The King's Marquee

Election Day is finally here! Let's get out there an seal the deal for Trump and the American people! And don't forget to support the CTGOP under-ticket!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The King's View on Social Networking

Social Networking Addiction

If you're on the internet these days, you're most likely involved in some form of social networking whether its Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Foursquare or the dozen other sites used for connecting with people. For months I've wanted to write about this all consuming portal which has invaded our lifestyles, and charged our habits to probably the same extent that microwave ovens altered meal preparation.

And before I get on my high horse, I should fully admit that I'm no different than the the punk kids with their baseball caps on sideways that you see banging away on their cell phones to shoot virtual objects in the sky or pretending to race the Grand Prix, or what-have-you.  And for the record, any jab I take at users of social media also applies to me as well.  So if I can take the heat, so can you.

First, let's look at Facebook.  Back about two years ago, as if out of nowhere - Facebook caught like wildfire.  It became almost like a game to see if you could connect with as many people as you knew (or didn't know - and I'll get to that later).  And at first, the majority of users never realized the implications of bringing together work associates, high school buddies, and even neighbors together in the same place.  It's sort of like a terrible seating arrangement at a wedding.

Not that it would surprise anyone, but my original Facebook friends were like-minded college- based political friends who stayed in touch with each other well beyond our college years.  So after some time I began to receive requests from high school friends, and junior high school friends, and others - and that's when things began to get weird.  First it was sort of fun to find out what people had become after 15-20 years of elapsed time.  And I have to admit - it was interesting to find out who ended up married, divorced, or never got married at all. After a while, the novelty became sort of old - and it occurs to you why you never kept in touch with some people, and why you did keep in touch with others.

Fast forward to the present.  After a few years of using Facebook, I've come to some hard and fast rules about its use.

1.  Much like email, tone and inflection can be misinterpreted
2.  People can be fickle. Roll with it.
3.  Don't put work friends on your page, ever. People at work have no need to know your business.
4.  You can learn a lot about people from their writing. Including how smart or how stupid they are.
5.  Facebook is best used among friends and associates whom you've actually met.  (I think I have a handful few contacts whom I haven't met in person on my list).
6.  Adding family to Facebook is a bad idea - almost worse than putting work associates on Facebook.
7.  It's your wall, and your page.  You don't have to appease anyone, so if people unfriend you because they don't like what you write or think - don't worry about it.
8. Don't expect your real-life friends to support your politics or positions on Facebook because some aren't as courageous as you.
9. Weed out your friend list once in a while.  Social Networking means actually socially interacting and networking.  Lurkers not wanted.
10. If you go on vacation, you don't need to tell your Facebook friends. Remember the phrase "Loose lips sink ships"?  Well, they also share gossip about friends not being home.  And there have been a few cases where bragging led to break ins.  Be smart.

And that's that!


Twitter is a twilight zone of sorts.  And I like it a lot for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost, for information gurus - like myself - its a wealth of information at your fingertips.  Enter any topic preceded by a hash sign and your likely to get the most up-to-date, unfiltered stories or updates in seconds!  Further, ask any question with the right hash sign and you're more than apt to get several answers back on your query from product questions, to what stain to use on decks.

Twitter allows you to participate in group conversations in an inconspicuous manner.  Unlike Facebook where your name and face appears on group pages along with your comments, you can be one-hundred percent anonymous.  I think this is particularly important since there are no privacy settings on Twitter, and anyone can follow you or look at your feed to determine what and when you send things.

There is nothing dishonest about being anonymous.  But there is something moronic about giving everyone your real name, sharing your every move, and taking the risk by assuming that some jerk might not use your tweets as a weapon against you in some unexpected form.  There are a lot of weirdos out there waiting for their chance to prey upon some victim so try to mitigate the risks by not being too revealing of your own personal information.  The whole world can read your tweets, and some people can query where you are, by running location queries on cell towers. After a while, anyone who puts their mind to it can figure out your usual tracks through hints and details over a period of time.  Humans are creatures of habit, and sometimes it can lead to their demise.

