Monday, March 29, 2010

Would the Connecticut Republican Delegation Care to Comment?

"GOP Chairman Michael Steele spends $1,946.25 of RNC money at sex-themed Hollywood nightclub"

Not just any sex club but a bondage club that specializes in lesbian sex shows... That is where your hard earned dollars go to when you donate to Republicans. That or paying for limousines and gambling:
The news got worse, according to an adviser to Mr. Shays: The man Mr. Shays entrusted to run his political operation for nearly a decade had been quietly draining the account and had spent nearly $200,000 on Red Sox tickets, limousine travel, mysterious withdrawals at the Foxwoods casino and a donation of more than $1,000 to his synagogue.
I wonder if shoulda been a "3 strikes in jail" Chris Healy ever used donations to cover legal costs for his multiple DUI's? Would it shock you if he did? Just know that your money is safe with them. They will gladly tell you all about that.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Republicans Betting Everything on Opposisition to Health Care?

In the previous post we saw the the Republican US Senate candidates opposition. Now comes State Senators:

The CT Post reports:

All 12 Republican state senators on Wednesday formally
asked Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to join the nation-wide
opposition to the new federal health care reform bill.

The group, calling the legislation "illegal," asked Blumenthal to
oppose it on constitutional grounds to protect state families and
businesses from anticipated mandates and higher costs.

Congressional candidates are lining up as well:

News release:

4th District Congressional Candidate Rob Russo today signed and submitted the “REPEAL IT! Pledge” created by Club for Growth (“When I am in Congress, the first thing I will do is introduce legislation to repeal this bill."

Just like Social Security and Medicare people are going to grow fond of this legislation when they begin feeling the benefits. The Republicans are not doing themselves any favors with this mindless negativism.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Simmons, McMahon, Schiff Still Showing Zeal For Repeal

Days after President Obama signed into law historic health care reforms which will close the donut hole for seniors, allow children up to age 26 to stay on their parent’s insurance, end appalling insurance practices, lower the deficit, and increase access to health insurance for thousands of Connecticut residents, Republican Senate candidates Rob Simmons, Linda McMahon, and Peter Schiff continue to call for these reforms to be repealed and taken away from Connecticut residents.

“Rob Simmons, Linda McMahon, and Peter Schiff have redefined March Madness in their zeal for repeal,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee National Press Secretary Deirdre Murphy. “Simmons, McMahon, and Schiff should let Connecticut residents know what reforms they want to take away first, the tax credits for small businesses, the increased funding for Medicaid, allowing children to stay on their parent’s insurance longer, or closing the donut hole for seniors?”

If Health Reform were repealed… a dismal picture for Connecticut.
Ø An immediate $250 rebate for the roughly 97,100 Connecticut seniors who will hit the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ this year would be revoked.
Ø 547,000 seniors will see higher Medicare premiums and have to pay more for preventive health care
State Budget:
Ø $3.9 billion in affordability tax credits to 242,000 Connecticut residents would be forfeited*
Ø $4.5 billion in federal Medicaid funding would be lost*
Small Businesses:
Ø 37,600 small businesses will not get tax credits to help them afford coverage for their employees this year.
Ø Insurance companies will continue to deny coverage to the estimated 38,591 Connecticut residents with pre-existing conditions
Ø Family insurance premiums would increase by $1,780-$2,540**
Children & Young Adults
Ø Insurance companies will still be able to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions
Ø 315,814 young adults who would have been able to stay on their parents’ insurance plans this year would now be denied coverage
*over 5 years
**by 2016


Says “unprecedented crisis requires unprecedented actions”

Democratic candidate for Governor and former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy today released the following statement:

“I’m calling on the Governor to do today what I’d do if I were Governor. Call the legislative leaders into a negotiating session and allow members of the media (traditional and new media both) to sit in. I’d put my ideas on the table, and I’d ask each of them to do the same. I’d see how far apart we are and then I’d start trying to move us to consensus, and I’d do it in public.

“I know this suggestion is going to be dismissed by some as ‘grandstanding’ or me not understanding how the Legislature works. Neither is the case. They’re stuck, and they not getting un-stuck. They can’t keep doing what they’ve been doing. Passing deficit mitigation packages that you know are going to be vetoed by the Governor gets you nowhere. Similarly, passing a deficit mitigation package in one chamber knowing it has no chance of passing in the other chamber – but doing it anyway – also gets you nowhere. And while trying to gain the upper hand by selectively leaking to the press parts of conversations that were held in private meetings might be fun, it too gets you nowhere. Which is exactly where we are: nowhere.

“Let’s be clear about what’s going on with the budget deficit. This is a bipartisan train wreck that isn’t going to be solved by political grandstanding. This deficit is not cyclical, not primarily the result of the recession, and not revenue-driven. And, because the state doesn’t abide by GAAP the way it requires cities and towns to, the actual deficit is a lot worse than what most people think.

