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: End Times in Iowa

Friday, January 29, 2016

Keosauqua, Iowa “Awaken the body of Christ that we might pull back from this abyss.” When Sen. Ted Cruz closed his prayerful plea to a crowd of about 150 people here late Tuesday night, the “abyss” he had …

Column: O’Malley Is a Serious Candidate; Let’s Take Him Seriously

Friday, January 29, 2016

Well, somebody has to do it. Somebody has to write about Martin O’Malley. He’s a serious person, with serious things to say, and it’s a travesty that he hasn’t gotten more coverage. In this election, two big issues …

Column: Longstreet Is a Civl War General Who Deserves a Monument

Friday, January 29, 2016

Born in 1821 in South Carolina, James Longstreet graduated from West Point in 1842 and served with distinction in the Mexican War. As the officer corps split along sectional lines, he joined the Confederacy in 1861, eventually rising …

Column: Nominating Sanders Would Be Insanity

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Washington I adore Bernie Sanders. I agree with his message of fairness and I share his outrage over inequality and corporate abuses. I think his righteous populism has captured the moment perfectly. I respect the uplifting campaign he …

Column: Sanders Is the Rational Choice

Thursday, January 28, 2016

As the Iowa caucuses near, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders have released TV ads that together echo a popular theme in the mainstream media. Clinton’s ad depicts the job of the presidency as tough and change as …

Willem Lange: In Maine, Fishermen Are Holding On for Grandchildren’s Sake

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Stonington, Maine The best place to get a feel for a small town is at the diner where the old guys gather early in the morning. There are few alternatives to the Harbor Cafe in wintertime Stonington; so when I learned it opened at 6:30 for breakfast, I …

Column: Michigan Governor Can’t Sidestep Blame

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Washington Jeb Bush explained Sunday why he still thinks Rick Snyder has been “a great governor for Michigan,” even after the mass lead poisoning because of tainted tap water in Flint. The disgrace over Flint’s water, the Republican …

Column: Republicans Who Hate Cruz Should Chill

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. This sound aphorism may have a less pithy political corollary: Never attribute to strategy what can be explained by emotion. Only this truth can help us understand why Republican officials have started saying they prefer Donald …

Column: This May Be a Lesser-of-Two-Evils Election

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The American body politic is in a state of toxic shock in the days before real voting commences in the presidential primaries. From left, right and center, top to bottom, our limbs and joints are in spasm. The …

Column: The Good News, and the Bad, About Social Security

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Americans are embracing the idea that we should expand Social Security. A movement started by a few progressive activists spread to opinion makers and ultimately to presidential candidates such as Sen. Bernie Sanders. But is a broadly expanded Social Security program really necessary? And can we afford it? …