Columnists | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

NEW YORK — Are Republicans stupid? This seems to be the question du jour. Chris Matthews entertained this idea with guests recently, pointing to several Republican presidential candidates as evidence. How else to explain why so many in the GOP seem proud of their know-nothingness, as Matthews put ...

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 6:07pm

WASHINGTON — The legacy of 9/11 can’t be fully measured even now, but perhaps the most damaging aspect can be found in our national discourse. Taking the long view, it is possible to see the roots of today’s political dysfunction — the hate, fear, anger and resentment — firmly planted in t...

Fri, 09/09/2011 - 8:40pm

I wanted to write something for the anniversary of 9/11 but I didn’t want to write about the falling towers or the burning Pentagon. We’ve all seen way too many pictures of the incredible carnage, the soot-smudged faces and crushed fire trucks. We have all cried and mourned for the fallen and as...

Thu, 09/08/2011 - 6:57pm

WASHINGTON — As my Washington Post colleague Perry Bacon reported in detail this week, Rick Perry has jettisoned the “compassion” that sometimes leavened the conservatism of his predecessor in the Texas governor’s mansion.  If Perry’s style resembles anybody’s in George W. Bush’s ...

Tue, 09/06/2011 - 9:03pm

At a time when government seems unable to address our most pressing problems, we are about to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with rare evidence that Washington can work. In the decade since 9/11, our government has answered the threat of terrorism by transforming itself in ...

Tue, 09/06/2011 - 9:46am

A month ago, I was sitting in a restaurant with Srdja Popovic, a democratic activist and leader of the revolution that toppled Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. We had met to discuss the revolutions ricocheting around the Middle East....

Tue, 09/06/2011 - 9:36am

If you’re like most consumers of business and financial news, you gobble up those useless lists of “Best Leaders” and “Most Admired Companies,” trusting that people in my line of work have the right formula to measure what’s “best.” Over the years, I’ve been in the room when some b...

Sun, 09/04/2011 - 5:10pm

DALLAS   — In Dealey Plaza, with the white “X” painted on the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated, ask anyone about the grassy knoll and the second gunman.  Conspiracy theories come with the territory here. And at Barbec’s Restaurant on the other side of this sprawling ci...

Fri, 09/02/2011 - 6:51pm

WASHINGTON —Like a lot of us, Arsene Jasmin was glued to the news about Hurricane Irene. He recognized the hype, the clever TV meteorologists promoting their “wall-to-wall” coverage and “eyes on the eye” of the storm. He listened to government officials warn of destruction the way prophets...

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 4:12pm

NEW YORK — Sure, we push people into unions. But that’s OK. Unions are good for the worker. You gotta love ’em. That’s the Labor Day message Americans have received for three-quarters of a century from both organized labor and the National Labor Relations Board. These days the pushiness is s...

Thu, 09/01/2011 - 4:09pm