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Showing posts from March, 2014

Social Issues And The Coming Campaign

A few weeks ago, Governor Dannel Malloy said that people in Connecticut would have to wait until May to discover whether he would run again as governor. He then surprised everyone by tossing his hat into the ring during a recent bond hearing meeting. In fact, the campaign had begun much earlier; the cake was baked even though it lacked the cherry on top. Before his official declaration, Mr. Malloy had said he was much too busy running the state to engage prematurely in a political campaign. He told one reporter that it would be inopportune for him to engage in a political campaign before Republican gubernatorial aspirants had an opportunity to beat up on each other? The pretense was a great tease, strategically necessary but still an obvious imposture.
The Republican gubernatorial field has now been fully fleshed out. Martha Dean, who previously had engaged in campaigns for the Attorney General, was a little late, but she got in before the door closed.

Joy Blasts Through

I’ve run this one before – now again, just to show the power of joy as Beethoven catches it in his "Ode to Joy.” The kids on the street in Som Sabadell square, just north of Barcelona, Spain, seem to have got the idea. One tosses some coins in a hat and steps back in expectation; another climes a lamp post. But they all participate in joy – never shy, always boastful. I try to imagine Beethoven tossing on his pillows with this blast of joy trumpeting his blood. Joy, which seeks unity, blows all lesser emotions to smithereens.

A Kennedy For Connecticut?

State Senator Edward Meyer of the 12th District has decided, following nine year run in the General Assembly, to call it a day.
A New Haven paper is reporting that Ted Kennedy Jr. will decide within two weeks whether he wishes to occupy the soon to be vacant seat. Mr. Kennedy is the son of the late Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy.

The Ghost Monologues, Caligula, Stalin And Kim: Men Like Gods

Caligula


So, I have become a ghost, the nearest I shall ever be to a God again; for, in life, I was a God. Divinity, you know, is the highest form of politics. What is higher or nobler than a God? … But wait: Nobility has nothing to do with it, as if nobility and Godliness could ever share the same stage; a God is above that sort of thing.


As a former Emperor – now, God and ghost – everything for me was permissible, and understandable. I comprehend by grasping my subject from the inside; nothing was alien to me. I am solid as earth now because I know everything; I am in everything, and everything is in me. That is how I know; through a process of identity and self-revelation. I become the thing I want to know – say, a tree, or a young boy, or a virgin – and then, at will, I revert to Godliness.

Malloy, Master Court Packer

A Hartford paper has noted in an editorial that Governor Dannel Malloy, the chief executive of Connecticut’s one-party state, is packing courts with Democratic appointments.  Of the nominees “to fill vacancies on the Superior Court bench and two judges to serve on the Appellate Court,” Mr. Malloy has chosen from a list presented to him by the Judicial Selection Commission eighteen (18) Democrats and zero (0) Republicans. 
In its gently reproving editorial, the paper remarked on the imbalance: “The dramatic partisan imbalance in Mr. Malloy's class of 18 doesn't necessarily mean any of those nominated are unqualified to serve. Each was, in fact, found qualified after an investigation by the Judicial Selection Commission, which prepares a list from which the governor chooses his nominees.”

Connecticut’s Media-Progressive Complex: Or -- It’s The Spending, Not The Taxes, Stupid

CTMirror asks in a recent story “Is it time to overhaul Connecticut’s tax system?”
The progressive wing of the Democratic Party, now in the ascendency in Connecticut, has been trying to “reform” the tax system ever since it was last reformed in 1991 by then Governor Lowell Weicker, the father of Connecticut’s income tax.
In the course of its story, CTMirror quotes William Cibes, identified as “state budget director under Weicker and also co-chairman of the finance committee in 1989-90,” on property taxes. Mr. Cibes recently testified before the General Assembly’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, which in the next few weeks will endorse a measure “that could launch a top-to-bottom analysis of how Connecticut taps taxpayers’ wallets.” Mr. Cibes testified that “high property taxes are a major reason why Connecticut’s tax system is broken. So property tax relief would lessen the economic burden on businesses, municipalities and individuals… Property taxes are relatively stable. Bu…

Pesci, Guest Speaker in Westbrook

I’ll be the guest speaker at the 2014 Holbrook Awards Dinner, a yearly event put on by the Westbrook Republican Town Committee.
The Dinner will be held on Friday, May 9th in Westbrook at Water's Edge Inn and Resort. This year the Republican Town Committee will honor Lester Scott and State Representative Marilyn Giuliano.

For details, click on the invitation here.

