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Leasing News is a web site that posts information, news, and
entertainment for the commercial bank, finance and leasing industry

Thursday, December 6, 2012

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Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Heidi Groomer Passes Away
 Long Time Business Manager for BSB Leasing
  Correction---Bulletin Board Complaint
   Radiance Capital, Fife, Washington
 Equipment Finance Agreements Explained
  by Barry S. Marks, Esq.
   Classified Ads---Credit
     Tristar Capital No Longer in Business
      Winding down portfolio/collecting residuals
       Leasing Companies Out of Business
        plus No Longer taking Broker/Discounting Business
  NEW ELFA Website to Help Business—NOT ALL
   by Christopher Menkin
    New Hires---Promotions
     Classified Ads---Help Wanted
  Why I am a CLP--Mike Helder
   Director of National Accounts
     First Star Capital
       CLP Handbook for Christmas or Hanukah
         Santa Monica Attorney Sentenced to 36 Months
           ---and Pay back over $2 million in restitution
   Maltese/Dachshund Mix
    Santa Ana, California Adopt-a-Dog
     Killing Them Softly/Hitchcock/Sparkle
      The Dark Knight Rises/Beasts of the Southern Wild
        Film and DVD Reviews by Fernando Croce
     ---Open Positions at Leasing Funders/Various Locations
News Briefs---
 Citigroup to Cut 11,000 Jobs and Take $1 Billion Charge
  Analysis: Citi cuts don't signal economic woes
   Bank of America Shares Top $10 for First Time Since 2011
    Mitcham Industries Reports Fiscal 2013 Third Quarter Results
     Georgia banks’ slow healing helps recovery
      John McAfee, Software Pioneer, Is Arrested in Guatemala
       Starbucks to open another 1,500 cafes in US
        Foursquare is the No. 3 mobile app
         55th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees
          Mel Brooks Strikes Back' review: Skits and shtick
           Jazz legend Dave Brubeck, dead at 91
            Dave Brubeck: Top 5 albums
             1961 “Take Five”

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (collection)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months

  You May have Missed---
   SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
    Sports Briefs---
     Baseball Poem
      California Nuts Brief---
       "Gimme that Wine"    
          This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release” and was not written by Leasing News nor information verified, but from the source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “by line.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer.

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Heidi Groomer Passes Away

Long Time Business Manager for BSB Leasing

(This was sent out Tuesday by Constant Contact
as well as added to web site edition—
Leasing News received many condolences for her family)

Heidi Groomer passes away 



Correction---Bulletin Board Complaint
Radiance Capital, Fife, Washington

If you read the Monday Leasing News early edition, the letter from Mike Price to the Consumer Protection Division of Washington was not included. His position regarding the claim of a purchase option in an Equipment Finance Agreement is the crux of the up-date, and to me is quite astonishing (editor):

Radiance Capital, Fife, Washington—Dec. 3
Bulletin Board Complaint---Up-Date

Radiance Capital Equipment Finance Agreement

Third Complaint: Radiance Capital

Bookmark Leasing News



Equipment Finance Agreements Explained
by Barry S. Marks, Esq.

Three-quarters of all leases in this country are “leases intended as security” ($1.00 purchase, dirty, finance, security, not-true or whatever leases) and only one-quarter are true leases.

Nevertheless, our industry has relied on lease language in financing documents for over half a century. Judges have generally followed the light in construing these documents but there have been notable instances in which a judge will attach liability for ownership of equipment to a finance lease lessor and state tax authorities routinely tax $1.00-out leases as true leases (and tax the finance charge as a result).

For this and other reasons, the Equipment Finance Agreement is becoming increasingly popular and stands to replace the familiar not-true lease as the finance vehicle of the future.

EFA’s are also sometimes used to finance motor vehicles and other potentially dangerous equipment, to be clear that lessees have title to preserve tax exemptions available only to the lessees and in other situations where not-true leases might create an ambiguity as to the lessee’s title or the lessor’s security interest. An EFA is simply a loan and security agreement by another name. Unlike a lease, the equipment user and not the financer clearly holds title. The transaction is stated to be in the nature of a loan or financing rather than a lease of personal property.

As opposed to a lease intended as security (a financing lease), an EFA is clear on its face as to the parties’ intention. The EFA therefore has the following advantages over a financing lease.

  • The EFA includes remedies under UCC Article 9 rather than mixing lease (Article 2A) and loan (Article 9) language. Presumably, this will make it easier to enforce in the event of a borrower default.

  • The EFA clearly states that the lessee holds title, which may have advantages for state sales tax purposes. Many states assess sales tax on the finance charge component of rent in a true lease. Some will tax financing leases the same way as true leases, assessing the additional tax because it appears that the lessor retains title.

  • As the lessee clearly holds title, lessee sales and property tax exemptions are more likely to be preserved.

  • The lender will be shown as a lien holder on the certificate of title, avoiding confusion with state titling authorities.

At the same time, because the EFA does not include a promissory note or security agreement as such, many lessors that are under internal restrictions prohibiting the making of traditional loans can close an EFA transaction. The absence of a promissory note eliminates extra paper and, to a large degree, the EFA can be modeled on an existing lease agreement package so as to preserve familiar late fee policies, document modeling, and deal structures.

Of course, it should be remembered at all times that the EFA is a loan-type transaction document. Because it will not own title, the lessor will not be entitled to depreciation or other state or federal tax benefits arising from ownership of the leased equipment, and the transaction cannot possibly qualify as an operating lease for accounting purposes on the lessee’s books. It is absolutely essential that the lessor file UCC financing statements if it wishes to preserve its rights in the collateral.

Barry S. Marks
Marks & Weinberg, P.C.
Phone: 205.251.8302
Fax: 205.251.8305

Barry Marks, Esq. Poetry Book of the Year in Alabama

Poems by Barry Marks, Esq.
Possible Crocodiles--collection at


A few of Barry's Poems


John Kenny Receivables Management

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement
• Fraud Investigation
• Credit Investigations
• Asset Searches
• Skip-tracing
• Third-party Commercial Collections

The Solution to Your Credit & Accounts Receivable Needs 
John Kenny
315-866-1167 |

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigations
and background information provided by John Kenny)




Classified Ads---Credit

(These ads are “free” to those seeking employment or
looking to improve their position)

Greater Atlanta, GA
13 yrs. small ticket--directly w/brokers & direct sale, plus working
capital.. Most recently Medical.  
Cell: (770) 561-1434 LinkedIn: | Resume

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:


Tristar Capital No Longer in Business
Winding down portfolio/collecting residuals

Tristar Capital, Santa Ana, California no longer in business, although it is reportedly winding down its portfolio and collecting residuals. The telephone does not answer from the listing and web site requires a log-in and password. The principals are working full time elsewhere.

