The Great Hair Experiment

Normally, I let my hair grow out for two to three months until it gets “too long”, i.e. I start looking like a poof-headed dork, at which point I get it cut – and I get the same close-to-the-scalp haircut; usually I ask for a Number 2 razor shave on the top and Number 1 ½ shave on the sides and back (I’ve found that being specific helps after an unfortunate haircut incident when I was younger).


 


Since entering UCSD, I started to let the quarters dictate the points at which I get a haircut.  I would get a haircut at the beginning of each quarter, which would usually work out well because each quarter was about three months.


 


But the end of Spring 2006 posed an interesting problem.  The intervening time between SP06 and Fall 2006 was a little over three months, greater than a normal quarter.  Plus, I was starting to get tired of routine and was inspired by my sister’s change in hairstyle.  So I decided to just… let it grow.  And see what happens.


 


I didn’t cut it, and guess what?  I found my hair looking and behaving in ways I never thought possible.  At first I had to use copious amounts of hair gel to tame the beast, as I usually do when my hair gets long, as my hair grows straight up and looks poofy, like so:


 



 


(Apologies for the disaster zone that’s passing as my face.)


 


But at some point, probably some time in July, after more than three months without cutting, my hair did something it never did before.  It collapsed!  Having grown long and heavy, it behaved like other people’s hair and grew down and parallel to my head rather than up and out as it normally does.  See for yourself!


 



 


Here’s another one:


 



 


(The red eye looks ridic.  And I hope that my hair shows up alright against the dark background.)


 


As the hair collapsed, I found that I didn’t have to use as much gel as before, as the hair was settling down under its own weight.  I just had to use enough gel to keep the hair relatively close to my scalp so it didn’t look like an overgrown plant.  I adopted a new technique of gelling that involved small amounts of gel applied with quick strokes with the fingertips, just enough to make my hair look tame and presentable.  Without gel, my hair would look like a thick mat of dog hair-like hair.


 


Another cool thing: I could actually shake my hair now.  My friend Andy would always amuse me by vigorously shaking his mop-like hair.  Now that my hair was long and droopy, I could do the same!


 


So yeah, isn’t that neat?  I thought it was very fascinating to learn something new about my own hair.  Then I started to realize that


 



  1. nearly everyone thought it was ugly

  2. washing it was a pain in the ass

  3. gelling it was a pain in the ass and a hassle

  4. it was getting really uncomfortable, poking at my ears and neck

 


Like all experiments (including the field cage survival tests I was working on in lab for the whole summer, unfortunately), this one had to come to an end, and by mid-August my patience with my hair was running out.  So I went to Supercuts and got the same ol’ haircut, as you see here:


 



 


And so after 4 ½ months, it’s over.  I don’t know if I’ll do it again.  I might just not get it cut until January, at the start of WI07, so it’ll be growing for another 4 ½ months. <shrugs>

Kenneth Huang’s Life Episode IƆƆMMXXXIX: End-Of-Summer Struggle

Right now, in Hayward, California….


 


 


 


 


 


 




KENNETH HUANG’S LIFE


 


Episode IƆƆMMXXXIX


 

END-OF-SUMMER STRUGGLE


 


Summer 2006 has been wonderful, and Kenneth Huang has been enjoying his life for once.  Research, despite being a mixed bag of fascinating questions and insect biology with not-so-fascinating grudge work, is for the most part good.  He has failed to find a second job, but that failure has allowed him more free time – free time he uses to spend time with friends and go to the beach.  The summer fun culminated with a very fun two days last weekend.


 


But all good things must come to an end, and as soon as that weekend passed the tide of summer turned swiftly.  A stunningly late arrival to work (research) places his standing with his professor in question.  And focus was suddenly placed on finding an apartment and roommate for the coming academic year, endeavors that both floundered in the days to follow.


 


Now, Kenneth and his two friends Andy Diep and Chris Rafie must quickly find a place to live and roommate(s) before the situation spins even more out of control…


 


 


(Yeah, you know what that means!  If you know of any cheap apartments in the UTC area that are opening up or anyone who needs somewhere to live, email me! kjhuang@ucsd.edu)

Follow-Up To The Case For Ned Lamont

What You Need To Know: A Summary For You Lazy Asses


·         In the August 8 2006 Democratic primary for U.S. Senator from Connecticut, my preferred candidate Edward M. “Ned” Lamont, Jr. defeated his opponent, incumbent Joseph I. Lieberman.


