Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Other Solution: Cut Spending

A piece by Keith Phaneuf in CTMirror, “Who pays the next CT tax hike? Democrats must answer question soonpresents half of the right question.

 Listening to Democrats in the General Assembly in this the winter of our discontent leaves the impression that one has heard half a conversation. The debate in the General Assembly and, unfortunately, in the media, ALL OF IT, is about discharging deficits through tax increases. But a deficit, like a coin, has two sides. And a “comprehensive solution” to our problems that shows only one face is no solution.

If the level of spending in Connecticut continues to increase at a rapid rate – and that will assuredly happen if Connecticut continues to pursue a course all too familiar ever since former Governor Lowell Weicker forced his income tax down the throat of a somewhat resistant legislature in 1991 – and if the underside of the getting and spending coin continues to remain face-down on Connecticut’s table, then tax increases are inescapable, a boon to cowardly and lazy politicians.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Sanders-Blumenthal Utopia

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever” – George Orwell.

CBS News has announced that Vermont’s Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders’ "Medicare for All" bill would, according to Sanders himself, "get rid of insurance companies and drug companies making billions of dollars in profit every single year." The bill is a universal health care, one size fits all, tax financed, proposal. Connecticut's U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, CTMirror reports, was one of 14 co-sponsors of Sanders’s bill.

“In my view,” Sanders said of his bill, “the current debate over 'Medicare for All' really has nothing to do with health care. It’s all about greed and profiteering. It is about whether we maintain a dysfunctional system which allows the top five health insurance companies to make over $20 billion in profits last year.”

But, of course, the Sanders bill has everything to do with health care. If adopted into law, it would effectively abolish insurance companies. Sanders himself has said that his "Medicare for All" scheme would "get rid of insurance companies and drug companies making billions of dollars in profit every single year.”

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Progressive Prohibitionists And The Politics Of Vengeance

Government begins to be a bother when it uses the power of the state to prohibit normative behavior. The primary instrument of compulsion in this case is – and should never be – the tax code. Ordinary people who would not know a political ideology from a lamppost may be forgiven for reacting normally to a government that uses the tax code to shape behavior.

And yet this practice has become as common as table salt, which some people believe should be taxed exorbitantly because it isn’t good for you.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

The Tweeting 21st Century, A Meditation

One of my college professors – let’s call him Stringfellow – spoke in long, flowing sentences, each of which might easily have been parsed into sparkling separate mini-poems. He liked Faulkner, disliked Hemingway, and tolerated Tennessee Williams for two reasons. Williams consciously structured some of his plays on classical Greek models – compare “Suddenly Last Summer” with Euripides’ “The Bacchae” – and Tennessee, he thought, was a name one could conjure with, as Wallace Stevens did adeptly in "Anecdote of the Jar," the first line of which runs, “I placed a jar in Tennessee/ And round it was, upon a hill …”

One day, a student asked Stringfellow – this would have been in the middle 60’s – “When do you plan to join the 20th century?’ to which Stringfellow replied, “It would be a very wicked thing to wish to be a part of the 20th century.”

Thursday, April 04, 2019

MeToo In Connecticut

Image result for JIm Himes + Joe BidenThe MeToo movement has arrived finally in Connecticut, the land of steady habits. “Biden accuser rips Democrats,” an April 3rd, above the fold, front page headline in The Hartford Courant screeches.

And the story, written by Neil Vigdor, bulges with quotes.

“The Democrats definitely don’t like to hold their own accountable,” said Amy Lappos, referring to an awkward incident that occurred in 2009, ten years ago when she was a congressional aide to U.S. Representative Jim Himes, during a $1,000 per plate fundraising luncheon held at the home of affordable housing developer Ron Moelis, a Greenwich moneybags.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

The Legislative Attack On Connecticut Faith-Based Health Centers

The devil lies in the definitions provided in House Bill 7070. In 1991, a constitutional amendment providing for an income tax and a cap on spending narrowly passed in Connecticut’s General Assembly. The income tax, for good or ill, passed muster and was soon applied; not so the cap on spending. Nearly thirty years later, Attorney General George Jepsen advised that the spending cap was void because legislators had not provided needed definitions to activate it.

