Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's official: Amann for Governor

Tonight Jim Amann spoke to a packed City Hall, when he announced his run for governor in 2010. I shot a lot of video, but it'll be a day or two before I edit it down to an easy-to-digest length.

Of course, some anti-Amann protesters showed up to make their objections known. CT Keith, TrueBlueCT, JonK, and one or two others sponsored a hearse to show up and they held signs up as well.

There were some catcalls at the protesters, but for the most part it was a very civil event. Which was disappointing. If someone had acted up and got tazed, I was there with my camera. A good tazing video will get a million hits! Sadly, everyone behaved.

Star of the "I will crush them" video, CT Keith, holds up a new button which expresses his views of Amann's run.

Look at CT News Junkie and ConnecticutBlog later for more images/video.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Amann announcement Thursday

Connecticut House Speaker Jim Amann will be on the steps of City Hall at 6:30PM tomorrow night to announce his intent to run for governor in 2010.

A large turnout is expected for the announcement. As a proud member of the Milford Democratic Town Committee, I'll be there, with my video camera.

City Hall is located at 110 River Street, Milford, CT. Parking is available on-street, especially along West River St. that time of day. After the announcement, there will be a gathering at the Stonebridge Restaurant right around the corner.

Who will the Edwards voters support?

Today John Edwards will be announcing his withdrawal from the race for president. At 1:00PM today, he'll make the speech that will end his race.

The question now is, who will Edwards' former supporters vote for now? In most of the primaries up to this point, Edwards pulled enough votes that his percentage would be enough to swing the elections.

Nobody expects all of Edwards' supporters to shift en masse to one of the two remaining Democratic front runners. But two things will come into play here. First, will Edwards throw his support to Hillary or Barack, and if so, how many voters will follow his recommendation? And more importantly, which candidate most closely matches Edwards in his political philosophy? Because I think that's going to be the defining reason for Edwards Democrats to select who to support, more than because of his endorsement.

There's just enough time for a new round of polling to get done before Super Tuesday. With Rudy and Edwards gone, it'll be interesting to see what the polls reflect going into next week's "national" primary.

Of course, polling results should be taken with a grain of salt, since they've been particularly unreliable this year.

I'd like to hear from Edwards supporters about who they'll support now, and why. Feel free to include your comments below.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

McCain triumphs in FLA

And word has it that Giuliani will be dropping out.

Which will make me the proud winner of a bet that I accepted from a dear friend who had the misguided idea that Giuliani was going to be the hands-down nominee for the Republicans when we heatedly discussed the race back in September. I think I even mentioned that McCain would probably rise from the dead and get some votes, but even I wouldn't have expected him to be the front runner at this point.

My friend, who shall remain nameless, was SO convinced that Rudy had it in the bag that he dared me to bet him $20 that nobody other than the ex-mayor would be the nominee. I know a sucker bet when I see one, especially when the other guy is the sucker. We shook on it.

Then my buddy kept mouthing off all knowingly about Rudy, which annoyed me to the point that I suggested we double the bet.

He didn't even blink. "Let's make it EIGHTY bucks then!", he said. Knowing that Rudy was a nine-one-one trick pony, I considered it money in the bank. "Agreed", I said.

Over the next couple months, I'd get the occasional voice mail from him, with his premature gloating about what he'd do with the money when I paid him the $80.

Now I wish I'd saved them.

My friend's veneer of hope started to crack a bit after Iowa. New Hampshire put a hurting on his facade as well. In fact, when I ran into him at the Kucinich HQ in Manchester on primary night, he was nearly ready to admit defeat.

Now, I'm not one to simply win a bet without enjoying a reasonable amount of suffering on the part of the loser, so I loftily assured him that Rudy still DID have a chance, and that he didn't have to pay off the bet until the mayor actually dropped out. I told him to keep his spirits up and never give in until the final curtain falls. I clapped him on the shoulder and told him to keep his chin up. You never know what might happen.

And as I walked away, I experienced the true bliss of someone who knows that, not only did he win big, but that he won with the apparent considerable elan of grace and style.

Yes, I am a terrible person.

So, I expect I'll be getting a call sometime tomorrow from my friend. I'll be all magnanimous, and tell him that it was a good bet, one that anyone could have made, I mean, c'mon, WHO could have possibly predicted the McCain surge?

Hee hee hee.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Shays and Bushie sittin' in a tree...

You can guess the rest.

In case you missed it, here's my take on this lovely little moment.

Let's send 'em BOTH riding into the sunset. Contribute to HimesforCongress at ActBlue.

(Much love to Scarce and a blogger to be named later for their help, and Danny Hellerman of the Fairfield County Weekly for the illustration!)

Why I support Barack Obama

By Dave Mooney

(CT Bob: Dave writes about why he supports Obama in very clear terms. I agree with his conclusions.)
I'm supporting Barack Obama for many reasons, but the most compelling reason for me is the undeniable leadership qualities he possesses. I truly believe he will be able to build a winning coalition in November and parlay that into being an extremely popular and effective President and world leader. This belief is not derived from any particular policy position he has taken. It is derived from his character and charisma, his unique take on things, his background as a professor of Constitutional Law and his willingness to say what needs to be said, even if we didn't know it needed to be said.

His willingness and ability to challenge the status quo is also very appealing to me. As a State Senator in Illinois, he worked towards reforming how that state utilizes the death penalty. He has frozen out federal lobbyists and PACs from his presidential campaign and found financing from a record number of new, small contributors. He opposed the Iraq war at a time when few did. He knew it was a foolish endeavor before I came to that conclusion. He was smarter than me on this war and I appreciate that.

