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Showing posts from July, 2010

Dean And The Demagogues

It cannot be a surprise that those in Connecticut’s left of center community who secretly loathe Republicans not tucked within the Democratic Party heart of darkness continue to advance the political fortunes of so called “moderate” Republicans. They revere and praise ex-Senator and Governor Lowell Weicker at every opportunity and have supported him in the past because Weicker abhors and will not abide conservative Republicans. They urge other Republicans to vote in primaries for those candidates who show themselves willing to sell their birthright for a mess of moderate pottage, even though Democrats they enthusiastically support have driven Connecticut to the brink of bankruptcy. According to this view of things, Weicker, scourge of the Republican Party, father of the state income tax – a levy that kept the heads of the solidly Democratic governing class above water, even as the drowning masses were blowing bubbles towards the unquiet surface – is the ideal Republican, a man who ru

Blumenthal Inattentive To The Rules Of Evidence

The case against Dr. Gad Lavy, who runs the New England Fertility Institute in Stamford, began with a resounding bang but ended with a whimper. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced his suit against Levy five years ago. The sensational press release, picked up by the usual media outlets that rarely follow a contested case through its tortuous litigatory permutations, certainly was blow to Dr. Lavy’s solar plexus. After the charges against him were dismissed, a relieved Dr. Levy said, “This case was baseless from the beginning. It hurt me, my family, and my patients. I was pleased the Attorney General dropped the case, but it should not have taken 5 years to do so." The initial media release contained specimens of Blumenthal regular potboiler rhetoric. Blumenthal accused the doctor of having charged a $600 facility fee to his patients when the doctor at the same time was collecting from his insurance carrier the same amount for the same purpose. “This doctor,” Blume

Mommy, Where Do Stories Come From?

To be just and honest, the noble ambition of credible journalism, it should be said up front that Tom Foley does not, or rather did not, beat his wife; neither is Ned Lamont a racist. That is the undeclared imputation in two recent stories: one involving Foley, the Republican Party nominee for governor, and the other involving Lamont, now locked in a primary battle with former Mayor of Stamford Dan Malloy. In the quarter decade old Foley story, the perp momentarily blocked his wife from leaving a driveway and disputed with her through a couple of stop signs, after which both were arrested. The matter was settled privately, charges were dropped, and the details of the case were not shared with the news media. A messy divorce is no walk through a rose garden, especially when the two former lovebirds quarrel over visitation procedures involving a young child. The Foley story is, relatively speaking, old and hoary; the Lamont story is somewhat fresher. Lamont, according to this one

Merrill Or Farrell

Ray Hackett, the Norwich Bulletin’s editorial page editor , has lost patience with Denise Merrill, the Democratic Assistant Majority Leader in the state House of Representatives who is leaving her position to run for Secretary of State. “She came in last week,” Hackett wrote in a barbed editorial, “for an editorial board meeting for candidates in the Aug. 10 primary. I expected her to dance around or avoid any accountability for the state’s fiscal mess. I was flabbergasted by her unbridled arrogance — arrogance that is only surpassed by the depth of the debt — $3.5 billion — that she had a hand in creating.” Hackett was astonished when Merrill blamed the $3.5 billion state debt “she had a hand in creating” on George Bush – “I kid you not.” Trumpeting the Democratic Party line, Merrill claimed that Democratic lawmakers “’cut’ $8 billion over a two-year period from the state budget. But when we asked her where those cuts were made, her response was: ‘I don’t know.’” Two kickers mak

Tis A Far, Far Bitter Thing…

The Madame Defarges of Connecticut’s left, while knitting and encoding names in their handiwork, just may be sharpening the guillotine for their brother in arms Colin McEnroe, raconteur, columnist, blogger and radio personality. In any case, they will not be amused by his latest offering: “ Ned and John – a ‘Bromance .” McEnroe’s blog reflections features a picture supplied by Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent showing New Haven Mayor John DeStefano casting a Mona Lisa smile at lefty heartthrob Ned Lamont, followed by McEnroe’s speculation concerning DeStefano’s support for Lamont, who is locked in a primary for governor with former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy: “What exactly is behind all this is not all that clear. But fun to speculate about. (Before I get savaged in My Left Nutmeg, let me add that I'm not suggesting any of this is sinister or better or worse than anything else that could happen. Just interesting.) “One theory is that DeStefano is motivated mainly by re

