Sunday, January 22, 2012

Newt the winner in S.C.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich earned a decisive primary victory yesterday over previous frontrunner and presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney. The upset throws the entire process into disarray and promises to make the the GOP nominating process a long and bitter battle.

So far there have been three caucuses/primaries, and each one has a different winner. This obviously won't be a simple road to the convention, and we can expect to see continued fireworks and personal attacks escalate going into Florida next week.

The attacks have been colorful, to say the least:

Newt is apparently some kind of wild man, with all the talk of him wanting an "open marriage". (I apologize to those of you who just threw up a little into your mouths).

Mitt Romney was attacked for being successful and wealthy.

Rick Santorum has been subject to all kinds of accusations regarding his siding with labor unions.

Ron Paul has been saying, "Hey guys, what about me?!? Why does FoxNews cut me off? How 'bout you guys say something about m- ..."

All in all, it looks like the entertaining process will continue well through Super Tuesday. I'll be sure to have the popcorn ready!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Not really...

I just wanted a day off.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

MPAA going for the knives ... et tu, Chris?

"The most unkindest cut of all!"

Ah, literature.

It's a most fortunate thing for us that the MPAA wasn't around when the Bard of Avon was penning some of his more notable works.

For, it would'st quite sucketh to be fined mightily for quoting ye Bard's hallowed words upon a blogeth, would'st it not?

Or something like that.

Actually, I'm just back from happy hour, and I'm kind of giddy that I created and used the word "sucketh" in a sentence!

(BTW, the word "SUCKETH" is officially Copyright (c) 2012 ConnecticutBob.Com, so don't even THINK of pirating it muthafuckas!)

The article below is posted verbatim from the internet, without comment; where it is currently freely available for anyone to read. If this law should eventually pass, you can bet your ass that everything will change for the worse.

OK....that was technically a "comment", but I promise it will be the only one from me right now.

While I still can.

Alright...that was probably what you could call another comment.

...and sort of a sarcastic one at that!

I think I'll just shut up now.



MPAA Calls Planned Web Site Blackouts “Stunts That Punish Their Users”
By DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor
Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:09pm

The Hollywood lobby group has finally weighed in on the plan by Wikipedia and others to go dark tomorrow to protest the MPAA-supported anti-piracy bills in Congress. The money quote is at the end: CEO says he hopes that “the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this ‘blackout’ to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.”

The House’s Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate’s Protect IP Act would empower the government to block overseas sites that traffic in pirated content. The MPAA says that will save U.S. jobs. But tech companies say officials might abuse their power by using it to punish legitimate sites.

Here’s the full MPAA statement:

WASHINGTON —The following is a statement by Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) on the so-called “Blackout Day” protesting anti-piracy legislation:

“Only days after the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation responded to the major concern expressed by opponents and then called for all parties to work cooperatively together, some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.

It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.

A so-called “blackout” is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals. It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this “blackout” to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.”


Hey Dodd,

This is rich from someone who as a senator got a sweetheart mortgage deal while so many lost their homes.

Go fuck yourself.
Comment by John Q Internet — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:19pm EST

Ditto. Dodd is a total hypocrite that has stuffed his pockets with Quid pro quo.
Comment by enough — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:56pm EST

“It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information use their services…”

Glad to see the MPAA is so concerned about protecting the rights of Internet users.
Comment by anonymouse — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:22pm EST

I am dumbfounded by the idiocy of Mr. Dodd’s statement.
Comment by Rob — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:25pm EST

Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales quoted MLK yesterday.

The homepages of both Wikipedia and Google will contain politically-motivated lies tomorrow.

Incidentally, Wikipedia is having its cake and eating it too. Their site will be available via mobile. So the publicity stunt worked, they got their day in the spotlight, and they gave themselves an out.

Unions and the US Chamber of Commerce both support the anti-piracy effort. It will go through eventually… and then Big Tech will find a new way to steal & profit from the arts.
Comment by star jonestown — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:55pm EST

Wikipedia does not benefit from piracy whatsoever. They don’t sell advertising. They’re easily one of the most non-biased organizations out there today. They’re taking this action because it’s simply the right thing to do.

