The other day, among my many many many many mailings from political candidates, I found one that asked a reasonable question: Who would best represent my interests in Washington?
The choices for Congress are between incumbent Jim Himes and challenger Dan Debicella. Yet I didn’t need to read a word of the flyer to know who to vote for.
The color photo of Debicella portrayed a handsome, smiling, obviously very competent guy.
The grainy, black-and-white shot of Himes showed a frothing-at-the-mouth lunatic. I like the guy, but this scared the crap out of me.
A few hours later, a friend showed me a “Dear Independent Westport Voter” mailing he’d just received.
Labed “Voter’s Guide,” it looked like one of those rational, objective League of Women Voter’s, um, “Voter’s Guides.” I’m always eager to learn more about the men and women seeking my vote, so I read on.
I learned that Debicella “Actually listens to people. Sharp and personable. He gets it.”
Himes, on the other hand, is “Unbelievable, Elitist and Condescending. The worst of non-representation.”
I found more: Senatorial candidate Linda McMahon is “Obviously not a politician or indebted to special interests or unions.”
Her opponent, Richard Blumenthal, though, is a “Career Politician of the type that got us into this mess….Got his name on the ballot twice!”
I’ve met State Senate candidate John Hartwell several times, and have always found him to be pleasant, reasonable and well-informed. However, I now understand he is “Out of touch making outlandish attacks.”
Fortunately, we have 2 State Representative candidates who are on the ball. By amazing coincidence both are Republicans, running in different districts.
Nitzy Cohen (Dist. 136) “Gets it.” DeeDee Brandt (Dist. 133) is even better than Nitzy. DeeDee is “Sharp. Gets it. Knows her details and knows the numbers. Knows them exceptionally well.”
So who should I thank for providing such a detailed Voter’s Guide?
The fine print said: “This educational effort has been prepared and funded by a collection of voters (Independents, Democrats and Republicans) who share concerns for our country and state….We wanted you, the independents, to have these details available. We ask you to review the attached, make informed decisions and vote to restore some balance.”
Thanks, anonymous mailing guys! I saw this just in time.
There’s no telling how many reckless, uninformed, and flat-out wrong decisions I might have made today without this very informative “Voter’s Guide”!
Today we can begin to restore the fiscal prudence that has been lacking during the past two years of an unchecked and unbalanced congress. Incumbent congressmen such as Jim Himes are responsible for profligate spending and bureaucratic overreach that fetters our economy, leaving us with low growth and high unemployment. We can tell Washington, D.C. that we have had enough by electing reformers such as challenger Dan Debicella.
ccdemuth- Did you really just claim that fiscal prudence has been lacking in the past two years? I think a reasonable person would say it goes back MUCH further than that. The stimulus spending over the last two years wouldn’t have been necessary if not for the fiscal irresponsibility of the previous eight years of the Bush administration.
The unemployment and low growth, perhaps, are more due to the two unnecessary wars that were initialized by the previous administration. It’s frustrating that these have not turned around yet, and perhaps the current congress and president share blame for not cleaning up the mess yet– but they didn’t make the mess…
Revisionist history is dangerous.
You are right.
From my reading, I would say that CT has been in fiscal disarray for the past 10 -15 years. Democrats have run the state with a supermajority in both houses for 20-22 years. I think that says something! Businesses have left us in a steady stream. New businesses are almost non-existent. And in total, we have the largest debt load of any state in the Union -including CA! that too, says something. I think we need change… change we can LIVE with!
Unnecessary Wars – Okay, President Lassoff, the ball is in your court. 3,000 0f our citizens were murdered in a matter of hours. What’s your call? What would you have done in response to the MURDER of 3,000 American lives? Those people got up, took a shower and got on a plane or went to work … that’s all they did that day. And, because they are “infidels”, they were murdered. So, now that it’s all up to you, what would you have done? Please let’s not forget the attacks on the two embassies, the first attack on the WTC and the USS Cole. Also please let me know how wars are singularly responsible for stopping the employment growth. Also, when told there are WMD’s in Iraq, knowing this is in Saddam’s realm of leadership and terror, what would you have done? Let’s not forget all the time granted to Saddam for him to rid the country of WMD’s as evidenced in our soldiers finding traces of them. Oh, and when we rid the world of a mass murderer, Saddam, was that not a good thing? Do you think the world is a better place is Saddam or without him? Can you tell me beyond all reasonable doubt that WMD’s were not there? Before you say this was about oil, why don’t you also let me know how much oil we get from Iraq.
Please tell me how Bush is responsible, solely without any help from democrats, for our financial situation. When discussing our financial ruin, I’m sure I will be hearing the names Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, right? Will you also address the myriad of alerts from the republicans to the democrats regarding Fannie Mae & Freddy Mac. I would like to know how Bush, acting alone, is responsible for this, especially with the democrats controlling the purse strings. Also please explain how things are not getting better. If Obama took over and things remained the same and were maintained, maybe we can all rally up. If things even got slightly better, each quarter, perhaps. But, they are continually getting worse.
Thank you and enjoy your afternoon. I’m always open to learn new things and greatly look forward to your response!! As many people who’ve read my posts know, I love to be corrected and to learn. Cheers!
You’re good Judi…you’re good!
Thank you for taking time from your day to add perspective and a voice of reason.
And don’t forget the democrats controlled both the Senate and the House of Representatives since 2006.
Never the twain shall meet – just go and vote!!
Don’t complain about the choice of candidates unless you’re willing to run yourself. While I will whine about the various problems we all face, I try to keep away from attacking anyone brave enough to run for office. I’ll never be on the ballot.
And as they say in Chicago – vote early, vote often!
Judi: My response. After 911, President Bush had the opportunity (90+ ratings) to ask this country to sacrifice in the name of the those who died on 911. He did not. He told us to go to a movie and check on the “color coding” in case of a further attack. At the same time period, 250 FBI agents were scheduled to be assigned to investigate Bernie Madoff and the credit default swaps that had begun on Wall Street. They were immediately reassigned to a War on Terror. Instead of perhaps following the death squads of the Munich ’72 attack squads by Isreal, President Bush decided to invent the WMD as an excuse to send the big American war machine to Iraq. This cost about 10 billion a month. For 7 years+.
The affluent Iraqians immediately got the hell out of their country and moved to Houston. 3 million or so. The rest were left with no electricity and very nervous soldiers. 1 million or so died. So this is my interpretation of how things were and could have been different. America has never been a nation building country and the belief that we could in Iraq was wrong, wrong. It has cost in human lives as well as as defunct economy. Exactly what Bin Laden wanted. When the bubble burst (and this is economic cycles), Paulson took over for Bush who was dumbfounded. I don’t applaud every thing the Democrats have done since but certainly 8 years of Bush, 6 of them with a spending GOP Congress, didn’t exactly give Obama or the now Democratic Congress a good start. I think they have the done the best with the cards they have been dealt despite my fear that Afganistan will be Obama’s Vietnam and I hate war. My independent vote today will be Democratic.
I agree with you, Dude. I can’t believe it, but I do. A rational explanation of the response to 911. Thanks.
Dan, your analysis of voting materials is fantastic! totally love it. each candidate should receive a copy of it while they still have time to do something about their campaigns…hours, i know, but still; again, Dan, Fantastic!
Vote Himes & McMahon.
Himes hasn’t scored an A+ yet but the last thing this area needs is again a freshman; himes is going to improve the longer that he is there because he is genuine, intelligent and well liked in Washington by influential members of both parties, he just hasn’t had enough time there to be aggressive with his constituents’ agenda.
And, McMahon, she is a genuine power-house that will do more for the state than her opposition. anyone who votes against her is doing themselves, their neighbors and the state an injustice.
I sort of like Himes although he doesn’t respond to regular mail. As for McMahon. She has spunk and too much money. The thing that scares me about Linda is her hubby. He is a certified wacko. Sorry my vote goes for Himes-Blumey. And I am a Vietnam Vet.
