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Lamont and the Business of Business

"The business of America is business"  -- Calvin Coolidge Governor Ned Lamont likes to talk shop with businessmen. A Hartford Courant story, “ Gov. Ned Lamont tells Connecticut businesses he’s ruling out ‘broad-based’ tax increases ,” will not please Democrat progressives in Connecticut who seem fully prepared to eat businessmen and businesswomen for lunch. The large and overbearing contingent of progressives in the state's Democrat Party caucus cannot be satisfied with sentiments such as this: “I’ve been pretty clear. I have no interest in broad-based tax increases,” Lamont told president of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) Chris DiPentima. And, he hastened to add, “Every governor, Republican or Democrat since, or including, Lowell Weicker, has done that and it did not solve the problem.” The problem is, of course, lavish, continuing, long-term spending -- and consequent increases in taxes. Taxes in Connecticut have been permanent, while cost
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Biden’s Inaugural Speech

There was, during President Joe Biden’s inauguration, lots of ceremony, much of it older than Biden, but not a great deal of pomp. The pomp was dampened considerably by circumstances. On January 6, two weeks prior to the inauguration, the US Capitol building was illegally invaded by a platoon of discontents. Then too, Coronavirus, a national killjoy for nearly a year, is still with us. The masks on our faces, however necessary they may be, are beginning to weigh heavily on our spirits and seem to some an emblem of abject submission to a sometimes irrational authority. Lady Gaga’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was almost operatic. Most of us recall going mute in grammar and high school when we reached for the high notes. Gaga rolled over them like a ten-wheeler. The lady can sing. No one botched the oath of office. It remains to be seen how faithful the oath takers will be to their pledge “to execute the office of -- fill in the blank – and… to the best of [their] ability

Journal of the Plague Year, Part 5

The Country Mouse   A Conversation With A Radical Contrarian A note to the City Mouse: You know Manny Pope, who calls himself a contrarian. My expurgated interview with him is below. I’d much appreciate your comments. Q: People have called you a conservative, a rightest Republican and so on, but you resist all these titles and consider yourself a radical small “r” republican. Why so modest? AP: Modesty is the key to understanding. We stand under what we wish to understand, which means we look up modestly at the transcendent truth. The truth is always above us – like Melville’s “inscrutable blue sky,” like the stars in the firmament, like the God of our fathers.   Politicians, especially in a constitutional republic, are temporary nuisances. They come and go. They do not go quickly enough, a failing of modern politics, but eventually, through inattention, arrogant immodesty or old age, they disappear. A radical is one who goes to the root of things. Q: Like President Donald Tr

Pelosi-Power and Connecticut’s US Congressional Delegation

Pelosi “She’ll cut your head off, and you won’t even know you’re bleedin g ” – Alexandra Pelosi , documentary filmmaker and Nancy Pelosi’s daughter During the recently concluded US elections, Democrats lost some seats in the U.S. House, but not enough to throw the House into Republican hands. Democrats also won sufficient seats in the U.S. Senate to tip votes in the chamber in their favor; the Senate is now tied 50-50 among Republicans and Democrats, but Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be able to cast a deciding vote when necessary on any measure. And, of course, President-Elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office on January 20. President Donald Trump is due to leave office before that date; he has said he does not plan to attend Biden’s inauguration ceremony. The country now lies expectantly in Democrat hands; which is to say it lies in the hands of Biden, Pelosi and most likely Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, who may share Senate leadership with Republican Mitch McCo

When Empathy Is Not Enough

“Our state Capital,” said Jody Morneault, co-owner of Stackpole Moore Tryon , a landmark clothing store in Hartford, Connecticut’s Capital city, “is totally crumbling, and it’s devastated. Every corporation is closed. The government buildings are closed. Every financial service company is closed.” “We’re literally living on savings and credit cards and I don’t want to close my store so this money meant so much for me,” she said. She was sincerely and tearfully thanking politicians in Connecticut for providing her with some crumbs under the table. Lamont’s reaction to her tearful testimony was disturbingly empathetic.   “Believe, me I hear that pain,” said the man whose dicta, in the absence of fully functioning legislative and judicial branches of government, has caused widespread unemployment in the state. “I’m not much of a clothes guy myself, but I’ll get my kids over there and that should be a decent day.” But, of course, man does not live by crumbs alone. And neither do cit

Democracy, Progressivism, and the Administrative State

Howard Philip K. Howard’s powers of concision are remarkable. In a very readable Yale Law Journal piece, “ From Progressivism to Paralysis ,” Howard, author and founder of the site Common Good , writes:   "The Progressive Movement succeeded in replacing laissez-faire with public oversight of safety and markets. But its vision of neutral administration, in which officials in lab coats mechanically applied law, never reflected the realities and political tradeoffs in most public choices. The crisis of public trust in the 1960s spawned a radical transformation of government operating systems to finally achieve a neutral public administration, without official bias or error. Laws and regulations would not only set public goals but also dictate precisely how to implement them. The constitutional protections of due process were expanded to allow disappointed citizens, employees, and students to challenge official decisions, even managerial choices, and put officials to the proof. Th

The Murphy, Blumenthal Show

                                                       Blumenthal getting swabbed “I don’t know what other option we have” – Connecticut U.S. Senator Chris Murphy The Blumenthal quip most often repeated during the U.S. Senator’s long 46 year reign in Connecticut’s Democrat Party politics was and is: “There is no more dangerous spot in Connecticut politics as that between Blumenthal and a television camera.” His appearances are, shall we say, frequent, and he has in the past joked that he could be counted upon to appear at garage door openings, provided television cameras were present. Blumenthal began his political career in the State House of Representatives, where he toiled for two years before moving on to the State Senate for four years. He served as Connecticut’s   Attorney General for twenty years and then moved on to the U.S. Senate, where he has served, so far, for ten, a long career unmarred by any useful service in Connecticut’s now ailing private marketplace. Connecticu