No longer waiting for Washington to take the lead, state capitals are forging ahead with their own powerful regulations and legislation:
Nine states are still battling Microsoft (MSFT ), long after the Justice Dept. called it quits. And some 30 states plan to fight the satellite TV merger of Hughes and EchoStar if Justice doesn't.
Georgia, North Carolina, and California have adopted tough anti-predatory lending laws. Lenders have run to Congress for legislation preempting the states.
Senate has passed a bill limiting tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide, which could advance the national global warming policy that President Bush rejected.
New York and 11 other states have launched probes into conflicts of interest among analysts, raising fears of a national "patchwork" of new securities regulations.