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Showing posts from June, 2005

Guess Whose Coming to the Prescott Bush Dinner?

Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell, said to be a moderate Republican, attempted at the end of June to bring together under the state GOP's big tent abortion advocate Jennifer Blei Stockman, the recipient of this year’s prestigious Prescott Bush Award, and possible Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, governor of Massachusetts.

A Greenwich resident, Stockman is the wife of Ronald Reagan’s former budget director, David Stockman, and co-chairwoman of The Republican Majority for Choice. Romney was featured as a presidential possibility in the June 20, 2005 issue of National Review under the title “Matinee Mitt.”

Attendance at the dinner was considerably lower this year than in previous years. The event usually draws about a thousand Republican stalwarts. This year, only 550 Republicans showed up.

Surveying the crowd, Rell said,“I think we have excellent attendance. She noted that some people had come expressly to see Stockman.

At least one Greenwich Republican begged to differ. Sam Rome…

Kelo vs New London: Eminent tyranny

In Kelo vs. New London the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that from the moment of its decision forward it shall be lawful for agents of the government to seize homes from citizens and to force those citizens to sell their property to commercial interests.

Before the court crafted this decision -- out of snakes and snails and puppy dog’s tails -- eminent domain could be invoked by the federal or municipal government only when the seizure of property was necessary to satisfy a legitimate state interest. After Kelo agents of our republic’s tripartite government will be authorized to seize my home and force me to sell it to satisfy a commercial rather than a public interest.

From the point of view of constitutional interpretation, this is the most harmful U.S. Supreme Court decision in my lifetime. And if there is anything that can arouse the citizens of our sleepy republic to march on Washington and demand a repeal of this decision and a restoration of our constitutional liberties, it is thi…

Campaign Finance Reform Connecticut Style

In a letter addressed to legislative leaders, Gov. Jodi Rell, finding herself in a non-combative, compromising mood, asked that a bipartisan committee of 12 lawmakers be convened to reach consensus on campaign finance reform. The question arises: What is the likelihood that such a committee will report out a plan that will both satisfy all the parties concerned and reform a process that has led to the imprisonment of a couple of mayors and a governor?

There are two kinds of campaign reform. There is a reform that will change the nature of campaigns, now weighted heavily in favor of incumbents; and there is a reform that will leave the disposition of power and forces much as it was when former Governor Rowland – and who knows how many other high government officials – fended off all serious political challenges while collecting favors from people his office was in a position to benefit.

The true test of successful campaign reform should be reflected in the turnover of incumbents. Any c…

Hillary To Klein: Gotta Problem With That?

Here we go again.

A new book by former editor of Newsweek and former editor in chief of the New York Times Magazine Ed Klein, excerpted in Vanity Fair, claims that former President and sexual scofflaw Bill Clinton “seemed to grow even more reckless after his memoir “My Life” became a big bestseller. Thanks to his record shattering $12 million book advance plus another $10 million in speaking fees, he was rolling in money – and hubris.

“Throwing caution to the wind, he started a torrid affair with a stunning divorcee in her early forties, who lived near the Clinton’s in Chappaqua. There was nothing discreet about he way he conducted this illicit relationship; he often spent the night at his lover’s home, while his secret service agents waited in a car parked at the end of the driveway.

“’It’s one thing to go out to California with his wild buddies and stuff there’ said (MY ITALICS) someone with intimate knowledge of the former president’s philandering ‘But being indiscreet with a woman in…

The Vietnamization of the Iraq War

“The White House insists that all is going swimmingly in Iraq,” according to the editorial page editor of a local paper.

No one in the White House ever has made such a claim.

Polls show “popular disgust at the continued killings of civilians” in Iraq, and “an inability to suppress the insurgency in Iraq is finally beginning to disturb members of the U.S. Congress.”

The word “finally” suggests the editorial writer had been disgusted long before congress tardily came to its senses. But disgust is a double edged sword: It moves some people to increase their resolve, especially when faced by the horrific crimes against humanity committed by what the writer is pleased to call "the insurgency." Others lose courage. The “insurgents," many of them Saudis, are surging into Iraq from outside the country. The border between Iraq and Syria is particularly porous.

“Growing talk” among supporters of the president – Connecticut Rep. John Larson is not one of them -- that Bush needs “an ex…

Hillary: How to Lie to the New York Times

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, finding herself among reddish ideological compatriots – a “Women for Hillary” gathering at a midtown hotel that added $250,000 to her political coffers – threw off her recently acquired “moderate” corset and unwound.

Samplings of the senator’s spicy rhetoric follow:

• “There has never been an administration, I don’t believe in our history, more intent upon consolidating and abusing power to further (sic) their own agenda. I know it’s frustrating for many of you, it’s frustrating for me. Why can’t the Democrats do more to stop them? I can tell you this: It’s very hard to stop people who have you shame about what they’re doing. It’s very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government (sic) who don’t care. It’s very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth.”

• According to a report from the Clinton friendly New York Times News Service, the sena…

David Verses Goliath: The Future of UTC in Connecticut

In a speech given before the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce in Cromwell, CEO of United Technologies George David, ever polite, said that he had “hard words” for his audience. He recalled a phone conversation he once had with then Governor Lowell Weicker, who was attempting to persuade David to amend a note receivable held by UTC that would facilitate the sale of the Hartford Whalers hockey team.

Weicker had mentioned that both David and he were “big boys,” major employers in Connecticut. But for the first time that year, Weicker said, he was a little bit bigger than David: The number of state employees had grown larger than UTC workers.

“I put the phone down,” David told his audience, “and recalled asking myself whether this was the right theory.”

Much water has flown under the bridge since that conversation. Connecticut’s payroll has increased 24 percent since 1992, although its population, David noted pointedly, has grown during the same period “by only 2 percent, with outward migrati…

Budget 2005: When "Compromise" is surrender

As budget negotiations between state Democrats and Republicans appeared to be teetering on the brink of disaster, a rising tide of national prosperity lifted Connecticut’s boats and made a so-called budget “compromise” possible.

In a presidential administration that has been universally reviled for its propensity to spend, who woulda thunk that tax revenues would increase? Connecticut’s surplus dollars -- $700 million in the current fiscal year with a prospect of more to come the next fiscal year as the economy continues to improve – made everyone giddy with happiness.

The legislature, dominated by Democrats, has decided to spend most of the surplus, dedicating a sliver of it, $76 million, to the state’s rainy day fund, and another sliver to the state’s under funded teacher’s retirement fund.

The compromise budget replaces Governor Jodi Rell’s proposed “sin taxes” on cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, beer, wine and spirits, with a Democrat proposed 20 percent surcharge on the corporat…

Judge Robert Chatigny's Ethics

Judge Robert Chatigny was asked point blank by Assistant Attorney General Terrence O’Neill, “Does your honor hold any personally held beliefs or has your honor written in any other cases that we just haven’t been able to find yet that would cause us to question your partiality with respect to the implementation or execution of a death sentence?”

Only two days before he threw a monkey wrench into serial killer Michael Ross’ impending execution, Chatigny answered, “I have no moral beliefs or other types of beliefs that would stand in the way of implementing a death penalty in the circumstances where the law called for it to be done. So, yeah; you'll not find anything that suggests anything to the contrary. I feel fortunate to be in a situation to be able to address these issues without having to deal with a client, the public, the media, a boss or anything other than my own conscience."

Two days after the interrogatory between O’Neill and Chatigny, the judge convened a now notori…