From phony reporters to phony crimes, all in a day. New Canaan police arrest mother for letting her thirteen-year-old babysit his siblings.
Daily Archives: June 25, 2012
Only yesterday our Community Organizer set a new presidential record by playing his 101st round of golf during his presidency, thus accomplishing in a mere three years what no other president could do in two full terms and today he’s up in Boston for more fund raising (another record, but he’s well past the old one and is just extending his streak). Rumor has it that Elizabeth Warren’s offer to donate some of her own excess campaign funds was rejected by the president, who worried that the indian giver might demand them back later.
The pair did, however, sing a duet:
Here I stand, the goddess of Desire
Set men on fire
I have this power
Morning noon and night it’s drink and dancing
Some quick romancing
And then a shower
Stage door johnnies always surround me
They always hound me
With one request
Who can satisfy their lustful habits
I’m not a rabbit
I need some rest
Sick and tired of love
I’ve had my fill of love
From below and above
Tired, tired of being admired
Tired of love uninspired
Let’s face it
Does a higher vocabulary mean a higher income? According to this study it does, but I’ve always thought that the drive to be wealthy is a better predictor. If you don’t really care, you’ll probably find more interesting things to do than chase money.
But I’ll admit the possibility that that’s just an excuse for sloth.
Emboldened by her colleagues’ refusal to prosecute her for her sordid history of fraud, Maxine Waters relaxes and invites the Tea Party to a little sexual fun: “C’mon, Tea Party, let’s get it on!” I’m afraid that Waters, like our own Dollar Bill, has confused the anti-corruption movement with some weird sexual convention that exists only in her fevered brain. Sad to watch even a moron slip deeper into lunacy.
35 Lakewood Circle North, part of the Indian Point association, asked $3.295 and has sold, quickly, for $3.150. I didn’t think much of this house because instead of a backyard it had a pool (and a swamp, but those aren’t much good except for frog hunting). But there you have it.
And just as startling, 16 Lakewood Circle, priced at $3.650 has a contract after just a short time on the market. I thought this was a better house than No.35, as its price reflected, but with just three bedrooms, it was a non-starter for the buyers I’m working with – they all have kids, are planning more kids and many have in-laws who like to visit for extended stays. In the latter case, I think the lack of a bedroom or two is a feature, not a bug, but then, I don’t have to explain to disgruntled parents why they’re being put up at the Stamford Motor Inn.
16 Oakwood Lane also has an accepted offer and it’s about time. I liked this house and its central Greenwich location (“central” as in off Parsonage, not downtown “central”) and its final price of $2.5 million was pretty attractive. The two problems, at least as I saw it, was its high starting price a year ago of $3.295 million; an improvement over the $3.895 tried for a failed at in 2006-2007, but still too high, according to the market, and its “dated” layout and condition. I place dated in quotes because I thought this was a classic beauty and a wonderful home but the young families I’ve been working with and who are, after all, the people who are buying homes now, like larger kitchen/family areas, spiffy baths and all that sort of thing. This house can be pretty easily changed to accommodate those desires by removing the wall between the kitchen and its adjoining library (something I would never do but see previous remarks) and some new bathroom fixtures. So at this price, I’m not surprised it’s found a buyer.
Dow took another hammering today and Europe did no better. A couple of my buyers extended what they, and I, thought were good offers but each was met by a stony refusal to even counter. Not that financial wizards need advice from me, but I’ve suggested that we wait for a 500 point one-day drop in the Dow and try the offers again, perhaps even just a tad lower. It might take a few repetitions but one side’s going to be proved right on their guess where the economy’s headed and my money’s on down.
Even if I’m wrong, house prices will stay flat; I see no scenario that will send prices surging forward.
Let’s drop the big one now.
