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Showing posts from September, 2009

Dodd’s Prospects, The Coming Kakistocracy

There appears to be a lot of chatter among conservatives concerning Sen. Chris Dodd’s prospects for re-election. Most of them want a badly wounded Dodd to run for re-election. Independent voters, many of whom in Connecticut may be disgruntled Democrats, do not appear to be enchanted with Dodd’s re-election.

Among what is amusingly thought of as the Democratic “base,” there are many activist bloggers who rather hope Dodd will see the light and step aside so that Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, their designated replacement, may fill the senator’s large shoes, thus preserving the seat for those who frequently visit such sites as MyLeftNutmeg, a leftist commentariate watering hole. Dodd has made strenuous efforts to get on the right side of the left-most corner of the Democratic political barracks through targeted video opportunities.

What are his prospects for re-election? Certainly they are not as bright as they were several years ago, when Republicans in the state were scouring th…

The Skin Of Dodd’s Teeth

The Wall Street Journal is reporting: “The discovery that Countrywide Financial Corp. recorded phone conversations with borrowers in a controversial mortgage program that included public officials -- and that those recordings have been destroyed -- has prompted new congressional calls for more information about the program.”

Just wait till Dodd’s Republican assassins hear about this.

The Importance Of Being Transparent

Someday -- hopefully soon -- transparency will come to Connecticut, and it will change the whole political landscape. Transparency opens government of any kind – state, municipal and federal – to as many people as are affected by political transactions, which is to say all citizens of the state.

The concept is shockingly simple: Put on the internet all governmental transactions, including pricing, and the flow of information will be enhanced between the government and the people, the government and its vendors, the government and intergovernmental agencies and the government and the media. It is crucial to require that no legislation shall be passed until five days have elapsed after the posting. In this way, any possible disadvantages in bills may be corrected though input provided by watchful citizens.

It is often said that the media is our public watchdog, which is true enough. But transparency turns every citizen who has access to a computer into a public watchdog.

There are three…

THE CONSTITUTION, THEN AND NOW

“What the three [Madison, Hamilton, Jay] did not know, could not know, was that the right to have the Constitution ratified would . . . rival any that would follow in the history of the country” -- Triumvirate, p. 38

The Articles of Confederation were a failure. They needed not to be improved but wholly rewritten. The Constitution was the best form of government ever offered to the world. But to get it ratified, nine of the 13 states were needed.

Madison, Hamilton, and Jay started writing essays, all under the name of Publius, (with widespread support from the biased newspapers). How they got started, was not revealed in the mass of letters available to author Bruce Chadwick for his new book, “Triumverate” (Naperville, IL, Sourcebooks, 2009).

Fears by Anti-Federalists and Federalists were intense. If the Constitution were not ratified, what would become of the states that voted against it? Anarchy? Like a ship without a rudder or pilot.

The chief obstacle was the need for a Bill of R…

Daffy Khadafy At The UN, New Yorker Reviews

Colonel Moammar Khadafy of Libya, the Michael Jackson of dictators, brought along his own translator to regal members of the United Nations. Khadafy rambled on about 75 minutes, got caught in a labyrinth of ideas, and when he left the podium, there was not an open eye in the place.

His Arabic translator threw in the towel 45 minutes into Khadafy’s address, according to the New York Post.

"’I just can’t take it any more,’ Khadafy’s interpreter shouted into the live microphone – in Arabic,” before skipping school.

New Yorkers were unimpressed, but this, the home of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, is a hard audience.

Bubba75 asked, “Can you imagine the stench associated with this buzzard? I wonder how many baths he has taken in his life. Thank God I am not captive to any UN session. This has to be the greatest collection of murderers, liars and thieves ever assembled under roof. Is there any way this place can be relocated? Let me suggest Siberia or the Sahara Desert.”

Fat Clemen…

Pratt’s Bye Bye

Pratt&Whitney is moving some of its operations out of Connecticut because it is more cost effective for the parent company, United Technologies, to have the work done elsewhere, in this case in Georgia, Singapore and Japan.

A far flung enterprise, UTC also has a research facility in China. The bad news is that China is now selling to Iran products that may, over the course of time, enable it to blow up Israel . Iran -- whose undemocratically installed president, Mahmoud Amadinijad, is busy making new and improved explosive devises that blow up American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan -- used to be considered part of the axis of evil; now it is simply yet another member in good standing at the ineptly named United Nations.