When Sen. Obama spoke at the 2004 convention, we all saw his potential to lead our nation. He has been in the Senate for just three years but how long does one need to have a job to realize the organization is broken beyond belief? We need to pluck him from that morass while he is still relatively pure and a little idealistic, while he can still see with an outsider's eyes. He is ready and our country is desperately ready for the kind of change Barack Obama represents.

For the past few weeks, my wife Bonnie and I have been running a phone bank for Obama right in Bob's hometown of Milford. We've mobilized volunteers from Straford, Milford and other towns to reach out to hundreds of voters in nearby towns. The reception has actually been astonishingly positive. It is not often when making political cold calls that you hear from the other end "Thank you for doing what your're doing," or "I appreciate the call!" The Connecticut primary is just ten days away as I write this and your vote in the Democratic primary may very well be for the next President of the United States. It will count more than it ever has in the past. The time has come to get motivated, get to work, get out the vote and get our country going in a fundamentally new and better direction.
About Dave: Dave Mooney is a software engineer at Fujifilm Medical Systems and an active member of the Stratford DTC. He also ran for State Rep in the 120th Assembly District in 2006.

Those interested in volunteering can find an ever-growing list of local opportunities at You can also email me at or post comments below, which I will do my best to respond to.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Two great Americans were born today

On this date, exactly 49 years ago, two proud Americans and true patriots entered this world.

First, Keith Olbermann, the host of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" was born. K.O. is one of the bravest and most entertaining pundits in the media today. His observations are both humorous and informative. And when the situation calls for it, he's dead serious.

Happy birthday, Keith!

And now, to learn who that other "Great American" is that was born mere hours before K.O., click HERE!

He's in very good company.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

SC results exceed polls by a huge margin

Several weeks ago in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, polls projected Barack Obama winning over Hillary Clinton by as much as 11 points, only to lose to Clinton by 2 points.

Compare that to today's South Carolina primary, where Obama had a 15 point lead in the polls but won by a massive 28-point margin.

This begs the question: why is the latest and most scientific polling wrong so often all of a sudden? Has the demographic changed more rapidly than the polling methods? Are pollsters relying on less accurate systems of polling? Has the importance of polls been over exaggerated by the media? I dunno, but it seems worthwhile to look into it.

Over on CNN's website they have some demographic breakdowns of the voting. Perhaps the most intriguing fact is that exit polls showed that 61% of the Democratic voters were women. Typically, that would be a big help to Clinton. However, for Obama to have beaten Clinton by more than 20 point, there must have been a significant number who voted for Obama. I wonder if these percentages will carry over to the huge Super Tuesday primaries?

John Edwards finished with less than 20% of the vote, and if he couldn't get a significant percentage of the vote in South Carolina then it's obvious that his campaign is effectively over. I was hoping for a miracle, but sadly, it's not going to happen now.

Seeing as we're approaching the Connecticut Primary in 10 days, I'm going to endorse Barack Obama for President. I'll post something more substantive in the next several days, but for now I'm going to put up a link to the Obama Campaign website. Please visit it and support Senator Obama.

Obama lead in SC poll widens

In the last polling before the SC primary, Obama is the firmly established front runner. From Reuters via Boston.Com:
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama expanded his lead on rival Hillary Clinton to 15 points heading into South Carolina's bitterly contested presidential primary, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Saturday.

Obama, an Illinois senator, gained two points on Clinton overnight to lead 41 percent to 26 percent just hours before voting began in Saturday's primary. John Edwards was in third place after slipping two points to 19 percent.


The poll had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

Obama has led Clinton by double-digits in all four days of polls in South Carolina, fueled by a huge advantage among the black voters who are expected to make up about half of the electorate in the first Democratic primary in the South.

Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president, was favored by 62 percent of black voters, with Clinton at 18 percent and Edwards at 5 percent.
In other primary news, Sen. Hillary Clinton is appealing to the DNC to allow Florida's and Michigan's delegates to count in the national convention. This AP story via The Raw Story details the situation.

Clinton is the only top-tier candidate who campaigned in Florida, as the DNC has docked them their delegates as punishment for moving their primary against party rules. Florida has 185 delegates and whoever is awarded that number will gain nearly 10% of the delegates required for nomination.

Sen. Obama's campaign has stated that the senator regrets the state losing their delegates and that the voters of the state will be important in the general election.

Friday, January 25, 2008

South Carolina will influence Super Tuesday

Saturday's South Carolina Democratic primary will be important for the candidates.

Democrats John Edwards and Barack Obama are hoping to win and make significant progress, which will be in form of rising in the national polls and fund raising going into the big Super Tuesday primaries on February 5th. Hillary Clinton is the front runner in the primary count, with Obama only winning Iowa so far. John Edwards has been consistently placing third in the early primaries.

Obama is leading in polls in So. Carolina, so he's counting on a big win to propel him back to favorite status. Edwards is rapidly running out of time to make up for his losses, and a poor showing tomorrow may be it for him. However, both Clinton and Obama have lost ground in recent days while Edwards has surged in the polls, so tomorrow may provide a big surprise to the front runners.

The Republicans are battling it out in anticipation of Tuesday's Florida primary, with John McCain and Mitt Romney in a virtual dead heat. The Florida Democratic primary is essentially meaningless, because they've been stripped of their delegates for moving their primary date too early. Giuliani is polling a strong third place, which is significant since he previously led the state by a huge margin until last month. A poor showing might end his candidacy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Harry Reid and the Chamber of Wimpyness

The Senate will probably take up the FISA renewal discussion tomorrow, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to rally 'round the Republicans to ensure passage of the extension with joyful news for the telecoms.

In the form of immunity.

Which means Reid will work to deprive the American people of their rights to pursue legal action against these billion-dollar corporations for their part in illegally wiretapping innocent civilians.

