Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Court rules on MN Senate ballots


The court has heard all the challenges and made quite a few critical decisions, leading up to this final ruling. Phoenix Woman writes at Firedoglake:
The Election Contest Court has ruled that the remaining contested absentee ballots will be counted on April 7, starting at 9:30 am Central Time. Whoever is ahead at the end of the count will be declared the winner of the 2008 election for what used to be Norm Coleman's (and Paul Wellstone's) Senate seat. Norm will of course appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court (and will take his sweet time doing so -- he has ten days to make his appeal), but it's getting closer to the end here. Once the Minnesota Soops deep-six Norm, that's it.
So, it all boils down to this: about 2.9 million Minnesotans cast ballots on election day. About 10% of that total were absentee ballots. The elections board rejected approximately 12,000 of those ballots due to technical violations of one sort or another (mis-marked ballots, late post-marks, etc.)

Out of those 12,000 rejected ballots, the court decided that roughly 400 were omitted by mistake and will be opened and counted on April 7th. Challenger Al Franken currently has a 225-vote lead over GOP incumbent Norm Coleman, so he'd need to take at least 313 out of those 400 votes (less if you subtract a few percent for the third-party candidate). Even though a lot of these ballots are from Coleman-leaning districts, it seem like a tremendous long shot that he'll overtake Franken to win.

The count will begin at 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central) on Tuesday, April 7th, and you can watch streaming video of the recount LIVE at TheUptake.com.

Judiciary Committee approves Marriage Equality

Christine Stuart over at CT News Junkie reports on the Judiciary Committee vote yesterday to codify marriage equality in Connecticut:
After more than three hours of debate and a handful of amendments the legislature’s Judiciary Committee approved by a vote of 30 to 10, a bill which codifies the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision (CTBob: also referred to as the "Kerrigan decision").

The bill also removes gender references in state marriage laws and transforms existing same-sex civil unions into marriages as of October 2010. It now has to be approved by the General Assembly.


The only way the Kerrigan decision can be overturned now is through a constitutional amendment.

Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, who supported Morris’ amendment Monday said Connecticut is a tolerant state. He said even before the court issued its decision he felt the state’s legislature was moving toward approving same-sex marriage independent of a Supreme Court decision.
The ruling omits several amendments that were debated, such as one allowing religious institutions to refuse to allow certain couples the use of their public facilities, and one which would allow justices of the peace to refuse to officiate at a same-sex ceremony. Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, said when it comes to justices of the peace and retired judges, “we don’t want people picking and choosing what laws they uphold,” and the Kerrigan decision is now part of the state’s law.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thirty Years Ago

If you are like me (that is, rapidly aging) then you'll probably remember the several days of uncertainty that started on March 28th, 1979. This weekend is the 30th anniversary of the Three Mile Island accident.

Now, please keep in mind this article has no agenda, or pro or con angle on nuclear power. I'm just writing it to mark an anniversary of my experience during a moment in history.

I had just turned twenty. Suddenly, everyone on TV was talking about this island; one that I incorrectly supposed was three miles long. I recall hearing the conflicting reports and newscasts peppered with phrases like "loss of coolant accident", "venting radioactive gases", and the one that scared the living bejeezus out of everyone, "nuclear core meltdown".

It was a weird time. In the post-Watergate and -Vietnam era, people were very skeptical about how truthful the government was being about the accident. Living in Connecticut at the time, we were very aware that the prevailing winds tended to flow in from the west (the direction of Pennsylvania). I remember thinking that if the reactor suffered a complete meltdown and a massive release of radioactive clouds, I didn't even know where I could go. Further east or north would probably be futile with the wind direction; and besides, the roads would likely be impassible from all the other panicked evacuees. So I stay put and watched TV.

Walter Cronkite, the venerable CBS anchor, delivered the news of the event and tried to help make sense of the many reports:

The accident occurred just twelve days after the movie "The China Syndrome" hit the theaters. The tense drama portrayed conditions in an unsafe nuclear power plant, and by a very strange coincidence, one of the characters in the movie stated that a nuclear power plant meltdown could render uninhabitable an area "the size of Pennsylvania". Three Mile Island is located just ten miles from Harrisburg Pennsylvania.

Boy, they sure didn't know how to make exciting trailers back then, did they? That sucked! It was like watching a stale documentary. We must have been bored shitless back in those days to have gone to see a movie sold like that.

Eventually, the plant operators and emergency crew managed to contain and stabilize the accident, and the crisis passed. Roughly half of the reactor's core had melted but was cooled enough to prevent a runaway chain reaction. The plant was sealed and after many years the core was finally removed and stored. But the entire containment building is still very dangerous, and the reactor building was closed soon after the accident. There is still a separate reactor complex at Three Mile Island in operation today.

We dodged a bullet, no question about it. If you want to see what it looks like to unsuccessfully dodge that bullet, see the information about the Chernobyl disaster.

NPR has a look back at "Three Mile Island: Thirty Years Later".

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dodd ticks upward in polls

Sen. Chris Dodd hired veteran Democratic campaign manager Jay Howser to run Dodd's 2010 re-election bid this week. Dodd hasn't made any official announcement yet, and when he finally does, I can only hope that he doesn't appear on the Don Imus show this time around.

Howser managed the campaign for Democratic challenger Brad Ellsworth to an upset victory over then-Rep. John Hostettler in Indiana's conservative 8th District in 2006, and ran Mary L. Landrieu's bid for a third Senate term last year in Louisiana.

Dodd, currently targeted as the preferred mainstream media scapegoat for the AIG bonus mess, also has public relations problems resulting from his alleged sweetheart mortgage deal from Countrywide, and the simmering resentment from many Connecticut voters for his move to Iowa last year to run his ill-fated and quixotic campaign for the Presidency.

Recent poll numbers show some improvement over Dodd's recent virtual tie with GOP challenger former Congressman Rob Simmons, with the March 23rd-25th Daily Kos/Research 2000 Connecticut Poll placing Dodd just ahead of Simmons by a 45%-40% margin and outside of the 4% margin of error.

The poll also shows former Democratic Senate candidate Ned Lamont with a significant favorable rating of 47% when compared to Joe Lieberman's 44%, Dick Blumenthal's 42%, and Rob Simmons's 41%.

