Columnists

Slow cooker delights

As I’ve mentioned before, my slow cooker is one of the most used appliances in my kitchen. So, today I have some more recipes for the slow cooker. Slow Cooker Meatloaf Meat loaf: 1 large egg, beaten 1 Tbls. milk 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce 1 slice ...

And the Oscar for Best Poster goes to …

Dim the lights and grab the popcorn because tonight Hollywood is bringing its best and brightest stars of yesterday, today, and tomorrow into your home to tell you who you should have voted for! That’s right, it’s Oscar night! Ever since the Academy decided to include a staggering nine ...

The ups and downs of relationships

When you’ve been with someone for a while, one of the most common complaints is that your significant other can’t surprise you anymore. I thought I had gotten to that point and then my wife uttered this magical phrase that will forever be chronicled in Van De Walle lore: “I used to be ...

Gold and silver streak higher

Gold and silver continued rallying this week, reaching the highest level since early November. Prices are exploding on political uncertainty, both in the United States and Europe. Some traders are concerned that President Trump’s economic policies could spark inflation, boosting demand for ...

America’s predictable pension crisis

WASHINGTON — Some American disasters come as bolts from the blue — the stock market crash of October 1929, Pearl Harbor, the designated hitter, 9/11. Others are predictable because they arise from arithmetic that is neither hidden nor arcane. Now comes the tsunami of pension problems that ...

The LA movie that should have won best picture

My candidate lost, and yes, I still can’t get over it. I speak of the 1997 movie “L.A. Confidential.” A riff on the creepy film-noir movies of the 1950s, its dark brilliance lay clouded in the bloated shadow of “Titanic.” This year, another Los Angeles movie is doing a lot better. ...

Update from the Iowa Senate

After weeks of contention in the Senate, we have found bipartisanship as we passed SF 1 and SF 180 though the Senate, both with a 50-0 vote. SF 1- Jobs Impact Statements for Administrative Rules At the beginning of this session, we set out a number of priorities for the coming months. One of ...

The way to clean a flat-screen TV

Dear Heloise: Do you have any hints for keeping a FLAT-SCREEN TV clean and dust-free? I’ve bought a special cleaner for this, and when the light hits the screen, it is still smudged and streaked. — Donna S., Greycliff, Mont. Donna, cleaning a flat-screen TV or computer screen is NOT ...

Trump gets a free ride on conflicts of interest

WASHINGTON — It’s often said of the weather that everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it. The political chatter here is similarly rife with speculation about how President Trump can somehow be brought to heel, but there is no credible plan. Numerous scholars on the ...

News from Des Moines

We have returned to committee activities with the aim to push individually filed bills through committee ahead of the March 3 "funnel" date. We continue to bring forward significant bills that promise to make this a landmark session. This week we filed a Firearms Omnibus bill, House Study Bill ...

Never too young, yet not too old

The new year meant I hit the top of that dreaded “hill” – yes, the BIG 4-0. Since that day, my 11-year-old son has been trying to wrap his brain around the meaning of old. New questions are surfacing around, “Mom back in the olden days, did you have …” So, as I was tucking him ...

Planned Parenthood’s pandering press

Every time you hear the network anchors and reporters act outraged about President Trump calling on “friendly” reporters and the fact that there’s something desperately wrong about trying to avoid negative publicity and hostile questions, think of Planned Parenthood. As with virtually ...

Jane Roe, In Memoriam

I first met Norma McCorvey some 20 years ago, soon after her Christian conversion. That conversion set her against the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion, and in which she was the plaintiff. Operating under the alias “Jane Roe”, McCorvey, 22 years old and pregnant with a ...

IVCE is on a mission

Iowa Valley Continuing Education is on a mission to prepare individuals for college and fulfilling careers through English language learning and high school equivalency classes. We offer these important services at five satellite locations: downtown Marshalltown, Eldora, Grinnell, Iowa Falls ...

The Special Interest Fix

The last two weeks have been the most contentious in my 17 years in the Legislature. In just 10 days, Republican lawmakers and Gov. Branstad unraveled Iowa’s successful, bipartisan collective bargaining law. After watching the events unfold the last week and a half, what we’ve learned is ...

Partisan lines stay fixed amid Trump turmoil

Amid the turmoil of the first month of the Trump administration, with courts blocking his temporary travel ban and his national security adviser resigning after 24 days, the solid partisan divisions in the electorate — modestly changed in 2016 from what they’d been over the previous two ...

What Jim has learned today

When a dog comes into the room and sits on its haunches next to you while you are working at your desk and for long, long, intent moments unblinkingly stares at you, right in the eyes, the dog is most likely trying to telepathically “will” you to go into the kitchen. I learned that if you, ...

We Need a Special Prosecutor

The press has long reported that Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s one time campaign manager, had ties to Russia. Rick Gates, who worked for Manafort at the Republican convention in Cleveland, was named as an “agent of a Ukrainian oligarch” in a 2011 lawsuit. Likewise, Carter Page, a Trump ...

Open letter to our so-called president

Dear Mr. So-Called President: So let me explain to you how this works. You were elected as chief executive of the United States. I won’t belabor the fact that you won with a minority of the popular vote and a little help from your friends, FBI Director James Comey and Russian President ...

Update from Des Moines

On Thursday the Iowa Legislature passed collective bargaining reforms for public sector employees. This legislation will update the existing Chapter 20 laws for Iowa public sector employees. The original goal of the legislation outlined was to provide flexibility for our local officials to ...