Monday, October 01, 2018

President Obama Endorses Ned Lamont


This is really great news!

Our most popular president of recent times has fully endorsed Ned Lamont in his race for governor of Connecticut!

Former President Barack Obama gave his endorsement to begin the final full month of campaigning:

“When Ned Lamont stood up to his own party and opposed the war in Iraq more than a decade ago, he showed the courage to do what was right. As a businessman who started and ran a successful company in Connecticut, Ned demonstrated how to bring people together and create good-paying jobs – while still finding time to volunteer as a teacher and help students in Bridgeport. That’s why I’m so proud to endorse Ned Lamont for Governor. If elected, Ned will do what he’s done his whole life to turn the state around and ensure a more hopeful future: he’ll protect working families, improve Connecticut’s business climate, and refuse to back down from making the tough choices.

Lamont enthusiastically accepted the endorsement, and he had this to say about President Obama:

“President Obama represents the very best of America. His presidency inspired the country and the world, and demonstrated what real leadership looks like. That’s why I am honored to have earned President Obama’s endorsement. If elected, I will fight for the things he fought for: lowering the burden on the middle class, increasing access to healthcare, standing up for women, and creating jobs and opportunity. I will also reach across the aisle and work with Republicans, as well as leaders in business, labor, and academia to put in place policies that lower the property tax, jumpstart economic growth, and solve the fiscal challenge facing Connecticut. I’m incredibly humbled to receive President Obama’s support as we enter the final stretch of this campaign.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Lamont explains disastrous Republican tax plan

Today Ned Lamont issued a detailed press release where he examines and discusses the proposed tax reform plan by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski.

Let's just say it would be an epic disaster for all the people here in Connecticut!

Here is Lamont's statement in full:

Why Bob Stefanowski’s Plan is Radical and Wrong

By Ned Lamont

Six years ago, a Republican politician signed up with far-right economist Arthur Laffer to propose a deceptive, “simple” tax plan. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback would offer his state gigantic new tax breaks that would slash rates across the board and eliminate his state’s top income tax bracket.

It would be like a “shot of adrenaline” to the economy, Brownback promised. Kansans were told it would result in “enormous prosperity” for their state.

Then… reality happened.

When the huge tax cuts went into effect, “their failure was seen almost instantly.” Kansas became a national experiment in extremist economics — and it failed in a spectacular way.

Education was slashed to pay for the tax cut. State aid for education saw the largest decline in two decades, and possibly in state history. The cuts to classrooms were so draconian that they were deemed unconstitutional by a judge.

Budget holes of hundreds of millions of dollars, specifically because of the Republican experiment, ensued. The state’s credit rating was downgraded. Critical services were cut. And eventually the sales tax was hiked, causing “homeowners, workers, and businesses” the most pain.

Facing fiscal turmoil, Kansas lagged far behind the national average in private sector job and GDP growth. It netted only 28,000 new non-farm jobs — fewer than the similar, but considerably smaller, economy of neighboring Nebraska.

The result was a “full-blown disaster for Kansans” because “the governor’s growth strategy is in ruins” as one columnist put it. It put the state “in crisis mode” while actually harming the business climate.

That’s why a supermajority of the overwhelmingly Republican state legislature voted to repeal the income tax cut.

It became a mess, largely because, to use George H.W. Bush’s words, the tax ideas it was premised on were “voodoo economics” (a phrase also popularized here). Kansas has become the national example of what not to do.

Which brings us to Connecticut.

We need to focus on creating jobs and growing the economy — not slashing critical services.

Unfortunately, what happened in Kansas is exactly what Bob Stefanowski is promising as he runs on eliminating the income tax here at home. He promises that it will be a cure-all for our complex economic challenges. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s employing the same economic advisor who was the architect of the failing tax plan in Kansas.

Mr. Stefanowski claims that, like in the Kansas experiment, his plan will “unleash a business boom.”

It won’t.

Why? Tax cuts don’t pay for themselves, and politicians who say they do aren’t telling you the truth.

While my opponent makes these pie-in-the-sky promises, we’ve run the numbers on what will actually happen in our state if the income tax is eliminated.

Similar to Kansas, Connecticut’s income tax accounts for 56 percent of the general fund. That means that basically every line item in the budget will be cut in half or eliminated entirely. Consequently, the following is going to happen if Mr. Stefanowski ever implemented his plan.

First… Property. Taxes. Will. Soar.

It’s guaranteed. State aid represents 27 percent of local government revenue. Without it, property taxes will likely rise in every town. In many, they’ll double.

