Daily Archives: July 5, 2016

It’s always racist

Squantz Pond State Park has a problem: it’s grievously overcrowded. Yesterday its parking lot reached capacity at 8:30 Am and was closed, Sunday it hit that point at 9.

Despite the closures, “walk-in” visitors continued streaming into the park, renewing the long-standing safety worries of town officials.

First Selectman Susan Chapman said it’s normal for the park to reach capacity shortly after the park opens on the Fourth of July, but she said that occurred even earlier this year because the state reduced the parking cap for Monday from 250 to 200 vehicles.

“It’s a disaster,” Chapman said.

Hundreds of beachgoers parked their cars at nearby parking lots or on side streets on Sunday and Monday and walked to the park.

Dennis Schain, a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said the park supervisor and state parks director decided Sunday to reduce the number of cars allowed in the lot Monday after learning that walk-in visitors were paying to park at businesses down the street. Since there was no way to regulate the walk-ins, he said, officials hoped that limiting access to the park itself would reduce crowding.

Suantz Pond

It’s racist to show reality.

Chapman and other town officials have long complained that allowing walk-ins permits crowding and creates dangerous pressures on lifeguards. She has repeatedly asked the state to ban walk-ins and to increase the number of lifeguards and state troopers at the park.

During the afternoon Sunday, Chapman tweeted a picture of walk-ins making their way along Route 37 and renewed her call for a moratorium. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton retweeted the post.

A spokesman for Connecticut Democrats called the tweet “racist” because most of those shown in the photo are black.

“This is racism, plain and simple,” said Leigh Appleby, communications director for Connecticut Democratic Party in a statement. “It’s outrageous that Susan Chapman and Mark Boughton would classify people of color as second class citizens. And it’s no surprise that leaders of the the party of Donald Trump would sink to this level. Both of these Connecticut Republican leaders need to immediately explain themselves. Bigotry has no place in our political discourse.”

Chapman scoffed at the characterization, saying there was nothing racist about the tweet.

“These are the very people I’m trying to protect,” she said. “It’s an unsafe situation for people coming to the park and an unsafe situation for people driving because they’re forced into oncoming traffic to go around them.”

The charge of racism is used exclusively by leftists to cut off discussion, though why Democrats don’t want to discuss an issue that affects all people: black, white, swimmers and drowners alike, and instead turn it into a political attack is beyond me. It’s just one more illustration of why the state is unmanageable: the party holding the reins is incompetent, and relies on phony charges of racism against Republicans to keep its majority base in its thrall.

leigh applyby

Miss Leigh Appleby – I thought even the gender-confused liked to swim in clean water

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You won’t see this on mainstream TV

You will on ReasonTV

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ObamaFail™

a3c1aca1-ecb5-45f1-a2fa-f919aabd999e

HMS BarryO

HealthyCT Care goes under.

Connecticut’s financially “unstable” Obamacare health-insurance co-op was placed under state supervision on Tuesday, as regulators said 40,000 people covered by the company will ultimately have to find new plans for the coming year.

 HealthyCT is the 14th of 23 original Obamacare co-ops to fail since they began selling health plans on government-run Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges. Several of the other remaining co-ops, at least, are believed to be on shaky financial ground.

Until last week, the nonprofit HealthyCT had “adequate capital and sustainable liquidity” — but that fell apart Thursday with a federal requirement that hit HealthyCT with a $13.4 million bill, according to the Connecticut Insurance Department.

State Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade said that the resulting “hazardous financial standing” of HealthyCT led her to place the co-op under supervision, which prevents the company from writing any new policies, and also from renewing any large or smaller employer plans that expire after last Friday.

The co-op covers about 13,000 people on plans sold on Connecticut’s Obamacare exchange, who represent about 10 percent of all the Obamacare plans sold in the Nutmeg State. And another 27,000 people are covered by HealthyCT through large and small employer plans.

I’m not sure how an insurance company can be described as having “adequate capital and sustainable liquidity” “until last week”, when it had to know that it owed $13.4 million to the federal government’s “spread the risk” fund, but that’s a quibble: no one believes this stuff anymore, anyway.

Which is not to say there’s anything to cheer about here, because there really has to be a way to provide affordable insurance to people of modest means. My own two daughters are participants in Oregon’s and Maine’s programs, respectively, and I worry that those, too will fail (Oregon’s is definitely in trouble, not sure about Maine’s). Several doctors in the Portland area have established a fee structure that offers unlimited care at the GP level, with generic prescription drugs sold at cost – usually $3, for $50 a month. Great idea, great doctors, but for the plan to really work, patients should also purchase a catastrophic illness policy with, say, a $5,000 deductible, just in case.

