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Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Good Fight

Although postings will be very light this weekend (I'm on baby duty), I had to share this video from the CTBob with everyone.

Make sure you go to his site and thank him.

Friday, November 17, 2006

31 percent

Ouch. Seems like everyone is bailing out on this Prez.
Bush's approval on his handling of Iraq reached its lowest level yet in AP-Ipsos polling - 31 percent. That compares with 36 percent in early October.

[...]

Approval of Bush's handling of Iraq by self-identified Republicans has decreased from 78 percent in early October to 67 percent this month. Approval among Republican men dropped 14 percentage points to 66 percent and fell among Republican women by 7 percentage points to 68 percent. Approval by conservatives slipped from 58 percent last month to 48 percent.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Seantor Dodd to support Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act of 2006

Senator Chris Dodd is introducing and throwing his full support behind this VERY important bill that will amend the Military Commission Act of 2006 (the Bush Administration bill that supended Habeas Corpus).

Here's the press release in full. I'll be on the lookout for a presser from Dodd tomorrow and I'll update everyone if I'm able to grab any video.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), an outspoken opponent of the Military Commission Act of 2006, today introduced legislation which would amend existing law in order to have an effective process for bringing terrorists to justice. This is currently not the case under the Military Commission Act, which will be the subject of endless legal challenges. As important, the bill would also seek to ensure that U.S. servicemen and women are afforded the maximum protection of a strong international legal framework guaranteed by respect for such provisions as the Geneva Conventions and other international standards, and to restore America's moral authority as the leader in the world in advancing the rule of law.

"I take a backseat to no one when it comes to protecting this country from terrorists," Sen. Dodd said. "But there is a right way to do this and a wrong way to do this. It's clear the people who perpetrated these horrendous crimes against our country and our people have no moral compass and deserve to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But in taking away their legal rights, the rights first codified in our country's Constitution, we’re taking away our own moral compass, as well."

The Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act:

* Restores Habeas Corpus protections to detainees

* Narrows the definition of unlawful enemy combatant to individuals who directly participate in hostilities against the United States who are not lawful combatants

* Bars information gained through coercion from being introduced as evidence in trials

* Empowers military judges to exclude hearsay evidence they deem to be unreliable

* Authorizes the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to review decisions by the Military commissions

* Limits the authority of the President to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and makes that authority subject to congressional and judicial oversight

* Provides for expedited judicial review of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to determine the constitutionally of its provisions

"We in Congress have our own obligation, to work in a bipartisan way to repair the damage that has been done, to protect our international reputation, to preserve our domestic traditions, and to provide a successful mechanism to improve and enhance the tools required by the global war on terror," Dodd said.

Connecticut for Lieberman Party meeting details emerge

Get all the details behind this very important organizational meeting here.

John Orman is the man!

Rep. John Larson: Caucus Vice Chairman

At today's House Democratic caucus, Connecticut Rep. John Larson was elected the caucus vice chairman.
Earlier this morning the House Democratic caucus unanimously elected Pelosi as Speaker, Jim Clyburn (S.C.) as majority whip, Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) as caucus chairman and John Larson (Conn.) as caucus vice chairman.
Here's the chain of command.

Nominee for Speaker:
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Majority Leader:
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
Majority Whip:
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC)
Caucus Chair:
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)
Vice-Caucus Chair:
Rep. John Larson (D-CT)

More troops to Iraq?

This is how we're going to win the war?
President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations.

Mr Bush's refusal to give ground, coming in the teeth of growing calls in the US and Britain for a radical rethink or a swift exit, is having a decisive impact on the policy review being conducted by the Iraq Study Group chaired by Bush family loyalist James Baker, the sources said.

Although the panel's work is not complete, its recommendations are expected to be built around a four-point "victory strategy" developed by Pentagon officials advising the group. The strategy, along with other related proposals, is being circulated in draft form and has been discussed in separate closed sessions with Mr Baker and the vice-president Dick Cheney, an Iraq war hawk.

Point one of the strategy calls for an increase rather than a decrease in overall US force levels inside Iraq, possibly by as many as 20,000 soldiers. This figure is far fewer than that called for by the Republican presidential hopeful, John McCain. But by raising troop levels, Mr Bush will draw a line in the sand and defy Democratic pressure for a swift drawdown.
This is the new direction we're taking in Iraq?

Tell the Danbury News-Times to get their story straight regarding"sore loser" law

Okay, this story is getting stranger by the minute.

Yesterday on my other blog, I commented on The Danbury News-Times article by Fred Lucas on the sore loser law. For those who don't know what this sore loser law is all about, in a nutshell, the law would basically keep a candidate off the ballot if they lost a primary race. This would not stop a candidate from filing as a independent if they felt they couldn?t win the primary which in turn would save people a great deal of time since there would be no need for a primary. Why have a primary if the candidates are just going to go head to head again in the general election.

