FUBAR

No summer vacation for gas tax

We have “spawning season,” “breeding season” and “calving season,” which make our “summer driving season” sound almost like a naturally occurring phase of the American cycle of life. Americans might watch football in the fall and clean their houses in the spring, but between Memorial Day and Labor Day, we drive.

Time to stamp out ID theft

No wonder identity theft is the fastest-growing crime. Our common sense hasn’t caught up with our technology.

We let anyone have our Social Security and driver’s-license numbers. We might as well leave our wallets on a store counter and walk away. A thief with a computer can quickly empty our bank accounts.

Is the VA ignoring suicidal veterans?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs isn’t doing enough to prevent suicide and provide adequate medical care for Americans who have served in the armed forces, a class-action lawsuit that goes to trial this week charges.

ABC under fire for debate debacle

Critics excoriated ABC on Thursday for its televised Democratic presidential debate, slamming the network for “shoddy, despicable” moderators who they said favored Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama and dwelled on “gossip” instead of issues.

Driving ourselves to the poorhouse

Will Rogers said that this would be the only country to ride to the poorhouse in a limousine. While his remark came in the midst of the Great Depression, it is once again relevant with one exception. It is becoming more and more difficult to gas up for the journey.

Death penalty for child rapists?

American law has for more than 30 years adhered to an eye-for-an-eye legal standard for capital punishment: Only murderers could be executed. But that may be about to change. The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday heard the case of a Louisiana man facing the death penalty for brutally raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter.

Time to end the folly of ethanol

To paraphrase the late, great William F. Buckley, Jr., someone must stand athwart the federal ethanol program yelling, “Stop!” The emergency brake should be pulled – NOW – before ethanol wreaks further havoc.

In the end, everyone got screwed

The trial of the D.C. Madam promised to be steamy and sensational, and it did in fact begin in a blaze of publicity that promised big names.

That publicity was stoked by the madam herself, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who first tried to auction off her phone records — the feds had seized her other records — and, after the judge intervened, she turned them over to ABC News.

Lies, damn lies and economic stats

For years, government figures on economic growth (or lack thereof) have mystified me as being so far out of whack with reality as to bare little or no resemblance to it. This is true for figures on economic growth, job creation and inflation. In 2005 I wrote:

Pentagon confirms prisoner abuse

Military interrogators assaulted Afghan detainees in 2003, using investigation methods they learned during self-defense training, Pentagon documents released Wednesday show.