Archives for FUBAR

Obama health plan: Now what?

Oh dear. After President Obama's news conference on health care/health insurance reform, I am more confused than ever about whether it will -- or should -- pass this year.

I buy the argument that health care is tied directly to the economic health of the United States. One of every six dollars generated in America goes for health care, yet 47 million people have no insurance and many who do don't have enough coverage in case of serious illness or injury. Too often pre-existing conditions are not covered.

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Obama tries to explain away Gates gaffe

President Barack Obama said Thursday he was surprised by all the hubbub over his comments that a white police officer in Cambridge, Mass., had acted "stupidly" in arresting a prominent black scholar for disorderly conduct. The president didn't take back his words, but he allowed that he understood the sergeant who made the arrest is an "outstanding police officer."

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Obama should have kept his mouth shut

President Obama's prime-time press conference was making little news but moving along smartly, on schedule not to run over into "America's Got Talent," until the last question, from a reporter for a Chicago newspaper who has covered Obama since he came to Washington.

She asked about the arrest of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., perhaps the nation's leading expert on the history of race relations in America. Obama noted that "Skip" Gates was a friend of his, "so I might be a little biased here." So far, so good.

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Jobs? What jobs?

The phrase, "jobless recovery" is gaining traction in Washington these days, as the stock market has turned decidedly bullish, home sales are no longer tanking, at least not at last year's rates, corporate profits are materializing and yet the number of out of work Americans continues to rise.

The Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco launched the talk by issuing an Economic Letter in early June that began as follows:

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Citizens group attacks government secrecy

A public interest group is trying to use the Freedom of Information Act to crack more than three decades of secrecy surrounding how the government deals with wrongdoing by intelligence agencies.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an open government advocacy group, sued in federal court Wednesday in San Francisco to force U.S. spy agencies to reveal any activities during the Bush administration that the agencies themselves acknowledge may have violated laws, presidential orders or the Constitution.

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America is losing the long war

In 1993, R. James Woolsey, about to become President Bill Clinton's first director of Central Intelligence, remarked to a Senate committee on the defeat of international communism: "We have slain a large dragon" He then added: "But we live now in a jungle filled with a bewildering variety of poisonous snakes. And in many ways, the dragon was easier to keep track of."

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American pessimism returns as Obama fades

That was fast. The hope and optimism that washed over the country in the opening months of Barack Obama's presidency are giving way to harsh realities.

An Associated Press-GfK Poll shows that a majority of Americans are back to thinking that the country is headed in the wrong direction after a fleeting period in which more thought it was on the right track.

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New ethics questions for Sarah Palin

Days before Gov. Sarah Palin is scheduled to leave office, the former vice presidential candidate is facing yet another legal distraction: An independent investigator found evidence she may have violated ethics laws by trading on her position as she sought money for lawyer fees.

A report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press says Palin is securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust, set up by supporters.

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Yes, cell phones & driving don’t mix

None of this will come as news to anyone who has been nearly run down in a pedestrian crosswalk by a driver happily prattling away on a cell phone. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, apparently bullied by Congress, felt that the actual proof of the dangers of distracted driving was too sensitive to share with the public.

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Saddam Hussein’s mother of all bluffs

It looks as though Saddam Hussein, as has been increasingly suspected, pulled off the mother of all bluffs --one that not only changed the course of history but set off a chain reaction so violent it is anyone's guess where and when it will end.

The late dictator told his FBI interrogators before he was turned over to Iraqi justice that he fooled the United States and half the world into thinking he was in possession of weapons of mass destruction as a deterrent to what he believed was a threat from Iran. He said his fear of Iranian fanatics was so strong he even contemplated seeking a security agreement with America, whom he did not see as a major enemy.

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