Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Malloy’s Non-Campaign, The Dog Lobby And The Coming Auto-De-Fé

At a press conference on Access Health CT (Obamacare), Governor Dannel Malloy was asked for the hundredth time whether he intends to run for governor.

Weary of having to handle the question gingerly, Mr. Malloy told the gaggle of reporters assembled for the event something like this:  If I answer “Yes” to your question, the campaign will begin at that moment. And once a campaign begins in earnest, I will lose control of the sub campaign, which is the event you are attending right now. On this occasion, I can say what I like without having to wend my way through a briar patch of questions you and the Republicans might consider more important than the possibility of a soda tax -- which, by the way, I do not favor.

“On a proposed 2 percent tax on sugary beverages, put forward by New Haven Mayor Toni Harp,” the Register reported, “Malloy said: ‘I wouldn’t hold my breath. I am not proposing a sugar tax, I can assure you of that... At some point, there is a degree of personal choice to be made.’”

In the post-Obamacare epoch now upon us, people will be less able to make their own decisions concerning the kinds of coverage they need, those crucial decisions already having been made by  Obamacare technicians in Washington D.C. Perfectly healthy young people, quite able to make their own personal choices,  who used to be able to defer purchasing health insurance they did not need, will no longer be able to do so, thanks to a Supreme Court decision packed with linguistic fudge that permits the chief executive of the United States to impose a tax -- but not a fee -- on non-compliant college students whose futures are even now mortgaged to unreasonably high student loans.

The court’s green light opened a new era in governing: For the first time in U.S. history, a government will be able to prescind product choices and force people, on pain of punishing fees – oops, sorry there; the court says they are taxes, not fees – to purchase a product shaped in large part by Beltway technicians. Issues such as these tend to flop into the background in the absence of a political campaign that Mr. Malloy wishes to put off as long as possible.

There is no need to guess why Mr. Malloy wishes to put off his campaign announcement; he told the Register why at his faux campaign event:

“’I want to get as late into the year without having made a decision and being able to avoid talking about politics,’ Malloy said of daily questions he gets on the gubernatorial race where as many as five Republicans could be heading toward a primary fight.

“’Those folks (Republican opponents), they have a job to do. They got to beat each other up. At some point, they are going to do that. I have a job to do, I got to be governor and I want to do that job as long as I can,’ Malloy said.

“Tongue in cheek, he added: ‘If I suddenly was to decide today about being a candidate, I’m fearful you wouldn’t show up at these things.’” 

At some point the press availability drifted towards the plastic bag crisis:

“Malloy said they will look at a bill state Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, proposed on banning plastic bags. The governor said part of the calculation is understanding what is burnable as far as plants that convert trash to energy.”

The press/campaign availability over, everyone went about his business. The gaggle of reporters was given to understand that the governor, who will run for re-election (wink, wink), did not wish to be bothered by questions that might well be put to him had he announced he was running for governor. Reporters likely returned to their desks to find on their computer terminals the next announcement of Mr. Malloy’s next campaign event.

It really is a pity no paper in Connecticut could hire Mort Sahl, now pushing 90, as a news editor.

Editor Sahl to Reporter:  “Now, listen here, at Mr. Malloy’s next non-campaign campaign event, I want you to hone in on a question. The proposal to eliminate plastic bags will be strenuously resisted by dog owners in Connecticut; that is – responsible dog owners who pick up after their dogs with plastic bags they bring home from grocery shopping. Find out how many dog owners there are in Connecticut. Ask them whether they plan to use paper grocery bags for the same purpose. They can’t, you know. Get usable quotes. Don’t shake your head at me, boy. Have you ever tried to pick up dog poop with a paper grocery bag?  I can see your life has not been a raw one. I can tell from your silken hands. Now then, I want to ask the governor: If plastic grocery bags are rendered illegal by the General Assembly, will the governor ask Brendan Sharkey or Don Williams to be on call when one of their constituents’ dogs feels the pull of nature? What we need in this state is an auto-de-fé for idiot law makers. Get going now, and don’t let’em take a detour around the question.”
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