Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Never pass up a chance

...to mock Fox News.

"It's split"...yeah, right!

I love how the lady in the back smacks down her man's arm when it accidently raises for McCain, and then they both "vote" for Obama! And even better, how funny is it when the entire room laughs out loud at the reporter's lame-assed comments?

And here's a good video by Brave New Films about McCain]s consistently inconsistent positions regarding the economy.

(h/t to Markos)

And I don't really know why, because it's just plain silly more than witty or ironic, but this poster makes me laugh:

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pro- and Con- Constitutional Rallies

(Doug Hardy photo) Christine Stuart wrote an account about the dueling constitutional rallies from the Capitol on Sunday.

CT News Junkie has the details:
On the south lawn of the state Capitol more than 50 people rallied against convening a Constitutional Convention, while thousands gathered on the north side of the Capitol in support of a convention, with the ultimate goal of banning gay marriage in the state.

More than 2,000 people traveled to Hartford Sunday to let lawmakers and judges know they are opposed to gay marriage.

“We are here today to send a message to the court to say, ‘Hands off marriage, let the people decide’,” Peter Wolfgang, executive director of The Family Institute of Connecticut, said.
A constitutional convention would open up the possibility of amending the laws in Connecticut to allow the same kind of expensive and ill-conceived ballot driven initiatives, such as the endless stream of "propositions", that voters in California are subjected to, often with disastrous results.

The basic idea of constitutional law is to protect even unpopular freedoms. The looming prospect of "mob rule", with its attendant fear campaigns, scare tactics, and emotional appeals, isn't what our nation was founded upon. We need to protect freedoms for everyone, regardless of what your personal beliefs are. Just as religious people would hate it if their right to worship as they wish was curtailed in any way, we should also protect everyone's rights to equality under the law.

In November, support a "NO" vote on the Constitutional Convention question.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sailboat racing in the rain

UPDATE! Holy crap! A bunch of drunken sailors (with a few sober ones mixed in) managed to raise over $15,000 for this very worthy cause! Awesome!

Upper UPDATE: It looks like once all the donations are gathered, we'll have raised something like $20K! Woohoo! More info about the regatta (with photos) on my sailing blog!

This weekend I'm in Branford for a charity event, The Wellness Cup. This year is the first of an annual charity race to raise funds for the "The Wellness Group - Southern Connecticut", an international non-profit organization dedicated to providing free support, education, and hope to people with cancer and their loved ones.

We entered the regatta and sailed in somewhat nasty conditions (light to moderate rain most of the race) but we prevailed and did well. The main point of this is not just to have fun on the water, but to raise money for this very worthy charity. (Pictured above clockwise from lower left: CT Joyce, Lori and Tim Nicholson - and yes, it was very wet out there)

Click on the link above to get more info about the event, and please feel free to make a contribution to The Wellness Group at this address:

The Wellness Community-Southern Connecticut, Inc.
P.O. Box 2182
Branford, CT 06405

Make checks out to TWC-SCT. Thanks!

Friday, September 26, 2008

John McCain's "Seagull Mission"

(image and article concept by Bob Symmes)

I've always had a bit of grudging admiration for Richard M. Nixon, who despite his many character flaws, was a very perceptive guy. This fact becomes most apparent when you listen to him talk, either on his "self-bugged" White House tapes, or in interviews many years after he left the Oval Office in ignominy.

During once such occurrence, Nixon complained about someone's interference in the Vietnam-era Paris Peace Talks. He referred to the unnecessary intrusion as a "seagull mission".

In plain terms, or as John Sidney McCain might say, "straight talk", a seagull mission is when somebody swoops in on an ongoing process, makes a lot of noise, shits on everyone and everything, then swoops out again. This is absolutely what McCain did with the delicate economic negotiations yesterday. Before he came in and messed everything up, both parties had a tentative agreement in place. Afterward, the Republicans changed their proposal, added a bunch of ridiculous demands, and then absolutely refused to negotiate further.

I couldn't find the exact quote Nixon used, but here's an example of a "seagull mission" is available from an online document about a Canadian hearing (Pg. 5 Col. 1):
Years ago I did a fair amount of work on security services, and especially on their accountability. One of the terms used in security services is a seagull mission, where a spy or an agent flies into an area, makes a mess all over the place, then flies out again. I have a sense that quite often deputy ministers are on seagull missions in departments. They fly in, make a mess of things, and then fly out after a year.
Mission accomplished Sen. McCain. That's some great leadership you're showing there.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dodd: White House meeting a "disaster"

In what is being perceived as a blatantly partisan maneuver, President Bush and House Republicans at this mornings White House meeting presented a bailout proposal significantly different than the one that both parties had essentially agreed to previously.

From WSJ Market Watch:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Sen. Chris Dodd, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, said Thursday that bipartisan meeting with President Bush at the White House on the mortgage rescue plan was nothing short of a disaster.
When the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee uses the word "disaster" to describe the new plan, you know they changed the agreement Dodd thought they had.
In an interview on the CNN cable news network, Dodd described a meeting in which Democrats were blindsided by a new core mortgage proposal from House Republicans, with the tacit backing of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. "I am not going to sign on to something I just saw this afternoon," he said. Dodd said Republicans and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had to decide what they wanted to support. The whole meeting "looked like a rescue plan for John McCain," Dodd said. He said he was simply going to pretend that the meeting had never happened
It shouldn't come as that much of a surprise to anyone. You can't expect this administration to act honorably now when they've blown every single chance they had for the last eight years. THIS is indicative of the Bush administration's unwillingness to work with Congress. And of course, John McCain sat there today like a nodding fool, agreeing with everything the President says without question.

The salient point to remember is that this entire last minute shift by the Republicans may have not occurred if John McCain didn't take it upon himself to try to insert himself in the proceedings despite having zero expertise or experience in these kinds of financial matters.

And don't forget that if an agreement WAS reached today, John Sidney McCain wouldn't have been able to stick with his lame excuse to avoid debating Barack Obama.

You can run, John, but you can't hide forever.

Hold everything; time for a photo op!

Early today, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said that a deal for the massive bailout is almost complete. But that hasn't stopped John Sidney McCain from trying to insert himself into the crisis in a vain attempt to steal credit for the deal.