Before I get into Lucas' article and how he completely misinterperted Secretary of State's comment and wrote an entire article cased on somethign she never said, let me briefly explain why I feel this law should be at least considered.

Now, obviously I'm a fan of Ned Lamont but this has nothing to do with him but more about wasting resources. Regardless of the situation, Lieberman was in a position where he could have ran as an independent with no problem as he polled at about 70 percent among Republicans throughout he entire campaign. Also, as early as April, Lieberman hinted to many that he was going to run as an independent after the primary and definitely had plans in place to do just that by the beginning of the summer. Usually, people who come out in primaries are the hard-core section of a political party and since primary voters were going to be anti-war/anti-Lieberman, it was obvious to many that Lieberman would take advantage of his high Republican support and go to petitioning route. A sore loser law would have forced Lieberman to file as a independent and spotlight could have been taken off the senate primary race and onto the governor race.

With a sore loser law, the senate race would not have been a factor in the summer since there would have been no primary between Lieberman and Lamont , just a general election (which happened anyway). You have to remember that the senate primary race sucked ALL the oxygen out of the governor race and make it extremely hard for Malloy and DeStefano to get their message out to the public. After DeStefano won, since all the attention was paid to the senate primary race, people did not pay attention to what either Malloy or DeStefano were offering during their campaigns. DeStefano basically had to re-introduce himself to the public against a very popular governor and since he had basically no cash left to get his message out, in the end, DeStefano was unable to mount a serious challenge against Rell. Enforcing a sore loser law could have allowed other campaigns get the attention they desperately needed while putting the senate race on the backburner.

Okay, that's my brief two cents into why I support some version of a sore loser law for Connecticut BUT let me get back on track with the real point of this post…The News-Tmes Fred Lucas completely dropping the ball in his reporting.

This year, the state changed the primary date from September to August BUT forgot to change the filing deadline for petitioning candidates from August to July. Normally, the filing deadline would be about a month before the primary but because of an over sight, a loophole was created which Lieberman used by avoiding to publicly announce his plans to run as a petitioning until the late July.

The Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz wants to fix the loophole, not adpot a sore loser law and although I believe the sore loser law should be at least debated, without question this silly loophole needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, Lucas took Bysiewicz's proposal completely out of context and made it seem like she was proposing a sore loser law when she clearly stated to him (and the public) that she was only wanted to fix the loophole.

To illustrate this, here's Bysiewicz's press conference from yesterday where she completely explains the loophole situation and how fixing the loophole would NOT have kept Lieberman off the ballot.



NOW, here's Lucas' article on the sore loser law published yesterday. Notice the section I highlighted in bold.
U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman's political move of turning a loss into victory might have seemed at one point unlikely. But it could soon be impossible for a future politician to do the same.

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, one week after being re-elected to a third term, said Tuesday she still planned to push for a "sore loser" law that she talked about during the campaign.

"I am putting together a legislative package that includes moving the calendar for petitioning candidates to match that of a candidate petitioning for a primary," Bysiewicz said before speaking at Western Connecticut State University on Tuesday.

The proposal is meeting skepticism among state lawmakers, who fear it could be undemocratic. The Connecticut General Assembly convenes in January.

After Lieberman lost the Democratic primary to Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont in August, he launched an independent candidacy and was reelected to a fourth Senate term last week.

If the law Bysiewicz is proposing had been in effect this year, it would have stopped Lieberman from running as an independent after he lost the Democratic primary to Lamont.
This is completely wrong.

Bysiewicz’s proposal would have NOT stopped Lieberman from running as an independent NOR would it have kept him off the ballot. As Bysiewicz stated to Lucas, her proposal would only fix the loophole that was established when they changed the primary date from September to August. AGAIN, the state screwed up and didn't move the petitioning filing deadline when the primary date was changed. Bysiewicz was not talking about adopting a sore loser law that would keep the loser of the primary off the ballot, she was talking about fixing the loophole that was overlooked when the primary date was changed. The way the petitioning candidate process should work is that you have to file as a petitioning candidate BEFORE the primary so it will alert voters that you plan to continue your campaign regardless of the primary results. Filing after the primary gives you the advantage of waiting till after the primary to make up your mind when it should (and always has been) the other way around.

AGAIN, here's the statement Bysiewicz gave Lucas.

"I am putting together a legislative package that includes moving the calendar for petitioning candidates to match that of a candidate petitioning for a primary," Bysiewicz said before speaking at Western Connecticut State University on Tuesday.
Lucas seemed to understand this as he later stated this point.
Under her proposal, the deadline for a petitioning candidate would be a month or two months before the primary.
Lucas then takes Bysiewicz proposal and confuses the readers by mixing her attempt to fix the loophole with a sore loser law which she did not propose.
Indeed, 46 states have a "sore loser" law that either explicitly bans a candidate who lost a primary from running with another party or places the deadline for a petitioning candidate well before the primary, according to the Web site Ballot Access, which tracks voting trends and election laws around the country. Only Connecticut, Iowa, New York and Vermont don't have such laws.
Instead of making the focusing of the article on Bysiewicz’s attempt to fix the loophole, Lucas gives everyone the impression that Bysiewicz wants a sore loser law going so far as to interview several local politicians for their opinion on a law that the Bysiewicz never proposed.
The key question is whether such a law would be good for voters and democracy, said state Rep.-elect Joe Taborsak, D-Danbury.

"People are understandably upset with the path Joe Lieberman took after the primary," Taborsak said. "But at the end of the day, voters of the state did elect him."
Based on Taborsak's answer, you can tell that Lucas is questioning him about talking a the sore loser law, not fixing the loophole as Bysiewicz is proposing.

Lucas trip down the wrong road continues through the rest of his article.
"Had such a law been in place, I don't think Sen. Lieberman would be our senator today," said state Sen. Andrew Roraback, a Goshen Republican whose district includes Brookfield and New Milford. "Such a law could have the effect of thwarting the will of the majority. It assumes something is wrong with the voters' judgment and takes power away from the people."

[...]

"At first blush, I am always concerned when we limit the access for people to seek public office," said Rep. Chris Caruso, D-Bridgeport, co-chairman of the GAE committee. "The situation that developed with Sen. Lieberman doesn't happen all the time. We don't want to overreact."

Rep.-elect Jason Bartlett, D-Bethel, agrees.

"What Sen. Lieberman did was the exception," Bartlett said. "Should we create a law to prevent voters from getting a choice based on one circumstance?"

In short, Lucas blew it and since this article was picked up by several other sites, there needs to be a clarification or correction made to his story. Please contact the News-Times and tell them to set the record straight.

Reporter Fred Lucas: State house, politics (203) 731-3358 flucas@newstimes.com

News & Editorial (203) 744-5100 editor@newstimes.com

Jacqueline Smith Managing Editor/News (203) 731-3369 jsmith@newstimes.com

Eric Conrad Editor (203) 731-3361 econrad@newstimes.com

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The real Joe Lieberman reutrns

That's the senator I know.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, may have agreed to caucus with the Democrats in the next congressional term, but the Connecticut independent made it clear Wednesday he would not hold the party line on a call for phased troop withdrawals.

"Both general Abizaid and Ambassador Satterfield were quite clear and to me convincing, that for congress to order the beginning of a phased redeployment, a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq within the next 4 to 6 months would be a very serious mistake and would endanger ultimate the United States," Lieberman told reporters after the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Iraq.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who is to become the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee when Democrats take control of the chamber in January, said Tuesday a phased withdrawal is the only way Iraqi forces will take responsibility for their country.
Gabe over at CLP dug up this oldie but goodie from George Bush's favorite Democrat senator doing his best impression of Richard Nixon.
Don't look at me, I voted for Lamont.

FOXNews: "fair and balanced"

Why am I not surprised?

Final results

Check out CT Bob's site for the final results from the 2CD recount.

Rob Simmons held a presser today where he conceded to Courtney and stated that he would not challenge the results.
The day after he left the closest Congressional race in the country, three-term Republican Rep. Rob Simmons conceded the race to Democrat Joe Courtney.

At a late afternoon press conference today in Mystic, Simmons said he doesn't intend to challenge the election results which had him losing to Courtney by 91 votes.

"Any effort to do so would only be self defeating and destructive to the people we serve," Simmons said.

I'm hoping to have video from Simmons' presser posted later tonight.

Courtney wins

Game over.

UPDATE: Here's the word from the Secretary of State:
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz made it official Wednesday, announcing that Democrat Joe Courtney won by 91 votes in Connecticut's close 2nd Congressional District race.

A recount that lasted nearly a week confirmed Courtney's victory over three-term Republican Rep. Rob Simmons, Bysiewicz said. The results will be officially certified Nov. 28.

The deadline to file any legal challenges is Nov. 21.

"At the moment, we have no indications that anyone will, but by next Tuesday, a lawsuit must be filed if anyone wishes to contest the race," Bysiewicz said.