Toward A Politics Without Borders

Who shapes politics? The question is not quite so easy to answer as it may seem. In what some politicians consider the good old days, politics was fashioned by the public official running for office, a handful of political associates, party leaders and a few old boys in the establishment media network.
In the modern period, party bosses have all but disappeared; the media network has expanded to include, comedians, Hollywood starlets and bloggers; both political parties have been shorn of much of their power through campaign reforms; primaries have made party convention decisions much less decisive; and politicians – if they are not incumbents – may have half a dozen reasons for entering the campaign jousts.

Malloy’s Non Campaign For Governor: Are We Detroit Yet?

Governor Dannel Malloy’s non-campaign for governor is an insider joke among virtually all Connecticut journalists. If it talks like a campaign, is attended by prominent politicians and holds media availabilities at the home of U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro – it’s a campaign.
Mr. Malloy’s non-campaign status allows him to shrug off as pointless the usual campaign confrontations among viable candidates. His is a stealth campaign that permits his campaign designers to preview possible themes without making commitments to specific proposals.
Until May, when he will formally unfurl his campaign banners, Mr. Malloy’s campaign will be on hiatus. Specific questions put to him by Connecticut’s news media will be handled by functionaries or out of pocket strategists such as former gubernatorial spokesman Roy Occhiogrosso, a Vice President of Global Strategy. These responses – because they cannot be attributed directly To Mr. Malloy -- will be non-committal and every bit as inscrutable as th…

Suzio Calls For Mike Lawlor's Resignation

Says Lawlor responsible for "cover up" of dangerously flawed "Early Release" law Early Release criminals implicated in at least 3 murders


Date: March 13, 2014
For immediate release:


Former State Senator Len Suzio, Connecticut's leading critic of the Early Release program, called for the resignation of Undersecretary for Criminal Justice, Mike Lawlor. Describing Lawlor as “Connecticut’s number one apologist for violent criminals, and the architect and chief defender of a dangerously flawed law." Suzio also said that Lawlor has consistently misled the public about the dangers of the program in an effort to "cover up" the flawed policy.
"Mike Lawlor has consistently used equivocal statistics to bamboozle the media and mislead the public about this dangerous law. But no statistic can cover up the fact that at least 3 Early Release convicts have been implicated in the murder of innocent citizens. Only 2 weeks ago I accompanied the grieving family of I…

Dean Enters The Gubernatorial Race

Attorney Martha Dean – Colin McEnroe calls her “old blue eyes”  – is the equivalent in Connecticut of Sarah Palin nationally, the woman from the wrong side of the political tracks who those fighting the “war against women” love to denigrate. The abhorrence is palpable, and possibly a bit misogynistic. Hartford Courant columnist Rick Green, recently departed to Vermont, way back in June 2010 referred to Ms. Dean as “a heat-seeking Republican missile” and “the blonde gunslinger.” Captivated by the color of her eyes, Mr. Green referred with disdain to the “cyborg-like quality to Dean's tractor-beam blue eyes.” The “blonde gunslinger,” it is well known, regards the U.S. Constitution with some reverence, and this appears to have excited Mr. Green’s barely concealed contempt.
The difference between Mrs. Palin and Ms. Dean is that Ms. Dean is brighter, a more accomplished rhetorician, and, according to Mr. McEnroe, a trifle dangerous: “… I know it’s not a good day when you find out you g…

Gun Control, The Malloyalist Molotov Cocktail, Detroit Or Bust

The premise of Connecticut’s new gun control legislation is that crimes committed illegally with guns may be controlled by such measures as requiring once licit gun owners to register their guns. That premise is doubtful, to say the least.
Connecticut’s new gun control legislation felonizes the ownership of a gun that has not been reported to the state police. According to recent stories, the state is awash in new felons, none of whom have committed violent crimes with their weapons. Among the new felons are some who have failed to register their guns from inadvertence, others who have failed to register for reasons of principle, and still others who are determined to treat the new law in the same way as those who drive cars with expired licenses. This last group is willing to spin the roulette wheel, knowing in advance that they are not likely to commit crimes and so come to the notice of an arresting authority.

What For, Foley?

Most people in Connecticut who still get their news from newspapers, an ever diminishing number, have never attended a press conference.

