Friday, November 9, 2012

Right and Left Agree on Clean Energy, Agriculture

I'm wondering what to do with this blog now that the election is over.   Probably let it die. 

But for now, here's a picture I made from this survivalist flash presentation I clicked on.   The extreme right survivalist advocates for wind power, solar power, and organic gardening

He's mostly talking about living high in the post-civilization future.   His goal seems to be to create people who can say "I told you so" when the "liberals" who thought they were "crazy" come "begging for food" in the post-apocalyptic distopia. 

click to enlarge

In case you're wondering why I "Liked" Romney:

The guy is also right that it's a good idea to plan for disaster.   I'm going to take my chances on civilization continuing, but it's good to be prepared to last a few days without power and fuel.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Carol Shea-Porter Beats Frank Guinta

In what seems to be a great night for Democrats, Carol Shea-Porter beat incumbent Frank Guinta in the race for New Hampshire's first congressional district seat.   Congratulations to Carol Shea-Porter.   Thank you for bringing honor back to New Hampshire.

Thanks so much to all the volunteers and staff for Carol Shea-Porter who worked so hard.   Thanks to your donors.

Thank you to CREDO, who put up signs and made lots of calls and knocked on lots of doors and did some fun visibility.  From what I could tell they had nothing to do with Carol Shea-Porter or her campaign staff.   Their goal was to defeat their Tea Party Ten, and Frank Guinta was one of them. (I have affection for CREDO going back to my days as a Working Assets Long Distance customer in the 80s.  The bills came on brownish recycled paper.   I probably still have them in a box somewhere.)

Thanks to the incredible Obama campaign, which got out the vote in a huge way.   They brought UNH students to the polling place by the bus load and had a bunch of lawyers in suits standing by to make sure they were registered according to the rules.   Foster's reports over 3,000 new voters were registered in Durham on election day.

And especially, thanks to all the voters who, despite some obstacles, made the effort to vote.   Students don't generally care too much about state politics, but they notice when one party tries to take away their vote, and they got out in big numbers yesterday.   The students are in Democratic districts anyway, so their votes for state rep and state senate don't really make a difference.  But they sure can help in the statewide races for president, governor, US senator and US rep.   They probably have Democratic pull on the countywide races and statewide ballot questions.  No wonder Speaker O'Brien wants to disenfranchise them.

A huge thanks to my readers, both here and of my comments and posts around the web.   I have no idea if I moved any votes out there, but I feel good I tried.   I started putting links to here in my comments, mostly on Patch, which drove traffic here and also let me get an idea of how many people are reading a particular comment.   Thanks for clicking on them.

And thanks to Frank Guinta, who always maintained a civil manner that distinguished him from his Tea Party peers.   I once heard him say he tries to act as if his children might be watching him on TV, which was a nice sentiment.

Hopefully Rep. Guinta won't just run in the off year again.   We have this idea the the electorate ricochets from backlash to backlash in these two year cycles.   But it's just that a much smaller turnout in the off years lets the enthusiastic groups that always vote (mostly conservative lately) have more power.

I'll keep around in case we need it again.  Time to sleep for a long time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Welcome to Not Inta Guinta

Thanks for visiting    We want to be your site for factual, thoroughly sourced information on Representative Frank Guinta.   And we want to have some fun while we're doing it.

Breaking News 11/3/2012:  AP reports what readers knew a month ago:  There's no evidence Frank Guinta's job fairs produced any jobs, and some evidence that Frank Guinta is lying about it.   Update:  The one source quoted as hiring at Guinta's job fair turns out to be a bigwig Republican and Guinta's partner in his jobs initiative, as I detail in
Fishy Source Claiming Guinta Job Fair Placements.

Voting Pep Talk

It's election day.   Don't forget -- if you're a US citizen living in New Hampshire, even as a college student, you can walk into your polling place on election day, register and vote.   It's your right.   Nothing bad will happen to you.   Students, the Tea Party dominated state legislature is trying to scare you into thinking you'll have to register your car or get a new license, but you don't.   The bad thing happens when you don't vote, and the Republicans who want to keep you from voting ever again get elected.   You don't need ID, but show it anyway.  Do it!  Vote!

The Presidential Election

I discuss a report that appears to undermine the rationale for Mitt Romney's entire economic plan in Highly Respected Congressional Research Service Debunks Romney's Economic Plan.
 I did another infographic: Stock Market, Last 24 Years, Dems vs GOP.  I'm finding that when you inject objective reality into the discussion, Democrats win.

I examine the history of successful businessmen who became president.  It's not a pretty picture, and it does not bode well for Mitt Romney's performance.   Check out Businessmen Presidents: Picture of the Day 2012 10 22.

Representative Frank Guinta's Failings

Frank Guinta's $355,000 loan to his campaign of money he doesn't have
Frank Guinta is running for reelection by pretending he's not in Congress.   If I had his record I would too.
Frank Guinta's misleading attack on Carol Shea-Porter
Frank Guinta's job fairs are just photo ops.    I also cover how he abuses the taxpayer funded mailing privilege, and calls his work bipartisan without actually being bipartisan.
Frank Guinta is OK with violence against some women

Frank Guinta - Tea Party or Not Tea Party?

You can find a list of ideas for more posts here.

Poking Fun At Representative Frank Guinta To Make a Serious Point

Frank Guinta's Plan For America - Congressmen Fix America Themselves

Presidential Election Debate Notes

Back of the Envelope Debate Math
Veep Debate Fauxto Essay

Photoshop Fun and Learning

I Loathe 47%
Frank Guinta's Plan For America
Veep Debate Fauxto Essay
Ryan Raises Debt
Everything in the banner above is from a news source linked from a post on this site (except the joke I just put in the presidential candidates' mouths).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fishy Source Claiming Guinta Job Fair Placements

The Associated Press confirmed a story we broke a month ago here, that Congressmen Frank Guinta's Job Fairs are really just photo-ops for his reelection campaign.

Until the AP story, the only claim that anyone got a job at one of Rep. Guinta's job fairs was this from his website:
So far [employers] report at least two attendees have been hired.
The AP story includes this interesting passage, containing an excuse from Mr. Guinta as to why no actual names of people hired at these fairs, a nod by AP that the excuse is probably a lie, and a claim of placements from all six jobs fairs:

Less clear is how successful the job fairs were for job seekers. Guinta said the feedback he’s received from businesses has been largely positive, but ‘‘there are rules in terms of what I'm allowed to publicize once these people get a job,’’ he said. ‘‘There are privacy issues there.’’
Several of the participating employers contacted by The Associated Press did not mention any privacy issues, however.  EFI VuTek, which designs and manufacturers large-format printers in Meredith, hired one or two temporary workers at each job fair, said Wendy Lague, manager of talent acquisition. Those have been mostly in shipping, receiving and manufacturing positions lasting six months to a year, she said.
‘‘We've done really well,’’ she said. ‘‘I've been pleased to see someone in public office really putting that effort toward building jobs in New Hampshire.’’
If our representatives are going to lie, they should really learn to do a better job.   But let's focus on the hires.   Let's see, six jobs fairs, each with one or two temps hired, makes at least seven people claimed to have gotten a job.   And one company hiring at all the fairs.   I was suspicious.

Who is Wendy Lague?   Facebook, the source of all knowledge, has

Click to Enlarge

OK, so her profile picture is a Romney poster and she subscribes to Frank Guinta's page.   I'm getting more suspicious.   She commented on the Rep.'s page to come down to the job fair, so at least she was there.

She's a Romney/Ryan bigwig of sorts.  She's on the list below right next to Ovide Lamontagne, Republican candidate for governor hoping for a big day tomorrow.   Erin Lamontagne is involved in some new Newt Gingrich scandal.

How about her job?

It looks like she recruits at a high level.   I don't see much about temps.   Unless you're proficient in Swedish.

Does she know Guinta outside the job fairs?

Here's a union leader article talking about Guinta's "Women’s Business Roundtable."   It's a roundtable with a panel of 3 businesswomen.  Guess who's on the panel:
At EFI Manufacturing in Meredith, where more than 300 are employed, business is good, said EFI’s Wendy Lague, but there are problems trying to develop and train more local talent to meet increasing job opportunities.
“We had a record year last year,” said Lague, attending a Women’s Business Roundtable organized by District 1 Congressman Frank Guinta. Temporary workers are finding permanent employment, and they are skilled.
However, “We’re running out of space,” she said of the print manufacturers’ facilities on both sides of Route 104.
Everything's just peachy when Frank's in charge.   Someone should ask Ms. Lague if any of the temps she hired at the Guinta job fairs found permanent employment.    Watch out, when Frank get's reelected he's going to start teaching job training classes.

This picture from the Friday April 13, 2012 Laconia Daily Sun was hard to find.

So far Rep Guinta is praising the "privatize Medicare" Ryan budget and then ranting about Obamacare.   I'm not sure what this has to do with women's business.  I see, the picture goes with an article on page four.   Odd.  Anyway, here's the rest of the first article.   
The Laconia Daily Sun ran the article about Rep. Guinta meeting with three women and a Union Leader reporter in a closed room in the same issue:

This is more of what you find when you google "Frank Guinta Wendy Lague":

Here is Wendy Lague at a Kelly Ayotte function along with Frank Guinta.

Here Frank Guinta attends a ceremony where Wendy Lague is giving an award.

Here Frank Guinta and Wendy Lague are in the same edition of the High Tech Council Newsletter.

What it looks like to me is, in a very real way, Wendy Sykes-Lague is Frank Guinta's "Getting Granite Staters Back to Work" initiative.   She speaks to the press.  She hires someone at every fair.  (Or she just says she does --- I don't know which.)   She sits on the Women's Business Roundtable.   And she's very active in New Hampshire Republican Politics.  

I personally don't think EFI VuTek actually "hired one or two temporary workers at each job fair," as Ms. Lague stated.   I think she's just doing her fellow Republican buddy Frank Guinta a favor by saying this.  

Hey Holly Ramer, you did a great job on this story that you wrote for AP.  Thank you so much.  I'm now your biggest fan.    But please find out more about Wendy Lague for us, OK?   I can't imagine you like being played by a source.  Thanks.

[Actual date 11/5/12 3:55 AM -- changed to keep list on right up through Tuesday]

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Frank Guinta - Tea Party or Not Tea Party?

Frank Guinta, our Representative to the U.S. House from the First District of New Hampshire, rode into office on a Tea Party wave in 2010.   Back then he was proud to be part of the Tea Party.    In 2012 the Tea Party's popularity seems to have waned somewhat, and Rep. Guinta scoffs at suggestions that he's a Tea Party member.    As you watch his attempts to distance himself from the Tea Party, it's good to know Rep. Guinta's history with the movement.

We'll consider Frank's Tea Party membership two different ways.  First, we'll look at what he's said about it.   Next, we'll compare his position on the issues to the Tea Party.

Frank Guinta's History with the Tea Party

The national movement is usually thought to have really begun on February 19, 2009 with Rick Santelli's suggestion on CNBC to have a Tea Party in response to the Obama administration's mortgage refinancing plan.

Frank Guinta hopped on the Tea Party bandwagon pretty quickly.     Here's a video of then Mayor Guinta speaking at a Tea Party Rally less than two months later, on Tax Day, April 15, 2009.

Guinta: This is America. This is grassroots effort at its finest, you all should be congratulated for standing up for your values, your right and the responsibility that we all have as Americans to tell our leaders stop spending our money!  It is not easy to stand alone in the fight against liberals.
Let's skip ahead to the Republican primary for NH first district.    A Concord Monitor article written November 4, 2010 says

During the Republican primary, [Guinta] easily won a straw poll held by the New Hampshire Tea Party Coalition, taking 81 percent of the vote. Guinta's margin of victory over his Republican challengers was the most decisive of any contest featured in the Tea Party poll.
Guinta said at the time that he was honored by the results of the straw poll and cited his attendance at several Tea Party events, as well as gatherings for the 9/12 movement started by Fox News commentator Glenn Beck.

