Saturday, October 27, 2012

Courant Endorsements

The last of the Hartford Courant’s increasingly irrelevant U.S. Congressional delegation endorsements appeared in the paper on Friday.

The Courant -- shocking the entire state – endorsed U.S. Representative Chris Murphy over former soft-porn WWE impresario Linda McMahon who, in the course of her run for Joe Lieberman’s soon to be vacant seat, snubbed Connecticut’s left of center media.

Courant endorsements are “conservative” in the bad sense. Connecticut’s congressional delegation is non-diverse; all the members of the delegation are Democrats, and it is clear, following the paper’s endorsement of Elizabeth Esty over moderate Republican Andrew Roraback, that the publisher of the paper and its editorial board members prefer it this way.

Adding its endorsement of Democrat Elizabeth Esty’s to that of former Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi, the Hartford Courant in its editorial, “Democrat's positions edge Andrew Roraback's bona fides,” tipped its hat to moderate Republican challenger Andrew Roraback’s bona fides, but found that his fides weren’t bona enough.

Mr. Roraback has billed himself during his campaign against Mrs. Esty, the wife of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Daniel Esty, as a moderate Republican. In left of center editorial board lingo, “moderates” are much preferred over conservative and libertarian Republicans. Mr. Roraback earned his stripes as a moderate by setting himself apart from doctrinaire Republicans elsewhere in the country and flashing his bona fides as a “fiscal conservative,” code language to indicate his disassociation from disreputable“social conservatives,” not to mention toxic members of the much misunderstood– one might say purposelymisunderstood – members of the Tea Party.

Perhaps if Mr. Roraback had billed himself as a “maverick Republican,” following in the footsteps of former U.S. Senator and Governor Lowell Weicker, his fides would have been acceptable to the Courant’s editorial board. A maverick, as opposed to a moderate, is a Republican whose active distaste for all things Republican places him firmly in the Democratic camp.

Maverick Republicans are masked Democrats working within the party to subvert it. They are disguised sappers, ideological first cousins of the editorial writers at the Courant who generally advance super subtle reasons for bestrewing endorsements on leftist candidates.

Reason number one: The endorsed candidate has more practical experience than the challenger. Since Democrats in Connecticut, with invaluable assists from sappers, now command the governor’s office, the state House, the state Senate and the state Supreme Court -- Yes Virginia, the court is subtly affected by powerful partisan politicians, whatever you may have read about its vaunted courageous independence – the Courant’s rationale supports the present status quo Democratic hegemon.

The first casualty of this all too convenient rationale is the much cited journalistic doctrine that the proper mission of the media, when it is doing its job, is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Within Connecticut, comfortable Democrats-for-life occupying gerrymandered districts, such as U.S. Representatives John Larson and multimillionaire Rosa DeLauro, are among scores of incumbent Democrats unmolested by the state’s purported non-partisan left of center media. Consistently applied, the doctrine that one should always vote for the more experienced candidate is subversive of democracy, which depends upon a fluid and diverse governing class: It is an argument favoring permanent and unchanging governance – perpetual rule by incumbents.

It should be noted that in its Esty endorsement the Courant carved out an exception to its own general rule. Of the two candidates vying for the U.S. House in the 5th District, Mr. Roraback has more governing experience. And he certainly meets the paper’s second criteria without which candidates for office fail to receive its endorsements: The potential endorsee must forswear any political alliance with national Republicans on so called “social issues.” In this regard, true believing editorialists on the left reflexively support progressive Democrats.
Mrs. Esty, more reliably left wing than Mr. Roraback, was blessed with the Courant’s endorsement -- because the paper’s principle ideological duty, now and forever, is to hold back a fictitious horde of conservatives from assaulting the gates of paradise, a utopian vision of governance in which the governing authority overwhelms what social scientists sometimes call mediating institutions: the family, the church, voluntary associations, independent business enterprises, a non-partisan media and, somewhere close to the top of the list, a reified Republican Party dedicated to weaning the individual from a paternalistic state

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Murphy, the Congressman from Planned Parenthood

President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards announced recently her intention to campaign for President Barack Obama FULL TIME, and no wonder.

Planned Parenthood -- the largest abortion provider on the planet, with the possible exception of China’s pro-abortion fascist state controlled facilities – is big business. Every single day, Planned Parenthood receives more than $1.34 million public tax dollars. Abortion procedures account for 46% of all Planned Parenthood clinic revenue. Ms. Richards last year pulled in a sumptuous $400,000 paycheck as her business systematically aborted over 320,000 children each year.

Here in Connecticut, the Democratic Party from Chicago has managed to tag as “extremists” politicians and potential politicians whose views on abortion fall short of those of Planned Parenthood.

