Daily Archives: October 4, 2013

Imagine if the Bush administration had done this. Impossible, I know, but try

So I lied - sorry

So I lied – sorry

After using movie stars and politicians to create a buzz for ObamaKare, Obama’s goofs try their hand at direct fabrication themselves.

ObamaPoster Boy hasn’t bought insurance, nor has his father, despite being displayed across the nation as the typical young person who rushed to buy it.

Chad Henderson is the media’s poster boy for Obamacare. Reporters struggled this week to find individuals who said they had been able to enroll in one of the law’s 36 federally run health-insurance exchanges.

That changed yesterday, when they found Henderson, a 21-year-old student and part-time child-care worker who lives in Georgia and says that he successfully enrolled himself and his father Bill in insurance plans via the online exchange administered at healthcare.gov.

But in an exclusive phone interview this morning with Reason, Chad’s father Bill contradicted virtually every major detail of the story the media can’t get enough of.

Doesn’t it seem strangely suspicious that the man who considers this program the crowning – indeed the only-accomplishment of his administration has to sell it to the public by using empty-headed celebrities and made-up “buyers”? It’s almost as if the grand scheme has no merits that would justify an effective, fact-based sales program and instead has to be foisted by bamboozlement on a gullible public.

If you don’t have steak, sell the sizzle. This is all reminiscent of the Hero’s of the Proletariat the Soviet Union used to discover on the assembly line and use to inspire the workers of the world. North Korea still uses the technique and now, apparently, so do we.

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Two more accepted offers for two really great homes

15 Otter Rock Drive, Belle Haven, and 20 West End Avenue, Old Greenwich

15 Otter Rock

15 Otter Rock

You couldn’t find two more different houses: Otter Rock was built in 1897 and is an immaculate representative of that era, while 20 West End is cutting edge modern, but each is special (I’ve written about them before, so I’ve just linked to their listings,this time).  OtterRock started at $8.3 million back in ’07 with Ogilvy and expired unsold at $6.8 in 2009 after 797 days on market. The owners did some more renovating in 2012 and brought it back on this past January at that same $6.8 figure and 262 days later, found a buyer.

Nothing wrong with this fine house whatsoever, except its price. Once that was adjusted, it sold.

20 West End Avenue

20 West End Avenue

20 West End, on the other hand, is gone after just 30 days. It was priced at “just” $4.189, but that’s a price for West End that’s about as daring as its design. I’m delighted the builder and architect made out so well on this because their success may encourage other builders to depart from the norm. There’s no reason Greenwich must be nothing but neo-Victorian shingle airplane hangars.

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Low end sale

14 Licata Terrace

14 Licata Terrace

14 Licata Terrace, $1.139 million (I know, Peg, I know; “low end” in Minnesota …) has an accepted offer after just 9 days. I like Licata: it’s a very small, dead-end street off Valley, really convenient to town, and this is a perfectly nice house for its price range. It sold for $1.060 in 2007 and so far as I know, from its listing and my own view of it at the broker open house, it remains basically unchanged since then. With the exception of the sale of the new house at No. 19, this new sale sets the record for the street. I’ve written before about the huge price discrepancy between Cos Cob and Riverside and Old Greenwich north of the Post Road; I think buyers are finally noticing that, and coming here.

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More on the D.C. Mamma

Psycho

Psycho

Sounds a tad disturbed.

Stamford cops had twice been called to Carey’s home there by her boyfriend, identified as Eric Francis, who said she was delusional, irrational and putting her 1-year-old daughter, Erika, in danger, according to ABC.

She was taken away in handcuffs and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation, sources told ABC.  On December 21, Francis called police again and said Carey was “off her medication.” Sources said a state social worker declared her “100 percent back to normal” in January.

Carey’s Thursday  rampage began just after 2 p.m., when she ran her leased car  over several low barricades onto a driveway leading to the White House.

When she was stopped by a larger barricade, she reversed and struck a Secret Service officer, who flipped over the hood, said witness B.J. Campbell, a tourist.

Carey then sped off away from the White House, down Pennsylvania Avenue, at least 20 Secret Service and US Capitol Police cars in pursuit.

After a chase of more than a mile, she got hemmed in by officers and was staring down the barrels of at least five guns. [this is where the video AJ posted begins – Ed]

She quickly backed away, drove twice around monuments in front of the Capitol and headed to the west side of the building.

A cruiser blocked her path, but she reversed, jumped a curb and struck another police car as she sped off again.

