Merced County

50 state attorneys general launch mortgage foreclosure investigation

Submitted: Oct 13, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

I read the news today oh, boy ...

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that the administration supports a multistate investigation. But he reiterated that the administration is wary that a freeze could cause "broader harm done to the housing market and to the housing recovery."
That view is in contrast to other Democrats who have called for a national moratorium on foreclosures. -- Washington Post, October 13, 2010

OpenSecrets.org
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=n00009638

Among Obama's top contributors:
Goldman Sachs  $994,795
Citigroup Inc  $701,290
JPMorgan Chase & Co  $695,132
UBS AG  $543,219
Morgan Stanley  $514,881
Total ...$3,450,317

And that's just what was reported.

In late summer 2010, Modesto and Merced were ranked third for foreclosure rate and Stockton was ranked fifth. Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Pimlico Kid-Merced, represents parts or all of all three cities.

When the cities in the Kid's district rocketed to the top of the charts as the worst foreclosure disaster zones in the nation and then stayed there month after month for more than two years and are still in the top five, what did he do?

He moved his family to Annapolis MD, bought race horses, and whined.

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Foreclosure and the Blue Dog Brat

Submitted: Oct 11, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

At the bottom of this series of articles on the ongoing foreclosure crisis,  we see Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Pimplico Kid-Annapolis MD, trying to rack up a few badly needed points off the suffering of foreclosed homeowners while his lead over his Republican challenger, Bill Berryhill, shrinks by the day. We may say with a great degree of confidence that the Kid's "HOME Act" will be as dead on arrival this time as it was the last time he introduced it. The Kid is a one-tune pony whose melody is legislation guaranteed to sound good in his district and at the same to guaranteed to lose so that it doesn't offend his contributors, of which two of the top five are banker PACs. Because this is shaping up as a close election, we are also confident that the Kid will receive a great deal more banker money than is now reported.

Does anybody remember Pimlico's three attempts to gut the Endangered Species Act for the benefit of a handful of developers in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties? These developers and politicians, with Pimlico in the lead, guaranteed that these counties would sustain the highest foreclosure rates per capita in the nation for months. The Kid collected a lot of campaign loot on those bills, too.

Has the Blue Dog Brat's boss, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Plutocrat-San Francisco, done so much for us that we need to return His Insolence to Washington again?

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Boutris Willfogel on state water board's upcoming selenium punt

Submitted: Oct 01, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

9-30-10

LloydGCarter: Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood

October Surprise from the Selenium Slackers at the State Water Board?

<!---->

Don't count on the Board doing the right thing

By Boutris Wittfogel

http://www.lloydgcarter.com/

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Fundraiser for Measure C: Be there or be unsimple

Submitted: Sep 29, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The Badlands Journal editorial board fully supports Measure C, which will be on the November 2010 ballot, and the board wishes to help publicize and support a fund-raising event that will contribute to the campaign. After a month of serious dialogue about what the measure actually says and might mean, board members Uncle Henry, the Dull-Witted Boy, Li'l Hector, and the Dull-Witted Boy's Mother, won the day. In fact, it was the Dull-Witted Boy's Mother that finished the dispute while waiting on the editorial board's breakfast table the other day.

"It's simple. Save farmland. What's your order? Special's an ortega-chili pepper 'n jack omelette -- six ninety-five," she said.

Measure C authors and supporters are holding a dinner to raise funds for the campaign to pass MERCED COUNTY CITIZEN’S RIGHT TO VOTE ON EXPANSION OF RESIDENTIAL AREAS INITIATIVE. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Marchini and Giampaoli families' Bear Creek Pumpkin Patch on Plainsburg Road near Planada.

The featured speaker of the evening will be famous Fresno author, Mark Arax, (In my Father's Name, The King Of California: J. G. Boswell and the Making of a Secret American Empire, and West of the West).

