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Showing posts from January, 2012

Donovan Wants Minimum Wage Boosted

Speaker of the state House of Representatives Chris Donovan, now running for the U.S. Congress as a Democratic candidate in Connecticut’s 5th District, will be leading a group of Democrats who want to make changes to the state’s minimum wage laws, according to a notice from WTNH news channel 8. “They have scheduled a news conference on Tuesday at the Legislative Office Building to discuss their proposals, including increasing the current hourly rate of $8.25 an hour. “Another possible change under consideration is imposing automatic increases in the state's minimum wage, based on the cost of living index. Several states already have such a requirement on the books. “House Speaker Christopher Donovan, a candidate for the 5th congressional district seat, is expected to be joined by several lawmakers, a union official, a business owner and a minimum wage worker. “The issue will likely be taken up in the new session of the General Assembly, which opens on Feb. 8.” Most econom

Vanderbilt Chancellor Issues Edict Affirming New Policy Offensive To Religious Groups On Campus

The new policy in place deprives religious groups on campus of effectuating their mission because the policy removes standards of leadership, according to Chris Godfrey, the National Advisor of Beta Upsilon Chi, Inc. Mr. Godfrey has sent out the following media release: “Dear News Team, “I would like to inform you about a situation at Vanderbilt University that has escalated over the past few weeks and would like to encourage you to get the word out about this story. The Chancellor at the university, Nicholas Zeppos, sent out an e-mail two weeks ago informing the student body about a new non-discrimination policy that will that undermine the integrity of many student religious organizations. This issue deals with our First Constitutional Right, Freedom of Religion, Press, and Expression. “He says in his e-mail that ‘I want to assure you the university does not seek to limit anyone's freedom to practice his or her religion. We do, however, require all Vanderbilt registere

We The People Press Release On FOI Request

Following below is a Press release issued by We The People Of Connecticut Inc. 1 PRESS RELEASE – 1/27/12 Hartford, CT— On January 26, 2011, We the People of Connecticut, Inc., utilizing a team of representatives in a coordinated effort, simultaneously filed six formal Freedom of Information requests with six state agencies, including Governor Dannel Malloy’s office, seeking to obtain all documents relevant to the issuance of Governor Malloy’s Executive Orders Nine and Ten. After waiting approximately four hours at Governor Malloy’s Office, Governor Malloy’s General Counsel, Andrew McDonald provided We the People of Connecticut with a single compact disk containing 44 documents. The documents provided, however, were primarily copies of agendas, minutes, and related materials created by, or presented to, the working group at its open meetings. We, the People of Connecticut, Inc. requested the following: “We request the inspection and copies of any and all communications in th

Malloy And His Critics

Kevin Rennie, a political columnist who writes for the Hartford Courant, very likely can expect a sling or an arrow to be coming his way sometime soon. Malloyalites do not react with equanimity to sharp criticism , and in a recent column Mr. Rennie notes that Mr. Malloy, short on cash he needs to plug a reappearing budget deficit, is “squeezing the Mohegans,” owners of one of Connecticut’s two Indian casinos, “for political contributions at the same time he is wielding the power of his office.” Mr. Rennie notes that the Clean Election Fund, which gave Mr. Malloy more than $8 million to level the playing field between candidate for governor Malloy and his Republican rival, has tapped itself on the shoulder in its annual report for having made it possible for Connecticut citizens to reclaim “their government with the already dramatically reduced role of special interest influence in Connecticut elections." But they haven’t, Rennie writes: “No, it hasn't. On Feb. 3, the he

Pelosi To Obama: Run Against Us

This from former Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, via The National Journal : “And I think it’s not only OK for the president to run against a Do-Nothing [Congress]—I encourage it; it’s essential to the well-being of the American people. First and foremost, this isn’t about politics. It’s about the American people. I think he’s doing the exact right thing, and I support him.” Mrs. Pelopsi was House Speaker, it should be recalled, at a time when her party controlled both houses of congress and the presidential office. And Democrats even then could not produce a budget. The day President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union message to Congress was the thousandth day the nation stumbled forward without a budget. Like the Prodigal’s Son, American, deep in debt, is struggling forward on continuing budget resolutions. When the president and congress bumped their heads on the debt ceiling, they escaped further lumps by raising the ceiling from

The Brave New World Of Political Campaigns

The pre-nominating convention battle, now in full swing among Republicans, is a painful winnowing process. Already a number of Republican presidential hopefuls – Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, businessman and entrepreneur Herman Cane, Texas Governor Rick Perry – have succumbed to the political grim reaper. Former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich, Senator Rick Santorum and U.S. Representative Ron Paul have been left to tell their tales. They continue to battle, mostly against themselves, with occasion forays against President Barrack Obama who, one supposes, is enjoying the show – and taking notes -- while political operatives outside the closed circle of his campaign advisers are editing Republican clashes for YouTube. Mr. Paul has a tight-fisted articulate crowd of libertarian admirers following him wherever he goes; Mr. Santorum has done remarkably well among conservative Republicans; Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich have p

Is The Mayor Of East Haven A Disabled Idiot

The following note is taken directly from the minutes of a meeting of the State Employees Retirement Commission , an agency under the direction of Comptroller Kevin Lembo: “I have a matter in the MERS [Municipal Employees Retirement Services] Unit that I would like to bring to your attention. A member of the system was receiving a disability retirement. In November he was sworn in as the Mayor of East Haven. At that time we provided him with a letter advising him that it was necessary to terminate his disability retirement benefit effective November 30, 2011 related to two provisions for MERS. First, under the rehired retiree provisions and second under the disability retirement provisions that to be eligible for a disability retirement you must continue to remain disabled. The member is appealing the decision to terminate his disability retirement benefits.” The unnamed member in the MERS unit “sworn in as the Mayor of East Haven” is Joseph A. Maturo Jr., who recently came und

This Is A Republic?

In the wake of a downgrade by Moody’s, Governor Dannel Malloy has deployed his recision authority to trim Connecticut’s budget. A few points ought to be made. These are recisions made by the governor unilaterally, which means that legislators who will be running for office soon will not be leaving any unsightly fingerprints on what may be temporary budget cuts. Temporary cuts – the funding can be restored any time – cannot solve permanent problems. The monies Governor Dannel Malloy will be wringing out of the Department of Children and Families, $28.4 million, and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction services, $14.5 million, are either necessary or unnecessary funds used to provide services for abused children and people afflicted with mental disorders. If the funds are unnecessary, the cuts should be made permanently by a legislature constitutionally charged with the authority to approve budgets. If the funds are necessary, they should be restored to the agencies. It

Fish Wrap For January

Chairman Mao Swallows Dodd It may be only a matter of time before the Chinese swallow Hollywood, and along with it lobbyist-in-chief Chris Dodd, according to a piece in the Financial Times : “A consortium led by Chinese media entrepreneur Bruno Wu is scouring Hollywood for film companies to acquire, in a sign of China’s growing interest in the US entertainment industry.” Malloy Makes Himself At Home In Davos “Economic and political elites,” otherwise known as snooty suicidal capitalists, are due to meet in Davos Switzerland for their usual shindig. This year progressive Democratic governor of Connecticut Dannel Malloy will be in the crowd. Klaus Schwab, host and founder of the annual World Economic Forum, sums up the tenor of the meeting, according to a report in Breitbart : "We have a general morality gap, we are over-leveraged, we have neglected to invest in the future, we have undermined social coherence, and we are in danger of completely losing the confidence of f

