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CCX, the Short Happy Life of CO2

It became clear to Professor Richard Sandor that Global Warming offered a great opportunity to investors to decrease carbon dioxide and make a profit. Since CO2 is in everything, energy would have to be decreased. How is this to be done? By permitting the voluntary trading of carbon credits by buyers and sellers.

Manufacturers emitting CO2 would need a permit to increase the CO2 they needed to produce. Firms having a surplus of permits, having no need of the surplus, would be able to sell the surplus in the free market to the manufacturers needing it.

So Richard Sandor, professor of business at Northwestern University in Chicago, applied to the Joyce Foundation in Chicago for a $1.1 million start-up grant for voluntary buying and selling permits-to-emit carbon dioxide. Between 1994 and 2002, Barack Obama sat on the Board of the Joyce Foundation.

Sandor’s voluntary exchange system would be available and might become mandatory—and profitable—with the passing of a Cap-and-Trade bill. Th…

The Moody-Bannon

With the departure of the Jodi Rell administration – all good things must end – Lisa Moody, a punching bag for people who did not want, for whatever reason, to punch Mrs. Rell, will also leave the stage, to be replaced by Tim Bannon, Gov. Elect-Dan Malloy’s Chief of Staff.

Mr. Bannon, among other accomplishments, is the very first gubernatorial chief of staff in Connecticut to have appeared as a character in a comic strip. T.F. Bannon, of the firm Torts, Tarts & Torque, an early character in Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesbury,” was patterned after Mr. Bannon, a school chum of Trudeau’s when the two were terrorizing Yale together, Mr Bannon as chairman and Mr. Trudeau as Editor in Chief of the Yale Record, America's oldest humor magazine.

The use of a major domo to deflect criticism from the chief is considerably older than the friendship between Mr. Bannon and Mr. Trudeau, who likely will not reinsert Mr. Bannon into his strip any time soon.

Though she was perfectly capable of thinki…

Boardwalk Blumenthal’s Pungent Prose

A media release on the day after Thanksgiving – Don’t these guys ever give it a rest? – provides a perfect example of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s pungent  prose.
Mr. Blumenthal, who resembles no one so much as the odious, libidinally tortured Agent Nelson Van Alden on “Boardwalk Empire,” this time has been smitten by a credit card issued under sex-pot Kim Kardashian’s name, the infamous Kardashian Kard.

Here is the unexpurgated media memo from the attorney general:

“Lose it before you use it -- ought to be this card’s motto,” Blumenthal said.

“Keeping up with the Kardashians is impossible using these cards -- laden with pernicious and predatory fees that swallow card value.
“These cards are feckless financial tools designed to promptly diminish in value with virtually every transaction -- and even when consumers don’t use the card at all.
“This card -- or kard -- appears to specifically target young adults in evoking the name and image of the Kardashian family who showcase live…

Colin McEnroe’s Dreams

It’s a little soon for all this. Still, as Hartford Courant humorist Colin McEnroe says, one can always dream:

“But it's intriguing to dream of a Lieberman reconciliation. [Difficult as it is to believe from what follows, Mr. McEnroe is envisioning reconciliation between Mr. Lieberman and himself] Even though I have known him longer and better than most of you and had uneasily noticed — before most people did — the slow, Gollum-like warping of his politics and his personality, I miss the Joe Lieberman you could talk to without feeling the need to be accompanied by an exorcist.

“It would a wonderful thing if he returned to Connecticut and announced he will not seek re-election in 2012. We would probably need that in writing. Notarized. Then he could give a series of interviews in which he discussed, thoughtfully and in a healing manner, the fascinating choices that led to his recent 25 and 30 percent approval ratings. The 2011 Joe Lieberman "Hug It Out Tour." You know you…

Lawlor’s Jihad

Rep. Michael Lawlor, co-chairman along with Sen. Andrew McDonald of Connecticut’s Judiciary Committee, has indicated he might resurrect House Bill 5473 in the new session.

HB 5473, which bordered on a bill of attainder, was defeated in the legislature during the last term, and even Mr. McDonald, who tends to march in lockstep with co-confederate Lawlor, voted against the measure. Bills of attainder, legislation carefully crafted to apply narrowly to specific targets, and ex post facto laws are proscribed by the U.S. Constitution.

There will always be occasions for violations of the letter or spirit of the Constitution, and the occasion that launched HB 5473 was particularly horrendous. A doctor who had practiced out of St. Francis Hospital in Hartford was accused of having molested young children in the 1960s. His deeds came to light when the wall of a house in which the doctor had lived, then under reconstruction, was torn down and a cache of pictures and films of young children und…

NAACP Says Malloy Transition Team Lacks Diversity

Scot Esdaile, President of the Connecticut State Conference NAACP, has chided Governor-elect Dan Malloy for not including African Americans among his transition team. The mostly Irish American line up includes: Nancy Wyman, Tim Bannon, Lauri Aronson (Tim Bannon's Wife), Colleen Flanagan, Howard Rifkin, Mark Ojakian, David McQuade, Kevin Sullivan, Bill Curry and Ben Barnes.