The listing in Leasing News shows the company formerly had 30 employees.

"In 1998 I started TriStar Capital, LLC with my brother Mike Sanchez who was with Balboa for 5 years and Banc One leasing for 1 year and Robert Hendrix who was the National Sales Manager at Balboa Capital. I continue to sell and run the company with my partners. In the 4 years we have been in business we have grown rapidly and funded about 20mm in equipment cost in 2001. We hope to grow by at least 25% this year."

Ignacio Sanchez, CLP

“Iggy” was one of four named as a "top gun", those who continually own over $250,000 a year, according to their W2 and was a feature speaker on a panel at the San Diego United Association of Equipment Leasing, October 5, 2002

(File: Leasing News Archives, 2002)

"I grew up in Southern California and attended both San Diego State University and California State University, Fullerton.

"I started working for Balboa Funding Group in Jan 1990 right after I graduated from California State University, Fullerton where I graduated with a BA degree in Business Administration with my emphasis in finance. I started out as a Junior Account Executive where I was taught leasing by Jim Raeder, Shawn Griffin and Mark McQuitty, I became an account executive in June 1990. In Jan 1993 I became the Sales Manager for the Irvine office and served as sales manager for almost 4 years. As sales manager was in charge of all Irvine sales operations and at times funding, credit and training of new sales reps. Even with all my responsibilities I continued to sell and was in the top 3 in sales for Balboa Capital every year. In 1995 I became a CLP. In 1997 I stepped down as Sales Manager and went back to selling and training Jr. account executives. I continued selling there until I quit in 1998 because there was no chance of ownership.

"I received a base salary, car allowance plus 30% of all profit on both the front and back end of my transactions."

He and his brother Mike are now with TA Equipment Finance, Inc.


Leasing Companies Out of Business
plus No Longer taking Broker/Discounting Business

Companies with an * are no longer in business. The others are companies that were taking broker business, but announced that they no longer are accepting broker business. Many have also down-sized or are managing an existing portfolio.

More details are available in this list by company name:

*ABCO Leasing Inc., Bothell, WA
*ACC Capital, Midvale, Utah (lenders running off portfolio residuals)
Advantage Business Capital, Lake Oswego, Oregon
AEL Financial, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
(No longer taking new broker business) 
Alliance Financial, Syracuse, New York
*Alternative Capital, Apollo Beach, Florida 
*AMC Funding, Charlotte, North Carolina
American Bank Leasing, Alpharetta, Georgia
*American Equipment Finance, Warren, New Jersey
Balboa Capital, Irvine, Ca
*Bank Midwest Leasing, Overland Park, KS 
Bankers Healthcare Group, Weston, FL
*CapNet, Los Angeles, California 
*C and J Leasing Corp, Des Moines, Iowa
*Carlton Financial Corporation, Wayzata, Minnesota
*Chase Industries, Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan 
*Chesterfield Financial, Chesterfield, Missouri
CHG-MERIDIAN U.S. Finance, Ltd, Woodland Hills, CA
(Sales Management focuses very selectively on certain brokers.) 
*Churchill Group/Churchill Leasing, Jericho, NY
CIT Group (limited)
Columbia Bank Leasing, Tacoma, WA
Commercial Equipment Lease, Eugene, Oregon 
Concord Financial Services, Long Beach, California
Court Square, Malvern, Pennsylvania
*Creative Capital Leasing Group, LLC, San Diego, CA
Direct Capital, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Diversified Financial Service, Omaha, NE
Dolsen Leasing, Bellevue/Yakima, Washington
Equipment Finance Partners, a division of Altec, Birmingham, Alabama 
Evans National Leasing, Inc., Hamburg, NY
Enterprise Funding, Grand Rapids, Michigan
*Evergreen Leasing, South Elgin, Illinois
*Excel Financial Leasing, Lubbock Texas
*First Corp.(IFC subsidiary), Morton Grove, Illinois
First Federal Financial Services, Inc., Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
First Republic Bank, San Francisco, CA
Frontier Capital, Teaneck New Jersey 
*GCR Capital, Safety Harbor, Florida 
GE Capital, Conn (limited)
Global Funding LLC., Clearwater, FL
*Greystone, Burlington, MA
*Heritage Pacific Leasing, Fresno, CA
*Hillcrest Bank Leasing, Overland Park, KS (Parent bank sold)
Huntington Equipment Finance, Vendor Finance Group, Bellevue, Washington
*IFC Credit Corp., Morton Grove, Illinois
Irwin Financial (Irwin Union Bank), Columbus, Indiana 
Irwin Union Bank, F.S.B. (Louisville, Kentucky)
Lakeland Bank, Montville, NJ
LaSalle Systems Leasing
*Latitude Equipment Leasing, Marlton, New Jersey 
*Leaf Specialty Finance, Columbia, South Carolina
*LEAF Third Party Funding, Santa Barbara, Ca.
Lombard, part of Royal Bank of Scotland, worldwide
Marlin Business Services, Mount Laurel, NJ (accepting no new brokers, they may have opened for a select fee, but no more at this time, they say.)
M&T Credit (Bank)
*MericapCredit, Lisle, Illinois
Merrill Lynch Financial
*Mesa Leasing, San Diego, CA 
Midwest Leasing Group, Livonia, Minnesota
National City, Cleveland, Ohio
*Navigator (Pentech subsidiary) San Diego, California
OFC Capital, Roswell, Georgia
Old National Bank, Evansville, Illinois
Pentech Financial, Campbell, CA
*PFF Bancorp, Inc, Pomona, CA
Pinnacle Business Finance, Fife, Washington
*Pioneer Capital Corporation, Addison, Texas
PredictiFund, a subsidiary of Capital Access Network, Inc
Popular Finance, St. Louis, Missouri
Puget Sound Leasing, Seattle, Washington 
Radiance-Capital, Tacoma, WA
Rational Technology Solutions, Rolling Meadows, IL
*Reliant National Finance, Jacksonville, Florida
Sandy Springs, Olney, MD
Sovereign Bank, Melville, New York
Specialty Funding, Albuquerque, NM
*Studebaker-Worthington Leasing, Corp., Jerico, NY
(part of sale from Main Street Bank to Ascentium Capital) 
Sun Trust Equipment Finance & Leasing, Baltimore, Maryland 
*SunBridge Capital, Mission, Kansas
Suncoast Equipment Funding Corp., Tampa, Florida
TCF Equipment Finance, Minnetonka, Minnesota 
TechLease, Morgan Hill, California
*Tennessee Commerce Bank, Franklin, Tennessee 
Textron Financial
*Triad Leasing & Financial, Inc., Boise, Idaho
*TriStar Capital, Santa Ana, California 
*Union Capital Partners, Midvale, Utah
US Bank, Manifest Funding, Marshall, Minnesota
(new requirement: large yearly funding) 
US Bank, Middle-Market, Portland, Oregon 
Velocity Financial Group, Rosemont, Illinois
VenCore, Portland, Oregon (former company Len Ludwig)
*Vision Capital, San Diego, California
Wachovia Bank Leasing
*Washington Mutual Financial
Western Bank, Devils Lake, ND
*Westover Financial, Inc., Santa Ana, California

(Note: Should a company policy have changed, please contact

Funders looking for new Brokers:

"Broker/Lessor" looking for broker business:


NEW ELFA Website to Help Business—NOT ALL
by Christopher Menkin

Despite the publicity elsewhere in other media, be aware this Equipment Leasing and Finance Lease Advantage site is basically for Equipment Leasing and Finance Association members, pointing readers to their member sites and member information.

