FUBAR

Afghan war is, at best, a stalemate

When President Barack Obama presents his overhaul of U.S. strategy and goals in the Afghanistan war in the coming days, it’s a safe bet that he will not claim America and its allies are winning the seven-year-old conflict.

Almost no one inside the Obama administration makes those claims, a bleak assessment that acknowledges the grinding stalemate the war has become, and its impending plans to change tactics and lower expectations.

Little has gone as planned in Afghanistan in recent months, and Obama’s advisers know their program to counter a resourceful insurgency may not work, and will cost many more American lives before they find out.

Geithner to unveil $1 trillion toxic asset plan

Embattled Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (right) is expected Monday to unveil a $1 trillion plan to buy toxic assets from troubled U.S. banks.

That’s right: $1 trillion with a "t."

Geithner’s latest uber-expensive bank bailout comes as a new poll from National Public Radio shows President Barack Obama’s job approval rating slipping with a nervous American public and the Republican Party returning from the dead with rising support among the masses.

For Democrats, that means trouble with a "t."

As usual, Cheney is so wrong about so much

Former Vice President Dick Cheney used his first TV interview since leaving office to accuse the Obama administration of making us less safe from terrorists.

While Cheney came across on CNN as embittered, trying to rewrite history despite his role as a co-president who believed the world was ready to change according to his specifications, the question is valid.

Are we less safe?

According to "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency," by Barton Gellman, whose reporting won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize, Cheney spent eight years working behind the scenes to increase the power of the president. He is clearly angry that President Obama is trying, he thinks, to expand the power of the federal government instead.

Bad blood boils between FBI, Muslim groups

Bad blood between the FBI and prominent U.S. Muslim groups is beginning to boil.

After 9/11, the FBI launched a coast-to-coast effort to reach out to Muslims in America, urging them to report anti-Muslim acts against them and vowing to investigate any that occurred. The bureau also called on Muslim Americans to apply to be agents and translators, and encouraged them to report suspicious activity.

Did Tim Geithner lie about knowing of AIG bonuses?

Treasury Secretary may have known a lot more than he admits about the huge and controversial bonuses paid out by insurance giant AIG to its employees.

The New York Times reports that Geithner admitted knowing about bonuses at AIG two weeks ago after claiming this week he only learned about them later.

Big labor ignores a basic freedom of Democracy

"Since when is the secret ballot a basic tenet of democracy?" Teamsters President James Hoffa recently demanded. He callously dismissed this cornerstone of American self-government that helped emancipated slaves vote after the Civil War and has decided presidential elections since Grover Cleveland beat Benjamin Harrison in 1892.

Achieving success by screwing up

To achieve true prosperity and financial security for life, what you really need is the ability to screw up big time.

I base this observation on the revelations coming out of Wall Street, and I am waiting for the call from one of the great investment houses because, given the opportunity, there’s not much I can’t botch. Certainly I couldn’t do worse than the people currently running the show.

Obama may double troop strength in Afghanistan

U.S. President Barack Obama is considering a plan that would double the size of Afghanistan’s security force to about 400,000 troops and police officer to stabilize the nation, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Obama was expected to approve a version of the plan in coming days as part of a broader Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy, the report said, citing senior administration and Pentagon officials.

Afghanistan now has about 90,000 troops and the Afghan National Police numbers about 80,000 officers, the newspaper said.

On security matters, one sizes does not fit all

We Americans have always found comfort by wrapping ourselves in a one-size-fits-all security blanket.

We safeguarded our domestic security by redoubling our efforts to catch and punish crooks and murderers who endanger our homes and streets. We safeguarded our national security by taking hard lines against those who willfully endanger our country — spies selling stolen secrets got tough sentences and sometimes paid with their life. We called them "traitors" — because their greed put our nation at grave risk.

Is Twitter the end of civilization?

If you can stay focused, my topic today is the various assaults on America’s declining powers of concentration. Where was I? Oh yes, according to my theory, everything in modern life is subversive of people’s ability to focus on the subject at hand. This is a huge problem.