Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jim Amann talks about my video

Hoo boy. This thing just won't go away.

ConnecticutBLOG and My Left Nutmeg both ran detailed articles on the recent developments.

This last Sunday Kevin Rennie, a columnist for the Hartford Courant, wrote in this article:
Technology is freedom's friend in the battle to protect liberty from those who see themselves as our betters. So on this Thanksgiving weekend, give a nod to the essential If you would like to see the veil slip on Williams' counterpart in the House of Representatives, go to YouTube and type in the name "James Amann" in the search box.

Thanks to videographer CTBob, you'll see that tribune of the people, Amann, announce to a local interlocutor that he would "crush" anyone who would dare to run against him in his Milford district. Amann has essentially become a bully of the most pompous sort. And there it is for all to see in two minutes.

We don't need fewer opportunities for candidates to reveal themselves, we need more. These moments of candor always tell us more about our leaders than they intend. And for that we are grateful.
Yesterday, the local talk radio station had a field day talking about my video (link) that pokes a bit of fun at House Speaker Jim Amann. Which is fair, in my opinion. If I'm going to express my point of view publicly on the internet, then it's fair for talk radio people to discuss my work.

Of course, I don't REALLY think that he's Tony Soprano; he just talks like him sometimes.

Actually, he reminds me a little of John Gotti. But in a good way.

So on WTIC, there were TWO shows that featured ME, "Connecticut Bob", prominantly. First, Jim Amann called in to the "Ray & Diane" show, and he had some interesting things to say about the video. Then, on "Sound Off Connecticut" with Jim Vicevich, the host had a few things to say about the situation. I don't have a copy of his show, but I do have the Amann interview mp3 right here.

Basically, Jim has a faulty memory of the event. But's that isn't surprising. He talked for nearly a half-hour non-stop, and even though I taped the entire thing, I didn't remember everything he said.

Here's a partial transcript from Jim's radio interview with Ray & Diane yesterday:
Amann: "When the press conference was over, I was leaving and a couple of the bloggers were there. Actually, the know, there was about five minutes of it, of course, they edited it, the interview actually was very good, the asked me some pretty direct questions about my support for Joe Lieberman.

About three minutes into the interview this individual started heckling me, basically yelled at me as I was leaving "You're a leader" and you know, "when the party tells you to walk one way, you've gotta walk lockstep with them".

And my response basically was at first, it was kinda humorous, I was a little bit taken aback by it, but then I said the last time I heard about party leaders walking lockstep they were walking into Poland from Nazi Germany."
Besides the obvious insulting nature of what he's saying, it's faulty memory. Nobody but Jim Amann mentioned the word "lockstep", and that was once at the very end of the interview. I guess he confuses Democratic Party loyalty with Nazi invasions.

Let me try to help. Here's the Nazi invasion of Poland:

And here's Democratic Party unity:

I hope that clears things up for you. Now let's continue with the radio interview:
"I said as a leader, I don't think I don't always have to, you know, do everything that the party tells me. You know, I think this guy is a good man and I support him, and he just came on snapping back.

So I went to walk away...when I walked away he basically in my opinion kind of threatened me, you know, we're gonna go after you next. I think that's what really aggravated me, mostly because I feel 25 years in politics, and I think I've been a pretty good Democrat, and for a fellow Democrat to say, because I support another Democrat, that they're going to threaten to do the same thing to me that they did to Joe Lieberman. It just kinda irritated me."
This photo was taken minutes after the alleged "threat". I dunno, but does Jim look like a guy who's been threatened? Someone threatens me, I'm not going to shake his hand and smile. Seems he's not even making a mountain out of a molehill...he's trying to fashion a molehill out of thin air.

That's CT Keith and my bestest buddy and interview-ruiner Branford Boy, with Speaker Amann. (BTW Kelly, I'm not really pissed at you; I just had a bit of fun at your expense in the video below)
Interviewer: So, you essentially said "Bring 'em on, I will crush 'em!"

"Yeah, I said that. It wasn't my brightest moment in front of a video camera, that's for sure." (laughter)

Interviewer: "You know, a guy gets angry."

"You know, the age of video papparazzi, I didn't realize I was going to be constantly looked at."
There's nothing "papparazzi" about someone being interviewed WHILE HE'S LOOKING DIRECTLY INTO A CAMERA AT A PRESS CONFERENCE! Jesus!

Then they briefly discussed Amann's reasons for abandoning the party's chosen candidate, and then he then went on to say how people with cameras don't respect other's privacy, but Diane Smith brought up the fact that this occurred at a press conference.

Listen to the entire interview HERE.

So that's what happened yesterday. I decided to put these allegations to rest by uploading the entire UN-EDITED video here. I shot a continuous, non-stop video, and damn my arms got tired holding that stupid camera! It's about 27-minutes long, so go make some popcorn and grab yourself a beverage before watching it.

There's a lot of fun stuff in this video. You get to see Jim Amann's charm up close. Plus, you see Branford Boy cut me off several times while I try to ask questions during the interview I'm conducting. The last time I saw something that rude, it was Dickie Goodstein butting in on a TV interview in Greenwich. Sheesh!

You also get to witness the unmitigated brilliance of CT Keith. The man is relentless and has the reasoning of a pit bull! That's why we love him. In fact, people respect CT Keith so much that even Branford Boy doesn't deign to interrupt him.

If you've been reading this far, you deserve what you're going to see next! Here's the video you've been waiting for! Enjoy; and please leave a comment below.

Secretary of State Bysiewicz certifies House winners

Secretary Bysiewicz signing the certification of the election of Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy as United States Congressman, around 10:45 a.m. today.

I dunno, but I'm more interested on the other stuff on Susan's cluttered desk. I wonder what's the story with those photos scattered around. And I can't quite read any of the other things besides Joe Courtney's certificate, but I'll run the photo through my image processing software and see if I can bump up the quality. I'll post what I find here.

Or not. Just typing that creeped me out.

I have to stop being silly like that.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

LA-2: You are the gap

Well, that was fast! Tim just posted another article on tonight, and I'm putting it up in it's entirety because it's timely and they can use your small-dollar online donations ASAP. It doesn't have to be a lot, anything will help!

It's a fantastic way to help a TRUE Democrat defeat an alleged corrupt Democrat (remember, he's innocent until proven guilty; hey, it's entirely possible Congressman William Jefferson kept $90,000 in undeclared cash in his freezer because, you know, banks are such a risky place to keep your money).

Read the article, then CLICK HERE TO DONATE to Karen Carter's campaign.

This is a GREAT way to get rid of that pesky extra cash I'm sure you have anywhere but in your freezer!
by Tim Tagaris, Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 06:59:45 PM EST beat me to the punch, but Karen Carter and William Jefferson both filed their latest campaign finance reports today. This is the last full report before the run-off on December 9.

First things first, Karen Carter out-raised Congressman Jefferson by nearly a five to one margin in the month between 10/19 and 11/19. Carter netted $320,741, while Jefferson brought in a meager $72,485. That said, the report shows Jefferson with a healthy cash on hand advantage: $117k to $58k. All signs point to Carter narrowing that margin significantly -- the first signal being that Carter has reported $17,500 in mandated 48-hour reports. Those are disclosures candidates must file for every contribution over $1,000 in the two weeks before an election. Finally, the netroots have almost hit the $30,000 mark for Carter's campaign, most of that coming after the closing date for reporting funds raised. Obviously money is still coming and going into and out of campaigns, but all things equal, this would decrease the CoH margin from to around $59k to $12k.

