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Feb 16,2009
Competition makes some companies trim costs, others cut prices. Then there's the strategy allegedly adopted by Solvay Pharmaceuticals: Pay off your competitors. Solvay makes a prescription drug called AndroGel, a synthetic form of testosterone. It's used by men with cancer, HIV or low hormone levels because of aging. Solvay got a patent on its version in 2003. AndroGel brings in about $400 million a year, which makes it the company's second-highest grossing drug. Three other ... [full story]
1147 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2009
The mercenary and callous nature of Stewart Parnell, the owner of Peanut Corp. of America, became clear last week. Even as he invoked the Fifth Amendment and declined to answer questions from the congressional committee that subpoenaed him, documents released by the committee point to Parnell's perfidy. Eight deaths and thousands of illnesses have been linked to a salmonella outbreak traced to the company's Georgia plant. The House panel released e-mails showing that Parnell ordered ... [full story]
1114 times read - No comment posted

May 16,2008
Surely you've seen the television ads, the ones with attractive and carefree people gamboling through fields of flowers thanks to Miracle Drug X, or kayaking up a river thanks to Miracle Cure Y. Life would be better if only your doctor would prescribe X and Y, wouldn't it? Maybe not. Weighing the risks and benefits of a particular drug is a serious challenge, even for the best-trained and best-informed physicians. For the rest of us, ... [full story]
2136 times read - No comment posted

May 16,2008
Welfare as we knew it ended years ago across the nation. But not for farmers. Congress has passed wasteful legislation that will set farm policy on the wrong course for five more years. The $290 billion farm bill, which passed the House on Wednesday and sailed through the Senate on Thursday, comes as farm income hits an all-time high. Yet this bill does almost nothing to curb subsidies. Indeed, as Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., pointed ... [full story]
1864 times read - No comment posted

May 16,2008
Campaigning in Michigan has a way of softening the views of presidential candidates toward the auto industry. That's certainly true of Sen. Barack Obama, who proposed billions in spending programs that could help the industry. To the extent that his proposals assist the automakers in paying for the costs of the federal government's fuel efficiency mandates, they make sense and will be useful. But targeting specific technologies for investment remains problematic. The Illinois Democrat, now ... [full story]
1748 times read - No comment posted

May 16,2008
High in the running for Worst Bill Passed by the House of Representatives in 2008 is Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank's measure. In the event the Senate approves this terrible legislation, President Bush wisely vows a veto. The bad bare bones of Frank's proposal begin with committing taxpayers to pay a potential $300 billion to lenders who voluntarily refinance mortgages for 2 million homeowners threatened by foreclosure. Participating lenders could refinance no more than 85 percent ... [full story]
1868 times read - No comment posted

May 16,2008
The U.S. House last week passed a mortgage rescue package that could save half a million American families from losing their homes to foreclosure and do so at little risk to taxpayers. The plan, though larded up with tax breaks that the Senate should trim, generally is a sensible approach to the subprime mortgage mess. President George W. Bush is threatening a veto but hinting at compromise. With a little tinkering, the Senate could get ... [full story]
2098 times read - No comment posted

May 16,2008
In 1980, presidential candidate Ronald Reagan promised that if elected, he would abolish the then-fledgling U.S. Department of Education. He was. He didn't. But at this time of year - the high season for applying for many of the financial aid programs the department administers - a lot of students and parents can understand Mr. Reagan's sentiments. We're talking governmental malpractice on a breathtaking scale. The financial aid system is supposed to help make college ... [full story]
1516 times read - No comment posted

May 16,2008
Ethanol is getting a bad rap right now. Pundits, politicians and even the United Nations are blaming a serious global rise in food prices on an increase in ethanol production. They are calling for less ethanol production and the removal of mandates, and they're couching it all in a food vs. fuel debate. Ethanol has been called one of the great scams, a dead-end fuel and other even less kind names. But the reality is ... [full story]
3763 times read - No comment posted

May 16,2008
Eli Lilly and Co., along with a fellow Indiana firm, showed integrity, initiative and good business sense in endorsing federal legislation aimed at shedding light on relationships between physicians and companies that produce drugs and medical devices. The modest bill would require companies to report any gifts to a doctor totaling $500 in value over a year's time, excluding product samples, loans for equipment and certain educational materials and training. It would punish non-compliance with ... [full story]
3772 times read - No comment posted

May 16,2008
Part of what fires up the immigration debate is the view, shared by many Americans, that new waves of immigrants are not assimilating as rapidly and completely as did previous waves of immigrants. The only problem with this theory is that it is wrong on both counts. First, despite what many of us like to think, previous waves of immigrants - from Germany, Italy or Ireland - were in no great hurry to dissolve into ... [full story]
3715 times read - 1 comments posted

May 16,2008
To a considerable degree, the federal Farm Bill of 2007 - which, five months into 2008 has yet to be passed by Congress - is a welfare program for millionaires. President George W. Bush calls it wasteful and promises to veto it when it hits his desk. He's right, but it's not an easy call. The $280 billion bill sets policy for both farm payments and nutrition programs for the next five years. The compromise ... [full story]
3926 times read - No comment posted

May 09,2008
Hillary Clinton wasted no time revving up her attack machine after her disappointing showing in this week's Democratic presidential primaries. The New York senator herself made the baldly racial claim that her rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, couldn't win in the general election because less educated whites didn't like him. Meanwhile, aide Paul Begala said in a race against the certain Republican nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Obama's support would be limited to "eggheads and ... [full story]
2254 times read - No comment posted

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