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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Nancy Johnson strikes out

She's no batter, she's no batter...SSSWWIINNNGG batter!

Will Lieberman debate Lamont?

I had an oppurtunity to interview Ned Lamont in Danbury today (with the assistance of the great CTBob) and during the interview (which will be posted tomorrow), Ned challenges Joe Lieberman to an "old fashion kitchen table" debate.


If anyone sees Joe around the state, can you ask him if he'll take Lamont up on his offer.


...and while I'm at it, can you ask Joe these easy questions.


Will Joe support the winner of the primary?


Will Joe deny that he's planning to jump ship and run as an independent?


Joe, Ned's ready to debate. Are you ready to take him up on his offer?

Dan Malloy's night in Danbury

(cross post from Hat City Blog)


On Thursday night, I had the opportunity to meet Dan Malloy and his supporters as he opened his first regional office at Democratic Headquarters on 161 Main Street in Danbury.

An impressive crowd of approximately 60-70 from Danbury and the surrounding area stopped by and offered their support for the endorsed candidate of the Democratic Party for Governor. Malloy returned the favor by delivering an inspiration speech and reinforcing his belief that he has what it takes to beat New Haven Mayor John DeStefano in the Democratic primary in August and defeating Governor Rell in the general election in November.

As many recall, Danbury was on of the cities in Connecticut that help give Malloy the victory over DeStefano at the State Convention last month so it wasn't ironic that Malloy opened his first of many offices in Hat City. Also, given the fact that Danbury is one of the largest cities in lower Fairfield County and that the Democratic Headquarters in Danbury is open year round, it was a smart move for Malloy's campaign to step up shop in the area.

Although Malloy won the nomination, he still has his work cut out for himself against DeStefano and Rell. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, Gov. Rell leads Malloy 65 to 22 percent. Also, according to the poll, if the primary was held today, Malloy would lose to DeStefano 46 percent to 35 percent. The most telling part of the poll is the number of undecided voters or people who don’t know enough about Malloy to offer an opinion. When asked to offer an opinion of Malloy, 79 percent of the people polled haven’t heard enough of him. If Malloy is to gain ground on Rell, it is critical for him to bring these numbers down which is his goal as we head into the summer.

While attending the grand opening, I was able to get some comments from supporter of Malloy including 5th District Director Joelle Schmitz, Danbury State Represenative and Deputy Speaker Bob Godfrey, and Danbury Democratic Town Committee Chairman Joe DaSilva (pictured left to right). I was able to bring back an inside view of Malloy's big night, comments from Malloy's supporters, and an interview with the man of the night, Dan Malloy himself.

You can view photos from the event by clicking here.

NOTE: These video file aren't small so do bother attempting to view them if you're not on a broadband connection. Also, if you're experiencing playback problems, pause the video and allow your computer some time to upload the file. Enjoy.

Video clip 1: Voters, volunteers, and local political leaders offer their viewpoint regarding Dan Malloy the man, and his crusade to defeat Gov. Rell.

Video clip 2: Highlights of Malloy's speech to his supporters and my one on one interview.


UPDATE: As a note, I do not (and will not) endorse Malloy or DeStefano and this post should not be seen as an endorsement but more of a inside look into a campaign. I've always gave these two candidates equal time as I think it's important for undecided voters to learn more about these two guys.

Rest assusred that I will be doing a piece on DeStefano (with all the trimmings) in the very near future.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Viva La Resistance!

Please read Spazeboy's account of his meeting with President Bush's favorite Democrat. It's by far one of the best pieces I've ever read and I sincerly hope his post is picked up by the national blogs.

