It seems odd to say that someone "lost" the Nobel Peace Prize. But that's what some folks were saying this week about Malala Yousafzai, who was favored to win the award because of the resilience she showed after being shot in the head by the Taliban.
Speaker of the House John Boehner leaves after discussing the government shutdown with his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill Saturday. Boehner reportedly told his colleagues that talks with the White House had ended without a deal.
Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:02 pm
President Obama hosted the Senate's leading Democrats at the White House for more than an hour Saturday afternoon, in a session that came the same day that Majority Leader Harry Reid met with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.
No details were available about the Democrats' discussion, which is one of several lines of communication that are aimed at reaching consensus on a budget deal. Earlier Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations with the White House were over, after the president rejected the GOP's most recent plan.
Earlier this week, we brought you the story of how an insurance firm had failed to pay nearly $700,000 in premiums on the city's behalf. We also told you that the broker has business ties to the family of City Treasurer Adam Cloud. Now, the story apparently has some legs. The Courant has dug into it, as has columnist Kevin Rennie.
While preparation for Saturday's ING Hartford Marathon has understandably gotten the media focused on public safety, there's apparently significant road construction coordination going on behind the scenes. Officials are getting Broad Street in working order (again) in time for the runners to pound the pavement, and there's somewhat off-the-wall talk of using the new Hartford-New Britain busway as a possible marathon route. That and more in today's fall foliage edition of The Wheelhouse Digest.
Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor of the brutal 2007 home invasion in Cheshire, has spoken with state Republican officials about a run for public office.
An anonymous Republican official told the Associated Press that Petit is considering a run for Congress. He has weighed in on public policy before, campaigning against the repeal of the death penalty in Connecticut.
Prospective clients walk past yachts during the Millionaire Boat Show at the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow on Sept. 3, 2011. A new report says Russia has the highest rate of inequality in the world – barring some small Caribbean islands.
There was an internal debate about including a link about a local meteorologist and cat vomit. We passed. If you'd like to see that, you can search it out on your own because we've already said too much. Speaking of cat vomit, CNN informs us that we are in Day Ten of the federal government shutdown, and the debt ceiling deadline is 156 hours away as this is written. That means you have time to watch all of "Battlestar Galactica," "Breaking Bad," and the first seven seasons of "Seinfeld" before the deadline. Hop to it.
Now, the partial shutdown prompted angry debate across the country. But at the center of that debate, we found quiet yesterday. We dropped by a Senate office building where the halls were empty. Papers taped on doors read: We regret that due to the government shutdown our office is closed. *
A couple of days ago, we told you the story of political name-calling in Hartford that centered around a basic fact: a broker for the city had failed to pay almost $700,000 in insurance premiums on the city's behalf. That broker, Hybrid Insurance Group, has ties to the family of city treasurer Adam Cloud.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:40 pm
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki warned lawmakers on Wednesday that the partial government shutdown means that about 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation next month.
Shinseki, in testimony before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said pensions to more than half a million vets or surviving spouses will also be derailed if the stalemate over a temporary spending measure drags on into late October.
The federal shutdown has been tough on a lot of people, as was made eminently clear this morning during the Wheelhouse episode of Where We Live, when plenty of impassioned callers made their frustrated views known. Making matters a little tougher, the U.S. Treasury Department is running out of cash to pay its bills. More on that below in The Wheelhouse Digest, plus a link to watch the Bonnie Foreshaw clemency hearing live from Niantic.
A coalition of Connecticut citizen's groups rallied outside the federal courthouse in Hartford Tuesday. They're concerned about a case before the Supreme Court that could expand the amount of money individuals can contribute to political campaigns.
The Treasury Department says it will begin running out of money to pay its bills by Oct. 17, if the partial government shutdown isn't over by then. That prospect worries the financial markets. Treasury debt plays a fundamental role in the global economy, and economists agree that a debt default would have dire consequences. But some Republicans insist that a default doesn't have to happen.
The severely backlogged benefits office of the federal VA is about to slow down again. That's because the VA announced its furloughing nearly 10,000 VBA workers including its IT department. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal issued a statement today in response to the news. He said many of the employees are veterans themselves.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:45 pm
In a press conference that lasted more than an hour, President Obama said he was willing to talk about anything, as long as Republicans reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, even if its for a short period of time.
"Let's stop the excuses. Let's take a vote in the House. Let's end this shutdown, right now; let's put people back to work" Obama said.
The partial government shutdown has a silver lining for some inmates being housed in Connecticut. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has temporarily suspended its plan to move over 1,100 women from the low-security Danbury Correctional Institute until they an pay the $1.1 million dollar cost for the transfer.
Wednesdays are usually reserved for our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse. Just like last week, the big story is the federal government shutdown. From outside Washington, it doesn't look like Congress and President Obama is any closer to reaching a deal. We talk with political observers about the shutdown and what needs to be done (or will be done) to resolve this.
Who do you think needs to budge to reach a deal? House Republicans? Or President Obama and Senate Democrats?
Along the lines of Project Longevity, a violence-prevention initiative that launched in New Haven in the past year, Chicago is trying something different to identify trouble and maybe even get out in front of it. That and more in today's Wheelhouse Digest, including Colin McEnroe's tribute to the late, much-beloved, "titanic figure" Irving Kravsow.
Connecticut’s federal public defender, Terence Ward, said money to fund his office may run out early next week if the government shutdown continues. "The shutdown, it’s a nightmare," he said. During the first ten business days of the shutdown, his office of 17 employees is operating on funds money from court fees.
The government is just 10 days away from defaulting on its debt. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that by Oct. 17, the department will likely have less money on hand than it needs to pay all its bills.
"The reality is that if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all of our bills on time, which means that a failure of Congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government," Lew said on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.
This year, in eight or nine or maybe even more towns -- this kind of thing is notoriously hard to keep track of -- candidates who thought they had followed the rules to get on the ballot suddenly found out they hadn't and they weren't. Versions of this drama seem to have played out -- each time a little differently -- in East Hampton, Middletown, Easton, Windham, Bethel, Simsbury, Westport, Fairfield and Ridgefield. In some cases, the candidates gave up and walked away.
The state of Connecticut's Department of Revenue Services is offering a amnesty program for individuals and businesses that owe back taxes. Those who take advantage of the program will get a 75 percent reduction in accrued interest, and all other penalties waived. But there are a few catches.
With the November municipal elections approaching there have been some nasty battles involving alternative parties fighting their way onto the ballot. There’s something about local politics that leads to hand to hand combat. We’ll be looking at East Hampton, Middletown, Westport and any other town with a feisty third party.
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The plan to transfer all female prisoners out of the Danbury federal facility is back in effect today, although it remains to be seen whether the government shutdown will slow transfers. While we wait to see what happens next, The Wheelhouse Digest is making a pit stop in New London, where a German website has taken an interest in development news. Also a must-see: the "Saturday Night Live" send-up of a square white Connecticut mom who checks out Grand Theft Auto 5, and ended up playing it all week.
The work that Shaun O'Connell does is required by law, yet now he's sidelined by the government shutdown.
O'Connell reviews disability claims for the Social Security Administration in New York, checking that no one's gaming the system, while ensuring people with legitimate medical problems are compensated properly.
Billions of dollars are at stake with this kind of work, yet O'Connell is considered a nonessential employee for purposes of the partial government shutdown.