Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Night Music Club VI

Yes, it's time for another chapter in these all-too-infrequent music posts!

This one is extra special, because it puts a brand new spin on a classic MTV music video from the 1980s.

The Norwegian New Wave band a-ha released "Take On Me" in 1984, but the song gained huge international play with the video in 1985. The video of the song, a pop-techno number, won several awards at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

Dust Films took the video and re-dubbed it, with a sound-alike singer who sings the literal interpretation of what you see in the video. Here's their version of Take On Me. Give it some time until the lyrics kick in, and if you watched as much MTV as I did when I was younger, you'll get a kick out of this:

For more "literal music videos", visit the Dust Films website. They have a good version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge".

UPDATE: some cock-knocker complained about the video apparently, because it's no longer available. There's always some dick who has to spoil everyone's fun. You can still see the video at the Dust Films website linked above.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Open Health Care Forum wrap-up

Spazeboy (aka Beau Anderson) has a good account and several (longish) videos of last night's event, which featured Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Katie Robbins (from Healthcare-NOW!) among several other notable attendees.

Go over to to read his article and watch the videos!

Senate Vacancy Bill passes Senate

Sen. Gayle Slossberg (Christine Stuart file photo)

Christine Stuart from CT News Junkie reports from the State Capitol that the Senate Vacancy Bill was approved by the Senate 21-12. The bill, which provides for a special election rather than a direct appointment by the Governor in the event of a Senate vacancy, was divided along strict party lines.

Apparently, if you're a Connecticut Republican, it means you have to be against the voters of the state having the power to select a replacement senator, and instead you want a single person to make that decision.

Based on the Illinois governor's Senate replacement debacle, we all know how well THAT works! Not to mention that our LAST governor right here in the Nutmeg State did a stretch in PRISON because of his corruption!

The lines are clearly drawn in Connecticut, with the Democrats in favor of free and open elections, and the Republicans in favor of keeping their Senate hopes pinned on the blouse of one person, and one person only: Gov. Rowland Rell!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

TNR fails at basic research

Apparently it's very difficult to find competent "reporter-researchers" these days.

In an article in The New Republic, the author takes an extremely condescending tone when referring to Sen. Chris Dodd's enlightened use of the internet in reaching out to his constituents.

Supposed high-brow publications love to make fun of the name "My Left Nutmeg", and they typically use that as a reason to disregard anything written there as nonsensical drivel. The New York Times actually refused to refer to the website by name back in 2006 (mustn't offend the reader's delicate sensibilities!), a policy that they eventually overcame.

So casual is TNR's dismissal of the community website that the author fails to do even the simplest search to back up her ridiculous claim.

Matt Browner-Hamlin discusses the situation is his blog Hold Fast:
Suzy Khimm is listed by The New Republic as a “reporter-researcher.” I haven’t yet waded through her three page article on Chris Dodd and his coming perilous reelection campaign to judge her overall ability as a reporter, but by the second paragraph it’s pretty easy to see that she’s not a researcher. Khimm writes:
Today, Dodd–five-term senator, established Washington powerbroker, the man whose “magnificent handshake,” The New York Times gushed two years ago, is “the grip of a pro, a … political pro, which he is”–has been reduced to shoring up his liberal bona fides by railing against credit card companies on a blog called My Left Nutmeg (motto: “Where Connecticut Dems Scratch That Progressive Itch”).
Senator Dodd’s first diary on My Left Nutmeg was on March 7, 2007, over two years ago. I know because at the time I was a front-page contributor and administrator of the site. I bumped his post from the diary section to the front page.
Read the rest of the article at Matt's blog.

Wow Suzy, you're quite the lousy researcher there! I can't really say much for the reporter part, either.

Obviously, Sen. Dodd hasn't be "reduced" to posting on MLN; rather, he's effectively used the medium of the internet to reach out to his constituents and his base, and we greatly appreciate that fact.

Maybe Suzy can ask Sen. Lieberman when he's going to get out of the stone age and reach out to those people in Connecticut whom he successfully railroaded into giving him a bonus six years in the greatest club in the world.

You up for it, Suze?

"The New Republic's average paid circulation for 2007 was 59,779 copies per issue, a decline of 41 percent since 2000."

