Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ralph Nader, please STFU and go away

In an AP story about a possible run for Senate here in Connecticut, consumer advocate Ralph Nader said that:
"...he is 'absorbing' the reaction he's receiving about a possible bid for the U.S. Senate, saying he wants to first gauge the level of grassroots support before making a decision."
You want a reaction, Ralph? Well, here it is:

"Just shut the fuck up and go away!"

I used to be a huge fan of yours, Ralph. You've done a lot of amazing things for consumer safety and helped pioneer corporate oversight. For many years you were a true hero to the American people. I'm sure I speak for many when I thank you for your public service.

But you've changed, Ralph. You've become the sort of politician who appears to be in it just for his own ego. Hey, I know it's fun to talk into a microphone and have everyone in the room hang on to your every single word. I'm sure it was a huge ego boost to realize that your candidacy directly affected the outcome of the 2000 presidential election.

Congratulations. You did that, Ralph! You helped get us stuck with the toxic policies of George W. Bush for eight fucking years. While there were many other reasons the Democrats "lost" in 2000, you certainly played a significant role in that outcome. Well done, Ralphie.

But now it's time to get off that podium and just STFU. Go ahead and sell your stupid books, lecture at colleges, and make the occasional appearance on MSNBC or even Fox News if that's what floats your boat. But just stay out of the 2010 race.

You're kind of a dupe if you allow people to talk you into running under the Green Party. You know you'll get some cash, mostly from wealthy GOP supporters who have the clarity of vision to know that you'll receive most of your votes from the Democrats. For them, it's money well-spent. An investment, if you will, in winning a seat for their Republican candidate.

If putting a Republican in the Senate is your ultimate goal here, then you'll run. I can't stop you from doing that. But if you think for a nanosecond that you have even a fleeting chance of winning this thing; that you won't be anything but a spoiler for the Democrats, you've completely lost your mind! We're going into an election where every vote will count, and we likely won't be able to afford you your vanity run this time around.

I hate to have to be the one to break it to you, Ralph. Because as I said, I used to have nothing but respect for you. That is, before you turned into a vapid caricature of yourself, with a heaping dose of Liebermanesque ego and the political myopia of Neville Chamberlain.

You said "I'm just absorbing a lot of the feedback before I make a decision..."

Well, kindly absorb this little nugget of feedback, Ralph; from me to you:

"You running for Senate in 2010 will do zero good for anyone...except Ralph Nader and the GOP."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Planned Parenthood Votes!

There's a new branch of an organization in Connecticut. "Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut" advocates for reproductive rights and encourages pro-choice voters to make their voices heard:
Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut is the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. In that role, we seek to:

*Encourage and protect informed individual choice regarding reproductive health care;

*Advocate public policies which guarantee the right to choice and full and nondiscriminatory access to reproductive health care;

*Foster and preserve a social and political climate favorable to the exercise of reproductive choice;

*Promote informed citizen action in Connecticut in support of reproductive rights, sexuality education, and access to reproductive health services.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More on Lieberman's "angst"

Many bloggers seem to be picking up on Sen. Joe Lieberman's obsessive anti-Democrat attitude. People are starting to question whether the senator is truly representing what his constituents believe, or if he's simply engaging in political payback for the endless professional disappointments he's experienced over the last five or six years.

I wrote somewhat jokingly that Lieberman was suffering from a persecution complex. I say "jokingly," because I'm not exactly sure where the legal definition of "libel" stands in regard to a public person, but I'm fairly confident I haven't burned that bridge just yet!

From an article by Peter Beinart discussing Joe's swing to the right in The Daily Beast:
So why is he doing this? Because he’s bitter. According to former staffers and associates, he was upset by his dismal showing in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary. And he was enraged by the tepid support he got from many party leaders in 2006, when he lost the Democratic primary to an anti-war activist and won reelection as an independent.

Gradually, this personal alienation has eaten away at his liberal domestic views. His staff has grown markedly more conservative in recent years, and his closest friends in Congress are now Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham. For Lieberman, the personal has become political, and it has pushed him further to the right.
"Bitter", "upset" and "enraged" aren't words normally associated with an elected representative. Unless, of course, you're talking about a very angry man. And that anger has indeed pushed the "personal" to become "political".

This isn't about what you or me wants. Joe Lieberman couldn't possibly care less about either of us or his constituents in general. This is strictly the politics of rage we're talking about, the politics of payback.

I can't help but think about how badly it must have stung the senator's fragile ego last year when McCain chose that dingbat from Alaska over him as his Veep candidate. Lieberman did everything humanly possible to suck up to the GOP, and his reward was a viscous kick to the ass and an inchoate promise to make him something like Secretary of Defense should McCain have won.

The way things turned out for Lieberman fills me with an inhumane amount of schadenfreude, which I'll admit is shameful. I can't help it; I'm weak, and subject to bouts of chastisement rather than forgiveness when it comes to politicians.

However, the long-expected Democratic backlash against the senator never materialized, and Joe Lieberman somehow escaped the comeuppance he so rightly earned. I can't help but think how the Republicans would have acted when faced with a betrayal of Lieberman's magnitude. Alas, nobody will ever give Harry Reid a nickname like "The Hammer".

Anyway, two things remain certain. We'll absolutely have Joe Lieberman to kick around for a few more years; and more and more people are catching on to the senator's game of political payback. If Lieberman remains instrumental in the GOP efforts to defeat health care reform, I can only hope that Harry Reid finally wakes up and starts acting like a leader.

Back from Newport

CT Joyce and I took a couple of days off to visit Rhode Island this week. The weather was a bit iffy, but that isn't unusual for this time of year. And the areas around Aquidneck Island and Jamestown look beautiful even in the rain and mist.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How can you tell when Joe Lieberman is lying?

