Monday, March 27, 2017

This Week's "American Political Zone"


The American Political Zone - A Political Commentary on Current Events


One of the best political discussion programs you can find, our hosts possess a vast knowledge of current affairs and they share this with us in a lively and interesting fashion.
Featuring Daria Novak, 2nd District Congressional Candidate and President of the Institute for American Politics, and Frank Vernuccio, New York Analysis Policyand Government, The American Political Zone is now a regular feature in the Middletown Insider.

NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS VOLUME 24, NUMBER 11

U.S. House Passes NRA-Backed Bill to Protect Second Amendment Rights of America’s Veterans
LEGAL & LEGISLATION  GUN LAWS  NEWS
U.S. House Passes NRA-Backed Bill to Protect Second Amendment Rights of America’s Veterans
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1181, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, sponsored by Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate.
Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use
LEGAL & LEGISLATION  GUN LAWS  NEWS
Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use
Pro-gun members of Congress have introduced legislation to protect travelers who are transporting firearms interstate for lawful purposes.

Senator Linares Supports Bill for Lyme Disease Awareness

Image from Kids Health
State Senator Arthur Linares (R-33) submitted testimony to the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee in support of a bill to help raise awareness of Lyme disease, its prevention, and diagnoses.

SB 1002, An Act Designating Various Days, Weeks, Months And State Symbols And Naming A State Office Complex, contains a number of provisions, including the requirement that the Governor designate the month of May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

“Having a state proclamation naming May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month will add to the efforts in Connecticut to educate our residents about what can be a devastating disease. May is the perfect time because that is when many people venture out into some of Connecticut’s most beautiful parks and nature preserves where they may come in contact with Lyme Disease,” Sen. Linares said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 300,000 people in the US are diagnosed with Lyme disease every year, he said.

Oath Keepers - Sessions Embracing 'Project Exile' a Result of Exclusive NRA Influence ...


Is there any doubt about who has Trump's ear on guns?
 [2016 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum/YouTube]

...with Trump on Guns 

by David Codrea

"In Richmond, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will expand Project Exile nationwide," the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports .  "Project Exile is a widely copied program credited with cutting Richmond's violent crime 20 years ago by shipping firearm violators to far-off federal prisons. When [FBI Director] Comey was appointed director of the FBI, Exile was frequently cited as one of his accomplishments."
Except it wasn't really as big of an accomplishment as he (and the National Rifle Association) cracked it up to be, but it does go hand-in-fisted-glove with NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre's longstanding position:
"Let's agree on this: Every American city, let's put Project Exile, every time a violent felon, drug dealer, gang member touches a gun, let's prosecute."
At the time then-NRA president Charlton Heston was telling "criminals" to "Make my day"  as he joined with anti-gun then-Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell to implement the program there, even though the numbers hardly substantiated the grandiose promises:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Our Stance On Violent Crime Is Criminal



Sen. Suzio Speaks - Photo provided by author

By Brian E. Clark
A guest post

On March 20, 2017, I got an amazing opportunity to testify before the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut House & Senate, on Senate Bill 428. This Bill, if voted upon, and signed in to law would repeal RREC, or Good Time Credits for Inmates convicted of Violent Crimes. It specifically lists out which crimes, but it’s safe to say, it covers all of the greatest hits; Murder, Assault, Robbery Home Invasion, Arson, and it even includes Sale of Drugs for Profit. This is the result of tireless work done by Senator Len Suzio, who covers, Meriden, Cheshire, Middlefield, Middletown, Rockfall. I say tireless, because Len has been advocating for this Bill, even before he was a Senator. At least 5 years now; Or when Frankie, “The Razor”, Resto, killed 70 year old, Ibrahim Ghazal, a Store Owner in Meriden, CT, on June 27, 2012. Resto, a former inmate, had been released from prison early, in April 2012, after receiving 199 Days of RREC Credits. If not for RREC, Resto would not have been out of prison, and the Ghazal family, would have their father still.

So, what qualifies me to speak on this topic? Well, it’s not a public secret, or anything. In March, 2011, I made one of the worse decisions of my life: I, committed a robbery. I was caught in the process, and

Stratfor - Shifting U.S.-Mexico relations, Islamic State resistance, blockade in Ukraine


kelly-tillerson-mexico.jpg
How the United States enforces its immigration policy could poison future cooperation on trade and security.


MILITARY
The battle for the western half of the city – a haven for the Islamic State – has only just begun. 

SECURITY  

NumbersUSA - WH Budget Calls for Mandatory E-Verify


Image from New American Media

This Issue: Trump budget requests call for increased enforcement and lay the groundwork for national E-Verify

Fri, Mar 17th
Pres. Trump called for making improvements to the E-Verify system in order to support a nationwide mandate in his 2018 budget request to Congress. Requiring all employers to use E-Verify is the top step in our 'Ten Steps to Fixing the Broken Immigration Enforcement System'.
Pres. Trump will need help from Congress, though, in making E-Verify mandatory for all employers. First, his request to set aside $15 million to make improvements to the system is just that -- a request. Congress would need to make it official by including it in its FY18 DHS spending bill. Furthermore, requiring all employers to use the employment verification system would require legislation from Congress.
But budget requests tend to be clues to what an administration's legislative priorities are, and it appears that mandatory E-Verify is a priority for the Trump administration.
In addition to his 2018 budget request, Pres. Trump also issued a spending request for FY17. The current continuing resolution expires on April 28, so Congress will need to pass another bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.

Oath Keepers - Oath-Breaking Political Turncoat Flores Betrays ...

New BFFs - meaning she has declared herself to be your enemy.

... Gun-Owning Florida Supporters

by David Codrea

"In a stunning setback for gun rights supporters, Sen. Anitere Flores, one of the most powerful lawmakers in Tallahassee, declared on the very first day of Florida's two-month legislative session that she likely would not support any of Steube's 10 other gun bills, leaving them with little chance of moving forward," the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. "I do not support having guns on campus, I do not support having guns in airports, I do not support having guns in school zones."
In other words, she does not support the right of the people to keep and bear arms. She prefers so-called "gun free zones," with prohibitions backed up by the force of law. And that's curious, to say the least, seeing as how in the last election campaign, Flores' opponent used her supposed "pro-gun" stance and National Rifle Association grade against her (the NRA Political Victory Fund website, accessible to members only, notes she was given an "A" rating).

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lesser Issues Challenge to Editor

file photo - Rep. Lesser
(I got him on looks, alone!)

















Early this afternoon, State Rep. Matt Lesser (D-100th) posted the following on Face Book:  "Don't like your leaders? Run for office . . ."

A constituent replied, "It's great when elected officials ask others to run for office".  Bill Boylan, editor of The Middletown Insider and also a constituent, pointed out that Lesser wasn't looking for someone to run against him.

Upon seeing this, Lesser challenged Boylan; "wanna run against me?"  Boylan thought the proposition was interesting and promised to bring it up at the next meeting of the Republican Town Committee!

A Brother's Death - Part 4

This is the final installment of four videos depicting my brother Casey's living conditions, at the time he died.

In this video, we walk around the property and look into the out-buildings, one of which was crushed by a fallen cherry tree.

To anyone who has not seen the other videos, this one will seem rather dull.  To gain a full appreciation of the deplorable circumstances under which my brother lived, one should see the other videos.  (links below)

Casey died on October 29th, 2016 at the age of 55.  The official cause of death, determined in January 2017, was an accidental overdose of Tramadol.

Casey was physically and mentally disabled and had been for many years.  He tried to get aid through Social Security; he sought aid through the Georgia Dept. of Social Services and was a recipient of food from a local food bank.  It is unclear how much, if any, aid he received from taxpayer funded sources.

What is abundantly clear, is that Casey did not receive the healthcare, mental or physical, that he needed.  Casey was one of those people who truly needed help, but did not get it.  Casey is not alone; there inestimable thousands in similar straits.

The purpose of sharing these videos is to raise awareness of what sort of living conditions the mentally disabled, who don't get help, can and do fall into.  When time allows, the videographer is going to do something (he's not yet sure just what) with the videos and what he has learned, to help bring substantive change to a failed bureaucratic system.

Part 1  https://youtu.be/fKKM5-bL4rw
Part 2  https://youtu.be/yyIQnK55yrg
Part 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI6uqSK59vE (shortest)

Copy rights reserved.

Armed Citizen, Issue no. 59

NRA ARMED CITIZEN
Suspect shot by homeowner after breaking in using pick-axe
by Alexa Knowles, FOX10 News Reporter, WALA FOX10 (Foley, AL)
Suspect shot by homeowner after breaking in using pick-axe
A 21-year-old man was shot and police are searching for a second suspect after what police say was a "violent" home invasion. A man who owns Elite Marine on Highway 59 fired two shots at the suspect after he tried to break in, according to Foley Police. The suspect was able to get through three doors using a pick-axe…
READ THIS

Homeowner's son shoots intruders in Orange County home invasion
by Jason Kelly, Cuthbert Langley, WFTV 9 ABC (Orlando, FL)

Malloy Forces Teacher Cuts


SOUTHINGTON -- March 21, 2017 -- Under failed Democrat Governor Dan Malloy’s newest budget proposal, Connecticut’s educators will be getting the short end of the stick. Hundreds of local school boards will be required to eliminate qualified and needed educators to make their budgets balance.
"The legacy of Governor Dan Malloy continues to be one of failed campaign promises and policies that harm residents of Connecticut" said J.R. Romano, Chairman of Connecticut Republicans.  "Our teachers deserve to be celebrated and supported, not shunned and unfunded.  If Dan Malloy wants to help education and future generations he wouldn't put towns in the situation where they have to cut 25% of their teachers to fulfill the state's obligations."

To meet the needs of Malloy’s budget, 230 teaching positions in West Hartford alone would need to be cut by next Fall.  The Hartford Courant continued: 'At a legislative liaison committee meeting Thursday night, Schools Superintendent Tom Moore said that because of the time constraints to pass a school and town-wide budget, coupled with the uncertainty of how the state will parse out state aid, all nontenured teachers – approximately 230 of 900 total teachers in the district – could receive contract non-renewal letters this May.'

"Connecticut has continued to decline under Dan Malloy with businesses departures, crumbling infrastructure, and completely stagnant job growth. Now with Connecticut’s teachers paying the price for failed leadership in Malloy’s Connecticut, it is clearer than ever that the Nutmeg State is in need of a new direction" Romano concluded.

Contact: J.R. Romano
             860-426-1920
             info@ct.gop
Paid for by the Connecticut Republican Party.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.

7th Annual "Operation Gelding" - Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue

Image may contain: horse 
Visit their Face Book Page!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Week 8: The Future Belongs To Us

Make America Great AgainNo Better Place Than With The American People

At a rally held in Nashville, TN, thousands came out to hear directly from President Trump. He let them know that he is taking steps to make sure that our allies pay their fair share, that he has begun a dramatic effort to eliminate job-killing federal regulations, and that he’s working to protect the environment. With only a little over 50 days on the job, he is making America great again for everyone. Watch the full speech by clicking here.
 
Make America Great Again

Bringing Automotive Jobs to America

Before arriving in Nashville, President Trump made a stop in Detroit, Michigan to talk jobs. During the campaign he visited Michigan and promised to fight hard for American jobs. Since the election, Ford has announced that 700 new jobs will be brought back to their plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.

Boughton - No New Jobs



We all know Connecticut is on the wrong path, but did you know it was this bad?

New numbers released by the Department of Labor show that Connecticut created zero new jobs in 2016. Our businesses are so overtaxed and overregulated they can’t even put people to work.

Our Democratic-led state government is to blame for this mess. By implementing the state income tax and spending our State’s money recklessly, they’ve driven us into a complete fiscal crisis.  We’ve seen the results – businesses like GE are fleeing the state for Boston. Only Dan Malloy and his merry band in Hartford could make tax-achusetts seem like a safe haven.

The oppressive business and tax climate across Connecticut has got to change, and fast. That’s why I’m exploring a run for statewide office in 2018.

For the past 15 years, I’ve had the honor of serving as the Mayor of Danbury. By putting people over politics, we’ve stabilized taxes, cut unnecessary red tape, sped up the permit process, and watched our businesses flourish. We’ve prioritized our education system, ensuring there are qualified individuals ready to enter our booming workforce.  In fact, Danbury was recently identified as the best city in Connecticut to start a business. We value the entrepreneurial spirit of Connecticut and recognize that government doesn’t create jobs, businesses do. I know firsthand that Danbury’s success can be the model for Connecticut’s future.

I’m ready to stop the run-away spending in Harford and to reduce the unnecessary burdens on our businesses so we can get our people back to work, but I need your help. In order to be successful in November 2018, I need you to stand with me and invest $100 in Connecticut’s future. There is a lot of work to be done, but together, we can put Connecticut back on track. 
All my best,
Mark

PAID FOR BY THE CONNECTICUT COMEBACK COMMITTEE, MICHAEL J. PURCARO, TREASURER;
APPROVED BY MARK BOUGHTON

Support Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Long-billed Dowitcher by Brian Sullivan
Long-billed Dowitcher by Brian Sullivan
Birds are uniquely sensitive to the conditions of specific habitats. When habitats suffer, bird populations can decline or disappear.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology conducts critical research to identify and forecast where birds occur and where they need habitat most. Partners rely on our actionable science to make key conservation decisions.
I’m calling on you today to be part of the force that makes our science possible. Please become a Cornell Lab member to support scientific solutions for conserving birds and their habitats.
The Cornell Lab plays a pivotal role in the BirdReturns program providing temporary habitat for shorebirds migrating along the Pacific Flyway. We use data from citizen-science participants to