Gov. Jodi Rell continues her otherworldly favorable ratings with an inexplicable 71%. I can only assume she has a wizard from the Harry Potter books locked up somewhere in the governor's mansion dungeon, as her continued popularity defies any other rational explanation.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The "Blue Poodles"

In response to a request for the names of the "Conservadems" referenced in the previous article, here's a list taken from The NY Times, with my observations:

Evan Bayh of Indiana is the ringleader, and here he appears here on MSNBC's "Morning Joe", which is famous for their pro-Republican bias and anti-Obama administration slant. The show's very existence goes a long way to disabuse the notion that the media, especially MSNBC, is overwhelmingly liberal. I've yet to see FoxNews sport a show like "Countdown" or "Rachel Maddow" to balance their radical rightwing agenda.

Six Democratic freshmen, Mark Begich of Alaska, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Udall of Colorado, and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Herb Kohl of Wisconsin
Mary Landrieu of Louisiana (who abandoned the Democratic party's candidate of record for Connecticut Senate in 2006 to publicly campaign for CFL candidate Joe Lieberman)
Claire McCaskill of Missouri
Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Bill Nelson of Florida (the Nelson Bros.)
And of course, Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent (thank you NY Times) is also all for being a member of this group.

Some wag named this group the "Blue Poodles", which is an obvious reference to Bush's "Blue Dogs" of prior years, consisting of a group of Democrats who helpfully enabled George W. Bush to take this nation on the downward spiral that has resulted in our present economic crisis.

It seems that some Democrats just can't help enjoying the punishment that the GOP has meted out over the years. I guess if Rhianna can go back with Chris Brown, we shouldn't be surprised to see battered Democrats willing to continue the cycle of abuse at the hands of Republicans. Maybe an intervention would help, but I'm doubtful.

The video below mocks the reticence that some of the poodles had about being identified as part of the group. So they'd rather be cowardly about their sniveling betrayal rather than owning it like an honorable stand-up person. Sheesh!

Here's the entire purpose of this group summed up perfectly by arch-conservative pundit Pat Buchanan, which clearly illustrates the goal of the GOP in obstructing anything Congress attempts to accomplish:

"If they're cohesive, they can veto any bill that comes down!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jane fights the "Conservadems"

Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake appeared on the Rachel Maddow show last night to discuss a new phenomenon in the Senate: the "conservadem".

Specifically, Jane questioned the actions of Evan Bayh, Democrat from Indiana, who waited quietly for eight years through George Bush's reign before forming a group of conservative Democrats in the Senate to oppose the new president's economic agenda.

One such example of this is Bayh's opposition to a proposal to give bankruptcy judges more leeway to reduce the value of mortgages in foreclosure proceedings, which would allow at least 20% more homeowners to remain in their homes, at zero cost to the taxpayers. This spreads the burden to those very banks that gave out the risky and over-valued loans in the first place, and who deserves at least part of the responsibility.

Guess which Senator from Indiana receives enormous contributions from the mortgage lobbyists? Need I say more?

I'll let Jane do the talking below.

UPDATE: Jane has more to say about Bayh today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dem Aldermen work to keep mayor in check

Mike Brown over at MilfordDemocrats.com posted this article with a nifty chart that clearly displays how the Milford City Budget has experienced many years of unchecked budget increases until the Democrats won a majority on the Board of Aldermen.

The reign of the "rubber stamp board" has finally come to an end, but that didn't stop Mayor Richetelli from trying to submit a budget that he claimed he couldn't cut because it "includes the core, essential needs of the city and reflects their realistic cost."
Stop Your Spending Ways

The Mayor's speechifying aside; the numbers are speaking for themselves. Mayor Richetelli has proposed an average 4.6% annual increase in spending during his tenure. This year's 5.7% proposed increase (City Side) is just icing on the distasteful cake.

This spending frenzy had not been kept in check until last year; when the Democrats took control of the Board of Aldermen. Here are the facts.

Since his first budget proposal in 2002, Mayor Richetelli has requested increases in spending that should have made the "fiscally responsible" Republicans blush. Unfortunately, all Republican controlled Board's of Aldermen rubber stamped his proposals. Thankfully, the Democrats took control of the board in during the election of November 2007 and literally reversed this trend by rejecting the mayor's spending requests. Count on the Democratic majority on the Board of Aldermen for more real fiscal responsibility this year.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Is it $165 Million or $218 Million?

This is getting ridiculous. It seems that nobody can get a single fact straight the first time on the AIG bonus debacle. Not the mainstream media, not Chris Dodd, not Treasury, not anyone.

Late last week AIG sent documents to Attorney General Dick Blumenthal that detailed $55 million in bonuses given out in December, in addition to the March bonuses of $165 million.

From the Hartford Courant:
"We're asking the company to explain," Blumenthal said. "So far, their answers raise more questions than they answer. Were there any other additional bonuses that have not been explained?"
The thing that really bugs me about this entire fiasco is that nobody seems to be able to guess where the money from the bailout is actually going until it's too late! This is exactly the kind of thing I was worried about because the bailout was pushed through so quickly that proper checks and oversight mechanisms weren't included.

It's almost as if Congress trusted the executives to take the money and do the right and honorable thing with it. Because, you know, bank executives always act in the public's best interest.

The entire nation is up in arms over the question of where one-tenth of one percent of the bailout money is going. That's good and all, but are we going to see excesses and misappropriations like this spring up over the next few months on the remaining 99.9% of the billions of bailout dollars?

Are we going to hear stories of mountains of money just disappearing into thin air, like the billions of dollars in $100 bills that Bush sent to Iraq on pallets in cargo planes, only to disappear without explanation or accounting soon after?

If things are this bad right now, I can only imagine what's going to hit the fan when politicians start admitting that billions rather than millions of bailout dollars have ended up in the pockets of the same wealthy financial bosses that largely caused the economic disaster that we currently find ourselves in.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bonus protest takes it to AIG homes

Today's protest of the homes of AIG executives who are benefiting from the bailout by getting gigantic bonuses made national news.

From the Associated Press:
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A busload of activists — outnumbered 2-to-1 by reporters and photographers — are paying visits to the homes of American International Group Inc. executives in Connecticut to protest tens of millions in bonuses awarded by the company.