From Reuters:
"All of sudden, now that we are on the verge of making a deal, John McCain here drops himself in to help us make a deal," Frank said.

He expressed fear that McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona who has spent much of the year away from the Capitol campaigning, could end up slowing down work on the bill.

The Massachusetts Democrat noted that a meeting on Capitol Hill on Thursday will be interrupted for a "photo op" at the White House with congressional Democrats and Republicans as well as Bush.
And, accurately describing what may at the very heart of McCain's sudden and inexplicable interference in the negotiations, Frank said,
"We're trying to rescue the economy, not the McCain campaign."
Now that a deal is basically complete, we have George Bush scheduling a White House meeting with McCain, Barack Obama, and leading members of Congress this morning. While the legislators should be hammering out the final details of the deal, instead they have to table their work to show up for the GOP orchestrated photo op.

This has all the makings of carefully constructed GOP political theater. You have to give them credit for transforming a bipartisan economic crisis into a partisan political opportunity. Now that the bulk of the work is complete, the Republicans get to praise McCain for his immediate and utterly useless interference in the matter as if it made a difference.

If only the Bush administration had used the same amount of ingenious effort in leading the nation, I can only imagine how different things might be today!

(h/t to Connecticut Yankee in the MLN comments)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain pulls cheap political stunt

It's a transparent grab for political advantage.

It's grandstanding.

John McCain haughtily announced today that he'll go back to D.C. tomorrow to work on the bailout negotiations, and he wants to postpone Friday night's debate with Barack Obama.

Why is it so important for a senator who's on the Armed Services Committee, the Commerce/Science/Transportation Committee, and the Indian Affairs Committee to inject himself into the negotiations? In other words, why does a senator who has nothing to do with economic or financial committees insist on suspending his presidential campaign to leap into the fray like a half-assed super hero?

Three reasons immediately spring to mind:

1) To look like he's needed in the negotiations. He's not. He has no experience or expertise in these areas. He'll only be needed for his eventual vote, for which he'll have enough notice to get back to the Capitol in time. In a way, it would be great to have McCain back in the Senate, since he hasn't bothered to vote even ONCE since April 8th. That's 109 votes in a row he missed.

2) Photo op and publicity. Of course. Anything to reverse his desperate slide down in the polls.

3) Postpone the debate, for which he's vastly outgunned. He probably isn't getting a lot of sleep lately worrying about it. Plus, he won't have the new darling of the GOP, Sarah Palin, on his arm when he's alone up there on the stage.

It's obvious what he's doing. Desperation is driving McCain to more and more outlandish maneuvers. Everyone sees it.


"Fright Club"

"His name is Henry Paulson."

"Go ahead, Cornelius, you can cry."

Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson painted a terrifying picture of total financial doom if Congress doesn't act, like fucking immediately, to rescue Wall Street corporations with the hugest government bailout in recent history.

Oh, and don't even attempt to watch what they do with the money, or else that doom might still come a-knockin'.

Welcome to "Fright Club"!

"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

It took us nearly a decade to get into this crisis. We aren't going to solve it overnight by burying it in tax dollars. Congress needs to take a little time to plan a reasonable solution. But Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Congress needs to act swiftly to preserve the health of the U.S. economy and stem a widening crisis that started with housing and has spread to other areas.

"With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels."

Fortunately, there are some legislators who won't allow themselves to be held hostage. Like Senator Dodd.

"There is no second act to this," Dodd said. "It is critically important that we get this right."

The Bush administration is (naturally) asking for a "blank check." On Tuesday, Paulson and Bernanke argued that too many restrictions on the program would limit its effectiveness at a critical time.

"I am Jack's complete lack of surprise."

Additional hearings are scheduled for today. We'll be watching this closely.

(quotes and the photoshopped image above are,
of course, from the movie "Fight Club")

Rally to preserve rights in Hartford


* Rally to expose hidden agenda behind calls for Constitutional Convention
* Urging "No" vote on November 4 ballot question
* Exposing agenda of Family Institute and Constitutional Convention Campaign
* Rally includes street theater of foxes conning their way into hen-house, 2:15 PM
* South Lawn of State Capitol
* Sponsored by newly-formed CT Civil Rights Defense Coalition

A coalition of minority rights advocates will rally this Sunday in Hartford to expose what they perceive as the hidden agenda behind calls for a state Constitutional Convention.

Organizers of the "Hands Off Our Constitution Rally" will urge a "No" vote on the November 4 ballot question which asks if Connecticut should hold a Constitutional Convention.

The Connecticut Civil Rights Defense Coalition formed earlier this month in response to the agenda of the main groups pushing for ballot initiatives and referenda: the Family Institute of Connecticut and the Constitutional Convention Campaign.

"FIC opposes current no-fault divorce laws, reproductive choice, 'Plan B' emergency contraception for rape victims, same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination protections for gender non-conforming people," said Frank O'Gorman, Director of People of Faith and a member of the Coalition. "Imposing this inhumane agenda on Connecticut is their mission; ballot initiatives would be their attempted means," he warned.

The Constitutional Convention Campaign is interested in "immigration reform" and a three-strikes law, both of which would disproportionately incarcerate and disenfranchise Black and Latino communities according to a fact sheet developed by the Coalition and available on the People of Faith CT website, faithCT.net.

"Nationally, affirmative action has been repealed by ballot initiatives in three states and hospital care for undocumented immigrants has come under attack," noted O'Gorman. "We simply refuse to permit civil and human rights in Connecticut to be up for popular vote," he added.

The rally will include a skit at 2:15 pm of foxes conning their way into a hen house in order to dramatize the threats to civil rights in Connecticut of convening a Constitutional Convention.

The "Hands Off Our Constitution Rally" will take place on the south lawn of the State Capitol on September 28 at 2:00 pm.

Coalition Fact Sheet

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shays buoyed by Realtors PAC

Rep. Chris Shays has been the recipient of large amounts of campaign assistance and commercial buys from the National Association of Realtors PAC, according to The Hill:
Shays, who faces businessman Jim Himes, received $510,000 in assistance, including $260,000 in direct mail and $210,000 on TV ads. Both Shays and (Republican Michigan Rep. Joe) Knollenberg got about $40,000 in surveys, as well.
The immediate question that comes to mind is, why is a powerful PAC like the National Association of Realtors so interested in keeping a Republican like Chris Shays in office? To the tune of a half-million dollars? Are they just generous people, who believe Shays will work to protect the interests of the "Joe Citizens" out there?

