The King's Marquee

Ted is Dead! What a disappointing end to a good run. Shame!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Death of an Icon - Ted is Dead!

Not since the death of Brutus in the final scene of Julius Caesar has one seen such a prolific and unnecessary suicide committed on a grand stage. But unlike Brutus' ill fated death, Ted Cruz's didn't have the help of Strato - instead he stood alone, disgraced and boo'd by thousands in attendance in Cleveland.  The scene was surreal. A man who had been given a golden opportunity to rise to the occasion and seize the moment given him on a silver platter instead chose the path of narcissism.  Indeed - Ted is Dead!

And it's all really unfortunate.

Last week I watched C-SPANs airing of the 1976 Republican Convention.  It was refreshing to see Walter Cronkite alive again. And to watch real journalistic coverage of the full-blown chicanery of that heavily contested convention.  But what really struck me was how then-Governor Ronald Reagan conducted himself when the votes didn't go his way.  He didn't throw a temper tantrum, he didn't storm out and take his ball and go home, he didn't get up on the stage or go out in a dark alley in front of a microphone and undermine Gerald Ford.  Instead he stood up as a loyal Republican, accepted defeat and endorsed Gerald Ford.  In turn, President Ford magnanimously brought Ronald Reagan on stage who enthusiastically addressed the crowd encouraging them to go all out for Ford - for the good of the Party and for the good of the country.  Quite a contrast from the self-serving, ever-shrinking character of Ted Cruz.

Without rehashing it all here, Speaker Paul Ryan, Governor Mike Pence and others have explained the problem and what's at stake - the Supreme Court, our faltering economy, a disastrous national security, Islamic invasion, deficit rising and on and on. It's clear that we have a binary choice between Crooked Hillary and Donald J. Trump.  It's a choice between continuing down the road to ruin and the hope of a bright future.

Ted Cruz doesn't see it that way.  All he sees is me, myself and I. The ultimate master of self-aggrandizement And just to think - some of you thought Donald Trump had the biggest ego. Well, we all had that one wrong.

What Ted Cruz does next is not known. It's all but certain that the Senate's loneliest Senator will be encouraged by the Republican elite to continue to act out and undermine the ticket. The Bushes, the Romneys, the Kasichs, the clowns at National Review and anyone else who has a beef with Donald Trump will continue working their scheme even if it means putting Hillary and Bill back in the White House.  Lucky for us as powerful as they are, their behavior is checked by We The People.  And there will be hell to pay when this is over and Trump is sitting in the Oval Office.  For all his newfound discovery of our Old Tyme Religion I can't imagine that Forgive and Forget is one of his newly adopted virtues.  Nor should it be.  After all - he broke the pledge.

There will be no curtain call for Pompous Lyin' Ted. There will be no endearing eulogy.  Nor will there be a legitimate Mark Antony standing to defend Cruz as "the noblest of them all."  Instead Ted Cruz and his legacy will die on the trash heap of pretended conviction.  And for all the wrong reasons his future will be no more.

It's time to put the naysaying power-grubbing elitists out to pasture and sunset the GOP of old once and for all.  It's time to make America safe again, put America back to work again, make America first again, and make America great again. It's time to unify this Grand Old Party and stand behind and elect Republican Donald Trump and Mike Pence to the White House.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hartford Courant's anti-Greek rant is a Disgrace

If The Hartford Courant actually
did its homework, it might be surprised
to learn that historically the Greek
Community and Alumni have made
many positive contributions
to the University of Connecticut
This morning I read this outrageous article propagated on Twitter by Hartford Courant columnist Carolyn Lumsden (I'm not sure if she actually wrote the article because it's not attributed to any one specific author). It's no surprise that The Hartford Courant is among those leading the charge to dissolve ties between the Greek Community and the University of Connecticut.  For according to the unholy scripture set forth in the loony land of liberal theology, organizations like 'the Greeks' have no place in our 21st century PC society. This is mostly because Greek organizations maintain the right to discriminate (i.e define or deny membership) based on subjective reasons, or other reasons which include and aren't limited to classifications like gender, age and even race. (To be clear, when I mention 'race' I'm referring specifically to the charter of some black cultural fraternities and sororities which by design grant admission elusively to African-American students; a standard - which by the way - I support given their unique role, ritual, and cultural history; one that they should certainly be proud of).  I'm also willing to guess that anyone who contributed to this editorial was probably never part of a Greek organization or else they wouldn't have written such a lopsided story which draws the unreasonable conclusion that UConn should take steps to sever ties with Greek life based on a few recent acts of student buffoonery.