About 40 protesters parked at a cul-de-sac Saturday afternoon and walked to the Fairfield home of Douglas Polling. They were met on the curb by two security guards, and one activist read a letter detailing the financial struggles that many Connecticut residents have faced. The group then left the note in Polling's mailbox.

Polling already agreed to forfeit his bonus, but the protesters want AIG executives to do more to help working families.

AIG has received more than $182 billion in federal aid.

Dodd finally strikes back at criticism

Sen. Chris Dodd responded strongly to his critics yesterday in Enfield during a televised statement to reporters.

Dodd said that he led the battle to include strong language in the amendment that would limit excessive bonuses and executive compensation, and he only changed it at the request of the Treasury Department. He then went on to address how some of the biggest critics of his original amendment complained disingenuously AFTER he changed the amendment.

All of this supports the meme that this is a "media frenzy", where the MSM is jumping on the "bash Dodd" bandwagon in an effort to give people someone to focus their displeasure upon for the current economic crisis. The thing that bothers me is the MSM's obvious lack of impartiality in their coverage. They've decided that Dodd is guilty of deception, and nothing is going to shake that conjecture as long as they're able to attract viewers or sell papers with those dramatic headlines.

As I've already stated on many occasions, I'm not very happy with how Sen. Dodd has handled this mess. His lack of clarity and the mistakes he's made have opened him up to plenty of justifiable criticism. And Dodd has plenty of other issues that need to be addressed to our satisfaction before we can wholeheartedly support him for re-election.

But really, what the media is doing to the guy is simply the cheap and easy way to get headlines. It's not doing much in the way of revealing the truth, and it sure as hell ain't helping get us out of this economic quandary our nation has found itself in.

Perhaps Dodd's final statement in the video sums up where our priorities need to reside:

"The big issue of the day isn't whether or not I get re-elected...the big issue of the day is whether or not our country is going to get back on its feet again."

(h/t to CT Local Politics for the video link)

Friday, March 20, 2009

GAE moves forward on Special Elections

Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz applauded the passage of a Senate Vacancy Bill that's making its way through the General Assembly. This is an important step in bring Connecticut election law more into line with the principles of democracy.

My hometown State Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) was instrumental in seeing this bill move forward.
HARTFORD: Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz today praised the Connecticut General Assembly’s Government, Administration and Elections Committee for its overwhelming passage of a bill that would mandate that future vacancies in the U.S. Senate in Connecticut be filled by special election. Senate bill # 913, approved by the GAE committee by a vote of 11-3, would set up a special election for U.S. Senate 150 days after a vacancy occurs in Connecticut.

“Only the voters of Connecticut should have the right to choose a successor if a U.S. Senate seat goes vacant,” said Secretary Bysiewicz. “We have seen cases of nepotism, cronyism and corruption when governors abuse the awsome power to appoint a U.S. Senator. All you have to do is look to the examples of states like Illinois and Alaska and you will find reason enough to make this simple but long overdue change to our state’s election laws. This decision should rest in the hands of the people alone. I commend the GAE committee for its overwhelming vote of support of this bill, and thank co-chairs Rep. Jamie Spallone and Sen. Gayle Slossberg for their hard work to advance this through committee. I urge the full Senate to adopt this measure and send it onto the House.”

Under current law, the governor can appoint a successor if a Senate vacancy occurs. That successor either serves out the rest of the previous senator’s term, or until a special election can be called to choose a replacement. Senate bill # 913 would remove the authority of the governor to name a U.S. Senator. The bill would also provide enough time, with some exceptions, for parties to hold nominating conventions and primaries if necessary to determine their candidate for U.S. Senate.

In Connecticut, U.S. House vacancies are filled by a special election within 60 days or 120 days in the case of a primary. Senate bill # 913 would restore Connecticut law to what it was prior to 1947, when U.S. Senate vacancies were filled by special election.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dodd addresses AIG issue

Today during a conference call Sen. Chris Dodd addressed Connecticut media and bloggers regarding the AIG bonus situation. Earlier today, in a CNN interview, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took responsibility for providing the bonus loophole, which he believed was necessary to protect the government from breach of contract lawsuits.

(See? It's a photo of Chris Dodd on the phone!)
Sen. Dodd said he originally wrote the language of the bonus and compensation limitations into the amendment. The administration came to the banking commission suggesting changes after it left the senate. Because of the threat of lawsuits, they made the changes.

Sen. Dodd said AIG hadn't made it clear they were having any bonuses. If he'd known, Dodd would have rejected the changes to the amendment outright.

He had misconstrued a question from a reporter, which helped lead to the widely-reported confusion about his position on the bonus situation. He went on to say that anytime you have to explain things, it becomes an issue.

Dodd said he wrote the original section to limit excessive compensation for corporate executives, but Treasury wanted the bonus limitations lifted for existing contracts due to the threat of a flood of litigation.

When asked if he was worried about a challenge in 2010, Dodd stated that it was too early to worry about it. He wanted to get to the business of doing whatever they can to fix this situation, which may include passing a tax that gets all or part of the AIG bonuses returned. He also said that Geithner shouldn't resign over this.

And, maybe it's just me, but Mark Davis always sounds like he's pissed off.

Dodd's AIG problem

This morning the news media is ablaze with reports that are similarly titled to the Courant's "Dodd Admits Role In AIG Bonus Controversy", which give the impression that Sen. Chris Dodd actively pushed for the outrageous bonuses that are proposed for AIG execs. The story below illustrates that Dodd is doing a terrible job debunking the story.

The fact is, the MSM has been looking for someone to pin this debacle upon, and it now has conveniently focused on Sen. Dodd, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee. Dodd now has a huge problem as he becomes the principal fall guy for the snowballing nationwide outrage.

When asked by the Connecticut Post, Gary Rose, a Sacred Heart University professor of political science, said this could open the door for someone to challenge Dodd's hold on his Senate seat.
"It continues to raise the spectre of preferential treatment and it may not be true, but the perception, in politics, is reality," Rose said. (emphasis mine)
People should keep in mind that while the bonuses ARE abominable, they account for merely one-tenth of one percent of the TOTAL bailout for AIG. I can only hope that the MSM works as diligently to oversee that the OTHER 99.9% of the money is being spent wisely.

(This post below is by CaptCT cross-posted from My Left Nutmeg this morning)

Hey folks, it was Chris Dodd who wrote the provision in the bailout bill to DENY AIG Executives their bonuses.

