Democratic State Speaker of the House: James Soprano Amann
Oh man, is this guy for real?
State House Speaker James Amann, D-Milford, was at the Milford Metro-North train station Thursday to help stump for gubernatorial candidate John DeStefano Jr.
But the real fireworks began after a group of liberal bloggers and activists confronted the speaker about his continued support for U.S. Senate candidate Joseph I. Lieberman, who is running as an independent after being defeated in the Democratic primary by Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont.
Then a suggestion was made that Amann could always be replaced.
"You have any idiot in this town run against me in this town, I will crush them," Amann told the group, which included Branford Democratic Town Committee member Keith Crane, after the TV cameras and DeStefano left.
"Let them run in the town that I grew up in. You think you’re going to put someone up to me? Good luck," he said.
What's next, Keith will wake up with a horse head in his bed? I mean really, this is the tone one would expect from the Speaker of the House?
Oh, it's better when you watch Amann do his thing for the cameras.
You know, James sounds a lot like Joe did before the primary...right down to the arrogance.
Oh good grief! Blogger is acting wacky again today. I'm having trouble posting so expect delays (again). I swear, I have to move this site over to WordPress ASAP.
I'll post the end of the debate soon, again, I'm just happy I'm able to post this quick write up now. New Q-poll came out today and although it shows a lead for Lieberman, I rahter like to see a poll done after the debate on Thursday. Also, why are these numbers so different than Zogby's which was released just a day ago? I tell you, reading poll numbers can drive you nuts. BranfordBoy gives a break down of the numbers and it's worth a read.
In other news, I'm looking to find out to file some sort of a complaint against the NRCC. You see, for the last two weeks, my CELL PHONE has been blowing up with anti-Murphy robo calls and it's driving me nuts (as well as costing me money as the calls take away from my cell minutes). With a baby on the way, it's quite annoying when I get these annoying calls on my phone and I want them to stop. If anyone can help me, please email me at email@example.com. I'm serious.
I have a sample of the calls and I'll share them with you later.
I better hit the publish post button before blogger goes down again but before I do, here's another bit of young joementum.
For those not in Connecticut, I'm get the video up ASAP.
7:10: Lieberman was cut off two times already.
7:20: Lieberman is upset about high oil and gas prices but he voted for the energy bill...oh my, Joe got his mic cut off. Schlesinger mocked Lieberman's energy proposal. Lamont brings up Cheney's energy bill and the fact that Lieberman signed the bill. Timothy Knibbs of the Concerned Citizens Party wants us to use more nuclear fuel (ah, what). Ralph Ferrucci of the Green Party talks about using alternate fuels.
7:30: Most overused line "along party lines." Joe was cut off again.
7:37: "I know you part of the flock, but it's just time for you to fly away" Alan Schlesinger comment to Joe Lieberman. Joe's mic was cut off again.
7:41: Schlesinger goes after Lieberman on Social Security. Lieberman says that he was never for Social Security (lie). Lamont ask for change in the way things are done in Washington. The Concerned Citizens candidate is wasting the people's time. Green Party candidate isn't that bad.
7:51: Green Party candidate (Ferrucci) gave a good closing speech. Lieberman: "across party lines, across party lines, across party lines"
7:56: Ned Lamont ended on a strong note. Man, Joe bombed. Ferrucci was impressive. Schlesinger is funny.
I know, I know. This has nothing to do with Connecticut but man, Katherine Harris is the nuttiest person in America and I really get a kick out of watching her campaign crash and burn.
Behind in the polls and laughed at by just about everyone, Harris is taking her campaign to a new level...by selling her house.
The stage is set for Rep. Katherine Harris' (R-FL) dramatic last minute comeback. She's down 20 points in the polls. Her campaign is way behind in fundraising ($1 million in the bank compared to Sen. Bill Nelson's $6.8 million). She's a national laughingstock. But she's not giving up. She won't ever give up. In fact, she's even going to sell her Washington D.C. house.
That's right. To prove that she's "committed," Harris has said that she's selling her home to generate campaign funds.
