Daily Archives: December 21, 2009

ObamaKare: the bribes keep surfacing

ACORN is re-funded. And, while it’s a moot point, because this is how Congress operates, there is a law against this sort of thing.

§ 201. Bribery of public officials and witnesses

(b) Whoever—

(1) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value to any public official or person who has been selected to be a public official, or offers or promises any public official or any person who has been selected to be a public official to give anything of value to any other person or entity, with intent—

(A) to influence any official act; or
(B) to influence such public official or person who has been selected to be a public official to commit or aid in committing, or collude in, or allow, any fraud, or make opportunity for the commission of any fraud, on the United States; or
(C) to induce such public official or such person who has been selected to be a public official to do or omit to do any act in violation of the lawful duty of such official or person;
(2) being a public official or person selected to be a public official, directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for:

(A) being influenced in the performance of any official act;
(B) being influenced to commit or aid in committing, or to collude in, or allow, any fraud, or make opportunity for the commission of any fraud, on the United States; or
(C) being induced to do or omit to do any act in violation of the official duty of such official or person;
(3) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers, or promises anything of value to any person, or offers or promises such person to give anything of value to any other person or entity, with intent to influence the testimony under oath or affirmation of such first-mentioned person as a witness upon a trial, hearing, or other proceeding, before any court, any committee of either House or both Houses of Congress, or any agency, commission, or officer authorized by the laws of the United States to hear evidence or take testimony, or with intent to influence such person to absent himself therefrom;
(4) directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity in return for being influenced in testimony under oath or affirmation as a witness upon any such trial, hearing, or other proceeding, or in return for absenting himself therefrom;

shall be fined under this title or not more than three times the monetary equivalent of the thing of value, whichever is greater, or imprisoned for not more than fifteen years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

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And don’t eat vegetables, either

Onions have feelings too!

From the NY Times (where else?): Starve, you heartless bastards!

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Thank God, we’re saved!

AIG and the Tax Payer

Greenwich Ex-Pat sends along this WSJ story of the AIG employee who threatened to quit because he was only going to be paid $450,000 this year. His employer appealed, the government saw the logic of that appeal and he’s going to stay after all, with a $3.5 million bonus.

I have a real problem with politicians and bureaucrats dictating private employees’ pay. But I also have a problem with people firmly affixed to the taxpayers’ teat demanding “what they’re worth”. They’re worth nothing, so far as my wallet is concerned.

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Nifty new spy plane can eavesdrop on terrorists’ conversations

But I’d feel better if the manufacturer weren’t owned by Goldman Sachs.

Congress this year approved $950 million to buy as many as 37 aircraft from Wichita, Kansas-based Hawker Beechcraft Corp. The planes can fly as high as 35,000 feet and orbit for as long as five hours. They are modified at L-3 Communication’s Greenville, Texas, facility.

Hawker Beechcraft was bought in 2007 by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. andOnex Corp.

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Our murderous grandfather’s back in Greenwich Time

I missed the old bastard!

STAMFORD — A Pemberwick grandfather charged with killing his ex-daughter-in-law opted to take his case to trial Monday in state Superior Court, nearly a year and a half after his arrest.

Wouldn’t you be more interested in a story about the emergency responder saw the Valbella’s fire but hesitated to call it in from fear of offending the Gambinos, than yet another story about the plea history of this “grandfather” who slaughtered his grandchildren’s mother? I can only tell you that the first incident happened, because I can’t blow a source, but if our local paper can’t investigate that story, the least it could do is to stop affixing an emotional tag to this killer’s story, every time.

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This seems wise

LAPD won’t rule out drugs in actress’s death. Dead in Hollywood at 32? Massive heart attack? Drugs? Say it aint so.

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Okay, you’ve done in Bambi, now what?

I served a venison stew to family members the other night and, because of what I feared might be their sensitivities, neglected to mention that the meat was deer, rather than hormone-stuffed beef. All I got were compliments on how delicious the stew was. So how come you may have encountered gamey deer that tasted rank? It’s all in the care of the meat, I think, so here’s what to do:

1. Kill cleanly. There’s no reason that you can’t pass up bad shots in favor of a good one that ensures an instant kill. If your marksmanship isn’t good enough to accomplish that, practice (with a .22 – very cheap) until you can. I hunted with a fellow for a few years who was mean to me, which I could handle, but also cruel to animals. The day he dragged in a buck he’d shot seven times, starting with running shots and finishing an hour later when he tracked it down, was the end of our trips together. Bet his deer meat sucked too, with all the adrenaline pumped through the poor creature’s body.

