Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Serves 'em right!

The Raw Story reports that Senator Barack Obama is giving Fox News a bit of the same medicine that the Bush administration freely administered to other news organizations:
According to a "behind the scenes" D.C. blog, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has "frozen out" reporters from Fox News Channel.

"Sources tell The Sleuth that the Obama camp has 'frozen out' Fox News reporters and producers in the wake of the network's major screw-up in running with the erroneous Obama-the-jihadist story reported by Insight magazine," Mary Ann Akers writes for the Washington Post blog, The Sleuth.


"I'm still in the freezer," one Fox journalist said, noting that the people at Fox "suffering the most did nothing wrong." (It was "Fox and Friends" host Steve Doocy who aired the Insight magazine piece, which reported that operatives connected to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) found out that Obama, as a child, was educated at a Muslim madrassah in Indonesia.)

Another Fox journalist called the network's airing of the story "unfortunate" for the network's journalists who have to cover Obama and who are being adversely affected despite not being involved in the incident.

Since the madrassah incident, Obama has given interviews to ABC, CNN, CBS and NBC -- pretty much every other network except Fox. Sources close to Obama acknowledged that they're not thrilled to play ball with Fox journalists, but they stopped short of saying they are freezing the network out.
Yeah, my heart is bleeding with worry about those poor little put-upon Fox News reporters. What ever will they do now that they're being held accountable for their shitty journalism?

Wake up, Fox News, and smell the coffee...

It's being served cold.

One in four

This story really makes me sad...

...and angry!

The Department of Defense reports that suicide has become a huge problem with US forces deployed in Iraq. It appears that 2006 will become the deadliest year for suicides since the war began, with more than one in four non-combat deaths being self-inflicted.

Why doesn't our government see that there is something wrong here?

The pointlessness of the mission is becoming toxic to our brave soldiers. Military personnel are being forced to redeploy to Iraq when they obviously have mental problems. The government is loading them up on tranquilizers and anti-psychotic medications and sending them back, when it's obvious they critically need treatment.

And soldiers are suffering at the hands of other military personnel, with nothing being done to remedy the situation.

Here are some excerpts from this heart-breaking story in the Hartford Courant:
Among the 2006 confirmed suicides was Tina Priest, a 21-year-old soldier from Austin, Texas, who killed herself in Iraq after reporting she was raped by a fellow soldier and then being placed on antidepressants, investigative records obtained by The Courant show. An Army psychologist deemed her stable just days before her death.


Investigative records show that Priest shot herself in Iraq in March, days after being diagnosed and treated for "Acute Stress Disorder consistent with Rape Trauma Syndrome." The records show she was prescribed the antidepressant Zoloft, the antipsychotic Seroquel and the sleeping aid Ambien.

Her family reported that she was in good spirits before her deployment, the records say. But friends and relatives told investigators that Priest's mental health declined sharply after the rape, and particularly after the soldier she accused was not confined pending his trial.

"Priest stated that she can't do it anymore, that she just wanted everything to be over with," a fellow soldier told investigators, recounting a conversation with Priest days before her death.
In any other situation, Priest's statement "...that she just wanted everything to be over with..." would immediately trigger a sane and compassionate response, such as getting her the help and protection she desperately needed.

But because of the intrinsic lunacy of our wartime policies, Priest was loaded up on medications and returned to active duty. While her attacker roamed freely.

Is it any wonder that Tina felt she didn't have any other way out?

Words can't adequately express my anger about how our broken government allows things like this to happen.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Krayeske Update II

This is an extremely interesting quote from this Krayeske story in the Hartford Courant late today:
State Public Safety Commissioner Leonard Boyle Monday wrote a report defending state police security preparations that included Krayeske among about 10 other individuals -- the rest of whom have not been identified -- "who, because of prior actions or statements, warranted interest if they appeared at the day's events." Boyle said the decision to arrest Krayeske Jan. 3 was completely the responsibility of the Hartford police.

Last week, Hartford police Chief Daryl K. Roberts said Krayeske was arrested not because of the flier, but because he "breached the parade route" -- a charge that Krayeske and at least one other witness already had denied before Nichols surfaced Tuesday with her account.
Apparently there really IS a list of individuals pinpointed for special attention due to their "prior actions", or even "statements(!)" they've made. Its existance has been publicly denied previously.

So, a list was made by the authorities using state resources, then distributed to law enforcement agencies with the express purpose of targeting persons for political reasons without due process or legal justification. I'd sure like to see that list, and find out who are the rest of the "Connecticut Ten".

Of course, the state is going to insist of drawing out this farce to the bitter end.

What an utterly stupid waste of state funds and resources!

Meanwhile, CT Blogger has posted some additional Krayeske video:

UPDATE: Apparently, Hartford Courant columnist Stan Simpson is happy with the Hartford P.D.'s actions, and seems to accept the police department's story at full value. I can't imagine any thinking person taking this tack, especially in light of the outrageous handling of the case which proves (to me, anyway) that they are trying to hide something. I guess Stan is fine with the prospect of being stopped, searched, and possibly arrested if he shows up at a parade and his face is on a flyer the police were given.

Krayeske Update

Image from Fox-61's News Webcast

At his hearing today, Ken Krayeske pleaded "not guilty" to the charges and his case is being continued until March 2nd, and a new witness apparently stepped forward to say that Krayeske didn't even approach the governor.

I'm kind of shocked that they didn't simply drop the charges, but I guess that would be some kind of admission of their guilt, so they're going to try to stick to their guns. Which means this entire situation may become a bellweather "freedom of the press" issue.

And in turn, it may result is serious political damage to Governor Rell.

CT Blogger over at ConnecticutBLOG posted this article and video earlier today:

Finally the lies will be exposed.

Today starts the beginning of freelance journalist/blogger Ken Krayeske's trial. This morning, supporters on Krayeske held a rally in his honor outside Hartford Superior Court. Channel 8 was on the scene and filed this report.

Prank or theft?

Somebody please tell me, just what is going on here?

In today's Hartford Courant, Mark Paznoikas reports on a situation that could be trouble for State Dems.
A Republican legislative leader complained Monday that state Senate Democrats are refusing to fire two employees caught on video rummaging through the desk of a Republican co-worker.

The Legislative Office Building's security cameras recorded the two Democratic employees going through the desk of a Republican aide assigned to the government administration and elections committee.
Under any circumstances, this is a no-no. In a typical office workplace, it's enough to get someone fired. But the Democratic leadership is taking an odd tack by not dismissing the aides:
"It appears at this point to be a case of unprofessional, prank-like behavior," said Patrick Scully, a Senate Democratic spokesman. "We are looking into it fully. If deemed necessary, disciplinary action will be taken."
Democrats pride themselves on taking the moral high road and paying extra attention to fairness in all areas. I can imagine the outcry should the aides have been Republican and the victim a Democrat. I think the phrases "Republican dirty tricks" and "echoes of Watergate" may have been bandied about. So it's a little disturbing to see the Democratic leadership dismiss this incident in such a cavalier manner.
...(House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk) said the two Democratic Senate aides, both men, had created a "hostile work environment" for the female GOP staffer and should be dismissed.

