Thursday, February 27, 2020

Connecticut, The Nullification State

Push has come to shove in Connecticut on the question of “sanctuary cities,” a misnomer. In Connecticut, every municipality is a sanctuary for border-crashing illegal aliens. It would be more proper to speak of sanctuary states, because it is the state government, not municipalities, that enforce “sanctuary,” a concept borrowed from what used to be called “the Dark Ages” when it was generally recognized that religious institutions and civil institutions both had laws that must be obeyed.  Sanctuary was a cultural compromise with the police power of the state; an accused, having arrived in the sanctuary of a church, was safe from apprehension because the civil authority had for centuries recognized an alternative, church law.

That is no longer the case – especially and pointedly in Connecticut. Only a few days ago, the Democrat dominated General Assembly approved a bill, following a hearing featuring a good many testifiers that spoke against the bill,  that would eliminate from Connecticut law a provision carving out an exception for religious parents who want to retain the authority to decide whether or not their children should be forcibly inoculated. The bill suspends a constitutional obligation to provide free and equal education for the children of such parents. Indeed, it sanctions parents who do not submit to the strictures of the bill by eliminating a long cherished free public schooling and may itself be unconstitutional. No one in Connecticut should expect Attorney General William Tong to rise to a defense of the imprescriptible Constitutional rights of Connecticut citizens.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Murphy’s War

US Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy held a behind the curtain meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Sometime after the meeting, Murphy ran into a wall in the person of Mollie Hemingway, after which a Zola on his staff wrote up, very late in the day, an extensive apologia that very likely will fizzle, even among Connecticut’s Murphyites.

The Journal Inquirer took Murphy to task in a February 22 Editorial, “Murphy was wrong to meet with Iranian official,” that is worth quoting in full:

“Sen. Christopher Murphy’s recent meeting with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif was a mistake. Murphy’s rationalization that we need to keep doors open with Iran is faulty. Iran is a clerical fascist state and is a sworn enemy of the United States. It will remain so as long as Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei remains in power.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

What Tolls Mean And Why They Are Not Dead

Lamont addressing General Assembly
Governor Ned Lamont threw up his hands in a gesture of surrender and took a pause in his ceaseless efforts to outrig Connecticut with a new revenue source – tolls – so that his comrades in the General Assembly would not have to apply themselves diligently during the next decade to balancing chronic deficits through spending cuts. A new revenue source would buy progressives in the legislature about ten years of business-as-usual slothfulness. It is their real hedge against spending reductions.

“I think it’s time,” Lamont said at a hastily called news conference, “to take a pause” and -- he did not say -- to resume our tireless efforts next year, after the November 2020 elections have been put to bed.  The specter always hanging over the struggle for and against tolls always has been the upcoming elections, when all the members of Connecticut’s General Assembly will come face to face with the voter’s wrath. The prime directive in state politics is to get elected and stay elected, without which all ideas, hopes, dreams, and the vain strutting of one’s hour upon the political stage, are evanescent puffs of smoke.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Toll Vote And Democrat Courage


 “’All of us are in public service to do the right thing, to do the difficult thing, and the right thing isn’t always easy,’ Bysiewicz said Thursday,” Hearst media tells us. “’I think that people want to support elected officials in public office who stand up, who speak out and who do things that are difficult and fight for things they believe in.’”

Bysiewicz believes in toll taxing. So do Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont and virtually all progressive Democrats in the state’s General Assembly. True, the governor has had some difficulty deciding precisely whom to tax: first truckers, then anyone who presumes to drive cars to work, then, as opposition to tolling the state began to mount, big rigs again. At least one published newspaper columnist thought theses wild and imprudent gyrations signaled a fatal political inexperience on behalf of Lamont, and there are of course numberless Democrat gubernatorial wannabes who would heartily agree.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Progressive’s Praetorian Guard And Connecticut’s Democrat Castle

Some Republicans with a sense of humor are questioning whether the Democrat leaders of the General Assembly, President Pro Tem of the Senate Martin Looney and Speaker of the House Joe Arsimowicz really need a Pretorian Guard to protect them from their constituents, the majority of whom have been bitten numerous times by tax fleas.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Trump Not Acquitted In Connecticut

It’s all over but for the grinding of teeth – and the possibility down the road, if President Donald Trump is reelected to office, of yet another impeachment debacle.

