Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 thoughts

(Wow! This is the 3000th post on this blog!)

Today is the final day of 2012.

It's probably as good a time as any to get a bit introspective about the last 12 months.

Although it was a pretty good year for me, 2012 has been a tough year for a lot of people. The newspaper headlines spelled out the story of senseless shootings, of hundred-year storms, and of economic hardships.

I've been very lucky. I started a new job in January, and while it's not exactly what I want to be doing, I count myself as among the very fortunate in having a job that provides a decent wage and reasonable benefits. After being unemployed for nearly 18 months, my situation was becoming critical. I won't say that I got the job just in time, but it was definitely getting to the point of having to face some painful sacrifices. Fortunately, the new job has enabled me to postpone those sacrifices, hopefully indefinitely.

But many people still have it much worse than us, and we try not to forget that. There is much for everyone to do in the coming year, and we all will have to pitch in as best we can.

There are also many things to be thankful for. 2012 dealt a huge blow to America's most radical political party, the Tea Party-dominated GOP. We may finally be headed for a time when both parties will work honestly toward what is best for America. The current budget discussion is inexorably heading towards a compromise that for the last two years the Republicans have said they wouldn't even consider. Elections have consequences, and the results indicate this may be the year that the GOP finally backs away from the precipice of insanity and becomes a more reasonable party.

The new year will bring a sense of hope that has been absent for the last several years. 2013 is an opportunity for our leaders to achieve greatness. We can only hope that they have the smarts and the guts to make those decisions that will set our nation back on track.

We shall see. In any event, I wish you all a safe, happy, and prosperous New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Sweater

Who doesn't love that wonderful fake noir-gangster film "Angels With Filthy Souls" that was featured in the Christmas classic "Home Alone"?

Well, now you can own a bit of Christmas cheer when you buy this sweater with a memorable quote from the film!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A meaningful debate has finally started

The long-overdue national debate on gun control has begun. It took a tragedy of epic proportions to get it started, but now there is no denying that, as a nation, we'll finally get to confront this issue.

Given that, I was still surprised to see that former Republican congressman and MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough has completely changed his former pro-gun stance to supporting gun control.

Politically, this may be a move that more Republicans embrace. I'm not implying that's why Joe changed his views, but there is little doubt that if these kinds of horrific tragedies continue to occur, it will have a direct and negative impact on many pro-gun candidates' election chances. It may finally be time for them to stand up to the powerful gun lobby.

Here's Joe Scarborough's heartfelt explanation:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown memorial speech

In times like this, we look to our president for compassion and leadership.

President Obama's remarks tonight provided exactly the kind of comfort and compassion we needed to help us begin healing from this ordeal. I am very proud of our president.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Sunday Night Music Club XXX


That's what XXX means in this context. Nothing tawdry.

They're simply Roman numerals.

Good. Now that I've cleared that up, this week's SNMC feature jazz legend and pioneer Dave Brubeck, who sadly passed just one day shy of his 92nd birthday last week.

I've seen Brubeck probably a half-dozen times over the years, in jazz festivals ranging from New Haven to Newport to Saratoga and elsewhere. And he was always a pleasure to hear and experience. His influence on music is indelible.

He will be missed, but his music will live on forever.

I was close on my popular vote prediction

Here's what I predicted on election morning in this blog post:
Obama-Biden 52.5%
Romney-Ryan 45.5%
Other 2.0%
And Obama-Biden will get 295 electoral votes.

The actual results were:

Obama-Biden 50.95%
Romney-Ryan 47.31%
Other 1.74%

So, I was over by 1.55% on Obama, and under by 1.81% on Romney, and nearly hit the Other demo by about 1/4%.

This is pretty good by most peoples standards.

Although, before I break out the Moet, I did completely blow the Electoral vote, since Obama got 332 votes compared to my squeaker prediction of 295. Obviously I didn't take into account the individual states, including those important battlegrounds that Obama won eight out of the nine. But I did at least call it right in the results.

And I did much better than Rasmussen and Gallup, who both called the popular vote for Romney. The RCP Average (Real Clear Politics) had Obama winning by a much closer margin, 48.8 to 48.1, only 0.7%.

So finally, I can breath a sigh of relief that I actually GOT ONE RIGHT!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Rep. Himes on the "Fiscal Cliff"

Stream of Conscience host John Hartwell interviewed Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04) about the looming so-called "fiscal cliff" that will occur on Dec. 31st if a deal isn't struck before then.

This video should be required viewing for anyone who creates their views based solely on the brief snippets of information served by network news organizations. The world isn't going to end on New Year's Eve (unless it already ended on that Mayan calendar date) and people need to know that the term "fiscal cliff" is a complete misnomer.

BTW, anyone hear of any "End of the World" parties happening around the 21st? Seems like a good excuse to get crazy and drink exotic boozes from Central America!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Night Music Club XXIX

When it comes to original Americana, I always say one thing:

It's all about the music.

From Wikipedia:
"Wagon Wheel" is the title of a song originally sketched by Bob Dylan and later completed by Old Crow Medicine Show.

The song describes a hitchhiking journey south along the eastern coast of the United States, from New England in the north-east, through Philadelphia, with the intended destination of Raleigh, North Carolina, where the protagonist hopes to see his lover.

"Wagon Wheel" is composed of two different parts. The chorus and melody for the song comes from a demo recorded by Bob Dylan during the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid sessions. Although never officially released, the Dylan song was released on a bootleg and is usually named after the chorus and its refrain of "Rock Me Mama." Although Dylan left the song an unfinished sketch, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show wrote verses for the song around Dylan's original chorus. Secor's additional lyrics transformed "Rock Me Mama" into "Wagon Wheel." Secor has stated the song is partially autobiographical. The song has become extremely popular since its inclusion on Old Crow Medicine Show's major label debut, O.C.M.S. in 2004, although the song appeared in earlier form on the now out of print "Troubles Up and Down the Road" EP in 2001. Dylan's song is often credited to "A. Crudup.", and the official publishing information is Dylan/Secor.
In this video the song is covered by a local Pennsylvania band called Willin-N-Able. Watch the video and listen to the subtle musical nuances that this band performs almost effortlessly. It's true audio artistry!

In fact, I enjoyed this video SO much that I probably watched it at least a dozen times!

Yup, it's ALL about the music!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Inequity in pay rejected

This is an interesting view of how non-human primates share a knowledge of fairness and inequity.

So, it's likely a primal instinct in all of us to dislike being rewarded differently for doing the same job.

Which explains a lot about us.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Of course he is...

