It's very hard to debate with some people. It's not always the point of winning the argument as much as it is presenting the facts that support your position. When it comes to some topics, abortion, for example - you may never get a person to concede their point of view in light of statistics, facts, or information because the argument (IMHO) is extremely emotional and personal for some.
However, there are plenty of topics where a rational person, using logic and the evidence presented, will examine the facts and see they are are not in dispute, and formulate a reasonable conclusion. Rational thinkers can be swayed if the facts support sound judgement. Irrational thinkers will not move off their positions. It's nearly impossible to argue with someone who is not concerned with facts, and I often find that this occurs with people who tend to be either extreme, or simply hell-bent on being right.
The political season affords Republican thinkers the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with emotional Democrats and frankly, its like mixing oil and water. The video below shows a very typical argument between a conservative and a liberal. You would not believe from my own experience how precise this illustration really is. I particularly like the part where the liberal becomes so frustrated that she resort to insults, name calling, and fiction to support her arguments.
I tell my conservative friends all the time. Do not bother arguing with liberals in a one on one scenario. It is a waste of time and energy except when a neutral party is listening to you debate. The only person you care about convincing that your positions are sound is the only the person who you may have a chance to influence.
I laugh when people say Republicans and Democrats are largely the same. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Unfortunately, when it comes to results; spending federal money on frivolous nonsense, that has been known to be true. The lack of sticking to principle, is what lost Republicans control of the House of Representatives just a few years ago. When you act against your own facts, you lose all ground to defend your arguments.
But issue for issue, pound for pound, Republicans and Democrats are generally on completely opposite sides of the equation. Of course, you can't always get some people to act the way they know they aught to because its easier to do what's expedient than to do what is right. But that's a different topic for another day.
Check out the video below. Have you ever had a similar argument with a liberal?
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Democrat John Larson has one of his thugs attack former West Hartford Councilman Republican Joe Visconti
Yesterday CBS News Morning News co-anchored by loyal Democrat activist Harry Smith aired an early morning interview with a MoveOn.org activist Lauren Valle who claimed she was stomped on by a Rand Paul supporter. Without a doubt, this scenario follows the usual pre-election tactic by the Democrats which is to invent scenarios to paint Republican (and now Tea Party) activists as violent bigots suppressing minority vote, blocking voting booths, and doing whatever else they can think of. Without a doubt, MoveOn.org is the socialist front for the Democrat Party which engages in high profile activism (organized protests, voter fraud, and theatrics) to advance the cause of the far left-wing's agenda.
Valle, it's been learned, perpetrated violence at a Rand Paul event by getting in several Paul supporter's faces and yelling. Unfortunately, one Paul volunteer got a little overzelous and fell right into her trap. He's become the perfect scapegoat for the season. I know this happens on both sides, yet we NEVER see the media run stories about how Black Panther operatives bully people at the polls in New York, or how Act-Up and MoveOn.org crowds riot and destroy property to advance their causes. Liberal lunatics are always depicted as victims and Republicans as the aggressors.
One group on the left that is particularly violent and destructive are the organized labor or union thugs. The Unions often pay and transport contractors to rally in front of businesses, poll locations, and attend candidate appearances to make it appear as if their Democrat candidate has more support than he or she really does in front of the camera. Labor unions are well organized, and without a doubt the second strongest special interest group in the mix, only the teacher's union weilds more power. The union thugs have been known to destroy property and intimidate people through pushing and shoving and other violent acts.
Well, on October 26, 2010, a cell phone captured an incident where Democrat John Larson appeared at a scheduled debate with Ann Brinkley. Video below.
As usual, the Union thugs were out in full force, but this time - Republicans and Tea Party actvists were also outside to show support for Ann Brickley. If you look closely, on the left, you can see a person holding the Gadsden Flag. That person is former West Hartford Councilman Joseph Visconti. You will also see one of Larson's thugs dressed in a pink shirt violently push Joe down to the ground. Despite that this video has gone viral on Youtube.com, the national or local media hasn't bothered to air or even investigate the story.
This is evidence of two things, the fact that liberal bias continues to exist when it comes to election coverage, and that supporters of Democrat candidates aren't beyond becoming violent and unruly at events.
One final note, Visconti may have gone down hard, but to his credit he made sure the Gadsden Flag never touched the ground.
Monday, October 25, 2010
The Tea Party movement is the most misunderstood and misrepresented organization on the planet. Most people (myself included) have had a difficult time understanding exactly what and who comprise the Tea Party. The problem being that, organizationally, it's very hard to know who's running the show. The answer - "we all are" really doesn't cut it. Even in 1773, when the Sons of Liberty embarked on their campaign against the tyrannical British Government and their colonial representatives, there was a known group of ring leaders who reponsible for public protests - John Adams and Paul Revere among them. That aspect of the Tea Party is still very much unknown. Moreover, Republicans, with whom the Tea Party seem aligned have also been suspect of the national movement.