The Simmons’ “Pause,” The Weicker Gambit

“Former congressman Rob Simmons is once again a candidate and back in the race for the U.S. Senate after a two month hiatus,” according to Dennis House of (WFBC’s) “Face the State .” Apparently, when Simmons said he would accept the decision of the Republican nominating convention that chose Linda McMahon as its candidate to run for U.S. Senator Chris Dodd’s seat, he misspoke . Following the convention, Simmons dismissed most of his staff. His candidacy appeared to be dead in the water, though Simmons left his name on the ballot, he said at the time, Simmons is expected to acknowledge on Sunday’s Face the State interview with House that he “paused” his campaign and, at the urging of former Republican Governor and Senator Lowell Weicker, has now resumed campaigning, an announcement that would seem to answer questions others have had concerning Simmons’ decision to leave his toe in the political water. Prior to the “Face The State” admissions, Jim Geraghty of National Review expre

Saying "No"

Is there anyone in the state’s Democratic dominated legislature who can say “No?” Apparently not. During the next budget cycle, the state will be facing a deficit that is about 20% of receipts. The size of the deficit has alarmed some in the Media and some in the legislature. Governor Jodi Rell may be unsettled, but her alarm has not itself reached alarming proportions. Rell, a lame duck governor, is due to leave behind at the completion of her term her office and its attendant responsibilities. The principal Republicans and Democrats vying for the position of governor are: former ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley, present Lieutenant Governor Mike Fedele and Oz Griebel on the Republican side; and on the Democratic side, Ned Lamont and former Mayor of Stamford Dan Malloy. Over at the Journal Inquirer, Managing Editor of the paper and its chief political columnist Chris Powell warns darkly that anyone fortunate or unfortunate enough to become governor next November will have to make

Farrell To Shred Spending

The Republican Party nominee for Secretary of State Jerry Farrell has an enviable theatrical talent. The present Commissioner of Consumer Protection is captivating the on the stump, and on Saturday, July 24, he will be holding a “Shred State Spending” event for residents in the towns of Middletown, Durham, Middlefield, Portland and Cromwell, who are encouraged, according to a press release, “to drop off their home and office paper clutter including personal documents and meet Jerry. The campaign has hired Shred It, Inc. with headquarters in Cheshire to perform the shredding with its mobile services. “The event will be held in the parking lot of FUTURES, Inc. at 158 Broad Street at 8:30 am through 11:30 am. Set up for the event will begin at 7:15 am.” Other similar events in other parts of the state will follow. Virtually all Republicans running for office this year have professed a concern in their ads and campaign literature on the ruinous consequences of state debt. Connecticut,

The Real Millionaires And Their Support Staff

Over the course of her congressional campaign, Republican Linda McMahon boasted that she was willing to sink $50 million into her bid for the U.S. Senate. The tribunes of the people immediately drew their swords. McMahon, it was said in scores of editorials and commentary pieces, was attempting to buy a seat in the congress. The outrage directed by the Main Stream Media at McMahon, whose opponent is also a millionaire – present Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the MSM’s anointed candidate for Sen. Chris Dodd’s seat -- has not been poured upon the heads of Democratic contestants in the state’s congressional delegation, even though CTMirror has provided unimpeachable proof that Democratic incumbents, not their impoverished Republican challengers, are the real millionaires. Republican challengers hoping that the anti-millionaire animus directed at McMahon will now be focused laser-like on their rich and greedy Democratic opponents had better not hold their breath waiting for such

Dodd-Frank Financial Bill’s Diversity: Office of Women & Minorities

The Financial Reform bill, now known as the Dodd-Frank bill for Senator Dodd and Representative Frank, passed the Senate last Thursday by 60-37, with the help of three Republicans. It passed the House on June 30. When signed by the President (probably this week), it will become law. Its 2319 pages make it the longest bill in the history of financial regulation. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was 31 pages; the Sarbanes Oxley was 66 pages. In its 2319 pages could be found by any reporter Section 342, the Office of Women and Minorities. In our July 7 column, we reported this Office was no longer in the bill. A mistake. How did it happen? Not seeing it mentioned in the media, we assumed that it had been deleted. Its first mention was on Internet July 8, the day following our column. It was inserted by its discoverer, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, of the Manhattan Institute, who was searching for derivatives. The bill says that gender- and race-employment ratios must be observed in the publ

Blumenthal And The House Interview

It should be stipulated up front that Dennis House is one of the better interviewers in Connecticut. House is the moderator, chief cook and bottle washer of the popular program “Face the State,” which airs every Sunday on WFSB Channel 3. In a prelude to his program, House provides on "The Hartfordite" tasty little tidbits of shows before they air. In the teaser for a show on Sunday featuring the surprisingly elusive Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Richard Blumenthal, House noted that the public figure before him on Sunday was a notably different character that the self assured attorney general whom he had often interviewed on “Face the State.” “Blumenthal,” House reported, “used to the be the most accessible public official in our land of steady habits, offering reporters his personal cell phone number and granting interviews at a moment’s notice. His eager willingness to go on camera was a running joke among his staff, journalists, columnists and radio disc j

