Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
Take my word for it...Gonzo will be gone-zo by this time next week!
From the Hartford Courant:
HARTFORD -- U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman had some tough words today for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is involved in an uproar over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.Bush has obviously abandoned his Attorney General now that he's become a liability, and he figures he'll toss Lieberman some fresh meat in the process.
Lieberman, I-Conn., said Gonzales' case was hurt by testimony from his former chief of staff, who on Thursday contradicted Gonzales' earlier accounts of not being involved in the decision-making about which prosecutors should be fired.
"This is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States," Lieberman said during a taping WFSB-TV's "Face the State," which will air Sunday. "I think it's time for Attorney General Gonzales to really look into his own heart and soul, as tough as it is, and ask whether he should continue in this job."
As if that'll help Joe's image.
The photo (courtesy CT Blogger) shows (L to R) Spazeboy (holding the Speaker's gavel), CT Blogger, Maura, Caffeinated Geek Girl (CGG), TrueBlueCT, Sarah, Me (holding my video camera), CT Keith, and Genghis Conn. Missing was Christine Stuart from CT News Junkie (I think she was the one who took the photo).
Below is one of CT Blogger's videos, showing Rep. Andrew Fleischmann (D-West Hartford) discussing education with us. There will be more video from CT Blogger when he gets to it (which ain't easy when you're working on maintaining blog postings and digging up topics to discuss; sometimes we can't get everything edited and put online immediatly).
Thursday, March 29, 2007
1984 copyright holders threaten over anti-Hillary Clinton adGee, now I seem pretty goddamned smart for making such a crappy version of the video last July that it didn't get enough views to be noticed by the copyright holder! My strategy of stealth propaganda snuck in below everybody's radar!
The company that licensed the US rights to Orwell's 1984 doesn't really understand copyright, so they're threatening the people who made the now-infamous Hillary Clinton/Apple 1984-ad mashup. Apparently, these people weren't paying attention when the carpetbaggers who bought out the Woody Guthrie estate tried to shut down Jib-Jab's "This Land" parody, and got their asses handed to them."The political ad copies a prior commercial infringement of our copyright," said Gina Rosenblum, president of Rosenblum Productions Inc. "We recognize the legal issues inherent under the First Amendment and the copyright law as to political expression of opinion, but we want the world at large to know that we take our copyright ownership of one of the world's great novels very seriously."Link
Rosenblum purchased rights to "1984" from the Orwell Estate and Sonia Orwell in 1981 and the Orwell novel is still under copyright, at least until the year 2044. The company has utilized these exclusive rights to produce a number of products based on the novel. "We produced Richard Burton's last film, '1984', which opened that year to great critical acclaim," Gina Rosenblum said. "We also authorized a number of related products such as videos and soundtracks, and later released the film for television viewing and an '1984' Opera. Currently, we are in discussions with major Hollywood companies to make a new motion picture of the classic novel."
Ha Ha Ha! Who's the genius NOW, Mr. Phil de Vellis?
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Rep. Mike Lawlor (D-East Haven) discusses blogging, tasers, and the Krayeske case in a fast-paced 10-minute video. Rep. Diana Urban is also featured.
Rep. Jim Shapiro (D-Stamford) speaks on the impact of blogging on the political landscape. Jim is considering a run for Congress in the 4th CD, where the Democrats hope to pick up a seat.
Rep. John Geragosian (D-New Britain) wraps up the blogger's tour with a few remarks. We're all grateful that John helped arrange this tour and talk; we learned a lot, and look forward to continuing the dialogue with our state legislators.
OH, SHIT! I spelled it wrong AGAIN!!! I re-edited the video, re-rendered it, re-uploaded it, waited for it to go online, linked to it, and realized that I made ANOTHER FRICKIN' MISTAKE!!! I put an "O" in his name that should be an "A"!
Well, I give up. The mistake only shows on the video for three seconds. Don't worry, everyone knows who you are, John Geragosian! Even if we don't always spell it properly.
You can call me "Connecticut Boob" if you want. I've earned it.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The Republican bid to remove the withdrawal deadline from the bill failed today. This is a clear message that the Senate wants to see our troops get home safely. The clause requiring our involvement in the Iraqi Civil War to end is staying in.
Sadly, the President has said publicly that he's going to veto it. This will almost guarantee him a spot in the "Hall of Worst Presidents Evar"!
But there IS one way he can surprise us and maybe rehabilitate his image somewhat...
When the bill appears on your desk Mr. Bush, you can simply pick up one of your pens and sign the fucking thing into law!
Then there's at least a decent chance you won't be remembered as the worst president this nation has ever had.
And if you do that, Mr. President, boy oh boy! You'll be able to knock over the entire lefty blogosphere with a goddamened feather!
Of course, I'm not holding my breath or anything.
Oh, and Senator Lieberman acted true to form today. There isn't a single shred of decency left in that sad and pathetic little man.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Maura from My Left Nutmeg was joined by CT Blogger, Caffeinated Geek Girl from CT Local Politics and a slew of others to do some virtual live-blogging of the Judiciary Committee Hearings on the issue of same-sex marriage rights (Marriage Equality).
While watching the live televised proceedings, Maura and the MLN community has provided a great play-by-play transcript of the action with commentary. CT Blogger has put up video of some of the testimony.
It's becoming clear to me that we're being treated to a new kind of immediate journalism that's being perfected while we watch.
CT/N streaming video coverage is available HERE. And go to My Left Nutmeg to follow the blogging.
It's still going on RIGHT NOW! (7:15PM)
UPDATE: 9:11PM still going strong!
Great work, Maura and MLN!
