Archives for FUBAR

Bailed-out banks backed subprime lenders

Giant banks that received billions of dollars of taxpayer bailout funds financially backed the subprime lenders that brought down the economy and triggered the economic crisis that now grips America and the world.

Instead of being victims of a financial collapse, the banks actually created their own problems by promoting the risky mortgage market that plunged the nation into recession.

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Posturing on the Supremes

If you believe the Republicans, President Obama will announce a new Supreme Court nominee any day now.

The White House and fellow Democrats say no decision is near nor is any expected any time soon.

Such is the posturing that comes with Supreme Court nominees.

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White House says no newspaper bailouts

The White House expressed "concern" and "sadness" on Monday over the state of the ailing US newspaper industry, but made it clear that a government bailout was not in the cards.

"I don't know what, in all honesty, government can do about it," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. "That might be a bit of a tricky area to get into given the differing roles."

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Murtha nephew got no-bid defense contracts

A company owned by a nephew of Rep. John Murtha received $4 million from the Defense Department last year for engineering and warehouse services, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Murtha, D-Pa., is chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

Murtech Inc., based on Glen Burnie, Md., is owned by the congressman's nephew Robert C. Murtha Jr., who told the Post the company provides "necessary logistical support" to Pentagon testing programs, "and that's about as far as I feel comfortable going."

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Cyber command plans force for the future

The U.S. military must reorganize its offensive and defensive cyber operations and will use a new command at a Maryland Army facility to create a digital warfare force for the future, the director of the National Security Agency says.

Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, also the Pentagon's leading cyber warfare commander, said the U.S. is determined to lead the global effort to use computer technology to deter or defeat enemies, while still protecting the public's constitutional rights.

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Biden to family: Stay off planes, trains

Vice President Joe Biden says he's advising his own family to stay off commercial airlines and even subways because of the new swine flu.

Biden said Thursday if one person sneezes on a confined aircraft, "it goes all the way through the aircraft." Going beyond official advice from the federal government, Biden said of his family's personal precautions: "That's me."

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Palin challenged on legal defense fund

An ethics complaint filed Monday against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin claims the legal defense fund formed last week to challenge such claims is an ethics violation itself.

The complaint filed with the attorney general's office seeks an investigation by the state personnel board for violations of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. The complainant, Kim Chatman of Eagle River, claims Palin is misusing the governor's office for personal gain by securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts.

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Flyover photo op scares, angers New Yorkers

It was supposed to be a photo op that captured images of an Air Force One plane with a majestic Statue of Liberty in the background. Instead, it turned into a public relations nightmare that led to recriminations from the president and mayor and prompted thousands other to ask, "What were they thinking?"

Just before the workday began on Monday, an airliner and supersonic fighter jet zoomed past the lower Manhattan skyline. Within minutes, startled financial workers streamed out of their offices, fearing a nightmarish replay of Sept. 11.

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Coming back from the dark side

America is ambivalent about torture. To generalize: our country is populated with two types of people, those who reject torture and those who do not.

But the distinction between the two is vague. Many of us-- me, for example -- condemn torture categorically but cannot predict with certainty how we would behave if we found ourselves in the well-worn time-bomb scenario, the hypothetical philosophical circumstance in which a little torture applied to the right person could prevent thousands of deaths.

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Will a torture investigation fix anything?

It would be hard to measure the potential divisiveness of one of those full-blown, razzamatazz, in living color, months long Congressional inquiries into the past torture of terrorist suspects. Not only is it doubtful that such an exercise would produce new revelations, it also would put politics above the national welfare -- something the leadership of the current majority seems anxious to accomplish no matter the cost.

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