The Fighting 29th - Meta Changes in blog format, organization or content. en We'll Meet Again Since the 29th District will soon be re-districted out of existence, I'm making official what's been obvious for a long time - this site is now closed. I've set it up so that all the content is still reachable and searchable, and I'll continue hosting it for as long as it makes sense, but there will be no new content posted. Comments are turned off because they're just spam-catchers as this point.

Thanks to everyone who contributed over the years and perhaps we'll meet someplace else on the Internet.

Meta Sun, 18 Sep 2011 21:17:59 +0000 Rottenchester 6499 at
New Server You are now reading the Fighting29th on a new server. You'll find the electrons much fresher here.

If you see any problems, drop me an email, or throw in a comment.

]]> Meta Fri, 12 Feb 2010 16:10:35 +0000 Rottenchester 6110 at
Kwanzaa Break I'm going to slip on my winter Crocs, bust out the kinara, and prepare for a joyous Kwanzaa. Because my Kwanzaa preparation ritual is extremely rigorous, don't expect any blogging until after I've fully celebrated the seven principles.

Of course, if something interesting happens, I'll be back to comment.

]]> Meta Sun, 06 Dec 2009 16:32:52 +0000 Rottenchester 6025 at
Housekeeping A while back, A reader pointed out that they were no longer getting Google alerts from posts here. I think that's because Google was pulling the Massa press releases from this site, and once the Massa office began posting them on his site, Google figured I was re-posting them, and they don't like that. Google still indexes this site, but doesn't post alerts when I post. Hopefully removing them will change that.

I started posting the press releases for two reasons. First, Massa's site wasn't up and running yet. Second, I think it's interesting to compare the press releases with what's published in local media. Since Massa's been posting them for all to see, I've removed them from the front page. If you want to see Massa press releases, they're here.

The feed of Massa's recent votes which was on the left column is now at the bottom right.

]]> Meta Tue, 11 Aug 2009 12:58:14 +0000 Rottenchester 5790 at
Site Changes I've added a left sidebar to the site, which will be used to track Eric Massa's votes and legislation. At the moment, only recent votes are visible. As soon as Massa makes a floor speech or sponsors some legislation, a feed of that information will be visible, too.

This data is provided by the excellent GovTrack site, which allows you to set up custom trackers for Congress. The site is an impressive, free effort by Josh Tauber and a few other volunteers, and it's worth a visit.

I've also changed the top right menuing to remove earmarks (which aren't available yet), and replace it with a resources page. That page has a few links for those curious about doing more Congressional research.

I'll be pimping up the feed displays over the next couple of days.

]]> Meta Thu, 08 Jan 2009 11:53:20 +0000 Rottenchester 5266 at
Update on the Evening's Festivities Evan Dawson at 13-WHAM has more on tonight's blogger portion of the CW-16 show. It will be broadcast on the Internet at

Howard Owens from The Batavian will be joining us.

The live blog here will start around 8:30 or so. Check in then to see what's happening.

]]> Meta Tue, 04 Nov 2008 18:30:46 +0000 Rottenchester 5165 at
Election Night at the Fighting 29th I will be on CW-16 tomorrow night starting at 9:30 to discuss the election. Exile from The Albany Project will be there, too.

We will be live-blogging with DragonFlyEye. Check back here around 9:30 tomorrow for the live-blog, and I hope anyone interested will join in.

Update: CW-16 is a Rochester TV station affiliated with 13-WHAM. I believe they will simulcast on the Internet at their website here. Tune in to the live blog tomorrow for more information.

]]> Blogversation Meta Mon, 03 Nov 2008 22:50:15 +0000 Rottenchester 5156 at
Reminder: Debate Tonight The first Massa/Kuhl debate is at 9 tonight on 13-WHAM.

We'll be live-blogging starting a little before 9 p.m. tonight.

]]> Debates Meta Fri, 10 Oct 2008 21:50:20 +0000 Rottenchester 5059 at
Debate Live-Blogging Tomorrow night we'll be doing something new - collaborative live blogging. Around 9 p.m., Exile from the Albany Project will join me in commenting on the 13-WHAM debate.

We'll be using some new software that allows everyone to comment in real-time. It's more like IM or a chatroom, so it should be pretty interactive. If you're watching the debate and near a computer, stop in and participate.