Or might they expect a little quid pro quo from Shays should he win in November, in the form of votes that are helpful to the PAC's members?

Do you really need to think about the answer here?

Shays's 21-year reign in Congress is threatened by Democrat Jim Himes, who is currently polling even with Shays in Connecticut's 4th Congressional District. The Himes campaign responded in a press release, stating that:
"...one of the special interest groups that benefited from the sub prime mortgage scams on Wall Street, the National Association of Realtors, announced that it is spending over half a million dollars to reelect Chris Shays. As they pushed millions of Americans to buy homes they couldn't afford, Realtors collected fee after fee as more and more houses changed hands, and the Wall Street bubble grew bigger and bigger.

"Chris Shays cannot bring solutions to Washington when he is in the pocket of lobbyists for one of the industries that benefited from the subprime crisis," said Michael Sachse, Spokesman for the Himes campaign. "In years past, Chris Shays would have spoken out against this kind of outside influence, but now that polls show he's tied with Jim Himes he's taking help from any lobbyist with a dollar to spare."
More like a half-million bucks to spare, from one of the most powerful special interest groups out there! That ain't no chump change.

They want something in return.

And Chris Shays is just the guy to give it to them, if we let him.

The Fifth Man

A quick video refresher on John Sidney McCain's involvement in the "Keating Five" scandal, and it's cost to Americans.

The is the guy the GOP wants to have in charge. No thanks.

(go to Third-Term.com for more)

Blog: Sarah Palin Sexism Watch

Recently I came across something interesting while I was googling Sarah Palin.

(Gee, upon rereading that, it sounds kind of suggestive, eh? Oh well, I'm off to a bad start already.)

Anyway, it's the "Sarah Palin Sexism Watch" (SPSW), a blog whose stated purpose is:
"...to monitor, and round up, the sexist treatment given to Republican VP nominee, Sarah Palin. This blog will focus on sexist reactions to the Palin nomination by the media and politicians."
That, in and of itself, is an admirable goal. We all know that sexism has no place in politics; or indeed, anywhere in our culture. So this blog showcases instances and quotes of real (or in some cases, perceived) sexism. 245 posts so far this month. That's some kind of volume they got going there!

When I looked through the blog, I did find valid examples of blatant sexism in the media and by public figures. However, there are also many instances of reasonable criticism that are labeled "sexist", when they would equally apply to a male politician. Just as there is a need to watch for sexism in writings about Gov. Palin, we also need to call out people who use the VP candidate's gender as an excuse to attack the left or the media and label them sexist.

And some examples are downright weird. I find it ironic that the moderator of the blog puts up verbatim quotes of what she considers sexist, and yet by repeating the quotes she is guilty of expanding their reach. For instance, I had absolutely no idea what Margaret Cho (the comic) wants to do with Ms. Palin's undercarriage until I read about it in SPSW. For someone who claims that Cho's monologue is "rhetorical rape", I was a little surprised to see the entire screed posted on her blog, thereby subjecting Ms. Palin again to this supposed trauma.

Or when a blog article is entitled "Palin/McCain porn", and the text says
"Only click on this one if you want to throw up." (link omitted here)

So really...who's NOT going to click on it?

Another recent instance is when they claimed sexism by the SNL skit that referenced possible incest in the Palin family, and yet they included a Youtube clip of the sketch, albeit taken out of context; you couldn't tell that the press conference was supposedly for the NY Times and the clip was only a small part of it. They also have a link to a website that sells T-Shirts with Palin's face on in and the word "RepubliC*nt" written below it. (While I prefer there be no words off-limits on this blog, that's one of the very few I won't type. Regardless, I have a feeling this article won't be selected for the Hartford Courant this week.) They also link to a website where you can get a T-shirt that says "I'm the guy Sarah Palin blew to get the nomination".

When I questioned the blog owner about the GOP's vociferous sexism that Hillary Clinton endured for the last 18 years, she replied that because Clinton was no longer running she wouldn't address it. I guess during all those years of blatant, over-the-top sexist attacks on Hillary, Ms. Moderator sat on her hands and quietly seethed over it. Apparently she wasn't quite moved enough to actually write anything in Hillary's defense.

But when the GOP's "Golden Girl" suddenly burst onto the scene from total obscurity less than a month ago, this transparently partisan blog emerged from the primordial ooze of the conservative movement like a prehistoric amphibian taking it's first shaky steps onto land.

Oops, I forgot; Ms. Palin is a Creationist. She thinks the Earth is only 6,000 years old and Evolution shouldn't be taught in schools. Sorry about that blatantly sexist metaphor.

Anyway, I confess that I get a laugh out of stuff like a PBS poll asking if Palin is qualified to be VP being labeled "sexist" by the blog. The excessive number of ambiguous or downright WRONG accusations diminishes what should be a clear message against sexism. And if they included examples of women in other parties who have been treated badly, like perhaps, I dunno, maybe Hillary, then their blog might carry more influence on the dialog.

Sadly, it's obviously just another way for the GOP to launch partisan attacks on the media and the Left. I just wish they were more honest about it. I'd respect that. Anyway, they've earned a place on my list of "Distinguished Adversaries" links on the sidebar. And they gave me fodder for another blog post.

That's something worthwhile.

Monday, September 22, 2008

"No blank check" for Wall St.

(h/t to Patriotboy for the image)

Barack Obama said yesterday that there should be "no blank check for Wall Street..." in regard to the proposed $700 billion bailout.

"As of now, the Bush Administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan," he told a crowd estimated at more than 25,000 people. "Even if the U.S. Treasury recovers some or most of its investment over time, this initial outlay of up to $700 billion is sobering. And in return for their support, the American people must be assured that the deal reflects the basic principles of transparency and fairness and reform."
I have absolutely no doubt that Wall Street financiers are looking at this nearly three-quarters of a TRILLION(!) dollar bailout as perhaps the last golden opportunity of the Bush administration to steal massive amounts of money from the American taxpayers with no oversight at all.