Basically, it's going to be netroots contributions that close the gap between Carter and Jefferson in the final days before the election.

As a side note, small dollar contributions have totally changed the way campaigns are able to (or unable to) track the amount of cash an opponent has right before an election. The 48-hour reports used to allow campaigns to monitor cash coming in for their opponents, giving them a rough estimate of what they are going up against down-the-stretch. Since you don't have to report small dollar contributions on a 48-hour report, it can create a situation where the opposition is totally caught off-guard.

With Paul Hackett, for example, Jean Schmidt's campaign manager had absolutely NO IDEA how Paul was able to dominate the airwaves in the final week and a half of the campaign. None. Their campaign manager even said it to Paul's Finance Director after the final OH-2 debate. That was us. Online. And they had no idea what hit them. Of course, they were too stupid to check ActBlue and watch the numbers skyrocket. But in the case of candidates like Ned Lamont, where we raised a lot of money online, most came in through our own website and there was no public tracking for that. Now we spent ungodly amounts of money in that race, so a mere million or two here wasn't going to change much, but imagine how an extra few hundred thousand dollars could blind-side a candidate in the final days of a campaign. Just small piece of the puzzle in regards to why a broad small-dollar donor base is so important.

Tim Tagaris covering the LA-2 contest

Tim Tagaris, who was largely responsible for the Lamont campaign's inspired presence on the net, is currently down in New Orleans covering the Karen Carter effort to unseat allegedly corrupt (does $90,000 of unmarked bills stuffed in his avocado side-by-side refrigerator/freezer ring any bells?) Democratic Congressman William Jefferson in Louisiana's devastated 2nd District.

The 2nd was first decimated by Hurricaine Katrina, and then further decimated by the abominably inept and borderline criminal mis-handling of the disaster by FEMA (does Joe Lieberman's 42-minute vetting of Michael Brown ring any bells? In Joe's defense, it WAS getting near lunchtime, and if you don't make it down to the Senate cafeteria before 11:55, you end up in line for a half an hour and by the time you get to the dessert section all the peach cobbler is gone!) and the Department of Homeland Security.

Anyway, Tim was sent down there on behalf of MyDD, and he's been doing some great reporting. I'm going to include a link here that goes directly to all of Tim's articles on LA-2 so you can get up to date on the situation there, and then I'll post periodic updates as we approach the election on December 9th.

December 9th, by the way, is a Saturday. I think it's a good idea to have elections on a Saturday, rather than a weekday. Here in Connecticut, I think the voter turnout would be better; people either going to work or coming home from work often are in too much of a hurry to be bothered to vote. The "rush hour" of 6-8AM and 5-8PM can often lead to long lines and voters who become "voluntarily disenfranchised" because they're tired and see a big crowd at the polling place and don't want to wait in line for 20 minutes after a long day of work, so they go home.

I'd like to see turnout statistics from states that changed election days held traditionally on Tuesdays to Saturdays. I'd bet the turnouts would be higher on the weekend.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

For political junkies: 2008 Primary Schedule

June 3rd, 2008


Clinton won South Dakota, Obama prevails in Montana

Barack crossed the 2,118 threshold, securing the Democratic nomination! It's done! Obama vs. McCain is ON!!!

The New York Times has an excellent webpage that shows how each super delegate is leaning, and it's searchable by name or state. It also includes quotes from the delegates. Very interesting.

The current CNN delegate count for the Democratic nomination stands at the following:

June 1st (after P.R.)
Obama - 2070 (1741 and 329)
Clinton - 1915 (1624 and 291)

May 31st (after MI & FL)
Obama - 2051 (1724 and 327)
Clinton - 1877 (1586 and 291)
Obama leads Clinton by 174 delegates

May 21st
Obama - 1962 (1656 and 306)
Clinton - 1777 (1498 and 279)
Obama leads Clinton by 185 delegates

(If this is your first time here, click THIS LINK to see the "Connecticut Bob" home page and join in all the fun!)

Later events

* August 25 to August 28, 2008 - 2008 Democratic National Convention, in Denver.
* September 1 to September 4, 2008 - 2008 Republican National Convention, held in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
* November 4, 2008 - Election Day.
* December 15, 2008 - Members of the U.S. Electoral College meet in each state to cast their votes for President.
* January 6, 2009 - Electoral votes officially tallied before both Houses of Congress.
* January 20, 2009 - Inauguration Day. A New Beginning for our nation.

Sources of Primary/Caucus Data: New York Times Election Guide, NASS (National Association of Secretaries of State), Project Vote Smart

Take a look at a plan that might remedy this silly "front-loading" of primaries that we've gotten this election cycle. Here's the link to the article: Plan for primary reorganization

Detailed results at this excellent New York Times Primary page.

(Comments will be purged every week or so, as necessary)

Saturday, November 25, 2006


CT Lauryn makes her online debut at age One Week on ConnecticutBLOG!

Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. CT Blogger on their wonderful addition to the local blogging community! I long before those cute li'l hands will be able to hold a video camera?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Being Thankful

I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, although I have learned to be thankful on a daily basis -- as I work with the elderly and the poor who have so many challenges getting through a day at home, I am thankful not to have to worry about how I will pay for medicine or food or fuel to stay warm.

I am also thankful for this blog and all of the Connecticut bloggers....except maybe...(no, I'll be good, it's a holiday weekend). And I am incredibly thankful for the number of Connecticut democrats who got involved this year -- registered for the first time, changed affiliation from un- to democrat, or woke up and paid more attention to this election than they might in other years.

I am thankful that the Dems have a majority in both the Senate and the House as of January, and with that, the opportunity for very real oversight of this administration.

I'm thankful for CTBob, who lets me play here, and to you, our readers, for making it worth our time to post (and Bob's time to product such amazing videos!) I'm also thankful for the long holiday weekend, so we can both recover from the craziness of the past 5 months and spend time with people we love and we didn't spend enough time with during those 5 months.

Have a safe and peaceful holiday. And tell us what you are thankful for.

Will Lieberman use his HS Chair to protect CT?

When Congress reconvenes in January, Sen. Joseph Lieberman will have a unique opportunity, as Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, to make Connecticut safer in the event of an emergency.

From today's Hartford Courant:
Federal Funds Unlikely For State's Disaster Plan
November 22, 2006
By DAVID LIGHTMAN, Washington Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON -- A major goal of Connecticut disaster watchdogs is to have one desk in Hartford to keep an eye on statewide threats 24 hours a day.

If a train derailed near New Haven, an explosion rocked New London, or disaster jolted any other town, the command desk would instantly be able to tell whether the problem was an isolated event and suggest ways to respond immediately.

But under the current system of distributing federal funds, that desk is not likely to get the $1.5 million or so it needs anytime soon - not even with Democrats now controlling Congress and promising to make implementing recommendations of the 9/11 Commission one of its first priorities.
So, according to the current system, we can't get a lousy $1.5 million to fund a single emergency desk.

Does that strike you as slightly crazy? In this climate of heightened threat levels and endless Administration talk about the imminent dangers of terrorism and natural disasters, we here in Connecticut don't even rate a crummy million and a half from the Federal Govt. to have a single department monitor our state? Jesus.
Speaker-designate Nancy D. Pelosi, D-Calif., lists the 9/11 panel's suggestions as one of the six items she plans to have the House address, and probably pass, during its first 100 legislative hours after Democrats officially take control of the House Jan. 3.


