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New Hampshire Views: In 2nd District, the talk is less than enlightening

Whenever exasperation with Congress’s utter dysfunctionality forces people to seek solace in the knowledge that, yes, this, too, shall pass, it’s hard for them not to wonder, “Okay, but how soon?”

Not very, judging from the early rustlings in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District.

The good news is that district voters will have choices. Democratic incumbent Annie Kuster, a freshman, already has two Republicans vying for the right to oppose her: Gary Lambert, a former state senator from Nashua; and Marlinda Garcia, a member of the New Hampshire House from Salem.

Because both potential opponents have political experience and appear to be accomplished professionally – Lambert is a lawyer, Garcia an executive in a cybersecurity firm – both would seem to offer some promise for engaging in a lively exchange of ideas about policy and philosophy.

Certainly, the potential is there. But Garcia’s recent announcement of her candidacy raised serious doubts about what 2nd District voters can look forward to in terms of an enlightening debate.

“I’m running because I believe America is the last great hope on Earth, and that this is a nation worth fighting for, and I believe I have the skill set and can benefit from a new generation of ideas and help bring America back on the right path again,” Garcia said, thereby raising the question about whether her “skill set” includes the ability to express herself coherently or in anything but tired cliches.

Speaking of which, she made sure to let voters know that one of her chief concerns is that a majority of Americans are, for the first time, “less confident that their children and grandchildren can achieve the American dream.”

But the Lambert campaign apparently will not permit its candidate to be out-cliched.

Here’s a sampling of the response to Garcia’s candidacy offered by Ethan Zorfas, Lambert’s campaign consultant:

“Col. Lambert has served his country in the Marine Corps for over 34 years and wants to bring real leadership to Washington. As a small business owner, husband and father of two daughters, Gary is running to represent the 2nd District because Congresswoman Kuster and political insiders have abandoned the middle class.”

So, for those who simply can’t choose between a candidate who passionately believes that America is worth fighting for and one who would never abandon the middle class because he’s a proud husband and father, there’s always the incumbent, right?

Bad news there, too. Here’s what Marc Brumer, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had to say: “The right wing has found yet another reliable rubber stamp who will carry on Bill O’Brien’s Tea Party torch that caused so much damage to families in New Hampshire.”

O’Brien is the former New Hampshire House speaker whose controversial tenure has little do with the issues facing Congress, but who has become the go-to reference for any New Hampshire Democrat who wishes to invoke the specter of Very Bad Things without engaging in the thought process.

For example, here’s what Harrell Kirstein, spokesman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, had to say about the race: “With two of O’Brien’s loyal rubber stamps seeking the Republican nomination, New Hampshire voters should brace themselves for Garcia and Lambert’s inevitable reckless race to pander to the same extreme right fringe of the Republican Party that forced the federal government shutdown.”

“Rubber stamp,” “right wing” and “Bill O’Brien” are apparently the three essential ingredients in the recipe shared by New Hampshire Democrats for pretending to have something to say about Republican opponents.

What all of these pseudo-statements share, of course, is a speak-by-number approach that touches prescribed topics and manages to say nothing at all.

Were it not for the fact that the nation faces many serious problems that the current Congress is either failing to address or actually making worse, such fatuity might be shrugged off as political rhetoric at its emptiest level. But with Washington in desperate need of people who can engage with each other — a very different exercise than mouthing meaningless slogans — the race in the 2nd District has gotten off to an inauspicious start.

At the very least, these candidates and their mouthpieces might treat voters as intelligent human beings.

Legacy Comments40

Kuster can't even pay her property taxes on time. She's not responsible enough to be in Congress, and has the mental acuity of a turnip. At least Hodes could play the guitar.

"play the guitar", that is funny. Like Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

I am truly tired of the "Remember the Alamo, oops I mean Benghazi" battle cry popping up everywhere. Yes it was a tragedy to lose 4 Americans. On April 18, 1983 and Oct. 23 1983 a total of 257 Americans were killed in two bomb attacks. One on the Beirut Embassy and the other a Marine Barracks barracks in Lebanon. Under President Reagan the U.S. government took no military action in response to either bombing. So by all means don't forget the Benghazi 4, but at the same time don't forget these 257 and the hundreds more that have lost their lives when Obama wasn't there to blame. These Americans are much more than a well orchestrated group of pawns for the anti-Obama crowd. They deserve more. BTW, Kuster is also an idiot democrat or not.

typical liberal transference. Benghazi was a lie told to Americans by Hillary and Obama..... unfortunately that is acceptable to democrats

Can you read? I never said anything about a lie. I was simply asking why should there be outrage by certain elements over Benghazi because Obama was in power? People weren't informed fast enough. Why the outrage, everyone stationed in that part of the world knows there is a definite risk involved. If Obama were not in power I am sure you couldn't have cared any less about Benghazi.

