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Columns

Willem Lange: John Stark, the Grumpy Colonial Hero

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Montpelier In recent years, against my better judgment, I’ve been becoming a blurber: one of those people you kind of know who writes brief blurbs of praise to print on the back covers of paperbacks. Trouble is, you can’t write a blurb about something you haven’t read. As a result, the volume of my reading has increased dramatically. Recently I was asked to read and comment briefly on an illustrated …

Column: Latest Clinton Email Flap Isn’t a Scandal

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Washington The latest controversy over Hillary Clinton’s emails — the allegation that classified information was improperly transmitted on her private email server— is, or should be, a non-scandal. Clinton has only herself to blame for a lot of the email mess. She should have behaved like other government officials and used an official …

Column: FDA Makes a Muddle of Nutrition Labels

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Since 1993, most packaged food sold in the U.S. has been required to include a Nutrition Facts label that lists the amount of fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, carbohydrates, fiber and sugar in a serving, and includes some information on recommended daily intakes. During that same period, Americans’ diets have gotten worse, their waistlines have expanded and public-health problems related to poor nutrition have …

Column: Clinton’s Growth Agenda

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

For most of a generation, Democrats have divided into two broad camps on economic policy. There are “growth Democrats,” who argue that a rising tide will lift all boats; that was the reigning view during the Bill Clinton administration under Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence H. Summers. …

Column: Border ‘Crisis’ Is Easing, Not Getting Worse

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Washington Donald Trump is entitled to his own opinions, not his own facts, to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Trump gets a lot wrong in his comments about immigration and Mexico. There is no evidence that Mexican officials are dispatching criminals across a porous border, and immigrants don’t commit …

Column: Court Must Uphold Religious Freedom

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A group of Catholic nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, wants relief from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that it offer contraceptive coverage to its employees. The nuns lost a court case last week — and everyone who cares about religious freedom should be troubled by the …

Column: The Iran Deal Is Worse Than I Feared

Monday, July 20, 2015

Washington When you write a column, as did I two weeks ago, headlined “The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history,” you don’t expect to revisit the issue. We had hit bottom. Or so I thought. Then last Tuesday, the final terms of the Iranian nuclear deal were published. …

Column: Insuring Against Climate Catastrophe

Monday, July 20, 2015

Go Set a Watchman isn’t the only book this year that brings new perspective to an old story line. Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet should shift our narrative on climate change. The old story line: People need to worry about climate change because doubling …

Column: Beware of Evidence You Wanted to Find

Monday, July 20, 2015

“No Irish Need Apply.” The signs are legendary in the collective memory of Irish Americans. Our ancestors were warned away from the jobs that were open only to “real Americans,” not to the Papist hordes streaming across the Atlantic, with their drinking and their brawling and their unsavory …

Roaring 20s Series: Dylan Nicholas; ‘All I Have to Do Is Just Believe’

Sunday, July 19, 2015

For self-described “Georgia boy” Dylan Nicholas, church and faith were central to his successful transition to the Upper Valley with his wife, Aimee, in their early 20s. “It felt like home very, very quick to me. I think …

Column: The French Revolution Is Shrouded in Myth

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Two hundred twenty-six years after the fall of the Bastille, the French Revolution stirs passions mostly among historians like myself. But many of the myths surrounding the revolution have proved difficult to extinguish. Even the name Bastille Day …

Column: Harvard Law School Classmates Meet Again, in Very Different Circumstances

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Washington The judge settled his gaze on the homeless man accused of sleeping beside an office building in downtown Washington. It was a Saturday afternoon in early April at D.C. Superior Court, and Alfred Postell, a diagnosed schizophrenic, …

Steve Nelson: More Sanders, Less Trump

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What does Bernie Sanders have to do to be taken seriously? This week Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker joined the growing field of GOP candidates. He is apparently a favorite of the notorious Koch brothers, who plan to spend about $1 billion to influence the 2016 presidential election. In …