Archives for FUBAR

She got America’s first Social Security check

Seventy-five years ago, the government cut 65-year-old Ida May Fuller a check. It was numbered 00-000-001 — the first Social Security payout. Fuller, of Ludlow, Vermont, didn’t realize it at the time, but her check helped launch the granddaddy of all entitlement programs. And it secured Fuller, who never married and had no children, a place in American history. Today, even as its future lies in financial uncertainty, many consider Social Security one of government’s biggest successes. But in its infancy it was hardly a sure thing, and not well understood by many, including Fuller. “It wasn’t that I expected
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McCain calls protestors ‘low-life scum’

U.S. Senator John McCain had a blunt message for demonstrators chanting for the arrest of Henry Kissinger at a Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing on Thursday: “Get out of here, you low-life-scum.” The protesters, from the Code Pink anti-war group, drew the ire of the Arizona Republican who chairs the committee after some of them approached Kissinger as he took his seat at a hearing on global security. Members of the group held up handcuffs and anti-Kissinger signs and called for his arrest for “war crimes.” Addressing the hearing, McCain said: “I have been a member of this committee for
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Low prices don’t stop push for oil exports

Never mind dropping oil prices. U.S. producers are pushing harder than ever for the right to sell U.S. crude oil overseas. It might seem counterintuitive: Oil prices are as low as they have been at any point since 2009 and the height of the Great Recession, and some say they could drop even further. But oil producers are playing a longer game, betting that long-term demand will be strong and new markets offer lucrative rewards for U.S. producers. Supporters see possible inroads in a Congress controlled by Republicans who generally are considered more receptive to oil exports, as well as
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A sign of the times in weather forecasts

They were hanging on his every word — and gesture, body movement, and definitely the facial expressions. Jonathan Lamberton, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s sign language interpreter, is getting a blizzard of attention for his highly animated ways that were on full display during recent weather briefings. Standing a short distance away as de Blasio delivered serious warnings about impending snow, Lamberton, a certified deaf interpreter, was a whirlwind of movement — big gestures, incorporating his whole body, along with a variety of facial movements. It was enough to get the 38-year-old man a whole lot of buzz
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Fugitive treasure hunter captured

A treasure hunter locked in a legal battle over one of the greatest undersea hauls in American history was scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday after two years on the run. The U.S. Marshals Service captured former fugitive Tommy Thompson at a Hilton hotel in West Boca Raton on Tuesday. The capture was announced Wednesday by Brian Babtist, a senior inspector in the agency’s office in Columbus, Ohio, where a federal civil arrest warrant was issued for him in 2012 for failing to show up to a key court hearing. A criminal contempt warrant was unsealed Wednesday. Thompson had
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Move to clear civil rights arrest records after half-century

Fifty-four years after they were sentenced to a month of hard labor in a chain gang for ordering lunch in South Carolina, nine black men are getting a new day in court. A prosecutor was expected to ask a judge Wednesday to vacate the convictions of the men known as the Friendship Nine, who were arrested for integrating a whites-only lunch counter in the segregated town of Rock Hill. The fact that these civil rights era crimes will no longer be on their records has brought mixed feelings to the men. Their refusal to pay bail money into the segregationist
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Appeals court considers Marshals shooting case

An appeals court is deciding whether deputy U.S. marshals who shot and wounded a teenage driver eight years ago may be sued in federal court, a case that’s unfolding amid a national debate about police use of force and the legal protections afforded to law enforcement. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments last month and could issue an opinion soon. The case of driver Michael Fenwick raises questions about how police can deal with fleeing individuals and the role video should play in analyzing a police pursuit. A similar case was decided by
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Sexual abuse at the hands of a Boy Scout leader

A California man suing the Boy Scouts of America over sexual abuse suffered at the hands of a volunteer Scout leader was so scarred by the incident that he once threw up outside a Taco Bell when he saw someone who looked like the man, he testified in the opening day of a civil trial. The 20-year-old man, who was 13 when he was molested in 2007, told jurors Monday that shortly after the abuse he secretly taped the Scout leader making a partial confession because it was “a 13-year-old’s word against a Scout leader, an adult.” Then, he dropped
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Republicans continue to target global warming

Rick Perry’s farewell speech to the Texas legislature listed the accomplishments expected from an outgoing Republican governor of the country’s largest oil-producing state. But his Jan. 15 speech also did something less predictable: touting his environmental record, from lowering Texas’ carbon emissions to turning the state into a global leader in wind energy production. “We have expanded our economy while protecting our environment,” said Perry, who is openly exploring a second White House run in 2016. It was a greener message than the one he delivered ahead of his last presidential campaign, when he called climate change a “contrived phony
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GOP Presidential wannabes strut their stuff for Kochs

Three potential Republican presidential candidates appeared before a gathering of wealthy donors organized by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers in California on Sunday night. The summit, held at a luxury resort near Palm Springs sealed off to outsiders, drew Republican Senators Marco Rubio from Florida, Rand Paul from Kentucky and Ted Cruz from Texas. It was organized by brothers Charles and David Koch, successful industrialists who bankroll conservative causes across America. Access to their network of money and influence is alluring to some potential Republican presidential hopefuls. The Kochs have a private network that spent hundreds of millions of dollars
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