The good news is that Georgia is in the United States . There is another Georgia , formerly a satellite of the Soviet Union , that has been attempting, without much aid and succor from president of the United States Barack Obama, to fend off the grasping Prime M…

Rell Hornswoggled

It was abundantly clear, even before Hartford Courant investigative reporter Jon Lender began rummaging through Gov. Jodi Rell’s e-mails, that the lady had been hornswoggled by Democratic legislative leaders DonWilliams, President Pro Tem of the Senate, and Chris Donovan, Speaker of the state House and former union leader. The hornswoggling was done mostly for the benefit of incumbent Democrats and their union connected followers, who run the Democratic politicians on a short leash.

In the long run, those who will lose most from the hornswoggling will be employees not hired by businesses that will decline to move to Connecticut, and low caliber home grown businesses that will move out of state. High caliber businesses – Pratt&Whitney comes to mind -- will bribe timorous legislators and acquire temporary tax relief at the expense of small businesses yet hanging on by their bloody fingernails. Young people will continue to flee our tax drenched state in favor of sunny skies elsewhe…

A Hotel With A Conscience

The Helmsley Hotel in New York has told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the murderer of Neda need not apply there. If you’re in New York, you may want to drop by and pay your compliments to a hotel with conscience.

"As soon as Helmsley corporate management learned of the possibility of either the Iranian Mission or President Ahmadinejad holding a function at the New York Helmsley Hotel, they immediately ordered the cancellation of that function,"

Democrats And Connecticut's One Party State

Having shut the Republican leadership out of private budget negotiations with Gov. Rell, Democratic leaders are now using the same ploy as they negotiate with the governor concerning a series of bills necessary to implement the Rell-Williams-Dovovan budget.

Democratic leaders President Pro Tem of the Senate Don Williams and Speaker of the House Chris Dovovan, formerly a union steward, figure that their colleagues in the legislature need not be included in the negotiations because Republicans simply could not bring themselves to vote in favor of a massive $37.6 billion budget top-heavy with tax increases and short on true spending cuts.

It should surprise no one in the state that Democrats, certain of their majority power in the legislature, now have begun to adopt tactics more often deployed in Banana Republics such as Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.

Democrats have been successful in bludgeoning Gov. Jodi Rell into accepting a progressive income tax, as well as a budget she had pledged to o…

Pravda, Speaking "Truth" To American Power

In Russian, pravda means "truth," hence the title of this piece.

Pravda Predicts USA Defeat in Afghanistan

“Former KGB Special Forces Colonel Oleg Balashov, who took part in the Soviet military campaign in Afghanistan, told RT he doubts more U.S. soldiers will increase the chances of victory. This comment comes as the U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan have doubled over the last year while the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, admitted that even more are going to be needed to defeat the Taliban.

"’This war will be the same as it was in Vietnam and as the Soviet Union had in Afghanistan back in the 1980s,’ said Balashov. Afghanistan ‘won't let them succeed, you can't do this to the people in this country. The Afghan population has reacted to this war as expected.’"

Russia Concludes Arms Deal With Chavez

“Russia will give Venezuela a 2.2-billion-dollar loan to purchase Russian arms. It is not going to be the first defense deal b…

Poland Responds

It’s difficult to fool a man who feels the knife at his throat.

The Associated Press is reporting on the reaction to President Obama’s decision to abandon a defense shield in Poland and Czechoslovakia.

"'Betrayal! The U.S. sold us to Russia and stabbed us in the back,' the Polish tabloid Fakt declared on its front page.

"Polish President Lech Kaczynski said he was concerned that Obama's new strategy leaves Poland in a dangerous "gray zone" between Western Europe and the old Soviet sphere."

Obama Stiffs Poland and the Czech Republic

To please Russia's Vladimir Putin, President Barack Obama has decided to shelve anti-missle defenses in the Czech Republic and Poland on the 70th anniversary of Poland’s invasion by the Soviet Union:

"Fears of Moscow run especially deep in Poland, highlighted by a key anniversary Thursday. Exactly 70 years ago — on Sept. 17, 1939 — Poland was invaded by the Soviet Union at the start of World War II."


