Category — Columns
The Pope took his leave last week, leaving many of the flock bewildered. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, a popular broadcasting phenomenon at the dawn of the television age, would have explained it all on his weekly show.
He was a singular presence in America.
March 3, 2013 Comments Off
Virginia Postrel explains it.
The Telegraph reminds us that it remains the Steve Jobs of obituaries–the best.
The marvelous Rob Long on The Right Kind of Tyrant.
October 6, 2011 Comments Off
Governor Dannel P. Malloy and energy and environment commissioner Daniel Esty don’t agree on the fundamentals of Esty’s authority of his powerful position. The Courant reported yesterday that Esty received a $7,500 speaking fee from Connecticut utility United Illuminating in 2009. Esty’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection regulates UI.
Malloy today waved away questions about the conflict between Esty’s relationship with UI and his new role as a regulator. The Courant reports that Malloy said “that Esty ‘doesn’t really’ have direct oversight” over UI. Esty, appearing at the same event in Hartford, appears to take a different view. The Cheshire Democrat says he will be judged “by what I do with electric rates.” That suggests that the bumptious Esty thinks he is invested with direct power over the companies who comprise the utility industry in Connecticut, including UI.
Esty’s clumsiness in the public arena will continue to draw attention.
October 5, 2011 Comments Off
Third District Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro has hollered. The veteran congresswoman participated by phone in her first storm management conference Tuesday afternoon with Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s team of top officials monitoring and directing storm recovery operations.
Sounding vexed, DeLauro hijacked the meeting to talk about issues that had been addressed by the group at other storm confabs. Daily Ructions has learned that a senior official was implored and deputized to intervene to restore productivity to the meeting.
DeLauro, sources report, is on vacation in a distant locale eating unlabeled food while the district she has represented for 11 terms continues to struggle.
August 31, 2011 Comments Off
State Senator Edith Prague (D-Columbia) can be a nasty piece of work. The veteran legislator lives in a world of saints and sinners. Now and then she succumbs to an outbreak of empathy. She went off script and leaped into the headlines with her comments about nailing the fiend Joshua Komisarjevky by his John Thomas to a Main Street tree. It may have been devoid of subtlety and too vivid for these times, but she is correct that she had the right to say it. Komisarjevsky’s defenders, she agrees, also have the right to criticize her. The lady has no trouble defending herself.
A relentless partisan bruiser, Prague did not incite or threaten. In some ways, it was her version of a softer moment as she joined with Dr. William Petit in opposing the repeal of the death penalty. Prague merely expressed an aspiration that was not, one suspects, exclusively hers.
May 12, 2011 9 Comments
Well-known Litchfield Democrat Audrey Blondin contacted Daily Ructions today to say that she’s considering a run in the 5th congressional district. The cell towers and coffee shops of western Connecticut will be groaning with political chatter this weekend.
Blondin served on the Litchfield Board of Selectman from 1993-2003. She’s a member of the Democratic State Central Committee and practices law in Torrington. She made a brief bid for secretary of the state in 2005 while Susan Bysiewicz undertook a quixotic and dreary run for governor before retreating back to her office, causing Blondin and others to abandon their plans. In that cycle, Blondin came close to becoming John DeStefano’s running-mate, but lost that insider contest to West Hartford’s Scott Slifka.
You can read her resume here. She’s done good works in Nicaragua. Her resume suggests she’s far more PC than Mac. Nevertheless, she has many friends in 5th district Democratic circles. She would benefit from a reapportionment plan that puts all of Torrington into the district.
January 21, 2011 1 Comment
Judge Robert Chatigny was not included in President Obama’s winter crop of winter judicial nominations. Judge Chatigny had twice been nominated for the Second Circuit at the urging of Senator Christopher Dodd in his final year in office. Chatigny was the only nominee not renominated from among the dozens who failed to win Senate confirmation last year.
With Dodd gone from the Senate, Senators Joseph Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal will have considerable influence on the next nominee to fill the vacancy. Daily Ructions understands that federal Judge Christopher Droney, of West Hartford, is receiving serious attention from Lieberman and Blumenthal. Judge Droney, who’s been on the bench for 13 years, is free of the controversy that dogged Chatigny, his 2005 intervention to stop the execution of serial killer Michael Ross. In sharp relief, Judge Droney ruled that Ross was competent to waive appeals of his death sentence before Judge Chatigny inserted himself in the controversy.
Judge Droney was a popular mayor of West Hartford and considered a moderate Democrat while he served in public life. He was Connecticut’s United States Attorney from 1993-1997. His brother, vivid former Connecticut Democratic state chairman John Droney, has long been a vocal member of Lieberman’s inner circle and is also thought to be friendly with Blumenthal.
January 6, 2011 Comments Off
Judge Robert Chatigny’s nomination to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals was first on the agenda today but the Senate Judiciary Committee took no action. The Connecticut judge has seen his nomination languish over charges that he misused his authority in 2005 when he intervened to halt the execution of serial killer Michael Ross.
With the work of the Senate nearly done, it appears that Chatigny’s nomination is dead. Others covet the prized seat on the influential court and will not be reluctant to climb over the wreckage of the Chatigny nomination to claim it. Even those who were reluctant to take a run at it may have cause to reconsider their positions.
December 1, 2010 Comments Off
You may recall Nancy Tyler from the summer of 2009. She was abducted from a Hartford parking garage and held by her ex-husband, Richard Shenkman, at his South Windsor home. Nancy escaped when her ex-husband was distracted by local police outside his house. The house went up in flames as Mr. Shenkman told police to shoot him. He’s charged with many crimes and resides in a state prison, awaiting trial.
Nancy talked to me recently about life before and after her ordeals. You can read it here.
September 19, 2010 Comments Off
How could Ned Lamont be so confused and misleading over a straightforward issue like a debate. He told the editorial board at The Norwich Bulletin that representatives from his and rival Dan Malloy’s campaigns had not met to discuss the format and rules for a debate sponsored by The Day newspaper and WTNH/Channel 8. Trouble for Lamont is that minutes of the meeting at which Lamont and Malloy campaign officials were present have been circulated with a mixture of astonishment and glee by the Malloy campaign.
Lamont further damages his credibility on the debate over debates by saying he’d agreed to three. If that means post-convention televised encounters, then he’s still two shy. The New London debate and one sponsored by WFSB and WNPR would fill in that growing gap in gabfests. Lamont is digging in with no obvious advantage in the offing. Remaining obstinate in the pursuit of the trivial is no virtue. Lamont’s inability to manage a graceful resolution is beginning to raise questions about his judgment and competence to handle more complicated challenges.
July 22, 2010 4 Comments