Friday, October 31, 2008

Kirby Guest Appearance

(The real Kirby)

Hi Folks,
I have not been posting since after the 2006 election, but CTBob has invited me back to live blog the national view of election night next week while he is at Himes HQ.

I plan to vote early Tuesday so I won't be stuck on a line later in the day, and plan to start here about 7pm when the first national polls close.

Thanks, Bob, for the invite back!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
CT Bob here: That photo is from 2006 when we reported from Lamont HQ. Once again this year, we're going to live-blog the entire night, from early evening through the polls closing to the results coming in. Kirby will cover the TV results and post frequent updates on state and national races, and I'll shoot video and take pictures and report on the happenings at Himes Election Night HQ.

This is gonna be a blast! I hope you'll join us on November 4th!

Make History

I really like this ad. Short, simple, effective. Who wouldn't want a chance to "make history?"

Another reason to like Joe Biden

In 2004 a journalist asked a typically stupid question of the senator, and he responded exactly the way he should.

As a video blogger, I have to say there's nothing more satisfying than when a candidate drops his carefully rehearsed public persona and talks to you like a regular guy.

Even if he IS basically calling you a "dumbass"!

Via Wonkette:
Just four short years ago, it was the Democrats who were getting called out in the press for constantly changing strategies and bickering publicly about petty nonsense. And four years ago, Joe Biden took a brave stand and asked reporters the very important question, “Who gives a shit?” (Those are the actual words out of his mouth.) Why will he not now take a stand for his great friend John McCain, who is boldly running his campaign straight out of the Kerry ‘04 playbook?
I don't care what anyone else thinks, I think it's great!

Obama for Himes video

A Democratic President and a Democratic Congressman in the 4th CD. It has a nice ring to is, eh? We can make it a reality on Tuesday.

Happy Halloween

Have fun, but don't overdo it!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chris Healy, Connecticut Idiot

I know it's not really a great year to be a Republican, but you have to be completely devoid of common sense to say the things that Chris Healy says on a nearly daily basis.

From a CT Post article about Obama's pro-Himes radio ad:
Chris Healy, Republican State Central Committee chairman, said he doubts that Obama's ad for Himes will move voters this late in the campaign.

"I'm always a little suspicious of more noise on the radio," Healy said in a phone interview.

"It's fine. So what?" Healy asked.
Yeah, it's just noise when Chris Shays tries to hitch his wagon to the Obama juggernaut in his mealy-mouthed ads. If the senator's endorsement means so little, why does Shays use the phrase "The hopefulness of Barack Obama" in his ads? Healy continues:
"Barack Obama talking about Jim Himes, whom I doubt he's ever met, it won't draw flies."
Uh, Chris, I hate to break it to you, but if you pull your head out of your butt long enough to look at Jim's website or catch his ads on TV, you might see this:

Oh well Chris, maybe you can photoshop your buddy Mr. Shays into the image where Jim Himes is standing right next to Barack Obama.

Barack Obama radio ad for Jim Himes

Visit to hear it, and forward it to all your friends!

Frampton's Obama signs stolen

From the AP:
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Rocker Peter Frampton is wishing someone would show him the way to keep his Barack Obama yard signs from getting swiped.

The Grammy winner is complaining that signs showing his preference for the Democratic presidential candidate have been stolen repeatedly at his home in the upscale and predominantly Republican Cincinnati suburb of Indian Hill.

Frampton, 58, is so angry, he called The Cincinnati Enquirer asking to be interviewed.

The British-born singer of "Show Me the Way" and other hits told the newspaper that one reason he became a U.S. citizen was so he could vote. Now, he says his American rights to free speech and political speech are being violated and it "bugs" him.

Frampton said he has installed a video camera to catch the thieves.
The question of who is stealing Frampton's sign is perplexing enough, but the bigger question is, how did THIS guy...

...turn into THIS guy?

It's always kind of shocking when these long-locked rockers age thirty or so years and either shave their heads or cut their hair waaay short. It's tragic, really. I mean, David Lee Roth is starting to look like Bella Abzug these days! Freaky.

Diebold in the 1800s

Another panel from my favorite webcomic, Married To The Sea

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

World Series

I dunno, but it seems that baseball is way more interesting when the games are only three innings long.

Chris Shays betrays McCain in the final week

(Chris Shays with John McCain during happier times)

From Scarce at My Left Nutmeg:

Virtually certain now of McCain's imminent defeat Chris Shays effectively tosses McCain under the bus. In an interview with the Yale Daily News:
NEW CANAAN, Conn. - The first ballot has yet to be tallied, but some Republicans are already hammering nails into the McCain-Palin campaign's coffin.

Locked in a tight congressional race, Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut's 4th district is the latest in a slew of Republican incumbents, including Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, to concede a near-certain victory to the Obama camp.

"I just don't see how [McCain] can win," Shays said in an interview here on Sunday.

Shays, the Connecticut co-chair of McCain's campaign, said he was disappointed by the standards of McCain's race, which has increasingly relied on mudslinging.

"He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign," Shays said.
And for AP:
"He's taken the thing that is most valuable, his (maverick) brand, and he's not staying true to it," Shays said. "I admire John McCain more than you can imagine. He would make a great president."

But, Shays added, "I don't see how he wins if he isn't true to who he is ... a straight shooter talking about the issues."
I suppose this would be surprising coming from the co-chair McCain's Connecticut campaign if it were anyone else but Chris Shays. But right now survival is the name of the game and it's every man for himself.

And then there's this from Down With Tyranny:
Connecticut conservatives are furious and many are swearing off support for Shays. "I know he always votes the right way when we really need him," said a Republican elected official in Fairfield
County, who asked to remain anonymous, "but this is the last straw.He's just so treacherous and hypocritical. We all know McCain is going to lose but does that mean you kick him in the teeth on his way down. Christopher Shays owes Republicans an apology."
CT Bob: So, we have Chris Shays making his characteristic "change of heart" noises the last week before the election. Remember how during the closing days of the 2006 campaign he blathered desperately about wanting all our troops withdrawn from Iraq by December, 2007?

