Sunday, April 30, 2006

Wooster Square Festival

Today was the annual Wooster Square gathering, where hundreds of people enjoyed a perfect Spring weather while being entertained by big band music and dozens of booths selling various wares were set up.

I joined fellow Ned Lamont supporters Edward Anderson, Keith Crane, and Beau (Spazeboy) for several hours to help Ed collect signatures and shoot some video of the crowd.

While Ed was getting petition signatures, I talked Beau into being the interviewer of various people in the crowd while I worked the camera. He did a great job (in spite of a minor case of the jitters) and improved his technique with each "Man in the street" interview. It was a lot of fun, and great to talk to people about Joe Lieberman's support of giving the oil companies massive tax breaks while they're lining up to pay three bucks a gallon. Everybody was pretty much against it.

The straw poll reflects a significant amount of voters who are dissatisfied with Lieberman, although many haven't yet heard anything about Ned Lamont. Hopefully when the Hillsman-produced campaign ads hit the air, we'll have better name recognition.

Two things the campaign needs to address ASAP; making the NedLamont.Com website a little less snooze-inducing, and getting some kind of platform sheet put together so we can hand out a flyer to people that shows where Lamont stands on important issues, and also how Lieberman voted on these same issues. If people can easily see where the two candidates stand on the issues, it'll make it a lot easier for them to support "the new guy".

Oh, and Sharpies are permanent markers...not a good idea to use on dry erase boards. Ah well, live and learn.

Edward suggested we work on a series of "Where's Joe" interviews, sort of like the "Where's George Allen" commercial linked HERE. I'm looking forward to working with him on that.

That's it for now...I'm going to edit some of the video and hopefully get something posted here by Monday night. And I'll be nice to Beau and NOT put together a blooper reel (but, just know that I could do it if I wanted to!)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sign of the times

I've been sanding and cleaning my boat all day, and I'm exhausted. So don't expect anything really elaborate tonight...

But I do want to give a tip of the hat to "My Left Nutmeg" because on last Thursday's Ned Lamont interview on Air America radio's The Majority Report, that name caused Janeane Garafolo to completely lose it. She laughed loudly enough to drown out the other blogs listed afterwards (fortunately, "Connecticut Bob" got squeezed in just before MLN).

So, in honor of "My Left Nutmeg's" continued excellence, I've Photoshopped a little change to their main page graphic. An homage, if you will.

Because, come November, we're all hoping that we'll be living in "ConNEDticut".

UPDATE: Spazeboy took my suggestion and ran with it. In fact, he did a better job at it than me. Brat. Take a look at his ConNEDticut signs below.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ned Lamont on Air America Radio

UPDATE: Ned was in studio with Sam Seder on Air America 4/27.

Or you can CLICK HERE, then select Air America April 27 (mp3) (updated link) to listen to an MP3 of the broadcast, courtesy of The Ned Lamont Resource.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lamont petition drive kickoff/happy hour

Tonight was the kickoff for the Lamont for Senate petition drive. Meetings were scheduled across the state for 7PM to show volunteers how to collect verifiable signatures, but the Norwalk meeting also featured a 6PM happy hour at O'Neill's Cafe, a local pub.

Ned Lamont arrived, and as usual he was very accessable. He took plenty of time to greet and talk to anyone who wanted to meet him. Then he spoke for a bit about the petition drive, before leaving for another meeting in Fairfield.

Suddenly it was a couple minutes to 7PM, so we chugged our beers because it was time to go over to the campaign office and learn about the petition process. A total of maybe 50 volunteers showed up for the meeting.

I videotaped both the happy hour kickoff, and the meeting itself. I put together a short video that shows Ned arriving at the pub, listening to the voters, and then speaking. The video runs about 2:17. Take a look.

Tomorrow I'll have more info on the petition drive...

DeStefano interview now online

I think I figured out how to post a video properly.

Here's how I did it:

I got home from the Monroe Democratic Town Meeting last night around 10PM, then loaded the video from my camera to my PC. I edited the video down to the interview portion and saved it. Then I went to bed. Then I had a dream I was driving a flying car when the alarm went off this morning, but that's besides the point...I just like to include little details like that; and it was a cool dream.

