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Showing posts from October, 2009

Everything You Were Afraid To Ask About Dick Blumenthal

Blumenthal and the Media

It would be a considerable understatement to say that the relationship between Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Connecticut’s media is cordial. The great failing of the state’s media is that it seems to be unwilling -- or perhaps unable -- to mine below the surface of the attorney general’s all too frequent press releases.

In a recent focus group finding, a matter of fierce controversy between Gov. Jodi Rell and her opponents, it was determined that Blumenthal was at least as popular if not more so than Rell, whose rating after a bruising budget battle with Democrats was 59%, low for the governor. Focus group participants said of Blumenthal, according to a report in the Journal Inquirer, that he was “a strong leader they would have faith in to lead them out of the budget deficit problem… One participant thought that Blumenthal was on television and ‘out there’ as much as the governor.”

Connecticut’s media has a good deal to do with Blumenthal’s shining …

Yes Virginia, There Is A God

This is the sort of “security breech” that makes journalists fall on their knees and exclaim with loud hosannas – “There is a God!”

Owing to an accidental security breech, the deliberations of the US Congressional Ethics Committee have now been flushed into the public square.

Reporters are now sifting through the detritus.

Has Socialism Become A Red Herring?

Yes, pretty much.

Socialism arrived in the West with the Christian message, packed inside an embarrassment of Beatitudes.

There are two sets of Christian Beatitudes. Mathew (5:1-12) is toothless, because none of the blessings in Mathew are accompanied by the stinging curses found in Luke.

Luke (6: 20-26) is red in tooth and claw.

“Blessed are ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God… But woe to you that are rich: for ye have your consolation.” And there is this hard beatitude to swallow: “Blessed shall ye be when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake… Woe to you when men shall bless you; for according to these things did their fathers to the false prophets.”

That last might serve as a testament useful to column writers. You cannot go far wrong when you take up arms against the world, which belongs to Satan and for the moment, at least in Connecticut and Washington DC, to the Democratic Party…

Everything You Were Afraid To Ask About Comparative Health Care In The US, Canada And Europe

Thanks to Dave Price over at “The Blog Formerly Known As Dean’s World” for the following links on comparative health care. Dean, of Dean’s World, is taking a well deserved sabbatical.

Price points out:

"Advocates of socializing health care have asked: how can America’s relatively free market spend the most money on health care, yet have among the worst outcomes?

"The answer is, we don’t. The oft-cited WHO rankings don’t really measure quality of health care, preferring to judge things like 'fairness of financial contribution' and measures like life expectancy (which is more strongly correlated to lifestyle than health care) or infant mortality (other countries use different standards and so generally record more infant deaths as stillbirths than we do, perversely making their numbers better even though they sometimes let marginal infants die)."

“Death Panels in Britain,” which soon may be coming to these shores, is worth a visit; so, too with the other links:


Surfing The Slippery Slope: Moody Downgrades Connecticut’s Bonds

Moody's Investors Service has revised its outlook on the State of Connecticut's general obligation bonds from stable to negative.

Moody justified the rating change on Connecticut’s economic future for a number of reasons that should not surprise people familiar with the recent budget battle between Gov. Jodi Rell and a Democratic controlled legislature that was unwilling to made hard choices involving budget cuts and spending allocations.

“The negative outlook reflects the choices made to address the state's biennial 2010-2011 budget gaps as well as the shortfall for fiscal 2009,” Moody reported “including a majority of non-recurring solutions and deficit financing, combined with a credit profile that includes significant long-term liabilities.”

The report should be taken as gun at the temple of legislators who may still believe the state’s budget deficit can be resolved by a series of easy choices and short term fixes. You cannot bond your way out of debt, Moody warned, a…


Milton Friedman in "Free To Choose" says that 46 percent of our country (in terms of corporate enterprise) is socialist. He said it in a 10-part TV series on Public Broadcasting Service in 1980, made into a book, "Free To Choose" (1979). It defines the role that government should play in a free market.

Uncertainties and unresolved problems flood the media. Most prominent at the moment is health-care insurance, and most prominent within it is Public Option and President Obama’s oft-repeated statement that the Medicare account must be deficit-neutral. Tremendous efforts are being made to add taxes (some of which may fall upon those earning less than $250,000, breaking an Obama promise). The House Democrat bill adds a surtax of 5.29 percent on incomes above $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for married couples. . The Senate Finance bill proposes to tax at 40 percent luxurious health-care policies, if they exceed $8,000 per person and $21,000 per family.


The Courant And The Rumor Mill

The Hartford Courant’s chief political writer, Christopher Keating, has swatted down some rumors circulating at the state capitol.

The first is that Gov. Jodi Rell might hang up her spurs and decline to run again.

No such luck. The governor has not yet make an announcement. Keating reported that Republican Party State Chairman Chris Healy believes “that Rell is running for re-election.”

The second rumor is that her chief aide, Lisa Moody, may be of a mind to retire.

Moody has taken some buffeting lately from Courant reporters and Democratic rumor mongers in the legislature.

Said Moody, “Not true. Nothing's wrong with me. No disability. I'm not retiring on November 1. My knees are fine. I'm fine. I'm not going anywhere, but thanks for checking.”

Judge Chatigny's Selective Memory

According to news reports, U.S. senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman have sent to the White House a letter favoring Judge Robert Chatigny to fill a position left vacant on the 2nd Circuit by Judge Sonia Sotomayor elevation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Robert Chatigny will be best remembered in Connecticut as the judge who delayed mass murderer Michael Ross’ execution by threatening to pull the license of his lawyer, the hapless T.R. Pauling.

Ross raped and murdered his victims, leaving their bodies strewn all over the state. He was caught by some alert detectives shortly after he had worked his way through his seventh and eighth victims, two 14 year-old girls Ross picked up on the road on Easter Sunday. He raped and strangled one of the girls while the other watched terrified in the car; then he strangled the second girl, ditching her body behind a fieldstone wall.

The case moved slowly through Connecticut’s judicial carousel– capital felony trial, conviction, penalty phase tria…

Dodd's Insurance Policy

Sen. Chris Dodd, hammered by his opponents and some in the media as having been intimate with Big Insurance from which has received in the past 20 years $2.3 million in campaign contributions, has been at some pains to show that he is not on their leash, which is why he is now peeing on their leg.

They will not mind the wetting.

Two recent commentaries on Dodd, one in the Hartford Courant and one in Slate magazine, both make use of Ralph Nader’s old chestnut that Dodd is “the senator from Aetna.”

“Among the three principals currently working to combine two Senate committee bills on health reform,” Slate notes, “the strongest advocate for creation of a ‘public option’ government insurance plan (which private insurers strongly oppose on competitive grounds) happens to represent the state of Connecticut. And the state of Connecticut happens to be home to the insurance industry generally and to health insurance giants Aetna and Cigna HealthCare in particular... Dodd must know that if he f…

Lamont Slaps Specter With The Bottom Of His Shoe

Ned Lamont, the Greenwich millionaire who earned the undying gratitude of netrooters by opposing present Sen. Joe Lieberman in a primary some time ago, has taken himself to Pennsylvania to lend his support to Joe Sestak, a Democrat of high principle running against incumbent Democrat (for the moment) Sen. Arlen Specter.

A registered Democrat in 1965, Specter ran for District Attorney on the Republican ticket. He handily beat incumbent Jim Crumlish, thereafter changing his registration to Republican, temporarily as it turns out. Specter the Republican revered to his old party a short while ago and became a Democrat when polls showed him loosing to Club For Growth head Pat Toomey, an upstart Republican very much like Ned Lamont. Described by the Pennsylvania Report in 2003 as one of the "vanishing breed of Republican moderates," Specter now has vanished into the maw of the Democratic Party.

If all this seems a little opportunistic, it is.

If it seems confusing, it may be becau…

Palin on Health Care

A Politico critique of Sarah Palin’s critique of the health care bill approved this week by the Senate Finance Committee is described by Politico as “wonky,” and decidedly non-vituperative, which is another way of saying that she can no longer see Russia from Alaska.

Of course, anything written or said by Palin is bound to cause apoplexy among her critics, who are legion.

Madam, Do You Favor Necrophilia?

"Throw mud and some will stick. Stick but not stain." -- Cardinal John Henry Newman.

The operative motto of all demagogic bloggers is: Why say something, when you can intimate it?

Some bloggers are now intimating that Linda McMahon, a Republican Party U.S. senatorial hopefull, approves necrophilia -- the last frontier among sexual liberationists -- simulated rape and public sex.

"As WWE chief operating officer, Linda McMahon presided over programming that showed simulated rape, public sex, and necrophilia, and now she wants to be our U.S. Senator?" asked Democratic spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan. "People across this state, not to mention the millions of women who are the victims of sexual violence every year, would be horrified and embarrassed to know that the person who seeks to represent them condones this kind of behavior. That kind of programming has no place in our society, and Linda McMahon has no place in the U.S. Senate."
The questions asked by Democr…

Body Slamming Corpses

Recently at a public gathering that included former President George Bush Pere, President Barack Obama The Apologist, attempting to defuse his critics, once again intimated that the mess he was frantically trying to “mop up” was caused by his predecessor, President George Bush Fils; and he invited people who were interested in making the world over into an acceptable Eden – as he most certainly is –to “grab a mop.”