Cafero said the video showed one Democratic aide sitting at the woman's desk after 5 p.m. last week, rearranging papers and examining the contents of file drawers and a bulletin board.

"In my opinion, this was no prank," Cafero told reporters at a hastily called press conference late Monday afternoon. "I don't know what it is."

Cafero said Capitol police examined the surveillance recordings after the woman complained that someone had gone through her desk. Most public areas in the Capitol and Legislative Office Building are under video surveillance, including the open cubicles used by government administration and elections staff.
I think the Democratic Leadership needs to reassess the situation and decide how they would like it handled if Republican aides were guilty of a similar transgression. Then they should lead by example and do exactly that to the guilty parties.

Because otherwise, they're just paying lip service to their idea of justice and fair play.

CFL's Letter to Joe Lieberman

Sue ("Sprinkles" at KOS) posted the official "CFL Letter to Joe" over on DailyKOS.

This is a good opportunity to repost the video of my question to Joe about "his" new party's name.

Evidently he didn't think enough of CFL (or "LFC", for that matter) to make up buttons.

...or even join it.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Ken's Free Speech Rally

Image by Joebob and KennyK

From Ken Krayeske's website "The 40-Year Plan" (it's not really a blog in my opinion because it doesn't have a comments section...hey Ken, would you consider adding that?):

...I have to deal with this arresting mess, and the matter is well out of my hands. In fact, it appears as if it was well out of my hands well before I was ever handcuffed.

The Hartford Courant’s Jon Lender and Edmund Mahoney reported on Friday, Jan. 19 that police circulated a two-page color flier of me – little old me – featuring my current and prior drivers’ license photos and a few paragraphs about me - before the inauguRell parade Jan. 3.

The entire episode is hard to fathom: the front page stories, the evening news bulletins, the phone calls from elementary school friends and the massive support from people I don’t even know –firefighters, entrepreneurs, and normal folks who think what happened is wrong.

Case in point: Friday, Jan. 19 almost 100 people – from the aforementioned Americans to mayoral candidates I. Charles Mathews and Art Feltman to state representative John Geragosian - crowded into La Paloma Sabanera on Capitol Avenue and contributed almost $2,400 for my legal defense fund.

The funds covered the food and beer at the party and the legal fees for my first four court appearances. I was expecting 40 people and $1,000 at most. The turnout overwhelmed me.

Talking to a friend at law school Monday night, she said that I shouldn’t be surprised that so many people came out. The current presidential administration’s encroachment on our civil rights has people concerned. They are looking for a way to fight back, she said.

Yet what happened to me was no worse than what happened to Cliff Thornton’s rights on the campaign trail when he was excluded from the two gubernatorial debates. And what happened was no worse than what happens to any 15-year-old African-American boy every day on the streets of any major city in the United States.

After my arrest, Cliff joked with me that I now knew what it was like to be marked, to be black. I know if I was that black teenager, the media coverage I have been getting would be absent.

So on some level, thrust into this surreal situation, I feel a mantle of responsibility not just to myself, but to the people who came out in droves to support me on Friday night, and to the adolescent wrongly incarcerated for his skin color, the injustice of which will never reach the 6 o’clock news.

With that in mind, then, I want to use this train wreck as an opportunity to rally for free speech before my court date, Tuesday, Jan. 30.

So meet me at 8 a.m. in front of the Connecticut Supreme Court building at 231 Capitol Avenue Tuesday morning for 45 minutes. Bring a sign and show that you think the First Amendment matters.

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of Speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble."

Nor shall Gov. M. Jodi Rell, the HPD or the CT State Police.

A few notes about the rally: this is a peaceful rally, so, as Johnny Cash said, don’t take your guns to town. Second, I don’t want to meet at the criminal courthouse because I don’t want to interrupt the daily operation of justice.

For those who want to go into court and watch the proceedings, they are open to the public. Just remember to be on your best behavior, and remember that you will have to pass through a metal detector to enter into the courthouse on Lafayette Street.

In the unlikely event that the state drops the disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer charges against me before the Tuesday, Jan. 30 court date, this rally will be canceled. Check for more details.

I look forward to seeing you then.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Here's a SOTU memory

Watching last week's State of the Union address reminded me of that classic moment two years ago when George Bush grabbed his busom buddy Joe by the head and gave him a smooch.

That was back when Lieberman pretended to be a Democrat.

Now he doesn't even bother to pretend.

Yes, I took the weekend off. My wife and I went to Newport to enjoy some solitude and the sparse crowds of the off-season. The hotel had wi-fi, but I forced myself to limit my blogging, except to post the previous article while I was waiting for my wife to get ready to go to dinner. Here's a picture I took while we were hiking along the shore:

Saturday, January 27, 2007

40 years ago today

It seems like yesterday to me.

I turned eight years of age exactly forty years ago today. Like many other kids my age, I was enthralled and happy about our space program; how we were poised to begin the Apollo series of launches that would set man on the moon. It was an historic time.

(L-R) Roger B. Chaffee, Edward H. White and Virgil I. Grissom

During the afternoon on January 27, 1967, my mom and I were watching TV, when a "Special Report" interrupted the regular progamming to announce a tragic accident at Cape Kennedy. There was a fire in the capsule of Apollo 1, and first reports said the rocket may have blown up on the launch pad. Back in those days, news filtered down much more slowly than it does in today's world of instant messaging and the internet. There was a fire, but it was confined to the capsule, killing the three astronauts within seconds in the pure oxygen atmosphere.

We knew something terrible had happened; something that would change us in some small way forever. Three American astronauts died, the first ever in the United States. My family gave me a birthday party that evening, but it was overshadowed by a feeling of sadness and loss.

And then there was Vietnam.

At the time, our nation was involved in a terrible and costly war. The evening news showed our brave soldiers being killed every single day in a conflict that few people understood and even fewer supported. The public seemed to start to become used to the numbers of Americans listed dead every night.

There were antiwar demonstrations around that time, too. Thousands of Americans, young, old, draft-age kids, woman, children, basically a cross-section of the American people were opposed to the war. The antiwar movement had gained momentum, and wasn't going to go away.

Today, forty years later, we're in another unjust and unpopular war, orchestrated by men with no morals and no guiding principles except greed and hatred. Americans are still dying for a hopeless cause. Just today seven more American troops had their lives wasted in George Bush's war.

