D.C. Buzz: DeLauro blasts to social media fame

May 31, 2017 GMT

“It is cruel, it is inhumane and it is heartless.”

And Rep. Rosa DeLauro was only warming up.

At an Appropriations subcommittee hearing last week, DeLauro, D-Conn., let loose on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over Trump administration-proposed budget cuts.

“Millions of kids in this country are going to suffer what’s being done with a $9.2 billion cut to our education programs,” DeLauro thundered, her signature purplish tresses shaking from side to side as she clutched her glasses.

Federal education dollars are “supposed to serve our youngsters and make sure they have a good future and a bright future,” she admonished, as if all those students were her own grandchildren. “I’m going to fight this budget with every fiber of my body, because it is wrong to do this to our kids.’’

DeVos simply sat there and took the incoming rounds with a smile.

The Trump budget’s proposed cut may or may not make it through Congress. But DeLauro, a 74-year-old grandmother of 11, wasn’t taking any chances.


Her rat-a-tat-tat was a hit on social media, with one Facebook video viewed 47 million times and shared more than 726,000 times. It blew out Twitter, with one tweet urging viewers to check out DeLauro taking a “blowtorch” to DeVos.

“I have no regrets,” DeLauro said in an interview. “The public is paying attention to their own lives, day to day, but they need to know what these folks are doing, how malicious it is. So we, all of us, have to spread the word.’’

Partial disagreement

It’s part of a political figure’s essential being to stake out a position for truth, justice and the American way, only to reverse course (or do a lot of wiggling) when constituent interests are at stake.

So Sen. Chris Murphy’s press release announcing “opposition to Saudi Arabia arms sale” prompted a bit of head scratching. Hey, didn’t the arms deal concluded by the Trump White House after the president’s visit to the kingdom include big bucks for 150 Black Hawks — made right here in good ol’ Stratford?

The $28 billion overall deal with Lockheed-Martin, Sikorsky’s parents, could undergird 450 U.S. helicopter-related jobs, a Sikorsky spokesman said.

Well, turns out Murphy and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., were talking about a separate portion of the deal — sales of “precision-guided munitions,” the kind Saudi Arabia is using in its proxy conflict with Iran in Yemen.

So no worries about helicopters, folks. And in reality, the war in Yemen is a humanitarian disaster so the world is likely a better place if fewer bombs and shells are flying there.

Challenging good-guy theory

An NRA mantra: Good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns. “More guns, less crime,” is another one. The whole concealed-carry and open-carry phenomena sweeping the red states is based on the belief that average citizens need empowerment as gunslingers to protect lives and property.


Well, the Washington-based Violence Policy Center — much despised by the NRA and its allies — is out with a study showing the numbers of citizens using guns to stop crimes are fairly small.

In 2014, there were 224 justifiable homicides involving guns, compared to 7,670 plain old criminal gun homicides. That’s a ratio of 1-to-34. VPC drew the data from FBI and Department of Justice reports.

Connecticut had one such homicide between 2010 and 2014. It took place in New Haven in 2014, when a corner grocery clerk shot and killed an armed robber. Eighteen states, including New York, didn’t have a single justifiable homicide that year.

Just in case you were curious, the largest categories of relationship between justifiable homicide shooters and victims nationwide were “stranger” and “acquaintance.’’ And there were 12 husbands killed, compared to two wives.