Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2015

What Did Hillary Know And When Did She Know It? Murphy And Malloy Put Their Shoulders To The Wheel

Thanks to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information suit, we now may definitively answer the question “Who knew what and when did they know it?” concerning the attack on the American Embassy compound in Benghazi, Libya.
American Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other heroic Americans died in the terrorist assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
Almost immediately after the 9/11 assault on the compound, the attack was attributed by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Barrack Obama and, most conspicuously, UN Ambassador Susan Rice to an obscure, poorly produced video that had insulted Mohammed, Islam’s warrior prophet, peace be upon him.

Blumenthal And The Loyal Opposition

When he last ran for the U.S. Senate, Dick Blumenthal, fresh from a two decade stint as Connecticut’s Attorney General, was facing a deep pockets opponent in World Wrestling Entertainment’s former CEO Linda McMahon. It was generally supposed by the fortune tellers in the media that Mr. Blumenthal would easily defeat Mrs. McMahon without breaking sweat – and so he did. Mr. Blumenthal’s current re-election bid features a reversal of fortune, pun intended.
Mr. Blumenthal is himself a multi-millionaire, the eighth richest member of Congress, according to a list of multi-millionaires compiled by Roll Call. Of the top ten richest members of Congress, only three are Republicans.

Looney’s Confession

''Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that man behind the tree” – Russell Long
Appearing on WFSB Channel 3’s Face The State with Dennis House, President Pro Tem of the State Seante Martin Looney made an alarming admission. Mr. House noted that Ben Barnes, Governor Dannel Malloy’s Office of Policy Management chief, had said the state “might be seeing deficits for some time.” Deficits were “the new normal. Do you agree with that?”
Mr. Looney drew a deep breath and, his breast expanding to the ball, rode valiantly into the valley of death.

Populism, Trump style

Progressives, who sometimes have great difficulty making proper distinctions between populism and progressivism, may want to take a gander at populism Trump style, which appears to be a toxic combination of demagoguery laced with ineffable stupidity.
Here is the sad tale according to Charles Cooke of National Review:
“US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has said it is a “great honor” to receive a compliment from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The property tycoon hailed Mr. Putin as a man “highly respected within his own country and beyond”. It comes after Mr. Putin said Mr. Trump was a “very colorful, talented person” during his annual news conference...

Malloy Violates Connecticut Statutory Law, The U.S. Constitution And The Magna Carta

On Thursday, December 10, Governor Dannel Malloy announced that he intended to violate, in order of historic appearance, the Magna Carta, the Fifth and Fourteen Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Sec. 29-28(b) of the Connecticut Statutes.
Mr. Malloy said he was prepared -- by gubernatorial fiat -- to order relevant Connecticut authorities to deny gun permits to anyone whose name appears on federal watch lists.

Connecticut , The State Of Irony

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time -- Abraham Lincoln
Somewhere in Connecticut, the Gods of Irony are chortling.
Many moons ago, Governor Dannel Malloy proposed a major infrastructure repair program that will cost upwards of $100 billion over thirty years. Mr. Malloy’s legacy program -- assuming future legislators and governors do not pass along the debt to future taxpayers beyond the specified payment period, a fanciful assumption -- will tie the hands of Connecticut governors and legislatures thirty years out, crowding out necessary spending until the debt is paid.

The Partisan Budget And Connecticut’s Destiny

Demography, it is said, is destiny. If so, the most current report from the U.S. Census should serve as a splash of cold water in the face of Connecticut legislators.
Marriage in Connecticut during the period surveyed, 2010-2014, has taken a massive hit. Experts say that young adults usually delay marriage because of the burdens of college debt, the high cost of rental housing and anemic salary growth. The high cost of rentals is a measure, in part, of the scarcity of rental housing; through budget mismanagement and a disinclination on the part of the dominant Democrats in the General Assembly to attack spending, Connecticut is still resting somnolently in the lap of a recession that disappeared years ago in the rest of the country; and UConn has just announced plans to boost tuition by thirty one percent.

