The heated rhetoric surrounding Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s vote against expanding gun background checks reached a new low today in a letter to the editor of the Concord Monitor.
Pembroke’s Allison Caldwell, a self-described neo-Nazi, condemned gun safety proponents for invoking the memory of children killed in Newtown by comparing it to a dog rolling around on a dead animal:
Imagine taking a dog for a walk in the woods and coming across a long dead animal. The dog will sniff at the carcass, then excitedly start rolling around in the remains. This behavior is no doubt to mask its own scent from other animals.
What makes Ayotte’s critics keep rolling around in the killings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School? … This tactic, if continued, will have them smelling very bad politically and will give strong resolve to we who see their agenda and the need to stand up to it.
The Gem State has its share of “cretins and cretinesses,” writes Boise Weekly’s Bill Cope.
Case in point, he says, is the state senator “who ensured Idaho a spot on the dumbass map by authoring a bill that would have made Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s sloppy paean to the glories of not giving a crap about one another, required reading in Idaho schools.”
But Cope looks to New Hampshire and finds evidence that “Idaho’s lawmakers may not be the dunciest in the land:”
A legislator there by the name of Stella Tremblay has confirmed in her own mind, if no where else, that the Boston marathon bombing was staged by the U.S. government to deflect attention away from… well, away from what isn’t exactly clear.
Undoubtedly, it has something to do with Obama, thinks Madame Tremblay, who has a history of believing the worst about our president—from the place he was born to the Muslim Brotherhood company he keeps. However, the very fact we don’t know what the Boston incident was meant to mask is proof in itself that the deception was successful, isn’t it, as whatever it is those damn feds don’t want us to know about remains unknown to us?
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the national coalition of mayors working to reduce gun violence, began running a new television ad today targeting Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
The ad criticizes New Hampshire’s junior senator for claiming she supports background checks — but voting against the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey background check bill. “And that makes New Hampshire less safe,” warns the narrator:
In the U.S. Senate, there was a key vote for comprehensive background checks. Sen. Ayotte voted no.
Sen. Ayotte voted against a Senate proposal to require background checks. Ayotte was the only senator from New England to oppose the measure. Ayotte’s vote helped defeat a modest measure to prevent the seriously mentally ill from purchasing firearms.
Now Ayotte says she’s for strengthening background checks. But when it counted, she was a key vote to kill it. And that makes New Hampshire less safe.
Thursday, the state Senate will vote on House Bill 135, which would repeal New Hampshire’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law.
The bill is almost certain to be defeated. Three Democratic senators, Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia), Bette Lasky (D-Nashua) and Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton), have signaled their intent to join the Republican majority and vote against repeal.
Writing on Blue Hampshire, longtime party activist Gary Patton points to the weight of logic and evidence that shows “Stand Your Ground” endangers the public. A vote for “Stand Your Ground” is a vote for a more violent America, he writes:
So why should any Democratic senator vote to repeal a bill that seems destined for defeat? Because a vote against repeal not only defeats HB 135, it is a public declaration that this senator agrees with the premises underlying the Stand Your Ground law. That person adds his or her voice to a chorus which is moving us toward a more violent America.
Yesterday, we reported on a Facebook comment from state House Rep. Kyle Tasker (R-Nottingham) directed at gun safety proponents: ”Just the thought of guns makes them piss themselves unless its arming the police to further crush their spirit,” he wrote.
After reading Tasker’s remarks, Nottingham’s Karen Davidson fired off an email to her representative:
Dear Representative Tasker:
I live in Nottingham, and I am ashamed to have you representing the people of this town and myself.
I don’t piss myself when I think of guns. But I do shake my head in wondering how someone like you got elected, and then makes statements like this. You have insulted the same people that probably voted for you. Gun owners and non gun owners think about gun safety. Gun safety laws do not take away guns from people who already have guns, but it stops those from obtaining them, to be used against our police officers or innocent people.
If you were aware of gun safety, your gun would not have fallen out of your holster, if you actually had one, in the state house. The members of the house were lucky that the gun didn’t go out and hurt or kill those in attendance or yourself.
It also doesn’t crush my spirit when arming the police. I want them armed to go up against those with automatic weapons or worse.