Congressman Chris Murphy, who this year appears to be running on the Planned Parenthood ticket for the U.S. Senate, has successfully managed to paint his Republican opponent Linda McMahon as an “extremist” who, once in office, will struggle mightily to dismantle Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that opened the abortion Pandora's box in 1973.

Along with its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, the court found in the aura of rights surrounding the U.S. Constitution a constitutional right of privacy mitigated by two legitimate interests vested in the states: The individual states, the court ruled, could regulate abortion to protect prenatal life and women’s health. Both interests, the court said, become more compelling as the course of the pregnancy progresses, which is why the court tied state regulation of abortion to pregnancy trimesters.

Though many jurists have found fault with the high court’s reasoning – deducing a constitutional right from the aura of rights surrounding the constitution strikes some court critics as a jurisprudential séance – it would be nearly impossible, as a political matter, to overthrow the practical results that have issued over time from the court’s ruling. The bugaboo that Republican “extremists” could in any real sense abolish all legal abortions, however, continues to be a useful tool for Democratic demagogues courting what they suppose to be the“woman’s vote” in elections. The national Democratic Party, during its convention this year, elevated what had been an art into a science.

After the Supreme Court’s ruling, various states did create statutes regulating abortion, especially in the case of minors. The Court upheld the basic right to abortion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992. At the same time, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a semi-autonomous division of Planned Parenthood, “the court expanded the ability of the states to enact all but the most extreme restrictions on women's access to abortion.”

Note should be taken here of Guttmacher’s use of the word“extreme.” The “most common” restrictions -- parental notification, consent requirements for minors, state-sponsored counseling, waiting periods and limitations on public funding – are not considered extreme, except by special interests such as Planned Parenthood, an abortion provider whose business bottom line is reduced by any legal and reasonable exception individual states choose to adopt in accordance with Roe v. Wade and other rulings by the Supreme Court.

Along with forty other states,Connecticut statutes specifically prohibit abortion after viability unless an abortion is necessary to preserve a woman’s life or health; ten states lack such a provision in their laws. Connecticut, among four other states, affirmatively protects a woman’s right to an abortion. Along with thirty other states, Connecticut laws require women to receive state-mandated information and materials concerning fetal development, prenatal care, and other related information. Minors are prohibited from obtaining abortions without parental consent or notice in thirty-nine states, and while Connecticut is not among them, the state does require minors seeking abortions to receive counseling that includes a discussion of the possibility of consulting her parents.

Statutory laws regulating abortion throughout the United States effectively mark the boundaries of “extremism” with respect to abortion. Connecticut statutes are mildly restrictive. Planned Parenthood opposes all and every restriction on abortion, however mild -- an extreme position. To the extent that Mr. Murphy’s position on abortion restrictions patterns that of Planned Parenthood, his positions will also be extreme, as are those of Mr. Obama.

Mrs. McMahon’s views on reasonable abortion restrictions are inscrutable.

Last week, one reporter asked high officials in the Obama administration to cite one non-extreme restriction on abortion opposed by Ms. Richards that the president might consider adopting. We’ll get back to you, said Mr. Obama’s Chicago operation. Much to his relief, Mr. Murphy has been spared the same question.

One should not expect from Connecticut’s left of center media probing questions directed at members of the state’s congressional delegation, all Democrats, who hold the same extreme views on abortion as those of Ms. Richards – all of whom, including Mr. Murphy, have received a 100% rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) -- for the state’s media have bought the Democratic propaganda peddled by such as Mr. Murphy: Any restriction on abortion is extreme that restricts any abortion in any state, at any time, for any reason.

Also extreme, in Mr. Murphy’s view, are politicians and obstructionists who impede his path to the U.S. Senate.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What if She Wins?

Linda McMahon may or may not win her campaign to replace Senator Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Congress. Everyone agrees that her race with media favorite Chris Murphy is a close one. Although it is a presidential election year, Barack Obama appears to have lost some of his luster since his last election, his coattails having been clipped by four years in office during which the recovery promised by the president has yet to surface. The latest Gallup poll shows the president trailing Republican Presidential candidate MittRomney by seven points, not a propitious sign.

If Mrs. McMahon is elected to the U.S. Senate, her critics in Connecticut – pretty nearly every commentator in the state – will put down her win to dollars spent. In this regard, Mrs. McMahon is the exception in Connecticut.

All the seats in the state’s congressional delegation are held by Democrats who are able, by virtue of their incumbency, to outspend Republicans by indecent margins. Senator John Larson of the impregnable 1st District routinely outspends his Republican opponents; and until recently Rosa DeLauro, like U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal a millionaire, has effectively sidestepped her Republican opponent, Wayne Winsley.