Let me repeat that. Chris Dodd wrote the provision to DENY AIG Executives their bonuses.

The Obama Admnistration's Treasury Department then demanded that Dodd change the language, and Dodd reluctantly modified the language. Then yesterday, some lowlife in the Treasury Department blamed Dodd for writing the watered-down restrictions.

The facts surrounding this story -- not the ones CNN and the NY Times have been reporting -- have been covered by Jane Hamsher at FDL, by Glenn Greenwald at Salon, and by Arianna Huffington.

All of them document in detail how Dodd fought to restrict bonuses for AIG executives, and how the Obama administration fought to water down or eliminate those restrictions. As Greenwald makes clear ...
It was Dodd who did everything possible -- including writing and advocating for an amendment -- which would have applied the limitations on executive compensation to all bailout-receiving firms, including AIG, and applied it to all future bonus payments without regard to when those payments were promised. But it was Tim Geithner and Larry Summers who openly criticized Dodd's proposal at the time and insisted that those limitations should apply only to future compensation contracts, not ones that already existed. The exemption for already existing compensation agreements -- the exact provision that is now protecting the AIG bonus payments -- was inserted at the White House's insistence and over Dodd's objections. [...]

The point was -- and is -- that Dodd was pressured to put that carve-out in at the insistence of Treasury officials (whose opposition meant that Dodd's choices were the limited compensation restriction favored by Geithner/Summers or no limits at all), and Dodd did so only after arguing in public against it. To blame Dodd for provisions that the White House demanded is dishonest in the extreme...
This is a reminder that Dodd has a huge bullseye on his back -- from Republicans and banking interests. And as Dodd looks at how the financial industry and health care industries need to be reformed, he is going to be attacked relentlessly by friends of the banking and insurance industries. Get used to it. If you thought the "Dean scream" hysteria and the "Gore invented the internet" smears were ridiculous, well, this is going to be just like that.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No suprises from the Pope

Pope Benedict is in Africa this week, and he made some remarks that have sparked outrage across the continent, where Catholicism is reportedly growing rapidly. The Pope reinforced the Church's laws regarding the use of condoms, which is strictly forbidden as intercourse is to be used solely for procreation.

I'm very disappointed in his stance, but not surprised. With his declaration, he's basically advocating the spread of the two most serious sexually transmitted diseases, which in my opinion are HIV/AIDS and unintentional pregnancies. The pope said this about HIV/AIDS: "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem." Currently there are 22 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa infected with HIV/AIDS.

So the Church is choosing to stay firmly in the 14th century by sticking to its position of abstinence except to produce a child. Abstinence is a favorite of the religious crowd. However, this sort of medieval thinking has been proven to fail time and again, as the most recent addition to the Palin family clearly shows.

Abstinence fails on a massive scale because, crazy as it seems, people like to have sex. Lots and lots of it. As often as possible. Everywhere. Sometimes in an uncomfortable place, like the back seat of a Volkswagon.

They're going to continue to have sex regardless of what anyone says. But the Pope's reinforcement of the ban will have the direct result of spreading HIV/AIDS. Because Catholic charities, which do some wonderful things in Africa, will continue to withhold distribution of condoms. Aid workers may refuse to give them out if they happen to be Catholic. Bureaucracies will have an excuse to cut funding to birth control and disease prevention programs.

Pope Benedict just doesn't get it. I'm sure he's a nice guy. But on this one, he's absolutely wrong.

And don't try to tell me that the Church doesn't change to reflect the times. If it didn't, all you Catholics would be sitting through Mass every week listening to Latin. The most recent ecumenical council (Vatican 2, from 1962-1965) allowed the mass to be celebrated in the native languages where they were held.

As a child, I attended weekly mass at a local church. I was baptized, received my first communion, and later confirmed in the Church. I honestly tried my best to understand and love the Church. But this is exactly the sort of out-of-touch and needlessly cruel thinking that led to my abandoning the Church many years ago.

I haven't regretted my decision for a minute. And I doubt we'll be seeing a Vatican 3 any time in the foreseeable future, so I won't be coming back.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bill O'Reilly talking dirty

To celebrate St. Patrick's day, the original Irish Spring (of Irony), Mr. Bill O'Reilly (via the "Village Voice") reads select passages from his tawdry exploration of the smut genre, the 1998 novel "Those Who Trespass".

These clips are from the author's reading for the audio book:

"Say baby, put down that pipe and get my pipe up."

"I would like you to unhook your bra and let it slide down your arms. You can keep your shirt on."

"Cup your hands under your breasts and hold them for ten seconds."

"Off with those pants."

I dunno about you, but listening to O'Reilly recite these pathetic lines is breaching a new level of "creepiness" that I didn't think was theoretically attainable outside of Hell; or maybe Branson, Missouri.

The third line is my favorite.

And by "favorite", I mean it's the one that inadvertently triggers the most horrifically vivid mental image of the four; something along the lines of O'Reilly standing there holding a stopwatch in one hand and a loofah in the other, while impatiently waiting for the breast cupping to begin.


Sen. Dodd forgives, likely to forget

Well, the denouement has arrived.

At least as far as Chris Dodd is concerned.

Joe Lieberman has been, for all intents and purposes, forgiven by Chris Dodd and the Senate leadership for his little foray over to the dark side in 2007-08.

Of course, Lieberman wants to have it both ways, and he continues to call himself an "Independent Democrat". I don't know if that's supposed to be a party designation or simply an expression of what a wild and unpredictable "free-thinker" Lieberman fancies himself to be.

I'd love to see any Republican senator have the balls to call himself an "Independent Republican". The GOP would smash him so fast and so hard, he'd wish he was Michael Steele. They would bury him!

Chris Dodd has forgiven Lieberman. But unlike Dodd, Joe Lieberman will always feel the scars on his back from where he implied the knives went in.

And you can be damned sure he'll never forget them.

(h/t to CT Blogger for the "Face The State" video)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Simmons to challenge Dodd

Drudge Siren Pictures, Images and Photos

(Drudge siren in honor of Genghis over at CT Local Politics, who utilized the extremely rare ALL CAPS headline ala the Drudge Report, which is normally reserved for the really big, earthshaking news)

Former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons announced yesterday in a letter to the Associate Press that he's running for Sen. Chris Dodd's seat in 2010.