Whenever his lips are moving, especially in reference to the public option!

Sen. Joe Lieberman has been proven wrong on several occasions when he claimed that the public option was NOT a part of Barack Obama's campaign.

From Politico (11/19):
“It’s classic politics of our time that if you look at the campaign last year, presidential, you can’t find a mention of public option,” Lieberman said. “It was added after the election as a part of what we normally consider health insurance reform — insurance market reforms, cover people, cover people who are not covered.

In fact, the 2008 Democratic Party Platform referred to the need for a “public plan,” and candidate Barack Obama referred more than once to the idea of providing people who can’t get private insurance with government-backed insurance similar to that which members of Congress get.
So what does Joe do? He simply goes out and tells the exact same lie to anyone who will still listen to the thoroughly discredited senator.

From the HuffPo (this morning):
Lieberman is among several in the caucus who have threatened to doom the effort, and he sounded like Eeyore again Saturday night, calling the public option "an eleventh-hour addition to a debate that's gone on for decades. Nobody's ever talked about a public option before, not even in the presidential campaign last year."
He was also corrected by TPM last night.

Even following his totally begrudging vote to allow debate in the Senate, he can't stop lying. When it comes to the public option, the truth simply isn't IN the man. We're talking about a severe case of denial, pathological in nature, that leads me to think that Joe Lieberman actually fully believes his own bullshit!

That, coupled with his extreme paranoia and a vicious persecution complex (how many times has he recently mentioned what the Democrats "did to him" in 2006?) convinces me that the man has lost touch with reality, and should be examined immediately by a team of psychiatrists (paid for by his wonderful government health insurance) to see if he's still competent to serve in the US Senate.

I'm semi-serious here; this is the guy who makes decisions that affects all of us, and with his diminished mental capacity I strongly suspect he's unfit to lead the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. It's clearly apparent that Sen. Lieberman is just one tiny nudge away from going completely over the edge into sheer lunacy *.

(* The word "Lunacy" isn't a valid clinical term, and the doctors would more likely diagnose Lieberman's mental condition as "bonkers" or "nutty as a fruitcake".)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Moving forward

“The motion is agreed to!”

– Sen. Chris Dodd, Senate Chamber, November 21, 2009

More on the implications of this vote later. For now, enjoy this small victory in the larger effort to provide comprehensive health care reform for all.

Joe Lieberman to vote for cloture?

Tonight the fireworks begin at the Capitol. But the cards are firmly stacked against the Democrats in the upcoming Senate vote on health care reform.

Christine Stuart at CTNJ has a good report on the likely vote:
“Senator Lieberman will likely vote for cloture, so that the bill will be debated,” a spokesman from Lieberman’s office wrote in an email Friday evening.
Big whoop. Here's how I see it going down:

Tonight is the likely cloture vote. Joe Lieberman will vote for cloture because he already knows that it will be defeated by the uniform Republican block plus at least one conniving Democrat. Joe probably already knows this because senators talk, so he may vote in favor of cloture with complete confidence that the measure will fail. Joe Lieberman will then go on Fox News, shedding crocodile tears at the sad conclusion that America just isn't ready for health care reform.

Or, Plan B (Joe's favorite!) has cloture succeeding, giving those Democrats who are against reform some cover; but when it comes up for the final, official vote that matters, we still have the 40 GOPers, who generally hate people anyway, voting against the bill, and enough red-state Dems (and Joe, of course) tagging along to defeat the bill.

The only way Joe votes for cloture is because he knows it will die in the subsequent vote. I just don't see this thing surviving the Senate, but we'll get to hear a lot of bluster from the politicians and we'll see some dramatic television on C-SPAN.

The end result will be a failure for the long overdue reform effort, and history will portray this as a Democratic defeat remarkably similar to 1994.

And the heartless insurance companies will continue to rake in billions in profits by letting people who should be under their care die from treatable illnesses.

That's how I see it going down. I'm not very optimistic about anything good happening despite the strong efforts of Connecticut's Congressmen/woman and Sen. Dodd.

And of course, all our legislators (even those who voted against the bill) will continue to enjoy the very best health care in the world. God bless America!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More on the gathering

(Gabe and Tim)

Some observations from last night's informal Genghis Conn Appreciation Night.

This was definitely a first in the local blogosphere; a gathering of bloggers with hugely divergent political views. But much like Connecticut Local Politics itself, we managed to share a space without imploding in a spectacularly brilliant flash.

Despite our obvious ideological differences, we all enjoyed the social aspect of the evening. The political talk was generally very muted and respectful, much to my relief! It's obvious we all want the same thing (better government) but we simply have different ways of getting there.

Tim White and Gabe Rosenberg were there just as I arrived, me being a little breathless at rushing in from late work. Heath arrived soon after. Jon Kantrowitz and the notoriously camera-shy Anderson Scooper showed up. Don Pesci arrived with his wife. ACR got there a bit later with his bemused son in tow. And of course, Chris was there.

(Dennis House with Chris)

There were a number of surprises, too. Dennis House from WFSB stopped by to wish Chris well, and he gave him a mug. Dan Malloy dropped in and chatted with us for a while. Raj (I think; I'm terrible at getting names right), a new staffer for Rob Simmons joined the festivities. While there was a lot of political talk, everyone agreed that it was an "off the record" evening, where we could just kick back and enjoy ourselves.

(Dan Malloy)

I have to mention the restaurant, Eli's in Hamden, as providing us with terrific service and accommodating us pretty much on zero notice. On their specials menu they had a Wasabi Encrusted Scallops appetizer, and it was out of this world good! I wish I'd taken a picture of it.