When Mrs. McMahon lost to Democratic superstar Blumenthal, her critics were quick to point out that the $50 million misspent by Mrs. McMahon could not purchase an election. Dollars, it was said, didn’t matter. Assuming a win, Mrs. McMahon’s critics this time will insist that she bought her Senate seat on the cheap by flooding the state with ads that personally attacked her Democratic opponent, who in the past had some difficulty in paying his rent and later his mortgage; no big thing, happens all the time said editorials endorsing Mr. Murphy.

Finally, her critics will insist that Mrs. McMahon has no mandate to govern because she refused to engage during her campaign on important issues of the day, choosing instead to cling feverishly to a narrow campaign message forged by her handlers.
Mrs. McMahon may have picked up this trick from Mr. Blumenthal who during the final days of his campaign, following disclosures that the attorney general had lied several times concerning his non-service in Vietnam – no big thing – sedulously avoided his critics. Mr. Blumenthal’s entire senatorial campaign was a reprise of his glory days as Connecticut’s suit happy Attorney General, a public persona he finds it convenient to maintain as U. S. Congressman; as senator and the nation’s premier congressional consumer advocate, Mr. Blumenthal now is toying with a bill thatwould affect advertising for scooter chairs.

There is some justice to this last charge brought against Mrs. McMahon. The first rule of politics for Republicans running in a reliably blue state is this: If you don’t give the jackals red meat – say in the form of a carefully crafted position paper on President Barack Obama’s murderously ineptforeign policy blundering in Benghazi – the servants of the status quo in the state, who are legion, will sup on the marrow of your bones. Better to give them the red meat.

Mrs. McMahon easily might have avoided the presumption that she is light-headed on congressional matters by a few carefully thought out speeches on a) the economy, b) foreign policy and c) a topic of her own choice that might have thrown some light on her fitness to serve in what has been called, before it descended into a campaign Ponzi scheme constructed in Chicago, the greatest deliberative body on earth.

Both Mrs. McMahon and Mr. Murphy have become prisoners of their handlers. Mr. Murphy’s entire campaign bears the imprint of a “made in Chicago” mafia hit: Republicans hate women; Mrs. McMahon is morally destitute; crony capitalism directed from the White House will lift both the country and Connecticut from imminent ruin; the cure for bottomless debt is more Beltway spending; taxes should be increased on quarter millionaires to pay for improvident spending; salafists can be our friends, provided we lather them sufficiently with diplomatic kowtows and saccharine speeches concerning the brotherhood of man; bills passed on to creditors and young people expected to pick up the tab for bankrupted national programs will never come due; Wall Street alone caused the Bush economic collapse – all juvenile nonsense designed to spare the human brain the necessity of critical thought.

Convinced – not without reason – that Connecticut’s left of center media had iced the political sidewalk hoping for a an embarrassing pratfall on matters of little importance, Mrs. McMahon shut the door on the media during her primary run against former U.S. Representative Chris Shays. Money in that race was crucial; Mr. Shays hadn’t enough on hand to challenge Mrs. McMahon vigorously, and he made a serious error in judgment when he declined to ask delegates to the Republican Convention in Hartford to support him. Mrs. McMahon opened the door a crack during her debates with Mr. Murphy and agreed to talk with the editorial board of a major newspaper that in all probability will endorse Mr. Murphy.

As a result of all this, Connecticut citizens are left with anti-campaigns directed by political outliers who certainly will not bear the consequences of their efforts. The buck, as usual, will fall most heavily on the general populace, which is what happens when democratic institutions suffer irreversible breakdowns.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Clinton in Connecticut

Americans used to wait a decent interval before they set about re-writing history. An example of a recent re-write may be found in an op-ed written by Mark Bowen, who writes for the New Republic. The piece is a glowing review of Ben Affleck’s new film “Argo.”

In the course of his review, Mr. Bowen punctures what he understands to be two grave misunderstandings: 1) that former President Jimmy Carter was too weak to foresee and prevent the Iranian hostage crisis; “in fact, he prepared and launched one of the boldest covert military efforts in American history,” and 2) that President Ronald Reagan “proved to be a lot more willing to deal with the mullahs than Carter ever was.”

In other pieces written by Mr. Bowen, the author of “"Guests of the Ayatollah" is constrained to mention in passing some similarities between the Iranian crisis and recent difficulties in Benghazi, the site of the murder by terrorists of American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Despite the head fakes and feigns of the Obama administration, it is now apparent that the assault on the consulate in Benghazi was 1) a terrorist attack, 2) well prepared beforehand by salafists who 3) were likely connected with al-Qaida in the Maghreb to 4) remind the Arab world that the attack on the World Trade Center Towers in New York was but a beginning to a protracted war on Western institutions and the twin “Great Satans” of Israel and the United States.

