Temporary rental rights and wrongs

by Finn

A recent post on the impact of luxury housing construction on the affordable housing market led to a discussion of the conversion of housing into short term vacation rentals, often referred to here as TVR, or temporary vacation rentals or transient vacation rentals, and how websites like AirBnB and VRBO have facilitated that.

This raises the question: Should such short-term rentals be limited to certain geographical areas, e.g., by zoning laws? Are those who convert housing to TVR, and their renters, infringing on the lives and rights of their neighbors?

Here’s a somewhat extreme example of that, in which a college student rented his dorm room via Airbnb:

An Emerson College student rented his dorm room on Airbnb. Now he’s in trouble.

How would you feel about someone in your kid’s dorm renting out his room to strangers with no connection to the college, and not vetted by the college? How about if the dorm didn’t have private bathrooms?

How would you feel if your neighbors converted their home to a TVR? Would you welcome it? Would you think they should pay a higher property tax rate than homes used as residences?

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136 thoughts on “Temporary rental rights and wrongs

  1. Has there been any word from Moxie Mom lately? Hope everything is okay with her.

  2. This is two separate issues, isn’t it?

    If I am renting an apartment/dorm and list it out on airbnb, I am almost assuredly violating my lease, which restricts subleasing. If I were the owner, I’d evict. I vet my tenants, because this is my property, and I want reliable people who will pay the rent, maintain the property while they are in it, and not trash things. I have my Taos place in a long-term rental instead of vacation rental program in part for this reason — I plan to retire there, and I don’t want holes in the walls and cabinets falling off the hinges. The kid in the article is a college kid looking to make a buck — I wouldn’t kick him out for that, but he does need to learn that he gets only what his agreement entitles him to.

    Whether airbnb is a good or bad thing *for the people who actually have the right to use it*, I don’t know. I suspect that the tales of party houses and assaults and the like are going to lead to a call for regulation/protection, both to protect neighborhoods from an overwhelming amount of rentals, and to protect the folks who rent those units from bad landlords. If you think about it, long-term rentals in populated areas tend to be highly regulated (we are looking at a local rental property and I wanted to understand the obligations, and oh boy), and hotels in populated areas tend to be even more highly regulated. So in some ways, it would be an unfair competitive advantage if short-term private rentals *didn’t* have to comply with some of the same standards.

  3. I think if you own a house/apartment/condo you should be able to rent it out. If you rent and it specifically stipulates that you may not rent it out to others then you can’t. That Emerson story is ridiculous. If the kid can’t afford to go to a private college in Boston then he should have gone somewhere else.

    I’ve wondered about Moxie too, hope she is ok.

  4. Short-term rentals are not a problem anywhere I’ve lived, but this seems like a case where creating a law (either no short term rentals or no more than the IRS-allowed 14 days of rentals for certain property classes) is easier than enforcing it, given the competing priorities of law enforcement.

    It also seems like a case where some neighborhoods, where enforcing the law can be a priority, will have better enforcement than others.

    Neighborhoods near the university have lots of police calls for loud parties and littering is a problem. When I moved here, I chose not to live by the university because I was tired of that. The city has added police resources on weekend nights, but I doubt that the problem of noisy parties on fall football weekends will ever be eradicated.

    I suspect the best compromise will be passing laws and enforcing them when the neighbors complain. In areas with demand for short-term rentals, I don’t see other realistic enforcement mechanisms.

    I’m not opposed to sting operations, just as I’m not opposed to sting operations for other housing violations such as illegal discrimination, but I doubt that sting operations will become standard because of the resources they require.

  5. There is a big debate in Denver about this right now. On the one side are the “landlords” who insist that they should be able to do whatever they want with their property. On the other side are the neighbors who feel that short-term rentals change the nature of the neighborhood and negatively impact their quality of life. It’s also a point of contention in the mountain resort communities because the landlords don’t always collect and pay the appropriate lodging taxes.

    I see both sides of it and I’m not sure what the answer is, especially in situations like Mooshi has mentioned where people in secure buildings are renting their places out so you have random strangers getting access to what should be a secure building. I know I wouldn’t want my neighbors renting out their houses on VRBO and having a stream of vacationers coming in and out. But I don’t know that I should be able to stop them from doing so.

  6. Agree that when you are leasing (apt/dorm/house), you only have the rights offered in the lease. If it says no subletting, then you should not do so and should have some consequence if you do.

    I think that as the percentage of rental vs. owner occupied increases, the nature of the neighborhood changes. Any type of rental has issues with the behavior of the tennants, but the high volume of tennants increases the likelihood that you will get a bad tennant.

    Short-term rentals – As with Denver, this is a hot topic espeicially with SXSW here this week. There is a push to limit the number, to require a permit, to impose other restrictions, but of course grandfather in anyone currently in business. Yet, the bed and breakfasts seem to not be included in the fray. Maybe because we assume they have on-site management/host?

  7. L, thanks for posting. It makes me appreciate the city’s efforts here, where more-zealous code enforcement has caused old properties to be replaced with new, compliant, safe ~5 bedroom townhomes. It appears that the Boston area doesn’t have the resources/will to adequately enforce zoning/safety laws.

  8. As usual, complex.

    I have used VRBO, but never AirBNB. I suppose that makes little difference. All instances were in major European cities when we rented apartments rather than staying in hotels because of convenience and cost.

    Until recently, I hadn’t given this much thought and my position on this is still forming. It’s a classic NIMBY topic. No I would not want my kid to be in a dorm where some units were rented out as in the article, or for one of the neighboring homes near us to have a different user every week. I think I am ok with people renting out their homes for exorbitant sums for a wee or so when the major golf tournament is being held locally or, as I heard on NPR this morning, when the Republican convention is in Cleveland this summer. Those things happen every so often, and certainly not as frequently as every 5 years which is why I’m good with it (it’s a LOT of work to make your home ready for one of those rentals, since you’re not moving out forever and you need to protect your stuff…we thought about it during one of the golf events and decided even though we could get $5-7k for the week it was not worth the effort.)

  9. Just FYI, I sent Moxie an email just now asking her to check in if she has time.

  10. One of my daughters and her husband rent out the spare bedroom in their house as an air B&B. They are reasonably selective about their guests who tend to be the parents of students who attend the university where they are both professors . So far it’s been a good experience for all, the parents and visiting professionals who stay with them seem like having a real house with all the usual things . An additional feature for the guests are engineered epic saves when various plans go awry. My family members have made a few useful professional connections and a little money from the deal . I don’t think they even disturb the neighbors as their lot is about a acre with lots of off street parking. In these circumstances it works well , but I can certainly see situations where an air B&B would be a disaster. I would not consider it except perhaps for arranging to rent a summer beach place without the owner being present.

  11. It may not be so bad in an area of private houses. But back when I lived in a Manhattan loft building, with a locked front door and only 5 lofts in the building, I would have been incensed if new people were traipsing in and out each week, with lots of key copies out there. That is just not right or fair to the tenants

  12. And since short term rentals are a business use, I think towns have every right to zone for them

  13. We’re looking at a couple of VRBOs for an upcoming Japan trip. I’m grateful to have that possibility available. Incidentally, I noticed that the Tokyo one we’re eyeing has very prominent warnings to not be noisy after 10 and if you are, the neighbors won’t drop by to ask to quiet down, they’ll just call the cops and you’ll be out for violating terms of service. Kinda suggests there have been problems before! And also that some vacation renters are prone to assume that if the neighbors haven’t come over to say something, the noise level must not be a problem.

    Of course, I’d rather not live next to a vacation rental . . . Even vacation / second houses that sit empty don’t make for great neighbors. Too many of those, and it’s not really a ‘neighborhood’ anymore.

  14. “And since short term rentals are a business use, I think towns have every right to zone for them”

    See, I have more concerns about zoning restrictions than about regulations on reasonable use. When we were in CO, I telecommuted and so worked out of a home office. But technically, I was violating the zoning rules by doing so, because we were in a “residential” zone, not a “residential/office” kind of zone. Now, I wasn’t the kind of “use” they were trying to prevent — they were focusing on things like customer visits and UPS trucks and the like — but I still could have been fined and legally prohibited from doing what I was doing, just because some neighbor decided they didn’t like me.

    Zoning seems like a big, overly-broad hammer to apply to these kinds of things, where the problem isn’t the “use” itself, but whether some parts of the use are causing problems for your neighbors. I think it makes more sense to regulate based on “are you doing something that is a nuisance to your neighbors” vs. saying “we can’t have any of that here, even if you’re quiet as a mouse.”

    Which is all still a different issue than “can/should we regulate the # of these within a specific area to maintain a sufficient number of long-term residents.” Condos and HOAs do this all the time, as do lenders to a degree(i.e., most lenders won’t lend if the building is more than x% rentals). So it doesn’t seem unreasonable for a city/state to do something similar if you are in an area where the sheer number of units is becoming a problem.

  15. I’m working overnights this weekend, and our house will be on the market. That means that I can’t sleep at the house during the day. I found some one who rents two of the spare bedrooms in their house, a few blocks from the hospital. It appears that they have the rented most nights of the month, at $30 a night. I really don’t need a hotel, I just need a spare room to sleep in.

    If it turns out to be a reasonable place, I might start staying there on a more regular basis when I work an overnight shift. Because of the vagaries of commutes, it turns out that my 40 minute drive is typically two hours after night shift. And I am not a good quality driver in stop and go traffic after a 10 hour overnight. It would be worth $30 to get for five hours of sleep, then return home without traffic.

    This seems like the mutually beneficial relationship that the Internet has fostered. Of note, I live in an area where Airbnb is collecting hotel occupancy tax on all of its rentals, which seems very fair to me.

    I’ve stated my position on Airbnb in the past, I think it is overall a very good thing. I think violating common space like dorms and locked apartments lobbies is a different story. But I think there are some unique uses and efficiencies that it may create that are also part of the story.

  16. I think it would be pretty easy to run a sting operation for TVRs that operate online. The sting could be run by people sitting at desks, booking lodging online and checking whether the booked lodging is a legal TVR, and whether the owners are paying the appropriate transient accomodation tax (aka room tax).

  17. I am not necessarily commenting on whether zoning out short term rentals is a good idea or not, I am just stating that towns (and the voters they represent) do have the right to do this. These are business uses.

  18. I don’t think my town has taken up the zoning & tax issues yet, but my HOA is working on a policy now. In an effort to keep the neighborhood owner-occupied (and prevent undergrads from taking over), we currently have to get HOA approval to rent a home, and it’s only allowed for a maximum of 2 consecutive years. The HOA is recognizing that there is a market for short-term rentals (gameday, commencement, parents’ weekend, conferences, etc.) and homeowners might take sabbaticals or other extended leave. I think they want to limit the number of rentals per year and require registration with the property management, but we’ll see what happens. The way my house is set up, I could easily rent out my lower level when DD is at her dad’s. I’m thinking about trying it for spring commencement.

