Archives for FUBAR

A mercenary by any other name

Blackwater Worldwide is still protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq, but executives at the beleaguered security firm are taking their biggest step yet to put that work and the ugly reputation it earned the company behind them.

Blackwater said Friday it will no longer operate under the name that came to be known worldwide as a caustic moniker for private security, dropping the tarnished brand for a disarming and simple identity: Xe, which is pronounced like the letter "z."


Read More

Let’s give Michael Phelps a pass

Does anyone remember Eleanor Holm?

If you don't, it is understandable. But with half the world seemingly concerned about Michael Phelps, it seems appropriate to recall the stunning, blonde 100-meter backstroke champion of the 1932 Olympics whose consumption of a few glasses of champagne and late night dice playing with sportswriters in 1936 cost her a repeat of her earlier gold medal triumph.


Read More

Should government cap executive pay?

Should the federal government tell companies how much they may pay their executives? The Obama administration plans to do just that. The president announced Feb. 4 that companies receiving "extraordinary" levels of bailout money from taxpayers would be forced to limit top salaries to $500,000 a year.


Read More

‘We have a deal’…again, maybe

Reluctant to call it quits, key lawmakers bargained into overtime Thursday on the $790 billion economic stimulus legislation before reaching final agreement more than 24 hours after first announcing a deal. Lingering controversy over school-modernization money and a scaled-back tax break for businesses forced a delay in final votes on the legislation. But by nightfall, with Democratic leaders eager for final passage by the weekend, all issues were reported settled.


Read More

Gregg withdraws from Cabinet

Saying "I made a mistake," Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew as commerce secretary nominee on Thursday and left the fledgling White House suddenly coping with Barack Obama's third Cabinet withdrawal. Gregg cited "irresolvable conflicts" with Obama's policies, specifically mentioning the $790 billion economic stimulus bill and 2010 census in a statement released without warning by his Senate office.


Read More

Time to honor our fallen

After the subject came up at President Obama's press conference Monday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the next day he was ordering a review of a Pentagon policy banning the media from taking photos of the flag-draped coffins of our military casualties as they arrive back in the States.

Gates should lift the ban.


Read More

Attack of the killer Cheneys

The headline on CNN was "Cheney Attacks!" Correspondent Tom Foreman commented that, "even in the bare- knuckle world of Washington these days, this was a remarkably sharp attack by the former vice president just weeks into President Obama's term."

And how had the former vice president expressed his fabled bellicosity this time? In an interview with Politico.com, he warned that there is a "high probability" that, in the years ahead, terrorists will attempt to use a nuclear or biological weapon to mass-murder Americans.


Read More

For a little levity, turn to God

As a typical newspaper is full of doom and gloom, the point of my column -- and perhaps I should have explained this earlier -- is to attempt to lighten the general despair with fun and laughter, even on serious subjects.

Just last week, I wrote a stimulus-package column that provided laffs galore for those headed to the poorhouse. For some reason it didn't go over very well.


Read More