Tim White's video from last night (thanks Tim). As you can see, I'm a complete natural on camera and don't sound anything like a stilted tongue-tied buffoon at all!
(/sarcasm off)

(L-R: Heath, Chris, ACR, Dan Malloy)

Who ever thought they'd see a photo like this? Again, everyone got along so well I was sort of stunned. After meeting many of the conservative members of CTLP last night, it's going to be much more difficult for me to be mean to them because they are really just nice people. Talk about taking the fun out of blogging!

The one bit of overt politicking during the evening was this sign that someone brought along. I'm not entirely sure if they were being ironic or not. Read the wording on the sign carefully to catch my drift.

It was a fun evening and it went off more smoothly than I'd imagined it could. I want to thank everyone for being there for Chris and for pitching in (especially so I didn't get stuck with the check!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A photo from tonight's tribute to Genghis

I just got home, and we had a great time tonight! Here's a teaser photo from the event, and I'll write about it in more detail tomorrow. Click on it to enlarge.

L to R: Tim White, Heath, Jon Kantrowitz, Chris (with a mostly obscured Raj behind him), me, Gabe, Don Pesci, and his charming wife Andree (not sure on the spelling).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An informal chat with Ned Lamont

Last night several bloggers met with Ned Lamont for a friendly chat about the current state of the political situation in Connecticut. Ned recently announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a possible run for governor in 2010.

There will likely be a low-dollar (my favorite kind!) fundraising event held in New Haven, probably at "Bar" (254 Crown St) on December 10th. As soon as I know definitely, I'll post it here; or you can bookmark and check it for details. It's a great chance to meet Ned personally and hear about his vision for our state.

(L to R: Me, Jon Kantrowitz, CT Blogger, Ned Lamont, Charles Monaco, Spazeboy)

Overall the feeling was very positive and it looks like we're in for another wild ride next year in the Nutmeg State. There was definitely a bit of an undercurrent reminiscent of that immortal line from the Blues Brothers movie:
“We’re putting the band back together!”
But I don't think we'll need to create a "KISS float" again. In 2006, Ned ran against Joe Lieberman and his toxic policies.

This time around, Ned will be running FOR exceptional leadership of our state, which (as the recent budget negotiation crisis indicated) has obviously been sorely lacking for the many years of the Rowland-Rell administrations.

Oh, and speaking of the "Blues Brothers", I found this old photo in my archives from way back in September 1979, when I was in Chicago for a week and they were filming the movie all over town. Belushi and Ackroyd were in the police cruiser shooting one of their many driving scenes. I also got photos of one of the famous cop car crash scenes during the big final chase.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Give me a break!

Apparently letting NO gesture of Barack Obama's go without criticism, the Rabid Right has wasted no time condemning the president for bowing to the Japan's emperor Akihito, in a gesture of respect and friendship that is highly valued in the Asian nation.

Can you imagine the storm of criticism that would have erupted from the Right had Obama neglected to bow? The wingnutosphere would have metaphorically detonated with cries of "Oh my god, did you see how Obama dissed the emperor?"

And lest anyone forget, I think the previous president showed quite a bit more deference to a certain foreign leader!

But for some reason THAT was completely acceptable to the wingers:

Lieberman suffers pray vigil

(Chaplain Bilal Ansari/Christine Stuart photo)

Over 500 clergy, parishioners, and residents attended a prayer vigil outside the Stamford home of Sen. Joe Lieberman last night to protest the senator's promise to block a vote on health care reform.

Christine Stuart from CT News Junkie has the detailed story and video from the event. I found it interesting that Sen. Lieberman's outspoken opposition to providing a way for people to afford health care brought Jews and Muslims together.

Lieberman, a famously Orthodox Jew, would possibly find the words of a local Rabbi especially pertinent:
“You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbors,” Rabbi Stephen Fuchs said quoting scripture. “It is with a heavy heart that I proclaim to you Senator Lieberman that that is exactly what you seem to be doing at this time.”
Chaplain Bilal Ansari of Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford was also in attendance and spoke in support of the legislation.

There was no indication that the senator was even home during the vigil, but the organizers agree that the symbolism of the event is what mattered.

UPDATE: I can't believe I made such a mistake in the title of this article. What's a "pray vigil"? Of course I meant "prayer". I'm a dope.

(now don't all rush into comments to agree!)

Here's a quick tparty video showing the long line of people marching with candles. It's quite a moving sight:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Genghis Conn Appreciation Night

In appreciation of all the superb writing and amazing work he’s done with Connecticut Local Politics, we’re planning a little NON-PARTISAN get-together for Chris Bigelow, creator and administrator of CTLP. The date is Wednesday, Nov. 18th at Eli's in Hamdem (info below).

Chris has decided to take a much deserved break from blogging and he authored this message to the readers and participants:
Okay, this is the end of the line for me; my last post here.

I’m not one to make a lengthy goodbye. I’ve said all I ever wanted to say and more on this site over the past five years… but before I go I want to thank all of the wonderful people who have written for, supported, read and commented on the site. When I started, I never thought CTLP would be what it has become, or take me to so many amazing places, and without all of you it would never have happened. Thank you all for everything. It’s been an amazing run.

I wish I had some news about what’s going to happen to the site–I’m still working that out. Once I know something definite, so will you. In the meantime, our other regulars will continue posting.

As for me, I’m active on Facebook, head over there and friend me if you want.

Well. So long, everyone. Be good to one another… kindness and understanding are always worth it.

Chris Bigelow (Genghis Conn)
January 17, 2005 – November 4, 2009
Look, I know it's difficult for many of you to make it on a weeknight. Believe me, I tried like hell to find a date that would work for everyone, and after shifting it around several times, I realized that if I didn't settle on a date, we'd never get it in before the holidays! But isn't it worth a little effort to be there to personally thank Chris for all his great efforts at putting political blogging on the map in Connecticut by creating a forum were ALL types of opinions are heard from across the political spectrum?

