Article

A QUICK NOTE ON SPECTRUM-PITTSFIELD DEAL GETS US GOING, then … SOME ‘BUDGET HAWK’: PAUL RYAN LEAVES DEFENSE SPENDING UNCUT … RYAN ISN’T A ‘BUDGET HAWK;’ HE’S JUST ANOTHER PLAIN, OLD HAWK WHO WILL PROTECT THE FAT & SACRED COW … plus … A CLOSE LOOK AT THE UNITED STATES of AMNESIA’s OBSCENE PENTAGON BUDGET

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, AUG. 15, 2012) — THE PLANET begins with this note on today’s post: Yes, we shall be exploring the various facets of the Spectrum-Pittsfield agreement in detail. We shall ask questions that, we alone (most likely) will dare to ask. Meanwhile, if you missed it, we shared this hasty remark yesterday on the basis of incomplete news and with the ink still wet:

This development raises more questions than it solves, so many it is difficult to figure out where to begin. The confidentiality agreement, with respect to the role played by BHS, is one of the most pressing queries. Eddie raises the fair point of BHS’s domination in the county, and a reasonable person can only conclude that this has been in the mix for a while. How long? Now that is a key concern. Another question is the $100,000. What kind of piss-poor negotiation position and job during the arguments did the city have and do? It must have been off the charts, on the low side. As DTR mentions above, most of this is on Ruberto, but Bianchi comes off looking bad, too. His quote about never again agreeing to confidentiality is another big question. You mean, he agreed? He didn’t inherit legal duct tape over the mouth? There is so much about this resolution that, on the surface, appears dishonorable and unscrupulous. We have only begun to dig. There are people involved with this deal who aren’t happy. THE PLANET will be interested in any factual information anyone might have. For the sake of the good people of Pittsfield, this cannot be allowed to stand.

Also, please allow one quick personal note: R.I.P. Johnny Pesky. THE PLANET shall have our tribute upcoming on a later day.

Now, to our regularly planned coverage.

—– 00 —–

WHY PAUL RYAN IS NOT A BUDGET HAWK

Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president, Paul Ryan, is most frequently described as a  ”budget hawk.” Seriously? Can you take the word of any candidate for office on either of the major tickets? Budget hawk? How about just plain, ordinary hawk, a term used to describe pols and military people with itchy trigger fingers.

THE PLANET points out that Ryan supported the Bush and Obama “too big to fail” bailouts, the TARP fiasco and voted to raise the debt ceiling. That responsible conservatism? That’s a …

PAUL RYAN: Budget hawk? Nah, just a plain hawk.

… budget hawk? Oh, that it were true, because if Ryan truly wanted to made a dent into criminal amount of debt rung up by this country, he would start with the defense department. When we look into his so-called “government-slashing” budget proposal, however, we see that he keeps his hands off of the sacred-cow Pentagon. The outrageously sinful amounts of money eaten up each day by the U.S. National Security States of America (also known, in Gore Vidal’s great term, as “the United States of Amnesia) bear another look. A strong national defense is one thing. Pure pork barrel spending on weapons that we don’t need and often don’t work as advertised is another.

Bipartisan at Last: Both Dems and Repubs are Afraid of Taking on the Pentagon

In the end, Ryan, of course, is just another well-scrubbed street punk with a $200 haircut in an expensive suit who doesn’t dare shake up the MIC — the military-industrial complex. That, by the way, is one of the few truly bipartisan actions that Dems and Repubs undertake each year.

That’s a deal buster as far as THE PLANET is concerned, since the $.7 trillion spending — all taxpayer money — to fuel the endless war machine has to be the first on the chopping block for any serious budget reduction proposal. As you will see in the article below, if you count total spending, the military gets $1 trillion a year. The U.S. is the world’s greatest war maker.

A study by the International Institute for Strategic Studies shows how disproportionate U.S. military spending is as a percentage of the nation’s GDP. Please educate yourself on this. To that end, THE PLANET presents this work by  Winslow Wheeler writing on defenseaol.com. We include the hot links:

—– 00 —–

$1 TRILLION A YEAR FOR THE WORLD’S GREATEST WAR MAKER

A telling graphic from the International Institute for Strategic Studies’s newly released report on global military spending(click here for the original).

