Archives for FUBAR

The worse Obama gets, the better Bush looks

Is President Barack Obama as bad a leader as his predecessor — the universally despised George W. Bush? A growing number of Americans believe so. In fact, the number of Obama doubters has grown so dramatically in recent months that Americans are now almost evenly split over which President is worse — Bush or Obama. A new CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows the two virtually tied when it comes to public approval ratings of their presidencies. In the poll, 47 percent approve of Obama’s performance as President compared to 45 percent for Bush. That two percent is within the poll’s margin
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Rush to judgment: Vilsack ignored facts in Sherrod debacle

Former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod pleaded with officials to hear her out after she was ousted from the USDA during a racial firestorm in July, internal e-mails show. Sherrod’s pleas reached Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s e-mail soon after he ordered her dismissed from the department because of supposed racist remarks she made earlier in the year. He initially stuck by his decision despite her warnings that he didn’t have the full story. Agriculture Department officials asked Sherrod to leave her job as Georgia’s director of rural development July 19 after comments she made in March were misconstrued as racist.
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Foreclosure fury: Obama sends bill back to Congress

President Barack Obama killed proposed legislation on Thursday that struck at the heart of growing political rage over how banks have moved to evict struggling borrowers from their homes. The bill, which would have made it more difficult for homeowners to challenge foreclosures, came under the spotlight this week as the furor grew over disclosures that some of the biggest U.S. mortgage processors filed false affidavits in thousands of foreclosure cases. Obama sent the bill back to the House of Representatives for further discussion on how it would affect the foreclosure crisis, one of the most visible signs of the
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Working-class whites say ‘no way’ to Democrats

Desperate for jobs and cool toward President Barack Obama, working-class whites are flocking to Republicans, turning a group long wary of Democrats into an even bigger impediment to the party’s drive to keep control of Congress. An Associated Press-GfK poll shows whites without four-year college degrees preferring GOP candidates by twice the margin of the last two elections, when Democrats made significant gains in the House and Senate. The poll, conducted last month, found this group favoring GOP hopefuls 58 percent to 36 percent — a whopping 22 percentage-point gap. In 2008, when Obama won the presidency, they favored GOP
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Road to health care reform riddled with potholes, detours

The road to health care reform in this country is a rocky one that takes many wrong turns and leaves many Americans wondering if they are better or worse off than before President Barack Obama “reformed” insurance for medical care in this country. From The New York Times: Consider what it would be like to have a health insurance plan that capped annual benefits at $2,000. For any medical care costing more than that, you would have to pay out of pocket. Examples of care that costs more than $2,000 — and often a lot more — include virtually any
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Federal judge’s downfall: Strippers, sex and drugs

The 67-year-old federal judge’s wild relationship with a stripper started with just a lap dance, prosecutors said, but quickly escalated into escapades of prostitution and gun-toting drug deals involving cocaine and prescription pills. Senior Judge Jack T. Camp, a veteran jurist who had achieved a status that allowed him a lighter caseload, now finds himself in a peculiar position, in front of one of his peers, and with lawyers combing through his decisions, wondering whether they have grounds to challenge them. “I don’t know whether the allegations are true or whether they infected the decision making, but it’s incumbent upon
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BP’s oil spill compensation program plagued with problems

In the rush to get compensation from BP after its massive oil spill, the $20 billion fund that the company created has been inundated with questionable documentation, inflated claims and in some cases, outright fraud — all slowing down the process for legitimate claims, the administrator of the program says. Claims have been bogged down by the sheer volume of requests for money — nearly 98,000 — as livelihoods have crumbled since the April 20 rig explosion that killed 11 workers and spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil. Confusion and frustration have become the only constants for desperate
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Race-based predatory lending fueled housing crisis

Predatory lending aimed at racially segregated minority neighborhoods led to mass foreclosures that fueled the U.S. housing crisis, according to a new study published in the American Sociological Review. Predatory lending typically refers to loans that carry unreasonable fees, interest rates and payment requirements. Poorer minority areas became a focus of these practices in the 1990s with the growth of mortgage-backed securities, which enabled lenders to pool low- and high-risk loans to sell on the secondary market, Professor Douglas Massey of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and PhD candidate Jacob Rugh, said in
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Scandal-ridden officials become outcasts in Bell, California

There was a time in this modest blue-collar community when Mayor Oscar Hernandez was all but hailed as a superhero, the big friendly guy who said hello to everybody when he wasn’t busy greeting them at his venerable corner grocery store. Those days ended abruptly last July after it was disclosed that Hernandez was presiding over a City Council with four of five members who were paying themselves and other leaders exorbitant salaries while one in six residents live in poverty. Now all that has changed as the ousted city manager, the mayor and the three other council members face
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Health care reform’s growing pains

It’s a centerpiece of President Barack Obama‘s health care remake, a lifeline available right now to vulnerable people whose medical problems have made them uninsurable. But the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan started this summer isn’t living up to expectations. Enrollment lags in many parts of the country. People who could benefit may not be able to afford the premiums. Some state officials who run their own “high-risk pools” have pointed out potential problems. “The federal risk pool has definitely provided critical access, in some cases lifesaving access, to health insurance,” said Amie Goldman, chair of a national association of state
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