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Columns

Willem Lange: When Bob and Ray Had Us in Stitches

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Montpelier Almost obscured by the noise surrounding the presidential primaries was the sad announcement, last week, of the passing of an American treasure. Bob Elliott, 92, the surviving member of the Bob & Ray comedy team, died at his home in Cundys Harbor, Maine — one of those places you can’t get to from here. He’d been out of action for some years, but suddenly I miss him more than …

Column: Restore the Draft for a Better America

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The commandant of the Marines and the Army’s chief of staff testified before a congressional committee last week that they would like to see women register for the draft. That follows the December order from the secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, that all front-line combat units must be open to women. What with most of the Republican presidential candidates saying they would make …

Column: Be an NFL Fan, but Be a Critical One

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Like Peyton Manning, everyone at the Super Bowl party I attended Sunday night drank a lot of celebratory beer. My San Antonio neighborhood happens to have a bunch of Denver Broncos fans, and as the game wound to its dramatic close, we cheered loud and hard and pretended there would be no consequences …

Column: What If Low Growth Is the New Normal?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

For all their differences, the presidential candidates share one defining characteristic: All of them are upbeat about the future (as long as they get elected). In one of the most important books of recent years, Northwestern University economist Robert J. Gordon offers a radically different view. When it …

Column: Whither Conservatism in the Season of Trump?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Washington It’s hard to believe that the United States, having resisted the siren song of socialism during its entire 20th-century heyday (the only major democracy to do so), should suddenly succumb to its charms a generation after its …

Column: Don’t Rule Out an Iowa Surprise

Monday, February 1, 2016

J. Ann Selzer, who has conducted polling on the Iowa caucuses since 1988, says the contests almost always yield surprises. With each election, it increasingly becomes more difficult to reliably predict the outcome, and this year is the toughest yet. Pollster.com lists 20 Iowa Republican caucus polls for …

Column: Get Off Your High Horse and Admit You’re a Snob

Monday, February 1, 2016

Snobbery, like snoring, is universal. You might believe it doesn’t apply to you, but your intimates would tell a different story. Don’t get huffy: Everybody’s a snob about something. Snobs are those who imagine that their sensibilities, tastes or responses in a specific arena are more discriminating, more …

Editorial: Billionaires for President?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Just when it seemed as if the presidential race couldn’t get any stranger, billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed that he may run for the White House as an independent if the two major parties nominate their least- mainstream candidates. Having more choices on the ballot …

‘We Believe in America, and We Love Our Freedom’

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Following is the text of Sarah Palin’s Jan. 19 endorsement of Donald Trump, as transcribed by BuzzFeed, via The Washington Post. “Thank you so much. It’s so great to be here in Iowa. We’re here just thawing out. …

Column: Take Care, Pedestrians, in the Upper Valley

Sunday, January 31, 2016

There she was . . . latte in hand, phone up against chin, peacoat perfectly buttoned. She was standing in the middle of Lebanon Street in Hanover. I slammed on the brakes. She kept talking on her phone and waved briefly before continuing her jaunt across the street. …

Column: The U.S. Isn’t Going to Fall Like Rome Did

Saturday, January 30, 2016

People who are worried about the future of the U.S. often find parallels with the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. And oh the parallels there are! Here are a few I dredged up in a brief Internet search: easy monetary policy, excessive bureaucracy, entitlement spending, income …

Column: American Climate Refugees Are on the Move

Saturday, January 30, 2016

In the small town of Newtok, Alaska, a Yupik village of about 350 people, children once played on endless fields of frozen permafrost. Now, they splash in salt water pools and teeter on boardwalks as the permafrost below thaws and the Ninglick River chips away at the community. …

Editorial: False Accusation Against Planned Parenthood

Friday, January 29, 2016

‘We must go where the evidence leads us.” So explained a Texas district attorney about why an investigation into alleged misconduct by Planned Parenthood ended instead with charges against Planned Parenthood’s accusers. By adhering to the facts, prosecutors and grand jurors set a model of behavior that puts …