It does not mention the abuse of Evergreen clause by several of its members, including officers and directors of the association.

See for yourself, if you don't believe me.


New Hires---Promotions

Ruben Muniz appointed Director of Business Intelligence, CIT Vendor Finance. "(He) has more than 20 years of experience in financial services and consulting. He was most recently with KPMG, where he was director advisory for FP&A and Business Intelligence. Prior to KMPG, he spent most of his career at HSBC where he held various roles, both domestic and global, in finance and business management.

"In this role he will oversee business and market data analysis and reporting in support of our growth strategy. He will report to Ron Arrington, president of CIT Global Vendor Finance.

"Ruben’s extensive experience in business intelligence and MIS leadership will play an important role as we continue to build our global franchise and meet the financing needs of our small business and middle market clients,' said Arrington."



Leasing Industry Help Wanted

Credit Coordinator
11620 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Liaison between the Brokers/Clients and Maxim Credit Underwriters during the underwriting process. Coordinator will be responsible for managing the process of each transaction through our CRM and workflow management software. Click here for more information
Founded 2008, Maxim Commercial Capital, LLC is a nationwide funding source for Equipment and Real Estate secured commercial transactions.


Why I am a CLP--Mike Helder

Mike Helder, CLP
Director of National Accounts
First Star Capital

The first time I heard of the CLP designation was from Terry Jennings, CLP, with Financial Pacific Leasing, Federal Way, Washington, in the spring of 2005. The topic came up toward the tail end of a broker gathering with Terry asking who might be interested in attending an upcoming master review class. Although the class sounded worthwhile, I didn’t immediately vocalize my interest as I thought it would be best to consult with my employer first.

When I returned to the office my enthusiasm peaked thinking about attending the master review class and positioning myself to become a CLP one day. I was excited about this new opportunity and promptly sought out one of the principal owners of my company to discuss. Unfortunately, his reaction wasn’t at all what I had anticipated, hoped for, or expected.

My recently formed goals were heavily discouraged and my judgment was brought into question when I heard: “What?! Why would you want to make yourself accountable?” Baffled, I quickly changed the subject and retreated back to my office. My thought was - I want to be accountable and more importantly – credible. Soon after this incident, I began to realize that not one of the 30+ people with the company had earned the CLP designation (some with over 10 years of experience). This heightened my curiosity even further.

My start in the leasing industry came back in 2003 when I decided to leave an established career as a high tech recruiter for what was sure to be greener pastures. Through some old friends and acquaintances from college I had become aware of equipment leasing as a profession. In hind sight, I wasn’t specifically looking for a career change but I also wasn’t tone deaf to new opportunities. Slowly over time I became more inquisitive about the leasing industry and eventually became convinced that I had just as much ability to succeed in this dynamic industry as anyone else I had heard of.

Fueled by both curiosity & competitiveness I accepted a sales position as National Account Manager with a firm in the Pacific Northwest. Now there I was and wanted to learn more as I was viewing this as a career, not just a “job.” It changed my attitude about my current employer.

Over the following months my interest continued to grow. Although my tenure in the industry didn’t yet meet the minimum years required to sit for the exam I decided to attend and audit the classes for my own knowledge. I remember saying that I had enrolled in the master review classes one day during passing in the office – this time I wasn’t expecting encouragement, support, or congratulations. The same company owner that I had originally approached overheard me mention this. He immediately addressed my comment by making eye contact and giving me a single-eye brow raise – the classic that was popularized by Spock from Star Trek. I interpreted this lack of verbal commentary as a good sign to proceed as planned but thought it wouldn’t be wise to ask for an employer contribution toward the registration fees.

The two-day master review class truly expanded my perspective of the leasing industry. My interest was heightened by most of the topics covered including lease pricing and law/ legal. Being in a group of industry peers and hearing each of them share their reasons and motivations for wanting to pursue and attain the CLP certification was a great experience.

The class sessions left me feeling armed with additional knowledge and spending time with other likeminded individuals further fortified my desire to become a CLP one day. When the class sessions came to an end I set a personal goal for myself as I knew that it was a future priority for me to earn the CLP designation.

By the time I reached 5 years of industry experience the economic downturn was underway (note: today it is three years to qualify to take the test, no longer five years. Editor). I was now technically qualified to sit for the CLP exam. However, the realities of the external environment led me to postpone my goal as I felt there was too much turbulence and uncertainty for me to dilute my focus even the slightest. By 2009 it was clear, even to me (I am a pronounced glass half-full optimist), that our economy was in deep recession – things were not going well at my company and all signs pointed to things getting worse before they got better.

To say the least, the morale at my company was low, substantially less business was getting done, people were consistently leaving and/or being let go, and I was hunkered down trying to persevere. In spite of the fact that my production was much lower than historical average, I was able to maintain a stable level of confidence internally in myself and my abilities. I knew that all rainy days eventually end and when the economic instability finally did subside it would be up to me to pursue a bright future… it was just a matter of time.

What I didn’t know is where I would be working when the tide finally turned for the better, similarly to when I originally joined the leasing industry in 2003. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a new job or planning to leave my current employer…. However, this changed when the economic turmoil manifested itself internally at my company in the form of payroll becoming inconsistent and even missed / skipped all together. It wasn’t until this happened that I started to wonder about other employment opportunities.

Through somewhat of a chance encounter I met Brad Harmon of First Star Capital. My wife and I started to get to know him and we decided to take a road trip down to the San Francisco Bay Area to meet the rest of his team. I was impressed when I found out that Brad attained his CLP credential in late 2007 and was pleasantly surprised that he was a commendable advocate for the CLP program in general. It didn’t take long for me to determine that I should leave my current employer and join the group at First Star as a “sales rep.”

