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.