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


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!"