ترول ایرانی

گالری عکس

Archive for April, 2012

A Public Aide to Dan Bice

For the next time “The Laundromat of Wisconsin Political Dirt” gets what he feels is a nice piece on the DC housing market.  Saves me the time from having to smack him down again in the future.

This is me, trying to help.

Home values in the Washington metro area decreased just slightly, by 0.1 percent, in March from February, according to real estate database Zillow, which means home values are back to April 2004 levels. The median home value in Washington is now $301,900.

According to Zillow’s analysis, Washington’s home values hit bottom in the third quarter of last year, and they’re only projected to rise 0.5 percent over the next 12 months.

Here are a few data gems from Zillow’s report:

Try to buy if you can: Washington metro’s rents rose 5.9 percent year-over-year in March while home values fell 0.2 percent over the same time period.

(My Take: Translation – It’s cheaper to own than rent.  Think I said that last time.  Oh, wait, I did!)

(As some­one who’s worked and lived in the Wash­ing­ton, DC Metro area on and off for the past five years, I can tell you with cer­tainty any real­tor worth their rep­u­ta­tion will tell you that long-term res­i­dents — say ones who will be there for at min­i­mum six to twelve years — should own, not rent in the Dis­trict.  For starters, the tran­sient nature of Wash­ing­ton, DC has made the hous­ing and rental mar­kets almost immune to the hous­ing bubble.)

Fewer sellers are in dire straits: One third (30.2 percent) of homes in the region sold for a loss, down from last month’s 32.3 percent. The Washington area has a very low foreclosure rate, at 4 per 10,000 homes. (The national average is 7.4).

(My take: Odds are, if you put a house on the market in the Metro DC area, you’re gonna make money off of it.  My own brother is testimony of this as he and his wife made a bare profit on the house they sold last year in Culpeper, VA.  That’s about an hour and a half drive from DC.)

For more bang for your buck, look farther from central D.C.: The biggest, cheapest houses are far from the District. Nearby areas like Chevy Chase, Somerset, Brookmont and Arlington all have some of the highest home values per square foot — above $400. But if you’re willing to commute from Partlow, Va., or Brunswick, Md., you can pay under $100.

(My take: Partlow, VA to Washington, DC is an hour and a half drive…in regular traffic.  As for a daily commute, I’d give it two and a half.)

An unexpected gain: The Plains, Va., a town west of Gainesville, had the highest year-over-year price increase, at 20 percent. However, home values there are still below the median, at $291,900.

(My Take: Yes, a house is still a good investment out there.  Wrote that too.)

(A quick look­ing at the list­ing Bice posts shows the pre­vi­ous owner paid $902,000 for the place in 2005 and sold it for $1,050,000 to the John­sons.  That’s an amaz­ing 16.4 per­cent profit in a down hous­ing mar­ket.  No one gets those num­bers any­more unless you are tied to some­thing like the DC hous­ing mar­ket, and any­one tied to the real­ity busi­ness will tell you just as much.)

The recession has been soft on rich areas: D.C. metro area homes have overall declined almost 30 percent in price during the recession, but more expensive homes, “have had a better ride than less expensive homes,” Humphries. That is to say, they’ve remained expensive.

(My Take: See the above note.)

Still waiting for any 2007 pieces by Bice on Kagen’s million dollar DC townhouse.  Can’t seem to find it for some reason.

Leave a Comment

Gingrich to Finally Bow Out

Why he’s waiting a week to do it however, is anyone’s guess.

Newt Gingrich plans to formally leave the Republican presidential race next Tuesday, senior campaign aides told Fox News, after struggling for months to turn around his sagging bid for the White House.

The former House speaker will “more than likely” endorse Mitt Romney when he makes his announcement to either suspend or end the campaign, a source said.

The decision comes after Gingrich huddled with senior advisers following the five primaries Romney swept on Tuesday night. Romney’s victories made it virtually impossible for Gingrich to secure the 1,144 delegates needed for the Republican nomination.

Gingrich’s exit is a stark turnaround from his public posture just a few months back, when in December he confidently declared following his rise in national polls that he’s “going to be the nominee.” His campaign then flagged until his blockbuster victory in the South Carolina primary in late January — Gingrich failed to follow that up with any victories save for a win in his home state of Georgia, as Romney marched steadily toward the nomination.

Gingrich and Ron Paul were the only Romney rivals remaining after Rick Santorum bowed out earlier this month. Meanwhile, Gingrich continues to receive protection from a scaled-back Secret Service detail, though it’s unclear whether that will change before his announcement. Bloomberg/Business Week recently estimated that the detail is costing taxpayers at least $40,000-a-day.

Gingrich’s campaign is millions of dollars in debt.

Leave a Comment

Cartoon of the Day

Leave a Comment

The WIAA Always Wins

Have to hand it to the crew up in Stevens Point.  This may be the one win – win scenario they could have come up with to appease all college recruits involved.

STEVENS POINT — The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association made a split decision today regarding the future sites of the boys and girls state basketball tournaments.

The girls tournament will be moved to the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon in 2013 and 2014, while the boys tournament will remain in Madison through 2020.

Those recommendations were made by WIAA executive director Dave Anderson and approved unanimously by the WIAA board of control.

The girls tournaments at the Resch Center are scheduled for March 14-16, 2013, and March 20-22, 2014. Anderson said the future site of the girls tournament after 2014 has not been determined.

