Friday, April 30, 2010

"Drill, Baby, Drill!"

Yeah, right. Bunch of assholes.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Now they're actually trying to kill us

In what is likely to be considered a victory for the United Heart Surgeons Association of America (not a real organization) the popular breakfast chain International House of Pancakes (IHOP) has introduced the ultimate in artery-clogging meals:

The "Pancake Stackers" consists of a heap of cheesecake filling, solidly encased by two buttermilk pancakes and topped with a strawberry compote and whipped cream. Total calorie count when combined with their regular "combo" breakfast (which includes 2 eggs, bacon, and hashed browns) runs a whopping 1,250.

The meal also has a sodium content of 2,750 milligrams, which doctors often refer to as "abso-fucking-lutely ridiculous"! (not a real quote)

It does look delicious, though. I'm starving!

(This story was adapted from a AP article)

Sometimes shaming them DOES work

(Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., right, and the committee's ranking Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., emerge from a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, April 26, 2010, ahead of a crucial test vote for the financial reform bill. AP Photo)

On Wednesday Senate GOP leaders admitted that their brilliant strategy of "Just Say No To Everything" seems to have backfired on them, when criticism of their attempt to prevent debate on the biggest overhaul of banking regulation since the Great Depression reached a fever pitch.

The general public, it seems, is finally catching on that the Republicans couldn't care less about the people they supposedly represent if there's ANY chance legislation beneficial to them might be considered a positive achievement by the Democrats.

From the Associated Press:
Democrats and Republicans agree the Senate will ultimately pass landmark changes aimed at preventing a recurrence of the crisis that knocked the nation's financial system to its knees in 2008, but the battle now begins over crucial details. The House has already passed its version.

Democrats said the Republicans had given in after three days of votes to block debate, realizing they were on the losing end of a battle for public opinion. GOP lawmakers said they would now switch to trying to change the bill on the Senate floor.
This battle, in large part, was won by Sen. Chris Dodd, who worked tirelessly to convince Republican senators that this legislation absolutely needs to succeed, regardless of the party affiliation of the legislators who will vote on it.

This is the sort of thing that citizens can accomplish, by registering complaints to their representatives if they work to obstruct legislation that's obviously in everyone's best interest. By raising a clamor with the media and shaming the guilty party for their obstructionism, people can have a very real effect on what gets done in Washington.

Everyone wants more progressive action when it actually benefits them. When people start to see positive results from those who they voted in to look out for their interests, they'll be more likely to allow them to continue after the next election.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Q&A with Rosa DeLauro

Bloggers sat down with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) on Saturday to discuss the issues. This video is about an hour long, and consists of the question and answer portion of the talk. I think Connecticut Man 1 has video of Rosa's initial remarks; I was delayed slightly by an accident on I-95 and missed the start. Also check out CT Blogger's videos on My Left Nutmeg and Hat City Blog.

Monday, April 26, 2010

GOP causes partisan flap in Milford

The local GOP has been up to their usual shenanigans lately, when Republican City Attorney Winthrop Smith apparently attempted to intercede in a city Planning & Zoning board matter.

The incident began during the January P&Z Board meeting, when they were tasked with choosing a new chair. After the November election, the board was evenly split, with five Republicans and five Democrats seated.

When nominations were submitted, the Democrats nominated Susan Shaw while the Republicans nominated Mark Bender. But then before the nominations closed, the Democrats also nominated Republican Kevin Liddy. When the votes were cast, the five Democrats voted for Shaw, four of the five Republicans voted for Bender, and Liddy voted for himself. Which resulted in Democrat Susan Shaw winning the chair.

I was there that night, taping the meeting for our government access channel. Trust me, there were a few Republicans in the room that night who were supremely cheesed off by this turn of events. Subsequently, Kevin Liddy was nominated for Vice Chair, and he won that seat.