All in all, my experience with Twitter has been enjoyable.  It's fun to watch sports games, debates and shows with Twitter on hand.  You make "twitter friends" pretty quickly, and find you have a lot in common with people down the line on a variety of topics. And it can become pretty entertaining if not challenging to be clever within the limited 140 characters.

During the Chesire Home Invasion Trial, I met some great people who shared the same mindset about what should happen to the evil creep Steven Hayes and his cowardly associate.  It can be refreshing to come across like-minded people through group connections like this.  A bunch of us formed a congenial relationship and continue to chat now and then about less serious stuff.  That's a benefit of Twitter. 

I think you also have to have a tough shell to play on Twitter.  People follow and unfollow you without warning.  It's a good lesson in recognizing that these relationships are temporary and you can't take it personal if someone drops you because they don't like your point of view, or even if they do, they may find you too verbose, one dimensional, or simply boring. 

Twitter is a tool that allows you to see the best and worst in people. There isn't much of a filter, and people don't need to hold back because there isn't much risk in typing what you think behind a phony persona.  Twitter is less visual than Facebook, so I know some people simply hate it for that reason. Many of these people are that types that need to see everything, and leave little to the imagination - like a little kid that hates books without pictures. Oh well, to each their own.

Driving and Social Networking

Yep, this topic has everyone buzzing.  With the advent of the new mobile phone products, you can not only talk while driving, but you can also type or message on social networking sites.  Social networking is damn addicting!  Checking in with your tweeps, and sending out useless information as if its the most important thing in the world to do at THAT VERY MOMENT is part of the habit and addiction.  Some think it has to do with rewiring of the brain so that you need to multitask at a constant rate, and tweeting, listening to music, talking or what have you satisfies the urge to do so much at once.

The problem with the driving and texting or surfing or whatever is that we now have a ton of distracted drivers doing everything except driving and focusing on the road.  Admittedly, I'm not much different than some of the teenage punks, although I've become better over the last few months.  Of course, it only takes a second, and better isn't part of the equation if I smash my car into a thousand pieces and end up like roadkill.

So that's my take on social networking.  What can I say.... tweet, tweet, tweet.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Has the World Gone Mad?

Has the world gone mad?

This is a question that I continue to ask myself as I watch the endless horror on the morning newscast.   The news is so bad that its impossible to watch it without getting physically sick.

Case in point.  Last week, a woman was taking her morning jog in West Hartford in plain sight on a fairly busy street, and suddenly she was attacked, dragged into the bushes, and brutally assaulted and raped.

Case in point.  Court documents reveal that a 10-year old girl, Zahra Baker, was murdered and dismembered, her body parts scattered in various places near Charlotte, North Carolina.

Case in point. A 30 year old military soldier takes a 13 year old girl to an Old Saybrook, Connecticut hotel, and rapes her.  This week he's brought back to Connecticut by authorities in irons, and both lives are permanently damaged forever.

Case in point. Two 29 year old twins shot each other at point blank range at a Colorado shooting range in what may have been a double-suicide attempt.

Case in point.  Today a toddler, Thomas Chrisholm, went missing and was found drowned in the Pequonnock River near the Beardsley Zoo.

These are not stories about far away Islamic terrorists planning their next attack, or Obama taking control of drinking water and food.  Nor are they stories about oil leaks, airport scanning devices, or stupid kids print "F-U on Burger King receipts.  No, these are stories about the poor quality of humanity.  These stories speak to the deepest, darkest elements of our own society.

There are those who see the world through rose-colored glasses, and the reason they do so is that its plainly their way of coping with reality - to disregard it.  Then there are those who choose to take the passive-aggressive route and argue with people for pointing out the ills of society - "oh, you're just a Debbie downer." or "you are always so negative."  Well, I've got news for you - rape, murder, torture, child abandonment, and all the other stories are hardly trivial.  It's evidence that mankind is approaching a boiling point, and the types of people around us do not value life or expect to take accountability for their crimes.

The stories about are not scattered over a month or two.  No, these stories are simply a few days worth of what's clearly the ongoing decline of our society.  We spend plenty of time worrying (and correctly so) about madmen half a world a way trying to kill us by any means possible.  But what about the villainy in our own midst?  What we do to ourselves as a society is almost as bad as the terrorists themselves.

I suppose there is no point to this essay since I have no solution, or remedy.  There is no quick fix, and the problems seem to mount and grow each day.  It's almost as if we've become numb to what we see and hear.  Movies about bogeyman are no longer a interesting substitute for the evening news - stories far more real and graphic then could be dreamed up by Steven King.

This chapter being written by humanity is a pathetic one. 

Has the World gone mad?  Yes.  And our local world has too.

The best you can do is watch and protect your children, be alert, and simply be prepared to trust no one.    I just have to wonder what kind of world our children and children's children will live in.  Don't you?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Correct Verdict: Hayes receives Death

Dr. William Petit: Class Act

Once in a while the world surprises you.  Monday was one of those days.

Like many of my colleagues, I watched the news reports and read the tweets from the Steven Hayes penalty phase over the past several weeks.   I read and dissected each statement, if not each word tweeted from Room 6A.  At times my blood boiled visualizing the acts of arrogance and terror committed by Hayes and his counterpart Komisarjevsky.   And I was outraged by the ridiculous marathon testimony by the defense's hired gun, professional testifier Dr. Eric Goldsmith.

Based on the testimony provided, I was convinced that Steven Hayes made a conscious and independent decision to do what he did - commit heinous acts of rape, torture, and murder.  That being the clear case, without hesitation I believed that Hayes absolutely deserved the death penalty.

But would this jury actually have the courage hand down a verdict of Death? 

Honestly, I had my doubts.  Everyone knows that Connecticut is a notoriously liberal State full of so-called intellectual thinkers who are often so philosophical that they lose sight of the plot.  It probably also didn't help that just days before deliberations began, Connecticut residents elected a new anti-death penalty Democrat to the Governorship who's made public commitments to sign a bill to do away with capital punishment.

Then came the knocks at the door.  And the chicken-scratch notes, including one which appeared to illustrate a hung jury, followed by the question - what are the next steps? My heart sank.  And not just for me, but for Dr. William Petit and his family.

Then on Monday afternoon, we got word that the jury had come to a verdict.  I stared at my computer monitor - banging the refresh key over and over and over again - praying, hoping, and waiting.  And then... one by one, on all six counts, Hayes was given Death.   I felt both joy and relief.  And in strange way - happiness for the Petit-Hawke family.

Typical disappointment from the Courant

It didn't take long for the Hartford Courant editorial board to take its usual left wing position on the Hayes verdict.  In their November 9th editorial "Death penalty serves no purpose", they attempted - rather poorly -  to rationalize their anti-death penalty position.

First, they start from the interesting premise that "it is wrong to take a life except in self-defense."  A curious position to take since this trial is about three innocent women who's lives were certainly not taken by an act of self-defense, but out of lust for murder, and in attempt to dispose of the witnesses to their crimes. 

Second, this whole argument about whether it is right for the State (or Government) to take a life is faulty from the start.  All Governments make policy decisions which both directly and indirectly result in the act of taking lives, this is most evident with acts of war. Only a fool with both eyes closed wouldn't recognize that utilizing armed forces and military machines in either a defensive or offensive action results in death by the hundreds - and its all state authorized, if not outright mandated by Congress and President.

Moreover, the Government extends permission to the armed forces to interrogate, try, and execute active military combatants for certain crimes.  Just because the executions are carried out by men in a military uniform doesn't remove the accountability of the civilian leaders and legislators who provide the oversight and funding to carry out justice.

The idea that the State has no right to authorize murder is so broad a statement that its impossible to realistically defend.  Would the editors at the Courant believe American actions in World War I, and in World War II were unnecessary, illegal, and immoral?  Certainly not all actions taken by the Allies were defensive in either of the World Wars.  But they may have been necessary to end the conflict, and save American lives.

Third, how ironic is it to see liberals bring up the argument that its too expensive to seek and carry-out the death penalty?  This is one of the few scenarios, given progressives usual nature to find a million reasons to spend like thieves, where they champion the desire to "save the taxpayer" money.   If the system is too expensive, then perhaps they can find ways to reduce their own fees around the process and procedures that they've created.