Letters To A French Friend

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Despite all the so-called “debates” that have already occurred, our presidential election will fall on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, a little less than a year from now; lots of water there yet to flow under our bridge.
President Barack Obama will be using the next eleven months to put the final gloss on what we call here, sometimes derisively, his legacy; which is to say, he will attempt, despite the tear stained and  bloody flood of misery washing around his feet, to keep his old and tattered campaign pledges: withdraw all troops from every war theatre, patch the leaky roof on Obamacare, close GITMO, the military base in Cuba, and who knows, perhaps put a bow on it and give it back to his new Cuban friends, continue the destruction of the Republican Party, put a period on his long and eventful political campaign, then slip away to establish his presidential library and perhaps write another semi-fictional autobiography.  I think you can see I’ve lost patience…

The Return Of Unclean Elections To Connecticut

A little more than a year ago, Jerry Labriola, then Chairman of the State Republican Party, filed a lawsuit and elections complaint that accused the State Democratic Party of producing an ad that had illegally used federal campaign contributions to support the re-election of Dannel Malloy as Governor.
A Connecticut law passed after the State House of Representatives had commenced impeachment proceedings against then Governor John Rowland for political corruption barred state contractors from contributing to politicians with whom they might be doing business. The law was widely hailed by good-government advocates – including nearly all the editorial boards of state newspapers -- as a political corruption prophylactic.

Murphy And Malloy Among The Lilliputians

Never letting a crisis go to waste, Democrats who favor national restrictions on guns have turned the assault in San Bernardino in the direction of gun control laws they favor. If U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is not leading the pack, he is barking loudly with the other hounds.
A day after the terrorist attack in California, Mr. Murphy tweeted to the world, “Your ‘thoughts’ should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness if you do nothing - again.”
The Murphy tweet produced others chastising the Senator for devaluing prayer. But Mr. Murphy’s tweet was not so much an assault on the efficacy of prayer as it was a case of purposeful campaign posturing; tweeting brings out the worst in many of us. If people are unwilling to do something to stop the carnage, Mr. Murphy seemed to be saying, “their ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness.” Mr. Murphy did not say in his initial tweet who should be forgiven or why (Baathist tyrants in Syria? Islamic terrori…

Drilling For Taxes in Down And Out Connecticut

The city of Hartford, as well as other large cities in Connecticut, is tax poor, city fathers say, because it is home to so many non-taxable entities; hospitals are a prime example. Hartford cannot collect property taxes from hospitals, churches, schools and -- irony of ironies – the state Capitol, which houses the legislators who impose taxes on the rest of us.
In distributing tax funds to municipalities, the state attempts to level the playing field somewhat by giving more state taxes to poor cities, thus redressing a portion of the loss. However the state, as usual, has its thumb on the balance scales. Hartford Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings, a member of the Working Families Party, noting that the state has for years been shorting Hartford for the 52 percent of tax exempt land in the city, has proposed to levy a city tax on Hartford employees who do not live in the city, which usually receives less than half of what it is due from the state’s Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) progra…

Inversion And Its Enemies, DeLauro And Blumenthal

Pfizer – now Pfizer-Allergen, once one of the pillars in Connecticut’s emergent and lucrative bio-science industry -- is moving its headquarters from New York to Ireland. Pfizer is merging with Allergan, which is headquartered in Dublin. The move and merger will save the conjoined company about $2 billion, not chump change in the competitive world of bio-science.
When news of the move to Ireland reached the ears of U.S. House Representative Rosa DeLauro, she affected shock and then fumed, in chorus with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, “We cannot continue to allow Pfizer and other corporations to pretend that they are American while reaping the benefits this country has to offer, yet claiming to be another nationality when the tax bill comes. Congress and the administration must do more to prevent these companies from moving their mailboxes abroad to avoid paying taxes in the United States."

Letters To A French Friend

November 16, 2015
Paris will learn soon enough what we have known for some time: that President Barack Obama, shrouded in the fog of unknowing, is not a reliable friend, which is to say – he is not a fraternal friend, as the French understand fraternity.
I wonder if that expression will surprise you. You are a student of history and, as such, you owe it to yourself to drive all false but comforting thoughts from your mind, particularly now that Paris, “the city of light,” has gone dark. It is important at such moments to embrace lucidity, so that we should not go dark as well. I may point out that of the two, comforting and discomforting thoughts, comforting thoughts are the more dangerous; they lull us to sleep, when we ought to be fully awake. We are always alert to danger, unless we are put to sleep by soothing words.