Connecticut’s Vanishing Surplus

The state of Connecticut should not be running surpluses. A surplus is the amount of money the state has overcharged its citizens to meet expenditures. Connecticut has run surpluses ever since former Governor Lowell Weicker engineered his income tax to pay for extravagant spending that has increased the state’s budget from $7.5 billion under former Governor William O’Neill, the last pre-income tax governor, to $20.4 billion under Governor Dannel Malloy. Successive surpluses have been tucked into budgets for the last 20 years, with predictable results; Connecticut’s chief engine of growth for the last 20 years has been municipal and state governments. Partially owing to surpluses and a perverse notion that the state of Connecticut never had a spending problem during these years of plenty – the operative assumption of pro-spending forces, iterated in scores of editorials and op-ed commentary, having been that the state could solve all its budget problems by increasing revenue -- the bo

Malloy Re-inventing Taxes

In the new state reinvented by Governor Dannel Malloy and his Malloyalists, sin taxes are in. And if the state is unable to reap enough taxes from current sins – boozing, gambling and driving cars to work rather than biking to the job -- Connecticut will, with the help of the federal government, create new vistas of sin and tax them to the hilt. The tax on tobacco products in Connecticut, already the highest in the Republic, was increased in Mr. Malloy’s first budget 27.5 to 50 percent on products such as cigars and pipe tobacco. Snuff tobacco suffered a tax increase from $0.55 to $1 an ounce. Former Attorney General Richard Blumenthal rose to prominence in the state by beating the tobacco industry with a big litigation stick; recently Senator Blumenthal sought to end cigar smoking as at sporting events. Taxes on gas in Connecticut, an energy product frown upon by the environmental industry, is the highest in the nation, largely because the state realizes a revenue bonanza on gas

No Tax Increases, No Increase In Progressivism

Governor Dannel Malloy, busying himself with re-inventing Connecticut, has now formed a task force to review and assess the effectiveness of the state’s business tax credits, according to a recent press release. Executive Order 17 “will create a nine member Governor’s Business Tax Policy Review Taskforce. The taskforce’s mission will be to review the state’s business tax policies to ensure that Connecticut is getting the maximum return on its investments, with an eye toward policies that will make the state even more competitive for future job growth.” “Over the last year,” Mr. Malloy said, “we’ve made every effort to reinvent our state, so that we could turn around twenty years of job loss and spur our economy. From ‘First Five’ to the bipartisan jobs package, we sent a message across the country and around the world that Connecticut is open for business. This taskforce will make sure that Connecticut is getting a solid return on those investments by closely examining ways to r

Who Are The Ron Paul Independents?

Reporting on the New Hampshire primary, NBC Politics on MSNBC noted: “Remarkably, self-described independents accounted for nearly half of all voters Tuesday – a piece of data which has implications for November. Paul won 32 percent of independents, with Romney getting 29 percent, and Huntsman picking up 23 percent of them.” The datum on the Independent vote is important for a number of reasons. New Hampshire and New England is considered fertile political ground for liberals, which is why Barry Goldwater said many years ago that if you lop off California and New England, you have “a pretty good country.” It is remarkable that half of people voting in the Republican primary were Independents. And it is equally remarkable that Mr. Paul, a libertarian who is by no means moderate, was able to garner such a large chunk of the Independent vote. The literature on Independents is scant. Woodrow Wilson International Center scholar Linda Killian has written a book due out in May title

Sicily And Malta, A Political Odyssey

Andree in Malta “It’s not what you known that counts. It’s not even who you know that counts. It’s what you got on who you know that counts.” -- Sicilian saying It may be possible that there is a Sicilian crouching in the soul of every journalist worth his ink. My recommendation for people who travel is to allow for a bit of serendipity in their trip. Malta, for Andree and me, was the serendipitous part of our travels to Italy and beyond. Why, it may be asked, Malta? Because of Mary from Malta, of course. We met MFM while living in Bethel Connecticut some years ago, when the world was young and Europe was not on the point of economic collapse. Mary and her husband lived next door, and Andrée and she struck up a friendship that revolved around Malta, a mystery my wife had not yet penetrated. Andrée is a voracious reader of mysteries -- and people. When after several trips to Europe we became poorer and poorer – owing mostly to politicians on this side of the pond who do n