Daily Archives: March 2, 2010

Perry wins third term in Texas

Well, renomination anyway. Should be a shoo-in. A good solid fiscal conservative vs. Kay  Bailey Hutchinson and Debra Medina, who seemed to be on a wave until she revealed herself to be  a “Truther”. Next.


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No mail on Saturdays?

So who still gets mail, and who cares?


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We’re not number one, but top ten’s pretty good

Connecticut in the running as state most likely to default on its debt.

(hat tip, Shoeless)


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This has got to be a Greenwich best seller

$1,275 for two bicycle wheels. Not an actual bicycle, mind you, but a darn good start on one. Gentlemen, start y0ur engines!


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Charlie Rangel being given the heave ho?

So says Politico. Fine with me, and long overdue.

Charlie Rangel emerged from a closed-door meeting in Nancy Pelosi’s office Tuesday night to declare that he’s still the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and hasn’t agreed to give up his gavel – even as some media outlets were reporting that he’d done just that.

But asked whether he’d still be the chairman tomorrow and in the coming days, Rangel said: “I can’t make all those promises at my age.”

And when Pelosi was asked whether Rangel was resigning, she said “no comment.”

As late as Monday evening, the New York Democrat seemed to be surviving his latest ethical challenges. But the tide turned against him quickly, and by Tuesday night, at least 14 Democrats had said that Rangel should go. Democratic leaders expect more to come, and the Capitol is braced for Rangel to lose his gavel one way or another – by force or voluntarily, temporarily or permanently.

“The dam broke today,” said a senior Democratic aide.

Fascinating: The New York Time hears different words.

As he left his crisis meeting with party leaders at about 8 p.m., Mr. Rangel insisted that he was not stepping down. Asked if he was going to remain as chairman, he said, “You bet your life.”

Pushed on whether he would step aside temporarily, he replied, flatly, “No.”

He said he was headed back to his office to work on jobs legislation, and when a reporter asked if he would still be the committee chairman on Wednesday, Mr. Rangel said, “Yes, and I don’t lie to the press.”

I’ve never trusted the press to report accurately since first encountering them as a young activist of 16, but this seems extreme- someone is out-right lying.


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Greenwich Time: 50 people in sports

Good article: I was surprised to realize that I am personally acquainted (or was, in one case) with every person profiled. Small towns do have their benefits.

UPDATE: Oops! My bad – I never met Pete Castiglione, profiled here  – wish I had, but never did. On the other hand, those of you my age or older will probably remember the “Heidi Game”, in 1968 when, with minutes remaining, NBC Sports was trying to decide whether to run overtime on an Oakland Raiders / NY Jets playoff game or cut to the scheduled airing of Heidi. The nervous dweebs called their boss,  Scotty Connal, at home for direction but one of the nine kids was on the only phone in the household, so they didn’t get through.

They pulled the plug, went with the little Swiss girl skipping through a meadow with wildflowers and, of course, the Raiders recovered an onside kick, scored and won the game. The angry phone calls of beer-soaked fans to NBC crashed NYC’s Bell’s system and, realtor and friend Susan Connal tells me, produced a new phone at the house exclusively dedicated to their dad and NBC.

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How do you keep a bull from charging?


Take away his credit card!

Dubai asks FBI to check credit cards (at the door).


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Who knew he was running?

Derek Jeter quits NY Senate race.

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Hey, maybe Bunning’s right

I’ve thought the old coot was a crock, holding up federal unemployment benefits, but anyone who can get the politicians this worked up must be doing something right.

CNN’s Dana Bash noted Tuesday that Democrats could effectively work around Bunning and pass an extension of unemployment benefits. However, she said, the Democrats “know that they have a good political issue right now [and therefore] have no plans to do that in the immediate future.”

So the Demmerkrats are screwing over their constituents just as thoroughly as Bunning – they’re just making a different point while doing so. Small consolation for someone trying to meet a mortgage payment but hey, being a pawn has always sucked.


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Bring back the death penalty

Chelsea King

Sex offender arrested in rape, murder of 17-year-0ld Chelsea King, a straight-A high school senior killed last Thursday while jogging in San Diego. Why are these people ever let out of jail?

UPDATE: And of course, as always, he got a slap on the wrist when first convicted.

UPDATE II: Yet here’s a guy who’ll be a ward of California taxpayers for the next eight years for stealing $3.99 of cheese. I wouldn’t presume to tell crazy ol’ California how to spend its money, but the priorities seem skewed.


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Attention, Realtors!

Census jobs go begging in Greenwich. Hey, like some golfers I could name, we’ve got time on our hands.


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This, too shall pass

Man arrested by Secret Service agents swallows flashdrive.

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A Tale of two houses

67 Stag Lane

67 Stag Lane supports a 1959 ranch on five acres, much of which is streams and wetland. The sellers paid $2.395 million for it in 2005. They placed it back up for sale in 2007 at $2.695 and two brokers and two years later, had reclassified it as “land” and marked it down to $1.995. It still failed to sell but today it’s back, with broker number three, asking $2.295.

30 Spruce Street

30 Spruce Street in Riverside sold for $1.410 million in June, 2002, and is now up for sale again at $1.425. You can never tell in real estate, but I’d guess that Spruce will sell far more quickly than Stag. At the very least, the sellers have a great agent (Kathy Adams) who has not deluded them about the state of the market. That’s a huge advantage.


