Good Lord

US intelligence [sic] agencies "accidentally" intercepted phone calls of Trump team, then leaked it its friends and Trump's enemies".

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that information on the Trump campaign — including Donald Trump himself — was “incidentally collected” by the intelligence community during the Obama administration.
“I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition,” Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said at a press conference on Capitol Hill.
“Details about US persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting,” he added.
The high-ranking Republican congressman called the effort both “normal” and “alarming.”
“This is a normal, incidental collection, based on what I could collect,” he said. “This appears to be all legally collected foreign intelligence [under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act].”
He also said, “I’m actually alarmed by it. … Details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in an intelligence community report.”
Nunes insisted that “None of this surveillance was related to Russia.”

Illegal and a true danger to the country. Just this morning the WSJ editorialized that Trump was "clinging to his wiretap theory like a drunk to his gin bottle". Will they now change their tune?

In January, Chuck Schumer warned Trump not to taunt the agencies, "because they have a dozen ways from Sunday to get back at you". 

You'd think a Senator of the United States would find that outrageous, rather than something to boast about. In fact, that's scarier than the revelation that our intelligence agencies and the IRS have targeted opponents of their fiefdoms; we kind of knew that, but the lack of resistance to those agencies by our highest elected officials is a really, really bad thing.

UPDATE: No change at the Wall Street Journal - it's reporting it as just another Trump machination and stresses that the interceptions were legal, while making no reference whatsoever to the real crime here, the leaking of those intercepts.

I want one, and if you commute to Manhattan by car, you'll want one too

Army is testing a super luxury tank, the "Ripsaw"

The U.S. Army continues to test a lightweight tracked vehicle known as Ripsaw that’s now being pitched to the consumer market as a “luxury super tank.”
A handful of the Ripsaw Extreme Vehicle 2, or EV2, products made by Howe and Howe Technologies Inc., based in Waterboro, Maine, are undergoing evaluations at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey to assess how they could be used in future combat operations. Indeed, on Tuesday, Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, head of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, rode in one of the vehicles with a driver as part of a demonstration.
The company describes the 750-horsepower, optionally manned vehicle — which is capable of reaching speeds of almost 100 miles per hour and costs roughly $250,000 — as a “handcrafted, limited-run, high-end, luxury super tank developed for the public and extreme off road recreation.”

You betcha, and all that's nice to have, but this is the feature that will cut your morning commute to mere minutes, and get you out to the Hamptons on a Friday afternoon with alacrity:

The EV2 is designed to accommodate the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station, which can mount any number of weapons — including the M2 .50-caliber machine gun, Mk19 40mm automatic grenade machine gun, M240B 7.62 mm machine gun and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

Video here - Walt, it's even got a glimpse of a hot babe - I asked for that to be included specifically for you. You're welcome.

Good luck with that

54 Pecksland Rd

54 Pecksland Rd

54 Pecksland Road was priced at $3.3 million from last May to November and failed to sell, so the owners have brought it back on the market at $3.5. That rarely works, if only because buyers know what you would have sold it for, so why would they pay you more?

Good looking custom contemporary, but as Tom Gorin once pointed out to me, "it's not that people don't want contemporaries, they just don't want your contemporary". Build custom at your peril. 

And while it took three years and numerous price cuts, this one still ended up at a decent price

114 Cedar Cliff Road, Riverside, reports a pending sale. Asking price, $7.850 million. Its starting point back in 2014 was $10.750. Another property we've discussed here over the years, it's beautifully built and right on Old Greenwich Harbor, but if there was ever a house designed for grandparents, with a small space to accommodate visiting grandchildren, this is it.

That had to hurt its prospects.

Contract on Baldwin Farm

34 Baldwin Farms North, asking $4.695 million, discussed here some months ago, as it slowly dropped from its original (February, 2016) price of $5.8 million.

I didn't know the late owners, Ralph and Toni Wyman, but they seem to have been remarkable people - Mrs. Wyman's obituary is here. So I'm glad that the property has found a buyer.

And while I have no desire to insult their memory, or the house they so happily lived in, my guess is that the value here is the land, which is two separate lots, 5 acres in total, fronting on the pond.

Workers paradise down under

There, now don't you feel better? You're building a more perfect society.

There, now don't you feel better? You're building a more perfect society.

Over at Instapundit, there's a report that an Australian "feminist" is advocating forced employment for all mothers. There's no mention of it, but I'll point out that this would also rule out home-schooling by parents - bonus!

SARRAH LE MARQUAND: It should be illegal to be a stay-at-home mum.

Yes, the role played by parents in the early months and years following the birth of a child is vital and irreplaceable. It also stands to reason that for many (but certainly not all) families, it is the mother who opts to take time off work during this period to solely focus on caring for her baby.

Once again, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, that time at home should be a privilege afforded to more new mums, which is why a few years back I was a lone voice in supporting Tony Abbott’s grossly misunderstood and thus ill-fated paid parental leave scheme, which proposed all female employees receive their normal salary for six months.

So it’s not as simple as suggesting that the OECD’s rallying call to utilise the potential of stay-at-home mums is an insult to mothers — on the contrary, it is the desperately needed voice of reason that Australians cannot afford to ignore.

Rather than wail about the supposed liberation in a woman’s right to choose to shun paid employment, we should make it a legal requirement that all parents of children of school-age or older are gainfully employed.

Instapundit: Feminism has gone from pursuing legal equality to encouraging forced labor in just three generations.

(The linked-to article also contains this gem:)

Only when the female half of the population is expected to hold down a job and earn money to pay the bills in the same way that men are routinely expected to do will we see things change for the better for either gender.

The Progressive agenda always includes forcing free individuals to do things that their betters want done because "it's for your own good".