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Showing posts from May, 2009

The Catholic Church Under Siege

Here’s a question no one seems willing to discuss: How often do legislative committees – the Ethics Committee, no less – start “investigations” on groups that are exercising their constitutional rights on the Capitol lawn?

Once, that I can think of -- here:

The state’s Ethics Committee is now “investigating” the Catholic Church with a view to determining whether the Diocese of Bridgeport, which paid for some buses to transport people to a rally on the Capitol lawn, is in violation of lobbying ordinances. The Catholic Church is suing the state to secure its constitutional rights.

There is some danger here that watchful citizens may lose sight of the trees because they are too close to the forest.

The Catholic Church has been under successful attack for some time by its natural enemies in the legislature, but one recent sally by the church’s opponents in the legislature has been beaten back by the church. Some people are keeping score, obviously.

The Judiciary Committee, headed by co-…

Democrats Say “Yes, No” to Standing Legislative Ethics Committee

State senators Thomas Gaffey of Meriden and Joseph Crisco of Woodbridge were not present in the chamber when Republican Sen. John McKinney offered a bill, voted down by dominant Democrats, to establish a standing legislative ethics committee.

There is some humorous speculation that Sen. Crisco, recently found to have forged documents for which he was fined $4,000 by the State Elections Enforcement Commission, had secluded himself behind the statue representing “The Genius of Connecticut” in the North lobby of the Capitol, while Sen. Gaffey, fined $6,000 by the same committee for having fraudulently charged both the state and his political action committee for the same campaign travel expenses, was canoodling with a lobbyist for Connecticut’s four state colleges in the cramped elevator that connects the building’s first and second floors.

The issue of a standing ethics committee was first raised after Republican Sen. Lou DeLuca had failed to resist the blandishments of an FBI plant pret…

Our Bums

Ken Dixon, a reporter and blogger with the Connecticut Post, realized after he had assembled a transcript of a media opportunity with President Pro Tem of the state Senate Don Williams that he had a mini- Marx Brothers movie in hand.

Reporters were asking Williams about what Dixon called “the bicameral ethics of the state senate,” controlled these many years by fastidious Democrats.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission had just penalized Sen. Joe Crisco, D-Woodbridge, $4,000 for having signed the names of his campaign officials on documents he had used to apply for up to $85,000 in taxpayer funded campaign cash, often called forgery. And the reporters in the room were just curious: Could Williams please put the DeLuca case in context with the Crisco case?

Lou DeLuca, at the time a leading Republican with a sterling record, was drummed out of the senate after an FBI agent got him to agree in a conversation that he would be willing to accept the services of the agent, then pretending…

Sonia Sotomayor, The View from the Left

Sonia Sotomayor has flunked the First Amendment sniff test with Andy Thibault, the proprietor of The Cool Justice Report. Sotomayor is President Barack Obama’s choice to fill a vacancy on the U.S Supreme Court left by the impending retirement of Justice David Souter.

With permission, Tibault’s take on Sotomayor is printed here:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sotomayor, Enemy Of Free Speech, Pushed For Supremes

My Take
On This Fundamentally Flawed Selection …

Sotomayor was clubbed on the head with a crystal-clear free speech violation and she said, in effect, 'That's nice, I'll sign off on it.'

When a citizen seeks a redress of a grievance and is punished for lobbying the community, that's OK with Sotomayor. Nevermind the fabrication of disruption or potential disruption long after the fact by the douche bag school bosses: Sotomayor flunks due diligence, a reading of her own Second Circuit on the standard of offensiveness and most importantly, her duty to uphold the Bill of Righ…

The Obama Test

Some time also, prescient Vice President Joe Biden predicted that the Obama administration would be “tested,” presumably by someone other than Rush Limbaugh and former Vice President Dick Cheney, within his first few months of office.

