Daily Archives: August 26, 2013

Paulmeno on Paulmeno and her (former?) party’s overlords

I'm Stehanie Paulmeno and I approved this rant but boy, am I (still) pissed! And just a wee bit disappointed in you.

I’m Stehanie Paulmeno and I approved this rant but boy, am I (still) pissed! And just a wee bit disappointed in you all.

Excerpts from an email sent by Stephanie Paulmeno to all 37 registered Greenwich Democrats and forwarded to me (no, not from Captain Keno – there is at least one other Democrat in town who wasn’t wild about Ms. Paulmeno’s candidacy):

Say what?!?!Have you gone totally delusional or is the interest of keeping Drew’s position safe of such importance to you that you don’t care what you say or who you defame! How dare you say such a thing and put false words in my mouth. With someone like you watching my back it sure doesn’t seem that I needed to worry about the GOP or Sam Romeo’s posse. You’ll carry their vile messages all by yourself and then add to it with your own rhetoric.  Let me refresh your mind on yesterday’s conversation. I understand full well that Drew wants that position and I’ve always supported his getting it, including suggesting that we run a Party campaign as opposed to a 1st Selectman’s race.

Despite having received nothing but encouragement to remain in the race from the many, many people who have called and e-mailed me all day since sending out my letter this morning, I expect I will step down from the position in order to take any pressure off my fellow Democrats running for offices that they want, and who still have political aspirations. I have none, and had no intention of running for Selectman this year nor for any other office in years to come. I stepped up to the plate only on Frank’s repeated urging and pleading for someone to do so. I regret deeply that I did that.
Everyone, please know that in my stepping down I would not malign any of our candidates in any way. I wish I had gotten the same level of respect and courtesy. I have nothing but the highest regard for each of you and wish every single one of you success in your campaigns. Frank has called a meeting of the Executive Board tonight to which I was not invited with the stated intent of withdrawing all Party support for my candidacy thus leaving me standing by myself in this race without funds or supporters.
[My reputation]  has been sullied enough by the DTC process going on right now in which, astonishingly to me, some members of my own Party have helped spread the vile smear literature, shared the proceedings of closed meetings, and spread messages of false allegations about me as though they were true, from Greenwich to Hartford. I have already corresponded with all the media denying the statements and will make a full press statement.
I’ll see you all at the picnic and we can all put this behind us. As I said, I would never run a negative campaign, and I’m too much of a lady to return despicable acts with additional despicable acts.


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This just in – Stephanie Paulmeno is out of the Selectman’s race

Our only hope now is if we can get Ian Macmillan to run

Our only hope now is if we can get Ian Macmillan to run

Waiting for a copy of her resignation letter, but she’s out.

UPDATE: Greenwich Time just noticed this news and has a brief mention of it now up on its website. Other than confirming the accuracy of Neil Vigdor’s original reporting that contained the quote Paulmeno now seeks to disavow, there’s not much reported.

Paulmeno publicly blames a “smear campaign” against her, led by people still angry that she spoke against banning sex offenders from our parks. To the extent that she includes this blog in that campaign, I’ll point out that FWIW also opposed that ordinance and for the same reason Paulmeno did: it was over broad, unnecessary and unconstitutional.

I suspect the real reason Paulmeno quit the race is that she felt (and has alleged) that her own party’s leadership didn’t want to see her siphon votes from Drew Marzullo. That and, if you recall, she was supposed to just serve as a place holder for the top slot on the ballot while her leadership found a real candidate to step in. She decided she liked the idea of running and so she insisted on sticking around. Which pissed off her people.

That’s just my guess, but, while I’d like to take credit for helping force her from the race, it seems more likely that her party used the kerfuffle occasioned by her “when your date wants to have at you, lie back and enjoy it” quote as an excuse to push her out, as punishment for disobeying party orders. Hey, she should look on the bright side: any other communist party would have simply disappeared her.


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Where, oh where, are the wingnuts on this?

Democrats for love, NYC, 2003

Democrats for love, NYC, 2003

Bush Obama threatens to attack Syria without UN approval.

The Obama administration hardened its stance against Syria and stepped up plans for possible military action, dismissing as too late the regime’s offer to let United Nations officials inspect areas where the U.S. believes Damascus used chemical weapons last week.

The White House and Pentagon signaled the U.S. wasn’t backing away from a possible showdown despite apparent efforts by the Syrian government to ease tensions by letting U.N. inspectors visit areas near the capital where hundreds were killed, allegedly by chemical weapons.

If he decides to act militarily, Mr. Obama would prefer to do so with U.N. Security Council backing, but officials said he could decide to work instead with international partners such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the Arab League.

“We’ll consult with the U.N. They’re an important avenue. But they’re not the only avenue,” a senior administration official said.

In recent days, the Pentagon has moved more warships into place in the eastern Mediterranean and U.S. war planners have updated military options that include cruise-missile strikes on regime targets, officials said. The White House held high-level meetings over the weekend, but officials said late Sunday that Mr. Obama had yet to decide how to proceed.

