Archives for FUBAR

Arizona Governor signs bill targeting ethnic studies

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill targeting a school district’s ethnic studies program, hours after a report by United Nations human rights experts condemned the measure. State schools chief Tom Horne, who has pushed the bill for years, said he believes the Tucson school district’s Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by white people. Public schools should not be encouraging students to resent a particular race, he said. “It’s just like the old South, and it’s long past time that we prohibited it,” Horne said. Brewer’s signature on the bill Tuesday comes less than
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Arizona governor says ‘nada’ to delaying immigration law

A prominent Senate Democrat asked Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to put off her state’s controversial immigration law to give Congress a chance to act. Scant time passed before Brewer’s answer came back: No. The request by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York was a long shot for getting a stalled Senate immigration initiative moving again. Even the White House thinks the Senate proposal is nearly dead. “There’s not enough support to move forward,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday. Still, among Democrats, there’s plenty of support for trying — at least in public — to advance immigration
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BP’s public relations nightmare

What do you call a gigantic man-made disaster that is threatening to despoil the ecosystems and wreck the economies of the Gulf Coast? The answer is important, if you happen to be one of the companies responsible for it. The massive slick spreading toward Louisiana has gone by several names since crude oil began gushing from a damaged drilling rig on April 20. Media accounts have referred to it as “the Gulf oil spill,” “the Deepwater Horizon spill” and the “Gulf Coast disaster.” President Obama, leaving little doubt about whom he considers responsible for the epic mess, put a brand
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Farm subsidies: The rich keep getting richer

Lawmakers crafting a sweeping farm bill in 2008 promised it would cut government payments to wealthy farmers. Two years later, little appears to have changed. Data being made public Wednesday shows that the wealthiest farmers in the country are still receiving the bulk of government cash, despite claims from lawmakers that reforms in the bill would put more money in the hands of smaller farms. At the same time, a series of exemptions written into the bill has made it more difficult for the public to find out who is receiving what. Lawmakers writing the $290 billion bill included several
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Census workers face danger, death, accidents

The Census Bureau said Monday it is being watchful about potential dangers to its workers — ranging from anti-government sentiment to everyday accidents — after six died in auto incidents in the last week. At a news briefing, Census Bureau director Robert Groves said the traffic deaths were of concern since temporary census workers are fanning out in neighborhoods around the country to conduct interviews until mid-July. “We have hundreds of thousands of people disproportionately driving on the streets. So when you have 600,000 people, all sorts of bad things happen,” Groves said. “We hope there are few if any
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Clinton: Arizona immigration law encourages profiling

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Arizona’s new immigration law invites racial profiling and she thinks the state may be overstepping its authority. Clinton says the law “does what a state doesn’t have the authority to do — try to impose their own immigration law.” And she tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” there’s no doubt it invites racial profiling and that people might be questioned about their immigration status because of their accents. The law requires police officers to ask people to prove their immigration status if they have a reasonable suspicion they are illegal immigrants. Related articles by
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Feds open probe of Goldman Sachs

Stepping up the pressure on Goldman Sachs two days after its executives were grilled and publicly rebuked by lawmakers, the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation of the Wall Street powerhouse over mortgage securities deals it arranged. The criminal inquiry follows civil fraud charges filed by the government against Goldman two weeks ago and as Congress pushes toward enacting sweeping legislation aimed at preventing another near-meltdown of the financial system. The investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan stems from a criminal referral by the Securities and Exchange Commission, a knowledgeable person said Thursday. The person spoke on
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Senior health plans found lacking

Millions of seniors signed up for popular Medicare Advantage insurance plans don’t get the best quality, an independent study found. How the private plans score on a quality rating system set up by the government is about to have a direct impact on insurers’ finances — not to mention seniors’ benefits and premiums. President Barack Obama‘s health care law ties what the plans get paid by the government to the quality they provide, for the first time. There seems to be plenty of room for improvement. The study being released Thursday by Avalere Health, a major consulting firm, looked at
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Americans lose confidence in health care

Americans are steadily losing confidence in their ability to get healthcare and pay for it, despite the passage of healthcare reform legislation, according to a survey published on Wednesday. The Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index found that confidence lost three percentage points from a baseline of 100 in December to 97 in March. “Strikingly, Americans expect the situation to worsen significantly in the next three months,” said Gary Pickens, chief research officer at Thomson Reuters. “The thing I thought was interesting was … the level of sentiment about future expectations worsened more. The future outlook seems to be causing
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Hawaii to birthers: Enough already

Hawaii’s legislature, fed up with constant demands from the so-called “birthers” movement for multiple copies of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, moved Tuesday to allow the state to ignore future requests. The birthers, driven by right-wing extremism and racism, claim Obama is not a natural-born American citizen — a requirement to run for President. Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino has twice confirmed that Hawaii birth records prove Obama was born in Hawaii to a Kenyan father and American mother. Obama’s birth record has also been verified by independent news sources and other agencies but this has not stopped the birthers
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