Sunday, December 31, 2006

My favorite moment of 2006

I just got off the phone with CT Blogger, whom I dialed by mistake, but ended up glad that I did because we had a great conversation. We chatted about all the great times we had this year, and CT Blogger said that the State Democratic Convention was probably his personal favorite event.

At first I thought that the Primary win was better, but then as we talked about all the amazing things that happened that entire weekend at the convention, I had to agree that while winning the primary was incredible, by that morning we were all fairly confident we'd win it.

At the Convention, on the other hand, Ned Lamont showed up as a distant underdog; where there was a LOT of doubt that he could pull the requisite 15% of the delegate's votes to qualify for the primary. That night, when Ned surged to over a THIRD of the vote, was amazing. And the next day, with the hotly contested race for the Governor's spot, with the recounts, John DeStefano showing up with a marching band, and Dan Malloy standing on chairs in the crowd, exhorting his supporters with a bullhorn, really was memorable. CT Blogger had procured us a pair of all-access media passes (the first of many we would get during the entire process), and we were right there, in the middle of all the action.

It was a phenomenal experience.

So yeah, I had to admit that the Convention was my favorite event of the year.

Here's a couple videos I made of the Convention:

Dan Malloy Wins shows the tense final moments of the recount, and the julbilant celebration by Malloy's supporters. It's less than 2 minutes long.

Connecticut Democratic Convention 2006 is my 24-minute opus highlighting the entire weekend. Roughly 12 minutes each covers the Senate and Gubenatoral challenges. I shot over 5 hours video, so there's plenty more that could have been included.

Connecticut 2007 Session Preview

The election is finally over, and as 2006 winds down I'm looking forward to 2007 with some modest measure of optimism. It's been quite a while since I've felt this way.

Here in Connecticut, we have an historic opportunity to initiate some real progress. The State Senate and House Democrats have gained a veto-proof majority in this year's election, and move into the 2007 session as a potential unified voting block. This is possibly the most powerful tool a legislature can have.

But will they use it?

There are many critical issues facing the new legislative session, and the super-majority power will provide an opportunity for the Democrats to make some real change. If they can work together.

Issues like energy, health care, taxes, etc., which need to be addressed and corrected.

But will the Dems have enough sack to stand up to the inexplicably popular Governor Jodi Rell and make those changes?

Or will they introduce watered-down and compromised bills that fail to respond to those important issues with any real progress?

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D-New Haven) is already talking about compromise, which is worrisome at this point because there isn’t any legislation on the table yet, and we all know how little compromise there is when the Republicans are in power (very little or none; see US Congress 1994-2006 for examples).

Quote from the New Haven Register this morning:
"There’s going to be a need for compromise and consensus," said Looney, "We’ll have priorities and the governor will have priorities. ... Eventually, we’ll have something that’s a merger of those."
Don’t give away the store before you even open the doors, Martin. Hold your cards close to your chest and wait to see what develops.

House Speaker Jim Amann (D-Milford; but you already knew that) has an unprecedented occasion to lead the House in creating true social and economic reforms. The opportunity he’s been given by the people of Connecticut should and must be used to enact the progress that is so sorely needed.

But Amann tends toward the conservative edge of the Democratic party, and the many important social issues that face us may be held in check if he fails to lobby for true reform. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

The first few days of the legislative session will probably set the tone for the entire year. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

How did I miss this one?

Dear Youtube,

Did I ever tell you how much I love you?

Because I do. I really do.

Doing some housekeeping

I just found out that you can change your Blogger name; that's what appears in the Blogger profile and appears on all my blogger comments.

So it took me a while to figure that out. I never claimed to be a wizard at this stuff!

Anyway, I'm "CT Bob" now. All the comments you've seen from "B.A." will still exist, but any new Blogger comments will be from CT Bob from now on.

That's me. I'll still be the same ol' B.A. you know and love, but this way people will recognize where I'm posting from.

And while doing some housekeeping on my computer, I came across the image below that I shot at the State Democratic Convention back in May, not long after Lamont received more than twice the votes he needed to ensure a Primary. I don't know how I missed it at the time.

Boy, those were some fun times!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Final justice

(A Kurdish boy lies dead in northern Iraq after a poison gas attack on his village by Saddam Hussein's troops in 1988.)

BREAKING NEWS: After a frantic "death watch" quickly put together tonight on the TV news, Saddam Hussein's final act has drawn to a close. Arab news organizations are reporting his execution just a few moments ago.

Hussein is said to have been hung between 6:00AM and 6:08AM Iraq time. There weren't any WMDs in Iraq, but there WAS a genuine "bad guy" they managed to catch and kill. It's probably the only thing that's gone right as far as Bush's involvement in Iraq goes.

But, judging from his track record, if George W. Bush was in charge of the autopsy, he'd probably find a way to fuck it up and Hussein would come back to life!

Hussein, should he actually stay dead, is reported to have requested burial in Yemen until such time as Iraq is "liberated", and his corpse can be reinterred in Iraqi soil. I'm not sure why he considers Yemen a "friendly" option, but obviously he feels they're sympathetic to his regime.

(...and get ready for the conspiracy nuts who will claim that the Iraqis executed one of Hussein's many doubles in his place! see below:)

And, in the event that it really WAS Saddam Hussein who was executed, I wonder where he'll spend eternity?

Somehow, I don't see Allah embracing him with open arms;
Jesus probably isn't a big fan of the guy;
Buddha isn't even returning Saddam's phone calls;
and Krishna is shopping at the mall...

Hmmm...could those guys from South Park be right?

OK George, you got your boogeyman at last. NOW can we start looking for Osama bin Laden?

You remember him, doncha, George? He's the guy that actually killed Americans on American soil.

You know, the REAL bad guy.

Well deserved

Today Steve Gilliard of The News Blog announced his list of "The Winners of 2006", and I'm pleased to see our very own CT Blogger of ConnecticutBlog recognized for his outstanding work this year!
Juan Melli (of New Jersey) and CT Blogger - They do the dirty work of local and state poliitcs, which will never lead to glory or riches, but is needed because if you think federal government has problems.....these guys are heroes to me.
Truer words were never written!

The chorus of "huzzahs!" you hear is everyone in the Connecticut blogosphere joining in to congratulate CT Blogger for an outstanding year of service to his country, his state, and his hometown of Danbury (via Hat City Blog).

Well done indeed!

Scarecrow nails Bush at FDL

(The Commander-in-Chief, along with George W. Bush. Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters.)

This morning I read what might be my favorite examination of President Bush's pathology that I've ever seen. The article is titled “It’s Important to Understand . . . “, and Scarecrow really captured the essence of W's character (or lack thereof).
If there's one phrase I will always associate with George Bush, one we've heard a gazillion times, and one that epitomizes the intellectual chasm this President has built between himself and the country, that phrase is the one that begins with "It's important for [everyone else] to understand . . ." How many times has this President lectured us with those words to remind us of our ignorance and our inability to grasp what's important?
The article ends with Scarecrow's pointed "letter from the American People".

I'd like to acknowledge that Scarecrow's work over at Fire Dog Lake has been a real pleasure to read, and I look forward to seeing more of his writing. Do yourself a favor and read the entire article, because...'s important that you understand.

