Columnists

Trump’s border wall is a MacGuffin

The border wall is now a MacGuffin, and that’s the problem. A MacGuffin is a term of art in screenwriting. It’s the thing the hero wants but the bad guys are trying to get, and therefore it drives the action of the story. In John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon,” the Maltese Falcon is ...

Close to home

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Pablo Picasso John Bloom’s exhibition, “Close to Home” was on display at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport. It was a Tuesday, a day off in the middle of the week for Ginnie, and we had never been to the Figge Art Museum in ...

The flu vs. Captain Sterilization

I don’t know about your house, but anytime a child sneezes or complains of a stomachache at our house we turn into the CDC and treat the affected with paranoia normally reserved for those suspected of witchcraft in the late 1600s. You know in your head how you always picture firemen ...

Gold and silver explode on inflation prospects

A report that Federal Reserve officials are close to ending their reduction of U.S. bond holdings stimulated a run on gold and silver because of its inflationary implications. More political drama in Washington, including the Russia investigation and hopes for a solution to the shutdown caused ...

If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were a conservative

If Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., were a conservative, all anyone would be talking about is how uninformed she is. She would be facing trick questions from reporters designed to expose her lack of knowledge, and brutal sketches on “Saturday Night Live” mocking her intelligence and ...

Democrats have their Thatcher in Elizabeth Warren, if they dare

Margaret Thatcher’s description of herself as a “conviction politician” alarmed some Britons but delighted others because her convictions were incompatible with the flaccid centrist consensus that had produced their nation’s 1970s stagnation. In 1979, voters rolled the dice, sending her ...

Are people ignoring Trump or just bored by him?

It started during the midterm campaign. Democrats stopped talking about Donald Trump all the time. Now presidential hopefuls are doing the same. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, once a relentless sparring partner on Twitter, all but ignores Trump’s goading comments. Is the reason, as some commentators ...

Factually incorrect cannot be morally correct

A few weeks ago, the Fresh Face of the Democratic Party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., gave one of the great defenses in the history of politics. Accused of fibbing and twisting facts to meet her radical agenda, Ocasio-Cortez explained, “I think that there’s a lot of people more ...

BuzzFeed’s ‘scoop’ opens press to more credibility challenges

A rare rebuff by the Justice Department’s Special Counsel’s Office to a BuzzFeed report on President Donald Trump — calling it “not accurate” — has raised the stakes in the president’s war on the press as “the enemy of the people.” The spokesman for Robert Mueller’s ...

Contacts and signs

I’ve been working a lot lately. Too much, perhaps. And though I’ve known people who buoy heavy workloads with a newfound dedication to meditation or morning walks, such an onslaught of deadlines and extraction of brainpower only buoys my dedication to wearing the same jeans and bra 18 days ...

The media’s Buzzfeed and Covington disasters

The last few days have been absolutely terrible for the reputation of the badly named “mainstream media.” The myth that they tried to build for themselves after the 2016 election — that the American people were too prone to misinformation from malignant (and often foreign) actors in ...

New state assessments to be introduced to students in spring

In 1935, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) were first administered in Iowa. Students in grades six through eight completed the ITBS tests in subjects such as reading comprehension, spelling and mathematics. These assessments were state of the art. Continuing with level of excellence the Iowa ...

Rep. White Supremacist

In May 2012, at a town hall, Rep. Steve King, R—Iowa, compared immigrants to dogs. “You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog. Well, we’ve got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet. ... We got the vigor from the planet to come to ...

Will elites ever respect voters’ decisions on Brexit and Trump?

It was no coincidence that Donald Trump scheduled a trip to Britain to promote one of his golf courses in Scotland, on June 23, 2016. That was the day of the Brexit referendum in which 52 percent of the electorate —17.4 million voters, more than any party has ever won in a general election ...

More self-inflicted presidential legal woes

Last week, the investigative arm of BuzzFeed sparked a media frenzy with a report claiming that two federal law enforcement sources had informed its reporters that Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and confidant, had told special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump counseled ...

Five money-saving tips to reduce your health care costs

For many people, the start of the New Year is a customary time to assess their health and finances. And for most Iowans, new health plan benefits begin in January, so now is an ideal time to learn how your health plan works. Here are five tips that may lead you to better health and even help ...

The shutdown necessarily continues

The Democrats have long supported securing the border. But it is a signature initiative from President Donald Trump. So now they oppose it. The President cannot cave in, or Nancy Pelosi gets a win. There should be a way out, but both sides are now committed to their positions. Short of TSA ...

Who benefits from Democratic control?

In 1976, Gerald Ford won 15 percent of the black vote. That’s the most of any recent Republican presidential candidate. In most elections, blacks give Democrats over 90 percent of their votes. It’s not unreasonable to ask what have blacks gained from such unquestioning loyalty to the ...

Dear Dietician

A few months ago, I wrote about the 2018 Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) outbreaks related to Romaine lettuce. The contaminated lettuce was eventually traced to farms in California and Arizona. Due to these outbreaks, 272 people became ill, 121 were hospitalized and five people died. Recently, there ...

Weeding out the 2020 presidential candidates

How do we determine which governor or senator, celebrity or capitalist has what it takes to become a serious presidential candidate? Not that long ago, legendary New York Times columnist Russell Baker wrote that there was somewhere (almost certainly in the press section) a mysterious authority ...