November 21, 2005

Rush Is on a Roll for the Ages on the Weekend’s “Cut and Run” Vote

This was a day that called for an exception to my general rule of not listening to talk radio in the office.

Rush was on fire today. There was much more I could have included that was just as good as what’s below.

Links are gone as of 6PM Tuesday.

Excerpts:

(on Schmidt and the vote)
You know, and Jean Schmidt — she’s the freshman congressperson from Ohio that defeated Paul Hackett. You know, she caused quite a ruckus on the floor of the House last week when she read this message that she got from a Marine that said, “Only cowards cut and run.” Well, they are cowards. Let’s be bold here. They wouldn’t even vote to withdraw. They’ll go on television; they’ll go on any television show they can; they’ll go on any network they can get on. “We need to withdraw! The president lied about the intelligence. It’s an illegitimate war. It’s unjust. We have no business being there, we’ve only created more terrorism.” Well, then vote that way. If you’ve got the guts to go on television and say all this, when the proposition comes up in the US House, why don’t you go vote for it? Are you afraid to vote what you’re actually saying? What else can we assume? They just want to talk about it, folks. They want to be able to grab the attention of the far left that funds and runs their party. Do not ever forget that what this is really all about is money, as far as the liberals are concerned. They know who’s running their party from the financial side. They know it’s these far-left antiwar fringe kooks and they’re just feeding them red meat so these people will think that the Democrats have a spine, so the Democrats are actually dominating so they’ll continue to send them money. But when it comes time for them to put pedal to the metal, when you’ve got a floor vote in the House of Representatives, what do they do? Only three of them voted.

The way they are so confidently speaking, but they don’t want to vote on the record, because that will turn off the American people. They’re a bunch of weasels. They’re a true bunch of weasels and this is why we cannot trust them to run the national security of this country. We can’t trust that they’re even telling us what they really think. Because if they were telling us what they really thought, they would have voted that way, and besides, if all of these public opinion polls are such that the vast majority of the American people think we’ve lost the war, that we continue to lose, that we’re wrong, that we shouldn’t have gone in there, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, then where is the problem? I mean, you’ve got the safety net of the public opinion behind you. Vote for it. But, no! Only three of them did.

(on why the opposition is where it is)
They are truly a fringe minority whose voices are being amplified by a sympathetic media that has a disgust and dislike for President Bush, and so they’re made to appear larger in size and voice than they really are.

The media understand that if Bush is seen as leading a successful war against the enemy, the libs are going to be out of power for generations and this is all about getting their power back — and if it means defeating the US or participating in that or calling us evil, calling us the losers, then they’ll do it to get their power back, and they know that if this force succeeds and is demonstrably a success, that they’re going to be out of power for generations. If you ask me, it is the terrorists and the liberals today who are fighting for their very survival.

….. But the fact is, it’s the libs who are fighting for their very survival, as are the terrorists — and, you know, the war, to have been wrong, we have to lose. That’s their battle cry. They must have that as a belief if they’re to have any credibility amongst themselves. The war is wrong. We must lose. If those two things are not true, then so much of the liberal belief system will be cracked. So much of it will be shattered. But as liberals, as far leftists, they must believe that war is wrong, and they must believe that we must lose it, since we’re the evil ones who started it. That’s their world view. But the problem is, we’re winning. The Iraqis are winning. The liberals are demanding defeat. I can think of no other explanation. They’re demanding defeat. That’s what we’ve seen all of last week.

(on how the left’s histrionics aid and abet the enemy)
Let me tell you, the only thing that the al-Qaeda people have going for them, the only thing that the real enemies of the United States have going for them… Mr. Snerdley, would you like to take a guess as to what I’m going to say? What’s the only thing the enemy has going for it? The American left. The American left and the American media. They are praying that Ted Kennedy and his ilk win the day. They are praying that people like Dingy Harry and Nancy Pelosi and all these kooks on the American left websites out there have their way. They are monitoring the American left, they are studying the American left, and they are exploiting the American left and even Zawahiri in his most letter to Zarqawi talked about the Vietnam experience. They’re trying to exploit the same thing because they hear the American left trying to exploit the same thing. So we have al-Qaeda demanding our defeat, we have the American left demanding our defeat of their own country and as it is, they are the only thing the enemy has going for it …..

(on what the response would be to our withdrawal)
Bin Laden viewed our withdrawal from Somalia as weakness. What I want to know is: What do these idiots think that our withdrawal from Iraq will be viewed as? When you get right down to it, I have to assume that the Democrats, the liberals, the American left, don’t care. I have to assume they want our defeat. They claim that we’re already defeated, in fact, and that’s why we need to pull out. We’re losing this war. We are the evil ones. We’re losing.

(on how this is NOT Vietnam)
….You have to understand what the left is all about here. The left is all about recapturing their power and they know that if this ends up successfully, they are going to be out of power for generations. The only thing the enemy has going for it is America’s liberals. They’re praying, al-Qaeda is praying that Dingy Harry and Ted Kennedy and Biden and all the rest win the day. But it isn’t going to happen. Not this time. This is not Vietnam. There is a new media, in addition to the old mainstream bunch. The new media will not allow what happened to our brave men and women in Vietnam to happen again. It simply will not be permitted.

Kelo Update 2 for Nov. 21: NY Times Notes Financial Viability Problem, Confirms Two Key Points, Omits Others

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:41 pm

Note: Todd Zywicki at Volokh had a mini-post linking to the Times piece about 15 minutes before me while I was composing this (I checked earlier this morning–I really did).
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Quick overview: The Times article notes the opinions of some that the economics of the Fort Trumbull project may no longer work, notes that the project may begin away from the holdouts’ properties, confirms Pfizer’s active involvement in the project, and unfortunately omits several key items its readers should know to be fully informed.
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The New York Times article on the status of the Kelo eminent domain controversy starts by informing its readers, whom they must think will be surprised at the news, that not only is the project involved not started yet, it may not even fly (excerpted paragraphs are presented in a different order than they appear in the original article; delayed HT to Ann Althouse):

With so many complications, some people are unsure whether the city’s initial vision for the property – a mix of housing, hotel and office space intended to transform part of its riverfront and bolster a declining tax base – is even realistic anymore.

“Winning took so long,” said Mayor Jane L. Glover, “that the plan may not be as viable in 2005 or 2006 or 2007.”

….. One point of contention: Corcoran Jennison (the developer–Ed.) is resisting pressure from the city to build a waterfront hotel first, as was initially planned, out of concern that there is no market for one.

Corcoran Jennison says that Pfizer, which built a major research center next to the site in the late 1990′s and pushed for the Fort Trumbull development, backed away from a commitment to help pay for the hotel as the lawsuit dragged on. And the prospects for a Coast Guard museum, which under one plan could be built on the holdouts’ land, are also unclear.

….. “This lawsuit put a chill on the development of the whole 90 acres, no doubt in my mind,” said Thomas J. Londregan, the city’s director of law. “Any developer knew that whatever they did would most likely be appealed to the courts.”

The article also confirms two contentions of eminent-domain opponents that supporters have tried to deny. First, echoing Scott Bullock’s claim in his letter yesterday to The New London Day that the project doesn’t require that the holdouts’ property be seized for the project to begin:

If any construction begins soon, it will happen away from the area where the holdouts remain, said Marty Jones, president of Corcoran Jennison, which has been under contract on the project since 1999.

Second, and more important, The Times piece not only refutes Pfizer’s longtime contention of noninvolvement in pushing the project, it contains a contractor statement that Pfizer had previously made a financial commitment to the project (bold is mine):

Corcoran Jennison says that Pfizer, which built a major research center next to the site in the late 1990′s and pushed for the Fort Trumbull development, backed away from a commitment to help pay for the hotel as the lawsuit dragged on. And the prospects for a Coast Guard museum, which under one plan could be built on the holdouts’ land, are also unclear.

There are several errors and omissions in the piece that have to be noted:

  • The article says that “a key (New London Development Corporation) executive was forced out.” They know darn well it was the Chief Operating Officer, who was also the day-to-day “face” of the NLDC.
  • It fails to mentions the NLDC’s intimidation tactics of asking for years of back rent and saying they would buy the properties at Year 2000 market values that generated so much negative reaction that it precipitated a three-way fallout between the city, the state, and the NLDC.
  • It doesn’t mention the results of the election two weeks ago, when an upstart party that, among other things, wants the taking process to stop, took 2 of 7 New London Council seats and barely missed taking a third.

Perhaps the reason The Times omitted the NLDC’s intimidation attempts was because The Times aggressive eminent-domain tactics (go halfway through post for NYT-specific info) in building its new Manhattan headquarters?
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UPDATE: Heritage Foundation’s blog also covered the Times article.
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Selected Previous Posts:

Kelo Update 1 for Nov. 21: As New London Turns–Institute for Justice Letter Writer Strikes Back

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:39 am

Go here for Nov. 21 Update 2 on The New York Times article.
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I expect with the holiday season upon us, and the turnover in both bodies, that the New London Council and the New London Development Corporation (NLDC) won’t be up to much in the way of mischief between now and the beginning of 2006. But I (and Google News mail alerts) will be watching in case I’m wrong.

In the meantime, the war of words continues.

I didn’t think much of the letter from Peter Costas a week or so ago that appeared in The New London Day (link is to a blog that copied the letter), because he’s not from New London, and he seemed to misstate the facts so wildly that I figured it was best to ignore him. In fact, the letter seemed so “out there” that I didn’t finish reading it.

But Scott Bullock, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice (The Institute is the public interest law firm that is representing the Kelo property owners) did read the whole thing, and I can see why he thought it important to respond. And did he ever (link requires registration and will be unavailable in about a week; bolds are mine):

One would think that a former president of the Connecticut Bar Association, Peter L. Costas, would be a bit more careful with his own facts before seeking to address supposed “myths” surrounding the Fort Trumbull project and to personally attack residents living in the neighborhood. (“Dispelling the Myths of the Fort Trumbull Project,” Nov. 6,). But Mr. Costas is the latest in a long line of defenders of eminent domain abuse who think it is better to engage in ad hominem arguments rather than to honestly address the failures of the Fort Trumbull project.

….. To Mr. Costas, public outcry about this case has been whipped up by my organization, the Institute for Justice, and, if only New London residents got the facts, they would support what happened there.

The problem with this position is that New London citizens and the vast majority of the rest of the country do, in fact, get it. They understand that it is wrong to take property from one private owner to hand it over to another private owner simply because a city like New London thinks that the new owners will put the property to more “productive” use. That is why Kelo v. New London is perhaps the most universally despised Supreme Court decision in recent memory.

….. I will respond only to some of his more outrageous allegations.

Costas ….. trots out the tired old canard that the Fort Trumbull residents are holding up development in the peninsula. Nonsense. The residents own a total of 1.54 acres of land in a 90-acre area and never opposed development on parcels owned by the NLDC. Everyone admits that you can do development in that area and keep the folks there. The fact that the NLDC has never seriously pursued this option is one of the great travesties of this whole controversy. It would have saved years of litigation and expense. And, contrary to Mr. Costas, the municipal development plan would not have to be changed to accomplish this result. The plan itself calls for residences, and numerous changes have been made to it over the years without requiring the process to start anew. Indeed, the NLDC decided to keep the Italian Dramatic Club even though the plan does not call for a private social club in the area and the process did not have to start again.

Costas’ claim that the Fort Trumbull residents have been treated well throughout this whole affair is laughable. Just about everyone except the recently departed NLDC head, David Goebel, admits that the residents there were treated abysmally. I hope Mr. Costas is never threatened with the loss of his home for private development and then has to wage a multi-year battle against huge odds to try to save it. If he did, maybe then he might begin to understand what the residents of Fort Trumbull, both past and present, have gone through.

What is perhaps most outrageous in Mr. Costas’ article is his personal attacks on the property owners ….. he claims that most of the plaintiffs are landlords. Completely false.

Susette Kelo has lived in her home since she bought it in 1997 …..The Derys have lived in their homes for more than 100 years. Bill Von Winkle lives in one of the homes he owns in the Fort Trumbull area and rents out the others, which he renovated himself. The Gurteskys, until a recent family move, had lived in the Fort since the 1980s. Byron Athenian’s home is technically in his mother’s name but he is also a longtime resident of the Fort and always paid the mortgage and other expenses on the home. Members of the Cristofaro family have consistently lived in their family home since the 1970s. Only Rich Beyer, who owns two rental homes, does not live in the Fort. But he lovingly restored one of the old Victorians by hand and would like to do the same for the other one.

….. Mr. Costas then proceeds to falsely claim that the residents have been getting a free ride throughout this process by being able to keep any rents they collect and by not having to pay occupancy fees. What he fails to mention is that the terms by which the owners could stay in their homes was governed by an explicit court-sanctioned agreement among the parties in this case. The city and NLDC got several things in the agreement, including a very expedited trial schedule. In return, the residents would not be required to pay occupancy fee or rents to the NLDC. (Incidently, the rents supposedly collected by the property owners in this case are grossly exaggerated.) Again, this stipulation was agreed to by all parties and subsequently extended by the courts throughout this entire process. For Costas not to mention that this was agreed to by the parties and to instead imply that the residents were somehow underhanded is revolting. The one thing for which the property owners throughout this process were not responsible under the court agreement was the payment of taxes, due to the fact that the title to the properties have been in the hands of the NLDC since 2000. Nevertheless, several of the property owners still paid taxes throughout much of the time of this litigation because they did not want to give any sanction to the notion that the NLDC owned their homes. Mr. Costas failed to mention this inconvenient fact.

….. It’s time to end the attacks on the Fort Trumbull residents and for the NLDC to start developing on land that would not require removing people from their homes.

If nothing else, Mr. Costas’s original letter should disabuse anyone of the notion that there aren’t plenty of people, including lots of attorneys who should know better, who would be perfectly content to see the Kelo ruling stay in place as is.
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Selected Previous Posts:

Positivity: Cabbie Returns Bag of Gems Left in Car

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:09 am

He says he never gave a thought to keeping them (HT Good News Blog):

(more…)

Quote of the Day: Not Allowing DDT Has Killed Millions

Filed under: Economy,Quotes, Etc. of the Day — Tom @ 12:01 am

From a Wall Street Journal November 19 Letter to the Editor (requires subscription) from Harold M. Koenig, M.D., Chairman and President of Annapolis Center for Science Based Public Policy:

….. The simple fact is that malaria is a preventable and curable disease; that it still claims over a million lives each year is unconscionable.

DDT provides the most effective, cheapest and safest means of eradicating disease-spreading mosquitoes, but its use has been virtually banned since 1972 when a EPA decision was based more on Rachael Carson’s book “Silent Spring” than on sound science.

Many of the world’s leading scientists predicted 30 years ago that Carson’s crusade against DDT would allow some of the world’s deadliest diseases to return with dreadful consequences. The truth of that prediction is now upon us . . . right on schedule.