“This deficit is deep and structural – the cumulative result of long-term spending increases, underfunded liabilities and borrowing plus a state government that is top heavy and too top down. In other words, it’s the result of a lot of bad decisions that were made over a long period of time by both parties. But, ironically, since it’s everyone’s fault, there’s no one person or entity that should be blamed. Meaning there’s no ‘good guy,’ no ‘bad guy,’ no finger pointing. Just a collective acknowledgment that the problem needs to be fixed, now.

“So, what do we do? First, we need to reduce the cost of state government. There’s no way around it.

“Since we’re going to have to make cuts, I’d start by asking each of us to cut political appointee staff by 15 percent. You can’t ask others what you’re not willing to do yourself. Since we each have a place where we’d draw the line, I’d draw mine first: no cuts to the most vulnerable people in Connecticut – those who are served by the community non-profits. People with disabilities, seniors in our nursing homes, people who suffer from debilitating mental illness, children who are at risk, and the other people served by these providers. Then I’d ask each of the legislative leaders to do the same with the constituencies they want to protect, hoping that there’d be some common ground there.

“And then, with everything else on the table – and I mean everything – we’d each have to suggest cuts and advocate efficiencies. No one likes to, but everyone has to. But, since we’d be doing it in public, my sense is there’d be a lot less of the ‘he said, she said’ stuff that’s been going on lately. No one wants to look like that when everyone’s watching.

“And, because being Governor is about leadership, I’d start by suggesting that we look at state government as a whole. I’d bring to the table the ideas state employee labor leaders have been carrying around for the last two years, and where I think the efficiencies and cuts make sense, I’d propose them so the legislative leaders wouldn’t have to. I’d be willing to take that heat. Where I don’t think their ideas make sense, I’d prove to them that they’re wrong, and then I’d tell them to come back with new ideas that hit the same dollar amounts. I’d take that hit, too. Then I’d put some other ideas on the table, like merging the state’s four economic development agencies into one department (if we can be dead last in job growth with all four of them in existence, we can’t do any worse with just one agency). To be clear, I have no interest in laying people off. We’re not even done absorbing the impact of the early retirements, and putting people out of work is never smart. I’d also suggest freezing compensation for all political appointees, and I’d want to look for ways to stop providing cars for state employees other than the five constitutional officers and law enforcement (people can be reimbursed for official use of their personal cars).

“Then I’d ask legislative leaders for their ideas.

“As Yogi Berra once said, ‘It gets late early around here.’”

Just Shut Up

Rick Green, a Hartford Courant columnist and blogger, reports on his blog CTConfidential that “Rowdy students prevented New Canaan's Ann Coulter from speaking in Ottawa” Canada, and he added “That will stop her” in apparent approval.

Closer to home, UConn students successfully blocked Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton  from speaking on campus.

Coulter said later that the Canadian university that scheduled her to speak was a second rate institution, and Boughton, who is running for governor on the Republican ticket this year, politely protested his exclusion from a law school panel before which he had been invited to speak. Boughten did not characterize UConn as a second rate college.

Canada, more or less patterned after European models, has no First Amendment rights. Mark Steyn, a Canadian writer much published here in the land of Jefferson and Madison, has had a tougher time of it in Canada, where a quasi governmental agency – the amusingly miss-named Canadian Human Rights Commission -- a couple of years ago subjected Steyn to a lengthy and costly investigation following a complaint received by the commission from the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC). The CIC objected to a magazine in Canada that printed excerpts from Steyn’s book “America Alone.”

In Connecticut, whenever assaults are made on First Amendments rights, the air is usually thick with recriminations: commentary articles in newspapers, marches and assemblies, editorial protests and other healthy effusions. But let a Connecticut native be hooted down in Canada or a candidate for governor in the state be pressured out of a speaking engagement by law school students at a tax supported university and you get – a silence so think you can mould it into a brick and throw it at the head of any target disserving of liberal displeasure.

Neither the Canadian brown shirts nor the UConn group was associated with Tea Party Patriots.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Race To The Top: New Teacher and Principal Evaluations

The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) has released a new issue brief, “Teachers, Principals & Race to the Top,” detailing the broken system and underscoring the need for change.

“When 99 percent of Hartford teachers receive a satisfactory rating, but less than half of students are reading at grade level, something needs to change,” said Alex Johnston, ConnCAN Chief Executive Officer. “Race to the Top is Connecticut’s chance to follow New Haven’s lead and institute meaningful teacher and principal evaluations.”

S.B. 440, “An act concerning school districts and teacher performance programs,” would institute a better data system that defines principal and teacher effectiveness in terms of student achievement growth and links teacher and principal training programs to the classroom effectiveness of their graduates.

Text of this bill is available here.

Section three of H.B. 5491, “An act concerning certain school district reforms to reduce the achievement gap in Connecticut,” requires schools districts to incorporate student achievement growth into their teacher and principal evaluation systems by July 1, 2011.

Text of that bill is available here.

The last day for the Connecticut General Assembly’s Education Committee to pass these bills out of committee is Wednesday, March 24.

In early March, Connecticut was rejected from the first round of the Race to the Top, the federal government’s highly coveted $4 billion competition to reward states that aggressively reform their public schools.

Round 2 of the Race to the Top is due June 1. ConnCAN’s campaign, “Our Race to the Top” is calling for four reforms to help Connecticut win the Race to the Top: measuring effectiveness, superstar principals, world-class standards and money follows the child.

Detailed policy goals and other information

Let's Close Corporate Tax Loopholes!

Corporate tax loopholes have allowed some of the state’s largest and most profitable corporations to pay almost nothing in corporate taxes. One such tax avoidance scheme, called the "Las Vegas Loophole," allows large, multi-state corporations to artificially shift profits to subsidiaries in states without corporate income taxes, like Nevada. These loopholes diminish revenues that Connecticut needs to maintain schools, health care, public safety, transportation, and other essential services for families, communities, and businesses. They also put local, Connecticut-based companies at a competitive disadvantage to the large multi-state companies that can take advantage of the loopholes.

Monday morning, Finance Committee co-chairman Representative Cameron Staples held a press conference in the Legislative Office Building to call for legislation to ban the worst of these tax avoidance schemes. Joining Rep. Staples at the press conference were several other legislators and also representatives from advocacy organizations Connecticut Working Families, Connecticut Voices for Children and Better Choices for Connecticut.

“While families are struggling, some of our state’s largest and most profitable corporations are shifting millions out of state to avoid paying Connecticut taxes,” said Jon Green, director of Connecticut Working Families. “Average families can’t just invent elaborate shell games like AT&T does. So we all pay more.”

Advocates supported legislation known as ‘combined reporting’ that would stop corporations from shifting Connecticut profits out of state by requiring them to report income from all jurisdictions. Advocates argued that these large, multi-state businesses can afford to pay taxes that support the public services and infrastructure that businesses use.

Connecticut’s business taxes as a share of state economic activity (private sector gross products) are the second lowest in the nation, according to an analysis by the accounting firm Ernst and Young. In 2003, 18 of the largest 100 corporations headquartered in Connecticut paid only $250 in corporate income taxes, according to an analysis by the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee.

"Connecticut can no longer afford corporate tax loopholes that put local companies at a competitive disadvantage and drain revenues we need to maintain education, health, transportation, and other essential services for families and businesses." said Jeffrey Tebbs, Research Associate for Tax Policy at Connecticut Voices for Children.

A new study
released today concluded that the combined reporting tax reform would not impose unreasonable administrative burdens on Connecticut businesses. The study, conducted by Connecticut Voices for Children and the Yale Law School Legislative Advocacy Clinic, found that more than half of the states with corporate income taxes (23 of 45) already require combined reporting. Further, the study found that 86% of Connecticut's largest employers already operate in states that require combined reporting.

“Enacting combined reporting would take one step forward in making Connecticut's revenue system more accountable, transparent and equitable,” said Maggie Adair, co-chair of the Better Choices for Connecticut coalition. “23 other states have had the common sense to do this and Connecticut should join them.”

One poster child for these corporate loopholes is AT&T. Over a period of three and a half years, the company shifted over $190 million in profits out of state to a subsidiary in Nevada to avoid paying Connecticut taxes. Revelations of this scheme prompted an investigation by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal last year.

Following the press conference, a bill to address corporate tax loopholes (S.B. 485) was one topic at the Finance Committee’s public hearing.

Connecticut Working Families is a coalition of community organizations, labor unions and neighborhood activists who united to fight for a fair economy. Working Families was formed to inject issues like affordable healthcare, living wage jobs and fair taxes into the public debate, and to hold politicians accountable on those issues.

Connecticut Voices for Children is a research-based, policy think tank that works to advance public policies that benefit the state’s children, youth and families.

Better Choices for Connecticut is a community coalition working to help Connecticut make smarter choices on ways to improve the state’s imbalanced revenue system so that it advances opportunity for shared prosperity for all Connecticut residents; preserves services for children, families and the elderly; creates and sustains good jobs; and reinvests in the middle class and our communities.

Connecticut's Constitution Requires Better Funding for Inner City Education

The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding has won an historic decision a lawsuit over Connecticut's school systems, and how they are funded.The case is titled Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, Inc. v. Rell. It may prove to be as significant as the Sheff case, or perhaps even more so, in determining the future of education in Connecticut's inner cities.

From the majority opinion:

The plaintiffs allege that the state has failed to provide their children with ‘‘suitable and substantially equal educational opportunities’’ because of inadequate and unequal inputs, which ‘‘are essential components of a suitable educational opportunity,’’ namely: (1) high quality preschool; (2) appropriate class sizes; (3) programs and services for at-risk students; (4) highly qualified administrators and teachers; (5) modern and adequate libraries; (6) modern technology and appropriate instruction; (7) an adequate number of hours of instruction; (8) a rigorous curriculum with a wide breadth of courses; (9) modern and appropriate textbooks; (10) a school environment that is healthy, safe, well maintained and conducive to learning; (11) adequate special needs services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.; (12) appropriate career and academic counseling; and (13) suitably run extracurricular activities. These inputs have been recognized by the state board of education in various ‘‘[p]osition [s]tatements’’ as ‘‘necessary components of a suitable educational opportunity.’’

The availability and quality of these essential inputs vary significantly in schools across the state..

At the Roosevelt School in Bridgeport, which includes grades kindergarten through eight, 61 percent of the kindergarten students have attended preschool or Head Start, as compared with 76 percent statewide. The average size for a kindergarten class is twenty-six students there, as compared with nineteen statewide. For a seventh grade class, the average size is thirty students, as compared with twenty-two statewide. The library has nine print volumes per student, in comparison to twenty volumes per student statewide, and thirty-seven non-print materials, as compared to 324 statewide. The library does not subscribe to any periodicals, while the average kindergarten through eighth grade school subscribes to fifteen periodicals. Roosevelt School does not offer any computer education instruction, while other schools statewide provide an average of eighteen hours per year. Roosevelt School also does not provide any world language instruction, while 66 percent of the kindergarten through eighth grade schools statewide do provide such instruction. Finally, each counselor at the Roosevelt School works with 438 students, in comparison to the statewide average of 265...

We conclude that article eighth, sect; 1, of the Connecticut constitution guarantees Connecticut's public school students educational standards and resources suitable to participate in democratic institutions, and to prepare them to attain productive employment and otherwise to contribute to the state's economy, or to progress on to higher education.

The full majority decision is available on the Judicial Deparment's web site, along with a concurrence by Justice Palmer, a concurrence by Justice Schaller, a dissent by Justice Vertefeuille, and a dissent by Justice Zarella .

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dick Bozzuto

Indulge me if you will as there has never been anyone in politics that I liked and respected more than Dick Bozzuto.
This is not a direct cross post from my own site, Authentic Connecticut Republican, it is however the same topic as I've posted there today.

Dick turns 80 tomorrow, so I thought re-posting a now three year old response from Connecticut Local Politics would be appropriate; besides I simply love the man and can't help myself.

It's interesting to note that some of the same horrid people involved all the way back to 1982 remain either on the field (DeNardis) or in the background (Weicker's on the WWE Board of Directors) I guess dreadful awful people are like crabgrass and very difficult to get rid of.

Dick Bozzuto

English as a 2nd language, self made man (people confuse him with his now late half-brother, Adam the IGA mogul who was also a wonderful man) drop dead straight, ethics and behavior beyond reproach.

Moderate Republican, before the word got ruined it was “Progressive” Republican he was/is a populist.

Former CT state senator.

Ran for senate in 1980; got beat by a carpetbagging ultra-conservative named Buckley who in turn lost miserably.

Had the 82 Gov nomination sewn up when convention chair Larry DeNardis allowed the convention rules to be broken by Labriola & Rome; they had a love-fest and there was as a result no 2nd roll call.

Bozzuto had 49.7 % of that convention.

At the same convention Prescott Bush Jr had challenged Weicker had received around 24% (??) of the vote more than enough to primary.

Lowell didn’t like that and called Dick to get his delegates to back his hair-brained idea to allow ind. to vote in state wide GOP primaries in case it ever happened again.
For this Lowell is 100% behind Dick in 86.
They shake on it.

We all held our noses, took a stiff drink and did so at a special rules convention.
(I was at all these things)

1986 – Lowell rolls out Julie Belaga who barely gets enough votes to primary.
Weickers people start up the “in the Mafia” nonsense against Dick (as if every Italian with 3 bucks is a hood).

There’s Richard C. Bozzuto, the literal personification as to what is right and good about our nation and state and these disgusting people had the nerve to smear his good family name?

Sept. 9th 1986 – with an astonishing number of poll workers (same way Weicker won Gov in 1990) Belaga beats Bozzuto the GOP convention nominee.

Nov. 1986 – worst defeat in the history of the Republican Party in CT.

Dick had used his popularity and whatever celebrity he might have enjoyed to the benefit of others including myself, tirelessly and liberally. He would show up for a function anywhere in CT if one of his supporters thought it might help him or her win a few votes for Planning & Zoning, Alderman, Town Council, or Dog Catcher. He went door to door with me and spoke Italian to voters who clearly adored him and he certainly didn’t do me any damage in doing so either. (I’m a WASP)
Dick was the most loyal ranking Republican I ever had the honor to associate with in my life.

Many single words could be used to describe him, including; Good, fair, honest, but the one overwhelming characteristic he still enjoys is kind. The man is kind to fault even eclipsing the one thing upon which he most prides himself – loyal.

Were we to drag him (kicking and screaming I’m quite sure) back into the game he would light a fire; the man can really speak and has some other quality that maybe someone with a high degree in English might be able to quantify in words but I can’t. But I would to this day go though a wall for him, or for that matter follow him into the gates of hell and I’d assume we were going to come back victorious.
Thursday, August 17, 2006 at 9:18 am

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Malloy Now Officially a Candidate. Policy Section on Website

Dan Malloy has ended his exploration and is now an official candidate for Governor. He filed the necessary paperwork at Noon today.

His website now has a policy section that details some of the ideas and plans that Malloy would carry out if he is elected Governor. Checkout to see where he stands on the issues effecting Connecticut.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pillow Talk, Rosa And Stan

A new poll released by The Democracy Corps-Third Way survey last Monday  finds that Americans think the standing of the United States has dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama's presidency. The poll shows a drop of 10 points from 51 percent to 41 percent. The Democracy Corp was co-founded by Stanley B. Greenberg, U.S. Rep. Rosa Delauro’s husband, and James Carville.

The survey also notes with alarm the Democrat’s national security deficit figure is up.

“While ratings for the president may be softening, his party is facing an even more troubling trend. When the questions move beyond the president to Democrats generally, we see that the public once again has real and rising doubts about the Democrats’ handling of national security issues, as compared to their faith in Republicans. This security gap, which has roots stretching back to Vietnam, was as wide as 29 points earlier in the decade. The deficit began to close in 2006, with the Bush administration’s catastrophic mismanagement of Iraq and other national security challenges. As public hopes about the Obama presidency rose and peaked, the gap all but vanished. Last May, Democracy Corps found Democrats essentially tied with Republicans (41 to 43 percent) on the question of which party would do a better job on national security.

“But now the gap shows signs of re-opening, with Democrats trailing by 17 points, 33 to 50 percent on which party likely voters think would do the better job on national security. The erosion since May is especially strong among women, and among independents, who now favor Republicans on this question by a 56 to 20 percent margin.”

Some are wondering what the pillow talk at the Greenberg-DeLauro household is like these days.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Blumenthal-Schiff Cage Match

A debate card featuring Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, now running for the U.S. Senate seat Chris Dodd intends to vacate at the end of his term, and Peter Schiff, Connecticut’s economic Cassandra, would be far more interesting than the debate concluded March 1 between Blumenthal and incrementalist averse Merrick Alpert.

Debates that include candidates on fire always are spectacles worth our time. Americans, certainly more often than the British, tend to confuse passion with authenticity, and there is little doubt that Alpert was, in his debate with Blumenthal, a man aflame. Perhaps fortunately for the attorney general, Blumenthal may not have to debate Alpert again.

When the Republican debate rolled around at the university a day later, media adepts who had been expecting rhetorical fisticuffs between senatorial hopefuls Linda McMahon and Rob Simmons, both of whom had been peppering each other with e-mails and press releases, were disappointed and deflated. They had been expecting Thermopylae and got instead, as one commentator put it, “a snoozer of a debate.”

It was generally agreed by commentators who had packed away their telltale preferences for the duration of the debates that Alpert won his and Schiff won his, both having been pronounced more authentic than their plasticine opponents. One commentator, an ardent progressive, confessed he found Schiff’s honesty refreshing, though he was anguished by his message.

Schiff is a man on fire. The calculating Blumenthal is very much like Sen. Joe Lieberman, sometimes called the Hamlet of the U.S. Senate. Hamlet was thought to be too thoughtful for his own good. But in the end, not an advocate of incrementalism, he turned out to be a decisive man of action and an accomplished murderer.

In the presence of Schiff, and perhaps some other Republicans, Blumenthal would not be able to get away with asserting, as he did in the Merrick debate, that the litigatory actions of his office “actually create jobs, because businesses actually welcome competition and a level playing field.”

To pick up on just one point, it is folly to think that businesses would appreciate the way Blumenthal has used fatally defective affidavits to secure from judges in ex parte proceedings the authority to seize the business assets of companies that find themselves on the wrong end of Blumenthal’s constitutionally disruptive litigation. While Blumenthal’s senatorial narrative is centered on the black dealings of large, greedy, socially semi-conscious and unscrupulous companies, such as lung damaging tobacco giants, a partial listing of corporations in which the plaintiff has had an AG appearance from January 07 to the present  contains upwards of 900 entrees.

In the Merrick debate, Blumenthal intended to speak over the head of his opponent to an audience that would vote for him the general election. His narrative was carefully crafted to this purpose.

Merrick threw a wrench into the narrative by insisting that Blumenthal’s backing of President Barack Obama’s venture in Afghanistan was a) too expensive at a time when federal dollars might better be devoted to knotty domestic problems, and b) Bush-like in its wrong-headedness.

Blumenthal was flustered by Alpert's charge that he was a prevaricator at a time when the entire country was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, an accusation that easily could be launched at Blumenthal from the Republican side by Schiff, whose solutions to the malingering recession are, Schiff insists, painful but effective and necessary.

Like most regulators and redistributists, Blumenthal has a tough time wrapping his brain around the notion that an increase in distribution levels cannot occur in when the revenue to be distributed is on the downslide, usually the case in recessions and mini-depressions. When there is no soup in the soup kitchen, it is idle to speak of distributing soup to the poor – or to anyone else. Neither does Blumenthal understand that a complex ever changing regulatory apparatus introduces uncertainty into business activity that results in depressed markets, or he would not have insisted, laughably, that his suits have the effect of increasing business in the state.

This is the worst kind of hokum, far more dangerous in its effects than the peculations of politicians like Tammany Hall chief George Washington Plunkett or, coming closer to the heart of the 21st century, his modern equivalent, U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel, who appears to have received a temporary indulgence from madam Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

A cage match between Schiff and Blumenthal might even wake up the commentators in Connecticut’s media who think wrestling matches are real rather than highly scripted staged events.

In All Modesty

For those unfortunate few who are not regular readers of my CT Post (and other newspapers) blog here are a few recent post of particular local interest ( among many other fascinating and illuminating entries):

More Foley Follies

Foolish Tom Foley

Bloggers make a difference in MSM coverage?

More On Dodd’s Consumer Finance Retreat

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Iraq is Still Broken

We recently had a discussion about current conditions in Iraq on this blog. Well, things are going from bad to worse there. The Shiites are nominating mass murderers to run for Parliament, and banning all legitimate Sunni candidates. Sectarion violence is increasing, and is only going to get worse.

We also discussed the Christian community. Here's the latest:

Today, Christian Solidarity International (CSI-USA) urged President Obama to respond to continuing targeted violence against Iraq's ancient Christian community. The appeal - conveyed in a letter from CSI-USA's CEO, Dr. John Eibner - comes in the wake of the murder of eight Christians in Mosul since mid-February and the consequent flight of over 4,300 terrorized Christians from the city.

Since the commencement of the U.S.-led Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, nearly half of Iraq's one million Christians have sought refuge abroad, while many who remain in Iraq are internally displaced. Over 700 Christians, including bishops and priests, have been murdered and 61 churches have been bombed during the past seven years, according to the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Martha Dean Enters Race For Attorney General

Attorney Martha Dean, the Republican nominee for attorney general in 2002, will soon make a formal announcement that she has entered the race for attorney general.

Attorney Dean’s practice is devoted to assisting clients in understanding and complying with complex regulatory schemes while furthering their state and federal constitutional economic and individual rights.

Attorney Dean is co-founder of the Hartford Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies, a national organization of law students, law professors, lawyers and judges who sponsor panel discussions and debates with leading scholars and authorities on important public policy issues of the day. She is a graduate of Wellesley College ‘82, and the University Of Connecticut School Of Law ‘86, where she was an editor on the Law Review. She is a member of the Connecticut Bar (1986), U.S. District Court (Connecticut) (1995), U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit) (2000), and the U.S. Supreme Court (2001).

In connection with her 2002 election, attorney Dean filed in federal court a case --Dean v. Blumenthal -- that raises issues concening right of association and right of free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Now on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the case challenges the constitutionality of an attorney general imposing a unilateral and stealth ban on potential contributions from thousands of lawyers, their spouses and their legal staff affecting the campaigns of his opponents over the years.

An active attorney of 22 years standing, attorney Dean said, "As attorney general, my plan for the State of Connecticut will be unlike that proposed by any other candidate in the attorney general race and very different from what I proposed in 2002."

According to Dean, "The State of Connecticut is entering a full-blown crisis. We can tread water and be swept over the falls, only to be crushed on the rocks, or we can take the emergency measures that are needed now.

"It will be my pleasure to work with whomever the people elect as their new Governor to take the legal steps necessary to save this great State and see it safely to the high ground of competitiveness and prosperity.”

Attorney Dean’s brief announcement is being made now in deference to Republican candidates vying for the senate who recently engaged in debate at the University of Hartford. A full statement will be made March 16, 2010 at noon in a location soon to be announced.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Foley and Friends Fund Caligiuri

Chris Healey urged Sam Caligiuri to get out of the Senate/Governor race. It was widely rumored that Tom Foley encouraged Caligiuri as well, perhaps with specific promises of financial support.

In fact, Sam Caligiuri has very little money. Of the 55K he had at year end, 37,500 came in during the last 15 - 20 days with virtually all of it coming from donors in common with Tom Foley:

Data Source

FLEISCHER, MICHAEL Donated to Sam 1000
FLEISCHER, MICHAEL Donated to Tom 2400
FLEISCHER, MICHAEL Donated to Sam 1000
FLEISCHER, MICHAEL P Donated to Tom 250
FOGEL, DAVID MR. Donated to Sam 2400
FOGEL, DAVID Donated to Tom 1000
FOLEY, THOMAS MR. Donated to Sam 175
FOLEY, THOMAS C JR Donated to Tom 4800
FOLEY, THOMAS MR. Donated to Sam 2225
FOLEY, THOMAS C JR Donated to Tom 4800
FOLEY, THOMAS MR. Donated to Sam 2400
FOLEY, THOMAS C JR Donated to Tom 4800
FRANTZ, ALLISON MRS. Donated to Sam 2200
FRANK, DANIEL Donated to Tom 500
FRANTZ, ALLISON MRS. Donated to Sam 2200
FRANTZ, L S Donated to Tom 4800
FRANTZ, ALLISON MRS. Donated to Sam 2400
FRANK, DANIEL Donated to Tom 500
FRANTZ, ALLISON MRS. Donated to Sam 2400
FRANTZ, L S Donated to Tom 4800
FRANTZ, L. SCOTT MR. Donated to Sam 2200
FRANK, DANIEL Donated to Tom 500
FRANTZ, L. SCOTT MR. Donated to Sam 2200
FRANTZ, L S Donated to Tom 4800
FRANTZ, L. SCOTT MR. Donated to Sam 2400
FRANK, DANIEL Donated to Tom 500
FRANTZ, L. SCOTT MR. Donated to Sam 2400
FRANTZ, L S Donated to Tom 4800
LEVY, STEVEN Donated to Sam 2400
LEVY, STEVE Donated to Tom 2400
MILLER, DONALD MR. Donated to Sam 2400
MILLER, DONALD Donated to Tom 4800
MILLER, DONALD MR. Donated to Sam 2400
MILLER, HENRY S Donated to Tom 2400
MILLER, DONALD MR. Donated to Sam 2400
MILLER, PRISCILLA Donated to Tom 4800
MILLER, HENRY S MR. Donated to Sam 995
MILLER, DONALD Donated to Tom 4800
MILLER, HENRY S MR. Donated to Sam 995
MILLER, HENRY S Donated to Tom 2400
MILLER, HENRY S MR. Donated to Sam 995
MILLER, PRISCILLA Donated to Tom 4800
MILLER, HENRY S MR. Donated to Sam 1405
MILLER, DONALD Donated to Tom 4800
MILLER, HENRY S MR. Donated to Sam 1405
MILLER, HENRY S Donated to Tom 2400
MILLER, HENRY S MR. Donated to Sam 1405
MILLER, PRISCILLA Donated to Tom 4800
ORTHWEIN, PETER MR. Donated to Sam 500
ORTHWEIN, PETER B Donated to Tom 1000
STAPLETON, CRAIG MR. Donated to Sam 1000
STAPLETON, CRAIG Donated to Tom 4800
STAPLETON, CRAIG MR. Donated to Sam 1000
STAPLETON, DOROTHY Donated to Tom 4800

This may be a coincidence, of course.

Reconciliation with McCain's Nuclear Addled Brain

Heck... Reconciliation with the entire GOP echo chamber's Nuclear addled brains.
The best arguments against the so called nuclear option, widely considered as a measure that might be useful in passing the health care initiatives of President Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and the better angels of Hillary Clinton’s nature were made in 05 by the politicos mentioned above.

What Nuclear Option to pass healthcare is the GOP harping on about?

"The Nuclear Option" was when the Republicans wanted to get rid of the filibuster rule so they could push through far right wing extremist judicial appointments. Though, I suspect they would have tried to go nuclear on every issue they could have gotten away with once they had abused it for Bush nominees. And as hard as it would be to believe that there were more extremist judges than the five GOP SCOTUS activist judges that handed election funding over to foreign owned corporations and their lobbyists recently, and as much as Bush's Alito and Roberts appointments deserved to be Borked back to the typically extremist Federalist Society rocks they crawled out from under, none of that had anything to do with budgetary issues as Healthcare Reform does.

Reconciliation is an often used part of the Senate rules on passing legislation dealing with budgetary issues.

More often used by the GOP than the Democratic party, as well. Though it is used to get around filibusters it has nothing to do with going nuclear on political appointees. Healthcare reform is a budgetary issue and so is reconciliation. Get over it. The GOP abused reconciliation to kick the poor and middle class just as the GOP have always abused the filibuster to kick Americans when they are in the minority. Just look at what Bunning is doing to the unemployed and Medicare right now with his current filibuster.

Healthcare Reform has absolutely nothing to do with "The Nuclear Option" and those of you falsely using "The Nuclear Option" talking point know it. Trying to muddy the waters of the debate with nonsensical GOP talking point crap will not work. And...

You cannot rewrite history and expect to get away with it around here.

The only problem Republicans have with reconciliation is the fact that this time the Democratic party will be using it and they will be using it for something that is good policy for all of the people if they do it right. And as John McCain pointed out a while back, it is the fault of the GOP for having used it so often and so egregiously (Twice the GOP used it for Tax Cuts for the uber rich. The GOP also used it for cuts to Welfare, Medicaid and Medicare) that set the precedence to use it more often now.
MCCAIN: "I fully recognize that Republicans have in the past engaged in using reconciliation to further the party’s agenda. I wish it had not been done then, and I hope it will not be done now that the groundwork has been laid."
Since that comment last year, even McCain is talking the false GOP talking point in his nuclear addled brain, too. Now that reconciliation, a simple up or down vote in the budget process, is actually going to be used to pass a mish-mash of conservative GOP and Democratic ideas under Obama's watch?

