Friday, August 30, 2013

Blumenthal And Murphy Contemplate War: What Would Clausewitz Do?

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy has not said whether or not he thinks it was wise diplomacy when President Barack Obama drew his red line in the sand on the question of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian strongman Bashir al Assad against his opponents. But the answer to the question can be deduced from Mr. Murphy’s position on a promised U.S. military intervention. Mr. Assad having stepped across Mr. Obama’s red line, Mr. Obama seems poised to respond militarily in some thus far mysterious fashion.

Mr. Murphy, the junior U.S. Senator from Connecticut, has been tagged by his state’s media  as “one of the most vocal opponents of a proposed air strike.” His Democratic comrade in the Senate, Richard Blumenthal, is less pacific. Mr. Blumenthal is urging prompt military action in Syria “to send a message to Assad.”

State of Connecticut Claims Disclosure of Adam Lanza’s Records “Can Cause A Lot of People to Stop Taking Their Medications” in FOI Hearing

The following is a media release from Shelia Mathews of AbleChild:

Ablechild vs.ChiefMedical Examiner: FIC Docket No: 2013-197, Attorney: Patrick B. Kwanashie, AAG (Office of the Attorney General) argues release of Adam Lanza records to public “can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications”. Ablechild argues that lack of transparency comprises informed consent and puts public health “at risk”.

December 14, 2012, 20 year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adults in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. He committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Connecticut Politics At The Zero


But never met this Fellow
Attended or alone
Without a tighter Breathing
And zero at the bone.
—Emily Dickinson

Connecticut’s far left – Governor Dannel Malloy and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy – have offered public endorsements to New Haven mayoralty candidate Toni Harp, not the brightest thing to do during a Democratic primary campaign. The endorsements have disappointed Hartford Courant commentator Colin McEnroe. The irritant in his shell has produced the following pearl of wisdom:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Braddock Takes A Bullet


Robert Braddock, the hapless finance director for the Chris Donovan U.S. House campaign, took the bullet bravely enough.

Outside the courtroom in which he was sentenced to 38 months for having accepted fraudulent campaign contributions for Mr. Donovan, Mr. Braddock spilled the beans.

FBI agents, Mr. Braddock told the media, offered him a deal he had bravely refused. The FBI, directing Donovangate from behind the curtain, wanted to wire-up Mr. Braddock so they might haul in a larger catch – perhaps Mr. Donovan himself – but Mr. Braddock refused to cooperate because, unlike FBI “rats” Joshua Nassi and Raymond Souci, a certain private code of honor kept him out of the FBI sting operation.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Supreme Court Cleans Up Blumenthal’s Augean Stables

Last week, Connecticut’s Supreme Court overturned on process grounds a jury's decision that the state of Connecticut should pay $18.3 million to Computers Plus, a company that once operated out of East Hartford.

The jury found that the state – specifically, then quick-to-sue Attorney General Richard Blumenthal -- had defamed the owner of the company and violated her due-process rights. The jury’s multi-million dollar award should be taken as an indication of the depth of the state’s perfidy in driving Computer Plus out of business on a fraudulent claim of wrongdoing.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Kerry Knows Whereof He Speaks


Secretary of State John Kerry has released a statement on the use of chemical weapons on civilians in Bashir Assad’s Syria:

"What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world," said Kerry. "It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable. And despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable."

Niccolò, How To Maintain Connecticut’s One Party State


 
A bit of advice for Democrats in Connecticut: First of all, stop worrying. You outnumber opposition Republicans by a margin of two to one, and there is no viable third party on the horizon, just a few Tea Party groups vowing to end the public careers of middle-of-the-road Republicans.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gun Crime, Still Not Fixed

Will the gun restriction bill passed by the legislature have an appreciable impact on gun crime in Connecticut? The future will provide an answer to that question, but it does not seem likely.

The gun restriction bill is targeted at gun owners that even Michael Lawlor, Governor Dannel Malloy’s choice to reform penology in the state, would be forced to admit do not generally show up in crime statistics. How many NRA members are currently doing time in Connecticut prisons because they used their guns to hold up EZMarts – like Frankie Resto?


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Connecticut’s Political Millionaires


The Hill, a much respected Washington D.C. publication, reports that Senator Dick Blumenthal, “not a businessman by trade,” has never-the-less acquired a fortune by “his marriage to the daughter of a New York real estate magnate.” His marriage has given Mr. Blumenthal “an impressive investment portfolio.”

Mr. Blumenthal is not alone among Connecticut’s Democratic politicians in having acquired fortunes through family members. U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro, married to pollster and consultant to Democratic political stars Stan Greenberg, also falls within the bounds of Connecticut’s millionaire one-percenter politicians.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lincoln And King

When Abraham Lincoln died after having been assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, Secretary of war Edward Stanton said, “Now he belongs to the ages. There lies the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen."

Lincoln, who always had a modest appreciation of his own merits, probably would have disagreed that he was a perfect ruler; or, at least, he might have made some joke about it. Lincoln and humor were always on good terms with each other. A heckler in an audience once charged he was “two-faced.” Lincoln stopped in mid-sentence and shouted back at the heckler, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”

On August 28 of this year, the nation will be celebrating in Washington DC, within sight of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Politics In The Ruins

When 10-term Mayor of New Haven John DeStefano announced he was calling it quits, a queue of Democrats quickly formed, each aspirant anxious to step into Mr. DeStefano’s outsized shoes.  Among Democrats hoping to succeed DeStefano are Toni Harp, a state senator for the past 20 years, Yale Law School graduate Henry Fernandez, Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina and Alderman Justin Elicker.

As is the case with other large cities in Connecticut, New Haven is a one party town. This means that no Republican need apply for mayor. The urban redoubts of decaying political party machines are still important to Democrats who run for state-wide offices. Votes in Bridgeport and New Haven were largely responsible for Governor Dannel Malloy’s successful run for governor, and it will not do to ignore those who butter your political bread. A perception of this kind may have drawn Mr. Malloy to New Haven to endorse Mrs. Harp.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Blumenthal, The Fox Watching The Hen House


When Dick Blumenthal opened his race for the U.S. Senate in 2010, he boasted “I've never taken PAC money and I have rejected all special interest money because I have stood strong and have taken legal action against many of those special interests.”

That was then.

It did not take Connecticut’s once battling Attorney General to acclimate to the ways of Congress. Roll Call reports that Mr. Blumenthal, who joined the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee at the beginning of 2013, “appears to be comfortable taking PAC contributions from communications companies that his Senate committee regulates.” Mr. Blumenthal also sits on the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blumenthal Crosses The Progressive Bar

Paul Choiniere, the editorial page editor of The Day in New London, seemed mildly disappointed by the news that U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal had crossed the Rubicon and become an aggressive progressive. The increasing willingness of some progressives to challenge presidential leadership, Mr. Choiniere believes, will make the prospect of compromise in the congress yet more remote.

Could it be true?

Mr. Blumenthal had just met with the editorial board of the paper. Given the substance of the interview, Mr. Choiniere noted in a recent editorial, the readers of The Day could reasonably “count Sen. Richard Blumenthal among a growing number of liberal lawmakers who believe that the old Bill Clinton formula, which called upon Democrats to move toward the center on economic and fiscal policy, no longer applies. Income disparities have become so great, the plight of many low-income and young people so severe, it is time to ‘get back to a good, progressive, populist message,’ Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa told the New York Times.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Is Anyone Home?

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), it must be admitted, knows a thing or two about Connecticut’s businesses and industries – perhaps even more than members of the state’s General Assembly, a majority of whom regularly pass bills and restrictions on companies in Connecticut, sometimes heedless of the real-world unintended consequences of such legislation.

CBIA, one of the largest statewide business organizations in the country, boasts 10,000 member companies. In business for more than 175 years, CBIA represents the collective voice of Connecticut’s industries crying in a parched wilderness.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

The Obama Snub


President Barack Obama is said to have “snubbed” Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president.

The snub was intended to send a signal to Mr. Putin following Mr. Putin’s warm embrace of Edward Snowden, America’s “most wanted” secret leaker.

Several months ago, Mr. Snowden, a mid-level spook, leaked to a columnist for the US edition of The Guardian, a British publicationa cache of information concerning a massive spying operation. Following publication of some of the information, Mr. Snowden took refuge in the Moscow airport, where he hunkered down for several weeks in limbo scouring the world for a place where he could remain untouched by the prehensile grasp of authorities in the United States.


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Congress To Public, Let’em Eat ObamaCare

  
One of the founders of the American Republic, James Madison, wrote in Federalist No. 57 that the U.S. Congress would not likely frame laws that would be injurious to the general public because the members of Congress also would be affected by the same laws. The Congress, he wrote, “can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.”

But the U.S. Congress, the Marie Antoinette of legislatures, has long since learned how to escape laws that members of Congress inflict upon others.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Political Prospects in 2014


Skirmishing for the 2014 elections has already begun. Two Republican candidates have already given firm indications that they plan to run against the Democratic nominee for governor, most likely present Governor Dannel Malloy, although Mr. Malloy has not yet made a formal announcement. Victory in an election depends in large part on the prevailing circumstances of the moment, and we simply do not know what the prevailing circumstances will be in 2014.

But some things will have changed. President Barack Obama, very much underestimated by Republican prognosticators before the 2012 elections, will not be on the mid-term election ticket. Republicans may recall the now amusing predictions of Karl Rove and others just before the votes were tallied. Former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney was supposed to have edged out the sitting president, according to the calculations of Republican number crunches such as Dick Morris.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Never Listen To Verdi On An Empty Stomach




Ode to Joy – Vienna

Andree and I were in Vienna some years ago. It's like this every day. Note the kid climbing the lamp.


Thursday, August 01, 2013

Clinton And The Weiner Roast

Hillary Clinton, her ambitious eye on the presidential prize in 2016, is said to be livid – LIVID – at comparisons drawn between Huma Abedin, one of Mrs. Clinton’s chief aides before she retired as Secretary of State, and First Lady Clinton during her husband’s groping and pawing years as president.

About 15 years ago, First Lady Hillary stood in defense of her beleaguered husband – despite her claims that she was no “stand by your man,” Tammy Wynette marriage rug – when jackals in the media were lobbing moral stink bombs at the inoffensive Bill. Abedin has appeared at her husband’s campaign rallies standing by her man, arms rigidly at her side, unsmiling.