Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, author/historian of science, tech, & The New Deal. Read my blog The Economy Hub mhiltzik@latimes.com

Sony pays high price for ignoring its past

latimes.com — How grave is the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment? Here's one high-level Sony executive: "We have been reminded in recent days of the fact that no one is immune from the threat of cyber attack.... The attack on us was, we believe, unprecedented in its size and scope....

How a $1.3-billion, 21-year study of U.S. children's health fell to pieces

latimes.com — The National Children's Study was launched with a fanfare of expectation and ambition in 2000. The idea was to follow 100,000 American children from the pre-natal stage to age 21, collecting an unprecedented volume of data on "environmental influences (including physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial) on children’s health and development," in the words of the enabling federal legislation, the Children's Health Act .

Uber needs to learn how to play by the rules

latimes.com — Is there a company in America more in need of adult supervision than Uber? The fast-growing ride-hailing firm can't seem to go anywhere without stomping on toes. It attracts complaints from local regulators like a deer attracts ticks. Executives have been known to invade customers' privacy by tracking their Uber travels; one openly threatened personal retaliation against a troublesome journalist.

Can we finally put an end to anti-lefty discrimination?

latimes.com — A sizable percentage of the critical emails I receive accuse me of being a lefty. When I read them, my first reaction is always: How did this person learn which hand I write with? Not that I conceal the fact, for we lefties consider ourselves to be enrolled in a gifted elite.

Putin the Great, and the collapse of the Russian economy

latimes.com — In certain corners of conservative thought, it's been fashionable to portray Russian President Vladimir Putin as a master strategist who has outdueled Barack Obama at every turn. This view reached its zenith earlier this year, in the aftermath of Russia's takeover of Crimea and the start of its armed intervention in Ukraine.

The secret GOP swipe at Obamacare--and you--in the year-end spending bill

latimes.com — Underscoring how much mischief can result when Congress acts in haste and in secret, hidden away in the year-end omnibus spending bill being acted on this week is an attack on a key provision of the Affordable Care Act long targeted by the GOP.

Sen. Tom Coburn, nice guy or noxious guy?

latimes.com — We've never met the man, so we're willing to stipulate that Sen. Tom Coburn (R- Okla.), a physician who recently announced his early retirement from the Senate, is a sweetheart to have at a dinner party. That's the bottom line on Coburn offered by Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson, who seems genuinely bereft at the thought of his leaving Washington.

Congress's backroom pension-cutting deal is even worse than expected

latimes.com — At last the actual language has been released of the backroom, last-minute Congressional deal allowing benefits of millions of retired workers to be shredded. It's even worse than its critics anticipated. We've tracked this inexcusably hasty, secretive maneuvering during the last week, reporting that it allows extreme, potentially premature cuts in benefits for retirees who are members of multiemployer pension plans.

That awful Congressional plan to allow pension cuts heads for enactment

latimes.com — The Congressional proposal to deal with a supposed crisis in worker pensions by allowing trustees to slash the benefits of already-retired workers to shreds is heading toward enactment. We reported on this plan last week, observing that its details were secret. They still are. Reps.

Are America's 'missing workers' really missing?

latimes.com — As job growth picks up and the unemployment rate declines, nay-sayers about the strength of the U.S. economy have aimed their fire ever more intensely at what is supposedly the one black hole in national statistics: the labor force participation rate.
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Dec 20, 2014

RT @speechboy71: A lot depended on PBA head Patrick Lynch acting responsibly and calming tensions. He failed

Dec 20, 2014

RT @NicvantSchip: "Your password must contain at least 8 letters, a capital, a plot, a protagonist with good character development, a twist & a happy ending."

Dec 20, 2014

Or 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019...∞ RT @jarthur47 Stop the presses--ESPN sources: Goodell says no L.A. team in 2015

Dec 20, 2014

.@tilthouse @dougporter506 If one entertainment subsidiary can't learn from another..well, this is what happens--it's still their fault

Dec 20, 2014

.@tilthouse @dougporter506 Of course it's the case. Pretending these are two totally independent companies is, w/ respect, ridiculous

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