Whatever happened to those Democrats who weren't afraid to fight for what they know is right? When was our party hijacked by sniveling little cowards who suck up to the big, bad President?

There IS one man who is standing up for us. Support Chris Dodd ( and the Senate Democrats who aren't afraid of George Bush and those terrible awful yet powerful telecoms.

Or, you can be a wimp. Like Harry Reid.

(click to enlarge)

Comic by Tom Tomorrow. Visit This Modern World.

Obama surges in South Carolina

(Click to enlarge)

Barack Obama has opened a significant lead over Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in South Carolina, according to polls reported at

South Carolina, scheduled for this Saturday, is the last Democratic primary that counts before the February 5th "Super Tuesday" 22-state contest. Florida's primary is next Tuesday, but the results will be largely symbolic. The DNC has disqualified all of Florida's delegates at the national convention because they moved their primary earlier than February 5th. Clinton is expected to win easily in the Sunshine State.

I'm a bit surprised that regional son John Edwards isn't polling higher. I don't know if that's because voters simply don't agree with him, or if they've concluded that this is gonna be a Clinton-Obama contest and they simply want to vote for the likely winner. Edwards is polling around 15% to Clinton's 31% and Obama's 44%.

Regardless of the polls, we all know that anything is possible. After Clinton's victory in New Hampshire when the polls indicated an easy Obama victory, I'm not assuming anything!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ron Paul replaces Giuliani on NY Times Election page

"Ouch! Dat's GOTTA hoit!"

Due to his dismal track record in the early primaries and caucuses, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani (often intentionally misspelled "Ghouliani", even "9ia11iani") has been dropped from the "Top Five" Republican candidates from the New York Times' online Election Guide results page.

Giuliani has been replaced on the list by slightly-less-than-longshot candidate Ron Paul, which probably has the "Paultards" dancing in the streets with joy. Paul has earned significant double-digit results in several contests.

UPDATE 1/23/08: Rudy's back in! Due to Fred "Grumpy ol' Man" Thompson dropping out, now there's room at the inn for Giuliani. Still, it was fun while it lasted!

Rudy's strategy of mostly skipping the early contests to focus his energy on next week's Florida primary seems to be a disaster in the making. He's currently trailing John McCain in his own home state of New York, and even with a gigantic victory in Florida, it may be too late to have a significant impact on the Super Tuesday 23-state contest, scheduled only 7 days after Florida.

With McCain's surge in the polls, odds are Giuliani is toast before he really gets started.

Don't worry,'ll always have those six-figure lecturing fees to help soothe your hurt feelings.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Obama speaks in MLK's church

On the day before the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Senator Barack Obama delivered a speech to the congregation of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

It's refreshing to hear a candidate speak about hope rather than fear! I dunno about anyone else, but I'm getting very tired of hearing about nothing but fear from most of our politicians.

There HAS to be something more to our nation than this non-specific and unfocused yet pervading fear that our "leaders" talk about so much.

This video is 34 minutes long, yet even with my atrophied attention span I managed to watch the entire thing, and even feel inspired by it.

For me, that's a rare thing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Lieberman hits Florida trail for McCain

Holy Joe is stumping for his best friend forever John McCain down in the Sunshine State. The Palm Beach Post has the story.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

McCain takes South Carolina


Just great.

Now Joe Lieberman is going to be even MORE insufferable.

I didn't think that was even possible.

Clinton, Romney projected winners in Nevada

Hillary Clinton is projected to win the Nevada caucus, with 50% of the vote to Barack Obama's 45% with 73% of the vote counted. John Edwards finished a disappointing third, with about 5%. Kucinich and Gravel are around 1%.

Mitt Romney trotted to an easy win, with about 55% of the Republican vote. McCain and Ron Paul both finish with about 12%.

These numbers will change slightly, but are expected to hold in terms of placement.

Dems battle it out in Nevada

Vigorous last-minute campaigning defined the final hours leading up to today's Nevada caucuses.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are locked in a close race, which will be decided most likely depending on which candidate's GOTV machine is more successful. Edwards is trailing in the polls. The recent court decision opened up a huge number of hospitality workers to caucus, which will benefit Obama. Clinton has the endorsement of the smaller teacher's union, but historically teachers are more politically involved than hotel and restaurant workers. So the election may depend on how many people from each group actually join in the caucuses.

The Democratic caucuses begin at 1:30PM EST (11:30AM in Nevada), and returns should start coming in within the following hours. By late this afternoon we'll probably have firm results for both parties. Recent polls shows Republican Mitt Romney has a significant lead over rivals Mike Huckabee and John McCain.

McCain is expected to easily win in today's South Carolina primary, which is typically a very important contest for the Republicans. The South Carolina Democratic primary will be next Saturday. Why the two parties couldn't agree on a single date probably is the result of the primary schedule shuffling that went on late last year.

If I was going to bet, I'd say Obama will win it in Nevada by a slim margin over Clinton, with Edwards showing a strong 3rd place.

There's been a lot of speculation by national political pundits that caucuses, which are public events, benefit Barack Obama compared to the regular primaries, as the New Hampshire results appear to support. I don't necessarily agree with that, but today's caucus results could add substance to that theory.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nevada court OKs caucus

The U.S. District Court ruled that Nevada Democrats are capable of running their own caucus this Saturday.

A challenge by a union with alleged ties to the Clinton campaign tried to block caucus locations on the Vegas strip because they claimed the rules unfairly represented certain groups.

Nevada's Democratic Party approved the precinct arrangement, and the DNC authorized it back in August, to make it easier for housekeepers, waitresses and bellhops to caucus during the day near work rather than have to do so in their neighborhoods.

However, immediately after the Culinary Workers Union, which comprises largely of service workers in the hospitality industry endorsed Barack Obama, the state teachers union, which supposedly has ties to Clinton, brought the suit.

