Monday, December 31, 2012

Wither The Courant?


Pssst, come here, wanna buy a newspaper? Feeling patriotic?

Both the Hartford Courant and the Register Citizen papers -- The Middletown Press, New Haven Register, Torrington Register Citizen -- are up for sale.

Lieberman Leaves The Building


Most seemingly endless U.S. Senate careers end with a whimper rather than a bang.

When Dennis House, the moderator of “Face the State” on WFSB Channel 3, asked Senator Joe Lieberman how he would like to be remembered by history upon his retirement, Mr. Lieberman said the question put him in mind of Winston Churchill who, when asked a similar question, said he thought he would be well remembered because he himself intended to write the history of his time and place. Immediately, Mr. Lieberman, perhaps familiar with Mr. Churchill’s voluminous writings, said he didn’t know about writing history himself, but…

Friday, December 28, 2012

Some Question McDonald's Fitness To Serve On Connecticut Supreme Court


Shortly after Governor Dannel Malloy nominated his chief counsel Andrew McDonald to Connecticut’s Supreme Court, the Day of New London noted that it was “a testament of how far Connecticut has come that the least controversial fact about Andrew J. McDonald, nominated by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday to join the state Supreme Court, is that he is openly gay.”

When Mr. Malloy announced awhile back that his administration was the gayest in Connecticut history, no one bated an eyelash. Mr. McDonald was married to Charles Gray in 2009 by then Mayor of Stamford Malloy; under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Michael Lawlor, the author of the problem ridden Earned Risk Reduction Credits program, is also openly gay.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Larson The Demagogue


It was only a matter of time before some Democratic politician high on demagoguery got around to linking the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Republican caution in Washington concerning President Obama's tax hikes.

Here is U.S. Congressman John Larson, courtesy of the Hartford Courant, holding forth; for good measure, he managed to fold hurricane Sandy into his rhetoric as well:  

U.S. Rep. John Larson, a Democrat from Connecticut’s 1st District, invokes the school massacre in Sandy Hook and the devastation of Storm Sandy in his statement asking House Republicans to get back to work.

“The fast approaching fiscal cliff, now only five days away, has already created uncertainty for many and threatens to raise taxes and cut services for millions.

“In Connecticut, New York and New Jersey Americans and their families wait for the relief aide that will help them rebuild following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

“And after an unprecedented tragedy in Connecticut that shook the nation to its core and one of the worst acts of violence in our nation, Congress has a responsibility to act on legislation ready to help prevent future violence.

“I am prepared to do the job I was sent to Washington to do. It’s my hope that House Republicans will answer the call of millions of Americans who more than ever need Congress to put partisanship aside, and get back to work.”

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Outlawing Mayhem


The mass murder in Sandy Hook has spurred an effort, not always successful in the past, to bum-rush gun restriction legislation through both the U.S. Congress and Connecticut’s General Assembly.

State gun control laws, as a general rule, are far less successful than national laws because the effective reach of state laws ends at the border. Criminals bent on mayhem may acquire weapons “illegal” in Connecticut by purchasing them outside the state, acquiring weapons on the black market or simply stealing them in states in which laws are less restrictive than those of Connecticut. National gun control laws would be uniform and apply in every state in the union. Connecticut’s gun control laws, the fourth most restrictive in the nation, were not successful in preventing a murderous assault by Adam Lanza on the Sandy Hook Elementary school in which 6 faculty members and 20 children were cruelly slaughtered in two classrooms by a determined murderer who apparently stole an arsenal of weapons from his mother, his first victim.

Nearer - 6


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sandy Hook Should Teach Us How To Think


Following the horrific mass murder in Sandy Hook, Connecticut – 27 people slain, 20 of them innocent children – it took but a moment for some politicians to mount their various hobby horses and, in an effort not to let this bloody crisis go to waste, call loudly for “immediate action” on gun control measures. Here is the Hartford Courant lashing the political draft horses: “Stay angry. Remember how you felt this weekend. Don't let the faces of those children go until meaningful, actual steps are taken to make this a safer and less violent country.”

Any call for immediate action while the heart is bludgeoned by emotion should be politely resisted, because right action – the only kind that actually solves problems – generally follows in the train of right thought. Emotional responses, however appropriate given the circumstances, often lead to ineffective dead end streets and solutions that only solve the problems of those proposing solutions.

It's coming 3


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's Coming


Vive Depardieu


Gérard Depardieu, the French actor who moved to Belgium recently to escape the confiscatory 75 per cent top marginal income tax rate imposed on millionaires by newly elected French President  François Hollande, is at least as “French” as the Eiffel Tower. And his background points to a proletarian upbringing.

When another of France’s sons – in fact, the richest man in the country, Bernard Arnault, the CEO and chief shareholder of the luxury behemoth LVMH – kicked the socialist dust of France from his A. Testoni Moro monk-strap shoes and moved to Belgium to escape the depredations visited upon him by M. Hollande, the first socialist President of France since François Mitterrand left office, the left wing Libération expressed its contempt for the rich in a headline on its front page: “Get lost, you rich b------.”

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook


Adam Lanza – and Adam Lanza ALONE – is responsible for the Sandy Hook massacre, which is to say:


1) Adam Lanza’s mother is not responsible for the crime, nor is his father or brother.  The Lanza’s were divorced. In a report from the Daily Mail of Britain, a former classmate of Adam Lanza is reported as having said, “He was a loner at school and hyper intelligent. But in recent years he disappeared off the radar. The word is that he was badly affected when his parents split and that might be what pushed him over the edge.” But divorces do not lead ineluctably to carnage of this kind. There is no necessary connection between solitude and murder.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Un-Person of the Year Nominations


Connecticut Commentary -- here: http://donpesci.blogspot.com/ -- is now accepting nominations for "Un-Person of the Year."
Please submit the name of the un-person you will nominate and a brief, say, two line message explaining your nomination.
Nominations will be posted on Connecticut Commentary (It would be nice if I could post your name along with the nomination, but non-scatological anonymous  nominations will be considered.

