Daily Archives: November 2, 2014

Kool-Aid imbibers’ greatest moments

On the eve of election, The Daily Caller brings back fond memories for those who probably wish they wouldn’t.

Obama’s speeches “enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it,” parochial Washington rube Ezra Klein spouted in January 2008 in The American Prospect. “He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I’ve heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.”

Rally with Barack Obama and Guest Oprah WinfreyIn December 2007, some 30,000 people showed up at a football stadium in South Carolina to see Obama and his campaign buddy, Oprah Winfrey. Both spoke like preachers on the old-time gospel hour — about Obama. “I give all praise and honor to God,” Obama said, according to Politico. “Look at the day the Lord has made.” Meanwhile, Winfrey spoke about a quasi-holy man. “We need a leader who’s going to touch our souls. Who’s going to make us feel differently about one another. Who’s going to remind us that we are one another’s keepers. That we are only as strong as the weakest among us.” The once-popular daytime talk show host also spoke about “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” a novel and movie from the 1970s. This old woman would ask all children, “Are you the one? Are you the one?” “Today we have the answer to Miss Pittman’s question,” Winfrey confidently predicted. “South Carolina: I do believe he’s the one.”

AFP 522039319 A GOV USA MAToni Morrison, the most overrated novelist in human history (and the person who once called Bill Clinton America’s first black president), was an early rider on the Obama Messiah Express. In January 2008, she wrote a letter praising Obama for possessing “a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom.” He had an “un-embargoed” “moral center,” she gushed, according to the New York Observer. He had “courage instead of mere ambition.” Indeed, the novelist most famous for being forced upon a generation of American high schoolers babbled: “There have been a few prescient leaders in our past, but you are the man for this time.”

Obama Appears on "Hardball with Chris Matthews"MSNBC talking head Chris Matthews has semi-coherently called a multitude of things racist since the beginning of the Obama presidency including workfareSarah Palinthe Constitutionnot liking Washington, D.C.and, in fact, scrutinizing Obama’s presidency. In February 2008, Matthews was hopelessly indoctrinated in the ways of Obama worship. “It’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech,” Matthews famously bleated, according to the Media Research Center. “My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”

US Democratic presidential candidate IllIn an almost textbook-perfect, dude-you-must-be-joking example of messianic Obama zeal, San Francisco columnist Mark Morford frothed in June 2008 that Obama “isn’t really one of us.” “Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.”

In April 2008, at the crazy leftist website Daily Kos, someone whose vehicle almost certainly features at least 35 bumper stickers posted a truly bizarre rant about Obama, myth, astrology and an obscure 2008 comet. “Obama was born with his sun in Leo, and his story exemplifies the quest of the Solar Hero,” the story goes. “His father, who joins with his mother on an island, conceives a child, and soon thereafter leaves the child and mother to continue his own journeying. Obama, a ‘special ‘child, left to create his own internal image of ‘father’, and related meanings of strength, protection, leadership, etc.” Also, “Perseus had help from the gods. Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?”

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Anyone else curious about this?

Center for Disease and Control

Center for Disease and Control

A Liberian now in Oregon has been hospitalized since Friday with a 102 temperature, and no test results have been released.

Since arriving in Portland, the woman had been taking her temperature twice a day and reporting to the Multnomah County Health Department. Until Friday, her temperature had been normal, said Dr. Katrina Hedberg, state health officer. But in the morning it spiked.

Physicians will draw a blood sample, then triple package it according to biohazard regulations for shipment to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta or another CDC lab. Only selected labs in the United States are equipped to run Ebola tests.

If the test is negative, another will probably be done in three days. Often the virus doesn’t show up until the person has been symptomatic for 72 hours.

It could take a day to get the woman’s blood sample to the CDC, Lewis said. The test results take about four hours.

It’s now been 50 hours since that sample was taken, and no word. Yesterday, the pastor who invited this woman to the United States in the first place told reporters that the patient’s fever was gone, and all was well, which is good news for her, if true, but I’m curious why the hospital and CDC have said nothing.

UPDATE, 11/3/: Test results were released last night: she’s ok

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And we can guess that this will end badly, too

Give the communists what they want

Give the communists what they want

U.S.-trained-and-armed “moderate” Syrian rebels surrender to Al Qaeda.

Two of the main rebel groups receiving weapons from the United States to fight both the regime and jihadist groups in Syria have surrendered to al-Qaeda.

The US and its allies were relying on Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front to become part of a ground force that would attack the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

For the last six months the Hazm movement, and the SRF through them, had been receiving heavy weapons from the US-led coalition, including GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles.

But on Saturday night Harakat Hazm surrendered military bases and weapons supplies to Jabhat al-Nusra, when the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria stormed villages they controlled in northern Idlib province.

“As a movement, the SRF is effectively finished,” said Aymen al-Tammimi, a Syria analyst. “Nusra has driven them out of their strongholds of Idlib and Hama.”

The collapse of the SRF and attacks on Harakat Hazm have dramatically weakened the presence of moderate rebel fighting groups in Syria, which, after almost four years of conflict is increasingly becoming a battle ground between the Syrian regime and jihadist organisations.

For the United States, the weapons they supplied falling into the hands of al-Qaeda is a realisation of a nightmare.

It was not immediately clear if American TOW missiles were among the stockpile surrendered to Jabhat al-Nusra on Saturday. However several Jabhat al-Nusra members on Twitter announced triumphantly that they were.

Also the loss of a group that had been held up to the international media as being exemplary of Western efforts in Syria is a humiliating blow at the time that the US is increasing its military involvement in the country, with both air strikes and training of local rebels.

In Idlib, Harakat Hazm gave up their positions to Jabhat al-Nusra “without firing a shot”, according to some reports, and some of the men even defected to the jihadists.

So, Obama either sides with the Syrian regime or does nothing. He’ll choose the latter, doubtless, which is probably wise, but height have envisioned this outcome two years ago, before engaging in such blustering. Almost makes it look like he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

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We can probably guess how this will end up

NYC Police Commissioner Bratton (temporarily) wins power struggle with Police Chief, thoroughly pissing off DeBlasio’s wife and Al Sharpton.

“Banks was used to getting his way,” another source said Saturday, noting that the previous commissioner, Ray Kelly, had “never said no to Banks.”

“Then Bratton comes on the scene, and Banks makes a power move. He wants more power, and he has the backing of City Hall and the Rev. Al [Sharpton]” to embolden him, the source said.

“All of a sudden, Banks is not getting what he wants.”

Banks told Bratton on Friday that he would take the No. 2 position of first deputy commissioner only if he could control the Internal Affairs Bureau and if his successor as chief of department reported directly to him.

“But Bratton, rightfully so, doesn’t want to relinquish any power. He’s the police commissioner,” the source said.

Banks apparently foresaw his power play’s outcome and had warned his closest aides earlier in the week that he expected to be stepping down.

Quitting could either be the best or worst move of Banks’ career, sources said.

He has long coveted the job of commissioner, and should he now try to stage a coup from outside One Police Plaza, he faces a weakened Bratton and has the widespread support of minority politicians and law-enforcement groups.

“If Bratton left and [Banks] was offered the commissioner job, why wouldn’t he take it?” another source said. “That’s the job he wanted in the first place.”

 

Banks was “the perfect choice,” for commissioner, City Councilman Andy King (D-Bronx), co-chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, said Saturday.

Banks’ departure also has de Blasio — not to mention ­McCray — angry.

Sharpton, too, has been a cheerleader, saying Saturday that Banks earned his respect after years of working together, even while Sharpton insists, “I do not make recommendations” on police personnel matters, only policy.

That’s reassuring.

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If you’re Steve Cohen, you don’t worry about this but for mere millionaires, watch out

Cheslock's Flying Circus, 309 Taconic Road

Cheslock’s Flying Circus, 309 Taconic Road

Extreme dream houses are hard to sell.

John Nugent spared no expense customizing his Andover, Mass., home for his family. For his sports-loving children, he built a full-size indoor basketball court with a scoreboard, a 30-second shot clock and three rows of bleachers. Downstairs, there’s a bowling alley with a vintage scoring machine, and an indoor pool with a water slide. On a wall near the pool, there is a mural with images of Mr. Nugent’s children, along with the family’s dogs, cats, bird and pet rabbit.

Then the children grew up and moved out, and Mr. Nugent no longer needs as much space. The 56-year-old CEO of software company Visibility Corp. has been trying to sell his roughly 20,000-square-foot home—which also has a batting cage and pitching machine, an outdoor putting green and two locker rooms—for the past few years. The house cost about $6 million to build, Mr. Nugent said, so he put it on the market for $6.5 million—far more than most homes in this Boston suburb, where a house priced over $3 million is unusual. He is now trying to sell the property in a sealed-bid auction through the firm Madison Hawk Partners.

It’s a long-held real estate dictum that giving a home too many unusual features can damage its resale value. Despite that, many owners in recent years have only grown more focused on making their homes unique, real-estate experts said. Some owners spend years, and millions of dollars, creating a dream home suited to their specific tastes—without worrying about whether the resulting home will fit anyone else’s. The phenomenon holds especially true in areas of the country where real-estate prices are booming, making owners more confident their homes will sell no matter what.

Veterans say the emphasis on customization, which grew during the boom times of the 1990s and 2000s, has now picked up again after the economic downturn. It has been facilitated by the Internet, which gives owners access to lots of unconventional ideas with a few clicks.

“People see all the unique things that are being done, and it inspires them to want something unique,” said Peter Archer of Pennsylvania-based Archer & Buchanan Architecture, who recently designed a “Hobbit house” on a client’s property to hold a collection of J.R.R. Tolkien memorabilia.