All she has to do is find the right buyer. But as The Orlando Sentinel notes, Pink Sugar seems to be taking her own sweet time:
Harris has talked about selling her Washington, D.C. home for months, but former staffers have said they saw no sign she was preparing to do so. On Tuesday, two Washington real-estate agents said there is no indication the four-bedroom house near Capitol Hill was ever placed in the multiple-listing service, a database of properties for sale.
Hmm. A cynic would note that it's probably a good move for Harris to sell her Washington home regardless -- since she'll likely be out of office by January. But with only three weeks left in the campaign, she doesn't seem to be in much of a rush.
Bob Schieffer moderated, and Lieberman went over time every single answer until Schieffer just cut his mike. Joe is a bully to the press, and Schieffer slapped him. Subtle, but hilarious..
Alan did great, again, and Joe's people are worried. Lieberman wouldn't even come out for post-debate questions.
Ned did much better this time. Ralph Nader was there, and the press is completely into Alan Ross Perot.
Also, Joe reiterated a call for regime change in Iran.
Come back to this post for more updates.
5:30: I'm hearing more reports and it seems like Joe Lieberman acted like a complete jerk on stage and Bob Schieffer kept cutting his mic off. Too funny.
6:00: Oh man, Joe really got his clock cleaned today. Ned Lamont hit a homerun and Alan Schlesinger is now the Ross Perot of Connecticut. Here's another report from Firedoglake.
Schlesinger ripped into Joe up, down, left and right over his record, calling him an out and out failure, and refusing to allow Joe to make the case for the Republican votes he so craves. At one point, Schlesinger began an exchange that went something like this:
Schlesinger: If you had someone doing a job for eighteen years, and after eighteen years, their record was one of complete failure, what would you do? What do you think should happen with that person?. . . Ned, you're a businessman: what would you say about someone like that?
Lamont: I'd say, "It's time to go, Joe!"
6:20: Heard that the media was all over Schlesinger and Lamont while once again, Lieberman exited stage right.
Asked to respond to young people's fear that social security funds would disappear for them, Lieberman repeated his claim that "The social security trust fund has enough to pay benefits until 2040."
Schlesinger (pictured) recoiled: "You know, Joe, this is why I'm running against you." "There is no money in the social security trust fund. It's a cruel hoax." He said he's the only candidate offering solutions. Turning to Lieberman, he said: "I know you're just a member of the flock, but it's time for you to fly away."
The U.S. military reported Wednesday that 10 American troops had been killed the day before, raising the death toll so far this month to 69 and putting October on track to be the deadliest month for coalition forces in nearly two years.
The nine U.S. soldiers and one Marine were killed by roadside bombs and enemy fire in and around the capital on Tuesday, the military reported.
The sharp rise in deaths comes as the U.S. has increased the number of troops in the Baghdad area to try to stop the spiraling sectarian and insurgent violence engulfing the city of some 6 million people.
Still think "stay the course" is a good strategy?
According to an Associated Press count, October also is on the way to being the deadliest month for Iraqis since the AP began tracking deaths in April 2005. In October, 767 Iraqis have been killed in war-related violence, an average of 45 every day.
That compares to an average daily death toll of about 27 since April 2005. The AP count includes civilians, government officials and police and security forces, and is considered a minimum based on AP reporting. The actual number is likely higher, as many killings go unreported.
There is no better barometer of the increasing desperation of the Lamont campaign than the reaction of Ned 's biggest blogger boosters to yesterday's debate.
Instead of touting Ned's performance -- which would have been a challenge for the even the best spinmasters --the usually Republican-hating keyboard jockeys spent an inordinate amount of their hype on Alan Schlesinger.
The reason for this sudden turnabout could not be more transparent. The bloggers know that Negative Ned' s message of blame and blather has totally failed to resonate with voters outside his anti-war base, and that Lamont's only hope in this race now is to try to peel away Republican voters from Joe Lieberman's broad-based coalition.
Seems pretty clear to us this cynical tactic is part of a coordinated strategy -- and that it will fall as flat as the rest of Ned 's general election campaign.
