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Vice President Joe Biden speaks during Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin's annual fundraising steak fry dinner, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Indianola, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Column: Hope Is Leaking Out of Politics Like Air From a Balloon

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Washington The Iowa State Fair is over, but the circus is coming to town. Today, Hillary and Bill Clinton are scheduled to attend the 37th annual Harkin Steak Fry, the famous Iowa political event named after Sen. Tom Harkin. A mess of journalists will rush after the couple, looking for signs of a presidential campaign and drawing conclusions on the …

Column: Congress Must Join the Growing Consensus on Climate Change

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Since the 1980s, the dangerous long-term consequences of largely human-caused climate disruption have been plainly and forcefully explained to us. Repeatedly, scientists — generally a conservative lot — have issued new reports that promise accelerating degradation of the planet as a whole, and project especially unfair consequences for non-industrialized peoples who are the …

Steve Nelson: Leaders Grandstand After Great Tragedies; Nothing Changes

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I write on Sept.11. Moments ago I stood, greeting students, on the steps of the Manhattan school where I work. Thirteen years earlier, nearly to the minute, I stood in exactly the same spot and answered a cell phone call from my son, who lived in North Carolina at the time. He was watching live television as the World Trade Center attack was …

Column: The Power of Not Asserting Authority

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Respect is earned, not worn. In 1967 I completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. I was 20 years old and equal parts full of myself and utterly terrified. The prospect of leading an infantry platoon in Vietnam loomed in the …

Column: Obamacare Revelation: The Cost of the CEO Tax Break

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Corporate America’s CEO pay horror stories just keep rolling in. Marissa Mayer took the CEO reins at high-tech giant Yahoo in 2012. As of the end of last year, that status had brought Mayer a personal windfall that could eventually hit $214 million. Meanwhile, with Mayer at the …

Column: Corporations Flee Excessive American Tax

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Obama administration is highly exercised about “inversion,” the practice by which an American corporation acquires a foreign company and moves its headquarters out of the U.S. to benefit from lower tax rates abroad. Not fair, says Barack …

Column: Even With an Engineering Degree, It’s Hard to Find a Job

Saturday, August 30, 2014

When I graduated from Penn State a year ago, I thought I was perfectly prepared to succeed in the business world. I’d worked hard, graduated at the top of my class in computer science and managed to acquire lots of experience with the sorts of industry software that …

Column: Fore, and Against: Should Obama Play Golf?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Nothing infuriates President Obama’s adversaries more than his golf outings, which have become so frequent that even his sympathizers have started to mutter about the unseemly symbolism of a commander-in-chief who practically lives on the links. In all …

Column: Attack Ads Aren’t as Bad as You Think

Friday, August 29, 2014

Negative campaign ads appear to be on the rise with the approach of this fall’s congressional elections and the 2016 presidential campaign. Hardly anyone has a good word to say about them. The standard critique — that they …

Column: Send in the Drones, but After the Lobbyists

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Oh no! The United States is falling behind in yet another big area — commercial use of drones. (Those things that buzz around and gather information and drop bombs overseas but don’t yet deliver Amazon packages.) Although drones seem to be in wide use elsewhere, the Federal Aviation …

Column: Should We View a Barbaric Terrorist Act, or Ban Its Showing?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Don’t watch the video. Don’t share it. That’s not how life should be.” So tweeted Kelly Foley, a cousin of beheaded journalist James Foley, as the video of the brutal execution began to go viral — as the …

Column: Report From the Front Lines in Ferguson

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Night had just fallen in Ferguson, Mo., as I watched a standoff from the town’s main thoroughfare. Approximately 150 protesters stood on West Florissant Avenue, their hands held up to symbolize nonviolent compliance. A hundred yards south, the …

Column: In Mideast, Patience Before Retribution

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My reaction to the murder of American reporter James Foley at the hands of his knife-wielding Islamic State killer was visceral: Send in the Marines and clean the Islamic State’s clock. It was a sentiment, I am sure, …