Monday, July 31, 2006

"A Party of One"

Here's a new campaign flyer for Joe Lieberman (if he was honest!)

A talented Lamont supporter named Paul Molloy emailed this and a few others to me tonight, and I'm glad to have it 'cause I need time to get working on the latest video. I just got back from Emily Lamont's speech at Dos Amigos, a fine Mexican eatery located at 910 East Main St. in Torrington, CT, just about 1/2 mile east of Route 8 on Route 202. Good food, too! Go there and show the owner some appreciation for being an early Ned supporter.

I also got a lot of Democrats to voice their support of Ned on video, which I'm currently editing into a nice, happy, POSITIVE campaign ad. Hopefully I'll get it online by sometime tomorrow. Be patient, it'll be worth it!

And Emily's speech will hopefully have decent enough audio so I can post it, because it was amazingly good. Emily spoke with more poise, confidence, and conviction than any teenager should possess.

I later conversed with a couple eating dinner after her speech and asked if they were supporting Ned Lamont. The husband said he was a lifelong Republican and he didn't really know anything about Ned, but based upon what he'd heard, he said he'd vote for Emily if she was running for Senate. He was clearly impressed.

This speaks volumes not only for Emily's wonderful delivery, but also for the absolute truth of Ned's message, which resonates so stongly with people who don't like the direction the country has gone in the last 6 years. This is the thing that Joe Lieberman doesn't seem to grasp, which is that most people are just plain tired of wrong decisions being made, then defended, then made worse. It's obvious, because when people hear Ned Lamont's message, they agree with it.

And I have to say that if someone's character can be judged even in part by the way their children carry themselves, then Ned and Annie Lamont must have done something really wonderful in their lives.

The whole world is watching this race

And to a significantly lesser extent, this blog.

This morning I looked at the Sitemeter stats for "Connecticut Bob". One of the really cool features Sitemeter has shows a world map and where each of your last 100 visits came from.

While the majority of the hits come from the US, there is a significant cluster in Europe. By pointing the mouse arrow onto each dot, it displays some information about where the person is accessing the blog from. This morning I got hits from the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. There are also scattered hits from Australia, Kenya, and Armenia. I probably missed the Asian hits, because it's the middle of the night there right now, and the map only shows up to the last 100 hits. But countries like Japan, Thailand and India have been stopping by on occasion.

What this seems to indicate is the international scope of this Senate contest. I've spoken to several people who live outside of the US, and they see this election as critical for the future of America's foreign policy, specifically in regard to the War in Iraq and US expansionism. They seem to feel that we here in Connecticut have an opportunity to change the course of our nation, and as such, they want to follow the developments here. They have a very real stake in this contest.

The whole world is watching. It's a sobering thought.

Connecticut Democrats, on August 8th let's do our very best not to let them down.

Ned is changing minds

Even in "The Nation", the venerable cornerstone of widely-read American views. Via Connecticut Local Politics:

Ned Lamont with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) in
New Haven on Saturday; photo by CT Blogger
Lamont's confidence about his ability to win more than just antiwar protest votes is well founded. It's common on the Connecticut campaign trail to run into Democratic voters like Harriet Scureman.

"I used to be against Joe, because of the war and a bunch of other issues," says Scureman, a retired Xerox employee from Norwalk.

"But as the campaign's gone on, I've realized I'm for Ned Lamont. You can't meet him, listen to him, and not come to the conclusion that he would be a great senator."

If a majority of Connecticut voters reach the same conclusion in August and again in November, it will not merely be a defeat for a single centrist senator who supports the war.

It will also be a win for a new Democratic mindset, one that displays the energy, enthusiasm and vision that the party will need if it intends to lead the country out of the wilderness of the Bush years.
From this article in The Nation by John Nichols.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday night stuff

Well, I was hoping when I got home from a sun-soaked weekend on my boat, I'd get a few minutes to catch up on my email and check out what the blogs have going on.

Of course, at the very moment I unpacked the car and sat down at my PC, the phone rang. DeanFan84 and CTKeith were just around the corner from my house here in Milford, and they wanted to know where they could get a good sunset picture with the "Kiss Float".

Well, I knew the exact place. I told them stop by my house and I'll show them. So I put down my already-warm beer (it was hot today) and walked out of my house at the same moment the "Kiss Float" pulled into my driveway, with the BBC documentarians in a vehicle following them. Here's DeanFan84 taking a picture of the float in my driveway:

This was the first time I saw the float in real life. In pictures, it looks kind of cute, in a silly way. Up close in real life, it's a massive piece of citizen's sculpture. Really impressive and gigantic.

So I suggested we drive to the end of Milford Point, where the parking lot of the Milford Audobon Center and Bird Sanctuary has probably the best sunset opportunities in town this time of year. So I hopped in the "Floatmobile" (CTKeith drove with the BBC boys) and we got there just as the sun was reaching it's most photogenic angle.

DeanFan84 quickly positioned the float for the best shots, and the BBC (along with us) shot a bunch of truly romantic pictures. Joe and George never looked so much in love as tonight!

A new sign graced the RIGHT side of the float (wow, the subliminal stuff is way hidden, eh? The RIGHT side? Yeah? Maybe...?)

Will and James from the BBC (and who graciously returned my tripod head plate tonight, thus proving that they truly AREN'T "thieving fuckers" or "Limey bastards" as I may have labeled them in a moment of creative pique...even though those thieving Limey bastards made me shoot Ned's awesome Westport appearance hand-held because of their quick fingered ways!) taking some lovely video of the sun setting behind "The Kiss". I imagined romantic music playing when I saw the scene.

And here's Ned at that Westport appearance, looking very "Jefferson-esque" with those columns framing the image.

OK, so can I finally get back to reading my email and the rest of the blogs?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Let's talk about the money, Joe

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting mighty sick of hearing Joe Lieberman discussing how wealthy Ned Lamont is, and whether it's a good idea to have another millionaire in the Senate.

Joe Lieberman is a phony, plain and simple.

Yes, Ned Lamont is wealthy. But he's generated wealth as well as inherited it, because he is an entrepeneur who started and has successfully run a business for many years. He's created jobs and helped the local economy in a very direct way.