This morning, I was up at 6:30, and I opened the video, tried several different compression schemes (the original video was 54MB), and found one that looks reasonably good at only 4.5MB, and saved it.

Then I created an account with YouTube.Com and signed onto the video sharing website. I uploaded the video there, then copied the video linkage information to my blog below.

So there ya go! Easy, huh?

Let me know how it looks. It runs about two and a half minutes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

John DeStefano speaks at the Monroe DTC

So did Ned Lamont.

Silly me, I thought when the Events Schedule at NedLamont.Com said 8:30PM, I'd be there in plenty of time if I arrived a couple minutes after eight. I almost expected that I'd be walking into an empty room, and brought something to read as I waited for everyone to show up.

No dice! I arrived just in time to see Ned finishing the Q&A portion of his talk, and he exited as I was setting up my gear. CTBlogger told me that you have to assume whatever time they tell you, Ned will usually be early. Nice to know that now! Hey, I'm learning...

But after Lamont, candidate for Governor and present New Haven Mayor John DeStefano spoke. This guy knows how to work a room. He spoke at length about the many issues facing Connecticut, and the importance of having a viable alternative to Governor Rell. He's a gifted public speaker, and he kept the small crowd's attention the entire time. Altogether, he talked for nearly an hour.

After the Q&A, we asked the mayor if he'd like to answer some questions for us. He graciously agreed, so we hurridly setup my camera, with the handheld mic and new LCD video light I just purchased, and CTBlogger lept into the interviewers role and asked the question while I taped. He did a great job and we got about three minutes of Mayor DeStefano discussing several issues important in the campaign.

I'm currently working with CTBlogger to get the video of our interview posted. As soon as it's online, I'll post a link here.

And hopefully soon, I'll be able to post them myself to make things simpler.

"White House names new Spokesman"

"The White House today announced the name of the new Press Secretary to replace Scotty McClellan, who resigned the position last week. Sources tell Connecticut Bob that the new Spokesman will be the AFLAC duck."

"AFLAC duck has a long and distinguished career in public relations, and was until recently the Spokesduck for the AFLAC family of insurance companies."

"When asked to comment about his new position, AFLAC duck responded, 'Affflllaaaac!' and got run over by a train."

(Props to Anne, commenter at FireDogLake for the idea)

I love this video!

Yesterday I saw a link to a political commercial on My Left Nutmeg that was funnier than anything I've seen recently. The commericial is about how Virginia Senator George Allen (R) is always missing from his home state.

Does this sound familiar, anyone?

(click on image to see video...I just figured out how to do that!)

This brilliant commericial is the result of the Harris Miller (D) for Senate 2006 campaign. I think this is a golden opportunity to make a humorous video for the Lamont effort.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...well, I think I'm gonna flatter the HELL out of those guys!

Click on Where's George Allen to watch their video.

Warning: Don't have a mouthful of coffee, iced tea, Pepsi, Red Bull, or Glenfiddich while viewing this video. Damage to keyboards, monitors, pets, spouses, etc. may occur.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"The Dividing Line of Torture"

by Jane Hamsher 4/24/06 - reposted from Firedoglake.

"American captor inflicting Freedom on a prisoner"

"I don’t know how to write about torture being committed by the US government. It’s an incredibly difficult subject to dissect, in large part because it gets to the heart of why most liberal bloggers do what they do. I don’t know many in the liberal blogosphere whose advertising revenues generated in the free market (as opposed to the wingnut welfare system) even pay for the maintenance of their sites, and those very few whose sites cover their costs could inarguably be making much more money doing something else. But there is something so deeply wrong and at such dissonance between the country we grew up to believe in and what this government is now engaged in that its unspoken presence informs every post, every word, even the decision to get up every morning and turn on the computer. To sit back and do nothing while this happens is unthinkable for anyone who genuinely believes in this country and the principles upon which it was founded."

"And there is nothing that reveals the utter moral bankruptcy, the complete dehumanizing vacuousness of the right more than when it steps forward to defend torture and those who petulantly assert their right to engage in it as somehow "patriotic," and call for the elimination of all those who oppose it...."

(Please click HERE for the rest of this's a damned good read)

Is this what Joe Lieberman had in mind with his unrelenting support of Bush's policies in Iraq? At the very least, he helped enable this to happen.