ObamaCare prohibits those policies.

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Sometimes, ya just gotta let go

stubborn mule

You can lead a mule to water, but a pencil must be lead

Two price cuts today illustrate what’s wrong with part of the Greenwich market: owners who just can’t, or won’t believe that this town will no longer support whatever price the homeowner sets on her property. I don’t think it ever did, actually, but the perception was always there, and we have houses in inventory that prove that that perception lives on.

180 Stanwich

180 Stanwich Road

Take 180 Stanwich Road, for instance, which today dropped $200,000 from its $2.6 million price demanded 657 days ago on September 17, 2014 (c0rrected). Yes, it’s a lovely old house, set on two beautiful acres in the RA-1 zone, and yes, the owners paid $2.6 for it in 2005, so it’s understandable that they’ve refused to acknowledge that their house is worth less than that now, but the market’s been telling them that for two years (!) Today’s 7.5% cut is a good sign that reality is sinking in, but it may be not enough of a cut to overcome the stigma of staleness and the”if it’s any good, how come nobody else has bought it?”question that settles onto old listings and just won’t lift.

24 Pecksland

24 Pecksland Rd

The owners of 24 Pecksland Road have shown a little less rigidity by dropping their house 14%, from $3.5 million to $3 million, after only a year of trying to get that first price. It’s a great house, with great potential, but besides being overpriced, it’s decorated like a mausoleum or, if anyone’s still alive in there, someone’s (rich) grandmother’s house; that’s not an attractive package for younger buyers.

The agent’s persuaded them to drop the price; now if she can just get them to move out, and take their furnishings with them.

ceiling

Friends don’t let friends wallpaper their ceilings

bedroom ceiling

Not even in bedrooms

 

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Yes, we do report Greenwich real estate news, when it crops up

Which is increasingly infrequent as we move into the summer, but such as it is, here it is:

226 Riversville

226 Riversville Road

226 Riversville Road, asking $1.175, reports a pending sale. The owner, an agent, paid $1,012,500 for it in 2015 after it had sat on the market for a year, redid the kitchen, painted it and did a nice job making it look good. If she did all that to flip it, she probably didn’t make out all that well, but then again, paying just 1/2 a commission allows a little extra room, and the profit will probably pay a private school tuition or two, so nothing to sneeze at. Nice house.

11 Maher Avenue

11 Maher Avenue

11 Maher Avenue is also pending. Asking $2.295 million, it was on the market just 32 days, so it’s probably a safe assumption that the sellers are getting close to that price. Maher’s a popular street with good reason, although I find it busier than I’d prefer because it’s got Brunswick at one end, but that’s never hurt prices here and people who live there profess to love it (and often prove it by staying put for years). As an aside, Zillow shows a 2007 sale here for $2.7 million or something, but that’s not true – error on the on-line town tax records. The last sale was in 2010 at about $1.6, and improvements have been made.

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Homeowners in the rest of the state are rich, they can pay

house

Woe is you

Some home foundations in a the corner of north eastern Connecticut are failing due to faulty concrete sold to contractors by an unscrupulous supplier, and the homeowners are suffering. Of course, the state has a plan: force homeowner insurance companies to pay for repairs, and in turn, jack up the rates of every other homeowner in the state to pay for it.

Not every individual woe is the responsibility of others, not every personal misfortune creates a right to demand others to pay up. Except in the Land of Hartford.

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And speaking of another manufactured failure

NYT:A Model for ‘Clean Coal’ Runs Off the Tracks: A Mississippi project, a centerpiece of President Obama’s climate plan, has been plagued by problems that managers tried to conceal, and by cost overruns and questions of who will pay.

Well of course it is – Obama never, ever wanted to see coal as a part of his rainbows and unicorn fart energy program, and said as much when he was still just a candidate in 2008. This was set up to fail and, more important, as the NYT discovered, allowed to fail, so that he and his successor can argue, “hey, we tried that, and it didn’t work”.

Of course, any number of people could have told them, and did, that it would never work, but $6 billion of “ernest money” shows they really, reeeally tried, by golly. It’s all about a good faith effort – once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

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Score one for AJ

Bluementhal Murphy

Well WE could have told you that; we just felt it’d be better coming from AJ

When the FBI investigation [sic] of Hillary was first announced, AJ wrote that the process was intended solely as a means to give the woman an official clean bill of health and remove it as a campaign issue. Our own CT senators, both lawyers presumably capable of reading criminal statutes  and one of whom is a master of the use of political prosecution, have demonstrated AJ’s prescience. Here. moments after the FBI’s announcement of non-prosecution, are the twin mouthpieces:  

Murphy: “This isn’t surprising. We’ve expected this announcement for a very long time. I’m frankly sorry it took this long to clear her name and hopefully this campaign can return to the issues that really matter to the American people.”