Ned Lamont doesn't hide the fact that he has money, and his family has been very active in charitable organizations for many years.

Joe Lieberman makes a big point of saying he came from humble beginnings. He acts like he's representitve of the middle class. Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but not too many of us middle-class kids get the chance at a Yale education, like Joe got. Very few of us humble middle-class people are attorneys and career politicians.

So while Joe did come from a non-privilaged upbringing, the minute he entered Yale at the age of 19, he started losing touch with the middle-class. Now, roughly 40 years later, he's as disconnected and insulated as any politician could be.

Joe Lieberman is a millionaire, too. Maybe not like Ned Lamont, but don't doubt for a second that he has plenty of money compared to most people, and all of it has come while pretending to be the "champion of the middle class".

And let's look at campaign finances. (I got the numbers from an article at My Left Nutmeg)

Joe is insisting that Ned Lamont is "buying a seat in the Senate". Here's the facts. Lieberman has raised a total of $9.2 million dollars so far, while Ned has only raised $4.6 million, exactly HALF of Joe's war chest.

And where did Joe get his money from? Lobbyists, special interest groups, PACs, and wealthy donors mostly. Ned has contributed about $3 million of his own money to his efforts, and taken in another $1.6 million from mostly regular people like you and me.

When Ned Lamont wins, he won't be beholden to the corporations, special interests and lobbyists. Ned will be able to legislate guided solely by his conscience, which is something Lieberman has SOLD long ago.

What this says to me is that should Joe somehow manage to hold on and win, he'll continue to occupy the BEST SENATE SEAT CORPORATE MONEY CAN BUY!

So, that's what I think about the money.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Joe vs. the Kiss Float

Sometimes, pictures need a lot of setting up and explaination to help people understand what's going on. I think these images, taken by DeanFan84 while driving the Kiss Float around following Joe's "Tomorrow" Bus, speak for themselves.

So I won't say anything.

Except this: Joe must be getting a little tired of these meddling Democrats showing up and ruining all his photo ops.


Come and say "Hi!" to Senator Lieberman

During the final, desperate days of Joe Lieberman's doomed campaign, he's finally doing something he should have been doing all along...

Appearing in PUBLIC!

From Spazeboy:

U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman is taking his campaign on the road tomorrow.

The incumbent Democrat, who faces a tough primary challenge from Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont, is calling the trip “Joe’s Tomorrow Tour.” Stops are scheduled in Rocky Hill, Meriden, Naugatuck, Seymour, Ansonia, Orange and New Haven.


Tomorrow’s stops mark the first day of a ten-day tour of the state.

10:00AM Pre-tour Press Conference
Lieberman Campaign Headquarters
1800 Silas Dean Highway
Rocky Hill, CT

11:00AM Stop at Lieberman Headquarters
3 Colony Street
Followed by walk down Main Street to the YMCA

12:15 PM Nardelli’s Grinder Shop
87 Maple Street

1:15 PM Sweets and Eats
60 North Main Street

2:00 PM Massimino’s Pizza
70 Main Street

4:00 PM Stop and Shop
259 Bull Hill Lane

5:00 PM “Bar”
254 Crown Street
New Haven

Go forth and meet your Senator. After all, he represents all the people in Connecticut–and he even sat down with me once. It’s your turn!

Of course, you could go see Ned Lamont instead. His schedule of public events can be found here–since March 2006.
Here's an opportunity to see the Senator who so vigorously defends the President's right to invade any country he wants, and ask him a respectful question. And bring your video camera.

Watch out for "Jelly" though...someone claimed he might stick thumbtacks in your balloons. And don't walk in front of Joe's bus...something tells me that the brakes might fail if you're wearing a Lamont button and carrying your video camera.

But if you DO get run over, keep shooting! And get me the tape.

UPDATE! So today is Day One of the "Lieberman On Ice" tour (sorry, but it DOES have a kind of cheesy, "Ice Capades-esque" feel to it). We've established that.

Where's the rest of the schedule, Joe? Are you going to continue with your usual chicanery and keep it a closely guarded secret until the very last minute? Is this just a publicity stunt that you're claiming to make yourself available, but won't release any details until the LAST MINUTE?

Where ya gonna be next week, Joe? Can anyone see you next Tuesday, Joe?

The more Joe changes, the more he stays the same.

My boat got painted!

Thanks to the readers of this blog, my little sailboat got painted red. Your generous contributions to Ned Lamont's campaign will make a REAL DIFFERENCE in our nation. After Ned becomes our Senator, other states will back their progressive candidates, and we'll take back the Senate at long last!

Remember, just because the boat is red, doesn't mean you can't still contribute. Between now and the August 8th primary (about 10 days from now), Ned will MATCH your contribution dollar for dollar. That's like getting FREE MONEY (to give to a campaign).

And when people like you contribute to the campaign through my little blog here, it encourages me to keep taping and writing and generally causing a bit of discomfort to the Establishment.

Because it makes me feel like you care about what I'm doing. Which makes it easier for me to drive my 1987 Dodge Aires K car (without a functional air conditioner) to an event on a 90-degree day, and then videotape it and get it up on the blog.

So, thank you for your support!

Lieberman attends Lamont speech! the form of a staffer with a video camera, that is.

From this article in Connecticut Local Politics:

"When a woman in the crowd was complaining that candidates like Lieberman rarely come to northern Connecticut, Lamont pointed out that Lieberman was, in fact, there--in the form of a Lieberman staffer who was videotaping the event. Lamont waved to the staffer, to much laughter. The staffer sheepishly waved back."
This beautifully illustrates the difference between the two campaigns.

Joe Lieberman is anxiously keeping nearly all of his appearances a secret until the last minute, and when he DOES appear in public, he has an army of staffers, volunteers, and hired muscle there to keep those pesky voters away from him (which sometimes isn't even enough to stop a determined blogger with a video camera!)

But when a Lieberman staffer shows up at a Ned Lamont speech, he's not only allowed to set up his camera and have access to the event, but is also politely acknowledged by the candidate, in the very best tradition of good sportsmanship and fair play.

Can you guess which candidate will be there for the voters of Connecticut?

