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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday night with Corinne Bailey Rae

This person was robbed at the Grammys.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Rep. Chris Murphy comes out swinging against Republicans, supports Iraq resolution

People of the 5th district should be proud of their Congressman.

In the mist of the full-mode Republican smear machine against the Democrats (with leader of the pack Indiana Republican Rep. Steve Buyer implying that supporter of the Iraq resolution were "unpatriotic"), Rep Chris Murphy took the podium at 1:00 AM and promptly put the dishonest member of Congress in their place while offering his support for the resolution.

In order to get a true feeling of how intense the debate was between the two political parties when Murphy took the podium, view the videoclip and watch the atmosphere Murphy walked into by the end of the session. I couldn't post the entire tirade but this clips picks up when tension reached a boiling point.

Has she no shame?

This week, I've been pretty busy monitoring the events unfolding in D.C. over the Democratic Iraq resolution. In particular, I've been closely monitoring the nonsense coming from the Republicans and waiting to hear the most outrageous statement from the wingnuts.

Somehow I knew that Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM) wouldn't let me down.

If you want to see the real Republican smear machine in action, all one needs to do is watch Rep. Wilson in action. Listen as the Congresswoman stand on the floor of the House and makes the most misleading statement of the entire debate.

Now, watch the follwoing video clip and witness how low Rep. Wilson continues to smear the Iraq resolution and how the Democrats respond to her idiotic charges in force.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ah, excuse me...

Tony Snow: "I'm not sure anything went wrong" in Iraq.
Surely, at this stage, the White House would be willing to admit that conditions in Iraq following the 2003 invasion haven't gone exactly according to plan? White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was asked about this today at the daily briefing, following the release of military documents from 2002 that revealed that the U.S. expected that by now a token American force of 5,000 would be able to keep things under control in Iraq -- and the occupation would require only a two or three month "stabilization" period.

"What went wrong?" the reporter reasonably asked.

Snow replied: "I'm not sure anything went wrong."

He elaborated: "At the beginning of the Civil War, people thought it would all be over at Manassas. It is very difficult -- no, Jessica, the fact is, a war is a big, complex thing. And what you're talking about is a 2002 assessment. We're now in the year 2007, and it is well-known by anybody who has studied any war that war plans immediately become moot upon the first contact with the enemy.

"For instance, a lot of people did not think that we would have the success we had moving swiftly into Baghdad. All I'm saying is that -- what happens is, you're looking at a pre-war assessment, and there have been constant assessments ever since. A war is not a situation where you can sit down and neatly predict what exactly is going to happen. You make your best estimates, but you also understand that there are going to continue to be challenges, there are going to be things that you don't anticipate, there are going to be things that the enemy doesn't anticipate. And the most important task, frankly, is to continue to try to assess near-term and mid-term to figure out how best to address the situation."
Is there anyone left on the planet that's still drinking this flavor of Kool-Aid?

Too Goode to be true

Cue the Klan music...everyone's favorite bigot is on the mic and he doesn't fail in talking like a complete idiot.
Virginia is for lovers.

Connecticut delegation on Iraq resolution

The debate on the floor of the House of Represenatives is pretty intense. Here's video footage of of Connecticut delegation offering threir views on the resolution.

(This post will be updated as the debate continues).
John Larson (D-1st Dist.)

Joe Courtney (D-2nd Dist.)

Rosa DeLauro (D-3rd Dist.)

The shameless Chris Shays (R-4th Dist.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Congressman Murphy holds press conference/releases statement on Iraq resolution

This afternoon, Congressman Chris Murphy held a press conference to discuss his support of a non-binding Iraq resolution that opposes President Bush's plan to add an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq.

Here's audio footage of his statement to the media regarding the statement he plans to deliver on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Below is the text of Congressman Murphy's prepared speech.

I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer for allowing each of us the opportunity to speak on this critical issue, and the co-sponsors of this resolution for their leadership.

The question before this chamber today is a simple one: Do we agree with the nation's military establishment, the country's foreign policy community, and popular opinion, and reject the President's wrongheaded plan to send 21,000 more troops into Iraq ? Or, do we remain silent, like past Congresses, and allow this potentially disastrous escalation to move forward? I think the question answers itself, and I am proud to rise today to register my strong opposition to escalating the war in Iraq.

