Columnists | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

NEW YORK — If you really, really dislike Barack Obama, his long-form birth certificate, finally proffered in exasperation, is quite simply a counterfeit.  If you are a fan of the president — or even a respectful critic — you are relieved finally to have rid the country of the plague of ...

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 5:55pm

Nothing brings out the shamelessness of Washington politicians like rising gas prices, and President Obama is the latest case. His Justice Department on Thursday announced a task force to investigate oil industry prices and practices for fraud. But if there is fraud here, it is that the president an...

Wed, 04/27/2011 - 8:40pm

WASHINGTON — The candidates brandished a “Health Care Bill of Rights for Seniors” that promised to protect Medicare from their opponents’ “raid.” The party chairman wrote an op-ed warning that the other guys’ plan meant that “senior citizens will pay a steeper price and will have the...

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 6:32pm

There are few things journalists like to discuss more than, well, themselves and the long-term prospects for their industry. How long will print newspapers survive? Are news aggregation sites the future? Or are online paywalls — such as the one the New York Times just launched — the way to go? A...

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 5:58pm

NEW YORK — So why do Republicans hate art, the elderly and children?  Hint: Same reason parents hate their children when they say, “No.” We could just leave it at that, but this is too much fun.  The demonizing of Republicans for trying to seriously address our desperately ailing eco...

Sun, 04/10/2011 - 4:34pm

Few things are more puzzling and disconcerting for an economist, and much of the American public, right now than the unemployment rate. From late 2008 to the end of 2009, the U.S. unemployment rate jumped by 3.1 percentage points. What was so shocking about this was that the relationship between une...

Thu, 03/31/2011 - 8:29pm

WASHINGTON — A wit once said, “Finish last in your league and they call you Idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you Doctor.” Pass this baseball quiz and they will call you Doctor of Baseball:  (1) Which two players hold the record for the most seasons (23) played for the sa...

Wed, 03/30/2011 - 7:40pm

BOSTON — We became friends long after we had known each other as candidate and journalist. Long after the grit that Geraldine Ferraro showed facing down press and politicians had been transformed into the grit she showed facing multiple myeloma. I met Gerry in 1984 when we were being teased by rum...

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 5:09pm

That class size should be small is revered like an article of faith in this country. Its adherents include parents, education groups, politicians and, of course, the unions whose ranks it swells. In many states it is even required by law, which has lead to millions of dollars in fines against school...

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 8:34am

Ten years ago, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics proposed that teams should be ineligible for postseason play if they failed to graduate at least half of their players. Today, more than 90 percent of intercollegiate athletic teams meet that minimal academic benchmark, with one notab...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 4:41pm