Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hey Tom Foley, this is why we need paid sick leave!

Tom Foley has stated that he's against paid sick leave. Gov. Dan Malloy helped push through the legislation that gave Connecticut the Paid Sick Leave law.

I would imagine someone like Tom Foley doesn't ever have to fly commercial airlines. Because if he did, he would expose himself to employees like a flight attendant who obviously couldn't afford to take the day off to nurse her cold/flu/ebola/smallpox...

Tom Foley can afford to fly on private jets, he can boat on private yachts, and he can have his personal chef make gourmet meals for him. All the while having the ability to be safe from ill employees.

The vast majority of Connecticut residents don't have that option.

So imagine how you'd feel if you were trapped on a six-hour flight in an airtight tube with a sick person who handles your food/drink/life during the trip.

Click on the link below to this SoundCloud recording by Sarah Silverman from a recent flight she took.

SoundCloud: Sick Flight Attendant

And follow @SarahKSilverman on Twitter, because she's so damned funny!

PS: Being filthy rich is just SO MUCH FUN!!!!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Would you want a governor who paid no taxes?

I mean, really!

This is just crazy that Tom Foley is SO bloody rich that he DOESN'T HAVE TO PAY INCOME TAX!

I wish I was that rich.

I'd be able to afford a new car for me and my wife. Both our cars were made in the 90s, and we have over a quarter million miles between them! Oh, and we both work full-time and we pay our fair share in taxes.

Besides new cars, having a five million dollar yacht like Foley's would be fun, too!

Watch this video called "Yacht", and decide if you want a governor who views our state from that perspective:



Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Dead heat in Governor's Race

Gov. Dan Malloy has evened up his race with Tom Foley in the latest Q-Poll.
From News12: A new Quinnipiac University Poll shows Connecticut's race for governor is a dead heat.

The poll finds Republican businessman Tom Foley no longer holds a lead over Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Voters were asked who they would vote for if the election was today and 43 percent said Malloy and 43 percent said Foley.

Petitioning candidate Joe Visconti got nine percent.

Last month, a Quinnipiac poll had Foley in a six point lead over Malloy.

I always wondered why they call a tie in the polls a "dead heat".

So I decided to Google the phrase to find it's origins.

Merriam Webster says:
Full Definition of DEAD HEAT
: a tie with no single winner of a race; broadly : tie


The American Heritage® Dictionary:
dead heat n.
1. Sports A race in which two or more contestants compete evenly or finish at the same time.
2. A political campaign or other contest that is so close that it is impossible to predict the winner.

Collins English Dictionary:
1. (Individual Sports, other than specified)
a. a race or contest in which two or more participants tie for first place
b. a tie between two or more contestants in any position

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary:
dead′ heat′ n.
a race in which two or more competitors finish in a tie.
[1790–1800]

Farlex Trivia Dictionary:
dead heat - If two horses tied in a heat, the heat did not count and was called "dead"; now any tie can be called a dead heat.

So it appears that the term originated with horse racing to describe a tie upon the finish of a race, and was later applied to many racing competitions that ended with a tie.

It's no wonder that the term has been applied to political contests. There is absolutely a sporting aspect to politics, and many people who follow races like these are not shockingly also sports aficionados.

Hunter S. Thompson has often written of the similarity to sports and politics, and the same way a person can become a sports junkie often applies to those who are politics junkies.

And it looks like we're in a real hoss race for the next four weeks! Gonna go right down to the wire!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tom Foley smoked pot

He just said so, on the governor's debate with Dan Malloy tonight.

Wow!

So they guy who wants to be governor is a lawbreaker who is against making pot legal.

Hypocrite.

(full disclosure: seconds later, Dan Malloy admitted to smoking it "once", sounding eerily similar to Bill Clinton's infamous "didn't inhale" line. I don't know a single person alive who smoked it only once...even if they didn't like it.)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tom Foley is a dick

I just really wanted to say that.

I only hope this article shows up on his Google searches and it ruins his day. Please repost this article everywhere so it will further embarrass/anger/humiliate him.

Republican gubernatorial candidate and perpetual bridesmaid but never the bride Tom Foley has a slight lead over Gov. Dan Malloy, based on the most recent Q-poll.

