Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Democrat Runaways

Democrat Bill Curry has just bowed out of what promises to be an energetic tousle in Connecticut’s 5th District.

“Some of you,” Curry noted on his Facebook page, “ know I ‘ve spent the last three years studying public corruption; the grass roots movements that have sprung up-- everywhere but here [in Connecticut] -- to fight it; the tools being used around the world to curb it. It’s the big problem that keeps all our other big problems from ever getting solved. The project is close to my heart; after three years it is just now bearing fruit. In the month since Rep Esty said she wouldn’t seek reelection I’ve tried to find a way to keep the project moving forward and still make this race. I couldn’t. The race looked winnable to me and I’m confident it will prove so for one of the fine Democrats contending for the nomination. I promise I’ll help.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Behind the Democrats' Closed Door, An Arranged Marriage

There may be still, somewhere in this romantic world, a place for arranged marriages. The union of Ned Lamont, the millionaire gubernatorial candidate for governor preferred by Democrat leaders of the ailing state of Connecticut, and the mercurial Susan Bysiewicz – candidate, in no particular order, for governor, U.S. Senator,  attorney general, governor again and lieutenant governor – is an arranged political marriage.

Uncle George Jepsen, the state’s retiring attorney general, told the Courant  the banns had been arranged for months: “’There’s a lot of stuff that’s still wide open especially on the under-ticket, but at the top of the ticket, things have been falling into line and coming together cohesively for several weeks now,’ said Attorney General George Jepsen, who has endorsed Lamont. Jepsen added: ‘I hope we’re boring compared to the Republicans.’”

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Connecticut And The Trump Factor

Connecticut’s Republican Party Nominating Convention has in its wisdom nominated Matt Corey to run against U.S. Senator Chris Murphy who, along with his compatriot in the Senate, Dick Blumenthal, has been "efforting," as the leftists say, during the entire first year of the Trump presidency, to subvert a national election. To date, they have been far more successful in their efforts than the Russians.The hangman, special counsel Robert Mueller, has been for months braiding a noose behind the scenes.

Both Murphy, up for re-election this year, and Blumenthal have pilloried nearly all of Trump’s cabinet appointments, including recently installed Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, a position once occupied by Hillary Clinton, whose campaign for the presidency was, we are invited to believe, torpedoed by Russian spooks in league with Trump.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Eunice Groark RIP

Hilaire Belloc’s "Advice to the Rich" – Learn about the inwards of your motor car... And remember that you will shortly die.

Belloc is here reminding the rich, who often are busy and therefore distracted from the practical knowledge necessary to live a happy and joyous life –“Learn about the inwards of your motor car ” – that the end of life is not heaping up money; Belloc’s accompanying admonition, equally important, is a gentle reminder that God does not always sleep -- “and remember that you will shortly die.”

An unapologetic Catholic, Belloc supposed that both the rich and the poor, when their time in this vale of tears had run out, would fall into the hands of the living God. In the modern world, most dramatically in Europe, the living God has been mythologized, and no post-religious European need any longer worry that the Christian God of the beatitudes – “Blessed are the poor, for they shall be called the children of God” – is a jealous God. So, scratch the second admonition – “Remember, soon you will die” and thereby fall into the just hands of a living God.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Pulitzer On Transactional Journalism

Newspapers should have no friends – Joseph Pulitzer

Sometime in the past few years, nearly everyone in Connecticut, with the possible exception of the state’s ebullient left leaning writers, became a cynic. And cynicism has increased in direct proportion to the inability or unwillingness of status quo progressives in the General Assembly to confront the state’s most pressing economic problems. “We've been sitting through the last days of the legislative session doing everything BUT paying attention to the state's economy and fiscal situation,” Representative Gail Lavielle notes on Facebook. Procrastination is the typical response of a do-nothing politician to a serious problem.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

The Recession Next Time, Failing Schools And The Public Interest

The good news is that the flu virus in Connecticut is on the wane, a bitter winter is hobbling off stage, birds are singing, and the sap is rising in the trees. Spring has sprung.

The bad news, according to Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist at Data Corp. Partners Inc., is that Connecticut has yet to recover from a recession that ended elsewhere in the nation in February 2010, nearly eight years ago. Since that time, the nation has more than doubled the number of jobs lost during the recession, while Connecticut has recovered only 80 percent of its lost jobs.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Murphy As Kingmaker, Not King

A recent story in the Hartford Courant, “Lamont Gaining Party Support," focuses on U.S. Senator Chris Murphy as a Democrat Party kingmaker.

Murphy is a kingmaker by default. Party bosses disappeared long ago. They were done in by two things: an anti-boss movement that had been picking up steam since very early press attacks on Tammany Hall, and reforms in election processes. The old party boss, usually a party chairman, fell victim to primaries and open elections. But necessary functions in politics do not disappear; they are transformed. In post-reform modern times, the party boss is the party’s most important elected official.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Connecticut, The Laughingstock Of The Nation

As Governor Dannel Malloy sets off into the sunset, The Wall Street Journal reviews, in as economical a manner as possible, the real state of the state of Connecticut, once the diamond in the crown of New England.

“The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis recently rolled out its annual report on personal income growth in the 50 states, and for 2017 the Nutmeg State came in a miserable 44th.” That’s the good news.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Can Centrist Democrats Save Their Party?

Speaker of the State House of Representatives Joe Aresimowicz has planted his flag. He has announced he will call a vote on instituting a new tax, congestion tolling, in Connecticut. “I’m not willing to walk away from this session with doing nothing to solve this problem. Our job is to rep (sic) the citizens of the state and make very difficult decisions for the betterment of this state. This falls into that category for me.”

There is no need to pause here and discuss the touchy question whether Aresimowicz properly understands what Connecticut's real problems are. After two major tax increases, the largest and the second largest in state history, inexorably followed by high and unsupportable deficits, the question – is Connecticut suffering from a revenue or a spending problem? – has now been settled. Even major newspapers that had in the past asserted Connecticut’s budget problems had been caused by insufficient revenue have since repented and now acknowledge the state has a serious spending problem that must be addressed.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Malloy’s Collateral Damage

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is only the most recent of the casualties. In the midst of exploring a run for governor, Bronin, unable to garner sufficient support and money, the mother’s milk of politics, quietly dropped out of the race.

After a state bailout of $550 million, any politician not driven mad by personal ambition would have considered the mayoralty of bankrupt Hartford a softer political bed than the governorship of a failing state, a bed of nails.

The State of Connecticut and Hartford on March 27 inked a contract according to which the state will pay off the city's approximately $550 million general obligation debt over the next 20 years. Hartford's annual debt payments, projected to top $56 million by 2021, will also be “reduced” to $35 million per annum through the expedient of pushing payments into future years.

Bronin has had lots of company. Governor Dannel Malloy himself, after having consulted the auguries, decided not to run for a fourth term as governor. His decision opened wide the doors to what had been a political closed shop. Had Malloy decided to defend his two terms in office, a tough row to hoe, his Lieutenant Governor, Nancy Wyman, likely would have agreed to ride shotgun once again on the Malloy coach. But following Malloy’s flight from office, she too decided to call it a day, pleading grandchildren.