UPPER-DATE: coming up on 11:00PM and the march of speakers continues...I can't help but feel that this is an historic moment in CT politics. New MLN poster "Gems" is live-blogging from the hearing room and doing an awesome job!
UPP-EST DATE: It's finally over, at 11:43PM tonight! Carmen "The Firecracker" Saez jumped in for a final comment just before they closed the hearing, which was a perfect way to end this marathon session. Thanks to Maura, Gems, Mike Lawlor, and everyone at MLN who made this a really amazing experience!
Shit, I gotta go to work in six hours! G'night!
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Sundays are generally slow news days, and it's the day of the week that everyone sort of catches up on their rest and regroups for the coming week. So it seems to me like the evening is the perfect time to post obscure, overlooked, or forgotten yet much-loved music videos. I'll try it for a month or so, and decide whether or not to continue it based on your comments.
So, I'd like to kick this thing off with a brilliant little video that played on MTV back in 1994, but for some reason was never given the recognition it deserved, and it subsequently disappeared from rotation without much notice. I think I've only seen this video once, but it stuck with me, and when I came across it recently I was overjoyed.
"Lucas With the Lid Off" is the creation of Lucas, a fairly obscure rapper, and director Michel Gondry, who later helmed "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". The song is a fusion of rap, early jazz, and ragtime that blend into a unique sound.
But the video is what's outstanding here. Gondry uses a single camera and one continuous shot to capture the entire nearly 4-minute video. The camera's motion, along with the adjoining sets and use of Lucas and the actors rushing from scene to scene are at first a little disorienting, but then the rhythm of the visuals starts to make sense and enhances the experience.
Watch it and enjoy it; then watch it again and take note of the amazing production that went into this video.
And if you enjoyed the visual style of the video, go out and get the DVD of Gondry's odd 2006 film "The Science of Sleep" although it should be "Dreams" ("La Science des rêves").
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Granted, as far as anyone knows, the Miami P.D. didn't have a "hit list" with journalist Carlos Miller's name on it, but his lawful right to do his job in a peaceful manner was denied him and he was arrested on eerily familiar trumped-up charges of "resisting arrest". The police affidavit lists the charges as five counts of failure to obey a police officer, and one count each of obstructing justice, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest without violence.
The entire story is located on the blog "Category 305" and is very detailed. Having read the account, I gotta admit that Miller's definitely a troublemaker, but in the GOOD sense of the word! Here's a quote from the article that says it all:
Miller then made the decision that probably got him thrown in jail. He reached up with one arm and snapped a photo of (arresting officer Sgt.) Rahming. “I knew it pissed him off,“ Miller admitted, “But it’s not illegal.”
This is me talking to my good friend Mr. Glover. He flew in from filming "Shooter" last July to campaign for Ned Lamont, and he took the red-eye from Vancouver and flew back later that day.
That's the very definition of being committed to helping progressive candidates!
Here's Mr. Glover generously giving me a few minutes to ask my stuttering, star-struck questions. Every so often I look at the camera while listening to his statements. There's two reasons for this; one, I'm looking at the LCD display to see that we're in the field of view, and second, I'm thinking "Wow, I'm interviewing freakin' MURTAUGH!"
("Lethal Weapon" is one of my top five favorite action movies!)
In the interest of full disclosure, I think Mr. Glover might not agree that I'm a close personal friend of his (or even be aware of me), but that's OK. He's a very nice man anyway, who always speaks for the good guy's side and is a welcome voice for important social causes.
And besides, maybe he was watching CNN yesterday when the "1984" story came on, and suddenly leapt out of his chair and pointed at the TV, yelling, "Hey, I KNOW that guy!"
Thursday, March 22, 2007
...the part where they mention my name TWICE!
It's kind of neat to be watching CNN with your wife sitting next to you and they mention your name.
Unless it's in a story about a manhunt for you as a suspect in an horrific crime or something.
Then it would kind of suck.
Gee, they make a big deal about the fact that I picked up a lousy 1,000 hits, and the other one got like 2 million. Oh, well.
Being the master of irony that I am, notice how my video about a Youtube story is posted on Daily Motion!
Yeah...I'm a rebel.
Apparently, on this afternoon's "Situation Room", CNN has mentioned the controversial Obama online ad, and the fact that it may have been unoriginal. Tim Tagaris saw the report, and they said the ad was a ripoff of the one I created last summer. (...and if anyone Tivo'd it, I'd really like to get a copy of it)
...if I had only known it was going to be this big of a deal, I would have spent a lot more time making the original video look and sound better!
Plus, Tparty points out some other sources that are looking into the issue of where credit for the idea is due. This is from the Cleveland Plain Dealer's blog:
De Vellis intrigue grows (or, where have we seen this ad before?)I tend to lean towards plagiarism myself, but I'll wait and see what develops before I make any definitive judgement.
Posted by Stephen Koff March 22, 2007 12:57PM
Could the intrigue over Phil de Vellis' controversial anti-Hillary video become more a question of some copy-cat work? Former Plain Dealer Cincinnati bureau chief Bill Sloat presents the goods in his Daily Bellwether blog.
It seems that the anti-Clinton video created by de Vellis, a political operative who once worked in Sherrod Brown's Senate campaign, is pretty much a carbon copy of a video that Ned Lamont supporters (specifically, ME) put out last year in their unsuccessful attempt to take down Sen. Joe Lieberman. Check out that video here.
Now compare it with de Vellis' work here.
Most of the content is lifted from an Apple Computers ad. But de Vellis was not the first guy to use it for political purposes (though perhaps he was the first to lose his job over it). "Such amazing creativity," notes Sloat's site. "Or is it plagiarism?"