- Source: State of the Media

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Q-Poll results depend on the spin


OK, so I just visited the Connecticut Post website (above) to get some info on the latest Quinnipiac Poll on the 2010 Connecticut Senate race.

And I saw there were two stories about the same poll that contains headlines which seemed to be at odds with each other (detail below).

This first one, with the prominent headline, is Ken Dixon's article entitled:

"Poll finds Dodd still trailing potential challengers."

Kind of scary, right? "ChallengerS" with an "S", there's a whole slew of giant killers lined up to take a whack at the Senator. It kind of looks hopeless for Chris, just from the headline.

Then, just a little below that, is the Associated Press headline that accompanied the story over the national news wire:

"Poll shows Dodd gaining on Simmons"

Depending which of those two headlines you saw, what conclusions would you likely draw from each of them?

Additionally, there were two different quotes pulled for the two articles from Doug Schwartz, the perennial goblin of doom from the Q-Poll who rarely seems to say anything positive about candidates I like. The quote in Dixon's report reads like this:
"Sen. Christopher Dodd's numbers are getting better but they are still lousy," Schwartz said. "He still has high negatives: About half of the voters don't trust Dodd and disapprove of the job he is doing. And he is still behind Simmons in a general election match up." (all emphasis, and a sense of bewildered incredulity, is mine)
In the Associated Press story, this much more upbeat quote is displayed:
Pollster Doug Schwartz says Dodd, criticized for his involvement in the AIG bonus controversy and other issues, appears to have stopped the bleeding." (emphasis mine)
Hmmm...I dunno, but if I was a voter (well, I am actually) and I happened to read just the first article, I'd kind of assume that Dodd is toast.

But if the same hypothetical version of me only perused the SECOND article, I'd probably feel that good ol' Sen. Dodd was well on the way to regaining his popularity (especially in the wake of the successful credit card legislation signed into law), and I'd think that the Senator was going to make a strong campaign comeback.

Hmmmm...verrrrrry interesting.

Hey, I'm not saying that there's any kind of agenda or anything like that going on here, but still...

5/28 UPDATE: The headline on Ken Dixon's story about the Q-poll has been changed to "Dodd sees gains in recent poll" for this morning's online edition. I don't know what it says in the dead tree edition because, quite frankly, I prefer the New Haven Register, and that only on weekends, mostly for the flyers and the sports section (it's where I found Joyce's new kayak on sale).

So, today's headline more accurately represents the results of the poll, at least according to the consensus of other local news organizations.

Health Care panel at Wesleyan on Thursday

May 28th at Wesleyan University’s Exley Science Center (6:30 PM), Middletown, CT

You are invited to a town hall-style health care forum to voice your concerns and hopes regarding health care reform. The panel will be discussing options for reform, particularly the benefits of a single payer system. Single payer health care is when health care (doctors, hospital expenses, etc.) is paid from a single fund. You choose your own doctors, since no provider is ever considered “out of network.”

Confirmed for the panel are Katie Robbins, the assistant national coordinator for Healthcare-NOW!; Donna Smith, featured in Michael Moore's movie Sicko, who is a legislative associate and community organizer for the California Nurses Association; and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who introduced HR 676, the current Federal legislation for a Medicare-for-all style health care system. Also invited for the panel are a local community doctor and a local professor of economics. Many CT legislators are being invited, including Rep. DeLauro, Rep. Murphy, Rep. Courtney, and Sen. Dodd.

Don’t miss this valuable opportunity for our legislators to hear from their constituents on this vital topic.

Over 40 years ago, at the Riverside Church in New York, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "Of all the forms of injustice, inequality in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

What can you do about it? Mark your calendar now for May 28th, 6:30 PM at Wesleyan University’s Exley Science Center.


For more information, contact Deb Hall at (860) 302-5352, email or Emily Langner at (518) 928-1318, email

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Obama discusses his choice for SC

President Obama demonstrates his continued good utilization of the internet to reach out directly to the people in this video, where he discusses his nominee for Supreme Court Justice, Judge Sonia Sotomayer:

It's great to have a President that actually comprehends what the internet is!

Is it time for a nuclear option?

This article isn't about what you might think.

North Korea's recent nuclear test is extremely worrisome, that's for sure. Iran is ignoring international calls to stop it's nuclear program. Pakistan's shaky (nuclear-armed) government is increasingly being threatened with a fundamentalist takeover.

