Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why I'll wait to install Windows Vista

"O&A party rock!" - Anthony Cumia of the CBS/XM radio show "Opie & Anthony" shows how to load Vista.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Rob Simmons accepts state position

Joe Courtney's (CT-02) reelection bid probably just got significantly easier. Rob Simmons, the former Republican congressman from the 2nd, has taken a job in Gov. Rell's office.

It was expected that Simmons would challenge Courtney in 2008, and considering the close margin in the last election, I'm sure Joe Courtney is happy about the news.

This story from The Politico.Com (via Markos):
Former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) has accepted a job as Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell’s Business Advocate, making it highly unlikely that he will run for his old seat.


His decision indicates that Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., who defeated Simmons in the closest race of the 2006 cycle, will have a smoother re-election ride than many anticipated. This has traditionally been tough terrain for national Republicans; President Bush only won 44 percent of the vote here in 2004.

Simmons represented Connecticut’s Second District from 2000-2006, and during his tenure compiled one of the more centrist records of House Republicans.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

2008 Primary Schedule (updated)

The 2008 Presidential Primary Schedule is updated, and for the latest primary dates (revised frequently) click HERE

Just DO IT already!

Look! Senator Lieberman loves the Republicans SO MUCH he'll even shake hands with somebody wearing a George Bush mask!

(Image from the Newtown Labor Day parade; see the entire video here. At exactly 3:15 in the video you can see and hear Joe Lieberman lie yet again about remaining a Democrat.)

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting mighty sick of hearing Joe Lieberman blackmailing the Senate every time he opens his traitorous mouth. Every single day there's another news story about Lieberman's potential jump across the aisle to the Republic Party side.

You know what? I say, GOOD RIDDANCE!

Let the Republicans have him, with his fragile ego and sociopathic visions of war! Let THEM have to deal with his constant whinging about how nobody agrees with him, and how he'll jump ship if he doesn't get his way. Let him try to blackmail the Republicans all he wants once he goes over there.


Fact: Lieberman votes with the Republicans every single time a vote on the war comes up.

Fact: Several Republicans are voting AGAINST party line on just about every vote, while the Democrats are pretty much hanging together (and Joe doesn't count).

Fact: Even if Joe decides to caucus with the Republic Party and creates a 50-50 split in the Senate, even with Cheney's theoretic tie-breaking vote (and see previous fact), the important committees and structure of the Senate will remain the same, because of this little known clause below (h/t to Sue from MLN):

(from Political Insider) Lieberman Switch Wouldn't Flip Senate
With Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) publicly stating he'd consider becoming a Republican if Democrats block new funding for the Iraq War, many Democrats worry that control of the Senate hangs in the balance. However, their fears are unfounded. Many think back to 2001 when former Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-VT) began caucusing with Democrats instead of Republicans, taking control of the Senate out of GOP hands. However, the two situations - though outwardly similar - contain one important difference.

If Lieberman were to caucus with the Republicans, they would still not take full control of the Senate, despite Vice President Dick Cheney's ability to break 50-50 ties. This is because of a little-known Senate organizing resolution, passed in January, which gives Democrats control of the Senate and committee chairmanships until the beginning of the 111th Congress.

What's the difference between now and 2001? A small but important distinction. When the 107th Congress was convened on January 3, 2001, Al Gore was still the Vice President and would be for another two-and-a-half weeks. Therefore, because of the Senate's 50-50 tie, Democrats had nominal control of the chamber when the organizing resolution came to a vote. With Dick Cheney soon to come in, however, Democrats allowed Republicans to control the Senate in return for a provision on the organizing resolution that allowed for a reorganization of the chamber if any member should switch parties, which Jeffords did five months later. There was no such clause in the current Senate's organizing resolution.
What this means is that the Senate is going to stay exactly as organized until the beginning of the next Congress, in January, 2009. The tie-breaker vote means nothing at this point, since Joe won't be voting any differently when he jumps ship like a bilge rat with mange anyway.

Very nice! So you know what, Mr. Lieberman?

Just GO already!!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Here's The $387,000 Question

The hottest new game show in Connecticut asks the question that's on everyone's mind:

"What did you do with the $387,000, Senator Lieberman?"

Friday, February 23, 2007

Passing an anti-war resolution ain't simple

Last night at my Democratic Town Committee meeting, an issue was raised about passing a resolution to advise our leadership to get us out of Iraq and bring our troops safely home. You might think this is a no-brainer and would easily sail through being approved, but that's not always the case in a democracy where open discussion is encouraged and debate is welcomed.

The resolution was introduced and read aloud by a DTC member. I saw the resolution earlier in the week at my local district's DTC meeting (and yeah, February is one of those months where you can have two DTC meetings in the same week!) so I was aware of it's contents. I agreed 100% with its intent.