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has released its annual series of reports on international defense spending, The Military Balance 2012. The full text is subscriber-only, but a summary press releasedetailed table of contents, and a very useful overview of one of the more interesting volumes, “Comparative Defence Statistics,” are free online. The content of the comparative volume is important; it gives a view of the gigantic girth of the American defense budget.

First, however, to better appreciate what these figures reveal about the huge size of the US defense budget, a short discussion is needed about the caveats that some articulate to adjust the optics of the spending comparisons.

Some point out that the IISS numbers for the Chinese and Russian defense budgets do not include all their defense related spending. That is correct. For example, for 2010 the official Chinese defense budget is shown as the equivalent of $78.7 billion in US dollars, but if foreign arms purchases, R&D and other defense related spending is included, the amount is re-estimated at $111.1 billion. IISS also introduces a concept called “purchasing power parity” (PPP) to attempt to equalize the value of a dollar of spending in each country; the PPP version of the 2010 Chinese defense budget is $178.0 billion.

But there are some very important caveats to these caveats.

Just as the official Chinese and Russian defense budgets are incomplete, so is the US defense budget. The IISS does count the US spending outside the Pentagon’s nominal budget, such as for nuclear weapons, the Selective Service, and other defense related spending in what the Office of Management and Budget calls the “National Defense” budget function. However, the IISS does not count other US defense related spending. For 2011, this includes roughly $20 billion in military retirement spending outlayed by the Treasury Department (the DOD budget pays for less than half of annual military retirement costs). IISS does not count military aid to countries like Israel and Pakistan (in the International Affairs budget). It also does not count various homeland defense costs in the Department of Homeland Security (such as Customs and Border Patrol and the Coast Guard). It does not count the costs of caring for veterans of past and current wars in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Adding in all of these non-DOD agencies’ costs, plus a share of the annual interest on the national debt, can get total US defense-related spending up to about $1 trillion, rather than the $739.3 billion the IISS counts for the US for 2011. (The IISS version of the US defense budget for 2011 is further complicated by the fact that IISS counts the original Obama request for 2011, $739.3 billion, not the $717.4 billion that has actually been appropriated, but $20 billion is a minor error in such gigantic calculations).

In short, the IISS does not count all Chinese, Russian, or American defense spending. To achieve a complete and accurate apples to apples count would require more analysis than IISS has performed. To count all such spending for all such countries may, or may not, mean counting all of the items that total the US national security budget to about $1 trillion; it would depend on the methodology. The use of only each government’s officially counted defense budget undercounts the numbers, but it does so for each. How the relationships might change, especially the ratio by which the US budget exceeds the others, is unknown pending a better apples to apples comparison by IISS or others, but at first glance it does not appear that the ratio of US spending levels would be significantly disadvantaged.

The IISS estimate for the Chinese and Russian defense budgets is also affected by the “PPP” (Purchasing Power Parity) analysis, an effort to equalize various economic and other analytical factors. The effect of the PPP is large, larger than the effect of attempting to count all defense-related spending. For example, the official Chinese defense budget for 2010 grows from $78.7 billion to $111.0 billion when one includes all known defense spending, but that number grows much more, to $178.0 billion, in the PPP analysis. (I find no PPP analysis for China’s 2011 numbers.)

Ryan doing the Palin thing. What a man! He loves to kill innocent animals who can't outrun a bullet.

The PPP analysis, however, should be treated with care. Part of that caution is expressed by IISS itself. In its printed volumes, IISS states: “The use of PPP rates is a valid tool when comparing macroeconomic data, such as GDP, between countries at different stages of development. However, no specific PPP rate exists for the military sector, and its use for this purpose should be treated with caution. Furthermore, there is no definitive guide as to which elements of military spending should be calculated using the limited PPP rates available.” It is presumably for this reason that in its “Comparative Defence Statistics” analysis, IISS does not employ the PPP factor for comparing defense budgets across countries.