After settling in with the First Star team my interest in the CLP program was rekindled. I was encouraged to move forward with attaining my certification while also becoming involved in the local National Equipment Finance Association Seattle regional events. It was through this association that I met Jim McCommon, CLP, with McCommon Leasing, Bellevue, Washington. In the summer of 2010, Jim took me under his wing and mentored me for the upcoming Institute of Leasing Professional session by facilitating a study group at his office.

My study plan was simple – memorize the lease terminology and definitions on my own time and save the more difficult lease pricing and accounting for the study class. I made over a hundred “3x5” note cards which I took with me everywhere in the weeks leading up to the exam. Jim was instrumental with helping our group slowly comprehend all the different varieties of leases and how each type had its own nuances which affected pricing. I remember completing dozens of lease pricing grids which were crucial in helping me prepare for the exam.

The eight hour exam was by far the most strenuous test I had ever completed but I felt confident in my preparation and expected to pass. When I finished, my mind was numb yet thrilled that it was over. It didn’t matter that I had to wait over a month to get the results…I was done!

My CLP designation was official on November 8th, 2010. The results of earning this certification have been self-evident ever since. Both existing and new customers know they are dealing with a professional and many have frequently commented on my designation.

Every time I send out an email with the CLP moniker under my name or pass out a business card, I’m reminded of the credibility I earned and the confidence it instills. I would recommend anyone who envisions a lifelong career in leasing to pursue their CLP designation… it’s something that I’m proud of.

Why I Became a CLP---Story Collection


(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
contained in the column are those of Mr. Terry Winders, CLP)



CLP Handbook for Christmas or Hanukkah

This month only, $49.95. 400 pages. Normally it is $59.95, but for
the holiday season, the discount ( and for multi-copies
to the same address, ask for a further discount)

(To learn more about the CLP Handbook)



#### Press Release #############################

Santa Monica Attorney Sentenced to 36 Months
---and Pay back over $2 million in restitution

Imprisonment in Tax Fraud Conspiracy
Scheme to evade over $1Million in Tax
and over $900,000 in misappropriated Client Fees

Los Angeles- Robert M.L. Baker III, owner of Robert M.L. Baker III Law Offices in Santa Monica, California was sentenced to 36 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release following imprisonment. Robert M.L. Baker III was also ordered to pay $1,140,879 in restitution to the IRS and $916,000 in restitution to a victim for a total of $2,056,879 in total restitution by Judge Otis D. Wright today.

On January 25, 2012, Robert Baker III, 46, pleaded guilty to willfully subscribing and filing false tax returns in a conspiracy to commit tax fraud. According to the plea agreement, Baker admitted that he along with others devised a scheme to misappropriate client fees and settlements in order to evade payment of his tax obligations.

Baker utilized shell entities and trusts to hide over $900,000 in client fees and assets from the Internal Revenue Service, including a house located in Westwood. Baker also submitted a false offer and compromise form by mail and filed false tax returns with the IRS in attempts to evade over $1Million in tax.

In furtherance of the conspiracy, Baker altered his banking practices. Baker used nominee bank accounts, converted client fees into cashier’s checks to pay personal expenses, altered and cashed checks, and directed clients and other law firms handling clients to mail and wire funds to nominee bank accounts.

As part of the plea agreement, Baker agreed to file amended corporate and individual tax returns correctly reporting gross receipts and deductions. Baker also agreed to make restitution as part of the plea agreement

The investigaton was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

##### Press Release ############################


((Please Click on Bulletin Board to learn more information))
(Leasing News provides this ad “gratis” as a means
to help support the growth of Lease Police)

Send Leasing News to a Colleague. We are free!!!


Maltese/Dachshund Mix
Santa Ana, California Adopt-a-Dog


"I am housetrained, up to date with shots, good with kids, good with dogs, and good with cats."

Jamaica's Story...

"Meet Jamaica this Saturday, December 8, between the hours of 1 pm to 4:30 pm at Petsmart, Yorba Linda, Savi Ranch, 5521 Mirage Street, adjacent to the 91 freeway and in the same parking lot as Staples. Age: 4 months. Mom is a Maltese and Dad is a wire haired doxie. Most likely, she will not weigh more than 10 lbs. PLEASE complete an adoption application by visiting our website, and click on Adoption Process. You may return the completed application via email to"

"Jamaica has had 4 sets DHPP, 3 sets Corona, 3 sets, Bordetella, Neuter, Microchip, Rabies, Fecal Testing, Deworming, and a Vet. Exam."

Contact This Rescue Group...
Rescue Group: Poochmatch
Contact: Lydia Savala
Phone: (714) 241-9765
Let 'em know you saw "Jamaica" on!
Let 'em know you saw "Jamaica" on!
Fax: (909) 886-7470
Address: PO Box 25752
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Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City

Adopt a Pet


Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croc

A solid crime thriller ("Killing Them Softly") and a lighthearted biopic ("Hitchcock") hit theaters, while a superhero blockbuster ("The Dark Knight Rises"), an acclaimed independent drama ("Beasts of the Southern Wild"), and Whitney Houston's swan song ("Sparkle") make for a varied DVD night..

In Theaters:

Killing Them Softly (The Weinstein Company): After their acclaimed previous collaboration ("The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"), director Andrew Dominik teams up again with Brad Pitt for this tough, gritty crime thriller. Set in New Orleans during the 2009 presidential election, the story follows three low-level crooks (Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, and Ray Liotta) who pull off a daring heist and end up with $100,000 of mob money. However, they soon realize that they're in way over their heads when Jackie (Pitt), a ruthless enforcer, is hired to track them down and clean up their mess. But in this underworld saga where "honor" is just another word thrown around by criminals, who can be sure of who is double-crossing whom? With a sturdy cast that also includes James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins and Sam Shepard, this is a suspenseful and thought-provoking caper.

Hitchcock (Fox Searchlight Pictures): Cinema's most famous director, Alfred Hitchcock is the main subject of this lighthearted biopic, played by a sure-to-be-Oscar-nominated Anthony Hopkins. The story takes place in 1959 as the aging filmmaker, worried about losing his edge, starts to embark on what was possibly his most notorious project, "Psycho." The behind-the-scenes look at that shocking classic follows Hitchcock as he deals with his morbid fantasies, battles censors, and, above all, becomes fascinated with Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson), his gorgeous leading lady. But will this film save his career, or threaten his marriage to the long-suffering Alma (Helen Mirren)? Directed by Sacha Gevasi (who last did the acclaimed music documentary "Anvil: The Story of Anvil"), the film should be a special treat to movie buffs curious about the inner workings of the Master of Suspense.

Netflix Tip: Andrew Dominik, the New Zealand-born director of "Killing Them Softly," already has a slew of fascinating films to his credit. Before seeing his latest, catch up with his earlier hits, which include the inventive biopic "Chopper" and the exceptional Western "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."


