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Mar 28,2008
The state government has been so dysfunctional for so long that it's typical for pundits to issue blanket condemnations of the Legislature, the unions or other institutions without assigning individual blame. That's unfortunate, because sometimes an individual is very responsible when something destructive, appalling or ridiculous occurs. We're seeing just such an instance now in California's 12th Senate District, and the blame lies entirely with Senate President Don Perata, D-Oakland. Thanks to a recall ballot ... [full story]
1077 times read - No comment posted

Mar 28,2008
It is a horrifying scenario: A gun goes off inside a crowded jetliner in flight, piercing the aircraft's skin or a window, rapidly depressurizing the cabin and possibly leading to catastrophe for all aboard. A government spokesman said on Monday that US Airways Flight 1536 from Denver to Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday, with 124 passengers and five crew members, was never in such danger when a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol belonging to the pilot went off ... [full story]
1084 times read - No comment posted

Mar 28,2008
We have applauded Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's aggressive moves to head off financial turmoil. But Bernanke's unprecedented orchestration of JPMorgan Chase's takeover of Bear Stearns - the Wall Street firm whose reckless packaging of risky mortgages as securities left it near bankruptcy - looks increasingly problematic. Besides providing JPMorgan Chase with a line of credit to execute the deal, the Fed's initial arrangement would have required Bear Stearns shareholders to accept $2 for shares ... [full story]
1018 times read - No comment posted

Mar 28,2008
Today, Iraq remains very much a mixture of good news and bad - of late, mostly bad. Last week marked the beginning of the sixth year U.S. forces have been in that desert nation. Sunday marked the 4,000th U.S. service member killed. Add to that the 30,000 or so wounded - about 13,000 severely - and the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Iraqis killed since the United States initiated military action in March ... [full story]
1089 times read - No comment posted

Mar 28,2008
The Federal Reserve last week became a major lender to the investment banking business, pumping $29 billion directly to Wall Street firms with promises of more to come. The Fed also agreed to risk $30 billion of taxpayers' money to keep Bear Stearns breathing. The U.S. taxpayer now has skin directly in the investment banking game. That being the case, shouldn't those taxpayers have more say in how that game is played? A cry is ... [full story]
1400 times read - No comment posted

Mar 28,2008
When an American service member is killed in Iraq, it takes a day or two, sometimes more, for the military to verify the circumstances of the death, notify the next of kin and then make the name public. So it may be Wednesday before we know the identity of the 4,000th U.S. military fatality in Iraq. Even then, death No. 4,000 will be arbitrary. Numbers 3,997, 3998, 3,399 and 4,000 took place simultaneously, at 10 ... [full story]
1172 times read - No comment posted

Mar 28,2008
Will Rogers may have been on to something when he said, "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." Not just disorganized, it's getting ugly. In fact, with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton still battling it out for the Democratic nomination for president, you could call it the political version of March Madness. Once this primary season is over and Democrats have chosen their nominee, one wonders if they'll ... [full story]
1100 times read - 1 comments posted

Mar 14,2008
In an enterprise the size of the federal government, opportunities for patronage are vast. Patronage is as simple as finding a job for a friend and as complicated as steering contracts to campaign contributors. Lately, some officials at the Justice Department have found a whole new way to reward their friends. And who do we find bellying up to the new patronage trough but John D. Ashcroft, former governor of Missouri, U.S. senator and U.S. ... [full story]
1162 times read - No comment posted

Mar 14,2008
Each day that Congress dallies, more people face the prospect of losing their homes. Foreclosures hit 1.5 million last year and could climb to 2 million during 2008. The number of homes entering foreclosure hit a record in the fourth quarter, and homeowners' share of equity in their homes is at a post-World War II low. Housing prices are expected to fall throughout the year. The largely voluntary efforts championed by the Bush administration so ... [full story]
1390 times read - No comment posted

Mar 14,2008
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept." - Geraldine Ferraro Ferraro isn't just wrong about Barack Obama, whose personal appeal and rhetorical skills have drawn many a white voter to his side. She's ... [full story]
1293 times read - No comment posted

Mar 14,2008
Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., believes Congress has a credibility deficit when it comes to combating illegal immigration. He's right. The politicking of recent years has produced heated rhetoric and snappy sound bites, but no solutions. Yet, Congress does not bolster its credibility when it approaches the problem of illegal immigration with feel-good, unrealistic, enforcement-only half-measures that fail to deal with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country. Unfortunately, that's what we have ... [full story]
1118 times read - 1 comments posted

Mar 14,2008
A hundred years from now (maybe longer if John McCain is elected president), when the history of the Iraq war finally is written, students will want to know how KBR Inc. got away with war profiteering. How did this firm, whose employees have time and again been hauled into court and accused of fraud by government inspectors, continue to prosper? And prosper it has: After being spun off in April 2007 by Halliburton, its former ... [full story]
1520 times read - No comment posted

Mar 14,2008
It can be said of many others in politics who have fallen prey to their own character flaws, but it applies in particular to Eliot Spitzer, the soon-former governor of New York: Oh, what might have been. Spitzer made a career of going after corporate wrongdoers as New York attorney general and even after prostitution rings as a prosecutor. His crusades made him a rising star in Democratic circles. Now, he is just another former ... [full story]
1127 times read - No comment posted

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