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Columns

Column: It Takes a Hero to Be Humble in Politics

Friday, October 24, 2014

Seth Moulton, an Iraq veteran and Democratic congressional candidate on Massachusetts’ North Shore, has done something with little precedent in political campaigning: He was caught underplaying his war record. You read that right: An investigation by The Boston Globe found that unlike politicians who go to great lengths to puff up their military backgrounds, Moulton, as the paper’s Walter Robinson wrote, “chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice …

Column; Police Criminalize Misbehavior in Schools

Friday, October 24, 2014

Who among us has not inwardly been gleeful at having gotten away with something at school? Knowing the teacher didn’t like the subject of our theme but blowing her mind with how original it was. Pushing the line on a high school drama performance. Forcing the administration to back down on a policy of no student cars in the parking lot. Dying your …

Column: Monica Lewinsky Rejects the ‘Shame Game’

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monica Lewinsky is trying to make lemonade out of 16-year-old lemons. Good for her, and good, ultimately, for us. Not so good, of course, for Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign, but not fatal either. Lewinsky’s decision to re-emerge as a public figure, this time committed to alleviating the scourge of cyber-bullying, is awkward. …

Column: The Case of the Bearded Inmate Inches Along in the High Court

Friday, October 10, 2014

Washington You give a prisoner an inch of beard, he’ll take a mile. At least that seemed to be a concern plaguing the nine justices at the Supreme Court on Tuesday as they explored the burning penological question: What kind of things might lurk in a half-inch beard …

Column: The Strong Economic Case for Investing in Bridges and Roads

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fiscal consolidation ­— a euphemism for cuts to government spending — is a staple of International Monetary Fund rescue programs. As recently as last year, the IMF was suggesting that the United States had a fiscal gap of as much as 10 percent of gross domestic product that …

Column: Travel Ban Would Curtail Ebola Virus in U.S.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The United States got its first scare from Ebola last week when Thomas Eric Duncan, a man sick with the virus, traveled from Liberia to Dallas. This man, who died yesterday, was feared to have been in contact …

Column: Sentencing Needs the Bite of Punishment

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Like all humans, judges are susceptible to fads. A few years ago, it was teen courts, then drug courts. The new fad is something called “evidence-based sentencing,” and it is both a refreshing attempt at rationality and a …

Column: I’m Back in That Adirondack Deer Camp

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It was the rustling of leaves around my feet that did it. One of the great joys of being old (and there are many, in spite of what you may have heard or read) is the easy access to memories. Probably the main reason old folks spend so …

Column: Gay Couples Celebrate Marriage Rights

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

For two decades, right up until the day they fled Virginia nine years ago, the women hid their love from a wider world they’d always found so hostile and homophobic. Tibby Middleton and Barbara Kenny were so pessimistic about anything in the Old Dominion ever changing that they …

Column: A Remarkable Moment in Legal History

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Washington Who would have thought: ∎ That gay rights groups’ biggest concern would not be how the Supreme Court would rule on same-sex marriage but that it wasn’t ruling fast enough? ∎ That the Republican response to the justices’ move to let same-sex marriages proceed in half the states …

Column: Hey, Voters, Happy Days Are Here Again

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Washington As Ken Burns’ superb documentary on the Roosevelts reminded us, Happy Days Are Here Again is one of the most evocative anthems in the history of the Democratic Party. You have to ask: Why aren’t the Democrats, and the country, singing it loudly now? A party controlling …

Column: New Engineers Work to Close the Gap Between Rich and Poor

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

With college students now hitting their stride in the new academic year, one fact is glaringly clear: These are good days to get engineering degrees. Eight of the 10 highest paid majors are in the engineering sciences, and jobs are plentiful. Yet more than a few renowned engineers …

U.S. Government Needs Better Management

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Whatever happened to good old American know-how? The nation that invented modern management seems to be suffering a crisis of competence. The Secret Service can’t protect the White House. Public health authorities can’t get their arms around a …