Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Malloy turns to Plan B

Plan B for Gov. Malloy includes layoff notices for 6,000 state workers and additional cuts in services of over $700 million. That is, should the state union leaders fail in their attempts to get a re-vote on the budget deal that was struck down last week.

In response to the concession defeat, union leaders for SEBAC and SEIU said they may consider changing union bylaws. The rules as they stand require 80% of the union members to support a deal like the one proposed, making it very difficult to pass. Disinformation and scare tactics by partisan organizations such as the Yankee Institute helped sway union members to reject the proposal.

Many Democratic legislators who have long supported the unions feel somewhat betrayed by the rejection. The defeat stung many long time union supporters.

On Monday, union leaders announced a delay in accepting the results of the voting, most likely to give Gov. Malloy time to issue the layoff notices. After the notices go out, thousands of union workers facing a loss of jobs will likely put a lot of pressure on fellow union members to support a re-vote, and enacting a change of rules to allow the vote.

It's a long shot to be sure, but beyond that there isn't much room for maneuvering for Malloy. He always promised to balance the budget, and everyone knew he'd have to make some hard decisions. Rather than play it safe and put it off for yet another two years, Malloy stood firm to his word and is doing what he needs to balance our budget.

If the unions can't live with the consequences of being totally unwilling to compromise, well, that's the way the cookie crumbles. (great, now I'm hungry...I wonder if we have any cookies?)

The state legislature will meet in special session on Thursday to discuss the remaining $700 million in cuts that need to be made. The governor has the authority to issue the layoffs without any agreement needed from the legislature. It's a done deal at this point, and by next week there will be 6,000 people finding out they will lose their jobs.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A waste of state resources

In what some are calling an unusual move, Connecticut State Police members were used to hand-deliver notices to all 187 state legislators informing them of the special session scheduled for Thursday, June 30th.

Stephen Krauchick from has more:
State Senators and State Representatives across Connecticut were surprised even startled Saturday morning to find Connecticut State Police Officers at their door to hand deliver a “Proclamation From His Excellency The Governor” to return to session on June 30th.

“I think it’s a poor use of vital resource of our public safety officers to deliver to one hundred and eighty seven legislators official notices of a special session when they already received the notice on Thursday by e-mail. In addition most media already reported about the special session” said State Representative Brenda Kupchick from the 132nd District. Some of the officials we spoke to were uncertain who may have initiated the special delivery. Some speculated it may have been from the Secretary of the State or the Governor himself.
So far it isn't known who authorized the use of State Police officers to deliver these notices. It seems redundant in this age of immediate electronic communications, and very wasteful of valuable and expensive resources during this time of budgetary crisis.

While stopping far short of NJ Governor Chris Christie's use of a State Police helicopter to take him around on personal errands, this certainly doesn't appear to set a good example for fiscal restraint when our government utilizes State Police as messenger boys (& girls).

I'm sure we'll see more on this story soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Credit Where Due Dept.

So, maybe Connecticut DID beat New York in making same-sex marriage legal first.

But you gotta admit, Connecticut didn't do anything NEAR as cool as this to celebrate:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

State unions screw the pooch

By rejecting a savings and concession deal orchestrated by Gov. Malloy, the voting members of several state unions have effectively fired at least 7,500 of their own people.

So much for the concept of "union brotherhood" that has served them so well for so long!

Despite being in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, a lot of union members with extensive seniority (over 10 years' worth) voted against the deal since they were the least likely to lose their jobs when the inevitable layoffs occur. They chose naked self interest over shared sacrifice and, because of that, thousands of their union brethren will suffer a total loss of their livelihood.

"Selfish" seems too mild a word for their actions.

I'm thinking more along the lines of "assholish", but that's not really a word (except for one time when my friend was called that by a total stranger after making an assholish maneuver. But that's another story.)

And the deal wasn't that harsh to begin with! Nearly ANYONE in the private sector would take that deal, which GUARANTEES absolutely no layoffs for at least four years, and pay raises after two years. Sure, there are some changes to benefits, but considering the current economic climate and the fact that the unions have had a sweet deal already for many years, along with the fact that they can renegotiate their situation in a mere FOUR YEARS, it's not like the end of the world for them.

But no, they shot it down without so much as a "how do ya do"! And now, thousands of their own will be joining the already swollen ranks of the unemployed, further increasing the difficulty of people in the private sector who are looking for jobs (like me, for instance).

They must be crazy.

In fact, they're as mad as hatters.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Via Melisa Ryan's Twitter at the #NN11 Pub Quiz. The "Connecticut For Lieberman" Team rides again!

How great is it that Joe Lieberman will be remembered only as a joke by so many people after he's finally gone?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Malloy raises tourism dollars

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced today he was successful in raising $800,000 towards a one million dollar goal for the state tourism industry.

