Monthly Archives: February 2009

Obama – no coal, no nukes, it’s propeller beanies for all!

Obama cut off all funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste depository. Harry Reid is delighted as will be anti-nuke activists. If there’s no place to remove waste to, it will be that much easier to stop nuclear power plants. My prediction: we won’t see another coal or nuclear power plant built in my lifetime and I’d be surprised if I even see one powered by natural gas. The goal of these people is to destroy modern civilization and for some some strange reason, we seem to have decided to join them in a collective suicide.

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The Media and soldiers’ corpses

Defense Secretary bowed to his new boss’s pressure and this week modified the Pentagon’s ban on photographing the coffins of soldiers brought back to our country. The New York Times and other scum trumpeted this as a triumph of their desire to “honor our fallen heroes” when of course their intention was to exploit the dead, not honor them. The press wanted to use the pictures to stir up public sentiment against the Iraq war when Bush was running it. Today, the show “On the Media” aired an interview with some guy from Salon who said exactly that. Good for him – he’s the only honest man among the entire swarm of liars.

My prediction: we’ll get coverage of the first bodies to arrive, complete with the standard denunciation of Bush (and Cheney – lest we forget Cheney) and that’s it. It was always about Bush, nothing more. It’s Obama’s war now and there is no longer any need to oppose it.

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The scourge of adjustable rate mortgages

Just heard from a borrower whose adjustable rate mortgage was reset today. His is set to the T bill rate plus 2.375% so his new rate is … 2.875%. He’s probably entitled to sum dat dare stimmulus money, huh?

I’ve suggested that he switch to a fixed in a year or two before the Obama plan reignites inflation. I was the beneficiary of the last great Demmerkrat who wanted to save my soul by stealing my money, Jimmy Carter, and paid 14.5% on my first mortgage. We’re heading back there, I think.

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Lenin predicted it but Wall Streeters don’t read history

Some Obama supporters on Wall Street are beginning to see what they voted for and aren’t all that happy.

Lenin also said: “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”  I wonder who in Washington has read that?

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Just as long as they don’t supply pine cones as TP

Ryan Air to charge for use of toilets? It’s “under consideration.” I suppose guys like me can just open a window but it seems harsh for the ladies. Discrimination!

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Staging a house – worth it?

Stagers insist that it is and here’s another success story. I remain skeptical; I’ve seen plenty of houses sell that were staged and plenty that were empty and I’ve never noticed a difference in the prices they fetched or the speed with which they sold. I do agree with stagers that clearing clutter from a house is always important and absolutely essential if the sellers are packrats, but putting antique tables in parlors and pictures of other people’s children on the walls doesn’t strike me as a worthwhile expense. Your call, naturally.

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Chavez seizes rice factories

First he killed the oil industry, now he’s going after food. Poor Venezuela. All they’ll have left to look forward to are visits from Jimmy Carter and Sean Penn.

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Rant at my boss! I’m letting my puppet indulge in negativism!

Warren Buffet speaks - at my command, of course.

In his eagerly-anticipated annual letter to Berkshire shareholders, Buffett also offered a gloomy economic outlook, saying “the economy will be in shambles throughout 2009 — and for that matter, probably well beyond.”

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Anyone this stupid shouldn’t be armed

Seattle cop caught on video beating the bejesus out of a 15-yearold girl. One of the more amusing parts of my past life was viewing videotapes of my drunken driving clients who swore to me that they were cool, sober and collected when arrested and, on the tape, were revealed to be foul-mouthed, violent inebriates. One (Greenwich) guy kept threatening to call his friend the Governor as he kicked out the rear window of a police car. We got him to go to rehab.

A Ridgefield cop once told me that, as the result of citizen allegations of beatings in police cells, they were forced to install video cameras in the jail, just as was obviously done out in Seattle. “Of course,” the cop explained, “that just means we beat the shit out of them before we get to the station.”

This Washington idiot obviously couldn’t figure out that strategy.

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Late Friday afternoon developments in market

7 Gisborne Pl

7 Gisborne Pl

This Old Greenwich house sold for $1.810 million in April, 1999. The buyers renovated it and added on, then sold it for $2.860 in January ’07. Those buyers tried reselling it for $3.095 but were unable to find a buyer until they lowered its price to $2.5 million on January 27 of this year. It went pretty quickly then, and yesterday was reported as under contract.

718 North Street

718 North Street

 

This North Street property continues to encounter difficulties in finding a buyer, despite it being a nice house on a beautiful setting. It sold for $3.583 in ’01 and was put back up for sale in 2004 at $4.350. It didn’t sell and the owners pulled it from the market until May, 2008, when they again asked $4.350. No takers still, so yesterday it was reduced to $3.2 million.

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Hey, Kids, try this at home!

How to turn a Sharpie into a liquid-fueled rocket. Impress your friends, terrorize your sister. Cool!

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Who will finance our borrowing?

We were already pretty much dependent on the Chinese to loan us the money needed to carry our debt. We’re proposing to quadruple that debt and I wonder, who can afford to fund it? Europe’s in the tank and about to sink to the bottom. The price of oil is trimming the wallets of the Arabs and China is shutting factories and losing its jobs – 20 million so far and getting worse.

What’s the alternative? Zimbabwe has trillions of Zimbabwean dollars, but I don’t know if we want those.

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When to turn state’s witness

Before you spend several hours lying to the S.E.C.  This young woman could probably have skated from her close association with our latest recent Ponzi, Stanford Financial, but thought she could lie her way through. That’s usually a poor decision. You can see what her lawyer thought of her behavior in the second paragraph, below:

According to the F.B.I. affidavit, during the meeting “executive B,” or Mr. Davis, gave her a data drive showing that the Tier III asset group included more than $3 billion in real estate holdings and $1.6 billion that turned out to be a “loan to shareholder,” believed by those present to be Mr. Stanford. The information shocked and upset a number of executives present, all of whom had been told time and again that the firm’s investments were legitimate. A number of them are now cooperating with government investigators.

