September 28, 2005

Air America Begging-for-Dollars Satire Becomes Reality

Filed under: Business Moves,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Scams — Tom @ 10:49 pm

Satire

August 2:
- The Right Place–” We Now Join the ‘Save Air America Radio’ Telethon, Already in Progress…”

Reality

September 22:
- Brian Maloney–”Panhandling Next?”
- Michelle Malkin–”Air America–Groveling for Cash”

Quote of the Day 2: On American Banks in China

From the last paragraph of a FrontPage Magazine piece on the unquantifiable risks American banks may be taking on in their zeal to gain a foothold in China (HT American Thinker; links added by me):

Finally, can a Beijing government that regularly suppresses the free speech rights of its citizens, imprisons religious and political dissidents, arms rogue nuclear powers and supports some of the world’s most notorious depots be trusted to protect the free enterprise rights of U.S. banks?

Kelo Update: New London Voters Pass Budget in Referendum by 96 Votes; CT Legislature Working on Eminent Domain Law Changes

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:16 am

The New London Day covers the story (requires registration; articles go into paid archive after seven days), and manages to avoid any use of the word “Kelo,” though this prior link shows it was on the minds of many:

New London Voters Pass $72M Budget As Challenge Fails
City officials, unions united to defeat Lower Our Taxes

New London — New London voters approved the city’s $72.56 million budget at a referendum Tuesday, turning back a challenge from the Lower Our Taxes political committee by a vote of 1,243 to 1,147.

The vote was a reversal of the city’s last budget referendum, one year ago, when the budget was rejected in every voting district but one after a similar lobbying effort by the taxpayer group, known as LOT. The group has forced a vote on the city’s budget for the last three years.

This time, supporters of the city’s budget, including municipal unions and city officials, staged a counter-effort of their own, combating what they called misinformation in LOT’s advertisements and warning that reducing revenues any further would lead to the elimination of police, fire and public works positions and cuts in everything from trash pickup to snowplowing on the city’s streets.

“We’re elated here,” said City Councilor Margaret “Peg” Curtin, speaking from the group’s headquarters at the Carpenters Local 24 union hall, after it was clear the yes votes had won. “In the long run, we thought that we’d be able to squeak by and we did.”

Curtin gave much of the credit to the get-out-the-vote effort led by Walter Watson, a member of the Board of Education who helped coordinate the pro-budget drive and served as treasurer of the political committee Vote Yes for New London.

Meanwhile, the Connecticut Legislature has two draft bills in process, and one legislator has an interesting prediction for the ultimate Kelo outcome:

The first proposed bill would essentially rewrite the statute used by the state and the New London Development Corp. to condemn the properties in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood for purposes of economic development.

The new language would add numerous procedural requirements. One of those would add a new check to development agencies like the NLDC, requiring a municipality to evaluate whether the agency’s development plan meets all the necessary criteria for public benefit and has a “reasonable expectation” of success before voting it up or down.

The second draft bill, which Lawlor said was “arguably more important,” would apply to all of the numerous clauses dealing with eminent domain throughout state statutes. The bill would require that every usage of the takings power for economic development be subjected to a three-pronged test showing that it is part of “an integrated development plan that has substantial and significant public uses or public benefits,” that it is not solely for the benefit of a private party, and that the taking is “reasonably necessary” to carry out the plan.

Lawlor said he did not expect a special session to be necessary — despite demands from Ward and other Republicans that the law should be changed before the new session begins in February — since the NLDC has agreed to hold off on seeking the eviction of the remaining occupants of the Fort Trumbull properties.

And, he said, that dispute will probably end without evictions, all heated rhetoric thus far to the contrary. “My prediction is that the New London situation ends with a compromise, where the city of New London, the development authority there and the individual homeowners work out their differences and this project goes forward,” Lawlor said. “It’s obvious to me that that’s how this ends.”

Positivity: Tiniest Preemie Now an Honor Student

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:05 am

The story is a year old. So?:

(more…)

Quote of the Day: On California’s Redistricting Initiative (and Relevance to Ohio)

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:59 am

Syndicated columnist Jill Stewart, endorsing a redistricting reform initiative on California’s November ballot (HT Hedgehog):

“Most people imagine that when they vote, they do so in a real community based largely on geography — a ‘voting district.’ That was true once. But now, the legislature uses computer programs to painstakingly divide voters by party — not community. Without their knowledge, Republican and Democrat are separated into bizarrely shaped ‘districts’ so overpopulated with one party that our two-party system is effectively quashed. Think ‘The Matrix.’ You’re force-fed to support a creepy apparatus that wants to control your world. You don’t even know it. California voters don’t know they’re corralled in fake ‘districts’ and force-fed pre-selected party hacks. The insiders who do know — the media, the think tanks, the supposed ‘civic’ groups — prefer to keep the debate among insiders only. It’s such trouble to involve the public.”

Ohio will have a similar initiative on the ballot in November 2005. I haven’t decided on it yet, because the devil is in the details of who’s in charge of the redraw. But take a look at the OH congressional district map:
Map
Now try to tell me these districts have any other reason besides party politics to exist as they are currently drawn.