Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Zoom, Zoom Indeed

No need to reinvent the blog here. Our good friend, Spazeboy, accompanied Ned on his transportation plan kickoff. Read his terrific analysis here

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Follow Kagan Hearings

Questioning begins Tuesday at 9am for Elena Kagan. I will be following on SCOTUSblog -- their live blogging is tag-teamed so while one person is paraphrasing, others provide links to the cases and issues being discussed. I followed Sotomayor's hearings there, and they do a great job. Also, they have the latest commentary on the end of term rulings.

Monday, June 28, 2010

How Many Jobs is That?

Yes, Bob is out in the glam world of making movies, as the rest of us toil in the trenches here. At least my trench has air conditioning.

Today, the Courant's Chris Keating has a lengthy piece on Dan Malloy's claim of creating 5,000 jobs as mayor of Stamford. While it is quite mind-numbing in spots, it is an important reminder of what goes into interpreting job numbers.
  • What's more important, job "creation" or net jobs in the city (total jobs now v. total jobs at a previous point in time)?
  • Is job "creation" worth the enormous tax credits (loss to the overall tax base) big businesses demand to bring jobs to an area?
  • By what criteria should we assess "new jobs"? Jobs with benefits? Jobs above minimum wage? Jobs in the private sector? Jobs that require a college eduction? Or are all jobs equivalent? 
I don't have the answers to these questions, but the voters will be thinking about them when they cast their ballot in August and November. Or is it as simple as, "When my neighbor loses his job, it's a recession; when I lose my job, it's a depression." What do you think?

UPDATE: Spazeboy's analysis is here 
and MattW's done a terrific job at MLN here

CT Bob Update: It may sound glam, but nobody told me that filmmaking was basically waiting around endlessly while sweating your balls off in the oppressive 90+ degree heat! But then, such is the price I gladly pay for following my muse.

Anyway, MattW has another article on the inflated Malloy jobs numbers over at My Left Nutmeg, and honestly, I'm getting a bit concerned about statements coming from the Malloy campaign that are blatantly misleading, such as the claim that Ned Lamont only entered the governor's race after Jodi Rell announced she would drop out.

In fact, Lamont announced his exploratory run for governor on November 4th. Rell announced she wouldn't seek another term on Nov. 9th, five days AFTER Lamont announced he was interested. The case can be made that Gov. Rell dropped out BECAUSE Lamont was interested in her office, and Rell didn't have the gumption for a serious challenge for her seat.

Funny how she didn't turn tail and run when Malloy announced HIS exploratory committee earlier.

Roy Occhiogrosso is the main strategist behind Malloy's campaign, and this is a guy who's strictly a hired gun; a hit man who doesn't care one bit about the quality of the candidates or the issues at hand. He's the guy who crafted many of the outrageous and false attacks on Ned Lamont back in 2006, when he worked for our junior senator, Joe Lieberman. What matters to him is who signs his checks, and he knows a win in the primary means more of those lovely paychecks. After 2006, we can only imagine how far he'll stoop to ensure victory for his new boss.

We're starting to see glimmers of his old nasty self in some of Dan Malloy's campaign propaganda. Let's hope saner and more civil minds will prevail, and maybe they'll stop attacking Ned and start talking about Dan's strengths (although, judging from the Courant article today, job creation doesn't seem to be one of them).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What I've been doing

I've been a little preoccupied lately with learning a thing or two about sound mixing for feature film production.

Go to to read about it.

Also, I've been doing a little (but not enough) of this:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Real American Hero

Ms. Kirby (pictured above, with a certain Boy from Spaze circa 2006) did such an awesome job last night live-blogging the debate that I decided she deserves her very own post celebrating that fact.

Remember those humorous Budweiser commercials that celebrated "Real American Heroes"? Well, our Kirby definitely should get an honorable mention for her rapid-fire and tireless live blog of last night's Democratic gubernatorial debate on WFSB-TV. She concisely summarized each question and both candidate's answers totally on the fly, in real time. I only wish I had the ability and the attention span to do as good a job!

So, here's to you, Kirby. You're a real American hero!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Debate: Closing Remarks

The debate part is over. Closing remarks are scripted and practiced, so I will leave them to you. I hope this was helpful to provide a record of the debate without commentary -- there will be plenty of time for that later. Realtime commentary is here at MLN

Most important. Please stay involved in this election -- and VOTE!

Debate: Death Penalty

Ned: One of the toughest questions. Could make case that if deterrent -- no murders would happen in TX. Executions cost more. Question of justice? If the legislature voted to ban, I would sign as voice of the people. What do people have? Give them home, jobs will bring down crime and get state moving again.
Dan: A real dilemma. I am former prosecutor. Tried homicides. If I believed relationship between death penalty and murder rates -- studied and prayed hard -- government role is not to put people to death. Applied to Black, Hispanic, poor more than others. Better off without it. Heart out to people who have suffered loss. My heart goes out.

Debate: Tourism

What will you do to promote tourism?
Dan: Tourism $9 BIL industry -- foolish place that spends no money to promote our state outside borders. Cape Cod, Williamsburg, Michigan advertise -- we do not. I make a commitment to attract people from inside and outside our borders. I watched this admin dismantle system -- missing revenue for state.
Ned: State is shortsighted. Tourism is a great business. Everybody go to Mystic (where questioner is from). Different strategy from now. Focus on our businesses to grow and expand. Tourism essential to our future. Need governor who believes in our state and promotes it.

Deabte: SCOTUS funding

Ned: Don't want big corporations to have same rights in campaign donations as individuals. Dan & I have a difference in public funding, but we agree in a clean campaign. No PAC, no donations from people doing business with the state. I'll be nobody's man but yours.
Dan: I have a profound difference with SCOTUS. We do have a public financing program -- I raised $100 or less. Lamont rules are in the law -- not choice. He's written checks for $2 million. Collected money from Wall St. interests. I want to be first governor with fresh agenda. Don't owe anything to anyone.
Ned: I honored the letter and spirit of public finance. These rules don't work when both sides don't play by same rules. Issues facing CT are more important. Dan thinks most important issue is public financing -- I think biggest issue is jobs.

Debate: Immigrants

Dan: US needs to control borders. Federal obligation. How far do we go providing services to those here illegally? Mother or father of citizen. Need balanced approach, but stern. Not a welfare state for those coming illegally. New Haven gives ID cards -- not a direction I chose. People in our community get required federal services regardless of status.
Ned: Kids I used to teach -- a lot were not born here. Didn't have all rights -- didn't know what they were going to do. Federal govt needs to have comprehensive immigration reform. Falling in the laps of mayors. Believe in legal immigration -- tough on illegal. Shut down opportunities at employment. Do not hire illegals. Folks here now, need health care -- give them the best we can.

Debate: Education Quality

Ned: Will not balance budget on backs of students. Most important issue. Maintain quality of workforce. Kids from cities and small towns. 40% more people at retirement age -- 5% fewer people working. Salute reforms in Stamford and New Haven. I am proud to have support of teachers and business groups to work together. No more important issue than to make sure each kid gets a fair shot.
Dan: We are balancing on backs of students. Govt local contribution 17% down. Cities are closing schools because of budgets. State is not living up to needs of local government. Were #2 in college graduation rate, now #7. Dismantled education system. Need to reform how we fund. Support teachers, cut admin costs.

Debate: Laid off

59 year old laid off, can't find work.
Dan: 5th worst for people laid off, looking for work. Easier, maybe free for you to be retrained. Reach out, help in unemployment offices. People now waiting 6 mos for assistance they could get in 5 or 6 days. More important, we are not listening, understanding what is going on in your life.
Ned: People just want an opportunity to get back to work. At CTWorks, people lined up in rain. Many had been employed for 20+ years, thought they would retire and boom! No job. I have created jobs. I know how to get companies hiring again. We need nurses, doctors, engineers. Training. This state is falling behind, we need to change.

Debate: Blue Law?

Ned: Government -- don't understand why govt needs to get involved. Let people decide where they want to shop.
Dan: I will sign legislation. Super Bowl Sunday -- we lose revenue when people go to NY to buy liquor. That revenue will save teachers and make life simpler. Other laws should be examined. Be mindful that we need to get out of the way of business.

Debate: What is Gov Ready to Do Small Business

Dan: Too darn high -- $250 fee for small business same as large. 76% more for electricity in CT than national average. Must wrestle that to the ground. Less $ ways to access healthcare 20% for health insurance than 1 year ago. Pool small businesses and tier for small businesses. I did that.
Ned: Most important question. Small business creates jobs. We are dead last. Spend hundreds of millions on big co. Reduce taxes & fees -- energy tax. Reduce high cost of healthcare. Bank windows closed-- triple funding for CT innovations to get money. Speed up approval process from govt -- DEP, small business will lead us out of this recession.
Dan: I created small business resources in government ctr. Overburdened by property taxes.

Debate:What Will You Cut?

Ned: Fundamental changes that will bring down cost of govt. No nickel and dime around edges. Not more taxes, more taxpayers by getting people back to work. Specifically? DMV. Friend walked into DMV democrat, walked out a tea partier. Move services online.
Dan: Make sure we get spending under control. More than 200 state agencies -- cut by 1/3 -- cut out management, not services. Too many state employees have state cars. Reimburse for personal car use. Drug and alcohol treatment instead of incarceration. Must cut spending.

Debate: Why no D in Governor Office

Budget was gridlock -- how will you reach across the aisle?
Dan: Government has not worked well for you, why I am committed to this race. We need to bring in leadership, sit around table, labor leaders, teachers, administrators, talk about changes they want. Need someone who is strong enough to cut government. We could be great again. If we don't change direction, we won't get there. Cut gov't where it needs to be cut.
Ned: A lot of people like D legislature, R governor -- hasn't worked -- finger pointing, blame-shifting, don't know how to reform. I am not afraid to take on both sides. Make sure these are fundamental changes. I will listen to best minds and present an honest budget. It could be a tough 4 year gig and then on you go, but I am willing to take that chance and make the changes we need.

Debate: City education

School vouchers?
Ned: I oppose. My co-teacher pointed out the 4 students in the front of the class made the engine run. We need to keep them going. That resonated with me. Fundamental reforms to give each kid the best option at the starting line of life. G'mother teacher in Puerto Rico, I am a professor at CCSU -- if we don't assure every kid at Harding High has a chance, we'll slip.
Dan: I had learning disability. Vouchers not the way. Great teachers need to be supported, funded and brought in the process. Too top heavy in bureaucracy with too much money at the top, not enough in classroom. I instituted universal pre-K. First commission on achievement gap in the state. I am ready for this challenge.
Q: People are fed up with millions and no results.
Ned: Still no vouchers -- need teachers at the table, vouchers suck the oxygen out. Cannot afford to fail.
Dan: Senate bill 438 requires a failing school to have an advisory board that can force schools to change. 

Debate: What makes you different?

Dan: Ned would wait on funding education until a future time. I know we need to do this right away. I have done this job. I led a city for 14 years -- we did it in an afforable fashion. Not a time for on-the-job training. I have a business background -- a lawyer, I built houses. I am ready to lead on day one.
Ned: Politicians have run this state into the ditch and we now need a designated driver. Number one problem is jobs. We are dead last in jobs. I heard Dan say we can raise some taxes. We need to expand the pie, not just divvy it up differently. Not afraid to take on establishment Republicans and Democrats and challenge the way they have done things. Need someone from the outside.
Dan: Devoted my adult life to making things better. Prosecutor, gave up nights to attend meetings.

Debate: Should state take over education $

Question: Weicker suggested state pay for education to lower property taxes.
Ned: Weicker had guts -- did not kick the can down the road -- got a realistic budget. First reform -- healthcare -- 35% of state budget. Nursing care. If we had people stay home instead of nursing homes, that could save $900 million. We spend more per Medicaid beneficiary. Pay for performance, not procedure.
Dan: You asked about education. I don't think the state should do this. I am in favor of reducing property taxes regarding education funding. If we were to turn this over to state government, it would be a problem. People in Simsbury do not want decisions being made in Hartford. Citizens should be able to control their own educational processes.
Ned: I believe in local control of education. Key is first to have an honest budget. Small town and big cities in trouble with reliance on property tax.

Debate: How About Tolls

What about bringing tolls back?
Dan: People are against -- state government will take another revenue source and waste money. We need first class transportation system -- would dedicate any toll revenue to transportation. Part of growing the state's economy. I understand that -- I went to DC to get money. 200% increase in commuters coming into Stamford.
Ned: I agree with Dan on importance of transportation. Stop raiding transportation fund and focus on real maintenance. Why have politicians been talking about public transportation and all we see is bumper-to-bumper. 

Debate Live-Blog

Ned:"I don't think politicians have earned the right to raise taxes." We want a tax structure that reflects the values of the people -- give the taxpayer confidence in how money is spent.
Dan: Middle class in CT pays a higher percentage of income in taxes than the most wealthy. Middle class under tremendous pressure. We cannot take away resources. Need to grow middle class. Lost business because we have the highest energy costs of any state in the U.S.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Schiff will primary McMahon

(Christine Stuart photo)

It looks like there will be a race for the GOP senate nomination in the August primary now that Peter Schiff has qualified with enough signatures to get on the ballot. And there's always a chance that Rob Simmons will jump back in the race if he feels there is enough division among the Republicans to get his numbers up, as he got enough votes at the convention to earn a place on the ballot but ceased campaign operations soon after due to money issues.

I think this is a good thing for the Democrats, since Schiff can now start attacking McMahon for not being tea-baggy enough; and McMahon will have to stretch farther to the right than she's comfortable with, putting her in unfamiliar territory where her chances of making a gigantic mistake increases exponentially.

And Simmons will probably see this discord within the party as an opportunity to relaunch his campaign and pull votes from both candidates.

It's entirely possible the GOP nomination will be won by a candidate with less than 40% of the vote; which is never an encouraging sign when you're up against a Democratic candidate with incredibly high approval numbers.

Hey, Schiff happens!

Now let's all sit back and enjoy watching the inevitable carnage!

2012 Is Just Too Long to Wait

Isn't there some way we can get rid of LIEberman now? We have not been posting about his unbelievable bill to create an "off switch" for the Internet, among other crazy stuff...but he does deserve to be chastised for turning his back on the 169,000+ folks who are unemployed in Connecticut by voting against cloture on the bill in the Senate to extend unemployment benefits and COBRA assistance for health insurance. He's just exhausting, isn't he? Here's a nice open letter to our boy. Written from Carlsbad, CA, the writer will learn the only way to get Joey's attention is to offer a TV camera for a national TV appearance or some similar way to polish up his failing ego.

BTW, I plan to live blog the debate Tuesday evening 6/22 at 7pm on NBC Connecticut between Ned Lamont and Dannel Malloy. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just What I Thought, Andrew...

If you don't regularly read Andrew Sullivan's Blog, the Daily Dish, you are missing a great read. While I certainly don't agree with him on everything, he promises a thoughtful read no matter the topic. Here is his thinking on Obama, just a bit more analytical than my post from earlier, but coming to the same conclusion.
And that's why Obama's incrementalism, his refusal to pose as a presidential magician, and his resistance to taking the bait of the fetid right (he's president - not a cable news host) seems to me to show not weakness, but a lethal and patient strength. And a resilient ambition.
Know hope.

I think it's called "big picture."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Liebercrat Perez goes to jail

(Ken Krayeske photo via CTNJ)

Another "I'm Sticking With Joe" Democrat, Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, is the latest victim of the "Liebercrat Curse!"

The Liebercrat Curse is when the divine forces of the universe, and all that is good and just triumph over the bull-headed and petty interests of cowardly Democrats, who actively went against their party to campaign for a certain self-serving career politician who shall remain nameless.

(Oh, no he won't! Sen. Lieberman!)

That very same career politician who then, just two years later, hit the road with the frantic zeal of a fundamentalist preacher on a meth binge to campaign for the REPUBLICAN nominee for president, John Sidney McCain!

How'd that sit with you Joe stickers?

We've seen many careers end in the wake of their "Stick With Joe" mentality, not the least of which was the Speaker of the House, my former district Rep. Jim Amann, who quit his powerful position as Speaker to make his doomed two-year run for governor. We all see how well THAT turned out.

Well, there goes another career! Mayor Perez claims he will resign after his conviction for larceny and bribery. He promises to appeal, but we all know where he's going.

To the Big House. The Joint. The Stir. The Pen. Just add a bunch of other lame 1940s movie cliches to belabor your point, Bob.

(Okay, I probably shouldn't type out what I say to myself in a blog post....I'll try to control that.)

Gee Eddie, how's that "I'm sticking with Joe" thing workin' out for ya? I didn't see your BFF Joe show up as a character witness professing his admiration for you at your trial. I wonder why?

I honestly try not to indulge in schadenfreude (mostly because I think too much celebrating over someone else's misfortune is tempting the Gods of Karma, who ARE real and will seriously fuck you up if you're not careful) but I just can't help it in this case!

Have fun in jail, Eddie! I'll order myself a vanity license plate just so you'll have something to do when you get there.

UPDATE: Okay, in the interest of journalistic accuracy, it isn't 100% certain that Perez will eventually go to jail, but excuse me for being pleased that a scumbag politician who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar is being punished for it. Any betrayal of the public trust should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Way to Kick Ass, Mr. President!"

This is what Ed Schultz said at the top of his radio program this afternoon when the word came out that BP was not only putting up $20 billion in an escrow account, administered by a third party, but also $100 million in a fund for people who have been left unemployed by the moratorium on drilling. I look forward to hearing the backstory of today's meeting. I get the sense there was very little room in which BP could "negotiate" or try to roll this president.

I listened to that speech from the Oval Office last night, and I must say, I miss the rousing orator from the 2008 campaign. But, that's not governing. Doing the business of the nation can be dull and boring. But once again, just when we thought he was being too professorial, too cerebral, and not feeling enough of our pain, he quietly, precisely took aim and hit a bulls-eye.

When you think about all the crap that has been thrown his way and the booby-traps that no doubt still await this administration, we really do need to realize that he does have this. For the first time I can remember, we have a president who thinks about 18 steps ahead of today, and way ahead of his rivals and critics. He resists the urge to do things for show, and time after time, this cerebral, deliberative approach has worked.

While I don't agree with everything, I can at least respect his process and I trust his judgment. When he's pissing off the left and the right, he must be doing something right.

Hollywood Bob goes to film school

This is why I've been too busy lately to post every day. Here's an article I crossposted from my filmmaking blog, At the end of this, and each new post on that blog you can click to read next article.

The Hollywood Bob blog is currently on hiatus, but you can read all about my experiences in this program on the FutureDV website.

On June 7th I began an intensive, month-long program at Quinnipiac University that aims to create a valuable work force for the burgeoning Connecticut film industry.

I arrived at the picturesque QU campus around 8:30 this morning completely jacked up on too much coffee, and registered for the program in the Law School building.

The class began soon after, with lectures by Charles Miller, who works for the state's Office For Workforce Competitiveness; and Liam O'Brien, chair of the Department of Film, Video and Interactive Media for the School of Communications.

I met several fellow students, Zach and Angelo, who are in the A.D. (Assistant Director) program, and Daniel, who like me is enrolled in the Sound Dept. program.

Then after lunch we listened to an incredibly detailed lecture and Q&A session with Danielle Rigby, who teaches the Assistant Director program and has worked on an amazing number of major motion pictures. Danielle was born in Australia and has a twinge of the ol' Aussie drawl in her speech. But she presented a ton of practical knowledge about the business of film making, and how to go about getting jobs after completing the course.

One point she brought up is that everyone who completes this course will have a very usable knowledge about the business of production, and she stated that she'd rather hire a graduate of this course than someone who comes in touting a 3-year film school degree.

It seems like I chose the right school to attend. I can't wait to see how Day 2 goes!

Click to go to Day 2

Monday, June 14, 2010

Joe pushes Climate Bill; this will kill it for sure

Repost of an article by Josh Nelson at FireDogLake. I can't help but see the appearance of Sen. Joseph Lieberman to supposedly try to help pass meaningful legislation regarding climate change is sort of like expecting to have a long and fulfilling life when witnessing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse galloping up your driveway!

In other words, it's probably not a very promising sign.

Read the article below; or better yet, click on the link above to read it on FDL because it has a ton of links that I don't have the time to repost here:

Prospects for Senate passage of climate change legislation this year were already slim, but this development may be the nail in the coffin:
Leading Democratic senators tasked Joe Lieberman on Thursday with finding a compromise measure that would satisfy a diverse caucus split between doing energy-only legislation or a more comprehensive approach to climate change, Democratic aides said.
While the fact that Senator Lieberman lends his name to the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act may relieve some casual observers, he will almost certainly advocate an energy-only approach. As Chris Bowers notes, it is hard to imagine Senator Lieberman pushing for the progressive approach here. For a preview of how he’ll justify his decision to think small, we can look back to his remarks on the subject six months ago:
"I don’t think the Senate has an appetite for another such epic, polarized legislative war this session," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), who met with Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday to strategize on how to enlist support for a compromise climate bill they are writing.
Now, I’m increasingly convinced that a bill that doesn’t explicitly address climate change is the best path forward this year. As unfortunate as it is, the United States Senate simply is not in the right place to do what needs to be done: put a price on carbon. Even the Kerry-Lieberman effort to lure Republican support by incorporating many Republican ideas into the legislation fell flat, failing to attract a single cosponsor. I’d be happy with a bill that made investments in clean energy and efficiency, while also holding BP accountable and tightening oil industry regulations. I’d be even happier if they moved a bill like that and allowed amendment votes on implementing a Renewable Electricity Standard, banning offshore drilling, making major investments in high speed rail and providing federal grant money to innovative transit solutions.

But that doesn’t appear to be the direction Reid is steering Lieberman
Lieberman, an independent Democrat from Connecticut, was asked to work with Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to find a compromise.
As David Dayen has repeatedly explained, Bingaman’s ACELA package that passed the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year is quite possibly worse than the status quo. It is the weakest form of energy-only legislation currently on the table, and it more closely reflects something you’d expect Republicans to put forward than what you’d hope to see from Democrats.

And Max Baucus, as evidenced by his role in the health care debate, is just about the last person you’d want to get input from on something this important. He seems more interested in slow-walking legislation for the sake of the appearance of bipartisanship than actually addressing problems. On top of that, Baucus has never shown an actual interest in or understanding of taking serious action on climate change or energy.

Meanwhile, there are several Senators who actually understand the scope of the problem and have worked for years to address it:

Senator Boxer was squeezed out of negotiations last fall after Republicans in her committee orchestrated a massive temper tantrum and failed to show up for a vote.

Senator Sanders has several good amendments that represent an excellent starting point for discussions.

And Senator Merkley is outlining a proposal today to significantly reduce demand for oil.

It isn’t clear why these three Senators — folks who actually have good ideas on the issue — aren’t being asked to help plot out the path forward.

Putting Joe Lieberman in charge of plotting the path forward, and instructing him to do so with the input of Senators Bingaman and Baucus, is a surefire recipe for screwing up a rare opportunity to move decent legislation. When Lieberman botches this, Senator Reid will share the blame.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

They never had it so good

Research by the American Petroleum Institute proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that crude oil doesn't harm ocean life! Well, I know I'll breathe easier now...

From DailyKos:
From 1960 courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute: not only did test oysters show no ill effects from being covered in oil, they were sooo happy and realized they never had it sooo good ...

Friday, June 11, 2010

...Or is he just a political whore?

This from Jeff Zeleny in the NY Times:
Are Republicans trying to woo Senator Joseph I. Lieberman?
Mr. Lieberman, a Connecticut independent whom Democrats have counted as one of their own, is the honored guest at a Washington fund-raising dinner that is being hosted by a group of top Republican fund-raisers.
This year, he is not on the ballot. The event, according to an invitation being sent this week to potential contributors, is to benefit his 2012 re-election campaign.
The question, though, is what party Mr. Lieberman will align himself if he decides to ask voters to give him a fifth term in the Senate...[snip]
Is Mr. Lieberman simply hedging his bets – being loosely aligned with Democrats now, but keeping his options open with Republicans if they sweep the fall elections and inch closer to controlling the Senate? Or is this Republican fund-raising event later this month a sign that he is making a more permanent move to the right?

Or is he just taking his own particular brand of political whoring to a whole new level?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Q-Poll shows Lamont maintains lead over Malloy


I was up at Quinnipiac University today, and I found the actual "Q-Pole"!

The latest Quinnipiac Poll shows Ned Lamont continuing his significant head-to-head lead over Dan Malloy; while in the Senate race Dick Blumenthal easily destroys Linda McGraphicSex&Violence.

Lamont 39/Malloy 22
Lamont maintains a 17-point advantage among Connecticut Democrats.

Malloy Fav 26/5/68
Lamont Fav 43/9/46
Lamont's favorability rating enjoys the same margin over Malloy's.

Simmons 29/McMahon 45/Schiff 13
Blumenthal 54/Simmons 33
Blumenthal 55/McMahon 35
Blumenthal 56/Schiff 29
Blumenthal easily dispatches any GOP challenger, with Linda McSteroidAbusingEmployees the closest; meaning, being beaten by ONLY twenty points.

McMahon Fav 38/35/25
Blumenthal Fav 59/29/9

Should the next senator generally support Obama policies 53/37
Suck it, teabaggers!

On the GOP side, Foley crushes Fedele 39/12
Looks like the Lt. Gov. should have become an astronaut instead, because all he does is take up space. Get it?

Monday, June 07, 2010

When Running for Senate, Past Irrelevant


Our buddy, Joe has reached a new low -- if that is possible -- in this year's Senate race. The local TV reporters, mostly known as Joe's stenographers, asked him today if he would endorse a candidate. He first said, "I’m not ready to make choice…it’s possible I won’t get involved at all." But we know that Joe will never pass an opportunity by.

