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Showing posts from July, 2009

Tell Us How You Really Feel Pelosi

Reuters has reported that Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has “ramped up” her criticism of insurance companies.

“It's almost immoral what they are doing. Of course they've been immoral all along in how they have treated the people that they insure. They are the villains. They have been part of the problem in a major way. They are doing everything in their power to stop a public option from happening.”

The immoral and villianous nature of insurance companies has not, however prevented Pelosi from accepting campaign contributions from them.

Johathan Allen of CQ Politics notes that "Pelosi, of course, has accepted campaign contributions from said villains this year and in the past, as have most of her Democratic colleagues. Pelosi's campaign committee, for example, took $2,500 from AFLAC's political action committee on April 13. But she's not giving the money back just because she thinks the sources are immoral and villainous.

"'As…

Weicker Shrugs

Connecticut’s state income tax is Lowell Weicker’s baby pretty much in the same sense that, say, Fords are Henry Ford’s baby.

He’s the guy who twisted knuckles and toes to get the thing past. Weicker now wishes to disassociated himself from the inevitable and logical consequences of the tax, and to this end he has given an interview to Ted Mann of the Day of New London in which he claims that the current deficit of $9 billion, give or take a billion, is the result of human nature and not a foreseeable consequence of his tax.

Who knew, after all, way back in early 1990, that the tax designed to discharge a deficit of a little more than a billion in a $7.5 billion budget would metastasize, leaving the state, only two governors after Weicker gave birth to it, with a budget more than twice as large and a debt more than three time as large?

In a rare humorous moment from Weicker, the father of the state’s income tax claimed that his lieutenant governor, Eunice Groark, mothered the state’s mul…

Hail and Farewell

The words “tax increase" were still dew on the lips of Gov. Jodi Rell when Don Williams, president pro tem of Connecticut’s Democratic dominated legislature, began to twist the knife in her ribs.

One paper wrote that Williams had “hailed the development.”

Said Williams, the development “could mark a watershed moment in the budget crisis that has gripped Connecticut for more than a year. Fiscal reality has finally caught up with Gov. Rell — the same fiscal reality she should have dealt with in January, not July."

"For six months Gov. Rell has led the legislature and the public on a wild goose chase — ignoring deficit projections and avoiding the toughest decisions. It is unfortunate that it took the consensus revenue forecasting law to get the governor to finally address fiscal reality."

A "watershed" moment for Williams is one that allows him to continue to stroke and pet his favored constituencies without having to make "hard" budget cutting decisi…

ObamaCare’s Pig In A Poke

Before she began to comment upon what is now called ObamaCare, Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York and presently an adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, took the precaution of reading both the voluminous stimulus bill as well as the health care bill, a path not followed by the majority of legislators who either voted or are due to vote on both measures.

McCaughey’s findings ought to disturb everyone who will be affected by either bill – which is to say, everyone in the United States.

Her recent commentary in Bloomberg News begins: “Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.

“Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.”

That’s right: Health care …

Dodd Knew About VIP Discounts

Brebart News is reporting: “Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation's largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.”

ObamaCare

Obama maintains—with the support of the AARP—that overall, his changes in health-care are helpful to seniors and will save them thousands of dollars. Not so. Seniors are the big losers under ObamaCare according to Betsy McCaughey, the expert who has studied all the congressional plans. To make the cost deficit-neutral, which Obama declares is the goal, $500-$550 billion must be taken away from Medicare spending: less to nursing homes, drugs, protocols, to minimize the handicaps of disability.

As a starter, the use of specialists should shift to primary-care doctors, on the misconception that the elderly overuse specialists. Betsy McCaughey reports that studies have shown that for heart patients, a shift to primary care results in a higher death rate. Primary-care physicians frequently misdiagnose heart patients, who are more often readmitted to the hospital. They die sooner.

Dr. Emanuel, the brother of Rahm Emanuel, has written extensively in favor of abandoning efforts to hel…

Dodd Untrustworthy, Is There A Blumenthal In His Future?

A majority of Connecticut voters do not consider US Sen. Chris Dodd to be trustworthy, according to polls cited by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post.

Cillizza writes, “And, Dodd's showing is mediocre across party lines. While Republicans are expectedly down on Dodd (14 percent say he is honest and trustworthy), his numbers among Democrats -- not even six in ten (58 percent) self-identified Democrats view Dodd as honest and trustworthy -- are troubling; among independents a whopping 61 percent say the incumbent is not honest and trustworthy.”

