Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wintrich Vindicated: Torquemada At UConn

Lucian Wintrich is the intolerable conservative nuisance – and victim – who was arrested by UConn police and charged with breach of peace for having made an unsuccessful attempt to exercise his First Amendment rights at Connecticut’s flagship university. Wintrich had been invited to speak by the University of Connecticut Young Republican Club on campus.  

A raucous crowd – seeded, one commentator noted, with fascists – prevented Wintrich from delivering his thoughts on “It’s OK To Be White.”

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bronin’s Abdication

For all practical purposes, Mayor of Hartford Luke Bronin, a Democrat considering running for governor, has abdicated the position to which he was elected on January 1, 2016; this after having plainly said it would take him at least a full term, perhaps longer, to bring Hartford out of the red. It takes at least one political term, possibly two, to raise a sunken aircraft carrier from the depths.

In both Hartford and its General Assembly, Democrats have for decades been winking at metastasizing labor costs driven upwards by state employee union demands. How can you tell when union salary and pension costs are extravagant? Easy. They are excessive when labor costs cannot be sustained by a shrinking revenue market.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

The Importance Of Being Rich

In politics, there are two kinds of riches: personal riches – Democrat Dick Blumenthal, weighing in at $67 million, is among the eight richest Senators in Congress – and campaign riches.

Democrat U.S Senator Chris Murphy, who complains often enough that hustling campaign dollars wastes time he might otherwise more profitably spend demonizing the NRA – which recently signaled its support of a bill championed by Murphy and fellow NRA demonizer Blumenthal, the “Fix NICS Act of 2017”, that would reinforce requirements that federal agencies report all infractions to  the National Instant Criminal Background Check System -- currently has about $6 million in his campaign kitty. Most people could not name Murphy’s likely Republican challenger. None of them have yet hit the $60,000 mark.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

We Are All Progressives Now

“Connecticut’s political left," as Mark Pazniokas of CTMirror has taken to calling them, met in New Haven at a “People’s Symposium” -- what else? – to grill Connecticut’s Democrat candidates for governor in 2018.

The interrogators, members of Connecticut’s “Working Families Organization,” a left-wing subset of the state’s Democratic Party ideologically affiliated with state union employees, itself a subset of the Connecticut’s much more numerous real working families, came away from the grilling somewhat satisfied that the candidates had met their non-negotiable demands. The next Democrat governor must soak the rich with progressive taxes, support a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, oppose any and all efforts to “erode collective bargaining for public-sector employees in Connecticut,” and agitate against President Donald Trump – which, in Connecticut, is not a high hurdle to overleap.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Herbst At UConn

Dante death mask
Monsieur l’Abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write -- Voltaire

The trouble with bad manners, Bill Buckley used to say, is that they sometime lead to murder. The late Charles Manson and his maenads, we can agree, had deplorable manners.

Anyone who has met President of UConn Susan Herbst will tell you she has exquisite manners. And the author of “Rude Democracy: Civility and Incivility in American Politics,” also is an authority on political manners. Unfortunately, there are no mandatory courses on good manners at UConn.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Democrats, Sinking Ship Opportunities, And Term Limits Reconsidered

Columnist Jim Cameron in the Stamford Advocate has curtly written off Governor Dannel Malloy: “Our governor is a lame duck. Because he’s announced he’s not running for re-election, he has the political clout of a used teabag. And even though he’s our state’s leader for another 11 months, nobody cares about him or his ideas any longer.”

Malloy’s Lieutenant Governor, Nancy Wyman, has decided she would rather be spending time with her family than running for governor, which would necessarily entail a hearty defense of Malloy’s ruinous policies.

After two terms making Connecticut great again, Malloy himself has decided to take a hike.

Monday, November 27, 2017

No Time For “Heroes”

Connecticut has had three “heroic” governors within the past four gubernatorial election cycles. Governor Lowell Weicker was the first. His legacy is inseparable from his income tax, and it was his income tax. In a rare moment of humor, Weicker suggested the tax should be named after his Lieutenant Governor, Eunice Groark, who broke a tie in the State Senate, assuring the passage of the income tax bill through the General Assembly sausage making process. Groark declined the honor.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Eros In The “Me Too” Age

The “Me too” movement is a long delayed reaction to libertinism, which is not ordered liberty, liberalism or even libertarianism. The father of libertinism was French revolutionist and eros anarchist the Marquis de Sade, an aristocrat gone bad.  His erotic works, many of them written while a prisoner in the Bastille, combine philosophical discourse with pornography and depict in an approving manner violence, crime and blasphemy against Christianity. A man much ahead of his time, de Sade was among the first notable Europeans to propose abortion as a means of population control. He favored unrestricted freedom free of morality, religion and law. In the 21st century, he might have been richly rewarded as a Hollywood film producer.

