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John Rash

Editorial writer and columnist | Opinion
Phone: 612-673-4301

John Rash is an editorial writer and columnist. His Rash Report column analyzes media and politics, and his focus on foreign policy has taken him on international reporting trips to China, Japan, Rwanda, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Lithuania, Kuwait and Canada.


Rash's commentary can be heard on WCCO-AM on Friday mornings at 8:10 a.m. and on Wednesdays on "Playing Politics," a podcast from the Editorial Board. He lives in St. Louis Park with his wife, two children and a dog..
Recent content from John Rash
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears via remote during the opening ceremony of the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern Fran

Ukraine needs arms — and hearts and minds, too

As the war endures, so must support and attention from Americans and citizens of other countries.
Activists dismantle Ukraine’s biggest monument to Lenin at a pro-Ukrainian rally in the central square of the eastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sept

'The Long Breakup' gives context to conflict in Ukraine

Filmmaker Katya Soldak will attend Sunday's Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival screening of her documentary about her country's turbulent post-Soviet era.
Clarissa Ward reports in Ukraine in a screenshot on CNN.

Elon Musk, CNN+ and the Times headline latest media tumult

How the new direction of social media and news organizations are received will tell a lot about where media — and democracy — is headed.
Cartoons of the war.

Ukrainian, Russian political cartoons draw upon antiwar sentiment

New exhibit at the Museum of Russian Art showcases satirists' work — and its unflinching support of Ukraine.
Cows walk around a destroyed farm after a Russian attack near Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 28.

World food supply may be the next war casualty

Along with other destabilizing disruptions, Russia's attack on Europe's breadbasket producing "alarming cascading effects," according to the U.N.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the U.S. Congress by video to plead for support as his country is besieged by Russian forces, at the

Neighbors at war, two presidents a world apart

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's communication acumen and motivating message are a sharp contrast to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Ma

The consequences — and clarity — of calling Putin a 'war criminal'

President Joe Biden, "speaking from his heart," calls out the heartless Russian president for atrocities in Ukraine.
President Joe Biden greets Col. Matthew Jones, Commander of the 89th Airlift Wing, as he arrives on Marine One to board Air Force One at Andrews Air F

Playing Politics: Biden heads to Europe

The president looks to advance allied unity on Ukraine. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Marina Ovsyannikova, a dissenting Russian Channel One employee, holds up a poster condemning the Ukraine war during the evening newscast on March 15.

Putin's propaganda hurts the world, but harms Russians most

What Russians read, hear and see — and what they don't — props up the Russian president, but at times the truth seeps through.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared via video before Congress on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium.

Playing Politics: Zelenskyy's address to Congress

The Ukrainian president's speech is analyzed by WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke at a news conference last week.

Playing Politics: Report roasts Minneapolis riot response

Mayor Jacob Frey and other leaders failed to follow protocols. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
Russian howitzers are loaded onto train cars at a station outside Taganrog, Russia, near the border with Ukraine, on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.

Playing Politics: The invasion — and sanctions — begin

The U.S. and Western allies react to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with Russian Emergency Ministry staff via videoconference in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb.

Playing Politics: Russia-Ukraine crisis

The status of Russian forces and communication between the U.S. and Ukrainian presidents is analyzed on "Playing Politics" with WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Denise Johnson and John Rash.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws during NFL football practice Feb. 9, in Los Angeles. The Cincinnati Bengals play the Los Angeles

Super Bowl belies smaller ratings for big events

Fractured TV ratings reflect a fragmented nation, with ever fewer shared cultural experiences.
Pamela Weems listens to a speaker during National Solidarity Justice for Amir Locke Tuesday, Feb. 8, at in Minneapolis.

Playing Politics: Locke shooting roils Minneapolis

Police-community relations in the city are once again national news. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Sheletta Brundidge and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
The Chinese national flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Feb. 4, in Beijing.

'Closed loop' of Olympics extends to Chinese society, too

The 2008 Beijing Games showed China's "emergence on the world stage." This year's version reflects the repression of the Chinese government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Queen Elizabeth

Is the party over for Boris?

Flouting his government's own pandemic rules for revelry at No. 10 Downing Street created a crisis for the British prime minister.
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on April 23, 2021.

