State Tax Caps Not Effective

From the Star Ledger:

N.J. municipalities raise taxes despite state cap

When New Jersey announced that property taxes went up by an average of 3.3. percent last year — the smallest increase in a decade of rapid growth — some hailed it as evidence that a 3-year-old law capping annual increases at 4 percent had finally taken hold.

But a closer look shows the law is hardly a fire wall.

Nearly a third of the state’s 566 municipalities raised property taxes above the cap with the state’s permission last year, many because they were able to show they were facing virtual civic dysfunction, a Star-Ledger review shows. Through hundreds of pages of applications asking to exceed the cap, school and town officials spared no adjectives when describing what would happen without relief: The police force would be cut. Special education aides would be fired. Fire hydrants would not be installed.

“Impossible” one town said of the budget it would produce under the cap. “Catastrophic” disruptions to basic services, warns another.

Still others envisioned Armageddon scenarios:

Carlstadt, where property taxes rose 10 percent, claimed it would “have no alternative but to shut down all operations in the borough.” Lake Como, where taxes jumped nearly 9 percent, said denying a waiver to spend more “would jeopardize the public health and safety.”

Of 76 towns that asked to exceed the cap last year, 62 were approved, according to state records. Of 33 school districts, 25 were approved — though many at a far smaller dollar amount than they asked for. The state granted $12.3 million of the requested $35.4 million in waivers for schools — down from $33.2 million of a requested $58.6 million in 2008. Towns that were approved asked for more than $47 million in exceptions.

Other local governments did not need state permission because the costs driving their tax hikes — such as health care or rising school enrollments were not subject to the cap.

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485 Responses to State Tax Caps Not Effective

  1. willwork4beer says:

    El Primero!

  2. willwork4beer says:

    Municipalities should be forced to cut their budgets. The idea of cutting anything never occurs to them. If the state won’t give them more money, they go straight to raising property taxes. After all, it for the children…

  3. willwork4beer says:

    it = its

    More coffee, please.

  4. serenity now says:

    “For the children”
    Yeah I am sure the children will be really thanking us
    in about 15 years when they enter the real world and
    find taxes so high they are forced to leave the state!!!

  5. willwork4beer says:

    4 serenity

    Well, you have to realize that we must have tax increases to support unemployable political hacks and their cronies continuing improvements in our Blue Ribbon schools.
    After all, its so we can line our pockets for the children.

  6. Final Doom says:

    Not only will my kids be leaving NJ the minute they graduate HS…my wife and I will be right behind them.

    This state is DOA. Ungovernable. Toast.

    Although it’s fun watching Christie take on the unions. In the end, they will get him. Even if it means catching him naked in a vat of spaghetti.

  7. safeashouses says:

    By operations seizing do the municipalities mean their employees would have to pay 1% of their salary towards their health benefits and employees who have accrued sick days from their entry level 1973 salary can’t exchange them for cash at their 2010 Chief’s salary upon retirement?

  8. safeashouses says:

    It’s either Spring or the recession is over. For the first time in 5 or 6 months I saw a Mexican riding a bike, on the wrong side of the road of course.

  9. freedy says:

    rode thru Palisades Park yesterday morning.

    Broad Ave. hundreds of Mexicans
    on the streets, side streets, I thought i
    was in Mexico. Unbelievable, and getting
    worse.

  10. confused in NJ says:

    You can tell how bad the problems are by how the Government ignores the National Debt Issue. They know it is beyond resolution, so they ignore it until Final Doom. I laugh at the youngsters looking at the Past for Parallels. This Country has never been this Dysfunctional. It has corrupted it’s entire Infrastructure.

  11. confused in NJ says:

    They should relabel Paid Sick Days to Paid Non Sick Days or Paid For Not Being Sick Days. The whole concept is ludicrous. How they ever agreed to paying for sick time, when your not sick, is totally dysfunctional.

  12. Shore Guy says:

    Clot,

    Are yoy saying that the Gov REALLY loves his food?

    Film at 11.

  13. Shore Guy says:

    Willwork,

    Heck, if the towns and school districts would just cut 1% from their budgets this year and for each of the next 10 years, they will reduce the cost of government by about 50% of what it would have been otherwise.

    It would be a start, anyway.

  14. Shore Guy says:

    This came to me in an ASCAP newsletter. Reading it, it struck me that it also applies to the slow but steady decline in NJ:

    “During (the last decade) the U.S. music industry fell from nearly $15 billion annually to $8.5 billion. Some pundits have ascribed the problems solely to the industry, but you would think by now there should be no doubt that the online theft of music has caused significant harm. How wonderful that such intricate questions can be so artfully distilled in a classic children’s storybook! For any of you that have not read it, “Nobody Stole the Pie” (by Sonia Levitin) tells the story of the town of Little Digby and its giant annual lollyberry pie. When one year the celebrated pie is gone, all the townsfolk who had picked away at it bit by bit claim it was “Not I” who stole the pie.”

  15. Final Doom says:

    Shore (13)-

    Seems like NJ only understands the magic of compounding when it’s losses and expenditures that are subject to it.

  16. Final Doom says:

    Good times.

    “The ongoing troubles at the GSEs are no secret: it is public knowledge that Fannie had a 5.38% delinquency rate at December, while Freddie just passed the 4% threshold in January; both continue to rise rapidly each month. The fact that the mortgage-bond spread has just hit a record tight is merely an ongoing artifact of the Fed’s endless meddling in the mortgage market, with the sole purpose of keeping rates artificially low, and preventing banks from being forced to take massive writedowns on their entire loan book. This is all well known. What, however, seems to have escaped public attention is what the impact of these delinquencies is on the one largest holder of Mortgage Backed Securities, the Federal Reserve. What also seems to have escaped the public is that the Fed is now the world’s largest bank, with total assets near $2.3 trillion. We provide a weekly update of the Fed’s balance sheet and while we briefly note the liability side, our, and everyone else’s, attention, is traditionally focused on the asset side. Yet a more detailed look at the liability side reveals something very troubling, specifically that the Fed’s capital, i.e. equity buffer, which as of most recently was $53.3 billion (a comparable metric for plain vanilla banks is their equity buffer, or Tier 1 Capital, or however the FASB wants to define it on any given day when it is covering up massive capital shortfalls) is in fact negligible and could well be substantially negative, if the Fed were to account for the rapidly rising level of delinquencies in its one largest asset holdings: the $1.027 trillion in settled MBS. And while there is no possibility of a run on the Fed, the reality is that the Fed now likely runs with a negative real capital balance, meaning that the US Federal Reserve is now essentially insolvent.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/federal-reserve-insolvent

  17. Final Doom says:

    Oh, yeah. This will end well.

    “A 5% realized haircut on MBS alone would result in a complete elimination of the Fed’s capital balance. Applying a 10% or even 15% haircut, results in a capital deficiency of $50 billion and $100 billion respectively. This deficiency will grow as more and more MBS are settled, and as the serious delinquency rate on MBS keeps increasing (no danger in this moderating any time soon).

    Now in an environment, such as the one we live in today, when mark-to-myth is the new normal, and when banks are encouraged to come up with creative ways to indicate that their Residential and Commercial Loan portfolios are worth par (despite recent disclosures by the FDIC), to assume that the Fed would do something that lowly depositor banks are told not to do, would be folly. Yet, for those who prefer to live away from Never Never land, and brave this thing called reality, just what will happen if and when the Fed finally does disclose that it is, for all intents and purposes, insolvent?”

  18. Final Doom says:

    Fed vigilantes? Great.

    “Yet with each passing day, all those who are fully aware that the Fed’s course is one of self-destruction, grow bolder, until finally one day a new class of investors – the Fed vigilantes- will emerge, looking for cheap opportunities to make a killing (think ABX) on the other side of the “Fed trade”, which ultimately will lead to a systemic catharsis of unprecedented proportions.

    At that point neither gold, nor lead will be in any way useful. Beta and gamma radiation will make sure of that.”

  19. Final Doom says:

    Orin Kramer should be executed on live TV. Instead, he’s about to incinerate billions more of NJ pension money…via investment in failed banks. All of this, pimped by Sheilababy and the FDIC wh0rehouse.

    “The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is trying to encourage public retirement funds that control more than $2 trillion to buy all or part of failed lenders, taking a more direct role in propping up the banking system, said people briefed on the matter.

    Direct investments may allow funds such as those in Oregon, New Jersey and California to cut fees for private-equity managers, and the agency to get better prices for distressed assets, the people said. They declined to be identified because talks with regulators are confidential.

    Oregon’s retirement fund may contribute $100 million as regulators seek “the support of state pension funds to solve the crisis surrounding ongoing bank failures,” Jay Fewel, a senior investment officer at the Oregon State Treasury, said in a presentation at the fund’s Feb. 24 meeting. New Jersey’s fund may also participate, said Orin Kramer, chairman of New Jersey’s State Investment Council.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/fdic-prodding-pensions-invest-failed-banks

  20. Final Doom says:

    Today’s final dose of stupid:

    “We’re spending tens of billions of dollars on a tax credit to get people to purchase homes, we’re spending federal money to keep them in their homes through the modification program, and now we’re going to pay them to move out of their homes. This is not a sustainable system for the housing market. It’s a shell game. Bernie Madoff could have created this system.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/03/obamas-housing-shell-game-short-sales.html

  21. Mr Hyde says:

    Safe

    that’s racist!!!!!!

  22. confused in NJ says:

    Channel 7 News had expose this A.M on Fosamax Bone Medication. Doctors are finding it causes brittle bones, causing vertical bone fractures in people walking. They think it’s because it interrupts the normal body process of destroying bad bone and creating new bone. Merk says No proof. FDA agrees grudgingly to investigate.

  23. 3b says:

    #4 That is what I have been saying for the last few years.

  24. willwork4beer says:

    NJ 101.5 just reported that Hunterdon is the healthiest county in NJ.

    However, it also reported that 16% of Hunterdon County adults are binge drinkers.

    (And I thought it was just me and Clot emptying the liquor stores…)

  25. Mikeinwaiting says:

    I’m moving to Hunterdon, sounds like my type of county.

  26. 3b (23):

    This is exactly what I said at the last Montclair town council meeting when they were contemplating purchasing a 3.5 million community center for the children and seniors of our community. I closed my argument by stating, “If you REALLY want to do something for the children of Montclair, you can start by paying off a portion of the $12,000 per person debt that you have burdened them involuntarily with.” Of course, this received no comment.

  27. 3b says:

    #20 For the people being paid $1000.00 to move. I would assume than at that point they would have to rent somewhere. Would it not just make for sens for them to stay in the hosue for another year and live for free?

  28. 3b says:

    #26Of course, this received no comment.

    Of course it received no comment, becasue I am sure it made them uncomfortable, as you called them on their BS. I have found that the biggest cheerleaders are full of it. Everyting is wrapped up in it is for the children, the reality is the sheeple are convinced by the silly local elected shepple officials that all this spending will make their property values higher. That is the real reason. They than take that and wrap it up in the it’s for the children wrapping paper.

    Than many of these same cheerleaders bail on the town as soon as the their last kid is out of high school.

    Yeah we did this for you children, a 3 bed 1 bath POS house with what 22k in yearly property taxes? Oh yeah and you know what children we want big bucks for the POS house too, because we did after all do it for you.

  29. Gold Finger says:

    Hi everyone,

    Longtime lurker here but I thought I would share my story since people have been asking about credit card defaults.

    I currently have about $30,000 in credit card debt across 3 cards and as of last October the credit card companies jacked my interest rate to 30%. This happened even thought I had never had a late payment and my credit score was 810 at the time. I called the credit card companies and they refused to explain why they suddenly increased my rate from 9% to 30%. They said that if I did not like it I could pay the cards off in full. I tried multiple times to discuss the matter or negotiate a better rate but they refused to even discuss the matter.

    As a result I immediately stopped making payments on all 3 cards. I put what used to be each months payment into savings instead. I ignored the credit card companies for about 7 months and at that point it went to collections. I ignored the collections attempt for another 3 or 4 months before finally talking to them. The collection agencies were willing to negotiate and i negotiated a monthly payment of my previous minimum payment but at 0%. I also negotiated that the status of the accounts be changed to current. my credit score has taken a 100 point hit, but i am still above 700.

    I’m not making any claims of hardship and am not looking for sympathy. Nor am I trying to portray myself as some sort of robin hood. This was simply a business decision.

    The credit card companies made a very stupid decision here. I am more then capable of making the payments at 9% and equally capable at 30%. However, their arbitrary decision to raise my rate to 30% forced me to act. Had they negotiated a better rate they would be receiving my full payments. instead they now will never even recover the principle since the collection agency now gets what is potentially a substantial cut of the payments. On top of that i am making on average, 5% on the money that would have been going to the credit card companies. I have essentially changed the credit card debt from a liability to an interest free loan that allows me to make about 5% on the difference from what i would have paid at 30%

    From all the correspondence and discussion that have taken place, it is my understanding that the collection agency did not by the debt outright, but bought some sort of servicing agreement with the credit card companies, but that is a guess on my part.

    Outside of my credit card debt i have no debt whatsoever. My home is paid for in full and i hold title, my cars are paid off in full and i bank 30% of my net income every month.

    I am also aware that this action was not risk free given that i have liquid assets, but in my personal calculation it was a reasonable risk as opposed to accepting the usurious interest rates.

