Shocked to hear a Realtor association is overstating sales prices

From the Chicago Tribune:

Realty trade group overreported Chicago home prices

The Illinois Association of Realtors said Monday that the median price it reported for home sales within the city of Chicago was inflated in May and mistakes in its reports may go back more than three years.

Errors in the reports can wrongly inflate consumer confidence in a housing market that has been struggling to recover for the past 4 1/2 years. It also can undermine the credibility of the real estate organizations that compile and disseminate the statistics. The Tribune and other media outlets report that data as part of regular coverage of the housing industry because it provides a pulse of the market.

The state Realtors’ group acknowledged the errors after the Tribune, acting on a tip, questioned the accuracy of the May report. The group believes median prices for both condos and detached single-family homes sold within the city contain errors.

“It’s not just May,” said Mary Schaefer, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Association of Realtorsadding that the mistakes appear to go back at least through January. “We’re trying to figure out where the bug occurred. We should have caught it. We pride ourselves on having accurate data. We want to make sure there is 100 percent clean data.”

The size of the Realtors’ errors is statistically significant, at least based on the May median price for condo sales wtihin the city. In its official report that has now been discredited, the trade group previously said that the median price of an existing condo sold in Chicago in May was $299,000, compared with $271,150 recorded in May 2010. In fact, the median price was $243,000, compared to a year-ago price of $265,000, according to data from Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, the multiple listing service for the Chicago area.

The Chicago Association of Realtors “will continue to work diligently with the Illinois Association of Realtors and Midwest Real Estate Data to discover where the reporting error has occurred and improve the process by which we collectively report the data on the Chicago marketplace moving forward,” a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “Ensuring the housing data reported on the Chicago market is accurate remains our top priority as we are committed to helping consumers understand the Chicago real estate marketplace with the most exact information possible.”

Schaefer said the group does not think any fraud is being committed. “There’s no playing with the numbers, this is technical,” she said. “It’s how the system is reading the data.”

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154 Responses to Shocked to hear a Realtor association is overstating sales prices

  1. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    U.S. Tackles Housing Slump

    The Obama administration is ramping up talks on how to revive the housing market, which is weighing on the economic recovery—and possibly the president’s re-election in 2012.

    Last year, advisers considered several housing-policy prescriptions but rejected them in favor of letting the market sort things out. Since then, weak demand and a stream of foreclosed properties have put renewed pressure on home prices, prompting concern within the White House.

    Housing “hasn’t bottomed out as quickly as we expected,” President Barack Obama said at a White House town hall last week. Mr. Obama said housing remained the “most stubborn” problem facing the country and conceded that a raft of federal mortgage-aid programs were “not enough, and so we’re going back to the drawing board.”

    Policy ideas include having taxpayer-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac relax their rules for loans to investors, allowing those buyers to vacuum up excess housing inventory. In certain markets, Fannie and Freddie could hold some foreclosed homes off the market and rent them out to ease the property glut.

    Officials also could sweeten incentives for banks to reduce loan balances for borrowers who are underwater, or owe more than their homes are worth.

    Discussions are in early stages, and there isn’t consensus around particular ideas. A spokeswoman said the president and his advisers “are always looking at new ways” to strengthen the housing market but wouldn’t disclose details. “While we continue to consider the options available to us, it would be inaccurate to say we are proposing any of these particular ideas at this time,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said.

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. Mike says:

    Give me an FN break I want to take my Good Morning back “Officials also could sweeten incentives for banks to reduce loan balances for borrowers who are underwater, or owe more than their homes are worth”

  4. George Soros says:

    Never a surprise for me. To inflate the home price is the realtor’s job. I would be suprised if a realtor does not lie or cheat about hme prices

  5. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Recession proves asset price bubbles should be popped: San Francisco Fed

    Central banks should consider using the Great Recession as a justification for popping future asset price bubbles before they lead to future meltdowns, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco analyst Kevin Lansing said in a report released Monday.

    Lansing’s report, which is titled “Gauging the Impact of the Great Recession,” concludes the 2001 recession was short-lived due to families tapping into home equity and an influx of home sales driven by unsophisticated buyers who were able to obtain cheap credit.

    The downside to the quick-turnaround in the early part of the decade is the fact a hyper-focus on housing inflated asset prices, creating an unsustainable bubble that eventually led to a much larger downturn in the latter part of the decade, the report contends.

    “The extensive harm caused by the Great Recession raises the question of whether policymakers could have done more to avoid the crisis,” Lansing argued.

    Lansing says prior to the 2008 meltdown, Fed policy under Greenspan focused on letting bubbles run their natural course. He cites the Greenspan strategy as one where central bankers addressed the “bubble’s consequences rather than the bubble itself.”

    He says monetary policymakers base this view on the belief it’s difficult to identify a bubble in real time. However, that’s an assertion Lansing challenges in his report.

  6. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Should Everyone Get Bonus For Paying Mortgage On Time?

    At what point is moral hazard trumped by corporate survival and the cold hard need to get people to pay their mortgages? The answer is: Now.

    As home values continue to fall and more borrowers fall into a negative equity position on their home loans, those who stand to lose, banks and investors, are working to keep borrowers current.

    To date, they have focused on delinquent borrowers, offering loan modifications and foreclosure alternatives, like short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure.

    Last fall, New Jersey-based Loan Value Group launched a new business model, offering lenders and mortgage investors a way to keep their current, but underwater, borrowers current through cash incentives.

    It’s called Responsible Homeowner Reward, and today, one of the nation’s largest mortgage insurers, PMI Mortgage Insurance, joined in.

    Here’s how it works. Borrowers pay nothing. They sign up with the program, promising to keep current on their mortgages for a certain period, generally 36 to 60 months (LVG has worked out the contract with the participating lender/investor).

    After that period, the borrower will be paid anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the loan principal, depending on the contract, in cash. The lenders/investors pay LVG, which receives a servicing fee, and LVG pays the borrowers. Again, the borrowers pay nothing for this bonus.

