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Showing posts from February, 2011

Malloy’s Reality

The salient points of an interview with Governor Dannel Malloy in Politico, “Malloy talks of new reality of labor," are here quoted as fully as possible:

“Malloy assumed $1 billion in concessions from public employees for each of the next two years in his budget, but he also proposes a broad-based tax increase and $800 million in line-item cuts.”The operative word in that sentence is “assumed.” It should be noted in passing that the tax increases in Malloy’s budget are a reality, while his spending cuts are an “assumption.” Malloy’s whole budget package, it should also be noted, is subject to revision by the Democratic controlled legislature.

The members of public employee unions and the union’s support staff in the Democratic controlled legislature, Mr. Malloy supposed in his interview with Politico, are “not happy at all since I’m a Democrat and I’m not supposed to be doing those kinds of things.”

Republican Governor Jodi Rell is becoming a stock character in Mr. Malloy’s justif…

Malloy Fondles The Third Rail

Governor Dannel Malloy touched the third rail of Connecticut politics when, edging toward transparency in government, he proposed in his budget that members of the General Assembly should vote up or down on state contracts.

While the state legislature presently has the authority to accept or reject public employee contracts, the legislature tends as a matter of course to wink contracts through the sausage machine without much thought and, perhaps more importantly, without leaving any tell-tale fingerprints on such approvals or rejections. Presently the contracts become operative when the legislature allows them to take effect after 30 days has elapsed without public debate.

Mr. Malloy’s proposal would force individual members of the General Assembly to vote on important contracts that draw upon appropriations, a function of the legislature rather than the executive department, many years out.

Democracy does not flee from its responsibilities. As a general rule, more oversight of cont…

Gaddafi Gone

The UK’s Daily Mail reports that “Libyan leader…” – actually, he’s a dictator – Muammar Gaddafi left Libya with his pants on fire and now is on his way to Venezuela, where Venezuelan leader – actually, he’s a dictator – Hugo Chavez rules the roost. The country is now left in the hands of this young lady…

…a considerable improvement.


Mr. Gaddafi is still hanging on. The Michael Jackson of Middle East autocrats was shown in a recent photograph sporting a Minnesota flap eared hat and carrying a spiffy white umbrella. He appeared in Tripoli, where dead bodies litter the streets, to speak to the nation on a government run station for a brief 20 minutes, which is unusual for him; like most autocrats, Mr. Gaddafi is loquacious. In his speech, he vowed to take the streets back from “the terrorists,” one of whom is pictured above celebrating the country’s liberation from… well, the country’s chief terrorist.

Donovan And The Progressives

The preferences of progressive Democrats in the legislature – most especially the leaders of the Democratic caucus, Speaker of the House Chris Donovan and President of the Senate Don Williams – are well known. Neither of them was constrained during the administration of Governor Jodi Rell to hide their light under a bushel basket.

Ever since the state income tax was presented to the General Assembly as a fait accompli by former Governor Lowell Weicker, a renegade Republican turned Independent, Democrats in the legislature, led by Mr. Donovan and Mr. Williams, have been agitating for a more progressive income tax. Their agitation hit pay dirt during the sleepy Rell administration when the tax was made progressive over the hearty objections of a much diminished Republican legislative contingent. Republicans argued at the time that revenues already were progressive on the receipt end, since those considered “rich” by Democrats were paying 66 percent of the income tax.

As soon as he touc…

Union Contracts Will Determine Connecticut’s Fate

Whither Connecticut?

All the statistics point downward.

Connecticut is first in the nation in per capita debt. Our pension liabilities would make a Croesus blush. Very little has been done to address the problem of long term spending. Negotiations with powerful unions are pending.

Compared with hard edged races in New Jersey and New York, both Connecticut gubernatorial candidates in the last election ran soft campaigns. Neither Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey nor Andrew Cuomo of New York were shy in telling people during their campaigns precisely what they hoped to do to address their state’s chronic problems -- cut spending, no tax increases.

For this reason, it may be said that Mr. Christie and Mr. Cuomo have clear mandates. Governor Dannel Malloy, on the other hand, let it be known that he would both raise taxes and cut spending if elected, but his campaign fell far short on particulars, and most attempts to draw specifics out of him were artfully deflected.

Mr. Malloy’s was …

DeStefano’s Choice

It would be a considerable understatement to say that Mayor John DeStefano of New Haven is everyman’s liberal; he is every liberal’s liberal.

A piece written by Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent, “A Mayor’s Moment Of Truth,” very likely came as a shock to confirmed liberals in Connecticut, a state bluer even than Massachusetts. Progressives, liberals with attitudes, one supposes were even more distraught.

Listening attentively, the thud, thud, thud of bodies falling from third story windows in New Haven might have been heard by those without wax in their ears in the corridors of power in Hartford.

What? DeStefano? Even he?