"The lack of diversity in Dan Malloy's transition team,” Mr. Esdaile said, “is a slap in the face to all of the urban areas in the State of Connecticut. Clearly Dan Malloy would not have been elected if the minority communities did not come out in record numbers on election day. Only time will tell, but we demand substantial representation at the table.”

Soon after the NAACP media release was sent out Tim Bannon, Co-Chair of Governor-Elect Dan Malloy’s transition efforts, sent out the following missive:

"It's unfortunate that the NAACP chose not to discuss their concerns with us first before se…

Tobacco Prevention Program in Connecticut Broken

In its annual report on states' funding of tobacco prevention programs titled "A Broken Promise to Our Children,” the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Lung Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report that Connecticut ranks 45th in the nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. Key findings in the report show:

• In the past year, Connecticut has virtually eliminated funding for tobacco prevention, cutting funding from $6.1 million to $400,000.

• Connecticut this year will collect $529 million from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend just 0.1 percent of it on tobacco prevention programs.

• The tobacco companies spend $123 million a year to market their products in Connecticut. This is 307 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention.

•In the past year, Connecticut has virtually eliminated funding for tobac…

When Irish Eyes Are Balling

The prospect of U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd leaving the Senate has caused usually smiling Irish eyes to swell with copious tears. Vice President Joe Biden was among the ballers, according to a report in the Irish Times.

Mr. Dodd, who owns a cottage in County Galway, will be leaving the Senate at the end of his term. He has spent 35 years in the House and Senate, some of it profitably.

Ireland, once the tiger of Europe, has been suffering from the same financial crisis that plagues most of the Western World. In the Unites States, the housing crisis, precipitated by a degradation of lending standards, is thought to have precipitated the financial crisis. Both Dodd and newly re-elected U.S. Representative Barney Frank of Massachussets played a role in the lowering of banking standards. In neighboring Canada – remarkably free of Dodds and Franks and Countrywides and Fannie Maes and Freddie Macs – there is no housing crisis.

At the Dodd reception, held in the Irish Embassy in Washington, Ireland’…

Donovan, Williams, Malloy And The Coming Crisis

Don Williams is the President Pro Tem of the state senate and one of the whip wielders of Connecticut’s Democratic caucus in the General Assembly. The other caucus leader in the state legislature is Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, once a union steward, whose affections and personal history bind him to union interests. The adamantine bonds between legislators who arrive in the General Assembly on the wings of unionism and union affiliated organizations that bring home votes to them -- especially in cities like Bridgeport and New Haven, both of which were directly responsible for Governor-elect Dan Malloy’s victory in Connecticut’s recent gubernatorial campaign – are like those between ministers of the word and their flocks. Once a union steward, always a union steward.

Unions have been good to the Democratic leadership in the General Assembly, and the leadership has been good to unions. It will continue to be so – now with a vengeance, since the Republican Party, which has a linger…

A Republican Default Position

Republicans, occasionally in recent Connecticut history the loyal opposition, have now lost their coveted gubernatorial post. With the exception of a few seats won by state Republicans, 14 in the House and 1 in the Senate, Democrats in the recently concluded elections carried the entire field – this against a National Republican headwind that gave a majority in the U.S. House to Republicans and chipped away at Senate rule by Democrats. The Republican insurgency also reversed Democratic control of some state legislatures and gubernatorial offices, allowing Republicans to redistrict important states during the upcoming census.

Although Democrats nationally are licking their wounds, Connecticut Democrats are popping champagne corks, fatally imagining that serious change in state governance is unnecessary.

Governor-elect Dan Malloy, the first Democratic governor elected in the state since former Gov. William O’Neill threw in the towel 20 years ago, will not be the “firewall” that, some s…

Stolen Valor

On this Veteran’s Day, it will be well to remind ourselves that there are those among us who steal valor and suck the honor from the marrow of the nation’s heroic bones. A few months ago, the Australian Broadcasting System (ABC) put together a documentary called “Stolen Valor.” Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who lied numerous times about his service in Vietnam, is among the dark characters in the film.

Should Healy Go?

Should Chris Healy go as Republican Party Chairman?

Who would replace him, Tom D’Amore?

Mr. D’Amore, it will be recalled, was anointed Republican Party Chairman by then Sen. Lowell Weicker, who at the time was considered one of the nominal heads of his party. Weicker later tossed aside his rusty foil, the Republican Party, and became an Independent.

One of D’Amore’s first proposals as Party Chairman was to open nominating conventions to those not formally registered as Republicans. Had he been successful, Weicker would have been spared the indignity of scrounging for money and influence from a party he abhorred. Republicans at the time were in no mood to commit suicide and spurned D’Amore’s gambit.

D’Amore drifted off to assist such independent nobodies as former governor of Minnesota Jesse "The Body" Ventura, once a wrestler, and Ned Lamont, a democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.

Weicker himself lost a senatorial race to present Sen. Joe Lieberman and, in his senatorial …

Blumenthal Cash Cow Cartel Challenged

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a thorn in the side of Attorney General and Senator-Elect Dick Blumenthal, is challenging in the U.S. Supreme Court what it calls “the $200 billion backroom deal between major tobacco companies and 46 state attorneys general” spearheaded by Mr. Blumenthal several years ago.

The Big Tobacco settlement is Mr. Blumenthal’s marquee suit. During his recent successful campaign for the U.S. Senate, Mr. Blumenthal, who shuttled some of the settlement pay-off cash to his former law partners, mentioned the suit prominently in many of his campaign ads, and on other occasions he has praised himself for providing money to Connecticut's cash starved treasury.

In its petition for Supreme Court review, CEI claims that the “Master Settlement Agreement” violates the constitutional provision against multi-state agreements that have not been approved by Congress.

“The tobacco settlement was hatched in a smoke-free backroom between tobacco companies and stat…

Obama Off Message, America In Decline

Hillary Clinton, the present Secretary of State and ex-President Bill Clinton’s better half by far, spent Election Day a safe distance from the epicenter of what appears to be a Republican Party awakening. In a massive shrug, the nation shucked off the Democratic Party control of congress, taking back the U.S. House of Representatives and putting a large dent in the U.S. Senate. The seismic event bypassed Connecticut.

The day after the political earthquake in Washington, President Barack Obama traveled with his retinue to India, where he gave a few stirring speeches that appeared to be fatally off-message.

Harley Davidson, the American maker of the iconic motorcycle, is building a plant in India. Ordinarily, the un-American drift of jobs and business offshore would excite the interests of senator-elect Dick Blumenthal and other members of Connecticut’s Democratic congressional delegation, all of whom made much ado in their campaigns over the leeching of jobs to foreign countries.

Mr. …

Are We All Liebermans Now?

Writing in the New Haven Advocate, Greg Hladky peered into Sen. Joe Lieberman’s future in Connecticut politics. The results were “mixed,” as some in the business might say.

Hladky began his analysis by observing that Connecticut avoided the tsunami that swept Republicans into the U.S. Congress in the upcoming term. What does such steadfastness mean for Lieberman’s career?

Lieberman, it will be recalled, was challenged in a primary by liberal heartthrob Ned Lamont. While he lost the primary – and, apparently, his party affiliation -- Lieberman won the general election running as an Independent. In that race, Lieberman drew upon a large number of Republican and Independent votes. It is likely that some old school Democrats, repulsed by extreme liberal positions, also voted for Lieberman.

The Lieberman-Lamont drama, all things else being equal, is not likely to repeat itself for the following reasons:

1) Should Lieberman defend his seat as an Independent in a three way race, the Republic…

Foley, A Classy Loser

Mr. Tom Foley, once a Republican Party choice for governor, is being touted as a “class act” by the same people who, a few days earlier, insisted he was a millionaire grim reaper who had destroyed a small town – Bib something or other -- and eaten all of its children.
In an apparent compliment, Mr. Rick Green of the Hartford Courant calls Mr. Foley’s long anticipated departure from the race “eloquent,” though not quite as eloquent as Governor-elect Dan Malloy’s victory.

And all that muck in Bridgeport? Forgetaboutit!!! says Mr. Green. Some muckrakers rake, and other shove the stuff under the rug.

If only “the grassy knoll conspriracy (sic) theorists” who want to plum the Bridgeport mess would follow suit, Mr. Green would happily call them eloquent too, an odd posture for the muckraking proprietor of “CT Confidential: What’s Really Happening” to strike.

THE TEA PARTY, HOW IT ALL STARTED

By Natalie Sirkin

It was originally feared that the tea parties might turn into a third party, but that has not happened, at least not yet. Not a third party, they present no threat the Republican Party. With luck, they may turn the Republican Party into a major party; the Republican Party may turn the Tea Party into a ghost.