Murphy’s Law

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy has released in USA Today a manifestothat details his view on U.S. foreign policy and  ISIS, the Islamic terrorist state that has gobbled up large chunks of Iraq and Syria, in the process creating the “orphans and widows” President Barack Obama hopes to house, among other places and with the concurrence of Governor Dannel Malloy, in Connecticut.
Following the ISIS inspired attack in Paris, France, jihadi websites proclaimed that the warriors of Muhammed, blessings be upon him, would similarly attack the United States. “The American blood is best,” some boasted, “and we will taste it soon.” Islamic scholars in India strongly condemned the attack.

Clean Election Law Skirted: Jepsen Gives Last Rights To Constitutional Cap

Leading Democrats in the state – Governor Dannel Malloy, Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, President Pro Tem of the Senate Martin Looney – have opened a multi- pronged attack on the state’s clean election program and its watchdog, Connecticut’s State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC).
The effort to defang the state’s clean election laws began with an attempt by the Malloy administration to overleap a provision that prevents potential campaign contributors who do business with the state from polluting elections with campaign contributions to politicians who are in a position to advance their interests.

The Malloy administration had produced a mailer that was clearly a Malloy campaign ad. The administration added to the document a fine-print fig leaf concerning polling information and then argued that the small print polling notice transformed the Malloy campaign ad into a federal product that fell outside Connecticut clean campaign law regulations. The Republican Party filed …

Murphy Missing Some Dots: Isis Must Be Destroyed

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy’s immediate reaction to the mass murder of innocent civilians in France by ISIS inspired terrorists was remarkably on-script and unemotional, unlike his earlier reaction to a Ted Cruz inspired video in which Senator Cruz, a Republican now running for President, boasts that he stood up for Second Amendment rights following the Sandy Hook mass murder. The video, Mr. Murphy said, “makes me want to throw up.” Mr. Murphy’s Democratic partner in politics from Connecticut, Dick Blumenthal, also denounced the PAC video, ineptly inserting himself into the Sandy Hook drama. In that smarmy way oleaginous politicians have of placing themselves center-stage at important events, Mr. Blumenthal strongly suggested he was present when Governor Dannel Malloy told the parents of murdered students and teachers at the firehouse near Sandy Hook Elementary School that their children and teachers would not be coming home again. In truth, Mr. Blumenthal arrived after the announcement…

Lies, Damned Lies And Blumenthal: Why Does This Guy Keep Doing This?

U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal has a way of sneaking up on the truth and clubbing it to death with either a half-truth or a persistent, outright lie. And over a period of time, a pattern has begun to develop: The alluring possibility of flooding one's political stage with heroic action is, in Mr. Blumenthal’s case, irresistible. It’s like dangling a pacifier before a non-aborted baby.
NBC Connecticut news is now reportingthat “Sen. Richard Blumenthal is facing criticism over claims he lied in a comment he made in an MSNBC interview about being in Newtown when families were being informed about losing their loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre.”

Crime And Punishment In Reformist Connecticut

In 2012, Connecticut’s Democrat dominated General Assembly abolished capital punishment but carved out an exception for convicted murderers awaiting the death penalty on death row. The carve-out for the eleven death row prisoners was a blatant violation of what used to be called the natural law, a series of political, philosophical and penological assumptions that informs all laws, statutory and constitutional.

The abolition should have been applied retroactively to Connecticut prisoners awaiting death, for reasons lucidly stated by Samuel Johnson when he was reporting on debates in the House of Commons. The Nulla poena sine lege doctrine -- “where there is no law, there is no transgression” – Mr. Johnson wrote, “is a maxim not only established by universal consent, but in itself evident and undeniable; and it is, Sir, surely no less certain that where there is no transgression, there can be no punishment.” By abolishing the death penalty yet leaving the penalty in force for those con…

Hartford And Bridgeport, The Golden Age Of Urban Hegemony

It should have been obvious that Luke Bronin, who prevailed over incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra in a primary, would be the next Mayor of Hartford. In one-party Democratic towns, the victor of a Democratic primary most often wins general election contests.
A Hartford paper noted that Mr. Bronin had amassed a campaign war chest of $937,377, an abundance of riches the paper terms “unprecedented,” by which we should understand “indecently obscene.” Mr. Bronin’s competitors in the Mayoralty race – Republican candidate Theodore "Ted" Cannon and Working Families Party candidate Joel Cruz Jr., running for Mayor as an unaffiliated candidate, were impoverished, relatively speaking.  Mr. Cruz raised $19,587, Mr. Cannon $1,500, spending  $1,224 mostly on lawn signs. The money Mr. Cannon spent attempting to reach the hearts and minds of voters will surprise the same sort of people who will be astonished to discover there is a Republican Party in Hartford.