A few days before a fireball of union revulsion, supported by a group of White House affiliated brown shirts, burst over Wisconsin, Mr. DeStefano faced his own moment of truth in New Haven and decided to say no to a police union. The results were predictable. The police marched on Town Hall. Busy agitating in Wisconsin and other hot spots of union resistance in…

Gov. Malloy’s First Budget Plan

Gov. Danell Malloy, as everyone knows, was mayor of Stamford for many years. Those who were paying attention to his gubernatorial campaign will recall the claim, often made by Mr. Malloy during some rough and tumble debates with his Republican challenger, former ambassador Tom Foley, that Mr. Malloy’s governing approach as mayor of Stamford brought jobs to his city, some from contiguous states in which the business climate may have been less friendly than Connecticut’s.

On Feb 15, one day before the governor’s budget address to the state legislature, the Stamford Advocate carried a column written by Angela Carella titled “Higher The Taxes, Deeper The Hole” that compared Mr. Malloy’s budget strategy with those of two governors facing the same debt problems, Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey:

“Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie say they won't raise taxes, but Malloy this week proposed one of the biggest hikes in Connecticut history.

“Malloy made it clear that ta…

Malloy Takes Left Turn Into Cul De Sac: The Die Is Cast

The ghost of progressivism past has now formerly entered the body of Gov. Dannel Malloy, and to memorialize the occasion Eyewitness News Channel 3 titled a story following news of the governor’s “historic” tax increases -- “Malloy Proposes Largest Tax Hike In History: Every Tax To Be Raised.”

The governor’s budget proposal represents the best of all possible worlds for Chris Donovan, the most faithful Speaker of the House state employee union workers ever had.

In presenting his budget to Connecticut’s left of center legislature, Mr. Malloy, dangerously inattentive to budget politics for the last decade, has now repeated the mistakes of former Gov. Jodi Rell. Forewarned that if she presented to the legislature a budget that satisfied half the spending ambitions of the legislature, she would end up with one that satisfied nearly all the ambitions of the Democratic dominated General Assembly, Mrs. Rell proceeded to do just that. All Republicans governors – AKA “spending firewalls” -- who…

Jim Buckley Luncheon: “Freedom At Risk—Reflections on Politics, Liberty, and the State.”

First, a necessary admission: Bill Buckley, Jim Buckley’s brother, was a good friend of long standing. Bill had a genius for friendship, as anyone who knows him – including his political enemies -- will readily attest.

For about ten years, letters passed between us. I sent him columns occasionally, and he returned this insufficient gesture by sending me books: collections of his columns, longer pieces he had written for one or another of his semi-autobiographical books such as “Miles Gone By” and “Nearer My God To Thee,” novels and reminiscences he had written, an unending stream of literary delicacies. It seems an odd arrangement, I wrote him once: I send you a letter; you send me a book. I was sure he was being shortchanged in the transaction.

I don’t think I ever met Bill’s brother Jim, the sainted senator from New York, as Bill playfully called him, but Chris Powell, the Managing Editor of the Journal Inquirer, has a lively recollection of Jim in a campaign mode.

“I got to know him…

To China With Love

2011年2月9日,作家佩奇(Don Pesci)观看了神韵纽约艺术团在康州首府哈特福德著名的布什耐尔(The Bushnell)剧院的首场演出。(摄影: 王建明 / 大纪元)
【正体版】 【打印机版】 【字号】大 中 小 【大纪元2011年02月10日讯】(大纪元记者王建明美国康州报导)2011年2月9日,康州作家佩奇(Don Pesci)观看了神韵纽约艺术团在康州首府哈特福德(Hartford)著名的布什耐尔(The Bushnell)剧院的首场演出。佩奇(Don Pesci)在观看后表示,神韵令他非常地感动:“我非常欣赏所有的舞蹈,尤其是其中有关神和信仰的内涵,我觉得这是非常重要的。”




悉尼时间: 2011-02-10 16:39:45 PM 【万年历】

Connecticut Taxes Too High Says Business Leader

Aetna’s CEO, Mark Bertolini, gave a shout through the ear trumpet of heedless legislators at a Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce breakfast, according to a report in the Business section of a Hartford paper:

"We've done the analysis, and, quite frankly, Connecticut falls very, very low on the list as an environment to locate employees . . . in large part because of the tax structure, the cost of living, which is now approaching, all in, the cost of locating an employee in New York City.”

Aetna -- a company that insures people in 160 countries around the world and maintains offices in Indonesia, Beijing, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi -- is well positioned to move jobs around on the international chessboard.

The business reporter noted darkly in his story, “In short, the Hartford-based health insurer could add workers anywhere around the globe as it grows its health-technology business. Forty percent of Aetna employees today work from home full-time.”

Aetna was engaged in opening offic…

Dodd Ready For His Close Up

Depending upon which report one credits, former U.S. Sen, Chris Dodd may be on his way to Hollywood to accept a position as a lobbyist for Tinseltown.

Citing a person close to the Motion Picture Association of America, the Los Angeles Times reported that “Dodd had emerged as the top contender and was now the only candidate in negotiations for the job, which pays $1.2 million a year.”

The transition from the U.S. Senate to Hollywood should be effortless for Dodd, who in the past has rubbed shoulders with some notable denizens of Fantasyland.