I believe we need to cut property taxes — because middle class families have been paying too much and deserve relief. I am focused on growing our economy and creating jobs — and that won’t happen by jacking up property taxes in virtually every city and town statewide.

And where property tax rates don’t double, local services — from our educational system, to police, to fire departments — will be gutted.

At a time when we need to be investing in our cities and towns like never before, this plan will make it harder for them to get by.

Mr. Stefanowski’s tax plan, which would cut at least $1 billion in direct state support for local schools, would have devastating effects on our children’s educations, while 8,600 teaching positions statewide would be eliminated under his proposal.

I believe we need to support our teachers, invest in our classrooms, and emphasize STEM so that each of our children receives a world-class education that equips them for the jobs and the industries of tomorrow. Slashing billions in education dollars is a formula for taking us backwards — not forward.

In addition to jeopardizing our children’s ability to succeed in the classroom, Mr. Stefanowski’s plan would adversely affect the most vulnerable in our state.

Mr. Stefanowski’s proposal would slash property tax breaks for 19,669 veterans — or eliminate them entirely for 9,835 Connecticut residents who have served our country bravely.

I believe we have a moral obligation to support every veteran who fought to defend this country — not to roll back common-sense benefits.

We all know that seniors are the anchors of our communities. But the reality is that Mr. Stefanowski’s plan to eliminate the income tax would result in ending tax breaks for 47,000 elderly and disabled residents, or eliminating them entirely for 23,500 individuals.

We need to be a Connecticut where our seniors can age in place and live with dignity. Rolling back these benefits isn’t a roadmap to building a better future for the state.

What’s more, 520 state troopers who protect our communities and 3,500 UConn and Connecticut State Colleges and Universities faculty and staff who educate the leaders of tomorrow would have to be let go.

If we’re going to build a 21st century state, we need to give our state troopers the tools they need to keep driving crime down. And as we do that, we need to give young people the tools they need to get a great education that prepares them for great jobs. It cannot — and should not — be so hard to go to college. Putting barriers on learning is the antithesis to a pro-growth agenda.

When it comes to our kids, 8,788 children of low-income parents will lose child care under this proposal. The 22,000 kids who currently have access to school-based health clinics, and the comprehensive medical coverage they provide, would be denied health care.

That’s just not who we are and who we need to be as a state.

For parents who are saving for college tuition, Connecticut State University tuition would rise by 11% — or $2,604 — under my opponent’s plan. If you’re saving for community college, brace yourself for a 62% spike.

At a time when we need to be preparing everyone with 21st century job training, and just when we need to be delivering Connecticut jobs for Connecticut workers, a massive tuition hike at community colleges simply isn’t conducive to a vibrant economy.

To be clear, this is only some of what would happen — it’s just a partial list….

The impacts of Mr. Stefanowski’s plan are real, and they will be felt across the state. His plan represents an easy answer, rather than a hard choice.

And that’s because my opponent isn’t telling you that your property taxes will skyrocket. Or that the sales tax will have to be jacked up. He isn’t telling teachers they will be fired and parents that school funding will be gutted.

He isn’t telling veterans or the elderly that their tax breaks will go away, or admitting that our already broken infrastructure will crumble as a result.

But it’s the truth under his plan. It’s the false choice, and the bad choice, he’s proposing.

There is no question we need to change how we do business. That’s why I’m a different kind of candidate who’s going to be a different kind of governor.

But the answer isn’t replicating a failed experiment here at home. The answer isn’t to gamble, and treat our budget crisis as a game of roulette.

Instead, I believe the answer lies in being honest and making hard decisions.

I believe in creating jobs and economic growth, and making smart investments.

I believe in cutting your property taxes, while Stefanowski’s plan raises them.

I believe in investing in education, while my opponent will cut it.

I believe in working in a bipartisan way, and in making the kinds of investments that governors of both parties failed to make for decades.

And I believe the choice this November could not be clearer.

It’s a choice between repeating a failed test-case right here in Connecticut with voodoo economics…and building a Connecticut for the future.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ned Lamont Wins Primary

In the "Nobody Is The Least Bit Surprised Department", Greenwich millionaire and all-around nice guy Ned Lamont cruised to a massive primary win for Governor over Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.

The final spread was roughly 81% to 19%, with Lamont's message of financial stability and job growth resonating with the voters.

Former Sec. of State Susan Bysiewicz also prevailed in the race for Lt. Governor. Political newcomer Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman had a very good showing with strong grassroots support, receiving around 40% of the vote. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from Eva in the future.

