Archives for FUBAR

Indicted Blackwater killers: All decorated vets

The five Blackwater Worldwide guards indicted for a deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting are all decorated military veterans who have served in some of the world's most dangerous hotspots.

According to lawyers for the guards, the men are: Donald Ball, a former Marine from Valley City, Utah; Dustin Heard, a former Marine from Knoxville, Tenn.; Evan Liberty, a former Marine from Rochester, N.H.; Nick Slatten, a former Army sergeant from Sparta, Tenn.; and Paul Slough, an Army veteran from Keller, Texas.


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The economy: It just keeps getting worse

Record numbers of homeowners are falling behind on mortgage payments and the U.S. economy is losing jobs at an alarming rate with companies big and small slashing their work force.

A half-million American jobs disappeared month, the worst mass layoffs in more than three decades, as the nation spiraled downward in what could be the hardest hard times since the Great Depression.


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More jobs lost as recession deepens

With the economy sinking faster, employers are giving more Americans dreaded pink slips right before the holidays.

The Labor Department releases a new report Friday that's expected to show the employment market deteriorated in November at an alarming clip as the deepening recession engulfed the country.


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To hell with bailouts

Leave it to diet Marxists G.W. Bush, Henry Paulson, and Ben Bernanke to saddle American taxpayers with $8.347 trillion in bailout commitments, yet not spend a thin dime on incentives to revive the U.S. economy. In fact, the faintest echo of an incentive is not a Reaganite act of commission, but a Reagan-lite act of omission.


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Are Americans ignorant about civics?

Congress opened a shiny, new visitor's center on Dec. 2. The $621 million underground complex opened four years behind schedule and $400 million over budget -- hardly extraordinary in Washington, D.C.

What is noteworthy is a last minute change to the center's edifice: A cheap plaster plaque with the nation's official motto "In God We Trust," now covers up "E Pluribus Unum." The defunct motto had been engraved in marble before anyone noticed the error.


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It’s official: We’re in a recession

For the past 12 months, President George W. Bush has assured a skeptical nation that America's economy is strong and that we're not in a recession.

Today, the National Bureau of Econmic Research said what most Americans already knew: The U.S. is officially in a recession. In fact, it has been in a recession since December 2007.

Which means Bush lied.

The White House is now accepting the fact that the country is in a recession but is trying to spin the story by pointing out what it calls the positive steps the Bush Administration is taking to bring about economic recovery.

Meanwhile, the Dow closed down 700 points.


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A military takeover of U.S. law enforcement?

The Pentagon, rushing to complete lame-duck President George W. Bush's expansion of the military's role in the United States, is stepping up to put more troops inside this country and take over key roles in homeland security.

In a move that will certainly alarm civil libertarians and should concern American citizens, the military plan rolls back the Posse Comitatus Act that limits the military's role as a law enforcement agency inside U.S. borders.

Residents in and around the nation's capital have already witnessed the transformation of that city into an armed military camp. Assault weapon carrying soldiers guard federal institutions and commuters to and from work pass military vehicles topped with machine guns and manned by troops alongside public highways.


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Foreclosures looming for businesses

Black Friday's retail shoppers hunting for holiday bargains won't be enough to stave off what's likely to become the next economic crisis. Malls from Michigan to Georgia are entering foreclosure, commercial victims of the same events poisoning the housing market.

Hotels in Tucson, Ariz., and Hilton Head, S.C., also are about to default on their mortgages.

That pace is expected to quicken. The number of late payments and defaults will double, if not triple, by the end of next year, according to analysts from Fitch Ratings Ltd., which evaluates companies' credit.

"We're probably in the first inning of the commercial mortgage problem," said Scott Tross, a real estate lawyer with Herrick Feinstein in New Jersey.


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It’s Black Friday…and madness begins

On Black Friday, the Christmas season officially begins.

And so I'm always reminded of my dear Grandma Victoria, for whom my eldest daughter is named. One year when I was very little, she apparently arrived from Ohio on Christmas Eve to find the presents for us five kids spilling out from under the tree far onto the living room floor. (My dad had a flair for excess.) Anyway, having been a mother of young children during the Great Depression, she was nothing less than horrified. Much later, it was revealed that that particular Christmas she decided we kids had "more than enough" gifts, and so she packed up her own presents which she had intended to give to us, and took them right back to Toledo with her, wrappings and all.

Guess what? Apparently we all survived just fine.


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