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Columns

Column: After the Great Recession: Minimalism

Thursday, March 5, 2015

When my nephew graduated from high school, he decided not to enroll in college. The family thought, well, he’ll mature. Then he’ll want to get serious. But he’s taken a sharp turn that we didn’t expect. He qualified as a home health aide, fell in love and is raising two boys. When I see him, he shows me his artwork and talks about making money “selling stuff online.” This choice …

Column: A Dangerous Line Was Crossed in Russia

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Last week, opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed near the Kremlin. Independent commentators, politicians and the thousands who took to the streets of Moscow and other Russian cities in protest on Sunday hold no illusions as to the motive behind his shooting. Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader of the Yabloko party and a veteran of the pro-democracy movement, said: “The political responsibility for the …

Column: Iran Is Not the Islamic State

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Washington So it finally happened. After weeks of acrimony and politicking, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his speech before Congress. Netanyahu spoke along the script most anticipated, inveighing against the existential threat that would be posed to Israel by an Iran with nuclear weapons and calling out the perfidy of the regime in Tehran. He insisted that there was little difference between …

Willem Lange: Time Marches On, and We Are Just the Keepers of the Clocks

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Montpelier Those of us who yearn for the good old days might reasonably be accused of having short memories. How soon we’ve forgotten the days before painless dentistry, antibiotics, 12-volt car batteries, touchtone phones, convenient indoor plumbing and …

Column: Iran Policy Opens a U.S.-Israel Family Feud

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Washington A slide projected onto the wall at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee gathering Monday contained a warning to delegates: “AIPAC is Bipartisan,” it said, next to an image of a Democratic donkey and Republican elephant in …

Column: An Old Idea Resurfaces: National Land Tax

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

In the lasting debate over Thomas Piketty’s book on outsized returns on capital, a significant fact has been obscured: If you exclude land and housing, capital has not risen as a share of the U.S. economy. If you’re surprised, you’re not the only one. Intuition suggests this capital-output …

Column: Are Vermont Taxpayers Being Asked to Pay for Too Much?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Vermont House and Senate Appropriations committees are struggling valiantly to report a balanced general fund budget for fiscal year 2016. The presently estimated shortfall is about $130 million, 8 percent of the proposed general fund budget. This is a result of the chronic tendency of legislatures to …

Column: Can Jeb Bush Lose Battles and Win the War?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It happened just as Jeb Bush was about to explain why he thinks conservatives need to stop being perceived as “anti-everything”: Attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference let it be known that, as part of their anti-everythingness, …

Column: Lobbyists Pray for a Clinton Restoration

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

As the wider world awaits Hillary Clinton’s confirmation of her 2016 intentions, Democratic lobbyists in Washington are fixated on a far narrower concern: Will Clinton let them back into the money game? For six years, the party’s “advocacy class” has been shut out of the highest level of …

Column: Britain’s Military Lacks Defenders in the Battle of the Budget

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Conservative Party has traditionally been the champion of a strong defense in Britain (just think Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher). So with elections approaching in May and new military threats emerging from Russia to Islamic State, boosting the nation’s defenses might seem a logical campaign theme for …

Column: Minivan Mom Looks to Score Some Weed

Monday, March 2, 2015

Washington If marijuana is going to be as mainstream as chardonnay in our country’s capital, it shouldn’t be tough for a minivan-driving mother of two to find a pot party, right? Especially not if the city’s stoners were …

Column: Even Gruber Deserves a Break sometimes

Monday, March 2, 2015

Jonathan Gruber — yes, that Jonathan Gruber — is in trouble again. This time he’s being pummeled by liberal state governments for whom he’s done work. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker demanded Gruber’s resignation from the board of the state’s Health Connector insurance website. And more troubling, the Vermont …

Column: Each Generation Invents the Monsters It Needs

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A search for “zombie fiction” on Amazon currently provides you with more than 25,000 options. Barely a week goes by without another onslaught from the living dead on our screens. We’ve just seen the return of one of …