Archives for FUBAR

Tea partyers use wrong video to refute racism charges

Three Democratic congressmen — all black — say they heard racial slurs as they walked through thousands of angry protesters outside the U.S. Capitol. A white lawmaker says he heard the epithets too. Conservative activists say the lawmakers are lying. What does the video show? Not much. Indeed, new interviews show that a much-viewed YouTube recording cited as evidence by conservatives was actually shot well after the time in question. It was March 20, near the end of the bitter health care debate, when Reps. John Lewis, Andre Carson and Emanuel Cleaver say that some demonstrators, many of them tea
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Recognizing attempts to gag free speech

Banning the sale of wine because of a nude, bike-riding nymph on the label of the bottle. Confining campus protests to a “free-speech patio.” Keeping street performers off the Las Vegas Strip. Those were some of the actions that the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression cited Tuesday in awarding its dubious “Muzzle” awards. The Charlottesville center awards the Muzzles annually to mark the April 13 birthday of Jefferson — its namesake, the third president and free-speech advocate. Center director Bob O’Neil said that while the 10 winners of the 2010 awards were geographically diverse, they didn’t
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Health care law will add to doctor shortage

Better beat the crowd and find a doctor. Primary care physicians already are in short supply in parts of the country, and the landmark health overhaul that will bring them millions more newly insured patients in the next few years promises extra strain. The new law goes beyond offering coverage to the uninsured, with steps to improve the quality of care for the average person and help keep us well instead of today’s seek-care-after-you’re-sick culture. To benefit, you’ll need a regular health provider. Yet recently published reports predict a shortfall of roughly 40,000 primary care doctors over the next decade,
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Mistakes will force health care bill back to the House

Senate Republicans learned early Thursday that they will be able to kill language in a measure altering President Barack Obama‘s newly enacted health care overhaul, meaning the bill will have to return to the House for final congressional approval. It appeared initially that deleting the provisions, dealing with Pell grants for low-income students, should not cause major problems for Democrats hoping to rush the bill to Obama and avoid prolonging what has been a politically painful ordeal for the party. Democrats described the situation as a minor glitch, but did not rule out that Republicans might be able to remove
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Fed mull weapons charges against Blackwater mercenaries

Federal prosecutors are considering filing weapons charges against former top officials of the Blackwater Worldwide private security company over allegations they illegally stockpiled automatic rifles at the company’s North Carolina headquarters, The Associated Press has learned. Senior Justice Department officials are reviewing a draft indictment against former president Gary Jackson, former Blackwater lawyer Andrew Howell, and a third man who used to work at the firm’s armory, people close to the case told the AP. A decision is not expected until at least next month. Any indictment, even of former executives, would be unwelcome news at a company beleaguered since
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Uncle Sam paid big bonuses to auditors

Banks weren’t the only ones giving big bonuses in the boom years before the worst financial crisis in generations. The government also was handing out millions of dollars to bank regulators, rewarding “superior” work even as an avalanche of risky mortgages helped create the meltdown. The payments, detailed in payroll data released to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, are the latest evidence of the government’s false sense of security during the go-go days of the financial boom. Just as bank executives got bonuses despite taking on dangerous amounts of risk, regulators got taxpayer-funded bonuses despite missing
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Cashing in Uncle Sam’s IOUs

The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration. It’s time to start cashing them in. For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money in payroll taxes than it paid out in benefits — billions more each year. Not anymore. This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29
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Guns in shootings tied to Memphis police

Two guns used in high-profile shootings this year at the Pentagon and a Las Vegas courthouse both came from the same unlikely place: the police and court system of Memphis, Tenn. Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that both guns were once seized in criminal cases in Memphis. The officials described how the weapons made their separate ways from an evidence vault to gun dealers and to the shooters. The use of guns that once were in police custody and were later involved in attacks on police officers highlights a little-known divide in gun policy in the United States:
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Runaway Prius may be hoax

A memo drafted for a congressional panel says that investigators with Toyota Motor Corp. and the federal government were unable to make a Prius speed out of control as its owner said it did on a California freeway, casting doubt on the driver’s story. The draft memo, obtained Saturday by The Associated Press, said the experts who examined and test drove the car could not replicate the problems James Sikes said he encountered. Sikes, 61, called 911 on Monday to report losing control of his Prius as the hybrid reached speeds of 94 mph. A California Highway Patrol officer helped
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Time to Spring forward

Good evening sunshine, America says hello, you light up our evenings, we light charcoal below. That right folks, it’s time to fire up the old grill, Daylight-saving time is returning with that extra hour of sunshine after work. The official moment is 2 a.m. local time Sunday, though most people will set their clocks ahead by one hour before they hit the sack on Saturday night. A few will forget — they’re the ones you’ll see arriving at church when everybody else is leaving. Daylight-saving time ends Nov. 7. Related articles by Zemanta Kari Henley: Time To Spring Ahead! Daylight
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