Archives for FUBAR

South Carolina Unions sue governor

South Carolina unions filed suit on Thursday against new Republican Governor Nikki Haley and her administration, saying hostility toward unions and workers joining unions is unconstitutional. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the South Carolina AFL-CIO alleges that Haley is violating the federal constitutional and statutory rights to free speech, free association and due process. South Carolina is one of 22 “Right to Work” states and Haley said she will ensure that South Carolina workers are not compelled to join a union. “We believe there’s no basis to this
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Exclusive! Parents unplug teens! World doesn’t end

Susan Maushart lived out every parent’s fantasy: She unplugged her teenagers. For six months, she took away the Internet, TV, iPods, cell phones and video games. The eerie glow of screens stopped lighting up the family room. Electronic devices no longer chirped through the night like “evil crickets.” And she stopped carrying her iPhone into the bathroom. The result of what she grandly calls “The Experiment” was more OMG than LOL — and nothing less than an immersion in RL (real life). As Maushart explains in a book released in the U.S. this week called “The Winter of Our Disconnect”
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BMWs the really ‘hot’ car at auto shows

When carmakers like BMW say they hope people find their next car at auto shows like the one in Detroit this week, this wasn’t exactly what they meant. Two thieves drove away in a brand new $94,000 BMW 750i xDrive Sedan on Wednesday night that was left idling outside the Westin Book Cadillac, one of Detroit’s major hotels. The car was one of more than a dozen BMW sedans used to ferry executives and guests around town during the show. On Thursday morning, police said they were still looking for the gray four-door BMW. Police said the car was dropped
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Could be the worst winter the South ever thaw

It could be days before icy, treacherous conditions improve for areas of the South hit by a wintry blast that sent cars sliding off the road, emptied grocery shelves and had officials nervously watching ice-laden powerlines and tree limbs. Meanwhile, New York City was about to confront its third snowstorm in less than three weeks, a day after Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s administration admitted a series of mistakes in its handling of a Christmas weekend blizzard and promised immediate changes. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch from Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon, with the heaviest snowfall expected overnight.
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Consumers still strugglig to pay loans

U.S. consumers continue to struggle to pay back home equity, auto and other loans as high unemployment drags on the economy. The American Bankers Association said in a report released on Tuesday that the overall loan delinquency rate ticked up slightly for the second straight quarter. It had been dropping steadily since hitting 3.35 percent in the second quarter of 2009. The overall rate increased to 3.01 percent in the third quarter of 2010 from 3.00 in the second quarter. The ABA defines a delinquency as a payment that is 30 days or more overdue. The association attributed the lack
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Ex-CIA officer gave secrets to reporter

A former CIA officer was arrested on Thursday on charges of illegally disclosing national defense information about Iran to a New York Times reporter who wrote a book. The U.S. Justice Department said Jeffrey Sterling, 43, was charged with six counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and one count of unlawfully keeping national defense information, mail fraud, unauthorized conveyance of government property and obstructing justice. The arrest marked the latest case brought by the Obama administration charging current or former U.S. officials with leaking classified information to the news media. It also has been investigating the founder of
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Oops! White House Christmas card was hack attack

A malware-laden e-mail masquerading as a White House Christmas card was a sinister move by hackers to steal sensitive documents from U.S. law enforcement and military officials, according to cybersecurity analysts. The bright red and green holiday greeting, with the decorated Christmas tree, was sent out in late December and claimed to be from the “Executive Office of the President.” Cyber threat analysts said it was targeted at government officials, particularly those who are involved in computer crime investigations. While it is not clear yet how many people got the malicious e-mail or how many documents were siphoned from their
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IRS agent admits cheating on taxes

A California-based Internal Revenue Service agent could spend up to nine years in prison after acknowledging that he cheated on his own taxes. Federal prosecutors say 51-year-old Albert Bront pleaded guilty Wednesday in Los Angeles to filing false tax returns for himself and two innocent relatives. The false tax form claims included bogus alimony and mortgage deductions. The former Santa Clarita resident told a federal judge that he filed fraudulent tax returns for himself from 2003 to 2007 by claiming excessive deductions and failing to report income. He also acknowledged filing fraudulent returns on behalf of two unknowing relatives. Bront
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Feds warn states: Don’t come to us, the well is dry

Cut spending, raise taxes and fees, and accept billions of dollars from Congress. That’s been the formula for states trying to survive the worst economy since the 1930s. As Republicans prepare to take control of the House and exert more influence in the Senate, it’s clear that option No. 3 will soon wither. States will continue to face substantial deficits over the next few years, but they will have to get by with the end of stimulus spending and less financial help from the federal government. In recent interviews, top GOP lawmakers made clear it will be much less. “We’ve
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