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How Milton Friedman saved Chile

An appreciation  in the WSJ.

In left-wing mythology—notably Naomi Klein’s tedious 2007 screed “The Shock Doctrine”—the Chicago Boys weren’t just strange bedfellows to Pinochet’s dictatorship. They were complicit in its crimes.

“If the pure Chicago economic theory can be carried out in Chile only at the price of repression, should its authors feel some responsibility?” wrote New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis in October 1975.

In fact, Pinochet had been mostly indifferent to the Chicago Boys’ advice until the continuing economic crisis forced him to look for some policy alternatives. In March 1975, he had a 45-minute meeting with Friedman and asked him to write a letter proposing some remedies.

Friedman responded a month later with an eight-point proposal that largely mirrored the themes of the Chicago Boys.

For his trouble, Friedman would spend the rest of his life being defamed as an accomplice to evil: at his Nobel Prize ceremony the following year, he was met by protests and hecklers. Friedman himself couldn’t decide whether to be amused or annoyed by the obloquies; he later wryly noted that he had given communist dictatorships the same advice he gave Pinochet, without raising leftist hackles.

What drives Liberals nuts is the unrelenting failure of their ideas.


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Public EddUkater recants

I once was blind but now I see!

NPR had an interesting interview with a former Bush “No Child Left Behind” advocate who has acknowledged her errors and is now growing rice for the greater glory of Chairman Mao.

There Should Not Be An Education Marketplace’

Part of the reason schools were so intent on achieving high tests scores was because they were competing with other schools for resources, which were often doled out on that basis alone.

Ravitch is critical of the impact this had on schools.

“There should not be an education marketplace, there should not be competition,” Ravitch says. “Schools operate fundamentally — or should operate — like families. The fundamental principle by which education proceeds is collaboration. Teachers are supposed to share what works; schools are supposed to get together and talk about what’s [been successful] for them. They’re not supposed to hide their trade secrets and have a survival of the fittest competition with the school down the block.”

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Connecticut’s DOT needs writers

Uh, K-A-T?

All 23 of their applications for return of stolen property were rejected by the Feds.

At an annual hearing of the General Assembly‘sTransportation Committee to update progress on transit and highway projects, Marie said he was surprised that Connecticut’s 23 applications for a share of the $1.5 billion in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants were rejected last month. Marie said DOT officials would meet with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood‘s staff this month to discuss the denied applications.

“There was no opportunity to write, the `War and Peace,’ of grant applications,” Marie said when pressed by state lawmakers. “We are disappointed and perplexed by the results. We write very good grant applications.”

0 for 23 is definitely not evidence of Tolstoy-level writing; in fact, it suggests a crayon brigade of snow plowers filling out forms. I hope this disappointing result serves as an incentive for all Cos Cob students!

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You read it here first

Linda McMahon and her hubby bought a penthouse at Trump Tower in Stamford last October for $4.1 million. I didn’t know that but a reader did, and reported it in the comments months ago, I believe. Despite unloading the penthouse, things aren’t exactly booming for this project:

Yet amid the economic downturn, sales of the 170 condominium units have been sluggish at best.

About 25 families are living there, said John Baxter, a spokesman for F.D. Rich Co.

Another 30 units are to occupied by the month’s end.

With their purchase, the McMahons are buying into a building associated with someone they know and have worked with in the past. Trump has been written into one of WWE’s storylines, facing off in the ring with Vince McMahon as an arch nemesis.

Martin Nirschel, a Stamford-based real estate agent forSotheby’s International Realty, said the McMahons are fitting investors given their relationship with the celebrity real estate mogul.

“Who better, really?” Nirschel said.

Nirschel said the purchase showed faith in the development and even Stamford itself.

“In a weird kind of way, (Vince McMahon) is buying into the town because Trump is the apotheosis of the redevelopment down here. This is really the centerpiece, and I think in a way, it’s a statement.”

The deal with a “Trump” project is that the fluffy-haired creep has absolutely no involvement in any of them – he licenses his name: in this case, a million bucks or so, and that’s it – no Donald (thank God).  It is apparently a successful marketing tool – after all, the McMahons fell for it – but “Trump Parc” is an F.D. Rich deal, completely. Fine with me, and I hope it succeeds, but the Donald has nothing to do with it.

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The New York Times brings its full investigative power to bear on the “Coffee Party”


KINDA DIFFERENT FROM THE “TEA PARTY” COVERAGE: Soft-focus reporting on the “coffee party.”

So the New York Times article describes the Coffee Party’s origin thus:

“The snowballing response made her the de facto coordinator of Coffee Party USA, with goals far loftier than its oopsy-daisy origin: promote civility and inclusiveness in political discourse, engage the government not as an enemy but as the collective will of the people, push leaders to enact the progressive change for which 52.9 percent of the country voted in 2008.”

Except the woman mentioned as starting it-Annabel Park-is not some Jane Shmo who got thrust into it by accident, she’s a career activist. A fact that is not exactly hidden either. The first results for her name on google bring up her Linkedin:http://www.linkedin.com/in/annabelpark .

Spoiler: the only private sector work listed is “Strategy Analyst: The New York Times”


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Spain: Chaves plotted with ETA, FARC to assassinate Colombia’s leaders

The WSJ has the details. I guess that earthquake did shift the axis west.

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Muslims gobble up Turkey

The Army is out as a power but secular Turks worry about what comes next. Nothing good, I predict.

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