I’m hoping the thing can be up to open the New Year, Jan 1.
It's OK if you open your humor sluice gates in your nominations. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Interesting Times of Dannel Malloy


Connecticut no longer can produce sufficient revenues necessary to pay for its improvident spending. Its revenue engines, after years of uncontrolled acceleration, are sputtering and wheezing, businesses are looking for the exit, and the ONLY remaining option – assuming the state is not interested in declaring bankruptcy as its itch to spend dooms all prospects of recovery – is real spending reform.

Real reform would involve identifying spending drivers and offering solutions that cut spending permanently. Temporary and half solutions will not do. And spending reform, always painful, cannot be accomplished in the absence of a reform vanguard made up of courageous politicians and tribunes of the people who are willing to press needed spending reforms in the face of a strenuous opposition from entrenched interests.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Malloy Humorless?


Distressing news from CTMirror:

“Gov. Dannel P. Malloy reinforced today that there's a new tradition at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce's annual holiday breakfast: Expect a serious speech reviewing the challenges facing Connecticut, not a comedy roast.

"’I don't do poems,’ Malloy said. ‘I don't do humor well.’"

Complete the following sentence: An Irishman without a sense of humor is like … Please note: It would take a sense of humor to complete the sentence, and non-Irishman need not apply.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Leave-takings


The Malloyalist tree has lost some leaves along the way as the governor approaches the end of his first term in office. The latest to depart is senior advisor Roy Occhiogrosso, said to be Governor Dannel Malloy’s “closest confidant.”

Mr. Occhiogrosso’s own reaction to his departure was uncharacteristically understated, almost blasé: “I personally think people tend to stay in these jobs too long some times. I had a great time. It's time to do something else."

Sometime last January, Mr. Malloy opened the exit door a crack. He told his staff that those who did not want to remain with him as he served out the next two years of his term in office should leave then, but Mr. Occhigrosso agreed to remain for yet another year.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Real St. Nick


Searching for the real Saint Nicholas presents the usual problems. Historians in the age of the saints were not interested in removing certain doubtful accretions from their hagiographic accounts. It is very difficult, if not impossible, at this remove to separate the historical wheat from the chaff in the legends of old Saint Nick; and doing so would be inadvisable – because legends also affect history; in fact, the legend may have a more profound effect on events than what we moderns call historical facts.

It does not help that the legend and hagiography of Saint Nicholas of Myra (4th century) is in some measure intermingled with the life of Nicholas of Pharroa, monk of Sion and Bishop of Pinara (6th century).

Church records in the 6th century were more complete than those of earlier centuries because the Christian church only began to flourish after a long period of severe persecution had ended. Nicholas of Myra (in present day Turkey) is a saint of the persecuted church, a time in which Christian saints witnessed to the truth with their blood, sweat and tears.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Cooking The Books The Malloy Way


Charming how Connecticut, whenever the state dips its toes into a budget crisis, tends to cook the books.

During his first gubernatorial campaign in 2010, Governor Dannel Malloy campaigned on a platform to adopt real world accounting measures so that the accounting sins of preceding governors – two of them Republicans and the third a “Maverick” Republican – would not be visited on Mr. Malloy or succeeding governors, yea, even to the third generation.

That was what Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures (GAAP) was all about. Connecticut’s modified cash basis system, an accounting method full of blue smoke and mirrors, had played havoc with state budgets, the governor and his Malloyalists said. Adopting GAAP would end what one reporter at the time called “an array of accounting gimmicks that have pushed current expenses into future years.” No more budgetary sleight of hand, the governor strongly implied in his public statements.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Democratic Demagoguery in Connecticut


The first shots of the 2014 gubernatorial campaign were fired by Malloyalist pit bull Roy Occhiogrosso and state Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo shortly after former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley announced at the end of November his availability for the Republican nomination for governor.

Asked by a reporter to comment on Mr. Foley’s early entrance into the gubernatorial arena, Mr. Occhiogrosso sniffed, “We don’t comment on Tom Foley’s political ambitions. He lost one race. He’s more than welcome to lose another.”

Ms. DiNardo, coloring within the lines of Mr. Occhiogrosso’s curt dismissal, said in a media release, “Tom Foley just doesn’t get it. Like Mitt Romney, he doesn’t understand the challenges that average hardworking people face. He is just another out-of-touch vulture capitalist who sees the average resident as something less. It’s a toxic world view that the voters of this country rejected just a few weeks ago. And if ambassador Foley runs again, he’ll find out exactly what the voters of Connecticut think of his economic philosophy.”

Monday, December 03, 2012

Why Taxes Will Be Raised


A business reporter for a Hartford newspaper writes in an above the fold, front page story, “In An Era of Fiscal Crisis, Malloy Has Few Places To Run,” that “Malloy's budget chief issued a firm statement in writing: ‘The Governor will NOT propose tax increases as a solution to these challenges.’"

The “challenges” are a budget deficit in Governor Dannel Malloy’s first budget of $362 million, a figure that will escalate in coming weeks, and a future projected deficit of $960 million per year in each of the next three years. Connecticut’s total state debt – including pension fund debt of $60 billion and $20 billion in bonded debt – is the third highest debt per capita in the United States and represents about 40 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Random Acts of Free Speech


“The Republicans have had their chance at ruining the country, and now it’s the Democrat’s turn. I’m sure they’ll do a better job of it.”

“A better job of what?”

“Ruining the country.”

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Connecticut, the Canary in the National Mineshaft


Such are the parallels between the Malloy and Obama administrations that it might almost be said President Barack Obama is now replicating on a national scale The Malloy Way, with one important exception.