Connecticut’s Future Ain’t What It Used To Be

As leading politicians in Connecticut – including Republicans, so far frozen out of budget negotiations by Governor Dannel Malloy -- gather together to decide collectively how to shore up sagging state revenues, a recent report issued by state comptroller Kevin Lembo contains a fly in the ointment.
Mr. Lembo is predicting a $118 million budget deficit. No surprise there; deficits have been a recurring feature in budgets sent by Mr. Malloy to the Democratic controlled General Assembly. Rather than call a special session to fix the problem, Mr. Malloy has relied on his rescission authority to patch the repetitive holes.  Mr. Malloy’s last budget cuts came a bit too close to the bone and disturbed Democratic leaders in the General Assembly, who in the past had winked at Mr. Malloy’s two massive tax increases, the largest and the second largest in state history.

Democrats and Republicans Behind Closed Doors

The relationship between Republicans on the one hand and Governor Dannel Malloy and Democratic leaders in the General Assembly, Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey and President Pro Tem of the Senate Martin Looney, on the other has been frosty from the beginning of Mr. Malloy’s tenure in office. “Frosty” may be a considerable understatement: On budgetary matters, Democrats and Republicans were not on speaking terms at all.
Mr. Malloy, quite consciously, pushed Republican leaders out of the room during all his budget negotiations, which made budget formation easier for the Governor, even as it signaled a certain audacious and dismissive attitude towards Republicans. In fact, Mr. Malloy had diagnosed Connecticut’s ills before he presented his first budget to the General Assembly. He knew what he had to do and proceeded to plow an unobstructed path for himself.

Connecticut’s Progressive Solutions: Failure Loves Company

Governor Dannel Malloy’s economic policy does not work. But he is in good company. The nonprofit health-insurance companies set up to help people enroll in Obamacare are now failing.
Mr. Malloy’s progressive economic policy may be summed up this way: State government serves as a transformer, collecting money from the real economy and disbursing it according to need, from those who have to those who have not. Karl Marx laid down the law of a socialist economy more than a hundred and fifty years ago: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” In enlightened countries, the job is done without destroying either capital or capitalists. “The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope,” Marx said. Progressive ambitions in the United States have been more modest. They proceed from Matthew (19:20-24) rather than Marx, and their adherents in the United States so far have been content to await a final felicity at the final judgment:

Malloy, Baiting The Trap or Seeking Solutions?

"… these people keep saying there's got to be other ways to do it. I'm calling their bluff" – Governor Dannel Malloy, announcing his plan for a pre-special session, closed door meeting.
“These people” are, of course, minority Republicans in the General Assembly who have been consistently shooed out of room by Mr. Malloy during budget negotiations. The above quote suggests that Mr. Malloy, beset by continuing deficits, is now prepared to negotiate in good faith with side-bar Republicans. Mr. Malloy clearly is signaling that the “greater good” should take precedence over the lesser good sometimes supported by majority Democrats whose political livelihood depends upon securing the active intervention of special interests.

Dannel Icarus Falls To Earth

Tom Dudchik’s Capitol Report in mid-October was full of portentous headlines: “Malloy's approval rating at all-time lowShrug: 'I've never run my life to be popular'...TheDay: Malloy's very bad year...Stevens: Malloy 'toxic'...Record-Journal: Where have Connecticut jobs gone?...
The single event that precipitated this run of bad news for Governor Dannel Malloy, the most progressive chief executive in Connecticut since Wilber Cross, was the most recent Quinnipiac University poll.  First elected in 1930, when the progressive era in American politics was in full swing – Yes, Virginia, progressivism is even older than that, though the Cross administration is but a few years older than Bernie Sanders, progressivism’s great white hope for president  -- Mr. Cross abolished child labor and instituted the state’s minimum wage rate. Grateful for superman governors during The Great Depression, Connecticut later would show its appreciation of Mr. Cross by naming a h…

Your Domain, Their Domain

It may be possible to trace the evolution of Eminent Domain from a U. S. Supreme Court Kelo vs. New London decision to its broader use by the Malloy administration.
In Kelo vs. New London, the high court decided it was proper under the “just compensation” clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for a state to use eminent domain to transfer property from one private owner to another private owner in order to further economic development. The “just compensation” clause of the Fifth Amendment provides that no person may be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the “takings clause” of the Fifth Amendment.

