Archives for FUBAR

Beck’s success means big problems for Democrats

If Democrats had doubts about the voter unrest that threatens to rob them of their majority in Congress, they needed only look from the Capitol this weekend to the opposite end of the National Mall. It’s where Ken Ratliff joined tens of thousands of other anti-government activists at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial for conservative commentator Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally. “There’s gotta’ be a change, man,” said Ratliff, a 55-year-old Marine veteran from Rochester, N.Y. Neither Democrats nor Republicans can afford to ignore the antiestablishment fervor displayed Saturday during Beck’s rally that took on the tone of an
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High unemployment could last a decade

The American economy could experience painfully slow growth and stubbornly high unemployment for a decade or longer as a result of the 2007 collapse of the housing market and the economic turmoil that followed, according to an authority on the history of financial crises. That finding, contained in a new paper by Carmen M. Reinhart, an economist at the University of Maryland, generated considerable debate during an annual policy symposium here, organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which concluded on Saturday. The gathering, at a historic lodge in Grand Teton National Park, brought together about 110 central
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Beck steals lines from Obama

Glenn Beck is borrowing some lines from President Barack Obama. At his rally with tens of thousands on the steps of Lincoln Memorial, Beck used the closing lines of then-candidate Obama’s campaign stump speech of 2008. “One man can change the world,” Beck told the crowd. “That man or woman is you. You make the difference.” Obama used a similar message on the campaign trail. He used to say that once voice could change a room, one room could change a city, and one city could change a state. Obama liked to say that state could change a country and
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Paris Hilton busted for cocaine

Paris Hilton was arrested late Friday after a police motorcycle officer smelled marijuana smoke wafting from a black Cadillac Escalade driven by her boyfriend on the Las Vegas Strip, then found cocaine in her purse, authorities said. A crowd quickly gathered when Hilton and Las Vegas nightclub mogul Cy Waits were stopped about 11:30 p.m. Friday in the vehicle near the Wynn Las Vegas resort, police said. The 29-year-old celebrity socialite was taken into the hotel “to keep her safe” during the initial investigation, police Lt. Wayne Holman said. Police Officer Marcus Martin said the motorcycle officer pulled the Escalade
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Where exactly is ground zero?

The furor over how close is too close to ground zero for a planned Islamic center and mosque has raised a simple question nine years after Sept. 11: Where exactly is ground zero? The lines marking the site of the 2001 terror attacks change depending on which New Yorker, 9/11 family member and American you talk to. Even those who know it best can’t agree on its boundaries. Tourists who come to snap pictures outside of a busy construction site often aren’t sure that they’re there. Andrew Slawsky, a 22-year-old college student standing outside the proposed mosque and Islamic center,
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Beck rally draws criticism

Glenn Beck’s rally on the anniversary and at the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech is drawing criticism, protests and questions about his intentions. Beck insists the event Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial is not about politics, even though Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will attend. But the rally is drawing a strong reaction — and several counter-rallies — as the nation looks toward November’s elections. Beck, a popular figure among tea party activists and a polarizing Fox News Channel personality, has said it is merely a coincidence that the event is
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Feds will appeal stem-cell ruling

The Justice Department said it will appeal a judge’s decision to block federal funding for stemcell research, risking an election year fight over hot-button issues of science and religion. “I can confirm we plan to appeal,” Justice Department spokesperson Tracy Schmaller said Tuesday, adding that the department was “likely to file this week.” She said the department would both appeal US District Judge Royce Lambert’s temporary suspension of federal funding for stemcell research and seek a stay of the suspension while the appeal is pending. “The president said very plainly that this is important, life-saving research,” White House spokesman Bill
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American troops still in danger in Iraq

Lt. Ryan Alexander stands thigh-deep in a dark grove of reeds and palm trees, hunting for rockets. Officially, the U.S. combat role in Iraq is ending this month, but Alexander and his platoon are under orders to keep insurgents from using the south Baghdad field as a hiding place for Katyushas. “We’re going to be doing this as long as they tell us,” Alexander said in a near-whisper in the steamy pre-dawn air, his machine gun slung over his shoulder. Behind him, Iraqi Lt. Wassan Fadah Hussein had his handgun out and ready for action. In the near distance came
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Sherrod: Thanks but no thanks

Shirley Sherrod, ousted from the Agriculture Department during a racial firestorm that embarrassed the Obama administration, rejected an offer to return to the USDA on Tuesday. But at a cordial news conference with the man who asked her to leave — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack — she said she may do consulting work for him on racial issues. She was asked to leave her job as Georgia’s director of rural development in July after comments she made in March were misconstrued as racist. She has since received numerous apologies from the administration, including from Obama himself, and Vilsack asked her
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GOP’s uneven record on the Constitution

Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia won his seat in Congress campaigning as a strict defender of the Constitution. He carries a copy in his pocket and is particularly fond of invoking the Second Amendment right to bear arms. But it turns out there are parts of the document he doesn’t care for — lots of them. He wants to get rid of the language about birthright citizenship, federal income taxes and direct election of senators, among others. He would add plenty of stuff, including explicitly authorizing castration as punishment for child rapists. This hot-and-cold take on the Constitution is
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