The commerical below is somewhat helpful in defining who their members are.
I recognize that commericals like the fabulous one above take capital to air on television. But Connecticut Tea Party organizers can surely find someone in their ranks with enough savvy technical experience to create similiar commericals like the one above. Instead of allowing local media like The Hartford Courant to determine exactly who and what the Tea Party is, Patriots can control their own destiny and show voters what they are all about. They can dispel the notion that they are raviing lunatics with guns. Or Libertarians without conscience. Clips like this show people that they are moms, dads, students, and working people who are fed up with the status quo.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
While most of the country has been focused on the upcoming mid-term elections, many of us here in Connecticut have divided our time between politics and -- the Steven Hayes trial. Since that horrible day in 2007 when two souless creeps broke into the Petit home and committed henious crimes against Dr. Petit, his wife, and children, all of us have attempted to imagine the horror happening to us, and recognizing that it could happen to any of us, at any time. Admittedly, since the news of the tragedy, we've all become a little more cautious about personal security, and far more protective of our loved ones.
It's been three long years since Hayes and Komisarjevsky murdered the Petit women, and yet it seems like yesterday. The media still uses the same mug shot of Hayes when they report on the story. He appears like a clueless, bald-headed freak - and in truth, I'm sick of his face. We all are.
Connecticut doesn't allow television cameras, or electronic recording equipment in its courtrooms, so we are stuck with artist sketches - some very good, and some very cartoonish. But surprisingly, the courtroom does allow ipads, cell phones (on silent), and computers. Which has permitted those watching the proceedings to tweet - sometimes word for word, what witnesses are saying. And of course, we also get observer's color commentary on everything from facial expressions of the jury, to one reporter referring to another as the moocher reporter.
So, over the past month, I've been glued to my Droid, reading all the court activity via Twitter - while on the road, at work, and even at the gym. While we rely on 140 character rapid-fire reports from neutral eyewitnesses (mostly journalists), we in reality - are thinking, feeling, and monitoring the proceedings through the eyes of Dr. William Petit and the Hawke family. Every word, quote, and observation is carefully measured by those of us out in the global, virtual peanut gallery.
Twitter is a marvelous tool. It's so unlike the medium of television, and radio - where you tune in and take what's dished out by the press in a one-way format. Twitter allows us to interact with reporters and observers, real time, as they report proceedings. And sometimes, we outsiders pipe in with color commentary of our own.
While some reporters, like George Colli, sort of get into the whole interactive format of the medium - often asking people what they think and provoking dialogue, I'm sure some reporters dislike the idea of being on a level playing field with a hundred amateur voices. I've been fortunate enough to have sone incredible interaction with not only reporters, many people who feel strongly about the trial (including some close friends of the family). And I do admit, not all the commentary I've seen is in good taste, and some of the retweeting by individuals becomes a little tiresome. Do we really need a nonstop echo?
In some ways a lot of this is probably not healthy. And I mean the obsession of wanting to constantly stay connected, and wanting to read every #Hayes tweet, and feeling the need to join in the conversation, or even vent. Then again, the interaction with paid journalists, lawyers, and Twitter Nation is almost a sort of group therapy.
When witnesses told of the extreme horror and detail of events of that night, we shared in the pain with reporters. And when Steven Hayes was found guilty, we read it on Twitter and jumped for joy in celebration. When we saw the rediculous boastful journal entries by Joshua Komisarjevsky, we became angry, and when we heard Hayes whining about the size of his cell, and wanting to commit suicide, we all wondered-- why stop the sick SOB?
As we continue with the sentencing phase of this trial, its good to know we have a place to interact with Petit-Hawke family supporters. I'm glad I can add my voice to the dozens of people online who hope and pray that justice is served, and Hayes and Komisarjevsky will be no more.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
We often talk about just how much Government interferes in our everyday lives. If not directly, then indirectly through the government's imposition of taxes, imposing fees on any activity they can collect revenue on, and passing legislation, some necessary, but much of it ridiculous, such as telling people they can't buy alcohol on Sundays, or trying to regulate talk radio.
Government agencies are the extended arm of Government officials which act to enforce the whims of the latest "hot issue of the week", or make it difficult to open a business, or even register your car. This reminds me of the well-known quote by President Ronald Reagan, "Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem."
Well the problem of Government isn't limited to just laws and mandates, it also comes in the form of abuse of power, or extended influence. Richard Blumenthal, for example, has spent most of the last 15 years manipulating businesses, and utility companies, in what he's calls - the public interest. Of course, its not the public interest he's really concerned with as much as the advancement of left-wing causes, or using his office to win lawsuits so the state can collect revenue for their never ending programs. All of this, done to give the public the impression that he's their hero under the false pretense that he's out for the little guy, who Blumenthal just caused to lose his job.