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Who owns the house? Update on the predator/prey struggle in the foreclosure industry

Submitted: Sep 29, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

9-28-10
Guardian (UK)
Foreclosure funny businessThat US banks can skirt the paperwork required for home foreclosures shows it's one rule for them and another for us...Dean Baker
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/sep/28/us-foreclosure-fiasco-banks
Virtually everyone has had the experience of being forced to pay a late fee or a bank penalty because of some fine-print provision that we overlooked. Sometimes, begging by good customers can win forbearance, but usually we are held to the written terms of the contract, no matter how buried or convoluted the clause in question may be.
That is the way it works for the rest of us, but apparently this is not the way the banks do business, at least when those at the other end of the contract are ordinary homeowners. As a number of news reports have shown in recent weeks, banks have been carrying through foreclosures at a breakneck pace and freely ignoring the legal niceties required under the law, such as demonstrating clear ownership to the property being foreclosed.

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The next speculative real estate boom

Submitted: Sep 25, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The new, farmland real estate bubble

 

 

 

Investment groups fleeing the stock markets are investing in farmland, including irrigated California farmland. Finance, insurance and real estate corporations have been discreetly buying and holding agricultural land for decades in the California Central Valley. Almond orchards and vineyards are good places to park money to wait for the next expansion of urban slurb. When the Enron/dotcom market crashed, California real estate, with its low property taxes, rapid growth and weak governments, was a very attractive investment. As a result, five or six county seats in the San Joaquin Valley have made the top ten for residential foreclosures for the last several years.

 

There is a lot of money in America; it comes and goes out of this valley like floods before the dams were built. Move over, Nathan Detroit, our economy is the richest floating crap game the nation has ever seen. But the players in this particular game may be farming the tax code more than the land and crops.

 

Some likely consequences of a major increase in outside-investor control -- control by financial entities not always interested in profits -- of agricultural production in California:

 

* Increasing over-production of nuts, fruits and grapes, depressing commodity prices;

* Impacts on water: more, larger wells, driving down the aquifers for real farmers;

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For fortunes today the lords of Hilmar Cheese pollute tomorrow and tomorrow

Submitted: Sep 18, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
9-13-10
Environmental Health News
Bad water? It's the cheese. Hilmar Cheese brings good jobs to California farm town, but polluted water, too
The story of Hilmar is a classic tale of a company growing rapidly, bringing good jobs but also environmental threats to a rural farm community. In an ironic twist, though, it isn’t corporate outsiders pitted against town residents; the owners of Hilmar Cheese are descendants of the community’s founding families. Much of the well water around the cheese plant, located in the agricultural heart of California, isn’t fit to drink. And Hilmar Cheese is the likely culprit, new documents show...Jane Kay
HILMAR, Calif.
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High speed rail anyone?

Submitted: Sep 14, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

California High Speed Rail Authority

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/library.asp?p=5890

 

Investor Relations

 

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Who was Robert A. "Bobby" Lewis?

Submitted: Sep 07, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Merced County Director of Planning and Development Services, Robert A. “Bobby” Lewis, reportedly tendered his resignation on Friday. Numerous calls to different county offices to confirm the report met a stone wall.

Nevertheless, other sources convinced members of the Badlands Journal editorial board that the report was true.

 

The board issued a statement along with an article written when Lewis arrived nearly four years ago.

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On the announcement of departure of UC Merced's second chancellor

Submitted: Sep 05, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

A member of the Badlands Journal editorial board was asked by a UC Merced student for a meeting so that he could learn more about the campus where he is going to college. The request was received the day Chancellor Steve Kang announced he would depart the campus at the end of the next academic year.

 

We thought, rather than having coffee with the student and attempting to tell that story in an hour or so, we would do two things: first, refer him to an audio tape made in the classroom of UC Merced historian Gregg Herken, a member of the founding faculty of social sciences, humanities and art at the campus, and who directed the production of a laughable bit of bobcatflak called The Fairy Shrimp Chronicles: An informal history of the founding of UC Merced. The students of that class learned how to write history as propaganda and suppress vital information, useful skills if they seek careers in the University of California system.

 

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