  7. Confused In NJ says:

    The Chinese are right, we spend too much on the military. Time to outsource military to China at a fraction of the cost. Teachers, Firemen, & Police also. Big gains if we also outsource Washington to India.

  8. gary says:

    I was at a barbecue over the weekend. I was talking to a cousin – a paid city firemen who also had his own construction gig on the side for about 20 years. He just sold his work van. He said he hasn’t had a construction job in 6 months and said he’s never seen it this bad. Just sayin’.

  9. gary says:

    Housing “hasn’t bottomed out as quickly as we expected,” President Barack Obama said at a White House town hall last week.

    He said the same thing about those shovel ready jobs. Oh well, nothing a good golf outing won’t cure.

  10. gary says:

    A three bedroom addition was added three years ago just as the market was beginning to crater. This could only mean that you, the buyer, will have to pay for the stripped equity. The PITI with 20% down will only run you about $6000 per month:

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3054154598-505-Hensler-Ln-Oradell-NJ-07649

  11. gary (13)-

    Sorry. Sussex Co. is still the NJ headquarters for shotgun shacks and tar paper palaces.

  12. gary says:

    Hobo,

    But with the Franklin Lakes tag, one becomes instantly prestigious.

  13. Shore Guy says:

    “Housing “hasn’t bottomed out as quickly as we expected,” President Barack Obama said at a White House town hall last week. Mr. Obama said housing remained the “most stubborn” problem facing the country and conceded that a raft of federal mortgage-aid programs were “not enough, and so we’re going back to the drawing board.””

    This is just more evidence that neither the Empty Suit in Chief nor his advisors really understand the problem. They are off diagnosing a symptom and missing the root cause. We do not have a declining housing-price problem, we have a moribund economy that does not make our basic goods, and which is unable to employ the vast numbers of people who lack the intellectual firepower to succeed in college and jobs that really, really require a college degree. There have always been large numbers of such people but, we used to employ these folks in assorted manufacturing and related industries.

  14. Essex says:

    I’d really like to see Ron Paul take the win in 2012.

  15. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hobo 14 LOL!

  16. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Essex 17 strangely enough agreed.

  17. sx (17)-

    If Ron Paul were ever to become a serious, mainstream candidate with a chance to win, he’d be killed well before election day.

  18. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Paul whacked by TPTB anyway.

  19. Neanderthal Economist says:

    16 shore I agree with your generality but does this mean we should bring back low wage manufacturing just so the least skilled can find jobs? or do we change course and educate/train all citizens for a higher skilled society in future?

  20. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Agreed about ron paul

  21. Essex says:

    Killed by a rouge DEA agent…or an angry FED employee?

  22. Xroads says:

    Shore 16

    I would say that the people who lack the intellectual firepower have infiltrated the jobs that really, really require a college education through years of nepotism or a college education just ain’t what it used to be.

  23. All Hype says:

    Italian 10 year bond went over 6% today. Welcome to the party!

  24. veets (22)-

    Can’t be done. The human species- as a group- is getting dumber and dumber. As always, the thing to do is throw a war and kill off 50mm or so.

    “…do we change course and educate/train all citizens for a higher skilled society in future?”

  25. Shore Guy says:

    I hear he is joining the cast of Jersey Shore:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/12/us-libya-idUSTRE7270JP20110712

    (Reuters) – France said Muammar Gaddafi was ready to leave power, according to emissaries, the latest sign contacts were underway between the Libyan leader and NATO members to find a way out of the crisis.

    “Emissaries are telling us Gaddafi is ready to go, let’s talk about it,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said, without revealing who the emissaries were. “The question is no longer about whether Gaddafi goes but when and how,” Juppe said.
    snip

  26. Bystander says:

    The cover story reminds me of my mom at the grocery store. She used to check the receipt before leaving the register. If she was overpriced she would ask the cashier why the price was higher. The answer was always “the system had the wrong price”. My mom would always answer “funny how the system never goes in my favor”. Good ole Irish wit.

  27. Shore Guy says:

    “do we change course and educate/train all citizens for a higher skilled society in future?”

    No offense to anyone here or anyone anywhere but, there are some people who are just incapable of making meaningful contributions in a higher-skilled job. Some lack the ability to focus, some are dumb as dirt, and some just have different skill sets. Unfortunately, for those whose skill sets are out of sync with societies current needs, times are rough. Heck, one could have had all the skills to be a great C++ programmer or such but, if one were born in the 15th century, those skills might not find any usefull expression given societies then-current needs.

  28. Shore Guy says:

    “people who lack the intellectual firepower have infiltrated the jobs that really, really require a college education through years of nepotism or a college education just ain’t what it used to be.”

    I have seen this. I have also seen employers who require degrees for jobs where no degree is needed. We have gone overboard in pushing degrees because we saw that people who dad them made out better without asking ourselves why those people made out better and what in society/the economy allowed degreed people to do so well. I suspect we could fail to produce any art history majors for 5-10 years and our economic competitiveness would not suffer at all.

  29. 3B says:

    #12 gary: That house is ugly. Oh and that lsiting is ver close to you know where.

  30. 3B says:

    I wonder if 2 cents/jets 12 is going to come by again thsi morning with guns blazing only to go down yet again in a sea of flames.

  31. Shore Guy says:

    “The human species- as a group- is getting dumber and dumber. ”

    We have become more and more tolerant of behaviors that, not too many years ago, used to lead to death, ostracism, failure, and a host of other negative outcome.

  32. Shore Guy says:

    outcomes.

  33. 3B says:

    #25 Whole heartedly agree. When I listen to our leaders form the top down, or all the so called experts. I am shocked at the real lack of knowledge, and the complete absence of critical thinking skills.

  34. Shore Guy says:

    The Russians must be shaking their heads in disbelief that they ever feared NATO:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/12/us-usa-libya-panetta-idUSTRE76A6XI20110712

    (Reuters) – New U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Monday that some NATO allies operating in Libya could see their forces “exhausted” within 90 days.