You are disrespectful of those people living in Nottingham, and you certainly have proved to me, that you need to learn more about those who you represent. Maybe there is a majority here in town that want Gun Safety laws, and you are not fulfilling what your constituents want, ie Senator Kelly Ayotte. Learn to be a little more respectful of all of the people you represent.
Davidson received a curt response from Tasker, who called her message “narcissistic:”
If you don’t like what I comment on someone’s picture they post on my private non political Facebook page, I think the logical first step would be to stay off of it. I’ve never seen your Facebook page, I plan to keep it that way. I find it odd you jump to the conclusion that when I say “they” that translates to Kareb [sic] Davidson of [address redacted]. This is narcissistic.
After a couple of follow-up messages, Davidson ended the thread, saying she was frustrated by “another NH Representative who doesn’t care what he says and doesn’t mind insulting others, including people in his district, that have different views.”
“I expect my representatives to be professional, expect to take criticism from those with opposite views, and use some common sense in responding,” she said.
Len DiSesa is a retired deputy police chief and a gun owner who “believes strongly” in the 2nd Amendment. In a letter to the editor of the Portsmouth Herald, he rejects Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s argument for voting against expanded gun background checks.
“I think Sen. Ayotte is looking to the next election and is pandering to the right wing extremist base of her party,” he writes:
Her rationale for voting against background checks defies reason, and seems to me to be very, very thin. Sure, we should all work to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. We should also work hard to keep them from driving a car or a bus, or piloting an airplane. That’s a no-brainer and a convenient smokescreen for anyone arguing against using background checks as another tool in our toolbox to protect innocent lives.
We have stronger DWI laws in effect today than we did 30 years ago. As a result, motor vehicle deaths due to drunken driving have dropped dramatically. We have not eliminated all DWI-related deaths or injuries, I doubt we could ever do that, but at least we have successfully put a dent into the problem. Using the argument of Sen. Ayotte and those who think as she does, we should have just enforced more strictly the existing DWI laws on the books, and we should not have legislated enhanced penalties because, according to that argument, if someone wants to drink and drive, they will. That is as specious an argument as is the one being used to block background checks.
Last month, state House Rep. John Hikel (R-Goffstown) filed a House petition and criminal complaint to have 189 fellow lawmakers removed from office and prosecuted for voting to repeal the state’s “stand your ground” law.
Former state Supreme Court Justice Chuck Douglas condemned the action. “Pulling bits and pieces out of the constitution to create criminal charges reflects gross constitutional illiteracy,” he wrote, “not an attempt at good government.”
In a Facebook comment, Hikel argues the actions are indeed lawful — despite language in the New Hampshire Constitution that states, “The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate in either House of the Legislature, is so essential to the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any action, complaint, or prosecution in any Court or place whatsoever.”
“IT DIDN’T SAY VOTE,” he writes. “If the framers wanted it to, it would have been included.”
Just the thought of guns makes them piss themselves unless its arming the police to further crush their spirit.
— State House Rep. Kyle Tasker (R-Nottingham) on proponents of gun safety legislation
In an editorial defending the vote by Sen. Kelly Ayotte against expanding background checks for gun purchasers, the Union Leader claims the “great majority” of Granite Staters support her position:
A single poll’s number showing general support for unspecified “stronger” background checks does not mean that most constituents disagree with Sen. Ayotte’s position.
A single poll? Unspecified “stronger” background checks? Really?
I count at least three surveys of New Hampshire voters this year that include very specific proposals for expanding background checks. And all show overwhelming majorities of Granite Staters support the legislation that Ayotte voted against.
New England College (January 24, 2013)
“There is a national proposal for universal gun background checks for gun sales through dealers, shows, and private individuals. Do you support the idea of universal background checks for gun purchases?”
Strongly Support: 79%
Somewhat Support: 9%
WMUR Granite State Poll (February 8, 2013)
“Please tell me if you would favor or oppose … a law which would require background checks before people — including gun dealers — could buy guns at gun shows.”
Strongly favor: 84%
Somewhat favor: 7%
Public Policy Polling (April 23, 2013)
“Would you support or oppose requiring background checks on individuals who purchase guns at gun shows?”