And here's the passage from The Daily Bellwether:
1984 Redux: Same 'Big Brother' Ad Was Used Against Lieberman
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Apparently, Big Brother wasn't watching. The YouTube ad that is being hailed/denounced as creating a Brave New World of Internet viral political campaigning was a complete rip-off. Check out Connecticut for Joe. It was hardly noticed and got less than 1,000 hits.
Newly-elected Democratic Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown's former blog guru Phil de Vellis claims he concocted the Hillary Clinton as Big Sister version that has had the 'sphere atwitter. If so, he polished an apple that somebody previously had bitten. Such amazing creativity. Or is it plagiarism?
Watch the Connecticut version. Turns out that Ned Lamont's supporters floated nearly the same ad last year in his showdown with Lieberman.
[UPDATE: Blue State Digital where de Vellis worked until his reputed responsibility for the anti-Hillary ad became known, did Lamont's Web work last year. And a Blue State wheel has moved on to Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Inquiring minds might be wondering: Pure coincidence? Blue State, however, insists it has absolutely no connection to the 1984 video and de Vellis was terminated; de Vellis says he quit.]
[UPDATE 2: Bob Adams made the Lamont ad last July. When he saw the Hillary version earlier this month he mused about copycats. Another veteran of Ohio Democratic politics, Tim Tagaris, worked for the Lamont campaign in 2006 and pointed out the existence of Adams' work. And there's more from Bob. It looks like Ohio really is the heart of it all.]
I shot a lot of video and will have more details later (much later, I'm exhausted), but for now here's a couple pictures that aren't too blurry...I think I need to give CT Joyce a tutorial on how to use the digital camera; most of her pictures look like impressionistic paintings!
We met in a committee room in the Legislative Office Building.
The House of Representatives chamber, where we were given a detailed overview of the legislative process.
CT Joyce and Christine Stuart (from CT News Junkie) observe the proceedings.
Speaker of the House CT Blogger? I can see it happening!
CT Blogger, TrueBlueCT (in his James Amann hat) and yours truly (in an Orange "Crush" hat that TrueBlue insisted I wear) after the informal meeting with the Representatives.
After the tour, Genghis and Rep. Geragosian kick back for a post-tour happy hour with us bloggers.
I'm planning to edit the video in the next few days; deciding what to leave out is going to be the tough part, since we had a lot of quality discussion during the course of the evening.
Thanks to Rep. Geragosian and the rest of the Reps. who took part, and to Spazeboy for helping to put this together!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
They also mention my earlier "1984/Lieberman" video in this passage:
Tagaris even finds an earlier, lower-quality version of the Hillary/1984 video that’s gotten everyone excited, except that this one stars Joe Lieberman. It was created last summer during the Lieberman/Lamont race by Bob Adams, who blogs at Connecticut Bob.And once again, my original video is viewable here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1O63aHyqDQ.
CT Bob's recent post shows the two videos back-to-back, and while the Hillary version is of a much higher-quality — Adams simply superimposes Lieberman’s face over Big Brother, and the audio is the same as the original — the guiding idea is almost identical.
Even though the two videos are a little too similar to be random, Adams is graceful about the similarities. “Now, maybe they didn’t get the idea from my video, but I’m just sayin’…,” he wrote.
My version uses the original Super Bowl ad broadcast in 1984, not the updated version released in 2004 showing the female wearing an iPod and earbuds that the "Obama" video used.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Last Friday, New Britain State Rep. Tim O’Brien reported on his blog that Rep. Mike Lawlor was voluntarily TASERed:
The video just surfaced, and I’ve put the above clip together for easy sharing and viewing on YouTube and DailyMotion. For those of you who want to see everything as it was, check out this post at CT Local Politics where you can download the two 59-second long source clips as well as the codec to play them.
A representative of a company that manufactures tasers was testifying about these devices, when Rep. Micheal Lawlor, House Chair of the Committee, asked if the gentleman would use a taser on Lawlor, himself, to demonstrate their safety. The gentleman agreed.
It certainly did not look or sound like a pleasant experience, but Lawlor went through with it. I do not think I have ever heard of this happening at the Capitol.
Mike Lawlor has a reputation has a very intelligent and fair legislator. This kind of thing earns him a lot of respect. Whatever position he takes on how legal these devices should be, he will not be advocating for it without putting himself on the business end of one of them.
It happened on Friday, March 16, around 4:50 PM in the Judiciary Committee public hearing while they were testifying about two bills dealing with tasers (HB 7211 & HB 7212)
CT Bob here: I just want to give Rep. Lawlor credit for demonstrating how much fun it isn't to be tazed. But I'd also like to let him know that the next time he pulls a stunt like that and DOESN'T contact us videobloggers in advance so we can tape the event, we'll be extremely miffed.
But damn!, Mike is one brave S.O.B.! Just look at what a tazer can do to a half-ton bull with a bad attitude:
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
An unathorized Barack Obama online commercial features the legendary "1984" ad by Apple Computers. The ad shows a futuristic world where mindless citizens are lectured by a huge visage of Hillary Clinton.
Here's the ad:
And here's a much crappier version of the ad using the same concept...
...that I made back in July, 2006.
Now, maybe they didn't get the idea from my video, but I'm just sayin'...
Oh, and judging from how high up on the page at The Drudge Report this story is, it wouldn't surprise me if pro-Republican Youtubers were responsible for the ad. They'd love to stir up trouble among the Democratic party contenders. I have a feeling we're going to see a lot of nasty politics playing out on Youtube and other streaming video services. I remember a couple instances of something like that happening during the Lamont campaign from mysterious anonymous sources.
Hmmm...now that I mention it, I wonder if some of that missing $387,000 could have gone for non-authorized political ads?
