Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Laugh Out Loud: Bad Lip Reading During Trump Inauguration

Somehow I missed this video earlier this year. It is still pretty amusing though.

Adorable Preschooler Tells about First Day's Chaos at School

Sometimes kid videos are obnoxious. But I love this video.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Los Angeles Mayor Steals Tiny Houses, Kills Dreams of Homeless

This story about one man's efforts to make a difference in the lives of some of the thousands of homeless men and women in Los Angeles is heart wrenching.

Published on Dec 9, 2016, this video tells the saga of how Elvis Summers, a struggling musician in Los Angeles, used his personal savings and then crowdfunded $100,000 to build dozens of tiny homes for homeless residents of the City of Angels. But, in their omnipotence, certain all-knowing city officials looking to pass a $2 billion housing plan tried to shut him down.

This story of one man's efforts to make a difference reminds me of another story that has been around for years. But it explains with what Elvis is trying to do.

(Credit to Peter Straube and his blog, EventsForChange.)

 Good luck, Elvis!

Funny Spoof about Overly Dramatic Elizabeth Warren and Her "People WIll Die" Rhetoric

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Daily Mail Says Amelia Earhart Flew (and Crashed) the Enola Gay!

Daily Mail has a story about Amelia Earhart today that says she flew the Enola Gay and crashed on July 2, 1937.

The Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August of 1945. I just saw the plane itself yesterday, on July 4, 2017. 

Daily Mail needs to find a fact-editor before it gets labeled as "fake news" also!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Interesting Facts about Obama Post-Presidency Home in Kalorama Neighborhood

The word around town (Washington, DC, that is) is that the Obamas will be moving to the prestigious, elite Kalorama area of the District in two weeks when they depart the White House.  The house into which they will reportedly move, on Belmont Road, NW, has undergone significant changes in recent years. This pictorial documentation of the changes is accessible on Google maps using the Street View cached images.

Here is the way the house looked in September of 2007, over a year before Obama was first elected to office.

Notice the entry to the garage in front, which is a common feature in many older houses in the DC area. The next shot is from July 2009, six months after Obama was elected to his first term. Note that not a lot has changed since 2007, other than growing foliage.

In 2011 the Google truck passed by the house two times. The first time was in June of 2011. otice the sidewalk in front has been spruced up.

Then two months later, in August of 2011, Google captured this image.

Clearly, changes were under way in the latter half of 2011. The front entry to the garage has been bricked over and the wooden fence's days are numbered. The opening to the garage was moved to the side entry, where it is located today (see below). Now this renovation could be just a routine event, but with what we know today about the Obamas moving into this house, and the timing of these renovations, we at ICV think that this house was being prepared for--you guessed it-- the anticipated loss of Obama to Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.

By the middle of 2011, Democrats knew that Obama had failed miserably as president on so many levels, as did Barack and Michelle Obama themselves. So they already were looking at where they could camp out until Malia and Sasha made their way through the elite graduating ranks of Sidwell Friends School (which is not far up the street from this Belmont Road home). As history would have it, however, Barack Obama pulled out the victory against Romney to win a second term in 2012, and the house on Belmont Road, NW, was not needed--yet.

Or, maybe the previous owner just wanted to sell the property, which is evidenced by the property's history on Redfin.com. It shows that since 2009 the property was listed and relisted multiple times, finally selling on May 12, 2014 (presumably to the current owners-turned-landlords-to-the-Obamas).
In June of 2014, the house was photographed by Google again, with this result.

The curb appeal is definitely taken to a new level. The wrought-iron gated entry is now complete, and the house awaits its infamous residents. It appears to have become, at least temporarily, a locus for an outdoor picnic for a local cabdriver and his friend, who were caught by the Google truck feasting in front of the house.

Indeed, Belmont street seems to be a magnet for taxicabs, as every Google Street View map shows dozens of the top-lighted carriers cruising and parking on the street. Usually that would not be a welcome sight since it suggests a plethora of tourists or non-drivers frequenting the area. All the more reason for stepped up security around the future Obama home.

And that brings us to the most recent Google photos, captured in November of 2016, right around the time of the Presidential election that swept out the Democrats em mass and rolled in a fresh wave of "Republicans" under the guidance of Donald J. Trump. The following images are the residence as it stood ready in November 2011 for the Obamas to occupy.

The presence of a Secret Service police SUV pretty much solidifies what may have been speculation about whether this location was indeed the new location for the soon-to-be former First Family.

The house is located just across a ravine offshoot of Rock Creek Park, between Massachusetts Avenue and Connecticut Avenue. In fact, the National Zoo is just a stone's throw away. Unless you are Obama, who throws like a girl. (Stop whining, Reader. I m a girl, so I can say that.)

The Obama residence-to-be is in the top right corner, as shown in the close-up below.

The residence is also a stone's throw away from the Islamic Center of Washington, as shown below.

Even better, the Obamas will be a stone's throw from the soon-to-be First Daughter and her family, who also will be moving into the same Kalorama neighborhood. Let's hope no stones are thrown, in either direction.

Yes, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are reportedly moving into a house located one block over from the Obamas. 

2449 Tracy Place, NW.

A corner lot for the Trump-Kushners.
This Tracy Place house underwent some sprucing up of its own in 2007 and 2014, as these cached Google images show. Most notable the door to the street-level front entry.

September 2007 - Undergoing renovation

July 2009 - note the new street-level door
June 2011 - little change since 2009, except perhaps a change of color

August 2011 - another paint job 
June 2014 - the most recent Google image shows a dumpster in front once again and a wrought iron front door/gate entry.
It is unlikely that the Trump-Kushners will be making use of the nearby Islamic Center since they are Jewish.

A couple of other noteworthy observations follow.

1) The owners of the house which the Obamas (presumably) will be renting, Joseph and Giovanna Lockhart, paid over $55,600 in property taxes to the D.C. government last year (2016). 

Most DC property tax records are available to the public online. 
The tax total for 2016 is after a $71,000 homestead exemption was applied to the total assessed value of $7,034,550, and a tax credit of $3,561.75 granted. Undoubtedly, the rent that the Obamas pay will cover the more than $4600 average monthly property taxes. The house will not be eligible for a homestead exemption since the Obamas do not appear to be purchasing the property. With lucrative book deals pending for both Mr. and Mrs. Obama, the rent they pay likely will be a pittance.

NOTE: According to the Observer, which publication is affiliated with Jared Kushner, Belmont house owner Joe Lockhart is a former White House Press Secretary under Bill Clinton and was named as the NFL's new executive vice president of communications in January of 2016. He and his wife bought a $5.5 million house in Tribeca in New York City, so that the Obamas could live in their $7 million (assessed value), nine-bedroom D.C. home. Giovanna (Gray) is no slouch herself. She previously was a special adviser to NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and wed Lockhart in 2013 at the Supreme Court, with Justice Kagan officiating. Now she is the D.C. editor of Glamour.

Lockhart and Gray, photo from Observer
Contrast the Obama to-be abode with the more modest six-bedroom  corner-lot home at 2449 Tracy Place that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump will be (presumably) be renting around the corner from the Obamas. D.C. property records assessed the value of this multi-windowed home at $3,886,250, with a 2016 tax bill of $32,516.92. It is unclear why the owners, who are listed as Irina Rastoport on one record and Irina and Dan K Rapoport on another, paid three installments in 2016 totaling $48,776.92.

Tax bill for 2446 Tracy Place, NW showing owners as Dan and Irina Papoport, total due $32,516.92

Screenshot of D.C. property assessment records showing owner listed as Irina Rastoport
The owners of the Trump-Kushner house appear to be Dan and Irina Rapoport. They might want to check and see if they overpaid their DC property tax bill for 2016.
A search of Google reveals this image of Irina and Dan Rapaport who live in Washington, DC.
One last bit of intriguing information, especially for Alex Jones fans, is the fact that lobbyist Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary Clinton presidential campaign chairman John Podesta, lives two doors down from the Obamas' new home! 

Tony Podesta (2438) lives two doors down from the Obama home (2446) on Belmont Road, NW. 

Podesta is the left red X and Obama is the right red X.

2438 Belmont Road, NW, home of Tony Podesta.

Also a few doors down in the other direction is a Russian Federation property. It is unclear whether Obana booted out these neighbors last week when he threw his tantrum against Putin. 

2552 Belmont Road, NW, owned by the Government of the Russian Federation.
And finally, TMZ reported this morning that the Obamas are building a wall in front of their home-to-be. Whether it is to keep the Russians out, or Tony Podesta out, or would-be suitors for his daughters, the Obamas clearly are not inviting us paeans to pay them a visit while they reside on Belmont Road.