Friday, June 29, 2007

And now for something completely different

I was reading some of my recent blog posts, and I realized that I've been overly serious lately.

Apparently I've been ignoring the lighter side of political blogging. I really need to just kick back and have some fun for a change.

So, I'm going to go sailing for a week.

Actually, I was planning this for months. But it sounds better if I pretend that I've made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take a vacation.

See? I'm acting sillier already!

I'm leaving the blog in the capable hands of Kirby, who has agreed to come out of semi-blogging-retirement to post some stuff here, and at the same time she'll raise the collective IQ of the blog several fold. I'm very much looking forward to reading her posts when I get back.

And here's some more fun; a bit of silliness from our favorite pseudo-conservative, before he became a late-night fixture on Comedy Central. "The King of Glory":

See y'all in about a week or so!

Too bad for Darfur

Unlike Iraq, the war-torn provinces of Darfur lack huge reserves of oil.

Apparently, that's the criteria for the Bush administration to offer military intervention as a solution to their problems.

Otherwise...why bother?

UPDATE: ConnecticutMan1 pointed out in the comments that Darfur indeed has oil. Just not as much as Iraq or as easy to get to, what with Iraq's pre-drilled wells (courtesy of Saddam). Thanks CM for the info!

From the Raw Story:
Democratic presidential candidates vowed more intervention in the humanitarian crisis in Darfur if the White House changes hands in 2008 and criticized President Bush's different approaches toward Africa and the Middle East.

"If Darfur had a large supply of oil, this administration would be occupying it right now," said Dennis Kucinich, the liberal Ohio congressman and long-shot candidate.

Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., took the most aggressive stance toward Darfur intervention, saying the US does not need to wait until it pulls out of Iraq to intervene with sanctions and the enforcement of a no-fly-zone over Sudan.

If need be, the US "should put American troops on the ground to stop the carnage," Biden said.

John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton all endorsed placing US troops in the region, although Clinton specified she would like to see NATO lead the way in organizing any military intervention.

Obama called for a dramatic shift in US trade and investment policy toward Africa, and he said America needs to pay attention to the continent when it is not in crisis. The Illinois Senator said America's long-term security is going to depend on whether children in Sudan and Zimbabwe have educational and other opportunities to keep them from turning into violent extremists.

Clinton called for a more aggressive stance toward warlords in Sudan, saying the US needed to send a message to hostile forces in Darfur with the establishment of a no-fly-zone.

"If they fly into it," she said, "we will shoot down their planes."
I dunno, but there's something really creepy about that last quote from Hillary.

She's starting to scare me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Kerri Rowland 1/2 Birthday Fundraiser

Join Mayoral Candidate Kerri Rowland (Milford) for a special, fun-filled evening to celebrate her "Half-Birthday" on Monday, July 2nd (Kerri's birthday is on Jan. 2nd, so this is her HALF birthday).

Jeffrey's Restaurant, 501 New Haven Ave., Milford, 5:30-7:30PM.

Fabulous appetizers along with a HALF of a birthday cake will be served!

$300 Only $150 per person (HALF price, get it?)
Seniors and Students, call for special price

RSVP to Marlana at 203-380-0693

Please make checks payable to:
"Kerri Rowland for Mayor"
Send to:
Kerri Rowland
465 Pond Point Ave.
Milford, CT 06460

And here's Kerri's announcement speech so you can see that she deserves YOUR support!

SiCKO Screening and Edwards House Party

Here's a couple of DFA events coming up that are interesting; these are open to the public, please click on the links to RSVP:

This message was sent by your DFA New Haven organizer, Justin Paglino.

Dear DFA New Haven,

This week there are a couple of DFA-New Haven member-sponsored events
you may enjoy:

1. John Edwards House Party hosted by Rachel Jackson in Branford
-Wednesday (June 27): 7PM
For info and to RSVP go to:
-For the devoted and the undecided alike.

2. SiCKO Movie Night hosted by Robert Smith in Derby.
-Friday (June 29): 7PM
For info and to RSVP go to:
-From what I have heard a very powerful indictment of health care in
the U.S.

Thanks to Rachel and Robert for hosting these events!

If you go, invite some friends!

-Justin Paglino

Sending the wrong message

Presidential candidate Sen. Chris Dodd spoke last weekend about his lack of interest in pursuing impeachment hearings against Vice President Dick Cheney.

From Foster's Online:
ROCHESTER — Appearing before at least 60 voters at the Governor's Inn on Sunday, presidential candidate Chris Dodd said he "understands the appetite" of people wanting to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney, but he doesn't think the long process would help the country.

"There are too many other issues out there the American public were hoping Democrats would decide to address and focus on. That's the choice you make. Others may make a different focus. My choice would be to focus on other agenda items," he said.
This seems, to me, to be a huge error of judgement. Here's my reasons why I feel this way:

1) The Democratic Majority was elected to end the war in Iraq. They couldn't get that single issue resolved. So I don't think we'll see much more gridlock in the already gridlocked Congress should they impeach Cheney.

