June 3, 2008

MT and SD Dem Primaries Near-Dead Thread

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:18 pm

This is a near-dead thread because, as noted before, Democratic Party pledged delegates have the ability to change their minds at the convention. Therefore, barring a concession, Hillary Clinton remains in the race. As long as superdelegates have the right to change their minds before the convention (I believe they do), Hillary Clinton has no good reason to end the race. The potential for pledged delegates to change their minds shouldn’t be underestimated either. Do you really think every one of Obama’s Iowa pledged delegates is comfortable with what they’ve seen in the past 90 days, and that not one of them is having second thoughts?


12:45 a.m. — Calling it a night. Obama’s margin in MT is 18% with 44% counted, and Hillary’s lead in SD has narrowed to 10% with 98% counted. My 10:20 p.m. conclusion stands. The last 90 days represent the biggest embarrassment any major-party presidential candidate has ever produced — and it would have been worse, had not the fawning Old Media press corps attempted to protect him at every turn.

A good barometer of how far the so-called mainstream press has gone off the rails — In 1972 George McGovern had his Tom Eagleton problem, and it caused him quite a bit of widely-known grief. Barack Obama has had the equivalent of at least a half-dozen Tom Eagleton incidents and gaffes (it’s probably closer to a dozen) — and the press has attempted to minimize or excuse each and every one of them to the point of self-parody.

12:10 a.m. – Obama has a convincing lead of 59-39 in MT, but only 26% are counted. Hard to imagine that any particular part of the state is more or less Hillary-friendly, so an Obama win there seems assured, and was called a couple of hours ago by the nets. Hillary’s SD margin of 56-44 has held through 95% of the vote there.

10:30 p.m. – I’ll be back after midnight after something definitive comes in from Montana. Meanwhile, chew on the fact that Jimmy Carter, who apparently has declared or will declare for Obama tonight, said two years ago that the Illinois senator isn’t ready for prime time. What has happened during the campaign that would make anyone believe that Obama has proven anything? All I see is an ever-growing list of reasons why he’s objectively unfit for the office he currently holds, let alone the presidency.

10:25 p.m. – The first 10,000 MT votes are in and Obama has a 50-46 lead. I’m guessing these are all of the early/absentee votes, since the precincts counted percentage is still zero. Hillary hangs on to her 12-point lead in SD, with half the votes counted.

10:20 p.m. – Reviewing the history at Real Clear Politics, starting on March 4, up to and including South Dakota tonight:
- Clinton has won 9 states/entities (RI, OH, TX, PA, IN, WV, KY, PR, SD) and 502 delegates.
- Obama has won 5 states/entities (VT, WY, MS, NC, OR) and 462 delegates.
- I’m considering Guam a toss-up, given the razor-thin, margin, the call for a recount (can’t tell if it happened), and the huge proportion of spoiled ballots (500, or about 9% — in a caucus! Insert dumb Democrat voter joke here).

Regardless of the MT outcome, I can guarantee you that no presumptive nominee of any party has had his butt kicked so thoroughly and completely, in so many states, over such an extended period of time, as Barack Obama has in the past 13 weeks. There is no historical precedent for this. Obama comes in with the weakest within-party support of any major-party candidate in at least the past 80 years — and I should add that he doesn’t deserve the support he is receiving.

10:00 p.m. – Now to the known results:

According to ABC, Clinton wins South Dakota, claiming 56% of the vote with 38% counted.

Apparently the polls in MT have yet to close.

The Kelo-New London Calamity Continues (‘Barren Land’; with Links to Previous Related Posts)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:12 pm

It has been nearly three years since the Kelo v. New London ruling by the US Supreme Court, and just short of two years since the city of New London, CT settled with the final two Fort Trumbull holdouts, Susette Kelo and the Cristofaro family.

The Supreme Court’s majority, in their June 2005 Kelo ruling, declared that “public use” as stated in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution really means “public purpose” — that is, instead of the government being able to take land through eminent domain only for the purpose of building a public structure or creating a public service (road, bridge, school, park, etc.), the government can take land for any reason it believes a worthy one. In the case of New London, the city believed that demolishing occupied, functioning houses that had stood for over 100 years and developing “something else” that would garner the city more tax revenues was a worthy public purpose.

What has been done with the property since then?

As a development-related deadline loomed in mid-May, a Hartford TV station filed this report, and gave us the answer:

Plans Stall In Fort Trumbull
Land Remains Barren After Homes Torn Down

Next month marks the third anniversary of the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed the city of New London to use the power of eminent domain. But, not much progress has been made in Fort Trumbull, leaving some wondering whether the homeowners were forced out for nothing.

….. Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Kevin Hogan reported that where homes once stood, the land is now barren.

He reported that Corcoran and Jennison is having problems securing the $18 million that’s needed to build the townhouses.

The city said the clock on its extension to find the funding is running out.

Two weeks later, Corcoran Jennison failed to secure the financing required for the project (New London Day links in this post will last only a few days; a paid subscription is required after that):

‘It’s Over’ For Corcoran Jennison, NLDC

The Corcoran Jennison company has lost its exclusive right to develop nearly the entire northern half of the Fort Trumbull peninsula, officials from the New London Development Corp. said in an interview Friday with the editorial board of The Day.

”We signed a development agreement with CJ, and now we’re without one,” said an unequivocal NLDC President Michael Joplin. “There is no preferred developer at the fort.”

”It’s over,” corporation Vice President Karl-Erik Sternlof said of the company’s agreement with the NLDC to be the sole developer of a hotel, a 7-acre office parcel and more than 100 housing units.

That agreement, which has been extended four times since 2001, expired at 5 p.m. Thursday when Corcoran Jennison failed to meet a critical deadline to secure financing for its $18.7 million rental complex of 66 apartments and 14 townhouses.

….. Corcoran Jennison officials have said a slowed housing market and stingy lending climate had widened the housing plan’s “financing gap” to more than $3 million. That gap assumed a nearly $12 million loan and a 20 percent – or $4 million – investment from the Boston company.

….. Sternlof said the NLDC’s own consultant believes that it may be two to three years before any developer could realize a profit by bringing housing to Fort Trumbull.

A New London Day editorial tried to put lots of lipstick on a very ugly pig:

It’s time for a fresh look at Fort Trumbull. Yes, the economy is anemic and credit is tight, but there may be a developer out there with a viable plan.

That’s the potential silver lining in the Corcoran Jennison cloud. The city now has the chance to at least find out if there is someone else out there who has the wherewithal to breathe new life into Fort Trumbull.

The Municipal Development Plan for the 90-acre peninsula was developed a decade ago and based on a comprehensive environmental evaluation of the property. The major components include the housing, hotel, office space and a museum. Mr. Joplin said there is wide latitude within the plan to tweak the various components.

….. The state has a big stake in what happens at Fort Trumbull. It has invested about $180 million in the neighborhood – including about $80 million on the Fort Trumbull Municipal Development Plan, $25 million for Fort Trumbull State Park; and sizeable outlays for acquisition and remediation of a former scrap metal yard, waste water facility upgrades and incentives for Pfizer Inc., which located its global headquarters adjacent to the old Fort Trumbull neighborhood.

Apparently, “Kelo” is the word that shall not be uttered at the New London Day. It appears in neither of the two Day articles I reviewed.

Dozens of destroyed homes and surely more than $200 million later, including costs and lost property taxes to the city, there’s nothing. And, based on current plans, if the project ever comes to pass, the NLDC will have replaced a bunch of homes with ….. a bunch of homes.

Even though the property involved was the subject of the case that, in the absence of overriding legislation, fundamentally changed the nature of the government-property owner relationship, various news searches indicate that the project’s starting-over status is apparently not “newsworthy” enough for national exposure.

It’s as if news organizations believe that no one is interested in how things have really worked out on the ground. I doubt that very much. I’ve seen plenty of “years later, nothing’s been done” stories covered over the several decades I have followed the news. Why not this one?

Perhaps it’s because a lot of people would react as one commenter did to the Day’s editorial:

People were forced from their homes in order to please the greedy, gouging local government’s quest for more tax money. The complete disrespect by the NLDC, The NL Day, the City of New London and the US Supreme Court towards the sovereign right to own property must never be forgiven.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


Selected Previous Posts:
- March 23 — Kelo Calamity: What Has Happened in New London after the Kelo Decision Shows Why the Supremes’ Ruling Was Wrong
- Dec. 14, 2007 — Kelo-New London Update: Media Ignores Yet Another Six-Month Delay
- Nov. 30, 2007 — Kelo Update: Old Media Ignores Latest New London Development Setback
- May 19, 2007 — Kelo-New London Aftermath: The Fort Trumbull Crumble Gets No Old Media Attention
- Mar. 25, 2007 — Kelo-New London Update: When Will the National Press Cover the Project’s Lack of Progress?
- Jan. 11, 2007 — Moving at the Speed of Government in New London, CT
- June 30, 2006 — Kelo New London: It’s Over

Column of the Day: Sowell on Obama’s ‘Irrelevant Apologies’

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:07 am

Irrelevant indeed:

It is amazing how seriously the media are taking Senator Barack Obama’s latest statement about the latest racist rant from the pulpit of the church he has attended for 20 years. But neither that statement nor the apology for his rant by Father Michael Pfleger really matters, one way or the other. Nor does Senator Obama’s belated resignation from that church.