Nah, but I see that 30 Jeffrey Road sold yesterday for $1.444 million, just a hair off its asking price of $1.495. I wrote about this house (twice) in April, describing it as a great buy, and in fact showed to a reader because of that posting. I’m not claiming that I’m responsible for this sale but I sure didn’t hurt its prospects. I never hear back from brokers when that happens, for some reason.
One I didn’t write about – I can practice restraint of tongue and pen – was 8 Baldwin Farms North, which reports an accepted offer today after 281 days on the market and dropping its price to $6.950 million from its September ’11 starting price of $7.9. Owners of houses in this mid-range may want to take heart – one down, 161 to go.
I did like the description of this six bedroom, 10,506 square foot house, six full baths and four half baths as “perfectly sized”. I guess someone’s agreed.
41 Hidden Brook in Riverside has a contract. Asked $2.495, having dropped from $2.695, just 40 days on market. I liked this house and thought it a decent buy for such a good street. My clients were put off by what they felt was its “railroad car layout” but at this price on Hidden Brook, I’m not sure that shouldn’t be accepted as a compromise. But we found something else, so no complaints here.
Food stamps can be spent on goods ranging from candy to steak and are accepted at retailers from gas stations that primarily sell potato chips to fried-chicken restaurants. And as the amount spent on food stamps has more than doubled in recent years, the amount of food stamps laundered into cash has increased dramatically, government statistics show.
But the government won’t say which stores are doing the most business in food stamps, and even it doesn’t know what kinds of food those taxpayer dollars buy.
Coinciding with lobbying by convenience stores, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program in conjunction with states, contends that disclosing how much each store authorized to accept benefits, known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), receives in taxpayer funds would amount to revealing trade secrets.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Is The Country Unraveling? “Nowhere is the Obama model of massive borrowing, vast increases in the size of the state, more regulations, and class warfare successful — not in California or Illinois, not in Greece, Spain, or Italy, not anywhere. Culturally, Obama might at least have played the Jimmy Carter populist and eschewed the elite world that had so mesmerized Bill Clinton. Instead, Obama proved a counterfeit populist and became enthralled with the high life of rich friends, celebrities, high-priced fundraisers, and family getaways to Martha’s Vineyard, or Costa del Sol. He somehow has set records both in the number of meet-and-greet campaign fundraisers and the number of golf rounds played. As Obama damned the fat cats and corporate jet owners, he courted them in preparation to joining them post officium.”
78 Doubling Road has dropped its price from $7.495 million to $6.995. Nice house but the real story here is that it sold new in 2007 for $8.6 million and can’t get near that price now. Have I mentioned that this part of the market is dead?
Land at 120 Oneida Drive, quasi-waterfront, sold for $3.8 million on an asking price of $4.5. Sellers paid $3.517 for it in 2010 and although they did spend some money on architectural plans and regulatory filings they still did better in their expectations than did the previous owners, who priced this at $7 million in 2009 before finally accepting half that.
Land at 17 Doverton (Sabine Farm neighborhood) has an executed contract after 1,188 days, last price was $1.750 million. Ogilvy kicked off this farce at $3.750 in 2007 and there were a series of “adjustments to a choppy market” since.
Three more land parcels have accepted contracts: 29 Havemeyer Lane asking $495,000, 19 Heron Vue, on the other side of town, listed at $995 and 9 Fletcher (we’d call that Portchester but the town of Greenwich claims jurisdiction) at $295,000 for 0.15 of an acre.
New Canaan reporter fired for making up fake quotes – a lot of them. (Thanks for link, Island Surveyor).
I’ve always enjoyed inventing quotes but I rely on readers spotting them for the satire they’re intended to be (although I did hear from the head of the Byram Vets once, demanding I remove a made up quote attributed to him years before – someone must have found it in Google – denouncing Dick Blumenthal as a has-been wannabe unfit to swill beer with the other fakes at the Byram Vets Hall. I complied because I’m a nice guy, but was sorry to see it go).
So anyway, FWIW sent our ace investigative reporter Scusie up to New Canaan to get the scoop. Quite a story.
“We have found 25 stories written by Paresh Jha over the last year and a half that contain quotes from nonexistent sources,” said David McCumber, editorial director of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. “So of course we fired the lazy bastard – just twenty-five stories? What the hell was he doing the rest of the time, accurate reporting? This yoyo, this rice eater doesn’t understand that we’re the friggin’ New Canaan Advertiser, for Crissake? We aren’t a real paper, we’ve never been a real paper and we sure as [fiddlesticks] don’t intend to be a real paper. We’re the goddam Greenwich Time/Greenwich Citizen North – this Jha character thinks he’s Clark Kent, when he’s supposed to be Walter Duranty – what an ass hat!”
It seems likely that the Supreme Court will knock down most or all of Obamacare today and there is a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in Liberalville as their champions try to figure out how things went so wrong. Here’s a hint: these people have considered that there might be a limit on their power to reshape the world as they and their donors desire.
From the NYT:
In passing the law two years ago, Democrats entertained little doubt that it was constitutional. The White House held a conference call to tell reporters that any legal challenge, as one Obama aide put it, “will eventually fail and shouldn’t be given too much credence in the press.”
Congress held no hearing on the plan’s constitutionality until nearly a year after it was signed into law. Representative Nancy Pelosi, then the House speaker, scoffed when a reporter asked what part of the Constitution empowered Congress to force Americans to buy health insurance. “Are you serious?” she asked with disdain. “Are you serious?”
[....] Looking back, Democrats said they had had every reason for confidence, given decades of Supreme Court precedents affirming Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce, and lawyers who defended the law said they had always taken the challenge seriously even if politicians had not. But they underestimated the chances that conservative judges might, in this view, radically reinterpret or discard those precedents.
Adversaries said the law’s proponents had been too attentive to liberal academics who shaped public discussion. “There’s very little diversity in the legal academy among law professors,” said Randy E. Barnett, a Georgetown University law professor and a leading thinker behind the challenge. “So they’re in an echo chamber listening to people who agree with them.”
That’s all true but I think misses the real cause, which is the arrogance of power festering in DC politicians of both parties. These are people, after all, who don’t carry cash because they spend their day surrounded by sycophants and beggars and who, politicians know, will pick up lunch tabs, taxi (limo, these days) fares and pay for anything their money cow might desire. Live in that world for even a short time and its no wonder pols think they’re all powerful. When Obama walked out without paying for his lunch with two soldiers the other day it wasn’t because he wanted to stick them with the bill; the idea of who would cover his expense simply never occurred to him.
And this arrogance led to the current confusion and shock in our Capitol’s halls as lawmakers come face-to-face with the until-now unthinkable concept that there’s a limit to their power. And since they’ve never understood that our constitution can serve as a bulwark against their imagined hegemony they now look for some other cause and have latched onto the only explanation they can understand: it must be political.
No, it’s the principle of law and maybe, just maybe, my least favorite people in the world will have that driven home to them today by a two-by-four across the nose. Here’s hoping.
“In fact, more women as a whole now graduate from college than men,” Obama wrote. “This is a great accomplishment—not just for one sport or one college or even just for women but for America. And this is what Title IX is all about.”
In 1975 the women’s graduation rate was 17% below men’s and that number was declared a catastrophe requiring federal intervention via Title IX and thousands of regulations. That a 25% discrepancy is now seen as a triumph reveals what many of us knew all along: this was never about gender equality but was merely an assault on young men.
I take some comfort that, under the Fountain Theory of Gender Accomplishment, this will prove a pyrrhic victory because the brightest men, more far-seeing than the rest of us, sense when a profession or occupation is dying and get out, leaving us dullards to fight for the scraps. Teaching, secretarial work, medicine and law are just the most recent examples of this and now it seems higher education will be next. The best among males have seen college for what it now is: an oppressive, anti-male environment and an unsustainable institution and they’re leaving the field, creating a vacuum to be filled by minorities and women , who will incur huge debt while earning degrees in Victimhood Studies.
