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Susan Estrich - Why I like John Kasich

"Oh no," Kasich supporters must be thinking. "Just what we need. A liberal endorsement."

Worry not. I do not like John Kasich because I agree with him. Heavens, no. I disagree with him about almost everything.

I do not think he is a liberal. He is hardly my definition of moderate. He only looks moderate compared to some folks who make their fellow conservatives shudder. You know whom I mean.

The reason I like John Kasich is because, in our 10 years or so as political talk show contributors and often cross-talkers, he showed a level of intelligence, honesty and decency that you don't find very often in that world. It is, I think, what is attracting attention on the campaign trail.

He is not pro-abortion rights. Ohio has been a hotbed of anti-abortion activity, and abortions are harder to get — more restricted, with fewer clinics — since Kasich took office. But unlike many of his rivals, he doesn't stumble when asked if he'd support a law that included exceptions for rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother. He just says yes and moves on.

Seriously: are these guys really saying that the government should decide that a mother's life is worth less than that of her unborn child? What in the world gives a bunch of (mostly) guys in a state legislature the right to make that decision? And how in the world can that be such a difficult question to answer for men who would stake out a claim to the most powerful and difficult job in the world?

John Kasich is not pro-gay rights. But when asked what he would do if his daughter were gay, he said he would love her unconditionally. Yes, dare I say, of course.
How can that possibly be a hard question? Yet in these circles, it is. In these circles, going to a gay wedding — as Kasich said he'd done — is a distinguishing characteristic. Maybe at the next debate someone should go down the line and ask the candidates if they would, or have, attended a gay wedding. I bet there would be some stumbling on that one, even though it's a question anyone running today should anticipate. And I bet there would be some very proud "no's" from those who still want to take the fight to a public that knows better.

People always laugh when I tell them my first campaign was for a Republican, Ed Brooke of Massachusetts, my father's classmate and friend, in his first run (I think it was for attorney general). I will always remember how proud I was of my Brooke sash that I put on over my shirt. Ed Brooke was a moderate Republican, a species nearing extinction in the Republican Party.

The Republican Party of today is a long way from the socially moderate and economically conservative party of Ed Brooke and even the early Richard Nixon, as is evident when you see some of these guys doing somersaults to try to prove their absolutist credentials. But there's at least some evidence in the early polls, and in the reactions to candidates such as Kasich and Fiorina, that the orthodoxy of the 1992 Republican Party, which was ready to declare holy war, may be weakening, even if just a bit.

Which is not to say that John Kasich is bringing back the old, moderate Republican Party. Kasich is a conservative. No question about it. He's just a better version.

(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)

Last Updated on Friday, 21 August 2015 10:00

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Sanborn – Winni Waterfront Sales Report

Winnipesaukee waterfront sales soared in July! There were 28 properties that found happy new owners who undoubtedly are now out on the lake enjoying the fantastic weather we have been having. I wonder how many bought new boats to go along with the new digs? The average sales price came in at $1.312 million with a median price point of $950,000. This brings our total sales for the year thus far to an even 80 at an average price of $1.128 million compared to 62 sales for the same period last year at an average of $1.07 million.

The entry level sale of the month was at 14 Bear Island in Meredith. This property consists of a 1978 vintage, six room, three bedroom, one and a half bath cottage on a 1.33 acre lot with 110' of frontage with a deep water dock and breakwater. The cottage has an open concept living-dining area with new laminate flooring, an updated kitchen with tile floor, new countertops, and cabinetry, a screened porch, and two decks. The interior walls and ceilings are finished in knotty pine for that lake feel. There is also a one bedroom guest cottage for that unexpected cousin that comes without fair warning. The views are spectacular. Now, it did take a while to sell this one. It was first listed back in 2008 at $499,900 and subsequently listed a number of times with or without a mainland dock included. It was relisted this year at $349,900 and sold for $275,000. The tax assessed value is $337,100 and total time on market was over 1,400 days.

The median price sale representative for the month was at 46 Minge Cove in Alton. This contemporary style, twelve room, four bedroom high quality home was built in 2003 and has all the features you'd want for elegant lakeside living. There's a grand foyer with a balcony above and floor to ceiling windows that leads to the great room featuring Brazilian cherry floors, soaring cathedral ceilings, and walls of windows to bring in the views. The kitchen has tile floors, maple cabinetry, and granite (of course.) There is a first floor media room and a large family room in the walk out lower level. The master suite and three additional guest rooms are on the second level. There's a heated two car garage attached and a three car detached to hold all the requisite toys. The 1.6 acre lot provides privacy and 234' of frontage with a 40' dock. This home was first listed in May of 2009 for $1,669,000 and was relisted five more times coming back on the market this year at $1,095,000. It sold for $975,000 after a total of 1,337 days on the market. The current tax assessed value is $996,100.

