Columns

President Barack Obama addresses the crowd after meeting with community leaders about the executive actions he is taking to fix the immigration system Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Column: Immigration Order Isn’t Obviously Illegal, and That’s Scary

Friday, November 28, 2014

President Obama claims that his decision to defer deportations for millions of immigrants is within his legal authority. The scary thing about this wide-ranging suspension of the law is that his view isn’t obviously wrong. While Obama’s action represents a brazen expansion in the size and scope of executive authority, Congress shares in the blame for acquiescing to decades of presidential power grabs. In order to maintain the separation of powers, Congress must reassert its constitutional mandate to legislate and appropriate, rather than lazily passing a blank check to the White House. Under the Constitution, Congress passes laws, the president enforces them, and the courts …

Column: We Can Have Change Without Prosecution

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Seattle Officer Darren Wilson will not face criminal charges for shooting and killing Michael Brown, according to the decision by a grand jury. It’s a controversial ruling, one that seems certain to fracture that community and the country. I know firsthand how difficult it is to prosecute police officers. In 2010, I was …

Column: Serving in Congress May Seem Thankless, But Here’s a Little

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Washington It’s a mistake to be nostalgic for some golden age in politics when everyone was nice to each other. Such a time never existed. Still, this is a particularly rotten moment to be an elected official, and especially a member of Congress, a body whose ratings are even lower than those of journalists. If you run for office these days, all your …

Column: Ferguson Case Held No Easy Path to Justice

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of teenager Michael Brown was the worst possible outcome — except for one in which passion overwhelmed facts and Wilson was forced to stand trial despite a lack of adequate evidence. I …

Column: We Give Thanks, but Do We Share Our Blessings With Others?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Montpelier I was scheduled recently to do some after-dinner storytelling at a trade meeting, and just before supper was idly browsing the vendors’ tables set up on one side of the room. One of the vendors, a long-bearded fellow who owns an RV campground somewhere, discovered I was …

Column: Obama Is Doomed to Repeat Recent History

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Washington When Barack Obama looks in the mirror these days, he must see a terrifying visage staring back at him: that of George W. Bush. In a cruel echo of history, Obama is morphing into the president whose …

Column: The Cosby Myth Is Dead, So Stop Cheering

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Two standing ovations. That’s what Bill Cosby, in a “Hello Friend” sweatshirt and with a fist clenched above his head in defiance, received Friday night at a performance in his “Bill Cosby 77” tour at a Melbourne, Florida, …

Column: GOP Vs. Obama: Now the Division Is Clear

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Washington Stay wide awake in the coming weeks. This is a historic moment when all of the divisions, misunderstandings and hatreds of President Obama’s time in office have come to a head. We are in a different place …

Column: A Billionaire Gives to Harvard: Yes, It’s Worthy of Charity

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Now that he’s retired as chief executive officer of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer has time for popular billionaire pastimes. First, he bought a basketball team for $2 billion. Now he’s gotten into big-bucks philanthropy. Ballmer and his wife, Connie, are giving $50 million in unrestricted funds to bolster the …

Column: Save Ovations For Great Performances

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I was commenting to my freshman class on their just completed series of presentations, a harrowing process of public speaking while being observed, taped and scored by professor and students alike. “You stepped out of your comfort zone,” I understated. “And that’s a good thing. I can guarantee …

Column: Let’s Call the Assault on Ukraine What It Is

Monday, November 24, 2014

It’s time for President Obama to start using the I-word when referring to Russia’s assault on Ukraine. I mean “invasion.” The world is witnessing a Russian invasion of a neighboring country, something that hasn’t happened since the fall of the Soviet Union (except for Russia’s 2008 invasion of …

Column: They Got What They Wanted: Market Competition

Monday, November 24, 2014

As the Affordable Care Act moved into its second open enrollment period on Nov. 15, critics seized on the fact that some beneficiaries are in for unpleasant surprises. Some of those who enrolled last time will face higher …

Column: Thanks for a Holiday That Honors the Older Generation

Monday, November 24, 2014

Over the river, and through the wood, to Grandfather’s house we go,” goes the 1844 Thanksgiving poem. These days, it’s more often sung as “Grandmother’s house,” and we’re more likely to travel by jet than by sleigh. Still, it’s a familiar journey. Thanksgiving remains very much associated with …