]]> Debates Meta Thu, 09 Oct 2008 11:11:59 +0000 Rottenchester 5052 at
Administrative Notes and Amplifications The media pachyderm Gannett is having trouble mating with the Internet elephant Google. The result is that most Star-Gazette stories aren't showing up in my feeds from Google, and a bunch of blog posts from political reporter Joe Spector are appearing a Westchester County Gannett site. I try to catch those, but I greatly appreciate all who have been sending Star-Gazette and other Gannett content.

In today's post on the debates, I claimed that there have been no public polls in the 29th, and that Kuhl's campaign has not paid for a poll in the recent past. A sharp reader wrote to point out a Kuhl poll which was distributed in January that showed Kuhl 20 points ahead. Just to be clear: in addition to being a poll from one side, that poll had a few other issues that made it really unreliable. Follow the previous link to learn more. There's been no third-party polling in the district that I know about.

]]> Meta Fri, 12 Sep 2008 18:05:23 +0000 Rottenchester 4974 at
Plugs: Me on TV, Greenpeace at Watkins Glen I'll be appearing with some other local bloggers on Rochester CW-16's primary night show tonight between 10 and 11 P.M. The show is a combination of primary-night reporting and pre-general analysis, and the bloggers will be talking about the impact of blogs on local politics. I will probably also be writing a post on the impact of primary results on the election in the 29th. 13-WHAM and CW-16 share the same news team.

As reported earlier, Greenpeace is bringing a solar demonstration vehicle to the Southern Tier. The vehicle will be on display at Watkins Glen, Clute Park/Lakeside (by Route 414) tomorrow, between 4-6 P.M.

]]> Meta News Tue, 09 Sep 2008 12:43:34 +0000 Rottenchester 4959 at
Everything Old Is New Again Welcome to the new, somewhat improved, and slightly different Fighting29th.

Other than the appearance, the main changes are the comment procedure, and the earmarks and significant votes sections.

Comments are now "threaded" so you can hit the "reply" link to reply to a previous comment. Also, you should only be asked the "CAPTCHA" question once, and then your email and name will be remembered for a while. The security question is now a little simple math. Since few were using logins, I didn't bother re-implementing them in this version.

Earmarks and Significant Votes are now linked to pages in CongressDB that contain data from Taxpayers for Common Sense and Project VoteSmart. Both of those are new CongressDB features, by the way. You can look up other legislator's 2007 earmarks and their Key Votes (according to Project VoteSmart) if you're interested.

An old friend used to say "all change is decline". That's not my intention, so please send me an email if you see anything amiss.

]]> CongressDB Meta Tue, 24 Jun 2008 19:13:26 +0000 Rottenchester 4828 at
WNYCongress  WNYCongress is an "aggregator" or "planet" that brings together blog posts from area bloggers interested in NY-25, NY-26 and NY-29 races.  The goal of WNYCongress is to publish regular summaries and breaking news for those who are interested in the races but don't have time to spend reading every single post on area blogs.

Rocplanet is another project of mine, so if people have other ideas for planets, I'm all ears.
]]> Meta Sun, 20 Apr 2008 14:26:36 +0000 Rottenchester 4750 at
Various Items
In the meantime, Norm Ornstein, who is a center-left expert on Congress, is participating in a conversation on the New Republic site.  I thought Norm captured the last year's follies pretty well in this paragraph:

The Senate is at the root of many of the problems Democrats faced this year. Republicans applied delaying tactics that had never been used before--on highly controversial issues as well as routine ones, and not just by filibustering, but by regularly denying unanimous consent in a body where everything moves, or doesn't, by unanimity. It had the twin effect of raising the bar to 60 on nearly every issue, and slowing down the Senate as if there were gallons of molasses poured onto the roadway. Because a filibuster can be applied as many as three separate times on a bill, and a successful cloture vote allows up to 30 hours of debate after it passes, filibuster efforts, even on widely accepted matters, can take days to resolve. And by raising the bar to 60, it meant that many matters with majority support--like limiting farm subsidy payments to non-millionaires--went by the boards. Combine these delaying tactics with the president's near-universal veto strategy, and you have a formula for gridlock.
As Norm points out, it really doesn't matter what the House does if the Senate passes everything through its sphincter of delay.  The inevitable end result will be bad compromises and kitchen-sink bills that serve petty partisan interests while they delay the inevitable reckoning that's coming on energy policy, our massive deficit, and our seemingly endless involvement in Iraq.  I think the whole exchange between Norm and a couple of other TNR reporters is well worth reading.

Also, those of you who are frustrated by the superficial yet never-ending coverage of the presidential race might want to check out Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone piece, and Glenn Greenwald's exchange with John King of CNN.
]]> Meta News Wed, 16 Jan 2008 22:44:25 +0000 Rottenchester 4627 at
Massa Q&A has responded in the comments.

