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Columns

Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Column: They Put Down My Pats — I Shake Them Off

Friday, January 30, 2015

Washington I never knew how much fun it was to be loyal to a hated outlaw sports team until the whole world came down on my dear New England Patriots. Having rooted over the years for Boston teams that many felt sorry for — God help us — and found psychologically interesting, it was a rush to hear MSNBC’s Joe …

Column: Court Will Rule Against ACA Provision

Friday, January 30, 2015

Conservatives in Washington are increasingly confident that the Supreme Court will rule this summer that the White House has gone beyond its legal authority in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Any such decision would enrage liberals. They would accuse the Republican-appointed justices of putting a stake through the plan to suit their partisan preferences. They would be wrong. The legal case against the …

Column: Barbie Doll Still Has Legs: Just Ask My 4-Year-Old Daughter

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mattel chief executive Bryan Stockton resigned Tuesday after a five-quarter sales slump and three years of flagging sales of the company’s best-known brand, Barbie. It is, however, definitely not the end of the Barbie phenomenon, or, at any rate, of what Barbie stands for: An unattainable ideal of princess-like femininity that is all about looks, not brains. I would know — I have …

Column: A Question for the ‘Valley News’ — To Publish, or Not, the ‘Charlie’ Cartoons

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Inquiring-minded readers are wondering why the Valley News has not reprinted some of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons to which Islamic terrorists took murderous offense earlier this month in Paris. The short answer is that we are not Charlie Hebdo. Although journalistic provocateurs certainly have an important role to …

Column: American Expats Face Tough Questions About Our Guns, Health Care and More

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Oslo, Norway In my long nomadic life, I’ve been to both poles and most countries in between. I still remember when to be an American was to be envied. The country where I grew up after World War II seemed to be respected and admired around the world. …

Column: It’s Time For Vermont To Grab a Share Of New Hampshire’s Primary Spoils

Friday, January 16, 2015

Now that the Vermont Legislature has returned to Montpelier, I’d like to suggest again that it consider a plan to alter New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary. I’ve said this before, and nobody paid any attention. Things have not gotten …

Column: Presidents, in Context, at Their Libraries

Friday, January 16, 2015

When Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of history and education at New York University, suggests that a single “Center for Presidential Research” take the place of our presidential libraries, he echoes arguments that were made by Rep. Hamilton Fish III, R-N.Y., as he spearheaded opposition to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plan …

Column: Happy Birthday to Me — 59 and Looking Forward to the New 60

Friday, January 16, 2015

I turned 59 on Saturday and I find myself clinging to that second digit like the nine in nine lives. For next comes 60, and then one is undeniably “up there.” I’m sorry, but 60 is not “the new” anything. Your 50s can be fun, but the prospect …

Community Colleges Expand Opportunity

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Washington Permit me to declare my bias: I came to revere community colleges for very personal reasons and learned to admire them because they are central to restoring social and economic mobility in our nation. My late mother spent most of her work life as a teacher and …

Column: Pipeline Debate: Symbol Over Substance

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Washington The Senate debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, as predictable as it is unedifying, exemplifies two of the most disturbing aspects of political discourse today. The first is what might be called “talk-to-the-hand-ism” — or, perhaps updated …

Column: Why We Fight, and Lose: Our Policy Goals Are Not Attainable

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The United States has the most potent military in terms of firepower and operational capacity in history. Our military overthrew Saddam Hussein and crushed the Taliban in a matter of weeks. Our forces can direct a rocket from Nevada through a window in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and nimbly set …

Column: Are Strikes the Best Solution?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, strikes have been used as a tactic by workers to fight for their rights, with strikes gaining prominence in the 1800s. Initially aimed primarily at mills and factories, strikes attempted to shut down production to force owners to compromise on salaries, …

Column: A Vermonter in France Finds SolidaritÉ

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Arnay le Duc, the village of 1,700 people in Burgnady where I live with my family, is a lot like my hometown of Norwich. It is impossible to cross the main square without saying a handful of hellos. …