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December 2007

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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]
1321 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]
1183 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]
893 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
Uncle Sam's farm support program is, to a disturbing extent, a handout for millionaires paid for by ordinary Americans. So it was disappointing to see Missouri's two senators vote against a very modest attempt to limit the giveaway. As it is, in Manhattan alone, more than 500 individuals and businesses are being paid farm subsidies, according to a count by the Environmental Working Group. That's Manhattan, New York, not Manhattan, Kansas. Paul Allen, the billionaire ... [full story]
1455 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his family recently tried to conjure up some Kennedyesque imagery with a game of touch football. But since then, Romney has made one fumble after another, and his poll numbers have fallen. And so, with the clock running out before the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, the candidate decided to throw, ah, a Hail Mary. Romney decided to talk openly about his Mormon religion in an attempt ... [full story]
819 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
Congress appears likely to give millions of taxpayers an early Christmas present this week by exempting them from the insidious alternative minimum tax. Happy holidays. But wait - ho, ho, ho - there's more. Lawmakers will likely do that by adding $50 billion to the federal budget deficit, which would be one more blow to fiscal discipline in Washington and leave a lump of coal in the stocking of every American. House Ways and Means ... [full story]
1731 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
Foreign aid of $7.4 billion has been pledged by major donor nations to help the Palestinians create a state. The money can go a long way in building the infrastructure and institutions necessary for the Palestinians to sustain an independent nation. But the massive infusion of aid also presents challenges. The Palestinian Authority, which will be the recipient of most of the funds, has a long history of funneling foreign aid into the pockets of ... [full story]
913 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
The temptation will be to lament that the Bali climate conference produced only an agreement to talk some more for two years about climate change and the dire threat that poses to Earth and humankind. Though there were genuine breakthroughs, we should succumb to the temptation. We share much of the world's preference for an agreement that would have set clear targets for emissions reductions now, with the United States not acting as obstructionist. The ... [full story]
775 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
The U.S. House should probe the destroyed CIA videotapes to uncover the full story and to keep the record straight: Congress oversees the CIA, not the other way around. Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., is helping lead the charge on the tapes, which showed al-Qaida suspects questioned and subjected to the practice of waterboarding. Hoekstra took on the Justice Department's attempt to stall a probe by the House Intelligence Committee. Hoekstra, the ranking GOP member of ... [full story]
847 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
The startling revelation by a former CIA agent that a terrorist suspect was subjected to "waterboarding" and that the exercise yielded vital information that may have disrupted a whole slew of planned attacks on U.S. soil has reopened a public debate. At issue: whether waterboarding - in which interrogators use a technique that gives a suspect the sensation of drowning - is a form of torture and whether the U.S. government, or its agents, should ... [full story]
796 times read - No comment posted

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