Open Forum

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Tomorrow, Barack Obama is inaugurated as 44th president of the United States. He will come into office with a deep reservoir of good will from most in the public, but he will inherit a mountain of problems. Join me in wishing him the very best, and the wisdom to guide the nation through its current crisis.

Jim Amann is hitting the campaign trail, CTNJ reports. His campaign has announced stops today, tomorrow and Wednesday. Now there’s a press release list I’m not on. Keep an eye on CTNJ, Christine has promised to get some reaction from Amann about his new job and his gubernatorial run this afternoon.

Speaking of Amann, Colin McEnroe suggests that if we’re annoyed by his new job (and we are), we ought to contact the nearest Democratic House member, and ask them to bring it up in caucus. Good idea. I would be much obliged if my State Rep., Karen Jarmoc, would do so.

Legislative staffers account for most of the legislature’s $67 million budget. Many will find themselves on the chopping block. I know who should be first!

Ken Krayeske reports on the demolition of a historic building in Hartford (h/t Real Hartford). Meanwhile, Hartford and other cities are looking to the federal government for stimulus funds.

The Courant recommends censure for Sen. Gaffey. I sincerely hope that the Senate doesn’t just let this pass.

Naugatuck Democrats choose former State Rep. and deputy mayor Kevin Knowles for mayor. Look for a primary here, though, from former deputy mayor Bob Mezzo and Naugatuck Taxpayers in Revolt President Dave Cronin.

Local governments are staring into the abyss, as budget deficits mount.

Lastly, as Tim White reminds me, this site turned four years old this weekend. That’s about ten million in blog years.

What else is going on?

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29 responses to “Open Forum

  1. BruceDRubenstein9

    Jim Amann is a non-starter for me..

  2. I wish Obama the best of luck and hope he succeeds. But I still subscribe to the school of thought that money doesn’t grow on trees… and expect to have differences with his monetary and fiscal policy from the outset… I may find agreement with him on foreign policy though.

  3. Great idea by Colin Mc… though it’s similar to Gaffey… if the Gang of 187 wouldn’t do anything when Deluca was convicted… why would they care about ethical-impairment? If you’re Under the Gold Dome, you can do no wrong!

  4. Btw GC… I seem to recall a certain unnamed blog turning 4 this weekend?

  5. Btw GC… I seem to recall a certain unnamed blog turning 4 this weekend?

    Holy crap, I missed it. I knew there was something about the 17th! Thanks for the reminder.

  6. You’re a terrible father!!! haha… j/k… my blog was born on Jan 17, 2006… exactly one year after CTLP… and you gave me advice on how to raise my little blog… and ummm… i forgot to wish TWL a happy birthday also… so doing it right now.

    Happy Birthday CTLP and thanks to all the members who help make it happen a more transparent and accountable government a reality!

  7. Happy birthday to one of the greatest Republicans of the 20th Century.

    I’ll take it as progress that both sides try to claim the great Dr. King.

    It’ll be even more interesting should Republicans elect, say, Michael Steele or Ken Blackwell to be their chairman. The more pluralistic both parties are, the better America will be.

  8. I’ll take it as progress that both sides try to claim the great Dr. King.

    “Progress”? Democrats have no right to claim him. “Revisionist history” is more like it.

  9. “Progress”? Democrats have no right to claim him. “Revisionist history” is more like it.

    You win the irony prize, Jack, there’s no way anyone else can top that one.

  10. You win the irony prize, Jack, there’s no way anyone else can top that one.

    Maybe I’m missing something. By all accounts, Martin Luther King, Jr., was never a Democrat, and throughout his life, Democrats did little to nothing in concert with his causes. Are you saying it’s ironic that Democrats are now trying to claim him? What’s your point?

  11. Maybe I’m missing something.

    History: 1965-2008

  12. Ichabod Crane

    What’s your point?

    He’s calling Republicans racist in not so many words.

  13. History: 1965-2008

    Oh. Now I get it: the “progress” is that Democrats have finally come around to embrace Dr. King’s causes. Congratulations, Democrats.

  14. He’s calling Republicans racist in not so many words.

    Sure I am, Ichabod. What is wrong with you?