LW: Let's kill more Iraqis for New Year's

(Brave American soldiers from the 20th Infantry Regiment of the Army's 5th Battalion in a Baghdad neighborhood Wednesday. Photo Credit: By Darko Vojinovic -- Associated Press)

Lieberman Watch: In this Washington Post opinion column, Senator Lieberman reiterates his call for more troops on the ground in Iraq. He makes a very lucid and pursuasive case for increasing troop levels.

And he's completely wrong.

We already won the war (Saddam was deposed; we confirmed there are no WMDs), but we're losing the peace. There is simply NO WAY any foreign military force is going to successfully police a nation of 27,000,000 when they don't want us there.

That's what Lieberman refuses to understand.

And every day he fails to see the obvious truth, more Americans die.
...While we are naturally focused on Iraq, a larger war is emerging. On one side are extremists and terrorists led and sponsored by Iran, on the other moderates and democrats supported by the United States. Iraq is the most deadly battlefield on which that conflict is being fought. How we end the struggle there will affect not only the region but the worldwide war against the extremists who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001.
Here's another pathetic, grasping attempt to link the mess we created in Iraq to 9/11. Joe, wake up! The 9/11 terrorists had no connection to Iraq.
This bloodshed, moreover, is not the inevitable product of ancient hatreds.
No, that's exactly what it is.

Iraq is a nation made up of three distinct and separate ethnic/religious populations. Much like Yugoslavia, when the unifying yet brutal regime of Tito ended, the region immediately descended into ethnic chaos and hatred.

This is exactly what is happening in Iraq now that Saddam Hussein is gone. We simply traded a brutal regime for brutal anarchy. It's too late to remedy that situation. If we try, we'll only waste more American lives and billions of dollars, and succeed only in making the Middle East a more dangerous place.

This is what Joe Lieberman refuses to acknowledge. He's perfectly willing to sacrifice those American lives and resources simply to avoid admitting he was wrong.

Funny how none of his family is in the military. Why are the biggest chickenhawks usually the biggest cowards?

(h/t to ifthethunderdontgetcha)

Latest poll reflects Bush's popularity

(h/t to Scarce over at My Left Nutmeg)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

LW: 122 donors each gave Joe more than $10,000

Lieberman Watch: Don Michak, a reporter from the Journal Inquirer, recently compiled a list of some of the largest individual donors to Senator Lieberman's independent campaign.

This list is interesting; large-dollar Republican donors flocked to Joe Lieberman, who claimed all the way up to the election that he is a Democrat. It makes me wonder why a Democrat would garner such support from staunch Republican allies, especially considering there WAS a Republican candidate running.

Here's a few paragraphs, but the entire article is worth a read:
Bernard Marcus, who identified himself as a retiree from Atlanta, was among those who contributed a total of $3.1 million toward U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's re-election in the final few days of his November showdown with Democratic challenger Ned Lamont, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Marcus, a reputed billionaire who launched the Home Depot retail chain with the assistance of New York investment banker Ken Langone, was no ordinary contributor, but rather someone generally referred to as a political "fat cat."

Marcus previously had contributed a total of $50,000 to the Republican National Committee, and his $10,500 donation to Lieberman on Oct. 23 was his seventh to the newly minted independent candidate in the current election cycle.
This begs the question; why would a corporate fat cat want to make such huge donations to the self-proclaimed Independent Democrat, unless it was because Marcus felt that Joe Lieberman would continue to legislate kindly with regard to large corporations such as Home Depot?

Why wouldn't a "fat cat" Republican spend his money trying to get Republican candidates elected?

"Blog Wars" tonight and Saturday

On the Sundance Channel. Tonight at 10PM, Saturday at 7PM.

I a bit surprised that they don't seem to be marketing this thing very much. Has anyone seen a trailer online anywhere for this thing?

Oh well, I'm kinda "Blog War-ed" out by now anyway.

OT: Help me solve a mystery

This is completely off-topic, but I can use some help.

Over on my sailing blog, Sail Full Tilt, (one of five blogs that I maintain; or more accurately four, if you consider the blog over and done with) there's a little mystery.

It seems that a warm-water crustacean has invaded Long Island Sound. The last two times my wife and I were at the beach, we found what appears to be Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) shells. These animals are typically found in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Florida, and Bermuda. Beyond that, they don't travel much.

Except that they do, apparently. Somehow they managed to wash up on the shore in Milford. I don't know why.

If you or someone you know is a marine expert, like a biologist, I'd really like to hear from them.

John Edwards tosses hat into the ring

I'm sure there's a valid historical tradition of potential candidates for public office signifying their intent by throwing their hats into some sort of ring, but these days things are done a little differently.

Nowadays a candidate usually lets their intentions be known by accidently posting a revised web page on their official website, or they tell a reporter about it at a public event, or they post a Youtube video of themselves on the Internet.

John Edwards has done all three. From

He's the first major Democratic candidate to declare in what promises to be an exciting 2008 election cycle.

Hey, it's only just over 12 months until the Iowa caucuses...a good showing there can really launch a candidate toward the White House.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

President Ford's legacy

As everyone knows by now, former President Gerald R. Ford passed away late yesterday at the age of 93. Ford was the first president who took the Oval Office without being elected; George W. Bush did the same thing in 2000 when the Supreme Court appointed him President.

For the next few days we'll be hearing what a wonderful guy and competent leader President Ford was. This is typical, and it reflects the MSM's reluctance to point out unpopular facts about a deceased president.

Well, I'm not buying into it.

Gerald Ford was an ambitious quack whose lust for the White House overcame any reluctance he may have had over selling out his principles, and he did the nation grave damage by establishing the dangerous precedent of "pardoning" Richard Nixon of any and all crimes he "may have committed" associated with Watergate, or indeed, anything he may be guilty of whatsoever. Ford created the model for today's "culture of corruption" and the lack of accountability that exists in the Executive Branch today.

Many of the same "crimes" that Nixon committed back in the early '70's are being replicated by the Bush administration today. Because Nixon was never held accountable for his abuses of power, the current leaders don't feel they'll ever have to answer for their flaunting of the laws.

Yes, Nixon did resign the Presidency, but by doing so he sidestepped the utterly deserved indignity of being impeached and convicted, and being physically dragged out of the White House before a jeering crowd; then, when prosecutors continued their dogged snd rightful pursuit of justice for the ex-president, Ford's hand was forced and he issued his infamous pardon.

I've always felt that Nixon made a deal with Ford when offering him the Vice-Presidency saying that he'll eventually be President if he promises to give him a pardon if needed. I'm sure Ford was caught unawares at how quickly Nixon called in that favor, and he brought a lot of heat down on himself by issuing the pardon.

Once this precedent was set, Executive Privilage began to grow beyond the balance of power envisioned by our Founding Fathers. After Reagan's Iran-Contra mess, George H.W. Bush happily issued pardons to both convicted felons and players who were under indictment, thereby circumventing the justice process and preventing once again the guilty from being held responsible for their crimes.

So it's not a big stretch to see how the current Administration has made the lack of accountability it's trademark. Unless things change, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, etc. won't ever be held accountable for their betrayals of the public trust.

That's what I think of Ford's legacy. I'll allow everyone else wax poetic about what a good President and all-around swell guy he was.

For me, all I have to say is "good riddance".

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Now is the time for a sane energy plan

In the coming year, consumers of electricity in Connecticut (in other words, everybody in Connecticut) are going to be subjected to significantly higher rates.

Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) will increase rates by 7.1% after already raising them 22% in early 2006, and United Illuminating (UI) will jump their rates a whopping 49% by mid-2007.

I'm one of those unfortunate UI customers.

I should have asked for candles for Christmas.

Legislators in Connecticut have promised to make energy costs a priority in the coming session. On September 12, 2006, CT House Speaker Jim Amann (D-118) named a team of eight experts to a new Fuel Diversification Task Force charged with recommending how the state can encourage the development of alternative energy sources.

The panel of academics, industry and consumer representatives must report its findings to the Legislature by January 1, as part of a statewide ‘Energize CT’ initiative, which also includes a series of forums throughout the state to help educate residents and businesses on becoming more energy efficient.

And nationally, there are still major problems with the (Cheney) Energy Policy Act of 2005 (HR-6), signed into law on August 8, 2005. This act has done more harm to the likelyhood of lower energy prices while simultaneously being the most environmentally-damaging national legislation ever to be passed in the US. It's a gigantic subsidy bill, providing support to almost every conceivable dirty energy technology, including nuclear power, fossil fuels, and polluting "alternative" fuels.

Senator Joe Lieberman was the only Democrat in the Northeast to vote for this bill.

The energy issue will be a top priority for 2007. Hopefully our representatives will stop acting in the corporate interests and begin passing legislation that protects their constituents.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The "original" Godfather

James Brown (1933-2006)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Schwarzenegger fractures leg in skiing accident

Exclusive video!

Boy, that Arnold can use a lesson or common sense! has the real scoop. Well done, Governor!

Dodd calls for Iraq withdrawal

Sen. Chris Dodd has publicly stated that our troop's involvement in Iraq is a "fool's errand".

In this op-ed for the Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Dodd has clearly spelled out his opposition to any further escalation of the war. This is the direct antithesis of Sen. Lieberman’s call for more troops in Iraq.

Why does this schism between our Senators exist?

Sen. Dodd explains:
“The time has come for the United States to begin the process of getting our troops out of Iraq.

In Baghdad last week, I joined in a conversation with a West Point graduate who is serving in Iraq. He said, "Senator, it is nuts over here. Soldiers are being asked to do work we're not trained to do. I'm doing work that State Department people are far more prepared to do in fostering democracy, but they're not allowed to come off the bases because it's too dangerous here. It doesn't make any sense."
Dodd spent six days touring the Middle East last week, and he found absolutely NO reason for us to remain in Irag. He stated that the situation in Iraq is beyond hope, and it's time for our American troops to get out of the crossfire.
Our brave men and women have done everything asked of them with great courage and honor, but searching for military solutions in Iraq today is a fool's errand. True peace and security in Iraq will not come at the end of an American gun. It will only happen to the degree that Iraq's leaders are willing to take responsibility for governing their own country and securing their own future.
We are inexorably headed towards a tragic milestone - 3,000 American troops killed in this mess.

Sen. Kerry recently said this in the Washington Post:
Half of the service members listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial died after America's leaders knew that our strategy in that war was not working.
At what point will our leaders recognize the futility of their strategy? Will an additional 3,000 or more Americans need to die before they accept the inevitable?

And should many more Americans needlessly die, will there be a public accounting for it? Will we need to resort to a trial of our leaders for "crimes against the American people"?

Why Joe couldn't quit

It all boiled down to Joe Lieberman's fragile ego.

(h/t to Spazeboy)

To bastardize JFK's classic quote, here's how Senator Lieberman sees it:

"Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for ME!"

Saturday, December 23, 2006

An apology from Joe, and some accountability

That’s all I want for Xmas.

Sen. Lieberman has so far been mum on the Attorney General’s finding that Ned Lamont’s staff and supporters weren’t responsible for his website taking a huge dump on itself the day before the Primary.

Why doesn’t that surprise me?

While the good Senator said nothing, his faithful minions seem plenty willing to jabber endlessly about the results of the investigation.

In today’s Stamford Advocate, Lieberman spokesdouche Dan Gerstein said,
“We had very good reason to believe at the time that there had been a deliberate effort to disable it."
Then, effectively throwing his former webmaster under the bus, he continued with,
"Our Web site consultant assured us in the strongest terms possible that we had been attacked again.”
That would be Dan Geary, head of Nevada-based Geary Co. Advertising. On Thursday, Geary stood by his company's initial report about an attack on Lieberman's site.
"The campaign said what they said after we reported what we felt was happening," Geary said. "Our contention was to let the law enforcement folks make a determination . . . as opposed to a lifelong technical discussion in the blogosphere, where everyone is their own expert on what happened or might have happened."
Ah, so basically you’re saying that something bad happened, and before you knew what caused it, you called the authorities and said that they should figure it out for you.

If that’s the case, then WHY all the screaming about Lamont’s camp CAUSING the website outage?

Could it simply have been a convenient way to attack Ned while covering up your own incompetence?

There are absolutely laws against these kinds of false charges.

In addition to filing a fraudulent report with the authorities, there may also be the issue of defrauding the government (and the taxpayers) of the cost of this four-month investigation. As more information is revealed, not only will the extent of their culpability be exposed, but it will be added onto other real scandals, such as the missing 1/3 of a million falsely categorized as “petty cash”.

In continuing with their excellent reportage of this story, The Advocate has filed Freedom of Information requests with both the Attorney General and the FBI seeking more information on the investigations.

Accountability is the key here. If we back down in our fight to bring Senator Lieberman to account for his actions, we would be giving tacit approval to the continued culture of corruption that exists inside the Beltway.

And that, I fear, would be like getting a lump of coal in my Xmas stocking.

Friday, December 22, 2006

"Blog Wars" party video

Here's the video (shot with the awesome new camera you guys helped me buy; obviously I'm still learning how to use it!) from the recent screening we held at Hojos in Milford.

Don't despair if you missed this screening; there's talk about holding a Hartford-area screening on Jan. 17th. When the details are finalized, I'll post a notice here.

Anyway, enjoy the video, and remember that I'm neither A) a good public speaker, and B) familiar at all with the new camera.

Breaking News!

Spazeboy & Spazegirl are getting MARRIED!!!

Beau just emailed me and said that immediately upon their return to Iowa to visit family for the holiday, he proposed to Amy; and because she obviously was groggy after the 20-hour drive, she said YES!

(I wonder how long before we see Spazekids?)

Congrats to the happy couple!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dodd hires Kerry hotshot

In today's Hartford Courant, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd has signed Kerry campaign manager Jim Jordan as an advisor.

It seems that Chris Dodd is getting serious about a potential presidential run.
Dodd Snares Former Kerry Adviser For Presidential Bid
4:27 PM EST, December 21, 2006
By DAVID LIGHTMAN, Washington Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Christopher Dodd Thursday snared a big Democratic name to help with his possible presidential campaign, as Jim Jordan, one of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign managers, signed on as a top adviser.

Jordan, 45, said he will be "helping Sen. Dodd make the decision" whether or not to seek the presidency. Jordan, who's well-known in Washington political circles for his outspoken--and intensely partisan--style, had been advising former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner before Warner decided recently not to seek the White House.

Dodd plans to decide next month on a White House bid, but by adding Jordan to his team, sends a strong signal he is seriously leaning toward a bid...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hey Joe, where's your apology?