    I do not advocate this path for anyone else as it does have risks associated with it.

    Great blog by the way. Back to lurking.

  30. #29 – Well, at least you’re acknowledging an awareness of the risks.
    %30 is preposterous. Even though I firmly believe in honoring promises made and personal responsibility…. F Amex, or Visa/MC whoever. I have only $400 in total debt on one card and am now getting fees for not having a balance. So good on ya!

  31. SG says:

    I doubt results in US would be any different.

    What crisis? Gen Y shrugged off financial meltdown, finds Viewpoint Report

    Generation Y ignored financial meltdown
    Report finds their spending rose in 2009
    Housing expert gives age group reality check
    THE global financial crisis barely registered with Generation Y.

    According research published today, the response of 18-24 year-old Australians to the imminent collapse of capitalism was to ignore it.

    The finding emerges from the Commonwealth Bank’s first Viewpoint Report, based on the experiences of 1.3 million customers.

    Viewpoint found that Gen Y’s spending increased 6.2 per cent in 2009, despite earnings growing only 2.5 per cent and job losses in the age group rising 13.6 per cent.

    Nonetheless, their outlook was the most optimistic of any demographic, with Gen X – aged 25 to 34 – increasing spending by only 2 per cent, even though their earnings grew 4.9 per cent and job losses rose by a relatively modest 7.3 per cent.

  32. chicagofinance says:

    My wife received this e-mail on Sunday from a local Mom’s group. Since the e-mail said to include husbands, I thought that it was relevant for me to respond. My wife literally had to shout me down and handcuff me. Ultimately, I appreciate the information, but the presumptiveness of instructing me what to do is so assenine it is literally torches my anus…….

    As you probably know, the school district budget vote is coming up. (For all districts, not just Colts Neck.)
    It’s soooooooo important that you all (and your husbands) go out to vote. Last year, the CN budget failed by I believe about 40 votes. Just our group alone (with our husbands) is more voters than that.

    Most of you don’t have children in the district yet, but changes that are made now will affect the education your children receive next year, and even 10 years from now. If the budget continues to fail, the board will have to make some serious cuts. Teachers will be let go, class sizes will be much larger, busses will be cut – making already long routes even longer, extra curricular programs will be cut, specials will be cut or held in the classroom (making the children stir crazy that they have to stay in their seats all day long), etc.

    These aren’t just threats. They may soon become our reality because the budget didn’t pass last year and because the state is cutting our funding. It’ll be worse if this budget doesn’t pass.

    If you can’t make it to the polls on April 20 between 2 and 9 pm or if there’s even a small chance that you or your husband might not make it (we all know how cranky/sick kids can throw a wrench into our plans and husbands can unexpectedly work late), please complete the absentee ballot and mail it in. (info below)

    The following are important dates and websites for Colts Neck. (Check your own town’s website for details if you’re not in CN.)

    March 30, 2010 Voter Registration Deadline for School Board Election
    Click on this link to download voter registration form; follow instructions on form
    (If you’re already registered for general elections, then you’re registered for the school election.)

    April 13, 2010 Deadline for mailed absentee ballot forms (or you can register in person at the County Clerk’s office by 3 pm April 19th; address for County Clerk’s office is located on the form) Click on this link ; follow instruction on the form

    April 20, 2010 School Board Elections; School Budget Vote 2010-2011
    2:00 – 9:00 pm

    Please forward this on to everyone you know who lives in the district. Whether they have kids in the school or not. We can use all the voters we can get.
    I’m sure one of the reasons you all moved into this area because of the great school districts. (We did.) Let’s help to keep them at the same level of excellence as they were when we first moved in.

    Thanks.

  33. NJGator says:

    Chifi 32 – Suck it up. It’s for the children.

  34. dxp says:

    grim,

    how much do you charge do be a listing broker?

    going to be listing my condo in about a month.

  35. tbiggs says:

    Mexicans… In the 1920s, you would have heard “Italians all over the streets, it looked like Italy” spoken with a contemptuous sneer.

    #29 Gold Finger – thanks for the real-world report, useful and interesting.

  36. 3b says:

    #32 They are just assuming you support them.

  37. NJGator says:

    I wonder how much this will cost us in legal fees so the cops have a more convenient place to park:

    Council may initiate eminent domain battle

    Montclair’s Township Council is scheduled tomorrow to vote on a measure that would initiate eminent domain proceedings to seize a private lot that sits behind Police Headquarters, an action the property owner claims will cause “a huge fight.”

    Municipal officials have long wished to transform the property – a vacant, 6,800-square-foot lot on the corner of Portland Place and Valley Road – into a surface parking lot for Police Department employees.

    Township Manager Marc Dashield told The Times the municipality is seeking “a fair, reasonable price” for the lot. Its proximity to Police Headquarters makes it an attractive property, Dashield said.

    “Quite frankly, it makes a lot of sense,” he said.

    But not to Frank Cerino, the property owner, who also runs DeCozen Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge on Bloomfield Avenue in Verona. Cerino, 60, said Montclair officials have refused to offer a “fair” price for the site, which Cerino said he has used to store vehicles.

    According to Cerino, the property is valued at around $600,000, but Montclair’s offer was only about $300,000.

    “They want to give me half of the value that they’re charging me taxes on. That’s ridiculous, isn’t it? I mean, it’s insulting,” he said.

    The property is valued at $374,000, according to records in the municipal Tax Assessor’s office. Cerino paid $9,147.32 in property taxes for 2009.

    The council, which in October unanimously authorized borrowing $508,250 to acquire and resurface the property, is expected to approve tomorrow’s action initiating the eminent domain battle.

    If it does, then it will do so without the support of 2nd Ward Councilman Cary Africk.

    Africk told The Times he doesn’t think the project is consequential enough to wage an eminent domain battle for.

    “Shouldn’t we be using that for things that are more important than another surface parking lot?” Africk asked.

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/86982227_Council_may_initiate_eminent_domain_fight.html

  38. A.West says:

    SL,
    If I can ever get my house in order in Bridgewater, I may host something for NJRER folks if they promise to not carry. (There is a hardcore Objectivist (Ayn Rand fans) group in NJ that has been trying and failing to hold monthly meetings the last couple of years, which I’m also thinking about reviving – maybe show videos in my upcoming home theater.) ETA late summer – right now I’m living out of suitcases and don’t have furniture in half the rooms, as realtor asked us to leave a lot of stuff in the old house to help sell, and still haven’t bought much new furniture yet.

    I’ve also discovered that Cablevision is much inferior to FIOS which isn’t available in the Washington Valley area.

  39. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Detroit wants to save itself by shrinking

    DETROIT – Detroit, the very symbol of American industrial might for most of the 20th century, is drawing up a radical renewal plan that calls for turning large swaths of this now-blighted, rusted-out city back into the fields and farmland that existed before the automobile.

    Operating on a scale never before attempted in this country, the city would demolish houses in some of the most desolate sections of Detroit and move residents into stronger neighborhoods. Roughly a quarter of the 139-square-mile city could go from urban to semi-rural.

    Near downtown, fruit trees and vegetable farms would replace neighborhoods that are an eerie landscape of empty buildings and vacant lots. Suburban commuters heading into the city center might pass through what looks like the countryside to get there. Surviving neighborhoods in the birthplace of the auto industry would become pockets in expanses of green.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100308/ap_on_bi_ge/us_downsizing_detroit

  40. #37 – That sort of eminent domain abuse should bankrupt the township, the police dept and it’s f-ing pension fund.

  41. NJGator says:

    Board, Community Face 2010-11 Budget Crisis

    At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, more than 200 teachers, administrators and residents filled the George Inness Annex atrium to capacity. The unusually large crowd was one more indicator – along with recent news articles in the local media and on the district’s website – that 2010-11 will be a year of unprecedented challenges for the Montclair schools.

    The challenges, in fact, have already begun. New Jersey’s new Governor has already frozen the remainder of the 2009-10 aid to schools throughout the state. In addition, districts like Montclair that have maintained surplus funds for emergencies have now been ordered by the state to spend those reserves as revenue.

    By any estimation, 2010-11 will be a tough year. Although the annual draft budget will be presented to the public at the next meeting on March 22, this week’s preliminary discussion has already made it clear that whatever aid the state may provide next year, steep reductions will be necessary.

    “These cuts are painful,” Board member Shelly Lombard said at the beginning of the evening. “People are scared, and for good reason. People are losing jobs. Students are losing programs, but this is just not an environment where we can ask residents to absorb an 8% tax increase.”

    Instead, school officials are holding the projected school tax increase to 2.9 percent – the lowest in more than 10 years.

    In addition, balancing the proposed $112.7 million budget – decreased from last year’s $113 million – will require sharply curtailed spending, the continued conversion of the district’s reserve funds into revenue, and a freeze in spending and hiring (except for emergencies) that is already in effect.

    In total, the reductions in purchasing, services and programs are expected to add up to $5.1 million, offsetting an anticipated cut in state aid of 15-20% from last year’s level.

    In addition, staff layoffs remain a very real possibility. Not only administration officials and teachers but nurses, librarians, security and other personnel may be let go.

    On Monday night, district Business Administrator Dana Sullivan presented a Power Point slideshow that included various budget scenarios for 2010-11, along with detailed information for the discussion that followed.

    Such information included the annual district-wide cost per pupil, school expenditures in Montclair and statewide, distribution of the budget by percentage, and state funding and enrollment levels spanning the past several years.

    Perhaps of most interest to audience members, the presentation also outlined a broad plan for reductions in the coming year.

    In addition to proposed cuts to services, including after-school and summer programs, tutoring, the Health and Wellness partnership, athletics, community and non-mandated programs, and other activities, Dr. Alvarez announced this week that the Board was considering laying off as many as 60.7 staff members — a number that could rise, he said, depending on state aid.

    The proposed 2010-11 budget reflects:

    Reductions in current programs and services totaling more than $5.1 million

    A $410,000 decrease in the operating budget from 2009-10 to 2010-11

    A $247 increase in school tax for the average homeowner in Montclair

    An anticipated 15% reduction in state aid, per Governor Christie’s announcement in February

    A decrease of $1.5 million in the district’s fund balance, to be used as revenue.

    Other notable portions of the presentation included a pie chart showing the distribution of the annual school budget, shown in the chart at left.

    Calling on the MEA

    At Monday’s meeting, scores of teachers wearing blue-and-white MEA t-shirts reading, “I care about your kids,” showed up to listen, to support, and to protest the possible layoffs.

    Two weeks ago, the Board approved a resolution calling for the 1,000-member Montclair Education Association to re-open its most recent contract, which calls for salary increases averaging 2.5%.

    Citing a February 9th announcement by the Scarsdale, New York Teachers’ Association, which voluntarily voted to reduce salary increases for the next two years, Montclair Board member Leslie Larson said on February 22, “I’m asking the local and state [Education Associations] and our teachers to please re-open discussions that could avoid a radical reduction in the number of new teachers, the elimination of aides and of many programs that enhance our school system and enrich our community.”

    Stressing that she believes teachers deserve more compensation, not less, she said, “I’m asking for the MEA to help” because the coming year’s contractual agreements “[were] conceived without knowledge of this dire budget crisis and the new state funding cuts.”

    On March 1, the Board, Superintendent and public had an opportunity to hear many viewpoints about this proposal, and about the budget in general. Once again, Ms. Larson and other Board members reiterated that the February 22 resolution was part of an overall call for support from the district as a whole, and from the community.

    “There is no doubt that this is painful,” Board President John Carlton said. “It’s not a question of, we don’t want to cut to the bone. We are already cutting to the bone.”

    Superintendent Alvarez did not take a salary increase last year for this reason. But dwindling state aid, coupled with rising costs and a spiraling economy nationwide, has made the situation even worse this year.

    “For many years, we’ve been suffering from an incredibly low percentage of aid from the state – last year, approximately 9%, to support a budget totaling more than $100 million,” Board member Rob Kautz reminded the audience. He characterized the coming year’s 15-20% state funding cuts as “devastating” when combined with fixed-cost increases to the district – “a 7% rise in health care, just to name one example.” Other such fixed annual costs include transportation, insurance, employee benefits, and utilities.

    In response to comments that the next year’s cuts could unfairly target teachers, Dr. Alvarez reminded the audience that the possible staff cuts and other reductions were conceived “across the board,” as last month’s budget presentation specified . That presentation was posted to the district’s website on February 25.

    Not only teaching staff in the schools but Central Office employees and functions, community and other non-mandated programs, new efficiencies in the area of special education (not to include cuts to student services), and restructuring plans for Renaissance school in the fall were identified in that presentation.

    “No one is saying teachers don’t deserve their raises,” Ms. Lombard clarified on Monday night.

    Referring to last meeting’s resolution, during which she stated, “Great teachers … are an essential part of our communities and our families,” Ms. Larson reiterated this week, “We value our teachers and aides enormously and want to make sure there is no confusion about that.”

    The response of the audience to the proposal and to the discussions that followed was varied. MEA President Dennis Murray rebuked the Board, saying, “Yes, these are critical, crisis-ridden times. But the relationship [between the MEA and Board] we had prior to last week was much better prior to your drawing a line in the sand.”

