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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Saturday afternoon with Curtis Mayfield


Friday, April 06, 2007

Blog against Theocracy

This site is a proud member of "Blog against Theocracy" and in honor of those political activists who feel that society should be based on religious beliefs (e.g. against administering the Plan B pill, against same-sex marriage), I offer you the following video from First Freedom First.

The CTLauryn project: month four

It's been a while since I did a report on CTLauryn so here's the latest.

My wacky daughter of four months did something so cool this week...after countless training by yours truly, CTLauryn held her bottle for the first time. I know, I know, it sounds really lame but I'm really enjoying the whole father thing and I cherish every moment I have with the little one. I can't wait to show her off at church on Sunday!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Congressman Murphy announces his appointment as Chairman of Congressional Open Space Caucus

This is great news for the fifth district!
Today, Congressman Chris Murphy (CT-5) held a press conference to announce his appointment as Chairman of the Congressional Open Space Caucus, and update residents of the Fifth District on his work to protect the Farmington River and the Metacomet Monadnock Mattabesett (MMM) trail.

"I am thrilled to be taking a lead role on environmental and open space issues in Washington. Protecting the environment is why I became active in politics, and I am making protecting open space one of my top priorities in Congress," said Murphy.

As Chairman of the Congressional Open Space Caucus, Murphy will assist the House leadership in crafting legislation to protect open space across the country. Murphy sought out this position because he knows that protecting open space in the Fifth District is so important to his constituents. Since taking office, he has met with several organizations whose missions are to protect various trails, rivers, and scenic vistas in the District.

"I am committed to working with people in the Fifth District to protect the environmental character of our corner of Connecticut," said Murphy.
Not only do we have a Democratic State Rep who working to protect open space, NOW we a Congressman who's going to keep a VERY, VERY close eye on the open space issues in Danbury as well.

The citizens of Connecticut should be proud.

Here's a sample of some of items on Murphy's agenda.
In his first months in office, Murphy has begun to work with his Northeast Congressional delegation colleagues to ensure that the Partnership for Wild and Scenic Rivers program is adequately funded so that the Farmington River is protected. He is also working to ensure that the study designed to examine the extension of the Farmington River 's Wild and Scenic designation signed into law last year is adequately funded and implemented. The Farmington River provides the Hartford region with its drinking water, and it is the most fished river in the state, so its cleanliness is vital to the meet the needs of Connecticut residents.

Murphy has also signed on to legislation, HR 1528, the New England National Scenic Trail Designation Act, to extend and protect the MMM trail, which stretches 220 miles through Massachusetts and Connecticut , cutting through the Farmington Valley . Two million people live within ten miles of the trail and thousands of Connecticut residents enjoy the recreational opportunities provided by the trail.

"The Farmington River and the MMM trail are two of the unique assets that make Northwestern Connecticut so special. Without a proactive effort on the part of Congress to protect assets like these, we could threaten the unique character of Northwestern Connecticut ," said Murphy.

Finally, Murphy is also leading an effort to galvanize support among his freshman colleagues in the House of Representatives for legislation to address global warming.

"Global warming is the most pressing environmental issue of our time. We entered Congress at a time when public demand for action to address global warming has reached critical mass. As new members of Congress elected to bring change to Washington , it is our responsibility to begin to solve this growing crisis," Murphy wrote in a letter to his freshman colleagues.

Murphy is an original cosponsor of HR 1590, The Safe Climate Act of 2007. To assist the lead sponsor, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman, Murphy is garnering support among the new Member class for the legislation.

Murphy has long advocated for reducing emissions and increasing our reliance on alternative energy sources. Last summer, he unveiled a comprehensive energy plan to reduce the nation's reliance on foreign oil and to protect the environment.

HR 1590 directs the federal government to take various steps to reduce U.S. emissions of the pollutants that cause global warming to 1990 levels by 2020. These steps will be achieved by amending landmark laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act to ensure that emissions are gradually reduced by freezing emissions from further increasing in 2010, and by reducing emissions by roughly 2% per year from 2011 to 2020. These cuts could be achieved using existing technologies, such as alternative energy sources. From 2020 to 2050, with more advanced technologies available, emissions would be reduced by roughly 5% per year.

