As Connecticut continues to look toward gambling for tax revenue, you have to wonder where we will turn next, and could the state use a Department of Bookmaker.
Fortunately there are still many untapped gaming sources.
I mean, the tax revenue from keno, which the legislature legalized this session, is a pittance compared to the money that might be derived from, say, betting on high school basketball.
What we are talking about here is nothing less than February Madness, as fans through the state fill out their brackets: Who do you like in the Sweet Sixteen, Weaver or New Britain? Betting a few bucks on your favorite high school team, I mean, where's the harm, right? What could possibly go wrong?
Or, how about gambling on women's college basketball? Now that the new American Athletic Conference, to which UConn belongs, is going to be playing its season-end tournament at the Mohegan Sun Arena, this seems like a natural.
And imagine the revenue stream, not to the mention the excitement, that could be generated. Instead of dozing off during the end of a UConn blowout, you could have the arena wide awake and screaming for Geno Auriemma to keep the starters in because the 70-point lead won't cover the over/under.
Seriously, just about any competition could generate tax revenue for the state: stock car racing, the Yale-Harvard Regatta, Manchester Road Race (win, place, show), Pop Warner football, the Little League Eastern Regional, local T-ball games.
Whoa! How about this? Legalized gambling on state and local elections with the revenue going to public financing of all campaigns. Tell me that wouldn't get the office refrigerator out of politics.
As for who would head the Department of Bookmaker, I know a guy who knows a guy …
Sunday Morning Talk Shows
Writer Calvin Trillin coined the term "Sabbath Gasbags" to identify the politicians who regularly hold forth on such Sunday morning talk shows as "Meet the Press" and "Face the Nation."
If you have absolutely no life to speak of and actually watch these gab fests, you have no doubt noticed that certain elected officials seem to be afforded the opportunity to emit on a more regular basis.
The New York Times recently compiled a list of the most frequent invitees, noting that between 2010 and June 3 of this year, John McCain earned the distinction of being the most gaseous, with 61 appearances. Not surprisingly, he was followed by his BFF, Lindsey Graham, who notched 58 visits.
Our own Joe Lieberman was tied for sixth overall with 22 guest spots, which is impressive given he has been out of office since January. Richard Blumenthal has recorded five appearances, former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd had two, and current U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy none, which at this point I guess would make him among the least flatulent.
State Of Official State Things
Now that Connecticut has an official state polka, and a second official state song, is there any reason to stop there? Here are some other official state designations that might be considered.
Official state neurosis: being between Boston and New York.
Official state driver: the tailgater
Official state hairdo: the comb over.
Official state skin disease: poison ivy.