Monday, September 13, 2021

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Is America capable of uniting for or against anything anymore, as we did 20 years ago? As one Facebook commenter cracked, "I don't think America could unite behind a love of ice cream, let alone something important." We are way too far gone:

I really derive no enjoyment from being such a pessimist, but I don’t think we can unite anymore on any matter of urgent public policy. We can’t even agree on the depravity of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol in Washington. Another Monmouth survey conducted earlier this summer found that half of Republican voters characterize the violent attack as “legitimate protest.”

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Monday, August 30, 2021

Angry Cheshire Provocateurs Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves

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Pretty shocking stuff. Rudeness and stupidity know no bounds, especially among a "seething collection of maskless misfits."

As Albert Einstein once observed, “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” For an egghead, Einstein possessed uncommon common sense. Look no farther than the Nutmeg State for proof ...

A belligerent woman got into Linehan's face and shouted insults at the lawmaker as she walked out of the building. The same woman and the bearded man accosted Lamont as he, too, attempted to exit the building. When a trooper tried to protect Lamont by raising his arm, the bearded man screamed, "Don’t you fucking touch me!" Another man likened Lamont's order to "Nazi Germany."

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Cuomo Resignation Brings Back Memories in Connecticut

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Perhaps there are lessons here in Connecticut for Kathy Hochul as she is sworn in to become New York's 57th governor. If you had to choose, would you go with the Bill O'Neill model or the Jodi Rell approach?

On July 1, 2004, -- the day Gov. John G. Rowland resigned, I was wondering exactly who Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell was. Turns out she was a somewhat obscure backbencher in the state House of Representatives and struggled to make the transition to being in charge after years of performing mostly ceremonial duties in a job that was so meaningless that, IMHO, it should be eliminated.

Suffice it to say that, like Hochul, Jodi Rell was put on the ribbon-cutting circuit. That can cause the new governor to continue some bad habits. During virtually her entire governorship, Rell struggled to transition out of LG mode. Even after becoming the state’s chief executive, Rell was forever schlepping around to ribbon cuttings and giving interviews to 500-watt radio stations.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Medical Behemoth’s Marketing Strategy Raises Troubling Questions

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Hartford HealthCare, perhaps the state's preeminent healthcare organization, has a peculiar and less-than-honest marketing strategy: blanket the media, especially television, with advertising that looks like news and place its doctors and executives on those same stations to be interviewed by actual journalists.

The practice raises ethical questions -- less on the part of HCC itself than on the stations that host these ads and segments. The line between marketing and news is being blurred, no doubt because of the sustaining revenues generated for participating media outlets.

The problem ... is that HHC's TV advertising strategy has expanded to the point that it relies heavily on commercials designed to look like news segments. The company's experts are often interviewed by journalists – or paid hosts who look like journalists or are former journalists – but ask softball questions. I first noticed this trend about a year ago. I figured it would go away as soon as the pandemic started to fade. I was wrong.

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Garbage Watch: Could Bailing Out MIRA Be Cheaper and Cleaner?

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Connecticut's largest trash-to-energy plant is scheduled to shut down next July. The state is balking at the $330 million price tag to build a new one. So what to do with all that garbage? The state's solution is to ship the trash out of state to several landfills. The latter solution will also come at great cost, but how much will the state have to spend? I have seen no estimates, but isn't this something we need to know before dismissing the idea of rebuilding the MIRA plant?

As counterintuitive as it sounds, it may be that rescuing the odious MIRA will actually be less painful to our wallets and friendlier to the environment. Like that stinky garbage barge that eventually returned to New York, Connecticut’s trash just might be better dealt with at home.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

In 2022, Without Trump To Kick Around, What Happens To CT’s GOP?

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Where does CT's GOP go from here? I'd say the outlook is bleak: thousands have left the party since the election in November. and the state party just hired as its head Trump's 2016 state campaign director. Trump has 30% approvals in CT. Problems? What problems?

The last time a Republican held statewide office was when Gov. M. Jodi Rell left the Capitol on New Year’s Day, 2011. The last Republican U.S. senator was Lowell Weicker, who was defeated in a reelection bid by Joe Lieberman in 1988. Chris Shays, the last GOP congressman, was denied reelection in 2008 when he lost to Democrat Jim Himes ...

The events of Jan. 6 did not sit well with most people in the land of steady habits. The GOP in Connecticut has lost more than 6,500 voters since Election Day 2020, nearly a 300% increase over the number who defected during the three-month period after the 2016 presidential election.

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Monday, June 21, 2021

Unlikely Allies: Of Lamont, Boehner, Cannabis and Taxes

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Last week, recreational pot was legalized in Connecticut and Gov. Ned Lamont sat down for a video chat with, of all people, former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, who has himself become a cannabis entrepreneur.

The deed has been done and the long wait is over. Sometime next year, Connecticut residents will be able to buy cannabis products without traveling to Massachusetts or meeting some guy behind a van in a fast-food parking lot.

In response to my kicker about Rep. Eversource, one reader accused me of engaging in "sexist attacks" against former House Minority Leader and presumptive gubernatorial candidate Themis Klarides. My response is below: