Monday, January 30, 2017

Blumenthal, The Senator From Planned Parenthood

In the matter of abortion, U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal is all in.

The Senator, while he was for 20 years Connecticut’s Attorney General, was not known to shy away from prosecuting companies large and small that had violated some obscure regulation. He also had recommended regulations to Connecticut’s General Assembly if he found that a regulation would satisfy his own view of ethical commerce, much to the dismay of Connecticut companies already burdened with excessive regulations. When he moved from the Attorney General’s office to the U.S. Senate, Mr. Blumenthal left in his wake a trail of regulatory tears flowing down the cheeks of his commercial targets, which for years had found their assets diverted to court costs. His successor, Attorney General George Jepsen, almost immediately swept hundreds of such nuisance cases from the books.

Moving into the U.S. Senate, Mr. Blumenthal brought all his vices as Attorney General with him and soon acquired a reputation as Connecticut’s first consumer protection senator.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Looney’s Poison Pill For Democrats

“A budget deal that closely resembles the 2011 budget agreement,” will be good for what ails Connecticut, said Martin Looney, the President Pro Tem in the Connecticut Senate, according to an NBC Connecticut story. “A budget deal that closely resembles the 2011 budget agreement might be needed in 2017,” said Mr. Looney.

What ails Connecticut is excessive spending, pretty much everyone in the state now agrees – even Governor Dannel Malloy, who is responsible for both the largest and the second largest tax increases in state history. The first of Mr. Malloy’s tax increases was a not inconsiderable part of the 2011 budget deal that Mr. Looney would apply as a curative to Connecticut’s continuing ailments. Connecticut’s three major tax increases, the first promulgated during the administration of Governor Lowell Weicker, father of Connecticut’s income tax, served as political balm to union friendly governors and legislators. The tax increases relieved politicians of the necessity of making permanent cuts in spending which, to no one’s surprise, has increased in tandem with the tax increases. The two go together like the proverbial horse and carriage. So long as Connecticut’s budget carriage carried surpluses, the road was straight and carefree.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Murphy, Guns And Education


U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, looking for all the world like a poker player holding four aces, leaned in as he put his question to Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump’s choice to head the U.S. Department of Education. Did she believe guns belonged in or around schools?

Mr. Murphy and his counterpart in the Senate, Dick Blumenthal, are both anti-gun veterans of the Sandy Hook slaughter, though one suspects that even before a gunman entered the school, both were afflicted with a mild case of “hoplophobia,” a political neologism coined in 1936 by military officer Jeff Cooper to indicate “an irrational aversion to weapons" and also “the fear of firearms and armed citizens.” 

Ms. DeVos, whose appointment is opposed by most Democrats tied to the apron strings of powerful teachers unions, replied, “I think that’s best left to the locales and states.” And indeed most decisions bearing on education are still left to municipalities and states, even though the federal government is able to bend states to its will by withholding education funding.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

It’s The Spending, Stupid


Governor Dannel Malloy has vowed several times not to raise taxes. There is no third act in Connecticut for a governor who has raised taxes twice in an effort to discharge repetitive deficits and failed conspicuously to balance budgets. Mr. Malloy and his Democratic confederates in the General Assembly have imposed on Connecticut the largest and the second largest tax increases in its history, with little amelioratory effect. Budget analysts project a $1.42 billion deficit in 2017-18 and a $1.60 billion shortfall in 2018-19, according to a CTMirror report, and revenue tributaries that in the past have washed away Connecticut’s deficits have diminished.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Democrats Walking The Plank, Last Chance For Connecticut


It’s always possible for politicians to learn from current events, mend their ways and move on. Owing to the failure of questionable progressive policies, national Democrats this election year lost the House, the Senate and the presidency, a dramatic reversal of fortune. Republican gains have brought to a full stop a serious progressive entente that began when Barack Obama assumed office in 2009. Flush with success – Democrats that year captured both houses of the U.S. Congress and the presidency – Mr. Obama ran a progressive plank above shark infested waters and invited Democrats to take a stroll. They did. Eight years later, Democrats have lost 12 governorships, 13 Senate seats and 69 seats in the House of Representatives.

The losses cut deep and will be long remembered. During Mr. Obama’s two terms, according to MarketWatch Democrats lost more than 1,000 seats at the state and national level, leaving Republicans in control of 4,170 state legislative seats. The GOP holds 33 governorships and in 25 states controls both the governorship and two houses of the state legislature, whereas Democrats hold five. Clearly, the Democratic political trek from the heights to the depths is the most dramatic rejection of a nascent progressive movement in living memory.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Media And The Cluster-Muck


Mark Twain used to say that a lie can fly half way around the world while the truth is still getting its boots on.

Almost from the beginning the “dossier” on Trump – actually, a cluster-muck put together by a paid opposition researcher, apparently an ex-British intelligence officer -- was rejected by news outlets that like to think of themselves as champions of truth. Good for them. It had been shopped around to various newspapers that had declined to bite because much of the information in the cluster-muck seemed either implausible or unverifiable.  Even BuzzFeed, which printed the damning dossier, had doubts. But the news outlet was determined not to let doubt kill a good story. And so, along with feeble disclaimers, BuzzFeed provided the dossier to the general public.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Marry An Older Woman

 
“The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections,” Ben Franklin wrote to a friend in 1745, “none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.... [and Lastly] They are so grateful!!”

It probably is not true that older wives are by nature more grateful than, say, Melania Trump, soon to be the nation’s  First Lady. But, true or not, Franklin’s whiplash wit helps one to understand why the American ambassador, who lived in France for nine years, was so joyously received in French salons.

The Republican Party in Connecticut has for a long while been the old wife voters do not wish to marry. Registered Democrats in the state still outnumber Republicans by a ratio of two to one, and Democrats are outnumbered by party averse Independents, who, hopping from bed to bed, apparently do not believe in political marriages. This may be changing. Republicans will be very grateful if it does.

Friday, January 06, 2017

How To Pass A Tax And Spend Measure Without Voting On It


The trouble with voting on a measure that may later on require you to impose a tax to pay for the measure or, if you are striving to maintain current spending levels, cut spending to the deserving poor is that voters may notice the vote. During a campaign, your opponent may bring up your vote to discredit you. Here in Connecticut, voters have become mighty touchy about multiple tax increases and cuts to the deserving poor that are now necessary to balance chronically out of balance budgets.  

There is, however, a way to wrap yourself in a cloak of invisibility so the voting public may not be able to attach a legislator's name to legislative assent or dissent.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Fox, Meet Henhouse


Here is the lede graph of a story, Ethics opinion: Aresimowicz can be House Speaker, union stafferfound in CTMirror: “The Office of State Ethics has advised Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, that nothing in the state ethics code bars him from continuing his job as education coordinator with AFSCME, an influential public-employee union, once he becomes Speaker of the House of Representatives.”

The Office of State Ethics (OSE) decision was in reply to a query put to it by the Office of the House Majority Leader: “… let us know whether there are any apparent ethical issues arising from his [Aresimowicz’s] employment, including a conflict of interest with his legislative duties? If there are any further actions that Rep. Aresimowicz should take to protect himself from ethical concerns, we would appreciate that advice.”