Administration lawyers have been crafting legal justifications for an intervention without U.N. approval that could be based on findings that Mr. Assad used chemical weapons and created a major humanitarian crisis.

Does anyone besides me remember the outrage when Bush moved against Iraq without UN approval?  The Daily Progressive certainly doesn’t, but here’s what they thought about it back in 2003:

Bush’s essential message is, the United Nations is irrelevant if it doesn’t do exactly what Washington demands. And Bush has chided the United Nations not to become another failure like the League of Nations, though the League of Nations collapsed, in part, because the U.S. Senate never ratified U.S. entry into the organization.

“Bush has made it abundantly clear that he feels the United Nations is just a nuisance,” says John Anderson, head of the World Federalist Association, who ran for President as an independent in 1980. “It’s a very specious and hypocritical attitude to sigh and wonder whether the U.N. is going the way of the League of Nations when Bush himself has done everything in his power to see that this happens.”

A mere glance back at the U.N. Charter reveals how far from its letter and spirit Bush has now traveled. Article 2, Section 3, states that “all members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means.” And Article 2, Section 4, says, “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” Bush’s entire discussion of “regime change,” his mobilizing of more than 200,000 troops, and his constant threats of force since September are in clear violation of this article.

And if he goes on and wages aggressive war, which is “the ultimate crime” in international law, according to Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, he could be tried in an international court. (In any event, Bush has been shirking his constitutional duty to enforce the laws, since treaties signed and ratified by the United States are supposed to be inviolable.)

Bush’s contempt for the United Nations may have many victims, especially those Iraqi civilians who would lose their lives in any U.S. assault. But one other victim is the entire edifice of the United Nations, which cannot long stand while Goliath keeps stomping his feet on its foundation.
We’re seeing the end of the international system as we’ve known it since the Second World War,” says Ratner.

“This is the most dangerous and depressing moment in my life,” says Richard Falk, a professor of international law and practice at Princeton. “The United States is undeterred and undeterrable in the current situation. It repudiates any willingness to allow the United Nations to act independently, and it refuses to accept a set of restraints derived from international law. This is a free-fall situation.”

And so on. This would be a good time for the two “sincere liberals” still left in the country to raise their voice. Think they will?


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Forget the tail wagging, Obama’s about to start another war

News conference scheduled for 2:00 by John Kerry. Bad polls shouldn’t justify war, but Obama has always been all about Obama. How will the rubes react to this?


BEIRUT—United Nations weapons inspectors arrived at one of the sites of last week’s presumed chemical weapons attacks outside Damascus, spurning U.S. calls for the team to stop their mission as American officials said they are inching closer to a decision for a military strike.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rebuffed the U.S. request to withdraw the inspectors and “stood firm on principle,” according to a person familiar with the matter, ordering his team to continue their work establishing whether chemical weapons or toxins were responsible for the estimated hundreds of deaths of Syrian civilians.

Earlier Monday, the U.N. chemical weapons team came under fire from unidentified snipers as they examined the site of the suspected attack at Mouadhamiya, a few miles southwest of Damascus. The team retreated but returned later in the afternoon. Mr. Ban said the team visited two hospitals, interviewed survivors and doctors, and collect samples.

At the same time, U.S. officials were reaching a definitive conclusion that chemical weapons had been used by the Syrian government in military assaults last Wednesday. “Our confidence is growing that this was in fact an episode involving the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime,” a senior U.S. official said, the strongest remarks to date on the use of the banned weapons.

Secretary of State John Kerry was due to deliver a statement on Syria’s crisis at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, the State Department said.

Although President Barack Obama remains undecided on military action, the U.S. request for the U.N. team to withdraw echoed its moves before it attacked Iraq in 2003, when it asked a U.N. inspection team in Baghdad to withdraw for its own safety as it prepared for military operations.


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Auction at 160 John Street

160 John Street

160 John Street

Raul Villacis has listed 160 John Street, 18 acres of horse farm originally priced at $45 million in 2009 and offered at other prices since, from $36 million to $28,500 (just for 22 days, in February, 2013, and discussed here back then) for “one million dollars”, but notes that this will be an auction, so the million is presumably a token price – you need to have some number to list on the MLS, and your mileage may (will) vary.

I’ve never had much luck dealing with Mr. Villas, so won’t be investing any of my time on this, but I suppose he may break his historical pattern and actually be offering it for sale to a non-client, so if you’re interested  in some decent land and a house at some unspecified price – count on it, it won’t be a million – go for it.

I can’t sort of the status of this property on line – there’s no significant mortgage shown on the tax card and a check of the judicial docket turns up nothing, but if Raul’s involved then so too is a lender. Doubtless, by the time of the scheduled auction October 15th, more will be revealed.

UPDATE: a reader points out that, rather than be cancelled, David Ogilvy’s listing for this same property is still active (and will be through February of next year). So how’s Raul involved with this? Can one skip Raul’s services and just deal directly with David, handing over $28.5 million? That’d probably be a cheaper approach than dealing with Mr. Villacis, and certainly a more straightforward one.


