Tuesday, September 19, 2017

First The Veto, Then The Discussion

“First the verdict, then the trial,” says the Queen of Hearts in Lewis Caroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.”

First the veto, then the discussion, said Governor Dannel Malloy following a Democratic Party reversal of fortune.

After being shunted off to a dark corner during Malloy’s two terms in office, the Governor resolutely refusing to allow Republicans any decisive part in budget negotiations, Republicans on September 15 finally earned a place at the table. In fact, they stole the table when a Republican designed budget had passed in both chambers of the General Assembly.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Clinton’s Lost Friends

Political friendships, as we all know, are not long-lived. They usually end when the political clock runs out and the favored politician, putting active politics behind him, enters into history. Hillary Clinton's time as an active politician – one who may run for public office again – is over; so at least she says. Her political friends, attentive while she was an active politician – a First Lady, a Senator from New York, a Secretary of State in the Obama administration -- will now recede into the background. Political friendships are temporary at best. Those politicians who prefer public adulation to the adulation of their wives and children, are trading permanent friendships for part-time working relationships; for that is what a successful marriage is – a permanent friendship, more reliable and steadfast than the affections of lobbyists or partisan political comrades.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie, 
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie! – “To A Mouse,” Robert Burns

Democrats, it should be obvious from the numbers, have been losing their grip for a while. The State Senate is now split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, 18-18; in the State House, Republicans now are four seats away from a tie. It was the lack of an edge in the Senate that provided a crack through which Republicans were able to pass their budget through the chamber, three moderate Democrats – Paul Doyle of Wethersfield, Gayle Slossberg of Milford and Joan Hartley of Waterbury – voting with Republicans against a status quo Democratic getting and spending plan. The Democrats, in their own plan, got too much, spent too much, as always, and were inattentive to the signs of the times.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Signs Of The Times

“I have become a socialist. I love humanity, but I HATE! people” --  from Aria da Capo by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Headlines in Connecticut papers continue to show Democrats falling through the rabbit hole into their own progressive Wonderland.

Headline: “Sources: Alexion Leaving Elm City – Announcement Expected on move to Boston.”

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A friend In Need

We often think of news people cold-heartedly “making a record,” as they say, of our misery and tears, “pushing a microphone in my face,” as one harried survivor of Hurricane Harvey put it, rather than lending a helping hand, as any ordinary mortal might do.

Well then, here is a “man bites dog” story that almost certainly will not make the evening news.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Great Compromise

The Great Compromise will compromise everyone but Connecticut’s lame-duck Governor and an insensate Democrat dominated General Assembly.

A front page, top of the fold headline in a Hartford paper blares, “Time For Compromise,” and a sub-heading trumpets, “Malloy Offers Plan With New Tax Hikes, Republicans Scoff.”

Unsurprisingly – because Democrats are up to their old hat tricks – the Malloy plan includes onerous tax increases, the sort of whips and scorns that have made of Connecticut a no-man’s-land for companies that in the past have moved from high to low tax states. The “no tax increase,” lame duck Governor has, right on cue, called for “compromise.”  Said Malloy, after having successfully rebuffed during his entire two term administration Republican reforms targeting the state’s permanent, long-term spending problems, “The time for compromise is now” – now that dissenting voices have been rendered mute. “This,” Malloy said of his current budget iteration, “is the best attempt to resolve this year’s budget. It’s time to vote for a budget.”

Columbus And The New New World Of Anarchy

On August 21st, the Baltimore Sun reported that a monument to Christopher Columbus had been vandalized by vandals, a perfect word to describe the members of Antifa, a group that claims to be anti-fascist but does not scruple to employ the methods of fascists, including the beating of non-violent protesters by masked, black-clad brownshirts.

The destruction of the oldest monument to Columbus in the nation occurred one week after city fathers had decided to remove “four controversial monuments: a statue of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, the Confederate Women’s monument, the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument and a statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who authored the 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery.”