So far, they have helped, garnering 63 seats in the House and 7 in the Senate (two more in doubt) and a huge 680 in local legislatures, giving the Republicans the advantage in the next election by gerrymandering their states into voting districts. They supported 116 candidates, including Marco Rubio (won by 19 points), Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul, Dan Coats, Ron Johnson and Pat Toomey, who won. They backed some who lost, including Carl Paladino in N.Y., Buck in Colorado, Sharron Angle in Nevada, and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.

Where did they come from? Commentators have not found their intellectual leaders. It is because the tea partiers are not in Washing…

Garber Retained By Republicans To Examine Bridgeport Pile

Ross Garber, a partner in the Hartford, CT and Washington, D.C. offices of Shipman & Goodwin LLP and an attorney familiar with state prosecutions, has been engaged by the state Republican Party “to conduct a preliminary inquiry into widespread reports of Election Day issues in Bridgeport.” according to a media release issued by Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy.

Citing a preliminary inquiry, Mr. Garber today sent letters to the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, David Fein, and the Chief States Attorney for the State of Connecticut, Kevin Kane, pointing to evidence that the voting process in Bridgeport was riddled with “significant deficiencies, irregularities and improprieties, most notably in connection with the creation and distribution of ballots; the counting of votes; and the tabulation of election results.” The letter indicates that these issues “may have led to the disenfranchisement of those qualified to vote in the November 2 election and the vio…

The Bridgeport Pile

Doug Schwartz has done some digging in the Bridgeport pile, and he has thrown up a few truffles. It’s a pity he is not an investigative reporter for one of Connecticut’s drowsy newspapers – because he is asking all the right questions.

By Doug Schwartz

Date: Friday, November 5, 2010, 4:19 PM

I conclude there was pre-meditated vote fraud in CT, and the reason CT's largest city (Bridgeport) is so slow to report their results is the classic motive behind vote fraud cases: they needed to wait until they learned how many votes they were short, and then they went out and found them. As I show below, if you run the numbers on the quantity of ballots ordered and received and do the timeline of the judge's ruling, this reeks of pre-meditated fraud. This conspiracy began long before Tues. There are a host of basic questions below we need answers to, and which the press is not being too curious about finding -- Recall that it is the Mayor of Stamford who is running for Governor -- "…

Post Mortems and Prophecies

It’s usual after elections to see a flurry of post mortems and prophecies in the media.

On one point, Connecticut’s media is almost in universal agreement: Money talks, but it cannot alone win elections. This perception was trotted out during the Linda McMahon campaign almost from its inception. The Republican convention, it has been asserted dozens of times, went for money over good sense. The convention might have chosen the superior senatorial candidate, Rob Simmons, over McMahon, but the glitter of gold bewitched Republicans. McMahon had vowed to spend as much as $50 million on her campaign. Her money, spend mostly on TV advertising and campaign staff, reduced Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s early lead from 40 to 9 points. But in the end, the sainted Blumenthal survived handsomely and now will go on in the U.S. Congress to assault businesses with much rhetorical brio as he deployed as attorney general. His replacement as attorney general, George Jepsen, has said often enough…

The Unpleasantness At The Bridgeport Club

There has been some mild grumbling from Connecticut’s status quo media over the Bridgeport vote count.

The Day of New London, pointing to “the debacle in Bridgeport,” said it was an inauspicious beginning to the Malloy administration. Malloy’s “rush to Hartford to declare himself the next governor before any official result was inappropriate and smacked of a power grab.”

George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany Hall boss, would have prospered in Connecticut’s modern day Democratic Party. If the old boy, honest to a fault, were writing editorials, he might say, “What’s the beef? The Democrats stole the election fair and square.”

The Day’s editorial answered its own objection: “Yet as votes continued to trickle in from New Haven and Bridgeport on Thursday, it became increasingly apparent that the Democrat would emerge from the process with a narrow lead over Republican opponent Tom Foley.”

In Bridgeport, ballot irregularities are nothing new:



What we have here is a political indelicacy, a…

Après Rell

The estimate of the state of the state elections by Paul Bass, a writer for The New Haven Independent, is fairly accurate:

“Connecticut went true blue—bluer than ever. Malloy will have become the first Democrat to win the governor’s office since 1986. Democrat Richard Blumenthal captured an open U.S. Senate seat the party had seemed until only recently in danger of losing. And all five of the state’s U.S. House seats went to Democrats again—even though the 4th and 5th District appeared at times heading to turn red. Democrats also swept the under ticket constitutional offices.”

Departing Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz has called the gubernatorial election in favor of Dan Malloy. Two days after the election, the Associated Press, citing an 8,424 vote lead by Foley with all but 1.5 percent of precincts counted, withdrew its call of Malloy as the winner. Later in the day, the AP announced that it had missed figure in New Haven. Republicans may contest Bysiewicz’s finding in court. For…