This has to be the dumbest thing I've ever read. Because the blogs correctly stated that Alan Schlesinger kicked the crap out of Joe Lieberman, we're now part of some vast left-winged conspiracy and propping Schlesinger in order to take votes away from Lieberman.
All I can say is WOW! It think Joe Lieberman just lost a big piece of his Republican support base as the true Republican Alan Schlesinger ripped the de facto Republican to shreds at today's debate. Knowing that he didn't have anything to lose, the Republican nominate candidate came out of the gate swinging and really whacked Lieberman upside the head on a variety of issues ranging from North Korea to Social Security. . . At one point while Schlesinger was tearing Lieberman to pieces, I turned around to get a feel of the crowd and a majority of the people were very impressed with Schlesinger. . .”
Connecticut Bob: Recap part 2 Overall, I think Schlesinger helped himself the most -- by getting fair time to talk and present himself to his Republican constituents. I think he will get a big bump out of this one.
The post also mentions something about a "coordinated strategy," and even goes as far as to suggest that Lamont's "wealthy friends" will start funnelling money to Schlesinger. It also, in a twist of irony, accuses Lamont's campaign of deep cynicism.
It's posts like this one that remind me of the defensive, nasty and paranoid Lieberman campaign that crashed and burned so dramatically this summer: not least of all because the Lieberman campaign suddenly has something to be paranoid about.
Lieberman's campaign playbook strategy: blame everyone but themselves for their mistakes.
Lieberman hires a new campaign team and gets the same results.
Amid growing criticism, WFSB-TV, Channel 3, has agreed to let reporters from other news organizations into the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts to cover today's U.S. Senate race debate sponsored by the station.
As of Monday, the Hartford CBS affiliate was planning to ban all reporters other than its own from today's 3 p.m. taping of the one-hour debate - and then to maintain a 27-hour news blackout until it broadcast the pre-recorded event Thursday at 7 p.m.
But protests began to arise after the station's plans were outlined in The Courant Tuesday morning - and by mid-afternoon WFSB general manager Klarn DePalma said that outside reporters would be admitted for same-day coverage.
"At the end of the day, it's freedom of speech, so I wanted to make sure everyone had access to it," DePalma.
DePalma said WFSB's tape-delay plans grew out of a need to avoid a scheduling clash with tonight's gubernatorial debate, which is to be aired live on WVIT-TV, Channel 30, from 7 to 8 p.m.
But critics said there was no legitimate need to bar outside reporters from live coverage - and "I think [DePalma] was a little caught off-guard" by the negative reaction, Valvo said. "So he went and talked to his newsroom, and took a look at the proprietary issues and then looked at the First Amendment issues," Valvo said, and "let the First Amendment win."
I kid you not folks and trust me, I had to read this silly quote twice in order for it to sink into my brain.
Paul Bass has all the details on yet another bizzare political day. As Lieberman spoke, U.S. Rep. Shays wandered out. They greeted each other warmly. "You have a Republican here...You're saying you would support Democrats... Is that awkward?" Lieberman was asked. Shays answered the question for him; click on the play arrow to watch Shays talk about how "this guy is a national treasure."
A national treasure? Okay, now I've heard many wierd things on the campaign trail but calling someone a national treasure tops everything.
Then, before leaving, Shays spoke with Channel 61's Shelly Sindland. He told her: "Joe Lieberman's election is more important than my election. That's the bottom line. I'm voting for Joe."
It's official, Connecticut is a political madhouse!
I think Chris Shays has really lost his mind...I'm concerned for his well-being.
Seems like Lieberman will do anything to get the Republican vote including endorsing U.S. nutjob ambassador John Bolton's permanent status at the U.N.
Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman on Monday endorsed controversial Bush appointee John Bolton for a permanent slot at the United Nations - putting him at odds once again with Democrats and his Senate colleague, Chris Dodd.
Dodd, D-Conn., is the leading critic of Bolton, the controversial envoy Bush sent to the U.N. on a temporary ambassadorship after Democrats and some key Republicans balked at nominating him.