No word from Lieberman on Fox appointment; where is the local media when you need them?

Can someone in the mainstream media PLEASE get Joe Lieberman on record about the recess appointment of Sam Fox. Seems like George Bush's waterboy has gone into hiding and he not a big fan of this blog.

Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

New Hampshire primary voters say money doesn't matter

WTNH ran a report on New Hampshire's response to Senator Dodd's 1st quarter fundraisier numbers. Let's say that based on those who responded, money is not as important to the people of New Hampshire as you might think.

Bush gives the middle finger to Congress; appoints Lieberman's friend as ambassador

Oh, isn't this just great. The President gives a big F-U to Congress appoints Joe Lieberman's buddy (and major donor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) to U.S. ambassador.
President Bush named Republican fundraiser Sam Fox as U.S. ambassador to Belgium on Wednesday, using a maneuver that allowed him to bypass Congress where Democrats had derailed Fox's nomination.

Democrats had denounced Fox for his 2004 donation to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The group's TV ads, which claimed that Sen. John Kerry exaggerated his military record in Vietnam, were viewed as a major factor in the Massachusetts Democrat losing the election.

Recognizing Fox did not have the votes to obtain Senate confirmation, Bush withdrew the nomination last month. On Wednesday, with Congress out of town for a spring break, the president used his power to make recess appointments to put Fox in the job without Senate confirmation.
Help smear a Vietnam veteran, get a U.S. ambassador post. As Joe Lieberman stated on Sunday's Face the State, he sees no problem with Fox (surprise).
"It was not fair based on one political contribution this man made to deny him the honor of being an ambassador"

Joe Lieberman: A man with no shame.

UPDATE: Chris Dodd isn't very happy.
"It is outrageous that the President has sought to stealthily appoint Sam Fox to the position of ambassador to Belgium when the President formally requested that the Fox nomination be withdrawn from the Senate because it was facing certain defeat in the Foreign Relations Committee last week. I seriously question the legality of the President's use of the recess appointment authority in this instance. I intend to seek an opinion on the legality of this appointment from the Government Accountability Office and invite other Senators to join with me in that request. This is underhanded and an abuse of Executive authority -- sadly this behavior has become the hallmark of this administration."

John Kerry issued this statement:
It's sad but not surprising that this White House would abuse the power of the presidency to send a donor to Belgium over the objections of the Senate.

When it comes to getting body armor for our soldiers or relief for New Orleans, they're AWOL, but they'll move heaven and earth to reward a smear.

This White House has governed on fear and smear for far too long. Today's move shows it is wedded to the politics of personal character assassination that they are willing to take unprecedented steps to reward donor Sam Fox with an Ambassdorship.

Last week, the White House acknowledged that Sam Fox did not have the support of the Foreign Relations committee to succeed. Rather than lose a vote, they withdrew his nomination. Rather than fight on principle, they are hiding behind cowardly and perhaps illegal tactics. Today we see they will go to all odds to reward its biggest donor.

This is another abuse of power by this White House and shows an utter disregard of Congress's role in the nominating process. It's time this White House learns it can't change the rules just to win its game.

Unfortunately, this White House is so inseparable from the politics of character assassination that they would take unprecedented steps to install Sam Fox as Ambassador. It's cowardly to buck the will of the Foreign Relations Committee to reward a donor whose nomination was withdrawn rather than face outright rejection. Never before has a president used a recess appointment to support a withdrawn nominee. Every time this White House shows that if they can't win the game, they just change the rules, our democracy and the constitution loses.

The lurker

The title of this post tells the story.

Be afraid...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on John McCain: The "Straight Talk Express" has come off the road

It seems like Joe Lieberman and John McCain are living in their own little fantasy land nowadays. You see, George Bush's favorite lapdogs are desperately trying to spin the notion that life in Iraq is getting better but it seems that no one is buying their "good news"...including members of the media.

From Monday's Imus in the Morning, here's Jonathan Alter ripping McCain's message to shreds.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Say it ain't so Judith?

Talk about a "compassionate conservative" woman.
Judith Giuliani once demonstrated surgical products for a controversial medical-supply company that used dogs - which were later killed - in operations whose only purpose was to sell equipment to doctors, The Post has learned.

"It was a horribly cruel, outrageous program," Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral said about the demonstrations of medical staplers on dogs conducted by U.S. Surgical Corp. employees during Giuliani's tenure there in the late 1970s.

Feral said U.S. Surgical's demonstrations on hundreds of dogs each year through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s were done to boost sales, not for medical re search or testing.

The dogs were "either put to death following the sales demonstrations because they can't re cover from them, or they die during them," Feral said.

"I'm not going to characterize her, but I hope she regrets it for what it was - a mon ey-grubbing effort," said Feral, whose Da rien, Conn.-based activist group waged a heated public-relations battle with the Norwalk-based company for more than a decade.
I can't wait for the press to question her over this nonsense.

The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut releases new ad

On the heels of Bill Hillsman's popular television ad for The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, the nonprofit statewide charity released a new radio ad and press release, which makes the claim that motor vehicles in Connecticut are better insured than more than 400,000 residents of the state. .
The ad, drawing on the power of radio's theater-of-the mind, makes the case that Connecticut is more concerned about insuring cars than insuring people. The spot showcases a sick man who decides he’s ill enough that he must jump into his car to head to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. As he arrives, he crashes his car into the wall of a hospital but tells people not to worry since he has "comprehensive auto coverage."

The ad draws sharp contrast that while the man isn't covered by health insurance, his car is covered -- since it is mandated by law. The state of Connecticut requires that all registered motor vehicles carry liability insurance and that insurance must be maintained at all times when there is an active registration entitling the vehicle to be operated on the public highway.

"The question about someone needing health care at some point in their life isn't 'if'. It's "when," and "where," and "how," said Juan A. Figueroa, President of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. "And if someone isn't covered by insurance, they often wait until a condition is serious and then end up in the emergency room where they inevitably will be treated. This is far more expensive than paying for preventive care and taxpayers end up footing the bill on the backend. By providing comprehensive, universal coverage up front, we can make sure everyone in the state has coverage, prevent expensive visits to the emergency room, and save Connecticut taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year."

Congressman Murphy/Courtney to introduce legislation to improve, fix Medicare Part D Drug Program

Fixing the Medicare Part D prescription drug program is long overdue...
On Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 12:30pm, Congressmen
Joe Courtney (CT-02) and Chris Murphy (CT-05) will host a joint press conference to announce legislation they intend to offer in Congress to improve and expand the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

Murphy and Courtney have long been advocates for fixing certain harmful provisions in the prescription drug program to give Connecticut 's seniors a program with real savings and without penalties.
The Murphy/Courtney joint presser will happen tomorrow at 12:30 tomorrow, Room 1B at the LOB (State Capitol). I'll provide a full round-up of the event tomorrow including interviews with Congressman Murphy and Courtney tomorrow.

Gov. Rell's $1 Metro-North surcharge proposal scrapped

Another of Gov. Rell's proposals is dead in the water.
A legislative working group is proposing that the state borrow most of the money it needs to purchase new rail cars and scrap plans for a $1-per-ticket surcharge on Metro-North passengers.

The surcharge, slated to go into effect next year, was part of a $1.3 billion transportation improvement package that was passed in 2005. It is estimated to generate about $20 million yearly.

Critics said they worried that higher rail fares would discourage people from using the trains and could hurt the state's efforts to ease congestion on Interstate 95.

The working group's plan, released Saturday night by Sen. William Nickerson, R-Greenwich, and Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, calls for borrowing $20 million each year for seven years with 20-year bonds. The debt service on the notes would be covered by raising fairs by 1 percent each year for seven years beginning in 2010.

"While the plan is still in draft form, it represents a major step forward in keeping fares as low as possible in order to encourage ridership," the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

Some lawmakers said they did not like the surcharge when it was proposed, but did not try to change it when the legislature passed the $1.3 billion transportation package because they knew there would be enough time to modify it before 2008.

Another poll Joe Lieberman will ignore

Newsweek just released a poll which shows a clear majority of the public supports adding a time deadline to the new Iraq War funding bill.

When will Joe Lieberman get the message?