Yes, Senator, I was one of those terrible awful bloggers that you so cavalierly accused of hacking your shitless website way back in August.

You remember, don't you?

The truth is out.

Today the Stamford Advocate reported this story.

From Blog Wars:

Just as we all knew, your website crashed not because of any nefarious web-attacks, but because out of all the millions and millions of lobbyists dollars you begged from your corporate sponsors, your vile and inept staff neglected to spend a few thousand a month to maintain a website that could handle the increased traffic that should have been expected going into the biggest election story of the summer.

So, you were wrong.

Hey, it happens to everyone sometimes.

But you haven't made a statement about the investigation's conclusion.

Whatever happened to taking responsibility? Whatever happened to accountability?

Whatever happened to your apology, Senator?

(I'm not holding my breath or anything. Lieberman is the original "never will admit a mistake" guy.)

CT Blogger has a nice video article about the incident.

Here's my interview with Richard Blumenthal on October 29th. It only took four months for them to figure out what we all knew.

I used to wonder why they never found Jon Benet's murderer...not any more.

New camera for video blogging

Caffeinated Geek Girl took this picture at last night's screening, showing me holding my favorite thing in the world.

And in my other hand...the new camera!


Anyway, the camera is a very nice Canon GL-2 high-end prosumer video camera, with a 300-page user's manual that I'll be studying for weeks.

I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to our blog's tip jar; your generous donations are directly responsible for roughly half of that awesome camera. The other half came from satellite dish installations that I did on weekends, and a smaller portion from paid video camera work.

Also, a fellow whom I'll call "Marc", who contributed the great-condition demo model notebook PC, enabled me to spend the money on the camera.

Thank you all very much.

I'll do my very best to make you proud.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Photos from tonight's screening

Great time tonight at the screening of "Blog Wars"

We had around 60 people show up, and even though I supplied a suitcase of beer and a couple boxes of fine wine, our friends supplied plenty of food and drink to make this thing a PARTY!

I'm kind of beat right now, especially after loading so much leftover beer and wine into my, I made out like a bandit. Anyone up for a screening in about three weeks, when I finally run out of beer?

Neal, I got your cooler; and somebody left a bunch of ice-packs behind, so let me know who you are.

Being the de facto host of the evening, I got to speak in front of the crowd.


Now you all know why I shouldn't ever run for public office. At least I didn't shit myself. If you've seen the video, you know that's a potential issue with me.

Thanks go to Howard Johnson Lodge, 1052 Post Road, Milford (203) 878-4611, send them tons of business, my wife works there and she'd love to get a raise. And thanks to Mike Brown and Tessa Marquis for the video projector. It looked really great.

I'll just post these photos and go to bed. (Click to enlarge them)

Watching the video. That's my dad in the front row and my sister next to him. They loved the video.

More watching the video. Tim Tagaris spent altogether too much time with his head in his hands during his segments.

Three troublemakers, plotting and scheming. It's almost scary, they look of these guys. I'm glad they're on my side.

A group photo of the worst of the troublemakers.
Keep an eye on them.

(L to R: CT Keith, Maura, Sarah, Tim Tagaris, DeanFan84, Branford Boy, Spazeboy, Caffeinated Geek Girl, Gabe, Eric Tung, your humble narrator, Kirby, and Sue)

Screening TONIGHT! Seats available!

We had about 60 RSVPs, so there's still room for about 35 more people. If you decide to attend last-minute, it's a go if you just want to show up! BRING STUFF, PLEASE!

Date: Tuesday, December 19th

Time: 7:00PM Pre-screening cocktail party
(bring your favorite beverages/snacks, please)
8:00 Screening

Place: Howard Johnson Lodge, 1052 Boston Post Road, Milford

Directions: I-95 North or South to Milford Exit 39A - stay right, hotel driveway on right. The "Harbor Room" is in the 2nd Building, ground floor.

Monday, December 18, 2006

"Blog Wars" teaser

Spazeboy has created a mini-trailer for "Blog Wars". Hmmm...I wonder who he featured?

Yeah, a truly memorable moment in my video career...I'll never work in this town again, probably.

For those who want to attend the Special Pre-Release Screening on Tuesday, there still are seats left, but you need to reserve soon.

RSVP Required for admittance. You may bring friends, but you have to list them. Email me at:

to get on the list; the room is limited to 100 people, and there are a lot of people who want to see this, so sign up and get there early to guarantee admittance.

I'll confirm via email everyone who signs up before 5PM on Tuesday. Otherwise, show up and take your chances.

Date: Tuesday, December 19th

Time: 7:00PM Pre-screening cocktail party (bring your favorite beverages/snacks, please)
8:00 Screening

Place: Howard Johnson Lodge, 1052 Boston Post Road, Milford

Directions: I-95 North or South to Milford Exit 39A - stay right, hotel driveway on right. The "Harbor Room" is in the 2nd Building, ground floor.

Update: Among other media, News Channel 12 will be covering the event.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Reid would "go along" with more Iraq troops

Here we go again; is it too early to start a campaign for a Democratic challenger in Nevada?
Reid: 'Sure, I'll go along' with short US troop surge in Iraq

Published: Sunday December 17, 2006

During a Sunday morning interview on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nevada, Dem) indicated that he would back a short-term surge of more US troops sent to Iraq, as reports indicate that President Bush may be contemplating such a plan.

"If the president calls for adding more troops to Baghdad, adding more troops to Iraq, will you oppose it?" Stephanopoulos asked.

Reid said that he'd "go along" with such a plan if it's "part of a program" to get the United States out "by this time next year."
Great, just what we need...another Democrat who goes along with the President's "plan" for escalation.

Were none of these idiots paying attention to what went on in Vietnam?
"If it's for a surge, that is, for two or three months and it's part of a program to get us out of there, as indicated, by this time next year, then, sure, I'll go along with it," Reid said.
And this comes the same day that Colin Powell said this:
Powell, also a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he did not see the military benefit of flooding Baghdad with American troops.

"I am not persuaded that another surge of troops into Baghdad for the purposes of suppressing this communitarian violence, this civil war, will work," he said, adding that the Iraqi government and security forces must take over.
When are we going to get leadership we can trust?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Time "Person of the Year"

Click HERE to see this year's selection.

Seemed fairly obvious to me.

A few more "Blog Wars" screen caps

Slow news day, coupled with general holiday business, prevented me from getting much done blog-wise today...

...but I did manage to grab a few more screen shots from the flick, and I posted a picture I took at the bottom.

Don't forget to reserve your spot for the special advance screening of Blog Wars this coming Tuesday. Email me at:

and let me know how many are coming. For more details like time and directions, click HERE.

This is kind of a cool image, featuring four bloggers (or three bloggers and a kid) pretending to "blog" for the camera. Trust me, not one person in this picture is actually typing real stuff. That's how it works in Hollywood, you know. It's all fake.

But we're not in Hollywood. So figure THAT out!

Me and Maura after I taped Senators Lieberman and Boxer in Norwalk; the semi-famous "You're not going to stop, are you" moment.

Our Moment of Zen - me filming Will James filming the Kiss float, that ended up in the film. Wow, man.

Friday, December 15, 2006

"Blog Wars" Screening in Milford

Today I received my screener's copy of "Blog Wars".

