Happy New Year

image not to be used without written permission from artist

Well, 2006 has certainly been quite a year. The campaign for Michael Arcuri for Congress, by far, has been my greatest adventutre to date. 300 voluntees who are still staying active even though Election Day has come and gone. Paid staff and interns who came together and built an organization the likes of which central NY had never seen before. It was rejuvenating to see young people so energized and passionate about the future and what they can do to shape it. Too often, we see too many people stuck in the quagmires of their daily lives. Too often, we miss that the best way of making those changes we want is to be those changes.

I'm finding it a little hard to settle back into my "normal life" after this adventure. Given that it'll be back in 2008, that's probably a good thing.

Wishing you and your's your own amazing adventure in the new year!


Be Afraid... Be Very, Very Afraid

'They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other."

"Newt Gingrich called for a reexamination of free speech at the Loeb First Amendment Award Dinner in New Hampshire this week, saying a “different set of rules to prevent terrorism” are necessary."

"Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."

How scary is it that I'm starting this entry off by referring to 3 a^%h#(*&? What is that hotline number to call when we suspect that there are terrorists nearby plotting to destroy America?

After all, in Shrub's own words, Newt Gingrich and Dennis Prager are seeking to destroy America and are publically saying it loud and clear.

That Prager started things off by lying about the Congressional Swearing-in ceremony neither excuses his following statements nor gives him the grounds to plead deminished capacity.

And for those of you who remember the Contract on America, this is the lizard's second murder attempt.

Ray Meier had the decency to denounce a particularly nasty attack by the NRCC, but what else do the Neandrathal-Cons have to attack before whatever remaining decent people over in that corner say enough is enough? (weird..I remember that he denounced the ad, but it took a bit of searching on Google to find the documentation on it.)

Or have they all drank so deeply of that Krazy Coolaid that they all truly believe American values need to be destroyed...




Are George W. Bush lovers certifiable?

By Andy Bromage

November 23 2006

A collective “I told you so” will ripple through the world of Bush-bashers once news of Christopher Lohse’s study gets out.

Lohse, a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University, says he has proven what many progressives have probably suspected for years: a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush.

Lohse says his study is no joke. The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush.

But before you go thinking all your conservative friends are psychotic, listen to Lohse’s explanation.

“Our study shows that psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader,” Lohse says. “If your world is very mixed up, there’s something very comforting about someone telling you, ‘This is how it’s going to be.’”

The study was an advocacy project of sorts, designed to register mentally ill voters and encourage them to go to the polls, Lohse explains. The Bush trend was revealed later on.

The study used Modified General Assessment Functioning, or MGAF, a 100-point scale that measures the functioning of disabled patients. A second scale, developed by Rakfeldt, was also used. Knowledge of current issues, government and politics were assessed on a 12-item scale devised by the study authors.

“Bush supporters had significantly less knowledge about current issues, government and politics than those who supported Kerry,” the study says.

Lohse says the trend isn’t unique to Bush: A 1977 study by Frumkin & Ibrahim found psychiatric patients preferred Nixon over McGovern in the 1972 election.

Rakfeldt says the study was legitimate, though not intended to show what it did.

“Yes it was a legitimate study but these data were mined after the fact,” Rakfeldt says. “You can ask new questions of the data. I haven’t looked at” Lohse’s conclusions regarding Bush, Rakfeldt says.

“That doesn’t make it illegitimate, it just wasn’t part of the original project.”

For his part, Lohse is a self-described “Reagan revolution fanatic” but said that W. is just “beyond the pale.” ●


Copyright © 2006, New Haven Advocate


Cleanup in Aisle 3

takes on a whole new meaning...

"Adults take note: Pony comes unassembled in box with head detatched. You may wish to not open the box around your children if they may be frightened by a box with a decapitated horse inside."

How's that for a creepy note?? It's the bene nota on Hasbro's yet to be released Furreal Friends Butterscotch Pony.

That's Furreal.... with an "f."

Seems though that this would have a lot of potential for product placement on The Sopranos...


In a warped altered universe kinda way

Thank you, birdmadd over at YouTube. He posted the scene I think of most every time I hear things like:
-Mission Accomplished
-Somehow it seeped in their conscious that my attitude was just simply stay the course. Stay the course means let's get the job done, but it doesn't mean staying stuck on a strategy or tactics that may not be working. So perhaps I need to do a better job of explaining that we're constantly adjusting.
-This morning my administration released the budget numbers for fiscal 2006. These budget numbers are not just estimates, these are the actual results for the fiscal year that ended February the 30th.
-I worked with [Arizona Congressman] Rick [Renzi] to pass what's called the Healthy Forest Initiative. See, his district has got a lot of important forests. It means that we can work together with local folks to thin out those forests so they're not full of combustionable fuel.
-Mark Foley
-Ted Haggard
-all the others what fit this list who I'm forgetting right now.



A word from the sponsor

I was flipping through television stations last night.

I thought they were showing the NRCC attack ad aimed at Mike Arcuri about dialing a wrong number.

Turned out to be a Victoria Secrets ad.

At least the underwear company didn't send to my house large postcards of
lascivious scantily clad women.

Those came from the Republicans.


Taking Back

The changes I made to this blog tonight are not reflective of any changes in my politics. But I finally made a new necklace tonight and I'm starting to get over bronchitis, so it seemed to be also a good night to put away the campaign related pieces that have been standard decor here for a good part of the last year.

Like all good keepsakes, they are not gone. They'll be back when the season returns.

There's always something shocking about Election Day ending. All the hard work, the intensity, the teamwork, the lack of eating and sleeping, the too much drive-through fast food

then usually



Granted, this year, it's not nothing. The volunteers are still keeping in touch with one another, folks are making plans to meet, we're all watching CNN to catch a glance of Mike Arcuri and checking the newspapers and already volunteering for the 2008 season. And we're looking at ways to continue the change we started here that highlighted with Election Day.

Just like voting is the least anyone can do, we're looking for "what next until 08?"

I'm trying to catch up with friends and family I've been neglecting for months. Trying to get my cat to forgive me. Getting back to creating things. Reading books.

But it doesn't feel right to not carry on the efforts that it took to make Mike our Congressman. Together, we in the NY 24th, stood up to Cheney and Mrs. George Bush and said loud and clear, "No."

Sadly, we said "yes" to crowning the heir apparent who was the other half of making our sales tax the highest on the country. And tonight, it looks like we said "yea" to a sheriff who caused a car accident while chauffeuring a republican candidate from one political event to another political event, then when he was deemed to be at fault, he set his own fines.

