Archives for FUBAR

Baby boomers worry about medicare

Anxious to receive their Medicare benefits after years of paying taxes into the system, baby boomers say they’re willing to sacrifice to preserve the scope and level of coverage. The first boomers will be old enough to qualify for Medicare Jan. 1, and a new Associated Press–GfK poll finds them worried about the future of the giant health care program that has helped their parents and grandparents live longer, healthier lives in retirement. By a ratio of 2-to-1, baby boomers say they fear they won’t be able to rely on Medicare throughout their own retirement. Yet the poll found that
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Anybody seen $8 million in missing CDC equipment?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lost or misplaced more than $8 million in property in 2007, losing track of items including computer and video equipment, government auditors say. Agency officials said Wednesday they have corrected the lapses that led to that amount of waste. The report was released this week by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, the parent agency of the CDC. In 2007, the auditors checked on 200 randomly sampled items and found 15 were lost or not inventoried, including a $1.8 million hard disk drive and a $978,000 video
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The future ain’t so bright for boomer retirees

Through a combination of procrastination and bad timing, many baby boomers are facing a personal finance disaster just as they’re hoping to retire. Starting in January, more than 10,000 baby boomers a day will turn 65, a pattern that will continue for the next 19 years. The boomers, who in their youth revolutionized everything from music to race relations, are set to redefine retirement. But a generation that made its mark in the tumultuous 1960s now faces a crisis as it hits its own mid-60s. “The situation is extremely serious because baby boomers have not saved very effectively for retirement
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Bristol Palin shells out 172 grand in cash for house

Paperwork shows the recent “Dancing With the Stars” diva and daughter of Sarah Palin is the sole purchaser of the house in the town of Maricopa. She bought it for $172,000 from a North Dakota couple. It’s not clear if Bristol Palin will be a seasonal visitor or permanent resident at the home, in a development called Cobblestone Farms. According to real estate websites, the residence is a two-level, brown stucco house with a tile roof, a landscaped front and back yard, and access to a community pool. The Arizona Republic reports the 3,900-square-foot home was built in 2006 and
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Health care celebration? Celebrate what?

It was the ultimate Christmas Eve present for Barack Obama. Around 7 a.m. one year ago today, every Democratic senator in office – 60 in all – voted in favor of enacting comprehensive health care reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had leveraged the threat of spending Christmas in the Capitol to force even reticent Democratic senators to support the landmark legislation, close a major chapter of the debate over health care and head home for the holiday. In a brief press conference after the vote, Democratic Senate leaders lauded each other and celebrated their historic victory. Max Baucus, chair
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Treasury Department cleared U.S. business with Iran

The Treasury Department has granted nearly 10,000 special licenses to American companies over the past decade so they could sell some types of products in Iran and other countries the U.S. considers terrorist sponsors, The New York Times reported Thursday. Companies such as Kraft Food and Pepsi and some of the largest U.S. banks benefited, the newspaper said. Most licenses were granted under a law allowing trade in humanitarian goods, even if that ended up including products as diverse as cigarettes and chewing gum. The story posted on the Times’ website implies no illegal activity by administration officials or company
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Most Christmas trees now are fake ones

Far more Canadians, Americans and Britons will celebrate Christmas on Saturday with artificial Christmas trees in their houses than real ones, according to a survey released on Friday. Sixty two percent of Britons, 58 percent of Canadians and 53 percent of Americans use artificial trees, while only about 16 percent of Americans and Canadians and 14 percent of Britons use fresh trees, according to poll done by Angus Reid Public Opinion. More than a quarter of the people surveyed in each country said they did not plan to have a tree at all, the survey found. Most artificial tree users
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Man vs. bats: Who will win?

Biologist Susi von Oettingen walked into the dark World War II-era military bunker and took out her flashlight. Among the old pipes, wires and machinery parts, she saw some bats hanging from cracks in the cement walls and ceiling. It was an unusual place for the bats to hibernate, different from a mine or cave. But something else was different, too: None of them had white-nose syndrome, a fungus that’s killing bats across the country. The group of bats found last winter in the New Hampshire bunker was small, recalled von Oettingen, an endangered species biologist for the U.S. Fish
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Ousted gays hope to return to military service

Joseph Rocha reported being cruelly hazed by Navy colleagues. Katherine Miller resigned from West Point halfway through, weary of concealing her sexual orientation. David Hall was outed by a fellow Air Force cadet and booted from the career he loved. The exits from military service were wrenching consequences of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the policy prohibiting gay and lesbian personnel from being open about their sexuality. Yet Hall, Rocha and Miller savored military duty and now — with “don’t ask, don’t tell” heading toward oblivion — they want to return. Rocha, 24, was in Washington on Wednesday, watching euphorically as
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A lot of grass leads to a big bust

Police stopped a driver for running a red light and discovered more than 500 pounds of marijuana inside his minivan, authorities said on Monday. Clement Hunter, 30, was awaiting arraignment on Monday following his arrest on drug charges, authorities said. Hunter ran a red traffic light in the city’s Queens borough early on Sunday morning and tried to evade police for several blocks, police said. When he was pulled over, the 513 pounds of marijuana stuffed into large garbage bags was partly visible inside his minivan, police said. He faces 50 counts of felony possession of marijuana as well as
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