Friday, March 03, 2006

Open Forum

Today is Ella Grasso Appreciation Day at the Capitol. A ceremony will be held in the Old Judiciary Room to honor the former governor, who died twenty-five years ago this week.

Gov. Rell is backing Catholic hospitals who refuse to provide emergency contraception to rape victims on religious grounds. The General Assembly is considering enacting legislation requiring all Connecticut hospitals to provide this service to victims of sexual assault.

John DeStefano has proposed a plan to offer incentives for companies that create jobs with health care.

Oh, and our students' test scores are down. The director of the Education Trust, which sponsored the study, rather snippily implies that the lawsuit against NCLB is to blame.

What else is going on?


historian said...

I heard a great story about Ella Grasso a few years ago.

Apparently she really hated Tom Meskill. While Meskill was in office, he had a swimming pool installed at the Governor's Mansion because he had a bunch of kids and they wanted a pool. He paid for the pool with his own money, and a small tile plaque was installed in the cement that said something like "This pool is a gift from the Meskill children".

When Ella moved into the Mansion, she had the plaque ripped out.

Reminded me of the stories about Clinton staffers taking all of the "W" keys off the keyboards at the White House.

Sort of puts a different gloss on this woman we all remember so fondly!

TrueBlueCT said...

From the Jewish "Forward", 'Lieberman Democrats' Have No Place In an Opposition Party.

"The debate has little to do with ideology. It is, first and foremost, about leadership.

Many activists believe that Lieberman's conciliatory approach undercuts the party's unity, consistency and confrontational posture, all of which are essential for an effective opposition party. They resent his style more than they resent his voting record, which is not very different from those of many popular Democrats.".....

"The primary challenges to Lieberman, Cuellar and other like-minded Democrats are designed either to purge the targets or to temper their conduct, while warning other elected Democrats that disloyalty now has a cost. It is a valiant effort finally to give the Democratic Party more discipline, all the more striking because the calls for unity are coming from the bottom up."

Anonymous said...

Also Lieberman is making money in DC bending over for the Republicans....his wife is a " consultant" for some "organizations" for hundreds of thousands of dollars..and thats how he gets paid off....

Also, millions of dollars from the fed gov't has been funneled into the 501c3 organization run by the husband of Liberman's chief of staff ( Sherry Brown)

Lieberman's ex chief of staff ( mike Lewin) was a big Rowland Fundraiser and donor.

Lieberman used to have lunch,dinner etc regularly with Rowland...Nancy Johnson and Chris Shays....

Anonymous said...

Hadassah Lieberman works for the nefarious PR firm, Hill & Knowlton.

Here is the press release announing her hiring.

Any guesses as to how much Hadassah is making per year?

CGG said...

Here's another interesting bit in the article about Rell siding with Catholic Hospitals.

In a related matter, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal issued a legal opinion Thursday that all pharmacies in Connecticut that want to do business with people covered by state insurance plans will have to carry the emergency contraceptive, known as Plan B. Those insurance plans cover about 188,000 state employees, retirees and dependents.

I wonder if any CT towns and cities have the same requirement, or will be considering that in the future.

bluecoat said...

BTW, whie I think Farrell is a lightweight I do agree with her decision to shoot down an anti-war resolution by Westport town government. It was the wrong avenue to protest. She either ahd good legal advice or she knew what her job was and did it.

Franks said...

Rell has apparently quietly abandoned her concerns and the moratorium she called for on all takings for economic development after the Kelo decision.

While this seems smaller in scope than th New London development the principle in taking the property remains the same.

Anonymous said...

These are 2 totally different scenarios. First Kelo was taking land for PRIVATE development not a school, highway etc. The Fairfield Train Station is a PUBLIC facility and if you lived in Fairfield County i would guess you would say for the public good. With that said the land around it is abandoned and doesn't include people's homes. Secondly, the project has been ongoing for 3 or 4 years. So it was a good try but a little bit of research would of answered your questions.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

Actually, no, it doesn't. As I read the story, the takings are for pedestrian bridges and other transportation-related improvements; the story doesn't indicate that the commercial portion of the development involves eminent domain at all.

Anonymous said...

The evidence is mounting: Bush and Rove stole Ohio. There should never have been a Bush second term!!!

Anonymous said...

blah, blah, blah, blah..

franks said...

The Story says "The state has begun taking properties for the massive project on lower Black Rock Turnpike anchored by the town's third train station and $250 million worth of commercial development."

These takings are occurring now, after the Kelo decision and Rell's statements, not 3-4 years ago. Using the State's taking authority to benefit private developers was exactly the arguement in Kelo.

Joe Sixpack said...

They are also looking to take commercial properties in West Hartford for stations along the busway. The access to the busway is supposed to help the ones being stolen by eminent domain. Unbelievable. And I read the Senate R's ran an amendment on the contracting bill to stop eminent domain abuse. Why wasn't more made of that?

Anonymous said...

Kelo's taking in New London also included a public park, riverwalk and other public spaces, that how the city sold the council on the project.

bluecoat said...

Franks is absolutley right on the takings in Fairfield but McKinney and Shays are behind the project just as Flatto along with atate rep Drew, the First Selectman is. It's a fairly dysfunctioanl town all round as you can see from here and their local paper but these guys don't hang out the dirty laundry outside of town

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...


