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Cross-posted from My Left Nutmeg

A fellow DFA member brought this curious tidbit – which recently appeared in a local weekly – to my attention:

Washington, DC—Congressman Christopher Shays (CT-4) has been recognized by Amnesty International USA for his dedicated work in Congress promoting the issues of human rights. Shays has been a strong advocate for the causes of respect for human dignity, religious liberty, and the protection of all people based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.

Amnesty International USA recognized Shays with the Human Rights Advocacy Honor for his valuable contribution to restoring human rights to the forefront of United States counterterrorism policy, and protecting the rights of lesbian and gay people worldwide.

Is this for real? Amnesty International awarding a pro-torture, anti-habeus Congressman for his commitment to human rights in the "war on terror"?

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Some of you might remember that BlogPAC began selecting community state-based blogs earlier this year to receive a grant and billing as the state's "official" progressive blog. The idea was to build a network of progressive community blogs across all 50 states, and in the interest of getting more people talking to each other, a few of us have been kicking around the idea of doing a weekly post highlighting the best of the state-level blogosphere.

Last week West Virginia Blue set the ball rolling, and My Left Nutmeg is host to the 2nd week of this experiment. You can expect to see a post each Friday or Saturday somewhere on the tubes, hopefully crossposted here.

Since there's no real set rules as to how this works yet, I'm going to pick – as a theme – stories about progressive institutions and movement-building that give me some ideas about what could be done in my own state – over the fold.

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Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:09 PM PST

Sometime This Month

by matt le w

Sometime this month, the number of Americans killed due to Bush's decision to invade Iraq will surpass the number killed on 9/11/01 due to terrorist attacks.

9/11: 2,973 + 24 "missing" = 2,997
Iraq: 2,925

35 have been reported as killed so far in the first 8 days of December. At the current rate of US fatalities per day (4.375), Americans killed in Iraq will surpass those killed on 9/11 between 6am and noon on Christmas day.

Update from Edrie:

for the update: how about WE MADE IT!!! $over the top of $500 for phil!

the winners will be announced around midday sunday - i need to go and make sure i haven't forgotten or missed anybody - but right now, there are 14 donors who have made this possible! one is the "big" winner - and he donated $200.01. our second highest was $100.01 (from a non-california, btw! - the rest of the stats when i am sure i have everybody - i'll post on sunday and will have the random drawing - i have an idea cooking on how to let the community pick! that way it really IS random! but i'm not sure exactly how i'll do it yet... am working on it!


Visit Nonnie's Pearl Thread here (with more photos + donation updates)

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Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 04:10 AM PDT

New CT-Sen Q-Poll: Lieberman 53-41

by matt le w

The word on the street is this:

Lamont closed the gap from -24 to -11 (or -13 if you count leaners). This is the rate of change that Lamont managed to achieve among the Democratic primary voters from April to August, so to see the same rate among general election voters is pretty impressive. (Better phrasing?)

Another phrase to interpret this poll: It shows that "non-partisan" Joe is, just like in 1988, running to the right of the Republican in the race. Hit those radio stations and local newspaper editors: your work to interpret this poll as favorable for Lamont, and as a sign of Lieberman's true colors, will help to make the coverage of this poll work to Ned's advantage. Poll details and editors to write to after the flip.

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It's time to stop speculating and see what we're dealing with here.

Last Friday, we got a couple of clues from a Stamford Advocate article as to how many of the 18,000 signatures submitted to get Joe Lieberman on the ballot were valid. The town clerks should have received the petitions on Monday, so by now, they should be able to tell us what they're finding.

The down side is that there are 168 different town clerks to call. So follow me over the flip, and see how you can help pin down some hard numbers today, since hard numbers seem to be in short supply from our intrepid journalist corps...


Challenging petitions

18%18 votes
24%24 votes
12%12 votes
8%8 votes
10%10 votes
9%9 votes
17%17 votes

| 98 votes | Vote | Results

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Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 09:23 PM PDT

Lieberman's Committee Assignments

by matt le w

So you want to get Lieberman's committee assignments stripped?

Me too. And here's what we should ask for. His fellow committee members are in each section, with those who have promised to support the nominee in the upcoming race in italics. If any of your Senators are on these lists, you may want to call their offices and ask for their support in asking the party leadership to appoint a new Senator to each position.


Who should take Joe's place on the Homeland Security Committee?

6%35 votes
4%25 votes
6%33 votes
1%10 votes
4%27 votes
0%5 votes
44%243 votes
4%25 votes
8%44 votes
3%20 votes
2%15 votes
2%12 votes
8%48 votes

| 542 votes | Vote | Results

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Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 05:00 AM PDT

New CT-Sen Poll: Lamont 51-45

by matt le w

Via CT Local Politics:

WTIC and the AP are reporting that the gap between Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont has closed to 6%. No link from Quinnipiac yet.

Lamont...........51% (54%)
Lieberman......45% (41%)
Undecided.......4% (5%)

Lieberman has still not broken 50%, and Lamont is still above it. But the trend seems to favor Lieberman. Undecideds may be breaking his way. 90% of respondants say their minds are made up.


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There have been hundreds of comments about the CT Senate primary and "Diebold machines," even though Connecticut's old-fashioned lever-style machines make this a moot point this year.

But something just clicked when I heard that the Lieberman campaign would be paying 4000 out-of-staters to come campaign for Joe in the final days.

I am very concerned that we might have a scam in the works, and I want your take. Follow me over the flip, s.v.p.



42%3 votes
42%3 votes
0%0 votes
14%1 votes

| 7 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 08:17 PM PDT

Help sharpening a CT-Sen editorial

by matt le w

Hey all - I'm writing an editorial to either the Stamford Advocate or the CT Post, and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions to tighten it up. It's a little long, but I'm struggling to make cuts. I'd appreciate your advice.

Text below...

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Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 03:24 PM PDT

Dear CQ

by matt le w

Well, since comments on are collected and edited before posting, I thought I'd share this long-form comment to this article debating the likelihood of a Lieberman loss on August 8th.

I'd like to note that Lieberman learned that being the first to attack a Democrat would get you on television back when Bill Clinton was president, and he's only sharpened his claws on his own party in the years since.

This month alone has seen Joe using a time-worn Reagan line on challenger Lamont, and the Republican line "retreat and defeat" on the Senate floor against John Kerry (who I'm sure heard more than enough of the phrase in his 2004 campaign).

(more below...)

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Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 12:32 AM PST

Feingold and Post-Reagan Politics

by matt le w

Visiting our local politics bulletin board, I spent a minute responding to one of the board's more irritating posters, but even the ravings of a clown can have a value for political debate. (Think "infinite monkeys" - though a warehouse full of primates would have a better rate of turning out at least Ionesco-level work than these guys have in making coherent points).

In any case, a comparison was made between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, and it occured to me that while praising Reagan and demeaning Carter does show a sort of unique set of priorities, there was a significant shift to be found after their two presidencies that has an impact on our current political conditions, a shift which had nothing to do with Reagan's mythical "effectiveness."

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