I don't think Mr. Guinta is that enthusiastic about associating with Glenn Beck these days.  It wouldn't work with his "bipartisan" image.

The same article talks about how, once elected, Guinta planned to join the House Tea Party Caucus.

Elected Tuesday with the support of Tea Partiers and pledging deep cuts to federal government, Frank Guinta will soon be one of many freshman House Republicans left to figure out where the fledgling movement fits within the halls of Congress.
The former Manchester mayor has said he would join a House Tea Party Caucus created this summer by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota. So far, the caucus counts 52 members and represents the first formal organizing of the movement at a congressional level.
In March 2011 the House Tea Party Caucus met, but Rep. Guinta was nowhere to be found.  He had decided not to join.  By April and May, the growing unpopularity of the Tea Party was softening Guinta's rhetoric.

In debt ceiling crisis in July, 2010,  Frank ends up parting with some of his more extreme Tea Party colleagues and voting for the debt deal.   It's enacted.   This is the deal that raised the debt ceiling, cut some spending, and created the "supercommittee" to negotiate further cuts.   It includes the now infamous "sequester cuts" of military and domestic programs that are scheduled to kick in in January 2013 (part of the fiscal cliff) now that the supercommittee has failed.

Frank explained how his vote related to the Tea Party this way:
Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., said although the Tea Party is not entirely on the same page, it does not mean members are divided.
"We're in the same book, we're in the same chapter," Guinta told ABC News. "Some might be a little bit farther ahead than others. But we're all going down the road of fiscal discipline and fiscal responsibility.
With the debt ceiling deal, had Frank forsaken the Tea Party?  No, as this Union Leader piece from August 12, 2011, entitled "Guinta Smooths Things Over with Tea Party" points out:
Keeping on the right side of the Tea Party is a priority for U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta. The freshman representative embraced the Tea Party movement sooner than other Republicans, and support from the new activists may have made the difference in Guinta’s narrow primary victory a year ago.
Monday night, Guinta spoke to nearly 100 Tea Party-oriented conservatives at a meeting hosted by the Rochester 9/12 group to address grumblings on the right about his vote to increase the debt ceiling. In an impressive performance, Guinta fielded more than 20 questions over 90 minutes, disarmed most of his critics, and successfully persuaded the group he’s still on their side.
Frank is of course backpedalling furiously now that it's clear the sequester cuts he helped enact will cause New Hampshire to lose jobs.   It seems the Tea Party really didn't mean to cut government spending when it turns out some defense jobs would be cut.   

The Tea Party is a bit muddled on this point.   That's My Congress tells this story about House Amendment 563
In July of 2011, Rep. Barney Frank introduced an amendment to H.R. 2219 which would have cut the U.S. military budget by $8.5 billion, stipulating that no cuts were to be taken from pay or benefit programs supporting members and veterans of the armed forces. These cuts would have reduced the emphasis of the U.S. budget on weapons programs and also furthered the declared aim of Tea Party and GOP politicians to reduce spending. Yet a majority of Tea Party and GOP politicians blocked the cuts: their support for military spending trumped their aim of fiscal restraint. 
Rep. Guinta has followed a conservative course by voting against this bill.
A similar confusion over Tea Party ideals occurred the previous May over the reauthorization of the Patriot Act.
Reflecting the rhetoric of the broader Tea Party movement, Tea Party Express, FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Caucus each proclaim themselves to be organizations dedicated to constitutional government.  If we take these declarations seriously, then we should expect members of Congress associated with these three Tea Party organizations to cast votes against bills that subvert the United States Constitution.
Guinta voted for the Act, apparently with little regard to Tea Party concerns about the constitution.