2) George Bush can drop dead at any moment, probably from something stupid like cutting off his own leg with a chainsaw at his ranch. Cheney would then be President. Imagine the hell that he'd unleash with THAT power!

3) You're saying it's OK to break the laws and piss all over the Constitution and not have to worry about consequences. That's a big precident you're setting there, Senator. How will he be brought to account for his crimes?

4) The current Congress has earned a record low approval rating primarily because of the lack of action to end the war. There's still time to try to do SOMETHING right.

5) By beginning impeachment hearings, you'll uncover lots more evidence than you'll get now by doing nothing. I'm sure there are plenty of witnesses who would love to tell their stories, but are afraid to because they think nothing will be done with it.

6) Impeachment hearings make great summer TV viewing. I need something to entertain me while I'm sitting on my yacht.

7) By tying Cheney's hands with impeachment proceedings, maybe he'll be too busy to further wreck our country.

So reconsider your stand, Senator.

Remember, Lowell Weicker acted properly when the moment was right. Don't miss your moment.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Another reason to like Dennis

If I took the time to draw up a list of things that a presidential candidate could do to entice me to admire him, the statement below would certainly make the list. The more I see of Dennis Kucinich, the more he impresses me with his intellect and awakeness.

Yeah, I said "awakeness". It's a word I use that means being awake and aware and knowledgable enough to correctly interpret what he becomes aware of. This guy is brimming with awakeness!

Contrast that with our current leader's somnambulistic lack of awareness (except when it comes to father figures telling him what to do).

Sure, the naysayers parrot, but Kucinich is a longshot...

...and you have to ask yourself, did anyone outside of Arkansas know their governor's name back in late 1991?

(h/t to ConnecticutMan1 at Drinking Liberally in New Milford for the heads-up on the video)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lieberman raises big money for

This story makes me very happy.

Finally, Joe Lieberman is responsible for something positive happening!

Jane over at FDL reports:

Nobody Raises Money Like Joe
By Jane Hamsher on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 09:36 am

He’s a friggin’ cash cow:
When the Political Action Project found out that Lieberman was one of the hosts of a $3,000-a-person Washington fundraiser tonight for Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the grass-roots, anti-war group pounced.

MoveOn has long been at odds with Lieberman, a strong backer of the war who won re-election last year as an independent. He has worked together with Collins for years as leaders of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
The word went out from MoveOn Tuesday: Donate money to defeat Collins, who could face a tough re-election battle next year, it told members in an e-mail.

Within 24 hours, more than 5,600 members donated an average of $63 each, for a total of $355,000.

MoveOn, knowing a good thing, decided to keep it going, and Wednesday sent out another e-mail.

“Wow,” the organization said. “In less than 24 hours, thousands of us around the country chipped in more than $280,000 to help anti-war candidates beat Joe Lieberman’s pro-war fundraiser. It’s amazing.
Collins’ opponent Tom Allen seems to be well aware of this, per his Blue America appearance here on FDL. You can kick Joe by giving to Allen here.

And here's CNN's coverage of the situation via My Left Nutmeg:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lieberman applauds Bloomberg's defection

In a statement that surprised absolutely no one on the planet, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-LIE) has given his approval to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's desertion of the Republican party.

From the Associated Press:
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman says he supports New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision to leave the Republican party and become an independent.


Lieberman knows a thing or two about leaving a major political party and going it alone. He ran for re-election last year as an independent after losing the Democratic primary, although he still caucuses with Senate Democrats.
Sure he does...on everything except the War in Iraq and a bunch of other stuff the Democrats would actually like to see him support.

Bloomberg campaigned and raised money for Lieberman's re-election bid last year. But the relationship soured in February when Bloomberg expressed his frustration with homeland security legislation approved by a Senate committee headed by Lieberman.
No shit, Mayor Sherlock! It finally dawned on you that Lieberman might be something other than he professes? Gee, you're probably the dumbest billionaire on the planet.

I can't wait until Bloomberg runs for president. It'll make supporting anyone else that much sweeter!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bloomberg/Lieberman in 2008?

(The resemblence is uncanny!)

Do the math...

Michael Bloomberg has left the Republican party.

Joe Lieberman has left the Democratic party.

Will they become the Unity 2008 dream ticket? Maybe. Here's the story of the Mayor's defection, from the Associated Press:
NEW YORK - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday switched his party status from Republican to unaffiliated, a stunning move certain to be seen as a prelude to an independent presidential bid that would upend the 2008 race.


"Although my plans for the future haven't changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city," he said in a statement.

Despite his coyness about his aspirations, the mayor's decision to switch stokes speculation that he will pursue the White House, challenging the Democratic and Republican nominees with a legitimate and well-financed third-party bid.