I find that most of the people who who are critical of Greek fraternities and sororities have never been a member of a Greek fraternity or sorority, but these so-called experts seem to be quite vocal in expressing their negative opinions about our members, or how our organizations work; they characterize our members - especially the men - as chauvinist, elitist, segregationists, rich, or worse - hate-mongering racists who conspire together for the sole purpose of arranging large keg parties in order to perform widespread campus mischief and mayhem, and of course - plot to trap and intoxicate innocent women and engage in date rape, or other morally disgraceful acts. And what they say about Sorority members is even worse from a stereotypical point of view which I find particularly odd coming out of the mouths of many feminists - who, although they deny it, are elitists in their own right. Of course, all of this mis-characterization of Greek members and organizations is pure nonsense and farthest from the truth.

I'm in good company with Rosa Parks,
Pope John Paul II, and Michael Jordan

While socializing and making new friends on a typically large, and sometimes intimidating college campus is probably the main reason one would want to seek Greek membership, there are plenty of other reasons why one joins a social fraternity - sports, hobbies, charity work, leadership training, alumni networking, and making general connections which last far beyond the typical four or five year college stint.  Most students don't go to college with the intention of joining a fraternity.  Indeed, in my own example, I started hanging around with a group of guys around campus, and after a semester received a bid to join.  Figuring that the guys were good natured, and it expanded my social networking (this predates the age of Facebook and Twitter), and that I should probably start kicking in for some of the beer I was drinking at 'the house', I joined. And to this day, we still keep in touch, and remain very close buddies with a few guys who's friendships I value immensely.

One of the reasons I'm particularly outraged by this article is that it paints an inaccurate depiction of the role that the Greek Community plays on campus, particularly at UConn.  Unbeknownst to most people, individual fraternity and sorority members (as well as each Greek chapter, cumulatively) are required to maintain a suitable grade point average (often 2.3) to remain active on campus.  Furthermore, each chapter is mandated by their National chapter to perform works of public service on campus as well as in the local community and report back results to their National chapter.  During my four years, my Greek Chapter solicited gifts from toy stores and orchestrated a 60-70 child Christmas Party in a community center in Willimantic. Trust me, the feeling of seeing Santa Claus pass out gifts while whispering "Feliz Navidad" to each smiling child was worth far more to us than an overflowing red cup of keg-poured Schlitz beer on a Thursday night.  We made a difference in our community.  And it mattered!

Not bad stats!

The Hartford Courant, which - silly as it seems - claims to be fair in its reporting should take the time to reach out to the UConn Office of Greek and Sorority Life and ask the current Greek Advisor about the kinds of contributions which Fraternities and Sororities make on Campus before merely casting us out with the devil for what seems to be purely ideological reasons.  Moreover, UConn is well supported by Greek Alumni Organizations which contribute both time and dollars to University projects, and programs.  Based upon the reasons, I listed earlier - I'm sure The Hartford Courant would like to see UConn flourish without the benefit of fraternal organizations.  But for the time being, it does, and the truth is and whether the media likes it or not - UConn is better off for it.

As far as The Courant's far-fetched notion that Greek organizations have brought ambulances to campuses far too often is a tad bit outrageous to be made part of their sensationalized argument to ban Fraternities at UConn, isn't it?  And how many ambulances have gone to the hundreds of college campuses all over the country for sports-related activities, politically-sponsored clashes, race riots, random shooting sprees, or non-Greek related parties?  And how many people were sent to the hospital as a result of attending a UConn Greek-sponsored party last year?  Or the last twenty years? Or how many people have died resulting from a UConn Greek Party?  The answer might surprise you - it's zero!  A lot of things might happen.  Which is always the excuse to rationalize the argument to tighten the reigns around people, or cast out organizations you don't like - I mean, for the insane, that is.

