Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
WSJ: “Black Friday” prices often aren’t the lowest of the year.
An analysis of this year’s most-touted Black Friday deals by The Wall Street Journal and price-data firm Decide Inc. found that many of the bargains advertised as “doorbusters” were available at lower prices at other times of the year—sometimes even at the same retailer.
Sears, for example, is advertising a KitchenAid Artisan Series Stand Mixer for $319.99 this Black Friday. Decide data found the retailer offered the same mixer for $296 in March.
Other than the occasional gun shop I rarely set foot in a retail store these days and as for those idjits who defile Thanksgiving by getting up at three in the morning to buy more crap to fill their otherwise-empty lives (now now, that’s a bit judgmental, isn’t it? Ed) they deserve every suckers’ game that’s played on them.
Angry turkeys assault Brookline residents. You won’t allow hunting, ladies, you’re going to feel peckish.
Feds arrest another former SAC employee and, at least according to Bloomberg News, draw closer to nabbing Steve Cohen for insider trading. Not everybody on Round Hill Road is in prison, and not every Greenwich resident currently in prison lived on Round Hill Road, so one really can’t predict how a guy who occupies a home on Crown
Road Lane will make out in this ongoing investigation.
Someone’s calling yooooo
It was 44 years ago this past November 17th that the Raiders-Jets game was preempted by the movie Heidi in its last seconds. The Raiders went on to score twice in those few moments, causing millions of furious, beer-sodden football fans to rise from their Lazy-Boys and call NBC to scream. They crashed the entire New York City phone system.
It was a close game, with each team stealing the lead from the other six times before it was all tied up, 29 to 29. Then, Jim Turner kicked a 26-yard field goal. The Jets took the lead.
With 50 seconds left in the game, Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica hit Charlie Smith on a 20-yard pass. A penalty got them another 15 yards. The Raiders were crossing midfield when all of the sudden, Zirin says, fans watching NBC saw “a little girl with braids in the Swiss Alps starts walking down a hill.”
NPR aired a good recap of the incident last week while I was away (thanks, Nancy, for sending it along) but they missed the Old Greenwich connection. My creek neighbor and fellow realtor Sue Connal was one of eight children of “Scotty” Connel, head of sports for NBC in 1968 and later, a major figure in the founding of ESPN. The way I heard the story, as the game ran late and the time for the movie to start drew closer, a technician at NBC grew nervous and tried to reach Connal at home, but one of those eight kids (affectionately known by those of us on the other side of the creek as “the Bog People”) was on the phone and despite repeated attempts, the tech couldn’t get through, so he did what any moron would do and switched over to the children’s hour. The game went down in infamy and the Connal household gained a new phone line, one which the children were forbidden to touch, ever.
Obama staff (the one on the left earns $172,000 per year of your money) celebrate new TSA guidelines.
Billions wasted on goons and nonsense.
Glenn Reynolds links to a proposal to eliminate the property tax deduction.
What’s the least defensible special break in the U.S. tax code? With so many distortions to choose from, it’s hard to name just one. If forced to pick, I might say the deduction for state and local taxes, which cost $67 billion in fiscal 2011, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
This one overwhelmingly benefits upper-income households in a handful of upper-income states, while rendering the entire nation’s finances less transparent. It’s also a potential source of friction in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations between President Obama and the Republicans (but we’ll get to that in a moment). . . .
What the deduction does is enable higher-income states and localities to tax — and spend — more than they otherwise would, while shifting some of the cost to other states. It also encourages them to collect revenue in forms that are easier to deduct on federal returns.
Two states, California and New York, reaped almost 30 percent of the deduction’s value in 2009, the latest year for which I could find Internal Revenue Service data. Other states that benefit disproportionately include Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland.
In 2009, 73 percent of the deduction’s benefits went to taxpayers with annual incomes above $100,000, according to the Congressional Budget Office; fully 20 percent of the benefits went to taxpayers with annual incomes above $1 million.
Starting to notice a pattern? Basically, what we have is a significant federal tax subsidy for “blue” state governments. These also happen to be the states having the most difficulty living within their means. . . . Perhaps it’s just coincidence, but I have noticed that those most skeptical of the loophole-closing approach include Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
An Instapundit reader suggests eliminating the property tax deduction only for those with an AGI greater than $250,000 and tax-free interest income above $50,000. Again, it will never happen, but it sure would be fun to watch the Republicans propose it as part of the “soak the rich” platform advocated by Obama and his mob.
Not too much to get excited about in the market, but here are some items that caught my eye:15 Midbrook (across from Perot Library in Old Greenwich) has an accepted offer. Funny how a near-miss in pricing can deter buyers. This house came on in April at $1.395 and pretty much went nowhere, although it’s a decent house with a good yard and location. I think I wrote about it at that time. It dropped to $1.295 in September and although it’s taken a while, a buyer has appeared.
12 Indian Chase
Not quite so fortunate but also mis-priced last April is 12 Indian Chase Road, off Bruce Park, that came on at $4.2 million. Today it was reduced to $2.995. That’s an oops.
And from the “Keep Chris Hunting Fund” comes news of a contract on 47 Doubling Road, once priced at $4.2 million and reduced to $2.995. [on reflection, I’ve deleted the gloating portion of this post but I will say to the GAR, F’ you very much]