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Columns

Willem Lange: Way Up North in New Hampshire, Where Nature Has Surprises

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Hampshire, 44º50’N We’re located almost halfway from the Equator to the North Pole here, but the land leans more toward the north than the south. There’s no hint of palmettos or magnolias; the skyline is spiky with white spruces dominated here and there by great white pines. It takes little imagination to picture this forest continuing unchanged and unbroken from this parallel all the way to tree line in …

Column: Medicaid Change Rejected, and a Woman Dies

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On July 1, the hospital in rural Belhaven, N.C., closed — a victim, in part, of the decision by the state’s governor and Legislature to reject the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. Six days later, 48-year-old Portia Gibbs, a local resident, had a heart attack. The medevac to take her to the next-nearest …

Column: Close the Tax Loophole That Sends U.S. Corporations Overseas

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Since we last overhauled our federal tax code, in 1986, countries around the world have lowered their tax rates, leaving the United States with the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. At the same time, the system has become full of inefficiencies and special-interest loopholes. That is why it is so important that we reform our business tax code to make …

Column: When Elite Athletes Become Couch potatoes

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Question: Twenty years from now, who’s more likely to be a regular, healthy exerciser? A) The all-American athlete, with the ripped physique, seemingly infinite endurance, superhuman strength and supremely tuned agility? Or B) The decidedly less-impressive specimen sitting in the bleachers? Intuition suggests A. Since athletes know how …

Column: When America Shot Down a Passenger Jet

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fury and frustration still mount over the downing of Malaysia Air Flight 17, and justly so. But before accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of war crimes or dismissing the entire episode as a tragic fluke, it’s worth looking back at another doomed passenger plane — Iran Air Flight …

Column: A Disengaged President Fails to Grasp This Moment in History

Monday, July 28, 2014

The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, …

Monday, July 28, 2014

Editorial: A Conservative Approach on Poverty

Monday, July 28, 2014

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has produced his latest take on conservative anti-poverty policy. As is often the case with Ryan’s proposals, this one, launched under the heading “Expanding Opportunity in America,” is ambitious, thoughtful and not entirely persuasive. Ryan’s best idea is a substantial expansion …

Column: Long Executions Might Not Affect Support for Death Penalty

Monday, July 28, 2014

Public support for the death penalty in the United States has declined, but it remains strong, with at least 60 percent of respondents in surveys saying that they favor capital punishment. Whether the public would support the kind of execution that the state of Arizona administered on Wednesday, …

Column Ranchers Help Save Rainforest

Monday, July 28, 2014

In the ongoing pillage of tropical rainforests, villains are plenty. None has stoked imaginations like the Amazonian rancher. With his bulldozers and chainsaws, and herds that wander from horizon to horizon, the rainforest cattleman has emerged as Amazonia’s public enemy No. 1, his ruin chronicled in titles like …

Column: The Pay Gap Is Still a Problem

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Paycheck Fairness Act failed — for the third time — to get anywhere this spring. But with a summit on working families and President Barack Obama’s lunch with an accountant mom in Minneapolis, the White House has tried to make the frustrations of working mothers and their …

Column: I Have Seen the Future and It Is Jobless

Sunday, July 27, 2014

In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers revived a debate I’d had with futurist Ray Kurzweil in 2012 about the jobless future. He echoed the words of Peter Diamandis, chairman of the …

Column: Economic Realities Push Truckers Beyond the Limits

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Last month, after a tractor-trailer collided with a vehicle carrying actor Tracy Morgan and others, national attention focused — briefly — on the serious issue of fatigued truck drivers. The truck’s driver, Kevin Roper, was charged with vehicular manslaughter in the death of comedian James McNair, one of …