Columnists

Democrats, Don’t Blame the Voters Who Are Not Racist

One of the great fringe benefits of working around American politics during the past 10 American presidencies has been the colorful characters I’ve gotten to meet. Characters do not come more colorful than Dick Tuck. Having just learned that he had lost a California state Senate primary, he ...

‘The things that bind’

I learned that if one were to observe three different babies, all three born totally blind and all three from vastly different parts of the world; one's father herds goats on the African Savannah, another's father owns oil wells on the Caspian, the last one's father sells insurance in Des ...

Vacation journal: The ride into oblivion

Editor’s note: This is from the Van De Walle Collection, originally published Oct. 23, 2016. Dear Journal, It’s the calm before the storm that is strapping an annoyed, tired, hungry, squirming whine machine into a car for the first eight of a 12-hour journey. And that’s just me. The ...

Merkel misses the mark

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a major electoral setback this week, muddying the outlook for her rule and the future of the European Union. Germany’s two mainstream parties, the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democrats both lost substantial support to fringe parties, ...

Disabled by Government

A third threat to free speech at University of California, Berkeley has led to more censorship than political rioters or college administrators. It’s the Americans with Disabilities Act. Berkeley is expensive. Out of state students must pay $60,000 a year. But for five years, Berkeley ...

Kodet, Rose

Taste of Central Iowa

Autumn goodness October means fall recipes ... here are three: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars 1 pkg. pound cake mix 3 eggs, divided 2 Tbls.. butter, melted 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened 1 can sweetened condensed milk 1 can (15 oz.) ...

Medicare by the numbers

Dear Readers: Have you been waiting for a new MEDICARE CARD, one that might protect your identity better? Your wait will be over soon. Here’s the scoop: Your current Medicare card probably has your Social Security number on it. Medicare strongly suggests that seniors and others who ...

The Strategy of Going Too Far

There’s a running argument on the right these days. It begins each time the left overreacts to a Trumpian move with wild radicalism, alienating Americans in the middle. Some on the right attribute the left’s penchant for political hara-kiri to President Donald Trump’s masterful ...

Taking a knee against Trump

To readers from Mars, “taking a knee” is a quarterback’s tactic of running out the clock in a game he’s winning, to seal the victory. In the last two years, it’s been used by many National Football League players during playing of the national anthem, to express protest against police ...

Father concerned with upcoming depoloyment

Q: I’m a soldier getting ready to deploy overseas (again). Previous deployments have negatively impacted my relationship with my kids. My wife and I want to be proactive this time; do you have any suggestions? Jim: I thank you for your service, and my heart goes out to your family. Life ...

Unnecessary roughness

If you like professional sports, a major reason — perhaps THE reason — you attend games, or watch them on TV, is that it helps you escape from whatever occupies your mind the rest of the week. You certainly don’t want the issues of the day encroaching on your enjoyment. The recent ...

Trump vs. the NFL

The national media remain obsessed over President Trump’s tweets, especially when they can be interpreted as racially inflammatory. Liberal sports journalists spent the summer hoping and wondering when the original national anthem kneeler, Colin Kaepernick, was going to get another ...

MCC’s commitment to campus safety

What keeps me up at night? As a parent, wife, daughter, friend, colleague and college leader there are many issues and concerns that oftentimes keep “the sandman” away. But I have to admit that headlines like “32 Killed at Virginia Tech” (2007), “27 Killed at Sandy Hook Elementary” ...

All Is Not Forgiven, Sean Spicer

On his first full day as president, Donald Trump showed up at the CIA, described journalists as “among the most dishonest human beings on earth” and accused them of making up stuff about him. He blamed journalists for a perceived rift between him and the intelligence agencies — failing ...

Tension Between President and Congress Is Usual

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the president seems out of alignment, on policy and political goals, with his party in Congress. This strikes many as an anomalous, even alarming, situation. But if you look back at history, it’s more like the norm — even if Donald Trump isn’t. The ...

Halloween and Election Day …

Halloween and Election Day are just around the corner, readers. Halloween — Oct. 31— is approximately five weeks away with Marshalltown’s “Trick or Treat Night” fittingly the same night from 5:30-7 p.m. The former is one of my favorite holidays, I enjoy the kids coming to our ...

Dear Jackson Bezzant:

Hi, my name is Leonard. I read your dad’s Facebook post about you and wanted to share some thoughts. When I was your age, I was a shy, skinny kid with thick glasses, couldn’t play kickball to save my life, always had my head in a book, lived alone in my own little world. All of this drew ...

I Have More Moral Authority Than Jimmy Kimmel

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel has been on a roll lately. As Stephen Colbert’s ratings have gone up by capturing the attention of angry liberals, Kimmel had to do something. So he took up the crusade against touching Obamacare and is using his son for moral authority. His facile logic is ...

Help parents or pay student loans?

Dear Dave, I graduated from college two years ago, and I have a good job making $60,000. I have about $10,000 in student loan debt, but my mom and dad have a real issue with their roof. It’s leaking in places to the point they have to set buckets around to catch the water, and I’ve gotten ...

Making health care better

There is a family story from my mother’s people about my Great-Grandmother Lizzy Danner. Her mother-in-law would come for long visits and would carry all of her patent medicine with her for various illnesses she thought she had. Her son, Lizzy’s husband, would say, “Mother, you are making ...