Friday, March 28, 2014

Gov. Malloy announces reelection bid

Today Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced he will seek reelection as governor of Connecticut. This news was not unexpected, but coming on the heels of his signing into law the raising of the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour (making Connecticut the first state to do so) has provided the governor with a big public relations win and a high profile going into the 2014 election campaign.

CT News Junkie has more:
Sporting his signature green tie, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday that he and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman will seek a second term and run for re-election this November.

Malloy, who had been widely expected to run, made it official in response to a question during a routine press conference following Friday’s state Bond Commission meeting.

“Nancy and I have talked about the race and we both reached a mutual conclusion that we should go to the people of Connecticut and ask them for their support to continue the work that we’ve been undertaking,” he said.

Although he had been expected to seek a second term, the governor had previously suggested he would wait until after the legislative session in May to announce. On Friday he said that despite the announcement his approach to the legislative session would not change and he would attempt to avoid being “dragged into the campaign” for as long as he could.

Malloy, the first governor elected under the state’s public campaign finance system, indicated he planned to run a publicly-financed campaign for his second term.

In an appearance on MSNBC Friday morning, Malloy answered several questions pertaining to his re-election without disputing the premise that he would be running. Asked what issues he felt would resonate with voters in November, Malloy touted job growth over the past three years and the state’s firmer budgetary footing compared to when he took office.

“All of that in the last three-and-a-half years. All I’ve got do is get that story out and have people understand it,” he said...
You can read the rest of the story at CT News Junkie.

So far I don't know who the Republicans are touting for their candidate. I'm guessing Linda McMahon has had her fill of CT politics, and probably we haven't seen the last of Tom Foley. Oh, and I heard that Lee Whitnum is going to enter the fray as a dark horse candidate, which always livens up the televised debates. It should all end up to be a mildly amusing distraction on the way to Gov. Malloy's inevitable second term.

Monday, March 10, 2014

McConnell vows to crush Tea Party

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is running for re-election this year and faces a tough primary challenge from a Tea Party-endorsed candidate.

The longtime Kentucky senator is obviously looking for a fight, because he had tough words for the ultra-conservative edge of the Republican Party who put up the candidate challenging him (via CNN.com):
"I think we are going to crush them everywhere," McConnell told the New York Times in an interview. "I don't think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country."
I'm pretty sure the Tea Party was satisfied with those remarks, and they probably went on with their day without raising any ruckus.

Or not.
"It is shameful that the Senate minority leader would make such comments. He is talking about the base of the party, so he must not want the tea party vote in the general election and that is why he should be removed. The GOP needs a uniter, not someone that is there because they have seniority," Amy Kremer, the Tea Party Express chair, told CNN.

"The days of the good ole boy club are coming to an end. This seat doesn't belong to Mitch McConnell or to the Republican Party. This seat belongs to ‘We the People’ and we will have our voices heard," Kremer added.

"Grassroots voters will not be bullied by self-anointed senators for life," said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks. "Mitch McConnell and his cronies still serve the people back home, and his hostile comments only provide more motivation to send new leadership to Washington."

"Does Senator McConnell have a political death wish? There was some division within tea party groups about whether to support him or support Matt Bevin and I think he just settled the issue," chimed in Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation, told CNN.
Right. I can't say I'm sorry to see the entire GOP starting to reap the consequences of what they've sown by getting into bed with the radical right nutjobs of the Tea Party.

"Self-anointed"? "cronies"? "Death Wish"? Jeez, I thought that was the kind of talk they reserved for the President.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Computer-side chat with Jim Himes

Here's the rather choppy streaming video of my interview with Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04) last Thursday. Don't worry about the quality, you can hear the audio fine.

We really didn't know if this was gonna happen until less than a day beforehand. I didn't have a lot of time to prep for it which is obvious when you hear my hesitant interviewing style. I pretty much winged the entire thing by reading viewer-submitted questions and injecting inane comments on occasion, but I think it went pretty well.

Anyway, it was fun to be on the first computer chat with Jim. He hopes to make this a regular thing. I think I set the bar pretty low for future interviewers, so you're welcome in advance!



As an aside, immediately after the interview Jim needed to get to the House floor for a vote, and he invited Joyce & me along. He got us through security quickly and led us up to the gallery while he went down to the floor.

There were several procedural votes and a bit of debate before a vote on a bill that passed with pretty much exclusively Republican support. We were able to see most of Connecticut's Congressional delegation chatting with fellow Democrats between the votes. My favorite thing was every time the Speaker hit the gavel, Joyce jumped. Like, EVERY TIME! It was awesome! After the voting was done Jim took us back over to the Cannon office building via the really cool underground tunnel.