The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.): The colossally successful superhero franchise comes to a thrilling end with this highly anticipated thriller directed by Christopher Nolan ("Memento"). When last seen, Bruce Wayne aka The Batman (Christian Bale) was taking the blame for the Joker's actions so that Gotham City could be saved from crime. Now, the millionaire-turned-caped avenger must come out of retirement to battle another foe, the fierce Bane (Tom Hardy) and his army of underground fighters. With the fate of the city hanging on the outcome, Batman must face not only his new opponent, but also the darkness that may lurk behind his own heroic mask. Featuring returning characters like Alfred (Michael Caine) and Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) as well as new ones like The Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), this blockbuster is a superhero fan's dream come true.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox): Fast emerging as one of the year's most beloved films, first-time director Benh Zeitlin's modern-day New Orleans fable has been enchanting critics and audiences since its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. Set in an isolated, close-knit seaside community known as "The Bathtub," the movie centers on a 6-year-old girl called Hushpuppy (captivating newcomer Quvenzhane Wallis), who spends most of her time by herself, whether caring for her alcoholic father (Dwight Henry), imagining prehistoric beasts marching on the horizon, or generally marveling at the universe around her. When the waters start rising, she and the other bayou denizens must band together to ward off tragedy. Crafted with a lush eye and a precious poetic touch, Zeitlin's film marks the beginning of several promising talents.

Sparkle (Sony): Though she passed away earlier this year, Whitney Houston continues her megastar legacy in this energetic musical, set in Detroit in the 1960s during the rise of Motown music. Houston plays Emma, the mother of young, aspiring songwriter Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), who along with Dolores (Tika Sumpter) and Sister (Carmen Ejogo) hopes to be part of a musical group. Success may be just around the corner for the three talented songbirds, but heartbreak is even nearer as the years pass and their close bond is tested by the pitfalls of show business. Directed by Salim Akil, the movie makes up for its clichéd, melodramatic situations with tuneful vigor and splashy, big-hearted performances, with Ejogo in particular burning up the screen as Sister.




Open Positions at Leasing Funders/Various Locations

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News Briefs----


Citigroup to Cut 11,000 Jobs and Take $1 Billion Charge

Analysis: Citi cuts don't signal economic woes

Bank of America Shares Top $10 for First Time Since 2011

Mitcham Industries Reports Fiscal 2013 Third Quarter Results

Georgia banks’ slow healing helps recovery

John McAfee, Software Pioneer, Is Arrested in Guatemala

Starbucks to open another 1,500 cafes in US

Foursquare is the No. 3 mobile app

55th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees

Mel Brooks Strikes Back' review: Skits and shtick

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck, dead at 91

Dave Brubeck: Top 5 albums

1961 “Take Five”


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MAD Magazine Celebrates The Dumbest Things In 2012, Facebook IPO Is #16



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How America Grew




Sports Briefs----

Cal hires Sonny Dykes as new coach

Colin Kaepernick has an enormous pet turtle

An N.F.L. Team at the Rose Bowl? Not if Some Neighbors Have Their Way




American Football Poem

Man in the Glass

(Bill Parcells allegedly read this poem often to his team before a game)

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say
For it isn't your father, mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass
Some people may think you're a straight-shootin' chum
And call you a wonderful guy
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye
He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest
For he's with you clear up to the end
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass


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Governor Sweeps Funds Out From Under California 58 Trial Courts