  19. Here the concern seems to significantly decrease when talking about a rental of a portion of a home because the owner is still in place and even if it is short-term because it is still owner-occupied (SWVA’s commencement example) the owner is more likely to keep the renter in line. The bigger issue for these type of rentals is the parking of the extra vehicles. As the owner is still there with their initial number of vehicles and then at least one more is added to the mix, that may exceed the available parking if many people were doing the same thing.

  20. In line with Austin Mom’s comment, people here don’t expect problems to be solved by rental laws because in many cases, people are legally “guests” for the weekend, with no money changing hands.

    I think one of the more effective tactics has been rental property management companies sending copies of any complaints from the property (noise, underage drinking, etc.) to cosigners.

  21. @winemamma- I’ll let you know on Monday. It does seem a little weird to me, but we have friends who do this (rent out a suite in their basement) and they say it’s not really that awkward. But I think they’re less awkward than I am in general.

  22. In my small neighborhood we have two houses that are rentals. One family has now rented for many years. They would have bought but were burned in the 2008 crisis and through divorce. The other rental is managed by a property company. The city campus of State U has a lot of student rental apartments nearby and those come with their usual problems. People who I have spoken to here who are direct landlords seem to have stable long term tenants. In condo buildings, the rentals seem to be handled by management companies.

  23. when I first heard of the concept, it seemed bizarre to me, but I like staying in B&B’s and I’m staying in someone’s home when I do that

  24. We have five homes on my dead end block off of a main street, and the houses are very close together. I’ve posted before about some funny/annoying stories from the renters in one home. This home has been rented by absentee owners for the entire time we’ve lived here. It is generally rented to a family from another country.

    It is hard enough when one owner is not around, and I can’t imagine if there were frequent renters that would come/go all of the time. We’ve been dealing with a long term gas leak problem with Con Ed that I’ve posted about before. They showed up again today and dug up our street. no notice ever, and the road is blocked. We all try to text each other, call the regional director of Con Ed together etc. This has been going on for a full year. We had to work together during Hurricane Sandy, and a few other major storms that resulted in major damage or outages such as ice storms etc.

    It can be frustrating to live with people that don’t know the “rules” even when they are long term renters. For example, the fire department has been called a few times because of the use of an outdoor smoker that is not allowed because the homes are so close together. I might have posted about raccoons that took over our street for a while because they didn’t know the right day for garbage vs recycling.

    They have late parties and cars/car service companies block the streets with idling cars for hours because their friends come from the city. The family that lives there now is really nice, and it is 1000% easier now that the adults can speak and read English vs. just the kids.

    It isn’t a safety issue here because they’re long term renters, but there are still minor annoyances because they don’t have the same long term thinking about our block or neighborhood.

  25. Tying in to yesterday’s discussion, one of my friends is in difficult financial straits after her husband died suddenly, and I think she could rent part of her house.

    Right now she is struggling to work enough hours to stay afloat while caring for the kids, and another few hundred a month from renting a room or the lower level would make all the difference. It would require fixing up the space, though.

    I think homeowners should be allow to rent as they see fit, as long as their lender doesn’t object. We haven’t used Airbnb and I would not be willing to do so when others are there.

  26. raccoons that took over our street for a while because they didn’t know the right day for garbage vs recycling

    I’m picturing raccoons trying to understand the schedule on the municipal garbage service website, getting confused, and deciding to just camp out until garbage appeared.

  27. Raccoon populations cycle here and when we moved in ~15 years ago, the neighbors came over to explain that if we heard a .22, we didn’t need to worry. They were the last house in the city limits and when a raccoon was in range, the city limits moved in for a second.

  28. I have absolutely no problem with VRBO type rentals by owner of either a free standing home, an apartment or room attached to the resident owner’s house, or a condo/townhome in an building/municipality that permits that sort of use (most vacation areas allow it although the HOA/condo board may set further limits, regulate it and tax it). I do understand that in college towns private home rentals for party and special weekend purposes are also a neighborhood problem. But in New York or Paris, what started out as a form of couch surfing has morphed into a safety and noise hazard for tenants or owners in the same building as serial short term renters. In addition, as units become vacant, they are being purchased for the express purpose of untaxed and unregulated short term rentals, which is a clear violation of existing rules and further reduces housing stock.

    Short term rentals are entirely different from people who rent rather than own a home. In winemama’s area, a young person with a steady job, married or single, would almost always be looking to buy. In expensive cities, it is perfectly normal for a middle class person to rent his whole life. I grew up in DC, where it never occurred to me that you would go to school with the same kids for 12 years, because more than half of your classmates came and went with the change of administration or overseas assignment. Renting was a sensible choice and did not imply that the neighbors or the neighborhood was sketchy.

  29. IMO, one of the big problems we have here with TVRs is that there are so many of them, most of them illegal, that they are a major contributor to our large homeless population and the related lack of affordable housing.

    Our state and county governments are spending huge amounts of time and bandwidth trying to address homelessness and the lack of affordable housing without, IMO again, adequately addressing the issue of illegal conversion of housing to TVR use.