But one major suggestion has not been passed and probably faces a rough time: "Base federal funding for emergency preparedness solely on risks and vulnerabilities, putting New York City and Washington, D.C., at the top of the current list. Such assistance should not remain a program for general revenue sharing or pork-barrel spending."
Yes please. If there's any single area where pork ISN'T a good idea, Homeland Security is it.
Connecticut could benefit from a new system that sets tight standards for giving out money, though success is not guaranteed. While the state has heavily traveled interstate highways, the Naval Submarine Base at Groton and nuclear power plants, it also lacks the big urban areas that experts say are attractive terrorist targets.

So far, nothing has been done to implement the commission's suggestion. Before it went out of business 11 months ago, the panel issued a final report card on the recommendation's progress.


Helping lead the Senate charge has been, and will be next year, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., who will chair the Homeland Security Committee. He maintained this week that the legislation he has pushed in the past "is by far the best solution for a state like Connecticut, which has a number of high risk factors but has been denied high risk funding because our urban centers do not meet arbitrary population cutoffs."
Here's your chance to shine, Senator. Show us doubters and skeptics that you really DO have our best interests in mind. Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong about you. Go ahead and be my frickin' guest, would you?
Lieberman voices a common New England complaint about the current system: No one understands completely the rules for awarding money, and the Department of Homeland Security's explanations of how it gives grants remains vague - or, as the senator put it, "constantly fluctuating and ... a work in progress."

Local officials and independent analysts agreed.
You're at the helm, Senator. Steer this ship safely into port. Make us proud.

Oh, and please Senator, no more 42-minute FEMA appointments.

Try asking questions about stuff like experience in disaster management; plans for improving disaster response; proposals for integrating all the various sub-agencies into a single, cohesive know, all the obvious stuff.

Read the entire article here.

Lieberman on Hannity & Colmes

If you needed any more evidence that Joe "Nobody Wants to End the War in Iraq More than Me" Lieberman has already broken his campaign promises, feel free to watch this FoxNews exclusive interview with Senator "Forgive But Not Forget".

Lieberman has pretty much proven an aging leopard can't change his spots...they just become a little stodgier-looking.

How long before Joe reiterates his view that "we criticize the President at our risk"? Nothing at all has changed, except the size of the chip on the Senator's shoulder.

And something tells me that the Iraqi people and our brave soldiers will pay the price for that.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The NY Times discusses Joe's hired Mouthpiece

A tip o' the hat to Jane at FDL, who posted a link to this article in the comments section of T-Rex's Late Night FDL post.

In this article, The New York Times deconstructs Marshall Wittmann so expertly you can't even see the scalpel marks:
An Ideologue for Hire Gets New Alliance

Published: November 22, 2006

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 — Senator Joseph I. Lieberman announced Tuesday that he had hired a new spokesman, which is not in itself that noteworthy, except that the said spokesman, Marshall Wittmann, is one of the great career vagabonds, ideological contortionists and political pontificators ever to inflict himself on a city full of them.

To say that Mr. Wittmann defies classification is like saying Paris Hilton defies modesty. But in his peripatetic soul, he is a Washington Original, a man without a political country going to work for a senator without a political party.


Mr. Wittmann, meanwhile, is a Trotskyite turned Zionist turned Reaganite turned bipartisan irritant turned pretty much everything in between — including chief lobbyist for the Christian Coalition, the only Jew who has ever held that position.

“Jewish mothers do not raise their Jewish sons to work for the Christian Coalition,” said Mr. Wittmann, offering one of many explanations for why that job was not an ideal fit.
You absolutely need to read the entire article to appreciate the subtle (and not-so-subtle) humor in Mr. Liebovich's writing. Definitely worthwhile.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The BBC Blogumentary

Spazeboy got a scoop about the supposed "blogumentary" that the BBC/Sundance boys are putting together.

James Rogan of Brook Lapping (a posh, extremely British documentary company), along with Will Dixon, were in CT for the Primary, and Will returned for the Election. The apparent subject of the blogumentary is going to be how bloggers operate in the political arena, and what influence (if any) we've had on the campaign.

Judging from the amount of footage they've shot, along with tape we've provided, there is every chance we'll look like citizen heroes on the forefront of a new wave of participatory political journalism.

Or, we may look like a bunch of total douchebags.

Really, they have enough video footage to easily create either impression, depending on their whims and the amount of revenge James wishes to exact upon me for the way I treated him, Will, and any loyal subject of the entire British Empire that happened to annoy me. My guess is we'll fall somewhere between the two extremes.

But if we end up looking like douchebags, I'm sure I'll be the one to get the most screen time!

Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing it. Tentative airdate is December 13th on The Sundance Channel. I'll post more info when I hear anything.

UPDATE: Word from Scarce is that the airdate will be on December 28th, and it'll be a one-hour documentary. I'll double check with James as we get into December, since he's probably still editing it.

Photos from the Naples post-mortum

As requested, here's some photos I took at the Naples gathering two days after election day. I'm still sick with a rotten cold that I've had for a whole week now, so I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves. Sorry things have been slow around here; hopefully I'll be back up to speed later this week.

Oh, and Tessa thought it would be cute to give me a Jim Amann hat, so of course I had to pose with it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

"The Good Fight"

Here's a little video scrapbook of Election night...a sort of happy, bittersweet memory. It's a bit of an exercise in video effects editing and musical scoring that I wanted to put together in advance of a more comprehensive video that I'd like to create at some point.

If you were there that night, or if you worked/supported the campaign, this might even bring a tear to your eye. The music is sort of a "Field of Dreams" sentimental score. I got it from an automated scoring program called "SmartSounds", and it makes adding appropriate (and royalty-free) music to your video very easy. Let me know what you think.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Don't say we didn't warn ya!

(Two infamous leaders - GW Bush and HC Minh)

Here we go. The election is over, and George knows he can count on Lapdog Lieberman's vote when this bill comes up before the Senate. Joe already made it clear how he'd vote when he said yesterday that we MUST stay the course in Iraq.

Which would mean (if you're keeping score at home) that the Senate will be divided 50-50 on the bill, giving Dick Cheney the tie-breaking vote.

Anyone care to guess how ol' "Eagle-eye Dick" will vote?
Military may ask $127B for wars
(CT Bob: or is it $160B?)

Posted 11/16/2006
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is preparing its largest spending request yet for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a proposal that could make the conflict the most expensive since World War II.

The Pentagon is considering $127 billion to $160 billion in requests from the armed services for the 2007 fiscal year, which began last month, several lawmakers and congressional staff members said.

That's on top of $70 billion already approved for 2007.

Since 2001, Congress has approved $502 billion for the war on terror, roughly two-thirds for Iraq. The latest request, due to reach the incoming Democratic-controlled Congress next spring, would make the war on terror more expensive than the Vietnam War.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., who will chair the Senate Budget Committee next year, said the amount under consideration is "$127 billion and rising." He said the cost "is going to increasingly become an issue" because it could prevent Congress from addressing domestic priorities, such as expanding Medicare prescription drug coverage.

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., who put the expected request at $160 billion, said such a sizable increase still "won't solve the problem" in Iraq.

Bill Hoagland, a senior budget adviser to Senate Republicans, said: "At a minimum, they were looking at $130 (billion). If it goes higher than that, I'm not surprised."

The new request being considered for the war on terror would be about one-fourth what the government spends annually on Social Security...

(CT Bob: Gee, think your mom & pop might like to see their S.S. increased 25% instead of wasting the dough on that bottomless money pit in Mesopotamia?)

...and 10 times what it spends on its space program.