When Governor Dannel Malloy first came into office, Connecticut was facing a daunting deficit of about $3 billion in a biennial budget of about $20 billion. Hoisting the flag of “shared sacrifice,” Mr. Malloy raised taxes, imposing on Connecticut the largest tax increase in state history. Mr. Obama’s most recent gambit is to raise taxes immediately on the country’s malefactors of great wealth in a special session of the congress, saving until tomorrow – “which creeps in this petty pace to the last annals of recorded time” -- any strategy to reduce spending.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Does “No” Mean Yes?


Governor Malloy has told the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue & Bonding committees through his Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes that he will not resort to tax increases to backfill what Mr. Malloy calls a $365 million “shortfall” in his budget.

Mr. Malloy has been less assertive concerning “a deficit of as much as $1.2 billion projected for the coming fiscal year -- a shortfall of 6 percent -- saying only that he has ‘no intention of raising taxes,’" according to a story in CTMirror.

Don't Show This One to the Kids


Joe Markley gives his usual update on the state of the state http://www.youtube.com/ctsenaterepublicans, continually growing worse.

Put the kids to bed and watch it; wouldn’t want to frighten the poor tikes.

Markley: “The only way to solve (these continual budget ‘shortfalls’) is to reduce spending.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ideological Prisoners


Democrats, far more than Republicans in Connecticut, have shown themselves to be prisoners of their ideological convictions.

Some of these persuasions are mentioned in a recent column by Chris Powell, Managing Editor of the Journal Inquirer and a political columnist for the paper, who is often mistaken by politicians he has gored over the years as a conservative, an error Linda McMahon is not likely to make.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cloutless Connecticut


Seniority equals clout in the U.S. Congress. New Senators and House members entering the portals of the U.S. Capitol are expected to be seen and not heard for their first year or so in office. Both Connecticut’s U.S. Senators are new arrivals.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, who appears to be having a problem shedding his past as Connecticut’s Attorney General, the state’s litigator-in-chief and consumer advocate, passed his first year blinking as the world slid chaotically by. With a couple of years in the Senate under his belt, Mr. Blumenthal may now be prepared to open his beak and sing a song.

Political watchers in his state are hoping the melody will not be freighted with bills he wished he had been able to enact as attorney general. The state’s soon to be Senior Senator, after a scant two years in Congress, has not favored his favorite newspapers with exhaustive opinions on a raft of recent nettlesome issues, including the destruction of the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, the murder of Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and other Americans, the growing U.S. deficit, the recent bombing by Israel of Hamas military emplacements in Gaza, an ordeal followed by an uneasy “peace” brokered by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood fundamentalist who often has expressed his contempt of the West, hates Israel and wants to turn Egypt into a Salafist state, as well as other issues of moment much in the media. Perhaps after his year of sequestration Connecticut’s senior senator will be more forthcoming on, to mention just one pressure point, the economic collapse of Europe.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Last Thanksgiving



Ann made pies, not for a living; it was a passion and an avocation for her. And  seemingly everyone in Windsor Locks -- a small town lying in peace and obscurity on the Connecticut River – knew that Ann made pies. As a boy, I swam in the canal that runs parallel to the river after which the town, resplendent with locks that used to carry shipping cargo past the treacherous falls in Enfield, was named.

Ann made pies, took care of the social needs of Saint Mary’s Church and loved her husband, Buzzy. Her daughter married my brother, and from that moment our two families were folded together.

Windsor Locks was so small, Mark Twain might have said, that it had room in it for only one pie maker. True, Twain said this of drunks, not pie makers, but it applies to both. Once you tasted one of Ann’s pies, you were instantly transported to bakery heaven.

Monday, November 19, 2012

How You Know When an Election Is Over


You know when an election in Connecticut is over when virtually all incumbent Democrats are re-elected to office, after having been fulsomely endorsed by much of the state’s left of center media, and when, several days after the election, bad news headlines begin to appear in Connecticut’s only state-wide newspaper: “State’s Medicaid Costs Soar, Projected Budget Deficit Attributed In Part to Expanded Coverage.” That headline appeared in a Hartford paper as a front page above the fold story a little less than two weeks after the election.

According to the story, we discover that the state’s $365 million budget deficit “dates, in part, to two years ago when Connecticut became the first state to expand medical coverage to low-income adults as an early adopter of federal health care reform.” The federal health care reform program is Obamacare. The architects of Obamacare were careful to front load the program with alluring benefits; payments for the alluring benefits were deferred until after the election.

That would be – now.

A Rip in the Economic Clouds


Here is the bottom line of a serious and splendid analysis of our economic paralysis done by Reid Holloway, a consultant, specializing in strategic development and a hedge manager for private clients who developed The RLH Volatility Model, a proprietary mathematical model for assessing and managing equity portfolio risk, and Robert Eramo an actuarial genius, author of Money, Credit and Federal Reserve Policy Changes”:

“We believe there is the possibility we may even have a “soft landing,” but that doesn’t mean the crosswinds approaching the runway won’t be without some turbulence.  If during this time frame the congress manages to come together on a plan for spending and tax reform—even if that includes a protracted government shutdown—we could resume the trajectory of slow economic growth we’ve been on for some time, with probable implications of flattening unemployment-rate trends at about the levels we’re experiencing now.”


The report, well worth consulting, may be found at Minyanville.

I am grateful to Mr. Holloway for calling it to my attention.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Malloy, a Utopian Twinkie?


To a certain degree, all utopianists are eternal optimists – Panglossian optimists. The world may be crumbling about them, but their lively imaginations lift them above the debris.

Realists will agree that the future does not seem sparkling for Europe just now. The latest news is that ALL of Europe, with the possible exception of stout Germany, has entered a second, double dip recession.

