Columnists

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 ...

At age 70, time to rethink NATO

“Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last.” So said President Charles De Gaulle, who in 1966 ordered NATO to vacate its Paris headquarters and get out of France. NATO this year celebrates a major birthday. The young girl of 1966 is no longer young. The ...

A survivor shares her story of human trafficking

January is both Human Trafficking and Stalking Awareness Month. Trafficking and stalking are problems that continue to plague our society. Estimates show there are more than 40 million victims of human trafficking around the world, most of which are women and children. It’s happening in Iowa ...

Political impasse at home and abroad

The U.S. government shutdown continued this week, deepening concerns about the long-term economic impacts of the impasse in Washington. In addition to the lost economic activity from the 800,000 federal employees and up to 4 million government contractors who are furloughed or working without ...

What did they do with Lindsey Graham?

If loyalty only goes so far, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s goes every which way — depending on the day, week, month — or proximity to Election Day. One day, he may think Donald Trump is a “kook.” That was Graham’s description of Trump in 2016, shortly after he’d ended his own campaign ...

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Since January is National Soup Month, I have a Cream of Cauliflower Soup recipe to celebrate. Also, I included a recipe for Lipton’s Dry Onion Soup that is used as seasoning in so many recipes. Cream of Cauliflower Soup 4 c. canned chicken broth 2 Tbls. butter 1 1/2 c. chopped ...

Some find it all too easy to denigrate women

This is a column about some black people. Not all, thank goodness. Not even most. But if you watched the stunning recent Lifetime documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly,” which detailed decades of sexual assault accusations against the singer, surely you wondered about some of the black people ...

Trump-Russia conspiracy theories unlikely to pan out

Before we get to the question of whether the president of the United States is a Russian asset, let’s consider another question: When was the last time a popular and contentious conspiracy theory turned out to be true? Not a little true, but, like, really true? It does happen. Whittaker ...

Cruising with the kids

I am starting off 2019 with my dream job. It is the unexpected-but-always-hoped-for whipped-cream-and-cherry-on-top gig, granted after 14 years of my paying my screenwriting dues. The workload is intense, the accelerated timeline nearly impossible, but the experience is a gift. One of the ...

Stray cats

I thought Barney’s food was disappearing awfully fast. Barney is the cat that adopted us, and Ginnie and I love him. We took him to the vet and had him fixed and given shots. He didn’t seem to mind. He’s less than a year old and splits time between indoors and out, although he prefers ...

Food coach resigns immediately

When my wife asked me to help her with her fitness goals, specifically her meal accountability, I did what any reasonable husband would do: I agreed and am writing this from my new home in El Paso while in witness protection under the alias Kenny Clarkson. My new family is nice. They have a dog ...

Trump’s trade war started world’s economic woes

Being forced to use postulates, axioms, theorems and inductive and deductive reasoning to find `proofs‚ and a solution to high school Geometry problems became a great precursor and positive omen for surviving in life. Multiple actions during Donald Trump’s first two years of office are ...