In a statement released by the O’Brien for Congress campaign, former state House Speaker Bill O’Brien blasted Congresswoman Ann Kuster for not voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“If fully implemented, Obamacare will hijack and wreck not only the finances of the federal government, but also our state’s finances,” he wrote. O’Brien also took the opportunity to trash Medicaid. Obamacare “will throw millions of Americans on Medicaid,” he complained:
Medicaid relies on substantial contributions from local taxpayers, yet it doesn’t even pay for half the cost of service to its recipients. It does all of this — or, none of this rather — while failing to provide better health outcomes than being uninsured, according to a study of Medicaid expansion in Oregon.
About that Medicaid study.
O’Brien was referring to the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, a landmark, randomized study of the effect expanding public health insurance has on the health care use, health outcomes, financial strain, and well-being of low-income adults.
O’Brien cherry picked the early results to declare Medicaid a failure. Ezra Klein explains the results of the study, so far, are decidedly more encouraging:
So here’s what happened in the first two years of the Oregon Medicaid experiment: Medicaid proved itself good health insurance. The people who got Medicaid used more health care, and seem to have done so smartly — they got preventive care, they got their diabetes diagnosed and began managing it, they treated their depression, and so on. But the health care itself didn’t work as well as we hoped — at least not in terms of cutting rates of hypertension and cholesterol. …
We don’t know why hypertension and cholesterol levels were unchanged, writes Klein. “We don’t know if the results speak to the health care you get through all health insurance or just Medicaid or if they’re just an artifact of the study’s timeframe and sample size,” he explained.
Regardless, Klein notes there is “voluminous evidence that managing diabetes and treating depression and being able to go to the doctor improves health. You have to be willing to throw quite a lot of existing theory and evidence out the window to believe that stuff won’t pay off down the road.”
When Republicans mugged U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice over her initial explanation of the attack in Benghazi, Sen. Kelly Ayotte was the lead assailant. “I have to tell you with the comments she made on those Sunday shows — that was either incompetence or blatantly misleading the American people,” she told Fox News.
Now we know Rice played no role in crafting the Benghazi talking points and there was no attempt at a cover-up. Emails released this week show the talking points reflected the administration consensus at the time.
The Rev. Al Sharpton said the “smear campaign against Ambassador Rice was vicious, personal, and wrong.” Ayotte should apologize, he declared. So did Arizona blogger AzBlueMeanie:
The worst purveyors of this “Benghazi! Benghazi!! Benghazi!!!” faux scandal have been the new Three Stooges, Sens. John McCain, his puppet boy Little Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte as “Shemp.” They have perpetrated a fraud for purely partisan political retaliation. They besmirched the reputation of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who has been vindicated by the emails released this week.
The new Three Stooges owe Susan Rice and the American people an apology. They have demonstrated their utter lack of character and judgment to serve in the U.S. Senate. If they had any honor, they would submit their resignations from the U.S. Senate for their indefensible actions.
Susan Bruce and Ben Leubsdorf have reported on how the Senate Finance Committee got punk’d by mock testimony that has Free Stater fingerprints all over it.
The bogus testimony came from men identifying themselves as “Adam Sutler” (a character in V for Vendetta) and “Edgar Friendly” (the name of Denis Leary’s character in Demolition Man). The text of their speeches was lifted verbatim from a series of movies: The Verdict, The Contender, V for Vendetta, Tombstone, The Fountainhead and Network.
Free Stater Garret Ean, who filmed the stunt, described the mock testimony as performance art:
This year, the Senate has killed every good bill that has left the State House, from NDAA nullification to decriminalizing marijuana. I wanted to break the fourth wall of government, and show the members of this state and these hearings for what they are: political theatre.
Bad art, wrote Susan Bruce:
It wasn’t just the committee that got punk’d. It was every NH resident who took the time to drive to Concord and testify. It was every resident that loaded up a wheelchair, and packed a bag full of supplies and medications they would need to sit there for hours, while they waited to testify. It was every resident that brought a child. It was the family that brought 2 ASL interpreters for their deaf son. We know the FSP has no respect for NH government. Now we know they also have no respect for the people of this state.