Archives for FUBAR

Bristol Palin shells out 172 grand in cash for house

Paperwork shows the recent “Dancing With the Stars” diva and daughter of Sarah Palin is the sole purchaser of the house in the town of Maricopa. She bought it for $172,000 from a North Dakota couple. It’s not clear if Bristol Palin will be a seasonal visitor or permanent resident at the home, in a development called Cobblestone Farms. According to real estate websites, the residence is a two-level, brown stucco house with a tile roof, a landscaped front and back yard, and access to a community pool. The Arizona Republic reports the 3,900-square-foot home was built in 2006 and
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Health care celebration? Celebrate what?

It was the ultimate Christmas Eve present for Barack Obama. Around 7 a.m. one year ago today, every Democratic senator in office – 60 in all – voted in favor of enacting comprehensive health care reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had leveraged the threat of spending Christmas in the Capitol to force even reticent Democratic senators to support the landmark legislation, close a major chapter of the debate over health care and head home for the holiday. In a brief press conference after the vote, Democratic Senate leaders lauded each other and celebrated their historic victory. Max Baucus, chair
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Treasury Department cleared U.S. business with Iran

The Treasury Department has granted nearly 10,000 special licenses to American companies over the past decade so they could sell some types of products in Iran and other countries the U.S. considers terrorist sponsors, The New York Times reported Thursday. Companies such as Kraft Food and Pepsi and some of the largest U.S. banks benefited, the newspaper said. Most licenses were granted under a law allowing trade in humanitarian goods, even if that ended up including products as diverse as cigarettes and chewing gum. The story posted on the Times’ website implies no illegal activity by administration officials or company
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Most Christmas trees now are fake ones

Far more Canadians, Americans and Britons will celebrate Christmas on Saturday with artificial Christmas trees in their houses than real ones, according to a survey released on Friday. Sixty two percent of Britons, 58 percent of Canadians and 53 percent of Americans use artificial trees, while only about 16 percent of Americans and Canadians and 14 percent of Britons use fresh trees, according to poll done by Angus Reid Public Opinion. More than a quarter of the people surveyed in each country said they did not plan to have a tree at all, the survey found. Most artificial tree users
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Man vs. bats: Who will win?

Biologist Susi von Oettingen walked into the dark World War II-era military bunker and took out her flashlight. Among the old pipes, wires and machinery parts, she saw some bats hanging from cracks in the cement walls and ceiling. It was an unusual place for the bats to hibernate, different from a mine or cave. But something else was different, too: None of them had white-nose syndrome, a fungus that’s killing bats across the country. The group of bats found last winter in the New Hampshire bunker was small, recalled von Oettingen, an endangered species biologist for the U.S. Fish
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Ousted gays hope to return to military service

Joseph Rocha reported being cruelly hazed by Navy colleagues. Katherine Miller resigned from West Point halfway through, weary of concealing her sexual orientation. David Hall was outed by a fellow Air Force cadet and booted from the career he loved. The exits from military service were wrenching consequences of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the policy prohibiting gay and lesbian personnel from being open about their sexuality. Yet Hall, Rocha and Miller savored military duty and now — with “don’t ask, don’t tell” heading toward oblivion — they want to return. Rocha, 24, was in Washington on Wednesday, watching euphorically as
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A lot of grass leads to a big bust

Police stopped a driver for running a red light and discovered more than 500 pounds of marijuana inside his minivan, authorities said on Monday. Clement Hunter, 30, was awaiting arraignment on Monday following his arrest on drug charges, authorities said. Hunter ran a red traffic light in the city’s Queens borough early on Sunday morning and tried to evade police for several blocks, police said. When he was pulled over, the 513 pounds of marijuana stuffed into large garbage bags was partly visible inside his minivan, police said. He faces 50 counts of felony possession of marijuana as well as
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The Army: Be all that you can’t know

Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday. The report by The Education Trust bolsters a growing worry among military and education leaders that the pool of young people qualified for military service will grow too small. “Too many of our high school students are not graduating ready to begin college or a career — and many are not eligible to serve in our armed
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Toyoto nailed for another recall

Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay the government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis. The Transportation Department said late Monday the civil penalties will settle investigations into how Toyota dealt with recalls over accelerator pedals that could get trapped in floor mats, and steering relay rods that could break and lead to drivers losing control. The latest settlement, on top of a $16.4 million fine Toyota paid earlier in a related investigation, brings the total penalties levied on the company to
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In this economy, even Santa has it tough

Craig McTavish — a.k.a. Santa — has the beard. He has the belly. He even has a few tricks up his sleeve, like pulling up to parties on his Harley-Davidson in full Kris Kringle garb. But there’s one thing he doesn’t have: work. For freelance Santas, this holiday season has been more “no, no, no,” than “ho, ho, ho.” Bookings have declined as paying $125 an hour for Santa to visit a holiday party has become an unaffordable luxury. It’s the second year of declining parties and events, Santas say. “This year has been a bust as far as making
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