Sometimes an unexpected rumpus enlivens the event. At a conference launching a study released by the Connecticut Policy Institute (CPI), one reporter, having been upstaged by a questioner, reminded all present, around thirty curious onlookers, that HE was a member of the press and thereafter left the room huffily, his neck stretched out like a cobra’s.
“Who was that? “asked several people who had not had the pleasure of making his acquaintance.  “I hope he’s alright?”
Tom Foley, a Republican running for governor, was at the event lending unction to the presentation. In brief stories filed the same day, it was noted by virtually every reporter that CPI had been financed by Mr. Foley. This was not news to anyone in the room, including the cobra who departed in a vaporous cloud of righteous indignation, although it may surprise some to learn that apart fro…

Towards A TR Conservative Republican Party

Many people may be surprised to hear that President Teddy Roosevelt, the Bull Moose megaphone and the first serious presidential progressive, was a Republican.
It is Teddy that prevents the term “Republican activist” from becoming an oxymoron. There is no question that TR –- some call him the goodRoosevelt -- was what we should call “an activist.”
In the post-Ronald Reagan period -- the present era of a boisterous modern progressive party led nationally by President Barack Obama and here in Connecticut by the ubiquitous Governor Dannel Malloy -- some Republicans are beginning to ask dangerous questions: For instance, what would the policies of an activistRepublican look like? Is it possible to imagine an activist conservativegovernment that would carry us far from the modern progressive and destructive bonfire?

Two Young Republicans

First a disclaimer: Nothing in this piece should be taken as a formal endorsement of the candidates mentioned below. In more than thirty years of column writing, the author has never made a formal endorsement, and it would be a pity to ruin a perfect record.
That said, it’s almost impossible to avoid noticing that the Republican Party in Connecticut has been crowded lately with young blood, not to mention the women upon whom Republicans are supposed to have declared war. This is partly the result of the Republican Party’s years in the wilderness.

Ukraine, Yanukovych’s Day Of Fear

Vladimir Putin has been preparing for this moment ever since the Berlin Wall, like Humpty Dumpty, came tumbling down. The eight oil pipe lines that run across Ukraine from Russia to Europe traverse sacred ground, for it was Ukraine that bore the brunt of Josef Stalin’s man made famine in 1932-33.
Germany – which, unlike Ukraine, is a part of NATO – may have forgotten its Berlin Wall. It’s been twenty seven years since former President Ronald Reagan visited Germany and shouted to free Western Germans within sight of the Brandenburg Gate, “Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall.”

Fire Lawlor

On Friday, February 28, Frankie “The Razor” Resto was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Patrick Clifford to 53 years in prison for having murdered Abraham Ghazal.
Mr. Resto had earlier rejected a plea arrangement, which must have caused Governor Dannel Malloy’s prison czar, Michael Lawlor, a moment of worry. Trials are unpredictable public presentations. One never knows what skeleton from what closet might pop out at you in the public arena.
All the possible skeletons disappeared when Mr. Resto and his lawyer, Glenn Conway, agreed to palaver with the state and arrive at a plea arrangement satisfactory to both.

Lisa

For most of us who knew her, it was impossible to imagine Lisa sick – before she became sick. To do so would have required a leap of imagination most of us are incapable of, because she was the epitome of health. A sheer cliff or a long hike was a temptation she rarely resisted. It was always this way with her.
My earliest memory of Lisa involved a brief walk when she was, as the proverb has it, “knee high to a grasshopper.”
My mother had said to me in that “suggestive tone” none of us safely ignored, “Why don’t you take Lisa for a walk?” And so I did. She was around 7 at the time, the age of reason.
The walk – from the Pesci homestead on 1 Suffield Street in Windsor Locks, down North Main Street, up Chestnut Street, through Pesci Park, though it was not called Pesci Park at that time, down Center Street, where my Uncle John and Aunt Nellie lived, across North Street and back home, the Grand Central Station of both the Pesci and Mandirola clans – was a trip that would last about a half h…

Vote Buying And The Minimum Wage Gambit

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction – Newton’s Third Law of Motion
The best way to persuade someone in Connecticut to vote for you is to buy their vote. Progressives, who nowadays take money from the middle class and give it to one-percenters, do this with a certain reckless abandon: Does anyone truly believe that that Aetna Insurance Company really needed the money given to it by Governor Dannel Malloy to survive?
Of course there are problems when the money to purchase a vote in Connecticut is taken from taxpayers who, given the parlous state of the economy after the Democratic hegemon has taken its share, are drowning in high taxes and liberty strangulating regulations.
To be sure, the debts of the average Connecticut taxpayer are considerably less than those of national taxpayers following four years on President Barack Obama’s economic death row. But almost always the state taxpayer and the national taxpayer are one and the same person, since federal and state …