And the cry of "partisan politics" will erupt from the GOP if lawmakers make ANY attempt whatsoever to protect the taxpayer's investment in America's economic stability.

Over the next several days we're going to see a dramatic test of the Democratic majority Congress's ability to hold the Bush administration's powers in check. If Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has his way, we'll hand him a $700 million dollar check made out to "CASH".

There goes Michigan

(McCain owns 13 cars, including a Honda! - Newsweek)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

$ 2,333.00 each

That's Two Thousand Three Hundred Thirty-three Dollars PER AMERICAN.

$2,333 for every single man, every single woman, and every single child in the United States.

THAT'S what the $700 billion bailout to purchase troubled mortgage assets is going to cost us. And there ain't no guarantees they'll " make markets more transparent, limit executive compensation, or assist homeowners fighting foreclosure."

Marcy Wheeler has more at FireDogLake. And Ian Welsh has much more at FDL.

Wall Street is praying for salvation through this cash. Meanwhile, I know people who lost their homes, and won't get dick from the government.

Something is very, very wrong here.

Sexism and Sarah Palin

Do you realize it's only been THREE WEEKS since Sarah Palin crashed onto the national political stage in a storm of publicity? The GOP announced their VP selection on August 29th, and ever since that Friday preceding the Republican convention there has rarely been a single day that hasn't brought some accusation of sexism from the right.

The mainstream media (MSM), political bloggers, and typical voters have commented extensively on Gov. Palin's political ideologies. Her ultra-conservative policies, her alleged abuses of executive powers, her provincial lack of knowledge about national and international issues, her rigid stance on abortion, etc. have all been discussed extensively.

And the GOP, along with conservative pundits and right-wing news organizations, have seemingly never passed up an opportunity to issue a charge of sexism against Palin's detractors. Every time a criticism has emerged about Sarah Palin, an almost instantaneous cry of foul play was issued from the right.

Immediately when Palin was announced as VP candidate, bloggers began researching the mysterious choice of the GOP. The questions about Palin's recent pregnancy, with photos that raised doubts about whether she had indeed even been pregnant, and her very unconventional actions after her water broke (she gave a speech and then took 12 hours to return to Wasilla before seeking medical care while knowingly carrying a high-risk baby) led directly to the anti-choice candidate having to publicly disclose that her 17 year-old daughter was pregnant. Despite claims to the contrary, it's widely assumed that John McCain wasn't notified of this fact during the vetting process.

While normally this should be an off-limits discussion about a candidate's family, it does reflect somewhat on the character of an ultra-religious, abstinence-only, anti-birth control, anti-choice politician when her teen daughter apparently engages in unprotected sex. To his immense credit, Barack Obama immediately issued a statement calling for the children and families of candidates to be off-limits.

Since then, every aspect of Gov. Palin's personal and public life have been examined. This is to be expected for ANY candidate, male or female. But the conservatives are complaining that Palin is being examined much closer than any other candidate, and they're trying to say sexism is the reason. The actual reason she's getting such intensive and thorough scrutiny is because basically NOBODY knew anything about her before she was selected!

This seems to beg the question "Is it possible to criticize a woman without it being considered a sexist attack?"

Republicans are pushing the "sexism" meme with everything they've got. Right-wing blogs (such as "Sarah Palin Sexism Watch") serve as a clearinghouse and aggregate of claims of sexism. Some of the examples of sexism on that blog are tenuous at best and ridiculous at worst. But I'm sure their rational is if you throw enough accusations against the wall, something might stick. However, the sheer volume of their silly charges reduces any likelihood of success.

FWIW, I haven't seen any evidence of them making similar efforts to counteract the treatment that Hillary Clinton and her daughter received and continues to receive from the right. I guess these titans of gender protection are only interested in defending women who wear RED.

In comparison, Sarah Palin will need to be publicly trashed and dragged through the mud for many, many years to even approach the magnitude of sexist slander that's been heaped upon Hillary by an enthusiastic and bloodthirsty majority of the neocons in this country.

Occasionally, satirists use sexism as a vehicle for humor, such as the image above from Salon.com. This is a very fine line to walk, and more often than not it will come back to bite you. Personally I feel a little uncomfortable with these kinds of jabs, and everyone should consider that there's plenty of non-gender based material available to use as fodder for Palin satire.

There absolutely ARE some atrocious examples out there of sexism regarding Palin, and even some remarkably disgusting examples of blatant misogyny (warning: NSFW link). This has always been the case as far as female politicians are concerned, but nobody is going to conclude that instances like these are indicative of the feelings of the left across the board. If anyone has fought for women's rights, it's been the left. In fact, there's absolutely nothing to prevent Republican operatives from creating a misogynistic screed and posting it while masquerading as a liberal. I've even seen an example of a similar subterfuge, albeit in reverse:

Heh heh...that image still makes me laugh. The point being, of course, is that there's no ironclad guarantee that almost anything posted on the internet is as it seems.

Ultimately, the justification for a charge of sexism must rest solely on the nature of the criticism. If the matter of gender, alone or in concert with other reasons, is the basis of an attack, then it clearly is sexist.

If the decisions, actions, or ideologies of the candidate are the foundation of a criticism, and it's backed up by verifiable fact, then the gender of the candidate matters not one bit in this discussion.

And, we can't ignore the fact that the GOP has accomplished something very significant with this debate on sexism. They've managed to deflect the spotlight from the real issues facing us.

Anything that distracts the American voters from the issues can only help the Republicans in this election cycle.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sarah Palin redraws the ticket

Paging Dr. Freud! Sarah Palin apparently feels that she deserves to be at the top of the ticket, if her own words are any indication. Get a load of the new "Palin and McCain" ticket:

Wow! I'll bet poor old John McCain is feeling a bit like the guy in the movie below:

Hackergate redux

Hmmm...a new "hacking" story. What a surprise.

We might as well face the fact that every single election from 2006 on is going to have some kind of "hacking" story.

We all remember Sen. Joe Lieberman's baseless and slanderous accusations about the reason his shitty website crashed on the day of the 2006 senate primary. Rather than look into the cause, he and his campaign staff immediately launched a smear offensive against every liberal blogger who was even remotely involved in covering the election.