My mind reels at how far this nation has fallen since 9/11. George W. Bush had an opportunity to unite the entire world against terrorism, but wasted all the goodwill we'd been given by invading a soverign nation under false pretenses. I honestly can't say if we'll ever regain the moral high ground we've enjoyed for generations. How ashamed would George Washington or Thomas Jefferson feel if they could see what has happened to their "noble experiment"?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Murva Jackson speaks

Yesterday I joined Lamont-campaign Media Coordinator Liz Dupont-Diehl (below, left) at the Borders book store in West Hartford to interview Murva Jackson, an activist in children's education issues. Borders graciously allowed us to tape in a corner of the store during a busy Saturday, and Liz and I gratefully purchased two copies of "Crashing The Gate", and it was at full retail too!

Murva spoke about the issues concerning Connecticut, including education, health care, the War in Iraq, among others. She stressed that while it's important to take care of international problems, we need to concentrate most of our resources on the people right here at home.

I taped the interview, which is apparently going to be part of a 30-minute Robert Greenwald-produced DVD, to be played at Lamont fundraising appearances. I hope I did a decent job of it, and I asked Liz to be sure to get feedback about my video techniques from the editors (who knows? I might even get Bob Greenwald himself to critique it...and yeah, I can call him "Bob", because after all, we're both in the same creative field!)

This was all put together with very little lead time, and plans for the location were changed at the last minute, so I was working with almost no prep time. I chose a spot for the interview that had reasonable lighting, and positioned the chair in a good spot. The only drawback was that it was in the Political History section, and there was a big picture of Che Guevera on the cover of a book right over where Murva's right shoulder would be.

I didn't want to send a confusing message to the audience, so before she got there, I turned the book around. After the interview, I said, "I guess it's safe to put this back the way it was," and I turned the book back over. Murva got a big laugh out of that.

After the interview, Liz asked if I wanted to go over to a Labor rally at the Hartford Convention center. I said sure, but when we got there it was raining fairly heavily. I didn't think I'd be outside in the rain, so I didn't bring any rain gear. I tried to set up my camera, but I decided the weather was too wet to chance ruining it, so I called it a day. Besides, there was another person taping interviews, so there wasn't much I could do. If the weather was nice it would have been fun to walk through the crowd and interview people at random. Oh well...

Plus, there was some kind of motorcycle convention at the hotel next door, and every few minutes or so a Harley would rumble to life, then throttle up at a kazillion decibels for a long while, then roar off down the street. This was repeated the entire time I was there, so any audio recorded there will sound more like Sturgis than Hartford!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

One week until the Petition drive kicks off!

(photo by alflamont)

There are going to be a host of local petitioning training meetings next Wednesday, April 26th at 7:00PM in various locations around the state. To find a meeting and participate in this ground-breaking and historic Democratic revolution (let's face it, that's what this is!), click on this events page at NedLamont.Com.

So far there are meetings planned for the following towns:
New Britain
New Haven
New London

Click on the link above to get additional info, and any updates on the drive.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Support Ned Lamont's campaign for U.S. Senate

"Why am I running?"

"I am running for the US Senate because we deserve a Senator who will stand up for Connecticut and stand up for our progressive democratic values. Rather than spending hundreds of millions of dollars a day in Iraq, it is time for America to refocus on issues back home: fixing our healthcare system, upgrading our schools, and rebuilding our aging infrastructure. We will start winning in Iraq as the Iraqis take control of their own destiny, just as America has to start investing again in our own future."

"I would have led the opposition to Judge Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court, which may soon be considering the South Dakota law which outlaws a woman’s right to choose even in the case of rape and incest. I will push for energy conservation and efficiency standards as the best means to energy independence and a cleaner environment."

Visit Ned Lamont for U.S. Senate and find out how YOU can help!
In other words, I am running to be your Democratic Senator.

And the petition drive kicks off on April 26th. More info will be posted here ASAP.

I started this blog today - 4/18/2006

Below I posted four articles that I originally put on my other blog, Future DV. Everything you read from now on is current. Enjoy!

An "Indie" isn't always a film - 4/12/2006

"Bush's favorite Democrat"

In this article in yesterday's Connecticut Post, Senator Lieberman hasn't ruled out a run as an independent candidate if he loses the Democratic primary.