    “The problem right now, frankly, in Libya is that … within the next 90 days a lot of these other countries could be exhausted in terms of their capabilities, and so the United States, you know, is going to be looked at to help fill the gap,” Panetta said, speaking to troops in Baghdad.
    snip

  35. Outofstater says:

    #34 Yes. Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned of this decades ago. “Defining deviancy down.” The concept of “actions have consequences” seems to be in short supply at all levels of society.

  36. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    if you go to mls it only shows realtor sales. FSBOs and REO usually go for less and that is backed out.

  37. Shore Guy says:

    “Defining deviancy down.”

    Fastest route to fame and fortune is to act badly in front of a camera. It matters little for what one is famous, as long as one is famous there is money to be made.

    The interesting thing is that the destructive behaviors Moynihan pointed to in certain segments of society are now, more or less, the norm.

  38. Shore Guy says:

    John,

    Oh! You wanted accurate numbers?

  39. Shore Guy says:

    Time to feed the tax monster. Until mid August, all earnings belong to various governmental entities.

  40. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Actually I am not 100% against realtors, if gives men in their 50s and 60’s some free time to hit the golf course while their wives pretend they have a career.

    Shore Guy says:
    July 12, 2011 at 8:59 am

    John,

    Oh! You wanted accurate numbers?

  41. Mocha says:

    Hey all. Looking at this house soon and was curious to get your experienced opinions. The house is 145 years old but looks to be in decent shape.

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/11-Hudson-St-Marlboro-NJ-07746/39308459_zpid/

  42. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Monday’s Market
    Munis Pick Up; Retail Shows Strong Appetite
    Tuesday, July 12, 2011
    By James Ramage
    The municipal market added a healthy pink hue to its complexion Monday. Early new issuance found a ready audience in the primary, while traders showed a willingness to move pricing levels for high-grade product in the secondary.

    I see green shoots!!! Actually this is great news for property taxes, it gives the local munis a chance to refinance any 1999-2002 30 year munis that were callable at ten years. 30 year munis callable at year ten are extremely popular.

    When issued at low rates munis can let them run whole 30 years, when issued at high rates munis like to call at ten but sometimes market conditions makes that impossible such as from November 2008 to June 2009 or November 2010 to June 2011. When that happens bond owners reap a few extra payments at above market rates while local property owners get stuck with higher finances as town budgeted for bonds to be refinanced. A 100 million bond issued with a 6% coupon that can be refinanced with a 3% coupon is 30 million a year in savings. Imagine if bond was due to be called Jan 15 2011 and market was frozen and the muni had to wait till July 15 to call it. That is 15 million in unexpected cost that the property owners will have to make up in 2012.

    An unhealthy muni market sometimes rewards investors with high coupon callable bonds that can’t get called and punishes people who pay property tax. An interesting dilemma.

  43. Mike says:

    they’RE pond scum

  44. Shore Guy says:

    It is a good thing we have allowed our currency lose value, that way we become more attractive exporters:

    WASHINGTON | Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:50am EDT

    (Reuters) – The U.S. trade gap widened much more than expected in May as a jump in oil prices helped push imports to the second highest level on record and exports fell slightly from April’s record high, a U.S. government report showed on Tuesday.

    The trade deficit totaled $50.2 billion, the highest since October 2008, and well above the consensus estimate of $44.0 billion from Wall Street analysts surveyed before the report.

    Imports rose 2.6 percent to $225.1 billion, the highest since the record of $231.6 billion set in July 2008 just before the global financial crisis took a huge toll on global trade.

    snip

  45. Juice Box says:

    re: cast of Jersey Shore

    You can consider me a member, I was on the Point Pleasant boardwalk on Sunday night when DJ Paulie walked by me with his MTV camera crew trailed by several dozen teenage girls. I definitely made it on tape, I will let you know when the episode airs.

  46. Juice Box says:

    CISCO putting 10k workers out the the street, probably going to be a few hundred from the NYC area.

  47. gary says:

    Juice [49],

    No need to worry, we have shovel ready jobs waiting in the wings.

  48. Anon E. Moose says:

    Mocha [44];

    Yellow card to the photographer for abuse of the viewer with a fish eye lens.

  49. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Nompounds for Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43689823/?slide=1

    (okay, for everyone that can afford them).

  50. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [51];

    This must be Realtor-owned. The same agency allegedly sold it last year for $330 (after asking $350). Are the unicorns migrating south to Ocean County?

  51. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Speaking of yellow cards, has anyone seen the new ESPN ad featuring the flopping officeworker???? Hysterical, and a major middle finger flip at whingeing Eurotrash and other 3rd world footballers.

  52. homeboken says:

    Nom – Great ESPN spot there. Did you catch Brazil’s defender’s antics during the extra time on Sunday? I believe her antics angered the football gods.

  53. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [55] home

    I loved how the largely german crowd was incensed by the Brazilian flopping and whining, and the clear bias on the part of the officials. You know you went too far when you are playing americans in Europe and the local crowd is on the side of the americans.

  54. Deb says:

    #37–my MLS (Trend, covering Mercer and counties south, except for the shore) DOES include all short sales and foreclosures. There is still some upward distortion though in that seller’s concessions are not indicated.

  55. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    In fact, its behavior like that, and a LOT of anecdotal evidence, that dissuaded me from hiring Brazilians as au pairs. Other than the fact that they make great eye candy, I have heard nothing but negatives, and a few horror stories.

  56. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [52];

    (Link, slide 5) I like the hangar and runway.

  57. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [57];

    US Women definitely overcame the margin of fraud against Brazil.

  58. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [16] shore guy,

    one trend that is now quite obvious is the re-emphasis on top tier schools at the undergrad level. For awhile, there was a leveling out of the hierarchy, but with 3rd, 4th and 5th tier schools like most of the NJ state colleges, and lower, cranking out degrees, a bachelor’s from anything but an Ivy, public Ivy, or top tier regional schools, is worth little more than the Charmin.

