Politics

The Wheelhouse Digest
1:38 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Reform Rejected; Gang Leader Turns Editor; Borrowing Encouraged

Paul Vallas in 2008, when he served the New Orleans school district.
Credit Manny Broussard / FEMA

As the fall leaves begin to turn in Connecticut, we're thinking today at The Wheelhouse Digest about a few other things turning a corner as well. Efforts toward school reform in Bridgeport were pushed back last week. A former Latin Kings member in New Haven found a way to transform herself and her work. And everything will be turning up jobs if we just borrow some more, according to a new report. Here's a taste of the news you need to know now.

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Where We Live
10:42 am
Wed September 18, 2013

The Messy World of Politics

Republican Tom Foley appeared on WFSB's Face the State last weekend with Dennis House.
WFSB screenshot

The race for governor is already heating up, more than a year before the 2014 election. Who’s providing the heat? It’s Republican Tom Foley, who’s kicking off his campaign for Governor Malloy’s job by throwing out some accusations and getting some accusations thrown his way. Seems like a job for our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse

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Demographics
8:09 am
Wed September 18, 2013

More Old People, Fewer Workers: Nations Look To Immigration

A man relaxes at a downtown park in Seoul. The pronounced demographic shift triggered by a plummeting birth rate and soaring life expectancy is seen as one of the greatest challenges facing Asia's fourth-largest economy.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:43 pm

A story in the Financial Times caught our eye this week. It was on foreign workers in South Korea.

The story looked at the town of Ansan, where about 7.6 percent of the population is foreign. They come from other Asian countries, as well as from Russia. Here's one of the reasons for the change in South Korea, a highly homogeneous society:

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7:08 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Foley: "I didn't ask for hard evidence."

Lead in text: 
Every day there's a new bit of drama surrounding likely GOP candidate for governor Tom Foley. In an interview with Mark Pazniokas of The Connecticut Mirror, Foley backtracks on allegations of impropriety he leveled at Governor Malloy. Paz and Dennis House of WFSB join Where We Live in The Wheelhouse for more on this story today at 9am.
Republican Tom Foley conceded Tuesday he has no idea what evidence, if any, supports his suspicion that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy accepted money as a candidate from the man he later appointed commissioner of environmental protection, Daniel C. Esty. "It's possible it's not true," Foley said. "I believe it's true."
Diplomacy
2:29 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Brazilian Leader Postpones State Visit Over Spying Concerns

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends the first working meeting of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:16 pm

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday that she would not travel to the United States for a state visit on Oct. 23.

It is the first concrete diplomatic consequence of the revelations made by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed widespread spying by the U.S. government on foreigners.

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New Haven
1:01 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

New Haven Native Nominated for Posthumous Congressional Gold Medal

Constance Baker Motley in 1988.
Credit Columbia Law School

Constance Baker Motley, a New Haven native, has been nominated for a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal. Motley was born in 1921 to a family that emigrated to New Haven from the West Indies. She was a pioneer as a civil rights lawyer, lawmaker and judge.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:06 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Malloy Rebuts; Six Eyes at Mohegan; New Rooftop Turf

Malloy talks with reporters on Monday.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

The week started off pretty rough with yesterday's news of a horrific shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Here's a dose of daily news you need to know now that does not involve violence... maybe just a little mud in the eye. 

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Immigration Policy
3:41 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Connecticut Leads the Way on Immigration TRUST Act as California Considers It

The Islas family in New Haven
Unidad Latina En Acción

Immigrant advocates are waiting to see whether California Governor Jerry Brown will sign the TRUST Act into law. The bill would prevent police from holding undocumented residents for immigration officials if they haven't committed serious crimes.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Summers Pulls Out Of Running To Be Federal Reserve Chief

Citing what he calls an "acrimonious" confirmation process, Lawrence Summers called President Obama to tell him of his decision not to seek the job of Federal Reserve Chairman Sunday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 11:01 am

Larry Summers has removed his name from the running to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. The former Treasury secretary informed President Obama of his decision in a phone call Sunday. The withdrawal was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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Race for Governor
2:12 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Foley Accuses Malloy of "Improper Behavior"

Tom Foley announces he is exploring a run for governor in 2014.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Republican Tom Foley is exploring a run for governor and he's already on the offensive against Governor Dannel Malloy.

When he announced on Tuesday that he was exploring a run for governor, Foley accused Malloy of improperly giving state business to friends who did him favors. He declined to give any examples.

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Race
7:48 am
Sun September 15, 2013

50 Years After The Bombing, Birmingham Still Subtly Divided

Investigators work outside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., following an explosion that killed four young girls. Three Ku Klux Klansmen were convicted in the bombing years later.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 1:18 pm

Fifty years ago Sunday, a Ku Klux Klan bomb at a Baptist church in Birmingham, Ala., killed four black girls and sent shock waves throughout the country.