Joe Lieberman is a guy who is much more comfortable around conservatives than the people he represents. I can't say I'll miss him when he's gone.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Rachel Maddow sums it up

In an elegant and powerful three-minute piece, MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow explains in simple language why the results of the election were a surprise to no one except the Republicans, and how they must accept reality if they are ever to break out of their ever-widening cycle of defeat.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

I hope it's warmer this time around

We went to the Inauguration in January 2009, and it was something like 17 degrees when we went to the parade route. During the day a breeze kicked up, so even though the temperature rose to nearly 30, it was frigid all day long.

I'm glad to have been there for it, but this time around I might watch it on TV in front of our fireplace!

Congrats to President Obama v.2.0

Yes we did!


Our president successfully staved off a spirited Republican challenge, and America obviously wants to see Obama finish the job he started.

Well done!

Congrats to CT's Congressional Delegation

Another clean sweep!

Elizabeth Esty gave me a bit of a scare, but she held on to win it! Rosa, Jim, Joe, and John all go back to Congress to continue the excellent work they've been doing.

And Ohio just went to Obama, so I guess that means...

Congrats to Senator Murphy

Well done Connecticut!

As Tom Tomorrow says, it's good we didn't replace Joe Lieberman with that crazy wrestling lady!

Congrats to Chris Murphy on be elected the youngest current member of the Senate (h/t Anderson Scooper)

A tie in Dixville Notch!



President Obama and former Governor Romney BOTH got five votes and a tie in the tiny New Hampshire town that nobody gives a shit about every OTHER day for four years!

Can we just stop with the silliness?

Oh, and in the national results, here's my prediction of the popular vote:

Obama-Biden 52.5%
Romney-Ryan 45.5%
Other 2.0%

And Obama-Biden will get 295 electoral votes.

(If I'm right, everyone will think I'm frickin' Kreskin!)

Voted at 8:25AM

At Westshore in Milford, so far 524 votes cast by 8:25AM. Turnout is brisk; I had to wait a few moments for one of the 12 or 14 privacy cubicles to open up.

Doing my bit to keep the Working Families Party line available for the next election. I always vote WFP if my candidate is running on it. The Democratic line will always be there, and I think in a close election it helps to have a second ballot line on the form.

The only drawback is that the Republican party line is on Row A rather than Democratic, because even though Malloy won the governor's race, the Republican party vote was larger than the Democratic due to the WFP line. So maybe it's a wash as far as ballot advantage goes.

Anyway, I'll be checking in periodically today. And blogging later as the results start rolling in.

This is it!

No more waiting.

No more wondering.

No more goddamned NEGATIVE ADS!!!!

Get out and VOTE today!

...and let's start a pool on what time Twitter will immolate itself tonight.

Monday, November 05, 2012

After Linda loses, the GOP is DONE with her!

Linda McMahon's political career will end somewhere around 11PM on Tuesday, because she's openly campaigning for Barack Obama! The Republican party will declare her persona-non-grata after this betrayal.

Don't let the door hitcha on the ass, Linda!

Photo of a McMahon campaign door-hanger, via Talking Points Memo.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Lori Nicholson for State Rep in the 102nd

You probably know a bit about my political leanings from this blog, so it may come as something of a surprise that I am endorsing a Republican for State Assembly in Branford's 102nd District.

You see, when it comes to politics on a national stage, parties are very important. Somewhat less so on a state level, and nearly insignificant on a local level. What matters more to me is the character of the person rather than the political party they belong to.

I've known Lori for many years, and I can tell you that she will be a tireless public servant for the citizens of Branford. She's a committed activist on many important issues, and has experience in the Capitol while working for Diana Urban.

Lori Nicholson is the endorsed Republican candidate for State Representative (102nd Assembly District).

Prior to running for state representative, Lori served as a member of the Education Committee—Branford Early Childhood Collaborative. She also served as chair of the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter Commission. Lori is also involved with Take a Vet Fishing, and she is a regular volunteer at the Branford Community Dining Room, the Branford Senior Center, and the Branford Thrift Shop.

Lori earned a Bachelor of Science from Southern Connecticut State University, where she focused on public policy and graduated political science valedictorian with summa cum laude honors. As a student, she served as a Legislative Intern for Representative Diana Urban, where she worked with her on the Appropriations Committee, the Select Committee on Children, and the Environment Committee. Lori was also a member of the Pre-Law society and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Lori is a private music teacher, a published songwriter, and a professional musician with worldwide touring experience. From 1981 to 1997, Lori served our troops by taking five USO tours to entertain United States troops overseas. Lori is also involved with the Committee Boat Branford Regatta and the Branford Wellness Cup.

Lori lives on Pawson Road in Branford with her Husband, Tim.

Visit to learn more!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Barack for Chris Murphy

Thank you, Mr. President!


Sorry I've been gone for a bit...

...did anything newsworthy happen while I was gone?

Oh, and that gal Sandy?

She's kind of a "rhymes-with-witch", if you know what I mean!

Taking my electricity away like that! Really! She should be ashamed of herself!

Anyway, back to reality.

...and it's good to be back!

Friday, October 26, 2012

When Women Vote, Women Win

Lesley Gore rocks!

NEWER UPDATE: Disregard that stuff below; as of August 2015, it's back!

UPDATE: While Lesley Gore obviously rocks, the corporate wet blankets known as Canal Plus, Warner Chappell, and UMG totally DON'T rock! When they're being busy-bodies and wrecking everyone's fun in the name of copyright protection, those short-sighted assholes don't comprehend that this video would have likely produced a spike in iTunes sales of this otherwise somewhat moldy relic from four decades ago! But why would they want profits, when they can have pretend litigious benefits? Dummies!

The latest poll

via those wacky geniuses at BoingBoing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

McMahon parks the bus on Romney

Apparently Linda McMahon has a severe case of "Romnesia", because she just released a TV ad that basically threw her party's presidential candidate under her campaign bus. Watch this:

McMahon is basically saying that she knows her candidate can't win, so she's willing to drop him like a hot potato and court Obama voters.

I am fairly sure that not only will she fail to gather very many Democratic voters, but she's likely to piss off a significant number of Republican and conservative-leaning Independent voters.

She's toast.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Senator George S. McGovern

Sad but not unexpected news about the passing of George McGovern today. Among many other notable accomplishments (McGovern was a longtime activist on the issue of world hunger, and in 2001 the United Nations made him its first global ambassador to ease hunger) he was the Democratic nominee for President in 1972.