Yankee Study Points Way To State Recovery

A recent Yankee Institute study – “Unequal Pay: Public Vs. Private Sector Compensation in Connecticut” – provides a data foundation that supports what everyone writing about budgets in the State of Connecticut has known for many years.
The study shows that while the average non-tax supported worker in Connecticut earns a slightly higher salary than his state employee counterpart, benefits received by state employees far outpace those in the private sector by a ratio of about two to one. According to the study, total compensation for state employees, which includes salary and benefits, exceeds similar compensation for non-government workers in the state by at least 25 percent.

Killing Clean Elections

“What a tangled web we weave when once we practice to deceive” – Sir Walter Scott
If a suit filed by the Democratic State Central Committee in Hartford Superior Court in answer to previous suit filed by the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) is upheld, Connecticut’s clean election law will have been judicially repealed. Under such circumstance, the Friends of Clean Elections in the General Assembly – assuming anyone holding elective office is a friend of clean elections in Connecticut – will have no choice but to repeal the law or, as seems more likely, gut and fillet it.

Crony Capitalism, One Party Rule, Not A Solution To State Debt

The juxtapositions are jarring.
According to one story, Governor Dannel Malloy has spent “$1 Million To Lure 16 Jobs to Stamford.” Mr. Malloy is lending MC Credit Partners $1 million at a two percent interest rate, and the company will be able to convert half of the loan into a gift “if it adds 10 people by 2018 and maintains 26 employees through 2020. If it only adds five workers, $250,000 of the loan will be forgiven.”
Connecticut -- for all practical purposes, a one-party state -- has now become a gambling den for crony capitalists. The sixteen jobs for which Mr. Malloy paid nearly a million were filched from New York City, whose crony capitalist governor, Mario Cuomo, would happily pay an equivalent amount on jobs he may in the future manage to filch from Connecticut. Mr. Cuomo recently put in a bid for General Electric (GE) jobs after the company’s CEO, Jeff Immelt, expressed profound dissatisfaction with Connecticut’s chronically out of balance and business-hostile budget. The b…

Malloy, Barnes Get Religion

"The Future ain't what it used to be" -- Yogi Berra
Ben Barnes, Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget guru, is a late convert to reality. But having overcome the progressive stiffness in his joints, Mr. Barnes, now rising from his knees, has got economic religion. One hopes that Mr. Barnes’ conversion to common sense rubs off on his boss.
Last June, pointing to an under-performing economy battered by a quarter century of mounting tax increases and tortuous federal and state regulations, Mr. Barnes explained to an astonished gaggle of news reporters that Connecticutshould get used to frequent deficits. Even this partial confession astounded some members of Connecticut’s media who perhaps had been wondering why nearly all of the “balanced budgets” submitted by Mr. Malloy to a Democratic dominated General Assembly so quickly unbalanced themselves once Election Day had passed.

Is The Pope Catholic?

Catholics will recognize the caption above – “Is The Pope Catholic?” – as a joke punchline. Some non-Catholics, and even some laypeople who self-identify as Catholics, must wonder, on reading some encyclicals with which they heartily disagree, “Should the Pope be just a trifle less Catholic?”
It would suit progressives, for instance, if the Pope would be so good as to repeal thousands of years of Catholic teaching on abortion. No matter the Pope of the moment, this will happen only when Hell freezes over. But progressives welcome the present Pope’s views on climate change and capital punishment, while on the right, such views are anathema. Pope Francis’ antipathy toward raw capitalism cheers such as socialist Bernie Sanders, who is running for President this year, as well as President Barack Obama who, during welcoming ceremonies at the White House, extravagantly praised the Pope on his resemblance to himself. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but, however flattering, i…

