Archives for FUBAR

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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Sarah’s pissed over Newsweek cover? You betcha!

Newsweek magazine dug up an old Runner's World photo of Sarah Palin in running shorts and used it on the cover for a story entitled How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah? So Sarah's pissed. She called the cover "sexist" and conservative pundits are weighing in with bombastic self-righteous indignation. Odd. These same pundits gleefully promoted Palin as the new sex symbol for the GOP when the John McCain campaign plucked her from obscurity in a desperation effort to salvage the 2008 Presidential election. But Sarah, wearing a bright-red, form-fitting top in the photo, is seeing red over the cover photo.
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Americans divided on government health care

Tell Americans that letting the government sell insurance in competition with private industry would be cheaper for them, and a majority is in favor. Tell them the government would be making decisions about what medical care they could get, and support sinks. The findings from an Associated Press poll come as lawmakers struggle to advance President Barack Obama's signature health care overhaul, with the final shape of any government insurance plan very much in doubt. The issue has been the biggest flash point in the health care debate, and the poll results underscore that how it is defined can make a big difference in the public's response.
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Government lost $98 billion from waste, fraud, abuse

More than $98 billion in taxpayer dollars spent by government agencies was wasted, much of it on questionable claims for tax credits and Medicare benefits, representing an increase of $26 billion from the previous year. In all, about 5 percent of spending in federal programs in fiscal year 2009 was improper, according to new details of a government financial report that were released Tuesday. Saying the overall error rate was similar in 2008, officials attributed the $26 billion jump to some changes in how to define improper spending as well as an increase in overall spending due to the recession.
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Americans worry about cost of health care reform

It's the cost, Mr. President. Americans are worried about hidden costs in the fine print of health care overhaul legislation, an Associated Press poll says. That's creating new challenges for President Barack Obama as he tries to close the deal with a handful of Democratic doubters in the Senate. Although Americans share a conviction that major health care changes are needed, Democratic bills that extend coverage to the uninsured and try to hold down medical costs get no better than a lukewarm reception. The poll found that 43 percent oppose the health care plans being discussed in Congress, while 41 percent are in support. An additional 15 percent remain neutral or undecided.
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Big tobacco exploits tax loopholes

With a simple marketing twist, tobacco companies are avoiding hundreds of millions of dollars a year in taxes by exploiting a loophole in President Barack Obama's child health law. Obama and Congress increased taxes on tobacco products earlier this year to pay for expanded children's health insurance, but tobacco for roll-your-own cigarettes saw a disproportionate leap, from $1.10 to $24.78 per pound. Some predicted the tax would kill the roll-your-own industry, which had offered a cheaper alternative to packaged cigarettes.
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Army set to probe Hasan’s career

The Army will conduct an internal investigation to examine whether it missed warning signs about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the man accused of killing 13 people in the Nov. 5 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, two newspapers reported Monday. Citing anonymous officials, The Wall Street Journal said the probe would focus on Hasan's six years at Washington's Walter Reed Medical Center, where he worked as a psychiatrist before he was transferred to Fort Hood in July. The Washington Post reported that Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army's chief of staff, is forming the investigative panel. It "will look longitudinally across Hasan's entire career to figure out how did this happen and what can we do to stop it from happening again," an anonymous Army official told the Post.
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Gitmo detainees finally get their day in court

In courtrooms barred to the public, dozens of terror suspects are pleading for their freedom from the Guantanamo Bay prison, sometimes even testifying on their own behalf by video from the U.S. naval base in Cuba. Complying with a Supreme Court ruling last year, 15 federal judges in the U.S. courthouse here are giving detainees their day in court after years behind bars half a world away from their homelands. The judges have found the government's evidence against 30 detainees wanting and ordered their release. That number could rise significantly because the judges are on track to hear challenges from dozens more prisoners.
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