The timing of the suit, which occurred right after the CWU endorsed Obama, smacks of political maneuvering. All the campaigns, and apparently the unions, were aware of Nevada's arrangements. Yet the teacher's union was quiet on the issue until AFTER the CWU gave it's approval to Barack.

Clinton campaign said it was not involved in the suit.

The suit contended party rules allowing the precincts gave too much power to the casino workers and violated federal equal protection guarantees.

But the judge said, "We aren't voting here, we're caucusing. That's something that parties decide."

He said it is "up to the national party and the state party to promulgate these rules and enforce them."

Good on you, judge.

I can't say that I'm entirely convinced Hillary is acting out of a sense of fairness or equality. Otherwise there would have been questions raised long before Sen. Obama gained the CWU endorsement. And keep in mind that while the teachers are typically off work and in their own neighborhoods on a Saturday, those who work in the 24/7 world of hospitality need to work through the weekends. Hence the accommodation to the workers. So, why did it suddenly become an issue to the teachers only AFTER the Obama endorsement came down?

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck.

A duck that wants to try to game the system in it's favor.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Help me decide

I'm at a loss here.

I honestly can't figure out who to vote for in the primary early next month.

I'm torn between supporting the candidate who most closely reflects my positions, or choosing a candidate who has a real chance at winning that may be less horrible than the other(s).

It's a very tough call.

I'm gonna try to narrow this down a bit, and we'll see where we end up. First of all, I'm not happy about any of the Republicans. Even the best of them is pretty much worse than the worst Democrat in the running. Sorry all you Republicans but that's how I feel.

So that eliminates about half the field.

I'm also rejecting any potential third-party candidates outright. Fuck 'em if they're too wimpy to choose a party and work to rise up through the ranks. Besides, third-party candidates are notoriously wacky. Consider Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Pat Paulson and Michael Bloomberg if you need examples. Sorry, I just don't want to vote for any of you guys.

OK, we're down to Democrats only.

And really, did you think I would end up anywhere else at this point?

Sadly, Chris Dodd has left the building before he ever really got going. I would have easily voted for him if he was still in it. And yes, I know he's on the ballot here in Connecticut. But I'm not going to waste my vote for a non-candidate just to make a point. I want to vote for someone who has at least a theoretical chance of winning the nomination.

Joe Biden is out, too. Along with Bill Richardson. Which narrows down the field even more. We're left with Clinton, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, and Obama.

I don't think I can seriously vote for Mike Gravel. First of all, I don't buy that bullshit where his name is supposedly pronounced "gra-VELLE" rather than "GRAV-el". The name should sound like those really small stones, not some weird French word. Sorry, I just can't see voting for a guy with a name like a character from "The Flintstones".

Out of the remaining four, it's fairly obvious that Dennis Kucinich has almost no chance of winning. However, I like Dennis, and I agree with many of his views, in spite of the ridicule I endure for it.

I think Dennis acts as the conscience of the Democrat party, and we absolutely NEED someone like that in the race. Plus, there's always the remote chance that a ginormous meteor will strike the next televised Democratic debate that Dennis is unfairly excluded from, and he'll end up as the de facto front-runner.

So even though he's technically still in it, I highly doubt that I'll end up voting for him.

Now we're down to three candidates. None are perfect. In fact, they all have serious defects in my opinion. But it looks like in order for my vote to really matter, I'll have to choose from the three of them.

All things being equal, John Edwards is the one I'd probably feel the least conflicted about supporting. He's the only moderate in that field from what I can see. A lot of my friends are big fans of his. But he's not showing very highly in the early primaries and his polls are consistently floating around third place. Maybe he'll do better in South Carolina on the 26th, and his numbers will look more promising. But right now, he'd gonna need a serious boost to be a front runner.

Now we get to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both candidates are picking up loads of endorsements from many important public figures. Case in point: Ned Lamont is backing Obama while former State Democratic Chairman George Jepsen is backing Clinton. There are similar cases of many people who apparently share similar political orientation choosing differently on these two candidates. Usually for no obvious reason.

So, I'm kind of stuck here between Clinton, Edwards, and Obama. I feel that we'll do better with ANY of them over George Bush, or over any Republican currently running. But I'd prefer to actually SUPPORT someone for good reason, rather than simply vote to avoid the worst candidate.

I'll probably wait until after South Carolina before making up my mind. It ain't gonna be easy. I welcome your suggestions and reasons I should support your favorite candidate. Feel free to comment on this.

Or, who knows? Maybe that meteor thing will work out after all.

It sure would make my decision much simpler.

UPDATE: This video (via Scare from MLN) of Hillary answering a question about Joe Lieberman is an example of why I tend to not like her. In fairness, I haven't seen Obama or Edwards answer a similar question. But it tells me that she refuses to even acknowledge Joe's relentless support FOR the war and AGAINST nearly every important Democratic initiative that Bush opposes. It really annoys me.

ACLU backs Senator Craig

...into a corner, that is.

Republican Senator Larry Craig found a friend in a most unlikely place (but then again, he's quite used to that):
Yesterday, the ACLU filed a brief supporting Craig. It cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago that found that people who have sex in closed stalls in public restrooms "have a reasonable expectation of privacy."


The ACLU argued that even if Craig was inviting the officer to have sex, his actions wouldn't be illegal.

So what they're saying, is that even if Senator Craig WAS looking for some random, anonymous, hot guy-on-guy action in an airport men's room stall (as the Senator basically admitted to in his guilty plea), it's his God-given RIGHT to do so as an American!

And not just ANY American, but a really really really closeted GAY American Senator!

It's wonderful that the ACLU is here for all of us, regardless of our race, creed, political, or sexual affiliation. Senator Craig has indeed found a special friend.