During the debt ceiling debate, it was clear Frank was distancing himself from the Tea Party:
As we move into a 2012 presidential general election cycle, it is unlikely that 2010 Tea Party candidates Bass or Guinta will court the deepest part of the GOP base so closely again.  Whether or not the Tea Party acts on that rejection is another question.

This is getting long, so let's just skip ahead to 2012.   In the recent NPR debate
Guinta said Shea-Porter has resorted to “name-calling” in an effort to undercut what he has accomplished.  “This notion of labeling every Republican as a member of the tea party is ridiculous.”
Well, that Frank sure is a slippery fellow.   He's just your garden variety Republican -- never mind all that Tea Party stuff.   But the Internet has a long memory, and the press and left are now in the habit of sticking Guinta with the "Tea Party" moniker:

Tea Party Lawmaker Frank Guinta Draws Ire Over Medicare Vote

Rep. Guinta's Tea Party Stance on the Issues

 In this very short clip, Frank adopts the "Don't Tread On Me" mantra of the Tea Party:

In the summer of 2010, Frank Guinta actually filled out a survey for Raymond Area Tea Party.  You can read it yourself -- Frank goes almost 100% for the Tea Party line in his answers.   Here are some highlights:
12. Would you support a law that mandates teaching both creationism as well as evolution as theories in public school science classes?
Yes I would. I do think however that the ultimate control of education and curriculum should be left up to parents.
20. Would you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
Pro-Life. As a father, I understand the value and dignity of every child - born and unborn. It is for this reason that I recognize the importance of defending the sanctity of human life.
It's clear that by this time, in summer 2010, the Tea Party was as concerned about the social issues of abortion and creationism as they were about debt and the constitution.   It was mostly the same people all along.

Frank Guinta has agreed with the Tea Party.   I leave it to the reader to judge if this is just an opportunistic pairing, a movement that Guinta attached himself to, rode to power, and is now trying to distance himself from to remain in power.  Or, is the Tea Party an expression of Rep. Guinta's true beliefs, and his distancing of late is solely and electoral strategy?   Either way, I'm hopeful he and his Tea Party ways will be ended on Election Day this Tuesday.

[Originally published Nov 3, 5:40pm.   Date changed so that list on right stays complete through election day.]

Highly Respected Congressional Research Service Debunks Romney's Economic Plan

“The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.”
This is the conclusion of the Congressional Research Service report "Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945."   The CRS, often referred to as "congress's think tank" is the highly respected, non-partisan public policy research arm of the US Congress.

CRS reports are not generally made public.   Amid claims that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had moved to suppress the report, it appears to have been leaked in time for the election.

The report challenges the central dogma of Republican tax policy:  lowering the tax rate for businesses and individuals will improve the economy.   For example, Mitt Romney's plan is a 20% reduction in tax rates and a lowering corporate tax rates from 35% to 25%.   

Most of the argument has been over if or how much limiting of deductions and exemptions could make up for the loss in revenue of the rate cut in Mitt's plan.   The CRS report ignores that, instead questioning the very idea that such a policy would lead to economic improvement.   Examining our history since 1945 suggests there's no reason to believe lowering rates will lead to increased GDP growth.   There's no reason to believe lowering rates would lead to increased savings or investment.   

What there is evidence for is that lowering the tax rates leads to more inequality.   Instead of trickle-down, we get "pooling-up," where wealth gets concentrated in the hands of a small number of people.  

In other words, one of the most respected sources of information in government, the Congressional Research Service, has concluded that the central tenet of the Republican's economic plan, tax cuts, especially for higher incomes, don't help the economy.   They just help rich people get richer.

The Republican response, as usual, has been to attack the source when they don't like the conclusion.   Never mind the damage to our society that comes when sources whose value is that they can be trusted to provide facts and analysis upon which to make governing decisions are derided for partisan purposes.


This was posted 5:18am  Saturday, November 3, 2012.   I changed the date so the list of October articles on the right stays up through election day.