2. Field dress immediately. The first time I did this I was alone and acting solely on book learning. It worked. Don’t puncture the intestines, don’t rush the job, and all will be well, but you want that animal gutted and cooling as soon as possible. I like hunting in the snow for many reasons but one is that there’s plenty of material handy for cleaning your hands and cooling your deer. Virginians don’t have that luxury.

3. Hang it? I don’t, because I don’t have the facilities (a meat locker, cooled to 35 degrees). So skin it, butcher it, wrap it and freeze it. Again, all this was available via books for me and is now on videos on the Internet. Lucky you.

4. Before cooking, trim again. Here’s the best cooking tool for venison I’ve found:

That’s right: a Rapala or other inexpensive, super-sharp fish filleting knife, usually around ten bucks at WalMarts. With it you can sit at your kitchen table and do the butchering job you wanted to do originally but didn’t have the time for. Trim off every scrap of fat still on the meat – unlike beef suet, deer fat sucks – and take off the bluish sheathing of whatever it is – membrane? – that is found on some sides of the meat. When you have nothing but clear red meat, you’re ready to cook.

And it will be delicious, as my unsuspecting family just learned.

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Does he really believe this?

In the mail, a message from our president concerning his triumph on ObamaKare:

And while insurance companies will be prevented from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions once the exchanges are open, in the meantime there will be a high-risk pool where people with pre-existing conditions can purchase affordable coverage.

A recent amendment has made these protections even stronger. Insurance companies will now be prohibited from denying coverage to children immediately after this bill passes. There’s also explicit language in this bill that will protect a patient’s choice of doctor. And small businesses will get additional assistance as well.

These protections are in addition to the ones we’ve been talking about for some time. No longer will insurance companies be able to drop your coverage if you become sick and no longer will you have to pay unlimited amounts out of your own pocket for treatments that you need.

Under this bill families will save on their premiums; businesses that would see their costs rise if we don’t act will save money now and in the future. This bill will strengthen Medicare and extend the life of the program. Because it’s paid for and gets rid of waste and inefficiency in our health care system, this will be the largest deficit reduction plan in over a decade.

Finally, this reform will extend coverage to more than 30 million Americans who don’t have it.

I just committed to a $700 + policy, per month with a large deductible and I would be delighted if that cost were to drop. But nothing I’ve highlighted describes actions that will decrease my cost – instead, they seem designed to increase them (especially if you factor in all the new, mandated coverage I will have to buy for chiroquackery and natural healing herbs and the like). So where, ObieWan, are these savings to come from, other than your promise to cut  payments to doctors? I don’t get it and I doubt Jimbo Himes or Chris Dodd do either. But they’ll vote for it.

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Would someone please throw a statuette at this man?

Gordon Brown wants a new world force to police environment. And he’s pissed he got locked out of the negotiations with the big guys, too.

A new global body dedicated to environmental stewardship is needed to prevent a repeat of the deadlock which undermined the Copenhagen climate change summit, Gordon Brown will say tomorrow.

The UN’s consensual method of negotiation, which requires all 192 countries to reach agreement, needs to be reformed to ensure that the will of the majority prevails, he feels.

The Prime Minister will say: “Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down those talks. Never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries. One of the frustrations for me was the lack of a global body with the sole responsibility for environmental stewardship.

Despite being the first world leader to join the summit, Mr Brown was excluded from the key meeting where the compromise was decided.

Don’t tell Gordo, but that “handful of countries” included China, India, Brazil and the Unites States, or roughly two/thirds  the world’s population.. I haven’t done a head count in Great Britain lately but, excluding the Packies, it must be down to about five hundred souls.

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Proving the obvious: dogs better work-out companions than humans

Joggerdog

And that cat’s not helping you in this department, either.

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Save that commuter you love

The hardy souls who walk to the train in town seem to prefer dark overcoats and in the winter darkness and sidewalkless areas of Greenwich, they can be hard to spot. Even being on the alert for them, I’ve come too close a few times for their comfort or mine. But Amazon is offering three of these aluminum Denali LED lights for $8.97, down from $29.85. Super bright, lightweight, they look like a good deal and an excellent stocking stuffer if you order tonight. Unlike InstaPundit, I don’t get a kick-back for directing readers to Amazon, but I’d be happy enough not to wear a pedestrian on my bumper this winter.

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Big and small, there is movement

24 Wooddale

24 Wooddale, new construction off of Lake and priced at $8.6(ish) is under contract. I thought this an exceptional house and its builder told me that, in a better market, he’d have priced it closer to $10 million. I don’t disagree – this is top-of-the-line construction for fans of its type. It went to under contract in just a few months so yes, there are still buyers around with money.

On a smaller scale, 25 Weston Hill Road is also under contract. It was priced at $1.189, just about its assessment of $1.016, and a good deal for a modest house on a nice street in Riverside.

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Appeal, appeal, appeal

Brooke Astor’s son sentenced to 1-3 years. He’s 85; done properly, he should never see the inside of a cell.

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Greenwich cops, English pastors and national media notwithstanding

Crime drops for third year in a row. Poverty doesn’t cause crime, criminals cause (commit) crime.

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Shocker: Krugman tells the truth

NYT’s flack Paul Krugman finally admits what we all knew but his crowd wouldn’t admit: the cost of treating the uninsured is negligible. Remember the hysterical arguments that, without ObamaKare, we would go bankrupt treating the 37 million uninsured? Now that the bill is assured of passage, Krugman fesses up:

The key thing to understand in the coverage debate has always been that it costs surprisingly little to cover the uninsured. For the most part, the uninsured are relatively young, and hence have relatively low medical costs. Also, they receive a fair amount of uncompensated care, as well as spending funds out of pocket. So even if you ignore the possible monetary gains from preventive care, avoiding emergency room visits, and so on, we’re not talking about a vast rise in health care spending.

That’s right, Paul. The real cost will come with the other mandates, like forcing insurance companies to accept all patients with pre-existing conditions and at the same time, not requiring the uninsured to buy in now, before they get sick. There is a penalty for such folks, to be sure, in ObamaKare, but it’s been watered down enough to ensure that it’s far cheaper to wait until you get sick before opting in. And that’s before we resolve the constitutionality of forcing individuals to buy insurance from a private entity.

So who is going to pay for the suddenly-stricken? We who already pay for insurance, obviously, and doctors, who are going to be hit with the cost controls Krugman is so happy about. I predict that physicians will be the first large group to “go Galt”, but they’ll have company in the coming years, I’m sure.

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Oppose ObamaKare? You’re an Aryan fascist pig, according to the Senator from Rhode Island

And anti-abortion too!

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Do you feel richer? Dodd sells his vote for $100,000,000

Well not really, because this whore was going to vote for ObamaKare anyway, but it’s nice to see his fellow thieves passing out goodies to their pal during a tough election campaign. As someone else pointed out, at least when you bribe a cop you have to dig into your own pocket to do so. Our Congress bribes itself by digging into our pockets. What a country.

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Oh come on, this just isn’t that difficult

22 Lincoln Ave, Greenwich

 This place in Greenwich sold for $1.375 million in 2004. The buyers fixed it up and tried selling it in 2005 for $2.195. It has been for sale ever since, through fourteen (14) price changes. It’s dropped to $1.995, raised to $2.145, raised again to $2.195, dropped again to $1.999, dropped from there via eight additional cuts to $1,735 and today, raised to $1.825. 

They must think they’re Barry Sternlicht or something, but his property on Old Mill also remains unsold despite its price increase. Go figure.

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Don’t mess with the Gambinos

Valbella's Howard Beach

Yet another fire at Valbella’s, yet another disruption of business. It was just a year or so ago that the Gambino Boyz were whacked by the feds for extorting this place (extortion that included hanging the owner by his heels in the basement) but it appears someone in the gang is hungry again.

Will Greenwich Time’s Susie report this in her celebrity column? I doubt it but her competitor Scusie from FWIW has, naturally, already scooped her.

UPDATE: Heard that the first person to spot the fire hesitated calling it in because he figured the Gambino’s would be pissed if he aborted their efforts. He did his duty any way, but my, what fun we have here in Greenwich.

Waitin' for Susie at Valbellas. "Where the f**k's Regis?"

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But here’s a real sale, I think

3 Macpherson

I really liked this house – great charm, an excellent location and more than an acre of good land. I did not like the price of $5.250 million, because it will take a lot of work, and money, to bring it back to where it ought to be, but it sold Friday for $3.470 million – still an excellent deal for the seller, I think. Assessment is just $2 million.

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