Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bye Billy

I cannot remember a week with more celebrity deaths than the past 7 days -- Ed McMahon, Farrah, MJ, Fred Travalena, Gayle Storm and on Sunday, one Billy Mays.

If you have not caught it yet, his show with Anthony Sullivan, with whom he worked in direct response marketing -- Pitchmen -- is terrific. It is a behind the scenes look at how they choose products, test market them, design the pitch, film the demo, and then test the commercial in key markets and time slots to see which products ultimately get the thumbs up or the thumbs down.

Mr. Kirby teaches marketing in high school, and has used the show to teach his students the marketing process. The thing I really liked about Billy was that he was in on the joke. He could goof on himself and laugh all the way to the bank. What a shame he didn't get much time to enjoy it.

Here are a couple of laughs for you
ESPN 360 commercial

Appearances on Tonight Show

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ricci Reversed

In a 5-4 decision today, SCOTUS decided that the city of New Haven acted inappropriately when the city threw out the results of a promotion test for firefighters when the African-American candidates did not score high enough to be eligible for promotion. The city feared the test was unfair (not intentionally, but perhaps by accident), but the Court said that they could only throw it out if they thought they would get sued, and could prove they thought they would lose in court. Kennedy, the new swing vote since O'Connor is gone, went with the conservative 4 this time.

When the appellate court upheld New Haven's right to throw out the test, they were acting on judicial precedent. This decision by SCOTUS could be called "legislating from the bench" since it breaks new ground and is said to be more broad than expected...but I think that term only applies to justices nominated by Democratic presidents.

I have taken courses in item writing and have written test questions for the national board licensing exam to become a registered nurse. The content of these exams is based on a national study of what RNs actually do in their jobs, so that the content matches the workplace expectations and knowledge requirements -- not some company's idea of what's important. Each question is carefully tested to make sure it is not misunderstood or a "gotcha" and that it is a fair question, directly related to successful practice.

Would be nice if firefighters could rely on the same type of exam testing and validation that RNs do. This is an awful decision -- New Haven did the right thing.

For more....
Dahlia Lithwick of Slate
SCOTUS opinion (PDF)
Jonathan Turley's blog
SCOTUS blog here is analysis re: Sotomayor, here is the SCOTUS wiki on the case, with analysis of the opinion to come

Ricci Backgrounder

The Supreme Court will be handing down the last decisions of the term today. The most noteworthy is Ricci v. DeStefano, the case in which a white firefighter sued the city of New Haven when the city threw out a promotion exam because there were not enough minority candidates among the top scorers. And oh, by the way, one of the three appellate court judges was Sonia Sotomayor. [changed from: the appellate court judge was -- thank you, oldswede for the clarification]

I'll have analysis of the decision later today, but want to refer you to a terrific analysis of the case, the history of the promotion exam in New Haven, and other important background info from Slate, written by Emily Bazelon and Nicole Allen. Check out all 4 parts.

Off sailing

I'm taking a little time off for the pre-July 4th holiday week. Be sure to visit some of the other fine blogs listed on my sidebar. And have yourselves a safe and fun Independence Day!

My good friend Kirby has offered to fill in some of the blogging duties this week (yay!), so be sure to stop in and say "Hi!" Hopefully we'll be seeing much more of her writing in the coming months!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Five Dem senators vote No on budget

Democratic Senators Joan Hartley of Waterbury, Bob Duff of Norwalk, Gayle Slossberg of Milford, Ed Meyer of Guilford, and Paul Doyle of Wethersfield voted against the state budget, which passed anyway and was also passed by a great majority in the House. The bill is expected to be vetoed by Gov. Rell.

Sadly, I'll be unavailable next week, so I won't get a chance to ask Milford Senator Gayle Slossberg about her vote on the budget. But judging from her statements quoted by Christine Stuart over at CT News Junkie, it sounds like Sen. Slossberg wants to see even more cuts to the already greatly pared-down services the state provides under the new budget:
Following the vote, Slossberg said she didn’t think the budget struck the right balance between spending cuts and tax increases. She said she would like to see more spending cuts and fewer tax increases.

“It’s not at a level I felt comfortable with,” Slossberg said.
A person named Carolyn commented on Christine's story, and I think she conveys my way of thinking on this matter better than I can, so I'll let her words do the talking. Although I'm not a big fan of biblical passages in most discussions (because I've seen them used too many times for the wrong reasons) in this case it seems relevant.

