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The Morning Grumpy – 1/10/2012

All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

1. What goes around, comes around. Anthony Baynes, former Chairman of the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority has moved on to real estate development since his term ended on the authority in 2008. His most current project is the adaptive re-use of a former industrial building at 100 S. Elmwood in Buffalo into a high end residential and office space. As his budget for the development project spiraled out of control, Baynes sought tax breaks from the ECIDA to help bring the project to a close.

Newly elected County Executive Mark Poloncarz was the sole opposing vote on incentives for the project. His opposition might have something to do with a principled objection to incentives that fail to generate a wide-ranging community benefit or it might have something to do with payback for the brinksmanship between Baynes and Poloncarz over county borrowing back in 2007 and 2008. In a town where everything is political, I’ll let you decide on Poloncarz’s motivation. Regardless as to the outcome of this particular issue, this vote from Poloncarz signals that the ECIDA will soon begin conducting its business in a very different manner.

2. Carl Paladino, Buffalo’s ambassador to the rest of the country.

Photo Courtesy of Tom Dolina,

While on the stump for Newt Gingrich, Carl Paladino had some choice words for national republicans and just about everyone other than your Mother.

Ron Paul’s about to “get on the mother-ship and go back to the mother planet,” Rick Perry’s going nowhere unless it’s to “hang around the shooting range,” and Jon Huntsman clearly loves the Chinese so much he “should move to China.”

Huntsman in particular rubbed him the wrong way by speaking Chinese on stage in the previous debate.

“‘Oh, the Chinese are so strong,’ what the fuck is wrong with these people?” he said. “He should move to China.”

Always the diplomat. He also had some strong words for New York media and their coverage of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s first year in office.

“He didn’t do anything. What did he do? He contrived a $10 billion deficit, you guys never inquired as to why. … He never gave you a line item of where it existed. He never showed you how it all added up to a $10 billion deficit,” Mr. Paladino said of Governor Cuomo and the media. “And then, he solved it and said, ‘Hey, I solved it.’ You never asked him, ‘Well, show us the solution, show us the formula, show us the numbers.’ You never asked him for it because it never existed, it’s an illusion.”

An absolute embarrassment to Buffalo and WNY.

3. Last night, I felt like watching something mildly informative, so I flipped over to The History Channel, Instead, I was confronted with back to back episodes of something called “Pawn Stars“. After three minutes of watching this contrived bullshit reality show, I could actually feel myself getting dumber. How this is “history”, I’m not sure.

So, here’s a quick history lesson for The History Channel.


4. The Wall Street Journal examined 77 businesses Mitt Romney invested in while running Bain Capital from its 1984 start until early 1999, to see how they fared during Bain’s involvement and shortly afterward.

Among the findings: 22% either filed for bankruptcy reorganization or closed their doors by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested, sometimes with substantial job losses. An additional 8% ran into so much trouble that all of the money Bain invested was lost. Another finding was that Bain produced stellar returns for its investors — yet the bulk of these came from just a small number of its investments. Ten deals produced more than 70% of the dollar gains.

See, Carl? You don’t need to act like a petulant tween when criticizing the other Republican candidates, just reference their actual records.

5. High school graduation rates by state (Click the image to Embiggen).

Irrational conclusion time…notice higher graduation rates correlate with Democratic voting blocs? Clearly, republican voters are just dumber. You can’t argue with it, it’s just science.

6. Mitt Romney protesting in favor of the Vietnam War.


Fact Of The Day: Covering just 0.3% of the Sahara Desert’s land area with solar panels would generate enough electricity to power the entirety of Europe. Or, ya know, we could keep destroying the earth underneath our feet at a rapidly increasing cost to generate electricity and fuel. Either or.

Quote Of the Day: “Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.” – Christopher Hitchens

I feel like we need to get in the mindset of our Republican Presidential candidates and start sharing their testimony from the good book.

NEW FEATURE! Bible Verse Of The Day: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;she must be quiet” 1 Timothy 2:12

Song Of The Day: “Start A War” – The National

Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisSmithAV

Email me links, tips, story ideas: chrissmithbuffalo[@]

  • wolfpack

    Poloncarz has been vocal about what the ECIDA chooses to do and why there are so many IDAs. The original purpose of the act is to generate jobs. This project fails teh test. Others took chances in downtown (too many to mention) and it remains a no jobs here project.

  • uncabobbo

    You don’t have to be a supersleuth to understand Polencarz stance. 1) Altho rehabilitation of old buildings is in my mind a worthy endeavor in this instance the end use, high end apartments should very well make that rehabilitation profitable. 2) What is the logic of using tax giveaways to those who should not need the help? One those apartments are open and occupied, if you can’t afford high end, don’t go there. 3) The costs “soared” as the project progressed. Make me wonder just how encompassing the original condition evaluation was and how ept the original proposal was. 4) The developer has alrready been to that well once and drank heartily. How many give-away rounds does one get?

  • newwayofthinking

    Saw this comment regarding the Paladino/Gingrich partnership and thought it bore repeating: “Last time an Italian fascist fell in love with a German despot there was lots of trouble”

  • egojonz

    The Morning Grumpy. Love it, love it! Keep up the good work.

  • Eisenbart

    Wouldn’t higher end projects have a better return on investment, the “tax breaks” they give him, for the county rather than low income housing? The county will eventually recoup those funds no? Lords knows there are people who profit from low income housing in WNY right?