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Showing posts from October, 2012

Journalists Fiddle While Benghazi Burns

It would be a disgrace to journalism in Connecticut if questions concerning the murder of a U.S. ambassador attached to the consulate in Benghazi were not put to all the members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation, preferably before Connecticut voters march to the polls to decide who among the candidates for Congress this year are best fitted to represent them.

Courant Endorsements

The last of the Hartford Courant’s increasingly irrelevant U.S. Congressional delegation endorsements appeared in the paper on Friday.
The Courant -- shocking the entire state – endorsed U.S. Representative Chris Murphy over former soft-porn WWE impresario Linda McMahon who, in the course of her run for Joe Lieberman’s soon to be vacant seat, snubbed Connecticut’s left of center media.
Courant endorsements are “conservative” in the bad sense. Connecticut’s congressional delegation is non-diverse; all the members of the delegation are Democrats, and it is clear, following the paper’s endorsement of Elizabeth Esty over moderate Republican Andrew Roraback, that the publisher of the paper and its editorial board members prefer it this way.
Adding its endorsement of Democrat Elizabeth Esty’s to that of former Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi, the Hartford Courant in its editorial, “Democrat's positions edge Andrew Roraback's bona fides,” tipped its hat to moderate Republican cha…

Murphy, the Congressman from Planned Parenthood

President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards announced recently her intention to campaign for President Barack Obama FULL TIME, and no wonder.
Planned Parenthood -- the largest abortion provider on the planet, with the possible exception of China’s pro-abortion fascist state controlled facilities – is big business. Every single day, Planned Parenthood receives more than $1.34 million public tax dollars. Abortion procedures account for 46% of all Planned Parenthood clinic revenue. Ms. Richards last year pulled in a sumptuous $400,000 paycheck as her business systematically aborted over 320,000 children each year.
Here in Connecticut, the Democratic Party from Chicago has managed to tag as “extremists” politicians and potential politicians whose views on abortion fall short of those of Planned Parenthood.

What if She Wins?

Linda McMahon may or may not win her campaign to replace Senator Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Congress. Everyone agrees that her race with media favorite Chris Murphy is a close one. Although it is a presidential election year, Barack Obama appears to have lost some of his luster since his last election, his coattails having been clipped by four years in office during which the recovery promised by the president has yet to surface. The latest Gallup poll shows the president trailing Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney by seven points, not a propitious sign.
If Mrs. McMahon is elected to the U.S. Senate, her critics in Connecticut – pretty nearly every commentator in the state – will put down her win to dollars spent. In this regard, Mrs. McMahon is the exception in Connecticut.

Prague’s Juvenilia

Apparently Edith Prague’s recent stroke has not affected her political prejudices. Here is Prague on Republican Chris Coutu,” who is running for the state Senate in the 19th District:
“He’s referred to by some colleagues in the House as cuckoo Coutu,’’ Prague said. “His votes clearly indicate he is not thinking through on the issues. … Certainly I would want somebody in my seat who has some of the same values that I have. Chris voted against the budget, and there were some very good programs in the budget. His voting record is very questionable.’’
Concerning Coutu’s positions, Prague said, “Pro-gun. Oh, man alive. God help us.’’
She added, “I’m very sorry that I’m not running for my seat. The doctor said don’t get yourself in a stressful situation. The job is not that stressful. It’s the campaigning. It would have been a very tough campaign. I didn’t want to take the chance of a second stroke, but I’m miserable not to be running. I love my job. I love being in the Senate. I love chairing…

Clinton in Connecticut

Americans used to wait a decent interval before they set about re-writing history. An example of a recent re-write may be found in an op-ed written by Mark Bowen, who writes for the New Republic. The piece is a glowing review of Ben Affleck’s new film “Argo.”
In the course of his review, Mr. Bowen punctures what he understands to be two grave misunderstandings: 1) that former President Jimmy Carter was too weak to foresee and prevent the Iranian hostage crisis; “in fact, he prepared and launched one of the boldest covert military efforts in American history,” and 2) that President Ronald Reagan “proved to be a lot more willing to deal with the mullahs than Carter ever was.”
In other pieces written by Mr. Bowen, the author of “"Guests of the Ayatollah" is constrained to mention in passing some similarities between the Iranian crisis and recent difficulties in Benghazi, the site of the murder by terrorists of American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Abortion and Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Races