Suddenly it is the nuclear end of the world to every right wing propagandist out there:
[McCain] then admitted that reconciliation has been used in the past, but “never before” for something as costly has health care and that using it now would all but ruin the U.S. Senate as an institution and “harm the future of our country”:

MCCAIN: The last time when there was a proposal that we Republicans in the majority would adopt a 51 vote majority on the issue of the confirmation of judges. There was a group of us that got together and said no that’s not the right way to go because that could deal a fatal blow to the unique aspect of the United States Senate which is a 60 vote majority. And we came to an agreement and it was brought to a halt.

If a 51 vote reconciliation is enacted on one-sixth of our gross national product. Never before has there been –- there’s been reconciliation but not at the level of an issue of this magnitude and I think I could harm the future of our country and our institution which I loved a great deal for a long, long time.

(Watch the video)
First, the “nuclear option” McCain referred to is not synonymous with “reconciliation” in general. It is the latest dishonest GOP talking point simply meant to derail health care reform.
Little wonder why Grampa Abe McCain needs to be reminded of what he said last year when he has to be reminded every day that he lost the last election to Obama.

Rachel Maddow takes on the whole crew of nutjobs screeching about "Nuclear" like a bomb went off in their brains:
Maddow: What's going on here is a deliberate attempt on the part of Republicans to define nuclear down -- to conflate these two totally separate things to demonize the way that Democrats have to pass health reform right now. By calling it the nuclear option even though the nuclear option is a real thing in the Senate, and this isn't that -- it has nothing to do with that. Perhaps the reason that Republicans are so unwilling to call this what it is, reconciliation is because they have a really long record of using reconciliation.

For those of you more interested in spreading propaganda and false GOP talking points than actually debating policy and issue based on facts, reality and their merits? I suggest you not try to pass that stuff off in the blogosphere.

All it will get you is a swift kick back from pragmatists on the reality side.

Below the fold and via FDL, an excerpt of some of the long list of Republicans' more recent usages of reconciliation that could just as easily be titled "The GOP plan to kick and beat the old, the young, the sick and the poor through Reconciliation" and note that healthcare legislation is, more often than not as Rachel Maddow pointed out, passed through reconciliation:

Governor Rell's New Deficit Mitigation Plan

Yesterday Governor Rell released a deficit reduction plan.

Statement of Governor Rell on New Deficit Mitigation Plan

“Connecticut faces a current budget deficit estimated by my office of Policy and Management at $503.9 million – a figure that is only likely to grow, in view of Connecticut and the nation’s agonizingly slow recovery from this economic downturn. This deficit must be eliminated now through swift and decisive action. We cannot afford to wait and hope or to count on future revenues that no one is certain we will collect.

“The plan I am proposing not only eliminates the current deficit but makes much-needed structural reforms that will improve our prospects for long-term recovery. If we do not act now, any short-term cuts we manage to make will be overwhelmed by the inexorable growth of state spending.

“These choices may not be easy – but they are necessary. These choices may not be pleasant – but they are crucial. These choices may not be politically popular – but they are the right choices to make.”

Reactions are coming in:


"There's nothing 'swift' or 'decisive' about kicking the can down the road. Connecticut's budget needs more than a few band-aids--we face multibillion deficits as far as the eye can see, we have nearly maxed out the state's credit card, and now Governor Rell wants to raid the remainder of our Rainy Day fund even faster, draining $219 million that will put us even deeper in the hole.

"Rell refuses to make the tough choices our state needs - as governor, those are the first challenges I'll tackle. I have already initiated a line-by-line, top-to-bottom review of the state budget so that on day one, I can begin squeezing out every last efficiency. Our next governor must call on everyone to make tough sacrifices and enact sweeping reforms that transform the way our government does business, restore our fiscal house to order, and ensure our children do not suffer an even worse crisis down the road."

Mary Glassman Responds To Governor Rell's Deficit Mitigation Plan

Governor M. Jodi Rell yesterday released her Deficit Mitigation Plan for Fiscal Year 2010. With less than 20% of her proposed cuts achieved through actual spending reductions, the remainder of the Governor's $504 million so called "mitigation" is nothing more than delays in funding pensions and Medicaid plans, and moving rainy day funds.

Mary Glassman, who is exploring a run for Governor said “Once again Jodi Rell has shown her preference for passing the buck. It’s time Connecticut had a real leader who will instead say ‘the buck stops here.’”

"The very programs that we need to survive the fiscal crisis we're in right now-- economic development initiatives that create jobs; education and health programs; and youth programs that keep kids on the straight and narrow-- are all on Governor Rell's chopping block. Connecticut's next governor will suffer the consequences of these ‘fund sweeps' and delay tactics which shift liability beyond her time in office.”

"Our towns and cities, already under attack from this administration, would suffer even more under this scheme. The funding shell game she is playing cuts municipal aid and passes the burden to local taxpayers."

Monday, March 1, 2010


Debates are tricky things. There was no one, debate coaches for example, at the University of Hartford to formally score the debate between Merrick Alpert and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. But no one need wait for this to attempt to answer the question “Who won?

Answers please.