Monday, December 31, 2012
Most seemingly endless U.S. Senate careers end with a whimper rather than a bang.
When Dennis House, the moderator of “Face the State” on WFSB Channel 3, asked Senator Joe Lieberman how he would like to be remembered by history upon his retirement, Mr. Lieberman said the question put him in mind of Winston Churchill who, when asked a similar question, said he thought he would be well remembered because he himself intended to write the history of his time and place. Immediately, Mr. Lieberman, perhaps familiar with Mr. Churchill’s voluminous writings, said he didn’t know about writing history himself, but…
Friday, December 28, 2012
Shortly after Governor Dannel Malloy nominated his chief counsel Andrew McDonald to Connecticut’s Supreme Court, the Day of New London noted that it was “a testament of how far Connecticut has come that the least controversial fact about Andrew J. McDonald, nominated by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday to join the state Supreme Court, is that he is openly gay.”
When Mr. Malloy announced awhile back that his administration was the gayest in Connecticut history, no one bated an eyelash. Mr. McDonald was married to Charles Gray in 2009 by then Mayor of Stamford Malloy; under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Michael Lawlor, the author of the problem ridden Earned Risk Reduction Credits program, is also openly gay.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
It was only a matter of time before some Democratic politician high on demagoguery got around to linking the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Republican caution in Washington concerning President Obama's tax hikes.
Here is U.S. Congressman John Larson, courtesy of the Hartford Courant, holding forth; for good measure, he managed to fold hurricane Sandy into his rhetoric as well:
U.S. Rep. John Larson, a Democrat from Connecticut’s 1st District, invokes the school massacre in Sandy Hook and the devastation of Storm Sandy in his statement asking House Republicans to get back to work.
“The fast approaching fiscal cliff, now only five days away, has already created uncertainty for many and threatens to raise taxes and cut services for millions.
“In Connecticut, New York and New Jersey Americans and their families wait for the relief aide that will help them rebuild following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
“And after an unprecedented tragedy in Connecticut that shook the nation to its core and one of the worst acts of violence in our nation, Congress has a responsibility to act on legislation ready to help prevent future violence.
“I am prepared to do the job I was sent to Washington to do. It’s my hope that House Republicans will answer the call of millions of Americans who more than ever need Congress to put partisanship aside, and get back to work.”
Sunday, December 23, 2012
The mass murder in Sandy Hook has spurred an effort, not always successful in the past, to bum-rush gun restriction legislation through both the U.S. Congress and Connecticut’s General Assembly.
State gun control laws, as a general rule, are far less successful than national laws because the effective reach of state laws ends at the border. Criminals bent on mayhem may acquire weapons “illegal” in Connecticut by purchasing them outside the state, acquiring weapons on the black market or simply stealing them in states in which laws are less restrictive than those of Connecticut. National gun control laws would be uniform and apply in every state in the union. Connecticut’s gun control laws, the fourth most restrictive in the nation, were not successful in preventing a murderous assault by Adam Lanza on the Sandy Hook Elementary school in which 6 faculty members and 20 children were cruelly slaughtered in two classrooms by a determined murderer who apparently stole an arsenal of weapons from his mother, his first victim.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Following the horrific mass murder in Sandy Hook, Connecticut – 27 people slain, 20 of them innocent children – it took but a moment for some politicians to mount their various hobby horses and, in an effort not to let this bloody crisis go to waste, call loudly for “immediate action” on gun control measures. Here is the Hartford Courant lashing the political draft horses: “Stay angry. Remember how you felt this weekend. Don't let the faces of those children go until meaningful, actual steps are taken to make this a safer and less violent country.”
Any call for immediate action while the heart is bludgeoned by emotion should be politely resisted, because right action – the only kind that actually solves problems – generally follows in the train of right thought. Emotional responses, however appropriate given the circumstances, often lead to ineffective dead end streets and solutions that only solve the problems of those proposing solutions.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Gérard Depardieu, the French actor who moved to Belgium recently to escape the confiscatory 75 per cent top marginal income tax rate imposed on millionaires by newly elected French President François Hollande, is at least as “French” as the Eiffel Tower. And his background points to a proletarian upbringing.
When another of France’s sons – in fact, the richest man in the country, Bernard Arnault, the CEO and chief shareholder of the luxury behemoth LVMH – kicked the socialist dust of France from his A. Testoni Moro monk-strap shoes and moved to Belgium to escape the depredations visited upon him by M. Hollande, the first socialist President of France since François Mitterrand left office, the left wing Libération expressed its contempt for the rich in a headline on its front page: “Get lost, you rich b------.”
Sunday, December 16, 2012
1) Adam Lanza’s mother is not responsible for the crime, nor is his father or brother. The Lanza’s were divorced. In a report from the Daily Mail of Britain, a former classmate of Adam Lanza is reported as having said, “He was a loner at school and hyper intelligent. But in recent years he disappeared off the radar. The word is that he was badly affected when his parents split and that might be what pushed him over the edge.” But divorces do not lead ineluctably to carnage of this kind. There is no necessary connection between solitude and murder.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Connecticut Commentary -- here: http://donpesci.blogspot.com/ -- is now accepting nominations for "Un-Person of the Year."
Please submit the name of the un-person you will nominate and a brief, say, two line message explaining your nomination.
Nominations will be posted on Connecticut Commentary (It would be nice if I could post your name along with the nomination, but non-scatological anonymous nominations will be considered.
I’m hoping the thing can be up to open the New Year, Jan 1.
I’m hoping the thing can be up to open the New Year, Jan 1.
