Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year Felicitations – 2017


Image result for new year 2017We have passed the barrier to the New Year. We are leaving behind the old year and, with it, an eight year old national Democratic administration. President Barack Obama has left the stage snapping and growling – at Israel, among others. The question of the day is: How will things shape up in the New Year?

An old saying has it, let no man count himself favored by fortune before he is tucked safely into his grave. Time always conceals under its wings some world-changing surprises. For instance, Russia will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution in the New Year.  At the butt end of the 19th century, very few people could have imagined six decades of Communist rule. The rule mentioned above – don’t count your chickens before they hatch – applies as well to the new administration, which will not officially begin until January 14.

The truth is no one knows what will happen, until it happens. Donald Trump has been comfortable most of his life inventing and re-inventing himself as he goes along, escaping snares along the way. Politically, the direction he will take is uncharted territory.  But there is little doubt that the Trump victory puts an end-point on the Obama legacy.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Winter Soldier Kerry Cuts Off Israelis' Ears


When former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hobbled out of President Barack Obama’s cabinet, Mr. Obama found the perfect replacement in John Kerry, who believes that one cannot be both a patriotic Israeli Jew and a democrat; the reader will please note the lower case “d” in democrat. Mr. Kerry would not wish to suggest that individual Jews cannot be Democrats, because that would cost the Democratic Party of which he is a member both patronage and votes.

Saying just the right thing at just the right moment is not Mr. Kerry’s strong suit, nor for that matter is diplomacy, effective in foreign policy only when it is attached to strength and honor. In this, Mr. Kerry is a chip off his chief’s block. Having failed diplomatically in Iraq, Mr. Obama withdrew American troops from the country, creating a vacuum that eventually was filled by what Mr. Obama called “a JV team.” That would be ISIS, which now has a presence in multiple countries in the Middle East and the North African continent.  Additionally, ISIS inspires Islamic terrorists – what else to call them? – to kill civilians in France, Belgium, Great Britain and the United States, having perfected their murderous ways by burning Christian churches and slicing Christian throats in the ravaged Middle East.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Obama To Israel: Submit


The Associated Press called it “a striking rupture with past practice.” But it was more than that. It was an intentional slap in the face to Israel, President Elect Donald Trump, and all prior presidents who had manfully resisted the recent UN declaration made possible by lame-duck President Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from a UN Council vote that condemns Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation of international law.”

Mr. Obama’s decision to abstain from the council’s 14-0 vote, the AP reported, “is one of the biggest American rebukes of its longstanding ally in recent memory. And it could have significant ramifications for the Jewish state, potentially hindering Israel's negotiating position in future peace talks. Given the world's widespread opposition to settlements, the action will be almost impossible for anyone, including Trump, to reverse.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

There’s A Malloy In My Soup

The theory went something like this: Governor Dannel Malloy’s approval rating in his home state was scraping the bottom of the barrel at about 24 percent; Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was certain to bury know-nothing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the general election; Mr. Malloy, an ardent Clintonista, would move into an appropriate slot in the  victor’s cabinet; he then would have an opportunity to personally select his successor, most likely Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman; Mrs. Clinton’s gravitational mass would draw other Democrats into Connecticut’s General Assembly; and eventually the state, listing badly and taking on water, would right itself. Happy days would be here again. Birds would be singing, the flower would be driven through the green fuse, angels in Heaven would shout hosanna. The nation and the state would be saved.

Then, as November 8 gave way to November 9, reality struck a fatal blow. Mr. Trump was elected the most popular Republican candidate in history, bringing in over 62.4 million votes. He secured victories in at least 83 percent of the counties in the United States. Throwing President Barack Obama and Mrs. Clinton into the mix, Mr. Trump became, according to The Inquisitr, a global aggregator site, “the only popular vote candidate among the three to receive success in more than 25 percent of the county-level vote, a victory that has all but been overlooked in the media due to the popular vote margin and recount initiatives.” It was the capturing of counties that furnished Mr. Trump with an unsurpassable electoral lead over Mrs. Clinton.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The New Never-Trumpers

The new “never-Trumpers” are mostly Democrats. The last significant remnants of formal Republican opposition quickly melted soon after Donald Trump thumped Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in an election that, despite all the post-election caterwauling about Russians possibly manipulating ballots in favor of the nouveau conservative Republican, was won handily by Mr. Trump.