    Thus the general taxpaying population is stuck with the bill for efforts to mitigate problems greatly exacerbated by the illegal conversion of housing to TVR, especially when many of the TVR owners are not paying the mandated Transient Accomodations Tax (TAT, aka room tax).

    Our legislature is currently considering a bill that would facilitate businesses like Airbnb and VRBO collecting the TAT, which IMO is a positive step.

  30. Sky, I’m guessing your friend would continue to live in her house while renting out part of it, most likely on a long-term basis. Such use of her house would contribute to the availability of affordable housing, not exacerbate the lack of it.

  31. Rhett, my guess is that if they bought it, they would stay long enough get annoyed by racoon invasions and thus to learn the proper days to set out garbage vs recycling.

  32. Junior and I are currently renting. We are renting because we both knew we couldn’t live in close proximity to the Bushes! and the Rubios for too long. We have wonderful landlords. In fact, they live next door and I truly consider them friends. Same with our other neighbors. We have been living here for 3.5 years now.

    I cannot tell you how much I like this neighborhood and my neighbors. My son and I take care of the house, and you all know I have no social live so all’s good. Ideally, this is how the rentals should be.

    But if we had folks moving into our neighborhood for a week, a month or a night, I think all of us would be unhappy. I am invested in my community– not really financially, but socially and politically. If Junior and I were only living here for a week or so, my guess is we would care far less. I know I wouldn’t have done any gardening, and we have some mean flower action going on all year out back.

  33. Finn, I am trying to get my friend to rent to an older woman from her church, someone who couldn’t live alone because of the cost of renting an apartment in our area and who would enjoy the children.

    Not the same thing as students partying on spring break :)

  34. One issue with renting out a room in your home on an extended basis, even if the rental is not permitted by local rules or formalized by a lease, is that in many jurisdictions the tenant rapidly acquires tenant rights. In other words, if you rent a room to someone and after six months want her to leave, you may have to go through eviction proceedings. I have heard of this with extended family members.

  35. More generally, there are a lot of potential gotchas associated with being a landlord.

  36. We have longterm rentals all over our town. The houses on either side of mine are rentals – one house is your traditional owner occupied triple decker, the other is owned by a Chinese family who left for the better schools in Scarsdale and who rent to a nice Mormon family. Many houses are purchased by companies that specialize in renting to our large Japanese corporate transfer population. We have a couple on our block. None of the renters cause any problems, although the owner of the triple decker is a tad odd (runs a bug extermination business, with a garage packed to the hilt with nasty chemicals).

    I think longterm renters are very different from week-by-week transient renters.

  37. Yeah, even if the transient renters are all pleasant and considerate, the neighbors didn’t sign up to be meeting visitors every week and they’re not the ones making money out of the deal.

  38. “I think if you own a house/apartment/condo you should be able to rent it out. If you rent and it specifically stipulates that you may not rent it out to others then you can’t.”

    Agreed. With the stipulation that I think it is fair game for the government to collect applicable taxes on rentals, and for them to make AirBnB and VRBO comply by collecting them and turning them over as well.

  39. the neighbors didn’t sign up to be meeting visitors every week

    Then do what Zuckerberg did and buy out your neighbors.

  40. We have long term rentals in my neighborhood. I’ve noticed that those renters that are there for years on end will do their own yard work, plant flowers, and generally are active members of the community. The 6-12 month renters don’t mingle with the neighbors, and the actual owner of the house does minimal yard work and house upkeep. In most cases, the house is actually owed by a builder who will be tearing it down as soon as he has lined up all the crews necessary. So it isn’t a long term issue.

    Like most of you, I like VRBO and having that option when I vacation, but NIMBY. The never ending change over of people and cars would be too much to handle. Down the street from me is a man that rents out bedrooms for extra cash. Some renters are there for a week, others will be there for months. I hate it. Cars coming by at all hours of the day and night, parking up and down the street…parties, but just quiet enough that the police can’t do anything, and I know there is drug use going on. I especially hate it because these renters seem to have no regard for adhering to speed limits in the neighborhood and don’t slow down when children are around.

  41. Rhett, our move to the warehouse district will be this summer. We will live there until the earlier of Junior flunking out of school or Junior graduating from high school. I’ll rent a double wide for precisely 4 years and then point my Lincoln Continental toward The Villages and never be heard from again. (Anon for This will be pleased when I depart.)

  42. After reading this I checked short-term rental availability in my neighborhood and was surprised at the units near me. I don’t like it for reasons people have already mentioned. I have no idea about local zoning or regulations, but it’s probably technically not allowed in many cases. Truth be told, I have considered renting out my home for big local events, but I doubt that I ever would because it would be too much trouble.

    I was checking out TVRs for an upcoming trip, and I saw one that said they don’t rent to single males. Is that discriminatory? And no red wine allowed! There were many yachts/boats available, and that looked interesting. OTOH, I find hotels to be an easier choice because they are more predictable, kind of like chain restaurants.

  43. It’s an externalities problem, Rhett. The visitors, at least some of them, will have questions about where to find a good coffee shop / grocery store / place for a nice dinner, what’s up with the parking situation, what is there to do around here, etc. Others may just want to chat with the locals. In a hotel, guests would talk to the people at the front desk or other staff. In a B&B they’d talk to the owners. With a VRBO, the owner isn’t around, so the neighbors end up filling that role. And I’d guess few people would mind if it happened a couple of times a year! But if it’s the same conversation every other week with new people and the neighbors aren’t all extroverts who love meeting new people, I’m sure it would get old, and again, the neighbors aren’t getting anything out of the deal.