The whole article is fun, but don’t miss the bit on Miss Cassidy George, a 19-year-old brat whose Wall Street daddy bought her a $2.775 million apartment in the Bowery so she could paint it all black and vandalized. Miss George, who identifies herself as a “punk rebel” – hahahahah -claims she’s not worried about what she’s done to its resale value and of course, why should she? It’s Daddy’s money. At least Steve Cohen spent his own money building his 40,000 sq.ft. Crown Lane home.

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Jim Campbell offers hope to local Democrats

We give up

We give up

What a nice guy – I know that Frankie Fudrucker and his pals must have been growing dispirited after being shellacked for the past 100 years, so Jim’s promise of better things to come must cheer them up considerably.

“As long as Republicans can show the voters that we manage the town responsibly, are conservative and careful with their tax dollars and maintain the infrastructure and high level of service this town expects, I think voters will have confidence in the Republican Party in Greenwich,” said Republican Town Committee Chairman Jim Campbell.

They should be gone in two years, then.

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Once again, Bob Horton demonstrates that he’s that impossible creature, a liberal capable of rational thought

Horton

Horton

Admittedly, the mark of genius in a man is the extent to which he agrees with you, but still: in today’s Greenwich Time, Bob casts a skeptical eye on the proposed new New Lebenon school.

The school board’s scheme to conform with state school population racial balance guidelines takes a page right out of Hollywood: If you build it, they will come.

The “it” here is a new, much larger building to house New Lebanon Elementary School in Byram. The “they” are young school children from other parts of town, presumably drawn to New Lebanon by an as yet undefined curriculum that will be so dynamic and alluring that at least 100 kids will take buses clear across town and back every school day, thereby bringing Greenwich Public Schools closer to compliance with state law.

Let’s put aside that the most recent “magnet” curriculum experiments developed by school administrators and the Board of Education would have failed any sixth grade science lab. Their pull was not strong enough to overcome the opposing attraction of neighborhood schools. Maybe the school board can find yet another consulting firm to tell us why the magnet curricula plans did not work, but some other magic plan will.

Having proven pretty conclusively that it cannot develop a strongly differentiated and educationally superior curriculum, the school board is moving toward Plan B: Build a bigger school, tell the state Board of Education that the building will have six to nine classrooms more than the neighborhood needs, and that young students from other parts of town will fill those extra classrooms. Voila. Racial balance achieved.

As drawn by the school board’s consulting architects, the new facility will accommodate about 470 students; New Lebanon’s projected enrollment for 2015 is about 280 students. The 190 “new” students will attend a new pre-kindergarten program (three classrooms) and the balance will be students from other Greenwich neighborhoods (six classrooms).

…[T]o me an … important question remains unanswered: What in its past efforts makes the school board think it can convince parents of at least 100 elementary school kids to voluntarily take their children out of neighborhood schools? A history of transformative magnet programs just isn’t there; Greenwich parents are deeply wedded to their neighborhood schools.

And there are two other groups that are likely to look skeptically at larger New Lebanon Schoolplan: the Board of Estimate and Taxation and the Representative Town Meeting. This expected opposition could be summed up in another line from a big Hollywood movie: Show me the money.

The school board and BET had to notice that the RTM barely approved the new town contract that awarded teachers a 3 percent raise. Peter Sherr, a school board member who explained the contract details to each RTM district delegation, said there was a strong sense that school spending is out of control.

“They (RTM members) said to me time and time again that we are spending more and paying more and we are not getting the educational results we should. They don’t think the school board is listening to them,” Sherr said. “The RTM wants a higher performing school district, and they are not getting it.”

In the coming budget talks, the school board is likely to have to defend wanting to spend $36 million on a new school building with nine extra classrooms when the district as a whole has significant excess capacity. It will also have to defend the new pre-K program and its attendant costs. Then there are the millions (exact amount not yet undetermined) to remove PCBs and other toxins from the grounds at Greenwich High School. And while the relative dollar amount was small, the school board’s recent hiring of consultants to rationalize and coordinate the work of other consultants (you cannot make this stuff up) does not instill a lot of confidence in the school board’s ability to keep spending under control.

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Good lord, you’d think they’d appreciate the recruiting value

A Special Forces non-com has been relieved of duties and forced into early retirement for permitting his troops to strut their stuff.

A Utah National Guard officer has been stripped of his command after allowing bikini-clad women to fire high-powered weapons and ride in tanks for an unauthorized video shoot.

Three other National Guard soldiers also will be disciplined for their involvement in the hijinks at Camp Williams.

Guard Lt. Col. Steven Fairbourn said Saturday that a 19th Special Forces noncommissioned officer who permitted the video to be partially shot at the training center south of Salt Lake City also faces a reprimand and mandatory early retirement.

I’m a little old to join the military – I’m not Joe Biden’s drug-addled son, after all – but seeing these soldiers makes me wish I weren’t.

Hubba hubba

Hubba hubba

 

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