"I see no reason not to be for Bolton," Lieberman told a meeting of the New York Daily News editorial board.
"Based on his capabilities - and now based on his performance - I believe Bolton is well-qualified," he said.
"I think he's been a good negotiator and a good spokesman. He deserves to have a vote. I think he deserves to be confirmed."
I wonder how Chris Dodd feels about Lieberman's comments.
In a blistering Senate speech last month listing what he called Bolton's failures, Dodd said, "My objection isn't that he is a bully, but that he's been a very ineffective bully - he can't win the day when it really counts."
Pandering Lieberman strikes again.
UPDATE:Matt Stoller of MyDD highlights Lieberman's sudden flip-flop and reminds us that the de facto Republican voted against Bolton twice in the past. Make no question about it, Lieberman is pandering to the Republican base yet again as grabbing the conservative vote is the only chance he has in being re-elected.
I just love this quote from Stoller.
It must be tough for Lieberman, now that he's running in a Republican primary.
The Hartford CBS affiliate has banned representatives of the news media - other than its own - from Wednesday's 3 p.m. taping of the debate that is to be moderated by national CBS newsman Bob Schieffer before an audience of specially invited guests at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.
After a news blackout of 27 hours, WFSB plans to show the canned one-hour event Thursday at 7 p.m.
"We're renting the hall, it's our debate, and we'll invite who we want to invite" - that was Channel 3's position, as paraphrased by Richard Foley, campaign manager for Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger. Polls show Schlesinger running a distant third in the race, and so, Foley said, "we feel that we cannot make too many demands."
Come on! This is just nuts. I can see why they want to delay broadcasting the debate with the DeStefano-Rell debate happening and all but to not allow the media from covering the event seems to be a little over the top and rather excessive.
I'm sure WFSB is taking a lot of heat over their decision from the other media outlets in the state. I'm going to make some phone calls and I'll update you when I have more information.
The day after: what's the media saying about the debate
Oh all the newspapers who covered the debate, The New Haven Register seemed to nail the opinion of most who attended the debate (my goodness, did I just say that). With the headline " Schlesinger steals the show" the Register gives credit where credit was due (my GOD, did I just say that about Schlesinger...what's wrong with me).
Alan Schlesinger, the forgotten U.S. senatorial candidate, came roaring into public view in a televised debate Monday as he put the two leading contenders on notice: "Look out Ned and Joe, here I come, baby."
The GOP candidate, who has consistently scored in the single digits in every political poll since the spring, came off as the most aggressive and colorful, as he advised the crowd of business people to vote for him and not his two rival "liberal Democrats."
The Register touch on two moments in the debate that I highlighted in a earlier post. I thought these were the two key moments where Schlesinger really hit Lieberman hard and caught him off guard.
Schlesinger blasted the Clinton administration for a lack of verification in its dealings with North Korea, and he held Lieberman accountable. "Joe, you had more moral outrage about Mr. Clinton's indiscretion than about North Korea's proliferation," he said, referring to the Monica Lewinski affair.
A considerable amount of time was spent on Social Security, with Schlesinger accusing both rivals of "standing for Social Security and Medicare bankruptcy," while he characterized the Senate as "the ostrich club," because they (the members) stick their head in the sand and they hope something good will come of it."
He called future funding for the entitlement programs "the greatest iceberg that this nation is facing. Right now, our ship is headed for it and these two are arguing over who gets the best deck chair to watch the crash."
He said Lieberman "drank the Kool-Aid," when he agreed with 2000 Democratic presidential contender Al Gore to put Social Security in a "lock box" to protect the program.
"You want to put an IOU from Joe Lieberman in a lockbox. I'd rather have cash. When I retire, I want a check," Schlesinger said. To solve the problem, he said he would take the money that is earmarked for Social Security and put it into mortgages for Americans.
Schlesinger made some very valid points and showed why he's the true Republcian in the debate attacking Lieberman over North Korea and most notably, Social Security. I think when he mocked Lieberman for "drinking the kool-aid" in 2000 with the "lock box" concept, Schlesinger help himself by painting Lieberman as a liberal and which might catch the attention of fiscal conservatives who believe the Democratic party is the party of taxing and spending.
Here's a replay of those two moments (FYI: Schlesinger comment regarding North Korea is now in the top 25 viewed video clips on You Tube).
Schlesinger attacks Lieberman over North Korea.
Schlesinger attacks Lieberman over Social Security.
As readers of this site know, I was really hard on Schlesinger for a good amount of the campaign but after watching him debate Lieberman and Lamont, I think less known of the three candidates came across pretty well. Schlesinger stuck to his conservative views on such topics as illegal immigration, fiscal responsibility, and security as well as did something the other two candidates did not do, try and offer a possible solution to a looming problem, Social Secuirty.
Hell, don't take it from me, look at what another newspaper said about Schlesinger.
Observers who watched the debate live or on television said the Republican, who has been hemorrhaging party loyalists to incumbent Joseph Lieberman's petition candidacy, made the most of the opportunity.
"You can't really say he hit a home run," University of Connecticut pollster Chris Barnes said last night. "But the fact he's there, he's on stage, it elevates his credibility."
In the end, Schlesinger had nothing to lose in coming out swinging as hard as possible. His presentation was informatinve as well as entertaining and it was a welcomed relief from all the attacks and mud slinging we've grown accustomed to over the last ten months.
Now I know what you're saying...oh, you're just trying to prop Schlesinger up and to that I say, all you need to do is look at my video footage in the previous post and it will speak for itself.
For a more detailed analysis on the media's take on the debate, check out bluestater's report at MLN. I was able to ask Schlesinger a coiple of questions after the debate and I'll bring you that footage later today.
Hey, did you miss the debate? Don't worry, thanks to People-Powered Media (PPM), you no longer have to rely on the networks to see the big showdown in Stamford.
After hours of uploading video files, I'm pleased to present to you, the complete senate debate unfiltered as it actually happened. Unlike the network broadcast, you'll really get to hear the responses from the audience and get a better understand why Alan Schlesinger won the debate.
As a bonus treat, I had a chance to interview the man of the hour, Alan Schlesinger and I'll bring you that video later (I'm tired).
Check out the photograph at the top of this post. Wanna know why Ned Lamont and Alan Schlesinger are looking at Joe Lieberman like he's nuts? Well, watch the video and you'll understand.
Act one: mud slinging
Act two: that little North Korea problem
Act three: an apology and a debate over social security
Earth to Joe Lieberman: I think you have a problem and his name is Alan Schlesinger.
All I can say is WOW!
It think Joe Lieberman just lost a big piece of his Republican support base as the true Republican Alan Schlesinger ripped the de facto Republican to shreds at today's debate. Knowing that he didn't have anything to lose, the Republican nominate candidate came out of the gate swinging and really whacked Lieberman upside the head on a variety of issues ranging from North Korea to Social Security. Lieberman looked like a target bear with a bullseye on his ass bouncing back and forth and Lamont and Schlesinger took turns taking shots at him and keeping the junior senator on the defensive for most of the debate.
Sticking to his theme of "change," Lamont portrayed Lieberman as part of the problem in Washington and offered himself as a voice of a new direction in Washington. Although Lamont didn't hit a homerun against Lieberman, he won't need to worry about losing any supporters after his performance. On the other hand, Lieberman's presentation was rather uninspiring as he used the term "bi-partisan politics" in every answer he gave.
Lieberman didn't outline any proposals or give any real indication in terms of what he would do if re-elected senator opting instead to use a majority of his time going after Lamont. In the end, this proved not to be a wise move as it gave Schlesinger the opportunity he needed to attack Lieberman and really catch him off-guard. On topic after topic, Schlesinger hit Lieberman upside the head and captured the audience attention...and he had a good time doing it.
