Archives for FUBAR

A history of hate for Halocaust Museum shooter

A frustrated artist and an angry man, the suspect in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting once tried to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve board, a "caper" thwarted when a guard captured him outside a board meeting carrying a bag stuffed with weapons.

James von Brunn, 88, a white supremacist and Holocaust denier, describes the assault with apparent pride on his Web site, the source of fulmination against Jews and races other than his own.

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It’s official: Swine flu is a pandemic

The World Health Organization declared a swine flu pandemic Thursday — the first global flu epidemic in 41 years — as infections in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and elsewhere climbed to nearly 30,000 cases.

The long-awaited pandemic announcement is scientific confirmation that a new flu virus has emerged and is quickly circling the globe. WHO will now ask drugmakers to speed up production of a swine flu vaccine. The declaration will also prompt governments to devote more money toward efforts to contain the virus.

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Investigators find Feds threatened bank CEO

Congressional investigators say they have seen internal documents that prove the Federal Reserve threatened to force the ouster of Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis if he didn't follow through with plans to buy Merrill Lynch & Co.

None of the documents reviewed by staff, however, showed that the government explicitly instructed Bank of America to hide Merrill Lynch's losses from shareholders.

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California nears financial meltdown

California's government risks a financial "meltdown" within 50 days in light of its weakening May revenues unless Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers quickly plug a $24.3 billion budget gap, the state's controller said on Wednesday.

Underscoring the severity of California's cash crisis, Controller John Chiang, who has previously warned the state's government risks running out of cash without a budget deal, said revenues in May fell by $1.14 billon, or 17.7 percent, from a year earlier.

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Feds find few signs of economic recovery

The slumping US economy is showing only spotty signs of recovery, with overall conditions still weak, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book report Wednesday.

The central bank said reports from its 12 districts from mid-April through May "indicate that economic conditions remained weak or deteriorated further during the period."

Echoing a comment from its April Beige Book, the Fed said that "five of the districts noted that the downward trend is showing signs of moderating."

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New Chrysler, same as old Chrysler?

Chrysler may have been granted a fresh start, but it still faces old problems: how to sell enough cars and realign its fleet away from the trucks and SUVs consumers seem to no longer want or be able to afford.

A 42-day stay in bankruptcy court cleansed the company of much of its debt and labor costs, but many analysts say Chrysler's immediate future is bleak. It lost $8 billion in 2008, and sales are down by almost half for the first five months of this year.

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Gunman opens fire at Holocaust Museum

An 88-year-old gunman with a violent and virulently anti-Semitic past opened fire with a rifle inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday, fatally wounding a security guard before being shot himself by other officers, authorities said.

The assailant was hospitalized in critical condition, leaving behind a sprawling investigation by federal and local law enforcement and expressions of shock from the Israeli government and a prominent Muslim organization.

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Pentagon riddled with conflicts of interest

Pentagon employees have received millions of dollars in free travel and lodging from foreign countries, trade groups and companies with an interest in shaping policies or doing business with the U.S. military.

Defense officials say the arrangement is legal, saves taxpayers money and is carefully monitored to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. But government watchdogs say it allows donors to subtly exert influence for a small investment compared with the potential gain.

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Obama plans new curbs on Wall Street pay

An up and coming Wall Street executive might want to hold off on buying that condo in Aspen. The Obama administration is ready to issue broad new guidelines that would rein in pay at financial institutions.

Eager to remove incentives that they say contributed to last year's financial crisis, President Barack Obama's economic team plans to unfurl broad executive pay principles, possibly as early as Wednesday, that put a premium on long-term performance over short-term gain.

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With hurdles cleared, Chrysler ready for sale

Chrysler was a step closer to emerging from bankruptcy protection Wednesday, a day after opponents of the automaker's planned partnership with Italy's Fiat exhausted their appeals in an effort to halt the Obama administration-backed sale.

Late on Tuesday, the Supreme Court cleared the way for the sale of the bulk of Chrysler LLC's assets to Fiat Group SpA, rejecting an appeal by a trio of Indiana pension and construction funds, consumer groups and others to block the transaction.

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