Following in Blumenthal's footsteps is Connecticut Secretary of State, Susan Bysiewicz. She is embroiled in a new controversy that is receiving national attention. Yesterday, Bysiewicz said that polling workers (likely Democrats) would have the right to deny voters the right to cast ballots if they entered the polling place wearing World Wrestling Entertainment merchandise. While she didn't have the courage (or legal backing) to mandate an actual ban, she simply gave her henchmen at the polls the right to make life difficult for Linda McMahon's supporters.
This is obviously an abuse of power by Bysiewicz who is trying to influence the vote. It's also an example of how lucky we are that the State Supreme Court decided that she wasn't qualified to be Connecticut's Attorney General. Can you imagine the level judicial activism by a Bysiewicz AG?
I'm also trying to remember if anyone was turned away from voting for John Kerry if they were wearing a Heinz Ketchup logo, I mean after all the Heinz fortune just about bankrolled his candidacy.
You also have to wonder how far you could go with mandating merchandise bans at the Polls? Will unions be denied access for wearing Local 890 T-shirts? Will people wearing NRA hats be turned away? Maybe we could turn away people who wear a happy face logo - after all I'm sure they are suspect of some mischievous act promulgated by a Republican in such a stoic State.
You have to really wonder how poll workers, many who know nothing about Professional Wrestling, are going to recognize what WWE merchandise looks like. With all due respect to Linda McMahon, exactly how many poll workers, who are usually older ladies mostly in their 60s know who John Cena or Stone Cold Steve Austin is? Maybe the Democrat Party is holding special training sessions to teach Democrat poll workers how to recognize "Austin 3:16" or the angry face of "The Rock".
It's funny that we haven't heard from the ACLU on this issue. They are quick to chase high school graduations away from church buildings, but they've mysteriously been silent thus far on this obvious free speech issue. We also haven't heard from our current Attorney General, who I'm sure wasn't all to pleased to see his own party give Linda McMahon an issue to beat him and the Democrat party over the head with. If Dick is smart, he'll make a statement that he doesn't care what clothes people wear to the polls.
For my purposes, I hope everyone who owns WWE clothing merchandise, whether they are a Linda McMahon supporter or not, goes to the polls dressed in their best wrestling garb. Let's show Secretary of State Bysieiwicz and the Democrat Party that we are tired of Connecticut's government officials endless abuse of office.
Maybe Linda McMahon is right after all, it is "time for something different."
Video to the story carried by WTNH - New Haven can be found here for a limited time:
Thursday, October 21, 2010
This is the third televised debate between Tom Foley and Dan Malloy. This one is being held at Fairfield University. From the looks of things, the union slobs got in very early because you can see them sitting right behind the moderators all wearing their bright yellow union shirts. Well, that what unions get paid to do - work for Democrats and make a lot of noise. Republicans are too busy working. I'm watching this as a replay on but I know full well it was live at 3pm - which is when normal people are working.
Anyways, we have Face the State's Dennis House - he is usually pretty fair when he conducts interviews on his show. Most the questions he asks are softball questions which is why everyone running for office can't wait to go on his show. And then we have John Dankosky from National Public Radio (NPR). Well you know if they are from NPR, they probably reek of liberalism. I expect John to put pressure on Foley all night, and ask Malloy what is favorite color is. Honestly, speaking - anyone who works for NPR has a personal self interest in seeing Malloy win because it helps to preserve NPR funding and thus keep them employed.
I re-edited this and opted where it isn't obvious to put my comments in [brackets] so as not to accidently attribute my opinions to either candidate.
Here we go. First question to Dan Malloy.
Dankowsky jokes, "Mr. Foley you can feel free to give us more than three". Foley attacks the $3 million dollars in additional budget spending. He promises to have a hiring freeze for state workers. Wants to use the commissions report on waste and duplication and enact those ideas. Use of outside contractors, and talks about Riverview Hospital savings. Transition Elderly medicaid patients to Community based care which he says patients prefer.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
This weekend candidates Lt. Governor hopeful Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, and State Treasurer candidate Newington Mayor Jeff Wright came out to Eastern Connecticut to meet with residents in area towns to talk with them about their concerns and discuss their ideas for creating jobs and getting the economy back on track.
As I observed them up close and had the chance to listen to their interactions with the public. It was very clear to me why both of these guys are so incredibly popular with their own constituents. Instead of talking over people - as most politicians do, both men listened quite intently to the public's complaints about high taxes and lack of jobs. Eastern Connecticut has been hit particularly hard by the Obama recession and many people are out of work, and really hurting.
As readers know, I was very critical about the lack of Republican (and Democrat) visits to Connecticut's second district, if not angry - particularly once Senate Candidate Rob Simmons dropped his bid for the U.S. Senate. It became clear to many people that candidates either took the second district for granted, or simply didn't care. Connecticut is not the size of California or Texas, so if candidates can't be bothered to drive an hour or so to meet with constituents - well, then I guess they shouldn't expect their votes. So, to see this dynamic Mayor-duo making the rounds was a sight for sore eyes, and exasperated minds.
Of course, I've had the chance to interact with Jeff Wright on multiple occasions because of his proximity to home, and my experiences have always been positive. As Mayor of Newington Jeff Wright worked to set a tax cap in place so Newington's Town Council would be forced to offset spending whims with cuts and sound budget management. This was a stark contrast to West Hartford's plans to simply raise taxes each and every year while refusing to make tough choices, and laying the burden at taxpayer's feet.
The idea of having Jeff Wright, as "Cash Cop" in the Treasurer's office would be a saving grace to Denise Nappier's ongoing "tax and borrow" philosophy. Nappier, the sitting incumbent, has borrowed nearly $2 billion dollars in order to give the appearance of temporarily balancing the budget. Borrowing, which is an added burden to the public, has largely contributed to Connecticut's ongoing spending problem. It's another example where Democrats refuse to make tough choices and allows them to continue to pursue a cycle of irresponsibility. The Democrat-Led State Legislature has had a loyal friend like Denise Nappier sitting in the Treasurer's Office for 12-years; given the horrific outcome of failure to provide responsible oversight to the budgeting process has led to dire consequences for Connecticut.
Mark Boughton, has served as Danbury's mayor for five terms and has turned one of Connecticut's largest cities around since he took office moving Danbury up to the 26th safest city in the United States - which is major accomplishment considering it close proximity to New York City. He is well-regarded, and won re-election in 2009 with an astonishing 65% margin - in a very Democratic city. During the course of second district travels, I witnessed an exchange where Mark ran into a former student of his (Mark taught Social Studies for fourteen years) who was happy to see him.
One of Mark's campaign workers commented, "Everywhere we go, even if its far from home, Mark seems to run into someone he knows. And its always a friendly smile and happy exchange."
I was able to talk with Mark for several minutes about his background and ideas. It was clear to me from his points that he understands both the public sector and private sector in depth. He talked at length about the benefits of sound fiscal policies as a way to promote economic growth. Personally, I find that his experience in Danbury, and his three years serving in the Connecticut State Legislature would be a boon for Connecticut.
Boughton and Wright were sympathetic to the business owner's concerns citing that at root are the job losses which have hit Connecticut are three-fold; the Democrat-led Legislature has passed high business taxes which have forced some businesses to leave Connecticut, and some to cut jobs. The second problem is the uncertainty of businesses due to the Obama economic troubles including the passage of new federal taxes and the expansive healthcare mandate which has put businesses in a "wait and see" mode before making decisions to hire, expand, or in some cases - leave. And the third has been the adversarial role that Connecticut Attorney General's office has been against business under Richard Blumenthal. The record number of lawsuits by Blumenthal has been a deterrent to business expansion in Connecticut.
Listening to Mark Boughton and Jeff Wright speak common-sense was refreshing. Now its up to the voters to see if they are going to embrace the same old practices of tax, spend and sue, or if they will put leaders like Tom Foley, Mark Boughton, Jeff Wright, and Martha Dean in office, and elect state legislators who can start to reverse years of run-away spending, high debt, and anti-business climate by the State House and Senate.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Republican Tom Foley was impressive tonight during the second Gubernatorial debate between himself and Democrat Dan Malloy. Many of the same themes from the first debate held last week reappeared, but the dialogue was conducted with a bit more civility between the two contenders. In summary, Foley came across calm, on the offense, and in command of the issues, while Malloy came across more defensive and clearly rattled.
There was some apprehension in the air from GOP supporters about how Tom Foley would handle this debate. As an executive, Foley's style is much more relaxed, and soft-spoken as compared with Malloy's hard-nosed, aggressive style. Many felt that while he came across arrogant and overly aggressive, Malloy had edged out Foley in their first meeting. Although the press seemed to take more of an interest in the nastiness of the exchange rather than the content. Tonight's debate, a much more reasonable affair, gave voters a better look at where the candidates stand on the issues. And usually an issue-based debate is helpful to Republicans.
I was happy to see Ann Nyberg moderating the debate. She is probably Connecticut's best newscaster, and offers a no-frills, matter of fact style of anchoring. I'm hoping that her newscasting style spills over into this debate and she forces the candidates to stick to the issues.
Out of the box, Mark Davis asks Tom Foley about his position on raising taxes to cover the budget deficits and to repair the State's economic problems. Foley made it clear that he has pledged not to raise taxes - vowing as Governor to veto any bill that contained tax increases , while Malloy refused to take any such pledge, and said the budget issues could require sacrifices. He outright said he refused to make such a pledge.
