If You Won't Pass Laws We Like, You Owe Us Money, Say Connecticut Politicians

Sen. Richard BlumenthalU.S. SenateTalk about cashing in on tragedy. Some Connecticut politicians look at the graves of the children murdered by Adam Lanza at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and they see ... not tragedy, but rather an opportunity for extorting money from the American people. That money, to be surrendered as compensation for "wrong" legislative votes by lawmakers with whom they disagree, is to pay costs voluntarily assumed by local officials to build a new school — an expense not generally seen as a responsibility of national taxpayers.

It's understandable why Newtown officials chose to tear down Sandy Hook Elementary School and rebuild on the site. I might argue that keeping and reclaiming the school does a better job of eliminating Lanza's legacy than does leveling the site and constructing a new building, but that's a choice for locals to make. And there's no doubt that the old school has some dark associations in the wake of the crime. Newtown officials and residents apparently beleive that they're better served by a new facility.

But that's a decision with a price tag. Local officials want to commit to that project; that's their decision, and if they can persuade others to contribute funds for the purpose, that's a step they've chosen for putting the whole, dark incident in the past. But Connecticut officials including  Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal want the federal government to pay the bill. As the Hartford Courant points out, if the feds pick up the tab, "it would mark the first time federal money was used for school construction. Traditionally, federal education funds are used for programming, not buildings; no federal dollars were used to rebuild Columbine High School following the mass shooting there."

Why should taxpayers in Arizona and Oregon pay for a school in Connecticut? According to Murphy and Blumenthal, because legislation they favored was debated and defeated in Congress, they're owed money for the bulding of that school. Says Sen. Chris Murphy:

“This bill enables my colleagues to put their money where their mouths have been,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “For those of my colleagues …[who] failed to vote for common sense gun violence prevention measures in March, this bill gives them the opportunity to make a down payment — not a full payment — but a down payment on their obligation to respond adequately to the Sandy Hook horror.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (that's him pictured) agrees:

Added Blumenthal: "It's no substitute for the 'no' votes that were cast but it is at least...a step in the right direction and it shows they are keeping faith with the promises they made."

So ... Never mind that Connecticut passed exactly the sort of restrictive gun control laws that Senators Murphy and Blumenthal favor; the fact that Congress rejected such legislation amidst extensive discussion of practical, constitutional and philosophical issues is taken to impose a moral obligation to surrender money as some sort of purchase of absolution.

It's not unusual for politicians to simply assume the unquestionable moral rectitude of their positions and the matching bankruptcy of their opponents. After all, if they weren't arrogant and even a bit monstrous they wouldn't be in a profession that exists to threaten people with fines and prison for refusing to bend to their will. But this is the first time I've seen a price put on voting the "wrong" way.

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  • SugarFree||

    "I broke my windows, now pay for them, dammit."

    Grade-A scum.

  • Smells Like Tom Skerritt||

    You grade on a very generous curve. More like Grade-F-Scum.

  • ||

    Blumenthal is total, absolute scum. He is Connecticut's Spitzer that hasn't been caught yet. And he is the exemplification of our current political class who think that they should always get whatever policy they want no matter whether they actually win a vote or not. They "believe" in both total political power and "democracy" at the same time, and care about one or the other depending on whether they are winning or losing votes at the time. Basically, their entire philosophy is heads I win, tails you lose.

    Fuck you, Blumenthal, you repulsive parasite.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Basically, their entire philosophy is heads I win, tails you lose.

    Shorter: FYTW

  • $park¥||

    Ed Markey has decided at least part of his campaign for Senate is going to be built on the bodies of the Newtown kids. His latest commercial calls him out for being for an assault weapons ban and for being against high capacity magazines "like the ones used in the Newtown shooting" while his opponent is all for letting people keep scary guns and being in favor of dead children.

  • Jon Lester||

    I wish his opponent would ask him if he's ever seen photos of what drone-launched Hellfire missiles can do to young bodies. I say "wish" because I'm not confident CT has a very deep pool of talent to draw from, or even if the opponent has agreeable foreign policy views.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    . . . and meanwhile he keeps company with eco/Animal Rights terrorist shitbags who think that setting fires, planting bombs and threatening to murder the children of scientific researchers on their way to school are the noblest form of human endeavor.

    Markey is dogshit.

  • deified||

    Fuck. As a D, in deep Blue Connecticut, Murphy (and Blumenthal) has/have life-tenure. So, fuck.

    On the other hand, I think these jerks realize that they're asking for the moon and that either The American People™ or our system of checks and balances will be smart enough to tell them to shove bayonets deep, deep into their own wretched assholes.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    their obligation to respond adequately to the Sandy Hook horror.

    Was the "Sandy Hook horror" illegal already? Did "they" partake in it? Is the perpetrator on the loose?

    Yes, no and yes? Well, sounds like they don't have any obligation to respond.

    On a related note, I live close enough to the Boston Marathon bombings that I've decided to tear down my house and get a new one built. I expect a check from Mr. Blumenthal soon.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Yes, no and no?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    ...That's what I would have written if there was EDIT BUTTON.

  • Almanian!||

    1) Fuck you, Connecticut Senators.

    I'll do my best never to visit your state nor spend a nickel on anything made there.

    2) they are keeping faith with the promises they made - WHAT promises? You're responsible for your own vote - not aware anyone promised you anything. So fuck yourself AGAIN.

  • playa manhattan||

    They are too stupid to realize what a dangerous game they are playing. If we start making politicians cough up money for making the "wrong" votes, I'm pretty sure these guys wouldn't come out ahead...

  • Redmanfms||

    I'm pretty sure these guys wouldn't come out ahead...

    They don't get graded on results, but intentions, so they always come out on top.

  • Jerryskids||

    Let's see: 'We said if you don't pass this law bad things will happen, you didn't pass the law, bad things happened, you owe us money'.

    How about: 'You said if we elected you we would have better government, we elected you, we don't have better government, you owe us money'.

    Just off the top of my head, I'm figuring those two owe us about 2 billion.

  • BakedPenguin||

    He looks like a Dick Tracy villain. He acts like one, too, only worse.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Both of them would have fit in with the villains in Atlas Shrugged.

  • StinkEye||

    "He looks like a Dick Tracy villain. He acts like one, too, only worse."

    simple is better

  • Adam330||

    "it would mark the first time federal money was used for school construction."

    Ummm....this is factually wrong. Feds have paid for lots and lots of school construction.

  • Raston Bot||

    yeah, WTF?

    From some ED budget bullshit:

    ...Capital Financing Program has provided... with access to capital financing for the repair, renovation, and, in exceptional circumstances, construction or acquisition of educational facilities, instructional equipment, research instrumentation, and physical infrastructure.

    Sounds like schools are being built to me.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....ce_of_1785

    Been going on for a long time.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I hope that I shall see the day when Murphy and Blumenthal are led out into the street, stripped naked, horsewhipped until they soil themselves in pain and fear, after than, have a hemp rope noose tied around their neck and then hanged from the nearest tree.

  • StinkEye||

    And that's why they are so desperate for an unarmed and thoroughly cowed populace...

  • radar||

    A man can dream......

  • Lord Humungus||

    Peak Derp - the mountain with an unknown height.

  • $park¥||

    "On the mountains of truth derp you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow."

  • Randian||

    So this guy is literally peddling indulgences for the children.

    Hm.

    How about we nail 95 theses to his forehead? that should do the trick.

  • ||

    Tar, feathering, and then run him out of town on the rail.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Funny thing is - I bet a number of people (not including myself) would gladly contribute to building a new school for the little kidz. What is the word called again. Oh yes - Charity.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I wouldn't. They had a fully functional school already.

  • ||

    This. For realz. If the tragedy was so devastating, then close down the school and DON'T reopen. Give those kids scholarships/vouchers to attend another school of their choosing.

  • ||

    “This bill enables my colleagues to put their money where their mouths have been,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “For those of my colleagues …[who] failed to vote for common sense gun violence prevention measures in March, this bill gives them the opportunity to make a down payment — not a full payment — but a down payment on their obligation to respond adequately to the Sandy Hook horror.”

    Do I even want to try and deconstruct the logic here? Yes Senator, the rest of the country should pay because they failed to pass a bill that would have done absolutely nothing to stop this particular tragedy you are so eager to exploit.

  • Jon Lester||

    Funny how many people who toss around the phrase "common sense" have no appreciation for what it really means.

  • AlexInCT||

    I fail to see the humor. In fact, the fact that so many lack common sense of any kind makes me want to cry.

  • Jon Lester||

    I'm guessing your screen name states a current fact. I can empathize with the challenge of living in the current political environment there, but I hope you won't let them demoralize you.

  • Sigivald||

    "Common sense" has always meant nothing more than "shut up and agree with me, you monster"...

  • Tman||

    Isn't this the guy who had the flap about serving "in Vietnam" when he never set foot there?

  • radar||

    Yep. Once he was out of deferments, he managed to enlist in the Marine reserves (which took pull because there were very few Marine reservists at that time) which ensured he'd never have to go to Vietnam. He was never activated and spent his entire "service" in DC doing Toys for Tots. Despite that, he's talked about "when I served in Vietnam" and been more than happy to allow fawning profiles in newspapers calling him a Vietnam veteran. Fucker's a baldfaced liar and a disgrace to the Senate (if such a thing is actually possible).

  • ||

    My car is dirty because it rained recently. I'm sure Global Warming was the cause of the rain, and certain politicians refused to pass any laws which would have had no effect on Global Warming at all. I don't want to wash the car because it causes painful memories of the Global Warming. So I'm just going to go get a new Maserati. Which politician should I send the bill to?

  • NeonCat||

    All of them. Why shouldn't they support the Mad Scientist Maserati Compensation Act of 2013?

    I hate to tell you, though, you'd get more votes if you wanted a Government Motors car. It's 'Murrican, dontchaknow?

  • ||

    Good advice. Since it's free, I plan on doing exactly what the Newtown School Board is about to do: buy the most expensive thing I can find and then complain that I was cheated when I can't get someone else to pay for it.

  • IamNotEvil||

    If they want a national bond to pay for new school construction, shouldn't there be a national vote on whether or not to demolish it?

    If we're going to start holding politicians financially accountable for votes does that mean we (the voters) can seize the politicians assets when their latest tax break, government loan, land grab fails to generate the promised revenue/jobs?

  • NeonCat||

    Seriously, they could demolish the school and sell little pieces of it off like the Berlin Wall, probably make enough money to build several schools.

  • Rich||

    If they want a national bond to pay for new school construction, shouldn't there be a national vote on whether or not to demolish it?

    By "it", I presume you mean "Connecticut".

  • Marc F Cheney||

    The bar has been set for Insane Troll Logic. Should take Shriek at least an hour or two to clear that.

  • Aresen||

    It's understandable why Newtown officials chose to tear down Sandy Hook Elementary School and rebuild on the site. I might argue that keeping and reclaiming the school does a better job of eliminating Lanza's legacy than does leveling the site and constructing a new building, but that's a choice for locals to make. And there's no doubt that the old school has some dark associations in the wake of the crime. Newtown officials and residents apparently beleive that they're better served by a new facility.

    If someone had suggested that each child receive a multi-million dollar funeral at taxpayer expense, the notion would have been scoffed at. Yet that is exactly what is being done in the name of "helping people cope with their fears" (of ghosts?).

    Should we then tear down and rebuild every freeway where there is a multi-fatality accident?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Should we then tear down and rebuild every freeway where there is a multi-fatality accident?