You will recall that Republican Rob Simmons lost the 2006 Congressional election in the 2nd CD to "Landslide" Joe Courtney by a margin of something like 91 votes or so.

"The family had a long meeting today and was unanimous that I run," Simmons said in an e-mail message to The Associated Press. "So I am running."

Simmons (pictured above) will take on the incumbent senator in what is expected to be a lively GOP contest, with State Sen. Sam Caligiuri and CNBC host Larry Kudlow also having been mentioned as possible challengers.

UPDATE: Apparently, the image above ISN'T Rob Simmons. We here at ConnecticutBob.com take pride in our in our accurate reporting, and we regret the error.

But in our defense, the image WAS the 943rd result when searching Google images for "Rob Simmons".

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused to Mr. Fudd.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jim Amann: Animated!

Check this out!

I just found a cool website that has a nifty online tool you can use to create custom animations.

I thought, "Hmmmm, what can I use for a script?"

Then I realized that I already had in my video archives perhaps the most riveting twenty seconds of dialog ever uttered in Connecticut politics!

So, without further ado, here's the...

"Jim Amann: Animated!" show

...also with special guest star CT Keith!

And the website where you can create your own animations is www.xtranormal.com

The inevitable draws nearer

Final arguments in the Franken-Coleman recount trial were heard yesterday. The contest for Senate from Minnesota has been tied up in court since former Sen. Norm Coleman decided to dispute the results of the mandatory recount which gave challenger Al Franken a 226-vote lead out of 2.8 million votes cast.

Not surprisingly, the court is adhering to the state laws regarding election recounts and tossing out quite a few of Coleman's challenges. Minnesota has very good election laws; they were cited by the Supreme Court during the 2000 Florida presidential recount. Sadly, Florida's election laws were sorely lacking in the necessary jurisprudence to protect the practical application of democracy, and we all remember how that turned out.

There's even charges of computer hacking in the Minnesota trial. Phoenix Woman at FDL has been doing a great job with regular updates on the recount:
Franken got to call his last witness yesterday, and tie up a few loose ends. Coleman got to squirm as a growing number of news outlets and computer experts called into question his claims of outside hacking and his campaign's data-handling practices as the news of his storing unsecured credit-card data from his donors became known. (Ironically, if Coleman's people had still followed their old policy with regard to credit-card data, there wouldn't have been any problems.)

Closing arguments are happening today (Friday), and next week will be the reviewing, opening and possibly counting of the rejected absentee ballots that both sides have reintroduced into the recount -- which, if it proceeds in a timely fashion, will result in the Election Contest Court's making a ruling by this time next week, after which Norm will probably appeal said ruling to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Coleman will have an awful time raising money for the appeal, and MN law states that losers in election challenges are liable for all costs associated with defending a challenge, so the Franken campaign can insist that Coleman put the estimated amount of the appeal into escrow before the appeal is heard. If Coleman, who is widely rumored to be having a lot of difficulty raising any more money (especially considering his credit card information handling practices) can't find the dough, the court may turn down his appeal and finally award the seat to Al Franken.

Oh, and the lawyers from the credit card banks would like to have a work with Norm after all this is over. Apparently Norm's campaign violated like a million regulations with the way they incompetently stored their donor's personal credit data, and they're getting all lawyered up for the next dance with Norm.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Milford budget battle heats up

In what has already turned into a bizarre 2009 budget season, Milford Mayor Jim Richetelli has submitted a revised city budget to the Board of Aldermen (BOA).

A short history of the budget conflict is in order. It started when our mayor disappeared without explanation back in January, only to end up in a Delaware rehab. We applaud the mayor for getting the medical treatment he needed and we wish him total success in his personal struggle, but the circumstances of his exit and the subsequent actions of his staff raised a lot of eyebrows here.

When several days had elapsed without any official word of the mayor's absence, and with no notification of the Board of Aldermen and transition of power to an acting mayor as required by law, Ben Blake (D), Chairman of the BOA had to track down someone at City Hall who finally admitted the mayor was in an "out-of-state facility", and would be gone for several weeks. Only then was Blake officially bestowed as acting mayor.

God only knows what sort of disaster might have occurred if there was a significant emergency during those several days before we had an acting chief executive in place! This lack of coherence to the rule of law is troubling at best.

Additionally, when the acting mayor requested to see the mayor's budget, a City Hall staffer initially refused to hand it over, possibly through a misguided sense of loyalty. Only after getting an opinion from the City Attorney's office did the employee obey the acting mayor as required by law.

The mayor arrived back in town after a 30-day stint in rehab, and again, we are uniform in our support of Jim Richetelli in his personal battle against addiction. However, NO illness should be used as a shield against criticism of a mayor's public policy, and there was a lot to complain about with the budget he finally submitted.

The mayor's budget included a massive 5.7% increase over last year's budget, and according to Richetelli:
“The budget I put out every year includes the core, essential needs of the city and reflects their realistic cost, but can there be cuts? Yes, and there certainly will be."
So what the mayor was saying is that the increases are absolutely essential, yet there certainly will be cuts! He proposed a budget that he admitted was faulty from the get-go!

The only plausible explanation for this budget is that he wanted the BOA and the Board of Finance (BOF) to be the bad guys with the budget, either by raising taxes while we're in a deep recession, or having them cut city services, and then he could go to the voters and say, "Look, I tried to save these jobs/services, but the BOA/BOF wanted them cut, so what could I do?"

Well, this certainly generated a huge backlash among city Democrats (and fiscally-responsible Republicans and Unaffiliated voters), so the mayor quickly set to work to redraw the budget.

Now a month later, Mayor Richetelli somehow squeezed $6.125 Million out of the budget. He's taking $4.5 Million from surplus accounts, and is trying to get wage concessions from city unions to save $800,000. The big question is, where did the mayor find this money that apparently wasn't available a month ago when he tried to push his original budget?

From an article in the New Haven Register:
(Milford Democratic Town Committee Chairman Rich) Smith said it’s interesting that one month later Richetelli has found $6 million in savings.

“Now, obviously responding to public outrage and pressure from the Democrats, the mayor has suddenly found religion,” Smith said. “While we’re happy to bare witness to this burning bush conversion, we do think his projected numbers are a bit too fanciful.”


