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Friday, September 30, 2005

Gov. Rell one step closer to announcing her re-election bid

It's a sure thing that Gov. Rell is going to run for re-election.

From the Connecticut Post
Gov. M. Jodi Rell met with Republican supporters this week and will soon announce her candidacy for the 2006 election, the Connecticut Post has learned.

The state's second female governor has asked for campaign contributions and political backing from a variety of business and community leaders and plans to make the declaration by Oct. 15.

Opponents and supporters alike said Thursday the plans are an encouraging sign the governor's health is good enough to commit the energy to campaign for election to the seat she has held since John G. Rowland resigned in disgrace last year.

On Tuesday, Rell met with dozens of GOP supporters in the governor's residence on Prospect Avenue. Spokesmen at the governor's Capitol office declined to comment Thursday.

But insiders among the state's Republicans and Democrats said Thursday they had heard about the meetings and they are an inevitable sign the 59-year-old governor is poised to declare her candidacy.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Weicker vs Lieberman Round 2?

Well, wouldn't this be interesting...

From the New Haven Independent

The statewide rumor mill is buzzing with reports that Lowell Weicker is considering an independent run for his old U.S. Senate seat next year against Democratic incumbent Joe Lieberman of New Haven (for now). Lieberman deposed former Sen. Weicker in 1988 with the help of his famous sleeping bear commercial--a commercial Weicker could now turn back on his old nemesis.

The rumors have been building since last week, when Weicker appeared at a public forum with radio talk-show host and Courant columnist Colin McEnroe. Weicker, a former liberal Republican who turned independent in 1990 when he left the Senate to run successfully for governor, dropped notice at the Sept. 20 forum that he'd consider another political run.

Weicker claimed he's "99 percent" uninterested in running. But then he went on, and on, about how he wouldn't sit by if "somebody pisses me off enough." And he went on and on about how pissed off he is about the direction of the country.

His candidacy sounded like more than a 1 percent consideration in his mind. And it looked that way when his longtime political aide Tom D'Amore showed up at the gathering.

Weicker retired from public life in 1994. He's 74. So it's hard to imagine how serious he could be about running again. Perhaps like many out-to-pasture politicians he misses the attention and enjoys being talked about again.

If he does run, he'll need the support of progressive Democrats to beat Lieberman, the way progressive Democrats catapulted him to the governor's office in 1990. And statewide progressive Dems have been scouring the state for someone to challenge the conservative-leaning Lieberman. There already had been rumblings in the southern part of the state about Weicker possibly running. A Weicker candidacy would focus on the war in Iraq. Lieberman has been a leading supporter of that war from the outset.

If Weicker does run, he'll at least have a chance for revenge on a sore point about that nasty 1988 race. Lieberman attacked Weicker then for missing votes in the Senate; he aired a TV commercial of a sleeping bear, an effective personal shot that ushered in a new era of nasty political campaigning in Connecticut. Lieberman's point was that Weicker had become too cavalier about voting and doing his job after three terms in office.

You don't mess around with a bear after it wakes up. If he does decide to challenge Lieberman, it would make for a very interesting campaign season.

Senator Dodd to force the Department of Defense to reinburse troops for body armour

Oh, that Donald Rumsfeld is just shameless. It's bad enough that the troops had to purchase their own body amour while they fight over in Iraq. Now, after almost three years the Department of Defense still hasn't reinburse the troops for for the cost of the body amour and now Senator Chris Dodd is promising to hold Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense accountable.

From the Marine Corps Times
Tired of waiting for the Pentagon to launch an authorized program to reimburse troops who buy their own personal protective gear for combat deployments, the chief congressional sponsor of the program wants to wrest control of it from defense officials.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., attached a provision to last year’s defense authorization bill authorizing — but not requiring — the Defense Department to reimburse troops up to $1,100 for the expense of body armor and other protective gear and health and safety equipment not provided by the military.

The Pentagon has never paid a dime. Defense officials have said in letters to Dodd that they are still working on the regulations, and that part of the delay is the result of responsibility passing between various offices. Pentagon insiders said a final regulation that would allow reimbursement to begin immediately has been drafted but has not been approved by all the services.

At a Thursday news conference, Dodd said he is not sure why it is taking so long and wonders whether the Pentagon intends to actually reimburse anyone.
“The administration is either showing complete incompetence or utter indifference,” he said. “It feels as if I am getting a rope-a-dope with them, hoping I would go away.”