BTW, this may be the first biblical quote that's ever appeared on this blog. Which is long overdue, as I've been an ordained ULC minister for nearly 20 years. So if anyone reading this wants to get gay-married, give me a call!
My husband and I earn a combined salary of approximately $1.25 million/year. We studied hard, saved hard, and worked long hours to get where we are. We are proud of our success.

And we strongly resent people in our positions who, out of selfishness or greed or insecurity or who knows what, are unwilling to pay a few thousand more dollars a year in taxes to help those less fortunate than themselves.

In our family, we have know these words:

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." -1 Timothy 6:17-19

And we act upon them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wow! Just frickin' Wow!

Gov. Rell signed the Senate Vacancy Bill!

Christine Stuart at CT News Junkie has the scoop:
In an unexpected move, Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed the US Senate vacancy bill which takes away the governor’s power to appoint someone to a vacant US Senate seat.
In other news: up is down, the sun rose in the west this morning, and Sen. Lieberman has taken the Ambassadorship to Iran!

(Disclaimer: those last ones aren't true...but the Rell's signing of the vacancy bill is. Holy fucking shit! Now I'm gonna have to be nice to her for a while! I feel like the confused robot Nomad in the Star Trek episode "The Changling"!)

God, Guns & Money

(I'm currently reading a biography of the late, great Warren Zevon, and the tune from "Lawyers, Guns and Money" was going through my head when I wrote that headline.)

Photo: Jim Winn for The New York Times - Ken Pagano, the pastor at New Bethel Church, prepared to try a Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun at a shooting range.

OK, these guys are getting ridiculous!

Via FDL, an article in the NY Times discusses a preacher who encourages his flock to bring their guns to church:
Ken Pagano, the pastor of the New Bethel Church here, is passionate about gun rights. He shoots regularly at the local firing range, and his sermon two weeks ago was on “God, Guns, Gospel and Geometry.” And on Saturday night, he is inviting his congregation of 150 and others to wear or carry their firearms into the sanctuary to “celebrate our rights as Americans!” as a promotional flier for the “open carry celebration” puts it.
The gun-nut culture in America, driven to dizzying heights of hysteria not seen since the infamous 1938 broadcast by Orson Welles of "War of the Worlds", has been mightily pushing the imaginary threat to gun rights ever since Barack Obama took office.

If you believe their hype, the president is definitely going to strip the Constitution of the 2nd Amendment and lock up any law-abiding citizen who dares to possess any weapon with a striking power greater than a Dennis the Menace-style slingshot. The NRA has capitalized on the hysteria by fanning those flames, and they've seen a 30% increase in membership since November.

Now the reality.

Here's a list of all the gun-restriction laws that Obama has signed into law since taking office:

(insert sound of crickets here)

In fact, President Obama recently signed legislation allowing guns into national parks, reversing a longtime ban that gun owners have campaigned to remove for years.

Even President George W. Bush, gun-lover that he was, didn't compel his rubber-stamp Republican Congress to remove the ban! And he had six solid years of Congress doing exactly what he wanted. Bush was thrilled to keep guns out of parks. It took a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President to deliver that little Easter egg into the gun owner's collective basket!

And there currently isn't much push by Congress to even reinstate the lapsed assault weapons ban, which restricted some types of assault weapons in an effort to reduce the amount of tactical weaponry owned by people who are occasionally inclined to shoot up a church, school, or fast-food restaurant.

Rest assured, an American's God-given right to slaughter large amounts of innocent people for no good reason is preserved.

Regardless of the reality, the election of President Obama is the absolute best thing that could have ever happened to the National Rifle Association. I'm sure their numbers from this year will far exceed anything they've done in the past. Money is literally pouring into the organization.

The NRA has become perhaps the most successful lobbying group in history. I feel they are poised to reach a pinnacle that other PACs can only dream of...they're about to become bigger than the issue that they represent. Soon, the growth and financial health of the NRA will be it's own biggest goal.

The worst thing that could happen to the NRA is for the Supreme Court to definitively rule that all manner of guns and gun ownership is completely and irrevocably legal and shall never be abridged in any way, shape or form.

The sound of lobbyists hitting the sidewalk would echo from sea to shining sea!