William Tong won for Attorney General and Shawn Wooden got the Treasurer's nod.

In an historic win, 5th CD candidate for Congress and 2016 Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes won big over Simsbury 1st Selectman Mary Glassman. Hayes is positioned to be the first black Congresswoman from New England should she win in the heavily Democratic district in November.

On the Republican side, GOP newcomer and Madison millionaire Bob Stefanowski upset heavy favorite Danbury mayor Mark Boughton. In the crowded field, Stefanowski's total vote didn't break the 30% mark.

Today President Trump tweeted his support for the recent Democrat who didn't even vote in the 2016 election. I'm guessing with Trump's endorsement we'll probably see Stefanowski get a similar percentage of the vote in November.

I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more of Stefanowski's message now that he's defeated the other Trumpian candidates. Noteworthy is that not a single GOP candidate has even hinted that any of the President's toxic policies are anything they would disagree with.

But for now, it's really great to bask in a big win with Ned Lamont, and start getting geared up for a bruising campaign with all the SuperPAC money that will flow into the opposition's coffers.

I'd check to see if any of the cash can be traced back to rubles!

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

One Week until the Connecticut Primary

UPDATE 8/11: I've changed my mind on my pick for AG, much to the credit of my FB friends who gave me plenty to think about. See below.

-----------------------------

Here we are, approaching yet another significant election.

This will decide who will likely be leading us for the next four years.
I've been quite vocal in my support of Ned Lamont for governor, and for good reason. Ned has a history of wanting to serve the people of Connecticut. He's a true-blue supporter of many issues important to us, and as governor I expect he'll have the right temperament and judgment to lead us through what will likely be a couple of difficult years for the state.

The next governor will inherent a deficit that's possibly running somewhere around $2 billion in the red. I support Ned Lamont to be that next governor, and I look forward to him continuing to connect with the people of the state as we approach the November election. Obviously, I endorse Ned for Governor.
In the other races, Sec. of State Denise Merrill and State Comptroller (and State Nerd) Kevin Lembo are unopposed in the primary, so they'll get to enjoy the evening watching the returns come in.
In the Attorney General's race, Rep. William Tong is the party endorsed candidate, but he expects a significant challenge from former prosecutor Chris Mattei and State Sen. Paul Doyle. I think that his experience as the House Chairman of the Judiciary Committee gives Tong an edge over his opponents, because he's used to working with the State House.

UPDATE: I've learned quite a bit more about Chris Mattei in the last several days. Mattei has been a very solid progressive voice, and he's the prosecutor who sent corrupt governor John Rowland to prison. Plus, learning about William Tong's voting record has troubled me.


To quote Jon Kantrowitz from my FB page:

Tong Votes:
– Voted against two budgets, HB7400 (2007) and SB1801 (2009), which would have raised the income tax on high-income households.
– Voted against HB6715 (2007) to legalize medical marijuana.
– Voted against SB1014 (2011) to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.
– Voted against HB5291 (2012) that would have increased the minimum wage.
– Voted against SB914 (2015) that would have allowed employees to recover twice the amount of damages associated with an employer’s failure to pay wages.
- Voted against HB6600 to override Republican Governor Rell’s veto of legislation that would establish a public healthcare option in Connecticut.

So, I now officially endorse William Tong Chris Mattei for Attorney General!

For Lt. Governor, it gets very interesting. Former Sec. of State Susan Bysiewicz is the party endorsed candidate, having ended up with about 60% of the convention delegate votes. But Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman, an organizer for the Service Employees International Union, entered the race just days before the final May deadline. She claimed that the Democrats needed more diversity on their slate. Which is a noble reason, but likely not enough to win a primary against an experience opponent.

But something interesting happened. At the State Democratic Convention she got 40% of the vote. These are votes cast by engaged delegates, who tend to be much more knowledgeable than the general public about the issues. She gained a lot of support against a supposedly well-respected former state officer.
Then Eva went on the road and reached out to the voters, and there seems to be a significant swing towards supporting her. Eva was connecting with the voters, and her message would bring a certain balance to the Dem's ticket in November. A Lamont/Bermudez-Zimmerman ticket will likely be unbeatable in November. And yes, I officially endorse Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman for Lt. Gov.

For State Treasurer, I don't really know enough about the candidates to make a choice. That's on me. I'm very busy. Just be sure to vote.

