Archives for News

Is the Obama administration soft on porn?

Attorney General Eric Holder is shutting down the Bush-era Justice Department Obscenity Prosecution Task Force and conservatives in Congress are mad as hell. The rabid right wants more action against porn and they are agitating the faithful in Congress to create yet another headache for the Obama administation. Justice Department spokesmen say the government is not giving up the fight against porn but want local U.S. attorneys and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Criminal Division to handle porn cases. The Obscenity Prosecution Task Force was set up during George W. Bush’s administration because of pressure from the
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Another day, another napping air traffic controller

Yet another air traffic has fallen asleep on duty — this time in South Florida — marking the fifth time that aircraft in the air have been in danger because someone manning a radar screen was snoozing on the job. The Federal Aviation Administration disclosed the incident at a Miami radar center and the agency said it is changing work schedules because the current system clearly is causing fatigue on the job. The latest incident involved a controller at a regional facility that handles high-altitude air traffic. The FAA claims the napping controller “did not miss any calls” and said
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Surprise, surprise! Rich pay less in income taxes

In today’s “oh really” department, the Internal Revenue Service tells us that the rich pay less taxes than they used to and about half of all American households pay no income taxes whatsoever. The average federal income tax rate for all taxpayers fell from 9.9 percent to 9.3 percent from 1992 through 2007 while the tax rate paid by the 400 richest Americans dropped from 26 percent to 17 percent for the same period. Few taxpayers ever reach the top rate of 35 percent because the tax laws provide so many breaks and loopholes.  You get tax breaks for having
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California Republican sent photo of Obama as an ape

A senior Orange County, California, Republican official sent out an email that included an altered photo of President Barack Obama, portraying him as an ape. Marilyn Davenport, a member of the Southern California Republican Party central committee, reportedly sent out the email that included a photo of chimpanzee parents and child — with Obama’s face superimposed on the chimpanzee child — with the caption: “Now you know why no birth certificate.” Davenport sent the photo to her right-wing GOP mailing list and it went viral on conservative forums and bulletin boards. Davenport promised the Associated Press that she would issue
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Palin’s road show fizzles in Wisconsin

Sarah Palin revived her road show Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin, spouting the tea party line to a few hundred supporters who gathered in blowing snow and freezing temperatures to hear the polarizing political figure deliver her standard talking points.   “Hey folks, he’s trying to save your jobs and your pensions,” Palin screamed. “Your govenror did the right thing and you won! Your beautiful state won! And people still have their jobs!” But Palin’s words drifted over a gathering far smaller than the tens of thousands who have rallied a the capital to protest Wisconsin Scott Walker’s efforts to bust
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Obama says Congress will raise debt limit

President Barack Obama, insisting a politically divided government will not risk tanking the world economy, says Congress will once again raise the amount of debt the country can pile up to ensure it has money to pay its bills. For the first time, though, he signaled that he will have to go along with more spending cuts to ensure a deal with Republicans. In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, the president also spoke in his most confident terms yet that voters will reward him with another four years in the White House for his work to turn around
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House slashes social safety net programs

In a prelude to a summer showdown with President Barack Obama, Republicans controlling the House pushed to passage on Friday a bold but politically dangerous budget blueprint to slash social safety net programs like food stamps and Medicaid and fundamentally restructure Medicare health care for the elderly. The nonbinding plan lays out a fiscal vision cutting $6.2 trillion from yearly federal deficits over the coming decade and calls for transforming Medicare from a program in which the government directly pays medical bills into a voucher-like system that subsidizes purchases of private insurance plans The GOP budget passed 235-193 with every
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Oops! Obama mouths off into an open mike

Now that the reporters were gone, President Barack Obama had some private thoughts to share with about 50 donors. His recollections of the recent spending negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner. His tough assessment about his main budget antagonist in Congress. His desire for “cooler phones” in the White House and better information technology. The late evening exchange at a Chicago restaurant did not stay private for long. He was betrayed by a live audio feed which mistakenly piped Obama’s off the cuff remarks all the way to the press briefing room of the White House, where a few reporters
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Cities, states brace for budget cuts

The budget deal the Congress passed late Thursday and that President Barack Obama is expected to sign on Friday has state and local governments worried they may have to make up for cuts in some federal programs. The resolution to keep the government running for the rest of fiscal year 2011 reduced Community Development Block Grants by 16 percent. Cities, towns and counties rely on the relatively small program to fight homelessness and blight. For months they have campaigned to preserve every cent of the grants as states pull back on aid to local governments. The cut of roughly $600
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Obama signs six-month spending bill

President Barack Obama signed a six-month spending bill Friday that cuts more than $38 billion from the current budget. The legislation averted a government shutdown and was the result of intense negotiations between the White House and emboldened Republicans. There was no signing ceremony. In an accompanying signing statement, however, Obama questioned the constitutionality of a provision in the spending bill that prevents the White House from retaining special policy advisers, or “czars.” He also objected to two other sections that block the transfer of terrorist suspects from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States or
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