Monday, November 20, 2017

2018, The Cast Of Characters

No one quite knows for certain how the play will unroll during the upcoming 2018 elections, but the cast of characters is slowly taking shape.

Last April, Governor Dannel Malloy announced he would not be running for a third term. Said Malloy, a rare emotional hitch in his voice, “I am today announcing that I will not seek a third term as governor. Instead, I will focus all my attention and energy – I will use all of my political capital from now through the end of 2018 – to continue implementing my administration's vision for a more sustainable and vibrant Connecticut economy."

Malloy’s announcement opened a Pandora’s Box.  Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, who rode shotgun on Governor Dannel Malloy’s coach for eight years, has only recently bowed out of the race. Wyman, it appears, has children and grandchildren whose company, she has belatedly said, she at long last would like to enjoy. Her bow-out, we are to understand, had nothing to do with Malloy’s failed policies.

Comptroller Kevin Lembo, a young progressive relatively unbesmirched by the failed Malloy regime, considered running for governor but, on second thought, bowed out. Mayor of Hartford, Luke Bronin, also has had second thoughts since Wyman’s announcement; he’s back in consideration. Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, the focus of an ethics complaint, is still plugging away, though one of his wings may have been clipped. Mayor of Bridgeport Joe Ganim, an ex-felon who very well might be the poster boy for Malloy’s “second chance society” is making noises. West Hartford Mayor Jonathan Harris, former prosecutor Chris Mattei, former Wall Street finance executive Dita Bhargava and former State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly are all teasing us.

“On the Republican side,” a Hartford paper advises, “Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Trumbull first selectman Tim Herbst, state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, former federal official David Walker, state Sen. Toni Boucher and Shelton mayor Mark Lauretti are among a large field.” Peter Lumaj, who has managed to light up conservatives, is yet in an exploring stage, and somewhere off in the distance Joe Visconti, who has described himself as “Trump without the millions,” is breathing heavily.

Most of the chaff will be sifted during the Democrat and Republican nominating conventions, after which the wheat will lie exposed. Until then, opinionators are keeping their powder dry, though it is not difficult to deduce their preferences from editorials and opinion pieces. In the recent past, editorial boards in Connecticut have voted more or less straight Democrat; endorsements of Republicans have been rare. The betting from political watchers outside the magic circle is that editorial boards will by Election Day have learned nothing and forgotten everything. “The land of steady habits” is an expression that may no longer apply to voters, whipped as they have been by progressive lashes, but it still applies in spades to some editorial boards and fake reformers who have committed themselves to an ancient dying creed. 

The truth of the matter is that modern progressivism of a kind practiced in Connecticut -- which favors high taxes, the slavish support of state worker unions, an expansion of the role of government in business decisions, excessive regulations as a means of controlling unsavory business ethics, a view of state government as the principal business investor, a “forward looking” vision that discounts tradition and what G. K. Chesterton used to call “the democracy of the dead,” a utopian outlook that blithely ignores the real-world consequences of superficially appealing policies – is a demonstrable and disastrous failure that has, in the land of steady bad habits,  reduced the prospect of business growth, job creation and most other joys that a pragmatic and realistic polity is heir to. And the people in Connecticut most severely impacted by utopian progressivism are the poor who live in the state’s corrupt and deteriorating cities.

Politicians in the state are no longer in the saddle directing events; indeed, it is events that are now riding politicians – and the rest of us.

The way out of this dark and unwelcoming wood, far more menacing than anything one meets in fairy tales, is the way in – in reverse. You begin to work your way out of the enchanted wood by stopping your advance, reversing course and marching towards the beginning of your journey with a view toward progressing in an opposite direction.

Focusing all his attention on his visionary schemes for Connecticut and spending his depleted political capital, Malloy recently effectively vetoed the efforts of both Democrats and Republicans to restore in a bi-partisan budget crippling reductions in state aid to municipalities he had previously imposed, a provocative move that elicited from mild-mannered State Representative Tami Zawistowski, “Outrageous that the Governor unilaterally cut $91 million from education aid to our towns - well beyond the reductions in the legislatively approved budget.” The larger part of Malloy’s legacy when he finally leaves office will be that he had his way with both Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Reformers Club, A Satire

Overheard in the MidRoad Diner during a meeting of the Reformers Club

The difference between God and Governor Malloy --“God is less concerned than [Dannel] Malloy when people question Him.”

Those early body-building pics of Republican House leader Themis Klarides circulating in the desk drawers of oppo-researchers -- “I’m still waiting for one of Connecticut’s opinionators to write, maybe in a column, that Klarides can easily bench-press many of her political opponents. She likes sports, contact sports too. Otherwise, why would she have gotten involved in politics?”