Rell and Democratic Leadership Hammered In Poll: Voters Are Catching On

Connecticut voters have given both Jodi Rell and the state legislature the raspberries, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.
The poll shows Rell’s favorability rating plummeting from a high of 83 percent in January to 65 percent in July. Her rating was further degraded when, after a month spent excoriating tax and spend Democrats, she permitted a budget largely fashioned by Democratic leaders President Pro Tem of the senate Don Williams and Speaker of the House Chris Dovovan to pass without vetoing it.

The latest poll shows a six point drop to 59 percent after the shakers and movers of state government passed a budget that raises taxes to liquidate a $2 billion deficit.

There are few true spending cuts in the budget, which relies upon one time revenue sources, repealable cuts, a possibly ruinous progressive income tax and revenue transfers.

The poll asked if Rell “copped out” by allowing the budget to pass without her signature.

She had indeed, said a majority of respondents: 56 percent…

Dodd And Him (Michael Moore)

Michael Moore’s new anti-capitalist propaganda epic steps on a few sore Democratic toes, according to the Washington Post

“Moore zeroes in less on Phil Gramm or other GOP string-pullers than he does on White House economic adviser Larry Summers, Robert Rubin and Sen. Chris Dodd. Especially Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Moore gets an on-camera interview with the mortgage officer who handled the special VIP loans provided to Dodd and other big names, which have dogged Dodd's reelection bid.”
The film’s ideological pretensions pivot around last fall’s bailout. On the right side of the barricades, according to Moore, stood valiant populists pitted against Wall Street titans “calling in their Washington chits.”

The film itself does not confront one obvious wrinkle: Conservatives were heartily opposed to the bailout, and in fact still are.

The Washington Post – which may possibly expect to be harangued in Moore’s next film – notes:

“Left unsa…

CONFUSION IN HEALTH CARE

A recent column in Citizen News brought forth letters and articles, information and misinformation.. Let’s correct some, starting with the luminaries’:

Pres. Obama. Illegals are not provided for in our bills. Not so. There have been two amendments barring illegal aliens from being benefited by health-care, and both have been voted down. The independent Congressional Research Service says there are numerous loopholes in the bills which allow illegal immigrants to benefit. Example: Where one family member qualifies for inclusion, his whole family is included.

If you like your policy, you can keep it,” repeated many times). Maybe, maybe not. . HR3200 provides that at the moment it becomes law, there will be no more enrollments in Medicare, and those who have lost their insurance for whatever reason will be put into Public Option. No choice.

Congressman Christopher Murphy: “There’s no reason why members of Congress shouldn’t . . . choose between the public option and private plans like every…

On Constitutional Interpretation: Blumie To The Rescue

There are two U.S. Constitutions, as everyone knows: your Constitution and my Constitution.

What a constitution says has now become mostly a matter of interpretation, and interpretations can be stretched to mean pretty much anything under the sun; which is to say constitutions have become authorizing instruments that allow interpreters to do pretty much whatever suits their fancy.
You say you want to abort fetuses. Simple as pie.

Since the constitution says nothing about abortion or fetuses, you imagine an “aura” surrounding it that speaks to privacy rights. From there, it is a simple matter to connect aural “constitutional” privacy rights with the right to fend off unwanted governmental intrusions, and there you have it: You now have given constitutional birth to a new baby un-fathered by any of the constitutional authors, including the Deists among them. We live in the hope the new right will not be aborted by some other interpreter who may have fallen under the sentimental spell of so…

Perry of Texas Despairs of Obama Administration

The Associated Press is reporting that Governor Rick Perry of Texas, despairing of the federal government – the same folk who want to run insurance companies – is sending Texas Rangers to quell the violence along the state’s border with Mexico:

“Special teams of Texas Rangers will be deployed to the Texas-Mexico border to deal with increasing violence because the federal government has failed to address growing problems there, Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday. "It is an expansive effort with the Rangers playing a more high-profile role than they've ever played before," Perry said of the Department of Public Safety's elite investigative unit.”

Obama Polls Trending Downwards

An Associated Press poll shows President Barack Obama’s approvals trending downward.

According to the survey of 1,001 adults conducted with cell and landline telephones from Sept. 3-8, public disapproval of President Barack Obama's handling of health care has jumped to 52 percent; his overall approval rating, up seven points since July, shows 49 percent now disapprove of how he is handling his job as president; on health care, forty-nine percent say they oppose the health overhaul plans being considered by Congress, up from 43 percent in July; 52 percent say they disapprove of how Obama is handling the economy; a similar number disapprove of his handling of taxes; and 56 percent dislike his handling of skyrocketing budget deficits.