It's OK if you open your humor sluice gates in your nominations.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Connecticut no longer can produce sufficient revenues necessary to pay for its improvident spending. Its revenue engines, after years of uncontrolled acceleration, are sputtering and wheezing, businesses are looking for the exit, and the ONLY remaining option – assuming the state is not interested in declaring bankruptcy as its itch to spend dooms all prospects of recovery – is real spending reform.
Real reform would involve identifying spending drivers and offering solutions that cut spending permanently. Temporary and half solutions will not do. And spending reform, always painful, cannot be accomplished in the absence of a reform vanguard made up of courageous politicians and tribunes of the people who are willing to press needed spending reforms in the face of a strenuous opposition from entrenched interests.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
“Gov. Dannel P. Malloy reinforced today that there's a new tradition at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce's annual holiday breakfast: Expect a serious speech reviewing the challenges facing Connecticut, not a comedy roast.
"’I don't do poems,’ Malloy said. ‘I don't do humor well.’"
Monday, December 10, 2012
The Malloyalist tree has lost some leaves along the way as the governor approaches the end of his first term in office. The latest to depart is senior advisor Roy Occhiogrosso, said to be Governor Dannel Malloy’s “closest confidant.”
Mr. Occhiogrosso’s own reaction to his departure was uncharacteristically understated, almost blasé: “I personally think people tend to stay in these jobs too long some times. I had a great time. It's time to do something else."
Sometime last January, Mr. Malloy opened the exit door a crack. He told his staff that those who did not want to remain with him as he served out the next two years of his term in office should leave then, but Mr. Occhigrosso agreed to remain for yet another year.
Saturday, December 08, 2012
Searching for the real Saint Nicholas presents the usual problems. Historians in the age of the saints were not interested in removing certain doubtful accretions from their hagiographic accounts. It is very difficult, if not impossible, at this remove to separate the historical wheat from the chaff in the legends of old Saint Nick; and doing so would be inadvisable – because legends also affect history; in fact, the legend may have a more profound effect on events than what we moderns call historical facts.
It does not help that the legend and hagiography of Saint Nicholas of Myra (4th century) is in some measure intermingled with the life of Nicholas of Pharroa, monk of Sion and Bishop of Pinara (6th century).
Church records in the 6th century were more complete than those of earlier centuries because the Christian church only began to flourish after a long period of severe persecution had ended. Nicholas of Myra (in present day Turkey) is a saint of the persecuted church, a time in which Christian saints witnessed to the truth with their blood, sweat and tears.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Charming how Connecticut, whenever the state dips its toes into a budget crisis, tends to cook the books.
During his first gubernatorial campaign in 2010, Governor Dannel Malloy campaigned on a platform to adopt real world accounting measures so that the accounting sins of preceding governors – two of them Republicans and the third a “Maverick” Republican – would not be visited on Mr. Malloy or succeeding governors, yea, even to the third generation.
That was what Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures (GAAP) was all about. Connecticut’s modified cash basis system, an accounting method full of blue smoke and mirrors, had played havoc with state budgets, the governor and his Malloyalists said. Adopting GAAP would end what one reporter at the time called “an array of accounting gimmicks that have pushed current expenses into future years.” No more budgetary sleight of hand, the governor strongly implied in his public statements.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
The first shots of the 2014 gubernatorial campaign were fired by Malloyalist pit bull Roy Occhiogrosso and state Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo shortly after former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley announced at the end of November his availability for the Republican nomination for governor.
Asked by a reporter to comment on Mr. Foley’s early entrance into the gubernatorial arena, Mr. Occhiogrosso sniffed, “We don’t comment on Tom Foley’s political ambitions. He lost one race. He’s more than welcome to lose another.”
Ms. DiNardo, coloring within the lines of Mr. Occhiogrosso’s curt dismissal, said in a media release, “Tom Foley just doesn’t get it. Like Mitt Romney, he doesn’t understand the challenges that average hardworking people face. He is just another out-of-touch vulture capitalist who sees the average resident as something less. It’s a toxic world view that the voters of this country rejected just a few weeks ago. And if ambassador Foley runs again, he’ll find out exactly what the voters of Connecticut think of his economic philosophy.”
Monday, December 03, 2012
A business reporter for a Hartford newspaper writes in an above the fold, front page story, “In An Era of Fiscal Crisis, Malloy Has Few Places To Run,” that “Malloy's budget chief issued a firm statement in writing: ‘The Governor will NOT propose tax increases as a solution to these challenges.’"
The “challenges” are a budget deficit in Governor Dannel Malloy’s first budget of $362 million, a figure that will escalate in coming weeks, and a future projected deficit of $960 million per year in each of the next three years. Connecticut’s total state debt – including pension fund debt of $60 billion and $20 billion in bonded debt – is the third highest debt per capita in the United States and represents about 40 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Saturday, December 01, 2012
Such are the parallels between the Malloy and Obama administrations that it might almost be said President Barack Obama is now replicating on a national scale The Malloy Way, with one important exception.
When Governor Dannel Malloy first came into office, Connecticut was facing a daunting deficit of about $3 billion in a biennial budget of about $20 billion. Hoisting the flag of “shared sacrifice,” Mr. Malloy raised taxes, imposing on Connecticut the largest tax increase in state history. Mr. Obama’s most recent gambit is to raise taxes immediately on the country’s malefactors of great wealth in a special session of the congress, saving until tomorrow – “which creeps in this petty pace to the last annals of recorded time” -- any strategy to reduce spending.
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