MegaVote for CT Senate and 3rd District

March 21, 2017
In this MegaVote for Connecticut's 3rd Congressional District:

Recent Congressional Votes
  • Senate: Disapprove Unemployment Benefit Drug Testing Rule
  • Senate: Confirmation of Dan Coats to be Director of National Intelligence
  • Senate: Confirmation of Herbert R. McMaster, Jr. to be Lieutenant General
  • House: VA Personnel Accountability
  • House: Mentally Disabled Veterans and Guns
  • House: VA Medical Professional Staffing
Upcoming Congressional Bills
  • Senate: Confirmation of Charles Breyer to the U.S. Sentencing Commission
  • Senate: Confirmation of Danny Reeves to the U.S. Sentencing Commission
  • House: End Health Insurance Anti-Trust Exemption
  • House: Association Health Insurance Pools
  • House: Reconciliation Health Care Law Repeal and Replace


Recent Senate Votes
Disapprove Unemployment Benefit Drug Testing Rule - Vote Passed (51-48, 1 Not Voting)

The resolution would disapprove the rule issued by the Labor Department on Aug. 1, 2016, that defines the occupations for which states can require individuals applying for unemployment benefits to undergo drug testing.

Sen. Christopher Murphy voted NO
Sen. Richard Blumenthal voted NO

Thursday, March 23, 2017

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WILL HOLD HEARING ON FREE SPEECH DEFENSE ACT

ACTforAmerica.org

Press release on S.B. 1020: : An Act Concerning the Enforcement of a Defamation Judgment Entered by a Court Outside of the United States

Hartford, CT – S.B. 1020: An Act Concerning the Enforcement of a Defamation Judgment Entered by a Court Outside of the United States, which defends the First Amendment rights of Connecticut citizens, will receive a public hearing before the Judiciary Committee on Monday, March 27 at 10 AM in Room 2B of the Legislative Office Building. 

The proposal, raised as a committee bill under the title An Act Concerning the Enforcement of Foreign Libel Judgments, protects authors, journalists, speakers and publishers against spurious libel and defamation suits by allowing Connecticut courts to refuse to consider libel suits filed in countries with a lower standard of free speech than we enjoy here in the U.S.

“We have a growing problem with what’s called ‘libel tourism,’” said Jane Bate, a Connecticut chapter leader of ACT for America, an organization for the protection of basic human rights around the world.  “People who want to silence American writers bring suit in a country without our constitutional freedoms where their work is distributed.

“The tactic has resulted in authors having to destroy their books and pay exorbitant settlement fees to plaintiffs despite the accuracy and careful documentation of the defendant’s writing. The result has been a severe chilling of free speech.”

Oath Keepers - Gun Hypocrite Snoop Dogg's 'Clown Trump' Assassination ...

Noted gun owner control advocate and prohibited person Snoop Dogg displays his respect for Constitutional government and rule of law. [BadBadNotGood YouTube screen capture]

... Exemplifies Toxic Cultural Pollution

by David Codrea

"Snoop Dogg's new video features mock assassination of a 'clown' Donald Trump," Newsweek and just about every other news outlet are reporting (many approvingly, as if they wouldn't have demanded heads had Hillary been so treated). "Set in an alternative reality in the United States where the country is inhabited by clowns, it shows a clown Trump parody named Ronald Klump appearing on television to announce the deportation of all 'doggs.'"

That, of course, is a total misrepresentation of the president's plan to protect the borders, vet those who come into this country, and evict foreign criminals. Those were goals that resulted in Trump's election over Hillary Clinton, who instead wanted to create a Democrat "pathway to citizenship" windfall, with resulting overwhelming control of the legislatures and the courts.
Naturally, those who believe a prime directive of limited Constitutional government is "to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" are portrayed as being motivated by hate - a tactic straight out of the SPLC playbook. And unsurprisingly, it's Sniff Dogg & Co. who prove to be the real haters, not to mention hypocrites.

Cat Tails - Spring Newsletter!

 

CLICK HERE FOR NEWSLETTER

SPRING 2017 NEWSLETTER

Attached is our Newsletter - We hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it.

 
Included in our newsletter is a letter from the President and ways you can volunteer for our wonderful organization.  In addition, you will meet some of our kitties who are up for adoption and some of those who have already been adopted and their success stories!

Interested in Volunteering?
Please visit our website at www.cattalesct.org/volunteer/
We have wonderful opportunities.
You can make a difference in our feline residents lives.
Contact us today!

In Meriden Friday, Mar. 24: Suzio Hosts 8 AM Coffee Hour

Meriden Coffee Hour March 24[2]
MERIDEN  - Sen. Len Suzio on Friday, Mar. 24 will host a “Coffee With Your Senator” event from 8 to 9 a.m. at Dunkin’ Donuts at 893 E. Main Street.  Suzio will discuss a variety of issues that he has been working on at the State Capitol, including the reform of the “Early Release” prison program for violent offenders, the de-funding of the state’s Mileage Tax study, restoring funding for Honor Guard rifle salutes at veterans’ funeral services, and his proposal to provide state residents with relief from the state income tax. For more information, contact Chris Diorio at 800-842-1421.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A HOT DOG FOR LUNCH

Photo from New London Pintrest
Editors note:  I can't for the life of me remember where this story came from or who submitted it.  Let's hope the author sees it and refreshes my memory.

Fall, 2001. Shaw Street, New London, CT. Jimmy and I were looking for JT, a Jamaican guy who was wanted for murder in Jamaica as well as attempted murder here in Connecticut. What was different about this case is that it originated in New Haven. His Connecticut attempted murder charge was on a rival gang member who JT scared out of Connecticut. We knew JT wasn't going back to Jamaica because he was wanted for murder there. He also had a lot of money on the street here in the Connecticut as well as New York. About a month into the case, after searching all over New Haven, Hartford and some spots in Queens NY, we tracked him to New London of all places. It's weird like that sometimes. The guy had no ties to New London, but everything pointed to him hiding out in the Shaw Street area. We went down to Shaw a few times talking to residents. They didn't want this murderer hiding out where they lived. On top of that he was an outsider, New London is pretty close knit. They were eager to help get this jerk off the street and out of their neighborhood. Four or five residents had my cell number just in case they spotted this guy.

Marathon Foundation: Run Middletown! - Free Group Runs, Course Preview

Hartford Marathon Foundation Event: 13 Mile Half Course and Previews!

You likely heard we’ve changed up the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half course.  If you haven’t viewed the aerial mile-by-mile video, check it out here. We’re also giving you two opportunities to check it out with free group runs led by Team HMF coaches!   Preview the course on Saturday, March 25 (8:00 am) in a 10-mile run, or Thursday, March 30 (5:30 pm) in a 6-mile run. Sign up here for details.

We think you’re going to welcome the course changes but don’t just take our word for it – we also have a Middletown resident runner to offer expert opinion!  

Salena Chatman is a new member of Team HMF and prolific local runner who recently hit her 100th town on her quest to reach Run 169 status.  She ran the half course start to finish a couple weeks ago and offers her own insights and (unfiltered!) opinions below. 

Selena Chatman
First, I have to say....The new course is great! It's not as hilly - that's a huge plus! Ok, ok that's not the only reason though…

If you disliked the uphill Court Street start as much as I did, I'm happy to report it's GONE! Want more good news?? It's still there for the downhill finish...how can that get better?? Remove an uphill and still get the downhill?? Win, win! 

Another hill that I won't miss is Church Street, on the previous course it was around mile 1-1.5.  You still get to see the main campus of Wesleyan University though, which is a plus.  Even better than the uphill being gone is that you get it as a downhill.  Seriously, two of the worst hills gone and that's before mile 5 - I know I'm happy about it. You'll also get to see various sections of the Wesleyan campus on the half course. 

Read more on the HMF blog.

Congressman Poe: Fighting Human Trafficking (slavery)


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Last Sunday, fans from all over the United States gathered in Houston to root on the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. I'm proud of all of the hard work that went into making this event a huge success, a safe event, and something that we Houstonians can be very proud of.

And, I'm proud of our law enforcement who arrested 178 sex buyers for trying to buy victims of modern day slavery right the midst of the fanfare of the Super Bowl. It is an unfortunate fact that big events like the Super Bowl are a draw for traffickers, but we know that this crime doesn't go away just when the large events end.
My goal is clear: end trafficking. Not in our city, not in our state, not in our country. In recent years, Congress has passed several bills to assist in the fight to end human trafficking, including my bill, the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA). JVTA is now federal law, and it's a great start to help go after human traffickers and buyers and restore victims.

Even so, there is still much work to be done to make trafficking a thing of the past. This week, I had the opportunity to speak at the Second Annual McCain Institute Trafficking Symposium about what Congress is doing to help eradicate this scurge. You can watch the panel by clicking here or on the photo below.