Archives for FUBAR

FAA seeks to hide bird strike facts from public

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing to keep secret from travelers its vast records on where and how often commercial planes are damaged by hitting flying birds.

The government agency argued that some carriers and airports would stop reporting incidents for fear the public would misinterpret the data and hold it against them. The reporting is voluntary because the FAA rejected a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation 10 years ago to make it mandatory.

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Military slow to fix showers that killed soldiers

The military is racing to inspect more than 90,000 U.S.-run facilities across Iraq to reduce a deadly threat troops face far off the battlefield: electrocution or shock while showering or using appliances.

About one-third of the inspections so far have turned up major electrical problems, according to interviews and an internal military document obtained by The Associated Press. Half of the problems they found have since been fixed but about 65,000 facilities still need to be inspected, which could take the rest of this year. Senior Pentagon officials were on Capitol Hill this week for briefings on the findings.

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More power for the Treasury Department

The Obama administration, seemingly in perpetual motion, is asking Congress for a massive expansion of the government's powers to intervene in the financial system.

It would empower the treasury secretary to seize control of depository financial entities -- investment banks, insurers, private equity firms, hedge funds -- if they were "systemically important." The phrase awaits a precise definition, but basically it means that if one of those firms failed, a lot of others would, too.

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Time for an American counter revolution?

With Congress pushing back against his proposals for energy, taxes and other matters, President Barack Obama is taking a bend-but-don't-break posture.

He will compromise on certain details if he must, he signaled at his news conference Tuesday evening, but not on the heart of his key initiatives.

His strategic retreats are a nod to political reality. He is angling to avoid confrontations he probably can't win, but to sacrifice no more than is absolutely necessary.

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The curse of the rosy scenario

Decades before the advent of the little blue pill, a mid-sized, somewhat pudgy doctor once confided the essential secret of Washington's upwardly aspiring men. "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac," said Dr. Henry Kissinger.

Today we are focusing upon the fact that once men once they rise to the capital's height of power -- the presidency and the Office of Management and budget directorship -- they cannot resist the lure of Washington's seemingly irresistible femme fatal.

You know her when you see her. She is Rosy Scenario.

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Put the punitive tax bill out of our misery

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has had second thoughts about bringing the punitive bonus tax bill to a vote this week. Instead, the Senate will take up a national service bill, then have a contentious vote on the budget blueprint, and then there's Congress' spring break and, before you know it, we're deep into April.

Delay is good. Killing the measure would be even better.

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Afghan war is, at best, a stalemate

When President Barack Obama presents his overhaul of U.S. strategy and goals in the Afghanistan war in the coming days, it's a safe bet that he will not claim America and its allies are winning the seven-year-old conflict.

Almost no one inside the Obama administration makes those claims, a bleak assessment that acknowledges the grinding stalemate the war has become, and its impending plans to change tactics and lower expectations.

Little has gone as planned in Afghanistan in recent months, and Obama's advisers know their program to counter a resourceful insurgency may not work, and will cost many more American lives before they find out.

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Geithner to unveil $1 trillion toxic asset plan

Embattled Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (right) is expected Monday to unveil a $1 trillion plan to buy toxic assets from troubled U.S. banks.

That's right: $1 trillion with a "t."

Geithner's latest uber-expensive bank bailout comes as a new poll from National Public Radio shows President Barack Obama's job approval rating slipping with a nervous American public and the Republican Party returning from the dead with rising support among the masses.

For Democrats, that means trouble with a "t."

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As usual, Cheney is so wrong about so much

Former Vice President Dick Cheney used his first TV interview since leaving office to accuse the Obama administration of making us less safe from terrorists.

While Cheney came across on CNN as embittered, trying to rewrite history despite his role as a co-president who believed the world was ready to change according to his specifications, the question is valid.

Are we less safe?

According to "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency," by Barton Gellman, whose reporting won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize, Cheney spent eight years working behind the scenes to increase the power of the president. He is clearly angry that President Obama is trying, he thinks, to expand the power of the federal government instead.

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Bad blood boils between FBI, Muslim groups

Bad blood between the FBI and prominent U.S. Muslim groups is beginning to boil.

After 9/11, the FBI launched a coast-to-coast effort to reach out to Muslims in America, urging them to report anti-Muslim acts against them and vowing to investigate any that occurred. The bureau also called on Muslim Americans to apply to be agents and translators, and encouraged them to report suspicious activity.

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