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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday afternoon with Nirvana

Miss ya Kurt.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Judiciary committee/same-sex marriage video roundup

SSM

Same-sex marriage moves one step closer to reality in Connecticut.
One of the Judiciary Committee Co-Chairman framed the 27 to 15 vote on gay marriage Thursday as “historic.”

Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, urged the members of the committee to look into the future and try to imagine how history will judge their vote because “no matter who you are or how you vote on this issue, this vote today will stand out in your mind in the future.”

The weight of Lawlor’s opening remarks resonated with both proponents and opponents of the legislation.
Here are video highlights of the meeting (with liveblogging comments from MLN).

State Rep. Rowe (R-123rd Dist) amendment and discussion.
That calls for a non-binding referendum to allow the people to have a say. To be held this coming November with the question "Do you support marriage for same-gendered couples in the state of CT?" Moved and seconded.

Rep. Lawlor opposes the amendment. Never once has the legislature resorted to this type of referendum, that's what our constituents put us here for, to represent their opinions. Thinks this would be a bad precedent to start and would undermine the role of the legislature in the long run. Also, with specific application to this issue, doesn't seem right to have a majority vote on the rights of a minority; no one has ever had to face a vote on his or her marriage.

Sen. Meyer asks whether this can be added without a public hearing on the issue, since it would be a change in law (Sen. Handley raised a similar question). Sen. McDonald says it's a proper amendment for committee's consideration. I have to step away so I'm going to miss the conclusion to this debate.



Sen Handley (D-4th Dist), supports bill:
Voted against civil unions bill in committee, voted for it on the floor as the best we could do at the time. (In other words, she wanted full marriage two years ago.) Discussion of evolution of definition of marriage, the roles of parents in raising children, etc etc. Also, expansion of civil rights--civil rights are an ongoing and developing organic thing. It's time for people who truly want to be married at a time when so many choose not to get married to have that right.


Handley
Uploaded by ctblogger

Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D-3rd Dist), votes yes in committee but...
BUT will vote no on the floor. Two years ago, some committee members chose to leave the room rather than vote yes or no on the bill getting out of committee... Same thing happened on the floor, people disappeared. That's not why people put us here, they want us to know what's going on, they want us to ask them what they think, etc. She voted for civil union to get its full hearing so she voted it out of committee but then voted no on the floor. Will do the same with the marriage bill.




Rep. Pat Dillon (92nd Dist.), in favor of bill.

Very moving testimony, tough decision, but she's listened and is voting yes today.



Sen Ed Gomes (D-23rd Dist.)
Oooh, I missed the beginning of this, but he is MAD at Bill Donohue and that obnoxious email. He will not be bullied.

He believes in live and let live. He is voting for this b/c he thinks it's the right thing to do. And another shout out at Donohue. Wow, he is mad. (And rightfully so.)



Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140th Dist.) goes on and on and on...
Morris is citing the Loving v. Virginia decision, which I've done a lot of research on myself. Here's the Wikipedia entry on Loving V. Virginia.

And I'd just like to quote from this key text from Loving to put this in context, with text on race replaced with sexual orientation/gender:

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as sexual orientation, a classification so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by gender or sexual orientation. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of the same gender resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.


State Rep. William Tong (147th Dist.), voting yes.
Today, tomorrow, from now on. I love this guy.


Rep Tong
Uploaded by ctblogger

Senator Andrew McDonald (D-27th Dist.), voting yes (and roll count on same-sex bill).
I'm so proud of him. It's a proud moment for him -- hey, a proud moment for us, too. I'm so proud that my Senator is leading the committee that is leading our legislature on the right side of history on the marriage equality issue.

History will look back on you as a hero, Senator. No doubt about it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Imus fired from CBS

I hope they fire his entire on-air staff as well.
CBS announced Thursday that it has fired Don Imus from his radio program, following a week of uproar over the radio host's derogatory comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team.

"There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society," CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said in announcing the decision. "That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision."

It's a stunning fall for one of the nation's most prominent broadcasters. Time Magazine once named the cantankerous broadcaster as one of the 25 Most Influential People in America, and he is a member of the National Broadcaster Hall of Fame.

But Imus found himself at the center of a storm after he called members of the Rutgers team "nappy-headed hos" last week. Protests ensued, and one by one, numerous sponsors pulled their ads from Imus' show. On Wednesday, MSNBC dropped its simulcast of the program.

[...]

Imus, who was suspended by CBS Radio for two weeks without pay beginning next week, was in the awkward situation of broadcasting Thursday's radio program from the MSNBC studios in New Jersey, even though NBC News said the night before that MSNBC would no longer simulcast his program on television.

He didn't attack MSNBC for its decision — "I understand the pressure they were under," he said — but complained the network was doing some unethical things during the broadcast. He didn't elaborate.

He acknowledged again that calling the Rutgers women's basketball players "nappy-headed hos" a day after they had competed in the NCAA championship game had been "really stupid." He said he had apologized enough and wasn't going to whine about his fate.

"I said it," he said. "I wouldn't be here if I didn't say it."

Sharpton and Jackson emerged from a meeting with Moonves saying the corporate chief had promised to consider their requests.

