FUBAR

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.

A bitter pill we may have to swallow

The Senate has passed its housing bailout bill; the House is about to; and the White House has agreed to go along.

The Senate bill, likely to be the template for the final bill, is terribly unfair, perhaps inevitably so. For a start, why are people whose homes are in, or in danger of, foreclosure now entitled to help unavailable to people who lost their homes in less excitable times?

Grim reality of Iraq

We learned this month that American men and women will continue to patrol the streets of Iraq for at least two more years — at the least.

Let’s drill the tundra

How much more pain must Americans endure before our masters in Washington let oil companies punch a few holes in the Alaskan tundra? Must we shiver pennilessly in the dark before we may extract new domestic petroleum deposits? Or shall we simply keep buying $111 barrels of oil from people who want us dead?

Hostage to free trade

Unless common sense prevails, the House Democratic leadership may have killed the Colombian free trade agreement and torpedoed pending trade agreements with Panama and South Korea as well.

The newsman’s newsman

The gap between print and electronic journalists has narrowed considerably since the days when newspaper reporters childishly delighted in sabotaging interviews with loud expletives and pulling the plugs on microphones and cameras during important press conferences.