The PPP comparison also reminds one of a bizarre analytical technique the Cold War era intelligence community used when comparing US defense spending to that of the Soviet Union. To size the overall Soviet defense budget, an assumption was made, for example, to cost Soviet tanks, such as the T-72, as the cost equivalent of American tanks, such as the M-1, notwithstanding the fact that the American tank was far more complex and therefore much more expensive than the T-72. Thus, with the Soviets producing tanks in greater numbers than the US, the Soviet defense budget was counted as far larger than it actually was. It was threat inflation masked behind contrived budget analysis, and it was quite notorious to all, except those who welcomed the budget/threat inflation for bureaucratic or political reasons. The IISS description of its PPP analysis talks about adjusting for the cost of labor and materials in different countries and hints of an analytical technique vaguely like this discredited Cold War method; so the IISS admonition that its own PPP analysis “should be treated with caution” for the purpose of comparing military spending is an admonition that should be respected. If IISS did not use it for its comparative analysis, it seems reasonable for others to avoid it as well.

All that said, what do the IISS numbers show?

The first figure compares officially reported (and incomplete) US defense spending for 2011 ($739.3 billion) to the rest of the top ten defense spenders (also as officially reported): They are China, the UK, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India and Brazil–in that order. See the budget numbers at the link: note that not one breaks the $100 billion threshold, let alone coming anywhere close to the US. Added all together, the nine come to roughly two-thirds of the US amount, showing not balance but imbalance.

However, the contraposition of US spending to these nine is a bit odd; it suggests there is some sort of analytical comparison to be made between the US and these nine countries, other than that they are the next nine in spending levels. It would make more sense to compare US spending to that of opponents, or at least potential opponents. Assuming for the moment that China and Russia are “potential opponents” (an assumption often made by Cold Warriors with a hangover or others with no great respect for the ability of US policy makers to learn to live with regional powers or even a future superpower), the combined total for China ($89.8 billion) and Russia ($52.7 billion) comes to $142.5 billion.

Consider how puny that $142.5 billion is compared to the US’s $739.3 billion. Showing that relationship in a bar graph would almost seem to be a conscious act in diminishing China and Russia or bloating US spending. That, nonetheless, is the appropriate comparison. Moreover, adjusting it for the defense budgets of Syria, Iran, North Korea, Somalia or anyone else won’t change a thing. Not one of the latter breaks the $10 billion barrier, and if you add the defense related spending not officially reported (including for the US), the basic relationship in these spending totals will not likely change: The US spends roughly five times what these other countries spend.

In other words, the US defense budget is not just dominant; it is operating at a level completely independent of the perceived threat. In the nineteenth century, the Royal Navy sized itself to the fleets of Britain’s two most powerful potential enemies; America’s defense budget strategists declare it will be “doomsday” if we size to anything less than five times China and Russia combined.

The last figure, “Planned Defence Expenditure by Country 2011,” shows the proportion of US spending to all other regions and countries. The US accounts for 45.7 percent of total spending by the world’s 171 governments and territories. While, again, there is no comparison of the US and our allies vis-à-vis all of our “potential opponents,” the comparison becomes so unbalanced as to be odious. With most of the top ten on “our” side, the ratio of “us” to “them” is far more than five to one and more like ten, or more, to one – even assuming many governments are neutral.

As the Republicans argue in the coming (election) year that Obama is “cutting” defense to “dangerous” levels, and as Obama’s Secretary of Defense moans about “doomsday” to occur if existing spending is reduced below current plans, consider the numbers above. Do these people know what they are talking about? Do they want you to know?

—– 00 —–

RYAN COMES UP SHORT

We’ve read an awful lot of coverage on Ryan’s proposals, and the best we’ve seen in terms of digesting the essentials without presenting an unfair, eviscerated version, is the one written by Liz Goodwin or Yahoo! News. THE PLANET presents her piece here:

Mitt Romney’s budget hawk running mate Paul Ryan made his name in Congress by releasing a bold, government-slashing budget proposal that he calls ‘The Path to Prosperity.” It was first proposed for fiscal year 2012. Democrats have criticized Ryan’s budget as a “Darwinian” re-making of the federal government, which would reward the rich and corporations with lower tax rates while cutting safety-net programs like Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars. But Ryan and his many supporters say he is one of the few people in Washington willing to state the obvious, yet politically risky fact that the nation’s entitlement programs aren’t sustainable and need to be saved.

