FUBAR

Time to take deficits seriously

The Bush administration said deficits didn’t matter and proceeded to rack up a record string of deficits. The Obama administration professes to believe the contrary, the president telling his Cabinet recently, "We can no longer afford to spend as if deficits do not matter … We can no longer afford to leave the hard choices for the next budget, the next administration, or the next generation."

Democrats: Hypocrites on torture?

The continuing hue and cry over the use of torture on suspected terrorists seems to have set a new standard for hypocrisy even in this town where it always has been considered an art form, practiced at the highest levels without a hint of shame.

Gates tries to reboot Afghan war

Taking a cue from voters who elected a president promising a different approach, the Obama administration is replacing the general overseeing the war in Afghanistan with a commander who has special-forces experience.

Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a senior administrator with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will take the place of Gen. David McKiernan once he is confirmed by the Senate. Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez will become McChrystal’s deputy with the Senate’s approval, which Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked be granted as soon as possible.

Afghanistan: Deja vu all over again?

Why is Afghanistan starting to make me nervous?

After 9/11, Afghanistan seemed like the right war in the right place.

Even Americans who are knee-jerk-skeptical about military action recognized that we couldn’t let a terrorist attack at America’s heart go unanswered.

Is there a right balance in Afghanistan?

Public attention to civilian deaths in Afghanistan underscores the challenging nature of the vexing ongoing guerrilla war. On May 4, according to allegations, civilians were killed during an Allied operation. Taliban insurgents entered a village in Bala Bulak in western Afghanistan and beheaded three civilians. When Afghan police responded, they were ambushed.

Stimulus money not going where it’s needed most

Counties suffering the most from job losses stand to receive the least help from President Barack Obama’s plan to spend billions of stimulus dollars on roads and bridges, an Associated Press analysis has found.

Although the intent of the money is to put people back to work, AP’s review of more than 5,500 planned transportation projects nationwide reveals that states are planning to spend the stimulus in communities where jobless rates are already lower.

Banks plan stock offerings to pay off TARP

Three big U.S. banks announced large common stock offerings on Monday and said they would use proceeds to repay funds received under the government’s bank bailout program.

U.S. Bancorp (USB.N) said it plans to raise $2.5 billion, Capital One Financial Corp (COF.N) roughly $1.75 billion, and BB&T Corp (BBT.N) $1.5 billion. Capital One said its offering will total 56 million shares.

White House aide resigns in flyover flap

The Pentagon and Air Force are reviewing whether their officials may be partly to blame for a $328,835 photo-op of a jumbo jet used by the president soaring above New York City that has already forced the White House military director to step down.

Former Army Secretary Louis Caldera, the White House aide who authorized the flyover, resigned under fire Friday as the Obama administration tried to move past the embarrassing incident that sent panicked workers rushing into the streets amid flashbacks of Sept. 11.

Stress tests give economy some good news

Government exams of the nation’s biggest banks have helped lift a cloud of uncertainty that has hung over the economy.

The so-called stress tests — a key Obama administration effort to boost confidence in the financial system — showed nine of the 19 biggest banks have enough capital to withstand a deeper recession. Ten must raise a total of $75 billion in new capital to withstand possible future losses.

Uncle Sam has a real deal for you

Has Uncle Sam got a deal for you! He’ll give you up to $4,500 toward a new car simply for trading in that hoopdie you’ve been driving for too long. Yes, the dealers at the House Energy Committee have reached agreement on — about the only thing they’ve reached agreement on — a "Cash for Clunkers" program.

And you’ll be able to hightail it down to the showroom just as soon as they’ve ironed out a few pesky details in a massive energy and global-warming bill and if they can get the full House and the Senate to go along.