Here's why I think he's a dick. Not all the reasons, but a major one. From DailyKos.com:
Four years into [Foley's] tenure [at a Pennsylvania factory], unionized workers at the manufacturing company refused his labor agreement and voted to strike – which they did, for 24 hours a day, for two and a half years.

"Because of Tom Foley … people were destroyed - and it's because Tom Foley wanted to profit," said Julie Kushner, the director of United Auto Workers Region 9, who held a press conference in Higganum Thursday along with other union leaders to call attention to the strike. According to news reports at the time, Foley received nearly $40 million as the largest shareholder when the company was sold in 2007.

"People don't do that in a haphazard way," Kushner said, referring to the length of the strike.

The strike was not resolved through labor negotiations; rather, Foley began hiring replacement employees who were not, as the striking workers were, demanding a 50-cent increase in hourly wages.

Fifty fucking cents! That's what Foley decided was worthy of dumping the factory and destroying people's livelihoods.

Of course, his $40,000,000 payday for doing so may have been a strong incentive!

What a dick!

Hey, let's be honest here. I might be capable of being as much of a dick as Tom Foley if someone was waving a $40 million check in my face.

I don't know...

But I'm not running for governor...

He is.

Anyway, it will make me feel good when Foley's campaign will spend some money on another failed bid for governor. Even if it is publicly financed this time around. At least some of it (but not all, based on his practices of hiring out of state media people) will make its way into our local economy.

At least he's gracing us with that.

And let's not forget that his multi-million dollar mega-yacht was named Odalisque, the Turkish word for a female slave in a harem.

What a dick!

You need more proof he's a dick? Listen to him yakking it up with former Congressman Rob Simmons back in 2010. You'll see what really matters to this guy...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Senate gives President authority to arm and train Syrian rebels

Welp, here we go again.

Just what we need, American arms and (almost definitely) boots on the ground in another Middle-Eastern cluster fuck!

Some of those arms will undoubtedly make their way into the hands of people who will endeavor to use them to kill Americans. Have we learned NOTHING from our tattered history of messing about in that region?

It turns out our bloodthirsty Senate voted 78-22 in favor of the motion. For fuck's sake, we can't get enough of them to vote for the justice of having American women paid the same as American men for performing the EXACT SAME JOBS, but we get a super-fucking-duper majority when it comes to killing people in a faraway land and spending unknown BILLIONS on making it so!

Our two senators split their votes. Here's what they say:

Blumenthal Statement On Senate Vote On Continuing Resolution, Authority To Train And Equip Moderate Syrian Opposition Forces

Thursday, September 18, 2014

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today released the following statement after voting in favor of the Continuing Resolution, which, in addition to preventing a government shutdown, provides authority for the Defense Department to train and equip moderate Syrian opposition forces:

“Inaction against ISIL is unacceptable. This savage terrorist organization is a clear and urgent threat. This narrow authorization enables training of moderate Syrians to fight ISIL in their own country. It is limited in time and scope, and it explicitly prohibits American troops in combat. I continue to have concerns and questions, including the need for more specific firm commitments from countries in the region as well as global allies, and sufficient assurances that the arms and training will be used for our interests, not against us.

“The Senate will be voting again on this authorization because this one expires on December 11. My position in future votes will depend on whether my concerns and questions are answered. Chief among my concerns is whether Arab nations commit themselves significantly and vigorously to the fight against ISIL’s inhumane and dangerous brutality and ideology.

“An important consideration in my vote today was the need to prevent a government shutdown.”

And Sen. Chris Murphy had a slightly different opinion:

Moments ago, I cast my vote in the Senate against arming and training the Syrian rebels.

I continue to believe that President Obama has laid out a strong case for taking the fight to ISIL. I agree with his decision to launch airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq, to compel new leadership in Iraq to achieve political reconciliation with moderate Sunnis, and to put together a broad, international military coalition. The president has shown true, decisive leadership in the fight against ISIL and I applaud him for his strength and resolve.

I simply don't believe an effective strategy to combat ISIL requires America to get more deeply involved in the Syrian civil war.

