AirTalk for October 12, 2010

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Bank of America announced Friday that they would temporarily freeze foreclosures in all 50 states as they review the fine print in what has become a Byzantine mess of poorly executed paperwork. The number of borrowers who are currently facing foreclosure or in default has dropped from a peak earlier this year, but remains high – there were 4.4 million in August alone. If housing prices slip into another decline the situation could worsen and neither government nor mortgage lenders seem to have an answer to the ongoing mortgage crisis. When will the mortgage crisis end? What ripple effects will BofA’s decision have on the housing market?
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In 2006, California lawmakers passed the landmark Global Warming Act, which mandated that greenhouse gas emissions be cut to 1990 levels by the year 2020. Supporters envision that, as its provisions take effect, the transition away from oil and into cleaner fuel sources will energize the state by creating a new ‘green’ economy in California. But a measure on this year’s ballot aims to suspend those requirements until the state’s jobless rate falls below five and half percent – and stays there for a full year. Proponents call Prop 23 the “California Jobs Initiative,” while the opposition has deemed it the “Dirty Energy Proposition.” Will suspending environmental regulations really help save jobs? And if so, is it worth postponing California’s green revolution?
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Not really, says a new study from the Rand Corporation. California voters will consider a ballot measure in November, Proposition 19, that would authorize the commercial cultivation, regulation and taxation of marijuana in local jurisdictions. Proponents of Prop.19 argue that its passage would hugely reduce drug revenues but according to this study, Mexican cartels generate at most $2 billion, significantly less than government and other groups estimate. And, researchers found, legal pot would not stem the tide of drug-related violence in Mexico. Is the case for legalization up in smoke? How much does marijuana contribute to drug profits and border violence?
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Is foreign money influencing U.S. elections?

Democrats have gone on the offensive in the lead up to November, alleging that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has funneled foreign money into campaign contributions in order to influence election results. The Chamber does accept some money from abroad, but opinions from the Federal Election Commission say that’s acceptable, so long as they have “a reasonable accounting method” to keep foreign money out of political donations. Do you believe that foreign companies and government are meddling in the electoral process? Or has the Dems’ rhetoric gotten out of hand?
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Where should we eat this time?

That’s a question Angelenos ask each other almost daily, and often, we fall back on our familiar favorites. But where do you turn for guidance when you’re craving something new? Eat L.A. has been called the best food lover’s guide in town. Now, the latest edition serves up even more tasty info about the best ethnic eateries, take-out, caterers, wine shops, bakeries, pubs, vegan joints, and more. Special attention is given to the local, the sustainable and the ‘quintessentially L.A.’ So, where do you want to eat?
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