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Jan 04,2008
Given the harsh realities of the health insurance marketplace, the decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that employers can reduce or eliminate health benefits for retirees when they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare shouldn't come as a surprise. Employers are struggling to provide benefits to younger employees, much less those over 65, and still stay competitive. But AARP and other advocates for older Americans certainly can't be faulted either for contending that ... [full story]
661 times read - No comment posted

Jan 04,2008
Given the harsh realities of the health insurance marketplace, the decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that employers can reduce or eliminate health benefits for retirees when they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare shouldn't come as a surprise. Employers are struggling to provide benefits to younger employees, much less those over 65, and still stay competitive. But AARP and other advocates for older Americans certainly can't be faulted either for contending that ... [full story]
719 times read - No comment posted

Dec 28,2007
With Congress up in arms and the housing market collapsing around its ears, the Federal Reserve last week finally proposed some restrictions on the subprime mortgage industry. It was like buying a fire extinguisher after the house burned down. Had the Fed acted three or four years ago, when consumer advocates were screaming for regulation, we might have avoided part of the current foreclosure crisis. As it is, the Fed's new rules probably will make ... [full story]
975 times read - No comment posted

Dec 28,2007
The FBI's new biometric identification system poses a threat to privacy and may not work all that well anyway. The bureau is already collecting some data. And it's working on covertly collecting digital images of faces and irises from a distance. Employers can request that the FBI retain biometric data on workers who undergo background checks, according to the Washington Post. That means people with no criminal record can nonetheless acquire a detailed biometric FBI ... [full story]
742 times read - No comment posted

Dec 28,2007
The assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto takes away the best option the United States had for facilitating a peaceful transition to democratic rule in Pakistan. Now, the Bush administration is left with an unappetizing menu of choices. The United States has moved $10 billion in aid through the regime of Gen. Pervez Musharaff, who is steadily turning away from democracy and toward dictatorship. Musharaff's suspension of Pakistan's constitution and hijacking of the Supreme ... [full story]
608 times read - No comment posted

Dec 28,2007
After all the hot air, hostile rhetoric and hand-wringing over illegal immigration, could it be that the solution to this vexing issue can be found in the self-serve aisle? Will illegal immigrants "self-deport" if jobs are no longer available because employers are hit with harsh fines and other penalties? We are skeptical of the simplistic notion that illegal immigrants will simply pack up and return to their home countries if it becomes difficult for them ... [full story]
1070 times read - 2 comments posted

Dec 28,2007
Molecular biologist James D. Watson is a very smart man. In 1962, when he was only 34 years old, he shared a Nobel Prize for helping to describe the double-helix structure of DNA. As everyone knows now, DNA is the molecule that encodes all the genetic information that makes us human as opposed to, say, jellyfish or apes. When a very smart man speaks in public about a subject he presumably knows well, the rest ... [full story]
768 times read - No comment posted

Dec 28,2007
The past 10 years have been the warmest since scientists began keeping global temperature records in 1850. "It's very likely the warmest period for at least the last 1,000 or 1,300 years," said Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meteorological Society. He spoke this month at an international global warming conference in Bali, Indonesia. Eleven of the 12 warmest years on record have occurred since 1995. Glaciers are melting around the world. Arctic sea ... [full story]
1201 times read - No comment posted

Dec 28,2007
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is right when he says there are "Two Americas." But the divide isn't the class-war chimera the former North Carolina senator talks about. Instead, there's the America that is more broadly prosperous than ever, with relatively low unemployment, but which is understandably anxious about rapid changes in the economy. Then there's the America that Edwards, pundits Lou Dobbs and Pat Buchanan, and even GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee depict: one ... [full story]
1015 times read - No comment posted

Dec 28,2007
There is an effort to rehabilitate the memory of Joe McCarthy, the pugnacious anti-communist who, as Wisconsin's junior U.S. senator in the 1950s, led a Red Scare crusade widely viewed in history as heavy on witch hunt and short on facts. The latest effort is a book by conservative journalist M. Stanton Evans, "Blacklisted by History." The Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert wrote of the book and the author recently. We're all for getting history right. ... [full story]
637 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
Last week's release of former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell's report on the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball hit like a bombshell. If sports talk radio and letters to the editor are any gauge, the evidence that the cheaters included everyone from the modern era's greatest slugger (Barry Bonds) and greatest pitcher (Roger Clemens) to dozens of stars, journeymen and fan favorites changed the public debate. The familiar argument heard before Dec. 13 ... [full story]
841 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
The Federal Reserve took unprecedented action Tuesday to curb predatory lending in the subprime mortgage market as a coming wave of foreclosures threatens the nation's economy. The action was an important first step toward cleaning up the excesses of the past two years. Congressional Democrats immediately criticized the proposals as too little, too late. And they have a point. But moving tougher regulation through Congress may be a tall order in the coming months. It's ... [full story]
919 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
An Illinois teen got an early and unexpected Christmas present, courtesy of the Navy. Fourteen-year-old Laura Montero of Albion, Ill., was on a cruise ship to Mexico last week when her appendix ruptured, and so the ship's captain put out a distress call. Luckily, the signal was picked up by the Ronald Reagan, a U.S. aircraft carrier operating nearby on training. The Reagan immediately altered course to meet up with the cruise ship. What happened ... [full story]
695 times read - No comment posted



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