The story also says, "The DOT needs to acquire the five properties in order to build vehicle and pedestrian bridges linking Kings Highway East to the 35.5-acre development site."

If you're going to quote selectively, don't link to the story first ...

bluecoat said...

That post went out with a push of the wrong button but I wanted to add that a lot of Bridgeport people were upset about it becasue of the taxation issues and stuff. Fabrizi even spoke out in the paper but then somebody put a political gag order on him because it was democrat Flatto's baby. There are a lot of big time operators that own speculative property in the area including some of DiNardo's gang and the Ganims. It even had Mayor Joe's backing before he went to jail. The guy that's heading up the project is a former federal felon as well but nobody has figured out where he is getting the money other than a small time operator from Jersey and maybe an old Norwalk Mayor. Leonci, the felon convicted in the Ganim deal, has already made several million speculating on property across the street with a special high density luxury zoning that the attorney involved in Ganim's Steele Point wrangling got him through some fancy footwork before the zoning board. There was talk around town about corruption but it's never went anywhere - probably just naivety and political connections pushing the deal.

turfgrrl said...

I doubt that a primary challenge promotes "loyalty". Party leadership controls loyalty through committee assignments and you don't get those if you are in minority. This Lieberman backlash is so very reminiscent of the GOre backlash by the Naderites in 2000. Probably the same people too. The seats to focus on are in the House of Representatives and the CT governor's race. Shays, Johnson and Simmons are 3 votes that enable cronyism, corruption and incompetence.

bluecoat said...

The different anonymous is absolutly right. What the DOT is doing is opening up access to the property for the developer that isn't there today and that he can't afford. It's a boondoggle but CT people get screwd all the time in their quest for tax revenue.

Weicker Liker said...

How interesting that Bill Curry's former field director, Sarah Merriam, is running Chris Murphy's Campaign for Congress???

Wonder who put Murphy in touch with Sarah?

MikeCT said...

Shays, Johnson and Simmons are 3 votes that enable cronyism, corruption and incompetence.

Gee, sounds like the votes of a Senator we know.... Democracy, the Democratic party, and unrelated candidates will survive this and thousands of other primaries. Chill out. If Lamont's supporters are such a political powerhouse as to disrupt the progress of all other campaigns in the state, then those candidates should find ways to recruit Lamont's body of volunteers and donors, not insult or dismiss them.

If you want to encourage people to support the Congressional challengers, your energies would be more constructively spent explaining what is going on with those campaigns and why potential supporters should be excited about them. There is a deficit of information on those campaigns, and I, for one, would appreciate such updates. If the Congressional campaigns are not eliciting the same excitement of the Lamont campaign (and I'm not saying that's true), then they need to look within and re-examine their strategy, message, and methods of communication.

Franks said...

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!)

My point was that the State was using it's taking authority, in spite of Rell's claims, for economic development.

You noted. "The story also says, "The DOT needs to acquire the five properties in order to build vehicle and pedestrian bridges linking Kings Highway East to the 35.5-acre development site."

The story also says "During that time, Blackrock Realty LLC, the developer, plans to build a road on its property linking the base of the bridge to Black Rock Turnpike, one office building, a Hilton hotel, a health club and retail space, Kurt Wittek, a managing member of Black Rock Realty, said."

Building railroad station, (Does Fairfield need 3?) is a public improvement, but taking property to link to a private development raises Kelo's arguements about who really benefits.

reddick said...

It's about time you all you upstate guys talked about Fairfield County. The difference from Kelo is they're all taking commercial properties and no residences are being taken.
Fairfied could definitley use another train station and this deal serves Black Rock and Bridgeport's west end too. Fairfield's station is second only to Stamford in volume of passengers.

The developer has a really sweet deal too. He doesn't have to build the Hilton just a road on the site and before Rowland got pushed out Fairfield Rep.Carl Dickman and Flatto got the developer a loan from Diedrich at DECD to build it for 4 or five miilion dollars and structured it so the town will pay it back with the property taxes from the Hilton and stuff until it's paid off. There were some gadflies that fought the deal in the papers but all the papers backed it in their editorials. The longtime First Selectman Jacky Durrell, whose sort of the grande dame of the local Republican party, was the original brains behind the train station and it was mostly a Republican thing until Flatto got scared and got behind it. There were even some bluehair environmentalists that have been around for years that filed a couple of suits but lost.

There was lots of campaign money flying around too but nobody could ever really follow it. One gadfly wrote about in the press but it went away or at least it got shuffled around through attorneys and stuff giving to Flatto. The Norwalk mayor was Zullo and he kicked in money for Flatto along the way too. Zullo is working to get Blumsnthal elected and Blumenthal was contacted by a local senoir taxpayer activist but he blew her off. Flatto didn't always want it. The guys before him pushed the deal and took campaign money but after Flatto got elected there was a threat of a lawsuit by the property owner and Flatto backed down.

These develpers run roughshod over the little towns with big promises of economice prosperity. Word has it once DOT gets all the approvals the developer can flip it. The developer even got Flatto to let him dump the industrial tailings fom the parcel he keeps on the land the stae is going to own eventually. It's a win-win because the town takes all the environmental liability. There's also some uproar about local traffic but i can't figure that one out but it's probaly on the money too.

It's about time you all you upstate guys talked about Fairfield County. The difference from Kelo is they're all taking commercial properties and no residences are being taken.

MikeCT said...