Here are some highlights:
Immediately, the Senator was mobbed by cameras and reporters outside. I later heard that three Lamont supporters met Joe outside and asked him about setting up debates with Ned Lamont, but I could neither see nor hear this from my table. Meanwhile, the patrons all around me were finishing their meals and leaving. I thought they simply could not wait to speak with Senator Lieberman, but watched as they worked their way out to the parking lot and drove away. If I were being generous, I would say that the dining area I was in was about 1/2 full. It really seemed like I was waiting quite a while, but Senator Lieberman was now indoors and talking to reporters (and presumably restaurant staff) immediately around the corner when my waitress, Rachel, appraoched me. Rachel said she had a question that she was embarrassed to ask (Uh-oh, she got the wrong idea about my generous $5 tip!). I tell her to go ahead, so she asks, “Is he a Democrat or a Republican?
You think that's good, please go and read his full account of his encounter with DinoBoy, I promise you'll laugh your ass off.

UPDATE: The mainstream media picks up on Joe's encounter with Spazeboy. No more easy photo-ops for team Joememtum. This is rich!


Yearly Kos update

Want to see what's happening at Yearly Kos? Never fear, you can watch all the action online as C-SPAN is covering the big event.

To watch it online, click here or just tune in to C-SPAN now. You can also check out what's happening by going to the Yearly Kos homepage.

I love the fact that Markos is wearing a Ned Lamont sticker...

UPDATE: As an added bonus, check out this video clip Ava from Peace Takes Courage created for YearlyKos. She's only 15 years old!

Eleanor Clift explains why Joe Lieberman is screwed

DING! Give that woman a prize.

It's simple, Joe is in very serious trouble and after the release of the latest polling data, it's not a question of "if" Joe Lieberman will bolt and run as an independent, it's "when" will Joe campaign as an independent.

The writing is on the wall and everyone can see it including the naitonal political writers and pundits. Case in point, read Eleanor Clift's column as she explains why Joe's days as a Democrat might be numbered.
Weeks ago Karl Rove said Iraq “looms over everything.” That’s true not only for Bush but also increasingly for Democrats. Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, is facing the first serious challenge in his 18-year Senate career. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, Lieberman’s margin of victory dropped eight points in the last month, from 65 to 57 percent, and his favorable rating among Democrats slipped to 49 percent, a red flag for the upcoming Aug. 8 primary. Wealthy telecommunications executive Ned Lamont polled just 19 percent a month ago against Lieberman; he’s now at 32 percent and the darling of a growing antiwar movement to take back the party. The primary is in the dead of summer when only the most passionate turn out, which bodes ill for Lieberman, a Bush ally on the war and a middle-of-the-roader on most issues.

Here’s the dilemma for Lieberman: He could lose the primary, but if he ran as an independent, he would win. He polls much higher among all voters than Democrats. To get on the ballot as an independent, Lieberman needs 30,000 signatures, which would be no problem. The catch is that under the rules, he would have to present them on Aug. 9, the day after the primary. But if he starts to gather signatures now, he likely loses the primary.

“It’s like saying to Democrats, ‘I’m going to run anyway.’ It’s a slap in the face and an admission of weakness,” says Matt Bennett with Third Way, a centrist Democratic group. On the other hand, if Lieberman doesn’t follow through on a fallback position, “He’s gambling with his Senate career,” says Bennett. Party regulars worry that if Lamont is their candidate, he could lose and take Democratic House challengers with him. Republicans have an appealing local district attorney waiting in the wings if Lamont is the candidate. History shows from George McGovern to Howard Dean that doves are not rewarded at the ballot box. If Lieberman were to lose the primary, or to start collecting signatures, it would be evidence of the power of the antiwar grass roots—something the Democratic leadership has been working hard to keep a lid on.

Josh Marshall warming up to Lamont


When I first started reading blogs, Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo was a daily must read as I always appreciated his commentary and unique insight into politics.

Now, Marshall has been a fan of Lieberman for some time and has even offered a pretty strong defense for President Bush's favorite Democrat in the past.

Now, things seem to have changed as Josh seems to be warming up to the Lamont challenge (welcome to the club).

I encourage everyone to check out Marshall's latest post on the Lamont/Lieberman primary as it's a great read. He pretty much lays out what's wrong with Lieberman and why this primary is happening in the first place.