The title of House Bill 7070, introduced by the Public Health Committee, is “AN ACT CONCERNING DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING PRACTICES OF LIMITED SERVICES PREGNANCY CENTERS.The bill addresses the alleged deceptive advertising practices of “limited services pregnancy centers,” more commonly known as “faith-based pregnancy centers,” and the legislation is outrigged with a full array of definitions that miraculously do not apply to so called “health centers” providing abortion, even though, as some have pointed out, abortion providers may engage in misleading advertising.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Zawistowski Rights A Wrong

The little Pink House in New London was moved to another location after a long, unsuccessful protest by its owner, property rights advocate Susette Kelo. The property upon which it rested was seized by eminent domain so that it could be made available to Pfizer Inc. It was a rare seizure. Usually, property seized under eminent domain is made available for some public purpose. In Kelo, the Fort Trumbull Property was transferred from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. The property was seized by the state because New London wished to induce Pfizer to set up shop on the property. Pfizer moved on; nature soon reclaimed the vacant property.

Kelo lost her battle when the US Supreme Court shamelessly decided in favor of the City of New London, Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005).

The case produced two notable dissents, one written by Justice O'Connor, joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia and Thomas, and a separate, originalist dissent written by Thomas.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Real Cost Of Tax Increases

Arguing against a legislatively imposed minimum wage increase, Brian Jessurun, co-owner of four northeastern Connecticut restaurants, writes in an op-ed in a Hartford paper: “By all accepted accounting metrics, this state is virtually bankrupt. Reputable estimates place Connecticut’s unfunded liability debt at $70,000 per taxpayer, more than many of them have set aside for their own retirements. The only chance we have of getting out from under that burden is a burst of prolonged prosperity, which would increase state revenues without significantly increasing the taxes that are already driving away job creating businesses and tax paying residents.”

At last, some readers of the paper in which the op-ed appeared might exclaim – light!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Blumenthal As Trump’s Victim

CTMirror tells us that President Donald Trump has “attacked the credibility of Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal and several other Democrats, warning television networks against booking them on their news shows.”
Tim Murtaugh, spokesman for the Trump campaign, wrote to the television networks, “You should begin by asking the basic question: Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past? Murtaugh pointed to “reckless” and “outlandish, false claims” made by Blumenthal; among them “was Blumenthal’s statement in October on MSNBC that ‘the evidence is pretty clear that there was collision between the Trump campaign and the Russians.’”

Monday, March 25, 2019

Blumenthal, Mueller and Trump

“The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/ Gang aft a-gley” -- Robert Burns

We can no longer pretend, after the release of Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the findings of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation, that the more important findings mean nothing at all and may be safely ignored.

The leaders of what Victor David Hanson called back in February a “dead coup” will of course seek to minimize the import of the concluded investigation in their rush to continue their coup. However, without scouring the details of the investigation, two things are indisputable: 1) that Mueller’s two year probe is over —future indictments are not in the offing -- and 2) that Mueller did not cite anyone in the Trump administration, including the president himself, with conspiracy, a crime, or collusion with the Putin regime in Russia to win an election against then Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

Mueller’s two year investigation has been both exhaustive and exhausting. It unfolded under the dread suspicion, promoted by Democrats, that Trump would try to interfere with Mueller’s efforts, a suspicion that has proven to be a mole hill blown up to mountainous proportions by friends of Hillary Clinton such as Connecticut U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Taxing Sin: We Are All Sinners Now

When a dollar moves from a private wallet to a public treasury, it is a tax.

This year will be a tax bonanza for Governor Ned Lamont’s administration. Some projected tax increases have not yet been written in legislative stone, but it is possible that tax increases in the Lamont administration may exceed those of the preceding administration. Malloy raised taxes in two installments during his two terms in office; taken together, his two tax increases may represent the largest tax boost of any administration in state history. Malloy’s low approval rating upon leaving office – 25 percent -- is traceable to tax impositions, a bristly, autocratic character, and the failure of his policies to stem chronic deficits.

The above definition of a tax allows us to regard the elimination of tax credits and the extension of taxes to other goods and services as tax increases. Business taxes, as we know, are transferred to consumers in the form of higher prices for goods and services; business taxes therefore are ultimately consumption taxes. The illusion that businesses pay taxes is an imposture that figures greatly in the propaganda of progressives who imagine they are doing a favor for the middle class by taxing companies. Tolls are taxes. Legislative raids on so called dedicated funds and lock-boxes represent, in the long run, tax increases, because the raided funds must be replenished sometime in the future. Bonding is the taxation of future taxpayers.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Politics In The Dark

Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman -- Louis Brandeis

And, Brandeis continued, “Selfishness, injustice, cruelty, tricks and jobs of all sorts shun the light; to expose them is to defeat them. No serious evils, no rankling sore in the body politic, can remain long concealed, and when disclosed, it is half destroyed.”