“Trump Acquitted” a Hartford paper blared on its front page – to no one’s surprise. The impeachment indictment in the U.S. House, controlled by Democrats, and an acquittal in the U.S. Senate, controlled by Republicans, were both foregone conclusions because, though the trappings of the proceedings in both chambers are quasi-judicial, the process is entirely a political affair.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

The State of Lamont’s State

Governor Ned Lamont delivered his second State of the State on the first Wednesday in February to a General Assembly bulging with eupeptic progressives. Democrats have been in charge of the budget writing General Assembly for the last few decades. It is true in Connecticut, as elsewhere in the nation, that the governor proposes budgets to the legislature, but it is the legislature that disposes of budgets, usually in close consultation with governors of the same party.

Lamont’s State of the State address was launched two days after President Donald Trump delivered before a bitterly divided U.S. Congress his State of the Nation address. Trump failed to shake Speaker of the U.S. House’s proffered hand at the beginning of the hostilities, and Nancy Pelosi ripped up the presidential signed State of the Union address at the end of the hostilities, which show no sign of abating.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Connecticut’s Media In The Age Of Decline

Ever since former Editorial Page Editor of the Hartford Courant Carol Lumsden left her position at the paper, the Hartford Courant has been renting out its editorial page to other left of center newspapers. At the beginning of February, the paper, summoning up courage, displayed a Courant editorial on tolling. It was, as one might expect, left of left of center.

“The time for half-measures is over,” the Courant bravely announced. “Connecticut residents spend way too much time alone in their cars and we’re destroying the planet in the process.” Cars and their owners are now planet destroyers, don't ya know. Perhaps Connecticut’s environmentally woke General Assembly can be convinced to outlaw the use of cars by these murderers, a measure that would “vastly expand mass transit, provide green options like bike paths in cities and work to actualize a future where cars play less of a role in our daily lives.”

For nutmeggers who have not yet jumped the hedge and moved to, say, Tennessee, tolls very well could be the state’s salvation. “Not to toll cars is more than just leaving money on the table,” the Courant advised, “it’s[a] failure to plan for the future.”

Friday, January 31, 2020

The Toll Draft-Bill Fine Print

“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” is not a sentiment often heard in Connecticut’s General Assembly. Nor is it often heard in the state’s media, besieged relentlessly with press releases issued by forked-tongued legislators.

The tolling draft-bill that may soon be approved by the General Assembly on a party line vote is the usual “rush job,” even though Democrats certain to vote in favor of the bill knew it was coming down the pike shortly after Ned Lamont had been elected Governor in January, 2019, a year ago.

The latest draft omits language in other versions that assigned the authority to raise toll rates to the legislature, where it belongs, and instead confers the authority to raise taxes – or “user fees” as artful Democrats would prefer -- to an unelected, and therefore irreproachable, newly formed Transportation Policy Council. This abdication of responsibility relives legislators of their constitutionally assigned “getting and spending” powers.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

In Tolls We Trust

Leading Democrats in the General Assembly think we need a new revenue source – tolls. Why do they think so? Because they have run out of money.

And why have they run out of money? The answer to that question will depend upon the political affiliation of the person to whom the question is put. Democrats have offered a cornucopia of reasons. Number one on their list is -- the gas tax just ain’t what it used to be.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Looney To Toll Opponents: Shut Up, Go Away

Martin Looney
“When asked by a reporter whether the [toll] hearing would be opened up to the general public after hearing from experts and guest speakers,” the Yankee Institute reported, “[President of the Senate Martin] Looney said he was working out the details with House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin.

“'I’ve not had any discussions with the Speaker as to whether or not it would be structured in a way to carve out a special allocation of time for invited speakers or anything like that,’ Looney said.”