    Assuring the Board that the MEA was in support of finding constructive solutions to the current budget crisis, he stated unequivocally, “You say you’re looking for cooperation: well, you are going to get it.”

    However, Mr. Murray made clear that the Association’s position was a resounding, “No, we are not going to reopen our contract.” Instead, he said, “The Association is willing to help discuss ways we can retain those 60-odd positions,” and promised, “This association, led by me, will fight tirelessly to save the jobs of all affected.”

    Voices from the Community

    Among the speakers who next took the podium – teachers, the district’s head nurse, a co-founder of the long-standing Writer’s Room program, and several parents and residents – there was widespread agreement that the coming year would require sacrifices by all.

    “I think it’s important for us to try to keep it together as a community,” said Mary Beth Rosenthal, a parent whose long-term ties with the district include co-Presidency of the PTA Council for the past several years. On Monday night, however, she said, “I’m not here tonight in any official capacity … I don’t want to see fewer teachers in our schools. But I don’t know how much more I can contribute as a taxpayer.”

    Mara Novak, a parent who is a teacher in another district, and whose husband teaches in Montclair, spoke of sacrifices her family had faced when staff in her own district did not get salary increases last year. Still, she said, “I’d rather see every teacher here stay, even if they have to get no raise, or less of one.”

    Courtney Washington, a math teacher at Glenfield, implored the board, “Let us try to help you resolve this crisis without coming up with a solution that’s so offensive” to teachers.

    Local business owner Scott Kennedy, parent of two children in the schools, spoke thoughtfully about the need for all Montclair residents to take a realistic approach to the coming year’s challenges.

    “It’s going to require give and take … I’m willing to accept some of the pain if you guys are,” he said. “I don’t want to see any of these chairs empty.” Commenting, “I’m glad to see this civil discourse,” he concluded: “I’ll do my part. There’s a middle of the road that’s got to be met.”

    Following the remarks from audience members, several Board members – as well as former Board President Deborah Wilson – broadened the discussion by questioning the efficacy of how the Montclair school budget has traditionally been funded.

    “The way it’s structured now, it’s simply not sustainable,” Ms. Wilson said.

    Board member Rob Kautz concurred. “There’s a trend at the state level, so I think we’re looking at less funding in the future rather than more. If we simply come up with short-term solutions this year, we’re going to be right back here again next year. We’re really going to need to get ahead of this,” he said – adding, “No one is going to save us. It’s going to be up to us.”

    Shirley Grill agreed, urging her fellow board members and the assembled staff and residents, “We need to find solutions that go beyond Montclair’s borders.”

    The next Board of Education meeting will take place on Monday, March 22, at the George Inness Annex atrium, 141 Park Avenue, 7:30 p.m.. The agenda will be posted on the Montclair Public Schools website prior to the meeting.

    http://www.montclair.k12.nj.us/Article.aspx?Id=551

  42. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    “Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came home with sweaty palms from his mid-February visit to Israel. He has been worrying aloud that Israel will mousetrap the U.S. into war with Iran.

    Upon arrival in Jerusalem on Feb. 14, Mullen wasted no time in making clear why he had come. He insisted publicly that an attack on Iran would be “a big, big, big problem for all of us, and I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences.”

    A Persian Gulf Tonkin incident?

    “The one that interested me [Hersh] the most was why don’t we build – we in our shipyard – build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy SEALs on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.”

    http://consortiumnews.com/2010/030610a.html

  43. Mr Hyde says:

    Gator,

    Instead, school officials are holding the projected school tax increase to 2.9 percent – the lowest in more than 10 years.

    That says everything you need to know.

  44. veto that says:

    Scarface is selling his South Jersey estate for 299k!

    The place is trashed, hence the ‘as is’ and taxes are almost 20k.

    Dont be surprised if you get a few visits from columbian drug lords weeks after you move in.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/812-Union-Mill-Rd_Mount-Laurel_NJ_08054_1116600915

  45. freedy says:

    29 Great move. screw the banks, you hit
    it on the head.

    interest free money , and you can always
    settle. been doing it for over a year.

    cc companies and collection ,, easy to deal with it.

  46. veto that says:

    John could never go house hunting with Brandy Coffee because he would buy the first house she showed him – full price.

    Clot, you should set up a lunch meeting for recruitment.

    http://www.forsarasotarealestate.com/Sarasota-Realtor.htm

  47. Gold FInger says:

    Freedy

    The credit card companies offered to settle for 50%. I am able to pay and acknowledge the debt. My issue was with the terms. That is why I did not take the settlement and worked out a payment plan.

    I also think that the settlement would have had a bigger hit on my credit rating.

  48. Final Doom says:

    beer (24)-

    BInge drinking and excellent health are not mutually exclusive.

    I can’t play soccer well anymore unless I have a few beers in my system beforehand. :)

  49. Final Doom says:

    mike (25)-

    I think the county where you live doesn’t consider binge drinking a problem.

  50. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto

    Brandy Coffey?.?.?.?.?.

    I cant wait to see her at the local strip club in another year or so!!!! She doesnt even need a stage name.

  51. Final Doom says:

    3b (28)-

    It’s all just an unsustainable, multi-generational Ponzi that’s about to collapse.

    Will be fun watching Cramer and all the financial talking heads pull the “we couldn’t see it coming” line this time around.

    Too bad when these guys leave the studios, they’ll have to run a gauntlet of potential assassins to get home.

  52. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto,

    The scarface house for 300K? I’m so in. Well, only if there is a hot realtor who is willing to “close the deal”.

  53. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 46

    Think she has ever gone “airtight” I hear thats a prereq for clots assistants

  54. 3b says:

    #51 I know, but it really makes me icnredibly angry to see how these idiots have destroyed things.

  55. Final Doom says:

    gator (37)-

    You guys should get a hit squad up from Argentina and start knocking off councilmen. The only way these guys will stop throwing away money is if they’re six feet under.

    Oy vey!

  56. safeashouses says:

    #32 Chifi,

    You have a multi year lease. Go vote for the school budget. People can only afford so many dollars a month for housing, so theoretically higher proper taxes would help drive down property values. And if values don’t drop, you are a renter and can just move to another town.

    Besides it is for the children.

  57. safeashouses says:

    #41 Gator,

    Everyone is willing to make sacrifices, as long as it doesn’t impact them.

  58. Final Doom says:

    gator (41)-

    Funny how everyone wants to work together…until the NJEA is inserted into the dialogue.

    Montclair is a classic case of a town that needs to use the threat of BK right now to break the union and restore fiscal sanity. If the union wants to play chicken, then Montclair should declare BK, void the union contract and see how the NJEA rank-and-file likes what comes of that.

  59. Final Doom says:

    veto (46)-

    Guaranteed she has worked a stripper pole at some juncture in her life.

  60. Final Doom says:

    (46)-

    And, if she ever decides to go into skin flicks, her real name is as good as any alias I can think of.

  61. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 49 So true.
    Ket 50 That hair is going to get in the way in the parking lot as she makes some extra money doing BJs.

  62. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [38] A.West.

    I wouldn’t worry about the NJRER folks that would show. I have had several over my house and they are quite normal (well, sort of. No weirder than me).

    Also, this is a fairly smart group, politics notwithstanding, and they all know that concealed carry is illegal in NJ w/o a permit, and no one gets a permit.

    I have not, however, had a blanket open house posted here, probably for the same reasons you haven’t. But I am considering it because I have found that even the most irrational-sounding regulars here haven’t said or done anything to make me question their sanity.

    With the possible exception of clot! ;-)

  63. veto that says:

    “The scarface house for 300K? I’m so in.”

    Ket, its all yours but first you have to negotiate with the Bank of New York. They have the keys.

  64. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Here’s a political prediction that I want to toss out, that is somewhat relevant to real estate, etc.

    We have wondered, in not so specific terms, whether the federal government will start bailing out states. I think that this would create a firestorm poltically. If the Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana Purchase, and Gator-Aid riled folks in donor country, bailing out Cali would make much of the country go ballistic. Literally.

    In fact, we have already seen a state-level bailout recently: BABs. It is disguised as stimulus, but it is basically fed guarantees of bonds that states would be floating on their own. As a bailout, however, it is pretty weak.

    So what’s next? Here’s my prediction.

    Rather than bail out whole states because that would result in massive strife, the Feds will bail out cities: Detroit, L.A., Philly, Camden, Atlanta, Memphis, Cleveland to start, and more to come.

    Now, how will this be done without looking like a mini-version of a state bailout? Well, what is the largest part of a city’s budget? Schools. See where I am going here?

    The feds will come in and declare that the schools are not meeting mandates for, say, civil rights compliance, by not providing a gold-plated education to the local crackheads. Then they will “take over” the school district by putting it into receivership.

    The city will go along with this because the feds will also take over funding for the school district they just took over.

    Now the city is getting a huge federal infusion, that is targeted straight to democratic constituency groups, and taking pressure off their budgets. The states can (and should) realize a relief on their budgets since they are relieved of this burden (note that they will be told by the feds that if they cut, they can’t just cut aid to that city; they have to cut aid across the board. This fulfills the underlying agenda item of income redistribution). Finally, the dems realize another agenda goal, that of equalizing (and federalizing) education funding.

    How am I sure that this will come to pass? First, it is a method that fits within the dems playbook for moving into an area largely free from federal control. Second, it will result in moving money to groups and areas they want to move money to. Third, the dems were shut out of this area by the courts, and are going to use the fiscal crisis and inequalities in education to get back in. Fourth, the DoJ is ramping up hiring in its Civ Rights Div, almost all of it in its education section.

    Again, this is a prediction. It may or may not happen. But if it does, you heard it here first.

  65. NJGator says:

    Nom 64 – You are forgetting that the Dems in Washington don’t have the balls to get anything done. The Republicans in Washington have their majority of 41 in the Senate. If the situation were reversed the Republican party would have already eliminated the ability to filibuster.

  66. Juice Box Sean says:

    re #42 – Al – Don’t think so, we aren’t going to fall for it.

    Israel will just have to live with a nuclear Iran, unless they are really willing to launch first strike nukes. Their air-force in not equipped for a conventional bombing effort of such distance, especially since they were kicked out of South Ossetia by the Russians.

    It would take an extensive air campaign perhaps more than a thousand sorties over several weeks to destroy the bulk of Iran’s known nuclear infrastructure with conventional bombs including bunker busters. Israel does not have enough warplanes and refuel­ing capabilities to sustain over a prolonged period of time such an intensive cam­paign against such distant targets with the closest being about 900 miles and others much further away.

    Also assuming the countries located between Israel and Iran (Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia) don’t lob anti-aircraft missiles at them along the way and publicly object to Israeli use of their air­space and Iran own defenses there is little chance they would be successful with our explicit help from the US Military.

    GW Bush did not want to go to war with them and for good reason, in addition the Nobel Peace Prize Pres we have now has zero intentions of escalating the action in the Middle East any further and also apparently the rhetoric since he has adopted a softer tone of “sanctions” as well as cutting off USAID funds for pro democracy groups that had in the past gone to Iran.

  67. Final Doom says:

    Whatever the dumbest course of action is, that’s the one our gubmint will take.

    You can count on it.

  68. Final Doom says:

    The real fun starts when the bond vigilantes morph into Fed vigilantes.

    “The bond vigilantes are back in town as indicated by the blowout earlier in the month in sovereign credit spreads of the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain), and widening of corporate spreads over Treasuries. It was precipitated by Greece’s catastrophically high fiscal deficit (13% of GDP), debt (120% of GDP) and current account deficit (10% of GDP), numbers that imply default is likely. Bond investors have reassessed risk in a number of countries whose fiscal position is tracking Greece’s.” – Boeckh Investment Letter

  69. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [65] gator

    That is why this stealth bailout will be done under the guise of correcting civil rights violations.

    Were I a dem strategist, I would advance that because, in addition to the fiscal economic agenda items outlined above, it provides short term political bonuses (blacken the eyes of republican governors) and the use of “civil rights” plays the race card, and would insure that the GOP stays at bay.

  70. NJGator says:

    This one is for John:

    Police: Woman Crashes Car While Shaving Bikini Area

    (March 8) — Sometimes multitasking has its limits.

    Such is the case in the Florida Keys, where police say a 37-year-old woman crashed her 1995 Ford Thunderbird into another car as she attempted to shave her bikini area.

    According to the arrest report, on March 2, Megan Mariah Barnes told Florida State Trooper Gary Dunick that she was on her way to Key West to meet her boyfriend, and that she “wanted to be ready for the visit.” So, police say she had her ex-husband, Charles Judy, who was riding in the passenger seat, take the wheel while she attended to her p*bic hair.

    The results weren’t pretty. Going 45 mph, Barnes and Judy are said to have rear-ended a car that had slowed to make a left turn.

    A day earlier, Barnes had been convicted of numerous driving infractions, including DUI with a prior arrest and driving with a suspended license. She had been ordered to impound her car, her license was revoked for five years, and she had been placed on probation for nine months.

    Dunick told The Citizen newspaper that after the crash, in which two passengers in the other car were treated for minor injuries at an area hospital, Barnes drove for another half-mile before switching seats with Judy in an attempt to make it seem to police as though she had not been driving.

    “It is unbelievable,” Dunick said. “I’m really starting to believe this stuff only happens in the Keys.”