We all know how well that worked out. He forgot about his promise the minute the votes were counted. He forgot his words.

That is, until this year, when he needed to drudge them up once again, to help him hang on.

Words to Chris Shays are exactly that...just words. He did a terrible job as McCain's local co-chair, and then he abandoned the man when he realized McCain might be a political liability in the final days. He used Barack Obama's name and face in his ads in a sleazy attempt to jump on a winner's bandwagon. He will say or do anything in the hopes he'll dupe enough well-meaning voters into giving him another two years to continue George Bush's policies in Washington.

This election is going to be very close. Please consider volunteering for Jim Himes if you have a few hours to spare sometime between now and Tuesday. Visit right now!

Joe the Frickin' Moron

I don't know about you, but I was sick of the guy they're calling "Joe the Plumber" about five minutes after he was introduced by the Republicans. "Joe" is being paraded around the country by the McCain campaign as if he's a national hero, even after he's been shown to be a total fraud who doesn't hold a plumbing license, who isn't making over $250,000 (which is the justification that he used to complain about Obama's tax plan, he's only HOPING to buy a business while making around $40K), and most of all, his first name isn't even "Joe"!

Fake plumber Samuel Wurzelbacher is getting out of control now. The GOP has programmed him like a Commodore 64 to repeat McCain talking points, and even come up with some outrageous claims, such as a Barack Obama presidency would mean the "death of Israel" and end democracy in America. This is a guy they're seriously talking about running for Congress in two years.

In the space of about a week, Joe the Plumber has been transformed from an anonymous plumber's helper (BTW, this isn't a pun), to a national hero of the "everyman", to a frothing ultra-conservative wingnut. It would be funny if it wasn't so obviously a symptom of a complete breakdown of the GOP's values. They are a party in deep trouble.

From The Raw Story:
(Fox) network noted that the McCain campaign seemed hesitant to distance itself from Wurzelbacher. Correspondent Carl Cameron said that the McCain campaign was going to put out an ad today criticizing Obama policies on Israel.

"Just a coincidence?" he asked. "We report you decide."

Later Tuesday afternoon, Shepard Smith pressed Wurzelbacher on his comments, reminding the woefully misinformed McCain backer that Obama has consistently voiced support for Israel. Pressed several times to explain how he could agree with the conclusion that Obama would lead to the death of the Jewish state, Wurzelbacher was unable to come up with any good reasons aside from Obama's position in favor of negotiating with rogue regimes such as Iran.

"You don't want my opinion on foreign policy," Wurzelbacher said. "I know just enough to kind of be dangerous."

Smith seemed to agree with that assessment, implying that the only source for Wurzelbacher and the supporter's concern was "hateful things spread on the Internet." The host clearly worried that Wurzelbacher's endorsement of such a view might inspire violence against the candidate.

Why, Smith asked, would Wurzelbacher believe Obama was lying when he spoke of the importance of Israel's relationship with the United States.

Wurzelbacher was flummoxed. All he could offer was an appeal for people to "go out and find their own reasons ... go out and get informed."
"Joe's" time in the spotlight is finally almost over. Sadly for Joe, he willingly allowed himself to be used by the GOP like an old dish towel, and he spent the total of his fifteen minutes of fame as a mindless tool of the Republicans. He's already a dismal punchline for the McCain campaign and the GOP.

Good riddance "Joe".

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chris Shays and the NAR

The National Association of Realtors PAC gave Chris Shays over $800,000 to help his campaign. Does it make you wonder why they want back in Congress so badly?

See this NY Post article for source information.

Speaking of senators with problems...

Married To The Sea

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ted Stevens: "NO!"

A classic.

Stevens found guilty...who'da thunk it?

File this one in the "No Shit, Sherlock" Department; Alaska GOP Sen. Ted "Intertubes" Stevens was found incredibly guilty on all seven counts of being a big fat liar.

The pre-stock market-crash-born senator (the "real" crash; you know, the one in 1929) apparently fucking well knew he was getting free goods and services from powerful corporate interests in Alaska, and he still chose to flaunt the law and not pay for them.

In related news, a bill was introduced in the Alaskan legislature late today to change the name of "Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport" to something a little more relevant, such as shown below:

Update: Markos reports that Sen. Stevens, as a convicted felon, can't vote for himself next week.

Wouldn't it be funny if he lost by one vote?

McSame on the Economy

George W. Bush is political poison to John McCain. Which is why he so desperately wishes to distance himself from the President. But McCain's own statements and his record of support makes him indistinguishable from our soon-to-be EX-president:

The final 30 seconds of this video featuring Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) is maybe the most cringe-inducing moment of the entire campaign. It seems to take an hour! Boy, when a McCain supporter goes through that much trouble to find something positive to say about the candidate, you KNOW it's gonna be a long tough haul!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thanks for nothing

Today the Hartford Courant joined the landslide of newspapers that have endorsed Barack Obama for President. They're making a big deal of the fact that only one other time in their 244-year history have they endorsed a Democrat for president; Bill Clinton.

Gee, I guess FDR and JFK were total hacks if I trust the Courant's opinion. Keep in mind this is the same paper that used their hallowed pages to endorse Joe Lieberman for Senate in 2006, and George W. Bush for President...fucking twice! The results of their disastrous policies will be with us long after they're gone.

I'm not really interested in the Courant's rationale for their decision. In fact, the very idea that they're endorsing Barack Obama would normally make me want to take a long second look at him were he not such a strong and natural leader. And the fact that hundreds of major papers across the nation have already announced their endorsements make you look more like bandwagon jumpers than knowledgeable prognosticators.

Maybe you guys should just stay out of the endorsement business. You seem to have a knack for mostly picking some real losers who turn out to be awful leaders, and I'd hate for Barack Obama to fall victim to the "Courant Curse".

So, thanks for nothing.

Quid Pro Shays

The Congressman who received over 3/4 of a million dollars from the largest Real Estate PAC in the nation is supporting a push to bring back the type of risky mortgage loans that helped get us into this financial mess in the first place! Of course, these loans will likely be BACKED BY THE U.S. GOV'T!

"Quid pro quo, Mr. Shays, quid pro quo..."

Scarce over at My Left Nutmeg has a more detailed look at the NY Post article where the image up top originated.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Yesterday when I wrote about everyone fleeing the sinking ship of the GOP and endorsing Barack Obama for President, I neglected to make a suitable photoshop image.

Consider that exclusion resolved with this:

MC Yogi: Obama ‘08 - Vote for Hope

(h/t to Politics in the Zeros)

Stolen Obama signs

My Obama lawn sign disappeared last night. Take a look at these before and after photos. This first photo was taken last week:

And this morning:

Doesn't that look kind of empty?

It's interesting that whoever took the Obama sign didn't touch my other Democratic signs. They had to make a conscious effort to go onto my lawn and steal it, since the others are mostly within reach of the sidewalk.

It wasn't vandalized like my "McCain't" bumper sticker; it was stolen, wire frame and all. However, I did put clear tape at the bottom "open" end of the sign to prevent it from being blown off, so the thief may have tried to remove it at first and found the wire frame was stuck on it, so he (or she...Ashley Todd, was that you?) just uprooted everything and took it.

Now, it's entirely possible that the sign was taken by an Obama supporter who simply wanted a sign for their front lawn. The signs are very difficult to get in Connecticut since Obama has a commanding lead here and the campaign is concentrating on the swing states. You can order Obama signs for (I think) an $8 contribution, so that means the sign on my lawn was valuable. It conceivably could have been a collector.

So rather than worry about replacing the sign, which might just as easily get stolen again, which would annoy me and probably lead to my spending many chilly hours late at night hidden on my front porch with a Louisville slugger and an evil glint in my eye, I decided to fight back with the tools I have at hand. Bumper stickers.

Barbara's a team player. I'm sure she won't mind. And I decided to add to my already populated rear car window with an Obama sticker and a Jim Himes sticker thrown in for good measure, even though I live in the 3rd CD. Hey, I drive in the Fourth quite a bit, too.

This kind of theft is happening all over the country. Here's one of the many Youtube videos that show these sad, pathetic, horrible people getting caught by hidden camera while stealing Obama signs. Disgusting.

And finally, the photo below shows just how much "The Hopefulness of Obama" means to this racist Chris Shays supporter.

I really look forward to this election being over, so we can start working together to unite this divided nation. Because this sort of disgusting display is an indication of the toxic legacy of George W. Bush and the hateful Republican leadership.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Longtime Republicans flee sinking ship

The SS McCain-Palin hit an iceberg weeks ago, but nobody told the skipper and his first mate.

However, the crew is much more attuned to the workings of the vessel, and they're all jumping in the lifeboats while John McCain is still needlessly at the helm.

Some big-time staunch Republicans have abandoned ship and announced their reasons. More often than not, they give Sarah Palin's choice for VP as a critical reason. However, I suspect that they simply know it's a lost cause supporting the throw-back war horse, and they don't want to get sucked down with the ship when it finally sinks on election night. In what may be a huge tidal wave of Democratic support.

Chris Buckley and Colin Powell rattled the GOP establishment last week by publicly aligning with Barack Obama. Additional high profile Republicans are quickly following. Former Bush Spokesman Scotty McClellan jumped ship this week. So did President of Harvard Law and former McCain adviser Charles Fried. Former Mass. Gov. William Weld said Obama represented a "once in a lifetime candidate". The list goes on and on, and gets longer every day.

To me, this indicates a major shift away from the conventional wisdom that the McCain-Obama race was close enough to still be uncertain, to a gradual acceptance by the GOP establishment that it's a lost cause and they're going to get shellacked this year.

Now, that doesn't mean we can all sit home and wait to watch the victory party on TV a week from Tuesday. We still have plenty of work to do. We have a lot of Democrats to help, including the 4th CD's own Jim Himes, who's in a tight race with Bush apologist Chris Shays. We have all our Assembly reps to work for, and lots of State Senators.

And we have to remind people to vote "NO" on Question 1, to defeat the expensive, unnecessary and potentially disastrous constitutional convention.

But still, I can't recall ever seeing such a large (and growing) crowd of conservative stalwarts abandoning their chosen candidate while the race approaches the final week to support a Democrat.

Sarah Palin must really suck!

Or more accurately, the GOP is a party is total disarray, and even longtime Republicans are paraphrasing Ronald Reagan when they say, "I didn't leave the Republican Party; the party left me."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why you need to vote for Jim Himes

There are some holdovers from the days when Chris Shays might have been able to claim he was a moderate that worked across party lines. Some of them might think that they'll vote for Barack Obama and also Chris Shays. This video explains why that would be a bad idea.

I made this video between study sessions for a difficult certification test I need to take soon. I'd like to know who thought it was a good idea to schedule a national election at the same time I have to study!

The Daily Show

Last night we had tickets to see the taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It was a fun time, and Tom Brokaw was the guest, which led to this article in The Raw Story.

Below is a photo of an actual reusable Daily Show Entry Pass, made from yellow copy paper laminated with clear plastic tape for ease of cleaning, apparently. Those guys over at Comedy Central have quite the budget.

Shays sliding in polls; Himes trending up, a compilation website, shows that 4th CD Rep. Chris Shays (R) is dropping in the polls, while challenger Jim Himes (D) is making significant gains as we approach the final stretch into the election.

Recent polls from Pollster's CT section indicates the formerly popular incumbent hasn't performed above 50% since mid-August. Himes, on the other hand, made steady gains and is currently tied or slightly ahead of Shays. This is a critical point in the campaign, because the significant Obama lead in Connecticut will almost certainly give Himes something of a boost. But people need to vote for this to happen.

The Himes campaign needs to focus heavily upon GOTV (Get Out The Vote) during these last days. If you have any time at all between now and Nov. 4th, even just a few hours on a weeknight or a Saturday, please contact HimesForCongress to volunteer for phone banking or canvassing. It's fun and it will make a difference.

The Pollster data is here:


There have already been instances of early voting problems in states such as West Virginia and Florida, and I'm getting worried about what election night will look like.

West Virginia had several reports of paperless electronic voting machines switching votes from Barack Obama to John McCain. Florida had three-hour waiting lines for early voting. There are serious concerns about voter registration rolls being purged of valid registrations.

My biggest worry is that late on election night, the electoral map will be stuck on something like 264 votes for Obama, and several important swing states will have suffered enough voting irregularities to throw their results into doubt and delay them from being certified.

We'll go into a nightmarish scenario similar to 2000, where recounts, protests, and teams of sleazy lawyers will be involved. Republicans will loudly shriek that ACORN is behind the confusion to help distract from the obvious voting machine tampering and illegal registration purges that will have occurred. In my very worst scenario, we'll go into late November or early December without a clear winner, and the election will end up before the Supreme Court.

We can all guess how that will turn out.

The only way we can avoid this scenario is to ensure enough people in enough states vote overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. If he wins by a large enough margin in those battleground states the GOP has targeted for the worst of their foul shenanigans, Obama will blast through the magical 270 electoral vote barrier early enough in the evening that we'll get to see and hear John McCain make his concession speech before we drop off from exhaustion.

At least, that's what I'm hoping for.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shays: Partisan "when it counts"

There's a little game that some crafty politicians play.

It's called "Looking Like a Good Guy".

You play it by finding bills that are likely to be overwhelmingly won or lost. It doesn't matter which. Then you vote with the other party with your largely meaningless vote, because the bill didn't need your vote to pass, or it would have lost regardless.

Then, when you campaign in your largely Democratic district, you can show those meaningless votes as proof you "step across party lines" to work with the other party.

Here's the critical part: you need to vote with your party on the close votes nearly ALL of the time. Because if you betray your party when they really need your help, you won't get their help (and money) when you run for reelection. So you stick with your party with a nearly perfect voting record when it's close.

If you play the game well, you can have it "both ways".

And when it comes to playing this game, "Both Ways" Shays is approaching "Grand Master" status.

On the closest votes—when his vote has the most power to affect the outcome, when the Republican Party most needs his support, and when 4th District residents most need him to make the right choice—Shays has lined up behind his Party’s leadership 89% of the time, or nine out of ten times.

This finding—based on analysis of the 1,752 votes cast in the 110th Congress—shows that Shays is not “purple” as he claims, but is, in fact, a true Republican partisan. Real political courage doesn’t mean crossing the aisle when it’s safe and easy; it means exercising independent judgment on the close votes where your decision can really make a difference.
Let's remember that there is one candidate who won't play games. His name is Jim Himes, and he's running for Congress in the 4th CD.

The Sudden and Irrevocable Fall of Rep. Wilber

This is a very dark and disturbing story.

State Rep. George Wilber, Democrat from the 63rd District in the northwest corner, submitted a letter of resignation and notice of withdrawal from the ballot to Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz today. Wilber, a three-term member of the Assembly, has resigned due to health-related reasons associated with the recent publication of allegations of sexual abuse.

Apparently Rep. Wilber admitted that he paid $100,000 in a settlement to a woman in 2005 who alleged he had sexually abused her between the ages of 11 and 18. Wilber claimed he made the settlement to avoid a stressful and costly court case.

Now, I don't know a single thing about whether he did anything or not, but it sure seems that anyone who pays that kind of money to avoid a criminal trial is probably guilty as hell.

Look at the alleged settlements paid by people like Michael Jackson and Bill O'Reilly in order to avoid criminal proceedings. I'm completely at ease with believing both of these perverts are absolutely guilty of doing things they should be in jail for. So it would be completely disingenuous of me to not feel the same about George Wilber simply because he has a "D" after his name.

He's obviously doing the right thing by resigning. I'm glad he didn't try to hold on and possibly damage the party or cause the alleged victim additional pain. Some people don't realize that they're already dead politically (Ted Stevens, anyone?) and sometimes go out fighting when they're obviously guilty. Wilber's admission of guilt came in the form of a check that he signed to pay off his victim.

There is some talk that Democratic leaders may have been aware of the circumstances of the settlement some years ago. This bears looking into, because if this sort of moral and ethical break was known and not pursued, we might have a situation where some people will need to answer to.

Wilber's seat will go to the Republican challenger. By resigning today, Wilber caused the Democrats to miss the deadline to run a new candidate. It's a shame, but that's not the tragedy here.

The real tragedy is that this alleged abuse ever occurred.


Like I said yesterday, somebody must has tattled on the Family Guy show and Rupert Murdick apparently suffered a conniption fit.

(BTW, does anyone actually use the phrase "conniption fit" anymore? It sounds like one of those olde-timey phrases that was popular during the days of buggy whips and mustard plaster poultices!)

Anyway, to modern it up a bit, ol' Rupert probably had a cow (great, now I'm up to the 1980s!) when he saw "Stewie-as-a-Nazi" wearing the McCain-Palin button.

Well, apparently FoxNews fucking freaked out (there, now THAT'S a modern phrase) about it, and they complained long and loudly to the Fox brass. From the NY Times Political Blog:
A Sunday night episode of the Fox animated series “Family Guy” stirred up trouble by suggesting­ rather directly that Nazi officers would have supported the McCain-Palin ticket. And it was another arm of the News Corp. conglomerate, Fox News Channel, that first reported on the episode.
Of course, Fox News is known world-wide for their remarkably fair and balanced coverage of the Presidential race. They were the first major news network to report on the alleged "terrorist fist jab" shared by Sen. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama. Only Fox News had the courage and conviction to report on the jihadist nature of the hand motion. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm grateful to Fox News for keeping me aware of the subversive gestures of the soon-to-be President-elect and First Lady-elect. Without Fox News, I'd be completely ignorant of their insurgent body language.

