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Apr 04,2008
With gasoline selling at well over $3 a gallon, it's easy to point fingers at the oil companies. And so, with the cameras rolling, top executives of five major oil companies were hauled before a committee of Congress on Tuesday for a public grilling. House members may have scored some points with the home folks by running their well-dressed guests through the media ringer. But such public theater does nothing to solve our energy mess. ... [full story]
1304 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
Everyone loves an underdog. That's why Debbie Shank's eight-year legal struggle with retail giant Wal-Mart was so riveting and, as of Tuesday, emotionally satisfying. It's a regular David and Goliath story. But there's another way to think about the case, which has played out in federal courts and on newspaper front pages. It illustrates a uniquely American problem that saps efficiency - not to mention billions of dollars - from the health care system. First, ... [full story]
1454 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
Congress must fix two desirable features of U.S. immigration policy that are skewed by election-year politicking. Stalled are proposals to allow more visas for college graduates and, in a separate program, for seasonal workers. Both initiatives are long-running and benefit the U.S. economy. They're among the few U.S. immigration policies that work well. But they're not getting needed attention - leaving adrift businesses ranging from Microsoft Corp. to the Grand Hotel on Michigan's Mackinac Island. ... [full story]
1607 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
The word "schizophrenia" literally means "split mind." That is, at best, an incomplete description of the disease. But it's a strangely apt summary of how insurance companies cover mental and physical illness. People with mental illness often face insurance limits and higher co-payments than those who have physical illnesses. For example, health insurance policies don't limit the number a days a heart disease patient can be hospitalized - as long as a doctor deems it ... [full story]
1179 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
Although protecting human health is one of the core objectives of the Environmental Protection Agency, evaluating the safety of chemicals used in products for children apparently isn't a high priority item at the federal agency. That doesn't make much sense, especially in this consumer-conscious era. A Journal Sentinel investigation revealed that the agency is not evaluating the compounds found in products - such as flame retardants in mattresses and car seats - to determine whether ... [full story]
1097 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
A spokeswoman for President George W. Bush said quick action is needed on the major overhaul of the federal financial regulatory system unveiled by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Monday - but Paulson correctly called for long and careful deliberation on it. The most troubling aspect of his proposal is that the Federal Reserve System, the nation's central bank, could be divested of its direct power to regulate commercial banks and given more authority to regulate ... [full story]
1105 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
In the middle of a grinding credit crunch, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Monday unveiled plans for a massive overhaul of the way the government polices the nation's financial system. It's a thoughtful approach worthy of full debate and discussion, but even Paulson acknowledges that it will take time - past the expiration of this administration - to carefully consider the plan, much less get it approved by Congress. In the meantime, the so-called blueprint ... [full story]
1448 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
The Bush administration's plan to streamline and strengthen regulation of the ailing U.S. financial system had barely been leaked last week before critics denounced it as being woefully naive in its reliance on the self-policing, self-correcting powers of the free market. The collective irrationality seen from much of Wall Street during the housing bubble certainly doesn't inspire confidence in laissez-faire. Nevertheless, while we are not sure if the plan outlined by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson ... [full story]
1176 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
The Bush administration's blueprint for revamping the nation's financial system is a tacit admission that the system is broken, but the plan rolled out Monday by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson fails to make all the needed repairs. Still, it's a good place to start, and some of the recommendations deserve immediate attention from Congress. The plan would consolidate the hodgepodge of regulatory agencies that date as far back as the Civil War while adding new ... [full story]
1009 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
Authorities in Marathon County, Wis., have no choice but to pursue the investigation and possible charges in the death of 11-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann, who died March 23 of complications from untreated diabetes after her parents refused to seek medical help for the stricken girl. Religious beliefs do not supersede a parent's responsibility to seek life-saving treatment for a child. And a profound belief in prayer, which even some medical professionals think can have some ... [full story]
1656 times read - No comment posted

Mar 28,2008
With Congress failing to enact meaningful immigration reform, a lot of states are trying to take it on. But they're bound to find out just how difficult that job really is. After all, if it was that easy to fix a broken immigration system - in a way that honors both the rule of law and our country's immigrant tradition, while balancing labor needs with border security - don't you think Congress would have done ... [full story]
2247 times read - No comment posted

Mar 28,2008
There were many legal cross-currents involved in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this week to side with Texas against the Bush administration and the International Court of Justice in a case involving a Mexican national on death row. Jose Medellin was not allowed to consult with diplomats from his home country after his arrest in a 1993 murder-rape investigation, in violation of the Vienna Convention - an international treaty dealing with the treatment of foreigners ... [full story]
1107 times read - No comment posted

Mar 28,2008
American Airlines grounded 325 aircraft on Wednesday, stranding passengers across the country because of a safety inspection lapse. The problem was revealed by a new audit program imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration. We'd like to think that this demonstrates the FAA now is on the ball when it comes to airliner safety, but there is reason to doubt it. The doubt arises mainly from troubling news about Southwest Airlines and evidence suggesting that some ... [full story]
2464 times read - 1 comments posted

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