But that's not what I'm referring to here.

I'm talking about the threat from the GOP Senate minority against ANY Supreme Court nominee that President Obama proposes to fill the position of departing Justice David Souter, who announced he will retire at the end of the Court's session in June.

The President has interviewed two candidates as of late last week, and he also had the brazen audacity to mention this (from the AP):
"You have to have not only the intellect to be able to effectively apply the law to cases before you," Obama said in an interview carried Saturday on C-SPAN television. "But you have to be able to stand in somebody else's shoes and see through their eyes and get a sense of how the law might work or not work in practical day-to-day living."

Obama also has said he wants someone who employs empathy, "understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles," when arriving at decisions that could influence the nation for decades.
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has promised to lead a filibuster in the Senate if President Obama puts a candidate forward that shows any trace of human emotion:
Sen. Jon Kyl made clear he would use the procedural delay if Obama follows through on his pledge to nominate someone who takes into account human suffering and employs empathy from the bench.
Apparently, the only candidate that Sen. Kyl would find suitable would be someone who coldly decides cases based on simply the application of the law and not its potential impact on the people it affects.

Given the recent history of the Supreme Court and some of their decisions, I think it would be a benefit to us all to have a Justice use at least a tiny bit of empathy when making his or her decisions, rather than just mindlessly accept ideological dogma as their guide.

However, there IS one candidate who just might attain the requisite minimal level of human emotion and empathy that Sen. Kyl seeks:

(Of course, I'm talking about the character "Mr. Spock"; I don't presume to know Leonard Nimoy's personal emotional level)

Does anyone remember the famous "Gang of Fourteen", the group of senators (including our own Joe Lieberman) who worked out the compromise that effectively stripped the minority Democrats of their power to filibuster Bush's lower court nominees under the threat that the GOP majority would change the Senate rules to disallow a super-majority to defeat them and simply make it a 50% plus one majority requirement to stop a filibuster? This was known as the "nuclear option".

As a result, the nation got stuck with tons of young, ultra-conservative judges who will infect the court system for decades with their rulings. And they will likely still be there when a Republican is back in the White House, just waiting to fill spots on the Supreme Court when they become available.

Now the Republicans are preemptively threatening to use that very same filibuster they wanted to get rid of to block the first nominee a Democrat will make since Bill Clinton was president.

Maybe the Democrats should dust off the old Republican scare tactic to whip some of them into line.

UPDATE: Right after I published this article, I turned on the TV and saw this - President Obama wants federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. Let the fireworks begin!

Monday, May 25, 2009


Memorial Day Order - 1868
I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and comrades will, in their own way, arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, Comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers sailors and Marines, who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead? We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation's gratitude—the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

II. It is the purpose of the Commander in Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III. Department commanders will use every effort to make this Order effective.
—General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Obama signs Credit Card bill

In a victory for families and individuals across the nation, President Obama signed the bill into law yesterday. The new law makes it tougher for credit card issuers to raise fees and interest rates.

Sen. Chris Dodd was instrumental in getting the bill written and passed, and also on Friday Dodd said there are still two major issues that remain unfinished business: a cap on interest rates and limits on fees that merchants pay when a customer uses a credit card for a purchase. Dodd intends to continue fighting for legislation to curtail these practices.

Part One

Part Two

Friday, May 22, 2009

CT Bob interviews Merrick Alpert

Here is my entire telephone interview with Senate candidate Merrick Alpert from this morning. We spent about 20 minutes discussing the issues and his reasoning for challenging Sen. Chris Dodd for his senate seat.

Sorry about the so-so audio quality, and my cell phone ringing near the end of the interview, but you can definitely hear our conversation clearly.

Alpert's website:

Stormy Daniels creates exploratory committee

(Bill Haber/AP)

It's time for another bump in my hits...

Stormy Daniels Set To Make Run At Senate

Yesterday, adult film star and fledgling politician Stormy Daniels announced the creation of an exploratory committee to raise funds and determine the feasibility of her challenge to Republican Senator David Vitter.

From the Associated Press (KEVIN MCGILL):
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Porn star Stormy Daniels said Thursday she has formed a committee to explore a possible run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican David Vitter and will begin raising money for a potential 2010 campaign.

