Friday, September 14, 2018

The New Joe McCarthy Democrats

What to make of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s most recent referral to the FBI? Feinstein has said, according to CNN, "’I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,’ Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. ‘That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities,’ she added.”

There was not much “there” there in Feinstein’s media release. The “matter,” according to other reports, concerns alleged inappropriate behavior on the part of Kavanaugh when he was in high school; whether a freshman, average age 14, or a senior we are not told. It’s a juicy tidbit, particularly in the era of me-tooism, but the tidbit is too little and perhaps too artificially enticing.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Connecticut Government And The Art Of The Impossible

George Orwell said that the most difficult thing for a writer to see were events occurring right under his nose. The same holds true for voters. For many of us, voting is a duty and an obligation, like going to church on Sunday. But how many of us remember the homilies on Tuesday? Perhaps even the minister has forgotten his invocations by then. One should not render oneself unconscious before voting. Look before you leap, think before you vote.

We know that it will not do to overlook recent history, because recent history is armed and dangerous. It might be instructive to approach Connecticut’s economic problems from a “can’t do” perspective. What are the reigning “can’t-do’s” in Connecticut just now?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Trump And His Enemies

Guest blog By Sean Murphy

This is the last part of a three blog piece

The amount of animus since President Donald Trump has taken office is of record proportions. 

The question is: is the problem Donald Trump or what he stands for and who he stands against? 

The answer is the latter. 

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Kavanaugh vs. Blumenthal

“When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

And when you look into Kavanaugh, Kavanaugh looks into you. The U.S. Senate hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's elevation to the U.S. Supreme Court began with a bang – interminable bangs by energetic protesters -- and ended with a whispered sigh. “Senate concludes Kavanaugh hearing; confirmation likely” the Chicago Tribune noted.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation was “likely” from the get-go. One of Kavanaugh's bitterest opponents in the Senate, Dick Blumenthal, admitted days before the hearing that Kavanaugh would be confirmed – because confirmation of Supreme Court justices is a political affair, a matter of votes and numbers, and the party with the most votes in Congress ultimately wins.

During his interrogatories with overtly hostile Democrats, all of whom seemed to be reading from the same scrip, Kavanaugh’s character came through the screen, as they say in Hollywood. He was personable, modest, supremely intelligent, professorial in an inoffensive and measured way, and authoritative on the law. Most important, he knew what he said and did not say on any question put to him by his Grand Inquisitors.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

The Wizard Of Oz And Republican Government

Chris Powell begins his column on Nelson "Oz" Griebel with a backhanded compliment: “Griebel is a substantial guy and more familiar with state government than the gubernatorial nominees of the major parties, Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Bob Stefanowski,” followed by a backhand, “But Griebel has gone completely establishment now and it is hard to distinguish his positions from Lamont's. They both support raising taxes again to avoid offending influential interest groups that deserve offending. They argue that economic growth is what Connecticut needs most though the state will never have it as long as those interest groups keep first claim on state government's revenue.”

The pursuit of the elusive unaffiliated vote has destroyed more politicians in Connecticut than the usual and expected corrupt political activity.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Blumenthal, Kavanaugh, And Democrat Hackery

U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, re-elected in 2016 and not up for election until 2022, is in danger of becoming a tiresome party hack. However, in two years there is plenty of time for necessary course corrections. The political manual for slippery politicians may be found in T. S. Elliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

 There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
… And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

CT Republicans: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory, Part II

Guest blog By Sean Murphy

In my last commentary,  I discussed what Bob Stefanowski will face from Republican Party insiders and elected officials.  Keep in mind while Republicans won all over the country since 2010, Connecticut Republicans lost every statewide elected race and could not muster control in the General Assembly. 

The reason for that is incumbent Republicans always do what they see as the minimum to get re-elected.  They cozy up to local town committees.  They get their state grants, in many cases via bonding for some local pork project that gets them positive press.  Then after they put their time in, they move on up to a high paying job and get their outrageous pensions and lifetime health insurance.  

What are the key issues that need to be front and center? 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

What Would Lincoln Do?

Republicans, we all know, do not know how to campaign -- which is why they lose elections. In the modern period, political jousting is either murderous or feckless. Twitterdom is full of deadly thrusts unleavened by humor, the opposite of wit.

Let’s suppose Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bob “the re-builder” Stefanowski were Abe Lincoln, sans beard but with a similar sense of humor. Someone at a political rally once accused Lincoln of being two-faced – he was  being rather subtle on the issue of slavery– at which point Lincoln stopped his speech and shouted back, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?” The audience shivered with appreciative laughter, and laughter in politics is better than votes because it engages the stomach muscles and the thorax. Voting is a public duty most people choose to ignore, particularly in our day of snake oil salesmen. But laughter cleanses the soul and shocks the memory. Remembering a good joke is so much more pleasant than remembering a humorless politician.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Clean The Green

Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent tells us that Mike Carter, long associated with New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, has left the building: “Carter’s personal relationship with the mayor became strained in recent months, with Carter reportedly growing openly critical of her performance. A lunch between the two failed to ease tensions.”

New Haveners cannot help but notice, as did Bass in his report, that Carter’s resignation “comes at a time when City Hall has been buffeted by bad news, from a wave of over 100 K2 overdoses in several days on the Green, to controversy over city budget deficitscredit ratings agencies, education cutsemployee theft with a city credit card, and the purchase of $4,000 [worth] of uniforms for mayoral staffers.”

There seems to be a lot of beef on that plate. And yet, Harp will survive the buffeting, largely because the Democrat Party has had a lock on New Haven since 1953. The last Republican chief executive of New Haven was William Celentano, the city’s first Italian mayor, a funeral director.

CT Republicans: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Guest Blog

By Sean Murphy

The August 14th Republican primary left me quite confused.

In our current environment, only half of Republican voters voted for Joe Markley for Lt Governor.

We elected an actual outsider president who, astonishingly, makes and keeps promises.  Americans of all political backgrounds despise double talking politicians.  We can see every day how murderously the Swamp in DC behaves towards President Trump.