Trent Lott, Race, and Hypocrisy

Too many people have asked the wrong question about Trent Lott and have come up with the wrong answer. The real question is not so much about Senator Lott’s past statements but about the Republican Party’s future. What will Trent Lott’s continuance as majority leader mean to his party’s future in the political battles ahead, […]

Good Riddance, IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti

When Charles Rossotti became commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service five years ago, taxpayers hoped this marked a new beginning. Unlike all the tax lawyers who preceded him, Rossotti came from a business background. Presumably, he understood the need to end some of the abuses taxpayers had come to associate with the agency. But by […]

Unlimited Liability

Americans believe strongly in the principle that an individual is innocent until proven guilty–and thus consider it a moral outrage to hold someone responsible for an evil he did not commit. In response to reports of a handful of innocent Arab-Americans being mistreated since September 11, our politicians and intellectuals have reminded us repeatedly that […]

Thanks a Lott

Of course it was an idiotic thing to say. And of course Senator Lott’s remarks have been taken out of context. Neither of these opposing viewpoints refer to the real issue. The real issue is power. Democrats who now condemn Senator Lott for his apparent racism have known his history as a college fraternity member […]

Fatwa: Coming to a Country Near You

“There is no room for play in Islam… It is deadly serious about everything.” So declared Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, in 1980. Nine years later, Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie discovered the grim consequences of free expression in fundamentalist Islam tenet, when Khomeini issued a fatwa condemning the novelist to death for blasphemous text […]

Destroy the WorldCom Zombie Already

With phony profits now expected to top $9 billion, WorldCom, Inc, the Mississippi-based telecommunications company, has earned the distinction of committing the worst accounting fraud in American history. As a result, investors have marked down WorldCom’s stock to pennies a share, the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the Justice Department has charged […]

Tonya Harding’s Army

Here is an interesting quote by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz, the federal judge overseeing Sun Microsystems’ request for an injunction against Microsoft, “Capitalism is about making money, but it’s also about something else. It’s also about pride of product.” Right. That makes sense. I’ve thought and reflected for a week, and I can […]

The Innovator’s Decision

Tom Daschle tried to turn the election into a referendum on the economy, blasting the Bush administration for “the worst performance in terms of real economic growth that we have seen in the last 50 years.” However hyperbolic, he raised a paradox: If the economy was so terrible, why did the GOP win? In fact, […]

Americans with Disabilities Act vs. The Internet

Common sense may seem in short supply in today’s litigation-happy world, but it got a boost recently from — of all places — Florida, where a federal judge tossed out a lawsuit claiming that Southwest Airlines’ Web site violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The decision is good news for the Internet, and for consumers, […]

Doing Business With Criminals

Eight years ago, a particularly stupid U.S. Administration at a particularly stupid juncture in American history offered Communist North Korea a deal: if you don’t develop nuclear weapons, we’ll give you free American oil — at U.S. taxpayer expense. Even hard-right “reactionaries” dared not state the inevitable at the time: that the dictatorial North Korean […]

Cramer vs. Cramer: Another Day, Another Fantasy

If you’re a financial media pundit, you live every day with a fundamental challenge with respect to accountability and intellectual honesty. As your forecasts, opinions and views accumulate over the years, how do you reconcile what you are saying today (or failing to say) with what you said last month or three years ago? If […]