I've always thought that Connecticut has lots to offer vacationers, from our state's many fine beaches and state parks to attractions like Mystic Seaport, Lime Rock Park, the Casinos, and more. Gov. Rell's short-sighted decision to cut tourism spending to only $1 per year has negatively affected our state's ability to publicize our attractions to potential vacationers.

Christine Stuart from CT News Junkie has the story:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made good on a campaign promise today to boost Connecticut’s tourism industry by announcing he was able to raise close to $800,000 from private companies in order to jump start its marketing efforts.

Unwilling to let the summer slip away from him, Malloy sent out fundraising letters in April to 42 companies to ask for their financial support in putting together a $2.6 million marketing campaign to lure tourists to the state.

Malloy and the General Assembly approved $15 million in funding for statewide marketing efforts in the state budget, but that money won’t be available until July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. The budget is also pending ratification of the $1.6 billion state employee concession package.

Not known for his patience, Malloy and Kip Bergstrom, director of Culture and Tourism, set out to raise $1 million privately through letters it sent to a variety of different companies, including the state’s two casinos, two utility companies, and dozens of hotels and entertainment venues that would benefit from this type of marketing.
Read the rest of the article at CT News Junkie.

And visit our state tourism website at

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Alderman Bob Joy Checks In

When it's convenient, that is.

Another Republican blowing off the important work of overseeing the business of Milford. I guess the warm beaches of Mexico were too difficult to resist.

And this guy wants to be our mayor!

Excerpted from the CT Post:
Republican mayoral candidate Bernard “Bob” Joy Jr. wasn’t at his usual seat on the Board of Aldermen on Monday night, but he had a good excuse.

Joy said in a statement read by Alderman Anthony Gianattassio, R-1, that he is on his way back from a trip to Mexico with his wife, Melody. Melody Joy won the trip as an award for outstanding performance at work. Sure beats an Oscar….

Alderman Bob Joy has missed more than one-third of the BOA meetings during his first and only term as 3rd District Alderman.

Saturday, June 11, 2011 being dickish about new tax law

("frowny-face" logo 'shopped by CT Bob)

I doubt there's a single person in the entire nation who isn't aware that buying stuff online without paying sales tax is taking advantage of a legal loophole that would in all likelihood eventually be closed.

Well, apparently the top management of are being deliberately obtuse when it came to the sales tax issue, because they reacted quite rashly to Connecticut's new tax law that (finally) requires out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax by discontinuing to serve Connecticut residents who have businesses that use Amazon's services to process their sales.

What a bunch of dicks! Rather than simply setting up a process that adds the 6.35% (effective July 1st) sales tax to orders coming from Connecticut, Amazon decided to pull the plug on hundreds, perhaps thousands, of small businesses that reside in Connecticut and rely on Amazon's partner program to process their online sales.

I mean, it's not like online retailers haven't already been dealing with the sales tax issues for years. Corporations like Sears and Home Depot that have actual retail locations within the state have been collecting and processing sales tax for their in-state online sales. This is not new territory by any means. Yet, Amazon (and another significant online retailer, ceased business with in-state partners and have promised to challenge the new (and entirely reasonable) law in court.

Which will likely lose, because everyone knows that buying stuff online without paying sales tax is a scam that they've been getting away with for years and will eventually get closed. We might not be thrilled about it, but it's entirely fair to pay sales tax for stuff we buy. It's a loophole that's been in place for years. That doesn't make it right.

Well, it's closed now. Get over it.

And buy your stuff in-state from now on, from Connecticut businesses, and do your part to help the local economy.

In other words, don't be a dick!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Weiner Tweets

So...we have a Democratic rep behaving like a horse's ass.

Not much different from when a Republican rep does the same thing.

Whatever, it happens.

But you knew I couldn't keep quiet about it now, did you?

Some of my Tweets from the last few days:

Monday June 7th 7:20PM
@Connecticut Bob: I've been offline all day. I wonder if there are any weiner tweets? #whatadumbass

Monday June 7th 10:05PM
@ConnecticutBob: At least he didn't force his wife to stand beside him while he made his weepy apology. #weiner #whatadumbass

Wednesday June 9th 9:20PM
@ConnecticutBob: If what he did wasn't illegal, he shouldn't resign. #tweetingphotosofyourpenisisstilladumbassedidea

Wednesday June 9th 9:43PM
@ConnecticutBob: Didn't we have a President who got blown in the Oval Office and survived it? But enough about William H. Taft. Leave Weiner alone!

Follow me on Twitter:

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I wish I smoked pot!

Wait, WHAT?!?

No no no, that's not what I mean at all!

Great. Now it's out on the internet forever.

I'm sure it'll come back to haunt me someday, like when I apply for a job with the DEA or something.

They'll be all like, "Bob, we'd love to give you the job, but there's this blog post of yours from 2011..."

So probably when I'm done writing all this, I shouldn't hit "Publish Post".

Because that would be silly.

And it would make this whole rant pointless.

What I'm actually trying to say is that the House just passed the Marijuana Decriminalization Bill, and the governor is expected to sign it into law.