You lost me with, “too much money”. And you think that’s a bad thing?
When you spend 50 million on an election, that is bad. And yes, John, when you build a 37,000 square foot house on Bayberry because “you can,” there is something wrong with our tax structure. Ike taxed the hell out of us to build roads. Now at 39% tops, they are calling Obama a spendalcoholic. If you give back the big bucks like Gates and Buffet, fine, but when you simply indulge yourself with more “toys,” too much can be a bad thing.
Dude: I’m proud of you today. Nice going.
P.S. Nice to see Maureen Dowd shouting out to you Sunday.
Hi Dude! Thank you for replying and doing so in a respectful and quite well-written way. Politics is about each persons opinions. I will always agree to disagree. I love my freedom of speach. My husband fought for our rights, as well as millions of soldiers before and after him. I respect everyone’s opinion. I truly enjoyed reading what you wrote. Admittedly I’m at the office, so will read it again when I get home, so I can truly absorb it. There are some interesting points, some real food for thought! There are things I hadn’t heard. I’m a stickler in many ways and a bit strange at times. I like to investigate everything that’s said to me. I’m a fact checker and researcher as a hobby (and crossword puzzle maniac!). I hope to learn something new from you today. I educate myself by researching and listening. I think the more I learn, the better off I am.
I stand by my word – I’m willing to listen and learn, it will only make me a smarter person. My views are not often swayed, but I am always willing to listen and learn. It looks like our views differ, but we have a common respect in the form on communication and I hope to have learned something new from you today.
Thank you! When I get back home from voting, I’ll further educate myself on what you wrote.
Judi: “My response. After 911, President Bush had the opportunity (90+ ratings) to ask this country to sacrifice in the name of the those who died on 911. He did not. He told us to go to a movie and check on the “color coding” in case of a further attack.” Actually, he went to war in Afghanistan. My question was and still is, if you were president, what would you have done in retaliation of the 9-11 attacks. If not go to war, what would you have done? That was my initial question. How do you retaliate against the murder of 3,000 American citizens? Are you saying we don’t retaliate at all?
“At the same time period, 250 FBI agents were scheduled to be assigned to investigate Bernie Madoff and the credit default swaps that had begun on Wall Street. They were immediately reassigned to a War on Terror.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Madoff On December 10, 2008, Madoff’s sons told authorities that their father had just confessed to them that the asset management arm of his firm was a massive Ponzi scheme, and quoting him as saying it was “one big lie.” The following day, FBI agents arrested Madoff and charged him with one count of securities fraud. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had previously conducted investigations into Madoff’s business practices, but did not uncover the massive fraud; critics contend that these investigations were very incompetently handled.
Please read and let me know where you found your statement, so we can find the truth here.
“Instead of perhaps following the death squads of the Munich ’72 attack squads by Isreal, President Bush decided to invent the WMD as an excuse to send the big American war machine to Iraq. This cost about 10 billion a month. For 7 years+.” WMD’s were used by Saddam. There were traces found by our soldiers, so they were there. The fact that they didn’t find a warehouse of them is only because they are now most likely in Iran. Bush did not “invent” WMDs. Have you not heard of Saddam’s use of them in the past?
“The affluent Iraqians immediately got the hell out of their country and moved to Houston. 3 million or so. The rest were left with no electricity and very nervous soldiers. 1 million or so died.” I find no evidence of 3 million Iraqi’s moving to Houston. It’s not anywhere. How did they get here? How did 3 million people get flights out of Iraq into Houston? Are they all citizens now … I sure hope they are paying taxes! I think 3 million Iraqi’s defecting to Houston would be pretty big news! How did nobody I know hear of this? Please provide proof of 3 million Iraqi’s moving to Houston. My husband has friends at Homeland Security! I think they should know about this.