In Greece, Spain and perhaps Italy a depression has sunk its teeth into Europe’s soft underbelly. Greece, the home of democracy, bid democracy goodbye as it tumbled into a depression, overloaded with accumulative debt and unsustainable social programs.  Euro-technocrats now direct its future. In Italy, Spain and perhaps France, the same stern number crunchers are waiting in the wings for the inevitable collapse of European Social Democracy.

Here in the United States, voters from sea to shining sea have just reelected as president the most progressive, European oriented chief executive in the country’s history. Mr. Obama has been steering the political ship of state in the direction of the European model for the past four years, at a time when Europe -- weighted down with, to mention only two straws breaking democracy’s back, an expensive universal health care system and unsustainable pensions -- appears ready to pitch over the cliff.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The New Budget Gimmickry


It’s extremely important for politicians to hide horrors before elections. One shudders to think how voting in Connecticut for the General Assembly might have changed if Connecticut’s eminently dupable citizens had known before they entered the polling booths that their state was running a deficit of $365-million.

The admission that Connecticut was running a deficit large enough to require Governor Dannel Malloy to submit a deficit mitigation plan to the General Assembly came nine days after votes were tallied in Connecticut. State law requires the governor to submit to the General Assembly a deficit mitigation plan whenever a budget deficit reaches 1 percent of general fund spending.

State statute requires Mr. Malloy to submit to State Comptroller Kevin Lembo a deficit mitigation plan. After Mr. Lembo certifies the deficit on December 1, the governor is required to present his plan to the Democratic dominated General Assembly.

Members of the General Assembly no doubt were – SHOCKED!!! -- to hear the governor’s budget chief Ben Barnes, Secretary of the State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM), tell the members of the Appropriations Committee on November 14 that the deficit was indeed a startling $365-million.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Connecticut s Fiscal Cliff




Newly re-elected U.S. Representative Jim Himes, a moderate Democrat operating out of Connecticut’s 4th District, has said concerning the nation’s so called fiscal cliff, “Washington understands how severe the consequences of the fiscal cliff are. When I saw House Speaker (John) Boehner speak two days ago, I thought he was conciliatory and traced the outlines of a deal."

Of course, the perceived severity of fiscal cliffs depends to some extent on one’s political vulnerability. Not all severity is created equal, and Democrats ensconced in Connecticut’s safe districts, such as U.S. Representatives John Larson and Rosa DeLauro, are apt to confront the fiscal cliff with less trepidation than Mr. Himes.


A recent study conducted by the Defense Technology Initiative should serve the members of Connecticut’s all Democratic Congressional delegation as a splash of cold water in the face. The study presents a sobering picture of Connecticut’s own fiscal cliff that should give vertigo to all freethinking and rational politicians in the state.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Two'fer Coverup


The lede in a Daily Mail story covering the affair CIA chief General David Petraeus had with Paula Broadwell was carefully fashioned:
 
“President Obama faced allegations of a major political cover-up last night over the resignation of CIA chief General David Petraeus, who had an affair with a married woman.

“Congress is expected to investigate claims that the affair was hushed up to protect Obama’s re-election campaign.”


The “cover-up” is a two’fer: Congress is now investigating both the failure of the White House to extract ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens from a compound under siege by terrorists and the Petraeus affair. Both Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have declined to make an appearance before a congressional committee investigating the terrorist raid on the consulate in Benghazi, and in both cases a White House cover-up has been intimated.

Neither of the two Democrats newly elected to Connecticut’s all Democrat Congressional delegation, U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, have been asked whether they think the national legislature they will be joining should subpoena Clinton and Petraeus to testify before the relevant congressional committees.
The remaining Democrats serving in Connecticut's congressional delegation  -- outgoing U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman and U.S. Representatives John Larson, Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro and Jim Himes -- have not addressed the questions either:  1) Was President Barack Obama's White House covering up information on both scandals until the national election had been concluded? and 2) Should the Congress subpoena both Clinton and Petraeus to testify before the body in which the Democratic congressmen serve?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Perpetual Progressive Campaign


So, the elections are over -- for a too brief interlude.

The grumps who have been complaining all along that there is no longer a breathing space between elections are right. Forward! as they say in the progressive Beltway. In our time, politics itself has become a form of electioneering. That’s what is wrong with it. President John Kennedy governed; President Barack Obama campaigns.

Campaign finance reform was supposed to settle some of these problems.

Happy 237th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps.



Some people spend their whole live wondering if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem -- Ronald Reagan

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion -- Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps -- General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946

By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue -- Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Navy

I am convinced that there is no smarter, handier, or more adaptable body of troops in the world -- Prime Minister of Britain, Sir Winston Churchill

A Ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons -- Adm. David Dixon Porter, USN in a letter to Colonel Commandant John Harris, USMC, 1863

 
 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Conservatives -- Don't Go Wobbly After the 2012 Election


The following Blog was written by Bob MacGuffie of Right Principles.

Mr. MacGuffie is associated with Connecticut’s burgeoning Tea Party Movement

In the wake of our national ticket's loss I've heard some erratic and erroneous criticisms and suggestions from Republicans, which if followed would be injurious to the conservative movement. Too many are buying into the deception propagated by Liberal commentators - that Obama's election represents an historic strategic shift in the electorate founded in a fundamental demographic change. Make no mistake, this was only a tactical win. When the campaign itself credits acres of its paid telemarketers in Chicago calling every conceivable ethnic, racial, and gender niche in only nine states, promising whatever each marketing niche desires, you are tactical, and not strategic.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

What Republicans Can Do


Nationally, most Republican election analysts called it wrong.  Moments following the election, Dick Morris repented in sackcloth and ashes. He had missed something that one might call the New Democratic Majority, which is on the order of missing Gibraltar while sailing the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula:

“By the time you finish with the various demographic groups the Democrats win, you almost have a majority in their corner. Count them: Blacks cast 13% of the vote and Obama won them 12-1. Latinos cast 10% and Obama carried them by 7-3. Under 30 voters cast 19% of the vote and Obama swept them by 12-7. Single white women cast 18% of the total vote and Obama won them by 12-6. There is some overlap among these groups, of course, but without allowing for any, Obama won 43-17 before the first married white woman or man over 30 cast their vote. (Lets guess that if we eliminate duplication, the Obama margin would be 35-13) Having conceded these votes, Romney would have had to win over two-thirds of the rest of the vote to win. He almost did. But not quite.”

