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Showing posts from September, 2016

The Fruits Of Crony Capitalism Are Bribery And Extortion

There is only one Republican State Senator who voted against the Malloy-Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin-Governor Dannel Malloy deal, pompously called “Connecticut Strategic Investment Act.” That would be Senator Joe Markley , who most certainly is not against strategic investment. Like many conservatives, Markley believes that production should be directed by the needs of the market place – not by politicians operating hand in glove with mega companies to arrange deals profitable to both. Senator Markley thinks crony capitalism, not at all the same thing as strategic investment, is a bell sounding the death knell of business in Connecticut. Crony capitalism is at best a polite form of bribery.

The Debate Bender: A Cynic’s Appraisal

Q: It may or may not have been the most significant presidential debate in living memory, but it certainly was the most touted presidential debate in “Click Nation USA.” What are your general impressions? Cynic: In Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” one character says to another, “I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and really being good all the time; that would be hypocrisy.” Neither of the presidential candidates this year needs worry about that. Hillary Clinton’s presentation, more than Trump’s, was unbearable pretentious. She needed to confess but boasted instead of her essential goodness. She is not a good person – never has been, never will be. But she is a Democrat and, in our time, political affiliation is a substitute for moral rectitude. Q: Is she evil?

Rowland Is In Prison: Is Connecticut Safe From Political Corruption Now?

John Rowland entered prison today on the eve of what some are calling the most important presidential political debate in living memory, a sad day for some, certainly for his long-suffering wife and the very few steadfast friends who have not cut communications with him. Political friendships, Mr. Rowland must know, cannot withstand the winds of misfortune (see King Lear).  Colin McEnroe has shed a tear . Perhaps men and women of conscience might want to quibble with the outcome.

Colin Gets Religion

In his latest column, “ Maybe A Little Bible Study With John Rowland, ”  Hartford Courant columnists Colin McEnroe confesses, “As some of you know, I began going to church in April 2015.” Groucho Marx used to joke that he would decline to join any group that would have him as a member. Mr. McEnroe is not so illiberal, but he makes plain that there are conditions: “We are not Jerry Falwell Baptists. We are LGBTQ-friendly. In fact, we have more LGBTQ pastors than we have the other kind. Baptists get kind of a bad name sometimes. Elijah Craig was a Baptist minister, and some people say he invented bourbon. That's the kind of Baptist we can be proud of.”

Connecticut Down: The Spending Spiral And The Demise of Connecticut

“I am deeply concerned for the state’s fiscal condition, which I think we can agree is deteriorating”  -- Jim Smith, Webster Bank chairman and CEO Mr. Smith is not alone. For years, big spenders in Connecticut have been moving money from the private economy to state coffers, and the additional funds have only whet the appetite for spending among cowardly members of the General Assembly. We now have a graphic that depicts Connecticut’s unsustainable budget growth:

Malloy And His Pro-Active Flack-Catchers

Having consolidated political power in Louisiana, Huey “The Kingfish” Long moved the seat of government from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, where there were fewer boozy night spots or opportunities for sexual hanky-panky,  and herded all Louisiana’s political animals into a brand new, free standing art deco building, the better to keep an eye on his political competitors. Autocrats can never be too careful; enemies are everywhere. It pays to pay attention. A populist progressive, Mr. Long also kept the newspapers humming. He was a political bad-boy who had a rich sense of humor and a photographic memory, operating in a state, somewhat like Connecticut, in which Democrats ruled nearly all the political roosts. “Keep your friends close, but enemies closer,” a lesson Michael Corleone claimed in The Godfather he had learned from Don Vito Corleone.

Blumenthal: Questions Unasked And Unanswered

Where to begin? Question: Mr. Blumenthal, who do you regard as being more corrupt, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or present Secretary of State John Kerry? Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is valiantly attempting to power through yet another stone wall, this one involving the Clinton Foundation. A short while back it was disclosed that Mrs. Clinton’s cover-up accomplices used BleachBit to permanently erase  from emails she had sent over a private, poorly secured server data that contained, according to FBI Director James Comey, top secret restricted information. The Clinton Foundation has now come under scrutiny. But Mrs. Clinton is not a lone player in the power game of using public office to advance the prospects of herself, her family or friends. John Kerry, a longtime U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and the present Secretary of State, appears to be following in his predecessor’s footsteps.

Senator Murphy’s Demons, And the Palladium Of Liberty

If it is not a political theorem, it should be:  A politician’s courage increases in direct proportion to his distance from re-election. It is the foreshortened memory of the average voter and the abbreviated news cycle – about three days – that give heft to the theorem. Incumbent politicians know that what is tossed about today will disappear tomorrow. Connecticut’s Junior U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is not up for reelection this election cycle. In two years, an eternity away, anything may happen. Or as T.S. Eliot put it in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock;

Judge Moukawsher’s Obiter Dicta On Education In Connecticut

It’s been 228 years since Alexander Hamilton, seeking to allay fears that the national judiciary would swallow up the other two branches of government, wrote in The Federalist Number 78 that the Supreme Court, provided it observed what has come to be known as the separation of powers,  would under the Constitution be “the weakest of the three departments of power; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks. It equally proves, that though individual oppression may now and then proceed from the courts of justice, the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter; I mean so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive.” The Supreme Court has long far exceeded Hamilton’s modest expectations, and appellate courts have followed suit. A headline in the Hartford Courant demonstrates how far courts have pr

Dick Blumenthal, Crickets, And The BleachBit Presidential Bid of Hillary Clinton

We all know how it works: If you are a politician who outpaces your opponent in money and lustrous fame, you hide-out during elections, contextualize yourself by feeding the media tons of approving releases put together by a faithful staff -- and await reelection. Dick Blumenthal, presently Connecticut’s Senior U.S. Senator, is such a person. A millionaire by marriage and an incumbent, he has the riches of King Croesus in his campaign kitty. His Republican opponent, Dan Carter, is the poor boy of the current campaign for the U.S. Senate. According to a recent report in CTMirror , “Blumenthal’s campaign reported having more than $5.3 million in its war chest as of June 30, after having spent more than $1.6 million, while Carter’s campaign reported only about $70,000 in cash on hand.”

Safety And Secrecy In Connecticut Government

Are we more safe now than we were before Governor Dannel Malloy’s prison czar, Michael Lawlor, began handing out get-out-of-jail-early credits to so called “nonviolent” incarcerated criminals? Ibraham Ghazal, the co-owner of an EZMart in Meriden, was not safe. Mr. Ghazal was murdered by Frankie Resto, a prisoner released early because the benefits of Mr. Lawlor’s program had been disbursed retroactively and not prospectively to Connecticut prisoners -- including rapists, which Mr. Lawlor evidently did not consider a violent crime. Death has its privileges, and Mr. Ghazal is now safe.