The Battle for Women's Votes

Candidates Battle For Women's Votes
Senate Campaigns Appeal To Powerful Group In Primary
July 28, 2006
By MARK PAZNIOKAS, Courant Staff Writer

This article in the Hartford Courant today examines the importance of Women's Rights in the Senate contest:

Lamont with CA Rep. Maxine Waters
"If you are a Democrat in a blue state, you better be on the right side of that issue," said Scott McLean, a political science professor at Quinnipiac University.

Women not only are the majority of voters in general elections, they tend to vote Democratic, potentially giving them an outsized voice in the Aug. 8 primary.

"It's not surprising that women's issues are particularly important in a Democratic primary fight," said Ken Dautrich, a professor of public policy at the University of Connecticut. "The one that captures the bulk of women stands the best chance of winning."

Today, Lieberman returns from Washington to launch a 10-day bus tour of Connecticut intended to keep him before the voting public. In a press conference on the steps of the state Supreme Court, Lamont will accept the endorsement of Michael Schiavo, whose late wife, Terry Schiavo, was the focus of a right-to-die controversy in Florida.

Lamont is using reproductive rights and the Schiavo case as a variation on a broader theme: His campaign argues that Lieberman - on the war, on abortion, on education - is too cozy with President Bush and congressional Republicans.

And let's not forget for a moment that Joseph Lieberman has stated with great conviction that Terri Schiavo absolutely was going to be force-fed against her husband's and her own wishes. Apparently the right to die with even a shred of dignity isn't a right that women possess or deserve.
Lieberman is endorsed by two leading advocates for reproductive rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood PAC, a fact touted in a new mailing headlined, "U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, a lifelong advocate for women and the right to choose."
It still bothers me that these organizations use a flawed "scorecard" system to rate the effectiveness of a lawmaker. Lieberman's vote against confirmation of Justice Alito is a prime example. It's considered a good vote by the women's groups, because Joe voted against Alito.

But the REAL vote, the vote that MATTERED, the vote that Joe could have and SHOULD HAVE used his "leadership" to encourage, the ONLY VOTE that could have prevented known-anti-Choice candidate Alito from being seated on the Supreme Court from now until the day God decides to call him home (and he's a young and seemingly healthy man) was the vote on "Cloture of Debate" about Alito.

If the 45 Senate Democrats stood together (only 40 of them were needed to continue debate), they could have filibustered the Senate and forced the anti-Choice Republicans to withdraw him and find a more moderate candidate. But Joe, as usual was cowtowing to the Bush/Cheney crowd, and he meekly refused to support the filibuster and voted to close debate, thereby ensuring beyond any reasonable doubt Alito's place on the Court.

But some women's groups like PP and Naral, well, they consider Joe an active proponent of Women's Rights.

In a Lamont mailing, Rosemary Dempsey, president of the Connecticut NOW, said Lieberman's refusal to back a filibuster was "a slap in the face to every woman of this state, no matter her political beliefs, economic status or race."

The chance remark that has brought Lieberman grief came in response to a reporter's question about a state controversy: Should Catholic hospitals be forced to prescribe Plan B, an emergency contraceptive often given to rape victims?

Lieberman questioned the need for state intervention, saying, "In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital."
Not only is that a perfectly awful thing to say, but it indicates that Lieberman places religious views above the rights of women. This is EXACTLY the problem with Joe. He harbors a fanatic's zeal for religious legislation, regardless of the impact on women.

It's one thing to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, but to allow them to deny Plan B contraception (which doesn't abort a fertilized embryo like RU-486, but simply helps a woman AVOID conceiving) to a woman who's just been raped (even by, say, her father) is absolutely horrendous and goes against everything that women's reproductive rights groups should be about.

This is what Joe (and apparently Senator Boxer) supports.
"I do believe that Lieberman's enabling of Bush to pack the court and his statements on emergency room contraception created a much greater opening for us to galvanize the reproductive rights community than we had previously," Swan said.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Boxer/Lieberman pics

Here's some screen caps from Monday's campaign stop for Joe:

This is in the candy store. BTW, the store is "Sweet Rexie's" at 136 Washington St. in Norwalk (SoNo). The owner, Nanci Lewis, was very nice and wanted some pictures of the event. I don't know if this is what she wanted, but please visit the store when you're in the area and buy some stuff. She came in on her day off to allow us media to trample all over her lovely store.

Maura speaking to a woman who showed up with a homemade sign. Maura, did you get her name? I'd like to give her credit (if she wants it!)

Joe, Babs, and the woman with the sign. The look in Boxer's eyes is kind of creepy.

And I've got a couple of shots that looks disgustingly like Senator Boxer was enthusiastically picking her nose, which I choose not to publish. But I do wish that somebody would tell Barbara not to touch her face (and ESPECIALLY her nose) while in public...the wrong angle could lead to an embarrassing bunch of images floating around the 'net.

THIS is why I said what I said at the end of the video. On the left is Joe Viterelli ("Jelly" from "Analyze This"), and on the right was the security guy who was massive and polite and gentle and could have easily "switched me off" if he so desired.

Thank god I didn't make any threatening motions, like raising my hand to ask a question or dropping to the ground and screaming "Please don't kill me!".

Yeah. Good times.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"Mr. Bill's Funtastic Phone Call!"

My favorite non-dead former President, William Jefferson Clinton, gave me a call tonight.

I felt SO honored, I simply HAD to videotape the call.

And add commentary and sound effects.


So...maybe I'm just over-tired and need to get some rest...

G'night folks!

About the other day...

It's been an interesting day or two. The video as of this morning has been seen over 40,000 times on Youtube, and my blog has had such a huge one-day spike that it's gonna throw off my averages for the next six months. Sheesh!

Can I get back to regular blogging now?

OK, last word on the subject, then I'm moving on...

There's been a lot written about the Boxer/Lieberman video, where Maura and I managed to get some unscripted comments from both candidates. From what I've seen so far, the online media (including national blogs) have reacted favorably to this example of "People Powered Media" (PPM) . And the "Mainstream Media" (MSM) seems to think it's somewhat dangerous. Of course, this position might reflect their own prejudices and the threat to their job security.