After the reading of the resolution, a motion was introduced for discussion. Out of the roughly 30 members in attendance, at least 10 individuals spoke in turn either for or against it, with some speaking two, three, or four times. It turned out there were issues with the way the resolution could be interpreted by our political rivals, and also fears that the resolution wouldn't adequately support our troops. I had discussed that the document, which is about 19 paragraphs long and tied up in legalese was confusing (I tend to zone out when reading more than 6 or 8 sentences that begin with "WHEREAS...") and thought it could be tightened up and made more concise. Some people had issues with the safety in Iraq and the entire region if we withdrew.

This led to a good 40 minutes of debate, and it was interesting to see democracy in action on this macro level. The discussion was lively but respectful, and finally the resolution came up for a vote.

While I had that minor reservation about the wording of the document, I also was absolutely sure that I couldn't vote against ANY resolution that was recommending we stop our continued wasteful involvement in that war.

The resolution passed, but not by the unanimous vote that I would have thought before the debate. Some of the points raised against the resolution were valid, and some I thought were less so, but they all deserved to be brought to light and debated.

This is the great thing about our Democracy, and one of the reasons why it matters to participate, even on the local level.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fox Attacks

UPDATE: By popular demand, I added a new image below.

"Fair and balanced" my ass!

Smear politics is something we're sadly becoming all too used to, but for an entire TV network to engage in a systematic and coordinated attack on a presidential candidate is outrageous. There's something terribly un-democratic about this kind of corporate-sponsored TV terrorism. I'm talking, of course, about Fox News.

It may be time to fight back.

Now, I wouldn't ever suggest anyone doing anything that would be illegal, but wouldn't it be ironic (not to mention somewhat funny) for average citizens on the street to hold up signs that says "Fox News Lies" every time a Fox camera was shooting something live?

How about in front of that stupid window for that dumb show "Fox & Friends"? Seems like a nice place to start. After all, "fair and balanced" means you should be subject to the same kind of criticism that you dish out. And if you print your message on the back of a "Ned Lamont" sign, you'll receive extra credit!

And the sign below works good, too, don't ya think? Now THAT'S "fair and balanced!"

Can ya take it, Fox? Huh? Can ya?

And filmmaker/activist Bob Greenwald has been keeping busy with his new website Fox Attacks.Com and the video below that takes a look at how Fox News has already started its deliberate and calculated smear campaign against Barack Obama. Awful.

Really, these people at Fox are beyond despicable. Rupert Murdoch is easily the worst thing that's ever happened to American TV journalism.

UPDATE: Scarce and Matt Browner-Hamlin over at MLN have each posted an article that also covers the Fox Attacks story.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Kucinich 12-point Plan for Peace

Here's another video from last Saturday's visit by Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). This is Dennis talking about his 12-point Plan to get us out of Iraq, at the meeting with bloggers arranged by Sal Liccione and Dave Stevenson. The complete 12-Point Plan is viewable on the Kucinich.US website.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Politics TV promotes the Kucinich interviews

It's nice to see a resource such as PoliticsTV.Com run a video I made. The message is getting out there about Kucinich, and hopefully the MSM will begin to see there's more to this field of Democratic hopefuls than Barack or Hillary (or even Dodd, for that matter).

Link to their Politics TV post is here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Interview with Elizabeth Kucinich

Besides interviewing Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) ( during the hour long ride to Westport, we also asked his wife Elizabeth Kucinich about her experiences working in India with Mother Theresa's charity at age 18; her first meeting with Dennis; the differences between the British and American versions of "The Office"; the D.C. "status quo"; and the possibility that lasting peace can be achieved in the world.

Elizabeth is a "citizen of the world" in the truest sense of the phrase, and she brings a unique perspective to the discussion that she is more than willing to share with us.

...and I promise that at no time during this interview do we nearly rear-end a Jeep with broken tail lights!

Iraq: The Hidden War

(reposted from Crooks & Liars. This documentary shows the true conditions in Iraq that our corporate-censored and gutless MSM won't ever broadcast in the US.)

What the media isn't showing in Iraq: (h/t Hardliner)

It's a gut-wrenching 49 minutes, but worth your time. Americans, these actions are being done in our name.  This is our legacy.

(BTW, there's a larger display of this video located at Google Video; I was having trouble reading the sub-titles until I went there.)

My hope is that showing videos such as this one and bringing you the information that the traditional media downplays or hides that it propel you to take action.  Call your elected officials, even if they are Republicans.  Demand that they stand by their actions in the face of reality, instead of White House spin.  Write them.  Email them. Call news organizations and demand the same.  

The Beltway media and politicians are insulated and isolated.  It's going to take a huge tidal wave from outside the Beltway for them to wake up. 

Please, please …email this to every person you know, no matter what side of the war/occupation they fall in.  

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Kucinich on accountability for the War

Here's a little tidbit that I taped immediately after the press conference in Westport. I overheard the question and immediately fumbled for my camera to get the Congressman's reply. With subtitles.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The rolling Kucinich interview

NOTE: Youtube seems to be having trouble with this video, I've uploaded it to I may switch to Daily Motion for all my videos if Youtube keeps having problems.

I knew Google would find a way to screw up a good thing!