(Kevin Liddy/Bob Adams photo - Election Day 2006 at Foran High)

After the meeting, City Attorney Smith sent an email to several prominent Republicans including Mayor Jim Richetelli, which was exposed through a Freedom of Information Act request from Democratic Town Committee chair Rich Smith (no relation; this town is absolutely lousy with Smiths) that said in part, "Wow. All a big mistake. Then I think Kevin should resign as vice chairman."

From Brian McCready in the New Haven Register:
Richard Smith said he was disappointed to see Winthrop Smith was playing party politics, and targeted Liddy because “he had not followed, lockstep, the Republican Party’s dictate on how to vote.” “This Stalin-esque behavior has no place in City Hall and is not what we expect from a city attorney,” Richard Smith said.
The Republican chair, Tom Jagodinski countered with,
“Richard Smith has been digging through electronic trash bins like a National Enquirer reporter looking for some sleazy story and is desperately trying to make something out of nothing. Win’s comments were made using his own e-mail address and on his own time. Just because you’re city attorney doesn’t mean that you have to give up the right to free speech that every American enjoys."
McCready noted that the argument continued with Rich Smith stating,
Freedom of Information laws exist in order to expose corruption and mismanagement in government. “Tom apparently has a problem with transparency,” Richard Smith said. “Tom’s strategy of going on the offense to distract people from the real issue will fall flat here.”

Richard Smith also said Jagodinski’s claim that the city attorney was speaking on his own time is “ridiculous.”

“Would Tom argue that we should only expect our city attorney to comport himself with the dignity the job demands only during certain hours of the day?” Richard Smith asked.
Jagodinski then retorted by saying "Richard Smith should be embarrassed that he’s wasted the time of city employees on this nonsense.”

Ah, politics in Milford. It may often be slow, but it's never boring.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Denise Merrill on the Environment

At the JJB Dinner several weeks ago, Denise Merrill lost her voice and had trouble making a video. Since she was here in Milford last Friday for a meet & greet at Mike & Tessa's home, I wanted to give her another chance.

Plus, we had a nice backdrop of Long Island Sound on an unseasonably pleasant evening, which I took advantage of to talk about the environment.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kevin Lembo at the JJB Dinner

Finally, in the last of my videos, State Health Care Advocate Kevin Lembo made this short message at the JJB.

I like that Kevin is actively pursuing the Lieutenant Governor's office with the stated intention of actually making the office relevant in the political landscape (as opposed to it simply being a place holder for someone who eventually takes over after the current governor is hauled away to prison).

Also, Lembo humorously spoofed a comment by Colin McEnroe about his being something of a "nerd" with this flyer he handed out at the JJB:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A few more legislators at the JJB Dinner

There were two more Democratic legislators who visited with me once again at this year's JJB Dinner.

State Representative Jason Bartlett:

State Senator Andrew McDonald:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Secretary of State candidates at the JJB Dinner

Two candidate for Sec. of State spoke to me at the JJB Dinner:

Gerry Garcia:

Denise Merrill (who lost her voice, which resulted in the subtitles):

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

OK, I lied. I do text on occasion.

My little rant about texting deserves a follow up...

The other night I went to a party with CT Joyce, and on the way there we were listening to the Mets game on the radio. The game had just gone into extra innings, but we arrived at the party and went in.

So about an hour into the party I saw Tessa texting in that annoying manner people do, and I asked her to text Gabe (a fellow long-suffering Mets fan) to find out how the game went. We assumed they'd lost by now. Because that's what they usually do.

Gabe replied that there was still no score, and it was well into the 14th inning. I asked if I could use Tessa's phone, and I texted Gabe and asked him to give us a play by play of the game.

Over the next hour or so Gabe did an admirable job at painting the word picture of the game, with updates every few minutes. I texted back comments and questions every so often.

The game was still going strong in the 18th inning when we left, and we got home in time to see the Mets on TV unbelievably prevail in twenty innings!

So that was officially the first (and possibly last) time I texted. I'm still not getting a textable phone, but I'll admit it was kind of fun following the progress of the game!

Attorney General candidates speak

Several candidates for Attorney General spoke on video at the JJB Dinner last week. Here they are:

Susan Bysiewicz:

George Jepsen:

Cam Staples:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gubernatorial candidates speak

I produced videos of four Democratic gubernatorial candidates that dropped by my video-taping corner at the JJB Dinner this year. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Juan Figueroa:

Mary Glassman:

Ned Lamont:

Dan Malloy:

Some additional videoblogger geek stuff that maybe two people will find interesting:

For the first time, I created and used a low-budget light kit, which utilized a pair of 60 watt (effective) daylight-temperature fluorescent bulbs mounted in cheap-o dollar store reflectors.

Look how good the lighting in the videos is! I think the entire rig didn't cost over fifty bucks, and that includes the boom microphone stand I pressed into use as a cheap C-stand for the lights. Because the reflector fixtures have spring-loaded clamps that allow them to be fitted on the post wherever you want.

And the two lights consumed a total of 26 watts to yield about 120 watts of equivalent light. I wish I'd taken a photo of the rig to put it on my filmmaking blog, but I'm sure I'll get more opportunities to use it soon. After doing the requisite video white balance it looked really good.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

JJB Videos coming soon

(Secretary of State candidate Denise Merrill)

Monday morning I'll start posting some candidate videos I produced at the Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner last week.

Unfortunately, Denise Merrill lost her voice that night, so I'm trying to decide whether to post her video with subtitles or simply transcribe what she said.

In the meantime, here's a few more photos from Maine. Here's my sister Stephanie with me and Joyce at one of Maine's rare sandy beaches in Reid State Park:

Two views of seaside homes near Ocean Point in East Boothbay:

Not everyone is idle this week. A lobster boat is busy checking traps:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Back home

Still catching up on stuff after my little vacation. I'll have more bloggy goodness posted shortly.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

East Boothbay, ME

Some photos from this morning.

A bit of the coastline, down the road from my niece's house:

One of my niece's neighbors, in what locals call the Mushroom House:

They've been replacing a water main down the main thoroughfare for months now. The road wasn't all that great to begin with, but now it's like a mine field:

A resident of East Boothbay apparently chose to express his dissatisfaction with the endless construction:

And they abbreviate Maine "ME", so of course...

Tweeting from Maine

This is for all you textaholics out there. a Tweet post. 140 characters max. I’m in Maine for a few days. Gonna go hiking with Joyce today.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't text me, bro

I apologize in advance for this rant, but it's been a long time a-comin'...and to all my new friends I met at the JJB Dinner, please take my word for it; I'm not always like this!

Aw shit, yes I probably am...

Anyway, here's a conversation I seem to find myself in all too often these days:

"Bob, did you get my text?"

"I don't text."

"Whaddaya mean, you don't text?"

"I don't believe in it."

"Whaddaya mean you don't believe in it?"

You might recognize that I cast myself in the iconic "Mr. Pink" role from "Reservoir Dogs" to make my point.

However, I DO tip. Generously. So this analogy stops well short of the tipping issue.

Look, it's really quite simple. I don't do text. I hate texting. In fact, I've blocked it from even being received by my phone, because the plan I have charges me 20 cents for every text I get, whether I read it or not. I eventually had Sprint put a block on all texts coming to my cell phone.

Yes, I'm aware I can probably get a cost-efficient plan that includes all the texting I'd ever want to do. But since I don't want to do any texting, my plan already includes "none texting". Free of charge!

I know that in this day and age it's expected that a somewhat technophiliac like myself will take part in this relatively recent innovation in personal communications, but I prefer not to. And I have a list of good reasons for it:

1) It's very intrusive and encourages all manner of nonsense. Read almost anyone's Twitter feed and you'll see what I mean. I couldn't give a solid shit what you just ate for lunch; and I couldn't possibly care less about whatever cute thing your stupid cat is doing right now, unless it's in the process of being run over by a garbage truck on a gravel road.

