Daily Archives: October 19, 2013

It seems the Third Selectman has a keener political sense than his party chairman


Look, Baba Booey, Frankie's in the obituaries!

Look, Baba Booey, Frankie’s in the obituaries!

Drew Marzullo weighs in on the PTA/Farricker slugfest:

Democratic Selectman Drew Marzullo called the situation “Pumpkin-Gate” The two-term incumbent said, “Never, ever, ever, mess with PTA women, especially three weeks from Election Day.”

Marzullo added, “Half of the ballet is trying to remind people there is a municipal election taking place and anytime there’s a place for candidates to hand out their crap, they will. But this is about balance and respect and that is what the PTA is trying to relay. I read the email and didn’t conclude the PTA was trying to block people from attending or from exercising freedom of speech.”

Drew’s right: the opportunity for his fellow Democrats  “to hand out their crap” isn’t worth the ill will that showing up unwanted and unwelcome would cause.

I wasn’t there – did Fudrucker show and toss eggs at small children?


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First progressive discovered in Russia

Ooogha hears the first siren call of other's property

Ooogha hears the first siren call of others’ property

1.8 million year old skullduggery.

“Skull 5,” as it’s known, belonged to an adult male with a large jutting jaw and brain case less than half the size of a human today.

“It’s an almost perfectly complete skull,” said Jamie Shreeve, executive science editor for National Geographic, “and because of that, it has a lot of information.”

While there is as of yet no evidence that would disclose the hominoid’s political leanings, the small brain pan strongly suggests he was a leftist.


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They report, you decide

Unfortunately for P. Carlyle Smithenson, law firms aren't hiring either

Unfortunately for P. Carlyle Smithenson, law firms aren’t hiring either

I ‘ve posted articles on this subject before, but because Greenwich real estate is so dependent on the health of the financial industry, I’ll pass on this WSJ article about storm clouds on the horizon: bank earnings are getting clobbered. Some people will take a malicious glee in this development but not me: like gardeners, car salesmen and builders, I make my living from these folks.

And Dollar Bill and his fellow travelers get to loot them.

Five years after the financial crisis, with major stock indexes at or near records, the economy expanding and companies issuing bonds at a healthy clip, banks and securities firms should be posting standout results. But while the weakness could be temporary, some financial analysts say the decline in mortgage business likely will linger into next year. They say, with markets relatively quiet, trading revenue, particularly in bonds, isn’t likely to bounce back soon. That could portend an even weaker fourth quarter and force banks to make sharper cuts still in expenses.

When times are difficult, banks cut jobs. In the financial-services industry, the biggest expense is people. “If revenue is soft,” said Frederick Cannon, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, “folks don’t get paid.”

For the biggest firms, a plunge in fixed-income trading has been just as painful. Big banks trade bonds and other debt securities, along with currencies and commodities, and the business often comprises the biggest slice of an investment bank’s total revenue. In 2012, firms benefited from volatile markets, which helped the total volume of trades. What’s more, a debt rally boosted the value of bonds firms hold on their books. That reversed in 2013, with trading volumes falling as prices slumped. “If these numbers don’t get better in the fourth quarter, we could see a tough bonus season and some layoffs,” said Mr. Cannon.

“A lot of people are very scared,” said Gustavo Dolfino, head of New York recruiting firm WhiteRock Group. Working with bankers and traders these days, Mr. Dolfino said: “I feel like a shrink.”


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Don’t tell Dollar Bill!

Another Democrat replaced

Another Democrat made redundant

FWIW’s pet liberal idiot – I repeat myself  – has often maintained on these pages that the minimum wage can be jumped to $25 without effect on unskilled labor employment because, he insists, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that “robots will never replace food preparers”. So here’s news that should make the poor guy choke on his triple-whipped, double sputum latte: robot baristas are coming to take sociology majors’ jobs away.

Starbucks’ 95,000 baristas have a competitor. It doesn’t need sleep. It’s precise in a way that a human could never be. It requires no training. It can’t quit. It has memorized every one of its customers’ orders. There’s never a line for its perfectly turned-out drinks.

It doesn’t require health insurance.
Don’t think of it as the enemy of baristas, insists Kevin Nater, CEO of the company that has produced this technological marvel. Think of it as an instrument people can use to create their ideal coffee experience. Think of it as a cure for “out-of-home coffee drinkers”—Nater’s phrase—sick of an “inconsistent experience.”
Think of it as the future. Think of it as empowerment. Your coffee, your way, flawlessly, every time, no judgments. Four pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup in a 16 oz. half-caff soy latte? Here it is, delivered to you precisely when your smartphone app said it would arrive, hot and fresh and indistinguishable from the last one you ordered.
And, as the author of this article in Quartz points out, caffeine addicts will find “finally, a barista you don’t have to lie to about how your day is going”.


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Fudrucker vs. Old Greenwich PTA

Reader “Pulled Up in OG” sends along this link to Greenwich Democrat Town Chairman Fudruckee gently chastising the local PTA for attempting to ban politicians from showing up (as politicians) at the school’s annual pumpkin parade. He may be no more accurate than a stopped clock, but the Fudruckee can occasionally get it right and I believe he is this time. Besides, ya gotta love a politician taking on the PTA, an improbably powerful clique in this town.

Organizers of Saturday’s Pumpkin Patch event at Old Greenwich School have a message for local candidates who plan on attending: Bring the family, fine, but no politicking by the giant hay maze.

“We would … like to use this opportunity to remind the RTC, DTC and all political candidates that campaigning at Pumpkin Patch is not allowed,” Jill Vollmer, a former Old Greenwich PTA president, wrote in an email to party chairmen Thursday.

The patch, which promises a haunted house and other Halloween fun, is a PTA event, she explained, and as the PTA is a non-profit organization rules prevent it from taking part in political campaigning.

“Anyone doing this at the Pumpkin Patch will kindly be asked to stop and remove any materials,” she wrote.

The message didn’t sit well with at least one party boss, who not only took exception to her interpretation of IRS rules governing non-profits, but suggested the directive chaffed against the very values people run for office to uphold.

“The tax exempt regulations do not prohibit political activity, but rather advocacy and expense on behalf of a specific candidate. By your logic, the tax exempt status of the league of women voters should result in their demise,” Democratic Town Committee Chairman Frank Farricker responded in an email of his own. “Bottom line is that our candidates have both first amendment rights as American citizens, and access rights as taxpayers paying for the upkeep and maintenance of old Greenwich school. The pumpkin patch event is made possible by the donation of space by the taxpayers, and you are looking to restrict both the rights of our candidates to speak and members of the community to learn. What exactly does this teach our children.”

Farricker later provided IRS rules that support his position, which elicited a response from Greenwich PTA Council President Lisa Harkness: “Our instructions about campaigning at PTA events were very clear.  We sought these instructions from our governing body, the CT PTSA.”

The Connecticut PTA does not have the power to overrule the First Amendment, and can’t restrict the exercise of free speech on public property – the Fud’s right, and his troops are standing behind him. (As a special treat, and a journalistic first, FWIW has obtained a secret video of the Democrat’s slate of BOE candidates, led by BOE member Ramadamadingdong Tamm, gathering for today’s meeting of the gourds:)


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