On Election Day, Courtney led by 167 of nearly 250,000 votes cast. But recounts in the district's 65 towns uncovered some flaws, including a 100-vote mistake in the small town of Lebanon that lowered the margin to a mere 66 votes at one point.

The Secretary of the State's Office first announced the plurality as 90 votes, but later corrected it to 91.
Now, Simmons is free to eat all the Gitmo rice he wants.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tim Targaris analysis on what really happened with the Lamont campaign

Just read it, maybe you'll learn something.

Secretary of the State pushes for "sore loser" law

From the News-Times:
One week after the election, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz repeated her call for a "sore loser law" that would essentially prevent a politician that loses a primary from being on the ballot again in the general election.

Just before speaking to students at Western Connecticut State University today, Bysiewicz said it would be part of her legislative package in 2007.

If such a law had it been in effect this year, it would have stopped U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman from running as an independent after he lost the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont.

This proposal would not affect write-in candidates, Bysiewicz said, such as Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura, who was re-elected as a write-in candidate in 2005 after first losing the Democratic primary.
This makes good common sense. Why have a primary in the first place if a person can just ignore the results of their party. Look at all the money wasted between Lamont and Lieberman during the summer only to have Lieberman ignore the results of the primary, jump on the GOP bandwagon, and win re-election based on 70 percent of the Republican vote which in turned probably resulted in Diane Farrell losing to Chris Shays and Joe Courtney going through a recount.

If people like Lieberman and Jarjura are so worried about losing a primary, they should leave the party and simply run as an independent from the get-go.

Dems getting their house into order

Oh, it's nice to see the Democrats FINALLY back in the majority.

Checks and balances are back.

2nd CD recount continues

Here's the latest from the Courant. The recount should be over tonight.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Whaa, I need my daddy


I guess if daddy saved him from serving in Vietnam, little Bush thinks daddy can save him in Iraq.

Hey dad, can you send your son to his room and tell him not to come out till January 2009...please.

Lieberman flashback: People-Powered Media style

In honor of Joe Lieberman showing his true colors in threatening to join with the Republicans (eventhough throughout the entire campaign, Lieberman stated that he gave his word to caucus only with the Democrats), I offer you this flashback video from Lieberman's biggest nightmare.

The following clip was filmed after the first general election debate in Stamford. Notice how Lieberman has a hissy fit when asked the question "Would you unequivocally caucus with the Democrats" repeatedly as he darts downstairs and out the backdoor.



Class act.

Plot thickens in 2nd CD recount

Simmons cuts into Courtney's lead.
Democrat Joe Courtney's lead in the 2nd Congressional District dropped to 66 votes Monday after officials in Lebanon discovered a math error that had given him 100 extra votes over Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, an election official said.

"It was human error," said Lebanon election moderator John Bendoraitis. "It was strictly misreading one number on one machine."

The revelation significantly tightens one of the closest congressional elections in the nation. Preliminary Election Day returns had Courtney winning by 167 votes out of nearly 250,000 ballots cast.

I guess Rob can thank Lieberman for getting out that Republican vote (both he and Shays owe Lieberman BIG TIME)...and Courtney can thank Mr. Independent-Democrat for throwing the State Democratic Party under the bus.

UPDATE: Gabe is at Courtney HQ and filed this report over at My Left Nutmeg.
No one is panicking - human errors like this happen, but not that often. Barring another error like this (and the next one could go in our favor), I would expect more 1-2 vote losses/gains - 60 is probably enough to hold up, but it could be slim enough to entice Simmons to challenge specific absentee and provisional ballots and ask for a recount of the optical scan ballots.
I'll try and bring you more updates as the recount continues.

UPDATE 2: 7:00 Courtney up by 66.

State Dems embrace DeStefano's message

John DeStefano might have loss the election but the state Democrats will adpot his message.
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. lost the gubernatorial election, but his policy proposals made a big impression on the now-veto-proof Democratic majorities in the Connecticut General Assembly.

DeStefano's plans to pursue universal health care, revamp the state's property tax system and invest more money in transportation are all part of the agenda Democrats will work on during the six-month, budget-setting legislative session that begins Jan. 3.
Read the full story over at the Connecticut Post.

Well, that didn't take long

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Wow Joe, it only took you a whole five days until you flip-flopped on all the garbage you promised during your campaign.

I guess the LIEberman forgot we were documenting his lies for the last year.

Tim Tagaris breaks it all down
so I don't have to.

PPM!

Note to Mr. (I/D): You don't get the right to use the label (D) anywhere near your name anymore. The Democrats of Connecticut rejected you twice, once by 10,000 votes and the second time by a margin of 2-1. You're now a party of one, enjoy it while it last...2008 is not that far away.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Another masterpiece from Colin McEnroe

Genius.