·         Lieberman is so out-of-touch with his fellow (?) Democrats that he is more popular – and more comfortable – among Republicans than among those of his own Democratic Party.


·         Contrary to popular belief, Lamont wasn’t a one-issue candidate and has a positive vision to offer, Lieberman’s problems went way beyond Iraq, Lamont has a chance of winning, and Lieberman’s defeat represented the Party taking a step in the right direction (that is to say, to the left).


·         Lieberman, of course, has every right to run in the general election and I look forward to his second defeat by Lamont on November 7.


·         Ned Lamont has a great positive vision; unlike Lieberman’s, it is one of progressivism and using active government to promote the general welfare of the country and its people.  I continue to support him for the U.S. Senate.


 


I was extremely pleased to learn that Edward M. “Ned” Lamont, Jr., a progressive, pro-government Democrat who had my support in his primary battle against incumbent Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), emerged victorious in his August 8 2006 primary, beating Lieberman 52-48.  Finally, I supported a winner for once!  Wow.


 


Unfortunately, Lamont only beat Lieberman narrowly.  Now, for me, that’s freakin good enough, cuz I’m so used to being disappointed on election nights.  But that’s not good enough to stop “Joementum”.  Ol’ Joe is relieved that he only lost narrowly and can now push on his independent candidacy for reelection, running on his preferred terrain: with the help of Republicans, independents and others in the general election.  This is how far Joe Lieberman has fallen: he is more popular – and more comfortable – among Republicans than among those of his own party.


 


Meanwhile, as predicted, the Politics1.com blog is in a tizzy over this development.  You can read the sordid mess in this entry, but I’d like to address some common bits of conventional wisdom offered by the opponents of Lamont (mostly rabid Republicans, but some wannabe-Republican Democrats too):


 


Lamont was a one-issue candidate/Lieberman was a good liberal on everything except Iraq.


 


Um, no.  People who say this don’t know jack-shit about Lamont – or of Lieberman, or of the primary race, for that matter.  But don’t take my word for it; the good folks at DailyKos have compiled a helpful list (with sources!) of complaints against Lieberman beyond Iraq.  Also, please read my column The Case For Ned Lamont for my personal reasons for supporting Lamont over Lieberman that goes well beyond Iraq.


 


Lamont ran a negative campaign and has nothing to offer besides withdrawing from Iraq.


 


It was LIEBERMAN who ran a negative campaign!  Lieberman was rhetorically mauling Lamont in their July debate like the bear that Lieberman compared his predecessor Lowell Weicker to.  Lamont explained why Lieberman needed to be replaced, of course, but for the most part I think he did a great job articulating his own positive vision, certainly a lot better than many (more seasoned) Democrats, and certainly better than Joe Lieberman.  What the hell does Joe Lieberman stand for?


 


And as I pointed out in The Case For Ned Lamont, there’s good reason to vote for Lamont rather than against Lieberman.  Certainly I found it.  Ned Lamont has a great positive vision, one of progressivism and using active government to promote the general welfare of the country and its people. (I can’t say the same for Lieberman.) He has a lot to say and do and offer his state and our country and if he makes it through November I’d say he’d probably be among my top three or four favorite U.S. Senators.


 


Lieberman is a sure-bet winner in the November election.


 


This one is not wholly convinced.  Lieberman will definitely lead Lamont among Republicans. (There remains a big question as to whether Republicans will support their own (flawed) candidate, Alan Schlesinger, or Lieberman.  I personally don’t envy their awful choice.  Do they support a guy who is where they are politically but has no chance of winning, or do they support a moderately liberal Democrat (Lieberman, in case you couldn’t tell) to block a fully liberal Democrat (Lamont)?  Oof!) Lamont will lead Lieberman among Democrats, though it remains to be seen how much support among Democrats Lieberman will hold onto – many Democrats are abandoning him at both the establishment and regular voter levels, unhappy about him pursuing an independent bid.


 


I would say Lieberman has the “conventional wisdom” edge right now, but a lot can happen in three months – I didn’t used to believe that, but Lamont’s victory has taught us all that lesson.  Hell, a month ago I was writing Lamont off as a sure loser.  Lamont has done the job of persuading Democrats that he was the real liberal and Lieberman wasn’t.  Now he has to take that same message and NOT water it down for general consumption, but rather use that same message to appeal to like-minded independents and maybe a few liberal Republican holdovers.  It’s not as ludicrous as it might sound.  As Lamont said, his call to stop wasting money in Iraq and start using at home will likely resonate beyond liberal Democrats.  It might not attract diehard, small-government conservative Republicans, but surely a lot of independents may at least consider responding to that call.


 


Also, Lieberman is likely to lose a lot of his Democratic support while Lamont keeps his.  The independent vote might be leaning Lieberman right now, but as long as Lamont makes himself a known quantity (I’m really hoping that he doesn’t water down his message) he should narrow, if not close, that gap.  The one group where Lieberman will keep a substantial edge over Lamont is Republicans and some Republicans might not be able to stomach voting for Lieberman and choose Schlesinger or whoever the Republicans nominate.


 


Finally, for some concrete food for thought, the latest Rasmussen poll, released a few days after the primary, shows Lieberman leading Lamont by just 6 points, 46-40, with Schlesinger getting 6 percent.  Note that only 8 percent were undecided or voting for someone else.


 


Lieberman’s defeat represents the radicalization of the Democrat [sic] Party, takeover of the Party by the far left, purging of moderation, polarization of politics, the rise of the crazy loony left Democrats are out of mainstream America’s going to hell blah blah blah


 


It’s DemocratIC Party, idiot Republicans.  Get it straight.  And yes Lieberman was a relative moderate who got booted.  We’re not the only party that’s doing it – the same night that Lieberman went down, so did another moderate… in the REPUBLICAN Party.  That’s right, Republicans are no stranger when it comes to purging moderates (ever hear of the Club For Growth and their “RINO Watch”?).  They did it on the same night that Lieberman lost his primary race when moderate Representative John J.H. “Joe” Schwarz (R-MI-7) was defeated by CFG-backed conservative Tim Walberg.  Not to mention then-Representative Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA-15), a CFG-backed conservative who now is President of the CFG, near-victory over moderate Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), and, going on as I speak, the conservative wing of the Republican Party’s assault on centrist Senator Lincoln D. Chafee (R-R.I.).  What hypocrisy.  And I love how Republicans take this moment to stick their big noses in to comment about OUR (Democrats’) race, and how they’re all waxing noble.  For example, we so needed to hear RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman’s comment on the result: “Joe Lieberman believed in a strong national defense, and for that, he was purged from his party.  It is a sobering moment.”  Aww, thanks for your valuable input, Ken.  Because we so needed to be reminded that President Bush’s illegal preventive war that has led to unproductive chaos, the deaths of 2 600 brave American servicepeople, and placed the USA in even lower standing in the international community – and thus, greater danger – is “strong national defense”.


 


Yes, Lieberman was a relative moderate.  Yes, his views were out-of-step with his Party and his state.  And yes, he lost a primary election.  What’s so bad about that?  Some may call this a far-left takeover.  I call it the Party’s returning to its FDR/JFK/LBJ roots, and most definitely a step in the right (or should I say left?) direction.  And I love it when Republicans moan about how Lamont’s victory represents “how far” Democrats have wandered from Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy.  First off, Republicans HATED those Presidents and still do.  So stop the act.  Second off, FDR and JFK would never have supported the Iraq war, because, unlike half of the Republican Party, they weren’t dumbasses.  Third off, Lamont, with his call for active government, is way closer to Roosevelt and Kennedy than Lieberman was (despite Lieberman’s constant invocation of the latter in his campaign speeches).


 


Lamont’s victory over Lieberman in the primary (and hopefully, the general) represents a step to the left and towards explicit and affirmative embrace of active government, which is the right direction for the Democratic Party.  It’s no different from conservatives, who comprise the vast majority of the Republican Party rank-and-file, constantly trying to knock off rebellious moderates.  Those who support those efforts but not analogous Democratic ones are either hypocrites or are revealing their true colors: they want as-conservative-as-possible politicians from both major parties.


 


Lieberman has no “right” to run in the general election.


 


This one is actually coming mostly from my fellow Democrats who are calling for Joe to get out of the race.  Personally, I have no qualms about Lieberman staying in other than that it makes it harder for Lamont to win.  Of course Lieberman has the right to run in this race – it’s called democracy, which apparently Lieberman didn’t seem to recognize when he was shocked that someone would actually run against him in the primary election.  I may not support him politically, but Joe Lieberman has every right to run in this election as an independent and offer himself and his views as a choice to the people of Connecticut.  His continued persistence will make his defeat on Election Night all the more satisfying.