And who can forget those maps?

It’s nothing fancy, I didn't arrange for food or drink but you're encouraged to buy your own (I'll have a Guinness myself), just a friendly get-together and an opportunity for us to show Genghis we all care and we’ll miss his direct involvement in the blog (and it’s a chance for you to talk him into not leaving!) Anyone who enjoys CTLP is invited; bloggers, media people, politicians (but remember this is a SOCIAL event, not a candidate forum please), readers, plaintiffs (just kidding!), moderates, liberals, conservatives, etc.

This is a non-partisan social event, so let’s all try to leave our differences at home and simply enjoy a couple hours celebrating our common goals. At the end of the evening we’ll all join together for a rousing chorus of “We Are The World”! (not really)

Date: Wednesday, November 18th
Time: 7:00 to 9ish

Where: Eli’s On Whitney
2392 Whitney Ave
Hamden, Connecticut 06518
Phone Number: 203-287-1101

Simple Directions:
From North (Hartford) – Wilbur Cross Parkway to exit 61, take LEFT off ramp. About 1/4 mile (across Dixwell Ave.) Eli’s is on Left. Take a left on School Street for parking behind Eli’s.

From South (Fairfield) – Wilbur Cross Parkway to exit 61, take RIGHT off ramp. About 1/4 mile (across Dixwell Ave.) Eli’s is on Left. Take a left on School Street for parking behind Eli’s.

What: Pay as you go for food and beverages. Menu is standard quite good, actually, American pub fare.

I’d like to get a rough head count, because if we have enough people commit we’ll possibly be able to use their private dining room. So reply to this post, or email me (CT Bob) at futuredv at yahoo dot com.

Hope to see you all there!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rock me like a hurricane!

Hurricane Gloria, that is!

The awful weather we're experiencing from the remnants of Storm Ida reminded me that this is a video project I've been meaning to get around to for months now.

(This ain't politics, but there is some footage of former Gov. Bill O'Neill and a much younger Sen. Dodd)

It's my video of the legendary 1985 storm bearing down upon and hitting Milford and the Connecticut coastline. I posted two versions of the video; one with clips from local and national news both before and after my prehistoric VHS camcorder footage, and the other, shorter one which is only my footage. In case any news organization decides that their 24-year old footage is too precious to allow it on Youtube and they delete the longer video.

But you really should watch the longer one, because it has a lot of 80s Americana in it, including the Life cereal commercial with Mikey ("He won't eat it, he hates everything!")

So here's both videos. The first has the complete footage with the news, and the second is only my stuff. In both I carefully edited out all the shots that included me with my truly dreadful haircut and an awful 1980s-style pornstar mustache. (don't worry, I've still got plenty of tape in the vault; eventually you'll see footage of me rockin' my hip Burt Reynolds 'stache!)

1985, I was obviously destined to become a video blogger. I just had to wait for them to invent the Internet. And Windows. And high-speed access. But eventually...

And yes, even after all these years, I still don't have enough sense to come in out of the rain!

Full video:

My footage only:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cyber terrorists? Oh, my!

Going for the sympathy ploy, I see.

More likely, it's just an excuse for an extremely poor showing the first time he tried a money bomb. Boy, Republicans like Peter Schiff and Joe Lieberman just LOVE playing the victim every time they forget to plug in their computers!

From a fund raising email by Peter Schiff:
Dear Supporter,

One week ago today, our new website was repeatedly attacked by cyber terrorists bent on slowing the progress of our campaign. The attacks succeeded in bringing our website offline a number of times, most crucially during our last Money Bomb. Thanks to the efforts of supporters like you, we were able to raise over $65,000, yet that number would have likely been much higher had the website remained online.

Despite the hinderance on our fundraising abilities; I must say that these attacks have made me even more excited for the prospects of this campaign. In my mind, if someone is going to all this trouble to attack the website then they obviously view us as a serious threat. I believe that the best way to respond is to show whoever it is that has been attacking us that our campaign will not be swayed, threatened, or attacked without a fight.

For this reason I am calling for another Money Bomb to be run on Monday, November 16th to give everyone who is as angry as I am the opportunity to stick it to these cyber-terrorists. Please give the maximum donation that you can afford at this time. I’m asking everyone for their help in raising the funds we need to show them that we will not be stopped in our march to victory next year!

Please donate now.
Most Sincerely,
Peter Schiff
I like how Schiff immediately resorts to that overused GOP scare phrase, "terrorist". There's no better way to frighten Republicans into supporting you than marching out the "T-word"!

Jesus, I just realized that this post contains the words "terrorist" and (money) "bomb"! Oh boy, that's going to set off an alarm somewhere deep in the bowels of the government's Cyber-Snoop Central! If I suddenly disappear, please tell my wife to forward my mail to Gitmo!

(Hey, maybe if Gov. Sanford used that excuse rather than "hiking on the Appalachian Trail", more people might have believed it!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

KWIN-uh-pe-ack poll shows SIM-mons AD-van-tage

Does anyone else find the Q-poll's incessant use of the phonetic spelling of their name in their press releases somewhat irritating and condescending? We all know how it's pronounced! Sheesh!

Well, here at KON-et-i-kut BAHB, we would never stoop to that level of disrespect! (didja see what I did there?)

Anyway, here it is nearly a year out from the 2010 election, and Republicans statewide are already breaking out the Moet and caviar. They're seemingly convinced that their knight in slightly rusted armor, Rob Simmons, is going to save the day for them.

Just calm yourselves down, boys and girls. It's way early, and the poll reflects less of an endorsement of Simmons than simple dissatisfaction with their perception of the job Sen. Chris Dodd (and Congress in general) is doing. Their head-to-head numbers are 49-38%. Which isn't great for Dodd, but there's still a couple unresolved issues at hand that will likely change things over the next year.