Daniels, in an e-mail news release, said she will soon visit western and northern Louisiana to hear from voters. Brian Welsh, her spokesman, said he would serve on the committee but declined to discuss details. He said committee members and other details will be released soon, along with plans for the continuation of Daniels' "listening tour," which began in early May with appearances in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Daniels has said she is seriously considering the race as the result of a draft movement reportedly started by a New Orleans college student after Vitter's phone number appeared on the records of a Washington prostitution ring in 2007. She insists she is not seeking publicity for her films or simply attempting to embarrass Vitter, whose family values reputation took a hit as a result of the scandal.


Vitter kept a low profile for months after the prostitution scandal broke but has emerged over the past year as a vocal conservative critic of government bailouts of businesses and of the tax, spending and homeland security policies of President Barack Obama. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Daniels committee on Thursday.

He admitted to a "serious sin" in the Washington prostitution matter but has steadfastly refused to answer questions. He has denied other allegations involving prostitution in New Orleans.
Daniels hasn't decided on any party affiliation yet. So far, Vitter has no other challengers in either a primary or the general election.

Her exploratory website is here: Team Stormy

...and they didn't need to waterboard anyone

(Police guard a NYC synagogue after the exposure of the plot)

A case of homegrown terrorists was squashed this week by the FBI with the assistance of an informant. Four men from the Newburgh NY area were arrested outside a Bronx synagogue, where they had just left a fake bomb provided to them by an undercover FBI agent.

This is just one of many cases of homegrown terrorism that have been averted since 2001 by the use of systematic surveillance, informant networks, and the sheer incompetence of some of these "terrorists".

From the ConnPost:
The four men were ex-convicts who envisioned themselves as holy warriors, ambitious enough to concoct a plot to blow up synagogues and military planes, authorities said.

But they were amateurs every step of the way. They had trouble finding guns and bought cameras at Wal-Mart to photograph their targets. One was a convicted purse snatcher, another smoked marijuana the day the plot was to be carried out.

Muslims fueled by hatred of America and Jews, they spent months scouting targets and securing what they thought was a surface-to-air missile system and powerful explosives -- all under the watch of an FBI informant.


Relatives said the defendants were down-on-their-luck men who worked at places like Wal-Mart, a landscaping company and a warehouse when they weren't behind bars. Payen's lawyer said he was "intellectually challenged" and on medication for schizophrenia. Marilyn Reader said he has "a very low borderline" IQ.
The point of this gets back to the argument that torture isn't necessary to get the information necessary to combat these planned terrorist attacks. Since 9/11 our intelligence network has expanded and become much more effective in exposing potential threats. Besides the fact that torture is illegal and it degrades our national character in the process.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Videos from Alpert's announcement

I only arrived home from work a little while ago, so I haven't had a lot of time to read and digest feedback from Merrick Alpert's announcement today. There's a lively discussion over on My Left Nutmeg, and I'm going to repost the videos from the MLN article:

Ventura on waterboarding

This pretty much sums up the insanity of trying to justify waterboarding as, not an instrument of torture, but as simply a type of "enhanced interrogation".

"If waterboarding is OK, then why don't we let our police do it?"
- Jesse Ventura on "The View"

Ventura later asks, why do we only seem to waterboard Muslims?

I still think Ventura is kind of nutty, but occasionally he cuts through the static and makes a crystal clear point that gets right to the heart of the matter. Good work, governor.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Alpert to announce tomorrow at 10AM

Continuing the developing saga of Merrick Alpert, the attorney and CEO who is interested in running for senate, and I spoke to his press secretary today and she told me that he will announce his challenge to Sen. Chris Dodd from Alpert's home in Mystic at 10AM tomorrow.

In a weird development, Alpert's former boss was quoted as saying that he thinks Alpert shouldn't run.

Here's the statement from Jonathan Pelto in The Hill blog:
"I'm surprised, even a bit stunned, that my former intern Merrick Albert is interested in running against Chris Dodd, let alone that he believes he is prepared to serve as Connecticut's United States Senator.