It's a lot of fun!

But boy, we bloggers need to do something about our potty mouths! (Tim and Keith!)

We're going to schedule a public screening next Tuesday so anyone who was involved in or simply followed the campaign can see it before it airs on "The Sundance Channel", on December 28th and rerun on the 30th. Details below.

CT Keith is the undeniable star of the show, and deservedly so.

There's no shortage of Connecticut Bob, either; I can't tell you how fucking relieved I am that they didn't use the majority of footage that shows me looking silly.

And there was a LOT of it!

You get to see Spazeboy's hair change colors repeatedly in the course of sixty minutes!

Here's how YOU can attend the special, RSVP-only screening of "Blog Wars":

RSVP Required for admittance. You may bring friends, but you have to list them. Email me at:

to get on the list; the room is limited to 100 people, and there are a lot of people who want to see this, so sign up and get there early to guarantee admittance.

Date: Tuesday, December 19th

Time: 7:00PM Pre-screening cocktail party (bring some cocktails)
8:00 Screening

Place: Howard Johnson Lodge, 1052 Boston Post Road, Milford

Directions: I-95 North or South to Milford Exit 39A - stay right, hotel driveway on right. The "Harbor Room" is in the 2nd Building, ground floor.

Lieberman Watch: Day One

In addition to all the speeches Senator Lieberman gave about his intention to get us out of Iraq, he won reelection due in large part to the way Ned Lamont was abandoned by the National Democrats, and the huge push Lieberman was given by the National Republican party, who simultaneously left their own constitutionally selected candidate (Alan Schlesinger) to twist in the wind.

I'm not going to mince words here; treachery was committed on BOTH sides of the aisle.

So, a good man and a promising candidate was fatally undermined in his attempt to introduce true Progressive ideals into the Senate.

Hey, shit happens. Water under the bridge. No use crying over spilt milk.

Or more accurately, no use crying over fresh, wholesome milk that was purposefully poured down the drain by the other dairy products in the fridge so that their own rapidly approaching expiration dates wouldn't be noticed because of the stench from that old, useless, sanctimonious bottle of sour milk.

...or something like that.

(Yeah, it's awful, I poetic license should be revoked)

Anyway, what's done is done. What we should focus on now is keeping the Senator honest.

And that means pointing out every time he contradicts his campaign promises.

So this is Day One of our new feature here at Connecticut Bob, called Lieberman Watch.

Tim Tagaris over at My Left Nutmeg pointed out a fine example of Lieberman's hypocrisy with this short video:

Compare the Senator's words to this little tidbit from today's Hartford Courant:
Lieberman Backs Call For Boosting Forces In Iraq
December 15, 2006
By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Backed by Sen. Joe Lieberman, Sen. John McCain took his controversial proposal for curbing Iraq's sectarian violence to Baghdad on Thursday, calling for an additional 15,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops and joining a congressional delegation in telling Iraq's prime minister he must break his close ties with a radical Shiite cleric.

Lieberman, D-Conn., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said they agreed with the Arizona Republican's call for a troop increase.

"We need more, not less, U.S. troops here," Lieberman said.
There you have it. Instead of beginning to draw down troops like he promised by the end of this year, he's pushing for MORE troops.

This is the sort of thing we need to talk about. The MSM has the apparent memory retention of a concussed ferret, so it's up to the blogs to remind them of these things and keep the conversation alive. Eventually, maybe they'll come around and actually start holding our leaders accountable for their promises.

We can use your help. If you have suggestions (with links to cite them) for this series, please contact us at

Their lies are the problem, and our reporting of the truths are the solution.

UPDATE: Crooks & Liars has a video clip of CNN's report on Lieberman/McCain's call for more troops. (h/t Scarecrow)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Points for style

...and for irony, judging from the shirt he chose to wear instead. From

AN Australian was barred from a London-Melbourne flight unless he removed a T-shirt depicting George Bush as the world's number one terrorist. Allen Jasson was also prevented from catching a connecting flight within Australia later the same day unless he removed the offending T-shirt.

Mr Jasson says Qantas and Virgin Blue were engaging in censorship but the airlines say the T-shirt was a security issue and could affect the sensitivities of other passengers.

"The woman at the security check-in (at Heathrow) just said to me, 'You are not wearing that'," Mr Jasson, 55, said yesterday.


After a prolonged argument about freedom of speech and expression, Mr Jasson said a Qantas gate manager said he could not fly at all unless he wore another T-shirt.

Mr Jasson said his clothing had already been checked in and he was forced to buy a new T-shirt – this time with London Underground written on it – coincidentally the site of a terrorist attack last year.


Mr Jasson said the T-shirt often sparked comment from people in the street.

A Virgin Blue spokeswoman said the airline had a policy to ban offensive clothing and bare feet. "Most people use common sense and don't go out of their way to offend people," she said.

Dodd defies Bush, will go to Syria

Sen. Chris Dodd is showing some backbone by visiting Syria in opposition to George Bush.

I think it's a good thing, for several reasons.

First, Dodd is defying our mentally deficient President.

It's almost sort of a "If Bush is against it, it MUST be good!" thing. If the U.S. ran all it's foreign policy 180-degrees in opposition to George Bush's intent, we'd certainly be no worse off; and in fact probably significantly better off.

Next, Dodd is on a fact-finding mission that isn't filtered by Conservative politics. He'll get to see the situation up close, and be able to report on the actual situation there. Maybe Congress will get some facts instead of Bush/Cheney fictions.

Also, Dodd is sending a message to Syria and the rest of the Middle East that George Bush's "reign of terror" is coming to an end, and the U.S. will soon be controlled by leaders who believe in the option of constructive diplomacy. We'll actually make the effort to TALK to them before we drop the bombs.

I dunno...I kind of like the first reason best. It makes me happy to imagine Chimpy jumping up and down in frustration on the thick carpeting of the Oval Office, crazily ranting about how all those "meddlesome senators won't listen to me anymore!"


Dec. 13, 2006 — While President Bush continued consultations with military officials on the way forward in Iraq, Democrats, stirred by the delay in Bush's planned Iraq address and emboldened by the Iraq Study Group's recommendations, took Middle East diplomacy into their own hands.

One such Democrat, Armed Services Committee member Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., ignored State Department objections and visited Syria this week to talk with leaders there about shared interests with the United States in Iraq.

Foreign Relations Committee members (and potential Democratic presidential candidates) Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Chris Dodd of Connecticut are hot on Nelson's heels, travelling to Damascus in the coming days.

Among the Iraq Study Group's 79 recommendations last week was a call for more direct diplomacy with Syria and Iran, something the Bush administration has declined to do.


In Damascus, Nelson told reporters in a conference call that his trip was a "fact finding mission," that he and Syrian President Bashar Assad "have a common interest in stabilizing Iraq," and called the meeting a "crack in the door."

Nelson has been to Syria two other times, but this was his first trip since 2004.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Maybe they can finally see what WE see

I came across this little nugget in my daily jaunt around the 'toobz.

The writer of this local Connecticut blog, Right Thoughts, has a little problem with "centrist" John McCain's latest plunge into legislative fuck-it-uppitry.

It's encouraging to see more and more conservative bloggers start to realize that the extreme-right's Kool-Aid actually tastes like rancid dog piss; and maybe it's time to spit it out and rinse their mouths with a cool, refreshing splash of Progressive ideology.

