Archives for FUBAR

The more things change, the more they will stay the same

Change at the top? Not necessarily. Whichever party controls the House and Senate after the Nov. 2 election probably will install the same leaders whose policymaking helped bring about the sour economy, nearly double-digit unemployment and deficit spending that has led voters to call for fresh faces. Different lineups could mean different fates for health care, taxation, government spending and regulation, energy and foreign policy, and President Barack Obama‘s bid for a second term. The newly elected, no matter how a big their freshman class, will have to wait for power. At most, they may get junior leadership seats in
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Health care ‘reform’ could undermine employee plans

The new health care law wasn’t supposed to undercut employer plans that have provided most people in the U.S. with coverage for generations. But last week a leading manufacturer told workers their costs will jump partly because of the law. Also, a Democratic governor laid out a scheme for employers to get out of health care by shifting workers into taxpayer-subsidized insurance markets that open in 2014. While it’s too early to proclaim the demise of job-based coverage, corporate number crunchers are looking at options that could lead to major changes. “The economics of dropping existing coverage is about to
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Leaked documents show Iraq is a weak, divided nation

The enormous cache of secret war logs disclosed by the WikiLeaks website paints a picture of an Iraq burdened by persistent sectarian tension and meddling neighbors, suggesting that the country could drift into chaos once U.S. forces leave. The reports, covering early 2004 to Jan. 1, 2010, help explain why Iraq’s struggle to create a unified, independent state continues, despite a dramatic reduction in violence. They appear to support arguments by some experts that the U.S. should keep thousands of troops there beyond their scheduled departure in 2011, to buy more time for Iraq to become stable. The threats described
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U.S. lied about number of Iraqi deaths

Military documents laid bare in the biggest leak of secret information in U.S. history suggest that far more Iraqis died than previously acknowledged during the years of sectarian bloodletting and criminal violence unleashed by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. The accounts of civilian deaths among nearly 400,000 purported Iraq war logs released Friday by the WikiLeaks website include deaths unknown or unreported before now — as many as 15,000 by the count of one independent research group. The field reports from U.S. forces and intelligence officers also indicate U.S. forces often failed to follow up on credible evidence that Iraqi forces
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Americans split over Obama’s health care ‘reform’

First it was President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul that divided the nation. Now it’s the Republican cry for repeal. An Associated Press-GfK poll found likely voters evenly split on whether the law should be scrapped or retooled to make even bigger changes in the way Americans get their health care. Tea party enthusiasm for repeal has failed to catch on with other groups, the poll found, which may be a problem for Republicans vowing to strike down Obama’s signature accomplishment if they gain control of Congress in the Nov. 2 elections. Among likely voters, 36 percent said they want
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Appeals court reinstates ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

A federal appeals court has frozen a judge’s order halting the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, even as the Pentagon has announced it will accept openly gay recruits. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday temporarily granted the U.S. government’s request for a freeze on the judge’s order. The appellate court instructed lawyers for the gay rights group that brought the lawsuit successfully challenging the policy to file arguments in response by Monday. The judges would then decide whether to extend the temporary stay while it considers the government’s appeal of U.S. District
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Pentagon orders open doors for gays

The Pentagon said on Tuesday it had told U.S. military recruiters to allow gays and lesbians to apply for service, as gay veterans tested a court order striking down the military’s ban on openly serving homosexuals. California-based U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ordered the military a week ago to stop enforcing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and on Monday tentatively refused a Pentagon request to re-instate the 17-year-old ban. Phillips issued a final decision late on Tuesday affirming her order. Although government concerns about military readiness and cohesion are important, “these interests are outweighed by the compelling public interest
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Even with court ruling, military gays still don’t tell

When word came down of a judge’s ruling that gays could serve openly in the military, an Air Force officer received joyous congratulations from a comrade. Realizing there was someone in the room who didn’t know his sexual orientation, the officer pretended it was a joke and laughed it off. He figured it was too soon — and too risky — to celebrate. On Friday, the Pentagon agreed, warning gay troops that in this “legally uncertain environment,” coming out now could have “adverse consequences for themselves or others.” The warning came a day after the Obama administration asked a federal
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That dream home you bought in foreclosure might not be yours

It seemed too good to be true: You bought a house in foreclosure at a fraction of the former price. Maybe you even knocked out a wall or two and remodeled with all the money you saved. But now thousands of foreclosures around the country may be invalid because of bank paperwork problems. Should you worry? “Anyone who’s purchased a foreclosed property in the last three years should really be concerned,” says George Babcock, a Providence, R.I., attorney who represents homeowners who have been foreclosed on. “They should call the attorney that did their closing and say, ‘Hey, do I
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Impossible dream: Finding truth in campaign ads

Finding an actual fact in this season’s load of campaign ads is like panning for nuggets. There’s a lot of fool’s gold in the way. In this warped-lens world, a Democrat who votes against his party more than every other legislator except one is branded a lapdog of his party’s leadership. A federal deficit from the past is attributed to a health care law that did not yet exist. Democrats blame Republicans for wanting to tax SUVs, groceries and teddy bears without telling people that, in return, most of the income, payroll and estate taxes Americans know and hate would
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