Archives for FUBAR

Controversies stalk 9/11 observances

Politics threatened to overshadow a day of mourning Saturday for nearly 3,000 Sept. 11 victims amid a polarizing national debate over a planned mosque blocks from the site where Islamic extremists attacked America. Chants of thousands of sign-waving protesters both for and against the planned Islamic center were expected after — and perhaps during — a ceremony normally known for somber church bells ringing and a sad litany of families reading their lost loved ones’ names. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were to attend separate services in Washington and Shanksville, Pa., for the victims of hijacked jetliners
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After nine years, bin Laden still at large

Nine years after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Barack Obama said the U.S. has forced Osama bin Laden “deep underground” but Americans will face an expanded terror threat for years to come from other al-Qaida extremists “willing to die to kill other people.” The government is no less determined to kill or capture the 9/11 architect, he said. But the nation must remember the fight is with al-Qaida terrorists, not the much wider world of people of Muslim faith. On the eve of the ninth anniversary of the 2001 attacks, a day magnified by heightened tensions over a planned mosque
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Facts don’t support hype of Obama’s failed health care law

President Barack Obama told voters repeatedly during the health care debate that the overhaul legislation would bring down fast-rising health care costs and save them money. Now, he’s hemming and hawing on that. So far, the law he signed earlier this year hasn’t had the desired effect. An analysis from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary this week said that the nation’s health care tab will go up — not down — through 2019 as a result of Obama’s sweeping law, though the increase is modest. Obama offered some caveats when asked in his news conference Friday about the apparent discrepancy
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To burn or not to burn: That is the question

Will he or won’t he? Negotiations between a local Muslim cleric and the leader of a tiny Florida church who had threatened to publicly burn copies of Islam’s holy text left the heated debate in a state of confusion with the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks a day away. The Rev. Terry Jones said Thursday he would call off the planned burning of Qurans based on a deal negotiated with the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida that the location of a mosque planned near ground zero in New York would be changed. But Imam Muhammad
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Obama to Koran-burning minister: ‘Call off your stunt’

President Barack Obama implored a Florida minister to call off his Quran-burning “stunt,” saying it would jeopardize U.S. troops abroad. Obama told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview aired Thursday that he hopes the Rev. Terry Jones of Florida listens to “those better angels” and to the individuals and organizations pleading with him to change his mind. “If he’s listening, I hope he understands that what he’s proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans,” the president said. “That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance.” “And as a very
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‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ ruled unconstitutional

A federal judge said she will issue an order to halt the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, after she declared the ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ruled Thursday that the prohibition on openly gay military service members was unconstitutional because it violates the First and Fifth Amendment rights of gays and lesbians. The policy doesn’t help military readiness and instead has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services by hurting recruitment efforts during wartime and requiring the discharge of service members who have critical skills and training, she said. The
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Religious leaders condemn ‘anti-Muslim’ frenzy

U.S. religious leaders on Tuesday condemned an “anti-Muslim frenzy” in the United States, including plans by a Florida church to burn a Koran on September 11, an act a top general said could endanger American troops abroad. Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders denounced the “misinformation and outright bigotry” against U.S. Muslims resulting from plans to build a Muslim community center and mosque not far from the site of the September 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks in New York by the Islamist militant group al Qaeda that killed 2,752 people. Tensions have risen with the approach of both the September
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Obama’s plan: Spend money, blame Republicans

A combative President Barack Obama rolled out a long-term jobs program Monday that would exceed $50 billion to rebuild roads, railways and runways, and coupled it with a blunt campaign-season assault on Republicans for causing Americans’ hard economic times. GOP leaders instantly assailed Obama’s proposal as an ineffective one that would simply raise already excessive federal spending. Many congressional Democrats are also likely to be reluctant to boost expenditures and increase federal deficits just weeks before elections that will determine control of Congress. Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, cautioned, “If we are going to
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No recession in the business of politics

Turns out politics, for all its focus on the gloomy economy, is a recession-proof industry. This year’s volatile election is bursting with money, setting fundraising and spending records in a high-stakes struggle for control of Congress amid looser but still fuzzy campaign finance rules. Based on the latest financial reports, House and Senate candidates in this election cycle raised nearly $1.2 billion, well ahead of the pace for contests in 2008, 2006 and 2004. Races for governor in 37 states — more than half of those for open seats — are also setting fundraising records. Billionaire Republican Meg Whitman leads
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Blackwater created shell companies to fool government, public

The security company Blackwater Worldwide formed a network of 30 shell companies and subsidiaries to try to get millions of dollars in government business after the company faced strong criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, The New York Times reported Friday. The newspaper said that it was unclear how many of the created companies got American contracts but that at least three of them obtained work with the U.S. military and the CIA. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has asked the Justice Department to see whether Blackwater misled the government when using the subsidiaries to
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