Archives for FUBAR

Health care costs top $8,000 per person

A new government report on medical costs paints a stark picture for President Barack Obama, who is expected to call for a health care overhaul in a speech Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress.

Even before lawmakers start debating how care is delivered to the American people, the report shows the economy is making the job of reform harder.

Health care costs will top $8,000 per person this year, consuming an ever-bigger slice of a shrinking economic pie, says the report by the Department of Health and Human Services, due out Tuesday.

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Fix recession first, then tackle the deficit

Just how worrisome our national debt has become was readily evident when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly thanked the Chinese for buying so much of it.

The national debt is the cumulative total of the federal government's annual budget deficits, which got out of control during the Bush administration and are now, it is generally agreed, at unsustainable levels. They erode our economic power internationally and cede a certain amount of control over our economy to outsiders.

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Gloom becomes self-fulfilling prophecy

With psychology playing such a major role in the deepening world economic crisis, it is more urgent than ever for those assigned with trying to find a way out to at least display a stiff upper lip. Yet politicians can't resist doing what they do best, shooting off their mouths and producing dire consequences.

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Army charity makes millions, doesn’t help veterans

As soldiers stream home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the biggest charity inside the U.S. military has been stockpiling tens of millions of dollars meant to help put returning fighters back on their feet, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Between 2003 and 2007 — as many military families dealt with long war deployments and increased numbers of home foreclosures — Army Emergency Relief grew into a $345 million behemoth. During those years, the charity packed away $117 million into its own reserves while spending just $64 million on direct aid, according to an AP analysis of its tax records.

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FBI rescues 45 teenaged prostitutes

The FBI has rescued more than 45 suspected teenage prostitutes, some as young as 13, in a nationwide sweep to remove kids from the illegal sex trade and punish their accused pimps.

Over a three-night initiative called Operation Cross Country, federal agents working with local law enforcement also arrested more than 50 alleged pimps, according to preliminary bureau data.

The teenage prostitutes found in the investigation ranged in age from 13 to 17.

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Freddie Mac investigates itself

Lawyers hired by mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac are quietly investigating the firm's own $2 million lobbying campaign, The Associated Press has learned. The lobbying effort helped quash proposed new regulations on the company before the housing market collapsed.

It was not immediately clear how much Freddie Mac is spending to investigate its own conduct or whether it is spending any federal bailout money on the internal probe. The firm was placed under U.S. government control due to its massive investment losses.

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Arrest expected in Chandra Levy murder

A Salvadoran immigrant convicted of attacking two women in the park where Chandra Levy's remains were found was expected to be arrested in the next few days in the former intern's slaying, a person close to the investigation said.

An arrest would cap a revived investigation into the 2001 killing that had gone cold for years after destroying the career of former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit of California.

Investigators in 2002 questioned Ingmar Guandique, now 27, in the slaying after he was convicted of attacking two women joggers in Washington's Rock Creek Park. They didn't charge him, but statements he made to people while in prison helped lead investigators back to him, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday.

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Neocons? What neocons?

According to Richard Perle, neocons don't exist and he is not the man who led the Bush administration and the Republican Party into the black hole of oblivion.

Those who have followed Perle's serpentine trip through the bowels of Washington's power structure know he is one of the most dangerous men in government. However, Perle, like so many who served Bush, seems to live in a world of his own.

It's called denial and few have mastered the art of denial better than Perle.

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Public fear grows over jobs, economy, future

As the economy continues to struggle, the public is growing increasingly concerned about losing jobs, not having enough money to pay the bills and seeing their retirement accounts shrink, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

Nearly half of those surveyed said they worry about becoming unemployed — almost double the percentage at this time last year.

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Obama, Democrats flunk ethics test

The Obama administration and the new Congress are quickly handing over to Republicans the same "culture of corruption" issue that Democrats used so effectively against the GOP before coming to power.

Freshman Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., is only the latest embarrassment.

Senate Democrats accepted Burris because they believed what he told them: He was clean. Burris now admits he tried to raise money for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who authorities say sought to sell President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

"The story seems to be changing day by day," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday.

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