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New Hampshire
  • Occupy Wall Street Discovers Virtues of Incorporation

    vendetta mask The Occupy Wall Street movement is opposed to the the insatiable greed and undemocratic influence of corporations and the authoritarianism embedded in non-consensual decision making, post-industrial capitalism and showers.

    And at least some members of Occupy New Hampshire are opposed to any recognition of irony…

    …a small number of Occupy New Hampshire members incorporated the movement as a nonprofit in order to boot their former bedfellows: the Free Staters. Also prohibited from future Occupy events are gun owners who openly carry.

    It's been a controversial move for a group so opposed to authoritative rule, and several Occupy members have joined with the Free Staters to fight back.

    The Free State Project is an alliance of libertarians relocating to New Hampshire to create a libertarian state but who can't afford the airfare to Somalia. Many have been joining in Occupy protests because New Hampshire is weird that way, making this the most significant schism since the People's Front of Judea vehemently opposed the Judean People's Front.

    Tensions between Free Staters and some Occupiers have risen after the realization that building a social movement based on shared cultural preferences, rather than policy goals, ends in tears as both groups return to occupying their parents' basements.

    Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

    Tags: Libertarian, New Hampshire, Occupy Wall Street
  • Star of Mitt Romney Attack Ad Didn't Build That

    Unlike the rest of us, job creators never relied on the assistance of society to get ahead in life. Any job creator who doesn't figure out how to operate a textile mill within ten minutes of being pushed through the birth canal is left out in the forest with the wolves, which also happens to solve the problem of day care in their libertopian society.

    No, they build their mills with their bare hands. Then use it to manufacture bootstraps. Then pull themselves up by those bootstraps, until their ascent is impeded by IRS agents and OSHA regulators.

    Such is the story of Jack Gilchrist, the owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, New Hampshire and the star of Mitt Romney's "These Hands" ad, which attacks Barack Obama for suggesting that successful business owners may owe society a debt for the schools and roads that made their success possible.

    "Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it," asks Gilchrist of the President, who routinely praises small business owners as the greatest thing this side of a family farmer. Unfortunately for Romney, "a little bit of luck" is job creator-speak for government-backed loans and Navy contracts

    In 1999, Gilchrist Metal received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority "to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment," according to a New Hampshire Union Leader report at the time…

    Last year, Gilchrist Metal also received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 and a smaller $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008, according to a government web site that tracks spending.

    None of this should distract from the banal point made by Obama that a business which doesn't receive direct subsidies nevertheless benefits from public investment in basic infrastructure, but sitting down with defense contractors beneath a "We did build it!" banner is especially embarrassing. It's the kind of problem that the Obama campaign didn't make for Romney. He built it all by himself.

    Photo by David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Advertising, Mitt Romney, New Hampshire
  • Democrats Going Indy in Swing States

    Four years ago, a young good-looking charismatic junior senator from Illinois popped up on the national radar, and it was pretty tough to avoid getting pulled in by his tractor beam of coolness. Consequently, lots of voters ended up identifying with Barack Obama and his Democratic Party establishment. He was a rock star. He was an outsider. He was a rebel. Or so it seemed.

    Now, four years later, he's looking a lot more dad-like. He's getting pretty gray. His hipster-nerd jokes seem less hip and more nerdy. He plays with a lightsaber. He wears mom jeans. Mom jeans!

    I think that might go a long way toward explaining why so many voters in swing states are looking to reestablish their indy cred

    The collective total of independents grew by about 443,000 in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina since the 2008 election, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from state election officials.

    During the same time, Democrats saw a net decline of about 480,000 in those six states, while Republicans — boosted in part by a competitive primary earlier this year — added roughly 38,000 voters in them, the analysis shows.

    If I were David Plouffe or David Axelrod — any David on the Obama campaign staff, really — I'd be looking to get Obama cast in a Tarantino movie or something.

    Or he might want to consider going full-frontal in an upcoming press conference. That could also work.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Colorado, Democrats, Florida, Independent, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina
  • Rep. Bob Kingsbury, Kindergarten Cop

    There's a myth being perpetrated by the media that Republicans hate science. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is many right-wing politicians love conducting scientific research in their off time. Next to shutting down Planned Parenthoods, science is probably their favorite hobby.

    Take Rep. Bob Kingsbury of New Hampshire. He just discovered that making children attend kindergarten increases the crime rate. He did this by looking at two isolated sets of data that seemed to confirm his theory that making children attend kindergarten increases the crime rate. If that's not science, then neither is my hypothesis that Planned Parenthood is the number one cause of global warming.

    When he's not busy being an armchair social scientist, Kingsbury uses his powers of logic and reason as a state legislator

    Kingsbury has a history of taking conservative positions in the Tea Party-controlled State House. This includes partnering with supporters of birther queen Orly Taitz to push a bill to partially repeal the direct election of U.S. senators and sponsoring a bill that would raise the minimum age of judges from 18 to 60. Kingsbury has also sponsored legislation to require future state laws to be based on the Magna Carta and said in February that statehood for the District of Columbia could cause New Hampshire's crime rate to rise 25 percent. He is not currently planning kindergarten-related legislation.

    Kingsbury's legislative record makes it hard to believe he isn't planning a bill to put kindergarten teachers in jail for abetting future criminals. As it stands, Kingsbury's political allies refuse to comment on his research. The National Education Association of New Hampshire says there's no credible evidence against sending kids to kindergarten, but what do they know about crime?

    Maybe Kingsbury will have more support once his findings are finally accepted by the scientific community. But he'll need to be patient. After all, it took Galileo hundreds of years to convince everyone the earth was flat.

    Photo by Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images

    Tags: Crime, Education, New Hampshire, Republicans, Tea Party
  • Ain't No Vacation Like a Romney Vacation Because a Romney Vacation Is Mandatory

    Mitt RomneyHow will you be celebrating America on this July 4th? Will you be "summering" at your parents' house? Or participating in a rigorous and mandatory set of physical tasks known as the "Romney Olympics" on a 13-acre compound?

    The Romney Olympics have long included a mini-triathlon of biking, swimming and running that pits Mitt and his five sons and their wives against one another. But after Mitt once nearly finished last, behind a daughter-in-law who had given birth to her second child a couple of months earlier, the ultra-competitive and self-described unathletic patriarch expanded the games to give himself a better shot.

    Now they also compete to see who can hang onto a pole the longest, who can throw a football the farthest and who can hammer the most nails into a board in two minutes — not exactly the kind of events they'll be giving out gold medals for in London this month.

    Was it only a year ago that we heard Mitt pronounce, "I declare the Games of the 14th Romney Olympiad closed and, in accordance with tradition, I call upon the Romneys of the world to assemble one year from now in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire to celebrate the Games of the 15th Romney Olympiad?"

    Time does fly when you're spinning the "chore wheel" to split up the family cleaning duties and putting on a talent show on a stage constructed by Mitt himself. Though all these events are vast improvements over the traditional foie gras eating contest that once followed (I assume) the "hobo toss" and "cut the hair off the hippie" competitions.

    Still, even some of the more mundane events may make it difficult for the typical voter to relate to the Romneys. The Post  notes that Romney helps his grandchildren "roast s'mores over a campfire and leads them on treasure hunts."  Does that mean a trip to New Hampshire includes a side jaunt to Switzerland and the Cayman islands?

    Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: 4th of July, Mitt Romney, New Hampshire, Sports