Archives for FUBAR

Most Americans want public option, but. . .

Most Americans would like to see a "public option" in health insurance reform but doubt anything Congress does will lower costs or improve care in the short term, according to a poll released on Thursday.

The survey of 2,999 households by Thomson Reuters Corp shows a public skeptical about the cost, quality and accessibility of medical care.

Just under 60 percent of those surveyed said they would like a public option as part of any final healthcare reform legislation, which Republicans and a few Democrats oppose.

Here are some of the results of the telephone survey of 2,999 households called from November 9-17 as part of the Thomson Reuters PULSE Healthcare Survey:

* Believe in public option: 59.9 percent yes, 40.1 percent no.

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Military, families brace for more hard times

Battle-weary troops and their families braced for a wrenching round of new deployments to Afghanistan, but many said they support the surge announced Tuesday as long as it helps to end the 8-year-old conflict.

As President Barack Obama outlined his plan to send 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan — while pledging to start bringing them home in 2011 — soldiers, Marines and their families interviewed by The Associated Press felt a tangle of fresh concerns and renewed hopes. Some took in the televised announcement as they played darts in a barroom near their base, while others watched from their living rooms.

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Gate crashers lied about having invitations

Copies of e-mails between the White House party crashers and a Pentagon official undermine their claims that they were invited to President Barack Obama's first state dinner.

Tareq and Michaele Salahi pressed the friendly Pentagon aide for four days to score tickets to the big event. By their own admission in the e-mails, they showed up at the White House gates at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 without an invitation — "to just check in, in case it got approved since we didn't know, and our name was indeed on the list!"

But the Secret Service has said they weren't on that list and that it erred by letting them in anyway.

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Salahis: ‘We’re not party crashers’

A man who made his way uninvited into a White House state dinner is denying that he and his wife are gate-crashers.

In his first nationally broadcast interview since the incident, Tareq Salahi (TAH'-rehk sah-LAH'-hee) told NBC's "Today" show that the whole experience has been "the most devastating thing that has ever happened" to him and his wife, Michaele.

Salahi said flatly that the couple "did not party-crash the White House." He said the pair is cooperating with the Secret Service and they have "great respect" for President Barack Obama. Salahi told interviewer Matt Lauer he's confident "the truth will come out." about the circumstances surrounding his and his wife's attendance at the state dinner for the visiting prime minister of India.


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Reducing unemployment will take time

President Barack Obama's top economic adviser said on Monday that tackling high U.S. unemployment was vital but the problem would take time to fix.

"I think recessions like the one we're suffering now have very substantial costs," said Lawrence Summers, director of Obama's National Economic Council.

"Addressing 10.2 percent unemployment is a matter of very great urgency. It is not something that is going to be fixed in a week, or a month, or a year," Summers said in after-dinner remarks for a conference on innovation and the economy sponsored by Intel Corp and the Aspen Institute.
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Senate report blames Rumsfeld for bin Laden escape

Osama bin Laden was "within the grasp" of US forces in late 2001 but escaped because then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected calls for reinforcements, a US Senate report says.

Dated for release Monday, the hard-hitting study comes as President Barack Obama prepares to announce a major escalation of the Afghan conflict, now in its ninth year, with the expected deployment of some 34,000 more US troops.

It points the finger directly at Rumsfeld for turning down requests for reinforcements as Bin Laden was trapped in December 2001 in caves and tunnels in a mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan known as Tora Bora.

"The vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the marine corps and the army, was kept on the sidelines," the report says.

"Instead, the US command chose to rely on airstrikes and untrained Afghan militias to attack Bin Laden and on Pakistan's loosely organized Frontier Corps to seal his escape routes."
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American troops had bin Laden ‘within our grasp’

Osama bin Laden was unquestionably within reach of U.S. troops in the mountains of Tora Bora when American military leaders made the crucial and costly decision not to pursue the terrorist leader with massive force, a Senate report says.

The report asserts that the failure to kill or capture bin Laden at his most vulnerable in December 2001 has had lasting consequences beyond the fate of one man. Bin Laden's escape laid the foundation for today's reinvigorated Afghan insurgency and inflamed the internal strife now endangering Pakistan, it says.

Staff members for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Democratic majority prepared the report at the request of the chairman, Sen. John Kerry, as President Barack Obama prepares to boost U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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Obama’s Afghan plan: Send the Marines

The US military will deploy up to 9,000 Marines to Afghanistan's Helmand province -- doubling US presence there -- in the days after President Barack Obama's war strategy announcement this week, the Washington Post said Saturday.

Citing senior US officials, the daily said the extra Marines won't move to the restive southern province until after Obama's address to the nation Tuesday from the prestigious West Point military academy in New York state.

The aim is to regain a footing in the region that has been a base for a fierce Taliban insurgency in recent months.

Some 1,000 army trainers will follow the Marine's deployment, perhaps by February next year, the Post said.

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For once, at least, Saddam told the truth

Saddam Hussein was telling the truth, this time. The United States just didn't believe him.

So it took the most powerful military in the world 18 years to find the remains of the only U.S. Navy pilot shot down in an aerial battle in the 1991 Gulf War.

Michael "Scott" Speicher's bones lay 18 inches deep in Iraqi sand, more or less right where a group of Iraqis had led an American search team in 1995.

The search for Speicher was frustrated by two wars, mysteriously switched remains, Iraqi duplicity and a final tip from a young nomad in Anbar province.

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The stress of war: Military divorces increasing

Afghan warThe divorce rate in the armed forces continues to edge higher, despite efforts by the military to help struggling couples.

There were an estimated 27,312 divorces among roughly 765,000 married members of the active-duty Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, the Pentagon reported Friday.

That's a divorce rate of about 3.6 percent, compared with 3.4 percent a year earlier, according to figures from the Defense Manpower Data Center. Marriages among reservists failed at a rate of 2.8 percent compared to 2.7 the previous year.

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