Simmons, The Half In Half Out Candidate

Rob Simmons, though he withdrew as an active candidate in Connecticut’s U.S. Senate race, has – not inadvertently – left his name on the ballot, a ploy considered provocative by Linda McMahon and her supporters. McMahon is the Republican Party primary nominee for the position. Simmons has his supporters, some of whom consider McMahon’s campaign against sometime Attorney General Richard Blumenthal – news on the street is that the attorney general’s appearances at the office are increasingly infrequent – a long shot. McMahon has whittled down Blumenthal’s early lead, but she has not been able to shake from the race either Peter Schiff or Simmons. Unlike Schiff, Simmons has one foot in and one foot out of the race. He has pronounced his formal challenge dead, though he will leave his name on the ballot through the primary on August 10. There are two very different kinds of Simmons supporters. Some stalwarts who supported Simmons over McMahon and Schiff have continued to urge Simmo

Jepsen Wealthy Beyond His Means Owing To Public Financing

Is anyone doing the arithmetic here? Theoretically, public financing is supposed to “even the campaign money playing field” between contestants for office. There is no incumbent in the attorney general race. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is running for the U.S. Senate. Out of the gate, George Jepsen, the Democratic candidate who has accepted public financing, will be awarded $750,000, according to a story in the Greenwich Time : “To quality for a $750,000 grant, Jepsen was required to raise at least $75,000 in contributions of $100 or less. According to a campaign finance report filed this week, Jepsen has raised about $84,500.” Of the two Republican nominees for the office, Ross Garber has raised $72,640, and Martha Dean, the Republican nominee for the position has raised $26,000. Both Republicans have spurned public financing. Public financing, in this instance, has tilted the playing field significantly in Jepsen’s favor. The Democratic candidate for attorney general

Raw Sewerage Escapes From Blumenthal’s Office

George Gombossy got curious after stories began to appear in Connecticut’s media -- 90% of which genuflects and crosses itself before the Dick Blumenthal icon every morning -- concerning Richard Hine’s personnel file. Hine is the Marine in Blumenthal’s office who released to the media a letter disclosing that Blumenthal had told him in personal conversations that he had served in Vietnam . Not a big deal there, since it had already been established that Blumenthal had lied SEVERAL TIMES concerning his attempts to steal valor from Vietnam soldiers who, unlike Blumenthal, did not spend the war getting deferments. Those of us who know how the eye-gougers and ear-biters in Blumenthal office operate were waiting patiently for the hob-nailed boot to come down on Hine’s face. Gombossy filed an FOIA request to secure Hine’s personnel records, portions of which had already been released by Blumenthal’s office to other news outlets after reporters had filed other FOIA requests. The packet

Powell Nixes Lamont

Chris Powell, Managing Editor of the Journal Inquirer and the paper’s columnist, stirs the embers of Ned Lamont’s gubernator campaign and finds them luke-warm. No bonfire here: “Lamont declares that he wants to "show taxpayers that we'll fundamentally reform government," and he identifies three huge areas of state spending that are ripe for review -- medical care, payroll, and retirement benefits. But anybody can try to get more Medicaid money out of the federal government; promising to prune "top-heavy management" is just pandering to the state employee unions and won't save much money because so few state employees are managers, nearly all being unionized; and Lamont offers no ideas for curbing state government's pension obligations.”

The Confederacy of Dunces Revisited

While Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele was savoring his court victory over Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was sawing off the limb he was sitting on. The court struck down the “trigger provision” of Connecticut’s campaign finance system, a devise that awards extra public funds to candidates running against opponents not participating in the system who spend more than the system’s limits Meanwhile, in a Connecticut court, Judge Julia Aurigemma has decided that Fedele’s view of a Connecticut statute which, in the not so humble opinion of this writer and an apprehensive U.S. Supreme Court , violates the Constitution is the correct one. In writing the Connecticut statute that violates the U.S. Constitution, the judge ruled, the legislature DID envision the possibility of two clever politicians bundling their contributions so that they may steer their skiff around a restriction limiting the a

The Party Of “Yes” Can’t Say “No”

