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Feb 22,2008
Supporting the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan ought to be more than a political slogan. It ought to mean something. And that something ought to start first and foremost with the military itself. Troops at the front, and certainly many of their families, have complained almost since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003 about the shortages and the poor quality of body armor and armor for their vehicles. Soldiers were dying, losing ... [full story]
1052 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
After nearly 50 years and the unsuccessful efforts of 10 American presidents to loosen his iron group on Cuba, Fidel Castro is voluntarily giving up supreme power over the small island nation that has been so much a part of the U.S. foreign policy focus in recent decades. In a letter appearing in Cuban newspapers Tuesday, Castro, 81, announced that his health will not allow him to accept another five-year term as president of the ... [full story]
1105 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
Two massive product recalls - one involving beef, the other a life-saving drug - demonstrate that the regulatory framework Americans depend on for protection from unsafe food and dangerous drugs is badly broken. On Sunday, a California meat packer issued the largest beef recall in U.S. history. It covered 143 million pounds of meat, including 37 million pounds that had been used for school lunches. The recall occurred after the Humane Society of the United ... [full story]
1557 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
Demanding that presidential candidates supply their tax returns has become a quadrennial event. Candidates feel violated and resent losing their zone of privacy. To a degree, we can understand this way of thinking. The parliamentary election in Pakistan is an encouraging sign in a troubled region of the world - free elections judged to be scandal-free. Jubilant Pakistanis say they have taken their country back from military rule with a shot at restoring constitutional guarantees ... [full story]
856 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
But Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., did the right thing when he released his returns, acknowledging that when you want to hold the most powerful job in the world, you forfeit much of your privacy. We hope the presumptive GOP nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, follows suit and releases his returns, as well as Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. Especially Sen. Clinton. Hillary and Bill Clinton have become extremely wealthy since Bill left the White House in ... [full story]
741 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
The video is hard to watch, but it's what it could mean for public food safety and the health of our citizens that is really hard to stomach. On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the largest beef recall in its history - 143 million pounds of ground beef from a slaughterhouse in Chino, Calif. The agency took this action in response to a disturbing undercover video distributed by the Humane Society of the ... [full story]
1090 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
Given President George W. Bush's predilection for ignoring laws he doesn't agree with, it wouldn't be entirely surprising to discover he'd decided the 20th Amendment was no longer applicable and that he'll be staying on after next Jan. 20. In his seven years in office, the 43rd president has appended "signing statements" to more than 750 bills, more than all 42 of his predecessors combined. In them, Bush reserves the right to ignore or change ... [full story]
1554 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
The subprime mortgage crisis started when bankers and investors who should have known better ignored one of the basic tenets of the lending business: Don't lend lots of money to people who might have a hard time paying it back. It was the "greater fool" theory: As long as housing prices kept rising, shaky borrowers could refinance their loans with a greater fool, and the original investors would get their money. Eventually, housing prices got ... [full story]
1176 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
So much bad news has come out of Sacramento in recent months that perhaps Capitol observers are ready to seize on anything as good news. So let's take a closer look at the huzzahs that have greeted two recent developments: Senate Democrats' decision to anoint Sen. Darrell Steinberg as the replacement, beginning next session, for termed-out Senate President Don Perata, and the Legislature's quick work in completing six bills to restrain and even cut some ... [full story]
837 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
In a word, grandstanding. Obviously not busy enough with taxpayer concerns, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform capped an intensive investigation last week with more than four hours of made-for-TV testimony from a famous pitcher and a man who claims to have injected him with booster drugs. Ho-hum matters such as war, the economy and, well, government reform took a holiday as politicians pursued a problem that would seem to be Major League Baseball's ... [full story]
968 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
There are several ways to consider the bizarre spectacle of a House committee grilling superstar pitcher Roger Clemens and his former trainer, Brian McNamee, over allegations Clemens used steroids and human growth hormone. One is to wonder why Congress is trifling with a sports scandal. Another is to note that for all the hoopla, little new information came to light. But one can hold both those dismissive views and still come to a more far-reaching ... [full story]
1083 times read - No comment posted

Feb 15,2008
Mexican President Felipe Calderon went to Sacramento, Calif., Thursday as part of a four-day swing through New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. The trip was low-key. It didn't include meetings with President Bush, or an address to Congress, or any of the other trappings you would expect when a head of state pays a visit. Instead, Calderon met with Mexican community organizers in New York, delivered a speech at Harvard and met with New ... [full story]
1116 times read - No comment posted

Feb 15,2008
The Bush administration took another incremental step toward helping troubled homeowners this week when it launched Project Lifeline. A consortium of the nation's largest lenders is offering a 30-day pause in the foreclosure process for some borrowers who are behind in their payments to give them a chance to negotiate better terms. The move came amid reports that an earlier effort brokered by the White House was falling far short of expectations. That earlier plan ... [full story]
937 times read - No comment posted

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