    Here is a trend to look for: If the top tier school graduates seeking jobs are predominantly white, look for lawsuits alleging that favoring graduates from top schools over marginal schools is a proxy for racial discrimination. In fact, I would expect that these allegations have probably already been made.

  59. nj escapee says:

    college credentials are pretty much useless due to flood of asian hires with untraceable credentials.

  60. kettle1^2 says:

    Nom 59

    I hear that german au pairs are top notch.

  61. 3B says:

    #62 I agree to a point. The problem is in many cases is that many regional schools consider themselves top tier based on yearly price tag. Every private school in the NYC metro area is at least 45K or more year. is a Fordham or St Johns worth that a year vs. a Rutgers at 28K a year? Not in my mind. The problem I have seen with at least some of these kids these schools and you can also add in URI and Quinipiac, and Roger Williams among others in lets say the northeast, is that when talking to them they have or had delusional ideas as to how much their starting salaries will or should be etc.

    In my mind if you are looking at just getting the basic BA/BBA to get a foot in the door somewhere (which is the HS equivalent of 30 years ago, than paying 45 to 50K ) a year for a private sshool that might fancy themselves an Ivy makes no sense.

  62. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [60] moose,

    5 is closest to a true nompound, but 3, 6 and 9 all have nompoundish features that I like.

    FWIW, I still see the rural homesites moving and moving fast.

    I have also finally settled on a model for nompound joint ownership that addresses the sticky issue of where to put everyone when every member group descends on the nompound. The ideal site will now have an existing home and structures for current use that will be “time shared” but not intended for long term emergency shelter.

    For longer term sheltering, and to enhance their existing use, each investor group will be permitted a site on which to build a cabin, bunker, or earth home, or park a trailer, that will serve as their own private shelter, to be used whenever they want. They will be constructed at the investor’s own cost and specifications, but there will be limits as to size and location. Also, so as to comply with zoning and any other restrictions, and to keep taxes down, structures will be constructed as “outbuildings” on pads, with no kitchen or bathing facilities, but will be plumbed and wired anyway (I figure after the breakdown of Western Civ, no inspectors will come to see the retrofits). In the short term, they can serve as bunkhouses, or even storage. Bathing, Kitchen and dining will remain communal in the existing house until TEOTWAWKI comes.

    This has the added advantage of equalizing and lowering the cost burden for the property and upkeep. Further, if all the investors agree on a model, the cost for constructing outbuildings can be further miminized by combining design and construction schedules.

    One idea I had is to construct my outbuilding as a storage building style (either freestanding or earthen), which will be cheap to build and protect. Later, I can always configure and reconfigure the interior space.

  63. kettle1^2 says:

    Nom 56

    Well planned nompounds may work great, but if you look at places like Argentina, the wealthy gathered in enclaves in urban areas. Those who stayed in the countryside were at high risk of organized home invasion unless they could afford a private army. Even then, once the locals learned the routines, the kidnappings started when traveling into or out of their rural compounds.

  64. grim says:

    Nom,

    Why not just buy a cabin on a lake out in PA or upstate NY. Go in on the deal with family or close friends. Split it up timeshare style. At least your kids (and their kids) will be able to have fun up there in the summers. Dumping all that cash into a nompound seems foolish if it has no other use (long term land investment perhaps, or leased farming acreage would be other options).

  65. chicagofinance says:

    WTF is a Lemonade Porch?

    gary says:
    July 12, 2011 at 7:20 am
    Who knew that the Clampberts moved to Franklin Lakes:

  66. gary says:

    ChiFi [69],

    A lemonade porch is a place where dime bag transactions take place.

  67. cobbler says:

    nom [62]
    Mostly the school the appicant attended is used as a proxy for brains (or their absence). For people who have had at least some of their money (or loans) on the line, spending it to attend 3rd-4th tier private schools is an evidence of extremely poor decisionmaking. If they had to go to such private school because their learning disability made in too tough to attend a 3rd tier public college, too bad… so far, I think there are still no quaotas for the learning disabled…

  68. prtraders2000 says:

    We saw the whole cast of the JS at the bowling alley in Lakewood on 7/3. My 10 y/o was so excited even though she has never seen the show. They all looked unhappy. Maybe they just got up, it was only 3 in the afternoon. Snooki is like a midget.

  69. 3b says:

    #71 I am just speaking in general. The thing that amazes me the most hover, is the number of kids who have never ever worked a job period. Graduating at 23 and 24 and having never been employed in my mind is amazing; and of course many are still not employed, or heading off to Grad school taking out even more loans.

  70. Juice Box says:

    re # 71 – re: “extremely poor decisionmaking.”

    Here is a fat moron with 100k in student debt who is now on the hook for another $13l to the IRS because of the luxury seats the grateful Yankees gave him for giving Derek Jeter back his ball.

    St. Lawrence University grad and current Verizon customer service rep making probably 40k.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/07/12/2011-07-12_christian_lopez_fan_who_handed_over_derek_jeters_historic_3000thhit_ball_will_ow.html

  71. 3b says:

    #74 Juice: I have had discussions with kids both public/private (non Ivy) who in many cases along with their parents assume that they should be starting at around 75k a year , with a straight BA/BBA. 40k a year with no stud loan debt is not a bad salary to start at IMO. I feel for some of these kids they are delusional.

  72. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice [74];

    When the sticker price of those things (to say nothing of the 2-for-1 sale the Yankees had on those premum seats) gets to the estimated $250,000 retail value of the ball he gave up in trade for them, then the IRS can come looking for taxes. Even then, it was a simple barter trade of the ball for seats (etc.), which I believe are not taxable precisely because of the valuation problems. He found a ball (non-taxable event); he traded said ball for stuff (another non-taxable event). As it affects his P&L, the value of the stuff is precisely the value of the ball, meaning he had no net income from the transaction.

  73. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Doctors in China make $500 bucks a month. Cheaper for me to fly to China and stick one in my suitcase and bring him back them to pay for health insurance. Now if I could only find a female one in her late twenties who can clean and cook and make me happy long time

  74. sas3 says:

    Juice, #74… He seems to be a decent guy and has handled the whole issue very well. He does not seem to complain about anything. Looks like that kid learned something in school. He could do worse. He could become an iron-ribbed GS employee pulling 200k, that would snatch the ball from an old lady, sell it on ebay, and then complain about taxes.

  75. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Unless the kid got ball, gave to charity it is a taxable event. However, its value is what the Yankees gave him. Hopefully he can scalp some seats.

    Kids sells cell phones in a store in NY, what does he even need to go to college to do that let alone take out 100K in student loans.

    If I was his GF I would kill the guy. As they said in Animal House, Fat, Stupid and Lazy is no way to go through life.

  76. Dan says:

    Champions Suite tickets end up going for half price on stubhub as game time gets closer.

    Moose, I disagree and think whatever the Yankees give him is taxable.

    Moose, I recall the guys that caught the Bonds ball and sold it had to pay taxes. Furthermore, I believe once you barter for value, you now have a taxable transaction which is why bartering services isn’t that popular.

    The IRS will take the position that both sides received something of value and is taxable, not the other way around or maybe you think the IRS has a soft side?

  77. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well., the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated classic & touch Zunes are.

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. and widely mocked

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

    Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

    The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

    Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

    This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

    The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

    If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

    Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  78. A.West says:

    That’s a lot more information about media players than I expected to gather on NJrereport today. But unless I can get a Zune for about $25, forget it.

  79. Juice Box says:

    Sas3 – 200k at GS is what the janitor makes.

  80. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Hobo,

    Your Ron Paul scenario is a given. He’d get the hot tub treatment or the unexplanable plane crash.

  81. Shore Guy says:

    Interesting:

    (Credit: CBS News)
    (CBS) – Juror No. 12 in the Casey Anthony trial has left her job and went into hiding fearing that her co-workers “want her head on a platter” after she and the 11 other jurors acquitted Anthony of first-degree murder in the death of her daughter Caylee, says a report.

    Pictures: Casey and Caylee Anthony, personal photos

    Her husband said before leaving she told him “I’d rather go to jail than sit on a jury like this again,” reports MSNBC.

    Juror No. 12, a red-haired woman in her 60s, told the court she worked at a Publix Grocery when she was questioned as a potential juror.

    Now, while the court record of all the jurors’ names still remains sealed, she is terrified that she could face public scrutiny due to the controversial verdict.

    Her husband had packed his own bag and says he’s ready to leave if and when the court releases his wife’s name, reports MSNBC.
    snip

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20078743-504083.html

  82. Shore Guy says:

    BP stepping up and doing the right thing, well, not so much:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/07/08/national/main20077915.shtml?tag=re1.channel

  83. Juice Box says:

    re # 79 -Fat, Stupid and Lazy is right JJ.

    “Mr. Lopez said if he had to pay taxes, he hoped he could borrow from his parents rather than sell his memorabilia.”

    Apparently his old man when with him to the Yankees office too.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/12/nyregion/fan-may-owe-taxes-for-claiming-jeters-3000th-hit.html?_r=2

  84. Juice Box says:

    And there you have it.

    U.S. President Barack Obama said in an interview Tuesday that checks to recipients of the Social Security retirement program may not go out in early August if he and congressional leaders do not agree a debt deal.

  85. box (90)-

    Right on cue.

    Got Friskies?

  86. I cricket play was when rains or then will cards.

  87. Carnie Wilson goes FK.

    I think she equity stripped to invest in chicken wings and donuts.

  88. Shore Guy says:

    How much does this work out to for each part-time usher job? Also, by all means, spend $540mm on something that mainly benefits a private owner, overpaid players, and sits idle most of the time. There is a reason these elected leaders are not running profit-making businesses.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704461304576216330349497852.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    A Stadium’s Costly Legacy Throws Taxpayers for a Loss

    CINCINNATI—Here in Hamilton County, where one in seven people lives beneath the poverty line and budget cuts have left gaps in the schools and sheriffs department, residents are bracing for more belt-tightening: rollback of a property-tax break promised as part of a 1996 plan to entice voters to pay for two new stadiums.

    The tax hit is just the latest in a string of unforeseen consequences from what has turned into one of the worst professional sports deals ever struck by a local government—soaking up unprecedented tax dollars and county resources while returning little economic benefit.

    With a combined estimated cost of $540 million, the stadiums—one for football’s Bengals, the other for baseball’s Reds—were touted by the teams and county officials as a way to generate cash and jobs.

    snip

  89. Anon E. Moose says:

    Dan [80];

    I recall the guys that caught the Bonds ball and sold it had to pay taxes.

    Emphais added.

    I wonder if the kid asked for or got an appearance fee for going on YES in game after catching the ball. I suspect not. He wasn’t necessarily a great interview, but he could have done the Joaquin Phoenix routine on Letterman and still been worth $5-10k to the network.

  90. 3b says:

    #79kid sells cell phones in a store in NY, what does he even need to go to college to do that let alone take out 100K in student loans.

    Well maybe that is all he could get at the moment. Beats the kid sitting at home with 100k in debt ,and doing nothing. I know more than few of those. I had one tell me he won’t work in some menial job as he is a…………Colege Graduate!!!!! big stinking deal, you and thousands and thousands of others. Hey money is money!!! Get off your butt and do something to bring cash in. This young crowd today is never going to make it. I blame the stupid parents for the most part.

  91. Juice Box says:

    re #91 – Friskies was a prediction of mine was it not?

    If O said welfare checks aren’t going out next month instead of SS checks there would be riots. The old timers write letters and make phone calls they don’t riot.

  92. Juice Box says:

    Last count There are about 70 million gov checks that are supposed to go out on August 2nd.

  93. Shore Guy says:

    The social security checks are a promise, the bonds are a contract with people who can break our economic legs. If one owes $10 each to Paulie Walnuts and the old person up the street and pay-up time come and you only have $10, whom do you suggest one should pay?