More Congressional Republicans love Joe, even if they can't campaign for him yet. Nancy Johnson has not ruled out support for a Republican endorsement of Joe Lieberman, as reported in a little-noted article in the Thursday Courant (p. 2, not online):

Rep. Nancy Johnson won't rule out having Republicans back Sen. Joe Lieberman's re-election bid, but she's also not ruling it in. ..... Johnson will not say whether or not Lieberman should get a GOP nod. "Joe and I are very good friends.... Joe has a lot of support among Republicans and Democrats. But if there's someone in the [Republican] Party who has credibility, we need to take a serious look at that person." On the other hand, Johnson said, "I can't say that we have an obligation to field just anyone"

So if no one credible is on the GOP line... should the party back Lieberman? "Joe has made an effort to serve the community and cut across party lines... I see more and more of that cross-party trend in cities and towns."

Is that a yes or no? "I have a lot of respect for Joe Lieberman. I support Joe in many ways. But the parties have an obligation to try and create debate."

Translation: Republican party operatives will be mad at Johnson if she endorses Joe now, but once they establish that no serious Republican will run, she'll be glad to endorse Joe as a friend of Republicans, over Lamont, who is a real threat to their agenda.

Shore Publishing reports on a visit by Lamont to Old Lyme, and this exchange highlights what the Dems need: an a substantive alternative agenda that offers a positive vision, not simply fear-mongering about our future and the threats posed by Republicans:

Essex resident Frits Zernike said Republicans are working on fear. “Why don't we go back to (Franklin) Roosevelt?” he asked, referring to the 32nd president's first inaugural address, in which he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Lamont agreed, saying, “We really have lost if we stop talking about our dreams, and start talking about our fears.”

ken'sfriend said...

This new train staion for Fairfield has beeen on the table for a long time and why franks and bluecoat are challenging it just sounds like sour grapes. State Reps Stone and Tymniak all support it. Hilton pulled out of downtown Bridgeport years ago and we need a place for parents to stay when they visit here at the universities. The Chamber of Commerce is stongly behind it. There's something in this project for every resident whoever they are. Even Nancy Hadley from Mayor Fabrizi's Bridgeport economic development team came to a meeting to voice support. The state and federal government are giving us a great deal here so we can lower our local property tax burden. It's real property tax relif not the nickel and dime stuff Rell is pushing down the gullable throats of the taxpayer. It's a bipaartisan effort and Ken Flatto worked tirelessly to make it happen. The commuters will get off I-95 early in the morning and park in Fairfield instead of using I-95. And we'll have lots of new jobs for everybody to drive just like Merrit 7 up on the Merritt in Norwalk. This is a win for everybody. Fairfield is reallly lucky. Stop the uncivility and jealousy. Even Senators Dodd and Lieberman back it and got us federal grants.

MysticD said...


I think the three Congressional challengers all have a fair amount of info out there about them. Farrell ran last time. Courtney was in the state house for years, and has run before. Murphy has been in the state legislature for 6 or 8 years and has a record there.

All 3 of them have websites, right? And I bet there is some coverage of all 3 in their local papers, even if not so much in the courant or other big guys.

What is it you still want to know about these guys? I know they're the answer to getting rid of the republicans in congress, so that's pretty much enough for me, but I get enough from their websites to satisfy my curiosty on other things.

turfgrrl said...


Republicans raise more money, have better databases, have the support of the national party infrastructure. In many ways they have an advantage to Democrats. Shays, Johnson and Simmons are all long time incumbents as well. It will take great effort to unseat them and the candidates running against them need all the help and energy that they can get.

To run an effective campaign, you need money, time and energy. Every pixel about Lieberman is a lost opportunity for something to promote a congressional race.

The end game is not a vendetta against Lieberman, the end game is control of the house and senate. The low hanging fruit this election is the congressional races. Anything that diverts from that mission is a distraction. Connecticut has delivered to the Senate two democratic senators, you may not like them, but they vote with the democratic caucus over 90 plus % of the time.

What's more important, Lamont as a Senator with the minority party and the house still in GOP control, or Lieberman as a Senator with the minority party and the house in Democratic control?

sanity said...

turfgrrl - Ever since someone on this site basically nominated you for governor and because of the comments you have left on this blog, I've wanted to say this:

while I am a bit 'east' of your viewpoint (I don't want to use 'right' because of its connotations) and don't always agree wtih you, I admire the way in which you present your arguments. I think you are very intelligent and I respect your views and analysis and the way you present them.

In response to your most recent comment, I have some (not tons) of experience with campaigns in Connecticut, directly and more so as a close observer of both Democrat and Republican campaigns, and I have to say that the Democrats in Connecticut run vastly superior campaigns to the Republicans.

Forget the issues, policies or the platforms for the moment. While I may be a Republican (a moderate/centrist, but nevertheless a Republican), the Democrats do know how to run extremely well coordinated campaigns in Connecticut.

Setting aside the issues and what is right versus wrong, on a strictly professional level I tip my hat to the Connecticut Democrats for their ability to run campaigns.

The Republican Party in Connecticut could stand to learn a few lessons in campaigning from the Democrats.

MikeCT said...

I don't buy your zero sum assumptions and false choices - that there are, say, exactly 120 Democratic volunteers in the state and everyone who works for one candidate hurts other campaigns by sucking away support. If Democrats are that weak and devoid of popular support and infrastructure, then Lamont is the least of their worries.