Simmons (pictured above; horrendously) against Dodd, even with this terrible economy and current outlook of uncertainty, still can't manage to pull 50%. In fact, in an all-out Republican primary, Simmons is mired at merely 28% against the field, which is lukewarm approval indeed! People aren't likely to begin pouring their money into a campaign that doesn't carry a 1-in-3 voter support of even winning the nomination.

The voters of blue Connecticut simply won't overwhelmingly support an insignificant little ex-Congressman who enthusiastically carried water for the worst president since Nixon. Maybe Linda McMahon will become the great GOP hope. With her unlimited wealth, if she can successfully distance herself from the WWE's tawdry image, Dodd may have a very tough fight ahead.

The numbers on Sen. Joe Lieberman are interesting. He rates a 74% approval rating from Republicans! Seventy-four percent! Boy, the GOP loves them some Joe! Hey Harry Reid, I bet that decision to keep him in the caucus is really paying off big these days, right? Boy, I don't know WHAT we'd do without Joe around!

Overall, no major surprises in this poll. While the news isn't great, it certainly could have been worse. We're far from crunch time, but Sen. Dodd and the Democrats do need to be concerned with the public perception (accurate or not) that they need to do more to solve our very immediate problems right now.

(h/t to ConnecticutMan1 over at Drinking Liberally in New Milford for the phonetic gag)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fedele out in the cold?

This is why one should never assume anything!

Today Lieutenant Governor Mike Fedele has to be feeling a little vexed by Gov. Rell's statement regarding who she endorses.

WTNH's Mark Davis had this to say:
Is Governor Rell stepping back from a commitment to Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele?


She also appeared to contradict Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele’s claim made just moments after she said she wasn’t running that she will be endorsing him for Governor.
There is much wisdom to be gained from watching reruns of 60s sitcoms. Here's a nugget of truth that may have saved Mike from a little embarrassment:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jodi Rell is a nice lady

Just because I'm a guy who writes a blog that is decidedly liberal in it's slant doesn't mean I can't be appreciative of Gov. Rell for her years of service to the state.

While there were many occasions where I disagreed with her positions, I also have to give her props for doing some things that I feel were truly helpful and beneficial for the state.

Especially in recent months Gov. Rell has surprised me on many occasions. I openly (some might say "dripping with smugness") predicted she would use her veto powers to quash progressive legislation, yet she either signed the bill or, like the budget, allowed it to become effective without a signature.

I've written enough of the suspected political motivations for her actions, but really, there's no reason to hold onto those thoughts any more. She's leaving at the end of her term, and we can all agree regardless of party affiliation that Jodi Rell is a nice lady and a reasonably centrist governor.

And it's certainly a nice change of pace to know that when our current governor leaves office, it won't be for a stretch in prison!

(Oops! I promise I'll try to work on that "smugness" thing!)

Q-Poll: Bysiewicz, Lamont tied, Malloy 3rd

(Photo from Quinnipiac University Polling Center)

In the Quinnipiac poll released earlier today, the numbers seem to indicate that Sec. of State Susan Bysiewicz is in a statistical tie with Ned Lamont for the Democratic nomination for governor. Bysiewicz has 26% and Lamont 23%, which falls within the margin of error. Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy trails with 9%. And the only declared candidate in the race (the others are still in their exploratory phase) Jim Amann is down at 3%.

Of course, this poll was conducted last week, before news of the subpoena regarding Gov. Rell's "Poll-gate" was revealed, and more importantly, before the Governor announced her intention to retire when her term expires rather than run for re-election.

This is the sort of thing that pisses off pollsters like Doug Schwartz, head of the Q-Poll, because it pretty much skews the poll results immediately. What people thought before the news can easily have shifted considerably, and many of the questions regarding Rell are rendered completely moot.

I sometimes wonder what it must be like to be one of those people who sits in a cubicle and dials up people to ask the exact same political questions all day long. Especially when news like this hits.It HAS to be frustrating! I mean, the poor schlubs who made 1,236 phone calls last week asking people "will you vote for Jodi Rell next year?" must be seriously reappraising their career choices right about now!

I wouldn't be surprised if is receiving dozens of resumes from local job-seekers who have "great phone skills" and "telemarketing experience"!

Who would blame them?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Q-poll bearing bad news for Rell?

This is completely unverified (mostly because I'm lazy) but I heard somewhere there's a new Quinnipiac poll due out tomorrow. With all the recent talk about early results possibly being leaked to some candidates, I wonder if Jodi may have gotten a distinctly unpleasant feeling from this one? Again, this is speculation. Don't sue me.

Rell out - now IT'S ON!

Well, this is why I always predict the exact opposite of what I'd like to see happen!

Earlier this week, while in the psychotic throes of a post-election funk, I grandly predicted Gov. Jodi Rell would announce her intention to run for re-election within several days.

I had the timing about right, but I underestimated the power of the subpoena.

Suddenly the political landscape in Connecticut has gotten much more interesting! I haven't spoken to anyone yet, but I'm sure Jim Amann is absolutely crushed by the news!

This is awesome, but the rigatoni is almost done cooking and I like it a little al dente, so I'll post more later.

(Why does news like this always hit when I'm making dinner?)

Rell documents subpoenaed

Poll-gate has officially begun! (you like that? I just made it up)

("Poll-gate" Copyright (c) 2009 Bob Adams, all rights reserved)

The Hartford Courant's Jon Lender (whom I met last Friday at Ken Krayeske's federal court appearance) reports that State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has served at least one subpoena, and more are very likely on their way, in the developing scandal where Governor Rell may have used taxpayer dollars for a political poll.