When it was pointed out that Joe first met Linda McMahon during his crusade against sex and violence aimed at children, which pretty much describes professional wrestling, this was his response,"She’s running for senate now so I’m not holding her accountable for anything in the past…"

Sounds pretty much like Joe's political philosophy to me.

McEnroe discusses debates

Colin McEnroe discusses the debate about debates within the Democratic race for governor in the Hartford Courant:
Pretty soon now, the 2010 candidates will start having debates, but right now they're in the phase of having debates about whether to have debates.

The person who most wants to have debates is Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dannel Malloy, who has challenged his immediate rival Ned Lamont to 17 debates around the state. Malloy also wants to debate Stephen Hawking, Fran Drescher, the Canadian rock band Rush and baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Malloy is eager to debate because he has been running for governor since I was in middle school, so he knows the answers to more questions than Lamont. He is also trailing Lamont in some polls. When you're behind, you really want to debate, just on the off chance that your opponent will claim that Naugatuck is a failed Soviet state or answer most questions with a Roadrunner-like beep.

This was Lamont's thinking in 2006, when he asked for debates with Joe Lieberman. Lamont had no real debating experience. It was still worth a shot based on the slim hope that Lieberman would do something weird like stand there saying over and over, "Who is Ned Lamont. Who is he?" Which is what Lieberman did, almost as if he had awakened from a coma and was trying to bring himself up to date on the race. It didn't matter because nobody really watches debates. (there's more)
Click on the link to read the rest of Colin's hilarious article.

The main thing to remember is that there absolutely WILL be debates...but maybe not enough to make Dan Malloy happy.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sunday Night Music Club XIII

Miles Davis, with John Coltrane, performs "So What" in a live concert video from April 1959. The album, "Kind of Blue", is a jazz milestone.

I was about three months old at the time, so I don't remember if I watched it. More than likely I was too busy shitting myself to pay attention to the TV.

However, I did eventually see Miles Davis perform live, way back during the late 1980s at the Newport Jazz Festival. That's me in the front row. Miles was his usual aloof-acting self, seated on a stool facing away from the audience for most of the show. It didn't matter, because the music was fantastic.

...and I'm proud to say that this time around, I remained more or less continent!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Schiff gets all Acorn-y

Proving that no hypocrisy is beyond your reach when you're a Republican, off-shore investment pitch man (and the guy who claims ALL the credit for predicting the entirely foreseeable economic downturn) Peter Schiff has hired an Arizona firm to help him get enough signatures to force a primary against wrestling diva Linda McSteroids.

Schiff, the bastard love child of an unholy alliance between the FreedomWorks-sponsored Tea Parties and disgruntled Connecticut conservatives (who, by the way, detest Linda M.), has spoken previously on the topic of pay-for-play issues.

From Christine Stuart at CT News Junkie:
After calling his Republican rival’s voter registration drive at the University of Connecticut “ACORN-ish,” Peter Schiff has just five days to collect 8,268 signatures to get on the Republican primary ballot and he’s paying to get it done.

While the Schiff campaign refused to confirm it was paying volunteers $2.25 per signature, it has admitted it’s hired an Arizona firm to help with its efforts.
Now, you can call me crazy, but if you're paying someone to collect signatures, doesn't that totally negate the meaning of the word "volunteer"? Hey, I guess that makes me a volunteer to the company I work for! I volunteer 40 hours of work a week to them. Sure, they give me cash every payday, but I'm still a volunteer, dammit. Very silly.

(Actually, the punchline to this little rant is that I just got laid off from my job, so now I'm technically an "unemployed volunteer". Do I have time to re-register as a Republican so I can start cashing in on those sweet $2.25 checks?)

There's also the little requirement that everyone collecting the signatures must not only be a GOPer, but also has to reside within the state. So if you see anyone collecting signatures that's obviously from Arizona (and you can easily tell who they are by the way they roughly challenge any Latinos they see and demand legal identification) please notify the Secretary of State's office.

The deadline is fast approaching, and if Schiff somehow turns in the required number of signatures, I wouldn't be surprised if a goodly portion of them don't stand up to close scrutiny.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Supporting the Constitution: How Quaint!

Fittingly, on Memorial Day, Judge Janet Hall ruled that holding public school graduation ceremonies for the Enfield board of education in a church violated the Establishment clause of the first amendment of the Constitution. Fitting to honor the memory of the brave men and women who gave their lives defending that Constitution.