Finally, at Second Street and Maryland Avenue, between the Supreme Court and the Hart Senate Office Building, her car was surrounded by cops and Secret Service vehicles.

At least a dozen gunshots rang out, killing the unarmed woman in the driver’s seat, with some of the nation’s senior lawmakers nearby.

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New OG Listing

 

10 Lockwood Ave (2000 photo)

10 Lockwood Ave (2000 photo)

10 Lockwood Avenue, $2.875 million. I haven’t seen it yet – it just came on today, so I have no opinion on its price. It sold in less than a month for $1.745 million in 2000 and since then its been renovated and expanded.

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Overheard at the White House

Leader of the Free World

Leader of the Free World

From Keith Koffler’s White House Dossier:

“Listen, I told you, don’t call here again, I DON’T TALK TO TERRORISTS! Oh . . . Mr. Khamenei . . . I’m so sorry, I thought it was John Boehner.”

– Barack Obama

A note from our attorneys: This is not a real quote

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“Kill her, Danno”

Gunfight at the Jersey Barrier Corral

Gunfight at the Jersey Barrier Corral

To the disappointment of many, there seem to be some good arguments against trying to slow down a crazed woman hurtling toward the White House.

Dr. Daniel Kennedy, an expert on police force, told Business Insider that if police had shot at Carey’s tires they likely would have missed. In that case, Kennedy said, the bullet could have ricocheted on the ground or off the vehicle itself and possibly injured somebody else.

“Same reason they don’t shoot a gun out of a bad guy’s hand,” Kennedy told BI in an email message. “Police only hit maybe 20% [of the time] where they try to in a fluid situation.”

Criminologist Rick Parent:

One of the more frequent police injuries appears to be caused when officers attempt to ‘shoot out the tires’ of suspect vehicles. The automobile and the wheels that it rests upon are largely made of steel. The concrete or asphalt roadway that the vehicle rests upon serve to further compound the situation. When a high speed lead bullet is discharged in the general area of a vehicle, ricochets and metal fragments abound. Unlike the scenes depicted by ‘Hollywood’, the ‘shooting out of a tire’ can be a precarious and dangerous event.

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Conyers Farm contract

5 Conyers farm

5 Conyers farm

5 Conyers farm reported an accepted offer a few days back but it has a full contract today. $11.995 ask, gone in 30 days, so that should encourage homeowners up there.

Or perhaps not; this 14,700 sq.ft. home is located directly on North Street, so that detracts from its value, but it has been completely redone and is really outstanding if you like this sort of thing. In fact, it seems to compare favorably with other Conyers Farm properties that have failed to sell at asking prices in the $19 -$20 million range, like David Stockman’s. $12 million is not a negligible sum, but neither is it $19 million. There may have to be an adjustment of expectations up there behind the gates.

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Back for more: 295 Taconic Road

295 Taconic

295 Taconic

Gorgeous old house. Ogilvy had it for 2010-11 at $3.2 down to $2.9, Hvolbeck’s had it since then at $2.4 million. The trouble(s) as I see it include a million-plus price tag to restore it, location about 20′ from what is now a relatively busy street, and its inclusion in a neighborhood pact that requires pre-approval of all changes.

It’s the last that would give me pause because this house needs, in my opinion and the opinion of those I showed it to, a bump out in the rear, at the least, to accommodate a modern size kitchen with a garage below, and having that change hostage to the whims of others gives pause.

If I could, I’d buy this for a million, move the entire house back from the road to where the existing garage/barn is now, and restore it to its original beauty. If I could.

 

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Government shutdown – the people are waking up

Christian Science Monitor: Do National Parks Really Need to Be Barricaded?

[The] shutdown, now in its third day, has closed hundreds of national park areas as well as facilities such as boat ramps and campgrounds in federal forests like Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia.

But from Washington, D.C., to Wisconsin and from Colorado to Tennessee, some Americans are chafing against what they believe are politically motivated closures aimed at pinching people where it hurts and reminding them about the importance of a strong central government. To critics, the question is: If the government is of, by, and for the people, then shouldn’t they be able to walk on federal property unhindered, no matter what the politics of the moment in Washington?

In the meantime, there’s this, from John McCormack, detailing the war on citizens being waged by our public servants:

On Tuesday morning, seven National Park Service employees were seen erecting and tending to a barricade around the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. One NPS employee was operating a forklift. There usually aren’t any NPS employees working at the World War II memorial.

