Daily Archives: December 12, 2014

Wall Street contributors to Democrats might want to consider this

Fat cat (literally) Robert Wolf, UBS, sucks up to his destroyer

Fat cat Robert Wolf, UBS, sucks up to his destroyer

Jimbo Himes was the only one of Connecticut’s all-Democrat congressional crew to vote for the budget bill – and why not? His was the provision, written for him by Citicorp lobbyists, that sent his colleagues into a tizzy, but we knew all that. Here’s the money quote:

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee objected last month when Pelosi considered Himes for a leadership post in the House Democratic Caucus, saying that “appointing a Wall Street banker who opposes Wall Street bashing is a losing strategy for Democrats.” She instead picked someone else.

Don’t you idiots get it?

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Only because I’ve done equally stupid things myself, I find this funny

Dunkin' Bagels

Dunkin’ Bagels

I’m making bagels today (dough today, boil and bake tomorrow) and while the dough was rising, I thought I’d prowl the internet to see if I might have missed a better recipe. I don’t think I did – I’ll let you know tomorrow – but I found this mishap from a would-be-baker pretty amusing. The link is to an alternative recipe, by the way, which looks good, but doesn’t feel as good as the one I’m trying. As promised, I’ll let you know.

  • James
    February 28th, 2011
  • I literally just tried to make these, and during the bit where you have to let the dough sit in water for an hour, when I took a look at it after half an hour it was water-logged and had basically fallen apart. How much water is supposed to be in the bowl? I had the dough pretty much submerged, which might have been the problem. Also I’m wondering if using all-purpose flour instead of bread flour (which I can’t find anywhere) may have contributed to my failure? This recipe seems like a winner so if anyone has any good suggestions on how to make it work I’d really appreciate it.
  • James
    February 28th, 2011
  • Oh wait, nevermind my last comment. I obviously misread the recipe, it says warm “place” not warm water. What a dummy. I had warm water on the brain after reading about the boiling bit. Okay, I’ll try again – this time I’ll be extra careful to actually read the instructions properly.

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Green summit’s solution: abolish capitalism

Gay Men's Costume Brigade march against capitalism and global warming, Wall Street

Gay Men’s Costume Brigade marches against capitalism and global warming, Wall Street

It’s all the fault of the “current capitalist hegemonic system” Latin American countries claim. They fail to cite a single communist country that ever protected the environment or even came close to capitalist nations’ record in this regard, but never mind; neither do our own home-grown greens.

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It was all about getting elected, period.

Go, 'Bama!

Go, ‘Bama!

Obama: “I spend most of my mornings watching ESPN”.

And at night, when he’s got thick briefing books to ignore.

To rest up after his exhausting sports-viewing schedule, Mr. Obama will be leaving for Hawaii next week, returning January 3rd.

Just in case you wondered.

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I’d be more impressed if he created a necklace depicting Mohammed screwing a goat

And screw you too, Mr. Ford

And screw you too, Mr. Ford

Designer Tom Ford is selling a “penis crucifix” just in time for Christmas. I’m sure he and his sophisticated pals think this is some daring, “truth to power” statement, but since Christians haven’t chopped a blasphemer’s head off in a couple of centuries, this is really just a cheap, cowardly attention getter, done with the certain knowledge that no one will be showing up at his door with a scimitar this Christmas Eve.

Coal for him.

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Nobody sows the truffles I’ve seen

Forget it, it's a mere truffle

Forget it, it’s a mere truffle

Greenwich man sells truffle for $61,000. No particular point to this post, I just hate to let a bad pun go by.

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Daily “guess the final selling price” game

17 Lincoln Avenue

17 Lincoln Avenue

17 Lincoln Avenue, Old Greenwich, Greenwich, asking $2.795 million. 2,000 sq. ft. (according to tax card; listing includes an extra 1,700 in the basement and, perhaps, includes the garage?) or, $1,397.50 per foot.

0.12 acres, first floor consists of just three rooms: kitchen, dining and living room. No fireplace in main living quarters, wood stove in basement; one-car garage, no back yard.

Looks like they ran out of bricks

Looks like they ran out of bricks

 

 

 

 

 

Then again, maybe not; maybe it’s  a design motif?

Master bath?

Master bath?

