Open Forum

  • Westport Now has an interesting story about rail fare hikes and broken promises. The really obnoxious part is this statement from a legislator:
  • Governor Rell didn’t break her promise.The legislature did. When they replaced her $1 per ticket surcharge with a fare increase, it became a matter of law, written into the 2007 budget. But now they seem unwilling to bear any responsibility for the governor or CDOT’s over-optimism.
     
    I asked one lawmaker who worked on the fare compromise if he could rescind the fare hike and keep the governor’s promise. He laughed and said “no way,” blaming an over-zealous CDOT for being unable to deliver the project on time.
     
    “We have a $9 billion deficit to deal with,” he said. “This is the least of our problems!”

    Jeez.

  • Dan Malloy has a plan to fund nonprofits in a different way. Not a bad thought–if the state is going to rely so heavily on nonprofit organizations to provide services there should be a plan in place to fund them.
  • Speaking of Malloy, here he is being less than clear on tax hikes.
  • Lots of press about health care rallies, both pro-reform and against.
  • A New Haven prosecutor has been named to investigate mistreatment of detainees by the CIA.
  • It’s a bad day for Bethel’s first selectman.

What else is going on>

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38 responses to “Open Forum

  1. Your former Principal, Anne Giddings, is running for Town Council in Cheshire!

  2. What else is new?

    President Barack Obama’s Iran policy now has run aground on rocky reality.

    A New York magazine http://nymag.com/guides/fallpreview/2009/politics/58529/
    Has taken a poke at what is left of it:

    “Barack Obama took office with a bold promise of “an extended hand” to Iran. But then came the fraudulent Iranian election and its brutal aftermath, circumstances that made Obama’s challenge more difficult. Obama may now understandably have no appetite for talking to such a patently diabolical regime. (“Told ya!,” cry the Bushies.)…”

    “Come September, Obama has said, ‘We will re-evaluate Iran’s posture’ toward negotiations.”

    Posture eh?

    And even if Obama is still willing to talk, Tehran may be too internally divided to serve as a reliable negotiating partner. That’s why White House officials are all but resigned to the futility of direct diplomacy. Former State Department official Nicholas Burns, perhaps the Bush foreign team’s most dovish voice on Iran, predicts that ‘even if negotiations are held this autumn, they will fail.’ And if that happens, administration officials say, Obama will have little choice but to start to clench his own fist.”

    It seems that a “Green Revolution” got in the way of Obama’s diplomacy, and this point, Secretary of Sate Hillary Clinton is threatening reprisals:

    “That means turning the screws on Tehran through what Hillary Clinton has vowed will be ‘crippling sanctions.’”

    Too bad about Bethel, where P.T. Barnum’s ancestors are burried. It’s a great town. I lived there for a dozen years in the silly 70’s.

  3. Peter Schiff says he has it on good authority that Linda McMahon will be running for senate, and that she will use $25 Million of her own money!

    It’s from this interview:

  4. While Berlin fights the inevitable, VIP store is coming to Southington.

    Nothing underhanded occurred – the Democratic majority that’s held a stranglehold on our Planning & Zoning Commission simply failed to do their job despite repeated warnings.

    How did V.I.P. get approval in Southington?

    Further the Democratic majority has been caucusing prior to meetings which of course brings party politics to a land-use board and is thus disgusting.

    (For the record – I served 3 terms on the Zoning Board of Appeals, chaired that board in excess of a decade and was appointed twice on motions from Democrats as it was recognized that there were never any party politics involved on that board under my watch.)

  5. Don –

    Obama’s Iran policy is Bush’s Iran policy. The Democratic Congress in 2008 approved $400 million for covert operations inside Iran.

    What will $400 million buy you in a nation of 78 million people? Proportionally, it’s about what Obama spent for his election. Is $400 million enough to buy a Green Revolution? Perhaps.

    Sy Hersh reported on this Congressional expenditure in the New Yorker:
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh

    So, as much as I’d like to Don, I don’t buy the premise of the story you link to because it disregards the fact that American policy in Iran contains black ops and false flag operations we will never know about.

    Until there is daylight on those covert ops and what that $400 million bought, what Hillary and Barack say is mere posturing…

    Peace,
    KK

  6. Ken,

    Not sure what your mean by the “premise” of the story. The Green Revolution threw a monkey wrench into Obama’s “soft diplomacy” with respect to Iran. I doubt that revolution was spurred by special ops, though there are some, both here in the US and in Europe, wh clearly have fallen for Iran’s “official line.” I hope you’re not one of them. You recall that Amadinijad has been strenuously insisting that the US “caused” the student rebellion. As a student agitator yourself, I hope you can get on the right side of all this. Try not to disappoint me, okay?

  7. Ken,

    Here’s Hillary’s early take: http://donpesci.blogspot.com/2009/07/obama-takes-hillarys-advise-on-iranian.html

    Here’s Obama’s timid venture at the outset of the student rebellion: http://donpesci.blogspot.com/2009/06/revolution-this-time.html

    Here’s the United Nation’s take: http://donpesci.blogspot.com/2009/06/no-meddling-please-iranian-revolution.html

    Here’s a report on Obama’s letter to Khamenei, before hostilities commenced: http://donpesci.blogspot.com/2009/06/paper-reports-obama-administration-sent.html

    Here’s a report on Neda: http://donpesci.blogspot.com/2009/07/neda-and-obamas-witness.html

    Surely you’re not going to imply that this whole cast of characters was under the thumb of some special ops goblin. Are you?

  8. >>Until there is daylight on those covert ops

    Dream on.

    Most OSS exploits from WWII have never been declassified.

  9. You recall that Amadinijad has been strenuously insisting that the US “caused” the student rebellion.

    If we didn’t, I hope that we can get a refund on whatever we spent all that money on.

    Try not to disappoint me, okay?

    Do you imagine that liberal bloggers expend any energy to prevent you from feeling sad?

    Also in the news — McKinney getting a divorce, Healy putting down Peter Schiff.

  10. Don

    The premise of the story is knowing anything at all about the American approach to Iran, and what our true policy goals are there. $400 million is a lot of money.

    So when some journalist writes: “That’s why White House officials are all but resigned to the futility of direct diplomacy.” I think that journalist is full of horse doody. Who knows what the CIA is up to in Iran, and when they say the internal Iranian regime may be destabilized, I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the goal of our covert ops.

    Whenever some Beltway reporter gets high falutin about foreign policy, if they fail to discuss the impact of the CIA, the story is not worth reading.

    ACR is right – that I am dreaming about daylight on black ops – dating back from WWII – but we at least need to acknowledge the “known unknowns” of the way the US empire confronts the world.

    Peace,
    KK

  11. After the Reagan Team was found colluding with the Iranians to hold hostages through the 1980 election in return for the arms for drugs deals to support the Contras and the revelations that the CIA would play kingmaker and quite literally banker among the ‘favored’ feudal druglords in Central America and Asia in return for local favors, dirty tricks, logistical support, and the occasional assassination what more do we really need to know?

  12. Youre talking about the CIA right?

    The same guys that trained a bunch of Cuban exiles to invade Cuba, then realizing they had a ‘disposal problem’ that required liquidating these assets decided to go forth with the invasion without telling them the Marine and Naval support wasn’t coming. Instead two US Destroyers would monitor the slaughter on the beach in 1962.

  13. “Barack Obama took office with a bold promise of “an extended hand” to Iran. But then came the fraudulent Iranian election and its brutal aftermath, circumstances that made Obama’s challenge more difficult.

    Why do you think the elections in Iran were fraudulent? Because the fundamentalists won?

    I think here in the United States we think it is unfathomable that peope would elect a fundamentalist religious regime into power in a fair vote. But Iranians are not like us, they don’t share our beliefs, and thus it is more than likely they voted for the fundamentalists. “Death to Israel” sells well there, as does the execution of people for being homosexual.

    The western media in Iran is all going to be almost all based in Teheran, not in the villages out in the countryside. Thus, they get a warped view of the mood of the populace, just as if a foreign journalist never left Georgetown or the Upper West Side or whatever.

    The Washington Post discussed an independent preëlection poll in Iran, which showed overwhelming support for Ahmadinejad. 18 to 24 year olds were his strongest voting bloc. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/14/AR2009061401757.html

    The only segments supporting Mousavi were the upper middle class. Any western journalists probably knew people mainly from this segment of society.

  14. So when some journalist writes: “That’s why White House officials are all but resigned to the futility of direct diplomacy.” I think that journalist is full of horse doody. Who knows what the CIA is up to in Iran, and when they say the internal Iranian regime may be destabilized, I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the goal of our covert ops.”