"I've known Merrick for more than 20 years. He worked as my legislative intern when he was a student at Trinity College and later helped with various political campaigns. Always eager and ambitious, everyone who has ever worked with Merrick knows that he's always wanted to run for political office. Hopefully, he'll reconsider this strange decision and focus instead on getting his political career underway by running for a position that he is more qualified for like state representative or state senator."
In fairness to Mr. Alpert, Jon Pelto is a longtime Democratic insider, who is obviously a dedicated Chris Dodd supporter.

The weird thing is how Pelto's statement seems to echo many similar remarks that were conveyed to Ned Lamont when he began his upstart political challenge that upset Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary and forced Lieberman to form his own party and run as an independent in order to preserve his seat.

Then, in the Hartford Courant blog Capitol Watch, former Greenwich First Selectman Roger Pearson (a rarity for a Democrat in a very Republican town) spoke up in support of Alpert's candidacy, saying:
"I think Merrick deserves a lot of credit for sticking his neck out,'' Pearson said Monday. "To Jonathan Pelto, I say this: Was little known Vice President Harry Truman, a bankrupt haberdasher, ready to become President when FDR died suddenly during World War II? And whatever happened to that community activist from Chicago who wanted to lead this nation during its worst and continuing financial crisis since The Great Depression? Doesn't that great old political adage "Time for a Change" ring true for Democrats as well as Republicans, especially since we're talking about an entrenched 30-year incumbent who has terribly lost his way to the detriment of the people he is charged with serving?"
I'll have more on Merrick Alpert tomorrow. Stay tuned.

More on Merrick Alpert

John over at CT Blue has more on Alpert's candidacy.

This is from his article:
Merrick is on our town committee. I first met him several years ago, when I got the distinct impression that he was interested in running for the House seat that Joe Courtney now holds. He backed off, for whatever reason. That seat is now beyond the reach of any Democrat, so I guess if you’re a Southeastern Connecticut Democrat with lofty ambitions of a federal kind, Dodd is as good a target as any.


As our Town Chairman, Betsy Moukawsher remarked to me, this sort of explains why Merrick has been evasive about running for Town Council, which we’ve been urging him to do. He has bigger fish to fry.
BTW, CT Blue is one of my favorite blogs on the local political scene, with very reasoned commentary and an understated style that contrasts nicely with a goofy blog like this one. I strongly recommend making it a regular stop on your daily blog roundup.

Alpert's website posted an update this morning:
This morning Merrick Alpert filed the Statement of Organization (Form 1) with the Federal Elections Commission. He will file the Statement of Candidacy (Form 2) with the Federal Elections Commission on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 when he formally announces his candidacy for the United States Senate from Connecticut.
This morning the Hartford Courant finally picked up on the story that I reported here first.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Primary challenger to Dodd will announce

According to his website, lawyer & CEO Merrick Alpert intends to announce on Monday that he'll seek the Democratic nomination for Senate in the 2010 election.

From his website:
Merrick Alpert | May 18, 2009

Welcome. The website is up. The office is operational. The countdown starts! Today we inform the media of our plans. Tomorrow the journey begins. I look forward to sharing every step of this journey with you. This blog will be the ultimate behind the scenes look at the campaign. For a more casual view of the campaign, join me on facebook, twitter, and flickr to see up-to-date candid photos, daily on-the-road videos, and what really goes on at the ground level.
It'll be very interesting to see what Alpert brings to the table in a contest against the firmly established five-term incumbent Sen. Chris Dodd.

More details later.

UPDATE - Alpert's Youtube video:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What I'm doing today

...and tomorrow, too. Sanding the hull to get it into racing shape. Three days until launch, then I retire the Tyvec suit and the dust mask (not shown) for the season.

(disclaimer: that's a photo from May camera is being shipped back after warranty repair, so I won't have any new photos until sometime next week)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thank Joe Lieberman

If you're ever late with your payment for the water or electric bill, and your credit card interest rate suddenly zooms to 35.9% on your outstanding balance, you now have someone you can thank for it.

Sen. Joe Lieberman.

(Laughing all the way to the bank!)

In a procedural vote on capping credit card interest rates at 15%, Joe Lieberman sided with ALL the Republicans (save one, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa), along with 20 Senate Democrats to easily defeat the amendment.

Sen. Chris Dodd supported the amendment and voted in favor of limiting those usurious and ridiculous penalties, commonly known as "universal default". This is a wicked practice that the deregulated banking industry uses to fleece borrowers of their money in the event of being late on nearly ANY bill, not simply their credit card payment.