In that case, feel free to call me with the good news.

(Because apparently I hate texting so much, I hope everyone who texts me will lose a beloved pet in some horrific manner. Hey, I never claimed to possess a fair, or even remotely humane sense of proportion.)

2) It annoys the fuck out of me when I'm speaking to someone face to face and they suddenly whip out their little keyboard phone thingy and start thumbing the keys like a mental case. Look, whatever it is you're replying to can't possibly be more imperative than what I was just in the process of telling you. I know that sounds kind of self-important, but hey, this is me we're talking about here.

3) Let's face it. I know in my heart if I become addicted to texting, it'll only be a matter of time before I plow into the back of a school bus at seventy miles per. Apparently I make a habit of driving on local suburban lanes at roughly three times the legal limit. Driving that fast is hard enough, so I sure don't need to add texting to the distraction of scanning through the songs on my mp3 player.

Here's the deal: if whatever it is you have for me is so goddamned important, just call me on my cell, or shoot me a quick email. Or you can even write it down on a piece of paper, wrap it around a brick, and hurl it through my living room window. Whatever works best for you.

So please, stop asking me if I got your text.

I didn't....

...but your cat had better be real careful!

(Disclaimer: no cats or other useless objects were harmed during the making of this rant)

Monday, April 12, 2010

JJB Dinner photos

(Photo credit: Sufi)

I shot a goodly amount of video tonight, while at the same time managing to get in a reasonable amount of schmoozing with friends, candidates, and legislators. And I still had time to chow down some dinner, including my favorite dessert, the chocolate mousse. Screw the diet.

The biggest contest going right now is the governor's race, and I shot videos of Mary Glassman, Dan Malloy, Ned Lamont, and Juan Figueroa. The contest for A.G. and Secretary of State looks to be interesting, too. It's shaping up to be an exciting state convention in just about six weeks.

I'll edit the videos later, probably not before the weekend mid next week because I've got a busy week planned, but for now here's a few photos from the event.

Below: Vicki Kennedy, widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, spoke about the late senator and his friendship with Sen. Chris Dodd, and how both of them worked tirelessly to see health care reform all the way through.

Sen. Dodd with Congresswoman Rosa De Lauro (CT-03) below.

Virginia senator Mark Warner was the keynote speaker tonight.

Below: Christine Stuart from CT News Junkie composed her notes in the main ballroom. She said the wifi service was terrible in there, and that she had to go out into the lobby to get a signal. You'd think that a snazzy place like the Connecticut Convention Center would spring for a few quality Cisco wifi access points to provide decent coverage for the room. I've installed plenty of those in similar rooms, and believe me, they're worth the cost. Because they work.

That's it for now. Many thanks to Tessa Marquis and Mike Brown for helping me get candidates for videos, and Sal Liccione for getting me an empty spot at his table, and John Hartwell for helping out with the audio situation for the videos.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Time capsule

Tomorrow night is the Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner in Hartford, the annual State Democratic Party fundraiser and dinner. This will the the fourth year in a row I've attended as a journalist/blogger. The keynote speaker this year is Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.

I was looking back through all my old videos of the event, and found this little Easter egg from 2007 called "Impressions of the JJB Dinner". It's striking to see how much has changed in the intervening three years. Sen. Chris Dodd went from a presidential contender to a soon-to-be-retired politician. The overwhelming issue of the day was the war, not the economy or jobs. Healthcare was addressed, but not to the degree it's been discussed over the last year or so.

There's no question the political landscape is very different today. It'll be interesting to see the changes and how the party will cope with the latest issues facing us.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Malcolm McLaren: He did it his #&@%ing way!