This article from the CBS News blog was interesting:

"Just watch this video from blogger Connecticut Bob... It’s basically about two-and-a-half minutes of bloggers haranguing Boxer and Lieberman over his position on Lieberman’s position on forcing publicly-funded hospitals to make emergency contraception available."

Alright, I'm not entirely sure that asking a valid question of a Senator qualifies as a "harangue", but I'm willing to slide on that one. The fact of the matter is that there simply aren't many opportunities to get an honest response from a Senator without seeking him/her out and asking the question yourself.

I've written Senators Lieberman, Dodd, Clinton, and others many times over a variety of issues. Whenever they decide to respond, it's usually with a form letter sent by a staffer outlining the Senator's carefully prepared and politically safe views. On several occasions I've received a reply for an entirely different issue than what I've written about.

This tends to discourage the active participation of voters like myself from contacting our representitives. Maybe this is what they want. So when an opportunity arises to confront a Senator about their views in public, I grab my video camera and notepad full of scribbled questions and hop in my car.

There's an element of danger whenever a politician speaks off the cuff. I'm sure Senator Boxer would like to have had time to review her answer to Maura's question, but then we'd have been denied a glimpse into the Senator's true feelings. Some people might say this is "ambush journalism", but I think it's one of the few tools that We, The People, have to get unfiltered responses to our concerns.

Do you think George W. Bush would be able to take 5 minutes of that kind of questioning without folding up like a cheap lawn chair?

And wouldn't you love to see someone like Maura corner the President for that 5 minutes and ask him those important questions, without Karl Rove or Tony Snow or Dick Cheney or any of the other professional hand-holders there to protect and insulate him from us rabble?

"There’s nothing outrageous or incorrect at all about what’s happening in this video. These are citizens, as entitled to ask their political representatives questions as someone employed by a newspaper or television station. It’s part of what makes the Web and the blogosphere great. As someone who’s committed to the idea of transparency in the media, I applaud seeing it in our politics as well."

Thank you. You can stop right there.

Uh-oh...(isn't it obvious there's gonna be a "However..." coming up?)

"However, as someone who’s watched the political process very closely for the past dozen years, the likely response I see coming from the political class is less encouraging because the potential risk is just too high...It’s all great for life in the public square, but watching the Boxer footage today made me wonder once again, how often our politicians will join us there in the future."

Politicians will ALWAYS need to appear in public in order to run successfully for reelection. Even Joe Lieberman, who has taken incredible pains to insulate himself from his constituents, has to make himself available to the public from time to time.

And these are the opportunities for determined voters to show up and ask the questions that are so often answered via an impersonal form letter.

Another important reason we can get away with asking these tough questions is because we don't need access to a politician for our livelyhood. Most TV and print reporters are shackled by the threat that their access to a campaign may be cut off at a moment's notice if something they report doesn't sit well with a candidate. This is death to a reporter who makes his living from covering politics.

We don't have that fear. Personally, I don't give a shit if I never get into another political event for the rest of my life. Politics is an ugly business, where people not only tell the most awful lies on a daily basis, but do so enthusiastically and with complete abandon. The sleaze factor in most politicians is enough to make a reasonable person feel ill. I'll be glad once the general election is over, and I can get back to a normal life.

But for now, people like Maura, CT Blogger, Spazeboy, and many others are making the effort to get the honest, unscripted answers.

And that's why "People Powered Media" (PPM) will be a significant factor in the future of politics.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sen. Boxer and Sen. Lieberman today

UPDATE: The fabulous Maura has a very detailed account of the encounter in this post at Fire Dog Lake. Go check it out!

Immediately after Barbara Boxer's seemingly unenthusiastic endorsement of Joe Lieberman, I ask Joe some tough questions. Concerned Irish-Democrat Maura joins in with a question of her own. (...and Maura completely ROCKS!)

More video will be posted later, but now I've got to get ready to go to Waterbury and maybe say Hi! to Mr. Bill.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Another endorsement for Lamont today

ConnecticutBLOG has an excellent post about U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur's (D-OH) speech giving her support to Ned Lamont.

CTBlogger (who took the photo above) has all the details of Marcy's courageous backing of Lamont, rather than bowing to pressure to line up behind Lieberman's sagging career. Check out the entire post (along with Youtube goodness) at ConnecticutBLOG.

Joe is "dead wrong"

Irving Stolberg served two separate terms as speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives in the 1980s. He wrote this commentary in the Hartford Courant today:

No More Joe:
`Dead Wrong' On The War And Defense Of Bush, White House Excesses

Joe Lieberman and I have been friends and colleagues for 38 years. We ran for and won seats in the Connecticut legislature as a team of reformers in 1970. He was my state senator and I was his state representative. He rose to Senate majority leader as I became speaker of the House. With others, we formed the Caucus of Connecticut Democrats, a progressive coalition, to further the causes of peace in Vietnam and justice at home.

I have supported him in every election he has had - until now. This year I am supporting Ned Lamont to unseat Joe. Almost four decades of friendship with Joe has made this a wrenching decision for me.

As Joe points out, his record on a number of issues, such as the environment, is good. But on the two biggest issues of our times, he is dead wrong.

His blind support of the Iraq war, begun illegally and a continuing catastrophe, is monstrous.

And his defense of an incompetent president, a vice president who fits the dictionary definition of fascism and an extremist administration that has perpetrated torture, illegal eavesdropping and a general shredding of the Constitution is insulting to the people who elected him in the first place.

Joe's constituency is not Bush and Cheney; it is the progressives and moderates, the blacks and Hispanics who gave him his start in politics. We feel he has betrayed us by becoming "Bush's favorite Democrat."

His announcement that he will not support the winner of the Democratic primary but will seek election as an independent if he loses the primary seems to put self above principle. I thank Ned Lamont, a good and decent man, for giving the people of Connecticut a real choice. We need someone who will confront the Bush-Cheney evils of lies, manipulation and incompetence, which have done us so much harm at home and abroad.

This year I shall vote for Ned Lamont.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Hartford Courant - "The 19-Point Swing"

DEMOCRATS: Poll Shows Lamont Changing Tempo
July 21, 2006
By MARK PAZNIOKAS | Courant Staff Writer

A new poll shows him surging ahead of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in the Democratic primary, but Ned Lamont still was bemused Thursday night to find he suddenly needs no introduction.

