Balance Sheet

ASSETS:

Search Party

Airports in Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Atlanta buck a directive from the Transportation Security Administration to search cars entering airport grounds. Airport officials say they need probable cause.

Sober State

Maine plans to get out of the booze biz and save $100 million in the process. Like many states, Maine serves as the sole liquor wholesaler for local retail outlets and operates 13 stores itself, ensuring Soviet-level selection and service.

Loud and Clear

Telecom analysts and Net providers begin to see that Internet phone service could challenge the incumbent Bell monopolies. Unfortunately, so do the Bells and their buddies, the regulators.

Price Drop

Microsoft says it might have to drop its prices due to competition from open source software such as Linux. Consumers will win, but only if Linux competes on merit and not via government mandates. Some jurisdictions now require new government software buys to be open source.

OMB Bomb

Amid the bland budget boilerplate, the Office of Management and Budget notes that the Drug Enforcement Administration "is unable to demonstrate progress in reducing the availability of illegal drugs in the United States." The DEA says it just needs to redefine its accomplishments.

Ad Health

TV ads for prescription drugs seem to help patients talk to their doctors. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, and Harris Interactive find that one quarter of patients surveyed got new treatment for serious ailments as a result of asking questions about TV ads.

LIABILITIES:

Convenient Theory

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