Lisa Derrick wrote at one of the superb FireDogLake blogs "La Figa" this brief obit for one of the biggest influences in the history of punk rock:

Last night PIL played on Jimmy Kimmel. Today, the New York Times announced that Malcom McLaren, the man behind the Sex Pistols–and Adam & the Ants and BowWowWow–has died of mesothelioma at a hospital in Switzerland. He was 64.

McLaren had managed the New York Dolls as that great glam band fell apart, and on his return to London, where he and his girl friend at the time Vivienne Westwood ran a clothing shop called Sex, the budding impressario put together the Sex Pistols.

Boom! Punk rock! The world changed for millions of us. Goodbye Malcolm. And thank you.

Flag flap reversal!

I just found out that the Capitol Police reversed their decision to allow the Tea Baggers to fly the famous "Gadsden Flag" which, while it's a hallowed Revolutionary War banner, was intended to represent their highly partisan and extremist cause.

Bravo to Acting Capitol police Chief Walter Lee for making the tough call to stand up and prevent the State Capitol from being used as a propaganda tool.

Stephen Herron over at Drinking Liberally in New Milford has more, including that awesome flag graphic above. Also visit My Left Nutmeg for additional views.

State Capitol used to advertise Tea Party

Tomorrow the Revolutionary War era flag known as the "Gadsden Flag" will begin being flown over the State Capitol, according to the Hartford Courant. The flag has been appropriated by the tea baggers and perverted as a symbol of their extremist views and far right policies.
On Friday, the flag will fly over the state Capitol — and that doesn't sit well with one veteran lawmaker.

"Generally speaking, most people would agree the top of the Capitol is not the place for partisan political flags," said state Rep. Michael Lawlor, a Democrat from East Haven and co-chairman of the legislature's judiciary committee.
Of course it isn't the place for it. However, someone who made that decision may be so enamored with the extremist views of the tea baggers that they'll allow them anything they want to spread their message of intolerance and extremism.
"It is within the parameters set within the policy," said Walter Lee, acting chief of the Capitol police department. "It is a recognized military flag."
It may be a military flag, but if you don't acknowledge the obvious partisan reasoning behind this usage, you're either being intellectually dishonest, or you're simply too stupid to function on a rational human level. The flag is scheduled to fly from tomorrow through April 15th, Tax Day. Which is a huge protest day for the Baggers. Remember, these are the crazies who openly advocate armed insurgency or outright succession.
Lawlor said the flag is now associated with the tea party movement. The group will gather for a flag-raising ceremony Friday, and afterward candidates endorsed by the Connecticut Tea Party Patriots will host a press conference. "It doesn't sound like this is an event honoring the Marine Corps," Lawlor said.
Hey, I have some suggestions for other extremist groups who may want to fly "a recognized military flag" over the Capitol building. You know who I'm talking about. In fact, I've seen quite a few of them in the tea party crowds enthusiastically supporting their toxic brand of politics:

It sickens me to see our State Capitol used in such a blatantly partisan manner.

UPDATE: I was informed that the governor's office has nothing to do with the decision to fly the flag. Sorry about the mistake. Please register your complaints with the following office:

You need to know that the Governor's Office has nothing to do with decisions about flying the flag at the Capitol.

Those decisions are made by the Capitol Police and Legislative Management (860-241-0100) and anyone who wants to register a complaint (or comment in any other way) should be calling Legislative Management (or Donovan or Williams).

Leave 'em alone now, they did the right thing. Maybe call and thank them for doing the right thing!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Congrats to the UConn women's basketball team, capping a second consecutive perfect season to win the NCAA National Championship. That brings their amazing unbeaten streak to 78 in a row.

Which isn't to say they didn't make it exciting! Following a dismal first half the Huskies trailed by 8 points, but both teams obviously exhibited nerves and shot well below their season average. Which was lucky for UConn.

After the 20-12 score at the intermission, the Huskies offense woke up and scored regularly on the Stanford women, ending in a 53-47 victory. It wasn't the most elegant game of the year, but it was definitely their biggest!