Friday, September 08, 2017

A Sense Of Urgency Sweeps Over Progressive Flim-Flam Artists

It was predestined to happen: Democrats suddenly are animated by a sense of urgency. Writing and passing a budget at the termination of Connecticut’s fiscal year on June 30, presumably with Republican legislative support, was not urgent because the deal concocted between Governor Dannel Malloy and state employee union leaders had not been presented to the General Assembly well in advance of the last day of the legislative session. Democrats in the General Assembly were unable to present a timely budget because – they had no budget to present.

First things first. State employee union negotiations between Malloy and SEBAC honchoes had not yet been completed. Democrats were waiting until the terms of the deal, approved a month later on July 31, could be baked into the biennial budget. Even then, Democrats did not present a budget to the General Assembly.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The Sale Of Governors

I can’t imagine how you can think philosophy and wine are similar—except in this one respect, that philosophers sell their learning as shopkeepers their wares; and most of them dilute it, too, and defraud customers — Lucian, “The Sale Of Philosophers”

The Democrats' problem in Connecticut is simple: you can’t sell a failure to someone who has experienced the failure. Working class citizens in Connecticut are poorer now than they were before Dannel Malloy became governor in 2011 and after more pending tax increases, they will be poorer still. The assets sunk in their property have been devalued; workers in the private marketplace haven’t had raises in years; college tuition for their children has increased, along with their inability to pay metastasizing tax increases; despite the insistence of reigning politicians that the future will be rosy under an enlightened, progressive administration, their recent, remembered past has been a nightmare. The clunker doesn’t move forward or backwards, and the guy and gal yelling in the front seat – buy, buy – have by now lost all credibility. Promises have become pretentions – diluted wine, false philosophies.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

The Election Front

So then, everyone knows that Governor Dannel Malloy will not be on the ticket in 2018. Like another big tax and spender before him, former Governor Lowell Weicker, Malloy has chosen to skedaddle after having imposed on possible voters both the largest and second largest tax increases in Connecticut history. But – where to?

Rumor, the Hartford Courant said, is now moving like a raging fire among “lobbyists, state employees and political insiders that Malloy would step down before his term ends in January 2019 and allow Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman to become governor. Malloy, under the scenario, would then take a high-ranking position at the University of Connecticut or another college.”

Malloy was called upon to deny these possibilities, and he did so with his usual aplomb.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Friends Of The First Amendment Should Oppose SEEC Citation

The charge made by Connecticut’s  State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC ) against State Representative Rob Sampson and State Senator Joe Markley is that the two made statements in joint campaign mailers that, according to a story by Christine Stewart in CTNewsJunkie, “were cast in such a way to oppose an individual [Governor Dannel Malloy] who was running for statewide office in 2014. He said by joining the Citizens Election Program and receiving tens of thousands of dollars to run their campaign meant they agreed to restrict their spending to candidates who were in the race.”

Examples of the offending statements were listed by Sampson and Markley in a media release:

Monday, August 28, 2017

Connecticut And Pimlico

People in Connecticut may be suffering from something worse than progressives who are striving mightily to destroy the state. They may be suffering from a sort of moral atrophy.

G.K. Chesterton addressed the question of moral atrophy in the following few lines about Pimlico, a town in England that, in Chesterton’s day, was what we might call a hopeless case:

“Let us suppose we are confronted with a desperate thing – say Pimlico. If we think what is really best for Pimlico we shall find the thread of thought leads to the throne of the mystic and the arbitrary. It is not enough for a man to disapprove of Pimlico; in that case he will merely cut his throat or move to Chelsea. Nor, certainly, is it enough for a man to approve of Pimlico; for then it will remain Pimlico, which would be awful. The only way out of it seems to be for somebody to love Pimlico; to love it with a transcendental tie and without any earthly reason. If there arose a man who loved Pimlico, then Pimlico would rise into ivory towers and golden pinnacles… If men loved Pimlico as mothers love children, arbitrarily, because it is theirs, Pimlico in a year or two might be fairer than Florence. Some readers will say that this is mere fantasy. I answer that this is the actual history of mankind. This, as a fact, is how cities did grow great. Go back to the darkest roots of civilization and you will find them knotted round some sacred stone or encircling some sacred well. People first paid honor to a spot and afterwards gained glory for it. Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her.”

