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December 2007

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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]
1277 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]
1007 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]
801 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]
1326 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]
980 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]
1562 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]
1275 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]
843 times read - No comment posted

Dec 28,2007
GAZA -- Israeli military strikes in Gaza killed at least nine militants, including the head of Islamic Jihad's armed wing.Palestinian sources said Mohammad Abu Murshud, who led the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, was killed Thursday when Israeli aircraft fired a missile that struck the vehicle he was traveling in north of al-Mugarka, Ynetnews reported Friday. Two additional Islamic Jihad members were killed in the attack.Israeli soldiers operating in southern Gaza earlier Thursday killed two ... [full story]
1075 times read - No comment posted

Dec 28,2007
EDINBURGH, Scotland -- At least 11 endangered red kites have been killed illegally in Scotland in 2007, raising fears for a bird brought back from extinction.The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said the red kites died after consuming poisoned bait, The Scotsman reported. The society said the birds may be collateral damage, consuming bait left out by gamekeepers trying to kill foxes or crows.Nine of the dead kites were found on shooting estates, ... [full story]
987 times read - No comment posted

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