The White House called the figures premature. "They don't reflect a decision by the administration," said budget office spokeswoman Christin Baker. "It is much too early in the process to make that determination."

Before the Iraq war began in 2003, the Bush administration estimated its cost at $50 billion to $60 billion, though White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey had suggested in 2002 that it could cost as much as $200 billion.

(CT Bob: and Larry Lindsey was asked to resign from the White House in December of 2002 after giving that estimate. If you don't agree with the Emporer, you lose your head.)

Growing opposition to the war contributed to Democrats' takeover of the House and Senate in this month's elections. Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, an early critic of the war who lost his bid Thursday to be the House Democratic leader, vowed to use his clout as chairman of the House panel that reviews the Pentagon budget "to get these troops out of Iraq and get back on track and quit spending $8 billion a month."

"The war's been an extraordinarily expensive undertaking, both in lives and in dollars," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H.

The new request is top-heavy with Army and Air Force costs to replace and repair equipment and redeploy troops, Hoagland said. That's why the 2007 cost is likely to top the war's average annual price tag.

Overall, he said, "we're easily headed toward $600 billion." That would top the $536 billion cost of Vietnam in today's dollars. World War II cost an inflation-adjusted $3.6 trillion.

Leon Panetta, President Clinton's former chief of staff and a member of a bipartisan panel studying recommendations on Iraq for President Bush, said the Pentagon needs $50 billion to $60 billion to "restore the units that are being brought back here, to re-equip them and get them back to a combat-readiness status."
I have a question for all you Lieberman supporters out there.

It's a simple question. Just try to answer it.

How are we supposed to pay for this war?

Do I need to tell you that there won't be a single valid response to that question?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Speaking of Dr. Orman...

I think it's about time I posted this image, taken at a little blogger's gathering at my house way back when Ned Lamont was just a longshot with a strong message. A lot has happened since then, but this was a moment in time that I'll always treasure:

(Clockwise from Lower Left: Maura from CT/VA, somebody's Left Arm, Internet Wizard Tim Tagaris, the ubiquitous Spazeboy, a portion of CT Keith, and a bit of MLNer Neal Fink)

Dr. John Ormand new CFL Party Chair

This is taken verbatim from My Left Nutmeg, and boy, did it make my day! Thank you Nutmeggers for this!

You're gonna love this.

John Orman, esrtwhile Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, has bolted the party and joined the Connecticut for Lieberman party. Then, since he is the only member of the party (he checked with the Secretary of State), he called a meeting of himself at which he was democratically elected to be the Chairman of the party.

His complete statement follows:
Press Release November 16,2006

Orman Elected New Chair of Connecticut for Lieberman Party

I called the Secretary of State's Office in Connecticut to find out how many people joined the Connecticut for Lieberman Party and I was told that no one had joined, not even Senator Joe Lieberman. I went down to Trumbull town hall and changed my registration to the Connecticut for Lieberman Party. Then I went home and called a meeting of all the registered Connecticut for Lieberman members to reflect on our party's victory in the U.S. Senate race with Senator Joseph Lieberman. Senator Lieberman did not attend the organizational meeting for Connecticut for Lieberman because he no longer wants to be labeled as a member of the party.
In order for the CFL to keep the great ballot spot that Joe Lieberman earned for us, our party had to organize and submit rules to the Secretary of State of Connecticut. Senator Lieberman did not do this when he ran so there was work to be done like platform and rules.

Minutes from first organizational meeting of Connecticut for Lieberman, at John Orman's house in Trumbull, November 15, 2006

At the first meeting I nominated myself to be party chair for Connecticut for Lieberman. I seconded my own nomination and then I voted for myself. I was selected unanimously as Chair of Connecticut for Lieberman on Novemeber 15,2006.

These new rules were adopted:
1. This party is open to every citizen who wants to keep Senator Joseph Lieberman accountable. It is open to critics, opponents, bloggers and everyone else who will work to provide citizen oversight for Lieberman's actions, words and deeds over the next six years.
2. The chair of the party shall be elected for a period of six years until Lieberman decides to run again.
3. Party history: This party was officially formed the day after Joe Lieberman was defeated in the August Democratic primary in 2006 by Ned Lamont. Lieberman
turned in the required signatures to go with his party organizing committee to declare their intent to form a new political party. Senator Lieberman and his committee did not change their party registration so some suggested that Senator Lieberman may have used the CFL as a gimmick to run twice for the same Senate seat within three months. We who are members of the CFL do not care.
4. We at CFL do care that Senator Lieberman is now turning his back on our party and wants to be called an "Independent Democrat" even though he was not the nominee from the Democratic Party. He was from our party, Connecticut for Lieberman and he should be identified that way.
5. Many citizens complained about our CFL and one citizen (me) asked the Secretary of State and the Elections Enforcement Commission to rule that the CFL was a fake political party contrived to allow Senator Lieberman to be a sore loser and to keep running after he lost. It was argued that Senator Lieberman had no intention of forming the CFL. State officials ruled that Connecticut for Lieberman was not a one man fake party and that it was legitimate.

New Connecticut for Lieberman Rules:

a. If you run under Connecticut for Lieberman, you must actually join our party.
b. The party will nominate people for office who have the last name of Lieberman and/or who are critics and opponents of Senator Lieberman.
c. If any CFL candidate loses our party's nomination in a primary, that candidate must bolt our party, form a new party and work to defeat our party endorsed candidate.
d. We in the CFL intend to run the same candidate for three different jobs at the same time, ie. House, Senate and Governor.

The meeting closed by observing that Senator Lieberman was threatening to caucus with the Republicans. One member said, "How can he turn his back on the CFL? We got him to where he is today."
Another member asked "What if state election officials rule post election that there is no such legal entity as Connecticut for Lieberman and that it is not a legitimate third party since Dr. Orman is the only registered member? What if they rule a party for one is not allowed in our state?" No chance of them going back on their previous rulings for Joe Lieberman, right.
A member asked, "What if election officials won't let us run for three different jobs by one candidate at the same time because we would be making a mockery of the electoral system in Connecticut?" No chance of that happening either.

These are the new rules for my new political party that I am working to keep alive so it will not be some fake gimmick that Senator Lieberman used to get elected. Thank you,


Dr. John Orman
Chair, Connecticut for Lieberman

Don't Miss This Cartoon!

Many thanks to mui for bringing this to our attention.

How do we get open hearings on what is really going on in Iraq and how do we declare victory and leave? Dem majorities in both houses of Congress that will hold witnesses' feet to the fire and get some answers so we can explore options out in the open instead of cooked intelligence and a "make-it-up-as-you-go-along" war plan. As gchaucer2 said in the comments of the last thread, the Westmoreland/McNamera fog must be front and center of this discussion, for if we do not learn from our past, we are doomed to repeat it.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I strongly believe Joe's threats to caucus with the other side and change control of the Senate is completely out of line right now. To quote a time-honored phrase from this election cycle, "What message would that send to the Iraqis?"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Well, this didn't take very long

Senator Lieberman, true to form, decreed today that if we begin to withdraw from Iraq any time in the foreseeable future would be a disaster of such unimaginable magnitude that it staggers the mind. Or something to that effect.

Joe was the same guy who said, repeatedly, that "nobody wants to end the war more than" he...well, I'm starting to think that by "ending the war", Joe means either when the entire Middle East will be a smoldering pile of charred rubble; or when the entire populace of Iraq will suddenly put down their weapons and immediately embrace Western-style Democracy and wave U.S. flags with wild abandon (and go against centuries of culture and religion).