On other Q&A fronts, I haven't been able to attend the last couple of Massa press conferences, but I hope to get back in the habit next week.

]]> Meta News Thu, 03 Jan 2008 20:19:22 +0000 Rottenchester 4615 at
Various Items
  • Those of you interested in new media might want to read an interview with Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.  Craigslist is a company of about two dozen people with the goal of bringing free classified ads to the world.  Money quote:
Newspapers have much bigger problems. Newspapers are going after 10% to 30% profit margins for their businesses and that hurts them more than anything. A lot of things are happening on the Internet that never happened before because the Internet is a vehicle for everyone. The mass media is no longer only for the powerful, and that's a huge change for the entire newspaper and news industry.
In the old media model, with huge presses or transmitters and large technically-adept staffs, a 20% profit margin was necessary to attract investors willing to finance the overhead in return for a share of the profit.  In the new media model, major capital investments are no longer part of the picture, so media can run on a low- (or no-) profit, sustainability model.  In other words, today's media can be more like a small business than a major corporation.  That's a tremendous shift in the media business model that we're just starting to see nationally in sites like Craigslist or TPM Media.  The shock waves of that shift are just starting to be felt in our local markets, but when they hit, it's going to be an interesting ride.
  • I like watching the HBO series The Wire.  The show takes on different issues in inner-city Baltimore, including the War on Drugs, Education and Unions.  It's written by two veteran reporters for the Baltimore Sun.   This year's theme is journalism, and it will be fascinating to see the parallels between the D&C's role in inner-city Rochester, and the Sun's in Baltimore.
  • This week's Massa press conference was canceled due to the holidays.
]]> Media Meta Wed, 26 Dec 2007 16:50:26 +0000 Rottenchester 4609 at
Sweet Baby Jesus
As a non-militant atheist, I find all the "War on Christmas" rhetoric amusing.  If such a war exists, it makes our debacle in Iraq look like the Marianas turkey shoot.  In other words, Christmas is winning, big-time. 

I live in a supposedly lily-white Christian suburb.  Not so:  Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Buddhists live on my street, not to mention atheists, agnostics and other assorted heathens.   We all have to put up with 8 weeks of repetitive music, garish decorations, and rampant materialism.  Yet when our school district tries to make Christmas break "Holiday Break", and forbids the use of obvious symbols of Christianity, some parents react as if they replaced the lunch ladies with paroled child molesters.

I believe every Christian has an absolute right to celebrate Christmas in their homes and churches.  But I also think that the Hindi, Muslim and Jewish kids on my block get enough Christmas in the stores and on TV.  They don't need to have more displays and activities funded by their parents' tax dollars. 

Also, those who regularly genuflect in reverence towards "the market" should recognize that my neighbors shop, too.   Maybe when a clerk says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," my neighbors and I will feel more comfortable in the store, and we'll be more likely to buy there.  That's basic capitalism, not a "war".

Well, enough of that.  Even though I'm an atheist, I'm also a devoted Dad and husband, so I'm off to do yet more Christmas shopping.  No Massa press conference coverage, and light posting will ensue.  Baby needs some new toys.
]]> Meta Wed, 19 Dec 2007 13:01:54 +0000 Rottenchester 4608 at
CPR H.Con.Res 215, which was co-sponsored by Randy Kuhl and Dan Boren (D-OK-2), names the first week in June as National CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Week.  It passed the House yesterday, and the Senate on December 6. 

Also, and completely unrelated, I missed the Massa press conference this morning, so no report on Massa doings this week.

]]> Meta Votes Thu, 13 Dec 2007 01:38:38 +0000 Rottenchester 4600 at
Program Notes ]]> Meta Thu, 11 Oct 2007 01:35:41 +0000 Rottenchester 4497 at Changes If you're reading this entry, you've reached the Fighting 29th on a new server. I've moved the blog and upgraded the version of blogging software. There are a couple of changes:

  • The look is slightly different.
  • The comment block is hidden, and you need to click "comment anonymously" to reveal it.  Or, you can sign in using an OpenID, Livejournal or Typekey account to leave comments.  If you don't have one of those accounts, don't worry -- just sign in anonymously.
If you have any problems viewing or commenting on the blog, please drop me a comment or an email.

This should be a minor upgrade.  I have a bigger announcement to make soon.  Stay tuned.
]]> Meta Sun, 07 Oct 2007 16:40:00 +0000 Rottenchester 4492 at