A few days ago, North Korea’s wacky president and film buff Kim Jong-il, who reportedly is ill, set off an underground nuclear explosion that is said to have rivaled the A-Bomb explosion at Hiroshima. The president, so full of apologies, has yet to bend the knee to the Japanese on that one.

The analysts, according to a report in the British Guardian have it all figured out: “Analysts believe the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, hopes to use the test to shore up support from the military amid mounting speculation that he is about to name one of his three sons as his successor.

“Kim, 67, appears to be re-establishing his grip on power since reportedly suffering a stroke last August. Today's test is a direct challenge to attempts by Obama to engage the N…

Hollywood Follies

According to the authoritative New York Post’s “Page Six,” Jon Peter’s auto-biography “Studio Head” was a case of premature ejaculation.

Leaks from the book proposal reached all the usual sounding boards before Peters withdrew “Studio Head.”

"Somehow this proposal has become a kind of Holy Grail of gossip,” Peter is reported saying in the Post, “and I have become Hollywood's 'Man Who Knows Too Much.' I have been besieged by potential lawsuits and threatened litigation by some of the most important figures in the world of show business. What's worse . . . is the fact that I consider all these people my friends . . . I want my book to be a celebration of, never an attack upon, the remarkable people I have known and worked with . . .”

Vanity Fair, printed some choice excerpts from Peter’s celebration of his friends.

“In the late 60s,” according to Vanity Fair, “ Peters caught his second wife, actress Lesley Ann Warren, in bed with Warren Beatty and chased the actor aroun…

Common Sense, Capital Punishment and Deterrence

Opponents of Capital Punishment in Connecticut say it ought to be abolished because, among other reasons, it does not deter.

They are either right or wrong, though it seems counter-intuitive to say the punishment does not deter. When your Mom slapped you on the wrist for stealing cookies from the cookie jar, she did so on the assumption that her condign punishment would deter your future thefts.

When people say that capital punishment does not deter, we should ask them whether they believe any punishment deters. Assuming those who make this assertion should be taken seriously, we must asked them how they know capital punish does not deter. How may one test the assumption?

Paul commits a murder for which he is executed, and Peter is either deterred or not. In both crime and life, one takes ones chances. Peter may not be deterred because he knows of a certainty that while he is a genius – prisons are full of them – the cops are dunces. And even if he is caught and prosecuted in Connecti…

Soak the Disappearing Rich – No, We Can’t

It looks like the golden goose has already fled the Northeast, according to a study done by the Manhatten Institute.

The Wall Street Journal reports: “Finally, there is the issue of whether high-income people move away from states that have high income-tax rates. Examining IRS tax return data by state, E.J. McMahon, a fiscal expert at the Manhattan Institute, measured the impact of large income-tax rate increases on the rich ($200,000 income or more) in Connecticut, which raised its tax rate in 2003 to 5% from 4.5%; in New Jersey, which raised its rate in 2004 to 8.97% from 6.35%; and in New York, which raised its tax rate in 2003 to 7.7% from 6.85%. Over the period 2002-2005, in each of these states the "soak the rich" tax hike was followed by a significant reduction in the number of rich people paying taxes in these states relative to the national average. Amazingly, these three states ranked 46th, 49th and 50th among all states in the percentage increase in wealthy tax fil…

Connecticut's Assistant Attorneys General Sued In Maine Court

Connecticut's assistant attorneys general and other officials connected with the prosecution of David Hoffman are being sued in a Maine Court.

This suit," accoring to papers filed with the court, "arises out of an ex parte attachment secured by Defendants in a Maine court against a Maine resident with the support of a false affidavit drafted by one of the individual Defendants, followed by the filing of a lis pendens in a Maine Registry of Deeds regarding the Property, which is located in Maine.

"Plaintiffs have alleged that all the Defendants acted together in creating the false affidavit, pursuing the Maine Action and filing the lis pendens with full knowledge that there was no legal or factual basis to do so and for the improper purpose of pressuring Mrs. Hoffman into accepting an unfair and unreasonable resolution to the Connecticut Action concurrently being pursued by Defendants against Mrs. Hoffman and certain of her businesses, but not against Plaintiffs.”