Most recently,Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has bravely taken a howitzer shell for her team. For more than a week after the initial attack on the consulate, the Obama administration put out to public view a narrative of events in Benghazi that bore as little relationship to real events as does Mr. Obama’s putative autobiography “Dreams from My Father” to an authentic auto-biography. The president's understanding of the attack on the consulate is a prime example of historical revisionism in real time. Fortunately, some news outlets have corrected the record, also in real time.

The notion pedaled by the Obama administration that the attack on the consulate was inspired by an amateur film trailer that defamed the prophet Mohammed, blessings be upon him, is a fiction that now may be put to rest – because there was no protest crowd outside the embassy whipped into a murderous frenzy by the film (version 1), and the non-existent protest crowd therefore could not have been used by terrorists as a blind to cover their attack (version 2).

Not only was the attack on the consulate well-prepared and organized, it was preceded by several disturbing incidents that insufficiently disturbed the complacency of the Obama administration – including a prior attack on the same embassy that blew a forty foot hole into a perimeter wall and an attack on the British ambassador so severe that the Brits closed their embassy. Lt Col Wood, in charge of an American embassy security detail that was removed before the attack on the American consulate, regarded the removal of British diplomats and Red Cross workers as a warning to U.S. diplomats. "I almost expected the attack to come,” he said. “We were the last flag flying; it was a matter of time.”

Documents recently released show that Mr. Stevens had repeatedly requested additional security. On the very day of Mr. Stevens' murder, the ambassador had dispatched a message, literally a cry for help, requesting additional protection for the embassy. In a recent special investigation, Fox News developed a timeline of events that shows the Obama administration had withdrawn security forces prior to the attack.
In biting a very large bullet –Mrs. Clinton has said she alone is responsible for security at the embassies – former President Clinton’s wife may have rescued part of a tattered fictional narrative used by the president and his apologist so far to escape direct responsibility for the murder of four Americans on what even the Ayatollah Khomeini certainly recognized as American diplomatic territory in a foreign country.

Here is the open question: When Mr. Clinton visits Connecticut sometime around the 28thof October, will he be asked by Connecticut’s fearless media any questions that might incommode him or Mr. Obama's re-election effort? Or can we expect, as usual, the usual fluff?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Abortion and Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Races

One of Linda McMahon’s most insistent critics, Chris Powell of the Journal Inquirer, noted in a post-debate column that Mrs. McMahon’s view on abortion was … ahem … “more nuanced” than that of Chris Murphy.

The views of President Barack Obama on abortion are, if possible, more extreme than those of Mr. Murphy. There are no circumstances in which the president would disallow an abortion. As an Illinois state senator, Mr. Obama had fulsomely supported legislation permitting abortion on demand, which would include the kind of sex selection abortion practiced in China and – this may surprise pro-abortion proponents – abortions condemned by the early church fathers in the late Roman Empire. The paterfamilias of a family in Rome at the time St. Augustine of Hippo was fulminating against the practice held life and death powers over his children, born and unborn. While infanticide was rare, in the Clintonian sense, during the reign of the Caesars, a father could not be punished under Roman law for committing infanticide, most often involving female infants, by exposing the born infant to the elements. Abortions were more common. The president also has opposed the so called “born alive” bill, a measure that would have extended to infants born alive during botched abortions the same legal protections afforded born babies.

It was Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, no tea partier, who declined to vote in favor of partial birth abortion because he regarded the practice as a form of infanticide.

Polls show a drift of women into the Republican camp. They also show that women’s views on abortion are more moderate than those of Democratic Planned Parenthood pied pipers. A July 2011 Gallup Poll measuring the favorability of restrictions on abortion shows preferences for a law making partial birth abortion illegal during the last six months of a pregnancy (64-31%); a law requiring doctors to inform patients about risks prior to performing abortions (87-11%); a law requiring parental consent for abortion (71-21%); a law requiring a 24 hour waiting period before an abortion is performed (69-28%); and the poll shows a slim majority (50-46%) in favor of a law requiring those seeking abortion to be shown an ultrasound image of the fetus.

Here in true blue Connecticut, as elsewhere in the nation, a long standing accommodation on the question of abortion had in the past tended to prevent unnecessary political abrasion between church and state. Such accommodation necessarily involves a resolve on the part of legislators to find a way to preserve religious rights guaranteed by the First Amendment – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” -- while preserving other rights. Any constitutionalist worth his salt knows very well that you cannot extend a constitutional right infinitely in any direction without abridging other rights.

