Saturday, December 28, 2013

The McEnroe Itch

Any admission from Colin McEnroe, a Courant commentator and host of his own radio show on National Public Radio, “The Colin McEnroe Show,” that he is disposed to vote Republican should be taken, as Mark Twain once said, “with a ton of salt.”

Mr. McEnroe wrote in a December 07, 2012 column, “Searching The Ballot For Worthy Republicans,” that he was “itchin' to vote for a Republican.”  And he even provided some tantalizing biographical information: Both of his parents had been Goldwater Republicans. Political obligations to one’s parents, however, rarely survive a Yale education, the fifth commandment having been seriously eroded by sophomore year. Mr. McEnroe noticed that his father had been sliding towards the Democratic heresy at the end. In his later years, his father had “taken to slipping into the voting booth and quietly voting Democrat. I could tell this was happening because he slowly stopped saying anything about politics in front of my mother.”

Around the time he wrote his column, Mr. McEnroe had two rare opportunities to scratch his itch. And so did the Hartford Courant, which multiple times claimed or strongly suggested in its editorials that the GOP should offer up to voters more moderate (read: liberal), pragmatic (read: liberal), non-ideological (read: liberal) Republicans.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

McEnroe, A Thousand Laughs

One of the problems with columns written by humorists is that they may be taken seriously when they are intended as humor or – worse – they may be taken humorously when they are intended to be taken seriously. This was the curse that followed Mark Twain to the end of his days.

So too with Mr. McEnroe. “Give me the right guy,” he has said , “and I’ll vote GOP for once.”

Mr. McEnroe’s humor rests, like a coiled snake, in that “for once.” Has he ever voted for a Republican?

Not likely. Let the word go round at the Hartford Courant that any of its columnists voted Republican, and they would never survive the shattering laughter that would greet them when they sit down at their keyboards to advise Republicans who they ought to nominate to run against, say, U.S. Representative John Larson in the 1st District, or Rosa DeLauro in the 3rd District, both of whom are certain to die in office, Ms. DeLauro dressed as a 1930’s flapper, hip to the last.

Is Malloy Fooling All the People Some Of The Time Or Some Of The People All Of The Time?

One news publication apparently has an ear for a political pitch:

“In the first-term Democratic governor’s recent speeches, echoes can be heard of the broad themes that President Obama successfully used in 2012 to make a case for his second term, despite stubbornly high unemployment and a tepid economic recovery, the same conditions confronting Malloy.

“Like Obama, Malloy is asking for more time to overcome fiscal challenges left by a Republican predecessor, rattling off statistics that point to progress and ignoring those that do not. And like the president, the governor acknowledges the electorate’s fears and frustrations about the pace of recovery.”

The publication notes that Governor Dannel Malloy has not yet formally announced his candidacy. His on the stump remarks are styled by the publication as a “soft opening of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s unannounced re-election campaign.” Pause for a moment over the oxymoronic expression “soft opening of an unannounced campaign.” It is not modesty but rather political calculation that so far has prevented Mr. Malloy from shouting his candidacy for governor from Connecticut rooftops.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ave Maria

Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever."

O Come All Ye Faithful

Kings College choir

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Lift High The Cross

in hoc signo vinces -- "In this sign, you will conquer."

In one of our catechism classes, Sister Mary Immaculata asked us to distinguish between a sign and a symbol. Correct answer: A sign IS the thing it symbolizes.

The Christian cross is a sign, not a symbol. It was “a sign of conquering” for the Emperor Constantine, who had a dream before the Battle of the Milivan. The legend of Constantine’s dream comes to us from a very close and reliable source, Lactantius, a poor man patronized by the emperor who wrote the first biography of the conqueror who Christianized Europe. The sign Constantine saw in the sky, Lactantius tells us, was a "staurogram", or a Latin cross with its upper end rounded in a P-like fashion.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The First Nowell

Kings College Choir

On the Road With Blumenthal

Some stories just make your brain pop.

U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal was visiting with Gregory and Celeste Fulcher, whose daughter, Erika Robinson, 26, had been slain in a nightclub shooting by Adrian Bennett, 28, aka “Bread.”

Mr. “Bread,” Mr. Fulcher told Mr. Blumenthal, should not have had a gun, and he should not have been on parole: “It’s senseless, he shouldn’t have been out of jail walking the streets as a convicted felon.” Fulcher said of Mr. Bennett. “The system failed us, but I also blame the establishment.”

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The War on Constitutional Rights

The war on the Tea Party, much more than a rhetorical offensive, continues unabated months after the putatively non-partisan Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – the guys and gals that audit you to make sure you are paying your “fair share” to support your president, your U.S. Congress and your federal courts – had targeted tea party political groups for punitive audits.

The same “death to the Bill of Rights” progressives at the U.S. Treasury Department have now promulgated rules that will, they hope, insure the extinction of the political sons and daughters of Sam Adams, John Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and – coming closer to Connecticut  -- Roger Sherman, William Samuel Johnson, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott, Lyman Hall and the authors of Connecticut’s 1818 “Declaration of Rights,” Governor Oliver Wolcott Jr. among them, which declares in section 4:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Jepsen Skirts Statutory Obligations

The office of Attorney General in Connecticut evolved from the King’s Lawyer in the pre-Revolutionary period. It was the English attorney general who, after a hearing with Connecticut Governor John Winthrop, approved a bill for incorporation of the Connecticut Charter.

In Connecticut’s colonial period, the office of state’s attorney represented both the administrative and criminal interests of the crown. The office of Attorney General was established in 1898 to represent the civil interests of the state, the criminal interest to be retained by the chief state’s attorney. The office of Attorney General today retains its initial purpose in colonial law. The Attorney General’s office is statutorily obligated to represent the legal interests of the governor of the state and his administrators. While the nature of the chief executive in Connecticut has changed from king to governor, needs remain constant. Both king and governor operate politically within set legal constructs, and both need an office to advise the chief executive and to represent its interests and those of its agents in civil legal proceedings.

