Daily Archives: July 27, 2009

Here’s a surprise: Dodd pocketing huge sums from big drug companies

As a self-proclaimed champion of the people, Connecticut’s Friend of Mario expresses dismay that the big guys are dumping money on his head. “No no no, I don’t want it!” he cried yesterday as yet another pharma employee arrived pusing another wheelbarrow of cash. “It’s too much, I just don’t deserve it”. Dodd denies that this surprising influx of cash has anything to do with him taking over the ObamaCare program on behalf of his co-conspirator Ted Kennedy. Asked if he intended to return any of the loot the Senator clutched a wad of bills to his chest and said, “it’s mine. I earned it,I want it. Screw off.”

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Housing prices still have 15% to drop?

Calculated Risk thinks so,and has some interesting charts to back him up. The author points out that while sales activity may resume, sale prices will probably continue to fall – in the last real estate crash, prices kept dropping five years after sales picked up. This is common sense, to me – lower prices, more sales. My opinion is that there are many Greenwich houses that aren’t even close to 15% of their final disposition price. I keep pointing houses that are selling for their assessed value (or less) for a reason: Two years ago, that number represented 70% of what was perceived to be a house’s full market price and we were in fact seeing houses sell for a multiple (2.3, in Riverside) of that assessed value. Now, the majority of houses selling are at the assessed value, meaning they have lost 30% of what was once considered their value and even more when you toss in the old multiple.

But that’s the houses that are selling. Those that aren’t are mostly priced way above assessed value so my guess is that they’ll have to fall to at least that before they sell. And if Calculated Risk is right, when they hit that benchmark they have another 15% to go. Sellers who are renting out their houses in the hope that the market will return to 2007 levels soon are in for disappointment.

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Won’t some Colombian investor please have a talk with Andres?

While poor Walter Noel is stuck cadging free drinks at the Bathing Club in the Hamptons (where he was blackballed from membership, but can still walk the hallowed grounds if accompanied by a member) and is banned from his digs at the Round Hill Club, son-in-law Andres Piedrahita is busy living it up on stolen money. Turns out, he’s off cruising the high seas on his new $30 million yacht he bought this June. That’s not just showing no remorse, that’s rubbing defrauded investors’ noses in it. Could be dangerous, Andres.

"Two mojitos, Walter and then I believe the master stateroom's head needs attending to."

"Two mojitos, Walter and then I believe the master stateroom's head needs attending to."

Greetings from Bogata!

Greetings from Bogata!

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Jim Himes won’t send his kids to Washington schools but poor D.C.residents must

A reader complains that I unfairly mailgned Jim Himes for voting to shut down charter schools in D.C. when in fact, the reader says, he never did. Well perhaps I’m guilty of shorthand. What Himes did vote for was the 2009 Omnibus Spending Bill which contained a provision, slipped in at the behest of the NEA, to end the school voucher pilot program which awarded a few thousand lucky students $7,500 with which to pay for an education at a school free from the horrors of the D.C. union-run schools. The vote is here. The Senate also voted to kill this threat to unions and not surprisingly, Dodd voted to kill it, Lieberman voted to keep it alive. That’s why this is Lieberman’s last term, of course.

Why is this hypocrisy of the worst order? Because no one in Washington with a choice sends their kids to the public schools there. Not Obama, not Jim Himes. But they will deny the same choice to poor students so as to curry favor with the NEA. Trading kids’ lives for votes is despicable, to me. Not to Himes, or Dodd.

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Jim Himes for school board?

Desparate to avoid losing his seat to Republican Scott Frantz and not content with quitting his job as Congressman and either (a) running for Greenwich Tax Collector; or (b) Governor of Alaska, our Cos Cob rep is now trying to weasel into a position on the School Board. In a memo to fellow Demmerkrats, cleverly drafted to hide his true intentions, Himes pretends to advocate a three (or four, if he can get that Drupals fellow to come out into the light) candidate fight for the two positions on the Board reserved for Democrats. Knowledgeable observers (that would be Edgar Martins) see Himes’ letter as nothing but a ploy to set the local Demmerkrat party against each other, brother against brother, everybody against Chris Von Keyserling, etc. – and in the ensuing confusion, claim one of the seats as his own.

Can Himes handle Board duties as well as those of the tax collector’s? Can even make their meetings if he’s busy skinning mooses in Alaska? Hey, what do I know? I’m still waiting for a board position to be reserved for a Libertarian so we can begin shutting down the entire mess, but the folks at MyleftNutmeg are all atwitter and what concerns them concerns me – sort of, kind of. By the way, I find it instructive that Himes, like all liberals, wouldn’t dream of subjecting his children to the public schools of Washington, D.C. He’s keeping them safe up here, while voting to shut down Washington’s charter schools – can’t threaten those beneficent teachers’ unions, eh?

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Bottom story of the day – outpouring of support for Gates from academia

Wait a minute, you mean that college professors are supporting a black professional victim/scholar over a white policeman? That certainly sets my view of academia on its ear!

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Waterfront still sells

45 Byram Shore

45 Byram Shore

This is a beautiful, 1896 house on Byram Shore Road that was purchased for $5.375 million in 1999, completely renovated over the years since then and put up for sale at $13.250 million in 2008. From what I understand, that sum represented a loss to the seller but 2008 was not the year to try to recapture that money. It finally went to contract July 1st and closed today for $8.5 million. That’s obviously a very large sum of money, but also represents an excellent buy, considering replacement cost and the 1.85 acres in an R-20 zone. Assessed value is $8.434 million.

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