The Case For Ned Lamont

What You Need To Know: A Summary For You Lazy Asses


·         Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) gives me several reasons to dislike him and oppose his continued service in the United States Senate, most obviously his firm support for Operation Iraqi Freedom, but the most compelling one is his proud subscription to the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) philosophy, which means not only is he unwilling to work for a progressive, active government agenda – an agenda I’m hoping to see if we Democrats regain power in D.C. – but also, he gives rhetorical cover and aid for Republicans and conservatism.


·         Edward M. “Ned” Lamont, Jr. is a great candidate and a great Democrat.  He’s been talking explicitly about active government – something few Democrats do these days – and he has pledged to fight for the liberal/progressive agenda and active government and stand up to Bush and Congressional Republicans when they’re wrong.  This is, as he says, a fight for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party, and in this fight Lamont is on the right side and Lieberman is in the wrong.


·         I can finally say that I’m supporting someone rather than opposing someone else.  I’m supporting Ned Lamont not because I’m against Joe Lieberman but because I’m for Ned Lamont.  Ned Lamont is a great progressive American and he’ll be a great progressive Senator who as a TRUE Democrat will fight for an active federal government that works for the common good.  I endorse Ned Lamont for the U.S. Senate.


·         Ned Lamont had a really great closing statement in his primary debate with Joe Lieberman.  Read the stirring words at the end of this piece.


 


You might notice that I titled this piece “The Case For Ned Lamont” rather than “The Case Against Joe Lieberman”.  That’s because I, as a citizen and voter, strongly prefer voting for someone rather than against someone.  That said, I think I should begin by laying out my case against Joe Lieberman.


 


(Btw, you might notice this is coming somewhat late.  I was busy.  So sue me.)


 


Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) is well-known as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee in 2000.  He’s less well-known as a failed Presidential candidate in 2004.  The reason why he failed was because he was simply too moderate for the Democratic faithful.  Chief among his areas of agreement and cooperation with President Bush and Congressional Republicans was his support for the Iraq war, but it went beyond that as well.  During the primary season, Lieberman constantly tsk-tsked “big government” solutions and scolded the ideas of active government and big changes.  In the May 3 2003 debate in Columbia, for example, he had this to say in response to Representative Richard A. Gephardt’s (D-MO-3) plan to repeal all the Bush tax cuts and use the money to pay for health care for every American:


 


…this campaign presents our party again with a choice about whether we want to go backward to deal with our nation’s problems like the terrible gap in health insurance for 41 million Americans; or whether we want to go forward with new ideas. We are not going to solve these problems with the kind of big-spending Democratic ideas of the past. And we can’t afford them.

We are not going to solve all of our problems with George Bush’s big irresponsible tax cut, and we are not going to solve them all with this kind of big spending. It doesn’t leave any money to invest in education, to invest in finding cures for disease, to invest in homeland security or international security.

I think a good place to start—and I think this will only happen step by step. The Congress, with all respect, would not pass the Gephardt plan ever. Therefore no single American will get insurance under it that doesn’t have it now. We ought to start where Al Gore and I proposed in 2000: expand the children’s health insurance program, which would have covered every child in America with health insurance by 2005, and let their parents buy into Medicaid at a cheaper rate than they can get in the private market. And that step by step is the way to do it.


 


Step by step.  That sound familiar?  Sounds like defeatist Clintonism to me.


 


He also based his candidacy on electability, rather than ideas, called himself a “Bill Clinton Democrat” and said Bill Clinton’s name in every third sentence. (Maybe that’s why Clinton has come to his aid in his current primary fight.)


 

PH2006080901982

A rather tired-looking Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.). Source: The Associated Press (Bob Child)


 


His service as U.S. Senator has been disappointing as well.  What few seem to point out was that it began horribly in the first place – Lieberman won his seat in 1988 by running to the RIGHT of his Republican opponent, liberal incumbent Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.  Weicker was (and still is) the real liberal of the two, and Lieberman won in part by getting the votes of dissatisfied Republicans.  He even got the support of National Review for chrissakes!  Since then, he has deviated from the Democratic/liberal line several times – and not just on Iraq.  As Jonathan Chait, writing for the L.A. Times, points out:


 


Foreign policy is hardly the only smudge on Lieberman’s record. He is a longtime supporter of taxing capital gains at a lower rate than other income — a stance gratifying to owners of stock but lacking in economic sense or basic fairness. He has long opposed sensible financial regulations. Even after his pro-business stance came under fire in the wake of the Enron scandal, Lieberman opposed sensible reforms. (As one of Lieberman’s friends told the New Republic’s Michael Crowley in 2002, “It’ll be remembered that he didn’t go off the deep end” — meaning, after the populist furor dies down, Lieberman could resume raking in contributions from grateful executives.) He supported the disgraceful energy bill and federal intervention in the Terri Schiavo case.