Our goal as Democrats and democrats should be to energize and enlarge the base, give people reasons to get excited about the campaigns and candidates in their towns and districts, and reinvigorate the democratic process. An energized Democratic electorate will result in more voters and volunteers.

The "end game" is not control of the House and Senate by anyone who puts a "D" after their names. The end goal is changing public policy and the political culture in the U.S. Joe Lieberman can't and won't do that. He is hurting and weakening our country and doesn't deserve our passive endorsement. He makes the wrong choices again and again. The fight against Lieberman is the same as the fight against these Republicans - we want to elect candidates who will do the right thing. It's also a fight to reclaim the soul and vision of the Democratic Party.

But let's forget all these arguments for a moment, because no amount of complaining about the existence of the Lamont campaign and his supporters is going to help the Congressional challengers. Tell us what inspires you about them. How are they unique? Why do you care? Why should we care? (And not just why we should dislike the Republicans - that's too easy.) What will they do differently if elected? That's would help them and entice volunteers - a goal we share.

It may surprise you to know that I don't disagree that the Congressional candidates should, in general, take priority and that they have a better chance. I've also made critical comments about Lamont here and to his face. But I'm not going to chastise or insult anyone who feels inspired to take on Lieberman, and I believe these struggles ultimately support one another.

I think that most news coverage on candidates is shallow and unhelpful, and that the news releases and fundraising solicitations that constitute most candidates' public communications are usually neither educational nor inspiring. The Web sites usually leave a lot to be desired, but that's another story. What I'm really getting at is that what is helpful and exciting to potential volunteers and donors is the kind of blogging and conversations from Lamont supporters - what the campaign is up to that week, personal reports from people who have heard him talk, actual video & audio of speeches, descriptions of what is inspiring and unique about the candidate and their positions/vision, details about their agenda for the country, testimonials, etc. Lamont supporters let us know. The Congressional campaigns and their supporters have usually not, and I'd welcome that.

turfgrrl said...


I think it could be safely said that it depends on the campaign. Some campaigners are highly organized and effective from both parties. In general though, if you look at the resources available to each party, the money trumps the strategy.

Here's a good example. If candidate x wants to direct mail an issue piece to their party, it costs a set amount. If the candidate wants to hit the opposition its x + and likewise if they want to hit the unaffilaites x + +. Now, some candidates will have the money to do that. Some will tailor the mailing to specific demographics.

Where the candidates with more money get an advantage is that they can blanket their message to all. If the message hits the wrong household, it's not a wasted effort since it just reinforces the "brand"

In a general sense, that's where the republicans have a technical advantage. They can almost afford to run a sloppy campaign because they will get mindshare based on volume.

Which brings me to my next point ...


Political campaigns moved away from ideas and issues many, many years ago. It's all about branding and hitting your numbers, repetition, rinse, recycle, repeat.

Resources to a campaign are finite, and while I agree its not a zero sum game, there is another cliche to summarize; getting bang for the buck. So yes, you could, encourage all comers to run for things and allow for a darwinian selection process to take place. Or, you could look at the potential success and risk of various candidacies and pick some over others because they are stronger or more strategically important.

This year, more than any other, there is a much larger issue at stake here then whether a Farrell campaign is exciting enough over a Shays campaign. Our government has been derailed by corrupt and inept politicians. With one party control of the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government, there is no check and opposition against anything. I don't believe that our country can be the beacon, or change agent of democracy in the world, if every bill is 400 pages of last minute additions that no one has read. I don't think the executive branch can decide which laws it chooses to enforce or follow. I don't believe that there should be 65 lobbyists for every congresscritter.

Unfortunately there is no modern day Teddy Roosevelt willing to chuck the status quo to the wind and create the friction and debate that this country so desperately needs. So what is the next best option?

I think it is to get a majority of people with D's after their names in congress. Without a flip of majority, we won't get investigations into why our tax dollars are going to Halliburton in no-bid contracts, why pharmaceutical companies wrote the medicare prescription drug bill, why FEMA can't still provide infrastructure support to the Katrina, Rita and Wilma disasters, why Exxon gets tax breaks after posting a 35 billion dollar profit, why we can't close the loophole that allows corporations that operate in the US to pay no taxes by opening fake HQs in the Cayman islands, why we encouraging India to skip nuclear weapons inspections, why pakistan still funnels money to AQ, why opium production is higher than ever in Afghanistan, why we are still importing 80% of our Oil needs from Venuzuela, why the feds didn't investigate the Californian electricity price rigging and I could go on.

You can't change policy, or argue against policy if one party controls who can speak, investigate, censure, recommend, and sponsor.

MikeCT said...

One other point - Lieberman hurts and undercuts the Congressional challengers by legitimating the positions of Shays, Johnson & Simmons and by publicly chastising critics of President Bush. Shays and Johnson have returned the favor this week by publicly offering their endorsements - actual (Shays) or virtual (Johnson).

MikeCT said...

Made my last post before I refreshed my screen to see yours. I think the public does not tend to support the Republican agenda, but election after election and poll after poll clearly show that they don't see how the Democrats offer a better alternative. Repeating how awful the other guy is only gets you so far with either votes or involvement. I don't know how many times Dems have to lose before they learn that vision, message, ideas, emotional appeal, and grassroots organization win elections.