First, the moderate Syrian rebels have shown a disturbing willingness to join forces with Islamic extremists like the Al Nusra Front, a wing of Al Qaeda, and it will be nearly impossible to stop the rebels we train from joining forces with groups that pose a real threat to the United States.

Second, it will be hard to thread the needle of supporting a majority Shiite regime against Sunni extremists in Iraq while, at the same time, supporting a largely Sunni insurgency against a Shiite leader in Syria.

Third, I believe we are too optimistic that the American trained rebels will target ISIL when their true enemy inside Syria is Bashar al-Assad. Asking a minimally trained army to take on two barbaric foes at once seems unrealistic.

I want to close by reiterating that I still firmly maintain Congress needs to authorize this new war against ISIL. This issue remains too important to not have all voices at the table before moving forward.

All the best,

Chris Murphy
U.S. Senator, Connecticut

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Q-Poll shows Malloy trailing Foley

A Quinnipiac poll released earlier today shows Governor Dan Malloy trailing Republican challenger Tom Foley 40% to 46%.

There are some reasons why this is happening, and most of them point to Malloy and his re-election campaign.

Susan Bigelow observes some of the missteps of Malloy's efforts in an Op-Ed over at CT News Junkie.

Voter frustration seems to lead the list, but there is one other possible reason things are not going well for Dan Malloy, and that is the simple fact that incumbents tend to have a harder time during mid-term years. An opposition party usually has an easier time getting momentum against an incumbent, especially when he's not very effective at getting his message out, and also that he won his seat by only about 6,000 votes statewide.

There's still about two months until the election, and that's plenty of time to turn things around. But unless Malloy's campaign finds a simple and effective way to get their message to voters, it's likely to be an uphill battle.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Coverage of the Bill Clinton rally in New Haven

Here's the video and all the details I learned by attending today's Bill Clinton grassroots rally in New Haven:




























































(there would be something really cool here probably, but Democratic State Central declined to give me a media pass)





So, in lieu of a new video with Bill Clinton, here is a my video of his speech from October 2010, when the president made a stop in Norwalk to stump for Dick Blumenthal, Dan Malloy, and Jim Himes. I could have made another video like this available today, had I been granted a media pass.




Sunday, August 31, 2014

Gearing up for the 2014 mid-terms

Going into this year's election, we have a responsibility to keep our Democratic sweep here in Connecticut. We enjoy a strong field of incumbents, but we can't let our guard down for even a moment. The Tea Party extremists and the anti-everything Republicans will keep trying to whittle down our super-duper majority here.

Hey! Anyone remember the Republican shutdown that cost our nation BILLIONS OF DOLLARS? We need every Democratic vote in Congress to battle these short-sighted and reactionary extremists.

And we need to protect those voters who will unknowingly support them and sabotage their own futures!

Here's some folks who are running in Connecticut for reelection this year. Give them your support and let them know we are all fighting for the same causes!





And here's a couple videos that showcase fine public servants who won in 2010:



Friday, August 08, 2014

8 years ago today

Time sure do fly!

Eight years ago today Democrat Ned Lamont shocked the world by beating Neocon Joe "Bush Kiss" Lieberman in the primary for the party nomination for Senator in Connecticut.

Wow, it's been THAT long?

So, to commemorate the occasion, here's the British version of "Blog Wars", the documentary that featured a rag-tag collection of shady characters and ne'er-do-wells...otherwise known as "bloggers"!

Enjoy a stroll down memory lane and watch this, courtesy of the director James Rogan. Watching it today, it seems like that was a time when the social aspect of the internet was being formed, and soon MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter took over the internet. But for a brief, shining moment, the blogs were the center of the universe.

And it was fun as hell being a part of it!

Blog Wars from James Rogan on Vimeo.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Foley: It's YOUR fault!

From DailyKos.com:

If you are voting in Connecticut this fall, you need to watch this video. If you know someone voting in Connecticut this fall, you need to watch AND share this video.

The CT Mirror sets the stage:

Near the gate of a doomed paper mill, Republican Tom Foley alighted from the back seat of a blue BMW sedan Tuesday to assail the economic policies of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, only to find himself in a raucous street debate with the local first selectwoman and soon-to-be jobless workers.