Can you READ? -Typical liberal Transference is bringing up Beruit- Calling the MURDER of an American Ambassador a simple "battle cry" is putrid. However, we expect that kind of behavior from the left.

One thing I know about Benghazi is that sending bills put forth in the House of Congress on behalf of the President's policy, before the attack took place, had within them more funding to provide better security at some of our Embassies, including Benghazi. But the Republucan controlled Congress refused to vote for them an instead blocked the spending bills entirely. Interesting that none if you conservative parrots ever mention this fact.

your source is again WRONG

Republicans have repeatedly voted to cut funding for increased security at diplomatic outposts, as Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz acknowledged in 2012. If you have factual information to the contrary--post it along with a link. "For the past two years, House Republicans have continued to deprioritize the security forces protecting State Department personnel around the world. In fiscal year 2011, lawmakers shaved $128 million off of the administration's request for embassy security funding. House Republicans drained off even more funds in fiscal year 2012 -- cutting back on the department's request by $331 million."

Only you Bruce would define asking for more funds and not getting them as a cut. The budget was not cut. Funding for Security has more than doubled in the last ten years. Not one State Dept employee stated in the hearings that budget was an issue. The state dept can allocate security funds based on current events any time they want. Security funding comes from several sources by the way. The funding is actually higher. Now lets talk about how the state dept spends their funds. They spend embassy funds on Chevy Volts, Statues and Expensive Interior Decorating. That is their priority. You still have not addressed Lamb said in the hearings. She stated that Benghazi was a temporary embassy, and they decided that more security was not needed. She also stated that funding was not an issue. That and the fact that Clinton knew nothing, saw no reports, and had no common sense to zero in on Benghazi with all the previous events that happened there. She just claimed she did not know and what difference does it make. Basically blamed the Dept she is head of. Not her job to oversee them, she was too busy doing photo ops all over the world.

There has been a 28% reduction in spending for diplomatic security since 2009. 2009--$6.68 billion, 2010--$5.22 billion, 2011--$4.76 billion. Those are cuts any way you parse them.

the budget on line will allow you to correct your mistake

factually challenged as usual - those are numbers pulled out of La-La -Land - go directly to the state dept web site to see the real numbers. Bruce will also have you believe that the republicans did this by getting the democrats and the president to be partisan and go along with it.

silly boy - American has been under a democrat continuing resolution for 4 years and there has been NO BUDGET to cut ! sheeeeesh ! Please state the house and senate numbers of the budget passed and signed buy Obama - Ya cant - they don't exist.. The president may have presented a budget but you may also remember it went down unanimously in the senate 97-0

Duly noted is the change of topic when the poster's claims are shown to be misleading, if not false. The poster in question above is on record as denying that funding for diplomatic security was cut, or denying something(exactly what isn't clear)in gdn1's post: "y[sic]our source is again WRONG". When the numbers are posted that show a 28% reduction in spending on diplomatic security over 3 years, the poster's follow-up response veers off into irrelevance. His "logic": since government operations have been funded most recently via continuing resolutions rather than by budget appropriations, then "there has been no budget to cut." So therefore it would be impossible to cut money from a continuing resolution? Or the money doesn't actually exist? The poster would have readers believe this actually makes a difference--perhaps even believes it himself. But it is a distinction without a difference. It makes not a whit of difference to the actual monies appropriated and spent, or in this case, cut. When one is in a hole, it might be best to stop digging, and sometimes it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt.