In my never-ending quest to bring you new and unique interview videos, today I recorded a conversation with Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich (with the help of Greenpeas and minivan driver Dave) while driving from La Guardia airport to Westport.

This video has Dennis answering our questions about the latest resolution on the war, and other pressing issues. Dennis may also have saved my life at one point in the video, but you'll have to watch and decide if that's truly the case.

Later today (Sunday) I'll post our exclusive "rolling interview" with Elizabeth Kucinich, and will follow that with some highlights from Dennis's press conference in the Westport Library.

Kucinich appears in Westport, Norwalk

Today Presidential candidate and Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) made public appearances in Westport and Norwalk, before heading up to the University of Connecticut and on to New Hampshire. Visit for more info on the candidate.

I was lucky enough to ride in the van that picked up the candidate at La Guardia, and had nearly an hour to interview him and his wife Elizabeth before arriving at the Westport home of Democratic activist Sal Liccione.

Accompanying me was Dave Stevenson (driving), Norwalk Common Council candidate Mike Geake, and MLN poster Greenpeas.

After finally locating the candidate, we piled back into the van for the trip to Westport. Greenpeas and I spent the entire ride interviewing Dennis and Elizabeth. Remarkably, we survived Dave's driving, and arrived at Sal's apartment for a meeting with bloggers and online participants.

Kucinich spent a good 1/2 hour answering questions before going across the street for a press conference at the Westport Library, much to the grumbling of some of the mainstream media who were waiting impatiently while the candidate spoke to us bloggers.

Hey guys...get used to it!

Anyway, I shot nearly 2 hours of video, and I'll get some of it online tomorrow and the rest on Monday. There's a lot of material to sort through.

Oh, and on a completely different topic, I bet Dave Stevenson $40 that Rudy Giuliani WOULDN'T get nominated by the Republicans for President. I couldn't believe he'd take a sucker bet like that! The only sad part is that I'll have to wait until September 4th next year to collect!

UPDATE: I accepted Dave's offer to raise the bet to 80 bucks. That'll pay for a lot of videotapes and a helmet (for when Dave drives.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Giuliani takes buckets of money to speak at Tsunami fundraiser

And he insists on a huge private jet to get there and back. You gotta love Rudy's concern for those less fortunate than he. And you gotta love RawStory.Com for bringing this to our attention:
In the video below, CNN reports on Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani's eye-opening speaking fees.

While charging speaking fees is a regular practice for expert and celebrity speakers, some are criticizing Giuliani for collecting speaking fees from charities. CNN reports on one appearance at a 2005 tsunami fundraiser for which Giuliani received $100,000, and also mentions a contract stipulation that the former New York City mayor be given the use of a "private aircraft -- must be a Gulfstream 4 or bigger."

One political analyst tells CNN, "He's a presidential candiate, everything he's done in the past is gonna come into scrutiny."

So it passed...big deal!

In the annals of "straw votes", this one may be considered the all-time winner.

A vote that means essentially nothing, one that Bush won't listen to, and yet was hotly contested at that, was approved by the House.

The vote on the nonbinding measure was 246-182.

Big whoop!

Listen, I'm happy it passed. We can use it as a "hit-list" to oust those Republicans in '08 that voted against it. They bought themselves a scarlet letter they'll have to wear come election time next year. So, yeah, for just that, this vote was worthy.

Other than that, we'll still have American soldiers dying every day in a hell-hole created by George Bush; we'll still be sure to erode our nation's standing in the world; and of course, we'll still be borrowing money to pay for the $2.5 billion dollars a WEEK this stupid war costs, and we'll pass that burden onto our children to pay off.

The only REAL resolution that matters is the one that spells out a clear plan to extricate us from George's mess and perhaps begin to repair the damage we've done.

Maybe someday our leaders will take up THAT cause, and we'll end this state of perpetual war that somehow is seen as payback for 9/11.
Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, told business leaders at a "Politics and Eggs" breakfast in Bedford that he believed the non-binding resolutions wouldn't do much to change Iraq.

"This was debating about debating," said Dodd. "The fact is we need a new policy in Iraq and none of these resolutions do that."
Amen, Senator.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


From The Raw Story:

Republican Study Committee backtracks on accusations that Rep. Pelosi violated copyright law on her blog
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently launched a blog called 'The Gavel,' which features a large number of YouTube clips of House proceedings. Earlier today, the Republican Study Committee issued a press release accusing Pelosi of violating C-SPAN's copyright by displaying those clips on her blog. But the Speaker won this battle.

"Though we applaud the Speaker's effort to adapt to new technology, the blog violated copyright and trademark law on the very first day," the RSC press release stated. "As of noon today, the Speaker had posted at least 16 videos that are copyrighted C-SPAN material from the House floor. The RSC spoke with C-SPAN today, who confirmed that these videos violate C-SPAN copyright/trademark of the House proceedings."

The problem? C-SPAN doesn't claim a copyright to any footage of House proceedings because the cameras used are owned by Congress and not C-SPAN.

"That's in the public domain, it's owned by the American people," Jennifer Moire, a spokesperson for the channel told the Associated Press.

The RSC retracted the release, which also accused Pelosi of "pirating C-SPAN footage for partisan purposes," just two hours after issuing it explaining that they were "given contradictory information."
The funny thing about this (besides the fact that those RSC dummies seem to feel that they are the "Copyright Police") is that their statement that they "...spoke with C-SPAN today, who confirmed that these videos violate C-SPAN copyright/trademark of the House proceedings..." is almost definitely a bald-faced lie! They felt so sure of their facts that they simply went ahead and claimed that C-SPAN told them so.

Like I said...LOL.

Kucinich schedule for Westport/Norwalk

Here's the latest details (subject to change):

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is flying into La Guardia around 2PM on Saturday. He should arrive in Westport between 3PM and 3:15, where he'll speak to bloggers at the home of Sal Liccione.

Then he'll go over to the Westport Public Library for a press conference around 4PM. Following that, he'll visit the Silver Star diner in Norwalk for a Meet & Greet, and then head up to UConn Storrs for a meeting and/or appearance.

Rep. Kucinich then heads up to New Hampshire for the remainder of the President's Day weekend.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Chris Shays lets the nation down...again

(Chris Shays hugs Joe Lieberman during the fall campaign)

Shays says he'll oppose House resolution on Iraq via WTNH.Com:
(Washington-AP) _ Connecticut's only Republican congressman says today that he's standing firm against a House resolution rebuking President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq.
Why am I not surprised at this?
Rep. Christopher Shays says he doesn't decide an issue of war and peace based on how it impacts him in the next election.
How about making a fucking decision based on how it impacts our nation and our armed forces? Chris, if you're using that as your excuse for opposing the resolution, you're too far over the edge to even see what's right and what's wrong.
Shays' remarks come amid a spirited four-day debate on the war this week in the House.

A Democratic resolution expresses support for U.S. forces in Iraq and opposition to Bush's plan to send thousands of additional troops. A vote is expected Friday.
We can only hope that when the resolution passes in the House (and I can't imagine it not passing) that the Senate takes the hint and approves it.

Of course, with Shays and Lieberman fouling the air, nobody can be sure WHAT'S going to happen!

Stuart Smalley for Senate?

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, I hope people vote for me!"

Entertainer and political pundit Al Franken made his long-expected announcement today that he'll seek election to the Senate in Minnesota in 2008.

Personally, I look forward to an exciting and interesting campaign. I think MORE comics should get into politics. It seems that whenever actors or sports figures are elected, it usually ends up being a could putting a comedian into the Senate be anything other than totally entertaining?

Plus, anyone who disses Rush Limbaugh in the TITLE of a New York Times bestseller is A-OK in my book!

You can visit Al Franken's campaign website by going to AlFranken.Com.

Franken is fond of quoting Paul Wellstone in his speeches:

"The future belongs to those who are passionate and work hard."

Here's the text from Franken's announcement:
I’m gonna run for the United States Senate.

I’m not a professional politician. I know I’m going to make some mistakes. And it’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

But I’m going to work hard. I’m going to enjoy being among my friends, my neighbors, and even the people in Minnesota who might not be my fans, yet. And I will never, ever, ever forget how much of a privilege it is to be able to speak with people about the things that matter to me. I’ve had that privilege on this show for three years. And I look forward to having that privilege on the campaign trail and, if I prove worthy of your support, in the Senate.

I want to thank my listeners for extending me this privilege. And before I go, I just want to say. Keep listening. Keep talking. And keep doing. When we band together we can do amazing things. From sending helmet liners to Marines in Iraq to providing health care for people who have no other way of getting it. To changing the nature of our government and the course of our nation.

The Defense rests... the trial of Lewis I. "Scooter" Libby, and plenty of questions remain unanswered.

Or unasked. Like the questions that Special Council Patrick Fitzgerald might have asked Scooter if he had the guts to take the stand in his own defense. We all know that the last thing a good lawyer wants to see is a guilty defendent take the stand. And Theodore V. Wells is a pretty good lawyer.

Or questions that Fitz might have asked Dick Cheney, who you think would take the stand to defend his personal friend and advisor if he thought he was innocent.

But those questions remain unasked.

I'm sure Patrick Fitzgerald was chomping at the bit for a chance to cross-examine Scooter and "the Shooter", but alas, it won't happen. The jury will hear closing arguments starting on Tuesday, and then they'll get the case probably later next week.

Judge Walton was clearly annoyed by the defense's decision to keep Libby from testifying, and he refused to allow Wells to reexamine TV journalist Tim Russert in an effort to further confuse the jury.

