The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

California Republican apologizes for offensive Obama "chimp" email

Typically, I feel politicians have pretty hardened exteriors and shouldn't let smear tactics get through their skin, and the president of the United States needs extra-thick armour. In this case, however, I think the Republican party should give Marilyn Davenport, a 74-year-old elected member of the Orange County Republican Central Committee, the heave-ho. Davenport has apologized for the photo (right) that she sent out via email with the caption "Now you know why no birth certificate," however there are some things that are just not acceptable and this one is way, way over the line. Here is Davenport's apology:
"To my fellow Americans and to everyone else who has seen this email I forwarded and was offended by my action, I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior. I say unwise because at the time I received and forwarded the email, I didn't stop to think about the historic implications and other examples of how this could be offensive."

Forgiveness is fine – everyone makes mistakes, but party membership is another thing. Send a message out that this is not acceptable, and pull Davenport's membership car.

Happy Passover – we're foreclosing on your synagogue

Let my mortgage go!
It's not only homeowners who are in trouble with the bank these days, it appears some religious institutions are  insolvent as well:  Namely, the Congregation Beth David in San Luis Obispo County, California. The synagogue has until May 17 to come up with $1.3 million or it will be auctioned off. The four-year-old synagogue defaulted on a $3.3 million loan late last year.

The lavish 16,190 square foot building is  is the country’s only green-certified synagogue. It features a 337-seat sanctuary, social hall, classrooms, gift shop and library.

Hard economic times have hit the synagogue's membership numbers and many of the remaining members are now not able to pay their full dues. “We did a lot of thinking and planning, but there were also a lot of things we didn’t foresee,”  Gregg Loberstein, co-president of the board of directors said.

The $18,000 monthly mortgage payment was last made one year ago. Surprisingly the bank is willing to forgive $1 million of the mortgage principle but the congregation must come up with $2.3 million by May 5 or grab their Torah and clear out.

Come on bank, let their mortgage go!

Read more here.

Interactive map shows home price reductions across the U.S.

This is a very cool interactive map by real estate listing site trulia. You just plug in your zip code, city or state and it shows you the average number of days before a price reduction, the average percentage of the reductions and the likelihood of a second reduction – valuable information if you are selling your house or just trying to figure out how marketable your property is. Perhaps a good time to be a buyer, but as a seller it's still an incredibly tough market. Bloomberg reports:

"At the end of 2010, the fourth year of the housing collapse, the share of people who said a home was a safe investment dropped to 64 percent from 70 percent in the first quarter. The December figure was the lowest in a survey that goes back to 2003, when it was 83 percent.

The median U.S. home price tumbled 32 percent from a 2006 peak to a nine-year low in February, data from the Realtors show. The retreat surpassed the 27 percent drop seen in the first five years of the Great Depression, according to Stan Humphries, chief economist of Zillow Inc., a Seattle-based real estate information company." 
  Click on the map to go to the interactive version.