Archives for FUBAR

Feds will appeal stem-cell ruling

The Justice Department said it will appeal a judge’s decision to block federal funding for stemcell research, risking an election year fight over hot-button issues of science and religion. “I can confirm we plan to appeal,” Justice Department spokesperson Tracy Schmaller said Tuesday, adding that the department was “likely to file this week.” She said the department would both appeal US District Judge Royce Lambert’s temporary suspension of federal funding for stemcell research and seek a stay of the suspension while the appeal is pending. “The president said very plainly that this is important, life-saving research,” White House spokesman Bill
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American troops still in danger in Iraq

Lt. Ryan Alexander stands thigh-deep in a dark grove of reeds and palm trees, hunting for rockets. Officially, the U.S. combat role in Iraq is ending this month, but Alexander and his platoon are under orders to keep insurgents from using the south Baghdad field as a hiding place for Katyushas. “We’re going to be doing this as long as they tell us,” Alexander said in a near-whisper in the steamy pre-dawn air, his machine gun slung over his shoulder. Behind him, Iraqi Lt. Wassan Fadah Hussein had his handgun out and ready for action. In the near distance came
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Sherrod: Thanks but no thanks

Shirley Sherrod, ousted from the Agriculture Department during a racial firestorm that embarrassed the Obama administration, rejected an offer to return to the USDA on Tuesday. But at a cordial news conference with the man who asked her to leave — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack — she said she may do consulting work for him on racial issues. She was asked to leave her job as Georgia’s director of rural development in July after comments she made in March were misconstrued as racist. She has since received numerous apologies from the administration, including from Obama himself, and Vilsack asked her
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GOP’s uneven record on the Constitution

Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia won his seat in Congress campaigning as a strict defender of the Constitution. He carries a copy in his pocket and is particularly fond of invoking the Second Amendment right to bear arms. But it turns out there are parts of the document he doesn’t care for — lots of them. He wants to get rid of the language about birthright citizenship, federal income taxes and direct election of senators, among others. He would add plenty of stuff, including explicitly authorizing castration as punishment for child rapists. This hot-and-cold take on the Constitution is
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Mosque debate ignores facts

A New York imam and his proposed mosque near ground zero are being demonized by political candidates — mostly Republicans — despite the fact that Islam is already very much a part of the World Trade Center neighborhood. And that Muslims pray inside the Pentagon, too, less than 80 feet from where terrorists attacked. And that the imam who’s being branded an extremist has been valued by both Republican and Democratic administrations as a moderate face of the faith. Even so, the project stirs complicated emotions, and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a complex figure who defies easy categorization in
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Troops punished for exercising religious freedom

The Army said Friday it was investigating a claim that dozens of soldiers who refused to attend a Christian band’s concert at a Virginia military base were banished to their barracks and told to clean them up. Fort Eustis spokesman Rick Haverinen told The Associated Press he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the investigation. At the Pentagon, Army spokesman Col. Thomas Collins said the military shouldn’t impose religious views on soldiers. “If something like that were to have happened, it would be contrary to Army policy,” Collins said. Pvt. Anthony Smith said he and other soldiers felt pressured to
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Obama’s mortgage bailout program a failure

Nearly half of the 1.3 million homeowners who enrolled in the Obama administration‘s flagship mortgage-relief program have fallen out. The program is intended to help those at risk of foreclosure by lowering their monthly mortgage payments. Friday’s report from the Treasury Department suggests the $75 billion government effort is failing to slow the tide of foreclosures in the United States, economists say. More than 2.3 million homes have been repossessed by lenders since the recession began in December 2007, according to foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc. Economists expect the number of foreclosures to grow well into next year. “The government
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Memo to Sarah: Your 15 minutes of fame are over

It’s been a summer of setbacks for Sarah Palin. Candidate “cubs” endorsed by the Mama Grizzly in Chief have been suffering a recent string of primary election losses. The Republicans’ 2008 vice presidential nominee promised a pack of “mama grizzly” candidates would rise up and defeat Democrats in this November’s elections. But office-seekers she supported in Kansas, Wyoming and Washington state lost their primaries despite her high-profile endorsements. And Karen Handel lost her runoff contest for Georgia governor a day after sharing an Atlanta stage with Palin. Now, Alaska’s Senate primary on Tuesday is shaping up as an embarrassing defeat
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Ann Coulter bitch-slaps Joe Farah

Two of the rabid right wing’s top character assassins — Conservative columnist Ann Coulter and World Net Daily publisher Joseph Farah — are at each others throats and the rhetoric is getting juicy. Farah dropped Coulter from from a list of speakers at his upcoming “Taking America Back” gathering of right-wing reactionaries after she agreed to speak at the GOProud conference — an event staged by gay political conservatives. The homophobic Farah blasted Coulter, saying “there is simply no room (at his conference) for compromisers or for people who accept money from those determined to destroy the moral fabric required
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Skeptical Muslims weigh in on mosque debate

American Muslims who support the proposed mosque and Islamic center near ground zero are facing skeptics within their own faith — those who argue that the project is insensitive to Sept. 11 victims and needlessly provocative at a time when Muslims are pressing for wider acceptance in the U.S. “For most Americans, 9/11 remains as an open wound, and anything associated with Islam, even for Americans who want to understand Islam — to have an Islamic center with so much publicity is like rubbing salt in open wounds,” said Akbar Ahmed, professor of Islamic studies at American University, a former
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