From the Courant: investigation of whether a University of Connecticut professor's $223,000, taxpayer-funded study on government efficiency was misused to provide political advice to Gov. M. Jodi Rell, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says. The legal maneuver is intended to guarantee production of all relevant documents — e-mails, memos and other records — by the Rell administration and UConn in the month-old probe conducted jointly by him and the bipartisan state auditors of public accounts.
Gov. Rell is also being investigate by the SEEC for the possibility that Rell and her exploratory 2010 campaign committee violated state laws in connection with the study.

(photo credit: Ken Krayeske)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Lieberman indulges in terrorist fantasy

Sen. Shameless Opportunist (thanks FDL) is going for headlines once again, probably on the orders of his conservative overlords, by launching an investigation into the "terrorist act" committed by an obviously insane Army psychiatrist at Fort Hood last week.

Lieberman claimed in a Fox News interview:
...there were "strong warning signs" that the alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was an "Islamist extremist."

"If that is true, the murder of these 13 people was a terrorist act and, in fact, it was the most destructive terrorist act to be committed on American soil since 9/11," Lieberman told "Fox News Sunday." (emphasis mine)
Sen. Lieberman is becoming Connecticut's version of Rudolf Giuiliani: "All terror, all the time!". He certainly doesn't want anyone to forget for a minute that all Muslims are potential terrorists, and any infraction by someone who prays to Allah will be immediately classified as a "terrorist act".

It's no coincidence that Lieberman waited until the morning after the late night passage of the historic landmark health care reform bill to announce his "investigation", even though he had several days to do so. It's an investigation which, if we know Joe, will go absolutely nowhere once the headlines die down.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey urged the public not to rush to conclusions about Maj. Hasan's motives with an investigation underway. Sen. Lieberman seems to be operating under no such compunctions.

It's wonderful to know the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is working so hard to protect us from make-believe terrorists, and yet we can't get swine flu shots until people start dropping dead in the streets.

House passes Health Care Legislation

Late last night in a rare Saturday session the House of Representatives passed the latest version of the health care reform bill by a vote of 220-215. 39 Democrats broke ranks and joined the opposition (primaries, anyone?) and a single Republican voted in favor of the measure, Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana (bravo!) likely ensuring a shit fit from Minority Leader John Boehner.

The bill included the Stupak amendment, which strips all funding for abortions from the measure. Scarecrow from FireDogLakes explains while there are many good things included, there is disappointment about Stupak:
It’s like winning a huge battle, but half of your friends were killed or wounded.

36 million more people will be insured or become eligible for Medicaid
There will be a trillion dollars raised to help subsidize this.
There will be multiple measures to help control the costs of Medicare
We will stop subsidizing private insurers in Medicare Advantage
Closes the donut hole
Allows Medicare negotiation for drugs
Includes the seeds of a public option
Prohibits denials based on prior conditions; ends rescissions except for fraud
funds more education for doctors/nurses
Begins dozens of health prevention programs, pilots, surveys
Creates entities to evaluate and recommend better treatment, cost saving
And on and on.

It’s a massive achievement, but women, mostly poor, paid a price.
There is some hope that after the Senate passes their version and the bill goes into reconciliation, the amendment will be modified or dropped. Some say the Stupak amendment is a way for reps to save face with their constituents, especially in the red or pink states, and then after it gets modified they can say they tried to legislate abortion funding out of the bill.

But this sort of maneuver is fraught with danger, in that we still have 39 Dems who voted against the bill even WITH Stupak included, and we gained only a SINGLE Republican. Who knows what will happen when the combined bill is sent back to committee?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Separate Church and State?

Enough already! I am not Catholic, and for the life of me, do not understand why the rest of us have to answer to the declarations of that church.

Today, the House is scheduled vote on a health care amendment that will not only enforce Hyde amendment rules that government money cannot be used to pay for abortions, but now will bar insurance companies that participate in the exchange from covering abortions. This was done to get the support of Catholic bishops.

So, should we make it impossible for poor women to buy bacon? That might please the orthodox Jewish leaders.

If the Catholic church wants to dictate to its members, that's their issue. But I am sick and tired of this church dictating to all of us.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Ken Krayeske hearing today

Today Judge Stephan Underhill heard oral arguments for motions of summary judgment filed by defendents in Krayeske's civil suit against Hartford Police, State Police and the City of Hartford for false arrest, false imprisonment, excessive bail and free speech violations in his arrest during Gov. Rell's 2007 inaugural parade.

I spent nearly the entire time in the courtroom, minus about 10 minutes when I had to go down and feed the parking meter; Bridgeport only allows one frickin' hour maximum parking near the courthouse, which is idiotic.

During a hearing on summary judgments, the judge is supposed to allow a liberal amount of inferred evidence, with the trial being the place to strictly determine if the evidence is indeed valid. Judge Underhill seemed excessively pragmatic in hearing the arguments, and from the beginning it was apparent that he wasn't allowing any leeway in the plaintiff's case.

For instance, the judge made little of the fact that the police had a list with Ken's name on it. Underhill repeatedly stated that simply having a list wasn't just cause for prosecuting a civil rights violation. However, the judge seemed insistant on ignoring the fact that the list DID exist, and that Ken was arrested not because of any criminal act he perpetrated, but simply because he was ON that list.

Despite repeated efforts by Krayeske's attorney Kevin Smith (that's not his picture above, but it is someone named "Kevin Smith") the judge ruled from the bench in favor of dismissal of all charges with the exception of false arrest by Hartford P.D. Officer Jeffery Antuna. As I understand it, the ruling essentially lets the state and the governor off the hook for creating and maintaining a secret list of people to be "arrested on sight", with no just cause or suspicion of an actual crime needed. It seems that they're simply going to hang Officer Antuna out to dry on this thing.

This is a bit scary, because it means that anyone can be arrested simply because someone in power doesn't like what you write on a stupid blog!