    “She was charged with leaving the scene of an accident,” said police spokesman Lt. Alex Annunziato, “in addition to all the charges stemming from her earlier violations.”

    If found guilty of violating the terms of her probation, Barnes could face a year behind bars.

    http://www.aolnews.com/weird-news/article/megan-mariah-barnes-crashes-car-while-shaving-bikini-area-police-say/19387991

  71. Final Doom says:

    gator (70)-

    I’m beginning to think we really need to shed about 50mm or so of our population. So much better for everyone.

  72. 3b says:

    #70 Can someone explain how the ex husband fits into the story??Am I missing soemthing here??

  73. Final Doom says:

    Good thing she wasn’t trying to Brazilian wax.

  74. Final Doom says:

    3b (72)-

    In many parts of FL, husband and pimp are interchangeable terms.

  75. Final Doom says:

    Come to think of it, maybe this is why NJ was trying to outlaw Brazilian waxing.

  76. Mr Hyde says:

    Doom, 75

    Well that would definitely force me to leave the state.

  77. sas says:

    “airtight”

    that’s the usual case if she has never spoke in Greek before.

    wink wink..

    and some you boys thing you’ve been around the block. ha ha ha…

    :P
    SAS
    SAS

  78. sas says:

    do i have to teach you boys everything?

    :P
    SAS

  79. Juice Box Sean says:

    re #70 – mug shot of Megan Mariah Barnes

    Seems the hair on top of her head needs some professional help as well.

    http://keywestmugshots.com/115367

  80. Final Doom says:

    Sean (79)-

    I think Mike can confirm for us that in Sussex Co, Ms. Barnes would be classified as “hot”.

  81. Mr Hyde says:

    Sean,

    Why do you hate us????

  82. safeashouses says:

    #80 Doom,

    How many teeth do you need to be considered hot in Sussex county?

  83. PGC says:

    #65 Gator

    I don’t think it is a case of not having the balls, I think it its more to do with the GOP shutting down the Senate. Getting past the Block of No votes is a bit more than shutting down a Fillibuster.

    Nothing like a little GOP hypocrisy to start the day.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/18111.html

  84. NJGator says:

    Safe 82 – 14

  85. safeashouses says:

    #79 Sean,

    Any chance she’s one of john’s former flings?

  86. Final Doom says:

    safe (82)-

    None. In fact, having dentures that you can remove is considered a plus.

  87. M ikinwaiting says:

    Clot 80 That is pretty scary even for Sussex, but she is not smiling a full set of death could boost her rating in these parts.

  88. M ikinwaiting says:

    Death = teeth

  89. M ikinwaiting says:

    Safe beat me to it.

  90. Final Doom says:

    Abby Joseph Cohen on CNBC, reeling in the last few suckers.

  91. jamil says:

    Comrade: “bailing out Cali would make much of the country go ballistic.”

    O had already done that, with various pension/medicare extra funds. Feds don’t have to specifically bail out states, just hand out money for various purposes.

  92. Shore Guy says:

    The ex-husband must be a pretty nice guy to drive the ex-wife to the boyfriends and to assist her in shaving the pubes to help her “get ready.” I don’t know that, were I divorced, I could bring myself to do such a thing.

  93. Final Doom says:

    I will never hold John in the same regard if he doesn’t rise to the bait I trolled out in #86.

  94. Shore Guy says:

    As for Brandy, the RE agent in Florida:

    http://www.forsarasotarealestate.com/Sarasota-Realtor.htm

    Shouldn’t it be Brandee? It just seems to go better.

  95. Final Doom says:

    shore (92)-

    What if your wife agreed to give you a 50% share in her “take”?

    Game-changer in a place like FL.

  96. Shore Guy says:

    “Death = teeth”

    Is this the motto of the Goth wing of the ADA?

  97. PGC says:

    #68 Nom

    The problem is that the 300Mil in the Camden will not be enought to make an impact into the next years defecit, let alone the debt burden.

    I think it will be a continuation of pumping in stimulus and federal grants for Infrastructure. The states can use the work and revenue to bond against. High Speed rail and Green technology will be the New Deal2

  98. safeashouses says:

    #92 Shore Guy,

    Maybe they were going to have an airtight experience?

    This forum is so educational.

  99. Final Doom says:

    Here is FL code for “has an IQ of 94”:

    “Brandy has lived in Sarasota, Florida for 24 years and is an expert in the local real estate market and is experienced in the financial industry as well. Brandy attends financial, motivational, and real estate continual education seminars throughout the state of Florida. Finally, Brandy has earned an AA from MCC and a BA degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida.”

    “In addition, Brandy works Thursday nights at Flashgirls and spends her spare time attempting to entrap professional athletes into impregnating her.”

    I added that part.

  100. jamil says:

    PGC, prev thread (299)
    “shaky ground even for you. There is a big difference here. John Yoo was charged and found guilty by the DOJ with “intentional professional misconduct”.”

    I’m not sure if you just a dumb or pathetic liar, or both. Anyway, DOJ witch hunt concluded already and found the exact opposite: Yoo did nothing wrong.

    Another topic is that after the election, there must be congressional and criminal investigation about the conduct of the witch hunt. All witch hunt perpetrators were hard core leftists and connected the Democratic Party. The “investigation” was Nifong-like (no wonder these DOJ people protected Nifong).

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704757904575078182303405948.html

    “So after five years of investigation, partisan accusations and unethical media leaks, the Justice Department’s senior ethicist has concluded that Bush Administration lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee committed no professional misconduct. The issue now is whether the protégés of Attorney General Eric Holder who led this exercise at Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) should themselves be in the dock.”

  101. Final Doom says:

    safe (98)-

    I think that would require one more player.

    Or at least, a plunger.

  102. Final Doom says:

    Who volunteers to drop Brandy an e-mail with a link to this thread?

  103. NJGator says:

    Clot 99 – Manatee Community College? Impressive! before she was old enough to work Flashdancers she probably had a gig at the Brandon Waffle House.

  104. Final Doom says:

    Shore (103)-

    If she’d been a little hotter, kid wouldn’t have ratted on her.

    She looks like she drinks a lot or takes pills.

  105. jamil says:

    Also, comparing Yoo and “Al-Qaida 7” at DOJ is easy:

    Yoo had an obligation to carry out the legal work for the client.

    “Al-Qaida 7” volunteered their services, ie they gave millions dollars worth of legal services to Al-Qaida. They could have donated the money or services to the orphans or the blind, but they chose Al-Qaida. It is not unreasonable to claim they shared many of the values with Al-Qaida.

    FDR had just executed these people who are giving comfort to the enemy.

    It is unimaginable that attorneys who volunteered their services for Mafia in the 1960-70s would be able to get top DOJ posts.

  106. Final Doom says:

    Gator (104)-

    In FL, that’s called a “vertical move”.

    Next stop for her should be the “movies”.

  107. Shore Guy says:

    One can get to this caption from the javvascript link in the article cited in 103. Does anything about this stand out to anyone else:

    “Eric McLean, left, was accused of fatally shooting an 18-year-old high school student with whom his wife Erin had an affair. In 2008, Eric McLean was convicted of reckless homicide and was sentenced to 90 days in jail after claiming the shooting was an accident. Erin McLean, a former Tennessee teacher, was sentenced to 95 days in jail as part of her conviction on 17 contempt charges.”

  108. Shore Guy says:

    “Who volunteers to drop Brandy an e-mail with a link to this thread?

    I expect John is on his way to check out RE in FL as we speak and will have photos and stories to tell when he returns.

  109. Shore Guy says:

    “Next stop for her should be the “movies”.”

    Ohhh, a movie star. I wonder what she will press into the concrete in Hollywood?

  110. Final Doom says:

    Shore (108)-

    You didn’t know TN practices Sharia law?

  111. Final Doom says:

    shore (110)-

    I’m thinking she gets gang-tackled in a Motel 6 room, with a handheld cam, laptop and IMovie as witnesses.

  112. Shore Guy says:

    “Yoo had an obligation to carry out the legal work for the client.”

    His first obligation was to the Constitution. Yoo is scum. The other DOJ attorneys you reference may also be lowlifes. I don’t know enough about them to say, but Yoo was a dangerous man.

  113. Juice Box Sean says:

    njescapee is from Key West. Perhaps he had a date with Megan Mariah Barnes?

  114. NJGator says:

    I am so proud to have done my small part in raising the level of discourse here today.

  115. Final Doom says:

    Who is going to protect us by waterboarding jamil?

  116. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    Put another way, you have changed the tenor of the social intercourse here today.

  117. jamil says:

    113 Shore: You are the guy who did not know villages of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (hint: President’s war time authority had something to do with these villages). Check your history books.

    As DOJ witch hunt concluded, he did nothing wrong and certainly followed Constitution. The fact that your twisted mind does not like Bush just distorts everything your little brains have left.
    Constitution does not give government the right for, say, force me to buy Obama insurance yet DOJ hacks green-lighted that.

    Using this logic, we could indict 100% of Clinton’s and Obama’s DOJ hacks. Well, maybe we should now that we are officially banana republic.

  118. Shore Guy says:

    Clot,

    One only waterboards when one believes that the person in custody can provide useful information. Otherwise….

  119. make money says:

    Yi Gang, director of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said China’s gold reserves, at 1,054 metric tons, were the fifth-largest in the world, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing comments by Yi at a press conference at the National People’s Congress.

    But Yi downplayed any desire to add the holdings as a strategy to diversity the nation’s $2.4 trillion foreign exchange stockpile.

    “Gold is not a bad asset, but currently a few factors limit our ability to increase foreign-exchange investment in gold,” Yi was quoted as saying.

    a few factors…ROFL…can’t keep buying shiny cause if don’t buy paper in US they’ll nuke us back into ninja and samurai days.

  120. Final Doom says:

    Wait a minute; this is a real estate blog?

    Can somebody direct me to Skypeinmyskivvies.com?

  121. Final Doom says:

    shore (119)-

    Well, I’d also have to classify him as a waste of a bullet.

  122. Final Doom says:

    make (120)-

    I say they publicly deny buying more shiny in order to ramp up their (possibly clandestine) purchases of same.

  123. Final Doom says:

    Gotta talk gold down, so they can buy at suppressed prices.

  124. Shore Guy says:

    “You are the guy who did not know villages of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”

    You confuse me with someone else.

    As to a president’s wartime authority, there is a HUGE difference between using military assets against a foreign enemy (put aside declerations of war for the moment) or repelling an actual invasion by forces of an enemy, and asserting the right to use muilitary forces within the United States for the purpose of performing police functions.

    Lets recap:

    Obama sucks
    Bush blew
    and Yoo goes to the head of the line as far as dangerous minds that have worked in Justice since the days of Mitchell Palmer. Yoo made Hoover, whether dressed in one of Gary’s cheerleader outfits, a prom dress, or 3-piece (or Three Peace, for Stu) suit seem like a small “r” republican.

  125. jamil says:

    119 Shore: “One only waterboards when one believes that the person in custody can provide useful information.”

    If somebody ever need to learn constitutional law or history, waterboarding you would be colossal waste of time..

  126. Shore Guy says:

    Either this guy is on to something or he is a few quarts short of a gallon:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,588575,00.html

  127. jamil says:

    Shore: You argued earlier that President does not have wartime authority to raid villages. (He does, see e.g. Hiroshima).

    or are you saying that nuking big cities is ok, but raiding villages not? Or only dem presidents have authority but not republicans?

  128. njescapee says:

    my eyes, my eyes

  129. safeashouses says:

    You guys should stop being so hard on O. I’m from New Jersey and I voted for him, 6 times…

    badabump

  130. Shore Guy says:

    “Or only dem presidents have authority but not republicans?”

    And what do you think my political party affiliation is, anyway?

    As for bombing cities, if you do not see the difference between bombing a military target, in which there are colateral civiliancasualties, and something like My Lai, then there is nothing I can say that will shed any light on the subject for you.

    If a Nazi or Soviet leader ordered combat troops to round up a village of non-combatants and ordered that they be machine-gunned to death, I trust you would acknowledge that the action would constitute a war crime and would be all for their conviction. I know I would. Likewise, were a U.S. president or military commander to order the same, he or she would likewise be guilty, and should hang for it.

  131. Shore Guy says:

    From the Fox interview with the Dem member of congress:

    “Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn. He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to a front end of a steam locomotive. If he doesn’t like that, he can come after me personally.

    I was a congressman in my first eight weeks and I was in the congressional gym. And I went down and I worked out. I went into the showers, which, by the way, I for the life of me can’t figure out why they took all the shower curtains off the shower stalls in the congressional shower.

    I mean the last thing I want to look is my fellow colleagues naked. But they don’t have any shower curtains down in the gym. And I’m sitting there showering, naked as a jay bird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger at my chest, yelling at me because I wasn’t going to vote for the president’s budget.

    Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man? By the way, what the heck is he doing in the congressional gym? He goes there to intimidate members of Congress.”

  132. Shore Guy says:

    ANd there is this too, and remember that Di-ck was a friend of Bill Clinton:

    “MORRIS: Well, it’s the people against Pelosi. The question is, will Pelosi’s and Obama’s favors and arm-twisting and threats prevail or will the pressure of public opinion in the districts of these congressmen prevail? That’s the key question.

    That’s one of the reasons why the groups that are running advertising in these congressmen’s districts are so worthy of support because you have to mobilize public opinion.

    You know the conservatives are fat and happy about this. They thought once Scott Brown got elected it was all over, health care was dead. They are in the middle of their victory lap. But now Obama has resurrected it. And by March 18th, we have nine days to save this country.

    HANNITY: It’s coming very, very fast here. I agree with you. How will this still be perceived by the public in the end? I mean the public is obviously angry at the Louisiana Purchase, the cornhusker kickback. Are they going to see this as more corrupt politics?

    MORRIS: Yes. In the end this is going to destroy Obama. In the end this is picket’s charge. This is — will wipe out the Democratic Party in Congress. They are going to lose 60 or 70 seats as a result of this.

    But in the meantime they could destroy the health care system of our country for a generation. I hope and pray that everybody watching tonight goes to DickMorris.com. And we have a list of the 30 swing congressmen. We have their Washington numbers, their district phone numbers.

    Call them. Call every one of them and contribute to help make these ads run throughout the country. Everything is on the line now. And everybody within the beltway is pressuring these guys to vote yes.

    And everybody in their district is pressuring these guys to vote no. And it’s going to be the battle of the century.”

  133. Final Doom says:

    Had that whole shower room thing happened to me, I would’ve told Rahm I tagged his crazy sister.

  134. skep-tic says:

    #29

    that is bad*ss.

  135. NJGator says:

    Shore 127 – Well if he’s not on to something, maybe there’s something in the water up there in Upstate, NY. This is who he replaced in Congress.

    http://www.irregulartimes.com/randykuhl.html

  136. NJGator says:

    Oh – and he might be running for it again.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/33875.html

  137. Shore Guy says:

    “Randy Kuhl tried to pick up other women in front of his wife at a bar in Syracuse, New York.”

    Does he get any credit for not running around behind her back?

  138. NJGator says:

    My favorite bullet point was this one:

    While hosting a dinner party at their own home, Randy Kuhl “took out two shotguns and threatened to shoot” his wife.

  139. Final Doom says:

    gator (136)-

    I blame this stuff on the harsh Winters.

  140. Shore Guy says:

    From 138, I bet the last sentence fairly describes the situation:

    “Kuhl, who lost to Massa in 2008 by a two-point margin, had held the seat for two terms. But he ran a lackluster campaign, and was outspent by Massa and outworked on the campaign trail. Kuhl also faced allegations of abusive behavior towards his wife in his first Congressional campaign.

    Republican officials in Washington are not enthused about Kuhl returning to the political arena, and aren’t encouraging him to enter the race.”

  141. Shore Guy says:

    The guy sounds like a complete nut job. Ergo, he is bound to win.

  142. Final Doom says:

    Shore (141)-

    I don’t get it. None of this behavior seems unusual for a member of Congress.

  143. Final Doom says:

    BTW, the two shotguns is a good approach. The second one is insurance in case the first one jams or misfires.

  144. Shore Guy says:

    A violent Wilber Mills?

  145. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [70] gator,

    No, that one IS john.

    All I can add is that they are, with any luck, both candidates for the Darwin Award.

  146. Final Doom says:

    I prefer to look at him as a man of action.

  147. NJGator says:

    Clot 140 – Ah, this might explain this drivel from my cousin’s wife’s blog:

    “This is us! We are a pretty regular, all American family. We are a cloth diapering, babywearing, homeschooling family living it up Upstate.”

  148. Shore Guy says:

    babywearing??????????

  149. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [103] shore guy

    This from the state that gave us Pamela Smart.

    http://www.hampton.lib.nh.us/hampton/biog/pamsmart/index.htm

  150. NJGator says:

    Yes, Shore. You carry the baby in a sling/carrier ALL the time. Until they are like 3. And if you have a Brangelina complex and are collecting lots of them from all over the world, you wear one on your front and one on your back, while you homeschool your five year old.

    Oh, and you never ever let them cry.

  151. Shore Guy says:

    “homeschooling family”

    I know there must be some terrific people who do this but, my experience has been that the only people I have met who homeschooled their children were dumb as dirt.

  152. NJGator says:

    Shore 152 – Bingo! We have a winner!

  153. Shore Guy says:

    152,

    Huh? I have a feeling I am going to be waking up soon and telling Mrs. Shore that I had the oddest dream.

  154. Final Doom says:

    gator (148)-

    This is just the NE’s version of rednecks.

  155. Shore Guy says:

    “Brangelina”

    I had to look this up. I figured it was some pop singer.

  156. Final Doom says:

    I somehow end up showing the homes of a fair amount of homeschooling families. The ones who aren’t complete, glassy-eyed religious nuts seem like glassy-eyed religious nuts who are trying to hide that they’re doing something skeevy with their kids.

  157. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [91] jamil

    That is my point, that it is being done piecemeal and in stealthy fashion.

    What I intended to say was that the nation would go ballistic if there was an outright, unvarnished, no-other-explanation, bailout of Cali. Or any other state for that matter.

    Personally, I’d call on my legislators to also seek a bailout and spend themselves silly so that they qualify.

    Meantime, I’d invest accordingly, and move $$$ to that asset protection trust offshore.

  158. skep-tic says:

    on the topic of real estate, there is a a mini frenzy occurring on fairly priced, non-decrepit houses that are within the FHA limit because so few of these are on the market right now. go to an open house this weekend and see what I am talking about. multiple bids are becoming commonplace again.

  159. Shore Guy says:

    “on the topic of real estate”

    HEY!!! Get back on topic.

  160. NJGator says:

    Shore 161 – I had no idea you were a fan!

  161. I figured out a way we get rid of Jamil for a short while:

    http://tinyurl.com/Jamil-got-crayon

  162. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    That acorn kinda looks like Moe Howard.

  163. 3b says:

    #159 I am not seeing that at all in my blue ribbony Bergen co train town. It is completely dead. And that with only 51 dyas left to qualify for the the silly tax credit. In fact houses I would have thought would have gone UC by now, are still sitting. Perhaps it is the 10-12K property tax bill. Not to mention the 10% or more increase we could be realistically seeing this year.

    Either way, it is dead in my area.

  164. Shore Guy says:

    Before heading back to work, note the penultimate paragraph:

    HADDON HEIGHTS — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
    says he was wrong to say during the campaign that
    he could change the state worker contract that
    Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine negotiated.

    Corzine reopened the workers’ contracts in late
    2008 after state revenues plunged and New Jersey’s
    budget deficit ballooned.

    Under the renegotiated deal, the unions put off a 3.5
    percent pay raise for 18 months and took furlough
    days in exchange for a no-layoff-pledge through
    December 2010.

    Christie now says his lawyers have told him that
    laying off state workers would
    accelerate the raise payment schedule under the
    current contract.

    The Republican says what he said during the
    campaign was what he “thought should be true.”

    http://www.app.com/article/20100309/NEWS03/100309055/Gov-Chris-Christie-I-was-wrong-about-state-worker-contracts

  165. Shore Guy says:

    And good news from the Monmouth County Freeholders who are doing their darndest to keep the median salary in NJ from dropping:

    Better than one in 10 of Monmouth County’s government employees were paid more than $100,000 last year, snip

    http://www.app.com/article/20100309/NEWS/3090303/Monmouth-County-employees-make-a-fortune-off-your-taxes

  166. PGC says:

    Third time lucky posing

    With Massa, you have to look at why he is resigning to understand why he is going off the deep end like this.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=10022678

  167. Shore Guy says:

    Oy!!! It looks like the couple quarts short of a gallon assessment may be more on the mark:

    “It’s hard to imagine that Massa will be able to outdo the incendiary allegations he made during a surprise Sunday appearance on WKPQ – POWER 105 in Hornell N.Y. You can listen to the 90-minute broadcast, which includes Massa’s vivid description of a nude argument in the shower of the congressional gym with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, right here.

    For those of you who don’t have time, here’s some of the good stuff:

    Massa, 50 and married, says he’s a victim of rumors that he’s gay.
    The congressman said he sometimes shared hotel beds with a male staffer to save money. ”

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2010/03/massa-exis-in-a-blaze-of-verbiage/1

  168. Shore Guy says:

    Who the heck shares a bed with a staffer. Okay, Bill Clinton, but c’mon.

  169. NJGator says:

    Shore 170 – See Bill Clinton really was a fiscal conservative!

  170. PGC says:

    On a side note, are Emmanuals actions any different from the intimidation dispensed by Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove?

  171. Shore Guy says:

    PGC,

    They are very different. Rove always stayed clothed (Let’s all hope so, any way).

  172. jamil says:

    Shore:
    “And what do you think my political party affiliation is, anyway?”

    Based on your comments, you are Ruth Ginsburg republican, ie politically somewhere between cindy sheehan and karl marx.

    “As for bombing cities, if you do not see the difference between bombing a military target, in which there are colateral civiliancasualties, and something like My Lai”

    You are embarrassing yourself, but I see even you are now realizing just how embarrassing your rant was the other week, based on that Obamaweek article.

    US constitution (and precedents, such as Hiroshima, btw, it had zero military purpose) clearly show that President has broad wartime authority, including, even raiding villages.
    Whether it is morally right, or policy-wise right is another thing, but the DOJ lawyer must focus only on the legal aspects according to the constitution. Unfortunately, DOJ is now manned by politically biased far-left wackos, like you.
    Just a couple of examples:
    – (first time in history) overruling guilty judgment in voter intimidation case by black panthers
    – fraud in Ted Stevens trial (dem lawyers working for DOJ withheld evidence from judge even though judge ordered them to release it)
    – witch hunt against Yoo
    – covering Mike Nifong in one the biggest civil rights cases in the last 25 years

  173. Shore Guy says:

    Anyway, happy blogging all. Back to work for me. B.O. needs my money.

  174. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    I love the smell of austerity in the morning.

  175. Shore Guy says:

    Jamil,

    You really are a pathetic person, and, clearly, there is no reasoning with you. As such, I will not waste a single additional pixle responding to you. I just hope to God that you are not a member of the Bar.

  176. freedy says:

    a bergen county blue ribbon train town thats not busy selling homes? i find hard to believe. It’s BC ,, its great, and demand will never slow

  177. Poser says:

    Skep,
    I’ve been seeing this happening in Chatham with the 3BR, 2BA, nondecrepit colonials, on a quiet street, in the $600k – $800k price range. Not sure what’s causing it. But as soon as you take away 1 aspect of these mutliple bid houses such as adding a busy street, or the house hasn’t been updated, it will sit unless there’s a price reduction. I’m not a realtor, just my observation of the MLS listings and going to a few open houses to kick the tires.

    skep-tic says:
    March 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm
    on the topic of real estate, there is a a mini frenzy occurring on fairly priced, non-decrepit houses that are within the FHA limit because so few of these are on the market right now. go to an open house this weekend and see what I am talking about. multiple bids are becoming commonplace again.

  178. 3b says:

    #179 Any one paying 600-800k for a house on a busy street is a moron.

  179. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [166] shore guy

    That is fcuking astonishing.

    Either its typical bait and switch politics, or someone (especially if that someone had a law degree) really fcked up.

  180. 3b says:

    #178 Believe grasshopper.

  181. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [166] shore guy

    On the flip side, I am surprised that no one on Corzine’s side called him on that.

    Of course, maybe they didn’t want to call attention to what could be perceived as a giveaway, especially the acceleration part. That would have given Christie great ammo, that Corzine was using his Wall Street background to give the unions “poison pill” provisions in their contracts in order to get their support.

    Still, once the deals were inked, and if they were publicly available, Christie’s camp was negligent in NOT reviewing them before making a statement like that. Futher, they missed a great opportunity to spin the contracts.

    Look for Christie to say (if he can do so plausibly) that he was unaware of this provision as it had been kept out of the public view. Just another turd blossom left by Corzine for the voters.
    Or maybe not. Better not say anything else that will get his azz in hot water.

  182. veto that says:

    While we are getting all doomy downer in here, this guy is flipping homes!

    This central nj townhome was bought in the dark days of the crisis, June 2008 for $350k, today they are asking $415k.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1104-Lake-Dr_Robbinsville_NJ_08691_1116751132

  183. veto that says:

    Check me out. im hot. Really hot.
    Plus i sell homes as a side business.
    -Gloria

    http://www.gloriabernstein.com/about_me.asp

  184. chicagofinance says:

    Where is Antonio Cromartie when you need him? Only 45 states to go….

    Final Doom says:
    March 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Here is FL code for “has an IQ of 94″:

    “Brandy has lived in Sarasota, Florida for 24 years and is an expert in the local real estate market and is experienced in the financial industry as well. Brandy attends financial, motivational, and real estate continual education seminars throughout the state of Florida. Finally, Brandy has earned an AA from MCC and a BA degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida.”

    “In addition, Brandy works Thursday nights at Flashgirls and spends her spare time attempting to entrap professional athletes into impregnating her.”

    I added that part.

  185. veto that says:

    You likey my friend?

    Btween the two of us we have a full set of teeth.

    half price commission

    AND we get the deal done too.

    Call us anytime.

    http://adimages.homestore.com/orderq/westmonmouthcountynj/2938900/el-115.html?cid=32417527&adid=214976301

  186. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [185] veto

    Auuggh, my eyes! And my lunch, d’oh!