Playing Politics: Justice Breyer retirement

The impending vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court comes at a key moment for the Biden administration. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
President Joe Biden takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as his wife, Jill Biden, stands next to him during the 59th

Biden at year one: More Ford than Carter (or FDR)

In his heady early days, he was compared to Roosevelt. Lately, to Carter. But Ford is the more apt precedent for this presidency.
President Joe Biden addresses a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Wednesday.

Playing Politics: The president meets the press

Nearly a year into his tenure, President Joe Biden held a news conference on Wednesday. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Denise Johnson and John Rash.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn speaks to the press in Cologne, Germany, in 1974 after being expelled from Russia.

Echoes of Stalinist past as Russia silences its top human rights group

The Kremlin's closing of Memorial, dedicated in part to chronicling Stalin-era crimes, says much about the Putin era and the power of individuals and art, like Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago," in piercing repression.
President Joe Biden speaks about voting rights at Clark Atlanta University on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.

Playing Politics: Showdown on voting rights

President Joe Biden's legislative push gets pushback from key GOP leaders. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Russian troops take part in drills at the Kadamovskiy firing range in the Rostov region near its border with Ukraine on, Dec. 14, 2021.

2022's global risks include not reckoning with 2021's domestic one

America's ability to effectively respond to geopolitical crises is hindered by divisions apparent in the attack on the Capitol.
Capitol Hill police confront a mob incited by Donald Trump in an attempt to stop the certification of the Joe Biden’s presidential election, in Wash

Playing Politics: Jan. 6 shadows 2022 politics

The congressional investigation into the 2021 attack on the Capitol will affect the run-up to the midterm elections. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
President Joe Biden attends a meeting with his task force on supply chain issues on Wednesday in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus

Playing Politics: A turbulent 2021

A very vexing year heading into crucial midterm and state elections. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
Trump supporters beset a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.

Is political polarity heading toward a 'tipping point'?

New study reflects concern about "a critical point above which polarization becomes difficult, if not impossible, to reverse."
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz reacted to Minnesota’s projected $7.7 billion surplus budget and economic forecast on Dec. 7.

Playing Politics: Will surplus break the legislative logjam?

State lawmakers consider Minnesota's robust revenue forecast. Hear the "Playing Politics" podcast from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Denise Johnson and John Rash.
Britain takes a look at itself, and the world, in commercials from the British Arrows Awards.

Best British ads offer respite from a worried world

The perennially popular Arrows Awards reel begins its annual screening at the Walker Art Center.
Several members of Congress gather with abortion-rights supporters during a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2

Playing Politics: Roe v. Wade case tests the court, and maybe soon the country

Supreme Court justices weigh in on a Mississippi case on reproductive rights. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and Gov, Tim Walz during a news conference this month.

Playing Politics: COVID's hold grimly endures

Despite major medical advancements, the pandemic continues - and continues its impact on politics. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Jill Burcum and John Rash.
Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona leaves his office Nov. 17 as the House prepares to vote on a resolution to formally rebuke him for tweeting an a

New study, news headlines reflect the rise of political violence

Censure of Rep. Gosar, tense trials in Wisconsin and Georgia, continued fallout of Capitol insurrection suggest an accelerating trend.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., on Capitol Hill

Playing Politics: U.S. House debates fate of Paul Gosar

The Republican representative may be censured for posting an animated, violent video. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Jamie Dornan, left, stars as “Pa” and Jude Hill, right, stars as “Buddy” in the film “Belfast.”

'Belfast' returns to the Troubles. Belfast shouldn't.

Kenneth Branagh's compelling film revisits the sectarian strife as tensions rise over a Brexit-triggered trade dispute.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to his supporters at the Save America Rally on the Ellipse on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, near the White House in Wash

Playing Politics: Judge rejects Trump's executive-privilege claim

The former president is trying to shield information related to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
“Vax,” chosen as 2021’s word of the year, dates to the 1980s, according to Oxford.

What's in a word? A year. Or maybe an era.

Oxford Languages, publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary, chooses "vax" as its word of the year.
Kadir Abdulle took a selfie with incumbent Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey as they walked back to the campaign office after he held his first press confe

Playing Politics: A good night for Frey

The Minneapolis mayor was reelected and ballot measures went his way. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
The U.S. Capitol is seen between cardboard cutouts of flames during a climate change protest near the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 15. President

Could climate change lead to war? It's a growing geopolitical threat

Biden administration releases a series of ominous reports before a key U.N. conference.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

Playing Politics: Twin Cities elections down to final days

Minneapolis, St. Paul voters are most focused on public safety. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Denise Johnson and John Rash.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified remotely during a U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee hearing in 2020.