And if you're out to blame alcohol for every crime that's committed - sure, then work to reduce the drinking age so it's not such a novelty for kids who've been taught alcohol is taboo by rules which exceed those found in most civilized democracies.  Then college wouldn't become the festival of drinking its become for ALL STUDENTS, whether they are members of fraternities or not.  If schools are deemed "party school", its not because of Greek organizations, it's because the University in question has a lax policy on policing underage drinking.

Whatever happened to journalistic integrity where you draw conclusions based on relevant facts?  How is "Let's do away with Greek organizations at UConn - because of what happened at Trinity or Bowdoin, or Middlebury" even be considered a rational argument?  But if I tell you that the state economy in Texas is growing because of reduced taxes and regulation, would the editors at The Courant rush out to push for that kind of pro-business policy here?  Of course not!  Because it's all about the perceived ideology, and social engineering, and not about relevant facts.

And if you want to go down the road and talk about exclusion and anachronisms, we can do that too.  And based on the editors definitions we should also look to ban the African American Cultural Center, the Indian Cultural Group, the Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Group, the Latin-American Group, the Woman's Center or many of the other hyphenated groups which exist on Campus, and consume office space free of charge in the Student Union, or elsewhere which are all bastions of exclusion which the editors at The Hartford Courant are all to happy to hypocritically dismiss as merely a cultural organizations dedicated to promoting tolerance and cultural awareness under the banner of organized segregation.

And lastly, let's talk about money.  The Courant argues that it takes courage to ban fraternities and sororities because of the financial dependency Universities have come to have on their Greek-Alumni.  So in light of UConn screaming for more funding every legislative session, do you think it's sound fiscal policy to antagonize those who help to selflessly contribute to offset the bottom line?  Do the editors at The Hartford Courant live in houses with no windows?  Sometimes you have to really wonder.

At the end of the day, it's the same old liberal argument which seeks to control thought, association, and assembly.  These are the same people who fight viciously for individual rights for special interest groups, but can't tolerate a group of 19-year old men (or women) pooling their money to room, drink beer, and run a campus clean up operation.  It's high time that the editors at The Hartford Courant get over themselves.  And focus on more important things like why a one-Party system of Democrats has run Connecticut's economy into the ground.

Good Grief!



This article may be later amended to address typographical or grammatical errors, and content. All entries are for the sole purpose of entertainment.  This article does not imply endorsement of any candidate, if mentioned above, nor has this article been solicited for publication by any political candidate, campaign, or PAC. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Connecticut Republican Party: The Epitome of Dysfunction

If press reports are accurate, the CTGOP
could set a new fashion style in 2014
before this is over
Well, you knew this was coming, didn't you?

Before we begin, let's get one thing straight - for years now, and in these very pages, The King has warned the Connecticut Republican Party of it's endless flirtation with calamity and corruption.  If the last two months of full mainstream press exposure hasn't convinced readers that there's a cancer crippling our Party than nothing else will.

Even liberals agree that Governor Dan Malloy and the Democrat-owned legislature have done an exceedingly poor job of handling our economy.  For years, Democrats have successfully chased businesses and jobs away through regulation and tax increases, raised spending to record levels, and turned Connecticut into little more than a social experiment laboratory - pushing the envelope every session to the point where social norms are nearly unrecognizable to the average Nutmegger (legalizing transgender bathrooms, ending the death penalty for murderers, forcing Common Core standards on children, and eroding first and second amendment rights; even Republicans admit that last month's marginal victory over liberals on assisted suicide may be only a temporary victory - as the devil reassesses and regroups, and plots and waits for the next round).

But believe it or not, the problem - or more specifically our problem - isn't with the Democrats. They're going to be what they've always been  - liberal, intrusive, and progressive to the point of madness. And it's not like they have anyone standing in their way to challenge them, or point out their flaws.

If Jerry Labriola were a UConn basketball
player, he'd be "self-checked"
The problem lies with the CTGOP which over the last 10 years has become the epitome of dysfunction. Our current chairman - Jerry Labriola, Jr. hasn't the foggiest idea of what he's doing - anywhere or at any time. Instead of rallying troops from the front like a leader, he's relegated himself to a whispering ghost who nobody actually sees or hears; many of our own candidates can't even pick him out of a crowd (I've actually witnessed this first-hand).

