Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Government By Suit

Connecticut’s Attorney General's Office long ago overflowed its statutory and historic banks. The office, one of the oldest in the state, evolved from what had been known in the colonial period as the king’s lawyer. Leaving aside for the moment the recently accrued kingly powers of Governor Dannel Malloy – the inability of the Democrat dominated General Assembly to cobble together a budget within the prescribed time period has bestowed on Malloy plenary powers once associated with royalty – the Attorney General’s Office was, before the advent of Attorney General Joe Lieberman, a relatively modest affair.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Antifa Fascists, Klu-Kluxers, White Separatists And Other Cultists

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me

They call themselves Antifa, meaning “antifascists.” George Orwell would have been the first to point out that the antifascists are, in fact, a modern offshoot of the brown shirts one associates with Mussolini and Hitler, violent fascists pledged to break the bones of those who disagree with them so that by means of force their intellectual opponents may be silenced. A broken bone is a very convincing argument, as any thug well knows.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Log In Malloy’s Eye

The “concession” agreement fashioned between Governor Dannel Malloy and SEBAC that recently was approved on a narrow partisan vote in the Democrat dominated State House and Senate was, most people would agree, beneficial to unions. The agreement was quickly adopted by rank and file state employee union workers and, following its passage in the General Assembly, union lobbyists vigorously cheered the union-favorable pact.

The concessions made by union negotiators during the secret conclave were the usual give-backs made by union leaders in the past. In return for temporary concessions – wage freezes that thawed after two years and increased thereafter by 3.5 percent– the SEBAC deal was pushed out 5 years to 2027, after which it might be re-negotiated or not. The two-year wage freeze was accepted by unions in exchange for four years without layoffs. The putative concessions, we are told, might save $1.57 billion over the next two fiscal years. However, nagging problems persist.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Blumenthal v. Trump, The Twitter War

A twitter war has broken out between Connecticut Democrat U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal and President Donald Trump. Following Blumenthal’s early denigration of Secretary of State Jeff Sessions – prior to his interrogation of former Senator Sessions, Blumenthal broadly hinted that Sessions and the KKK were on friendly terms – and following Blumenthal’s not so subtle hints that Trump may have collaborated with the Ruskies to damage the presidential prospects of Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton. Trump, never one to suffer fools gladly, struck back, using twitter as a rhetorical cattle prod.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Leveraging Connecticut’s Democrat Produced “Crisis”

Here is an addendum to Rahm Emanuel’s now infamous apothegm, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” especially when you are responsible for having produced the crisis: to leverage the crisis you have caused so that it will be politically useful, it is vitally important to fob-off on the opposition the logical and inevitable consequences of your own failed policies.

Emanuel, once a Barack Obama campaign maestro, is now the Mayor of shoot’em up Chicago, a failed Democratic city in a failing state.

Politics, in both our state and nation, has become a Darwinian struggle among political insiders in which the most fit rise to the top. And the fittest are those whose narratives, partly fiction, are the most compelling; the narratives themselves occasionally have only a remote connection to a) the truth, and b) objective reality; i.e. the real-world consequences of prevailing political programs.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Morning After

“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce” – Karl Marx 

The labeling worked. Almost immediately, contract negotiations between Governor Dannel Malloy and SEBAC head honchoes were tagged “union concessions.”

There were, to be sure, some concessions made by unions in the final agreement, but these concessions were offset by positive union gains. And in the end the gains considerably outweighed the concessions, mostly because the gains were permanent, while the concessions were, for the most part, temporary. Unions, for instance, agreed to forgo raises for three years; on the third year, however, 3.5 percent raises would kick in, and likely remain kicking well beyond the termination of the contracts in 2027. Most working stiffs in Connecticut, who doubtless will be tapped to pay for future union wages and almost inevitable tax increases, have not seen raises for years, and their medical and prescription co-pays are much higher than the co-pays written in contract-stone in the union’s  “concession agreement.”

Monday, July 31, 2017

Democratic Fault Lines In Connecticut

The SEBAC-Malloy-Aresimowicz agreement passed in the state House, moved to the State Senate and was affirmed there on a party line vote, Republicans opposing the backroom deal in both chambers of the General Assembly.

Hours before the Senate vote, leading Democrats, who have not  yet  submitted a budget, warned opposition party members that the earth would tumble into the sun if the SEBAC “concession” deal did not pass.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Party Of Liberty

Below is a key note address delivered to the Bethel Republican Town Committee during their lobsterfest. My thanks to Bill Hillman, who invited me to speak, and everyone present who was kind enough to hear me out. A good time was had by all, except for the lobsters.

Atheists In Ireland

When Bill Buckley – who lived in Connecticut nearly all his life, first in Sharon and later in Stamford – went to Ireland for the first time, he did what most Irish Americans do on their first trip to the land of saints. He visited dusty old churches and examined dusty old records to uncover his family’s roots.

Then he went on a pub crawl.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

In Memoriam, Doug Hageman

Doug Hageman died on July 28, within spitting distance of his birthday, and those who knew him needn’t wonder how he managed that. He was an honest and good man and, as a thoughtful and active Republican in the land of Democrats, something of a wonder.

Encountering Doug for the first time – as I did many years ago, at a net-working meeting held in the rooms of Associated Builders of Connecticut (ABC) in Rocky Hill – was a bit like catching a glimpse of a unicorn in a dark glade. First you saw the white flashing flanks, then the flowing mane, and then, shockingly, the improbable white horn.   And you thought to yourself – it CAN”T be. But it is.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Are Democrats Running Out Of Tricks?

For more than a month, Democratic leaders in Connecticut’s General Assembly had been able to postpone a vote on a two year Democratic budget. Democrats did not bring their own budget to the floor for consideration, debate or a vote because they had no budget. Indeed, legislative Democrats avoided presenting a budget until the completion of secret so called “concession” talks with the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) had been concluded.

The legislature officially closed down for business on June 7 and no budget had been brought forward, even though Republicans had been pressuring Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz to bring to the floor their own budget, which contained some impressive reform proposals. The fiscal year ended on June 30 without debate on a budget. On July 18, Democratic leaders bestirred themselves hours after rank and file members of the state’s employee unions had voted favorably on the concession deal struck between Malloy and SEBAC. The rapidity with which the deal had been accepted was taken by some analysts as a measure of both its favorability to union workers and the inordinate influence Connecticut employee unions exert over solicitous Democratic legislators.