I think Ned just picked up another fan.

I've wanted for some time to comment on the Lamont/Lieberman race -- basically on whether I think it's a good idea, what it says about the direction of the Democratic party and so forth.

I have to confess that I find myself ambivalent. But it's an ambivalence I'm not particularly impressed with. At some basic level, I have a hard time not liking Lieberman. I have friends who either used to work for him or remain in his orbit. And that probably has some effect on me. And it's quite true that his actual voting record is far more solidly Democratic than the atmospherics surrounding him and his reputation.

But I'm not sure how much all that amounts to.

Last year, when I devoted most of this blog for several months to the Social Security story, Lieberman was one of most frustrating and inexplicable hold outs. I'm much more willing than others to let Democrats in marginal states and districts take positions suited to their constituencies rather than those embraced by Democrats nationally. To me that just makes sense on every level. The premise of my thinking on Social Security, however, was that there was just no political downside to supporting Social Security no matter how red a state you were from. Abortion rights or gay rights may stand principle against expediency or even political survival. But Social Security was just a gimme, a no-brainer.

Still, when we were going after some of these folks I could see that some of the resistance out of the Fainthearted Faction was based on ingrained habits of political survival and real disinclination to defy a Republican president who still seemed very popular and politically powerful.

But what was Lieberman's excuse?

[...]

Certainly it wasn't political, at least not in the narrow sense. Lieberman didn't have anything to worry about in Connecticut. If it was ideological, what's that about? It's a core Democratic issue. Not a shibboleth or a sacred cow. But a core reason why most Democrats are Democrats.

In the end it just seemed like a desire to be in the mix for some illusory compromise or grand bargain, an ingrained disinclination to take a stand, even in a case when it really mattered. There's some whiff of indifference to the great challenges of the age, even amidst the atmospherics of concern.

This of course doesn't even get into everything on Iraq or the pussy-footing over running the Pentagon for President Bush.

I think the most generous read on Lieberman is that he's just out of step with the parliamentary turn of recent American politics which I myself, Mark Schmitt and many others have discussed. But I think that's too generous. The whining in Washington that it's somehow an affront that Lieberman's hold on his senate is being threatened is entirely misplaced, a good example of what's wrong with DC's permanent class.

I have to confess that I haven't spent enough time yet finding out Lamont's positions on various issues; and I'll try to rectify that. And just between us, I'm happy every time I see him go higher in the polls.
Attaboy!

UPDATE: A TPM reader breaks down "The Lamont Effect" for Josh.
Josh, I went to see Ned Lamont at a Democratic Town Committee sponsored meeting in Glastonbury, CT several weeks ago largely to answer some of the questions you have about his stands on the issues and to get a feel for the man in person. About 150 people attended, which is about 100 more than had attended a similar event for Joe Lieberman (which Joe did not attend).

For perspective, I am 59 years old and a life-long Democrat who wants someone to represent me and my views. To be frank, I have grown tired of folks who represent this race as about the unseating an establishment politician by the netroots and who wears the pants in the Democratic Party. This a real political choice for me not some inside the beltway or blog-land brouhaha.

[...]

Lamont was bright, energetic and articulate. I thought his stands on the issues were very mainstream/progressive and his reception was very enthusiastic. His central theme is the Iraq war and how it is affecting our country in so many ways at home and abroad. He avoided going for the cheap applause line on impeachment saying that given what we know now, it was not appropriate and then, chuckling, he said Cheney is a scary thought. He would vote for censure.

Beyond the specific stands on the issues, I thought he was a stand up guy. He took all the questions, some not so friendly and did not parse words or sound like a poll-driven candidate. Authentic.
That's "The Lamont Effect" plain and simple.

Go and find out when Ned will be in your area and witness "The Lamont Effect" for yourself. It's contagious

Malloy opens shop in Danbury



Dan Malloy opened his office in Danbury Thursday night and I'll have the full rundown of the big event (inc;luding video highlights) later today.
(cross post from Hat City Blog)

DFA Rally (or I want my NedTV!)

