Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jim Himes talks about Dodd's Iraq position

Last night Jim Himes, candidate for Congress in the 4th District ( was at a meet & greet at Caffeinated Geek Girl's home.

I videotaped his entire talk along with a lively Q&A session, and I'll post clips shortly. For now, here's a quick video of me asking Jim about the presidential candidate's position on Iraq.

People-Powered Debate in Bridgeport

From Spazeboy.Net (because I'm too lazy to create my own post saying essentially the exact same thing):

I spent a couple of hours in Bridgeport this afternoon filming questions for a debate between Chris Caruso and Bill Finch. My Left Nutmeg and the Fairfield County Weekly have teamed up to put on something extraordinary and I’m excited to be involved with some of the question gathering and filming (Connecticut has the best political videobloggers, after all). Maura has the details over at MLN:

A YouTube debate for the Bridgeport mayoral primary!

When and where:
Thursday, September 6, 2007
8:00 PM

Playhouse on the Green
177 State Street, Bridgeport

What will make this debate different than all other Bridgeport Democratic mayoral primary debates is that it will consist of questions asked by ordinary people from all walks of life in Bridgeport, though YouTube!

How it works:
Bridgeport residents are encouraged to submit questions to ask would-be Democratic mayors Bill Finch and Chris Caruso through YouTube. Simply tape the question using a MiniDV camera or even a cell phone (some models can record up to a minute of video) and upload them to YouTube with the tag "bridgeportdebate" (all one word).

Tips for questions:

* Be personal - we want questions that are about what YOU care about and reflect the diversity of Bridgeport families
* Be creative - the more interesting your video, the more likely we will use it
* Try to keep your question short and to the point: approximately 30 seconds is ideal, but absolutely no longer than 1 minute in length.
* Introduce yourself - begin with your name and mention your neighborhood or organization

Addressing the digital divide

The reality of the digital divide is that many people in Bridgeport don’t have access to the Internet, video cameras, or video cell phones. To address that concern, dedicated volunteer videobloggers including ctblogger, Spazeboy, Connecticut Bob, and MattW will be hitting the streets of Bridgeport to collect “woman/man on the street” questions from interested Bridgeporters.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

MoveOn peace vigil in Bridgeport

Tonight I attended the peace vigil in Bridgeport while taping resident's questions for the mayoral debate. MoveOn's website showed 27 people had RSVP'd for the event, but at least 60 showed up, holding candles and reading the list of American military who paid the ultimate price for this wrongful war.

I also ran into Dr. John Orman (Chairman, CFL Party) and John Hartwell (former Treasurer for Ned Lamont's campaign and DFA Fairfield officer).

Here's a few pictures from the event:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Why NOT impeach?

I really wish Senator Dodd would understand this:

By January 20th, 2009, it may be TOO LATE!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A day that will live in freakin' awesomeness!

One year ago today, Ned Lamont defeated a three-term senator on the Democratic ticket. For a day, Lamont HQ was the center of the American political universe.

It was an amazing place to be!

UPDATE! Spazeboy reminded me about the Primary Day coverage on this blog. Kirby and I worked in tandem to frequently update the blog during the entire day, and when websites around the world were getting jammed up from excessive traffic, we somehow managed to stay up. Check out the archives for August 2006, or to see the entire day's reportage in chronological order, visit my Primary Day blog (no comments, but the posts tell the story).

Here's my videos from the day:

CT Keith saved all his signs from the beginning of the push to oust Lieberman, and Tim Tagaris shows off his juggling skills.

A report from Lamont HQ, along with a Matt Browner-Hamlin interview.

Tim Tagaris answered Gerstein's allegations that the Joe website was hacked; taped moments before, the room burst into applause when the segment ended. Check out my busted laptop!

Ah, victory, there is nothing sweeter!

Even though we didn't win in November, the political status quo was changed forever due in large part to Ned Lamont's heroic campaign.

And we'll always admire you for it, Ned!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007



I combined everything chronologically into this one post and put it way back in my archives (August 2007) so it wouldn't cause my blog to slow down when people load the current page. To go to the home page, click the banner at the top of this page.

All posts are by me, except for the ones on January 20th marked with "Kirby" in the title. I coordinated with Kirby to provide her with cell phone updates from the parade route, and she did a marvelous job posting those plus her own excellent observations. Communications got more difficult as the day went on, but I was pleased with how it turned out anyway. Great job, Kirby!

This is a huge post with tons of pictures, so it may take a while to load. But it's worth it! As usual, if you want to see any photo in all it's full definition glory, simply click on it.

1/18/09 Sunday

Leaving yesterday morning from Connectictut.

The Delaware Memorial Bridge(s).

The Baltimore Tunnel. (I loved HBO's "The Wire")

On the Beltway. Looks like Tuesday is gonna be a bad day for driving!

More tonight.


The "Aso" Cafe

We went out to a great local Mexican restaurant with Maura and her friends Doug and Terry. We had a wonderful dinner, and during the meal Maura told us how the restaurant was infamous as being the only eatery in northern Virginia where George W. Bush had a meal during his presidency.

The place took the chair where W sat his ass, and painted it up in patriotic colors. I noticed the date was 9-24-01. I pondered this for a moment.

Then I got enraged. Here's George W. Bush, less than two weeks into the worst crisis of the last 60 years, taking the night off to go have a taco. Hey, I know tacos rule, but I'd rather he spent the time maybe figuring out how to cope with the still on-going after effects of the attacks.

We saw the sign appropriately reflected the last day of Bush's regime.

(In all fairness, the "El Paso Cafe" is a wonderful restaurant, with great food and live strolling Mexican music playing guitarists.)

1/19/09 Monday


It's closing time at the local Starbucks and because I don't have internet access at Maura's, I only have a few minutes to post these photos.

The Green Man graces the outside of the Environmental Protection Agency. Nice touch.

Joyce, Maura, Melissa and me at the East Falls Church metro station around noon.

John Mellancamp on the big screen during a rebroadcast of yesterday's concert.

A cool entry way in a government building on 12th St.

The Jumbrotron on the Mall, with the Capitol in the background.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) with Joyce and me in her awesome office. She's got the coolest pictures and memorabilia from a long career in the House.

Dennis Kucinich (OH-10) with me in his office in the Rayburn House Office Building.

Joyce in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building after the CT delegation reception.

Mayor Dan Malloy (Stamford CT) and his wife Cathy with me at the reception.

Ned Lamont (former candidate for Senate in Connecticut, who defeated Joe Lieberman in the 2006 primary) with Mike Brown at the reception.

The Obama metro tickets.

OK, they're kicking me out. I'll be live-blogging style posting via Kirby tomorrow if communications goes well.

1/20/09 Tuesday


It is hard to believe that after all this time, the day for Barack Obama to become 44th president of the United States is here. Bob is on the spot in Washington DC and I am here in CT with a dear friend sitting on the couch. Will keep you posted.

Maura got a Capitol ticket -- and deservedly so. More to come.



Since the traditional cable news site will be over run with traffic today, thought you'd like to know there is a nice, high quality stream on the front page of the NY Times



Bob reports in from the parade route -- he is cold, and says the security is amazing. He's with Gabe and Melissa -- Maura is at the Capitol, and I am sure he will have terrific pictures to post later.

(CTBob: Actually, though we rode in on the same train, Joyce & I got off at Federal Triangle for the parade, and Gabe, Melissa, & Maura continued on to the Capitol)



Just got a call from Bob who is in his bleacher seats on Pennsylvania Avenue waiting for the parade with CT Joyce and Gabe...the parade is still about 2 hours away. He said after Obama took the oath, a roar just rolled up the Avenue. They are sitting right across from the J Edgar Hoover building.

They are freezing -- and I didn't have the heart to tell him I was sitting here in front of the fire. Maura and Melissa had tickets at the Capitol, and CTBlogger is somewhere in DC. posted a serious makeover about 44 minutes ago, and is now shuttered. Go take a look.



And the Bush error is over.



The president and first lady got out of the limo and walked for a bit. It was hard to tell where this happened on the parade route, and we will hear from Bob as to whether it was near him or not. The parade was delayed after Senator Kennedy collapsed at the luncheon following the outdoor ceremony -- to make sure he was OK before having a celebratory parade.

The invocation by Rick Warren was more about him than about the moment -- and it was totally eclipsed by the benediction by Rev. Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference -- full text here
Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- (laughter) -- when yellow will be mellow -- (laughter) -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- (laughter) -- and when white will embrace what is right.