Dodd apologized to service members, their family and friends for the delay and vowed to try to get a provision attached to another defense bill — probably the 2006 defense appropriations bill — ordering reimbursement and putting unit commanders, not Pentagon officials, in charge.

Connecticut Immigration Control group again shows why they're the laughing stock of the state

Does anyone take the Connecticut Citizens for Immiragrion Control seriuosly? These people are the laughing stock of the state and their combined IQ is equal to the number on the side of a pencil.

Their latest attempt to expose the immigration problem in Connecticut is laughable at best and it's a shame that they even get any press.

From the New York Newsday
A group that wants stronger immigration controls is causing controversy with a study that claims McDonald's disproportionately hires Hispanic workers in Connecticut.

State officials have declined to launch an investigation despite demands from Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control.

And Fernando Betancourt, state commissioner for Latino and Puerto Rican affairs, said he finds it offensive that anyone would go to such lengths to monitor hiring.

"This sounds to me more like systematic persecution," he said.

Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control held its first meeting in Danbury as tension over immigration mounted there earlier this year.

It has since held meetings around the state.

Members observed workers at 152 McDonald's around the state from April through November.

They found that people they identified as Hispanic accounted for 87 percent of employees in Fairfield County and 64 percent of employees in New Haven County.

Peter Goselin, an immigration activist and member of the state chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, challenged the study, saying that participants could not determine workers' ethnicity or immigration status by merely observing them.

Paul Streitz, co-founder of Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control, said he believes the findings are evidence that Hispanic immigrants _ legal and illegal _ are displacing other McDonald's workers.

This has to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard or seen. By observing workers at McDonolds, Streitz's group has determined that there are some illegal immigrants working at the fast food chain. How can you know the difference between a Hispanic and a Latino?

Newsflash you silly racist morons, maybe there are so many hispanics and latinos working at McDonald's because no one else wants to work there and the pay rate is cheap. Also, I'm sure you didn't care to go to any McDonald's resturants in lets say, Westport, Darien, Ridgefield, etc. (you can see where I'm going with this).

Again, I plead to all newspapers to PLEASE STOP giving these idiots any press as they are nothing but a bunch of idiots who do nothing not spew hate in order to get attention. These idiots are the laughing stock of Danbury and do nothing but stunts lke this to get attention. Treat them like the plaugue and just walk away from them as they're simply a waste of time.

A press conference Streitz held at the West Hartford Public Library on Wednesday drew Goselin, three reporters, and a man who hurled a cream pie at Streitz and then ran away.
What a waste of a pie and I haven't had lunch...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Meet our new Majority leader Roy Blunt

Here's the lowdown on one of the most corrupt member of Congress.

I guess the Republicans feared that their first pick for Majority Leader David Drier's lifestyle would be exposed and he'd be forced out of the closet...and they were right to be worried. Drier has been outed years ago and his lifestyle is well known to all and he would of had the shortest tenure as Majority Leader of the Republican party if he would of been picked for that post.

Iraq death photos for porn story gaining steam in the media

Well the story I tip everybody off to has finally hit the mainstream media and now it's the hot topic on cable news.

From CNN
The U.S. Army is investigating reports that troops took photographs of dead Iraqis and traded them to a pornographic Web site in return for access to that site, Army sources said Wednesday.

Army spokesman Paul Boyce told CNN that a preliminary investigation had found "no evidence of a felony crime," but both he and Col. Joseph Curtin said the Web postings, if verified, could constitute a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice provisions on good conduct.

"There is no criminal investigation into the matter of photos of deceased bodies in Iraq being posted on the worldwide Web anonymously," Boyce said. "Army criminal investigators examined this recently as a preliminary inquiry but found there is no specific evidence of a felony crime."

Curtin acknowledged an ongoing investigation, however, saying it was focusing on "allegations that soldiers may have exchanged personally taken photographs of dead Iraqis in exchange for pornographic access."

Chris Wilson, owner of the site, told CNN that he had given members of the military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan access to the site for free -- if they provided him with a photograph proving they were serving there.


The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), however, said the grisly practice may violate international laws of war.

The Geneva Conventions require respect for "the remains of persons who have died for reasons related to occupation or in detention resulting from occupation or hostilities and those of persons not nationals of the country in which they have died as a result of hostilities."

Could you image the upraor in this country if insurgents were posting photos of dead American soilders on a website in exchange for porn?

