Archives for FUBAR

Va. Tech fined $55,000 for delayed response to shooting

Virginia Tech will have to pay the maximum $55,000 fine for violating federal law by waiting too long to notify students during the 2007 shooting rampage but will not lose any federal student aid, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday. Department officials wrote in a letter to the school that the sanction should have been greater for the school’s slow response to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, when student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 students and faculty, then himself. The $55,000 fine was the most the department could levy for Tech’s two violations of the
Read More

Why didn’t Obama mention Libyan rebels?

President Barack Obama wanted to tell a hesitant America why he launched a military assault in Libya, and he wanted to describe it on his terms — limited, sensible, moral and backed by international partners with the shared goal of protecting Libyans from a ruthless despot. Trouble is, the war he described Monday doesn’t quite match the fight the United States is in. It also doesn’t line up with the conflict Obama himself had seemed to presage, when he expressly called for Moammar Gadhafi’s overthrow or resignation. Obama’s stated goals stop well short of that. And although Obama talked of
Read More

Obama’s speech fails the smell test

There may be less than meets the eye to President Barack Obama’s statements Monday night that NATO is taking over from the U.S. in Libya and that U.S. action is limited to defending people under attack there by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. In transferring command and control to NATO, the U.S. is turning the reins over to an organization dominated by the U.S., both militarily and politically. In essence, the U.S. runs the show that is taking over running the show. And the rapid advance of rebels in recent days strongly suggests they are not merely benefiting from military aid in
Read More

Obama defends his Libyan war

Vigorously defending the first war launched on his watch, President Barack Obama declared Monday night that the United States intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the world’s conscience and “been a betrayal of who we are” as Americans. Yet he ruled out targeting Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a mistake as costly as the war in Iraq. Obama announced that NATO would take command over the entire Libya operation on Wednesday, keeping his pledge to get the U.S. out of the lead fast — but offering no
Read More

Courts will have to settle mess in Wisconsin

With Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration insisting a new law eliminating most of state workers’ collective bargaining rights had gone into effect and other state and municipal leaders disputing that, many were looking to a Tuesday court hearing for some kind of clarity. The latest over the collective bargaining law began Friday when the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau published the law by posting it on a website, and Walker said that was all that was needed for it to take effect. Typically, a law goes into effect when it’s published by the secretary of state, but Democrat Doug La
Read More

Medicare increase wipes out any chance of increase in Social Security

Millions of retired and disabled people in the United States had better brace for another year with no increase in Social Security payments. The government is projecting a slight cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits next year, the first increase since 2009. But for most beneficiaries, rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out any increase in payments, leaving them without a raise for a third straight year. About 45 million people — 1 in 7 in the country — receive both Medicare and Social Security. By law, beneficiaries have their Medicare Part B premiums, which cover doctor visits, deducted from
Read More

White House delays Freedom of Information responses

Insiders at the Homeland Security Department warned for months that senior Obama administration appointees were improperly delaying the releases of government files on politically sensitive topics as sought by citizens, journalists and watchdog groups under the Freedom of Information Act, according to uncensored emails newly obtained by The Associated Press. The highly unusual political vetting was described as “meddling,” “crazy” and “bananas!” It is the subject of a congressional hearing later this week and an ongoing inquiry by the department’s inspector general. Concerns came even from the official put in charge of submitting files to the political staff of Homeland
Read More

American ‘kill team’ targeted, murdered Afghan civilians

In 2010, a group of maverick American infantry soldiers, battle weary after six long, hard months in Afghanistan, decided to abandon the rules of war and formed a “kill team” to murder and mutilate Afghan civilians, Rolling Stone magazine reports in a stunning, blockbuster story.   The kill team apparently operated while American Army officers, who knew of the team’s activities, failed to stop them. Reports Mark Boal of Rolling Stone: Early last year, after six hard months soldiering in Afghanistan, a group of American infantrymen reached a momentous decision: It was finally time to kill a haji. Among the
Read More

Tempers run short in budget showdown

Congress returns to Washington this week under mounting pressure to strike an agreement with President Barack Obama on a bill to fund the government. That’s proving difficult enough. Then comes the harder part for House Speaker John Boehner: convincing his many tea party-backed GOP freshmen that the sort of split-the-differences measure Obama could sign isn’t a sellout. Time is running short. Staff-level negotiations last week ran aground, and the principals are going to have to pick up the pace to have any chance of making an April 8 deadline to avoid a partial shutdown of the government. Right now it
Read More

NATO assuming command of Libya air strikes

NATO will assume command of all aerial operations in Libya from the U.S.-led force that has been conducting air strikes against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, officials said Sunday. NATO jets on Sunday already began enforcing the no-fly zone, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced. Diplomats said the full transfer of authority would take several days. “NATO allies have decided to take on the whole military operation in Libya under the U.N. Security Council resolution,” Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement. “NATO will implement all aspects of the U.N. resolution. Nothing more, nothing less.” The North Atlantic Council — the alliance’s top body
Read More