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Apr 28,2009
If you paid for expensive auto repairs and the same problem recurred a few weeks later, you'd probably refuse to pony up for a second fix. But what about medical care? What if you had surgery and, a few days after being released from a hospital, you were right back in to treat complications from the operation. Would you pay for that? Medicare and most private health insurance companies routinely do, even though many experts ... [full story]
25316 times read - No comment posted

Apr 28,2009
If the Obama administration has its way, pressure will increase for cars sold in this country to be smaller and more fuel-efficient. But federal rules also say that only vehicles manufactured in North America can be counted toward federal mileage standards. Imported cars must be counted separately. This needlessly increases the cost of making small cars here. The federal administration, in its analysis of the February survival plans submitted by General Motors Corp., stated that ... [full story]
25600 times read - No comment posted

Apr 28,2009
Sen. Dick Durbin's much-discussed (and much-cussed) mortgage "cram down" legislation may come to a vote in the U.S. Senate this week, possibly as early as Tuesday. It deserves to pass. Thanks to the stranglehold that the banking industry has on Republican lawmakers, it probably won't. As of Friday, the Illinois Democrat's "Helping Families Save Their Home in Bankruptcy Act," was a vote or two short of the 60 it needs to close off Senate debate. ... [full story]
25539 times read - No comment posted

Apr 28,2009
The Obama administration now says it may not need additional money for the nation's largest banks after all. If only it were true. White House and Treasury officials, largely for political reasons, are hoping to stretch what's left of last year's $700 billion bailout fund rather than ask a reluctant Congress for another check. To make the money go further, the administration may convert the government's existing loans to the nation's largest banks into common ... [full story]
23671 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
Jimmy Carter sent the Delta Force to rescue hostages, and their helicopters crashed. Ronald Reagan sent peacekeepers to Lebanon, and 241 of them died when their barracks were blown up. Bill Clinton sent the Army Rangers to hunt down Somalia warlords, and the result was "Black Hawk Down." George W. Bush invaded Iraq, and we're still there. Barack Obama, on the other hand, sent the Navy to the Somali coast to rescue a hero from ... [full story]
2431 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon certainly have a lot to talk about, and they will have a chance to do it face-to-face this week when Obama arrives in Mexico City. The two will also likely see each other again a few days later at the Fifth Summit of the Americas, to be held in Trinidad and Tobago. Although there might be some discussion of trade and immigration — we're sure Calderon is as ... [full story]
2316 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
In the second volume of Edmund Morris' magnificent (and still in progress) biography of Theodore Roosevelt, we find Elihu Root, Roosevelt's great friend and one-time secretary of state, reminiscing about TR's war with the railroad industry in 1906: "The central fact for Theodore was that the last decades of the 19th century had been a period of risk for capital — risk demanding great courage from entrepreneurs, and rightly rewarding them with enormous wealth if ... [full story]
2550 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
No doubt, the White House announcement last week that the president would seek comprehensive immigration reform this year was directed as much to Mexico as to a domestic audience. President Barack Obama is slated to visit Mexico this week and, if past presidential visits are any indication, immigration will be near or at the top of what Mexican officials will want to talk about — along with the U.S. role in Mexico's narco wars. But ... [full story]
2389 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
For too long, the international response to the steady escalation in piracy in a 1 million-square-mile swath of the northwest Indian Ocean has been either dismissive or unfocused. The reasons for this are many. Some governments have struggled to take ocean piracy — seen as a 19th-century phenomenon — seriously. Others have concluded shipping companies should be able to deal with the Somalian gangs behind the piracy surge, whether by continuing to make payoffs or ... [full story]
2264 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
In a major economic speech Tuesday at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall, President Barack Obama turned to the Sermon on the Mount to urge that America, in rebuilding its economy, "build our house upon a rock." (Parenthetical aside: Is Obama aware that the Sermon on the Mount — Matthew 5-7 — is a radical document? There's a lot of "blessed are the merciful," "turn the other cheek," "love your enemies," "do not store up for yourselves ... [full story]
9967 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
Detroit automakers and the entire auto industry are suffering a severe decline in sales. The annual vehicle sales rate is below 10 million. The number of cars purchased last year was the worst in nearly two decades. A well-crafted federal incentive could help the Detroit automakers survive. March numbers for the Detroit Three automakers — General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC — were down by around 40 percent from the same month ... [full story]
2426 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
President Barack Obama's decision to end restrictions on visits to Cuba by Americans to see family members, and to allow U.S. telecommunications firms to operate in Cuba, may be largely symbolic. But these are welcome first steps toward a more open trade policy with Cuba. The United States' 50-year trade embargo and travel restrictions are a failed policy. The better course is to open trade and travel and engage with a nation that is passing ... [full story]
2791 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2009
There's a first time for everything, and the first use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, to prosecute mortgage fraud is happening in San Diego under U.S. Attorney Karen Hewitt. According to the indictment returned by a federal grand jury, the charges against two dozen defendants stem from a scheme masterminded by Darnell Bell that worked this way: He and some cronies organized phony real estate companies and a network of ... [full story]
2364 times read - No comment posted



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