With support like that, who needs enemies?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

NBC can suck it

Well, as I feared, NBC's corporate lawyers stampeded into a Nevada courtroom, eager to prove themselves superior in the eyes of the law. In the process, they've certainly proven that NBC is a corporation run by filthy swine, who couldn't care less about fairness or fully covering the run to the presidency.

(NBC lawyers gather before the hearing)

What matters most is making the point that NBC is bigger than any one candidate, and if anyone else forgets that, they'll be given the "Kucinich Treatment".

Congratulations, NBC.

You've displayed the same level of journalistic integrity that I've come to expect from Fox News.

You can suck it, NBC.


(NBC executives)

Kucinich boned again

This time, it was NBC who dis-invited Dennis Kucinich to its sham of a debate. After inviting him just days before.


Speaking of invitations, I took up on theirs when they asked if anyone would like to submit a question for tonight's debate. Here's my question:

Nice, huh?

Yesterday Rep. Dennis Kucinich has sued NBC-TV in Las Vegas over his exclusion from the MSNBC debate.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Kucinich filed his lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order allowing him to participate in the nationally-televised debate among Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama. So far, there's no word on whether he'll succeed in either delaying the debate or getting NBC to overturn their exclusion.


From the Las Vegas R-J: High Court takes up NBC appeal on Kucinich
(apparently Dennis got a court order to make NBC accept him for the debate)

Lawyers representing NBC Universal Inc. today filed an emergency petition with the Nevada Supreme Court asking that Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich be barred from tonight’s debate at Cashman Center. The petition states that a District judge didn’t have jurisdiction this morning when he ordered NBC to let Kucinich take part in the debate. The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision today.

Michigan's crippled primary

This is becoming a theme for some January primaries, especially those not endorsed by their party's respective national committees.

The Democratic National Committee has decided to strip Michigan of all it's delegates to the national convention this summer, and the Republican National Committee has likewise punished the state, but only by reducing their delegates by 50%.

Barack Obama and John Edwards have agreed to the DNC's request that they not actively campaign in the state. Hillary Clinton is the only one of the "Big Three" candidates to disregard the DNC's wishes. This might lead to a landslide for Clinton, although it will be a meaningless victory.

And there's always the possibility that another candidate will win, or the category "uncommitted" will receive the most votes, which would probably be quite embarrassing for Clinton's campaign.

Over on the Republican side, at least two recent polls put Romney ahead of chief rival McCain, but a third showed McCain slightly ahead in the days leading up to the primary battle.

Because of Michigan's "open primary" law, registered voters are eligible to vote for either party. Readers of the blogs Daily Kos and FireDogLake have been urging progressive Democrats to cross party lines and vote for Mitt Romney, whom I'm guessing they believe may be easier to defeat in the general election than John McCain.

I'm not sure I entirely agree with this rational, but it's comforting to know that should we be inaugurating President Romney next January, at least we'll have somebody to blame for it!

See: Ralph Nader in 2000.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Here's a great link for Primary Results

The New York Times has a really useful guide/scorecard for the 2008 primary delegate count. Visit the New York Times Election Guide 2008 for valuable information on the primary race.

The DNC has prohibited any states other than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina from holding their primary or caucus before February 5th. So the Democratic contest will get no delegates from it. Quite a few candidates are honoring the DNC request to not campaign in Michigan, except for Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich.

The RNC has docked Michigan half their delegates, similar to the punishment Wyoming received for moving their primary up. There are 60 Republican delegates up for grabs, instead of their original 120.

One thing is certain: we need to figure out a way to solve this "front-loading" of primaries, or we'll continue to have these kinds of problems. If they don't fix this, eventually we'll have some primaries/caucuses occurring in mid-to-late December, nearly a YEAR before the general election.

Here's one possible solution.

And, because it's MY blog:



Woo-hoo!!! the Giants beat Dallas!

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Hampshire recount scheduled

The initial surprise at Hillary Clinton's astounding victory over Barack Obama in New Hampshire has transformed into widespread concern over the integrity of the voting machines. The media polls, exit polls, and campaign's own polling were significantly off the mark.

Several sources, including candidates Dennis Kucinich and Republican Albert Howard, have called for a manual recount of the paper ballots. Reports say that these candidates will bear the cost of the recount, which is scheduled to begin next Wednesday.

Via The Raw Story:
Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich, who received 1.4 percent of the New Hampshire primary vote, is demanding for a recount of Tuesday's primaries.

"This is not about me or Senator Clinton or Obama or what percentage they got, it is [about] the integrity of the election process," Kucinich said in an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox's Your World this Friday.

When Cavuto asked why Kucinich thought there was no integrity present, Kucinich said he believes there’s a chance that the voting machines may have "made a mistake."

"The Americans have a concern about integrity and whether the machines have flaws in them. This is the first time there is an opportunity to be able to answer the question," he said.

Cavuto pointed out that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama have questioned the integrity of the elections, and asked Kucinich if he was just "stirring the pot."

"Look what happened in Florida in 2000, what happened in Ohio in 2004," Kucinich responded. "It's not about me, it is about the American people."

Secretary of State Bill Gardner has said that Kucinich must pay for the recounts under state law.

Kucinich said he doesn't expect the recount to affect the results, but that "it is imperative that these questions be addressed in the interest of public confidence in the integrity of the election process and the election machinery."

Kucinich's Speech in New Hampshire

This is the full speech at the Primary Night results viewing party at Jillian's in Manchester, New Hampshire. Despite the knowledge that they wouldn't pull a huge percentage of votes, Dennis's supporters were relentlessly upbeat and full of progressive energy. It was a terrific evening, with plenty of food and drink, and a few open pool tables for an early evening game.

Sal Liccione is the Connecticut Coordinator for the Kucinich campaign. He went out of his way to ensure Dennis and Elizabeth said "Hi" to me.

This is me at the bar, concentrating intently on the bottles to see if they could make me a Vodka and Robitussin, as I was rapidly weakening with the flu. I decided on a Harpoon IPA, which tasted really good, but may have contributed to me getting sick that much faster.

Dennis and Elizabeth greet supporters outside the restaurant. There was plenty of snow on the ground, but it was quite balmy for a January night in New Hampshire.

Dennis makes a point during his memorable speech. It's really a shame that more voters don't get the opportunity to hear his message. If he only had Ron Paul's money and John Edwards' numbers, we'd have a true progressive topping the race.

All in all, it was a fine evening. Lots of fun and plenty of drama, thanks to the surprising Clinton victory.

Many thanks are due to Sal and Ed Anderson; because of them, I wasn't forced to spend the night in the van. The next day, I finished my job at the airport (coincidentally, I was sent to Manchester for work on primary day!), drove home, and promptly fell asleep for 14 hours! That must have helped, because I'm feeling much better now.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ned Lamont backs Obama

Quick and to the point.

Hey, I know that guy!

Melissa Bailey knows him too, over at The New Haven Independent.

Kucinich on Primary Night

I was very lucky to get a moment to ask Rep. Kucinich (DK2008.COM) a brief question about impeachment at Jillian's Pub where his campaign was set up to watch the returns from the New Hampshire primary. A transcript of the video is below.

I'll have more to post about Primary Night in Manchester in a day or so, but right now I'm down with the flu and it's all I can do to edit this video and make even a bit of sense right now.

I will now return to my regularly scheduled NyQuil coma.
CT Bob: Congressman, what is the biggest obstacle to impeachment in the House currently?

Kucinich: The feeling that there’s a political advantage to the Democrats in letting the president stay in, being unchallenged, and more or less letting the people of the country render a judgement in the November election against all Republicans.

But that’s folly. Because what they’re doing actually is undermining the Constitution. Impeachment is mentioned six places in the Constitution, the founders felt very strongly about a remedy to achieve an effective check and balance.

So I’m gonna persist, and very soon I’ll be introducing articles, it’ll be about a fifty-count charge against the president.

CT Bob: Who is your biggest supporter in the impeachment drive?

Kucinich: The American people.

CT Bob: Very good, thank you Congressman.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Just got back from New Hampshire

Left my house at 3AM yesterday, then I ended up working all day yesterday and this morning at the airport, fixing a network problem. Last night I managed to get into town to spend Primary Night at Dennis Kucinich's party. I shot plenty of video, which I'm transferring into my computer as I type this, and hopefully I'll get something online tomorrow.

I'm fighting the flu apparently, so I'll cut this short so I can take some NyQuil and go to bed. Laters.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Pitchforks and torches

Well, I think Fox News is learning a big lesson about political fairness. And that message is:

"Don't fuck with Ron Paul!"

I continue to be amazed at the amount of grassroots and netroots support Paul has generated, and by the fierce loyalty of his followers. I'm not condoning anyone's behavior here, but I do think that Paul's supporters had a valid point against Fox, which they made abundantly clear to both Fox News shill Sean Hannity (below) and GOP operative Frank Luntz (bottom).

This video is from Melissa Bailey's story in the New Haven Independent today. In the comments section I suggested that Luntz's frenzied exclamation would make an appropriate replacement for Fox News's contradictory slogan "Fair and balanced".

Luntz responded to angry Paul supporters with this gem:

“I don’t owe you guys anything”

I dunno about anyone else, but I can't help but feel that Primary season is like Christmas over and over, coming every few days! That, and the fact that the NY Giants won on the road yesterday makes me one happy S.O.B.!

Everything I know I learned since Jan. 20, 2001

Neal Starkman, guest columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, has written this snarkilicious tirade on the things he's learned from the last seven years under the Bush/Cheney administration:
Being a Christian is the best. It's not really OK to be a Jew unless you live in Israel, the Promised Land. Mormons should learn how to be more Christian. Everyone else should convert or die.

The U.S. does well when huge corporations are allowed to do whatever they want. The more we can make rich people richer, the better it will be for everybody:

Rich people hire everyone else to work for them, making our economy robust.

Rich people got rich because of the free market system and their own individual efforts, for which they should be rewarded. Those people who aren't rich have only themselves to blame.

People in high office -- like the president and the vice-president -- have difficult, complicated jobs. If they forget to do stuff, or if they cut corners here and there, or if they tell a white lie now and then, that's OK, because the important thing is for them to protect us not only from bad things but also from thinking about bad things, unless they feel we need to. The only thing a president shouldn't do is to have sex with someone who's not his wife -- because that's a betrayal of the American people's trust...

To view the entire screed, which reads like the gospel of conservative opinions, click on The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Please welcome CT Progressive Newswire

My friend MattW has started a new progressive blog, The Connecticut Progressive NewsWire.

Matt's own words:
"...I’ve decided to launch The Connecticut Progressive News Wire: a blog and (once we’re up to speed) weekly mailing list that will bring news, organizing and volunteer opportunities, legislative updates, job listings, and other resources from around the state together in one place."
Congratulations, Matt! We look forward to having another forum for sharing ideas, making friends, and maybe even getting better government!

Taking lemons...

The latest polls are indicating a significant (but not unexpected) surge by Barack Obama in New Hampshire, and now Hillary Clinton's campaign is doing its best to spin the bad news into something good.

The MSM appears to be defining the candidates by these terms: Clinton is the "establishment" candidate and Obama is the "change" candidate. Edwards is the "underdog", and Richardson barely rates. And Dennis Kucinich has been relegated to non-viable status by the MSM.

I find it interesting that the entire corporate-media complex has bought into this view without question. Either they like everything to be as simple as possible for public consumption, or they have a hidden agenda here. Or both.

The top news story tonight is the "Obama surge", and in response Bill Clinton spoke in defense of his wife over the weekend, by comparing his presidency to his wife's potential administration. Via the WaPo:
He blamed the news media, in part, for the Iowa outcome, contending that reporters have given a free pass to Senator Obama, who won the caucuses by a convincing eight percentage points.

Yet Mr Clinton remains a rock star among the Democratic Party faithful, and in a weekend speech, he framed his wife's candidacy as a resumption of his own tenure.

"Remember how bad the economy was when I was president?" he joked, touting Hillary Clinton's job-creation agenda. Citing her budget discipline, he noted: "We paid down the debt."

He slipped on velvet gloves to swipe at Senator Obama. "You have to decide what this election is about," Mr Clinton said. "Do you want a feeling of change, do you want the facts of change? … I have never known anybody who can make a more positive difference in more peoples' lives even without a political office.

If you make her president of the United States, there is no limit to what she will achieve. She will make a great, great president."

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Polls show Obama surging in NH

Polls taken after Thursday's Iowa Caucuses are showing a significant 13-point lead opening up in New Hampshire for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, with Edwards trailing. On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain has a much smaller lead over Romney and Huckabee.

We're only 36 hours from the start of the New Hampshire Primaries, so it's likely that these polls will get a huge amount of play during Monday's news cycle. There are a couple ways that this may impact the voting, such as a close race energizing the supporters, or a wider lead perhaps giving the impression that the race is already over.

I'll be watching this closely and see if there's any interesting trends that develop over the course of the day tomorrow.

From USA Today:
Sen. Barack Obama has opened up a 13 percentage point lead over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the battle for votes in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll conducted in the state from Friday through this afternoon. The results were just released.

On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain is 4 percentage points ahead of Mitt Romney.

The surveys of 776 New Hampshire residents who are "likely" to vote in the Republican primary and 778 New Hampshire residents who are "likely" to vote in the Democratic primary were all completed after the news from Thursday's Iowa caucuses had been reported.

The rundowns:


• Obama: 41%; up from 32% in the last USA TODAY/Gallup New Hampshire poll, taken in mid-December.
• Clinton: 28%; down from 32%.
• John Edwards: 19%; up from 18%.
• Gov. Bill Richardson: 6%; down from 8%.
• No one else above 3%.


• McCain: 34%; up from 27% in mid-December.
• Romney: 30%; down from 34%.
• Mike Huckabee: 13%; up from 9%.
• Rep. Ron Paul: 8%; down from 9%.
• Rudy Giuliani: 8%; down from 11%.
• No one else above 3%.

Each figure has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. So Obama's lead is "outside" that range, while McCain's is not.

A new CNN/WMUR poll gives Obama a 10-point advantage over Clinton, and has McCain leading Romney by 6 points.

Father/Son team up for Edwards

(Hartford Courant photo)

Adam Talbot and Jeff ("Dad") Talbot are featured on a front page article in today's Hartford Courant, and the online version of the story includes a nice video of their experiences (click link to view).

Adam and Dad are best known for building the iconic "Kiss float", which became the ubiquitous symbol of Ned Lamont's insurgent campaign against DC insider and warmongering blowhard Senator Joe Lieberman in 2006.

Adam, then 16, took the design from the famous "Kiss button", created by CT Keith (Crane) early in the effort to unseat Lieberman, and built it into a larger-than-life "float", mounted on the back of a pickup truck (often Jon Kantrowitz's vehicle) that appeared across the state in the run up to both the primary and general elections.

Adam and Jeff's efforts absolutely had a tremendous effect on the outcome of the primary, and for their efforts they've received little reward, except our eternal gratitude and the knowledge that they personally helped make a difference.

Today, with them working up in New Hampshire, I can't help but think they'll help make a difference in the Edwards campaign too.

Well done!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Wyoming's crippled caucus

Lost in the post-Iowa/pre-New Hampshire shuffle is the neglected Wyoming Republican caucus.

There are good reasons why this caucus is getting so little coverage, when it decides exactly as many Republican delegates (12) as New Hampshire.

First, the Wyoming Republicans decided to move their caucus from the formerly approved date of March 8th, to the much earlier January 5th. The Republican National Committee tried to deter Wyoming Republicans from moving their date up. Much like the DNC successfully did to keep the March 8th Democratic caucus date intact.

In response to Wyoming moving their date, the RNC has cut their 28 delegates to only 14. And local party rules are reserving two delegates to be selected later, so only 12 are to be decided today. Additionally, the RNC has asked the Republican candidates to not make any appearances in the state for a month before the Iowa caucuses. So nobody has shown up in Wyoming since the first week in December.

No candidates = no press coverage

This early in the race, visibility and momentum are much more important than sheer delegate numbers. This helps with fund raising and media coverage. If the only thing that counted was delegates, all the candidates would be ignoring backwoods states like Iowa and New Hampshire, and they'd focus all their attention on states like California, NY, and Texas.

A few other states have messed with the national committees and have been stripped of delegates. Michigan and Florida are both being punished by the DNC for moving into January without permission, which is why we're not hearing much about those more populous states. February 5th is the earliest date the DNC allows non-authorized states to hold their primaries/caucuses.

That's why we're getting over 20 states, representing about half the delegates, holding their elections on that date.

At 6:30PM, the latest results I have for Wyoming is Romney taking 8 delegates, Thompson taking 2, and Hunter getting 1, with 1 more to be decided.

And most people couldn't care less.

