Thursday, June 22, 2017

Connecticut Down, A June Keynote Address


I began writing “Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State” more than 23 years ago because early on I glimpsed the dark at the end of the tunnel, and I was determined to make a record of the destruction of Connecticut, so that, years in the future, if anyone, poking his or her head above the rubble, wished to consult a record that tried valiantly to answer the questions – What went wrong, and who were the culprits?– he or she would have a faithful reference point.

Today, I have an opportunity to render an abbreviated version of the longer account. I plan to touch here on the wrong-headed policies that have led us into the dark tunnel, some of the personalities involved, the rise of progressivism in Connecticut under the stewardship of Governor Dannel Malloy, the political repercussions of unsound policies, and what the French have called “the treason of the intellectuals.” Not to paint too bleak a picture – people generally don’t want to hear bad news – I should say at the outset that there is reason for hope. Hope is a new arrival in Connecticut. The sun is there, somewhere, attempting to break through the storm clouds.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Can Republicans Save Connecticut?


“No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session” -- Gideon Tucker

The headline of the story was worth a thousand words: “As State Budget And Tolls Stall, Mushroom Hunting And Hate Crimes Bill Among Proposals Passed." Connecticut Democrats, who still control the General Assembly, were unable to marshal sufficient votes  to pass a frequently unbalanced budget that  is in all probability unbalanced. But the mushroom hunting bill – never mind what it’s about – passed like a hot knife through butter. The budget failed to pass only 21 days after Connecticut citizens celebrated, if that is the word for it, tax freedom day, that point on the calendar at which Connecticut tax survivors have satisfied the insatiable lust of politicians for more revenue.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Common Sense, The Second Amendment And The Ballpark Terrorist

It took Hartford Courant editorial writers ten plump paragraphs to reach their predictable corporate conclusion: “… Somehow this country must protect the fundamental right to assemble in peace, whether to talk politics or play ball or sit in school.  The way to do that is to limit the weapons that shatter the peace, not to silence the debate.”

There is little doubt that weapons may be used to shatter peace. That is the operative principle of all terrorists and anarchists. The weapons, as we have seen in recent days, may be various: suicide vests, trucks and knives – all assault weapons, an assault weapon being any instrument of death uses in an assault on human life, including, the editors of the Courant may be surprised to learn, an abortionist’s scalpel.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Social Issues And Morally Lazy Republicans


Thanks to State Representative Rob Samson, one of the few legislators who have not been cowed by Connecticut’s powerful abortion lobby, abortion extremists have publicly shown their horns.

The Family Institute of Connecticut (FIC) put it this way: “On the final day of the legislative session June 7th, Rep. Rob Sampson attached a pro-life parental notification amendment to a contraception bill. But the possibility that a parent might be notified about her underage daughter’s decision to have an abortion so enraged Connecticut’s pro-abortion lobbyists that they killed their own bill rather than allow a vote on the amendment!”

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sheff And The Court’s Hobson’s Choice

If magnet and Open Choice schools were less successful in providing Hartford’s children, mostly minorities, with a quality education, or if public schools in the city were as successful as charter schools operating elsewhere in the state, Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger would not now be confronted with a Hobson’s Choice.

Presently, the judge must decide whether a quality education for minority students or the enforcement of a court ordered integration model that is on its face absurd best furthers the public good, a decision generally made by legislatures rather than courts.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Life After Comey

“Life goes on without’ya…” – Just a Gigolo

Answers to the larger Watergate questions – What did the President know, and when did he know it? – must await the final report of Special Prosecutor Robert Muller. In the meantime, the dreaded mainstream media is always able, if willing, to provide convincing answers to smaller but significant questions, not the least of which concerns the traditional relationship between the Director of the FBI, who may be dismissed for cause, and the President – any President – of the United States.

The investigatory functions of the FBI, everyone will agree, are independent of the president in this sense:  while the president has the constitutional power and authority to dismiss the FBI Director, this option by no means guarantees that a specific investigation involving the president will be dropped. Indeed, during his recently concluded congressional interrogation former FBI Director James Comey asserted publicly, for the first time under oath,  that neither President Donald Trump nor any member of his administration asked him to put the brakes on pending FBI investigations; he also asserted that the president was not, during his term in office, the target of any FBI investigation, an assertion the president had asked Comey to make public before, when the contrary notion was being peddled numerous time in numerous publications.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Malloy And Democrats, One-Trick Ponies


According to a Hartford business reporter, the deal struck between Governor Dannel Malloy and SEBAC, state employee union representatives, is “solid” and “good for taxpayers.”

According to Red Jahncke, President of The Townsend Group, a business consulting firm in Connecticut, the deal is more of the same. And the same road has led Connecticut into a dead end. Following the usual route to budget reconciliation and economic prosperity for Connecticut, the Malloy administration has plunged the state into continuing budget deficits and entrepreneurial flight, which has reduced state revenues despite two massive tax increases, giving new meaning to the expression “more is less.”

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Confessional Malloy Administration And Real Reform


From this point forward, most of the media releases from the Malloy administration will be in the form of a hidden confession, followed by an unintentionally amusing uptick.

After an announcement by Mother Aetna that the company is moving its headquarters from Connecticut to another state, possibly New York, CTMirror unfurled its headline: “Aetna CEO: HQ move to have ‘minimal impact’ on most Hartford employees." The headline over a Wall Street Journal editorial was somewhat darker: “Connecticut’s Tax Comeuppance: With the rich tapped out, the state may resort to Puerto Rico bonds.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Connecticut’s Hostages


The editors of a Hartford newspaper have begged, almost on their knees, state employee union leaders to accede to concessions in budget negotiations with Governor Dannel Malloy:

“Unions, Please Help

 “Connecticut has been kind to its public workers. Now is the state's time of need. Unions, won't you help the state out of financial crisis?

 “Unions, please be reasonable. The state is at stake.”

While the concessions will not greatly affect long-term spending, these pleadings are necessary for a number of reasons. Although the General Assembly is scheduled to finish shaping and approving a budget for Connecticut by closing time, June 7, the end-date really depends upon unions. “Unions Nearing Deal of Concessions,” a headline proclaims. However, “some union members say it is unlikely that the rank and file members of multiple unions,” represented by SEBAC, would be able to affirm contractual arrangements with Malloy by that date, “but a vote by the end of the fiscal year on June 30 is possible.”

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Parable Of The Leaking Bucket

A short five minute address today -- Sunday, May 21, 2017 -- at the state capitol in Hartford

 I’ve been asked to say a few words about taxes, which has brought us here today. I should say it’s heartening to see gathered here many thoughtful, peaceful, responsible, tax-paying, non-deplorables. I only have fire minutes to review years of tax thuggery, and the best way do it is by means of a parable that might be called “The Parable of the Leaking Bucket.”

There is a hole in Connecticut’s milk bucket, and through it our precious revenues are leaking to other states. This disaster has now been confirmed by Department of Revenue Commissioner Kevin Sullivan and economist Don Klepper-Smith.