The Crazy Koolade has scrambled so many brains, it's no longer about Right or Left. Now it's about Right or Wrong.

I believe that we do know the difference between Right and Wrong. We learn it. We teach it. And too many of us choose Wrong anyway.

When a military debacle is called "Mission Accomplished," when a pedophile is given sanctuary by civil servants, when civil discussion is called treason, when women are threatened by rape...

There is a war of Values waging. There is an attact on Morality. It's time for us to take back America.


Can we charge them with treason?

I was in Tompkins County last night and someone at the rally said that folks there were getting calls after midnight claiming to be from Mike Arcuri's campaign. I'm not a believer of guilt by association, but I just don't like these friends of Ray Meier.

Here's what you can do about these attacks:



from the DCCC

Nov 6, 2006

Dirty Tricks 2006: GOP Spends $600k on Late Night Attack Phone Calls

Dirty Tricks 2006: GOP Spends $600k on Late Night Attack Phone Calls

Republicans Caught Making Calls to Democratic Voters in the Dead of Night to Anger and Turn Them Off to Voting and Dampen Turnout

NRCC Has Spent $2.1 Million on Calls, Nearly $600,000 on Attack Calls in the Last Week Alone.

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, with memories of past intimidation in the minds of voters, national Republican operatives are phoning voters at all hours of the night, especially at 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. to try and dampen Democratic turnout. Reports of these calls have come in from New Hampshire, where the GOP has been forced to stop the calls, and FCC complaints have been filed in Pennsylvania because of the calls. Republicans have spent $2.1 million on calls like these, targeting 46 Democrats in the last week alone. In terms of precedent, in 2002, Republican Party officials in New Hampshire and Washington with ties to the White House jammed phones to prevent Democrats from voting. This is just the latest example of why it’s time for a change in Washington.

“With no record of accomplishment on the economy or border security and no strategy to speak of in Iraq, the only thing Republicans have left to sell is fear itself and Americans aren’t buying,” said Bill Burton, communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It’s time for a new direction in Washington because Americans deserve bipartisan solutions to the problems we face, not more dirty tricks and illegal calls meant to intimidate.”

Illegal Phone Calls By GOP Designed to Turn Off Voters. The Republican National Congressional Committee has agreed to end its automated calling campaign that left the state Democratic Party swamped with phone calls from voters who believed the messages were coming from Democrats. New Hampshire residents had been complaining to the Democrats, party Chairwoman Kathleen Sullivan said, because they thought the calls are coming from congressional challenger Paul Hodes. Instead, they were coming from the National Republican Congressional Committee, on behalf of Rep. Charles Bass, but sound, at first, as though they may be from the Hodes' campaign. Under state law, delivering prerecorded political messages to numbers on any federal do-not-call list is punishable by a fine of $5,000 per call. [AP, 11/5/06, LINK]

Pennsylvania Voters Filed FCC Complaints on Misleading NRCC Ads. According to the Associated Press, “Bruce Jacobson, a software engineer from Ardmore, Pa., received three prerecorded messages in four hours. Each began, ‘Hello, I'm calling with information about Lois Murphy,’ the Democrat running against two-term incumbent Rep. Jim Gerlach in the Philadelphia-area district. ‘Basically, they go on to slam Lois,’ said Jacobson, who has filed a complaint with the FCC because the source of the call isn't immediately known. FCC rules say all prerecorded messages must ‘at the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call.’ During or after the message, they must give the telephone number of the caller. ‘The way they're sent is deceptive. The number of calls is harassing. The way her stances are presented in these stories is deliberately misleading and deceptive,’ said Karlyn Messinger, another Murphy supporter from Penn Valley, Pa., who filed a complaint with the FCC.” [Associated Press, 11/2/06]

NRCC Spends Thousands on Calls Attacking Hayhurst Record on Immigration from Callers with Foreign Accents. According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, “The telemarketing business used by Republicans to flood northeast Indiana with phone calls attacking Democratic congressional candidate Tom Hayhurst promises its political customers ‘a geographically neutral dialect’ to drum up voters. But many people who received the calls said the messages were delivered by voices with Indian or Hispanic accents. Many telemarketing companies hire call centers in India and other countries because of cheap Internet-based telephoning. A representative at FLS headquarters did not respond to a request for an interview. The NRCC paid $13,747 to the telemarketing firm to make thousands of calls this week describing Democrat Hayhurst as ‘bad on immigration’ or an advocate of higher taxes.” [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 11/5/06]

NRCC Has Spent $2.1 Million on Calls, Nearly $600,000 on Attack Calls in the Last Week Alone. As of last week, the NRCC had spent $2.1 million on phone banks. From 10/30 to 11/3, the NRCC spent $597,232.75 on phone calls solely designed to attack 46 Democratic candidates. [www.fec.gov]

Last week alone, the NRCC spent the following money on attack phone calls on the following Democratic candidates. One news report estimated each call costs only 5 cents each.

  • AZ-05: Harry Mitchell: $8210.76
  • CA-04: Charlie Brown: $16,617.24
  • CA-11: Jerry McNerney: $4120.28
  • CA-50: Francine Busby: $2641.68
  • CO-04: Angie Paccione: $10,456.32
  • CT-02: Joe Courtney: $12,844.56
  • CT-04: Diane Farrell: $44,964.56
  • CT-05: Chris Murphy: $17,494.08
  • FL-13: Christine Jennings: $24,638.82
  • FL-16: Tim Mahoney: $16,428.72
  • FL-22: Ron Klein: $3813.36
  • GA-08: Jim Marshall: $10,546.68
  • GA-12: John Barrow: $16,087.86
  • IA-01: Bruce Braley: $8386.26
  • IA-03: Leonard Boswell: $13,812.12
  • ID-01: Larry Grant: $23,752.26
  • IL-06: Tammy Duckworth: $11,474.31
  • IL-08: Melissa Bean: $14,134.38
  • IN-03: Tom Hayhurst: $13,746.88
  • IN-09: Baron Hill: $12,852.36
  • KS-02: Nancy Boyda: $4,093.74
  • KY-02: Mike Weaver: $1,510.74
  • KY-04: Ken Lucas: $15,242.10
  • MN-06: Patty Wetterling: $21,053.90
  • NC-11: Heath Shuler: $11,843.70
  • NE-03: Scott Kleeb: $3,492.66
  • NH-02: Paul Hodes: $19,321.98
  • NM-01: Patricia Madrid: $6,702.42
  • NV-02: Jill Derby: $10,934.16
  • NV-03: Tessa Hafen: $12,197.70
  • NY-19: John Hall: $16,123.62
  • NY-20: Kirsten Gillibrand: $11,143.38
  • NY-24: Mike Arcuri: $6,824.82
  • NY-25: Dan Maffei: $17,183. 46
  • NY-29: Eric Massa: $10,855.26
  • OH-01: John Cranley: $9,236.64
  • OH-02: Victoria Wulsin: $7,953.84
  • OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy: $11,826.84
  • PA-04: Jason Altmire: $23,111.61
  • PA-06: Lois Murphy: $14,253.66
  • PA-08: Patrick Murphy: $18,969.36
  • PA-10: Chris Carney: $3,942.00
  • TX-22: Nick Lampson: $2,258.61
  • VA-02: Phil Kellam: $14,345.58
  • WA-08: Darcy Burner: $14,992.80
  • WI-08: Steve Kagen: $20,794.68