The highest price sale for the month was at 24 Tranquility Lane in Alton and it is a special waterfront indeed. This 8,600 square foot classic lake home was built at the turn of the century, and that would be the last century in 1905, but has been tastefully modernized for today's lifestyle. There is a chef's kitchen, living room with cathedral ceilings, extensive built-ins, and walls of glass to bring in the truly amazing views, a formal dining room and office on the main level. An elegant master suite on the second level takes full advantage of the westerly views along with four more en-suite guest rooms. The lower level, which can be reached using an oak paneled elevator, has a 700 square foot Adirondack style family room with wood burning fireplace and broad lake views plus an additional guest room. A covered breezeway takes you to a cottage style guest house with two additional en-suite bedrooms. There are garage spaces for six vehicles so the Bentley and the Jag will always be under cover and there's a 1600 square foot, two bay boat house that will hold up to a 30' craft. The house sits on 3.1 acres with two lots of record giving it 342' of amazing westerly facing frontage providing long range views and gorgeous sunsets. Fantastic! This home was first offered in 2012 for $6.38 million and was re-listed this year at $6.289 million and sold for $5.85 million after a total of 613 days on the market. It is assessed at $3,199,400.

There were two sales on Winnisquam in July which brings us to ten sales so far this year which is exactly the same pace as last year. One was at 100 Sunset Drive in Belmont which is a 1970s vintage contemporary ranch with 2,038 square feet of space, three bedrooms and two baths. The house is located on a level .25 acre lot with 85 feet of frontage and two 50' docks. This property was first listed in 2013 at $429,000, re-listed in February of 2014 for $395,000, was reduced to $295,000 and then sold for $282,000 after 601 days on the market. The assessed value currently is $420,600.

The other sale was on the opposite side of the lake and pricing spectrum at 19 Lower Waldron Road in Meredith. This home was built in 1997 and has 3,423 square feet of space, three bedrooms including a first floor master, two and a half baths, living room with wood cathedral ceilings and wood burning fireplace, and gourmet galley style kitchen. The house sits on a very private one acre lot with extensive stonework, a sandy beach, and dock. The house was offered in 2014 at $1.175 million, relisted for $1.199 million, reduced to $1.025 million, and sold for $950,000 after a total of 282 days on the market. It is assessed at $859,400.

P​ease feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. ​Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of 9/15/15. ​Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Pat Buchanan - Issue of the century

"Trump's immigration proposals are as dangerous as they are stunning," railed amnesty activist Frank Sharry. "Trump ... promises to rescind protections for 'Dreamers' and deport them. He wants to redefine the constitutional definition of U.S. citizenship as codified by the 14th Amendment. He plans to impose a moratorium on legal immigration."

While Sharry is a bit hysterical, he is not entirely wrong.

For the six-page policy paper, to secure America's border and send back aliens here illegally, released by Trump last weekend, is the toughest, most comprehensive, stunning immigration proposal of the election cycle.

The Trump folks were aided by people around Sen. Jeff Sessions who says Trump's plan "reestablishes the principle that America's immigration laws should serve the interests of its own citizens."

The issue is joined, the battle lines are drawn, and the GOP will debate and may decide which way America shall go. And the basic issues — how to secure our borders, whether to repatriate the millions here illegally, whether to declare a moratorium on immigration into the USA — are part of a greater question.

Will the West endure, or disappear by the century's end as another lost civilization? Mass immigration, if it continues, will be more decisive in deciding the fate of the West than Islamist terrorism. For the world is invading the West.

A wild exaggeration? Consider.

Monday's Washington Post had a front-page story on an "escalating rash of violent attacks against refugees," in Germany, including arson attacks on refugee centers and physical assaults. Burled in the story was an astonishing statistic. Germany, which took in 174,000 asylum seekers last year, is on schedule to take in 500,000 this year. Yet Germany is smaller than Montana.

How long can a geographically limited and crowded German nation, already experiencing ugly racial conflict, take in half a million Third World people every year without tearing itself apart, and changing the character of the nation forever? Do we think the riots and racial wars will stop if more come?

And these refugees, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are not going to stop coming to Europe. For they are being driven across the Med by wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, by the horrific conditions in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, by the Islamist terrorism of the Mideast and the abject poverty of the sub-Sahara. According to the U.N., Africa had 1.1 billion people by 2013, will double that to 2.4 billion by 2050, and double that to 4.2 billion by 2100.

How many of these billions dream of coming to Europe? When and why will they stop coming? How many can Europe absorb without going bankrupt and changing the continent forever?

Does Europe have the toughness to seal its borders and send back the intruders? Or is Europe so morally paralyzed it has become what Jean Raspail mocked in "The Camp of the Saints"?

The blazing issue in Britain and France is the thousands of Arab and African asylum seekers clustered about Calais to traverse the Eurotunnel to Dover. The Brits are on fire. Millions want out of the EU. They want to remain who they are.

Each week we read of boats sinking in the Med with hundreds of refugees drowning. Yet many, many more make it to the Greek and Italian islands, and thence north to Germany and Scandinavia and the welfare states of Western Europe. Once they step onto EU soil, they are in.

This unending invasion has called into existence anti-immigrant and anti-EU parties in almost every country in Europe. Few of these parties existed at the turn of the century. How does this all end?

"Humankind cannot bear very much reality," wrote T. S. Eliot.

Is the West still blind to reality, to the inevitable future that awaits if the West does not secure its frontiers and close its borders to mass immigration?

Peoples of European descent, everywhere they live, have birth rates below replacement levels. Yet, most live in the world's most desirable neighborhoods.

The great and growing populations of mankind are in the Third World. Countless millions are determined to come to the West, legally if they can, illegally if they must. And the more who succeed, the more who come.

Either Western nations take tough measures to secure their borders, or the Western nations will be swamped. The character of their countries will be altered forever, and smaller countries will become unrecognizable. And as this is happening, ethnic and racial clashes will become more common, as they are now becoming across Europe.

"The principle that America's immigration laws should serve the interests of its own citizens" is paramount, said Sen. Sessions.

Sessions is right. America is our home. We decide who comes in and who does not, how large the American family becomes, whom we adopt and whence they come. It has become the issue of 2016.

Indeed, it is the issue of the 21st century.

(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 August 2015 06:49

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Jim Hightower - Time to free students from debt

Butch Hancock, one of Austin's finest singer-songwriters, grew up in the Texas Panhandle, out among dry-land farmers and strict fundamentalist Christians. Butch once told me that he felt he'd been permanently scarred in his vulnerable teen years by the local culture's puritanical preaching on sexual propriety: "They told us that sex is filthy, obscene, wicked, and beastly — and that we should save it for someone we love."

Today, America's higher education complex approaches students with the same sort of convoluted logic that guided Butch's sex education: "A college degree is the key to prosperity for both you and your country, so it's essential," lectures the hierarchy to the neophytes. "But we'll make it hard to get and often not worth the getting." Touted as a necessity, but priced like a luxury, many degree programs are mediocre or worse — predatory loan scams that hustle aspiring students into deep debt and poverty.

On both a human level and in terms of our national interest, that is seriously twisted. Nonetheless, it's our nation's de facto educational policy, promulgated and enforced by a cabal of ideologues and profiteers, including Washington politicos, most state governments, college CEOs, Wall Street financiers and debt-collection corporations. What we have is a shameful ethical collapse. These self-serving interests have intentionally devalued education from an essential public investment in the common good to just another commodity.

Back in the olden days of 1961, I attended the University of North Texas. At this public school, I was blessed with good teachers, a student body of working-class kids (most, like me, were the first in their families to go to college) and an educational culture focused on enabling us to become socially useful citizens. All of this cost me under $800 a year (about $6,250 in today's dollars) — including living expenses! With close-to-free tuition and a part-time job, I could afford to get a good education, gain experience in everything from work to civic activism, make useful connections, graduate in four years and obtain a debt-free start in life. We just assumed that's what college was supposed to be.
It still ought to be, but for most students today, it's not even close. In the U.S., tuition and fees charged by public four-year colleges and universities average more than $20,000 per year. For a private four-year college, it's more than double that amount. Even public two-year colleges cost around $11,000 per year.

The nation's fastest growing provider of higher education is unfortunately also the worst: private, for-profit schools. While a few deliver an honest educational product, honesty is not a business model embraced by most of these sprawling, predatory chains largely owned by Wall Street.

To achieve the Wall Street imperative of goosing ups stock prices and maximizing profits, this educational sector routinely applies the full toolkit of corporate thievery, including false advertising, high-pressure sales tactics, bait-and-switch scams, legal dodges, political protection and outright lying. Rather than educating students and broadening life's possibilities, many for-profit colleges have bankrupted hundreds of thousands of students. Worse, many of theses "schools" prey on struggling, low-income workers desperately hoping a degree will provide a toehold in the middle class.

To say there are lots of horror stories about private, for-profit colleges gouging students is like saying there are lots of ouchies in a bramble patch. A profusion of books, articles, reports, investigations and lawsuits, as well as websites such as My ITT Experience, document the toll.

You might ask, "If they're so awful, how do they stay in business?" The old-fashioned way: By lavishly spreading money around to the right people. And since most of their revenue comes from taxpayers, it's actually your money they're spreading.

"Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife," said American philosopher and education reformer John Dewey. It's time we give birth to a new of debt-free democracy. Put a tiny tax on the billions of daily, automated transactions by speculators, and more than enough money will come into the public coffers to free up higher education for all. For information, check out United States Students Association (http://www.usstudents.org).

(Jim Hightower has been called American's most popular populist. The radio commentator and former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture is author of seven books, including "There's Nothing In the Middle of Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos" and his new work, "Swim Against the Current: Even Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow".)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 August 2015 09:46

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Jeb Bradley - Productive legislative session incomplete without a budget

2015 has been a busy and productive year for the New Hampshire Legislature. Unfortunately, our work isn't done until we pass a two-year budget.

The New Hampshire Senate's top priority is boosting the New Hampshire economy. If businesses are able to grow, they will create new and better-paying jobs. Economic growth not only directly benefits working families, it also lowers demand for social service programs, and increases state revenue that funds these services. After years of stagnant job growth, getting New Hampshire's economy moving again is essential.

This year, the Legislature took important steps to help the economy. We passed a key reform to the Workers Compensation system, currently one of the most expensive in the country, which places a heavy burden on job creation in New Hampshire. By giving employers an opportunity to negotiate with medical providers for services and by ensuring that providers have the burden of proof for any disputed cost claims under Workers Comp, there will be significant downward pressure on costs.

Through legislation and a settlement agreement with Eversource, they have agreed to sell their remaining power plants, ensuring a fully competitive market and according to the settlement customer savings over the first five years will be $380 million. High electric rates cripple our ability to attract and retain manufacturing and high-tech jobs that use a lot of power. Bringing those rates down makes New Hampshire a more competitive place for families to live, and to do business.

The Legislature eliminated a provision in our Business Profits Tax that punished successful small businesses when they attract new investment. Though Governor Hassan vetoed this measure (which a bipartisan commission had recommended because it was a tax on "phantom income"), it's likely to resurface in budget discussions. The Legislature also reformed outdated banking and securities laws to attract new capital to the Granite State.

We've passed important education bills, increasing state support for the community and technical education system and also providing state assistance for local school districts that offer academic courses for home-schooled students. Unfortunately, the governor vetoed bills to enhance local control over curriculum, and to notify parents about potentially objectionable course material.

The Legislature fulfilled its responsibility to keep the public safe, passing a "Good Samaritan" law for those reporting drug overdoses, improving the interoperability of public safety radios, and banning the sale of synthetic drugs like "spice". We also increased penalties for indecent exposure, and for the first time required those convicted of domestic violence to help pay for programs assisting their victims.

But we still need a budget. Many of the best things we've accomplished during this legislative session were part of the budget package that Governor Hassan vetoed in June. That includes a 75 percent increase in funding for substance abuse programs to address the deadly heroin epidemic overwhelming our state. Her veto prevents full-funding of vital programs like Meals on Wheels, ServiceLink, developmental disabilities programs and mental health. It also blocks the first rate increases for nursing homes and home health care providers in years.

The governor's veto also maintains New Hampshire's high business tax rates. We rank 48th in the nation for highest corporate taxes, according to the Tax Foundation — a significant disincentive to locating, expanding or even remaining here. Our job growth coming out of the last recession was in the bottom 10 states, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. The balanced budget we passed included modest but important reductions in our state's business taxes, phased in over the next five years. Business leaders across the state have said this modest tax relief is critically important.

This veto brought into stark view huge philosophical differences between the Legislature and the governor. She wants higher business taxes — the Legislature wants to lower them. The governor proposed $129 million in tax hikes, including an income tax on small business owners, and a plan to tax New Hampshire businesses for sales they make in other countries. This latter provision is similar to a tax plan enacted in Connecticut that has businesses in those states threatening to flee. Now as part of a possible budget resolution the governor has again proposed her income tax on business owners.

The Legislature continued to believe making business taxes more competitive is essential to help New Hampshire's economy. But the governor has let her opposition to cutting taxes stand in the way of a budget that effectively addresses all of New Hampshire's needs. She's even gone so far as to make businesses the enemy, labeling them as "out-of-state corporations" even though the tax cuts will benefit every New Hampshire business that pays taxes, covering 95 percent of our private sector workforce. While some employers are headquartered in other states, the thousands of jobs they provide for New Hampshire workers are valuable.

It's time for a resolution to this budget standoff that addresses all of New Hampshire's needs — including job opportunities for hard working families and small business owners.

(Wolfeboro Republican Jeb Bradley is Majority Leader of the New Hampshire Senate.)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 August 2015 09:01

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