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Cos Cobber sends along this cheerful article

Uh oh, time to go screw up Connecticut

Uh oh, time to go screw up Connecticut

 “Connecticut’s in deep shit”.

Excerpts

(Bloomberg) — Four months after becoming Connecticut’s first Democratic governor in two decades, Dannel Malloy signed a budget that raised taxes by a record amount. He vowed the revenue would stabilize a reeling economy.

“It’s a tough vote — it’s also the right vote,” Malloy said in May 2011. “The budget is balanced, honest and contains none of the gimmicks that helped get us into this mess.”

More than three years later, the wealthiest U.S. state, home to as many as 300 hedge funds, is still struggling to rebound from the recession that ended in 2009. While tax revenue has risen faster than any other state, growth in jobs, personal income and home prices ranks in the bottom 10 and trails neighboring New York and Massachusetts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

‘Much Weaker’

“Connecticut’s financial position is much weaker than people realize,” said Tom McLoughlin, head of muni fixed-income in New York at UBS Wealth Management Americas, which oversees $1 trillion. “The pension-funding ratio is going to be a persistent problem for Malloy and his successors. The state is really going to have to address its issues in the near future.”

Connecticut’s economy contracted in 2011 by more than all but three states, prompting a credit downgrade in 2012. Its unemployment rate has exceeded the U.S. figure each month since May 2012 as jobs shrink in the finance industry, the biggest contributor to the state economy.

Malloy’s plight shows how a struggling economy saddled with debt and pension costs can strangle even the wealthiest governments. Connecticut ranked first with per-capita personal income of about $61,000 last year, Bureau of Economic Analysis data show.

The budget shortfalls and underfunded retirement plan mirror nearby New Jersey, which ranks fourth in per-capita income and has had its credit rating cut a record eight times under Governor Chris Christie. Malloy has described himself as the antithesis of the Republican.

While Christie has refused to raise taxes, Malloy signed a two-year budget in 2011 that increased them by $2.6 billion to tackle deficits, boosting levies on incomes of more than $50,000 a year and on sales of previously exempt goods and services. Republicans who opposed the plan said lawmakers would use the revenue to boost spending.

More Cuts

Instead, the tepid recovery has spurred more cuts. Malloy’s administration curtailed hiring and told agencies to reduce spending in a Nov. 12 memo, which outlined a projected $59 million deficit for the fiscal year through June, out of $17.5 billion in expected general-fund revenue.

“Connecticut is still in a struggle to get on sustainable footing while other states are not having these problems,” said Paul Mansour, head of municipal research at Conning in Hartford. “They’re still dealing with budget deficits when they should be having surpluses.”

Malloy has also signed into law bills that repeal the death penalty and raise the minimum wage, and oversaw a measure that tightened gun laws in April 2013, four months after the Newtown shootings. [emphasis added – how’d that work out, Danny?]

He enters his second term with a lower rating from Moody’s Investors Service than when he began in 2011. Connecticut’s Aa3 grade, fourth-highest, is below all states but Illinois and New Jersey.

Debt Constraint

The rank is partly a result of its $5,457 of tax-supported debt per resident, the most nationwide and five times the median, according to the New York-based credit rater.

 

Connecticut’s wealth is concentrated in Greenwich. The city and surrounding Fairfield County have more than 95 percent of the state’s 250 to 300 hedge funds, according to Bruce McGuire, president of the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association.

Greenwich Appeal

“You talk to people in New York about Connecticut, and they think Greenwich,” said Tom Metzold, co-director of munis in Boston at Eaton Vance Management, which oversees about $27 billion in local debt. That doesn’t mean the rest of the state is doing so well, he said.

Greenwich has lost some appeal, said Julia Chiappetta, who grew up there and runs a consulting business in the town. She returned to Connecticut after a five-year consulting job in Florida through 2006. Her friends are going in the opposite direction.

Connecticut’s population grew 0.1 percent from 2011 to 2012, among the 10 slowest rates nationwide, while Florida’s increased 1.2 percent, Census data show.

“I see a lot of friends leaving Connecticut because they can no longer afford to live here,” she said by phone. “It makes me sad because it used to be a thriving economic community.”

Tax Challenge

“We’re a high-income, high-value-added state, with an educated workforce — our jobs are more difficult to create,” Barnes said.

Higher taxes make Connecticut less attractive to fund managers, said Stephen McMenamin, executive director of Greenwich Roundtable, a nonprofit that educates alternative investors and hedge funds.

Tax collections surged 58.6 percent in Connecticut in the three years through June, the most nationwide, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States.

Connecticut’s 2014 business-tax climate is ninth-worst in the U.S., according to the Tax Foundation in Washington. The rank is based on levies on individual income, sales, corporations, property and unemployment insurance.

“When a manager calls me and says I’m looking to come up to Connecticut, I say keep going,” McMenamin said in a telephone interview. “It’s just a horrible tax situation here.”

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Two more sales reported

87 Lake Avenue

87 Lake Avenue

87 Lake Avenue, $1.3 million, started at $1.8

135 Field Point Circle

135 Field Point Circle

135 Field Point Circle, $10.250 million. Gideon Fountain represented the seller, Russ Pruner the buyer. Pure (non-waterfront) land sale, the house will not stand (nor should it, at this price).

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No one I knew ever accused hockey players of being bright

Greatest polo player in the world accepts the Kentucky Derby trophy

Greatest polo player in the world accepts the Kentucky Derby trophy

Or of even doing their homework. Too busy pushing a little rubber puck around to crack a book.

A tribute to Nelson Mandela by the Maple Leaf’s goalie Jonathan Bernier, speaking at a ceremony held specifically to honor Mandela on the one-year anniversary of his death:

With cameras rolling on the red carpet, Bernier hailed Mandela as “one of the most known athletes in the world” and a hockey legend.

Even playing hockey, everyone knows him, right? From being the type of person that he was off the ice and on the ice. It’s unfortunate that he passed a year ago, but, he changed a lot while he was with us, and he’s a tremendous guy.”

Not content with leaving bad enough alone, Bernier continued to spew more nonsense about his supposed admiration for Mandela.

“I just think the way he met that is, you know, to me growing up playing sports with my parents was something really special cause I could share, try to be a leader, try to share things, and things like that where, you know when you’re a group sport you need to do that right? Be as one, and I think that’s what he met, and I think sports is really powerful. A lot of people obviously love to play the game, it can be hockey, basketball football, a lot of people watch that, and I think that’s kind of the message I personally got from the…”

The Daily News does add, “If it’s any consolation to Bernier, Mandela probably knew nothing about him either”, but still, if Bernier couldn’t be troubled to Google the man he was “honoring”, he probably should have followed the advice given to young lawyers when they don’t know the answer: shut up and sit down.

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Okay, this isn’t exactly shocking, but still ….

Analysis of Darwin Award winners reveal that 90% have been men.

“MIT” – Male Idiot Theory personified

He said an honourable mention must go to the man who slipped when using a belt sander as an auto erotic device and lost a testicle.

Repairing his scrotum with a staple gun, he was able to salvage his remaining testicle thus failing to eliminate himself completely from the gene pool, so he did not qualify for an award and was eliminated from the analysis.

The researchers admitted the study has limitations because women may be more likely to nominate men for a Darwin Award, or the sex difference may reflect differences in alcohol use between men and women.

But Dr Lendrem said: ‘Despite these limitations there can be little doubt Darwin Award winners seem to make little or no real assessment of the risk or attempt at risk management. They just do it anyway. In some cases, the intelligence of the award winner may be questioned.

‘For example, the office workers watching a construction worker demolishing a car park in the adjacent lot must have wondered about the man’s intelligence.

‘After two days of office speculation – how does he plan to remove the final support to crash the car park down safely? – they discovered, on the third day, that he didn’t have a plan. The concrete platform collapsed, crushing him to death and flattening his mini-excavator.’

He said anecdotal data support the hypothesis alcohol makes men feel ‘bulletproof’ after a few drinks, and it would be naïve to rule this out.

Dr Lendrem Added: ‘For example, the three men who played a variation on Russian roulette alternately taking shots of alcohol and then stamping on an unexploded Cambodian land mine. (Spoiler alert: the mine eventually exploded, demolishing the bar and killing all three men.)’

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 4.37.37 AM

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My sympathy is limited

Who knew?

Who knew?

“Entire beachside community” wiped out by Pacific storm”,says the headline, but (a) it turns out the “community” was three homes, and (b) it was located on “Washaway Beach”. I’m guessing that there’s a reason for that name.

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