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Education Of Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy began his education reform proposals by challenging the usual pedagogical assumptions. He likely will end his term as governor by supporting a union led, reform-resistant status quo.

Malloy is at swords' points with Democratic leaders in the Democrat dominated General Assembly on the matter of tax increases. Progressives in the General Assembly want a bevy of tax increases. They have proposed toll taxes, an increase in the progressive tax on Connecticut’s idle rich and an increase in the sales tax, among others. Democrats are now touting the benefits of a sales tax increase. Without such as increase, progressive Democrats in the legislature and Malloy now say, fire  and brimstone resulting from Malloy’s cost reductions will reign down upon the heads of every man, woman and child in Connecticut who has not yet fled for other less punishing states.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Malloy Administration, An Autopsy

It may not be too early to provide a brief autopsy on the Malloy administration, even though the patient is still flopping on the table.

After two terms in office, Governor Dannell Malloy has decided to throw in the towel. He will not be running for re-election in 2018, which is not to say Republicans and Democrats will not be running against Malloy. Some Democrats will be running away from Malloy with their pants on fire, and he likely will serve Republicans as a bludgeon deployed against Democrats in the campaign.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Connecticut’s Flawed Moralists

Lincoln quoting Jefferson: “I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just!'’

During his long political career, which spans four decades, Connecticut U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal has been storming moral mounts and shaking his fists at the gods. At some point, the gods of Western morality may respond.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Government By Suit

Connecticut’s Attorney General's Office long ago overflowed its statutory and historic banks. The office, one of the oldest in the state, evolved from what had been known in the colonial period as the king’s lawyer. Leaving aside for the moment the recently accrued kingly powers of Governor Dannel Malloy – the inability of the Democrat dominated General Assembly to cobble together a budget within the prescribed time period has bestowed on Malloy plenary powers once associated with royalty – the Attorney General’s Office was, before the advent of Attorney General Joe Lieberman, a relatively modest affair.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Antifa Fascists, Klu-Kluxers, White Separatists And Other Cultists

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me

They call themselves Antifa, meaning “antifascists.” George Orwell would have been the first to point out that the antifascists are, in fact, a modern offshoot of the brown shirts one associates with Mussolini and Hitler, violent fascists pledged to break the bones of those who disagree with them so that by means of force their intellectual opponents may be silenced. A broken bone is a very convincing argument, as any thug well knows.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Log In Malloy’s Eye

The “concession” agreement fashioned between Governor Dannel Malloy and SEBAC that recently was approved on a narrow partisan vote in the Democrat dominated State House and Senate was, most people would agree, beneficial to unions. The agreement was quickly adopted by rank and file state employee union workers and, following its passage in the General Assembly, union lobbyists vigorously cheered the union-favorable pact.

The concessions made by union negotiators during the secret conclave were the usual give-backs made by union leaders in the past. In return for temporary concessions – wage freezes that thawed after two years and increased thereafter by 3.5 percent– the SEBAC deal was pushed out 5 years to 2027, after which it might be re-negotiated or not. The two-year wage freeze was accepted by unions in exchange for four years without layoffs. The putative concessions, we are told, might save $1.57 billion over the next two fiscal years. However, nagging problems persist.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Blumenthal v. Trump, The Twitter War

A twitter war has broken out between Connecticut Democrat U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal and President Donald Trump. Following Blumenthal’s early denigration of Secretary of State Jeff Sessions – prior to his interrogation of former Senator Sessions, Blumenthal broadly hinted that Sessions and the KKK were on friendly terms – and following Blumenthal’s not so subtle hints that Trump may have collaborated with the Ruskies to damage the presidential prospects of Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton. Trump, never one to suffer fools gladly, struck back, using twitter as a rhetorical cattle prod.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Leveraging Connecticut’s Democrat Produced “Crisis”

Here is an addendum to Rahm Emanuel’s now infamous apothegm, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” especially when you are responsible for having produced the crisis: to leverage the crisis you have caused so that it will be politically useful, it is vitally important to fob-off on the opposition the logical and inevitable consequences of your own failed policies.