In the Federal primary, Sen. Chris Murphy and the four current House incumbents are unopposed. In the Fifth Congressional District, the race is more wide open. The two candidates on the ballot came to a virtual tie, ensuring an interesting contest.
Former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman is the party (just barely) endorsed candidate for the open seat, vacated by the retiring Rep. Esty.
Jahana Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year, is vying to be the first black Democrat to represent Connecticut in the U.S. House.

Since I can't vote in this contest (me being in Rosa's 3rd CD), I hesitate to endorse a candidate here. I will say that judging from the statements and positions held by the candidates, I think Connecticut will be well-served to have either of them representing our state.

So, that's it. Get out and vote August 14th. Polls are open from 6am-8pm, so no excuses!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

TBT "Blog Wars"

Back in 2006, British filmmaker James Rogan came to Connecticut to create a documentary about the effect of bloggers on the political landscape. With it, he witnessed one of the biggest upsets of the early 2000's: the defeat of Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic Primary by upstart candidate Ned Lamont.

This one-hour documentary explores the ways these citizen journalists changed the conversation in America, and it shows that the people have the ability to speak truth to power.


Blog Wars from James Rogan on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Ned Lamont wins Democratic nod for Governor


Yesterday at the Democratic State Convention, Ned Lamont easily cruised to a massive victory for nominee for Governor!

Final tally of the delegate voting gave Lamont a roughly 87% to 13% victory, with Bridgeport Mayor Joeseph P. Ganim failing to reach the 15% threshold to qualify for a primary.

Lamont took the stage moments after the vote was finalized by the convention chair. He quickly recognized the support for Ganim, largely from Bridgeport, and in a conciliatory statement he promised to give Bridgeport and all the large cities of Connecticut the attention they deserve.

Ned's speech zeroed in on the issues that he's been championing since he began his campaign: creating jobs, modernizing the infrastructure, ensuring women's rights, making the minimum wage a living wage, and other popular issues.

Here's his complete acceptance speech. Sorry about the video quality, I'm desperately in need of getting modern video equipment, but the audio is clear enough to understand Ned's remarks, and it captured the excitement in the packed room.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ned Lamont-Susan Bysiewicz is happening

Thomas Breen photo

Tuesday morning Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont and former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz made it official. They have united their campaigns with Susan running for Lt. Gov.

The State Democratic Convention is just three days away, and both Ned and Susan are probably hard at work and building consensus to try to ensure a first-round win among the delegates.

Lamont is the clear favorite going in, but Bysiewicz may have a formidable challenge with the likes of State Senator Gary Winfield and Newtown labor organizer Eva Bermudez possibly contesting her candidacy. In any state race, all you need to do to force a primary is collect 15% of the delegates. This may be the strategy intended by Bridgeport mayor Joe Ganim and others to secure a place on the ballot for the August primary.

To read more about today's announcement along with a Facebook Live video, please visit The New Haven Independent.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Lamont-Bysiewicz ticket expected shortly



I just heard that Democratic candidate Ned Lamont will likely announce Tuesday that former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz will be his choice for Lieutenant Governor.

This pairing creates a powerful team going into Friday's convention, and it will undoubtedly create some excitement.

The candidate for Lt. Gov. is selected separately from the gubernatorial candidate. But going into the convention as a unified ticket will probably make a contentious primary unlikely, and a Lamont/Bysiewicz team will almost definitely be a favorite to win in November.

Bysiewicz has significant backing from a large segment of the delegates, and her longtime experience in Hartford will be noted by the voters.

I'm very pleased with this development, as it certainly helps the Democrats ensure continued leadership in the Governor's office.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Harris drops out - endorses Lamont

Today the contest for the Democratic nominee for Governor got a little clearer.

Former State Senator Jonathon Harris dropped his bid for governor and threw his support to Ned Lamont. From the joint press release today:

“Today, I am announcing that I am ending my campaign for governor,” said Harris. “Public service is and will always be close to my heart. I am proud to have dedicated myself to advancing my community in West Hartford and fighting to make Connecticut a great place to live.”

[..]

Harris then went on to explain his endorsement of Ned Lamont: “When I entered the race, I said that Connecticut needed a bold leader who isn't afraid to speak openly and tackle tough issues. With that in mind, I am happy to announce my support for Ned Lamont for Governor.”

“Ned is someone I have become close with over the past few months and I know that he has the fresh perspective we need to fix our state’s budget problems and the leadership to build a real grass movement that brings people together to change Connecticut for the better. I hope that my supporters join me in getting behind Ned Lamont. Ned gives Democrats the best chance to win this November, and that is our best chance to bring positive change to our state."