Malloy in his opening response tells us "he is humbled to be here." What? Dan Malloy humble? You've got to be kidding me?
Foley, seemingly wanting to get back to last week's debate (he probably kicked himself after watching it), took issue with Dan Malloy's numerous false ads claiming a number of things which he said were outright dishonest, and said, "If you can't be honest with the people of Connecticut, how can you lead?" I'm surprised but interested to see Tom Foley going on the offensive this time.
Interestingly enough, Malloy did not seem to go back down the road of defending his charges as he did in the first debate which struck a chord with me. Since he didn't press it this time, much of it was likely just normal negative political campaigning - exaggerations and lies. At this point, the only thing I wanted Tom Foley to do was to ask Malloy to either prove his claims or remove the ads since they were untruthful.
Foley was questioned by Mark Davis about whether or not state workers layoffs would be on the table, he admitted that while layoffs weren't imminent, he wouldn't rule them out, but claimed that a decision would be based on how negotiations went with the state employee unions. Malloy side-stepped the matter of being backed by unions, and the complexities of having to negotiate with those who were providing endorsements and backing. He claimed to have not guaranteed unions that no layoffs would occur, and dismissed the documentation which showed that he had made a commitment. He only would commit to an executive order mandating the use of general accounting practices - pretty weak. When pressed about potential layoffs, Malloy only said, "I will not sacrifice the safety net." No one quite understands what that means, but anyways we move on.
Davis then made a Lowell Weicker analogy regarding the raising of taxes. Foley gave a sound answer that he believed that Weicker raised taxes to address state issues, and the state legislature quickly spent to spending those funds basically outlining the problem with "tax and spend", raising more revenue through taxation only allows disbursement of the taxes on new programs, and hurts the economy. Malloy's answer was hard to comprehend. He took issue with Governor Jodi Rell, and referred to her as "Your Governor". Sort of an odd response, as if Tom Foley was somehow directly accountable for Governor Rell's decisions over the past several years. I think Malloy somehow forgot that Foley said he would have vetoed the budget if he were Govenor.
Malloy tried to make the case that because he was able to get concessions from Stamford City workers that he could do the same with Connecticut State workers. Malloy seemed to not recognize the contrast in size between Stamford City workers and the thousands of Connecticut State workers and their different unions. It appears as though Malloy oversimplies this aspect of union negotiations. Malloy talks about his ability to bring jobs to Stamford and rebuild it.
Foley counters by asking Malloy how his track record of raising taxes for 14 straight years in a row, along with the loss of 14,000 during his tenure is evidence of is ability to create jobs and promote business in Connecticut. Malloy avoids the question by stating Stamford is a wonderful city and that Foley moved his business there. Foley responds by asking Malloy is he's trying to take credit for Foley moving his business to Stamford, "You're not are you?" Foley goes on to say that Governor Rell also says the RBS moved to Stamford, Connecticut but confirmed that the decision had nothing to do with Malloy whatsoever.
One of the more interesting exchanges came during the discussion about keeping or abolishing the death penalty. Malloy repeated his position which is that if the legislature sent him a bill to abolish the death penalty, he would sign it, but with the caveat that he would allow Steven Hayes to be put to death if he received the death penalty. He said he opposed the death penalty on moral grounds. After clearly stating he supports the death penalty, Foley asked, "If you agree that the death penalty is [suitable] for Steven Hayes, but not for anyone else, then how can your position be based on moral grounds?" Foley basically exposed Malloy's position as purely political given the anger and outrage fostered by the Hayes trial, and the current climate. Malloy fell flat on his face, prospectively - of course.
In a bizarre exchange, Mark Davis comes off a bit rough yelling at both candidates claiming neither of them "make sense". What becomes a bit of a tirade and a bit of grandstanding by WTNH's political correspondent - luckily this episode is squelched by Ann Nyberg. Both candidates seem to be surprised by Davis' behavior. Foley tries to answer, and Davis starts to lecture, Ann Nyberg asks Davis to please allow the candidates to answer. Whew! I wonder if we will hear the inside story on why Davis become so irrational, appearing almost angry.
Ann Nyberg makes Mark Davis move to a new topic. He reluctantly agrees. Mark Davis askes Tom Foley about his position on instituting a mandatory sick time for all employers, to which Foley responded, that such a mandate was "radioactive to employers", he used this as a segway to discuss that these types of mandates are the reason that business are leaving Connecticut. Malloy said he supports mandating sick time for employers, citing nursing homes as an example, and calling it a "public health issue". He did not offer any response to how mandates may or may not cost jobs.