I'm glad they focus in the important issues.

And bravo to Seth MacFarlane for having the balls to tweak Rupert's nose a bit. Keep bringing in the bucks Seth, and you can do just about anything you want on Fox.

Monday, October 20, 2008

UConn poll: Shays, Himes in tight race

A UConn poll released today shows the race for Congress in the 4th CD is virtually tied, with both Chris Shays and Jim Himes pulling in 44% each. Roughly 10% are undecided.

With just over two weeks left before election day, it should be interesting to see what the campaigns come up with to sway that critical 10% undecided voters. From the Connecticut Post:
Both Himes and Shays have 44 percent support from 501 likely voters contacted last week by UConn pollsters. Most voters believe that jobs and the economy are the biggest issues facing the country. Only 2 percent said they will vote for the two minor-party candidates.

"So it's really up in the air at this point," said Christine Kraus, associate director of the poll, when it was released at 1 p.m. Monday.
This latest poll continues to look bad for Chris Shays, considering the likely "coattails" effect we'll see in Connecticut on the strength of the Presidential race. Barack Obama is polling somewhere around 20% higher than John McCain, and that means a lot of people will be turning out to vote for change.

Back in 2006, Democratic challenger Diane Farrell held a slight lead over Shays going into the final two weeks, but that was during a mid-term election where turnouts were much lower than what's expected for next month. Plus, a plurality of voters in the 4th CD went with Lieberman over Democrat Ned Lamont for Senate in that election, which obviously affected any coattails effect that Farrell might have enjoyed. It's definitely easier for a voter to split their ballot if they're already voting for an independent incumbent. The huge margin that Obama is expected to win in Connecticut will likely help Himes, but it's not a given at this point.
The latest enrollment figures for the district from the Secretary of the State include 101,542 Republicans, 141,167 Democrats and 150,575 unaffiliated.
There's roughly 40,000 more Democrats than Republicans registered in the 4th, and nearly as many as unaffiliated voters. So if we see a strong Democratic GOTV effort in the final days before election day, there's a good chance we'll see Jim Himes win and join the already strong Connecticut Congressional delegation in Washington.

The Himes campaign needs volunteers to help take back this long-time Republican held seat. If you live in or near the 4th District and have some time to contribute, please go to the Himes For Congress website and fill out the online volunteer form to pitch in and help. This is a golden opportunity for you to make a very real difference in the direction our government takes over the next several years.

Colin Powell: the Anti-Lieberman

Look at how the GOPers are wailing and gnashing their teeth at the news their one-time favorite for President Gen. Colin Powell has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for our nation's top job.

The entire right-wing "commentariat" is aghast at the idea that President Bush's first-term Secretary of State and, earlier, the popular choice to run for President against Bill Clinton, has broken with his party to make a "principled choice" on who should be President.

Pat Buchanan and George Will insist the decision was racially motivated. And Rush Limbaugh basically shat himself upon hearing the news (or he would have, were it not for the flood of constipation-inducing opiates coursing through his system) and, in his typically confused fashion, claimed:
"Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race," Limbaugh wrote in an e-mail. "OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with.
He then goes on to state that Powell "dislikes" Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, so apparently Rush's take on skin color only matters when talking about Democrats. Somebody should spring a drug test on the guy; I'd bet my boat that Limbaugh is pissing pure Oxycontin.

But the main value of Powell's endorsement lies in the perception that he crossed longtime party lines to endorse Obama, and he feels strongly enough about his choice that he's willing to break with his longtime GOP friends to do so.

Contrast this to Joe Lieberman's claim that he is a Democrat supporting John McCain. Forget that Lieberman voluntarily left the party after losing the primary to Ned Lamont back in 2006, forming an independent party and working in concert with the GOP to assure his continued presence in the Senate. His reelection was a direct result of the GOP abandoning their properly nominated candidate for Senate, Alan Schlesinger, and giving Lieberman all the massive resources of the Republican party and high-profile GOP strategists like Karl Rove and fund raisers like Mel Sembler and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. So, for Lieberman to lie and say he's still a Democrat like he did at the Republican National Convention is patently ridiculous.

Colin Powell, on the other hand, has shown a level of honesty and principle that should embarrass Joe Lieberman by comparison. Powell isn't a power-hungry, overly-ambitious, hang-on-at-all-costs politician like Lieberman. He's someone who soberly and seriously evaluated the two candidates, and then made his decision on what's best for the country, not his career.

Joe Lieberman, by comparison, is simply a sad little man and a noxious joke on the American people. He'll be forever known as a man who desperately reached for greatness, but never attained it.

a Family Guy moment

UPDATE: Well, FOX decided this 19-second video clip violates fair-use laws and had it pulled from Youtube.

VIDEO RECAP: The Family Guy clip showed Stewie and Brian lure some uniformed Nazis into an alley, where they knocked them out and put on their uniforms so they could infiltrate some Nazi meeting. When they emerged wearing the uniforms, Stewie stopped and noticed something under his lapel. He ask, "What's this?" He turned the lapel up to show a McCain/Palin button. He exclaimed, "Oh, that's strange."

Or something like that.

Anyway, somebody must have tattled to Rupert Murdick about the clip, and that Ozzy bastard obviously made Youtube take it down.

What a wanker!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Voting Machine Fraud a Real Possibility

This year's election is seeing an unprecedented amount of early voting in many precincts, and along with nearly universal use of voting machines or electronic tabulators, this will probably be the year with the highest probability of intentional voting fraud.

Connecticut is less likely to have any deliberate tampering because the optical scanners are just counting machines that tabulate the ballot. The ballot itself IS the vote, and the machine simply speeds the counting. In the event of a recount, the ballots can be sent through a different machine or hand-counted.

Early voting reports from several precincts in West Virginia the use the fully electronic machines (no paper trail) seem to indicate the possibility of a coordinated attempt to steal votes from Barack Obama and deliver them to John McCain. This nightmare scenario makes me think that unless Obama maintains at least a 10-point lead in important swing states, there's a very real chance the election may be stolen by electronic voting fraud.

From the Charleston (W.V.) Gazette-Mail:
WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Three Putnam County voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.

This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for "Barack Obama" kept flipping to "John McCain".

In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections. Both county clerks said the problem is isolated.


Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.

"I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican," she said. "I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.

"I asked them for a printout of my votes," Ketchum said. "But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.

"I heard from some other people they also had trouble. But no one in there knew how to fix it," said Ketchum, who is not related to Menis Ketchum, a Democratic Supreme Court candidate.
The scary thing about this is how there are NO reports so far of the machines switching votes from John McCain TO Barack Obama. The only reports have been to McCain FROM Obama.

This is one reason why the Youtube "Video Your Vote" project may be critically important to documenting possible voting machine tampering. From ComputerWorld:
YouTube has announced plans to allow voters to upload their voting experiences to the video social network. YouTube announced yesterday that it has partnered with PBS to create a Video Your Vote YouTube channel to collect the massive amount of polling place video expected from users. These videos will be used to create a library of online Election Day footage, YouTube said.
So, if early voters in states that have reported voting machine irregularities manage to video their vote being changed by the machine from Obama to McCain, it will help prove that something is going on with the machines, and may help launch critical pre-election day investigations to potential voter fraud.

Because it would be much more helpful to have proof of the election being stolen BEFORE it happens!

Enjoying the Autumn foliage

(A view of Sleeping Giant from the trail)

Yesterday CT Joyce and I took the day and explored the Farmington Canal Trail on our bikes. The old canal/railroad trail has been converted to a modern paved trail suitable for walking, riding, roller-blading, and jogging. The nice thing about the rails- or canals-to-trails is there are minimal hills; trains and water tend to like it fairly level. So a full day of biking doesn't get too exhausting.

The trail roughly follows Route 10 from downtown Hamden up into Cheshire, and then there are additional developed areas in Farmington, Simsbury, and nearby towns. The photo below is of the restored Lock 12 on the old canal off of Route 42 in Cheshire.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

NH Register to endorse Obama?

Unnamed (yet usually reliable) sources said that the New Haven Register will issue an endorsement of Barack Obama for President, likely as early as Sunday.

These same sources then went on to describe their recent encounter with Bigfoot; they claim to have been abducted by aliens; and they want to sell me an authentic photograph of the Loch Ness Monster.

I'm not so sure about the aliens and the Bigfoot thing, but if they have a picture of Nessie, I definitely want to see it!

UPDATE: Sunday 9AM - It's true, the Register did endorse Sen. Obama for President!

That didn't take very long

It took less than ten days for my "McCain't" bumper sticker to be vandalized. And probably during five of those days, my car didn't leave the driveway.

Today my wife and I took a bike hike up the Farmington Canal trail with friends. We left the car parked "nose in" at a lot in Hamden, so anyone in the parking area could see the McCain't sticker on the back window.

After about four hours of exploring the trail and having a picnic lunch, we got back to the car and as I opened the liftgate, I noticed someone took a Sharpie and carefully blacked-out the apostrophe and the "T", making it a slightly left-of-center (irony alert!) run of the mill "McCain" bumper sticker. (The original photo is in the inset, also the article about it is HERE)

Notice how they took the Sharpie and made a real effort to black out every bit of the characters. I guess I should be glad they didn't go beyond that, like keying the car (as someone did to CTLP commenter McCommas, allegedly for showing a "NOBama" sticker), but they probably felt pity for me driving a 1994 Cavalier Wagon.

Funny thing is, we just happened to see a play last night where a minor plot point rested on the fact that a mild soap solution supposedly takes out felt-tipped pen marks. So when we got home today, I gave the vinyl sticker a couple spritzes of Fantastic and lightly scrubbed with a paper towel, and voila! Almost as good as new!

It did lighten up the background slightly, but I'll let it display the scars proudly, as a tangible symbol of our never ending struggle against the forces of tyranny and oppression.

Or, more likely, because I'm too goddamn lazy to get another one!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chris Shays Fails to Understand

I received this video from someone who stayed around after last night's debate between Chris Shays and Jim Himes at Fairfield University. The Shays campaign has been handing out these long pamphlets that outline all his supposed accomplishments.

Shays was confronted by a man who ask him to sign his "manifesto" (which right away may have tipped Chris off that he wasn't very happy). The man, a Fairfield homeowner, had recently lost his job and asked how he was supposed to pay his mortgage?

Chris was long on bluster but short on helpful answers. Watch the video:

(I would have taped it myself, but I was forbidden from shooting any video at this public political event because apparently the woman in charge is either a complete fascist about their arbitrary rules, or she's a closet Chris Shays supporter who understands that the more people who see Jim Himes will vote for him. After arguing with her for some minutes I realized that the public interest isn't welcome at the very appropriately initialed "F.U.", so I left.)

Pallin' around with terrorists: GOP style

I love David Letterman. He's a man who really knows how to hold a grudge.

When John Sidney McCain finally made good on his promise to appear on The Late Show, he probably thought all was forgiven. Heh heh. You don't cross Dave and get away with it.

To set up this clip (which may disappear at a moment's notice due to CBS's policies) you need to remember that G. Gordon Liddy was a convicted Watergate conspirator who planned to firebomb the Brookings Institute and suggested taking part in political assassinations of leftist activists and liberal columnists like Jack Anderson.

Not a very nice guy. He's probably what would be referred to as a "terrorist" in these modern times.