UPDATE: Whew, I was right that Drudge is loving this video! It's been up on the top of the left column for 24 hours now (6PM EDT MONDAY), and that makes perfect sense to me. The denizens of Wingnuttia love nothing better than a good game of "let's you and him fight" between the Democratic frontrunners.
Of course, when the time comes for the Republicans to duke it out, something tells me there's gonna be a shitload of nasty sniping among them that will make Barack and Hillary look like bestest buddies!
People often ask me how the hell Joe Lieberman managed to get reelected.
I'll never understand it, myself.
1,500 Rally In City To Oppose Iraq WarGreat coverage of the rally by Tessa is now online at My Left Nutmeg, and I'm sure we'll see additional local blogs reporting as the day goes on.
Local Event Part Of National Effort To Pressure For Troop Withdrawals
March 18, 2007 - By STEPHANIE REITZ, Associated Press
More than 1,000 anti-war demonstrators rallied Saturday at Hartford's Old State House, adding their voices to nationwide protests as the Iraq war enters its fifth year.
The demonstration, organized by the Connecticut Opposes the War coalition, drew buses full of college students and suburban activists into downtown Hartford despite the day's brisk temperatures and sloppy post-storm conditions.
(MICHAEL MCANDREWS photo)"That is why we are here in the cold and snow - because we care," said state Rep. Christopher Donovan, D-Meriden, who held up a letter signed by 177 Connecticut legislators urging an end to the Iraq conflict.
At Hartford's Old State House, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd-District, vowed to the cheering crowd that she would "work my heart out" to push for legislation to curtail war spending and start bringing troops home.
The war, she said, is "a mistake of gigantic proportions."
Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Democratic presidential candidate, was campaigning in New Hampshire, but sent a letter of support that DeLauro read aloud to the approximately 1,500 people in attendance.
Although people held opposing rallies to support the administration at some other events nationwide, no counter-protesters came forward or made their presence known at Saturday's event in Hartford.
Gregory Spear, a member of the coalition that organized the rally, said they hope to convince U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent, and U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th District, to reconsider their support of the Bush administration on the war.
Boos rang out from the demonstrators when both lawmakers' names were mentioned. The loudest were reserved for Lieberman, who won re-election to his seat as an independent candidate over anti-war Democratic candidate Ned Lamont.
U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, encouraged people who attended Saturday's rally to continue to make their opinions known.
"America has found its voice, in large part because of you," he told the crowd. "Now let's have Congress find its voice."
Saturday, March 17, 2007
But after struggling this morning with hours of chipping through the solid inch of frozen sleet that capped the remaining five inches of wet snow, and then shoveling several tons of it, I'm ready to call it quits on winter.
It was fun, but I'm officially done now.
Our house this fine St. Paddy's Day morning.
Joyce takes a moment to yell at me to "stop taking pictures and get back to work!"
Uh-oh, the plow just went by again and deposited another two-foot wall of slush at the bottom of the driveway. Dang!
Friday, March 16, 2007
Our current Congress is faced with a huge dilemma. The majority of our legislature wants to end our involvement in the war, but are afraid to do so. They can vote to stop funding the war in Iraq, thereby forcing the President to withdraw the troops.
But the Bush administration is harping on the spurious claim that cutting funding will somehow strand our brave troops in a hostile nation during a civil war. As if cutting the money for the war will force the President to have to simply abandon our troops because there's no way to get them home.
Apparently we won't be able to scrape up enough dough to pay their way home or something.
We all know this is utter bullshit, but for some reason, many politicians are scared to death of appearing to not be supporting the troops. Even though their approval of additional funding will ultimately ensure the deaths and injuries of perhaps thousands more American soldiers.
Which, to me, isn't supporting them at all.
So, the Conservative chickenhawks are capitalizing on this conundrum.
Well, I've figured out a solution.
I did some research on what it would cost to get a single, one-way, coach-class seat on a plane home for a soldier. Here's what I found:
The nearest commercial airport I could locate is in Kuwait City. I'll use that as a starting point; I'm sure Baghdad International will have commercial flights soon, judging by how much confidence the President has in the current surge.
A one-way flight from Kuwait City to New York is $856, which I located on Kayak.com...you'd be surprised how many of the big airline search engines don't include Kuwait!
So here's what I'm willing to do...if Congress decides to cut funding for the war which will result in the necessity of pulling our troops out of Iraq, and if the President doesn't provide transportation for them to get home, I solemnly pledge to personally buy a seat for One (1) U.S. Soldier to fly home!
Just think, if we can get enough people to pledge to pitch in if necessary, we can end the war and bring all our troops home safely, even without George Bush's help! How great would THAT be?
That would be the BEST $856 I've ever spent!
And we'll also relieve our (mostly gutless) elected representatives of the crushing burden of worry about whether or not they're properly supporting the troops.
Because...we'll have it covered!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
During a speech on the House floor on Thursday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) declared that "impeachment may well be the only remedy which remains to stop a war of aggression against Iran." The 2004 presidential candidate, who is running again in 2008, told RAW STORY that his House floor statement "speaks for itself."Read the entire article at The Raw Story
"This House cannot avoid its constitutionally authorized responsibility to restrain the abuse of Executive power," Kucinich said on the floor today. "The Administration has been preparing for an aggressive war against Iran. There is no solid, direct evidence that Iran has the intention of attacking the United States or its allies."
Kucinich noted that since the US "is a signatory to the U.N. Charter, a constituent treaty among the nations of the world," and Article II states that "all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state," then "even the threat of a war of aggression is illegal."
Today California's movie star/governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that significantly changes the impact of their Presidential Primary.