Ned accepted the endorsement with gratitude and acknowledgement of Harris's accomplishments.

The State Democratic convention is scheduled for May 18th and 19th. I'm hoping to get press credentials once again, this time as a social media blogger. (Meaning my blog posts will all be less than the limit of a Tweet, and I'll probably post quite a few photos and cellphone videos!)

And visit Ned for CT for more info on Ned's campaign.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Are we ever going to do anything about super-delegates?


As we flail headlong into the 2018 mid-term elections, we need to consider where we are regarding the Democratic party's fucked up super-delegate system.

Because really, it's just two years until we're deep into the 2020 primaries, and we'll soon after have to deal with the Democratic National Convention, where a candidate will be chosen to hopefully correct many of the wrongs that have been perpetrated by Trump and his band of GOP cronies.

But our party's system of selecting a candidate is still a mess.

For some archaic and inscrutable reason, the Democrats insist on reserving roughly 20% of the voting delegates as party insiders and appointed members.

Think about ANY election, where 20% wasn't a monumental voting block, if unified.

In 2016, the Democratic primaries boiled down to a contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Sanders was a no-nonsense straight-talker, unafraid to ruffle feathers in the pursuit of fairness and justice. Clinton was an established party insider, well-known and well-loved by the Democratic party members.

As the primaries progressed, both candidates won a similar number of contests, and each had a sizeable amount of delegates.

But then a curious thing started happening. As the delegate totals were tallied, many MSM outlets started including the pledged votes of the super-delegates into the totals. These were votes that were NOT locked in, and any one of them had the option to change their vote right up until the moment they cast them at the convention.

But this had a curious effect on the primary process. By showing one candidate's totals being anywhere from 10-20% higher than an opponent's simply because of the pledged votes, this had a not-insignificant result in "chilling" the turnout for the candidate who wasn't the party insider.

When Hillary won enough votes PLUS the pledged super-delegates, she was declared the presumptive nominee by the media and the party. Even though in reality, she was hundreds of votes shy of the threshold required. But the party rejoiced in her "victory".

If you were a Bernie supporter at this point, would you be inclined to go out an vote in a remaining primary? Probably not.

There's something that just doesn't smell right about letting a handful of party insiders control what's supposed to be a democratic process.

In fact, since local governments spend tax dollars to run these elections, don't they have a responsibility to see if they're being run fairly? Since the National Democratic Committee wants to keep these elections unfair, shouldn't they have to shoulder the cost of the elections? I know for myself, I don't want to see a thin dime of my tax money spent on an election that is supposed to be democratic but is actually rigged by party insiders.

I wonder if there's any legal precedent for bringing an action against the DNC, while there's still time to make a change?

I'd be interested in seeing something like that. Where the PEOPLE control the PARTY, and not the other way around!

(...and I full expect Bernie supporters to agree with me; and Hillary supporters to tell my why I'm wrong and why Bernie cost Hillary the election because blah blah blah...)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Tweeting with the President

We've all seen Trump's relentlessly insipid Tweets. He's tweeted thousands of times since he became an actual political figure. Most of the time he uses Twitter to attack his political foes or to claim credit for the very few things he's accomplished since becoming the de facto leader of the Free World.

I like that he does that. First of all, every Tweet is eventually going to be used as evidence in either an impeachment trial, or in likely dozens of civil and criminal trials that will inevitably happen.

He will probably assist the prosecution in determining his guilt on many issues.

Also, his stream of unedited statements on Twitter gives everyone tremendous insight into his thought process.

And it ain't pretty!

I spent a fair amount of time responding to his tweets early on. It usually starts with him making some outrageous claim or half-baked remark, which I retweeted with with my own comprehensive rebuttal.

After some weeks of this, I realized that this isn't the way to get a response from him.

So I started calling him a dick.

Yes, I know it's silly and juvenile. But it's fun to think that every time I call him a dick and put an "@" mention of his name on the tweet, there's a tiny possibility that he may see it!

Because he does occasionally review his @ mentions, and it makes me feel all warm inside to think that as he scrolls through those mentions, the phrase "You're a dick!" may leap out at him.

As Sun Tzu says, "If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him."

Plus, it saves me tons of time by not trying to reason with him. Just saying "You're a dick" is incredibly freeing and satisfying!


I also like to mix it up sometimes, by incorporating some of what he says in a tweet when I reply. Always with the "@realDonaldTrump" tag on it.


And then there's some of this sort of thing.


But mostly, I try to let him know, each and EVERY day, that...

