Archives for FUBAR

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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Attention bloggers: Big brother is watching

The ever-opressive Federal Government, not content to tightly regulate banks, auto companies, smoking and God-knows-what-else, now wants to extend the controlling hand of Big Brother to the blogging community.

Under new buidelines proposed for the Federal Trade Commission, bloggers will be watched by Uncle Sam for potential conflicts of interest and ethical lapses.  The agency will soon have the power to go after bloggers who make false claims or fail to disclose conflicts of interest.

The hits just keep on a-coming.

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Metro’s fail-safe was anything but

During the 23 years that my wife and I lived in the National Capital Region, we often used Metro, the subway system considered to be the nation's most modern and safest.

Accidents, Metro officials assured us, could not happen because designers put too many redundant fail-safe safety features into the system.

That's what they said. As I recall, owners of the White Star Line said the Titanic could not sink.

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You will have health insurance…or else

In the new reality of Barack Obama and Democratic control of our government, health insurance will not be an option: It will be the law.

Whatever bill emerges from Congress will almost certainly include a require that all Americans have health insurance -- whether they want it or not.

In theory, those who can't afford health insurance will get government help obtaining it.

In theory.

In reality, the theory of legislation doesn't always translate easily to actuality.

But a government-run health care system will require health insurance...or else.

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Cow belches & farts exempt from EPA regs

One contributor to global warming — bigger than coal mines, landfills and sewage treatment plants — is being left out of efforts by the Obama administration and House Democrats to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Cow burps and farts.

Belching from the nation's 170 million cattle, sheep and pigs produces about one-quarter of the methane released in the U.S. each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That makes the hoofed critters the largest source of the heat-trapping gas.

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Drug firms cut secret deal with Obama, Congress

The pharmaceutical industry agreed Saturday to spend $80 billion over the next decade improving drug benefits for seniors on Medicare and defraying the cost of President Barack Obama's health care legislation, capping secretive negotiations involving key lawmakers and the White House.

"This new coverage means affordable prices on prescription drugs when Medicare benefits don't cover the cost of prescriptions," Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement announcing the accord.

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