  44. CoC, I know one family near us who do vacation house exchanges, but that is a bit different because no money is involved, and it only happens once a year

  45. HM,

    It’s a free country. If you want privacy then do what Larry Ellison did and buy your own Hawaiian island. I also come at this as someone who gets asked for directions several time a week, in many cases while in cities I’m not even familiar with. In the age of smart phones, it’s getting a little old.

  46. Yeah, but the polls have been so wonky of late. Look at Michigan.

  47. realclearpolitics.com has a headline that Rubio has suspended his campaign.

  48. Louise – I have two pair of the non glitter flats. Of course, I also wore jelly sandals the first time around when I was in my 30s.

  49. Meme– I have no desire for the jelly shoes I remember from my youth. Are the crocs version more comfortable and/or less sticky?

  50. Our tv just died and I need to get a new on. The old one was seven years old and I haven’t even thought about getting a new tv in that time. I am completely clueless. Can I go to Costco and bring one home, hook it up to disheveled and Amazon firestick and gave it work. What should I look for, since I assume technology had changed in the last seven years. Is it reasonable to assume any one is good enough? Is 1080p even a thing any more?

  51. I keep *hearing* that if Trump doesn’t nail it down before the convention, the GOP will bring in a fresh face. Maybe Paul Ryan, who apparently holds the most sway among establishment types.

  52. I had a quick email exchange with Moxie last week. Maybe she’s just been too busy to post here. RMS, let us know if she responds to your email.

  53. I thought of Moxie too and Mia Mama who used to post. I conjectured that Moxie may be busy moving to another state and therefore hasn’t posted.

    I like the look of the jelly sandals. In the home country those are worn during the rainy season (boots feel way too hot). Even then, my feet would become sticky, sandals would slip and walking pure torture. I am now picky and don’t mind spending on comfortable shoes.

  54. “I keep *hearing* that if Trump doesn’t nail it down before the convention, the GOP will bring in a fresh face. Maybe Paul Ryan, who apparently holds the most sway among establishment types.”

    I think that’s wishful thinking from the establishment types who resent their loss of influence. That would definitely constitute being “treated unfairly,” which is the only criteria that Trump has consistently cited for what would lead him to run as an Independent, and then it’s all over.

    My best guess for Trump’s running mate is Kasich. In the debates, even when he was referring to “Little Marco” and “Lyin’ Ted,” Kasich was always “the Governor.” And Trump knows that if there’s a path to him winning in November, it’s through the Rust Belt. Kasich’s legitimacy could help bring him OH, PA, IN, maybe WI…

  55. Other political news.

    Today, I will announce the person whom I believe is eminently qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.

    Paging Finn . . .

  56. I can’t believe we are even discussing a path to the White House for Trump. I have a son who will hit draft age during the next presidency. Trump is so hot headed and pugillistic, I could see him getting us into a crazy war that makes no sense. He surrounds himself with syncophants, so I doubt he would be getting any good advice. I would not put it past him to do something nutty like team up with Putin against China.

  57. As for Ryan running as a third party candidate – too much of a cold fish. And he is having woes right now just trying to get his own party to do a budget.

  58. “He surrounds himself with syncophants, so I doubt he would be getting any good advice.

    From Twitter this morning:

    On Morning Joe, @realDonaldTrump is asked who he consults with re foreign policy. He says: “I am speaking with myself.” #CantMakeThisUp

  59. I listened to a radio interview with one of Bloomberg’s close advisors on why he gave up on running a third party candidacy. Evidently Bloomberg was strongly considering it, and had spent quite a bit of money ramping up an organization and doing groundwork. According to the advisor, the reason he stopped the effort was that they kept running projections , all kinds of scenarios, to see how voting might go. And in most of the scenarios, no candidate, not Trump, not Bloomberg, not Clinton/Sanders, ended up with enough votes in the Electoral College. That would have meant the election would have gone to the Senate, which would have felt they had to give it to Trump. Bloomberg decided that if he ran, it was too likely we would end up with Trump as President

  60. @Cordelia — our TV is also starting to fritz periodically, so I told DH he should start doing research, and he gave me the “oh, you poor thing” eye-roll. His exact quote: “I’ll just get the biggest Samsung 4K that will fit into our space.”

    So, second-hand from the techie-horse’s mouth.

  61. +1 to Louise for the appropriate use of the phrase — and in the right part of the country, no less. :-)

  62. “Trump is so hot headed and pugillistic, I could see him getting us into a crazy war that makes no sense.”

    This is not an argument that Hillary is in a strong position to make. And you’d better believe he’ll shut her down on it pretty fast, just like when she Tweeted about how all rape victims should be believed.

    “That would have meant the election would have gone to the Senate”

    House. I hope his advisors knew that distinction, at least.

  63. Milo, I do have to disagree on this one. Clinton is hawkish for a Democrat, yes. Being hawkish is different from beiing unpredictable, hotheaded, and poorly informed. The other Republican candidates were even more hawkish than Clinton, yet I did not fear them getting us into a crazy war.

  64. And the Congress/Senate mistake was mine. I can’t remember all those details! I was more interested in the main gist of the story.

  65. Since I don’t know American political ins and outs – can the convention delegates choose a candidate who didn’t get the most votes in the primaries ? Has that happenned before ?