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Sunday Night Music Club v.52

In light of yet another tragic school shooting a couple of weeks ago, I decided to post this video of Sir Bob Geldorf and the Boomtown Rats playing their hit "I Don't Like Mondays".

This song explores the reasons, or lack of reasons, for a long-ago school shooting.

It was a time when school shootings were virtually unknown. Since then, it's tragically become an all-too-frequent event.

On Monday, January 29th, 1979, 16-year old Brenda Spencer opened a window in her house that faces the school, and started firing a little 22-calibre semi-automatic rifle at children who were waiting for the school gate to open. Even with a weapon as under-powered as that, in a few minutes she managed to kill 2 adults and wound 8 children.

After firing 30 rounds, she barricaded herself in her home. A reporter called the house during the standoff and asked her why she did it. She famously replied, "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day."

Bob Geldorf heard the quote soon after, and set about to try and makes sense of what is obviously a senseless act of violence.

Brenda Spencer is still in prison, and probably will be for life. She's next up for parole in 2019.

The two adults she murdered are still dead.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Maryland Working on Presidential Tax Return Law


I just heard about this. Maryland's State Senate just moved a bill forward that will require ALL presidential candidates to release their previous five years of income tax returns to secure a place on the ballot.

Holy shit! What a brilliant idea!

Maryland has a Democratic majority in their Senate and House, but they also have a Republican governor, Larry Hogan. He hasn't said anything about his stance on such a bill.

Here in Connecticut, we have a majority in the House, Senate (very slight but it counts), and a Governor who may be in favor of signing such a law.

We need to make this bill strong, and there's a number of things that need to be included:

- Penalties that make it a SERIOUS state crime to falsify, omit, or hold back ANY of the
information that was filed with the IRS. This will be easy to prove, if my hope that the
IRS will provide tax returns if they are evidence in a criminal trial is realized.

- A deadline far enough in advance of any elections that make it possible to forensically
go over each return with a fine-toothed comb. Since we have a primary in Connecticut,
we should make it 90 days before the polls open.

- If an incumbent decides to skip the primary, which will happen because the Republicans
are a bunch of pussies who are afraid to go against the Cheeto King, there will still
be a 90-day requirement to release them ahead of November. This will hit right around
the time of the Republican National Convention most likely.


This can be huge! We need to call our State reps with this idea, and see if they can get it on the legislative agenda. I'd love to hear what our governor, Dan Malloy, would think about this. And we'll have to make this the model of legislation that many other Blue states can enact.

If we get enough states to do this, we can change the way certain criminal presidents are able to slither into the White House without giving a shit about fiscal transparency.

This can literally change the course of our nation.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Trump Slump matches lowest low

This weekend the approval ratings for Cadet Bone Spurs (Donald J. Trump) matched his all-time low of 35%, erasing the minor bump he got from not shitting himself during his first State of the Union address several weeks ago.

He went from 40% to 35% in the last few weeks. I wonder why?

Maybe it's that thing where he refuses to push anything substantive to stop the senseless school massacres that are happening more and more frequently.

Maybe it's the fact that his need to have Cliff's Notes clutched in his tiny little hand when speaking to survivors of the school shooting makes it look like he's emotionally incapable of showing any human empathy at all.

Maybe it's his incessant tweeting his every thought like a gossipy high school girl every single day.

Or maybe, just maybe, it's the realization that the web of his lawlessness is finally tightening around him.

From CNN:
The findings follow several weeks of sharply negative news about the President's White House staff, including the revelation that several key staffers lacked permanent security clearance, the implementation of a new policy to handle interim security clearances, and news that multiple White House staffers had resigned following accusations of domestic abuse.

Yeah, that ol' wife-beating thing may play well with your redneck base, Mr. Trump, but the majority of Americans tend to look down on that sort of behavior.

And you'll know it come November. If you make it that long.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cadet Bone Spurs needs cliff's notes


Jesus motherfucking Christ! How much of a sociopath is our president that he needs "talking points" clutched in his tiny baby hands so he can pretend to relate to school students who just saw a bunch of their friends pointlessly gunned down?

I expect to see more sympathy from Patrick Bateman or M.E. Thomas than from our psychopathic president!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Russians are coming

I'm not sure what this means, but it doesn't smell good.

Suddenly my stupid little blog is getting a lot of hits from websites in Russia.

Maybe I triggered an algorithm because of all my references to Donald Trump being a "dick".

But that's mostly on Twitter, and I don't publish them here except on the side bar. Maybe I'll start linking my Twitter to this blog just to get my publishing numbers up.

Anyway, those Czarist fuckers are somehow messing with my blog. And I think it might be not a good thing.

But what the hell...who cares? I can delete the whole fucking thing tomorrow and I wouldn't have an ounce of regret.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Simple Way To End The Gun Debate


Every time there's one of these senseless massacres, I tweet the same goddamned thing:

"Please release the crime scene photos!"

Just think of how the public would respond to seeing actual photographs of the children with their heads blown off.

With their little chests ripped apart by military rounds.

With their faces frozen into absolute horror as they died in an obscene frenzy of violence.

The idea of it is horrifying!


Yes, it would be gruesome.
Yes, it would be outrageous.
Yes, it would be very painful to the families of the victims.

And yes, it would have an immediate effect on the national discussion over gun control!

One of the ways gun supporters and the NRA have gotten so many politicians to vote for absolute free and nearly unfettered access to military-grade weapons is because the images we see in media are whitewashed of any of those things.

Imagine for an instant what the unified public reaction to images of the Parkland dead or the Newtown victims being shown as they lay in their classrooms; their lives torn from them because as a nation we can't seem to comprehend what most of the world easily knows.

That widespread easy access to guns inevitably results in increased violence!

Look at Australia. They suffered a horrific massacre in Port Arthur, where 35 people were killed in a senseless gun attack. This resulted in the National Firearms Programme Implementation Act 1996, restricting the private ownership of semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing. It was implemented with bipartisan support by the Commonwealth, states and territories.

They worked together on passing this legislation.

It put an immediate end to this kind of tragedy.

For over 20 years, Australians have enjoyed the relative freedom of not being shot whilst going about their business, at least making gun violence as rare as, I dunno, being struck by lightning or choking to death on a kangaroo steak. (I actually don't know the odds of either of those two possibilities, but I expect they're quite remote, as is the possibility of those little kids from down under being gunned down in 3rd grade mathematics!)

So, what's it going to take to get the gun-toting NRA supporters to see the results of their fascination with military-grade weaponry?

Two ways, I think.

One, is for some of the parents of murdered children to publicly call for the release of the photos of their dead child, in order to perhaps make some sense of their deaths. It would be difficult for sure. But then again, I've seen enough interviews with bereaved parents to know that there are some who are so angry they would absolutely want to share the horrible photos of the crime scene in the hope that it will possibly result in effective gun legislation. And it might give them some comfort that their child's death has some meaning in preventing future attacks.

The other is for some law-enforcement or government employee who has had enough of seeing those photos as a requirement of their job to take a leap of faith and leak the photos to someone who has the cajones to release them into the public eye. A thumb drive plugged into the right USB port on the right computer for a minute or so may save countless kids from future attacks. (I would totally be willing to take the hit for releasing data like that, especially if it results in legislation that saves lives.)

This will have the immediate effect of getting the obscene reality of these killings into the minds of every single NRA-sponsored Congressman or Senator. And in the minds of the voters who will decide if they should continue to support them.

And then, those legislators will have to answer horribly awkward questions from EVERYONE about why they aren't doing ANYTHING about stopping this epidemic of gun-caused violence!

The world will change just a little bit, in that instant.

And sometimes, all it takes for history to change is just one, small, courageous step.

This could be that step!

When the mid-terms get really ramped up in the fall, Donald Trump will manufacture a reason to go to war with somebody, as he's already said that a war will be good for the Republicans.

Imagine if these photos were released two weeks before the election!

Every SINGLE legislator who took money from the NRA will be spending a lot more time at home.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Latest School Massacre, brought to you by the NRA

God have mercy on your NRA-kept souls:

Richard Burr
$6,986,620

Roy Blunt
$4,551,146

Thom Tillis
$4,418,012

Cory Gardner
$3,879,064

Marco Rubio
$3,303,355

Joni Ernst
$3,124,273

Rob Portman
$3,061,941

Todd Young
$2,896,732

Bill Cassidy
$2,861,047

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Ned Lamont back in Governor's race



After an eight-year hiatus from active political campaigning, our old friend Ned Lamont has jumped into the race for the soon-to-be-vacant seat of retiring Governor Dan Malloy.

The state is facing a fiscal crisis not too different from the one Malloy inherited from former gov. Jodi Rell eight years ago. The State Senate is dangerously close to the Democrats losing control unless there is a significant outpouring of Dem voters.

