July 8, 2013 |
He has defended Wall Street hedge fund and bond fraudsters, a corporate finance chief accused of raiding his own company, a U.S. defense secretary turned alleged bank predator, and the messianic leader of a global cult. New York lawyer Charles A. Stillman speaks of these clients affectionately, even the ones who were found guilty and sent to prison. For example: Ex- Tyco chief financial officer Mark Swartz , who did hard time after directors testified he pocketed $50 million in unauthorized pay, was "one of the finest men I have met in my entire life," Stillman told me from the porch of his vacation home in the Berkshire Mountains.
July 1, 2013 |
Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die, as the old saying goes. That's the way it works, though, especially in the National Basketball Association, where the price of happiness in the great postseason beyond requires the death of all competitive dreams for at least a season or two. It is a cynical world in that regard. Teams are rewarded for being bad, and the greatest rewards are for being very bad. The top draft picks in a given year are bestowed on general managers who are either lousy at their jobs, and whose teams lose on pure merit, or ones who are smart and brave enough to plot a murky path to daylight.
June 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Sweeping immigration legislation moving toward a vote in the Senate would boost the economy and reduce federal deficits, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, at the same time it would bestow legal status on an estimated eight million immigrants living in the United States unlawfully. In an assessment that drew cheers from the White House and other backers of the bill, Congress' scorekeeping agency said the measure would reduce federal red ink by $197 billion across a decade, and $700 billion in the following 10 years as increased taxes paid to the government offset the cost of government benefits for newly legal residents.
June 17, 2013
By Eileen M. DiFranco Around Memorial Day, as the end of the school year approached, kids used to start singing: "No more pencils, no more books ... " Come September, this children's chant could become a reality in Philadelphia. Come September, not only will there be no pencils and no books. Under the district's current budget and layoff plan, there will be no secretaries, no counselors, and no aides watching the children in the cafeterias. There will be no counselors and no librarians.
June 5, 2013 |
FORT MEADE, Md. - Pfc. Bradley Manning put U.S. military secrets into the hands of Osama bin Laden himself, prosecutors said Monday as the Army intelligence analyst went on trial over leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents. Manning's lawyers countered by arguing that he was a "young, naive but good-intentioned" soldier whose struggle to fit in as a gay man in the military made him feel he "needed to do something to make a difference in this world. " Manning, 25, has admitted turning over the material to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, pleading guilty this year to charges that could bring 20 years behind bars.
May 24, 2013 |
AN OFFBEAT child's-eye view of divorce enlivens a depressingly familiar scenario in "What Maisie Knew. " The title may ring a bell - it belongs to a Henry James short story on the same subject, updated here with a contemporary characters. Julianne Moore is an unraveling rock singer in a disintegrating marriage to a businessman (Steve Coogan) - the only bond they have remaining is their destructive contempt for each other. "Maisie" is often scaldingly bitter - Moore and Coogan allow their characters' destructive hatred to play out without much modulation - and it's a little scary.
May 24, 2013 |
Can anything in theater still make audiences uncomfortable? In Bootycandy , playwright Robert O'Hara thinks vulgarity-laced, brazen explosions of gay and racial stereotypes can do the trick by shocking our diaphragms into eruptions of raucous, if somewhat shamefaced, laughter. He'd be wrong. O'Hara's 11-scene work loosely focuses on a handful of characters, including Sutter (Phillip James Brannon). First a precocious child in the 1970s asking his mother the meaning of dirty words, he later appears as a Michael Jackson-obsessed, sexually abused teen in the 1980s-era sketch "Happy Meal," then grows into a gay adult dealing with badly requited hetero-love in the late-1990s' "Drinks and Desire" and 2000s' "The Last Gay Play," in which he reverses a drunk's gay-baiting with tragic consequences.
May 22, 2013 |
Imagine Sean Payton holding up a Surface tablet instead of a cardboard playsheet on the sideline. Envision Peyton Manning sitting on the bench and dissecting the last series from a variety of camera angles on his handheld device instead of looking at still photos. Or sitting at home and pulling up real-time highlights on a Sunday afternoon. It's coming. The NFL and Microsoft Corp., through its next-generation Xbox device, are combining to upgrade interactive TV viewing of pro football games in a multiyear agreement announced Tuesday.
May 19, 2013 |
RALEIGH, N.C. - Former presidential contender John Edwards has reactivated his license to practice law and is setting out on the speaking circuit. The two-time presidential candidate and former North Carolina senator is scheduled to appear June 6 at a private retreat in Orlando, Fla., for lawyer clients of the marketing firm PMP. A records check with the N.C. State Bar shows Edwards has also reactivated his license to practice law, which had been...
May 17, 2013 |
There's nothing like crusading politicians who want to boost taxes on drinkers and smokers to unite Philadelphia bar owners against City Hall. "What we have here is the perfect storm," moaned John Longacre, owner of American Sardine Bar at 18th and Federal Streets and head of the Philadelphia Licensed Beverage Association, whose activity rises and falls in rough correlation with the perceived municipal threat to owners' income. Longacre was responding to City Council President Darrell L. Clarke's proposal, officially endorsed by Mayor Nutter on Wednesday, to boost the city's liquor-by-the-drink tax to 15 cents per dollar from 10 cents, and Nutter's new plan to slap a $2-a-pack tax atop the $6 or so it now costs Philadelphia smokers to score a pack of Marlboros.