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Columns

Column: What’s Behind Polarization of Voters?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Washington So accustomed are we to highlighting the polarized nature of our politics that we often forget how many Americans decline to be painted in bright reds or bright blues. Among us, there are pinks and turquoises and even purples. And these voters will matter a great deal to the elections in 2016 and beyond. To understand a rather strange moment during which Donald Trump exercises a hypnotic control over …

Column: There Is Blame to Go Around in Bland Case

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Washington One would hope that it is possible for a white policeman and a black citizen to come into contact in a routine traffic stop without it becoming a matter of race and ending badly. But maybe not. Certainly the matter of Sandra Bland would dictate that it isn’t. Bland’s suicide in a …

Column: Police, Power and the People They Serve

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I am struggling mightily with the death of Sandra Bland. Struggling to understand it, struggling with the tragedy of it, and struggling especially with how utterly unnecessary and unfair it feels. And how depressing it is to watch the video of her initial encounter with police. I am struggling with whether the nation that watches the video can see itself. At one point, …

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 …

Column: The Grace I Encountered in Charleston, S.C.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A young mother hands a pen to her daughter, who is decked out in Lululemon attire, so she can write a message to the fallen nine in Charleston, S.C. Behind them stand three African-American bikers, one wearing a …

Column: Why I Named MY Son Atticus

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Antwerp, Ohio It was my husband who suggested the name Atticus for our first child. As To Kill a Mockingbird was my favorite book, I immediately agreed. Atticus Christopher Sorrell was born on May 6, 1995. We read the book to Atticus as an infant and talked about …

Column: Let Greece Cash In Its Euros

Saturday, July 18, 2015

You may believe that Greece’s economic pain is mostly the doing of heartless and inept decision makers in Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin. You may believe that the Greeks’ fecklessness has been so extreme that cutting them any kind of slack will destroy the credibility of the euro. Either …