Jonah Goldberg of National Review got it right. “Never Trump” may have been appropriate for some on the right who supposed Mr. Trump was a member of a different tribe. But now, “Never Trump is over. Never Trump was about the GOP primary and the general election, not the presidency. The Left wants to claim it must be a permanent movement, denying the legitimacy of Trump’s election forever, or we were never serious. Well, that’s not what we — or at least I — signed up for.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Himes’ Hissy Fit


U.S. Representative Jim Himes, who just won re-election to office, has been pushed over the edge by Donald Trump, according to a story in the New York Post.

“What finally pushed me over the edge, Himes said in an interview on CNN’s New Day, “was when the president-elect of the United States criticized the CIA and the intelligence community. Can you imagine what the leaders in Beijing and Moscow and Tehran are thinking as they watch the next president of the United States delegitimize and criticize his own intelligence community and stand up for the defense of Russia, one of our prime adversaries.”

Mr. Himes must have been standing very close to the edge, because he believes that Mr. Trump’s remarks on the CIA report show that the President-Elect is unhinged: “We’re five weeks from Inauguration and the President Elect is completely unhinged.” In plain-speak, “completely unhinged” means he’s  nuts. Among Democratic politicians still suffering from painful election losses – Republicans, this election season won the House, Senate and White House, a trifecta – the expression may indicate a general unease with the results of the election, rather than a serious appraisal of Mr. Trump’s mental health. Wounded politicians under stress are occasionally subject to hissy fits.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Malloy To Unions: We Surrender


The CTMirror story begins with a potent image of pending disaster: “Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced a deal Friday with state employee unions that would allow Connecticut to dodge a fiscal iceberg by holding down annual pension costs otherwise set to spike over the next 16 years.”

“Iceberg sighted, full speed ahead,” cries captain Malloy, who has skippered Connecticut’s ship of state for nearly five years. The state’s unpopular governor, approval rating 24 percent, is up for re-election in 2018.

“But to get that relief,” CTMirror adds, “Connecticut would shift at least $13.8 billion in estimated pension expenses owed before 2032 onto a future generation.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

On The Lumpenmedia, Anxiety, Trump, Authenticity And The American Republic


Every time President-Elect Trump bashes the media, his popularity pops upward. Why?

The feeling on the street is that however many lumps President-Elect Donald Trump delivers to the media, just or unjust, they deserve it. The approval rating of the media among americana ordinarius is on a par with that of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, hovering as I write around 24 percent. Approval ratings may not matter all that much. Both Mr. Trump and his Democratic Presidential opponent, the vanquished Hillary Clinton, were, according to fallible polls, highly unpopular. The polls themselves, this time around, were highly unreliable. In the post-election period, one imagines pollsters lying on psychiatrist couches, the psychiatrists digging deeply into their psyches in an attempt to salvage their sanity.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Small Business Association, Blumenthal vs McMahon Round Two



"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley" – Robert Burns

President Elect Donald Trump, who knows Linda McMahon more intimately than U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, has appointed the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to head the Small Business Association (SBA).

Mrs. McMahon twice ran for high political office in Connecticut, losing to then Attorney General Dick Blumenthal in 2010 and to Chris Murphy in 2012, but not before she slathered the political landscape with nearly $100 million. It was noted at the time that wrestlers sustain injuries and Mrs. McMahon had a yacht.

If Mr. Blumenthal, slightly edging out Nancy Pelosi as the eleventh richest U.S. Congressman in a body swelling with 268 millionaires, showed any anxiety that his election would turn on Mrs. McMahon’s millions, no worry wrinkles appeared on his placid brow during the campaign.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Moderate Democrat Returns


For the past eight years of the Barack Obama Presidency, the moderate Democrat, perhaps best represented by the much reviled former Connecticut U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, has been an endangered political species. Having lost a Democratic primary to Ned Lamont, Mr. Lieberman won in the general election as an Independent, incurring the enmity of progressives whose heads even today explode at the mere mention of his mane.

But following the unexpected rise to the Presidency of Donald Trump, the species is making a comeback in the person of U.S. Rep Jim Himes, who has been chosen to lead the New Democrat Coalition, “a group of about 50 Congressional Democrats that calls itself moderate and fiscally responsible,” according to the Hartford Courant.

Boastful progressives in Connecticut, hardly a hotbed of progressivism before the advent of Barack Obama, are now fading into the woodwork. Up for re-election in two years, one expects U.S. Senators Chris Murphy to be less like a caterwauling Elizabeth Warren, the scourge of Wall Street, and more like Mr. Lieberman, Chris Dodd or Abe Ribicoff, none of whom considered themselves progressives.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Blumenthal To Trump: No Honeymoon


U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, Connecticut’s consumer protection Congressman, might have been speaking of the Clinton Foundation, a mare’s nest of government-corporation entanglement, when he mused, “Time is not on our side. We really need to move quickly, because the longer it goes without some scrutiny or oversight, the more general acceptance there will be. We need to create this sense of outrage and alarm that pieces of the government are being sold and compromised.”

