Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) on Wednesday put a C-SPAN caller in his place after he asked the congressman to defend President Obama from a laundry list of scandals coveted by conservatives.
The caller rattled off a list including Benghazi, the IRS scandal, NSA surveillance, Fast and Furious and the Veterans Affairs scandal. He also asked Himes to address the theory that Obama was responsible for the 2013 federal government shutdown, not Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
"Any other president would have been laughed out of office by now if he'd have been a Republican," the caller said. "This guy gets away with murder!"
"That was quite a list," Himes said after the caller completed his recitation of 20 or so scandals and conspiracies.
The congressman began to defend Obama, but instead suggested a different news diet to the caller.
"I will try to attend to defend - actually, I'm not going to," Himes said. "Look, with all due respect, Bob, maybe a little more C-SPAN and a little bit less Fox News. That was the grab bag of everything that Fox News and my friends on the Republican Caucus of the House in particular have tried to hang around the president."
Himes isn't on my Dem Fav list, but he gets an A+ from me about how he handled this caller.
The plea resonated throughout the parking lot of the former Gateway Community College Long Wharf campus. The phrase "not one more deportation" emblazoned a placard in Spanish. Another one read, in capital letters, "We didn't cross the border. The border crossed us."
Brandishing these posters and banners, over 50 immigration activists and community members convened at 60 Sargent Dr. Tuesday afternoon to protest Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's dismissal of a federal request to temporarily house 2,000 undocumented children from Central America.
The rally stressed the plight of these displaced minors, who have crossed the southern U.S. border often in flight from violence, and called for comprehensive action from Malloy to ensure their well-being in Connecticut. Activists also sought to put a human face on the issue: Several Guatemalan children, most of whom crossed the border little over a month ago, spoke up during the event to share their stories of hardship and hopes for asylum.
Poverty among children living in Connecticut has increased by 50 percent since the Annie E. Casey Foundation began keeping track in 1990, according to an annual report from the foundation.
The sobering statistic was part of a mixed bag of good and bad numbers in the 25th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book released this week. The report tracks the well-being of children in all 50 states and the nation as a whole. The status of children is measured by indicators like kids' economic situation, education, health, and family situation. The report is based on data from 2010 to 2012.
Overall, Connecticut ranks seventh in child well-being, which is an improvement from last year when the state ranked at an all-time low of ninth place.
But the state's high overall rankings can be misleading, Connecticut Association for Human Services policy analyst Tamara Kramer said at a Tuesday press conference.
"We know the state's overall performance masks major disparities between children of color and their white peers," she said.
A landmark education funding trial was supposed to start on Sept. 9, but according to the parties involved it will be moved to January 2015 - months after the November election.
Last January, Superior Court Judge Kevin Dubay refused to push the trial past the November election as the state requested, but the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding - the group that filed the lawsuit - said Tuesday that they agreed to a trial date of Jan. 6, 2015.
The group has been fighting the state to properly fund pre-K through 12th-grade public schools since November 2005. They had been hoping in 2011, when Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy took office, that he would seek to settle the lawsuit since he was one of the original plaintiffs. But it was a tough ask for a governor who was already struggling to hold cities and towns harmless when he needed to find money to replace the federal stimulus funds the previous administration had used in order to boost the Education Cost Sharing formula.
The plaintiffs have continued to put pressure on the Malloy administration to settle the lawsuit - a move that may have been easier to do during his re-election campaign - but said they weren't upset with the January 2015 trial date.
"The January trial date will enable CCJEF to gather information from the fall term of the 2014-15 school year and give additional time for other evidence collection." CCJEF Project Director Dianne Kaplan deVries said Tuesday in a press release.
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Governor Dannel "Dan" Malloy ushered in the Charter School Industry to Connecticut as part of his corporate education reform initiative in 2012. As part of his "education reforms,"
Malloy become the only Democratic governor in the nation to propose doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in so-called "turnaround schools."
Malloy uttered his infamous observation that all teachers had to do was show up for four years and they'd get tenure.
In defense of his plans to implement the unfair, inappropriate and expensive Common Core and Common Core testing scheme, Malloy said he didn't mind teaching to the test as long as the test scores went up.
And Malloy handed Connecticut's State Department of Education over to corporate education reform aficionados like Commissioner Stefan Pryor, Special Master Steven Adamowski, education reform extraordinaire Paul Vallas and the charter school industry.
In the past two and a half years, Connecticut taxpayers have we've seen tens of millions of dollars in public funds diverted to feed the monster known as the emerging education reform industry.
Scarce taxpayer resources wasted on the Common Core, the Common Core Test, the unfair teacher evaluation program and for charter schools that fail to meet the most basic standards of accountability.
But over the past few months, the tide has been turning and truth about Malloy, Malloy's administration, the "education reformers" and the charter schools have been coming out.
The collapse of the Jumoke/FUSE charter school chain was just the beginning - the time has come when the education reformers will finally being held accountable for their actions.