And I noticed a soft bag below each seat in the gallery and I asked a guard what they were for. He said they contained survival gear in case of an emergency. I saw that perhaps one in ten seats didn't have a bag beneath it. That set me to wondering what I'd do in a packed gallery during a terrorist attack and found myself sitting in a bagless seat.

Welp, all I can say is that I hope the imaginary 86 year-old grandma sitting in the next seat had enjoyed her life, 'cause me & Joyce got plans we can't break! Unless grandma knows some nifty MMA moves she's gonna get choked out if she even LOOKS at her bag!

(Just kidding. I'm sure I wouldn't need to choke her.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Google chat with Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04) Thursday 2/27

During my visit to DC this week I'll be a guest on a live chat on Google with Congressman Jim Himes. If you have any questions you'd like me to ask, please submit them to me on Twitter @connecticutbob or on Facebook www.facebook.com/connecticut.bob, or via email (futuredv AT yahoo DOT com).

The press release is below:

Himes to Hold “Computer-Side Chat” Google Hangout

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) will host a “Computer-Side Chat” Thursday at 4:30 p.m. with blogger Bob Adams of http://connecticutbob.com. The Google Hangout will be live-streamed on the Congressman’s YouTube page and can be watched here. Questions can be submitted to the Congressman by commenting on that page.

WHO: Congressman Jim Himes
Bob Adams, Connecticut blogger “CT Bob”
Reporters and constituents welcome to tune in

WHAT: “Computer-side Chat” Google Hangout

WHEN: Thursday, February 27 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Tune in at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu_cFdWggcI

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gov. Malloy disputes Gov. Jindal on wages

Funny how Bobby Jindal, the governor of a very poor state, is much more concerned with ramming an oil pipeline through the heart of our country rather than helping his constituents make a reasonable living wage.

And that pipeline will carry Canadian oil. As Gov. Malloy asks, is it necessarily the best thing for the American economy?

Jindal is clearly representing the GOP's unceasing partisan drumbeat, to the detriment of the very people who elected him in the first place.


(via My Left Nutmeg)

Jindal later made a comment about Gov. Malloy after he had already left the press conference, which led to Malloy referring to Jindal as a "cheap shot artist".

I gotta say, I very much admire that. The Democrats need to keep the spotlight on the Republican's lack of constructive discourse, their set-in-stone policy of obstructionism, and their refusal to do ANYTHING helpful to their constituents at all if it originates from the Democrats.

Let's see how well that works out for the GOP in the midterms, and then in 2016.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Night Music Club XXXIV

Somebody mentioned 80s pop band "Squeeze" today and I thought, "Hey, I can do a post about them tonight."

And that's how this week's selection of Squeeze's "Black Coffee In Bed" happened.

I know I'm tearing down the fourth wall by revealing the fact that there isn't a lot of thought I invest in these choices, but I figured you already probably suspected as much.

Maybe some day I'll put some serious effort into creating a list of say my Top 100 Songs or something similarly banal.

But in the meantime, please enjoy this tribute to the big fluffy hair of the 80s, back when MTV used to play music videos!



Thursday, February 06, 2014

Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan

Today (Feb. 6th) dead president Ronald Reagan would have been 113 years old. Happy birthday Dutch!

I love how Republicans and Tea Partiers often refer to Reagan as a saint and the perfect conservative. He now enjoys a mythical status among the conservatives of today.

When in reality, if through some miracle of time travel Reagan appeared today as the guy he was in 1980, he wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of ever being nominated for president. He was too moderate by today's standards, and during his presidency he was known for working with the Democrats to get things done.

If 1980s House Speaker Tip O'Neill was anywhere near as an obstructionist as current speaker John Boehner, it's entirely possible that Reagan wouldn't have accomplished 90% of what he is now remembered for doing. Which, given the hindsight of history, might not have been that terrible a thing.

But back then it seems like the President and Congress took their oaths seriously, and worked together while not always agreeing, to represent the people of the United States of America.

So, happy birthday Ronnie! It's a good thing you're gone, because if you could how your party has been hijacked by extremists, you would never stop vomiting.

1978

Today is the anniversary of the great Blizzard of 1978. I remember having to trudge through waist deep snow to get to a nearby convenience store to buy beer. Yup, time's was tough in those days! That was so long ago, I was able to legally buy beer while still a teenager!

And I like the "Etch A Sketch" (by Ohio Arts) lettering on the snow.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sec. of State Merrill annouces same day registration results

I just received a press release that shows the results of same day voter registration (Election Day Registration) from the 2013 election. EDR was established last year in Connecticut after many years of lobbying by pro-voting activists and concerned citizens.

Back in 2010 I discussed same day registration with Sec. Merrill, and at the time she was somewhat reticent about enacting it because of worries about possibly overwhelming municipality's voter officials. I supported her during the campaign and was thrilled to see her coast to an easy victory, but I did endorse Gerry Garcia immediately before the primary election entirely because he campaigned as a strong proponent of EDR and early voting, which I consider very important practices for a more participatory democracy. It was a purely symbolic gesture on my part and not a complaint about her performance or abilities as Merrill enjoyed an insurmountable lead in the polls.

So I'm especially pleased that we now have EDR in place, with Sec. Merrill's support, and it seems to be working out well. Nearly 3,000 citizens registered to vote the same day as the election, and their votes and voices were relevant. Especially when you remember that Gov. Malloy won back in 2010 by a margin of around 5,000 votes. This program will undoubtedly have a significant impact on GOTV efforts going into the final two weeks of future campaigns.

So my hat's off to Sec. Merrill and Gov. Malloy and the state legislature for being progressive in helping make our democracy even more inclusive. It goes without saying I'll be supporting them both in their reelection efforts.

Oh, and for the hell of it I'm putting a video up I made for Denise back in 2010 where she discussed Long Island Sound and the need for smart environmental legislation. The EDR press release is below.



Hartford: Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today released comprehensive statewide figures that show nearly 3,000 Connecticut voters used Election Day Registration to register and cast ballots in the 2013 municipal elections. Election Day Registration (EDR) became available for Connecticut voters for the first time on November 5, 2013 after being enacted by Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly in 2012. The figures released today are part of a comprehensive report on EDR being prepared for the Connecticut General Assembly as required by state law, due February 1, 2014. Secretary Merrill estimates that 2,900 Connecticut voters in 169 cities and towns were able to register and vote on Election Day November 5, 2013. Secretary Merrill’s estimate is based on municipal head moderators’ reports and additional research by Secretary of the State Office staff. The municipality with the highest number of EDR voters was New Haven, where 202 citizens registered and voted on Election Day, followed by New Britain, with 164 EDR voters...

“Voting is a fundamental American right, and Connecticut’s new Election Day registration law made it possible for almost 3,000 new voters across our state to exercise that right. That is something we can all celebrate,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official. “The data speaks for itself; Election Day Registration is both popular and reliable, and my office did not receive any reports or complaints of concern as this law was implemented.”

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Night Music Club XXXIII

OK, here's another song by The Whiskey Sisters. I previously referenced them back in June here.

Ray Benson ("Asleep At The Wheel") hosted the band on his show The Texas Music Scene.

Also, I heard the band just scored a prime gig, they're going to open for Willie Nelson on New Year's Eve at the legendary Austin City Limits. The show is totally sold out, of course. I wish I could be there for that one!

Here's the happiest boy in Austin with Barbara Nesbitt and Teal Collins after the show when I was in town last month and got to see them at their usual Thursday happy hour gig at The Continental Club. I like this band and hope they put out another album of their original music soon. You can buy their debut album The Whiskey Sisters.


I really like the way they used split and multiple screen video in this one. Hats off to Ray and his production team. The Whiskey Sisters perform "Good Girl Down":

Friday, December 13, 2013

How to beat the NSA at their own game

It's really simple. This is just between us, OK?

By using the NSA's super-computers and their huge algorithms that scan phone conversations and emails/texts for certain "buzz words" against them, all people need to do is the following:

Determine a date that would be "Mess with the NSA Day". April 1st would be appropriate, don't you think?

Then, on that day everyone agrees to pepper all of their emails and phone conversations with words like "bombing" "terrorism" "embassy" "airport" "hijack" etc. All day long.

If everyone does this at the same time, the computers at NSA headquarters would be hugely overloaded and probably pop a circuit breaker or two.

We'd all have a huge laugh, I'm sure.

And then, of course, the police would soon kick in my front door and I'd be whisked off to a "readjustment centre" for some kind of "corrective treatment".

Ah...let's just all forget about this.

And remember, we agreed to keep this just between us.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Did Comet ISON survive?

As of 10:30PM ET tonight Nov. 29th, it looks like "something" remains of the comet. But the news is a bit disjointed and contradictory, so we'll probably have to wait another 12-24 hours before we hear if the comet has been destroyed by its close pass by the Sun, or if it will give us a few days of viewing as it swings closer to Earth.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wallops Island launch

Great time lapse shot of the launch of the Minotaur I rocket carrying the DOD's Operationally Responsive Space-3 mission successfully launched at 8:15 p.m. EST, Nov. 19, from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0B at Wallops Island, VA.

Joyce and I watched it from Silver Sands in Milford, CT and we picked it up less than a minute after launch. We observed a staging event between the 2nd and 3rd stage, and then the 3rd stage shutdown in advance of the coasting period before the stage 4 ignition. The flame was reddish-orange, and left a faintly visible smoke track for most of the flight that we saw.

Photo by Lon Seidman via Facebook.

Senate passes the "nuclear option"

Or, as George W. Bush was fond of saying, "nu-ku-lar" option.

(This guy graduated from Yale? Jeez, they'll let any moron with a senator for a dad granddaddy get a diploma!)

Anyway, today history was made when the Senate, exasperated at the Republicans filibustering every single judicial appointment, passed with a simple majority vote to remove the filibuster from being invoked in the cases of judicial and executive nominees.

They way I understand it, the filibuster is still available for other issues.

What I want to know is, why didn't they do this back in 2009, and why didn't they make it comprehensive to all the areas of Senate debate? We'd have gotten single payer healthcare, immigration reform, a more realistic stimulus package, and possibly some movement on climate change.

Instead, we have a terrible compromise for healthcare, no immigration reform, a stimulus that probably was 30% effective at best, and more carbon going into the atmosphere than ever!

This would have been useful four years ago.

Now, it's just a distraction, and a worry should the Republicans ever regain a majority in the Senate.

Because if that happens...I don't even want to think about it!

Friday, November 01, 2013

CT Post endorses Blake for Mayor

Here in Milford we are pleased to see the Connecticut Post endorse Milford Mayor Ben
Blake for another 2-year term:
Milford has a tendency to hold onto its mayors. For a span of 30 years starting in 1981, only three people held the position -- Alberta Jagoe, Fred Lisman and James Richetelli. A changing of the guard at the top of Milford politics is a big deal.

So it was two years ago when Benjamin Blake took office, and it looks like Milford again has someone suited to a long term in the position, should he so choose. Blake has been a steady hand at the helm for the past two years and earns the Connecticut Post's endorsement for a second two-year term.

It hasn't been an easy two years. But no mayor can control the weather, and Hurricane Sandy brought havoc up and down the East Coast. With a longer shoreline than any other community in the state, Milford took a serious hit.

Where a mayor can help is the aftermath. And few public officials are better versed than Blake in the maze of agencies and acronyms that can provide some assistance to people whose homes suffered serious damage. His familiarity with the intricacies of governing is a boon for city residents.

Milford has challenges like any community, but it also has amenities that are the envy of its neighbors. Blake has moved to shore up an already well-functioning city government, opening up new revenue streams for City Hall and keeping costs under control.

His opponent, Republican Peter Spalthoff, is an intriguing candidate in his own right, with a long record of distinguished service in the public and private sector. In general, though, his criticisms of Blake are more stylistic than substantive, and city residents have not been presented with a sufficient rationale to change leadership.

Blake has a solid record, and deserves another two-year term.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

#GOPshutdown

Welp, here we are in Day 6 (Oct. 6th) of the government shutdown engineered by Tea Party-led House Republicans. Here's what we know so far:

The Republicans are at a complete loss on what they want out of this:
"We're not going to be disrespected," Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) told The Washington Examiner. "We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."

The GOP is going to endure huge losses during the Senate mid-terms next year if this shutdown continues (The Washington Post):
Party veterans say they are increasingly concerned that a prolonged standoff in Washington could damage their prospects for winning back the Senate in 2014.

“You can see that in the different reaction of Senate Republicans” compared with their House counterparts, a prominent GOP pollster said.

Like several other Republican strategists interviewed for this article, he spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to publicly disparage his party’s prospects or those of his clients.

GOP senators — with a few notable exceptions, including and led by Ted Cruz (Tex.) — have been far more skeptical about the political wisdom of the shutdown engineered by House Republicans.

The Republicans are getting increasingly desperate with their message, to the point of stealing Democratic ideas (The Hill):
Republicans are seeking to paint Democrats as the "party of no" to help dig themselves out of a hole on the government shutdown.

The Democrats have finally grown some balls when dealing with the GOP (Huff Post):

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) had some choice words for Republicans on Thursday, hurling an expletive to describe the government shutdown stalemate.

In an interview with Slate, McDermott said the GOP "can't figure out how to admit" that they've lost the battle on Obamacare.

"Why would House Democrats give away what the Supreme Court and the 2012 electorate didn’t?," McDermott said. 'You can’t say, OK, you get half of Obamacare—this isn’t a Solomonic decision. So we sit here until they figure out they f*ck*n’ lost.

And lastly, there ain't enough crocodile tears the the world for this lady (The Raw Story):
North Carolina’s U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmer (R) stirred outrage on Thursday when she said in a TV interview that unlike some members of the Republican caucus in Washington, she will not be foregoing her paycheck during the GOP-led shutdown of the federal government. According to Talking Points Memo, Ellmer said that she needs her $170,000 annual salary too much to donate it.

“I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line,” Ellmers said to Raleigh’s WTVD Channel 11. “I understand that there may be some other members who are deferring their paychecks, and I think that’s admirable. I’m not in that position.”

Face it guys...you lost! The ACA is here to stay, and all your obstructionism ain't going to change a goddamned thing!