    STIMULUS!

    Please report to Oslo for your Nobel Prize!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    +1 broken window

  • RBS||

    Traditionally, federal education funds are used for programming

    Indeed.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Is it time for 2nd amendment remedies yet?

  • db||

    "...this bill gives them the opportunity to make a down payment — not a full payment — but a down payment on their obligation to respond adequately to the Sandy Hook horror.”

    Would the Honorable Mr. Blumenthal care to present us an itemized bill so we can simply pay off the debt now?

    Seriously, fuck this guy. It wasn't enough to make political hay out of a despicable crime and tragedy, nor to accuse the rest of the country of complicity in the act because of unrelated ideological issues; now he wants to place a cash value on these families' suffering? Go rot, asshole.

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • ||

    Well said, Anonymous Coward.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    DingoSquirrels ate my babycomment!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    What I tried to post was:

    “For those of my colleagues …[who] failed to vote for common sense gun violence prevention measures in March, this bill gives them the opportunity to make a down payment — not a full payment — but a down payment on their obligation to respond adequately to the Sandy Hook horror.”

    Reply: Please explain how universal background checks would have prevented Nancy Lanza from purchasing the firearms that were stolen by Adam Lanza and used in the commission of the homicides of which he is accused.

    Please show your work.
  • wareagle||

    you are asking the good Senator to think, which is impossible to do when one is emoting. That he is climbing on corpses is not unseemly to the gun-grabbers, nor does it resonate with the casual observer swayed by the thought of dead children.

    He and others like him couldn't explain the seating chart for a two-person dinner.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've been working on a letter to the local paper, and it's going to go something like this:

    People say gun free zones make us safe, when in fact the opposite is true. A gun free zone is a place where a bad person intent upon doing bad things can be confident that no one will be able to fight back. Allowing permit holders to carry a concealed weapon at an elementary school doesn't mean that they actually will. But what will happen is that that confidence that everyone is unarmed will be gone. The shooter will chose to attack someplace other than the elementary school. A place where he can be confident that no one can shoot back. Someplace like, I dunno, a gun free zone.

    Thoughts?

  • Rich||

    You'll just end up on another list, sarcasmic.

    Those who have ears to hear have already heard.

  • sarcasmic||

    Good point.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    *nods, adds Rich to the list*

    /shadowy figure

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You might want to add that most of the places where these shootings happen are already gun free zones, with a list of examples.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm trying to keep it as concise as possible.

  • Rasilio||

    "It's understandable why Newtown officials chose to tear down Sandy Hook Elementary School and rebuild on the site."

    No, no it is not, It was idiotic, short sighted emotional thinking driven by the local pols desire to be seen as doing something

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'd like to see where the contracts for the building of the new school go.

    In the small place that I'm from just about every local pol and bureaucrat has a brother-in-law who's a contractor. It's weird how a guy that is making forty grand working for the county can have a quarter-million dollar home.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Well the contractor had a bunch of guys who were not actually doing anything, so he got a good rate on labor!

  • entropy||

    If You Won't Pass Laws We Like, You Owe Us

    Apt summation of the entire statist agenda.

  • Real American||

    rebuild your own fucking school.

  • Xenocles||

    At first I thought this was going to be about Sheldon Whitehouse (D-CT) basically saying that Oklahoma got what was coming to it yesterday because Republicans are causing global warming.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Is there any chance we can just trade this state to Canada? At this point we wouldn't even need a straight up trade, maybe just Geddy, Alex, and some conditional picks in next year's draft.

  • DrAwkward||

    How dare you leave out Neil??

  • The Last American Hero||

    We already got Neil. He lives in California for most of the year.

  • Killazontherun||

    As I have pointed out when on the subject of Cuomo's and Bloomberg's rhetoric, they often use language reminiscent of America's past enemies, like Tojo, when directing their accusing fingers at the rest of the nation. Highly divisive, and I advise those of you who elect them to reign them in for your own good.

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