For any politician, what matters is not his election year rhetoric, or an election year resignation from a church, but the track record of that politician in the years before the election.

Despite clever spin from Obama’s supporters about avoiding “guilt by association,” much more is involved than casual association with people like Jeremiah Wright and Father Pfleger.

In addition to giving $20,000 of his own money to Jeremiah Wright, as a state senator Obama directed $225,000 of the Illinois taxpayers’ money for programs run by Father Pfleger. In the U.S. Senate, Obama earmarked $100,000 in federal tax money for Father Pfleger’s work. Giving someone more than 300 grand is not just some tenuous, coincidental association.

Are Barack Obama’s views shown by what he says during an election year or by what he has been doing for decades before?

The complete contrast between Obama’s election year image as a healer of divisions and his whole career of promoting far-left grievance politics, in association with America-haters like Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, are brushed aside by his supporters who talk about getting back to “the real issues.”

There is nothing more real than a man’s character and values. The track record of what he has actually done is far more real than anything he says, however elegantly he says it.

The objectively unfit Obama should get swept away if the election is even remotely about character. And of course it is, regardless of the outcome.

Things I’d Like To Post About Today ….. (060308, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 6:02 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • LGF found an old Jimmy Carter ad from 1976. Guess what word it emphasized?
  • Barack Obama meets Britney Spears. Priceless.
  • Patrick Poole has it all on Christopher Paul. Another Central Ohio jihadist bites the dust. Patrick also made a great point in a separate e-mail, where he pointed out that plea-bargaining to a life sentence means that the government’s evidence and case must be really strong. Perhaps the Columbus-area dhimmitude will break a bit.
  • NixGuy, reacting to news that job prospects for college grads entering the workforce are better than expected — “….. seems to be a trend. It’s almost as if there was an overly gloomy perception of the economy coming from … somewhere.” Really?
  • In case you missed it — The Republicans at the Ohio State House wasted no time in forcing the resignation of John Widowfield. Good.
  • From the party constantly working on inventing new ways to lose — Bob Novak says that Bush and Rove are pressuring McCain to take on Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney as Veep.
  • Another one bites the dust in the shareholder strike suit kickback schemes — Melvyn Weiss.
  • Remember that post I did about Iraq possibly being safer than some American cities at various times during the past 30 years? This story puts flesh and blood on the comparison. The two thugs who killed Lance Cpl. Robert Crutchfield should be shown no mercy.

Positivity: Bystanders Lauded For Helping Save Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From La Porte, Indiana:

5/23/2008 10:30:00 AM

Joanne Gorecki and Tracy Blanton honored at ceremony for quick action to assist Drew White, who suffered serious heart attack.

As of Dec. 2, 2007, Drew White had never met Joanne Gorecki or Tracy Blanton.

But through a nearly tragic twist of fate, the two women were responsible for White being able to enjoy his daughter Natalie’s first Christmas and first birthday.

“It’s very difficult to fathom how close I came to losing my life,” White said.

On that day, a Sunday, White was officiating a youth girls basketball game in La Porte High School’s fieldhouse. He had been an official some seven years prior, and had just gotten back into it three weeks before the day that would change his life forever.

During the game, White took advantage of a break in the action to try and calm one of the coaches, who had taken umbrage with a call or two.

After he rectified the situation, White jogged across the court and began to feel funny. He remembers dropping to one knee, and the next thing he knew he was in the emergency room at La Porte Hospital wearing a breathing mask and wondering why his chest hurt so bad.

White, 29, who had no history of heart problems, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. He was in atrial fibulation and his heart was beating too fast. Out of every 10 people who are stricken with this heart ailment, only one survives. Even then, only one in 20 will survive without brain damage.

But thanks to Blanton, an intensive care nurse at La Porte Hospital, and Gorecki, a former nurse in Chicago who now works as a nurse in her husband’s doctor’s office, White was one of the lucky few who can live to tell about his miracle.

“When I reread this report, I thought, ‘Wow. This sounds like TV, because this is the way it happens on TV,’” said Rick Ludlow, a paramedic who responded to the call. “It was the right place at the right time. We were lucky, and maybe we were a little bit good.”

Ludlow’s comments came at a ceremony Wednesday at the La Porte County Complex in honor of Emergency Medical Services Week. During the brief program, emergency workers were honored, as were Gorecki and Blanton. They were given Susan J. Kohler Citizen Lifesaving Awards.

For White, those are small tokens of appreciation. When he collapsed, Gorecki and Blanton immediately sprang to action. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.