February 15, 2012

Well-Kept Secret: New London, Conn. Mayor Has Apologized for Kelo Property Seizures

KeloHomeSmall2011Daryl Justin Finizio, the recently elected Democratic Party Mayor of New London, Connecticut has apologized to the families and homeowners who lost their homes as a result of the city’s decision to condemn properties in the Fort Trumbull area of that city. Those efforts began over a decade ago. A lawsuit by the victims which attempted to stop the city from taking their properties and destroying their homes ultimately led to the Supreme Court’s Kelo vs. New London decision in 2005. The Court ruled in favor of the City based on what it believed was “a carefully considered development plan.” A few remaining holdouts who tried to get the city to reverse course after the ruling, including Susette Kelo, lost their battle and settled with the city in 2006. To my knowledge, no ground has been broken on any kind of new development in the area originally occupied by the homes in the 5-1/2 years since.

Obviously, one could argue that the apology is way too late, given that the buildings have long since been leveled.

But considering that it relates to one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in the past few decades, how much opposition that decision has generated since it was handed down in 2005, and how so many other trivial apologies get so much more attention, it’s more than a little surprising that there has been virtually no coverage of it outside of the immediate local area, as seen in the results of the following Google News search on ["new london" kelo apology] (input exactly as indicated between brackets):

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AP’s Original Report on Obama at Master Lock Misstates His Related SOTU Statement

ObamaAtMasterLock021512Today, President Obama visited Master Lock, a company he cited in his State of the Union speech on January 24 using the following words: “But right now, it’s getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive. A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home. Today, for the first time in fifteen years, Master Lock’s unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity.”

Now note how Ken Thomas’s report at the Associated Press originally described (since revised) what Obama supposedly said:

Before going on an extended West Coast fundraising spree, the president was visiting Master Lock, a Milwaukee maker of padlocks that was cited in his State of the Union address for bringing back 100 jobs to the U.S. from China in response to higher labor and logistical costs in Asia.

(UPDATE: Thomas revised his text to exclude the specific 100-job SOTU reference shortly after this post was prepared, and moved the 100-job pickup to a separate paragraph. The original mistake was nonetheless made.)

What Thomas originally wrote is not what Obama said. If he had cited a situation involving only 100 jobs as proof that a wave of jobs is coming back during his State of the Union speech, even his fellow Democrats might have laughed him out of the Capitol Building.

100 employees isn’t even a really significant number to Master Lock’s parent company, let alone the U.S. economy, as shown in the company’s self-congratulatory press release on the night of Obama’s speech:
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Fact-Checking AP ‘Fact Checker’ Woodward: Bush Did Not ‘Keep the Cost of Wars Out of Budgets’

On Monday, Calvin Woodward, with help from Martin Crutsinger and Pete Yost, produced a “Fact Check” on the budget proposal the White House released earlier that day.

After properly criticizing the administration’s plan to use “about $850 billion in savings from ending the wars and steers some $230 billion of that to highways” (and actually quoting someone knowledgeable, who pointed out that “Drawing down spending on wars that were already set to wind down and that were deficit-financed in the first place should not be considered savings”), Woodward went off the rails:

President George W. Bush kept the cost of the wars out of his budgets, a contentious accounting maneuver that may have papered over the impact on spending projections but deepened the national debt as surely as if the price tag had been shown transparently. Taken together, the Bush and Obama budget tricks seem to suggest war costs nothing but ending it frees a ton of money.

Horse manure.

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Santelli on the Tea Party Movement: ‘Don’t Break Windows, Break Phony Arguments’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:30 am

Brilliant (HT to Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters; short ad will appear first):


While the vandals are on the street corners, the Tea Party conservatives, they’re working state houses, the governorships, the mayorships, the Senate, the House. See, they understand, they’ve read the Constitution. If you want to make a difference, don’t go break windows, okay? Break some phony arguments that things like austerity are going to put you in the hole. What put you in the hole is borrowing 38 cents of every dollar you spent. That’s what put you in the hole, pure and simple. Everything else is political spin.

Bitter, Truth-Challenged Globe Sportswriter: Boston Goalie Thomas Endangering His Legacy

TimThomasBostonBruins2012It would appear that if Kevin Paul Dupont were king, he would be exploring how to send the Stanley Cup Finals exploits of Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas last year down the memory hole. Thomas “held the Canucks to eight goals in seven games” and became the first goalie ever to shut out his team’s opponent in a deciding Game 7 on the road, helping the Bruins win their first Cup in almost 40 years.

Since he can’t do that, the Boston Globe sportswriter appears to want to use Thomas’s absence from the team’s White House visit three weeks ago and subsequent Facebook postings as evidence that Thomas’s “legacy” is in danger (his article’s headline states that Thomas needs to “restore” it). In making his supposed case, the self-professed “confused” Dupont made and repeated a fundamental factual error. Those errors destroy any credibility he may have had in portraying Thomas’s decision and subsequent Facebook postings as somehow disrupting team unity:

Thomas skipped a White House visit, which was a mandatory team event.

… Skipping the mandatory team event could have prompted Chiarelli to fine or suspend him.

That’s strange, since New England Sports Network’s Ricky Doyle quoted a top Bruins executive as follows on the day of Thomas’s White House absence:
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Latest PJ Media Column (‘Obama’s Farcical Budget Betrays a Crisis-Driven Electoral Strategy’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:47 am

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Friday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

The column’s core point, demonstrated by reference to the numbers: The Obama administration would like to see the government hit the $16.394 trillion debt ceiling before Election Day so it can create another orchestrated “crisis” it believes it will work to its advantage.

The numbers indicate that the government appears to be on track to do just that.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (021512)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:35 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Survival of pilot after plane crash called miracle

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:30 am

From Northern Mississippi:

8:18 PM, Feb. 14, 2012

Single-engine aircraft runs out of fuel in north Miss

Injured and disoriented, a pilot was trapped upside down in his crashed airplane for several hours Tuesday but was able to make calls on his cellphone while rescuers searched the north Mississippi woods where he went down, authorities said after finding the man alive.

Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell said the pilot, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital for treatment after crashing his single-engine Piper Cherokee Six when the plane ran out of fuel and went down near the border of Itawamba and Monroe counties. The pilot’s condition was not immediately available. He was the only person aboard.

“We got him out. He was living. He was shook up and cut up real bad, but he was coherent. What he’s been through, it was a miracle,” Cantrell said. “We don’t know his name. We tried to talk to him, but he couldn’t really say much.” The sheriff said the man appeared to be between 40 and 50 years old.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the plane was about 18 miles southeast of Tupelo when the pilot reported a problem Tuesday morning. Bergen said an alert was sent to airports and authorities within a 50-mile radius of the plane’s last known location at about 7:45 a.m.

Bergen said she couldn’t say what kind of problem the pilot reported, but local authorities said he told air traffic controllers he was running out of gas while flying from Ocala, Fla., to Olive Branch. The plane is registered to Buccaneer Aviation Inc., a Delaware corporation, but the company appears to operate in Florida.

The pilot tried to give air traffic controllers his location before going down, the sheriff said. Residents in the area reported seeing a plane that appeared to be going down into the woods. Firefighters, law enforcement officers and others from Itawamba, Lee and Monroe counties joined in the search.

Cantrell said the pilot called someone on his cellphone and authorities used “pings” from cellular towers in the area to help narrow their search. Two Army National Guard UH-72 Lakota helicopters joined the search.

One of the helicopters spotted the wreckage about 12:40 p.m., said Guard spokesman Timothy Powell. …

Go here for the rest of the story.