State Senate, and assuming it passes there it has to get through the Governor...

Well Crap

Feb. 7th, 2009 10:50 am
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
Paul Hodes just sent out an email announcing his candidacy for U.S. Senate. I was really hoping Lynch would run for that seat. Maybe Lynch will run for Hodes' seat? I really would like him representing us on a federal level somehow.
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
You may or may not have heard that Obama is considering Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) as Commerce Secretary. I've don't believe I've made it any secret that I would like to see him lose his seat in the next election, so seeing him go to the cabinet is fine. The Huffington Post has posted an article about Gov. Lynch possibly replacing Gregg with another Republican instead of a Democrat. If Lynch appoints a Democrat, that's 60 Senate seats for Democrats, making it a veto-proof Senate. That's a huge deal for the Democrats. As the Huffington Post points out, if Lynch appoints a Republican in his place, that could upset a lot of Democrats.

I say go for it. Lynch has already announced he is not running for re-election in 2010. That makes him a possible candidate for Gregg;s Senate seat. As it is Gregg will have a tough fight if he stays in the Senate and has to face Gregg. If Lynch is planning to run for Senate, it's in his best interest to appoint a Republican because 1) if he appoints a Democrat to fill the seat he's not likely to be able to run for the seat because it would be bad to pull out an incumbent even if for an awesome candidate like Lynch, and 2) if he appoints a Republican he would face a lesser known opponent than the repeat incumbent Gregg and his chances of winning that election are even better.

Lynch has a reputation for being not only an extremely popular Governor but also very post-partisan. He has a reputation in this state for working with anyone to better the state, and appointing a moderate Republican only fits that reputation and also greatly helps his chances for getting into and keeping the Senate seat for the Democrats, which really while it delays a veto-proof Senate it makes the possibility for maintaining a veto-proof Senate much better.

I'd like to see Lynch appoint a moderate Republican to replace Gregg and then run for the seat and win in 2010. I think he's been a great Governor and his post-partisan approach is really what the Senate and federal government need.
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
So I totally missed this yesterday and my grand scheme to take a photo of every shoe I own just for added emphasis, but instead I'm a day late and only the shoes I'm wearing to work today. It's the thought that counts.

So, in honor of my first morning waking up with a President I don't loathe since at least eight years ago, and in defiance of the past eight years...

Have at you, Bush! And now I need to work, so that's all.
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
In this past election there was a lot of talk about women in the White House, and most of that seemed to revolve around Hilary Clinton being the first woman nominated for President and Sarah Palin being the first Republican woman nominated for Vice President, with mention of course about how the Democrats beat the Republicans to nominating a woman for VP when they nominated Geraldine Ferraro.

Hilary Clinton was not the first woman nominated for President. Not by a long shot. She may have been the first woman nominated by a "major party" for President, but the claim that she is the first woman nominated for President shows how deeply entrenched our nation is in the two-party system, to the point where we forget important history.

The first woman to run for President was Victoria Woodhull in 1872, a suffragist nominated by the Equal Rights Party. She chose as her running mate Frederick Douglass, a former slave and first African-American nominee for Vice President.

She was followed in 1884 by fellow Equal Rights Party nominee Belva Lockwood, a lobbyist for suffrage and temperance. Before running for President as the Equal Rights Party candidate she also went to school for law and had to convince the school to give her a diploma even after passing her classes. She then had to make the case for admission into bar. Then she had to lobby Congress to change legislation so she could become the first woman to practice before the Supreme Court.She chose Marietta Stow, editor of Woman's Herald of Industry, as her running mate.

Because of changes to the election laws that created a barrier for candidates, it wasn't until 1964 that women received any votes, whether in the election or a primary. From 1964 until this past election, women have received votes in every election either in a primary or the general election. With the exception of 2004, there have been women receiving votes in every general election for the office of President starting in 1968.

Here's an interesting article about women running for President, and you can also find a list of references used to compile the information for the article at the bottom of the page. It's a very fascinating read.

mandysee_mandydo: (V)
I'm watching the EMILY's List presentation right now on C-SPAN and I have to say I'm really excited about the coming years in government. I really enjoyed hearing Jeanne Shaheen and Kay Hagan speak.

I will say that Ellen Malcolm just said something that really annoyed me. She talked about the upcoming redistricting effort. Yes, I know it happens, but it really irritates the hell out of me. The Democrats and Republicans keep going back and forth on gerrymandering (euphemistically called redistricting) so that their respective parties can try to retain control just a little bit longer. LEAVE THE DISTRICTS ALONE! Even after the Republicans redistricted in their favor the Democrats won. Why? Because the Democrats worked hard to win the election. Now carry through on promises that got you elected. Don't work to change district arrangements to keep power, make policy to keep power! Besides, before the Republicans did it, the Democrats did it and they lost power just the same. Redistricting is futile. It only serves the parties, not the people.

Then again, I argue that parties only exist to serve the parties anyway, but for now we have to suffer the parties if we want to elect candidates.
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
I was just filing some papers and found in the bottom of the bottom drawer of our file cabinet about two or three dozen Nader/LaDuke bumper stickers from the 2000 election. They were the leftovers from when I was the campus campaign coordinator. I'm rather amused and rather tempted to put one of them on the truck.

Anybody want a Nader/LaDuke bumper sticker?
mandysee_mandydo: (Default)
GM is reporting third quarter losses of around $2.5 billion. That's freaking huge! They're warning that they'll run out of cash in 2009... unless the government bails them out.

Ummm... no. I don't think so.

Gas prices went through the roof and companies like GM and Ford insisted that Americans want big cars cause that's the American way. They didn't sell. That's probably because Americans got a healthy dose of "what do you mean we can't get cheap gas?" and had to start buying more fuel efficient cars. So the SUVs and pickups and gas-guzzling V8s didn't sell and GM got stuck with a bunch, which is why you saw sales like "everyone is supposedly an employee but what we aren't telling you is our employees can't afford to buy our cars even with the discounts we allegedly give them" sales. They needed to at least get something for them. And they still didn't sell. So they started destroying them.

But now their stubborn practices and short-sightedness has them seeing billions in losses and they want us, the taxpayers, to essentially buy out their unsold inventory. No. You brought it on yourself GM. You need to suffer the consequences of your poor business choices. No more fucking corporate welfare. I'm tired of corporations planning to go belly up assuming that taxpayers will bail them out. Fail GM. And maybe if you fail other corporations will get the point that us taxpayers aren't their personal cash cows or safety nets.

If the government bails GM out, I expect a shiny new vehicle in my parking lot courtesy of GM. I'll take the damn gas guzzler overstock if I'm going to have to pay for it anyway. If I don't get that shiny new gas guzzler, I had better not be bailing GM out with my taxes!
mandysee_mandydo: (Oh My Giddy Aunt!)
Obama is our next president! Woohoo! :D
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] canongrrl  for sharing this video in her LJ. I thought it was pretty awesome and I wanted to share.



It's too bad the McCain campaign wouldn't let Daniel Zubairi speak with CNN about the incident. I wonder why?




mandysee_mandydo: (V)
Recently Congresswoman Michele Bachmann implied all liberals are un-American and called for essentially an investigation into those in Congress who are un-American. Governor Sarah Palin recently made remarks about pro-American parts of the country and the real America. Not only does this smack of Senator Joseph McCarthy's hunt for communists in our government during the 1950's, it also recalls the House Un-American Activities Committee back in the late 1940's and the overall anti-communist fever coming out of World War II and leading into the Cold War; the anti-communist fever that launched President Richard Nixon (then a Congressman and member of the HUAC) into political superstardom after the trial of Alger Hiss. I've also seen plenty of accusations from McCain/Palin supporters and Palin herself that Senator Barrack Obama is a communist or socialist or has a socialist tax plan. This is absurd. McCarthy is shunned for a good reason. The House Un-American Activities Committee no longer exists for a good reason.

I have to wonder how many people that are falling for this "Obama is socialist" or "liberals/Democrats hate America" or "real America/pro-Americans vs. Obama" bullshit paid attention in history class and understand what talk like this created in the Cold War. I can't help but agree with Jon Stewart: fuck all y'all. I'm not at all interested in you proving Mr. George Santayana right at the expense of this country.

I was hoping to make a video about this and showing McCarthy/HUAC rhetoric along with McCain/Palin/Bachmann rhetoric but it's extremely challenging to find newsreel clips from back then to use. In my search, though, I found plenty of others were seeing this parallel. I hope enough see it to speak up and prevent this from turning into a new kind of internal Cold War or worse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_Un-American_Activities_Committee
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1Z5aYU6x0o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qMvvJwllBY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuElRVjn478

"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men - not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular. The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully. Cassius was right. "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." Good night, and good luck." - Edward R. Murrow

mandysee_mandydo: (V)
For all of my friends who have moved away from New Hampshire, be advised: when traveling back to the state, be sure to take note that New Hampshire has now relocated to the west coast. Don't believe me? Just ask Sarah Palin!



mandysee_mandydo: (V)
I think this is the best thing I've read today:

"It's a giant changing of the subject," said Jenny Backus, a Democratic strategist. "The problem is the messenger. If you want to start throwing fire bombs, you don't send out the fluffy bunny to do it. I think people don't take Sarah Palin seriously."

The quote came from this AP article.

mandysee_mandydo: (V)
Something else that bugged me during the debate...

Palin: "For a ticket that wants to talk about change and looking into the future, there's just too much finger-pointing backwards to ever make us believe that that's where you're going."

To which I reply by quoting someone else...

George Santayana: "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

The lesson in this Mrs. Palin is that one must know where one has been in order to change the direction in which one heads.

By the way, another striking resemblance between Palin and Bush: Palin, her husband and several of her top aides have refused to cooperate and appear under subpoena for the investigation of Troopergate. Hmmm... where have I seen that before?

She can talk the talk, but it seems she can't walk the walk very well.
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
Let us count the ways in which McCain-Palin will bring us change according to her performance in the debate tonight:
  • Nuclear! Oh... wait... nope. She still pronounces it "new-cue-ler" just like Bush.
  • Diplomacy! Ummm... well, she did say she would keep all options on the table, just like Bush.
  • Vice President is Executive Branch! Well, and also the legislature, just like Cheney claims.
  • So decisive! She sets her mind to dodge a question and she follows through, dontchaknow. Hmmm... that reminds me of... oh yeah! Bush!
  • But hey, she seems real swell and down to earth, kinda like the kinda person you might want to have a chat with in the bleachers of a hockey game... kinda like Bush!

Okay, okay. I admit. This is all superficial. But Palin didn't really give much in the way of substantive answers. It was all talking points and flat out denials without expounding on them.
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#26949505

Riiiiiiiiiight. Because, you know, politicians shouldn't have to answer to individual voters and shouldn't be expected to tell them the truth or even the same answers as one might give the press. After all, all questions should be hand-delivered by the press with ample time for one to craft a suitable lie... I mean response. So am I the only one who thought the interview with McCain and Palin together smacked of "Sit there, look pretty, keep you mouth shut and let me do all the talking cause I'm the man?" Even when Palin was asked a direct question McCain jumped in and immediately insisted that he needed to keep talking and prevent Palin from responding directly, and then only with his say so was she able to speak but in response to his statement, not the question posed to her. And I wanted to hear her answer. So what do you think, Mrs. Palin? Do you not feel you are accountable to answer truthfully and respectfully to us individual voters? Or do you think you're better than us? And to McCain: sit down, shut up, and let her do the talking because she's a candidate, too. Even if I think she's horrible for the job and deals poorly with the press and presenting herself with confidence, I still think she should have the opportunity to speak for herself and be accountable for her own words.

Seriously. After this performance I do not want to hear a single Republican complain about sexism directed at their VP candidate. The way her own campaign is treating her and her candidacy...
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
From the AP:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a McCain supporter, said the Republican made a "huge mistake" by even discussing canceling the debate.

"You can't just say, 'World, stop for a moment. I'm going to cancel everything,'" Huckabee told reporters Thursday night in Alabama before attending a benefit for the University of Mobile. He said it's more important for voters to hear from the presidential candidates than for them to huddle with fellow senators in Washington.

It would seem even Huckabee agrees with Obama that if McCain is serious about being President he should be able to multitask.

Great Ad

Sep. 26th, 2008 09:49 am
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
This is the kind of campaign ad I like to see. It sticks to issues and proposes solutions. There's no mudslinging. It's not "Candidate X is an America-hating doodie-head. Vote for me! Woohoo God Bless America!"

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