But of course, he wasn’t.  Mr. Blumenthal was drawing a bead on President-Elect Donald Trump. Apparently, there is to be no honeymoon during this post-election season. It used to be considered seemly to wait a few weeks into a Presidency before the political opposition began to seed the political theatre with their Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).

Monday, November 28, 2016

Dead Tyrants And Their Useful Idiots


Hillare Belloc’s “Advice to the Rich” was lost on the Castro brothers: “Get to know something about the internal combustion engine, and remember – soon, you will die.”

Fidel Castro, Cuba’s deathless tyrant, died full of years a very rich man, his foreign bank account stuffed with other people’s money, though one would never guess it reading Jesse Jackson’s encomium.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The State Of Nullification


Sanctuary, when practiced by Governors rather than churches, is nullification, a common practice infamously deployed by the Southern states during and after the Civil War.

Henry David Thoreau, author of “Slavery in Massachusetts,” was what might be called a-party-of-one nullifier. Thoreau famously refused to pay a tax that might have been traced, even indirectly, to the purchase of a bullet used by slave owners to recover the “property” they had lost after the infamous Fugitive Slave Act had been passed. That law lit the bonfire of resistance among abolitionists in Massachusetts. Thoreau no doubt would have encouraged those in his audience who heard his address – for reasons unknown, seldom circulated in schools – to do the same, but the monk of Walden Pond knew the limits of audacity. Refusing to pay a tax, he went to jail himself, as ever a party of one.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Permanent Fixes


Connecticut, still in a recession and plagued by crippling deficits and job losses -- 14,900 positions over the last four months, according to Department of Labor figures --  cannot recover its economic standing among neighboring states without enacting major reforms that entail permanent long term cuts in spending.

Any reform that reduces state employee salaries and benefits in Connecticut is a tall hill to climb, because the state of Connecticut and unions are bound by contract law and not, as is the case in Rhode Island, by statutory law. To put it another way,  union and state disputes in Rhode Island are settled by the legislature; in Connecticut, such disputes are settled by the courts. Unlike Connecticut, the Rhode Island legislature controls the destiny of the state through democratic rather than judicial means. Bound by contract law, Connecticut has surrendered to its courts final decisions that should rest with the General Assembly.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Parsing Malloy


Is there yet another tax hike in our near future?

Thinking people think so.

Republican leaders in the General Assembly hit the tax increase chord repeatedly in the recently concluded elections, and apparently voters responded to it. The Republicans picked up seats in the Senate, which is now a fifty-fifty proposition, 18 Democrats and 18 Republicans. The GOP also gained seats in the House. In a recent TV interview, Governor Dannel Malloy said he would not rule out another tax hike, more budget cuts were in the offing, and recurring deficits were the fault of his predecessors.

Parsing Mr. Malloy at this point should not be difficult. During his first campaign, Mr. Malloy said Connecticut shoulders would have to lift the weight of deficits caused by other governors, but the burden would be fairly distributed between cuts and tax increases. Two tax increases, the largest and the second largest in state history, demonstrate beyond doubt that taxpayers have shouldered the bulk of the uneven budget deficit burdens.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Back To Kumbaya?

Connecticut’s State Senate is split 18-18 between Democrats and Republicans, and this election season – even with “loser” Donald Trump heading the Republican Presidential ticket – Connecticut Republicans made gains in the State House and Senate.

Among those crying in their beers the day after the nation sent Mr. Trump to the White House was Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, who remarked to his media columnist, James Rutenberg, “We’ve got to do a much better job of being on the road, out in the country, talking to different kinds of people than we talk to — especially if you happen to be a New York-based news organization — and remind ourselves that New York is not the real world.”

Friday, November 11, 2016

Who Done It? CBIA As Villain


The end of election season marks the beginning of recriminations. Very gradually – too gradually for some – Republicans have been making inroads on the Democrat dominated General Assembly. This year, Republicans picked up three seats in the Senate, equalizing the balance of power 18-18, although Democrat Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman will break any tie vote in the chamber, and eight seats in the House, leaving Democrats with a 79-72 majority. Democrats have over the last few elections lost significant numbers in the General Assembly, once an impregnable Democratic fortress.