"It's not about taking Imus down," Sharpton said. "It's about lifting decency up."

Same sex marriage live-blogging at MLN

Be sure to check out the Judiciary Committee live-blogging thread regarding same-sex marriage over at My Left Nutmeg. I'll be over at the site adding video clips from the hearing throughout the night.

Joe Lieberman's fantasy versus reality

Fantasy:

Reality:


...more reality.

Nuff said.

Hat tip to the great Scarce for saving me the trouble

NAACP finally speaks out against Lieberman, Dodd

This was long overdue.
As Sen. Joseph Lieberman Wednesday said he would continue to appear on radio host Don Imus' show, the president of the state NAACP chapter blasted both Connecticut senators for continuing to support Imus.

Lieberman, a regular guest on Imus' morning program, called the acerbic host's racially charged remarks about the Rutgers' women's basketball team "deeply offensive," but said he would not boycott the show because Imus is a "friend."

Sen. Chris Dodd, who announced his presidential bid on Imus' show in January, criticized Imus' comments this week, but stopped short of saying he wouldn't appear again on his show.

"I totally disagree with Sen. Dodd and I totally disagree with Sen. Lieberman," said Scot X. Esdaile, who heads the 6,000-member Connecticut NAACP. "They both should pull back immediately."

"They should show their support for the young ladies who were abused," Esdaile said.

I just don't think people like Senator Dodd and LIEberman get the message. Look at their statements.
"I assume the best in people," Dodd said Wednesday. "[Imus] made a mistake, a dreadful one. But he's made an apology and I take it to be sincere."

Lieberman would not discuss his views, instead issuing a statement.

"Don Imus' comments were deeply offensive. He is right to apologize and strive to make amends," the senator said.

"Because he is a friend and I know he is a better person than his remarks would suggest, I will continue to appear on his show. Don's task now is to heal the wounds that he opened by his hurtful comments about the young women on the Rutgers basketball team."

The hypocrisy of Lieberman knows no bounds...
Controversy over his Imus appearances is nothing new to Lieberman, who has been a guest on the program for years - at the same time he has been one of Washington's leading voices urging more morality in public life and in the media.

He was under fire when he ran for vice president in 2000 and president three years later. Even as Imus continued to make controversial, racially tinged remarks, Lieberman continued to appear on the show. Former spokesman Dan Gerstein noted that Imus refrained from making such remarks when the senator was a guest.

"Appearing on a show doesn't mean you sanction everything he does," Gerstein said.

Oh, I get it...out of sight, out of mind. Lieberman and his mouthpiece DANGERStein are a class act.

Hats off to the NAACP for finally stepping up and doing the right thing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The real Don Imus

All you need to know about this prick is in the following videoclip.



IMUS: And I'm going to go talk with the women at Rutgers if I can. And then I'm going to serve my suspension, and then I will come back and we will make this a better program, and we will make me a better person so that while I say I'm a good person, I did say that -- and it's irrelevant whether or not I was trying to be funny. I mean, where did I think that was all right to make fun of --? So, and there's a lot of stuff that we can do, but at some point, I stop playing. So I don't deserve to be fired. And I am not going to be fired without consequences. So, I should be punished and I'm being punished and not insignificantly, by the way. I'm not whining, because I don't feel as bad as those kids feel, and I've said that several times. But, I'm not going to play forever.
What an asshole...good riddance.

Buy bigelow, fight bigotry


Check here for the details.

Obama steps up to the plate, calls for Imus to be fired

Attaboy!
April 11, 2007- In an interview with ABC News Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., called for talk radio host Don Imus to be fired, and said he would never again appear on his show, which is broadcast on CBS Radio and MSNBC television.

"I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus," Obama told ABC News, "but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude."

Obama said he appeared once on Imus's show two years ago, and "I have no intention of returning."...

"He didn't just cross the line," Obama said, "he fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African American women - who I hope will be athletes - that that somehow makes them makes them less beautiful or less important, it was a degrading comment, it's one that I'm not interested in supporting."
Obama answered the call, when will Dodd and Lieberman and the head of the state's NAACP do the same.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Republicans up the ante on Dodd, Lieberman regarding Imus

For once, I agree with Republican Chairman Chris Healy and those politicians and organization leaders who allowed themselves to get caught in this political move have only themselves to blame.
Hartford - Connecticut State Party Chairman Chris Healy Tuesday called on U.S. Sens. Christopher J. Dodd and Joseph I. Lieberman to end their silence and demand that radio host Don Imus be fired from his CBS radio show.

"The time has come for Joe and Chris to seek federal regulatory action against the racist rantings of Don Imus," said Healy. "Given their record of work in the civil rights area, it is critical that our U.S. Senators demand the same level of accountability as any other act of public bigotry."

Despite his apologies, Healy said, Imus has not gotten the message about hateful speech over the federally regulated airwaves and both Lieberman and Dodd have a responsibility to seek action from the Federal Communications Commission to take action.

"A two-week vacation is not the answer, federal fines and a demand that Imus be removed from his show are," said Healy. "Both Sens. Dodd and Lieberman are often eager to appear on the Imus program to talk about their commitment to fairness and promoting racial healing, let us hope they are eager to do the same to seek justice."