President Barack Obama’s campaign released a statement Saturday saying Ryan’s plan “would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health-care costs to seniors.” The attack shows Democrats will use Ryan’s budget proposals as a weapon against Romney. But will it work on voters?

Below, we’ve laid out the five key points from Ryan’s “Pathway to Prosperity” budget so that you can judge for yourself.

1. Ryan’s budget plan cuts $5.8 trillion over 10 years from projected federal spending and reduces the deficit by $4.4 trillion over the same period. Discretionary spending, which includes programs like food stamps, would see more than $900 billion in reductions. The budget also calls for the repeal of President Obama’s health care reform law, which supporters say would save billions in federal subsidies that will be given to lower-income people to buy insurance.

2. The most contentious part of Ryan’s proposed budget are the changes to Medicare, the nation’s insurance plan for retirees and a political third rail. Ryan’s plan would eventually transform Medicare into defined payments that seniors can use to buy private insurance or a government plan on an insurance exchange. There would be no limits to the out-of-pocket costs seniors could pay in this program, but Ryan assumes that the increased competition between Medicare and private plans would bring down overall costs. The amount of money seniors get to buy insurance would grow at a slightly higher rate than GDP each year. (The Congressional Budget Office says this would save the government money, but also significantly increase the amount seniors will eventually have to pay for their own insurance.) The eligibility age would gradually rise to 67, from 65. Democrats say this transforms Medicare into a “voucher program” that may leave seniors with big prescription bills and other medical costs, and the Obama campaign is already using this against Romney and Ryan. If Obama can convince seniors–a powerful voting bloc that turns out at the polls–that Ryan would worsen or weaken Medicare, it could mean bad news for their campaign. But it’s important to note that Ryan’s proposed changes would go into effect for the next generation of seniors, not this one.

3. Ryan would cut the top federal income tax rate for individuals and corporations to 25 percent from 35 percent. The budget says some tax breaks and loopholes would be eliminated to help offset the revenue loss.

Doing 'the Napoleon rag'

4. Ryan would cut Medicaid, the insurance program for some low-income people, by $735 billion over ten years, and hand the program back to the states to administer with more freedom. The CBO writes that states would most likely have to “reduce payments to providers, curtail eligibility for Medicaid, provide less extensive coverage to beneficiaries, or pay more themselves than would be the case under current law.”

5. The budget spares Social Security and defense spending, which are left at current levels. Ryan’s decision to back off Social Security is interesting, since he put forward proposals to privatize the program around the same time that President George W. Bush tried to sell the nation on a similar proposal. (Social Security does not face the same solvency challenges as Medicare and Medicaid, and is not projected to grow much as a percentage of GDP over the next 20 years).

—– 00 —–

There is no such thing as the perfect vice presidential choice. Any one and all of them come with strengths and weaknesses, advantages and tradeoffs. Net-net, Ryan, in forcing Romney more to the hard right, will be a net loss for the ticket. Romney’s best chance of winning is strongly conservative but not rabid right.

——————————————————————

END

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

42 Responses to “A QUICK NOTE ON SPECTRUM-PITTSFIELD DEAL GETS US GOING, then … SOME ‘BUDGET HAWK’: PAUL RYAN LEAVES DEFENSE SPENDING UNCUT … RYAN ISN’T A ‘BUDGET HAWK;’ HE’S JUST ANOTHER PLAIN, OLD HAWK WHO WILL PROTECT THE FAT & SACRED COW … plus … A CLOSE LOOK AT THE UNITED STATES of AMNESIA’s OBSCENE PENTAGON BUDGET”

  1. Still wondering
    August 15, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    You are going to lose readers if you lose your local focus, Dan.

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

      SW
      I will not lose my local focus, rest assured, but I also reserve the right to wander from it at will. Appreciate the reminder.

