Friday, December 29, 2017

Ring Out The Old, Bring In The New: Is Shanghai Burning?


"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” -- Voltaire

Chris Powell would blush to hear someone say it, but his retirement from the Journal Inquirer in January will leave a gaping hole in Connecticut journalism. Fortunately, Powell’s voice will still ring out in columns. The press notice announcing his retirement was placed amusingly on the right side of the paper’s obituary page.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Connecticut GOP, Waiting For Godot


A historical repetition, Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard reminds us, is not possible, because it is not possible to recreate historically the precise conditions that occasioned the event we wish to replicate. Karl Marx, a poor economist but a passable social critic, put it this way: “History repeats itself; the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce.”  

The shadow of a not too amusing farce hovers over a recent report in a Hartford paper. The central premise of the report is this: Charlie Barker of Massachusetts is a successful Republican Governor, his approval rating an astonishing 71 percent. Baker is the usual New England moderate Republican, one who is conservative on fiscal issues but liberal on social issues. If only Connecticut were able to field a Charlie Baker-like gubernatorial candidate in the upcoming 2018 race, the GOP might be able to sweep the boards and restore to the gubernatorial office – held for two terms by Dannel Malloy, a progressive governor with an appalling approval rating of 29 percent, the lowest in the nation -- a “moderate” governor such as John Rowland, Jodi Rell or Lowell Weicker.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Wizardry Of Oz-Frank


There may be only three or four ways to win an election, but there are a dozen ways to lose one.

There seems to be a general agreement among thoughtful Republicans that Tom Foley, the Republican nominee for governor in 2010 and 2014, lost to Dannel Malloy because his campaigns lacked what might loosely be called the social angle. Both campaigns left voters wondering what might be the difference between the Democrat and Republican candidates.

Oz Griebel entered a primary against Foley for governor in 2010 and lost, possibly because Republicans were unable to distinguish between Foley and Griebel. Foley, as it turned out, was richer; his ties to conservatives in his party were not the ties that bind.

The Foley 2010 campaign was businesslike rather than conservative on economic issues; even then Connecticut was sloshing around in alligator infested, muddy waters. And Foley was AWOL on social issues. His was the usual losing Republican campaign. On the economy, Foley played it safe, while his think tank, the Connecticut Policy Institute (CPI), was a bit more adventuresome. The think tank actually thought deeply about urban issues and the downward plunge of Connecticut cities controlled by Democrats for a half century.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Tammany Malloy’s Tin Ear


This from the cut and run governor, the author of the two largest tax increases in state history, who refused to talk with Republicans about budget matters during his entire term in office which, God and the Devil willing, will soon be over:

’The Republicans were very proud of producing what they called a bipartisan budget, but I call it a Republican bipartisan budget,’ Malloy said. ‘And as soon as they got heat for making a decision, they want to cut and run. But not only do they want to cut and run, they want to cut and run and make the deficit worse. And what was the first thing they did? Raise taxes. Everything they said was a fraud and they admitted that when they raised taxes. And what’s the first thing after they raise taxes and get some heat over something? They want to come back and make the deficit worse. Sounds like other Republican governors from our state whose names I recognize.’”

How do sensible reporters manage to keep a straight face when the governor pushes out campaign propaganda in this fashion? The budget compromise Malloy is referencing, as with all other budgets in the past half century, is a Democrat budget. Malloy here conveniently forgets that he vetoed a Republican budget that passed both houses of the General Assembly. And on whose watch, pray tell, has the current deficit and all the preceding deficits of the Malloy administration "become worse?" And why have the deficits become worse? Hold that question, rarely answered honestly by Malloy, for a moment.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Free Speech Standard At UConn Should Be The First Amendment


It would be a grave error to interpose between speakers at UConn and their audiences an administrative apparat whose sole purpose is to decide which speakers are acceptable.

It may still be possible to learn some lessons from an incident that occurred at UConn in which a speaker invited to address the university’s Republican Club, Lucian Wintrich, had been successfully shouted down and later arrested by UConn police. Wintrich, a White House reporter for The Gateway Pundit, may have been arrested to assure his safety from the fascists who shouted him down, stole his speech, and later sought to confront him as he left the campus.

Charges leading to his arrest were quickly dropped by the prosecutor during a court appearance, and new charges were brought against the thief who had stolen Wintrich’s address, a just resolution since the thief, student adviser at Quinebaug Valley Community College Catherine Gregory, was the aggressor who had, along with her cheering section, intentionally precipitated a successful fascist effort to deny Wintrich his First Amendment rights.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wintrich Vindicated: Torquemada At UConn

Lucian Wintrich is the intolerable conservative nuisance – and victim – who was arrested by UConn police and charged with breach of peace for having made an unsuccessful attempt to exercise his First Amendment rights at Connecticut’s flagship university. Wintrich had been invited to speak by the University of Connecticut Young Republican Club on campus.  

A raucous crowd – seeded, one commentator noted, with fascists – prevented Wintrich from delivering his thoughts on “It’s OK To Be White.”

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bronin’s Abdication

For all practical purposes, Mayor of Hartford Luke Bronin, a Democrat considering running for governor, has abdicated the position to which he was elected on January 1, 2016; this after having plainly said it would take him at least a full term, perhaps longer, to bring Hartford out of the red. It takes at least one political term, possibly two, to raise a sunken aircraft carrier from the depths.

In both Hartford and its General Assembly, Democrats have for decades been winking at metastasizing labor costs driven upwards by state employee union demands. How can you tell when union salary and pension costs are extravagant? Easy. They are excessive when labor costs cannot be sustained by a shrinking revenue market.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

The Importance Of Being Rich


In politics, there are two kinds of riches: personal riches – Democrat Dick Blumenthal, weighing in at $67 million, is among the eight richest Senators in Congress – and campaign riches.

Democrat U.S Senator Chris Murphy, who complains often enough that hustling campaign dollars wastes time he might otherwise more profitably spend demonizing the NRA – which recently signaled its support of a bill championed by Murphy and fellow NRA demonizer Blumenthal, the “Fix NICS Act of 2017”, that would reinforce requirements that federal agencies report all infractions to  the National Instant Criminal Background Check System -- currently has about $6 million in his campaign kitty. Most people could not name Murphy’s likely Republican challenger. None of them have yet hit the $60,000 mark.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

We Are All Progressives Now

“Connecticut’s political left," as Mark Pazniokas of CTMirror has taken to calling them, met in New Haven at a “People’s Symposium” -- what else? – to grill Connecticut’s Democrat candidates for governor in 2018.

The interrogators, members of Connecticut’s “Working Families Organization,” a left-wing subset of the state’s Democratic Party ideologically affiliated with state union employees, itself a subset of the Connecticut’s much more numerous real working families, came away from the grilling somewhat satisfied that the candidates had met their non-negotiable demands. The next Democrat governor must soak the rich with progressive taxes, support a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, oppose any and all efforts to “erode collective bargaining for public-sector employees in Connecticut,” and agitate against President Donald Trump – which, in Connecticut, is not a high hurdle to overleap.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Herbst At UConn


Dante death mask
Monsieur l’Abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write -- Voltaire

The trouble with bad manners, Bill Buckley used to say, is that they sometime lead to murder. The late Charles Manson and his maenads, we can agree, had deplorable manners.

Anyone who has met President of UConn Susan Herbst will tell you she has exquisite manners. And the author of “Rude Democracy: Civility and Incivility in American Politics,” also is an authority on political manners. Unfortunately, there are no mandatory courses on good manners at UConn.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Democrats, Sinking Ship Opportunities, And Term Limits Reconsidered

Columnist Jim Cameron in the Stamford Advocate has curtly written off Governor Dannel Malloy: “Our governor is a lame duck. Because he’s announced he’s not running for re-election, he has the political clout of a used teabag. And even though he’s our state’s leader for another 11 months, nobody cares about him or his ideas any longer.”

Malloy’s Lieutenant Governor, Nancy Wyman, has decided she would rather be spending time with her family than running for governor, which would necessarily entail a hearty defense of Malloy’s ruinous policies.

After two terms making Connecticut great again, Malloy himself has decided to take a hike.