Jeremy Kincaid said...

Wednesday, March 8, 7:30 p.m.
Democracy for America. Litchfield
Guest: Ned Lamont, Dem Senatorial Candidate & Rep from Sen Joe Lieberman’s office
Location: Dos Amigos Restaurant, 910 E. Main St., Torrington

Anonymous said...

MikeCT, Turfgrl

You are right and wrong

The sophisticated GOP campaigns are run by the major officeholders

And yes, they find issues where the Dems are out of step and pound them into the ground. Ironically, it's usually the Republicans in those races who find an issue or two, the Dems believe their own propaganda about how the public already loves them and/or the GOP wins are all due to smoke, mirrors and Diebold

Downballot the GOP tends to run amateur "Seinfeld" campaigns (about nothing), with predictable results

Putting Gallo in as state chairman was an effort to stop that from continuing

Anonymous said...

After Hamzy resigned, George Gallo begam to campaign for Chairman... steam picked up and there was nothing anyone could do about it.. the state central members for obvious reasons love him. He and Moody can't stand each other. So no one put him in the job to stop "down ballot" bleeding. He put himself there. Now with that said maybe he can energize the party and build a bench which Rowland never wanted and Rell doesn't seem to either.

turfgrrl said...


This is the same public who can name characters from The Simpsons but can't name one or more freedoms granted in the first amendment.

Shays, Johnson and Simmons aren't winning because they have vision and show leadership. They are winning because they get their names in the media and can raise more money than challengers.

It's not a question of linking them or not, but holding them accountable for what they have done, not done and more importantly that they put party politics above performing the basic duty of deliberating and examining the legislation that they are supposed to be doing.

The House leadership controls when a bill is introduced for a vote. I am appalled that bills are getting voted on that contain changes slipped in at the last minute. Real-ID is one of them, for example. Therefor the house leadership must be changed.

Anonymous said...

The mystery is solved. The real evil GOP mastermind isn't Karl Rove, it's Homer Simpson!

Franks said...

I've no problem with building new public facilities, but the principle behind taking residential or commercial property is the same.

Rell, probably sensing a quick political hit in the release of the Kelo decision, decided to take issue with the takings for the New London development long after the project was begun. Now after the Kelo decision and her own moratorium she using the same means.

bluecoat said...

Franks, you are absolutely right. Rell propably didn't even realize Kelo was closely tied to CT's economic develpment spending policies when she ran off at the mouth about robed robber barons in the Supremes. Rell, would not know Milton Freedman from Milton Berle. She only knows Rowlandnomics.

This contract was put together by DOT Public Transportation Commisssioner Harry Harris, a patronage appointee from Fairfield, before Rell was guv and before people starting talking about contracting reform and before Rell canned Harris for having a state contractor build him a new bathroom at home at market cost so he says. Suposedly he's under investigation but nobody in the press follows this stuff close enough to see the money trial and the hypocracy. Anything that eventually happens from Blumenthal or Morano will be carefully timed to help or hurt a corresponding election for sure

The DOT bridges and roadways for this will be three times bigger than it would have needed to be if they were ionly building a train station with parking. It was just Rowland giving pork to the Fairfield Republicans so they could stay in office. Then Flatto saw he had no choice but to jump on the bandwagon.

If you want to see how weak flatto is in running his shop just go here and here in the latest edition of the Fairfield Citizen

Anonymous said...

Rell builds a train station, it's bad

Rell doesn't built a train station its bad

Boy, it's easy to be a Democrat

Anonymous said...

Hey, there is ONE advantage to being out of power for decades: you get to criticize everything that has happened in your absence.

The power of the incumbency though, with its massive free media and fundraising pull, far outweighs the "win-win" of challenger criticism

bluecoat said...

It's not the train station; it's all the extra spending and extra taking by the government to support the big building program. It's easy to be a dumb partisan since the project has bi-partisan support. You are a meathead anonymous. I'm not a Democrat so don't worry. Remember it is we real Republicans that oppose taking from one property owner for the benefit of another.

Anonymous said...

bashing Jodi Rell for trying to fix Fairfield County's traffic problem makes you a real Republican?

yeah, whatever

turfgrrl said...

More on the importance of being earnest and the controlling party, this time we look at the Senate.

Except for one thing: Bill Frist has decided if they can't win on the merits, then he'll cheat. Frist threatened Harry Reid, in a letter delivered late on Friday, that he would change the composition of the Intel Committee unless they rubber stamped the Bush Administration's repeated illegal activity.

Guess Frist was hoping reporters would miss his smarmy threat of cheating if he dumped it in the late Friday news cycle...too bad for him, Glenn Greenwald caught it.
Frist specifically threatened that if the Committee holds NSA hearings, he will fundamentally change the 30-year-old structure and operation of the Senate Intelligence Committee so as to make it like every other Committee, i.e., controlled and dominated by Republicans to advance and rubber-stamp the White House’s agenda rather than exercise meaningful and nonpartisan oversight.

Yet again, Republicans are threatening to radically change long-standing rules for how our government operates all because they cannot manipulate the result they want. From redistricting games to changing the filibuster rules, when Republicans are incapable (even with their majorities) of manipulating the political result they want, they use their majority status to change how our government works in order to ensure the desired political outcome.

While Frist’s threat here is, in one sense, of a piece with those tactics, it is actually quite extraordinary and motivated by a particularly corrupt objective. The whole purpose of the Senate Intelligence Committee – the only reason why it exists – is to exercise oversight over controversial intelligence activities. Whatever else one might want to say about the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program, it is controversial on every front. There is no conceivable rationale for the Intelligence Committee not to hold hearings.
This truly is an unprecedented move: the Senate Majority Leader is threatening to make the Intelligence Committee a political rubber stamp because the White House and the Republican leadership are so terrified that the President's actions won't withstand scrutiny and will be found illegal by the Committee.
**end snip

...from firedoglake

Anonymous said...

Question for the meathead anonymous Republican? How does building a big commercial development facilitated by eminent domain and government pork barrel spending next to already congested I-95 fix a traffic problems? Do you think everybody takes mass transit to Stamford and Norwalk's Merritt?

A train station wrapped in gourmet bacon is still greasy pork. You must be a disciple of Ted Stevens and "earmarker" Tom Delay.

bluecoat said...

Whoops, I pushed the wrong button. That anonymous post at 12:11 was me.

And turfgrrl, Frist is a slimeball syccophant of Karl Rove's. He'll be out soon and he'll never do better than Howard Dean in getting down the road as a Presidential candidate. He's an emebarrasment for this Yankee Republican.

browntrout said...

Frist used to collect stray cats when he was in medical school and cut them up as practice cadavers so he could someday to become a skilled high priced surgeon. He told people he was findinga good home for the cats. He cheated then and he's cheating today.

Anonymous said...

anon 12;11 is a fan of Ron Paul, the late harry Browne and Ayn Rand.

Building high density development near transit hubs is simply SOP in the development community. They didn;t put Grand Central Terminal in a cornfield, which is where your economic theories work best

BTW, calling someone a "meathead" constantly proves you are Rob Reiner, not I

turfgrrl said...


I hope that Frist is shuffled out, but in the meanwhile he is carrying water for bad decisions. I was disheartened when Trent Lott was pushed out.

bluecoat said...

Anonymous the meathead would be right if the Fairfield County highways could take the high density load but they can't and there is nowhere to go because lower Fairfied County is in the low land. If the intention is to make Fairfield the center of a new big city like New York on Manhattan Island is with Grand central Station then somebody should tell the public. And the state should also plan on shutting down I-95 since there is no interstate through mid or lower manhattan. A long time ago New Jersey and many other states along the eastern corridor, where the DOT's are well trained and not just bridge builders, and the legislators over the long run decent and the governors have been educated not just in drinking games at places like Villanova (Johnny 'we hardly knew ya' Rowland and Western Rell)suburban depots were built. take for example the NJ DOT putting a major train station in suburbia near Metuchen where some well designed and constantly improved highways in the center of the state are. But they didn't load it up with a side of double supersized pork tenderloin devlopment the way Fairfield is trying to do to get some more local tax revenue while the state and federal government pump millions in to the project.

Maybe meathead only pays local taxes. If Ron Paul, a decent medical doctor, knew the details of this prescription he would cry FOUL. Meathead, you should have paid more attention in kindergarten because law school taught you not to listen but to win even when your client boss was a loser in Loretto.

reddick said...

Give 'em hell bluecoat. You've got a few things wrong but you're mostly right. There are too many meathead socialist Johnny 'give to my campaign' Republicans still hanging 'round even though he's gone (but back?) and driving good small businesses out of state" while padding the pockets of the latest campaign contributors and their lobbyists like these guys that gave to John 'the Realtors and I want Fairfied to be the new metropolis' Metsopolous.

And check this out Johnny's good bud Joe Gallo (that's what the caption says anyway) is meeting with a top union rep outside of Sikorskys
in the third down picture from the CT Post. Sikorsky's head, Stepehne Finger, has totally screwed up that company even going in with the wrong technical bid on Marine One.
Maybe that's why Gallo is meeting with the union. But why the guy that heads up grocery store workers?

bluecoat said...

Turffgrrl: Trent Lott has a lousy sense of humor but he was hardly a bigot. What he did in college was just what college kids do. and what he said at the party for Strom Thurmond, who never met a beauty queen that he didn't fall in love with, was a true joke that had nothing to do with what was going on in the country. Dodd helped pushed Lott out and Bush let him do because Lott kept getting in his way. Rove handpicked Frist to roadblock anybody with a sense of decency. Frist is in but not evey US Senator from the GOP side likes him. Even Pat Roberts was starting to sway but that's why Rove Frist made their move on the NSA program. It's a power struggle because Clinton used it too!!!

And reddick you want to vote for turffgrrl even if she is a Democrat.

Anonymous said...

If you've followed this thread in its entirety, give yourself a pat on the back, and Master's Degree! My head hurts...

For those of you at the top & center (Sorry, Fairfieldians)-- Rep. Simmons to speak at the Lincoln Day Dinner of the 7th Senatorial GOPers next Friday March 10th at the Windsor Locks KofC.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't confuse some malcontent who can repeat the term "meathead" ad nauseum with Stephen Hawking

Someone who's a little better informed than Anon 8:44am said...

You speak as though you know what you're talking about, but I'll caution you to stick with what you do, in fact, know and refrain from opining out of school on that which you don't.

Anonymous said...