    Come on, Ken. You don’t have to introduce special ops into this scenario to explain why direct diplomacy with Iran is futile. It’s futile because there are people in Iran who view anything but abject surrender as futile. Last I heard the CIA is under the direction of CIA director, Leon Panetta, who reports to the president; that would be Barack Obama. Are Obama and Panetta in on this fantasy of yours too?

    Obama readjusted his view on soft diplomacy with Iran after the murder of Neda, the fraudulent election, the beating of student protestors, and the wholesale arrest of the opponents of the regime. I think it was a tardy epiphany for him, but his change in policy can be explained without resorting to special ops and flying saucers.

    You’re better than this.

  15. I think we need to give some kudo’s to George Bush for passing along to Obama his key economic guy (Bernanke) and the guy that managed both Bush wars (Gates). Obviously, Obama approves of the way Bush’s people were handling the wars and the economy or he wouldn’t have appointed his top people.

    Just between us, I heard a little rumor that quietly Obama’s chief advisor was Dick Cheney. After all, they are cousins and blood is thicker than water!

  16. I think here in the United States we think it is unfathomable that peope would elect a fundamentalist religious regime into power in a fair vote. But Iranians are not like us, they don’t share our beliefs, and thus it is more than likely they voted for the fundamentalists. “Death to Israel” sells well there, as does the execution of people for being homosexual.

    You’re being ironic, right?

  17. NYTimes reported:

    Last June, with a financial hurricane gathering force, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. convened the nation’s economic stewards for a brainstorming session. What emergency powers might the government want at its disposal to confront the crisis? he asked. Timothy F. Geithner, who as president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank oversaw many of the nation’s most powerful financial institutions, stunned the group with the audacity of his answer.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/business/27geithner.html?pagewanted=all

    So it’s almost as if one could conclude that Geithner was a major player in Bush’s economic team. And one may also conclude that Economist-in-chief Ben Bernanke was part of Bush’s economic team.

    But…

    NYTimes reported that Obama said:

    We also have to recognize that this is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/27/us/politics/27debate.html?pagewanted=print

    Huh? Who is dumber? Bush who created his own failed economic team? Or Obama who decided to stick with it?

    As for Paulson… I’m sure Mr. Goldman is content. Sure, he’s not The Decider at the moment, but he’s still the gatekeeper.

    Scoop… Feingold 2012?

  18. Serious question… he hasn’t done squat about Iraq or Afghanistan… he continues the bailouts… he opposes transparency (think Fed)… now if he compromises on healthcare and drops the public option… at what point does someone (a la Feingold) stand up and say “why bother supporting him?”

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Feingold go for it. He publicly (and rightly) tattooed Obama in June ’08 on the wiretapping bill of attainder.

  19. >>The same guys that trained a bunch of Cuban exiles to invade Cuba, then realizing they had a ‘disposal problem’ that required liquidating these assets decided to go forth with the invasion without telling them the Marine and Naval support wasn’t coming. Instead two US Destroyers would monitor the slaughter on the beach in 1962.

    Bull.

    JFK withdrew the air & rear support at the request of his brother Bobby.

    Everybody knows that, and it’s a matter of record.

    Neither their predecessor the OSS, nor the CIA would ever pull a stunt like that on their people and that stunt is why Cuban/Americans vote more heavily Republican to this day than any other ethnic group.

  20. >>”US empire ”

    See a lot of colonies do you?

    People being held here in the states against their will?

    “Empire” my ass.

  21. 19 ACR // Aug 25, 2009 at 11:25 pm ·

    >>

    Neither their predecessor the OSS, nor the CIA would ever pull a stunt like that on their people and that stunt is why Cuban/Americans vote more heavily Republican to this day than any other ethnic group

    ===============================================

    Both Kennedy and the CIA knew they had a disposal problem if the mission was canceled. Kennedy wanted plausible deniability (no direct US involvement). The CIA were convinced that the Cubans would rise up in support of the Exiles. The decision to go forward has been called a roll of the dice by some historians. At worst it would minimize the disposal problem and limit US exposure. To this day the CIA operatives involved and Kennedy historians come to different conclusions on who was really responsible for the ‘failure’ and to what extent disposal was an acceptable and known outcome.

  22. >>………… CIA were convinced that the Cubans would rise up in support of the Exiles.

    Once they were armed; which was on the agenda.

    However you’re reading some glop online I suspect and most of those authors have less of a clue than you think.