“So this is my interpretation of how things were and could have been different.“ I’m sorry, and with all due respect, I don’t see your point. I tried to find somewhere a news story about 3 million Iraqi’s defecting to Houston, but haven’t been able to see it. Bush didn’t set up a “color coding” system and tell us to go to the movies. He went to war to defend our country after being attacked. He encouraged us to go on with our day to day lives, so we don’t live in fear. I felt that showed great leadership.
“America has never been a nation building country and the belief that we could in Iraq was wrong, wrong. It has cost in human lives as well as as defunct economy. Exactly what Bin Laden wanted.” Bin Laden wants us dead. So far, the loss of lives is the only fact I can concur with. The loss of life is tragic. I still don’t know how the war is responsible for our “defunct economy” and Chris Dodd and Barney Frank are still not being mentioned.
“When the bubble burst (and this is economic cycles), Paulson took over for Bush who was dumbfounded. I don’t applaud every thing the Democrats have done since but certainly 8 years of Bush, 6 of them with a spending GOP Congress, didn’t exactly give Obama or the now Democratic Congress a good start. I think they have the done the best with the cards they have been dealt despite my fear that Afganistan will be Obama’s Vietnam and I hate war. My independent vote today will be Democratic.” Everything has gotten worse since Obama took over. He has shown great arrogance in statements like, “You should be thanking me”. I don’t know anyone who loves war; however, we are a country born of blood and war. It may not be something you like, but it’s a fact. If we are attacked it is my belief we should stand up and fight. “This is an economic cycle”. If so, then why is it Bush’s fault? I’m still waiting to hear anything that says how Bush single handedly ruined our economy and got us into two wars without any democrats. I’m also still waiting to hear all of my questions from my first email answered. If I don’t, no worries. I’m just saying I though my questions were insightful and would loved to hear some insightful and factual answers.
You were very polite in your response, but I don’t see any facts to back up what you state as facts. I welcome all news articles and news footage … especially something to support the fact that 3 million Iraqi’s defected to Houston. There aren’t even 3 million people living in Houston (http://www.houstontx.gov/abouthouston/houstonfacts.html)
Enjoy your evening. I look forward to being further educated!
Anonyomous: You spent much time analyzing my response to Judi but I will be short: (1) My view of a retailiation would have been to create 500 or so “hit squads” of CIA agents-military ops to track down Bin Laden and those responsible for the 911 murders. Actually, they did some of this in the states as well as Afganistan but such efforts were failed when we invaded Iraq. And this was the essence of the “Surge” in Bagdad toward the closure of combat; (2) Sadam had not used WMD but may have been developing such. By Colin Powell’s own admission, the CIA intelligence was faulty. Some commentators blame Cheney for influencing CIA analysts before the invasion. There is no question that Cheney, the Wolf and Rumsfeld wanted Sadam eliminated. Rice and Powell objected. To my knowledge, no evidence of WMD’s has ever been found; (3) At no point did Bush ask this country to sacrifice anything including our dependence on oil in regard to the declared War. The color coding was certainly part of his administration. I think this was a mistake. We had just been attacked. People were scared anyhow. Stop driving your car, cut spending and assist our troops instead of the rhetorical “support” bumper stickers; (4) There are close to 5 million in Greater Houston. I lived there for 30 years. It is about to surpass Chicago. Many Iraqians settled there but that is not what I said. Some three million fled their country and settled in Europe as well as many in Texas; (5) I am not blaming ’41 for the economic collapse. I do believe it is cyclical but I do believe his emphasis on Iraq changed his focus from domestic to foreign. Perhaps a necessity but in retrospect, perhaps not. (6) The FBI agents I referred to were ready in 2001. The SEC looked at Bernie in 2005 and with its usual understaffing and bias toward Wall Street, did not see anything; (7) My overall belief is that Bush ’41, for whatever reasons, was determined to get Sadam and in doing so, went on a spending spree and left the home fires unattended. Perhaps history will look upon our continued presence in the Middle East as a plus but I think we are paying for such decisions now and will do so for some time. To repeat myself, I think that Obama has done a great job considering the mess the country was in when he took office. He has passed some health reform, added regulation to the securties industry, granted middle class tax cuts, passed a Stimulus bill and gained a proliferation treaty with the Russians on these idiotic nuclear weapons. So I don’t agree things have gotten worse. Unemployment is still rotten and we are still at war. That being said, the country seems to want new leadership in the House, at least. Let us see what the party of “no” can do?