Democrats seized the Governor’s office two terms back when Governor Malloy became the first Democratic Governor to hold office in Connecticut since former Governor William O’Neill, battered by Democrats and Republicans alike, decided not to run for re-election. Mr. O’Neill was followed by “Maverick” Governor Lowell Weicker, the income tax guy, who was followed by Governor John Rowland, who was followed by Governor Jodi Rell, who was followed by Mr. Malloy who, facing the inevitable budget deficit, raised taxes, while minority Republicans scowled and Democrats cheered. Happy times were here again.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tears In Beers


Newsweek was over confident. The magazine set up its front page showing Democratic Presidential nominee defeating real estate mogul Donald Trump – two days before Election Day.

Scrap that.

Prior to Mr. Trump’s victory, a Hartford Courant political writer instructed a Talk of Connecticut Election Luncheon audience that “The Donald” was sub-human, and Bill Curry, whose support of socialist Bernie Sanders quickly shifted to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton once Mrs. Clinton had bumped off Mr. Sanders, declared that Mr. Trump was “emotionally unbalanced, a fascist, and a fraud”. Perhaps after Mr. Trump has been in office a couple of years, Mr. Curry will readjust his depreciation of President Elect Trump, even as he has frequently adjusted his politics between the now abandoned Mr. Sanders and the re-embraced Mrs. Clinton.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

After-Thoughts


A Pre-election Luncheon


A day before the national elections, Newsweek magazine released its cover. "Madam President" – the nation soon will get used to hearing the title.

One week before Election Day, when people were due to march to the polls to cast their ballots for -- or, as the pollsters tell us, AGAINST Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump for President -- Dan Haar, business editor and columnist for the Hartford Courant, found himself in the lion’s den and, like Samson in Holy Scripture, began to layabout with his jawbone.

The Talk of Connecticut Election Luncheon audience was prepared to accept Donald Trump as a flawed candidate. It’s a safe bet that the majority in the audience felt Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had not received her due share of the lumps.  Mr. Haar, his chest expanding to the ball, came to read Mr. Trump out of the human race. Here is a partial transcript of some questions put to Mr. Harr and his answers:

Saturday, November 05, 2016

The Final Daze


Most of us will be happy/sad when the national presidential campaign is finally tucked into bed. It has been a wearying 20 months. Ted Cruz began the show by throwing his name into the presidential ring way back in March 2015. Hillary Clinton, the Lucretia Borgia of the Democratic Party, announced a month later in April. Donald Trump, the Genghis Khan of Republican contenders, announced two months after Mrs. Clinton in June. Mr. Trump’s announcement was followed by shrieks of laughter; but, as the philosopher says, he laughs best who laughs last. Not only has the American campaign season lacked substance and manners, it lasted far too long, a boon for the media that seek to keep us aroused while it is hauling in cash by the truck load.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Connecticut’s Media And The Reigning Democratic Hegemony

We all know incumbent politicians have an edge over challengers. Their campaigns usually are flush with contributions, and this year is no exception to the rule. US Senator Dick Blumenthal, to choose but one of the seven members of Connecticut’s all Democratic US Congressional Delegation, has an arsenal of cash in his campaign coffers, while his Republican opponent, Dan Carter, has far fewer munitions. “Them that’s got,” Billie Holiday sings, “shall get; them that’s not shall lose. So the Bible says, and it still is news.”

Mr. Blumenthal has raised $8,639,009 for his campaign, Carter $361,934.  In addition, Mr. Blumenthal will rack up nearly all Connecticut’s media endorsements. Favorable press has been piling up in his corner since he began his public service career forty years ago.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Left‘s Troubled Conscience


It strains credulity to imagine the Clintons – Bill and Hillary, who was Bill’s co-president for eight years – as victims, and yet there it is.

James Carville, for many years the Clinton’s back-yard attack dog, really does think that FBI Director James Comey has victimized Mrs. Clinton. After having declined to prosecute (persecute?) Mrs. Clinton for having placed thousands of unsecured confidential emails on her private unauthorized server, exposing America’s underwear to anonymous hackers, Mr. Comey’s FBI team discovered thousands of additional unsecured emails while rifling through Anthony Weiner’s hamper. Mr. Weiner, married to Huma Abedin, Mrs. Clinton’s closest aide, was kicked to the cub by Ms. Abedin for sending salacious emails to internet paramours.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Connecticut’s Cowardly Lions


Looking forward past the gravitational pull of the current election season, what do we expect of Connecticut’s media?

Connecticut’s only state-wide paper – though this characterization must be amended somewhat, since the Hartford Courant no longer penetrates every town in the state – has nearly finished endorsing Democrats and pummeling Republicans on its editorial pages.

