Archives for FUBAR

Alabama uses states’ rights to fight gay marriage

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s judicial building office overlooks Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue, a history-soaked thoroughfare topped by the Alabama Capitol where Jefferson Davis was inaugurated president of the Confederacy and where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. ended the 1965 march for voting rights. As gay and lesbian couples left a nearby courthouse clutching marriage licenses last week, Moore, an outspoken critic of gay marriage, was fighting to stop the weddings using a states’ rights argument that conjured up those historical ghosts of slavery, the Civil War and the battle against desegregation. There has been resistance in other states to
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Web glitch hits health care signups

After a computer glitch got patched up, supporters of President Barack Obama’s health care law were out in force Sunday trying to get uninsured people signed up by the official deadline for 2015 coverage. The effort had the trappings of a get-out-the-vote drive, with email reminders, telephone calls and squads of community-level volunteers. “You can’t avoid it: TV, radio, church, wife, kids, co-workers,” said Ramiro Hernandez, a previously uninsured truck repair shop owner who enrolled himself and his family in Joliet, Illinois, on Saturday. Technicians anxiously monitored the federal HealthCare.gov website for any new bugs. The administration provided no statistics
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Oregon governor resigns amid corruption probe

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber resigned on Friday amid influence-peddling allegations involving his fiancée that have triggered a criminal corruption probe and led to a frenzy of criticism from prominent fellow Democrats, once strong allies. Kitzhaber said his resignation would take effect next Wednesday, when Secretary of State Kate Brown would take over at the helm of the strongly Democratic Pacific Northwest state until an election can be held next year. She will become the nation’s first openly bisexual governor. “I understand that I have become a liability to the very institutions and policies to which I have dedicated my career
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The battle continues over Hillary Clinton’s war vote

In 2002, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton cast a vote in favor of the Iraq war that would later come to haunt her presidential campaign. Now, a new crop of senators eying the White House — Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas — will face a similar choice over authorizing military action in the Middle East. A vote in favor of President Barack Obama’s use-of-force resolution would give the potential candidates a share of the responsibility for the outcome of military action in a combustible region. And as Clinton learned well, the public’s
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Will Obama’s successor inherit his Mideast problems?

Seeking war power authority for three years, President Barack Obama is setting up the prospect that his successor will become the third American president in a row overseeing U.S. military forces grappling with turmoil in the Middle East. Passing on an active military mission in the region would be an unexpected and unwanted legacy for Obama, a president who once appeared poised to fulfill his campaign pledge to end U.S.-led conflicts in the region. “It’s conceivable that the mission is completed earlier,” Obama said Wednesday as he urged Congress to pass a force authorization against the Islamic State group that
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Hillary Clinton’s aides get into public spat

The ugly public spat was, perhaps, inevitable. With Hillary Rodham Clinton more or less the only game in town for Democratic talent seeking a piece of the 2016 presidential race, the independent, campaign-like apparatus that has sprung up around her has become an uneasy grouping of longtime loyalists and former rivals. All are looking for a share of the money and prestige that comes as part of working on a presidential election. That jockeying for position burst into public view this week when David Brock, a Clinton critic-turned-defender, dramatically resigned from the board of a Democratic super PAC following a
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IS continues to attract more extremist recruits

The U.S. bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria has failed to slow the pace of foreign fighters flocking to join the Islamic State and other extremist groups, including at least 3,400 from Western nations among 20,000 from around the world, U.S. intelligence officials say in an updated estimate of a top terrorism concern. Intelligence agencies now believe that as many as 150 Americans have tried and some have succeeded in reaching the Syrian war zone, officials told the House Homeland Security Committee in testimony prepared for delivery on Wednesday. Some of those Americans were arrested en route, some died in
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Did Obama lie about opposing gay marriage?

President Barack Obama is disputing a longtime aide’s view that Obama feigned opposition to gay marriage, compromising his true beliefs out of concern it could hurt him with voters. Former Obama strategist David Axelrod writes in a new book that Obama modified his public position to say he supported civil unions but not gay marriage. Axelrod says that was because his political advisers told him supporting gay marriages could hurt him politically. But Obama told BuzzFeed News in an interview posted late Tuesday night that Axelrod is “mixing up my personal feelings with my position on the issue.” Axelrod wrote
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Drop in reports of sexual assaults at military academies

The number of reported sexual assaults involving students at three military service academies went down in the most recent school year, capping a year that saw the military continue to struggle with high-profile cases among leaders and in the schools. A new Pentagon report finds that there were 61 reported sexual assaults at the academies in the 2013-14 school year, compared with 70 in 2012-13. The report includes the results of an anonymous survey that shows a similar decrease in the number of students who say they experienced unwanted sexual contact. The survey, however, also found that more than 40
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NBC suspends news anchor Brian Williams for six months

NBC announced Tuesday that it is suspending Brian Williams as “Nightly News” anchor and managing editor for six months without pay for misleading the public about his experiences covering the Iraq War. NBC chief executive Steve Burke said Williams’ actions were inexcusable and jeopardized the trust he has built up with viewers during his decade as the network’s lead anchor. But he said Williams deserved a second chance. Williams apologized last week for saying he was in a helicopter that was hit by a grenade while covering the Iraq War in 2003. Instead, another helicopter flying ahead of his was
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