    Further it wouldn’t be a bad idea to speak to some Bay of Pigs survivors and to members of the Cuban resistance who were living in Cuba at the time.
    I doubt you’ve done either, and would bet you know no one who is, was etc. ever associated directly or otherwise, with the OSS, CIA, NSA, etc.
    Certainly not in the relevant time frame.

  23. Mary Jo Kopechne is undoubtedly meeting Ted Kennedy again for the 1st time in 40 years right this second.

  24. AndersonScooper

    Senator Ted Kennedy has in fact died, and once again ACR has proven himself to be a man of supreme integrity.

  25. >>Senator Ted Kennedy has in fact died

    Proving yet again, that only the good (like Mary Jo) die young.

    Now he can answer to his Creator and try to talk his way out of that cold-blooded event that occurred now 40 years and a month ago.

    Apparently killing young women is acceptable to you Anderson?
    (assuming the killer is a Democrat at any rate)

  26. Now the Mass senate seat will be VACANT for five months. Nice job on changing the rules there, dems. Too bad it’s now about to apply to you.

  27. ACR, you have no class.

  28. >>you have no class.

    The immediacy with which the Canonization process began is a bit much for me.

  29. Mary Jo Kopechne is undoubtedly meeting Ted Kennedy again for the 1st time in 40 years right this second.

    ACR, I’m ashamed of you. What was it Jesus said about “let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone?”

    I can’t believe there’s a person on this website that doesn’t have SOMETHING in their past that they’ve done wrong, be it major or minor. Can you honestly look yourself in the mirror and say you are the perfect man?

    Every article I’ve read this morning about Kennedy mentions his failings – the cheating at Harvard, Chappaquiddick, the womanizing and the drinking.
    It’s not like it’s some big secret being swept under the carpet in a quest to paint him as a saint.

    The point is that chose to move on and make something of himself instead of wallowing in tragedy – that the multiple tragedies in his life informed his work in the Senate. For instance, it was while he was lying flat on his back recovering from the plant crash that he realized that poorer residents of MA had to struggle to get treatment – and health care reform became part of his life’s work. I only wish he lived to see it come to pass.

  30. Yet last week when Bob Novak died many articles referred to him as conservative and controversial in the first sentence, that of course was ok and he didn’t even kill anyone!!!! Please knock it off with all of your holier than thou..(because Kennedy is a liberal) nonsense. We all know that when the next conservative icon passes away there will be no kind words sent his or her direction by you “classy” individuals.

  31. BTW, yes it is a sad day in America. Ted Kennedy was a political icon.

  32. Mr Reality – I thought Bob Novak outing a covert CIA agent was reprehensible (since my Dad used to be one) and might well have resulted in deaths of contacts in the field, but did you see me on here slagging him off on the day he died? No. Because he and his family deserved respect.

  33. >>I thought Bob Novak outing a covert CIA agent was reprehensible (since my Dad used to be one)

    Yours too?

    When did you find out?
    I was 35 or 36 when mine sat me down for the “let me tell you…..” talk.
    (OSS / NSA minor CIA spook work mostly R&D – defense only, turned down work on the Cruise as it struck him as not a “defense” but an “offense” (IE civilians) weapon.
    (Since I didn’t know for decades, I guess he was pretty good at it.)

    >>.. did you see me on here slagging him off on the day he died/

    Okay – you have some class; I’ll take a hit from you and I’ll shut up about Teddy.

  34. Yours too?

    When did you find out?

    I’ll tell you the story when we meet for a drink sometime, ACR. Rather not do it on a public board. (Old CIA kids habits die hard 😉 But I was quite a bit younger than you were, and my first reaction was: “You mean you’re a SPY?!! Like JAMES BOND?!!!” My grandfather (Mom’s side) worked with the OSS as well.

    I think there’s a novel in it some day, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

  35. >>Rather not do it on a public board

    Mine passed on 20 years ago this December; I figure it’s safe now.

  36. Okay – you have some class; I’ll take a hit from you and I’ll shut up about Teddy.
    So why did it take a prompt from Sara to do the right thing? Not a Kennedy fan, either. But the man is dead and the press adulation is normal for a recently deceased individual. So say something nice or say nothing.

  37. I lived on the Cape in 69.

    My sister was married to a police Lt in the next town and they often hosted Dominic Arena over night when he would come over the “the mainland”.

    I was 18 and remember things.

    It has *nothing* to do with politics.

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