Archives for FUBAR

Obama defends his Libyan war

Vigorously defending the first war launched on his watch, President Barack Obama declared Monday night that the United States intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the world’s conscience and “been a betrayal of who we are” as Americans. Yet he ruled out targeting Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a mistake as costly as the war in Iraq. Obama announced that NATO would take command over the entire Libya operation on Wednesday, keeping his pledge to get the U.S. out of the lead fast — but offering no
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Courts will have to settle mess in Wisconsin

With Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration insisting a new law eliminating most of state workers’ collective bargaining rights had gone into effect and other state and municipal leaders disputing that, many were looking to a Tuesday court hearing for some kind of clarity. The latest over the collective bargaining law began Friday when the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau published the law by posting it on a website, and Walker said that was all that was needed for it to take effect. Typically, a law goes into effect when it’s published by the secretary of state, but Democrat Doug La
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Medicare increase wipes out any chance of increase in Social Security

Millions of retired and disabled people in the United States had better brace for another year with no increase in Social Security payments. The government is projecting a slight cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits next year, the first increase since 2009. But for most beneficiaries, rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out any increase in payments, leaving them without a raise for a third straight year. About 45 million people — 1 in 7 in the country — receive both Medicare and Social Security. By law, beneficiaries have their Medicare Part B premiums, which cover doctor visits, deducted from
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White House delays Freedom of Information responses

Insiders at the Homeland Security Department warned for months that senior Obama administration appointees were improperly delaying the releases of government files on politically sensitive topics as sought by citizens, journalists and watchdog groups under the Freedom of Information Act, according to uncensored emails newly obtained by The Associated Press. The highly unusual political vetting was described as “meddling,” “crazy” and “bananas!” It is the subject of a congressional hearing later this week and an ongoing inquiry by the department’s inspector general. Concerns came even from the official put in charge of submitting files to the political staff of Homeland
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American ‘kill team’ targeted, murdered Afghan civilians

In 2010, a group of maverick American infantry soldiers, battle weary after six long, hard months in Afghanistan, decided to abandon the rules of war and formed a “kill team” to murder and mutilate Afghan civilians, Rolling Stone magazine reports in a stunning, blockbuster story.   The kill team apparently operated while American Army officers, who knew of the team’s activities, failed to stop them. Reports Mark Boal of Rolling Stone: Early last year, after six hard months soldiering in Afghanistan, a group of American infantrymen reached a momentous decision: It was finally time to kill a haji. Among the
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Tempers run short in budget showdown

Congress returns to Washington this week under mounting pressure to strike an agreement with President Barack Obama on a bill to fund the government. That’s proving difficult enough. Then comes the harder part for House Speaker John Boehner: convincing his many tea party-backed GOP freshmen that the sort of split-the-differences measure Obama could sign isn’t a sellout. Time is running short. Staff-level negotiations last week ran aground, and the principals are going to have to pick up the pace to have any chance of making an April 8 deadline to avoid a partial shutdown of the government. Right now it
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NATO assuming command of Libya air strikes

NATO will assume command of all aerial operations in Libya from the U.S.-led force that has been conducting air strikes against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, officials said Sunday. NATO jets on Sunday already began enforcing the no-fly zone, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced. Diplomats said the full transfer of authority would take several days. “NATO allies have decided to take on the whole military operation in Libya under the U.N. Security Council resolution,” Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement. “NATO will implement all aspects of the U.N. resolution. Nothing more, nothing less.” The North Atlantic Council — the alliance’s top body
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GOP scores early budget victories without shutdown

Less than three months into a tea party-flavored Congress, federal budget cuts amount to $10 billion. Government shutdowns total zero.   That translates into twin early triumphs for Republicans, who are determined to reduce spending and have so far defied attempts by congressional Democrats to cast them as an uncontrollable rabble that would just as soon shutter the government as downsize it. “We’ve made it clear that a government shutdown is not an option — period,” GOP Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, said recently as the House was voting to cut $6 billion of the
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What happens when America doesn’t matter any more?

America led the military charge into Libya. Now it’s looking for someone else to take over but doing so is neither easy or backed by tradition. The United States has, for many years, been the “go-to” military power to lead international military actions and while pressure is building on President Barack Obama to abandon that role and turn it over to NATO or another country, the likelihood of American troops on the ground in Libya grows stronger. But others are raising the question. Is America’s role as the dominant nation in this world over. Has its time passed as a
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Wisconsin Republicans try to circumvent court order

In the latest move that showcases Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s utter disregard for the law, the anti-union Republican says he will implement a controversial law stripping public workers of collective bargaining rights after it was published in apparent violation of a court order blocking the legislation. Republicans claim the law goes into effect today after it was published by the state’s non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau. The attorney for the the bureau says the action was “just procedural” and the law can’t take effect until the court cases are resolved but Walker says he plans to implement the law, court order
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