Signs Part 2

Got this from a Volunteer tonight. What a GREAT bunch of people!

In Cortland County, we take great pride in placing Arcuri signs in folk’s yards. We’ve placed about a thousand of them. When one permits us to post a sign, this acts as a bold statement of their support for Mike. A very short list of Mikes ardent supporters are…

Bob and Chris Gregory, Parker Street, Cortland
Henry and Janet Steck, Clinton Street Ext., Homer
Linda Smith, Rt. 11, Marathon
Joaquin and Carol Lira, Prospect Street, Truxton

In the waning days of the campaign Mike’s opponent Ray Meier has apparently received many impressive endorsements of his own as evidenced by his abundant visible yard signs (please see attached). These endorsements include but are not limited to…

Cortlandville Mall
Lackawanna Railroad
Tioghnioga River Bridge Authority
Senior Citizens Highrise Bldg at Pt. Watson Street
Cortland City Parks and Recreation
Cortland Waterworks Dept.
All major State and Federal Highways

This race sure is a dog fight!!!!!!!!!!

Sincerely, Sean Mack PS. GOOOOOOOO MIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Twas the Night Before Election Day

Half of Arcuri Campaign Headquarters, Election Eve 2006

Ray Meier Campaign Headquarters, Election Eve 2006

Clinton visit images

I expect that there were at least 500 people in the crowd. Ray Meier was not one of them.

President Bill Clinton visits for Mike Arcuri

Ray Meier welcomes Dick and Mrs. Bush... $1,000 a shot.

Mike Arcuri welcomes Oneida County to meet Bill Clinton... free

Mike Arcuri for Congress... priceless


Another sip from the crazy koolade

First we were supposed to swallow that "being independent" means "doing what we told him to."

Now, there's a secret blogger who has started because of the lack of discussions "of
issues regarding the 24th congressional race from an independent point of view. "

So what does Secret Blogger do... why, of course, meet that need of an independent view by creating a blog stating that "The intent of this blog is to bring up issues that prove that Ray Meier is the better candidate"


Consider this... Ray Meier voted to lower taxes 222 times. In the tone of the Church Lady, "How special." Has anyone in the District or Oneida County seen their taxes lowered 222 times? And how nice of you all to refund property taxes to Oneida County residents. But you know... we have the hightest sales tax in the state that makes all the dollar stores here really $1.10 stores. EVERYONE pays sales tax... where's OUR refund?

Ray Meier is associated with "professional people" or at least people who wear suits. Yes, professional like those that we all know are the "worst in the nation." For 5 terms yet.

meier24... yet another reason to vote for Mike Arcuri on Tuesday.

And, no, I'm not linking to Secret Blogger whatever number. If you can't figure it out for yourself, it's time to stop drinking the koolade.





CTV came out with a list of the dirty dozen of smear ads in American politics. The top 2 worst smear campaigns, as listed by our neighbors in the north, are:
Bad Call
Un-Indicted Rapist

Top 2 in the whole country.

Repukelicans have had the responsibility of owning up to bad choices removed from their souls.

That's the only reason it's pointless to ask them for an apology for the trash they've been dumping up here.

Shame on them all.

The Truth About Meier and Taxes

This gives a whole new meaning to "the truth hurts, don't it?"

So, let me get this straight...
Unnamed Repukelican leaders are galavanting across the 24th (are they driving the gas-guzzling 1972 Caddy??) whining that Meier isn't to blame for raising taxes because he was only doing what they told him to?

The Repukelican idea of "standing up" is doing what they tell you to do??

It was bad enough that Meier couldn't stand up against Griffo thereby supporting Oneida County being the highest taxed county in the COUNTRY. It turns out, by their own admission, that he supported a bunch of Repkelican leaders in raising our taxes.

Yup, guess that would show the great fortitude to stand up against Rove/Cheney/Bush.

The Truth is.... that's not what we need.

"Truth Squad" aims to get the facts straight

11/1/2006 3:58 PM
By: New 10 Now Staff
Republicans leaders from several counties calling themselves the "Truth Squad" are traveling across the 24th Congressional District. They're on the attack against TV ads launched against State Senator Ray Meier, their party's congressional candidate.

The leaders say its unfair to claim Meier is responsible for raising sales taxes in their counties when, in fact, he was simply honoring their requests to raise sales tax in order to avoid big property tax hikes to pay for Medicaid. The county leaders praised Meier for honoring the requests and also working on solving the Medicaid issue.

“Our budget is around $160 million this year. Within five years, we will save $42 million in our Medicaid bill because of the legislation that ray Meier pushed for us in Albany,” said Shawn Gray, of the St. Lawrence County Legislature.

“Senator Meier was doing his job, as difficult as it can be sometimes. He stood up. He did what he was requested to do, and if more of our people in Albany would do that, we'd all be better off,” Onondaga County Executive Nicholas Pirro said.

Meier is facing a close race against Oneida County District Attorney Michael Arcuri.


Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Yea, they like him too!

Just hope I'm not jinxing them into vanishing like so many others. I met a gentleman the other day who told me that as he was driving to work one morning, he saw a car ahead of him pull over to the side of the road, the driver got out and pulled out the Arcuri sign then took it and left it in the nearby woods. Well, the gentleman I was speaking with went home that night and saw the televised debate. The next morning, he pulled over to the side of the road on his way to work. He walked into tho wood and found the sign. And he put it back in it's original place alongside the road.