The a…

Dodd and the Terrorists

In November, 2006, U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd introduced into Congress a measure he called the Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act.

Dodd introduced himself, according to a posting on his web site as “an outspoken opponent of the Military Commission Act of 2006.”

The current law, which Dodd’s bill sought to reform, Dodd predicted, “will be the subject of endless legal challenges.” In order to avoid such legal challenges, his bill, he said, “would amend existing law in order to have an effective process for bringing terrorists to justice."

Equally importantly, the bill Dodd introduced would, the senator said, “also seek to ensure that U.S. servicemen and women are afforded the maximum protection of a strong international legal framework guaranteed by respect for such provisions as the Geneva Conventions and other international standards, and to restore America’s moral authority as the leader in the world in advancing the rule of law.

“I take a backseat to no one when it comes to protecting …

Weicker, Lear Before the Fall

Former Republican Sen. Lowell Weicker appeared on Face the State over the weekened to defend his friend Sen. Chris Dodd. Weicker’s defense of Dodd consists of a recitation of Dodd’s sterling record in congress and a suggestion that his recent difficulties, when thrown into the scales, are raised up by the weight of the good he has done as a senator.

Other senators, among them Weicker’s good friend Edward Kennedy of Massachussets, have overcome difficulties in their careers by applying themselves to the good they do in congress. Shakespeare put all this best when he said that the good men do “is of’t interred with their bones,” while the evil they do lives on after them.

In his interview with Dennis House, Weicker offered an apology to the ghost that has haunted both him and Chris Dodd. During his race against Tom Dodd, Weicker recounted that he had said some unfortunate things about him, which he now regretted.

In his race against Tom Dodd’s, the current senator’s father, Weicker not…

Mayor DeStefano and Performance Art in Hew Haven

The New Haven Independent titled its piece, “Showdown in New Haven,” with a tip of the hat to the Showdown at the OK Corall.

The White Hats, Attorney General Dick Blumenthal and New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, were looking for a press opportunity outside the offices of United Illuminated in New Haven, when all of a sudden the bad guys showed up.

This kind of street theatre happens in Venezuela on a daily basis, sometimes on hourly basis, though it must be said that DeStefano still falls short of the anti-capitalist tirades the oil companies in that beleaguered nation, suffering under the administration of socialist Castro wannabe Hugo Chavez, are used to.

Lending moral support to DeStefano, according to the paper, were “Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, New Haven State Sen. Martin Looney, Branford State Rep. Lonnie Reed, Fairfield County’s state Sen. Anthony Musto and members of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Fight the Hike. They called the move ‘dumb growth.’”

Keep up th…

Stimulate This!

In a typical beltway operation, the Associated Press is reporting that stimulus money is going to less needy states: “Although the intent of the money is to put people back to work, AP's review of more than 5,500 planned transportation projects nationwide reveals that states are planning to spend the stimulus in communities where jobless rates are already lower.

“One result among many: Elk County, Pa., isn't receiving any road money despite its 13.8 percent unemployment rate. Yet the military and college community of Riley County, Kan., with its 3.4 percent unemployment, will benefit from about $56 million to build a highway, improve an intersection and restore a historic farmhouse.

“Altogether, the government is set to spend 50 percent more per person in areas with the lowest unemployment than it will in communities with the highest.”

The California in Our Future

In a recent column, George Will calls Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger “the best governor the states contiguous to California have ever had.”

The flight of workers and entrepreneurial capital from California to other less tax punishing states has been in process for many years. More people have moved out rather than into California for the last four years. Connecticut also has been losing population to the South for as many years, though no one yet has bestowed upon Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell the same unflattering remark, possibly because her opponents in the Democrat dominated state legislature have been complicit in the out migration. Connecticut's total out migration from July 1990 to July 1997 was approximately 186,000. Connecticut and Rhode Island were the
Nation’s only States to have a smaller population in 1994 than in 1993.