Which means you can be diligent about paying your monthly vig (hey, if the banks are going to act like loan sharks, I'm going to use the nomenclature that fits), but if your gas bill is a week late, they can immediately smack you with the penalty rate; not only on new purchases, but also on your current balance even if you're in good standing!

While this amendment didn't address the practice, it would have lessened the financial squeeze that universal default puts upon borrowers. Usually the clause is hidden in the tiny print on that two or three page "terms & conditions" document that requires you be a financial wizard to decipher.

But good ol' Sen. Joe found yet another way to "stick it" to all those voters who didn't "stick with" him back in 2006. And, he also punished those who did, but in the parlance of government, they were unavoidable "collateral damage".

Now, I'm not gonna let those Democrats who voted against the amendment off the hook. Here's a list of the guilty parties:

Tom Carper (DE)
Maria Cantwell (WA)
Robert Byrd (WV - will this guy ever retire?)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Evan Bayh (IN)
Max Baucus (MT)
Daniel Akaka (HI)
Mark Warner (VA)
Jon Tester (MT)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Arlen Specter (PA - this guy isn't a Democrat; he's a sleazy Republican Incumbent who desperately wants to retain his seat at all costs. I hope he gets primaried HARD! by a true Democratic candidate)
Jeanne Shaheen (NH)
Mark Pryor (AR)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Bill Nelson (FL)
Patty Murray (WA)
Blanche Lincoln (AR)
Joseph I. Lieberman (CT - of course)
Mary Landrieu (LA - of courser)
Ted Kaufman (DE - both DE Dems voted NO of coursest)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Kay Hagan (NC)

Shame on you all.

But Bravo to Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) for introducing the measure, and for Chuck Grassley for having the balls to vote against the GOP obstructionists.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

DFA Health Care forum Q&A

I decided to put together the entire video of the Q&A session at last week's DFA health care discussion, even though the audio isn't as clear as I'd like because the audience members asking the questions weren't mic'd. In some cases I was able to swivel the camera around and point the shotgun mic at them, making them a bit more audible. And I edited the audio track to boost the levels when they asked the questions, and it helped.

Enough with the geek talk. Here's the video:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Full video from DFA health care forum

Sunday the health care industry offered a voluntary $2 trillion cost-cutting measure to help fund President Obama's health care proposal. This is a step in the right direction by an industry that often seems at odds with the administration over how to administer the proposed national health care solution. I'm sure much more needs to be addressed, but it certainly seems to be encouraging news.

This 39:35 video contains the full address given by Jim Dean, Tom Swan and Ned Lamont at last week's DFA health care forum.

I may upload the Q&A portion of the event, although the audio quality on the audience members asking the questions wasn't very good. Here's a tip: at future events, it's a good idea to either give the questioner a mic, or the person responding should repeat the question over the PA system. But I may still upload it, because there were some good parts; I'll have to review it later (I'm working on my boat today).

On a purely technical note, I've gone to widescreen on my videos. While this event doesn't seem to require 16x9, the Q&A session definitely looks better with the three speakers seated side by side. I'm going to work mostly in widescreen by now.

And the wireless lavaliere mic that delivered such clear audio is because of a great find on eBay courtesy of CT Blogger. Thanks muchly pal!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

White House Correspondents Dinner videos

Here's a quick link to the article at The Huffington Post that has two videos from last night's annual event.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

DFA Health Care forum in New Haven

Democracy For America sponsored a forum on health care reform at the New Haven Lawn Club on Wednesday, featuring Jim Dean (DFA), Tom Swan (CCAG), and Ned Lamont.

The Lawn Club is a very fancy place, and DFA provided coffee and a number of very sumptuous looking cakes, which annoyed me greatly because I'm still on my diet so I only had some black coffee.

(And if Paul Bass reports what I was drinking, let the record show it was a club soda with a slice of lime only!)

Here are three videos with remarks by Jim, Tom, and Ned. The full video of their entire remarks will be posted later. The audio on the Q&A portion of the evening was quite poor, so I might not bother uploading that part of the video.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Stormy Daniels continues listening tour

(Yes, only serious stories here on!)

Adult film star Stormy Daniels was initially reluctant to seek the Senate seat in Lousiana, but having recently hit 30 (which is like 105 in porn star years), Ms. Daniels is hitting the road for a statewide "listening tour".

As I wrote back in February, she was the subject of a new website attempting to draft her into the race. Now she's seriously considering challenging Diaper Dave Vitter, the Republican senator with an alleged proclivity for hookers and infantilism.

She still hasn't committed to a party, so it will be interesting to see if she decides to seek the Democratic nomination, or will primary the Republican Vitter next year.

(Boy, anytime I want to see a spike in my hits, all I need to do is mention "Stormy Daniels"! Get ready for daily Stormy Daniels updates here on ConnecticutStormyBobDaniels.Com!)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Specter out-Liebermans Lieberman

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-, D-, Who Knows-PA) has learned his lessons well from fellow turncoat incumbent Joe Lieberman (D-, ID-, R-, Who Knows-CT).

When faced with an overwhelming primary threat from within his own party, Specter immediately sold them out and lept into the somewhat welcoming arms of the opposition party. Unlike Connecticut, Pennsylvania has a "sore loser" law that makes it impossible for the loser of a primary to then seek to win the election as a petitioning candidate.

So he admitted that he switched parties, not out of some miraculous change of ideology, but for simple self-preservation. Never underestimate the shameless ambition of an incumbent threatened by a strong primary challenge!

At least Specter was honest about his naked desire to hang onto his office, whereas Joe Lieberman embraced the GOP after repeatedly swearing during the general election that nobody wanted to see a Democrat win the 2008 election more than he. Then he immediately stabbed the Democratic Party in the back and enthusiastically supported McCain in repayment for the GOP's funding of his second chance at keeping his seat.

So Specter became a Democrat. But while doing so, he stated that he wouldn't be a "loyal Democrat"; this raised a few eyebrows.

Then the very first thing Specter did as a newly Democratic senator was to vote AGAINST the Democratic budget. More eyebrows elevated.

And then just yesterday, Specter stated in the NY Times that, "There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner."

You've GOT to be kidding me!

OK, now I'm convinced he's just fucking with us.

Well done, Senator, you got us! You're quite the joker, that's for sure. I had no idea you were such a scamp, Arlen.

However, on the off-chance you're NOT joking...

...well, there's a very good Democrat in PA who's rumored to be making noises about a possible primary against the long-time-until-last-week Republican:

Congressman Joe Sestak (PA-7)

We may be seeing a lot more of him next year.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Entire discussion with Chris Dodd

Here's the entire 54-minute discussion between Sen. Dodd and local bloggers, taped on May 3rd at the Playwright in New Haven.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sen. Dodd meets with bloggers

Chris Dodd's staff set up a meeting between the senator and local bloggers at the Playwright Pub in New Haven today to discuss the issues.

Bloggers representing My Left Nutmeg, the New Haven Independent/CT News Junkie, CT Local Politics, and of course, Connecticut Bob were in attendance. In the informal setting we were able to ask the senator questions and discuss his answers at length. The meeting lasted about an hour.

Tomorrow I'll hopefully have the complete video online, but for today I'm posting two short videos of Senator Dodd answering a question about his possible run in 2010, and accountability for the Bush era's policy of torturing enemy detainees.

Torture & the Rule of Law:

The 2010 Question:

The meeting was very informative and constuctive, and we look forward to continuing this sort of open dialogue with Sen. Dodd and all our elected officials.

Too little, and definitely too late

Big whoop. Like we already didn't know what he was doing.

The fact that Joe Lieberman is continually rewarded for his bad behavior shouldn't amaze me, but it does.

Hunter S. Thompson once said that "politics is the art of controlling your environment."

Mr. Lieberman is an accomplished artisan in that realm.

In a more upbeat news story, did anyone see the Kentucky Derby yesterday? Holy shit! What a thrilling race! It almost makes me want to spend an afternoon at Belmont betting on the races.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Reaching my goal

As I mentioned in a previous article, one of my New Year's resolutions was to absolutely lose thirty pounds this year, no matter what. I joked about how much it was gonna hurt to have to cut my leg off sometime around Christmas.

Well, it turns out that won't be necessary. This week, after dieting intensely for 12 weeks, I officially reached the forty pound mark!

