Another View

Moving toward the funnel

We've finished a full and busy week five of the session. Many bills are moving through the committees as we keep an eye on the Feb. 18 funnel date.BudgetThe Senate Democrats have released their budget targets, spending $70 million more than the state collects in on-going revenue.They did not ...

That ‘controversial’ Doritos comercial

In a day when the most innocuous thing can quickly become political, a Doritos Super Bowl commercial has upset some people who want abortion to be an unrestricted right.For those taking a bathroom break or watching "Downton Abbey" instead of the football game, here's the scenario. A pregnant ...

U of I secrecy not appropriate for public school

The philosophy behind Iowa's public records and public meetings laws is quite simple: Government in Iowa should be open to the people of Iowa except in a few rare instances.After all, this is their government. Government does not belong to government officials or to government agencies.The ...

America’s hollow paradises

People with working-class jobs in U.S. beach towns and ski resorts are getting pushed away by exorbitant housing costs.Think back to your favorite vacation. Wouldn't it be delightful if that trip never ended?Imagine moving to that fantastic destination town, finding a job and a house, and ...

I’m skipping the Oscars

For two years in a row, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences - the organization behind the Oscars - failed to nominate a single actor or actress of color in the lead and supporting acting categories. Not one.Meanwhile, though women earned more Oscar nominations overall, they were ...

The times they are a changin’

On Sept. 8, 2015 the voters of Marshalltown made a bold and strong statement that they were not satisfied with the status quo and wanted change in the Marshalltown school district.That day brought to the table four new school board members; and after a school board member resignation on Dec. 7, ...

The GOP’s pro-corporate prescription

Tax credits for working families are a better deal than corporate tax breaks.The conventional wisdom in Washington is that tax breaks for corporations lead to economic growth. Tax assistance for working families, on the other hand, may help them make ends meet, but it doesn't have much impact ...

Broadband rates are too high

Low-income communities are being stranded as everyone else catches a ride on the information superhighway.As the digital revolution hurtles ahead, low-income communities across the United States aren't reaping many of its benefits.The less you make, the less likely it is that you're hooked up ...

The year in review

Just over a year ago, Eastern Iowans sent me to Washington to represent them in Congress. I'm humbled by the trust placed in me by the voters, and I see it as my responsibility to report back on my efforts to serve the First District.I told you during my campaign that if you like the status quo ...

Fear-mongering hurts us all

Representative Loretta Sanchez's bogus claims about Muslims reflect the kind of prejudice that holds America back.Representative Loretta Sanchez voiced the fears of a growing number of Americans when she spoke recently with Larry King as details about the San Bernardino shooters emerged."We ...

In dark times, poetry can enlighten us

Artists are coming together to commemorate victims of violence and create bridges between America and the Middle East.Following the Paris terrorist attacks, the colors of the French flag appeared on American computer screens, in the icons of apps and the faces of friends on Facebook.As this ...

What the GOP’s putting under corporate America’s tree

This year-end tax package is a grab bag of gifts for corporations and a lump of coal for working families.Given the commitment House Republicans profess to balancing the federal budget, you'd think tax breaks for profitable businesses would be a low priority. But this holiday season, they're ...

A time for reflection

December is always a good time for reflection. A year has come to an end, the sun is in its final stages of moving away from us, and Christmas and other religious holidays are upon us. The Iowa artist, Grant Wood, captured the Iowa landscape in late fall/early winter in his sketch, "December ...

The three f’s of Thanksgiving

Why not emulate the Mayflower's passengers and go local with your holiday feast?When I think about Thanksgiving, I think about family, food, and firsts.The first person in my family to eat a Thanksgiving feast was William Brewster, my 13th great-grandfather. He was also one of the first people ...

Refugees happy in Marshalltown

An over-packed, undersupplied refugee camp. Government oppression. This is what life was like for Wee Gay Htoo and Ko Meh, two refugee women from the country of Burma, also known as Myanmar.After a national political shift in the mid-Twentieth Century, members of the majority Burman ethnic ...

Second grader does advanced coursework

Max Sawyer, 8, is a second grader at St. Francis Catholic School whose academic performance is advanced for his grade level."He is very interested in math and reading," said teacher Dee Pohle. "He is excelling at math and reading and does ELP [Extended Learning Program].""He is an excited ...

Planned Parenthood: Long a lightning rod in US culture wars

NEW YORK - As a leading defender of abortion rights and comprehensive sex education, Planned Parenthood deals daily with some of America's most contentious issues, and is well accustomed to receiving verbal threats.Some of the organization's supporters say Friday's deadly shooting at its clinic ...

Iraqi envoy: Paris attack marks new global war

PARIS - The wave of suicide bombers and gunmen who terrorized Paris marked a new stage in the war against extremism that will leave no country in the world untouched, Iraq's foreign minister said Sunday.In an interview with The Associated Press, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Iraq has ...

Random thoughts

Is football (or basketball or baseball) officiating really that bad? Or is it because instant replay has exposed mistakes that have existed all along but never seen?All these decisions are seen at bang-bang speed and it is impossible to get them right all the time, as replays have shown.Of ...

The golden years gap

Just 100 CEOs have as much saved up for retirement as 50 million American families combined.Flo, the Progressive insurance pitch woman in the white uniform and headband, is relentlessly perky. She won't be when she learns about the double standard that lets her CEO sock away millions more for ...