A strange thing happened when the jury came into the courtroom today. Here's an email from MSNBC's David Shuster via Fire Dog Lake. This is just an example of the wonderful observations and reportage that FDL has been providing during this entire complex legal process. I strongly recommend visiting FDL for ongoing coverage of this important trial:
When the jurors came in 45 minutes ago for the final evidence presented in this case, 13 of the 14 jurors (12 jurors and 2 alternates) were wearing bright red t-shirts with a large white heart on the front. The shirts appeared to be new… The one juror not wearing a red shirt was an elderly woman who works as an art curator. A man on the jury, who is a retired school teacher originally from north carolina, then read a statement to the court. The man said the jury wanted to "thank the clerks, marshalls, and judge for all of the accomodations made" for the jury during this trial. The juror then said the entire jury understands their responsibilities in this case and that their "unanimity may now go no further." "But on behalf of the jury," said this man, "we want to wish everybody a Happy Valentine's day."

To say this moment was awkward would be an understatement. All of the attorneys, and the judge, appeared on the edge of their seats. At the conclusion of the juror's statement, the attorneys nervously and politely clapped…and the judge sheepishly thanked the panel for being "a very attentive jury." Then, the judge moved on…

What does it mean that one juror, who seemed particularly cantankerous during jury selection, refused to go along with the rest and wear the bright red t-shirt? Could it be that she is the only one on the panel with any sartorial taste? Or does it mean something more serious for jury deliberations next week? The issue was noted by attorneys on both sides of the case outside in the hallway.

a Valentine's Day gift to you

The Nutmeg State is home to many wonders besides our rather volatile political scene, including some lovely state parks and hiking trails.

In the fall of 2005, Joyce & I produced this documentary about a former railroad line that was converted into a scenic greenway/hiking trail. The Air Line Rail Trail is a nearly 50-mile long path through the northeast quandrant of the state, starting in East Hampton and continuing to the Massachusetts border. The 6.5 mile section we explored begins in East Hampton and runs to Hebron.

This documentary was online in two parts, since I was limited by the Youtube 10-minute constraint; but now that I have "Director" status, I can post videos up to an hour long. So this way you can see the entire 13:45 documentary in one piece. I hope you enjoy it.

It was a fun project, which I shot in a half-day and edited over the following several weeks. I'm hoping to get back soon to doing some creative projects in addition to my political vlogging.

For more info on the Air Line Rail Trail, click on this link to M. Bartel's excellent Rail Trail Page.

And my favorite song in the soundtrack is the 1928 jazz-orchestral "Put It There (Shag Nasty)" by McKinney's Cotton Pickers. This song is freely available in the Public Domain on; you can hear an mp3 of the song by clicking on this link.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Krayeske arrest leads to new law proposal

From an article in the Stamford Advocate by Brian Lockhart:
After last month's arrest of a political activist at the governor's inaugural parade, the co-chairmen of the General Assembly's Judiciary Committee are drafting bills that would require law enforcement to use greater care in assessing the potential threat posed by political dissidents.

State Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, and state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, will launch their effort tomorrow when the Judiciary Committee meets at 11 a.m. in Hartford.

"No one's saying you can't keep track of people on the (Internet) saying they're trying to disrupt an event," Lawlor said. "But you can't just go and arrest people."
Exactly. Nobody is saying not to be aware of potential threats, but you need to exercise judicious use of detention when required rather than using preemptive arrest as a counter to such threats. And there also needs to be a reviewable procedure for collecting and disseminating information among law enforcement agencies.
Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling, president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, said he hopes the Judiciary Committee will include his group in its discussions.
Probably a good idea. The more discussion between lawmakers and law enforcement about these issues, the more likely there will be a reasonable policy created, with oversight built in.
Lawlor said he is concerned state police oversold Krayeske as a threat to their Hartford counterparts.

The legislation he and McDonald are proposing could prevent a reoccurrence by defining political dissidents versus threats; limiting the circumstances for surveillance on dissidents; ensuring that security briefings include reminders to respect constitutional rights; and creating a legislative oversight committee to review the procedures every few months, Lawlor said.

"The problem here is there was nothing about Ken Krayeske's history that would lead one to believe he's an actual, physical threat to the governor," Lawlor said. "The most he'd be a candidate for is heckling or trying to talk to the governor in the parade. I have no problem . . . if a cop stood next to him as the governor went by, asked him for ID or hassled him for a little bit. But they didn't. They arrested him on sight."

Lawlor and McDonald also are pursuing legislation to better control bail amounts and ensure they are not artificially inflated to detain individuals.
This makes perfect sense. Lawlor and McDonald are working to develop a way for our public officials being kept safe while simultaneously protecting our constitutional rights.

Seeing this sort of common sense shown by our legislators gives me hope that we can have both security AND constitutional freedoms.

Monday, February 12, 2007

We need more Anna Nicole news!

I've been searching all over the media for news about Anna Nicole, and I can't seem to find any! I mean, golly gee! How can the media overlook such an important story as Ms. Smith's untimely demise?!?

Sorry about that little outburst.

I can't help but think the world is hurtling toward chaos when I see the amount of coverage dedicated to a drunken hillbilly girl who died suddenly, and yet I have to freakin' dig all over to find out the latest American casualty figures in Iraq. This is what the MSM has become. Tabloid news.

Somehow, I can't picture Walter Cronkite spending even a millisecond of his time being concerned with someone like Anna Nicole Smith when thousands of Americans are at risk in an intolerable war. The man knew what was important.