Rash Report: Big Tech is a growing geopolitical force

The dynamic between governments and technology firms will be a key driver of global politics in the coming years.
FILE — Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Playing Politics: Dems' narrow majority slims down bill

Many of President Joe Biden's priorities are the subject of tense congressional negotiations. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi speaks at his first news conference in Tehran, Iran, on June 21, 2021, following his election. American officia

'Pivot' to Asia may pivot back to Mideast

"The runway is getting shorter" on re-entering the Iran nuclear deal, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov, left, and of Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa. On Oct. 8, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to journa

Nobel: Freedom of expression a 'precondition for democracy and lasting peace'

Peace Prizes for Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov are "representative of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions."
President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual COVID-19 summit during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in the South Court Auditor

Playing Politics: Biden administration besieged

From foreign policy to domestic dynamics, the president faces persistent challenges - and criticism. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley

Playing Politics: Woodward's bombshell book on Trump

Among the reporter's revelations are that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff phoned his Chinese counterpart twice to reassure him during the final weeks of the president's administration. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting about cybersecurity, in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday.

Playing Politics: Biden's deadline dilemma

The president is pressed by allies and lawmakers to extend the Afghanistan withdrawal date past Aug. 31. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Denise Johnson and John Rash.
Thousands of Afghans rushed onto the tarmac at the airport in Kabul on Monday, some so desperate to escape the Taliban capture of their country that t

Biden's 'America is back' takes a step back

The president's pledge to reassert U.S. leadership is undermined by the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
April 29, 1975: Evacuees climbed a ladder to a U.S. helicopter on top of a downtown Saigon building.

Rash Report: In Kabul, shadows of Saigon

The Taliban's rapid advance through Afghanistan threatens the capital — and the country — as the U.S. withdraws.
Gianmarco Tamberi, of Italy, embraces fellow gold medalist Mutaz Barshim, of Qatar, after the final of the men’s high jump at the 2020 Summer Olympi

Amid adversity, the Olympic spirit endures

Athletes, their families, Japan and the International Olympic Committee perform under pressure.
The mushroom cloud rises from Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, after the first atomic bomb was dropped by a B-29 bomber, as seen in this photo provi

How 'Hiroshima' made the world understand Hiroshima

The seminal, searing account by novelist and journalist John Hersey revealed the truth of nuclear war's horrors.
John Thompson participated in a breakout session in 2018 after Mayor Melvin Carter’s State of the City address

Playing Politics: Bipartisan heat on Rep. John Thompson

Republican and DFL leaders call for the St. Paul representative, a Democrat, to resign. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
As temperatures soared into the triple digits this month for a third straight day, vendor James Oehlerking spread ice over a tub of bottled beer to pr

Rash Report: Climate-change politics need to cool, too

The U.S. can't continue to let partisanship paralyze the leadership needed for this global challenge.
Gov. Tim Walz spoke at a press conference inside the Minnesota State Capitol earlier this month.

Playing Politics: Special session sprints to finish

Despite the acrimony it appears that Minnesota will avoid a government shutdown. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of a NATO summit at NATO head

Biden boosts — and is boosted by — resurgent U.S. image abroad

Three new Pew Research Center polls helped the president rally allies at the G-7, NATO and European Union summits to contend with geopolitical challenges.
Minneapolis police begin clearing out barricades put up by protestors on W. Lake Street in Uptown on Tuesday, June 16, 2021, in Minneapolis.

Playing Politics podcast: Uptown upheaval latest test for Minneapolis

The city contends with continued demonstrations over a law-enforcement shooting and the death of a protester. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Denise Johnson and John Rash.
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Anthony Ramos in a scene from “In the Heights.”

