Archives for FUBAR

Pentagon orders open doors for gays

The Pentagon said on Tuesday it had told U.S. military recruiters to allow gays and lesbians to apply for service, as gay veterans tested a court order striking down the military’s ban on openly serving homosexuals. California-based U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ordered the military a week ago to stop enforcing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and on Monday tentatively refused a Pentagon request to re-instate the 17-year-old ban. Phillips issued a final decision late on Tuesday affirming her order. Although government concerns about military readiness and cohesion are important, “these interests are outweighed by the compelling public interest
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Even with court ruling, military gays still don’t tell

When word came down of a judge’s ruling that gays could serve openly in the military, an Air Force officer received joyous congratulations from a comrade. Realizing there was someone in the room who didn’t know his sexual orientation, the officer pretended it was a joke and laughed it off. He figured it was too soon — and too risky — to celebrate. On Friday, the Pentagon agreed, warning gay troops that in this “legally uncertain environment,” coming out now could have “adverse consequences for themselves or others.” The warning came a day after the Obama administration asked a federal
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That dream home you bought in foreclosure might not be yours

It seemed too good to be true: You bought a house in foreclosure at a fraction of the former price. Maybe you even knocked out a wall or two and remodeled with all the money you saved. But now thousands of foreclosures around the country may be invalid because of bank paperwork problems. Should you worry? “Anyone who’s purchased a foreclosed property in the last three years should really be concerned,” says George Babcock, a Providence, R.I., attorney who represents homeowners who have been foreclosed on. “They should call the attorney that did their closing and say, ‘Hey, do I
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Impossible dream: Finding truth in campaign ads

Finding an actual fact in this season’s load of campaign ads is like panning for nuggets. There’s a lot of fool’s gold in the way. In this warped-lens world, a Democrat who votes against his party more than every other legislator except one is branded a lapdog of his party’s leadership. A federal deficit from the past is attributed to a health care law that did not yet exist. Democrats blame Republicans for wanting to tax SUVs, groceries and teddy bears without telling people that, in return, most of the income, payroll and estate taxes Americans know and hate would
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‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ a sticky issue for Democrats

At a time when President Barack Obama is trying to rally his political base, his administration is fighting to temporarily preserve the ban on gays serving openly in the military, even though his core supporters want it ended now. The Justice Department is appealing a court ruling that would stop the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy even as Democrats fighting hard to hold their majorities in Congress are looking to motivate the voters who delivered the White House to this president. The appeal, although expected, will do little to help Democrats trying to inspire those voters and hold back
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Does COLA freeze hurt Social Security recipients?

Seniors will remain ahead of the inflation curve despite a second straight year without an increase in their Social Security benefits. Some seniors and their advocacy groups have raised the specter of millions of the elderly struggling to pay for food, utilities and health care under a benefit freeze. Struggle, many do, particularly those who rely on Social Security for most if not all of their income. But beneficiaries received a whopping 5.8 percent cost-of-living increase in January 2009, when the actual cost of living had risen only a tiny fraction of 1 percent. In effect, they got a double
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Court ruling on gays leaves Pentagon in limbo

As the Obama administration considers appealing a judge’s order to stop the law prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military, some officers and service members say they are uncertain how to react. The Pentagon said Wednesday it had not issued written guidance on the ruling, and commanders in the field said they did not know how to proceed on sensitive questions like pursuing existing investigations against gay service members. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned of “enormous consequences” for troops if the court order is allowed to stand, saying the decision on repeal of the law known as “don’t ask,
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While politicians debate, judge acts on ‘don’t ask don’t tell’

A federal judge’s ruling that the military must stop its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy comes amid conflicting concerns of gays who think the government is moving too slowly to let them serve openly and Pentagon officials who believe that moving too quickly might disrupt a military engaged in war. Gay rights groups have said they are disappointed that legislation to override the ban is likely to languish in Congress until next year, when Democrats could have fewer seats and less power to override Republican objections. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen, the military’s
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Republican defends Nazi re-enacments

A Republican congressional candidate from Ohio, countering criticism from a House GOP leader, said Monday that he did nothing wrong by wearing a Nazi uniform while participating in World War II re-enactments. Rich Iott told The Associated Press in an interview that he took part in the historical re-enactments to educate the public, and does not agree with the Nazis‘ views or their actions against Jews. Asked whether it was wrong to wear a Nazi uniform, Iott said: “I don’t see anything wrong about educating the public about events that happened. And that’s the whole purpose of historical re-enacting.” Iott
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Social issues trap some Tea Party candidates

The tea party movement was born in anger over the recession and the Obama administration’s bailouts, and built largely on a platform of lower taxes and smaller government. But some of its candidates are getting tripped up on social issues. In New York, Carl Paladino, the tea party-backed Republican candidate for governor, caused a furor among Democrats when he said over the weekend that children shouldn’t be “brainwashed” into thinking homosexuality is acceptable. In Colorado, GOP Senate nominee Ken Buck has tried to deflect questions about his stance against abortion rights. In Delaware, Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell has come under
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