Paul Choineire asks Foley about binding arbitration and prevailing wages. Foley states that these are examples where the unions are using these as tactics to manipulate the legislature for their own purposes. Basically, one serves the other's interest. Malloy takes the opportunity to impress his union viewers by claiming that prevailing wages "helps to build up the middle class."
Paul Choineire follows up with a question to Malloy about his relationship with Unions, and given the long list of endorsements from Unions how he would be able to get Unions to make concessions given his close relationship with them. Malloy responds by going into a pro-Union spiel which avoids the question all together, but likely made union members feel warm all over that he has their backs - no matter what. Foley states the obvious, that which such a tight relationship, it will be hard for Malloy to get the people he owes so much too to give concessions particularly in light of his commitments to them as previously discussed.
Malloy becomes upset, and coyly says, "I never thought I'd quote Ronald Reagan, but "there you go again". (Which would have been funny if it didn't appear that it was so obviously rehearsed). In the same sentence he steals a line from Barack Obama: "Let me be clear." Its sort of a slap in the face to insult Ronald Reagan and then utter Obama in the same breath. To his credit, Foley responds, "You keep saying Let me be clear, and then you never are."
Mark Davis asks a bizarre question of Foley, something about being a member of the Cowboys, and raising money for George W. Bush. He boldly asks: "What did people get for [giving money] to George Bush". Foley replies quickly - "Nothing". Laughter from the crowd. Davis follows up about a question about why he participated in fundraising. Foley actually gives a really good answer - he says that he's been a businessman most of his life, and when don't run but want to be involved that being involved in fundraising, and helping in this manner is one of the options available to get involved in the political process. Hard to find fault with that answer.
On a side note, during his explanation, Foley says he's been involved in politics for 30 years, helping out, I sort of squinted and grimaced, waiting for Malloy to pounce on him for promoting his alleged "outsider" status. Malloy, who is usually pretty quick-witted missed the chance. But Malloy does use this as an opportunity to point out that Foley is rich, and plays the class warfare card. Yawn.
The Citizens Election Program comes up. Malloy uses this issue to try and create a wedge between Governor Jodi Rell and Tom Foley. Foley is against it and claims it was rammed through the legislature by Democrats for their own purposes, and Malloy responds by claiming Foley is attacking what Governor Rell called her cornerstone piece of legislation. The issue is dull and boring to the crowd, there's only the excitement about watching the two candidates disagree that saves the audience from nodding off.
The fact that Malloy then goes off on a tirade was a bit entertaining. Foley tries to lighten the mood by asking Malloy, "Have you ever considered switching to decaf?" Loud laughter from the crowd which is remarkable given that the hall is likely 80% pro-Malloy. Just hope that viewers at home aren't seeing Foley as too snide.
Paul Choiniere then lists some of Foley's positions which in fairness, are options that reduce the public burden caused by state mandates and state employees costs, and then asks - given all of this, don't you give state workers something to fear? Foley gives a straight-forward answer that at least doesn't skirt the issue, and says that changes are needed to control costs (a counter argument to raising taxes - a point he should have underscored.) Malloy seizes the opportunity to go into a long diatribe about how he's going to make the world a better place, and save the working class, the middle class. He accuses Tom Foley of trying to get rid of Health care and goes on an on exaggerating Foley's positions. Eyes roll and its the same old class warfare rhetoric.
Foley jumps on Malloy's points by saying that he never said he was going to take away Health care from employees. He offers its a fact that State mandated plans are too expensive, and he wants to revise them to reduce costs.
A final question about foreclosure is asked. In all honesty, I didn't get a lot out of the exchange between the two. Both seemed sympathetic to home owners but I didn't come away with any opinion of where they stood on the issue.
Closing Statements Time. Wow. That was fast.
Malloy takes an odd strategy. He personalizes his own story, telling the audience that he grew up poor, as a member of an eight child family. Talks about how hard his life was (I hear violins playing in the background). Then he says his mother died of cancer - I'm thinking this is in poor taste to try and pull at heart strings and sell emotion. In another odd moment, Malloy says that he worked to turn Stamford "into the Industrial Capitol of the World." A bit overblown. My own view is that he should have used the time to spell out his positions and sell them in the few minutes allotted.
Foley gives his closing and he sticks to the talking points about his ability to create jobs and solve the economic problems of Connecticut. He underscores that he wants to reduce costs in government through reform, and won't raise taxes unlike his opponent. He gives a very strong closing, probably the best closing I've seen of all the candidates in all of the debates. He came across competent and confident.
Overall, the debate was interesting, and was an issue-based exchange. These things are never long enough, and not every issue can be discussed. There were a few ah-ha moments, and a few moments from Mark Davis that served as a distraction. For the most part, you have to argue that with a mediocre performance last time, and a very good performance this time - Tom Foley benefits most from this debate.