Lying Liars and the Lies they Love

OK, the Conservatives need to stop drinking that wacky kool-ade. It's making my head spin.

The same National Conservative Weekly that created the "sex-phone call" story and then disproved it, just did it again with their latest skit with the NRCC attacking Mike Arcuri.

Here's what they wrote about the "sex-phone call"
A close examination of those expense reports reveals that Arcuri billed taxpayers in 2004 for a call to a phone-sex number. [potentially offensive material removed by me] The phone number appears on Arcuri’s hotel bill. He was attending the New York State District Attorneys Association conference in New York City at the time.

(This afternoon, after this story was posted, I was informed that the number in question, 800-457-8462, was accidentally dialed instead of 518-457-8462. The latter number is for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. However, this new information raises questions about why Arcuri dialed his calling card, 800-255-2255, just one minute after hanging up on the phone sex hotline, as his hotel bill indicates. The campaign has still not returned my calls seeking an explanation.)
Here's what they wrote today about the rapist who's still in jail:
The ad begins with a photo of a man named Thomas Griffiths, who the announcer says served time for felony sex abuse and was later jailed for another sex crime. After Griffiths cooperated with the Oneida County district attorney's office, one of Arcuri's deputies wrote a letter on Griffiths' behalf to the parole board. But Griffiths was arrested again after his release, leading the announcer to accuse Arcuri of breaking his promise to "create a safer community."

According to the New York State Department of Correctional Services, which has a searchable database of Thomas Griffiths' records, he was arrested for sex-related crimes in 1990 and 1994. When up for parole in 1998, Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Scott D. McNamara wrote a favorable letter that apparently had little impact (Griffiths remained in the system for four more years). But just 18 months after his release, he was arrested again for criminal possession of a controlled substance. He is still serving out his sentence.
Hello?? If you need a phone call to explain to you what dialing a wrong number means, you have no business anywhere near a phone. Or a keyboard for that matter!

Thank you for showing why the ads are what cows leave behind. I finally understand the phrase "never argue with an idiot... he'll bring you down to his level then beat you with experience."

What's Bushspeak for "someone who lies to you while telling you he's lying, but calls it Truth"?


Republicans have earned it


The NRCC owes Mike Arcuri, his staff, his family, and his friends an apology.

It owes the tax payers of Oneida County an apology.

It owes the residents of the 24th Congressional District an apology.

This latest piece of stench is another page in their attempt to scare women into not voting for Mike Arcuri.

Their loss that we are not all stepford women and that we can and do think.

Republicans, we know the case you are trying to twist into a rapist allowed to go free. Here's the rest of the story:
1) The victim ran away and was not found within the time allowed to indict.
2) The rapist was tried and convicted and sent to jail

Republicans, we know that if you dial the wrong number in a hotel room, you get billed for the first minute $1.25. Here's the rest of the story:
1) a lawyer dialed 800-457-8462 and hung up when he realized it was wrong number.
2) now realizing that it was a toll call, the same lawyer used his calling card and called 518-457-8462 and reached the intended New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
3) The lawyer was meeting with Mike Arcuri during the NYS District Attorney's Association Conference.

What offensive, lying, fear-mongering trash will you dump on us next?

Arcuri was the first man to be chosen the Mohawk Valley YWCA's Person of the Year award for his efforts in dealing with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

He was instrumental in the formation of the Oneida County Drug Task force and the Utica Arson Task force.

He created a Special Victims Unit in the DA's office as well as a Victim Advocate position.

Under his leadership, the DA's office has a 92% conviction rate.

His efforts brought the Child Advocacy Center to Oneida County.

Democratic women and independent women have been getting the vile mailings and phone calls trying to frighten us into not voting for Mike.

We know better and it's got nothing to do with how a person looks.

And we know how to deal with spoiled, temper-tantrum-throwing, lying immature humans.

It's no longer enough to throw the bums out. They need to sit in a corner until they learn how to live with other humans.


Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. ~Kahlil Gibran

Now granted, as I was reading this article, faint sounds of Bert Parks singing "There she is... Miss America..." could be heard. This is yet another reason I wish I was better with PhotoShop.

Yea, he's easy on the eyes, but I think he's better than he looks.

Democratic Faces That Could Launch Thousands of Votes
With a Parade of Attractive Candidates, the Party May Benefit From the
Politics of Beauty

By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 14, 2006; A01

AUBURN, N.Y. -- Maybe Democratic candidate Michael Arcuri is running
strong in this Republican House district because he pledges to expand
health coverage, balance the budget and raise the minimum wage.

Or maybe it's his piercing Italian eyes and runner's physique.

"He is pretty good-looking," observed Paula Ferrin with admiration, as
the 47-year-old district attorney worked the crowd at a local senior

"What we want is brains, honey," scolded her friend Rose Oliver.

"True," Ferrin answered, "but handsome doesn't hurt."

The research is unambiguous that Ferrin is right: Attractive
politicians have an edge over not-so-attractive ones. The phenomenon
is resonating especially this year. By a combination of luck and
design, Democrats seem to be fielding an uncommonly high number of
uncommonly good-looking candidates.

The beauty gap between the parties, some on Capitol Hill muse, could
even be a factor in who controls Congress after Election Day.

Democratic operatives do not publicly say that they went out of their
way this year to recruit candidates with a high hotness quotient.
Privately, however, they acknowledge that, as they focused on finding
the most dynamic politicians to challenge vulnerable Republicans, it
did not escape their notice that some of the most attractive prospects
were indeed often quite attractive.

There is a certain logic to the trend. Back in 1994, when Republicans
seized power in Congress from Democrats, the GOP had a number of
fresh-faced challengers who knocked off incumbents who had grown worse
for wear after years of committee hearings and fundraising receptions.

This year, it is the Democrats who have several ripe opportunities to
unseat Republicans, some of whom have grown gray and portly during
their years in power.

To gain the 15 seats needed to recapture House control, the party is
targeting about 40 GOP-leaning districts, including New York's 24th,
where veteran Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert (R) is retiring and where
Arcuri is campaigning.

In most of the races, the Democratic challengers look a lot like
standard-issue politicians -- not likely to impress the judges at
Atlantic City. But there are others who, while they might not have
movie-star looks, are certainly well above the C-SPAN median.

