Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chamber's home, garden & business expo on Saturday

The Cheshire Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual:

Home, Garden & Business Expo
Saturday April 4 from 9am - 2pm
at Cheshire High School

The Kiwanis Colonial Breakfast will begin 8a.m.

Tim White

Dodd to liveblog at MLN tomorrow (Wed) at 11:30am

Click here to visit the live video blog that's scheduled for 11:30am for Wednesday at My Left Nutmeg. I already posted my request that Senator Dodd subpoena all the bailout information from The Fed.

No idea if this is an April Fool's joke.

Tim White

Stimulus package - energy tax credits for your home

Excerpted from the EPA website and date February 27, 2009:

Investment Tax Credit for Installation of Solar, Geothermal, and Wind Power

For residential properties, this credit removes the previous $2,000 cap on the 30 percent federal tax credit for purchase and installation of solar thermal and geothermal property. For business, the previous $4,000 cap for purchase and installation of small-scale wind property (defined as wind power with a maximum generation capability no larger than 20 kW). For example, if it cost a homeowner $25,000 to purchase and install solar cells for electricity generation, the existing legislation would have limited the credit for installing this system to $2,000. Under ARRA, $7,500 of the installation cost would be offset by a tax credit. If a business were to spend $100,000 installing small-scale wind property, the previous credit of $4000 will no longer apply and the tax credit will instead be $30,000.

Keep in mind that solar power can be harnessed via solar electric or solar thermal units.

Tim White

Obama administration official shows his globalist view

As President Obama heads to the G20 summit in London, we get this from the AP:

"For the first time, there’s a recognition that major emerging markets and developing countries have a critical role at the table," said Mike Froman, a White House international economic adviser.

But will that mean action to stop a global downward spiral?

Mr. Froman acknowledged that there have been few examples of international gains in times of crisis. "The depression was made ’great’ by the lack of cooperation," he said, noting that nations like to keep control over their own fiscal and monetary policies.

Well isn't that just a shame! Nations, including America, like to keep control over their own fiscal and monetary policies.

Mr. Froman even suggests that America heads to the G20 and the world should expect America to be uncooperative. Is he trying to place America in a good light? Doesn't sound it to me.

I suggest President Obama add Mike Froman to the list of "people to be sacked," along with Bernanke, Geithner and Summers. Sorry Mr. Froman, I don't want America's fiscal and monetary policies governed by these guys:

I prefer having the ability to throw the bums out!

Tim White

Dollars, but no sense, at The Fed. $13 trillion and counting!

Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry at Bloomberg News continue shedding light on the extent to which Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner and Larry Summers are demanding the printing presses be run:

The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year...

The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008...

The combined commitment has increased by 73 percent since November, when Bloomberg first estimated the funding, loans and guarantees at $7.4 trillion...

Click here to see the entire article, including the details of the $12.8 trillion that Ben, Tim, Larry and Hank Paulson decided to print.

Tim White

Legislative response to my query about stimulus funding for a pool structure

Yesterday I mentioned that I emailed Cheshire's state Legislators. I've already gotten a response from Rep. Esty:


Both Vickie and I have been in touch with the Gov’s office about the $38 million. Plans as yet unclear – DOE regs require the state to submit a plan by May 15, which will not be specific projects, I believe, but the contours of which categories the money will be used for. Focus is on energy efficiency, green jobs training, etc. Talk, too, about using the dollars for loans rather than grants, at least for larger projects.

Might be faster to talk on the phone in the next few days (but probably after the budget comes out on Thursday.)


So who knows? Maybe something could happen.

On a related note, the Energy Commission is involved in the planning of an Earth Day event at the Public Library on April 18. Elizabeth Esty will be offering comments.

Tim White

* Elizabeth "replied all." So I don't expect to hear from anyone else.

Chris Murphy, my dad and the founding of America

Congressman Chris Murphy continues working with my dad, John White, to pass a Congressional resolution to encourage public schools to display the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

My dad has also approached Chris to see if he'd work to give George Washington a Congressional Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is the highest award given American soldiers. Cheshire has two recipients (not winners - no one wins such an award). See here for the stories that led to the Medals for Barney Barnum and Eri Woodbury.

Excerpted from an online petition supporting my dad's goal:

There were many occasions when General Washington showed incredible courage and disregard for his own personal safety. Perhaps most notable of these acts, and for which he should be honored with the MOH, was during the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777. Accounts of this battle explain in detail how General Washington rallied troops by riding out in front of the American lines, positioning him self between his own troops and the British lines. While musket balls from both directions flew past Washington, the General held his ground inspiring the American troops to advance on the British positions, ultimately pushing the British back and winning the Battle of Princeton.

Due to his actions during the Battle of Princeton, General George Washington established him self as an American Hero and a leader who inspired his men by example. General Washington’s willingness to lead his troops from the front, while shots from British sharp shooters and from his own men flew across the battle field around him, is an act of incredible bravery in the face of advancing British forces. This single act of courage earned the respect of his men, and inspired an army that defeated the British and secured the right of existence for Americans to live free of tyrannical rule.

Tim White

Monday, March 30, 2009

G20: Russia wants a gold standard (of sorts)

According to the UKs Telegraph, Russia is telling the G20 that they want gold backing for a future world currency:

Arkady Dvorkevich, the Kremlin's chief economic adviser, said Russia would favour the inclusion of gold bullion in the basket-weighting of a new world currency based on Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund.

Chinese and Russian leaders both plan to open debate on an SDR-based reserve currency as an alternative to the US dollar at the G20 summit in London this week, although the world may not yet be ready for such a radical proposal.

Mr Dvorkevich said it was "logical" that the new currency should include the rouble and the yuan, adding that "we could also think about more effective use of gold in this system". (by Ambrose Evans Pritchard)

So there are two issues here:

1) a gold standard (or some derivation)
2) a world currency

Both of these would have massive impacts on life in America. I support the concept of a gold standard, painful though it would be initially. But I strongly oppose the creation of a world currency... something that would make Americans beholden to these guys:

No thanks.