When the resolve on the part of the state to accommodate religious prescriptions is missing, it seems reasonable to impute extremism to the legislator unwilling to make the necessary accommodations. This year, for the first time in its history, the national Democratic Party pushed abortion rights to extreme limits -- at the expense of orthodox Christians who understandably are concerned with the erosion of their first amendment rights to freely exercise their religion according to long accepted religious precepts.

The Obama campaign appears to be operating on the supposition that extremism in the service of the “virtue” of abortion will result in a harvest of votes from women. So far, recent polls show a severe drop-off of votes from women, perhaps because women are conscious of themselves as integrated personalities rather than ovary containers. Mr. Romney has cutthe gender gap from 20 to 9 points. At the same time, Independents seem to be declaring their independence from a party that has more in common with Eugene Debs than Former President JohnKennedy, who sounded in a speech he gave in 1962 to Economic Club of New York very much like a Chicago school economist not unfamiliar with Frederick Hayek’s masterful “The Constitution of Liberty,” a book published in 1960, one year before Mr. Kennedy assumed the presidency.

In Connecticut, Republicans have ceded to Democrats positions on social issues that are not supported by a majority of voters. Who convinced them that elections do not turn on such social issues as abortion, much more prevalent among African Americans than whites, or the integrity of the traditional family unit in urban areas, where fatherhood is a distant memory and young men who have not yet landed in prison search and find an aberrant form of social definition in murderous gangs? Although only 13 percent of American women are black, figures from the Centers for Disease Control show they account for 35 percent of the abortions. What accounts for the massive retreat from so called social issues on the part of Republicans? And why do Republicans running for the U .S. Congress from the Northeast this year sound like larval progressives who cannot wait to march to Washington and protest their party’s positions – except on fiscal issues?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lawlor’s Law

The whole point and purpose of the Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) is, as the title suggests, victim advocacy. Any defense lawyer or reporter will tell you that advocacy hurts and involves incalculable risks to the advocate. Such is the case with the OVA, which can most accurately be described as an independent in-house whistleblower operation.
A number of people who showed up on a blustery afternoon outside the Wethersfield Department of Corrections (DOC) on October 16 to protest the immanent firing of Michelle Cruz, Connecticut’s Victim’s Advocate, had use of her services. One of them was Elizabeth Barrett, whose daughter was murdered four years ago. She was accompanied by her husband who, with his close cropped white beard, looked for all the world like Ernest Hemingway.
Mrs. Barrett stepped to the battery of microphones, leaned into them and said in a crisp voice, “Four and a half years ago, we were fortunate enough to meet Michelle Cruz, Connecticut’s Victim’s Advocate. She has sat with us at our meetings with police, advised us of our rights, explained the judicial system, and explained legal terms in a language we could understand. Her empathy and knowledge have been indispensable, which brings me to the reason I’m here today.”

Saturday, October 13, 2012

You Do Trust Us, Don’t You?


Here is President Barack Obama holding forth in an ad released in September: “Now Governor Romney believes that with even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy, and fewer regulations on Wall Street, all of us will prosper. In other words, he’d double down on the same trickle-down policies that led to the crisis in the first place.”

That is the core message of the Obama-Biden campaign. Mr. Obama has repeated the claim often, and Vice President Joe Biden took it for a ride around the block in his recent debate with Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

Unfortunately, the theory recently collided with fact checker for the Washington Post Glenn Kessler, not a conservative or a member in good standing of the much abused and misunderstood Tea Party movement, who awarded the claim three out of four “Pinocchios,” which places the statement alongside such whoppers as “the earth is flat” and “Vice President Joe Biden is a gentleman.”

Citations to support the claim are missing, and the veracity of the proposition rests upon a single column written by Ezra Klein, the paper’s liberal blogger who told Mr. Kessler, “I am absolutely not saying the Bush tax cuts led to the financial crisis. To my knowledge, there’s no evidence of that.”

In an attempt to bury the lie, Mr. Kessler wrote, “It is time for the Obama campaign to retire this talking point, no matter how much it seems to resonate with voters.”

Good luck with that. It was British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who said there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. One suspects the Obama-Biden trope falls into the category of damned lies that cannot be withdrawn without causing a campaign to collapse upon itself. Inconvenient lies are easily thrown overboard, but a convenient lie that forms the main joist of a political campaign must be defended to the death. And didn’t some politician or other point out that if a lie is large and audacious enough, it would survive the attacks upon it  of angels, science and fact checkers?    