NEWSFLASH: House Majority Leader Tom Delay Indicted

Another corrupt politician has been caught red-handed as House Majority Leader Tom Delay was charged by a Texas Grand Jury with conspiracy.

From ABC News
A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader.

DeLay attorney Steve Brittain said DeLay was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay's national political committee.

The indictment against the second-ranking, and most assertive Republican leader came on the final day of the grand jury's term. It followed earlier indictments of a state political action committee founded by DeLay and three of his political associates.

The grand jury action is expected to have immediate consequences in the House, where DeLay is largely responsible for winning passage of the Republican legislative program. House Republican Party rules require leaders who are indicted to temporarily step aside from their leadership posts.

He gets to keep his seat as represenative of Texas' 22 district but there is no way he will win re-election now and he might resign.

Shays rips into former FEMA chief

Whoa, this was ugly. I have the video for those who haven't seen the exchange and I'll post it later.

From the Connecticut Post
Rep. Christopher Shays lashed into ex-Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown Tuesday, saying he failed to do his job during Hurricane Katrina.

"I'm happy you left," the 4th District Republican from Connecticut told Brown. "That kind of look in the lights like a deer tells me you weren't capable of doing that job."

Brown, appearing before a special congressional committee investigating the government's response to Katrina, said his biggest mistake "was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional."

Brown said the reluctance of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, both Democrats, to order an early evacuation was "the tipping point for all the things that went wrong."

Brown said he should have done more to persuade them to evacuate the city earlier. A mandatory evacuation was not ordered until Sunday morning — a day too late, he said.

Brown's defense drew a scathing response from Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana, one of three Democrats who sat in on the hearing. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refused to appoint members to the panel, saying she wants an independent commission appointed.

"I find it absolutely stunning that this hearing would start out with you, Mr. Brown, laying the blame for FEMA's failings at the feet of the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans," Jefferson said.

Brown blaming others for his failures just proves just how unqualified this person was to handle this disaster and people probably died because of his incompetence.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tom Delay days might be numbered

Rumor has it that House Majority leader Tom Delay could be indicted as early as tomorrow.

From the AP

A Texas grand jury's recent interest in conspiracy charges could lead to last-minute criminal indictments — possibly against House Majority Leader Tom Delay as it wraps up its investigation Wednesday into DeLay's state political organization, according to lawyers with knowledge of the case.

Conspiracy counts against two DeLay associates this month raised concerns with DeLay's lawyers, who fear the chances are greater that the majority leader could be charged with being part of the conspiracy. Before these counts, the investigation was more narrowly focused on the state election code.

By expanding the charges to include conspiracy, prosecutors made it possible for the Travis County grand jury to bring charges against DeLay. Otherwise, the grand jury would have lacked jurisdiction under state laws.

Military death photos story hits the press

I told you this story would hit the mainstream press

From the AP
The Army is investigating complaints that soldiers posted photographs of Iraqi corpses on an Internet site in exchange for access to pornographic images on the site, officials said Tuesday.

An Islamic civil rights group said it wrote to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld objecting to the practice, which it said may violate international laws of war, and urging the Pentagon to bring it to an end.

"This disgusting trade in human misery is an insult to all those who have served in our nation's military," Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in his letter to Rumsfeld.

Bryan Whitman, a spokesman for Rumsfeld, said the Pentagon had recently become aware of Internet postings and is looking into it.

"Obviously, it is an unacceptable practice," Whitman said.

Happy birthday "Contract with America"

More like "Broken Contract"

From Ellen Miller at TPMCafe
Today is the 11th anniversary of the Contract with America, that cynical political document that Newt Gingrich and his ilk touted as "reform" of business as usual, pledging to "restore accountability to Congress" and "to end its cycle of scandal and disgrace." Predictably, it turned out to be nothing more than political double speak. The reality is that those Republicans who signed the Contract (there are more than 100 of them still in Congress) have worked systemically on behalf of the privileged at the expense of the people.

They claimed that they came to Washington to reform it, but they stayed to create a racket instead -- a lobbyist feeding frenzy that's showered billions on corporations, skewed our national priorities and left the American people in their wake.

Welcome to America's future has the complete rundown on the failed contract that brought in the era of corruption in Washington

Lieberman and Dodd give the thumbs-up to Roberts

No surprise here. Roberts passed the smell test during his confirmation hearing and looks like his advancement to the Supreme Court is certain.

