April 26, 2013 |
The Obama administration's Home Affordable Refinance Program is at last helping legions of American homeowners with upside-down mortgages. Nearly 1.1 million homeowners with little or no equity were able to refinance last year under HARP, which assists borrowers who are current on their monthly payments. That's nearly as many as in the three previous years combined, and the latest figures show that early this year, the pace of these refis abated only slightly. The program has become a success story after a stumbling start with slack lender participation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 2009 |
Bob and Carol Dawson love living in Baja California, but the region's violent reputation has put them on the defensive. They have been called delusional and reckless -- all because they choose to live in an oceanfront gated community about 30 or 40 miles and a world away from the U.S. border. Americans living in this part of Mexico are often grilled, half-jokingly, about their sanity. They get asked whether they've seen decapitated heads rolling down the street. Friends wonder whether they wear bulletproof vests or drive around in armored cars.
April 24, 2011 |
The San Fernando Valley is 260 square miles of suburbia. Actually, make that suburbia on nutritional supplements. And antidepressants. With perhaps a little cosmetic surgery south of Ventura Boulevard, where the big money is. Or maybe - now that it's grown to more than 1.7 million people in nearly three dozen cities and neighborhoods rich and poor - the Valley isn't even a suburb anymore. It begins just 10 miles northwest of Los Angeles City Hall, sprawling west to the Simi Hills, north to the Santa Susana Mountains, and east to the Verdugo and San Gabriel mountains.
April 16, 1989 |
When Jerry Cohn realized his wardrobe would not be complete without a pair of denim boots, he did not think twice about where to go--he took his unusual request to his designer of the last 10 years, Manuel. "It was my idea," said Cohn, who manages the careers of such stars as Barbara Stanwyck, Cesar Romero and Rose Marie. "I said, 'I've got a great idea . . . How about making me a pair of denim boots?' But he'd already thought of it on his own. He pulled out a pair and said, 'You mean like these?
March 30, 2013 |
From the nation that brought you "Are You Being Served?" comes "Mr. Selfridge," a loose dramatization of the founding of a British retail institution, the Selfridge & Co. department store, familiarly called Selfridges. Its eight-part run begins Sunday, under the colors of PBS' "Masterpiece. " Starring Jeremy Piven as Harry Gordon Selfridge, the American who brought recreational shopping to Britain, it is neither a miniseries nor a biopic, but a full-on, open-ended TV series - a second season is already slated for 2014 - which, like "The Tudors/The Borgias," takes real people from a real place and time and embroiders their lives with the sort of things you watch television for. There are resemblances to "Mad Men," as well, in that it is a period piece about the business of selling and the dreaminess of buying; and of "Downton Abbey" because it is concerned with social mobility at the end of the Edwardian era and ... big hats.
April 2, 2013 |
The government in Britain recently did something interesting. It asked everyone receiving an "incapacity benefit" - a disability program slowly being phased out under new reforms - to submit to a medical test to confirm they were too disabled to work. A third of recipients (878,000 people) didn't even bother and dropped out of the program rather than be examined. Of those tested, more than half (55%) were found fit for work and a quarter were found fit for some work. But that's Britain, where there's a long tradition of gaming the dole.
November 28, 2011 |
As we enter the season of the year in which Americans typically gain at least a pound or two that never goes away, a new report from the Gallup Poll finds that as our actual weight drifts upward, so do our perceptions of what our "ideal" weight would be. In Gallup's annual Health and Healthcare Survey , the nation's leading polling organization has asked Americans yearly how much they weigh and what their ideal weight would be. Compared to...
March 22, 2013 |
Detroit's automakers are doing better selling to young buyers, but South Korean car companies are making the biggest inroads in that segment, primarily at the expense of the Japanese. That's the finding of a study of auto registrations by auto research firms R.L. Polk & Co. and Edmunds.com. The U.S. automakers are doing better in the age 25-to-34 segment by offering “small, fuel-efficient and affordable cars that really appeal to a young set of buyers,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmunds.com.
March 7, 2013 |
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) delivered a nearly 13-hour filibuster Wednesday of John Brennan 's nomination to lead the CIA . Paul used his time on the floor to question the legality of the White House 's policies on drone use, beginning at 11:47 a.m. EST and ending at 12:39 a.m. EST Thursday. Below is the transcript of Paul's remarks, as his office released them, hour by hour. Hour 1: I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan's nomination for the CIA I will speak until I can no longer speak.