I would expect the campaign to tighten over the next week or so. I think Foley could likely pull ahead given this performance. And the more the voters learn about him, the better they like him.
A final debate is planned for October 19 and will be shown on WFSB-TV.
Monday, October 11, 2010
What is it with people who think that once you support a candidate that you're locked into that support 'til death?
Primaries can be drag out, knock down fights that often leave contenders battered and bruised, and heck - even sometimes mortally wounded. But that's almost to be expected by anyone who is vying for their own political survival to face the opposition party in the General Election. It's winner take all; and those in second and third place drift off into oblivion - at least until next time.
Now admittedly I was quite outspoken in opposition to Linda McMahon, and Janet Peckinpaugh in previous posts. And to be honest, I still have reservations about their ability and overall effectiveness of both candidates once in office. But in contrast to the option of sending Democrats to the House and Senate to rubber stamp the failed policies of Barack Obama, I'd rather send people who would at least provide a level of opposition to his policies. The idea of a guaranteed Democrat vote for two more years of job loss and higher taxes is frightening.
If you've been paying attention at all you've noticed that Democrats have been running away from their President and their own policies. None of them are running ads promoting higher taxes and more stimulus spending, are they?
Even in Democrat strongholds like Connecticut, Dems like Chris Murphy has been running ads that mention he's been "working with Republicans to keep jobs in Connecticut". And Joe Courtney has made a point of running commercials that state that he voted against the Obama stimulus plans - basically trying to sell himself as some quasi-fiscal conservative. If the Democrats were actually proud of their party and its principles, they wouldn't have to go out of their way to sell themselves as either collaborators with the GOP or try to co-opt Republican positions.
So what about the option of supporting third party candidates? Well, that option is beyond rediculous. Third parties in a two party system are spoilers in the General Election. Nothing is gained by voting for an Independent candidate except to siphon votes away from Republican candidates and help to assure a Democrat victory. You'll notice in many cases where left-wing parties are established (for example, like the Working Family Party) that they often cross-endorse and run Democrat candidates on their party line on the ballot. Meanwhile, Conservative and Liberatarian parties run their own candidates as true opposition candidates.
Third party voters will tell you that they are either "voting on principle" or "teaching the Republican Party a lesson". Well to you who think this way, I'd rather have an imperfect Republican candidate elected instead of one who's votes guarantee higher taxes and spending, and carte blanche for liberals to do as they wish at my expense.
There is no better example of the detrimental impact of a third party candidacy than the 1992 candidacy of H. Ross Perot which crippled Republican Presidential re-election chances, and gave us eight years of William Jefferson Clinton. As memory serves, Perot spent most of his time (and money) trying to pull down George Bush, and spent very little time attacking the positions of Bill Clinton despite the fact that Perot had far more in common with Bush than he did Clinton when it came to economic and foreign policy positions. But most know that Perot's election bid was his way of getting even with Bush for personal disagreements. Yet, regardless of the rationale for his campaign, Republicans lost the Presidency and Democrats took power for eight years.
The battle for the heart and soul of any political party should be conducted during the Primary. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. People win primaries for a number of reasons including they spend more, they slide in-between two other candidates (like Janet Peckinpaugh did in the second district), and sometimes its just because they are more appealing through their positions and temperment. And sometimes its a matter of simple demographics. Whatever it is, it is.
Understandably, burnout and anger are always a factor in post-primary elections. Losing stinks, and the idea of having to get behind a candidate whom you've been trying to pound into the ground for the past six months is not that appealing. So if you're on the losing side, you take time off and recharge your batteries. At the end of the day, you'll recognize that you'll likely find more in common with candidates from your own party, than you would with voting for the opposition candidate.
I guess you could vote third party, but that's akin to throwing a temper-tantrum and taking your ball and going home. Third party candidates generally amount to very little, but clearly their small impact to offset general election results is sometimes enough to tip the balance in favor of the person with which you have the least in common with.
Third party voters often refer to themselves as Patriots - out to rid the world of RINOs (Republican in Name Only), and you'lll find many of these people follow the same routine each election cycle - never really satisfied with the candidate who wins the primary because they find they ONLY agree with that person 70% of the time, as opposed to their candidate whom they agreed with 95% of the time, all the while - they likely agree with the Democrat candidate only 20% of the time. So in practical application is supporting a third party candidate who's candidacy will likely help elect someone whom you have 20% in common truly Patriotic? Or is it Hyprocracy at its best?
Often when you try to explain the outcome of their decision, third party goers become angry and dispondent. It's hard to reason with someone who is so unreasonable.
It's time for Republicans to weigh the risks in the balance. Tom Foley, Linda McMahon, Janet Peckinpaugh, and everyone else who won their Republican primary deserve Republican support. And we taxpayers don't deserve two more years of punishment because your perfect candidate didn't win the primary. And the Democrats in power are praying and hoping that some of you defect enough or sit home in order to give them two more years of one party control and declare it a mandate for a much more expansive government.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
But the verdict is only a chapter in a long ongoing saga; there is much more to come. On October 18th the jury will reconvene to start the penalty phase of the Hayes trial - which includes the possible decision to put Hayes to death for his heinous crimes. I make no bones about this one; I strongly believe that Hayes should die by lethal injection. While Connecticut has only executed 127 people since 1639, I have no problem making Steven Hayes number 128, and his buddy - Joshua Komisarjevsky number 129.
Connecticut, as we all know, is a very blue state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 20% margin, but notwithstanding steady voter loyalty to the Democrat Party and its principles, Connecticut residents also support the death penalty by a 2-1 margin, perhaps more. One can argue that this is a paradox of sorts given that Republicans tend to support Capital Punishment while Democrats are usually soft on crime and criminals – and champion theories of experimental reform and reduced punishment. Yet this particular crime has struck such a chord with people that it’s served as a reminder as to why the Death Penalty exists. These horrid crimes were committed against women and children in a shocking manner that I won’t go into here.
Last year the heavily Connecticut State Legislature sent a bill to end the Death Penalty to Governor Jodi Rell (R) which she promptly vetoed citing that some crimes are heinous enough to warrant Capital Punishment. The bill to abolish the death penalty passed the Connecticut House by a frightening 90 to 56 margin, but passed the State Senate by a tight 19 to 17 margin. If for no other reason, we were lucky to have Governor Rell in that position to stop the liberal’s mad proposition.
But liberals are a like a mutating virus – relentless, and hard to kill. And this issue is figuring front and center as a part of this year’s Gubernatorial Race. Democrat Dan Malloy has already vowed to push for removal of the death penalty, while Republican Tom Foley has voiced support for the continuing the Death Penalty. The clear evidence of these positions has been confirmed during their last two debates between the hopefuls. If being a career politician, and big Government, tax and spend policies weren’t enough to disqualify Malloy, then his decision to embark on a crusade to remove the death penalty (against the will of the people) certainly is. And despite the evidence of the certainly of guilt by Steven Hayes (admitted), Malloy is unmoved by the details and horror while bragging that he’s been some big time prosecutor. Well, maybe not so big time after all, it appears.
The two groups that tend to be activists for death penalty abolishment are left wing liberals, and religious fanatics who misrepresent Biblical teaching to support their point of view. In fairness, Christ said nothing for or against capital punishment which was certainly far more prevalent during His time than in ours. Christ could have easily spoken out on the matter if he felt strongly about it as he often did with other cultural topics. In Roman times even thieves suffered crucifixion, an act that often resulted in death. In Matthew 22:21, Christ said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s." Christ could have referenced the 12 commandments, or any decree He wished, and instead directed followers to simply follow the law – regardless of its mandates.
History shows us that Democrats have led us into war more often than Republicans. The result of declaring and enacting war is the obvious legal mandate permitted to soldiers to burn homes, destroy property, take hostages, injure and kill the enemy. Liberals use the argument that the state has no right to condemn and put someone to death; however, when it comes to war – which results in murder on a massive scale, they forget this argument all together. So it’s clear that the state does have a right to mandate death after all; and any argument contrary to this is to ignore the obvious. In fact, taking it a step further – war often kills more than enemy combatants – often innocent persons are killed, as a result of combat. And my argument at present is to find fault with acts of war, but rather to expose the inconsistency in the argument that the State doesn’t have a right to condemn men to death. Military tribunals are also empowered by the State, and are further evidence of precedence where the State can sentence men to death.
And for those who argue that the Death Penalty isn’t a deterrent, I challenge them to provide evidence of how a crime was committed by the condemned after they were permanently removed from society via execution. Capital Punishment is both a punishment and a deterrent.
This week we will hear that Hayes’ defense attorneys will try a new tactic to help him escape the ultimate punishment. They will claim that pursuing the death penalty costs the State of Connecticut $3.1 million dollars and that the State can’t afford the cost of the process. Of course, the cost of the trial has nothing to do with the guilt of the villain, or morality of the punishment, and is nothing more than a shady backdoor approach to find a way to allow Hayes to escape absolute justice. If the process created by the State is too expensive, than it is up to the State to find a way to reduce the cost rather than abandon the process, and let murderers, rapists, and villains avoid the will of the people.
Leading up to Election Day, Connecticut residents have a lot to think about in light of how their Government has functioned, and what they can expect from those balloting for election. But one thing is clear, if you believe that people like Steven Hayes deserve Capital Punishment for heinous crimes they commit – like those on the poor Petit family, then don’t consider Dan Malloy. If you want justice for criminals – support Tom Foley. Connecticut, the choice is yours.