Forth, let's remember that it was the State that pushed to seek the death penalty under the provisions established under Connecticut Statutes.  And, it was the State that urged and convinced Dr. Petit to agree with the decision to seek the death penalty.  A decision not taken lightly.  We seem to forget that he death penalty is within the extent of the law.  It exists not out of barbarity, or as some deem it - the natural human desire for revenge and bloodlust, but as a long established punishment under the law for vile acts of murder.

In their final analysis the Courant argues "if he is crazy... than he'd be unfairly executed."  Well, we already know from the testimony that he was quite aware of his action and in complete control of himself.  Even if he did feel betrayed by Jennifer Petit because she told the bank teller that she and her family were being held prisoner and robbed, and he killed her out of rage, that doesn't justify insanity - nor should it save him from lethal injection.

The editors at the Courant don't want to see the rationale for holding Hayes accountable and putting him to death.  They can't bring themselves to understand the pain caused to the Petit-Hawke family, and the community at large.  It's so much easier for liberals to not have to make the tough decision and  just send him away to a life of television, air conditioning, three square meals a day, and recreational activities like taking classes to pass the time - none of which seems like much of a punishment to me. After a while, he'd become accustomed to his living situation and adapt to the reality. 

The death penalty is the ultimate punishment for heinous crimes like the one's Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky committed.  If the editors at the Courant really want to make sure "he is never heard from again", then rest-assured, after a period of appeal as mandated by Connecticut law, he'll have a period to reflect on his crimes in a lonely cell on death row.  And then he'll lose the gift of live that he took from innocents, and squandered himself.

The Courant is right about one thing - killing Hayes won't bring full closure.  As Dr. Petit said in his post-penalty phase press conference, "[The idea of closure is was created by imbeciles... there will always be a hole in my heart and in my soul"].  Well said, and all of us will sleep a little better knowing that Steven Hayes is no longer with us, and facing the music - where ever that may be.

In closing, may God Bless the Petit-Hawke family, and all those who have stood by them in support of Jennifer, Haley and Michela.  We will never let their memory fade.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Connecticut Election Results: A Critique

Foley: enthusiasm deficit
You'll have to excuse me.  It's taken a few days of decompression before I could draft a few thoughts on the disastrous election outcome for Connecticut Republicans.

My criticisms here will be direct, and don't plan to hold back.  So if you're a Connecticut establishment Republican looking to blame Susan Bysiewciz, or make up other far-fetched excuses, you might want to go over to Chris Healy's blog instead.  There you can read his ridiculous claims of how Republicans were swindled and hosed by voting improprieties and extended voting hours.  Sorry, but the buck stops here.  We own this defeat.

And its particularly painful, because on a night when national Republicans scored incredible gains across the nation, including taking 60 seats in the House of Representatives, several Senate seats, and Governorships, and even capturing the most State Legislative Chambers since 1928, we were left to sit and sulk, and pray for a miracle. But at the end of the night (or even the week) it never came.  We didn't even get a consolation prize.

Here are my thoughts by race....

The Gubernatorial Race

Rell: Let Fedele flap in the breeze deciding
whether to run for re-election
This race may have been doomed before it started.  Current Republican Governor Jodi Rell took her sweet time deciding whether or not she was going to run for re-election.  Republicans like Michael Fedele, Tom Foley and several others did the right thing by waiting to see what Governor Rell had planned.  After all, none of these candidates wished to primary a sitting, and very popular Governor like Rell. 

So it wasn't until November 9, 2009 - when it was ridiculously late - that Republicans learned the Rell wasn't going to run for re-election. Republicans had to scramble in a half-hearted effort to try and get their campaigns going in any direction.  Had he not been screwed over by the Governor, Lt. Governor Michael Fedele probably could have been better prepared, and inserted in the pre-election process to give him a bit more name recognition and a public presence which would have helped him score a foothold for contention.   Instead, Republican candidates, from Jeff Wright to Oz Griebel visited near-empty RTC meetings looking for support just prior to the Republican Convention.

Once the primary season started, we saw what turned out to to be a three way battle for the nomination that featured both Mike Fedele and Tom Foley beating the living hell out of each other on television, and Oz Griebel sliding off into oblivion.  Tom Foley painted Lt. Governor Fedele was as part of a long standing problem who has been nothing short of disengaged and in the shadow of  Jodi Rell for years (hardly a positive commentary on the Rell administraton as a whole).  And Mike Fedele painted Tom Foley as a corrupt, job killer, raising the spectre of Bibb and other issues that would later become the weapons of choice to be used by the Democrats to to beat Tom Foley down into the ground.

I don't know what happened between Tom Foley and Govenor Rell, but it was clear to anyone watching that she wasn't interested in helping Tom Foley campaign, never mind win.  Rell's radio commercials (which sounded similar to the ones she appeared in for Linda McMahon) had to be about as unenthusiastic as I've ever heard.  One pictured her being dragged to a dungeon to read the script, she sounded so uninterested.  And the commercials weren't even aired until about two weeks before election day.

Meanwhile, while Tom struggled to overcome the Bibb accusations, and a series of other attacks, we had a chance to see the Malloy camp in action.  Better organized, the Malloy camp mobilized volunteers - from college students to hundreds of Union members to work and campaign on his behalf.  Malloy, to his credit, learned a valuable lesson from his first attempt to run, and it was apparent to everyone that he knew how to mobilize forces to deliver the votes (and even the voters). 

Very similar to my earlier complaints about Peter Schiff, Foley also didn't spend a great deal of time away from home base.  He decided early on to disregard the second district - and campaign in his own neck of the woods.  Election results do show that against previous Republican statistics, he could have done remarkably better, had he showed more visibility.

From a personality standpoint (and I don't really mean to belabor this point), Foley came across very reserved, quiet and sort of weak, and many folks I spoke with viewed this as Fairfield County arrogance.  Now in contrast, Malloy came across brash, cocky, arrogant, and rude.  But given the two styles, and the anger out on the street about jobs, people were willing to give the guy who spouted ideas and suggestions the nod on November 2nd.  It's hard to go into such critical debates as reserved and lacking charisma.  And the first debate was awful for Foley, as it appeared that he let Malloy beat him to death at the podium, and he just took it, looking like a deer in headlights.  We believe that after the first debate, many people had made their mind up.  And in the remaining debates, while Foley did much better, he still never delivered a knock out punch that he needed to climb above Malloy and surge ahead.  Although Foley did close the gap in the last few weeks of the campaign, his slow start and melancholy approach did him in.

It doesn't matter how qualified you are (and I believe Foley was far better qualified to deal with Connecticut's economic problems than Malloy is), if you can't articulate your ideas and positions in a coherent way that appeals to the audience, than you're done for.

Connecticut will likely regret putting Dan Malloy in the Governor's Mansion.  High taxes, business unfriendly, pro-union, pro-spending policies are likely to do even more damage to Connecticut's economy.  And what's worse is the the Connecticut Legislature is solidly Democrat.  It burns me that Republicans would let this happen.  Connecticut, with a Liberal Governor, and Dems in control of both chambers of the Legislature will mirror the exact chemistry that we've seen in Washington for the past two years that has been so disastrous.  Tom Foley didn't even make the case that Democrats have controlled the State Legislature since 1972 - do you think that might have helped?

The United States Senate Race

McMahon: didn't get the
 soccer-mom vote
I think I beat the drum of disappointment regarding the outcome of the Connecticut U.S. Senate primary campaign, Republican convention, and its lingering results.  I was not a fan of Linda McMahon when she started sending me mailings unfairly portraying Rob Simmons as a big spending, cap and trade, villain.  I found the mailings beyond reproach, and I was offended to see a newcomer treat a man who had spent so much of his life serving his country as a solider, and as a government official, and then as an  elected official with such disrespect.  For a guy who had done so much for the country and state to have been treated so maliciously by Linda McMahon - a wrestling executive with tons of baggage - gave her a tainted image, not just in the second district, but throughout the State. And at the end of the day, that certainly hurt her.

Many of us were antagonized after watching a well-orchestrated coup d'etat during the Connecticut Republican Convention.  Linda McMahon's campaign staff in collaboration with Chairman Chris Healy (who's wife was working for Linda and making a six figure killing) hijacked the nomination from Rob Simmons through bribery, threats, and intimidation of delegates.  It was downright disgusting.

$21 million dollars later, and a whole lot of promises and commitments to people, and Linda managed to pull off a win during the primary.  So she became our nominee and that was that.

There was a short period of time, when Richard Blumenthal was sucking wind in the polls after he made untrue comments that he served in Vietnam.  He worked very hard to overcome the deficit but it really wasn't all that hard because despite his gaff, Linda McMahon was always going to have far more negatives than positives.  Between her ties to the Pro Wrestling business including all the shady practices of that industry, and all of her employees' deaths and her nonstop barrage of negative mailings and ads, she was destined to go down in flames.

I strongly believe that Rob Simmons would have made a better run of it as he was the only candidate on the Republican side who would have embarked on an issued-based campaign. He would have had the chance to beat Blumenthal. Connecticut isn't a place for a campaign of glitz and showmanship, which appeared as an odd backdrop for Linda's campaign.  Simmons was the ultimate serious face, who could have challenged Blumenthal on the merits of policy and service without appearing to be going for the jugular vein at every turn.  All my sources on the Democrat side told me of the relief the Blumenthal camp felt when Rob was out, and Linda was in.

Another point about Linda's failed campaign is that she seemed to be rejected outright by women.  I don't know whether they sympathized with Richard Blumenthal, or they just dislked Linda so much that they went against her 5-1.  I would have thought that women would have flocked to Linda for her achievements as a successful CEO and business-mom.  But clearly, the rejected her by a wide margin. I would have to say its not women against strong women, else Jodi Rell would not have done so well in previous years by taking a good portion of the woman's vote.  I tend to think that it may be Linda McMahon's line of business that advocated violence against women, and sexism.  That may have pushed the female vote away from McMahon.  Wrestling was never a big hit with the ladies.

The result of Richard Blumenthal winning this seat guarantees him not only six years of rubber stamping the Obama and Democrat agenda, but most probably a life-time appointment.  I would expect to see Blumenthal eventually move up to a leadership position over the next few years.  If not for his savvy ability to navigate systems, certainly by virtue of his never-ending commitment to self-promotion and advancement.

After all I've written here, I never really expected the GOP to win the U.S. Senate seat, but if there ever was an opportunity to do so, this was it.  $52 million dollars spent by Linda McMahon wasn't enough to take it which speaks more to her appeal as a candidate and the way she conducted her campaign, rather than the strength of Richard Blumenthal.  State GOP leaders will try to blame the demographics of the State, but that is hardly saleable given that Republicans have won the Governorship with solid majorities in previous years.

United States House of Representatives races

This area of failure is almost the most puzzling to me and I believe it speaks to the Connecticut GOPs biggest failure.

Peckinpaugh never had a chance

Peckinpaugh v Courtney (CT-2)

Janet Peckinpaugh was by far the worst of the worst when it came to Republican candidates in 2010.  As she's been beaming into our homes for years as a member of the liberal media establishment, and well known for her lawsuits against male news anchors, she already a major hurdle to overcome with the Republican base. 
Putting that aside, she was a pointless and useless primary candidate who clearly never had a grasp of the issues.  Two things come to mind when she was interviewed by the Press early on.  First when Dennis House asked her who she voted for in the last election cycle, she said, "I don't remember."   This was clearly a lie since people remember who they voted for and moreover, it was an opportunity to present clear strategic thinking by at minimum shouting "not Joe Courtney!" which would have endeared her to the Republican base. 

Second, Janet told us that she wanted to represent  us in Washington so she could report back what was happening in Washington to the people of Connecticut.  No dummy! We want someone to represent our interests in Washington, not report back what's happening! We want someone to make news, not report it!

Joe Courtney never had it so easy.  After watching clueless Janet slide in between Daria Novak (the GOPs endorsed candidate) and Doug Dubitsky to win the primary, he knew he was going to have a walk in the park.  Janet never had a grasp of the issues, and never articulated a position in any coherent manner.  Republican leaders kept telling me that Peckinpaugh came from a big Republican family out in the Midwest, but they never defended her as a Republican who would represent our interests or positions with any sincerity. 

