Thursday, May 31, 2007
That's right... after two weeks of refusing even to debate the GOP gas tax relief proposal, calling it alternately a "gimmick" that would save people "pennies," Amann treated us to this gem:
"If you care about yourselves as Americans, every time you fill up your pump you're not helping America out, you're helping out the enemies," he said. "Those monies that go to Iraq and Iran and all these other countries, they feed the terrorists." - Hartford Courant, May 25, 2007
Well then. What sinister plot could be at the back of what he feels is a pro-terror measure ending up in the Democratic tax package?
The answers are pretty clear. Amann realized that the GOP proposal, which saves everyone roughly $5 every time they fill their tank, was gaining enormous popularity. Amann pledged to never let the Gas Tax Holiday even get a debate or vote on the House floor this session, and he was looking like a fool. Further, the GOP had pledged to amend every possible bill with the Gas Tax Holiday, and eventually Amann would not be able to prevent a vote being taken on the measure. What could he do?
Amann, ever the cagey mountebank, decided to make the proposal a piece of the House Dem tax package which was also loaded with tax hikes on clothing (the Underpants Tax), funerals, cigarettes and other things. He could get his own caucus on the record supporting the Gas Tax Holiday, knowing two things:
1) He could cleverly get the House GOP to vote against their own proposal.
2) Governor Rell would veto this massive tax hike, and they could start over tomorrow.
Unfortunately for Amann, as House Republican Leader Larry Cafero pointed out in yesterday's debate, we all know where the Gas Tax Holiday came from, and we all know who railed against it for two weeks.
To further illustrate the point, House Dems once again voted against the Gas Tax Holiday in a GOP amendment which struck all the tax increases as well.
You may wonder what progress has been made in the last few days of the General Assembly. The answer is: NONE.
There is no budget. There is no gas tax cut. There is no eminent domain legislation. There is no 'Energize Connecticut' bill to help us on energy prices. It seems as if the more members the Democratic caucus has, the less they are able to do... they are a sprawling, overweight monster, rendered inactive under the heft of their own shifting blubber.
No, the Gas Tax Holiday does not support terrorists, and high gas prices do not help in the War on Terror. But you can be sure that the Democrats are continuing to wage their War on Business, and War on Taxpayers. And they are trying to plant an IED right in your wallet.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Indeed, Senate Democrats joined Senate Republicans last night in a 35-1 vote to pass the Gas Tax Holiday. But wait! Senator Martin Looney didn't want the bill to be immediately transmitted to the House. He wanted it transferred to the Appropriations Committee. He reasoned that the bill being amended with the Gas Tax Holiday had been to that committee so it should go back.
That bill had incidentally also previously been to The General Law Committee and the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee. With one week left in the legislative session, the chance of this bill making it through three committees and then being called in the House for a vote are next to none. The bill can be amended in one committee, required to come back to others, or back to the Senate.
The intention of the Democrats is barely even concealed. The slickly mustachioed Senator Don Williams and the Senate Democrats are now able to go back home to their constituents this summer and tell them how much they wanted to have that Gas Tax Holiday and that they voted for it! Oh, but alas, time just ran out in the session, and they were powerless to implement it. Make no mistake... that is the common refrain that you will hear from each and every one of these third-rate actors.
They think the public is stupid enough to buy it. Unfortunately, everyone knows that legislative Democrats, especially House Speaker Jim Amann, have spent the last two weeks vigorously railing against the measure. He called the Gas Tax Holiday a Republican "gimmick" that would only save people pennies, and then he went so far last week as to claim that buying gasoline fuels terrorism, suggesting that high gas prices are good for America; an unusually dumb comment even from him.
People also know that General Assembly Democrats have the power to make anything happen, since they have a supermajority. Excuses like time running out just don't cut it.
Because time is running out on a lot of things. It's running out on and energy bill for instance. With over a year to work on hammering out a plan, it appears that a 1700 page bill will be dropped on legislators' desks perhaps next week if at all, with the session scheduled to end midnight on Wednesday the 6th. What, I wonder, will be the excuse then?
In the meantime, their super numbers will have done nothing to help Connecticut motorists, or abate high energy costs.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Last week, Democrats in the legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee voted in favor of dropping the exemption, and in favor of slapping the sales tax on middle class Connecticut.
