Archives for FUBAR

The impossible dream is just that

‘They had so much hope, so much hype and so much promise for change, this new Congress of 2008 when they swept into power two years ago with Barack Obama at the helm and a trustful nation behind them. Now, with time running out, with so little accomplished and so little consensus, the bitter Congress that can do has become the petty, little legislative body that can’t — a mere shadow of itself running hither and yon as time runs out and the great mantle of hope is reduced to the ashes of political reality. In reality, we expected too
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Barking dog sends plane to emergency landing

A small dog jumped out of its cage and bit a passenger and a flight attendant on a Phoenix-bound US Airways plane on Monday, forcing the captain to make an emergency landing in Pittsburgh. The dog’s owner opened the cage despite being told not to, said Valerie Wunder, a spokeswoman for US Airways. The captain of Flight 522 from Newark to Phoenix, carrying 122 passengers, decided to divert the plane because he “wanted to make sure everybody was OK,” Wunder said, adding she did not know whether charges would be filed against the dog’s owner. Copyright © 2010 Reuters
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Don’t think ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ fight is over. It’s not

Advocates of a bill that would overturn the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy say their fight for repeal this year is far from over despite failing to pass the Senate with only days left in the lame-duck session. Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked the legislation, which would have lifted the military’s 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops. The measure was tucked into a broader defense policy bill and had passed the House last spring. It failed in a 57-40 test vote, falling three votes short of the 60 needed to advance. GOP senators mostly united in defeating the measure
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Anyone want to buy Custer’s monument to military stupidity?

Frayed, torn and maybe even a little bloodstained, the only U.S. flag not captured or lost during George Armstrong Custer‘s “Last Stand” at the Battle of Little Bighorn sold for $54 when it first surfaced in the 1890s. On Friday, the swallow-tailed 7th U.S. Cavalry flag, known as a “guidon,” is expected to bring up to $5 million at an auction at Sotheby‘s in New York. And while Custer’s reputation has risen and fallen over the years — once considered a hero, he’s regarded by some contemporary scholars as an inept leader and savage American Indian killer — the guidon
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Someone frisked India’s ambassador: Bad idea

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced concern Thursday about an incident where India’s ambassador to Washington was frisked at an airport and vowed to try to prevent repeat incidents. “We obviously are concerned about it,” Clinton told reporters. “We will be looking into it and trying to determine both what happened and what we could do to prevent such incidents in the future.” But Clinton referred reporters to the Department of Homeland Security for any questions relating to the incident. Indian officials said their envoy to the United States, Meera Shankar, was last week pulled out of the security line
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Food safety overhaul depends on spending bill

The biggest overhaul of the U.S. food safety system in decades took a major step toward becoming law on Wednesday when House Democratic leaders folded it into a must-pass bill to fund the U.S. government. The House passed the spending bill on Wednesday and the Senate was expected to consider it over the next few days as lawmakers push to complete their legislative session by the end of next week. The food-safety legislation would give the government the power to order a food recall and would require foodmakers to write a plan to prevent in-plant contamination. Processing plants would be
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Sorry your honor but immigration made me do it

The lawyer for an African woman charged with smuggling young girls from Togo to New Jersey said her trial was about cultural norms that failed to translate in America. Twelve American jurors saw it as a clear-cut example of human trafficking, and she was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Both sides focused on the cultural nuances of the case; the defense arguing the woman was a benevolent mother figure who helped young girls escape a life of poverty; the prosecution accusing her of using the threat of African voodoo curses to keep the girls subjugated. The case highlighted a
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Hackers slam credit card sites in support of WikiLeaks

Hackers rushed to the defense of WikiLeaks on Wednesday, launching attacks on MasterCard, Visa, Swedish prosecutors, a Swiss bank and others who have acted against the site and its jailed founder Julian Assange. Internet “hacktivists” operating under the label “Operation Payback” claimed responsibility in a Twitter message for causing severe technological problems at the website for MasterCard, which pulled the plug on its relationship with WikiLeaks a day ago. MasterCard acknowledged “a service disruption” involving its Secure Code system for verifying online payments, but spokesman James Issokson said consumers could still use their credit cards for secure transactions. Later Wednesday,
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Foreclosure nightmares: When the banks get it all wrong

Christopher Marconi was in the shower when he heard a loud banging on his door. By the time he grabbed a towel and hustled to his front step, a U.S. marshal’s sedan was peeling out of his driveway. Nailed to Marconi’s front door was a foreclosure summons from Wells Fargo, naming him as a defendant. But the notice was for a house Marconi had never seen — on a mortgage he never had. Tom Williams was in his kitchen thumbing through the mail when he opened a letter from GMAC. It informed him that the bank would confiscate his house
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