Archives for FUBAR

Mistakes will force health care bill back to the House

Senate Republicans learned early Thursday that they will be able to kill language in a measure altering President Barack Obama‘s newly enacted health care overhaul, meaning the bill will have to return to the House for final congressional approval. It appeared initially that deleting the provisions, dealing with Pell grants for low-income students, should not cause major problems for Democrats hoping to rush the bill to Obama and avoid prolonging what has been a politically painful ordeal for the party. Democrats described the situation as a minor glitch, but did not rule out that Republicans might be able to remove
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Fed mull weapons charges against Blackwater mercenaries

Federal prosecutors are considering filing weapons charges against former top officials of the Blackwater Worldwide private security company over allegations they illegally stockpiled automatic rifles at the company’s North Carolina headquarters, The Associated Press has learned. Senior Justice Department officials are reviewing a draft indictment against former president Gary Jackson, former Blackwater lawyer Andrew Howell, and a third man who used to work at the firm’s armory, people close to the case told the AP. A decision is not expected until at least next month. Any indictment, even of former executives, would be unwelcome news at a company beleaguered since
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Uncle Sam paid big bonuses to auditors

Banks weren’t the only ones giving big bonuses in the boom years before the worst financial crisis in generations. The government also was handing out millions of dollars to bank regulators, rewarding “superior” work even as an avalanche of risky mortgages helped create the meltdown. The payments, detailed in payroll data released to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, are the latest evidence of the government’s false sense of security during the go-go days of the financial boom. Just as bank executives got bonuses despite taking on dangerous amounts of risk, regulators got taxpayer-funded bonuses despite missing
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Cashing in Uncle Sam’s IOUs

The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration. It’s time to start cashing them in. For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money in payroll taxes than it paid out in benefits — billions more each year. Not anymore. This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29
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Guns in shootings tied to Memphis police

Two guns used in high-profile shootings this year at the Pentagon and a Las Vegas courthouse both came from the same unlikely place: the police and court system of Memphis, Tenn. Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that both guns were once seized in criminal cases in Memphis. The officials described how the weapons made their separate ways from an evidence vault to gun dealers and to the shooters. The use of guns that once were in police custody and were later involved in attacks on police officers highlights a little-known divide in gun policy in the United States:
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Runaway Prius may be hoax

A memo drafted for a congressional panel says that investigators with Toyota Motor Corp. and the federal government were unable to make a Prius speed out of control as its owner said it did on a California freeway, casting doubt on the driver’s story. The draft memo, obtained Saturday by The Associated Press, said the experts who examined and test drove the car could not replicate the problems James Sikes said he encountered. Sikes, 61, called 911 on Monday to report losing control of his Prius as the hybrid reached speeds of 94 mph. A California Highway Patrol officer helped
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Time to Spring forward

Good evening sunshine, America says hello, you light up our evenings, we light charcoal below. That right folks, it’s time to fire up the old grill, Daylight-saving time is returning with that extra hour of sunshine after work. The official moment is 2 a.m. local time Sunday, though most people will set their clocks ahead by one hour before they hit the sack on Saturday night. A few will forget — they’re the ones you’ll see arriving at church when everybody else is leaving. Daylight-saving time ends Nov. 7. Related articles by Zemanta Kari Henley: Time To Spring Ahead! Daylight
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Utah GOP leader admits hot tub romp with minor

Utah’s House majority leader said late Thursday he paid a woman $150,000 to keep silent about going nude “hot-tubbing” with her when she was minor a quarter century ago. In a shocking statement on the House floor, Kevin Garn, 55, of Layton said he paid her to keep quiet about the incident during his unsuccessful U.S. congressional bid in 2002, but did not have sexual contact with her. Garn said the woman, who he didn’t identify on the floor, has been calling news outlets and that he wanted to be open about the incident that occurred when he was 28
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Keith Olbermann: ‘Pious, unlikable blowhard’

ESPN columnist Bill Simmons is giving liberal loudmouth Keith Olbermann some of his own medicine, labeling the MSNBC firebrand a “a pious, unlikable blowhard who lives alone.” After thinking about that statement, Simmons backed off…a little, tweeting: “I feel bad about saying Olbermann lives alone. I forgot about his cats.” This latest war of words involving the always opinionated Olbermann erupted when the faux MSNBC “news’ anchor attacked Simmons for comparing the comeback attempt of Tiger Woods with another sports legend: Muhammad Ali, discussing Ali’s comeback from exile over his fight against being drafted into the military. Wrote Simmons: When
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Liz Cheney under fire from her own

Liz Cheney, the ever-controversial daughter of equally controversial Vice President Dick Cheney, is taking heat from Republicans and conservatives for her group’s attacks on Justice Department lawyers who once represented defendants accused of terrorism. A group of right-wing lawyers and foreign policy professionals — including former special prosecutor Ken Starr — say Cheney’s “Keep America Safe” attacks, which include calling the lawyers the “Al Qaeda Seven, is over the top. “We consider these attacks both unjust to the individuals in question and destructive of any attempt to build lasting mechanisms for counterterrorism adjudications,” said a letter from 19 lawyers, including
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