The 65-year-old mayor has fueled the presidential buzz with increasing out-of-state travel, including New Hampshire last weekend; a greater focus on national issues and repeated criticism of the partisan politics that dominate Washington.
All I can say it.


Read the entire article HERE.

Michael Moore takes on healthcare

Even though this movie isn't yet in general release, it is more or less available through clips on Youtube and other video services. You probably have to search to find all the nessecary clips in their proper order, but they are out there.

"Sicko" (IMDB listing) is going to help ensure that universal health care is a major issue in the next election cycle.

The state of health care in the US is bad and getting worse. The trend is moving towards increasing the number of illnesses that aren't covered, and adding co-pays and deductables to the point that if a middle-class family member suffers a serious illness, it can bankrupt them. Even WITH insurance.

Sadly, our lawmakers are easily bought off by the huge insurance companies. And to be honest, it's only a tiny drop in the bucket for these billion-dollar corporations. Apparently, politicians are as easily pleased as only takes peanuts.

It doesn't have to be this way. It's a wonderful thing to see how doctors in other industrialized countries are free of the crushing burden of insurance approvals, and how they can simply treat their patients and be concerned solely with their well-being.

It'll be interesting to see how the paid-for politicians, neocon pundits and corporate shills try to spin this (let's be honest) American healthcare failure into something other than it is. I'm sure they'll accuse Michael Moore of anti-American tendencies, and insist that early death from lack of adaquate medical care is a unique American right that he's trying to take from us.

I only wish this movie had been available earlier this year, because if everyone who works in that building in Hartford with the big gold dome was asked to watch it, we'd have a universal health care program in place by now. You can't NOT be swayed by the evidence in this movie. Go see it for yourself and decide.

"You woke up this morning..."

"...Mama always said you’d be The Chosen One."

Well, maybe...but I did get a laugh out of Chelsea's little cameo. And Johnny Sac is back from the dead.

And, for the record, WHY did a frickin' Canadian (and a FRENCH Canadian to boot!) win the song contest? Whattsa matter, don't we have any good AMERICAN singers available?

"Youstabee" Democrats?

Yeah, "Nine-eleven changed EVERYTHING!"

Reposted from Scarce at My Left Nutmeg (click image to enlarge):

Tom Tomorrow at Salon
This Modern World
h/t ctpublius

Sunday, June 17, 2007

March to protest immigration raids

(Arnold Gold/Register)

In a meeting Saturday night in East Haven, people from all over Connecticut packed into the American Foreign Legion Hall to voice their concerns about the same issue.
In New Haven yesterday up to 1,000 people marched in a protest about immigration rights.

The event was to bring attention to the recent raids which netted 34 arrests on charges of illegal status, and has brought social and commercial activity in the largely Hispanic neighborhoods of New Haven to a screeching halt. Many people are afraid to appear in public, and this has significantly hurt the local community. The raids are largely thought to be in retaliation to the recent decision by the City of New Haven to issue ID cards to undocumented residents, even though Federal authorities deny this.

A much smaller meeting was held Saturday night in East Haven, when about 75 people attended the American Foreign Legion Hall to voice their opposition of the ID cards and to complain that the raids hurt the cause of xenophobia and racism by bringing sympathy to the victims.

The thing about all this is that 1) for years the government allowed undocumented aliens to live here so industry can get cheap labor and politicians can get landscaping at a huge discount; 2) the aliens do those jobs that nobody else wants to do. Sure, there might be a few under-acheiving U.S. citizens who may lose their jobs (so kids, stay in school!), but for the most part the immigrants will do those jobs just for the opportunity to live in this country; very few skilled laborers are at risk; and 3) for the government to suddenly change the status quo after decades of looking the other way smacks of unfairness and goes against the very concepts upon which this nation was founded. These people aren't terrorists or undesirables; they simply want an opportunity to pursue the American Dream and be given the chance to become legal residents.

Let's start there. Provide a path to legal status that doesn't include bashing down the doors of peaceful, hard-working people who have built lives and families here, and dragging them off in the middle of the night to secret, out-of-state holding "facilities".

As a nation, we can do better than that.

Friday, June 15, 2007

My Rebuttal to Joe Lieberman

This is Sen. Lieberman's editorial in the Opinion Journal, and my comments in italics:

Friday, June 15, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

I recently returned from Iraq and four other countries in the Middle East, my first trip to the region since December.

And how was your chaperoned, heavily-secured taxpayer-funded vacation, Joe? Did ya get to work on your tan?

In the intervening five months, almost everything about the American war effort in Baghdad has changed, with a new coalition military commander, Gen. David Petraeus; a new U.S. ambassador, Ryan Crocker; the introduction, at last, of new troops; and most important of all, a bold, new counterinsurgency strategy.

Which, from all indications, is going badly.

The question of course is--is it working?

The answer of course is--NO!

Here in Washington, advocates of retreat insist with absolute certainty that it is not, seizing upon every suicide bombing and American casualty as proof positive that the U.S. has failed in Iraq, and that it is time to get out.