At one point while Schlesinger was tearing Lieberman to pieces, I turned around to get a feel of the crowd and a majority of the people were very impressed with Schlesinger while Lieberman's camp (including mouthpiece Dan Gerstein) gave a look of utter disbelief. I couldn't resist taking a snapshot of DANGERstein and the female Lieberman supporter...it just another priceless moment that I had to share with everyone.
Now, I'm going to keep this report short since I'm still processing the video from today's debate. I was able to get a one on one interview with Schlesinger and I asked him about the de facto Republican running in the race and lets just say, he had a few words to say about that.
Here are some highlights of Schlesinger in action from today's debate. I'll post more clips as well as the entire debate later tonight.
Schlesinger attacks Lieberman over North Korea.
Schlesinger attacks Lieberman over Social Security.
Just got back home from the senate debate in Stamford. I'll bring a full report including the usual video highlights and photographs soon...
Real quick thoughts:
Alan Schlesinger: BY FAR the big winner!
Joe Lieberman: angry, bitter and was completely blindsided by Schlesinger. Unlike Lamont and Schlesinger who hung around to answer questions from everyone, Lieberman and his crew answered a VERY small amount of questions and literally ran out of the room...very strange.
Ned Lamont: did what he had to do. Kept on the message of change and labeled Lieberman as part of the problem in Washington.
Nancy Johnson and Chris Murphy: Fantasy vs. Reality (UPDATE: bonus video footage)
Nancy Johnson still has me I'm a state of shock.
If you didn't attend yesterday's debate between Nancy Johnson and Chris Murphy, you missed one of the strangest performances ever given by an incumbent.
As you know, I kind of lead on the progressive side as I truly believe that you can't trust anything a Republican tells you nowadays and yesterday, Nancy Johnson proved my point.
Although I videotaped the event (with the help of the great Spazeboy), one really needed to be part of the audience and experience the reactions from the crowd as Nancy Johnson made one outrageous statement after another. The responses from the crowd ranged from moans and groans to a woman standing up, saying "I can't take anymore of her bullshit," and walking out of the auditorium. The look on disbelief on everyone's faces including some Nancy Johnson volunteers was unreal.
Like a kid getting every present he wanted on Christmas Day, Murphy not only outperformed Johnson, he easily debunked every one of her claims, and clearly won over the crowd with his detailed outlined proposals which he would bring to Washington if elected Congressman. On the other hand, Johnson stumbled several times and seemed like she was unprepared for the debate as she gave several long-winded answers to pretty simple questions which left the audience at times confused if not puzzled.
Think I'm kidding when I said Johnson completely bombed?
Think I'm kidding when I say watching Johnson's performance was like watching a trainwreck?
Well you can watch the highlights from the debate and judge for yourself.
Watch as listen to Johnson as she delivers the White House talking points on such topics as No Child Left Behind (it's fully funded), the situation in Iraq (we're fighting the terrorists there so we don't have to fight them here), and the FISA law (I'll let her explain it). I also have responses from several people who attended the debate including views from U.S. Congresswoman (and New Britain native) Anna Eshoo (D-14 Cal), Former Congressman Toby Moffett, State Rep Tim O'Brien, and several members of the audience.
Hell, Spazeboy and yours truly even caught up with Murphy and got his views on the event as well.
First, here a brief clip of the pre-debate highlights.
What will it take for everyone to realize that Joe Lieberman does not care one bit about the Democratic Party? If his speech at Brad Davis's luncheon wasn't a wake up call, this should bring you out of your coma.
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, a lifelong Democrat and student of politics, blanked when asked if America would be better off with his party regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
A Democratic victory would immeasurably boost the influence of two Connecticut friends, U.S. Reps. Rosa L. DeLauro and John B. Larson, and provide a counterbalance to the Republican Senate and White House. "Uh, I haven't thought about that enough to give an answer," Lieberman said, as though Democrats' strong prospects for recapturing the House hadn't been the fall's top political story.
He was similarly elusive about the race for governor. Is he voting for John DeStefano Jr., a Democrat and mayor of the city where Lieberman has lived since the 1960s? "I'm, uh, I'm having," he stammered, then laughed and said his decision would remain private.