Archives for FUBAR

Health care ‘reform’ leaves 12 million uninsured

Health care protestsFor consumers, the health care bills taking final shape in Congress don't rate close to a perfect 10.

The Democratic measures would leave 12 million or more eligible Americans uninsured. Many middle-class families who'd now be required to buy coverage would still find the premiums a stretch, even with government aid. A new federal fund to provide temporary coverage for people with health problems would quickly run out of cash.

For now, these bread-and-butter concerns take a back seat to more pressing issues for Democratic lawmakers trying to deliver on President Barack Obama's signature issue.


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An angry public takes aim at Federal Reserve

Federal ReserveSuddenly the Federal Reserve is everybody's punching bag.

Strip the Fed of its bank regulation powers, some in Congress are demanding. Get probing audits of its behind-the-scenes operations, others say.

The chairman of the Federal Reserve Board is always fair game for criticism and second-guessing, usually over interest rate actions. But this year the criticism is much broader as Congress responds to widespread public anger that the Fed bailed out Wall Street but not ordinary Americans, and with unemployment in double digits.

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The economy goes down and suicides go up

Suicides in the United States may be increasing during the worst recession since the Great Depression.

But the recession may or may not be the reason more people are taking their lives.

Like so much about the economy, the numbers aren't clear.

For a nation that thrives on statistics, the "official" stats for suicides in this nation aren't up to date and lag about a year behind.

So The Wall Street did its own number of crunching and found the rate for for those who take their own lives is up about 2.6 percent -- give a percentage point or two.

Reports The Journal:


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Feds will drop some charges in Blackwater shooting

Blackwater USAThe Justice Department intends to drop manslaughter and weapons charges against one of the Blackwater Worldwide security guards involved in a deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting, prosecutors said in court documents Friday.

The shooting in busy Nisoor Square left 17 Iraqis dead and inflamed anti-American sentiment abroad. It touched off a string of investigations that ultimately led the State Department to cancel the company's lucrative contract to guard diplomats in Iraq.

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Citibank to customers: More debt means less interest

For Citibank credit card holders, there is one way to escape the bank's rate hikes currently under way: Meet a monthly spending requirement. Those who meet the spending minimum — in some cases $750 a month — will be able to get a rebate on their total interest charges for that month. The rebate could cover some or all of the interest rate hike. Customers also need to make payments on time to qualify for the rebate. Without giving specifics, Citi said the monthly spending requirements and interest rate hikes will vary depending on the cardholder's credit history.
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Military looking for ways to predict PTSD

Two days before shipping off to war, Marine Pfc. Jesse Sheets sat inside a trailer in the Mojave Desert, his gaze fixed on a computer that flashed a rhythmic pulse of contrasting images. Smiling kids embracing a soldier. A dog sniffing blood oozing from a corpse. Movie star Cameron Diaz posing sideways in a midriff top. Troops cowering for safety during an ambush. A doctor tracked his stress levels and counted the number of times he blinked. Electrode wires dangled from his left eye and right pinky finger. Sheets is part of a military experiment to try to predict who's most at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder. Understanding underlying triggers might help reduce the burden of those who return psychologically wounded — if they can get early help.
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Gates selects official to head shooting probe

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has tapped a former senior defense official to lead a broad Pentagon review of the circumstances surrounding the Fort Hood shootings, The Associated Press has learned. Gates will announce Thursday that it will be a single, coordinated review, and will call for a quick, short-term report, followed by a longer, more extensive study, according to an administration official. Components of the wide-ranging probe could include self-examinations by the Army and the military's medical community, and likely look at personnel policies and the availability of mental health services for troubled troops.
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So, what happened to stimulus funds?

Did the Obama administration really pump billions of dollars into phantom congressional districts? Republicans, bloggers and conservative think tanks have been circulating reports suggesting that money intended to create jobs and shore up the economy was unaccounted for, misused or lost in some sort of bookkeeping black hole. The problem is real. Its significance is overstated, and in some instances, fabricated.
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Palin draws a crowd for book signing

College students ditched class, employees skipped work and some huddled in the cold overnight just to make sure they get an orange wristband Wednesday that would let them meet Sarah Palin. A line of more than a thousand people — some sporting Palin Power stickers and Palin T-shirts — moved slowly into a Barnes & Noble store Wednesday to see the former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor on the first stop of her "Going Rogue" book tour. During the hours they waited, some broke out in chants of "Palin! Palin! Palin!" Scores more who couldn't get wristbands awaited Palin's arrival outside, braving the cold and yelling. "USA!" and "Sarah, Sarah!" at an event that took on the feel of a political pep rally.
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