Archives for FUBAR

Feds say end is near…to recession

The Federal Reserve has signaled it sees an end this year to the brutal recession and hinted that it was preparing an "exit strategy" for its unprecedented stimulus efforts.

The central bank raised its outlook for 2009 and 2010 economic output, projecting a rebound in the second half of 2009 that would leave the contraction for the year at between 1.0 and 1.5 percent.


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Home foreclosures up 15 percent

The number of U.S. households on the verge of losing their homes soared by nearly 15 percent in the first half of the year as more people lost their jobs and were unable to pay their monthly mortgage bills.

The mushrooming foreclosure crisis affected more than 1.5 million homes in the first six months of the year, according to a report released Thursday by foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc.


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A White House smoke screen?

Quick. What's the national threat level? Time's up. It's yellow for "elevated," meaning a significant risk of terrorist attacks. It has sat there almost continuously since right after 9/11. For the airlines, which can't seem to catch a break, the threat level is "orange" for a high risk of terrorist attacks.


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So, what’s the hurry on health care?

Health care reform, as it was for the Clinton administration, is obviously on its way to becoming the crucible on which Barak Obama's presidency will be judged. The failure of their first and most important initiative left the Clintons, Bill and Hillary, historically in the lower reaches of White House achievers and a similar fate could easily befall Obama should he fail in overhauling a system that's makes up one-fifth of the nation's economy.


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What did we learn from Vietnam?

The death of Robert McNamara creates an apt occasion to consider the Vietnam War. For many Americans, it's already ancient history. In fact, most of my students know more about the Civil War than about the decades-long Southeast Asian conflict that consumed millions of lives.


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Another month, another record deficit

The U.S. government rang up a $94.32 billion budget deficit in June, a record for the month, as the price tag for efforts to prop up the economy, banks and automakers mounted while revenues weakened.

The Treasury Department said on Monday that June marked the ninth straight month in which the government had run a deficit. In June 2008, the budget enjoyed a $33.55 billion surplus.


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Auto task force head quits amid probe

Steven Rattner will leave as head of the U.S. autos task force, which oversaw bankruptcies at General Motors Corp and Chrysler Group, at a time when a probe into how the private equity firm he co-founded gained New York pension business has intensified.

In announcing Rattner's resignation on Monday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the investor would be returning to private life and his family in New York. A source close to Rattner said he does not plan to rejoin his former firm, Quadrangle.


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Calls increase for probe of Bush-CIA lies

Congressional demands for an investigation grew on Monday over new disclosures that a secret CIA program to capture or kill al-Qaida leaders was concealed from Congress for eight years, perhaps at the behest of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The program, which never got off the ground and remains shrouded in mystery, was designed to target leaders of the terrorism network at close range, rather than with air strikes that risked civilian casualties, government officials with knowledge of the operation said Monday.


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Review planned for terror alert system

The multicolored terror alert system that was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks could be getting an overhaul — or could be eliminated entirely.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is expected to appoint a panel Tuesday to reevaluate the system, a senior administration official said.


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