Although Connecticut’s Democratic State Central Committee has passed a unanimous resolution pledging its support for Dodd, Cillizza notes, “Senate strategists almost certainly took note of the fact that state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D), who is widely seen as the heir apparent if Dodd steps aside, was wildly popular in the Q poll; 79 percent approved of the job he is doing while just 13 percent disapproved.”

Colin McEnroe reports, you decide.

Michele Jacklin, former chief political writer for the Hartford Courant, is running for a spot on the Glastonbury Town Council.

In an introductory biography, Jacklin notes that her son, a second year law student at the University of Maryland, is a Peace Corp volunteer in Nicaragua. The present president of Nicaragua is Daniel Ortega, once a Sandinista, now an ardent supporter of the heavy-breathing, anti-American president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Both countries, Nicaragua and Venezuela are unstable and destabilizing, not the best place for a Yanqui Peace Corp. law student. Jacklin’s chief concern in wanting to serve on the town council is “to maintain Glastonbury's excellent quality of life, while ensuring the town's affordability so that people of all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds can make their homes here.”

Michele Jacklin: I have lived in Glastonbury for 26 years with my husband, James Estrada. We have two children: Emily, a second-year law student at the…

Obama More Liberal

President Barack Obama’s approval rating continues to plummet after his address on health care, according to Rasmussen.

“The President is now seen as politically liberal by 76%. That’s up six points from a month ago, 11 points since he was elected, and the highest total to date. Forty-eight percent (48%) now see him as Very Liberal, up 20 points since he was elected."

Redemption, Capital Punishment And Dr. Petit

It is always just a wee bit tricky to use the word “redemption” in connection with capital punishment, because redemption is a religious category. To be redeemed means to be saved. “We are all saved in the blood of the lamb.” This means that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross has saved us from our sins. Presumably those sins may include multiple murders.

Catholics believe that sin demands expiation on the part of the sinner; penance is expiation. Protestants believe that good works are not useful in the redemptive scheme; we are redeemed by the grace of God alone.

A couple of years ago, according to state prosecutors, two petty criminals, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, both on parole at the time, broke into Dr., William Petit’s house, brutalized the doctor by beating him unconscious with a baseball bat, forced his wife to go to a bank and withdraw cash, raped his wife and daughter, tied his two daughters to a bed and set his house on fire. All the members of Dr. Petit’s family sav…

Slip, Sliding Away

President Barack Obama is slipping -- very quickly, according to Rassmussen:
Fifty-three percent (53%) now oppose the Congressional health care reform package. That’s up eight points over the past month. Just 20% now see health care as the most important of the President’s priorities. Nearly twice as many, 37%, say deficit reduction is most important.The daily poll is worse:The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 30% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -8 (see trends). Just 25% believe that the economic stimulus package has helped the economy.

Dodd, Obama and the Q poll

U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd’s advertising blitz hasn’t helped much.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll puts it this way: “Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd trails former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, a likely Republican challenger 48-39 percent in the 2010 Senate race, but he is inching up in his job approval to a negative 42-52 percent approval rating, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, who has not poured money into advertising and outreach efforts to salvage support within the Democratic Party after his slide in the polls, is even-steven: The poll shows Lieberman with an approval-disapproval rating of 46-46. Dodd’s rating is 42-52 percent.

Dodd's slippage among independents, whose party affections are nil and whose ideology is eclectic, will be crucial in an election. Among independents, Dodd’s approval-disapproval rating is a near fatal 56–27 percent.

President Barack Obama’s approval-disapproval rating has fallen below that of Gov. Jodi Rell in …

The Bysiewicz Report: SustiNet, An Elixir for What Ails You

A new report by Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz created a useful ripple in Connecticut’s political pond.

According to a brief piece in the Connecticut Post, the report indicates that business failures for the first half of 2009 are up 17%. About 7,000 businesses have closed down. In-migration of new business is also down by 9.6%.

The question is: Will these figures have any appreciable effect on Democratic plans to raise corporation taxes by 30% to meet a prospective deficit of $9 billion?

The decrease in business activity in the state, the most important and portentous datum released this year by the Secretary of State’s office, should be regarded as a fatal arrow in the heel of Connecticut’s wounded economy.

Mrs. Bysiewicz’s commentary piece, printed in the Danbury News Times. followed close on the heels of Gov. Jodi Rell’s veto of House Bill No. 6582, an Act Establishing the Connecticut Healthcare Partnership, and House Bill No. 6600, An Act Concerning the Establishment of the Susti…

Connecticut to Business: Go Away

The Connecticut Post is reporting that businesses in Connecticut are closing at a record pace: “Susan Bysiewicz says that in the first half of 2009, nearly 7,000 businesses shut down, a new record for the first half of any year since these figures were first recorded in 2000.

