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Columns

A homeless man pushes a shopping cart full of his belongings across an intersection in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles, Friday, March 29, 2013. The area, originally agricultural until the 1870s when railroads first entered Los Angeles, has maintained a transient nature through the years from the influxes of short-term workers, migrants fleeing economic hardship during the Great Depression, military personnel during World War II and the Vietnam conflict, and low-skilled workers with limited transportation options who need to remain close to the city's core, according to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Column: Rising Tide of Income Inequality Is Politically Unsustainable

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New York Inequality has come out of the fiscal shadows. U.S. President Barack Obama, a scrupulous consensus-builder who long avoided all zero-sum formulations, is now rallying citizens to stand with him against “the relentless, decades-long trend” of income inequality. Bill de Blasio became New York’s mayor by campaigning on the issue. And earlier this month, Christine Lagarde — the executive …

Column: When Full Disclosure Promotes Mischief

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Washington The debate over campaign contributions is never-ending for a simple reason: Both sides of the argument have merit. On the one hand, of course money is speech. For most citizens, contributing to politicians or causes is the most effective way to augment and amplify speech with which they agree. The most disdainful …

Column: Kansas, the KKK and the Pernicious Undercurrent of Hate

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like to imagine that the KKK belongs to a long-gone South and anti-Semitism to a distant 20th century. Sadly, this better reflects a …

Column: Will China Break Hong Kong’s Precarious Hold on Democracy?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Washington In the global war of ideology that President Obama says is not happening, Hong Kong is on the front lines. Democracy in Hong Kong is increasingly squeezed by the autocrats of Beijing. It is a fight of ideas and power, but also of flesh and blood: Just …

Column: Chinese Bureaucrats Bite Man’s Best Friend

Monday, April 7, 2014

For as long as I can recall, a three-legged miniature poodle and her owners have lived several floors above my Shanghai apartment. Despite her disability, she’s much beloved by everyone in my 25-story building, and always elicits coos and smiles in the elevator, or when she’s out strolling …

Column: Shedding Light on ‘Dark Money’ in Campaigns

Monday, April 7, 2014

Campaign finance reform is getting harder and harder, thanks to decisions like the one the Supreme Court handed down last Wednesday in McCutcheon v. FEC. Just ask the IRS. In a good-faith effort to help our flawed campaign-finance system, the Internal Revenue Service ventured into the elections arena …

Column: Women Can Boost the Bottom Line

Monday, April 7, 2014

There are many feel-good, fairness-based reasons to hire and invest in women. You’re probably familiar with at least a few of them: Women have historically had fewer opportunities in the workplace. They don’t get promoted as frequently. They are increasingly the sole or primary breadwinner for their families. …

The New Advocacy Journalism Serves an Important Purpose

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hope is the latest trend in journalism. Even hardened pessimists can’t help noticing when serious investment money and donations flow into startups and new initiatives from traditional media companies, as the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project documented recently in its latest annual State of the News Media report. …

Column: Marines Should Train Women to Succeed

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I awoke to Eminem blasting hours before dawn at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia. A fog of breath and sweat permeated the cold January air as I joined 104 other nervous lieutenants hauling gear to the classroom where …

Column: When I Testified for Fred Phelps

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fred Phelps, the notorious pastor of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., died of heart failure March 19 at the age of 84. While his death triggered celebrations among those who reviled his crude and virulent homophobia — …

Column: Big Money Threatens American Education

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pound another nail into the coffin of democracy. Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission struck down limits on aggregate contributions to political candidates and political party committees. In the view of the 5-4 majority, as written by Chief Justice John Roberts, “There is no …

Column: School Governance in Vermont Works Well

Saturday, April 5, 2014

When a press release named me as the only Vermont State Board of Education member who voted against the House consolidation plan (H883), the perfectly predictable result was a stampede of reporters asking me, “Why?” Here’s my answer: The bill is ghost dancing. In 1890, the Sioux were …

Column: In Cruel April, I Ache With Anticipation for the Warmth of Spring

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Can this be April? A transplant from New York living 10 years in Vermont by now, I should be used to the month of April here in my new state. But with 2 feet of snow still lingering after such a long winter, when the Eye on the …