Brandeis’ notion has long since become the anthem of modern journalism, properly practiced. Political trickery flourishes in the dark. The magician must shroud his trick in half light and distraction to pull the rabbit out of his hat. Journalism, properly practiced, is the sworn enemy of secret cabals.

Monday, March 11, 2019

How to Destroy Representative Government

The Yankee Institute once again is ringing an alarm bell, this time over a tolling bill crafted by the Connecticut Transportation Committee (DOT) that “contains a provision which allows a tolling proposal by the Connecticut Department of Transportation to pass without a vote by the legislature.” This is not the first time the Democrat dominated General Assembly sought to escape its constitutional obligation to vote on every dollar it raises or expends.

Under the terms of  Raised Bill 7280, “the General Assembly will have only 15 days to vote on tolling recommendations from the Connecticut Department of Transportation after an informational hearing, otherwise the tolling proposal will pass and be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration,” according to the Yankee Institute.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Enfield Republican Town Committee Address for Lincoln Day Dinner

Be The Storm

I’d like to thank Mary Ann Turner, the Chairman of the Enfield Republican Town Committee, for inviting me here today. It’s a pleasure to be with you. Enfield, everyone in the room may know, was the place where prominent theologian Jonathan Edwards delivered his “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” sermon. The sermon provided one of the sparks that lit the spiritual conflagration later called “The Great Awakening” and was  so fearful and effective a sermon that people in the pews broke out in tears. I think I can assure everyone in the room that my keynote may not have a similar effect.

Republicans have just been through a bruising election. I’d like to touch very gently on a few sore topics, but we don’t want to end up at a funeral here. Mark Twain, asked if he had attended the funeral of a man he intensely disliked, replied – No, I didn’t. But I sent along a message to the grief stricken that I heartily approved of the ceremony.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Lavielle On The Art Of Sausage Making

State Representative Gail Lavielle, one of the more thoughtful and business-like legislators in Connecticut’s democracy-averse General Assembly, recently gave on Facebook a painfully accurate overview of how legislation is made.

One of her constituents was wondering in what coffin the “regionalization/redistricting proposals will be buried” before the vampire is resurrected at the last moment to become, as Otto von Bismarck used to say, law.  Scholars are now quibbling over attribution, but Bismarck easily could have said, “Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made.” And indeed, there are sausage-makers in the General Assembly, the majority of them Democrat, who do not want the general public to see how laws are made.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Lamont’s Big Sticks

“Government… is force” George Washington

At least one Connecticut Journalist, Kevin Rennie in the Hartford Courant, believes that Governor Ned Lamont’s poorly concealed campaign lies concerning truck-only tolls will haunt him during his entire term or terms, as the case may be, in office.

“This [the campaign flip-flop] raises some long-term worries,” Rennie writes, “about Lamont’s ability to lead. Lamont may have surrounded himself with people who do not understand that the public sees campaign promises as something more than gossamer thoughts. Just as troubling is the prospect that there is no one around the Greenwich millionaire who could persuade him that abandoning a key campaign promise 38 days into his administration would inflict lasting damage on him. He will no longer be believed — a crippling wound for any governor.”

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Pesci To Keynote Enfield Lincoln Day Dinner

Please join us members of the Connecticut’s 7th Senatorial District as we honor the 2019 Republicans of The Year.  Enfield’s honoree is none other than Town Councilor for District 1, a family man, a small business owner and someone whose passion and common-sense approach is well-deserving of recognition: Joseph Bosco.

Our keynote speaker is Don Pesci.  Mr. Pesci is a political columnist of 35 years who has written for various state newspapers and is moderator of the blog “CT Commentary: Red Notes from a Blue State.”

Tickets and/or Ad Book opportunities can be purchased online or via mail. There are a variety of advertisement sizes available for the dinner program booklet.

Please note, businesses and organizations are limited (by CT State Statute) to $250 worth of advertising contributions per calendar year. The limit on individuals is $50. Dinner tickets DO NOT count towards this limit.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Lamont, Malloy Without The Quills?

