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Showing posts from February, 2005

Will Senator Chris Dodd Please Intervene

President George Bush’s efforts to support democratic movements everywhere in the world – but most especially in former soviet block nations like Ukraine – may come back to bite him in Latin America.

Under the increasingly anti-democratic regime of Vladimir Putin, Russia appears to be sinking back into the ice age of Breshnev styled communism. Putin seems to be especially perturbed that Bush backed pro-Western Victor Yushchenko as president in the former soviet colony. Chavez was warmly received by Putin in Moscow just before Ukraine asserted its independence of its former overlord and gave the boot to Moscow’s preferred candidate.

When the Bush administration recently lodged a formal protest with Russia for having supplied the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez with some 100,000 AK-47 rifles, the protest likely fell on deaf ears.

The rifles – to be used, reliable analysts suppose, to support left wing movements in Latin America, and also to arm communist street gangs charged with e…

George Orwell in Connecticut: The Public Campaign Financing Scam

Everyone in George Orwell’s “democratic” Animal Farm, we are assured, is equal. But the pigs are more equal than others.

Inequality in democracies is enforced in one of two ways: either through the extension of special privileges afforded to select groups, or through the unequal application of laws and rules that ought to be applied universally, both of which violate what used to be called “the rule of law,” a series of fundamental doctrines, agreed upon by all, that are necessary to the fair making and application of the laws.

Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr. wants to be sure that, in the universe over which he presides, everyone is equal. But legislators would be more equal than governors.

Williams favors public financing of political campaigns only for governors and other statewide offices but does not wish legislators to be treated equally and has dismissed out of hand any other reforms.

Under William’s rule, the putative benefits of public financing would apply pri…

Prufrockian Politics and the Presumption of Innocence

Dare I presume
To disturb the universe?
– T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

The much fabled “presumption of innocence,” temporarily retired during the darkest days of the Rowland scandal, has been taken off the shelf and given a spit shine by leading Democrats.

Rep. William Hamzy, state chairman of the Republican Party, was trying mightily to avoid commenting on the recent troubles of Democratic senator Ernest Newton but found he could not hold his tongue after the FBI had carted off the senator’s files.

"I certainly didn't want to jump to any conclusions,” Hamzy said, “but when somebody's legislative office gets raided, that takes it to another level. Once a legislative office is raided by the FBI, there's something to this."

The FBI raided several homes and offices of people connected to Newton. According to news reports, the snoops had been following a trail of federal money paid to Newton’s sister. The FBI was also tracing state money paid to N…

The Iraqi Elections: Bush and His Critics

After the elections in Iraq, reliably liberal columnist for the Chicago Sun Times Mark Brown, wrote “…it’s hard to swallow, but what if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong? If it turns out Bush was right all along, this is going to require some serious penance.”

And fellow liberal syndicated columnist Richard Cohen went so far as to entertain the possibility of a Bush revision, which recalls T.S. Eliot’s line in The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock: “Time, there will be time/ For visions and revisions/ That time will soon erase.”

If democracy begins to set forth shoots in Iraq and environs, Cohen believes that historians may be much kinder and gentler towards Bush than have Cohen and his cohorts in their columns.

To be sure, there are die-hards.

George Soros, the multi-millionaire moneybags of the anti- Bush movement and the founder of the Open Society Institute remains unrepentant – and, indeed, oblivious to the possibility of a democratic society in Iraq. Soros is a follower o…

Gov. Rell's Budget, Democratic Opposition

During her budget address, Gov. Jodi Rell embarked on a spending spree with a smile, even as she announced that “We must not embark on a spending spree of new programs and policies.” The governor pledged $1.3 billion more for transportation improvements, $5.5 million for universal pre-school pilot programs, $57 million more for public education, $20 million for embryonic stem-cell research, and on and on…

Rell surprised many of her Republican well-wishers by raising what used to be called “sin taxes’ and popping the lid on the state’s spending cap in an effort to gain revenue from the federal government by taxing nursing home property; this after the governor wisely pointed out that, from the point of view of costs to taxpayers, there is little difference between the three forms of government – municipal, state and federal – since the same citizen shells out money for all three tax collecting agencies.

A Democratic leader came closer than he may have wished to the truth when he said tha…

Flipping Paulding:Judge Chatigny Syndrome and Michael Ross

It seems only yesterday that Michael Ross – a supremely narcissistic fellow according to one psychiatrist – had convinced all the relevant courts that, yes, he did want to be executed and, no, he was not incompetent.

But that was before U. S. District Superior Court Judge Robert Chatigny, whose decisions in the Ross case were three times rebuffed by appellate courts, got on the phone and, fortified with information provided by several lawyers whom the appellate courts determined had no standing in the case, flipped Ross’ lawyer, T. R. Paulding.

What a difference a day makes.

Chatigny having threatened to deprive Paulding of his law license should it be determined at some point in the future that Ross was incompetent to forego further appeals, Paulding prove most obliging. The day after Chatigny threatened to deprive Paulding of his livelihood, Ross’ defense lawyer threw in the towel. Citing a “conflict of interest,” Paulding consulted with his client, who agreed to a new competency hea…