Labriola rarely does television appearances (like he should), and you can count the number of press releases that he's produced over the course of his chairmanship on one, maybe two hands. Jerry is persona-non-grata so much so that Democrat opposition leader Nancy DiNardo has been able to go on vacation mode since Labriola's took office. Aside from a few canned paragraphs he might issue from time to time, she never worries about pressure from a guy who'd much rather spend his evenings in a smoky hotel lounge at his keyboard pretending he's Stevie Wonder.

Oh, he'll tell you he does a lot behind the scenes - but that's the role of the Treasurer, or Secretary, or the Party Twitterina - and not the role of the Party Chairman.  And he does get it, folks.  It's just that he just doesn't want to do the real work.  And you can see that a minimalist effort reaps minimalist results.

I think the final straw came for The King this week when he described recently indicted villains Lisa and Brian Foley as "good friends" who'm he hopes can put this "unfortunate episode" behind them.  Unfortunate episode? Behind them? Really? He certainly wasn't good friends when he was a willing accomplice to help push Andrew Roraback over the line to defeat Lisa Wilson-Foley at the 2012 State Convention. Talk about revisionist history!

Look, Jerry Labriola is a fabulous family man, a good coach, and a decent person. Deep down he probably cares about winning, but it's just that when it comes to leadership -  he's inept. And for those of you who want to make poor Jerry out to be just another victim of this blog - Save it!  Between the Healy years and the Labriola years - there's no where to go but up.  Our last two Chairmen have marginalized our brand to the point where it is unrecognizable to the electorate. We are in the game to win elections, and our Party's record is dismal.

Moreover, Connecticut Republicans have become so irrelevant to the Republican National Committee that Connecticut Republicans had to create a volunteer phone bank to beg local RTC Chairmen for money just to purchase Mitt Romney signs - I think that tells you that there's something seriously wrong.

If Jerry Labriola were a product in store; you'd agree that he didn't come as advertised.  He's not suited for the Chairman role. The CTGOP needs a strong leader who is going to lead from the front, set the tone, and work to coordinate political activity on a statewide basis.

And someone please tell the CTGOP to stop bragging about fundraising totals over Twitter. While we appreciate the hard work and effort, it gives everyone the impression that the CTGOP Headquarters is oblivious to the current crisis.  Few people are going to be distracted by Yea-Rah-Rah-Sis-Boom-Bah,  As someone wrote in a email to The King, "What the F--- is wrong with these people?"

It's hard to explain to people who are probably well-meaning that success isn't determined by how many dollars you raise, or by the number of shots you can do at the bar - but rather but by how many Republican seats you win

Bottom Line:  For the good of the Connecticut Republican Party, Jerry Labriola, Jr. must resign.  And a visible, activist Chairman must be elected in his place immediately following the Prescott-Bush Dinner. State Central must cast a vote of no confidence, or be willing to accept the squandering of limited funds, and the consequence of further electoral defeat in 2014.

If Republicans want to rebuild our brand, and confidence with voters we need to make a few more things happen:
  1. Fire Jerry Labriola, Jr. - and most of the CTGOP officer corps (they are no better than he is). Term limits for the same old faces might make way for new ideas, and a new approach.
  2. Publicly condemn those Republican individuals who have been indicted, or found an accessory to political improprieties and crimes.  Refusing to do so implies approval of their actions and pursuit of the status quo. And the media, and our opponents have already taken note of the CTGOPs hunker down strategy, and will exploit this fact for all the mileage they can get out of it.
    There aren't enough of these to pass out to everyone in an
    elected or leadership position in the Connecticut Republican
    Party. Time to end CTGOP corruption before things get worse 