He had priorities.

...and class!

I miss Uncle Walter's kindly, concerned, reassuring visage. I really do.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dennis Kucinich to visit CT next week


Congressman and Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) will visit Connecticut this coming Saturday (Feb. 17th), according to information I just receieved.

The Congressman will make several appearances in the state on his way up to New Hampshire for the remainder of the President's Day weekend. Plans are still being discussed, but there may be a press conference in Westport on Saturday afternoon and a stop in Newtown. I've been told that local bloggers will be given an opportunity to interview Kucinich prior to the press conference.

When the schedule is confirmed I'll post additional details here. Visit Congressman Kucinich's website

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ned live-blogging at FDL today!

Drop on over to Fire Dog Lake at 2PM (ET) this afternoon to join Ned Lamont in a live-blogging session.

UPDATE: The live session is now over, but you can still read the entire session at this link. Ned raised some good points, but I dunno, he seemed a little swarmed by all the questions coming in at once. I don't know if he had someone typing in his responses, or if he did it all himself. If he did his own typing, it might explain why he didn't get to some of the questions.

Of course, we all wanted to know if he'd run against Congressman Chris Shays (R-4) in '08, but I didn't expect him to answer that today. Hopefully we'll be able to wheedle it out of him during our hard-hitting in-depth interview next month.

And for those who haven't yet seen my video of Ned's "Thank You" party (taped a month ago), here it is:

Friday, February 09, 2007

Amann throws down with Mother

Let me be the first to say, "Wow!"

The day after Governor Rell dropped her little bomblet earlier this week about how she wants to raise our taxes, House Speaker James Amann wasted no time letting us know exactly how he feels. This from today's Hartford Courant:
...the House speaker on Thursday charged she "didn't have the guts to tell people" during last fall's election campaign that she planned to raise taxes.

The allegation by Democratic House Speaker James Amann was part of a sometimes fiery, sometimes condescending exchange of statements between him and the governor over funding her plan for sweeping improvements to the state's public schools.
That was cool, but things heated up when Jodi and Jim started an ugly and extremely public dialogue about their positions:
"Frankly, the speaker is the speaker of the House. He knows better," Rell chided. "That's not how you operate."
Awww, no she didn't!

The ball had been spiked firmly back into Amann's court. God knows, but Jim seems to love this kind of exchange:
Told of that remark, Amann retorted, "I don't need Mother Rell to wag her finger in my face about budgets." Then he assailed her for not talking about tax increases before an election she ultimately won in a landslide.
BTW, who was the little tattletale who "told" Amann of Rell's remark? Seems like someone's being a "busy body" (could it have been the author of the Courant article, Chris Keating? Who random reporter usually has the uncommon luck to hear both sides comment on the issue without being something of an instigator!)

Jodi rallied when discussing the one billion dollar surplus the state apparently is hoarding for a rainy day with this statement:
"My comment to that is this is exactly the mistake that was made in the early '80s, when people said we have this money, let's go ahead and pay for this new program," Rell said. "And the next year, it wasn't there. The worst thing we could do now is use one-time revenue for any ongoing program."

She added: "It's just not feasible to do that. ... There's some tough decisions to be made."
Amann responded in true "I will CRUSH you!" style with a classy smackdown of the Governor:
"First of all, she's all wet," Amann said of Rell. "We raised too many taxes already or else we wouldn't have a surplus. Somebody's being overtaxed, and I think the governor should understand that. I don't need to be lectured by someone who was part of the Rowland-Rell administration. Give me a break!"
Jesus H. Christ, but I really do love the way Jim talks! Who still says something like "she's all wet"? I can't write shit as good as what he spews out of his mouth in the presence of journalists...or even, for that matter, in the presence of any jackass who happens to be holding a video camera! Jim speaks with the total abandon of someone who just doesn't give a shit what people think!

That's an admirable and extremely rare trait these days. Most politicians will take a moment to compose a politically-advantageous (or at least non-controversial) response, while Jim Amann tends to speak exactly what's on his mind. The only time he uses a filter is when he stops and thinks about the reprecussions of what he's going to say...

...and that's when you have to worry!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Candidate theme songs

In this Daily Show clip from The Raw, Jon Stewart examines each candidate's middle-of-the-road pop song they're using for a campaign theme. And then there the "humble-off".

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jailed Blogger hits record

Here's what might have happened to Ken Krayeske if he'd been carrying a video camera instead of a Nikon.

From this story in CNet News:
SAN FRANCISCO--Dozens of supporters of jailed freelance video blogger Josh Wolf gathered at City Hall here Tuesday to rally for Wolf's release.

Those attending the demonstration held up signs with the words "Free Josh," and speakers were insistent on the unfairness of his imprisonment. Ross Mirkarimi, a San Francisco supervisor, said he was "angry as hell about this" and called for a "serious outcry, and not just only by us." In a statement, California state Assemblyman Mark Leno, who did not attend the rally, called Wolf's plight a "travesty of justice."


