Archives for FUBAR

Drug firms cut secret deal with Obama, Congress

The pharmaceutical industry agreed Saturday to spend $80 billion over the next decade improving drug benefits for seniors on Medicare and defraying the cost of President Barack Obama's health care legislation, capping secretive negotiations involving key lawmakers and the White House.

"This new coverage means affordable prices on prescription drugs when Medicare benefits don't cover the cost of prescriptions," Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement announcing the accord.


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FBI wasted time, resources on porno probe

When the FBI investigated the landmark 1972 porno movie "Deep Throat," the case touched the highest levels of the FBI, even its second-in-command W. Mark Felt, the shadowy Watergate informant whose "Deep Throat" alias was taken from the movie's title.

The FBI documents newly released to The Associated Press reveal the bureau's sprawling and ultimately vain attempt to stop the spread of a movie some saw as the victory of a cultural and sexual revolution and others saw as simply decadent.


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No perjury charge against Sen. Burris

An Illinois prosecutor investigating the appointment of Roland Burris to President Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat said on Friday there was insufficient evidence to charge Burris with perjury.

Some of Burris' answers to questions posed by an Illinois legislative committee in January were vague, but he did not lie about his discussions with then-Governor Rod Blagojevich's aides concerning his appointment, Sangamon County Prosecutor John Schmidt said in a statement.


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Economy becoming a good news-bad news joke

Trying economic times have prompted many Americans to search the financial horizon for positive signs we may be pulling out of the recession. But sometimes what looks like good news can also be bad news. This week's release of housing starts was just that, good news bearing potential hidden bad news between the lines. In May, housing starts jumped 17 percent above the year before, exceeding expectations in a housing market that seems to have bottomed out and which may soon start to produce rising home prices.


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New rules mean more government control

From simple home loans to Wall Street's most exotic schemes, the government would impose and enforce sweeping new "rules of the road" for the nation's battered financial system under an overhaul proposed Wednesday by President Barack Obama.

Aimed at preventing a repeat of the worst economic crisis in seven decades, the changes would begin to reverse a determined campaign pressed in the 1980s by President Ronald Reagan to cut back on federal regulations.


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Gun smuggling curbs ain’t working

Government efforts to stop the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico have suffered in recent years from having no clear plan to combat gunrunners affiliated with drug cartels, investigators have concluded.

The Government Accountability Office, which is delivering its findings to Congress on Thursday, noted that federal agencies only recently began coordinating with Mexican counterparts on ways to stop gunrunning along the border.


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Twitter comes into its own

Twitter may be only two years old and not making money yet but it has definitely come of age.

Just days after Time magazine put Twitter on its cover and weeks after talk show megastar Oprah Winfrey signed on as a user, Iranians turned to the service to protest the results of their presidential election and get the news out.


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Crude insults are not humor

One doesn't have to be a fan of Sarah Palin and her family to be offended by David Letterman's utterly tasteless, senseless remarks about her trip to New York City. Somewhere in there may be a clue as to why NBC picked Jay Leno instead of him to replace Johnny Carson on the Tonight show all those years ago.


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Study finds dangerous flaws at Veterans’ Hospitals

Fewer than half of Veterans Affairs centers given a surprise inspection last month had proper training and guidelines in place for common endoscopic procedures such as colonoscopies — even after the agency learned that mistakes may have exposed thousands of veterans to HIV and other diseases.

The findings, from the VA's inspector general and obtained by The Associated Press, suggest that errors in colonoscopies and other minimally invasive procedures performed at VA facilities may be more widespread than initially believed.


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Recount under consideration in Iran

Iran's powerful Guardian Council is ready to recount specific ballot boxes in last week's disputed presidential elections, a council spokesman said Tuesday, another twist in an election that has touched off widespread protests.

State television quoted Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei as saying that the recount would be limited to voting sites where candidates claim irregularities took place. It was not clear which or how many voting sites would be affected.


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