Tim White

Sam Caligiuri to announce Senate bid

I didn't see it, but I understand that Sam Caligiuri was on FoxNew's Hannity* tonight. Sam said he intends to announce his candidacy for US Senate tomorrow.

Tim White

* I don't have TV - cable or otherwise. Regardless, I gave up on Hannity even before I gave up on TV. Like Rush, he was far too partisan for me. I do kinda like Beck though. He's finally acknowledging that Ron Paul had some legitimate points about uncontrolled deficit-spending. If I watch any cable TV, it's more often CNN than either Fox or MSNBC.

09/10 Town budget - the likely numbers

There was a budget meeting tonight. And there's a number out there for comment during the public hearing scheduled for Thursday, April 2 at 7pm in Town Hall.

The key numbers begin with a zero increase in spending from the current year's $94 million budget. And to get there, the Council will reduce spending by about $1.1 million. That budget cut consists of:

$605k schools
$248k town
$270k capital non-recurring

As for the line item reductions to the town budget, that's not yet known. As usual, the Council is coming up with the tax rate, then determining the spending.

I asked what will happen when if the state further reduces funding. The answer was that the CNR account, along with holds on spending, would be used to cover budget shortfalls. I then asked the TM and Sptd to provide the Council with a list of projects that will likely incur expenditures early in the fiscal year... as compared to end-of-year expenditures which could be delayed indefinitely and lend themselves to acting as a reserve fund for the other parts of the operating budget.

Please consider attending the public hearing and sharing your thoughts.

Tim White

The cost of a vending machine

One of the smaller discussion points at tonight's Energy Commission meeting was the cost of electricity for a vending machine. The schools' representative broke it down like this for one vending machine:

12.3 kWh for one machine in 24 hours
$0.16 / kWh
$1.97 / day
365 days / year
$719 / yr for one vending machine

No word on the number of vending machines in town. But you can figure at least a couple in each school (in the teachers' lounges) and in many town buildings. So probably 30-40 or more.

It's worth noting that the 12.3 kWh is not a perfect number, but it was a solid estimate.

Tim White

Energy Commission discussion on pool structure funding

There was an Energy Commission meeting tonight. At the meeting there was discussion of:

1) the pool's energy consumption and
2) the energy portion of the stimulus package

As a result of the discussion, I sent the following email to Cheshire's five legislators:

Dear Legislators,

While attending a Cheshire Energy Commission meeting tonight, there was discussion of the state of CT receiving $38 million in stimulus package funding for energy projects.

Does this funding exist? If so, is this funding earmarked? If so, for what? If not, then what are the criteria being used to prioritize the projects that receive the funding?

Specifically, I’m wondering about securing funding for a energy-efficient permanent structure for Cheshire’s Community Pool.

I apologize for sending this to all of you, but to be frank, the whole stimulus package seems to be a fluid process. And while I’m guessing that Rep. Nardello is best equipped to address this as the Energy Committee co-Chair, I was uncertain. So I figured I’d put this to all of you in an effort to expedite the process from my perspective. Also, I’m concerned that if this $38 million is currently available, it may quickly be dedicated to other projects.

Thanks for your help.


I had a conversation with Congressman Murphy's office last week. Based on that conversation, I understand that this energy-related stimulus funding does not have any predetermined earmarks in it. The stimulus funding is basically being fed to the states via block grants. So who knows? Maybe we could get a grant to pay 100% of the costs for a permanent structure? I figure it's worth a try.

Also from tonight's EC meeting, it's worth noting that after only 14 months, the town may actually be issuing an RFP for a permanent structure for the pool later this week!

Tim White

The guy who ran AIGs problem child division

From ABCNews:

The FBI and federal prosecutors are reportedly closing in on the AIG executive whose suspect investments cost the insurance giant hundreds of billions of dollars. The government is investigating whether or not 54-year old Brooklyn-native Joseph Cassano committed criminal fraud in virtually bankrupting the company. (By ANNA SCHECTER, BRIAN ROSS, and JUSTIN ROOD)

Opensecrets always makes "following the money" real easy.

Tim White

Bernanke claims The Fed is independent

From Bloomberg News' Craig Torres:

At 4:30 p.m. on March 23, on a day dominated by release of the Obama administration’s plan to save the banking system and the fourth-best day in postwar Wall Street history, the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve released a one-page joint statement on the division of economic responsibilities between the two agencies.

Amid the flurry of news, the statement passed with little public attention; neither the New York Times nor Wall Street Journal printed articles about it the next day. The release said that while the Fed collaborates with other agencies to preserve financial stability, it alone is in charge of keeping consumer prices stable, its independence “critical.”

I guess I'm not surprised that Ben Bernanke is actually pretending that The Fed is independent. But here's a reality check - Bernanke's term ends in January 2010. And the Fed Chairman is appointed by the POTUS.

Who is gullible enough to believe The Fed is independent? I can't wait to see Bernanke go. I just hope he's not replaced with Larry Summers.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (31/51)

Paragraph 31 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt, that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its Virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

Can a performance contract finance the Mixville Pump Station?

Before I got elected to the Council, one of my goals was to make the Town more energy-efficient in a cost-effective manner. Five years into it and my work continues.

Last November, the voters rejected a Council proposal to bond $1,000,000 to finance an upgrade to the Mixville Pump Station. In January, the Council further discussed the rejected project by saying the Council could still spend $150,000 to plan for the $1,000,000 project that will be necessary at some point. Then later in January, I suggested the Town not bond the project but consider financing it with a performance contract. Then on March 24 I shared my efforts to ensure the Town was considering performance contracting as an alternative financing mechanism. It was during the sewer portion of the budget that I explained my efforts.

And tonight I continued my attempt to make the Town more energy-efficient in a cost-effective manner by emailing the Council, staff and the WPCA Chairman. I'd post the email, but then this post will get pretty long. Maybe I'll post it tomorrow.

