Daily Archives: January 7, 2016
Reader Cobra reminded me that there’s an article on my grandfather John Gilbert in today’s WSJ, which I’d been meaning to mention.
This Saturday marks the 80th anniversary of John Gilbert’s death. If you don’t know this silent-movie idol, you are not alone, for his renown peaked between the mid-1920s and early 1930s. Yet it’s a measure of how considerable his fame was that the U.S. Postal Service included Gilbert—born John Cecil Pringle in Utah in 1899—among such luminaries as Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino and Lon Chaney when it issued a series of stamps celebrating silent-screen stars in 1994. And unlike Valentino and Chaney, who died before talkies superseded silents, Gilbert made 10 pictures with audible dialogue before he died, at age 36, in 1936.
With his chiseled features, lean physique and raven mane, Gilbert had been a dashing leading man in silent movies, equally comfortable in both costume melodramas, like Erich von Stroheim’s “The Merry Widow” (1925), and then-contemporary stories, such as King Vidor’s World War I epic “The Big Parade” (1925), in which he played an eager if callow doughboy. His three silents with Greta Garbo,most notably “Flesh and the Devil” (1926), were touchstones of the period. In these films and others, Gilbert played flawed characters but radiated irresistible charm, which together with his shiny handsomeness left moviegoers swooning. His talkies, by contrast, found him cast in roguish, often unsympathetic parts.
And so on. Nothing much here, but it’s nice that ol’ grandpa is still remembered, even if only by film buffs.
Within hours of Republican Town Committee chairman Jim Campbell announcing his forced retirement, former Democrat chairman Francis X. Farricker has thrown his hat into the ring to replace him.
“I’m as used to backstabbing sonofabitches and inflated egos as Jim is,” Farricker explained to FWIW, “so that won’t be new, and there’s nothing the Republicans support that I don’t: swimming pools, new firehouses, marching bands, bungled school construction projects, you name it: they want that stuff, and so do I, so I see no problem whatsoever running the party.”
Asked how Campbell would react to the possibility of being succeeded by him, Farricker responded, “are you kidding? Jim’s the one who put me up to this. In fact, I’m helping him move over to the Democrats and take my spot. The two parties are interchangeable, why not their leadership?”
The scary part about the Donald is that, even if he only believes half the stuff he spews, his followers swallow all of it
I get that he’s tapped into the huge anger of the people, including my own, but after 8 years of Obama, I’m not sure we can survive four more under another demagogue.
Riverside NoPo, that is. 33 Sunshine Avenue, asking $685,000. While anything can be rebuilt, this one is probably headed for the scrapster. Its description says “as is”, and when there are no interior shots, and one of the three exterior pictures is that of a bird bath, you can assume that there’s not much to brag about going on inside.
Still, it’s a quarter-acre in the R-7 zone, so paying a premium for the land makes sense.
This is my shocked face: Study finds that listing agents often describe houses as “bargains” when they aren’t
Real estate agents are known for employing euphemisms to make an outdated house seem charming, or a cramped apartment feel cozy.
Here are some other buzzwords: “bargain,” “under-valued,” and “deal.” In nearly half the largest 100 U.S. metros, those phrases probably mean absolutely nothing.
The obvious answer is to use a buyer’s representative who owes his loyalties to you, not the seller. Not that there aren’t agents out there whose sole allegiance is to their own mortgage payments and kids’ private school tuition, but use some care and you’ll find good ones. Trulia’s study is good for a general market view, but there are certainly houses out there which, because of mispricing at the beginning or a pending federal indictment, can be had at a discount. Trust me : )
SIBLEY, Iowa—Presidential candidates for decades have sought to curry favor with Iowa farmers by pledging allegiance to a local agriculture lobby that reaps the benefits of favorable federal laws.
Now, Sen. Ted Cruz, the front-runner in the state’s Feb. 1 Republican presidential caucuses, is threatening to break the long-standing pact, prompting a fierce pushback from the industry.
Mr. Cruz is calling for an end to the Renewable Fuel Standard, a law first passed in 2005 that requires refineries to blend an increasing amount of biofuels, including the corn-based ethanol produced here, into the U.S. gasoline supply each year.
The state’s biggest ethanol trade groups are in the midst of a multi-million-dollar campaign to stop Mr. Cruz from becoming the first presidential candidate in either party to win the state while opposing the standard since it was enacted.
For the trade groups that represent Iowa’s ethanol producers, Mr. Cruz represents an existential crisis: If he proves a presidential candidate can win Iowa without the approval of the ethanol lobby—represented here by a group called America’s Renewable Future—the fear is no candidate will ever back their agenda again.
If Hillary and Donald Trump can’t stand up to the corn lobby and will protect a blatant rip off of the American public, how will they do resisting the NEA and Trial Lawyers of America? In Hillary’s case, the question was asked and answered long ago: she’s never met a John she didn’t like, so long as he pays up front. As for Trump, his caving here in Iowa says all you need to know.