The girls state tournament has been held in Madison every year since 1976, when that event started.

The boys tournament has been held in Madison 92 of the past 93 years.

Let me take an outright prediction, Green Bay isn’t losing the girls tournament. We’ll just see another drama like this in two years.

Let’s also be honest here, the big prize was the boys’ tournament, and Madison walked away with the win here.  But the real winners are the UW-Madison Men’s program and the UW-Green Bay Women’s program.   Madison can use the tournament to try to lure as many boring, defensive-minded, tall white kids who shoot three-pointers to play for Bo Ryan. Meanwhile, Green Bay can use its tournament to highlight itself as the only true place to play D-1 college ball in the state for high school girls — if they don’t already.

As for the WIAA, and tourist dollars in Madison and Green Bay…Mo’ Money. Mo’ Money. Mo’ Money.

Leave a Comment

Image of the Day

While the money might be right, this might be a good reason why I would never want an endorsement deal with Subway.

This is a bust made by a bunch of “Sandwich Artists” of soon-to-be Washington Redskin draft pick, Robert Griffin III, or RGIII.  Griffin is the latest sports celebrity to sign onto Subway’s “Eat Fresh” campaign.

The best is 3-feet high and made from 30 pounds of barbeque chicken.  It was unveiled while Griffin was appearing this morning on “Fox and Friends” to help promote the draft which airs on Thursday night.

(Like the NFL or ESPN needs help with its promotion.)

Leave a Comment

James Cameron, Google Founders Plan to Mine Asteroids

Figures.  Since I saw it in a movie once.

Details have been emerging of the plan by billionaire entrepreneurs to mine asteroids for their resources.

The multi-million-dollar plan would use robotic spacecraft to squeeze chemical components of fuel and minerals such as platinum and gold out of the rocks.

The founders include film director and explorer James Cameron as well as Google’s chief executive Larry Page and its executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

They even aim to create a fuel depot in space by 2020.

However, several scientists have responded with scepticism, calling the plan daring, difficult and highly expensive.

They struggle to see how it could be cost-effective, even with platinum and gold worth nearly £35 per gram ($1,600 an ounce). An upcoming NASA mission to return just 60g (two ounces) of material from an asteroid to Earth will cost about $1bn.

The inaugural step, to be achieved in the next 18 to 24 months, would be launching the first in a series of private telescopes that would search for asteroid targets rich in resources. The intention will be to open deep-space exploration to private industry.

I have nothing against private space exploration; especially since the Obama Administration has all but killed NASA.  But there is a “laugh-out-loud moment” here since these uber-liberals like Cameron (“The next great human tragedy is global climate change.” – His own NatGeo Titanic special earlier this month.) and the Google executives are probably one of the first to protest terrestrial mining.

We have all seen “Avatar,” right?  Or was I the only one to notice a message like that in the three-hour film?

One wonders if Google’s Eric Schmidt, who’s tight with the Obama White House, will try to con a way for taxpayers to help fund this folly.

Leave a Comment

Cartoon of the Day

Leave a Comment

Asher Ends Assembly Campaign

I post without comment, will at the end.

An 18-year-old Sheboygan South High School studentin the midst of his second political campaign before graduation said today that he’s suspending his campaign for State Assembly due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

Asher Heimermann, who was running as a Democrat in 26th Assembly District race against Republican incumbent Mike Endsley, said more than 75 people contributed to his campaign, donating more than $3,000, which he used to buy TV ads.

“This has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make,” Heimermann said in an email sent to his supporters.

Heimermann launched his Assembly campaign back in January, about a week after his bid for mayor ended following a last place finish among eight candidates running in the Jan. 17 mayoral recall primary.

Though it didn’t help him at the polls, Heimermann’s mayoral campaign attracted media attention from NBC’s “Today” show, various Internet websites and a Chicago radio station after the teen engaged in a public spat with former mayor Bob Ryan over dueling websites and Twitter accounts.

Heimermann’s campaign suspension leaves County Board Supervisor Devin LeMahieu of Oostburg, a Republican, as the only other candidate to challenge Endsley for the seat.

This leaves the AssDems without a candidate in a seat in which redistricting has made a hard climb for Democrats to reclaim.   The newly drawn 26th Assembly District was actually one of the most vocal complaints liberals had in the court challenge.

(It’s believed they called it “radically reconfigured” or some such wording in their brief…)

Anyway, Dems in the Lakeshore have plenty of time to find a real candidate for the fall.  Big question at the moment is does Heimermann return any contributions from those who ask for their money back.   His press release doesn’t mention if he will or not.

Comments (2)

Class of 2012 Readies for Unemployment and Underemployment

How’s that “Hope and Change” working out for you now?

The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.

An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor’s degrees.

Opportunities for college graduates vary widely.

While there’s strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder. Median wages for those with bachelor’s degrees are down from 2000, hit by technological changes that are eliminating midlevel jobs such as bank tellers. Most future job openings are projected to be in lower-skilled positions such as home health aides, who can provide personalized attention as the U.S. population ages.

Taking underemployment into consideration, the job prospects for bachelor’s degree holders fell last year to the lowest level in more than a decade.

The article goes on to list the worst college degrees likely to land you a job in the current job market.  They are zoology, anthropology, philosophy, art history, and the humanities.

There’s a joke in there about “The Liberal Arts,” but the fact these kids are about to hit the realities of the job market is cruel enough.

Leave a Comment

Cartoon of the Day

Leave a Comment