Daily Archives: September 6, 2012

I blame the Dutch

Democrat leader John Lewis* predicts return to slavery if Republicans win.

The Democrats, as every child of color is taught, ended slavery during the Civil War in 1960, when they defeated the Republicans and their Dutch leader, Abraham Lincoln in the famous Battle of Brooklyn Bridge. Mr. Lewis fears that that happy result would be reversed under  Republican rule, and who can blame him? Just yesterday his Congressional colleague Yvette Clarke fell victim to a dastardly plot by the Dutch Republicans to discredit and ridicule her, and Lewis knows that these people will stop at nothing.

* Among his many awards and accomplishments, Mr. Lewis leads Congress in the number of private trips he’s taken on the corporate dime.

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Some stats from William Raveis

Raveis has a marvelous data collection system and you can have fun exploring what’s going on in Greenwich, its individual sections or expand and check out neighboring towns or even all (most) of New England. Here’s a snap shot of Greenwich’s activity:

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Whipping up the sheeple

Health Department urges shutting parks, beaches, school recess because of two cases of West Nile Virus. Assuming we have to pay these people and keep their department open, although I don’t see why, couldn’t they earn their salaries by, say, suggesting the use of mosquito repellent? Panic – stricken idiots, whipping up fear among a gullible public.

And say, on a related matter, do you know why you can’t have your bagel cut in two at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? Because our state health regulations require a restaurant license to cut a bagel sideways – those without that license can slice a bagel in half to spread a schmear  on it, but must stop before cutting it crosswise. I shit you not.

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Where’s that reader who insisted that the press wasn’t in Obama’s camp?

The new reporting

News report on Connecticut Democrat Damnnel Malloy’s speech at the convention last night, from David McCumber, who, as of last month, is Hearst’s Washington Bureau Chief. McCumber once edited the Seattle Dumb as a Post, was fired, found a job as editor of Greenwich Time and has now moved closer to the belly of the beast. Here’s how he covered this spell-binding event as a hagiographer and a member of the mainstream media:

In a brief, substantive speech to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, [Malloy] made an eloquent case for President Barack Obama without directly mentioning the challenges he himself has faced as governor over the past 18 months.

He spoke as an unvarnished advocate for the Democratic policies he cast as distinguishing his party from the Republican Party of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Without specifically saying so, he did reflect the values that he has brought to the job of Connecticut’s chief executive.

“Slashing what we invest in schools, in roads, in research and development, in clean energy and in the things that protect our most vulnerable just to cut taxes for those at the top — is ridiculous. It’s wrong.

“That’s the Romney-Ryan budget. It isn’t conservative. It’s harsh, it’s radical, and it’s wrong.”

In a speech barely 800 words long, Malloy sounded the theme of shared sacrifice — a concept he used repeatedly as he piloted Connecticut out of one of the country’s worst budget deficits in his first year in office, by both cutting public employment and benefits and raising taxes.

“We can — and should — ask every American to shoulder their fair share, not just the squeezed middle class, but also those at the very top who have done so well these past few years,” Malloy said.

Malloy was subdued, perhaps mostly by comparison to his predecessor on the podium, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, of Kansas City, whose speech left the hall roaring.

But he gamely complimented Cleaver as he stepped to the podium and did not try to match his fiery oratory.

Instead, he concentrated on substance.

“The Republicans want to take away a woman’s right to choose, even if she’s a rape victim. That’s in their platform. That’s what they believe. That’s why there are three reasons why anyone should vote for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney: Your sister, your mother and your daughter.”

Malloy’s speech, a full-throated defense of the role of government, decried what he characterized as shredding “the safety net that protects the middle class and those striving to get there. It would undermine FDR’s New Deal, unravel Harry Truman’s Fair Deal and leave us with Mitt Romney’s Raw Deal.”

Malloy made the case for the kind of cuts he has advocated in Connecticut.

“We believe that we can — and should — make government leaner, cheaper and more effective … That’s why President Obama signed into law $2 trillion in spending cuts, bringing annual domestic spending to its lowest level, as a share of the economy, since President Eisenhower.”

He remained stoic and workmanlike to the end, even as his words spurred a call to political arms.

“We need to fight for our children, fight for our senior citizens, fight for women’s rights, fight for the middle class and fight for our country’s future.

“That’s why we need to fight for Barack Obama,” he concluded, a loyal advocate to the end, doing his duty to his party.

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Law dean gives worst advice to minorities since someone told Native Americans to have a drink

You check the saloon, I’ll go look in the law library

That headline is not mine, regrettably – I wish it were – it belongs to the author of a scathing piece on a dean from  University of Pennsylvania Penn State  [a distinction without a difference? – Ed] telling blacks to pile on debt and go to law school. I’d have the same reaction to someone giving this advice to white kids, but this man is funnier.

[T]hese guys … see that the obvious solution is that more black people should apply to law school. And so they then make up reasons for why applying to law schools is somehow an especially good idea for black people. As if the fact that there’s a laudable social end magically changes the math of the law school decision.

But the social ends do not justify the economic means. Poor black people need lawyers, they don’t need more poor black people who became poor by going to law school.

Now, I’m all for racial diversity, but I fail to see the social good of encouraging black people to make ruinous financial decisions just because they are underrepresented in the group of people making this particular stupid purchase [emphasis added]. I wouldn’t say to a bunch of white people, “You know, you really need to buy expensive rims for your car on credit. No money down!”

[snip]

Yes, if you are an African-American busting a 170 or higher on the LSAT, everybody is going to be after your ass. I can speak from some (ahem) experience that the top schools will admit you, and the good schools just a cut below will offer you a very generous scholarship.

Do you know how many African-Americans out there are nailing 170s on the LSAT? You’ll find more black athletes married to black women than black college graduates sitting on 170 LSAT scores wondering what to do with their lives. Let’s just say that this elite group of students doesn’t need the advice about “merit”-based aid.

Penn State’s 75% LSAT number is 161. Let’s assume that Pratt thinks breaking 160 counts as a “strong” LSAT score, since that’s the kind of student her school admits. The thing is, with a 160+ LSAT score, law school is already a questionable bet. But instead of going to the very best school you can with a 160, Pratt is suggesting that students take the hit of going to a lower-ranked school that’s willing to give them money. Sure, it reduces the cost of going to school, but it also reduces the likelihood of ever getting a job.

And remember that she’s telling this to black students — black students who will be fighting an uphill battle to be respected by their peers in this prestige-conscious world of law. Nothing is free, especially not free money.

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Will he also find me a parking space on Greenwich Avenue?

And if you buy before midnight tonight, my son, I’ll toss in the window treatments and the flat-screen TV

Desperate measures: Home owners burying statues of St. Joseph upside down in their yards to attract divine intervention between them and buyers. According to this article, the undertakers are pleased with the results, so who am I to question the technique? $3.95 for a cheap plastic statuette is a lot less expensive than a price cut.

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Little market activity of note

But what there was of it is here.

 

2 Owenoke

2 Owenoke in Riverside asked $2.075 and went to contract in 23 days at $2 million even. That’s in line with recent sales of comparable houses in this section of Riverside but this was perhaps even more tired than those others. If you want the low point of the Riverside market it can be seen here, because it sold for $1.7 million in 2010 and just look at it now, with nothing done to it in the intervening 30 months. Someone did well.

79 Valleywood, asking $895,000 reports an accepted offer but this one has been pretty much a done deal since it hit the market two weeks ago. Discussed then, it’s a great house.

42 Mead, convenient to I-95 for those wishing to sleep beneath the underpass, asked $849,000, dropped to $699 eventually and now has a buyer. Owners paid $560,000 in 2003 but added a new kitchen and other improvements since.

19 Desiree

19 Desiree, off Stanwich, announces another price reduction and is now asking $4.195, down from its more optimistic 2008 asking price of $5.595. Sellers paid $4.9 million for it in 2004 so this is looking good from the perspective of price. Not a bad house and it’s got access to the Mianus River Park but it’s just a tough sell trying to explain to buyers that a particular house hasn’t sold in four years not because its a bad house, but because it asked too much when it was first listed. Tough but not impossible but still: try to avoid this with your own home.

19 Heronvue

And finally, the EOS Photography Award of the Week goes to 16 Heronvue Road. Inviting at any price, at $1.299 this one just screams “welcome to the Bat Cave!”

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Speaking of pickup trucks …

Ruger Mark III Competition

While it won’t be with me on my travels today (can’t upset the Evil GAR Princess, if she were to exist), I did find a new Ruger Mark III .22, Competition model, to accessorize the personality that would drive a pickup, even a Honda, and have Hank Williams on the radio. Tried it out at the Wooster Mountain range on my way back from Litchfield yesterday and it’s a blast.

(Posted just to annoy certain people – you know who you are).

 

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Off to a few open houses

Hope springs eternal and there are a couple of new listings on today that might be of interest to current or even – who knows? – new clients. I remain unimpressed with home owner’s estimation of value but at least I can store their homes in my memory bank so that I won’t have to revisit next year, when they get real.

Yet another advantage of my new truck is that it gets even worse mileage than my Accord, so I’m not even tempted to drive out to the outer fringes of town to look at overpriced homes.Eco-nuts would surely approve: I’m lowering my carbon footprint and eating local.

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Better prices Rockefeller’s money can’t buy

18 Stillman Lane

Okay, you have to remember the old Chock full o’Nuts jingle to get that reference (and which changed to “a millionaire’s money” after Nelson Rockefeller sued – Nelson owned a competing coffee company), but the fact remains that the development on Rockefeller property on Glenville Road is not holding its value. Lose no sleep over the Rockefellers’ plight: they sold their land and made out fine, but buyers of homes here have not done so well. Prices on Stillman and Sherwood Lanes have seen prices drop from the high $5’s, when they bought, to the low-to-mid $4’s.

The latest example is reported today: 18 Stillman Lane, which sold new in 2007 for $5.8 million sold yesterday for $4.4 million. Ouch. These houses seem to have been hit harder than others in the 2008 collapse and clearly have not recovered. Whether that’s a temporary or permanent phenomenon will have to be seen.

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Democrats move Obama speech indoors to 20,000 arena from stadium with 70,000 seats, blame weather.

 

Hurry, children, or we’ll melt!

Chance of rain today: 0%. Just a few days ago Democrat Frankie Fudrucker denied that the move was even possible and dismissed claims that his peers in Charlotte were concerned that the Messiah appearing in an empty stadium would present the wrong image. I’m sure Dannel Malloy and the other delegates down there will be carrying umbrellas today to show their solidarity with their fearful party meteorologists.

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