Columnists | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

WASHINGTON — Who would’ve thought Allen West would go squishy?  During the Florida Republican’s successful campaign for the House, West became a tea party sensation with his speech urging supporters to take up arms against “a tyrannical government.”  “If you’re here to stand ...

Thu, 08/04/2011 - 6:35pm

  WASHINGTON — The credit rating on U.S. bonds may survive the debt-ceiling fiasco, but the president and speaker of the House, the two most powerful figures in American government, have already been downgraded....

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 7:26pm

WASHINGTON — Michael Gerson, who knows a thing or two about presidential speeches, says that President Barack Obama’s Monday night address to the nation about the debt ceiling really wasn’t about anything at all. The president was merely getting a jump on the blame game rather than advancing a...

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 3:41pm

WASHINGTON — If only the migraine problem had been Mitt’s. Or Newt’s. Or any man’s rather than a woman’s. By now Michele Bachmann’s migraine headache problem is well known. She takes prescription medications, sometimes has to be hospitalized, and reportedly is temporarily out of commissi...

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 9:01pm

WASHINGTON — Twenty Republican lawmakers crowded the Senate TV studio last week to issue a threat: Meet their demands, or they will force the United States to default.  The only way to prevent the catastrophe, these tea party faithful said, was for the Senate to pass, and the president to sig...

Fri, 07/22/2011 - 5:28pm

WASHINGTON — Politics Rule No. 1: Never say what you really think, especially before you think. GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain learned this lesson hard and fast when he asserted recently that communities have a right to thwart construction of mosques in their neighborhoods. Cain, who hails f...

Fri, 07/22/2011 - 4:58pm

WASHINGTON — Eric Cantor has perfected the strategic sneer.  It comes, frequently, when he answers a reporter’s question about something President Obama has said: The House majority leader’s lip curls up on the left side and a look of disgust washes over his face. This week, he has been c...

Wed, 07/20/2011 - 7:13pm

WASHINGTON — Most would agree that one would have to stoop pretty low to question the story of a man’s mother’s death.  But what if that deathbed story were the locus of a sweeping policy that encompassed a huge slice of a nation’s economy?  And what if the individual who told the ...

Fri, 07/15/2011 - 9:41pm

WASHINGTON — John Boehner is in a box.   The House speaker’s Republican caucus doesn’t entirely trust him. His understudy, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, has set him up for a fall with the tea party set. Worst of all, his political archrival is now praising him.  “Speaker Boehne...

Wed, 07/13/2011 - 7:19pm

Sen. Al Franken clawed his way into office in the most high-profile of ways, eking out a victory over incumbent Norm Coleman in a recount covered closely by the national media. Since then, he has disappeared. This is by design: The senator claims to “focus” on home-state media outlets, often to ...

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 4:13pm