  2. Former Pittsfield Resident
    August 15, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Why didn’t they just put the Methadone Clinic at the Airport? They could’ve just filled in a little more pristine wetlands. Forcing all that water into someone else’s backyard. At this point what’s the big deal?

    And what’s another $100,000.00 the taxpayers have to pay for? Just a drop in the bucket. After all its for a good cause. Giving the druggies their “fix” and not making them travel all the way to Springfield.

    While they’re at it, just put the carousel out there too. May as well have some attraction to bring people to the airport and get at least “some” use of their money back.

    Hey, get your drugs, take a ride on the merry-go-round and watch a couple Arab Shieks land their Cessna’s. What’s so wrong with that.

    Looks like Pittsfield has gone Mad.

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

      FPR
      You know, if you were to magically transport a citizen from 1958, 1968, and even 1978 into 2012, they would agree with that last statement.

      • Former Pittsfield Resident
        August 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

        Dan,

        I left Pittsfield in 1995, and I Made the statement.

        Cheers!

  3. Beacon Hill Mob
    August 15, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Dear Dan,

    A CRAP or a TURD????

    Choose one the result will be the same.

    That is Mittens vs Obamination.

    Dr Paul still had delegates and IS IN THE RUNNING.

    I will SLEEP WELL with a vote for Dr. Paul, or a Liberetarian/Constitution Party.

    MITT AND OBAMA ARE DISGUSTING!!!!

    Best ,

    BHM

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

      BHM
      If the election were help today, I would cast my vote for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party or Jill Stein of the Green Party. I would not waste my vote on the Dems of GOP. I am also snickering at those of limited vision, who can’t fathom how I could have a Libertarian and a Green both in consideration. I will only say to them that it’s not a mutually exclusive situation. Carefully study the respective platforms, and you shall discover something shocking (and restorative for the republic, by the way, if taken in a heavy enough dose).

      • Beacon Hill Mob
        August 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

        Dear Dan,

        The marginalized, by the alphabet MSM , Dr Paul. is our best hope for FREEDOM.

        That is FREE of BECON HILL , THE MORONS IN WASHINGTON (not the state, but they have morons too).

        Mittens and Obamination are DISGUSTIING OFFAL.

        Is this the BEST America can offer? If so I am sickened and disgusted. My high school class had better men and women.

        Best,

        BHM

        • danvalenti
          August 16, 2012 at 6:20 am #

          BHM
          Paul would be a much better choice. So would Gary Johnson (Libertarian) or Jill Stein (Green).

      • Kevin
        August 16, 2012 at 5:44 am #

        Me too Dan

  4. Still wondering
    August 15, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    I thought you would have mentioned the EXIT of D.R. by now. Horray!!

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

      Nah, she’s not news around here.

      • skier1
        August 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

        can hear the cheering at city hall!!!!!!!

  5. Dead to Rights
    August 15, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    I like the mix of local and national. DV though pretty much keeps it local.

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

      DTR
      Yes, in the balance, we are local, but as I said above, I will stray regionally, nationally, internationally, or universally as my curiosity directs.

  6. Not buying it
    August 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Dan,
    Thanks for giving us some useful insight about the real Ryan. CNN and USA Today seem more interested in his grueling workout routine and amazing abs!

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

      NBI
      Thanks. Doesn’t surprise me about CNN and USA. There is no “news” on television, just features, puffery, moronism, lunacy, and fairy dust.

      • Levitan
        August 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

        Puffery is a legally protected form of commercial speech.

  7. Scott
    August 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    “Ryan doing the Palin thing. What a man! He loves to kill innocent animals who can’t outrun a bullet.”

    If you kill the animal humanly use the meat and put the waste back into the environment what’s wrong with that? It’s not about killing defenseless animals. Now look at big production meat companies there’s a cause for some regulations on the ethical treatment of animals. think about it next time you open that Perdue package or eat at KFC.

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      SCOTT
      We hear you, but FYI, we don’t eat Perdue or KFC. I doubt Ryan has to hun to put meat on the table. If that is the case, it’s about the kill. I know several once-avid hunters, including my dad, who came to the point where they realized what they were doing had a moral aspect to it.