Read the ruling here. What may, at first blush, appear to be a choice of convenience -- looking for a facility large enough for students, family and friends, and meeting budgetary requirements -- the choice of The First Cathedral was pushed by the Family Institute of Connecticut, who lobbied the school board after the board voted six to three to "bring the kids home" with graduation ceremonies at the schools.

The ruling states:
Wolfgang [the FIC executive director] urged the Board to return to First Cathedral and to “[s]tand up for religious rights” and“for the constitution and our first amendment rights” by holding graduations at First Cathedral...The record indicates...that but for FIC and Wolfgang, Enfield Public Schools would not have decided to hold the two graduations at First Cathedral.
Since when has a public high school graduation been a time to "stand up for religious rights"? Would the FIC support holding high school graduation in a mosque or synagogue?

The ruling provides an account of the pressure brought by FIC on the school board. Alternative venues were less expensive and in a year in which the board is closing schools, it seems that spending more money on graduation in a Cathedral than it would cost in Springfield Symphony Hall ($5000 less) is unjustifiable.

But it gets even more entangled when the Enfield schools described the items that would need to be removed or covered to secularize the Cathedral for the graduation ceremonies. Judge Hall points out that this is an inappropriate use of the state to interfere in the practice of religion by modifying a place of worship. The ruling states,
"In Establishment Clause cases, '[i]t must not be forgotten . . . that while concern must be given to define the protection granted to an objector or a dissenting nonbeliever, these same Clauses exist to protect religion from government interference.' ”
This is not to pass judgment on the First Cathedral. For persons who choose to worship there, I am confident they receive their God's blessings in accordance with their faith. But no young adult should be forced to attend a once-in-a-lifetime ceremony that celebrates their achievement in a public school by entering a church that clearly espouses religion they may or may not believe in.

Update: Rick Green does a nice job uncovering what went on here

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

How I Love Rachel Maddow...

I can count the ways, but for today, she is my hero for pointing out the outrageous hypocrite we find in one Orrin Hatch. His latest? Introducing a bill in the Senate, called the "Stolen Valor Act" to punish anyone who misrepresents his military service with six months in jail.

This Act, however, exempts Republican Rep. Mark Kirk of IL, who [cough, cough] incorrectly claimed that he received "Navy Intelligence Officer of the Year." Read more about his well-choreographed dance here on Politico. "We misidentified it," he said. He also used it in campaign ads...another misidentification, I suppose.

Why doesn't Hatch come clean for a change and just call it the "Screw Dick Blumenthal Act"? What a bunch of crap.

Rachel has pointed out that not only did Kirk misstate his intelligence award, he misstated it while speaking on House business, and he claimed to be the only member of Congress who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom...only he didn't...he served in, um, Italy.

As Rachel says, IOKIYAR -- "It's okay if you are Republican."

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Courant to Rell: Build more bike trails

In a Sunday editorial, the Hartford Courant called upon Gov. Rell to release some previously authorized funds so planned greenway trails can be built.
In the past month, three bicyclists have been badly injured — two critically — in collisions with cars. These awful accidents underscore the need to separate, wherever possible, the places where people drive cars from the places where they ride bikes.


Few investments address as many problems at once as multi-use trails. Trails provide a means to combat obesity, climate change and dependence on foreign oil. They enhance quality of life, reduce transportation costs and spur economic development (witness the bike shops, restaurants and guest houses along the Cape Cod bike trails).

In 2007, the legislature made $12 million available over two years to complete the East Coast Greenway, the main east-west multi-use path through the state, and to support other trails. But the economy swooned, and the authorization was cut back to $2 million.

Advocates are asking Gov. M. Jodi Rell to release about $1.4 million to build segments in Manchester-Bolton, Farmington and along the shoreline. The governor should release the money. Yes, these are difficult fiscal times. But if the state has to shelve some major infrastructure construction, it should focus on meaningful smaller projects. This is one, and could be a legacy project for the governor. Completion of the Bolton-Manchester segment will link eastern Connecticut to Hartford for bicycle commuters was well as recreation cyclists.

Releasing the funds now would put the state in position to receive federal funds. The Obama administration is pushing alternatives to driving, from high-speed rail to bicycling. There may be as much as $2 billion available for bike/ped projects when the new transportation bill is authorized. We should keep pushing until the state is crisscrossed with bike trails.
This is an investment in our state that will absolutely pay itself back many times over, and will improve the quality of life considerably for many people.

A great example of a successful greenway is the Air Line Rail Trail. Back in 2005, I made a documentary showing the beauty and history of the former railroad line that was converted to a linear park: