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Showing posts from September, 2010

AMERICA THY NAME IS HELEN KELLER

An editorial confession: I’ve been more or less begging Reid Holloway to write something for CTMajority for awhile, but not on my knees; these things are accomplished through subtleties. Mr. Holloway, always alarmingly astute, has written for this page before. Here, Mr. Holloway has a Damascus Road experience while reflecting on one of his favorite films and decides, peremptorily but justly, that Helen Keller IS America.

Prepare yourself for an entertaining journey of the mind. Emblazoned on Robert Frost’s tombstone is the legend: “I had a lover's quarrel with the world.” So do we all. This is part of Reid’s lover’s quarrel.

A stern word of warning: Those who are determined to denigrate the Tea Party movement should prayerfully pass by.

Don Pesci



By REID HOLLOWAY

Sometimes when I turn in for the night, I’ll boot up the television to relax a bit before dozing off.

Then, as happened one recent morning, it will still be on, as my large pet cat is pacing on my chest, applying about four …

Deconstructing the Deconstructionists

The American Thinker” deconstructs New York Times columnist Matt Bai, who looks back with fond nostalgia on the Weicker years in Connecticut and admires Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s prosecutorial pluck, Christine O’Donnell assassins, Linda McMahon assassins, the elite media world, mainstream anger, Harvard University, Yale Law School, privileged politicians, Richard Blumenthal, assorted liars, squared jawed columnists who get heir kicks by deriding women, God, Darwin, and much more. A fun read.

Why The Attack On McMahon Has Not Worked

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that Linda McMahon has whittled down Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s lead in the U.S. Senate race from a high of 40 percentage points to a worrisome 3. And yet, McMahon has come under fierce attack, if not by Mr. Blumenthal then by the media. Judging from Mr. Blumenthal’s slide in poll numbers, that attack has not been effective.

Why has it failed?

The attackers, just to begin with, lie under a suspicion of being ideologically allied with Mr. Blumenthal. The infrequent attacks upon Mr. Blumenthal by the media during his 20 year reign as attorney general have been soft core, and political consumers have now come of age. Mrs. McMahon has been on the attack well before the primary elections in a series of ads and media buys, and one is keenly aware of the palpable disappointment among Connecticut’s left of center media that Mrs. McMahon has so easily found a route around them.

Whether one is disposed to agree or disagree with the thrust of her campa…

SOWELL SHOWS HOW WE ARE DISMANTLING AMERICA

Parents may be upset because of differences of opinion with their grown children on current events. They may differ on, say, global warming. Their offspring may have seen Al Gore’s move, “An Inconvenient Truth,” perhaps in school or college. They can’t ask them if they have read anything on the other side, but have they seen the British Channel 4 television special, “The Great Global Warming Swindle”? How can they know what’s right till they have heard the other side, says Sowell.

If they were a member of a jury, would they be content to learn the defendant’s case presented solely by the prosecution? Wouldn’t they insist on hearing the defendant’s side from the defendant itself? If so, why should they be content with hearing only one side of global warming?

This is only one of the many issues which students hear about in school or college. Are they being educated or indoctrinated? Thomas Sowell’s new book is Dismantling America, perhaps the 20th by this economist, scholar in residence…

The Dickman Case: Blumenthal Breaks a Butterfly On The Wheel

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is the sort of Household Word who might sue death itself when, after a long life of litigation and writing media releases, the grim reaper finally comes for him. He surely has enough tricks up his sleeve to postpone the unfortunate incident for at least half a dozen years, perhaps more.

Ms. Pricilla Dickman’s case has been in litigation at least that long. She is both a whistle blower – the University of Connecticut’s Health Center being the institution whistled at – and the subject of Mr. Blumenthal’s attention these past few tortuous years. Mr. Blumenthal’s office defends both whistleblowers and state institutions. Sometimes when the two lock legal horns, conflicts of interest arise. If one tries to imagine a lawyer in a case involving two antagonistic parties who is charged with representing BOTH in a civil proceeding, a few difficulties will suggest themselves.

The latest turn in the 6 year old Dickman case involves an assistant attorney general…

Himes, Courtney, Slip Sliding Away

Dennis House’s “The Hartforite" is reporting that Jim Himes and Joe Courtney, two representatives in districts less liberal than Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi, are inching away from Bethlehem:

“During a taping of Face the State, when I asked both Congressmen Jim Himes and Joe Courtney if they would endorse Pelosi for another term as their leader, they balked.

Neither were conspicuously present during President Barack Obama's visit to Connecticut in mid-September.

“The two are running for re-election in districts where Mr. Obama’s approval rating has fallen and unemployment is high. With an electorate becoming increasingly frustrated with Washington, Himes and Courtney are both stressing to voters that they are ‘independent voices.‘”The word “independent,” a curtsey in the direction of the Tea Party Patriots and Independents who have expressed their dissatisfaction with the two major parties, is one we shall be hearing often on a campaign trail that, some believe, will…

Clinton Hearts Blumenthal

Following President Barack Obama into Connecticut, here to raise money for the senatorial campaign of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, came former president Bill Clinton.

Mr. Clinton headlined a rally for Mr. Blumenthal at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven. The rally was followed by a fundraiser considerably more modest than Mr. Obama’s earlier fundraiser in gold plated Greenwich. Connecticut always has been fertile ground for Democrats hoping to fill their campaign coffers by uprooting golden truffles in the state’s campaign rich Gold Coast. No doubt Mr. Clinton and Mr. Blumenthal were anxious to empty the pockets of those millionaires in Connecticut who had not previously been hit-up by Mr. Obama.

Mr. Clinton is no stranger to the state, and he certainly is no stranger to controversies. Mr. Clinton’s support of Sen. Joe Lieberman during the now famous Lieberman-Lamont kafuffle got him in Dutch with the more excitable elements of Democratic progressivism. The proprietor of F…

Blumenthal And "Stolen Valor"

Following a story in the Hartford Courant by Daniela Altimari, The Australian Broadcasting System (ABC) has released “Stolen Valor,” a film in which Attorney General Richard Blumenthal figures prominently. Connecticut’s prospective U.S. senator is now an international celebrity. Apparently, people in the United States are incapable of making documentaries of this kind.

Dodd vs Carter

When former president Jimmy Carter said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” recently that the late Sen. Edward Kennedy killed a health care initiative during Carter’s failed administration, he scared up a ghost or two. Mr. Dodd quickly came to the defense of his departed friend, telling Reuters that factors unrelated to Kennedy doomed Carter’s health plan:

“At the time … you had 22 percent inflation, you had gas lines going everywhere,” Dodd said. “The idea that healthcare was going to be a major debate in ‘79 is sort of selective history. I don’t think there was any room for that debate in ‘79.”Today, of course, the times are more propitious: a  national debt is approaching 14 trillion (in Carter's last year it was about $1 trillion);  bailouts of failing Wall Street investment firms, banks and housing mortgage ponzi schemes; inflation, breathing heavily, waiting in the wings; an expensive regulatory apparatus with Dodd’s fingerprints all over it that surely will drive up the co…

Castro The Cuban Model

It seems as if Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has, in his dotage, become an anti-Castroite.

"The Cuban model,” Castro said recently, “doesn't even work for us anymore,” a sentiment that easily could have gotten the speaker a 20 year sentence in one of Castro’s prisons had he been anyone other than Castro.

George Will offers an analysis of the 84 year-old Marxist and one of his enablers, Jean Paul Sartre.

Will ends his column by calling for an end to the boycott of Cuba:

“Today, U.S. policy of isolating Cuba by means of economic embargoes and travel restrictions serves two Castro goals: It provides an alibi for Cuba's social conditions and it insulates Cuba from some of the political and cultural forces that brought down communism in Eastern Europe. The 11th president, Barack Obama, who was born more than two years after Castro seized power, might want to rethink this policy, now that even Castro is having second thoughts about fundamentals.”All very well and good, but Will of…

The Second Act In Politics And Rob Simmons

It was Henry Clay who said he’d rather be right than be president. The cynic perhaps would retort that such a selfless sentiment could only issue from a man who had never been president; though, Lord knows, Mr. Clay, always ready to serve his country in any capacity, certainly gave it a good try.

Drafted for president a few times, he was frustrated by unavoidable political events beyond his control and lost each time, some would say, to lesser men. A Whig leader in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, said Mr. Clay was "my beau ideal of a great man." And Sen. John Kennedy cited Mr. Clay as one of the five greatest senators in U.S. history.

It must be supposed that Mr. Clay took his defeats with a certain degree of equinimity. Rob Simmons very well may be the Henry Clay of Connectiut. Mr. Clay’s Whig party, which later evolved into the Republican Party, was strong enough at that point and later to allow for what might be called “second acts” -- and even third and fourth acts.

There o…

America And The Tea Party Movement, a German View

The picture of American politics as seen from Europe is often lucid, particularly when large matters are up for debate, because distance allows for a more dispassionate and objective view. Germany, for instance, is not too close to the trees to see the forest.

With that in mind, the view of President Barack Obama and the Tea Party movement as expressed in Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German left of center paper, ought to give pause to those in the United States who are inclined to blithely write off the Tea Party Movement as a passing fringe phenomena:

"Obama has underestimated the frustration in the country and the power of the Tea Party movement, which gives the prevailing disillusionment a platform and a voice. It is by far the most vibrant political force in America. Obama's left-of-center coalition, which got young people and intellectuals involved and which appealed to a majority of women, blacks and Latinos, has evaporated into nothing."

Eleanor Holmes Norton Holds Her Nose And Makes The Call: Connecticut Dems Greet Obama

Some Democrats, distressed over the pull lobbyists have on the U.S. Congress, may have wondered to themselves “What do anti-lobbyist Democrats – the sort of folk who appeal to Joe Lunchpail on the stump by denigrating Wall Street in favor of Main Street – actually say when they pick up the phone and try to tease some money from Mr. Moneybags.

Wonder no longer.

Here is Eleanor Holmes Norton selling her patrimony for a mess of pottage:

"This is, uh, Eleanor Norton, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Uh, I noticed that you have given to uh, other colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I am a, um, Senior Member, a twenty year veteran and am Chair of the Sub-committee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. I’m handling the largest economic development project in the United States now, the Homeland Security Compound of three buildings being built on the uh, old St. Elizabeth’s hospital site in the District of Columbia along with uh,…

Larson, Do You Know Where Your Congressman Is?

U.S. Rep. John Larson, firmly entrenched for 12 years in a U.S. congressional seat held previously for 16 years by Barbara Kennelly, the daughter of Connecticut’s last Democratic Party boss John Bailey, is what used to be called way back in the Middle Ages “a hale fellow well met,” a gregarious, back slapping, sociable politician who likely will remember your name the second time he meets you at the Manchester Peach Festival.
The old U.S. congress of the Dodds, father and son, used to be full of such convivial good-old-boys. Sen. Chris Dodd, in a recent exit interview with MSNBC, sadly mourned the passing of such amiable deal brokers, reminding young up-and-comers that the U.S. Senate is, after all, a political brokerage house where, in order to get things done, one must get along with opposition party members, giving a little here, taking a little there, in order to push the sausage through the legislative grinder.
Larson is heir to this tradition. He also is something of a partisan pi…

CONNECTICUT’S UNFUNDED PENSIONS

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is suing New Jersey for deceiving investors in its bonds. There is a growing lack of transparency that bond presentations do not mention.

Connecticut employees’ pensions have for years been funded by the State of Connecticut, but the funds are raided, according to columnist Chris Powell, managing editor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. In the past two years, the raids have taken away $315 million, or half the Connecticut pension funds, to pay for state spending which the state budget has not covered.

If the State runs out of money, government employees will normally be the first to be paid, as required by contract. And this is so even if the State has to close down everything else, police and fire departments, hospitals, park and recreation, higher education.

What is happening in Connecticut is happening in everywhere. States have been collecting funds for pensions for government employees for years, but the states have been raiding…

This Way To The Egress

A recent Quinnipiac poll shows Linda McMahon within striking distance of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal who, despite an unending stream of press releases touting his triumphs as attorney general, this year is actually running for the U.S. senate.

McMahon has shaved Blumenthal’s once awesome 40 point lead to 6 points.

In further bad news for Blumenthal, Quinnipiac reports that President Barack Obama is on the downslide in Connecticut, which Obama carried by an overwhelming majority just two years ago. A majority of likely voters -- 52% -- in the Quinnipiac poll disapprove of how Obama is handling his job as president. Only 45% approve of his performance.

The National Journal reports:

“The numbers suggest that Obama is struggling even in deep blue states like Connecticut. Obama carried Connecticut by more than 20 points over John McCain (R) in '08.

“The poll also indicates that Dem candidates may be wary of having Obama on the stump. Quinnipiac's polling director, Peter Sch…

The Attack On Martha Dean ll

Martha Dean, the Republican nominee for attorney general, made a fruitless plea to Courant reporter Mathew Kauffman at the end of his front page story, “Martha Dean Embroiled In Custody Battle: Experts In The Case Say It Has Taken A Toll On Martha Dean's Son,” a heartfelt cry into the belly of the beast:

"’You're straying into territory that involves a 12-year-old boy and somebody who has lied profusely,’ she said, repeating a frequent assertion she has made in court about her ex-husband. ‘This is serious stuff. Do not go there. This is not appropriate for journalism. It has nothing to do with running for attorney general. It's just the luck that I got stuck with, in having married somebody like this, and we're trying to do the best we can to get through this.’"

But go there Kauffman did. At the center of Kauffman’s story is a psychological evaluation of Dean plucked from Superior Court documents that trace a messy divorce.

Messy divorces, almost always invol…

Vote Genus Feminae

It appears that 2010 may be the “year of the woman” in Connecticut politics -- and not only in Connecticut. Pretty much across the United States, markedly in the Republican Party, women seem to be coming out of the woodwork to run for office, and their backgrounds, mostly in business, are not shallow.

Genus feminae, of course, has been making steady progress in politics for some time. Women hold 90 or 16.8% of the 535 seats in the 111th US Congress, 17% of the 100 seats in the Senate and 16.8% of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives.

Connecticut can point to bumper crop of women vying for political positions this year. One of them, Martha Dean, running for attorney general, was the highest vote getter in the recently concluded Republican primaries.

Ann Brickley, running against Democratic pit bull Rep. John Larson – New England’s answer to Ear Mark King John Murtha, diseased -- has a stunning background in business. It seems that Republican women, having tasted some success in…