  3. Adopt a more conservative platform and promote conservative candidates - which was once the key to Republican victories in Connecticut before it became fashionable to emulate Democrats on both fiscal and social issues. Democrat-lite is a sure way to guarantee Democrat majorities for the next 100 years.
  4. Stop promoting corrupt former Republican candidates, elected officials and party chairmen to serve as CTGOP spokesmen (and women) - for they have comprised our position, ethics, political process, and integrity.  Every time Governor Rowland squawks on radio, or Chris Healy makes sarcastic comments on Capitol Report, Republicans want to puke. An ex-felon and a failed chairman are the last people we want to take advice from (and the latter couldn't even find a Republican attorney to defend his pathetic ass - guess there were none available - so much for keeping business in the family).  The Curse of Chris Healy is alive and well.
  5. Discourage candidates from hiring long-time Party hacks with failed win-loss records from managing Republican campaigns. It's frankly embarrassing how some of our profiteers weasel their way onto campaigns promising everything and delivering nothing!
  6. Stop relying on candidates to build the Party apparatus. Create a state-wide organization to  build the brand, and coordinate activities, and formulate a get-out-the-vote campaign.  Today, there is nothing in place!
  7. Require all candidates to show up for televised debates. Again real leaders don't cower out of fear of saying the wrong thing, or believing they're not quick enough on their feet to debate publicly with members of their own Party. It's kind of pathetic if you think about it!
  8. Work to end the wasteful and rigged State Convention Process and move to a direct primary. Think of all the money we could be saving while the State GOP boozes it up at Mohegan Sun. Donors should think about that when they get mailers asking members to fork over $30/$50/$100 a pop.
  9. End Radio Silence! Put the Democrats on the defense! With a record like theirs we should have a field day. Daily emails, tweets, press releases, Facebook posts, mailers, etc. Make Nancy Dinardo sweat!
  10. Condemn fringe candidates like Martha Dean who think Sandy Hook is a hoax and think there's an NSA Agent hiding behind every tree. This Party has a hard enough time operating in the real world without public candidates venturing into fantasy and delusion.  It's hard to quantify the level of anger the public feels when a Sandy Hook Truther who wants to train kids to fire guns in school takes to a Mic. (Oh, and Chris Healy's quasi-endorsement of her entrance into the race tells the rest of us that he's ready to be put out to pasture, or take his place at Club-Fed. Get Out! Funny, the political genius didn't mention that Dean has no money and only a few Facebook advocates who surf the web and sit around watching TV in their sweatpants)
  11. Stop using the Prescott-Bush award dinner as a platform to prop up billionaire donors, and failed candidates who campaign with the opposition President, or tries to take selfies with the enemy, or does anything else that serves to promote our disgraceful big-government, anti-Republican President. 
Martha Dean and her flying monkeys 
are doing permanent damage to the Connecticut 
Republican Party; she's tearing apart the 
conservative wing for personal gain and ego
Wicked is the best way to describe this one!

It's been said so many times before - when it comes to the Connecticut Republican Party - we are our own worst enemy. The best thing we can do is cut our losses by removing our poor leadership, change direction, and start anew.  Do what's necessary, or anticipate that 2014 will be another banner year for Dan Malloy and his Democrat henchmen. And trust me - Republicans, Democrats, and Independents deserve a viable option for their families, their businesses and themselves - and it's up to Republicans to deliver that option.



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tom Foley: Slinking Away from Debates?

Is Tom Foley slinking away
like a Coward?
Most politicians realize that coming in first place at the onset of a race in a single, arbitrary Quinnipiac Poll over your inter-party rivals doesn't necessarily make you a front runner in anything. This is particularly the case when the alleged-leading candidate is Tom Foley; a man who has been anything but active on the Connecticut political scene since facing defeat at the hands of Dannel Malloy in 2010.

Aside from a few social appearances here and there, Tom Foley hasn't done much of anything to support his Party over the last four years.  He hasn't served as a de facto opposition leader -voicing dissent against poor policy decisions thrusted upon the public by Governor Malloy, or even bothered to show up at the Legislative Office Building to offer his leadership, or uttered a word of support for his Republican colleagues locked in battle (if you can call it that) against Democrats on social and economic issues. Of course, he did once serve as Joe Markley's lackey, and made the claim that both parties are unethical - a comment not very well received by Republican legislators who shook their heads and privately told him to "go away". Heck, who knew that only months later, the FBI would be strolling into town trying to nail Republicans to the wall over a 2008 election scandal. Well, Tom Foley's timing has always been a bit off. (insider's joke - sorry!)

