Archive for September, 2008

This Week on Face the State
September 26, 2008

This week we are talking the financial crisis with Thor Cheyne of Smith Barney.

Also, we are joined by former Hartford Mayor Ann Uccello.   For more information about this political pioneer watch this report:

Mike Peters and his Fight for Life
September 19, 2008


Former Hartford Mayor Mike Peters may need a liver transplant.   He shared his diagnosis with me in an Eyewitness News Special Report.    Watch it here:

You can also leave comments for the mayor right here, and I’ll make sure he sees them.

This week on “Face the State”
September 12, 2008

Women to watch.   This we talk about up and coming women in the Connecticut Republican Party.   Next week we’ll talk Democrats.

Governor Rell may have to appoint a senator if Joe Lieberman joins the cabinet if John McCain becomes president.  If Barack Obama is elected, Chris Dodd could do the same thing, and need to be replaced.

Would the governor make history by appointing a woman?   We talk about it.

Plus  we talk to former Hartford Mayor Mike Peters.    He talks about the grand jury and his successor.   All this Sunday on Face the State.

Don’t forget to include your first and last name and your city or town on your blog post.

Beware of Yellow Jackets
September 10, 2008

It is the season for yellow jackets.    They are aggressive and dangerous,  which is why when a nest of them was discovered in my front lawn after my teenage neighbor was stung by one,  I called in the experts.  Yellow Jackets can be deadly.  I know, because my grandfather was killed by them.

It happened 59 years ago this week.   My grandfather, Crescenzo Chully (an Americanized version of the Italian surname Chuilli) was walking through some grass in Norwood, Massachusetts when he accidentally stepped on a nest of yellow jackets.  They swarmed all over him,  stinging him repeatedly.    Unlike bees, yellow jackets can sting over and over again.  

 It was a horrible attack.   My grandfather had hundreds of stings, many on the face, neck and head.   Those with him pulled him from the scene of the attack and rushed him to the hospital, where this Navy veteran who survived World War II, died two days later.   The number of stings was so great, it led to a deadly swelling in his brain.    He was only 38.  My mother was 12.

As you might imagine, I was raised with a fear of yellow jackets.  Anytime there was a nest in our yard, my mother made sure qualified professionals came and took care of them.   Some folks get out there with spray and go into battle….but  I’m not one of those types.

Deaths by yellow jackets are rare, but they do happen.   About 50 people in the United States die every year from these stings.  In many attacks people have  severe  anaphylactic reactions and have trouble breathing.   More than a million people suffer some sort of reaction from a sting every year.

So the last two summers  I called in Advanced Pest Control in Newington and Jesse the Hornet Hunter went to work.   He took care of the nest in our front lawn, and also found another one near the house, and that too was doused with a powder that will make the nest uninhabitable.  

 He also told me mid- late summer, particularly September is a busy month for these bugs, often mistaken for bees.  As the nights grow colder, they need a warm place to be.   Without a nest,  most of these yellow jackets won’t survive the night.    By the way, Jesse chose not wear his special bee suit.   As I looked at him like he was a lunatic, he shared with me his escape strategy:  he would run in the opposite direction of the yellow jackets’ flight pattern.  OK.   He would also make a quick getaway since the  insects would understandably be angry.    I watched from the comfort and safety of our living room, as Jesse sprinted calmly to his truck while a confused swarm came out of the ground.

I’m not telling you this to increase your paranoia, just be careful if you see them in your yard.

UPDATE:  contact Norm at   He wants your hornets!

Does Clinton really want Obama to win?
September 8, 2008

If Hillary Clinton wants to be president, the answer is “no.”

On yesterday’s Face the State, radio talk show host Jim Vicevich predicted Clinton will “halfheartedly” campaign for former rival Barack Obama.   He’s not the only one speculating about Clinton’s true ambitions.   The senator,  who wanted to become the nation’s first female president, hasn’t said anything specific about her future plans,  but hasn’t put a damper on talk that she may run for the White House again,  someday.   

That someday might be awhile.   If Barack Obama is elected in November,  Clinton’s next opportunity to run for president will be 2016, that is unless Obama has a disastrous first term along the lines of Jimmy Carter’s dismal presidency.  Even if Obama is a total failure, challenging a sitting president in your own party doesn’t work.    Just ask Ted Kennedy,  who in 1980, thought high inflation, double digit mortgage rates,  the Iranian hostage crisis and Soviet aggression would persuade Democrats to give him the nomination instead of President Carter.

If Obama wins,  the former first lady will have to sit by and watch him run for re-election in 2012 and wait for another shot in ’16.    Clinton will be just shy of 70 years old then, and presumably in her third term in the senate, having spent 24 years in Washington.  

Eight years from now the political landscape will be much different.   The Democratic Party, which had been the Clintons’ party since 1992,  will be Obama’s.    A whole new crop of presidential candidates will be campaigning in ’16.  Due in large part to the historic candidacies this year of Clinton and Sarah Palin,  it is highly likely the field of hopefuls in ’16 will include other women.  

A President Barack Obama raises the strong possibility there may never be a President Hillary Clinton.    That could explain why some Clinton supporters are vowing to vote for the GOP this fall.

If John McCain is elected,   Clinton would the be the instant odds-on favorite to challenge him in 2012.     I think she would start running next year, with an early trip to New Hampshire.   But what if Obama  loses by a narrow margin?   At the age of 51 in ’12, he may want another shot and has established a massive fundraising base.   There are also fresh faces who may want to run:   Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius,  former Virginia governor Mark Warner,  Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, along with some folks we haven’t even thought of.    

Ever since Adlai Stevenson’s back to back losses in ’52 and ’56, Democrats haven’t treated their losers very well.   Obama and Clinton will be seen as faces of the past,  on the same poster as McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Kerry, etc.  If Obama loses this year, the Democrats may be looking for a totally new standard bearer other than Clinton.   She may be popular among her supporters, but overall, half the Democratic primary voters this year voted against her, and she too, may be seen as yesterday’s news.

There’s also the probability that Clinton would be blamed for Obama’s loss.  The Republicans are already using her own words of doubt against Obama from the primary campaign in their own commercials.    What about her “3AM” ad that helped her win Ohio?   

Despite that, McCain winning certainly creates a better scenario for Clinton and is in the best interests her presidential aspirations.    Although it means conceding a place in history to  Sarah Palin, who gets to break that glass ceiling,  it also gives Clinton another,an earlier,  shot at her dream.  

What do you think?   What is really on Clinton’s mind?  Who does she want to win? 

At the end of your post on the blog, please put your full name and hometown

This Week on Face the State
September 6, 2008

This week on Face the State we discuss the history making vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, now the new phenomenon in campaign ’08.

We are joined by radio talk show host Jim Vicevich, columnist Susan Campbell and State Rep. Penny Bacchiochi. 

We also ask:   Would Governor Rell have been a better choice?

                       What about Hillary Clinton?   Does she secretly hope Obama loses so she can pursue that presidential dream in 2012?  

                Watch this Sunday at 11AM.

Vice-President Palin?
September 4, 2008

She’s making history and creating controversy.  Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is only the second woman in American history on a major party ticket, and the first for Republicans.   Her selection snaps a drought of 24 years, when then New York congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro was picked by the Democrats.

This 44 year old mother of five is a relative unknown, and many of you have no doubt have seen at least some of the intense media coverage this week.

What do you think of Governor Palin?   Please leave your full name and your city or town and we may use your comments on Face the State.

I’m back!!
September 3, 2008

I’m back after a few weeks of R & R to end the summer.   We totally lucked out with weather, with only one day of rain.

We didn’t have cable television, or the internet, and Kara and I simply relaxed with our daughter.   We saw her grow before our eyes with new words and new accomplishments.

We didn’t watch much television except for the speeches at the Democratic National Convention…..and the breaking news on Friday morning that Sarah Palin had been tapped to be John McCain’s running mate.   

The journalist in me loved the story.   I watched reporters on the morning shows wonder if the choice was Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney, and then mentioned that a plane from Anchorage had flown into Dayton.    My gut told me then the choice was Palin.

I told Denise and Kara earlier this summer that she was a dark horse but I wouldn’t be surprised if she were to be chosen.  

Anyway, it great was watch the reporters update the story through the morning.   It was journalism drama!


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