Archives for FUBAR

Obama wants to expand DHS into an American Gestapo

American GestapoThe Obama administration is working to expand the controversial Department of Homeland Security (DHS) beyond its traditional role of fighting terrorism, giving the enforcement agency broad powers over cybercrime, disease control, immigration enforcement and other areas of American life.

The proposed changes could turn DHS into a powerful national police agency with broad control -- a move that some civil libertarians worry could become an "American Gestapo."

White House officials outlined the proposed changes in a document called the "Quadrennial Homeland Security Review," delivered to Congress recently but embargoed for public release.


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Health care reform: Been there, done that, struck out

An old rule of politics says that if a strategy fails...don't try it again.

Democrats trying to ram heatlh care through Congress forgot that rule.

They've been down this road before. In 1992, the Clintons launched health care reform of pop, circumstance, hype and hoopla.

It failed.

Been there, done that, got their asses handed to them.

But the Democrats didn't learn from the mistakes of 1994. They tried some of the same old strategies again.

And, once again, they fell short.
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Palin’s PAC spends more cash on her book than candidates

Sarah Palin, the former governor, former vice-presidential candidate and current political headache for the GOP, used her personal political action committee to buy lots of copies of her book.

In fact, Palin spent more PAC money on her book than she handed out in contributions to candidates.

She also paid more in salaries to long-time associates than she gave out in contributions.

Contributions to candidates appear to have a low priority for the Palin PAC.

Such waste of funds usually lands a candidate in hot water with the Federal Election Commission.
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Even Jon Stewart is fed up with Barack Obama

Jon Stewart: Washington, we have a problemThe Temple of Obama is crumbling from assault by disaffected Democrats and liberals who join the growing ranks of Americans who feel sold out by the one-time agent of change.

Even comedian Jon Stewart, a one-time Obama cheerleader, is soured.

Stewart recently unloaded on Obama for using an elementary school classroom for a full-fledged photo op -- complete with teleprompters.

Stewart wonders why the President felt he had to be scripted and controlled by teleprompter in front of a bunch of kids.
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Democrats screwed themselves in health care debacle

Democrats say they never saw it coming, but the breakdown of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul was abetted by their own mistakes.

It wasn't just a political fluke brought on by the surprise election of a Republican senator in true-blue Massachusetts.

Looking back, Obama and his congressional allies failed to appreciate the depth of frustration with Washington — people's desire for health care legislation that would respond to their anxieties, not the clamor of interest groups.

Former President Bill Clinton was criticized for dictating to lawmakers when his health care plan imploded in the 1990s. But Obama may have swung too far in the opposite direction, giving free rein to Capitol Hill's culture of insider dealmaking.

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No punishment for Bush aides who advocated torture

Bush administration lawyers who drafted legal theories that led to waterboarding and other harsh treatment of terrorism suspects showed poor judgment but won't face sanctions for professional misconduct, according to a published report.

A forthcoming government ethics report initially concluded the two key authors of the so-called torture memos, Jay Bybee and John Yoo, who were officials in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, had violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted the memos that allowed the use of harsh interrogation tactics.

But a senior Justice Department official, David Margolis, later softened the department's finding to say the authors simply showed poor judgment, Newsweek reported.

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White House retreats on terror trial in New York

The White House looked likely to reverse course on plans to bring the alleged plotters of the September 11 attacks to trial at a Manhattan courthouse, amid mounting and bipartisan opposition.

The Obama administration "was considering other options," an administration official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Conversations have occurred within the administration to discuss contingency options should the possibility of a trial in lower Manhattan be foreclosed upon by Congress or locally."

The plan, controversial since its announcement, united a range of critics who opposed bringing high-profile alleged terrorists to a court steps from Ground Zero, citing emotional distress, security risks and the projected price tag.

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Republicans claim Obama has ‘blind spot’ on terror

The Obama administration's handling of a Nigerian student who allegedly attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day exposed its "blind spot" when it comes to the war on terrorism, a Republican lawmaker said Saturday.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins kept up the GOP drumbeat of criticism following a report by The Associated Press a week ago that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was questioned for 50 minutes without being given a Miranda warning and that when he was later advised of his rights, refused to speak further with investigators. He was treated as a criminal defendant, not as an "enemy combatant," she said.

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John Edwards’ old flame wants her sex tape back

The ex-mistress of two-time presidential candidate John Edwards wants a "very private and personal" videotape back from a campaign aide who wrote a book about the politician, according to court documents.

Rielle Hunter was granted a temporary restraining order against former Edwards loyalist Andrew Young in a North Carolina court. It seeks the return of photos and videos, including one she says she made in 2006 while working for Edwards.

"In or about September 2006, using my video camera, I authored a personal video recording that depicted matters of a very private and personal nature," Hunter wrote in an affidavit filed Thursday. "In 2006, I was also having an intimate relationship with Edwards."

"The decision was made that the Video be destroyed" in December 2006, Hunter wrote. She said she pulled out the tape from the cassette and stored it in a box with personal belongings.

In his book, Young describes viewing a sex tape that showed Edwards and a woman he assumed was Hunter. Young says some videotapes were inside a "box of trash" that Hunter left behind at a home he rented for her. He says that the tape had been pulled out of its cassette casing, but that he was able to fix it.
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Obama face-off with Republicans turns testy

President Barack Obama on Friday engaged in a rare face-to-face showdown with Republican critics and testily accused them of trying to block his policies while urging them to "join with me" in creating jobs.

The contentious 82-minute session showed the depth of the political divide that separates Democrats who control the U.S. Congress and Republicans who feel their ideas on the economy and healthcare are ignored.

That Obama agreed to not only address his opponents but take their questions live on cable television was a sign of how he is trying to dig out of his deepest political rut since taking office a year ago.

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