On August 1 (2006), Wolf, 24, was jailed for contempt of court for refusing to cooperate with a federal grand jury seeking unpublished footage he shot during a 2005 protest that turned violent. Wolf was released on bail a month later while his appeal was being considered. But a three-judge panel rejected the appeal and revoked bail.

Wolf might normally be protected by California's Shield Law. But federal prosecutors, who want to see if Wolf's footage shows a San Francisco police car being set on fire at the protest, say they have jurisdiction over the case because the car was paid for in part by federal dollars. While many states have enacted shield laws to protect journalists from revealing confidential sources, notes and unpublished materials, there is no federal shield law to protect Wolf.
Josh Wolf has set the record for the longest-held journalist under contempt, for not turning over his tapes.

Obviously, this story has major implications for anybody with a video camera and a blog. Here in Connecticut, I thought this kind of thing was unlikely to ever happen.

And then Governor Rell's parade happened.

So now, it's apparent that we live in a state where our leaders can target specific "troublemakers", and the police are given lists and photos of those targeted individuals, who haven't committed any crime other than exercising their right to dissent.

And they may be thrown in jail for just showing up!

Click this video link to see Josh explain his stance at a press conference.

And if you see me at a public event with my video camera, please DON'T break the law right in front of me.

Because if you do, I'll roll over on you so fast it'll make your head spin!

Hey, summer is coming and I refuse to spend ANY of it in jail to protect your dumb ass!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Even more like being there

Because now, you can actually WATCH people talking about the Scooter Libby trial.

Jane from Fire Dog Lake (looking fabulous, I'm happy to say) and the always spot-on Swopa from Needlenose take a few minutes to summarize yesterday's trial events on PoliticsTV.

I'm really enjoying the many videos by PoliticsTV available both from their website and on Youtube (search "Politicstv"). These guys are doing the kind of journalism that I truly think is going to be an integral part of the political landscape.

The biggest question of the trial is whether Dick Cheney will be called to testify or not. My guess is he won't; Libby's boat is so full of holes that Cheney stepping aboard with a caulking gun ain't gonna make much difference, except that Dick might end up going down with the boat. I'd be amazed if he was called.

And will Lewis "Scooter" Libby testify in his own behalf? It looks like the replayed Grand Jury testimony is hurting his chances, but there might not be much to be gained by his testifying except perhaps additional perjury charges in the future.

Take some time and read Fire Dog Lake for their phenomenal coverage of this crucial trail. We might be seeing the first step in bringing this administration to accounts.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Just like being there

For many years, I've been a huge fan of political intrigue.

Ever since I was 14 and watched the Watergate hearings televised during the dismal summer of 1973 on my 13" black and white TV, I've been interested in political trials and hearings.

I watched the Iran-Contra hearings, the Clinton impeachment, the Iraqi War Crimes trials (OK, that last one won't happen for several years, but we'll see W finally have to answer for his atrocities).

Sadly, the Scooter Libby trial isn't being televised.

But the amazing folks over at Fire Dog Lake are taking the initiative in covering this trial. They've put together a team of some of the most talented bloggers and commentators on the internet.

They're live-blogging from the courtroom and the media room, providing fascinating summaries of the action and testimony with informed commentary. For someone like me who's working full-time during the day, it's become a daily fix for me to read the latest FDL coverage of this significant trial.

Visit FDL and check out the articles, like this one from earlier today that covered Libby's Grand Jury testimony.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The 47 Second Flip-flop

Repost from My Left Nutmeg (article by Scarce):

From this morning's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Are these statements made by John McCain within 47 seconds of one another contradictory or not? We report, you decide. [Video from Think Progress]
MCCAIN: Took us a long time to get in the situation we're in, and to say that - and somehow assume that in a few months, that things are going to get all better I think is not realistic.
...and then there's this:
  STEPHANOPOULOS: You say it's all in. How long are you going to give it to work?

  MCCAIN: I think in the case of the Iraqi government cooperating and doing what's necessary, we can know fairly well in a few months.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Lieberman says No to VP run

In this story in the Hartford Courant (h/t to TParty), Joe Lieberman is asked about his future plans, vis a vis running for VP (or even P).
He calls himself an independent, though he remains a member of the Senate Democratic caucus, giving it a one-vote majority. He publicly flirts with voting Republican for president in '08 - prompting speculation he might join Republican Sen. John McCain on a fusion ticket.

"No, that's not going to happen," Lieberman said Friday on his way into Ollie's. "My days of seeking national office are over. I'm very happy, particularly after what I went through last year to be the senator from Connecticut. I want to do the best job I can at that."
Now, we all know Joe's track record when it comes to him keeping promises. "Dismal" is a word that springs to mind.

But I think we need to look deeper into Joe's psyche and examine what he's really saying here.

First, Joe usually doesn't tell an obvious lie on purpose. What I mean is that Joe has always been a lawyer at heart, and he retains the sharp mind of an experienced litigator. He knows how to phrase his words so that they sound like one thing, but really mean something else. Or he crafts his statements to give him an "out", should he need it.

