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Columns

Column: Torture Is Not a Public Relations Problem

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The CIA is on a “charm offensive.” In June, it opened a Twitter account. (Its first tweet? “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.”) Later that month, it held its first public conference, at Georgetown University. On a full day of panels, David Sanger of The New York Times and I were the only speakers without direct ties to the intelligence community. Still, it was …

Column: Anti-Gay Facebook Post Costs Editor His Job

Thursday, July 31, 2014

In February, the editor of a small daily newspaper in Iowa called the Newton Daily News posted on his personal Facebook page, “Russia gets a lot of things wrong, but they got one thing right.” Below it was a graphic of intersecting Olympic rings that spelled out: “One man. One woman. One God. …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …