Subject line: “Tomorrow is a big deal but President Trump doesn’t want you to know about it.” Well, that’s one way to stand out in my email inbox. The sender is my state’s senior U.S. Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, and the message is from her Senate account, not a campaign address.

“…November 1st, through December 15th, you have the opportunity to sign up for a new health insurance plan or change your existing plan through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Despite the many attempts by President Trump and Republican leadership to repeal Obamacare, it remains the law of the land. As you consider your healthcare options, it’s important to note that there have been many changes to available plans. Instead of just signing up for the same plan for 2018, I encourage you to shop around …”

Stop. Just stop. But no, there’s more:

“The Trump administration has been trying to keep Granite Staters in the dark about this important signup period by slashing open enrollment advertising by 90 percent, cutting the open enrollment period in half and defunding support staff that assist with signing up. So, friends, it’s up to each of us to get the word out to family members and friends that the enrollment period is about to get underway.” 

Consider yourself informed. You’re welcome.

As I have expressed at possibly tiresome length since last year’s campaign, I hold no brief for President Trump. Of all the things for me to hold against him, though, trying to keep me in the dark about the administrative details of Obamacare isn’t one of them.

There are things about Obamacare that bother me a lot more than open enrollment advertising being “slashed” by 90 percent – its effect on conscience rights, for one thing; its cost, for another.

I won’t be signing up for insurance on the “Affordable” Care Act’s exchange today, or tomorrow, or anytime before December 15. It isn’t affordable. Instead, I’ll be checking with my healthshare plan, Solidarity HealthShare, to see if there’s going to be any adjustment in my monthly fee, which I can afford.

I’m supposed to be upset about how Trump’s handling Obamacare?

My state’s senior Senator is right about this much: Obamacare is still the law of the land. It will remain so, I fear, until federal legislators like her are forced to go on their home states’ insurance exchanges to find health care coverage. I can visualize my senator getting a breezy campaign-style email assuring her “you have the opportunity to sign up!”

She might even be as enthusiastic as I am.

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. She blogs at ellenkolb.com and Leaven for the Loaf. 

Cast your vote for independent journalism by hitting Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar!

A 17-year old with no visible means of financial support got an abortion this morning.

Not news, you say? Look again.

“Jane Doe” is an immigrant, an unaccompanied 17-year-old, living in the U.S. without benefit of documentation. When Jane Doe learned she was pregnant, she sought an abortion in Texas, where she is living. Disputes broke out, state and federal courts weighed in, and somewhere along the way Jane Doe was assigned a guardian to protect her interests.

The guardian enlisted the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, which jubilantly reported today that the abortion has been committed. “Justice prevailed today for Jane Doe,” went the ACLU tweet, one among many celebrating the death of a child’s child. #JusticeforJane, says the hashtag.

I suspect Jane Doe’s anonymity will dissolve when she turns 18, if not earlier, as she becomes a poster child for abortion advocates. Killing her child was worth a legal battle, to some people – more so than trying to regularize her residency status, apparently.

That’s a hellish way to become a celebrity. Whatever her immigration status, she deserves better than that.

Our country deserves better than to be thought of as an abortion haven, too.

I assume that as an immigrant without documentation, whose home is a U.S. detention center, she didn’t have money. Who paid to have her child killed? Was it you and me?

Human dignity lost today – the mother’s, the dead child’s, the abortionist’s, the abortion apologists’.

There’s surely a great deal about this 17-year-old that I don’t know. Why did she leave her homeland? Was she sent by her family, or did she decide on her own to cross the border? Was she pregnant when she got here? Did she become pregnant due to assault, and if so, is there as intense an effort to apprehend the perpetrator as there was to abort her child?

Whatever the answers, great things may yet lie ahead for her; better days, better choices.

Today isn’t a good day for her, no matter what her enablers are saying. Her child is dead, and abortion apologists are dancing on the remains. God have mercy on us all.

Alexandra DeSanctis said it better than I. “This is perhaps the most despicable thing about this entire ordeal — that justice in our modern world demands the blood of an innocent child. We have reached the point in the abortion debate where it is not only socially acceptable to crusade for the intentional killing of one specific unborn child, but where we are expected to applaud when that execution is carried out. How utterly shameful.”

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. She blogs at ellenkolb.com and Leaven for the Loaf, and she welcomes reader support.

Support independent journalism by hitting Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar. Thank you!

The just-concluded Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. was punctuated by standing ovations. Among them: a few for the President, who spoke decisively but without pugnacity; for Bannon and Gorka, the red-meat guys; for Alveda King, bringing the crowd to its feet to join her in song.

And then there was the one for Steve Scalise.

Months after a gunman’s savage and politically-motivated attack left him near death, Congressman Scalise made his way to the Values Voter podium last Friday to the sound of appreciative cheers. He moved with the aid of crutches, the only visible sign of his injuries. Once at the podium, he spoke in the strong and steady voice of a man eager to get to work.

As House Majority Whip, he has the unenviable task of herding the GOP cats when it’s time for votes on the House floor. HIs position is probably what earned him an invitation to speak at Values Voter. He understands first things first, though. Before he spoke about policy, he spoke about gratitude.

After he was shot, while he was in the hospital, he and his family received countless prayers and good wishes, including messages from people who are not in political harmony with him. That touched him deeply. He understood that the messages were not merely routine.

“You knew that this was an attack on the values of our country….I cannot thank you enough for those prayers and that love.” This from a man who spent three and a half months in a hospital.

He was candid in his speech about the tough times past and to come, as he and his family face long-term challenges arising from his injuries. His candor made his enthusiastic demeanor all the more meaningful. “We have a great and mighty God,” he declared, “and I am a living example of the miracles he can produce.”

Then, and only then, he addressed specific policy initiatives. He said, “I came back with an even sharper focus” on family, friends and America.

He Considers the Pain-Capable Act a victory. That’s the measure to restrict abortions after 20 weeks, the point in pregnancy when science indicates that unborn children can feel pain. Passage of the measure was a near thing. “As Majority Whip, I had to put that coalition together. But we did.” Now, the bill is in the Senate, its prospects uncertain in view of the particular batch of Republicans now serving. “Tell your Senators to pass it,” Scales urged. The President “wants to sign this bill into law.”

The bill includes cutting federal funding to the nations’s largest abortion provider. That gives me pause, as voter who questioned (and still questions) the depth of the President’s roots on the life issues. Scalise has no doubts. “He wants to sign this.”

He’s determined to support the President’s tax reform proposals. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone give a snappier summary and smile while doing it: reduce personal rates; reduce business rates to encourage families to bring jobs back to this country; repeal the death tax, double the child tax credit (now there’s a pro-life initiative).

He did not dwell on the unhappy fate thus far of efforts to repeal Obamacare, beyond saying “let’s not give up fights. President Trump wants these on his desk.”

All this was said in a tone that most other speakers at Values Voters didn’t approach. He was passionate and determined without breathing fire. He didn’t sound as though we were all under siege; in fact he radiated hope, both political and personal.

HIs final words to the crowd, coming after all he has experienced these past months, rang with truth that brought the audience to its feet yet again: “It’s great to be alive.”

Ellen is a New Hampshire writer and pro-life activist. Read more by and about her at ellenkolb.com.

Support independent journalism by making a donation to Da Tech Guy blog. Thank you!

The grind-it-out side of public policy occupied me this morning, as I went to the State House to listen to a subcommittee patiently work out the language of a bill. That done, I walked outside to see what was up on the State House plaza.

And my day was made.

A collection was underway for the Red Cross, with an eye to the disaster in Puerto Rico. Pallet upon pallet of water awaited loading onto trucks. Other types of donations were being sorted, labeled, and packaged. One large “check” was on display, indicating a substantial cash donation by one of the state’s larger utilities. Kids coming off school buses for their State House tour carried armloads of things to donate to the effort.

State employees, elected officials, just plain folks, those wonderful fourth-graders: everyone on the plaza was on the same page. This was a relief effort in every sense.

The Governor was on the scene, delighting the schoolkids with a photo op, and someone said to him, “Will any of this actually get where it’s supposed to go?” He said reassuring things. I hope he’s right. Distribution: that’s the sticking point. How will this get to Puerto Rico? How will the Red Cross allocate things among the multiple disasters it’s addressing these days? I wish I knew the answers.

The people on the plaza weren’t being paralyzed by discouragement or uncertainty over what comes next. They were doing their best with what they had. They left me inspired, refreshed, challenged. That was a fine midday course correction.

Ellen is a New Hampshire pro-life activist and writer who blogs at ellenkolb.com

It’s “Banned Books Week.” Pardon my groan. I rant about this every year. No end in sight, alas.

The folks behind Banned Books Week – a coalition of the American Library Association and allied groups – lost all credibility with me years ago when they conflated “banned” and “challenged,” especially when the challenge is to the use of a book in a curriculum. Get a clue: the challengers aren’t “banning” a book any more than the people who chose the book for the curriculum in the first place were “banning” alternatives.

In this country, you know what to do when a book is “challenged” and removed in school, and you think that’s a bad idea? READ IT YOURSELF. Read it to your kids. Write a review. Milk social media for all it’s worth. Give away copies on the steps of your local school. 

Quit complaining that other people are making choices for you. Make your own choices.

Yes, kids have a right to read. They also have a right to know that questioning authority – specifically the authority to choose curriculum resources – does not amount to “censorship.”

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. Read more from her at ellenkolb.com/blog and leavenfortheloaf.com.

You can support independent journalism by hitting a writer’s tip jar – preferably DaTechGuy’s or Ellen’s

Y’know what’s worse than being in the path of a hurricane? Having loved ones in the path, when you’re far away and can’t do a whole lot to help. I’m with Fausta, in that my mind is elsewhere right now.

Of course, it’s altogether possible that Irma will come up the coast and visit my neighborhood after she’s done with Florida. It’s a sign of the times that the thought of being assailed by Irma is easier to grasp than the thought of an ineffectual GOP majority in Washington.

So, hurricane thoughts:

Be prepared, just like they taught us in Scouts. If it’s not a hurricane now, it’ll be an ice storm in December or a blizzard next March. Don’t be That Person going after the last water, bread and milk at the grocery store. (Because I am likely to be That Person, and I hate competition.)

Storm-chasers are a special breed, and I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a good thing. Neighbors of mine are indulging themselves by heading south to observe Irma, up close and personal. Part of me is looking forward to their reports, which are sure to be fascinating – and part of me is thinking “y’all are plumb crazy.”

If you haven’t seen this one, join me in a toast to the Delta crew that flew a 737 to San Juan as Irma bore down – and then out, the last plane to leave before air traffic control closed up shop for the duration.

Finally, let’s spare a thought for everyone caught up in the western fires. That part of the USA could use the rain that those of us to the east and south are enduring. I’m off to Washington state shortly, and I’ve been warned to expect ash on everything the way we New Englanders get springtime pollen.

May you and yours be safe in the face of storms of all kinds.

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. Read more of her work at EllenKolb.com/blog.

Don’t forget that Da Tech Guy is hosting Robert Stacy McCain for “Buffet, Books, & Blather” in Leominster on September 9.

Support independent journalism by hitting Da Tech Guy’s tip jar. Thanks, on behalf of the whole DTG team!

I suspect that those of us who find Trump & Hillary equally unacceptable are going to be voted off the conservative island before this election’s over. I’m being harangued by perfectly nice people saying “butbutbut HILLARY!!”, along with what’s supposed to be the clincher: “Supreme Court!” An awful prospect, to be sure. The thing is, I don’t see that Trump offers any more hope in that department. Neither candidate appears to have the constitutional moorings, never mind the pro-life moorings (since the right to life precedes any written constitution), to be sensibly guided in the choice of Justices.

That leaves the Senate as the firewall against any mischievous molding of the court that a President Clinton or President Trump might want to try.

To likeminded voters who won’t support either of the major Presidential nominees, I say go to the polls anyway. Don’t stay home in a snit on November 8. All those downballot races are going to affect how the next Chief Executive does business. And of all the downballot races, those for U.S. Senate are most critical.

Thirty-four Senate seats are up for grabs. It’s not enough for a candidate to point to the top of the ticket and say “I’m with him” or “I’m with her.” What I want to know is, are you for religious liberty? Do you recognize the right to life? How about respecting First Amendment free-speech rights for peaceful protesters with whom you disagree? Are you ready to defend and expand the Hyde Amendment?

No moot points there. The Little Sisters of the Poor are still waiting to hear if the Court will respect their religious beliefs regarding helping to procure contraception for their employees. The Hobby Lobby decision is still under fire, and so is McCullen – the former a religious liberty case,  the latter a victory for peaceful pro-life witnesses outside abortion facilities. The recent Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision has accommodated abortion providers while making substandard health care for women a constitutional right (and wasn’t that a neat trick?).

Democratic candidates for Senate seem to be consistent in praising Hellerstedt and condemning the other decisions, though I would be pleased to hear of an exception. Republicans are all over the place, to the extent that I can make no assumptions whatsoever about what an “R” means when it comes to judicial matters.

Does a candidate squirm or stand tall under questions about the Court decisions I’ve mentioned?  That’ll tell me a lot about whether I want a particular candidate in the Senate. If Trump gets elected with a bunch of Republican senators who are OK with Hellerstedt and not OK with the Little Sisters, or who are meek about either, Hillary will get the Court she seeks, even if she’s not President.