At a Windham house party where the hostess offered the barest of introductions, Lamont told supporters, "Nobody ever said, `Here's a guy who needs no introduction.'" He smiled and added, "I think we're doing OK."

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday morning showed that Lamont has turned a 15 percentage point deficit six weeks ago into a 51-47 percent lead among likely Democratic voters.

"Clearly the momentum is on Lamont's side. He's come out of nowhere," said Douglas Schwartz, the poll's director.


By conventional measures, the new poll is confounding. It follows Lieberman's dominant performance in their only televised debate and a sustained advertising campaign by Lieberman to define the little-known Lamont as an opportunist with one issue - his opposition to the war in Iraq.

The poll suggests that Democratic primary voters are tightly focused on Lieberman's support for the war in Iraq - and are not swayed by attacks on Lamont's scant public record as a Greenwich local official.

Even though 39 percent of voters found that Lamont lacked "the right kind of experience to be a U.S. senator," a majority of likely Democratic voters said they are ready to jettison Lieberman after 18 years in the Senate.

"It's a dramatic change in the race," Schwartz said. "This is a surge for Lamont. It's rare to see such a big change in a race. We've seen a 19-point swing."

On May 2, 93 percent of voters said they knew too little about Lamont to offer an opinion, but Lamont has since hit significant milestones.


Schwartz said that Lieberman's decision to hedge his bets with a petitioning candidacy indicated that the candidate's internal polling mirrored the numbers Quinnipiac released Thursday.


News of the poll followed Lamont throughout a day of campaigning, which he had hoped would spotlight his proposal for universal health care.

At a press conference outside a medical building in New Britain, where patients squeezed by reporters, Lamont said he favored forcing employers to provide insurance, while allowing them to cut costs by buying into larger insurance pools.

But the first questions posed addressed his new standing in the polls.

"Ah, back to issues," he said.


The poll was based on a telephone survey July 13-18 of 2,502 voters, with a margin of error of 2 percentage points, plus or minus. The sample of 653 likely Democratic primary voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Contact Mark Pazniokas at

Fox blasts Bush's stem cell veto

When I first saw the headline above, I thought that Fox News was finally showing some good sense when approaching a controversial topic.

Silly me.

They're talking about Michael J. Fox!

While I'm furious that our Chimp-in-Chief decided to use the VERY FIRST veto of his entire illegal occupation of the White House to deny government funding to stem cell research, I don't have a lot of time to dwell on it because we've got a Senate race that is getting very busy.

But I do want to address the issue, so I'll let MJF do the talking today.

He's certainly earned the right!

From an article in IOL:

22/07/2006 - 18:13:39 Actor Michael J Fox has slammed George W Bush's decision to veto US government funding of pioneering studies into stem cell research.

On Wednesday, the US president used his power of veto for the first time since he came to power in January 2001.

Back to the Future star Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease, is outraged Bush went against American public opinion that scientists should be allowed to try and find the cure for many diseases using the cells from nearly 400,000 embryos currently in storage.

He said: "I regret the loss of five years when real progress could have been made, and I find it frustrating that the president would use his first veto of his time in office to thwart this research. It just seems a shame to me.

"I am respectful of those who oppose this research and their reasoning for it, but they do represent a minority.

"I think that to make a choice to protect millions of cells that are going to be destroyed over protecting millions of living and soon-to-be living human beings and citizens of this country… it's hard to get around that.

"I figure you have to trust the American people, our scientists, our institutions, our facilities, to really do the right thing and lead the way with this.

"It's going to happen anyway, so why doesn't it happen with American oversight and federal funding, and with an enthusiastic and well-thought-out approach?

"Since when does America wait for somebody else to figure it out? I mean, we should figure it out.

"We have been blessed with the resources and the intelligence and the spirit and the energy to tackle these kinds of problems. We are all set to do it and we need leadership from the top to spur us on to do it."
I've never been a huge fan of Fox's teen movies and cheesy TV acting (although, can't NOT enjoy "Back To The Future"), but I think his courage and determination in bringing attention to Parkinson's Disease and the importance of stem cell research is admirable.

Now if we can only get George Bush to listen!

"Local Media Slams Lieberman on Halliburton"

From T.Party at LamontBlog today:

Amazingly, it seems the local press doesn't appreciate being played for complete fools by Sean Smith and Marion Steinfels (Lieberman Campaign Manager and Communications Director), as evidenced by this reaction in today's Connecticut Post (hat tip Sue at MLN):
Thumbs down to U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., and his campaign. The senator's campaign staff recently released several ads critizing Lieberman's Democratic primary opponent, anti-war businessman Ned Lamont, for owning shares of Halliburton, a company the government has awarded billions of dollars in Iraq war contracts to. Lieberman told the Connecticut Post editorial board last week that, "It's important that people know where you get your income from." Lieberman should have taken his own advice. According to a news report in the Post Friday, it turns out the senator also owns shares in Halliburton. While his staff says that Lieberman was unaware he owned any Halliburton stock, it seems questionable that his campaign never raised the Halliburton issue without first checking Lieberman's own stock holdings. Hopefully the senator's campaign will exercise better discretion in the future.
Of course, that's not stopping Steinfels from continuing to jerk around local reporters, as she did to Ted Mann of the New London Day (among others) yesterday:
Steinfels also accused Lamont of being “misleading” and “lying to the public” about the nature of his ownership of stock in Halliburton, the multinational conglomerate once led by Vice President Dick Cheney, a company that has received billions in federal contracts for its services in Iraq.
This was a day after the campaign acknowledged that Lieberman owned Halliburton stock. Yet they're still pushing their hypocritical line, because to focus on the real issues would be the death of their campaign.

But treating the local press like garbage is par for the course for their campaign. Campaign manager Sean Smith once threatened a local TV reporter with the words “If you distort the truth and report that we are running a negative campaign and Ned is not, I will not forget it.”

