Columns

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, and that the city of Lebanon decided not to increase funding for service agencies in our area. It sounded like a long …

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 Jeb Bush. Yes, Democrats have their own divides, usually described as differences between their populist …

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: I am a U.S. citizen and daughter of immigrant parents who were deported when I …

Column: Democrats Must Sharpen Their Economic Message

Friday, November 14, 2014

A bit belatedly, Democrats have detected a deficiency in their 2014 midterm campaigns: They didn’t really have an economic message. Economic messages are serious business for Democrats. Republicans tend to win elections not when their own economic messages are plausible (such instances are too few to be statistically …

Column: Supreme Court Justices May Make Mincemeat of Health Law

Friday, November 14, 2014

Washington Republican leaders in the House and Senate have made clear that they’ll deploy every weapon in the legislative arsenal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They’ll try to chip away at the taxes that support it and abolish the mandates that make its insurance markets work. They …

Column: The Case for Training Mountain Lions to Walk on Treadmills

Thursday, November 13, 2014

As I rubbed the frostbite out of my hands on returning from a seal survey on Antarctic ice recently, I was informed that I had the dubious distinction of making the Top 5 in the 2014 list of …

Column: Midterm Math and Flaws in How We Count

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Republican Rick Scott won the Florida midterm election for governor, but 51.8 percent of voters did not want him. Democrat Gina Raimondo was elected governor of Rhode Island, despite 59.2 percent of voters choosing someone else. What is …

Column: Presidents and Senators Are Often at Odds

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Will President Obama’s relations with the Senate change, now that Democrats have lost control of it? Probably not. And that’s because he didn’t have much of a relationship with it in the first place. Neither did most of our previous presidents, even when the Senate was in their …

Column: On the Edge of the Dark and the Cold, We Await Longer Days

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Montpelier The firewood is all stacked neatly in its cellar alcove next to the wood-fired boiler. It’s got a few weeks of seasoning to do before I start feeding it to the furnace; the red oak, when I get to it, I’ll just move to the back of …

Column: Workers Seek Stability and a Clear Path Upward

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Washington A couple of economic mysteries marked last week’s election. First of all, the jobs numbers came in on Friday about the same way they’ve been coming in for months: good, though not great. If you think the election had a lot to do with how voters feel …

Column: Military Suicides Reflect Problems in American Society

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jeremy Sears, a Marine who had served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, walked onto a shooting range outside San Diego on Oct. 6, placed a handgun to his head and calmly pulled the trigger. It was a local news story but didn’t attract attention outside San Diego …

Column: World Bank Must Make Human Rights a Priority

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Does it matter that the lead source of funding for, and thinking about, world development won’t go near human rights with a 10-foot pole? World Bank President Jim Yong Kim spoke eloquently last month about the bank’s new commitment to end extreme poverty by 2030 and improve the …

Obama Hesitated on Immigration and Lost

Monday, November 10, 2014

Washington Back in July, when President Obama was deciding whether to take executive action on immigration before the midterm elections, I got into one of those cable-news debates that offer the president unsolicited advice from the unqualified. I argued that the move would boost Hispanic turnout and rally …