Healy said both the Connecticut NAACP and the Legislature's Black and Hispanic Caucus should also weigh in and demand action. Healy sent a letter to both Lieberman and Dodd asking for their active involvement.

"This is not a political issue, but it requires action from political leaders," said Healy. "If we are to stop the endless stream of hurtful speech which is conveniently disguised as satire, then we must stand with those who have been hurt by it."

Healy released a letter he has sent to Scot X. Esdaile, President of the Connecticut NAACP Executive Committee, asking for the group's participation in a boycott of sponsors of the Imus program and action by Sens. Lieberman and Dodd.

"Free speech is a protected right, but hateful racist speech should not be tolerated over the public air waves," said Healy. "There must be consequences, especially for those who continually abuse the privilege as Imus has done."


April 10, 2007

The Honorable Christopher J. Dodd
The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman
United States Senate
Washington, DC. 20515

Dear Senator Dodd and Senator Lieberman:

I think you both would agree with the general assessment that the comments made by syndicated radio host Don Imus concerning the Rutgers University Women's Basketball team were hurtful, racist and beyond the pale of public discourse over a fedeally regulated airwave.

Since each of you have been frequent guests on Mr. Imus' program, I would hope you both would join me and others in publicly denouncing his statements and seek an investigation and action by the governing agency - the Federal Communication's Commission.

The FCC has issued orders and fines for similarly inappropriate comments made by radio personalities over the years, and Mr. Imus' comments would certainly meet any reasonable standard of action. Since each of you has fought for civil rights over the years, I would hope you take this issue as seiously as any other racial incident and demand answers and appropriate action.

At a time where the voices of public discourse must be respectful, I think you would agree that Mr. Imus' actions have crossed the line of deceny and should not be allowed to go unpunished.

I appreciate your attention to matter and hope you can respond in kind.

Very Truly Yours,

Christopher C. Heay
Chairman - Connecticut Republicans

April 10, 2007

Mr. Scott X. Esdaile
President
NAACP Executive Committee
192 Dixwell Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

Re: Don Imus Radio Program

Dear Mr. Esdaile:

As you must be aware, the comments made recently by syndicated radio host Donald Imus concerning the Rutgers University Women's Basketball team were a racist insult to a dedicated group of student athletes who have been slandered over public airwaves.

Since the Imus program is heard throughout the Connecticut and New York market, many of its sponsors who serve this audience have refused to indicate whether they will pull their advertising in the wake of these comments or the insufficient punishment meted out by the management of the program - CBS radio.

I hope you could join me in denouncing and boycotting the sponsors of the Imus program and seeking action against Imus and CBS through the Federal Communications Commission. I hope to enlist the support of our two U.S. Senators, Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman, both of whom have been frequent guests on the program in question.

These racists insults have no place over the public airwaves and it is important that leaders from all political sides come together to seek action and promote racial healing.

I will send you copies of the letters I intend to send to both Sens. Dodd and Lieberman seeking their prompt action with the FCC and hope you will support them as well.

Please feel free to contact me at any time, and I appreciate your attention to this important issue.

Very Truly Yours,

Christopher C. Healy
Chairman - Connecticut Republicans
Although this is TOTALLY a political move be Healy, the fact that we haven't heard a peep from "holy" Joe Lieberman, Chris Dodd (both of whom are regulars on Imus' show) and the silence from the HEAD OF THE N.A.A.C.P is simply outrageous.

I'm working on one hell of a post regarding Imus and his history of bigoted remarks and I'll offer my views on one of the most disgusting individuals on radio at a later time.

UPDATE: Well, it seems like Dodd and Lieberman are playing a game of dodgeball
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) was observing Passover on Tuesday and was therefore unreachable, spokesman Rob Sawicki said. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) was on vacation, an aide said. Edwards had yet to speak about the comments....

By late Tuesday afternoon, Dodd spoke up. "As the father of two young girls, I can imagine how hurtful these comments were to these young women and their parents," Dodd said in a statement. "The comments were wrong and unacceptable." He did not, however, say whether he would do the show again.
Hat tip to tparty for the catch.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sunday night with Alanis Morissette

I miss the old days of hip-hop rap music.

Pioneer groups like, Afrika Bambaataa, KRS-ONE, Grandstar, EPMD, De la Soul, Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, and others during that time period, never resorted to portraying a destructive lifestyle (drugs, exploitation of women, gang violence) in order to sell records. Music during those days were more uplifting to the African-American community (e.g. Grandmaster Flash's song, "The Message") than most of the stuff you see and hear today.

A majority of the hip-hop music garbage on television today is basically a slap in the face to the early rap groups that suffered and struggled in their quest to bring their style of music out of the underground and into the mainstream (trust me, in the early 80s, rap music received NO respect on mainstream radio).

It's for that reason that I picked the following video for tonight. You'll understand what I mean when you watch the clip.

Geraldo Rivera: The best person in the world

Trust me, this will be the first and last time anyone will way this about Geraldo Rivera but he deserves this title.