Columnists | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

WASHINGTON -- Americans are a fickle lot. They create celebrities out of those they adore, and then hate them for acting like celebrities. Thus, we want our politicians to be one; we just don’t want them to act like one. And what does acting like a celebrity mean, anyway? If you’re Barack Obama,...

Wed, 08/31/2011 - 5:06pm

LOS ANGELES — To understand the cultural significance of Steve Jobs, you have to go back in time: to before the iPad or iPhone or iTunes, before Apple’s comeback products made candy-colored plastics and iAnything cool, before Jobs got kicked out of Apple, even before the Macintosh hurled a sledg...

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 8:18pm

WASHINGTON — Rick Perry’s rapid lead over previous Republican front-runner Mitt Romney was predictable. But it is not a good sign for Republicans hoping to reclaim the White House and further highlights the crucial battle within GOP circles: Who is the godliest of us all? That’s the mirror-mir...

Sun, 08/28/2011 - 9:54pm

WASHINGTON —Labor boss Richard Trumka is not one to nibble around the edges.  He declined a plate of bacon and eggs when sitting down to breakfast with a group of reporters last week because, the AFL-CIO president explained, he was concerned he might spit out a mouthful if he didn’t like a ...

Fri, 08/26/2011 - 5:26pm

Tell me again why Barack Obama has been such a bad president? I’m not talking here about him as a tactician and communicator. We can agree that he has played some bad poker with Congress. And let’s stipulate that at the moment he’s falling short in the intangibles of leadership. I’m thinking...

Fri, 08/26/2011 - 5:15pm

Steve Jobs has just stepped down as CEO of Apple, handing the reins to Tim Cook and taking a role as Chairman of the Board. His letter noted: “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. ...

Thu, 08/25/2011 - 7:58pm

Post-Perry, the Republican 2012 field seems stuck. You could tell by the bleats at Paul Ryan’s announcement Monday that he wasn’t yet willing to run for president that everyone is not overwhelmingly enthused by the current prospects. Instead of hosting any of the candidates, “Meet the Press”...

Wed, 08/24/2011 - 9:39pm

NEW YORK — Scene: An elevator in New York Presbyterian Hospital where several others and I were temporary hostages of a filthy-mouthed woman who was profanely berating her male companion. It wasn’t possible to discern whether he was her mate or her son, but his attire (baggy drawers) and insolen...

Sun, 08/21/2011 - 5:16pm

As he golfs and bikes on Martha’s Vineyard, President Barack Obama will have plenty of time to think about how to get his presidency back on track. Some aides are calling the major speech he plans to deliver after Labor Day a “reset” of his administration. That may understate its political imp...

Fri, 08/19/2011 - 9:04pm

WASHINGTON —  Is there anyone in the White House with nerve enough to tell Barack Obama that Martha’s Vineyard is the last place on earth that the president of the United States should find himself? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t begrudge the chief executive a little time off from the Oval...

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 4:39pm