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Columns

Column: The Oversized Appeal of Little Libraries, in Hanover and Elsewhere

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hanover’s Little Free Library, not much bigger than a breadbox and perched on a post outside Town Hall, was well stocked the day I peered inside. There for the taking was a novel by John Updike, a copy of Gossip Girl, and a selection of children’s stories, among other titles. The shelves were so full, in fact, there wasn’t room …

Column: A Message to the Young Entitled Man: Get a Job, Get a Life

Saturday, January 31, 2015

“What’s your goal in life?” I asked a cheerful young man at an alumni event. “I want to retire by 35” was his snappy answer. He smiled, cocked his head as if auditioning to play George Clooney’s kid brother and waited for what he clearly expected to be my delight. The line was rehearsed and he was close to 25; obviously it had …

Column: They Put Down My Pats — I Shake Them Off

Friday, January 30, 2015

Washington I never knew how much fun it was to be loyal to a hated outlaw sports team until the whole world came down on my dear New England Patriots. Having rooted over the years for Boston teams that many felt sorry for — God help us — and found psychologically interesting, it …

Column: Court Will Rule Against ACA Provision

Friday, January 30, 2015

Conservatives in Washington are increasingly confident that the Supreme Court will rule this summer that the White House has gone beyond its legal authority in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Any such decision would enrage liberals. They would accuse the Republican-appointed justices of putting a stake through the …

Column: Barbie Doll Still Has Legs: Just Ask My 4-Year-Old Daughter

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mattel chief executive Bryan Stockton resigned Tuesday after a five-quarter sales slump and three years of flagging sales of the company’s best-known brand, Barbie. It is, however, definitely not the end of the Barbie phenomenon, or, at any rate, of what Barbie stands for: An unattainable ideal of …

Editorial: Dolt .45

Friday, January 30, 2015

The descent of American presidents from George Washington to Ulysses S. Grant, argued the 19th century writer Henry Adams, was enough to raise doubts about the theory of evolution. Anyone looking to debunk Darwin today could find ample evidence in the behavior of travelers going through airport security …

Column: America the Indebted: It’s Really Piling Up

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Washington Oh, the debt. Yawn. How passe. How 2009. Once, President Obama held a summit on fiscal responsibility (2009). Once, he gave an entire speech devoted to the subject (2011). Once, his State of the Union addresses (2010, 2011, 2013) were studded with double-digit references to the problem …

Column: The Kochs Buy Into the 2016 Elections

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Koch brothers are done being shy. That’s the conclusion one would have to draw from their announcement that they hope to spend $889 million on the 2016 election, an unprecedented amount of outside money. It won’t all …

Column: The Graying of America’s Corporate Boards

Thursday, January 29, 2015

These are tough times in the U.S. for workers older than 50. Buffeted by the Great Recession and big technological changes, many have been thrown out of the workforce and are finding it hard to get back in. They are the “new unemployables,” Boston College researchers declared a …

Column: Feds May Tighten Standards for Brokers

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What’s in a name? In the world of financial advice, plenty. That world is divided into two categories: brokers who work on commission and advisers who work for fees. For decades, they’ve been at war over who better serves retail investors. The Obama administration may soon come down …

Willem Lange: It’s All Quiet, Then the Weather Forecasters Sound the Alarm

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Montpelier I’m writing this by reflected sunlight through north-facing windows. The thermometer has climbed slowly up to 8 degrees above zero, and a high, thin haze has begun to dim the sun just a bit. A south wind ruffles the tops of the white pines. It’s a weather-breeder. …

Forum, Jan. 28: We Need Oil; Flatlanders from Vermont?; Require Background Checks; Too Close to Likud

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

We Need Oil, We Need the Pipeline To the Editor: Roger D. Masters is dead wrong (“A Pipeline to Nowhere,” Jan. 20). We need to complete the Keystone XL pipeline forthwith. Petroleum — in many, many forms — is a necessity. Besides gasoline and diesel fuel, there’s home …

Column: The Insurance System Isn’t Healthy For All in Vermont

Monday, January 26, 2015

A 60-year-old man, who I’ll call C.C., recently walked into my family medical practice. The nurse handed me a thin chart record. His last visit was five years before for a skin infection. Written across the top in large block letters were the words, “NO INSURANCE.” C.C. and …