We didn’t throw out the entire U.S. Constitution so that retailers could ensure nobody shoplifts. The MPAA needs to learn that they don’t have the right to take over control of the entire internet because a few people are stealing their movies.
Comment by Bob — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 6:02pm EST

The arts you’re referring to wouldn’t EXIST without technology. Or maybe you’ve never heard of Thomas Edison?

Piracy would be far less of a problem if Hollywood would stop trying to promote The Save Our Pampered Asses act and actually learn something about how to sell online. Amazon ain’t bitchin’ about piracy, they’re just raking in the cash.
Comment by Dotcom Vet — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 7:11pm EST

I’m somewhat surprised you ever figured out how to access the Internet, let alone post. Broad claim? No more than your ridiculous unsourced, unjustified prattle.
Comment by duh — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 7:38pm EST

No SOPA – find another way because FREEDOM is more important than HOLLYWOOD.
Comment by NO SOPA — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:31pm EST

If Chris Dodd and the MPAA want to stop the hyperbole,they should start with themselves and stop acting like these bills are the only way to stop piracy.

Opponents of these bills agree that piracy is an issue that needs to be addressed. These bills are simply the wrong way to do it.
Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:31pm EST

I plan to vote against anyone who supports SOPA (Barbara Boxer for instance who refused to meet with her constituents before the vote) that’s not a stunt. What was a Stunt was the MPAA hiring Chris Dodd
Comment by xolitz — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:33pm EST

Never be surprised by the idiocy of the MPAA:

“But now we are faced with a new and troubling assault on our fiscal security, on our very economic life, and we are facing it from a thing called the Video Cassette Recorder” — MPAA President Jack Valenti in 1982
Comment by me0w — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:34pm EST

Show me a job lost in the film industry due to piracy. Just one.

First they tied layoffs to the writers’ strike, then to the economic meltdown, then to Amazon and Netflix, now to piracy. Just face facts – the layoffs are due to corporations monopolizing and consolidating media empires. Why have four specialty brands or allow rental companies to buy in bulk, when you can just do it all yourself with fewer ways to slice the pie.
Comment by Liars — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:36pm EST

Comment by Doug Gabriel — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 5:13pm EST

Show me an actor in recent times that lost their job due to Piracy. The only ones who lose their job are the ones who work off camera and are not suits. Show me a suit who is now broke due to piracy.
Comment by Phatos — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 5:35pm EST

What Chris Dodd refers to as a “disservice to people who rely on them” and “an abuse of power” I refer to as “yet another reason to donate money to Wikipedia.” As someone who uses Wikipedia way too much, I assure you, Chris, I’ll survive a day without it.

Also, I don’t know how Dodd’s head didn’t explode at the irony of that “abuse of power” line.
Comment by Elmore — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:38pm EST

I use WIKI a lot of times during the day to get things done. Without Wiki, I might as well take the day off and lose money.
Comment by Daniel — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 4:52pm EST

Well boo-hoo, your FREE service is cut-off for one day while you’re losing money.
Comment by Robyn — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 5:55pm EST

‘…is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today…’ the Senator is speaking from experience :-p
Comment by Steen — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 5:11pm EST

Nice try neck tie, I’m still with Wikipedia on this all the way. Nothing more to say because John Q Internet at the top said it all very eloquently. Nice one John Q.
Comment by robert — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 5:20pm EST

If the MPAA is truly interested in stopping the hyperbole maybe they should acknowledge that the $58 billion loss figure that they love to trot out is nothing more than hot air and lies.
Comment by Film Buff Rich — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 5:28pm EST

The blackouts are not stunts. They are bringing attention to the problem, and flushing out those that support the problem. For example, the MPAA and Dodd.
Comment by Sorry — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 5:40pm EST