In case the video is deleted, here's The Raw Story's transcript of the exchange:
Thursday night on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman, the longtime latenight talk show host kneecapped GOP Presidential Candidate John McCain over his relationship to Watergate planner G. Gordon Liddy.

"You will also admit that we cannot really control who we interact with in our lives, a hundred percent," said Letterman, referencing McCain's ubiquitous attack against Barack Obama that ties him to a 60's political radical. "I mean, you have ... You have ..."

McCain interrupted. "Depends on how long we interact with them and how we interact with them."

Letterman tried to cut in several times, but he was cut off by the candidate.

"The point is ... The point, the point of this whole campaign, the economy, the economy ..." trailed McCain, counting with his left hand, but ceeding to Letterman on his third 'economy.'

"Did you not have a relationship with Gordon Liddy?" asked the host.

"Um, I've met him, uh, you know, I mean, um ..." began McCain.

"Didn't you attend a fundraiser at his house?" asked Letterman.

"That's," sputtered McCain, looking trapped. "That's, what ... Is ..."

"I object, your honor!" shouted Paul Shaffer, Letterman's band leader, only after several seconds of McCain looking like a deer in a car's headlights.

The host laughed as he stared straight into the CBS cameras, broadcasting live. Smiling, Letterman concluded: "We'll be right back."

118th Debate video

(L to R) Barbara Lambert (D), Nanci Seltzer (R), and Rocco Frank (I)

I taped the entire 95-minute debate between the candidates for the State Assembly seat being vacated by Jimmy Amann at the end of this term.

Because my Youtube account only allows up to 60 minutes of video, I split the Q&A debate into two videos, Part 1 (55 minutes) and Part 2 (33 minutes). The entire debate consisted of brief introductory remarks followed by a series of thirteen questions, with the order of response shifting between the candidates.

Here are the direct links to the two videos. Feel free to copy and distribute these videos to allow people in the 118th to see them:

Part 1
Part 2

The event was held at VFW Post 7788 at 422 Naugatuck Ave., moderated by Greg Smith and Commander Tim Mead.

Debate Part 1

Debate Part 2

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bysiewicz discusses registration issues

All the rabid talk lately of possible voter fraud due to improper voter registration forms has been wrought with incomplete facts and plain old wrong information.

Tonight, Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz showed up at our city's Democratic HQ grand opening, and I saw an opportunity to ask her about the partisan accusations that ACORN is deliberately trying to get away with voter fraud. Susan took a few minutes at the end of an exhausting day to discuss the issue with me in an impromptu backroom interview.

BTW, I didn't have time to get my camcorder set up; this video was recorded on my little Fujifilm Finepix J10 digital camera; I think it came out pretty good for a $129 camera.

Poll: Himes leads Shays 48-45%

The latest poll on the hotly contested Congressional seat in the 4th District shows Jim Himes with a slight lead over longtime incumbent Chris Shays.

From Swing State Project:
SurveyUSA for Roll Call (10/13-14, likely voters, no trendlines):

Jim Himes (D): 48
Chris Shays (R-inc): 45
(MoE: ±4%)

Shays's favorables: 43-32; Himes: 39-22. Shays has a small lead among independents, 46-42, but it's not going to be enough. That's because Obama leads McCain 59-37 in this district - in other words, Democrats are energized. (Remember, Kerry carried this district by just six points.)

This race is far from over, but I wouldn't want to be in Shays's shoes right now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dave Stevenson for 107th District Assembly

My good friend Dave Stevenson is running a very lively campaign for State Rep. in the 107th, which consists of Brookfield and Bethel. He taped this ad to show his constituents what he'll do both for the citizens of those towns, and for the state.

Fiscal Conservatism

We all know how well it's worked so far.

(click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

118th For Lambert

Here's the new video by Barbara Lambert, the Milford alderman and candidate to replace Speaker Jim Amann upon his retirement at the end of this session.

Barbara has a wealth of experience and she's a very bright and capable woman. She's in a three-way race for the seat, against Republican Nancy Seltzer and Independent candidate Rocco Frank (affectionately known among my friends as "Lee Whitnum redux"), and all three will meet tonight (Wednesday) night at 7PM for a debate/town hall meeting at the VFW, 422 Naugatuck Ave, Milford.

It promises to be entertaining.

Visit Barbara's webpage at

Shays defends Bush tax cuts at first debate

Kudos to the Himes campaign for getting this video up so quickly!

In this short clip, Chris Shays defends the existing tax debacle, while Jim Himes explains very clearly why the Bush tax cut is really simply a way for the GOP to mortgage our children's future.

Move debate video is available at

Say hello to the "Hate Talk Express"

The racist side of GOP politics is raising its ugly head, as evidenced by the video below.

Is anyone really surprised that the GOP would play the "hate card" if they couldn't win on the issues?

Sarah Palin is completely revolting when she speaks to the assembled crowds with her sly little Eva Braun smile as she amplifies and spreads the lies about Obama and gives tacit approval to the hate mongering at her rallies. It makes me sick to know that a person who might be our Vice President feels no regret at all for her remarks.

But the absolute blame for this disgusting ongoing spectacle rests solely on the shoulders of John Sidney McCain. McCain has the ultimate responsibility for the tone and conduct of his own campaign, and with a strongly-worded statement he can put an end to this awful rhetoric that seems to be getting worse at every single McCain or Palin appearance.

Of course, the man who has shamelessly betrayed every single one of his deeply held beliefs in his quest for the White House won't try to stop it. McCain's already burned every bridge that he crossed to get where he is today. In his twisted little mind, there's nothing to be gained by acting like a responsible human being now.

Three more weeks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chris Shays refuses to appear on "Face the State"

Despite being given tremendous scheduling leeway by WFSB-TV (Channel 3), Rep. Chris Shays (R-04) repeatedly declined all invitations to appear on the station's banner political program, "Face The State".

I'm not understanding this at all. Every other single Congressman in Connecticut, along with all their challengers, had immediately agreed to appear on the program.

This just seems to be a fearful, overly cautious move by a candidate who is terrified of anything other than "low-information voters" showing up at the polls in November.

Jim Himes accepted the invite, of course, and appeared alone to discuss the issues. For the entire video in three parts, see the article at ConnecticutBlog. But here's the quick intro that pokes a bit of sly fun at Shays for not appearing:

Jim Himes rallies the Obama volunteers

About a week ago Jim Himes spoke at a rally for Fairfield Democrats, including many volunteers. Here's a few brief words from Jim reminding us why we're all fighting so hard for a victory next month:

Himes-Shays debates scheduled

This is gonna be a fun week in Fairfield County!

Jim Himes, Democratic Candidate for Congress, announced the following schedule of six upcoming debates with incumbent Republican Congressman Christopher Shays:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 8:00am
(early bird special)
Hosts: Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Fairfield County Medical Association, Housatonic Community College, Connecticut Post
Location: Beacon Hall, Housatonic Community College, 900 Lafayette Boulevard, Bridgeport
(Health Care Specific)
For Information:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 12:00pm
Host: Norwalk Chamber of Commerce
For Information:

Thursday, October 16, 2008, 7:00pm
Host: Fairfield University Open Visions Forum
Location: Fairfield U, Quick Center, 1093 North Benson Rd, Fairfield
For Information: Contact the Fairfield Open Visions Forum (203) 254-4010
(I'm going to try to attend this one, so look for me there)

Sunday, October 19, 2008, 4:00pm
Host: League of Women Voters
Location: Clune Center for the Performing Arts, Wilton
For Information:

Monday, October 20, 2008, 10:30am
Hosts: Business Council of Fairfield County, Stamford Advocate /Greenwich Time, Fairfield County Bar Association, Real Estate Finance Association of Connecticut
Location: Conference Center, 400 Atlantic Street, Stamford
For Information:

Monday, October 20, 2008, 7:00pm

Host: World Affairs Forum
Location: Stamford Holiday Inn, 700 Main Street, Stamford
(Foreign Policy Specific)
For Information:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Last Call for Shays?

The Connecticut Post discusses the 4th CD candidates today. First, Chris Shays:
'Rep. Christopher Shays looked out across the U.S. Capitol grounds from the steps that lead to the House chamber, absorbing the moment as the sun beat down on his head.

The House of Representatives had just approved a $700 billion emergency bill to bail out Wall Street -- a blueprint that the Bush administration hoped would stop the bleeding that threatened to kill the national economy.

"That could have been my last vote," said Shays, who turns 63 next Saturday.

Shays won a close re-election in 2006 and, in fact, was the only New England Republican elected to the House. He expects another close race this time as he seeks a 12th term.'
Peter Urban sums up the rampant contradictions of Shays in one neat little sentence:
"He has been elated, depressed, frustrated and everything in between -- and has often seemed at odds with himself over what direction should be taken. He's proposed timelines for withdrawal while also supporting a surge in troops."
Meanwhile, Post reporter Ken Dixon discusses Jim Himes:
"Our government is a little too focused on the big banks, rather than the people who want to hold onto their houses," Himes said of the big bailout legislation from the week before. "I would have liked to see relief for homeowners."

He said the bill, for which he would have reluctantly voted if he were in Congress instead of Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4, needed more of the kind of regulatory apparatus that lawmakers in Washington have neglected to require for years.

It was that absence of oversight, he said, that allowed the financial and credit industries to nearly self destruct, taking the nation's economy along with it.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch then talks about Jim's candidacy:
"I was a trailblazer," Finch said with a laugh last week. "I think that Jim is a fine candidate who has a good campaign going, but I believe the trick here for Democrats is to transfer the Obama popularity and enthusiasm all the way down the ticket and do that in a district known from its ticket splitting."

Finch said that while former Westport First Selectman Diane Farrell came close but lost to Shays in 2006 and 2004, this year should be different.
The Obama factor is significant in Jim's efforts to unseat longtime incumbent Chris Shays. While Barack Obama is set to win in every district here, it's crucial that Democratic voters keep the ticket intact all the way down the line.

More than any other time in memory, we would benefit from the old "party lever" that used to be on the voting machines. Maybe they can come up with a "party template" that has pre-selected holes in a piece of card stock that you simply place over the ballot and then fill in the holes.

I'm sure the GOP would love that!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Marriage rights upheld for all

Today the State Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision to uphold the right of same-sex couples to marry.

The battle isn't quite over, however.

There's a line on the ballot next month asking if you are for or against a state constitutional convention.

The reason for this is that people with a very narrow agenda are hoping to be able to politicize issues like marriage equality, and use fear and scare tactics to impose their strict religious views on the state.

Because, apparently you can't get into Heaven simply by living a clean life and being a good person; no, you must also inflict your fundamentalist views on as many people as possible, regardless of who you hurt. The reason being that God, while He supposedly has the power to strike down anything in the entire universe that displeases him, would rather have a few overzealous followers be the bad guys.

It's all about perception; and even God, while He still can't hit a one-iron, knows that what people think will affect His numbers. With all the competition out there these days, He wants to keep as much of His rapidly diminishing market share as possible.

So He speaks to only a few favored minions, and instructs them on how to counteract this unfortunate trend of equality and compassion that seems to be spreading across the planet like wildfire. Then these followers use every insidious tool imaginable to combat the forces of fairness and justice.

Including changing the constitution to make Connecticut a disaster area of endless ballot initiatives and management by public consensus, instead of allowing the people we elect to do their jobs and make policy that follows the principles of our country.

We need to make sure that people vote "NO!" on the question of the Constitutional Convention. Tell everyone you know WHY it's a terrible idea to change our system of government to a circus of popular opinion.

And you fundies out there, remember that your own book of God's teachings talks a lot about love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Maybe you should read it sometime.