(Disclaimer: as I've often mentioned in the past, I've been a legal gun owner for many years, and I possess a valid State of Connecticut Pistol carry permit.)

Saturday ProChoice House Party in Milford

(Photo from Jim Himes' primary victory party in 2008)

From My Left Nutmeg announcements page:

NARAL ProChoice House Party with the Sound of the Long Island Sound

Celebrating MLNer Mike Brown's election to the Board of Directors.

Please Join NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut at the home of Michael V. Brown and Tessa Marquis with a beautiful view of the Long Island Sound. High Tide is at 3:37PM.

To celebrate the acceptance of Mike Brown onto the Board of Directors of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut and to learn about the organization.

"Dedicated to supporting the rights of girls and women for comprehensive and accurate health education, access to birth control and information resources, and preservation of the right to a safe and legal abortion when needed."

Suggested Donation: Only $20! ...or more if you can spare it.

Food and libations provided.

Phone: 203-878-8577
Email: info@pro-choicect.org

If you RSVP I will know how much food to cook!
67 Point Beach Drive
Milford, CT

When: 04:00 AM - 06:00 PM
(I think Tessa meant 4:00 PM, but if you want to show up at the crack of dawn, feel free! LOL!)

* * * UPDATE! * * *

Apparently, I'm a "snarky wildebeest"! (see comments)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My upcoming vacation

I'll be taking a vacation soon.

Because I need to do something "exotic".

I'll be, uhhh...hiking on the Appalachian Trail!

Yeah, that's the ticket!

My motto is "Be Prepared," just like the Boy Scouts! I already have everything I need:
my passport (in case I forget to stop at the end and hike into Canada by mistake)

Ten grand in traveler's cheques (Dinty Moore Beef Stew has gotten expensive these days...hey, didja catch my subtle international spelling of "checks"?)

a dozen condoms (you never know when you'll run into a horny grizzly!)

and a size 6 negligee (ditto!)
All set!

Oh shit, waitaminute!!!

I just remembered...I'm taking my wife!

OK, I guess I'm going to go sailing instead!

Anyway, it's more fun and way less stressful; and it will significantly lessen the possibility of having to issue an embarrassing and humiliating public apology!

(...although...considering the way I sometimes handle the boat, it might STILL be required!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This is gonna be a juicy story

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has returned to an Atlanta airport from his little mystery jaunt, according to a CNN report this morning. Sanford allegedly told his family and most of his staff that he was taking a few days to hike the Appalachian Trail, in an effort to "clear his head for a few days."

Instead, he parked his car full of his "hiking gear" at an Atlanta airport and he flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina because he said he wanted a more "exotic" trip.


From CNN.com:
"I wanted to do something exotic. It's a great city," said Sanford of his five-day getaway that appeared to leave his entire staff and family in the dark about his whereabouts. Sanford also said no one else accompanied him on the trip.
Buenos Aires is a popular destination spot. It has many interesting sights, a thriving tourist trade, popular churches and historical buildings, and a number of museums where the governor could have learned more about Argentinian culture.

Yeah, right!

Listen, I'm not going to make any definitive accusations here, but if I was going to bet on the real reason for his trip to Buenos Aires without even telling his poor wife (and over frickin' Father's Day weekend to boot!), I'd put my money on the likelihood that it had something to do with the governor surreptitiously exchanging bodily fluids with someone to whom he isn't married.

Hey, I could be totally off-base here. Who knows? This is a bet I'd actually like to lose, but I can't help but suspect that we're talking about a potential "Client 10" here.

UPDATE: I was right.

UPDATE II: Here's what I think Sanford's little Argentinian concubine probably looks like, but only because of her shirt:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A local angle on Obama's Cairo trip

VagabondBlogger, a long time reader and commenter of this blog, is presently living in Cairo. The Nutmeg native has an entertaining blog that deals with politics and classic Volkswagons.

She received tickets to President Obama's speech in Cairo, and then wrote about the experience, with plenty of online photos.

Click on the link above to read her observations, and be sure to see her entire photo set on Flickr.

Thanks VB, for the interesting write-up and images!