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Mop Up


It looks as if Republicans, once again, did not bring home the bacon in Connecticut. Campaign analysts are asking why.

This is an easy one. Republicans are outnumbered in the state roughly by a ratio of two to one, a very steep hill to climb. And, considering the historic nature of journalism in Connecticut, they cannot expect a leg up from the state’s left of center media. The Hartford Courant’s election eve endorsement editorial for instance looked as if it had been dictated to the paper’s publisher and editorial board by David Axelrod, and the paper’s endorsement of Democrat Elizabeth Esty over moderate Republican Andrew Roraback was particularly self-serving.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Boilerplate Comics


Political comedy really should reach across the ideological barricades. Poor Gary Trudeau keeps getting snagged in the razor wire that surrounds Doonesbury.

Bubble 1) Sorry. You’re toast. Goodbye.

Bubble 2) You know, it just amazes me that only a few years after the economy was brought to its knees by a gang of predatory Wall Street plutocrats…

Bubble 3) That the GOP would nominate a predatory Wall Street plutocrat.

Bubble 4) Do they think we don’t remember who screwed us over and hollowed out the middle class? People just like Romney!

Without the cartoon characters, the text would make a letter perfect New York Times Obama endorsement.

And, has anyone noticed that Bill Maher’s boilerplate comedy is getting tiresome?

Maher: "So, I should just say for anyone thinking about voting for Mitt Romney, if that’s who you are, I would like to make this one plea: Black people know who you are, and they will come after you. I’m kidding. Oh, I’m kidding. What I meant to say is: Mitt Romney cares.”

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Jack Kennedy to the Rescue


President Barack Obama’s critics have a point when they say that Mr. Obama is having some difficulty defending the practical consequences of his policies. An unemployment rate of 7.8 percent four years after Mr. Obama said his progressive policies would result in an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent is certainly an economic bummer.

We are very far from normalcy. To date, Mr. Obama has shucked off the non-performing economy on former President George Bush, but the dodge of responsibility for an economy in cardiac arrest is beginning to annoy the unemployed.

Such laggard numbers suggests the opposite of progress and gives weight to the charge made by Mr. Obama’s critics that, at least in economic matters, the president for his entire term has been marching to the wrong drummer.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Journalists Fiddle While Benghazi Burns


It would be a disgrace to journalism in Connecticut if questions concerning the murder of a U.S. ambassador attached to the consulate in Benghazi were not put to all the members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation, preferably before Connecticut voters march to the polls to decide who among the candidates for Congress this year are best fitted to represent them.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Courant Endorsements


The last of the Hartford Courant’s increasingly irrelevant U.S. Congressional delegation endorsements appeared in the paper on Friday.

The Courant -- shocking the entire state – endorsed U.S. Representative Chris Murphy over former soft-porn WWE impresario Linda McMahon who, in the course of her run for Joe Lieberman’s soon to be vacant seat, snubbed Connecticut’s left of center media.

Courant endorsements are “conservative” in the bad sense. Connecticut’s congressional delegation is non-diverse; all the members of the delegation are Democrats, and it is clear, following the paper’s endorsement of Elizabeth Esty over moderate Republican Andrew Roraback, that the publisher of the paper and its editorial board members prefer it this way.

Adding its endorsement of Democrat Elizabeth Esty’s to that of former Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi, the Hartford Courant in its editorial, “Democrat's positions edge Andrew Roraback's bona fides,” tipped its hat to moderate Republican challenger Andrew Roraback’s bona fides, but found that his fides weren’t bona enough.

Mr. Roraback has billed himself during his campaign against Mrs. Esty, the wife of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Daniel Esty, as a moderate Republican. In left of center editorial board lingo, “moderates” are much preferred over conservative and libertarian Republicans. Mr. Roraback earned his stripes as a moderate by setting himself apart from doctrinaire Republicans elsewhere in the country and flashing his bona fides as a “fiscal conservative,” code language to indicate his disassociation from disreputable “social conservatives,” not to mention toxic members of the much misunderstood – one might say purposely misunderstood – members of the Tea Party.

Perhaps if Mr. Roraback had billed himself as a “maverick Republican,” following in the footsteps of former U.S. Senator and Governor Lowell Weicker, his fides would have been acceptable to the Courant’s editorial board. A maverick, as opposed to a moderate, is a Republican whose active distaste for all things Republican  places him firmly in the Democratic camp.

Maverick Republicans are masked Democrats working within the party to subvert it. They are disguised sappers, ideological first cousins of the editorial writers at the Courant who generally advance super subtle reasons for bestrewing endorsements on leftist candidates.

Reason number one: The endorsed candidate has more practical experience than the challenger. Since Democrats in Connecticut, with invaluable assists from sappers, now command the governor’s office, the state House, the state Senate and the state Supreme Court -- Yes Virginia, the court is subtly affected by powerful partisan politicians, whatever you may have read about its vaunted courageous independence – the Courant’s rationale supports the present status quo Democratic hegemon.