“Bysiewicz says the figure represents a 17 percent increase in the number of business failures from the first two quarters of 2008.

“The number of new businesses is also down. She says business starts of nearly 14,000 in the first half of 2009 are down 9.6 percent from 2008 figures.”

The Davids, Torn Asunder, Settlement Near

The match made in heaven between George David, the former CEO of United Technology, and Marie Douglas David, a Swedish countess, has been torn asunder.

Their divorce hearing was being held in a Hartford court presided over by Judge Steven Frazzini and a pack of lawyers representing both parties.

Several media outlets had been drawn to the scene of the dissolution for reasons having to do with money and dramaturgy. The persistent refrain of most news reports had been: How low have the mighty fallen.

In more amicable days, the Davids together signed a post nuptial agreement limiting any post marital bloodletting to about $50 million, much of which was in stocks. Ms. David and her lawyer wanted about twice that much, and Mr. David understandably had been offering a stiff resistance to the demands, which he considered unreasonable. Having been married for seven years, the settlement for Ms. David represented a yearly salary of about $7,142,913, not a niggardly piece of the marital pie.

The p…

LEVIN ATTACKS STATISTS

The Statist urges Americans to view themselves through the lenses of those who resent and even hate them. He needs Americans to become less confident, . . . and to accept the status assigned to them by outsiders—as isolationists, invaders, occupiers, oppressors, and exploiters. The Statist wants Americans to see themselves as backward, foolishly holding to their quaint notions of individual liberty, private property, family, and faith, long diminished or jettisoned in other countries. . . . -- Mark R. Levin
Mark Levin in his book, "Liberty and Tyranny, A Conservative Manifesto," demonstrates the tyranny of Statists by their positions on current issues. According to Levin on his radio show, he wrote 98 percent of the book before Barack Obama became President. Obama’s name appears only twice, but his positions are apparent on many of the issues discussed.

How does the Statist operate? He attacks the Founding Fathers as slaveholders, and he favors revolutions because they cleans…

The Nation on Obama’s War Of Choice

Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation, the county's premire leftist magazine, has weighed in on the Vietnam-like war in Afghanistan:

Where is the US nightly television (broadcast and cable) coverage of our service people returning in coffins? Where are the brutal and honest images of Afghanistan--of Afghan women and children killed, of US soldiers in the hell of combat. Where is the coverage of the staggering increase of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, traumatic brain injuries and suicides among the many 1000s of service members who've already paid a price for Iraq and Afghanistan? Have the networks and cable channels spent so much of their budgets covering Michael Jackson's untimely death and star-studded memorial, Sarah Palin's ramblings and Mark Sanford's personal and political derelictions that they can't give us the real news we need if we're to be a democracy informed about what our country is doing in our name?

Top Secret Budgets: Crisis, What Crisis?

Every time politicians gather together in secret sessions, journalists the world over feel a floppy emptiness in the pit of their stomachs, perhaps because they realize the justice of George Bernard Shaw’s remark: Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity.

Professional politicians are the conspirators; journalists, on the other hand, like to think of themselves as representatives of the laity.

This rule – that the public business must be conducted in the naked public square, where the tribunes of the people can keep a watchful eye on the conspirators and report back to the laity– is generally waved in around budget time. Here in Connecticut, final budgets are hammered out not in open sessions but in formerly smoke filled rooms where politicians practice their profession, the second oldest profession.

This year, as in most years, Republicans, Democrats and the reigning governor have not been able to fashion a budget while under close scrutiny by the fourth estate. There are many …

Neda and Obama’s Witness

The name Neda, here in the United States and in the world, has become pretty much a synonym for the Iranian resistance, now in a pause mode.

Neda Agha-Soltan was the beautiful young Iranian, not yet wrapped in a burka, shot by a sharpshooter in Iran, whose gruesome death was caught in a brief video seen by millions, including the president of the United States, Barack Obama.

It was that death and the iron fist of the leaders in Iran pummeling unarmed protestors that tore from Obama’s bosom this piece of prose: “The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.”

And then Obama reached for his Martin Luther King: “Martin Luther King once said, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now we are bearing witness to the Iranian peop…

How Much?

According to a story in the Hartford Courant, the state’s US House delegation, all Democrats, voted in favor of climate change legislation that will increase the average American family’s yearly expenses by $1,500. The federal congressional budget office and the US Environmental Protection Agency estimate the yearly rise at $80 - $175 per year.

