Columns

Column: Back-to-School Dream — The Best Year Ever

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Even in places that remain in touch with the rhythms of agriculture, few seasonal markers prove as heady, reliable and poignant as the reopening of school. Every September the crosswalks ripen with kids in their back-to-school clothes; the long yellow buses harvest our lanes and streets. First the brightly colored backpacks and then, as if in imitation, the autumn leaves. Everyone has a share in the emotions that accompany this …

Column: How Does the GOP Solve a Problem Like Trump?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Every major Republican presidential campaign and every allied super PAC confronts the same question at their morning strategy meetings: What do you do with a problem like Donald Trump? For weeks the businessman/impresario has been running first in every national poll of Republicans. He dominates the race and consumes vast amounts of media oxygen, forcing other candidates to alter their tactics and strategies …

Willem Lange: Family Campout Memories

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hyde Park, Vt. During the month of August in 1971, our family — my wife, the three kids and I — paddled the headwaters of the Allagash River in Maine and followed it to its mouth. Then we stashed our canoes and hiked across Baxter State Park. The baby, Martha, was only 21/2 years old, but she did amazingly well, after first loudly …

Columnist: Walker’s Health Plan Is Good Unless You Need Insurance

Friday, August 21, 2015

When I first heard that a new repeal-and-replace-Obamacare plan was coming from Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin currently posing as a candidate for president, I set a challenge for myself. I wrote down every provision I expected to find in the plan, sealed the list in …

Column: Move to End Birthright Citizenship May Doom the GOP in 2016

Friday, August 21, 2015

It may not seem like it, but this week has seen the most significant development yet in the immigration debate’s role in the 2016 election. I’d go even further — it’s possible that the entire presidential election just got decided. Is that an overstatement? Maybe. But hear me …

Column: The Shift to Renewable Energy Must Account for the Huge Costs

Thursday, August 20, 2015

If promises matter, it’s been a very good stretch for renewable power. At the end of July, Hillary Clinton said that as president she would aim to get 33 percent of U.S. electricity from renewable sources by 2027 — up from about 13 percent today (half of it …

Column: Where Are America’s New Black Leaders?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The death on Saturday of Julian Bond, a leading 1960s civil rights leader who became chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, raises a deep question about contemporary U.S. politics: Where are today’s young Julian Bonds? Why isn’t there a clear and identifiable national …

Column: As Cod Season Winds Down, There’s Not a Moment to Lose

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Baccalieu Island, Newfoundland About an hour ago our fishing boat left the protected harbor of Bay de Verde, and right away pitched into a heavy swell and brisk wind. The helmsman turned into the waves and throttled back, while the two other members of the crew lowered a …

Column: A Better Iran Deal Is Illusory

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Republican presidential candidates, all of whom oppose the Iran nuclear deal, have created their own virtual worlds when it comes to dealing with the Tehran regime. Most say that, if elected, they would cancel the agreement, get Congress to reinstate broader U.S. sanctions and then persuade the rest …

Column: If Congress Stands Firm Against Iran Deal, the Administration Will Shift Position

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

As debate intensifies over the nuclear agreement reached with Iran, the Obama administration has sought to deflect criticism by arguing that there is no alternative to the current framework, no matter what its flaws, and that its rejection by Congress is guaranteed to produce catastrophe — isolating the …

Column: A Presidential Campaign Is No Place for Novices

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Washington Presidential primaries, particularly ones with as many candidates as there are on the Republican side this time, go through many phases. Though the “Holy cow, Donald Trump!” phase is not nearly over, we may now be seeing a simultaneous increase in the attention and interest given to …

Column: Why GOP Candidates Resemble Romney on Foreign Policy

Monday, August 17, 2015

There’s a good reason so many GOP candidates seem to be well-prepared yet uncannily in sync when it comes to foreign policy: Most of them have tapped the same group of experts for guidance, a shadow foreign policy campaign infrastructure just waiting for a nominee to emerge. Ever …

Column: Put the Brakes on Traffic Stops

Monday, August 17, 2015

In one video after another this year, we’ve seen police stops of African-American drivers go violently, terribly wrong. Think of Walter Scott, killed by a police officer in North Charleston, S.C., after a traffic stop for a broken tail light. Or Sandra Bland, pulled over for failure to …