The Last Word

Gov. Jodi Rell attempted to line item veto certain earmarks in the Democrat’s budget, at which point she bumped into Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a student of the state Constitution.

Blumenthal gave it as his official opinion that the state Constitution prohibited the governor from using her line item veto without having signed the bill. Rell had permitted the budget to pass into law without her signature.

Blumenthal’s correct constitutional reading provoked the following remark from House Republican leader Larry Cafaro: “Game over. Fight done. Lay down your arms. It's over. They won. The Democrats won. The people of the state of Connecticut lost - unless you're the Westbrook YMCA or the Manchester food pantry. This is the equivalent of Robert Duran - 'no mas' - against Sugar Ray Leonard.”

Cafero’s outburst was correct. It is also constitutional.

And so ends the budget battle 0f 2009, with a whimper rather than a revolutionary bang.

God help the state of Connecticut…

Following the Red Brick Road To LaLaLand

What’s coming at us – at warp speed – down the red-brick road is an economic catastrophe.

Things are really bad when the Chinese, our dept patrons, begin to throw Ben Franklin our way.

According to an article in the British Telegraph, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee and now head of China's green energy drive Cheng Siwei admires Ben Franklin enough to have read him, which is more than can be said for President Barack Obama’s economic advisers:

“Mr Cheng said the root cause of global imbalances is spending patterns in US (and UK) and China.

“’The US spends tomorrow's money today,’ he said. ‘We Chinese spend today's money tomorrow. That's why we have this financial crisis.’

“Yet the consequences are not symmetric.

“’He who goes borrowing, goes sorrowing,’ said Mr. Cheng.

“It was a quote from US founding father Benjamin Franklin.”

The Chinese problem is that the country’s leaders -- far more persuasive than, say, send’em-a-dead-fish Rahm Emanuel – have n…

What We Can Learn From China

Former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee and now head of China's green energy drive Cheng Siwei on Ben Franklin:

“Mr Cheng said the root cause of global imbalances is spending patterns in US (and UK) and China.

“’The US spends tomorrow's money today,’ he said. ‘We Chinese spend today's money tomorrow. That's why we have this financial crisis.’

“Yet the consequences are not symmetric.

“’He who goes borrowing, goes sorrowing,’ said Mr. Cheng.

“It was a quote from US founding father Benjamin Franklin.”

Is It Over Yet?

According to Bloomberg News, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after having “won” a fraudulent election, is feeling his oats.

Ahmadinejad said, after having received promises of shipments of oil from the democratically elected dictator of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, that the debate over Iran’s nuclear program is over. He won the debate, but Ahmadinejad is perfectly willing to discuss with American President Barack Obama other isues of moments – like, the weather.

On his world-wind tour, Chavez dropped by the Venice Film Festival, to see a screening of Oliver Stone’s new film on Venezuela’s Che Guevara, tea shirts to follow. There is no word yet from the prestigious gathering of artists to indicate that Chavez has seen Michael Moore’s newest anti-capitalist film.

Stone said that making the film was a "liberating experience."

In an attempt to counter "the media's attacks on Chavez, the movie shows very clearly the level of stupidity in the kind of broad statements" that are made ab…

Gobble, Gobble

Like most turkeys, the new Democratic-Rell budget will be gobbling a lot of money. But not to worry, said Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, from the Democratic Republic of New Haven, the new “millionaire’s tax” has become “the centerpiece of Democratic tax policy for this whole decade.”

The state’s precarious budget is put together with revenue engines that melt like popsicles after a few years, after which the vanishing one-time revenues will bring us all back to square one: The present Democratic-Rell budget borrows $1.3 billion, drains the rainy day fund of $1.5 billion, and looks forward nervously to the receipt of $1.5 billion in narrowly targeted federal stimulus money – no way to run a $17 billion dollar a year business. And, oh yes, the state is looking square in the eye of a $9 billion future deficit.

Happy days are here again.

Just as on the style runway red is sometimes the new black, Loony’s new progressive income tax is the new income tax; and all of us know what happene…

Courant Readers Nix Budget.... Nooooooooo!