The first casualty of this all too convenient rationale is the much cited journalistic doctrine that the proper mission of the media, when it is doing its job, is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Within Connecticut, comfortable Democrats-for-life occupying gerrymandered districts, such as U.S. Representatives John Larson and multimillionaire Rosa DeLauro, are among scores of incumbent Democrats unmolested by the state’s purported non-partisan left of center media. Consistently applied, the doctrine that one should always vote for the more experienced candidate is subversive of democracy, which depends upon a fluid and diverse governing class: It is an argument favoring permanent and unchanging governance – perpetual rule by incumbents.      

It should be noted that in its Esty endorsement  the Courant carved out an exception to its own general rule. Of the two candidates vying for the U.S. House in the 5th District, Mr. Roraback has more governing experience. And he certainly meets the paper’s second criteria without which candidates for office fail to receive its endorsements: The potential endorsee must forswear any political alliance with national Republicans on so called “social issues.” In this regard, true believing editorialists on the left reflexively support progressive Democrats.  

Mrs. Esty, more reliably left wing than Mr. Roraback, was blessed with the Courant’s endorsement -- because the paper’s principle ideological duty, now and forever, is to hold back a fictitious horde of conservatives from assaulting the gates of paradise, a utopian vision of governance in which the governing authority overwhelms what social scientists sometimes call mediating institutions: the family, the church, voluntary associations, independent business enterprises and, somewhere close to the top of the list, a reified Republican  Party dedicated to weaning the  individual from a paternalistic state.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Murphy, the Congressman from Planned Parenthood


President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards announced recently her intention to campaign for President Barack Obama FULL TIME, and no wonder.

Planned Parenthood -- the largest abortion provider on the planet, with the possible exception of China’s pro-abortion fascist state controlled facilities – is big business. Every single day, Planned Parenthood receives more than $1.34 million public tax dollars. Abortion procedures account for 46% of all Planned Parenthood clinic revenue. Ms. Richards last year pulled in a sumptuous $400,000 paycheck as her business systematically aborted over 320,000 children each year.

Here in Connecticut, the Democratic Party from Chicago has managed to tag as “extremists” politicians and potential politicians whose views on abortion fall short of those of Planned Parenthood.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What if She Wins?


Linda McMahon may or may not win her campaign to replace Senator Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Congress. Everyone agrees that her race with media favorite Chris Murphy is a close one. Although it is a presidential election year, Barack Obama appears to have lost some of his luster since his last election, his coattails having been clipped by four years in office during which the recovery promised by the president has yet to surface. The latest Gallup poll shows the president trailing Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney by seven points, not a propitious sign.

If Mrs. McMahon is elected to the U.S. Senate, her critics in Connecticut – pretty nearly every commentator in the state – will put down her win to dollars spent. In this regard, Mrs. McMahon is the exception in Connecticut.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Prague’s Juvenilia


Apparently Edith Prague’s recent stroke has not affected her political prejudices. Here is Prague on Republican Chris Coutu,” who is running for the state Senate in the 19th District:

“He’s referred to by some colleagues in the House as cuckoo Coutu,’’ Prague said. “His votes clearly indicate he is not thinking through on the issues. … Certainly I would want somebody in my seat who has some of the same values that I have. Chris voted against the budget, and there were some very good programs in the budget. His voting record is very questionable.’’

Concerning Coutu’s positions, Prague said, “Pro-gun. Oh, man alive. God help us.’’

She added, “I’m very sorry that I’m not running for my seat. The doctor said don’t get yourself in a stressful situation. The job is not that stressful. It’s the campaigning. It would have been a very tough campaign. I didn’t want to take the chance of a second stroke, but I’m miserable not to be running. I love my job. I love being in the Senate. I love chairing the labor committee and the aging committee. I’m a social worker, and there I am, a social worker with power. That’s a social worker’s dream.’’

Ms. Prague’s “cuckoo Coutu” insult has been picked up by several news outlets whose reporters are not likely to note in their stories that name-calling is the lowest and most juvenile form of humor.  

.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Clinton in Connecticut


Americans used to wait a decent interval before they set about re-writing history. An example of a recent re-write may be found in an op-ed written by Mark Bowen, who writes for the New Republic. The piece is a glowing review of Ben Affleck’s new film “Argo.”

In the course of his review, Mr. Bowen punctures what he understands to be two grave misunderstandings: 1) that former President Jimmy Carter was too weak to foresee and prevent the Iranian hostage crisis; “in fact, he prepared and launched one of the boldest covert military efforts in American history,” and 2) that President Ronald Reagan “proved to be a lot more willing to deal with the mullahs than Carter ever was.”

In other pieces written by Mr. Bowen,  the author of “"Guests of the Ayatollah" is constrained to mention in passing some similarities between the Iranian crisis and recent difficulties in Benghazi, the site of the murder by terrorists of American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Abortion and Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Races


One of Linda McMahon’s most insistent critics, Chris Powell of the Journal Inquirer, noted in a post-debate column that Mrs. McMahon’s view on abortion was … ahem … “more nuanced” than that of Chris Murphy.

The views of President Barack Obama on abortion are, if possible, more extreme than those of Mr. Murphy. There are no circumstances in which the president would disallow an abortion. As an Illinois state senator, Mr. Obama had fulsomely supported legislation permitting abortion on demand, which would include the kind of sex selection abortion practiced in China and – this may surprise pro-abortion proponents – abortions condemned by the early church fathers in the late Roman Empire. The paterfamilias of a family in Rome at the time St. Augustine of Hippo was fulminating against the practice held life and death powers over his children, born and unborn. While infanticide was rare, in the Clintonian sense, during the reign of the Caesars, a father could not be punished under Roman law for committing infanticide, most often involving female infants, by exposing the born infant to the elements. Abortions were more common. The president also has opposed the so called “born alive” bill, a measure that would have extended to infants born alive during botched abortions the same legal protections afforded born babies.