He's a clever S.O.B., but we all know that. How else could a politician recover from contradicting every single statement he made when he first ran for the Senate, like his claims that "three terms is plenty" and "my opponent missed 400 votes" when Joe himself easily missed MORE than that in less time? How can a guy in a blue state like Connecticut recover from being the only senator ever kissed by the singularly least-popular world leader since Czar Nicholas?

Because he's clever. Devious, too.

But hey, it's served him well all these years. He's got the survival instincts of a sewer rat, which is an animal that will viciously and irrevocably turn on its friends if threatened at all. 2006 will be remembered as the year that Joe lost while winning. His pyrrhic victory will forever brand his legacy as a turncoat and a grasping, ambitious politician who cares only for himself.

Getting back to his statement, Joe said his "...days of seeking national office are over." What's interesting is what he doesn't say. Partly because nobody asked him.

The question I'd like to hear him answer is this:

"Will you serve out your full term in the Senate?"

Because that's the question that really matters. Will Joe forego a VP run on the doomed "Unity 08" ticket because he's hoping to catch a prestigious appointment as Sec. of State or maybe UN Ambassador?

Think about this for a minute. If Joe quietly serves his 6 years and retires, he'll be remembered as the sorest loser of all time. He'll be considered a Bush lackey and cheerleader, a lapdog to the man who stole his ambitions. I doubt that his ego could accept such an ignominious legacy.

So maybe he'll parlay his continued support of Bush into a final couple years in a high profile post, and simultaneously give the Senate back to the Republicans by resigning and letting Gov. Jodi "You're gonna be on my list too, CT Bob" Rell appoint his replacement.

That would be the ultimate "fuck you!" to the Democrats, who so brutally humiliated him in the primary and who now deserves to suffer all the pain that they inflicted upon his fragile self-image.

Only then would Joe Lieberman feel vindicated.

Never doubt for a minute the motivating power of pure vengence.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Our Lame-assed Senate

OK, I'm starting to get a little fed up with our new Democratic Senate "majority". As a result of some amazing victories in the recent election, the Democrats came roaring into power this year amid much fanfare and ballyhoo.

I wasn't even completely sure what "ballyhoo" meant, so I looked it up on and found out that it can mean a "sensational or clamorous advertising or publicity" or a "noisy shouting or uproar".

Great, so we ballyhooed a bunch of Democrats into former Republican seats in the Senate, and now we'll finally get to work on ending our direct involvement in that stupid, bloody, wasteful war in Iraq.

Except...they don't seem to actually WANT to do that.

These idiots, and I use the term "idiots" equally and without political prejudice because I'm waiting to see if the Senate manages to accomplish ANYTHING AT ALL with their newfound political power...these idiots somehow seem to think that voting on a NON-GODDAMNED-BINDING resolution to call for reducing US involvement in Iraq is a lot better than Senator Dodd's plan for REAL change in our Iraq policy that was unceremoniously tossed out like a used Kleenex by our elected officials.

Jesus, are they completely brain dead?

Chris Dodd and Senator Feingold have come out and said they weren't going to support the weak-assed Warner-Levin resolution, which is about as useful as teats on a boar hog. Good on them. Let it fail miserably and maybe the rest of the Senate will see that the ONLY good resolution is a resolution that actually DOES SOMETHING!

Now THAT would be reason for some ballyhooing.

Markos has a nice overview at DailyKOS, reposted here in it's entirety:
Is there anything more pathetic than Senators fighting tooth and nail over wording over a non-binding resolution that does absolutely nothing?

Well, Feingold is done playing that silly game.
I oppose the weak Warner-Levin resolution as currently written because it misunderstands the situation in Iraq and shortchanges our national security interests. The resolution rejects redeploying U.S. troops and supports moving a misguided military strategy from one part of Iraq to another. The American people have rejected the President’s Iraq strategy and it’s time for Congress to end our military involvement in this war. We must redeploy our troops from Iraq so that we can focus on the global threats that face us.

Yesterday, Feingold introduced the Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007. Feingold’s bill would force the President to safely redeploy U.S. troops out of Iraq by prohibiting further funding of military operations in Iraq six months after enactment.
Dodd will also oppose the useless Warner-Levin amendment.
Dodd, D-Conn., became the second Democrat to say he would vote against the measure. Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wisc., is also against the bill, which is expected to be debated in the Senate next week.

Dodd's central argument was that a non-binding resolution is meaningless.
This complicates Reid's efforts to get to 60 votes, and it's a good thing. Kill this piece of crap dead.

What's the point of a useless amendment? Is Reid really that desperate to give Jon Stewart more material for the Daily Show.

Reid should introduce BINDING legislation. Let the Republicans vote against it. It'll give us grist to use in the 2008 elections. The American people didn't elect a Democratic Congress to waste time passing useless, non-binding resolutions that Bush can easily (and gleefully) ignore.

A successful non-binding resolution will be no more useful in ending this disastrous war than a failed binding one. So let's make a real statement on the war, not empty platitudes and rhetoric.