Archives for FUBAR

FBI snooping into more citizen’s lives with national security letters

The Federal Bureau of Investigation last year expanded its intrusion into the personal lives of Americans, targeting more than 14,000 with rights-robbing “national security letters” to pry into phone records, financial information and other private data. The agency’s use of these letters, which can be issued without court order or any review, more than doubled in 2010. According to information provided to Congress, the FBI in 2010 issued 24,287 national security letter requests to invade the privacy of 14,212 American citizens. The year before, the agency issued 14,788 requests for letters to target 6,114 citizens. In 2007, the FBI inspector
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Widespread GOP hypocrisy revealed in Ensign affair

The sex and hush-money scandal that brought down former Nev. Senator John Ensign is spreading across the Republican party like a permanent stain, stripping bare the party’s hypocrisy on family values. Caught in the ever-widening scandal is former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a presidential candidate and tea party favorite who touts family values but tried to bury the Ensign scandal by alerting the Nevada Senator that the husband of his mistress was going public. Santorum is just one of many Republicans named in a blunt and damaging Senate Ethics Committee report that reveals the GOP tried to cover up
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Dennis Kucinich may take his act on the road

Dennis Kucinich — the maverick liberal House Democrat who is an outcast even within his own party — is soon to be a man without a Congressional district. And the only ones shedding tears about this are Kucinich himself and his tiny band of vocal and vociferous followers. The bombastic Congressman, who began his 30-year-career as the “boy Mayor of Cleveland” and then drove the city into bankruptcy, is being redistricted out of of existence in Ohio and says he may move to Washington State to run for re-election. The redistricting slam is just the latest in a series of
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Ron Paul’s racism emerges once again

Twice-failed Presidential wannabe Ron Paul’s racism is never far from the surface and reappeared Friday when he admitted to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he would not have voted for the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 if he had been in Congress at the time. But Paul has a long and sordid history of hatred towards African-Americans — from his racist rants in his newsletters to his comments that clearly suggest a white supremacist attitude. On June 4, 2004, while other members of Congress honored the 40th anniversary of the historic act, Paul stood on the floor of the House
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Mike Huckabee just says ‘no’ to Presidential run

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee decided to just say “no” to a Presidential run, leaving the right wing of the Republican Party with one less candidate and no clear voice among those remaining. “All the factors say go, but my heart says no,” Huckabee said on his Fox News Channel show Saturday night. Huckabee, a Baptist minister, decided to stick with a lucrative career in television and radio but insisted he could have won if he had decided to run. He joins Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, South Carolina Sen. John Thune and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence as potential candidates who
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Pornography collection found at bin Laden compound

A sizeable stash of pornography was among the items seized when U.S. Navy SEALs raided the Pakistani hideout of Osama bin Laden, almost two weeks ago, U.S. officials say. The officials said it was unclear who the material belonged to, and there was no way to know whether bin Laden had viewed it. Bin Laden’s son and two other adult male couriers lived at the compound, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence. The pornography was among the computer materials confiscated in the raid after the SEALs killed bin Laden, ending an almost 10-year
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Bush on bin Laden: ‘The guy is dead. That is good’

Former US president George W. Bush this week reportedly praised President Barack Obama’s decision to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and declared: “The guy is dead. That is good.” Bush — who famously declared after the September 11 terrorist attacks that he wanted bin Laden “dead or alive” — spoke out on the Al-Qaeda leader at a conference of hedge fund managers in Las Vegas, ABC news reported. The former president said he was “not overjoyed” to hear that elite US commandos had taken out bin Laden in Pakistan, explaining that the covert strike had been carried
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No expedited review of FOIA request for bin Laden photos

The Defense Department is refusing to do a speedy review of a Freedom of Information Act request for graphic photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse, setting the stage for a protracted battle over access to the images. In a letter to The Associated Press, the department said the AP did not demonstrate an urgent or compelling need for the photos or show that the information has a particular value that would be lost if not provided in an expedited manner. As a result, it is not clear when or if the photos will be provided. The AP received the letter
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Outlook for Social Security, Medicare worsens

The bad economy is worsening the already-shaky finances of Medicare and Social Security, draining the trust funds supporting them faster than expected and intensifying the need for Congress to shore up the massive benefit programs, the government said Friday. Both Medicare and Social Security are being hit by a double whammy: the long-anticipated wave of retiring baby boomers and weaker-than-expected tax receipts, according to the annual report by the trustees who oversee the programs. The Medicare hospital insurance fund for seniors is now projected to run out of money in 2024, five years earlier than last year’s estimate. The Social
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Obama announces plans to speed up U.S. oil production

Facing continued public unhappiness over gas prices, President Barack Obama is directing his administration to ramp up U.S. oil production by extending existing leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska’s coast and holding more frequent lease sales in a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska. Obama said Saturday that the measures “make good sense” and will help reduce U.S. consumption of imported oil in the long term. But he acknowledged anew that they won’t help to immediately bring down gasoline prices topping $4 a gallon in many parts of the country. His announcement followed passage in the Republican-controlled House
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