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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Hello from Newport

Taking a well deserved break from the political scene in Connecticut and hanging out at a cool little internet cafe in Newport RI (I highly recommend the Summer Breeze smoothie and the carrot cake).

I won't be posting as much as usual for obvious reasons but I'll be back soon. I'm off to the beach, more shrimp to eat and Harpoon IPAs to consume.

Oh look, Danbury is in the news AGAIN

What's going on at Hatcity nowadays?

If you're from Danbury, then it's no surprise that someone stole a airplane from the Danbury Airport Thursday night. What is shocking is the mayor, Mark Boughton and his ability to not take responsibility for the screwup.
City officials took initial steps to address security at the Danbury Airport on Thursday – steps some police officers and officials in nearby towns say are long overdue.

Danbury officials say they have adjusted the schedules of special officers who now patrol the airport. Mayor Mark Boughton announced plans to hire an outside company to make sure the airport is as secure as possible.

The moves came after the alleged theft Wednesday of a single-engine plane by a 20-year-old Bethel man. Authorities say Philippe Patricio flew two 16-year-old passengers from Danbury Airport to Westchester County Airport. Patricio was drunk and didn't have a pilot's license, police said.

After the theft, New York officials said it was unsettling someone could so easily sneak into Danbury Airport. They said it was fortunate the alleged plane thief wasn't a terrorist targeting New York City, the Indian Point nuclear plant or some other place.

[...]

Danbury officials largely defended security at their airport, saying it met Federal Aviation Administration regulations for small airfields.

"I never said nobody will ever steal an airplane," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. "What I said was the airport meets FAA regulations. We follow all of their security rules. If there is a discussion of whether the FAA regulations are good enough, that's a larger discussion."


You never said nobody would STEAL a airplane? Are you serious? You followed security rules but you knew there was a possibility someone could just walk onto the airport and steal an airplane? Is this mayor is more concerned over illegal aliens than the security of HIS LEGAL citizens (BTW Mayor, I'm still waiting to hear from the mayor on what city resources are being drained because of the illegal aliens and by how much. While you at it mayor, can you still answer my question I asked you last month which was how can you say there are 15,000 illegal aliens in a city which has a population of under 75,000).

Danbury is a perfect place for a terrorist to plan an attack. It's a relative small city and a close to New York. If someone took an airplane from the airport, they would have no problem launching an attack on NYC. A 20 year old DRUNK kid had no problem taking a plane from the airport and fly around for three hours without anyone from the Air Force intercepting him. Again, the 20 year old DRUNK kid took a plane and flew it around Danbury and Westchester County New York for almost three hours and got away with it.

Mayor Boughton, Gov Rell (a Brookfield native), and even Nancy Johnson (5th district covers Danbury) have some very serious explaining to do their citizens and should not be held accountable for this major blunder.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dan Malloy comes out swinging against Gov Rell



I've been on such a rampage over Rove's rhetoric, that I need to get back to Connecticut stuff.

Tobin Coleman for the Stamford Advocate reports on Malloy's critique of Rell's first year in office and needless to say, it wasn't very nice.


I guess it's safe to say that the campaign season is upon us...
Stamford Democratic Mayor Dannel Malloy yesterday criticized Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell for saying she has no big disappointments after her first year in office.

That's "not realistic," Malloy said in a statement released yesterday.

"To have been governor for a full year, and to not have experienced any 'big disappointments' indicates the governor may well have expectations that are too low," Malloy wrote.

[...]

Malloy challenged Rell's leadership, saying she failed to keep the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in New London off the Pentagon's list of possible base closures, failed to enact property tax reform and has left 330,000 Connecticut residents without health care.

"The only two legislative issues she identified in that interview were failed hangovers from this past legislative session, and she offered nothing new to indicate how she would move them forward -- snarled campaign finance reform and an anemic out-of-touch transportation bill that barely begins to address the State's crisis on that front," Malloy wrote about Rell's comments.

Gov. Rell was pretty quick to respond to Malloys comments regarding the sub base.

"I don't think any of those concerns that were raised deserve a response," Rell said in an interview. "The only thing I would object to is on the sub base. We have worked very hard to keep us off the list. And this is a bipartisan issue, one that both Republicans and Democrats have been working on and we are preparing now to make our case. Now is not the time to be playing politics with a very serious issue."
Why do I have the feeling that this is going to be a long hot summer. If you think this is bad, wait till Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the other candidates gets into the mix.

Hold the conservatives accountable

From AMERICAblog:
It's pretty clear now that this was a set up orchestrated by the White House in order to deflect attention away from the disaster that is the war in Iraq, and Bush's plumetting polls.

1. The White House released the TEXT of Rove's speech today. According to my sources who know about such things, that NEVER happens. This is prima facie evidence that the White House coordinated this thing from the beginning.

2. The RNC put out talking points today about how the Democrats "blamed America" for September 11. Those detailed talking points were clearly prepared well in advance of this noon today when this thing blew up. WE BLAMED AMERICA?

3. The RNC today reportedly released a new attack web ad going after Durbin for his comments about Guantanamo Bay. Isn't that convenient that something that took at least a few days to prepare was suddenly ready today at the same time that Karl Rove made his comments that anyone who recognizes that Bush has no idea what's going on Iraq is a traitor who loves Osama.

Folks, these bastards dropped a nuclear bomb on us today, and it was intentional. Senator Durbin learned the hard way that you can't reason with these people. Durbin apologized and what did it get him? He's in every one of their press releases and attack ads today.

President Bush thinks 57% of Americans are traitors who hate America, want to kill our military, and love Osama bin Laden. 57% of Americans are apparently happy, or at least not outraged, by the murder of nearly 3,000 people in NY, VA and PA.

The Democratic Party had better realize that these people declared war today in a big way. We do not let this issue go until Karl Rove resigns. There IS no other issue in town, until Karl Rove resigns.

If Ken Mehlman wants to have a public debate about who's a bigger man, then let's have it. And we'll start by talking about the President who just killed 1700 Americans in Iraq for a lie, and still hasn't bothered to attend a single funeral of one of the soldiers he killed.

Call Nancy Johnson, Chris Shays and Rob Simmons and see if they agree with Karl Rove's statement. If these Republicans were so outraged over Sen. Durbin's Nazi comment, they should be equally outraged over Rove's hate speech. Get them on record and hold them accountable.

They'll be getting a call for yours truly first thing in the morning.

Statement from John Kerry regarding Karl Rove comments

Bravo!

Mr. President, None of us will ever forget the hours after September 11th, the calls to our families, the evacuations, the images on television -- and then the remarkable response of the American people as we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland.

We drew strength when our firefighters ran up the stairs and risked their lives, so that others might live. When rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon. When the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation's Capitol. When flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It brought out the best in all of us.

That spirit of our country should never be reduced to a cheap and divisive political applause line from anyone who speaks for the President of the United States. I am proud that after September 11th all our people rallied to President Bush's call for unity to meet the danger. There were no Democrats. There were no Republicans. There were only Americans. That's why is hard to believe that last night the most senior advisor to the President of the United States is twisting those days of unity to divide us, that rather than focusing attention on finding Osama Bin Laden and smashing Al Queda, he is instead challenging the patriotism of Americans every bit as committed to fighting terror as he is.

For Karl Rove to equate Democratic policy on terror to "indictments" and "therapy" is an outrageous attempt to divide the nation at just the moment we must be unified. Just days after 9/11 the Senate voted 98-0 and the House voted 420-1 to authorize President Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against terror. After the bipartisan vote, President Bush said, I quote: "I am gratified that the Congress has united so powerfully by taking this action. It sends a clear message - our people are together, and we will prevail."

Karl Rove also said last night, quote: "No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

Well, I think a lot more needs to be said about Karl Rove's motives, because they're not the people's motives, and if the President really believed his own words of unity, then he should fire Karl Rove. If the President of the United States knows the meaning of his own words, he should listen to the plea of Kristen Breitweiser, who lost her husband when the Twin Towers came crashing down: she said, "if you're going to use 9/11, use it to make this nation safer than it was on 9/11.

And that's not being done. If you're going to use 9/11, if you're going to be impassioned about the lives lost on 9/11, then do so by making us safer."

Karl Rove doesn't owe me an apology, he doesn't owe Democrats an apology, he owes her an apology -- he owes an apology to every one of those families who paid the ultimate price on September 11th.

Millions of Americans across our country are questioning whether this Administration is making us safe. Kristen Breitweiser wants to tell her daughter that she'll grow up in a country safer than on the day her father was taken from her.

Mothers and fathers spend sleepless nights worrying about sons and daughters in humvees in Iraq that aren't protected. They're asking Washington for honesty and results and leadership, not political division.