Foley, a candidate for governor, came to fault Malloy for the recently announced plans by a global investment firm to close Fusion Paperboard, costing 140 jobs in this struggling mill town. By the time he left, Foley had defended the decision of the absentee owners and told the selectwoman and workers they shared blame for the mill’s demise.

“You want to blame people who are hundreds or thousands of miles away, malign management,” Foley told the workers and First Selectwoman Cathy Osten, a Democratic state senator and Malloy supporter. “Listen, you have failed, because you have lost these jobs.”

A little backstory—the Fusion Paperboard Company makes recycled cardboard boxes (pizza boxes, etc) and has been around since the 1960s. Last week they announced they were closing, despite heavy volume and a 17 day back order, leaving 145 employees facing unemployment, many of whom had worked for the factory for decades.

In 2013, OpenGate Financial, the investment firm that owns Fusion, applied for and received a $2 million loan (plus an optional $1 million more), with a promise of expanding the plant over the next 10 years. After six years of concessions, workers at the mill agreed to a new six year contract just days before the closure was announced. With a promise of expansion, a new union contract and a heavy volume of orders, things were looking up.

And suddenly, without explanation, OpenGate Financial announced the mill would be closing. But, why? Because OpenGate Financial decided to sell all of the equipment to the largest competitor, thereby shrinking the competition. If this all sounds familiar, it is because these are exactly the type of stomach-churning tactics used by Bain Capital and the Mitt Romney's of the world.

When questioned further about what Tom Foley would do differently than Governor Malloy to keep businesses in Connecticut, his response was:

I wouldn't have instituted the anti-business policies that Governor Malloy did. Things like mandatory sick leave, raising energy costs, uhhh, just the negative signals he sends out.

THINGS LIKE MANDATORY SICK LEAVE. Wow. Businessman Tom Foley has come down very decidedly on the side of big business, no matter the cost to the working voters of Connecticut. Forget voters, this is about shareholders. Can Connecticut afford Tom Foley? No. Hell no.

Foley rolled in to use the Fusion Paperboard Company as nothing more than a prop and a backdrop for his nonsensical talking points and he got his ass handed to him by the people in the district that will be affected the hardest. They grilled him on how he would've saved their jobs and his response? To blame the workers themselves.

The disastrous press conference was 30 minutes long, but it is eye popping and most definitely worth watching. Especially if you or someone you know is voting in Connecticut this fall.



Originally posted to Scout Finch on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:26 AM PDT.
Also republished by Daily Kos.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Night Music Club v.36

Alright!

The National Football League basically justified my decision to dump that stupid Roman numbering system and go with good ol' decimal.

The NFL recently announced that the next Super Bowl will be "50" instead of the Roman numeral "L".

I consider that validation on an unprecedented level!

So, here's my choice for v.36 this week:

Leonard Cohen's apocalyptic poem to our society's inevitable decay..."The Future"!

This song was featured in the film "Natural Born Killers", that was directed by Oliver Stone and produced in part by Jane Hamsher, who currently resides at FireDogLake.com, and who was a major influence in my becoming politically active as a blogger.

So, you can blame all this craziness on her!

Actually, Jane is one of my heroes, and I consider myself lucky to have met her and done work that made her proud (see the year 2006 in the archives of this blog). And I have her to thank for influencing much of the music that was selected for NBK, including this amazing song by Leonard Cohen.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Here's the thing....

I often wondered about this linguistic crutch that people use to give themselves a moment to think of something clever to say. "Here's the thing" is definitely that.

So, just a moment ago I was pondering that phrase and suddenly I wondered, "Where's the Thing?"

And so, here's the Volkswagon "Thing". A production car I remembered from my childhood that had a brief run in the United States during the second Nixon term. It so clearly was a terrible "thing" that few people bought it.

But, it IS a "thing".

Does anyone else remember the "Thing"?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why Eric Cantor losing is a bad thing



I didn't think it was possible to find any more room to the right of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Yesterday Cantor, a seven term congressman and the second most powerful person in the House, was soundly thrashed in a primary by an unknown Tea Party candidate. Cantor's supporters poured something like $5,000,000 into his campaign, while Dave Brat spent around $100,000 to gain a huge victory.

