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Petroleum Propaganda

(02/07/06 11:00am)

In his State of the Union address, President George Bush announced, "We have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil." Apparently, we were supposed to react to this revelation with astonishment. Either Bush really was the last person in the entire nation to recognize the oil problem, or he just used political Pig Latin to tell us what his administration thinks of our intelligence.

World Baseball Classic

(01/09/06 11:00am)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's dream of a "World Baseball Classic" between competing national all-star teams may join the XFL and the Lingerie Bowl in the pantheon of laughably misbegotten sports promotions. The WBC is unfolding as a wholly predictable disaster of truly international proportions as star players opt out, governments clash, and common sense questions about player health grow too loud to ignore.

Billy Beane's use of 'Moneyball' tactics fails to propel A's

(05/27/05 9:00am)

The surprising development of most revolutions is not the overthrow of the old regime, but the speed with which the revolutionaries are discredited. "Moneyball," by Michael Lewis, was hailed upon its publication in 2003 as baseball's revolutionary liberation from big money teams, conventional wisdom and insider orthodoxy. Two years after the fact, "Moneyball" seems destined for irrelevance.

A Broken System

(04/28/05 9:00am)

If "three strikes" were a universal rule, the United States' prison systems would be serving hard time. The latest U.S. government statistics reveal monstrous growth rates in U.S. jails and high rates of recidivism. Amid these grim revelations, U.S. prisons continue to foster environments in which commonplace violence, squalor and subpar rehabilitation programs offer few opportunities for inmates to reform. Despite falling crime rates, the U.S. prison population has swelled to shadow-state proportions. Over 2.1 million inmates, half of them nonviolent offenders often linked to low-level drug charges, live in a parallel and dystopic version of the United States. U.S. prisons' internal cultures are highly variable and rarely subject to competent oversight.

Snafu at GM

(04/13/05 9:00am)

Last Thursday, General Motors announced that it would pull its advertising from The Los Angeles Times. Under fire from shocked investors, angry customers and the auto media, GM has announced its commitment to solving its problems at the root -- by attacking the press.

Rekindling the Arms Race

(03/29/05 10:00am)

The Bush Administration's decision to sell modern fighter jets to Pakistan demonstrates total contempt for history and dark designs for the future. The danger of precipitating a regional arms race, the irrelevance of the deal to the "war on terror," and the administration's willingness to deal with any nation that "plays ball" according to Washington's new rules form a triple threat to global stability that cannot be overestimated.

The Right Man for the DNC

(02/07/05 11:00am)

Last year at this time, the Democratic Party had a different set of goals, a different champion and a different race to win. Howard Dean was a terrible presidential candidate and the wrong man for the job. Dean couldn't beat John Kerry, and John Kerry couldn't beat George Bush. Dean was too loud, too fiery, too polarizing -- and too early. A year later, Howard Dean is the right man for the job.

Opposition Lite

(01/04/05 11:00am)

Two month after the election, much of the grassroots energy that brought a supposedly unelectable liberal within one state of beating a wartime Republican incumbent has dissipated. This vacuum has allowed weak but vocal factions within the Democratic Party to lay claim to the party agenda. Although it has been quite some time since the unnecessary and murderously unsuccessful conflict in Iraq was considered a popular war, hawkish democrats are blaming John Kerry's defeat on his failure to support the protracted ordeal enthusiastically.

Kerry: A Great Communicator

(10/04/04 9:00am)

As a hard-charging John Kerry finished his closing statements, George Bush knew he had been beat. Reality was closing in for the kill as Bush delivered his final tepid argument. For the first time in almost four years as the most politically insulated president in memory, Bush was without a clever soundbite, whispering adviser or damage-control wizard. Left to his own faculties, the president could do little more than visibly labor, belabor his scripted catch phrases and make failed metaphors about labor. Debating John Kerry, the president discovered, was truly "hard work."