In Birmingham, the tragedy laid bare a deep rift.

Carolyn McKinstry, standing on the sidewalk outside 16th Street Baptist Church, remembers arriving for worship 50 years ago.

"It was Youth Day," she says. "We were excited because that meant we got to do everything. We sang, we ushered, we did everything."

Some of her Sunday school classmates had gone to the ladies' room to freshen up.

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Syria
8:37 am
Sat September 14, 2013

U.S. And Russia Form A Plan On Syria's Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal from Geneva on Saturday.
Larry Downing AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 1:06 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart have reached a deal that calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. The plan, which Kerry announced in a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Saturday, gives Syria a week to detail its chemical arsenal.

"The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments," Kerry said. "And as I said at the outset of these negotiations, there can be no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime."

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Syria
6:31 am
Sat September 14, 2013

U.S., Russia Reach Deal On Syrian Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, his back to camera, and senior aides talk outside at a Geneva hotel Saturday before announcing an agreement on securing Syrian chemical weapons.
Larry Downing AP

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 7:15 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday they have reached an agreement on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons, and raised the specter of a potential U.N. Security Council resolution that could authorize sanctions — even military action — if President Bashar Assad's government fails to comply.

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Politics
6:33 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Congress Searches For A Shutdown-Free Future

House Speaker John Boehner tried to sound optimistic Thursday that his Republican conference would find a way to avoid a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

There's a lot of searching on Capitol Hill but no discovery yet of a way to avoid a federal government shutdown at the start of next month.

Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are searching for enough House GOP votes for a spending bill that could pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate and keep the government open past Sept. 30.

Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers are searching for a way to repeal the Affordable Care Act with the help of the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama.

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Syria
7:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Russian Plan 'Is Just A Lie,' Syrian Rebel General Says

A Free Syrian Army fighter in eastern Syria on Wednesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:13 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris

As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."

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Where We Live
11:09 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Twists and Turns of Syria

President Obama speaks to his cabinet about the situation in Syria.
Pete Souza (White House)

It’s been an amazing few days in the life of the Syrian crisis. On Monday morning, we heard Bashar al-Assad address his country’s chemical weapons in an interview with Charlie Rose. "We don't discuss this issue in public because we never said that we have it," said Assad. "And we never said that we don't have it. It's a Syrian issue. It's a military issue. We never discussed it in public with anyone." 

Last night, during a speech to the nation, President Barack Obama laid out his case for military intervention in Syria: "If we fail to act," he said, "the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them."

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Race for Governor
10:53 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Voter Fraud Or No Voter Fraud In 2010?

Tom Foley concedes the 2010 election for governor.
Credit WNPR

When he conceded the gubernatorial election in 2010, Republican Tom Foley said there was "no credible evidence" of voter fraud

Now, Foley says he's exploring a run in 2014.  And, looking back, the Republican says that while there was no evidence of fraud in 2010, he's convinced the system is full of it.  Fraud, that is.  Without it, he says he would have won. 

That got a rise of out Malloy's former advisor, Roy Occhiogrosso, on Twitter.

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Analysis
7:54 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Obama's Shift On Syria: A Show Of Strength Or Fear?

President Obama walks along the West Wing Colonnade toward the Oval Office ahead of Tuesday night's speech on Syria.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 11:00 am

One line President Obama might have borrowed for his speech to the nation Tuesday night was a famous one from John F. Kennedy's inauguration address: "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."

Always admired as a fine turn of phrase, what meaning does this have in our own time?

Perhaps it might have helped Obama make the turn from indicting the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons to explaining why he backed off his own earlier threat of military retaliation against Syria.

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Elections
4:55 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Most Voters Don't Care About Municipal Primary

The time has come for a new Mayor at New Haven City Hall
Credit Photo Courtesy of Flickr CC by Jimmy Wayne

But they should. Especially in cities like New Haven and Stamford where voters have a chance to pick their next mayor. In the Elm City, this is a "watershed" race. Those are the words of Paul Bass, editor of the New Haven Independent. 

That's because longtime Mayor John DeStefano is finally not running for re-election. He's been the Mayor of New Haven for twenty years!

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Syria
12:25 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

A Viewer's Guide To Obama's Syria Speech

President Obama walks toward the Oval Office of the White House on Tuesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 1:14 pm

If ever a speech seemed to be President Obama's last, best chance to win public and congressional support for his plan to launch military strikes against Syria, it's his prime-time talk to the nation Tuesday.

With polls indicating that 60 percent of Americans oppose action against Syria for using sarin gas and congressional approval looking ever more like a long shot, Obama's speech is a high-stakes endeavor.

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Syria
10:19 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Obama's Toughest Audience: His Die-Hard Supporters

President Obama returns to the White House on Friday after the G-20 summit in Russia.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:37 pm

Brent Rosenberg was an early and enthusiastic Barack Obama supporter at a place and time when it mattered most: Iowa 2008, in the run-up to the first-in-the-nation presidential-nominating contest.

"I worked hard during the caucuses," said Rosenberg, a Des Moines lawyer and lifelong Democrat. "I led all my friends and relatives to him."

So it's with evident pain that he now speaks about the president, on the eve of Obama's speech on military action against Syria, with disappointment, if not regret.

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News
7:39 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Ordinary Americans React To Calls For Strikes On Syria

Soldiers rappel at the Sabalauski Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, Ky.
U.S. Army Jennifer Andersson AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:55 am

Before we hear from President Obama Tuesday night, let's hear now from some concerned citizens. The president will go on television to ask for support to press Syria to stop using chemical weapons.

Polls suggest Americans are largely opposed to military strikes in Syria. For a sampling of opinions we have reports from Pennsylvania, Los Angeles and Kentucky.

We begin at a place whose residents know a lot about overseas conflicts: Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Our report is from Blake Farmer of member station WPLN.

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Kentucky Ringer
4:57 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Bevin: Connecticut "Wanted to Help Out" My Company

Matt Bevin on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown" with Luke Russert.
Credit MSNBC

A Connecticut businessman running for the Republican Senate nomination in Kentucky is taking on charges that he's not conservative enough.

Matt Bevin owns the Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company in East Hampton, Connecticut. After the factory was destroyed in a fire last year, he received $100,000 in state grants to help him rebuild.

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Where We Live
11:03 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Passionate Politics: Syria and Local Elections

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel addressing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday.
Ana Radelat (CT Mirror)

President Barack Obama has found some unlikely congressional support for his plan to intervene in the Syrian war. He’s got the backing of Republicans like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senator John McCain, and House Speaker John Boehner.

"This is something that the United States as a country needs to do," said Boehner. "I’m going to support the president’s call for action. I believe my colleagues should support this call for action.

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World
10:17 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Congressional Delegates Weigh a Military Strike on Syria

Senator Richard Blumenthal
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

President Obama is winning some Republican support for military action against Syria. But judging by response from Connecticut's congressional delegation, he won't have an easy time with members of his own party.

"The authorization document that the President has submitted to Congress is insufficiently limited in defining our objectives and strategy," Senator Richard Blumenthal told WNPR's Where We Live. He said the authorization the President is asking congress for is far too broad in its scope, and he wants more information on the long-term objectives.

"Our national security has to be one of the predominant factors that we consider," he said.  

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News
10:33 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Syria Resolution Will Hit Mark, Obama Predicts

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 11:25 am

The White House is working with congressional leaders to shape a resolution that authorizes the type of military action that would send a "clear message" to President Bashar Assad and cripple the Syrian leader's "capability to use chemical weapons not just now but in the future," President Obama said Tuesday.

Sitting with leaders from both major parties, the president also said he is confident lawmakers are "going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark."

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9:18 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Connecticut Dairy Farmers Lose Federal Aid

Lead in text: 
The Connecticut Mirror reports that because Congress failed to act on a farm bill before its summer recess, Connecticut's dairy farmers lost their federal assistance this past weekend.
Washington - Because Congress failed to act on a farm bill before its summer recess, Connecticut's dairy farmers lost their federal assistance over the weekend. Connecticut farmers received about $1.2 million last year in payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Milk Income Loss Program, or MILC, and much, much more during years when milk prices were lower.
Non-Profit Minute
8:07 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Compass After School Program

News
12:35 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

President To Issue New Executive Orders On Guns

A weapon is used on the indoor firing range at the National Armory gun store in Pompano Beach, Fla., in April.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:12 pm

The White House says President Obama will issue two new executive orders on guns — one to curb the import of military surplus weapons and another that closes a loophole allowing some felons to get around background checks.

The two actions — to be announced by Vice President Joe Biden at the swearing-in of Todd Jones, the new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — will join 23 others that the president has issued in an effort to reduce gun violence.

They are part of a set of recommendations from the vice president unveiled in January.

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U.S. Economy
3:32 am
Thu August 29, 2013

For Restaurant Workers, A Struggle To Put Food On The Table

Losia Nyankale helps daughter Jonessa and son Juliean learn the alphabet. Nyankale, who works in a restaurant in Washington, D.C., says she needs food stamps and child-care subsidies to make ends meet.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:27 am

Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.

"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."

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