LETTER: Restructured government would better represent Americans' interests

Instead of sending more troops to the Middle East, America would be better served by a focus on securing its borders. Meanwhile, corporate leaders have too much influence on government, which does not represent the interests of Americans as well as working middle-class leaders would.

LETTER: Leutkemeyer votes against stimulus for Ellis Fischel

A reader wrote a letter to U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer regarding the stimulus bill and the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.

LETTER: Hoppe is invaluable resource to council, Columbia

A reader encourages Columbia residents to vote for City Council members on April 7 and to re-elect Barbara Hoppe.

Today's Question: Should the plans to widen I-70 be presented when no money is available?

The Missouri Department of Transportation is conducting studies and seeking input on adding lanes to I-70 even though there is no money for the project.

Europe's economy doing better than US

The economic crisis in the U.S. has spread to Europe, hitting the poorer  countries of Central and Eastern Europe especially hard. The balance of the EU is strained as it faces the first real economic strain since the introduction of the euro in 1999. Still, Europe's economy seems to be doing better than the U.S.

The Beat: Why food prices haven't fallen in tandem with gas prices

Managing editor Jeanne Abbott and reporter Kyle Schettler talk about the connection between the price at the pump and at the grocery store.

Opinions and rumors -- no matter, both need verification

The Opinion page at the Missourian should require real names behind all opinions and all rumors should be scrutinized.

How should we remedy the trash problem on East Campus?

Trash in the East Campus neighborhood has been accumulating when residents place their bags out early. How can the city help curb the cost of using special pickups when complaints are made?

Columbia Transit system service is lacking, but new committee could help

Columbia's insufficient public transportation will get worse as the city's population grows.

Legislature digging up trouble

Missouri legislature faces scrutiny as it plans this year's budget. Fiscal spending in the past has been irresponsible and extravagant and seems to be making little progress.

It's simple: Don't text and drive

We don't need more laws restricting what we do in the car, but we should use a little more common sense.

AIG should not get a pass

Some of us might not understand how big business operates but apparently neither do some industry executives.

Today's Question: Is racial disparity in Boone County traffic stops cause for concern?

Recently released data show that blacks and Hispanics who were pulled over during traffic stops in 2008 were more than twice as likely to be searched and arrested. The Boone County Sheriff's department said the data reflect proactive law enforcement.

The Beat: Downtown projects apply for tax breaks

Public life editor Scott Swafford and reporter Jewels Phraner talk about the significance of these tax breaks for Columbia.

Boone County's vote counting system is a model for other governments

People who live in Boone County are lucky that their votes are in the hands of an efficient system and clerk.

Booze and bullets could be a recipe for disaster in Tennessee

A bill passed by a Tennessee House committee would allow people to carry concealed weapons in alcohol-serving restaurants until 11 p.m. There are obvious dangers, and there’s little, if any, justification to account for the potential cost.

LETTER: Nonsmokers unite in war on secondhand smoke

Columbia's bars and restaurants have already banned smoking. But one MU student sees the university campus as the newest battleground in what he sees as a war between nonsmokers and who he calls "the Marlboro Men."

The Beat: Visiting incoming superintendent Chris Belcher

Reporters Amanda Branco and Joshua Nichol-Caddy talk about their recent visit to Kearney and how the town's residents are reacting to Belcher's recently announced move to Columbia.

The Beat: How changes to a bond issue could affect the new high school

K-12 editor Liz Brixey talks about the construction plan and provides an update on next month's school board race.

Situation won't get better under two-party system

The two-party system is worn out and has led to some of the least worthy politicians in the world.