Columns

Column: After the Great Recession: Minimalism

Thursday, March 5, 2015

When my nephew graduated from high school, he decided not to enroll in college. The family thought, well, he’ll mature. Then he’ll want to get serious. But he’s taken a sharp turn that we didn’t expect. He qualified as a home health aide, fell in love and is raising two boys. When I see him, he shows me his artwork and talks about making money “selling stuff online.” This choice …

Column: A Dangerous Line Was Crossed in Russia

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Last week, opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed near the Kremlin. Independent commentators, politicians and the thousands who took to the streets of Moscow and other Russian cities in protest on Sunday hold no illusions as to the motive behind his shooting. Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader of the Yabloko party and a veteran of the pro-democracy movement, said: “The political responsibility for the …

Column: Iran Is Not the Islamic State

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Washington So it finally happened. After weeks of acrimony and politicking, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his speech before Congress. Netanyahu spoke along the script most anticipated, inveighing against the existential threat that would be posed to Israel by an Iran with nuclear weapons and calling out the perfidy of the regime in Tehran. He insisted that there was little difference between …

Column: Some Governors Seek to Chop Taxes as the Potholes Deepen

Friday, February 20, 2015

Seattle The governor of Washington wants to raise the state tax on a gallon of gasoline by at least 11 cents. A continent away, the governor of Maryland wants to block a scheduled increase in the state tax on gas. We’ve got ourselves more battles between the Democrats …

Column: It Takes Four Critical Steps for Tax Reform

Thursday, February 19, 2015

In 1986 Congress passed, and the president signed, the most sweeping tax reform bill in the history of the tax code. Could it be done today? To answer that question, remember the history. In December 1985, the House passed a tax reform bill that President Ronald Reagan said …

Column: How Low Can It Go? Get Ready for $10 Oil

Thursday, February 19, 2015

At about $50 a barrel, crude oil prices are down by more than half from their June 2014 peak of $107. They may fall more, perhaps even as low as $10 to $20. Here’s why. U.S. economic growth …

Column: Hillary Clinton Turns to Old Boys Network for This Campaign

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Washington The 2016 campaign has acquired an unexpected storyline in its early stages: All Madam President’s Men. As Hillary Clinton begins to staff her nascent presidential campaign, a paradox has emerged. When she ran in 2008, she played down her potential to make history as the first woman …

Column: Which Iraq War Story Was Most Damaging?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In all the coverage of television anchorman Brian Williams and his woes, I have yet to read an article tracing the problem back to its roots: the national mythologizing of the 2003 Iraq invasion and the failure of …

Willem Lange: A Cold Winter? Maritime Adventurers Took It Much Further

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Montpelier On June 18, 1884, three Inuit from Julianehaab (now Qaqortoq), a small settlement on Greenland’s southwest coast, spotted something unusual on a slab of floe ice where they were seal hunting. They went closer and found twisted planks of wood, and among them various papers, articles of …

Column: Pro-Cop FBI Chief Admits Mistakes of Past

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Washington In the days of the civil rights movement, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was focused not on the quest for justice but on his fear of Communists. In Parting the Waters, the first volume of his magisterial biography of Martin Luther King Jr., Taylor Branch tells of …

Column: Performance Reviews Are Corporate America’s Curse on Itself

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ask most managers and employees about the corporate performance review, and the answer probably is the same: It’s a pain to give, a pain to get, but a necessary part of modern corporate life. It’s something we just have to do. Says who? Who says you have to …

Column: Is the Bush Family Brand a Liability in 2016 ?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The legacy matchup — Jeb versus Hillary — has politics aficionados salivating, or recoiling, with the first 2016 presidential votes almost a year away. The former secretary of state, a prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, won’t …

Column: Even Liberal Vermont Has Gone Gun Crazy

Monday, February 16, 2015

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin believes that the federal law requiring gun dealers to conduct background checks on gun purchasers “makes sense.” But Shumlin isn’t supporting a bill in the Vermont Senate that would require similar checks on sales at gun shows and on the Internet. “The laws that …