Self-checked by not having a penny to spend, she ran no commercials, and I think I received one terrible mailing which showed her standing next to her kid - who had an angry look on his face.  This race didn't even force the Connecticut Democrats to spend money to counteract a Republican challenge thus freeing up capital to throw in support of Democrats in tighter races in other districts.

If we are lucky, we'll never see Janet Peckinpaugh as a candidate for so much as dogcatcher.

The biggest Congressional disappointments were in both the Connecticut 4th and Connecticut 5th districts.  Both of these seats were thought to be moving Republican in keeping with the nationwide trend of disappointment over Obama's failed economic policies, and the desire to punish Democrat office holders in border districts or generally Republican districts (which may on a fluke have gone Democrat during the Presidential election in 2008.)  In truth, it will take a bit more analysis for me to understand why at the last minute these two districts did not go Republican given their polling track - particularly in the 5th District where the expectation was that Caligiuri was nearly a shoe-in.

Debicella v Himes (CT-4)

Bridgeport may have killed Debicella
Connecticut's 4th District used to be almost a safe Republican seat given that it was held by moderate Chris Shays for years.  Shays lost during the Obama landslide a few years ago to Jim Himes, who is another steady liberal vote for Obama.  The outcome of this race was a surprise given the nationwide surge for Republicans and the fact that Himes was an advocate for many of Obama's failed policies. 

The thinking on this one was that the Bridgeport fiasco may have also helped Himes secure that win, and that for whatever reason Himes did better in Norwalk and in a few other towns where Republicans have historically done better.  There is also the idea that Linda McMahon's lack of appeal may have impacted the vote in District 4 as Democrats were able to get their voters to the polls to vote against Republicans en mass.

All in all, this is a district that Republicans probably should have won, if even by a thin margin.  It will be interesting to see who stayed home and who didn't when it comes to reviewing vote totals v demographics.

Caligiuri v Murphy (CT-5)

Caligiuri: Lost with 8 point lead
 This battle took place in Connecticut's 5th district which is considered the most Republican district in the state which borders New York and goes as far out as the Litchfield Hills. Of course it also includes Meriden and New Britain which have not been supportive of Republicans since the days of Nancy Johnson - although redistricting also played a role in making in easier for Democrats to win.  Yet this seat stayed Democrat which was a big surprise to most of us given that polls showed Caligiuri up by as many as eight points just days before the election. 

Caligiuri believes that one reason he lost is that his opponent had $2 million to spend on the campaign versus his mere $80,000.  In an environment where television and radio ads and mass mailings can make a difference, it was clear that this battle was quite lopsided.  I personally saw several well run television spots from the Murphy campaign which worked to drive home the message (true or false) that Murphy worked with both sides of the aisle and was an independent thinker in Congress.  Of course, Murphy has been a strong advocate for Obama's policies, but with so few ads making that case, Caligiuri suffered a huge handicap in this race. 

Notwithstanding, the negative ads run by Chris Murphy regarding Caligiuri as a guy that bankrupt Waterbury, Caligiuri wasn't able to run a campaign based on sound economic policies and issues that resonated with the public.  I believe this was less to do with the candidate as much as it was a campaign that never got out of neutral.  Why didn't state central come in and help Caligiuri raise funds?

Healy: Aught to be run out
of Connecticut on a freight-train

Caligiuri's loss is by far the biggest disappointment for the Connecticut Republican Party.  For this, State Central and Connecticut's Republican State Chairman Chris Healy need to answer for such a complete disaster, and for their complete incompetence given such a national Republican surge. 

It's hard to accept results where all five congressional districts, the U.S. Senate and the Governorship all go to the Democrats. (Which isn't to take anything away from the hard work that Ann Brinkley did in Connecticut's first district despite the blow out).  The Connecticut Republican Party has a lot of soul-searching to do over the next few months.  God willing, they will fire Chris Healy and start anew seeing competent leadership at the top, and start putting strategies in place where Republicans work together for the good of the State and the Party, and shun personal attempts to line their own pockets with cash and fortune.