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Biden In Connecticut

The impeachment of President Donald Trump has blotted out lesser news stories. Journalistically, the impeachment circus has become the sun that, early in the morning, hides the stars behind a veil of bright light. But the stars twinkle, never-the-less.

According to most polls, former Vice President Joe Biden will eventually become the White Knight facing the Republican’s Black Knight, Trump, whom Democrats, during their somber impeachment process, hope to remove from office before the 2020 elections. This fugitive “hope” is doomed to be crushed by the numbers. Democrats simply do not have the numbers in the U.S. Senate to boot Trump out of office before the national elections and, in politics, numbers rule.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Occam’s Razor And The Middle East

The Middle East, we are told, is complex.

That is true, but there is little point in making the complex more complex. We in the West should remember that partisanship and corruption grow in the crevices of complexity. If there were little confusion, we would have no need of experts to smooth a path for us through the complexities.

The simplest explanation for an occurrence is usually the best. We should apply Occam’s Razor, which holds that the more assumptions you must make, the more unlikely your explanation, to all complex conundrums.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Twenty Pounds Of Tax Increases, One Ounce Of Spending Cuts, Please

Haskell and Hillary
Keith Phaneuf, a reporter for CTMirror, set afire the imposture without doing too much damage to the tender feelings of Connecticut’s ruling class.

In “Lamont eyes emergency budget cuts, even as reserves swell,” Phaneuf notes 1) that the reductions are minor rescissionary cuts, and 2) that the deficit Governor Ned Lamont seeks to reduce through his rescission authority represents a piddling “0.1 percent of the General Fund.” Phaneuf notes, “Ned Lamont has also recently raised the specter of emergency budget cuts — something his predecessor did frequently to the consternation of the General Assembly.”

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Why There Will Be Tolls

It is nearly a forgone conclusion that tolls will be erected in Connecticut, and it is worth explaining why.

Taxation in Connecticut is a matter of numbers, just as the impeachment of President Donald Trump in the House was a matter of numbers and his exoneration in the Senate will be a matter of numbers. Rationales will be offered in both chambers, but the reasons offered pro and contra are purely decorative, not compelling. It is the votes that are compelling. The same is true of Connecticut’s state budget. Democrats have commanding leads in both chambers, therefore there will be tolls.

And the tolls, to be imposed only on trucks in Governor Lamont’s latest toll legislation, will metastasize in the future. That too is inevitable.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Blumenthal And Murphy Avoid Imputations

Murphy and Blumenthal
U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal were anxious – perhaps too anxious – to “set the narrative” concerning the strike on  General Qassem Soleimani of Iran, who met an untimely death at the hands of an American drone in Iraq.

Soleimani was engaged in his usual business in Iraq – killing Americans. He had, during his years as the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s top general, become proficient in the art, providing IED’s to friendly terrorist groups in all quarters of the Middle East. The state department has said he was responsible for upwards of 500 deaths of American soldiers in Iraq. After washing himself in American blood, Soleimani would duck back into Iran, a safe harbor from U.S. retribution.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Murphy’s Twitter Twists

Blumenthal and Murphy

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy appears to have gotten his twitters in a twist.

On December 31, the last day of the old decade, Murphy wrote on twitter: “The attack on our embassy in Baghdad is horrifying but predictable. Trump has rendered America impotent in the Middle East. No one fears us, no one listens to us. America has been reduced to huddling in safe rooms, hoping the bad guys will go away. What a disgrace.”

Shortly after the destruction at the embassy, orchestrated by Quds Force thugs under the direction of Iranian General Qassim Soleimani, the general met an American drone near the airport and quickly assumed room temperature.

Trump, spurred on, one may fancy, by Murphy’s hectoring, later boasted that his response to the endangering of embassy officials in Iraq would not be another Benghazi.

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Connecticut, The Nullification State

Push has come to shove in Connecticut on the question of “sanctuary cities,” a misnomer. In Connecticut, every municipality is a sanctuary...