Tim White

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Two other April dates for a Cheshire Tea Party

There's definitely a number of people in town who are interested in having a Tea Party in Cheshire. I had heard April 15 mentioned, but then someone posted here that there's one planned for April 15 in Hartford. So it may be better to schedule a different day.

To that end, I did some quick research and found two significant April dates for Cheshire:

1) April 12, 1724 was the birth date of Founding Father Lyman Hall. Hall was born in Wallingford. But remember... Cheshire was a part of Wallingford until 1780.*

2) April 17, 1837 was the birth date of
J.P. Morgan, the father of J.P. Morgan, Jr the creator of The Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is opposed by elected members of Congress, such as Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, who are opponents of The Political Class. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of The Federal Reserve, particularly since they continue refusing to reveal the recipients of the $10 trillion they've recently printed for more of their friends in high places.

FWIW, the reason I like the idea of peaceful protest right now is not the stimulus package. While I doubt more deficit spending will fix our deficit spending addiction, I believe that elections have consequences. And this is a consequence of an election.

However, I'm focused on these never ending bailouts. Last week Geithner announced another $1 trillion dollars for his billionaire buddies. And Obama has a "placeholder" in his budget for another $250 billion for those same people. But these bailouts are not a consequence of the election. They're happening despite the election. They're happening because of the bipartisan fear-mongering (Paulson - R, Summers - D) that continues to tell us "bailout opposition will result in the end of civilization!" Pure nonsense. And it needs to stop.

Tim White

* Now I'm wondering if Matt is related Lyman?

Announcing Turmelle's new energy blog

The NHRs Luther Turmelle not only covers Cheshire and Wallingford, he also is their "energy guy." As such, Luther recently started his own energy blog Power to the People.

Tim White

Blogging: anonymity has been used for centuries

Some people question the validity of anonymous blogging. And since I was concerned about some of the comments that appear here, I investigated the legal aspects of it. In doing so, I stumbled across the Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice's opinion that suggests America would not exist today if not for the ability of The Founders to comment anonymously.

For instance, when Common Sense was written in 1776 no one knew Thomas Paine was the author. But even after the election of the first POTUS, George Washington, the anonymous pamphleteering continued.

In 1793 America read The Pacificus-Helvidius Debate - a debate on the Proclamation of Neutrality or a debate on executive vs. legislative powers in terms of foreign affairs.

But who were Pacificus and Helvidius?

Wikipedia offers this:

The proclamation started a war of pamphlets between Hamilton (writing for the Federalists), and Madison (writing for the Jeffersonian/Republicans).

And there was another notable name involved:

Jefferson, having read several of the "Pacificus" essays encouraged James Madison to reply.

Since Hamilton and Madison could "comment anonymously," the Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice is absolutely correct - there's nothing wrong with anonymous commenting on this blog.

One other piece of interest to me in reading the debates is the actual rhetoric. Oftentimes I hear that today's anonymous blogging is vicious (I agree) and that we should return to a kinder, gentler time. To that, I offer these comments from James "Helvidius" Madison:

Several pieces with the signature of Pacificus were lately published, which have been read with singular pleasure and applause, by the foreigners and degenerate citizens among us, who hate our republican government, and the French revolution ; whilst the publication seems to have been too little regarded, or too much despised by the steady friends to both.

Frankly, it doesn't sound all that different from today's "you hate America" comments... which are completely over the top IMO. But certainly nothing new. And I firmly believe that America would not exist today, if not for the ability of Thomas Paine and others to voice their concerns anonymously and without fear of reprise from the government.

Tim White

G20: The end of global American hegemony?

At this week's G20 meeting, you can expect to see China, Russia and other less developed nations make a push for a greater say in global affairs.

From the NYTimes' Helene Cooper:

The challenges stem in part from lingering unhappiness around the world at the way the Bush administration used American power. But they have been made more intense by the sense in many capitals that the United States is no longer in any position to dictate to other nations what types of economic policies to pursue — or to impose its will more generally as it intensifies the war in Afghanistan and extracts itself from Iraq.

“There is a direct challenge under way to the paradigms that America has been trying to sell to the rest of the world,” said Eswar S. Prasad, a former China division chief at the
International Monetary Fund. The American banking collapse, which precipitated the global meltdown, has led to a fundamental rethinking of the American way as a model for the rest of the world.

The article goes on to suggest that the personal popularity of President Obama gives him some leeway in attempting to maintain American clout. Personally though, I doubt that popularity will last very long if the global economy continues on its current trajectory.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (30/51)

Paragraph 30 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts, which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen, which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should cooperate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue; that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A tea party in Cheshire?

The emails have started. There's a movement afoot for a Tea Party in Cheshire on April 15. I'm thinking I may make a sign:There's a protest tea party in Stamford this afternoon.

Tim White

Ron Paul vs. Taxman Tim Geithner

Ron Paul asks Geithner why the IRS' tax code says Americans are guilty until proven innocent, rather than innocent until proven guilty?

I think the world of Ron Paul, but I do kinda laugh at the notion that anyone would bother asking Geithner about paying taxes... let alone get into a philosophical debate about the morality of the internal revenue code.

Geithner needs to be fired.

Tim White

Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama - A Populist or of The Political Class?

Earlier today President Obama sat down with the CEOs of many of the largest banks in the US.

From the NYTimes' Eric Dash:

The 13 chief executives emerged from the 90-minute meeting pledging to cooperate with the administration’s efforts to shore up the banking industry and the broader economy. On a bright day with the cherry blossoms in bloom, administration officials and the bankers presented a unified message to the nation: We’re all in this together...

“I’m of the feeling that we’re all in this together,” said
Vikram S. Pandit, the chief executive of Citigroup, shortly after leaving the White House.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, used the same phrase to characterize the president’s message: “Everybody has to pitch in,” Mr. Gibbs said. “We’re all in this together.”

