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Category — Rachel Maddow

Donovan In Zuckerman Out

TJ Donovan is running again for State’s Attorney and David Zuckerman is bowing out of the race for the Vermont House.  Go TJ.  Thank you for your service David.


The New Moon Cafe event tonight for Philip Baruth’s Vermont senate campaign was nice.  Nice to see Philip and Charity and Steve Benen.  Steve won’t give me Rachel Maddow’s phone number.

Philip seemed a little disappointed that we aren’t seated next to each other on the School Board so I promised to text him the comments I would have made to him under my breath if we had been.  I was probably kidding.

April 22, 2010   Comments Off

Politics Vermont is Back

Lately our friend Rachel Maddow has been talking a lot about “AstroTurfing.” We had a blog made out of AstroTurf here in Vermont three year ago Called “Politics Vermont.”

Looks like that blog is up and running again, but open to invited guests only. Anybody know anything about this?

September 11, 2009   2 Comments

Tyranny on The Caspian

It’s very repressive to investigate people because of preferences in pop music. It’s repressive and in this case it’s also discriminatory. Thank you Dr. Maddow for reporting this last night.


MADDOW: In this country, we have “American Idol,” and its many spinoffs like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America‘s Got Talent” and “Nashville Star,” et cetera. In Europe, they have “Eurovision” which, believe it or not, is a way bigger deal.

“Eurovision‘s” been broadcast every May since 1956. It‘s one of the longest running TV programs of all time. Each of 43 countries picks a musical act to represent that country and then millions of people vote for the winner. We have “Eurovision” to thank or blame, depending on your perspective, for Abba, for Celine Dion, for Julio Iglesias, for Cliff Richard and even for the poor river dance who can‘t move their arms.

Although only Europe participates, “Eurovision” has gained fans and grown its audience worldwide because it frankly is an Olympic-grade display of truly over-the-top, “I can‘t believe this is really happening” kitsch.

But there‘s no news about this year‘s Eurovision contest that is way darker than your usual, you know, Belgium versus Holland, sequins versus satin shriek-off. Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a war 15 years ago over a region called Nagorno-Karabakh – don‘t worry, there‘s no spelling test here.

The important point is that both countries are still really sore about it. And they‘re right on top of each other and there‘s an Azerbaijan enclave right in the middle of Armenia, everything that is a sore issue between these two.

In the “Eurovision” contest this year, both of these countries did pretty well. Azerbaijan came in third. Armenia came in 10th. Here‘s Armenia from this year.


Now, you see why I‘m into this. All right. This was the Azerbaijan entry.


MADDOW: So good. Sorry. Which of those would you vote for? Hard to choose. But the BBC reports today that now, three months after “Eurovision” – because remember, it happens in May, police in Azerbaijan have called in for questioning people who live in Azerbaijan but who voted for Armenia, the country‘s archrival.

Apparently, they know for sure somehow that 43 people in Azerbaijan voted for the dreaded Armenians. You vote by text message. And the Azerbaijani national security ministry has been calling people who voted for Armenia in for questioning.

The national security ministry has confirmed that they‘ve done this to Reuters. They have confirmed that they are questioning Azerbaijanis for the crime of voting for the wrong song, which is, of course, another reason why “Azerbaijani Idol” is going to stink.


August 21, 2009   Comments Off

Facebook 2 Week Challenge Day 7

Stalking Rachel Maddow

If you follow this blog closely enough, you’ll know one of the things I’m most proud of about it is that it engendered a comment one time from the great and powerful Dr. Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. I am a huge fan of Rachel Maddow, and I was also “friends” with her on facebook. I gotta tell you, I felt pretty special when she accepted my friend request and added me to her thousands of other friends. From that point on I had access to pictures of her as a young baby faced local Massachusetts radio host in horn-rimmed glasses, pictures of her and someone I guessed maybe was her partner or at least a friend, and so on- Although her profile picture was just an old Jerry Falwell album cover. Then I started getting notifications every time somebody tagged her in an old photograph. Why does a stalker like me need fourth grade pictures of Rachel Maddow? Should seeing those pictures make me any closer to the real Rachel? Only as much as a Madonna pap smear gets me closer to the real Madonna. Which is to say not at all. But it makes me feel a little closer to her. Artificially. I’m not so sure how good that is.