Smith also said the mayor seemingly wants to have his cake and eat it too. He said last year the mayor and the GOP blasted Democrats for making cuts to the undesignated fund balance and the post employment benefits accounts. The mayor and Republicans called those moves “reckless and irresponsible,” Smith said.

Richetelli proposes to use an additional $2 million from the undesignated fund balance, and to reduce the post employment benefits account by $100,000.

“Funny how that works, I guess it’s not as reckless when he does it,” Smith said.
Smith went on to say the revised budget assumes the unions will finalize their agreement to concessions, and projects income from a future sale of municipal land.

Providing all the details work out, the mayor's new budget is more in line with what the Democrats were pushing for all along. But the question remains: if there was $6 Million available for the taking, why didn't the mayor simply include it in his original budget?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

President Obama on earmarks

President Obama spoke today on the subject of earmarks.

From Daily Kos:
Although his tone was calm and measured, and while he never mentioned the Republican Party by name, President Obama quite clearly called the GOP out for its hypocritical attempt to exploit the earmarks issue.

Not only is a huge percentage of the earmark "protesters" standing in line with THEIR hands out, but consider how John McCain has made a career out of grandstanding his opposition to earmarks while his little home state of Arizona receives approx. $1.29 in return for every dollar it pays, while Connecticut receives a piddling 69 cents for that same buck. (2006 figures, the latest I've found)

It's pretty easy for McCain to be a whiner when he's clearing 60 cents MORE on every dollar than we receive in Connecticut. Who needs earmarks when you get an unbelievable return on your money?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stop the needless cruelty

A bill was introduced into the General Assembly two weeks ago, Raised S.B. No. 994, which is AN ACT CONCERNING LEGHOLD TRAPS, to prevent needless animal suffering, introduced by: Environment Committee

This bill is set to issue regulations governing and prescribing the taking of all species of fur-bearing animals by use of traps within the state.

Specifically, it will regulate the horrific leg-hold traps used by hunters which often maim or kill unintended animals, including pets.

A few weeks ago, a great-horned owl was found dragging herself across a road with a leg-hold trap snapped shut on her foot. The bird was rescued and taken to the Yalesville Veterinary hospital. However, due to inevitable complications from her injuries, she had to be euthanized.

Here's another example; and if you are at all squeamish, please do not click on this link to an extremely graphic photo that shows the damage one of these traps caused to a family pet.

I understand that farmers need to control pest animals, and hunters enjoy providing skins of fur-bearing animals to stitch together and form a dead-animal coat, but there are other, much more humane traps that can be used to deal with these animals. And, the likelihood of a beloved pet falling victim to a trap that can mangle and/or kill the creature will drop drastically.

Contact your state representative and ask them to support SB 994, An Act Concerning Leghold Traps.

For more information, and to send an email to your representative and state senator, visit The Humane Society anti-trapping web page.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Obama reverses Bush's Stem Cell restraints

Let's see if any conservatives will have the guts to go after Nancy Reagan:
"I’m very grateful that President Obama has lifted the restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research," she wrote in a statement released shortly after Obama signed an executive order lifting the Bush-era restrictions. "These new rules will now make it possible for scientists to move forward. I urge researchers to make use of the opportunities that are available to them, and to do all they can to fulfill the promise that stem cell research offers."

Nancy Reagan has been an outspoken advocate of stem-cell research – and scientists hope that the research could someday lead to cure to Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicted her husband, Ronald Reagan.

Reagan continued, "Countless people, suffering from many different diseases, stand to benefit from the answers stem cell research can provide. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to do everything in our power to find cures for these diseases – and soon. As I’ve said before, time is short, and life is precious."
Come on, Rush, tell us what you really think.

(via BarbinMD from DailyKos)

New Year's Resolutions update

Well, we're 10 weeks into 2009, and I think it's time to take a look back at my New Year's resolutions that I specified in this post to see how I'm doing:

1. I resolve to give Barack Obama at least 100 days before I start bitching about what he's doing wrong.

So far, so good. Today is Day 49 of the Obama administration, so we're halfway there. Things have been tough for Obama with the economy, but he's doing what he can to battle the tsunami of crashing world markets. He's done some wonderful things, like set a date for withdrawal from Iraq, put more emphasis on science over politics, and today he's going to sign a bill that relaxes the oppressive restrictions on stem cell research that George Bush enacted to placate his extreme anti-science base. He's joined in his support by such Republican stalwarts as Nancy Reagan, John McCain, and Arlen Specter.

2. I resolve to be "greener" in the coming year.

I'm doing better at that. We installed 10 energy efficient replacement windows and I put insulating plastic over the previously open front porch, making the area much warmer in the daytime. I resisted setting the thermostat higher during those cold snaps, preferring instead to dress in extra layers of fleece. I can probably do more, but I'm working on it.

3. I resolve to be more involved locally.

See the previous post about the MGAT commission. I'm also on the Democratic Town Committee, and we have a big local election coming up. It's going to be a very busy year.

4. Lastly, I resolve to lose 30 pounds by next Christmas, no matter what.

Well, I bit the (calorie-free) bullet and went on a very structured diet. I'm down 20 so far, and fully expect to reach my goal by May. Besides the obvious reduction in food calories, I'm doing well by getting at least 30-50 minutes of exercise every day. I was somewhat inspired to keep at it by seeing a cartoon that showed a doctor advising his patient, "Which is more convenient, working out an hour a day, or being dead twenty-four hours a day?"

natalie dee

That's not me. But I did purchase a recumbent stationary bike about a month ago, and I'm finding it very easy to stick with a regular workout. Plus, I'm doing some free weights and walking much more. I'm going to start riding the regular bike outdoors now that the weather is getting better, too.

Oh, and giving up beer helps. Not only am I not missing the empty calories, but I'm feeling more alert too. Huh, I guess there was something to all those warnings about booze after all! Who'da thunk it?

Anyway, that's how the resolutions are going so far. I'm looking forward to doing a more extensive look at Obama's presidency towards the end of April when the 100 days has elapsed. And only then will I mention the diet again, because quite honestly, there is absolutely nothing in the known universe that's more excruciatingly boring than hearing about somebody's diet.

But I am relieved that I probably won't have to cut my leg off to reach my goal!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

MGAT Commission Convenes

Members of the Milford Government Access Television (MGAT)
Committee are (from top left): Phil Kearney, Bob Adams,
Toby Zabinski, Mike Manente and Paula Patterson.

