Archives for FUBAR

Government shutdown: A big risk for both parties

Democrats and Republicans say the last thing they want to do is to shut down the government. But with budget talks showing little signs of a breakthrough, there are growing worries that a stalemate could hurt the economy’s fragile recovery. Many economists and budget analysts suggest that a government shutdown, if it’s lengthy, or even a deal that calls for deep short-term spending cuts could stifle economic growth and lead the country back into recession. Private forecasters already have lowered their growth projections for this year based on surging fuel, food and raw material costs, and tensions in the Middle
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GOP budget will raise health care costs for seniors

Congressional budget experts say future retirees would pay more for health care under a new House Republican budget proposal. The fiscal blueprint would put people now 54 and younger in a different kind of health care program when they retire. Unlike parents and grandparents in traditional Medicare, they’d get a federal payment to buy private insurance from a choice of government-regulated plans. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, in an analysis released late Tuesday, said a typical beneficiary would spend more for health care under the proposal. GOP leaders want the House to act quickly on the ambitious plan from House
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Romney leads in New Hampshire but Trump a wild card

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leads potential Republican primary opponents in the early voting state of New Hampshire, but celebrity candidate Donald Trump has substantial support, according to a new poll. Public Policy Polling’s survey, released on Tuesday, showed 31 percent support for Romney, who many see as the front-runner for the Republican nomination to go up against Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. That was similar to the 32 percent that Romney received in the state’s 2008 primary, when he finished second to John McCain, but down from 40 percent when the group last polled in November. Romney
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Bohner to GOP: Get ready for government shutdown

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Monday told fellow Republicans to prepare for a government shutdown, undercutting optimism that progress is being made on a deal that would keep the government running. Boehner and other congressional leaders are due to meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday to try to make headway on the plan, which would slice roughly $33 billion from this year’s budget and ensure that the government will keep running beyond midnight on Friday, when current funding expires. Boehner instructed his fellow Republicans in an evening meeting to draw up plans on how the House would
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Billion dollar Obama? That’s the goal

President Barack Obama is no longer the outsider candidate who fueled his bid for the White House in 2008 with a flood of small donations from new and young voters inspired by his message of hope and change.   As a sitting president he has far greater authority and media access and his 2012 re-election campaign is expected to raise $1 billion, which is unprecedented in U.S. politics. “In 2008, he was very much an insurgent candidate, somebody from out of nowhere with a wholly different story. And the Obama campaign was as much a crusade as it was a
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Geithner: U.S. will hit debt limit by May 16

The United States will hit the legal limit on its ability to borrow no later than May 16, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Monday, ramping up pressure on Congress to act to avoid a debt default. “The longer Congress fails to act, the more we risk that investors here and around the world will lose confidence in our ability to meet our commitments and our obligations,” Geithner said in a letter to congressional leaders. “Default by the United States is unthinkable.” Previously, the Treasury had forecast that the $14.3 trillion statutory debt limit would be reached between April 15
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Baby boomers worried about retirement

Baby boomers are starting to retire, but many are agonizing about their finances and believe they’ll need to work longer than they had planned, a new poll finds. The 77 million-strong generation born between 1946 and 1964 has clung tenaciously to its youth. Now, boomers are getting nervous about retirement. Only 11 percent say they are strongly convinced they will be able to live in comfort. A total of 55 percent said they were either somewhat or very certain they could retire with financial security. Yet a substantial 44 percent express little or no faith they’ll have enough money when
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Obama makes it official: He’s running for second term

President Barack Obama formally launched his re-election campaign Monday, urging grass-roots supporters central to his first campaign to mobilize again to protect the change he’s brought in his first term. The official start of his second White House bid comes 20 months before the November 2012 election. “We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build,” Obama said in an e-mail to supporters. He told them he
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At University of Texas, guns on campus debate is personal

University of Texas junior Sonia Escot was studying at her usual first-floor spot at a campus library on that morning last September when a fellow student walked in with an AK-47. “If that shooter had wanted to shoot, I would have been one of the first,” said Escot, 21, who does not like to study anymore at that library. Gunman Colton Tooley, 19, killed himself on the sixth floor after running through campus firing his weapon, injuring no one. Now, six months after Tooley’s actions led to a day long campus shutdown — and nearly 45 years after Charles Whitman
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Who decides how to save the earth?

To the quiet green solitude of an English country estate they retreated, to think the unthinkable. Scientists of earth, sea and sky, scholars of law, politics and philosophy: In three intense days cloistered behind Chicheley Hall’s old brick walls, where British saboteurs once secretly trained, four dozen international thinkers pondered the planet’s fate as it grows warmer, weighed the idea of reflecting the sun to cool the atmosphere, debated the question of who would make the decision. The unknown risks of “geoengineering” — in this case, tweaking Earth’s climate by dimming the skies — left many uneasy. “If we could
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