The Waterbury Republican American asks who, among the candidates for governor this year, will have the courage to just say “No” to the spending frenzy that has gripped the state ever since ex-Governor and Senator Lowell Weicker – Is he gone yet? Is it safe to come out? – saddled state tax suppliers with an income tax and thereby a) saved a spend-thrift state government from the necessity of making real, permanent cuts in the budget and b) produced quickly spent multi million surpluses every budgetary cycle that increased an ungovernable appetite for spending, which has now produced a budget deficit that even Weicker deplores. Weicker deplored the deficit most recently on Colin McEnroe’s talk show, Dennis House’s show and other venues. His concern was touching, in a touchy feely kind of way. This year, Weicker is supporting Ned Lamont for governor. No surprise there; Weicker and his former chief aide Tom D’Amore supported Lamont – who, in his own campaign, now has hoisted Weicker’s

Marie And The Magna Carta

Former Department Of Transportation chief Joseph Marie has now lawyered up, as the lawyers sometimes say. It is supposed that he was urged out of his position by Governor Jodi Rell or, as some in the commentariat community may suppose, by her evil twin, chief gubernatorial aide Lisa Moody . On an informal complaint of harassment, Marie was called on the carpet by a lawyer attached to Rell’s office, a pre-written statement was put in front of him, and he was told to sign it -- or else. The statement was a resignation plus: If Marie would agree to resign and whisper not a word concerning his resignation to the media, the state, represented by Rell or demon Moody, as the case may be, would agree to let him go peaceful into that good night and whisper not a word concerning the real reason for his speedy departure, which was this: One of his associates had made an informal complaint alleging sexual harassment against Marie. Here, half a dozen or more questions drum on Marie’s close

Dubitsky Slams Courtney On Fake Budget Bill

Doug Dubitsky, running as a Republican in the 2nd Congressional District against Rep. Joe Courtney, views the budget enforcement resolution passed by a veto proof Democratic congress a license to continue spending with virtually no limits. The extraordinary measure sets discretionary spending at $1.12 trillion, lacks future spending a revenue projections and – big surprise! – does not include spending limits. “This resolution,” Dubitsky said, “is not a budget at all. It sets no priorities. It fails to outline spending in the next fiscal year or beyond. It is nothing but a complete abrogation of Congress’ budgetary obligations. Joe Courtney and the Congressional Democrats are playing fast and loose with the nation’s economic and fiscal health.” Republicans unanimously voted against the measure, 38 Democrats crossing over to vote with Republicans, Courtney not among them. The 2nd District incumbent voted with his party to pass the measure, 215-210. “At a time when Americans are

Foley, Griebel Question SEEC Decision

This is how the Courant wrote up the SEEC decision released on Thursday : “The State Elections Enforcement Commission voted unanimously Thursday to award the grant to the combined committee of Fedele and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who are running as a team. Under the law, the money is awarded to the committee as ‘a single grant, which can be used to benefit both candidates,'’ according to the commission.” That report is correct as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Actually, the State Elections Enforcement Commission broke new ground in its interpretation of the state statute that gives the commission the authority to disperse tax dollars to primary challengers. The commission’s ruling means that any two people, not nominated as a legitimate combination by the relevant party nominating apparatus, may join together as a team for the purpose of acquiring tax money to run their joint campaign. Fedele had been having some difficulty raising the threshold amount necess

Democratic Contenders Just Say “No”

Democratic Party gubernatorial hopeful  Ned Lamont has refused a public debate in New London with primary challenger Dan Malloy, the former mayor of Stamford. Democratic Party nominee for the U.S. Senate Richard Blumenthal is in deep cover and shows no sign, any time soon, that he may pop out of his hidey hole to confront Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate Linda McMahon and Peter Schiff, a Republican primary opponent. In addition, Blumenthal’s senatorial campaign site is light on many pertinent campaign issues. For instance: In a major decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that the second amendment pertains to individuals rather than state militias. Does Blumenthal agree with that decision? Some economists hold that the roll played by the Federal Reserve in boosting or lowering interest rates has distorted the market system and sent confusing signals to major lenders and investors. According to views propounded by economists who cleave to the Austrian school of econ


The sheer complexity of the … [Dodd-Frank] bill is certainly a threat to future economic growth. But if you sift through the sections and subsections, you find much more than complexity to worry about -- Economist John B. Taylor The 2,319-paged financial reform bill of Senator Christopher Dodd and Representative Barney Frank “widens” the regulatory net, installs “better shock-absorbers,” and “provides a road-map for big firms that fail,” according to the Wall Street Journal. It is supposed to prevent future bail-outs, but it may facilitate them. Here follows a sampling of its provisions. How it will work out, even Senator Dodd says he cannot anticipate, though President Obama, a little behind on reviewing the history of business cycles, anticipates that the bill will ensure that a financial crisis will never happen again. A radio caller dubs the bill the “Frank-Dodd Fraud bill.” What’s in the Bill? The Federal Reserve retains oversight over thousands of community banks. Th