So today is another somewhat somber birthday for me. One more birthday that I'll remember for falling on a day during a war that makes no sense at all. One more birthday I'll remember for being a day when good Americans die.

But there is hope. Just today, thousands of concerned and honorable Americans stood together in the freezing air to demonstrate in support of ending our involvement in this war. Much like the 60's and early 70's, there are politicians in DC who insist to withdraw from our involvement in the war would surely lead to disaster.

Those politicians responsible for the war in Iraq obviously learned nothing from the lessons of Vietnam. We pulled out of Vietnam after a 13-year involvement, at the cost of over 50,000 American lives and countless billions of tax dollars, not to mention our nation's loss of prestige, and let the Vietnamese to sort out their own problems.

You know what? We're fine, they're fine. Certainly, they're doing better than they were with us involved there. And we started rebuilding our prestige in the world immediately after withdrawal. Nobody called us quitters or losers. They congratulated us for finally seeing the futility of occupying a nation that doesn't want to be occupied.

The angry, hate-filled men in DC who want us to stay in Iraq obviously learned nothing from our previous mistakes.

Something tells me they'll never learn anything.

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

- Winston Churchill

Friday, January 26, 2007

I can't believe they're just throwing them away!

In today's Hartford Courant, Ann Marie Somma examines what Connecticut towns are doing with their old lever-style voting machines, now that we'll be using Diebold OS tabulators to count our votes.

It turns out that many machines are going to an ignominious end at the junkyard!
"Middletown sold all 41 of its lever machines to a local recycling company for $50, said Sandra Faraci, the town's Democratic registrar of voters."
Screw that! I want a voting machine for my home.

How cool would THAT be? I'd hold an election every week, on every stupid issue I could think of.

Paper or plastic? Have a election to choose!
Chinese or Italian for dinner? Schedule a referendum.
Who's turn is it to take out the garbage? To the voting booth to decide!

Of course, I'd have to appoint myself Secretary of State, and no election is final until I certify it. Just in case my wife brings in voters from out of area to override my votes.

Anyway, this sad news story is a good excuse for me to repost my video of the Diebold voting machine demonstration by Susan Bysiewicz last September at the Bridgeport City Hall Annex. I've written quite a few posts about these machines, and there are some serious potential problems with them. I'll repost the articles in the coming weeks and elaborate upon them.

But for now, meet the new machine that's replacing our tried and true ol' green monsters:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Another champion of the First Amendment struggle

CT Blogger over at ConnecticutBLOG posted this recap of the Ken Krayeske Legal Defense fundraiser last week, along with his excellent video:

Friends show love for Krayeske at fundraiser

Friends and colleagues of freelance journalist/blogger Ken Krayeske showed their support for Connecticut's public enemy number one at a legal defense fundraiser held in his honor last Friday night.

As you know, Krayeske was arrested at Governor Rell's inaugural parade by the state police after his name was plastered on a "secret threat list", placed in jail, held on 75,000 bond, and was later released (after the governor's inaugural ball was over) on a promise to appear in court.

Krayeske's arrest has sparked outrage with columnists, talk radio hosts, journalists, bloggers, and politicians expressing their anger and disbelief over the entire affair.

Knowing that if something like this can happen to Krayeske, it could happen to anyone including bloggers (gulp), I decided to pack up my gear and make the trip to the fundraiser at La Paloma Sabanera Coffee House and Bookstore. I had to know more about the most dangerous man in Connecticut and who better to interview than the people who know him best.

Here's my video report (sorry about the small glitches, my computer was a bit sick).

UPDATE: MikeCT at MLN adds this tidbit of info:
Krayeske mentions that on January 30, the day he goes back to court, there will be a rally for free speech at 8 am on the north stairs of the State Supreme Court building. The building is at 231 Capitol Ave, across from the Capitol building (directions).

The Free-Speech Zone

TRex over at Fire Dog Lake hit one right out of the ballpark in his Late Night column yesterday. He discussed the Spocko vs. Disney Free Speech Controversay, when a blogger named Spocko posted audio snippets from KSFO Radio's (owned by Disney) right-wing homicidal rant-fests. The sponsors heard the snippets, causing the more respectable of them to drop their sponsorship of KFSO like it was a Tom Brady pass in the AFC Championship game!

"If you're waiting for an apology, you'll be waiting
a long time," KFSO on-air host Lee Rodgers said.

Disney fired back at the lowly blogger by threatening to sue for copyright infringement. Fair-use issues were raised, and the story has become big news. Here's an excerpt from TRex's article; you can read the whole thing at FDL:

Late Nite FDL: What’s That Sound?

It's the sound of Wingnuts' heads exploding!  It sounds like…victory.  For you see, the Spocko vs. KSFO Snuff Radio story has made it all the way to USA Today, and for once the Big Media seems to have gotten it right. 

Some advertisers, including Bank of America and MasterCard, have deserted KSFO since an anonymous media critic identifying himself online as Spocko began posting recordings of the station's "Hot Talk" hosts. Spocko and some of his readers have been e-mailing the audio to KSFO advertisers since 2005, asking the companies whether they want to be associated with the controversial rhetoric.

The First Amendment flap was debated Sunday on CNN's Reliable Sources. Dan Riehl, a blogger critical of Spocko, said some of the radio hosts' comments "were blown out of proportion or misrepresented" in the complaints to sponsors.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  "Misrepresented" those poor, poor victimized and persecuted six-figure swill merchants at KSFO.  Fortunately, the man debating Dancin' Dan Riehl was none other than Mighty Mike Stark!
Mike Stark, another blogger and a Spocko ally, said: "The way to fight free speech that you disagree with is to engage in more free speech. And that's exactly what Spocko did."
Touché!!  Suck it, Riehl!  You know if this was the other way around, Riehl would be squawking like a wet hen that Disney/ABC was trying to silence him and trample upon his God-given right as an American Asshole to make a fool of himself in public....


There's a new blog in Connecticut, devoted SOLELY to examining Senator Lieberman's broken campaign promises and outright lies, called LieberWatch.

In his series of articles, author Concerned In Connecticut uses both Lieberman's own words and quotes from various sources to deconstruct the Senator's countless reversals and lies. Obviously typing with a thesaurus in one hand (I've rarely seen the same word used twice when he refers to something), Concerned In Connecticut picks apart the Senator's many contradictions in a methodical and determined manner.

I recommend visiting LieberWatch to see Joe's lies and deceptions laid out in a detailed yet clear series of articles.

My only worry is that putting together so many lies in a single place might cause them to reach critical mass and trigger a runaway frenzy of partisan calls for accountability from our junior Senator.

I can only hope.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Libby throws Rove under the bus

Fire Dog Lake's outstanding coverage of and live blogging from the "Scooter" Libby trial continues with this video. Christy Hardin Smith of and Marcy Wheeler of talked about covering the first day of the Scooter Libby trial as credentialed bloggers outside of the Courthouse in Washington, DC.

