FUBAR

A disturbing caricature

Let’s not call the political cartoonist Pat Oliphant an anti-Semite or even an Israel-basher. Let’s just be clear about what he is doing: encouraging those whose intentions are genocidal.

No forensic match in Blackwater massacre of Iraqis

Forensic experts for the FBI cannot match .30-cal. bullets from machine guns used by Blackwater Worldwide mercenaries to the rounds that killed 17 Iraqi civilians in a 2007 attack that inflamed worldwide opinion and led to the company’s ouster as a private security firm for the U.S. government.

While the findings do not specifically clear Blackwater’s hired guns it does raise a possibility that insurgents may have also fired into the intersection.

But while doubts could be raised in this case, Blackwater has been accused of other atrocities while operating as loose cannon government mercenaries in Iraq.

Prosecutor misconduct saves Sen. Ted Stevens

Screwups by prosecutors in the corruption trial against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (left) will result in a dropping of all charges against the convicted politician.

Apparently, the lawyers for Justice bungled the case so badly that Attorney Gen. Eric Holder feels the only option is to let Stevens off the hook.

The setback is the latest black eye for the Justice Department’s dismal record under the Bush administration.

Holder says the actions of prosecutors cannot be defended.

The American Dream is now a nightmare

Home ownership used to define the American dream. Now that dream has turned into a national nightmare as a nation of homeowners become a displaced populace who must rent.

And renting is an option only for those who have the money for even that.

This was not what millions of Americans had in mind when they moved into their new home. With that dream shattered, many wonder what’s next.

A good question with few answers.

FAA seeks to hide bird strike facts from public

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing to keep secret from travelers its vast records on where and how often commercial planes are damaged by hitting flying birds.

The government agency argued that some carriers and airports would stop reporting incidents for fear the public would misinterpret the data and hold it against them. The reporting is voluntary because the FAA rejected a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation 10 years ago to make it mandatory.

Military slow to fix showers that killed soldiers

The military is racing to inspect more than 90,000 U.S.-run facilities across Iraq to reduce a deadly threat troops face far off the battlefield: electrocution or shock while showering or using appliances.

About one-third of the inspections so far have turned up major electrical problems, according to interviews and an internal military document obtained by The Associated Press. Half of the problems they found have since been fixed but about 65,000 facilities still need to be inspected, which could take the rest of this year. Senior Pentagon officials were on Capitol Hill this week for briefings on the findings.

More power for the Treasury Department

The Obama administration, seemingly in perpetual motion, is asking Congress for a massive expansion of the government’s powers to intervene in the financial system.

It would empower the treasury secretary to seize control of depository financial entities — investment banks, insurers, private equity firms, hedge funds — if they were "systemically important." The phrase awaits a precise definition, but basically it means that if one of those firms failed, a lot of others would, too.

Time for an American counter revolution?

With Congress pushing back against his proposals for energy, taxes and other matters, President Barack Obama is taking a bend-but-don’t-break posture.

He will compromise on certain details if he must, he signaled at his news conference Tuesday evening, but not on the heart of his key initiatives.

His strategic retreats are a nod to political reality. He is angling to avoid confrontations he probably can’t win, but to sacrifice no more than is absolutely necessary.

The curse of the rosy scenario

Decades before the advent of the little blue pill, a mid-sized, somewhat pudgy doctor once confided the essential secret of Washington’s upwardly aspiring men. "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac," said Dr. Henry Kissinger.

Today we are focusing upon the fact that once men once they rise to the capital’s height of power — the presidency and the Office of Management and budget directorship — they cannot resist the lure of Washington’s seemingly irresistible femme fatal.

You know her when you see her. She is Rosy Scenario.

Put the punitive tax bill out of our misery

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has had second thoughts about bringing the punitive bonus tax bill to a vote this week. Instead, the Senate will take up a national service bill, then have a contentious vote on the budget blueprint, and then there’s Congress’ spring break and, before you know it, we’re deep into April.

Delay is good. Killing the measure would be even better.