Besides dieting (if you need to know, I signed on for the NutriSystem diet, which happens to work great for me, but this isn't a plug for it; your results may vary), I stopped drinking beer and scotch (for the first month anyway, and then only drank one or two alcoholic beverages on rare social occasions), bought and used an exercise bike an average of 30 minutes a day, drink about 128 oz. of water daily (yes, that's a gallon; one day I counted my bathroom trips: fifteen!), and basically cut out anything that wasn't absolutely healthy.

One thing I've learned is that the second most boring thing in the world (other than reading about it) is listening to someone talking about their diet. I quickly learned to respond with "yes, thanks" if someone asked if I'm losing weight, and I now only get into details if they follow up with an inquiry for more info.

Otherwise, I would see their eyes glaze over when I described the sheer bliss of munching on fresh cantaloupe for breakfast, or the wonders of listening to the birds chirping while working out at 6 in the morning on my screened-in front porch. So, if you decide to abandon this post right here, I won't take it personally.

BTW, this will be my only "diet-related" post, so if you want to discuss it or if you have specific questions, feel free to email me (email address on sidebar) or leave a comment on below this article.

Giving up the booze was easier than I expected, especially for someone like me who really loves the stuff. The initial few days of the diet was a real shock to the system, but as my body acclimated to it, I began to be hungry less and get fuller on the small portions. I learned that fresh fruit and salads taste awesome, and now I eat plenty of both every day.

I began with the required 64 oz. of water per day, but learned on the Nutrisystem discussion board that a better amount of water for losing weight is 1/2 oz. per pound of body weight. I found that if I took out four of the 1/2 liter disposable water bottles, I could drink them, then refill them and drink those to get my gallon per day. Also, I drink it at room temperature. Freezing cold water from the fridge doesn't seem to go down as easily. You do get used to it. Besides the water, pretty much the only other thing I drink is my morning coffee, black with a little Splenda in it. I simply cannot function sans caffeine!

By reducing my daily caloric intake from the roughly 3,500 a day I was consuming to around 1,600, plus working out, there was no way that I couldn't lose the weight quickly. Of course, nutrition is critical, so I made sure I got enough sources of vitamins, protein, low-glycemic carbs, some fats, and fiber. The eating habits I'm learning now will hopefully last a lifetime.

One thing I noticed is that I froze all winter! My body wasn't generating the heat it used to, and there were times I couldn't type well because my hands were blocks of ice from the 63 degree temperature in our house during the heating-oil months. Boy, you can't imagine how fucking happy I am that Spring finally got here! Working out also warmed me up. But there were times when Joyce would get home and I'd be sitting in front of the computer wearing a knit hat and ski gloves! Don't even bother trying to work a touch pad wearing gloves!

This week I see the doctor for my 50,000 mile tune-up. The last time I saw him he recommended that I start losing weight (actually, I'm convinced that every doctor says that to everyone.) I can't wait to leap upon the scale and see his reaction!

I'm hoping to top fifty pounds at some point before switching onto a program of maintenance and healthy eating. The real challenge of course is going to be keeping the weight off. Hopefully, the mindset I've adopted will stick with me and I'll continue to behave like a "pseudo-Republican", in that when it comes to eating food that's bad for you, I've become "The Party of No"!

(c' didn't think I could be serious for an entire post, did you?)

And now, back to our regularly scheduled mediocrity...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Dan Malloy explains FoxNews's hypocrisy

Last night Dan Malloy appeared at the Milford Democratic Town Committee meeting and covered a variety of issues in great detail as part of his potential run for governor to an appreciative gathering.

During the Q&A portion of the talk, Mike Brown asked Dan about his famous appearance on "Fox & Friends". Malloy launched into an amusing anecdote (video below) that explained the sad and pathetic attempt at a very typical FoxNews "gotcha" that distorted the facts for their own political agenda.

Now that you know the background, here's the original interview:

BTW, my new Fujifilm J10 digital camera I bought to replace my old one with the busted LCD display has a big audio problem when recording video; it has a static/roaring sound. So the 50 frickin' minutes of video I shot last night is completely unusable. I can't tell you how pissed I am about that. And now I have to return the camera.

Thankfully, Chris from taped the talk and posted the video up above early today, saving the day for me. Good job on the video!