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Friday, February 17, 2006

My friday night television lineup

Oh, what a great night to stay at home!

Here's my television lineup:

Staring at 10 PM we have Battlestar Galatica


then at 11 PM, we switch over to HBO to catch Real Time with Bill Maher


and at midnight, we catch the replay of Countdown with Keith Olbermann.


I'm running out to pick up the 12-pack of Rolling Rock now.

Rasmussen Poll: Lieberman beats Lamont in three-way race

Rasmussen Reports published their poll today which has Joe Lieberman beating Ned Lamont in a three-way race (with Lieberman running as an independent).


Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (D) has angered the left wing of his own party with his position on the war in Iraq. However, Connecticut voters are evenly divided on the question--39% agree with Lieberman's position on Iraq while 40% disagree.

Other survey data suggests that this issue is not a serious obstacle to Lieberman's plans for another six-year term in the U.S. Senate. That's true even if Lieberman were to run as an Independent candidate.

If Lieberman runs as a Democrat and is challenged by former Governor Lowell Weicker running as an independent, Lieberman leads by 21 percentage points--46% to 25%. That's essentially unchanged from our January election poll in Connecticut.

Businessman Ned Lamont is considering a challenge to Lieberman for the Democratic Party nomination. However, if Lamont were to run as a Democrat and Lieberman as an Independent, the incumbent Senator still shows a 20-point advantage and leads Lamont 45% to 24%.

In this match-up, with Lieberman running as an Independent, he leads Lamont by 11 percentage points among voting Democrats. He also wins a solid plurality of Republican and unaffiliated voters against both Lamont and a generic Republican candidate.
At this point, I don't know how much one can read into polls considering a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this week showed that 93 percent of the public don't know enough about Ned Lamont to form an opinion.


If you take anything from these polls, it's that Ned Lamont has his work cut out for him. In order to have a chance at beating Lieberman (considering Lieberman loses the Democratic primary), Lamont will have to campaign extermely hard and make his case to those Connecticut voters who don't really know much about him yet.

Things are not impossible for Lamont but time is not on his side.

UPDATE: Genghis take a closer look at the numbers and offers his take on the poll.
What's also really worth noting that:
In this match-up, with Lieberman running as an Independent, he leads Lamont by 11 percentage points among voting Democrats. He also wins a solid plurality of Republican and unaffiliated voters against both Lamont and a generic Republican candidate. (Rasmussen)

So instead of, say, a 45% lead, as suggested by Quinnipiac... is that lead really more like 11%? "Voting Democrats" is a much better sample for the primary than all Democrats. And considering who votes in primaries... that lead could actually be down around 5%. Wow.
Again, based on the two polls, things are not impossible for Lamont.

Danbury and Ridgefield fight over airport noise

Watch as the residents of Ridgefield and Danbury fight with each other over the on-going noise deliema at Danbury Airport. I videotaped the public forum on the Danbury noise study and you won't believe how vicious grown adults can be towards each other.

Will the two towns come to a compromise or should the residents of Danbury even care about Ridgefield's complaints? New writer Pilgrim Vin offers his two cents regarding the matter over at Hat City Blog and it's worth the read.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Abu Ghraib

Here are the complete set of pictures from Abu Ghraib that the government does not want you to see.

This was a case of a few stupid soliders? You decide.

WARNING: GRAPHIC and DISTURBING

Genghis: Ned who?

Genghis Conn at Connecticut Local Politics breaks down the latest Quinnipiac University poll and offers his insight into the Ned Lamont challenge
Sen. Joe Lieberman is in good shape as people don't seem to be inclined to support a Lowell Weicker bid against him, and no one has any idea who his potential primary challenger is. The hyping of Lamont has primarily been an internet phenomenon--lest we start getting swelled heads and thinking that blogs influence elections in a big way, the result of a month of hype on big national blogs as well as liberal Democratic blogs in state is that 93% of people apparently have no idea who he is. Lieberman would defeat him 68%-13%. The silver lining for Lamont is that 25% of Democrats say that the war would be "the most important single issue" for them in a primary vote, while 60% say it would be as important as other issues. 80% of Democrats believe that going to war was the wrong thing to do.

[...]

Ned Lamont's position is lousy, to start, but it's not all bad. 25% of Democrats, who almost universally are against the war, will be in his corner. As for getting the rest, he needs to become more knowledgable about other issues, and that he needs to differentiate himself from Lieberman on more than just the war. However, his position on the war, combined with Lieberman's stubborn support of an unpopular war being waged by an unpopular Administration (31% approval rating), does give Lamont something to stand on.
Genghis is for the most part correct in his analysis but I wouldn't read too much into the poll just yet. Ned Lamont is far from being in full camopaign mode (he hasn't offically announced if he's running yet) so it's understandable that many peolple in the state do not know him or where he stands on the issues (besides the Iraq war).