The Definition of Pretentious

adjective: making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction
adjective: intended to attract notice and impress others
adjective: of a display that is tawdry or vulgar

Facebook creates the ultimate pretense for “staying in touch” with people you have long since parted with in the real world, or for “making new friends” whom you never really knew. It blurs the lines of relationships- between professional and casual, between acquaintance and friend, between friend and love interest. Updates on facebook create the false pretense that you are speaking to your friends, but they’re really a way of faking it with everyone without bothering to speak to anyone in particular. And you might chat with someone only in facebook that you would otherwise never bother with outside that world. Being “friends” with someone on facebook does not mean you are friends with that person.

May 12, 2009   2 Comments

Interview Weekend

Tomorrow (Saturday January 31) morning. Democratic City Council candidate David Cain will be on my radio show at around 11:30. Sunday morning I’m going to interview Mayor Kiss at 8:30 and Andy Montroll at 11:00. I gotta get a little more solid on my tape recorder (yes I know it’s digital. leave me alone.) and come up with some good questions tonight and tomorrow. Anything readers want me to ask anyone? If you throw out 100 suggestions I might use one or two. Oh… and there’s a slim chance Rachel Maddow might call the radio show Saturday morning. I invited her to call in on her facebook Wall. Like she has time. Still, you never know. She did leave a comment here once. (yeah, you got me. I’m stalking Rachel Maddow.)

January 30, 2009   Comments Off

Mood Swings and Budget Cuts

Here’s a link to the Fiscal Year 2008 Mayor’s Budget Task Force Report. Read it over twice. There’s going to be a test on it at the end of the day. Here’s a link to a post about beavers and beaver traps where I get into it with Cathy Resmer about Seven Days’s narcissistic ‘letters to the editor’ policy. Cathy often mentions how much she loves her job, which sends me into a vortex of ennui and self loathing every time. This has nothing to do with beavers or letters to the editor however.

The Bikram Yoga studio on Pine Street had a free open house on Saturday. I attended a 90 minute yoga steam class and it made me feel pretty good. I think yoga matches my personal philosophy and style pretty well. I hate material clutter. Yoga is just you and a simple mat. When I used to live alone my apartments were usually very neat and empty. My favorite way to decorate a room might be described as ultra-spartan. An empty room with a futon on the floor is pretty much my decorative preference. It’s harder to live that way with a wife and kids.

And I don’t like Christmas. To me it’s essentially a big bill I have to pay. Maybe I can get some vicarious joy by trying to see it through the eyes of my son and daughter. I hate having to lie to them about Santa. I can tell Koko at four already senses the impossibility of the myth. When Poopsie told him that Santa stops at everyone’s house on Christmas eve, he immediately asked how. This is probably his last year to buy into that bullshit. I stopped believing in Santa around five years old myself. There were about four billion people back then. I did the math.

Here’s a link from Owen Mulligan about a horror movie he made. Or something. Always gotta add the ‘or something.’ Here’s taboo question: Has Rachel Maddow already jumped the shark? She’s rich and famous and works for an arms dealer. When the tether breaks and an astronaut starts floating away from his ship, does it matter that he’s still in sight of it? He’s still never coming back. I enjoy Rachel Maddow. She talks like an episode of Friends. All quirky and whatever-y. But seriously folks. Seriously…

This will be my first Christmas without my mother who died in January. I think I’ve been in a low level mourning pattern all year, but the holidays are going to make it worse. My father and younger brother will both be travelling on Christmas Day. Father in Missouri. Brother in New Hampshire. Mother in Space. I’ll wash up on the shores of my in-laws as a holiday refugee, despising the expense and the lies of Christmas. Flotsam of the universe with no career to love. No skills to market. Only half-heartedly engaged in the material world.

December 9, 2008   Comments Off

BurlingtonPol Beats Blurt!


OK- Now you know what that last post was about.

My blog got more visits Saturday than the Seven Days staff blog Blurt!! Final score: BurlingtonPol- 73, Blurt- 70.

I have no chance of ever beating them on weekdays. Monday through Friday Blurt does about 33% better than me, but I noticed last Satuday that I came awefully close. This Saturday I won!

In your FACE Seven Days!!!

Go ahead, call me a dork. I’ll probably never win a “Daysie” award because I just can’t bring myself to go begging for votes like our two friends who win every year, so- this is it for me. This victory and when Rachel Maddow left a comment might be the two best moments of this blog’s little life!

Woo Hoo!!!

June 22, 2008   Comments Off

David Sirota

Daivd Sirota sent an email to local bloggers including me.

“Wanted to get in touch and let you know I’m going to be in Vermont to launch my book, The Uprising. I have attached an embargoed press release and background info on the book. As a blogger myself, I figured I would see if you wanted to perhaps do an interview about the book before the event, or some such other kind of thing…” [Links added.]

I took him up and called him around 6:20 eastern time tonight for a short phone interview. Not verbatim without quotation marks. Ring ring.

