Remember last year’s sad little Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony, when not a single living person was inducted into the Hall for the first time since 1965?
Good news! It won’t be another joyless summer in Cooperstown. Three living, breathing beings -- managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox -- have each had their tickets punched for immortality by the Hall’s Expansion Era Committee. All three will no doubt be on hand next July to receive their plaques, and to regale a large crowd with charming anecdotes from their illustrious careers.Read more »
If Mathew Martoma was ever going to strike a deal with the government and turn against his former boss, Steven A. Cohen, he probably would have done it a long time ago. The odds that he ever will look even more remote now.
Lawyers for Martoma, the former SAC Capital Advisors fund manager, filed excerpts from a May 2012 deposition in which Cohen told attorneys for the Securities and Exchange Commission that he decided to sell SAC’s stakes in Wyeth and Elan Corp. based on advice from the head of a different hedge fund. Martoma’s insider-trading trial is scheduled to begin next month. His lawyers say the previously undisclosed testimony shows Martoma wasn’t involved in Cohen’s decisions on the trades.Read more »
Recently, there's been some back and forth among Jonathan Chait, Ross Douthat and Timothy Carney over the film "12 Years a Slave" and the persistence of racism. All three posts are worth reading, with Douthat and Carney holding up the conservative high-end of a discussion that typically consists of two circular questions: Why do conservatives continue to abet racism in their ranks? And why do liberals insist on calling conservatives racist?
Perhaps the most eloquent response is found in Friday's Wall Street Journal, which seems to have inadvertently stumbled into the argument. Like a drunk walking home with a lantern, the paper's review of Timothy N. Thurber's new book, "Republicans and Race," is enlightening if you can follow the staggered trail of logic.Read more »
Yesterday, when news broke that Nelson Mandela had died, I was writing about the Jameis Winston case, and what happens when football takes over a college and a town.
It’s easy to be cynical about sports. We invest too much in our teams and athletes, and are invariably disappointed when they let us down, on the field and off. There are unseemly spectacles everywhere -- in the NFL’s insistence that its game is safe, in the NCAA’s exploitation of “student-athletes,” in Major League Baseball’s overzealous crusade to nail steroid users, in FIFA’s willingness to award the greatest tournament in sports to a repressive Middle Eastern regime that treats migrant workers like modern-day slaves. The more cynical we get, the easier it becomes to forget that sports can provide moments that are not only physically awe-inspiring but emotionally moving and culturally transcendent.Read more »
Is it better to be lucky or good?
The U.S. Men’s National Team will find out soon. The team was lucky last time, in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when it was grouped with England, Slovenia and Algeria. It still took the U.S. until the 90th minute of its third game to advance -- on a rebound off the Algerian goalkeeper.Read more »
Whatever else you might say about Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, she has never been reluctant to take on the rich, the powerful or those who've avoided being held accountable for their role in the financial crisis. The latest example: a letter she sent this week to the heads of the six major too-big-to-fail banks asking them to disclose how much they give to think tanks.
As you know, your institutions are free to express your views to lawmakers and regulators through your lobbying efforts and those of the trade associations that represent you. But the law requires that there be transparency around your direct efforts to influence policymaking through lobbying, with disclosure about your lobbying expenditures. Under current law, however, your institutions are permitted to make financial contributions to think tanks without similar public disclosure. This means you can make enormous contributions that threaten both the independence and public credibility of the work of think tanks out of public view.
This is all fine and dandy, though no one should have very high expectations that the banks will voluntarily offer a tally of the money they give to research organizations. That's why Warren should go all-out and press for rule changes so that think tanks disclose how for-profit companies use their checkbooks to influence public policy.
Elisabeth Rosenthal of the New York Times has been writing a fascinating series on why health care costs so much in the U.S. In a recent article, she asks: Why do trips to the emergency room cost thousands of dollars even for the most trivial and routine of emergencies?
“One of the simplest and oldest medical procedures — closing a wound with a needle and thread — typically leads to bills of at least $1,500 and often much more,” Rosenthal writes. Her explanation: “Hospitals are the most powerful players in a health care system that has little or no price regulation in the private market.”Read more »