From CNN.Com (h/t to Matt Browner-Hamlin over at MLN)
Lieberman: Withdrawal would be a 'very serious mistake'

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Joe Lieberman, may have agreed to caucus with the Democrats in the next congressional term, but the Connecticut independent made it clear Wednesday he would not hold the party line on a call for phased troop withdrawals.

"Both general Abizaid and Ambassador Satterfield were quite clear and to me convincing, that for congress to order the beginning of a phased redeployment, a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq within the next 4 to 6 months would be a very serious mistake and would endanger ultimate the United States," Lieberman told reporters after the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Iraq.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who is to become the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee when Democrats take control of the chamber in January, said Tuesday a phased withdrawal is the only way Iraqi forces will take responsibility for their country.

Lieberman's comments are a sign his defeat in the Connecticut Democratic primary has not weakened his hawkish stance on Iraq. Connecticut Democrats voted Lieberman out of the party in August, opting for vehement antiwar candidate Ned Lamont. Lieberman, running as an independent candidate, defeated Lamont in the general election.
So, anyone who voted for Joe because they believed him when he said he wanted to get our troops home safely, well...those ain't HIS kids dying over there.

Simmons concedes

In this article in the Hartford Courant, Congressman Rob Simmons has announced that he'll accept the results of the recanvass and not challenge the election.

This makes Joe Courtney (CT-02) officially the next Democratic Congressman from Connecticut.
At a late afternoon press conference today in Mystic, Simmons said he doesn't intend to challenge the election results which had him losing to Courtney by 91 votes.

"Any effort to do so would only be self defeating and destructive to the people we serve," Simmons said.

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz made the tally official Wednesday. The deadline to file any legal challenges is Nov. 21.

Courtney's win is a bonus for national Democrats, who already had all of the seats they needed to reclaim the House.

Final Recount Numbers

I just got this email from Dan Tapper at the SOTS's office, making the final tally 100% official. And my 91-vote margin from last night held up, too.
There was a one-vote discrepancy between our numbers and the AP numbers earlier; it has now been resolved (our office was off by one number). The final tally in the Simmons-Courtney race is now:

Courtney - 121,248
Simmons – 121,157

Courtney wins the race by 91 votes. The town-by-town breakdown is (not) attached. (I can't figure out how to format it - CT Bob)

SOTS chooses random audit precincts

(A League of Women Voters official is drawing the names of the precincts from a ballot box, while Secretary Bysiewicz, various Town Clerks, Andy Sauer of Common Cause Connecticut, and others look on.)

An important issue with regard to the new voting machines is to be able to verify their accuracy. When the SOTS's office selected the Diebold OS machines, they also decided to manually audit 20% of the machines to make sure they reported the totals accurately. This audit is completely separate from the 2nd District recount, and was scheduled months ago.

Here is the press release from Dan Tapper, Communications Director:

In an effort to ensure the security and integrity of Connecticut’s new optical scan voting machines, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said today that numerous polling places where these machines will now be audited to determine how well the new technology worked. Officials from the League of Women Voters randomly chose these precincts at a news conference today in the Office of the Secretary of the State.

The precincts chosen for the audit are included in an attached chart. The audits will be performed by the Office of the Secretary of the State with the assistance of the University of Connecticut’s Department of Computer Sciences, which has helped Secretary Bysiewicz’s office in the selection of optical scan technology as an eventual replacement of all of the state’s lever voting machines.

These seventeen (17) polling precincts represent twenty percent (20%) of the eighty-seven (87) polling precincts in the fifteen (15) cities and towns which used optical scan technology this year in the First, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Congressional Districts, Secretary Bysiewicz said. As most are now aware, the ten (10) cities and towns in the Second Congressional District reviewed every ballot in the context of the recount already. UConn will assist with a technical review of those machines.

“Security is paramount when it comes to the integrity of our elections, which is why we chose optical scan technology to ultimately replace all of our state’s lever voting machines in 2007. As a result, we will work with UConn to perform random audits on twenty percent of the machines used this year, in order to see how well and accurately they worked on Election Day,” Secretary Bysiewicz said. “This way, we will know what issues need to be addressed prior to the 2007 elections, and will be able start addressing them right away.”
Municipality and Polling District numbers:

Wethersfield 10
South Windsor 3
East Hartford 5
Middletown 8
East Hartford 3
Hartford 3
Hartford 12
East Hartford 6
Wilton 2
Monroe 2
Newington 3
East Haven 1
Wethersfield 5
Newington 5
Monroe 1
Newington 1
Middletown 12

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Just received from SOTS office

UPDATE 10:08PM - FoxNews-61 just reaffirmed Courtney's claim that he is 91-votes up, but there won't be an official announcement until tomorrow, at the Secretary of State's press conference, scheduled for 11:00AM. But it looks good for Courtney.

Now we'll wait and see if Rob Simmons accepts the results of the recount, or challenges it and pushes for a full recount. The end result of a 91 vote lead in an election with nearly 250,000 votes cast is an .04% margin.

UPDATE 9:37PM - It appears that the Courtney campaign website has called it over and done with. There were no details of the recount listed, just a claim that it was successful.

UPDATE 9:12PM - I just got word from our comments (Jordan Jacobs, Hampton DTC) and also via MLN that the Courtney campaign is saying the recount is complete and Joe Courtney won by 93 votes. Keep in mind this is unofficial, and I'm trying get confirmation asap.

UPDATE 9:08PM - WFSB-TV Channel 3 says "As of 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, Courtney was leading by 88 votes. The towns of Somers, Ashford, Caterbury and Chester had yet to submit results. Bysiewicz scheduled a news conference to discuss the outcome of the recount for Wednesday at 11 a.m."

UPDATE 7:42PM - Shawn MacFarland put up a cool Google Spreadsheet that is tracking the results of the race. You can see it by clicking here (you might have answer some questions, I just clicked through).

UPDATE 7:02PM - Democratic Party officials say the lead is now 91 votes with four towns to go. From the New London Day.

UPDATE 6:03PM - 60 Towns reporting, Courtney by 90 votes; he gained one by a provisional ballot in Ledyard.

With 6 towns still having not reported in to our office (Ashford, Canterbury, Chester, Haddam, Ledyard, Somers) Courtney now leads Simmons by 89 votes. 59 towns (out of 67 total) have now reported into our office.

The total as of right now, without those 6 towns:

Courtney – 121,244
Simmons - 121,155

This will probably be the last update of the day from our office.

Dan Tapper
Director of Communications
Office of the Secretary of the State

So You Wanna Know What Really Happened?

(I don't know why you wanted me to change the picture, Tim;
the other one looked just like you! hee-hee)

Tim Tagaris wrote a brilliant diary on MLN and KOS about the campaign. That, coupled with David Sirota's piece, pretty much cover the campaign to the point that I've decided not to write an opinion piece on the election; these guys got it knocked.

I'll probably just do a post-mortum from my own perspective, and not try to analyze the shananegans that went on in the corridors and back rooms of power.

Or maybe I'll express myself through video. If I can take going over all that old footage yet again.

Read Tim's diary over on MLN.

And if you haven't yet, read David Sirota's piece on the aftermath.

They tell it pretty much like I guessed. The outcome of the election was clearly affected by National Democrats, National Republicans, and Joe Lieberman's relentless lust for power.

Sadly, there's just not much room for an honest, decent man like Ned Lamont in that equation. Sure, some mistakes were made by the campaign; but the deck was obviously stacked against us. It was a million-to-one shot to begin with, and we've made it farther than I ever thought possible.