I have a real problem with this.

From my perspective, Obama ran as a Populist advocating issues such as Transparency in Federal Spending:

And I applauded him on his efforts.

But now he's spending his time with the same bankers who created this mess... and Obama wants to give them even more federal tax dollars?

Sorry, but it looks to me as though President Obama is fast becoming a member of The Political Class. I'm tired of this coddling, not to mention the bailouts, of billionaires.

I hope that Congresswoman Rosa Delauro's husband Stan Greenberg gets a hold of Obama soon and shakes some sense into him.

Why Stan Greenberg? Because Greenberg seems to understand that elected officials should be representing the voters to the government, not the government to the voters.

Wikipedia notes Greenberg's "1985 study of Reagan Democrats in Macomb County, Michigan became a classic of progressive political strategy, and the basis for his continuing argument that Democrats must actively work to present themselves as populists advocating the expansion of opportunity for the middle class."

Tim White

Chris Murphy has an opponent - Justin Bernier

From the NHRs Luther Turmelle:

A one-time senior legislative assistant to former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, R-2, said Thursday he will challenge U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, D-5. Republican Justin Bernier kicked off his campaign for the 2010 election against Murphy, a Democrat from Cheshire who was elected to a second term in November, by saying “policies, and not politics,” are driving his early entry into the race. Bernier, who grew up in Farmington but now lives in Plainville, made his announcement at the Farmington Community Center.

I don't know much about Justin Bernier. And if the election were held today, I'm confident Chris would win. But the election isn't today and if the economy continues to weaken - and The Political Class continues to enrich itself - it may feel like an eternity before the next election.

FWIW, I called Chris' Washington office yesterday and conveyed my sentiments about the tentative $250 billion bailout proposed by President Obama - no, no, no! I'm tired of these bailouts. The only tangible consequence I've seen come of them is the populist outrage over the taxpayer-funded billion dollar bonuses handed out to members of The Political Class.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (29/51)

Paragraph 29 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Must see British political TV!

Whether you're liberal or conservative, a tory or a socialist... if you appreciate the power of well-delivered comments... you'll LOVE this:

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Can we trade Boehner or McConnell for Hannon? Heck... let's give 'em two players and toss in three years salary!

Tim White

Shedding light on how The Political Class is winning with the bailouts

With court-enforced Freedom of Information requests hitting the desks of Bernanke and Geithner, some light is finally being shed on the bailouts they continue to champion. Bloomberg's Mark Pittman and Christine Harper had this piece offering a few details on the AIG bailout and TARP funds delivered to The Political Class. And here's an abbreviated chart of the biggest winners of Big Government's latest assault on the working class:And here's another Bloomberg piece (by Hugh Son) explaining the tripartisan use of AIG and TARP as front men for the Goldman Sachs bailout. "Tripartisan" refers to Paulson (R-Goldman), Rubin (D-Goldman) and Geithner (Chief of Staff - Goldman). Deep in the article is an interesting comment:

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, 83, AIG’s former chief executive officer, said at a Hong Kong luncheon that bankruptcy would have produced better results because the contracts could be redone.

“The counterparties all become general creditors, and they get in line with everybody else,” Greenberg said, adding it’s “puzzling” the government didn’t try to get new contracts. “You renegotiate things all the time. In fact, if you had declared Chapter 11, I guarantee you that the judge in bankruptcy would be renegotiating terms on almost everything.”

Don't get me wrong. The unending bailouts were not strictly for Goldman Sachs. Rather, they were intended to benefit all members of The Political Class.

I think it's also worth noting that our senior Senator, Chris Dodd, is the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. And if I understand Senate rules correctly, he could very easily subpoena all the information but he does not use his power of subpoena.


Tim White

09/10 Town budget - Human Resources

Continuing with a prior budget meeting... and harkening back to last year, you may recall this post and video:

And I again see that the HR staff reports to the Finance Director:not the Personnel Director:Why?

It seems to me that these departments may offer duplicate services. Perhaps some savings could be found here? At minimum, we should consider eliminating the costly role of Assistant Town Manager*:And in an effort to streamline operations, perhaps the Personnel Director should report to the Finance Director?

Tim White

* This is the 04/05 budget. Since then, the Assistant Town Manager stipend has been hidden included in another budgetary line item.

George Washington's farewell address (28/51)

Paragraph 28 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

09/10 Budget meeting - social & senior services, the pool

Tonight's agenda covered a number of departments...

Social Services was first. They're having more requests for assistance, both food and fuel. One of their concerns is the uncertainty of access to the food pantry at St. Bridget's. So the Town will be trying coordinate more hours of access to the food pantry for those in need. Also mentioned was an increased use in the Yellow House.

Senior Services discussed their accomplishments and goals. I asked about a few items in the budget. They have one cell phone that remains in whichever senior bus leaves town to help seniors get to doctor's appointments in surrounding communities - makes sense to me. On the flip side, I didn't exactly agree with the need for attending the national conference in Washington DC, but at least this year's Vegas trip was ixnayed. Regardless, that's not specific to Senior Services... lots of departments have funding for those out-of-state conferences. I just don't see the need for any of them... particularly any in a foreign country.

The Pool was on the agenda. The UTHs Cindy commented here. I said I don't expect to support the budget this year... shocker, huh? Nonetheless, I do like the pool. I just wish we could reduce the deficit and the energy consumption. And we could do that... but we'd need to get rid of the bubble. I then reminded everyone that I tried to push the pool forward in February 2008 with a Request for Information. Unfortunately, the Council majority didn't understand that phrase. But if the Council had acted, we probably would've been ready for December 2008 and President Obama's shovel-ready list. But that didn't happen... and when I mentioned that... a certain unnamed Budget Committee Chair got visibly upset with me.