After all, how many clothing items under the price of $50 are wealthy people buying? Rich people don’t buy twelve-packs of tightie whitey underpants, value packs of tube socks, or any of the clothes off the rack in a T.J. Maxx. But under this Democratic proposal, the people that do buy those clothes would now pay a 6% sales tax.
Constantly arguing their version of a “progressive” taxation, this proposal is anything but that. If they were truly fighting for the middle class, and believed the philosophy they espouse, they would jack the sales tax up on clothing over $50 instead of eliminate the exemption. The truly wealthy already pay the sales tax on almost all of their clothing items because they buy expensive clothes.
Incidentally, our $50 exemption isn’t all that magnificent to begin with. According to the New Haven Register, New York has an exemption for clothing under $110, liberal Massachusetts exempts clothing under $175, and Rhode Island doesn’t have any sales tax on clothing and footwear at all. And yet, here comes our supermajority putting the pinch on your skivvies.
There is, of course, Connecticut’s once-a-year tax holiday in August that exempts purchases under $300 in anticipation of back-to-school needs. You can probably count on that being axed too.
What could their motive be? Well, the under-reported truth is that your lawmakers in Hartford want to be able to tax your Internet purchases. Federal law prevents the legislature from taxing things you buy on the Internet as a Connecticut resident when there are such exemptions in place.
In other words, they are implementing a tax increase to allow them to implement another tax increase. That is what you get with a liberal supermajority. Their view of taxes and spending should be enough to make a mess in your overtaxed drawers.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Regardless of your political stripe, or whether you support America's current war effort or not, this weekend is a time when all Americans should reflect on the sacrifice made by our brave men and women who serve in our armed forces, particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
I am proud to say that I will be participating prominently in two Memorial Day parades this coming weekend. Regardless of how you observe Memorial Day, I hope you all will think of our soldiers abroad, and keep in your prayers the souls of those who will never return from a war fought to defend our freedom.
I hope everyone has an excellent Memorial Day weekend. God Bless America.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Speaker Jim Amann has a different line of evasive tripe he’d like you to believe. In the online Hartford Courant he is quoted as saying “we don’t control world economics. Wasting time on gas tax debates that are fruitless doesn’t make any sense to me.” In other words, he expects you to believe that ever-shifting faceless global mechanisms are the cause of our 25 cent gas tax, not an act of the legislature.
House Republicans continued to press for their popular proposal for a Gas Tax Holiday, eliminating the 25 cent per gallon state tax on gasoline between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The measure would save motorists around $120 million, and could save drivers over $5 every time they fill their tank. And despite what Amann says, we don’t have to form an Illuminati to control world economics to do it.
The Democrats were surprised by the GOP amendment, and scrambled; cutting off discussion before it even started when Donovan moved to "PT" or pass temporarily. That maneuver showcased the powerful Democrat supermajority for what they really are: cowards unwilling to part with any of our money that pays for all the spending they want to do, and unwilling to cast a vote telling the public they want motorists to get stuffed.
In the midst of it all sits Jim Amann, proud, arrogant and revolting... like a chubby cat licking himself.
With nearly $900 million in surplus funds from overtaxing everyone in the state, you’d think our General Assembly would be able to cut you some slack with
There are two reasons you won't see a gas tax cut. The first is the sad reality that Democrats really believe you don’t pay enough taxes. They think you ought to pay more. And there isn’t one thin dime you have that they don’t want.
The other reason is that the eco-geeks in the Democratic party believe that high gas prices are good because it encourages conservation, the use of mass transit, and is better for the environment. These redwood-humpers could care less about what it does to the state's economy, jobs, or your wallet.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Randall Beach, a sappy columnist for the New Haven Register who can be counted on to write pieces with the emotional superficiality of a twelve-year-old girl, has made a fascinating contribution yesterday. He details the pursuit of justice by Anthony Griego, a retired New Haven policeman and admitted devotee of a “pagan” faith, to obtain pardons for the eleven convicted witches in Connecticut who were executed between 1647 and 1662.
Connecticut’s Blue Laws evidently had a passage that made a capital offense of “any man or woman to be a witch,” and those who were “shall be put to death.” That’s right. In 1647 Edith Prague would have gone to the gallows instead of the State Senate. But I digress…
The plight of Griego and his delightful band of wiccans has caught the attention of Rep. Lawlor, who, according to Beach, has expressed a desire to meet with them, and discuss their desire to have him introduce legislation to pardon those executed as witches. That’s an interesting legislative priority.
