For someone truly unexplainable reason, the tragic killing of UConn football player Jasper Howard has brought out the worst in some people. If the death itself didn’t leave a pit in the stomach of family and friends as well as people who didn’t even know him other than catching him on TV Saturday afternoon, some subsequent stories emerging as the investigation continues certainly will.

UConn police say potential witnesses to the fatal incident are being threatened if they come forward with information that may help people find the killer. The so-called “don’t snitch” messages are being left in Internet postings. Police are looking into them. The “don’t snitch” phenomenon is nothing new but it seems even more disgusting when it’s this close to home.

Meanwhile, state Attorney General Richard is trying to shutdown a Pennsylvania-based T-shirt company that is selling merchandise memorializing Howard. The company’s motives are in question at least to Blumenthal. Mike Margittai who runs Gametease.com, says proceeds from the sales will go to Howard’s unborn child and family. Blumenthal isn’t buying it. He says he has seen no evidence Margittai has permission to collect money on behalf of the family or UConn. He says “Any attempt to exploit Howard’s tragic death is despicable and unconscionable,” Blumenthal said. He adds that the company is also violating copyright laws.
Republican US Senate candidate Tom Foley turned in a rather dreadful appearance on Channel 3’s Face the State with host Dennis House Sunday. This is compared to a hit on the same show a couple months ago in which Foley appeared sharp, focused and smooth. However this past Sunday he looked tired, lethargic and his answers were filled with the typical, show-killing “ah..ah…ah…” that afflicts guests who are extremely uncomfortable on TV as well as long, awkward pauses. He even stopped mid-sentence a couple of times. Worse, he passed up several opportunities to criticize incumbent Sen.Chris Dodd or really even his GOP rivals (he did mention what he said was former US Rep. Rob Simmons’ flip-flop on cap and trade and the so-called “card check” legislation). Time for some TV training.
US Rep. Jim Himes can’t be pleased with a New York Times piece from Sunday in which he was placed on a list of vulnerable congressmen being targeted by the National Republican Party without the story even naming an opponent. It simply mentioned that the Repubicans’ choice, state Sen. John McKinney, took a pass on the race. There was even a side-bar story that mentioned the GOP thinks Himes only got into office on the coattails of Barak Obama.

It’s also not great news for never-mentioned state Sen. Dan Debicella (R-Shelton) who is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Himes. Debicella, in his second-term, is an assistant vice president of marketing at The Harford Financial Services. The state senate’s GOP caucus has made it a point to give Debicella a high profile in his first two terms. He is considered smart and ambitious despite his tendency to bloviate on the senate floor even as a freshman. The Times referred simply to “lesser known Republicans” seeking to challenge Himes. Ouch.

President Obama’s visit to the Nutmeg State this past Friday brought out the protesters on every side of every issue imaginable. Obama was here to shore up the coffers of US Sen. Chris Dodd. Folks ponied up at least a $1,000 a plate to hear Obama praise Dodd. The senior senator is struggling to regain the voters’ confidence after a year-plus of problems (the latest poll shows 49% disapprove of the job he’s doing; 43% approve. The president meanwhile, has a 57% approval rating in the state).

But if one thinks Connecticut is a solid blue state, just look to our neighbors to the north. Obama was in Massachusetts campaigning for Governor Deval Patrick just before coming to Connecticut. He faced a cold shoulder from many one-time admirers. These include gay rights activists, anti-war protesters and environmentalists. With friends like these…
And for fun at the start of the week: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (in 3-D) is a wonderful, funny and child-pleasing movie that made the author of the HS laugh out loud. Treat yourself and the kids and go see it. The nieces and nephews loved it and can’t stop talking about it.
Anyone else note the irony in having the NFL’s Patriots, complete with revolutionary war-era Minuteman head on their helmets, playing in London? Hope the British aren’t still upset over that whole independence thing.