Archives for FUBAR

Does COLA freeze hurt Social Security recipients?

Seniors will remain ahead of the inflation curve despite a second straight year without an increase in their Social Security benefits. Some seniors and their advocacy groups have raised the specter of millions of the elderly struggling to pay for food, utilities and health care under a benefit freeze. Struggle, many do, particularly those who rely on Social Security for most if not all of their income. But beneficiaries received a whopping 5.8 percent cost-of-living increase in January 2009, when the actual cost of living had risen only a tiny fraction of 1 percent. In effect, they got a double
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Court ruling on gays leaves Pentagon in limbo

As the Obama administration considers appealing a judge’s order to stop the law prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military, some officers and service members say they are uncertain how to react. The Pentagon said Wednesday it had not issued written guidance on the ruling, and commanders in the field said they did not know how to proceed on sensitive questions like pursuing existing investigations against gay service members. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned of “enormous consequences” for troops if the court order is allowed to stand, saying the decision on repeal of the law known as “don’t ask,
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While politicians debate, judge acts on ‘don’t ask don’t tell’

A federal judge’s ruling that the military must stop its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy comes amid conflicting concerns of gays who think the government is moving too slowly to let them serve openly and Pentagon officials who believe that moving too quickly might disrupt a military engaged in war. Gay rights groups have said they are disappointed that legislation to override the ban is likely to languish in Congress until next year, when Democrats could have fewer seats and less power to override Republican objections. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen, the military’s
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Republican defends Nazi re-enacments

A Republican congressional candidate from Ohio, countering criticism from a House GOP leader, said Monday that he did nothing wrong by wearing a Nazi uniform while participating in World War II re-enactments. Rich Iott told The Associated Press in an interview that he took part in the historical re-enactments to educate the public, and does not agree with the Nazis‘ views or their actions against Jews. Asked whether it was wrong to wear a Nazi uniform, Iott said: “I don’t see anything wrong about educating the public about events that happened. And that’s the whole purpose of historical re-enacting.” Iott
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Social issues trap some Tea Party candidates

The tea party movement was born in anger over the recession and the Obama administration’s bailouts, and built largely on a platform of lower taxes and smaller government. But some of its candidates are getting tripped up on social issues. In New York, Carl Paladino, the tea party-backed Republican candidate for governor, caused a furor among Democrats when he said over the weekend that children shouldn’t be “brainwashed” into thinking homosexuality is acceptable. In Colorado, GOP Senate nominee Ken Buck has tried to deflect questions about his stance against abortion rights. In Delaware, Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell has come under
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White House hedges on foreclosure moratorium

A top White House adviser questioned the need Sunday for a blanket stoppage of all home foreclosures, even as pressure grows on the Obama administration to do something about mounting evidence that banks have used inaccurate documents to evict homeowners. “It is a serious problem,” said David Axelrod, who contended that the flawed paperwork is hurting the nation’s housing market as well as lending institutions. But he added, “I’m not sure about a national moratorium because there are in fact valid foreclosures that probably should go forward” because their documents are accurate. Axelrod said the administration is pressing lenders to
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No COLA again for Social Security recepients

As if voters don’t have enough to be angry about this election year, the government is expected to announce this week that more than 58 million Social Security recipients will go through another year without an increase in their monthly benefits. It would mark only the second year without an increase since automatic adjustments for inflation were adopted in 1975. The first year was this year. “If you’re the ruling party, this is not the sort of thing you want to have happening two weeks before an election,” said Andrew Biggs, a former deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration
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The worse Obama gets, the better Bush looks

Is President Barack Obama as bad a leader as his predecessor — the universally despised George W. Bush? A growing number of Americans believe so. In fact, the number of Obama doubters has grown so dramatically in recent months that Americans are now almost evenly split over which President is worse — Bush or Obama. A new CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows the two virtually tied when it comes to public approval ratings of their presidencies. In the poll, 47 percent approve of Obama’s performance as President compared to 45 percent for Bush. That two percent is within the poll’s margin
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Rush to judgment: Vilsack ignored facts in Sherrod debacle

Former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod pleaded with officials to hear her out after she was ousted from the USDA during a racial firestorm in July, internal e-mails show. Sherrod’s pleas reached Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s e-mail soon after he ordered her dismissed from the department because of supposed racist remarks she made earlier in the year. He initially stuck by his decision despite her warnings that he didn’t have the full story. Agriculture Department officials asked Sherrod to leave her job as Georgia’s director of rural development July 19 after comments she made in March were misconstrued as racist.
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Foreclosure fury: Obama sends bill back to Congress

President Barack Obama killed proposed legislation on Thursday that struck at the heart of growing political rage over how banks have moved to evict struggling borrowers from their homes. The bill, which would have made it more difficult for homeowners to challenge foreclosures, came under the spotlight this week as the furor grew over disclosures that some of the biggest U.S. mortgage processors filed false affidavits in thousands of foreclosure cases. Obama sent the bill back to the House of Representatives for further discussion on how it would affect the foreclosure crisis, one of the most visible signs of the
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