Give the people what they want.

(Spazeboy, I don't know how you do it).


BTW:
Without a purpose
has the audio of the entire event.

Things back to normal

Blogger is working again.

I think you'll like my next post...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

More bad poll numbers for Joe

Oh man, more bad news for President Bush's favorite Democrat.
Anti-war Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont has gained ground on Sen. Joseph Lieberman, and now trails the incumbent 55 - 40 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, including undecided voters who are leaning towards a candidate, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Among all Democrats, Sen. Lieberman leads 57 - 32 percent, compared to 65 - 19 percent in a May 2 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

All Connecticut voters approve 56 - 32 percent of the job Lieberman is doing. Democrats approve 49 - 38 percent, down from 60 - 31 percent May 2.
People, trust me, this is the nail in the coffin for Joe and it's just a matter of time until he announces his plans to run as an independent. Ned Lamont is killing Joe across the state and Ned's improvement in the polls have nothing to do with the convention as his poll numbers would of improved regardless.

The press is having a field day with these new numbers and that isn't good for our favorite DINOBoy.
Froma Harrop profiles the Lamont campaign in her column this morning and concludes with the following:
The second big question is: What will Lieberman do if he loses to Lamont? Some think he will run as an independent, as which he could pick up conservatives who wouldn't be voting in the Democratic primary. Whatever, Connecticut voters are in a raw mood, and that does not bode well for the senator many call "Bush's boy."

Get the picture.

Look, I live in Connecticut and everywhere I go, people have nothing but good things to say about Lamont and nothing but bad things to say about Joe. The only difference now is that as people are learning more about Lamont, the more they like the guy.

Don't believe me? Well go and catch Ned speak and you'll see what I mean. I promise you that after hearing Ned speak from his heart, you'll be hooked, it’s that simple. When you put Joe next to Ned, it's not even a contest and Lieberman's campaign knows this very well.

Joe's camp never wanted any part of a primary from day one and they always planned to go the independent route. I've been to the Lieberman "no press allowed" meetings and time and time again, Joe has given the impression that he'll bolt if there is a primary and you just know his campaign is looking at this part of the poll:
In possible general election matchups:
  • Lieberman defeats Republican challenger Alan Schlesinger 68 - 14 percent;
  • Lamont beats Schlesinger 37 - 20 percent, with 34 percent undecided;
  • Running as an independent, Lieberman gets 56 percent, to 18 percent for Lamont and 8 percent for Schlesinger.
It's simple Joe, stop wasting everyone's time and just announce that you're jumping ship. I've talked to several "people" over the last couple of days and I know that's what you're going to do so just get it over with.

Stop wasting everyone's time with your phony "I'm a proud Democrat" routine; it's pathetic and it doesn't pass the smell test among most Demcoratic voters in Connecticut. For Joe, it's all about Joe and screw everyone else including the Democrats who will give Ned Lamont the victory come August 8th.

And we deserve better than a shameless senator who won't support the winner of the primary.

The poll numbers tell the story and trust me, the trend will continue for Lamont and Lieberman's camp knows this very well. All the silly attack ads and/or the endorsement of the Don "the walking corspe" Imus won't make a bit of difference.

Showdown in Vernon

Dan Malloy and John DeStefano will be debating each other today at the Rockville High School in Vernon at 1 p.m.

If you can't make it, DeStefano's campaign will be live blogging from the event and you can check it out by clicking here.

(Hats off to Mr. Chi)

Nancy Johnson caught red-handed again

Oh Nancy, shame on you!

Blogger problems

Sorry for the long delay but once again, Blogger was down and I was unable to post anything yesterday.

