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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.