Columns

VA System Has Been Unfairly Maligned by the Nation’s Media

Monday, December 22, 2014

One of the biggest — and most misunderstood — stories of 2014 was about the nation’s largest health care system, the Veterans Health Administration. Revelations that managers at the VA were concealing long wait times led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and has left the lasting impression that the VA does not deliver high-quality care. The drumbeat of negative coverage has also made it difficult for the …

My Rape Story: The Price of Staying Silent

Monday, December 22, 2014

As the Washington Post Cairo bureau chief, I live and work with the risk of sexual violence all around me. I’ve covered war and political turmoil in the Middle East for the past seven years, spending five of those in Cairo, where sexual harassment is an almost daily experience. When I was groped amid a crowd of protesters battling police outside Cairo’s al-Azhar …

Editorial: A Cyberattack Against Free Speech

Monday, December 22, 2014

The cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has taken an even more disturbing turn. First it demonstrated how cyberthieves can raid a company’s most valuable trade secrets. Now it has escalated into a blatant terrorism threat by a group linked to North Korea and an assault on the freedom of speech directed from a capital of totalitarianism. Both the cyberattack and the coercion are …

Can We Say We Will Not Torture Again?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Washington Can we now say with confidence that our government will not use torture again and that Americans in the future will rise up to prevent it from doing so? In light of the reaction to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report, I fear that we can’t. Sen. Dianne …

Supreme Court Misses on Warehouse Labor

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Back in the 1940s, when the U.S. Supreme Court last spent a lot of time struggling with the question of what parts of a worker’s day were included in the job for the purposes of getting an hourly wage, the cases tended to come out 5-4. Then, liberals …

Gruber’s Stupid Moment in the Spotlight

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Washington A gaffe, under the oft-cited Michael Kinsley rule, is when somebody in Washington accidentally speaks the truth. But what happens when frankness leads you to say something so monumentally stupid — the verbal equivalent of a pratfall, …

Young Voters Don’t Mind Hillary Clinton’s Age

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hillary Clinton, if she decides to run for president, would be among the oldest contenders for the office. Nonetheless, she has strong appeal among younger Americans. The former secretary of state, who will be 69 on Election Day 2016, beats five of her most prominent possible Republican rivals …

Willem Lange: We Found a Place in the Middle of Nowhere, and It’s Lovely

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Montpelier Snow is floating past the office window as I write. It’s perfect weather for what I’ve been doing for the last couple of days: plowing through the early stages of a travel book and giving thanks for the invention of the word processor. I have some photocopied …

Owner Betrays ‘New Republic’

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Washington At a 40th-birthday party in July for Franklin Foer, editor of the New Republic, the magazine’s young owner, Chris Hughes, got all choked up as he pledged to the roomful of writers at Foer’s country home in Pennsylvania that the two would be “intellectual partners for decades.” …

Acid Reflux In the White House

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

President Obama reportedly had a mysterious sore throat for weeks, but now the diagnosis is in: acid reflux into the throat, also called airway reflux or LPR (laryngopharyngeal reflux). This puts the president in good company. Since 1975, the occurrence of reflux has increased 400 percent (almost one …

Column: Ferguson Grand Jury’s Finding Was Proper

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A friend emailed last week with a question: “You said that you were reserving your (Ferguson) opinion until you read the evidence. What do you say now?” Fair enough. In an August column I wrote: “If there is so much we don’t know, why are so many committed …

Column: Football Stories Make Me Wonder: Have We Lost Our Senses?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sometimes the poignancy and irony of adjacent newspaper stories seem, to me at least, more obvious in print than on the Web. Here’s an example: Last week the sports section of my local paper carried this story: “Petty …

Column: Garner Case Brings Rare Moment of Unity

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Washington The words, spoken about the Eric Garner travesty in New York, were righteous and powerful. “When you look at what they did to this guy and putting him in a chokehold like that, it’s inexcusable — absolutely …