 


And of course, there’s his constant undermining – rhetorical and otherwise – of his fellow Democrats for the purpose of polishing his own apple and scoring points with his Republican friends (not surprisingly, he’s more popular among Republicans than Democrats, both in the D.C. punditocracy and his own state of Connecticut).  I don’t need to go any further than his infamous quote: “It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.”


 


But doesn’t he vote with his fellow Senate Democrats 90 percent of the time, as he claims in every campaign speech this primary season?  Ahem.  In a very good piece in the Hartford Courant called “Seasonal Memory Lapses”, Paul Bass points out that Lieberman gets this percentage from voting when it DOESN’T matter, i.e. on non-cloture votes.  He explains:


 


Now it’s true that Lieberman earns high marks on Democratic interest group “report cards.” That’s because he plays a shell game in which liberal interest groups are complicit. He gets the “right” mark for voting against Samuel Alito’s Supreme Court nomination, for instance. But he gives the Bush administration the vote it needs to make Alito a judge, by voting to stop a filibuster.


 


He did the same thing on other issues like the 2005 bankruptcy bill, prompting Ned Lamont to quip “somebody said about our senator on the Democratic side of the aisle that we can always count on his vote whenever we don’t really need it.”  Don’t get me wrong – voting records are important, but if there’s context to be looked at (as there is in this case) it needs to be brought up.


 


Bass also notes, It’s fine for Lieberman to join Republicans in ideological arguments. He does that a lot for someone still calling himself a Democrat.”  And that’s really my biggest problem with him.  The worst thing is, I think he really does believe in this DLC crap that Democrats have to run away from their liberal roots and embrace small-government rhetoric and action, mediocre solutions to big challenges and pleasing “the market” at every turn by abrogating regulations and selling off swaths of the public sector – and all the public responsibilities they entail – to rapacious profit-minded business execs.  His stances on health care – in opposition to both the Clinton health care plan and to the Gephardt health care plan – exemplify that.  And in believing and spreading the DLC drivel, he not only indicates an unwillingness to work for a progressive, active government agenda – an agenda I’m hoping to see if we Democrats regain power in D.C. – but he gives rhetorical cover and aid for Republicans and conservatism.  (Not to mention the rhetorical aid he gives to Republicans on other issues, not the least of which is Iraq.) The final blow against Lieberman for me personally is that I know he won’t be working for active government and the full liberal/progressive agenda, even if and when Democrats get a majority in the Senate again.


 


I’m not saying he’s all bad.  Yes, Lieberman has voted with Democrats more-or-less consistently.  And his single greatest contribution to our country and Party was his proposal of the Department of Homeland Security.  That’s one of the greatest examples of active government ever, seriously (I just find it ironic that only when it comes to homeland security ol’ Joe will get off his ass and bat for big government).  But my problem with Lieberman is that he’s a real ideological centrist and he’s not for active government and progressivism, so if there’s a better alternative, why not?  Which brings me to Ned Lamont.


 


Edward M. “Ned” Lamont, Jr. is everything Joe Lieberman isn’t.  He’s a true progressive who on his website explains why he’s running:


 


I am running for the US Senate because we deserve a Senator who will stand up for Connecticut and stand up for our progressive democratic values. Rather than spending hundreds of millions of dollars a day in Iraq, it is time for America to refocus on issues back home: fixing our healthcare system, upgrading our schools, and rebuilding our aging infrastructure. We will start winning in Iraq as the Iraqis take control of their own destiny, just as America has to start investing again in our own future.


 


Wow.  It gets better.  On the Issues page, he takes a strong rhetorical stand and says (emphasis his):


 


Government has a role in ensuring fundamental rights and equal opportunity for all Americans. Senator Barack Obama reminded Connecticut Democrats recently what a difference good, progressive government can make in people’s lives—from social security and Medicare to the national highway system and the Civil Rights acts. Rather than replacing the hard-earned social safety net with partially funded savings accounts, Democrats should be ready again to defend and build upon all that we have accomplished—equal rights and equal opportunity for all.


 


WOW.  You know how LONG I’ve been waiting for someone to say this?  You might think it’s just rhetoric, but rhetoric is important to me precisely because I want to see Democrats talking EXPLICITLY about active government and using it to help all Americans.  And that’s what Lamont’s doing.