It was Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, no tea partier, who declined to vote in favor of partial birth abortion because he regarded the practice as a form of infanticide.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lawlor’s Law


The whole point and purpose of the Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) is, as the title suggests, victim advocacy. Any defense lawyer or reporter will tell you that advocacy hurts and involves incalculable risks to the advocate. Such is the case with the OVA, which can most accurately be described as an independent in-house whistleblower operation.

A number of people who showed up on a blustery afternoon outside the Wethersfield Department of Corrections (DOC) on October 16 to protest the immanent firing of Michelle Cruz, Connecticut’s Victim’s Advocate, had use of her services. One of them was Elizabeth Barrett, whose daughter was murdered four years ago. She was accompanied by her husband who, with his close cropped white beard, looked for all the world like Ernest Hemingway.

Mrs. Barrett stepped to the battery of microphones, leaned into them and said in a crisp voice, “Four and a half years ago, we were fortunate enough to meet Michelle Cruz, Connecticut’s Victim’s Advocate. She has sat with us at our meetings with police, advised us of our rights, explained the judicial system, and explained legal terms in a language we could understand. Her empathy and knowledge have been indispensable, which brings me to the reason I’m here today.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Suzio and Crime Victims Defend Cruz


Sen. Len Suzio was joined by violent crime victims at a Tuesday, Oct. 16 press conference in front of the Connecticut Department of Correction in Wethersfield to call on Gov. Malloy to suspend the state's new policy which enable violent felons to be released from prison early.

Sen. Suzio also called upon the Malloy Administration to reappoint the state's non-partisan, independent State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz to another term. Cruz has been outspoken against the Malloy Administration's new early release plan, which enables violent felons such as rapists, arsonists, child molesters and animal abusers to become eligible for early prison release under the Risk Reduction Earned Credits program.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Presidential Debates and the Lincoln-Douglas Template


Presidential debates are important, but they may not decide elections.

It has been generally conceded that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won his first debate with incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama. The second debate is not a “debate’ in the Lincoln-Douglas sense of the term. It has been billed as a “town hall meeting” that pivots on questions taken from the audience, a format more nearly like a press conference, the audience playing the part of news interrogators.

The first Obama-Romney debate followed a similar format featuring a real reporter who failed to satisfy the modest expectations of the Obama camp: Any interrogation that does not result in a clear victory for Obama is by definition defective. In political contests it is fatal to attribute the loss of a debate to defects in the debator.
The Lincoln-Douglas debates were quite different, chiefly because the debaters, Lincoln more often than Douglas, shaped the format. The media of the day, highly partisan, was content to record the debates, the Republican press burnishing Lincoln’s remarks and the Democratic press touching up Douglas’ remarks to his benefit.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Good Reporting



Some good reporters still report. Lara Logan is one of them.

Politicians for Sale, a brief History of Connecticut Politics, with Apologies to Lucian


For those unfamiliar with the early part of the 21st century – perhaps you were watching sports on your 92 inch Mitsubishi DPL TV during the first decade of the new century – Connecticut, as predicted by prophets unloved in their own state, did finally go the way of Greece, Spain, Italy and much of Europe. The plane crashed into the mountain two years after the re-election of Governor Malloy the Minotaur, and the shock of the crash finally woke up the sleeping passengers. Thereafter, the state was administered by political technicians who had decided they must sell off their sole remaining assets. To this end, they held a state-wide sale of politicians.
 
Auctioneer: Alright, listen up. It’s a sad business indeed when a state once prosperous must sell off its politicians to satisfy creditors. In all ages, creditors are ever the same – single-mindedly vicious. It’s the prospect of a negative return on their investments that puts fangs in their mouths. But that’s where we are right now, so let’s get on with the business. No weeping and gnashing of teeth, please. First up is Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts (rustling and murmuring in the audience)… Well? What is it now?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

You Do Trust Us, Don’t You?


Here is President Barack Obama holding forth in an ad released in September: “Now Governor Romney believes that with even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy, and fewer regulations on Wall Street, all of us will prosper. In other words, he’d double down on the same trickle-down policies that led to the crisis in the first place.”

That is the core message of the Obama-Biden campaign. Mr. Obama has repeated the claim often, and Vice President Joe Biden took it for a ride around the block in his recent debate with Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

Unfortunately, the theory recently collided with fact checker for the Washington Post Glenn Kessler, not a conservative or a member in good standing of the much abused and misunderstood Tea Party movement, who awarded the claim three out of four “Pinocchios,” which places the statement alongside such whoppers as “the earth is flat” and “Vice President Joe Biden is a gentleman.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Benghazi and the Silence Following the Attack by Terrorists on the American Consulate in Libya


I am about to compliment Fox News. And just to set the record straight before someone feels compelled to distort it, I should mention that “Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State” carries all the blogs and columns I have written  in the course of 18 years, some 1,947 separate entrees. Many of the columns have appeared in various Connecticut newspapers. A search for “Fox News” on that site produces a scant 11 hits. So then, this writer has not been much in the habit of citing Fox. That said, the Fox News reports on the destruction of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya by Salafist terrorists has been more than exemplary. These are the kinds of reports that occasionally are noticed by the Pulitzer board. And that is especially the case when good reporting is not picked up by other media outlets.

Several observations may reasonably be drawn from the information provided by the Fox news reports: 1) that the Obama administration knew or should have known on the second day following the attack that the attack was orchestrated by terrorists. Ambassador Chris Stevens and two other Americans were murdered in the well-coordinated assault on the consulate; 2) that, despite data available to the White House, officials of the Obama administration declared unambiguously in several news venues that the attack on the consulate was precipitated by an amateur film that defamed the prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him; 3) that for several days following the attack, the Obama administration, including the president, continued to cling feverishly to the fiction that a non-existent spontaneous demonstration outside the embassy provided cover for attackers the Obama administration repeatedly declined to identify as terrorists.