Emanuel, once a Barack Obama campaign maestro, is now the Mayor of shoot’em up Chicago, a failed Democratic city in a failing state.

Politics, in both our state and nation, has become a Darwinian struggle among political insiders in which the most fit rise to the top. And the fittest are those whose narratives, partly fiction, are the most compelling; the narratives themselves occasionally have only a remote connection to a) the truth, and b) objective reality; i.e. the real-world consequences of prevailing political programs.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Morning After

“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce” – Karl Marx 

The labeling worked. Almost immediately, contract negotiations between Governor Dannel Malloy and SEBAC head honchoes were tagged “union concessions.”

There were, to be sure, some concessions made by unions in the final agreement, but these concessions were offset by positive union gains. And in the end the gains considerably outweighed the concessions, mostly because the gains were permanent, while the concessions were, for the most part, temporary. Unions, for instance, agreed to forgo raises for three years; on the third year, however, 3.5 percent raises would kick in, and likely remain kicking well beyond the termination of the contracts in 2027. Most working stiffs in Connecticut, who doubtless will be tapped to pay for future union wages and almost inevitable tax increases, have not seen raises for years, and their medical and prescription co-pays are much higher than the co-pays written in contract-stone in the union’s  “concession agreement.”

Monday, July 31, 2017

Democratic Fault Lines In Connecticut

The SEBAC-Malloy-Aresimowicz agreement passed in the state House, moved to the State Senate and was affirmed there on a party line vote, Republicans opposing the backroom deal in both chambers of the General Assembly.

Hours before the Senate vote, leading Democrats, who have not  yet  submitted a budget, warned opposition party members that the earth would tumble into the sun if the SEBAC “concession” deal did not pass.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Party Of Liberty

Below is a key note address delivered to the Bethel Republican Town Committee during their lobsterfest. My thanks to Bill Hillman, who invited me to speak, and everyone present who was kind enough to hear me out. A good time was had by all, except for the lobsters.

Atheists In Ireland

When Bill Buckley – who lived in Connecticut nearly all his life, first in Sharon and later in Stamford – went to Ireland for the first time, he did what most Irish Americans do on their first trip to the land of saints. He visited dusty old churches and examined dusty old records to uncover his family’s roots.

Then he went on a pub crawl.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

In Memoriam, Doug Hageman

Doug Hageman died on July 28, within spitting distance of his birthday, and those who knew him needn’t wonder how he managed that. He was an honest and good man and, as a thoughtful and active Republican in the land of Democrats, something of a wonder.

Encountering Doug for the first time – as I did many years ago, at a net-working meeting held in the rooms of Associated Builders of Connecticut (ABC) in Rocky Hill – was a bit like catching a glimpse of a unicorn in a dark glade. First you saw the white flashing flanks, then the flowing mane, and then, shockingly, the improbable white horn.   And you thought to yourself – it CAN”T be. But it is.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Are Democrats Running Out Of Tricks?

For more than a month, Democratic leaders in Connecticut’s General Assembly had been able to postpone a vote on a two year Democratic budget. Democrats did not bring their own budget to the floor for consideration, debate or a vote because they had no budget. Indeed, legislative Democrats avoided presenting a budget until the completion of secret so called “concession” talks with the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) had been concluded.

The legislature officially closed down for business on June 7 and no budget had been brought forward, even though Republicans had been pressuring Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz to bring to the floor their own budget, which contained some impressive reform proposals. The fiscal year ended on June 30 without debate on a budget. On July 18, Democratic leaders bestirred themselves hours after rank and file members of the state’s employee unions had voted favorably on the concession deal struck between Malloy and SEBAC. The rapidity with which the deal had been accepted was taken by some analysts as a measure of both its favorability to union workers and the inordinate influence Connecticut employee unions exert over solicitous Democratic legislators.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Democrats, Party Of The Status Quo

Quite suddenly, the enabler for the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) in Connecticut’s General Assembly, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, has contracted a wicked case of ants in his pants.