Yet, despite his self-imposed exile from politics, we now hear - far and wide - how Billionaire Tom Foley is the anointed one - all but guaranteed his unearned place as the Republican gubernatorial nominee for all to bow down to and serve - especially certain handsomely paid delegates.  This is typical arrogance of elitist man who sits in his mansion drinking Macallan 64 and dining on five-course meals while his minions shakedown RTCs for delegate votes; Foley has so little in common with the average guy - a disconnect so widely felt that even some of his biggest supporters feel a sense of frustration with his snobbish contempt for "the little people".  A contempt clearly reflected in the same aforementioned Q-Poll which shows him barely neck-and-neck with one of the most unpopular Governors in the history of Connecticut

Now this isn't a discussion on the corrupt and twisted Connecticut Republican Convention process (we will get into that on another day), but rather to call attention to the disgraceful reluctance of an alleged Republican front-runner who outright refuses to exchange ideas and debate with his fellow competitors in a televised venue scheduled by The Hartford Courant-Fox 61 on April 11th (rebroadcast on April 13).  There can be no more sign of disrespect of our American tradition then for Tom Foley to slink away, and thumb his nose at a process that has been in existence since the early 1800s.  (Besides, if you recall the 2010 Foley v Malloy debates, you know darn well that Foley could use the practice - because he wasn't ready then, and he's not ready now).

Hold on there! You didn't say this was going to be Televised!

On their own merits, we thank John McKinney, Mark Boughton, Mark Lauretti, Joe Visconti and even CTGOP Party looney-toon - Martha Dean for their willingness to take tough questions and engage in live public discourse.  Foley's approach makes him look weak and cowardly to the general public, and the media (we remember how well that worked out for Linda McMahon).  And it shows Republican delegates that he lacks confidence by refusing to engage fellow Republicans in front of a Republican friendly-audience.

If Tom Foley isn't willing to debate members of his own Party to win support, then how will he win support from Republicans in the Primary? Or possibly later from Democrats and Independents in the General Election? The prevailing thought is that if he goes off and hides under the bar until after the State Convention that his rivals won't bring him down a notch by forcing him to defend his questionable, and ambiguous positions on Minimum Wage Increase, Pension Reform, Municipal Taxes, Public Unions, and even Second Amendment Rights. But one would think both he and the public have more to lose by him playing it safe. Much like ObamaCare where Congressmen said they had to pass the Bill before knowing what's in it, Connecticut Republicans are being expected to nominate Tom Foley without knowing where he stands. This has been a reoccurring theme by some of our CTGOP nominees over the last few election cycles (and it hasn't boded well for us).

Four years have passed since Tom Foley ran for Governor and lost. Unfortunately, Tom Foley's sole focus has been on how to locate the 6,000 votes from 2010 election which he presumes, if found, will catapult him to victory in 2014. But by trying to rerun the 2010 election, and repackaging himself as the same stale candidate, he wrongly assumes that the landscape hasn't changed, and that he doesn't have to re-earn the support of his own Party, and those who voted for him during he last gubernatorial cycle - a strategy that may prove deadly to his gubernatorial ambitions.

Just because RTC Chairmen and his campaign staff (with the help of Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr.) may jury-rig and deliver Tom Foley the State GOP Convention, doesn't guarantee that Foley will have the same showing that he had during the 2010 primary.  Given the strong field of candidates who are more than willing to engage the public on issues of the day, and earn the public vote, Foley may find himself trailing behind shortly after he receives the usual temporary State Convention boost.

Connecticut Republicans want to elect a candidate who is unafraid to stand on principle. Not a politician like Tom Foley who would rather lead from the rear and play "the strategy game." He may not know it, and he may not believe it - but Tom Foley is losing respect of Republicans all over the State who are already lukewarm about his nomination to begin with.

Maybe Tom Foley might change his mind. Perhaps he'll show the courage of his convictions and take the stage with his colleagues on April 11th, and just maybe he might earn the respect of the Party faithful and the delegates (many he has already bought) by outlining his vision for Connecticut's future.  But if he's not, then it signals that Connecticut Republicans are ready to nominate a new gubernatorial candidate; someone unafraid to serve as the standard bearer on behalf of voters who have for so long been under-represented.