    Thanks a lot :p

  187. SG says:

    I am beginning to wonder that Tax credit deadline seems to working in opposite direction.

    Homeowners Coming to Terms with Actual Home Prices

    Trulia’s Reduction Report cites increasingly positive news that the real estate market is indeed on its way to recovery. Home price reductions in February managed to drop to its lowest levels in 10 months. Moreover, prices in 19 percent of homes on the market as of March 1 were reduced.

    Although home sales have dropped, many agents blame external factors such as bad winter weather, and pricing disputes between agent and seller. In fact, many states are still facing disagreement between buyer and seller. In Arizona, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. disagreements on fair home prices hovers at around 25 percent.

    The overall consensus, however, is that as homeowners face the reality of fair home prices, the market will stabilize. If a house is priced for this market – a market that has been subject to financial wreck and ruin – then that means less time on the market and more turnaround. Stagnant houses are simply bad news for the economy.

  188. Shore Guy:

    Don’t waste your time trying to argue with Jamil. It’s much more effective and hilarious to Google images and attribute them to him.

    http://www.u4prez.com/Blogs/liberal411/Images/2009_07_03_15_57_30.jpg

  189. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    March 9 (Bloomberg) — Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of the commission on U.S. deficit reduction, said entitlement programs such as Social Security will turn the nation into a “second- rate power” if their costs aren’t reduced.

    “We’re going to mess with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security because if you take those off the table, you can’t get there,” Bowles said today in a speech to North Carolina bankers. “If we don’t make those choices, America is going to be a second-rate power and I don’t mean in 50 years. I mean in my lifetime.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aGIN8ZpPJxlE&pos=9

    Lets mess with existing social welfare and expand it with government run healthcare at the same time.

  190. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    The Obama administration will accept no more public input for a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing the nation’s oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters.

    One sign at the United We Fish rally at the Capital summed up the feelings of recreational and commercial fishermen. This announcement comes at the time when the situation supposedly still is “fluid” and the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force still hasn’t issued its final report on zoning uses of these waters.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/saltwater/news/story?id=4975762

    This is insanity. They do this and I propose the NJ fishermen both commerical and recreational do a reenactment of the War of 1812.

  191. skep-tic says:

    #179

    “I’ve been seeing this happening in Chatham with the 3BR, 2BA, nondecrepit colonials, on a quiet street, in the $600k – $800k price range. Not sure what’s causing it. But as soon as you take away 1 aspect of these mutliple bid houses such as adding a busy street, or the house hasn’t been updated, it will sit unless there’s a price reduction. I’m not a realtor, just my observation of the MLS listings and going to a few open houses to kick the tires.”

    exactly. there are a lot of listings out there but most of them are wildly overpriced. There is not enough fairly priced inventory out there for the number of buyers who are looking. Updated houses on good streets within the FHA limit seem to be selling quickly at or very close to asking.

  192. jamil says:

    Shore “here is no reasoning with you.”

    When you write BS outside Obamaweek’s reader’s section, you may be called for it. You claimed earlier that
    a) Yoo was found guilty, and
    b) his views on constitutional authority were incorrect and dangerous

    I know, I know. This is like debating a 5-year as it is too easy to kill your arguments.

    a) DOJ’s political witch hunt concluded exactly the opposite, ie Yoo was not guilty of any sort of misconduct. You lied or did not know what you were talking about.

    b) Yoo’s view on President’s broad constitutional wartime authority were in line with the legal precedents (see, for extreme example e.g. Hiroshima – see Wikipedia). Apparently, you forgot or hoped nobody would notice when you quoted that ultimate authority – Obamaweek article.

    Besides, using your logic, every DOJ attorney who produces memo that President wants should be charged.

    I have no problem if you have opinions on Yoo – you are entitled to your opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

    Facts are stubborn things.

    Anyway, after the elections, DOJ must be cleaned from code-pinko/AQ activists. Bring on the congressional and criminal investigations!

  193. njescapee says:

    192, Florida Keys is well represented at the rally. These people i.e., the feds are out of their minds!! This is the kinda crap the folks in Cuba have been up against for the past 50 yrs. None of their citizens get fresh seafood. It’s reserved for the elite j_rkoffs.

  194. 3b says:

    #193 Well as I said, in my area it is the exact opposite, even for the more fairly priced houses (whateverr that is today), that are on nice streets,and in decent shape.

    As far as selling close to asking, they ain’t sold until their sold. There can be a large difference between the UC price,and what they actually closed at, especially with FHA deals. I have seen it often.

    And more than a few of these will be in foreclosure shortly,and I would say the same with many of the FHA deals getting done today.

    First time clueless home buyers, doing FHA,a nd grabbing the 8k tax credit before it expires, does not in my opinion generate any confidence in a housing market recovery (whatever that means).

  195. John says:

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Shares of companies which count the U.S. government as a major investor jumped Tuesday.

    Wow 52 weeks after I called buy the bailed out too big too fail firms John Q Public has jumped on. Mr. Rockafeller sold all his stocks before the crash when he got a stock tips from the shoeshine boy. Well the shoeshine boys are buying AIG and Citi, I give the schmucks a week or two to run it up and I am selling my AIG and Citi bonds as quick as I can.

    Isnt’ florida keys where you can’t drive and shave your pubes at same time?

  196. 3b says:

    #191 We already are second rate. That is not news. And you know what? So what who cares??. The horses left the barn a long time ago. Nothing we can do about it.

  197. njescapee says:

    John, there are some real crazies down here. see a lot of unusual things around these parts.

  198. Juice Box Sean says:

    re #194 – Here hoping the President suspends Habeas Corpus again and sends everyone’s favorite poster to no man’s land 90 miles south of Key West, after all President’s war powers place him above any law right Jamil?

    I won’t even mention the three separate times the Supreme Court shot down the last administration on this subject.

    War time or not Jamil the president’s powers are not unlimited, any 3rd grader who graduates Social Studies this year will explain that concept to you.

  199. What I’ve noticed for the first time, that I never witnessed before is a lot of houses that were listed last Summer and Fall reappearing this Spring. In the bubble days, everything sold, regardless of negative attributes. Today, it seems to take perfection, or a really good staging to fool one into thinking the home is perfect, to sell it.

    The Florham Park home we looked at sits and rots. May is not far away. Can’tr wait to see the impact of the end of MBS purchasing, which is weeks away.

  200. skep-tic says:

    clueless buyers inflated the biggest bubble the world ever saw. do not underestimate the power of a heard who believes that now is the time to buy, regardless of the reason. The $8k credit IS inflating prices

  201. 3b says:

    #201 51 days until the tax credit expires, and 22 days for the MBS expiration. Unless of course it is extended.

  202. 3b says:

    #202 I do not disagree with you.I am saying that I am surprised in my area, how little activity we are seeing, especially in light of the tax credit expiring shortly. I am wondering if all of the dire warnings about massive tax increases is perhaps causing prospective buyers to pause. Assuming of course they are aware.

  203. “#201 51 days until the tax credit expires, and 22 days for the MBS expiration. Unless of course it is extended.”

    YUP!

  204. veto that says:

    3b, what is your town? I want to see the closed sale comps on zillow.

    From your anectdata, it seems like your town is at a dead stop while other towns im looking at are moving a decent amount of inventory at 2004-05 prices.

    I wonder why there is such a difference?

  205. skep-tic says:

    the trend is changing….

    *************

    Connecticut Home Sales, Prices Increase In January

    Condo Sales Climb, Price Remains Flat

    BOSTON, March 1, 2010 – The median price for single-family homes in Connecticut climbed 6 percent in January compared to a year earlier, while sales increased for the fourth consecutive month, according to a report today by The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record.

    The median price for single-family homes sold statewide in January rose 6.2 percent to $238,900 from $225,000 in January 2009. It was the second month in a row that median prices increased year-over-year and a sharp contrast to the start of last year when home prices were falling by 25 to 35 percent. There were 1,277 single-family home sales recorded in January, up 19.5 percent from 1,069 a year earlier.

    “Connecticut’s housing market has been steadily improving over the last several months. January was the third straight month that sales increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “Still, the big unknown is whether home sales will continue to increase when the homebuyer tax credit expires and the Federal Reserve stops purchasing mortgage-backed securities.”

    Fairfield County led the state with significant gains in sales volume and prices. The county’s home sales surged almost 60 percent in January to 352 from 222 a year earlier. The median home price shot up 30 percent to $485,000 from $373,500.

    Hartford County was the only area of the state to see prices dip in January. The median home price slipped 4.7 percent to $200,000 from $209,900 in January 2009.

    Like single-family home sales, condo sales transactions increased statewide in January. Sales jumped 12.5 percent to 395 from 351 in January 2009, marking four straight months of double-digit percentage increases in year-over-year sales. The median condo price in January, $185,000, was unchanged from a year earlier.

  206. jamil says:

    200 Shore: “War time or not Jamil the president’s powers are not unlimited”

    Nobody is arguing for that, except some Obamabots at DOJ insisting that O can order us to purchase Gov-insurance, but in the wartime decision making, President has broad authority, as anybody with brain activity could tell.

    As for DOJ investigation, Shore lied about that. Even he can’t be that ignorant that he did not know the eventual outcome of the DOJ witch hunt.

    Hoping for X does not mean X did happen, no matter how much leftopower is involved.

  207. John says:

    Who cares about home tax credit? Since you should only buy a house at roughly 2.5X your annual income the vast majority of decent homes you need to earn an income above the cut-off for the credit. Even with the new max cut off of 250K income that means 625K house is a prudent purchase.

    People did stretch it to 4x income so I guess up to one million you could say it makes a difference. But 8K is only 8/10’s of 1% of a one million dollar home, that 8k credit is just a rounding error.

    Also is the 8k baked into the cake. If housing demands fall when it expires there is a chance home prices will fall 8K as well to offset the lower demand.

  208. skep-tic says:

    this is what is happening in New England. Is NY/NJ different? I would be surprised if the same thing is not occurring here.

    ****************

    Bay State Home, Condo Prices Jump In January

    As Sales Volume Continues To Rise

    BOSTON, Feb. 23, 2010 – Median prices for single-family homes and condominiums in Massachusetts jumped significantly in January compared to a year earlier, according to a report released today by The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

    The median price for single-family homes sold in January rose 9.6 percent to $285,000 from $260,000. It was the second consecutive month that median prices for single-family homes increased by about 10 percent when compared to the prior year. Sales of single-family homes jumped 11.8 percent to 2,153 from 1,926 in January 2009, posting the fourth consecutive month of double-digit percentage increases in single-family home sales.

    “The gains in both sales volume and median prices are a vast improvement to the housing market’s slow start last year. The improving economic picture and incentives like the homebuyer tax credit and low mortgage interest rates have aided the housing market,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “Still, it’s important to keep in mind that last month’s median selling price is 12 percent lower than it was in January 2008.”

    Condominium sales and median prices also surged last month. The median condo price jumped 16.7 percent to $245,000 from $209,900 in January 2009. It was the third straight month that median condo prices increased year-over-year. Condo sales soared 25.3 percent to 1,011 in January from 807 a year earlier. Condo sales have climbed by more than 10 percent year-over-year for four straight months.

  209. Juice Box Sean says:

    re #203 – 3b – Fannie and Freddie are going to have to have a fire sale.

    Let’s see who the holders of Agencies are, a lot of US bond funds, a ton of widows and orphans and yes, a few big foreign central banks with large Armies backing them.

    But no worries this guy has a solution.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/barney-frank-has-no-clue-what-hes-talking-about-when-it-comes-to-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac-2010-3

  210. bullrun says:

    The Post Give Dana Milbank an Opportunity to Show That He Knows Zero Economics

    Those who favor affirmative action for people with no discernible skills undoubtedly appreciate Dana Milbank’s page 2 column in the Washington Post. Today Mr. Milbank used his column to tell the world that he knows absolutely nothing about economics.

    The theme of the piece was that in ten years the United States will be like Greece. He discusses the trip to the United States of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou seeking support for his country during its current fiscal crisis and tells readers: “if current trends persist, an American president will be doing the same thing in about 10 years.”

    The article goes on: “He or she will probably be in Beijing, asking for more favorable interest rates or pleading with the Chinese government to keep speculators from betting on an American default.”

    Okay, now let’s imagine that Milbank had taken an econ class at some point. Suppose speculators were betting heavily against the dollar. The value of the dollar would be plummeting. If China still had its peg of the yuan to the dollar, then it would be spending trillions of dollars every year keeping its currency from rising. What would we be begging China about in this story?

    Suppose China had broken its peg to the dollar so the big bad speculators had pushed the yuan from its current value of about 15 cents to 30 or 40 cents. Chinese goods now cost 2 or 3 times as much in the United States and our goods cost one half as much to people in China. What would we be begging China about in this story? (Our other trading partners would be in the same situation.)

    Currency values correct trade imbalances. While U.S. productive capacity has taken a hit from the policies that Milbank and his Post colleagues favor (the high dollar and trade policies they have promoted), it still produces and exports an enormous amount of goods and services. If we ever faced a crisis like that facing Greece today, it would be at least as much a problem for the rest of the world as for the United States.

    The reason that Greece faces such enormous difficulties is that it is part of the euro zone and therefore does not have a currency that can simply adjust in value. This basic point, which has been widely noted in the business press, apparently escaped Milbank’s attention.

    –Dean Baker

  211. I like the layout of your blog and I’m going to do the same thing for mine. Do you have any tips? Please PM ME on yahoo @ AmandaLovesYou702 6 7 8

  212. Juice Box Sean says:

    Elvina Spurgers do you drive and shave?

  213. hughesrep says:

    John please PM poor Amanda. She would like a tip.

    Someone was looking for an SUV lease last week. Yikes maybe? Honda has their low end Pilot on a lease for $299 / month right now with good credit.

    I ended up with an EX-L, I shouldn’t take the wife car shopping.

  214. Mr Hyde says:

    Poor amanda cant get any love on this blog, can she???

  215. John says:

    Go to leasetrader.com

    Or there is a guy who sells VIN numbers in Brooklyn all you need is the “replacement” car to put them on.

    Funny story, years ago a friend of a friend bought a late model camaro with the VINs changed for 3k. Guy told him whatever you do don’t park illegal. Well he parked in a bus stop and got towed and police was insistent he pick it up in person and sign for it. Well he calls back guy he got it from and tells him that is why I said don’t park illegal as soon as you sign for it you admit it is your car and you go to jail for possession of stolen property. Guy goes well how are you going to make it right, guy goes easy don’t pick up car and give me another 3k for a new one. At least three of his friends pee’d in their pants as he was bragging about his one year old 3k camaro to everyone in the neighborhood.

  216. John says:

    Amanda please post your link to your pictures before assistance is provided. I have to keep it real.

  217. PGC says:

    Jamil,

    You take idioticy to a new level.

    “after the elections, DOJ must be cleaned from code-pinko/AQ activists. Bring on the congressional and criminal investigations!”

    I think you might need to have a chat with Alberto Gonzalez on this. But then again the DOJ is looking at him for exactly that.

    You are still very selective with your defense of the constitution.

    Must not feed the troll, must not feed the troll.

  218. 3b says:

    #211 So I should run out and buy now, right?

  219. jamil says:

    PGC: You too, lied about Yoo being found guilty.

    Prosecuting former officials for political reason is a sign of banana republic. However, Holder DOJ has taken this into the level that it can’t continue anymore. Criminal investigation is in order (Yoo witch hunt, Black Panther case, Stevens trial, Nifong case).

  220. If you do feed the troll, make sure it’s one of these.

    http://tinyurl.com/Jamil-got-crayon

  221. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [192] Al

    So, are we looking at a 500% tax on fishing gear now?

  222. 3b says:

    #207The median home price shot up 30 percent to $485,000 from $373,500.

    So median prices increased 30% in a year?? Oh no here we go again. Not to beat a dead horse, but I would think there is a lot of noise in these numbers. Perhaps Clot/Final Doom can comment.

  223. jamil says:

    time for tax increase. it’s for the kids.
    State Media reports so!
    What would the country look without state-subsidized Raza students?

    “Will college become a luxury for the few?”

    Katynka Z. Martínez is an assistant professor in the department of Raza Studies at San Francisco State University. She works with students, faculty and staff of the College of Ethnic Studies to restructure public education.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/03/08/martinez.immigrants.education/index.html?hpt=T2

  224. 3b says:

    #209 Every realtor in my area is advertising the 8k tax credit, form houses listed at 300K all the way up to 650k.

    Also a big part of the attractiveness of the 8k is that many are getting a check back from the gov’t for the 8k. Once that is gone lowering the price form 450k to 442k is not going to cut it for many prospective home buyers.

  225. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    233.

    Nom

    They can have my fishing rod when they pry it from my cold dead hands.

    Fix bayonets.

  226. Mr Hyde says:

    College of Ethnic Studies

    bet those degrees really pay for themselves with the future earning potential you are creating!

  227. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [70] gator

    I googled the story and there was a picture and, Auughh, my eyes! The pain, make it stop!

    After seeing how fugly she is, I wonder if she was instead shaving her butt, after learning to walk backwards on her hands.

  228. Mr Hyde says:

    Al,

    when is soylent green scheduled to slipped into a bill? Perhaps as part of the next healthcare or SS/medicaid bill?

  229. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [228] hyde

    Who cares? What I find objectionable is that colleges will require b.s. courses like that, thus insuring that there is some level of indoctrination, and that these otherwise useless individuals stay employed, usually on the taxpayer’s dime.

  230. Juice Box Sean says:

    re: #220 – 3B time to buy? Well history sometimes rhymes.

    For example during the Great Depression, lenders had no money to lend, and borrowers had no money to pay. Mortgages were just not widely available.

    Some sellers offered their own financing say a rent to own program or pay a 50% down payment on a seller financed 5-year loan. To fill the gap the government created FHA in 1934 to fill the mortgage gap and later Fannie Mae in 1938 came into being.

    So here we are today the Fed is about to stop buying MBS from Fannie and Freddie and there is little action in Congress to step into the gap here and start another program at least this election year anyway.

    Some would call me crazy but I would say wait…a few more years at least.

  231. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [221]

    ALL RIGHT. EVERYONE STFU ABOUT DOJ.

  232. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    231.

    Nom,

    Couldnt agree more. That is exactly why I will never send my kid to public school.

  233. http://www.JERSEYSHOREMTV.TK – PLEASE TAKE THIS POLL ABOUT MTVS JERSEY SHORE AND YOU CAN RECEIVE A $250.00 GIFT CARD 5 9 4

  234. Nomad says:

    Would like to know some thoughts from others on the chance of a double dip recession. I believe its a matter of when.

    Where are we on the W?

    I am also thinking another nice hit to housing prices. A few months of what we have now and then its time to push the pricing stick forward and watch it drop. Another 10% over the next 12 months perhaps? Sounds about right to me.

    There can’t be a recovery. As a nation we are in debt well above our A$$ and unemployment will not improve for a long time.

    12-18 months from now, today will look appealing.

    Would love to buy a home now – like the idea of my own place, privacy friends and family visiting – can’t put a price on these except if things get way ugly.

  235. A.West says:

    These conservative hacks are going to embarrass themselves if they let that crazy closeted Massa use their airtime, just because he’s slamming Democrats for throwing him under the bus after making a drunken hit on one of his pageboys. Dems only protect gays that are out and proud. The more Massa talks about naked men touching him, the worse it gets.

    BTW, I don’t mind Brandy Coffee too much, real estate agent may well be the perfect career for her, and probably fits well with her psychology degree. However, going to see motivational speakers is not something to advertise to people as an educational accomplishment – rather the opposite.

  236. 3b says:

    #232 Sean (juice box) I was being facetious. As far as myself, I can’t wait another few years, I have another year,and than my rental goes by by. The owner wants us to buy, but we don’t want it for a number of reasons.

    We are going to wait and see how the whole tax increase thing flushes out this year. And than go from there. We have a number of towns on the list. A big part of it will be predicated on property taxes. We will also be doen with the schools in another year, so that is no longer an issue. If we ever have a Bergen GTG and you go, I can talk further to you about it. I ahve a town in mind but gary may get PO’d. So I won’t disclose it.

  237. Nomad says:

    3b 238

    if your done w/schools in a year, why even consider buying? Get a vaca home and rent in NJ. Do you ever think the taxes, NJ legacy issues, baggage etc is ever going away?

    Property taxes are going to get jacked up so high, in a few years, current taxes will look like a blue light special.

  238. 3b says:

    #236 I think a double dip is a real possibility. Of course if it happens it won’t be described as such. They will call it an economy going siedeways or some other nosnense. I can’t understand talk of a recovery, when unemployment (stated) is still close to 10%,and for many another year of no raises, and huge increases in health insurance premiums and co-pays. And still crushig consumer debt for many.

    On top of that we will have property tax increases this year of 10% and more in many areas in NJ.

    Lets see what happens after those increases coupled with the expiration of the 8k tax credit,and the Fed no longer purchasing MBS.

  239. 3b says:

    #239 Thought of it. Don’t want to pay a rent and a mtg, and odn’t wnat the hassle of a vac home,and being tied to one area.

    Plus we are getting sick of white. So if property taxes continue to rise (and they will), it is a chance we will have to take. No other debt, and we don’t expect to “make” any money on it either when we eventually sell it,

  240. Nomad says:

    3b,

    #240 – just like a company whose costs go up and revenue declines, it’s just a matter of time.

    Personally, I think we are going to be going about our business and sometime in the next few years, it’s all going to collapse.

    I am not in NJ anymore and am seriously thinking of getting a house so if everything else goes to zero – at least I have something.

    NJ’s issues just seemed too entrenched to overcome. Maybe necessity is the mother of invention but I just can’t see the state fixing it’s issues.

  241. 3b says:

    #243 I agree. But due to a number of reasons we are tied to this area. Although we want our own place again, the thought of buying anywhere in NJ again is a real concern for us.

  242. 3b says:

    #243at least I have something

    Just make sure if you can that the soemthing does not come with a 10 to 12k a year tax bill or more. Who would have ever thought that those numbers would become the norm.

  243. Nomad says:

    #244 – we if you have family and other things that are keeping you in the area for some time, then you can buy the house and enjoy it which in and of itself has value. Have to have a little fun in life or what’s the point.

    Where I am living now, outside of NJ, stakes of buying a house are not as high as the Garden State so my risk is a lot less. If I were in NJ for a 5-7 yr stint, pretty sure I would even consider buying. We made it out of there more than whole (way lucky) but I know folks that bought at the peak and are out of work – very sad.

  244. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [242] 3b

    “Plus we are getting sick of white.”

    Move to MontKlair. Stu can tell you how to be a brother!

  245. 3b says:

    244 – we if you have family and other things that are keeping you in the area for some time, then you can buy the house and enjoy it which in and of itself has value. Have to have a little fun in life or what’s the point.

    Agreed, that is another reason why we will do it, if still reluctant/hesitant. We are just not going to consider it as part of retirement savings. I truly do believe real estate will be dead for years in our area.

  246. 3b says:

    #247 As in paint!!!

  247. John says:

    It is a bull market baby!!! Reminds me of 1999 when I knew several guys who was in the money so much wive’s pestered them to buy mc-mansions and SUVs. Funny part is the non-whiped buys got wiped out when the bubble burst but the whipped guys cashed out enough to have a house on the water, boat and SUV.

    We are getting near that time if we have another 10-15% run up in stocks.

    Those quarterly statements will be found money. However, the people doing the practical thing keeping downpayment money in savings and money markets will get spanked just like they did back in 1999 when neighbors saw 86% annual increase in their downpayment money and the suckers, my included saw 5%. I still marvel at luck of my friend who was all in tech stocks from 1986 to Feb 2000 when he cashed out to buy a two bedroom soho condo for cash. Guy is a rock star lucky lottery winner.

  248. veto that says:

    I cant wait to stop at the voting booth on the way home so i can put the old nixay on the new middle school referendum.
    It will ONLY add $300 per prop tax bill they tell us.

  249. Shadow of John says:

    I once went to mount Claire, but she turned out to be a lesbi@n.

  250. Shore Guy says:

    “It will ONLY add $300 per prop tax bill they tell us”

    Since it is for the children, it sounds like a great idea, I mean, if you care about your kids and don’t want them to grow up to be crack-addicted felons. If you do want them to follow the path to ruin, go ahead and vote no.

  251. Anon E. Moose says:

    3b[242];

    “Sick of white”

    Fine, but at least have the decency to hang a price tag on the “paint the walls” fetish before you hit the register for it.

    I’ve got 20 years of needing schools ahead of me. My only problem is that I live upstairs from my landlord and she’s going through ‘change of life’ or something to judge from her recent mood swings. Other than that, she’s STILL subsidizing my housing by an amount at least equal to what I’m paying her in rent.

  252. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [249] 3b

    “#247 As in paint!!!”

    You want to move to Montklair and be paint???

  253. NJGator says:

    Remind me not to eat in this place the next time I go out to dinner after work. Yuck!

    Chef Makes Br*ast Milk Cheese
    3/9/2010 8:48 a.m.
    A chef at a trendy Chelsea bistro has produced cheese made from his wife’s br*ast milk.

    The New York Post reported Tuesday that he had been offering it to customers.

    In a phone interview on Good Day New York, chef Daniel Angerer said he is not actually serving it in the restaurant. This might be due to the fact that he admitted that he’s had several calls from the city health department since news of the br*ast milk cheese came to light.

    Daniel Angerer runs Klee Brasserie in Chelsea. He had told a Post reporter that customers started demanding his custom-made “human cheese” after he blogged about his efforts to make it.

    “The phone was ringing off the hook,” the chef explained to the paper. “So I prepared a little canape of br*ast milk cheese with figs and Hungarian pepper.”

    The response among those who tried the cheese was described as generally positive, although many customers were too squeamish to attempt it.

    New York health department said that even though codes do not explicitly forbid the practice, they advised Angerer to refrain from sharing his wife’s milk.

    “The restaurant knows that cheese made from br*ast milk is not for public consumption, whether sold or given away,” a spokeswoman for the city Department of Health said to the Post.

    That hasn’t stopped Arabella from posting the recipe on his blog:

    http://wap.myfoxny.com/w/main/story/9785527/

    Recipe for My Spouse’s Mommy Milk Cheese included in link.

  254. I need some advice for my blog….I like your layout. Can you help me? 7 8 3

  255. NJGator says:

    Re above post – does John by any chance moonlight as a chef?

  256. relo says:

    257: May I suggest a dessert wine or perhaps champagne to accompany.

    http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/Articles/Wine-and-Alcohol-644/wine-cheese-pairing-guide.aspx

  257. relo says:

    Under “Type” I assume they are referring to the cheese.

  258. jamil says:

    236 Nomad:
    “Where are we on the W?”

    Majority of voters are missing W already.

  259. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    236.

    Nomad,

    Before 2011 is over the sovereign debt will have to be addressed. Some here are more optimistic than myself but I have full faith in Soros and his Managed Funds Association to bring America to its knees. Its not the Land of the Free anymore. Its the Land of the Tit suckers and Home of the Scared.

    Im curious. What state are you looking to buy in?

  260. Sean says:

    And the Fed want’s out of Fannie and Freddie MBS by the end of this month?

    Only one accounting formula you need to know.

    Taxpayer = Bagholder

    A little more on the off balance sheet fraud occurring right before your eyes.

    http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/enron-fun-fannie-and-freddie

  261. gary says:

    relo [256],

    That’s f*cking astonishing. Ground zero for Bugaboo strollers, puggles and Conner and Madison’s violin lessons. If Ridgewood is announcing cuts, then all bets are off. How can it be otherwise?

  262. PGC says:

    #221 Jamil

    “You too, lied about Yoo being found guilty”

    Back in 2003 the OPR found John Yoo guilty. Fact.

    The report from last month does not change that fact. While I havn’t had a chance to finish the Febuary report the impression I am getting is that the author is not questioning if what Yoo did was wrong, but more of the idea that the punishment did not fit the crime.

  263. Yikes says:

    tbiggs says:
    March 9, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Mexicans… In the 1920s, you would have heard “Italians all over the streets, it looked like Italy” spoken with a contemptuous sneer.

    thought for a moment about ripping this to shreds, but passed. this isn’t apples and oranges; this is like a 3D TV and rabbit ears.

  264. leftwing says:

    jamil

    I’m as ‘right’ as they come on many issues but you’ve got to lay the W cheerleading to rest.

    He’s the Republican Jimmy Carter.

    His total ineptitude and incompetence combined with his cluelessness caused the backlash that let the Great One walk into the WH.

    We would not have this bozo if it weren’t for Bush.

    His time in office is also a huge missed opportunity – how many times have the Repubs had both houses and the presidency in the last century?

    We can only hope that his shortcomings aren’t so deep that voters have a visceral reaction to anything Republican in 2012, too.

    Stop picking the scab. Let the wound heal and fade away.

  265. PGC says:

    #233 Nom

    Is he messing with your future job prospects?

  266. jamil says:

    266 PGC:

    Let’s try one more time (from WSJ link):

    “So after five years of investigation, partisan accusations and unethical media leaks, the Justice Department’s senior ethicist has concluded that Bush Administration lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee committed no professional misconduct. The issue now is whether the protégés of Attorney General Eric Holder who led this exercise at Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) should themselves be in the dock.”

    “Mr. Margolis’s review overrules both a draft OPR report whose contents were leaked to the media last year and a final OPR report that was released along with the Margolis review late Friday. Those OPR reports recommended disciplinary action and potential disbarment for Messrs. Bybee and Yoo for their advice while working in the Office of Legal Counsel in the frantic months after September 11. The leaks were themselves an unethical attempt to smear the reputations of the lawyers while they were under a gag order and unable to reply.”


    “The selective disclosure by Mr. Holder suggests the political nature of this entire exercise.”

    “The ethicists at OPR also claim the Bush attorneys were wrong to stick to a legal analysis of interrogation practices and should have also considered their moral and policy implications. But the duty of the Office of Legal Counsel is precisely to offer legal advice, not to render policy judgments. Interrogation policy was determined by the CIA and the White House, as it should have been. The last thing the country needs is for lawyers to tell the CIA how to get actionable intelligence from enemy combatants.”

    “What’s more, as Mr. Mukasey’s memo makes clear, the legal canons of Washington, D.C. and many states expressly prohibit lawyers from offering such policy advice to sophisticated clients such as the U.S. government. This is precisely so lawyers don’t muddy their legal counsel with policy bias.”

    “The larger story here is the vindication of Mr. Yoo and the other Bush attorneys, who were pilloried unfairly over ethics in what was really a policy dispute in the war on terror. Democrats wanted to appease the anti-antiterror left, and they fixed on punishing mid-level officials as prominent enough to get public attention but not so prominent as to seem like a banana republic seeking revenge against a former President or Vice President. Their campaign has now been exposed as a partisan, and unethical, smear.”

  267. jamil says:

    266 PGC: “Back in 2003 the OPR found John Yoo guilty. Fact.”

    Yes, and Nifong found the whiteys guilty. Fact. And IPPC found Global Warming a fact. And the Earth is Flat – fact.

    You apparently don’t know what the final conclusion means, compared to charges.

    Yoo witch hunt is something that needs to be criminally investigated.

  268. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    Although Clinton stands head and shoulders above W or BO, the period of January 1981-January 1993 was the last time we had excellent leadership in the WH.

  269. Shore Guy says:

    Come tp thinl of it, and Watergate and paranoia aside, Nixon also did quite a good job. Ike and Truman were solid and one can find elements of FDR to praise. Before him, though, the only solid performer of the 20th century was TR.

    I would rank TR and RR at the top of the 20th-century presidents, with Bush, Ike, and Truman rounding out the top 5.

  270. Shore Guy says:

    should be “come to think of it”

    The dangers of typing at stop lights.

  271. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    273.

    Bush Sr. was one of the most evil bastards this country has ever seen. No one paid attention to his New World Order speeches. Now we get to see what he means.

  272. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    The last real president this country has seen was JFK and he got whacked. Reagan was surrounded by CFR criminals.

  273. PGC says:

    #271 Jamil

    And you don’t seem to know the difference between the final report issued Jul 29 2009 and the review that decided not to adopt the findings.

    The final report still stands.

  274. PGC says:

    #276

    Damm I actually have to agree with part of what you say, but for slightly different reasons.

    JFK was slightly out of his depth and made big mistakes, but got away with them.

    RR Juiced the economy with deficit spending on defense and hid it behind Supply side and Trickle down economics.

    GWHB couldn’t handle the deficit RR left him. The Dems screwed him and the GOP stabbed the corpse. No New Taxes, GW1, Iran Contra and NAFTA. What a legacy

  275. Final Doom says:

    skep (202)-

    No, it’s not. The last few greater fools are being lured into the remains of this Ponzi, sham market.

    July 1 begins 20-40 years in the wilderness.

  276. Final Doom says:

    3b (240)-

    Double dip? The next turn down will be Wil E Coyote, off a cliff.

  277. PGC says:

    Sign of the times. Local BC paper reporting towns can’t find candidates to fill the open Board of Ed slots.

    Guess the Rotary Club lawyers know whats coming and are keeping their powder dry for a run in better times.

  278. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Doom, 6 (yeah, I just got up a while ago after a harrowing night in the pit.)

    I needed this laugh! Thanks for the coffee splatterage.

    sl

  279. Final Doom says:

    I want to run for my local BOE on a crush-the-NJEA platform.

    Natch, I’d probably both win the seat and have to hire bodyguards.

  280. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    A West, 38

    Will be there in a heartbeat.

    I am sooooo enjoying this book… have lured others into reading it… just a “wow” book.

    sl

  281. sas says:

    “Elvina Spurgers”

    isn’t airtight.

    I suspect been to Greece many times.

    ha ha…
    (wink..wink).

    SAS

  282. Shore Guy says:

    PGC,

    I was not talking strictly policy but effective use of the office.

    As for JFK, I think tha he handled the October Missile Crisis as well as anyone could have and far better than Nixon would have. Beyond that, he was not very good.

  283. sas says:

    same goes for Leila Caracci @ 258.

    where do these people come from?
    John’s?

    SAS

  284. Nomad says:

    Al #263

    It would be in PA / MontCo – will be 3 months min until we decide to move forward or not. Of course, if we get to the point where we decide to buy, making an offer and having it accepted are two different things. From what I have learned, MontCo market has not had as big of a run up or decline – it appears to have less price volatility. Holding period is another concern < 5 yrs is a problem – of course, if our life savings is wiped out in an economic meltdown, that could be a problem too.

  285. Nomad says:

    #280 Doom – will we fall at 32 ft per second?

  286. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    288.

    Nomad,

    Hopefully PA doesnt make the same mistakes NJ did ie influx of young families = more schools = more public employees = more unions = political corruption = more taxes = flight of business = bankruptcy.

    I think Bucks County saw a pretty good run up not sure about Montgomery.

  287. Nomad says:

    290 – PA has it’s issues as most states do these days although not to the magnitude of NJ. Consumers and governments spent freely when the economy was doing better. The pensions are killers though (no revelation on that one). Problem with those I believe is that if the state pension fund goes belly up, I am thinking the US Pension guarantee benefit corp (or something like that) is supposed to take over the liabilities or maybe I am thinking of private sector pensions.

  288. willwork4beer says:

    181/183 Nom

    The no-layoff provision in Corzine’s furlough agreement was publicized:

    Corzine, CWA announce agreement on furlough, wage freeze plan

    By Michael Rispoli/The Star-Ledger
    June 04, 2009, 3:08PM

    TRENTON — The Corzine administration and New Jersey’s largest state worker union today said they have finalized an agreement that calls for 10 unpaid furlough days and deferring a wage increase in exchange for a no-layoff pledge through December 2010.

    (snip)

    Under the deal, a previously negotiated 3.5 percent wage increase for CWA workers that had been scheduled for July 1 will be postponed until January 2011.

    (snip)

    The next phase of the wage increase also will not be affected and is still scheduled for July 1, 2010, according to a letter to members from CWA District One Vice President Chris Shelton.

    If the state initiates layoffs before 2011, the July 2009 raises will be reinstituted, the CWA said.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/06/corzine_cwa_announce_agreement.html

  289. jamil says:

    277 PGC: “And you don’t seem to know the difference between the final report issued Jul 29 2009 and the review that decided not to adopt the findings.”

    No, the final DOJ conclusion was that:
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    It didn’t just say that yeah, misconduct, but let’s not punish. Another issue is that that was unethical partisan witch hunt, which needs to be criminally investigated (selective criminal leaks to media, lying during the investigation, unethical conduct by DOJ hacks). Holder’s cronies needs to go to jail for this.

  290. willwork4beer says:

    Time to get back to the Hunterdon County health plan.

    Tonight’s healthful tonic: Flying Dog Brewery’s Raging Bitch 20th Anniversary Ale.

    Beer – its basically watery bread with upside.

    Morph – does a beer with citrusy hop notes count as a serving of fruit?

  291. Sastry says:

    NJGator #65:

    I think that the dems and repubs are playing a Good Cop – Bad Cop routine. One side will not enact tough reforms because they want “major consensus”, and the other side will not because they are “fighting the big government in support of the common man and small businesses”.

    The bank bailouts did not result in any ideological warfare, while small things in the health care reform, or stimulus money are used for a drama. The GOP vs Dem difference seems to marginal compared to the will of the campaign money and populism.

    Overall the common people and the corporations are basically letting their short-term interests drive the agenda and risking long term prospects. Bigger empires have declined and there are many parallels.

    I don’t think there is one “Man” that controls anything (even though there are crooks that make merry while this is all going on — example: W’s family and ties with Na-zis, Saud-is, and Sad-dam).

    On another note, I never imagined seeing a day when Shore gets accused of being a “commie”. More bizarre than Massa on Beck!

    S

  292. NJCoast says:

    Beer-My daughter’s BF is a brewer at Six Points in Brooklyn. They will give you all the ingrediants needed to make beer, they just ask you to bring them a sample, they like to taste different homebrews.

  293. willwork4beer says:

    Coast,

    Alas, Brooklyn is a bit of a ride from out here in Lower Cowchip. But I like their style.

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  294. Sastry says:

    Stu #201

    A friend of mine was desperately looking for a house a few months ago, and he suspended his search abruptly. The asking prices aren’t yet near where they should be — though I did see 10% reductions on similar properties since 6 mos ago. Seems like fewer people are buying the “market has bottomed” (TM) tagline.

    Me, I am cheering for a major drop since we can use it for a reassessment or an appeal.

    S

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    265.gary says:
    March 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm
    relo [256],

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    Have you ever made mead?

  299. chicagofinance says:

    267.Yikes says:
    March 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm
    tbiggs says:
    March 9, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Mexicans… In the 1920s, you would have heard “Italians all over the streets, it looked like Italy” spoken with a contemptuous sneer.

    thought for a moment about ripping this to shreds, but passed. this isn’t apples and oranges; this is like a 3D TV and rabbit ears.

    yikes: nope…only 60-70 years ago, classified ads in Ridgewood had NINA prominently displayed (No Irish Need Apply).

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    Yo’ lost!

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  301. Stu says:

    Sastry:

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    Yup…It’s all a homeowner who doesn’t plan on moving anytime soon can hope for.

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    What did JFK ever do?

    Invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, then abandoned those he sent into battle…

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    Stood impotent while the inaugural “pay any price, bear any burden” rhetoric evaporated into thin air as the Soviets built the Berlin wall…

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