Obamas proposed budget, the C|R's and security funding is fairly well laid out here;

For the readers I urge you to go directly to the State dept website to see for yourself if the above statement is true - I CHALLENGE YOU

FACTS straight from the US State Dept web site...

still waiting for your apology to the readers

the readers are waiting for you apology - Man up


My figures come from the Heritage Foundation: and their table: U.S. Department of State "Appropriations for Diplomatic Security". Adding the columns up line item by line item results in a 28% reduction in spending between 2009 and 2011.

as per your advice - stop digging - again and again you have been proven wrong

FACTS for BRUCE = Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance , 2011=1,630,953,000..... 2013 = 1,637,724,000.... = 67,724,000.. Bruce your numbers weren't even withing this stratosphere. I will accept your apology any time you see fit to return to this forum.

My numbers for 2009 to 2011 are accurate; they show a 28% reduction in spending--the cuts that Rep. Chavetz acknowledged. Readers are free to do the math using the link provided. Your post above seems to exclude significant line items for spending on security--lines included in my figures derived from the Heritage post. You also cherry-picked your dates--going from 2011 (low point) to 2013 (increase) when the issue is whether there were cuts prior to the 2012 Benghazi attack. Funding for years post-Benghazi is irrelevant to your initial and false claim that there were no cuts. Your posts since border on the hysterical and continue to dissemble on the facts--as is your wont most threads. Deal with it.

Your claims are off-base and bizarre. And coming from the poster above all others who routinely posts distorted headlines and facts--most notably on climate science, but certainly not limited to that topic, they're laughable. The original issue was whether spending was cut both before and after the Benghazi attack. It was. The figures below show a 28% reduction in spending on diplomatic security between 2009 and 2012, and a modest increase of 2.8% for 2013. There was a a 49.6% increase in funding on diplomatic security between 2008 and 2009. As per the Heritage Foundation, my numbers include both "Embassy Security, Construction, Maintenance" and "Worldwide Security Protection". My original numbers double-counted the first category, but that does not alter the trend or % reduction (28%) over the years 2009--2012. 2013 saw a 2.8% increase over the 2012 budget, but that was still 5% below 2011 spending. Here are the numbers ( in $billions): 2008--$2,681.2; 2009--$4011.2; 2010--$3403.8; 2011--$3128.1; 2012--$2892; 2013--$2974.9

stop digging Bruce - your numbers above quoted 2011-2012 ....NOT.... 2009-2011

As per my original post: any claim that House Republicans have not attempted to cut budget requests repeatedly--before Benghazi and after-- should not even be up for discussion. "For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program — well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration’s request.)" The fact that cooler heads prevailed in the Senate in 2012 doesn't alter the fact that those making the wildest accusations about Benghazi were the same politicians who voted--both before and after Benghazi--for cuts to the State Dept. for spending on security.

" The Obama admin requested budget"....KEEP DIGGING BRUCIE

If that is an apology to the readers for AGAIN providing FALSE information you are again pretty poor at it.

your figures are as bogus as your globull warming alarmist baloney

Using the Heritage Foundation estimated figures for 2012 spending on security results in an even bigger reduction: 33.7% instead of 28%. 2012 est. spending was $4.43 billion, the difference in spending between 2009 to 2012 was $2.25 billion ($6.68 billion -- $4.43 billion = $2.25 billion. That's a reduction is spending for security of 33.7%.

Bruce - why do you choose to push your fib that republicans cut funding?. Using a blog for reference when the actual budget has been provided to you shows AGAIN just how disingenuous you always are. web site will allow the readers to be informed

It's to be expected. Kuster doesn't know anything about Benghazi, but that is excusable by our wonderful media. If Garcia and Lambert had the letter "D" stamped on their heads, cliches would be fine and the gushing praise would be never-ending. Your bias is showing.

Well said.

Annie has gone VIRAL - She is now seen across the nation - NH should be EMBARRASSED they elected her ...."Somebody Tell Democrat Ann Kuster That Her Response About Benghazi Is the Worst We´ve Ever Seen.. : Independent Journal Review, by Bubba Atkinson.....

I don't think anyone since John Durkin or Thomas McIntyre has not been an embarrassment to NH. As for Ms. Garcia, if she can get to DC and stand on her own like Kelly Ayotte has begun to do, there may be hope. But that means being able to stand up to the ultra right crazies. If we get another batch of reps that are more concerned with partisanship than working together, then we will be having this same argument the next election cycle.

Sorry, Judd Gregg was a statesman.

said the pot calling the kettle black

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