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January 21, 2014 | By David Lauter
How much of a boost did President  Obama's 2012 campaign really get from its much-vaunted mastery of data analysis? A significant amount, but not as much as some people think, according to a new analysis by two leading political scientists. The Obama campaign's data efforts have changed the nature of presidential campaigns, much as the “Moneyball” revolution taught some baseball teams that careful analysis of statistics could lead to a wiser use of resources than just going with the gut instincts of longtime scouts.
December 31, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg
The Beltway consensus seems to be that 2013 was a bad year for the same reason nearly every other recent year was bad: polarization and partisanship. Personally, I can think of plenty of more important things to worry about than partisanship. Democracy is about disagreements, and partisanship is often a sign of healthy disagreement. But polarization is a bit different. It speaks not just to a lack of basic agreement about what kind of society we should live in, but a breakdown in understanding and respect among Americans.
December 2, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
So your body mass index says you're obese, but you don't have "pre-diabetes" - a mix of factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol and high glucose levels that indicates you're on the road to metabolic illness. And you're thinking you've beaten the odds, right? Wait 10 years, a new study says. Odds are, you'll be proven wrong. New research finds that even when a person is "metabolically healthy," being obese raises his or her risk for cardiovascular disease and premature death.
November 25, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian
If you liked "wilding," you're gonna love the "knockout game. " I have just become aware, thanks to Fox News and an author who publishes under the conspiracy-minded World Net Daily imprint, that roving gangs of black adolescents are marauding through our streets, randomly attacking innocent white victims in a racist ritual known as the "knockout game. " The motive is mischief, not robbery. These impeccable sources also claim the mainstream media, in a woeful act of political correctness, refuse to report the racial nature of this crime wave.
November 22, 2013 | Chris Dufresne
Did Coach O get himself a head coaching job (Saturday) night? Vince Muzik Not unless I missed a big story in my morning paper, but I do think USC interim Coach Ed Orgeron is moving closer to the point of no return. This is the "careful what you wish for" aspect of firing Lane Kiffin in the middle of the season. What if the interim coach, who isn't really the best long-term choice, goes on a hot streak that includes beating No. 5 Stanford? Well, then you may have a problem.
November 18, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Attacks on the Affordable Care Act have stepped up over the last week or so. You'd think that the healthcare reform known as Obamacare is leading to the wholesale loss of affordable insurance by huge sectors of the American public, many of whom will be impoverished by being forced into low-quality health plans at exorbitant prices. You'd think the entire reform is on " life support ," as the usually judicious National Journal put it today, speculating that Democrats may soon start calling for its repeal.
November 3, 2013 | By Morgen Witzel
Creativity is one of the most mysterious processes undertaken by the human brain. Despite its having been studied by everyone from philosophers to neuroscientists, we are still not much closer to understanding what it is or how it works. Businesses are constantly looking to hire creative people, not just for activities such as research and development and innovation, but as thinkers and problem solvers who can unravel the complexities of everyday management. But as a consequence of this lack of understanding of what creativity is, businesses then struggle to manage creative people effectively.
October 29, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Developments in the rollout of Obamacare are coming with dizzying speed, though not as fast as the pileup of fiction and misunderstanding created by politicians, pundits and the news media. So here's a list of the latest themes you're hearing on America's healthcare reform, and what they mean. 1. Obama "knew" that people would lose their health insurance. This story, chiefly promoted by NBC News , reflects the Washington media's eternal search for scandal, abetted by every politician's instinct to reduce even the most complicated ideas to a sound byte.
October 22, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Tuesday's tepid brew of jobs data , delayed more than two weeks by the government shutdown, wasn't worth waiting for. It shows an increase in total nonfarm employment by 148,000 in September over August, which is consistent with economic growth crawling along in second gear. The report's most notable nugget is the change in part-time work. Over the last month the number of workers in part-time jobs for economic reasons--slack demand, cutbacks in hours--has remained stable. Over the last year, however, it has fallen by 681,000.
October 21, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
JPMorgan Chase, one of our nation's ethically-challenged financial institutions, is facing another big fine. That means that once again you'll be hearing the right wing's go-to defense of the bank: President Obama's out to get JPMorgan Chairman Jamie Dimon. The leading purveyor of this line is the Wall Street Journal editorial page, which wrote last month that Dimon is "the Obama Administration's favorite Wall Street target" because he "keeps deviating from the Obama script. " The claim is that Dimon ticked off the White House by objecting to Dodd-Frank financial reforms, grousing about Obama's "anti-business rhetoric," and even hinting that "he preferred a change in the White House.
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