PARDON ME? (By Kirby)

Much to the amazement of many, including, I'm sure many Connecticut bloggers, it looks like this turkey and two border patrol agents are the only ones getting pardons from GWB. None were made public today -- so this will be an interesting footnote to a scandalous presidency.
And, in other random observations online -- a number of people commenting tongue in cheek that seeing Darth Cheney in a wheelchair was not nearly as satisfying as we thought it would be. Although, there appeared to be a chill between these two departing executives -- with the only apparent contact being a quick handshake at Andrews before W took off for Texas. Hmmmmm.



With the delay in the parade, and the fact that the President must sit in the reviewing stand for the whole thing, the executive orders initially said to be signed today may be put off to tomorrow. Here's the link on the new White House Web site directly to executive orders; we can see them right after they are signed.



I hope Bob thaws out enough this evening to post his photos of the day and to let us know if the president got out of the limo near his seat at the parade! In the meantime, here is what the inauguration looked like from space.



With the two most adorable, well-mannered children in America. Sasha is just scrumptious! I hope her joy permeates the walls of the White House for everyone to remember that this presidency is really about the world we leave to the next generation.

1/21/09 Wednesday


(from Monday, in front of the Smithsonian)

It's just shy of noon on the 21st. Today is the first full non-Bush day America has seen in eight long years. I'd probably be a bit happier about it if I wasn't slightly hungover.

I'm at the internet cafe trying to post stuff, but it's very slow going. If I can't post my photos today, I'll try to get some of them online tonight.

Thank you Kirby for holding down the fort! You did a fantastic job yesterday with the updates and your original posts. Communications got difficult later in the day, and by the time the President and First Lady walked by, I couldn't dial out. After that, Joyce and I left the parade about half-way through and headed back to VA. I crashed hard about 8PM and slept for a couple hours, then Maura, Melissa and us talked and laughed for hours. I think I finally got back to sleep around 2:30 this morning.

I'm going to try to post photos now, but again, if they don't work I'll post them later.

And let's hear a round of applause for Kirby!!!!



It took us until 2:30 to hit the road today, and we just got home (around 9PM). After unpacking the car and having a bite to eat, I'm barely awake enough to see. So I'm going to put up most of my pictures sometime tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's one quick photo of a guy in our bleachers, and an observation:

Yes, that's a battered copy of "The Catcher In The Rye" that he was holding the entire time!

For anyone who isn't familiar with the significance of this book, you should know that both Mark David Chapman and John Hinckley were fanatical about it. So here we are, just as the new President and his family come strolling down Pennsylvania Avenue, and this fellow is clutching a well-worn copy of the most subversive/anarchistic novel of its time. Talk about a bizarre moment!

Obviously, I kept half an eye on him until well after the President went safely by. But it was a bit unsettling, to say the least.



According to what people were saying, the temperature topped out at 33 degrees. But with the wind chill, it felt as cold as 5 degrees. And when you're out in the breeze for more than eight hours, it feels even worse.

The ground was littered with the plastic wrappers from chemical hand warmers. People brought blankets (I didn't know they could) and food (I really didn't know that!), so we used a special Inaugural edition of the Washington Post as seats on the metal bleachers, and we feasted upon Tic-Tacs most of the day. The two food vendors nearby had lines that were at least an hour long, and they ran out of hot chocolate and coffee by noon.

These three photos probably tell the story of the cold more accurately:

8:30 AM

11:30 AM

3:00 PM

About a half hour after the President walked by and 80% of the spectators left, we were able to buy a hot dog at one vendor. The food gave us just enough energy to watch about 40 more minutes of the parade, but we called it a day at about 5:30.



We arrived at the Federal Triangle metro station at 8:30AM. We walked out to the 12th Street entry gate to this crowded scene. That's the IRS building in the background. Security was only letting about 100 people at a time through the entry gates so they could pass through the magnometers without crowding the TSA workers.

After being jostled and squeezed by the crowd for about a half-hour, one of the security workers yelled (without a megaphone) that the 10th Street entrance was wide open. We decided to give it a shot, so we squeezed out of the rabble and walked the two blocks to the other gate. The crowd WAS much smaller, and it only took about 20 minutes to clear security and gain access to the parade route.

Our bleachers were located right at the intersection of 10th and Pennsylvania Ave., right by the Department of Justice building and across the avenue from the FBI.

And then at 5:30PM, thoroughly frozen, we walked right through the gates to the Metro. Because so many people had already left, the Metro was hardly crowded. After about a 15 minute wait to allow the train platform to empty, the police let us enter the station. Just as we got to the platform, our train pulled in and it had room for us to board. 25 minutes later we were at East Falls Church, where we drove to an Applebee's for dinner.

