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Columns

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 the chief federal prosecutor in Seattle. That …

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 hear your gasp, readers. A young man is dead. He should still be alive. It …

Column: Criminal Justice Reform Unites Progressives and Conservatives

Sunday, November 23, 2014

There isn’t much room for optimism among progressives these days. The president’s avenues to legislative achievement in his final two years are narrow and seem mostly to lead to the right — toward a corporate tax reform in one instance, and a NAFTA-style trade deal with the Asia-Pacific …

Column, Steve Nelson: Risk Helps Humans Take Flight, but How Much Is Too Much?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Just over a year ago, I stood in Avalanche Pass in the Adirondacks and, through powerful binoculars, watched my then 13-year-old granddaughter, Quinn, sitting calmly on a foot-wide ledge, two-thirds of the way up an 800-foot vertical cliff. My daughter, my brother and I had hiked in to …

Column: Lebanon Woman Hopes Her Story Teaches Students Not to Hate

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I returned to Berlin last November as a guest of the Berlin Jewish Museum to tell German schoolchildren and teenagers about my experiences in the city during the years of Hitler’s ascension to power. I decided to return …

Column: Give the Needy a Helping Hand, Not Filthy Trash

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Wedged among stories with bold headlines concerning terrorism and war, smaller headlines and stories were making me uneasy recently. Those articles told me that Upper Valley rentals are becoming less available and affordable, income has fallen for everyone but the wealthy, firewood prices are climbing and supplies dwindling, …

Column: The GOP Needs a Moderate; If Not Jeb, Who?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Washington President Obama will no doubt clash regularly with his newly empowered partisan adversaries in Congress. But the most important struggle in American politics over the next two years will be inside the Republican Party. And the person who can play a decisive role in that battle is …

Column: My Parents Were Deported, and I Was Alone

Saturday, November 22, 2014

In Orange Is the New Black, I play Maritza Ramos, a tough Latina from the ’hood. In Jane the Virgin, I play Lina, Jane’s best friend and a funny know-it-all who is quick to offer advice. I love both parts, but they’re fiction. My real story is this: …

Column: Keystone: Liberals Need a Reality Check

Friday, November 21, 2014

Building the Keystone XL pipeline, to speed the flow of crude from Canada’s oil sands to refineries in Texas, would be “game over for the climate,” says NASA-scientist-turned-climate-activist James Hansen. Heeding Hansen’s words, environmentalists have sworn to stop the project, which requires U.S. government approval. Yet large, bipartisan …

Column: Bernie Sanders Takes On the Billionaire Class

Friday, November 21, 2014

I’m going out on a limb here, but: Bernie Sanders is not going to be our next president. Still, the independent socialist senator from Vermont is sounding more and more like a man who intends to defy the doubters and run. And he could play an important role …

Column: A Hatred Beyond Reason in Jerusalem

Friday, November 21, 2014

There are terror attacks, and there are pogroms. The attack at a Jerusalem synagogue this week that killed four rabbis was a pogrom. It was an attack motivated not by politics but by religious hatred; it was directed not at Israelis but at Jews. The killers were armed …

Column: Immigration Action Might Open Other Doors

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Washington Every Democrat should be nervous about President Obama’s plan for unilateral action on immigration reform. Not because of the impact on an already gridlocked Congress, or because it risks inflaming an increasingly hostile public. Democrats should be nervous about the implications for presidential power, and the ability …