One of Linda McMahon’s most insistent critics, Chris Powell of the Journal Inquirer, noted in a post-debate column that Mrs. McMahon’s view on abortion was … ahem … “more nuanced” than that of Chris Murphy.
The views of President Barack Obama on abortion are, if possible, more extreme than those of Mr. Murphy. There are no circumstances in which the president would disallow an abortion. As an Illinois state senator, Mr. Obama had fulsomely supported legislation permitting abortion on demand, which would include the kind of sex selection abortion practiced in China and – this may surprise pro-abortion proponents – abortions condemned by the early church fathers in the late Roman Empire. The paterfamilias of a family in Rome at the time St. Augustine of Hippo was fulminating against the practice held life and death powers over his children, born and unborn. While infanticide was rare, in the Clintonian sense, during the reign of the Caesars, a father could not be punished under Roman law…

Lawlor’s Law

The whole point and purpose of the Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) is, as the title suggests, victim advocacy. Any defense lawyer or reporter will tell you that advocacy hurts and involves incalculable risks to the advocate. Such is the case with the OVA, which can most accurately be described as an independent in-house whistleblower operation.
A number of people who showed up on a blustery afternoon outside the Wethersfield Department of Corrections (DOC) on October 16 to protest the immanent firing of Michelle Cruz, Connecticut’s Victim’s Advocate, had use of her services. One of them was Elizabeth Barrett, whose daughter was murdered four years ago. She was accompanied by her husband who, with his close cropped white beard, looked for all the world like Ernest Hemingway.
Mrs. Barrett stepped to the battery of microphones, leaned into them and said in a crisp voice, “Four and a half years ago, we were fortunate enough to meet Michelle Cruz, Connecticut’s Victim’s Advocate. She has sat…

Suzio and Crime Victims Defend Cruz

Sen. Len Suzio was joined by violent crime victims at a Tuesday, Oct. 16 press conference in front of the Connecticut Department of Correction in Wethersfield to call on Gov. Malloy to suspend the state's new policy which enable violent felons to be released from prison early.

Sen. Suzio also called upon the Malloy Administration to reappoint the state's non-partisan, independent State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz to another term. Cruz has been outspoken against the Malloy Administration's new early release plan, which enables violent felons such as rapists, arsonists, child molesters and animal abusers to become eligible for early prison release under the Risk Reduction Earned Credits program.

Presidential Debates and the Lincoln-Douglas Template

Presidential debates are important, but they may not decide elections.
It has been generally conceded that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won his first debate with incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama. The second debate is not a “debate’ in the Lincoln-Douglas sense of the term. It has been billed as a “town hall meeting” that pivots on questions taken from the audience, a format more nearly like a press conference, the audience playing the part of news interrogators.

The first Obama-Romney debate followed a similar format featuring a real reporter who failed to satisfy the modest expectations of the Obama camp: Any interrogation that does not result in a clear victory for Obama is by definition defective. In political contests it is fatal to attribute the loss of a debate to defects in the debator. The Lincoln-Douglas debates were quite different, chiefly because the debaters, Lincoln more often than Douglas, shaped the format. The media of the day, highly partisan, …

Good Reporting

Some good reporters still report. Lara Logan is one of them.

Politicians for Sale, a brief History of Connecticut Politics, with Apologies to Lucian

For those unfamiliar with the early part of the 21st century – perhaps you were watching sports on your 92 inch Mitsubishi DPL TV during the first decade of the new century – Connecticut, as predicted by prophets unloved in their own state, did finally go the way of Greece, Spain, Italy and much of Europe. The plane crashed into the mountain two years after the re-election of Governor Malloy the Minotaur, and the shock of the crash finally woke up the sleeping passengers. Thereafter, the state was administered by political technicians who had decided they must sell off their sole remaining assets. To this end, they held a state-wide sale of politicians. Auctioneer: Alright, listen up. It’s a sad business indeed when a state once prosperous must sell off its politicians to satisfy creditors. In all ages, creditors are ever the same – single-mindedly vicious. It’s the prospect of a negative return on their investments that puts fangs in their mouths. But that’s where we are right now, so…

You Do Trust Us, Don’t You?

Here is President Barack Obama holding forth in an ad released in September: “Now Governor Romney believes that with even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy, and fewer regulations on Wall Street, all of us will prosper. In other words, he’d double down on the same trickle-down policies that led to the crisis in the first place.”
That is the core message of the Obama-Biden campaign. Mr. Obama has repeated the claim often, and Vice President Joe Biden took it for a ride around the block in his recent debate with Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
Unfortunately, the theory recently collided with fact checker for the Washington Post Glenn Kessler, not a conservative or a member in good standing of the much abused and misunderstood Tea Party movement, who awarded the claim three out of four “Pinocchios,” which places the statement alongside such whoppers as “the earth is flat” and “Vice President Joe Biden is a gentleman.”

Benghazi and the Silence Following the Attack by Terrorists on the American Consulate in Libya

I am about to compliment Fox News. And just to set the record straight before someone feels compelled to distort it, I should mention that “Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State” carries all the blogs and columns I have writtenin the course of 18 years, some 1,947 separate entrees. Many of the columns have appeared in various Connecticut newspapers. A search for “Fox News” on that site produces a scant 11 hits. So then, this writer has not been much in the habit of citing Fox. That said, the Fox News reports on the destruction of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya by Salafist terrorists has been more than exemplary. These are the kinds of reports that occasionally are noticed by the Pulitzer board. And that is especially the case when good reporting is not picked up by other media outlets.
Several observations may reasonably be drawn from the information provided by the Fox news reports: 1) that the Obama administration knew or should have known on the second day foll…

Esty the Grownup Democrat

The good news is that Bain Capital, associated with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was not asked by the owners of Deco Products of Iowa to intervene and streamline its processes at a time when the company was suffering business losses. Deco has for more than six decades been in the family of Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat in true blue Connecticut running for the U.S. Congress in the 5th District. The further good news is that, owing to a mishap involving the FBI in Chris Donovan’s campaign for the same position, Ms. Esty prevailed over Mr. Donovan in a democratic primary.
Mr. Donovan’s political parts were assembled in a union hall. One can only imagine what hash he would have made of Mrs. Esty had it been known during the Democratic primary that Mrs. Esty is the beneficiary of a family owned company that, way back in 2009 when times were tough, laid off 53 of about 225 NON UNIONIZED workers.

Skipping Class with DeLauro

Prior to her first debate with wannabe U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Linda McMahon was assiduously avoiding most invitations by editorial boards in Connecticut to step into the lion’s den. This infuriated the lions, always hungry for red meat.
If ask why she refused to submit to editorial board interrogatories, Mrs. McMahon might have replied honestly – though honesty is the first casualty of a political campaign – “I’m just tired of defending WWE,” her former company “from the slings and arrows of outraged left of center editorial board members.” That would have been some sort of a rational answer.
Mrs. McMahon, however, is not the only candidate for election skipping class.
U.S. Representative for life Rosa DeLauro also has been politely refusing invitations from editorial boards. Indeed, she has been refusing to debate her Republican opponent, Wayne Winsley, an energetic, conservative African American who has been peppering Mrs. DeLauro with rhetorical buckshot.
One suspects the visuals w…

The First Murphy-McMahon Debate

The following slug appeared on the front page of a Hartford paper the day after a Face the State debate between Democratic U.S. Representative Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon, both of whom are vying for U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman’s soon to be vacant seat:

“Another 90 seconds and no answers,'' he [Mr. Murphy] said, "not a single specific cut that Linda McMahon would support, and another example of fealty to a supply-side trickledown economics that just hasn't worked."
The statement bears close examination, but Mrs. McMahon did not during the debate force such an examination.

Get Michelle!!!

Any true victim’s advocate in Connecticut could not turn a blind eye to Michael Lawlor’s early release Earned Risk Reduction Credits program. The program awards get-out-of-jail early credits to inmates in Connecticut’s prisons. If prison is the stick the state may use to discourage serious crime, Mr. Lawlor’s program is the carrot that presumably will induce criminals to behave properly while in prison. Mr. Lawlor was once a prosecutor for the State's Attorney Office in New Haven and later co-chairman of the General Assembly's Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2011 before he was tapped by newly elected Governor Dannel Malloy to serve as undersecretary for criminal justice policy.
Mr. Lawlor’s early release program was rushed through the General Assembly at the tail end of a hectic session the most prominent feature of which was the marginalization of the Republican Party. Mr. Lawlor’s program was not vetted in the usual manner: There was no public hearing during the course of w…

And The Winner Is…

Oh dear. Democrats in Connecticut who are hoping that President Barak Obama will be the tide that lifts all their campaigns boats had better hope that no one saw the first televised debate between Mr. Obama and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. Fortunately for them, campaign debates do not decide elections.
On the left in Mediaville, Chris Mathews’ former tingle turned into a knotty cramp that left him apoplectic with unsuppressed rage.
“Here on this network is where we’re having the debate. We have our knives out. We go after the people and the facts. What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed. He was, ‘Wait an hour and a half, I think I can get through this thing, I don’t even want to look at this guy.’ Whereas Romney — I loved the split screen, staring at Obama, addressing him like the prey. He did it just right. I’m coming at an incumbent. I’ve got to beat him. You got to beat the champ and I’m going to beat him tonight. And I don’t care what this guy moderato…

Fast and Furious, More Dead Bodies

This is good reporting. None of it unfortunately will trickle down in the form of questions put to candidates for the U.S. Senate and House races. Still less will questions concerning Fast and Furious be asked of any current members, all Democrats, of Connecticut's congressional delegation. Too inconvenient.
Perhaps we should be thankful that one Spanish speaking station did its job.
“Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre.
See video here.