We all know how that went down, but McGovern was a class act to the end. I think Hunter S. Thompson's words best described what an opportunity this country missed by not electing him president, written in advance of the election in September of 1972:
If the current polls are reliable... Nixon will be re-elected by a huge majority of Americans who feel he is not only more honest and more trustworthy than George McGovern, but also more likely to end the war in Vietnam. The polls also indicate that Nixon will get a comfortable majority of the Youth Vote. And that he might carry all fifty states...

This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his mistakes... understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon. McGovern made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon does every day of his life, on purpose... Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President?
- From "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

NY Times endorses Chris Murphy

The New York Times today released their endorsement for senate in Connecticut, and it's Chris Murphy.

Despite Republican candidate and wrestling billionaire Linda McMahon carpet bombing the state with an endless stream of negative TV and radio ads, the Times points out that as CT-05 congressman, Murphy is a fine representative of the people.

From the NY Times:
Mr. Murphy, a thoughtful and productive public servant, spent nearly six solid years in Congress, with an almost perfect voting record. He was a strong voice for ending the war in Iraq and worked diligently on the committee that helped draft the health care reforms. He also helps run a bipartisan group in the House, the Center Aisle Caucus, that tries to find common ground between the two parties.

Meanwhile, Linda's record of public service is summed up in the 21-second clip:

Need I say more?

Monday, October 08, 2012

CT Post editorial for Jim Himes

Nominating Convention 2012
Here's an email I received today from the Jim Himes campaign, which gives voters in Connecticut's 4th District some very good reasons to reelect Himes:

In case you missed it, in an editorial in today’s Connecticut Post, columnist Hugh Bailey explains that Jim Himes will win on November 6 because he has “proven to be a good congressman” and his opponent Steve Obsitnik has been “reduced to running on platitudes.” Bailey also says that while “Himes, to his credit, has taken some tough votes over the years,” Obsitnik has been unwilling to take a position on the federal budget proposals offered by Mitt Romney, President Obama, and, most importantly, House GOP Budget Chair Paul Ryan, whose plan would decimate Medicare and force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 per year for their health care.

“You can’t get elected to Congress on a platform of ‘I’m not that guy,’ particularly when you’re running against someone like Jim Himes, a Congressman the voters respect and whose positions and actions—especially on job creation and deficit reduction—really mirror the positions of the people he represents,” said Himes for Congress Campaign Manager Justin Myers. “Bailey hits the nail on the head when he points out that Obsitnik won’t reject Paul Ryan’s plan to decimate Medicare and that he is ‘running on platitudes.’ With the debates starting this week, it will be interesting to see if Obsitnik manages to form any positions.”

From the article:
There's also the fact that he [Himes] has proven to be a good congressman, who takes his job seriously and boasts a highly entertaining Twitter feed, too. And he has an opponent in Steve Obsitnik who, like other Republicans in Connecticut, has no interest in tying himself to his national party's extremism and is instead reduced to running on platitudes.

In a recent rundown of the candidates' stands on various issues, the Obsitnik campaign didn't want to say whether he favored Mitt Romney's budget proposal, or the Paul Ryan Medicare overhaul plan, or even the 2013 Obama budget. The answer for each came back as "Question too general." Try that one as a freshman congressman: "I can't offer a yes or no vote because the question is too general. Instead, I have my own special plan." It doesn't work that way.

Himes, to his credit, has taken some tough votes over the years. His focus on the deficit is not in line with the majority in his party (or certain Connecticut Post columnists). But he earns points for taking a stand.

The Fourth District, then, looks to be tough for Republicans.

Click here to read the entire article.

In the four debates scheduled between Jim and his opponent voters will get to know more about Jim, and probably learn nothing more about his opponent who refuses to take positions or answer questions.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

McMahon "unprepared" and "ignorant" in debate

Colin McEnroe really nailed it in his Courant blog post about this morning's debate. Republican candidate Linda McMahon showed up, but didn't impress by a long shot:
McMahon was surprisingly bad. There are two ways to prepared for a debate. (1) You can really immerse yourself in the issues that and make sure you know how you want to talk about them. (2) You can memorize answers.

McMahon had pretty clearly done the latter for at least some of her preparation. She had also been coached on a particular kind of “shame on you” scolding session she needed to do, intended for future use in commercials. (She went out of her way to do two takes, just in case.) But that still left a lot subjects she just wasn’t ready for.

The debate slipped away from her exactly as she answered (or didn’t answer) a Diaz question about payroll taxes. Diaz pressed her a little more. Still no real answer. Then Murphy pounced: “That was a minute and 30 seconds of ‘I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to do if you elect me.’ ”
Chris Murphy stuck to the issues, and clearly he is the one who has an understanding of them.

As opposed to Ms. "Sunset" McMahon. Some of the people who commented on the debate referred to McMahon as "ignorant", "unprepared", and "Palin-esque".
As the issue-based battles started slipping away from her, McMahon upped the ante on the personal attacks. If you’re a little tired of the way this campaign has been almost exclusively about attacks on character and very little about the issues, let the word go forth that McMahon was far more reliant on this strategy than was Murphy on Sunday. Paradoxically, late in the debate she unsheathed a new kind of negative rhetoric, claiming that Murphy had expected a coronation and instead found himself in a tough campaign with a serious woman. The paradox: never before in this campaign had she seemed less like a serious woman. She seemed like a silly woman who had attempted to substitute recent study sessions for the years of immersion one might expect an aspiring senator to have had. Even in her summation, when most candidates return to their biggest themes, she used the time to peck at Murphy about a supposed sweetheart mortgage.
Seems like McMahon has only one tool in her shed, and that's personal attack. She's a political dilettante, and everyone is starting to see it.

Meanwhile, Chris Murphy is a seasoned legislator who's been fighting for Connecticut citizens for many years. And a heck of a nice guy, too.

Friday, October 05, 2012

"Sunset" McMahon wants to end Social Security

Blah blah blah blather babble babble.

Look, it doesn't matter what I say here, just listen to Linda "Sunset" McMahon's own words:

Ah well, there goes Medicare, too.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Night Music Club XXVIII

I wonder if the genius who thought it was a good idea to use that stupid Roman numeral numbering scheme for the Super Bowl loses sleep at night worrying about misplacing a V or X or I in his work?

Because I hate him, and I hate Roman numerals.

But I'm stuck with it for this music series, and I'm stubborn.

So, the hell with it, here's "XXVIII" for ya's!

Nouvelle Vague is a French cover band that plays interesting arrangements of popular songs. Their cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is one of my favorites.

Here's one of Nouvelle Vague's very few produced music videos, doing Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" in the style of French "New Wave" cinema.

Which is what "Nouvelle Vague" means...New Wave.

The video is a bit disappointing, as there is no lip-syncing to the song.

And the girl actually can't dance worth a damn.

But you can still listen to the arrangement and enjoy the song!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Climbing to the top of Bullshit Mountain

Fox News is "Bullshit Mountain", according to Jon Stewart, who is a craftsman when it comes to telling the truth. And if you're like me, you will absolutely enjoy every minute of this!

Via the Daily Kos:

In case you missed it, Wednesday night on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart delivered what may be the best 10 minutes and 27 seconds you'll see on TV this entire campaign season. Stop what you're doing and watch it now!

For more discussion (and laughs), see BruinKid's diary here.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

This is someone who should be our senator?

About that headline...I don't know why I suddenly sound like an old Jewish woman, but it's all I could come up with at a moment's notice.

My favorite groin-kicking candidate Linda McMahon was late on her taxes again. Just this year, as a matter of fact, when it somehow slipped her vapid little mind that she is supposed to pay her goddamned taxes on her condo!

From Capitol Watch blog:
Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Linda McMahon and her husband, WWE chairman Vince McMahon, were more than a month and a half late in paying the first half of their annual $54,110 in property tax on the multi-million-dollar condominium unit that they co-own in a building at 1 Broad St., Stamford, city records show.

The first half of the annual tax bill was supposed to be paid by Aug. 1, but was delinquent as of early September, with $28,272 due as of Sept. 4, apparently including interest, the city’s website still showed on Friday.


McMahon’s campaign has been slamming Democratic opponent Chris Murphy in recent days for being late on mortgage, rent and car tax payments.

Remember that Linda is the genius who thought it was a swell idea to attack Chris Murphy over his late mortgage payments (which he worked out properly) when she herself stiffed banks and creditors to the tune of over a million bucks in her 1970s bankruptcy.

And just today she figured it would be a good idea to finally settle with all those businesses and individuals she screwed out of their money three decades ago! Like, oh sure, thanks for your prompt payment! But when Chris Murphy paid up his debts within a reasonable time frame, oh HE was the one guilty of a moral failing! Yeah, right!

Anyway, here's what it boils down to: if you want a billionaire in the Senate who doesn't pay her taxes on time; waits 30 years to make good on her bankruptcy (even though she's made hundreds of millions during that time, but pays only when she wants to win an election); and runs a business where part of their lovely strategy for "family entertainment" is to kick guys square in the NUTS, then Linda McHypocrite is your man!



Remember Linda McMahon's supposed rally in Milford back in 2010 when she was running for Senate the first time? Our Republican mayor (at the time) held a rally on a lovely Saturday on the lawn of the City Hall, and maybe 200 McMahon supporters showed up. There were more people on the steps of City Hall than in the crowd! They were hoping for thousands! And Richard Blumenthal won the election easily.

What it boils down to is that people just don't care about McMahon. Maybe if CT Republicans came up with a candidate who doesn't reek of a carnival side-show and billionaire tax breaks, they might get the voters interested. Until then, this is the sort of crowd you can expect, where Democratic protestors nearly outnumbered McMahon's supporters:

Friday, September 21, 2012

A fun, free, film festival!

My pal Doug Poger is helping run a film festival on October 5 & 6 in Waterbury, and it's entirely FREE!

The Brass City Film & Music Festival is Oct. 5th & 6th at Creative Cinemas 10 located at 117 Sharon Road Waterbury CT. Red Carpet walk and reception 5:30 and films start 6 PM Friday and Saturday nights. Live Music Saturday afternoon Oct. 6th from 1:00 PM to 4:30. The Festival is free and a portion of the proceeds from the concessions will go to Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

McMahon bankruptcy exposed

Boy, you gotta hand it to Linda McMahon. She has absolutely NO shame in accusing others of transgressions, while she herself is guilty of the exact same thing.

Even more so, by like a factor of TEN!

Linda's recent TV ads mentions how Chris Murphy, like many other Americans, ran into problems keeping up his mortgage payments. The way I understand it, Murphy was called into court for the start of foreclosure proceedings, but he managed to pull himself out of his financial situation and made good on all his debts.

Which is an honorable thing.

McMahon, on the other hand, filed for bankruptcy protection in 1976, apparently because her business was in the toilet.

Not quite so honorable, because bankruptcy often leads to creditors being shafted in the end.

In a bit of excellent reporting JC Reindl of The Day spells out Linda's financial woes:
The personal finances of McMahon and her Democratic opponent, Chris Murphy, have become central to this year's campaign, with McMahon calling on Murphy to release documents related to his financial problems in the mid-2000s.

The bankruptcy documents show the McMahons' biggest creditor as the former Mattatuck Bank & Trust Co. of Waterbury, which claimed $364,492. The second biggest creditor — a secured creditor — was Harold J. Hemingway of Burlington, who claimed $109,575. The next biggest was the Internal Revenue Service: $100,064.

Creditors also included the Bristol Construction Co. Inc. ($67,452.54); the Southern New England Telephone Co. ($5,698.17); and Sears Roebuck Co. ($1,158.27).
Of course Linda owed money to Sears!

We all know what Linda likes to do:

More from The Day:
The bankruptcy was initiated in April 1976, three months after the Connecticut Bank and Trust Co. foreclosed on the McMahons' Orchard Road home in West Hartford. At the time of foreclosure, the McMahons owed $133,167 on the mortgage, according to land records in West Hartford Town Hall.

Following a series of objections by the creditor banks over discharging the couple's debt, the discharge was granted in February 1977.

But the case didn't officially close until February 1982. During a final round of actions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, a trustee for the creditors paid out $1,264.86, and the McMahons regained possession of a 1972 Buick Riviera, according to the documents

Land records show how the McMahons' West Hartford home was eventually auctioned for $147,500 in October 1976.

The McMahon campaign called this week on Murphy to release all documents related to his home foreclosure scare in the mid-2000s.
So, Linda the hypocrite called on Murphy to release all his financial data for his home, which he successfully pulled OUT of foreclosure; while herself not providing a scrap of data about the home she LOST and the bank had to AUCTION OFF, almost certainly at a loss after you factor in all the legal and administrative costs!

(File photo of McMahon dealing with a creditor)

So, Linda claims that Murphy is a bad guy because he was in some financial trouble to the tune of about $300K, which he made good upon; while she was tagged for owing over a MILLION dollars (over $3,000,000 in current value) and there's no proof that she paid much back!