No doubt some critics of the former senator will get in their licks.

When Mr. Dodd threw his hat in the presidential ring sometime past, a Washington based British journalist writing for the Tribune Review noted sourly in a column that Mr. Dodd had been friendly with Bianca Jagger, Mick’s ex-wife.

The columnist noted bitterly in a January 2007 report that Mr. Dodd was known as the Senator from Accounting” owing to the legislation he had initiated fo…

Blumenthal, Abortion And Vietnam

U.S. Sen. Dick Blumenthal, recently appointed to the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, may have had yet another Zelig moment when, resisting efforts to regulate abortion, he declared, “I'm new to the Senate but I'm not new to this battle. Since the days of Roe v. Wade, when I clerked for Justice Blackmun, as a state legislator, as attorney general, I have fought this battle.”

Following Mr. Blumenthal’s remark, a CTMirror reporter commented, “the problem is, Blumenthal clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in 1974, the year after Blackmun wrote the Roe v. Wade decision,” causing Mr. Blumenthal’s chief of staff, Laurie Rubiner, to erupt indignantly, “This is a very unfair route you are going down. We'll remember this."

In a previous incarnation, Ms. Rubiner was the Vice President for Public Policy for Planned Parenthood, described in Ms. Rubiner’s Planned Parenthood biography as the “nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider.” Abor…

Now Hear This

Aetna’s CEO, Mark Bertolini, gave a shout through the ear trumpet of heedless legislators at a Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce breakfast, according to a report in the Business section of the Hartford Courant:

"We've done the analysis, and, quite frankly, Connecticut falls very, very low on the list as an environment to locate employees . . . in large part because of the tax structure, the cost of living, which is now approaching, all in, the cost of locating an employee in New York City.”The Courant business reporter noted that Aetna was well positioned to move jobs around on the international chessboard:

“Aetna insures people in 160 countries around the world, Bertolini said, and has offices in Indonesia, Beijing, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi -- and was even working to open offices in Egypt until massive political upheaval there.

"In short, the Hartford-based health insurer could add workers anywhere around the globe as it grows its health-technology business. Forty percent o…

Citizen Advisory Ethics Board, Plategate And Dickman

Kevin Rennie, a blogger and Hartford Courant columnists, has been ruled out of order by Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy after Mr. Rennie published the names of Friends Of Jodi Rell who received low number license plates. Among the beneficiaries of Mrs. Rell’s largess was “Charles F. Chiusano, a member of the state’s Citizen Advisory Ethic’s Board, registered ‘872’ on December 21st,” according to Mr. Rennie.

Mr. Rennie requested the information from Roy Occhiogrosso, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s communications chief, who passed along the request to Malloy Chief of Staff Tim Bannon, who then queried the Department of Motor Vehicles, which routed the names back to Mr. Bannon, who then passed along the information to Mr. Occhiogrosso, who passed along the information to Mr. Rennie, apparently without scrutinizing the list or asking the gate keeper lawyer for the Malloy administration, Andrew McDonald, whether the release of such information was legal. Mr. Rennie, Mr. Bannon and Mr. McDonald…

Reform Arrives in Connecticut

Sunday’s editorial in the Hartford Courant was titled “Reform In The Air For Public Pensions” and, as if to press the point, the paper provided a further caption: “States and municipalities must face up to excessive costs and retrench.”

Really, they MUST.

Of course the necessity for reform has been in the air, even here in inattentive Connecticut, for a good long time, while the itch for reform in Connecticut’s only state-wide newspaper has been relatively recent. The state’s failure to keep up its pension obligations probably turned the trick. Investors are now fleeing municipal pension funds, and the state’s own fund, the paper advises, is “sickly.”

An actuarial report last year “showed the fund to be in the worst shape ever — due to a decline in investment earnings common to all states and to bad decisions by politicians trying to balance the budget. Those included deferred contributions to the fund and early-retirement programs.

“The report showed $9.35 billion in assets in the pen…

Cuomo For President?

Charlie Gasparino, a senior correspondent for Fox Business Network and a columnist for The Daily Beast, thinks Gov. Andrew Cuomo has his eyes fixed on the presidential prize.

Mr. Cuomo’s budget this year, some people in New York suppose, is a presidential campaign announcement:

“The son of Mario Cuomo—‘the liberal's liberal,’ to borrow a phrase from The Wall Street Journal—declared the state "functionally bankrupt" thanks in part to its big-government policies. He then declared war on both the welfare state and his father's old liberal voting base (and the base of the New York State Democratic Party): The public employee unions, the special-interest groups, the lobbyists representing health care and education, all of whom have for years forced the state to live beyond its means because of automatic funding increases regardless of "outcome measures" and with "no performance measures," he said.

“When he gets done with them, Cuomo vowed, they would al…

The Kennedys Are Coming

A mini-series based on the Kennedy family was originally commissioned by The History Channel. Pressure was exerted by surviving members of the family, and History passed on the project, which was then picked up by Reelz Channel. The eight part series will run beginning April 3rd.

The trailer for the series may be found here.