Columnists

Republicans act in haste on replacing Obamacare

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s biggest promise on his way to the Oval Office was to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” He not only said he would do so, but he said he would achieve both tasks “simultaneously,” and on day one of his presidency. But seven weeks into the Trump ...

A plot to poison Obamacare

Arsenic was a poison favored by Victorian mystery writers. The victims would be fed small amounts, not suspecting the cause of their increasing discomfort. At a certain point, the arsenic buildup would send them into organ failure and death. The Republican House health care plan would apply a ...

In the Legislature

This was the ninth week of the legislative session. Last week was our first funnel week, meaning this week was full of debate on the Senate floor as we come up on more deadlines for bills. On Monday, we passed SF 258, SF 260, SF 296, SF 357, and SF 385 out of the Senate. All of these bills ...

Housekeeping in perspective

Dear Readers: My mother, the original Heloise (I) (1919-1977), was every housekeeper’s helper, friend and cheerleader. She really championed her “housewifes” as she called her readers, because yes, they were housewives back then. She tried to tell her readers that there is more to life ...

Eugenics was a progressive cause

The progressive mob that disrupted Charles Murray’s appearance last week at Middlebury College was protesting a 1994 book read by few if any of the protesters. Some of them denounced “eugenics,” thereby demonstrating an interesting ignorance: Eugenics — controlled breeding to improve ...

The 5 Stages of a Trump Scandal

Another week, another “nothing burger” Trump scandal. This week, President Trump took to Twitter to accuse former President Obama of ordering him to be wiretapped at Trump Tower. That accusation, of course, had no evidence to support it. But instead of merely stating that the accusation ...

News from Des Moines

We have now moved to a period in the session where we spend considerable time in debate on bills that have passed committee. Most of the bills we pass are what we call “non con,” meaning non-controversial. They normally pass unanimously, or very close to it. As of Thursday morning we had ...

Total Burnout

Total Burnout … not like the days of old where teenagers would burn out their tires while “scooping the loop,” but that PARENTAL burnout. We have all been there, are living it, or have yet to experience that ultimate in fatigue and stress. Quite honestly, my color-coded Google Calendar ...

The media’s anonymous-sources hypocrisy

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders exposed a notable bit of hypocrisy on ABC’s “This Week.” As the liberal media boiled over President Trump accusing former President Obama of wiretapping him, ABC host Martha Raddatz spat at Sanders about a conservative blog’s ...

Sessions affair just Democratic obstructionism

Good citizens across the nation surely are wondering why, when critical business regarding America’s future needs tending to, the game preoccupying Washington, D.C., these days is “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.” If there is some question about the propriety of conversations that Attorney ...

Wiki-flood

Most Americans, I suspect, have the attitude that if the government is spying on someone there is probably a good reason. In the latest document dump by WikiLeaks, Julian Assange’s outfit may cause some to rethink that premise. Assange, who is viewed by some as a patriot and by others as ...

Help for students with dyslexia

What is dyslexia? This is a question that is often asked by parents who are trying to understand why their child is not learning to read with ease. Many people think dyslexia is seeing words and letters backwards. Contrary to what was once thought, dyslexia is not a visual problem such as ...

A tribute to Bob Schubert

I lost a good friend the other day and so did the people of Marshalltown. Robert “Bob” “Pappy” Schubert died on Feb. 27. Bob was a dedicated public servant who served his community for many, many years. He was the champion of working men and women in our community. As I reflect on the ...

Facts on the ground moving immigration in Trump’s direction

The afternoon before President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress, Twitter watchers were treated to a flurry of tweets, inspired by comments at the traditional lunch with network anchors, that the president was going to endorse something very much like the “comprehensive” immigration bills ...

Speaking of Planned Parenthood

Dozens of women in Congress wore suffragist white for President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session. You know this had to annoy him, all those dames sticking out in that sea of dark suits, but he stayed on script anyway. That was all he had to do, apparently, to be newly ...

What Jim has learned today

Somewhere between 3-5 percent of Americans self-identify as vegetarian. I also learned that according to data from the USDA and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey … 27 percent of vegetarians … admit to eating meat. I learned that chicken makes up 31 percent of the worlds ...

Sharing our community pride

The Vision Marshalltown community pride vision is to have and convey a culture of pride and respect, with a reputation as a great community in which to live, work, and play. One of the first community pride projects we embarked on is a video series. We started the project with the intention ...

People remember that facts matter

I’m beginning to feel like Sally Field. Remember the 1985 Academy Awards, when she was stunned by the idea of being accepted? “And I can’t deny the fact that you like me!” she gushed. “Right now! You like me!” I could give the same speech today. I am, you see, employed in an ...

Madness, Contradictions, and Post-Modernity

Let me pose a hypothetical situation to you. A man and woman marry. They have three children over the course of their 20 years of marriage. In recent years, the husband has been more and more withdrawn. Something has changed. His wife and children can see it. He knows it. He goes to a therapist ...

What will won’t work

Dear Dave, When it comes to making a will, would it suffice to sit down and write it all out on a piece of paper, then have it notarized? — Joyce Dear Joyce, I would never advise someone to write their own will, unless, of course, they’re an attorney in that state. Laws can vary from ...