There are other points of similarity between Connecticut and California. According to Will, “If, since 1990, state spending increases had …

Dodd and Swan Appalled

Those who are used to seeing Tom Swan – current director of Connecticut’s Citizen Action Group and past director of Ned Lamont’s failed senatorial campaign against current U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman – in his appalled mode will not be surprised to learn that he was “appalled” at the suggestion, according to a piece in the New Haven Independent, “that he and other progressives present were being used to rescue a senator [U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd] who got too cozy with financial barons and predators.”

Dodd has been traveling about the state visiting liberal watering holes, with an obliging train of progressives in tow, in an attempt some would consider desperate to shore up his tattered reputation.

Lately, Dodd has suggested that those in the Bush administration who had facilitated the water boarding of Kalid Sheik Mohammed should be tried in court, as were Nazi war criminals prosecuted in Nuremburg by his father.

A short video clip shown on MyLeftNutmeg, a left wing blog, shows Dodd holding forth…

The Anti War movement in the Age Of Obama

An anti-war group operating out of– where else? -- Wesleyan University in Connecticut hopes to organize students against wars in Iraq, which is pretty much over, Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan.

The most significant problem for anti- war protestors in the age of President Barack Obama is President Barrack Obama, energetically received by Wesleyan students during a presidential primary stop in Connecticut.

He’s just a very nice commander-in-chief and, unlike Lyndon Baines Johnson -- "Hey,hey LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?" -- and the dark-jowled Richard Nixon who, we sometimes forget, was instrumental in ending the Vietnam war, Obama appears to have been dipped in the river Styx.

He is pretty much anti-war-protest-proof.

No dark jowels, articulate, determined to pursue the war effort in the Middle East, and stubborn as a jack-ass, Obama is not supine prey for anti-war protestors, who will have to get much more testy with the commander-in-chief than they appeared to …

Clegg-Dodd Makes Big Bucks (Yawn)

Apparently, making money in the age of President Barack Obama, big or small, will be the eighth deadly sin.

The latest “sinner” to be hauled before the mob is the wife of embattled Sen. Chris Dodd, Jackie Clegg-Dodd.

Clegg-Dodd, the Hartford Courant reports in an above the fold front page non-story, is hauling in the loot as a member of five major corporate boards: Blockbuster Inc., Javelin Pharmaceuticals Inc., CME Group Inc., Brookdale Senioir Living Inc. and Cardiome Pharma Corp.

From the Big Five, Clegg-Dodd has received, according to the latest reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, $252,225 in Director’s Fees and $390,951 in stock options, chump change when one compares it to the likely take from the Obama family after they retire from the White House but, never-the-less, a significant bulge in the senator’s yearly income when he was commonly referred to as one of the poorer drudges in the US legislature.

All this naturally offends liberal sensibilities; liberals…

Blumenthal vs. the Hoffmans

I Cried For A Year

In March, 2009, Mathew Fitzsimmons, an assistant attorney general in Attorney General Dick Blumenthal’s office, found himself peppered by a battery of uncomfortable questions in Judge James Bentivegna’s Superior Court in a case involving Valerie and David Hoffman.

Before Dick Blumenthal’s office fell on her like a ton of bricks, Valerie Hoffman, a small business woman, owned an herbal internet company, and her husband David was a house builder. A small independent contractor, David would buy land, put a house on it, sell the house and use the proceeds to repeat the process. Any monetary interruption in the business chain, he knew, would prove fatal to his livelihood.

Valerie had been cited by the state’s Consumer Protection department on a few complaints, information that made its way to George Gombossy, recently installed at the Hartford Courant as the paper’s consumer protection bulldog. Because of the connections between the Courant and Dick Blumenthal, whose beamin…