Guest Columns

With festive turkey-based feasts fast approaching, and having just re-watched a classic Thanksgiving-themed Steve Martin video, I thought it appropriate that I share a few of the things for which I am thankful. I apologize if the list is too predictable and schmaltzy, but please bear with me.

Speaking in 1910, former two-term president Theodore Roosevelt offered some practical advice that Elizabeth Warren and today’s progressive Democrats would be wise to heed. Although they probably won’t.

It began with 25 candidates. It’s been reduced by half, yet concern persists among Democrats that the party should look beyond the still standing contenders and seek an individual capable of party unification and persuade him or her to enter the race.

In its season opener “Saturday Night Live” did a fine job of skewering political figures who dominated headlines during the show’s summer hiatus. The Trump stuff was funny, but even with new Ukrainian fodder it was routine. The Democratic parodies, however, were fresh and so spot-on that the…

WASHINGTON — We don’t yet know whether President Trump delayed some military aid to Ukraine as leverage to get Ukraine’s president to reopen an investigation into Hunter Biden. But if we are concerned about U.S. officials inappropriately threatening aid to Ukraine, then there are others who …

A question for this moment: If the Earth’s lungs were on fire and the doctor refused to treat it, would there be cause for a third-party intervention?

Andrew Luck, the superstar quarterback who just quit professional football at the tender age of 29, has received mixed reviews from the sports world. Colts fans booed him. And any number of sports writers see his decision to get out of football to avoid more injuries as tragedy combined with…

When I served on the Missouri Public Service Commission, my overriding priority was to ensure that Missouri residents didn’t experience power outages.

“Sometimes I worry that if I ever can retire and do get Social Security payments, they’ll be a lot less than what I’ve been promised,” I said to my CPA, Louie the Number Cruncher.

President Trump has warned China that it must respond “humanely” to the protests in Hong Kong if it wants a trade deal, for the first time suggesting that the United States would impose costs on Beijing if it launched a Tiananmen Square-style crackdown on the city. It’s about time. China is …

Our sixth-generation, family-owned company has been headquartered in Missouri for more than a century. We supply steel for bridges, buildings and pipelines. Our work has given us a close-up view of the challenges facing U.S. manufacturers due to subsidized imports. Lately, the only good news…

Amidst the latest bloodshed — the worst of it triggered by a white racist domestic terrorist whose El Paso manifesto echoes Trump’s racist rhetoric — I bet you’re jonesing for some good news. I’m happy to share what I have. Admittedly it isn’t much, but at this point we should probably be gr…

These “debates” are to serious policy discussions as a kazoo is to an orchestra. You can say a kazoo is an instrument, and you can say that these truncated thoughts are proposals, but you’ll invite smirks.

Missouri Western State University is a special place where students can learn, grow and acquire the tools necessary to succeed. As its new leader, now is a perfect time to talk about the university’s impact and the value of a four-year college degree.

WASHINGTON — Here we go again. President Trump appeared to renew his threat to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement if Democrats do not pass his new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. His threats may worry pro-trade Republicans, but they are music to the ears of anti-NAF…

WASHINGTON — Thirty months after setting the goal of sending a mission 239,000 miles to the moon, and returning safely, President John Kennedy cited a story the Irish author Frank O’Connor told about his boyhood. Facing the challenge of a high wall, O’Connor and his playmates tossed their ca…

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s detractors are trying to play down the significance of the U.S.-Mexico immigration deal, saying it is largely comprised of actions that Mexico already had agreed to many months ago.

Fifty years ago this summer, Charles Manson went on a killing spree that shocked the nation and was the ghoulish “gold standard” for heinous crimes. While some killers have been more prolific (like the Rev. Jim Jones) and some have been more photogenic (like Ted Bundy), and some have been mo…

WASHINGTON — The American people are sending a pretty clear message to Washington: They are sick and tired of the investigations into President Trump and don’t want Democrats in Congress to impeach him. But the Democrats aren’t listening.

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. — A new United Nations report projecting the extinction of one-eighth of all animal and plant species should rattle the cages of any remaining skeptics regarding climate change and the central role humans have played in Earth’s accelerating destruction.

WASHINGTON — A man who worked in a boxer’s corner in a 1962 match against Cassius Clay, as he still was known, explained why the referee stopped the fight in the fourth round: “Things just went sour gradually all at once.” It can be like that when government dabbles in protectionism.

WASHINGTON — If Shakespeare had titled Attorney General William Barr’s appearance on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he would have called it “Much Ado About Nothing.”

With heartbreak, we have watched our friends and neighbors across the states of Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska suffer from the impacts of historic Missouri River flooding, caused by severe winter weather, which included the infamous “bomb cyclone” pattern, leaving behind record river stages, a …

The Trump administration is upping the ante in its war on undocumented immigrants with a new proposal to boot them from public housing — all in the name of helping “the most vulnerable” Americans.