The Dude (Love you man!) failed to mention that there was no connection between 911 and Iraq. The Iraq War was a Bush blunder that cost 3 trillion dollars and some 110 thousand lives.
Good Morning Dude!
My apologies, that was my comment under annonymous. I was using my home computer, which I’m not logged on to as an 06880’er, so I guess it came out as annonymous.
You are certainly giving me a lot of homework to do! I have to say, this post sounds a bit more reasonable to me than the first. I don’t comment on these blogs to “win”, as I truly don’t beleive there are right and wrong when it comes to opinions. I read these all the time and people go around and around with no outcome. But, the reading of them enlightens me, makes me think and, yes, makes me do my homework.
I read your comment this morning at work and will do so again when I get home, so I can give it its due attention. I do want to thank you for keeping the conversation going. I admire your passion!
Enjoy your day. I’m happy to respond again, but not sure if it would just lead to more and more posts with no outcome. I do, however, enjoy the process of reading your posts! Not just on this thread, but most threads! I love that Dan Woog gave us all a place to speak freely and express ourselves.
Have a great day!
and on the ‘anonymous’ note if dan woog would again post where to send donation to the site that allows participants to remain anonymous.
Happy to do so: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport CT 06880 . THANKS!
Judi/Anonymous: Thanks for both your exchanges. I am sure the historians will sort through both our dialogues and redefine and refine our thoughts. I agree with you: this is not debate club but a free fall exchange of ideas that will, hopefully, lead to a more understanding readership. I don’t hate George W. Bush. I banged heads with him when I worked for Anne Richards in the ’94 Governor’s race in Texas. He is a pretty good guy but I don’t think it is a coincidence that his approval ratings sank from a high 90+% to an all time low by 2008. I honestly think he was a puppet for some of his Papa’s ole cronies. He also traded Sammy Sosa.
Who’s ready for 2 years of congressional gridlock?
The party of no will live up to its name smartly.
It will be prudent for the democrats to show increased willingness for compromise, to highlight the fact that the republicans aren’t at all.
Once we all realize how unrealistic their goals are we can move on and chalk the wasted 2 legislative years to “experience”.
So, I guess it’s “unrealistic” to hope to eliminate some of the deficit, or to cut waste or eliminate earmarks, or get some tort reform into the health system, among many other things? For a Young Westporter, you sound very cynical and hopeless, I hope that is not so.
I prefer to think that the last 2 years taught us something about entitlement increases and socialism. It’s not working abaroad and it wouldn’t have worked here.
Do you know how absurd your argument sounds when you throw around terms like ” Socialism” You’ve been drinking the conservative Kool Aid if you think that anything that has occured under the current administration resembles “Socialism”
You probably missed this article that I posted in another posting.
A dose of reality regarding the fact that while the GOP may have “hope” to lower the deficit, the plan doesn’t go farther than that.
“Hope and Change” thats what the GOP stands for… wait… what?
Here’a another does of reality regarding the empy promises that the GOP put forth this election cycle
Let’s just sit back and wait at least until 6 months after the House changes. Then, perhaps, you might have something to justify your complaints about hoping and waiting. It’s been a year – I’m still waiting for the healthcare plan to be posted on the internet!
In the interim, suppose we just agree we are coming from 2 different places.
I’m not sure what more time will do. Maybe just allow that “failed” stimulus to work further allowing for more job growth. But that deficit isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
But ok… I’ll wait.
Here’s all the healthcare information you need.
Full text of the reform bill: http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_ahcaa.pdf
And some cliff notes as well
We have had socialistic programs in this country for 70 years and they have worked fine. It is estimated that some 40 million people have been kept above the poverty line because of such programs. It is easy to sit here in affluent Westport and knock compassionate socialistic programs but many are really hurting in this country. Many countries in Europe are doing well and they offer their citizens many benefits for free that we don’t. This country has an aversion to taxes and thus wants its cake without paying for it. I agree with the Young Westporter, it will be a period of gridlock for quite awhile. Half of those elected to the House on the GOP ticket did so on a platform of no funding whatsover. Now, Mary, you know that ain’t gonna happen. The focus entirely has to be on expanding and stimulating the economy.
I agree with Mary. Let’s cut these programs out. No more Medicare. Let the old codgers fend for themselves. Social Security. Forget it. Let ’em keeping working until they drop. Education grants to college kids. Forget it. Only those who win the sperm lottery get to go to college. Okay, that is half of our budget. Homeland Security? The Military. Oh yes, we need that. That new F-22 always comes in handy when no pilot wants to fly it. Infrastructure? How messy. Look at North Avenue. Bailouts? No more of that. Why save jobs when unemployment is only at 9.5%. Taxes. Oh, we don’t need that. The free market system will take care of us. Free, free at last. I have seen the mountain top and we are free at last!! What did you say? I am sorry I don’t speak Chinese.
I’m sorry, did I say cut these programs out? Please cut and paste where I wrote that. The government handling of programs is not only a bloated beaurocracy, it cannot catch up with fraud and misrepresentation. But all that aside – and that’s a BIG aside – some of our programs were designed for one group of folks – at one period in time. Those same programs are now trying to take care of several groups of folks for 2 – 3 times longer than they were originally designed to do. Restructuring is not abandonment. And I believe that many, if not most folks in the workforce at this time have been blessed with pensions and the benefits of saving in IRA’s and will not have SS solely to see them through. No one wants to eliminate SS for seniors.
As for Europe – strikes and riots seem to abound, with impending default for Greece after a huge bailout from the rest of Europe. Woe is me – have to work until 62??? French workers won’t take that sitting down. Violence there across the pond is on the upsweep as folks who have become used to depending on the government now see that as a right.
We began as distinctly different from Europe – our spirit of adventure and entrepreneurship is not dead. We see a possible future as we look at the news for Europe – is that what we want for ourselves?
BTW – I didn’t grow up here – am a relatively recent transplant – I came from the Bronx, by way of Yonkers – a long work history and parents who saved their money and taught me to do the same.
You make valid points, Mary. There is waste in government and their “socialistic” programs. We also have a 800 billion dollar a year
military budget that is bloated as all get-out. Try to close a base in some state and see what happens. But I am sensitive to the label that the Democrats and Obama are somehow trying to reestablish the wealth here in America. That is the perception and I don’t think it is true. Something had (has to) be done about health care. My Boomer generation is going to bankrupt the system. And much of what Obama did was in face of emergency safeguards. Actually, I liked Hillary and she is smiling all the way to the peace table and perhaps 2012.
P.S. The French have a month of holiday each year, have better health care, live longer, eat better and allowed to have mistresses/masteresses. Gee, sounds pretty good to me.
For once I would like to see someone take personal responsibility for their own part of this mess. Our government is representative of us. The average American family is $9,000 in credit card debt, 40% of all mortgages are in the negative due, in part, due to equity loans, we have three homes, five cars and too much stuff! If you want the government to be more efficient, try taking a hard look in the mirror and open a savings account.
Hooray for you, JAM! The mess in DC is a perfect reflection of the voters who sent legislators there for 30 years to continue to administer an economy on steroids and, as of Tuesday, to find yet another quick fix for our current economic slide. Trouble is, there is no quick fix that won’t soon result in yet another disastrous bubble. There’s no going back to 2007, or the 1980s. No matter what political party each of us belongs to, no matter what ridiculous recriminations are pointlessly hurled back and forth across the political divide, the bill has come due.