FUBAR

Hillary’s mea culpa on drug violence

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drew attention to the U.S. "insatiable" demand for drugs and U.S. arms sales that end up in the hands of narco-traffickers in a policy paradigm shift, characterized as a "mea culpa" in the Mexican press. Clinton’s statement was taken as a major admission in the violent quagmire engulfing Mexico.

Ted Stevens: Powerful victim of injustice

Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has been so ill served by the criminal-justice system that his guilt or innocence of the actual charges is almost irrelevant.

Stevens, 85, was, until his defeat last November, the Senate’s longest-serving Republican and an institution in his home state, which had re-elected him almost automatically since 1968. He was willful, highhanded and totally unabashed about the vast amounts of federal money he earmarked for Alaska, including that lasting symbol of pork politics, the $320 million Bridge to Nowhere.

Mexico: Too much violence, too few agents

The startling rise of violence in Mexico and along the southwest border of the United States has sharpened the focus on a long-existing problem neither Congress nor a succession of presidents has been willing to resolve — the startling lack of manpower in a key agency in what promises to be a long battle.

Obama’s bloated entourage

The heads of government in London for the G-20 summit are discussing serious and weighty issues, which in time will be duly reported on, but right now the British press is entranced by the sheer size of President Obama’s traveling entourage. And no wonder.

Obama arrived with 500 staff in tow, including 200 Secret Service agents, a team of six doctors, the White House chef and kitchen staff with the president’s own food and water.

A disturbing caricature

Let’s not call the political cartoonist Pat Oliphant an anti-Semite or even an Israel-basher. Let’s just be clear about what he is doing: encouraging those whose intentions are genocidal.

No forensic match in Blackwater massacre of Iraqis

Forensic experts for the FBI cannot match .30-cal. bullets from machine guns used by Blackwater Worldwide mercenaries to the rounds that killed 17 Iraqi civilians in a 2007 attack that inflamed worldwide opinion and led to the company’s ouster as a private security firm for the U.S. government.

While the findings do not specifically clear Blackwater’s hired guns it does raise a possibility that insurgents may have also fired into the intersection.

But while doubts could be raised in this case, Blackwater has been accused of other atrocities while operating as loose cannon government mercenaries in Iraq.

Prosecutor misconduct saves Sen. Ted Stevens

Screwups by prosecutors in the corruption trial against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (left) will result in a dropping of all charges against the convicted politician.

Apparently, the lawyers for Justice bungled the case so badly that Attorney Gen. Eric Holder feels the only option is to let Stevens off the hook.

The setback is the latest black eye for the Justice Department’s dismal record under the Bush administration.

Holder says the actions of prosecutors cannot be defended.

The American Dream is now a nightmare

Home ownership used to define the American dream. Now that dream has turned into a national nightmare as a nation of homeowners become a displaced populace who must rent.

And renting is an option only for those who have the money for even that.

This was not what millions of Americans had in mind when they moved into their new home. With that dream shattered, many wonder what’s next.

A good question with few answers.

FAA seeks to hide bird strike facts from public

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing to keep secret from travelers its vast records on where and how often commercial planes are damaged by hitting flying birds.

The government agency argued that some carriers and airports would stop reporting incidents for fear the public would misinterpret the data and hold it against them. The reporting is voluntary because the FAA rejected a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation 10 years ago to make it mandatory.

Military slow to fix showers that killed soldiers

The military is racing to inspect more than 90,000 U.S.-run facilities across Iraq to reduce a deadly threat troops face far off the battlefield: electrocution or shock while showering or using appliances.

About one-third of the inspections so far have turned up major electrical problems, according to interviews and an internal military document obtained by The Associated Press. Half of the problems they found have since been fixed but about 65,000 facilities still need to be inspected, which could take the rest of this year. Senior Pentagon officials were on Capitol Hill this week for briefings on the findings.