I am joined on the floor this hour by several of my younger colleagues in the House of Representatives. Our unity is significant and should remind other Members of the House that we are discussing the fates of many young men and women - my classmates and friends - that are at this hour fighting and dying in a country halfway around the world. As younger members, we also serve as reminders that our duty here is to set policies that secure the safety of our country, not just in the coming months and years, but in the coming decades.

Mr. Speaker, I have never fought in a war. I have never shot another man on a battlefield, nor have I been wounded myself. I have been allowed the privilege of representing my constituents in this body because of the selfless bravery of the men and women of our Armed Services who have volunteered to go overseas and fight. And therefore it is my duty to thank them for their service, and to be their advocate here tonight.

The President is asking a cadre of our bravest men and women to go house to house in Baghdad to root out an insurgency, while he does virtually nothing to address the systemic causes of that insurgency. 100,000 troops may not be enough to do the job that the President is asking 21,000 to do - troop escalation in Baghdad hasn't worked in the past, and it won't work here. Through his actions, the President is putting our soldiers' lives at an unnecessary and unconscionable risk. There is a resolution in Iraq , but it is a political, not military resolution. We owe it to our soldiers, who have done everything we have asked them to do, to stand up to a President who has asked them to do a job that they cannot, and should not, do.

And beyond the duty we owe to the current generation of troops on the ground in Iraq, our responsibility also lies with the generations to come. I decided to seek a seat in this House at a young age because I know that the decisions being made within this chamber will have dramatic consequences in the world in which my future children and grandchildren will live. I came here to begin a conversation that acknowledges that what will make my future grandchildren safe is not a nation built on bullying - not a strategy based on scattershot military intervention - but a comprehensive foreign policy that combines American might with American humility.

We live in a world in which our own supposed allies foster extremism and violence among the most marginalized members of their society. At the same time, this Administration strangely views cultural and political global detachment as a virtue, rather than a weakness. This combination causes those that speak different tongues and worship different gods to look upon our great nation with undeserved derision.

This must change. We do that in three parts. First, we must pass this resolution. Second, in the coming days and months, we must redeploy our troops to home and to fights that are central to the war on terror such as Afghanistan . And lastly, we must begin to renew the multilateral spirit that once made this country great by proving ourselves to be both a strong America and a humble America .

Mr. Speaker, I stand in support of this resolution today.

Chris Dodd does the cable news rounds

Democratic Senator and Presidential candidate Chris Dodd was all over the cable news channels yesterday answering questions regarding the degrading situation on Iraq, the latest drumbeat from the Bush administration towards Iran, and his latest attempts to fix the damage done to habeas corpus.

(NOTE: Dodd's Hardball interview is clipped a bit at the end).

Senator Dodd on Hardball:

Senator Dodd on the Situation Room:

The xenophobe follies continue

(cross post from HatCityBLOG)

He's at it again.
A group advocating stricter immigration rules asked federal officials this week to conduct a criminal investigation of the city of Danbury and its residents for housing and employment policies that it believes promote illegal immigration and violate federal immigration laws.

The same group, the CT Citizens for Immigration Control (CTCIC), filed a complaint in 2005 with the U.S. attorney's office against Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy and Bill Callion, the city's director of public safety, for authorizing "no-hassle" zones for day laborers in the city. That complaint is still pending, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Connecticut.

The group sent its latest request to the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service and the state attorney general.

"The city of Danbury has become one large illegal smuggling, employment and housing operation," Paul Streitz, founder and co-director of the group, said in a statement. "This is racketeering. It is coordinating various operations with one intent: to displace resident citizens with illegals."
Good grief...watching Steitz and his goonsquad in the CTCIC is like watching a Three Stooges movie.

To illustrate my point, watch this videoclip from the immigration forum when members of the CTCIC pulled their usual comical nonsense and Streitz made his "announcement" about his complaint against Mayor Boughton (make sure to keep an eye on the audience while these xenophobes waste everyone's time with their babbling).

Okay, lets recap:

This is the same Paul Streitz and CTCIC that do nothing but hold idiotic publicity stunts which a MAJORITY of people in Danbury and Connecticut simply ignore and/or ridicule.
The list can go on and on but there I don't want to waste the entire blog post on this nonsense. If you want more information on the xenophobic morons in the CTCIC, the Danbury IMC did a great in-depth story on the group and it's worth a read.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Immigration attorney criticizes Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton's immigraiton policy

As a sneak preview of the upcoming video posting of the immigration forum held at the Wilton Library last week, here is exclusive video of Tereza Pereira's attorney, Michael Boyle, views on Mayor Mark Boughton's immigration "enforcement" policy.