 


NedLamont


Edward M. “Ned” Lamont, Jr. Source: Wikipedia


 


Lamont isn’t a single-issue candidate as Lieberman claims.  He’s been attacking Lieberman on other issues as well, and most importantly he ties it all into one general theme: Lieberman has been totally impotent on advancing and fighting for the liberal/progressive agenda, hasn’t been committing himself to the idea of an active federal government working for the common good and the common citizen, and has been cooperating with Republicans in covering their asses and denigrating Democrats so insolent as to dare question the President.  Lamont is the candidate who will fight for the liberal/progressive agenda and active government and stand up to Bush and Congressional Republicans when they’re wrong.


 


Lamont claims that this a fight for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party, and he’s right, as this great The Nation article points out.  And in this fight, Lamont is on the right side – the liberal/progressive base that’s been driving the Democratic Party ideology since FDR – and Lieberman is on the wrong side, the side of the DLC and centrism that preaches the REPUBLICAN mantra of small government, superiority of the free market and business, and that Democrats should cower in fearful respect of the GOP’s ideological and rhetorical dominance.  Lamont will not cower.  In the sole Lamont-Lieberman debate on July 7, he responded to a question about what being a Democrat means to him simply and succinctly: “when it comes to the Democrats, I think it’s important we go down to Washington, D.C., and start talking about the common good. I think that’s where we make a difference as Democrats, and I think that’s when we start winning again.”  Lieberman, for his part, came up with some blather about JFK and then went back to bashing Lamont.  In response, Lamont said (emphasis mine):


 


I think it’s so important that the Democrats stand up and present a constructive alternative to the Bush administration. And I do find that Senator Lieberman too often is willing to undermine the Democrats, be it on issues of war and peace like the war in Iraq, or be it on a variety of other issues, be it, you know, Social Security, be it affirmative action, be it vouchers.


 


These are important issues that say a lot about what type of a party we are and what we stand for. We stand for the public good. We stand for public education. We stand for universal health care for each and every American, and I think it’s important that when Democrats say that, that’s when we start winning again.


 


Finally, a Democrat who’s willing to talk about what he stands for rather than what he is against!  Senator Lieberman, I appreciate your service for the country and for the Democratic Party, but there’s just a better alternative.  And finally, I can say that I’m supporting someone rather than opposing someone else.  I’m supporting Ned Lamont not because I’m against Joe Lieberman but because I’m for Ned Lamont.  Ned Lamont is a great progressive American and he’ll be a great progressive Senator who as a TRUE Democrat will fight for an active federal government that works for the common good.  I endorse Ned Lamont for the U.S. Senate.


 


To finish this off, I want to leave you with some breathtaking words from Lamont – his closing statement from the debate.  I found these words so stirring that I’m not going to bold any of it – the whole thing is damn good and important and inspirational, one of the finest things I’ve ever read from a politician, the kind of stuff I’ve been hoping and dreaming and waiting for Democrats to say.  So just read it – it’s good stuff.


 


As I travel flat out around the state of Connecticut, people tell me one thing. They want their political leaders to stand up, think big ideas, dream big dreams, say what you mean, and mean what you say. And with Ned Lamont as your next Democratic senator, I mean to do just that. It won’t take me 18 years to sign onto a bill that says health care is a basic right for each and every American. And I’ll vote to roll back the Bush-Cheney-Lieberman energy bill, which provides billions of subsidies to big oil and does so little for conservation, energy independence and the environment.


 


And I will not find common ground with the Bush administration when they are trying to privatize Social Security. I’ll fight for Social Security. I’ll fight for our constitutional liberties. I believe so strongly that we’re stronger as a country when we are true to our basic values and we work in concert with our allies.


 


And most importantly, I will bring our brave troops home to the heroes’ welcome that they deserve. Rather than spending $250 million a day, $250 million a day in Iraq, we’re going to invest. We’re going to invest in those kids at Harding High School, we’re going to invest in grade schools and clean energy and affordable housing and public transportation. We’re going to bring our cities back as great as they were 100 years ago.


 


And, Senator, this is not about anybody’s career. This election is about the people. And I don’t want you to vote against somebody. I want you to vote for somebody. I want you to vote for your dreams. I want you to vote for your hopes. I want you to vote for your heart.


 


AUGUST 11 2006 ADDENDUM: Added the two pictures of Lieberman and Lamont.