From the poll:


Genshis is also correct in stating that Lamont's position is not all that bad pointing out that 80 percent of Democrats disapprove of the war so although Lamont has a chance is giving Lieberman the boot, he'll have to get his message out to the people (ASAP) and expalin to the Democrats why he would be a better pick than Lieberman in the primary.

And yes Genghis, although I agree that blogs might for influence elections, they definately help people get information that they definately wouldn't get through the main stream media. It's also a great way for politicans and the average Joe to communicate with each other which has changed politics for the better.

And really Genghis, you can't tell me that after all the appearences you made on WTIC and interviews you gave to various newspapers in the state, that you head isn't alittle swelled also.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Feeling better

I'll be back to my full blogging speed soon. I can't remember the last time I was ever this sick and I hope never to be this sick again.

Look who was boozing before playing with a gun

Oh man! This story is getting creepier by the minute.
After a storm of criticism from Democrats and many Republicans, Vice President Cheney finally spoke directly to the public about the circumstances surrounding his accidental shooting of a 78-year-old lawyer on Saturday, in an interview on Fox News today, RAW STORY has learned. Excerpts were shown during Fox's 2 p.m. broadcast, with the full interview set to be aired at 6 p.m.

"Ultimately, I'm the guy who pulled the trigger. It was not Harry's fault. You can't blame anyone else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger that shot my friend," Cheney told Britt Hume on Fox, "it's a day that I'll never forget."

The Vice President also revealed that he had a beer at a picnic held earlier in the day at the ranch, at least four to five hours before the shooting.

[...]

Hume later told Fox Anchor Shepard Smith that he tried to get Cheney to admit that he made a mistake in the handling of the incident, but was unable to do so, and that the vice president was "unapologetic" about that aspect. Hume wondered how Cheney felt about leaving White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan and others "out to dry." But the Vice President thought that the White House staff had handled the matter appropriately.
Since this administration has had a history of not telling the truth (i.e. Scooter Libby did not reveal classified information regarding Valerie Plame to the press), I think I'll like to know what were Cheney and Whittington blood alcohol levels during the time of the incident (why do Whittington's doctor's have no comment regarding whether or not a blood alcohol test was preformed).

Harry Whittington's doctors to press: "No comment"

The doctors for Harry Whittington (the lawyer Cheney shot) held a press conference recently and I found these two exchanges between the press and the doctors rather interesting.
One reporter asked whether or not the White House was coordinating the doctors' press conference. The doctor said that that was a good question, then explained that since their physicians were responsible for the initial care then it was only "common courtesy" to keep the White House updated.

[...]

The last question of the press conference was whether or not Whittington's blood alcohol had ever been tested. The response: "No comment."

Beer and women can be bad for your health especially when you throw a shotgun into the mix.

Was Cheney hiding his Lewinsky

Oh my! This is getting very interesting.

Does this face look familiar? Well, if it doesn't, it will soon.
Sirius radio's Alex Bennett just broke a rumor that the delay in reporting the news that Cheney shot an old man in the heart was due to an effort to hide or spin Cheney's female companion.

Pamela Willeford (shown right), ambassador to Switzerland and -- yes -- Liechtenstein, was part of the hunting excursion with Cheney and Whittington. And according to Willeford's account, Cheney and the ambassador were side-by-side when the shooting of Whittington took place.

Seems like Cheney has more to worry about.
The real story is already emerging, if you're willing to do a little digging. Cheney and Whittington went hunting with two women (not their wives), there was some drinking, and Whittington wound up shot. Armstrong didn't see the incident but claimed she had, Cheney refused to be questioned by the Sheriff until the next morning, and a born-again evangelical physician has been downplaying Whittington's injuries since they occurrred.

[...]

efore the right-wing commenters howl - there's documentation for all of these statements. Let's take them one by one: In addition to Cheney and Whittington, the hunting party included Katherine Armstrong (who was in the car at the time of the shooting: more on that later). After lots of evasive comments that only referred to a "third hunter," we now know her identity: Pamela Willeford, the US Ambassador to Switzerland.

Then there was this Armstrong quote on MSNBC and picked up by Firedoglake (later dutifully scrubbed, but preserved on Google cache): "There may be a beer or two in there," (Armstrong) said, 'but remember not everyone in the party was shooting.'"

Interestingly, Armstrong's playing with words here. She later said that she (Armstrong) hadn't had anything to drink, so at least one of the other three must have been drinking - and the other three were shooting. So while her statement was literally correct ("not everyone ... was shooting"), it gives the false impression that nobody drank and shot.

I think we've heard the last of the Kennedy Chappaquiddick jokes from conservatives.

Sullivan to endorse DeStefano

This isn't a big surprise. The real question is whether or not Sullivan will join the DeStefano ticket.

From The Hartford Courant
Lt. Gov. Kevin B. Sullivan today intends to endorse New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, giving DeStefano a campaign surrogate who occupies the office one floor above the governor.

Sullivan said Tuesday that he has not been invited to run with DeStefano as a candidate for lieutenant governor, nor has he decided how he would respond if offered the No. 2 spot.

"That is an open question to be continued, both by him and I," Sullivan said.

Sullivan is set to endorse DeStefano at noon in the Legislative Office Building. DeStefano is vying with Stamford Mayor Dannel P. Malloy for the Democratic nomination, a fight unlikely to be settled before a primary in August.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sick

Sorry fo the delay in posting but I'm not feeling well.

Seems like my posting on the Ridgefield Press online article has generated a large response from many people who participated in the march. I have also been contacted by the writer of the story and will post his response to my critique.

I have went over all of the photographs and video I took of the event and I'm currently working on a very detailed analysis which will include more photographs and video from the Saturday's peace march which will further back up the claims I made. Hopefully, after I make my case, the article will be modified before it goes to print.

By the way, does anyone have any asprin?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ridgefield Press failed to tell the true story of the peace rally

Oh, this is rich and a perfect example of a misleading article.

The Ridgefield Press came out today with a misleading story on the anti-war rally yesterday and lets just say they made the counter-protestors seem downright polite (which couldn't be further away from the truth).

Now for those not familiar with the area, Ridgefield is a rather conservative town (to say the least) so I wan't very surprised that the people at the Ridgefield Press wrote this article with a pro-war slant. Since I had the feeling that this event was going to be reported in this fashion, I made it a point to show up to the rally with my videotape and camera so I could give you a first hand account of what really happened.

Lets take this article piece by piece.
To the solemn cadence of a lone drum, peace marchers against the Iraq war made their way slowly down Main Street Saturday, to be confronted at the veterans memorial by the Community Center with a counter-protest of people with American flags and ‘Support the Troops’ signs.

"The proceedings remained peaceable, if a little tense, as the counter-protestors sang America the Beautiful while the leaders of the peace marchers read off the names of soldiers killed in the war.
Now, let me break this scene down and see if it matches the article but I need to make this point.

As the reporter correctly states later in the article, as the peace marcher was walking to the memorial, the peace group stopped and a person who seemed to be the organizer walked to the counter-protestors and wanted to make sure that there would be no problems.

Now, let's continue.

The counter-protestors were not singing "America the Beautiful" at the moment the fallen soldiers names were read off but rather when a peace marcher was reading a poem at the beginning of their ceremony. When the names of the fallen soldiers were being read, a counter-protestor who seemed to be a war veteran (who just had to make a point by standing next to the person who was reading the fallen solider names) tried to interrupt things by making some remark that thankfully was ignored by the peace marchers.

In the following photo, the person who yelled during the name of the fallen soliders is in the blue square.

(Click the image to enlarge)


Also, during the readings of the fallen soldier’s one particular outspoken female counter-protestor (who I'll talk about later) made it a point to make her opinions known with her pro-war statements. At one point, a peace marcher had to go directly to the person making the most noise and ask her to show a little respect while the names of the fallen soldiers were being read.

Now do you think the pro-war crowd would tolerate it if the peace marchers shouted remarks while they were reading the names of the fallen.

Well, let us get back to the article.
There were about 30 peace marchers, and about 20 counter-protestors.

“I was glad to see so much support in Ridgefield, especially on a cold and wintry day,” said Tammy Strom, one of the peace protesters, said after the march. “As far as the other side, they all had these ‘Support the troops’ signs. We don’t disagree with that. We believe in supporting the troops by bringing them home.”
Now, this isn't misleading...it's downright wrong. I have the video of the event (I'll have it posted later) by looking at these series of photographs, you can clearly see that the peace marchers outnumbered the counter-protestors. By my count, there were at least 40-45 peace marchers to about 10 counter-protestors (and I'm being generous with that figure).

Look, the photos of the peace marchers (I'm posting them at various angles so you can get a clear picture of the crowd).




...and here is a picture of all of the counter-protestors. A represenative of the peace marchers is talking to the group and making sure everything will be peaceful.


Why did the Ridgefield Press mislead the public? Thank goodness for blogs!

Lets get back to the story.
Both groups received what seemed to be supportive waves and beeps from people cars and trucks that drove by them — though the ‘Support the Troops’ people seemed to get more frequent support.

Again, this is misleading and let me explain why.

I arrived about ten minutes late to the rally, and had to catch up to the peace marchers. As I walked to catch up with the peace marchers, I had to stop by the counter-protestors and make sure that I had all of my photography equipment. After I checked to make sure I had everything, I stood by to see what type of support the counter-protestors were receiving and I heard maybe one or two cars pass by and honk. Now, I can tell you that when I was caught up to the peace marchers at the War Memorial in front of Jesse Lee Methodist Church, they received several beeps from passing cars and this was the first time I saw the reporter from the Ridgefield Press as he ran across the street and took photographs in the same area as myself.