  66. “Clinton is hawkish for a Democrat, yes.”

    Clinton is hawkish, period. And I’m merely pointing out how the argument plays out for the electorate. He comes back with Iraq, and maybe Libya.

    He’ll say “What good is being well-informed if you always come to the wrong decision? Hillary has been involved in all of these disasters for the past 25 years. It’s weakened our military; our vets can’t even get the healthcare they need, it’s a tragedy.”

  67. “And the Congress/Senate mistake was mine. I can’t remember all those details! I was more interested in the main gist of the story.”

    I figured, and when I verified it, I learned that, while the House chooses the President, the Senate chooses the Vice President. But this is in apparent conflict with the 12th Amendment that lets the President choose the VP.

  68. Trump now has 621 (Missouri pending) and needs 616 more.

    I did a back of the envelope on the Republican race. Assumptions:
    – Trump wins all of the remaining ‘winner take all’ primaries (including Missouri)
    – Trump gets 50% of the delegates in proportional primaries
    – excludes any future contests where the delegates are unbound

    If those assumptions hold, unlikely but possible, Trump ends up with 757 of the remaining vote.

  69. Today, I will announce the person whom I believe is eminently qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.

    When he sits around the house, he really sits around the house.

  70. Bless his heart ! Nothing like listening to one’s inner voice
    Totebag award for best line of the day goes to Louise!

  71. “the Establishment said the same things about Reagan starting a war”

    Umm, as someone who was old enough to remember the Reagan years, this wasn’t exactly unfounded. He either brilliantly played the Soviets, or just got lucky that they backed down first. And let’s not even talk about what was going on in Central America at that time.

    Trump, of course, also lacks Reagan’s smoothness and likeability that helped things come across less harsh than the words alone. Trump’s demeanor seems to have the opposite effect.

  72. “I will announce the person whom I believe is eminently qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.”

    I can’t imagine who could possibly agree to be this nominee (unless it’s a Republican). Imagine you’re someone who is one of the people with the qualifications and record to be a Supreme Court justice. If you’re favorable to Obama, you’re probably favorable to Clinton, who has a better-than-50% chance of succeeding him. If you’re shoved to the Senate now, you’re doomed to an extensive examination of your life and every opinion you’ve ever written hoping that it will be acceptable to a governing body that has promised to not even consider your confirmation. It’s pretty doubtful that you’d get a second chance at that.

  73. “Trump, of course, also lacks Reagan’s smoothness and likeability”

    You know who else lacks that?

  74. Milo, I remember the first Reagan campaign well, and no, it was not like this. Keep in mind that even many Republicans share my opinion. Trump tends to spurt out the first thing that hits his brain, and that is not a good trait for managing a crisis, say, over North Korea

  75. Milo, does Clinton *really* come off as an Il Duce (or whatever the feminine form of it is ) to you? She certainly doesn’t have the geniality of Reagan or Bill, but mainly she seems wonky and nerdy, not bombastic.

  76. I like the people a lot on this board, so I am very interested on the reasons people would vote for Trump. I don’t understand how anyone can get past his hateful comments on women, Muslims, hispanics, etc to even consider his stances on economics and international policy.

    I also don’t understand how in politics people think it’s great and an advantage to have no political experience, when in any other job you wouldn’t even get an interview.

  77. “does Clinton *really* come off as an Il Duce ”

    No. I could probably vote for her if she were honest and trustworthy.

  78. tc – One at a time. What are his hateful comments on women? Megyn Kelly and Rosie O’Donnell? Juvenile and personal, I’d say.

    Hispanics? He’s in favor of enforcing existing immigration laws when both parties have been happy to ignore the issue entirely, either for cheap labor or cheap votes, depending.

    Muslimis – It was an over-the-top proposal that he’s backed away from, but it’s an acknowledgement to many people that Islamic terrorism is a legitimate threat, at a time when the current President refuses to utter the words.

    He’s not my favorite candidate, but next to a criminal who’s been taking bribes from foreign governments, among so many other issues, and refuses to ever admit these wrongdoings, I’ll have to vote for him.

    “people think it’s great and an advantage to have no political experience”

    This is the Founding Fathers’ ideal, imo.

  79. L – Yes, it does. But less so than the way the Clintons have casually smeared the reputations, dignity, and lives of his sexual assault victims.

    Actions speak louder than words.

  80. I agree with Milo on the fate of the nominee for the Supreme Court at this point. If it is a qualified moderate justice, their great opportunity to be on the Supreme Court is being ruined. Hard to watch a Totebaggy career type going through this.

  81. I would honestly rather have Trump as the nominee than Ted Cruz – he scares me more than Trump.

  82. Milo –

    Women – his comments, like the link L posted, aren’t targeting just a few, specific people. I have worked with men with attitudes like his. Let’s just say it isn’t an ideal work environment.

    Hispanics – he has called them killers, rapists, and have told them to go back to their own country.

    Muslims – where has he backed away from his stances? I haven’t seen him say his idea is terrible.

    The actions of his followers speak loudly to me. The hateful signs and violence at his rallies. His actions to block the press from attending. Those are the actions that worry me. And also that his words inspire such actions in other people.

  83. Why would Paul Ryan even think about running? If the Republicans overwhelmingly are voting for Trump and Cruz they do not want a Paul Ryan right now. It would make more sense for him to run in four years.

  84. “Let’s just say it isn’t an ideal work environment.”

    Tell that to Paula Jones.

    “he has called them killers, rapists, and have told them to go back to their own country.”

    Talking about illegal immigrants, he said that some are killers and rapists, and many people feel that we should enforce immigration laws.

    “where has he backed away from his stances?”

    When confronted directly about the blanket ban, he just says “We just have to figure out what’s going on.”

  85. Milo – it does help to hear your reasoning though. I look at Trump and find him terrifying, but I think you think he’s just getting a rise out of people and doesn’t really mean most of the antagonistic things he says.

    I need to do research now on why people think Hillary is a criminal. :)

  86. “but I think you think he’s just getting a rise out of people and doesn’t really mean most of the antagonistic things he says.”

    yes, that’s true.

  87. @Milo – I checked the link. I do feel the President is playing the game, knows that this guy will not get through, but left enough others who have a chance of getting through after the election.

  88. “I do feel the President is playing the game, knows that this guy will not get through, but left enough others who have a chance of getting through after the election.”

    I think his advanced age is the key here. Obama probably told him he’s already too old under normal circumstances, so this is only shot, however fraught the path may be.

  89. “Obama probably told him he’s already too old under normal circumstances, so this is only shot, however fraught the path may be.”

    And obviously, we’ve been binging on House of Cards.

  90. No spoilers, then.

    Re: Trump:

    He nearly hit 40 per­cent in Illinois, win­ning com­fort­ably in the af­flu­ent Chica­go­land sub­urbs where his rivals’ mes­sage seemed a bet­ter fit.

    In Flor­ida, Trump won an out­right ma­jor­ity of the vote in af­flu­ent Palm Beach and Broward Counties, ad­ja­cent to Ru­bio’s home base in Miami-Dade. This, in a closed primary lim­ited to re­gistered Re­pub­lic­ans.

    Apparently, it’s no longer limited to down-market whites embittered about getting laid off at the factory.

    Two nights be­fore the primary, Trump packed over 6,000 fans in­to an am­phi­theat­er in Boca Raton, wow­ing his sup­port­ers when Air Force Trump ar­rived in the skies above. The crowd was filled with self-de­scribed mod­er­ate Re­pub­lic­ans, many of whom backed Obama in 2008 but long since turned against the pres­id­ent. Trump was their new avatar of hope and change, a politi­cian of strength to counter Obama’s weak­ness.

    Air Force Trump? How can anyone not love this guy?
    http://thehill.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_full/public/blogs/trumpplane.jpg?itok=-mjKJCNE

  91. Milo, you are expressing something that a lot of Trump supporters that have been interviewed have been saying, that Trump really *wouldn’t* do all those outrageous things if elected President. It seems to be part of the reasoning of a lot of Trump voters.

    But if he isn’t going to do the outrageous things that have been the main focus of his campaign, then what *is* he going to do? He hasn’t given any hints.

    This is a line of reasoning I just don’t get. “Oh, I’ll vote for this outrageous guy because he is going to do something different when elected. Don’t know what thay different thing is, but it will be different.”

  92. Trump’s quote was ““When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

    He is basically saying that the vast majority of Mexican immigrants are drug using rapists. At the very end, he allows that *some* might be good.

  93. Cordelia – I just bought a new tv. A vizio 4K from Costco, the 58 in model. It is plug and play, except after set up someone has to change the default picture setting from “standard” which is energy star rated to whatever you prefer. I use Calibrated Dark. I didn’t need the Amazon fire stick for it (it is upstairs on the small tv) because the WIFI directly built into the smart TV is working just fine. And my router is in the bedroom and the big TV is in the basement rec room, no booster. Actually, the fire stick has an occasional interruption even though the router is 18 in away and the smart tv no problem with streaming. The remote for the visio has a netflix, amazon and I believe hulu button built in. I did run some 4k programming on it (mozart/jungle season 2) and it is amazing.

  94. Meme – I looooooove Mozart in the Jungle. So ridiculous, but knowing professional musicians, not all that far off! :)

  95. except after set up someone has to change the default picture setting from “standard” which is energy star rated to whatever you prefer. I use Calibrated Dark.

    You can download a file that you burn to DVD that you can use to calibrate TVs.

  96. “You can download a file that you burn to DVD that you can use to calibrate TVs.”

    thanks, but you are WAY overestimating my desire/motivation/ability to deal with more technology.

  97. Cordelia – I did all the research online about how to calibrate the TV and in the end was satisfied with merely making the one simple change. Out of the box they set the TV to this energy star setting to get the rating (at least it is a documented deception in the manual, unlike VW diesel) but it is awful and no one would ever use it in real life. I am very satisfied with Vizio, which is always on special at Costco. This big TV is very light. The only thing to watch out for is the placement of the feet – it does not have a central pedestal, but two widely separated feet. I had to buy a new tv stand or mount it on the wall. Samsung has good ratings too. I would avoid Panasonic.

  98. I know we just went over dishwashers last week, but…

    On the appliance dying front, the dishwasher also gave up. The tech came out almost two weeks ago and said that it wasn’t worth repairing. The dishwasher is a little less than three years old, and we purchased the extended warranty. The warranty company is being as obstructionist as possible. First they said it would take a 3-5 business days to determine if it was not repairable. Then they asked the dealer to send a quote for replacement. The dealer sent the quote that day, but it went to someone’s email at the warranty company and that person hasn’t been to work since, so the warranty company says they didn’t know anything about it. At this point, assuming my time has a nonzero value, I should have just bought a new dishwasher when it broke originally.

