Columns

A large American flag is unfurled on the field before a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets on opening day at at Nationals Park, Monday, April 6, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Column: Think You Know Pitching? Here’s Five Strikes Against You

Sunday, April 19, 2015

“Baseball is like church,” former major league infielder and manager Leo Durocher once said. “Many attend, few understand.” And pitching is one of the most lionized, misunderstood and mythologized aspects of the game, even among other pitchers — hence those pointless titanium-infused necklaces they’re always wearing. Here are five myths from the mound, as the new season gets underway.  …

Column: How Grant and Lee Forged a Perfect Moment at Appomattox

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A century and a half ago, a brief encounter between two men, a Northerner and Southerner, altered the course of American history. It was not the Lincoln assassination; that happened five days later. It was the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. For modern Americans, President Lincoln’s assassination has eclipsed the surrender that signaled the end of a …

Column: If You Come to Vermont, Hillary , I Have a Question

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hillary Clinton’s Secret Service agents were on to me. I knew it the moment one of them began talking into a microphone hidden in his sleeve. As I maneuvered through a crowd toward Hillary, two agents advanced on me. “If you don’t leave now,” one of them, the tall one, said politely, “we’ll …

Willem Lange: An Emergency on the Mountain, and a Night I’ll Never Forget

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Montpelier I was just kind of noodling around on the Internet here a night or two ago — rather like a dog sniffing the kitchen floor for something edible — when whimsy led me to the little village in the eastern high peaks of the Adirondacks where Mother …

Column: How the Gop Should Handle the Iran Deal

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Now that President Obama has announced a framework agreement with Iran, calling it “a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives,” what should Republican leaders do? If you’re a Republican congressional leader, your best option is probably to mostly go along with the deal. Be skeptical …

Column: Assessing the Iran Deal

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Washington Deals involving limits on weapons, nukes or otherwise, are intricate and technical. Only a limited number of people among arms-control connoisseurs fully grasp the meaning of every detail. Yet in a democracy, these matters are and should …

Column: Stamp of Approval for Contested Maya Angelou Quote

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The news that the U.S. Postal Service was honoring Maya Angelou, poet, author and civil rights advocate, with her own forever stamp was welcomed by her fans. Angelou, who died last year, was a cultural icon and mother …

Column: Rediscover the Constitution

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

In the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy, “You cannot preserve what you do not revere. You cannot protect what you do not comprehend. You cannot defend what you do not know.” To that profound statement, I would add: You cannot find what you do not know is lost. …

Poverty-Wage Workers Get a Little Help

Monday, April 6, 2015

“We’re too big and complicated a system to do anything in reaction to a particular group or something happening,” Karen King, who has the wonderful title of “chief people officer” at McDonald’s, said last week, explaining her company’s decision to raise wages for some of its employees. If …

Column: Unreliable Allies in the Middle East

Monday, April 6, 2015

U.S. officials continue to insist that our Middle Eastern allies are crucial to the fight against Islamic State and to other Middle Eastern conflicts. But are they? To judge by the chaos their help has created in Syria, …

Column: Lubitz Was a Victim, Too

Monday, April 6, 2015

What are we to make of Andreas Lubitz piloting a Germanwings airplane into the side of a mountain? There is an unhelpful tautology, meant to be explanatory, that arises at times like this. How could someone have done something this evil? Because they were evil. Or: How could …

Column: Limits of Safety and Technology

Monday, April 6, 2015

As director of the National Security Agency and then the Central Intelligence Agency after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, I fought to provide our intelligence officers with every possible advantage in their work to detect and confront threats from our enemies. We were entering a new kind of …

Column: How Secrecy Subverts the Rule of Law

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Imagine that someone has wronged you, and you sue them. Then the government magically appears in court and asks that your suit be dismissed because, for reasons it won’t tell you, state secrets might be dredged up in …