"Win or lose the convention, Lieberman and Lamont will likely face off in a primary on Aug. 8.

The loser of that contest would have until 4 p.m. the next day to file a petition with the secretary of the state, including signatures from at least 7,500 registered voters, to have his name on the November ballot as an independent candidate."

This makes for an interesting situation...if Joe loses on August 8th, he has at most about 20 hours to get the requisite amount of signatures.

7,500 is a LOT of signatures...there's very little chance that the Senator's election staff can mobilize, collect, assemble and then turn in that many signatures in that amount of time. Which means it's likely that either Joe will sit out the 2006 election if he doesn't win the primary, or he will remain in the race as in independent with signatures that will likely have been collected while he was running as a Democrat!

In my opinion that would be unethical at the very least, and election fraud at most. Either way it would probably be fatal to Lieberman's election chances if publicized.

Or, Lieberman can cash in his chips right now, register as the Republican we all know he is, and make an appearance at the May 13th GOP convention. At least then I'd admire his honesty.

ADDITIONALLY: Does anyone know how to determine where Senator Lieberman's campaign contributions come from? I'm thinking along the lines of individual donors lists with political party affiliation details, and corporate/organization donors? It would be interesting to see how many individual and corporate Republican contributions our (current) Democratic Senator has received. Let me know.

Be sure you're registered to vote! - 4/07/2006

As you probably know, I'm supporting Ned Lamont's challenge to beat Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Senate election. There will be a primary election on August 8th to determine which candidate will run as the Democratic choice. Connecticut has closed primaries, meaning you must belong to the party you're selecting a candidate for. In order for Ned Lamont to have a chance to become our next Senator, you have to be a registered Democrat to vote for him in the primary.

Here is a link to a voter registration form, with which you can mail in to register to vote in Connecticut, or change or enroll in a party. This is important to know, because according to the instructions, it can take up to THREE MONTHS for a change of party to take effect. In other words, if you're registered as a Republican (and I was until last month) you have to submit the form to change parties by MAY 8TH in order to vote in the Democratic primary on August 8th.

And if you never selected a party when you registered to vote, you need to enroll in the Democratic party. This should also be completed as soon as possible. To find out which party (if any) you're enrolled in, contact your town's Registrar of Voters office. Call your town hall and they can help you.

If you're unhappy with the way the war is going; if you think Senator Lieberman is too good a friend to President Bush; if you're dissatisfied with the current lack of direction of the sure you're properly registered to vote.

And vote for Ned Lamont. Tell your friends and family about his campaign. It's time to take back this country!

Get your EPU on! - 4/07/2006

Over at FireDogLake, a brilliantly written political blog widely known for it's relentless search for the truth in the Bush Administration scandals (pick any one of them; trust me, FDL's on the case), there is a curious phenomenon called "getting EPU'd".

This happens in the comments section, whenever an article is posted and anywhere from 50 to 200 messages typically are written, just about everyone leaves and goes to post on the new thread as soon as a new article is posted. Sometimes, a commenter may have crafted a fine response to something upthread, and posts it, only to find that everyone has moved on.

One longtime commenter ("Evil Parallel Universe") had a string of so many late messages that we began referring to the situation as "getting EPU'd". As in, "I'm reposting this comment in this new thread because I got EPU'd."

The other day a few commenters suggested marketing an FireDogLake t-shirt reflecting the phenomenon, which makes it as inside a political blog reference as has come down the pike in years. So, through the magic of Photoshop, here's my concept of the t-shirt:

An Evening with Ned Lamont - 4/05/2006

Tonight Joyce and I went to Naples Pizza near Yale University in New Haven to see Senate candidate Ned Lamont speak at the monthly meeting of Democracy For America Link.

We got there about 45 minutes before Ned was scheduled to speak, so we
relaxed, ordered a pizza, and chatted with fellow democrats. It was really cool to talk to people who'd actually seen this blog! I'd like to give shout outs to Mike Slattery (a fan of, Sten Westgard (member of the Orange Democratic Committee), and Kelly Monaghan from My Left Nutmeg.

