The Chris Powell Column

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.

Larson wouldn’t just save, but improve Social Security

Maybe nothing will come of it until the insanity in Washington dissipates, but Connecticut U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, D-1st District, is now in a position to do something important for the country and not just the military contractors back home.

Forget school aid formula; and impeach for shutdown

High on the agenda for the new session of the General Assembly is rewriting the formula for state financial aid to municipal school systems. It will be a big waste of time.

Connecticut has been rewriting its school aid formula almost every year since the state Supreme Court’s decision in the school financing case of Horton v. Meskill in 1977, with little result except greater expense. State payments to school systems with poor populations and weak property-tax bases have been greatly increased but student performance has not improved.

Legalizing and taxing weed?

Should Connecticut legalize marijuana for ordinary recreational use, as neighboring Massachusetts has just done?

To a great extent Connecticut already has legalized the intoxicating weed, since the state has authorized medical prescriptions for it and licensed a few medical dispensaries, and criminal penalties for simple possession have been reduced to irrelevance. As a practical matter for years marijuana use has been so widespread in the state that police and courts didn’t bother much with enforcement.

Legislators thrilled to avoid doing what Connecticut needs

Concluding the 2018 session of the General Assembly on May 9, legislators congratulated themselves on a bipartisan budget that bequeaths mammoth deficits to themselves and the new governor next year. This was no great service to a state that badly needs structural changes to its operations, but legislators could have considered it a triumph for themselves, as it postponed those tough decisions beyond the November election. No wonder they were giddy about it.

The ways Malloy resembles Clinton

With her new memoir of last year’s presidential campaign, “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton blames her defeat on everybody else more than herself — Russian President Vladimir Putin, former FBI Director James Comey, campaign rival Bernie Sanders, woman haters and so forth. 

Clinton does have a fair complaint about Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who drew away enough liberal votes to cost Clinton the three usually Democratic states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — that gave the electoral college to Donald Trump. 

Trump tweets outdo Blumenthal aggrandizing

Since Sen. Richard Blumenthal represents Connecticut rather than Wyoming or West Virginia, his denouncing President Donald Trump and being denounced by the president in turn can only build support for him in his home state, where the president is poorly regarded.