Asked to clarify the gap between the widely divergent estimates, spokesman for United Illuminating Al Carbone said "From our initial review, we don't think it's going to decrease rates. Let's put it that way.”

Let's put it this way: All regulations involve hidden costs passed along to consumers in the form of price increases. In this way regulatory costs are like business taxes, and business taxes passed along to consumers are destimulants.

What the government gives with the right hand it takes away with the left, leaving taxpayers, to quote an old saw, "holding the bag."

Bill Offered To Repeal Gravity, Colin Powell Offers A Rebuke

Last week it was reported, incorrectly as it happened, that President Barack Obama wished to pass through the US Congress a bill reversing the rotation of the earth on its axis because it had been brought to his attention, by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi some thought, that water in the toilet bowel revolves when flushed in a counter clockwise direction.

“This is intolerable,” the president reportedly said.

And, according to a report by My Way news:

Colin Powell worries that President Barack Obama is trying to tackle too many big issues at one time and he offers this advice: take a hard look at costs and consider the additional red tape that will be created.

"The right answer is, 'Give me a government that works,'" the former secretary of state said in a television interview to be aired Sunday. "Keep it as small as possible," added Powell, who said he has spoken recently with Obama and stays in touch with him. Powell, a Republican, endorsed Obama last year …

Palin’s Choice

Hell hath no fury like a media commentator whose narrative has been scorned.

This is the way things were supposed to go: Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin would abide the pelting of a pitiless storm of law suits filed by her political opponents in Alaska, all of which have been turned aside by the courts; then she was supposed to run either for president or for some other national office, at which point the pelting would begin all over again.

As the Fourth of July approached, Palin announced that she was retiring as Governor of Alaska, and shortly thereafter the speculation hit the fan.

Vain speculators on the left, a good many of whom apparently read Vanity Fair, thought that Palin resigned because she could not bear the heat pouring out of the political kitchen. The Vanity Fair article, ten thousand words long, drew the veil off some of the infighting that occurred in the John McCain political camp after McCain picked Palin to run as his vice presidential candidate, on the whole not a pre…

Obama Takes Hillary’s Advise on Iranian Revolution

Citing a source close to the principals, the Washington Times is reporting that “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged President Obama for two days to toughen his language on Iran before he did so, and then was surprised when he condemned Iran's crackdown on demonstrators last week, administration officials say.

“On the one hand, he may have felt that the United States should naturally criticize the Iranian government's violent crackdown on the protesters," said Alireza Nader, an analyst at the Rand Corp. "On the other, he acknowledged that the U.S. was still willing to engage with Iran in the future. Strong U.S. criticism of the Iranian government could jeopardize future negotiations."

Mrs. Clinton agreed with the president, but she thought it was time to get tougher after the June 20 killing of a young woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, on a Tehran street, officials said. A video of the killing was widely viewed on the Internet.

At the same time, they added, she …

The Fishwrap

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is passing around IOUs. Well after President Barack Obama’s one hundredth day in office, the nation’s unemployment rate has climbed to 9.%. Governor Jodi Rell said “No” to Connecticut’s suicidal Democrats. It's a pretty safe bet that no one either in California or Connecticut will be "living the life of Reilly" any time soon, the subject of this month's word for the day.



Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal thinks that Connecticut’s Ethics Committee attack on the Catholic Church may be unconstitutional. In East Hartford Connecticut on Tuesday, 35-year-old William Castillo succumbed to bullets. The next day on Wednesday, his friends gathered together at a candlelight vigil, and a quarrel over a dog broke out among the mourners. Three people were shot, one fatally. The good news is that police have determined that the second shooting was not in retaliation for the first.

Grandma Rell And Snow White Reconsidered

At one point in his career as a fiscal conservative transforming into a tax and spend liberal, Jim Amann, the then the Speaker of the House now running for governor, speculated that Gov. Jodi Rell’s popularity was unsinkable because the public viewed her as everyone’s grandma. When the “grandma” body-slam failed in its effect, Amann, and other Democrats, took to calling Rell ‘Snow White,’ which was even less productive.

People who know Snow White, an evocation of Eve in the garden, like her because she is snowy and white and not at all like the queen disguised as a farmer’s wife who tempts her fatally with that poisonous but tasty apple.

Amann intended his remarks as withering criticism. The intimation was that in matters of economics, an arcane and highly manipulable science, Rell was somewhat dimwitted when compared to, say, the economic propaganda minister of the Democratic Party, the academic or party functionary with a degree in Early Marx we see regularly on our TV sets waving in …