The list is decidedly unscientific, but it includes several whose
names come up often on Capitol Hill for reasons other than their
policy platforms. Among those on it, in addition to Arcuri, are Brad
Ellsworth, a swaggering Indiana sheriff; businesswoman Gabrielle
Giffords of Arizona, who has chiseled features and rides a motorcycle;
and Heath Shuler of North Carolina, a strapping former quarterback for
the Washington Redskins. In Tennessee, Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr., a lean
and stylish 36-year-old, has drawn admiring looks.

Republican Bob Corker, who is running against Ford, has acknowledged
the disparity. "I know I'm not as good-looking," Corker said. He hopes
his business experience will compensate.

The crop of eye-pleasing pols has party operatives calculating the
politics of beauty. "There's a fine line, and you can't cross it,"
said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional
Campaign Committee. Voters don't like men who look like pretty boys or
women who resemble bimbos. "If you're too good-looking, people won't
take you seriously," Emanuel said.

Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional
Committee, agreed that attractive candidates often have an early
advantage. But he said voters' decisions in the polling booth are
rarely skin-deep, especially in a closely contested race.

"When each side is spending four or five million, people know the
records, and it doesn't have the same impact," he said. He noted that
Shuler's popularity has declined in recent weeks following reports
that his real estate firm was late in paying taxes. "That's gone back
to being a close race."

The two candidates here in this Upstate New York district have similar
résumés. Both Arcuri and his GOP opponent, state Sen. Raymond A.
Meier, are lawyers. The two first crossed paths in 1985 while working
on opposite sides of a local election recount. Polls showed they
entered the race with roughly even name identification. They have the
same Oneida County political base.

Meier's advantage is that the 24th District is home to 45,000 more
registered Republicans than Democrats. But Arcuri is a popular
prosecutor, the first Democrat elected to the post in 40 years. He's
also tall and thin, with dark, gray-flecked hair and sharp features.
Meier, who is 53, wears glasses, and his hair is brown and thinning.
His look would seem to be perfectly pleasant but nondescript.

Arcuri's image is plastered all over his campaign materials, from yard
signs to the trading cards that are distributed at campaign events. In
his official campaign photo, he leans forward with one hand on his
hip, looking suave and casual. His Web site shows him finishing a

His political friends tease him about his fashion-magazine persona,
but they acknowledge that it's a valuable asset. "He's a young,
good-looking guy," said Charlie Evangelista, Ontario County Democratic
Committee chairman. "He's going to connect with people."

Arcuri's theory is that voters have an immediate, visceral reaction to
candidates that, if powerful enough, can trump ideology or party
affiliation. "How do you get around the status quo? You look for
younger, energetic faces," he said. But while people may decide in an
instant whether or not they are able to vote for him, he said, "then
they have to know you can do the job."

He added, "I spend a lot of time assuring people I can be congressional."

His theory might be correct. An independent poll in the district
released last night showed him with a 10-point lead.

Some of the academic research on beauty and voting goes back decades,
to the early 1970s. In 1990, political scientist Lee Sigelman, then at
the University of Arizona, posited that Democrats were losing ground
nationally, despite an advantage in voter registration, because their
looks were a turnoff. He rated all governors and members of Congress
on an ugliness scale and found that of the 26 least attractive, 25
were Democrats.

The playing field these days is more level. Research has shown that if
candidates invest a little effort in their looks, the payoff can be
huge. Campaign consultants hover around candidates, ordering them to
change their hairstyles, get in shape and update their wardrobes. "The
bar has been raised, without question," said Sigelman, now a George
Washington University political science professor.

He singled out three Maryland statewide candidates, Republican Senate
nominee Michael S. Steele and gubernatorial rivals Robert L. Ehrlich
Jr. (R) and Martin O'Malley (D), "as playing the image game really
well." Politicians today, said Sigelman, strive for "the personality
and looks of talk show hosts." The goal is to be "well turned out."

One candidate who made a high-impact adjustment is Diane Farrell. The
Connecticut Democrat used to wear her blond hair pulled back tight,
but after a gentle nudge from a campaign aide, she allowed it to hang
loose for a more natural, relaxed look.

The looks factor can be maddening for the opposition. One writer on an
anti-Shuler blog expressed annoyance at the candidate's wife, "with
all her quips about how cute Shuler is. What a way to decide how to

Perhaps not surprisingly, research has shown that voters who are
easily swayed by social trends tend to favor more attractive
candidates. Conversely, people who resist social trends prefer
unattractive candidates.

The latest wave of research examines a possible root of political
attraction: how closely candidates and voters resemble each other. A
Stanford University study this year suggested that little-known
candidates can increase their electoral support by as much as 20
percentage points by tweaking visual features on their campaign
materials so they look slightly more like a targeted group of voters,
for instance Asians or Hispanics.

The less voters know about the candidates, as in races such as the
Arcuri-Meier contest with no incumbent, the more looks seem to matter.
An examination of a 2001 British local election by a team of Texas
Tech University and University of Plymouth researchers found that, in
the absence of facts, people who are considered attractive by survey
respondents are more likely to win.

The findings were presented to the American Political Science
Association's 2003 annual meeting, with the caveat that they "may
offend notions of democracy that candidates should compete fairly and
on the basis of issues not appearance."

© 2006 The Washington Post Company


"We've only just begun..."

I'm realizing that it's going to be hard for me to keep up with this blog the next few weeks. I've been getting numerous new volunteers daily (join the fun) and getting everyone up to speed is taking a good chunk of my time at home as well as lunch. I think the only reason my cat isn't completely pissed at me is because Mike did him a favor years ago.

I've also gotten to drive some more through the amazing 24th CD. That I've been able to see so much more of my backyard is an unexpected perk of the campaign. And it's been years since I was able to enjoy the Fall trees.

Earlier this week, I made a trip to Oneonta to join in the Democratic Committee HQ grand opening. Before we headed back, we stopped for dinner at a
Ruffino's Pizzeria on Main St and filled up on great pizza. I'll definitely be stopping there again.

Now, the roads between Oneonta and Utica can make for an interesting drive. It includes, but is not limited to:
  • breath-taking scenery
  • assorted critters running across the road
  • very slow drivers
  • very fast drivers
  • sharp turns
  • gentle curves
  • posted speed limits ranging from 20 to 55
  • fog
  • bright sun
  • heavy rain
  • snow
  • ice
  • sleet
  • freezing rain
  • drizzle
  • bikers
  • pedestrians
  • and assorted critters who run out in front of cars
The time previous I'd been on that road, I had a car-full of campaign volunteers returning from the first Arcuri-Meier debate. It was a trip that combined a pep rally, debate prep, Crossfire and a road trip with friends.