BTW, Jane is busy recovering from her surgery, and is hoping to be back on "Plamegate" detail as soon as possible.

The latest revelations in this trial have got to be causing some serious acid reflux in the stomachs of some of the most powerful men in the Executive Branch.

...and I get the feeling that things are going to get worse for BushCo in the foreseeable future. There might not be enough pardons to go around.

And in an especially cool development today, Senator Dodd dropped into FDL for a short live blogging session, but he was called back to the chamber for a vote, so it was cut short. Chris said he'd return at some point for another chat.

I think this event is significant in that it shows how important the blogs have become in shaping and amplifying public opinion, and the candidates are acknowledging this trend.

Who'da thunk the internets would ever get this cool?

I joined my DTC last night

It was less than a year ago that my interest in the political process evolved me from a happy-go-lucky "spectator" to a committed "participant".

And following the lead of fellow "citizen journalist" Ken Krayeske, I've even been labeled "troublemaker" now and again by some less-than-tolerant individuals. This blog has been a record of my involvement in the process, both as a commentator and an online journalist (and occasionally, even a bit of a "smart-aleck".)

During the tumultuous 2006 campaign, I became aware that Democracy is best served when people get involved. So I started attending DTC meetings and got to know many of the members. Last night I was voted onto my town's DTC unanimously (which, when there are vacant uncontested seats, is pretty much a given...but then again, with me you never know).

Marty Hardiman, outgoing 3rd district Chairman, spoke of meeting me at the State Democratic Convention back in May, and my attendance of DTC meetings. When my name was put up for membership in the DTC, I was nominated as "Connecticut Bob", because even though I make no secret of it, hardly anyone knew my real name!

Anyway, I'd like to thank my fellow DTC members for inviting me to join, and I look forward to this Thursday's Townwide DTC meeting, where we'll discuss which candidates are interested in running for local office this November.

Already I've come to realize that politics is a 12-months-a-year process, and there is no true "down time" anymore.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Blog For Choice Day

Reposted from as I'm utterly swamped by work and political obligations and don't have the energy to be creative today. Besides, he does a good job with the post:

I don’t have a story. I mean, as far as I know, none of the women in my life (mom, sister, fiance, cousins, aunts or friends) has had an abortion.

And although the odds are in favor of me knowing someone who has terminated her pregnancy, one of the reasons I’m pro-choice is because it’s none of my damn business.

Here are a few more reasons:

* I’m pro-choice because the circumstances under which women may need to make a choice are infinite.
* I’m pro-choice because I’m a man who is very much pro-woman.
* I’m pro-choice because I have no interest in establishing government jurisdiction over the uterus.

And one for the Family Institute of Connecticut folks:

* I’m not pro-choice because I’m an atheist, but I did begin to question my religious beliefs because I was a pro-choice Christian.

Today is the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, so if you’ve got a blog you could be participating in Blog for Choice Day too.

Caffeinated Geek Girl from both CT Local Politics and her eponymous blog is participating.

So is Tessa over at My Left Nutmeg.

And help Spazeboy help Spazemom here!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

It ain't political, but it's fun!

After a week of major work and hectic political events, some people might enjoy having a nice Saturday morning in which to sleep late and maybe read the paper and have coffee in bed.

I'm obviously not "some people".

Because I happen to think it's a swell idea to wake up at 4:15AM and get dressed, then hop in my chilly car for a nighttime journey to New Haven. To shoot video of the New Haven Coliseum implosion.

In January.

Before dawn.

Yes, it's obvious that I was dropped on my head as a toddler.

I've loved the New Haven Veteran's Memorial Coliseum since I was a teenager in the '70's...when I've spent many an evening there watching a Steve Miller concert, or Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Queen, Foghat, or Jethro Tull. I even saw Abba.

Hey, it was the '70's...we didn't have the musical choices that the kids have today.

So it was a bit sad and nostalgic to see the ol' coliseum come to its end early this morning.

And yet, when I consider the awesome rock shows I've seen there; Ozzy both with and without Black Sabbath; Aerosmith; Stone Temple Pilots; and many, many more...I think, maybe this WAS a fitting end.

It's always better to go out with a BANG than a whimper.

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's just like being there

If you couldn't attend last night's CFL organizational meeting, you can experience the thrill of being there from the comfort of your own computer by watching the fifty-one minute long video of the entire meeting, from the call to order to the vote to adjorn.

My favorite part: Jon Kantrowitz's repeated use of the phrase "our glorious namesake" when referring to Senator Lieberman.

On several occasions Dr. Orman walked out of view of the camera, because I was either taking still photos or grabbing a fresh beer, but other than that, the video coverage was pretty good and the audio sounds decent.

So make yourself some popcorn, sit back and let the entire "Connecticut For Lieberman" experience wash over you. Enjoy!

When I get a chance, I'll create a much shorter (3 or 4 minute) video of the highlights of the evening, but tonight I've got to get to sleep early so I can drive to New Haven at 5AM and stake out a good spot to video the NH Coliseum implosion, scheduled for 7:30am.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

CFL meeting highlights

I videotaped the entire event, and video will probably be online Friday night sometime. (I'm too tired to edit it tonight.)

Dr. John Orman, chairman of the "Connecticut For Lieberman" party.

Immediately prior to the meeting, Dr. Orman talks to Tessa and New Haven Independent journalist Melissa Bailey.

Members of the CFL party vote on important party business.

Tonight's second meeting of the revitalized "Connecticut For Lieberman" party was noteworthy for several reasons.

Dr. John Orman became the new Party Chair, with Jon Kantrowitz elected to Vice-Chair.

However, there was drama and controversy.

The person who originally created the CFL party as a vehicle for Joe Lieberman to betray the Democratic Party in Connecticut and disregard the legal results of the primary, Dr. Stuart R. Korchin, showed up for the cocktail party/meet & greet portion of the meeting, and participated in a lively and interesting discussion of the "ownership" of the CFL party.

I videotaped a respectful and informative exchange between the two giants of the CFL party, Drs. Korchin & Orman. However, Dr. Korchin declined permission for me to post the video of the conversation on the internet, proclaiming his wish to remain an anonymous and private citizen.

I will of course honor that request, because several times during his discussion with Dr. Orman, Dr. Korchin referenced legal options available to him if he so chose to utilize them to get the state to recognize his claim on the chairmanship of the party, and I don't doubt he would similarly avail himself to said legal options should he decide he didn't appreciate the video portrayal of him on my blog.

That being said, I would hazard a guess that Dr. Korchin's interview with Jenny Medina of the New York fucking Times contradicts his wishes of anonymity; and I firmly believe that his opposition to my usage of any video of him taped at an OPEN public event such as this CFL Organizational Meeting was the direct result of a large-diameter wooden object (such as a stick) that was lodged firmly and irrevocably in his backside!