Traditionally the California primary is held in June (previously scheduled for June 10, 2008), usually long after a candidate has locked up enough delegates to ensure his nomination at the party convention. Following the lead of other states who've choosen to move the date of their primary earlier in the schedule so their voters have a say in who gets chosen, CA has legislated that their primary will be held on February 5, 2008.
This year, many U.S. states are considering moving their primaries to February 5th, including other big states such as New Jersey, Florida, Missouri, Michigan and Texas. This is going to significantly impact the way candidates will campaign; I fully expect to see presidential hopefuls making frequent trips to the Golden State in the coming months.
Here's a look at the revised schedule for the early Democratic primaries and see how important California will be:
* January 14, 2008 - Iowa (caucus)
* January 19, 2008 - Nevada (caucus)
* January 22, 2008 - New Hampshire (primary)
* January 29, 2008 - South Carolina, Florida
* February 5, 2008 - Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Utah
UPDATE: Florida is threatening to move THEIR primary up even earlier than CA's. Something tells me the trend will be all the big states will move their primaries up to early January so they get the jump on New Hampshire.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
If it wasn’t clear before, it is now. Speaker James Amann, D-Milford, said Wednesday with a resounding “Yes” that he supports the distribution of Plan B for rape victims.
At a press conference with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence Amann said, ”I support a woman who has been brutally raped receiving the services she needs.”
He said he takes offense to this being framed as a religious debate because it’s not only Catholic hospitals that have denied women access to Plan B, an emergency contraception that prevents fertilization. He said he hopes “we can find common ground on this issue when I am asked.”
He said at the moment he’s waiting to see what happens to the legislation which is in the Human Services Committee. The public hearing on the bill was Tuesday and a vote is anticipated in the next few weeks.
In addition to his support of Plan B for rape victims, Amann said he supports increasing funds for the state’s 18 domestic violence programs by $2.25 million.
Advocates against domestic violence including Ms. Connecticut Heidi Voight (pictured with Amann) said the funding would allow the programs to offer services 24/7.
Voight, a certified rape crisis counselor, said “We must ensure that domestic violence victims have 24/7 access to emergency services because in many cases, a missed opportunity may have been a last opportunity.”
Over the past fiscal year the 18 domestic violence programs in the state served 54,641 victims and provided shelter for 2,031 battered women and their children.
Wed. Mar. 14 9:45 AM SUNDANCE (too late)
Mon. Mar. 19 6:50 AM SUNDANCE
Mon. Mar. 19 6:30 PM SUNDANCE
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Church opponents to Plan B say use of the pill amounts to abortion. This is complete bullshit, in spite of what Catholic lobbyists insist. They are against birth control in ANY form by anyone, apparently, not just Catholics.
From today's Hartford Courant:
It seemed that Tuesday at the state Capitol would offer yet more back and forth on whether hospitals should be required to offer emergency birth control pills to rape victims.It makes you wonder how many women who have had similar experiences are understandably frightened about making such a public statement. Rep. Heinrich showed amazing strength and courage today, and she deserves our thanks for speaking out in support of complete availability of Plan B.
Then state Rep. Deborah W. Heinrich, D-Madison, stepped to the microphone. She stunned a crowd of state officials, reporters and rape-victim advocates at a press conference when she announced that 20 years ago, she had been raped.
In a voice sometimes shaking but often strong, she recounted the details of a horrible night when she was a freshman at an out-of-state college and somebody she knew tore out clumps of her hair in his pursuit of her.
After the numbness, she said, "The most terrifying thought was, 'My God, what if I'm pregnant.'"
In today's Hartford Courant, Mark Pazniokas reports on concerns about Jim Amann's fundraising activities:
Under fire for soliciting lobbyists, House Speaker James A. Amann, D-Milford, asked the Office of State Ethics on Monday to review his $67,500-a-year job as a fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Amann's role as a fundraiser came under renewed scrutiny last week when Republican State Chairman Chris Healy questioned Amann's solicitation of lobbyists to buy tickets to a $350-per-person benefit concert for multiple sclerosis at the Mohegan Sun.
In a letter hand-delivered Monday afternoon to the Office of State Ethics, Amann did not directly ask if his soliciting lobbyists poses a conflict of interest.
Instead, he asked Barbara Housen, the general counsel for the new ethics office, if he still can rely on an advisory opinion issued in April 2005 by Brenda Bergeron, then an attorney with the now-defunct State Ethics Commission.
It was not immediately clear if Amann's request would prompt the Office of State Ethics to comment directly on his solicitation of lobbyists.
Meredith Trimble, a spokeswoman for the ethics office, said its lawyers generally answer only the questions raised by the person requesting an advisory opinion.
Amann's aides said the speaker considered Bergeron's opinion to address the broad question of any solicitation he made on behalf of the society.
Monday, March 12, 2007
From the WCBS-TV website (with video):
With the race for the Democratic presidential nomination already in high gear, the Reverend Al Sharpton jumped into the fray today with some tough criticism for Senator Barack Obama. The outspoken reverend offered the harsh comments to Obama just as he looked to build support for his candidacy in the black community.This may become a recurrent theme in the campaign for Democratic candidates who supported Joe Lieberman or were late in becoming vocal in their opposition to the war.
"Why shouldn't the black community ask questions? Are we now being told, 'You all just shut up?'" Sharpton told CBS 2's Marcia Kramer Monday. "Senator Obama and I agree that the war is wrong, but then I want to know why he went to Connecticut and helped [Sen. Joseph] Lieberman, the biggest supporter of the war."
Having a Lieberman-campaign endorsement in your past may be the political equivalent of sipping tea with a bit of Polonium-210 in it; it will definitely make you ill, and might leave you with no future.
