*+-Marian Wang: Some banks and lenders played fast and loose with student loans, aggressively marketing them to borrowers who couldn’t afford that amount of debt
*+-Walter and Rosemary Brasch: We really want to be able to write columns about Americans who take care of each other, about leaders who concentrate upon fixing the social problems. But we know that’s only an ethereal ideal.
*+-Gareth Porter: Data on attacks by armed opposition forces and U.S. combat casualties since the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan was completed last summer provide clear evidence that the surge and the increase in targeted killings by Special Operations Forces have failed to break the momentum of the Taliban.
*+-Ron Wolff: The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), a multilateral treaty promoted by the United Nations, commits its parties to work toward stated objectives for all its citizens. As of December 8th, 160 countries had ratified it. Not us. The United States has “signed,” but the Senate has never ratified.
*+-Ron Wolff: I can’t tell you that my life has been saved by the efforts of government to reduce air pollution. But living in an area highly susceptible to the accumulation of dangerous particulates and ozone, I can tell you that I notice a distinct improvement in air quality over the last 15 years. And that has probably added several years to my life expectancy. Yes, government has saved my life. Maybe it has saved yours too. Is this worth paying for? I guess that depends on whether you want to pay your fair share of taxes to support these worthwhile endeavors.