SEC: A costly legacy of neglect
More victims of Washington's mania for deregulation: The Securities and Exchange Commission, charged with oversight of stock investment funds, admitted last week that it ignored "credible, specific" evidence that Bernard Madoff was bilking customers out of billions of dollars going back to 1999. Worse, it now appears that Madoff's niece was dating a SEC inspections official (they are now married) whose duties included supervising just those sorts of investment accounts. SEC chairman Christopher Cox understated the obvious when he said the revelations were "deeply troubling." Cox will be out of a job soon, but the damage done by his laissez-faire agency will ripple through the economy long after he's gone.
Obama: Maybe Pat Robertson had a conflict
President-elect Barack Obama may be wise to keep a dialogue open with conservative evangelicals. Harder to understand is why he would give the Rev. Rick Warren the honor of delivering the invocation for his inauguration. Warren was a leading voice in the effort to deny gay couples in California the right to marriage. He is entitled to his view of Proposition 8 (though one does have to wonder how, in light of his political activism, his church keeps its tax exemption). But his arguments for the marriage ban were disingenuous and uncivil; he scoffed at having to "appease 2 percent of our population" and pretended that the marriage ban would somehow preserve his own free-speech rights. Obama is endorsing this?
Hockey: Fisticuffs on ice
If you like hockey but not brawling, perhaps you've wondered just what goes on between NHL ears that sparks so many players to stop playing and start punching. Well, in last Sunday's Globe, New York Islander Tim Jackman revealed the, um, thinking that led to a November punch-fest with the Bruins' Shane Hnidy. It was late in the game, Jackman was tired, and he figured that if the two started swinging away, "maybe we both could sit and rest for five minutes" in the penalty box. Too bad Jackman's next thought wasn't this: "As a professional athlete, I'm a role model for thousands of kids - and I should act like one." A role model, that is.