So, we're here now with Lamont back in the race. He's probably the candidate with the most name recognition from his past efforts, although there so far isn't a stand-out candidate in the race as far as I can tell. Things can change quickly though; current Comptroller Kevin Lembo was my early choice for the seat, but he bowed out while still in the exploratory phase. Lamont has apparently hastened from exploring to full-fledged candidate in a matter of weeks, as a result of polling he commissioned.

I do not doubt that those numbers showed promise!

So far I haven't see a lot of detailed policy issues discussed, other than general calls for more jobs, better infrastructure, lower health-care costs, etc. He has as recently as yesterday (Jan. 31st) come out in full support of Malloy's plan to add tolls to the highways as a way to generate more income.

It's a plan that's not very popular with the voters, and perhaps Ned would like to see it go through under Dan's watch so he can avoid taking the heat for it.

Then again, Ned has often taken the less-popular stance because he felt it was the right thing to do. We can always use leaders who make decisions with that in mind.

I tend to think that we do need tolls, as unpleasant as it sounds. It's a another form of a tax, but it's a "use" tax, where only the people who use the roads will be liable for it. And with a smart plan that uses the very best ideas other states have in their successful programs, it can be made virtually painless for state residents, while passing a large portion of the costs to out-of-state drivers and especially trucks that pass through Connecticut. A sliding rush-hour scale may encourage more commuters to use public transit, reducing the traffic on overburdened stretches like I-95 between Bridgeport and Stamford. This revenue will be used for projects like widening I-95 where the traffic has the worst bottlenecks.

Of course, there are plenty of issues besides tolls that come to mind. You can look at Ned's website and read up on his various ideas as he posts them, at NedLamont.com.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Night Music Club v.51

It's been a while, but recently I saw a film that reminded me of a lot of great songs from the 1980s, so here I go again...

The Cold-War spy thriller "Atomic Blonde" is a frenetic journey through Berlin during the final days of the Berlin Wall. It's definitely more a comic-book movie than a James Bond-style romp because there is literally NOTHING subtle about this film! Especially the extended, ridiculously violent fight scenes and gun battles! Fortunately, all it takes for Lorraine (Charlize Theron's character) to feel better is a splash in a tub filled with ice!

Well, except for the broken heart...(spoiler alert!)

Anyway, one of the things I liked best about the film was the soundtrack! Tunes by Nena (99 Luftballoons), The Clash (London Calling) and Siouxsie and the Banshees (Cities in Dust, which although was about ancient Pompeii's destruction, it stands as a vivid metaphor to the aftermath of a nuclear war) brought about a bit of cold-war nostalgia.

Being a teenager in the '70s and a young adult in the 80's, I was brought up with the knowledge that the world could end at pretty much any moment! Think about that. The United States and Soviet Union had a nuclear strategy called M.A.D., for Mutual Assured Destruction; or, in other words, both nations had so goddamn many weapons and delivery systems to guarantee that in the case of a nuclear war, there was NO doubt that both countries would be pulverized into radioactive dust, and then the dust would be atomized into a vapor that would no doubt poison the rest of the world!

As a child in the 1960s, I recall that in addition to our standard monthly fire drills, we had nuclear war drills. These were the infamous "duck and cover" routines that may have spared some of us from the initial blast, providing we weren't within the direct kill-zone, but did nothing to prepare us for what we might have had to endure in the succeeding days.

Because, everyone, including the teachers, knew if actual war on that scale broke out, we'd ALL be fucked!

Yeah, try getting a good night's sleep with that thought rattling around your head...

I think that's why I grew up with a sort of hey, whatever happens, happens kind of attitude. Try to effect change where it's possible, but beyond that, you're pretty much at the mercy of...whatever!

Falco released the Euro-hit song "Der Kommissar" in 1981, in German. The following year he released a version in English. But both of those songs failed to chart in America at the time. The band After The Fire released their own English version of the song that was moderately successful, and it brought new interest in the original German version, which became a minor hit.

After The Fire's version is much slicker and marketable, which is probably why I prefer Falco's version in German. The music video looks super-low quality, even for early 80's sensibilities. Which is part of its charm.

Here's Falco - Der Kommissar:



BONUS VIDEO ACTION

I dug a little deeper (2 seconds on Google) and found the After The Fire version of the song, which is a lot cooler and more intriguing than Falco's original. But I still like the Falco version a bit more. Because I think he says "I miss my fucking friends" rather than ATF's safe-for-radio version that has the lyric "I miss my funky friends". But golly, we have a president that says quite a few nations are "shitholes", so I guess the bar for civility has gotten very low indeed!