Following Governor Ned Lamont's presentation of his budget to the General Assembly, the question remains: Is Ned Lamont Malloy II? He may turn out to be Malloy without the quills

Lamont’s budget includes hefty increases in taxes; as defined here, a tax is any dollar that moves from private wallets into the public treasury. Accumulatively, Lamont’s tax extensions – they are not a revocation of tax exemptions – closely approaches the tax increases of the Malloy administration. Taxes under the Lamont administration will also be made more progressive according to the reliable Marxian formula: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

Because of past economic sleight of hand, the neediest recipient of state dollars, it turns out, is the state treasury. In the past, when expenses have gone up and revenue has plummeted, Connecticut has increased taxes to recover ensuing deficits. Lamont repeats the process in a higher key.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Blumenthal’s War And Progressive Socialism

O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams” – Shakespeare, Hamlet

Dick Blumenthal, Connecticut’s progressive US Senator, is inching dangerously close to socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). The distance between progressive radicals and socialists is now hair thin.

Early in February, Blumenthal Tweeted, “Climate change is an existential crisis. I’m proud to co-sponsor the #GreenNewDeal—affirming our commitment to develop a plan to tackle the devastating effects of climate change, create high-paying jobs in renewable energy and address disparities in communities affected by pollution.”

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Progressive Menace In Connecticut: Vernon RTC Keynote

I’d like to thank Bob Hurd for inviting me here so that we might have a chat together. I’d also like to congratulate Dan Champagne for wining a slot in the General Assembly. He will be stepping into state Senator Tony Guglielmo large shoes, but there is no doubt he will be able to fashion his own foot print.

Welcome to the viper pit, Dan. You may want to stomp on a rumor that’s been floating around. It’s being said in some quarters that you ran for the state Senate because you missed butting heads with Mike Winkler. Michael is at a safe remove from Dan over in the House, but legislators sometimes bump into each other in the elevators and corridors of the General Assembly, not to mention its intersectional bathrooms.


Remarks by Chris Powell
Vernon Republican Town Committee
American Legion Post 14
Vernon, Connecticut
Saturday, February 16, 2019

For the first two decades of my adult life I was a Democrat. I became a Republican back around 1991, if for peculiar reasons that may be best explained by a scene in the old Marx Brothers movie “Horse Feathers.”

Maybe you remember it. Groucho has been appointed president of Huxley College and announces that the problem with Huxley is that it has been neglecting football for education. So he appoints himself coach of the football team in time to coach it for a game against Huxley’s big rival, Darwin College.

There’s a very confusing play on the field and Groucho ends up in the Darwin huddle. Groucho’s son runs over to him and says, “Dad, Dad -- You’re coaching the wrong team.”

Groucho replies: “I know that but our team wouldn’t listen to me.”

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Progressives Are Coming, The Progressives Are Coming...

This Vernon RTC keynote address appeared first in NEI

So then, let’s attack the question head on and ask – what do Connecticut progressives want?
The right answer is deceptively simple. They want MORE – more taxes, more spending, more favorable notices in the media, even though they are showered daily with editorial encomiums, and more government regulation, provided an impermeable wall can be constructed around the murder of late-term babies in the womb.
The only thing Connecticut progressives don’t want more of is less spending. They want to break down the barriers that stand between their revolutionary ambition to re-invent Connecticut as they consolidate power the way they have proposed to consolidate school districts, by eliminating the influences of what G., K. Chesterton once called “the little platoons of democracy,” mediating institutions such as town governments, churches, voluntary associations and the like. A famous caricaturist summed up the ethos of progressivism when he said, “What is the point of having absolute power, if you are not prepared to abuse it?” MORE HERE -- New England Intelligencer

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Lamont Budget

Deducing Governor Ned Lamont’s budget proposal from meetings he has held with Democrat leaders in the General Assembly is a little bit like deducing Shakespeare from lamb chops.

Here is Senate Pro Tem Martin Looney  on their talks, according to a piece in CTMirror: “’We did talk a little bit, just in general, about the nature of the sales tax and the fact it was structured when our economy was somewhat entirely dependent upon products and goods, and now it’s heavily dependent upon services,’ Looney said. ‘We did say, basically, the two options to address the sales tax are, one, a base expansion, and the second is a rate increase.’”

Monday, February 04, 2019

Murphy On The Death Of Connecticut’s Insurance Industry

A Republican American story notes, “A top Democratic lawmaker is sponsoring legislation to raise the state sales tax from 6.35 percent to 6.85 percent to help cities and towns.”

The top Democrat lawmaker is, of course, President Pro Tem of the State Senate Martin Looney, well positioned to sweep dedicated funds into the general fund, the graveyard of noble Democrat intentions.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A Looney Bill: Reinventing Connecticut

Now that Democrats have reclaimed the castle from marauding Republicans, State Senator Martin Looney is flexing his considerable muscles. Looney is the President Pro Tem of the State Senate and, as such, is one of two important gatekeepers steering bills through the legislature; the other is Speaker of the State House of Representatives Joe Aresimowicz, quite literally bought by unions. Aresimowicz is education coordinator employed by AFSCME.

Looney’s political turf is Half of New Haven, which last saw a Republican mayor 68 years ago, and Hamden, politically a vassal of New Haven, home of Yale College. Looney has been in politics for a quarter century, and his tenure has taught him a thing or two. Both Looney and Aresimowicz are progressives very much in the mold of Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, socialist presidential contender Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the new face of Democrat socialism, a US Representative from New York's 14th congressional district, which  includes the eastern part of The Bronx and portions of north-central Queens in New York City.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A Conversation With Peter Wolfgang

“The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice” -- A Defense of Humilities, The Defendant, 1901, G.K. Chesterton

Small “o” orthodox Christians of a certain age will be familiar with the cardinal virtues. They are: prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice – all under attack by a secular culture that, judging by Hollywood or Washington DC standards, appears to have won the battle. But, never fear, the four cardinal virtues form the breastplate of a church against which, its founder once proclaimed, the gates of Hell shall not prevail.

The Cardinal virtues, St. Augustine tells us, better enable us to pursue the good life: “To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul and with all one's efforts; from this,  it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude). It obeys only [God] (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).”

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Malloy, The Sanctuary Governor

“We are continuing to work with and await guidance from the appropriate federal agencies on screening measures that will be taken. With that said, if refugees – many who are children fleeing a horrific war-torn country—seek and are granted asylum after a rigorous security process, we should and will welcome them in Connecticut,” so said a spokesperson for Governor Dannel Malloy,  according to a piece in the Hartford Courant.

There are some obvious difficulties with this passage. Syria is administered by an odious dictator, perhaps even more ruthless than the father who preceded him, and rigorous screening measures such as those mentioned by Malloy are not always possible in horrific, war-torn countries.

Of course, a screening examination of even the most cursory kind is never possible in the case of illegal aliens from wretched countries such as Honduras and Guatemala who, crossing through Mexico, bum-rush the US border and thereafter become nearly invisible tucked within a welter of humanity – unless they call attention to themselves by violating a law other than the immigration laws winked at in sanctuary cities. Such difficulties have not stopped Malloy from opening the doors of Connecticut to unverified illegal immigrants, some of whom may be found in Connecticut’s sanctuary cities such as New Haven.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Connecticut’s Trump Bump And Culture Reinvention

While Connecticut Democrats were busying themselves thumping President Donald Trump during the recently concluded elections – the state’s all Democrat US Congressional Delegation would not shed a tear if U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelosi and US Senator Chuck Schumer were to succeed in impeaching him – Trump has delivered the goods to The Provision State.

The state’s underperforming economy may finally join the rest of the nation, much of which had recovered from the Great Recession many moons ago, in a splendid recovery – just in time too. Economists in Connecticut have not titled the coming jobs boom The Trump Bump, although a recent Hartford Business Journal (HBJ) report, “UTC’s 4Q profits jump 73%; CEO Hayes airs separation plans HBJ” comes dangerously close.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Attkisson On Transactional Reporting

Journalism, we are told, is suffering from two ailments: Fake news – some of the boys and girls are just pestiferous ideologues – and transactional journalism. Of the two, the more fatal is transactional journalism, because it perverts the very purpose of honest reporting, which is to tell the truth and shame the Devil.

Reporters who engage in transactional journalism are the Donald Trumps of the reportorial world. Journalism is, among other things, a business, and business orbits around access to a product. When he was Attorney General of Connecticut for more than 20 years, Dick Blumenthal was a master at putting his product before the television cameras, so much so that it was said of him -- by journalists weary of having to make his frequent media releases into reportorial foie gras -- that there was no more dangerous place in Connecticut than the space between Blumenthal and a television camera.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Republican Resistance, Themis Klarides

Themis Klarides, the leader of a much reduced Republican contingent in the Connecticut House of Representatives, is fair-minded, but not the sort of woman who will suffer fools – and, more importantly, political frauds – gladly. She may allow two strikes, but three strikes and you’re out.

Very early on, Klarites drew a bead on the Malloy administration, which sought to marginalize Republican influence over political affairs by loudly shutting the door on Republicans such as Klarides. A shrewd judge of character, she carefully catalogued the quills Governor Dannel Malloy had been throwing about.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hartford Is The Canary In Connecticut’s Mineshaft

According to a story in a Hartford paper, the city’s mayor, Luke Bronin, a rising star in state politics, “declined to comment on the dispute” between Hartford teachers and their nominal patron, the Hartford Board of Education. The dispute is about contracts and the inability of the people of Hartford to finance years of overspending.

A few months ago, Bronin, unable to meet his contractual obligations, sought a bailout from state taxpayers. Bronin leapt from the Malloy administration frying pan, where he served as Governor Dannel Malloy’s chief council, directly into the fire as mayor of a city teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and his former boss was only too happy to bail out his protege by flooding the city with state tax balm.

The Hartford school board is seeking concession from teacher union representatives, and the concessions will, if ever they bear fruit, make future state bailouts less burdensome to an all-Democrat political hegemon that may, under the enlightened administration of newly elected Governor Ned Lamont, be less inclined to bail out Connecticut cities teetering precariously on the edge of bankruptcy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Liebowitz On Juvenile Crime And Punishment

The letter below was written by Michael Liebowitz in response to a previous letter written to Wethersfield Chief of Police James Cetran. Liebeowitz is the author, along with Brent McCall, of “Down The Rabbit Hole” reviewed in Connecticut Commentary nearly a year ago.

Leibowitz here addresses the very touchy and much discussed question of crime and punishment: specifically, does punishment deter crime? The short answer is “yes,” provided the punishment, a necessary check on criminal behavior, most especially in the case of juvenile delinquents, is accompanied with therapeutic resources.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Spending Firewall Has Collapsed

CTMirror notes in a recent story that minority leader in the state House of Representations Themis Klarides has voiced her concern often enough that “when Democrats expanded their lead in the House and regained control of the Senate — that the majority is gearing up to spend recklessly…  ‘All we have heard from our colleagues on the other side of the aisle has been more, bigger, and let’s expand,’ Klarides said.”

Effective Republican resistance to spending increases, always a matter of numbers in the General Assembly, will be severely reduced in the new session.

Monday, January 07, 2019

The Progress of Connecticut’s Progressives: Is Larson Toast?

Connecticut’s gerrymandered First District, the eagle’s aerie for the last 20 years of US Representative-for-life John Larson, may in the future develop progressive cracks. Have Connecticut’s “safe” Democrat districts become suddenly vulnerable to attack – certainly not from moderate or right of center Republicans, but from newly animated progressives? Representative-for-life Rosa DeLauro of the 3rd District may be less vulnerable than other more moderate Democrats in Connecticut’s US Congressional delegation, because she is, and has been for a long while, the tip of the progressive spear point in Connecticut. But DeLauro too is getting on – she is 75 years young – and while the spirit may be willing, frail human bodies are subject to all the ills flesh is heir to.

Here in Connecticut, progressives now have a legitimate claim on Democrat politicians in the state’s General Assembly. Almost half of the legislature’s Democrat caucus is made up of progressives. And their brains are swelling with progressive ideas. They also are laying claim to members of the state’s all Democrat US Congressional Delegation.

Sunday, January 06, 2019




Saturday, January 05, 2019

The New Year

It may be worth mentioning – and, in fact, President Donald Trump, never shy about tooting his own horn, has mentioned it several times – that the national economy has improved under his watch.

An Associated Press story noted on the 4th of the New Year, “U.S. employers went on a hiring spree in December, adding a surprising 312,000 jobs… Health care and education added 82,000 jobs last month, the largest jump in nearly nine years. Restaurants and drinking places posted a net gain of 40,700 jobs. Builders added 38,000 construction jobs, while manufacturers increased their payrolls by 32,000 workers.” Amazingly, “The torrid hiring in December far outstripped the 180,000 jobs investors had been anticipating and could help ease fears that the economy’s expansion — now in the middle of its 10th year — may be coming to an end.”

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Lamont’s Democrat Problem

During his coming first term in office, Governor Ned Lamont need have no fear of the Republican Party, which was thoroughly thrashed by Democrats in the recently concluded elections.

Out- hustled by Democrats, Republicans lost 12 seats in the state House and 5 seats in the state Senate, returning the political status quo ante to the Democrat Party’s high point when former Governor Dannel Malloy first came into office. In years following the Malloy administration, Republicans had achieved parity with Democrats in the Senate and were only a few seats behind Democrats in the House.