Hopefully, things will back to normal now.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Typical night for team Joememtum

Oh boy, you almost feel sorry for those Lieberman volunteers. I mean, Joe's sending out these volunteers to get slaughtered by the Lamont challenge and it's getting tough to watch. BrandfordBoy gives the scoop on the latest stumble by team Joementum (and it's not pretty):

I attended a campaign kick-off event for my great State Senator, Ed Meyer, yesterday. My Lamont button drew a lot of interest and several people asked for buttons of their own.

[...]

Ed Meyer graciously invited a dumpy young man, who was apparently serving as a Lieberman surrogate, and Ned to say a few words. The Lieberman guy was stumbling, so politicially tone deaf State Rep Pat Widlitz tried to help (I guess) by pointing out that the picturesque lighthouse that can be seen from Ed's house was brought to Long Island Sound by Joe Lieberman.

When Ned spoke (briefly and well) he pointed out that thanks to Joe's whoring for the energy lobby (my words, not his), we may soon be thanking Joe for a floating eyesore in Long Island Sound, an ugly and unnecessary natural gas facility from Broadwater, which will be a prime terrorist target.

After that, I had to jog to the car to replenish my supply of Lamont buttons and Ned Lamont buttons started popping up on chests throughout the party.

To coin a phrase, "This is what a movement looks like."

NOTE: The DINO boat is sinking fast. You poor volenteers should jump off while you still have time. Trust me, I'll telling this for your own good.

Gay bashing amendment fails

Hey, the image might be harsh but that is what this stupid attempt to amend the Constitution boiled down to...discrimination, hatred, and bigotry. It's that simple and don't be fooled, the Republican party is pandering to the scum of their party purely for political gain.

With everything that's happening in this country and around the world, the powers that be are more interested in securing their base than fixing the problems they created for everyone.

Shameless indeed.

John Aravosis at AMERICAblog brings up an very interesting point.
This vote was better than expected. The gay bashers were claiming that they would have a majority. Our side picked up two GOP votes, Specter and Judd Gregg. Chris Dodd and Jay Rockefeller, who would have voted with us, were absent. Chuck Hagel, who would have voted against us, is in Omaha with the President. If everyone was present, the vote would have been 50-50. That means the Vice President would have had to break the tie. Now, that would have been interesting.

Next up on this list...flag burning.

Ah, this is your Republican leadership at work. Hey, you get what you voted for.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Lamont does Democracy Now!

Oh, this is good TV (Ned even mentions my blog, how cool is that).

Huge hat-tip goes out to Spazeboy and Scarce for the hookup!

Billy Preston

A great one has passed away.

Flashback video: Lieberman rumor from the Democratic State Convention

Here's an oldie but goodie from the Democratic State Convention (taped 5/19/06). I originally posted this on My Left Nutmeg but since two weeks have pass, I felt that it was a good time to post it on this site now.
Time's up Joe!


Two weeks have passed and it's time for you to put up or shut up. Or you going to run as an independent or will you support the winner of the Democratic primary.

You see Joe, I've been saying since day that you're going to bolt the party as you never were a Democrat in the first place.

Lets recap:

1. You sounded like a scared man each time I heard you speak at your private town meetings you had across the state (I'm sure you remember one so-called "no-press allowed" meeting I recorded you stating that you wouldn't rule out an independent run (I guess you weren't too happy about that audio getting out to the press).

2. You received no love when your name was mentioned at the State JJB dinner (remember the boos, well I do).

3. Your campaign looked demoralized (if not pathetic) when Ned shocked the world and received 33 percent of the delegate vote and I stated in several interviews in the run-up to the convention that you would jump ship if Ned had a strong showing at the convention.

I could go on and on but you get the point.

Look DINOboy, it's simple. Prove me and my man wrong and go on camera and state that you'll never leave the Democratic party. You had no problem jumping in front of any camera ripping into Democrats over the years so I'm sure you can get a press conference together in a sec.

Prove me wrong. I dare you.