Connecticut has soaring electric rates that have been allowed to spiral out of control. Lawlor sent a mailer to his constituents last February saying how outraged he was at the rate increase, and how in the first week of session the legislature would work to prevent the increases from taking effect. That’s right… by the time his mailer arrived in mailboxes, the promise in it had already been broken. It remains so today… there is no energy bill. In fact, there has been nothing done this year on a whole host of major issues… soaring gas prices, eminent domain… you name it, the talk has been big, and the action has been nil.
But now Michael Lawlor is interested in re-examining witch trial documents in the Judiciary Committee and obtaining justice for people who died in the 17th century? What about some economic justice for the people still alive in his district?
Right now I’m quite favorably disposed toward witches. The only way we have any chance of getting a tax cut, reduced energy rates, or lower gas prices is for some practitioner of witchcraft to wave a wand, throw some magic dust, or rattle some chicken bones and cast a spell. Absurd? Perhaps. But you’ll get old and green like a witch waiting for your Democratic legislature to do anything about it.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Of course, they will continue to have none of the responsibilities. They cannot vote. They do not pay income tax. They are never called for jury duty. A great many of them are burdening our social services programs.
What is being ignored here is that they are felons. Aside from the act of entering the country illegally, these people who are here and working are all doing so under fraudulent documents; either by faking social security and other documents, or actually committing identity theft to remain here. And your General Assembly just voted to give these felons reduced tuition rates.
The bill was the brain-child of Rep. Filipe Reinoso (D-Bridgeport) and was killed in committee earlier in the session. He brought it back last night as an amendment.
While it seemed that everyone of first generation foreign extraction was speaking in favor of the measure, Reinoso’s pleading on the House floor did not sit well with Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D-Hartford). Gonzalez, an immigrant of Puerto Rico, presumably of the legal variety since she holds a House seat, was insulted deeply by Reinoso’s contrite tones.
In a homily that remains curiously unreported in any of the state’s major newspapers or electronic media outlets, Gonzalez took the floor of the House and expressed her anger at Reinoso for “begging.” She declared in her thick accent that her people do not have to beg, and that if the legislature continued to treat illegal immigrants “like second class citizens, we will make it miserable for you up here.”
Note to Rep. Gonzales: illegal immigrants aren’t second class citizens. They aren’t citizens at all!
Rep. Andres Ayala (D-Bridgeport) probably summed up the view of the left on this issue quite well, when he intoned during debate; “I don’t think anyone is legal or illegal. People are here without documents. They’re undocumented.”
If immigrants want to become Americans, that’s terrific. But they should do it legally. Programs like this encourage and justify breaking the laws of the United States, and compromise its sovereignty. Citizens of Connecticut who are struggling to put children or themselves through college should be deeply offended. This bill attacks them.
What will our State Senate and Governor do?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
House Republicans, with yet another taxpayer-friendly initiative this session, are aiming to add this proposal to their 'No Tax Increase' budget which they unveiled last month.
Last week the General Assembly's non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis revised their revenue projections for this year, showing a $220 million jump in projected surplus funds, raising the total surplus figures to $846 million. The GOP budget spends $619 million of the surplus, and this new proposal would cost the state approximately $120 million, keeping their budget well under the new surplus figures.
Connecticut currently charges 25 cents per gallon in gasoline taxes. We have the third-highest combined federal and state gas tax figures at 55.4 cents per gallon.
Representative Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) proposed this measure last year, and unfortunately it went nowhere. This year, the new House GOP have adopted it, and are once again standing up for taxpayers.
So far, the only cheap gas Connecticut residents have gotten has been steaming out of House Speaker Jim Amann's wryly pursed mouth. Lowering fuel prices and combating high prices at the pump has always been on his meaningless short-list of talking point platitudes. Where, for instance, is his magnificent 'Energize Connecticut' plan that he promised we would have in January? It's still a completely fictional plan that no one has seen.
It can't help that his diminutive Energy Chairman, Rep. Steve Fontana (D-North Haven) has been spending all his time trying to save elephants from getting bullhooked instead of working on a bill to address energy costs.
Friday, May 11, 2007
The real aim of the bill is, of course, to prevent circuses from using elephants at all by eliminating their ability to control the massive beasts by outlawing their chief tool to do so.
The Connecticut Post is reporting this morning that Speaker Jim Amann refuses to allow session time to be eaten up by debate on the bill if it can't get the 76 votes it needs to pass. They claim to have about 45 votes at the moment. The session adjourns midnight on June 6th.