All the same...I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Watchdog group will watch audit

I received an email today from Michael Fischer, Professor of Computer Science, Yale University, and one of the organizers of True Vote, a group tasked with making sure the new voting technology is fair and secure.

When I asked him about the manual audit, Michael told me that his group was a bit behind on updating their website but that they're still working with the SOTS's office; and he also wrote some general comments about the optical scanners:
The UConn team showed that they can be seriously compromised by anyone with access to the memory card.

Procedures to seal the card in the machine help to prevent tampering after the card is inserted, but the issue of corrupt "programming" on the card by the preparer of the card (LHS Associates, Inc. of Massachusetts), or by anybody while the card is in transit from LHS to the towns, has not been addressed. In short, LHS has the power to completely control the election outcome of any voting district in the state that uses the new electronic equipment.

(CT Bob: "Yikes!")

The only way such voting fraud would be detected is by hand-counting the ballots. The recanvass procedures currently being used, to run the ballots through the scanners again with a different memory card, are ineffective at detecting deliberate misprogramming of the memory cards, since presumably the "spare" card to be used in the recanvass is just a copy of the one used in the first place.

The recanvass may "settle" the election outcome, but it won't give us confidence that the votes were counted correctly.
Clearly, these are issues that must be addressed with secure procedures and manual audits.

I'm still waiting to hear from the SOTS office, but something tells me we'll have a firm canvass number sometime tonight. Regardless of the spread, it's likely that Rob Simmons will have every right to demand a full recount, which could take much longer.

Updates as I receive them (and if Blogger works; it wouldn't let me post for 2 hours today!)

Secretary of State's audit of OS machines begins soon

From the Office of Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz

Tuesday, November 14, 2006
CONTACT: Dan Tapper


Public random selection of towns to be audited

HARTFORD - Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz will hold a media availability on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 11 a.m. in her State Capitol office, at which polling precincts from throughout the state will be randomly selected to be audited to see how well their optical scan voting machines worked last week.

Secretary Bysiewicz will also discuss the outcome of the recount in the 2nd Congressional District race at the availability.

DATE: Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

TIME: 11 a.m.

PLACE: Room 104 (1st Floor)
State Capitol

Latest report from Sec. Byziewicz's office

(Photo from Hartford Courant: Courtney casts his vote)
Via Dan Tapper, spokesman for Susan's office:
As of 10:35 this morning our office has received results from 43 of the 65 2nd Congressional District towns, meaning there are still 22 towns which have not yet reported to us. Of those 22 towns, the following 9 towns were scheduled to do their recanvas today:

Ashford (5 pm), Canterbury (6 pm), Chester , Deep River (9 am), Haddam (10 am), Ledyard (2 pm), Old Lyme (9 am), Somers (7 pm), Stonington (9 am)

It is our understanding that the remaining 13 towns – Bolton, Bozrah, Brooklyn, Clinton, Durham, Griswold, Groton, Hampton, Montville, North Stonington, Norwich, Preston, Windham - have done their recanvas; we are waiting to get their results.

With these 43 towns having reported in, we show Courtney right now leading by 76 votes. These are the results we have as of now:

Courtney – 121,197
Simmons – 121,121

I will have more updates as we get more results in.
FYI, of those remaining towns, only Ashford has the new OS machines. All the other towns use the old-style lever machines. More as I get it.

(Hopefully I won't get called into work today; I have a vicious cold and really don't want to go out. Plus, this is kind of fun keeping track of the recount.)

Lieberman Supporters Please Respond

Just a quickie here to follow up on my post from yesterday. Lieberman supporters -- a simple question: which party do you want to hold the chairmanships in the Senate? Democrats or Republicans? Are you happy with how things have gone for the past 6 years under Bush and the Rs running the Senate? Or do you think there is a need for change with Dems as the committee chairs and in charge of the agenda? Simple question -- please let the readers here know your take on this.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled reporting on the 2nd CD from our intrepid reporter, Bob.

Canvassing update

OK, a few corrections need to be made that justifies a new article. Thanks and h/t to Gabe for his feedback over at My Left Nutmeg.

The latest number is Joe Courtney by 109 votes, which reflects the +100 error for Simmons and the +37 error for Courtney.

The procedure going on right now is called a "canvass" rather than a recount. The canvass has to be completed by Wednesday night. From what I understand, the canvassing includes checking the totals reported by each lever-style mechanical machine against the reported totals. This is where the +100 vote Simmons error and +37 vote Courtney errors came from.

The larger numbers were most likely transcribing errors. The other 1 and 2 vote errors may be overlooked provisional ballots, or minor transcribing errors. Many of the towns have reported these kinds of small errors, and they tend to balance out between the candidates. There is no significant sweep going toward either candidate.

The OS machines are canvassed by re-scanning the ballots through the machines and checking the figures reported. In the event of an actual recount, which the loser may request after the canvass is completed should the difference remain this close, each paper ballot will be manually tabulated. I think a recount can be requested any time the margin is withing 1/2 of 1%, but I'll have to check that. It may be as high as 1%.

All of this is separate from the random audit of 25% of the OS machines that Secretary Bysiewicz's office will perform at some point to verify the accuracy of the machine totals themselves; this was planned before the election and has no connection at all to the canvassing or potential recount. I'll try to find out when the audit is scheduled to take place. Obviously, the canvass and possible recount take precedence.

I'm waiting to hear back from the Secretary of State's office on more details.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Recount Update

I just received an email from the Secretary of State's Office Communications Director Daniel Tapper showing the current status of the 2nd District Congressional recount. Presently there is a roughly 62-vote difference, down from original results of about 170 votes in favor of Courtney.

Now please be aware that I've got a serious head cold that is lessening my cognizance of simple facts, so forgive me for any errors I make here. But just for the fun of it, I compared the list of 2nd District Towns in the Current Recount Totals against the list of 25 towns statewide that are using the new Diebold Optical Scanning voting tabulators, to see if any of them had been involved in the recount.

Out of the 65 or so towns in the 2nd, only nine have the new machines. And out of those nine towns, only Mansfield, Tolland, Vernon and Westbrook have completed their recounts as of late today.

Some interesting facts emerge. All four towns had changes made in their results. Now, Secretary Bysiewicz's office hasn't released the reasons yet for these changes, and they could range from simple transcription errors, uncounted provisional and absentee ballots (I think; are absentee ballots counted yet?), and other factors.

They can also have been caused by tabulating errors in the machines. We'll have to see.

But Mansfield ended up changing +2 for Simmons and +3 for Courtney; Tolland +1 for Simmons and 0 for Courtney; Vernon -2 for Simmons and -2 for Courtney; and Westbrook 0 for Simmons and +1 for Courtney.

So that shows miscounts for a total of 11 votes in four small towns using the OS machines. In an election where just under 250,000 votes were cast, and a 62-vote difference remains.

It's way to early to know what caused these descrepancies, but I will be in touch with the Sec. of State's office tomorrow to follow up on this, and at least ask them where the changes originated (miscounts, transcibing errors, machine errors, etc.) I also think if the election stays this close, the Secretary may want to have a manual recount of ALL the paper ballots in the district, to compare the results of those nine towns using the OS machines to the reported figures.

Not only is this a necessity, but it's also a great opportunity to see how the Secretary's office deals with a close election using the OS machines. Better to have this happen now than to have a future presidential election turn into a "Florida 2000" nightmare!

We all know how well THAT turned out!

