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Columns

Column: A Wounded Boston Marathoner Now Revels in the Ordinary

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It is a weekend for working around the house. My fiancee, Erin, and I have the baby’s room to paint and some IKEA furniture to assemble. I roll out of bed early — 10:30 — and get into my wheelchair. Erin is already making coffee in the kitchen. “I started the first wall,” she says. “I love that gray.” Erin never bugs me about sleeping late. For a few months …

Column: Jeb Bush May Be the Establishment’s Choice

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Washington Yes, he’s out of touch with the Republican base, out of shape on the campaign trail, and burdened by the disastrous presidency of his older brother, but Jeb Bush could win the Republican presidential nomination. To make it to the top, however, he’ll have to do one thing: Make “Jeb Bush” disappear. …

Column: Vermont Single-Payer: Show Me the Money

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Of the plans that states have hatched for the Affordable Care Act, none has been bolder than that of Vermont, which wants to implement a single-payer health-care system, along the lines of what you might find in Britain or Canada. One government-operated system would cover all 620,000 of Vermont’s residents. The hope is that such a system would allow Vermont to get costs …

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 …

Column: The Wealth of Nations Rests in Creativity

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Free-market capitalism is a success because it does the most efficient possible job of allocating a society’s resources, or so goes the prevailing logic. But what if capitalism’s true value lies elsewhere? What if its most important attribute …

Column: Colleges Must Stop Exploiting Athletes

Friday, April 4, 2014

Recently, Bill Maher tweeted that “March Madness really is a stirring reminder of what America was founded on — making tons of money off the labor of unpaid black people.” College athletes do receive scholarships and are not forced to play, so a more accurate comparison might be …

Column: Small Towns and Inner Cities Should Bank on the Post Office

Friday, April 4, 2014

Drive through the dilapidated main strip in Terry, Miss., and it’s easy to see that the town of 1,063 is a hardscrabble place. And last month, life there got harder when the last bank branch in town closed, leaving in the lurch residents who have long depended on …

Column: Sexual Assault: Judges Are Far Too Lenient

Friday, April 4, 2014

New Haven, Conn. What is wrong with Delaware Judge Jan Jurden, who last week gave a DuPont heir, Robert H. Richards IV, probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter? In her mind-boggling order suspending Richards’ eight-year prison sentence, Jurden …

Column: Christie, GM Cover Themselves in Whitewash

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Washington Lawyering-up used to be a sign of guilt. Hiring lawyers to try to pre-empt a raft of independent investigations is a sign of futility. Last Thursday, we got the results of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s inquiry …

Column: Fast-Food Chains Steal Wages From Workers

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Last month, McDonald’s was hit with multiple class-action lawsuits alleging that the company routinely violated minimum wage, overtime and other workplace laws through a variety of illegal schemes that had one goal in common: drive down labor costs by stealing from workers. On Tuesday we learned that law-breaking …