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FPC Bulldogs’ Big Win, Foreclosure Bandits, John McCain’s Crankiness: The Live Wire, Jan. 6

| January 6, 2011

A misplaced contortionist. Photographer Rob Woodcox writes: 'Detroit once again, this is my friend Steve, able to look freakishly dead :O Give him a view, if not because he is awesome, than for the fact it was like below freezing and he laid on bare concrete with hardly any clothes! Nonetheless, I saw this room and scenario and loved the picture that came to mind, as if a lonesome death took place here. This is 3 vertical images wide stitched together, as I only had my fixed 50mm lens and couldn’t get a wider angle except by doing it that way.' (© Rob Woodcox)

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FPC Bulldogs’ Cinderella Story: FPC 69, Mainland 62

The Bulldogs in action against Mainland Wednesday. Click on the image for larger view.

A special correspondent writes: In a very hard fought physical and intense rivalry game between these two basketball teams, the FPC Bulldogs (7-7, but 5-2 in their division) defeated the Mainland Buccaneers 69-62 on Mainland’s turf Wednesday evening. The Bulldogs were lead by sophomore Tyler Hopkins, who scored a career high 27 points, while senior co-captain Lawrence Certain poured in 21 points and 12 rebounds. FPC took a 35-33 lead into half time. In the second half the Buccaneers (8-5) counterattacked using a full-court trapping defense, which temporarily gave them the lead. The Bulldogs countered with a half court match-up zone, which lead to FPC outscoring Mainland 24-13 in the fourth quarter. “We practiced and prepared hard for this game because we have tremendous respect for them,” Coach Mc Daniel said. “This is definitely a signature win for our program,we hope it is a sign of good things to come.” It’s also the fourth win in a row for the Bulldogs.

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State report on foreclosure crisis slams banks, mortgage industry and lawyers

From the Sun-Sentinel: “Sweeping evidence of the case the state attorney general’s office has built in its pursuit of foreclosure justice for Florida homeowners is outlined in a 98-page presentation complete with copies of allegedly forged signatures, false notarizations, bogus witnesses and improper mortgage assignments. The presentation, titled “Unfair, Deceptive and Unconscionable Acts in Foreclosure Cases,” was given during an early December conference of the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers by the attorney general’s economic crimes division. It is one of the first examples of what the state has compiled in its exploration of foreclosure malpractice, condemning banks, mortgage servicers and law firms for contributing to the crisis by cutting corners. “What we got from this is the state has had the opportunity to see where the laws have been broken, and frankly, it is in large part thanks to the work of the defense attorneys,” said Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock. “They’ve been bringing these defenses up in foreclosure cases for years now.” In page after page of copied records, the presentation meticulously documents cases of questionable signatures, notarizations that could not have occurred when they are said to have because of when the notary stamp expires, and foreclosures filed by entities that might not have had legal ability to foreclose. […] In one example, a signature by someone named Linda Green is said to appear on hundreds of thousands of mortgage documents from dozens of banks and mortgage companies, but in varying styles. […] Four of Florida’s large foreclosure law firms that represent the banks are under investigation by the state, as well as two companies that serve court summonses on homeowners, and a Jacksonville-based servicing company that the presentation said produced 2,000 mortgage assignments per day.” The full story.

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How the Recession Blew a Hole in State Finances

From the Washington Post: “The recession blew a huge hole in the already shaky finances of state governments, causing them to lose nearly one-third of their revenue in 2009, according to a Census Bureau report released Wednesday. The severe drop in revenue resulted largely from the big investment losses experienced by state pension funds during the worst period of the downturn. Also, the report said, tax revenue slipped while surging demand from newly needy citizens drained the funds that back unemployment benefits, publicly funded health care and workers’ compensation. Overall, total state government revenue dropped 30.8 percent, to $1.1 trillion, between fiscal 2008 and 2009, according to the report. […] Despite billions in emergency aid from the federal government through various stimulus programs, 46 states had to raise taxes and make cuts to close a combined gap of $130 billion in their current budgets, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Moreover, 40 states already have projected budget gaps totaling $113 billion for next year, according to the center. At the same time, states are grappling with swollen social service caseloads, underfunded pension funds and flat revenue – a situation that will worsen as federal stimulus aid comes to a halt in the coming months. Future federal help is considered highly unlikely, as Congress and President Obama have put a greater emphasis on reducing spending and trimming the huge federal budget deficit. […] Tax collections account for almost half of the general revenue of states, and they plummeted by 8.5 percent between the end of fiscal 2008 and 2009, the census report said. The decline was the first year-to-year drop in tax revenue since 2002, according to the Census Bureau. The decline in tax revenue was partially offset by a 12.9 percent increase in federal aid, which amounted to $477.7 billion in 2009, the report said.

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The War on Journalists: 2010

From Reporters Without Borders:

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Americans spend 6.1 billion hours on their taxes

From CNNMoney: “Filing taxes takes too long, costs too much money and is far too overwhelming a process for taxpayers. That’s the message from national taxpayer advocate Nina Olson, the watchdog charged with monitoring the Internal Revenue Service. […] Her analysis of IRS data shows that taxpayers and businesses spend 6.1 billion hours a year complying with tax-filing requirements. “If tax compliance were an industry, it would be one of the largest in the United States,” the report says. “To consume 6.1 billion hours, the ‘tax industry’ requires the equivalent of more than three million full-time workers.” Olson is a government official whose job is to highlight for Congress the most serious problems facing taxpayers.”

John McCain’s Crankiness

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Let’s All Stand on John McCain’s Lawn
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

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Chart: Facebook vs. Twitter


Click on the chart for larger view

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Damascus and Jerusalem, 1938

A wonderful, interestingly condescending, Orientalist period film archived by the Travel Film Archive:

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A Few Good Links

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1 Response for “FPC Bulldogs’ Big Win, Foreclosure Bandits, John McCain’s Crankiness: The Live Wire, Jan. 6”

  1. Charlie Ericksen Jr says:

    After reading the article on the amount of time, that taxpayers and businesses spend filing their taxes, I wonder just what the point is? I think she is trying to scare us, just with the size of the numbers, as opposed to the facts. Combining the individual totals with the business totals is confusing and really distorts the end result. So what if it takes a couple of hours to fill out the form(s) either on line or manually. Are we now so busy with “personal adventures” that we cannot document ,just what we earned, and what the government if holding in escrow for us to account for, and receive a refund? She sounds like another one of the people, who makes a career out of a nothing subject , into a fully paid $100,000 occupation. I’ll bet she doesn’t even reconcile her checking account very month. Just think of the jobs this creates, because people, cannot take the time to read ,fairly simple forms.

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