As the peace marchers walked back to the Veterans Memorial at the Community Center, the reporter/photographer from the Ridgefield Press and myself set up a position to catch both groups cross each other. There were people holding signs for and against the war at this point so I ask you how can the reporter tell who was honking for who if both crowds were mingled together.

After the peace marchers did their presentation, they walked to the center of town. The reporter got a couple of quotes from a couple of pro-war demonstrators and was gone in a couple of minutes (I think he was getting the names of the people as he had time to get quotes earlier in the march). When I packed my things away (which took a few minutes because I had so much stuff) the counter-protestors basically packed up and went home. During this time, the pro-war group received maybe two or three honks but the reporter wouldn’t know this because by this time he was long gone (it was freezing outside). As I walked down the street to the center of town, I clearly saw more support for the peace marchers as several more cars honked at them.

Basically, I could care less about this except if you read the article, you get the impression that the so-called "Support the Troops" group received more support which is not correct (I didn't know that the peace marchers didn't support the troops?)

Let's continue...
Occasionally each group was yelled at out a car window by someone disagreeing with them. The harshest of these was an obscene rant from a passing car window as both groups stood with signs around the memorial at the community center. “Go [expletive] a Muslim’s [expletive]. That’s why we kill them!” he said.
Okay, this is the most misleading part of the story. Let me describe to you what actually happened.

For one, I did not here any people who drove by say anything negative to the counter-protestors or peace marchers except for the one asshole who made a obscene "Go [expletive] a Muslim" remark.

Now comes the misleading part and disgusting part.

The reporter failed to mention that when the idiot drove by and made the remark, a peace marcher who was right in front of me yelled back "I AM A MUSLIM!" at which point a counter-protestor (this is the outspoken woman a talked about earlier who also mentioned several times that her husband currently in the army. I made a point to take her picture and if you read the article, you’ll know the person I’m talking about) said, "well, then go back to Iraq." After she said this, she commented to another counter-protestor that the statement the asshole in the truck made was correct. Again, I know she said this because I was between her and the person who said "I AM A MUSLIM" and I was able to record a majority of that encounter on video (and I also have photos of the two people involved in this ugly incident).

Now I’ll say that maybe the reporter didn’t hear the entire encounter but I can’t see how he didn’t because like I said, this particular individual was the most outspoken of all the counter-protestors. This was the part of the march that disturbed me the most because what was said by the asshole who drove by and the woman who supported his remark was simply disgusting, disrespectful, and best symbolized how ugly those who support President Bush and the war are towards anyone who does not agree with their opinion.

Now to be fair, not all of the pro-war people were engaged in this spectacle of disrespect and I don’t want to give the impression that everything was that bad because things were mostly peaceful. Unfortunately, there were certain members of the pro-war crowd who made it their mission to disrespect the peace marchers and sadly, the rest of the group did not scold them. At no time did the peace marchers make a scene or try to engage the counter-protestors. Now can you imagine if the roles were reversed and the peace marchers disrespected the pro-war crowd?

“I’m not an activist, I’m an American,” said Gloria Stearns, one of the 20 or so people standing in front of the Community Center with ‘Support of the troops’ signs. “I will not see happen to these young men and women in uniform what happened to my brother when he got back from Vietnam. If I even see somebody spit at a soldier...”

[…]

“We’re not going to be silent any more, otherwise we’ll have Islamo-facism in the country,” said Maribel Ahaya, a Ridgefielder whose husband has been in the army special forces for 23 years, including service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

[...]

One of the peace marchers came down to the center ahead of the rest of the group, to make sure all would go well.

“We have no intent to spit on or dishonor anyone,” he said.

“We’re not out here beating anyone over the head,” said Ms. Stearns. “We’re peaceful. It’s a public street.”

Peaceful? If only she can say this about our of her colleagues.

FYI: I'll encoding the video of the event including the "I AM A MUSLIM" incident and will post it online later.

Snow, snow, and more snow

Will it ever stop snowing!

I did a bonehead thing today. Went to the garage to start up the snow blower and realized that I didn’t have any gasoline. Thank goodness I have a Rav-4 or else I would be trapped in the driveway.

Don't even think about going out if you don't have a four wheel drive vehicle. As of 1:30 P.M., the roads are still in very bad condition and the snow is still coming down pretty hard.

We'll update you on the happenings at the anti-war rally that happened in Ridgefield yesterday. I must say that the pro-war Ridgefield crowd sunk to a new low with their disgraceful behavior that I caught on videotape. Believe me, when I post the video, you'll be shocked and amazed with the lack of respect the pro-Bush zombies showed towards anyone who didn't agree with them.