Columnists

Spoiler alert — or not?

Billionaire coffee magnate Howard Schultz has two problems: Ross Perot and Ralph Nader. Schultz, a lifelong Democrat, said on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday that he’s seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent in 2020. So am I, for that matter. With about, oh, 400 ...

Italian Sandwich Loaf

Today is “Super Sunday” and, yes, I know there is a football game, but for some of us it’s all about the food. Here are some recipes to enjoy. Italian Sandwich Loaf 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 1 tsp. Italian seasoning 1/4 c. freshly grated ...

Redistribute the pain

Next time, they should redistribute the pain. That’s an expression Martin Luther King used — he credited Jesse Jackson — in the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike as he urged boycotts and other forms of economic coercion in support of the strikers. Those men had been suffering alone, ...

Pelosi, Trump have few incentives to compromise, so madness will continue

There are those who believe that the president came out the winner in the standoff over the government shutdown. They are what political scientists call very wrong. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went into that pre-shutdown meeting in the Oval Office in early December on somewhat shaky ground ...

Trumping Trump was hard to do in 2018

it of cards ranking above the others in a particular hand. Trump is also the surname of the 45th president of the United States. While examining main stream conservative, centrist and liberal media outlets on what they considered was the number one story of 2018, it may well be that “Trumping ...

At 63 trades tractor for an airplane

The flight instructor asked Tom what he would do if he was going in for a landing and there was a horse in the middle of the runway. Tom thought for a moment and replied, “Well, I guess I’d do a go-around.” The instructor said, “You’d better do it, because there is a horse on the ...

Polar Vortex

“If the thermometer was in inch longer we would have all frozen to death.” This may or may not have been said by Mark Twain. In “Following the Equator,” he did write, “The captain had been telling how, in one of his Arctic voyages, it was so cold that the mate’s shadow froze fast to ...

Preparing for a face off

Last year I was convinced to get a pedicure, which I initially resisted because of “Man Reasons.” This was because I had always treated my feet like Donald Trump’s tax returns: if anyone saw them they’d be horrified and immediately launch a congressional inquiry. Despite my hesitation, ...

Chinese trade deal on horizon

Soybean prices leapt to a six-week high on Friday after President Trump met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and they made progress toward a deal to settle the ongoing trade war with China. Both countries’ leaders now appear optimistic that they can strike a compromise to prevent the ...

Lessons from the past

Seventy-one years ago this month — in January 1948 — a black, 17-year-old high school dropout left home. The last grade he had completed was the 9th grade. He had no skills, little experience, and not a lot of maturity. Yet he was able to find jobs to support himself, to a far greater ...

Schultz is calling Democrats out for how radical their party has become

Democrats are furious at former Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz for announcing that he may launch an independent campaign for president. They fear he will split the anti-Trump opposition and help reelect the president. But what angers them even more is that Schultz is calling Democrats ...

Only Democrats can save this president

Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral. He was my friend, faithful and just to me: But Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honorable man. — Shakespeare, “Julius Caesar” Hakeem Jeffries has, it is whispered, ambitions. The 48-year-old congressman now in his ...

Trump doubles down on political disaster

Having already blundered into self-inflicted political damage, President Trump seems poised to repeat himself in threatening a second government shutdown over his continued insistence that a southern border wall be built. In a Sunday interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said that ...

The Democrats’ Radicalism problem

President Trump is deeply unpopular. According to RealClearPolitics, his favorability ratings now stand at just 41 percent — near-historic lows. This means that Democrats have the upper hand heading into 2020. All they have to do is not be radically insane. And they just can’t do ...

Klobuchar could break Minnesota’s presidential losing streak

Surely the silliest aspirant for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination is already known: “Beto,” aka Robert Francis, O’Rourke is a skateboarding man-child whose fascination with himself caused him to live-stream a recent dental appointment for — open-wide, please — teeth ...

A childhood home isn’t for everyone

First, I saw the photo. Why, I wondered, was my youngest sister texting a picture of a yellow Kobelco excavator perched on a mountain of dirt and splintered wood? I read her message and felt my own patch of earth shift: “Saying good-bye to 1225.” Our childhood home. Gone. About two ...

Kamala Harris, ‘Populist’?

In a widely praised National Review article excoriating the media, Charles C. W. Cooke writes, “Sometimes consciously, but most often unwittingly, journalists treat Democrats as normal and Republicans as abnormal and proceed accordingly in their coverage.” To put that another way, the ...

Sometimes tragedy happens and no one is to blame

This past week our community was dealt yet another horrific blow. Corey Brown was a good kid from a great family. This tragedy will forever alter the Brown family and in many ways our community. All of us who call Marshalltown home are hurting. If you are a parent, the senselessness of this ...

Homeownership development tax credit, continuing fight against abortion

The ceremonies and speeches are done and the House has gotten down to business this week in spite of the cold and freezing rain. The emphasis now is on finishing up the research on bills, having them drafted and reviewed, filing them, assigning them to the pertinent committee and conducting ...

Saddened by tragedy, continuing push for mental health care

Let me begin my column by saying I, like our whole community, am saddened by the tragic death of a child.  I’ve always been very public about the drowning of my brother when he was 12.  First hand, I’ve experienced the guilt, the confusion and all the “what if” and “if only” ...