Daily Archives: November 15, 2013

Krautheimer: why the liberals are panicking

The (inevitable)  failure of the progressive dream

The essence of the entitlement state is government giving away free stuff. Hence Obamacare would provide insurance for 30 million uninsured, while giving everybody tons of free medical services — without adding “one dime to our deficits,” promised Obama.

This being inherently impossible, there had to be a catch. Now we know it: hidden subsidies. Toss millions of the insured off their plans and onto the Obamacare “exchanges,” where they would be forced into more expensive insurance packed with coverage they don’t want and don’t need — so that the overcharge can be used to subsidize others.

The reaction to the incompetence, arrogance and deception has ranged from ridicule to anger. But more is in jeopardy than just panicked congressional Democrats. This is the signature legislative achievement of the Obama presidency, the embodiment of his new entitlement-state liberalism. If Obamacare goes down, there will be little left of its underlying ideology.

37 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Probably not a good sign, if you’re a Democrat politician

 

A great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Senate halls

A great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Senate halls

White House spokesman Jay Carney refuses seven times to answer question on ObamaCare goal for November 30th.

After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

No word how Jay and his fellow Democrats are holding up, but they’re certainly looking uncomfortable these days.

15 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Two more sales reported

To close out the week. 

14 Stag Lane

14 Stag Lane

14 Stag Lane, $1.1 million. Paid $1.250 for it in 2003. I thought this was a good house, Merritt exposure and all, for this price.

 

 

 

375 Stanwich Rd

375 Stanwich Rd

And 375 Stanwich, which sold for $2.6 million, was a steal, if one can apply that term to this expensive a house. It sold new in 2007 for $3.150 and had more money put into it. Very nice property.

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Real estate

Two more sales, one more contract

1076 Lake Avenue

1076 Lake Avenue

1076 Lake Avenue, just a little north of Siberia, sold for $2.875 after asking $3.995 million 505 days ago. The owners also tried $4.695 back in 2004, but that didn’t work out well.

10 Knoll Street

10 Knoll Street

10 Knoll Street in Riverside sold for $2.195 – purchased for $2.150 in 2006 and renovated, but still had, to my eye, an awkward layout. But nice street, decent house and price, these days.

27 Juniper Lane

27 Juniper Lane

And 27 Juniper Lane, also in Riverside, has an accepted offer. $799,000. I wrote about this one a month or so ago, suggesting it was a pretty good deal for a location a block from the Riverside train station. Someone agrees.

Comments Off on Real estate

Filed under Uncategorized

Moral: better to tell the truth than lie to the public

Crack smokin’, whoremaster drunkard of a Toronto mayor has higher approval rating than dope smoking, lying incompetent U.S. president, 44-39%.

Besides, as this ChrisR-supplied video shows, Mayor Ford’s more fun.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Lumbering out of the elephants’ graveyard

Two contracts for houses we’d long since given up for dead.

1038 Lake Avenue

1038 Lake Avenue

The former Steven Braverman Clown House at 1038 Lake Avenue, asking $4.295 million, has found a buyer. A long time ago (1,656 days, in fact) in a universe far, far away, Mr. Braverman asked $9,700,000 for this colorful indictment of the interior decorating business, but despite interest from the Hellen Keller Institute for the Blind, no one tripped over the doorstep bearing cash, and Braverman lost it to his lender, Patriot Bank (did Patriot ever make a loan that didn’t fail?).  It, in turn, neutered it, stripping out the million-dollar-plus party decorations and has now found, so to speak, a braver man than most. God speed.

64 Howard Lane

64 Howard Lane

And not to be outdone, a buyer has surfaced for that former CBS news reader’s house at 64 Howard Lane, asking $2.550 million. The lady paid $2.775 for it in 2004 and put some money into renovations and improvements but this was always handicapped by its location (far northeastern border) and topography (swamp). Still, a nice house, and I can understand its appeal, at the right price.

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

What Dullard Bill can’t grasp

There’s no free lunch

Americans know you don’t get something for nothing.

Really, something for nothing is the guiding principle of Obamacare. All the geniuses in the White House didn’t understand this essential truth.

But you cannot possibly expand by millions the number of people getting insurance without somebody paying for it. When you increase demand for a product, you either have to raise prices or cheapen the product – reduce the cost of production.

In this case, that would mean fewer health services. Rationing. Death Panels. Everyone in Washington and on TV laughed at Sarah Palin, but her statement resonated and annoyed because it sounded uncomfortably like the truth. It was the truth. People – you, your children, your grandchildren – will die or suffer due to rationed care.

Or because of worse care.

Related: Bill Whittle

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

It does signify something, but perhaps not what the Senator thinks it does

Hours after being forced to confess that he’s botched the sole “accomplishment” of his administration, Obama heads to a Philadelphia billionaire’s house for a Democrat fund raiser.

“[It’s] significant that he’s here when times are tough,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) said.

Tomorrow, golf.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Hey, I have no problem with that

 

Tod's Point clam warden

Tod’s Point clam warden

Realtor helps nudists find houses. She’s in Florida, where there’s probably a bigger buyer pool of nudists than here in Greenwich, but if that’s your lifestyle, you can bare your soles to me.

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Cost benefit analysis? Never heard of it

 

The EPA and a yellow dog Democrat

The EPA and a yellow dog Democrat

New EPA rules on lead content in fire hydrants leaves cities across the nation high and dry.