Jim Himes reaches out to the Latino community

Earlier today Jim Himes ( stopped by and videotaped a short message to the Latino community in celebration of Three Kings Day (Epiphany) and the New Year.

Jim speaks flawless Spanish as a result of being born to American parents who lived in Peru and Colombia for much of his childhood.

There's two versions of this video: Regular (Spanish only) and Extra-Gringo (with English subtitles). I've included the latter video below. Enjoy!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Getting some major hits

The last several days I've witnessed a huge jump in blog hits. Like, 20- to 30-fold the normal traffic I get.

And I know why.

I wrote about this phenomenon some weeks ago; but since Wednesday, it's absolutely gone through the roof. Already I've gotten far more hits in January than I had in all of December.

My article about the Primary Schedule, which I originally wrote back in late November of 2006 in the aftermath of the big senate election, has found itself in the very first position on Google when searching for the phrase "primary schedule" (sponsored links notwithstanding).

When I first noticed I was getting referrals from Google, and saw my position of supreme authority on their list of results, I started updating the info regularly.

The frequent updates to the post helped keep me high on the list, I think.

For the last few months I've been averaging anywhere from 100-350 hits per day. Today and yesterday I've gotten over 8,000 hits total, and it's still going strong. When I look at the referrals in the Sitemeter page, it shows about 90-95% hits via Google.

Apparently, people are curious about where this screwed up primary schedule is taking us next. Lots of people.

The good news is that the primary page's sudden popularity has brought new readers to the blog, and I'm also getting a lot of people linking to my site for the first time in quite a while. It seems they're coming for the primary schedule, and then a significant number are reading the other articles.

This makes me happy!

Plus, for at least a few days, this blog will be the most popular political website in Connecticut, based on total hits.


New Hampshire polling data

Last night may have changed things a bit, but for reference purposes, here's the most recent polling data available from

These graphs don't reflect the Iowa results nor those candidates who have dropped out. But they'll make a good baseline comparison for the trends, and the inevitable polls we'll see as we approach Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

(Click on images to enlarge)

(Click on images to enlarge)

Chris Dodd's post-caucus speech

Immediately after the returns came in, Sen. Dodd decided to retire from the race for president. Fortunately, he'll continue to fight for important issues in the Senate.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Obama, Huckabee prevail in Iowa

UPDATE: CNN announces Chris Dodd withdraws from race. More later.

The results are pretty much definite right now (10:10PM ET), and true to what the polls were trending, Illinois senator Barack Obama and Republican regular guy Mike Huckabee won their party's respective caucuses tonight.

Speaking of Mike Huckabee's win tonight, I'll never again doubt the AWESOME power of Chuck Norris!

With 94% of the Democratic caucuses reporting, Obama clearly leads with 37% of the vote, against a close second/third place for Edwards and Clinton, around 30% each. Other Democrats rated less than 2%.

Mike Huckabee rolled to an easy victory with 34% of the vote, and MA Gov. Mitt Romney placed second with around 25%. Rounding out the Republicans were Thompson (14%), McCain (13%), upstart Ron Paul with a significant 10%, and scary warmonger Rudy Giuliani fortunately pulling in only 4% of Iowa's Republicans.

Live Iowa caucus results

Found this link on FireDogLake, where Jane is live blogging from Iowa.

This is the Live Caucus Results (LINK) page from Iowa, which refreshes every thirty seconds. It appears to work, because I waited a bit for it to update, and at 8:13PM ET it's giving results. Check it out.

Iowa Caucus Primer

Today is the first major milestone in the race to the White House. The Iowa Caucus will be held tonight.

To help clear up the confusion about the caucus, here's a little primer on Iowa's unique system.

The caucus differs from a primary, in that instead of all-day voting similar to a general election (like in New Hampshire's primary next Tuesday), the Iowa caucus are composed of a bunch of meetings held across the state.

Starting at 6:30 PM CT for the Democrats, 7PM for the Republicans, Iowans have to show up at a precinct, regardless of the weather, and each caucus goer stands up at the meeting and declares their support for a presidential candidate.

They then group themselves by who they support and take a head count. It is determined before the caucus how many delegates will come out of that precinct, and depending on the number of voters in the room, divided by number of delegates designated, each presidential candidate gets one, or two, three (or so forth) delegates.

If after the first head count a presidential candidate does not have enough votes for even one delegate, his supporters are free to move to another candidate. This is where the fun starts. The other camps invite these free voters to join their candidate, hoping to get enough additional votes to qualify for yet another delegate.

After this reshuffle, they take another vote. In the end, they will report out something like this: 3 delegates for Candidate A, 2 for Candidate b and 1 for Candidate C, and none for the rest.

Here's a clever little video by the John Edwards campaign on how the caucus works:

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

CGG's Farewell Party

Connecticut Local Politics front pager and longtime blogger Melissa Ryan (aka Caffeinated Geek Girl) is moving to Boston to take a position as the Internet Outreach Coordinator for ActBlue. So we had a little get together for her at Sullivan's Pub in New Haven, which was the unofficial blogger's HQ during the Lamont/Lieberman race last year.

Here's a few pictures, hot off the SD memory chip:

CTLP front pagers Melissa and Gabe Rosenberg.

Just the gals, L to R: Christine Stuart (CT News Junkie), Irish Patty, Melissa, Maura (HimesForCongress.Com), and Tessa (MLN diarist).

A motley collection of troublemakers, L to R: Spazeboy, CT Blogger, Tparty, Gabe, Melissa, Tessa, CT Bob, TrueBlueCT, Maura, CT News Junkie, Neal Fink, and Todd from MyDD. Click on the image to show full size.

Click HERE to see Christine's account of the party at CT News Junkie.

Fun time tonight; we all wish Melissa the very best, and we look forward to seeing her often down here in nearly all-blue Connecticut!