Friday, September 23, 2016

Colin Gets Religion


In his latest column, “Maybe A Little Bible Study With John Rowland,”  Hartford Courant columnists Colin McEnroe confesses, “As some of you know, I began going to church in April 2015.”

Groucho Marx used to joke that he would decline to join any group that would have him as a member. Mr. McEnroe is not so illiberal, but he makes plain that there are conditions: “We are not Jerry Falwell Baptists. We are LGBTQ-friendly. In fact, we have more LGBTQ pastors than we have the other kind. Baptists get kind of a bad name sometimes. Elijah Craig was a Baptist minister, and some people say he invented bourbon. That's the kind of Baptist we can be proud of.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Connecticut Down: The Spending Spiral And The Demise of Connecticut


“I am deeply concerned for the state’s fiscal condition, which I think we can agree is deteriorating” -- Jim Smith, Webster Bank chairman and CEO

Mr. Smith is not alone. For years, big spenders in Connecticut have been moving money from the private economy to state coffers, and the additional funds have only whet the appetite for spending among cowardly members of the General Assembly.

We now have a graphic that depicts Connecticut’s unsustainable budget growth:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Malloy And His Pro-Active Flack-Catchers


Having consolidated political power in Louisiana, Huey “The Kingfish” Long moved the seat of government from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, where there were fewer boozy night spots or opportunities for sexual hanky-panky,  and herded all Louisiana’s political animals into a brand new, free standing art deco building, the better to keep an eye on his political competitors. Autocrats can never be too careful; enemies are everywhere. It pays to pay attention.

A populist progressive, Mr. Long also kept the newspapers humming. He was a political bad-boy who had a rich sense of humor and a photographic memory, operating in a state, somewhat like Connecticut, in which Democrats ruled nearly all the political roosts. “Keep your friends close, but enemies closer,” a lesson Michael Corleone claimed in The Godfather he had learned from Don Vito Corleone.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Blumenthal: Questions Unasked And Unanswered


Where to begin?

Question: Mr. Blumenthal, who do you regard as being more corrupt, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or present Secretary of State John Kerry?

Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is valiantly attempting to power through yet another stone wall, this one involving the Clinton Foundation. A short while back it was disclosed that Mrs. Clinton’s cover-up accomplices used BleachBit to permanently erase from emails she had sent over a private, poorly secured server data that contained, according to FBI Director James Comey, top secret restricted information. The Clinton Foundation has now come under scrutiny. But Mrs. Clinton is not a lone player in the power game of using public office to advance the prospects of herself, her family or friends. John Kerry, a longtime U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and the present Secretary of State, appears to be following in his predecessor’s footsteps.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Senator Murphy’s Demons, And the Palladium Of Liberty


If it is not a political theorem, it should be:  A politician’s courage increases in direct proportion to his distance from re-election. It is the foreshortened memory of the average voter and the abbreviated news cycle – about three days – that give heft to the theorem. Incumbent politicians know that what is tossed about today will disappear tomorrow.

Connecticut’s Junior U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is not up for reelection this election cycle. In two years, an eternity away, anything may happen. Or as T.S. Eliot put it in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock;

Monday, September 12, 2016

Judge Moukawsher’s Obiter Dicta On Education In Connecticut


It’s been 228 years since Alexander Hamilton, seeking to allay fears that the national judiciary would swallow up the other two branches of government, wrote in The Federalist Number 78 that the Supreme Court, provided it observed what has come to be known as the separation of powers,  would under the Constitution be “the weakest of the three departments of power; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks. It equally proves, that though individual oppression may now and then proceed from the courts of justice, the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter; I mean so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive.”

The Supreme Court has long far exceeded Hamilton’s modest expectations, and appellate courts have followed suit. A headline in the Hartford Courant demonstrates how far courts have progressed since Hamilton’s day: “Lawmakers Scramble To Craft Response To Judge's Education Ruling.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Dick Blumenthal, Crickets, And The BleachBit Presidential Bid of Hillary Clinton

We all know how it works: If you are a politician who outpaces your opponent in money and lustrous fame, you hide-out during elections, contextualize yourself by feeding the media tons of approving releases put together by a faithful staff -- and await reelection.

Dick Blumenthal, presently Connecticut’s Senior U.S. Senator, is such a person. A millionaire by marriage and an incumbent, he has the riches of King Croesus in his campaign kitty. His Republican opponent, Dan Carter, is the poor boy of the current campaign for the U.S. Senate. According to a recent report in CTMirror, “Blumenthal’s campaign reported having more than $5.3 million in its war chest as of June 30, after having spent more than $1.6 million, while Carter’s campaign reported only about $70,000 in cash on hand.”

Safety And Secrecy In Connecticut Government


Are we more safe now than we were before Governor Dannel Malloy’s prison czar, Michael Lawlor, began handing out get-out-of-jail-early credits to so called “nonviolent” incarcerated criminals?

Ibraham Ghazal, the co-owner of an EZMart in Meriden, was not safe. Mr. Ghazal was murdered by Frankie Resto, a prisoner released early because the benefits of Mr. Lawlor’s program had been disbursed retroactively and not prospectively to Connecticut prisoners -- including rapists, which Mr. Lawlor evidently did not consider a violent crime. Death has its privileges, and Mr. Ghazal is now safe.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Bankruptcy In Connecticut

It’s more than a whisper. Hartford, Connecticut’s capital city, already is bankrupt; no one as yet has bothered to read the last rites over the corpse.

The city’s formal announcement of bankruptcy can be deduced from the math, and there is no quarreling with math, as Mr. Micawber, a character in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, well knew: “"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Curry On Malloy, Clinton


“Character is much easier kept than recovered” – Thomas Paine

According to a story appearing in the Waterbury Republican American, “Former state Comptroller Bill Curry, the 1994 and 2002 Democratic nominee for Governor, was even more direct. ‘No one under any cloud of investigation is on any serious list for any appointment in any White House. It simply isn’t worth the enormous political and moral hazard,’ he said. Mr. Curry was a White House adviser to Mrs. Clinton’s husband," former President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Curry believes that Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has no chance – zip – of acquiring a position in the administration of future President Hillary Clinton.