Wow, what a great businesswoman.

But hey, there IS some good news: at least she got a Buick Riviera out of the deal!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Linda McMahon in it for all the wrong reasons

Especially her tax plan, which gives us working-class schleps an additional tax burden, while Ms. "15%" will enjoy even MORE tax breaks than what she got from fellow Republican G.W. Bush.

And here in Connecticut, we're paying her to lay off people. Is this the person YOU want to represent you?

Visit Chris Murphy for Senate and learn more.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's an Obsitnik?

...and why does anyone care?

Apparently Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04) has an opponent for his seat in Congress.

But as far as I can tell, nobody has ever heard of him.

Something weird is going on with his campaign communications though. One of Obsitnik's communications people, Steven Rosenbaum, has a Twitter account that somehow grew from a handful of followers to over 3,000 almost overnight. This happened nearly to the day he was hired.

Now, I'm probably the last one to know this, but it's amazing simple (and cheap) to "buy" followers for your Twitter and Facebook accounts. An article in the New York Times discusses this at length:
It may be the worst-kept secret in the Twittersphere. That friend who brags about having 1,000, even 100,000 Twitter followers may not have earned them through hard work and social networking; he may have simply bought them on the black market.

And it’s not just ego-driven blogger types. Celebrities, politicians, start-ups, aspiring rock stars, reality show hopefuls — anyone who might benefit from having a larger social media footprint — are known to have bought large blocks of Twitter followers.


“And it’s so cheap, too,” he said. In one instance, Mr. Mitchell said, he bought 250,000 for $2,500, or a penny each.

One site, Fiverr, an online classified for cheap marketing services, has several ads offering 1,000 Twitter followers for $5.
So, you can pick up 3,000 new followers to make you seem more popular than you are for less than a measly double sawbuck (does anyone use terms like that anymore? It's a twenty for those of you under 50)

This practice is especially upsetting when I think about how I went out and earned every goddamned ONE of my 284 Twitter followers the old fashioned way; by begging, cajoling, and threatening. Yup, every one of my followers are close personal friends for whom I have nothing but respect and appreciation.

For example, check out these dear, dear followers:
OK, so maybe I've never even heard of like 80% of my followers. So friggin' what?

Anyway, this entire topic came up because of a kind of weird Twitter exchange between Rosenbaum and Jim Himes yesterday, which was September 11th. Jim posted someone about remembrance of the day, which drew a bit of a nasty retort from Rosembaum:

The guy attacked the Congressman over his 9/11 statement. Jesus! With roughly two months to go before the election, isn't it possible for a campaign to take one single day off from partisan hackery?

Although, two years ago I remember the Tea Party rally held in Bridgeport, and one of the stars of partisan hackery, Ms. Ann Coulter, stood in the rain and used the national day of remembrance to lead a hate-fest directed at the president, complete with signs comparing Obama to Hitler.

So yeah, I guess it might be asking too much to expect some Republicans to show a little respect on 9/11.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Did anyone else notice how today's perfect weather eerily mirrored that beautiful, sunny, crisp pre-autumn day 11 years ago? More than any other anniversary since, today was the most similar to that fateful morning when everything changed.

And this is the first anniversary of that day where we all live in a world that Osama bin Laden doesn't.

I drove by a 9/11 commemoration in Stratford today. First responders, military veterans, families and friends of people who lost their lives that day were in attendance. It made me feel good that we will always remember the victims of that day, and also the untold thousands of stories of individual courage and bravery that occurred during what was the worst attack to ever happen on U.S. soil.

It makes me hopeful for our nation.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Romney tortures animals

12 hours trapped in a cage, strapped to the roof of a station wagon hurtling down the interstate.

Yeah, I can totally see how that wouldn't be a terrifying hellride filled with absolute horror for a non-comprehending yet trusting family pet.

Good work there've obviously won over the PETA vote!

Anyway, I'm happy to see that DEVO is still making ironic and iconic music, and there's something on the front page of their website called "Don't Roof Rack Me, Bro!"

Can you guess what it's about? Trust me, you'll enjoy this catchy pop tune.

And, Mitt? I sincerely hope that the poor animal took a healthy bite out of your ass when you finally let it out of that torture cage, you cruel bastard!

Friday, September 07, 2012

The President's Speech

OK, the conventions are officially over. Now we can spend the next two months comparing the candidates and deciding which one has a realistic plan for our nation. It shouldn't be too hard; just watch Romney's speech after you finish with this one. No contest. Obama 2012.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Can he run in 2016?

I doubt it, there being that pesky 22nd Amendment to limit a President to two terms. But damn, this guy can still deliver a king-hell rousing speech!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

DNC leadership trashes rules for "God"

I didn't believe my eyes (or ears) when convention chair and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared that a last-second change to the Democratic platform was approved by a 2/3 voice vote, especially considering the fact that he repeated the vote three times before he pretended to hear a very slight majority of "Ayes" over the resounding shouts of "No".

The language includes the name "God" in the platform, and has wording that says we think Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Apparently the DNC leadership let the GOP bully them into including the unnecessary language into the platform over the delegates wishes.

Holy shit, if the Republicans have that kind of influence over our platform, we're pretty much fucked already!

I'm disgusted and disappointed by this flagrant abuse of the rules of the convention, and I'm sure at least HALF of the delegates on hand feel EXACTLY the same way. I know there ain't two-thirds of the crowd who supports this silly amendment.

Stay tuned for further Republican changes in the platform, likely to include restrictions on the right to choose and legal gay marriage, and a repeal of all gun laws and a top tax rate of 2% for those earning more than $1,000,000 a year; and small increases across the rest of the board.

Good work, DNC. You guys have really got your act together.

Yeah Antonio, keep repeating the vote until you get one you think is close. There's no fucking way the vote was 2/3 "Aye".

You fucking lying asshole. If I was a delegate I would have walked out then and there.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Live from the DNC

My dear friends Tessa Marquis and "not that" Mike Brown (it's been like 7 or 8 years since the horrible Katrina response; is this reference at all topical anymore? Just asking) are reporting "live-ish" from the Democratic National Convention. Tessa is a delegate from Connecticut and in addition to her reporting on her awesome blog, she'll be voting for the President when the roll-call comes.

So be sure to visit and bookmark CT Free Radicals (love that name!) and read up on some of Tessa and Mike's adventures in lovely North Carolina.

And also be sure to read the excellent coverage by my pal CT Blogger at My Left Nutmeg for some impressive coverage of the events. Al is the online journalist I wish I could be (if I wasn't so goddamned lazy!)

Oh, and I caught a good part of Michelle's speech tonight. It was amazing!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Live (sort of) from Austin

Here's some stuff from mid-way through my business trip to Austin.

JetBlue rocks! This is in the departure lounge at JFK. It looks like a nightclub! Sadly, it was 8:20 in the morning, and I usually don't start drinking until 9, so I gave it a pass.

I saw a movie while I was there. It was cool, but then again I'm a nerd.

The Paramount Theater on Congress Street in Austin is an historic landmark. Great place to see a film. The score from the movie was so loud it quivered my kidneys.

Street scene along Congress. It was 20 degrees cooler in the shade. Outside the temperature hovered around 100. "But it's a DRY heat!". Shut the fuck up!

A gibbous moon glares at what I think is called the Wells Fargo building. A nearly full moon brings these guys out:

I apologize for the shitty quality, but I left my good camera at home on my desk. That's what I get for leaving at 6AM. Anyway, you can't see the bats circling under the bridge, but when the camera pans downriver you can see the enormous black swarms of bats heading out for their nightly feeding.

OK, now I gotta go to work. Ciao!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Night Music Club XXVII

...some days I really wish I'd opted to NOT use that stupid Roman numeral numbering scheme.

Anyway, by the time this post goes up I'll have just arrived in my favorite Texas town, Austin. And it just seemed appropriate to post a video by a band that exemplifies the "Texas Swing" sound, and also not coincidentally calls Austin home.

So here's a heaping helping of "Asleep At The Wheel" playing the classic song Route 66.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

One giant leap

There are some moments in your life that are indelibly burned into your memory.

That moment when I was ten years old, sitting in the living room with my family watching Neil Armstrong's shadowy figure on our black & white TV stepping off the foot of the lunar landing and making that famous statement is one of my most memorable.

Then, during all those years after the flight when a lesser man may have tried to cash in on his historic accomplishment, Armstrong chose a quiet life, teaching engineering at University of Cincinnati and living on a farm. He eschewed the public eye and when he spoke about the moon landing he was usually quite reserved and brief.

Rest in peace, Neil Armstrong. You were one of the good guys, and a true American hero.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

GOP bigotry in your face

(photo via Greenwich Post)

Republican douche-nozzle, paid GOP mouthpiece, er, I mean, "ultra-conservative blogger" Pamela Geller is paying for these obscene posters that appeared recently on MTA property. Geller runs a moderately successful blog called "Atlas Shrugs", where apparently spewing hate rhetoric and bigotry is considered an honorable pastime.

(BTW I visited her blog and my PC lit up with all sorts of shit it was trying to upload. Trust me, you do not want to go there if your virus protection isn't completely up to date.)

The ads are apparently part of Ms. Geller's anti-Islamic "crusade" (or jihad if you will) that she's been ranting about for many years.

My pal Saramerica (Sarah Littman) was part of the article linked above:
Town resident Sarah Littman said she saw the ad at the Cos Cob Station last week and quickly filed a letter of complaint with both the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council and wrote to all three selectmen as well as the District 8 members of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) as well as her State Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151).

“I was shocked and incredibly offended when I saw the ad,” Ms. Littman told the Post, adding that she has received a lot of support from those she has written to. “One of the reasons I love living in Cos Cob is that it has such a small town, bucolic feel to it with a strong sense of community. To have this kind of dreadful hate speech blasting you in the face as soon as you drive into the parking lot was shocking to me.”
Congressman Jim Himes also spoke on the controversy:
This has attracted the attention of U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4), himself a Cos Cob resident, who criticized the ads in a statement to the Post.

“I am greatly disturbed to see the anti-Islamic signs at Metro North stations,” Mr. Himes said. “Condemning an entire religion for the actions of its worst extremists is ignorant and wrong. I cherish our free speech, but hate speech has no place in the public discourse.”
What Ms. Geller refuses to see is that comparing all of Islam to the actions of those extremists is exactly the same as condemning Christianity because of the actions of nutcases like Jim Jones, David Koresch, or Fred Phelps.

But Geller is much too full of hateful bile to digest anything as nuanced as that.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sure, he misspoke

"First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare," ... "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Ah, Jesus...I don't even know where to begin with this colossal dunderhead!

Rep. Todd Akin (R-no surprise) has voiced what may be the single most misogynistic phrase ever uttered during a senate campaign.

It really bothers me that there are people like this who have some say in how our government creates and upholds laws.

Somebody, please tell me, just how fucking stupid do you have to be to win a congressional seat in Missouri? Not to mention the obvious lack of intelligence displayed by the voters who put this jackass in Congress!

#legitimaterape is trending on Twitter like crazy right now.

Well Todd, you finally got noticed for something you said. I hope you're enjoying your moment in the spotlight!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Congrats to Chris Murphy!

Tonight Chris Murphy won the senate primary in Connecticut by an easy margin. Now the congressman from the 5th district will face off against wrestling promoter and 15% tax bracket billionaire Linda McMahon in the November election.

You can help Chris Murphy become our next senator by clicking this link to his website and learning about his stance on the issues. And by volunteering your time or contributing to his campaign fund, which is much smaller than McMahon's.

Thank you to everyone who made this victory possible, and will help continue this into November and beyond!

(Ed. note: I wrote this post last Friday, right before we left on vacation, and scheduled it to go online at 11:30PM on Primary night. Yes, I'm taking a bit of a chance of this becoming my "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment, and should that happen I'm willing to take the heat for it. But I'm so sure Chris will have won this election easily that I'm happy to take that chance and support our next senator in the battle to win in November.)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

I voted today

Yes, today is August 8th. But since I'm going to be out of town the entire day on Primary Day next week, I downloaded the absentee ballot form and went down to the City Clerk's office to cast my ballot.

There is only one race on this year's form here in our district. Murphy v. Bysiewicz for the senate nom.

I won't say for whom I voted, since it's a private matter. And everyone should vote, especially considering what they may think of the candidate who did some pretty fucked up things in recent memory.

Just vote. Regardless who you support.

UPDATE: CT Joyce voted today, too.

But you gotta watch those city clerk office workers...they took my license to copy, and if I didn't ask for it back, well...

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Ann Romney's stupid horse

Mrs. Romney is obviously a proud member of the 0.00000001%.

Yes, I'm absolutely sure she and Mittens can relate to the majority of middle-class working folk.

The fact that she is displaying her ridiculously ostentatious show horse during a very close election race shows just how out of touch she is.

...or, it could be that she just doesn't give a fat rats ass what the other 99.99999999% think!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Donovan owns it in new ad



Somehow, in recent years we lost the battle against the right wing propaganda machine when these words are mentioned.

But a battle isn't a war.

And in the war to reclaim these words, Chris Donovan proudly lays claim to them in his new ad:

I admire Chris for standing up against those in the political world who would like to label his political leanings as a pejorative. The conservatives and anti-union nut cases. The radical religious zealots. The FoxNews zombies.

If I was him, I'd say, "Fuck those fucking people! I'm proud as hell to be a Liberal/Progressive!"

Of course, Chris probably wouldn't use my quote verbatim (although he'd have my vote for life if he did!) but he does say essentially the same thing in this video.

I'm glad to support Chris Donovan for Congress.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Night Music Club XXVI

Duran Duran was another MTV mainstay back in the day. Their music video "Rio" is one of my faves; it's a good song, but I like it mostly because they're sailing on an incredible yacht somewhere tropical.

I can totally relate to that.

They shot most of the video in Antigua. My wife and I went there in 1988, and we visited some of the sites and views that were in the video. I hope someday we will return there.

Simon Le Bon, the lead singer of Duran Duran, is an avowed sailor; and he even owned a maxi-yacht "Drum", which lost its keel during the famous Fastnet race off of England. Le Bon and the crew spent nearly an hour inside the overturned vessel (racing sailboats tend to quickly capsize when they lose their heavy keels) before being rescued by a Royal Navy helicopter. He continues sailing to this day.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Columbine Part II

Oh Shit.

Another heavily-armed misfit took out his rage on a bunch of innocent civilians in Colorado early today.

Yes, it's such a good thing our leaders (specifically that complete shitbag George W. Bush) allowed the assault-weapons ban to expire. The Aurora Colorado shooter had apparently purchased all his weapons legally during the preceding six months.

For fuck's sake people, I understand that the 2nd Amendment allows for an armed civilian populace. But I'm sure they never intended the average citizen to be free to accumulate enough firepower to fight off a cadre of police or soldiers.

Keep in mind the Bill of Rights, that hallowed document which clarified many of the rights we enjoy to this day, was written at a time when it was perfectly legal for white land-owning Americans to totally fucking OWN human beings possessing a different skin color than them!

But sure, other than that unfortunate "slavery" thing, our Founding Fathers did get a lot of things right, but even they never envisioned that some alienated kid or young adult would find it so easy to legally purchase a fuckload of lethal weapons and turn them on children watching a movie.

I mean, at least if the guy was a frustrated movie critic or something, it might be justified (I don't know if the movie sucks or not, but it's at least a scenario); but this was just some nutjob who wanted to inflict as much pain on as many people as possible.

There was no such thing as repeat-firing arms back in the late 18th century when the 2nd Amendment was hand-written on parchment. If those brilliant men had any inkling of what technology would have wrought during the next couple centuries, they might have included a codicil that limits the possession of weapons to single-shot black powder guns, or shotguns, or even revolvers, which at most can only fire five or six shots before needing a reasonably complicated reloading process, as opposed to simply dropping an empty clip out of an automatic and jamming a full one in, which takes only a few seconds. Some automatics have 14 or even 30 shot clips!

Because I do legally own a revolver for home protection, and I firmly believe that if you have a gun and you can't hit what you're aiming at in five shots or less, you have no justifiable right to be operating a potentially lethal weapon!

But, I'm a realist, and I know that we'll continue to suffer tragedies like the one that occurred today for many years to come.

It's just all so goddamned unnecessary.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mitt's tax returns


Just one frickin' year.

Big whoop.

You know who isn't shy about releasing his tax returns?


What're you hiding there, Mittens?


And another thing...

Lately some redneck sheriff has been trying to rehash the "Birther" issue again.

Don't these idiots know that the guy they voted for back in 2008 wasn't even BORN IN THIS COUNTRY? Maybe he could have legally been the president of Panama, like Noriega, but he couldn't legally be OUR president.

Fucking morons.

(then again, if McCain had won, all us Libs would probably be the Birthers now! LOL!)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Night Music Club XXV

Back in the 1980s Robert Palmer was an MTV mainstay. His catchy tunes and risque music videos ensured heavy rotation; at least, back in those days when MTV actually SHOWED MUSIC VIDEOS RATHER THAN BANAL, INSIPID, SHITTY REALITY PROGRAMS!!!

Ahem...sorry about that.

Anyway, Palmer had a perfect sensibility for the time. He was the epitome of the "sharp dressed man" that ZZ Top sang about.

Here's one of my favorites, "Addicted To Love"; which, at the time caused some minor scandal because I'm pretty sure you can almost see some nipples through those instrument-playing models blouses!

I know, it's terribly shocking! (actually, MTV was, and still is a cable channel not restricted by the FCC's rules, and they can show any damn body parts they want; but still, it was fairly titillating for the time. I mean, frickin' Ronald Reagan was president and his Interior Secretary James Watt banned the Beach Boys from playing on July 4th in DC because they were too "dangerous" or something like that!)

...and when I think of Reagan today, I know in my heart that he'd never stand a chance in hell of winning the Republican nomination, because he's just not "conservative" enough! And that's the reason Romney won't win the White House in November, because he just won't draw enough conservative votes. They just don't give a hoot about him!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

The view from above

The weather has been awesome lately, and we've been on our sailboat every chance we get.

Here's a photo that CT Joyce took after I hauled her up the mast in the bosun's chair to fix the windvane.

Isn't Milford Harbor just the greatest place?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mean Jean loses her shit over false report


MSNBC posts this video of Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) — an opponent of the measure — screaming with joy at the false news that the Court invalidated the requirement. Watch it:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

What a cunt.

Great moments in CNN history

OK. This is precisely why we need cameras in the Supreme Court. CNN was trying so hard to get the scoop that they completely fucked it up. Oh, and they probably need to fire whatever producer thought this was a good idea.

It took over six minutes for them to begin to get the story right. Some moron was obviously in the courtroom listening to the dense legalese of the decision and naively decided that what he or she was hearing was them striking down the law.

I can only imagine the volume of screaming going on in the control room while they were trying to figure out what really happened! Oy vey!

And, in related news:

Suck it, conservatives!


(photo via - click the image to read the butt-hurt of poor ol' Ben))

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Busy doing stuff

Like work and stuff.

And sailing once, or maybe TWICE a week if I'm really lucky!

Hope everyone is enjoying these first few days of summer.

