Daily Archives: June 12, 2014

They certainly made up for lost time

What difference, at this point, does it make?

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Less than a week after Hillary moaned that she and Bill had left the White House “flat broke” (albeit with a signed book deal worth $8 million), the happy couple has made it to the top of the list of wealthiest ex-presidential families, ever.

Since leaving office, according to financial records and news reports, they have earned at least $155 million from speeches, salaries and book deals, easily outpacing the post-White House incomes of other former presidential families and distancing themselves from the time when Bill Clinton deducted $2 apiece for used underwear donated to an Arkansas charity.

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Pending sales

 

42 Riverside Lane

42 Riverside Lane

42 Riverside Lane, $1.950 million, 13 days on the market. It sold new for $1.710 in May, 2012.

11 Chieftans

11 Chieftains

The owners of 11 Chieftains weren’t as fortunate. They were asking $2.950 million and it took a year to find a buyer. Worse, they paid $4.650 for this in 2003. Checking the listing from back then, it appears that the property was never exposed to the market, and was instead sold via an agent-to-agent “pocket listing”. Wonder whose pocket got filled, and whose was picked?

 

16 Grant Avenue

16 Grant Avenue

16 Grant Avenue, in Old Greenwich, falls somewhere in between these two results. There’s a contract, after a year, and the owner’s been asking $3.050 for it, after paying $3.310 in 2005. Not a bad house at all, but certainly nothing to knock your socks off. But what do you expect for just three million bucks?

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Cry havoc, and let slip the hashtags of war

Obama administration’s “Smart Diplomacy™ has come to this – tweets from twits. If it weren’t so scary to see our collapse, the world would probably find all this hysterical

Iraq

Iraq

Kidnapped children

Kidnapped children

Dolphin hunting

Dolphin hunting

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I’d say this sums it up nicely

 

Welcome back to Tikrit

Welcome back to Tikrit

Michael Totten on Iraq: The Beginning of the End

God only knows what happens next, but this much is clear—the Syrian war is no longer the Syrian war. It’s a regional war. It spilled into Lebanon at a low level some time ago. It sucked in Iran and Hezbollah some time ago. Now it is spreading with full force at blitzkrieg speed into Iraq and has even drawn in the Kurdistan Regional Government which managed to sit out the entire Iraq war.

This could easily suck in Turkey, Jordan, and Israel before it’s over.

Or maybe it won’t.

In the future we might see the events of the last few days as the beginning of the end of Iraq as a state, or at least the beginning of the end of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose American-trained army has proven utterly useless. Or maybe he’ll survive in an Iranian-backed rump state.

Maliki wants an American-backed rump state. Eli Lake in The Daily Beast reports that he’s asking for American air strikes and drone warfare.

But we are not going to save Iraq and we are not going to save Syria. It’s over. That’s what the Middle East wanted, and it’s what the Middle East is going to get.

Arab governments complain when we intervene and they complain when we don’t intervene. Basically, they complain no matter what. So asking what they want is pointless. It takes a while to notice this trend over time, but there it is. They have not stopped to consider the consequences of this behavior, but those consequences are about to become apocalyptic for Nouri al-Maliki.

“We’ll kill you if you mess with us, but otherwise go die” is not even close to my preferred foreign policy, but it’s what President Barack Obama prefers (phrased much more nicely, of course) and it’s what the overwhelming majority of Americans prefer, including most liberals and well as conservatives.

Still, it’s only a matter of time before we get sucked in kicking and screaming one way or another. Because the Middle East isn’t Las Vegas. What happens there doesn’t stay there.

We’re out for now, though. This is the time of festering.

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“If our clients weren’t stupid, we’d be out of business”

stupid-Criminal1That’s what a colleague once pointed out to me as we were leaving criminal court and I was shaking my head at the latest inanity of a defendant I represented. It was a shrewd observation and, fortunately for my former brethren at the bar, the phenomenon continues: Stamford man brings 19 bags of pot to meeting with his probation officer. He was on probation in the first place, naturally, for pot possession.

Darren Shelley, 22, threw caution to the wind when he went to a meeting with his probation officer in Stamford on Monday. While the men were talking in the courthouse basement, his PO began to smell a familiar and illegal odor, the Stamford Advocate reports.

State troopers were called, and they allegedly found 19 bags of weed in Shelley’s pockets.

Assuming that all 19 bags weren’t for personal use, the police charged Shelley with illegal sale of a controlled substance and held him in lieu of a $5,000 court appearance bond. His arraignment will take place on June 23 at the very same Stamford courthouse.

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Waterfront sale pending

 

28 E. Point Lane

28 E. Point Lane

28 E. Point Lane, Old Greenwich, $6.495 million. This property sat unwanted for a long time, but the recent sale across the street for $10 + probably encouraged a buyer to step forward. It’s a perfectly nice, 1959 contemporary, but the fact that the listing has no pictures of the interior suggests, strongly, that the idea is for someone to build a new house here. Spectacular views.

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Some streets are less equal than others

6 Stallion Trails

6 Stallion Trails

I see that 6 Stallion Trails cut its price yesterday and is now asking $1.575 million. The town estimates its full market value at $1.3 million and who knows? Somewhere between those figures, a buyer may appear. Or not. The owner paid $850,000 for the house in 1990, so appreciation on Stallion Trails (no stallions, no trails; there is, however, the Merritt Parkway available for easy transportation) has not kept up with that on other streets, in other neighborhoods.

This is probably not good news for the owners of 9 Stallion Trails, which appeared on the market last week asking $3.950 million. It’s much larger and more recently renovated than No.6, but it’s going to take a brave buyer to put so much money on a street that hasn’t exactly knocked the ball out of the park since it was developed in 1981.

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