Donald Kaul wrote columns for 50 years, beginning with a long stint at the Des Moines Register that made him a household name (in a good way) throughout Iowa. OtherWords distributed his columns from 2001 through July 2012, when he had a heart attack and declared that he needed either a temporary or permanent break. Kaul, who was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary in 1987 and 1999, lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You can read more about his career in this column.


My Favorite Fourth of July Speech

Real patriotism requires coming to terms with the grimmer side of American history.

Sideshow Candidate

One well-rehearsed performance in a single debate shouldn’t wipe out the memory of Michele Bachmann’s long public career filled with absurd misstatements of fact and bizarre conspiracy theories.

Stay Healthy

There are a thousand ways to die and every one of them has a lobbyist working for it in Washington. You are the only lobbyist working for No. 1.

Don’t Bet on Huntsman

Huntsman might be that magic Republican: one orthodox enough to win the GOP nomination but flexible enough to succeed in the general election. I wouldn’t bet on it.

Israel’s Third-Rail Borders

It doesn’t take a stooge or a Nazi to take Israel’s 1967 borders as a no-brainer.

Some Good News, at Last

The fact that one of the world’s most powerful financial officials could be arrested and thrown in jail for assaulting a chambermaid gives me hope for my country.

Debt Ceiling Kabuki

Trying to hold down the deficit by not raising the debt ceiling is like trying to balance your family budget by deciding not to pay the rent or your mortgage.

Making an Exception for Osama bin Laden

We are afraid as once we were not, not even in the darkest days of World War II when the Nazi monster threatened us.

Good Riddance

The 9-11 attacks assaulted our self-confidence and delivered a blow to our sense of well being from which we have yet to recover, a decade later.

Bachmann May Surprise Us Yet

Republican primary voters like weird, and when it comes to weird, Rep. Michele Bachmann tops the list.

Why are we the Tea Party’s Hostages?

Our deficit is manageable if we’re smart about it.

Finally, Obama Leads on the Deficit

In 1993, President Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress raised taxes and lowered the deficit, at which point the economy took off and produced a budget surplus for the final four years of his presidency.

NPR’s Stupid Situation

A string of high-profile blunders and trumped-up stings are endangering a key public and cultural institution.

Detroit’s Ruins

It’s not only cruel but stupid to let a noble city like Detroit simply fade away.

Sarah Palin and the Dozen Dwarfs

The tea party effect: no Republican who can win the general election in 2012 can be nominated.

The Dangers of Nuclear ‘Ice-Nine’

We were just about to start getting back into the nuclear energy business ourselves after refraining from building any new nuclear reactors for decades.

Let’s Stay out of Libya

Why is it that going to war is the only issue politicians can agree on?

The Road to Budget Sanity

Cutting military spending would make us leaner and meaner; stronger, not weaker.

What’s at Stake in Wisconsin

The attack on the public service unions in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana is the first volley in an all-out war by conservatives on all unions.

Climate Science can Weather a Winter Storm

Big snowstorms don’t disprove climate change.

    My Broken Heart

    The Winston-Salem (NC) Journal | July 26, 2012

    The War on Soda Pop

    The (Biloxi MS) Sun-Herald | July 22, 2012

    My Broken Heart

    The Des Moines (IA) Register | July 22, 2012

    The War on Soda Pop

    The (Prestonsburg KY) Floyd County Times | July 20, 2012

    Pennsylvania’s High-Profile Pedophile Scandals

    The Youngstown Vindicator | July 11, 2012

    Pennsylvania’s High-Profile Pedophile Scandals

    The Springfield (MO) News-Leader | July 11, 2012

    Save Austerity Measures for the Next Boom

    The Holland (MI) Sentinel | July 6, 2012

    Save Austerity Measures for the Next Boom

    The Winston-Salem (NC) Journal | July 3, 2012

    One Weak Domino

    The Indianapolis Star | June 30, 2012

    One Weak Domino

    The Des Moines (IA) Register | June 30, 2012