As the Hartford Courant is reporting today in an article entitled, More Federal Subpoenas In Hartford Charter School Probe,
HARTFORD - City and state educators said Monday that they had been served with subpoenas by a federal grand jury examining the expenditure of millions of dollars in public money by the troubled charter school management company FUSE.
The subpoenas were issued Friday to the Hartford Public Schools and the state Department of Education, both of which have had extensive dealings with the state-subsidized FUSE, short for the Family Urban Schools of Excellence.
FUSE was created in 2012 as a management company that used public and private money to take over failing, inner-city public schools and operate them as public charter schools. FUSE's management agreements with public school systems gave it wide discretion over spending on salaries, rents, curriculum, equipment and other items.
A series of embarrassing disclosures in the past month appears to have crippled FUSE, costing the organization all its management business, worth more than $1 million a year. The closely affiliated Jumoke Academy fired FUSE as manager of its three Hartford charter schools. Schools in Bridgeport and New Haven severed ties with FUSE, and educators in Louisiana, concerned about events in Connecticut, pulled FUSE from a charter school set to open in Baton Rouge next month.
The public is learning the truth and the charter school industry and their public official allies will finally be held accountable for their actions.
When it comes to the immaturity of New Britain's laughable mayor Erin Stewart, Kevin Rennie only scrathced the surface and contrary to the Hartford Courant, a good deal of her atonishing behavior happened while she was in public service.
It's atonishing that someone as juvenile and immature of Stewart could be elected to anything let along the top elected official of a municipality...unfortunately, most of the public had no idea what they were getting into when they made Stewart the city's top elected potty mouth party girl.
Well, I plan to pick up where Rennie left off and expose the TRUE Stewart to the residents of New Britain and the public...hopefully the residents of the state's sixth largest city will make a wise choice and show this class clown the door next year.
The legislature's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus wrote Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday to ask him to reconsider his decision denying the federal government's request to house some of the thousands of immigrant children fleeing Central America.
Rep. Juan Candelaria, D-New Haven, said they understand the Southbury Training School, which houses developmentally disabled adults, may not be suitable but urged the governor to find another location in Connecticut.
"While the rhetoric of blame for the current situation of these innocent children rises, we ask you to reconsider your refusal to provide assistance to the federal government in alleviating this humanitarian emergency," the caucus wrote in their letter to Malloy.
It's shameful that Gov. Malloy is turning his back on the immigrant community for political purposes but this is the same governor who stood in solidarity with rank and file union members and teachers when it suited his purpose only to stabbed the groups in the back once his transformation from Dan to Dannel was complete.
Letter from the Black and Latino caucus to Gov. Malloy is below.
Latino advocates are reacting with disappointment, dismay and anger over the Malloy administration's decision to reject a federal request to house up to 2,000 immigrant children from Central America at the Southbury Training School.
"This is a humanitarian crisis and we are saddened that this was a missed opportunity to take a leadership position to help people seeking refuge," said Werner Oyanadel of the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.
For the Democratic party, the full-throttled support of teachers' unions in Connecticut is a given rule-like "I before E, except after C." But now, when topics such as Common Core, teacher evaluations, charter schools and the "achievement gap" are added, Gov. Dan Malloy risks becoming that "after C" exception.
Malloy must claw his way to a second term. He is tied with Republican candidate Tom Foley in the most recent (May 9) Quinnipiac University poll of this year's governor's race. He barely beat Foley in the 2010 governor's race, and now faces a challenge from his left flank as former Mansfield state representative Jonathan Pelto is running as a third-party candidate focused almost entirely on the education issue.
The race for the State Senate race in the 2nd district heats up.
City Council President Shawn Wooden charged Wednesday that state Sen. Eric Coleman, D-2nd District, improperly used a taxpayer-funded newsletter for political purposes.
Wooden is challenging Coleman in an Aug. 12 primary. The 2nd District includes Hartford, Bloomfield and Windsor.
"Instead of blindly embracing a $60 million giveaway to out-of-town businessmen to build a sports stadium, I've fought to help local small businesses grow jobs in our neighborhoods with the Small Business Express program," Coleman wrote.
"After 31 years in office, Senator Coleman should know better than to improperly use state resources on a political campaign," Wooden said in a statement. "This mailing is, at worst, illegal and violates state election law. At best, it is an unethical, gross abuse of taxpayers' funds.
Coleman said Wednesday that the mailing complied with state law.
"I think the Wooden campaign is feeling a little desperate at this point," Coleman said. "They can't find any other issue, so they seized on this. It's a tactic of questionable judgment."
A state trooper, caught on his own dashboard camera stealing a dying motorist's cash and gold crucifix, is facing up to a year and a half in prison.
Aaron "AJ" Huntsman, a 19-year veteran of the state police, pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon under the Alford Doctrine to third-degree larceny and tampering with evidence - both felonies.
Although Huntsman, 45, could have faced up to 10 years in prison on the two charges, Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin said he would impose a term in prison of 16 months, followed by five years of probation.
Huntsman's lawyer, Ryan McGuigan, does have the right to argue for a lesser term when Huntsman is sentenced Oct. 3
Huntsman walked out of the courtroom with a big smile on his face following the hearing. He declined comment.