Columnists

An open-water misadventure

After spending months confined to my house watching and reading fishing materials or, at best, dangling a small jig inside an ice tent, I was relieved to get out on the open water this week, even though it didn’t exactly go to my liking. The spot I chose was Three Bridges County Park near ...

Busy week on the House floor

We quickly shifted gears this week, spending much more time in caucus meetings reviewing bills and then debating them on the floor. We debated and passed over 40 bills this week. Many of the bills are non-controversial, taking but a few minutes to discuss and vote on them. Roughly 90 percent of ...

30+ bills passed out of Senate

Week nine in the Iowa Senate included some of the first major debate of this year. Just this week, we passed over 30 bills out of the Senate chamber. The Senate passed Senate File 536 on Wednesday, which took out a restriction in the Iowa code that limited the operation of tele-pharmacies in ...

Support children’s mental health effort

I was pleased when Gov. Kim Reynolds emphasized the importance of taking action on children’s mental health issues. She did that in her State of the State Address. We now have her proposed legislation and it is moving forward in the legislative process. It is, at this point, a structural ...

Sunshine your fundamental right

For government to be of, by and for the people it must be out in front of the people. The theme for Sunshine Week 2019 is simply, “It’s your right to know.” The reason it’s your right to know is that it’s your government. From the courthouse, to the statehouse to the White ...

SPJ calls on Congress to protect journalists and whistleblowers

Each day, journalists throughout the country are working tirelessly to inform their readers what the government is up to. The free press is one of the most important pillars of American democracy. By reporting the truth, reporters allow the citizenry to elect leaders that represent their values ...

‘Here comes the sun’ moments in government

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo) Here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right George Harrison’s song of spring is a fitting start to my Sunshine Week salute to ...

Facts don’t favor Socialism

As the Democrats careen to the left (and over a cliff), it should not be surprising that their allied “fact-checkers” are running alongside them, trying to “correct” any negative impressions. “Be wary of politicians crying socialism,” warned Washington Post “fact-checker” Glenn ...

Republicans in nonwhite America

The Pew Research Center has produced a projected profile of what the American electorate will look like ethnically in the 2020 elections. The portrait shows a continued trend of America becoming an increasingly nonwhite nation and electorate. Pew projects that 66.7 percent of eligible ...

Why socialism fails

One of the rotten fruits produced by what passes for today’s American education system is the ignorance some young people have about socialism. According to a new Harris Poll given exclusively to Axios, the news and information website, Generation Z (comprised of those born in 1995 or ...

Five years of gunsmithing at Iowa Valley Grinnell

As the Gunsmithing Technology program at Iowa Valley Grinnell reaches its fifth graduating class, it is a good time to reflect on this one-of-a-kind program in Iowa. The program was modeled on some of the most long-term successful schools in the country – a lot of them at other community ...

Scant economic joy in mudville

The American people have been ordered to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the economic recovery. Note the lack of balloons, however, and that the marching bands have their feet up. President Donald Trump, of course, is a brass section unto himself. He’s been trumpeting the “Trump ...

Impeachment quest lets AOC types set Democrats’ agenda

Has the Democratic Party reduced its chances of denying President Trump a second term by continuing to concentrate on throwing him out before the end of his first? You can make a good case that it has. Democrats have been itching to oust Trump since the days before he took the oath of office. ...

Opposing bills that limit our freedoms

March 8 was the funnel date, the date when our policy bills need to be passed by a committee to stay eligible for floor debate. By one account, there have been 1,647 bills filed so far this session in both chambers. The committee chairs, their subcommittees and full committees sort through this ...

Bill on educating savings grants should be supported

Week eight in the legislature was the first funnel week of the year. This deadline requires policy bills to be out of their originating chamber’s committee in order to be considered for the rest of this year. Imposing a funnel deadline forces legislators to focus on priority bills and bills ...

Dear Dietitian

Dear Dietitian, My cousin tells me she is taking fish oil supplements to help her with depression. Do you know of any studies on this topic? Thank you, Andrea Dear Andrea, Omega-3 fatty acids, or simply omega-3s, have received a considerable amount of attention from the health care ...

Can Trump stop the invasion?

In its lede editorial Wednesday, The New York Times called upon Congress to amend the National Emergency Act to “erect a wall against any President, not just Mr. Trump, who insists on creating emergencies where none exist.” Trump “took advantage” of a “loophole” in the NEA, said ...

Peace begins with a smile

“Peace,” we were told by Mother Teresa, “begins with a smile.” Smiles have been very scarce in American political life lately. What follows is a modest attempt to encourage a smile or two. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who first ran for president in 1987, has been publicly ...

The state of hate in the US

Is America really full of hate? Are we truly a nation teeming with victims? Outsiders could certainly come to that conclusion after digesting the steady stream of agitated comments from activists, politicians and media reports about the divisive state of our interpersonal relationships. Hate ...

Thankful for great local care

Oh the irony. My last column — The case for slowing down — happened to publish the weekend I got the stomach flu. And when I say I got the stomach flu, I mean I really got the stomach flu. I had no choice but to slow down. Wash your hands, folks, and if you’re sick, don’t go around a ...