UPDATE:Opps, I forgot. Click here, sign the petition and force Joe's hand.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The hits keep coming for Lieberman in the press

Oh boy, what a bad week for George Bush's favorite Democrat (and it's only MONDAY).
After years of ardent support for the Iraq war, Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman could become that conflict's first big political casualty in a Democratic primary race fueled by rising anti-war anger.

Lieberman, the party's vice presidential nominee in 2000, faces a growing challenge from a political neophyte who has rallied Democrats angered by the senator's enthusiastic backing of the war and willingness to support Republican President George W. Bush on other issues.

Challenger Ned Lamont's underdog bid to unseat Lieberman in Democratic-leaning Connecticut could offer an early gauge of the intensity of anti-war sentiment ahead of November's midterm elections, along with a measure of the influence of the Internet activists and bloggers who have flocked to his cause.

"Senator Lieberman has cheered on the president every step of the way when it comes to the invasion of Iraq, and he is too quick to compromise on core Democratic principles," Lamont, a businessman and former Greenwich town selectman, told Reuters.

"He's wrong on the big issues of the day and he is not challenging the Bush administration," added Lamont, who qualified for the August 8 primary ballot by winning 33 percent of the delegates at the state party convention last month.


[...]

Lieberman has frustrated Democrats for years on issues beyond Iraq, from his early condemnation of President Bill Clinton during the 1998 Monica Lewinsky scandal to his recent refusal to support a filibuster against conservative Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

CRITICISM BUILDS

His 2004 presidential candidacy fell flat and criticism from the left has intensified, particularly after he published a Wall Street Journal article last year headlined "Our Troops Must Stay" that chided Democrats for criticizing Bush on the war.

"There is a very sizable contingent of liberal Democrats in this state who want a change," said Gary Rose, a political analyst at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. "Anything could happen in this primary. Turnout will be low."
Joe's in deep doo-doo right now which is why this part last paragragh of this article tell the whole story.
Lieberman has refused to rule out an independent bid if he loses the primary, giving rise to Democratic fears he could split their vote and give the seat to Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger, a state legislator.
Skip Schlesinger for a sec (hint: he doesn't stand a chance in hell of winning), why are Democrats letting Joe Lieberman get away with not ruling out an independent run if he loses the primary (I personally don't think going to be a primary because he's going to bail before August). How can any Democrat support a man who doesn't support the winner of the primary?

Ned Lamont said he'll support whoever wins the primary. Isn't that the type of character trait you want in a senator who represents you in Washington?

You're doing a heck of a job Eddie

Plan on walking over to Gov. Rell's office again today?
Hartford police tallied three more shootings in a matter of hours, including a double killing early Monday, hours before local legislators were to unveil a plan aimed at making the streets safer.

The latest shootings occurred about 3:30 a.m. Monday. Police found two men lying on the sidewalk on Addison Street, near the intersection with Tower Avenue. Both had been shot. Both were taken to an area hospital where they died, police said.

"Anytime there's a shooting I'm very frustrated because there's a loss of life. Anytime you lose someone it is always a bad situation," Asst. Police Chief Daryl Roberts told WVIT-TV Monday morning at the scene of the double shooting.

Late Sunday night, a man was wounded in the neck in an apparent drive-by shooting on Capitol Avenue, police said.
More killings in Hartford+more bullshit politics from Mayor Perez and Gov Rell=more people dying in the North End.

Street violence in Hartford: 20 years in the making, 20 years of inaction.

The day after

Man, I don't know what to post about. I could post my piece on the situation in Hartford but people across the state are still in awe of Paul Bass' stinking article on George Bush's favorite Democrat.

Check out the comments at My Left Nutmeg, the official campaign blog, and Lamontblog and you'll see what I mean.

If you haven't read the op-ed yet, go and check it out. I babbled enough about it yesterday and all I can say about the piece is WOW.

I think I'm going to read it again.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Moment of clarity for Shays...

...or is he just scared shitless about the prospect of Diane Farrell beating him in November?