Does it have to be 90-plus degrees yet? I only just put away my fleece pullover, and now we're in August all of a sudden!

Meanwhile...last week's drunken sailboat race!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Donovan standing tall

I gotta admit...Chris Donovan is impressing me with how well he's handling what would be a public relations disaster for a lesser man. He's standing tall, and people are behind him as he navigates through some perilous waters.

Here's an email I received today from the campaign. Tomorrow (Wednesday) there is a rally to support Chris Donovan. I will be at work (working second shift kinda sucks, but I'm happy to have a decent job, so I'm not complaining) but I'll be there in spirit:

Stand with Chris Rally
Wednesday, June 6th at 5PM
21 Oak St, Hartford
On Sunday, I stood in front of news cameras and reporters, made a statement, and took their questions. I have a video of it up online, but I wanted to share some of my remarks with you:

Let me be very clear about this: At no time did I know that anyone might have been trying to funnel illegal contributions to my campaign. No one ever made a deal with me as a quid pro quo.

I did not know about it at any point during the legislative session.
Let me say this unequivocally: No one bought my involvement, my position or my influence on the 'roll your own' legislation or any other. Period.
I have cooperated with federal authorities and I will continue to do that as this investigation proceeds.
All I can do is emphatically reassure the voters that I have done nothing wrong.
I am so very grateful - I've been overwhelmed by some of the calls and notes I have received from others. People who have known me for 30 years – or a lot less – have told me to fight on, and I will.
I'm looking forward to this race, and this fight, like no other in my life.

As Tom Swan told you yesterday, the campaign is moving forward and it's moving forward the right way.

We are going to win this race because I am the only candidate who is willing to fight for the working families of the 5th CD - to bring good jobs with strong benefits back home, to protect Medicare and Social Security, and to end the Republicans' destructive attacks on women's health care and contraception.

And we will win because I have you by my side. Together we organize, together we knock doors, together we make calls, and together we win by getting out the vote. Will you join me today by clicking here and pledging to stand with me?

The headline in yesterday's Hartford Courant was "NO QUIT IN DONOVAN" - well, I can confirm it for you. There is no quit in me. Not now, not when we have the most important fight of our lives - for the future of the working families of Connecticut.

Thank you once more for all you do,

PS Let's spread the word far and wide - will you forward this email to your friends and ask them to stand with us too?

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Bad timing for Donovan's campaign

For the last few days local media were abuzz with the news that House Speaker Chris Donovan's finance director was charged with accepting and trying to hide illegal contributions.

For a Congressional candidate facing a tough primary just over 2 months away, this is definitely an unfortunate twist of fate.

There is an awful lot about this story that I don't yet understand, so I'll try to stick to the facts of the criminal complaint against finance director Robert Braddock. Braddock is charged with hiding contributions to Donovan's campaign that were part of an FBI undercover sting operation, where an agent posed as a cigarette retailer trying to buy influence in the House against legislation that could tax "roll-your-own" cigarettes. In the wake of Braddock's arrest, Donovan's campaign manager Josh Nassi was fired along with Braddock.

Which casts some reasonable doubt on whether Nassi may have known something about the contribution. But whether he knew anything or not, he was the guy directly responsible for the workings of the campaign and the hiring of the staff, including probably the finance director, and he likely deserved to be let go.

BTW, this is just my opinion, and I base it solely upon the stuff I've read in the papers and blogs and on Twitter, including this gem from my ol' friendly nemesis @A_C_R, which probably will get a huge belly laugh from the Rush Limbaugh aficionados out there in the Twittersphere:
Some Donovan defenders are quite annoyed. I suspect one is wearing that naughty barbed wire bra again it always makes her so cranky.
All misogyny aside, I haven't spoken to anyone inside Donovan's campaign yet, nor will I be likely to do so until the investigation is complete. So please don't put any weight on my idle speculations.

In regards to the allegations about the tax issue, it never even made it out of the Senate, so the House had absolutely no conversation about whether a tax should be levied. This will probably work in Donovan's favor as the investigation proceeds. Donovan has also hired a former US Attorney for Connecticut Stan Twardy to look into how the alleged wrongdoing occurred.

Also, according to published reports there are connections with House Minority Leader Larry Cafero in the investigation. From CT News Junkie:
Cafero was one of a dozen lawmakers interviewed Thursday by federal investigators. During the course of their conversation, Cafero said he learned that straw donors also delivered five $1,000 checks to three House Republican PACs.

Cafero said he promptly returned the donations after being informed that they came from straw donors, but he added that he was not given an explanation as to why the donations were made and was told he was not a target of the investigation.
So, after being informed, presumably by the same agents investigating Donovan's campaign, Cafero was allowed to return the donations, no questions asked.

Sounds weird. I dunno, but it kinda makes you wonder, eh?

Look back here for more solid information, idle speculation, and wildly unfounded conjecture as the story develops. After all, nobody ever threatened to give me a Pulitzer for my journalism!

Meanwhile (remember whose blog you're reading) I just contributed to And I love using Paypal. It makes life so much easier.

Because, when he's finally vindicated of any connection with this awful situation, I absolutely want Chris Donovan to be our next congressman from Connecticut's 5th District!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Night Music Club XXIV

Here's the Squirrel Nut Zippers performing "Put A Lid On It" from 1996.

A reconstituted version of the band was involved in the 2006 senate campaign for Ned Lamont, who defeated Joe Lieberman in the primary before losing to him in the general election when Joe ran as an independent and got tons of Republican support. They recorded a customized version of the song, sung by Rikki Lee Jones, which was an instant classic among us political aficionados:

This was six years ago. Six fucking years ago! I can't believe it! What is it that makes time accelerate as you get older? Somebody get Stephen Hawking working on it right away.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Deadline for the CT Film Industry Training Program

There's only two weeks left for you to sign up for a spot in the CT Film Industry Training Program that starts on June 4th. Here's the details:
The program is four weeks, Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5:30PM at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.
Tuition is $500
You must be a Connecticut resident (sorry all you other 49ers!)
Application deadline is May 31st, apply HERE FOR ADMISSION.
When you complete the program, you will be knowledgeable enough to get a job as a PA (Production Assistant) in the craft you selected.

The program works! I took the course in 2010 and was hired onto a film starring Keir Dullea ("2001: A Space Odyssey") and Kathleen Chalfant ("Law & Order", "Rescue Me"). I've also worked on other films and projects.

Don't delay! If you've ever dreamed of working in the movie business, or if you want to get a glimpse of how movies are made, you need to sign up for this program now.