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Apr 13,2009
With a strong, bipartisan vote in the House, Congress is on the verge of enacting one of the most important advances in public health policy in well more than a generation — sweeping federal regulation of tobacco products, the nation's No. 1 cause of preventable death. The House voted 298-112 on April 2 in favor of granting regulatory authority over tobacco products to the Food and Drug Administration. The bill now goes to the Senate, ... [full story]
1179 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2009
From the speeches to the schoolhouse visits, the images from Europe of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have been largely symbolic but impressive. In many quarters, Obama attracted large and friendly crowds, contrasting sharply with the sometimes violent protests on the streets of London during the G-20 summit. Aside from the warm receptions, what actually was achieved on the eight-day, five-nation trip, which also included a NATO summit and a meeting with ... [full story]
1045 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2009
In his farewell address as president, Dwight Eisenhower, who knew a thing or two about war, coined the phrase "military-industrial complex" to describe the "conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry ... new in the American experience." As Eisenhower, the pride of Abilene, Kan., warned, "The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. ... Our toil, resources ... [full story]
1081 times read - No comment posted

Apr 10,2009
By now, a lot of Americans have figured out that, like it or not, they have a substantial investment in the Mexican drug war. But do they realize that there's an increasingly good chance it could pay off? The fact that drugs are flowing north into the United States and guns are flowing south into Mexico, the reality of spillover violence on this side of the border, the possibility that National Guard troops might yet ... [full story]
1602 times read - 3 comments posted

Apr 10,2009
The Obama administration got the attention of America's boardrooms with its largely symbolic firing recently of Rick Wagoner, the General Motors Corp. chief executive. Other CEOs, particularly at the nation's biggest banks, should be wary. There's a new boss in town. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday on the CBS talk show "Face the Nation" that if banks get "exceptional assistance," there might be a need for a management change. Wagoner may have richly deserved ... [full story]
1622 times read - 1 comments posted

Apr 10,2009
Pageantry, celebrity, ceremony and incessant photo ops of world leaders in their conservative attire are staples of international summitry. The London Summit 2009 this past week, also known as the Group of 20 meetings (although more than 20 countries participate), would have generated lower wattage in past years. Lightning bolts and giant headlines rarely, if ever, emerge from international summits. While the global stakes and urgent tone in the speeches and sound bites were real, ... [full story]
2075 times read - No comment posted

Apr 10,2009
Once again, North Korea has ostentatiously defied the United Nations Security Council by launching a long-range ballistic missile over the Pacific in a provocation plainly designed to get the world's attention. The question now is, will the erratic regime of Kim Jong-il be rewarded or punished for its reckless pursuit of missile technology and nuclear weapons? As in the past, the Security Council is badly divided over how to respond to North Korea's latest brazen ... [full story]
1626 times read - No comment posted

Apr 10,2009
If there is one sure thing in life, it is death. It comes to the powerful and to the meek, in good times and in bad. If you're looking to make a killing, financially speaking, you could do worse than to model your business on the certainty of death. Or so it would seem. But as columnist Dana Milbank of The Washington Post reported this week, an unlikely group recently joined the procession of bankers, ... [full story]
1717 times read - No comment posted

Apr 10,2009
In a week when the nation's unemployment rate jumped to 8.5 percent, the University of Kentucky introduced a highly compensated new hire. Wildcats basketball coach John Calipari will pull down an average of $3.95 million a year for the next eight years. The university's athletic director, Mitch Barnhart, in introducing the new coach, stressed that Calipari won't be paid from state funds but out of revenue generated by the school's basketball and football teams. But, ... [full story]
1307 times read - No comment posted

Apr 06,2009
Milwaukee Iron isn't headed for the scrap heap just yet, at least judging from Harley's spunky ad in The New York Times last weekend. Harley-Davidson's rejoinder to a Times business section article the week before showed a bit of the feistiness that helped build one of the world's best-known brands. The ad, heavy on patriotism and attitude, told detractors to "file our obituary where the sun don't shine." The Times ran a freelance piece March ... [full story]
1361 times read - No comment posted

Apr 06,2009
Safeguards that are supposed to protect Americans from tainted food are obsolete, ineffective and in urgent need of revision. More than a dozen federal agencies are responsible for some aspect of food safety. Among them is the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which also promotes food production. Federal officials lack the authority to order recalls in most cases and rely on outdated technologies and inspection practices. They have too few people and too little money. The ... [full story]
1975 times read - No comment posted

Apr 03,2009
Smokers began paying dramatically higher prices on Wednesday. The federal cigarette tax jumped by 62 cents a pack to $1.01. Levies on other tobacco products also rose. Obviously, smokers are upset. But this is an excellent opportunity to do what most tobacco users consistently say they want to do: quit smoking. About seven in 10 smokers say they want to stop smoking, and with good reason. People who do significantly reduce their risk of dying ... [full story]
1315 times read - No comment posted

Apr 03,2009
This week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan offered new evidence that he wants striking changes in public schools — not just a better-funded status quo. Duncan said putting big city mayors in charge of troubled school districts has generally worked well and should be used in far more places. We think such an a la carte approach makes sense. In too many big cities the diffusion of responsibility for school performance undercuts accountability and gets in ... [full story]
1237 times read - No comment posted

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