Daily Archives: July 11, 2009

Running the state – owned auto industry from Washington

Overlawyered reports that a majority of House members supports a bill prohibiting the closing of 789 Chrysler dealerships and 1,300 GM shops. Auto dealers have always been huge campaign donors to their federal congressmen so this makes sense, even if it doesn’t bode well for the future of either company. Health care will be entirely free from this sort of interference, of course.


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Short sales

I just learned from my clients that a short sale they had bid on, and lost, has fallen through. “Would they like to raise their offer and bid again?” the listing agent asked. Never mind that the agent directed that question to my clients, not to me, their agent, the fact that the sale fell through is hardly surprising and typical of these situations. The property is a poorly made, poorly located  spec house that is already rotting and falling apart. The kid who claimed to be a builder ripped out the appliances and even the kitchen sink before vacating (if he has in fact vacated – when we last viewed it, there was a mattress with sheets on the floor of the living room) and there is no way any bank will approve a mortgage on an uninhabitable dwelling, so that will be interesting.

The winning bidder claimed to be able to surmount that lending obstacle by having the cash to buy the place outright. He either didn’t have the cash or he came to his senses but either way, the short seller is back at the well, working on bidders number 2 and 3. My inclination is to tell the seller (and his agent) to screw off. My clients offered the highest bid on this place last December when it was supposedly going to be sold to the highest bidder and instead of getting the house, the property was yanked off the market and returned six months later with a new minimum price 10% higher than before. That makes sense – the market has deteriorated since December, the house itself has deteriorated even faster, so raise the price.

My guess on this disaster? It’s got a long way to fall before it finally sells. Even if bidder number 2 comes through, I don’t believe he’ll find an appraiser willing to give a price opinion high enough to cover his bid, and that’s if the appliances are returned, the toilets repaired and the sink reinstalled. So the seller is stuck wth finding an all cash buyer, which is unlikely at this price, or accepting a bid contingent on financing, which won’t be forthcoming. In the meantime, the rot continues to spread. I can hear the distant rumble of bulldozers.


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Is Redfin the future of real estate brokerage?

Article here says that Redfin, a Seattle based flat fee, on-line real estate brokerage has finally earned a profit and that that spells trouble for the conventional brokerage model. Could be. My late father was a member of Squadron A between the two world wars and had a cartoon from the 30’s depicting a statue of a soldier in a reared-up jeep. That was supposed to be ridiculous and funny and it was: until the Polish cavalry took on Hitler’s tanks.

So we will see. Life is change, and those who can’t adapt don’t make it. Just ask a polar bear.


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More on People for the American Way

This dreadful group is attempting to trash New Haven fireman Frank Ricci for daring to sue after he was discriminated against, so I thought it would be informative to look into the character of its own directors and members. First up, of course, is Board member Alec Baldwin, perhaps best known for calling his 11 – year-old daughter a “thoughtless little pig” before he warmed to the subject and described her other defects. That infamous tape can be found here.

Who else in this organization has a sordid, rotten past? I’ll go looking.


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People for the (new) American Way

With Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings scheduled to begin Monday, People for the American Way is rushing to defend her nomination by urging reporters to trash Frank Ricci,the New Haven fireman whose discrimination suit was dismissed by Sotomayor and other judges in the 2nd Circuit. Shades of Frank the Plumber. This despicable practice of dragging people through the mud was first tried by American Way with Robert Bork and when that succeeded, extended and perfected for Clarence Thomas. But those gentleman at least were the actual nominees – People for the American Way now goes afterperipheral figures because, in their hate-distorted view, anyone who stands in the way of their goals is fair game and can be destroyed with complete moral justification. This is disgusting.

UPDATE: Exactly how distorted and hateful have these awful people become? They’ve abandoned their own principles and goals, as outlined in their “Mission Statement”

Our Mission and Vision

People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way.

Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.

Our operational mission is to promote the American Way and defend it from attack, to build and nurture communities of support for our values, and to equip those communities to promote progressive policies, elect progressive candidates, and hold public officials accountable.

In case you’ve forgotten, Frank Ricci was a New Haven fireman who took a test for promotion, scored highest on that test, and sued, along with other white firefighters who had scored better than others, when the test was thrown out and several blacks were promoted instead solely because of their race. Ricci claimed he had been discriminated against because of his race, Sotomayor said, “so what” and the United States Supreme Court ruled otherwise and in favor of Ricci.

Now if you apply their mission statement to them, People for the American Way should support Ricci for his stand against discrimination, his desire to pursue his dreams and his participation in our nation’s civic life by suing to obtain judicial relief from an illegal act. Instead, the group is trying to defame and destroy his character because a greater good: the appointment of Judge Sotomayor, is at issue. This echoes the American Communist Party’s actions during the 30’s and 40’s.


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