The Conscience Of A Progressive

In three large Connecticut cities, incumbent Democratic mayors were drubbed by primary challengers. Hartford’s Mayor Pedro Segarra was outhustled and outspent by Democratic Party endorsed challenger Luke Bronin, formerly general counsel for two years to Governor Dannel Malloy. In Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city, former Mayor and felon Joe Ganim defeated Mayor Bill Finch in a three-way primary. And in New London, Mayor Darryl Finzio, more progressive than Leon Trotsky, lost to Councilman Michael Passero.
One publication noted that the primary defeats of the three incumbent Democratic mayors indicated a “hunger for change” in cities long dominated by the Democratic Party. Three questions arise: What changes are in the minds of Democratic voters who turned a frozen face to incumbents? To what extent is change possible within cities dominated for decades by a single party? And why has the hunger for change not moved more voters towards the Republican Party?

Upstairs, Downstairs In Connecticut

On slow news days – especially when the state legislature is out of session and everyman’s life, liberty and property is a bit safer from despoliation – some newspaper in Connecticut is bound to run a story on the state’s “wealth gap,” the always intolerable difference between the assets of Greenwich hedge fund managers and city dwellers hedged about by poverty, crime and cultural dissolution.
The wealth gap in Connecticut is large because the poor, despite years of Great Society programs, are still poor, and the rich are still rich. Quick now: Which has been the least successful national policy, the war on drugs or the war on poverty? The stairway connecting Heaven, Connecticut’s upstairs, and Hell, the state’s downstairs, is long but gilded at the top. The underlying assumption of all such stories is that the poor are poor BECAUSE the rich are rich. It follows that if a compassionate government were able to even the scales by redistributing wealth from rich Paul to poor Peter, life…

Killing Capital Punishment In Connecticut

The old saw has it that “exceptions prove the rule.” They prove the rule precisely because they are exceptions.
In Connecticut’s politicized Supreme Court, exceptions have BECOME the rule. That is what happened when Justice Richard Palmer constructed his decision on the Constitutionality of Connecticut’s death penalty on a dissent in Glossip v. Gross, a case in which a challenge to the death penalty on Constitutional grounds had been denied by the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol. The decision was a narrow one, but Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg managed in their dissent to import larger issues.

Blumenthal Says Yes to Iran Deal, Issues Manifesto

U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal announced he would vote in favor of the Obama/Kerry/Khamenei deal on the very day President Barack Obama had acquired enough votes in Congress to assure that any veto override would not occur.
Mr. Blumenthal has issued a manifestosupporting his decision, a convoluted thousand word media release that quickly collapses from its own internal stresses.
Mr. Blumenthal supports the deal because he prefers diplomacy to war – even, it would appear a diplomacy that enriches Iran and winks at the likely nuclearization of the Middle East.

Senator Chris Murphy And The Enemies Of The Good

By redefining a treaty – a major foreign policy agreement among more than one nation – as a “deal” President Barack Obama spared himself the necessity of acquiring a majority of Congressional votes to affirm the non-treaty. His redefinition presses a finger down on one of the scales of justice. A treaty would have required a two-thirds vote of approval from the U.S. Congress. Mr. Obama’s initial plan, it may be recalled, was to treat the Obama/Kerry/Khamenei deal as a simple agreement that required NO Congressional approval at all.  The present arrangement serves much the same purpose: It lowers the approval bar and creates the illusion of majority assent on what is, for all practical purposes, a treaty that, for political reasons, has been redefined to secure Congressional affirmation.

Connecticut At The Crossroads

The following address was given to the Wallingford Rotaryat IL Monticello Restaurant in Meriden on Sept 2.
I want to thank Mark Davis for inviting me to speak to you today. As you know, he’s been involved in the Wallingford Rotary for years. After you’ve put in productive years with Rotary, you acquire bragging rights, and this Rotary has much to boast of. Mark doesn’t hold back. He and others regard Rotary as the best volunteer social organization in the country and he’s proud to associate with this  Rotary in particular, which started in 1923 and has given nearly a million dollars in grants to nonprofits. You are to be congratulated on your energy, business intelligence and community concern.