So enjoy your accomplishment, great leader and your mob – it won’t last.
136 years ago today arrogance and political ambition drove George Armstrong down to the Little Big Horn to meet his destiny. I was an avid reader of all things western as a child, devouring biographies and histories of the men of that era so that even by 12 I saw this date as a win for the Sioux, not a tragedy for our country. Of course, had I known how Custer’s demise would be subsumed into the still-to-come political correctness movement I’d probably have championed the asshole, just to be contrary.
Because he’s the classic government looter first presaged by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged in 1957.
I’ve written about Washington’s use of force to extract tribute from successful companies before: Last month, October 2009, and many times before and after, but here’s a recap of how that “conservative” from Utah accomplished it – shades of Hank Reardon and his new steel:
How Hatch forced Microsoft to play K Street’s game
“If you want to get involved in business,” Sen. Orrin Hatch warned technology companies at a conference in 2000, “you should get involved in politics.”
Hatch was referring to the shortcomings of then-software king Microsoft, which he had spent most of the previous decade harassing from his perch as Judiciary Committee chairman. The message was clear: If you become successful, you must hire lobbyists, you must start a political action committee, and you must donate to politicians. Otherwise Washington will make your life very difficult.
Hatch’s crusade against Microsoft was a formative moment in the cozy relationship between K Street and Capitol Hill. That coziness has become a prime target of the Tea Party in recent years — and so has Orrin Hatch, who faces a primary Tuesday against conservative challenger Dan Liljenquist.
Here’s the Hatch-Microsoft story:
[...] But it grated on Hatch and other senators that Gates didn’t want to want to play the Washington game. Former Microsoft employee Michael Kinsley, a liberal, wrote of Gates: “He didn’t want anything special from the government, except the freedom to build and sell software. If the government would leave him alone, he would leave the government alone.”
This was a mistake. One lobbyist fumed about Gates to author Gary Rivlin: “You look at a guy like Gates, who’s been arrogant and cheap and incredibly naive about politics. He genuinely believed that because he was creating jobs or whatever, that’d be enough.”
Gates was “cheap” because Microsoft spent only $2 million on lobbying in 1997, and its PAC contributed less than $50,000 during the 1996 election cycle.
“You can’t say, ‘We’re better than that,’ ” a Microsoft lobbyist told me on Friday. “At some point, you get too big, and you can’t just ignore Washington.”
“You can sit there and say, ‘We despise Washington and we don’t want to have anything to do with them,’ ” the lobbyist said. “But guess what? We’re going to have hearings about the [stuff] you do.”
[...] In a 2000 speech to technology companies, Hatch called Microsoft “knuckle-headed and hard-nosed,” according to Wired magazine. “I have given [Microsoft] advice, and they don’t pay any attention to it.” In that same speech, Hatch warned: “If you want to get involved in business, you should get involved in politics.”
[...] After the Hatch hearings, Microsoft complied. Its PAC increased spending fivefold in each of the next two elections. In the 2010 elections, Microsoft’s PAC contributed $2.3 million to House and Senate candidates. The PAC has contributed the maximum $20,000 to each of Hatch’s last two campaigns.
[...] Wal-Mart underwent this same shakedown last decade. Then the hedge funds caught the eye of Washington. Next on the menu is Apple. This is how Washington increases its power and its wealth.
And while companies may first come to Washington to play defense, they soon learn how to profit off big government. Today, Microsoft isn’t asking to be left alone. The company supported Obama’s stimulus, which subsidized computers and also “net neutrality” regulations, which would protect their current profit model.
Microsoft now plays ball in Washington, and Orrin Hatch’s public flogging of Gates was a major reason. “It’s been a year since I was in D.C.,” Gates wrote the night before his Hatch hearing. “I think I’m going to be making this trip a lot more frequently from now on.”