  94. Shore Guy says:

    comes

  95. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    First of all I don’t think that ball was his to give away. He has a girlfriend who is serious to buy him and his Dad Yankee tickets as a gift. Any girl who is buying a guy sports tickets for his and his Father is looking for a ring.

    Kid has 100K in student loans and most likely a 40K job. His Dad also is an older man near retirement who most likely paid around 60K for his degree as the 100K did not pay for it. Ball was in Dads hands first, he was in Girlfriends seats. Unless his Dad and GF both said give it away (I doubt) he is a dope.

    Imagine GF, ball would have netted 200K, after taxes and sales commission he would of had 140K.

    Guy’s brain, cool I got to meet Jeter.

    Girls brain –
    Pay off 100K student loans,
    rent a nice apartment and furnish it so I can move in 5k
    engagement ring 5k
    pay for wedding 15k
    honeymoon 5k
    Put 10K remaining in house fund account with wedding gift money to be added
    Total 140K

    also selling cell phones in a store is like working in a video store, it is a dying business model.

    I salute him for working a starter job, but he stiffed his GF.

    3b says:
    July 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    #79kid sells cell phones in a store in NY, what does he even need to go to college to do that let alone take out 100K in student loans.

    Well maybe that is all he could get at the moment. Beats the kid sitting at home with 100k in debt ,and doing nothing. I know more than few of those. I had one tell me he won’t work in some menial job as he is a…………Colege Graduate!!!!! big stinking deal, you and thousands and thousands of others. Hey money is money!!! Get off your butt and do something to bring cash in. This young crowd today is never going to make it. I blame the stupid parents for the most part.

  96. cobbler says:

    The first checks to stop will be to Medicare providers and govt contractors. The real immediately huge problem comes if the Treasury is unable to roll over 30- and 90-day paper.

  97. kettle1^2 says:

    got 7.62 nato?

  98. homeboken says:

    First Person: Why We’re Pumped About Our Underwater Home

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/First-Person-Why-We-Pumped-ac-1929272088.html?x=0

    Fantastic logic in this first person piece. My favorite excerpt:

    “We also spent $2,000 on landscaping, which increased our home value by $20,000, according to a local Realtor.”

  99. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Just curious.

    I know if my wife bought me tickets to a Yankee game and a 200K ball dropped in my lap and I gave it back she would kill me.

    Am I alone on this?

  100. kettle1^2 says:

    “We also spent $2,000 on landscaping, which increased our home value by $20,000, according to a local Realtor.”

    LMAO!!!!!!

  101. Juice Box says:

    JJ – you are not alone when you still have your hand as your girlfriend.

  102. kettle1^2 says:

    gold at 1570 USD

    Europe must be seeing some serious panic right now. TPTB had best get on top of that before the US close.

  103. 3b says:

    #108 So what?? Go out right now and get yourself 2k worht of landsacaping and your house value will increase by $20K!!!!! Where else can you get a return like that!!!

  104. kettle1^2 says:

    3b

    100;1 silver / gold futures. Mind the gap, that 100:1 swings both ways!

  105. grim says:

    $2k in landscaping adds $20k in value?

    I’m sure this is in reference to a specific case, not a generalized statement.

    Specific case? My parents purchased a raw lot years back, scrub covered, short frontage. Nobody wanted it, sat around for years.. They made an offer, purchased it, brought in heavy equipment, and cleared the lot. The next day, offers came pouring in. Everyone now wanted the lot when the value was there for everyone, clear as day to see. Property was level, good ground, and at least 3x larger than the frontage would lead one to believe. The lot was now a screaming bargain.

    Caused a huge rift since they purchased it from a neighbor who claimed, to their dying day, that my parents stole it from them.

    Value in real estate is being able to see what others can’t.

  106. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Sometimes a large bush can hide an ugly front door.

  107. sas3 says:

    Grim, it is more like the lack of 2k fixes (or repairs) pulled down the (perceived) value by 20k.

  108. gary says:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama raised the stakes in the third straight day of budget talks on Tuesday by warning that senior citizens and veterans may suffer first if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2.

    Fine. But make sure you show a list of groups and people that are getting checks. Let’s see how many of those people are a benefit to you, Barry.

  109. 3b says:

    #11 grim: I do not know all the details regarding the article, (only what the author wrote), such as lot size etc. But making a statement that 2k in landscaping instantly added 20K in value to her house is suspect in my mind. If it were a separate lot as appears to be the case with the situation you describe than that could be different.

    In my mind it was this kind of silliness if you will that fed the housing bubble. 5k for new windows, 25k increase in value. 100k kitchen redo instant 200k increase in value.
    $100 new planter and mailbox outside 5k increase in value.

    In the article the 20k increase in value for landscaping that she references, well is that if she sells it now? How about a year from now or 2 when it does not look so brand spanking new, and might be a little over grown. How about 5 years?

    Also if as she says in the article she is 70k underwater, is that including the 20k increase in landscaping?? Just saying.

  110. whipped says:

    anyone know a good honest roofer in bergen county?
    thanks in advance

  111. Essex says:

    112. Naw, they are all beautiful in their own way….

  112. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Make sure the roofer has insurance and workers comp. My roofer told me a story about a guy who hired a cheap roofer out of penny saver. Guy picked up some mexicans at home depot and around an hour into job one mexican falls off roof and hits the ground dead as a doornail.

    Pennysaver roofer just calls it a day. Now homeowner 1/4 of a rood and a dead mexican in his yard.

  113. Juice Box says:

    And the Hits keep on coming. glad I got my money out of there.

    Moody’s downgrades Ireland to “junk”

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday lowered Ireland’s foreign- and local-currency government bond ratings by one notch to non-investment grade of Ba1 from Baa3. “The main driver of today’s downgrade is the growing likelihood that participation of existing investors may be required as a pre-condition for any future rounds of official financing, should Ireland be unable to borrow at sustainable rates in the capital markets after the end of the current E.U./IMF support programme at year-end 2013,” said Moody’s in a statement. The outlook on Ireland’s ratings remain negative

  114. homeboken says:

    3B/Grim – No need to speculate on what the $2,000 turned 20,000 landscaping, the nutbag wrote a blog entry on how she did that as well. Grim you give her too much credit:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/First-Person-How-2-000-ac-312969828.html?x=0

  115. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Whipped I have a guy , did Stu’s house reno , Grim send W my email if he wants info.

  116. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [119]

    explains the nice upmove in shiny today.

  117. 3b says:

    #19 Juice: They should just become a German state. The Germans love Guinness an Trad music.

  118. 3b says:

    #20 Agreed.

  119. kettle1^2 says:

    Boken

    I had a Realtor friend give me an estimate of my home’s value. She said our “mature” landscaping had increased the value of our home by $20,000

    Is that similar to how it is always “a good time to buy” or perhaps something like “Suzanne researched it”?

    The money dont count until you close the trade.

  120. kettle1^2 says:

    how long before the chinese prop up ireland?

  121. Nicholas says:

    Grim,

    I’m in the camp that this is pure an unadulterated sh!t published and propagated by morons. I’m completely through with the myth that your two thousand dollars and one week of work has netted you twenty thousand dollars. This is just about the most sick and twisted version of reality that someone could conjure up.

    Yes, sometimes magic is made and you find a gem. You didn’t create that gem and perhaps you just polished it up like your story about the cleared lot.

    Unfortunately this is more about a story of a woman who wants to be paid $18,000 for one week of work. I only know one person that rakes in that kind of dough and they are not a landscaper. You cannot begin to understand how spitting mad I become at people who think that they can make huge $$$ just from their interior design skills that they got off the internet or television. This is just sheer stupidity and I quickly let them know how foolish they sound.

    The only way that landscaping provide 18k in value is if it covered up a huge crack in the foundation so that you couldn’t see it from the outside of the house. Also known as fraud.

  122. homeboken says:

    Nicholas – Maybe she planted $2,000 of marijuana plants, not sure the yield per plant, but nice mark-up to street value.

  123. Nicholas says:

    Nahh, Marijuana plants take time to grow, clearly this woman increased the value of her house by 20k in one week of work.

    My guess is that unless she lives in a trailer that she can move under a shady oak tree for less than 2k that this story is complete and utter rubbish.

  124. Al Mossberg says:

    Ga Ga Ga Ga GOLD B_tchez!

    I knew we were on the move for a breakout. See you at 1650 and beyond.

  125. Al Mossberg says:

    67.

    Kettle,

    I agree. I remember Brooklyn well in the late 70’s early 80’s. Neighborhood watches were the first successful development in security. I play by the Argentina hand book as well which is why I choose to hunker down in place until the new normal is settled.

  126. cobbler says:

    well, the 20K thing is possible in a declining market. Assume you’ve got 2 identical houses, one landscaped, another not, similarly (or with 2K difference) priced. If the 1st gets an offer and sells in a month (being reasonably well priced) and another one doesn’t, and follows the market down, it is quite likely it will sell 6 months later and 20 K cheaper.

  127. Dan says:

    Moose,

    Here’s the link, he sold it out of fear of being taxed whether he sold the ball or not just by catching it.

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2007-08-22/bay-area/17258232_1_scp-auctions-tax-man-urban-legend

  128. House Whine says:

    German nannies: have a reputation for being excellent drivers, so Mom and Dad feel their kids are safe being driven around by them. Noted this week @ work: 20 something yr. old guy can’t read time. He had to ask an older guy what time it was. Oh, also many of that generation and younger cannot write in cursive. I hope they at least know how to make their signature.

  129. Anon E. Moose says:

    Dan [133];

    I don’t know that I’d call his fear of the IRS conclusive. I may have been wrong about found property being taxable. IRS Pub. 525 –

    Found property. If you find and keep property that does not belong to you that has been lost or abandoned (treasure-trove), it is taxable to you at its fair market value in the first year it is your undisputed possession.

    I’d be arguing that the value of the baseball is worth no more than $16.99, in fact less because its been used.

    PS – from the same IRS Publication 525, under ‘Other Income’:

    Stolen property. If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.

    WTF?!? I’d love to hear the story of the crook who reported stolen property on their 1040.

    PPS – None of this constitutes legal or tax advice.

  130. Shore Guy says:

    Note to the men of the blog, if you are in the middle of a divorce, you may not want to live in the same house as your soon-to-be-former wife, especially if you have any large knives in the house, have a garbage disposal, and are fond of your p-en-is:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/07/woman-accused-of-cutting-off-husbands-peni$-used-10-inch-kitchen-knife.html

    change $ to s to activate cringe-inducing link

    A woman used a 10-inch kitchen knife to cut off her husband’s peni$, Garden Grove police alleged Tuesday as detectives searched for a motive in the case.

    snip

    He noted that detectives examined the the knife and described it as “really sharp.”

    Officers arrived at a home on the 14000 block of Flower Street after the woman called 911 about 9 p.m. Monday and found a man tied to a bed and bleeding from his crotch, according to a Garden Grove police news release.

    Catherine Kieu Becker, 48, who identified herself as the victim’s wife, told police she had drugged her husband’s dinner to make him sleepy, then tied him to the bed.

    As he awoke, she cut off his peni$ with a knife, tossed it in the garbage disposal and turned the disposal on.

    Police untied the victim, who was taken UCI Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery.

    Becker was arrested on charges of aggravated mayhem, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, administering a drug with intent to commit a felony, poisoning and spousal abuse.

    Police said Becker and her husband, 51, were going through a divorce and that she told officers he “deserved it.”

    The couple had been married for a year and half. Court records show they began divorce proceedings in May. The record suggests that the husband initiated the divorce.

    snip (maybe not the best word to use in this context)

  131. Shore Guy says:

    Regarding the $2,000 improvement leading to $20,000 increase in the home’s value. Was this magic landscaping? In my experience, $2,000 does not buy all that much when it comes to plants, let alone any modifications to the land itself.

  132. Shore Guy says:

    This friendly reminder to anyone running an 802.11 (WiFi) network — use the best encription available, use a long and hard-to-guess password that includes special characters, and, importantly DO NOT BROADCAST YOUR SSID:

    A Minnesota hacker prosecutors described as a “depr@ved criminal” was handed an 18-year prison term Tuesday for unleashing a vendetta of cyberterror that turned his neighbors’ lives into a living nightmare.

    Barry Ardolf, 46, repeatedly hacked into his next-door neighbors’ Wi-Fi network in 2009, and used it to try and frame them for child p*rn*graphy, sexu@l harassment, various kinds of professional misconduct and to send threatening e-mail to politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden.

    His motive was to get back at his new neighbors after they told the police he’d kissed their 4-year-old son on the lips.

    “Barry Ardolf has demonstrated by his conduct that he is a dangerous man. When he became angry at his neighbors, he vented his anger in a bizarre and calculated campaign of terror against them,” prosecutor Timothy Rank said in a court filing. “And he did not wage this campaign in the light of day, but rather used his computer hacking skills to strike at his victims while hiding in the shadows.

    “Over months and months, he inflicted unfathomable psychic damage, making the victims feel vulnerable in their own home, while avoiding detection.”

    Ardolf’s attorney, Kevin O’Brien, said in a telephone interview that “it was a lengthy sentence for a first time offender.” The defendant also forfeited his house and computer gear.

    Ardolf had no criminal record, but an investigation revealed that he’d also hijacked the Wi-Fi of other neighbors, and terrorized them as well.

    A father of two, Ardolf had turned down a 2-year plea agreement last year to charges related to the Biden e-mail. After that, the authorities piled on more charges, including identity theft and two kiddie-p*rn accusations carrying lifetime sex-offender registration requirements. He pleaded guilty to them all last year.

    The bizarre tale began in 2009 when Matt and Bethany Kostolnik moved in the house next door to Ardolf, who at the time was a Medronic computer technician living in the Minneapolis suburb of Blaine. On their first day at their new home, the Kostolnik’s then-4-year-old son wandered near Ardolf’s house. While carrying him back next door, Ardolf allegedly kissed the boy on the lips.

    “We’ve just moved next door to a ped*phile,” Mrs. Kostolnik told her husband.

    The couple reported Ardolf to the police, angering their creepy new neighbor. ”I decided to ‘get even’ by launching computer attacks against him,” Ardolf later wrote in a letter to the judge.

    Rank, the prosecutor, put it not so mildly:

    “It was apparently this incident which caused the defendant to begin a calculated campaign to terrorize his neighbors, doing whatever he could to destroy the careers and professional reputations of Matt and Bethany Kostolnik, to damage the Kostolniks’ marriage, and to generally wreak havoc on their lives,” he said.

    Ardolf downloaded Wi-Fi hacking software and spent two weeks cracking the Kostolnik’s WEP encryption. Then he used their own Wi-Fi network to create a fake MySpace page for the husband, where he posted a picture of a pubescent girl having sex with two young boys. Under the “about me” section, he wrote:

    “I bet my coworker that since I’m a lawyer and a darn great one that I could get away with putting up p*rn on my site here. I bet that all I have to do is say that there is plausible deniability since anybody could have put this on my site. Like someone hacked my page and added p*rn without my knowledge. This is reasonable doubt. I’m a darn good lawyer and I can get away with doing anything!”

    He then e-mailed the same child p*rn to one of the husband’s co-workers, and sent flirtatious e-mail to women in Mr. Kostolnik’s office. “You are such a fox,” read one of the e-mails. He sent the message’s through the husband’s genuine e-mail account.

    snip
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/07/hacking-neighbor-from-hell/

  133. Shore Guy says:

    Such eloquence from the Empty Suit in Chief: “Nobody can be messing with our embassy.” He must be spending quality time with the Shrub.

  134. Mocha says:

    Hey Moose,

    Good call. It is owned by a realtor. Do you mind telling me how you gleaned that from the price action?

  135. Confused In NJ says:

    90.Juice Box says:
    July 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm
    And there you have it.

    U.S. President Barack Obama said in an interview Tuesday that checks to recipients of the Social Security retirement program may not go out in early August if he and congressional leaders do not agree a debt deal

    I would hope he would cut off all government checks first.

  136. Essex says:

    The gubmint’s as useless as tits on a bull.

  137. dan says:

    Moose,

    Yes, the IRS says you have to record stolen property and other illegal income. Remember Mr. Capone :)

  138. dan says:

    Moose,

    Your used ball argument is kind of like saying an autographed picture has less value since it’s been written on rather than an enhanced value.

  139. nj escapee says:

    Fabius, let’s face it. the repug senate and congress-criiters sure love their welfare checks with government paid pension and healthcare. what a bunch of weasels.

  140. Shore Guy says:

    And now for a little satire:

    http://unconfirmedsources.com/?itemid=6143

    Obama and Congress Agree To Raise Debt Ceiling to $120 Trillion

    President Obama and Congress breathed a collective sigh of relief today as Obama signed into law a budget agreement that would raise the federal debt ceiling from it’s current $12 trillion to $120 trillion.
    “The country’s finances are now in excellent shape”, an upbeat Obama said in a prepared statement. “We now have plenty of money for education, health care, social security, NPR and funding for the wars”.

    House Republicans were initially against raising the debt ceiling until Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, reminded congress that without the removal of the debt ceiling congress would have to be shut down and they would be unable to vote themselves pay raises.

    The President said he has a plan to have the country fiscally sound by the time the $120 trillion debt limit has been reached, which will probably be in about 10 years.

    snip

  141. Shore Guy says:

    escapee,

    For years I have asserted that the key to draining the political swamp is to eliminate pensions for elected officials, save the President.

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