Blumenthal Agonistes And The Flawed Deal With Iran

The cunning, canned response issuing from the seven Democratic members of Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Delegation is:  The Obama/Kerry/Khamenei deal may be flawed, but there is no better alternative.
The acknowledgment of “flaws” in the deal concocted by President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei, the ostensible purpose of which is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear device, is a campaign breastplate. No one among Connecticut’s all Democratic U.S.Congressional Delegationhas unreservedly embraced the “flawed” deal. Never-the-less, they will vote for the deal, flaws and all, for the greater glory of their President and party. Among lockstep Democrats in the Northeast, Senator Schumer of New York stands out as a notable exception. If the deal should in the future give birth to horrific consequences, those now voting for it may always point to their breastplate reservations.

Connecticut Democrats: Hillary Or Bust

Apart from being friendly to each other in the past, what do Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic Party presidential candidate, and Donald Trump, Hillary’s counterpart in the Republican Party, have in common?
Both are leading in the polls, and both are flawed candidates; Mr. Trump because he’s a shallow thinker, however entertaining, and Mrs. Clinton because both her distant and recent past are pockmarked with irregularities.

A Gray Day

Early in February, the faculty of Connecticut’s four state universities – Connecticut Central State University (CCSU), Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU), Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) and Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) – wrote a letter to the relevant chairs and co-chairs of the General Assembly’s education committees critical of Gregory Gray’s attempt by pedagogical fiat to “change the way we teach and deliver education to our students.” Mr. Gray is the President of Connecticut’s State University system.
“Many education pundits,” the educators wrote, “now suggest the teacher is no longer the center of learning, and that students learn more from one another than from the faculty. . .this re-alignment means faculty must become ‘facilitators’ of learning. It's imperative that WE. . .[change] our pedagogical approach immediately.”

Malloy At Wit’s End as Poacher Cuomo Invades Connecticut

“I don't give reasons. I give orders!” -- Captain Ahab, Moby Dick
It seems only yesterday that Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey was threatening to hold a net on the borders of Connecticut and catch companies as they fled a tax prone Democratic Governor and majority Democrats in the state’s General Assembly. Governor Malloy derided the notion. Christie, a blustery Republican, was an easy punching bag. Not so Governor Andrew Cuomo, who recently met with CEO of General Electric Jeff Immelt to discuss moving GE business from Connecticut to New York.

Death Penalty Abolition And Democratic Cowards

In 2012, the Democrat majority in the General Assembly abolished Connecticut’s death penalty while leaving the penalty operative for the 11 convicted murderers on death row, thus demolishing all their moral arguments against capital punishment. If the death penalty is cruel, unusual and morally indefensible, would it not be doubly inappropriate for convicted death row inmates?
Hours before the bill was passed, this writer remarked:
“The inevitable passage of the bill will unleash a flood of appeals that will at a minimum further delay the executions of Connecticut’s 11 death row inmates. It is almost certain that at some point in the future a Democratic dominated legislature supported by a Democratic governor, all of whom will have been instrumental in abolishing the death penalty, would be morally derelict in resisting the commutation of the death sentences of the 11 prisoners now awaiting execution on death row. The death penalty having been abolished for prospective criminals who …

Abortion And Blumenthal’s Utopia

“Abortion rights” – which is to say unrestricted abortion – figures prominently in U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal’s utopia.
A bill introduced by Mr. Blumenthal, The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013, would affirm unrestricted abortion by making it impossible for states to regulate abortion providers, chiefly Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States. To Blumenthal watchers, a bill preventing various actors in the abortion drama, including states and the federal government, from propounding any rules governing abortion at any stage of the birth process for any reason would seem to be out of character for Mr. Blumenthal, who spent much of his two decades as Attorney General in Connecticut suing businesses for having violated regulations while proposing bills to Connecticut’s General Assembly that would further hobble a Connecticut economy already gagging on needless regulations.

Is Schumer Making Common Cause With Iranian Terrorists, Will Blumenthal?

As New York Senator Chuck Schumer goes, so goes… Blumenthal?
Mr. Schumer’s forceful decision not to approve the Iran/Putin/Obama deal has been called a “break in the dike.” Democrats in the recent past have tended to march in lockstep with President Barack Obama. Mr. Schumer is a threatening crack in Democratic foreign policy obduracy. It is just through such cracks in the political asphalt, said Alexander Solzhenitsyn, that lonely flowers bloom.