The other night, I had the solitude of myself and some CDs. White Moon hung just above the hill line and glowed a mournful red. A thin cloud band stretched across it making the first impression of Jupiter much too close to Earth. Even the critters were kind enough to stay on the side of the road until I went by, though I can't say the same about the guy who was taking a night walk wearing much too dark clothes.

There's less than a month left now until Election Day. Granted, the hardest part just started, but what an adventure it's been. And it's only just beginning.


1 wrong choice

GOP candidates lukewarm in Hastert support Jonathan E. Kaplan

Several Republican candidates in challenging races this fall said their support for Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) as the top House Republican in the 110th Congress will depend on the findings of an investigation into former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.).

Republicans Martha Rainville (Vt.), Rick O’Donnell (Colo.) and Peter Roskam (Ill.) would wait for the Justice Department to complete an investigation before deciding how to vote, said campaign aides.

“If Attorney General [Alberto] Gonzales finds that anyone who holds elected office was aware of Mr. Foley’s inappropriate behavior, that person is not fit to serve the public and should be removed from office,” said O’Donnell’s spokesman.

However, Republicans will vote on leadership elections during the lame-duck session in November and will formally vote on the Speakership (should they retain the majority) at the start of the new Congress early next year. In all likelihood, the Gonzales investigation will still be ongoing.

Based on the information available, state Sen. Ray Meier (R-N.Y.) said he would support Hastert. Other candidates like Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), who is running for his father’s seat, avoided the issue.

“We have no stance on that right now — we’ll worry about that after we win,” said Bilirakis.

In a statement, Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) said, “I will not vote for any leader who knew or should have known about Mark Foley’s conduct.”

Randy Graf, who is running for GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe’s seat in Arizona, said Hastert has been helpful to his campaign and did not want to speculate about what might happen.

“When I get to D.C., I’ll sit down with the House leadership and discuss who deserves to be Speaker,” he said.

Meanwhile, GOP incumbents continue to distance themselves from their leaders. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) cancelled an event with Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Ron Lewis (R-Ky.) cancelled an event with Hastert. Reps. Lewis, Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) and Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) declined to comment about whether they would vote for Hastert.

Brad Haynes and Cameron Joseph contributed to this article.

(October 5, 2006, The Hill)

There were 9 Congressmembers cited in the article above. 3 declined comment on if they'd vote for Haskert. 3 others said they would wait to see how the investigation comes out before they voted even though the investigation will probably go longer than they have time. 1 says that he would cast a No vote. Another says that they's speak with the house leadership to see who deserves to be leader. 1 cancelled an event scheduled with Hastert.

One said that he supports Hastert.

Ray Meier.

As a counselor, I ask you to support Mike Arcuri. He prosecutes predators.

One of the volunteers, Clarice. told me a while ago that we need more prosecutors and fewer Big Oil Company defence lawyers in Congress.

It's even simpler than that, isn't it?

At today's debates, Meier asked the audience to consider who of the two of the candidates would we more trust to represent them in DC.

When it comes to the abuse of those more helpless than us, there's a right and a wrong. I trust those who understand and do something about it.

I do believe that there's a spot down under for those who take advantage of children. The spot right below that floor is reserved for those who knew or should have known and did nothing. Giving back the tens of thousands of dollars that Meier took isn't my preferance. I wish it were donated to the Child Advocacy Center.



The shadow peanut gallery's been leaving comments here regarding Mike Arcuri's statement on HR6166 at last week's debate. Other bloggers who've long been open supporters of Ray Meier must be straining their keyboard, finger muscles and Internet connections in their frenzy to talk about that one answer.

I do have comments to write about the debate but they'll have to wait until I get the time to do it. But I want to respond to the comments left here.

And actually, it's one of Ray Meier's comment at the debate that is the base of my response. Ray's comment about wiretapping was that the "NSA was not listening in to [his] conversation with his sister in Cleveland."

No, they're not. And in all likelihood, this Badministration's not really caring about most of the commenters here either.

If anyone in this little corner of the blogesphere has any probability of getting the NSA's attention, being on a Badministration list, or being the target of a hate crime, it's me.

I'm Muslim. The President of the country I live in called for a crusade. Meier's who is running to represent me (so to speak) painted "the Muslim world" as terrorists. (Yea, he backpaddled pretty furiously to take the paint off, but in this d
ay and age, if he didn't mean it, he wouldn't have said it.)

Do I think that this Badministration will continue to use torture and other inhumane treatment of people? Absolutely.

That's why I want Mike Arcuri to be my representative in Congress.

I do think HR6166 could be improved, but, at least in my reading of it, it didn't raise the fear that some of the posts attempted to raise. Read it for yourself here.

Freedom of Blogging

One of the hardest parts of having this blog is that I believe in Freedom on Speech and that the best answer to the poor use of the freedom is better use of the freedom.

I have the option of disabling comments or forcing people to sign their comments. Instead, I allow anyone to post and permit anonymous postings. I do so in the hope that education and dialogue can occur. The few posts that I have rejected were either spam or private messages directly to me.

And I'm sure that you've seen that I've cleared cowardly posts that I obviously find stupid.

Why to I clear through the moronic ravings of cowards?

Nothing shows how sad and wrong they are better than they show themselves.


They Like Mike

Today was one of the days that I could combine two passions of mine.... art and politics. The only thing that would have made the day better was sunshine, but then again, it is September in Central New York.

A number of volunteers wanted to represent Mike Arcuri at the Remsen Barn Festival this weekend. I decided to head up a bit early and spend some time shopping by myself since this was one of the events that usually is a core for holiday gift-giving.

Now, the Remsen Barn Festival is an arts and crafts show heavily spiced up with good food. It's not a political event per se, but it is one of the local events where a presence is expected. Besides, central NY has a long history in hand-crafting and supporting the local small businesses is an extra bonus of buying art pieces. I think most of the major campaigns were represented during the day.

But for the first 2 hours of my day there, I planned to spend my money and see what the artists were doing.

What is it that they say about plans?

As I stepped onto the bus, a woman comments that she likes my pin. I was wearing an Arcuri pin. I smiled, thanked her and asked if she'd like one to. I handed her one of the pins I had.

Then I sat down. And the woman next to me says, "I'd like one too
After getting to the Festival, I was able to shop for a few stalls before yet another person appreciated my pin.

