Now that Bob Costas has declared himself a gun control expert his bosses at NBC have reunited him with their most famous alumnus. As soon as they can find Fred Bear to weigh in on the dangers associated with mad archers, they’ll have the complete sports coverage package.
Sex-ed with live demonstrations by porn stars. Dan Malloy announced a demo project to lengthen school today, but neglected to mention that he himself now plans on repeating third grade.
Or this? hubba bubba!
Presented without (much) comment: 55 Birch Lane, $5.295 million, Unit B-1, 559 Steamboat Road, $4.495. Birch is a total renovation of an older house. The sister unit of the condo on Steamboat asked $6.950 in 2009 and sold for $4.850 in August, 2012, so I guess the builder learned his lesson.
A crick runs through it
A reader asked what’s up with 99 Porchuck Road, which has sat boarded up and abandoned for years now, and I told her that it’s been mired in foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings for years and going nowhere. A check of the court records reveals that the owner is still trying to resist the inevitable and given the glacial pace of our judicial system, I’m sure he can forestall the foreclosure for a long time to come.
This patch of swamp sold for $1.7 million in 1999, proving that housing insanity was not limited to the mid-200s, then for $1 million in 2002 (on, again, an asking price of $1.7). That buyer tried to sell a to-be-built house on it for $3.8 million in 2004 using the following description:
CUSTOM HOME TO BE BUILT ON A KNOLL OVERLOOKING A GENTLY FLOWING RIVER. SITUATED ON 4 MAGNIFICENT ACRES IN THE GREENWICH COUNTRYSIDE.MASTER BUILDER & ARCHITECT OFFERING EVERY LUXURY YOU WOULD EXPECT FOR A GRACIOUS LIFESTYLE.PLANS AVAILABLE AT LB.
Despite every word of that description being false the property never sold and foreclosure began.
This place is encumbered with a $9.999 million mortgage and a second one of $3.8 million, both of which almost certainly represent a cross-collateralization deal involving other properties. Everything is bound to wash out eventually but I wouldn’t be readying truckloads of fill to begin construction of that dream house quite yet.
Tamar Lurie reports her listing at 77 Pecksland, asking $9.9 million, has a buyer. Built on land purchased in 1997 for $4.75 million, renovated this year.
I’ve changed the comment control from “moderate all comments” to “previously approved commenter”, with the idea that regular contributors to this blog can just fire away and see what they’ve wrought immediately. This may cause more problems than it solves because there are a few commenters who can go beyond what I, in my exclusive role as blogmeister, think appropriate (no, not Walt, he’s family, sort of) and those offensive comments will now appear without prior approval and will remain until I notice and dump them.
But it’d be nice to have a live comment board, so if this works without having the comment section deteriorate into the useless, profane mess that other sites’ unmoderated boards are, that’s a good thing. If not, then back to being a hall monitor. So behave yourselves, children.
I CAN take it with me - Tom Ward said I could!
We used to laugh at the occasional home seller who took his toilet paper and lightbulbs with him when he vacated (or evacuated, I suppose); cheap, mean ol’ bastards, but fortunately there weren’t many of them and no lawyer I know of ever thought to cover those items in a sales contract. Toilet paper is still plentiful and cheap, but light bulbs may now be a coveted, and expensive item.
The 100 watt incandescent bub is no more, the 75 watt flickers out January 1 and cfl bulbs are unusable. The suggested alternative for both incandescents and cfls is the LED, which currently (yes, bad pun) cost as much as $30 and even $50 per bulb. Homeowners who still have incandescents may start taking with them what is now literally irreplaceable, and if they’ve already installed, say, 100 of the new LEDs, they’re looking at a $3-$5,000 replacement cost if they leave them behind. It may take a few incidents where a new homebuyer arrives to a dark castle, but I predict we’ll start seeing this issue addressed in sales contracts within the year.
Cut and run
Kills 54 trees and puts them on mounted display at the White House. Our president and his family won’t actually be around to celebrate this bold attack on global warming because they’re jetting off to Hawaii for six weeks with 100 of their best friends and 1,000 Secret Servicemen, 500 Navy SEALS and 253 reporters, but the little people can come in and gawk.
Funny, Ronald Reagan was pilloried by the press when he suggested that trees cause air pollution. Woodsman Barry takes his axe, gives the forest forty (54, in fact) whacks, and he’s cheered for his savage act of eco-terrorism. How times change.
Isn’t it cute? Americans still believe in Santa Claus!
Welfare costs in England have increased 12X since 1948, when William Beveridge first enacted a system to ensure “freedom from want”. No one seems to believe the poorest Briton is 12X better off today, somehow.
The cost of the Welfare State has risen 12-fold in real terms since its introduction, figures reveal today – as George Osborne prepares to unveil a benefits freeze.
Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions to mark the 70th anniversary of William Beveridge’s landmark report on welfare, show the cost of the modern system dwarfs that of his original vision.
They come as the Chancellor puts the finishing touches to next week’s Autumn Statement on the economy, when he is expected to announce a freeze in the value of most benefits apart from pensions and disability payments.
England’s hit the Thatcher line before us and has run out of other people’s money to spend. Obama, on the other hand, is claiming a mandate to spend still more. Even Dollar Bill can figure out that this will end badly, though he won’t admit it.
Entrepreneurs and millionaires flee France as taxes reach confiscatory levels.
“France is no longer a sexy place to be,” said Rosenblum, founder and former owner of Pixmania, an online seller of computers. “To attract and keep business and jobs you have to put on your best face, especially in tough economic times. With all the costs, the taxes and the social pressure, France looks more like an old maid to me.”
Rosenblum — who says he’s leaving France with his wife and two little children this month to open a new business in a country he won’t disclose — is among people fleeing a slew of levies announced by Hollande since the Socialist president was elected in May. The 75 percent millionaire tax was followed by new levies on capital gains, an increased tax on income and wealth, a boost to inheritance charges and an exit tax for entrepreneurs selling their companies.
Delmer, who founded Business Booster Ltd. 12 years ago, said his clients include only about two or three millionaires a month. Most of them are young French entrepreneurs who want to get away from their country’s stifling business climate, he said.
“They want to escape France’s tax red-tape, escape the crappy attitude toward those who are successful, get lower corporate taxes and be in a place with a better reputation than Paris,” he said.
They are the kind of people France needs at home to create jobs as it grapples with anunemployment rate that’s at a 14- year high.
“Hollande has created a system where profits, wealth and most of the money gets sucked up by the state to fund bottomless public finances,” de la Villardiere said. “Instead of looking for creative, new options to spur growth, they went with old recipes that have reached their limit.”
Perhaps in France but here in America we’ve just accelerated the recycling process, the direct result of a fatal alliance “between Ph.Ds and victims”.
At one level Mr. Obama’s silence reveals the exhaustion of the progressive agenda, of which his presidency is the spiritual culmination, Mr. [Harvey] Mansfield says. That movement “depends on the idea that things will get better and better and progress will be made in the actualization of equality.” It is telling, then, that during the 2012 campaign progressives were “confined to defending what they’ve already achieved or making small improvements—student loans, free condoms. The Democrats are the party of free condoms. That’s typical for them.”
But Democrats’ refusal to address the future in positive terms, he adds, also reveals the party’s intent to create “an entitlement or welfare state that takes issues off the bargaining table and renders them above politics.” The end goal, Mr. Mansfield worries, is to sideline the American constitutional tradition in favor of “a practical constitution consisting of progressive measures the left has passed that cannot be revoked. And that is what would be fixed in our political system—not the Constitution.”