Trumpism

Many Trump critics, most scornfullyKevin Williamson in National Review, find Donald Trump abhorrent because he is a Republican In Name Only (RINO). Mr. Trump seems to gravitate between the parties as circumstances dictate.
Mr. Williamson notes that Mr. Trump is “a tax-happy crony capitalist who is hostile to free trade but very enthusiastic about using state violence to homejack private citizens — he backed the Kelo decision '100 percent' and has tried to use eminent domain in the service of his own empire of vulgarity — and generally has about as much command of the issues as the average sophomore at a not especially good college, which is what he was (sorry, Fordham) until his family connections got him into Penn.”

Sharkey Bites Back

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth” – George Orwell, 1984
The “constant sniping and cherry-picking bad news from the good” has given Connecticut Speaker of the House of Representatives Brendan Sharkey heart palpitations.
In a Hartford Courant column, Mr. Sharkey writes:
“Rather than attempt to establish themselves as credible participants in our state's democratic process, the Republicans will say or do anything in an attempt to gain a political advantage, no matter how harsh or misleading, and without regard to the negative effects their behavior has on Connecticut's economy or its future.

Connecticut Cities: Politics In The Ruins And The War On Young Boys

Hartford, Connecticut’s capital city, has been a one-horse town since 1971, when the last Republican Mayor, Ann Uccello, was recruited by then President Richard Nixon to serve in the U.S. Department of Transportation. Since that time, more than 44 years, Hartford has languished in the grip of the Democratic Party hegemon.
Hegemony always has and always will produce aberrant and corrupt government, largely because in one-party systems there are no political checks and balances, the administrative state is captive to an easily manipulable single party, and there are fewer eyes looking through the windows.

Will Jefferson Survive The Modern (Progressive) Democratic Party?

Members of Connecticut’s Democrat State Central Committee on July 22 voted unanimously to pull the eject lever on Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States, and Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, widely considered the father of the modern Democratic Party. On a unanimous voice vote, the names of the two gentlemen were stripped from the Party’s annual “Jefferson, Jackson, Bailey Dinner.” The Confederate Flag lowered permanently from a flagpole on the lawn of the State Capitol in South Carolina following the racist-terrorist murder of nine churchgoers at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has brought down more than a flag.
On the 67th year of the annual Jefferson, Jackson, Bailey fete, Connecticut Democrats awakened suddenly to the slaver pasts of both Jefferson and Jackson.U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro stoutly resisted the effort to airbrush Mr. Jefferson from Democratic Party history. The third American president was, Mrs. DeLauro no…

Blumenthal, And The Banality Of Planned Parenthood

“It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us -- the lesson of the fearsome word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.”
― Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem : A Report on the Banality of Evil
The relationship between U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal and Connecticut’s left of center media during his twenty years and more as the state’s Attorney General has been a cordial one. There are reasons for this. A consumer protection Attorney General, Mr. Blumenthal found it easy to press all the right buttons, and journalistic experience he had acquired at Harvard – he was an active journalist for the Harvard Crimson – put him in good odor with newspaper editors. A sampling of Mr. Blumenthal’s news reporting is preserved even today in the news morgue of the Harvard Crimson.

George Ricco

Somewhere, Fyodor Dostoyevsky says the average life of a man is about three generations; that would be around 180 years.
Why so long?
Well, a man lives in the lives of his family, children and friends. The problem of death – real death, in the sense of obliteration and forgetfulness – begins after the third generation. By the fourth generation, a man is forgotten. Life has lost its grip on the human imagination, and the man is gone, utterly gone, at least on this side of death’s veil. For Christians who believe in the promises of the Living God, death is swallowed up in life everlasting. But not all of us have the courage – or the imagination -- to believe such things.

The Obama-Iran Deal

Never has a president waved the white flag so gaily.  The sanctions on Iran were a success, which is why, come to think of it, Iran has so importunately insisted on their removal. Removing the sanctions for so little in return is an abject failure.
One day after the Obama-Iran deal was inked, Obama faced the cameras and said the alternative to his agreement would have been war rather than, say, tougher sanctions. That is a false alternative. But then this administration has been for several years on good terms with falsity. The operative assumption of the Obama administration seems to be that you really CAN fool most of the people all the time. The only thing more disgraceful than the Obama-Iran agreement – which surrenders any real possibility of preventing the distribution of nuclear weapons throughout the Middle East – is “Winter Soldier” John Kerry, the second worst Secretary of State in recent times.