From a press release issued March 6th by the Milford City Hall:
Milford Government Access Television Committee Holds Inaugural Meeting

Milford, CT, March 4, 2009: The newly appointed Milford Government Access Television (MGAT) Committee held their first meeting on February 24 in the Platt Vocational Technical School Library Media Center.

The Committee was created in November 2008, in part to ensure all Milford government programming is available to the citizens of Milford. The Committee is responsible for assuring MGAT complies with the policies and procedures established by state and federal laws and regulations. In addition, the Committee is responsible for rafting the annual budget request for MGAT, and for advising Mayor James L. Richetelli, Jr. on MGAT personnel selection, appointment and employment.

The Committee consists of new Chairman Mike Manente, Phil Kearney, Paula Patterson, Toby Zabinski, and Bob Adams. MGAT’s Senior Line Producer/Broadcast Director Dennis Guaglianone also attended the first meeting.

Among other business, a brief history of MGAT was presented, covering the development and evolution of Milford's government access TV. Sol Silverstein, Chair of the Town of Orange Government Access TV (OGAT), discussed how the Orange commission operates. The 2009-10 budget was reviewed, along with a discussion on how the recent Area 2 Cable Advisory Council (CAC) grant will be utilized.
This is the committee to which I was appointed during a rather contentious Board of Aldermen meeting (link) that basically morphed into a very public vetting and somewhat embarrassing confirmation hearing. The main problem the minority Republicans had with me was that I was a member of the Democratic party, and there are no Republicans on the board (three D's and two U's, or is it two D's and three U's? I forget); and that I'm a "left-leaning blogger", apparently residing somewhere in the political spectrum between William Ayers and Che Guevara, and who knows what kind of programming I'd put up on that channel?

Although the vote to confirm me was a 9-6 split exactly along party lines; and the vote was the ONLY non-unanimous confirmation vote during an evening where something like 100 board and commission members were confirmed, I feel this is an opportunity for me to prove how non-partisan a person should be when working diligently on a project that will benefit everyone in the city, not just members of a single party.

As I've often said, my only goal in MGAT is to help bring total transparency to the process of local government. I think we all win by demystifying the process and opening up the meetings to those who might not otherwise have the chance to be there in person. The tangible results are likely two-fold: both good and bad policies receive wider exposure, and more people may be compelled to participate in local government.

With those sorts of results, we can safely assume we'll ALL benefit.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Health Care Basics

As a nurse, I listened to one of the round tables at the president's health care summit on C-SPAN radio and his roundup Q&A. I am still amazed at how much he "gets it" and I do hope that as the economy continues into the crapper that the demand for action will be greater than the special interests' ability to stop it in its tracks. I see three key pushbacks.

1. Comparative effectiveness research. Also called evidence-based care, this approach essentially means that we should be prescribing medications and doing procedures that are supported by research. Quality report cards, like this one from Medicare for different aspects of hospital care, audit medical records to see what percent of patients with a given diagnosis get the treatment research says is most effective. The problem? Lots of this research is funded by big Pharma, with growing evidence that results are biased in favor of the funding group. Generic drugs are not studied because there is no company with enough of a financial interest in the outcome to fund the research. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality does what it can with limited federal funds.

2. Malpractice. Without getting into this whole ball of wax, if payment is going to be tied to research-based care, healthcare providers will need some sort of insulation from liability when following research-based recommendations, without having to defend their practices in a costly lawsuit. Malpractice insurers will continue to raise rates as their investments lose money, doctors will continue to practice defensive medicine and the attorneys will continue to get rich. Maybe we should all just go to law school. They seem to be the only winners in this mess.

3. Insurance. In just one example, Medicare Advantage plans, administered by insurance companies, cost the government 13% more than traditional Medicare. Paying that extra layer of bureaucracy to "manage" patients' care didn't save money after all, and just made health care for seniors that much more complex. Hopefully, these plans will go away if President Obama has anything to say about it. And, being from the insurance capital, we know how hard this industry will fight any efforts to reduce their influence.

Unless these key issues are tackled up front, healthcare reform doesn't have a chance. Let's hope the folks invited to the White House are ready for pushing back against these special interests -- and push back hard.

How do you think these issues should be solved? While you're thinking about that, here is a report from a CT group that participated in the Obama health care community discussion. The full report is here.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Early voting in CT is one step closer

From a press release by the Secretary of State's Office:
Hartford: Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz today praised the General Assembly’s Government, Administration and Elections Committee for approving Senate Joint Resolution No. 43 whose ultimate goal is to make Absentee Ballots available to any registered voter. The Committee’s 14-1 vote sends the resolution onto a vote by the full General Assembly.

“Millions of voters nationwide successfully cast ballots before Election Day in 2008 using early voting,” said Secretary Bysiewicz. “This had the dual effect of increasing voter turnout to record levels nationwide while at the same time reducing long lines at the polls and the strain on poll workers on Election Day. No excuse absentee balloting would be a secure and cost-effective way to give Connecticut voters the opportunity to vote early and at their own convenience. This system would also allow early voting without imposing the significant cost of setting up early polling stations or compromising the security of our elections. I commend lawmakers of both parties for taking this prudent first step towards early voting in Connecticut, and I urge full passage by the General Assembly.”

If approved by a three-quarters majority in both the State House and Senate, the resolution would put a Constitutional question on the ballot for voters to consider in 2010. If that Constitutional question is passed, the legislature would be empowered to remove the requirements of physical absence, disability or sickness that currently restrict who can use Absentee Ballots on Election Day.
The upside of early voting is that it will give more people the opportunity to vote, who might otherwise be busy or unable to get to the polls on the usual Tuesday election day.

I've always thought that scheduling elections on a work day was a bad idea. People often are too busy or tired to be bothered to vote on a work day, and polling places can get very crowded in the pre- or post-work rush hours, resulting in voters simply leaving rather than waiting in line to vote.

Early voting via absentee ballot is allowed in 31 states, so it obviously works well enough. Although in Minnesota, Norm Coleman is challenging pretty much every last one of them in a desperate attempt to hang on to his seat when it's only a matter of time before they agree that Al Franken rightfully won the election. But a margin as narrow as that one deserves a detailed recount.