I resposted an article from Swing State Project via (I think) CTLP about Mike's possible run. There hasn't been much more discussion online that I've been able to find, so if anyone has more info on his potential candidacy, I'd appreciate hearing about it.
In the meantime, I'm sure I can speak for most of the bloggers who were in attendance at Jim's house last night that we'd be delighted for the opportunity to sit down and chat with Mike Richter sometime soon. Feel free to contact me or any of the bloggers about setting something up.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Maura wanted to introduce the potential 4th District Congressional candidate to us, so she arranged this very informal talk to allow us to meet him. Jim is in the early stages of deciding whether to challenge Chris Shays for his seat in the 4th, and he is interested in sharing his views with the blogosphere.
So Greenpeas, MattW, Thomas Hooker and JonK from My Left Nutmeg joined Caffeinated Geek Girl from Connecticut Local Politics and myself in meeting with Jim. CT Blogger and Spazeboy (among others) wanted to attend but sadly couldn't make it.
My impression of Jim is that he is an intelligent and articulate person, interested in the public good and willing to make an effort towards improving society. He's written passionately about the importance of economic growth and private charity, and he feels that education and solving the problems with health insurance are crucial to ensuring a prosperous state. Jim is also involved in providing affordable housing.
I'm sure there will be more details of the meeting on Connecticut Local Politics and My Left Nutmeg, but I just wanted to post a quick overview of the meeting. It was a pleasure to meet Jim, and I look forward to us seeing more of him in the future.
ADDENDUM: I remembered that Jim was the spokesman for the Greenwich delegation to the State Democratic Convention last year. I checked my convention video (viewable HERE at about the 6:00 mark), and this is what he said when announcing the votes for Senate nomination:
"Madam Chairwoman: Greenwich - Gateway to New England, hometown to Ned Lamont...and not really accustomed to leading the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party...casts three votes for Joe Lieberman and nineteen votes for Ned Lamont."
The Human Services Committee is holding hearings on Tuesday March 13th on SB 1343 - An Act Concerning Compassionate Care For Victims of Sexual Assault.
It is not just a matter of going there and hanging around the hallways, since the "Family" Institute is planning a very active resistance to this Bill. This time we need people, lots of people, to go to Hartford.
As a reminder, this is to try to get the hospitals, and the employees of the hospitals, to offer the option of the Plan B contraceptive to female rape victims. Peculiarly, the hospitals and some nursing professionals are refusing to provide the pill, or the information that the pill exists, to their patients.
Tuesday (March 13th), 1pm in Room 1C of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford
If anyone feels like they would like to testify - medical professionals, religious people, mothers and fathers of victims, or the beloved among us who have faced this form of torture and violation - please contact Gretchen at email@example.com
For those who would rather not speak out, your very presence will speak volumes.
From our fellow Americans at the "Family" Institute - and remember that they provide a lot of money to our legislators during the election season. Emphasis added by moi.
On Tuesday, March 13 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 1C of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, the Human Services Committee will hold a public hearing on one of the most outrageous pro-abortion attacks on religious liberty ever attempted in Connecticut.CT Bob here: The rest of Tessa's article is at My Left Nutmeg; please read it!
SB 1343, "An Act Concerning Compassionate Care For Victims of Sexual Assault," would force Christian hospitals to provide the "Plan B" drug even if it would induce an abortion! [This is a LIE]
Christian hospitals already provide compassionate care to victims of sexual assault--but there is nothing compassionate about abortion. [Wrong!]
Make no mistake: this is not about rape victims, it's about abortion. [More lies]
The media rarely mentions the role of pro-abortion groups NARAL and Planned Parenthood in pushing this bill. And even one of the bill's front groups, CT Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. is a member of the pro-abortion CT Coalition for Choice.
This is a critical issue which affects women's reproductive rights. If organizations like FIC had their way, sexual assault victims in Catholic hospital emergency rooms would be denied the fully legal (and non-prescription) treatment that could PREVENT an unwanted pregnancy.
What FIC doesn't appear to understand is that despite their lies about the possibility that Plan B can trigger an abortion in an already pregnant victim, their policy would lead to INCREASED abortions by women who are DENIED this legal treatment at publicly-funded Catholic hospitals and become victims of unwanted pregnancies.
Don't you people get it?
This will result in MORE abortions, not fewer.
Because they are bound by the chains of dogmatic religious reasoning, the FICers seem to be utterly incapable of understanding this. And if they get their way in this issue, they will be directly responsible for those additional abortions.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Nothing political here, just us and some friends enjoying the day, along with a few pints of Guinness Stout afterward.
Friday, March 09, 2007
And you're right...I really should get a job writing headlines for the New York Post!
It's obvious that I have a rare gift for witty yet ironic wordcraft.
Anyway, good news in that the Dems figured out that letting Fox News run a Democratic debate would be like letting (all together now) "the fox watch the hen house"!
So today Harry Reid and the Nevada Dems decided they'd had enough of Fox after Fox-president Roger Ailes made some jokes that at best belittle the Democratic party candidates, and at worst play into the hands of staunch right wingers.
From Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films email:
Today, Senator Harry Reid and the Nevada Democratic Party announced they would drop a FOX-sponsored debate scheduled for August - citing FOX President Roger Ailes remarks last night that compared Barack Obama to Osama Bin Laden as the final straw.
"We hope this sets a precedent for all Democrats - that FOX should be treated as a right-wing misinformation network, not legitimized as a neutral source of news," said Eli Pariser, Executive Director of MoveOn.org Civic Action. "John Edwards, Harry Reid, the Nevada Democratic Party, and grassroots progressives across the nation deserve credit for standing up to Fox's right-wing agenda."
But I think "rumblings" in this case simply alludes to the fact that people are very interested in going after Rep. Chris Shays' seat in the 2008 election, and I'm going to have a lot of fun covering the action!
Jim Himes, the Greenwich DTC chair, is apparently interested in getting involved in the race. He's quoted in My Left Nutmeg discussing Chris Shays' record, and Chris gets blasted so badly I almost feel sorry for him. Almost.
And if that's not good enough, Himes is also fluent in Spanish.
Eso es impresionante!
Visit MLN and read the entire post.
In an interview with a Christian publication, ultra-right poster boy Newt Gingrich admitted he sullied the sacred bonds of holy matrimony by boning a woman other than his wife.
I'll give you a minute to cleanse your mouth of the vomitus that splashed up involuntarily from your stomach...
woman...oh, wait a minute; yes I did!"
From the Raw Story:
Potential Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich admitted in an interview with conservative Christian group Focus on the Family that he had an extramarital affair even while leading the charge to have President Clinton impeached.
"The honest answer is yes," he said according to the Associated Press. "There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There's certainly times when I've fallen short of God's standards."
"Gingrich argued in the interview, however, that he should not be viewed as a hypocrite for pursuing Clinton's infidelity," writes the AP.
Clinton was punished for perjury, says Gingrich, who claims that he was not "rendering judgment" on a "personal level" against Clinton.
Gingrich still remains very popular among Republicans, and finished fourth in the unscientific straw poll at last weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference, despite having not yet entered the race.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Here's Colin's observations about Jim Amann's "fundraising" efforts, titled Josh Groban sings the "I Will Crush You" aria from Il Schizophreno:
"...House Speaker Jim Amann has proved himself a swineish hack, using his powerful post to leverage money for the Connectiut chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which would be a lovely gesture were Amann not a $60K per annum paid fund-rasier for the society.I don't know what's scarier; the blatent obviousness of Amann's "charity" shakedown, or the remote chance of me ever accidently doing something to get on Colin's bad side?
The latest outrage is this Josh Groban concert, although in 2005 it was Michael Bolton. What is this, the Medellin cartel of easy listening? Amann tries to wrap himself in the mantle of charity. Fine. Let him raise money for somebody who is not paying him. That's charity. This is more like being a bought-and-paid-for pol who actually dragged the MS Society into territory typically occupied by greasy construction companies and highway contractors..."
I can do something about the latter; the former is up to the Speaker.
after the Libby verdict was announced
Lieberman Watch: Joe Lieberman recently spoke on the behalf of a Bush nominee for an ambassadorship to Belgium.
"Sam Fox represents what America is all about," he said, "and that's why he will be, when confirmed, an extraordinary ambassador."
Sam Fox is also an extreme right-wing supporter who financed the "Swift-Boat Veterans For Truth", the 527-group that slandered John Kerry's heroic military record, while simultaneously ignoring President Chimpy's equally heroic service in the Champagne Squadron of the Texas Air-National Guard, where he bravely ingested gallons of Jack Daniels and snorted mounds of Peruvian Flake while not showing up for his one weekend a month.
Sam Fox is obviously a generous man who deserves to be ambassador. Why, he even selflessly gave $10,500 to Senator Lieberman the day AFTER the November election. Sam's equally generous wife ALSO donated $10,500 to Joe on the same day.
Wow, what a terrific couple of Americans.
No wonder Joe gave Mr. Fox such a glowing endorsement. He recognizes the man's generosity.
(Note: The excellent Joe Lieberman watchdog blog "LieberWatch" has been fairly quiet lately, so I've decided to reactivate my periodic "Lieberman Watch" series. Hopefully we'll see LieberWatch continue its good work in the future.)
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
All things must end, and the "Plame House" gang will be heading back to their various home bases. Well done!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
(Hartford-AP) _ Nearly 30 Connecticut computer science professors have signed a letter urging an independent investigation in the case of a Norwich substitute teacher convicted of exposing her students to pornography on a classroom computer.
The professors from eight Connecticut colleges and universities took out an ad in Tuesday's Hartford Courant. They wrote on behalf of Julie Amero, a 40-year-old Windham resident with no prior criminal record convicted in January of four counts of risk of injury to a minor.
While prosecutors insist she is guilty, some experts believe that the lewd images were caused by unseen spyware and adware programs, which critics call one of the top scourges of the Internet.
The 28 professors who signed the letter want an independent investigator brought in to look at the case, and they want Amero's sentencing delayed until that investigation is complete. Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane won't say whether that's a possibility.
Why does Rupert Murdoch hate America so goddamned much?
Whatever it is we did to make him so angry, can we just apologize and maybe make him Queen of Australia or something?
WASHINGTON, DC - Representative Joe Courtney released today the following statement in response to the I. 'Scooter' Libby verdict:
"The jury verdict today emphatically confirms and condemns the pattern of deception and misinformation that has characterized the Bush-Cheney Administration over the last six years - particularly its handling of the war in Iraq. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald deserves the gratitude of all Americans for his fearless pursuit of the facts and justice -even into the inner workings of the highest offices in the land."
The former aide to Vice-President Dick Cheney was found guilty today on four out of five counts of obstruction of justice and perjury relating to testimony Libby provided to a grand jury during the investigation of the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
The wheels of justice don't always turn quickly, and sometimes they don't turn at all; but today Dick Cheney's number one co-conspirator I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was found guilty of obstruction, false statement, and perjury charges.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald stated after the verdict, "It's sad that we had a situation where a high-level official, a person who worked in the office of vice president, obstructed justice and lied under oath, and we wish that had not happened but it did."
Fire Dog Lake has been closely following the developing situation. Jane, Marcy, Christy, and the entire FDL community has maintained a high level of journalistic quality and delivered the facts with humor and consistancy. I'm sure there's gonna be a huge party at the DC headquarters of Fire Dog Lake called "Plame House" tonight!
Well done, and congratulations!
Monday, March 05, 2007
Sunday, March 04, 2007
The interview came out great, but it runs about 35 minutes. And with me being the artiste I am, there was no way I couldn't inflict my own inimitable style upon the finished video. So it took a while to complete.
But now it's just about done. I'll upload it when it's ready.
Thanks for being patient.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I just want to make it perfectly clear that I'm not advocating, or even mildly hoping for her to actually "die" in the literal sense of the word (as in, "holding your breath forever").
I'd much rather see her live and suffer.
In the wake of the John Edwards' blogger "debacle", we seem to be entering a new age of accountability. Especially in this highly-charged partisan atmosphere that people like George Bush and Joe Lieberman have helped create. Payback is a bitch, gentlemen.
John Edwards, Howard Dean, Mitt Romney (who introduced Coulter at the event she made her statement), John McCain, and even fellow Conservative uber-skank pundit Michele Malkin have all condemned Coulter's ill-conceived remarks.
I don't know about you, but I'm REALLY going to enjoy watching that coke-whorish, pre-op tranny-looking, screechy (and you'll never guess who labeled Coulter with THAT moniker!), hate-filled, racist gal go down in flames of ignominy.
For Ann Coulter, that will surely be a fate worse than death.
Details on the reprecussions are at The Raw Story.
We MUST have done SOMETHING bad...and he should at least give us a chance to apologize before he does something nutty.
Like, having former Democrat, former Connecticut-For-Lieberman-candidate, self-proclaimed Independent senator Joe fricken Lieberman give the weekly Democratic radio address, to discuss the scandal at Walter Reed.
This is the very same Joe Lieberman who appeared on Imus the other day and clearly didn't know squat about the situation. Suddenly, he's the very best guy the Democrats could find to make this speech.
What, is everybody suddenly taking crazy pills?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is obviously suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, which is the psychological condition that occurs when a hostage begins to identify with his captor.
Joe Lieberman apparently has been holding Harry Reid (and by definition, the Senate Democrats) hostage ever since he weaseled his way back into the Senate, and Reid is clearly exhibiting all the signs of a Stockholm victim. Reid has obviously been so severely damaged psychologically that he actually believes that Lieberman's threat to leave the party over Iraq will be a disaster for the Democrats.
We need to do something before it's too late.
I think we should stage an intervention for Senator Reid, get him in a room surrounded by loyal Democrats, and have them list all the reasons why he should STOP cow-towing to Senator Lieberman.
And we won't let him out until he comes back to his senses.
Otherwise, we're all going to start thinking that the Senate really IS just a great big incumbant-protection racket, and that the only way we'll be able to get better government will be to primary out ALL the senators who fail to listen to their constituents.
Then maybe we'll finally get elected officials who truly represent us.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Ned talks frankly about the campaign; what he's doing these days; and what's in the future.
...and there's a few surprises as well.
Teaser video will be posted later (probably tonight, Friday), and the entire interview will go up sometime this weekend.
There are several issues at play here, which of course the wingnuts choose to ignore. Such as, these comments are mostly anonymous, so some percentage of the authors may actually be right wing wackos simply trying to "pee in the pool". It's happened before...a wingnut makes an outrageous anonymous statement, then said wingnut publicly denounces the blog for allowing such awful comments. And these comments aren't pre-moderated; they are immediately posted when the person hits the "post" button.
For the record, The HuffPo removes those comments that advocate violence as quickly as possible. But the one thing they won't do is stop the free exchange of ideas or censor valid comments. Unlike the conservative blogs, which either disallow commenting or requires registration to comment, Huffington allows anonymous comments.
I've run into the same problem with this blog. I allow anonymous comments here, and I don't pre-screen them. I'm one of the few Connecticut blogs that allows this. Sometimes I feel compelled to remove a particularly nasty or obnoxious comment, but I do this only in very rare cases. I've left quite a few comments up that contain personal attacks on myself, although I do tend to reply in kind.
Or worse. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.
But right wing commentators are quick to pick up on the occasional violent comments and use them as examples of why the lefty blogosphere is "out of control" and should be curtailed. They LOVE to post the exact same comments that they condemn, making hypocrites of themselves.
...Does this prove "the fury, bile and idiocy of the sub-moronicOne thing about the right wing "dumbosphere" (that's what I call the righty blogs) that always amazes me is how quickly they would give up everyone else's right to free speech, while giving themselves free reign.
leftright"? Of course not. But it does prove how wrong Rush was. And how phony was his outrage.
Same with Hannity. He led off his show Tuesday night with this non-story, his knickers in a twist over the very idea that some people had anonymously expressed regret that Cheney had escaped unharmed. He'd clearly never heard such things said before!
Trouble is, this was the same Sean Hannity who just the night before had been joyously joined by his good friend, the infamously toxic Ann Coulter. The same woman who said "We need somebody to put rat poison in Justice Steven's crème brulee," questioned whether it was more appropriate "to impeach or assassinate" Bill Clinton, suggested New York Times staffers be "executed," and titled a column on Lincoln Chafee, "They Shot the Wrong Lincoln." And she did so proudly, openly, and in her own name -- not in an anonymous comment.
So, please, spare us the bogus indignation. And stop trying to build an illogical but politically-convenient thesis on the backs of a few unhinged and clearly fringe commenters.
The faux fury routine is getting very, very old.
I guess for them, freedom is in the eye of the beholder.