So, if I did smoke pot, I'm be kind of happy about that right now.

But even though I don't smoke the wacky weed, I still think it's a good law and long overdue.

Monday, June 06, 2011


Comedian Jim Norton discusses Rep. Anthony Weiner's weiner.

On frickin' CNN, of all places!

Ignore the stupid commercial. It is CNN after all. Just mute it for 15 or 30 seconds and check your mail while you wait for it to end.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Kudos to the legislature

(Why the heck is Milford spotlighted in this image?
Is there something going on here that I don't know about?
image *of course* via The Weed Blog)

In just the last couple of days, Connecticut's legislature have passed some very important bills.

On Saturday, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate that decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana. The bill will move to the House, where it is expected to pass with ease, and then to Governor Malloy's desk. Malloy has already said he'll sign the bill into law.

This is a case of common-sense legislation. The decriminalization of pot will reduce the amount of offenders who are jailed for possession, while keeping penalties in place for dealers and smugglers.

Also early Saturday morning, the House passed the Paid Sick Leave bill by a vote of 76-65, with 16 Democrats joining the Republicans in opposition to the bill. The governor has also promised to sign the bill. Connecticut is the first state to pass a paid sick leave law.

And finally on Saturday morning, the Senate passed the Gender Identity Bill, making it illegal to discriminate against anyone based on their gender identity. Again, Gov. Malloy supports the bill and is expected to sign it into law.

Read more about these stories at CT News Junkie.

Also, please visit CT Free Radicals for Tessa's take on these developments.

(...and will somebody please tell me why Blogger inserts a random "" into every goddamn one of my posts? Sometimes I miss it when they sneak one in.)

UPDATE: Turns out that it's a Firefox issue. For whatever reason, when I try to insert a hyperlink into the text, if I click on "OK" in the link box, it inserts that blank.gif thing right where my mouse pointer was located. If I simply hit Enter instead, no blank.gif. Apparently there's plenty of discussion about this already, and it happens with the new Firefox 4.0 only. (thanks Beau!)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Made in Connecticut

The 281-foot mega-yacht "Cakewalk" was built by Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport.

The yacht is currently for sale by it's owner for a very reasonable $215 million (but I'd be willing to bet you can talk him down to an even deuce.)

It's really good to see the shipyard emerge successfully from bankruptcy and continue to build innovative yachts right here at home in the ol' Nutmeg state!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Tolls being revived for Route 11 completion

Yesterday the House passed a bill that would allow tolls to be placed somewhere on Route 11 to help finance the highway's completion. CT News Junkie has more:
Shortly after midnight the House passed a bill 76 to 60 that allows the Department of Transportation to temporarily resurrect and collect highway tolls on Route 11 in the southeastern part of the state.

The temporary tolls will be used to pay for the completion of the highway, which currently stops about 8.5 miles short of its planned completion in Salem.
My concern is that this opens the door to reinstating tolls on other highways.

Since 1979 I've worked in jobs that required a lot of driving. During many of those years, I spent a lot of time waiting in traffic to get through the toll booths. Milford was probably the heaviest tolled city in the state, with I-95 tolls bracketing the city in Stratford and West Haven, and the Route 15 toll on the east side of the Housatonic in Milford.

And who can forget the traffic nightmares on I-95 in Fairfield County, where rush hour slow downs now occur even without tolls pretty much any time of the day?
House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, had a difficult time wrapping his mind around the idea that the state was going to temporarily resurrect tolls...


“We’re creating tolls we can’t describe or tell you what they are or where they’re going to go,” Cafero said.

Rep. David Scribner, R-Brookfield, urged his colleagues not to think about the bill as a completion to Route 11, but a change in policy that permits tolls to be placed on Connecticut highways.
With gas prices currently hovering around $4 a gallon, the last thing we want is to sit idling in a toll line for 15-20 minutes at a time. We need to carefully examine where and how the tolls will be implemented, and be assured that this doesn't open the door to additional tolls around the state. If the tolls are ONLY used on Route 11 to complete the highway, that's reasonable. It's in a fairly rural area and traffic likely won't be significantly impacted.

But the minute they start kicking around the idea to put tolls on other major roads in the state, especially in high-traffic urban areas, that's going to be a problem.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

FITP application deadline 5PM Wed

You only have hours left to apply for the Film Industry Training Program. There are STILL some slots open but you have to apply online by 5PM today (Wednesday). Here's the deets:

Four week course at Quinnipiac University, Monday-Friday 9-5, June 6th first day.
Apply online HERE with a credit card ($10 application fee). When you receive the acceptance email by Friday, you'll need to bring a check for $500 tuition on the first day. THAT'S ALL!

I've talked to a lot of people in the film industry, and everyone says this is the equivalent of a $5,000 technical education in Video and Film production for only 500 bucks! This is an important jobs training program, and they need to fill as many slots as possible to keep it going.