Healthcare Quote of the Day

From Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), at the health care forum hosted by President Obama: We're way past Harry and Louise -- it's more like Thelma and Louise, going off the cliff.

There's some straight talk for you, John McSame.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Ned in 2010?

In a NY Times article by Mark Pazniokas (recently given the pink slip by the Hartford Courant in their continuing effort to become "The Nation's Oldest Continuing Published Newspaper That Descends Irreversibly Into Mediocrity"), Ned Lamont offered this tantalizing hint at a possible run for the state's highest executive office:
"He is months away from a final decision, but after previously disavowing any interest in the job, Mr. Lamont said that a gubernatorial campaign grows more intriguing as the economy worsens and the deficit deepens, all harbingers of a protracted budget fight in Hartford."
This statement is in marked contrast to his previous claims of not being interested in joining the race for governor. There's no doubt that his entry into the contest would generate a lot of interest, both here and nationally.

Of course, we all can guess where our junior senator's support will likely go:

Like watching a medley of Neros

According to popular myth, the Roman emperor Nero played the fiddle while all around him Rome burned. While not strictly speaking true, the story serves as a handy allegory when talking about the lead-up to the economic meltdown.

Jon Stewart and the Daily Show writers have come up with a blistering eight-minute indictment of the ultra-wealthy money handlers who not only helped create the current mess, but continue even today to perpetuate the suffering in an attempt to maintain their precious status quo.

One of the biggest faults within the American psyche is that everyone thinks they're going to be rich one day. That's the only way people like the CNBC spinners can sell their narrative to the masses. We, as a nation, need to get realistic about our expectations and work together to help accomplish the economic recovery that will result in a more healthy, comfortable middle class.

Because without drastic measures, we're definitely headed towards a society that will have only a wealthy, privileged few; and a massive, economically-disadvantaged majority. Not the sign of a healthy economy.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rell freezes office supplies

Yes, it's the infamous "Stapler in the Jello gag", which is a fitting metaphor in this case.

I wonder if Dwight Schrute or Gareth Keenan (depending on which version of "The Office" you prefer) ever had to deal with ALL of their office purchases being frozen? Because that's the latest executive order to come down from Gov. Jodi Rell's office in an effort to cut costs.

The state can expect to cut between $3 to $4 million by not purchasing pens, paper, toner cartridges and such. Which seems like a good idea, until the printer stops working because there isn't any toner left. I haven't seen anything in the news articles that say what state employees can do once they completely run out of necessary supplies and they can't do their jobs. I only hope that this cost-cutting move doesn't impede the normal day-to-day operations of the state.

Because, it would be a lot more expensive than the cost of a lousy toner cartridge to have an office full of people sitting around scratching their butts because they can't do their work!

(...and even though the American "Office" is very popular, for sheer unadulterated cringe-worthy humor you can't beat the English "Office". Get the DVD box set, it's only 12 half-hour episodes, plus a 2-hour special; you can easily watch the entire thing within a week.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Michael Steele on Rush Limbaugh

In a surprising moment of honesty, RNC Chair Michael Steele dares to give his brutal assessment of Rush Limbaugh, and he goes against conventional conservative wisdom by strongly denying that Limbaugh is the de facto leader of the GOP.

Limbaugh is an "entertainer", whose rhetoric is "incendiary" and "ugly". Nothing ambiguous about Mr. Steele's feelings there.

Despite his later backpedaling, Steele's words are out there. On the internet. Just like we like it. If Michael Steele keeps having these sudden attacks of candor, I'm going to go way out on a limb here and predict that he won't be RNC Chair too much longer.

March comes in like a lion...

...a lion with frickin' rabies!*

In other words, it's really nasty out today!

Yup, just to give the science-denying conservatives another excuse to debunk the global warming "theory", Mother Nature has blessed us with a reminder that Winter is far from over.

And She did it on a Monday morning!

'cause, you know, we needed another reason to hate Mondays.

Gee, thanks a lot Mom!

(* this post assumes that even though a lion is normally pretty nasty, if it had rabies, it would be even meaner. Like, SUPER mean! Am I right, or what? Anyway, I'm off to start shoveling.)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

CPAC shindig exceeds expectations

Expectations were, of course, that a bunch of radical wingnuts would get together and trash everything that stands even remotely in opposition to their nightmarish Vision for America. CPAC is the annual gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Media Matters has a collection of videos that will simultaneously amuse you while making your skin crawl. It's sort of like watching "Cloverfield", but with a laugh track.

And the results of their annual straw poll is just in:

In the 2012 race, it looks like Mitt is the frontrunner, with Bobby Jindal a fairly close second. Sarah Palin is tied with Ron Paul, who had a reasonable showing despite the fact that he had some criticism of the GOP in recent weeks.

This one is a real shocker! Barack Obama had an astoundingly strong showing at the wingnut whinge-fest! Getting four percent from that crowd is the equivalent of George Washington being praised at a 1778 gathering in Windsor Castle.

Go over to Media Matters and check out some of the videos there. I especially find that the Rush Limbaugh videos provide the simultaneously ironic and nauseating thrills I enjoy so.

Will Work For Nothing

(photo R. Bootooz Delvento)

This is a guest post by my brother Rich. He has limited access to the Internet, but that doesn't preclude him from having strong opinions! Here's the first of what I hope are periodic blog posts:
View from The Bottom

My contribution to the problems we face? No. It's my contribution to what I see as a silent revolution that may take place here in the U.S.A.

Why work for nothing? Well, if I do, those in power won't get paid for the bad service we have been provided. If I give bad service, I'm expected to make good on it or return the funds.

I see a man. President Obama. Who talked the talk and who is walking the walk. Thank you Mr. President. Good for you.

As for those who oppose him, they need to get a clue. My education consists of grade school and a G.E.D. Now, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that those from the party that was in power (The GOP) messed things up for the rest of us and continue to feed us the same ol' spin.

First and foremost, the repeated claim that we have a Black President is wrong. President Obama is mixed culture. This is proof that racism is a labeling game used by those who would confuse and give false hope.

The revolution that I refer to is one where We, The People have become intolerant of this spin. Not a revolution of armed conflict, but one of quiet courage.

Courage to say "That Is Enough" and DEMAND you make good on the bad service we have received for years. We vote again in two years. So think about it. For, in the words of a man we all know, you could hear these words..."You're Fired!"

R. "Bootooz" Delvento