It is not known whether former President George Bush Pere smiled or grimaced at the imputation that his son was responsible for messes that some think were considerably worsened by the policies of the 9 month old Obama administration. No off camera mic episode was reported.

Unemployment is lurching toward 11%. A public option for health care reform – a move, some think, to destroy the private health insurance industry, still strong here in Connecticut – is stalled in a congress dominated by Democrats. North Korea has sent several missiles into the North China Sea, a respons…

Roping The Tea Baggers

Democrats don’t really care to associate with tea party folk, even though some of them are Democrats. Republicans would dearly like to rope the rampant stallion and bring it home to the ranch. But, from the very first, tea baggers have proudly declared their formal non-affiliation with the two major parties, and no one but polling researchers working day by night in the bowels of some major educational institutions claim to know who these folks might be. Even the ivy leaguers among pollsters will admit, when pressed, that opinion about them is unsettled. When opinion does settle, someone will write a book about the phenomenon, and all of us will know. Until then, Republicans will continue to stroke and pet the beast, while Democrats, put off by what they perceive to be the ideological orientation of the tea baggers – anti tax, pro-constitution, strongly individualistic (Galt-like, the tea baggers say) – will continue to ignore them and hope the movement dissipates by election day.


“In the last 50 years, there has been practically no net warming at all—and the Northern Hemisphere has actually cooled slightly” -- Warren Brookes, New York City Tribune, Sept. 22, 1989.

“We owe it to our children and our children’s children to investigate all aspects of carbon dioxide and global change. And when we do so, we find a wealth of beneficial effects from atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment” -- Sherwood B. Idso (père), New York Times letter, May 7, 1990

“Actually, what makes skeptics skeptical is the accumulating evidence that theories predicting catastrophe from man-made climate change are impervious to evidence…" --George Will, Oct. 1, 2009

“Climate Change Reconsidered, The Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change” (NIPCC) is 856 pages. Why an 856-paged report on Climate Change when the official body, the UN’s International Panel for Climate Change, already has written one? Because the IPCC Fourth-Assessment Report is fundamentally flawed,…

Investigating Rell

Some people in Connecticut, not a few of whom would be pleased to see their friends and acquaintances occupy Governor Jodi Rell's position, already have decided, perhaps prematurely, that it would be perfectly proper to haul the governor off to jail without observing the usual niceties.

“First the verdict,” says the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Wonderland, “then the trial.”

Most reasonable people would agree that the Queen of Hearts got it backwards.

Very quick out of the shoot was Kevin Rennie, a Hartford Courant columnist who first congratulated Ted Mann of the New London Day for having performed a public service “by reporting on documents related to a polling deal dressed up as public policy that smelled so bad it put Snow White in a foul mood.” Snow White is former Democratic House Speaker Jim Amman’s sobriquet for the governor. Then Rennie plunged the sword in up to the hilt: “Even John Rowland, who went to prison for corruption, did not engage in the dirty enterprise that Rell…

Obama’s Nobel

Even Bob Schiffer supposed that President Barack Obama was graced with the Nobel Peace prize because the Nobel committee was intent on firing yet one more round over President George Bush’s moribund  presidency.

It’s a little bit like watching one deaf man shouting in the ear horn of another deaf Man, “Bad Bush! Bad,bad Bush!”

Over at Dean’s World, a blog dedicated to sweet reason, Dave Price noted:

“They just ended a civil war and brought freedom to a horribly oppressed nation.

“You know, useful stuff that involves severe personal risk of death or injury. No one cares about that.

“The Marines were sent to tame Anbar in 2004. They were the “strongest tribe,” and along with American soldiers, sailors and airmen they were locked in grim urban fighting in cities like Ramadi and Fallujah. The toll was high: Over 30 percent of American war fatalities have been sustained in Anbar Province.

“Today, visitors to Ramadi are struck by the normalcy of the place. Markets are full, the police are on…

John Brown: The 150th Anniversary Of The Raid On Harper’s Ferry

John Brown was born in Torrington, Connecticut in 1800. Brown’s grandfather, also named John Brown, was a captain in the 18th regiment of the Connecticut Colony in the Revolutionary War. His father, who lived for a time in Windsor, was deeply religious and unalterably opposed to slavery. Owen Brown claimed to have been convincingly moved by a sermon written by Jonathan Edwards -- whose more famous father, also named Jonathan, had roots in Windsor and was the foremost theologian in New England -- in which the preacher had fiercely denounced slavery.

Although Brown moved to a section of northern Ohio when he was six, his connections in the North East remained vibrant; so much so that the trusted secretary who handled his always precarious financial affairs lived in Hartford; the pikes Brown had fashioned for his attack on Harper’s Ferry were made in Collinsville by forgemaster Charles Blair of Connecticut; Brown for a time maintained a wool commission operation in Springfield, Massachu…