I’m just clad to see for once that the MPAA has taken on someone their own size. For once they are facing opposition with some muscle, and it is looking like they will loose this fight. The White House has signaled they aren’t going to support this legislation. I think it’s pretty much over.
Comment by JohnT — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 5:52pm EST

. . . and boycotts and protests punish only the boycotters and protesters, right?
Comment by CynicalCritic — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 5:57pm EST

No one has “punished users (customers)” more than Hollywood. Can’t wait until the system of horrible product and corporate bureaucracy eventually collapses on itself. The users have chosen and it’s not with the MPAA.
Comment by Carl Sanders — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 6:18pm EST

not surprise dodd and mpaa are calling foul for the black outs for they want the power these bills though the idea to stop online piracy is good the bills are flawed and wold give the government the temptation to wind up abusing and censoring the internet. after all how dare companies like Wikiepedia and others try to protect themselves from a bad bill being passed and get in the way of the big fat cats that buy congress who want this new power
Comment by demoncat — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 6:38pm EST

hello, movie business? meet the record business. say hello to your future.
Comment by reality of the sit — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 6:39pm EST

Dodd and the MPAA are just infuriated that their plan to turn the Internet into Cable TV has hit a bump in the road.

Piracy is just a cover story, and as far as the billions and billions of dollars of damages that are claimed, well, a wise old CFO once warned me about financial statements issued from an industry whose primary product is works of fiction.

What MPAA and RIAA are really afraid of is the Louis CK effect. The guy sold his creation directly to the public over the Internet, at a reasonable price with no copy protection, and made more money than he ever had working through gatekeeper corporations whose value added doesn’t even come close to the percentage they skim off the top.
Comment by Old Bitsmasher — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 6:55pm EST

If Chris Dodd really cared about our jobs, the very people who make so many films and television programs possible, he would vocally support deep audits into each studio’s financial books. Piracy isn’t what’s killing actually Hollywood – it’s pure greed at the expense of the content creators at the hands of the entertainment conglomerates.
Comment by Anon E Mouse — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 7:14pm EST

always felt the mpaa was creepy.
Comment by always — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 7:17pm EST

Does Mr. Dodd realize what he just said here?

“It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.”

This would hold true to the following:

US Government Senators, Representatives, etc.
Presidents past and our present.
PAC lobbyists
All Mainstream news outlets (fox, msnbc, abc, nbc, cbs)

I stand behind Wikipedia, Reddit, and others doing the blackout. GOOD for them. If I don’t have wiki for one day…omgosh I will survive. Seriously. I can use the ENTIRE internet to source out my questions.

Mr. Dodd is clearly not getting it. 1%-er.
Comment by NO SOPA for me. — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 7:21pm EST

I actually know Chris Dodd. He’s a fucking hack, bought and paid.
Comment by RRM — Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 7:24pm EST

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Occupy Austin

Seeing as I'm down here in Austin for a few weeks for work, I wanted to drop in to Occupy Austin and chat with the volunteers.

Saturday was a perfect day, sunny and around 70 degrees. Downtown Austin is a lovely area, and the Occupy protestors have set up camp on the steps of the Austin City Hall directly in front of Lady Bird Lake.

I spoke to a volunteer named John, who said that the cops have been reasonable, and the city is allowing them to continue, although they DO force them to leave periodically to pressure clean the concrete steps. Fairly mellow vibe, and NO drum circle to give me a headache!

BTW, I walked around the downtown area quite a bit today, and Austin is starting to grow on me. I can't wait until next weekend when I'll get a chance to see some of the music scene Austin is known for.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Hampshire to Texas

Tonight I'm blogging from the Lone Star state, where I'll watch the results trickle in from the New Hampshire Primary.

What a difference four years makes! In 2008 I was standing outside a restaurant in the cold and snow, waiting for Dennis Kucinich to make his speech after the results came in. I remember Hilary Clinton won that night, along with John McCain.

Cut to four years later, and this what they served me for breakfast!

Can you say "culture shock"?

I'm down here for three weeks of training for my new job. Maybe I'll post something later, but I'm so tired right now I may go right to sleep!