DS: Hello?
HB: Hello. Is this David Sirota?
DS: Yes.
HB: Hi. This is Haik Bedrosian from You sent an email about your book. Can we do a quick interview right now?
DS: Sure.
HB: What do you think about Ron Paul?
DS: I worked with him and his staff fairly often when I was Bernie’s spokesperson on Capitol Hill.
HB: You worked for Bernie?
DS: I was his spokesperson from 1999-2001.
HB: Huh.
DS: Ron Paul is what we call “an honest conservative” in D.C. We worked with him on issues like ending corporate welfare, the IMF and prescription reimportation.
HB: So do you support Obama?
DS: I haven’t endorsed anybody. I guess you could say I’m leaning toward Obama, but I was more toward Edwards when he was in the race. My job precludes me from making an endorsement.
HB: What’s your job?
DS: I’m a political columnist and I write books.
HB: Oh. What paper do you write for?
DS: My column runs in 40 papers including the Denver Post, The Seattle Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.
HB: Yeah. I didn’t really do my homework for this interview. I mean, I used to hear you on the Al Franken show. Ma-ma-ma-ma-my-my-my Sirota. We can’t get Air America on the radio in Burlington anymore. Hey! Do you know Rachel Maddow?
DS: I’m on her show all the time.
HB: Man, I love her. But do you think she’s selling her soul working for GE? I mean just now on TV I heard her cheering Hillary’s threat to obliterate Iran as earning her “hawkish stripes.”
DS: Micheal Moore ran into this dilemma with Rupert Murdoch and he said if he could use Murdoch’s resoures to get his own message out, it’s a coup.
HB: Do you consider yourself to be a member of a party?
DS: I guess you could say I’m a Democrat, but a Progresisve Democrat.
HB: So if you lived in Burlington you’d be a Progressive? You would support Bob Kiss and David Zuckerman?
DS: Yes. I actually serve on a committee with David Zuckerman. The Progressive States Network.
HB: Where do you live?
DS: Denver.
HB: Are you married? Kids? How old are you?
DS: I’m 32. Married since 2005. No kids. We have a dog named Monty, for Montana where we used to live. We helped Brian Schweitzer get elected.
HB: He’s smart. He’s a geologist. What do you think about the gold standard?
DS: I can’t really speak on that. It’s not where my focus has been…
HB: Peter Welch reacted the same way when I aked him about it. It was just way off his radar.
DS: Yeah.
HB: Some of my readers will think that it’s neat that I spoke with you. Thanks for taking the time. I’ll post your materials and announce your book launch.
DS: And I hope to meet you in Burlington at the event.

Bye. Click.

Poopsie: Did you ask him about his name? You should ask him about his name. Sirota means orphan in Russian.

HB: That’s interesting Honey, but I’m not going to call back and ask him about it.

David Sirota Tuesday May 27, 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Borders Books Church Street

Speech, Q&A and book signing sponsored by Democracy for Vermont and Chittenden South DFA.

May 3, 2008   Comments Off

An Open Invitation for Rachel Maddow

Hi Rachel. Thanks for your comment on this blog a couple of weeks ago If you are ever in Burlington and would like to be a guest on my radio show, just give me a shout.

Details: “The Haik Bedrosian Radio Program”
airs every Saturday morning from 10-11am
on The Radiator 105.9 WOMM-LP FM Burlington.

The studio is located at 215 College Street in Downtown Burlington and is licensed by the FCC to broadcast at an effective radiative wattage of 100… so… it’s kind of a big deal. I do a talk and call-in show.

By the way, did you know we can’t get Air America on the radio up here any more? I listen online sometimes, but it’s just not the same. And I like you on MSNBC, but that’s not the same either. So you should totally come be on my show. I think I’ve probably got between 10 and 20 listeners on any given Saturday, and I’m sure they’d enjoy hearing us banter.

March 6, 2008   Comments Off

CNN Links to BurlingtonPol

Usually when I check my blog’s site-meter stats, I can expect to see around 20-30 visitors by 3pm. I just looked now and saw that over 130 visitors have hit my site today. Weird. So I followed the referrals link and saw where they all came from…

They have a feature there called “from the blogs” that links to blogs talking about the topic of the day. I think some robot must have found my last post and stuck its link on the CNN politics page, probably because I used the names Obama and McCain twice each in the title.

Just a little tickle from the blogosphere. Stuff like that happens sometimes. It feeds my fantasies that maybe Rachel Maddow will stumble on my blog someday. I love Rachel Maddow.

February 13, 2008   Comments Off