We were able to watch the end of the parade live on TV from our table.



I'm grouping these photos in three posts of five each, to make it easier to upload them. I'll work on the video and hopefully have it up shortly. As usual, click on any photo to see in their glorious full size!

Watch out for the flakes! Maura, Gabe and Melissa on the Metro. We arrived at the East Falls Church station around 6:20AM, and to our surprise there were still a few spaces left in the parking lot. We entered the platform and the first train pulled in, so absolutely full of people that nobody could get on.

An empty train pulled in from the other direction, and Maura decided to jump aboard to the end of the line, just four stops away. It turned out to be a good idea, because we had seats for what turned out to be nearly a two-hour train ride into DC.

By the time we went through East Falls Church again, the train was fully packed and nobody else could board. It was a smart decision on Maura's part.

A woman on the train was sporting a Michelle button.

At 8:30 we were in the Federal Triangle, waiting to clear security to get onto the parade route.

At about 10AM we cleared the metal detectors and the TSA workers, shown here checking bags. The ground and fences outside were littered with small flags because they didn't allow sticks into the secure area. Many people simply stripped the flags off the sticks and kept them to wave during the parade.



Putting on the toe warmers. They didn't work as good as the hand warmers, but they were better than nothing.

The motorcade coming from the White House going toward the Capitol. People were waving and yelling "Bye-bye!". Someone said they recognized Cheney in one of the limousines. That's the FBI building on the right.

Looking back south from the top row of the bleachers at the 10th St. entrance. There were plenty of portolets available, and already long lines had formed for the two food and beverage vendors. There's the National Museum of Natural History in the background.

Joyce on the bleachers. The cold wasn't so bad until the breeze picked up after lunchtime.

Did I mention it was cold out there? This guys obviously thinks so.



Rooftop spectators viewing the parade across the street.

A black-clad ninja scans the crowd with a pair of giant binoculars from atop the Dept. of Justice Building. The fellow next to me pointed at him and yelled, "It's Batman!"

There were several layers of security along the parade route. Camo'd National Guardsmen, DC Police, all branches of the military, and many other groups helped maintain security.

After the oath of office, the presidential helicopter flew overhead carrying Bush and Cheney away. The crowd roared with joy, and people in our bleachers started singing "Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, good-bye!"

More rooftop ninjas scanned the crowd for signs of trouble. The crowd was uniformly well-behaved and very happy, despite the cold.

OK, I'll be the first to admit that I blew it. I only had my Fuji J10 digital camera with me, which I used to shoot pictures and video. I didn't think it would be easy to get my big Canon video camera through security. Did I mention how cold it was out there? Working a camera while wearing gloves is hard. And I found out that when I use the full optical and digital zoom together, it turns the image into a blurry fucking mess.

I was shooting video right until they approached, then I switched to picture mode to capture this bit of digital magic, and then I turned it back to video to capture them walking away. So when I edit and post the video, at least you'll get to see them a bit. Plus you'll hear the sound of the crowd cheering, which is cool.

In the future I'll commit to one mode of shooting only, either pictures or video. But at least I have this to remember the historic event.



A few more photos from Monday night.

The back of the Capitol Building at night. We walked across the exact spot where the helicopter landed to pick up Bush and fly him away the next day.

Joyce and Mike Brown at the Connecticut Delegation Reception in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02) and me at the reception. BTW, I'm not wearing the hat indoors because I'm trying to look cool; everyone had to pile their coats on a big table, and I was worried it would get crushed if I left it there.

Joyce with Annie Lamont. We had a nice talk with Annie and she caught us up on what the kids are up to.

Sen. Chris Dodd (CT-D) and I spent a few moments together.

Finally, here we are with Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04) . We wanted to visit all our Congressmen's offices over in the Canon HOB, but because it took us two hours to get into the Rayburn HOB to visit Rosa's office, we ran out of time.

1/22/09 Thursday


This is the video from the big day!

I tried to observe as much as possible during the day, and focus on the little details of the event. I probably would have done a better job if I wasn't freezing my butt off!

1/24/09 Sunday


There was something very familiar about seeing poor ol' Dick Cheney in a wheelchair.

Caused, no doubt, by a groin pull from his trying to carry huge boxes of classified documents down to the nuclear-powered shredder they have in the basement of the White House.

Then I realized it reminded me of a scene from an old movie.

So I made this video. Extra points if you know the movie's title; which should be easy if you're a fossil like me!