You read, you decide.
More than three years into the Iraq war, Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4, regrets that he did not provide aggressive enough oversight of the Pentagon's war plan as he now believes was needed.

[...]

In the leadup to the war, Shays says, he should have demanded more accountability from the Pentagon on cost estimates, which seemed low. The United States will have spent more than $320 billion by the end of the year for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I fault myself," Shays says. "I was hearing voices in my own head that this was going to cost more and I accepted the Pentagon numbers that were too low," he says. "I should have had hearings early on."

[...]

Shays spoke candidly about his eight-year tenure as subcommittee chairman during an interview at his Capitol Hill office. He was asked to respond to criticism against him by his Democratic opponent, Diane Farrell.

Farrell, a former Westport first selectwoman, claims that Shays has failed to oversee the Iraq war effort.

Farrell criticizes Shays for stubbornly supporting President Bush's Iraq policy rather than demanding a sensible plan to win the peace. "If people like Chris Shays — President Bush's most loyal supporter of the war in Iraq — would demand a workable plan to win the peace in Iraq, maybe we could accomplish the mission," Farrell says. "Instead, Chris and his allies in this Republican-controlled Congress continue to pat the president on the back and tell him he's doing the right thing in Iraq."
Don't forget to add Joe Lieberman to that list.

Paul Bass rips into Lieberman in Courant Op-Ed

WOW Paul, tell us how you really feel about DINO Joe.
Medical researchers have identified a host of causes for amnesia, from encephalitis to traumatic brain injury.

I've discovered another cause: political campaigns.

Exhibit A: The current campaign in Connecticut for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination.

In the wake of challenger Ned Lamont's surprisingly strong showing at last month's Democratic convention, the race has begun to take shape. Both candidates are trying to define the race - and each other - early. Lamont seeks to cast incumbent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as an out-of-touch apologist and crucial helper of President Bush's Iraq war and environmental, economic and health-care policies. Lieberman seeks to identify his opponent as an out-of-touch plutocrat. (Lamont, a tech entrepreneur, is worth between $90 million and $300 million.)

Meanwhile, in ads and public statements, Lieberman portrays himself as Regular Joe, a fighter for the little guy, in touch with blue-state Connecticut and mainstream Democrats on all issues except Iraq.
NOTE: When I read the above statement that I highlighted in bold, I spilled my coffee on myself and freaked my wife out. I mean really, Joe LIEberman being a "regular" guy is like saying Paris Hilton is a good role model for kids.

Now back to the program...
And somehow we - not just Lieberman - keep a straight face, as if he hadn't just spent 18 years helping Republicans hijack the Constitution and pick on little guy after little guy.

[...]

The Bush administration values Joe Lieberman because he has been a crucial ally in efforts to free Enron-style corporate crooks from regulation, transfer wealth to the wealthy, hound gays, trample on the rights of government critics and sacrifice the lives of thousands of Americans and Iraqis to dishonest, dangerous military adventurism.

Lieberman understands how, in campaigns, you can make people forget all that. You can change the subject by making fun of your opponent for being rich. Then, with millions of dollars from wealthy donors, you can reinvent your record.

Watching Lieberman and Lamont these past few weeks, I had to wonder: Am I the one with amnesia?

So I went up to the attic and pulled out my Lieberman file, with clippings and documents collected from covering him during his three terms in Washington.
It's always a bad sign when Bass goes for the news clippings...this guy is good as you'll see.
It was true. My memory was faulty. I had remembered that, out of the eye of voters back home, Lieberman developed working alliances with the most hypocritical and dangerous right-wingnuts like Ralph Reed and Charles Murray and Bill Bennett. But I had forgotten just how extensive a record he had accumulated.
Now hold on folks, this is where Bass does his magic...
I had forgotten how he played the leading role in 1993 to thwart Democrats who tried to close loopholes allowing companies to cook the books on millions of dollars of stock options. Thus began the regulatory abandonment that spawned Enron and its sibling rip-offs.

I had forgotten how that same year, Lieberman joined with Republican Sen. Alphonse M. D'Amato of New York and against Democrats to "work the cloakrooms" of the Senate, in the words of a news account, to "line up unanimous support so that a tax break eagerly sought by the real estate industry could be passed without senators having to vote on the record."

How many Connecticut Democrats remember that their senator was one of only two Democrats who voted with Republicans in 1995 to kill a lobbyist-gift ban? Or that he called affirmative action "un-American?" Or that in August 1994 he voted in favor of a proposal by Republican Jesse Helms to cut off all federal money from schools that offer counseling to suicidal gay teens by referring them to gay support groups or in any way suggesting it's OK to be gay?
Ahem, Human Rights Campaign, did you catch that? Joe's anti-GAY!!!!
Or that Gov. John Rowland and Lieberman had the same fundraiser, Michael Lewan, raising the same campaign cash from the same fat cats, because, as Lewan told the Courant, "they're two like-minded guys?"

Did most Connecticut Democrats even know that Lieberman helped Lynne Cheney found a McCarthy-style group called the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which hounded liberal university professors for criticizing American foreign policy, including the president of Wesleyan University?

No wonder Lieberman could vote to confirm an attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez, who wrote the legal opinion excusing torture. Most recently, Gonzalez threatened to start prosecuting journalists for publishing classified information in order to silence government critics. But that was weeks ago. The new Fightin' Joe is on our side. A real Democrat.

Now it's true that Lieberman earns high marks on Democratic interest group "report cards." That's because he plays a shell game in which liberal interest groups are complicit. He gets the "right" mark for voting against Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination, for instance. But he gives the Bush administration the vote it needs to make Alito a judge, by voting to stop a filibuster.

Similarly, he held back on voting for Clarence Thomas's nomination until the first Bush administration saw it had the votes. Then Lieberman could safely vote against Thomas and earn the "right" grade.
Oh, I can't take it any longer. Bass is ripped DINO Joe apart and believe me, he just got started. Go give his op-ed a full read to get the full effect. While you're at it, go to his website and show him some love as he's pushing online media into the mainstream with the New Haven Independent.

...and for goodness sakes, whatever you do, don't give this guy a hard time on the phone. You've been warned.

Public policy professor explains why Lieberman is in serious trouble

You have to love good college professors. They have this ability to break complex things down in a way that you clearly understand.

Case in point, this morning on WVIT's Connecticut Newsmakers, Professor Kenneth Dautrich of the Department of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut explains why Joe Lieberman is in the fight of his life and why Ned Lamont has a real chance in beating President Bush's favorite Democrat in the primary.

You see, hard-core Democrats in Connecticut really don't like Lieberman but unfortunately, he never had to face a real challenge to his senate seat...not until now.

At first Ned Lamont was a unknown, a person who seemed to come out of nowhere. Hell, I shook my head in disbelief when I first heard his name. I can remember saying to myself "who the f- is a Ned Lamont" and "we're going to be screwed with Lieberman in the senate for another six years" but, a little voice in my head said "hey, Weicker is giving this guy the thumbs up so give this guy a chance before writing him off. I jumped in my car and saw Ned speak in New Haven and after seeing and hearing him only one time, not only was I sold, I've been following his campaign as he traveled across the state ever since. Now, it took some time but now people were getting the message that this guy is the real deal and actually has a chance against DINO Joe.

Now, no one (except for Joe campaign who were high-balling the numbers) expected Ned Lamont to receive such a high percentage of the delegate vote at the state convention. When Ned received over 30 percent of the delegte vote, people across the state and nation took notice and his campaign REALLY took off which brings up to where we are today.

Now back to the professor. When you add that the majority of people who come out to vote in the primary are your hard-core Democrats, you begin to see understand why one should take Ned Lamont's campaign seriously as Professor Dautrich explains in this following video clip.

Joe, I'm hope your taking notes as there will be an exam in August made just for you.