The other thing that caught my attention with the pool was hearing that the fees had been reduced - without the Council voting on the fees. Yet, many of you probably remember the repeated deliberations over pool fees in the past. For instance, I remember hearing people get upset about a "conflict of interest" because one former Council member had a daughter who used the pool. Therefore, that Council member should not vote on the pool fees. And now we hear the Council need not vote on the fees?! What gives? I asked if the Council vote was only relevant to the maximum fee allowed? Nope. The explanation given today was that all those votes were totally unnecessary. How ridiculous. But don't worry... the majority won't point this out to "their boss."

And one last thing with the pool fees... there was an argument made that attendance was down, so fees needed to be reduced. To which I said at a prior meeting... well, why don't we reduce fees to ZERO? Then we can see attendance skyrocket! Oh wait... that would fly in the face of the long-promised self-sustaining pool. But shhh...

we're not supposed to mention that Town Hall is now operating like the federal government... we'll just cut taxes and increase spending... and no one will ever notice... and things will be great!

Absolutely ridiculous. And this was all heard by the Council. So if you're frustrated with the pool subsidy... remember, it is the responsibility of the Council - not staff. Staff recommend. It's the seemingly detached-from-reality Council members who actually let this stuff fly.

Maybe I'll get to Parks & Rec and CPFA tomorrow.

Tim White

09/10 Town budget - library & finance

Just a quickie to wrap up last night's budget meeting...

There's a proposal to eliminate Sunday hours at the Library, despite the Library Director's statement that Saturday and Sunday are the two busiest days. Ignoring the hurdles of budgets and labor agreements, I suggested we close earlier or open later during the week... then use that savings to maintain the more popular weekend hours. Or, in an effort to save money, we could simply scale back hours?

Similarly with the Finance Department (this includes the Assessor, Collector, Public Properties and others), there is seasonal work. It seems to me that spending needs to be reduced. So the spending reductions should be everywhere... not just a few individuals and / or departments. It seems to me that spending reductions are possible here too. If done across the board, people could take a minor reduction in hours and still keep their bene's. My goal is to reduce spending, but to avoid significant disruptions to peoples' lives if possible.

If reductions are across the board, they could go a long way toward reducing taxes and spending... while still maintaining a great degree of stability in both services and (knock on wood) employee morale.

I'm not sure how bargaining units would effect my suggestions.

Tim White

The Death of The Rubber Stamp?

The Herald's Josh Morgan reports on the Town website's videostreaming:

“We were originally looking at more sophisticated video streaming, but it was expensive,” said staff. Sheldon Dill made this happen because he knew the 19 month delay was nonsense and nothing but administrative obstructionism given cover by the Democratic Rubber Stamp Council The Council made it clear that they wanted to go with the simplest, easiest process.”

First he voiced opposition to spending $150,000 on the voter-rejected Mixville Pump Station. Then the Council refuses to waive the school bus contract. And now this!

Next thing you know, you'll see defined benefit plans get eliminated as an option for future non-union employees and the $150,000 for the building assessment consultant may disappear!

Nah... I'm sure these things are all "coincidental."

I thank Councilman Dill for his efforts.

Tim White

Geithner needs to be fired

Mr. Geithner needs to go. The sooner, the better.

This morning he sent the dollar tumbling when he showed his true colors as the globalist that he is. He suggested the US dollar may not continue as the world's reserve currency. Apparently he thinks the US should jump in bed with these guys:

Problem for Taxman Tim is that he thought he was speaking to his globalist pals at the Council on Foreign Relations.* He forgot that he now speaks to the whole USA.

I'm so tired of this guy.

Tim White

* I'm certain you'll never find populists, such as Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich, hanging out with the CFR crowd.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

09/10 budget - sewers, public properties & the pool

Tonight's budget meeting began with the Water Pollution Control Department - the sewers. The Wastewater Superintendent, Dennis Dievert, does a fantastic job IMO. He's an engineer, but speaks english.

Two main points he raised:

1) Lilac Drive pump station should be completed within a week or so, and

2) this past year he moved from bidding the wastewater treatment plant's methanol contract for one year to one month. Since methanol is energy... and energy prices dropped... he saved significant money there... but one month contracts also offer lower prices. Additionally, he reduced total methanol consumption at the plant.

My main concern with this department was ensuring they had been following up on a conversation I initiated. Thing is, after last summer's capital budget meetings in which I had a bunch of Council members make false claims about my lack of providing them with information about performance contracting, I decided another approach may work better.

If staff could understand performance contracting, then maybe Council members would stop going around making false claims about me?

So I contacted the single largest energy services provider in the country, Johnson Controls (JC). As of last year, they were listed around #70 on the Fortune 500. They know what they're doing.

And then last fall, the $1,000,000 Mixville pump station failed at referendum and Dennis Dievert said the proposed project had a significant energy efficiency component:

So it seemed to me that a performance contract may very well work. And that's when I asked JC to contact town staff to begin explaining performance contracting.

Obviously, I've been very clear with the JC rep that if the Town begins seriously considering performance contracting, everything goes out to bid, etc. I'm just sick and tired of listening to the willfully deceptive comments of Council members about their supposed-ignorance of performance contracting.

Regardless, the ball is now in the court of town staff. They agreed to complete a form and return it to JC. Then JC will provide some feedback. Perhaps we can engage in a townwide performance contract as an alternative to spending $150,000 on a building assessment consultant?

Hopefully something can happen here without too much more kicking and screaming from the majority. I'm not quite sure how else they intend find a million bucks to rebuild the Mixville Pump Station.

The second budget discussed was public properties. It's late and I'm not going to get into it. But I did ask about the engineering impact on the pool if the bubble does not go up next fall. I didn't expect a response. I just asked because I'm not voting for the pool budget and I'm uncertain if there will be five votes in favor of the pool budget. As well, I voiced my frustration over the foot dragging that's occurred since last February when I began strongly advocating for an alternative to the bubble. Keep in mind... a permanent structure could have been "shovel-ready." And with an energy-efficiency component, it most likely would have been included in the stimulus package. And we could be well on our way to a permanent solution to the pool. But we're not.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (27/51)

Paragraph 27 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

China is going on the offensive with guns & gold

While China is engaging in not-so-friendly military maneuvers with the US Navy and building their armed forces to expand their sphere of military influence:

After a decade of increases in defense spending that averaged 16 percent a year, China has the military means to enforce claims in the energy-rich and trade-heavy South and East China Seas -- and to challenge U.S. activities there, as it did March 8 when five Chinese vessels confronted the USNS Impeccable.