S.F. crab boats idled by price dispute


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This Day in History

     1492-- Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Santo Domingo in search of gold.
He finds a lot of natives that he makes slaves and brings back to Spain, reporting
that he has found a route to India.
    1628- Thomas Beard began manufacturing shoes. He came over on the Mayflower. Prior to that date, shoes were imported from England. The colonists also learned from the Native Americans how to make moccasins, which were so well liked that as early as 1650 they were exported to Eng­land.
    1776 -- Phi Beta Kappa, the first scholastic fraternity, is founded at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.
    1787- Delaware became the first state to ratify the federal Constitution by unanimous vote. It was signed on December 7 by all 30 members of the Constitutional Convention. Thomas Collins, who was president of Delaware at that time, automatically became the first state governor.
    1790 - Congress moved from New York City to Philadelphia. 
    1820- James Monroe was re-elected president of the United Sates. Daniel D. Tompkins was re-elected vice-president. The electoral vote was Monroe, 231; John Quincy Adams, a Federalist and Monroe’s secretary of state, 1 electoral vote. The panic of 1819 had wrought great changes in people’s economic status. A period of wild speculation had ended with wholesale foreclosures by banks, and much property in the South and West reverted to the national bank. To add to this, at the end of 1818 the Union consisted of 11 free and 11 salve states. Ready to be a state, Maine, would be a free state, but it would be offset by creating the state of Missouri from Louisiana, otherwise known as the Missouri compromise. The fourth U.S. Census recorded a population of 9,638,453. The center of population was 16 miles east of Moorefiled, W.Va.
    1862 - President Lincoln ordered the hanging of 39 of the 303 convicted Indians who participated in the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. They were to be hanged on Dec. 26. The Dakota Indians were going hungry when food and money from the federal government was not distributed as promised. They led a massacre that left over 400 white people dead. The uprising was put down and 300 Indians were sentenced to death. Pres. Lincoln reduced the number to 39, who were hanged. The government then nullified the 1851 treaty. 
    1864- Abraham Lincoln appointed Ohio Senator Salmon P. Chase chief justice of the United States, a strong advocate of African-American rights.
( lower half of: l )
    1865-The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, abolishing slavery in the US. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." In 1860, the US Census recorded a population of 31,443,321. There were 448,070 free blacks and 3,953,760 slaves in the country, the overwhelming majority were black.
    1884-Washington Monument is “topped.”
    1865-Eight months after the end of the Civil War, Georgia became the last state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, officially ending the institution of slavery in the United States. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." With these words, the single greatest change wrought by the Civil War was officially noted in the U.S. Constitution.
    1876 –The presidential election held on November 7 had given Governor of New York Samuel J. Tilden, the Democratic candidate, a popular vote plurality of 250,000, but Republicans refused to concede on the grounds that returns from Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Oregon were in dispute and thus their 19 electoral votes. Hayes need the electoral votes of those states to win. On December 6 two different sets of electoral returns were reported from the four states. The electoral vote ultimately was to be determined by a special 15-members electoral commission with five members from each house of Congress and five members form the Supreme Court, made up of eight Republicans and seven Democrats. On March 2, Congress adopted the commissions decision, Rutherford B. Hayes received 185 electoral votes and Tilden 184. The Republicans were accused of offering southern Democrats economic favors for their region if they supported Hayes’s claim. In any event, the new president showed a conciliatory attitude toward the South: the last federal troops were withdrawn and there was no further effort to protect the rights of blacks. All government programs for equality were ended. Reconstruction was over.
    1876-- Jack McCall is convicted for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok and sentenced to hang. He was acquitted at an “illegal” trial, but held again for trial in South Dakota, where he was convicted on this day in 1876 and then became the first person hanged in South Dakota. Wild Bill Hickok’s card hand held an ace of spades, ace of clubs, two black eights - clubs and spades - and the jack of diamonds. This became known as aces and eights - the dead man's hand.
    1877- Washington Post publishes 1st edition 
    1877 -First sound recording made (Thomas Edison)
Edison did not build the first sound recording machine, but made his first phonograph design and gave a sketch of the machine to his mechanic, former Swiss clock maker John Kruesi, to build. Thirty hours later the machine was finished, but Kruesi bet the inventor $2 that it would not work. Edison immediately tested the machine by speaking a nursery rhyme into the mouthpiece, "Mary had a little lamb." To his amazement, the machine played his words back to him. Kruesi would go on be involved in many of Edison's key inventions, including the quadruplex telegraph, the carbon microphone, the phonograph, and the incandescent light bulb and system of electric lighting. 
    1886-Birthday of Joyce Kilmer, American poet most famous for his poem “Trees,
which was published in 1913, was born at New Brunswick, NJ. Kilmer was killed in action near Ourcy, France, in World War I, July 30, 1918. Camp Kilmer was named for him. 
    1886 - A great snowstorm hit the southern Appalachian Mountains. The three day storm produced 25 inches at Rome GA, 33 inches at Asheville NC, and 42 inches in the mountains. Montgomery AL received a record eleven inches of snow. Columbia SC received one to two inches of sleet. (4th-6th)
    1892-Birthday of Theodore Lawless, African-American medicine pioneer, born Thibodeaux, Louisiana . He was a dermatologist who became a millionaire form his studies, practice and development of medicines. He also contributed to the better understanding of syphilis, a venereal disease; and leprosy, a disease which wastes away the muscles of the body. Setting up his offices in the heart of Chicago's Black community, he established one of the largest and best known skin clinics in the city. For many years, men and women and children, both black and white, crowded his waiting room from morning until night. But he still found time to teach at Northwestern University, work with the staff of Chicago's Provident Hospital, and share his knowledge with other doctors. In 1954, he was awarded the NAACP's Springarn Medal. In 1970 at his seventy-eighth birthday celebration on Dillard University's campus, Lawless shared the philosophy that directed his life: 
“I sought my soul,
But my soul I could not see,
I sought my God, but my God eluded me,
I sought my neighbor, and I found all there.”
Died May 1, 1971
    1896-Birthday of Ira Gershwin, Pulitzer Prize—winning American lyricist and author who collab­orated with his brother, George, and with many other composers.
Among his Broadway successes: Lady Be Good, Funny Face, Strike
Up the Band and such songs as “The Man I Love,” “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
    1898-Birthday of American photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt, born Dirschau, Prussia. One of the greatest photojournalists in US history he is best known for his 86 photos that were used on covers of Life magazine, including the photo of the sailor kissing a nurse in New York’s Times Square at the end of World War II. He died August 23, 1995, at Martha’s Vineyard, MA.
    1920—Pianist/composer Dave Brubeck birthday
    1921 -- Otto Graham, the Hall of Fame quarterback who ran and passed the Cleveland Browns to seven league championships in 10 seasons (1946-55), was born.
    1922 -- William P. McGivern lives. American novelist, screenplay writer, who published over 20 novels covering the wide genre of thrillers — homicide detection, espionage, political corruption, the world of psychopath, & the crooked cop.
    1922-The first electric commercial power line was placed in operation by Utica Gas and Electric Company, Utica, NY. The plant was build by the General Electric Company, Schenectady, NY, and consisted of the transmitters, the power lines, and the associated receives. The transmission lines carried both voices and power. A single power line could carry several different carrier frequencies simultaneously, making possible distant supervisory control of various types of electric equipment. This opened the United States, and the world to cheap electrical power, transmission, and changed lifestyles. The first hydrogen-cooled turbine generator for cities was built by GE, who lead the field in innovation and relatively low cost for consumers
    1925-Tenor sax and flute player Bob Cooper born, Pittsburgh, PA, 1925, died August 5, 1993.
    1928-Birthday of drummer Frank Dunlop, Buffalo, NY
    1937-Birthday of drummer Eddie Gladden, Newark, NJ
    1940-Birthday of bass player Jay Leonhard, Baltimore, MD
    1940- Nat King Cole Trio cuts first Decca recordings.
    1941-President Roosevelt-convinced on the basis of intelligence reports that the Japanese fleet is headed for Thailand, not the United States-telegrams Emperor Hirohito with the request that "for the sake of humanity," the emperor intervene "to prevent further death and destruction in the world." The Royal Australian Air Force had sighted Japanese escorts, cruisers, and destroyers on patrol near the Malayan coast, south of Cape Cambodia. An Aussie pilot managed to radio that it looked as if the Japanese warships were headed for Thailand-just before he was shot down by the Japanese. Back in England, Prime Minister Churchill called a meeting of his chiefs of staff to discuss the crisis. While reports were coming in describing Thailand as the Japanese destination, they began to question whether it could have been a diversion. British intelligence had intercepted the Japanese code "Raffles," a warning to the Japanese fleet to be on alert-but for what? Britain was already preparing Operation Matador, the launching of their 11th Indian Division into Thailand to meet the presumed Japanese invasion force. But at the last minute, Air Marshall Brooke-Popham received word not to cross the Thai border for fear that it would provoke a Japanese attack if, in fact, the warship movement was merely a bluff. Meanwhile, 600 miles northwest of Hawaii, Admiral Yamamoto, commander of the Japanese fleet, announced to his men: "The rise or fall of the empire depends upon this battle. Everyone will do his duty with utmost efforts." Thailand was, in fact, a bluff. Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii was confirmed for Yamamoto as the Japanese target, after the Japanese consul in Hawaii had reported to Tokyo that a significant portion of the U.S. Pacific fleet would be anchored in the harbor-sitting ducks. 
    1944-- The Count Basie Orchestra records "Red Bank Boogie" 
    1947- Stan Kenton cuts “ Peanut Vendor.”,