If former President George Bush did not slay the economy with tax cuts, who killed Cock Robin? What was the precipitating cause of crisis so often lamented by Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden?

It was, many non-partisan writers are coming to believe, the mortgage crisis. This writer said months ago that if Mr. Obama had from the beginning of his first term in office addressed himself to settling the mortgage crisis, he would today be undefeatable. A healthy housing market drives the entire U.S. economy, and an effective solution to the mortgage crisis would have been very painful indeed. The housing bubble was caused by politicians in Washington who degraded mortgage banking standards so that those who could not afford mortgages might never-the-less own houses. In Canada, where banking standards remained rational, the housing industry remained solvent.

Instead of addressing himself to restoring the lending integrity of banks, Mr. Obama reached for the same brass ring that tempted progressives a hundred years ago during the election of 1912 and pushed through a Congress dominated by Democrats the holy grail of progressivism – universal health care, Obamacare being a giant step in the direction of universal health care. That attempt is now crashing on the rocks of reality. The U.S. economy simply is not healthy enough to sustain the cost of Mr. Obama’s unaffordable “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” a poorly conceived half-way measure designed to move the nation towards a government run health care system.

Other government controlled and administered systems – Social Security, than which there is nothing less secure, Medicare and Medicaid -- are heading towards collapse if nothing is done to make them solvent for future generations. Solutions that might make these systems solvent put forward by Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, among others, have been laughed to scorn by the easily amused Mr. Biden, who continues to disown problems he and the president should have accepted as their own long ago. The very first step in problem solving is to own the problem before it owns you.

We are living in a time when problems put the saddle on men and ride them until they drop. In Europe, politicians are already hagridden. Excessive spending and unaffordable entitlements have bankrupted first Greece, then Spain, then Italy, and the governments of impecunious countries, former democracies, have now been delivered into the unforgiving hands of technocrats and international bankers. All this is happening in real time, right under our noses. And yet here, just as in Europe, we are following the path of least resistance towards a fatal fall dramatically pictured in our media and on our television screens.

It ought to be a cause of great concern that our politicians cannot see the problems so apparent to the enemies of our country.  The response of the United States to the murder of an ambassador and the destruction of a consulate in Benghazi is a near triumph of rhetoric over reality.

At first, the attack on the embassy was attributed to a spontaneous protest occasioned by a film that insulted the prophet Mohammed, a tissue of lies. On the second day following the organized attack on the embassy by a terrorist network supposedly disabled by the killing of Osama bin Ladin, intelligence officials knew there was no protest rally at the embassy -- none. Nice try. At a vice presidential debate with the excessively polite Mr. Ryan, the vastly amused Mr. Biden, three corpses sitting on his chest, pointed to faulty intelligence as the culprit that prevented him and the president from reinforcing an embassy under constant threat from terrorists for months, a four Pinocchios stretcher. Pity Mr. Biden couldn’t put the blame on former President George Bush. But in Mr. Bush’s absence, intelligence services would serve the same purpose.

Trust my rhetoric over the reality that seeps through your senses into your brain, Mr. Biden implored an audience that saw him interrupt Mr. Ryan about eighty times, a calculated filibuster designed to blunt the force of Mr. Ryan’s assertions. You do trust us, Mr. Biden asked the voting public, don’t you?

Well, don’t you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Esty the Grownup Democrat

The good news is that Bain Capital, associated with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was not asked by the owners of Deco Products of Iowa to intervene and streamline its processes at a time when the company was suffering business losses. Deco has for more than six decades been in the family of Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat in true blue Connecticut running for the U.S. Congress in the 5th District. The further good news is that, owing to a mishap involving the FBI in Chris Donovan’s campaign for the same position, Ms. Esty prevailed over Mr. Donovan in a democratic primary.

Mr. Donovan’s political parts were assembled in a union hall. One can only imagine what hash he would have made of Mrs. Esty had it been known during the Democratic primary that Mrs. Esty is the beneficiary of a family owned company that, way back in 2009 when times were tough, laid off 53 of about 225 NON UNIONIZED workers.

According to a news report, “Esty received between $35,000 and $115,000 in 'partnership income' during 2011 – and between $15,000 and $45,000 in the first four months of 2012 – through her role in a family partnership connected with Deco Products Co. The zinc die-cast manufacturing plant was co-founded by her grandfather some 60 years ago in the northeastern Iowa town of Decorah.”

In the kindergarten of quasi-socialist progressive Democrats here in Connecticut, -- some of whom, such as Democratic contender for the U.S. Senate Chris Murphy, receive their marching orders from Washington D.C. via President Barack Obama’s Chicago campaign operation -- Mrs. Esty occasionally stands out as the lonely grownup.