Here in the rest of the country, advocates of sanity and good government insist with absolute certainty that the Bush-Cheney-Lieberman Doctrine in Iraq will only weaken our nation, and that your insistence on fighting a senseless war will fail.

In Baghdad, however, discussions with the talented Americans responsible for leading this fight are more balanced, more hopeful and, above all, more strategic in their focus--fixated not just on the headline or loss of the day, but on the larger stakes in this struggle, beginning with who our enemies are in Iraq.

Boy, you really DO love those run-on sentences, don't you, Joe? Are you saying that after four years of disastrous leadership, you and the President have suddenly figured out the magic solution to this quagmire you've stampeded our nation into?

The officials I met in Baghdad said that 90% of suicide bombings in Iraq today are the work of non-Iraqi, al Qaeda terrorists. In fact, al Qaeda's leaders have repeatedly said that Iraq is the central front of their global war against us. That is why it is nonsensical for anyone to claim that the war in Iraq can be separated from the war against al Qaeda--and why a U.S. pullout, under fire, would represent an epic victory for al Qaeda, as significant as their attacks on 9/11.

Ah, I get it! It's all SO clear to me now! It's not the Iraqis at all, but those nasty al Qaedians who are messing things up! Thanks for clearing that up...I thought it was Saddam Hussein who was the bad guy.

So, are you going to apologize to his family for killing him? Oh, I killed his family.

Some of my colleagues in Washington claim we can fight al Qaeda in Iraq while disengaging from the sectarian violence there. Not so, say our commanders in Baghdad, who point out that the crux of al Qaeda's strategy is to spark Iraqi civil war.

Funny, I thought WE sparked the civil war by invading a sovereign nation and deposing their entire government and military. Wouldn't that make Bush and YOU the "crux"?

Al Qaeda is launching spectacular terrorist bombings in Iraq, such as the despicable attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra this week, to try to provoke sectarian violence. Its obvious aim is to use Sunni-Shia bloodshed to collapse the Iraqi government and create a failed state in the heart of the Middle East, radicalizing the region and providing a base from which to launch terrorist attacks against the West.

No Joe, YOU collapsed the "Iraqi government". Own it, douchebag!

Facts on the ground also compel us to recognize that Iran is doing everything in its power to drive us out of Iraq, including providing substantive support, training and sophisticated explosive devices to insurgents who are murdering American soldiers. Iran has initiated a deadly military confrontation with us, from bases in Iran, which we ignore at our peril, and at the peril of our allies throughout the Middle East.

What we ignore at our peril is the way opportunistic warmongers like you have been allowed to continue to slither through our nation's legislature like a tapeworm, adding nothing constructive but causing pain and sickness.

The precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces would not only throw open large parts of Iraq to domination by the radical regime in Tehran, it would also send an unmistakable message to the entire Middle East--from Lebanon to Gaza to the Persian Gulf where Iranian agents are threatening our allies--that Iran is ascendant there, and America is in retreat. One Arab leader told me during my trip that he is extremely concerned about Tehran's nuclear ambitions, but that he doubted America's staying power in the region and our political will to protect his country from Iranian retaliation over the long term. Abandoning Iraq now would substantiate precisely these gathering fears across the Middle East that the U.S. is becoming an unreliable ally.

This is exactly the argument that kept us in Vietnam for about eight years longer than we needed to be. causing countless deaths and destruction. If those fear-mongers were right, we'd all be wearing red stars on our hats and speaking Russian. History has shown them wrong.

Just as history will certainly show YOU as a CANCER upon our nation, and someone who will have nothing for his legacy but fear and death.

That is why--as terrible as the continuing human cost of fighting this war in Iraq is--the human cost of losing it would be even greater.

That human cost you so cavalierly speak of...does it include anyone from your family? Or George Bush's? Or Dick Cheney's? When brave soldiers were fighting and dying in Vietnam, how many draft deferments did you use? Five? Six? Seven? How many dead Americans filled the shoes that were meant for YOU?

Gen. Petraeus and other U.S. officials in Iraq emphasize that it is still too soon to draw hard judgments about the success of our new security strategy--but during my visit I saw hopeful signs of progress. Consider Anbar province, Iraq's heart of darkness for most of the past four years. When I last visited Anbar in December, the U.S. military would not allow me to visit the provincial capital, Ramadi, because it was too dangerous. Anbar was one of al Qaeda's major strongholds in Iraq and the region where the majority of American casualties were occurring. A few months earlier, the Marine Corps chief of intelligence in Iraq had written off the entire province as "lost," while the Iraq Study Group described the situation there as "deteriorating."

If I see you shopping in Anbar without a military escort, I'll believe you...until then, in my opinion you're a liar. Go there alone, buy a pack of Iraqi cigarettes, and I'll believe you.


Then smoke them.