    1947- Everglades national Park was established.. Part of vast marshland area
on southern Florida peninsula, originally authorized May 30,1934.
    1950 -Duluth, MN had their greatest 24 hour snowfall when 25.4 inches fell
    1951---Top Hits
Sin (It’s No) - Eddy Howard
Because of You - Tony Bennett
Down Yonder - Del Wood
Slow Poke - Pee Wee King
    1952-- The Mills Brothers' "The Glow-Worm" hits #1 
    1954 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Mr. Sandman," The Chordettes.
    1957-Mercury Records releases the Diamonds' cover of the Chuck Willis dance tune "The Stroll." It peaks at #8 on the pop chart and sparks a fad for the dance of the same name.
    1957-- Elvis visits radio station WDIA in Memphis and meets two of his idols, Little Junior Parker and Bobby Bland. 
    1959---Top Hits
Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin
Don’t You Know - Della Reese
In the Mood - Ernie Field’s Orch.
Country Girl - Faron Young
    1960 - Gene Autry was attending the 1960 baseball winter meetings hoping to secure a broadcasting contract for KMPC, his Los Angeles radio station. The ‘Singing Cowboy’ wound up as the owner of the expansion Los Angeles Angels (when no one came forward to bid for the team, Autry made a bid of his own). The team became the showpiece for KMPC. The Angels played their first season in Wrigley Field (capacity 22,000), then rented Dodger Stadium and later moved to Anaheim. 
In 2002, they won the World Series, beating the San Francisco Giants.
    1960-500 store owners in Tucson, Arizona sign pledges of non-discrimination.
In 1994 a black chamber of commerce was formed in Tucson, the 33rd largest city
in the United States. One of the “hold out” states, it was not until 1993 that Arizona observed its first statewide Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. June 7, 1993, Governor Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire signed the King Holiday legislation into law, completing enactment of holiday in all states.
    1965-Motown Records releases Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Going to a Go-Go." The song is later covered by the Rolling Stones. The Miracles' version will reach #11 on the pop chart.
    1966--The Beatles record "When I'm Sixty-Four" 
    1967---Top Hits
Daydream Believer - The Monkees
The Rain, the Park & Other Things - The Cowsills
I Say a Little Prayer - Dionne Warwick
It’s the Little Things - Sonny James
    1967- the first heart transplant in the Untied States was performed at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, New York City. Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz was the surgeon and the patient was a two-week-old baby boy, who lived for 6.5 hours after the operation. The transplant took place three days after Dr. Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant in history in Cape Town, South Africa. The first heart transplant performed on an adult in the United States took place on January 6, 1968, at the Stanford Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA. The patient was Mike Kasperak and the surgeon was Dr. Norman Shumway.
    1967--LITEKY, ANGELO J. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Chaplain (Capt.), U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 199th Infantry Brigade. place and date: Near Phuoc-Lac, Bien Hoa province, Republic of Vietnam, 6 December 1967. Entered service at: Fort Hamilton, N.Y. Born: 14 February 1931, Washington, D.C. Citation: Chaplain Liteky distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while serving with Company A, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He was participating in a search and destroy operation when Company A came under intense fire from a battalion size enemy force. Momentarily stunned from the immediate encounter that ensued, the men hugged the ground for cover. Observing 2 wounded men, Chaplain Liteky moved to within 15 meters of an enemy machine gun position to reach them, placing himself between the enemy and the wounded men. When there was a brief respite in the fighting, he managed to drag them to the relative safety of the landing zone. Inspired by his courageous actions, the company rallied and began placing a heavy volume of fire upon the enemy's positions. In a magnificent display of courage and leadership, Chaplain Liteky began moving upright through the enemy fire, administering last rites to the dying and evacuating the wounded. Noticing another trapped and seriously wounded man, Chaplain Liteky crawled to his aid. Realizing that the wounded man was too heavy to carry, he rolled on his back, placed the man on his chest and through sheer determination and fortitude crawled back to the landing zone using his elbows and heels to push himself along. pausing for breath momentarily, he returned to the action and came upon a man entangled in the dense, thorny underbrush. Once more intense enemy fire was directed at him, but Chaplain Liteky stood his ground and calmly broke the vines and carried the man to the landing zone for evacuation. On several occasions when the landing zone was under small arms and rocket fire, Chaplain Liteky stood up in the face of hostile fire and personally directed the medivac helicopters into and out of the area. With the wounded safely evacuated, Chaplain Liteky returned to the perimeter, constantly encouraging and inspiring the men. Upon the unit's relief on the morning of 7 December 1967, it was discovered that despite painful wounds in the neck and foot, Chaplain Liteky had personally carried over 20 men to the landing zone for evacuation during the savage fighting. Through his indomitable inspiration and heroic actions, Chaplain Liteky saved the lives of a number of his comrades and enabled the company to repulse the enemy. Chaplain Liteky's actions reflect great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
    1969- Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, in Livermore, a free concert featuring performance by the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplanes, Santana, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and the Flying Burrito Brothers turned into tragedy. The "thank you" concert for 300,000 fans was marred by overcrowding, drug overdoses and the fatal stabbing of a spectator by a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, who had been hired as security guards for the event. The murder is filmed and included in the film "Gimme Shelter" which premiers exactly one year later.
    1969 - Musician Cab Calloway turned actor as he was seen in the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation of "The Littlest Angel" on NBC. The big band singer, known for such classics as "Minnie the Moocher", became a movie star in "The Blues Brothers" (1980) with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. 
    1969 - "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", by Steam, reached the #1 spot on the top 40. It stayed at the top for two weeks and was the only major hit for the group that later ran out of ... steam. 
    1970-"Gimme Shelter," the documentary film about the Rolling Stones' 1969 tour of the U.S. debuts on the anniversary of the Altamont concert.
    1970 - A windstorm toppled the National Christmas Tree at the White House. 
    1971 - It was payday for Jack Nicklaus. He received $30,000 for capturing the first Disney World golf tournament. His earnings for the season totaled $244,490. 
    1971- Ryan Wayne White born with hemophilia, later to contract AIDS from blood-clotting products.

