A Kiss is Just A Kiss:   Lieberman is now denying that Bush ever kissed him.   "I don’t think he kissed me, he leaned over and gave me a hug and said "thank you for being a patriotic American," he told Time MagazineBob Brigham provides some helpful instant replay of that fateful moment on the YouTube above. You be the judge.

BFFs:  House GOP member and Joe Lieberman boon companion (with whom he marched in the Waterbury Memorial Day Parade) was the only Rep from CT to vote for the hideous English-only amendment to the Voting Rights Act that went down in flames last week:

"I’ve never had a minority person say, `I can’t read Nancy Johnson,’" she says with a smile.

Nancy probably doesn’t have a lot of American Indians in her district.  Nor, one imagines, would she care if she did.  Lieberman’s plans to bolt the party seriously threaten the campaign of her Democratic opponent, Chris Murphy, who takes issue with Johnson’s indifference.  Nice friends you got there, Joe.

Mr. Conscience:  Digby reminds us about what Joe Lieberman finds appalling.  Blow jobs?  Hell yeah.  Torture at Abu Ghraib?  Not so much:

On marital infidelity, Joe Lieberman, moral conscience of the Democratic party, is uncompromising. On torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners he sees shades of gray. From where I sit, Joe Lieberman’s failure to publicly and resolutely condemn this torture regime, (much less vote to reward those who instigated it) puts the lie to his claim to moral superiority and personal integrity. A man who cannot see unequivocally that torture is wrong cannot be a moral leader. I resent the fact that he seems to believe that he’s entitled to the benefits of that reputation when he has proven he is actually little more than a puritanical sexual scold — on the big moral question of the day he has fallen very, very short.

Lieberman was quick to leap to Rumsfeld’s defense when the Abu Ghraib torture photos appeared, and accused Democrats  of trying to "politicize" the situation by calling for a Congressional investigation.   As I recall it all played rather well on Fox news.

.   With Friends Like That:  The devastating NYT article that paints Lieberman as a frail, withering political husk includes a quote from Lanny Davis:  "Joe Lieberman has never been subjected to this before."  As Thom Schaller writes, "It’s not like he was out of the country when Clinton was fighting off the GOP hate machine."  More at the Gadflyer.  Maybe Davis needs a stint on Wingnut Mail Bag?

More Hillsman:  Ned Lamont’s latest radio ad (MP3):

Joe Lieberman is potentially hazardous to anyone who drinks water or breathes air. For details, consult the Bush-Cheney Energy Bill. Avoid Joe Lieberman if you are elderly or run a risk of future elderliness. He voted to raise the Medicare age to 67 and to enact co-pays and income requirements. Joe Lieberman may lead to privatizing Social Security.

Bill Hillsman may be persona-non-grata in DC establishment circles, but his irreverent ads that worked so well for Paul Wellstone, Jesse Ventura and yes, Arianna Huffington certainly suit Ned Lamont’s "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" persona.  Ned’s Messy Desk ad has been viewed over 135,000 times on YouTube.  

Toxic Joe:   Shorly before Lieberman arrived at a barbecue being held in his honor by several unions, state Attorney General Richard Bluemethal took off like a bat out of hell.  Was it fear of being caught on camera with Joe, or the presence of the ever-popular Kiss float driving up and down the street (at least before the police helpfully showed up)?  The "other pressing engagements" excuse he gave as he headed for the hills was somewhat less than convincing.  (Spazeboy was there and has more.)

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(photo by CTBlogger