Monday, May 27, 2019

Pelosi And The John Bailey Dinner



The recently re-installed Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, will be the featured speaker at the Connecticut Democrat’s annual fundraising dinner. Pelosi is known, among other things, for her ability to bring home the bennies, and Connecticut Democrats no doubt will be happy to receive them – not that the state’s Democrat Party is, by any measure, a poor waif begging for pennies on street corners.

The Annual Gathering of Democrats used to be called “The Jefferson, Jackson, Bailey Dinner.” But Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, author of the Declaration of Independence, and Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, generally regarded as the father of the modern Democrat Party, were both booted from the marque some years ago because both were slave owners. Jackson, in addition, displaced Native Americans from their ancestral homelands in what later became known as “The Trail of Tears.”

Upon ejection, the Hartford Courant noted editorially that Connecticut Democrats were well rid of the two. Their displacement left Connecticut Party boss John Bailey as the lone survivor, and the event is now called The John Bailey Dinner, to be held this year on Friday, June 21 at the Hartford Civic Center. The price of tickets range from $200, general admission, to $1,000 for deep pocket VIPs. The counterpart money grab among Republicans is called The Prescott Bush Dinner. Neither Bailey, the last Connecticut Democrat Party boss, nor Bush, Connecticut’s U.S. Senator from 1952 to 1963 -- the political scion of the Bush dynasty that produced two U.S. Presidents, father and son George H.W. Bush and George H. Bush – owned slaves.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Connecticut And The Politics Of Culture



Leftists are winning the culture war, the war on western civilization, because rootless politicians have shown themselves unwilling to enter the lists and do battle with the new morality.

For this reason, American culture is being redefined – reinvented, as the leftists would have it – by social anarchists with knives in their brains. It has become fashionable among New York leftist politicians to wink at, and even to publicly celebrate, infanticide. No assault on traditional sensibilities, it would seem, is beyond the pale.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s notion that third trimester abortion is too close to infanticide to be tolerated by men and women of conscience is now regarded as embarrassingly quaint  by New York’s smart set, among whom are Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, not his birth name.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Stranger In Our Midst

Rob Sampson
In a piece in the New England Intelligencer (NEI) printed last January, “Malloy, The Sanctuary Governor,” the governor’s spokesman, addressing Malloy’s views on sanctuary cities, said this: “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.”

That sentiment was encapsulated in a piece of legislation, the “Trust Act”, that has now been amended by Connecticut’s current Democrat dominated State Senate. And the changes are stunning, possibly even dangerous.

The “Trust Act", which prevents law enforcement officials in Connecticut from enforcing ICE detainers, did not incorporate whatever “guidance from the appropriate federal agencies on screening measures” in the bill. Illegal intruders admitted by stealth into the United States are unvetted; in all such cases, it is impossible to know who they are or where they are located – unless the illegal intruder brings himself to the attention of law enforcement officials, most often through the commission of a crime. It is impossible to assert that ICE nodded its assent to a bill that created sanctuaries from ICE, but the initial bill did allow reasonable exemptions – cases in which serious criminals would be reported to ICE by state officials.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Connecticut’s Detour


Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world… W. B. Yeats 

It seems ages ago that a major newspaper in Connecticut firmly decided that Connecticut was suffering from a spending rather than a revenue problem; meaning that budget deficits in the future should be liquidated by spending cuts and not tax increases.

Naturally, few politicians, chiefly those on the Democrat side of the political barricades, paid much attention to this change of heart and mind. Faced with chronic and continuing budget deficits – the state’s present biennial budget deficit is about $4 billion – Connecticut’s Democrat politicians continued piling on tax increases. Former Governor Dan Malloy, who retired from office following his second term, was a chronic revenue increaser, aided, of course, by a Democrat dominated General Assembly. Malloy’s approval rating plummeted more or less in concert with his tax increases, and he left office the least popular governor in the nation with an approval rating hovering around 25 percent.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

All The Governor’s Men, Occhiogrosso



Occhiogrosso and Malloy
Tolling in Connecticut is what the advertising men would call a tough sell, and it helps in circumstances such as these to bring in some political spin doctors to assist in the delivery.

