Archives for FUBAR

Corolla probe: Another blow to Toyota’s credibility

Toyota faces a new US probe into complaints of steering problems with the Corolla, the world’s best-selling car, in a fresh setback to the crisis-hit auto giant’s efforts to restore trust in its brand. The Japanese maker, already pulling more than eight million cars worldwide over defects linked to more than 30 deaths, said Wednesday it was looking into the issue and would recall the Corolla if it found a dangerous flaw. Another recall would deal a heavy blow to efforts by the world’s biggest automaker to bounce back from a string of safety issues and criticism that it was
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Anderson Cooper sued over fall in new home

An interior designer  is suing CNN anchor Anderson Cooper after she took an unusual fall at an old New York City firehouse that he is converting into a new home.

Killian O'Brien, of Brooklyn, says in her suit that she plunged 17 feet through the hole that once held the station's fire pole. The pole had been removed, but the hole was uncovered.

The accident happened in September. Her lawyer, Neil Greenberg, says she is lucky to be alive.

Cooper's spokesman declined to comment.

The Manhattan firehouse was built in 1906. It was the former home of a unit of the Fire Patrol, a private firefighting organization backed by the insurance industry.

O'Brien is also suing the developer of the building.
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Recalls challenge the ‘Toyota Way’

Assembly lines that run like clockwork. Supplies that arrive just in time. Dedicated workers trained to spot defects, churning out quality cars in the millions. Such are the trademarks of "Toyota Way" manufacturing.

That's why the automaker's recent bungling over a spate of global recalls appears so out of character.
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U.S. debt continues to rise dangerously

It's bad enough that Greece's debt problems have rattled global financial markets. In the world's largest economic and military power, there's a far more serious debt dilemma.

For the U.S., the crushing weight of its debt threatens to overwhelm everything the federal government does, even in the short-term, best-case financial scenario — a full recovery and a return to prerecession employment levels.

The government already has made so many promises to so many expanding "mandatory" programs. Just keeping these commitments, without major changes in taxing and spending, will lead to deficits that cannot be sustained.
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GOP sends mixed signals on health summit

Congressional Republicans sent mixed signals after President Barack Obama challenged them to participate in a one-of-a-kind televised summit with Democrats to come up with legislation on overhauling the nation's health care.

House Republicans derided the Feb. 25 event, casting doubt on whether it would yield any bipartisan agreement to extend coverage to millions of Americans and rein in medical costs. "Are they willing to start over with a blank sheet of paper?" said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio. "We need answers before we know if the White House is more interested in partisan theater than in facilitating a productive dialogue about solutions."
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911 terror trials: Uncertainty, controversy

The Obama administration appears increasingly unsure what to do with professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after officials indicated they are reconsidering not just where he should go on trial, but whether he should face civilian or military justice.

Both Attorney General Eric Holder and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs did not rule out a military trial when asked Friday about the Obama administration's options.
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Fake GOP mailings could screw up census

Republican groups are raising money under the guise of the U.S. Census Bureau, leaving the government's people-counters worried that a flurry of misleading letters could make some Americans less likely to respond to the real thing.

After the Republican National Committee raised money with such mailings, congressional Republicans are now conducting a fundraising "census" of their own.
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No more new Humvees for the military

Humvees, the all-terrain, multi-purpose vehicles that replaced the Jeep as a symbol of military transport, may soon follow its civilian counterpart into the scrapheap of history.

The Army did not include any new orders for the Humvee in the service's recent budget proposal and Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, an Army spokesman, says the 2,620 vehicles currently under order from Mishawaka, Ind.-based AM General are the last.

The Army, Cummings says, is moving on to newer technology and other vehicles.
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Taxpayers paid for Blackwater strippers, prostitutes

Blackwater Worldwide, the mercenary firm that the administration of former President George W. Bush allowed to run amuck in Iraq, defrauded the U.S. government for years by filing fake expenses reports, double billing and charging government agencies for strippers and whores, court records show.

Two former employees of the para-military firm, in documents filed under a 2008 lawsuit, outlined the pattern of theft of taxpayer funds in Blackwater activities in Iraq, Afghanistan and even in Louisiana in the weeks and months following Hurricane Katrina.
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