FUBAR

Let’s rename the VA

ACTION MEMO TO: President-elect Barack Obama & Veterans Affairs Secretary-designate General Eric Shinseki.

RE: Why We Need to Re-Name the VA _ to the Department of Veterans Advocacy.

America’s military veterans have every reason to be elated at the President-elect’s selection of General Shinseki to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs and every reason to be hopeful upon hearing their determination to fix, at last, what is wrong with way our nation treats those who have fought our battles.

The danger of Blackwater

Blackwater is bad news, currently quite literally. The sizable corporation, established in 1997, has evolved into one of the most prominent – and profitable – of a growing array that provide military services, including firepower.

Now, five Blackwater representatives have been indicted by the Justice Department for allegedly killing without sufficient provocation seventeen Iraqi civilians at a vehicle intersection last year. A sixth guard has pled guilty to lesser charges and is assisting federal authorities.

Can we pave our way to economic recovery?

President-elect Obama has disclosed a few more details of his plan to rescue the economy, but left out key specifics — like how much it will cost.

But it will be big. Obama said it would be the largest public-works project since construction of the interstate highway system began in the 1950s. (For the record, the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1991 put the final cost of the system at $128.9 billion, almost all of it federal money.)

Supremes reject challenge to Obama’s birthright

The Supreme Court has turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who says President-elect Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because he was a British subject at birth. The court did not comment on its order Monday rejecting the call by Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J., to intervene in the presidential election.

A bold plan…but at what cost?

President-elect Obama has disclosed a few more details of his plan to rescue the economy, but left out key specifics — like how much it will cost.

But it will be big. Obama said it would be the largest public-works project since construction of the interstate highway system began in the 1950s. (For the record, the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1991 put the final cost of the system at $128.9 billion, almost all of it federal money.)

Shinseki: Restoring a good man’s honor

One of the enduring blemishes on the Bush administration’s record is its shabby treatment of then-Army chief of staff Eric Shinseki. Shinseki’s sin was twofold: In the run-up to the Iraq war, he contradicted the received wisdom of President Bush’s top civilians at the Pentagon and he was proved right.

In February 2003, he told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it could take "something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" to secure and maintain the peace in Iraq.

Guns in national parks: Dumb, stupid idea

As a parting shot from the Bush Administration, courtesy of the gun lobby, those who seek the solitude and beauty of some national parks and wildlife refuges will face the fact that the visitor standing next to them just may be packing heat and is ready to use it at the first sign of any unfriendliness, such as an argument over a camping space.

Obama warns: Economy will get worse

President-elect Barack Obama said the economy seems destined to get worse before it gets better and he pledged a recovery plan "that is equal to the task ahead."

Obama also said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the survival of the domestic car-making capacity is important, yet any bailout must be "conditioned on an auto industry emerging at the end of the process that actually works."

Indicted Blackwater killers: All decorated vets

The five Blackwater Worldwide guards indicted for a deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting are all decorated military veterans who have served in some of the world’s most dangerous hotspots.

According to lawyers for the guards, the men are: Donald Ball, a former Marine from Valley City, Utah; Dustin Heard, a former Marine from Knoxville, Tenn.; Evan Liberty, a former Marine from Rochester, N.H.; Nick Slatten, a former Army sergeant from Sparta, Tenn.; and Paul Slough, an Army veteran from Keller, Texas.

The economy: It just keeps getting worse

Record numbers of homeowners are falling behind on mortgage payments and the U.S. economy is losing jobs at an alarming rate with companies big and small slashing their work force.

A half-million American jobs disappeared month, the worst mass layoffs in more than three decades, as the nation spiraled downward in what could be the hardest hard times since the Great Depression.