    1973- Gerald Ford was sworn in as vice-president under Richard Nixon, following the resignation of Spiro Agnew who pled no contest to a charge of income tax evasion. 1973 Gerald Rudolph Ford became the first vice president chosen under the 25th amendment when he was sworn into office as President Richard Milhous Nixon’s vice president. The 25th amend, ratified on February 10, 1967, enables the president to appoint a vice president in the event that the office becomes vacant. On October 10, 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned to face charges of income tax evasion, leaving the vice presidency open for the first time since the passage of the amendment. When President Nixon resigned Gerald Ford became the first president of the United States never elected to the office He later pardoned Nixon after his resignation as president. Some say it was this act that elected Jimmy Carter president of the United States in 1976. The electoral vote was Carter, 297; Pres. Ford, 240. the popular vote was Carter, 40,828,929; Ford 38,148,940. In congressional elections, the Democrats kept a 2-Senate majority, 61-38, with one seat going to an impendent, and a House Majority o4 2192-143. Yet Carter was considered by historians as a very ineffectual president and leader.. Some say it was the challenging of his chief campaign manager who became director of the Officer of Management and budget, Bert Lance. Never the less, in the first months of Pres. Jimmy Carter’s administration, most Vietnam-era draft resisters were pardoned, the planned pullout of U.S. forces from South Korea was announced, and administration officials spoke out against human rights violations worldwide. Vernon Jordon of the National Urban League charged the administration with not doing enough to reduce unemployment among blacks. In his second year, national unemployment reached 7% and the Dow Jones declined, while the U.S. faced a high trade deficit, primarily because of oil imports and the falling value of the dollar. 
    1973-Steve Miller who'd been laying low for most of last year and this year, gets a gold record for "The Joker," his most successful LP to date. The title track becomes Miller's first chart-topping hit and gives cameo roles to some of his previous in-song personas, like "Maurice" and "The Gangster of Love."
    1975 - Paul Simon’s album, "Still Crazy After All These Years", was number one in the U.S. It was Simon’s first #1 solo album and it contained his first recording with Art Garfunkel since their 1969 breakup ("My Little Town", which was also included on Garfunkel’s "Breakaway" album). 
    1975- Senator Robert Dole & Elizabeth Hanford marry.
    1975---Top Hits
Fly, Robin, Fly - Silver Convention
Sky High - Jigsaw
Let’s Do It Again - The Staple Singers
Secret Love - Freddy Fender
    1975-Soul singer Tyrone Davis enters the R&B chart with "Turning Point," which -- though it will never enter the pop chart -- will hit Number One early next year.
    1979-AC/DC's big breakthrough comes with his fifth U.S. album, "Highway to Hell." It turns gold and happens to be the last album recorded with original vocalist Bon Scott, who dies two months later.
    1983---Top Hits
All Night Long (All Night) - Lionel Richie
Say Say Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
A Little Good News - Anne Murray
    1984- The longest winning streak in the history of women’s tennis came to an end when Helena Kuova defeated Martina Navatilove, who had won 74 matches in a row, starting January 15, 1974.
    1986 - University of Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde won the Heisman Trophy on this day. 
    1987 - Another in a series of storms brought high winds and heavy rain to the northwestern U.S., with heavy snow in some of the higher elevations. In northern California, Crescent City was drenched with 2.58 inches of rain, and winds gusted to 90 mph. Up to fourteen inches of snow blanketed the mountains of northern California, and snow and high winds created blizzard conditions around Lake Tahoe NV.
    1989 - Heavy snow blanketed the Central Rocky Mountain Region. Totals in the southern foothills of Colorado ranged up to 17 inches at Rye. Arctic air invaded the north central U.S. Lincoln NE, which reported a record high of 69 degrees the previous afternoon, was 35 degrees colder. International Falls MN was the cold spot in the nation with a morning low of 9 degrees below zero, and temperatures in northern Minnesota hovered near zero through the daylight hours.
    1991---Top Hits
Set Adrift on Memory Bliss - PM Dawn
Black or White - Michael Jackson
Blowing Kisses in the Wind - Paula Abdul
Forever Together - Randy Travis
    1994-Financial disaster hit Orange County on December 6, 1994, as a dalliance with high-risk investing forced the affluent California community to file for bankruptcy. The move, which marked the single biggest bankruptcy filing by a municipality, capped off a disastrous run for Orange County and its multi-billion-dollar investment fund.
    1998 - Astronauts on the U.S. space shuttle "Endeavour" completed the most difficult task of their 12-day mission, mating modules from Russia and the United States to create the first two building blocks of International Space Station. “We have capture of Zarya,” Commander Robert Cabana announced when the two pieces came together at approximately 9:07 p.m. EST. “Congratulations to the crew of the good ship Endeavour,” replied Mission Control. “That's terrific.” 
    1999 - The U.S. airline maintenance company SabreTech was cleared of conspiracy charges in the crash of a plane belonging to cut-rate carrier ValuJet, which killed 110 people. The company was convicted on a series of less serious charges, including the improper packaging of the oxygen canisters thought to be responsible for the crash. The case involved 144 oxygen generators removed by SabreTech from other ValuJet planes and delivered to the ill-fated flight without the required safety caps or any markings indicating the canisters were hazardous. Investigators blamed the generators for starting a 2,200-degree cargo fire that brought down the DC-9 on May 11, 1996. 
    1998-Comedian and actor Bill Cosby receives the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors. Cosby was born in Philadelphia in 1937. He dropped out of high school and joined the navy in 1956, later getting his high school degree by correspondence. In 1960, he entered Temple University on a football scholarship, but by the following year he had become more interested in comedy and began performing regularly in a Greenwich Village nightclub. He went on to pursue a career in show business and was cast in 1965 as the partner of a white undercover agent in I Spy, which ran until 1968. The first network TV show to portray a natural working relationship between white and black colleagues, I Spy co-starred Robert Culp. (The first black-white TV show was “Harlem Detective” written-produced-directed by my father in the early 1950’s in New York.) Cosby starred in numerous other TV shows throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including The Bill Cosby Show, from 1969 to 1971, a situation comedy in which Cosby played a high school coach, and The New Bill Cosby Show, a variety show that lasted only one season (1972-73). Meanwhile, Cosby released a series of hit comedy recordings, winning eight Grammies, and earned a doctorate in education. In 1972, he launched an animated cartoon series called Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, which ran until 1984. In the 1970s and '80s, he made many appearances on children's TV shows, including The Electric Company and Sesame Street.In 1984, The Cosby Show debuted, a series featuring obstetrician Cliff Huxtable, his attorney wife, and their houseful of children. Rejected by ABC and NBC when Cosby pitched a similar concept based on a blue-collar family, NBC agreed to try the show once Cosby made the main characters an affluent family. The show, which ran until 1992, became one of the most popular programs on television. From 1994 to 1995, Cosby starred in The Cosby Mysteries, playing a forensic expert, and launched Cosby, about downsized airline worker Clinton Lucas, in 1996. Cosby also starred in several movies, including Leonard, Part 6 (1987), which he produced, and Ghost Dad (1990), but his movies generally failed to make a splash at the box office.
    2005 - At the Winter Meetings, the Blue Jays continue to keep their wallets open as the team agrees to a five-year, $55 million deal with A.J. Burnett ( 12-12, 3.44 ). The signing of the Marlin free agent who many consider the best starter available on the market, comes on the heels of Toronto giving B.J. Ryan $47 million over five-years making it the richest contract in baseball history.
    2007 - Billy Joel released a new Pop single called "Christmas in Fallujah", which featured the vocals of 21-year-old singer Cass Dillon. At 58, Joel said he felt he was too old to sing the song, which was inspired by letters he received from soldiers in Iraq.




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