Columnists | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

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

WASHINGTON —When he was indicted, Rod Blagojevich quoted Kipling  . After his impeachment, he quoted Tennyson. And Monday, on the day he was convicted on 17 corruption-related counts, the former governor of Illinois quoted Elvis.   “My hands are shaky and my knees are weak,” he ...

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 6:20pm

Rep. Eric Cantor has walked out of Joe Biden’s budget talks because Democrats are insisting that tax hikes be part of any debt-ceiling deal. But Cantor’s entire party has already voted for Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which does not include any tax hikes and, despite its controversial spending cut...

Fri, 06/24/2011 - 7:43pm

WASHINGTON — It was another day of Obama bashing in the Capitol.  “I’m profoundly disappointed,” one lawmaker said at a news conference last week.  “A disappointment to say the least,” said another.  “Wrong decision,” said a third.  “His proposal failed.” ...

Fri, 06/24/2011 - 7:35pm

WASHINGTON — There was no banner, no naval cheering section, no aircraft-carrier landing and — thank heavens — no flight suit. But make no mistake: President Obama gave his own version of a “mission accomplished” speech Wednesday. ...

Thu, 06/23/2011 - 4:24pm

It’s commencement time and, for newly minted grads facing a long and potentially futile job search this summer, there’s at least one bit of good news. According to its recent Spring Salary survey, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that starting salaries are up 5.9 p...

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 7:41pm

MANCHESTER, N.H. — “Assume the position!” CNN’s John King ordered the candidates as they approached their lecterns just before airtime for Monday night’s debate .  The Republican presidential contenders did as the moderator told them.  Mitt Romney assumed the position of the capa...

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 6:10pm

When historians look back at how Barack Obama lost the 2012 election - or won it only because the Republicans nominated a certifiable space case - they will doubtless focus on his first few months in office and ponder why he didn’t do more to stanch the recession and arrest the downward mobility o...

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 7:11pm

What to do with a washed-up dictator? Like revolutionaries before them, the protagonists of the Arab Spring are discovering that there are no good options for disposing of the corrupt strongmen they are pushing out of office....

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 7:54pm

WASHINGTON — Most of us don’t begin the summer by crashing the annual Memorial Day weekend gathering of bikers at Rolling Thunder, a Washington event to honor veterans. But most of us are not Sarah Palin. While Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty are hol...

Sun, 06/05/2011 - 8:02pm