In case people believe some tripe posted here:

RE: Development in NJ:


Deal Paves the Way for Construction of Main-Bergen Connection

CONTACT: Michael Klufas at NJ TRANSIT (973-491-7078)

CONTACT: Lynn Fleeger at NJ Turnpike Authority (732-247-0900, ext. 5601)

NEWARK, NJ, July 11, 2001 -- NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) and Allied Junction Corporation today finalized a joint development agreement that will lead to the construction of NJ TRANSIT's Main-Bergen Connection serving the Secaucus Transfer Station, a New Jersey Turnpike Interchange between Interchanges 15E and 16E on the Eastern Spur, and a potential office complex at the Secaucus Transfer Station site that would consist of 3.5 million square feet of office space and a hotel.

(Jeez, a lot bigger than the Fairfield project, eh)

RE: Gubernatorial integrity in NJ:

from Wikipedia "McGreevey's term was mired in controversy, from the credentials of several of his appointments to pay-for-play and extortion scandals involving many of his backers and key New Jersey Democratic fundraisers. On August 12, 2004, faced with reports that his former homeland security aide Golan Cipel would file a sexual harassment suit against him in Mercer County Court, McGreevey announced at a press conference that he was "a gay American," that he "engaged in an adult consensual affair with another man" (whom his aides immediately named as Cipel), and that he would resign effective November 15, 2004. Even though McGreevey's sexual orientation was reportedly well known to some New Jersey Democratic Party bosses, this announcement made McGreevey America's first openly gay governor. The Star-Ledger won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage. After only eight months in office, Cipel resigned from his homeland security post amid persistent complaints about his lack of qualifying experience for the position. Cipel lacked any relevant prior experience that would warrant such an appointment and could not gain a security clearance from the federal government, given that he was not a U.S. citizen."

(Say what you want about Jodi, I do not think Lou needs to be worried about her hiring some foreign hottie to do homeland security for the state)

I'm sure Mr. Reiner will be back with some enlightened response. NOT

Anonymous said...

Very well informed.. Anon that claims to know everything at 2:32.. maybe you shouldn't drink and post or maybe diaper changing clouding your memory.

rob reiner said...

Seacaucus ain't Fairfied and NJ DOT aren't scmucks when it comes to cutting deals.

You might want to check out two of my movies, A Few Good Men and Summer School. They both teach you about honor, responsability how not to taken for a patsy by opportunists.

bluecoat said...

About New Jersey we are talking about Tom Keane, you must know him since he headed up the 911 Commission and his kid is running as a Senator on the GOP line. And you may have heard of Christie Todd Whitman who was re-elected a few times and worked for Bush as EPA head until she would not compromise her past performance record in doing the bidding of big business without fairness. It takes a long time to corrupt the competence of agencies and McGreevy wasn't around long enough but he did a reasonable job anyway in many respects - and yeah his judgement got clouded on the Homeland Security job but it wasn't about money, it was about his personal life. it happens and he has paid for it in losing his job.

The new Fairfield station should be slightly bigger than the one Westport has in Greens Farms - or do you plan to build an office park there too - and the "Grand Central Station" as you put it belongs a couple a miles down the track in the center of the state's largest city, Bridgeport. that's not totally fair because Flatto spent a ton of town money putting out disiinformation and when things were looking bleak he even brought in the town attorney from westport, Ira Bloom, to do a little fancy footwork.

Meathead Anon probably helped Dick Cheney on how to sell the public on invading Iraq. Decide what it is you want and cheery pick and rationalize and cloud the issue.

You can't get through that area of Fairfied now during rush hour but I'm sure the Chris Buhl's and Joe McGee's of the world will hang in ther now that Chris Shays gave them a million federal bucks to continue to push Rowlandnomics and the personal agenda of a few misguided souls who never saw a problem they couldn't solve over and over agin with more government money!

Ta Ta

reddick said...

The anonynous poster at 2:32 sounds an awful lot like old man Rumsfield talks. Maybe Team Rove CT is on this blog worried that a few Republicans that are true to Teddy Roosevelt and Abrahma Lincoln are trying to emerge in conversing with the public and the enemy. They all talk alike.

Give 'em hell bluecoat because Fairfield and Bridgeport are getting screwed. Chris Caruso called this deal 'bigotry' at a little eminent domain hearing up at the North branch library with Hennessy and Drew (the new state rep Democrat from Fairfield) late last year. Drew from Fairfied was silent about Chris's comment.

But I guess this is the end of the line for Fairfield tonite.

Anonymous said...

reddick and bluecoat are right to at least put this deal out in the open for more people to see but it is a done deal and its been a done deal for several years. The power brokers and every political whore and toady is behind it. If I could work the etch-sketch on this thing I'd post a picture. This Fairfield baby will cost twice what the DOT has budgeted by the time it is over because it doesn't address the issues around exit 25 that need to be addresseed. It will be worse than Merritt 7 is today and we're looking at what $100 mil or so to straigten out that interchange out of state and federal coffers. Yeah, Norwalk got all kinds of tax revenue and tax breaks form the state but it's a netzerosum game looking at the big picture over time. Yeah get the cars off I-95 like the Republicans say but don't put anymore cars on any roads for tax revenue - the office park. ken'sfriend up there is either drinking the koolaid real well or publishing the same old Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart/Town Atty Dick Saxl/First Selectman Ken Flatto Democrat big government cut and paste.

Nice blogsite.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Rob , hire a good defense lawyer about ripping off the California treasury for self-promoting ads?