When I returned to Anbar on this trip, however, the security environment had undergone a dramatic reversal. Attacks on U.S. troops there have dropped from an average of 30 to 35 a day a few months ago to less than one a day now, according to Col. John Charlton, commander of the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, headquartered in Ramadi. Whereas six months ago only half of Ramadi's 23 tribes were cooperating with the coalition, all have now been persuaded to join an anti-al Qaeda alliance. One of Ramadi's leading sheikhs told me: "A rifle pointed at an American soldier is a rifle pointed at an Iraqi."

Wow, I'm canceling my vacation to the British Virgin Islands and scheduling a trip to Anbar. Anyplace that can boast of only one attack on US troops a day has GOT to be heaven on earth!

The recent U.S. experience in Anbar also rebuts the bromide that the new security plan is doomed to fail because there is no "military" solution for Iraq. In fact, no one believes there is a purely "military" solution for Iraq. But the presence of U.S. forces is critical not just to ensuring basic security, but to a much broader spectrum of diplomatic, political and economic missions--which are being carried out today in Iraq under Gen. Petraeus's counterinsurgency strategy.

See above. "One attack a day" isn't exactly a walk in the park. Do you know NOTHING of military strategy? Or do you think that since the attacks have lessened, then those nasty insurgents must have called it a war and gone home? Get real, stupid. And spend a little time studying history. Because you're showing all the signs of a person who has spent his entire life in a privileged cocoon.

In Anbar, for example, the U.S. military has been essential to the formation and survival of the tribal alliance against al Qaeda, simultaneously holding together an otherwise fractious group of Sunni Arab leaders through deft diplomacy, while establishing a political bridge between them and the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad. "This is a continuous effort," Col. Charlton said. "We meet with the sheikhs every single day and at every single level."

Right. "Anbar Province, the Garden Spot of Mesopotamia". Move your kids there, Joe, and I'll believe you.

In Baghdad, U.S. forces have cut in half the number of Iraqi deaths from sectarian violence since the surge began in February. They have also been making critical improvements in governance, basic services and commercial activity at the grassroots level.

Have you started classifying "deaths from sectarian violence" differently all of a sudden? Because hundreds to thousands of Iraqis are dying in violent, non-natural ways every month. What are you calling them now, "accidents"?

On Haifa Street, for instance, where there was bloody fighting not so long ago, the 2nd "Black Jack" Brigade of our First Cavalry Division, under the command of a typically impressive American colonel, Bryan Roberts, has not only retaken the neighborhood from insurgents, but is working with the local population to revamp the electrical grid and sewer system, renovate schools and clinics, and create an "economic safe zone" where businesses can reopen. Indeed, of the brigade's five "lines of operations," only one is strictly military. That Iraq reality makes pure fiction of the argument heard in Washington that the surge will fail because it is only "military."

You know, that sounds EXACTLY like my suburban neighborhood.

Except without the troops, the necessity of retaking it from insurgents, our not needing to revamp the electrical grid and sewers (god, can you imagine what Iraq smells like?), the necessity to reopen schools, businesses, and creating an "economic safe zone", and only one of five brigades are involved in shooting at things.

I challenge anyone to take a picture of Haifa Street and Naugatuck Avenue and try to tell the difference.

Some argue that the new strategy is failing because, despite gains in Baghdad and Anbar, violence has increased elsewhere in the country, such as Diyala province. This gets things backwards: Our troops have succeeded in improving security conditions in precisely those parts of Iraq where the "surge" has focused. Al Qaeda has shifted its operations to places like Diyala in large measure because we have made progress in pushing them out of Anbar and Baghdad. The question now is, do we consolidate and build on the successes that the new strategy has achieved, keeping al Qaeda on the run, or do we abandon them?

Oh, so we're WINNING! Let's just declare victory and leave, you stupid ass.

To be sure, there are still daunting challenges ahead. Iraqi political leaders, in particular, need to step forward and urgently work through difficult political questions, whose resolution is necessary for national reconciliation and, as I told them, continuing American support.

Or, we can set a firm date to leave, and let the Iraqis decide their own, god-given fate. Whaddya say, Joe?

These necessary legislative compromises would be difficult to accomplish in any political system, including peaceful, long-established democracies--as the recent performance of our own Congress reminds us.

This coming from Joe "I never voted against a war resolution" Lieberman!

Nonetheless, Iraqi leaders are struggling against enormous odds to make progress, and told me they expect to pass at least some of the key benchmark bills this summer. It is critical that they do so.

Wow. Let me get out the party hats.

Here, too, however, a little perspective is useful. While benchmarks are critically important, American soldiers are not fighting in Iraq today only so that Iraqis can pass a law to share oil revenues. They are fighting because a failed state in the heart of the Middle East, overrun by al Qaeda and Iran, would be a catastrophe for American national security and our safety here at home. They are fighting al Qaeda and agents of Iran in order to create the stability in Iraq that will allow its government to take over, to achieve the national reconciliation that will enable them to pass the oil law and other benchmark legislation.

You seem very concerned about oil, Joe. What about maybe they're fighting for their country? If the US was ever occupied by a foreign nation, wouldn't YOU want us to fight for it? Or would you meekly submit to their rule, be a collaborator, and suffer whatever fate they deemed necessary?

What kind of man ARE you, Joe?

I returned from Iraq grateful for the progress I saw and painfully aware of the difficult problems that remain ahead. But I also returned with a renewed understanding of how important it is that we not abandon Iraq to al Qaeda and Iran, so long as victory there is still possible.

Define victory, please. Just once. You spell out what victory in Iraq actually looks like, and we'll decide if it's worth the price.

C'mon Joe, we're waiting.

And I conclude from my visit that victory is still possible in Iraq--thanks to the Iraqi majority that desperately wants a better life, and because of the courage, compassion and competence of the extraordinary soldiers and statesmen who are carrying the fight there, starting with Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. The question now is, will we politicians in Washington rise to match their leadership, sacrifices and understanding of what is on the line for us in Iraq--or will we betray them, and along with them, America's future security?

America's security has never been more threatened by it's leadership than during these dark days. Our leadership is letting us down. Our leadership is betraying us.

Joe, stop needlessly sacrificing our troops, and wasting our nation's goodwill and resources.

Stop cheerleading this war.

Stop. Just stop.

Mr. Lieberman is an Independent Democratic senator from Connecticut.

No, he's not. He is a former Connecticut For Lieberman candidate who was recently expelled from his party.

He's a nobody.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Libby ordered jailed pending a while

Today Judge Walton ruled that Scooter Libby will be jailed pending his appeal, but instead of taking him out of the courtroom in cuffs, Libby was allowed to leave. He has ten days to file an appeal, and the Bureau of Prisons needs 45-60 days to make up the cell for Libby (apparently).

There's a lot that can happen that might still deny us our victory of seeing Scooter in jail duds. I'll feel better once he's incarcerated.

From CNN.Com:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal judge on Thursday ordered I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to report to prison while his attorneys appeal his perjury and obstruction convictions.

Libby's attorneys asked that the order be stayed, but U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton denied that and told Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff that he had 10 days to appeal the ruling...
And this is my comment from Fire Dog Lake on the ruling today (and great work today, Pach!):

Libby still has 45-60 days before he dons the orange jumpsuit. Call me cynical, but I’m not about to break out the Moet just yet.

I remember our recent premature celebration when Bush pulled Sam Fox’s name out of the approval process when it became apparent that he wouldn’t get the needed votes. Then W goes and gives Fox the job anyway with a recess appointment over Easter.

Those guys have a well-developed sense of treachery. I’ll believe Libby is going to pay for his crime when I see him actually beat Paris Hilton’s time in jail.

Until then, I’ll just keep the bottle corked and my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What the GOP in Connecticut is looking like

Look, I can waste an hour and type some semi-coherent ramblings here, but it's easier if you just go and read My Left Nutmeg and see what's been going on today.

Trust me, they got it covered.

UPDATE!!! Here's some video that CT Blogger and Spazeboy put up that helps:


CT GOP Chair Arrested

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lieberman asked to resign from his own party

Dr. John Orman, Chairman of the Connecticut For Lieberman party has issued this press release calling on Sen. Joe Lieberman to resign:
“CFL Chair Calls for Lieberman to Resign over Remarks”

The Connecticut for Lieberman Party Chair, Dr. John Orman, called on Senator Joseph Lieberman to resign from the U.S. Senate for his irresponsible remarks that called for the U.S. to unilaterally bomb Iran. Orman said, “He has crossed the line. He no longer represents the CFL and he no longer represents the views of the citizens of Connecticut. His unilateral war mongering could lead to a new World War III.” Orman asked that Lieberman immediately resign his seat and that Governor Rell appoint Ms. Susan Henshaw, the Secretary of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party to Lieberman’s seat. Orman said the Governor should appoint someone from the party that elected Lieberman, the CFL and Henshaw would become the first female U.S. Senator from Connecticut. Orman said, “Remember, as Senator Lieberman likes to say, no one in Connecticut wants to start World War III more than Joe Lieberman.”

Dr. John Orman
The Elected State Chair,
Connecticut for Lieberman
Contact-- 203 377-1932 or 203-254-4000 ext. 2864
And WTNH-TV online has picked up on the story:
Posted June 12, 2007 - 3:55 PM

(WTNH) _ The Connecticut for Lieberman Party is calling on Senator Joseph Lieberman to resign from the U.S. Senate following his remarks made Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation regarding military action against Iran.

Lieberman said on the national television program that, "we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians."

The Connecticut for Lieberman Chair, Dr. John Orman, called for Lieberman's resignation saying that he "crossed the line" and "no longer represents the views of the citizens of Connecticut."

