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May 09,2008
John P. Walters, director of the federal Office of Drug Control Policy, was in St. Louis this week, along with U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. They came to attend an international conference called the National Methamphetamine Chemicals Initiative. Missouri no doubt was chosen as the gathering place because of its unrivaled leadership in meth lab busts. The state accounted for more than 20 percent of the national total in 2007. Walters and the attorney general ... [full story]
1701 times read - No comment posted

May 09,2008
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing significantly tighter air pollution standards for lead - the first update in 30 years. It's long overdue. But in announcing the new rule, the Bush administration ignored recommendations from independent scientific advisers who had called for even greater protections. The administration also signaled changes that could limit future tightening of the airborne lead standard. Sound like legalistic mumbo-jumbo? It is, but it has serious implications for kids in ... [full story]
2427 times read - No comment posted

May 09,2008
Although we have supported states acting to stem the flow of invasive species into the Great Lakes by more closely regulating the ballast water of oceangoing freighters, the best way to address the issue is at the federal level. And at long last, the feds are starting to move. The House recently passed the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, which would, among other things, require all ships entering U.S. waters to treat their ballast water to ... [full story]
1157 times read - No comment posted

May 09,2008
The matter of federal oversight of the Teamsters crept briefly into the Democratic presidential campaign this week, when U.S. Sen. Barack Obama told the Wall Street Journal the Justice Department's meddling in union affairs has "run its course." Later, after Obama backtracked and clarified that he wasn't making a "blanket commitment" to ending oversight, Sen. Hillary Clinton pounced. Will he end the oversight or won't he? Clinton asked, implying that favoring the Teamsters' freedom suggest ... [full story]
1939 times read - No comment posted

May 09,2008
If Hillary Clinton truly is the workin' gal she portrayed herself to be in Indiana last week, then surely she must remember this classic Willie Nelson lyric: Turn out the lights, The party's over. They say that all Good things must end. Several metaphors suggest themselves for the New York senator's refusal to concede the Democratic presidential nomination to Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. Is she Scipio Africanus, the Roman consul who salted the earth ... [full story]
1627 times read - No comment posted

May 09,2008
Primary and elementary schools are right to focus on the basics, but last week brought troubling news that a multibillion-dollar national initiative to improve reading among young students appears to have fallen flat. "Reading First" is the program in question. It's a cornerstone of President George W. Bush's signature education policy, No Child Left Behind. Since its passage, a total of about $6 billion ($1 billion per year) has been spent on "scientifically based" reading ... [full story]
1451 times read - No comment posted

May 09,2008
Hillary Clinton pledges to stay in the game. OK, but then the Democrat's superdelegates should invoke the eminently logical tradition of not playing the bottom of the last inning when the winner has been decided. We had urged superdelegates to wait until the Democratic National Convention to commit. But it makes little sense to wait that long now. It is nigh on impossible that Clinton can catch Barack Obama in the delegate count. By staying ... [full story]
1796 times read - No comment posted

May 09,2008
Democratic officials have been poking fun at John McCain over his self-deprecating acknowledgment that he really doesn't know much about economics. But who are they to talk? A quick perusal of policies advocated by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama confirms that their economic views are as rudimentary as McCain's, though they do seem to have extensive knowledge in pandering to voters who approach presidential candidates with outstretched palms. Sure, McCain made a mistake with his ... [full story]
1775 times read - No comment posted

May 09,2008
After still more bad news about the economy, President Bush and leading Democrats began playing the blame game with particular vigor last week. We say fie on both sides, for there is enormous blame to go around. The Bush administration's bizarrely lax regulation of the financial industry led directly to the housing/subprime bubble. The Securities and Exchange Commission was indifferent to the folly of issuing home loans without income verification - and to the further ... [full story]
1231 times read - No comment posted

May 09,2008
As the nation looks back nostalgically on the economic boom years of the 1990s, no one is remembered more fondly than Robert E. Rubin. As President Bill Clinton's economic policy adviser and as treasury secretary, Rubin had - and still has - rock star status on Wall Street. He was one of them, the co-chairman of Goldman, Sachs before he went to Washington. Tall, smart and unflappable, he played a key role in defusing huge ... [full story]
1750 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
The pork-busters who work for Citizens Against Government Waste were against earmarks back in the mid-1980s, before being against earmarks was cool. A familiar pattern emerged: The fiscal watchdog organization's annual spring release of its "Pig Book" would result in a flurry of news stories about the more egregious pork barrel projects in the federal budget. Lawmakers would weather the storm and then go back to doing what they did before: slipping ever more "earmarked" ... [full story]
1855 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey can't seem to tell when he's winning. Markey, one of the House's leading global warming warriors, brutalized the domestic automobile industry last fall for not doing enough to curb America's consumption of gasoline. His efforts helped lead to tough new fuel economy standards. But now Markey, a Democrat, is going after another industry that has done more than any other in the last few months to reduce the demand for oil, ... [full story]
1255 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
The politics of immigration reform is full of simple ideas, the execution of which is not so simple. Near the top of that list you'll find something that we have long opposed as expensive, ineffective and problematic: the construction of a fence stretching hundreds of miles along the U.S.-Mexico border. History shows us that walls and fences don't stop illegal immigrants, who will find a way to go around, over or under any barrier. Ending ... [full story]
1370 times read - No comment posted

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