9:25PM - MY LEFT NUTMEG's comments thread has newer unofficial info from local recounts; one town (Lyme) added +39 for Courtney, so Simmons lost a lot of the 100-vote misread he got earlier. Boy, this is exciting! And it's getting to be NyQuil time for me soon!

(more info as it develops; discuss while I slug down some more DayQuil)

UPDATE: Just received a final update from Daniel Tapper
"This will likely be the final update for the night. 29 towns have now reported to us and 3 6 still have not. The margin is now Courtney by 66 votes. In the latest town to come in since my last update to you ( Coventry ), Courtney gained 3 votes and Simmons lost 1, which brings the margin to 121,221 to 121,155 in favor of Courtney."
And just for fun yet again, here's the awesome video I made of the new OS machines in action, at the Bridgeport City Hall annex in early September when Susan Byseiwicz visited for a demonstration:

Why oh Why, Joe?

This is what makes me crazy about Joe Lieberman (from the AP):

If that's [being the I/D] not confusing enough, the three-term lawmaker who will caucus with Senate Democrats would not rule out entertaining entreaties from the GOP if he starts to feel uncomfortable among Democrats...

He said that because voters returned him to Capitol Hill as an independent, "I am now an Independent Democrat, capital I, capital D. Matter of fact, the secretary of the Senate called my office and asked, `How do you want to be identified,' and, and that's it. Independent Democrat," the senator said on "Meet the Press" on NBC.

With many Senate Democrats having campaigned or raised money for Lamont, as the party's nominee, Lieberman acknowledged it might be "a little awkward" for him back in Washington.

"They played by the traditional partisan political playbook. And I can't say I enjoyed it, but we're all grown-ups, we've got a job to do, and I'm going to do my best to get that job done," Lieberman said...

He was asked about a scenario in which he might become uncomfortable as Democrats sought to enforce party discipline and then the GOP offered to keep him as a committee chairman and respect his seniority if he switched.

"I'm not ruling it out, but I hope I don't get to that point. And, and I must say, and with all respect to the Republicans who supported me in Connecticut, nobody ever said, `We're doing this because we, we want you to switch over,'" he said.
I just have to wonder if this preening is making even the Lieberman supporters a bit squeamish. He makes up new party affiliations like most people change their underwear. My father used to say to me, "If you don't stand for something, you're likely to fall for anything." Picture this scenario: Hillary is Senate Majority Leader and Joe does an interview that throws her and the rest of the Senate Dems under the bus -- how will those people who kept the gloves off here in CT to let the Rs fund Joe's campaign feel then?

I just don't get it. But capct in the comments may be on to something:

Joe's new party: I/D, (or ID) couldn't better describe the man, at least in Freudian terms:

THE ID: functions in the irrational and emotional part of the mind. At birth a baby’s mind is all Id - want want want. The Id is the primitive mind. It contains all the basic needs and feelings. It is the source for libido (psychic energy). And it has only one rule --> the “pleasure principle”: “I want it and I want it all now”. In transactional analysis, Id equates to "Child".

Id too strong = bound up in self-gratification and uncaring to others
What do you think? I would really appreciate some reasoned arguments from Joe supporters -- not pot shots -- about A. Joe knowing what is best for CT and the nation without any input from his constituents, and B. his inability to commit to anything -- hence, instead of I, for now it has to be I/D, but then if the Ds piss him off, it could be I/R. Why can't he just be I or CFL since that is the party he created for August 9- November 7?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Joe Lieberman I/D

Senator Joseph "Second Time's the Charm" Lieberman was on "Meet The Press" today.

The network engaged in a little truthful journalism, obviously. (h/t Scarce; I still can't decide if that's a doctored image or not)

And be aware that while watching Joe Lieberman on TV, you may experience possible side effects:

Viewer discretion is strongly advised.

Link coming sometime soon.

Update from Kirby: Here is the portion of today's transcript with the Joe interview. I don't know how it reads, but when I watched it, his comments made very little sense except for his intentions to use the D party to get his seniority recognized -- and then threw them under the bus by insisting there be a BIpartisan Senate committee on Iraq to make decisions about the war. Because remember folks, Joe knows what's best for him, Connecticut and the nation -- and nobody is going to change that. Let us know your take on the video or written versions of Joe's remarks.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Our Veterans

These are the soldiers who created "Lazy Ramadi" a musical tribute to their time in Iraq. They are safely home now.

You can check in with VoteVets and see which veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq, running as Democrats, will be in the new Congress.

The United States Wounded Soldier Foundation is collecting clothing, shoes, CDs, CD players, and much more for the soldiers airlifted to Landstuhl Air Base in Germany for medical care. They don't have carry-ons when they are evacuated, so they need clothing to wear during their recovery and items to help them pass the time. Monetary donations are also welcome.

Saturday and Sunday, CNN will broadcast "Combat Hospital" a documentary about the nurses, doctors and medics who work the front line care centers in Iraq. I've seen clips on CNN this week, and it looks like an amazing program. You'll learn that the suffering over there is not limited to wounded service members. Check the link for times.

And finally, I am asking for your thoughts and prayers for a nurse with whom I work and her son, now in Baghdad. He started in Afghanistan, and felt a real sense of accomplishment about the progress they were making in that country. However, before they were able to reach a point where they could turn things over to the Afghani citizens, they were pulled out and sent to Baghdad. Now he has no sense of satisfaction, he doesn't see progress, and he just wants to end each day alive. His mother, who met his father because her brother and he were POWs together in VietNam, is afraid to watch the news because she can't bear to hear it was "another bloody day in Baghdad," yet not knowing is even worse. She can hang on for Sundays when her son can use phone cards to call home (we're spending how much every day over there and we still can't let these guys and gals call home for FREE???) I didn't like the idea of invading Iraq from the beginning, but knowing this incredibly brave woman and what she is going through (multiplied by 100,000 more) is what makes me continue to work to end this war. Remember her and all those like her on the Veterans' Day.

Not What You Say, but How You Say It

The mighty message boys have their talking points out and boy, are they in lockstep. Pay attention to these two words:

(standard definition) the work of inquiring into something thoroughly and systematically
(new) the act of a Democratic member of Congress who asks a question about what happened before

(standard) in contact with each other, in each other's company
(new) in lock-step, following orders, reading the same talking points without dissent

Use our new vocabulary words in a sentence:
The Democrats in charge of congress ARE investigating, but are NOT together.
It was fascinating to have the TV on in the background while this meme was pushed forward by every single talking head speaking on behalf of "the Republicans" today on CNN and MSNBC. I am in awe of how quickly these wheels are set in motion and how they become the new lexicon. As a Democrat, I wish every person speaking on behalf of Democrats today had a similar vocabulary of code words to push. As I have posted here before, our greatest strength is also our Achilles heel.

As a party, the Democrats have always seen things in a thousand shades of gray. We believe in examining different aspects of issues, listen to people with different points of view, and cobble together a position. While I consider those strengths, the problem we have as a result is that we do not see everything as black and white, or good and evil. And the one time we tried it, Dems voted for authorizing military action in Iraq.

Joe Biden would like to start the next Congress as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee by holding a week of hearings to hear from people involved in the situation, ask questions, expect truthful answers, and try to figure out how we got to where we are, so that can lead us to a way out. I call that doing his job under the "oversight" role of Congress. If others think that is an "investigation," they're in for a big shock if a real investigation is ever needed in the next two years. (And I don't mean the R version of an investigation that put the nation's business on hold while they investigated Bill Clinton's sex life. Oh, no. Gee, what message did that folly send "the terrorists"?)

