Saturday, April 30, 2016

Trump Embraced By Connecticut RINOs

That didn’t take long. Donald Trump The Untouchable has suddenly become a cuddle doll within Connecticut’s GOP establishment.

The word “establishment", it should be understood, is a fighting word among Trumpeters. Anyone who has been tainted by political office is, in the view of Trump supporters, a member of the corrupted establishment. Establishment candidates have been given the bum’s rush by primary voters this year. The Trump campaign easily managed to polish off a number of conservative Republican anti-beltway presidential candidates, including Bobby Jindal, Carla Fiorina, and Marco Rubio. Ted Cruz, recently condemned by establishment Republican John Boehner as a Luciferian constitutional conservative, unlike the former RINO Speaker of the U.S. House, is still plugging away.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How to Fix Connecticut: Regulatory Relief

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread” – Anatole France.

Connecticut must reduce business costs in the next decade. A failure to do so will reinforce the status quo: business flight from Connecticut to more business-friendly states, resulting in fewer jobs and less revenue pouring into the state treasury -- which, as we know from bitter experience, produces budget deficits. The deficits, in their turn, lead inescapably to higher taxes or cuts in services to the state’s most needy recipients of state aid. We live in a state in which politicians captured by special interests are less concerned with the poor who live under bridges than they are with securing the votes of far richer political activists who can turn them in and out of office.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Is Malloy Cowarding-Out On His Own Education Reforms?

In the beginning of his administration, Governor Dannel Malloy aggressively pursued educational reform, particularly in cities where high school graduates were being pushed into colleges without having mastered the basics – reading, writing and arithmetic.

Plans were launched to uplift non-performing schools. Almost immediately, school reformers and reform-minded politicians felt the blow-back from teachers’ unions. To what extent would student testing be used to purge school systems of inadequate teachers?

Not so much, replied the reformers, as politely as possible: Data gathered from student testing would not be heavily weighted in hiring and firing decisions. Instead, the data would be used to identify “best practices” in high performing schools and replicate successful strategies in lower performing schools. In this way students locked into poor performing schools could be elevated by test data collected from the Connecticut’s public education universe.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Trump vs Clinton, A May Reckoning

                                                                                   
Q: Who are the Trump supporters?

A: Right now, they are, for the most part, people who are unattached, emotionally or ideologically, to either of the two major parties. The Obama administration has abandoned altogether what used to be called moderate, Reagan Democrats. Some of these people, left in the lurch by progressives, have crossed over to vote for Trump. He is running very strong among Republican, Democrat and unaffiliated white males. Within the narrower category of alienated moderate Republicans and Democrats, there are numerous sub-groups: resentment Republicans and Democrats, people who have, in one way or another, been slighted by what they refer to, disdainfully, as the party establishment. An influential sub-group is party critics who command the political airways and the commentary barricades on both sides. Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, who is truly idiosyncratic, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others have become leading voices in the Republican Party anti-establishment establishment. There is a countervailing anti-establishment establishment on the Democratic side that has gravitated to Bernie Sanders, the socialist. Our own Bill Curry, who once ran for governor of Connecticut and now writes a column for Salon Magazine, has become an ardent Sandersista.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Clinton, Sanders Powder Puff Campaign Comes To Connecticut


“The government doesn’t care about profits, which is why it’s always in the red. It doesn’t care much about service either, which is why there are long lines at Connecticut’s Department of Motor Vehicles. It cares only about votes.” – The Cynic at the Breakfast Table, a work in progress.