To survive as a corporate entity in a competitive business environment, a company sometimes is forced to let go workers during business slowdowns. A business that always draws breath in and never lets it out is fated to explode. A business that does not year after year make a profit –which it then uses in part to improve its product, deepen its market share and thus provide additional jobs, salaries and benefits to more workers, not to mention additional taxes to state and federal governments -- will soon be measured for the coffin. All grownups know this. And although a particular worker may nightly envision his or her boss hanging on a hook in the fourth circle of Dante’s Hell, where Plutus, the wolf like demon of wealth holds court, the worker never-the-less is happy to have a job, earn a salary, put bread on his or her table, and rejoice that he or she does not live in present day Greece amid the fire and brimstone of “social unrest.”

In made in Washington Democratic campaign rhetoric, profits are the first deadly sin. The second deadly sin is independence from overseers in Washington D.C., the tax and spending capital of the Beltway Empire that, having deprived private enterprise of its profits and weakened the vitality of corporations through a massive regulatory apparatus, then proceeds to direct company’s business activities though regulatory wavers and aid in the form of tax credits to their preferred crony capitalists. Grownups and some few reporters and editors familiar with a 20th century full of autocratic regimes know very well where such command economies end up. German and Italian fascism and Soviet communism, all centrally directed authoritarian political structures, were eventually tossed on the ash heap of history for reasons best summarized by the Iron Lady of Britain, Margaret Thatcher: “The trouble with socialism (i.e. command economies) is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.”

Greece, Spain, Italy and other Western countries already have run out of other people’s money. In much of Europe, deeply flawed, democratically elected governments have been replaced by anti-nationalist eurocratic technicians now in the process of dismantling both democratic governments and quasi-socialist policies that have gone broke for reasons eloquently stated by Mrs. Thatcher.

Here in the United State -- and perhaps most especially in true blue Connecticut -- the Democratic Party seems fated to repeat lessons unlearned from the European theatre. If the nation and Connecticut continues to spend its way into poverty by means discredited in Europe, it must go the way of Europe. Who chooses the means chooses the ends, a proposition that not even the most eloquent of our quasi socialistic, authoritarian, democratically elected pied pipers may rationally dispute.

Unfortunately for Connecticut and much of New England, a rational discussion of economic do’s and don’ts is rarely permitted in campaign debates, and the lessons of Europe, now visible under our noses, remain unheeded and unaddressed. There are no Maggie Thatchers anywhere in Connecticut. Mrs. Esty hardly comes close, but she is that rarest of all Democratic birds of paradise, a moderate Democrat, a breed of political animal long thought to have been extinct in the state.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The First Murphy-McMahon Debate

The following slug appeared on the front page of a Hartford paperthe day after a Face the State debate between Democratic U.S. Representative Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon, both of whom are vying for U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman’s soon to be vacant seat:

“Another 90 seconds and no answers,'' he [Mr. Murphy] said, "not a single specific cut that Linda McMahon would support, and another example of fealty to a supply-side trickledown economics that just hasn't worked."

The statement bears close examination, but Mrs. McMahon did not during the debate force such an examination.

In an earlier debate with then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Mrs. McMahon caused some agita when she asked Mr. Blumenthal to explain how jobs are created. Clearly over his head in deep water, Mr. Blumenthal sputtered an answer that showed he did not at all understand how businesses produce jobs.

The embarrassing moment was not fatal to Mr. Blumenthal – he went on to win the race for departing U. S. Senator Chris Dodd’s seat – but it did rip a veil from his persona. Like most politicians who promote command economies, Mr. Blumenthal thought at the time – and still believes – that jobs are made by government intervention in the private market place.

Mrs. McMahon went on to answer her own question:

“Government does not create jobs. It’s very simple how your create jobs: An entrepreneur takes a risk. He or she believes that he creates a good or service that is sold for more than it costs to make it. If an entrepreneur thinks he can do that, he creates a job.”

In her debate with Mr. Murphy, Mrs. McMahon easily might have asked Mr. Murphy to tell the listening audience precisely what he meant by“supply side economics,” a term of reproach used by Democrats who have not read any of the essays or books written by George Gilder, the Saint Paul of supply-side theory. A much too brief discussion of Mr. Gilder’s “Wealth and Poverty” may be found on the Connecticut Commentary site here: “Of Capitalism I Sing.”

Mr. Murphy passionately supports Obamacare, passed by Democrats in Congress who did not read the bill, but it is plain from much of what he has said concerning health care that he would prefer a single payer system, which is to say a health care system run by Washington D.C. bureaucrats and politicians such as himself who prefer command economies. In such a system, health care would “trickle down” from national health care administrators and administrative technicians in the states to doctors and patients. In fact, the single payer insurance system preferred by Mr. Murphy is an extreme form of trickledown economics: Tax money is collected by bureaucrats in Washington and disbursed only to insurance companies that satisfy the rigorous demands of an authoritarian government. The ensuing regulations effectively prevent the economic creativity and vitality so apparent in free economies.

Mrs. McMahon might have asked Mr. Murphy during their debate why he preferred such an extreme form of trickledown economics. And in defending privately owned insurance companies from a government that seeks to control the means of production through excessive regulation, she easily might have cited the following passage from an essay recently written by Mr. Gilder:

“Capitalism is the supreme expression of human creativity and freedom, an economy of mind overcoming the constraints of material power. It is not simply a practical success, a ‘worst of all systems except for the rest of them,’ a faute de mieux compromise redeemed by charities and regulators and proverbially ‘saved by the New Deal.’ It is dynamic, a force that pushes human enterprise down spirals of declining costs and greater abundance. The cost of capturing technology is mastery of the underlying science. The means of production of entrepreneurs are not land, labor, or capital but minds and hearts. Enduring are only the contributions of mind and morality.
“All progress comes from the creative minority. Under capitalism, wealth is less a stock of goods than a flow of ideas, the defining characteristic of which is surprise. Creativity is the foundation of wealth.”

And that is why command economies frustrate the production of wealth – they force upon creative free markets a cookie cutter regulatory apparatus that benefits only the promoters of command economies. Mr. Murphy is one of them.

Mr. Murphy sustained his points in the debate through sheer bluster and chutzpah. He insisted, for instance, that some points in Mrs. McMahon’s economic program were lifted from Washington sources, a point hotly denied by Mrs. McMahon. She is, of course, a Republican, and many of her economic proposals certainly align with those of her party. The same is true of Mr. Murphy, who appears to have borrowed much of his rhetoric from his national party’s playbook, including the absurd claim that Mrs. McMahon is waging a "war on women” because she opposes the Democrat’s war on Christian doctrine.

Of course, in any debate with Mr. Murphy, Mrs. McMahon must be careful to give credit to the architects of a free economy, lest she be accused of lifting ideas from free market proponents much in the way Mr. Murphy has “lifted” a good deal of his command economy notions secondhand from President Barrack Obama’s all purpose made-in-Chicago campaign platform – including the absurd“war on women” meme, the national Democratic platform pro-abortion entente and even the “trickledown economics” rhetorical head fake deployed by Mr. Murphy in his first debate with Mrs. McMahon.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

And The Winner Is…

Oh dear. Democrats in Connecticut who are hoping that President Barak Obama will be the tide that lifts all their campaigns boats had better hope that no one saw the first televised debate between Mr. Obama and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. Fortunately for them, campaign debates do not decide elections.

On the left in Mediaville, Chris Mathews’ former tingle turned into a knotty cramp that left him apoplectic with unsuppressed rage.
“Here on this network is where we’re having the debate. We have our knives out. We go after the people and the facts. What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed. He was, ‘Wait an hour and a half, I think I can get through this thing, I don’t even want to look at this guy.’ Whereas Romney — I loved the split screen, staring at Obama, addressing him like the prey. He did it just right. I’m coming at an incumbent. I’ve got to beat him. You got to beat the champ and I’m going to beat him tonight. And I don’t care what this guy moderator whatever he think he is because I’m going to ignore him. What was Romney doing? He was winning.”

James Carville mentioned something about a chainsaw.

Even the ideologically neutral AP report gave little lift to Democrats.

“Little more than a month from Election Day, Republican Mitt Romney is barreling out of the first presidential debate energized by a solid performance that telegraphed his determination to take it to President Barack Obama with gusto.”

“Karl Amelchenko, an Obama supporter who watched the debate at a storefront art gallery in Raleigh, N.C., thought Romney did himself some good.

"’I think he won, unfortunately,’ Amelchenko said. ‘I think he might change some minds."

Lefty commentator Andrew Sullivan coughed up a hairball.

“Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama's meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look.”

President George Bush being unavailable for the usual knocking, the president’s defenders have settled upon moderator Jim Lehrer as a convenient scapegoat.

“Obama spokesperson Stephanie Cutter took a swipe at moderator Jim Lehrer's largely passive debate performance tonight, saying the PBS anchor had allowed Mitt Romney to act as the moderator."

The sad news has even reached Connecticut.

“Republican pundits and Romney insiders are barely containing their joy in the wake of Wednesday’s presidential debate, which was widely scored a TKO for GOP candidate Mitt Romney — by just about everybody.”