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Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Immigration Reform

Monday, September 22, 2014

President Obama’s zigs and zags in pursuit of immigration reform are a long-unfolding narrative now assuming epic dimensions. In the latest installment, Obama has postponed the unilateral reforms he promised to have unveiled by now. He did so not for any high-minded purpose but rather to avoid dealing mortal blows to the re-election of a handful of Democratic senators who …

Editorial: A Local Bookstore Beats the Odds

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Happy Birthday to the Norwich Bookstore and many happy returns. Well, not the sort of returns that involve receipts, refunds and dissatisfied customers; those would be unhappy returns. We refer to the hope that this bookstore, which turned 20 yesterday, will continue to survive — better yet, thrive — in a community that has seen many an independent bookseller, not to mention many …

Editorial: A Curious Use of Goverment Power

Saturday, September 20, 2014

In the years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Americans have become accustomed to the government trying to defend the indefensible and justify the unjustifiable, from warrantless wiretapping to torturing terrorism detainees, all in the name of national security. But this week, The New York Times reported on a case in which the Justice Department has invoked the so-called state-secrets privilege in a breathtakingly …

Editorial: Rewriting Rieseberg’s Contract

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Hartford Selectboard appears poised to replace long-time Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg’s three-year contract with — something else. What exactly the new agreement will contain is shrouded in mystery at this point, as the Selectboard has conducted the process entirely behind closed doors. But some reasonable inferences can …

Editorial: James Jeffords, Independent Man

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sometime in the late summer or early fall of 1972, in circumstances now lost to the passing years, a young reporter met Jim Jeffords for the first time, on a street corner in Bradford, Vt., and came away singularly unimpressed. His physical appearance was unprepossessing; he was not …

Editorial: A College Drops Out

Saturday, August 23, 2014

In March 2013, Ron Biron, the president of Lebanon College, said on a public access TV show that he’d heard this question from several local residents: “What is your brand, or your market?” That seemed surprising, Biron said, since the college had been here since 1956, founded, he …

Editorial: Demilitarize The Police

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Images of heavily armed police officers equipped with armored vehicles and other military gear confronting demonstrators who were protesting the shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., have focused public attention at last on one of the …

Editorial: Fight Money With Money — Rubens Bucks a Political Trend

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Embrace the irony,’’says the Mayday super PAC, which is battling the influence of big money in elections with — here comes the irony — big money. That is something to get your head around, a little reminiscent of the Vietnam-era declaration that a village had to be destroyed …

Caring For Veterans

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has been widely — and justly — praised for his role in forging legislation aimed at addressing critical shortcomings in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Once upon a time, it would have been regarded as a no-brainer for Congress to swiftly respond to …

Editorial: A Test That’s Failing in Vermont: No Child Left Behind

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe isn’t the first to complain about No Child Left Behind, and she won’t be the last. But she may be among the most articulate critics of the school accountability law. In an Aug. 6 letter to parents, she explains clearly and compellingly why …

Editorial: Changing Managers in Vermont State Government

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A little more than a week after the Shumlin administration gave the boot to the main developer of the problem-plagued Vermont Health Connect website, the other shoe dropped — on Doug Racine, secretary of the Agency of Human Services. Exactly why Racine was dismissed Monday was not specified …

Editorial: A Sensible Interval for Gun Purchases

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Vermont lawmakers surveyed recently by staff writer Sarah Brubeck do not seem inclined to assign a high priority to enacting a waiting period for firearm purchases next year, despite the circumstances in which prominent Vermont Law School professor and legal commentator Cheryl Hanna took her own life last …

Editorial: The Company You Keep: Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Now that corporations, according to the thinking of certain Supreme Court justices, are people, more or less, it’s only natural that they have awkward moments. Any conservative father with an Occupy Wall Street daughter or feminist aunt with a nephew who posts bikini pictures on Facebook knows that …