The principal duties and responsibilities of the state’s Attorney General are set forth in Conn. General Statute Section 3-125, which authorizes the Attorney General to “represent the interests of the people of the State of Connecticut in all civil legal matters involving the state to protect the public interest, and to serve as legal counsel to all state agencies.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Obama, Putin And Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Delegation

Here is former President George Bush on Russian President Vladimir Putin's domestic centralization of power as quoted in a recent book, "Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House: "He thinks he'll be around forever. He asked me why I didn't change the Constitution so I could run again.”

Mr. Bush, brutalized by then candidate for president Barack Obama, never looked back when he left office and has been silent as a tomb ever since. Still, one cannot help but wonder what Mr. Bush’s reaction was to the latest news out of Russia, as reported by Reuters: “Putin dissolves state newsagency tightens grip on Russia media.”

Pope Time’s “Person of the Year”

A runner-up for Time's “Person of the Year” was Edward Snowden. The prize went to Pope Francis  who, apparently, is more like Pope John and Jesus than Pope Benedict and Satan.

Pope Benedict XVI—the first pope in centuries voluntarily to surrender the papacy—is, like his successor, “modest,” a virtue Time considers indispensable in popes: What could be a greater indication of modesty than giving up the papacy in exchange for a life of prayer and holy silence? This is not the kind of renunciation – of wealth, power and glory – one expects from popes or editors of Time magazine.

Benedict would never have made Time's cover as “Person of the year.” Too orthodox, too much of a theological scholar, too unTimely.

Years flow by quickly and Mr. Snowden should not give up hope. There is always next year. 

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Sullivan Laughs, McKinney Gags

Last Year the state – i.e. Governor Dannel Malloy and majority Democrats in Connecticut’s General Assembly -- decided to end its long-time practice of sending out paper checks for tax refunds. The state decided instead to use refund cards for a variety of purposes, including the refunding of tax over-payments.

When state Senate leader John McKinney, now a Republican gubernatorial hopeful, called for a hearing on the change, autocratic Democrats snickered that a public hearing was quite unnecessary. Indeed, the Republican Party, it would seem, was quite unnecessary. Go away.

It turns out that some data in the cards has now been exposed to possible identity theft. About 14,335 accounts have been breached, and State tax commissioner Kevin Sullivan, who once served in the state Senate with Mr. McKinney, is still snickering.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Malloy’s One Percenter Crony Capitalist Campaign Contributors

When Northeast Utilities CEO Thomas May talks campaign donations, his managers listen. But then, Governor Dannel Malloy’s crony capitalist friends tend to be effusive in their praise of their benefactor. "While he has accomplished much, there is more to do," Mr. May wrote in an e-mail to 50 of his managers. "Please join me in providing support to continue the work begun, providing new opportunities, and securing the leadership to make it happen."

Of battling Dannel, Mr. May enthused, “he battled through issues of historic proportions — from nature's wrath to one man's horrific actions," a reference to Adam Lanza’s slaughter of children in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Storm Sandy, of course, stood no chance when confronted with battling Dannel. And mention of Mr. Lanza by politicians in campaign modes cannot help but generate among the voting public a thumbs up for the politician and a thumbs down for Mr. Lanza.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

A Christian Benediction Before Christmas

Hilaire Belloc's Advice to the Rich: "Get to know something about the internal combustion engine and remember -- soon you will die."

The brief pre-Christmas homily on money, politics and Christianity found below is long overdue.

I can’t be sure that the sort of millionaire who supports antagonistic politicians, always anxious to hang him with the rope he so credulously delivers, is a patriot or a scoundrel. I do know that, generally, money covers a multitude of sins.

Jesus was indifferent about politics, economics and what we would call sex: He knew the road to Heaven was not paved with gold or worldly glory or condoms. He forgave the sins of the flesh readily, having first made inflexible demands upon the spirit, but the materialist itch, He intimated often enough, could be a hindrance. More than 2,000 years after God was nailed to a cross – “Were you there when they crucified my Lord? -- it still is more difficult for a rich man to pass easily into Heaven than it would be for a heavily-laden camel to pass through the Needle’s Eye, which was a Jerusalem gate so narrow that camels had to be unpacked before entering the holy city.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

McKinney’s Endorsement Of Greenberg

By endorsing Mark Greenberg’s candidacy for the U.S. Congress in Connecticut’s 5th District, a seat now held by U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, state senate leader John McKinney has tossed a wrench into the political machinery.

Mr. McKinney is an announced candidate for governor, a position now held by Governor Dannel Malloy, the first Democratic chief executive in more than 20 years and the nominal head of his party.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Connecticut’s Commentators Review The Preliminary Criminal Report On Sandy Hook Shootings

The reviews of Danbury State Attorney’s Stephan Sedensky preliminary criminal report are now in. Mr. Sedensky would be prudent to hang on to his present job, by his bloody fingernails if necessary.

Mr. Sedensky’s preliminary report, Connecticut Commentary noted elsewhere, may be little more than a desperate attempt to control the narrative that is sure to follow the release of the full criminal report at some point in the near future.

Hartford Courant columnist and humorist Colin McEnroe was not amused by assertions made by Mr. Sedensky in the preliminary report:

Malloy Diverts Tax Dollars To Bridgeport: Pelto Pelts Malloy

Jonathan Pelto, who is to the Malloy administration what Inspector Javert was to Jean Valjean, demonstrates how Malloyalists help a city – Will anyone be surprised to discover that it is Bridgeport? – circumvent its statutory obligations, not to mention its moral obligations to taxpayers living outside the confines of Bridgeport:

“Apparently without the approval of the State Board of Education or the approval of the Connecticut General Assembly, the Malloy administration is planning to provide Malloy ally, Mayor [of Bridgeport] Bill Finch, with a special deal so that he doesn’t have to have the City Bridgeport meet the state law concerning their minimum budget expenditures for local education. The law is called the Minimum Budget Requirement (MBR).”

