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New ConnCAN report analyzes Connecticut graduation rate data

The ConnCAN media release is below. Click on the actual report (see link below) to find your own town's standings. ConnCAN relies on a methodology much more accurate than that used by Connecticut State Board of Education number crunchers. The chart that records reporting differences between the state and the more accurate figures  is itself an eye opener. ConnCAN, here and elsewhere, shows itself to be the primary educational watchdog in the state.

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Massive racial gaps persist; substantial economic impact on state

NEW HAVEN—Today, ConnCAN released a new issue brief, “Connecticut Graduation Rates.” Using data from the Class of 2008 (the most recent year for which numbers are available), the brief analyzes graduation rates by race and gender, in Connecticut and nationally. The brief also discusses the economic and social impact of not graduating from high school prepared for college and careers.

Click here to read the "Connecticut Graduation Ra…

McMahon’s Second Throw Of The Dice

Linda McMahon having thrown her hat once again into the political ring, the question arises: What are her chances? Mrs. McMahon will run for Senator Joe Lieberman’s soon to be vacant seat in the U.S. Congress.

On the left, the media once again is preparing to draw their long knives from their scabbards. Mrs. McMahon’s background as CEO of World Wide Wrestling, since renamed World Wide Entertainment (WWE), has freed much of the left of the necessity of thinking seriously about her positions, such as they are and will be, on important issues of the day. In lieu of reasoned criticism, Video clips of Man Mountain Indian wrestler Dalip Singh Rana hoisting a victim over his shoulders and slamming him to the mat may be deployed against her, as was the case in her last campaign.

The cast of characters this time around will be different: Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has moved up in the world into the U.S. Senate. He was a formidable opponent for a number of reasons. The Attorney General…

September Notes On A Failed State

People on the right and left tend to be interested in categorical clarity. The Democratic left dearly wants Democratic Party to means something different than the Republican Party, an ambition shared by those on the right. When the revolution finally arrives, so called moderates – protean shape shifters in both parties who are sometimes this, sometimes that – will all go to the wall should either group have its way.

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Moderation in New England is a failed enterprise. The last “moderate” representative in the U.S. Congress was Chris Shays. None of the members of Connecticut’s former U.S. Congressional delegation were men and women of the right. All were moderates. All have gone the way of the Pallid Beach Mouse, a darling critter native to Florida now thought to be extinct. The PBM disappeared sometime after elderly New Englanders began to flock to Florida in search of golf courses, a stable tax system, a sane regulatory environment and a non-predatory state gove…

A Governor Of Unions?

Governor Dannel Malloy banged the knuckles of some state unions when SEBAC, a coalition of union leaders, failed to pass what he called “Plan A,” a budget that some legislators friendly to unions thought was inordinately friendly to unions. Sen. Edith Prague, long a supporter of union interests, said at the time she thought union members who had voted down Plan A were mad to have spurned a plan so favorable to their interests.

The governor had concocted at the same time a default Plan B that simply was not a serious contractual proposal; Plan B was designed to bludgeon recalcitrant union members into voting for Plan A. Union leaders, at the behest of the governor, then unilaterally redrafted union rules so as to facilitate a favorable vote on a slightly readjusted Plan A. The intimidation, along with the compliance of union leaders, worked, and Plan A2 finally was adopted by unions months after the General Assembly, dominated by Democrats, had voted to pass Plan A.

There was some grum…

Will Lieberman’s Endorsement Of Shays Matter?

An endorsement by current U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman in the race for the senate seat he will vacate when his term expires just might, unlike the usual light-as-air endorsements of has-been politicians, carry some weight.

Mr. Lieberman is loathed by Democratic leftists in Connecticut. Hell hath no fury like that of a progressive scorned.

Progressive radicals, feeling their oats, were prepared to rejoice heartily and even strew a few rose petals at the senator’s feet had he yielded to them following the Lieberman-Lamont primary, which was won by progressive heartthrob Ned Lamont. Mr. Lieberman, however, was not prepared to go quietly into that good night of whipped politicians; and so, having lost the primary, he challenged Mr. Lamont in a three way general election – and won.

This was not the way to win friends and influence Connecticut progressives. If the progressive movement in Connecticut had an imam in it, a political fatwa would have been urged against Mr. Lieberman by progressiv…

Clinton Stock Up, Obama Stock Down

(Inhale!) The most popular politician in the nation today is (Exhale slowly) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a recent Bloomberg National Poll.

“Nearly two-thirds of Americans hold a favorable view of her and one-third are suffering a form of buyer’s remorse, saying the U.S. would be better off now if she had become president in 2008 instead of Barack Obama.”The Tea Party figures are perhaps the most surprising:

“A plurality of Tea Party supporters -- 44 percent -- say the U.S. would be better off with Hillary Clinton as president, even though 59 percent of those respondents have an unfavorable impression of her.

“’She’s a more stable person who gets results,’ said Joseph Cherney, 67, a retired Republican automotive purchasing worker from Mineral Ridge, Ohio. ‘The president we have now isn’t much of a president because he really doesn’t do anything. He’s pompous and arrogant.’”

Greenberg Calls Upon Donovan To Quit Redistricting Committee

Mark Greenberg, a Republican running for the House in the 5th District, has called upon Chis Donovan, the Democratic Speaker of the state House running for the same seat, to step down from the redistricting commission that will recommend new borders for Connecticut’s five U.S. House of Representative districts.
The committee is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, and Mr. Donovan is the only member of the commission who will be seeking higher office.

Other members of the commission are:

Senator Martin Looney, (D, 11th District)
Representative Sandy Nafis, (D, Newington)
Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams, (D, 29th District)
Minority Leader Representative Lawrence Cafero, (R, 142nd District)
Senator Len Fasano, (R, 34th District)
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, (R, 28th District)
Representative Arthur O'Neill, (R, 69th District)


“Chris Donovan,” Mr. Greenberg noted in a press release, “is a declared candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in …

Blumenthal’s Two Faces

A newspaper has noted in an editorial rough-up of U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal that energy costs in Connecticut are among the highest in the nation, owing in part to the former attorney general’s itchy trigger finger.


As an AG with attitude, Mr. Blumenthal, who even now understands little about how the free market works, very quickly intervened in a host of self-serving situations to prevent an increase in the supply of widely available energy products.


The easiest, quickest and most rational way to reduce the cost of a product is to increase its supply. When we have a surfeit of oranges or gas or any other consumable product, the price of the product is reduced and the consumer benefits from the abundant supply because his monthly costs are correspondingly reduced, which means he has more money to spend on products that may disappoint some politicians such as Mr. Blumenthal – say, gas guzzling cars or wine, women and song – but the trickling down to consumers of abundant low cost pro…

Shays Promises Slugfest

In a brief interview with Hartford Courant writer Rick Green, former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays has given an indication that he will pull no punches in his likely Republican Party primary with Linda McMahon.


Mr. Shays told Mr. Green that Mrs. McMahon’s record as a former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) will be an issue in his campaign.

"Her record and her conduct,” Mr. Shays said, “are an important part of the process. Everything that she's done is going to be an important part of the campaign. I'm not going to take punches. I'm not a Quaker."

Mr. Green writes that Mr. Shays “also promised to stick to his moderate Republican roots. ‘I'm not going to try to win the primary and lose the general election.’"

A possible battle between Mr. Shays and Mrs. McMahon is certain – provided Mr. Shays sticks to his script – to have a “déjà vu all over again” flavor to it, Mr. Shays serving as a double for former Rep. Rob Simmons, who lost to Mrs. McMahon in a Re…

Nappier Incident Not Racial

We can all breathe a sigh of relief. It now appears that the Nappier flapdoodle had little to do with race.

Ms, Nappier told the Hartford Courant reporter Jon Lender that she was stopped by police after she had dropped off a friend and questioned whether being black, in a black car, in a black neighborhood at night might have aroused police suspicions.

It turns out that police were called to the scene for other reasons. According to police union Vice President Nazario Figueroa, officers were dispatched to 385 Barbour Street, a well-known narcotics outlet, for an emergency call the exact nature of which they did not know.

"The car,” Mr. Figueroa told WNPR reporter Jeff Cohen, “is going into this area where we have an unspecified incident call. Most officers need to think out of the box. So she [the female officer responsible for impounding Ms. Nappier’s car] may be thinking maybe this vehicle is related to that call. She's always thought it was kind of suspicious that the c…

Ron Paul For Governor of Connecticut

After reading a well-reasoned piece in UConn’s Daily Campus writtenby Thomas Dilling, it is difficult to avoid reaching the conclusion that presidential candidate Ron would make a far better governor of Connecticut than present Governor Dannel Malloy.
Mr. Malloy earned 15 minutes of fame recently for calling Mr. Paul an idiot. Mr. Paul suggested doing away with FEMA and delegating its powers to states and municipalities.
“Although the governor will likely dismiss me as an idiot,” Mr. Dilling writes , “there is good reason for Connecticut to believe that FEMA should not be a federal responsibility.”
Surely, Mr. Dilling reasons, the flow of money from Connecticut to Texas should interest Connecticut’s governor: “…according to FEMA's website, Texas leads the nation in declared disasters since 1953 with 85 compared to Connecticut's 27 (47th place). Yet, despite this realization that FEMA takes money from Connecticut and spends it in Texas, Connecticut's governor not only supports…

Cheney To Hillary -- Run

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who said brains in the Beltway would pop on the release of his new book, “In My Time,” caused a slight kerfuffle when in an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl he encouraged present Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton to primary President Barack Obama.

“I think she’s probably the most competent person they’ve got in their– in their cabinet,” said Mr. Cheney. “And– frankly, I thought she was gonna win the nomination last time around. Maybe if– the Obama record is bad enough– and these days it’s not very good, given the shape of the economy, maybe there will be enough ferment– in the Democratic Party so that there will be a primary on their side.”
So far, Mrs. Clinton’s husband has not taken the bait.

Foster To DiNardo: Send Lawyers Quick

Jason Bartlett, the campaign Manager for Bridgeport Democratic mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster, has now written a “Dear Nancy” letter to Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo that will not likely warm the cockles of her heart.


Dear Nancy:
Per our telephone conversation earlier today, the Foster campaign respectfully requests the State Democratic Party to activate your Voter Protection Project program for the upcoming Bridgeport Democratic Mayoral primary on September 27th 2011.
Our understanding is that the State party can send attorneys and observers trained in election law to come to Bridgeport on the day of the primary and serve our City’s voters to insure a fair and just election.
The City of Bridgeport has had repeated problems and issues in recent elections. Last November, the lack of sufficient ballots delayed the Governor’s election. The inefficient and incompetent election operations amounted to breaches of fiduciary duty. A smooth, well-run, and honest administration of …

Bridgeport’s Incestuous Single Party State

In a one party town such as Bridgeport, politics tends to be incestuous. There are no quarrels more vicious than family quarrels, because in a family quarrel there is no outside mediating instrument to soften manners, no coach to make sure the teams abide by the rules.

“Three weeks from today,” Lennie Grimaldi notes on his popular site Only in Bridgeport,  "the Democratic primary for mayor between Bill Finch and Mary-Jane Foster begins at 6 a.m. The road to the primary has taken a bizarre route, but what’s a Bridgeport mayoral election without a judge involved, eh? Does anyone think we’re done with controversy involving local and state election officials? Look for the Foster camp to fire off letters to city and state officials demanding accountability. What assurances can Democratic Registrar Santa Ayala and Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, the state’s chief election official, give the Foster camp that an election will be honest, clean and transparent? Don’t hold…

Another Day Older And Deeper In Debt

The wide-awakes over at CTMirror have noticed that things in Connecticut and the nation are not peachy keen.


There is talk of a double dip national recession.Should the nation slip further into economic uncertainty, all the states in the union, Connecticut among them, will suffer. According to important indices, the nation has crawled very far out on the debt limb. A $14 trillion federal budget deficit is not pocket change, and the $14 trillion in red ink does not include unfunded liabilities. Here in Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy hopes the state budget is in the black, but there are doubters. Mr. Malloy tapped into tax payers’ pockets to discharge nearly half of a $4 billion deficit, and the balance was extracted from union concessions and assumed savings. But here too, Connecticut’s budget deficit represents only part of the state’s financial obligations, just as the national deficit is only a small part of federal liabilities.

The unfunded liability of Connecticut’s pension sys…

Grimaldi Nips Merrill

Lennie Grimaldi, the proprietor of Only In Bridgeport gives Secretary of State Denise Merrill a black eye:

“Hey Denise Merrill, want some cheese to go with that whine? It’s all such a matter of convenience for Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill to now proclaim she is pleased with Judge Bellis’ decision after the state’s chief election official and her crack legal team voiced support for Democratic Registrar Santa Ayala who was taken to the woodshed by the judge.”

All Unredacted Wikileaks Made Public

Spiegel is reporting that ALL the US securitized cables acquired by Julian Assange’s Wikileaks are now available on the internet to the general public – and, of course to nations unfriendly to the United States – owing to a series of errors made by Assange and his cohorts. Previously, Wikileaks had distributed select redacted cables to major news outlets, including The New York Times, which then made them available to the general public -- and, of course to nations unfriendly to the United States. The most recent dump includes all UNREDACTED cables in Wikileak’s possession. Spiegel comments: "It is possible that intelligence agencies in a number of countries have already gained access to the data. 'Any autocratic security service worth its salt' would have already done so, former US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley told news agency AP on Wednesday. Intelligence agencies that haven't already gotten their hands on the data "will have it in s…

The Skeletons In Blumenthal’s Closet

Very quietly – much too quietly – Attorney General George Jepsen has closed “513 of the 699 whistleblower cases he inherited from his predecessor, former Attorney general Richard Blumenthal, according to a story circulated by The Associated Press (AP) and published in the Washington Post.

During his campaign for Attorney General, Mr. Jepsen was pressed by Republican candidate for attorney general Martha Dean quickly dispose of cases handled by Mr. Blumenthal during his 20 year tenure. Mrs. Dean ran for attorney general twice, once against the popular Mr. Blumenthal in 2002 and again in 2010. In the course of the Jepsen-Dean debates, Mr. Jepsen seemed particularly sensitive to delays in resolving such cases, and Mrs. Dean was insistent that, should she be selected as attorney general, she would immediately institute a review of Mr. Blumenthal’s crippling backlog and close cases that never should have been prosecuted, tendering apologies to those of Mr. Blumenthal’s litigation victims w…