Archives for FUBAR

Geithner: Economy rebounding, jobs aren’t

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledges the federal budget deficit is too high, but that the priorities now are economic growth and job creation. Asked repeatedly on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether this means taxes will rise, Geithner avoided giving specifics. He did say President Barack Obama is committed to dealing with deficit in a way that will not add to the tax burden of people making less than $250,000 a year. The White House has not decided how to reduce the red ink, Geithner said in an interview broadcast Sunday. "Right now we're focused on getting growth back on track," he said. "And we're not at the point yet where we have to decide exactly what it's going to take."
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Auditors to KBR: Time to trim down

Pentagon auditors are warning the Army's primary support contractor in Iraq, responsible for everything from mail and laundry to housing and meals, to cut its work force there or face nearly $200 million in penalties for keeping thousands too many on the payroll. According to an internal Defense Department audit, Houston-based KBR Inc. has increased employee levels while U.S. troops steadily leave the country after more than six years of war. As a result, the U.S. government is paying far more in labor costs in Iraq than it should as military resources are shifted to Afghanistan.
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Obama acts just like Bush on warrantless wiretaps

Attorney General Eric Holder says a lawsuit in San Francisco over warrantless wiretapping threatens to expose ongoing intelligence work and must be thrown out. In making the argument, the Obama administration agreed with the Bush administration's position on the case but insists it came to the decision differently. A civil liberties group criticized the move Friday as a retreat from promises President Barack Obama made as a candidate.
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Cheney’s memory ‘hazy’ on Plame CIA leak

Citing faulty memory, former Vice President Dick Cheney told federal investigators in a 2004 interview he had no idea who revealed to reporters that Valerie Plame, the wife of a Bush administration critic, worked for the CIA. Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was convicted of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI in the probe of who leaked the former spy's identity to the news media. At the end of Libby's trial, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said "there is a cloud over the vice president" regarding the leaking of Plame's identity.
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Is the recession finally coming to an end?

The United States has emerged from a long and crippling recession, posting its strongest growth in two years in the third quarter as government stimulus spurred consumer spending, official data showed. After four negative quarters, the world's largest economy grew at a seasonally adjusted 3.5-percent annual rate in the July-September period from the second quarter, the Commerce Department said.
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‘Too big to fail’ becomes ‘too much to stomach’

The Obama administration's new proposal for tackling financial risk in the U.S. economy, unveiled just two days ago, came under attack on Thursday from Congress and regulators, with questions raised about its funding and scope. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner scrambled in a congressional hearing to defend the plan against critics who said it would give too much power to regulators and enshrine government bailouts for troubled financial firms in law.
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Obama considers scaled-down war in Afghanistan

President Barack Obama is considering a scaled-down version of the war plan advanced by his top Afghanistan commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. officials say. Such a narrowed military mission would increase American forces to accomplish the commander's broadest goals of protecting Afghan cities and key infrastructure. But with fewer troops, the strategy likely would cut back on McChrystal's ambitious objectives, amounting to what one official described as "McChrystal Light."
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Has the AMA lost its clout?

Does the AMA matter in the health care debate? Congress is beginning to have its doubts, despite the medical association's deep pockets and platoons of lobbyists. It's lost its principles, some lawmakers and physicians say. Perhaps more damaging: It can't produce votes. After a humiliating defeat in the Senate, the venerable American Medical Association faces a revolt from both its member doctors and one-time political allies as it struggles to influence an overhaul of the nation's health system.
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U.S. Official’s resignation leaves White House scrambling

A poster boy for the Obama administration's plans for the increasingly-controversial war in Afghanistan resigned in protest last month and the departure has sent shock waves through the White House, which faces increasing criticism over its handling of the conflict. "I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," Matthew Hoh wrote in his four-page resignation letter from the Foreign Service. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based no upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."
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The recession is over, but…

It's about to become official: The recession is over — but not the pain. The government will release figures this week expected to show that the economy has awakened from its deepest slump since the 1930s and is in the early stages of a recovery. But the following week, the government will issue another set of figures expected to show unemployment continuing to rise toward and possibly above a clearly recessionary 10 percent. How can both be possible?
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