Evidnently the insult to solution ratio in the Town of Fairfield is rather lopsided. Glad I don;t live there

Anonymous said...

BTW, Reiner etal...youse guys don;t know jack about Jersey or Christie Whitman

read on

"With a NJ Turnpike toll increase under discussion, the big question is whether drivers should pay for new Turnpike connectors that primarily serve land developers (see MTR #218). Among other things, a toll increase would pay for Route 92, which will feature a special off-ramp for the Princeton Forrestal Center in Plainsboro, and the Secaucus Interchange, which is primarily designed for development at Allied Junction.

On Wednesday, NBC Channel 4 confronted Governor Whitman on the issue. She responded, "any toll hike would be for maintenance of the entire road." Perhaps toll road officials have not completely filled the Governor in - the numbers below tell a different story. Instead, the Turnpike Authority could reduce the proposed increase and take a cue from the Delaware River Port Authority, which is targeting a toll increase entirely to bridge and train system rehabilitation"

Meathead away...

from the grave mark felt said...

Go for it woodstein. Follow the money on the Fairfield deal.

Blackie's dogs on Fridays said...

Did anyone else see something about Rell saying "I support the Catholic Churches, but if they pass it, I might sign it. She's the ultimate compromise governor.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous expert on Jersey has the right analogy because the developer won't kick in a dime on this Fairield deal when it is all done being built by DOT through state and federal funding. You may not live in Fairfield but you're going to pay for it.

Watching the Fairfield governement work as Bob Greenberger describes a little bit on his blog Genghis shows to the right is like watching a school of fish scurry around in the surf.

And mark felt, nice try but Flatto is shifty but he alwasys comes up clean if not just a little wet. A couple years ago the Republicans got his chief of staff doing a deal with a local property owners association to maintain and repave their roads in exchange for a short sewer easement to a new school. The association was represented by an attorney who just happened to be the moderator of the RTM, Joel Green. It was a sweet sweet deal for the association. Flatto said he knew nothing about it and then nixed it and paid them market price for the easement the way it was supposed to happen in the rest of the world. Flatto had a town contractor build a bathroom for him too and Turner Construction hired his kid but the Democrats said it was all on the up and up.
Fairfield is a suburb of Bridgeport so not many people hear about this stuff.

from the grave mark felt said...

Follow the money.

Look at who is on the Fairfield Economic Commission and look at who owns property in the area that stands to gain from all this where the DOT is taking property and building a four lane bridge. The guy that owns the building where Pepe's Pizza will be going has already unloaded one of his office buildings in the area to a New York company at a hefty price.

Follow the money. Look at what's going on in Black Rock with the special exception the Bridgeport zoning gave to a Fairfield politically connected developer to put up condos in a commercial district that was once a car dealership and look at where the car dealerships have all been growing up in Fairfield across the line. It's not dirty dealings but it is dirty politics.

Follow the money honey.

reddick said...

Let's be a little bit fair here too. When State Rep. Stone took on Flatto for the top town job last year he prosed a town ordinance banning taking property by eminent domain for economic development. He limited it to taking of a person's house though only trying to evoke a little emeotion in the electorate.

The commercial property owners who are having their properties 'taken' a happier than pigs in poop. The lawsuits against the town were just about driving up the price in negotiations. Everybody has a price in Fairfield politics.

I just couldn't resist, meathead said...

Why would a class act hotel chain like Hilton want to move back in to the center of Bridgeport especially now that Fabrizi and Rell have decided to grant the wishes of their now convicted predeccessors' to put a kids' jail there right on the waterfront in center city? You don't hear Bloomberg and Pataki talking palns for a jail for near Grand Central!
How about Seacaucus? Are they getting a jail on top of the old dump?

air boss said...

Ghostwriter, the pattern is full.

But you did forget to mention how team Flatto tried to dump the Conservation Director because he wouldn't back the destruction of the site. He finally capitulated didn't he now.

goose said...

Don't do it mav.

maverick said...

these guys don't know anything about Fairfield. It's not exit 24 that's the big problem, it's exit 25 at Black Rock Turnpike. get Archie at fairfield Lighting out of the way and we're home free.

air boss said...

damn that guy, I'm going to have his royal bass.

jester said...

what's so nutty about this Fairfield project is that the state has designated it as a "major traffic generator" for review by the State Traffic Commission while meathead up there calls it a major traiffic mitigator.

viper said...

The DOT proposed this draconian Stamford type parking garage for downtown Fairfield and evrybody freaked out. The state owns the lot on the north side of the main train station and all they have to do is put a nice deck on top of it that won't bother anybody and add the parking that's needed. This other thing they are talking about can thane just be an area suburban commuter trin stop. BOth together will cost less dough.

Kelly McGillis said...

I'd like to play "Charlie" the hot PhD Engineer if you guys need some technical assistance down there.

MEG RYAN said...

OK, Kelly so you made it big in this one but I made it big in When Harry met Sally and I know something about Fairfield. I live at the beach when I was doing the Soaps in Manhattan. That downtown train station is a dump and it needs to be cleaned up for handicapped people and everyday people. The people that run the town are always building something new to please the trade unions and always letting wht they have go to the dogs.

Ok, Goose: take me to bed or lose me forever, wahooo

stinger said...

Nice job, now get the hell out of here, all of you before the wackos at Connecticut Conservative catch on.