      • Scott
        August 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

        I’m just saying and I’m eating a veggie burger with greens I grew myself right now for dinner! (I enjoy hunting, being outside for me it’s not the kill but the time in nature and the reward of meat potentially.)

      • Larry
        August 16, 2012 at 5:02 am #

        I would have to imagine Ryan thoroughly enjoys the meat yeilded from the kill. I know I Love venison and yet I don’t even hunt. I’m not sure what you seem to have against hunters, Dan. Are you a vegetarian?

        • danvalenti
          August 16, 2012 at 6:17 am #

          Vegetarian? No.

          • Larry
            August 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

            Well, somebody killed it then…. Why not Ryan? LOL

  8. Sal Bando
    August 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Off topic but I re-read yesterday’s blog. I am confused by two things: the job description you gave with its long list of duties is actually that of the Pittsfield City Clerk. Not the register of deeds. Leaves me scratching my head as to how you can then say Ms. Harris is the most qualified based on duties that only one of the candidates performed and did so for ten years. And Ms. Harris’ website does tout what the Register does and will do. But it is not the job Ms. Harris is currently doing – far from it – and she seems to be taking a lot of credit for a job that is not hers. She is one of two second assistants and it is her boss, the 1st assistant register Sharon Henault, who manages all aspects of the office. I can only imagine how Ms. Henault must feel having one of her subordinates taking credit for her job as well as credit for her boss’ job, the current register’s. A phone call to Ms. Henault might make for an interesting story.

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

      SAL
      As much as I loved your home run in your first at bat in the 1972 World Series versus the Reds, you are incorrect. These are the posted duties. Here’s another restatement: DUTIES OF THE REGISTER OF DEEDS from campbellelections.com:

      Duties. The most important function of the register’s office is the filing or recording of documents which affect the legal status of real and personal property. With regard to real property, these documents include deeds, deeds of trust (mortgages), financing statements called fixture filings under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), assignments, plats, court decrees, leases, liens, releases and many other instruments. With regard to personal property, the most important documents have been financing statements under the UCC and instruments relating to financing statements, such as amendments, continuation statements, assignments, releases and termination statements; however, most of these UCC documents are now filed with the secretary of state and not with the register. Powers of attorney are often recorded in the register’s office. Also, some official documents (county official bonds and certain official reports) are
      recorded or filed in the register’s office. The register notes in a notebook the time and receipt of each document in the order received and maintains indexes of the records of the office. The register must be familiar with the requirements for acceptance applicable to each document. The prerequisites for acceptance of a document vary with the type of document. It is important to remember that a register is not a notary and does not have a statutory power to take acknowledgments, as do county clerks.

      The register has important revenue functions, both for the collection of fees for performing the duties of the office (most of which are found in Tennessee Code Annotated § 8_21_1001) and collection of two state privilege taxes _ the transfer tax and the mortgage tax. Currently, the state realty transfer tax is 37¢ per $100 of value or consideration and the mortgage tax is 11.5¢ per $100 or major fraction thereof over $2,000 of indebtedness. The register must be knowledgeable concerning the many special rules and exceptions which apply to the collection of the realty transfer and mortgages taxes. The register must be knowledgeable about the required statements on instruments evidencing transfers of real estate or certain interests in real estate and instruments of indebtedness.

      Other Matters. Since office management is an important component of the register’s duties, registers should know about personnel procedures and both state and federal laws. Also, the register should have a basic understanding of potential liability, including both personal liability and county liability, and of the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act. Every county official should be familiar with the conflict of interest and disclosure laws applicable to their offices.

      Leaving Ms. Henault out of it, since she is not a candidate, of the three, Patsy is BY FAR the best qualified. You know this, and for some reason you can’t admit it.

      Love that quick bat, though.

      • Sal Bando
        August 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

        I do have a quick bat….not as powerful as Reggie’s bat or Bert Campaneris’ legs. However, what you’ve written here is not what you wrote yesterday. What you wrote yesterday was the City Clerk’s job description. What you’re writing today is something quite different and they are duties Ms. Harris does perform. What you’ve described here are responsibilities of clerks and 2nd assistants…not the 1st assistant or Register. Management is the job of the 1st assistant and register and I’m afraid Ms. Harris hasn’t made it through Babe Ruth on those fronts. Ask Mr. Nuciforo or Ms. O’Brien the last time they actually recorded a deed in their function as Register. Dick Green awaits your answer.