My hope is this marks a turning point where we can get away from name calling and start talking about real issues.”

It was an off way to “clear her name”, but that’s a minor matter: just like the lady’s husband’s impeachment, “it’s time to move on”.

Then Blumenthal: [“FBI Director Comey]’s a former colleague and a friend, and most important, his record demonstrates that he has both the capacity and the determination to make judgments about criminal matters with the highest degree of integrity and professionalism,” Blumenthal said. “So, I trust his judgment, and I believe it will have a great deal of credibility with the American people.”

Blumenthal added, “It will be more surprising and outrageous if the campaign of Donald Trump continues to focus on this issue when it has been decided authoritatively and credibly that no criminal charges are appropriate.

Nothing to see here, move along, move along.

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Down to the smallest detail: Government sponsored television network broadcasts faked firework show

Bikini fireworks

(Possibly irrelevant, but more interesting than a photo of dud fireworks)

PBS apologizes “for any confusion we may have cause viewers” by broadcasting last year’s capitol fireworks show last night and describing it as real. 

The only “confusion” this may have caused would have been among those who somehow still believe anything the government says or does; that’s a dwindling number.

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FBI Director “No reasonable prosecutor worried about his job security would bring this case”

James Comey

Bad girl!

We’re not in danger of becoming a banana republic: we’re too big a country for that. Instead, we’ve become a country as lawless as Russia or China, where power, not the rule of law, runs the agenda. Just as Putin’s minions abrogate contracts at his will, we now throw out contractual obligations to bond holders (GM, Puerto Rico), the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court reads the political message from the executive branch of government and meekly declares constitutional a law that clearly isn’t, and we enforce laws only as the whim of the president dictates, we prosecute, and don’t prosecute, as that same executive decides.

FBI Director Comey decides against prosecuting Clinton because he found “no intent” to violate the law. That’s not required by the relevant law, but who cares?

The Attorney General of the United States meets secretly with the husband of someone under investigation by the FBI, and who cares?

Intellectual lightweights like Chris Murphy say that stripping a constitutional right from individuals is too important to wait for the cumbersome right of due process to  be indulged, and who cares?.

Richard Posner, a once respected federal judge who several times has been considered for a seat on the Supreme Court, declared last week that there is “absolutely no value in the Constitution of the United States.”

Richard Posner is wrong, but his summary of what now passes for our country’s legal system is spot on.

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Price war, and in mid-country even

21 Baldwin Farms South

21 Baldwin Farms South

21 Baldwin Farms S. listed at $3.495 million back in April and was immediately engulfed in a bidding war. The prevailing buyer paid $3.550 last week. Nice house, but I have almost never seen a “winner” of one of these things come out ahead, long term. Maybe this will be the exception; after all, if there were multiple people interested in buying it, surely that will also be true five years or so down the line.

Yet that rarely proves the case.

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Another Cos Cob contract

6 School Street

6 School Street

6 School Street, asking $1.295 million.  It’s a very decent house, nicely renovated in 2008, buy I think I liked its 2011 sale price of $950,000 better. Then again, that was then, this is now.

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Profiles in opportunitism

bluemthal murphy

“And I remind viewers that www. sendcash.org is always open, 24 hours a day. But as you make your contribution, please keep the innocent victims of Orlando in your thoughts and prayers”

“The Bulletin”, a newspaper based somewhere in eastern Connecticut, weighs in on Blumenthal’s, Murphy’s and Himes’ latest stunt, and gets it wrong.

We agree that the fundraising drive, coming in the wake of the worst mass shooting in modern American history and in the midst of a pitched — and ultimately doomed — policy debate, was inappropriate. But state Rep. Dan Carter, R-Bethel, a candidate running to unseat incumbent Democrat Richard Blumenthal in the Senate, takes it too far by calling it “blood money.”

Carter’s vitriol suggests that Democrats like Blumenthal, Sen. Chris Murphy, Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, and the rest of the Connecticut delegation are not sincere and have cynically used the Orlando nightclub massacre as a political fundraising instrument.

What would you call it?

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The only effect of Global warming I’ve seen is that Al Gore’s gotten (much) richer, and fatuous fat head celebrities like DiCaprio get to fly around the world and toast themselves

Shark attacks helicopter

Global Warming: is there nothing it can’t do?

Cosmo: Global warming causing shark attacks. You can click the link to read a complete debunking of this idiocy by real live shark experts, but do you need to?

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