The paper’s endorsements themselves read like re-cycled Democratic campaign posters. All seven members of Connecticut’s all Democratic U.S. Congressional Delegation have been re-endorsed by the paper. The last time the Courant endorsed a Republican running for the U.S. Congress was many moons ago, certainly beyond the ken of any millennial voter.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

No Time For Buts


Mr. Pesci,

I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but…

The choices for President this year are almost equally nauseating. I know you make it a practice not to endorse politicians for office, but I am going to ask you, point blank, whether you intend to vote this year for the rock or the hard place. I can only hope you will not retreat into the usual cowardly formula: voting is a sacred and secret right, like a skull and bones pledge, bla, bla, bla… It is a choice all of us MUST make this year, since we live in a time in which both indifference and cagey answers are impossible. Not to choose is to choose. So then, who is it to be, Hillary or Trump? Like the rest of us this year – a pivotal year in our politics, you say – you do not have the luxury of anonymous indifference. You MUST choose – no “if, ands or buts.”

Wishing you the best,

The Devil You Know.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Weiner October Surprise


The Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign is now in full farce mode.

Anthony Weiner, sent to the curb by his long suffering wife Huma Abedin, Clinton’s closest aide, is back -- in a manner of speaking.

FBI Director James Comey, who previously gave Clinton a pass on criminal violations involving the improper use of a private server, has now advised relevant members of Congress that he is supplementing his previous testimony. Here is Comey's letter in full:

Friday, October 28, 2016

In Praise Of Mathew Corey, With Interior Footnotes


Matthew Corey is the Republican Party’s sacrificial lamb this year in the 1st District’s U.S. Congressional contest (“Sacrificial lamb,” a term derived from Abrahamic religion traditions in which a lamb is prized as a highly valued possession and then sacrificed to a higher power).

Mr. Corey is running in a gerrymandered district that Republicans last held in 1957. In fact, the District has been a Democratic satrapy for all but six years since 1931. The demography of the District is a very picture of fate as it was understood by the ancient Greeks – powerful, tragic or comic and always inescapable.

The voter breakdown in the District runs like this: Democrat active voters 156,784; Republicans 71,932; Unaffiliateds 172,626.  The Harford Courant, not unexpectedly, has recently sprinkled its endorsement over Democrat U.S. Representative John Larson. Two days before aspersing Mr. Larson with journalistic holy water, the paper encouraged the nation to replace former Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi with Mr. Larson, assuming Democrats are able to seize the House, because, among other reasons, Mr. Larson holds a safe seat and therefore will not be in danger of being upended by folk like Mr. Corey.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Email Spill


Bill Buckley was once asked what the real Dick Nixon was like. “Which one,” he responded? “There are about four of them.” There are a few Hillary Clintons jostling against each other in her capacious public persona.

The Great Email Spill of 2016 has tossed on the shore a few dead personas.

Common Sense, Blumenthal And Partial Birth Abortion


The controversy several years ago centering on the question “Is the fetus a person?” was not settled by appeals to religious conscience; it has been settled, not to everyone’s satisfaction, by 1) technology and 2) the common sense Americans are often praised for.  Common sense is, after all, a sense, very much like the other senses through which we receive the world in all its gore and glory .

Ultrasound shows us that the fetus at later stages in a pregnancy moves and reacts to attempts to snuff out its life by an abortion provider – in consultation, of course, with his sometimes uninformed victim, the prospective mother of the child, prospective because the abortion is also, sadly, an un-mothering.

The late term fetus, reasonable people sense, is clothed in personhood. Only one who holds extreme views on abortion would deny this. The late term fetus – some dare call it a child -- is certainly not a part of the woman’s body, as for example her liver, which can never be confused with a person, is a part of her body. The fetus is a separate life; to be sure not one that can survive unassisted outside the womb without motherly attendance. But then, neither may a born baby survive outside the womb unattended, and even the abortionist, as well as court justices who argue that persons unrecognized as such by the law may be treated as property, would not presume to assert that a child newly emerged from the womb should be put beyond the reach of the compassion, mercy and justice of legislators.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Blumenthal-Carter Debate


In Dan Carter, who is challenging Dick Blumenthal for a seat in the U.S. Senate, the State Republican Party may have found its “happy warrior,” a title the Democratic Party once bestowed on Hubert Humphrey.