        • danvalenti
          August 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

          SAL
          Tell Dick Green that we liked his glove but his stick could have been better. We shall let the voters determine this. Meanwhile, here’s my lineup: Ken Harrelson, 1b; Green, 2b; Campy, ss; Ed Charles, 3b; Nelson Matthews, lf; Jim Landis, cf; Wayne Causey, rf; Rene Lachmann, c; Jim Nash, p. Like it?

          • Sal Bando
            August 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

            Sorry, Rudi is the man in left and since Ed left to an NL team, I will stick with me, Sal that is, at 3rd. And I would have Vida or Rollie pitching….

          • danvalenti
            August 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

            SAL
            I was going with an earlier lineup, circa 1965. They had Jim Nash, Rollie Sheldon, John O’Donoghue, Lew Krausse, John Wyatt, Aurelio Monteagudo, Diego Segui, Jose Santiago, and them guys.

  9. Silence Dogood
    August 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    For the record I believe Ryan to be a bow hunter but I don’t know for sure if the deer in the image was taken wth a bow or gun.

    For those who put down hunting unless you are a vegan you have no logical argument. It doesn’t much matter if you get meat from a market or the woods,

    VP Ryan will not be in Congress the only time he votes is as a tie breaker in the Senate.

  10. tito
    August 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    So, if we follow the Planet’s logic, we have to vote for Neal for Congress, after all, he has way, way more experience, than Nuciforo.

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      TITO
      Even you know better than to misapply logic in a general fashion. Logic and reason are case-specific. Ideologues, party loyalists, and fundamentalists of all sorts have trouble seeing this point, but you aren’t one of them, are you, T?

  11. tito
    August 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    Why Planet hello! Well kinda sorta, Tommy LaSorsda.

  12. tito
    August 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Where are you Planet, at the Bat Cave? The pen never rests!

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

      We’re at the FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE.You’re right about the pen.

  13. tito
    August 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    Planet alert! Planet alert! How can you disclude Catfish?

  14. Jonathan Melle
    August 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    How does Nuciforo have time to run for U.S. Congress when he is working at the Pittsfield Registry of Deeds all day? Oh wait, Nuciforo is a political hack with a no-show job!

  15. Elizabeth
    August 16, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    Dan…mitt hit it out of the park with Paul Ryan. Although the Obama campaign is trying to convince the american people that Ryan/Romney want to End medicare and leave seniors without coverage, the exact opposite is true. First of all, let’s be honest…Medicare is going broke, and no doubt ten years down the road It’ll be bankrupt. Obama want to steall 700 plus billion dollars from Medicare and package it into obamacare. Ryan’s plan will save Medicare. Contrary to what all you liberal nuts spout, it’s not Romney trying to throw gramma off a cliff..it’s Obama who wants to control and ration our future. Like I said before….if you want to live in a socialist country, with an inept medical system, then by all means, vote the radical back in.

    • danvalenti
      August 16, 2012 at 6:18 am #

      ELIZABETH
      Maybe, but it has to trouble any true conservative that he voted for TARP, deficit budgets, and that he will not go after the Pentagon, which is the porkiest of all govt departmental porkers.

  16. tito
    August 16, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    I think it will either be Pignatelli or Phillips for Deeds, and Rich Neal in a landslide over Andy Nuciforo.

  17. Elizabeth
    August 16, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    How come liberals never attacked JFK when he spent something like 9.5% of the economy on the military. Now it’s less than four percent. Who’s to say there won’t be another devastating attack on the united states. Especially with China growing it’s military and with so much instability in the middle east. Not to mention Iran going nuclear. I, for one, don’t want the united states to be a sitting duck. I’m so afraid for this country and the direction it’s heading. We need to get the economy back on track…stop discouraging small businesses and STOP subsidizing losers.