Archives for FUBAR

Is “public option” just a smokescreen?

Barack Obama made health care reform a centerpiece of his presidential campaign. But the politics of health care are never as straightforward as they appear, and what seemed like a sure thing a few months ago is now shaping up into a real donnybrook as Congress takes up an actual bill.

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Another Republican admits screwing around

The Republican Party may claim they are the home of family values but it seems more and more of the GOP faithful are leaving home and getting some on the road.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford became the latest Republican to admit he just can't keep it in his pants, admitting to an affair with a Argentine woman.

Sanford also apparently lied repeatedly to his own staff about his prolonged absences from his office, saying he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was -- in fact -- porking his mistress.

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Feds nail 53 for Medicare fraud

Federal authorities indicted 53 people on Wednesday for schemes to cheat Medicare out of $50 million.

Suspects were arrested in Detroit, Miami, and Denver as part of a wide-ranging effort by the government to crack down on those allegedly defrauding the government-funded health care program for the elderly and disabled.

Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and FBI Director Robert Mueller announced the charges at a news conference in Washington.

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The escalating cost of health care reform

Those were some scary numbers on the cost of health-care reform the Congressional Budget Office released last week. As they should have, the figures sent the Senate committees scurrying back to try to rework their bills to get the 10-year cost under $1 trillion.

That was the price tag President Obama put on reform and the figure he was "almost all the way to covering" with his proposed $950 billion in tax increases and budget cuts.

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Lobbyists turn up the heat on health care

For President Barack Obama, the MRIs and other medical scans for Medicare patients that cost the government billions are prime targets for cuts to help finance health care overhaul.

The response from physicians and industry: a lobbying counterattack accusing Obama of denying patients the lifesaving tools they need.

Patients, rural doctors and advocacy groups who back the procedures will gather in the House Wednesday for a panel discussion, part of the campaign.

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Suspected terrorists allowed to buy guns

The so-called terrorist "watch list" is supposed to protect us from those who want to destroy our way of life.

Yet the Government Accountability Office says the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that watches these folks, could not stop 90 percent of them from buying guns after they were placed on the "watch list."

Which begs the question: Who's watching the watchers? Or is anyone watching anything?

The National Rifle Association, which can come up with an excuse to allow anyone -- at any time and for any reason -- to buy guns, says there's nothing wrong with suspected terrorists buying guns because the NRA believes most of them are law-abiding citizens anyway.

Maybe the NRA is right. Or maybe they're not. Who knows who to believe in these maddening times?

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Attention bloggers: Big brother is watching

The ever-opressive Federal Government, not content to tightly regulate banks, auto companies, smoking and God-knows-what-else, now wants to extend the controlling hand of Big Brother to the blogging community.

Under new buidelines proposed for the Federal Trade Commission, bloggers will be watched by Uncle Sam for potential conflicts of interest and ethical lapses.  The agency will soon have the power to go after bloggers who make false claims or fail to disclose conflicts of interest.

The hits just keep on a-coming.

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Metro’s fail-safe was anything but

During the 23 years that my wife and I lived in the National Capital Region, we often used Metro, the subway system considered to be the nation's most modern and safest.

Accidents, Metro officials assured us, could not happen because designers put too many redundant fail-safe safety features into the system.

That's what they said. As I recall, owners of the White Star Line said the Titanic could not sink.

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You will have health insurance…or else

In the new reality of Barack Obama and Democratic control of our government, health insurance will not be an option: It will be the law.

Whatever bill emerges from Congress will almost certainly include a require that all Americans have health insurance -- whether they want it or not.

In theory, those who can't afford health insurance will get government help obtaining it.

In theory.

In reality, the theory of legislation doesn't always translate easily to actuality.

But a government-run health care system will require health insurance...or else.

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