“China is looking to expand” its sphere of influence towards Guam and to the Philippines, says Tai Ming Cheung, a senior fellow at the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation in La Jolla, California. “The maritime arena is one of the most fluid and strategic for China in terms of how it’s going to defend and expand and protect its interests internationally.” (Bloomberg News)

They're also looking to build the value of their currency and expand their sphere of financial influence:

China’s call for a new international reserve currency may signal its concern at the dollar’s weakness and ambitions for a leadership role at next week’s Group of 20 summit, economists said.

Central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan this week urged the International Monetary Fund to create a “super-sovereign reserve currency.” The dollar weakened after the Federal Reserve said it would buy Treasuries and the U.S. government outlined plans to buy illiquid bank assets

“China is concerned about the potential for a slide in the dollar as the U.S. attempts to stimulate its economy,” said Mark Williams, a London-based economist at Capital Economics Ltd. The “rare” sight of a Chinese official attempting to reframe an international debate may be “a sign of China becoming more engaged,” he said. (Bloomberg News, by Li Yinpang)

While I'm concerned whenever the US military is engaged by another country, my bigger concern is the reserve currency. If the fiat US dollar's 38-year run as the world's reserve currency, then our current economic problems may only be the tip of the iceberg.

Tim White

Congressional oversight is impossible

Congressional oversight of the Administration is impossible. Just see today's NYTimes liveblog of the House Financial Services hearing:

Maxine Waters on the bailouts:

“The talk is that this small group of decision makers are from Goldman Sachs and that is where the public distrust is coming from,” Ms. Waters said. “I think its deeply unfair to suggest that the people involved in this process were not making decisions in the best interest of the American people.

How dare someone suggest that Tim Geithner did not act in the best interest of the country! If someone suggests that of Taxman Tim, someone may soon begin to question her own role in the distribution of bailout funds.

Nydia M. Velazquez:

asks what compensation restrictions were imposed on A.I.G. when the government made its initial rescue and why the bonuses that have come to light over the last week were not subject to those restrictions. Mr. Bernanke responds that the restrictions originally applied to the top management of the firm, not to individual employees who worked at the financial division. Nydia M. Velazquez of New York asks what compensation restrictions were imposed on A.I.G. when the government made its initial rescue and why the bonuses that have come to light over the last week were not subject to those restrictions. Mr. Bernanke responds that the restrictions originally applied to the top management of the firm, not to individual employees who worked at the financial division.

In the future, maybe Ms. Velazquez should read the bill? Of course, Congressman Ron Paul has pointed this out in the past - the Gang of 535 have little understanding of legislation they support.

From an unnamed Congressman:

Asked if he would provide a list of institutions that got TARP money and list everyone without names at those institutions who got bonuses of over $1 million, Mr. Geithner said he would “reflect” on the suggestion.

Oh, His Royal Highness is so kind and generous! He may actually consider telling us which of his cronies receive the bailout money that he's distributing.

Bernanke, Geithner and Summers all need to go.

Tim White

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rasmussen pits Populists vs. The Political Class

From Rasmussen Reports:

There has been a lot of talk recently about populist outrage at the corporate and political shenanigans surrounding the financial bailout. As a result, Rasmussen Reports created a tool to measure the differing views of the Political Class and Mainstream America. The mainstream, or populist, view sees big government and big business as political allies rather than political opponents.

Here are the three test questions:

-- Generally speaking, when it comes to important national issues, whose judgment do you trust more - the American people or America’s political leaders?

-- Some people believe that the federal government has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. Has the federal government become a special interest group?

-- Do government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors?

I'm sure you can figure out if you're a Populist or a member of The Political Class.

Tim White

MRJ on schools & linear park

From the MRJs Jesse Buchanan:

CHESHIRE -- Police arrested three youths at a Cheshire High School student dance on Saturday, including one who police say spit in an officer's face... A 15-year-old Southington resident was charged with assault on a police officer.

CHESHIRE -- The Board of Education may change
the responsible Internet use policy for the district to allow students' work and images to be posted online.

SOUTHINGTON -- Among $163 million in federal stimulus transportation money approved Monday by Connecticut's Recovery Working Group is $3.35 million to
extend the town's bikeway 2 miles from West Main Street to the Cheshire town line, Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced. The projects were approved, Rell said, to create jobs on statewide bus and rail projects and enhance pedestrian and bicycle access.

I'll need to find out if we got all our ducks in a row on the stimulus package.

Tim White

Just say NO to Taxman Tim's newest bailout scheme!

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wants to use more of our tax dollars to benefit his Wall Street cronies. Isn't it obvious that this $1 trillion bailout was designed by the same insiders - Paulson (R-Goldman) and Rubin (D-Goldman) - who gave us the $700 billion Bush bailout? Why give them more money?

I haven't yet gotten into the details of this Treasury plan, but in a matters of minutes I found one clause that is ripe for favoritism being provided to the insiders:

To start the process, banks will decide which assets – usually a pool of loans – they would like to sell. The FDIC will conduct an analysis to determine the amount of funding it is willing to guarantee. Leverage will not exceed a 6-to-1 debt-to-equity ratio. Assets eligible for purchase will be determined by the participating banks, their primary regulators, the FDIC and Treasury. Financial institutions of all sizes will be eligible to sell assets.

There you go. I can't wait to hear the criteria that will be used in conducting that analysis. I wonder what the chances are that Goldman and the other Insiders will be receiving the most favorable terms... while those not in favor will be receiving less favorable terms.

Of course, no one will be portrayed as the Insiders that they are. Instead they'll be portrayed as "steady, stable firms."

What a joke.

Just say NO to Geithner's $1 trillion scheme.

Tim White

The Dodd saga continues

First the Courant's Kevin Rennie used RealClearPolitics to discuss Mrs. Dodd's financial relationship with an AIG company.

And in yet another demonstration of being seemingly detached from the real world...

The Chris Dodd stories are everywhere:

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate last month passed a measure limiting “luxury” spending for corporate travel by recipients of federal bailout funds. Two weeks later, about two dozen senators of both parties left town for political meetings on the Florida coast...

Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who heads the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, sponsored the amendment to the $787 billion stimulus package that requires companies that received funds from the Troubled Assets Recovery Plan to curb “excessive or luxury expenditures,” including spending on events and private jets.

Over the weekend of Feb. 27, two weeks after the Senate passed the measure, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the party fundraising arms for Senate candidates, each held their annual winter meetings in Florida.

About a dozen Democrats, including Dodd, 64, gathered at the Marriott-operated Ritz-Carltonresort in Naples, Florida. Donors who gave at least $15,000 were invited and offered a “coastal view” room at the group rate of $469, according to the Democrats’ invitation.

At least 11 Republican senators held a similar retreat at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach. Rooms could be had for $475 a night. For another $292, participants could play in a golf tournament. The invitation urged guests to make reservations for the resort’s spa “indulgences.”

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (26/51)

Paragraph 26 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution, in those intrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the Guardian of the Public Weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way, which the constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for, though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dennis Kucinich wants to End The Fed

For my Democratic friends who are wondering about my outrage with the Obama economic team that continues to be effectively run by the same old, same old... Dennis Kucinich offered these comments less than two months ago:

Perhaps America needs something of a realignment in which people-first Senators (such as Feingold-D, Sanders-D and Demint-R) and Representatives (such as Kucinich-D and Paul-R) need to team up against the Establishmentarians. Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and Larry Summers are not the change I can believe in.

Maybe America's ready for a bit of Andrew Jackson style populism?

Tim White

Some municipal pension plans of CT towns

I called the CT Conference of Municipalities two weeks ago for information on school bus contracts and the current offerings of municipal pension plans.

With regard to the use of defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans, five towns responded. If I understand this information correctly, four towns continue to offer DB plans to non-union employees. One town stopped the practice in 2006. Here are the details:

With a $20,000,000 deficit in the defined benefits pension fund, I want the Council to stop offering the DB plans to future non-union hires to limit the taxpayers' exposure. And I also want to do this because I see no guarantee that employees will actually receive those benefits in 30 years.

Breachway... any comments? I know this is your field of expertise.

Tim White

State Sen. Sam Caligiuri's bills in 2009 (14/14)

And this is a wrap on legislation proposed by Cheshire's delegation. This is the fourteenth and final installment of state Sen. Sam Caligiuri's bills that he introduced / cosponsored this year:


Tim White

Geithner's not a Goldman guy, but...

his chief of staff is!

From the NYTimes' Peter Baker on February 3, 2009:

Some who worked as lobbyists have found places in the administration, including Mark Patterson, who represented Goldman Sachs and is now chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.

I guess Goldman effectively still has enormous influence over the Treasury Department... even after Hank Paulson (R-Goldman) and Robert Rubin (D-Goldman) had left.

Change I can believe in!

Tim White

Unconscionable: AIG bonuses or the bailout?

From the New Britain Herald's Scott Whipple:

With the news that government-rescued American International Group is awarding more than $165 million in bonuses to its executives, U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, D-5th District, said Wednesday he will introduce legislation to crack down on taxpayer-funded bonuses "for the very people that got us" into this economic mess...

Calling AIG’s actions "unconscionable," Murphy said his bill aims to ensure that what AIG did can’t happen again.

IMO, the "unconscionable" act was supporting the bailout in the first place. But hey, the bailout had bipartisan support, as it was supported by both Bush's Hank Paulson (R-Goldman) and Obama's Robert Rubin (D-Goldman). I can't fathom why anyone would think Paulson and Rubin were in favor of bailing out Wall Street, at the expense of the common good. But at least we know that Goldman is a "stable" firm, not needing a bailout.

Seriously though...rather than showing outrage over bills he supported, perhaps Congressman Murphy could start reading the bills on which he votes and stop supporting welfare for Wall Street?

Tim White

CPD budget meetings always interesting

The CPD, represented by the Chief and Asst. Chief, came to last week's budget meeting. There was a pretty frank discussion about the budget, including my question about the impact of potential further reductions to the CPD budget.

Totally unrelated to the budget though was something that caught my attention.

A few years ago when Gary Walberg became Chief, I recall a story about the CPD dress code. If memory serves me, former Chief Walberg explained that he was eliminating the use of white dress shirts for the four top officers (including himself) of the PD because he wanted everyone to be the same.

Anyway, at the budget meeting, it appeared that rule has been modified again. These meetings always offer me something to ponder.

Tim White

AIG bonuses: The real problem for Dodd and Congress

Congressman Ron Paul speaks on the real problem with the AIG bonuses - Apparently no one in Congress read the stimulus package before the vote!

Ron Paul says only five copies of the 1,000 page bill were even available. And while the $165 million (and counting??) in bonuses is obscene... The Fed printed another $1 trillion on Friday to buy "toxic assets."

Ummm... forgive me if I missed something, but isn't that why Congress voted for the $700 billion Bush / Dodd bailout last fall?

...the revised bill that was voted for contained provisions that assured that if the Treasury did not recoup their investment through the resale of the troubled assets Wall Street would be billed for the difference...

- Chris Murphy, October 6 2008, explaining his support for last fall's bailout.

Well, at least the bailout was assured of being a bipartisan effort with the likes of Hank Paulson (R-Goldman) and Robert Rubin (D-Goldman) crossing the aisle to work together for the good of their cronies the country.