And that pretty much set the activities of the day. Oh, I got my shopping in too (though to be honest, the only gifts I bought are for my cat... everything else is for myself!)

I also got a call from someone who was spending the day in Auburn. It was a rather funny call. I said "Hi" and and we chatted briefly about the weather. I was hoping the rain would hold off and she was being drenched. Then she said that she was probably calling for a pretty silly reason. She'd just seen a Centro bus with a Mike Arcuri ad on the side.

I remember the ads we had on buses back when Mike first ran for DA. We didn't have cell phones back then, so the excited calls or conversations about seeing "the bus" were limited to evenings or getting together, but it was still fun and exciting.

And it still is.

I gave a number of pins away today. It's fun and exciting that each offer was prompted by the spontaneous comments of the voters. There weren't flags around us. There wasn't a sign-in table in front of me. No policy statements. No debate.

Just a lot of people who prefer Mike Arcuri to be our Congressman and who aren't afraid to say it.


The Real 9.11 Legacy

Women, Sit Pretty or Go Cook, But SHUT UP

Think this is the Conservative idea of gender equity?

I can just hear it now, "A thousand bucks for Cheney and see, we charge the same thing for Mrs. Laura Bush. If you're in a couple, it's $2,000. See, we Conservatives believe in fairness."

So... lets see what Laura Bush believes in:

Helping America's Youth
There is absolutely no denying that caring, connecting and committing to children makes a positive impact on their lives. That's not Parenting Nobel Prize material, it's just common sense.
I found nothing new on their website. For instance, did you know that "Research has shown that supportive relationships are crucial to the well-being of youth."
WOW. Who would have ever thought that?????!!
The program's initiative is to "...to raise awareness about the challenges facing our youth, particularly at-risk boys, and to motivate caring adults to connect with youth in three key areas: family, school, and community."
Do we really need a Federal initiative to do that? I mean, do we really want people volunteering to help in the lives of children if they won't be bothered to read a newspaper, a church bulleten, or attend a PTA meeting?

Global Diplomacy
I actually had to read this page all the way through. I was darn surprized that global diplomacy pretty much amounts to traveling to other counties, filming a scene on the Indian Seseme Street, and eating at formal dinners. Oh, and also getting gifts.
Gee, if global diplomacy is that easy, maybe I'll do that over my summer vacation.

Reading is important.
As a former public school teacher and librarian, the First Lady has only to say about Education that... reading is important. Take a look for yourself... click here to read her note about education. America's education rates are dropping like gas prices going up. Other countries are leaving our science and technology in the dust. College tuitions are going up while aid is getting cut.
Until I read her note, I gave credit to Laura Bush for being a teacher and librarian.
After reading it... I'm glad she's a former

Women's Health and Wellness Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US.
Knowledge, exercise, and eating well is the best prevention.
Oh, and you can also get her recipe for Smoked Shrimp with Mango Salsa and Carrot Muffins there.
Honest. I couldn't make this up.

Preserve America
(OK, for the record.. after reading the recipies above, I really expected to see more here for jams and jellies.) There's a $1.000 cash award for a history teacher from each state.

Authors and Books
In case you missed it earlier, reading is important. There are links on this page to other programs and events organized by folks who aren't in the White House. Except for one "series of literary events" hosted by the First Lady.

Evil wins when good people do nothing. The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.

We live in interesting times. Humans and this planet need EVERY THINKING BRAIN AND EVERY FEELING HEART.

The Office of the First Lady has had everyone in it from Hillary Clinton to this Mrs Stepford. Both lead and influence by example.

Conservatives whether men or women have very low opinions of women. Sit pretty, shut up,
go cook. Leave the important stuff to men.

What a waste of humans...


To Boldly Go...

(I made these bookmarks for the Honor America Days Parade in Rome with the theme of Celebrating Our Diversity)
(All rights reserved. Do not copy)
(click on the bookmark to go to Mike Arcuri's site)

(click on the picture to see more Trek Inspiration Posters)

I was looking for something to honor what started 40 years ago today. OK, so the piece directly above doesn't really honor Star Trek, but how often has Captain Kirk yelled out your name, eh??

But I just couldn't find any one thing that covers the whole journey. How do you find one thing that touches all the ways Star Trek has been in my life?

It was Saturday evening TV time...
It was saving my money and buying "grown up books" from the sci-fi shelves instead of the children's collection...
It was empathizing with Spock's dual heritage...
It was how I told time in the pre-remote control days of TV the months I spent in a body cast...

But of all things Trek in my life, what I value the most is the whole concept of IDIC. Trek didn't invent it. But Trek did offer it in a way that deeply resonated in many people. And that's where the top most piece came from.

Happy Birthday, Star Trek.


Chickens Voting for Colonel Saunders

I just read an entry at DownWithTyranny that flashed me back to a nightmare from 2000.

By 2000, I'd been active in local politics for several years. And I was also learning that though I might only wear one hat at a time, all the hats are a part of me and none get left behind as I go through my day. Thus, while working on campaign and listening to potential candidates, I listened with ears of women, Muslims, workers, counselors, people caring about kids and the elderly, and all the other lenses with which I see Life.

So, that Sunday before Election Day in 2000, when I opened my email and received SEVERAL copies of a American Muslim group's endorsement of Bush, I got a bit crazy.


As much as I'm not over the theft of the Election, I'm still angry at some group took it upon themself to claim my opinion. Well, that is also what Bin Forgotten and Bush are doing too, but there's an assumption that national groups are not psychotic megalomaniacs.

DownWithTyranny says:
I've always been able to look at Bush's narrow, hateful face and see the bigotry right down to the core of his dark, dark soul.
I've seen bigotry look me straight in the eye. I've heard it as I overheard conversations. I've read it on paper that was put in my hands and on walls as I've driven or walked by.

So have you. If you think you haven't... open your eyes and start listening.

September 16, 2001:
Bush made the same point during his remarks at the White House. "This crusade, this war on terrorism is gonna take awhile. And the American people must be patient. I'm gonna be patient," Bush said.

September 2, 2006:
"You know what I'm gonna tell those Jews when I get to Israel, don't you Herman?" a then Governor George W. Bush allegedly asked a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman.

When the journalist, Ken Herman, replied that he did not know, Bush reportedly delivered the punch line: "I'm telling 'em they're all going to hell."

August 22, 2006:
Republican Sen. Conrad Burns, whose re-election campaign is pressing for tighter immigration controls, referred to his house painter as "a nice little Guatemalan man" and suggested that worker as well as employees of a roofing company he hired might be in the country illegally.