Looks and presence in politics are not everything, but they are not nothing. U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, whether he is debating or attending a garage sale, manages to look like the Old Man of the Mountain before the slide. Stiff, foreboding, resolute, unbudgeable – most especially on the matter of partial birth abortion, parental notification and the selling of baby parts, all issues that place him very far from his Connecticut constituents. And he is preachy, the very image of a Harvard-Yale educated aggressive Attorney General on the hunt for delinquent business owners, thought abortion in its grosser forms is the one profitable business in the United States that Blumenthal adamantly refuses to regulate.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Linares Targeted For Destruction By Democrats


Democratic sappers in Connecticut have devoted themselves to undermining the re-election efforts of State Senator Art Linares, who is running on the Republican ticket in Connecticut’s 33rd District, by tying him to Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. A group of women has stepped forward to accuse Mr. Trump of having molested them some years ago. Will the gambit work?

Possibly. Democrats committed to returning to the White House a First Husband plausibly accused of rape seem to think so, and they have invested some money in the project.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Après Le Deluge, C’est Hillary?


The national elections at this point may remind poor battered voters of Oscar Wilde’s description of fox hunting: “The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!”

Republicans, Victor Davis Hanson writes in National Review, will have much repair work to do after the election – whatever happens. National Review has not been hospitable to Donald Trump’s candidacy, but the election should awaken second thoughts among conservatives. In “Conservatives Should Vote For The Republican Nominee,” Hanson takes a birch switch to what Trump supporters might call disdainfully the Republican Party Establishment.

Here is the central premise in Hanson’s piece:
 “Something has gone terribly wrong with the Republican Party, and it has nothing to do with the flaws of Donald Trump. Something like his tone and message would have to be invented if he did not exist. None of the other 16 primary candidates — the great majority of whom had far greater political expertise, more even temperaments, and more knowledge of issues than did Trump — shared Trump’s sense of outrage — or his ability to convey it — over what was wrong: The lives and concerns of the Republican establishment in the media and government no longer resembled those of half their supporters.

 “The Beltway establishment grew more concerned about their sinecures in government and the media than about showing urgency in stopping Obamaism. When the Voz de Aztlan and the Wall Street Journal often share the same position on illegal immigration, or when Republicans of the Gang of Eight are as likely as their left-wing associates to disparage those who want federal immigration law enforced, the proverbial conservative masses feel they have lost their representation. How, under a supposedly obstructive, conservative-controlled House and Senate, did we reach $20 trillion in debt, institutionalize sanctuary cities, and put ourselves on track to a Navy of World War I size?”

In the reliably conservative Wall Street Journal opinion pages, Peggy Noonan, a longtime columnist and once a special assistant and speechwriter in the reliably conservative President Ronald Reagan administration, permits herself to wonder what a Trump campaign might have looked like if Trump had been sane.

On the Democratic side, an email tsunami threatens to capsize Clinton’s plush ground-game schooner. And she is – perhaps more than Trump – unspeakable and uneatable. After nearly a half century in politics, ambition scrambles the brain. White privilege may or may not be a political myth, but political privilege is the original sin of politics. Just ask Machiavelli, or Hanson, a classical historian and author of “A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.”

Here in Connecticut, the sort of people whose business it is to gauge the correlation of political forces are dusting off their crystal balls. All the editorials nominating so-and-so- for such-and-such have already been written. It remains only to pull the pins on the editorial endorsements.

Their left of center sensitive data receptors tell them Clinton has the edge, both nationally and here in the land of steady habits, which has steadily voted Democrat progressives into office. Connecticut progressives, in turn, have steadily voted in favor of cosmetic and temporary spending cuts. Once returned to office, they will vote in favor of higher taxes for two reasons: 1) They wish to use politicians to advance a particular rather than a general good, usually involving public workers unions; and 2) Despite the inescapably obvious consequences following tax increases and burdensome regulations – i.e. job losses, anemic economic growth and the flight from Connecticut of wealth producing entrepreneurial activity -- they are perversely convinced, mostly for ideological reasons, that Connecticut is suffering a revenue problem, not a spending problem.

Hanson’s recommendation to national Republicans that they should adjust their polity to changed circumstances is not likely to be adopted by Connecticut Democrats, our new Aristocrats. Demography, rather than a filial regard for democracy, is destiny, say the demographers, and Democrats outnumber Republicans in Connecticut by a two to one margin; unaffiliateds outnumber both Republicans and Democrats. And so – what has been must ever be. That is the operative principle of most politics, until the roof comes crashing down, at which point there will follow a peaceful, small “d”, democratic revolution.


The one thing we know for certain about democracy, G. K. Chesterton reminds us, is this: “Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.” To this many journalists reply, yearning for an aristocracy of thought and manners, “Bunk.” They can be safely ignored. Chesterton was a superb journalist, and that is why he said “Journalism largely consists of saying 'Lord Jones is dead' to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.”





Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Are The Parties Dead Yet?


A shrewd political observer once said that Americans rarely solve their most pressing political problems; instead, they amicably bid them goodbye.

Take the primary system by way of example. The primary system itself has been attended, especially during the current Presidential election, with glaring problems that pretty nearly everyone has studiously ignored. It is the primary system that has given us two of the most unpalatable presidential candidates in U.S. History. Nearly fifty percent of voters on either side of the political spectrum this year will be voting AGAINST the Presidential candidates, according to a September Pew Research poll.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Progressive Democrats And Post-Modern Religion

So, what do politicians really think? Perhaps the more important question is: How do the rest of us know what politicians really think?

The post-modern answer to this last question is: We read their emails. By their emails shall ye know them. When speaking among friends and political comrades in emails, politicians sometimes discard their masks, loosen their belts and tell the rest of us what they REALLY THINK. We owe these freshets of honesty to hackers and hacker aggregators such as WiliLeaks.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Faking The Budget, Again

There is nothing ambiguous in Gail Lavielle’s kickback. This is what the Republican State Representative said about the Democrat’s new attempt to smudge budget figures: “Here it is: documented evidence made available by the respected CTMirror that the governor and the administration are HIDING Connecticut's current deficit until after the election. Remember, the current majority legislature made this possible by voting just a couple of years ago to move the annual autumn pre-election revenue forecast until after the election. There will be more unconscionable tax increases, more service cuts, and more failing infrastructure if that majority remains. And it's all avoidable: the five-year plan we outlined this spring clearly showed how, starting with real state labor cost reforms, bonding reallocations, and implementing the spending cap.” Mrs. Lavielle’s statement was echoed by other distraught Republicans.

The CTMirror story noted that although budget projections filed with the State Comptroller’s office showed “that finances were in balance and that revenues for the General Fund — which covers most operating costs in the budget — were coming in as anticipated,” a memo issued two months earlier requesting agency heads to keep their budgets lean contained an estimated General Fund revenue figure issued by the Governor Malloy’s budget guru, Ben Barnes, of  $17.75 billion -- which was, CTMirror computed, “$133 million less than the amount needed to balance the current budget.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Many Faces Of Hillary Clinton


Some people think Hillary Clinton and her now faltering husband Bill, both products of the Silly Sixties (SS), are too Machiavellian for their own good. Others think Mrs. Clinton has never shed her admiration for Saul Alinsky, the political guru of the SS and author of “Rules for Radicals," whose own ideal of a perfect political and social radical was Lucifer, AKA The Devil, to whom Mr. Alinsky dedicated his hand-book on cultural destruction.

A senior at Wellesley College, Mrs. Clinton wrote a 92 page thesis on Mr. Alinsky.  Later at Yale, a nursery bed for U.S. politicians and presidents in the modern age, Mrs. Clinton bent her knee to the radicalism of the day and, some think, began plotting an unobstructed path to the presidency. It’s been a long slog. Her meandering but methodical course has led through hubby Bill, past a few bimboes, through the Secretary of State office by way of  the U.S. Senate, over the smoldering ruins of Benghazi, over the prostrate body of Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders, and now over Donald Trump, real estate mogul and womanizer, like Mrs. Clinton’s husband, Bill.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Clinton-Trump Debate, Round Two

Since the sixties sexual revolution, which overthrew the pre-silly sixties traditional morality of the Western World, everyone has become an expert on the subject of sex. The moral questions that tormented St. Augustine – who was not, by his own admission, a saint – are easily answered today by asking the question, what would I do in circumstances A or B? In the era of unorganized religion, we all have out private codes.

If I were President of the United States, would I have seduced an aide in the White House when, on one occasion, I was chatting with a high Israeli official on the phone? Probably not. Would I have bitten Juanita Broaddrick’s lip in the process, so she says, of raping her? Not in the cards. If I were a self-infatuated real estate mogul in New York, would I have bragged about my conquests of married women to Billy Bush, then the host of Access Hollywood, little thinking that my every word would surface eleven years later in a Presidential campaign? Nope. If I were the wife of a robber who had a bank safe hidden under her marriage bed, would I raise the question of petty robbery in a Presidential debate? Not unless, Donald Trump has said of Hillary Clinton, my judgment was irreparably impaired.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

The Courant’s Endorsement Of Hillary Clinton: Do Media Endorsements Matter?

The media has lost its moral pull. The approval rating of the lowest bottom-feeding politician is several fathoms higher than that of “the media,” according to a September 2016 Gallup Poll.

The media, even less than the current Democratic and Republican presidential nominees, simply does not give a hoot about approval polls directed at them, which are worth pausing over none-the-less.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Connecticut’s Budgets, Unions And Cowards

Over the past 25 years, Connecticut has increased taxes by leaps and bounds. The first leap began when then Independent Governor Lowell “The Maverick” Weicker muscled through the General Assembly an income tax measure.

Governor Dannel Malloy increased taxes twice. During his first term, he and the Democrat dominated General Assembly imposed on the state the largest tax increase in its history; and this was followed during his second term by the second largest tax increase in state history. Yet, despite all this new revenue flowing into state coffers, non-partisan budget analysts inform us that the budget deficit during the current fiscal year ending last June is $170 million. Looking forward to fiscal year 2017-18, the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) has projected a deficit of about $1.3 billion. The budget deficit that had occasioned the introduction of the Weicker income tax was about $1.5 billion. The income tax itself was a permissive flag that invited the unrestrained spending that has so recently distressed Mr. Weicker.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

The Real War On Women


Enough!

This is the way a woman described her rape assault to Connecticut Commentary in 2014:

“James had assaulted me many years ago and was sentenced to one year, I believe. He served six months. A protective order was put in place. Approximately six months after his release…  He broke into my house and waited for me to return home. He beat me for hours using anything at his disposal: the china cabinet, the TV, stereo, speakers, his fists, the phone. I sustained extensive serious physical and mental trauma. I had escaped the house twice, but he dragged me back and continued beating me. The third time I escaped the house, a snow plow truck driver saw me on the side of the road in a pool of blood, interceded and saved my life.”

Monday, October 03, 2016

Clinton’s Calculus: Machado vs Broaddrick


Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders’ choice for President, is not only the most experienced candidate for President in – to take a cue from her handlers – the world; she is also the most clever campaigner for president, far more clever than the duffer Donald Trump.

Well, perhaps a touch less clever than soon to be ex-President Barack Obama who, when he dished Mrs. Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary, was certainly not the most experienced presidential candidate in U.S. history. The historical muse reminds us that Ulysses Grant is one of the few presidents who had less political experience than Mr. Obama – and it showed when the Grant presidency fell into the Whiskey Ring and other multiple scandals. Lack of experience tells, but so does experience.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Fruits Of Crony Capitalism Are Bribery And Extortion

There is only one Republican State Senator who voted against the Malloy-Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin-Governor Dannel Malloy deal, pompously called “Connecticut Strategic Investment Act.” That would be Senator Joe Markley, who most certainly is not against strategic investment. Like many conservatives, Markley believes that production should be directed by the needs of the market place – not by politicians operating hand in glove with mega companies to arrange deals profitable to both.

Senator Markley thinks crony capitalism, not at all the same thing as strategic investment, is a bell sounding the death knell of business in Connecticut. Crony capitalism is at best a polite form of bribery.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Debate Bender: A Cynic’s Appraisal


Q: It may or may not have been the most significant presidential debate in living memory, but it certainly was the most touted presidential debate in “Click Nation USA.” What are your general impressions?

Cynic: In Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” one character says to another, “I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and really being good all the time; that would be hypocrisy.” Neither of the presidential candidates this year needs worry about that. Hillary Clinton’s presentation, more than Trump’s, was unbearable pretentious. She needed to confess but boasted instead of her essential goodness. She is not a good person – never has been, never will be. But she is a Democrat and, in our time, political affiliation is a substitute for moral rectitude.

Q: Is she evil?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Rowland Is In Prison: Is Connecticut Safe From Political Corruption Now?


John Rowland entered prison today on the eve of what some are calling the most important presidential political debate in living memory, a sad day for some, certainly for his long-suffering wife and the very few steadfast friends who have not cut communications with him. Political friendships, Mr. Rowland must know, cannot withstand the winds of misfortune (see King Lear). Colin McEnroe has shed a tear.

Perhaps men and women of conscience might want to quibble with the outcome.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Colin Gets Religion


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

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Connecticut Down: The Spending Spiral And The Demise of Connecticut


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

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

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

Monday, September 19, 2016

Malloy And His Pro-Active Flack-Catchers


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

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

Blumenthal: Questions Unasked And Unanswered


Where to begin?

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

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Senator Murphy’s Demons, And the Palladium Of Liberty


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

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

Monday, September 12, 2016

Judge Moukawsher’s Obiter Dicta On Education In Connecticut


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

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

Friday, September 02, 2016

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

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

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

Safety And Secrecy In Connecticut Government


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

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

Monday, August 29, 2016

Bankruptcy In Connecticut

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

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