Ron Paul explains Congress and their inability to act responsibly:

It's this kind of honesty that got me to knock on doors in New Hampshire for him.

I'm so glad he ran for President. Now there's at least one honest politician in Washington who has a bully pulpit from which to speak the truth.

Tim White

Turmelle on the bus contract and teacher staff levels

The NHRs Luther Turmelle offers this piece on the Council sending the school transportation contract to bid.

And he also has this piece on the annual notice sent to teachers about the possibility that their contracts will not get renewed:

The Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday night to notify the roughly 40 nontenured teachers that they may not get a contract next year.

Superintendent of Schools Greg Florio and members of the board stressed the action doesn’t mean the district is going to lay off 40 teachers.

Tim White

State Sen. Sam Caligiuri's bills in 2009 (13/14)

And here's the thirteenth installment of state Sen. Sam Caligiuri's bills that he introduced / cosponsored this year:


Tim White

Saturday, March 21, 2009

George Washington's farewell address (25/51)

Paragraph 25 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

Sam Caligiuri is not yet a US Senate candidate

Yesterday I suggested that state Senator Sam Caligiuri (R-Waterbury) was officially a candidate for US Senate. But that's not the case:He's married with two little kids.

So he's got a lot to consider before making the leap to the national stage.

Tim White

True or false: The most transparent and accountable administration in American history?

As of yesterday, there was still a lot of pointing fingers on AIGBonusGate. And our own Senator Dodd was taking a beating for it. Thankfully one of the left's own voices is now pointing the finger directly where it should be pointed.

The HuffPo's namesake, Arianna Huffington, spoke with US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and concluded her piece:

Have you noticed how, whenever there is a serious effort to put an end to business-as-usual, we are warned by insiders like Paulson and Summers that the result will be the end of civilization?

"This lack of transparency -- and the lack of accountability that results -- is one of the most significant threats to our democracy," Wyden told me. "This is not at all how the civics books tell us the system is suppose to work. What we have here is a prime example of Washington deny, defer, delay."

He's right. We deserve better. Let's make this D.C. mystery the cause célèbre it deserves to be. Let's demand that the White House live up to its vows of transparency.

Last October I felt favorably toward then-Senator Obama. Today, not so much.

Back in early 2007, Obama made overtures across the aisle with the bipartisan "Transparency in Federal Spending" legislation that he co-authored with Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). But it appears now clear that Obama has lost his way.

Here you can see The Outsider speak on the value of transparency:

"The basic idea is - If you think this is a wise way to spend taxpayer money, then you should be willing to stand up and defend it. And everybody should know about it. And that kind of openness has been the hallmark of American democracy since its inception." - Barack Obama

But how does The Insider act?

President Transparency has now been in office two months. And it's only under court order that we're beginning to learn the disposition of the bailout money - Goldman Sachs leads the way! And yes, that's the same Goldman Sachs where Hank Paulson and Robert Rubin worked before they became US Secretary of the Treasury.

Change I can believe in? I think not.

Tim White

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sam Caligiuri files for US Senate

It appears that Sammy has officially entered the fray! I think he could make a fantastic US Senator... still wanna learn more about his views on monetary policy though. I already know that he votes in favor of fiscal responsibility as he was the only vote to oppose the current two-year budget.

From CTNJs Christine Stuart in June 2007:

After patting themselves on the back and talking about what they did and didn’t include in the budget, the Senate passed the two-year $36 billion spending plan with a 33 to 1 vote on Monday.

Sen. Sam Caligiuri, R-Waterbury, voted against the budget because... (it) includes large spending increases that will inevitably force the state to chose between large tax increases or large spending cuts in the not so distant future.

“We are going to pay the piper sooner rather than later,” Caligiuri said. He said his vote against the budget was the strongest way he could make that statement.

Go Sammy!

Tim White

p.s. I'm still kinda hoping Peter Schiff jumps in the race to force monetary policy to forefront of the debate.

George Washington's farewell address (24/51)

Paragraph 24 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

State Sen. Sam Caligiuri's bills in 2009 (12/14)

And here's the twelfth installment of state Sen. Sam Caligiuri's bills that he introduced / cosponsored this year:


Tim White

Ron Paul is 100% right

Watch this video if you're curious to know exactly how I feel about the AIG bonuses. Yes, they're obscene. And I hope Geithner, Summers and Bernanke get canned by Obama. But the real issues are much, much larger - the bailout and Congress' total negligience with regard to monetary policy.

TIm White

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Legislative bill to place a moratorium on turf

The Stamford Advocate's Brian Lockhart reports on a legislative moratorium on artificial turf:

Rep. Kim Fawcett, D-Fairfield, rushed around the capitol Wednesday urging colleagues on the environment committee to support her bill placing a temporary moratorium on construction of state-funded artificial turf athletic fields.

The committee passed the legislation, in a 21-to-11 vote.

Fawcett afterward acknowledged the proposal, which now heads to the public health committee, is a mostly symbolic statement of lawmakers' concerns the crumbled tires that cushion the fields are harmful to human health and the environment.

Cheshire's newest state Representative, Elizabeth Esty, is a member of the Public Health Committee. It'll be interesting to see her vote in Hartford and compare it to her vote in Cheshire. (For the video of that July 2008 vote, see here, here and here.)

Of course, being a political body there's always the possibility that the turf moratorium bill is being sent to Public Health to "die in committee." I'm sure many of you have heard of such tactics in Washington, but the same happens in Hartford and in Cheshire.

Or were you unaware that such tactics are used in Cheshire?

Considering that I first suggested videostreaming in August 2007, and nothing happened for 19 months - until Sheldon Dill returned to the Council - I think it's fair to say that videostreaming was sent to the Ordinance Review Committee to die there. Unless the timing is just "a coincidence?" Ha!

Regardless... I thought some of you may find the Public Health Committee's agenda of interest.

Tim White