Philadelphia has 119 fire hydrants that cost about $2,000 each waiting in a warehouse to be installed, yet they sit high and dry because federal regulators say their fittings might taint drinking water with lead.

The City of Brotherly Love and communities across the U.S. face the specter of hundreds of millions of dollars in useless hydrants after a surprise ruling last month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that requires fireplugs put in after Jan. 4 meet stricter standards for lead content, said Tom Curtis of the American Water Works Association in Denver. That means cities must scrap or retrofit inventory or buy hydrants and parts that some vendors aren’t even making yet.

Manufacturers and Curtis’s group, which represents utilities that serve about 80 percent of Americans, are urging the agency to reconsider or at least allow more time to comply. American Cast Iron Pipe Co., one of the largest hydrant makers, is seeing some customers delay or cancel orders.

“This delivers a huge cost and probably no health protection,” said Curtis, the water group’s deputy executive director. “It needs to be rethought.”

Hydrants pose little, if any, risk of long-term lead exposure because they are used to supply drinking water only on occasions such as a festival or when a main breaks, Curtis said by telephone from Washington.

The 55-word ruling, contained in the fifth item of the response, said for the first time that hydrants are included because they “can be, and are, used in emergency situations to provide drinking water.”

So when your house burns down, surely you’ll be comforted knowing that someone, somewhere, is being saved from drinking water that was, until January, 2011, considered perfectly safe.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Tracking mid-country activity

 

9 Roberta Lane

9 Roberta Lane

9 Roberta Lane just sold, $3.050 million, on a $3.1 million asking price. This lot (with what turned out to be a tear-down) was first put up for sale in mid-2007 for $1.795 and sold in 2008 for $1.150. A new house was put up on it and listed for $3.595 million in 2009, selling 14 months later for $2.850. This time (August, 2013), it lasted just 18 days. After commissions and taxes this particular deal will probably net out about even, except, of course, for the rental value saved, but if prices aren’t soaring these days, the speed of moving on and off the market certainly is.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Weep for the nation

Obama gave an hour-long speech yesterday and revealed what he’s learned, as summarized by the NYPost:

But look, he went on to say, this Web-site thing isn’t easy! See, it has programs and things in it. “The Web site itself is doing a lot of stuff,” he explained, because, you know, other Web sites don’t do a lot of stuff. “There’s just a — a bunch of pieces to it that made it challenging.”

“What we’re also discovering,” said the man who has completely overhauled the insurance industry, “is that insurance is complicated to buy.” That this might have come as a surprise to him is mind-boggling.

“And another mistake that we made, I think, was underestimating the difficulties of people purchasing insurance online and shopping for a lot of options with a lot of costs and lot of different benefits and plans.”

Really? People do that with airline tickets every day. The only difference there is that those Web sites work.

40 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

That’s our boy: Senator Chris Murphy, D. CT. , says his president has “fixed” the ObamaCare problem

No one else seems to think so,but Chris does – he also blames the media for not focusing on the real successes already achieved by his leader’s program. “Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side, keep on the sunny side of life ….”

Murphy, by the way, claims that Connecticut’s program has already been  “resounding success”, but I‘m not at all sure the data supports that.

Connecticut is the only state in the country in which more people have applied for private coverage than Medicaid through the health insurance exchange, an exchange official said Tuesday.

James Wadleigh, Access Health CT’s chief information officer, said the state’s exchange has taken more than 11,000 applications for individual and small-business coverage. About 6,000 are for private insurance customers, and about 4,700 will receive Medicaid.

As part of the health law commonly known as Obamacare, the Medicaid program in Connecticut and many other states will expand Jan. 1 to cover more adults without minor children. In addition, exchanges like Access Health are selling private insurance plans that, for many people, are expected to come with discounted premiums, subsidized by the federal government.

A major reason for Connecticut’s unique balance of applicants, Wadleigh said, is that the state began expanding Medicaid in 2010, shortly after the health law passed. That means fewer people are becoming eligible for Medicaid in Connecticut than in other states.

Connecticut currently provides Medicaid coverage to adults without minor children earning up to 56 percent of the poverty level. As of Jan. 1, that level will rise to 138 percent. Officials expect that will add between 55,000 and 60,000 more people to the program. (For adults with minor children, the income limit for Medicaid is already higher, and that will remain largely unchanged.)

Of the private insurance customers so far, 27 percent have selected “gold” plans, which have the highest premiums but pay the highest share of members’ medical costs. The majority, 55 percent, have selected the midlevel “silver” plans, while 16 percent have chosen “bronze” plans, which have the cheapest premiums available to most customers but leave them with higher expenses if they seek medical care.

Two percent of the customers chose catastrophic plans, which are available to people under 30 and carry low premiums but high out-of-pocket costs for most medical care.

Wadleigh said that of the people signing up for coverage, 19 percent are between ages 18 and 34. He did not say whether that referred to people signing up for Medicaid and private insurance, or just private insurance. Figures released last month showed that most of the young enrollees were signing up for Medicaid.

Access Health also provides coverage options for small businesses, but that portion of the exchange’s activity has been smaller than expected, Wadleigh said.

What this looks like to me is that Connecticut has added 4,700 people to the Medicaid rolls and 6,000individual to the subsidized “private” insurance side of the equation. Where are the healthy adults whose increased premiums will pay for the sick who’ve just signed up? Murphy doesn’t say, but here’s a hint: Fairfield County.

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized