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Columns

Column: The Long, Sweet Season of the World’s Most Beautiful Sport

Thursday, April 24, 2014

It’s hard to believe that one-tenth of the Major League Baseball season has already slipped into the past. Fans pay almost no attention to the standings until around Memorial Day. Baseball plays the longest season of any major sport, and is, for that reason, an excellent counterpoint to the gotta-know-right-now bustle of our world. To take baseball seriously, you have to slow down. The first weeks of the baseball season …

Column: A Seven-Point Plan to Reduce Gun Violence

Thursday, April 24, 2014

All of us across the political spectrum passionately want to reduce gun violence. Shooting deaths such as the one this month at Fort Hood, Texas, and at Colorado’s Arapahoe High School last December unite us in our desire to stop these tragedies and to ensure that our public places are safe. Be that as it may, New Hampshire Republicans do not want their …

Column: Unseemly Clamor for Ginsburg’s Departure

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Washington The law operates with bright-line rules but also with balancing tests and concerns over image. The appearance of impropriety. The appearance of corruption. And so it is with lawyers, starting at the top. Competing concerns must be weighed — personal health, institutional interests, legacy, longevity. And so, too, must appearances — of …

Column: Next Test for Obamacare: How to Improve It

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When Obamacare’s first open-enrollment period ended last week, the tally was impressive: 7.1 million Americans signed up for insurance on federal and state exchanges by the March 31 deadline, several million more signed up for Medicaid and a whole lot of under-26 Americans got covered by their parents’ …

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 …