Daily Archives: January 17, 2016



Pretty good for amateurs, non? But we can do better, certainement!

Only half of the €23 billion doled out as aid by the EU each year is lost to waste, theft or bureaucratic bungling.

Wasted money included a £1.8million EU scheme for a solar panel installation that is not working, as well as £26.8million earmarked to combat corruption in Nigeria, which cannot be handed over because of fears it will be siphoned off by corrupt Nigerian officials.


“Well of course we’re disappointed,” EU President Jean-Claude Junker told FWIW. “Our goal is to waste or, preferably, steal all of it, and I can’t imagine where that other half went. Nonetheless, we shall persevere: next year, 100%!”


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Wal mart protest

OK, they stopped. Enjoy your leisure time.

Washington Post. D.C. leaders furious that Walmart has decided not to build two new stores in their city.

After saturating the nation’s rural landscape with big-box stores at the turn of the decade, Walmart had been blocked by liberal politicians and unions in New York and Boston from its next frontier, remaking retail in the nation’s urban core. But in the District, Walmart won the right to open stores surrounding the U.S. Capitol — and a symbolic victory for its belief that low-price goods help its poor customers more than low-wage jobs hurt its workers.

[District Rep. Jack Evans]  said that, behind closed doors, Walmart officials were more frank about the reasons the company was downsizing. He said the company cited the District’s rising minimum wage, now at $11.50 an hour and possibly going to $15 an hour if a proposed ballot measure is successful in November. He also said a proposal for legislation requiring D.C. employers to pay into a fund for family and medical leave for employees, and another effort to require a minimum amount of hours for hourly workers were compounding costs and concerns for the retailer.

“They were saying, ‘How are we going to run the three stores we have, let alone build two more?’ ” Evans said.

“The optics of this are horrible; they are not going to build the stores east of the river, in largely African American neighborhoods? That’s horrible; you can’t do that,” Evans said. “A deal’s a deal.”

I don’t see what they’re so angry about, it seems like a win-win. Walmart doesn’t have to build money losing stores, and Washington’s poor won’t be tempted to buy cheap clothing and food at the expense of local bodega owners, and won’t be exploited by having to work at wages their leaders feel are too low. Instead, they can stay home – no need for paid sick leave or minimum hours now!



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Michael Moore finds a new cause (for probably 15 seconds) but has to create a bad guy to blame it on

Michael Moore

Michael Moore finds 50 protestors, 150 members of the media to join him in Flint.

This was not a mistake. They knew this, they did this, they knew.” It’s true that somebody knew of Flint’s water problems, but it’s not the culprit Moore deliberately, falsely, blames. It was actually one of the organizations that Moore cannot attack without admitting that not all the ills of the world are caused by Republicans. For a guy who blamed Republican voters for 9/11, that’s an impossible hurdle.

The EPA, which first knew of the situation more than  year ago, but kept it secret while its bureaucrats bickered.

Doesn’t fit the narrative, so the truth is jettisoned.


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Business Insider takes a run at the Durante Prize

“19 Gorgeous photos of daily life in Cuba” by Sarah Jacobs

Naturally, it’s mostly a pictorial of tourists enjoying THEIR “daily life” in Cuba, with the few photos of the colorful, oppressed natives glossed over. Here are three of the latter, all equally clueless:


“Inside the H-Upmann cigar factory in havana, Yiliana Benitez rolls  famous Cuban cigar. In Cuba cigar rolling is considered an art form thats been passed down through generations” The pay for this happy lady: $15 per month – all profits revert to the state


Cubans are known for their love of classic cars

“Cubans are known for their love of classic cars” Those cars have become “classic” because Castro hasn’t permitted the importation of private automobiles since 1961.



“Even taxi drivers cruise around in these elaborate vehicles”.  See comment above, you stupid, ignorant slut. (And if those American flags are still displayed after the tourists disembark, this driver will be chopping sugar cane before the sun goes down).



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Nothing to see here, move along, move along

154 Eippowam Road

154 Rippowam Road, $6.995 – partially built in 2010, still waiting for a buyer willing to finish it Started at $13 million,long ago

Realtors see little negative affect on the market when GE departs.

Of course, they don’t really believe that, but what else can they say? In fact, they could say plenty: it’s going to be a huge opportunity for buyers who, previously blocked by high prices, will soon find more affordable housing. On the other hand, a cold bucket of reality dashed in the face always seems to upset home sellers, so perhaps the agents are waiting for their owners to adjust to the idea that they’re screwed.

Even with a worst-case scenario that could see 800 high-priced houses hitting the market in a short time span, local real estate experts say they are holding true to a basic principle — don’t panic.

Mary Beth Grasso, a Realtor in Trumbull who is a member of the CT Realtors executive committee, said the region has learned to adapt to crises.