The state legislature closed for official business on June 7, nearly two months ago. But Aresimowicz, the gatekeeper in the House without whose approval no bill may reach the floor of the General Assembly, dawdled delinquently and brought no budget to the floor. In truth, the Democratic leader in the House had no budget bill in hand to present to the legislature – none. Aresimowicz was waiting for state employee rank and file union members to vote on a closed door deal being shaped by Governor Dannel Malloy and union chiefs.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Blumenthal's Intent

U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal thinks Donald Trump Jr. may have colluded with Russian operatives to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. Other leading Democrats have asserted that President Donald Trump is a traitor. Blumenthal believes that recent emails may demonstrate "bombshell evidence of criminal intent" on the part of Trump Jr.

But then, Blumenthal believes lots of things. There was a time when he believed he had served as a marine in Vietnam, but he didn’t.

In the absence of a crime, there can be no criminal intent – just unfulfilled intent. There is little question that Trump Jr. and other Trump operatives intended to receive and possibly make use of promised data dirt damaging to Hillary Clinton when the Trump amateur opposition research team met with a Russian lawyer who failed to deliver the dirt.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

No Fish Today

The fishing industry in Connecticut in under assault from foreign fish imports. Owner of wholesale fish in Stonington/East Haven Mike Gambardella writes, somewhat frantically, that consumers don’t realize that the import seafood market is at 96 percent: “Our fishermen are throwing wild-caught healthy, chemical free, dead fish overboard daily.”

The regulatory apparatus in the United States is simply crushing local fishing industries: “We’re going out of business in Stonington, Connecticut, one of the oldest commercial fishing ports in the nation, dating from the 1600s.”

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Unions, Connecticut’s Fourth Branch Of Government

July 18 is a pivotal date in Connecticut’s budget making process, and that is what is wrong with the state’s budget making process.

During the first week of July, the Connecticut Post noted in an editorial, “As of now, the next special session to vote on a budget is not scheduled until July 18. Not by coincidence, perhaps, that happens to be the day before the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition [SEBAC] is scheduled to finish voting on contract concessions negotiated by Malloy.”

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Malloy And The Procrustean Narrative

The State is the great fiction through which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else – Frederic Bastiat

Procrustes – literally, “the stretcher who hammers metal” -- was in Greek mythology a rogue smithy and bandit from Attica who cut off the legs of people to fit them to his iron bed. Political narratives as they relate to facts can be procrustean beds. If the facts don’t fit the narrative, you simply cut off their limbs to make them fit. Facts may be stubborn things, but politicians sometimes are more stubborn.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Connecticut, The State Of Nullification

Connecticut’s Democratic Secretary of State, Denise Merrill, has now declared herself a leading member of “The Resistance.”

The plot is thickening. The Constitutional Officers in Connecticut, Democrats all, have been stirring the resistance pot ever since Donald Trump had been elected to the presidency.

Connecticut, for instance, in establishing sanctuary cities, has become a sanctuary state. Governor Dannel Malloy has refused to comply with ICE in assisting in the deportation of non-citizens illegally present in Connecticut. U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal is suing Trump on trumped-up charges because he believes the president is not in compliance with the emolument clause of the U.S. Constitution. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, playing Danton to Blumenthal’s Robespierre, denigrates the president as often as possible when he is on the hustings -- and he is always on the hustings. Incumbent politicians are perpetually running for office. Two years prior the upcoming elections, Murphy has socked away more than $2 million, which is $2 million more than his as yet unannounced Republican opponent has jingling in his or her campaign coffers. 

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Charlie, Independence Day, 2017

My uncle Charlie was more or less adopted by my father and mother when he was 10 years old, and he came to live in my father’s house.

My father had been asking my mother several times to marry him. Each time she had put off answering him. One day, he brought along a calendar with him.

“Rose,” he said, “I want you to pick a day on this calendar when we can be married, and I will come again next week. If you have not marked off a day, I will not ask you again.”

Monday, July 03, 2017

Trump (King Kong) Meets Godzilla (Blumenthal)

We all know President Donald Trump is thin-skinned, as witnessed the bloodstained Mika Brzezinski of “Morning Joe.” Recently, Trump tweeted about Ms. Brzezinski, now affianced to Joe Scarborough, the Joe of “Morning Joe,” that she had visited him recently and was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”

The usual kerfuffle in social media ensued, and Trump was bare-knuckled by what he considers media thugs, purveyors of “fake news.” Following the pummeling, Trump tweeted, more temperately, “Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!"

