Archives for FUBAR

Ben Bernanke’s nomination in big trouble

Ben Bernanke's nomination for a second term as U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, once seen a sure thing, appeared increasingly under threat on Friday after two Senate Democrats said they would vote against it.

"I believe there will be the votes to confirm him, but it's going to be very close," a senior Democratic leadership aide said.

With the U.S. job market in disarray, voters angry at Wall Street firms and members of Congress worried about their re-election in November, the Fed and its chairman have become targets for discontent.

Senators Barbara Boxer and Russ Feingold brought the total of known 'no' votes among the Democratic majority to four, while many others have said they were undecided.

Several Republicans also oppose him and some senators have moved to block his confirmation, forcing Senate leaders to secure a super-majority of 60 vote in the 100-member chamber to move the nomination.
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The end of freedom of speech?

MSNBC's Howard Beale -- the bombastic Keith Olbermann -- weighed in on the Supreme Court's decision Thursday to open the floodgates for corporate money to flow into election campaigns, saying the move signals an end to freedom of speech and clears the way for corporate takeover of government.

While some may argue that business always controls government the Court's 5-4 decision to lift virtually all restrictions on corporate and union involvement in political campaigns makes it legal for business have lett many shaken and angry.

Does it signal the end of democracy? Obermann thinks so.
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Exit Stage Left: Air America goes silent

Air America, the left-wing talk radio network that tried to compete with the more established right-wing icons of the airwaves, closed down Thursday -- a victim of dashed hopes, mangled programming and lofty goals that were never met.

In a statement posted on the network's web site, Air American said it ceased operations in the afternoon and will file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.

While the failure was no surprise, the abrupt end did catch some by surprise. One moment, the network was on the air. A few minutes later, it was not.


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Humbled Democrats consider revamping health care bill

Chastened by the Democratic Senate loss in Massachusetts, President Barack Obama and congressional allies signaled Wednesday they will try to scale back his sweeping health care overhaul in an effort to at least keep parts of it alive.

A simpler, less ambitious bill emerged as an alternative only hours after the loss of the party's crucial 60th Senate seat forced the Democrats to slow their all-out drive to pass Obama's signature legislation and reconsider all options.

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Brown’s Senate win could bury Obama’s agenda

The stunning Republican victory in Tuesday's Massachusetts Senate race will force Democrats to fundamentally rethink the meaning of Barack Obama's election to the presidency, especially the notion that Americans want more government help in matters such as obtaining health insurance.

Scott Brown's win in a liberal state will do more than vastly complicate Obama's bid to overhaul the U.S. health care system and pass climate-change legislation. It will prompt politicians of every stripe to redouble their efforts to understand voters' anger and desires ahead of the November elections for Congress, governorships and state legislatures.

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Independents told Democrats, Obama to take a hike

John Triolo, a 38-year-old retail sales manager, is like more than half the voters in "true-blue Democratic" Massachusetts: an independent.

Triolo supported Barack Obama's bid for the presidency because he wanted change. But on Tuesday, in a race seen as a referendum on Obama's legislative agenda, Triolo cast his vote for upstart Republican Scott Brown over the once heavily favored Democrat, Martha Coakley.

"I wanted change," Triolo said of Obama, "I thought he'd bring it to us, but I just don't like the direction that he's heading."

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Defeated Democrats ramp up the blame game

The buck stops ... Well, it was hard to tell just where the buck stopped Tuesday as Democrats in Boston and Washington began dodging blame and pointing fingers at each other even before the first returns were in.

Cool-headed analysis of what was driving independents to Republican Scott Brown's column? No. The issue was who botched Democrat Martha Coakley's Senate campaign more: her state people or national Democrats.

Most spoke the classic Washington way, under the cloak of anonymity. But President Barack Obama's senior adviser took precise, public aim at Coakley's camp as Brown closed in on the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat.

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Is health care reform on the critical list?

Democratic lawmakers who once saw health care overhaul as a historic quest are now anxious about getting the debate behind them, with Tuesday's Massachusetts Senate race underscoring how hard and joyless the effort has become.

Regardless of whether Democrat Martha Coakley squeaks past Republican Scott Brown, their down-to-the-wire campaign has shaken some Democrats' belief that most Americans will see the proposed health delivery changes as worthwhile. Emboldened Republicans, meanwhile, see the Democrat's struggle in liberal Massachusetts — where health care was a central issue — as a harbinger of GOP gains in November's midterm elections.

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Death toll rises, chaos reigns in Haiti

Relief workers say pockets of violence in Haiti's devastated capital are hindering a slow increase in much-needed aid delivery, and some residents have banded together to protect the few possessions they have left.

As thousands of others head to the countryside, people in one hillside Port-au-Prince district blocked off access to their street with cars and asked local young men to patrol for looters.

"We never count on the government here," said Tatony Vieux, 29. "Never."

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