Then again, this might simply be a personal issue with the Right Thoughts blogmeister. In the very next post, he discusses how wonderful it is to view the NSFW image linked from his article about a naked female TV Sci-Fi character.

I guess McCain's proposed anti-anything-obscene, not-just-kiddie-porn legislation hits a little too close to home.

Hmmm...that brings this to mind: maybe if HE was scheduled to be one of those lucky 30,000 troops who he discussed in a preceeding article that are going to be the salvation of Iraq, he might have a differing point of view on that, too.

It always seems to boil down to simple self-interest with these neo-cons.

Ladies and gentlemen - Why I think John McCain is a low-life scumbag with no regard for your rights

As if this idiot hadn’t already tanked his aspirations for the Presidency, along comes his latest assault on the Internet.

Millions of commercial Web sites and personal blogs would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000, if a new proposal in the U.S. Senate came into law.

The legislation, drafted by Sen. John McCain and obtained by CNET, would also require Web sites that offer user profiles to delete pages posted by sex offenders.

In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, the Arizona Republican and former presidential candidate warned that “technology has contributed to the greater distribution and availability, and, some believe, desire for child pornography.” McCain scored 31 of 100 points on a 2006 election guide scoring technology-related votes.

After child pornography or some forms of “obscenity” are found and reported, the Web site must retain any “information relating to the facts or circumstances” of the incident for at least six months. Webmasters would be immune from civil and criminal liability if they followed the specified procedures exactly.

McCain’s proposal, called the “Stop the Online Exploitation of Our Children Act” (click for PDF), requires that reports be submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which in turn will forward them to the relevant police agency. (The organization received $32.6 million in tax dollars in 2005, according to its financial disclosure documents.)

Internet service providers already must follow those reporting requirements. But McCain’s proposal is liable to be controversial because it levies the same regulatory scheme--and even stiffer penalties--on even individual bloggers who offer discussion areas on their Web sites.

“But he’s a maverick!”

Fuck you. He’s a shill and an overly-ambitious corporate whore just like the rest of them, and to make matters worse he’s an enemy of the First Amendment.

“How can you say that? He’s just trying to fight kiddie porn!”

Oh fuck you. Stop using children as a shield for your power grabs. This won’t protect any victims of child pornography. It will only create a new class of criminals out of regular, law-abiding people, their only crime being that they provided a discussion area on a website and a place for users to create a profile. It’s back-door regulation of online speech is all it is.

“Look, all you have to do is watch out for kiddie porn links!”

Listen, asshole - The law is impractical at best. It’s not possible for me to trace and track every link in every profile on the sites I host and I get like, little-to-moderate traffic. Plus, let’s take Lee’s site for example. Who’s responsible? Me? My name is on the lease for the server but i don’t run that site, I only maintain the technology.

Would Senator McCain hold me legally liable if Lee forgot to police a single URL in a single member profile? What happens if a sex offender posts to my site and I don’t have any way of knowing that person is a sex offender? Not all states have a database online that I can search - and of course how the fuckam I supposed to do anything else except watch and track and search registries all goddamned day?

There would be no time to actually create content - which may be McCain’s ultimate goal. He seems to have a passionate hatred for speech online.

On top of all that - and perhaps most importantly - to actually police the sites, I have to FOLLOW EVERY LINK, AND THAT MAKES ME GUILTY OF POSSESSION OF KIDDIE PORN IF ONE OF THEM HAPPENS TO BE ILLEGAL! John McCain is actually proposing a law that forces me to potentially become a child pornographer!

Jesus. Horatio. Caine.  What the FUCK is wrong with him?
According to the proposed legislation, these types of individuals or businesses would be required to file reports: any Web site with a message board; any chat room; any social-networking site; any e-mail service; any instant-messaging service; any Internet content hosting service; any domain name registration service; any Internet search service; any electronic communication service; and any image or video-sharing service.
Well golly gee, Mr. Senator - I happen to be two, possibly three of those. Great. Just dandy.

This is well beyond protecting children. This is an egregious violation of the Constitution and of common sense. John McCain doesn’t deserve to be a dog catcher much less a Senator. Remember that when the race for 2008 gets underway.

FDL: Chalk Up Another “W” In the Progressive Column

Jane at FireDogLake had some thoughts about Ciro Rodriguez's solid victory last night in what was a contest for a very tough seat to win:
By Jane Hamsher @ 8:00 am


So Ciro Rodriguez beats Henry Bonilla.  I have to say, I did not think this one was in the bag at all:

The apparent key to Rodriguez's come-from-behind victory was a heavy focus by national Democrats on identifying and turning out Latino voters — especially in Bexar County. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $100,000 on ads on Hispanic radio in the district and paid for thousands of get-out-the-vote calls. All told, the DCCC spent more than $900,000 on this race — more than two-thirds of which went into television advertising that sought to undermine Bonilla's seeming strengths on military issues. The DCCC also gained considerable traction with spots that attacked the incumbent for supporting multiple congressional pay raises.


In contrast to the heavy spending by the DCCC, the National Republican Congressional Committee chose not to spend a dime on this race — under the belief that Bonilla's massive financial edge (he outspent Rodriguez at a better than four-to-one clip) would be more than enough to hold the seat. It's hard not to wonder if the chaos caused within the Republican Party following its losses on Nov. 7 led to a lack of focus on the Texas runoff.
And Sean-Paul says:
The ad that Henry Bonilla ran killed him. I'll see if I can find a link to the ad. It was so over the top that even the conservative guys at my station disliked it.
It was, no question, one of the uglier ads of the season.

Ciro is a true pro-labor, pro-choice progressive and having him in the House again is wonderful.  We raised a lot of money this year on his behalf and thanks to everyone who answered the recent call to phone bank for him.

And, it must be said, thanks to the DCCC who went in and used their resources to pull Ciro through.  It's one more kick in the nads to Tom DeLay and his redistricting scheme, which makes it an extra delight.

Suppose the Bugman's gonna blog about it?


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ciro Rodriguez wins our 31st Dem seat

Today was the final(?) Congressional election of 2006 cycle, and former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23) became the 31st "new" Democrat in Congress.

I say "new" because Ciro had previously served as a Congressman, winning a special election in 1997 to fill a vacated seat until his loss in the 2004 Democratic primary. He was defeated by Henry Cuellar, largely because of redistricting which enabled the former Texas Secretary of State to annex his base area and win.

Yeah. You gotta love Texas politics.

Ciro reentered the race in early 2006, but was a distant challenger until a Washington Post photographer snapped a photo of Cuellar standing on the Republican side of the aisle, gleaming as President Bush affectionately grabs his face.

Ciro still lost the March primary by a narrow margin, but the TX Supreme Court ruled the state had violated the Voting Rights Act by taking large Republican areas and placing them in his district. An all-candidate primary was scheduled for November 7th.

Rodriguez and incumbant Republican Henry Bonilla got the most votes, and in today's run-off election, it looks like Ciro will take Bonilla's seat and go back to DC as part of the 2006 Democratic Wave.

At this point, Ciro is leading approx. 55% to 45%, with over 75% reporting. AP has called it for Rodriguez, and so do I.

That makes 31 new seats.