Over a white pizza with sliced tomatoes and garlic (but not too much...we're here to talk to people, not melt their faces off), we read some campaign literature and waited for Ned to speak. The back room of Naples Pizza is a comfy little place, with forest green walls scratched with graffiti, and neon beer signs scattered about. Here's Joyce enjoying the pizza and beer...see the classy graffiti on the wall?

The chairman of DFA Link New Haven introduced Ned, and then the man himself took the mic. He spoke with a clear strong voice, and in fact didn't use the mic for the most part. He started with a joke asking if any Yalies showed up in Bridgeport today to cheer on their favorite son (Bush, of course, is a Yale grad; proving once again that wealth and influence can overcome unbridled stupidity), then went on to quote Bridgeport Mayor Fabrizzi, "He's welcome in Bridgeport, but none of his policies are working in my town; what's he doing here?"

He then discussed how his campaign evolved from focusing mostly on the war in Iraq to issues such as jobs, health care costs, education, immigration, the environment, etc. He joked about how giving part of the $90 billion tax subsidy bill to companies like Exxon/Mobil to drill for oil was "like subsidizing fish to swim". He also addressed the giant LNG platform proposed for Long Island Sound and how we can fight it.

Ned seems to have a focus and clarity that so many politicians lack. He gives plain answers to complex problems, and while not promising to immediately solve all these problems, he at least has an idea where to start. And that's a lot more than people like Joe "Stay The Course" Lieberman have been offering us. He got a huge cheer with his closing statement, about how someone told him to not jeopardize a Senate seat, and he replied, "Connecticut is a progressive state. You're not going to lose a senator, you're going to gain a democrat!" Standing ovation and loud applause from the roughly 100 people crammed into the smallish room.

I recorded the entire speech on my MP3 player, and while it's not the greatest quality in the world, you can hear what he's saying and most of the questions he was asked. If anyone wants a copy of the Lamont_04-05-2006.wav file, email me at futuredv(at) and I'll attach it to an email. It's about 9MB and runs 38 minutes.

UPDATE: The Ned Lamont Resource at La Resistance has a compact .mp3 version of the speech; you can listen to it RIGHT HERE. The Q&A portion of the talk is located here. Thanks Beau! Please keep in mind that the audio quality of these clips are rather low, but if you crank up the volume you'll hear everything Ned discusses. UPDATE II - Go to the link at the bottom of this article for ConnecticutBLOG, where they have excellent video of the speech and Q&A. Good work guys!

Oddly, Ned was positioned almost directly beneath a neon Budweiser sign...I hope the press photos are properly framed and cropped, or he's going to look like he's shilling for Anheiser-Busch!

Ned then spent a good 20 minutes answering questions from the attendees. Afterwards, we got in line to talk to him. We met his campaign scheduler Kim, and then we introduced ourselves to Ned. I mentioned how much Firedoglake supports his campaign, and he said he's spoken to Jane and is very happy with the support she and the members of the blog have given his campaign.

Then I asked him if he'd promise to quit politics if people ever start calling him "Bush's favorite Democrat". He laughed and said, "I don't think there's any chance of that happening." I agreed with him on that.

A student came up to Ned and asked him to autograph his copy of "Crashing The Gate". Ned said that he'd never been asked to sign a book before. As he signed it I asked him if he read it, and he said he hadn't yet. Maybe someone can send him a copy? (Click on the link and buy a book for Ned!)

Click to enlarge image

I snapped this picture of him with Joyce, and afterwards she commented that he looked like a sailing guy, what with his Patagonia fleece vest and salty good looks. We asked Kim if he was a boater, and she said, "Oh yeah, he loves sailing." Joyce laughed and said, "I knew it!" She should know; we're both avid sailors on our J/30 "Full Tilt".

After we left, we discussed Lamont and his politics. We both feel certain he's the right guy for the job, and we're going to support his campaign. For more info on Ned Lamont, click on NedLamont.Com.

UPDATE - Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent has written a fine article about Lamont's appearance.

UPDATE II - CtBlogger has excellent video of both the speech and the Q&A session. Do yourself a favor and check out what Ned Lamont is going to do for the people of Connecticut, at ConnecticutBLOG

Welcome to CT Bob's place

Here's my new blog about Connecticut politics. Let's see how it goes!