Thursday, June 23, 2005

Malcontents, unite!

Maybe I should be flattered.

Jeb has decided to make Manchester City Hall the site of what he calls his 100th town hall meeting. City Hall is, not coincidentally, located almost dead center in the middle of my legislative district. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

At any rate, Warren henderson, the state GOP chairman, has decided to label anyone who attends a Bradley town hall meeting and voices a disagreement with Jeb as "perpetually malcontented". Putting aside the issue of whether or not "malcontented" is an actual word, I find it absurd that Mr. Henderson would decide to so quickly demean anyone who doesn't buy into his crimped brand of party-hack Republicanism.

Of course, Henderson was a member of the corrupt and discredited Gene Chandler leadership team, so we should take his comments for what they are worth.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Save the Shipyard

This info comes from my friend and legislative colleague Jim Splaine. If you are available, it's definitely worth the trip:

Plan to attend the July 6th, 2005 BRAC Regional Hearing at the Massachusetts Convention and Exhibition Center,

415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210



Maine and New Hampshire are tentatively scheduled to present their case from 1-5pm.



- Anyone who would like to attend this hearing is welcome to ride on one of the Save Our Shipyard Buses. There is NO COST to ride a Save Our Shipyard Bus, attend, and participate.



- The buses will transport everyone from specific areas in Maine and New Hampshire to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.



ORGANIZERS NEED TO KNOW HOW MANY WILL ATTEND AS SOON AS POSSIBLE



TO SIGN UP NOW



1. Visit www.saveourshipyard.org and click on “Sign up here”, or create your own email to rsvp@saveourshipyard.org. Anyone without access to the Internet may send a post card or note to Seacoast Shipyard Association, PO Box 1123 Portsmouth, NH 03802-1123 to sign up.



2. Type “bus” in web site box, or on your post card indicate how many will be traveling on a Save Our Shipyard Bus and if you plan to catch bus at ME or NH location.



3. The BRAC Commission has not yet provided specific details for the hearing schedule, however tentative specifics are as follows:



- Plan to be gone the entire day – Buses will load at 9:00 am for a 10:00 am departure to Boston and arrive back at their original departure site at approximately 6:30 pm.

- Busses will have two primary boarding locations; the corner of Walker Street & US Route 1 (old Sparkle Spot lot) in Kittery Maine, and Airport Terminal, Exeter Street, Pease International Trade Port in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

- Wear your Save Our Shipyard T-shirt if you have one. (If you don’t, we will provide one). DO NOT bring signs or banners, our T-shirts will provide all of our visibility.

- Bring a lunch; there are no food services available at the convention center.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Fixing the Patriot Act

Last week, the House of Representatives, in an all-too-rare moment of rational thought, voted to limit the federal government's ability to sieze bookstore and library records.

Now, let me make one thing clear. Nobody with a lick of common sense wants to interfere with law enforcement's ability to vigorously hunt down and prosecute terrorists. However, provisions that give officials the ability to troll through citizens private affairs with virtually no legal safeguards are well beyond the realm of acceptable policy. If there are legitimate law enforcement matters at stake, then there should be no problem securing warrants and subpoenas.

Needless to say, our self-styled moderate from Wolfeboro caved in to White House pressure and did the wrong thing. This time, Jeb can't blame it on partisanship, since over three dozen Republicans managed to show some independence and vote the right way. This time, it all comes down to a lack of independence on Jeb's part.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Jeb does the wrong thing, volume XXVIII

Increasingly, it look s as though Jeb Bradley is physically incapable of doing the right thing when it comes to the ethics process.

Jeb's latest screw-up involves staffing for the House Ethics Committee. For nearly four decades, the Ethics Committee has had a non-partisan staff. This way, research and administration could be conducted in a manner that put the integrity of the democratic process above party gamesmanship.

Jeb decided that the needs of the Republican leadership are more important than an independent ethics committee. He blindly went along with a measure that would replace nonpartisan staff with partisan operatives beholden to the likes of Tom DeLay.

Our friend from Wolfeboro likes to tell people he is an independent-minded congressman; the facts show that this claim is utter nonsense.

Clark on Iraq

Gen. Wesley Clark offers some thoughts on the Bush Administration's handling of the situation in Iraq (click above to link to the article). Clark will be in Manchester this weekend for the Manchester Democratic Committee's Flag Day fundraiser.

I'm not sure I agree with Clark on the need to withdraw huge numbers of troops in the very short term. My concern is that if the withdrawal is conducted in a frenetic and haphazard manner, a vaccum will ensue, and the country will degenerate into an even more chaotic state.

Other than that, Clark makes sense. The U.S> has failed to effectively engage not only other nations in the region, but also our traditional allies, and as a result, we are caught in a situation where we lack the military, economic and political tools to effectively and quickly stabilize the situation in Iraq. It's time for the Administration to forget about the talk-radio wingdings and their fear of "nation building"; suck it up, engage the world community, and finish the damn job in a constructive and cooperative manner, one that not only allows our troops to come home, but gives the people of Iraq a country that is not only free from a thug like Saddam, but also has the tools needed to be a thriving member of the international community.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Franklin's Band of Hypocrites

I normally don't comment on state issues on this page, particularly when they involve a community in the 2nd congressional district. However, the latest antics by the Franklin School Board have sparked an exception to this policy.

For months, the Franklin School Board has done everything in its power to throttle the Franklin Career Academy, a public charter school serving kids from Franklin and a few surrounding towns. The Franklin School Board has trotted out an array of weak excuses to justify their idiotic (and illegal) effort to deny FCA its share of per-pupil funding. The school board has decided that making an anti-charter ideological statement is more important than the welfare of the kids of the community.

Well, now it has descended into the realm of mind-numbing pettiness. The Franklin School Board decided to ban Franklin Career Academy's students from the city's annula Class Day parade. Instead of using this occasion to unite the community, the Board has once again decided that it is more important to defend the educational-industrial complex and score ideological brownie points.

The actions of the Franklin School Board are a disgrace, an embarrassment to the State of New Hampshire, and an insult to the children of the city. The next time an anti-reform zealot tells you that they inly have the best interests of the children at heart, remember the antics of the Franklin old guard.

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