They've slapped the local press in the face more times than can be counted. And they continue to do so. No wonder the press is slapping back.
I hope the local media is picking up on this. Lamont's campaign isn't asking for special treatment by the media, but they demand and deserve FAIR treatment.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Joe sends Bill his love - circa 1998

--via John Amato, Crooks & Liars

Joe Lieberman earns Bill Clinton's eternal gratitude on the floor of the Senate back in the good 'ol days, when Joe was considered a Democrat.

Wouldn't it be ironic...

...if on this coming Monday, former President Bill Clinton pulls a "Joe Biden" and somehow "misses his train to Connecticut"?

Bill and Joe in happier times

Jesus, how far back in the archives did they have to dig to find a photo where Clinton and Lieberman appeared to be friendly with each other? The picture below is probably more like how Bill remembers his sanctimonious and unctuous "friend":

Yeah, I'm sure that awful self rightous finger-waving image is indelibly etched deep in the former President's mind. Bill is known to hold grudges. It might be time for a little payback, Arkansas-style!

Now, I'm not saying that this is likely to happen, by any means, but if I was Bill Clinton and I wanted to embarrass the living shit out of Lieberman, I'd be tempted to leave the guy standing alone on the stage, for all the media to see.

Then Bill Clinton would throw his full support to Ned Lamont, who easily defeats Lieberman in the primary and goes on to win an unprecedented 90% of the vote in November.

Then in 2012, it's President Ned!

This is usually about where I wake up.

But as dreams go, it's a good one.

Spazeboy RULES!

Obviously, I was joking when I called Spazeboy "irritating" in my last post. He's not irritating to me at all, personally.

But I'd bet that Joe Lieberman gets irritated whenever he sees Spazeboy's name mentioned.

And I'm sure the phrase "The Kiss" irritates the living shit outta Joe.

Take a look at this fantastic bit of guerilla video, shot at Joe "NAFTA/CAFTA" Lieberman's AFL-CIO cookout. Listen to those Lieber-dweebs cheer when the float is pulled over.

And CT Keith deserves "hazardous duty" pay!

UPDATE: And just so Spazeboy doesn't get a swelled head...

Here's a sweaty shaking nervous wreck of a Junior Correspondant, Spazeboy, interviewing people at the Cherry Blossom Festival back around May 1st:

Fire Dog Lake meet and greet in Branford

Notorious Progressive blogger Jane Hamsher, from the nationally celebrated blog "FireDogLake.Com" was on hand to meet with local and regional readers/commenters from FDL, along with local bloggers. The event was held on the patio of the scenic Owenego Inn in Branford, overlooking a placid (today) Long Island Sound.

In attendance along with the roughly forty FDL readers and Connecticut bloggers were several members of the media. The NY Times and GQ Magazine were represented, with a BBC documentary crew there also. I met a lot of FDLers who were previously known to me only by their internet handles.

The main talk of the evening was, of course, the Lamont-Lieberman contest. The Q-poll numbers had been released earlier in the day, so everyone was in a fairly good mood, albeit cautiously optimistic. And repeating an observation I made several weeks ago, the median age of the group completely discounts the theory that the blogosphere is chiefly populated by a bunch of whiney teenagers who like to stir up trouble.

Also, I couldn't find a single "angry" leftist blogger anywhere. It seemed to me that everyone was in a fine mood and, in fact, we may have to change the meme to reflect the growing number of "jolly" leftist bloggers!

I also took a bunch of photos, but I can't recall who did or didn't want their pictures to appear online, so I'm going to keep this simple for now and just post a few select images.

Jane manages to not cross her eyes for this photo. In fact, she's been very good about not crossing her eyes for nearly every photo that's been taken of her lately.

Jane and an FDL commenter named Mike discussing things bloggish.

Your humble narrator, posing for a self-portrait.

Late in the evening, a pensive CT Blogger; one of the BBC guys (Nigel? Basil? something like that; the BBC guys were very cool and seemed to really "get" what was going on); and local hero and Lieberman-question-asker Maura from VA/CT ruminate on the evening's discussions.

I won't try to name everyone I met, because I'll inveriably omit somebody and I'm in far too good a mood to want to hurt anyone's feelings. So just know that I enjoyed meeting and talking to each and every one of you! (...except Spazeboy...he was irritating!) LOL!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lamont ahead in latest Q-poll!

JUST RELEASED info via the Hartford Courant shows Ned Lamont ahead of Joe Lieberman by a margin of 51-47%!

UPDATE: Ned Lamont has pledged to MATCH every single dollar donated to the campaign between now and the Primary. Use these GREAT POLL NUMBERS as an excuse to click on the sailboat to the right and finish painting it. C'mon folks, you'll be getting TWICE the value for your dollars. Show Ned that we support his campaign and please donate NOW!

Thank you!

Lamont Leads Lieberman In Latest Poll
7:05 AM EDT, July 20, 2006
The Associated Press

HAMDEN, Conn. -- A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday has Democratic challenger Ned Lamont leading the U.S. Senate race over incumbent Joe Lieberman.

The poll shows Lamont ahead 51-47 percent among likely voters in the Aug. 8 Democratic primary. That compares to a 55-40 percent lead for Lieberman in a similar poll in June.

The telephone survey of 2,502 registered voters was conducted July 13-18. It has a sampling error margin of about 2 percentage points.

Lamont, a multimillionaire and founder of a cable television company that has wired college campuses, has contributed a total of $2.5 million to his own campaign.

He has gained national attention by challenging Lieberman, who has come under fire from some Democrats for his support of the war in Iraq and a perceived closeness with congressional Republicans and President Bush.

"More Democrats have a favorable opinion of Lamont, who was largely unknown last month, and see him as an acceptable alternative to Lieberman," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. "But Lieberman's strength among Republicans and independents gives him the lead in a three-way matchup in November."

Lieberman has said he will run as a third-party candidate in November should he lose the Democratic primary.

The poll shows him leading a three way race with the support of 51 percent of likely voters, compared to 27 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for Republican Alan Schlesinger.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Courant talks about "Nedheads" at Youtube

By now, anyone who reads this blog knows how important Youtube is in getting videos posted and seen. Today's Hartford Courant has a story about the impact of Youtube on the Lamont-Lieberman contest.

Shooting From The Clip
Nedheads' Videos Mock Lieberman
July 19, 2006
By JANE PORTER, Courant Staff Writer

In the past week, nearly 700 people have watched a video lampooning ads from U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman's campaign.

"Ned Lamont wears pants," intones a gravelly voiced announcer. His tone becomes more challenging as he says: "What does he wear under those pants? Boxers? Briefs? Even a thong? What is he hiding?"
Hey, I'm gravelly voiced! Leonard Cohen, eat your heart out! Tom Waits, look out!
The 28-second video, posted on the Nedheads website from blogger ctbob on July 9, parodies a Lieberman campaign ad and can be seen at the popular video sharing website As it ends, with the well-known photo of Lynndie England pointing at the genitals of a naked Abu Ghraib prisoner, the announcer says: "Demand that Ned Lamont drop his drawers and let the voters decide."

The short clip is one of hundreds posted on Nedheads, the third most popular stop in the "News and Blogs" group of, right behind first-place "Bush Sucks" and then "Indyvideo."

"The visual medium has a greater impact than the printed word," said Bob Adams, known online as ctbob or Connecticut Bob. "The fact that we can now put video up on the Internet ... allows more ... access to sharing ... views about what's happening in the world."
I don't remember pausing that much when I spoke to her, so those are probably the places where she took out the stupid things I said. (thanks Jane!)
Adams said he doesn't volunteer for the Lamont campaign, which gives him editorial freedom in what he posts on the Internet. And people are watching. His video "Joe & George ... (a love story)" has close to 7,000 hits on the Nedhead site.

Nedheads was created March 26 by a man who goes by the alias "Scarce." In a telephone interview last week - to a Prince Edward Island phone number - Scarce said he lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nedheads has a core group of two dozen to three dozen Connecticut-based bloggers who send their video footage to Scarce for approval and posting, he said. CTBlogger, Connecticut Bob and Spazeboy are three local bloggers who create many of the group's videos.

Scarce obviously cannot vote in the Aug. 8 primary (or any U.S. election), but he says he has keen interest in the race because of his opposition to the Iraq war, which Lieberman has been criticized for supporting. "This race has taken on national, international implications," said Scarce, who estimates that he spends 20 to 40 hours a week on Nedheads. He declined to share his name, his occupation or much else about his personal life.

A majority of the videos posted at Nedheads, which had 1,000 members at the end of last week, are clips from national and local television news programs, local video of Lamont and Lieberman campaign appearances, amateur political parodies and segments pertaining to the Connecticut primary from Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show."


"I do consider myself sort of a member of the media," said Adams (Connecticut Bob), a Milford resident. "If Fox News has free rein to put idiots like Hannity, Limba (sic) and Coulter on there, I have the right to voice my opinion."
You can't imagine how happy it makes me to see that sentence appear in a major newspaper. But Jane, it's spelled L-I-M-B-A-U-G-H; I'd hate for some guy named Joe Limba to think I'm calling him an idiot.
Beau Anderson, known online as Spazeboy, regularly contributes to Nedheads. Anderson, 25, a college student from New Britain, was introduced to video-making by CTBlogger, whom he identified as Al from Danbury. The writer of ConnecticutBlog declined to be interviewed, saying in an e-mail that he did not want to detract attention from the Lamont campaign itself.

CTBlogger is responsible for 118 of the 228 videos on Nedheads. Anderson first met CTBlogger on April 5 at a Lamont event at Naples Pizza in New Haven, where CTBlogger asked him to operate his video camera. Though he had no prior video production experience, Anderson has since purchased a camera of his own. He videotapes Lamont events around the state and posts them on Nedheads.

Anderson has contributed 76 videos to the group, including recent footage he shot of a potbellied Republican at the Willimantic Boom Box parade, toting a Lieberman sign and announcing his allegiance to the candidate.

"Sometimes you'll tell your neighbors about something you've heard of and missed on television. ... This is like the next generation of that," said Anderson of the short videos. "It's kind of an evolution of the word of mouth, except more accurate, because you don't get that telephone message deterioration."

Communication directors for both campaigns denied any affiliation with Nedheads.

"We don't want to control what they say," said Liz Dupont-Diehl, Lamont's communications director. She said the campaign does keep bloggers, including those posting on Nedheads, informed of campaign events, as they do with the mainstream media.

Marion Steinfels, Lieberman's communications director, said that on Tuesday she watched a YouTube video about Lamont and tax cuts forwarded to her by e-mail. But when asked what she knows about Nedheads, Steinfels said she has seen the term before but knows little about the group.
Yeah, like anyone believes THAT. I'd bet that Marion has spent plenty of time checking out our videos; it must be annoying to see how easy it is to poke fun at her bitter and sanctimonious boss.

All it all, I'm content with the article. There could be actual links posted in it, but what the hell, ya can't have everything (I put those links in myself). Nice article, Jane.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What matters most to Joe Lieberman?



No, not really.

I'm pretty sure Joe doesn't have a drinking problem. Even if he did, I'm sure he'd still be functional in most areas.

Except where the nation's policies are concerned. Then, the whole "drinking" thing suddenly starts being more believable.

But no...I'm going to believe that Lieberman ISN'T a drunk...he's just a Republican.

(Personally, I'd rather be a drunk.)

See if you can spot the irony in this article. It's not hard to find if you read it.
Experts divided on relevancy of personal tax data
Mary E. O’Leary, Register Topics Editor

The release of personal income tax information has become a campaign issue in the Democratic Senate primary, but how relevant it is has experts divided.

The Associated Press requested that U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and his challenger, Ned Lamont, make public their income tax returns for the past five years.

Lieberman, who has been senator since 1988, released his, as he did when he was the party’s vice presidential candidate in 2000 and a presidential contender in 2004.

Lamont, a Greenwich businessman, who has been steadily gaining ground in his primary bid against the 3-term incumbent, now has agreed to release his 2005 returns once they are finished next week.

But he is not willing to go beyond that, with his staff arguing that until he threw his hat in the ring in March, he was essentially a private person. Also, his stock holdings already have been detailed in his filings with the Senate ethics office and are available for public examination.

To Tom Swan, Lamont’s campaign manager, this is all just a distraction from the issues.

"We have the entire Middle East in flames. We have destablized Iraq. We have 47 million Americans without health insurance, but the most important thing Joe Lieberman can talk about is Ned Lamont’s past taxes? This is a cheap political stunt," Swan charged.

But Marion Steinfels, spokesman for the senator’s campaign, disagreed.

"What’s he trying to hide?" she asked. "He is not being open with the voters of Connecticut," she said.

Lieberman himself, however, in his book, "In Praise of Public Life," said challenging an opponent’s votes are fair, but "digging into (a candidate’s) bank account ... is wrong."

more here
"Wrong - wrong - wrong!" Your words, Senator.

Although, I have heard that memory lapses are a fairly common symptom of advanced alcohol abuse...not that you actually HAVE that problem; it just might be something you should discuss with your family physician.

Anyway, Joe Lieberman is apparently much more worried about Ned's tax return than these little incidentals, such as Bush/Cheney's War in Iraq, the Health Care Crisis, the Middle-East going up in flames, Bush's insistance he's above the law, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.

If Lieberman even attempted to make half as much noise about Bush's ACTUAL, DOCUMENTED violations of the law (rather than the phony issues he's using to try to discredit his honest Democratic opponent's character) maybe more people would support him.

Yeah, I guess you don't have to be drunk to see Joe's real agenda here.

"Where can I see Joe Lieberman?"

This week I received an email from a registered CT Democrat, who wants to hear Joe Lieberman's views on the issues. This person is undecided about who to support, and she wants to hear both candidates speak in person before making up her mind.

Of course, I immediately pointed her toward Ned Lamont's Events page, where anyone can usually find an event near their hometown where Ned will speak. He's very accessable in that way.

Then I checked into Joe Lieberman's website. I couldn't find a thing. Not one single publicized event where he'd be appearing. It seems that Joe is running a stealth campaign; where all his appearances are closely held secrets until after the fact. Joe seems to think he works much better in sound bites than when actually having to think and respond to honest questions.

And that makes sense, in a way...why would Joe want to hear from actual Democrats who may question his actions, such as his intent to flee the Democratic Party should they choose someone other than himself on August 8th?

As Maura Keaney discovered in Stamford recently, posing those kind of questions to Lieberman will result in your character being attacked, ("...she's a Lamont plant!"), and your question being dismissed with an annoyed wave of Joe's hand.

So, in my email back to the woman who wrote me, I had to tell her that I had absolutely no idea where she could see Joe Lieberman. His campaign seems to be a total secret, known only to a few select insiders who will support his every word with unabashed hero worship! (To tell you the truth, I'd rather undergo a root canal sans novocaine than have to deal with that kind of crap!)

But, this woman still wants to see him. So I wrote back:

"If you want to see Joe Lieberman, you might get lucky and catch a few seconds of him on the TV news. Then go hear Ned Lamont speak live, and personally ask him about the issues."

"Then decide who you feel would better represent you, and VOTE on August 8th."

Monday, July 17, 2006

Lieberman's lame lying looks less logical lately

Try saying that five times fast!

Oh, and I love alliteration. Can ya tell?

What I don't like are blatant falsehoods passed off as facts. Karl Rove is an expert at this kind of thing, and Joe obviously has a copy of the Rover's playbook.

I'm not going to post the negative attack ad by Lieberman, but I'll post a link to the blog where it gets expertly savaged by our favorite Jedi knight, Spazeboy.

And as Spazeboy suggests, Lieberman's campaign may have stolen the "flip-flopping picture" from my June 19th video, posted here:

Hey Lieber-guys, I want my fat "creative consulting" fee! Now!

"Lamont - The Movie!"

There's little doubt that we're all witnessing political history being made here in Connecticut. After Ned Lamont successfully pulls off the biggest upset ever, there will be dozens of books written about the phenomenon of "people powered politics".

Well, I'm more of a filmmaker than a writer, as you can clearly see by my atrocious misuse of grammer and punctuation and spelling and all those other things that are required to be a successful author. Which is why I blog...'cause, ya know, grammer and spelling ain't really important in the blogosphere.

UPDATE: Joe Lieberman himself in the comments section (I know it's him because it SAYS so) has pointed out that I spelled "grammar" wrong...thus further exemplifying my point about spelling!

But I happen to know a little bit about making movies. And that's why I've decided to get a head start on this project:


I've already completed a first draft of the script, and now I'm working on casting. Here's my wish list cast:

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lamont Campaign Manager Tom Swan

Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean") as uber-smarmy Lieberman Manager Sean Smith

Abe "Fish" Vigoda as former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman

a young James Stewart as Ned Lamont


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Throwing Lieberman under the bus

By Salena Zito
Sunday, July 16, 2006

Connecticut's U.S. Senate primary between Greenwich millionaire Ned Lamont and incumbent Joe Lieberman is the race for the epicenter of the Democratic Party.

It is a benchmark for both parties as they ramp up to pick their 2008 presidential candidates.

Democrat strategist Steve McMahon is watching the race closely: "After Aug. 8, we will know if Ned Lamont is an apparition or the leader of a larger storm for the Democratic Party."


When I asked Lieberman about how his support of the war has become the wedge issue of his party, he said: "I know some people disagree with the position I've taken on Iraq. I respect their point of view."


Oh, yeah, and the blogosphere loves Lamont. It's enough of a power-packed punch to send the good Sen. Lieberman looking for a back-up plan, running as an independent if he loses the primary.

Strategist McMahon thinks "the strength of the Lamont candidacy demonstrates the depth of the Democratic Party's opposition to the war."

In short, Ned Lamont is a bellwether.

It's interesting to watch Democrats on the 2008 presidential wannabe list distance themselves from Lieberman. Hillary Clinton went out of her way to be the first to raise the throw-Lieberman-under-the-bus banner on Independence Day, followed quickly by almost everybody else.

You just can't buy that kind of loyalty.
That line about Lieberman saying he "respects their point of view" bugs the hell out of me. He's pro-war and pro-Bush, simple as that. If he truly respected that viewpoint, maybe he should start behaving like it really matters. Joe, you were elected to fulfill the will of the about embracing that point of view for a change?

Read the complete article here.