The Chris Powell Column

Partisan debate on guns lacks clarity and honesty

Protesting President Trump’s massacre condolence tour when it reached Dayton last week, a man held a sign reading, “You are why.” But as objectionable as the president’s demeanor often is, the protester’s sign was just politically partisan wishful thinking.

Medicare for all, or Afghanistan for all?

Government is good at two things: waging stupid wars and distributing money. This should be examined closely in light of the clamor from Democrats for “Medicare for all.”

For to govern is to choose, and as the new Democratic U.S. representative from New York City, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has observed, nobody ever asks where the money for another stupid war is to come from, and Afghanistan has consumed hundreds of billions of dollars over 18 years. 

No heroes for state’s right to know

At its annual meeting the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information usually presents an award to a public official who has performed outstanding service to the right to know in the past year. But no such award was presented at the annual meeting a few weeks ago, for the council could not find such a hero.

Large gift to public education should be public information

During his campaign last year, Governor Lamont declared, “Change starts now.” But his administration is turning out to be just as hostile to open government as that of his predecessor, Dannel P. Malloy.

The Lamont administration has approved a contract with the State Police union that blocks public access to the personnel files of state troopers so the public can’t learn about complaints of misconduct on the job.

Connecticut has plenty of abortion fanatics too

Raising taxes and the minimum wage, imposing highway tolls and increasing business regulation are not the only weird elements of Governor Lamont’s economic development strategy. This week the governor wrote an open letter to women business owners in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, arguing that the recent efforts of those states to outlaw abortion should prompt those businesses to relocate to Connecticut, which “supports the rights of women.”

Is contempt of journalists really a new phenomenon?

Do journalists need protection from President Trump and his supporters? Connecticut U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal professes to think so.

Trump’s border wall, Tong’s demagogic posturing

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has joined a lawsuit with 15 other states against President Trump’s declaration of a federal emergency, which the president plans to use to justify spending otherwise-appropriated money to complete a wall across the Mexican border. Tong says he aims to protect the Constitution and the state, but, accusing the president of “racism and hate,” he is engaging mainly in the demagogic posturing that characterized his recent campaign.

Municipal legal ads help ensure against corruption

Connecticut’s law requiring municipal governments to place legal notices in newspaper ads presumes that democracy needs people to know what their government is doing.

But six bills have been introduced in the General Assembly to allow municipalities to satisfy the notice requirement just by posting legal notices on their internet sites. This would save money for municipalities but would provide little actual notice, since people seldom visit town internet sites except for an address or telephone number.

Can church, CCSU prevent more corruption by power?

At the admirable direction of Archbishop Leonard Blair, the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford last week more or less came clean about the sexual abuse perpetrated by its priests during the last six decades.