Cantor was clearly stunned by the results during his post-defeat remarks. His wife didn't look too happy either.

Here's why this is such a bad thing:

Cantor's defeat sends a message to all GOP congressmen that it doesn't pay to be even the slightest bit moderate in their actions. If you want to stay in Congress, you will have to move as far right as humanly possible...and then take another three steps to the right of that! Any hint of compromise with the Democrats will be the kiss of death for their careers.

This will result in Congress doing even less constructive work than before. Immigration reform is likely dead for the remainder of Obama's presidency. And it will embolden the Tea Party to run even MORE extremist candidates to challenge establishment Republicans.

This upset should scare the living shit out of any GOP congressmen who are vulnerable, and also all the Democrats who actually are hoping to get anything useful done in Congress.

We had a government shutdown last year because of extremists in the House. I can only imagine what's in store if a significant number of Tea Party candidates win this year.

It won't be good, that's for sure.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Will Connecticut Legislature drop the ball on National Popular Vote?

UPDATE: Today I spoke to the Speaker's representative about the bill. He told me that Mr. Sharkey would gladly bring the bill to a vote if there was enough support for it to pass. But he said that the Republicans are nearly unanimous in their opposition to it, and there isn't enough Democratic support to get a clear majority. There are other more pressing issues that need to be addressed during the final days of the session, and having a bill fail to pass wouldn't be the best use of the time.

I appreciate hearing from the Speaker's office, and agree with his reasoning.

==============================================================

Reprinted in its entirety from My Left Nutmeg:

by: Kim Hynes
Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:37:38 AM EDT

We're getting close to the end of the legislative session and, as usual in a short session, things are getting lost. National Popular Vote is in danger of being one of those things. Under the National Popular Vote bill, participating states would join an agreement to award their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the most votes in all 50 states. This agreement would only go into effect when states representing an Electoral College majority, 270, signed on. When the agreement kicked in, the winner of the national popular vote would win in the Electoral College. We are 60% of the way there! New York joined the compact last week, with Governor Cuomo signing it into law.

Despite promising that the bill would be called if the votes were there (they are) House Speaker Brendan Sharkey seems focused on letting it die. We have heard he was very negative about it in the Democratic caucus. CT News Junkie today quotes Representative Jutila, " 'Although the speaker has said he would allow the bill to be raised if enough House Democrats wanted it passed', Jutila said Sharkey's opinion on the issue has cooled support among lawmakers who did not previously have firm positions on the issue."

If you have not yet called Speaker Brendan Sharkey or the Governor now is the critical time to express your support for House Bill 5126, the National Popular Vote Bill .

Every vote should count for President of the US as it does in other elections, support the National Popular Vote!

--------------------

Contact info:

Legislative Office Building, Room 4100
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
1-800-842-1902 | (860) 240-8500

600 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
(203) 281-4647
Brendan.Sharkey@cga.ct.gov

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Night Music Club v.35

Fuck it, I'm done with the stupid Roman numeral scheme I adopted a million years ago, back when I thought it looked kind of cool. Now when I have to hit the "x" key more than twice, it annoys the hell outta me. So, that's it for any non-decimal number system for me!

Although, the idea of doing it with hexidecimal kinda intrigues me...SNMC #23 works, right?

Anyhoo, here's 2 Skinnee J's doing "Nrrrd Riot". I saw them at Woodstock '99, which was great except for the post concert riots, which I managed to avoid for the most part, but someone gave me a Metallica T-shirt he looted during the general anarchy that followed the closing show. And that ensured there will never be another WS concert again, when compared to the '94 festival, which was largely peaceful and mostly consisted of truly caring people instead of the drunken frat-boy fest that was '99.

Which was a shame, but there were still some good memories from '99, which included 2 Skinnee J's doing an awesome late night set in one of the hangers in the old Rome Air Force Base. There was a vintage B-52 bomber displayed at the entrance of the airport that looked pretty cool in an anachronistic sense. Plus, they showed "A Clockwork Orange" on a huge screen in one of the hangers, which was awesome during the 20 minutes I chilled there. But ICP was scheduled to play on the 2nd stage, and I didn't want to miss them!

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!