Of course, both the FBI and simple common sense exonerated the bloggers, but not before there was extensive media coverage of Lieberman's lies. Lamont campaign Internet coordinator Tim Tagaris summed up the Lieberman campaign's inadequacies in this scathing radio interview on election day:

So it's obvious that we're now living in a world where charges of "hacking" and computer shenanigans will be a part of every single election. Yesterday's news story about Gov. Sarah Palin's email getting "hacked" is a prime example of this computer hysteria we're seeing.

Here's the gist of what happened. Somebody figured out that Governor Palin was using her vanity license plate as a password on a non-secure Yahoo email account, and they got in and took screen shots of her Inbox and then posted them anonymously.

That's it. That's all that happened. But judging from the outcry by McCain's campaign, you would think that crazed anti-American anarchists had stolen our nation's nuclear launch codes and gave them to bin Laden!

Just calm the hell down, guys. In a world where identity theft is a business, and where non-secure email accounts are compromised a million times a day, the real story here should be, "Why is Gov. Palin using a NON-SECURE email account for government business?"

Alaskan state rules specifically prohibit anyone within the government from using non-secure email accounts to discuss government business. From ZDnet.com:
The list of e-mails include an exchange with Alaskan Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell about his campaign for Congress and an e-mail from Amy McCorkell, whom Palin appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in 2007.
The biggest problem with a governor using private email accounts for government business (or a vice president for that matter, as Dick Cheney is alleged to do the same thing) is that those emails aren't backed up and made part of the permanent record. From CNN:
The e-mails shown include one from July between Palin and Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell and another dated earlier this week from Amy McCorkell, the woman Palin appointed to the Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in 2007.

Palin has faced criticism for using a private e-mail account to conduct some state business — prompting critics to allege she was attempting to hide information from the public record.
So while the McCain camp wails and gnashes their teeth is utterly phony outrage, they're succeeding in keeping the focus of the media off of the real issue here. The issue being Sarah Palin's pattern of abuse of authority and failure to abide by governmental rules.

Dick Cheney must be SO proud of her.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bush thanks Chris Shays for "sticking" with him

In a White House visit yesterday with a group of Sikorsky workers, President Bush used the opportunity to thank Congressman Chris Shays for his steadfast support.

During the meeting with the workers, who started a group that has dedicated itself to always remembering the brave members of the military services from Connecticut who have died, President Bush said the following to Chris Shays (from the CT POST):
Inside the Oval Office, the group shook hands with the president, who was standing with Shays.

"He talked about the rug pattern he picked out and his desk. And, he thanked Congressman Shays for sticking with him through the darkest days," (Sikorsky worker) Mastroni said.
From George's lips to God's ear!

For all his efforts to distance himself from President Bush, it's very clear that Chris Shays has been and continues to be firmly in the president's pocket.

It is much too late for Shays to pretend to stand up to George Bush. Ever since Bush took office, Chris Shays has been (in the words of Nancy Pelosi speaking in Stamford last week):
"Chris Shays is an enabler for President Bush, to have his way with the Congress. His complicity in their agenda has been harmful to this district, to this state, and to this country."
It's very simple. If you want to bring change to Congress and put an end to the failed policies of George Bush, then elect Jim Himes to Congress.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shays "contraducks" Himes claim

In an entirely predictable development, the Chris Shays campaign issued a testy press release rebutting the claim by Jim Himes that Shays is "ducking" a debate with him.

From the Shays press release:
In contrast to inaccurate statements by the Himes campaign, Congressman Christopher Shays’ Campaign Manager Michael Sohn today released the list of 10 debates to which Shays has already agreed this fall.
Well, sure. Why not?

Hey, here's a thought...if you're going to agree to a debate, maybe you should tell the person you're supposed to debate! If you keep your agreement to debate a secret, nobody is going to show up. Especially not the candidate you're supposed to debate.

Funny how Shays supposedly agreed to all those debates, and yet none of the hosts have begun to organize the events. If THEY knew about Shays agreeing, how come they didn't set up dates, times, and locations? Something is a bit fishy.

What I think may have happened here is that the Shays campaign was hoping to string Himes along until it was too late to organize the debates, and THEN respond to the request. That way, he'll look like he tried to set up the debate, but ran out of time. The Himes campaign's press release forced them to act as if they were planning to debate all along.

Of course, this begs the question: Why is Chris Shays afraid to debate Jim Himes?

Shays "ducks" Himes debates

Press Release from the Jim Himes campaign:
Incumbent refuses to debate challenger

BRIDGEPORT, CT - Apparently worried that he cannot defend his recent claim that "our economy is fundamentally strong" and seven years of support for the Iraq War, Chris Shays has refused to schedule debates with Jim Himes. Shays has refused offers to debate from reputable third parties, including Bloomberg television and the League of Women Voters. The Shays campaign has also refused to respond to requests from the Himes campaign to discuss debates. The Himes campaign issued the following statement in response.

"It's no surprise Chris Shays is hiding from Jim Himes," said Dana Houle, Campaign Manager for Jim Himes. "Chris Shays is the guy who parroted George Bush's claim that 'the fundamentals of our economy are strong.' Jim Himes understands our economy and understands the challenges facing us in Iraq and Afghanistan, on education, on healthcare. Chris Shays is out of his depth in serious discussions about the economy and his time in Washington has left him out of touch with the concerns of Connecticut families."
With Jim's increasing popularity in the district, and the fact that Chris Shays has done little to resolve the many issues that face us, we can all see what he's become:

"A flack" for the Republicans! (Get it?)


The similarities are too numerous to list. Draw your own conclusions. Then vote.

(h/t to Oldswede)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wow, what a surprise!

Today a spokesman from Sarah Palin's staff said she won't speak with an investigator hired by Alaskan lawmakers to look into the firing of her public safety commissioner.

Maybe the ever-dapper Captain Renault has a problem with Palin's reticence, but it comes as absolutely NO surprise to me.

Let's look at the options and see if Ms. Palin might have a motive here:
If I was her and innocent, I'd certainly welcome the opportunity to clear my name and prove to the world that I had nothing to hide.

On the other hand, if I was her and guilty as sin, I'd tell the prosecutor to go pound sand and dare him to issue a goddamned subpoena if he was so keen on questioning me! And even then, I'd stall them until AFTER the November election, because once I'm in office, all it will take is a sudden start, and John McCain is the deceased president and I'm in the Oval Office!
Oh, did I mention that the prosecutor was a Republican? And that he subpoenaed just about EVERY single person who might have even been slightly involved in the "Troopegate" scandal, with the single notable exception of Little Miss Sunshine herself?

Here's a snippet from the AP:
McCain campaign spokesman Ed O'Callaghan told a news conference Monday that the governor, the Republican nominee for vice president, will not cooperate as long as the investigation "remains tainted." He said he doesn't know whether Palin's husband would challenge a subpoena issued to compel his cooperation.

The campaign insists the investigation has been hijacked by Democrats.
Whoa! Are you seriously claiming that the Republican Special Prosecutor, and the hugely Republican-majority Alaskan legislature are entirely cowed by the few Democrats who happen to reside there? Do you really expect anyone to buy that?!?

Jesus. A few brave souls up in Alaska are fighting for the truth to come out about their tainted and scandal-ridden governor, and suddenly it's a partisan Democratic free-for-all.

Is anyone else noticing a pattern here?

Schumer: 'The McCain/Palin campaign has peaked'

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the McCain/Palin campaign had reached a peak in popularity that could not sustain a lead over Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

As I've mentioned previously, McCain's surge in the polls is a direct result of the post-convention "bounce" that was entirely expected, especially with the addition of neocon dream gal Sarah Palin to the ticket. The McCain campaign did an exceptional job at defusing the Democratic convention's high points, especially Barack Obama's rousing acceptance speech before 80,000 enthusiastic Americans, by introducing Ms. Palin the following day. Obama was able to enjoy only mere hours of afterglow from the convention, which included the spectacle of Pat Buchanan stating that Obama had delivered the greatest convention speech he'd ever seen, before McCain stole his thunder by unveiling his surprise candidate.

It was a genius move, and it worked for a while. Palin enjoyed roughly a two-week "honeymoon" with the media, largely due to the fact that nobody except a few Alaskans knew anything about her. The McCain camp was able to paint her as a "maverick" and an "anti-earmark" candidate because in the information vacuum the GOP was able to say anything they wanted about her without giving the media much chance to refute it.

Now the honeymoon is over, and the media is digging and asking questions about Palin. It turns out that the VP candidate has a lot of very bulky baggage that is finally coming to light. "Troopergate", cronyism, earmarks up the yin-yang, abuses of authority, dozens of lies about her record, etc. are bringing her and the media back to reality. I predict we'll see the polls reflect this trend of disclosure in roughly a week.

Now that the Palin love-fest is over, we'll be getting back to the issues. And as far as the issues go, there's no doubt of these two things:

Obama/Biden is the ticket of change, and McCain/Palin will be more of the same.

It's going to boil down to what the American people really want. If they're happy with the way things are going and business as usual, we'll see John Sidney McCain wandering around the Rose Garden. But if the people want positive and dynamic change in the way Washington does business, Barack Obama will help make those changes from the Oval Office.

The choice is yours.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Reject Palin" rally draws 1400 in Alaska

When Sarah Palin arrived home from her Republican Love-In tour, she was greeted by maybe 1000 hardcore supporters, and then another 1400 women gathered in an "Alaska Women Reject Palin Rally".

Of course, if we used GOP crowd-counting math, it would have likely been described as "TENS of THOUSANDS of anti-Palin marchers rallied today!" Someone actually walked through the crowd with a counter and clicked once for each person there. Somehow, I don't think MaCain's people want that sort of truth to be verified.

It looks like Ms. 85% simply ISN'T as well-loved in her own home state as the GOP would like you to believe. Of course, you'll never hear them admit that.

But in a state as lightly populated as Alaska, even a crowd of 1400 is considered HUGE. In fact, in this excellent article from the Mudflats Blog, they claim that this anti-Palin rally was the BIGGEST political rally in Alaskan history!

Here's a video for you to enjoy. And Ms. Palin will have to remember that the media honeymoon is definitely over, and she'll have to EARN her friendly coverage from now on.

It might be too tall an order for an animal executioner like her. She prefers to take her shots from a safe distance. These days, she's gonna have to face her adversaries.

Pelosi and Himes press conference

(Photo by CT Blogger)

Nancy Pelosi and Jim Himes visited Stamford to discuss the economy and other important issues at a press conference today. I've edited the video somewhat but most of the questions and answers are intact. Throughout the video you can hear cameras clicking non-stop, and a few times I had to edit out some photographers who blocked my camera with their big stupid ridiculously non-transparent heads.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


At a press conference with Jim Himes this afternoon, Speaker Nancy Pelosi discussed the race in the 4th CD. I'm processing the video right now, but here's a quickie of when I asked Madam Speaker a question about Chris Shays.

Notice how I manage to worm my name into the question (but would you expect anything less from Connecticut Bob?)

I'll have highlights of the entire press conference up later tonight, but I'm starving, and CT Joyce and I are going to walk to a Peruvian restaurant that just opened up around the corner from us. Check back later.

Sarah Palin not subpoenaed

While Todd Palin and 12 others from Sarah Palin's administration have been subpoenaed to testify about "troopergate", the star witness and prime suspect of the investigation (the governor herself) has been allowed to skate.

Oh, did I mention that the prosecutor tasked with the final decision about the subpoenas happens to be a Republican? From the Associated Press:
(AP reporter Gene) Johnson quotes retired prosecutor (and special prosecutor for this investigation) Stephen Branchflower saying of Todd Palin: "He's such a central figure. ... I think one should be issued for him."

He adds that Branchflower "said he wants to interview Palin herself, but did not ask for a subpoena for her."
Of course not. Their strategy is obvious - don't put Saint Sarah on the stand until AFTER the November election. If John Sidney McCain wins the election, it'll be fairly easy for the Republican dominated Justice Department to allow the Alaskan probe into Palin die a quiet death.

And we'll be stuck with McCain until he croaks (probably a matter of months), and then it's President Palin.

The consequences of a complete dilettante like Palin sitting in the Oval Office will make George Bush's administration look like a stunning success in comparison.

Another thing to consider here is that all this noise about Sarah Palin is moving critical examination of McCain's policies into the background. The media need to remember that Palin is simply the "shiny object" being used to distract them. While it's good to see that the media's honeymoon with Palin is finally over, we need to keep the focus on the person at the top of the ticket:

John "Bomb Iran" McCain.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yet another Sarah Palin parody

After stumbling across Sara Benincasa's amusing Sarah Palin vblog last week, I've been keeping an eye out for entertaining videos. I saw a Newsweek article online that compared some of the better Sarah Palin imitators, and that's how I found this effort by longtime Youtuber Lisa Nova. This one gets additional points for having a reasonably good John McCain imitator:


Ike is one massive storm. The visible cloud layers cover most of the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane has the Galveston/Houston area in it's sights. The National Weather Service issued a warning that includes the phrase "certain death" for those who don't evacuate the Gulf shore where the storm is going to hit.

This isn't going to be a "near miss" or a "close call". It's going to hit and possibly be devastating. Anyone in that area, please follow instructions to evacuate. Don't fool around; this isn't a time for a "hurricane party". Get out now.

UPDATE: CNN stole my idea for a headline! Ooh that makes me angry! Blitzer, you just made my list!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day of Remembrance

Take a moment to remember the heroes who lost their lives seven years ago today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why we love Maura

There's been quite a bit of discussion about Maura Keaney stepping down as manager of Jim Himes's campaign, so I think it's about time to address it here.

Maura is still with the campaign in a senior adviser's role. Read this quote pulled from an article in today's CT Post:
In a major shake-up at the top of his organization, Democratic congressional hopeful Jim Himes has replaced his campaign manager with a veteran party operative who has been the architect of several other high-profile bids for political office.

Dana Houle, 43, a former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, D-N.H., and manager of his 2006 re-election campaign, took charge of the operation last week, a spokesman for Himes said Tuesday.

Maura Keaney, 37, who had been working with Himes since he announced his candidacy last year, is out as campaign manager but is staying on the team as a senior adviser.

"This was a way to take us to the next level where we need to be for the next two months," said Michael Sachse of the Himes campaign.

The move, Sachse said, was not intended to be an indictment of Keaney's work as campaign manager.

"Maura has done an amazing job, and it's no accident that, thanks to her work, that this is a targeted race and Jim is viewed as one of the top Democratic challengers in the country," Sachse said. "There's always a concern about appearances, but the truth is this was done amicably. Maura brought Dana in. This is a move we all feel that puts Jim in the strongest possible position to win, and that's what everyone wants."
In my limited experience writing about politics, I've seen a number of moves that surprised me. This is one of those times. Maura's as committed a Democrat and as determined an activist as I've ever met.

I was personally thrilled to hear she was tasked with managing Jim's campaign. Even though she never ran a campaign before, I was pleased with the decision to hire her. Maura helped bring Jim into the spotlight from near total obscurity in about six months; practically nobody outside of Greenwich had ever heard of Jim Himes before Maura started working with him.

But apparently the powers that be wanted someone with some previous experience in winning campaigns to lead the way into the stretch. And this being what the DCCC feels is a huge election, someone decided to make some moves. Knocking off a 21-year incumbent isn't an easy task by any means, and Maura has done an amazing job getting Jim set up to go through the home stretch to a November victory. There's no doubt in my mind that without Maura, the campaign would have never had the exposure and success it's experienced so far.

And to show what a terrific person Maura is, just read this quote from the same article:
"I've been pitching now for eight innings, and I've recruited an experienced closer who has got a fresh arm and a history of winning similar contests who will take us to a win on election night," Keaney said. "We've always believed this is going to be a really close election, and we've made tremendous progress since I joined the campaign last April, when we had no money and no name recognition."
Dana Houle has a tremendous resume and awesome blogging credentials. I'm looking forward to meeting him very much and hearing about his vision for the final stretch.

But I do know this to be true...when Jim is sworn into office in January, Maura Keaney will be the single most important reason it happened. Her endless energy and commitment to the cause makes her a prime example of how to be a progressive activist.

But her warmth, humor, and positive attitude are what we all love about her.

Jackson Browne sues John McCain

In a follow up to the "Heart" article from yesterday, a reader sent me a link to this news story (h/t FLKCZARINA):
Renowned songwriter and liberal political activist Jackson Browne has filed a lawsuit today against Senator John McCain and the RNC in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The lawsuit stems from a recent television commercial for Senator McCain's presidential bid that incorporates the song Running On Empty, a song written by and famously associated with Mr. Browne, it was announced today by Jackson Browne's attorney, Lawrence Y. Iser.

The suit alleges that Senator McCain and the Republican Party failed to obtain a license for the use of Mr. Browne's song in the television commercial. In the commercial, Senator McCain and the Republicans mock Democratic candidate for President Barack Obama for suggesting that the country conserve gas through proper tire inflation.

In addition to a claim for copyright infringement, the suit alleges that by using a song famously associated with Mr. Browne, Senator McCain and the Republican Party violated the United States Lanham Act by falsely suggesting that Mr. Browne is associated with and endorses Senator McCain's candidacy. The suit also alleges that the use of Mr. Browne's voice in the commercial violates Mr. Browne's right of publicity under California law. The suit seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of Running On Empty and any other Jackson Browne composition, as well as damages.
Talk about having a tough week! Of course, McCain and the RNC knows that it takes months or even years to get a lawsuit heard, and unless a Cease and Desist order is issued, they'll just continue using the music regardless of the artist's wishes.

They're probably thinking that if they can just hold on and somehow win in November, after that all bets are off. In fact, if McCain wins, a special holding cell will be constructed in Gitmo for Ann & Nancy Wilson, Jackson Browne, and any other "librul" artist who doesn't know to fall in line!

Instead of electric shocks, they're torture the prisoners by making them listen to THIS twenty-four hours a day.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Just stop it!




Judging from the wailing and gnashing of teeth that we're hearing from WingNuttia (a magical land, where everyone has guns and practices a suitably acceptable variety of one of the many Christian religions) you would think that poor helpless moose executioner Sarah Palin was abducted by crazed leftist radicals and forced to watch "Fahrenheit 9/11" repeatedly while strapped into a chair with her eyelids forced open like Malcolm McDowell in the torture scene from "A Clockwork Orange"!

What's causing the Republicans to currently get their panties all twisted into a bunch is the fact that Barack Obama used the very same term describing Palin's record that John Sidney McCain used to describe Hillary Clinton at some earlier time.

Here's the Politico:
Democratic Congressman Russ Carnahan on Tuesday – introducing Joe Biden at a campaign event – ripped into Palin’s record and punctuated it with this snarky jab. “There’s no way you can dress up that record, even with a lot of lipstick,” he said. Later in the day, Obama used a variation of the lipstick line, though he was clearly talking about the McCain-Palin reform rhetoric. "You can put lipstick on a pig," he said. "It's still a pig."
Republicans everywhere are swooning dramatically and clutching at the curtains to keep themselves from falling over!

They're saying: "How DARE those treacherous Democrats somehow through our painfully tortured logic compare our Blessed Virgin Mary reincarnate, Sarah Palin, to an ANIMAL???"

Lest anyone forget, this is the image that Saint Sarah herself brought to mind during her teleprompter'd speech last week.

How DARE she refer to herself, a WOMAN fer Christ's sake, as a goddamned dirty DOG?!?

Heart going Crazy On McCain

The original Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy Wilson (for whom I'll admit to having had an adolescent crush on more than thirty years ago) have objected to the GOP's use of their hit song Barracuda when introducing VP candidate Sarah Palin to the RNC. Their band Heart is attempting to get the Republicans to stop using the song as it goes against their political leanings.

From BBC News:
Rock band Heart have called in lawyers after US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin used their track Barracuda at a Republican Party rally.

Singers Ann and Nancy Wilson said a cease-and-desist letter had been sent to the party asking it not to use the song, a US hit in 1977.

"The Republican campaign did not ask for permission, nor would they have been granted permission," they said.
While the GOP paid all necessary licensing fees and technically have permission to play the song, it seems to go against the grain to have them use a rock and roll song, especially considering how the Republicans are much more comfortable with Country music than Straight On Rock!

If they like "Heart" so much, maybe they should just stick with Achy Breaky Heart...that seems a bit more their speed.

I'm sure the Wilson sisters would be much more amenable if Barack Obama used this song:

(...and it's good to remember that it wasn't ALL Donna Summer and Disco back then; there was a LOT of great music in the 70's)

Eating alone

Finally, Majority Leader Reid and Sen. Joe Lieberman have agreed that having Joe sit in on the Democratic caucus lunches was tantamount to having the fox watch the hen house.

So they decided to end their little charade of Joe sitting with the Dems and running back to McCain to report on his former friends. Now Lieberman is just a lonely little man, eating alone in a restaurant while everyone else is having a swell time working together.

I guess Joe never bothered to read THIS book! Of course, I think that success is something that will elude Joe after this November.

Jim Himes speaks against privatization

Social Security is a program that needs to be addressed and fixed sometime in the foreseeable future. Contrary to the Bush/McCain push to privatize a portion of it, Jim Himes believes we need to strengthen Social Security through sane legislation and better management.

We know why Bush and McCain both want to privatize it; some huge corporate entities will make ridiculous profits off the investments at the expense of risking people's retirements. Bush's economic policy for the last eight years has been a disaster. So there's no reason to believe that the guy who votes for Bush policies so often that he's called "Mister 90%" will do things any differently.

And Chris Shays is going along with them on the push for privatizing. Regardless of what he claims now. Remember how he promised during the last election to work on pulling troops out of Iraq by Christmas 2006? Same thing.

Jim Himes would certainly like people to vote FOR him this November, but I'm sure he'll accept the votes from people like the guy in the video who says he's "voting against Shays".

Monday, September 08, 2008

You're NOT my friend

OK, so this post isn't very deep or insightful, but it's something that's been nagging my mind for a while. I think it's finally time to get this off my chest:

I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty goddamned sick of hearing John Sidney repeatedly use the phony endearment "my friends..." to begin every other sentence when he speaks.

How about dropping that crap and just talk, you know, like a real person?

It's the economy, stupid

The unemployment rate jumped to 6.1 percent in August, its highest level in five years, pushing the troubles of American workers to the center of the political debate as the presidential campaign enters its final weeks.

Yeah, I'll say.

Gee, I wonder how many jobs we could create if we had even HALF the $2.5 BILLION A WEEK we're throwing into that endless hole of a war? Which candidate said they'd get us out of Iraq quickly?

It's an easy choice.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Universal appeal

At yesterday's Obama kickoff rally I ran into two good friends who were wearing their Obama shirts. Dave and Patrizia are very enthusiastic supporters of Barack Obama; I've seen them at several other events, notably the huge Civic (XL) Center Rally in Hartford right before Obama won the Connecticut primary.

One of the interesting things about these two is the fact that they're both naturalized U.S. citizens. Dave is some kind of U.K. person (I think Welsh maybe?); and Patrizia (who has the throatiest voice I've ever heard on a girl; start with Natasha from "Bullwinkle" and then go a half-octave lower) is from Tuscany or somewhere thereabouts in Italy. I don't remember for sure, I just like the sound of "Tuscany".

I'm obviously not a real stickler for details or I'd be more specific about their places of origin. But what matters is how these newer voters, who made a conscious decision and put in the required effort to become citizens of the U.S., are supporting the candidate who promises change in the way things are going in America.

I think that naturalized U.S. citizens often display a higher level of outwardly true patriotism than many native-born Americans do. Not the "rah-rah" flag-waving stuff, but true concern for the path our nation is taking. Possibly that's because many times they've come here from other nations with limited economic opportunities, social injustices, or lack of religious freedoms, and they now thrive in the freedoms and opportunities that our nation offers.

Which is why, I think, they tend to want to be involved by volunteering when they see our leaders failing us. They truly believe in the promise and potential of America, and to see it squandered or misused through partisan chicanery, avarice, or simply incompetence is particularly galling. They've had to study American history and our most sacred national documents to become citizens, and that gives them a more personal perspective on the importance of our freedoms and protections than many of us, who (and let's face it, it's probably been years since we covered this stuff in school) might have trouble listing more than two or three amendments in the Bill of Rights. It only makes sense that they support a candidate who's actually studied the Constitution and obviously understands the importance of it.

So it's refreshing to see citizens like Dave and Patrizia taking an active role in helping return our land to a nation of laws, protected and enhanced by the freedoms in the U.S. Constitution.

I'm glad to have seen them yesterday.