UPDATE: Well, that was fast.

Mitt won handily, as I safely predicted. However, I was badly mistaken thinking that Rick Santorum's special kind of crazy could play well in New Hampshire. Ron Paul had a very good 2nd place showing, which will propel him into South Carolina as a candidate with momentum.

Which could make it a very interesting contest from this point on!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Sunday Night Music Club XXI

Sad news yesterday, with the passing of Tommy Ardolino, longtime drummer for NRBQ. He was only 56, much too young for someone so full of life.

However, he did leave us a lot of great music. I'm currently searching for his soulful (and hilarious) rendition of "You & I & George", one of the occasions he came out from behind his drum set to sing a song. But in the meantime, you can listen to him crashing the cymbals on "Honey Hush", recorded live at Toad's Place in 1979.

(Audio only)

Friday, January 06, 2012

New Hampshire set to shape the rest of the race

After a somewhat surprising Iowa caucus, where Mitt Romney (above, campaigning in New Hampshire) literally squeaked by with a win over a strong showing from Rick Santorum, the New Hampshire primary will likely impact the rest of the battle for the GOP nomination. I did predict Romney to win in Iowa, but I stated that he would walk away with it.

Seven votes doth not a walk make. It turns out if a minivan full of Santorum voters made it to the caucus that night, Romney would have placed second.

The results are statistically tied, with both candidate expected to receive 7 delegates each out of the 25 that Iowa has once the results are verified. But it's the psychological boost that has helped Santorum emerge as a potential front-runner should he show well in New Hampshire.

Already his fundraising has drastically kicked up a notch, with (his campaign) reporting over $1 million donated in the immediate days following the caucus. Depending of how the vote turns out in New Hampshire, this may be either a brief speed bump in Romney's drive toward the nomination or it can be a sign that the Republican party is indeed too conservative for a relative moderate like Romney.

Keep in mind that although Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts, which boarders New Hampshire, it was four years ago when John McCain beat Romney by a margin of 37% to 31%. And that was well before all the hysterical caterwauling from the conservatives about "Romneycare".

OK, time for my prediction. My best guess is that Romney will win in New Hampshire but by a disappointingly small margin over a strong second-place performance by Santorum; Newt Gingrich will place 4th to a decent 3rd place showing by Ron Paul, and anyone left isn't even relevant.

Should this occur, the lead up to the two big contests in red states South Carolina (Jan. 21st) and Florida (Jan. 31st) will be very interesting.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Obama Wins in Iowa!

In a dramatic result from Iowa, President Obama swept the Democratic caucus with 100% of the vote! Obama is most likely thrilled with the results, and will continue to lead the nation as the New Hampshire primary approaches.

In other news, we're still waiting to see how the Republican contest goes.

(h/t to @ttagaris)

Silly Season begins today!

For veteran politics junkies such as myself, the beginning of the 2012 primary season is a true winter blessing! Because I know that even though the NY Giants season will have to end eventually, we'll still have the Republican battle for the nomination to keep us entertained until long after my boat goes back in the water.

(But damn, wasn't that a great finish by the Giants, knocking the Cowboys out of the playoffs and earning a home playoff game next Sunday? Go G'ints!)

Anyways, today is the Iowa Caucus. I've long predicted that Mitt Romney will win it walking away, but the battle for second and third could be interesting. Santorum, Gingrich and perpetual wallflower Ron Paul will fight it out to stay alive in the race. Anyone who doesn't score at least a strong third-place finish will likely drop out soon after.

Because it's next to impossible to keep your staff fired up and your army of volunteers knocking on doors when you've finished (as Joe Lieberman put it so perfectly in New Hampshire in 2004) " a three-way tie for third place!"

So tonight I'll be enjoying the televised spectacle and commenting both here and on Twitter @ConnecticutBob.

And of course, you can keep up to date on all the primaries and caucuses on my 2012 Primary Calendar. Next up on Tuesday Jan. 10th is the New Hampshire Primary! I'll probably post some recollections from 2008 when I was up in Manchester for the event.