Sunday, November 27, 2011

Manchester paper backs Gingrich!

Oh, thank you, Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader, thank you for throwing your vast editorial weight behind my favorite 90s-era politician name, Newt Gingrich!

This will make it much easier than if they had gone the moderate route and chosen New England favorite Mitt Romney, whom I still perceive as the greatest threat to President Obama's re-election next year.

Thankfully, the extreme right will never allow someone who even faintly resembles a moderate to be nominated, and even if they find someone who is slightly left of Benito Mussolini, they'll manage to mold him into their image of a upright conservative; see John McCain's flip-flop on the topic of torture in 2008.

McCain was the single most anti-torture candidate in the Senate, having suffered miserably while a POW in Vietnam, but he came around to the party's radical leadership when they dangled the chance for him to be their nominee. There is NO stance too solid to change when offered a chance to carry the GOP's torch in a presidential election, apparently.

The Union Leader is the state's largest newspaper, and the fact that New Hampshire is holding the first primary (a week after Iowa's caucus; see my 2012 Primary Calendar for more info) will often set the tone for the following primaries and caucuses.

Having the Union Leader go against Mitt Romney is sure to fire up the radical right of the party. Gingrich is a born loser, and I'm hoping to see him finally get the nod after a vicious knock-down fight for the nomination. Obama will dispatch him with ease, and then we'll see what a president can do in the next four years without the hassle of having to run again.

The first thing I'd like to see is the definite expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2013. The super-wealthy have enjoyed their free ride for 12's time to pay the piper, even if it does come down to just a few percentage points.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Occupy Thanksgiving

I don't blame the turkey one bit for being angry. The guy in the red suit is always trying to grab ALL the attention. Can't he wait his turn?

Please keep in mind that the tryptophan in turkey can make you very drowsy, so don't eat and drive! Another helpful safety tip from CT Bob!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2012 Primary Calendar

(UPDATED: November 20, 2011)
This is the latest version of the GOP Primary/Caucus Calendar for 2012.

The race to decide who will be the Republican challenger to Barack Obama begins immediately after the holiday season. Already candidates are spending plenty of time in places like Iowa.

January 3, 2012 Iowa (caucus)
January 10, 2012 New Hampshire (primary)
January 21, 2012 South Carolina (primary)
January 31, 2012 Florida (primary)

February 4, 2012 Nevada (caucus)
February 4–11, 2012 Maine (caucus)
February 7, 2012 Colorado (caucus), Minnesota (caucus)
February 28, 2012 Arizona (primary), Michigan (primary)

March 3, 2012 Washington (caucus)
March 6, 2012 (Super Tuesday)
Alaska (caucus)
Georgia (primary)
Idaho (caucus)
Massachusetts (primary)
North Dakota (caucus)
Oklahoma (primary)
Tennessee (primary)
Texas (primary)
Vermont (primary)
Virginia (primary)

March 6-10, 2012 Wyoming (caucus)
March 10, 2012 Kansas (caucus), U.S. Virgin Islands (caucus)
March 13, 2012 Alabama (primary), Hawaii (caucus), Mississippi (primary)
March 17, 2012 Missouri (caucus)
March 20, 2012 Illinois (primary)
March 24, 2012 Louisiana (primary)

April 3, 2012 Maryland (primary), Washington, D.C. (primary), Wisconsin (primary)
April 24, 2012 Connecticut (primary), Delaware (primary), New York (primary), Pennsylvania (primary), Rhode Island (primary)

May 8, 2012 Indiana (primary), North Carolina (primary), West Virginia (primary)
May 15, 2012 Nebraska (primary), Oregon (primary)
May 22, 2012 Arkansas (primary), Kentucky (primary)

June 5, 2012 California (primary), Montana (primary), New Jersey (primary), New Mexico (primary), South Dakota (primary)
June 12, 2012 Ohio (primary)
June 26, 2012 Utah (primary)

The Democratic Primaries are still on some calendars, but I'm not going to bother to list them here. President Obama will definitely be nominated again at the convention so there's no point in wasting time dealing with the primaries.

The real contest is going to be watching how the Republicans try to out-crazy each other. My prediction is that the nominee is eventually going to be Mitt Romney. He will appeal to the less-nutty faction of the party, which I think actually represents the majority.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ben Blake inauguration this Monday

Milford's first Democratic mayor in 20 years will be sworn in on Monday, November 21st at 7PM in Milford's Parsons Complex auditorium, 70 W. River St. (the entrance to the auditorium is actually on West Main St). Also, City Clerk Linda Stock will be sworn in for her 2nd term.

Be there for the festivities!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Michael Moore to speak at UConn

Michael Moore will speak at the Storrs campus to raise money for The Mark Twain House & Museum.

This Friday, November 18th at 7:30 p.m. at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Connecticut, The Mark Twain House & Museum presents "A Pen Warmed Up in Hell Lecture" with Michael Moore!

Love him or hate him, one cannot deny that Academy Award-winning documentarian Michael Moore inspires passionate feelings in Americans. Moore is the creator of the most successful documentary films of all time including "Roger and Me," the Oscar-winning "Bowling for Columbine," the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or-winner "Fahrenheit 9/11," "Sicko" and "Capitalism, A Love Story." An Emmy Award-winner for his television series "The Awful Truth," he is also a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His latest book "Here Comes Trouble" is a memoir filled with his trademark humor, wit and provocative politics.

Derided by many conservative morons and idiots* as un-American, and similarly hailed by patriots and very intelligent people* as an American hero, Moore certainly subscribes to Mark Twain’s maxim, “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.”

Tickets - $25, $35, $45, $85 (premium Orchestra seating and private reception in the Jorgensen Gallery with Michael Moore at 5:30 p.m.) To order, call 860.486.4226 or visit (directions and info).

(* I put those bits in)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Night Music Club XX

It's the 20th installment of the Sunday Night Music Club!

This week I'm featuring the always tasty G. Love and Special Sauce performing "Baby's Got Sauce".

This song is on my mp3 player, and for some reason it comes up randomly so often when we're on the boat that now, whenever I hear it, I think of sailing!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Congrats to Ben Blake, Milford's new mayor

Democrat Ben Blake led the ticket to a nearly clean sweep in Milford last night. Blake won over Republican Bob Joy and Independent Rocco Frank in a fairly heavy turnout for a municipal election.

Milford has about 32,000 registered voters, and nearly 13,000 showed up to vote yesterday. Which means the turnout was roughly 40%, which is significantly better than many towns and cities that had contested elections this year.


Blake 7,031 55%
Joy 5,482 43%
Frank 240 2%

In the City Clerk's race, former alderwoman Suzanne Manning ran a classy campaign but fell just short of upsetting Republican incumbent Linda Stock. On the boards, the Dems now have majorities on two of the city's three boards:

Democrats have the Board of Aldermen 9 to 6, Board of Education 8-2, but the Republicans have a 7-3 majority in Planning & Zoning.

Congratulations go to Ben and all the people who helped bring Milford back to the Democrats! Now it's time to go to work and find ways to make the city work more efficiently and handle the many issues that face Milford.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Row "A" all the way!

8:51AM. CT Joyce and I voted. Guess for who?

When we voted there were 224 votes already cast at the West Shore Rec Center in Devon.

And a big endorsement from the Police Union!

Be sure to vote today!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Voting gives us all a voice

...and, at least on this blog, a little cheesecake too!

Damn, but do I love voting!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Hometown paper endorses Ben Blake

The local paper for Milford has endorsed city alderman Ben Blake for mayor. This is a significant indication about the level of support Blake has here in Milford. The four-term alderman and former chair has filled in as acting mayor when needed.

Here is the endorsement from the Milford Mirror:
Written by Editorial Staff
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 13:43

Milford’s mayoral candidates are to be commended for their courage and tenacity in running for a very demanding job with the goal of bettering the city they love and taking the time to push ideas they believe are in Milford’s best interest.

The candidates have willingly endured public scrutiny in order for voters to find out who they are and what they profess to do to improve the quality of life for Milford residents now and in the future.

That said, we do believe one candidate stands out as the most deserving of the mayoral vote this year.

Democrat Ben Blake has spent eight years as a member of the Board of Aldermen readying himself for the job, learning which ideas work and which ones do not work.

Although young — Blake is 33 — he brings more political leadership experience to the table than the others.

Residents have seen Blake air his opinions and take a leadership role as an alderman. He has often fought to rein in spending: While at times, some of his proposed cutting measures have seemed extreme, we believe his years as an alderman have taught him where and when it is proper to trim spending. We believe he has grown as a leader.

Furthermore, if there were ever a time to watch the city’s pocketbook, that time is now. And Blake has a record for doing so.

He filled in as acting mayor several years ago and held the temporary post adeptly and with honor.

During a meeting earlier this year when city officials debated waiving certain Planning and Zoning regulations for people severely affected by Tropical Storm Irene, Blake stood out because he spoke with the head of the city’s land use department about the impact of those changes.

A city leader cannot always be an authority on every issue: A key sign of leadership ability is knowing who to talk with and how to gather needed information before making a decision.

It is refreshing to see a leader seek out the parties who actually do the work for feedback on what needs doing.

This is the kind of growth we’ve seen in Blake over the years.

He loves the community, and certainly will do the best he can for Milford, relying on his education, intelligence, experience and the lessons he’s learned while making decisions as an alderman — decisions similar to those a mayor will be asked to make on a daily basis.

We give our endorsement to Blake.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Big banks capitulate on debit fees

The Occupy Wall Street movement is demonstrating that it is possible to fight giant corporations and their incessant nickel-and-diming consumers to death.

In September, bailed-out banking giant Bank of America announced they would soon begin charging a $5 a month fee for their customers who use debit cards. In the past, this would have been grudgingly accepted by their customers because there really didn't seem to be any point in complaining. There was an old expression from when I was a kid, and it was "you can't fight AT&T." Well, the government broke up that monopoly, and as a result we have hundreds of regional phone companies that often have to compete for customers, resulting in better service for lower prices.

The banks are just one of the industries in this nation that have been operating for a long time as a sort of cartel, where one bank would announce a new fee or policy, and soon most or all of the other would jump aboard.

Except because of #OWS, this time it backfired.

The unifying reach of the Occupy movement has taken hold in the minds of many citizens. The power of a single person is limited; the power of the masses is unstoppable. There were SO many people who changed banks or signed petitions saying they would change banks should the new fee go through that it caused nearly all the banks, including the gigantic Bank of America, to rescind the new policy.

This is the power of a unified citizen's response!

Of course, this is just a small victory in the long war against huge corporations who have been gaming the system through sympathetic (or apathetic) politicians for so long that it has become the status quo to screw the consumer. It is a situation where companies who have long felt a sense of entitlement are suddenly being put on the defensive and are forced to actually listen to their customers!

THIS is a positive result of the #OWS movement. Sure as shit I haven't seen anything nearly this useful come out of the hate-filled rhetoric with zero results behind it that emanated from the Tea Party movement for nearly two years. Hell, I'd bet most of those idiots would gladly pay an extra $60 a year in the hopes that the big banks would go out of their way to create more jobs in return!

The war against the corporatization of America continues. Rest assured, the banks are already working on strategies to make up for that lousy $5 a month they would have gotten in the past, and they'll probably find a way to increase their profits by sticking in a hidden fee or revamping their rate structure or something like that.

Because they are insidious and don't lack in creativity to find ways to squeeze every last penny out of all of you if they can find a way.

Oh, they'll keep trying.

And we need to keep watching them, and acting when needed.