Orman, a longtime critic of Lieberman, took control of the minority party back in January.

Joe, just quit it!

Stop already! Jesus, can't you see you're hurting our country? What's the matter with you, anyway? Are you that stubborn that you'd rather start ANOTHER war than maybe admit you're wrong?

What IS IT with you?

Just shut your mouth, will ya? Stop talking.

(video by CT Blogger)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

An emotional moment

Last Friday, our good friends Mike and Tessa joined CT Joyce and myself for a tourboat cruise down the East River in NYC to the Statue of Liberty and back. Our favorite Irish band (and Ned Lamont supporters; see the video from the "Knock and Rock!") Black 47 was playing on the boat.

We got a late start when the boat was delayed for a couple hours, but that gave us time to have a nice dinner in an Indian restaurant on 29th St. (and we had a moment of inverse sticker-shock when the bill for dinner for four people totaled only $38!) We then boarded the boat and began the cruise down the river.

The crowd of maybe 150 people were a good mix of Black 47 fans and people who just came to party. As the boat cruised down the river we enjoyed views of the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan. I was shooting a bit of video and sipping a Corona, enjoying the scenery.

The band started playing as we entered the Hudson River. We were treated to some magnificant views of the NY and NJ skylines. The crowd was very enthusiastic and were drinking and having a good time rocking to the band.

Then, as we approached the Statue of Liberty, I noticed that many of this moderately-jaded concert crowd were taking time to look at the sight. Conversations quieted down a bit and a lot of my shipmates were viewing the statue with a bit of awe. She was lit brilliantly and dramatically against the black sky.

(The bass player steals a look during a song)
It slowly dawned on me that this was a visceral American response, undiminished by politics or whatever level of apathy the people viewing it possessed. It was a sight that literally takes your breathe away if you're an American. There was a strong undercurrent of emotion and pride running through the crowd that was nearly impossible to miss.

This is something that unites us all.

The lesson that I took away from the evening was that we are ALL proud of our country and we ALL love our country equally, regardless of politics. We may not agree on everything (or anything, most of the time), but it occurred to me that we all share a common goal of seeing that our nation continues to be great; and while we may go about getting us there differently, we all have a love of America that is sacred to us.

I've been feeling extremely cynical lately. This newfound realization has given me hope that the best and the brightest of our nation can prevail, and the great principles upon which our democracy was founded will forever be held up as a beacon to the rest of the world, that this noble experiment CAN work.

At least, I now have hope it can.

(All the photos are video frame captures, and you can click to enlarge them)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

House Progressives sign bill to impeach Cheney

(Dick Cheney in a shameless taxpayer-funded million dollar photo op)

2008 Presidential Candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich proves once again why he's the vocal conscience of the Democratic Party. From The Raw Story:
The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have signed on to Articles of Impeachment introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio Congressman who is seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for President in 2008. But a staff-member of one of the Congress members tells RAW STORY that the move comes only in their personal capacity.

"I don't know of any effort to whip members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to back the impeachment resolution," said a spokesman for Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), who is a co-chair of the CPC.

Blogger and pro-impeachment activist David Swanson reported at his website Friday that Woolsey and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who also co-chairs the caucus, have signed on to the articles, which accuse Vice President Dick Cheney of misleading the American public to help push for the Iraq War, in addition to other charges.

In addition to Lee and Woolsey, four other Members of Congress have backed Kucinich's push for impeachment: Reps. Yvette Clarke, Jan Schakowsky, William Lacy Clay, and Albert Wynn.

Although the number of backers of the impeachment resolution have grown, it continues to appear that Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) had no plans to schedule hearings on the articles in the House Judiciary Committee, where they were referred after their introduction in the House.
Mr. Conyers, I love ya, I really do...but WHY NOT at least hold a few hearings on this issue? You KNOW Dick Cheney is very likely guilty of these crimes, and a decision to NOT hold hearings seems to be motivated by political concerns rather than the rule of law.

It boils down to this: are we or aren't we a "nation of laws"? Stop with the political wheeling and dealing and ENFORCE THE LAWS OF THIS LAND!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Worser person in the world

Spazeboy has posted a video of Keith Olbermann's nomination of Joe Lieberman for his highly hypocritical photo op/vacation to Iraq, where he got to wear body armor and pretend the war is going well, while the brave American soldiers doing the actual fighting and dying are unable to speak their mind for fear of institutional reprisal. Joe "Nobody wants us out of Iraq more than me!" Lieberman complains that the soldiers weren't completely open and frank with him, even though as a Senator he knows damned well that as active duty military they are forbidden from criticizing their mission or reasons for being deployed.

I guess Joe was disappointed that the soldiers weren't doing backflips out of pure ecstacy for being so lucky to have been deployed in a wonderful country and tasked with spreading democracy among people who are hungry to embrace American traditions. Maybe he was expecting a chorus of praise thanking him for his wonderful "support of the troops".

(And I'm getting pretty fucking tired of the phrase "supporting the troops" being used to justify keeping our military in Iraq indefinitely so they can get picked off like ducks in a shooting gallery. "Support" doesn't mean leaving them in a hostile war zone to die. Why doesn't anyone ever call out those lame warmongers on that?)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Whew, I'm off the hook!

I'm relieved to see that MikeCT's video parodying Sen. DeLuca in "The Godfather" is WAYYYY better than mine...

...and perhaps more likely to annoy the people he's parodying.

That's MikeCT who made the video. M-I-K-E-C-T. Not me. Uhn-uh. Nope. Nobody named "Bob" had anything to do with this video:

Well...I had nothing to do with it EXCEPT post it on my blog...and heap loads of praise on MikeCT for his really great work!

(...and may he rest in peace)

Let's give Tom a helping hand!

Tom Allen for Senate

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Based on a True Story

(This'll probably get me in trouble)

Uploaded by CTBob

30 Months

Perhaps a long enough sentence for a swine like "Scooter" Libby to think about maybe squealing a bit.

It'll be interesting to see what effect all those letters the Bush Administration is begging people to write on their favorite convict's behalf. Hopefully Judge Walton will stick to his guns and maintain that Libby doesn't deserve to be free on bond while awaiting his appeal.

Libby's guilt is SO overwhelming and the evidence of further wrongdoing by the Administration is SO obvious that Walton would be doing the country a terrible disservice by letting Scooter walk until the appeal is over.

Libby needs to sit in his cell and reflect upon his crimes. And the crimes of others.

I'm sure nothing terrifies Dick Cheney more than that prospect...

Except maybe the idea that a just God really DOES exist. THAT would probably frighten the crap outta ol' Dead-eye Dick!

Jane Hamsher, Christy Harden Smith, Marcy Wheeler, and everyone who wrote about the Libby case at FireDogLake deserves our most sincere gratitude. Through their tireless efforts over the last two years, the intricate details of this drama that would have been overlooked by many were explained with precision and clarity.

Thank you FDL for your top-notch reporting on the case.

New Haven approves ID card

From the Hartford Courant:
NEW HAVEN -- The board of aldermen overwhelming approved Monday a municipal identification card that will be available to all residents, including illegal immigrants, making the city the first in the nation to issue such documents, city leaders said.


The need for the IDs has been cast as symbolic and pragmatic. Supporters argued that liberal New Haven had a moral obligation to extend a welcoming hand to undocumented immigrants.


City officials also wanted to respond to the growing number of robberies of illegal immigrants, who often carry cash or keep it in their homes because they cannot open bank accounts without official identification.

One of the immigrant parishioners at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Fair Haven was stabbed to death last year when he resisted a robber, the Rev. Jim Manship said. The IDs will instantly make immigrants safer because the cards also are a limited debit card, accepted at about 50 local businesses, Manship said.
Read the entire article at the Courant.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A common sense policy

Back in 2000, there was a lot of talk here in Connecticut about succession for a Senator who leaves office partway through the term, such as what Joe Lieberman was considering when he ran simultaneously for Senate reelection and VP on the Gore ticket. Had Gore/Lieberman won, the Republican Governor in Connecticut would have been free to appoint a Republican to the vacated Democratic seat.

This always struck me as going against the will of the voters and the spirit of the democracy.

Today, Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY) died after battling leukemia since November. From, here is the way Wyoming deals with succession.
Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat, will be responsible for choosing someone to replace Thomas. The seat, however, will not switch parties because, under state law, Freudenthal is required to pick a new senator from a list of three candidates submitted by the Republican state central committee.

"If Thomas should die or resign, Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat, would name a replacement who would serve until a successor can be chosen in a November 2008 special election," another news source said.
Maybe it's time for Connecticut's legislature to craft a succession plan that would be more in line with Wyoming's policy.

Finally, Blogger has relented and let me post again!

It took four days, but Blogger.Com finally decided that this blog isn't a "spam blog".

It's about f'ing time!

But what really burns my ass is the fact that they simply yanked my posting privilages without so much as a warning, in what was obviously a mistake. They took faulty intelligence (gathered by a software robot) and acted upon it without any due process or investigation.

Sort of like the Bush administration.

The parallels between Google's anti-spam efforts and Bush's policies are striking:
Both Google and George Bush are willing to suspend people's rights without due process.

Both Google and George Bush draw faulty conclusions from invalid data.

Both Google and George Bush are slow to repair their mistakes.

(In Bush's case, we'll probably NEVER see that!)
So, after four days, I'm back.

I would have liked to have discussed Sen. Lou DeLuca's little escapade with organized crime (allegedly). I would have liked to have commented upon the pre-debate activities in New Hampshire. And I especially would like to have had the opportunity to talk about Tom Allen's brilliant scheme to combat Joe Lieberman's support of his friend and Republican Sue Collins.

But instead, I had to deal with this: