FUBAR

Why Republicans are winning the terror debate

In political debate, the side that keeps its arguments simple and repeats them again and again is likely to gain the advantage. It is an easier sale, especially when the topic is as scary as terrorism.

That’s how Republicans got the edge in the dispute over President Barack Obama’s planned closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison. And it put former Vice President Dick Cheney on a separate but almost equal platform with the president of the United States, which is a plus any time the party out of power can manage it.

Credit card reform: End of era for students

It’s an end of an era for the thousands of college students who rely on MasterCard or Visa to get them through tight times.

Under a new law awaiting President Barack Obama’s signature, credit card companies will be prohibited from giving cards to people under 21 unless they can prove they have the means to repay the debt or a parent or guardian co-signs for the loan.

Congress passed the bill this week, and Obama was expected to sign it into law Friday. The changes will go into effect in nine months.

Gitmo mess leaves Obama in political box

President Barack Obama finds himself in a political box — at home and abroad — on closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, and he has prepared a major address on national security in hopes of working out of the tight spot.

Obama was taking on the explosive topic Thursday, a day after the Senate, at the behest of majority Democrats, denied his request for $80 million to close the prison. The 90-6 vote followed a similar move last week in the House and underscored widespread apprehension among Obama’s Democratic allies in Congress over the issue.

Trial date set for Gitmo detainee

The Obama administration is pressing ahead with its plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, deciding to put a "high value" detainee on trial in New York City despite resistance from some in Congress.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced early Thursday that Ahmed Ghailani will be sent to New York City for trial, which would make him the first Guantanamo detainee brought to the U.S. and the first to face trial in a civilian criminal court.

Poll finds college students stressed, depressed

Got stress? Oh, yeah, college students say, what with roommates, GPAs, student loans and all the rest.

But where’s the line between feeling simply stressed and being truly depressed?

Eighty-five percent of college students surveyed in an Associated Press-mtvU poll reported feeling stressed in their daily lives in recent months: Worries about grades, school work, money and relationships were the big culprits.

Army paid millions in bonuses to corrupt contractor

The U.S. Army paid "tens of millions of dollars in bonuses" to KBR Inc, its biggest contractor in Iraq, even after it concluded the firm’s electrical work had put U.S. soldiers at risk, according to a source close to a U.S. congressional investigation.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee plans to hold a hearing on Wednesday to examine KBR’s operations in Iraq, and question why the Army rewarded the Houston-based company.

Federal pension agency has record deficits

In an ominous setback, the government agency that insures the pensions of 44 million Americans has amassed a record $33.5 billion deficit — triple what it was just six months ago.

The bleak financial snapshot, in a report obtained by The Associated Press, raises new fears that a federal bailout eventually will be needed for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. The beleaguered agency is being saddled with the underfunded pension plans of companies going bankrupt in the worst economic slump since the Great Depression.

Activists want probe of insurers

Activists backing President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul are asking the Justice Department to open a wide-ranging investigation of what they say is monopoly-like power in the hands of major insurers.

The move by Health Care for America Now has consequences for the debate on Capitol Hill, since health insurers have been working closely with lawmakers to find a compromise that would expand coverage and curb costs.

Banks look for new ways to screw customers

As Congress gets ready to crack down on banks for raising fees and increasing interest rates on credit cards, the banks will look for new ways to extract money from cash-strapped consumers.

So they are looking to screw over their best customers.

Contractions of a bad economy

Capitalism is said to be governed by cycles of creative destruction, and last week the cycle rolled over nearly 2,000 GM and Chrysler car dealers.