Way to go, ladies!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Bysiewicz seeks to block her own testimony


From the Hartford Courant:
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz Tuesday afternoon abruptly withdrew her motion to prevent release of her deposition testimony in her lawsuit to establish her credentials to run for state attorney general.

Last week Secretary of State and candidate for Attorney General Susan Bysiewicz gave a deposition in a lawsuit she helped bring about in order to get a ruling on the statute requiring a minimum of ten years of "active practice" in order to be AG.

As reported in the Hartford Courant, Bysiewicz yesterday:
...asked a Superior Court judge Monday to block disclosure of the transcript and videotape of her sworn testimony in a deposition, which is part of her lawsuit to get a judge to rule that she is qualified to run for state attorney general.

Bysiewicz's lawyer, Wesley W. Horton, filed a motion for a "protective order" directing all parties in the case "not to disclose publicly the transcript or videotape of any depositions in this case, except to the extent necessary to prosecute or defend any potential motion, unless and until they are unsealed" by order of the judge in the case.
Okay, I'm not a genius or anything (I can almost hear the chorus of agreement rising from my loyal readers) but it seems that Susan has handled nearly every aspect of this controversy in as clumsy a manner imaginable.

It's difficult to pretend that something didn't go wrong during her deposition, especially after the FOI requests for the video and/or transcripts of her testimony from various news agencies.

But regardless of whatever was said during the deposition, I'm sure that getting a favorable ruling on the case is what matters most here for Susan. Hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later, because if Bysiewicz eventually is found ineligible to run, the Democrats will need some time to bring up the numbers for other candidates, like George Jepsen or Cam Staples.

In any case, I think the video and transcripts should be released as soon as possible, but after a ruling if there's sufficient legal reason for it.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Dudchik is doing it again

UPDATE: Stephen Herron over at Drinking Liberally in New Milford is seeing the same thing happening in the news aggregator website. Go over and see his take on the subject through the link above.

Above is a screen cap from yesterday's Capitol Report main page. The red oval shows THREE headlines all pointing to the exact same story, which happens to ask questions about the lease agreement Attorney General Dick Blumenthal has with Democratic State Central for office space.

I can see one headline being required to bring attention to this essentially pointless story. Yes, they probably should sign a lease, even though State Central doesn't even own the building; it's a sublet. Thank you Norwich Bulletin for pointing that out.

Maybe even two headlines, because the story also briefly discusses Merrick Alpert's silly "Chicken Dick" campaign to get another debate. Which, by the way, isn't helping Alpert at all, and in fact is making him look like a joke candidate. I liked him better when he stuck to the issues.

But three headlines? I mean, c'mon Tom! I know it was a light news weekend, but couldn't you put in a story about the Huskies women in the NCAA Final Four last night, or maybe link to the tragic story about the 19 year-old local Marine who lost his life in Afghanistan?

Does anyone really need THREE links to that same story?

It just seems to me that any story which raises any vague doubts about the Democratic candidate often appears to get more (and longer) coverage than stories that detail actual GOP shenanigans.

I promised you I'd point it out when I think you're not being fair, Tom. I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Get ready to start missing me

Yesterday I celebrated what has become a major rite of spring for me.

Being me, I also had to make a video of it.

I'm going to start spending much more time doing stuff like this, instead of stuff like I've been doing for the last six or so months.

Because it's the most wonderful time of year!

Woo-hoo! "Full Tilt" will be in the water in about a month!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Milford's Morality Crusade alive and well

Just to show you our little city hasn't lost touch with it's puritanical roots, here's two stories that got a little play this week.

Frank Juliano of the CT Post reports in this story:
Back in 2004, when the ordinance was passed by the Board of Aldermen, it was hailed as the toughest in the state. The measure requires dancers and patrons to remain at least 6 feet apart and prohibits performers from going from the stage into the audience.