On Thursday, Hillary Clinton came to Hartford, not so long ago the murder capital of New England, to agitate indirectly against Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders – AND FIRE ARMS. Mr. Sanders is from Vermont and does not suffer from hoplophobia, an irrational fear of guns. In the hinterland of Vermont, guns are used to shoot game; in one-party urbanscapes such as Hartford, guns are used by drug dealers, gangbangers and young school kids to kill rivals and innocent by-standers. Anti-gun Democratic politicians now seek to forestall urban gun crimes by allowing lawyers to sue gun manufacturers – good for the lawyers, bad for law-abiding gun owners and good for politicians who hope to convince the lower orders that their measures will prevent mothers in cities from weeping over their murdered children.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sharkey Bites Malloy


When the General Assembly, dominated by members of his own party, returned to Governor Dannel Malloy a revised budget that was $340 million out of balance, he did his duty. Mr. Malloy resubmitted to the legislature a second balanced budget that contained further spending reductions, no tax increases and no raids on rainy day funds.

In an April 16 op-ed in a Hartford paper, Mr. Malloy noted pointedly that there were only three weeks left in the legislatives session and the legislature had not yet resolved a $900 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year. Mr. Malloy had determined that state government could not “respond to this challenge in the same way we have in the past, that we must change business as usual at the Capitol.” This was a late realization. During Mr. Malloy’s entire term in office, state government – including the governor’s office – virtually a one-party operation, had been waiting for Godot.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A View From Mt. McEnroe

Joe Visconti, who styles himself these days “Donald Trump without the billions,” ran in a Republican primary for Governor a few years back but bowed out of the race when the primary finish line was in sight. Mr. Visconti this year is considering running against U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, the state’s first consumer protection Congressman and a formidable political presence in Connecticut.

Mr. Visconti is a voluble supporter of Donald “Make American Great Again” Trump, who visited Hartford, last week. At the Trump rally, Mr. Visconti bumped into Colin McEnroe, host of The Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR and a Hartford Courant columnist. A picture, slightly out of focus, crackling with humor, was taken. Mr. Visconti – who, it may be imagined, has had a great deal of experience smiling for the camera – is beaming as usual, but Mr. McEnroe appears to have stepped in a bucket of… well, the sort of stuff President Franklin Roosevelt’s first Vice President had in mind when he said the Vice Presidency wasn’t worth “a warm bucket of (DELETED).” And yes, VP John Garner did not say “SPIT.” His reference was to a below-the-belt bodily fluid.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

How To Raise Taxes Without Moving Your Lips

Long ago in the post-Camelot era, President George Bush The Greater was indiscreet enough to promise during a presidential campaign, “Read my lips – no new taxes,” after which Mr. Bush proceeded to raise taxes. It was one of those moments that delighted gold-plated opposition research fellows in the Washington D.C. Wonderland. After the deed was done, Mr. Bush – and later, low tax Republicans – was kicked around the block for decades whenever a deficit raised its horned head in the beltway.

Life went on. The federal debt increased at a rapid pace under both Presidents Bush The Lesser and Barack Obama. Mr. Obama has in seven years added $6.463 trillion to the national debt, at 55.4% the largest debt increase of the three presidents. By the end of his term in office, George W. Bush had doubled the debt passed along to him by the Clinton administration, adding $5.849 trillion to Clinton’s $5.8 trillion.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Presidential Primaries In Connecticut

Connecticut’s presidential primary is coming up at the end of the month, April 26, and the jockeying has begun. Governor of Ohio John Kasich, who has managed to corral a slender 145 delegates in a primary that a little over a year ago boasted 17 Republican presidential candidates, recently made his appearance in Connecticut and was warmly received by some legislators and editorial writers. Mr. Kasich seems to be, at least here in the northeast, the preferred candidate of what Trumpeters disdainfully call “the establishment,” meaning safe Republican politicians and, one supposes, Connecticut’s left-of-center media. In preparation for the arrival of Donald Trump, the Nutmeg Media – which has never understood or approved of the conservative movement – pulled out its critical party hats.

Monday, April 11, 2016

June Sherman RIP

When June Sherman was receiving her baccalaureate degree in 1943 from the University of North Carolina, I was doing a William Blake:

My father cried, my mother wept
Into the wicked world I leapt.

Mrs. Sherman knew William Blake… he was a friend of hers. She knew Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Emily Dickenson, and the world of literature that was my comfort when I was a callow student in her Honors English class at Windsor Locks High School in the early 1960’s.