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Campaign Like No Other, Waiting For Bismarck

The usual gubernatorial campaign in Connecticut begins with brave platitudes and ends, once office has been achieved, with whimpering platitudes.

We recall a triumphant Governor Lowell Weicker warning during his gubernatorial campaign that instituting an income tax in the midst of a recession would be like “pouring gas on a fire,” then, having achieved office, hiring as his Office of Policy Management Director Bill Cibes, who ran an honest but losing Democratic primary campaign by agitating for an income tax. Before you could say, “Let’s pour gas on the fire,” Connecticut had its income tax. State businesses have taken note of the ungovernable growth in spending and now have their eyes fixed on the exit signs.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Save The Towns, Save The BS…

 Union allied Speaker of the State House of Representatives Joe Aresimowicz wants to “save the towns.” From what, some may ask? Answer: from municipal tax hikes necessitated by Big Spenders like Mr. Aresimowicz.

Tax hikes, Aresimowicz said, have never been taken off the table. We’ve said it consistently since the beginning of February.” Indeed, big spending Democrats in the General Assembly have not taken revenue increases off the table since the end of the Grasso administration. And even the flight of businesses from Connecticut, Mother Aetna being the most recent to move its corporate offices from the state, has not diminished their persistent hunt for more taxes.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Connecticut Down, A June Keynote Address

I began writing “Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State” more than 23 years ago because early on I glimpsed the dark at the end of the tunnel, and I was determined to make a record of the destruction of Connecticut, so that, years in the future, if anyone, poking his or her head above the rubble, wished to consult a record that tried valiantly to answer the questions – What went wrong, and who were the culprits?– he or she would have a faithful reference point.

Today, I have an opportunity to render an abbreviated version of the longer account. I plan to touch here on the wrong-headed policies that have led us into the dark tunnel, some of the personalities involved, the rise of progressivism in Connecticut under the stewardship of Governor Dannel Malloy, the political repercussions of unsound policies, and what the French have called “the treason of the intellectuals.” Not to paint too bleak a picture – people generally don’t want to hear bad news – I should say at the outset that there is reason for hope. Hope is a new arrival in Connecticut. The sun is there, somewhere, attempting to break through the storm clouds.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Can Republicans Save Connecticut?

“No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session” -- Gideon Tucker

The headline of the story was worth a thousand words: “As State Budget And Tolls Stall, Mushroom Hunting And Hate Crimes Bill Among Proposals Passed." Connecticut Democrats, who still control the General Assembly, were unable to marshal sufficient votes  to pass a frequently unbalanced budget that  is in all probability unbalanced. But the mushroom hunting bill – never mind what it’s about – passed like a hot knife through butter. The budget failed to pass only 21 days after Connecticut citizens celebrated, if that is the word for it, tax freedom day, that point on the calendar at which Connecticut tax survivors have satisfied the insatiable lust of politicians for more revenue.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Common Sense, The Second Amendment And The Ballpark Terrorist

It took Hartford Courant editorial writers ten plump paragraphs to reach their predictable corporate conclusion: “… Somehow this country must protect the fundamental right to assemble in peace, whether to talk politics or play ball or sit in school.  The way to do that is to limit the weapons that shatter the peace, not to silence the debate.”

There is little doubt that weapons may be used to shatter peace. That is the operative principle of all terrorists and anarchists. The weapons, as we have seen in recent days, may be various: suicide vests, trucks and knives – all assault weapons, an assault weapon being any instrument of death uses in an assault on human life, including, the editors of the Courant may be surprised to learn, an abortionist’s scalpel.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Social Issues And Morally Lazy Republicans

Thanks to State Representative Rob Samson, one of the few legislators who have not been cowed by Connecticut’s powerful abortion lobby, abortion extremists have publicly shown their horns.

The Family Institute of Connecticut (FIC) put it this way: “On the final day of the legislative session June 7th, Rep. Rob Sampson attached a pro-life parental notification amendment to a contraception bill. But the possibility that a parent might be notified about her underage daughter’s decision to have an abortion so enraged Connecticut’s pro-abortion lobbyists that they killed their own bill rather than allow a vote on the amendment!”

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sheff And The Court’s Hobson’s Choice

If magnet and Open Choice schools were less successful in providing Hartford’s children, mostly minorities, with a quality education, or if public schools in the city were as successful as charter schools operating elsewhere in the state, Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger would not now be confronted with a Hobson’s Choice.

Presently, the judge must decide whether a quality education for minority students or the enforcement of a court ordered integration model that is on its face absurd best furthers the public good, a decision generally made by legislatures rather than courts.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Life After Comey

“Life goes on without’ya…” – Just a Gigolo

Answers to the larger Watergate questions – What did the President know, and when did he know it? – must await the final report of Special Prosecutor Robert Muller. In the meantime, the dreaded mainstream media is always able, if willing, to provide convincing answers to smaller but significant questions, not the least of which concerns the traditional relationship between the Director of the FBI, who may be dismissed for cause, and the President – any President – of the United States.

The investigatory functions of the FBI, everyone will agree, are independent of the president in this sense:  while the president has the constitutional power and authority to dismiss the FBI Director, this option by no means guarantees that a specific investigation involving the president will be dropped. Indeed, during his recently concluded congressional interrogation former FBI Director James Comey asserted publicly, for the first time under oath,  that neither President Donald Trump nor any member of his administration asked him to put the brakes on pending FBI investigations; he also asserted that the president was not, during his term in office, the target of any FBI investigation, an assertion the president had asked Comey to make public before, when the contrary notion was being peddled numerous time in numerous publications.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Malloy And Democrats, One-Trick Ponies

According to a Hartford business reporter, the deal struck between Governor Dannel Malloy and SEBAC, state employee union representatives, is “solid” and “good for taxpayers.”

According to Red Jahncke, President of The Townsend Group, a business consulting firm in Connecticut, the deal is more of the same. And the same road has led Connecticut into a dead end. Following the usual route to budget reconciliation and economic prosperity for Connecticut, the Malloy administration has plunged the state into continuing budget deficits and entrepreneurial flight, which has reduced state revenues despite two massive tax increases, giving new meaning to the expression “more is less.”

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Confessional Malloy Administration And Real Reform

From this point forward, most of the media releases from the Malloy administration will be in the form of a hidden confession, followed by an unintentionally amusing uptick.

After an announcement by Mother Aetna that the company is moving its headquarters from Connecticut to another state, possibly New York, CTMirror unfurled its headline: “Aetna CEO: HQ move to have ‘minimal impact’ on most Hartford employees." The headline over a Wall Street Journal editorial was somewhat darker: “Connecticut’s Tax Comeuppance: With the rich tapped out, the state may resort to Puerto Rico bonds.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Connecticut’s Hostages

The editors of a Hartford newspaper have begged, almost on their knees, state employee union leaders to accede to concessions in budget negotiations with Governor Dannel Malloy:

“Unions, Please Help

 “Connecticut has been kind to its public workers. Now is the state's time of need. Unions, won't you help the state out of financial crisis?

 “Unions, please be reasonable. The state is at stake.”

While the concessions will not greatly affect long-term spending, these pleadings are necessary for a number of reasons. Although the General Assembly is scheduled to finish shaping and approving a budget for Connecticut by closing time, June 7, the end-date really depends upon unions. “Unions Nearing Deal of Concessions,” a headline proclaims. However, “some union members say it is unlikely that the rank and file members of multiple unions,” represented by SEBAC, would be able to affirm contractual arrangements with Malloy by that date, “but a vote by the end of the fiscal year on June 30 is possible.”

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Parable Of The Leaking Bucket

A short five minute address today -- Sunday, May 21, 2017 -- at the state capitol in Hartford

 I’ve been asked to say a few words about taxes, which has brought us here today. I should say it’s heartening to see gathered here many thoughtful, peaceful, responsible, tax-paying, non-deplorables. I only have fire minutes to review years of tax thuggery, and the best way do it is by means of a parable that might be called “The Parable of the Leaking Bucket.”

There is a hole in Connecticut’s milk bucket, and through it our precious revenues are leaking to other states. This disaster has now been confirmed by Department of Revenue Commissioner Kevin Sullivan and economist Don Klepper-Smith.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Blumenthal: I’m Ready For My Close-Up

In mid-May, David Hawkins of Roll Call threw a bouquet of compliments at U.S.  Senator Dick Blumenthal: “But Blumenthal’s profile has never been as prominent as in the past week, after he declared that the firing of James B. Comey as FBI director has created ‘a looming constitutional crisis that is deadly serious’ and ‘may well produce impeachment proceedings, although we’re very far from that possibility.’”

The reader will note Blumenthal's adjectives. A "looming' crisis cannot be "deadly." The "crisis” is "looming" because we cannot be certain it is a crisis, except in Blumenthal's fevered imagination. And if we are "very far” from the possibility of a crisis, in what sense may the crisis be fairly described as a crisis? Note the "may" standing guard over this sentence: the crisis "may well produce impeachment proceedings,” or the crisis – but is it a crisis? See above -- may yet produce egg on Blumenthal’s face. Once an editor of the Harvard Crimson, Blumenthal has been goosing the media his entire political life. And the left of center media, perpetually frightened of conservative bogeymen, has been sopping up Blumenthal’s tendentious assertions for as long as the Senator From Planned Parenthood has been in public life.  These are people who are supposed to be able to parse sentences and wring the nonsense out of them.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Diner Politics In Connecticut

People in Connecticut like their diners. There are no fewer than 28 all-night diners in the state. It’s where you go to shed your problems over an omelet and hash browns, accompanied by a fresh cup of coffee and, if you are lucky, the companionship of a friend or two. During election time, this holy solitude is broken by lean and hungry politicians on the hunt for votes who have turned out to mingle with the proletariat. Politicians too, it would appear, are just like the rest of us.

The most accomplished of them do not eat when they are conducting business. Imaging is important, just ask U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, about whom it is said that the most dangerous spot in Connecticut is between Blumenthal and a television camera. Politicians are more attentive to their weight than to their religious prescriptions, and because many of them are life-servers -- the average age of a member of Congress is 57 – caloric intake is more important to many of them as avoiding the near occasion of sin.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Month Of Irony

The last few weeks of 24-7 news has been dripping with unintended irony.

Just as the Democratic Party was setting up to attribute former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s loss to political stumble-bum Donald Trump as a result of President of Russia Vladimir Putin's interference in her campaign, President Trump bombed Bashir al Assad of Syria, Mr. Putin’s Kewpie Doll. The bombing served to mute some of the more outrageous claims. Everyone but Dick Blumenthal has been investigating the Trump-Putin connection; so far -- nada.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The Democratic Party Progressive Carousel

It’s a pretty safe bet that Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim may not be Connecticut’s next governor, now that current Governor Dannel Malloy has thrown in the sponge, opening the door to a handful of Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls panting behind the curtain.

Among the Democratic prospects are Mr. Ganim, elected mayor of Bridgeport four times before he was convicted of sixteen counts of corruption related activity, for which he spent seven years of a nine year sentence under lock and key. Other possible Democratic gubernatorial candidates are Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, former state Senator Jonathan Harris, Christopher Mattei, the  former Chief of the Financial Fraud and Public Corruption unit for the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Connecticut who bagged former Governor John Rowland a second time,  and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman who presently is playing it coy.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

What Do Progressives Want? -- More

The magic words among progressive Democrats in Connecticut’s General Assembly are “stabilize state finances.” It is an expression very much on the tongue of House Speaker Joe Aresimowitz, long affiliated with unions. Mr. Aresimowitz is employed as education coordinator for AFSCME. Last December, Connecticut’s Office of State Ethics (OSE) advised Mr. Aresimowicz that “nothing in the state ethics code bars him from continuing his job [with] an influential public-employee union once he becomes speaker of the House of Representatives.”

Apparently, the OSE is unfamiliar with the expression “putting the fox in charge of the hen house.”