    I’m not trying to bash Republicans. It’s just disingenuous of Jack to try to claim King’s legacy as an exclusively Republican one. That is simply not true. It’s also disingenuous to suggest that Democrats finally came around to King’s point of view, which apparently was the GOP’s view forever. That is also not true, and ignores just how complicated and diverse both parties have always been.

    It’s also not true that King was a Republican. The King Center in Atlanta says there is no proof that King was ever a Republican. Most African-Americans were Republicans up through the 1950s, but that (as you know) changed.

  15. I’m not saying that his legacy is exclusively Republican. I’m saying that it’s truly ironic that Democrats believe that they’ve been the defenders of minorities’ rights forever, when this is just plain wrong. They were dragged into the Civil Rights Era kicking and screaming.

  16. I’m not saying that his legacy is exclusively Republican. I’m saying that it’s truly ironic that Democrats believe that they’ve been the defenders of minorities’ rights forever, when this is just plain wrong. They were dragged into the Civil Rights Era kicking and screaming.

    Some were. Others were not. There was a divide between the Northern and Southern wings of the party.

  17. AndersonScooper

    I’m not saying that his legacy is exclusively Republican. I’m saying that it’s truly ironic that Democrats believe that they’ve been the defenders of minorities’ rights forever, when this is just plain wrong. They were dragged into the Civil Rights Era kicking and screaming.

    Hey Jack, the Southern racists who were part of the Democratic Party all switched sides to become Republicans!

    So claim Abraham Lincoln all you want, it has little to do with your modern day party, you know the one in which Sarah Palin is touted as the new hope.

    And that you want to lay claim to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King? Yeah, right. That one’s gonna fly…

  18. Hey Jack, the Southern racists who were part of the Democratic Party all switched sides to become Republicans!

    Right. Good one.

  19. Ichabod Crane

    Robert KKK Byrd

  20. Can someone please produce a list of Democrats that took an active part in the Underground Railroad?

    Personally I’m so sick of watching the Dems take various minority voting blocks for granted I could puke.

    Yes Scooper it’s true; the Republicans have allowed a handful of bigots past the door and into the tent; personally I think they should be dealt with, with extreme predjudice.

    Of course, as this almost 3 year old post would indicate; I am an Authentic Connecticut Republican

  21. Robert KKK Byrd

    It’s not my job to defend Democrats, but in fairness, he’s an old man now and has apologized countless times for that.

  22. I’ll take it as progress that both sides try to claim the great Dr. King.

    I take it you failed to read the link Dobb posted to the 2006 Francis Rice piece.

    It’s worth a read:
    From its founding in 1854 as the anti-slavery party until today, the Republican Party has championed freedom and civil rights for blacks.

    Consider the language of LBJ and the actions of now full canonized Bobby Kennedy towards MLK.

    No way does the KKK Democratic Party have any business laying any claim what-so-ever to King.

    Sweep the truth under the rug all you like; it’s still a lie to associate the Democratic Party with anything less than one overtly bigoted act after another.

    OTOH, you could fairly associate them with countless lynchings.

  23. I was going to leave this insane conversation alone, but I just can’t let this nonsense go unanswered.

    ACR, you’re leaving out about forty years of history, there. You’re telling me it never happened? Goldwater opposing the Civil Rights Act? The Southern Strategy? “Welfare queens”? Opposition to busing? Affirmative action? John McCain’s “black baby” as an attack (and a successful one)? Trent Lott? The “states rights” dog whistle (used by St. Ronnie, among others)? George Allen? “Barack the Magic Negro”?

    It never happened? You can’t stand there and tell me it didn’t.

    The “KKK Democratic Party” hasn’t existed for decades. A huge majority of African-Americans are Democrats, if they belong to a party. When asked why, Republicans come up with patronizing nonsense, like the garbage in that article (Human Events, by the way, is a cess pool for the very worst of conservatism) which suggests that the whole thing has been a big bamboozle perpetuated by secretly racist Democrats. This paragraph, for instance:

    After wrongly convincing black Americans that a minimum wage increase was a good thing, the Democrats on August 3 kept their promise and killed the minimum wage bill passed by House Republicans on July 29. The blockage of the minimum wage bill was the second time in as many years that Democrats stuck a legislative finger in the eye of black Americans.