For those who don't know, Pereira is an individual who was in the middle of the difficult task of obtaining her citizenship when she was arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. After a long stay in jail, attorney Boyle was able to get Pereira released from jail and have her immigration case re-opened after filing a motion with the court.
A federal immigration judge in Hartford had agreed to reopen Pereira's immigration case and release her from jail after her attorney, Michael Boyle, had filed a motion in Hartford Immigration Court on Tuesday. It described previous attorneys' errors that led to Pereira's arrest at her Danbury home last month.

The judge agreed with Boyle that Pereira and her husband Lima, who both started working with Hartford-based lawyers in the 1990s to gain legal status, did not receive a fair hearing before immigration officials.

After several errors and miscommunication by previous attorneys, immigration officials ordered both of them removed, Boyle said. Pereira and Lima say they were never notified of that decision.

His comments at the forum echoes those of other individuals who have spoken out against Mayor Boughton's policy and as more details surrounding Pereira's situation, as well as the events surrounding the arrest of eleven day-laborers last year, come to the surface, expect more people top step forward and express their opinion (and/or outrage).

Come back as more video clips from the immigration forum (as well as the entire event) will be posted throughout the week.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Amann flashback and the 169 DTC strategy

Ring, ring, CTBlogger calling here with your wake-up call.

As a friendly reminder of the type of Liebercrat Democrat we have currently running the State House of Representatives, here's a little flashback video featuring the the man vowed to crush all his competition in 2008, House Speaker James Amann.

While you watch this video clip, never forget Amann's true feelings towards those "shrieking" Ned Lamont supporters who dared to challenge his man Joe Lieberman (BTW: this is the same person who threw the state Democratic Party under the bus by supporting Lieberman AFTER the primary. Oh, did I mention that Amann is currently the most powerful Democrat at the State Capitol?)

Why post this you ask...well, it's quite simple.

As long as we have politicians like Speaker Amann and people such as a certain person at State Central who obviously had no problem celebrating with the person who lied, smeared, and (with the assistance of Republican donations via the blessing of the White House) defeated the Democratic nominee for senate, meaningful change within the Democratic Party in Connecticut will never become a reality and the status quo will go back to business as usual.

This is where you can come in and make a difference.

If you want change, then please remember that change starts at the local level. In other words, it's critical that you learn more about your local Democratic Town Committees and GET INVOLVED.

Mattw has written two excellent diaries on this subject (here and here) and I strongly encourage everyone to give them a read. Here are some key points.

1) Know your local party!

Unlike in most states, the parties in each town actually get to appoint people to local commissions, so involvement in DTCs is a real bridge to local governing power. As a result, DTCs tend to be large organizations that provide a broad base of support for local officials, and are usually organized to allow one DTC member for every 30-200 registered Democrats in the town. However, there are layers in each DTC: policy , nominating, and steering committees, District Leaders/Ward Chairs, DTC officers, state delegates, appointments to town government, and oftentimes, elected representatives from the town who serve on or participate in DTC proceedings. (Branford Boy laid out a good discussion of a DTC structure in a long-ago post here.)

2) Identify progressives and mentors (and vacancies!)

Once a list is developed of the Democratic Town Committee and various associated people, identify people who are the existing progressive base in the local structure: DTCs have a certain conservative quality to them, such that a sudden or radical challenge to existing practices will normally meet with resistance by long-time participants. Identifying the established people who will shepherd in new faces and new ways of doing thing is an important part of bringing about change.

Support for Lamont (and by extension, progressive politics or the legitimate structure of the party's democratic processes) may or may not be a valid way of determining someone's attitude. Post-primary support for Lieberman, however, is probably a fair indicator of someone's innate hostility to change.

Also, identifying vacancies in the structure (either on DTCs or appointments) is a great way to make immediate progress, allowing enthusiastic volunteers to start participating on an official level immediately.

3) Form an official or unofficial caucus of Democratic Progressives

Keeping progressive DTC'ers, Lamont people, DFA members, MoveOn people, and other liberal activists in touch with one another - in town and across town boundaries - multiplies everyone's effectiveness. This could be a simple directory people opt into, or a more formal structure with meetings and shared resources.