From The Hartford Courant
Connecticut Sens. Christopher J, Dodd and Joseph I. Lieberman today said they would vote to confirm John G. Roberts Jr. as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The two Democrats joined other party members in endorsing President Bush's first court nominee, and like their fellow Democrats, expressed some misgivings about the conservative judge.

But both senators found Roberts to be highly qualified with a strong knowledge and respect for the law.

Monday, September 26, 2005

NEWSFLASH: US soldiers allegedly trading pictures of dead Iraqis & Afghans for porn

This is really horrible and if the allegations are true, the most disgraceful thing I've ever heard or seen. At the very least, the pictures are in really bad taste.



I spent the good part of this weekend following up on a report by the East Bay Express, an alternative paper in San Francisco, alleging that US soldiers are posting gruesome pictures of dead Iraqis and Afghanis online in exchange for access to hard-core amateur porn.

What I found suggests the story is correct.

I encourage everyone to please click on the link and check out John's post. I don't have the time right now to provide more information but if you go to the site, it will explain everything and it has all the pictures to prove it's case.

I'll provide more information when I get a chance.

This will be a MAJOR story soon.

UPDATE: The Nation wrote an article on this story and you can read it here

State working on replacing juvenile training school

The state is struggling to find a replacement for the corrupt Connecticut Juvenile Training School which cost the people of the state millions of dollars and lawmakers are wisely looking at the most cost effective way to replace to school.

From the Hartford Courant
State child welfare officials are rethinking plans to replace the troubled Connecticut Juvenile Training School with three smaller facilities scattered around the state.

The 220-bed school, which many liken to a medium-security youth prison, is scheduled to close by 2008 as Gov. M. Jodi Rell has ordered.

"That has not changed," said Gary Kleeblatt, a spokesman for the Department of Children and Families.

But a preliminary plan to replace the training school in Middletown with two 45-bed, high-security facilities for boys and a separate 12-bed, high-security facility for girls is being reviewed.

Kleeblatt said the size of the proposed centers for boys may be reduced and there be more than two. The agency is also hiring a consultant to examine whether a high-security facility for girls is necessary or whether the girls can instead be housed in specialized foster care and group homes.

"The governor has made it clear that we are going to be flexible in all the details of this plan," Kleeblatt said.

A growing number of state legislators have joined child advocates in expressing concerns about the size and scope of the replacement centers, the rush of planning and the cost.

DCF officials estimate the new facilities will cost between $23 million and $40 million depending on whether existing buildings are renovated or new ones are built.

Legislators, still stinging from the failed $57 million dollar investment in the training school, want to avoid unnecessary spending and past mistakes. The training school was built on a construction "fast-track," which critics said didn't leave time to properly plan programs and doomed the facility from the start.

"I want to make sure we don't jump from one failed facility to another without doing the proper research and analysis," said Sen. Gayle S. Slossberg, D-Milford, who toured the training school Friday. "I don't think we've done that. Before we spend one penny more, we need to determine what kind of programming will best serve these kids."

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Back in town

Just got back into town early this morning and it's going to take me a while to carch up on local news.

I think that even Stevie Wonder can see that Governor Rell is going to run again in 2006 as she's giving all the signs that she's going to seek the top job next year. I wonder why she hasn't thrown her hat into the race earlier but I expect she'll make an speech where she'll announce her decision very soon.

From the Hartford Courant
After months of resolute silence, Gov. M. Jodi Rell appears poised to announce she will run next year for the office she now holds by succession.

Rell convened a series of strategy sessions this week and offered at least one operative a role in a campaign for governor in 2006, the first concrete signs that Rell will seek election to the office she assumed July 1, 2004, upon the resignation of John G. Rowland.

On Friday afternoon after a speech in Stamford, Rell told reporters for the first time that her mind is set about 2006 - though she declined to elaborate.

"The end of summer is here, and I have made a decision. And I'll let you know as soon as possible, I promise," Rell said, according to a transcript provided by her office.

Rell, 59, previously had said she was leaning toward a run, but the governor insisted through much of the summer that she was undecided, leaving Republicans uneasy that their most popular elected official might retire.

Republican sources, who asked not to be identified for fear of offending the governor, said Rell asked Peggy Deschenes to consider being her campaign treasurer. Deschenes, who managed the successful congressional re-election campaign of Rep. Rob Simmons, R-2nd District, could not be reached for comment.