Biden thinks that in the end, a 3-state political solution may be the most effective way to deal with the violence there. According to the new meme, any Dem who disagrees with that concept is proof that our leadership is not "together."

"Not Together" now means not being in lock step, not seeing the world in black and white, holding more than one thought in your head at a time, and considering that you might have made a mistake in the past. The meme today is that's unacceptable, and suggesting it means "weakness" to "the terrorists."

So, readers, how do we challenge the newest meme that questions are investigations and disagreement is dangerous? Why is it that Dem pundits don't get the same talking points, the way the Repub pundits do and they all spout them on the same day on different TV shows? Help me try to figure this out in our comment thread.

Friday, November 10, 2006

"Learning From Lamont"

In this David Sirota article, he discusses some of the implications of the Lamont campaign. As good a post mortum as has been written yet.

And yes, it's early...I'm sure we'll see a lot of in-depth articles discussing "The Lamont Factor" and how it will relate to the political landscape of future campaigns.

The article is too long to quote here, so click on the link above to read it in it's entirety. David pretty much nails it when it comes to why Ned trounced Lieberman in the primary, but didn't have the strength to overcome the lack of support in the national election. My anger at the National Democratic party is quelled by the fact that ultimately we did win control of both Houses, so I'm holding it in for now.

At least until we see how Joe really represents when the important issues come up.

If he lets us down, I'll have plenty to say.

Our Speaker of the CT House

Lest anyone forget, Rep. James Amann (D-118th) is the Speaker of the House for the Democratic Party in the State House of Representatives.

Yet, Speaker Amann turned his back on the party to support independent ("Connecticut For Lieberman" party) candidate Joe Lieberman for Senater, even AFTER Ned Lamont beat him fair and square in the Democratic Primary.

Why do we even HAVE political parties if our representatives aren't going to stand by the will of the voters? What's the point, James? For someone who has enjoyed the benefits of the Democratic party as Jim Amann has, it's a slap in the face to the majority of Democratic voters that he broke with his party to support a turncoat like Joe Lieberman who brazenly ignored the results of a legal, democratic election.

Lieberman took advantage of a legal loophole to get to run for the same office TWICE in one year. You KNOW this guy was an attorney before he became a career politician.

Yeah, Joe won it. Good for him. Sucking up to the Bush/Cheney cabal all these years has served Lieberman well. At the citizen's expense.

Mr. Amann, your betrayal has been noted.

"Donkeys have memories just as long as Elephants."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Can Anyone in the Senate Trust Joe?

Well, it worked out just the way Joe wanted it to. He is now the man in the middle who can be for sale to the highest bidder. I have lost track of who he's "gonna remember" for not supporting him in the way he wanted, with whom he will caucus and who he's forgiven. I suppose we don't have to try and keep track because what matters is how he votes on a given day, not promises or any statements ahead of time.

Joe is now in the best barganing position he will ever be in. In order for Dems to keep the majority, he has to vote for the D majority leader (we know Sanders-I will vote with the Dems) But, if he gets a better deal from the other side, and votes for an R as majority leader, then the Rs stay in charge because Cheney will break the tie. So, who is going to come up with the best deal? I don't think it would be hard for the Rs to put the pressure on Collins to give Joe the chair of the Homeland Security committee to entice him their way. Or, do the Rs want the Ds in charge of both chambers so it's all the better to run against the Ds in 2008? It seems to me that is the strategy, otherwise, Allen wouldn't have conceded today. (That, and Warner is retiring in 08, so Allen can run for that seat since his presidental prospects seem to be somewhere near the toilet right now.)

That's why holding Joe accountable is such a problem -- if Ds play hardball with him, he'll take his mitt and his ball and go across the aisle. And I, for one, think that every single vote that is divided by party in the Senate will leave Joe in the "what's my vote worth to you" seat. I'm not talking about cash for votes, (Heavens no!) but other perks.

I like the idea of making Hillary majority leader if Joe will vote for her. I would much rather have her in the bully pulpit (imagine women leading both chambers) and not running for president in 08. We need someone who's not a Bush or a Clinton -- give another family a chance.

What I do not like is Joe's paternalistic attitude that he, and he alone knows what is best for Connecticut:
"I don't feel that I owe anybody anything but a hearing and then the confidence that I will make the judgment of what I think is right and what I think is best for the people of Connecticut. Watch me," Lieberman said." from the NH Register today (h/t gary in the comments)
Oh, yeah, Joe? How many people in CT loved that Cheney energy plan you voted for that can put a gas platform in Long Island Sound? How many people in CT support torture, Joe?

Joe, here's another idea -- how about LISTENING to your constituents -- for whom you work? How about asking the PEOPLE of Connecticut what they think is best? I know that's hard to wrap your head around, but give it a try -- you might learn something! An election does not mean we trust you to treat us like children who need a daddy to tell us what is good for us. You keep that up Joe, and you're going to have a miserable six years because we won't sit back and take it like we have in the past.

Joe -- the choice is yours. Make the change and be responsive to the people of the great state of Connecticut, or live in your own little beltway world of money and power. You have a chance now to make amends for your arrogance of the past.
Proverbs 10:17 People who listen when they are corrected will live, but those who will not admit that they are wrong are in danger.
Proverbs 29:23 Arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.
Proverbs 19:25 Arrogance should be punished, so that people who don't know any better can learn a lesson. If you are wise, you will learn when you are corrected.
Readers: what do you think?

Spazeboy's "Thank You's"

I'd like to make a list of all the people I should thank for being a part of this amazing campaign, but I'm scared to death that I'd forget somebody. So my strategy is to thank Kirby and Ned, and let Spazeboy cover the rest.

So pop over to and read his list of thank-you's, and know that I concur.

How can I possibly argue with someone who refers to me as "Butt-head"?

"Team Connecticut Bob"

This is what it was all about. Kirby, Ned and myself; all working together as hard as we possibly could to get better government.

We might not have won this race.

But did we succeed?


John Murtha - Majority Leader?

Not only has the man earned it, but it would be awesome to see how much it would cause Bush to panic. Murtha would be a giant-sized Democratic burr under the saddle for the boy-chimp.


Sheer Brilliance

"Fight It"....

"F*ck It"!


UPDATE: This was Colbert's "Word" last night: "Sigh".

The direct video link is gone, but click HERE TO D/L THE C&L VERSION

(h/t to Scarce)

Lieberman exhausts Universe's supply of irony

In today's Hartford Courant, Joe Lieberman was asked if he would caucus with the Republicans. Lieberman was quoted as saying:

"The answer is no," he said.

Then he continued with a statement that depleted every last bit of irony left in the Cosmos:

"When I give my word I stick with it, and I am definitely going to organize with the Senate Democrats."

Of course, we don't need to go over a list of Lieber-lies, do we?

"Eighteen years is enough"
"I will not run as an Independent"
"I was never in favor of privatization of Social Security"
"Ned Lamont said 'partisan frenzy', I didn't say that."
"I won't miss more votes than my predecessor"
" shouldn't take more than a short ride..."
etc. etc. etc.

No, Joe's lies are very much out there for anyone to see. He sucked all the irony out of the Universe with that one statement. From now on, everything has to be taken completely literally. There's simply no irony left after Joe got done with it.

When it comes to Joe Lieberman, you can be absolutely sure of one thing:

"When Joe gives his word, you can be sure there's a very slight chance he might stick with it."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Note of thanks from Ned Lamont

Of course, is the place to see more of Ned.

We all have the feeling (and fervent hope) that Ned won't go away. He won the first one, lost the second one...

They say the third time's the charm.