Monday, June 22, 2009

John Hodgman at the Correspondents' Dinner

Somehow I missed this video from the 2009 Radio and TV Correspondents' Dinner. Mr. Hodgman roasted the president for being a "nerd", referencing his place in popular culture and passion for comics and science fiction.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I’m addicted to “Twitter-Blogging”. What should we call it? Twigging? Blottering? Whatever. It’s challenging to write a coherent post when -

Tweeting for Democracy

Freedom riots in Tehran. The gov't is cracking down on media coverage. Internet reporting reigns. This will be known as The Twitter Uprising.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Things to tweet in Buffalo when you're bored

Buffalo is sort of nice, especially near the University.

Of Buffalo!

I didn't even know there WAS one!

This may be my last Tweet from Buffa-

I'm a geek, get me outta here!

I’m hoping to finally get sprung from this rotten job in Buffalo. It’s not all THAT bad. I’m in a fancy three-star hotel, and except for the -

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's like digital haiku

Twitter is sort of like haiku. Except you only need worry about 140 characters, not the number of syllables on each line. But I have to say-

Still tweeting from Buffalo

Still stuck in Buffalo on a job. My grammar checker hates that sentence. Twitter is killing grammar as we know it. I think it’s 140 charact-

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A "tweet" from CTBob

I am in Buffalo today for work. I probably won’t be online much until tomorrow. I’m in “Twitter-mode” for this post. That’s 140 characters.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Peter Schiff: proud to be a non-voter

Peter Schiff, another possible Republican challenger in the already crowded field of GOPers who hope to unseat Sen. Chris Dodd, has publicly admitted that he doesn't vote(!)

From Roll Call (via DailyKos):
In an interview with Roll Call, Schiff said he was new to politics and only recently registered as a Republican in Weston.

“I don’t know when the last time I voted was,” Schiff said. “You can’t blame me for any of the politicians. I didn’t vote for them.”
You're dead wrong, Mr. Schiff; you're EXACTLY the kind of person to blame if you are unhappy with your elected representatives!

You ARE the problem!

For a guy exploring a possible run for the Senate, he demonstrates the very antithesis of what a responsible voter should be! And he says so unashamedly!

I'm sure he'll be a big hit with the teabaggers and the anti-Dodd Republicans, because they've aptly shown their abdication of responsibility for the years of terrible leadership by Bush/Cheney that allowed all the excesses Congress is being forced to deal with today. But the FoxNews-sponsored so-called "populist anti-tax" movement is taking in lots of suckers and low-information voters (and non-voters, apparently) who can't think for themselves.

Oh yeah, one more thing...I remember another guy who didn't vote.

We all know how well THAT turned out for him!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another loser gets his photo taken

...by the Connecticut State Police, that is.

Say "cheese", moron!

Right-wing blogger/internet talker Hal Turner was arrested on a felony count of inciting injury to person or property for his words that allegedly encouraged people to "take up arms" against several state lawmakers, who he referred to as "the tyranny".

Turner, an alleged anti-Semite and white supremacist, was apparently angered by proposed legislation that would have forced Roman Catholic Church governors to be more accountable to their lay people.

The murder of Dr. George Tiller in his Wichita, Kansas church is a prime example of what happens when the hate speech of the far right is allowed to go unchecked. Even GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin seems to have given her tacit approval for the violence against doctors practicing a legal and necessary procedure when she refused to consider the act of bombing abortion clinics "terrorism".

From an article about an interview with Palin on MSNBC last September:
Palin resisted the suggestion that if (former Weatherman William) Ayers was a “domestic terrorist” — a standard line in her campaign addresses — then so were conservative religious activists who bombed abortion clinics.

“I don’t know if you’re going to use the word ‘terrorist’ there,” she said.
So let's recap: bombing an ROTC building is terrorism; bombing abortion clinics is something less serious...perhaps a prank gone wrong, or a stern complaint over poor service or something like that.

I don't dispute the fact that bombing an ROTC building is indeed terrorism, but I equally conclude that bombing an abortion clinic falls unequivocally within the definition of terrorism also.

Sarah Palin, like too many far-right figures, don't seem to come to that same conclusion.

And, for the record, Ayers was never prosecuted for any Weather Underground activities.

Just yesterday, a security guard paid with his life to protect people in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, when an 88-year-old white supremacist who stepped into the museum with a rifle and began firing.

Unrestrained hate speech that specifically targets individuals or groups for violence does not fall under the First Amendment protections in the Constitution. Just as someone yelling "Fire" in a crowded movie theater is committing a crime (unless the theater in question is actually ON fire, in which case the person would be a hero), they don't have the right to encourage violence upon those they disagree with philosophically.

As a blogger, I'm very aware of the personal responsibility I have for the words I write. I occasionally agonize over the wording of a particular thought, especially when the issue is emotionally charged. But I'm cognizant of the fact that even certain colorful metaphors can be taken the wrong way, and I tend to err on the side of restraint when I feel I'm getting too close to the line.

Of course, I take significantly less pains in regard to moderating taste, foul language, and sophomoric observations...but I guess that's my personal cross to bear!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dodd fills in for Ted on Health Care

Sen. Chris Dodd has been working tirelessly on the issue of health care reform, taking the helmsman's position left by Sen. Ted Kennedy, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

Matt Browner-Hamlin discusses the issue on his blog Hold Fast:
I know that Senator Dodd would want nothing more than for his dear friend Ted Kennedy to be healthy and driving healthcare reform himself from HELP (ed: Kennedy’s "Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions" Committee). But Dodd’s leadership in his absence has been tremendous and it’s good to finally see it recognized, if even in passing, by the Times (ed: NY Times article).

I think a landmark piece of healthcare legislation that includes a public health insurance option will pass this year. And when it does, its passage will only have been possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of Senator Chris Dodd to improve the lives of all Americans by ensuring they have the healthcare they need and deserve.
Sen. Dodd and the rest of the Democrats face a tough battle getting the legislation enacted. Republican obstructionists have sworn to oppose any attempt to pass meaningful health care; and pseudo-Democrats like Sen. Joe Lieberman have even gone beyond simple obstruction and vowed to block everything the Senate does unless they capitulate to his dearest wish, which basically protects those responsible for making the systematic torture of prisoners of war a matter of official United States policy!

Sen. Dodd faces all that, along with the specter of a vastly watered-down bill resulting from the feeble and inept Senate leadership by Sen. Harry Reid, who will likely go down in history as the weakest and lamest Majority Leader the Senate has seen in the modern era.

But we can all take heart in knowing that Chris Dodd is a fighter who will never back down from the catcalls of the opposition, and who indeed seems to gain strength from those who try to detract from the true business of the Senate, which is to serve the people of the United States.

Here's a reminder of what Sen. Dodd's job is:

Sen. Lieberman's job, apparently, is protecting war criminals! Shameful.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Lieberman threatens to impede Senate

The pissy fit by "friend of torturers" Joe Lieberman has begun!

With his GOP soul mate and BFF Lindsey Graham at his side, Joe Lieberman is confidently stepping up to throw a wrench into the works of government. This just in from Roll Call:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threatened to hold up any and all legislation in the Senate until Congress passes its legislation to prohibit the release of photos showing detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We’re not going to do any more business in the Senate,” Graham said. “Nothing’s going forward until we get this right.”

Both Senators said they were alarmed that a House-Senate conference committee on the supplemental war spending bill appears poised to eliminate language — inserted by the two Senators — that would block public disclosure of detainee abuse photos. The $90-billion-plus bill has been held up, in part, because House Democratic leaders have said they do not have the votes to pass it with the detainee photo provision included, because many liberal lawmakers have balked at the language.
So, this is the absolute most important thing to our cold-blooded reptile of a junior senator!

Not health care, not the economy, not jobs, not anything else. Apparently, it's "fuck all that noise" to Lieberman.

No, the single most important thing to Joe Lieberman is to shield his favorite past-president from possible war crimes investigations, and (by the way) attempt to wipe his own bloody fingerprints off the policies that he so enthusiastically supported and indeed, helped enact!

And Harry Reid, doing his best imitation of a shit sack in a threadbare suit, is working in collusion with the toxic twins.

Jesus H. Christ! I honestly thought that when the Democrats earned such a huge majority in both houses, they'd actually do something about Lieberman.

Yep, they sure did...

...they bent over and kissed Lieberman's ass so thoroughly that he'll never get all the Chapstick out of his trousers.

Jane Hamsher over at FireDogLake has more.

Steve Fontana at the JJB Dinner

One more video; this is State Rep. Steve Fontana (87th Dist. - North Haven).

