People are talking again about changing the Westeros Charter so that a simple-minded stablehand could theoretically be king. Are you in favor of the Greyjoy Amendment?
Q: What area of Baratheon foreign or domestic policy needs the most work right now?
Q: What do you most admire about Bran Stark?
Q: Do you ever joke about carrying him? You know, the way somebody will be talking about how Sam Worthington was in “Terminator: Salvation” and somebody else will say, “He carried that movie?” Do you ever make that kind of joke when you’re carrying Bran?
Q: Do you see Joffrey distancing himself from Lannister meta-nationalist ideology? Would you describe this as an image change or a fundamental transformation of the dynasty?
Q: Do you consider yourself fortunate to be a single man right now in Westeros, when the climate is more hospitable to men with active dating lives than it presumably will be in a period of Targaryen Dothraki-influenced fundamentalism?
Q: How many hours a day are you able to carry Bran?
A: Look, I’m a workaholic, so… you know, I want to go back to what you asked a couple of questions ago. Joffrey has distanced himself greatly from the hardcore Lannister pan-nationalism which defined the family in the Cersei period. He has instead adopted random cruelty as his main plank, and even though Gendry remains popular among King’s Landing opposition groups, the slogan he needs to be running on is a slogan of good governance and economic development in the Crownlands. This is part of a transformation underway in Westeros. I would argue that it is still an incomplete transformation, but it is a movement in the right direction. But to answer your question, 18 is pretty much my limit, or I’m a mess the next day.
Q: Thank you for your time.
It’s 58 degrees and dry; and Martha Dean is seeking the Republican nomination for governor. Happy days are here again!
Connecticut’s most adorable heat-seeking missile will vastly complicate the race and tell us a few things. If she hangs in all the way to the primary, we’ll get a good sense of the real size of the party’s hard right, pro-gun voting bloc. People who underestimate Dean do so at their peril. In the 2010 general election for attorney general, she polled 43.6. In the primary — admittedly against an opponent who got into the race when they were setting up the steam tables at the convention — she polled 60 percent. She was probably emboldened by the crap numbers other challengers posted in last week’s Q-Poll.
In the words of Connie Francis, “Who’s Sorry Now?” Well, Joe Visconti, we love you, and we will miss you. And I have to assume Tom Foley is pouring a little extra Barrique de Ponciano Porfidio in the blender along about now. I don’t know whether her entry clears out some of the clutter or peels away Foley support, thus allowing McKinney and Boughton to breathe a little. But I know it’s not a good day when you find out you gotta run against Martha. One of the songs on “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back” was “Nobody Wins.” Sing it, Tom!
Anymore it doesn’t matter
Who’s right or wrong
We’ve been injuring each other
For much too long
And it’s too late to try to save
What might have been
It’s over, nobody wins
One of the other songs on that album is “Send In The Clowns,” but we will not go there.
Even while starting late, she will probably qualify for the Citizens Election Program. She needs $250,000 in amounts of $100 or less. That’s not easy to do. My guess is her first $100,000 is a lay-up. The gun people will get her there. I mean, just the people refusing to comply with the 2013 gun law should be worth that much.
If she qualifies, she gets $1.3 million, just for the primary. Do you know how much I want to see Martha Dean spend $1.3 million in a primary? A whole big bunch. That and Game of Thrones will make my spring. And be basically indistinguishable from one another.
I’ve been over the New Yorker Andrew Solomon story about Peter Lanza a few times now. If you’re looking for a Rosetta Stone, some kind of master document that once and for all explains Peter’s son Adam, you’re not going to get it there.
Solomon was granted access to some new material, especially four binders of printed emails between Peter and his ex-wife Nancy (Adam’s mother and the first of the 27 people slain by him). What Solomon extracted from those tends to flesh out — as opposed to dramatically recast — what we already knew. Perhaps someone with a lot more clinical training than I have will feel differently. We see the withdrawn, rejecting, arrogant and angry young man. Maybe the new wrinkle is the fragility that underlay those qualities Nancy’s emails to Peter describe, again and again, Adam breaking down in tears from fear and frustration.
There was one chilling passage that jumped out at me:
Peter does not think that Adam had any affection for him, either, by that point. He said, “With hindsight, I know Adam would have killed me in a heartbeat, if he’d had the chance. I don’t question that for a minute. The reason he shot Nancy four times was one for each of us: one for Nancy; one for him; one for Ryan; one for me.”
And there was this piece of news:
Peter has offered to meet with the victims’ families, and two have taken up his offer. “It’s gut-wrenching,” he said. “A victim’s family member told me that they forgave Adam after we spent three hours talking. I didn’t even know how to respond. A person that lost their son, their only son.”
Solomon’s story relies so heavily on Peter Lanza’s previously unoffered testimony that it probably suffers from a bit of tilt. Lanza is appropriately apologetic, almost abject. But he’s also only human, and the article frequently has the tone that many of us take in describing failed marriages and disagreements about parenting. He wanted to set more limits; she wanted to accommodate the kid’s strangeness. That kind of thing.
“She would build the world around him and cushion it,” Peter said. Adam had difficulties with coördination and, when he was seventeen, Peter told Nancy that he had had to pause to retie his shoes on a hike. Nancy responded in astonishment, “He tied his own shoes?”
What we still do not have — and apparently never will have — is the Newtown equivalent of the 9/11 Commission Report, which proved in 2004 that an official telling of a catastrophe can be lucid and even eloquent. We’ll never have the satisfaction believing that there’s one report composed by someone with access to every possible source, one report written with no other goal than to tell the whole story as clearly as possible with malice toward none, with charity for all.
After complaining about House Bill 5481, I am honor-bound to report that the Governor’s office testified against it today. Thank you, Governor’s office.
Testimony of Luke Bronin, General Counsel to the Governor
On Behalf of Governor Dannel P. Malloy
To the Government Administration and Elections Committee
On House Bill 5481, An Act Establishing the Central Office of Administrative Hearings
March 10, 2014
Senator Musto, Representative Jutila, Senator McLachlan, Representative Hwang and members of the
Government Administration and Elections Committee:
Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony on House Bill 5481, An Act Establishing the Central
Office of Administrative Hearings, which would transfer authority for hearing contested cases from
certain agencies to the Central Office of Administrative Hearings. The Administration opposes this bill.
While we respect the proponents’ aims, the Administration believes that this bill goes too far in
separating agencies’ policy-making function from their adjudicatory, investigatory and prosecutorial
functions. Agencies possess substantial subject matter expertise, and courts give administrative agency
decisions great deference precisely because decisions by agency personnel are informed by such subject
We also anticipate significant costs associated with the establishment of such an office
After more than a year, a long draggy official investigation, two maddeningly sketchy reports from the state, and an advisory commission still, as far as I know, trying to do its work, we finally have a fleshed-out portrait of Adam Lanza, with detailed testimony from the living person who knew him best.
Unfortunately, it’s in the New Yorker.
House Bill 5481 would allow decisions by the Freedom of Information Commission – a panel that’s considered to be a model — to be overturned by a new entity to be called the Central Office of Administrative Hearings. The COAH could reverse actions by other watchdog agencies, too. Some consider this a step toward eliminating the FOIC. A hearing is slated for this Monday.
The Record Journal rightly sees this as more strengthening of the governor’s power of watchdog agencies.
… it would consolidate power in the executive (over contested cases before the Freedom of Information Commission and a number of other agencies), so it’s hard to imagine that the governor will be displeased. In fact, this one gives him not only the power to nominate the head judge (of what would be called the Central Office of Administrative Hearings) but also the power to remove that person “for good cause.”
Not only this is yet another sneaky authorless infringement on our Freedom of Information Act specifically and on good government generally, but also doesn’t the Central Office of Administrative Hearings have the ring of all those drab but vaguely sinister Soviet-era agencies? The Joint State Political Directorate for the Enforcement of Trust?
To increase the sense that we, the public, are rube is a shell game, two key public hearings about FOI are scheduled for tomorrow, at the same time. Strap on your ACME jet skates.
So let’s dedicate this 1981 tune — so eerily predictive of hiphop — to the Malloy Administration!
Well, it would be hard to argue against the idea that Ellen DeGeneres get a huge victory lap after last night’s Oscars. One of the things you want in a host is that ability to make a big room small, and the Oscars are a very big room. DeGeneres just has that knack. When she hosts, the awards almost feel like a party the rest of us are invited to. She didn’t have anything quite as compact and hilarious as she did seven years ago when she ran a vacuum cleaner along the front row, forcing actresses to raise their legs. (“Watch out, Penelope, that is a huge dress.”) But she continued with that notion of treating huge stars as real people, making them dig twenties out of their wallets for the pizza.
But none of that is a surprise. And bring her back next year. Done deal.
The surprise of the night was the Pharrell Williams’ performance. Idina Menzel’s “Let I Go” was the object of unprecedented anticipation, but — possibly knocked off stride by Travolta’s mangling of her name — she never really did what we know Menzel can do. Her rendition felt airless. Meanwhile, Williams and his Smokey Robinson-style song blew the roof off the joint. (I would preferred choreography that was less busy and a little more focused on …something, anything.) Talk about dancing with the stars: he prowled through the audience, swapping moves with leading ladies, especially the adorable Lupita Nyong’o. The cat in the hat provided ghe most electric 2.5 minutes.
I didn’t think Brendan Sharkey had something like this in him, but this proposal is a really important idea. And it took some guts and vision to bring it up. Tax-exempt property is one of the things killing cities right now, and it’s time to open the books and take a second look at the whole system.
One test of any non-profit is: what are your compensation packages for top executives? Really, you have people making more than $500,000? More than $1 million? More than $3 million? And you’re a non-profit? (The craziest one is the tax exempt NFL, where Roger Goodell pulls down $44 million.)
In Hartford, roughly $1 billion in public monies went into Adriaen’s Landing, with the expectation that it would eventually spur tax-productive real estate development nearby. Now UConn wants to sit its tax-exempt butt down in the prime spot.
Sharkey’s idea will probably get beaten down, but bravo to him for starting the conversation.