My own state is in play, with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) being challenged by Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan. I’d much rather have Ayotte voting on judicial nominees. But will she campaign on the threat of a dangerous shift in the Supreme Court or a loss of the Hyde Amendment if Hassan gets the seat? Don’t I wish.

Frankly, in the year of Trump, Republican Senate candidates can’t trust either party’s standardbearer when it comes to the Court. It’s time to lead. Visualize a bloc of Senators telling the new President, Your nominees will have a history of respecting the right to life and the First Amendment, or they don’t stand a chance of confirmation. Better yet, visualize GOP Senate candidates saying that now, putting Dems on the defensive for once. Litmus test? You betcha.

Think about that if you’re tempted to stay home in November.

Ellen Kolb writes about the life issues at LeavenForTheLoaf.com. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking in New Hampshire. See her earlier posts for DaTechGuyBlog: Ethics and PP’s Campaign Cash, Putting a Know-Nothing in His Place, and Ads Say the Darnedest Things

A note to readers: I’m still one of DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Prospects, striving to earn your thumbs-up. DTG will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent Tryouts by hits-per-post and hits to DaTipJar. If you hit DaTipJar after reading one of my posts, please mention my name so Da Boss knows I’m earning my keep – and thank you! (Look for a tip jar link at the right side of the page if it’s not visible below.)




Olimometer 2.52

Please consider Subscribing. Right now our subscribers consist of 1/50 of 1% of our total unique visitors based on last years numbers.

If we can get another 150 subscribers at $10 a month (another 1/10 of 1% of those who have visited this year) We can meet our annual goals with no trouble, with the same number of subscribers at $20 a month I could afford to cover the presidential campaign outside of New England firsthand.

And of course at that price you get the Da Magnificent Seven plus those we hope to add on and all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level



As a social media nerd (perhaps you know the type), I take note of the political ads in the sidebars and footers of the blogs and pages I follow. The unseen forces that affect ad-placing algorithms have figured out that I’m pro-life, and most of the political ads I see are for more-or-less pro-life candidates. A pro-Hillary ad like the one that crossed my social media feed today is jarring. (How did she find me?)

A pro-life physician whose blog I enjoy took Democratic VP candidate Tim Kaine to task recently for Kaine’s personally-opposed-but position on abortion. No surprises, until I got to the end of the post and saw a pro-Hillary ad at the bottom of the page.

The blogger sure didn’t place that one. The platform hosting his blog did. I took grim pleasure in thinking how few clicks the ad must have gotten from the blog’s usual audience.

This, I reminded myself, is why bloggers need to bite the bullet and pay for self-hosted sites. When we don’t, we’re at the mercy of the lovely and talented ad team at WordPress or Google or whatever. It’s just plain annoying to know that even in an ad rotation that’s largely non-political on a pro-life blog, something like the Clinton promo can slither in. Free social media isn’t altogether free, a fact I wish I could ignore. If we’re using space on someone else’s property, be it Facebook or Twitter or a blog that’s not self-hosted, the landlord gets to set terms.

This was a minor annoyance, but it was just pesky enough to annoy me. It was my lesson for the day, and I share it with you at no charge: blog your heart out, and own your platform if you can. Hillary is lurking for your readers.

A follow-up to my July 28 post, “Ethics and PP’s Campaign Cash”: A report in the New Hampshire Sunday News says that the New Hampshire Executive Branch Ethics Committee has dismissed the ethics complaint against Gov. Hassan and Councilor Van Ostern, who took Planned Parenthood campaign money and then supported state contracts with PP. Nothing to see here, folks.

Ellen Kolb writes about the life issues at http://leavenfortheloaf.com. When she's not writing, she's hiking in New Hampshire.
Ellen Kolb writes about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking in New Hampshire.

A note to readers: DaTechGuy has given me a chance to earn a regular gig here, and I hope I can earn your thumbs-up with this week’s post along with my earlier ones (here and here). He’ll be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits-per-post and hits to DaTipJar. If you hit DaTipJar after reading this, please mention my name so Da Boss knows I’m earning my keep. (Look for a tip jar link at the right side of the page if it’s not visible below.) Thank you!

FYI from DaTechGuy Ellen’s first piece was Ethics and PP cash her second was The portrait’s gotta go: Putting a Know-Nothing in his place.



Olimometer 2.52

Please consider Subscribing. If less than 1/3 of 1% of our readers subscribed at $10 a month we’d have the 114.5 subscribers needed to our annual goal all year without solicitation.

Plus of course all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level