Some people are just no fun at all...

Sadly, Dr. Korchin left the event immediately prior to the meeting being called to order. I would have enjoyed hearing his statements about the party entered into the minutes.

CFL party member Edward Anderson put Dr. Korchin's name into the running for Party Chair, and the vote was 5 members for Dr. Orman, and 1 member for Dr. Korchin.

I'm sure more details will appear on My Left Nutmeg; and tonight I got to meet MBair, which was really great!

La Paloma screening last night

Tonight, don't forget the Connecticut For Lieberman meeting in Milford!

Last night was the final public screening of "Blog Wars", starring ME, at La Paloma Sabanera in Hartford.

This was the first time I was at La Paloma, and wish I could be there for Friday's Free Kenny Legal Fundraiser, but I'm booked up solid.

La Paloma is nearly in the shadow of the Capitol (if the sun rises in the northeast and a few building get demolished).

Luis was a gracious and fun host, and Liz was the person who organized the event.

The "crowd" (if I may use the phrase loosely) watched the film, and seemed to enjoy it. Fortunately, we managed to find chairs for everyone, so nobody was forced to stand.

Thanks, Luis, from Liz and myself!

And everyone go see Kenny on Friday at La Paloma!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Maura Needs Our Help

Our Maura -- the one who essentially ran the Lamont campaign in Fairfield County, and the first constituent to take Joe on in the Irish bar when Biden's train didn't get him here -- has been ill and has the bills to show for it. She's on the mend, and it looks like the worst has passed. Not only did she need treatment, but she had a full-blown allergic reaction to the IV medicine they gave her, which has been a nightmare and the health care expense meter went nuts. This is a perfect case study of how screwed up access to health care is in CT, and I am sure she will write about it when she is feeling better.

Details and a PayPal button for Maura are here at MyLeftNutmeg. The CT bloggers, as a community appreciate any help you can give for one of our own.
[We didn't put Maura's button here so there would be no confusion -- it's a lot easier to make sure Maura's money goes to her using the MLN link]

Thanks, all, in advance.

Do I have to set up a calendar here?

All of a sudden there's a crapload of events happening, and they're coming too fast to properly get the word out. Maybe I'll create a fancy calendar like they have over at My Left Nutmeg, except I'm too busy right now.

So here is what's going on in MY world:

Tonight - BLOG WARS Hartford Screening (click here for details)

Tomorrow Night - CT FOR LIEBERMAN Organizational Meeting (click here for details)

Friday Night - Ken Krayeske LEGAL FUNDRAISER (click here for details)

Saturday Morning Ridiculously Early - I'll be videotaping the New Haven Coliseum Implosion from atop the Temple Street garage (click here for details)

Plus I have two DTC meetings next week!

(...and here I thought things were going to slow down after the election was done!)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rell wants to Free Kenny

Sadly, it's not the Kenny we're all pulling for.

(Image courtesy Joe Bob)

Last chance to see Blog Wars

Tomorrow night (Wednesday January 17th) in Hartford.

Doors open 6:30PM
Showtime 7:30PM
at La Paloma Sabanera
405 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-548-1670
(on the corner of Babcock St & Capitol)

Map to La Paloma

BYOB if you'd like to enjoy a tasty beverage (not required, but encouraged).

Also on the evening of the 17th, the BBC is finally showing the film.

If you live in England or have a spy satellite receiver, you should tune in to BBC 4 on 17 January 2007 - BBC4 - 10.30pm.

Watch me say "shit" on TWO continents!
(I wonder if there will be a subtitle that says "shite?)

Bloggers allowed to cover Libby trial

As the jury selection for the trial of the obscenely guilty (j/k) Lewis "Scooter" Libby gets underway today, the court has reserved two of the one hundred media seats for bloggers. The "Media Blogger's Association" is the organization of record in the effort to get bloggers admitted to the trial.

I didn't even know there WAS a blogger's organization, and I've never heard of the MBA, so they might want to work on their outreach program. This trial is certainly giving them a lot of publicity, though. And it will be interesting to see how the bloggers chosen by the MNA will cover the trail.

Fire Dog Lake is represented at the trial, with contributor Pachacutec attending and taking notes.

Just as an aside, if bloggers wish to gain credibility with the powers that be, I think it might be time for them to do away with the anonymous handles and use their real names when reporting from important political events. It would be another step toward erasing the line between bloggers and "serious journalists". I think it would be a good way for bloggers to accept the responsibility of being accountable for what they report.

This from CNN:

Free Kenny Legal Defense Fund Bash, Friday, 1/19/07

American silkscreen - t-shirts will be available!

Who? You! And as many freedom loving friends as you can bring!

What? The Free Kenny Legal Defense Fund Bash, featuring beer, wine, hors d'oerves, music and free speech.

Where? La Paloma Sabanera, 405 Capitol Ave., Hartford (which is the same place where the Blog Wars screening will take place on this Wednesday)

Why? Because lawyering up to defend free speech isn't cheap.

When? Friday, Jan. 19 from 6 to 9 p.m.

How much? $25 suggested donation, or whatever you can give will help defray Ken Krayeske's legal expenses, which arise from his arrest and detainment after photographing Gov. M. Jodi Rell's inaugural parade Jan. 3. If you can't attend, but still want to support the battle to protect civil liberties, click here for info on how to send a check.

For more information, email Steve Colangelo at or call him at 860-508-4740. No RSVP needed.

For more info on the arrest, please see:

Jailed for 13 hours for photographing the Governor at Inaugural Parade The Progressive, 1/15/07

Government Surveillance A Troubling Growth Trend, Say Anti-War Activists from, 1/15/07

Activist's arrest is raising uncomfortable questions
from the Waterbury Republican, 1/14/07

A Lack of Intelligence from the Hartford Courant, 1/09/07

Drop the Charges, Apologize from the New London Day, 1/10/07

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Looming Economic Disaster

Because of George Bush's useless war while giving tax breaks, and the Republican Congress's insistance on reckless borrowing and spending for the last six years with no corresponding increase in taxation to offset the increasing debt, a government report highlights the inevitability of economic disaster if something isn't done about it.

From this article written by Michael Roston in The Raw Story:
In an overlooked hearing last Thursday, the head of (the Government Accounting Office; known as the GAO) warned of looming disaster for America's economy if an effort isn't made to control spending, RAW STORY has learned. Adding that decision-makers in Washington suffer from "tunnel vision" and "myopia," he said that getting the budget under control could even require steep tax increases if action isn't taken now.
The analogy to poor eyesight is no accident when it's so obvious that many politicians lack "vision".
"The picture I will lay out for you today is not a pretty one and it’s getting worse with the passage of time," said David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, in a Thursday morning hearing of the Senate's Budget Committee. "Continuing on our current fiscal path would gradually erode, if not suddenly damage, our economy, our standard of living, and ultimately even our domestic tranquility and our national security," he warned.
In other words, it would result in partial or complete economic collapse of the US within the foreseeable future. This is why I've always been in favor of a balanced budget amendment, which would ensure a "pay-as-you-go" policy.

