Archives for FUBAR

Republicans wary of Obama’s public health care summit

Republicans have said all along they want the health care  debate out in the open and criticized President Barack Obama for holding discussions behind closed doors.

So Obama proposes a televised summit with Democrats and Republicans and now the GOP says it's not too sure that's such a good idea.

Republicans have issued a list of "pre-conditions" and -- if they don't get what they want -- they might not show up.

Some feel Obama and the Democrats are laying a trap and they say they're not going to walk into it.
Read More

Obama adviser: GOP playing politics with terrorism

The top counterterrorism adviser to President Barack Obama struck back at Republican members of Congress Sunday, saying they use national security issues as a "political football" for their own agenda.

Republicans have pounded the White House for mistakes in the arrest of Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, accused of the failed Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner.

"Quite frankly I'm tiring of politicians using national security issues such as terrorism as political football. They're going out there, they're unknowing of the facts, and they're making charges and allegations that are not anchored in reality," White House counterrorism adviser John Brennan told David Gregory on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Read More

False medal claims: Crime or just lying?

Is lying about military service and claiming to have won a medal a crime or just bragging that is covered by freedom of speech?

That's a question facing federal courts right now as they struggle to deal with those who lie about being war heroes.

The question tests the validity of the Stolen Valor Act, a law passed by Congress three years ago that makes it a federal crime to falsely claim to have received a medal from the military. Those convicted face up to a year in jail even if they haven't profited from the lie.

Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School says the law could violate the First Amendment protections of free speech because it, in effect, makes it illegal for someone to brag.

"Half the pickup lines in bars across the country could be criminalized under the concept," Turley says.
Read More

James O’Keefe: A gonzo political operative

When it came to stunts, nothing was too gonzo for James O'Keefe.

The man who offered himself up as a pimp to set up activists at ACORN would do just about anything for the cause -- as long as the cause was conservative and anti-liberal.

O'Keefe would set up bogus photo ops, brandish over-sized checks and even dress up in a chicken suit if it suited the purpose.

He produced a video, "Bailout Prize Patrol, on YouTube a year before his famous ACORN "pimp" undercover video.

Sometimes people laughed. Other times they called the cops, like the New Jersey bank branch manager who wasn't amused when O'Keefe and four others conned her into posting for a photograph with an oversized check that was supposed to represent federal bailout funds.
Read More

Blizzard shuts down Washington, government

Washington digs outA blizzard battered the Mid-Atlantic region on Saturday, quickly dumping large amounts of snow on that piled up on roadways and toppled trees onto apartment buildings and cars.

Officials urged people to huddle at home for the weekend, out of the way of crews trying to keep up with a storm that forecasters said could be the biggest for the nation's capital in modern history. A father and son were killed in Virginia when a tractor-trailer struck and killed them after they stopped to help another driver.
Read More

Uncle Sam spends $2.5 million on Super Bowl ads

Census Bureau Super Bowl adFaced with record levels of red ink into the foreseeable future, Washington is spending $2.5 million to create buzz for the census — by advertising during the Super Bowl.

The Census Bureau is hoping to exploit the strong ratings from this annual attraction, aiming to get more participation from people who now seem disinclined to mail back a government questionnaire or even answer the door.

Census officials call it a good investment, saying the front-end costs of purchasing the ads can be quickly recouped if they succeed in encouraging people to mail back their census forms. A recent poll found nearly 1 in 5 residents said they may not fill them out, mostly because they were unfamiliar with the census or weren't interested.
Read More

Former Edwards’ aide ordered to surrender sex tape

A judge declared Friday that a former aide to John Edwards was in contempt of court, demanding that he turn over a "personal" videotape being sought by Edwards' former mistress.

Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones reprimanded Andrew Young in a court hearing Friday but declined to put him in custody. The contempt ruling will be lifted if Young turns over a videotape "of a personal nature" and other items by Wednesday, Jones said.

"These items are to be produced and turned over to the court," Jones said. "The court will put them under lock and key — and under seal — until the lawsuit is resolved."
Read More

Unemployment rate drops to 9.7 percent, but…

The unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly in January to 9.7 percent, while employers shed 20,000 jobs, according to a report that offered hope the economy will add jobs soon.

The unemployment rate dropped from 10 percent because a survey of households found the number of employed Americans rose by 541,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The job losses are calculated from a separate survey of employers.
Read More