August 14, 2006:
Earlier this month, George Allen, a Republican senator from Virginia, twice referred to an opponent's volunteer using a term for a monkey, considered by some to be a racial slur. "Let's give a welcome to Macaca here," Allen said. "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia."

There is a part of me that cringes at being so angry at the Colonel Saunder supporting chickens. People do have the right to be masochists and make their own lives miserable.

But they don't have the right to sell off others or their children. Or worse yet, raise their children to buy into the proverbial butcher.

Some of those Muslims who sent me their endorsements of Bush now regret doing so. Not only did they get a scathing reply from me, but I'm also considerably less likely to engage them in politics anymore. Some realized how ignorant they were. But more often, the biggest regret is that Bush sits in the White House.

In January, Mike Arcuri attended the community dinner held by my mosque. He was the first political guest in my memory who stayed for the entire dinner. And he not only stayed, but he also conversed with countless other diners and sat at a table of congregation members instead of a head table.

He GETS not just the importance of diversity but the celebration of it.



"One of the Keys in Controlling Congress"

Click on the picture above to hear North County Public Radio's coverage of the
Mike Arcuri-Ray Meyer veterans forum in Utica last month.

Even Ray says that this race is a tie (as of Aug 16th at least). And if the Republican says that the Democrat is neck-to-neck with him this early, Mike's ahead.

He also says that "we" need to apply more pressure on the Iraqi civilian governtment to get its own armed forces up and going. Well, given that we're occupying them right now, the only more pressure wuld be along the lines of how "we're" treating people in Gitmo. Gee... maybe we can put Saddam Hossain in power and he's watch out for our interests.

Oh yea.

Been there and done that.


Baseball, Politics and strange intersections

Click on the TV image to see Mike Arcuri's ad.

It's been a busy week. (and yes, it's only Wednesday!!) Campus is bustling again with life now that the students are back. It's inspiring to look out over the quad and see students, walking, running, relaxing, hacky-sacking, etc all with books going to or from classes. Welcome back!

I had a strange realization on the campaign side of life. Way back when, I managed to collect an entire set of Star Wars trading cards. I think back then, you paid a quarter and got a 10 or so cards and a stick of really hard, tooth-breaking pink bubble gum. At least I think I paid a quarter. I do remember that it took me a while to build the set and while the complete set was a few inches deep, all my combined duplicate cards were several time the depth of the set. But the fun was in the process... the buying, the sorting, the filtering, the trading. Several years ago, I was on vacation and came across a trading card show. Alongside all the sports cards were the newer gaming cards. And there was a vendor who was setting completed sets of Star Trek cards. The ease of filling out and handing over a check for buying the set was a sharp contrast with working and building my Star Wars set. It was rather disappointing even though I much prefer Trek to Wars.

I feel a little the same way over Mike Arcuri's trading cards. Oh, no doubt I'll be working hard with them... but to give them away rather than collect them. I've already seen the whole set and I'll have one before they're all gone. But the searching, sorting, trading won't be a part of things for me. I'm excited about these new campaign pieces. Most campaigns think of some off-the-beaten-path fun ideas, but often they get pushed aside or lost among the traditional bumper stickers and lawn signs.

My first hint of things to come was Dick, a mentor, recommending that I ask Mike about the baseball cards. If I didn't respect and trust both of these men, I probably wouldn't have bothered to ask. It just sounded too much like a set up for me to be the punchline of a joke. But, I did ask, though with memories of dad taking the family to a baseball game when I was a child and that I couldn't see cute Bucky Dent well enough and that I spent the game reading a Hardy Boys book over shadowed the question.

Once I got through the idea of baseball and into political trading cards, I was looking forward to them. That I took one of the pictures is especially fun.

And they are fun enough that I'm moving making some time to work on Artistic Trading Cards closer to my "Do" list. It might not get started until after Election Day, but at least I know what my first art project will be!

It's been a strange week of intersections. An old friend of friends who found this blog online celebrated her anniversary and in the weird small-town-ness of Utica, she'd married someone I had gone to gradeschool with. I crashed a fundraiser for another fellow I went to junior high with, Chris Giruzzi who is running for Town Justice in Frankfort. And a dear friend's daughter, a young woman who just registered Democrat, who I've known since she was born, started college.

It's been a week of echoes from long ago coming back to play new songs.


Somewhere, a country radio programmer's head is exploding

The author of the title to this post is Southern Beale.

Southern and I crossed paths after I found the Music Row Democrats. I've started a diary over there under the name "centralnychick"

True Confession time... I listen to country music. Yup...tears-in-my-beer,-dog-left-me,-but-I'm-still-making-my-way-though-life Country Music.

Now, I still listen to Sinatra and have every Bowie song too, but the radio's pretty much set to the local Big Frog station.

There's an emotional aspect of country music at appeals to me. I like tales of life and I hear that in country more than other forms.

But the Publicans have poisoned that well too. A woman I know made a beautiful commemoration of 9.11 and she used the song Where Were You? by Alan Jackson. That song still moves me to tears more often then not. Alan knew that on that day when the world stopped turning, we were all American and he sang the words that were in our hearts and was part of the starting healing.

But answering Shrub's call for a crusade, Toby Keith went on a musical rampage of carpet bombing, inserting 'boots into asses' and dogs fighting. His Lady Liberty doesn't welcome the poor huddled masses. No, she shoves a fist at them.

Any we wondered why America lost the sympathy of the world? Why did Gitmo surprise us?

And I still listened to country music, though I did find myself turning the dial when Keith's song came on. The song scared me. It condoned the violence and hatred that Bill Clinton urged us to avoid on 9.11 and it supported the fanatics and terrorists in my own country.

Then the Dixie Chicks expressed their opinion. Female country singers have always displayed strength and fortitude that I admired. There's a strength and life-affirming attitude that appeals to me and I get a recharge every time I turn the radio on.

Now, gosh-darn-it.. how dare a woman speak her mind!? Who does she think she is... someone with a brain!?

So, for daring to express her opinion, Natalie Maines got dropped by radio stations, threatened with physical harm and called all kinds of names that no southern gentleman would ever use.

And she kept on singing. She's Not Ready to Make Nice and neither am I.

Music, movies, news for Democrats and a polite, warm welcome... doesn't get much better than that.

Oh, the title of this post came from a reply to my profile there:
Central NY, Democrat, South Asian heritage, work at a college, muslim, and I listen to Country music.