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The Chris Powell Column

Islamic law is no issue here, so lay off state’s Muslims

Everybody knows that Islam is having a civil war between murderous totalitarians and people who just want to live and let live. Civilization’s urgent agenda must be to help the good guys. 

But as Connecticut saw last weekend, some people are determined to insult and intimidate the good guys by suggesting that all followers of Islam are bad, which can only discourage the good guys and strengthen the bad guys.

Malloy still has strength and time to slow state’s long fall

Announcing so far ahead of the next election that he will not seek a third term, Governor Malloy risks losing influence with the General Assembly, which has only begun the first of its two sessions remaining during his term. 

But even as a “lame duck” the governor can preserve his influence if he is willing to use or threaten to use his veto more aggressively. And by forswearing re-election, he has given himself more freedom to do things that strike him as impolitic but right or necessary.

Highest courts are really about political power, not the law

Democrats and Republicans in the Senate did what they had to do last week with President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Republicans had to force Gorsuch through, even at the cost of repealing the Senate’s rule favoring bipartisanship with important presidential nominations, and Democrats had to oppose him, though he was well qualified. 

‘Individual mandate’ avoided ‘single payer’

Republican leaders in Congress are boasting that their legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare eliminates the hated “individual mandate,” the requirement that people buy medical insurance. The Republicans say that under their legislation the only people who will not have medical insurance will be people who don’t want it.

But the “individual mandate,” hated as it may be in some quarters, was the price of avoiding the even more hated “single-payer” system, the government’s takeover of medicine. 

State’s public education really isn’t public at all

Democratic legislators are always most conscientious when they are playing stooges for the teacher unions, the biggest component of the party’s base. Hence the all-nighter Democratic U.S. senators pulled on the Senate floor to posture against President Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary.

Trump should remember the fates of LBJ and Nixon

On his way out of the White House last week, President Obama assured the country that all would be well. But Obama is not returning to Chicago, which is engulfed by the violence of social disintegration, nor even to Illinois, the most insolvent of states, and if everything were well he wouldn’t be delivering the White House to anyone like Donald Trump.

Trump should remember the fates of LBJ and Nixon

On his way out of the White House last week, President Obama assured the country that all would be well. But Obama is not returning to Chicago, which is engulfed by the violence of social disintegration, nor even to Illinois, the most insolvent of states, and if everything were well he wouldn’t be delivering the White House to anyone like Donald Trump.

No saving Connecticut without ‘nattering nabobs’

D

uring the congressional election campaign in 1970, a campaign almost as nasty as last year’s presidential campaign, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew famously derided the Nixon administration’s critics in the news media. 

“In the United States today,” Agnew said, “we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism.”

Poverty explodes in state but government is oblivious

Nearly every day lately brings reports of deepening poverty and social disintegration in Connecticut, but state government fails to put them together and make sense of them.

The state Department of Children and Families is being sued for $20 million by lawyers nominally representing an infant boy who suffered serious injuries in the custody of foster parents. The department already had taken four children from the boy’s mother, who was unmarried and deemed mentally ill and incompetent.

Exposing pious frauds, it’s a great new budget

Pick at the details of Connecticut’s new state budget, approved by the Democratic majorities in the General Assembly late last week, and there might seem to be nothing good about it.