According to a poll taken by the paper, more than 70% of Hartford Courant readers do not like the budget agreed upon by Gov. Jodi Rell and Democratic leaders in the legislature. Of those polled, 83.9% would rather be in Texas.

Today's Buzz
Are you happy with the new state budget?
• No. It doesn't shrink the size or cost of government. (506 responses)
70.3%
• Yes. It preserves much-needed state services. (98 responses)
13.6%
• No. It will drive wealth from the state. (80 responses)
11.1%
• Yes. It keeps Connecticut competitive during the recession. (36 responses)
5.0%
720 total responses
(Results not scientific)
The paper has not yet taken an internal poll on the question.

Courant OKs Bad Budget

With some reservations, the Harford Courant, a paper whose publisher just apologized for his reporters who plagiarized from other papers, is okay with the state budget. The Courant calls the plagiarists “aggregators.”

In an editorial, the Courant asserts that Rell was “wise” to sign the tax swollen document, although the paper considers it a deficient budget:

“Gov. M. Jodi Rell was wise Tuesday in bringing to an end her long fight with legislative Democrats by holding her nose and letting their latest budget bill pass into law without her signature. She doesn't like the budget but she was right in concluding it isn't worth it to prolong the stalemate.

“In truth, it isn't a very good budget. There is far too much borrowing to make it balance and too much spending. But Connecticut needs a state budget.”
The governor, the editorial affirms, showed “admirable flexibility” by agreeing to the Democrats “’millionaire tax’ to raise revenue.”

The Democrats “partly” accepted the gove…

Hartford Mayor Perez Arrested A Second Time

Another politician, this time Mayor of Hartford Eddie Perez, has been arrested – for a second time – for having commited what would have been considered in the age of Tammany Hall politics as usual.

The mayor has been arrested under RICO statutes, for trading his influence at city hall for discounted work on his Bloomfield Avenue home and attempting to extort money from a private developer for the benefit of Abraham L. Giles, once an influential North End politico.

RICO legislation was designed to prosecute drug lords and criminals connected with the Mafia, but it has been applied for the past few decades by aggressive prosecutors to political crimes. The college professor who drafted the legislation said it should never be used to prosecute politicians.

Mr. Perez's lawyer, Huber Santos claims the charges leading to the second the second arrest were filed “intentionally to defeat our ability to have a jury trial and vindicate the mayor of the charges that are pending.”

He is asking fo…

The Signs Of The Times

These are the signs that try men's souls.

Where Do Republicans Go From Here?

Former senator and governor Lowell Weicker – maverick Republican (i.e. closet Democrat) – once said about his party, “It’s so small. Why doesn’t somebody take it over?”

Weicker, assisted by his aide Tom D’Amore, once did attempt to take over the party. Weicker, then a senator, eased D’Amore into the chairmanship of his party and, before you could say Benito Mussolini, the two were conspiring to “open” the party’s nominating conventions to unaffiliated voters.

Party central simply refused to decompose on cue and politely rebuffed Weicker. Both Weicker and D’Amore eventually shook the dust of their old, small, inconsequential party from their feet, Weicker to run as governor on a synthetic party ticket. D’Amore drifted off the party reservation, was seen canoodling with Jesse Ventura, and later re-entered Connecticut’s political orbit as an advisor to Ned Lamont, who tried and failed to unhorse Weicker’s old bete noir, Sen. Joe Lieberman.

The best that can be said about Connecticut’s moder…

The Die Is Cast

The state Senate last night approved a budget along party lines. Voting against the budget were all 12 Republicans and 1 Democrat; 22 Democrats voted for the budget.

The $37 billion budget increases spending over a period of two years by $800 million, according to one report.

An amusing moment occurred when Democrats claimed to have cut the budget by 35%. Their “cut” refers to an accounting decrease in the current services budget. That budget projects future increases; a lower than expected increase is counted among Democrats as a “cut.” In reality, the budget increases spending by $1.8 billion.

“Don’t spend your money before you’ve got it” was sage advice offered us by our parents in our golden youths. In “cutting” the future services budget, Democrats have “saved” money they have not yet appropriated.

Over in the House, a dissenting Democrat, Rep. Linda Schofield of Simsbury, voted again the bill, along with about a dozen of her colleagues. A weary Schofield explained, “I’m tired, jus…