Esty the Grownup Democrat


The good news is that Bain Capital, associated with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was not asked by the owners of Deco Products of Iowa to intervene and streamline its processes at a time when the company was suffering business losses. Deco has for more than six decades been in the family of Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat in true blue Connecticut running for the U.S. Congress in the 5th District. The further good news is that, owing to a mishap involving the FBI in Chris Donovan’s campaign for the same position, Ms. Esty prevailed over Mr. Donovan in a democratic primary.

Mr. Donovan’s political parts were assembled in a union hall. One can only imagine what hash he would have made of Mrs. Esty had it been known during the Democratic primary that Mrs. Esty is the beneficiary of a family owned company that, way back in 2009 when times were tough, laid off 53 of about 225 NON UNIONIZED workers.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Skipping Class with DeLauro


Prior to her first debate with wannabe U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Linda McMahon was assiduously avoiding most invitations by editorial boards in Connecticut to step into the lion’s den. This infuriated the lions, always hungry for red meat.

If ask why she refused to submit to editorial board interrogatories, Mrs. McMahon might have replied honestly – though honesty is the first casualty of a political campaign – “I’m just tired of  defending WWE,” her former company “from the slings and arrows of outraged left of center editorial board members.” That would have been some sort of a rational answer.

Mrs. McMahon, however, is not the only candidate for election skipping class.

U.S. Representative for life Rosa DeLauro also has been politely refusing invitations from editorial boards. Indeed, she has been refusing to debate her Republican opponent, Wayne Winsley, an energetic, conservative African American who has been peppering Mrs. DeLauro with rhetorical buckshot.

One suspects the visuals would not be propitious for Mrs. DeLauro. Asked for an interview by a reporter, Mrs. DeLauro declined, issuing the standard pap: “Being elected to Congress is an honor. I take every campaign seriously and work hard to earn the trust of the people of the Third Congressional District.” When former Senator Ted Kennedy was challenged by an African American, he declined to appear with him in public venues. So far, Mrs. DeLauro has done the same http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-3rd-district-20121007,0,2996300.story.

 

The First Murphy-McMahon Debate


The following slug appeared on the front page of a Hartford paper the day after a Face the State debate between Democratic U.S. Representative Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon, both of whom are vying for U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman’s soon to be vacant seat:



“Another 90 seconds and no answers,'' he [Mr. Murphy] said, "not a single specific cut that Linda McMahon would support, and another example of fealty to a supply-side trickledown economics that just hasn't worked."

The statement bears close examination, but Mrs. McMahon did not during the debate force such an examination.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Get Michelle!!!


Any true victim’s advocate in Connecticut could not turn a blind eye to Michael Lawlor’s early release Earned Risk Reduction Credits program. The program awards get-out-of-jail early credits to inmates in Connecticut’s prisons. If prison is the stick the state may use to discourage serious crime, Mr. Lawlor’s program is the carrot that presumably will induce criminals to behave properly while in prison. Mr. Lawlor was once a prosecutor for the State's Attorney Office in New Haven and later co-chairman of the General Assembly's Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2011 before he was tapped by newly elected Governor Dannel Malloy to serve as undersecretary for criminal justice policy.

Mr. Lawlor’s early release program was rushed through the General Assembly at the tail end of a hectic session the most prominent feature of which was the marginalization of the Republican Party. Mr. Lawlor’s program was not vetted in the usual manner: There was no public hearing during the course of which the Democratic dominated legislature might have heard – from the victim’s advocate, among others – objections to certain characteristics of Mr. Lawlor’s brainchild. Those objections were bound to come out in some venue, for the program remains seriously flawed.  

Thursday, October 04, 2012

And The Winner Is…


Oh dear. Democrats in Connecticut who are hoping that President Barak Obama will be the tide that lifts all their campaigns boats had better hope that no one saw the first televised debate between Mr. Obama and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. Fortunately for them, campaign debates do not decide elections.

On the left in Mediaville, Chris Mathews’ former tingle turned into a knotty cramp that left him apoplectic with unsuppressed rage.

“Here on this network is where we’re having the debate. We have our knives out. We go after the people and the facts. What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed. He was, ‘Wait an hour and a half, I think I can get through this thing, I don’t even want to look at this guy.’ Whereas Romney — I loved the split screen, staring at Obama, addressing him like the prey. He did it just right. I’m coming at an incumbent. I’ve got to beat him. You got to beat the champ and I’m going to beat him tonight. And I don’t care what this guy moderator whatever he think he is because I’m going to ignore him. What was Romney doing? He was winning.”

Monday, October 01, 2012

Fast and Furious, More Dead Bodies


This is good reporting. None of it unfortunately will trickle down in the form of questions put to candidates for the U.S. Senate and House races. Still less will questions concerning Fast and Furious be asked of any current members, all Democrats, of Connecticut's congressional delegation. Too inconvenient.

Perhaps we should be thankful that one Spanish speaking station did its job.
 
“Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre.
 
See video here.



 


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Republicans Democrats and the Correlation of Forces


Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Connecticut roughly by a two to one margin. The largest group in the state is unaffiliateds, sometimes called independents.

In a primary contest, a Republican hoping to be nominated by his party will trim his message to a right of center audience; a Democrat, contrary-wise, will appeal to a left of center audience. The “center” in American politics is not a static position; it is a statistical average determined by one’s disposition to side with right or left positions.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bearing All For Obama


It’s been one of those months.

Departing President Of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – unlike Supreme Leader for life Ali Khamenei, the presidency of Iran is term-limited – has paid the United Nations, Babel on the Hudson, his final visit.

His unvarying spiel was the same. Oil rich Iran is engaged in the peaceful production of nuclear facilities. No, Iran is not building nuclear weapons. Israel is a fake state that historically has no roots in the Middle East. Iran will obliterate the fake state if Israel should be presumptuous enough to attack Iran facilities that are producing nuclear weapons to obliterate Israel -- on and on.