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Why Whistle Blowers Can’t Beat City Hall

The short answer to the question “Why can’t whistle blowers beat city hall?” is – because the statutory, administrative and judicial cards are stacked against the whistle blower. The game is fixed, as usual in favor of those who forcefully wield power.

The purpose of the whistle blower statute is admirable and necessary. If you are a worker in a state or municipal agency and you discover in the course of your duties some sort of malfeasance, large or small, it is in the interest of the state that the problem should be reported to people who are authorized to correct the deficiency. If not you, then who? This is how operations seriously derailed are righted. It goes without saying that administrators in deficient agencies have a personal interest in quashing all whistle blower reports.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Maggie The Great

These posting are slightly premature, but at some point in the near future, only 11 years, we shall be celebrating the great lady’s 100th birthday. Maggie Thatcher – who broke more ceilings in the British Empire than any other modern post-feminist gal – was the head of Britain’s Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990, an astonishing accomplishment in itself, and Prime Minister of Britain for 11 years from 1979 to 1990, the last year the governance of Britain made any sense at all.

Here is the great lady having fun with the guys, Maggie being Maggie:

And here she is on budgeting by borrowing. Members of Connecticut's General Assembly should take notice:

Here is Maggie dispensing with the British equivalent of Jay Carney, bidding good bye to her friends and opponents:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dvorak And Burleigh In The New World

The composition is magnificent. But check out the pictures too. This is young America, bursting at the seams with an irrepressible energy. As in the music, the history of New World is that of an arc bending upwards.

Much of his time in America was occupied by teaching and organizing performances. But above all else Dvorak was a composer and in his first winter in New York he began to write the symphony that would become his most cherished. (It was completed that summer on vacation in Spillville, Iowa, a colony of Czech immigrants who helped assuage Dvorak's intense homesickness.) Formally, the work fell solidly within European tradition, with a sonata-form opening, a meditative largo broken by restless outbursts, a lusty scherzo with bucolic trios and a vigorous, triumphant finish. In keeping with the emerging trend of cyclical form, its themes all germinated from a common seminal motif and returned in the finale. But beginning with its hugely successful premiere that December, its subtitle "From the New World" generated considerable confusion over its inspiration and thematic content.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sedensky’s Preliminary Report And The Sandy Hook Shroud Of Secrecy

Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky released on Monday a 40 page preliminary report on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. He has promised to release the full report numbering 2,000 pages sometime or other, perhaps in May. Release of the full report has now been twice delayed.

What, some people now are wondering, is the purpose of the preliminary report? There are no shockers in the document. Very little of the released information, now certified as correct by the preliminary report, can be construed as adversely affecting a prosecution, and indeed the preliminary report confirms that prosecutions were unlikely months ago:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dannel Daedalus Gets Antsy

It’s now official, though it may take some time for Governor Dannel Malloy’s message to trickle down to the members of Connecticut’s all Democratic U.S. Congressional Delegation: “I understand this frustration,” Malloy said. “I’m frustrated. I think the federal government has messed up big time. This couldn’t have been a worse rollout, except in the states that embraced what we’re trying to do. In Connecticut, we're signing up people left and right.”

Mr. Malloy’s “rebuke of the White House over Obamacare” may be found in a short piece in CTMirror, “Malloy rebukes White House over Obamacare.”

Mr. Malloy’s rebuke, it should be noticed, does not touch the essence of the Affordable Care Act, more popularly known as Obamacare. The act itself, he thinks, is praiseworthy, but its execution leaves much to be desired – unlike Mr. Malloy’s own flawless roll-out of the Connecticut Obamacare exchange.

Prison Of The Heart

The human heart is a prison. This is what happens when God touches its bars:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Soucy, Plunkitt And The Dovonan Sting Operation

The FBI’s singing canary in the Donovan probe, “labor activist” Ray Soucy, was not given prison time for the part he had played in the attempted corruption of former Speaker of the State House Chris Donovan.

“A labor activist at the center of an attempt two years ago to kill a tax on tobacco by bribing a top state lawmaker with tens of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign money was sentenced Monday to three years probation, the first six months to be served at a halfway house.”

Connecticut’s majority Democratic Party is full of “labor activists.” It’s only a slight stretch to say Governor Dannel Malloy, who has marched on the picket line with union workers, is himself a “labor activist.” Mr. Malloy pledged his troth to unions when he was in the political nursery, and he has renewed his vows several times during his administration, most notably when his first budget was on the drawing boards.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Obama Switcheroo, Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation, And the Band Played On

An Obamacare supporter had just finished explaining on Facebook that Obamacare, once fully implemented, would ring out of the private insurance market all those expensive and useless “substandard” plans when, hesto presto, Mr. Obama, under pressure from Democratic notables such as former President Bill Clinton to keep his promise that insurance purchasers will be able to keep their insurance plans, announced during one of his infrequent press conferences that everyone he had promised could keep their plans could, following his change of mind, keep their plans.

The Obamacare Facebook supporter fell silent and went on to other matters.

Wrinkles began to appear in the smooth winding sheets of the usual Obama supporters.  Jon Stewart impaled Mr. Obama on his news/comedy show The Daily Show:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Newtown Votes with Its Pistol Permits

Applications for pistol permits in Newtown are up 110 percent in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, according to Connecticut State Police who issue the permits.

It would be an error to suppose that the increase has been driven solely by restrictive gun laws written by the General Assembly in response to the mass murders.

After having produced a budget in the absence of any input from Republican leaders in the General Assembly, Governor Dannel Malloy felt compelled to include Republicans when his signature gun control legislation was in its formative process. Republicans who boisterously supported Mr. Malloy’s gun control bill were put in Coventry once again when Mr. Malloy shaped his second budget. Somewhat in the manner of a mistreated yet faithful wife, Republican leaders have since complained about the unusual abusive treatment.   

Monday, November 11, 2013

Secrecy, The One Party State And The Public Interest

So then, what’s wrong with secrecy in politics?

Former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then a Democrat from New York, was the chairman of a congressional commission that in the post-Cold War period inquired into the uses of governmental secrecy. Moynihan felt that a “culture of secrecy” had pervaded the U.S. government and its intelligence services for 80 years, starting with the Espionage Act of 1917.

The Commission’s findings were presented to President Bill Clinton in 1997. As part of his presentation, Mr. Moynihan secured the release of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Venona file, which documented Soviet espionage efforts in the United States during the preceding 50 years, a treasure trove of information that ought to have been released much earlier.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Connecticut Progressives And The Tea Party Scapegoat

The Tea Party in Connecticut is likely to loom large in future state-wide campaigns, even though Democrats in Connecticut would be hard pressed to name any incumbent Tea Party members in the General Assembly. There are no Tea Party incumbents in Connecticut’s left of center U.S. Congressional delegation, all the members of which are Democrats, and Governor Dannel Malloy may safely be ruled out as a Tea Party enthusiast.

“What was once the Republican Party,” Mr. Malloy said at the 65th Annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner “is now the Tea Party – this is a case were (sic) the tail is literally wagging the dog. They don’t give a darn about our economy, it’s quite clear that they would sink our economy for their own political good.”

The brute fact is: There are no enemies on the left in Connecticut politics, which is why the state over the past few decades has moved steadily left of center. The same Democrats who find it politically expedient to regard the Tea Party in Connecticut as a significant threat to their dominance would be hard pressed, circa 2014, to point to any moderate Democrats in leadership positions in the state’s General Assembly.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Harp Brigade

No seasoned political watcher in New Haven will be much surprised by the gaggle of 14 karat Democrats who showed up at St. Luke’s Parish Hall to lend their support to state Senator Toni Harp in her bid to replace John DeStefano as the Elm City’s mayor.

Everyone who is anyone in Democratic Party politics showed up to row the Harp boat successfully ashore, although former Mayor of New Haven John DeStefano, notably absent, did not on this occasion join the chorus of prominent Democrats pledging their support to Mrs. Harp.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Bonding, The Budget And Corporate Welfare

When Mark Twain said ““Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well," he might easily have been talking about bonding.

Usually a state sells bonds to pay for long term capital projects. But like any political practice, the selling of bonds may be subject to abuse. The use of bonding to pay off current expenses that ought to be discharged through tax increases or spending decreases is considered a “no, no” among agencies that rate state bonding. The practice, however, is a “yes, yes” among politicians who want to avoid either the unpleasant option of raising taxes or the equally unpleasant option of cutting spending. The beauty of bonding for such politicians is that it allows them to escape the wrath of voters who understandably resent tax increases imposed to pay for current budget expenses and improvident spending. The downside to bonding abuse is that current expenses are carried into the future, a benefit for cowardly politicians charged to the future generation on a “buy now pay later” plan.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Murphy’s European Apology Tour

U.S. Senator Chis Murphy plans to travel to Europe on an apology tour, according to a brief notice in a Hartford paper.

“Over the last several months,” Mr. Murphy wrote in a media release, “our European allies have raised legitimate concerns about the nature and scope of U.S. intelligence programs, and I agree that at times, U.S. surveillance programs have not been conducted with the appropriate restraint and security, both in the United States and in Europe. While foreign citizens do not enjoy the same constitutional protections as American citizens, the United States should have processes in place that assure non-U.S. citizens that all possible steps are being taken to limit the scope of our surveillance programs so that we are targeting only the information absolutely necessary to find and catch individuals who pose a security threat to the United States and our allies. My goal for these meetings will be to help cement the overall relationship between the United States and Europe and discuss surveillance programs in our countries.”

The brief news account does not mention where Mr. Murphy plans to travel in Europe -- Germany, France, Spain, England or the Vatican.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

New Research Shows Connecticut Signed Bill Of Rights In 1790

It is commonly thought that Connecticut did not ratify the Bill of Rights Amendments until 1939, a pro forma ratification. But in fact, misfiled documents newly discovered in Connecticut’s archives show that Connecticut ratified the first 12 – significantly, not 10 – Amendments to the Constitution, commonly called “the Bill Of Rights,” in 1790.

The ratification document, discovered by researcher Eugene Martin LaVergne and misfiled under “Revolutionary Documents,” has been reported to Connecticut’s archivist. The newly discovered document -- misfiled in the year 1780, rather than in its proper year, 1790 -- is itself revolutionary because the earlier ratification dates of Connecticut and Delaware mean that at least one important long forgotten amendment – a reapportionment amendment, the real “First Amendment” to the Bill of Rights reported out for ratification by Congress – must now be considered an amendment lawfully ratified in 1790. In order to make the amendment operational, it must be reported to the U .S. Congress either by David Ferrierno, the Archivist of the United States, an office delegated with the task of accepting this amendment and presenting it to Congress. Alternatively, the ratification notice may also be presented to congress by a Connecticut U.S. Senator.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Politics By Any Other Name

It was bound to happen sooner or later. In Hartford, Connecticut, a one party town for decades, political favoritism has raised its ugly head – not for the first or last time.

Mayor of Hartford Pedro Segarra and Hartford school officials, we learn from a stinging editorial in a Hartford newspaper, “are dead right in asking city auditors to clear the air on whether city Treasurer Adam Cloud had a conflict of interest in allegedly moving a city insurance policy from one broker to another one, Hybrid Insurance Group.”

The connections between Hartford’s Treasurer, Mr. Cloud, and the insurance group that was awarded a substantial account are, the paper finds, unsavory: “Hybrid is a tenant in a downtown Hartford building owned by Mr. Cloud and family members. Also, treasurer Cloud's brother, Christopher Cloud, is a lobbyist for Hybrid.”

Hartford’s “sharp-eyed chief financial officer,” Paula Altieri, discovered that the insurance policy had been transferred from one broker to the other “without the need to compete” and, in the process, a tidy sum of almost $670,000 had been wired to Hybrid by Mr. Cloud’s office “to cover overdue insurance policy premiums that the broker pays on behalf of the city and school district.”

No one is quite certain at this point where the money is. An audit is necessary to clear up any possible irregularities. “The loose threads of this shocking story,” the editorial concludes, “need to be tied up, and pronto.”

Friday, October 11, 2013

Red Flags Over Connecticut

A little more than a month ago, Jim Powell of Forbes Magazine did us the favor of pulling together in one piece – “How Did Rich Connecticut Morph Into One Of America's Worst Performing Economies? -- a load of data much of which was already in the public stream. It’s useful to have all the festering lilies together in one bunch, so that one might get a good whiff of them.

Before and since the publication of Mr. Powell’s distressing news, some Republican opponents of Connecticut’s progressive governor and his helpmeets in the state’s General Assembly have been energetically flourishing some of Mr. Powell’s little red flags, hoping that the state’s sometimes inattentive media might awaken and take note that Connecticut is teetering on the brink.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Stink War

 “The ink war.” That is how Tom Dudchik of Capitol Report styled the controversy between Chis Powell, the icon busting editor of the Journal Inquirer, and, following a rebuttal editorial in the Hartford Courant, pretty much everyone else manning the barricades on the left who ever lifted a pen or pounded a keyboard in defense of the liberal view of the decline of print media.

The controversial pieces are printed here as they appeared, in chronological sequence; first, Mr. Powell’s initial column; then the Courant’s editorial rebuttal; then, an interview with Jim Romenesko; then Mr. Powell’s response to what he regards as the distortions of his critics; and finally a Courant rebuttal accusing Mr. Powell of having defended the indefensible – namely, himself.

Unprinted here are a slew of editorials and commentary pieces, all more or less bearing the same message: that Mr. Powell has attacked all single parent moms; that he is a holdover from those glorious days of yore when print media enjoyed a monopoly on dispensing information; that he has failed to understand properly the regrettable inroads made on the monopoly by the internet and the loss of advertising that has impoverished many newspapers; that he is a closet misogynist who has unjustly denigrated the poor.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Political Corruption And The Media

Real political corruption – the most corrosive kind – involves the use of governmental power to advance private or purely political interests, which is why, come to think of it, Lord Acton said “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” A watchful student of history, Lord Acton added, “Great men are almost always bad men.”

When great republics collapse, “great men” step into the breach. Caesar rose from the ashes of the Roman Republic, and a string of monarchs in Europe was followed by the revolutionary anarchs of France and the guillotine. They, in turn, were supplanted by Napoleon, one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “great men.” The idea of the republic usually suffers some form of corruption before its ruin.     

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Some Advice For The Loyal Opposition

In the course of writing political columns, a bad habit I’ve been nurturing for more than 30 years, people have sometimes ask me, with a note of desperation in their voice, will things in Connecticut ever change? These people generally are either conservatives or libertarians and therefore immune to the usual political nonsense. The Democratic Party has been in charge of the state roughly since the Mesozoic Era. Will we ever sniff change in the air, they wonder?

It’s a serious question: What will it take to shake people in Connecticut from their lethargy – to wake them up before the plane we’re all traveling in finally crashes into the mountain?

We’re perilously close to that. Only a month ago, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) released its 12th annual survey of businesses in the state, and the news was bleak. The organization surveyed 377 in state companies and found that 82 percent had a negative or somewhat negative opinion of Connecticut as a place to do business. Only 11 percent of in state businesses said Connecticut was a somewhat or very positive place to do business.

Here are some points that the loyal opposition Republican Party might consider:

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Connecticut’s Charitable Millionaire Politicians

The three Connecticut Democratic millionaires in the state’s all Democratic U.S. Congressional Delegation have decided to forgo their salaries for the duration of the shutdown.

Millionaires Senator Dick Blumenthal and U.S. House members Rosa DeLauro and Jim Himes, will be devoting their salaries to charity, according to a report in the left of center CTMirror.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Connecticut, The One Party State Of Secrecy And The Cloud Of Unknowing

Danbury State Attorney Stephen Sedensky, the keeper of the Sandy Hook secrets, has so far had a fairly easy time of it, but disquieting murmurs rend the air.

The Associated Press (AP) last July petitioned Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC) to order the release of 911 tapes made during the mass shooting of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The commission found – surprise! – that such information could not be withheld from the public merely because Mr. Sedensky asserted a criminal investigation was ongoing.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Foley Charges Partly Vindicated By Critic

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea -- T.S. Elliot

Kevin Rennie, a Harford Courant columnist, is regarded by some in politics as the Torquemada of Connecticut commentators – especially in matters of what one might call political ethics. Many politicians have felt his bite and winced.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Malloy, Cuomo, No Mussolinis

S’matter with the governors of New York and Connecticut? Even Benito Mussolini was able to make the trains run on time.

Neil Vigdor of the Greenwich Times reports:

 They [Malloy and the Malloyalists] were told it could take until Oct. 14 to restore full power to the nation's busiest commuter line, which was crippled Wednesday when a backup feeder line supplying electricity to overhead catenary wires failed in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. The railroad is currently in the process of modernizing a substation that normally supplies trains with power…

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Skully Communications For Harp

Like wealthy one per-centers who spend part of the season in foreign parts, Mr. Scully's home is with Scully Communications.  During the political season, some punitively nonpartisan owners of public relation firms wander into political campaigns, at which point the mask of political impartiality is momentarily discarded.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Blumenthal’s Snippit

U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal’s awkward false claim, made or intimated several times, that he had served as a marine in Vietnam rose out of the newspaper morgues recently after former New York Times political writer Ray Hernandez joined a Washington D.C. PR firm.

The story in the Hartford Courant, “NY Times Reporter Who Was Fed Blumenthal Vietnam Scoop Will Join DC Firm Led By One Time McMahon Adviser”, actually is a story about a story, a story twice removed.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

On Reading Simone Weil and Flannery O’Connor

It’s shear happenstance that Andrée is reading a biography of Flannery O’Connor on “talking books” just as I had finished reading to her a short biography on Simone Weil. Following the Weil biography, I picked up a book called the Simone Weil Reader, a collection of her major writings.

Both writers were afflicted, O’Connor with lupus and Weil with an eating disorder. Camus says of Weil that she refused during the Second World War to take more nourishment than was available to troops in the war theatre and so starved herself. This was partly true; Weil had suffered for years from anorexia.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Foley On Foley

Two appearances by Republican Party gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley, one on WFSB’s “Face the State” and another on NPR’s “Where We Live” program, have produced a raft of hearty criticism from Connecticut’s left of center media.

The most interesting Foley response was a letter written to the Hartford CourantMr. Foley made two points in his letter: 1) Three of the four charges he made in his “Face The State” appearance were true, and the fourth has yet to be denied unequivocally by Governor Dannel Malloy; 2) The people of Connecticut rightfully expect their politicians to be free of even the appearance of corruption, a point repeated ad nauseam in thousands of political reports and editorials.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Roll Your Own Taxpayer

The Chris Donovan, “Roll Your Own” scandal is being judicially tucked to bed now that some principals in the scandal have been sentenced.  Most recently, Joshua Nassi, former state House Speaker Chris Donovan’s campaign manager, was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton.

Mr. Donovan was running for the U.S. House in Connecticut’s 5th District when his campaign was rudely interrupted by FBI wired singing canaries, prominent among them former corrections union official Ray Soucy, a character who might have done well for himself during the good old days of Tammany Hall and George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany Hall boss who always was careful to make a sharp distinction between honest and dishonest graft.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Connecticut’s US Congressional Delegation And The Tea Party

Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Delegation, the chorus of crying Democrats, is running out of active enemies. There are no longer any Republicans aboard; haven’t been since the last moderate Republican in New England, Chris Shays, fell to a young, seemingly moderate Democrat, present 4th District U.S. Representative Jim Himes.

In the past 15 years, no fewer than 3 moderate U.S. Congressional Republicans in Connecticut have been displaced by Democrats. U.S. Representative Nancy Johnson was displaced by former U.S. Representative Chris Murphy. Mr. Murphy is now a progressive U.S. Senator. U.S. Representative Rob Simmons fell to Democrat Joe Courtney.

McKinney’s Finest Hour

Finest hours in the lives of politicians are so rare that they ought to be celebrated as often as possible,  pretty much in the way John Adams said the country should celebrate its founding:

"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.’’

More often than not, the scribes sleep and snooze through legislative hearings on technically complex issues.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Foley’s Charges

Here is an accurate transcript of a conversation between Dennis House of Face the State and former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley. Mr. Foley hopes to secure the Republican Party’s nomination for governor. Neither Mr. Foley nor Governor Dannel Malloy has as yet formally announced their respective bids for the governor’s office.

A great deal of commentary – most of it critical of Mr. Foley’s comments -- already has preceded the posting of a transcript. But it’s always a good idea to put first things first: First the transcript, then the commentary:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Syrian Deal

“The United States and Russia agreed Saturday on an outline for the identification and seizure of Syrian chemical weapons and said Syria must turn over an accounting of its arsenal within a week.

“The agreement will be backed by a U.N. Security Council resolution that could allow for sanctions or other consequences if Syria fails to comply, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said.”

The speed with which all this is happening – and that as a result of a serendipitous statement that fell unbidden from the lips of Secretary of State John Kerry – is a little too unbelievable to be believed. One imagines that at some point in the distant future, some reporter or historian, rooting through deservedly forgotten documents and private communications, will discover that the whole US, Russian, Syrian “deal” was cooked up far in advance of the precipitating incidents.

Assuming prior negotiations between the parties, the only open question is: Who duped whom? 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Malloy And Rell

When former Governor Jodi Rell retired from office, she retired from politics as well. Mrs. Rell has not endorsed Republican wannabe governors, however coveted her endorsement might be.

In this respect, she is to Connecticut what former President George Bush is to the nation – hardly there at all.

There is among former presidents a private code verging on a tradition that when opposition candidates are elected president, the retiring president should ride off into the sunset, break ground for a presidential library and permit the new president to govern without carping from the sidelines, however much the incoming president savages the former president by claiming that he or she has been crippled by problems “inherited” from his now stubbornly silent predecessor.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Syria And The Collapse Of US Foreign Policy

A couple of months ago, President Barack Obama drew a red line in Syria. He said if Syrian strongman Bashar al Assad, the Middle East’s answer to North Korea’s runt dictator, were to use chemical weapons against his political opponents, this would catch Mr. Obama’s interest and trigger a military response.

At least, that’s what everyone thought he said.

A little over a year ago, at one of Mr. Obama’s infrequent news conferences, the president said:

Monday, September 09, 2013

Himes And Blumenthal On Representation

In any issue of importance, congressmen generally are torn in two directions.  On the one hand, they are legislators charged with representing the interests of their constituents. On the other hand, they are members of a national assembly charged with advancing the public good or the good of the nation. National interests do not always coincide with constituent interests.

Edmund Burke spoke to the distinction in an address to the electors of Bristol, the County in South West England he represented in Parliament. Mr. Burke was forced to address the point publicly in a campaign for office. This is the message he sent to his constituents:

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Courage Reconsidered

“You have to quit confusing a madness with a mission.” 
― Flannery O'ConnorThe Violent Bear it Away

In September, Connecticut’s Junior U.S. Senator Chris Murphy traveled to New Haven to asperse New Haven mayoralty hopeful Toni Harp with his precious endorsement. Mr. Murphy followed in the trek of Governor Dannel Malloy, who earlier had endorsed Mrs. Harp, whose deceased husband was New Haven’s premier tax scofflaw.

Upon Mr. Harp’s leave-taking, his mountainous tax debt, along with his valuable assets, was passed along to his son. Mrs. Harp has disclaimed any responsibility for the tax debt, arguing that her affairs and those of her husband were separated by a Berlin Wall. But there are some in New Haven who think Mrs. Harp is at least morally responsible for the debt to Mr. Malloy’s government.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Trust In God And Keep Your Powder Dry

According to a piece in Time, Pope Francis is, on the matter of Syria, allied with the angels of peace:

“Pope Francis’ response to Syria is in line with how his predecessors handled international conflicts. Pope Benedict XVI expressed concerns over the military intervention in Libya. Pope John Paul II continually and strongly spoke out against the US-led war in Iraq. The US and the Vatican squared off during the 1989 Panama invasion when Dictator Manuel Noriega took refuge in the Vatican embassy.”

There is nothing surprising in the pope’s declaration. The possible persecution of Catholics, should President Obama intervene militarily in what has now become a religious war between Islamic sects in Syria, adds yet another dimension to the pope’s plea for peace.

Somewhat like Chicago politicians, radical Salafists in the Middle East – i.e. members of the Muslim Brotherhood – are not inclined to let a crisis go to waste.

Dear Dan Letter From Stamford’s Democratic Party Chairman

It’s slap back time in Stamford. Following Governor Dannel Malloy’s endorsement of William Tong as Stamford’s next mayor, the Chairman of the Democratic Party in Stamford took up cudgels in the city’s press.

Party Chairman John Mallozzi, speaking on behalf of the Democratic City Committee that had voted overwhelmingly to endorse David Martin as mayor in the upcoming elections, wrote in a letter to the Stamford Advocate on Friday:

Friday, September 06, 2013

Connecticut’s Armed Watch

A picture, it is often said, is worth a thousand words. In the case of a picture on the front page of a newspaper captioned “After Newtown,” the picture may be worth a thousand dead end arguments.

The photo shows parents and children milling in the hallway of Henry Barnard Elementary School in Enfield on the first day of school. A bright yellow banner greets the students: “Welcome Back!”

In the foreground of the picture, Kevin Hart, “one of the guards stationed at every Enfield school this year,” stands watch, his hands folded in front of him and a gun strapped to his hip. Mr. Hart is “a retired Hartford police officer hired as a monitor for Henry Barnard.” But for the pistol, he is inconspicuous and would arouse no notice.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Mother Hart

 I learned after I had been married that Andree, my wife, had spent some time in retreat at the The Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut.

Her time there had left a deep impression upon her. She spoke often of the nuns she heard rather than saw. Occasionally, one would catch glimpses of them through wooden gratings, but their singing drifted out into the chapel, and from there plunged a dagger of beauty into the heart.

The Gregorian chant of the nuns is a prayer sung. Plainsong, the official music of the Catholic Church, predates both harmony and polyphony. Andree, I should mention, was a singer, and music for her even now sets her soul aflame. And so, here was this cleansing wave of beauty washing over her, the poetry of the texts in Latin informed with the inexhaustible and numinous mysteries of Christ’s birth, passion, death and resurrection.

Later, we visited The Abbey of Regina Laudis together. No doubt Mother Delores Hart was among the nuns behind the grate, her voice folded into the canticum novum, lost in a prayerful sound that for more than a thousand years has spiraled up to Heaven from Benedictine monasteries.

We did not see her. We were not meant to see her. But she was there, and is there.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Race And Politics In Connecticut

The 2014 Democratic campaign for urban hegemony is now officially underway.

It will involve the usual tousle among Democrats for political prestige and power in Connecticut’s larger cities. During his first campaign for governor, then Mayor of Stamford Dan Malloy – on becoming governor, Dan requested that the media refer to him henceforward as Dannel -- easily captured the urban vote and slid past Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley by the slenderest of margins. Mr. Malloy, once again in his reelection contest, may face Mr. Foley -- or some other worthy Republican champion; State Senator John McKinney has announced and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is teasing from the sidelines -- and the remembrance of slender margins past has caused some wonderment among the state’s left of center media concerning Mr. Malloy’s recent campaign endorsements.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Blumenthal And Murphy Contemplate War: What Would Clausewitz Do?

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy has not said whether or not he thinks it was wise diplomacy when President Barack Obama drew his red line in the sand on the question of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian strongman Bashir al Assad against his opponents. But the answer to the question can be deduced from Mr. Murphy’s position on a promised U.S. military intervention. Mr. Assad having stepped across Mr. Obama’s red line, Mr. Obama seems poised to respond militarily in some thus far mysterious fashion.

Mr. Murphy, the junior U.S. Senator from Connecticut, has been tagged by his state’s media  as “one of the most vocal opponents of a proposed air strike.” His Democratic comrade in the Senate, Richard Blumenthal, is less pacific. Mr. Blumenthal is urging prompt military action in Syria “to send a message to Assad.”

State of Connecticut Claims Disclosure of Adam Lanza’s Records “Can Cause A Lot of People to Stop Taking Their Medications” in FOI Hearing

The following is a media release from Shelia Mathews of AbleChild:

Ablechild vs.ChiefMedical Examiner: FIC Docket No: 2013-197, Attorney: Patrick B. Kwanashie, AAG (Office of the Attorney General) argues release of Adam Lanza records to public “can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications”. Ablechild argues that lack of transparency comprises informed consent and puts public health “at risk”.

December 14, 2012, 20 year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adults in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. He committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Connecticut Politics At The Zero

But never met this Fellow
Attended or alone
Without a tighter Breathing
And zero at the bone.
—Emily Dickinson

Connecticut’s far left – Governor Dannel Malloy and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy – have offered public endorsements to New Haven mayoralty candidate Toni Harp, not the brightest thing to do during a Democratic primary campaign. The endorsements have disappointed Hartford Courant commentator Colin McEnroe. The irritant in his shell has produced the following pearl of wisdom:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Braddock Takes A Bullet

Robert Braddock, the hapless finance director for the Chris Donovan U.S. House campaign, took the bullet bravely enough.

Outside the courtroom in which he was sentenced to 38 months for having accepted fraudulent campaign contributions for Mr. Donovan, Mr. Braddock spilled the beans.

FBI agents, Mr. Braddock told the media, offered him a deal he had bravely refused. The FBI, directing Donovangate from behind the curtain, wanted to wire-up Mr. Braddock so they might haul in a larger catch – perhaps Mr. Donovan himself – but Mr. Braddock refused to cooperate because, unlike FBI “rats” Joshua Nassi and Raymond Souci, a certain private code of honor kept him out of the FBI sting operation.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Supreme Court Cleans Up Blumenthal’s Augean Stables

Last week, Connecticut’s Supreme Court overturned on process grounds a jury's decision that the state of Connecticut should pay $18.3 million to Computers Plus, a company that once operated out of East Hartford.

The jury found that the state – specifically, then quick-to-sue Attorney General Richard Blumenthal -- had defamed the owner of the company and violated her due-process rights. The jury’s multi-million dollar award should be taken as an indication of the depth of the state’s perfidy in driving Computer Plus out of business on a fraudulent claim of wrongdoing.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Kerry Knows Whereof He Speaks

Secretary of State John Kerry has released a statement on the use of chemical weapons on civilians in Bashir Assad’s Syria:

"What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world," said Kerry. "It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable. And despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable."

Niccolò, How To Maintain Connecticut’s One Party State

A bit of advice for Democrats in Connecticut: First of all, stop worrying. You outnumber opposition Republicans by a margin of two to one, and there is no viable third party on the horizon, just a few Tea Party groups vowing to end the public careers of middle-of-the-road Republicans.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gun Crime, Still Not Fixed

Will the gun restriction bill passed by the legislature have an appreciable impact on gun crime in Connecticut? The future will provide an answer to that question, but it does not seem likely.

The gun restriction bill is targeted at gun owners that even Michael Lawlor, Governor Dannel Malloy’s choice to reform penology in the state, would be forced to admit do not generally show up in crime statistics. How many NRA members are currently doing time in Connecticut prisons because they used their guns to hold up EZMarts – like Frankie Resto?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Connecticut’s Political Millionaires

The Hill, a much respected Washington D.C. publication, reports that Senator Dick Blumenthal, “not a businessman by trade,” has never-the-less acquired a fortune by “his marriage to the daughter of a New York real estate magnate.” His marriage has given Mr. Blumenthal “an impressive investment portfolio.”

Mr. Blumenthal is not alone among Connecticut’s Democratic politicians in having acquired fortunes through family members. U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro, married to pollster and consultant to Democratic political stars Stan Greenberg, also falls within the bounds of Connecticut’s millionaire one-percenter politicians.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lincoln And King

When Abraham Lincoln died after having been assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, Secretary of war Edward Stanton said, “Now he belongs to the ages. There lies the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen."

Lincoln, who always had a modest appreciation of his own merits, probably would have disagreed that he was a perfect ruler; or, at least, he might have made some joke about it. Lincoln and humor were always on good terms with each other. A heckler in an audience once charged he was “two-faced.” Lincoln stopped in mid-sentence and shouted back at the heckler, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”

On August 28 of this year, the nation will be celebrating in Washington DC, within sight of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Politics In The Ruins

When 10-term Mayor of New Haven John DeStefano announced he was calling it quits, a queue of Democrats quickly formed, each aspirant anxious to step into Mr. DeStefano’s outsized shoes.  Among Democrats hoping to succeed DeStefano are Toni Harp, a state senator for the past 20 years, Yale Law School graduate Henry Fernandez, Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina and Alderman Justin Elicker.

As is the case with other large cities in Connecticut, New Haven is a one party town. This means that no Republican need apply for mayor. The urban redoubts of decaying political party machines are still important to Democrats who run for state-wide offices. Votes in Bridgeport and New Haven were largely responsible for Governor Dannel Malloy’s successful run for governor, and it will not do to ignore those who butter your political bread. A perception of this kind may have drawn Mr. Malloy to New Haven to endorse Mrs. Harp.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Blumenthal, The Fox Watching The Hen House

When Dick Blumenthal opened his race for the U.S. Senate in 2010, he boasted “I've never taken PAC money and I have rejected all special interest money because I have stood strong and have taken legal action against many of those special interests.”

That was then.

It did not take Connecticut’s once battling Attorney General to acclimate to the ways of Congress. Roll Call reports that Mr. Blumenthal, who joined the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee at the beginning of 2013, “appears to be comfortable taking PAC contributions from communications companies that his Senate committee regulates.” Mr. Blumenthal also sits on the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blumenthal Crosses The Progressive Bar

Paul Choiniere, the editorial page editor of The Day in New London, seemed mildly disappointed by the news that U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal had crossed the Rubicon and become an aggressive progressive. The increasing willingness of some progressives to challenge presidential leadership, Mr. Choiniere believes, will make the prospect of compromise in the congress yet more remote.

Could it be true?

Mr. Blumenthal had just met with the editorial board of the paper. Given the substance of the interview, Mr. Choiniere noted in a recent editorial, the readers of The Day could reasonably “count Sen. Richard Blumenthal among a growing number of liberal lawmakers who believe that the old Bill Clinton formula, which called upon Democrats to move toward the center on economic and fiscal policy, no longer applies. Income disparities have become so great, the plight of many low-income and young people so severe, it is time to ‘get back to a good, progressive, populist message,’ Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa told the New York Times.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Is Anyone Home?

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), it must be admitted, knows a thing or two about Connecticut’s businesses and industries – perhaps even more than members of the state’s General Assembly, a majority of whom regularly pass bills and restrictions on companies in Connecticut, sometimes heedless of the real-world unintended consequences of such legislation.

CBIA, one of the largest statewide business organizations in the country, boasts 10,000 member companies. In business for more than 175 years, CBIA represents the collective voice of Connecticut’s industries crying in a parched wilderness.

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