What others are saying

December 05, 2006

Iraq: With a blue-ribbon panel's recommendations due any day, the U.S. appears to be edging closer to talking to Iran about our getting out of Iraq. We've been down this road before, so we ought to know better. Enlightened souls such as Jimmy Carter and Colin Powell, who think it's a good idea to consult with Iran and Syria on our disengagement from Iraq, call themselves "realists." Likewise, they've relabeled the conflict - which is really part of a world war over the future of our civilization - a "civil war." They're wrong on both counts.

Rather than realistic, they're deluded if they think that talking to your enemies is preferable to opposing them, either diplomatically or militarily. You'd think they'd have learned that by now.

... . On Wednesday, [Iraq Study Group] co-Chairmen James Baker and Lee Hamilton - like Carter and Powell, both are Mideast "realists" - will formally release their report on what to do in Iraq.

From everything we've seen, it will amount to little more than cut-and-run lite. President Bush, however, has signaled he won't walk away from Iraq. Let's hope he means it.

-Investor's Business Daily

A once-promising innovation in voting - the touch-screen computer terminal - may be over. Voters are doubtful, glitches are evident, and a federal panel thinks the tech devices aren't secure.

States across the country, which once embraced the ATM-like machines, are turning away. Next year Congress could impose tough conditions on voting technology that could greatly change the way touch screens run.

Americans by the millions use similar screens to grab cash at banks or tickets at airports. But the voting booth is a different matter. A federal panel that advises Washington on elections says the software inside ballot-counting touch screens could be hacked.

So far, there's no clear evidence of vote tampering. But electronic vote machine critics worry it could still happen - and a presidential election looms in 2008.

- San Francisco Chronicle

The history of scandal in corporate America suggests that the rules regulating business behavior are seldom tough enough and are too often imposed after the fact.

Yet last week, a private but influential panel with ties to Wall Street and the Bush administration recommended that less regulation would be good for investors. That's absurd.

Apparently the panel of corporate executives and academics is hoping that investors have forgotten the massive losses suffered because of fraud at Enron and WorldCom. That's doubtful. But in case those memories have been erased, the still-unfolding story of shenanigans involving greedy executives and fudged stock options should convince Congress and securities regulators that this is no time to weaken investor safeguards.

-The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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