Before Karl Rove delivers another political assault, he needs to think about those families. The 9-11 Commission has given us a path to follow, endorsed by Democrats, Republicans, and the 9-11 families. Implement the recommendations of that commission. We shouldn't be letting ninety-five percent of container ships come into our ports without ever being physically inspected. We shouldn't be leaving our nuclear and chemical plants without enough protection.

Until they've done the work of making America safe, don't dare question the patriotism of Americans who offer a better direction. Before wrapping themselves in the memory of September 11th, and shutting their eyes and ears to the truth, they should remember what America is really all about -- that leadership isn't insult or intimidation, it's the strength of making America safe -- they should remember what their responsibility is to every American -- and start to do the work of living up to it.

Karl Rove should RESIGN NOW!


I can't believe that this SOB would still try to use 9-11 for political gain and now he says that liberals don't understand the consequences of 9-11 and want American troops to fail.

Speaking in a Manhattan ballroom just a few miles north of ground zero, Karl Rove said on Wednesday night that the Democratic party did not understand the consequences of the Sept. 11 attacks.

[...]

"Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said we must understand our enemies."

Rove also denounced Sen. Dick Durbin's comments comparing interrogation at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to the methods of Nazis and other repressive regimes. He said the statements have been broadcast throughout the Middle East, putting American troops in greater danger. Durbin has since apologized for the remarks.

"No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals," Rove said.

This is complete BS and it's time for liberals to fight back against this type of wingnut rhetoric. These jerks shamelessly use 9-11 anytime their back is against the wall and NOW their using 9-11 to attack liberals and say that we want our troops to die in Iraq?!?

F-U Rove! You're the most despicable politician I've ever known (man, I thought Gary Franks was bad). You should be ashamed of yourself for making those sickening remarks and btw, who the f#@% made you the spokeperson for the 3,000+ people who died on that horrible day.
If a Democrat said those words, you wingnuts would be demanding an apology. Look at what they did to Durbin after he told the truth about Gitmo (I'm STILL pissed that he apologized). Funny how the Republicans jumped down Durbin's throat but give Rove a pass (where are you Frist, McCain, DeLay, Santurum).

I'm happy that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is demanding that Rove resign and Democrats should use statements like this against the Republicans next fall and make them pay for their arrogance.

I am deeply disturbed and disappointed that the Bush White House would continue to use the national tragedy of September 11th to try and divide the country. The lesson our country learned on that terrible morning is that we are strongest when we unite together, that America’s power is in its common spirit of democracy and freedom.

“Karl Rove should immediately and fully apologize for his remarks or he should resign. The lesson of September 11th is not different for conservatives, liberals or moderates. It is equally shared and was repeatedly demonstrated in the weeks and months following this tragedy as Americans of all backgrounds and their elected representatives rallied behind the victims and their families, united in our common determination to bring to justice those responsible for these terrible attacks.

“It is time to stop using September 11th as a political wedge issue. Dividing our country for political gain is an insult to all Americans and to the common memory we all carry with us from that day. When it comes to standing up to terrorists, there are no Republicans or Democrats, only Americans. The Administration should be focused on uniting Americans behind our troops and providing them a strategy for success in the war on terror and the conflict in Iraq. I hope the president will join me in repudiating these remarks and urge Mr. Rove to take appropriate action to right this terrible wrong.”

I thought the insurgency was in it's "Last Throes"

Rummy and comapny take a grilling at the Captial today. Guess you can't spin this war in from ofmembers of the senate like you can do on FOXNews (Cheney's interview with Hannity) and MSNBC (Rove's interview with Gregory)
The top American commander in the Persian Gulf told Congress on Thursday that the Iraqi insurgency has not grown weaker over the past six months, despite a claim by Vice President Dick Cheneythat it was in its "last throes."

Gen. John Abizaid's testimony came at a contentious Senate Armed Services Committee meeting hearing at which Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld clashed with members of both parties, including a renewed call by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts for him to step down.

Citing what he called repeated "gross errors and mistakes" in the U.S. military campaign in Iraq Kennedy told Rumsfeld: "In baseball, it's three strikes, you're out. What is it for the secretary of defense?"

"Isn't it time for you to resign?" Kennedy asked.

I wish I could watch this on CSPAN right now. The Bush administraiton is in full damage control mode right now and the Democrats smell blood in the water. They don't like breing put on the defense, they rather bully people into seeing things their way even when their way is clearly wrong and is now costing American and Iraqi lives.

It's about time someone is held accountable for the screwup in Iraq and Rumsfeld should of resigned over the prison abuse scandal months ago. It's obvious by looking at the polls that people have completely lost confidence in this administration and if the democrats keep up the pressure, the Republicans may pay a heavy price in the midtem elections.

Comments to Kelo ruling

Here's a interesting comment from a reader at SCOTUSBlog concerning Justice Thomas's dissent in the Kelo ruling (New London).

Notes in a comment to the blog that Justice Thomas's Kelo dissent inadvertently refers to the Court's forthcoming ruling in the Castle Rock case, as follows:

There is no justification, however, for affording almost insurmountable deference to legislative conclusions that a use serves a “public use.” To begin with, a court owes no deference to a legislature’s judgment concerning the quintessentially legal question of whether the government owns, or the public has a legal right to use, the taken property. Even under the “public purpose” interpretation, moreover, it is most implausible that the Framers intended to defer to legislatures as to what satisfies the Public Use Clause, uniquely among all the express provisions of the Bill of Rights. We would not defer to a legislature’s determination of the various circumstances that establish, for example, when a search of a home would be reasonable, see, e.g., Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 589—590 (1980), or when a convicted double-murderer may be shackled during a sentencing proceeding without on-the-record findings, see Deck v. Missouri, 544 U.S. ___ (2005), or when state law creates a property interest protected by the Due Process Clause, see, e.g., Castle Rock v. Gonzales, post, at __; Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 576 (1972); Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254, 262—263 (1970).

Supreme Court rules against New London residents

I'm somewhat surprised over this decsision but the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that local government can seize your home against your will for private development (Kelo v. New London, 04-108). The ruling is a blow to the residents in New London who are being forced out of their homes so their land can be used for commericial use.

Thursday's 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.

Local officials, not federal judges, know best in deciding whether a development project will benefit the community, justices said.

"The city has carefully formulated an economic development that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including — but by no means limited to — new jobs and increased tax revenue," Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority. He was joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen G. Beyer.
At issue was the scope of the Fifth Amendment, which allows governments to take private property through eminent domain if the land is for "public use."

Susette Kelo and several other homeowners in a working-class neighborhood in New London, Conn., filed suit after city officials announced plans to raze their homes for a riverfront hotel, health club and offices.

New London officials countered that the private development plans served a public purpose of boosting economic growth that outweighed the homeowners' property rights, even if the area wasn't blighted.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been a key swing vote on many cases before the court, issued a stinging dissent. She argued that cities should not have unlimited authority to uproot families, even if they are provided compensation, simply to accommodate wealthy developers.

The lower courts had been divided on the issue, with many allowing a taking only if it eliminates blight.

"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," O'Connor wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."

She was joined in her opinion by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, as well as Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

I'm on the side of the conservatives on this one. Big business and developers (with their lobbyists) can now persuade the city to just come in and take your property simply to make a profit (I don't buy the tax revenue story, it's always about the bug guy getting paid not what's in the best interest of the people living in the city). In the end, the small working guy who working to pay of his mortgage loses and is forced to relocate. I never want to be in a position where the city can force me off of my land, it just doesn't seem fair.

I rarely do this but I'm going to open up the comment section so I can get feedback on this ruling. Please chime in!

UPDATE: CT law Blog provided a link to the Supreme Court's oral arguments (pdf format)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

AGH!

My harddrive in my Mac just crashed! Thank goodness that I put three harddrives in that machine or else I would of lost all of my applications and file. Well, I'll be spending the next couple of hours reinstalling OSX-Tiger and getting my preferences files back in order.

I'll still take a Mac over a PC anyday!

CONNECTICUTBlog Staw Poll

I know it's alittle early but what the hell, I love polls and I want to know which candidate you think will get the Democratic nod for Governor. Please take a second and participate in my poll on the right side of the blog. I'll keep the poll up for a week and post the results.

Thanks in advance

Can the Dems take back the Senate

I don't know if I totally agree with Chuck Todd analysis that the Democrats can take back control of the Senate next fall. There is 18 months to go until the mid-term elections and alot can happen between now and then but I see his point.
Iraq, the number one issue for voters, is devouring the Republican Party. And with no new moment to look for that doesn't have the word "withdrawal" in it, it's hard to see how the situation improves before next November. We've caught Saddam Hussein, we've turned over power, we've held elections and the level of violence appears to be the same to the lay voter. We've been writing for months that at some point, Iraq was going to hurt the Republicans as much as it helped them in 2002. They lucked out in 2004, but 2006 is a whole new ballgame

Iraq is a HUGE problem for the Republicans and the Bush Administration. The Downing Street Memo confirms what we already knew which is this administration did not properly plan for post-war Iraq and it's really pissing people off right now. All of the resent polls show approval for Bush and the Republican controlled Congress are at a all-time low and for good reason. The wingnuts have shown in the last six months that they care more about Terri Schiavo, flag burning, and gay bashing than issues that really affect Americans such as the economy, health care, and the enviroment.

As Todd says, all of the ingredients are there for a major upset next fall but can the Democrats do it, well, I'm not that sure because the Democrats simply don't have a backbone and love to eat their own.

Where were the Democrats when Senator Durbin needed support? (I still can't believe he appoligized). You don't see Republican not supporting Tom Delay and Bill Frist or demanding that they appoligize for their comments regarding The Terri Schiavo case.

Where were the Democrats when Howard Dean was being criticized by the right? Instead of showing support for him, people like Joe Biden and Joe "Sean Hannity is my best friend" Lieberman publically criticized Dean. When is the last time you saw anyone from the GOP criticize the RNC chairman?

Why aren't the Democrats supporting John Conyers and his crusade to hold the Bush administration accountable for their misleading and false claim about Iraq before the war started? Where is the outrage from the Democrats over the contents of the Downing Street Memo?

Unless the Democrats (and liberals in general) step up and fight back, they'll continue to lose elections and the repsect of the people.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Simmons thinks he is above the law

Let me get this straight. A judge orders that a Ten Commandment display be removed and the House pass a law that says to ignore the decision of the courts? Are they kidding? Imagine if they tried to pull something like this off in the 50s when the courts mandated that schools intergrate (Brown v. Education).

Of all the Represenatives in Connecticut, Rob Simmons was the lone supporter of this stupid bill.
"Congressman Simmons has always supported the rights of individual states, not the federal judiciary, to decide whether to display the Ten Commandments on public property," the congressman's chief of staff, Todd Mitchell, said.

Simmons was the lone member of the state's House delegation to vote in favor of an amendment to a Justice Department appropriations bill proposed by Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind.

It marked the third time in as many years that Simmons has supported similar amendments proposed by Hostettler, with whom he serves on the House Armed Forces Committee's Readiness Subcommittee.

Hostettler's latest measure would prohibit funds from being used to enforce the Jan. 31 order of a federal judge in Russelburg v. Gibson, which centered on a Ten Commandments monument placed on the grounds of the Gibson County Courthouse by the local Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1956.

[...]

Hostettler said in a speech on the House floor that Young's decision was "inconsistent with both the clear intent of the framers and the Christian heritage of the United States, which was recounted by the Supreme Court in 1892.

"While it is true this opinion is consistent with more recent Supreme Court decisions," he added, "it is time that Congress exercise its authority to end the practical effect of this judicial misunderstanding."
Misunderstanding? I always thought that Congress created laws and the Courts enforce interperate the law (Thanks Jim).
What ever happened to seperation of powers? So when the courts don't decide in your favor, you can just judge not to enforce the law?
Rob Simmons supports the religious right wingnuts and should be ashamed of himself in supporting this bill. How is this in the best interest of his district?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Sullivan to run for Governor


From the Hartford Courant
Lt. Gov. Kevin B. Sullivan is leaving his job as a Trinity College vice president July 1, clearing the way for a possible run for governor in 2006.

"What this means is I have an absolutely clear deck," Sullivan said Thursday of his ability to run for governor. "I am leaning very strongly in that direction."

[...]

Rell and Sullivan were thrust into their current jobs July 1 by John G. Rowland's resignation in the face of an impeachment inquiry. As a Republican and Democrat, Rell and Sullivan have been a rarity in Connecticut politics.

Rowland's departure elevated Rell, his lieutenant for all nine years as governor. As the president pro tem of the Senate, a position that made Sullivan the most influential member of the General Assembly, Sullivan automatically succeeded Rell.
Sullivan is a powerful Connecticut politician and can be a strong contender for the Democratic nomination but if Richard Blumenthal decides to make a run for the position, it's going to be hard for Sullivan to win (but fun to watch).