Archives for FUBAR

Michele Obama’s lavish, jet-set lifestyle raises questions

First Lady Michele Obama’s jet-set travels leave critics shaking their heads and wondering why she is living large at taxpayer expense while her husband preaches financial restraint to the rest of America. Her apparent clueless habit of jetting off to exotic locales while America struggles fuels criticism that she and her husband are out of touch with working class Americans. At the very least, they aren’t thinking about the message that the First Lady’s lavish travels sends to Americans who struggle to make mortgage payments and put food on the table. Reports The Seattle Times: As the U.S. economy endures
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Tea party runs into money problems

Some leading tea party activists are concerned that their efforts to reshape American politics, starting with the 2010 elections, are being undermined by a shortage of cash that’s partly the result of a deep ambivalence within the movement’s grassroots  over the very idea of fundraising, and partly attributable to an inability to win over the wealthy donors who fund the conservative establishment. Many tea party organizations have shied away from the heavy-handed solicitations that flood the email boxes of political activists. And the handful of tea party groups that have raised substantial amounts, either by embracing aggressive fundraising or through
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Feds drop ball on Medicare fraud cases

They don’t seem that interested in hot pursuit. It took private sleuths hired by Medicare an average of six months last year to refer fraud cases to law enforcement. According to congressional investigators, the exact average was 178 days. By that time, many cases go cold, making it difficult to catch perpetrators, much less recover money for taxpayers. A recent inspector general report also raised questions about the contractors, who play an important role in Medicare’s overall effort to combat fraud. Out of $835 million in questionable Medicare payments identified by private contractors in 2007, the government was only able
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Feds fudged on mortgage bailout failure numbers

The Obama administration on Friday acknowledged it had underestimated the number of homeowners who fell seriously behind on their mortgage payments even after getting government help. Treasury officials blamed the error on mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae, which acts as the program administrator for President Barack Obama’s $50 billion Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The program had been criticized for its overly optimistic estimates of the number of struggling borrowers helped by its subsidies of new mortgage terms. The actual numbers of permanent modifications that have lasted at least nine months through the end of May is tiny: just 4,764
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Fired HP CEO walks away with $28 million

Lauded for making Hewlett-Packard Co. the world’s biggest technology company, CEO Mark Hurd was in negotiations for a new contract worth about $100 million, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. Instead, he’s getting about a third of that to just go away. In a stunning announcement Friday, HP said it ousted Hurd after an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint found that he had falsified expense reports and other documents to conceal a relationship with a contractor. Hurd also allegedly helped the woman get paid for work she didn’t do. In recent weeks, Hurd was in negotiations for
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Oil still contaminating Gulf coast

Much of the crude still in the Gulf and coastal areas more than three months after BP‘s blowout has permeated deep into marshes and wetlands, complicating cleanup. Crews are still finding plenty of crude in those interior areas, even as government officials say spotting oil from the air on the Gulf’s surface is taking longer on each trip. “The good news is people are seeing less oil, but the bad news is the oil trapped in the marshes is moving out with the tides and sticking on the marsh cane,” said Maura Wood, an oceanographer with the National Wildlife Foundation,
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CIA moved prisoners to circumvent court

Four of the nation’s most highly valued terrorist prisoners were secretly moved to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2003, years earlier than has been disclosed, then whisked back into overseas prisons before the Supreme Court could give them access to lawyers, The Associated Press has learned. The transfer allowed the U.S. to interrogate the detainees in CIA “black sites” for two more years without allowing them to speak with attorneys or human rights observers or challenge their detention in U.S. courts. Had they remained at the Guantanamo Bay prison for just three more months, they would have been afforded those rights.
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Pentagon wants leaked documents back

The Pentagon demanded Thursday that a website that solicits leaked government secrets cancel any plan to publish more classified military documents and pull back tens of thousands of secret Afghan war logs already posted on the Internet. The demand, which the Pentagon has no independent power to enforce, is primarily aimed at preventing release of approximately 15,000 secret documents that the website WikiLeaks has said it is holding. The Pentagon also hopes to stop WikiLeaks from making public the contents of a mammoth encrypted file recently added to the site. Contents of that file remain a mystery. “We are asking
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Ex-lobbyist indicted for illegal contributions

The head of a now-defunct lobbying firm was arrested on Thursday on charges he made illegal campaign contributions in an effort to build his clout and win more clients in the defense industry, the Justice Department said. Paul Magliocchetti, 64, was indicted on 11 counts of violating federal election laws that regulate and limit contributions to political candidates and parties for more than five years, stretching from January 2003 to November 2008. The indictment, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, said Magliocchetti used personal and corporate money to finance campaign contributions made at his direction by
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Black tea party members: Racism? What racism?

Black members of the tea party movement on Wednesday rejected charges that the group’s activists are racist, saying they oppose President Barack Obama because of his policies not his skin color. The members gathered at a Washington news conference in the wake of allegations about its rank and file, heightened by the recent split with a Tea Party Express leader who had posted a letter on his blog written from “Colored People” to Abraham Lincoln. The post suggested that black people would choose slavery over having to do real work. The black members said the racism that has been attributed
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