DeLay talks about blogging on Hardball

Tom DeLay was talking about blogging the other day, and I'm beginning to think he's spending too much time on the internet.

Here's a quote:

DeLay: "W00t! Totally pwned dude! Teh 1337 rulz! LOL!"

OK, maybe he didn't say that exactly, but we all know it's only a matter of time...

Here's a funny video of Tom on Hardball, with those "pop-up" comments of which I'm so fond.

Listen to DeLay's veiled threat about exposing "the real Barack Obama" at the very end of the video. There's something unsettling about Tom's smugness here (not that his smugness ISN'T disturbing any other time).

An "odious" Christmas Story

Seatac International Airport, in Seattle, had some artificial Christmas trees put up, at airport expense, in their terminal and along the access roads.

A local rabbi asked that a menorah also be placed in the terminal.

The airport management decided to remove the trees rather than agree with the rabbi.

The rabbi then received "all kinds of calls and emails," many of them "odious," said a spokesman.

So he dropped his request, and the airport put the trees back up.

Ah, the joyous spirit of Christmas; doesn't it warm the very cockles (*) of your heart?

SEATAC, Washington (AP) -- Christmas trees are going back up at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Pat Davis, president of the Port of Seattle commission, which directs airport operations, said late Monday that maintenance staff would restore the 14 plastic holiday trees, festooned with red ribbons and bows, that were removed over the weekend because of a rabbi's complaint that holiday decor did not include a menorah.

Airport managers believed that if they allowed the addition of an 8-foot-tall menorah to the display, as Seattle Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky had requested, they would also have to display symbols of other religions and cultures, which was not something airport workers had time for during the busiest travel season of the year, Airport Director Mark Reis said earlier Monday.

Port officials received word Monday afternoon that Bogomilsky's organization would not file a lawsuit at this time to seek the placement of a menorah, Davis said in a statement.

"Given that, the holiday trees will be replaced as quickly as possible," he said.

Davis added that the rabbi "never asked us to remove the trees; it was the port's decision based on what we knew at the time."

There were no immediate plans to display a menorah, airport spokesman Bob Parker said, saying restoration of the trees was expected to take place overnight Monday.

"A key element in moving forward will be to work with the rabbi and other members of the community to develop a plan for next year's holiday decorations at the airport," the port statement said.

The rabbi has also offered to give the port an electric menorah to display, said his lawyer, Harvey Grad.

"We are not going to be the instrument by which the port holds Christmas hostage," Grad said, emphasizing the rabbi never sought removal of the trees, but addition of the menorah.

The rabbi had received "all kinds of calls and emails," many of them "odious," Grad said, adding he was "trying to figure out how this is consistent with the spirit of Christmas."
* from Questions & Answers: Cockles are a type of bivalve mollusc, once a staple part of the diet for many British people (you may recall that Sweet Molly Malone once wheeled her wheelbarrow through Dublin’s fair city, crying “cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh!”). They are frequently heart-shaped (their formal zoological genus was at one time Cardium, of the heart), with ribbed shells.

It may be that the shape and spiral ribbing of the ventricles of the heart reminded surgeons of the two valves of the cockle. But I can’t find an example of the word cockle being applied to the heart outside this expression, which makes me suspicious of this explanation. It may be that the shape of the cockleshell, suggesting the heart as it so obviously does, gave rise to cockles of the heart as an expansion.

After this piece appeared in the Newsletter, James Woodfield pointed out that there is another possible explanation. In medieval Latin, the ventricles of the heart were at times called cochleae cordis, where the second word is an inflected form of cor, heart. Those unversed in Latin could have misinterpreted cochleae as cockles, or it might have started out as a university in-joke. Oddly, cochlea in Latin is the word for a snail (from the shape of the ventricles—it’s also the name given to the spiral cavity of the inner ear), so if this story is right we should really be speaking of warming the snails of one’s heart.

So, here's hoping y'all have a snail-warming Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2006

DFA Party at Lamont Norwalk HQ

Here's the video from last Wednesday's DFA party at Ned's 4th District HQ. Some speeches, nothing too fancy though. Fun time!

And it's nice to not be on a tight schedule with these videos anymore!

OK, I'll admit it...

...I'm becoming obsessed with Tom DeLay's blog.

Since it began yesterday, there's little else I've thought about.

Except the NY Giants. They managed to not lose, somehow. It's an early Xmas miracle.

This morning I woke up, and over a cup of coffee (and, in the interest of total disclosure, it was "Folgers") I checked Tom's blog. Yesterday they turned off the commenting feature in an hour and fifteen minutes, after allowing comments to go uncensored.

I give Tom credit; it took Joe Lieberman 5 days to figure out that being an immensely unpopular legislator doesn't translate well into the blogosphere. DeLay pulled the plug after roughly 99% of the comments in the first hour were negative/sarcastic/insulting. You can see the original comments before they were pulled at James Risser's TomDeLayDotCom blog.

But when I checked his blog this morning, I saw the "Post a comment" feature was back.

Holy shit, I thought, I gotta post something QUICK! So I wrote out a very neutral comment to test the feature.

And guess what happened?

Hey, a semi-dwarf like 5'2" Tom DeLay (if his mugshot picture is accurate - see below) doesn't become the "Hammer" without possession of some smarts. So, in order to prevent the overwhelming tsunami of negative feedback to his smug and oh-so-smooth presentation, he did what everyone thought he would do.

And my comment went right into moderation.

He figured out that the way to appear to let a dialogue between the citizens and the indicted leaders exist was to moderate all comments, weed out the 99.98% of criticisms, and post the lobbyist-manufactured or right-wing pundit-generated comments to make it look like a real Conservative Love-fest.

As I type this, I'm waiting to see if my mostly harmless comment makes it out of moderation.

My guess is that if they check out the URL that I left (, they'll toss out my comment. But if they're screening out the obviously negative remarks, then my comment will seem like a breath of fresh air and they'll post it.

I figure the odds are 3-2 against. Wanna take bets?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Well, that was fast!

Today indicted former Majority Leader Tom DeLay joined the online community with a blog of his very own.

And he's already suspended commenting.

Gee...who saw THAT coming?

(and as an aside: can that picture be accurate? Is "The Hammer" REALLY only 5 foot 2 inches tall? That would make him nearly a dwarf...and explain a LOT!)

Former Texas Congressman Tom DeLay, who resigned as Republican Majority Leader after being indicted on state campaign finance charges, formally launched a new "career" as a blogger on Sunday.

And like many writers on the Internet who toil without an editor's aid, the "Hammer-turned-blogger" proves susceptible to occasional misspellings and awkward use of grammar.

News about DeLay's latest move was first reported in a gossip post at U.S. News & World Report's Website.

"Friends tell us that the powerful former House majority leader, dubbed the 'Hammer' for his tough persuasion tactics, this week unveils, where he'll blog—DeLay's Daily—on newsy issues and build a coalition he's calling Grassroots, Action, and Information Network," Paul Bedard wrote in Friday's Washington Whispers column. "Sources said the right-leaning Texan will give gain members insider information on the conservative movement and urge them to step in on key issues."

Bedard warns Democrats not to "apply," since DeLay's site will be designed to filter all undesirables out.

DeLay's site isn't, technically, a new one, as the same address previously served as the home for the Tom DeLay for Congress campaign.