Many people in Connecticut, almost certainly a majority, do not want tolls. On May 9, No Tolls Connecticut delivered to the governor’s office a “No Tolls” petition signed by 100,000 people.

Candidate for governor Ned Lamont said during his campaign he would favor tolls only if people outside the state, truck drivers mostly, would be depositing their mites in Connecticut’s revenue collection basket. He said this several times while the TV cameras were rolling. Later Lamont changed his mind, always the prerogative of pretty women and ambitious politicians. But Lamont’s reversal – which came shortly after he had won his gubernatorial campaign – could not be justified as a “misspeak.” He could have used the services of a good narrative builder right there, but Roy Occhiogrosso, former Governor Dan Malloy’s flack catcher and narrative builder perhaps was busy hauling in the dollars from his other clients.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Crony Capitalism, Not Down And Out In Connecticut

Ned Lamont
Six years ago, Jim Powell wrote what many in Connecticut considered at the time a stunning piece in Forbes Magazine titled “How Did Rich Connecticut Morph Into One Of America's Worst Performing Economies?

The piece was mentioned in Connecticut Commentary and columns two months after it had been published in August 2013. This is what was said about it at the time: “All the red flags fluttering in the Powell piece “point to an economically diminished and bleak future – unless and until the grown-ups take charge of Connecticut’s tax grubbing, high spending, crony capitalist government… Far from being a solution to our economic woes, crony capitalism – in which [then Governor Dannel] Malloy and leaders in the General Assembly plunder the private economy of entrepreneurial capital they then bestow on favored companies – encourages polite bribery between tax dispensers and large corporations, while introducing toxic levels of moral uncertainty into a business-governmental relationship that should be even-handed and just. Crony capitalism tilts in favor of large, resource rich companies what U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal might regard, if he thought about it, as the economic ‘even playing field.’ It is the work of a day for large politically connected companies to use the agencies of government to drive healthy competition from the field.”

Sunday, May 05, 2019

To Russia With Love, Blumenthal’s Choice

Blumenthal sworn into office by Biden in a mock ceremony
The leading Democrats scrambling up the presidential campaign greasy pole are former Vice President in the Obama administration Joe Biden, 29 percent in a Quinnipiac poll, followed by Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders, 19 percent in the same poll, both of whom have had past sweet and sour relationships, none of them the subject of congressional hearings,  with communist Russia. President Donald Trump continues to be slammed by Democrats owing to his still alleged warm relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, collusion with the Ruskies having been put in the cooler after the Mueller investigation, but these two… not so much.

Biden’s questionable relationship with Ukraine, a country that had in the past locked horns with Russia numerous times – in 1932, Joseph Stalin created a man-made famine to haul Ukraine into the Soviet orbit – recently re-surfaced in a New York Times piece that is certain to catch the eyes of those who have questioned President Trump’s presumed warm relationship with Putin.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Pensioning Off Pension Debt To Towns




The Democrat plan to “to have cities and towns share in the cost of public school teachers’ pensions,” as the Hartford Courant put it in a recent story, continues to be “controversial,” perhaps the understatement of the year. The plan would “cost municipalities a combined $73 million a year and would lead to property tax increases across the state.”

The principal spokesman for the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Kevin Maloney, has characterized the plan to shift to towns some cost of pensions without giving the towns the opportunity to cut spending by reducing teacher salaries and benefits  as “the largest unfunded state mandate in recent memory,” and the executive director of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns Betsy Gara has said, “Shifting $73 million in pension costs onto the backs of already overburdened homeowners and other property taxpayers will diminish housing values, undermining our state and local economies."

Local government relies on property taxes to run municipal governments, and here too the state plans to partly deprive these rival municipal governments of their means of financing through a series of measures: eliminating property tax on cars, raising the tax on home ownership by boosting from 70% to 100%  the assessed value of houses, and more.

The characterizations of Maloney and Gara, though true, are not likely to move the legislative needle, now stuck on "Democrat."