Saturday, April 30, 2016
That didn’t take long. Donald Trump The Untouchable has suddenly become a cuddle doll within Connecticut’s GOP establishment.
The word “establishment", it should be understood, is a fighting word among Trumpeters. Anyone who has been tainted by political office is, in the view of Trump supporters, a member of the corrupted establishment. Establishment candidates have been given the bum’s rush by primary voters this year. The Trump campaign easily managed to polish off a number of conservative Republican anti-beltway presidential candidates, including Bobby Jindal, Carla Fiorina, and Marco Rubio. Ted Cruz, recently condemned by establishment Republican John Boehner as a Luciferian constitutional conservative, unlike the former RINO Speaker of the U.S. House, is still plugging away.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread” – Anatole France.
Connecticut must reduce business costs in the next decade. A failure to do so will reinforce the status quo: business flight from Connecticut to more business-friendly states, resulting in fewer jobs and less revenue pouring into the state treasury -- which, as we know from bitter experience, produces budget deficits. The deficits, in their turn, lead inescapably to higher taxes or cuts in services to the state’s most needy recipients of state aid. We live in a state in which politicians captured by special interests are less concerned with the poor who live under bridges than they are with securing the votes of far richer political activists who can turn them in and out of office.
Monday, April 25, 2016
In the beginning of his administration, Governor Dannel Malloy aggressively pursued educational reform, particularly in cities where high school graduates were being pushed into colleges without having mastered the basics – reading, writing and arithmetic.
Plans were launched to uplift non-performing schools. Almost immediately, school reformers and reform-minded politicians felt the blow-back from teachers’ unions. To what extent would student testing be used to purge school systems of inadequate teachers?
Not so much, replied the reformers, as politely as possible: Data gathered from student testing would not be heavily weighted in hiring and firing decisions. Instead, the data would be used to identify “best practices” in high performing schools and replicate successful strategies in lower performing schools. In this way students locked into poor performing schools could be elevated by test data collected from the Connecticut’s public education universe.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
A: Right now, they are, for the most part, people who are unattached, emotionally or ideologically, to either of the two major parties. The Obama administration has abandoned altogether what used to be called moderate, Reagan Democrats. Some of these people, left in the lurch by progressives, have crossed over to vote for Trump. He is running very strong among Republican, Democrat and unaffiliated white males. Within the narrower category of alienated moderate Republicans and Democrats, there are numerous sub-groups: resentment Republicans and Democrats, people who have, in one way or another, been slighted by what they refer to, disdainfully, as the party establishment. An influential sub-group is party critics who command the political airways and the commentary barricades on both sides. Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, who is truly idiosyncratic, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others have become leading voices in the Republican Party anti-establishment establishment. There is a countervailing anti-establishment establishment on the Democratic side that has gravitated to Bernie Sanders, the socialist. Our own Bill Curry, who once ran for governor of Connecticut and now writes a column for Salon Magazine, has become an ardent Sandersista.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
“The government doesn’t care about profits, which is why it’s always in the red. It doesn’t care much about service either, which is why there are long lines at Connecticut’s Department of Motor Vehicles. It cares only about votes.” – The Cynic at the Breakfast Table, a work in progress.
On Thursday, Hillary Clinton came to Hartford, not so long ago the murder capital of New England, to agitate indirectly against Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders – AND FIRE ARMS. Mr. Sanders is from Vermont and does not suffer from hoplophobia, an irrational fear of guns. In the hinterland of Vermont, guns are used to shoot game; in one-party urbanscapes such as Hartford, guns are used by drug dealers, gangbangers and young school kids to kill rivals and innocent by-standers. Anti-gun Democratic politicians now seek to forestall urban gun crimes by allowing lawyers to sue gun manufacturers – good for the lawyers, bad for law-abiding gun owners and good for politicians who hope to convince the lower orders that their measures will prevent mothers in cities from weeping over their murdered children.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
When the General Assembly, dominated by members of his own party, returned to Governor Dannel Malloy a revised budget that was $340 million out of balance, he did his duty. Mr. Malloy resubmitted to the legislature a second balanced budget that contained further spending reductions, no tax increases and no raids on rainy day funds.
In an April 16 op-ed in a Hartford paper, Mr. Malloy noted pointedly that there were only three weeks left in the legislatives session and the legislature had not yet resolved a $900 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year. Mr. Malloy had determined that state government could not “respond to this challenge in the same way we have in the past, that we must change business as usual at the Capitol.” This was a late realization. During Mr. Malloy’s entire term in office, state government – including the governor’s office – virtually a one-party operation, had been waiting for Godot.
Monday, April 18, 2016
Joe Visconti, who styles himself these days “Donald Trump without the billions,” ran in a Republican primary for Governor a few years back but bowed out of the race when the primary finish line was in sight. Mr. Visconti this year is considering running against U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, the state’s first consumer protection Congressman and a formidable political presence in Connecticut.
Mr. Visconti is a voluble supporter of Donald “Make American Great Again” Trump, who visited Hartford, last week. At the Trump rally, Mr. Visconti bumped into Colin McEnroe, host of The Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR and a Hartford Courant columnist. A picture, slightly out of focus, crackling with humor, was taken. Mr. Visconti – who, it may be imagined, has had a great deal of experience smiling for the camera – is beaming as usual, but Mr. McEnroe appears to have stepped in a bucket of… well, the sort of stuff President Franklin Roosevelt’s first Vice President had in mind when he said the Vice Presidency wasn’t worth “a warm bucket of (DELETED).” And yes, VP John Garner did not say “SPIT.” His reference was to a below-the-belt bodily fluid.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Life went on. The federal debt increased at a rapid pace under both Presidents Bush The Lesser and Barack Obama. Mr. Obama has in seven years added $6.463 trillion to the national debt, at 55.4% the largest debt increase of the three presidents. By the end of his term in office, George W. Bush had doubled the debt passed along to him by the Clinton administration, adding $5.849 trillion to Clinton’s $5.8 trillion.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Monday, April 11, 2016
When June Sherman was receiving her baccalaureate degree in 1943 from the University of North Carolina, I was doing a William Blake:
My father cried, my mother wept
Into the wicked world I leapt.
Mrs. Sherman knew William Blake… he was a friend of hers. She knew Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Emily Dickenson, and the world of literature that was my comfort when I was a callow student in her Honors English class at Windsor Locks High School in the early 1960’s.
Saturday, April 09, 2016
Cassandra: Apollo, Apollo!
God of all ways, but only Death's to me,
Once and again, O thou, Destroyer named,
Thou hast destroyed me, thou, my love of old!
Aeschylus -- The Agamemnon
Hillary Clinton Interview
Hillary Clinton: You’re so cute, darling. What’s your name?
HC: How sweet. So Cassandra, you have a question for me. Should I call you Cassie?
Cassandra: I’d prefer Cassandra.
Thursday, April 07, 2016
Rhode Island has come out of the briar patch in good order, and the Providence Journal has a piece of advice for Connecticut:
“Rhode Island's landmark pension reforms were painful for many — the retirement age for state workers had to be raised, and they were forced to contribute more toward their retirement, for example. But the changes were wholly necessary. For a picture of the path not taken, look no further than Connecticut...
“Barring serious pension reform, Rhode Island-style, Connecticut faces a grim future. The state could end up raising taxes — already among the nation’s highest — to cover the pension costs, thereby harming economic activity and encouraging businesses and families to settle elsewhere. The departure of industrial giant General Electric for Boston does not portend well. Or, the state could end up eating its seed-corn, starving important functions such as schools and roads to pay state workers who in many cases retired decades ago. Neither is a happy path forward.”
Only a few years ago a politician might have been laughed out of Congress for postulating that the troubles in the Middle East – Islamic irredentism; the emergence of Iran, still considered a terrorist state, as a regional Middle East power; the attempt by Shiites, rebuffed during the Iraq war, to establish a caliphate in northern Iraq and Syria; the threats against the United States and other western nations that pour like a flood of mighty waters from the throats of its former enemies; the scurrying of foreign states once friendly to the United States from a U.S to a Russian protectorate; the sea of women, children and young men murdered, homeless and enslaved Christians, immigrant hordes persecuted by Islamic terrorists now flooding Europe’s shores, largely owing to the recession of U.S. power and influence in the Middle East; all this and more -- were traceable to global warming, the tocsin of a boisterous environmental movement.
Monday, April 04, 2016
On April 13, 2016, I’ll be moderating a discussion on “Reagan, Trump and the Current Status of Conservatism” for the Federalist Society at The Capital Grille in Hartford from 5-7. Bunch of guys and gals sitting at a bar trying their best to straighten out the current silly season in American politics. All the information is here.
The subject we are to discuss is the status of conservativism as it relates to current events, and it occurs to me that a bar may be a perfect venue for such a discussion. If for some reason a bar-brawl should break out, it probably would closely resemble the current condition of our politics.
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