    Since I am never buying anything made by Frigidaire or Electrolux again, any recommendations for a decent dishwasher?

    I suspect my needs/usage are closer to WCE requirements than Meme’s. Basically, two to three loads a day.

  99. Cordelia, we went for the Miele, but it takes forever to run, even longer than the European made Bosch, not to mention the price point on both of those, so they are not likely to be good for multiple loads per day. The dishwasher installer said that Electrolux dishwashers were junk – we were talking about stoves at the time and that was an aside. Bosch has its imprint on a cheaper line of dishwashers that are made under contract in the US, I don’t know by whom. I have a Bosch range that I dislike, but it still works, and when I bought the dishwasher last week I spoke to the salesman about it and he said, yeah, I know that model, it was made by Frigidaire for Bosch (which of course no one told me at the time that I bought it). Kitchenaid is well regarded.

    BTW, as for my first world problems, when they brought the dishwasher they forgot the cutlery tray (or the wrong model was picked at the warehouse). So I am still awaiting installation of that feature. And the part from Italy still hasn’t arrived at the repair shop in the Bronx for the now 9 weeks and counting warranty repair on the coffee machine. It is good that I have tomorrow or next week free at this stage of life. It certainly reduces frustration, but having to make all those calls takes energy I prefer to expend in other ways.

  100. We have a Bosch dishwasher, the ultra-quiet model and we really like it. It is extremely quiet, which was our primary need for it because the kitchen is right next to the family room. However, it has less room because of the extra insulation.

  101. Cordelia – we too are a Bosch dishwasher household. Happy with it. Its ‘normal wash’ cycle is 1:59 (yup, they couldn’t just say 2 hours) and the length is openly documented in the manual. Not usually an issue for us because we just start it at night on the way to bed. But at 2-3 loads/day, you may want one with a shorter cycle.

  102. Cordelia, we’ve had a Kenmore Elite (with turbo sprayers, water heating since we don’t keep our water heater hot, Pot/Pan feature) for ~10 years now. It runs once, maybe twice, each day. It was within a couple decibels of more expensive models and noise was not a huge concern for us. All of my children have crawled onto the open door multiple times as one year olds. I run it on Pot Scrubber all the time. This week, it got a casserole dish and two banana bread loaf pans clean without prewashing but it will not get dried-on scrambled eggs off. I use powdered Cascade from Costco and we have river water (so fairly soft).

    I find it fascinating how Mooshi interpreted Trump’s comment. I interpret it as “The people who illegally cross the border are far more likely to be criminal than the law abiding people who tend to remain in Mexico.” In no way do I hear “He is basically saying that the vast majority of Mexican immigrants are drug using rapists.” Even in his comment, to me he is clearly criticizing the “OR” intersection of drug using and rapist, not the “AND” intersection.

  103. The typical cycle on our Bosch is ninety something minutes. Yeah, it’s not exactly the same from load to load. But we’re happy with it so far, especially how quiet it is. We’ve had it for about 4 years.

  104. Cordelia, we bought a TV with a lot of features that we thought we might use, and ended up not using. The last TV we bought was just a very basic model that supported the devices we use on a regular basis, and we’re happy with it.

    I wouldn’t pay for a smart TV. If you want that functionality, you can get a smart Blue-ray player (I think DW paid about $60 for one at Costco) instead. I wouldn’t buy a 4k TV now unless you already have 4k source material (our highest resolution source is 1080p). In another 5 to 7 years or so, you may need to replace this TV, and at that point, if 4k has established itself as a widely used standard, 4k TVs will be a lot less expensive.

    But keep in mind, I’ve been characterized as cheap. I prefer to think of myself as someone frugal who tries to optimize value.

  105. We also have a Bosch dishwasher, now for about 7 years, that we are happy with. The “sterilize” cycle is close to 2 hours, but there is a 35 min “quick wash” setting we’ve used in a pinch on days when we run it twice. It’s very quiet. Our other appliances are GE profile, and they’ve been good to us so far (knock on wood!)

  106. “She certainly doesn’t have the geniality of Reagan or Bill, but mainly she seems wonky and nerdy, not bombastic.”

    Apparently there are many others to whom she seems dishonest and untrustworthy.

    She comes across to me as putting her personal interests above national interests. As Sanders likes to point out, she has become very wealthy currying the favor of large financial institutions.

  107. “I am very interested on the reasons people would vote for Trump.”

    I’m guessing that the rest of the field is a significant factor.

  108. Finn – What price would you consider acceptable for a 55-60 inch tv? Sometimes the smart tv (which I was not seeking, it just came that way) is the least expensive option.

    Tulip – can you run the quick wash with detergent tabs, or do you have to use liquid/powder?

  109. Mémé, I’ve not priced TVs in a while, and those prices change so quickly that whatever I might be able to recall would not be relevant.

    Also, the biggest TV in our house is 50″; I’ve never really looked at 55″ to 60″ TVs.

    But of course if there’s no price penalty to getting the smart TV, then that’s clearly not a reason to not buy that TV. When we were last shopping, it was pretty clear that the ‘smart’ features came at a price, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are now so ubiquitous, especially for TVs that large, that there is no price penalty for them.

    For smaller TVs, it still appears to me that the lowest price models are bare-bones models that do not include smart features.

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