Daily Archives: April 2, 2012

They follow the First Family’s example and get fired for it?

Was it the clown's makeup?

The head of the General Services Administration forced to resign after spending $835,000 to take 300 federal employees to Las Vegas, where they were entertained by a clown, a mind reader and put up at luxury hotels. $75,000 was spent to put on a bicycle building training session but no mention is made of anyone playing golf. So what’s the problem?


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Here’s a guy who should have saved that law school tuition

Thank Allah for pass-fail!

Of course, as an affirmative action player he probably didn’t pay a thing but he’d be entitled to a refund if he had.

From James Taranto:

President Obama made a statement today whose ignorance is all the more stunning for his once having been a part-time professor of constitutional law. National Journal has the report:

Obama said he was confident Monday that the healthcare reform law will be upheld by the Supreme Court because it is constitutional.

“Ultimately I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically-elected Congress,” he told reporters in the Rose Garden.

[Taranto]: Unprecedented?  Even Linda Greenhouse would mock him for saying that. Did he sleep through the Harvard Law class on Marbury v. Madison?

Marbury is the first case taught in constitutional law classes because it was the first case from the newly-created Supreme Court that established the principle that the Supreme Court could determine whether a law enacted by Congress was unconstitutional. Marbury found the law in question unconstitutional and overturned it. Now that was unprecedented, back in 1803, but even a community organizer affirmative action Harvard “lawyer” should know that Marbury established the very precedent he now claims would be unprecedented.


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Sooner or later, someone’s going to buy this place

Back yard, I think

But probably later.27 Vineyard Lane is back again, asking $2.995 but promising a new gravel driveway and laundry room this time. We’re at 909 DOM and counting on this old house, at prices ranging from $4.995 million (2007) to $2.8 million (last month). Not a bad house, albeit under 3,000 square feet and probably destined for the dumpster, but it sits on a hill overlooking the swamp of a front yard. I’m just guessing, but I’d think most buyers for a new house on this road will be looking for a more impressive approach. Still, there’s 3 1/2 acres here, and if you can find a way to keep clear of those swampy bits and find space to build a whopper, FAR won’t stop you.


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If it saves the life of just one child …

Arizona legislature censors internet freedom.

The state legislature of Arizona has passed a bill  that vastly broadens telephone harassment laws and applies them to the Internet  and other means of electronic communication.

The law, which is being pushed under the guise of  an anti-bullying campaign, would mean that anything communicated or published  online that was deemed to be “offensive” by the state, including editorials,  illustrations, and even satire could be criminally punished.

The bill is sweepingly broad, and would make it a  crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to ‘annoy,’  ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’ as well as certain sexual speech. Because the  bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, H.B. 2549 would apply to the  Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and  other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying.”

This type of legislation is far from unprecedented. Last year, former president Bill Clinton proposed a law to censor internet speech. “It would be a legitimate thing to do,” Clinton said in an interview that aired on CNBC. Clinton suggested the government should set-up an agency that monitors all media speech for supposed factual errors.

“That is, it would be like, I don’t know, National Public Radio or BBC or something like that, except it would have to be really independent and they would not express opinions, and their mandate would be narrowly confined to identifying relevant factual errors” he said. “And also, they would also have to have citations so that they could be checked in case they made a mistake. Somebody needs to be doing it, and maybe it’s a worthy expenditure of taxpayer money.”

Cass Sunstein, head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has also proposed banning speech on the internet that  the government disagrees with. Sunstein proposed the creation of an internet “Fairness Doctrine” similar to the one that was used for years to limit and eliminate free speech on the radio.

The Arizona bill, H.B. 2549, if you care to Google it, passed the state senate 30-0, so it’s fair to say that Democrats and Republicans joined in this rush to limit citizens’ freedom. Forced purchase of medical insurance, helmet laws – from the serious to the ridiculous, legislators and their supporters see no limits to legislate “for the common good”. When it is pointed out to them, as certain Supreme Court justices did last week, that that is not how our government was established or designed, they claim that the constitution is obsolete. Hope not.


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Interesting thought experiment

43 Doubling

43 Doubling Road is back on the market, either for sale at $4.8 million (they paid $5.2 for it in 2009) or rent at $25,000. Just for kicks, I plugged those numbers in that NYT rent or buy calculator I link to over on the right (under “Useful Links”) and, figuring in lost opportunity costs, zero appreciation, 3% rent increase a year, etc. you’d actually be better off in the first four years renting instead of buying. That surprises me, but it probably shouldn’t.


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A/O in Lucas Point

21 West Way

21 West Way, asking $4.475 million. 174 DOM. Nice house, Lucas Point, waterfront – what’s not to like?


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Seems pricey to me

Stamford Lighthouse

#2 and #4 Indian Dive (Old Greenwich, end of Ledge Road) hae come on as a $15 million package deal. No pictures up yet but it’s certainly a wonderful street and waterfront down there is commanding a large sum. But, the two lots are 0.41 and 0.26 acres respectively and it’s a sure bet that no one’s going to pay $7.5 million for 0.26 of beach. Not here, not now, anyway. $15 million for a lot with a combined area of 0.67 acre? I’m guessing this land will be around with us for quite a while.

But Old Greenwich can surprise me so ….


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