In her S.E.C. testimony, however, Mrs. Pendergest-Holt did not reveal these details, despite repeated questioning. Thomas V. Sjoblom, a lawyer with Proskauer Rose who represented the firm and who was present during Mrs. Pendergest-Holt’s testimony before the S.E.C., withdrew his counsel the day after her testimony. Two days later, Mr. Sjoblom, who had spent 20 years with the S.E.C. before entering private practice, disavowed all previous oral and written representations he had made to the S.E.C. on behalf of the firm.

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U.S. Virgin Islands on sale

Well, sort of. Prices down maybe 20%, according to the WSJ. I’d suggest waiting for prices to fall 75%. I spent a fair amount of time on all three islands working on a guidebook about a decade ago and, while I liked St. John, I wouldn’t live on St. Thomas on a dare and St. Croix brought to mind Phil Sheridan’s quote, “If I owned Texas and Hell, I’d rent out Texas and live in Hell.”

I wonder, by the way, if our colony down south doesn’t provide a look at our own future here on the mainland, where only the government offers jobs and there is no work for those who aren’t friends of the ruling power:

Moreover, unemployment, while historically high, hasn’t changed over the past year, since a large proportion of the population works for the government rather than the more volatile private sector.

Better start working on joining the Teamsters or the NEA.

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Nice to know that schnooks come from both sides of the pond

“Sir Fred” Goodwin, the man whose ego and greed drove him to try to expand the Royal Bank of Scotland into one of the big boys and instead brought it to ruin, is getting a $million pension per year, for life. He’s only 50, so unless an angry former employee or shareholder prevents it, he should live to collect a tidy sum. Asked to return at least part of that money, Sir Fred told the Brits to pound sand. He can’t say he earned it but I suppose possession being 9/10 of the law and all that ….

“There is a sense of fury that the government seems impotent, unable to act when the man chiefly responsible for the bank’s collapse is able to walk away with a pension that others can only dream of — and at the ripe old age of 50!” said Dave Pickering, a spokesman for the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils, in an email. “And what makes it worse is that we, the British taxpayers, are actually paying for it!”

A friend of mine who spent 40 years with RBS lost his job Sunday as the direct result of Freddie G’s deluded schemes. I imagine he’d appreciate receiving just a small portion of the man’s pension.

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Have girls gotten awful since 1978 or was I just lucky enough to date nice ones?

Out of work? Down on your luck? Stay away from women, you loser, but feel free to call when you get a job.

(Thanks to Krazy Kat, who I believe is happily married and no doubt plans to stay that way)

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Hoist by his own Guitard?

U2 and its leader, Bono, are under fire in Ireland for moving operations to the Netherlands to avoid a new tax on their earnings. Ho hum, another liberal who knows how he wants to spend my money and how he wants to hang on to his own. I’d say he’s ready for a cabinet post in the new administration but his fellow countrymen are accusing him of -gasp!-hypocrisy – say it ain’t so, Bono.

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Where’s Walto?

Hanging out in Palm Beach, according to my source down there, who called today with a Walt and Monica sighting. 

Just in case you were wondering.

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Breaking News – “Carbon fees” are actually a new tax!

Well who ever would have suspected that? Okay, I mean besides just about everyone with an IQ higher than 12 who didn’t attend an Ivy League college. Still, just in case you “still buy your clothes in New Haven”, as that John Updike character liked to say, here’s the Wall Street Journal pointing out the obvious:

That didn’t take long. The same week that President Obama promised (again) that “95% of working families” would not see their taxes rise by “a single dime,” his own budget reveals that taxes will rise for 100% of everyone for the sake of global warming. Ahem.

You don’t even have to burrow into yesterday’s budget fine print to discover the “climate revenues” section, where the White House discloses that it expects $78.7 billion in new tax revenue in 2012 from its cap-and-trade program. The pot of cash grows to $237 billion through 2014, and at least $646 billion through 2019. If this isn’t tax revenue, what is it? Manna from heaven? The offset from Al Gore’s carbon footprint?

If it brings in revenue that the government then spends, it’s a tax, and politicians should start referring to it as such. The Administration in fact projects that these “climate revenues” will become the sixth largest source of federal receipts by 2019, outpaced only by individual and corporate income taxes, payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare and (barely) excise taxes. We’re supposed to be living in a new era of fiscal honesty, so let’s start with cap and trade.

Of course it’s easy to see why Democrats don’t want the public to think of cap and trade as a tax. Tax increases aren’t popular, as Mr. Gore learned when he and Bill Clinton tried to impose a BTU tax in 1993. The complex cap-and-trade tax would ripple throughout the energy chain and ultimately the entire economy. All consumers, not just “the rich,” would pay more for goods and services that use carbon energy — though some would pay more than others. A majority of those “95% of working families” probably lives in the middle of the country that relies far more on manufacturing and coal-fired power than do the better-off coastal regions.

Mr. Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu was refreshingly candid on this point with the New York Times earlier this month. Given that higher prices are supposed to motivate the changes necessary to reduce carbon energy use, Mr. Chu said he was worried that climate taxes may drive jobs to countries where costs are cheaper. “The concern about cap and trade in today’s economic climate,” he said, “is that a lot of money might flow to developing countries in a way that might not be completely politically sellable.” You are correct, sir.

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A condo sale

340 Valley Road, one of those free-standing houses in a planned unit development, has sold for $2.360, a very good price (for the seller) notwithstanding that he was asking $2.7 million for it since 2007. The buyer obviously liked the price too.

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