“If you think of what we’ve been through, back in 2008, ’09 and ’10, we’ve been through a lot worse,” she said in reference to the housing market collapse. “We get smarter every time we make it through a challenging event.”

GE said it is moving 200 corporate employees from Fairfield to a new headquarters to be built in Boston, but what will happen to the other 600 or so people based in Fairfield is the great unknown. The company has said some will be retained in office space it leases in Norwalk.

John Frey, a real estate agent in Ridgefield who is also a state representative, said there are probably well under 100 GE employees living in the community, although at least two employees called him in November to check on the market conditions in the event that they had to sell their home.

Frey said the Ridgefield market could likely absorb the additional inventory that may result from GE’s departure from the state, unless many of the homes are priced in the million-dollar range.

“That segment of the market has been pretty slow, so it could potentially have an impact on the higher end of home sales,” he said.

“Pretty slow” isn’t the term for the million-plus homes market in the Ridgefield area: “dead, deceased, pushing up daisies” is. This won’t help.

I don’t see it hitting Greenwich so much; we’re too far away, I think, for many employees to make that reverse commute, but the towns down east a ways, already languishing, aren’t going to like it.


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Shocker: Bernie Sanders now says he WON’T disclose his secret plan to pay for universal Medicare prior to the Iowa caucuses


University of Chicago students confuse the Colonel with their candidate

Basically, because he’d have to admit that the $15 trillion would either have to come from taxing the middle class into penury or playing progressive magic, and not paying for it at all – that’ll be the problem of the young kids now supporting him. And they’re so stupid, so used to having  Mom and Dad pay their way, they won’t realize what the nasty old man has in store for them.

Bernie Sanders could break his pledge to release details on how he would pay for his health care plan before the Iowa caucuses, according to a top aide.

His campaign released details Wednesday of how Sanders will pay his $1 trillion dollar infrastructure plan and his $75-billion-a-year plan to make public college and universities tuition-free. But noticeably absent was his plan to pay for Medicare for all, a price tag that some estimates put at $15 trillion.

Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, isn’t saying when those numbers will be released.

“I don’t have a date for that,” he said earlier this week. “Not necessarily before the caucuses.”

Weaver stood by his comments on Wednesday, stating that the campaign does not yet have a date for when to release the Medicare-for-all plan. He added that Sanders’ health care plan would be paid for “progressively,” similar to the way his previous Medicare-for-all proposals have been paid for.


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A New York state of mind


Why, that’s just so MEAN!

While Bernie Sanders was promising to turn gun manufacturers over to the tender mercies of class action lawyers (next to the NEA, the Democrat Party’s largest contributor) last night, Hillary was complaining that “they” – Ted Cruz, actually – were denigrating New York values.

The former secretary of state said she was appalled by the “insulting, mean-spirited, derogatory language” that Republicans use against President Barack Obama, immigrants, refugees and now even New Yorkers.

Is there such a thing as New York values? There certainly is, as enunciated by Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014. Addressing conservatives, he told them that they, and their values, were not welcome within the boundaries of his state. I don’t remember Hillary or any other Democrat expressing outrage at that sentiment then, or today.

CUOMO: You’re seeing that play out in New York. … The Republican party candidates are running against the SAFE Act – it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate! Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

The Democrats’ current president, while not a New Yorker, expressed the same sentiments regarding a “them-against-us” attitude of urban liberals vs. the hicks in the hinterlands back in 2008:

OBAMA: You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Not only is there a set of “New York values” or, more accurately, “urban liberal values”, the current crop of Democrats is proud to hold them, and screw the yokels that don’t. When Cruz attacked them he was spot-on, and shame on the Donald for not joining in.

UPDATE: More New York Values: Public masturbation booths open for business.


Wait’ll Hilary gets a load of this!



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Can 56 Clapboard Ridge be saved?

This morning Greenwich Time reports on efforts to preserve the1840 house t 56 Clapboard Ridge Road by its current owners. They don’t particularly want to live in it, but re wiling to move it to another location on the 4.7-acre (in the 2 acre zone) lot. Trouble is  restrictive covenant between the adjoining property owners that forbids  subdivision. Talks are being held; my guess is that the tricky part is that, once a restrictive covenant ia broken for one parcel, any others affected by that same agreement are freed from its restraints. So making an exception for this may open the area for further development.

But that’s my opinion based on property law I learned 30+ years ago; it may well have changed since then, as the law in general is no longer as fixed as it used to be, for better or worse.

The new owners paid $8.75 millionn last May, though it was first listed by Ogilvy in 2010 at $12 million. I’ve commented on its price movements over the years, and suggested back in 2012 that the town’s appraised value of $8 million was probably closer than the then-current price of $10. It seems the parties agreed to split the difference.

Nice house: the video tour is still up, here.



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