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Showing posts from June, 2006

Borden on the Bench

Justice Borden took an axe
And gave Zarella forty whacks

Here’s the short version of what happened.

Governor Jodi Rell wanted to appoint State Supreme Court Justice Peter Zarella as Chief Justice. The sitting Chief Justice, William Sullivan, soon to retire, thought to grease the skids for Zarella, a protégé whom he appeared to like more than, say, Justice David Borden – by withholding from publication in a law journal a decision that had produced much controversy in the media.

The court, Zarella voting with the majority, had declared that a decision made by the Freedom of Information Council ordering the release of certain information to the media could not trump a previous decision made by a superior court judge that the information need not be made public. The decision turned on the nature of the information that was to be released. The court was divided on the issue, Borden voting with minority dissenters. The high court’s decision did not please the media, friends of the Freedom of In…

Lamont, the New Moses

Tom D’Amore, who joined the Ned Lamont campaign a few months ago, is former Senator and Governor Lowell Weicker’s former major domo. At one point, Weicker shoehorned D’Amore into the chairmanship of the Republican Party. The party’s central committee swallowed hard and voted him in. D’Amore also is a stormy petrel, a bird whose presence announces the coming of a storm.

Weicker is the storm.

Weicker and his lovely wife Claudia held a well attended fund raiser for Lamont in Chester on Sunday. Claudia is a Democrat; Weicker is still an Independent Maverick-- which, translated into Connecticut-speak, would make him a Democrat.

Weicker’s face has been popping up here and there in various venues for the last few months. Recently appearing with Mark Davis of WTHN channel 8, Weicker was asked whether sour grapes figured at all in his support of Lamont, who is challenging Weicker’s nemesis, Senator Joe Lieberman, in a Democrat primary. Lieberman hitched up with conservatives and battered Republic…

To Hot Tub or Not to Hot Tub

Today’s Hartford Courant reports, not too prominently on page A21, that U.S. Senator Chris Dodd “reported owning a cottage in Galway, Ireland, valued between $100,000 and $250,000.” There is no indication in the story whether or not the cottage has a hot tub in it.

The Past and Future Skeletons in Dodd’s Closet

In a blog entrée reproving former Democrat Party chairman John Droney for having suggested that besieged Senator Joe Lieberman should run as an independent, Courant columnist and radio talk show host Colin McEnroe reached over and slapped Democrat Senator Chris Dodd upside the head.

The jolt to Dodd’s brain stem did not appear to be inadvertent.

It’s no secret that McEnroe regards Droney as a crass opportunist.

My chronic distaste for Droney has mostly to do with my belief that he's a bit of a bounder, as they say, and that, during the Rowland years, this acclaimed Democratic power broker never did much to unseat the Republican governor because he and his cronies liked the way Rowland and state Treasurer Paul Silvester ran the candy store. Droney capped off that marvelous phase of his life by becoming, appropriately, Rowland's defense counsel.

McEnroe rose to the defense of people characterized by the politically inept Droney in a Hartford Courant story as “weirdoes.”

Apparently, … Told To Move On

Here in Connecticut, has financed, produced and distributed several ads that may be described as “helpful” to Democrats challenging entrenched Republicans. The so called “Caught Red-Handed” ads launched against U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson and others have been frequently aired, but it is questionable whether the ads will be helpful to Johnson’s Democrat opponent, State Senator Chris Murphy.

Traditionally, negative advertising in the state has not had a good press. Major newspapers in particular have argued that they hurt more than they help; for one thing, “fact based” attack ads arouse antipathy in the media. At least, that has been the case so far.

Unlike some earlier negative ads frowned upon by many newspaper publishers, editors and commentators, the “Caught Red-Handed” ads have no connection with the Democrat Party as such. While is ideologically affiliated with the progressive wing of the Democrat Party, formally the group’s connection with the Democrat Party is n…

This is What It’s All About, Alfie

Over at Slate magazine, not a conservative publication, Christopher Hitchens, not a disreputable neo-con, speculates that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the target of two 500 pound bombs, was not an innocent bystander in the war against the West being prosecuted by Islamic Salafists.

The guy who sawed off the heads of two American prisoners, Hitchens writes,

…contributed enormously to the wrecking of Iraq's experiment in democratic federalism. He was able to help ensure that the Iraqi people did not have one single day of respite between 35 years of war and fascism, and the last three-and-a-half years of misery and sabotage. He chose his targets with an almost diabolical cunning, destroying the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad (and murdering the heroic envoy Sérgio Vieira de Melo) almost before it could begin operations, and killing the leading Shiite Ayatollah Hakim outside his place of worship in Najaf. His decision to declare a jihad against the Shiite population in general, in a document of …

Who Done It?

The usual sleuths are snooping around the corpse in an attempt to find out who done it.

An Associated Press report indicates that “Tips from within al-Zarqawi's own terror network helped the U.S. locate and bomb a safe house where the al-Qaida leader was meeting in secret with top associates.”

Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser told a reporter from the New York Times, “"We have managed to infiltrate this organization,” but the tight-lipped security advisor declined to elaborate. An unnamed Jordanian official told the Times – which also tends to be tight-lipped concerning its sources – “the mission that killed Mr. Zarqawi was a joint operation conducted by the Americans and Jordanian intelligence. The source inside Mr. Zarqawi's group, the Jordanian official said, had been cultivated at least in part by Jordanian intelligence agents. ‘There was a man from Zarqawi's group who handed over the information,’ the Jordanian official said.”

The good news is…


Al-Qaida’s man in Iraq, al-Zarqawi, is now being attended by scores of virgins in heaven. He was reduced to his present estate, according to recent reports, as a result “of intelligence reports provided to Iraqi security forces by residents in the area” and Jordanian assistance.

According to an Associated Press report, A Jordanian official said that Jordan also provided the U.S. military with information that helped in tracking al-Zarqawi down. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was addressing intelligence issues, would not elaborate, but Jordan is known to have intelligence agents operating in Iraq to hunt down Islamic militants.

Some of the information came from Jordan's sources inside Iraq and led the U.S. military to the area of Baqouba, the official said.

Baqouba has in recent weeks seen a spike in sectarian violence, including the discovery of 17 severed heads in fruit boxes. It was also near the site of a sectarian atrocity last week in which masked g…

Bad Ass Bass

Paul Bass is – or was—the editor of the New Haven Independent, a left leaning blogpaper. The Hartford Courant’s Northeast Magazine picked him up as a columnist after longtime political columnist Michele Jacklin left the paper to join Mayor John DeStefano’s gubernatorial campaign. Jacklin has since left the DeStefano campaign for parts unknown. Bass recently penned in Northeast Magazine a broadside against Sen. Joe Lieberman, universally reviled by Connecticut’s leftist bloggers, that opened to rave reviews from the Kossacks, the blogging storm troopers of the left in the state’s Democrat Party.

Many of the approving reviews have appeared in Connecticut Local Politics, a political blog site that sports an accompanying communication space frequently visited by earnest leftists. The proprietor of the site led off with an adulatory comment: “Wow. This editorial by Paul Bass is one of the harshest and most unflinching portrayals of Sen. Lieberman's political career that I've ever se…

Term Limits Revisited: They’re Good For What Ails You

The conventions, now mercifully over, will be followed by a period in which everyone will be besieged by platitudinous political ads, most of them distracting and irrelevant. One of Sen. Joe Lieberman’s recent efforts portrays his opponent, the personable Ned Lamont, as redundantly wealthy, his sights set on buying a senate seat. Well sir -- that should raise the hackles of the union leaders and other members of the proletariat who already support Lieberman, mostly for self serving reasons.

The more interesting question – Why is it so easy for those with deep pockets to buy admittance to campaigns? – probably will not be explored this election season. One guess is that the McCain/Finegold reforms were instrumental in weakening parties and strengthening the hegemony of incumbents of all stripes. The reforms restrict party building funds and divert most campaign contributions to individual politicians who are – Guess what? – incumbents.

The impregnability of incumbents and the ease with w…

Is That An Ice Cube On My Neck?

It was bound to happen someday. A blogger at the popular blog site, Connecticut Local Politics, has ratted out another blogger to the FBI.

BRubenstein, who blogs under his own name, took umbrage at comments made by “Senator Harry Reid,” not the bloggers real name, and took the matter up with the Feds. Most bloggers use pseudonyms. Anonymity tends to stiffen the spine, which is why blog sites are a wee bit more freewheeling – some would say more recklessly irresponsible --than, say, the good, grey New York Times.

The fake “Senator Harry Reid” inserted himself, just before the Democrat convention, between the warring camps of Sen. Joseph Lieberman and challenger Ned Lamont, who had received a great deal of support, moral and monetary, from Daily Kos, a blog site popular with Democrat progressives and anti-Iran-war drum beaters.

On May 7, “Senator Harry Reid” dropped by the site and said:

The complete failures of the Republicans in Washington have made America less safe, less secure, and les…

What Shays' Opponents Can Learn From History, Before They Are Doomed To Repeat It

If Dianne Farrell’s strategy is to tie President George Bush around Republican Rep. Chris Shays’ neck like an albatross, hoping that a distaste for Bush is transferable to Shays, it is a fair bet that this strategy will fail. It will not work because it has not worked. Shays has been careful to inoculate himself from the conservative virus in all his campaigns. Shays’ shtick is that he is, like Lowell Weicker before him, a maverick – his own man.

Anti-war lynch mob bloggers have seen through that particular façade in the case of Lieberman, who has earned their displeasure by departing from far left orthodoxy – most especially on the war in Iraq. The progressives’ beef with Lieberman is that he has not driven enough nails into Bush’s coffin, proof positive, in their opinion, that he is a faux Democrat.

What anti-Shays agitators ought to be asking is this: “What sort of a campaigner can defeat Shays,” and they should be willing to approach the question in cold blood.

Conservatives, champin…