But the rules are not being enforced while a complex federal lawsuit drags on. No hearings are scheduled in the case, in U.S. District Court in Hartford, and the city's legal expenses have topped $258,000, officials said this week.

Daniel Silver, the lawyer for Keepers Gentlemen's Club, called the case "an expensive quagmire" last week. "We've got years to go and there is a lot of money at stake," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if the city's legal fees topped $500,000."
So, our city's tax dollars (to the eventual tune of a half million) are going towards keeping the gentry safe from boobies.

The story goes on to describe regulations regarding "turgid male organs", but I decided it wouldn't be appropriate to discuss the subject on this, the most holy of Christian holidays.

Speaking of keeping the town safe from boobies, Milford also responded to a complaint about a painting on public property that depicts a tasteful rendition of a lady with nary a stitch covering her lovely bosom.

I've included a censored image of the painting below, with a warning bar that means "Not Safe For Public Property".

Frank Juliano again reports:
Several paintings of nudes, including one by noted artist Roger Van Damme that was installed in late February and one by Meddick that has been hanging for more than 20 years, were removed from the Parsons Government Center three weeks ago.
What's next? Are we gonna bring back the witch burnings?

I really don't need to comment further, except that I look forward to the flood of Google Image Search hits I'll get later today because I named the picture "boobies.jpg"!

Have a Happy Easter y'all!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Please, just call it what it is

Okay, I've about had it with this...

Every day, during my scan of the local blogosphere, I check out Tom Dudchik's news and blog compilation website Capitol Report.

And pretty much every day I find something that annoys me.

Which, if you think about it, means that Tom is probably doing something right with his Drudge-like site. I don't know the current number of hits he's getting, but I'm assuming it's ridiculously high.

Because the website is a handy resource for those of us who don't have the time to scan every single newspaper, blog, online news source, TV station, and opinion piece every day. According to what Tom tells me, he does this pretty much full time now.

I don't have any problem with any of that.

What does bother me; what causes my acid reflux to give an extra squirt in the morning, is the editorial choices he makes in his headlines.

I've gone over this with him several times, and he insists that every quote is pulled directly from the article. I don't dispute that, but I do think he cherry picks the one quote from many stories that often slants it against whatever Democrat is mentioned therein. I don't have an exact count, but it seems to happen like 80% of the time.

One of today's headlines is a perfect example of this:

If you glance only at the headline and don't click through, you'll assume that the article is focused exclusively on Dick Blumenthal's apparent odiousness.

In fact, the story (linked HERE) is almost exclusively about ROB SIMMONS and his overwhelming awfulness!

Here's the front page of the American Spectator with the link to their own article:

Wow! The actual story is about why Rob Simmons is a terrible Republican and why Connecticut voters should consider some of the other Republicans in the race. Dudchik needed to wade through seventeen paragraphs of the article before finding a quote that gives an entirely different impression of the point of the story!

Here's some quotes that any reasonable, impartial person might use instead to convey an accurate impression of the writer's point:
"No More New England Republicans..."

"Simmons is fiscally liberal and socially deplorable..."

"Simmons is an old guard New England Republican..."

Simmons is a "fraudulent" Connecticut Republican.
But no, Dudchik apparently decided that using his editorial discretion to pick the one quote that smears the Attorney General was the best way to go. And to anyone who views his front page but doesn't click through to the story, they walk away with the impression that there's a whole article devoted to Blumenthal's "tedious" nature. It's a persuasive yet insidious way to effect opinion under the guise of "journalism".

I'm sorry Tom, but this simply doesn't strike me as responsible journalism. We both know that everyone has some political bias in their writing; but unlike you, I make no effort whatsoever to hide mine. I'm a progressive Democrat and proud of it.

I don't deny that Capitol Report is a great compilation website, and I'm sure you'll be very successful at it. I'll continue to read it, although I'll keep my Tums at the ready.

But please, if you're going to continue to appear to manipulate opinion with your editorial choices, the least you could do is just admit it.