So far, very few legislators want to back the politically unpopular actions needed to balance our budget. Which can include things like cutting federal programs and raising taxes. Stuff like that can be political suicide to an elected official unless he can successfully explain the need for such drastic measures to the public.
The head of the GAO also warned that if no action is taken now to control government spending, severe tax hikes could be necessary. He stated that, "balancing the budget in 2040 could require actions as large as cutting total federal spending by 60 percent or raising federal taxes to 2 times today’s level."
But in the meantime, we'll be subject to a slowly increasing squeeze on our economy as the debt service payment gets larger and larger.

And yet, a sizable percentage of voters think we can go on like this forever when they keep returning fiscally irresponsible politicians to Congress, because reports like this get ignored by the mainstream media.

It's the MSM's version of sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" when they don't want to report the bad news.

King remembrance

Reposted from CT Blogger's article over at ConnecticutBLOG. Absolutely worth hearing in it's entirety:

Believe it or not, many people have never watched or heard the entire "I Have a Dream" speech.

Watch, listen, and learn.

One man made a difference.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Blog Wars screening in Hartford

If you missed our pre-Christmas screening of the documentary, don't despair! Lamont Campaign Communications Director Liz Dupont-Deihl has set up a final local screening at a wonderful bookstore/coffee shop in Hartford.

January 17th
La Paloma Sabanera

405 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
Tel 860.548.1670
(on the corner of Babcock St & Capitol)

Map to La Paloma

Here's your chance (maybe the last chance) for you to see what all the buzz is about.

RSVP requested (but not required; you can just show up around 7-7:30) to:

Also on the evening of the 17th, the BBC is finally showing the film.

If you are anywhere within the broadcasting boundry of the Queen's empire, you should tune in to BBC 4 on 17 January 2007 - BBC4 - 10.30pm

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Lamont party wrap-up in the Indie

Allan Appel wrote a nice recap of the big Lamont party for the New Haven Independent, and included this photo of Joyce & myself. This is from the article:
Video blogger Bob Adams (shown with his wife Joyce), aka "CT Bob," said the war continues to be a big focus of his interest, but that he particularly wanted to keep a bright light on the debate over health care. Adams said he had within the last few days alone interviewed Rosa DeLauro, Ken Krayeske, and Senator Lieberman.

“What’s it like,” a reporter asked Joyce Adams, “living with a mad video blogger?”

“Well, I don’t see him much,” she said, “and sometimes he forgets to take out the trash.”
For the record, I always remember to take out the trash...when she reminds me!

UPDATE: Harriet sent me this photo of Spazeboy and myself, obviously taken shortly after Ned's speech since we're both holding our video cameras.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Video of Ned Lamont's "Thank You" Party

Last night's party in New Haven was a lot of fun. The enthusiastic crowd indicated to me how well-liked and respected Ned is, and it also the illustrated how much people want to continue to be involved. As with all post-election Ned events, the turnout was huge and impressive.

The video runs about 10 minutes, with Ned's 5:30 speech in the middle, and a bunch of crowd shots and general fun. Oh, and sorry about the retina-damaging video light; I promise I'll only use it during solar eclipses from now on!

Lieberman Interview on Broadwater

I managed to ask the Senator a couple questions about the impending Broadwater LNG platform project, which became much more likely to be built because of Lieberman's vote in favor of the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill, which removed state's control over siting decisions for energy projects.

The interview is brief, but it was a nice day and I had fun talking to my buddies Branford Boy, CT Keith, Maura, Sufi, and interviewing Ken Krayeske and Rosa DeLauro.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thank YOU, Ned!

Just a quick note here since I am sure they are still partying in New Haven -- Ned's thank you party tonight was fun. All your favorite bloggers were there and Bob was in rare form with his new camera. He got Ned's speech to the crowd on video, and it was fabulous. He took the microphone in hand, and said, "You know, I kind of miss this!" and the crowd in unison replied "And so do we!" Bob will no doubt have it up tomorrow -- be sure to stop back. It made us all realize that while Ned may not have won the seat, we changed the country.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Announcing the "Connecticut For Lieberman" Rally


The new CFL party will hold its second (*) organizational meeting on Thursday, January 18,2007!

The meeting will be held at the Howard Johnson’s "Harbor Room" (where the Blog Wars screening was held) in Milford off exit 39A on I-95. Stay right, just off the exit.

The meet and greet will run from 6:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. with the business meeting starting at 7 o’clock.

(h/t to Neal Fink for the CFL website and graphic)

- Come one, come all who want to help the CFL keep Senator Joe Lieberman accountable.

- Come critics, opponents and bloggers who have ideas for the CFL.

- Come honorary Members (people who wish to remain in their own political party but wish to support the goals of the CFL.

(* The first meeting was Professor Orman getting elected to the chair by a 100% margin)

What are the goals of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party?

The preliminary Connecticut for Lieberman Party platform (and this can and should be discussed and modified at the organizational meeting) is for Joe Lieberman to:

1. Stop misleading Connecticut voters by saying one month before the last election that no one wants to bring the troops home more than Joe Lieberman and then calling for a robust, substantial and sustained troop increase in Iraq.

2. Call for a sore loser law in Connecticut named the “Lieberman law” to prohibit major party candidates from running in the election after they lose a party primary. Our party also favors moving up the deadline for petitioning candidates to one month before the primaries.

3. Call for new legislation which would provide for recall elections in Connecticut.

4. Join the new Connecticut for Lieberman Party, a party he promised the Secretary of State that he would form, but he did not.

5. Stop blindly supporting Bush’s Iraq war policy since over 75% of Connecticut citizens do not support those policies.

6. Stop cavorting with Fox News network's conservatives to bash those opposed to the war in Iraq and to stop pushing for more war in other countries in the region.

7. Lead the charge for national health care.

8. Lead the fight against President Bush’s assault on civil liberties and the U.S. Constitution.

9. Lead the fights against the surveillance of Connecticut citizens by state authorities because they do not support Connecticut incumbents.

10. And lastly Senator Lieberman, please come to our meeting so we can have along talk about how you have LET US DOWN!

Thank you,

John Orman, Chair


Currently, the only member of CFL is Professor Orman. Let's work to change that...maybe we can get Joe Lieberman to join!

Here's a short bio:

Dr. JOHN ORMAN: Chair, Connecticut for Lieberman

Dr. John Orman is a citizen activist and author who took over Connecticut for Lieberman Party.. He is the author of five books including PRESIDENTIAL SECRECY AND DECEPTION; COMPARING PRESIDENTIAL BEHAVIOR; PRESIDENTIAL ACCOUNTABILITY; THE POLITICS OF ROCK MUSIC; and CELEBRITY POLITICS (co-author Darrell West).

He was the Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the 4th C.D. in Connecticut in 1984. His favorite moment was when President Ronald Reagan came to Fairfield to campaign against Dr. Orman.

In 2000 Dr. Orman was the citizen activist from Trumbull, Connecticut who challenged Joe Lieberman for running for two different national offices at the same time when he could only legally hold one of those jobs. After a month of official protests the Quinnipiac Poll showed 45% of Connecticut citizens agreed with Lieberman and 46% agreed with Orman’s position.

In 2005 Orman challenged Joe Lieberman for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate before dropping out of the race.

In 2006 Orman challenged the legality of the fake political party called Connecticut for Lieberman. He lost his challenge but later took over the fake party to turn it into a party to hold Lieberman accountable.

Dr. Orman has taught at Fairfield University since 1978. He is a Professor of Politics and he has taught American Presidency; Congress; Parties, Groups, and Opinion; U.S. Public Policy; U.S. Foreign Policy; and the Politics of Popular Culture. His comments about politics in America have been carried on ABC,BBC, CBS, CBC, CNN, MSNBC, NBC and NPR.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Congresswoman DeLauro Interview

On Sunday I discussed several topics with Rosa DeLauro, such as the newest members of the Connecticut Congressional delegation in Washington, and I also asked about the major issues facing Congress in this session and what they can do to stop the Broadwater project.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Exclusive video interview with Ken Krayeske

In this exclusive first video interview since his highly publicized and very questionable arrest while covering the inauguration parade for Governor Rell, photo-journalist Ken Krayeske agreed to talk to Maura from VA/CT and myself yesterday at the "Our Water, Not Brrrroadwater" event in Branford.

Senator Lieberman, Congresswoman DeLauro, Attorney General Blumenthal, and other dignitaries were in attendance. I'm pleased to see that no other online journalists were wrongfully arrested and locked up for doing their jobs (my wife told me as I walked out the door that she didn't have a spare $75,000 for bail, so I'd better behave myself).

(Image courtesy of that snot-nosed kid over at

Here's the exclusive first look video (which would have been done last night, except my external drive shit itself and I had to make space on my notebook's drive):

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Standing tall

At today's "Our Water, Not BRRRoadwater" polar bear plunge to raise awareness about the Broadwater future evironmental disaster, blogger and photo-journalist Ken Krayeske was in attendance, covering the event for a local publication.

Ken, as you may have heard, was the innocent journalist arrested for performing normal photographer's duties. His arrest may have been precipitated by an "enemies list" provided to police in advance of the governor's inaguration parade.

I'm not easily impressed, but to see Ken bravely covering an event featuring a Senator, a Congresswoman, and the Attorney General so soon after being thrown in jail just for SHOWING UP at a political event struck me as a really ballsy move.

So I had Sufi take this photo of me and my latest hero:

And yes, I had my press credentials prominantly displayed, just in case I was on any "hit lists" provided to the local police by panicky or spiteful politicos. I figured someone would have raised an outcry when seeing an honest online journalist being manacled and dragged away.

I mananged to get video of Senator Lieberman and several other notables. My external drive crashed tonight, so please be patient while I struggle to try to rebuild it. Video will be up sometime tomorrow.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Governor Rell sends her love

You're all Number One in her heart!

(And if I wasn't on the list before, I sure as hell am NOW!)

Israel Plans to Nuke Iran

The Sunday Times January 07, 2007
Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran

From the Sunday Times of London
Uzi Mahnaimi New York and Sarah Baxter Washington
ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.
Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.

Under the plans, conventional laser-guided bombs would open “tunnels” into the targets. “Mini-nukes” would then immediately be fired into a plant at Natanz, exploding deep underground to reduce the risk of radioactive fallout.

“As soon as the green light is given, it will be one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished,” said one of the sources.

The plans, disclosed to The Sunday Times last week, have been prompted in part by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad’s assessment that Iran is on the verge of producing enough enriched uranium to make nuclear weapons within two years.

Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.
Perhaps this is why a navy admiral is going to be CentCom commander (Persian Gulf, anyone?) why we'll be needing an escalation of 40,000 troops in the region, and Negroponte moved over to hold Condi's hand. This scares me to death. Is there a grownup in the house???

And in a spooky coincidence, this was published earlier today:
Nuclear War: US or Israeli Attack on Iran could contaminate Middle East

Where does Joe Lieberman stand on this one? We already know that Mr. "Nobody wants the troops home more than I do" is joined at the hip with the McCain doctrine to escalate a disasterous war. Does he think nuking in Iran is the answer, too?

Kiss Me, I'm Loaded

New Haven State Rep. Patricia A. Dillon, arrested for DUI in West Haven the other day. CT Blogger has all the details over on ConnecticutBLOG.

How to become a "security threat"

"Ma" Rell

Ken Krayeske apparently was placed on a previously unknown "list of potential threats" by Governor Rell, for his alleged acts of blogging and heckling.

Mark Pazniokas wrote an article in today's Hartford Courant, which said in part:
His lawyer says Krayeske apparently came to the attention of state police by heckling Rell during a campaign stop in Glastonbury last year over her refusal to debate his candidate, Clifford Thornton.
"Heckling", as far as I know, is one of our Constitutionally protected freedoms.

OK, maybe not "heckling" per se, which isn't specified, along with "jeering", "laughing", "badgering", "pestering", and "taunting"; but the general, all-inclusive freedom to express one's opinion is clearly protected by the Bill of Rights.
More recently, he ridiculed Rell on two websites.

"Hey, tickets to see the Fairy Godmother turn herself into Cinderella are only $150," he wrote this week.
Oh, he was heckling AND ridiculing the governor! OK, we better round up all those dangerous, snarky bloggers.

Uh...wait a minute...if online snark is against the law, then I'm headed for the gas chamber!
"Are there little circles of law-enforcement officers who have lists of who is naughty and who is nice?" asked Krayeske's lawyer, Norm Pattis. "What is the criteria for inclusion?"
Heckling and ridiculing, apparently. No need to answer that question. It's obvious that these "lists" do exist. God help us all!
A Hartford police report released Friday by Krayeske says that state police had given them photographs of activists who might be "possible threats" to Rell, including Krayeske, a free-lance journalist and anti-war protester who managed the Green Party's gubernatorial campaign.

Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the state police, declined to comment on how Krayeske came to the attention of the state police intelligence unit or a regional police clearinghouse mentioned in the report, the Connecticut Intelligence Center.

"We share intelligence. We share information," Vance said.
Which is fine, if there are actual, credible threats out there. But it's absolutely wrong to use politically-motivated revenge as a justification for grabbing and arresting an online journalist who is just trying to get a photo of the governor.

Photo of Rell at parade by Ken Krayeske

Spazeboy's got a detailed post loaded with good links, including Colin McEnroe's interview with Ken's attorney Norm Pattis, so check it out.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Grandma throws down

Welcome to the Constitution Police State.

Governor Jodi "Ma" Rell (aka the "Big Bad Biddy") on her very first day as an elected governor, has asserted her authoriTAY by putting out an "all-points bulletin" on people she deemed "security risks".

Which resulted in a man at the Governor's inaugural parade being arrested for "breach of peace" and held briefly in lieu of $75,000 bail.

It also resulted in the revelation that a branch of the state police called the "Connecticut Intelligence Center" had been provided a list with pictures of known activists to be arrested on sight if seen in the vicinity of the Governor's parade.

I am completely bogged down by the sheer volume of data that is coming in regarding Ken Krayeske's likely illegal arrest (here's the arrest report) and obviously politically-motivated ridiculously excessive bail. Try these links for additional info and discussion on this fast-developing story.

But know that this story is gonna be a BIG one!

My Left Nutmeg
Hartford Courant
Connecticut Local Politics
Colin McEnroe (and he's ON the case!)

(and yes, that's the infamous "Ma Barker" pictured above)

LW: How dare he say that?

Lieberman Watch: Did Joe Lieberman actually have the shameless audacity to compare the total fucking disaster he and George W Bush created in Iraq to our nation's entirely justified and righteous defense against the fascist agressors in World War Two?

Is THAT what this arrogant pontificating ass is actually SAYING here?!?

Does Lieberman just make this ridiculous shit up as he babbles away for the cameras?

Or does some speechwriting genius sit down and say, "Hey, I know what I'll do! I'll have him say something about how the rogue few from a backwards third-world agrarian nation caught us with our pants down is the same as the rise of world fascism in the 30's, and how Japan's massive attack on Pearl Harbor is EXACTLY like a bunch of misguided religious freaks taking advantage of a weakness in America's defenses against hijackings, and scare the living SHIT outta people with it!"

That's probably what happened.

How else could an 18-year US Senator be so stupid as to actually say such dumb shit like that unless he was reading it from a pre-written speech? He probably didn't have time to review it before giving the speech.

Yeah, that's gotta be it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The True Meaning of Freedom

(From The Arab News) WASHINGTON, 5 January 2007 — Congressman Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, used a Qur’an once owned by President Thomas Jefferson, and now housed in the Library of Congress, at his ceremonial swearing-in yesterday.

The third US president, serving from 1801 to 1809, Jefferson was a collector with wide-ranging interests. His 6,000-volume library, the largest in North America at the time, became the basis for the Library of Congress.

It was acquired in 1815 as part of a 6,400-volume collection Jefferson sold for $24,000, to replace the congressional library that had been burned by British troops the year before, during the War of 1812.

The English translation of the Arabic, the library’s Qur’an was published in 1764 in London, a later printing of one originally published in 1734.

Ellison’s spokesman said Jefferson’s Qur’an dates religious tolerance to the founders of the country, and to make the point that “religious differences are nothing to be afraid of.”

“It demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Qur’an,” Ellison told reporters on Wednesday. Ellison was born in Detroit and converted to Islam in college.

“A visionary like Thomas Jefferson was not afraid of a different belief system,” Ellison said. “This just shows that religious tolerance is the bedrock of our country, and religious differences are nothing to be afraid of.”

Some critics have argued that only a Bible should be used for the swearing-in. Members are sworn in to the US House of Representatives as a group with no Bibles or other books involved. But in a country where three out of every four people consider themselves Christians, the Bible has traditionally been used in ensuing unofficial ceremonies which, among other things provide each member with a photo opportunity for themselves and their constituents.

Ellison said an anonymous person wrote him about the Qur’an, and he arranged with the Library of Congress to use it. The chief of the Library of Congress’ rare book and special collections division, Mark Dimunation, walked the Quran across the street to the Capitol and brought it back after the ceremony.

“This is considered the text that shaped Europe’s understanding of the Qur’an,” Dimunation said.

But what about the war?

Congress is back in session, and Harry Reid mapped out the first 10 bills the Democrats will introduce. While these are much needed reforms (especially S.10; I'm a firm believer in "pay as you go"), he didn't mention any specific plans for getting us out of Iraq.

I wonder if he's waiting to see the public outcry in response to the Bush speech scheduled for next week. I can't help but think that timing is going to be a big factor in the success of any proposed Iraq withdrawal plan.

From the Democrats.Senate.Gov website:
Washington, DC — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid introduced the top ten Democratic Leadership bills. Next week, the Senate will begin work on the first of them—ethics reform to clean up Congress and make Washington work for America again. With a spirit of bipartisanship, Senate Democrats are ready to start moving America forward. The three day week in Washington is over—now the Senate is going to get to work.

S. 1, our plan to change the way Washington works. It was late 2005 when scandals involving lobbyists and lawmakers shocked this nation, and despite the Senate’s best attempts, here we are—two years later—and still, there has not been reform of ethics, lobbying, and earmarks.

S. 2 is our plan to increase the wages of working families by raising the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour.

S. 3 is our plan to reduce drug costs for seniors.

S. 4 is our plan to make America safer, by fully implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission.

S. 5 is the “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007.” It is legislation we seek to pass, so that some day American scientists may find cures for diseases like Parkinson’s and Diabetes.

S. 6 is our plan to promote energy independence, so we can enhance America’s security and begin to deal with the threat of global warming.

For too long, our country’s energy policy has had only one concern: oil company profits. We’ve allowed Exxon’s bottom-line to take priority over families struggling at the gas pump and the harmful effects of global warming.

S. 7 is the “College Opportunity Act of 2007” – our plan to make college more affordable for middle-class families.

S. 8 is the “Rebuilding America’s Military Act of 2007.”

If we want real security in America, we must rebuild the U.S. military and ensure it remains the best fighting force in the world.

S. 9 will secure America by undertaking comprehensive immigration reform.

Finally, S. 10 will reinstate “pay as you go rules” to the budget process.

As everyone knows, the Senate used to operate under a rule called “pay as you go.” This simple proposition demanded that when we increased spending—or cut taxes—we paid for it. It is a common sense principle that families all across America practice. PAYGO was in place here in the Senate in the 1990s, when our country experienced unprecedented levels of economic growth.

Unfortunately, this rule disappeared in recent years, and the results have been disastrous: 9 trillion dollars of debt, the largest deficits in history, foreign debt that has more than doubled, giving countries like Saudi Arabia and China unprecedented control of our economic destiny.