That Was The Week That Was: February 6 - 12, 2011

Rep. Frank Guinta has an opportunity to correct a constituent who repeats birther conspiracy theories that reject the legitimacy of President Obama’s U.S. citizenship and his eligibility to be President of the United States. He passes.

In a textbook case of Orwellian blackwhite, House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) reads a survey indicating 65% favor a mix of spending cuts and taxes to close the budget shortfall and responds, “What is most encouraging was the majority of those polled see that spending cuts are the best way to balance the budget, rather than new taxes.”

With New Hampshire facing revenue shortfalls estimated between $600 million and $900 million, House Speaker Bill O’Brien testifies in favor of a constitutional amendment prohibiting an income tax. “I want to make sure we do not have available to us a new and large revenue source,” he explained.

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That Was The Week That Was: Jan. 30 - Feb. 5, 2011

Speaking in Laconia, Frank Guinta says his kids, ages 5 and 6, shouldn’t even know what Medicare is. Hey, at least he’s consistent.

A Florida judge rules the Affordable Care Act individual mandate is unconstitutional and voids the entire law. Remember when conservatives demanded judicial restraint? That was before they could win victories in the courts that they couldn’t win at the ballot box.

A GOP-sponsored Congressional bill restricts the use of government funds for abortion by redefining rape. The Daily Show’s Kristen Schaal responds: “You’d be surprised how many drugged, underage or mentally handicapped young women have been gaming the system. Sorry, ladies, the free abortion ride is over.”

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That Was The Week That Was: January 23 - 29, 2011

Don Booth, who asked us to give peace a chance, dies at 94. Booth was active for over half a century in peace and justice causes, receiving the Martin Luther King Award in 2001. For years, he maintained a noonday vigil at the State House. “Like the dome on top, Booth was there all the time. He didn’t move, and he stood for something deeply meaningful.”

In Concord, a overflow crowd turns out to oppose a bill dropping art education, world languages, health, and technology classes from the state’s definition of an adequate education. Those opposing House Bill 39 outnumber supporters 108-2. “They don’t get it,” says sponsor Rep. Ralph Boehm (R-Litchfield).

On a night marked by unity, courtesy, and common purpose, President Obama delivers an uplifting State of the Union address with the message, “We do big things.” Rep. Michele Bachmann — who ignores the bipartisan seating plan and chooses not to wear a ribbon honoring the Tucson shooting victims — upstages the official Republican response with a blast of Tea Partisan fury.  

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That Was The Week That Was: January 16 - 22, 2011

Charismatic leader announces he is stepping away from successful venture he founded, leading some to wonder about its future. (Oh, Apple’s Steve Jobs is taking a leave of absence from his business also.)

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell woos Sen. Kelly Ayotte with a date in Afghanistan. Ayotte returns his ardor by joining him in calling for the war to be extended indefinitely.

Rep. Frank Guinta proudly votes to repeal last year’s health care reform legislation, citing job loss projections from the right-wing National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) that even NFIB admits are fraudulent, and ignoring Congressional Budget Office projections that repeal would increase the deficit by $230 billion.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a man who literally has no pulse, is considering a heart transplant — presumably avoiding Arizona death panels.

GOP anti-government zeal leads House Speaker O’Brien to create a new Committee on Petitions for Redress of Grievances. First petition: Rep. Lars Christiansen intercedes on behalf of man convicted of 69 counts of felonious sexual assault.

The House State and Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee recommended passage of HB 89 which would direct New Hampshire attorney general to join a lawsuit challenging health care reform legislation. Committee chairman Rep. Al Baldasaro countered AG Delaney’s assertion that the proposed law violates the state constitution’s separation of powers doctrine by saying, ” He’s an employee. … He has no right to come to this committee and tell us he’s going to challenge this.”

Tea Party supporters completed their takeover of the state GOP with the election of unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Jack Kimball as state party chair. Speaking to Tea Party faithful, Kimball said, “We have a cross-section of America standing out here right now. When they criticize you, they’re criticizing themselves. They’re fools.” 65% of likely New Hampshire voters report they are not Tea Party supporters.

That Was The Week That Was: January 9 - 15, 2011

After GOP house organ Union Leader blasted the move to remove Rep. Mike Brunelle as a “sleazy, sophomoric trick to expel a Democratic leader they dislike,” Republican House leaders broke into song with “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”

Committee Chairman John Reagan turned away citizens and advocates from testifying at a House committee public hearing on bedbugs. “I just didn’t want to spend any more time on it,” he said.

In Tucson, President Obama’s plea for civility, love, and compassion contrasted sharply with Sarah Palin’s talk of duels and “blood libel,” a fable of anti-Semitism in which Jews are accused of using the blood of gentile children in religious rituals.

Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien promised to disenfranchise college students. “They are kids voting liberal, voting their feelings, with no life experience.” To prevent them from voting, he said the GOP plans to “tighten up the definition of a New Hampshire resident.”

House Republican leaders said they will not push for repeal of marriage equality this year. GOP puppet master Kevin Smith, Cornerstone Action, is not concerned. “I know they are not going to put this issue by the wayside.”

Campaigning for GOP state chairman, Jack Kimbell said, “I won’t tolerate our party deviating from its conservative platform” — unless you can raise a lot of money. Kimball said Bill Binnie and Jim Bender’s pro-choice stance “does not matter” when it comes to them leading fund-raising efforts for the party.

State Attorney General Michael Delaney testified that a bill ordering him to challenge the constitutionality of the health care reform law violates the state constitution’s separation of powers doctrine and is itself unconstitutional. Free Stater Rep. Andrew Manuse, who campaigned saying, “I will fight against all laws that any reasonable person would deem unconstitutional,” called Delaney’s comments “abhorrent.”

Cross-posted to Blue Hampshire

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