Filed under Back Country, Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Foreclosure, Neighborhoods

Sale and an eve-of-foreclosure price cut

Two bits of real estate news.

Boyd Lane10 Boyd Lane, that cul du sac off of Riverside Lane north of the Post Road, sold for $2.178. New construction was selling here in NoPo for around $1.8 at the height of the market in 2007 – we’ve exceeded that now. Not my cup of tea, but apparently Cos Cob School is a real draw for some people.

47 N. Stanwich

47 N. Stanwich

The owners of 47. N. Stanwich Road has been fighting off the foreclosure of at least one, possibly two Washington Mutual mortgages ($1.6, 2004, and an earlier one from 2003 for $921,000, unless it was rolled into the 2004 mortgage – in those days of easy money, probably not), since the beginning of 2012, but a motion for summary judgment hit the docket last week and there seems to be a new seriousness of purpose: it came back on the market in May after expiring unsold in December 2012 and just dropped its price today to $2.399.

That’s still too high, in my opinion, for a so-so 1979 builder’s special in the hinterlands (although it does have Parkway and Central as its school district), but it’s a far sight better than its laughable price of $3.925 million back in 2005, or even the $3.450 the owners were seeking in 2010.

Too bad it took the pending loss of everything to bring reason to this situation, but as Dr. Johnson observed almost 250 years ago, “Depend upon it sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” And so it goes.


Filed under Back Country, Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Neighborhoods, pricing

There go the hopes of the generation following mine

I got mine, Jack, and I'm going home

I got mine, Jack, and I’m going home

Until now, the quasi-conservatism of seniors served as a holding action against our decline to a fading western European economy, and young people were (almost) justified in thinking that things would hold together long enough for them to collect at least something on their politicians’ promises to provide for them in their own old age. Now comes confirmation of an increasing trend: seniors disapprove of the Republicans in growing proportions. They want their Medicare – all of it, and in fact they want more. To the extent that Republicans stand for reining in people’s greed, their support will fall. The seniors have now joined in that zero-sum game and  have obviously decided to get it while they can – any idea of preserving the country for their grandchildren is fading as fast as they are, and that’s bad news for the next few generations.

Republicans, bad as they are at curbing spending, still maintain at least a pretense of preserving a form of economic sanity. If they’re tossed out and the Democrats achieve full, unchecked power, we’ll be gone in twenty years. It was going to happen anyway: two generations of “progressive” education has created a huge majority of young people who believe in the Easter Bunny, and the day of reckoning was due to arrive when they ran out of people to tax, but this development hastens that day. I don’t think the geezers suddenly believe in magic; to the contrary, they see that it’s all going down, and are determined to cash out now. Tough luck for those youngsters just beginning their own families, but hey, life happens.


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The next attack on what’s left of prosperity in Connecticut: bring back counties

Democrats passed a law last spring (I missed it, I confess) requiring the wealthy towns down here to join “regional councils” and even Peter Tesei can see this for the power grab it is. I’m pleasantly surprised by Tesei’s perspicacity. Funny: some of us look across the border and see Westchester County with its corruption, bloated bureaucracy and high taxes and ask “why?”. Democrats ask, “why not?”

Schools are next.

Despite the promised benefits, Fairfield County political leaders fear that a mandate to group towns and cities into larger councils of government for the purpose of infrastructure spending could invite higher taxes.

Under legislation approved in the spring, the leaders of eight towns that make up the South Western Region Metropolitan Planning Organization — including Greenwich, Stamford, and Norwalk — will have to merge into a new council of governments by 2015 to administer federal funds filtered through state transportation officials.

If further legislation were to authorize shifts in local tax revenue toward regional projects, some say the result could, in effect, create a county government system in Connecticut.

“It could happen this year or next year, but I think there is going to be a major play to redistribute resources,” Greenwich First Selectman Peter Teseisaid. “There is no doubt this is the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent. And looking at how poorly Connecticut is doing financially, and the debt burden and taxes in certain communities, the Legislature and governor are going to look to for alternate means to feed the beast.”

Tesei said is unclear how a reorganized planning group might operate, but he said such consolidations can be accompanied by funding formulas that distribute resources based on population. Language accompanying the legislation suggests regions could assume area-wide responsibility for social services, housing, education, and public safety functions in the future, Tesei said.

“In a way, it is a masking of an alternate ways to tax people,” Tesei said. “They’ve already maxed out state taxes and that’s why the economy is so bad. They’ve beaten that horse down, so they get on another one.”


The Municipal Opportunities & Regional Efficiencies Commission, led by State Rep. Tim Larson, D-East Hartford, recommended a range of consolidations, including forming regional school districts for the purpose of providing special education to save money.

UPDATE:  Perhaps Peter Tesei isn’t as perspicacious as I’d thought, because the Democrats have flat out announced what this new creation of theirs is and what they intend to do with it: they’ve given it the acronym, “MORE”. Says it all.

(Long since past) time to pack our bags.


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