In related news, watch for this blog to discuss nothing but Disney movies and cuddly puppies, effective immediately:

Thursday, November 05, 2009

CT Bob Toned Down?

This, the opening to Colin McEnroe's post-election blog post:
The Connecticut blogosphere ages. The newly thoughtful, reflective Ct Bob seems, metaphorically, to have gray at his temples. By 2010 he'll be the Daniel Schorr of the nutmeg 'sphere.
Don't worry folks...he'll recover.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Lamont explores Gov. run

(Bob Adams file photo 2006)

This isn't entirely unexpected.

Paul Bass has the news at The New Haven Independent.

UPDATE - Here's the press release from Ned Lamont:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Norwalk, CT - Ned Lamont, successful businessman, co-founder of the state policy center at Central Connecticut State University, and Democratic nominee for US Senate in 2006, announced that he will be filing papers today with the State Elections Enforcement Commission establishing an Exploratory Committee for statewide office:

"As I have continued to meet with citizens across our state over the last three years, as co-chairman of President Obama's Connecticut campaign and on behalf of health care reform, I have been constantly reminded that Connecticut is not living up to its potential and that too many of our families are being left behind," said Lamont.

"Like businesses, states thrive with strong executive leadership, and they fall behind with weak leadership. As measured by the loss of jobs, young people leaving our state, and the never-ending budget crisis, Connecticut's Chief Executive is simply not getting the job done."

Since the 2006 campaign, Lamont has continued to serve as Chairman of the Board of Campus Televideo, a Connecticut company he founded twenty-five years ago. He is also a distinguished professor of political science at Central Connecticut State University, where he co-founded a policy center which has brought together leading business, labor, and non-profit leaders to formulate a strategic plan for the state of Connecticut. In addition, he serves on the boards of Conservation Services Group, a leading provider of energy efficiency programs, Teach for America/CT, and Mercy Corps, an international non-profit organization that focuses on job training and small business start-ups around the world.

Contact: Marc Bradley, 203-722-5773

Democrat wins closely watched NY-23 race

This is something of an interesting result. In the Republican-leaning 23rd District of New York, Democratic candidate Bill Owens defeated Doug Hoffman. This is a seat the national GOP was counting on winning, and had been occupied by a Republican for over 100 years.

In a night of largely awful news for Democrats in state and local elections, this is one hopeful sign that not everything is going against us.

The post-mortum of the large Republican gains in many areas may reveal what caused such a drastic reversal. Here in Milford, I'm still wondering what precipitated the GOP across-the-board victories. It would be different if the Democratic majorities on the boards raised taxes or approved some onerous legislation, but they didn't.

Yet, the local GOP took a huge portion of the unaffiliated voters and turned it into a massive landslide. This is way more than issues, or even GOTV. If you look solely at the issues and voted accordingly, we would have won big. Nothing going on locally can explain the magnitude of the loss. I've said it before, but there seems to be some kind of huge backlash going on against the Democrats.

For what, I'm not sure.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A prediction

Gov. Jodi Rell will announce within one or two days that she will seek another term as Connecticut's governor.

I'd bet the house on it.

Not MY house of course.

I'm talking about THE house.

The one next door to me.

Boy, are they gonna be surprised if I'm wrong about this!

OK, I'm going to bed now. It's been a long and strange day.

Last call, and a wake up call

I'm packing up. About a dozen or so people remain, including the News12 people for some reason. The beer is almost gone. It's been a night of incredulity here.

This sort of complete sweep can't be explained by any particular shortcomings of our individual candidates. Because they didn't have any. Not enough to explain this. This is something WAY more than that.

This is a wake up call for Democrats in Connecticut. We've been partying on our huge gains since last November, and the hubris associated with winning certainly factored in to some extent.

But more than that, the nation is responding to the GOP's incessant poisoning of the waters. Their message is getting through, while Democratic failings are increasingly becoming a factor. The pendulum, pushed heavily left by near-universal hatred for Bush, seems to have stopped and may have started it's return to the right.

This is a wake up call for us. Let's hope we hear the alarm before next year.

The pictures tell the story

Shock and gloom in Dem HQ tonight.

We got murdered. Don't ask me why. The Democrats didn't raise taxes, they didn't knock down any historic homes that were deeded to the city, they didn't reduce the active force on the police dept., and they didn't disappear without notifying the city and then lie about it.

Yet, we still got killed.

That makes SO much sense.

Anyway, the autopsy results won't be in for a few days at least. But we still have to get through the funeral before we can worry about that.

Shock and gloom, like I said.

Despite working under wartime conditions, Tessa, Allie & George did a great job reporting the results. Thanks guys!

Yup. It's a bloodbath.

OK, I guess the current makeup of the Board of Alderman did such a terrible job lowering taxes and maintaining services that they, along with the Democratic majorities on Planning and Zoning and the Board of Ed needed to be destroyed. This may be the worst use of rabble rousing since the looting of the Library at Alexandria.

A balloon just burst somewhere in the room. It's the most depressing metaphoric sound effect I've ever heard.

More soon....

Continuing with the results

About half the precincts reporting. Richetelli has roughly a 2 to 1 lead. Unless things drastically change with the final 3 polling places, it looks like Jim will hang on for another two years. But I'm not calling it yet. Not until the pizza and beer run out, anyway.

Results coming in

The numbers are trickling in. I hate to say it, but we might be looking at a bloodbath tonight. I hope to hell I'm wrong.

Tessa shoots CT Bob!

...and CT Joyce, too!

Polls closed! Now the waiting begins...

Fortunately, the results should start coming in soon. I'll post numbers as they come in.

Countdown to results

Waiting the last 45 minutes until polls close. Tessa and Allie prepare the tote board for the returns when they come in.

