Archives for FUBAR

Remembering an unlikely martyr

I cannot get Neda out of my mind. Neda Agha-Soltan, to be precise. Neda is the woman the world watched die on videotape that was uploaded last weekend to the Internet. She was the woman slaughtered, apparently, by Iranian government gunfire last Saturday during anti-government protests and riots in Tehran.

If you've been online since last weekend, and you've been following the brave Iranian protests against that country's all-but-certainly stolen national elections, you know exactly who Neda is.

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Is there hope for Iran?

A blatantly fraudulent election may have been the spark that ignited Iran's current rebellion but don't be misled: Iran has never had free and fair elections.

I was in Iran 30 years ago for the first elections held under the gaze of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the dourly militant leader of Iran's Islamist revolution. I was a young and inexperienced foreign correspondent unconvinced by older and more experienced foreign correspondents that Khomeini and his followers intended to transform Iran into a freer and more just society, rather than one that would be brutally oppressive at home and threatening abroad.
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Iran will never be the same

The absolute moral authority of Iran's supreme leader has unraveled with the swiftness and absolute irreversibility of a turban caught in a ceiling fan. It happened right before our eyes and more importantly, before the eyes of the Iranian people.

Iranians do not yet know what the outcome will be, let alone the fates of the courageous citizens who followed their beliefs into the streets. But a reality has begun to set in, fed and spread by the visual truths Twittered around the planet:

Iran will never again be the same.

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Is “public option” just a smokescreen?

Barack Obama made health care reform a centerpiece of his presidential campaign. But the politics of health care are never as straightforward as they appear, and what seemed like a sure thing a few months ago is now shaping up into a real donnybrook as Congress takes up an actual bill.

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Another Republican admits screwing around

The Republican Party may claim they are the home of family values but it seems more and more of the GOP faithful are leaving home and getting some on the road.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford became the latest Republican to admit he just can't keep it in his pants, admitting to an affair with a Argentine woman.

Sanford also apparently lied repeatedly to his own staff about his prolonged absences from his office, saying he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was -- in fact -- porking his mistress.

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Feds nail 53 for Medicare fraud

Federal authorities indicted 53 people on Wednesday for schemes to cheat Medicare out of $50 million.

Suspects were arrested in Detroit, Miami, and Denver as part of a wide-ranging effort by the government to crack down on those allegedly defrauding the government-funded health care program for the elderly and disabled.

Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and FBI Director Robert Mueller announced the charges at a news conference in Washington.

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The escalating cost of health care reform

Those were some scary numbers on the cost of health-care reform the Congressional Budget Office released last week. As they should have, the figures sent the Senate committees scurrying back to try to rework their bills to get the 10-year cost under $1 trillion.

That was the price tag President Obama put on reform and the figure he was "almost all the way to covering" with his proposed $950 billion in tax increases and budget cuts.

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Lobbyists turn up the heat on health care

For President Barack Obama, the MRIs and other medical scans for Medicare patients that cost the government billions are prime targets for cuts to help finance health care overhaul.

The response from physicians and industry: a lobbying counterattack accusing Obama of denying patients the lifesaving tools they need.

Patients, rural doctors and advocacy groups who back the procedures will gather in the House Wednesday for a panel discussion, part of the campaign.

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Suspected terrorists allowed to buy guns

The so-called terrorist "watch list" is supposed to protect us from those who want to destroy our way of life.

Yet the Government Accountability Office says the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that watches these folks, could not stop 90 percent of them from buying guns after they were placed on the "watch list."

Which begs the question: Who's watching the watchers? Or is anyone watching anything?

The National Rifle Association, which can come up with an excuse to allow anyone -- at any time and for any reason -- to buy guns, says there's nothing wrong with suspected terrorists buying guns because the NRA believes most of them are law-abiding citizens anyway.

Maybe the NRA is right. Or maybe they're not. Who knows who to believe in these maddening times?

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