Sunday's first political post at slams Jimmy Carter - "perhaps our nation's worst President" - for blaming "the problems in the Middle East not on Islamic extremism, but on Israel" in his new book Palestinian Peace, not Apartheid, which the budding blogger misspells as "Aparthied."


Comments Disabled - At the time of this article's publication, there was an open comment thread at DeLay's blog, but sometime early Sunday evening the commenting function was disabled. In addition, DeLay's three initial posts at the blog were removed, with no explanations given for the removals.

However, as the way things usually happen on the Internet, someone managed to save a copy of DeLay's first post, which was then published on a new blog, where it still retains a number of objectionable comments which may have shut down the once-open threads.

Some commenters had either mockingly or fervently expressed hope that the former Republican Congressman would be convicted and then raped by other inmates in prison, while others liberally threw around the f-word.
Hmmm...while Tom's blogroll includes conservative hacks like Malkin and LGF, so far there's no "Opponents List"! If there was, you KNOW ol' CT Bob would be doing everything humanly possible to get onto it.

Maybe "The Hammer" can borrow a clue from the FIC Blog (and I hope they appreciate all the "hits" we've been giving them!)

Nowhere to go

When New Orleans citizens tried to escape the rising flood waters from Katrina by crossing a bridge to a neighboring town, Sheriff Harry Lee was the guy who refused them passage.

Just watch this video and see the mindset that Karen Carter was fighting against in her campaign. Sheriff Lee spent $14,000 out of his own campaign funds to send out a mailer against Carter, yet he says repeatedly that he doesn't support corrupt Congressman William Jefferson.

Has nearly everyone in Louisiana taken crazy pills or something?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

When $90,000 isn't enough

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Congressman William Jefferson has won by a landslide in federally-impoverished Louisiana's 2nd District run-off election.

I mean, even here in progressive Connecticut, the matter of something like $387,000 missing from Joe Lieberman's campaign coffers barely raised an eyebrow. Even after evidence of "street money" surfaced.

Why would an FBI raid that discovered ninety large of MARKED BILLS (used in an alleged bribery scheme) slumbering in the frigid interior of the congressman's freezer affect his chances of reelection?

The issues in New Orleans are different from here in Connecticut, but the overall effect is the same. People are often willing to overlook ethical lapses if the candidate tells them what they WANT to hear, regardless of how the candidate actually acts. Why else would someone who is probably going to be indicted on Federal bribery charges win by a margin of nearly 15-20%?

I think the people of the 2nd District in Louisiana missed a golden opportunity to clean up corruption and send a message to other disaster-profiteering criminals in their region that the voters won't stand for it.

It's just very sad to see.

LA-2: Election Day

UPDATE: Tim reports from Louisiana at 7:17PM tonight that the situation is "Cautiously Optimistic". Polls close at 9PM (I'm assuming that's Central Time, so figure 10PM before we hear any returns) and he says "the Carter campaign HQ is full of life and energy. To be honest, most of my coverage from today is embargoed until after the polls close, but I have a good amount of turnout information I can share soon along with photos/video from the "War Room" that should give a very interesting peak into a side of campaigns most people never get to see."

Check (or here) for updates. It's great to see Tim involved in this campaign.

by Tim Tagaris, Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 08:21:43 AM EST. From

It seems like only yesterday we were throwing the corrupt bums out of office. Today the people of LA-2 have a chance to add another name to the litter while letting the FBI sort 'em out. Whatever your feelings are about Karen Carter (and despite some local blogger protestations, I like her), the people of this district deserve better than Congressman Jefferson. But honestly, whatever happens today, the Saints play the Cowboys tomorrow night on national television and I get the sense a whole hell of a lot more people down here care more about that result than the one this evening.

Frankly, recovering from the storm and the flood is going to take a lot more leadership than one representative can bring to the table. If we are to choose a path different than outright neglect it's going to have to come from someone with a bit more cache: presidential candidates maybe -- an incoming Speaker of the House. That said, I emailed all of the presidential candidate staffs about their bosses plans/committment to recovery in the region and only a few have responded (Dodd, Vilsack, Bayh, Kerry, and Richardson). The incoming Speaker's office was also prompt with information.  It's one of the follow-up pieces I'll have early next week in order to give time to the rest of the field to respond.

Here are some notes to keep on eye on this evening:
1.) There are rumors that some members of the CBC have sent staffers down to help Jefferson. I'll try and see what I can dig up on that.
2.) East Bank turnout vs. West Bank turnout and how many votes Carter is able to syphon away from the other side of the river.
3.) The racial divide.
4.) Are we going to see busses bringing people in to vote from outside the district. If we do in large numbers, advantage Jefferson.
5.) How many people stay both stay at home/vote for Jefferson in the hopes at getting another crack at him in two years, or sooner if he's no longer able to serve.

Finally, a question to you about how to cover the returns. I don't think the Carter campaign party is going to have internet access so there are two choices: Stay in my hotel room with immediate access to numbers and ability to update (or) go to the party, leave you to your own devices, and get photos and video up from the rally late night or tomorrow after my flight lands. Thoughts?

Friday, December 08, 2006

LA-2: Campaign Update / What it Means

by Tim Tagaris, Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 06:41:32 PM EST

In about 48 hours, the polls will close and we'll start getting results in the run-off between Karen Carter and Congressman William Jefferson in Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District. This hasn't been the same kind of "crazy train" campaign Stoller wrote about when he visited Connecticut for Ned Lamont's race.

There have been no Ralph Nader sightings, no bagpipers leading a would-be representative down the street to the debate entrance ... hell, there hasn't even been a single post-primary debate yet. It's everything most people expect of a campaign, yet everything I've forgotten after being spoiled rotten with my front row seat in CT. The candidate spends a lot of time fundraising, "rallies" are gatherings of a few dozen supporters, internet access goes down frequently at campaign headquarters, and some of the well-respected "senior-ish" staffers are still in college. Not that there's anything wrong with the last point, it's just something I had forgotten all about.

If Carter wins, a large amount of credit will, and should, go to EMILY's List.  They've taken a bit of heat for their win-loss record in the 2006 cycle (and 2004), but their footprint in LA-2 is undeniable. The Times Picayune discussed their direct financial involvement in the race, but their role in the effort is a piece worthy of further examination after the election.

Tomorrow actually does promise to be a pretty exciting day for the campaign.  There is a pre-election "rally" / tour scheduled in the hours before the first debate, rescheduled from tonight to tomorrow evening. If Karen wins on Saturday, it will have everything to do with corruption. I know that isn't the most important factor in most people's lives down here, but it's the coverage dominating the traditional media and campaign commercials.

If Jefferson wins, it will be because he was able to successfully divide the electorate regionally (East Bank vs. West Bank) against Carter while slamming her on the same "social issues" Republicans have gone after Democrats on successfully in the past. The polling I have seen in the race doesn't even show it that close. Carter should walk ... But there are last minute efforts by the Jefferson campaign to bus in voters from outside the state and in a low-turnout election, any effort of the kind could tip the balance and make the existing polling meaningless. But hell, if you can't beat a guy almost everyone knows was found with $90k in a freezer, I am not sure how who you can beat.

Otherwise, that's it, really. That's one of the reasons I've spent more time talking about post-k recovery and what I have seen on-the-ground than the actual campaign itself -- even though the two are intimately tied together.

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