Wifi at HQ

Gabe piggybacks onto my wifi access at Blogger's Central in the Milford Democratic HQ. News 12 is here until results are final.

Milford Dem HQ getting coverage

A satellite van contracted by Cablevision News 12 is currently setting up at Milford Democratic Headquarters, in preparation for live coverage as the results come in, expected soon after polls close at 8PM. HQ will be the place to be tonight, so if you're local, come on down and support your candidates.

Gabe Rosenberg along with Tessa Marquis have managed to limp into HQ today, despite life-threatening very minor injuries to their feet.

Now I have to quit blogging and bring them the Advil.

Local GOP ignores campaign laws...again!

According to a high-placed source familiar with state election laws, the Milford Republicans violated the statute that says you must properly identify your campaign literature on the front page with this circular.

However, the front page of this multiple page GOP campaign publication, which resembles a newspaper and was left on the front steps of many Milford homes, carries no such identifying marks. Indeed, it closely resembles The New Haven Register in appearance, and a voter who doesn't sufficiently peruse the inside of the paper would have no idea that this isn't a normal Register supplement.

My vote

Was there really ANY doubt?

UPDATE: I just got home. It turns out my call was canceled, so it looks like I'll be local for the rest of the day after all.

A lukewarm endorsement for Richetelli

The Connecticut Post issued it's endorsement of local candidates on Sunday, and their total lack of enthusiasm for Jim Richetelli is very telling.

Rather than publish a well-thought and researched endorsement of a candidate, like the one the New Haven Register gave to Genevieve Salvatore, the Post simply listed their endorsements en mass, with no reason or explanation.

I wonder if they simply flipped a coin and went on to other issues?

Here's the text of the Post endorsement for the mayor, as part of a larger list:
Milford mayor -- James L. Richetelli Jr., Republican
That's it. The entire endorsement!

Always willing to take tiny lemons and barely squeeze out enough juice to make lemon-scented water, the mayor's campaign wasted no time in trumpeting the rather lame endorsement. See for yourself:

Note how the sign displays way more words than the actual online endorsement itself!

UPDATE: The size of the sign is roughly four times the normal size of a political sign, and according to field reports, it isn't allowed under current rules. Perhaps the Republican candidate for City Clerk Linda Stock can look into this possible violation of campaign rules.

Keeping the tradition alive

I just saw this image on Genevieve's website, showing me taping the Jim Amann endorsement of Gen's campaign a while back.

And it just goes to show you there is truth in the custom that the vast majority of camera people dress like they just wandered in from sleeping under a highway overpass! There simply isn't any possible way to look respectable in a hoodie.

Note to self: look in the mirror before going out to tape a political function! Sheesh!

Today it's a sports coat, and maybe a tie for good measure.

I know YOU'RE gonna vote..

I know, because if you're reading this stupid blog, you're already somewhat politically-minded and likely a responsible voter. I'm not worried about you!

So I'm not going to sit here and tell you the frickin' obvious "Go out and vote!"

I wouldn't patronize you like that, because I have far too much respect for you.

Instead, how about you do this:

Call FIVE people you know RIGHT NOW and remind them nicely to vote today!

It'll take you only a few minutes, and not only will you be doing our nation a great service, but you'll also connect with friends and acquaintances whom you might not have spoken with for ages.

Reach out and pester someone!

See? It's easy!

Thank you and have a nice day!

PS - I'll be checking back in periodically from the action here in Milford. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Dear Sen. Lieberman...

You mentioned recently that you "wish people would come out and debate me on the public option instead of questioning my motives..."

(around the 4:40 mark below - h/t to

OK, I'll take you up on that.

Let's do it senator.

Let's debate the public option.

You pick the time and place. Or I'll set up a forum. Whatever works.

Let's do a good ol' fashioned Town Hall Meeting. Everyone else in this state has spoken with and listened to their constituents, with the glaring exception of a certain Joseph Isadore Lieberman, Junior Senator.

So yes, I heartily accept your offer. Have your people call my people.

Actually, I don't have people.

I don't even have a person. I can't afford people. I wish I could, because I'd be thrilled if your people called them.

But since I don't, just have them fire off an email or call me directly.

I promise I'll get back to them ASAP.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Richetelli's record does not merit...

This is the mailer that went out Friday to Milford voters. In a few succinct paragraphs they explain exactly why we need Genevieve Salvatore as our next mayor. (click on image to enlarge)

And what really matters is that these aren't the words of the Milford Democrats, but the opinion of the New Haven Register's editorial staff, who for years had endorsed Jim Richetelli.

Read the full NH Register endorsement here. If you live in Milford, be sure to vote Tuesday.

Actually, it goes without saying that you should probably vote regardless of where you live.

Research on Health Reform

Rep Alan Grayson (D-FL) has been outspoken (to say the least) about health care reform. He's put up a site, Names of the Dead, on which he asks for stories about people who have died from lack of insurance. While these stories cannot necessarily be verified, this study (PDF) has been.

Scheduled for the December issue, the peer-reviewed article reports on analysis of publicly available data to update statistics from 1993 that demonstrated a 25% higher risk of death for the uninsured when compared with those with health insurance. Now, that figure is up to 40%. Even scarier is that the population that generated the updated stats is younger and followed for fewer years than those from 1993.
Lack of health insurance is associated with as many as 44,789 deaths per year in the United States, more than those caused by kidney disease (42,868).

The increased risk of death attributable to uninsurance
suggests that alternative measures of access to medical care for the uninsured, such as community health centers, do not provide the protection of private health insurance.
Statistically, this averages out to 100 unnecessary deaths of persons between 18 and 64 years of age per Congressional district in the U.S. So, members of Congress, which 100 constituents are you willing to let die? Would you let terrorists kill 100 people in your district? Think about it.