I used a couple of fancy transitions in the beginning and ending titles to spice the video up a bit. Because I'm an artist, you know. ;)

Monday, June 08, 2009

John Olsen, Mayor DeStefano at the JJB Dinner

These will probably be the last videos from the Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner for a while. Thanks to Nancy DiNardo, Chair of the Connecticut Democrats, and Justin Kronholm for arranging the press pass for the event, and we also appreciate the blogger's table that was set up next to the camera riser.

John Olsen of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, introduced by Attorney General Dick Blumenthal:

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano:

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sen. Andrew McDonald, Rep. Jason Bartlett at JJB

Two more quick videos from the JJB dinner; Senate Deputy Majority Leader Andrew McDonald (Stamford & Darien) and Rep. Jason Bartlett (Bethel, Danbury & Redding):

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Gov. Brian Schweitzer's complete JJB speech

The governor from Montana, Brian Schweitzer, was the keynote speaker at this year's Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner. The entire speech (minus about 30 seconds right before the end, when I was required to change tapes) is roughly 43 minutes long, and concludes with an entertaining auction of the governor's bolo tie.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-3) introduced the governor.

Sen. Chris Dodd - "What's tough"

A quick one-minute video in which Sen. Dodd gets directly to the point:

Friday, June 05, 2009

More JJB videos

Here's three short videos featuring Susan Bysiewicz, Dan Malloy, and Merrick Alpert.

More videos are likely over the next several days. And don't forget CT Blogger's video interview with State Democratic Chairperson Nancy DiNardo.

Susan Bysiewicz

Dan Malloy

Merrick Alpert

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Sen. Dodd's speech at the JJB Dinner

Video from the Monday night Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner of Sen. Chris Dodd giving his remarks. More videos to follow soon...

The Day Democracy Died

Remembering the time twenty years ago when China reminded the world of who and what they are. Many people seem to have forgotten what happened in Tienanmen Square. I haven't.

I'm a huge sports fanatic, and I refused to watch a single second of last year's Olympic coverage from Beijing. Yes, it was a ridiculously minor sacrifice compared to those who put their lives and their personal freedom on the line to gamble for democracy. Many of them paid a very steep price indeed.

Today China is still as underhanded and overbearing as ever, but we don't seem to care if they continue selling us cheap (and toxic) goods and loan us money.

I won't forget what happened. The day they roll in voting machines instead of tanks, I'll think about forgiving them. But I won't forget.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Impressions of the JJB Dinner

Last night was the annual Democratic Party bash in Hartford, and as usual it was a well-attended and interesting event.

I worked with CT Blogger to get interviews (but it was definitely a party, too; look at what he's holding!), and saw Christine Stuart from CT News Junkie, and finally met John Wirzbicki from CT Blue (on left, from his photo above).

Montana’s Gov. Brian Schweitzer was a big hit with the audience, and his speech was both memorable and funny. I shot nearly three hours of video last night, and I'm sure CT Blogger has a similar amount of tape to edit and upload, so (especially in my case, since I have to go on a quick business trip in about an hour) it will probably be a few days before we get video clips online.

In the meantime, here's my video, "Impressions of the JJB Dinner", which showcased the 2007 event. It's stunning to think how much has changed in the two intervening years!

Monday, June 01, 2009

MN Supreme Court hears Coleman/Franken case

This morning, the case of the never-ending Senate contest up in the slowly-thawing northlands took another step towards the inevitable conclusion, when the Minnesota Supreme Court heard arguments from attorneys representing former Senator Norm Coleman (R) and Senator-elect Al Franken (DFL).

The hearing was brief, and Phoenix Woman at FireDogLake observed thusly:
UPDATE: 10:23 am CDT -- Well, it's done. The UpTake counted up the number of questions that were asked by the Justices to each side. The reason: In the US Supreme Court, a study has shown that the more questions Justices ask of a side, the more likely a side will lose. (The UpTake didn't count the questions asked during Norm's rebuttal.) Final count: Coleman 26, Franken 18. Furthermore, the judges were at times quoting from Team Franken briefs. I think we know where this is going.
As always, The Uptake (http://theuptake.org) provides live-streaming video converage (currently replaying this morning's events) and excellent commentary. Any time someone asks what sort of things video blogging can accomplish, I always point them to The Uptake's website.