My friend Jack Corrigan, one of the smartest politicos/lawyers I know, saw it right away. He called it “the key punch-pulling passage in the report.” It occurs on page two of volume two, where Robert Mueller says he and his team “determined not to apply an approach that could potentially res…

WASHINGTON — That Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., went on FOX News for a town hall Monday night was controversial among Democrats. As Sanders told hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, “Not everybody thought I should come on this show. Your network does not necessarily have great respect in my …

Joe Biden’s explanatory video in response to stories of his sometimes overly exuberant physicality was well-played. He seemed relaxed, sincere, unscripted and, above all, not supine.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the Missouri River through the Master Manual, a 432-page document that lays out eight congressionally authorized purposes: flood control, river navigation, hydroelectric power, irrigation, water supply, water quality, recreation, and fish and wildlife…


They had no choice in the matter, but farmers and businesses deserve some praise for withstanding the uncertainties of a trade war between the U.S. and China.

Maybe Brian Myers has an ax to grind. Maybe Beau Musser stirs up trouble wherever he goes. Perhaps Bruce Woody is the best, final authority on the $178 million city budget.

You can blame one of this country’s biggest coal supporters, a man who happens to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., for the wind-power controversy swirling around Buchanan County.

Surely, Bruce Woody and other city leaders knew that Beau Musser was going to bring more than atta-boys to his role in financial oversight at City Hall.

More than 15 bills were filed in the Missouri legislature this year to address election issues, from provisions for early voting to the threshold for getting initiative petitions on the statewide ballot.

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The Republicans in Missouri’s General Assembly have only themselves to blame for the mess that is the new redistricting process in this state.

A century ago, some of the companies advertising in St. Joseph’s city directory included Edison Phonographs, the Kirkpatrick Jewelry Co. and the Plymouth Clothing Co.

The push for new high-school facilities encountered strong resistance from some who viewed the proposals as too costly or extravagant, not to mention the headwinds associated with a strong sense of nostalgia.

We’re going to go out on a limb and predict the winner of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans.

Environmental advocates face a similar paradox as deficit hawks. The actions that bring short-term economic benefits create long-term harm, either from the fiscal fallout of excessive borrowing or the carbon emitted from industrial activity.

At most jobs, you won’t be considered employee of the month just for walking in the door. But it’s a start.

As Americans, we fight about everything from guns and abortion to taxes and the environment. We’re even known to trade barbs over frivolous matters, like the interaction between two private citizens at a football game.

All eyes turn to football heading into this weekend. Even the Missouri legislature got into the spirit, voting last year to designate the Kansas City Chiefs as the state’s “official” NFL football team.

Americans live in one of the wealthiest countries in world history. The nation’s unemployment rate is down to 3.5 percent, near the natural rate that reflects voluntary job turnover. We argue about things like Donald Trump’s movie cameo, a mere trifle compared to what past generations endured.

One year ago, Americans learned that draining the swamp wasn’t so neat if it meant no tax preparation, limited drug inspections and demoralized air traffic controllers.

News organizations love to look back to the top stories of the previous year. Crime, politics and natural disasters always seem to make the list. St. Joseph was no different in 2019.

In recent years, Uber’s surge pricing on New Year’s Eve showed millennials that the gig economy isn’t that much different from the old-fashioned economy.

Of all the predictions for 2020, the most sobering one involves the likelihood of another round of flooding on the Missouri River.

In one scene from the movie “The Blues Brothers,” Jake asks how often the train rumbles past the Chicago hotel where he’s staying.

A lawsuit that challenges the University of California’s use of standardized exams for college admittance shouldn’t be viewed as one of those odd local stories that’s good for little more than a raised eyebrow in the rest of the country.

It’s easy to get lost in the tall weeds of border squabbles, real estate transactions and tax abatement formulas when assessing a community’s business attraction efforts.

Those who sit down for a Christmas meal with family and friends are likely to enjoy ham, turkey, potatoes and perhaps some pie. The hot rolls will be lavishly buttered, but the sight of someone passing around a jug of milk might be about as likely as finding one of those 1970s-era vibrating …

President Ronald Reagan signed the National Drinking Age Act into law on July 17, 1984. The measure required states to raise the minimum drinking age to 21 or face a reduction in federal highway funding.

December is a great time to talk about economic development. That’s because every job-creation bill resembles a Christmas tree.

In Pyongyang, a traffic security officer stands on street corners to direct the flow of vehicles at intersections in the North Korean capital.

It’s hard to argue with the transformational effect of a new Missouri River bridge to replace the Interstate 229 double-decker.

City officials worry that a forest of commercial signs creates a negative community appearance on the Belt Highway.

One of the remarkable things about the U.S. economy is how it’s performed so well despite the self-inflicted wounds of trade wars.

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