4) Build a strategic local agenda

Now, every town is different, and there will be more or less resistance depending on many variables -- too many to list here (plus I don't know enough besides :) However, BranfordBoy recommended a "recruit two" strategy for progressive DTC members, and each town will have specific needs that those wishing to participate can fill.

For example, immediate recruitment would work best for single-district towns with current DTC vacancies, while rallying volunteers to participate in the 2007 local elections builds connections and credibility for those wishing to participate in a town without vacancies. Some towns are in need of people who take part in campaigns, or young people / students, or to do specific tasks: finding out exactly how much the DTC needs things done will determine how and where new people can participate. Whether you "recruit two" or build a road into the organization in some other way, set realistic and specific goals for how much and what kind of change your local DTC will accept.

5) Build a regional or statewide agenda

Having an established base in every town allows larger-scale programs, including:

  • Coordinate policy recommendations - DTCs can issue resolutions asking State Representatives and State Senators to carry legislation for them, and a DTC-based progressive caucus could coordinate a joint effort to prod the Democrats in Hartford to carry legislation to the floor on our behalf, as well as cultivate local support from town officials or committees that would benefit from that legislation.

  • Train and develop candidates for office, and cultivate a local base to make qualifying donations for publicly-financed campaigns

  • Recommend candidates for RTMs, State Reps, etc during the nomination processes

  • Support progressive DTC members at the bi-annual DTC elections

  • Coordinate floor activities at party conventions and nominating caucuses
Sounds good huh?

Most DTC are meeting during this time of the month so there's still plenty of time for you to get involved.

Stop bitching about the State Democrats and do something...remember, change starts one town at a time.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies...

From the January 23 Public Safety committee hearing, watch and listen as Department of Public Safety Commissioner Leonard Boyle and Hartford Chief of police, Daryl Roberts, falls on Gov. Jodi Rell's sword and spread misinformation (a.k.a LIE) regarding the arrest of freelance journalist/blogger Ken Krayeske.

Some things to consider when you watch and hear the lies.

1. Chief Police officer Roberts stated that Krayeske was "aggressively approaching the governor" when arrested although several witnesses as well as a a Hartford Courant reporter who was on the scene give a different account of the incident.

2. Krayeske was arrested by the police AFTER he photographed Gov. Rell on the parade route.

3. Krayekse's name was placed on a "secret list" which was distributed among the police officers and was singled out as a "threat."

Oh, I could go on forever so I'll just let the video speak for itself.

UPDATE: I've just been told that State Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, and state Rep. Michael Lawlor are "drafting bills that would require law enforcement to use greater care in assessing the potential threat posed by political dissidents."

Brian Lockhart did write-up on the proposal in today's Stamford Advocate:
Lawlor said he is concerned state police oversold Krayeske as a threat to their Hartford counterparts.

The legislation he and McDonald are proposing could prevent a re-occurrence by defining political dissidents versus threats; limiting the circumstances for surveillance on dissidents; ensuring that security briefings include reminders to respect constitutional rights; and creating a legislative oversight committee to review the procedures every few months, Lawlor said.

"The problem here is there was nothing about Ken Krayeske's history that would lead one to believe he's an actual, physical threat to the governor," Lawlor said. "The most he'd be a candidate for is heckling or trying to talk to the governor in the parade. I have no problem . . . if a cop stood next to him as the governor went by, asked him for ID or hassled him for a little bit. But they didn't. They arrested him on sight."

Lawlor and McDonald also are pursuing legislation to better control bail amounts and ensure they are not artificially inflated to detain individuals.

Boyle's memo to Rell does not explain why his bail was set at $75,000. Lawlor, a former prosecutor with the state's attorney's office in New Haven, said the amount is "ridiculous."

"Something extraordinary happened in the Krayeske situation where, by all accounts, it appears bail was used to deprive (him) of his liberty long enough to get past the governor's ball," McDonald said.
This quote from Lawlor should alarm everyone (as a blogger, I know it concerns me bigtime).
Lawlor said he has "anecdotal evidence" that such actions are becoming more routine in Connecticut.
In other words, if it happened to Ken, it could happen to anyone.

No concerned people...very concerned.