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On the News With Thom Hartmann: New Revelations on the Nationwide Foreclosure Fraud Scandal, and More

Jim Javinsky in for Thom Hartmann – on the news…

Jim Javinsky in for Thom Hartmann – on the news…

You need to know this. The foreclosure fraud scandal may be worse than we all think. An audit of 400 foreclosures in San Francisco found that 99% of them had “legal problems or suspicious documents.” This new finding comes after the recent $26 billion mortgage settlement between 48 states and the 5 biggest mortgage lenders on Wall Street. Many argue that $26 billion is not nearly enough to compensate for the damage these banks did to millions of families through fraudulent foreclose practices – and this recent study out of San Francisco appears to back that claim up.

According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute – President Obama’s budget is good for job creation. Under the policies laid out in the budget – the EPI projects 1.5 million new jobs would be created this year – and another 1.3 million created in 2013 – to lower the unemployment rate by nearly a full percentage point. Republicans in both the Senate and House, however, have declared the President’s budget dead on arrival.

In the best of the rest of the news…

President Obama’s re-election campaign is hauling in the big bucks. In January – the campaign raked in 29.1 million – with mostly donations of $250 or less. So far – the Obama campaign has raised over $140 million – far more than any of the Republican Presidential candidates including Mitt Romney who’s raised more money from Wall Street than anyone else in the race. Then again, when it comes to SuperPACs – the Republicans are doing far better.

Speaking of SuperPACs – Occupy Wall Street wants to get in the game too. A local Occupy Huntsville group in Alabama filed paperwork with the FEC to start their own SuperPAC – calling it the Occupy Wall Street Political Action Committee. For an organization that is working to get money out of politics – this seems like a fairly ironic move. But organizers say they want to raise money to support politicians like Bernie Sanders in Vermont and Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts who are working to get money out of politics.

Mitt Romney may not have won the Maine Caucuses after all. The Maine Republican Party announced it is officially reviewing the results of the caucuses held last weekend to see if Romney’s 194-vote victory over Ron Paul holds. For the last week – the Paul campaign has cried foul, claiming that Ron Paul was the actual winner of the caucuses – but votes in Washington County – a Ron Paul stronghold – were never counted. If the review gives the win to Ron Paul – then it would be the second time this year that Mitt Romney was declared the winner of a caucus – only to have it be reversed after a recount.

On Thursday – the New Jersey Assembly approved legislation to legalize gay marriage. The state Senate has also approved similar legislation – so now the bill goes to Governor Chris Christie to be signed into law – making New Jersey the eighth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. However – despite polling in the state that shows a majority of people support same-sex marriage – Governor Christie has vowed to veto the legislation. It’s uncertain if there are enough votes in the state Senate and Assembly to overturn Christie’s veto.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darryl Issa held a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday on female contraceptives coverage in America. The only problem is – Issa didn’t allow any females to testify. The all-male panel consisting of various religious leaders blasted President Obama’s recent decision to force religious institutions to provide contraceptives coverage in their employee healthcare plans. Four Democrats walked out of the hearing in protest after the only female witness requesting to speak was rejected by Chairman Issa.

European leaders will finalize a 130 billion euro bailout deal for Greece that give the European Union sweeping new powers to manage Greece’s budget. The bailout comes on the heels of days of violent rioting on the streets of Athens with building being set ablaze and firebombs being thrown at police. Greece has been forced to pass austerity package after austerity package to comply with the EU and IMF – even though it appears that with each new austerity package the Greek economy takes a turn for the worse.

America is losing her scientists and engineers. According to recent census data – the share of works in scientific fields dropped for the first time in 50 years. Only 4.9% of our labor forces consist of science workers –like engineers, architects, and software designer. That’s a drop from 5.3% in 2000. Since 1950 – every ten-year census has revealed an increase in science professions…until now.

The so-called suicide underwear bomber who tried to blow up a plane headed for Detroit on Christmas in 2009 was sentenced to life in prison without parole yesterday. 25-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab pled guilty to the charges saying the bomb in his underwear was “blessed.” Luckily – the bomb was also defective – and the would-be terrorist only managed to give himself a nasty burn on his genital as he tried to ignite it. He’s also the guy we can thank for all of us having to walk through x-ray porno scanners now every time we want to fly on an airplane.

Journalists around the world are pausing to remember New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid – who died on Thursday after an apparent asthma attack in Libya. Shadid was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner covering numerous stories across the Middle East from the war in Iraq to the uprising in Libya. He was 43 years old.

And finally…a Cessna flying over Los Angeles was intercepted by F-16 fighter planes on Thursday after the plane mistakenly flew into President Obama’s airspace. President Obama was in Los Angeles for a fundraising trip. Once on the ground – authorities interviewed the occupants of the plane – and deemed they were not a threat to the President. However – a follow-up search of the plane turned up 40-pounds of marijuana. File this under drug-running FAILS.

And that’s the way it is today – Friday, February 17th, 2012. I’m Jim Javinsky in for Thom Hartmann – on the news.