Columnists

Those crazy Florida recounts: It’s Johnny Rocco time, see?

I’d planned to spend the day begging editors for the hundreds of dollars it would cost for a ticket to see political rock star Michelle Obama launch her book (and presidential campaign) with Oprah Winfrey, and then join the rest of the media in pro-Michelle hysteria. I’d also planned to ...

Focusing efforts on tornado relief

I want to begin this column by saying thank you to the voters who returned me to the Statehouse to continue representing all of you in Marshalltown, Bangor, Liscomb, Albion, Green Mountain and the rural areas in between. It is an honor to continue serving you.   As I knocked on doors ...

Nationalism and Patriotism don’t have to be opposites

On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. There, he took the opportunity to slam President Trump’s “America First” nationalism. “Patriotism,” Macron said, “is the exact opposite of nationalism: ...

Trump disappoints again on the world stage

President Trump’s churlish participation in last weekend’s 100th anniversary of the end of World War I was yet another glaring and dismissive example of his insensitivity to Western collective security as the core of American foreign policy. Trump stayed in his Paris hotel room during a ...

Thanksgiving activities for the family

Thanksgiving is a great time to stop and think about what matters to us most. If you are able to enjoy a few days off from work and school as a family, here are some simple ways you can enjoy them together. Get crafty. Start with letting your children create, color or craft placemats and ...

The shame of the Catholic Church

One doesn’t have to be Roman Catholic or even Christian to recognize the great good the Catholic Church has done. America would be worse off were it not its pro-life stance and numerous acts of charity. But good works are sometimes diluted or even overwhelmed by evil works, and it is the ...

6 reasons the CNN-Acosta lawsuit Is lame

CNN’s war on the Trump White House is now entering the legal system. CNN filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia insisting that denying its chief White House shouter Jim Acosta a permanent press pass has caused “irreparable harm,” and that Acosta has ...

Split election result sends polarized politics toward 2020

The Republican president, considered a lightweight and an ignoramus by many in Washington, suffered a setback in the offyear elections, losing several seats and effective control in the House, while maintaining and perhaps strengthening his party in the Senate. His leverage on domestic issues ...

Republican opportunity with young blacks

Buried in the mounds of data fleshing out what happened in the midterm elections is an interesting take on blacks. Nationwide data on black voting in this election cycle do not point to much change. Various polls over recent months seemed to indicate that blacks were starting to warm up to ...

Where do we go when journalism fails us?

This election should remind us how vital and necessary local journalism is to factual reporting. National media outlets routinely fell for stories about topics outside their knowledge base -- stories specially crafted by political operates wanting to shape narratives about campaigns. All one ...

We have an identity problem

According to a recent report in The New York Times, Health and Human Services Department officials have been circulating a proposal to define sex. Their memo says, “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.” They ...

Dilemma for Moderate Republicans: Leave the party or go native

If there was one place where the moderate Republican could make a brave last stand, it was at the Metropolitan Republican Club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. New York County (Manhattan) was one of the few counties outside Ohio to prefer John Kasich over Trump in the 2016 primaries. The ...

Dear Dietitian

Dear Dietitian,   What makes “blue zone diets” like the Mediterranean diet so healthy?   Signed, Chris   Dear Chris,   Blue zones are areas of the world where people live much longer than average. The term was trademarked by Dan Buettner who identified these five ...

You can’t choose your relatives

George Mitchell, a former federal judge and Senate majority leader, was the chief negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement, which brought to a peaceable end 30 years of civil war in Northern Ireland. He was a kid from Waterville, Maine, whose father was the orphaned son of Irish immigrants and ...

The war for the soul of America

The war in Washington will not end until the presidency of Donald Trump ends. Everyone seems to sense that now. This is a fight to the finish. A postelection truce that began with Trump congratulating House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — “I give her a great deal of credit for what ...

Overcoming biases and political hygiene needed in Iowa

With the 2018 election concluded (thankfully), maybe we can get back to a normal life without political banter and negative campaigning. Until, that is, the next news story reveals something about immigration, race, sexual orientation, birthright citizenship, mass murder or other issues that ...

Pecan Pie

In anticipation of the upcoming holiday, today I have recipes using pecans and of course I’m starting with a pecan pie recipe but ending with a salad recipe. Pecan Pie 1 c. corn syrup 1/2 c. brown sugar 3 eggs slightly beaten 2 Tbls. margarine or butter 2 Tbls. flour 1 tsp. ...

A word from our president (not really)

Network announcer: We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this special message from the president of the United States. My fellow Americans. I want to speak to you tonight as I’ve never spoken before, maybe ever — from my heart. I stand before you both humbled and ...

We could lose our country, or save it

“What are these politicians going to do for us?” A guy in Texas asked that question a few weeks back on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” by way of explaining why he won’t be voting in the most important midterm election in modern American history. His words have been playing on an ...

Political parties can no longer harness their bases

It is perhaps the central irony of our politics today: We live in an incredibly polarized and partisan moment, but our political parties have never been weaker. As odd as it sounds, political parties in democracies have an important anti-democratic function. Traditionally, the parties shaped ...