'In the Heights' soars amid some big cities' lows

The new movie musical, an exuberant celebration of the New York neighborhood of Washington Heights, arrives as urban living faces challenges.
People walk by an election campaign billboard that shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and then-President Donald Trump, in Tel Avi

U.S.-Israel political parallels (and perils)

New leaders in Jerusalem and Washington will contend with a bilateral relationship that's become more political than diplomatic.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa

Playing Politics podcast: State budget brinkmanship

As time winds down, a wide divide is still apparent between DFL Gov. Tim Walz and Republican leaders at the state Legislature. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
A Russian officer stands near a landed Il-76 military cargo plane on the Alexandra Land island near Nagurskoye, Russia, on May 17. Once a desolate hom

Political science — and science — help guide NATO

Bryan Wells, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's chief scientist, talks about the evolving role of science in the Western alliance.
“After Antarctica,” left, is a documentary on Will Steger’s expedition in 1989-90. Right, Sly Stone performs at the Harlem Cultural Festival in

A resilient Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival endures

A local event screening global films, the springtime cultural institution is bracketed by "Summer of Soul" and "After Antarctica."
India is experiencing record-setting COVID cases and deaths. Above, on April 26, relatives stand in front of funeral pyres of those who died from the

In India, and beyond, a looming COVID catastrophe

The U.S. must quickly and comprehensively act upon President Joe Biden's aim to be "an arsenal of vaccines for other countries."
Journalists are hit with pepper spray by law enforcement officers outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department on April 14, the fourth night of unres

Minnesota should be America's 'Nordic model' on press freedom

World Press Freedom Index shows the Scandinavian exception to global press repression, and conditions this state should aspire to.
Derek Chauvin as the verdict was read.

Playing Politics podcast: The Chauvin verdict

Reverberations from the jury's conviction continue. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
Left, Sinclair Lewis inscribed his photo “amiably” to Chicago Sun literary critic C. N. Thomas, and it’s dated “Chicago, Oct. 10, 1922.” Rig

100 years on, 'Main Street' divide endures

New exhibit about Sinclair Lewis, author of the seminal novel about small-town America, opens at the Minnesota History Center.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a news conference on COVID-19 in February 2020.

WHO faces a health and geopolitical pandemic

World Health Organization leader will kick off Global Minnesota's World Health Day Symposium, which will focus on health equity.
An Amtrak train departs 30th Street Station moving parallel to motor vehicle traffic on Interstate 76 in Philadelphia.

Playing Politics podcast: Infrastructure Week (era, actually)

President Joe Biden proposes a $2 trillion plan. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
On the ground in Hong Kong: A still from “Do Not Split,” an Oscar-nominated documentary chronicling protests against restrictions from the Chinese

In Alaska, a cold start to Biden-era China relations

Reactions to U.S. documentary "Do Not Split" and Chinese action film "Wolf Warrior" series reflect Beijing's worldview and diplomatic approach.
A dusting of snow coats the makeshift memorial for those who lost their lives in the mass shooting at King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo.

Playing Politics podcast: Will Washington finally act on guns?

Mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder renew calls for congressional action. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
Maren Morris, left, and John Mayer perform “The Bones” at the 63rd Grammy Awards.

Fans finding some sports championships, award shows less rewarding

Ratings decline due to many media, sociological, programming and pandemic factors, but the result is fewer shared experiences.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz

Playing Politics podcast: Walz sidelined by COVID exposure

While managing the vaccine rollout and coronavirus mitigation measures, the governor is quarantined. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Despite partisan speech throughout the pandemic, there’s a strong sense that we’re in this together. Above, a handmade sign on the lawn of a Grand

Unity elusive during a long pandemic year

Unlike previous crises like World War II, virus left the country's politics, media and, at times, even society more divided than ever.
President Joe Biden at a roundtable meeting with Americans who will benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic relief checks that are a part of the American R

Playing Politics: Biden's big bill

The president gets a victory with the passing of the $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
Anti-coup protesters hold signs as they gather in Mandalay, Myanmar, on March 5.

Freedom recedes worldwide — including here

Recently released report from Freedom House states that "fewer than a fifth of the world's people now live in fully Free countries."
Army Maj. Gen. William Walker, Commanding General of the District of Columbia National Guard answers questions during a Senate Homeland Security and G

Playing Politics: Getting answers on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol

The country deserves a definitive account of what happened. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
Tahar Rahim plays Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Guantanamo Bay detainee, in “The Mauritanian.”

Ending the 'forever internment system' of Guantanamo Bay

New film "The Mauritanian," which depicts a detainee's ordeal, comes amid President Joe Biden's bid to close the U.S. detention facility.
From left, President Joe Biden is joined by his wife, Jill Biden; daughter Ashley Biden; and son Hunter Biden as he takes the oath of office at the U.

Playing Politics podcast: Biden's 'quiet' beginning

A sense of normalcy pervades politics despite the president's ambitious agenda. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.