A couple hours later, when an Honor Flight of World War II veterans arrived, accompanied by Democratic and Republican members of Congress, the fences blocking the memorial were easily moved away, allowing the veterans to enter.

But the barriers are still at the memorial, and they’ve been reinforced. This morning, I walked by the memorial and noticed that wires had been used to tie the fences together:

John McCormack

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That was quick – Riverside waterfront continues to sell, quickly

(Fountain's Rocky Beach in Ogunquit, actually, but you get the picture)

(Fountain’s Rocky Beach in Ogunquit, actually, but you get the picture)

73 Club Road, 2.62 acres in R-1 zone, gone in 16 days @$9.5 million.  Pure land sale, purchased for $8 million December, 2010.

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And speaking of theatre of the absurd …

 

All dressed up with nowhere to go

All dressed up with nowhere to go

Barnard, Columbia ban white vaginas from campus production.

“Barnard-Columbia V-Day is excited to announce that our annual production of The Vagina Monologues [written by a white woman – Ed]  will feature an all self-identified women of color cast this year,” trumpets a Facebook page entitled Barnard/Columbia Vagina Monologues ’14 Auditions.

“The Vagina Monologues has historically overlooked the empowerment of women of color, queer women, and trans* folk, among others—often replicating and perpetuating the same systems of power and privilege that prompted the playwright, Eve Ensler, to write The Vagina Monologues in the first place,” the Facebook page explains.

The page goes on to excoriate “mainstream Western feminism” for “the marginalization and erasure of these groups” and the “failure to consider the effects of power structures outside gender within the feminist community.”

Full-time tuition at Columbia is about $49,000 per year. Just across the street at Barnard, full-time tuition is about $42,000 per year. These figures don’t include room and board.

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Joe Biden to park ranger who intercepted WW II vets: “I’m proud of you”

They might have had explosive babies hidden in their wheel chairs.

Hes also proud of the federal agents who shut down privately held Mt. Vernon,  and (only) the most popular entrances to Smokey Mountain Park.

WHCancelsTours“This is theater,” Biden assured FWIW, “designed to show Americans the dreadful harm being caused by Tea Party radicals. I’ve also sent a congratulatory tweet to the twit at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, praising him for keeping the White House closed to visiting school children. The Messiah set the example for all of us during the sequester and by holding fast now, he’s stiffening our resolve during this time of crisis.”

This is all so typical of bureaucrats protecting their turf. Some readers may remember when  Greenwich attempted to save money by ordering the police department to cut its spending. They responded by eliminating six-dollar-an hour school crossing guards.

It was always thus, and continues: Obama’s latest ratcheting up is his threat to stop paying Social Security payments next week.

The Republican’s shouldn’t blink, they should strike back twice as hard.

UPDATE: Park Service has added guards to public parks and memorials in order to justify closing them.

Many national monuments are getting a police presence for the first time in recent memory. The Lincoln Memorial was open 24/7 without overnight staff until the shutdown, according to its website. Since the shutdown a night watchman has been installed. 

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, too, was also open 24/7 with no overnight staff, according to its website, but now is fenced off.

This is all apparently part of the plan.  “Day use visitors will be instructed to leave the park immediately as part of Phase 1 closures,” the plan detailed. “Visitors utilizing overnight concession accommodations and campgrounds will be notified to make alternate arrangements and depart the park as part of Phase 2. Wherever possible, park roads will be closed and access will be denied.”

In fact, road authority doesn’t go to the parks but to the Department of Transportation. The language of the closing plan is also instructive: not “wherever possible” but “wherever necessary.” [The reporter transposed this and mangled his point, but never mind – Ed]

Signs during the 1995 shutdown apologized for the “inconvenience” but the current shutdown is different. Mass-produced signs like those before the World War II memorial declare, “Because of government SHUTDOWN all national parks are closed.”

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Capitol Police: more effective than Prozac

Capitol CarD.C. car maniac was “depressed”.

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It probably started in Ireland, where the rate is already 35%

Future home buyer

Future home buyer

Poll: 25% of Brits no longer take baths. Except in Ireland, most of those abstainers take showers instead, which supports my own observations about the desirability of huge whirlpools in master bathrooms over here: buyers still expect them, but they aren’t used much, because we have the same hurried schedules on this side of the Atlantic that the great unwashed do over there.

In fact, I suspect our cousins overseas are way behind us in this trend, and that the figure for showers vs. baths is closer to 85%-15% here (not counting Cos Cob, where it’s been 100% against bathing of any sort since the first pizza tosser washed up on the shores of our harbor in 1881).

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