It's always sad to see a human being abase himself so, but then David Brock is hardly a human

Having slimed and failed, the slug moves on

Having slimed and failed, the slug moves on

Faced with political and professional death, David Brock pens a groveling apology to Bernie Sanders.

Dear Senator Sanders: I’m with You in the Fight Ahead
From the snow-filled days of door-knocking in New Hampshire, to November’s devastating result, the 2016 presidential election was hard-fought and heartbreaking. On the Democratic side, we had two leading candidates who each articulated a vision of an inclusive, prosperous, vibrant American democracy. On the other side, we had Donald Trump, the most corrupt and least qualified man ever to seek the presidency.
It’s no secret who I supported. I was one of the most visible and vocal advocates of Secretary Hillary Clinton. Many others backed you, Senator Sanders, with contagious zeal. At times during the Democratic primary, I was criticized for being too aggressive in my support for Secretary Clinton — and rightly so. Looking back, I recognize that there were a few moments when my drive to put Hillary in the White House led me to take too stiff a jab. I own up to that, I regret it, and I apologize to you and your supporters for it.

The now-irrelevant Hillary camp despises him, Sanders has called him "the scum of the earth" and no other politician will want him around until the next election draws near, wen they'll need him again. How will he stay in business until then? And who cares?

Government-guaranteed loans? No credit checks? What could possibly go wrong - this is for the environment, for crissake!

They're back, this time disguised as storm window salesmen

They're back, this time disguised as storm window salesmen

WSJ: America's fastest-growing loans has eerie echoes of Subprime crisis

Deanna White told a contractor she couldn’t afford the $42,200 loan he recommended for improvements to her house in Inglewood, Calif. The contractor, she recalled, said she wouldn’t be on the hook because the loan was part of a “government program.” She applied and was approved.
Two years later, Ms. White is struggling to make payments on the loan, which was packaged with more than 10,000 similar loans into bonds and sold to investors. Under its terms, Ms. White’s five-bedroom house could be foreclosed on if she defaults.
Her loan is part of a booming corner of the lending industry called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE. Such loans, set up by local governments across the U.S., are designed to encourage homeowners to buy energy-efficient solar panels, window insulation and air-conditioning units.
As the loans spread, so do problems that echo the subprime mortgage crisis. Plumbers and repairmen essentially function as loan brokers but have scant training and oversight. They often pitch PACE loans to help land contracting jobs and earn referral fees from lenders, according to loan documents and more than two dozen borrowers, industry executives and employees.
Creditworthiness matters little to lenders, because loans are based on the value of a homeowner’s property. PACE loans typically require no down payment, and the debt is added to property-tax bills as an assessment. Ms. White’s annual property taxes soared to $6,500 from $1,215.

And so on - as usual, this is a government program dressed up to look as though it's helping poor people accomplish a good thing: own a home, save the environment, enjoy equal access to circus ponies, whatever, and always - always - someone makes big bucks from it, at the expense of taxpayers. 

You think there's a pattern here?

There's a sucker born every minute, and one of them appears to be moving to South Dakota

533 Polk avenue winner, south dakota

533 Polk avenue winner, south dakota

A reader sent along this article about a 5,000 sq.ft. house in Winner, S. Dak. that's received a lt of attention for being priced at "only" $137,900. It's on a third-of-an-acre in a town of less than 3,000 and appears to need everything, from bathrooms to kitchen, and even its agent admits "it could use new windows". 

I was about to laugh at the listing broker's optimistic prediction that he'd "have a deal by this weekend" but by golly, I checked Zillow and some loser has entered into contract for the place. Remind me to check back in a month, because I'll be astonished if the buyer doesn't come to his senses before closing. If not, wish him luck heating and cooling this mishmash of a structure in Winner (birthplace of Bob Barker, turns out), where the record low and highs are -29 and 112, respectively. 

Built in 1914, no one really knows the story of how or why it was built in Winner, Shippy said. But local legend includes an account of multiple houses being moved to the area and joined together.
It was owned by the Read family for much of the 20th century, then sold to a local business owner who made some updates and upgrades to the utilities. He moved and sold it to an area surgeon who turned it into a hunting lodge.

But give that broker, Rick Shippy credit, he's pretty brutally honest about the place:

“It needs some work. It needs maybe some new windows. There are some little things, but the house is move-in ready,” Shippy said.

And while it’s more than priced to sell, Shippy reminds interested parties of two things: Someone still has to be able to afford to operate it, and it’s still in a small town in south central South Dakota.

“Everyone’s like, ‘Why’s it so cheap?’ Well, it’s Winner, S.D. It’s what we call supply and demand,” he said. “It’s extremely hard to find anybody that wants a 5,600-square-foot home. It’s double the size of most big homes in town.”

Even so, “I’ll be shocked if we don’t have an offer by 5 p.m. Friday,” he said. “I think it will be sold by next Friday at that price.”

With time on her hands, Greenwich's Jen Psaki is planning museum trips with her daughter

The morning after: Jen Psaki and shellshocked White House aides await the triumphant visit of Donald Trump to their den 

The morning after: Jen Psaki and shellshocked White House aides await the triumphant visit of Donald Trump to their den 

Former Deputy White House communications director is about to discover the joys of full-time motherhood, and is planning museum trips and playtimes with her daughter. That's a good thing - I'm certainly not wishing ill on anyone who's lost their job, but this was a two-income family and I'm sure they'll be fine. Plus, in light of the troubles her soon-to-be-former colleagues are all having finding work in Washington*, I see coffee klatches and group outings in her future as well, so she won't be alone with that stroller in the galleries.

Psaki earned a well-deserved reputation as court jester in her previous job as State Department spokesman, but the Obama White House appreciated her willingness to make a fool of herself defending nonsensical positions with nonsensical explanations and so rewarded her with a promotion. That's over.

* Following President-elect Donald Trump’s victory and Republicans’ major electoral gains in November, outgoing Obama employees and loyalists to failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have found their job prospects in the District foundering, according to Politico.
“It feels like there are just thousands of us trying to find a job, and there are no jobs,” longtime Clinton aide Mira Patel, who worked for Clinton in her Senate, State Department and 2016 campaign offices, told the outlet.

Third time's the charm?

Intrepid surveyor Mike Finkbeiner explores 105 Parsonage Road (representative) 

Intrepid surveyor Mike Finkbeiner explores 105 Parsonage Road (representative) 

105 Parsonage Road, that swampy building lot that's been on the market for years and now asking $1.345 million, reports a contract. It also had contingent contracts in 2014 and 2015 and nothing came of them, but perhaps this time someone's figured out how to build a home there. 

How to and, more elusively, why.