    What a load. I’m supposed to believe that Republicans were out there on the floor of the House, demanding a minimum wage increase? …Hey, weren’t you some of the guys arguing that the minimum wage was bad on this very site some months ago? Why, yes!

    The idea behind this whole article and argument is that blacks are far too dumb to know what’s good for them, and can’t make their own choices intelligently. If only they’d go out and get to work instead of lazing around, taking the handouts Democrats are giving them!

    Then Republicans wonder why they’re a mostly white party.

    This is why you’re in the wilderness. This is why Republicans will not capture the House in Connecticut for the foreseeable future. You just don’t get it.

    And, as I recall, that guy being sworn in tomorrow isn’t a Republican. Those Democrats sure are keeping the black man down, aren’t they? Though I guess he is living in public housing, so that’s something.

    So yeah, you guys suck when it comes to race. King would not approve. Deal.

  24. So yeah, you guys suck when it comes to race. King would not approve. Deal.

    Now, Now GC….I think there is plenty of blame to go around on ALL SIDES — both D’s and R’s — with regard to Race. As a result, I am sure you would agree that for one party to claim “ownership” in the issue would be disingenuous at best.

    Regardless of how succesful Obama is the next 4 years, I will predict here and now that race relations will still be an issue. Why? Because Race is TOO big an issue for any one party (or man) to handle alone.

    I, however, still “have a dream” and believe in it.

  25. Now, Now GC….I think there is plenty of blame to go around on ALL SIDES — both D’s and R’s — with regard to Race. As a result, I am sure you would agree that for one party to claim “ownership” in the issue would be disingenuous at best.

    Absolutely. No one is blameless. Democrats aren’t great at race sometimes, either.

    All we can do is acknowledge the past and improve.

  26. So yeah, you guys suck when it comes to race. King would not approve. Deal.

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    Does that sound like an Affirmative Action proponent? Let’s honor the man without presuming to say what he would or would not approve of.

  27. AndersonScooper

    Gerard–

    Rev. King would not approve of the way Republicans have used race and religion to divide this country. That’s a fact.

    And it doesn’t sound as if your GOP is going to cure itself anytime soon. Not when you guys want to wrap yourself with make-believe, — instead of coming clean about what ails you.

    Governor Pawlenty, at least, begins to get it:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/us/politics/13govs.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

  28. So yeah, you guys suck when it comes to race. King would not approve. Deal.

    What do you mean by “suck when it comes to race”? Gerard is right: I don’t believe that Dr. King would have wanted Affirmative Action, which judges people, at least in part, by the color of their skin, not the content of their character. I think he would have wanted a level playing field, for people of all races. That was the point Chief Justice Roberts echoed in the 2007 Seattle and Louisville school cases, when he wrote, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Equality of opportunity is a bedrock Republican principle, and that’s where King and Pawlenty (as well as Gerard and myself) would agree. Democrats would have us tilt the playing field, at least in part, on the basis of race. That’s wrong, in my opinion.

    Next, ACR is dead-on when he says that Democrats have no right to Dr. King’s legacy. Dr. King was a lot of things, but he was never a Democrat. One may objectively argue that he would have opposed the Iraq War (as he did the Vietnam War), but certainly doesn’t make him a Democrat. Also, I believe that Dr. King would have been just as thrilled with Clarence Thomas’s nomination to the Supreme Court as with Barack Obama’s election.

    Finally, note that none of the Republicans on this board are saying that minorities are “far too dumb to know what’s good for them, and can’t make their own choices” (post 24). That comment is not a Republican expressing Republican policy, that’s a Democrat declaring Republican policy, and it’s wrong. Also, please note that I agree with you (post 8), in that Steele or Blackwell would make great GOP chairs.

    Regardless, after today, I don’t want to hear another word about Obama’s mixed-race heritage. At noon today, he’ll become the 44th member of a very exclusive club, and as our President, he should be judged by his performance, i.e., whether he’s making right or wrong decisions for our country — in short, by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. Certainly, Dr. King would have agreed with that.

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