So how do the "sad satyr" and "faded coquette" react to the threat of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circuses that they will no longer visit Connecticut should this law pass?
Urban waxes philosophically: "..there are many other circuses." She cites Cole Bros. Circus, which she claims doesn't use elephants, and hasn't since 2004. But visit the website of the Cole Bros. Circus, and go to their 2006 photo gallery. Among the photos of midget men riding midget horses and the skinniest Spiderman I've ever seen, you will find photos of... GASP!! ELEPHANTS performing!!!
Their 2007 cast page says "the 2007 edition of Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars features more than a score of educated animal performers, including elephants, horses and poodles who have as much fun performing as audiences have watching them." She's wrong. They have elephants. Their names are Tina and Jewel. They should have elephants. Because they're a CIRCUS!
How about Fontana? What does he say? One can almost see the dampness in Fontana's eyes as he bleats: "Elephants are being treated inhumanely with weapons so much so that they bleed and create scarring for profit and entertainment." Please... we have had enough of the drama.
The actions of these two animal worshipers are jeopardizing Connecticut's ability to retain Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circuses, which have origins right here in Bridgeport, and are tied to state lore and history because of their fanaticism and misguided animal love.
Despite what these two think, people don't go to the circus to see the Human Slinky or Slavic men in leotards fly through the air. A few people might go for the midgets, but most want to see animals! They want to see dancing bears. They want to see a tiger that might go Roy Horn on its tamer. And the children want to eat cotton candy and hot peanuts, and laugh when they see an elephant do a big poop. They love it! That's the circus experience.
Let's hope these two have trouble finding another 31 votes to help them kill an American treasure.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
More fascinating data from the poll: 78% of state residents do not believe that the Governor's increase in state aid for education will mean lower property taxes. Also, 57% of voters say the state income tax is unfair.
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Democrat State Representative Mike Lawlor (East Haven) doesn't seem to be much inclined toward preserving your rights to privacy unless you are a sexual predator.
The co-chairman of the legislature's Judiciary Committee remarked in today's Connecticut Post that gun rights advocates are "paranoid" because they opposed having made public lists of state licensed gun owners. "They think that the government will come in and use the list to confiscate weapons and that making the names of gun permit holders public will be a 'shopping list' for the criminals," he is quoted as saying. "That really is kind of weird when you think about it. Frankly, those would be the places they would want to avoid - places where they know someone has a gun and knows how to use it."
So Mike Lawlor thinks that there is a public purpose to making public the list of gun permit holders in the state. The public has the right to know! He reasons that this helps create a "paper trail" when trying to track last-known owners of firearms involved in secondary gun sales.
Okay then. Does the public always have a right to know when a dangerous sexual predator has moved into their neighborhood? In an article in the March 22, 2007 Journal Inquirer, Mike Lawlor says no!
That article details the problem of a 'shadow registry' of sex offenders that law enforcement has access to, but the public doesn't. A 27-year old sex offender from Bolton named James Bailey Jones was convicted of molesting a preschool girl, but you won't find him in the online registry. Lawlor lamely asserted that the ability of courts to shield one of these offenders from being placed on that registry is there to "protect victims." What?!?
Yes, you see, when the victim is a relative of the perpetrator, or has close personal ties to the victim, the online registration might, according to Lawlor, reveal the identity of the victim.
The purpose of the online registry is to provide parents an important tool in combating potential dangers to their children. Does this trivial risk of identification of a victim outweigh the public need to identify a threat? Lawlor says the court records are public though, so the information isn't entirely secret. I'm sure most parents have the time to scour court records to find out if perverts live near them. That's what the registry is supposed to be there for!
Lawlor's position on these issues is curious, and demonstrates the disconnect with the general public held by the far left in command of the General Assembly. Law-abiding gun owners are targeted, and child molesters are protected. There must, according to Lawlor, be a public paper trail on second-hand gun sales even though law enforcement, the only entity with the authority or cause to investigate such sales, has always had access to that data. But only law enforcement needs to know about certain convicted child molesters and sex offenders when they move into your neighborhood.
Legislative Republicans in the General Assembly launched an initiative this session to improve the state's sex offender registry as part of their "Around the Clock, Around the Block" child protection package. The registry doesn't have enough useful information for concerned parents as it is. Hard to believe when there are road blocks like Mike Lawlor out there keeping perverts safe and gun owners on guard.